IN PRAISE OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL

Now in its sixth year serving discriminating readers in Australia, North America, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Western Europe

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Volume 5, No. 28

Editor:  Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller

Associate Editor:  Dennis W. Steussy

Seattle, Washington

Email:  minstrel312@aol.com

 

 

Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, along with probably most of the known world, we are really enjoying the 2012 Olympic Games and we envy our readers in the UK and especially in London who can experience them in person.

To me, this is really what athletics is all about.  There are trite phrases to cover it and I’m not afraid of using rusty saws when they still cut wood good.  The Olympics then, are about being the best you can be.  They are about representing whatever nation you call home and showing them the best your country has to offer.

This year, they’re also bringing fresh money to a nation which has been at least as hard hit as any on the planet by this Recession.  I’m particularly prejudiced because England is the Mother of both countries I call home and the suffering of her people casts a pall over this modest bastion on the shores of the SalishSea, an ocean and a continent removed to the west.

Perhaps more important than all of the other great and cool things the Olympics are, they are a family of nations building exercise.  Unlike the lethal and often extinctifying bickering which too often characterizes our global clan, the Olympics are a bloodless backyard tussle.

And it is one of the few contests I know of in which there are no losers.  Every competitor is a champion and a profound tribute to both the nation and the species they represent.

IN OTHER NEWS

We join America and the international community in marking the passing of physicist and astronaut Sally Ride, who died last week of pancreatic cancer at the age of 61 at her home in San Diego, California.  We’ve heard it said in Internet chatrooms, the coffee house across the street, and certainly by now on the media that it is hoped she is not forgotten.  In my house, as long as one of us remembers her, she never really dies.  She will be discussed in my family for generations to come.  That alone gives her a good shove toward immortality.  For a beautiful tribute to an unforgettable human being, please go hereFor a haunting slideshow memorial, please go here.  See also Women In Space: Female Astronauts Before And After Sally Ride

When a government agency with a pretty shoddy record of regulating itself starts spending my tax money to spy on its own employees to keep them from whistle-blowing, I’d say it’s time to take a look at whose is running the show and what they personally have to gain by such censure.  The agency in question is the US Food and Drug Administration and for more on this one, please go here.

Greenland’s glaciers are melting at a rate which has scientists shocked.  They’re apparently disappearing at a much faster rate than anyone anticipated.  For more on the global implications of this, please go here.

SHORTS
A Ray of Hope on Climate Change
In Maine, More Lobsters Than They Know What to Do With
U.S. Economy Slowed to a Tepid 1.5% Rate of Growth
 

OH CANADA

The nation’s crime rate has dropped to its lowest level in 40 years, according to a report recently released by Statistic’s Canada.  It also marks the eight consecutive decrease since peaking in 1991.  Nice going, guys.

It is rare but not unprecedented to discover a sunken German WW II U-Boat off the Maritimes Coast.  But it came as a bit of a shock when a sonar survey turned up the image of one at the bottom of the Churchill River, 100 km/62 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  See also:  World War II-Era German U-Boat Found Off Coast Of Massachusetts

When Canadians make up their mind to do something, they generally do not mess around.  They’re half way to meeting the greenhouse gas emissions goals set for 2020 and they made a tremendous leap in just this past year.  Nice going, guys, and finest kind.

SHORTS
Hot Canadian Athletes: The Screen Stealers At The Olympics
Vancouver plans to face climate change head-on
B.C. ‘War On Drugs:’ Canadian AIDS Doctors Join International Campaign
 

GOOD EXAMPLES

It is rare that we find just one good example and in this single article, we actually found far more than that by vicariously visiting a new exhibit in Australia.  It was created by a group called PROOF: Media for Social Justice, and it consists of 21 stories of people who rescued others during the genocides which seem to be yet so prolifrigate among our species.  It opened at the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne last week.

SHORTS
Bus 52: Foster Grandparent Program (VIDEO)
Paul McCartney: Come Together, to Save the Arctic
British physiotherapists become first in the world to be allowed to prescribe medicines for their patients

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, NATURE AND EXPLORATION

Imagine what it would be like not to be unable to talk in your own voice.  That’s what millions of kids around the world face.  But now thanks to a major breakthrough in the technology, many of them are sounding a lot more like themselves these days.

Are human beings inherently carnivorous, herbivorous or omnivorous?  Scientific American blogger Rob Dunn’s answers might surprise you.

In response to the several questions we’ve had about the Salish Sea, it’s essentially the new name America and Canada have decided to call the greater Puget Sound.  It has not only been renamed, but it is being mapped underwater and some of the visuals coming back are absolutely stunning.

SHORTS
What Does Space Smell Like? NASA Astronauts Describe Cosmic Scent
FITSAT-1, Japanese ‘Cubesat’ Satellite, To Write Morse Code In Sky
Ron Wayne, Noah Glass And More: 7 Founders That Tech Forgot
 

HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE

We love it when a world event seems to join our campaign to make you guys (and guyettes) the healthiest readership in the Known Universe.  Check out, then, Olympic Athletes’ Diets: The Strangest, Most Efficient And Yummiest Foods

For years, the American monthly magazine Readers Digest has contended that Laughter Is The Best Medicine.  Here’s proof of that assertion.

As alcoholic beverages become more available in WashingtonState and other places, it might do well to review what is true and what is not true about drinking.

SHORTS
Lose Weight to Lower Your Risk of Dementia
Want to Graduate? First, Create a Company
Climate Change Effects: Things Global Warming Just Might Ruin For Your Kids
Anti-Aging Tips for Men
Healthy Foods That Aren’t On Your Plate — But Should Be
Foods For Cramps: 10 Natural Ways To Fight Period Cramps
 

ON THE CANCER FRONT

This column is dedicated to Shannon Patricia Goddard Mills, who died of cervical cancer in 2001, at the age of 38.

We have reason to believe we’re winning the battle against this Jack the Ripper of diseases when we read headlines like this.  Brittany Wenger, 17, Wins Google Science Fair Grand Prize For Breast Cancer Diagnosis App

Not surprisingly given the dramatic rise in melanoma as the client changes, that cancer risk also arises with the use of tanning beds.

RESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS:
Cancer:  What You Need to Know
American Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society
 

NORTHSTAR FORUM

Sometimes, as I look at the billions of dollars spent globally to educate and motivate people to be kinder to themselves and one another, I occasionally wonder if that’s not going contrary to the natural way of things.  I suspect that many people have had it so tough in life that the thought of prolonging it simply does not appeal nearly as much as enjoying it to the max, even when that pleasure involves obvious and sometimes dramatic at-risk behavior.  I think that’s a personal choice everyone should be allowed to make.  I also believe it is one the rest of us who want to live longer and in better health should not be required to pay for.  To sound off on this yourself, email me at minstrel312@aol.comRusty

FUNZONE

WEEK’S BEST VIDEOS, SLIDESHOWS AND OTHER MEDIA

Photographs: London 2012:  Emotional victories, stunning defeats and fierce competition from the Olympic Games.

‘ISS At Night’ Video Sets Stunning Space Station Time-Lapse To ‘Sunshine’ Soundtrack’

Amazing Photos:  Best Pictures of 2012, So Far

PERENNIALS

Animal Tracks is msnbc.com’s Critter Stuff.  They feature stories of every facet of the creature kingdom from the domestic to the primordial. 

National Geographic Kids Page is a great way to spend time with the young people in your life.

National Geographic Video Page is the essence of both the Society and the magazine, in shorter video features.

Foundation For A Better Life’s short video vignettes rival the best of Hallmark, Folgers and Campbell Soup.  Three I’d recommend right off the top are Concert, The Class Room and Spirit of America.

Games and Stuff

Daily Crossword:  This one from Universal has two levels.  It is extremely easy to use and it has some features like music and clues that we thought were pretty cool.

Tank Hunter – This puts you behind the controls of a tank on a vast battlefield in which everything from small tanks to big ones to invisible ones is shooting at you.  Definitely the best game play of its type I have personally encountered.

Word Games:  Merriam Webster has a totally creative menu, including a daily vocabulary quiz where you can see how you rank with people your age, younger and older.

ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, LIVING AND PREHISTORIC

Among wildlife lovers, one of Africa’s secret shames is the virtually uncontrolled poaching of everything from elephant tusks to lion claws.  So we were certainly delighted to learn that gorillas on “the Dark Continent” are turning the tables, as it were, in this incredible story headlined Gorillas Seen Destroying Poachers’ Snares In Rwanda.

Three bear cups who were trapped in a dumpster overnight while their frantic mother stood guard were rescued when some human neighbors bravely backed a pickup truck up to the trash bin and lowered in a ladder.  And of course, it was all caught on video camera.

And then there was the artificial jellyfish made from tissue from a rat’s heart.

SHORTS
Lancelot Encore Puppies Put Pet Cloning In Spotlight
 
RELATED LINKS:
Living With Wildlife
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals
 

YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Coffee and tea drinkers are really going to love this.  It appears the waters off Oregon are now slightly caffeinated.

 Well, that’s it for this week.  The Northstar Journal is one hundred percent supported by readers like you.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute ~ however modestly ~ to the next, please go here and with our thanks.

   

 

Wrath of the Testament, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available for $3.99 at amazon.com.

 

 

 

About minstrel312

MERRITT SCOTT MILLER Bio Wrath of the Testament Author and Northstar Journal editor Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller is a former newspaper reporter who has published extensively in the Pacific Northwest and several times nationally. A U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, he began his career in the alternative media of the mid-Seventies. His own Sacramento-based monthly ~ Rapline ~ drew praise from Sacramento BEE metro columnist Herb Michelson in a column published that that newspaper; and from Berkeley Film Quarterly editor and author of the bestsellers Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging, Ernest Callenbach. A Northern California native with roots in British Columbia, Mr. Miller has written for several Northwest community newspapers, United Press International, the daily Portland Oregonian and for such Seattle publications as the Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Press and the University Herald. As an investigative reporter for the McMinnville, Oregon News-Register ~ and in conjunction with CBS News in New York, Washington, DC and Flagstaff, Arizona ~ Mr. Miller localized a story of alleged Contra gun-running by an international air freight company headquartered in that Willamette Valley community. During the 1987 Angel Complex Fire in southern Oregon, Mr. Miller worked as the lead dispatcher for the U.S. Forest Service and covered the disaster for National Public Radio and as a special writer for the Portland, Oregonian. His 1988 series on child abuse for a rural weekly earned him praise from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. In his career as a journalist, Mr. Miller has interviewed a Nobel peace laureate; an internationally renowned abstract artist; a popular folksinger and various Pacific Northwest elected officials, include a state treasurer and governor. An accomplished travel book writer, Mr. Miller has penned demographic and feature copy for the “Best Choices” series on Eastern Washington, British Columbia, Virginia, South Carolina and Atlanta. As either a contract or staff publicist, he has served a host of clients including the Olympia Music Festival, Umpqua Valley Community Hospital, the City of Canyonville, the Tiller Ranger District, The English School, the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners, Yamhill County Assessor Kim Worrell and Workers of Oregon Development. His freelance publications include: United Press International, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Portland Oregonian, Forest World, American Trucking, Trucks, Oregon Adventures, Oregon Education, Old Oregon, The Entertainer, the Seattle Press, the San Juan Island Sounder, Northwest Passage, Northwest Connection, Seattle Source, Seattle Forum, the University of Colorado’s Writers Forum, Clouds, The long Beach Literary Journal and the Pacific Media Group. He has worked since the age of 13 and has been a hop harvester, professional musician, civil servant, forester, convenience market clerk, lumber mill worker, temporary word processor, technical writer and editor. He has also led a social services research and development team and has six years of radio and telephone communications experience. His interests include astronomy, aviation, camping, Canada, communications, conversation, cooking, dancing, economic development, education, environmentalism, exploration, film/DVDs, fine dining, government, green technology, health. History, human rights, International community, Internet media, law, literature, marine engineering & design, medicine, music, nature, networking, outdoors, pets, photography, romance, science, sexuality, technology, travel, water, wildlife His honors and awards include: Letter of Appreciation - Amnesty International; US Senator Patti Murray Letter of Appreciation for The Northstar Journal Blog; Editors Choice, International Library of Poetry; Congressman Edward Murray Letter of Appreciation; Congressman Frank Chopp Letter of Appreciation; Hersch Best Read on the Net Award for The Northstar Journal; President Bill Clinton Letter of Appreciation; Workers Of Oregon Development Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Police Department Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Mayor’s Office Certificate of Appreciation; California Supreme Court Justice Rose Bird Letter of Appreciation; Northwest Magazine Editorial Board Letter of Appreciation for Rain; Editorial Award, Society of Professional Journalists; Sacramento Bee Metro Column; Honor Roll: California State University Long Beach; Deans List: Long Beach City; Mr. Miller currently resides in Seattle, Washington, where he continues to edit and publish The Northstar Journal. He is working on two novels concurrently and a sequel to Wrath of the Testament.
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