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
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 here. For 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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Rusty
WEEK’S BEST VIDEOS, SLIDESHOWS AND OTHER MEDIA
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.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.