THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL
Now in its sixth year serving discriminating readers in Australia, North America, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Western Europe
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Volume 5, No. 36
Editor: Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller
Associate Editor: Dennis William Steussy
Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea. We’d like to take this opportunity to wish our Jewish readers a happy New Year as they celebrate Rosh Hashanah. The actual celebration of this holiday bears little similarity to its Gentile counterpart but they are a bit like in that Rosh Hashanah is a time of contemplation of the past year and the planning of the next.
To me, being of the same ancestry on my mother’s side, it is a time of remembering, as well, what we have endured as a people in a world which has not always been kind to us.
I was reminded of this in a most unpleasant way this past week in two of the Internet chatrooms I enjoy as “virtual” coffeehouses, working at home as I do. In an allegedly enlightened age, the spectre of anti-Semitism reared its Medusa-like head.
It started in one room by a couple of “harmless” jokes and quickly escalated into one of the longest and most vicious sessions of Jew-baiting it has ever been my extreme displeasure to witness. The owner of that room was absent at the time but there were others who could have put a stop to it but chose to sit back and let it happen. As any student of history knows, that is hardly without precedence.
In the second room, most of those present ~ Jews and Gentiles, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and atheists ~ rose up in protest and let the two individuals involved in the vile slander of the Star of David know that under no circumstances was this conduct to be permitted. They were ejected and they have not been back since.
I fully realize that Jews are not the only “minority” to be so victimized, either by words or violent acts. Unfortunately, there are still too many people who condone racial, ethnic and gender-based humor without any apparent appreciation for the implications of it, either historically or on the part of those victimized by it.
I have noticed several traits that all bigots seem to have in common. They are cowards and they are bullies. They prey upon the weak, the marginalized and the disenfranchised. They count on the passive acceptance of the majority to silently sanction their behavior and when confronted, offer the rationalization that words cannot hurt and that the victims need to get over themselves.
Less than a century ago, six million Jews perished in a systematic campaign of genocide which could have been prevented but was not because every civilized nation on the face of the earth chose to turn its back on the plight of the sons and daughters of the Star of David in NAZI Germany.
I am not, by predisposition, a violent man. I have been to war and I do not believe in killing those with whom I disagree. But I swear before all that is holy and decent in this world that I will not hesitate to take whatever measures are necessary if this appears to be happening again.
We all deserve a better world than that and it is up to each and every one of us to make sure that what happened to ~ among others ~ Jews, the Irish, blacks, Armenians and Native Americans ~ never happens again.
IN OTHER NEWS
Well, at a time when most of the news about climate change seems to be bad, here’s some good news. That hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica is expected to be smaller this year than it was last and scientists say that’s because the measures we’re taking to protect the environment are actually working. For more on this one, please go here.
In the sampling I’ve done this month in the Internet chatrooms I frequent like virtual coffeehouses and from what the media at large has been reporting, it certainly seems as though the entire Islamic Nation is rising up against the Western Infidel. First, I think that’s a totally stupid perspective and second, I don’t believe it. For those with some doubts, you might want to read this story about what the people of Benghazi are saying when they tell us that those who attacked the American consulate in their city and killed the US ambassador do not, in fact, represent all of Islam.
The latest QS World University Rankings were released last week. To find out how your alma mater placed among Earth’s institutions of higher education, please go here.SHORTS In the wake of Hurricane Isaac, unemployment rose in the United States by 15,000. New York Faces Rising Seas and Slow City Action Arctic Ice Melt Could Mean More Extreme Winters For U.S. And Europe CLIMATE CHANGE SHORTS Corporations Slow to Act On Climate Change, Report Says 2012 U.S. Drought Monitor Update Shows Conditions Hit New Highs, Southwest Gets Relief Mysterious Changes in Ocean Salt Spur NASA Expedition
The “Looney,” often a source of ridicule both because of its duck emblem and because of its value in comparison to the American dollar, closed last week at a one year high against said US currency. This is another indication of Canada’s rising prestige in the international financial sphere. For more on this one, yuppers, please go here.
According to the latest Manpower, Inc. survey, the majority of Canadian employers expect hiring to remain “respectable,” through the fourth quarter. Maple Leaf economic experts suggest this is yet another indication that the nation continues a modest but steady recovery from the 2008 Recession.
Housing starts across the nation increased in August, fueled in part by several large multiple unit projects in Toronto. For more on this one, please go here.SHORTS Credit, Debit Card Payments Have Spurred Economy By Making You Spend More Peachland BC Fire Evacuations, Okanagan Residents Flee (PHOTOS) Tropical Storm Leslie Newfoundland-Bound, Atlantic Canada Soaked (PHOTO)
My infamous Grandpa Seamus contended that a cynic was an individual who had no faith in humanity because he’d lost faith in himself. That old Irish reprobate would have been inspired by the story of this Washington State man whose personal example inspired the restoration of a Puget Sound/Salish Sea watershed.
Sometimes courage comes in very young and very small packages. If you’re looking for inspiration, it really doesn’t come much better than this.
The Royal Canadian Mint really needs to lighten up some. They’re demanding that a musician from Nova Scotia who recorded a song entitled “No More Pennies” and used a picture of the one-cent piece on the CD cover pay them royalties. Come on guys. Really, eh?
FROM YOU GUYS
We’d like to take this opportunity to welcome aboard several new readers who have signed on this past week and managed to find a dollar or two to kick in to help defray our expenses. As tight as money still is these days, it’s extremely gratifying to know that we’re giving some of you the proverbial bang for the buck. Thank you. Rusty
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, NATURE AND EXPLORATION
The future of electric vehicles looks more positive than it ever has before and seems to be following a traditional technological evolutionary pattern. To see how soon one might be parked in your garage or carport, yep, please go here.
The more the Mars rover Curiosity spends cruising around on the Red Planet, the closer it seems to be getting to determining whether there was or is life out there. A study of its magma suggests there might be water and so does a phenomenon called “blueberries.”
The interesting thing about science fiction is how relatively quickly it becomes science fact. Experts in the field of space exploration predict a time in the “not that distant” future when anti-matter will make exploring other solar systems about as easy as an auto trip from Bangor, Maine to Bangor, Washington.SHORTS Acoustic Levitation Video Shows Liquid Droplets Floating On Sound Waves In Mid Air NASA’s Endeavour Shuttle Heads To California Science Center Monday Higgs Boson Peer Review: CERN Discovery Passes Crucial Scientific Scrutiny
HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE
The first Pacific Northwest man to have a totally portable artificial heart now has a real one. For more on this remarkable modern day miracle, please go here.
According to a recent study, seven million Americans have Type 2 diabetes and are unaware of it. The good news is that the disease is preventable and treatable if contracted. For more on this one, please go here.
As we have noted in the past, here at The Northstar Journal, we consider the single greatest natural resource of any nation, its youth. They are one of the reasons we’ve done this weekly publication for almost seven years now on a thin shoestring and it is one of the reasons we’re steering you to this multi-media presentation of some American children talking about their aspirations and dreams for the future.
FOR BETTER HEALTH – by Van Byington
As the times of seasons change in the PNW, going from summer through an Indian summer, and then on into fall, we need to be reminded of some things to keep us protected from things posing health risks. Aside from the usual wearing socks around to warm our feet, digging out that extra blanket for the bed or TV-watching, and firing up a hopefully recently cleaned, inspected, and re-filtered furnace, here are some suggestions to work into your daily regimes.
1) Some folks think that vitamin C is essential to keeping colds away. Personally, I think it is better to dose out on it once you start getting those symptoms. Also, don’t forget zinc tablets twice daily.
While I am this topic, I have a strong opinion about letting a body cleansing sickness like diarrhea, colds, and flu to run their course.
What I am saying is to not staunch the flow of a cold by taking Pseudoephedrine or other things that dry up your nostrils abnormally. Get some tissues with aloe to aid nostril skin for the many times you’ll be blasting out gooey wetness.
With flu symptoms, I suggest what the age-old adage relates: “Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever.” You can take aspirin or Tylenol for the aches and pains and have some broth or ‘lean’ soup to keep the hunger pangs away. You will need to drink lots of water with both these first two maladies.
2) Should you get a sore throat, which could be a precursor to a cold, do a turmeric and salt gargle. Keep in mind you must be very careful to not get any of this on your clothes as it will badly stain in the place it accidentally splashes upon. Do this gargle morning and evening.
3) An alternative to the above gargle is Grandma’s lemon juice and honey remedy-made-gargle. Follow same dosage times to make the throat happier. (A side note on points 2 & 3 is that you could have plaque kernels in your adenoids / tonsils. The pressure from these actually mimics symptoms of a sore throat with post-nasal drip. Prayer, your tongue, and a water pic-like device to put offsetting pressure on these plaque pockets can gain relief from the above.)
4) The most radical procedure is called neti-ing and involves a gentle wash of the nasal cavities. These areas get dried out due to lack of moisture in the air, or too much dry, hot air blown on us by the car defrost mechanism.
A Neti pot is used to allow water to flow through the nasal passages between one to the other – see link for instructions, etc. The water supposedly flows out the other open nostril (as you can tell, I haven’t done this technique).
What I do is a modified Neti technique in the shower. After doing a hunter’s nasal purge, I actually gently inhale water toward the rear of my throat through one nostril with the other finger-blocked, swallowing the water approaching the airways to my lungs. This cleanses the nostrils and rehydrates them. No warranties included herein, sorry.
Van Byington is a naturopathic health counselor and nutritionist who lives in Tacoma, Washington. To contact him directly, email him at firstname.lastname@example.orgSHORTS Wearable Robots That Can Help People Walk Again Foods Before Bed: Foods You Should Never Eat Before Bedtime Alternative Treatments for Headache Relief
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.
Prostate cancer remains a leading cause of death among the world’s male population. We urge you men out there to check take this risk assessment and get personalized PSA screening advice.
The young woman to whom this column is dedicated died of cervical cancer. Were she alive today, she would urge the ladies among our readership to review what to look for in the early detection of ovarian cancer.SHORTS Housework could reduce the risk of breast cancer Cancer survivors celebrate aboard cruise ship RESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS: Cancer: What You Need to Know American Cancer Society Canadian Cancer Society
This planet has enough wind power to eliminate the need for fuels which pollute the air, despoil the water and compromise the structural integrity of the earth’s crust. Why, then, are we so dependent, still, on those energy sources which are killing life on earth? Associated Press science writer Seth Borenstein discusses.
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 online heart of the magazine itself and its offerings are stellar.
Foundation For A Better Life’s short video vignettes rival the best of Hallmark, Folgers and Campbell Soup. Three I’d recommend right off 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
Sea otters to me are among the cutest critters in Creation and when I lived on Fidalgo Island, in the San Juans off the Washington State Coast, I used to have breakfast with a couple of them down on the wharf where I had my dory. Little did I know then that these capricious little dudes and dudettes would turn out to be valiant warriors in the war against global warming.
To my delight, our species keeps learning that other creatures besides us are sentient. A new study suggests that animals also have a code of morals by which they live.
It is neither tasty nor particularly useful to humankind but in terms of aesthetics, this small African herb happens to be the shiniest thing on the planet.RELATED LINKS: Living With Wildlife BBC’s wildlife finder National Geographic Daily News – Animals
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
Certain traits identified with psychopaths are also shared by those who make effective leaders of democracies. After you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, check it out here.
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.