Now in its sixth year serving discriminating readers in Australia, Europe, North America, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Volume 5, No. 39
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, CANADA
Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea. We’d like to wish our Canadian readers a Happy Thanksgiving. They celebrate theirs tomorrow, on Monday. I think it’s cool having been born in that country and partly raised in America. Not that I’m greedy but face it, who among us is going to pass up two Thanksgivings, eh?
Canadian Thanksgiving has been held on the second Monday of October since 1957. It was adapted from the end of harvest celebrations held by the country’s original natives and first celebrated by a European, the explorer Martin Frobisher, in 1587. He was one of the first to attempt to find a northwest passage to Asia. Other notable explorers, pioneers and people of historical significance have commemorated it for various reasons ever since.
The celebration is not a lot different than the one the Americans have except that there are, of course, no re-enactments of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock and there is no emphasis on having turkey. (I’m having salmon, for instance) But the cornucopia, or “horn of plenty” as it is also known, is a symbol common to both countries.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about how the Maple Leaf does this holiday, please go here.
IN OTHER NEWS
The American economy showed modest improvement last month with a gain of 114,000 jobs, up from 98,000, and a drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent, the lowest since President Obama’s first month in office. For more, please go here.
According to a recent European study, 23 nuclear plants around the world could be compromised by an earthquake and/or a tsunami like the one which ruptured the Fukushima facility in Japan. To find out if such an operation is near you and what recommendations have been made in these regards, please go here.
Germans use mass transit five times more than Americans. Here are five reasons why.
CLIMATE CHANGE SHORTS
The American economy was not the only was which showed improvement over the past month. Guess what other nation’s did, as well.
Like their southern neighbors, Canada’s youth need to start getting more exercise and eating less. That’s the majour conclusion of this year’s 2012 Vital Signs Report. For an overview and highlights, please go here.
Women entrepreneurs are playing an increasingly more important role in the revitalization of Canada’s economy. For a list of the top one hundred of these, please go here.
One of my all time favorite actresses was arrested last week. Since we are not “pro crime,” which is she cited (pun intended) her as well. Because of what she was “busted” for, of course.
When some kids decided to set another one up for the cruelest prank we’ve seen in years, the poor child had thoughts of suicide. But when the town she lived in found out about it, they rallied to her support and showed her as much love as they did outrage and intolerance for adolescent cruelty.
When a kid with cerebral palsey scores the winning touchdown in an American game of football, it’s difficult to believe there are any limits to what a human being can accomplish, except attitude. For more on this one, please go here.
For us, there is only one kind of news worse than that of child molestation. It is child molestation which occurs not only in the state in which we live but at the hands of one of the world’s most respected institutions.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, NATURE AND EXPLORATION
Curiosity, the Mars Rover, continues to tell us things about its new home that astound the scientific community. The latest is that it may not be as “forbidden” as once thought. It is now recording surfaces temperatures of around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Yep, for more on this one, please go here.
A volcano in Oregon could very well soon be contributing energy to that state, thanks to a geothermal project recently approved by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM). A study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007 estimates that geothermal could ultimate supply about 10 percent of America’s energy needs. For more on this one, please go here.
In an effort to improve the chances of surviving an airliner crash, the Discovery Channel deliberately crashed on filled with dummies. I’ll warn you now, if you get nervous flying in a big collection of metal, nuts and bolts put together by the lowest bidders, you might just want to pass on this one. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I learned a lot. Rusty
HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE
If you’re a nice baboon, chances are that you’ll live longer. The same study which concluded this also suggests the same is true of human beings.
Here are ten remedies to fight and mitigate the symptoms of a cold. They’re from the kitchen and chances are, you’re already eating some of them. And yep, chicken soup is one of them.
ON THE CANCER FRONT
Our medical community continues a valiant war on cancer and seems to be winning. Check out ten things they’ve learned about the breast variety just this year.RESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS: Cancer: What You Need to Know American Cancer Society Canadian Cancer Society
Is what a saint, a prophet or a deity looked like worth killing over or dying for? New York Times Op-Ed contributors Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey discuss.
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 photos used in Seattle Scenes, unless otherwise noted, were taken by the editor. For a visual tour of the Northstar Gallery, please go here.
FOR SEATTLE-ITES ESPECIALLY
With gas still high and the new tolls on the 520 Bridge, bus riding is becoming more and more the best economic alternative. Metro has risen to the challenge with a home page that is incredibly user friendly and was actually designed by people who ride the flipping buses. Check it out here.
- Is Seattle the rainiest city in America? No. At 38 inches annually, it ranks 44th behind, among others, Houston and New Orleans. For the soggiest places in the Continental Unites States and a great description of Seattle’s weather, please go here.
- How large is Seattle? Seattle is in King County, Washington, which is about as big as the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Seattle itself is 142.5 square miles/369 sq. km, of which 58.82% is land and 41.18% is water.
- How many people live in Seattle? 608,660. King County’s population is 1,969,722. Population density varies from 50,978 people per square mile (PPSM) to 190 PPSM.
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
For those of us who love man’s best friend stories, this one of a Husky who walked two miles to be at his owner’s side in a hospital is about as good as it goes.
Ever since two dams were dismantled on the Elwah River of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, wildlife experts have been wondering if the salmon would in fact, return. Guess what, gang?
We almost want to say “only in Canada,” about this story of Walter, a rescued crow who has found a new home in Ottawa.
SHORTSLiving With Wildlife BBC’s wildlife finder National Geographic Daily News – Animals
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
Is Manatee riding a felony or a misdemeanor. We have a feeling this guy is about to find out.
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.