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

Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor

 Seattle, Washington



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.


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.


Organized Crime Is Responsible For Up To 90 Percent Of Tropical Deforestation,

New Study on Free Birth Control Shows Dramatic Drop in Abortion Rate

Great Barrier Reef Has Seen Major Decline In Past 3 Decades

Experts See Signs of El Niño, but a Weak One

Study: Hatchery fish can succeed if bred from wild

Our ageing world: UN predicts there will be more pensioners than children by 2 


U.S. Drought Conditions Improve Slightly Across The Country

Glacier and Climate Mysteries in Shangri La

Climate Change To Shrink Fish By 2050 As Oceans Warm

Arctic Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise May Pose Imminent Threat To Island Nations

Asteroid Dust Cloud Could Act As Sunshade, Fight Climate Change On Earth

Southern Hemisphere Rainfall Is Decreasing, Leaving Scientists Searching For A


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.


Canada Unemployment: September 2012 Sees 52,100 Jobs Added, But Rate Still Up

Supreme Court Says HIV Carriers With Low Viral Load, Wearing Condoms Don’t Have To Disclose Status

World Record Canada: 2013 Canadian Guinness World Records

Canada’s Young Face Shifting Social Landscape


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.


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


Block Island Wind Farm Could Be First Offshore Project In U.S.

Neanderthal Sex: Modern Humans Ended Interbreeding After Migrating From Africa

Blind People Picture Reality With Help Of Perceptual & Cognitive Cues

Saturn Moon Titan Could Be Explored With ‘Space Boat’ For Methane Lakes


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.

Check out these ten commonly asked questions about women’s breasts.


New Food Products 2013: Top 10 Most Innovative Products For 2013

Tips to Stop Mood Swings and Spot Signs of Depression – Moodiness – The Blues

Fit in Five: Butt | The Dr. Oz Show


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.

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.



‘What An Astronaut’s Camera Sees at Night’: VIDEO From International Space Station

Johan Gray, South African Motorcyclist, Stops Race To Rescue Baby Calf (VIDEO)

Rescued Ducks Encounter Water For The First Time (VIDEO)


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.


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.

One of the reasons those of us who live here love it so much is that views like this are as easy to find as walking out the front door. This is looking east across Lake Washington to the Cascade Mountains.


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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. How many people live in Seattle608,660. King County’s population is 1,969,722.  Population density varies from 50,978 people per square mile (PPSM) to 190 PPSM.


King 5 News
Seattle City Cams
Map of Seattle
Seattle Times


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.


‘Zhenya’ Mammoth Find In North Russia, Biggest In 100 Years, Made By 11-Year-Old

‘Dracula’ Dinosaur: Pegomastax africanus Had Fangs, Beak, Bristles (VIDEO)

Living With Wildlife
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals


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.


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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