Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Volume 5, No. 44
FOR THOSE IN THE PATH OF HURRICANE SANDY, OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU
Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, like much of the world right now and particularly those on the American Atlantic Coast, we’re keeping a close watch on Hurricane Sandy.
Since this storm looks to be the literal mother of all weather events in recent history and as many of you who are reading this now are in the path of what the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is calling “Frankenstorm,” we feel it imperative to supply several links which should help in tracking this hurricane and in preparing you to survive it.
We’ve bookmarked the National Hurricane Center. The NHC has an interactive map and advisories tracking the location, intensity and speed of “Sandy.” For a shortcut to the advisories themselves, go here.
For an extremely accessible list of storm preparation tips, please go here.
For the most comprehensive print media treatment of this entire phenomenon, go here.
This is not going to be an easy disaster to survive and the rebuilding will be long, expensive and heartbreaking. There are no platitudes to cover it and few words to make it any easier to endure.
But for whatever scant comfort it may bring, our prayers are with each and every one of you. Millions around the world care and you are not alone.
Good luck and Godspeed.
IN OTHER NEWS
For a bit of perspective on Hurricane Sandy, check out this story headlined The Worst Natural Disasters in Recent History.
In a further vindication of the integrity of organized athletics, cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life after the International Cycling Union (UCI) upheld the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) sanctions.
In terms of gender equality, what countries are the best and the worst for women? It’s not America, which ranks 22nd on this list. To see where your nation does, please go here.
CLIMATE CHANGE SHORTS
As the nation’s economy continues to improve, more Canadians are again dining out. So here’s a list of the Maple Leaf’s best restaurants. See if yours made it.
In what bears some chilling resemblance to the American Boy Scouts’ recent sexual abuse scandals, the former deputy commander of a Victoria-based military cadet corps has been convicted of four counts of this particularly heinous crime. As horrific as this is, in both cases it was going on for a long time. But at least nw, it’s being revealed and prosecuted. And we assume both organisations have corrected for course.
What languages are Canadians speaking these days? The results just might surprise you.
Doctors in Canada’s Ontario province have declared war on obesity. For more on this one, please go here.
The Dutch are getting ready to test geothermal heated bicycle lanes and we found that both cool (pardon the pun) and a little ironic, as did the author of this story. While many Americans are still mulling over whether they want to pedal at all, Europeans are trying to figure out the best way to do it and stay warm in the winter.
In order to preserve North American forests, American television and film actor Woody Harrelson is throwing his support behind a Canadian plant which manufactures paper and paper products from agricultural waste like wheat straw. Yep, for more on this one, please go here.
Stupidity is no respecter of many things, including political party. Check out this American Senate candidate who contends that pregnancy from rape is “something God intended.”
A woman in Minnesota was billed for two doctors visits when she asked more questions during one appointment than her physician apparently thought was appropriate. The kicker on this one was that she wasn’t told this at the time and didn’t find out about it until she got the bill. And what was it that the Hippocratic oath says about “First do not harm”? We’d be real curious to see what the Minnesota Medical Association has to say about this particular caregiver. We suspect not a lot very complimentary.
In what is probably a well-intentioned attempt to keep the national budget within reason, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is considering significant staffing cuts to the ranks of the workers who protect fish habitat on the Pacific Coast. This is NOT one of your better ideas, guys.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, NATURE AND EXPLORATION
Astronomers have discovered something about the way our galaxy has evolved that has taken the scientific community by storm. Yep, for more on this one, please go here.
Science fiction and fact have once again joined. Scientists have created a real life tractor beam.
Here’s an interesting spin on a bicycle built for two because it’s actually made for one adult and two children. Some 300,000 of these have already been sold in Japan. Yep, for more, please go here.
Editor’s Note: Mars Rover Curiosity has been busier than the Energizer Battery bunny so to keep up with the little dude, we’re creating this special shorts section. Go, Curiosity.
HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE
Annual physical examinations do not contribute to longevity, according to the American Council on Science and Health. This conclusion is based on a Danish study of some 186,000 people in 16 separate clinical trials. Yep, for more, go here.
It has long been contended that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Here are seven reasons why that’s true.
ON THE CANCER FRONT
In the United Kingdom (and elsewhere), the number of women facing breast cancer is expected to triple by 2040. To see what Britain’s National Health Service is doing to prepare for this, please go here.
We reported last week that coffee may prevent cancer. Now it looks like decaff may be just as effective as caffeinated in preventing prostate cancer.
SHORTSRESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS: Cancer: What You Need to Know American Cancer Society Canadian Cancer Society
As we said in last week’s edition, we feel now is a time in our history when it is absolutely imperative that we listen to one another and work together to build a better world. We are therefore pleased to present Seven Keys To A Stronger Community.
THIS WEEK’S BEST VIDEOS, SLIDESHOWS AND OTHER MEDIA
She’s not much taller than a bottle of nail polish and may, in fact, make the records books. Her name is Suni. She’s a three-month old terrier born in Poland and her cuteness is taking the world by storm. For more and a video, please go here.
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.
Well, one of Seattle’s most iconic landmarks, the Space Needle with its dome of gold, is getting a makeover. Within the next six months, it’s going to be sporting a tribute to evergreen trees.
The streets of Seattle will soon be a little safer thanks to several tiny drone helicopters the Seattle Police Department intends to deploy. The SPD is one of the first American cities to be given a federal grant to purchases these high tech dragonflies. KOMO 4’s Rick Lane reports.
- 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
Well, here on the shores of the SalishSea, aka the Puget Sound, we’re celebrating an annual event. Residents of our three orca pods, J, K and L, have returned in time to feed on the spawning salmon runs. Welcome home, guys. Nice to have you back.
We’ve known for a long time that Monarch butterflies migrate incredible distances. Scientists have now discovered that on the other side of the Pond (Atlantic Ocean), so do Painted Ladies. Yep, for more on this one and a beautiful slide show, please go here.
Spawning salmon in a stream in the Cascade foothills east of Seattle, Washington are getting a major break, thanks to the State Transportation Department. For more and an excellent video, please go here.RELATED LINKS: Living With Wildlife BBC’s wildlife finder National Geographic Daily News – Animals
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
Are we really ready for this one? Check out the world’s thinnest house. It’s three feet/.9 meters wide and it’s actually been constructed between two much larger buildings in Warsaw, Poland. Yep, 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.