Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Volume 5, No. 45

Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor

 Seattle, Washington  


Well, hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  I know that for many of you, this has been the toughest past week of your lives.  A great many of you have survived a natural disaster literally unprecedented in your lifetime, if not the history of our nation.

It is a tense time for both America and for our neighbour to the north.  Recovery from Hurricane Sandy, both in the States and in Canada, will be slow and it will be expensive.  It will require patience, and a sense of compassion and humanity both our countries have shown before and which is a national characteristic of all concerned.

Wednesday morning will see either a new administration or a continuation of the previous.  I pray that there will be no gloating nor a sense of despair and revenge on either part.  We are one people and regardless of who sits the big chair in either Washington, DC or in Ottawa, that doesn’t change.  Our responsibility is to pull together behind priorities and concerns intrinsic to every one of us.

I have faith that we will do this and that we will have learned from all the mistakes we have made.  It would be so easy and perhaps entirely too tempting to continue that accelerating slide to planetary Armageddon which seems to have characterized especially this election year.

We deserve more than that and so do our children.  In the final analysis, it is a personal choice.  I pray we make the right one.


If ever we doubted the ability of our children to make a positive difference in times of supreme crisis, this story of what an 11-year-old Hoboken, New Jersey girl is doing in the wake of a catastrophic disaster of incalculable magnitude should once and for all dispel all skepticism.  Way to go, Lucy Walkiowiak.

As if Hurricane Sandy wasn’t enough, a Northeaster could hit New England as early as Tuesday, Nov. 6.  The “good news” is that it is not expected to have nearly the impact of the second most devastating weather event in US history, nor is it expected to strike those areas most affected by Sandy.

The environmental movement is getting an unexpected ally and not because of a concern so much for a greener planet as for budgetary considerations and enough fossil fuel to keep its tanks and other motorized weapons and transport running.  Yep, we’re talking about the American military.


U.S. Added 171,000 Jobs in October

Military to Deliver Fuel to Storm Region

Sowing Promise at the Black Sea

France’s Government Gets Anti-Sexism Lessons

World Wine Output to Fall to 37-Year Low, Depleting Stocks

Hyundai, Kia Inflated Mileage Claims: Carmakers To Reimburse Drivers

Crime Increases in Sacramento After Deep Cuts to Police Force


Businessweek Hurricane Sandy Cover: ‘It’s Global Warming, Stupid’

Sandy Is The Largest Hurricane To Ever Form In The Atlantic Basin

Superstorm Sandy: New Jersey, New York, East Coast Assess Hurricane’s Wrath


Which companies in Canada are the “greenest”?  The results just might surprise you.

Those of you from Victoria to Halifax who are still watching your budget but would like to dine out occasionally might just want this list of Canada’s favourite inexpensive restaurants.

Both those who live in Toronto and those planning on visiting will probably want to print out this online map where the city’s crime hot spots have been identified.  For more on this one, please go here.


Hurricane Sandy: Canada Hit By Storm; 145,000 Without Power

Canada Unemployment: October, 2012 Sees Job Growth Stall, Rate Steady At 7.4%

Vancouver to expand food scrap recycling citywide


She was unemployed and she could have used the money she would have received from pawning a wedding ring she found.  She chose, instead, to take the high road.  She found the man to whom it belonged and returned it.  Ms. Bonita Franks, you rock.

Sometimes the history of religious crusades can be read as bringing a god of one religion to peoples who are assumed not to have one in the first place, at the edge of a sword or scimitar or the muzzle of a gun.  The Catholic Church seems to have learned something of the tragic folly of that policy.  It has canonized a Native American woman named Kateri Tekakwitha.

We’ve long advocated that our youth are our greatest natural resource.  This story of a young man who built himself a 130 square foot, mortgage free home, admirably reinforces that contention.  Austin Hay, you rock.


Pre-schools in China have been experiencing a rash of teacher abuse of children.  As far as we’re concerned, such conduct is absolutely unacceptable.  For the story, go here.  And to register your outrage where it may do some good, contact the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC at WEBMASTER@CHINA-EMBASSY.ORG

When a utility crew and their truck drove several hundred miles from the small northern Alabama town of Decatur to help people in Seaside, New Jersey, they were turned away because the crew was not union.  I think even Jimmy Hoffa must be turning over in his grave over this one.

For seven years the people of Wake Forest, North Carolina were drinking contaminated water because certain individuals in their’s state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources chose to keep it a secret.  When a federal Environmental Protection Agency discovered the pollution, citizens of the town were outraged.  For more on this one, please go here.  To let those responsible for poisoning an American community know what you think, please go here.


The oldest evidence of “urburbia,” dating back some 4,700 years BC, has been discovered in Eastern Bulgaria.  For more on this one, please go here.

In what smacks of the Jules Verne sci-fi class Journey to the Center of the Earth, a Japanese team is drilling six miles into the planet’s crust to determine just what, in fact, is down there.  For more on this one, please go here.

Now, going in the other direction, NASA has developed a new and powerful rocket which could dramatically improve both the range and scope of interplanetary exploration.  For more on this one, please go here.


X-Ray Nova: Rare Star Explosion Reveals Hidden Black Hole In Milky Way Galaxy

Neanderthal Sex Study Suggests Ancestors Of Sub-Saharan Africans Didn’t Mate W

Manned Mars Mission Would Put Life On Red Planet At Risk, Scientists Say


Editor’s Note:  Mars Rover Curiosity has been busier than the Energizer Battery bunny so to keep up with the little dude, we’ve creating this special shorts section.  Go, Curiosity.

Is The Mars Rover Using The Internet 182 Million Miles From Earth?

Mars Soil Similar To Volcanic Sand On Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, NASA Curiosity Rover


If you’re one of those whose allergies make eating out a bit dicey, you might be interested in these particular tips.

A Canadian provincial health minister, MD and past president of the British Columbia Medical Association is encouraging women to give birth at home.  For more on this one, yep, go here.

As more and more employers save money by letting their employees telecommute, it’s also nice to know that apparently working from home bolsters happiness and health.


Dr. Oz: 5 Secrets Your Supermarket Doesn’t Want You to Know

Human Milk Banks: Canada Rebirth Of Milk Depositories Could Save Babies

A Guide to Nighttime Oral Care

The Hazards of Manhood

No Excuse: Couch Potato Workout | The Dr. Oz Show


Can we rid the world of cancer?  Dr. Margaret Cuomo, MD, seems to think so.  She explains why in her new book A World Without Cancer.  For more on this, yes, please go here.

We know that many of you are cancer survivors and we also firmly believe that your stories of survival will inspire others.  So does Sharecare and they are “calling all survivors” to share their stories.  Visit their website at

You can also share them with us by email us a  Due to space limitations we ask that you try to keep them to about 500 words.  If you have a blog detailing your experiences, we’d also like to hear about it so we can link it here.


A Skin Cancer Diagnosis Can Change Your Life

Makeup Tips After Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer and Taking Care of the Caregiver

The Right Hat Can Help Prevent Skin Cancer

A Skin Cancer Diagnosis Could Require a New Wardrobe

Helping a Loved One Cope with a Skin Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer:  What You Need to Know
American Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society


What has Hurricane Sandy taught us about cooperation?  YES! Magazine’s Sarah Van Gelder discusses.



DARPA’s Pet-Proto Robot Climbs, Jumps Through Obstacles (VIDEO)

Hurricane Sandy Photos Capture Storm’s Destruction

Nikon Small World 2012 Photomicrography Competition Winners Announced (PHOTOS)


Animal Tracks is’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. 

Looking east across Lake Washington at Mount Rainier, with the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium in the right (south) foreground

Imagine Seattle totally devoid of human life.  The check out this video.

You know how on those days when we don’t get any wind or rain and the air really smells?  Apparently the pollution level in the Puget Sound is starting to go down.


Seattle Weather

More Seattle Facts & Figures


Komo 4 News (ABC)

King 5 News (NBC)

Seattle City Cams

Map of Seattle

Seattle Times


Why did the salmon swim across the road?  Please go here to find out.  We’d like to add that even though this made the national news, when torrential rains cause streams and rivers to overflow their banks during spawning season, this happens often.  Welcome to the wonderful world of WashingtonState, folks. 

Well, it looks like even the smallest of creatures might be capable of performing the greatest of services.  Check out these bomb-sniffing mice.

Well, it looks like the largest of the prehistoric ocean-going predators has been given a name.  So has my fear of going skin-diving where the nearest friendly land is three miles straight down.  The dude could eat a Tyrannosaurus Rex for breakfast and still have enough room for a plate of pancakes the size of Rhode Island.  Considering that occasionally we find creatures that were once believed extinct, I’ll leave the briny depths to those with a bit less imagination and better luck than I have, thank you very much.


Koshik The Elephant Can ‘Speak’ Korean Out Loud, Scientists Say

Have you considered wood shavings for animal beddings?

October Marine Life Update from the SeaDoc Society

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


And then there is Captain Scarlet, a parrot in England whose colorful vocabulary landed it in a Royal Society For Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals (RSPCA) shelter after its former owners taught it some really ripe words and then found out they couldn’t live with the bird’s fondness of them.  The parrot is up for adoption so if any of our UK readers are interested, yep, go here.









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.  If you would like to receive The Northstar Journal by direct email, with graphic enhancements please email at this link with SUBREQ in the subject line.  Rusty



Wrath of the Testament, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available for $3.99 at



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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