THE NORTHSTAR JOURNALProudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007Sunday, December 16, 2012
Volume 5, No. 51
Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor
LEAVING THE DRIVING TO THEM
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, it’s been an interesting week, hasn’t it? I was very impressed with both the disk jockeys and the ratio station itself responded to what the global media is calling “a prank gone wild.” The DJs went on television with a very emotional apology and the radio station is donating the rest of the year’s advertising to the family of the victim. I think it’s time to let this one go. I hope the station does not fire these disk jockeys. They’ve learned a lesson they’ll never forget and when they rise to management ranks, they will make sure those media people in their employ do not forget it either. If the death of that nurse is to mean anything at all, more good than bad must come of this.
Apparently, python meat is becoming real popular in Florida. That state’s officials recently issued a warning regarding consumption of same. Whenever I forget that one person’s “gag me” is another’s haute cuisine, something like this comes along to keep me humble.
Now that it looks like it might be snarling up traffic downtown, people in Seattle are getting concerned about the number of coal trains passing through the city. Citizens and agencies in other parts of the state, particularly up in Bellingham, have been battling this one for almost a decade now. But until now, it wasn’t a problem for Seattle motorists. The gods of Green do move in mysterious ways sometimes.
Well, it looks like North Korea’s joined the Space Age. They launched a 200-lb weather satellite into orbit last week. The West did not take it well. The United States is trying to put pressure on China to “reign in” North Korea’s space program. America is afraid the ultimate goal of North Korea’s rocket research and experimentation is to nuke someplace on the US West Coast. I live in Seattle so that’s not incredibly reassuring. On the other hand, North Korea is not mad at Seattle and therefore has no motive to bomb the Space Needle. We have, in a de facto sort of way, negotiated our own treaty. See also: North Korea Years Away From Reliable Missiles
I was also real pleased to learn that more and more Americans are opting for public transportation. I have nothing but stellar respect for Seattle/King County’s Metro Transit or “Metro” as these green and gold buses are also called. I also like the social aspect of taking a bus and that I don’t have to keep my eyes on the road or my hands on the wheel. I don’t have to worry about a parking space or feeding the meter; or flat tires, dead batteries, ice and snow, road rage or uninsured motorists. And in Seattle, people do everything on buses from running businesses on laptops to having babies in a blizzard. It’s a movable feast that can take one from the Elliott Bay waterfront to the Cascade Foothills for about what it costs for an hour’s parking in most big cities. So I’m glad to see this trend, especially in historically-car dependent Southern California.
And yes, we join the nation in mourning the 20 children and seven adults killed in a New Town, Connecticut elementary school shooting as we were going to press. When governments get serious about eliminating waste and chimeric spending, I hope a significant portion of the recovered funds go to two things America obviously needs now quite badly; gun control and mental health. I’m reminded again that the Good Lord did promise a fire, not a flood, next time.
IN OTHER NEWS
When the Chinese decide to do something, they do not mess around. They’re building a new city out in one of their deserts and they are leveling 700 mountains to do it. Yep, for more on this one, please go here.
Perhaps not surprising, where American communities are cleaning up their air, citizens are living longer. America too is evolving. What will the nation look like to these people in 30 years or so?
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
International – European Union Receives Nobel Peace Prize 2012
South Africa – Nelson Mandela Has Lung Infection, South African Officials Say
HURRICANE SANDY SHORTS
CLIMATE CHANGE SHORTS
If we are, in fact, what we eat, Canadians are not the culinary puritans of the planet. To see what those who live under the Maple Leaf flag apparently love to eat most in this world, please go here.
Because of e coli contamination, Loblaw is recalling two beef products and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is monitoring, after four cases were reported in connection with the national grocery chain.
We compliment the American military on rescuing a US citizen who was a doctor working on a medical aid assignment when he and two others were kidnapped in Afghanistan the week before. Our hearts go out to the family of Navy petty officer first class Nicolas D. Checque of Monroe, Pennsylvania, the Seal team member killed in the operation.
Check out this veterinary center in the Pee Wee Valley of Kentucky which is sending Canine Care Packages to the dogs serving with the American military in Afghanistan. I totally loved this and I know you will too.
Sea Shepherd Skipper Paul Watson is back on the high seas, headed for Japan waters to disrupt the Rising Sun’s whaling season. This swashbuckler’s been a hero of ours for years now and I’m absolutely certain there are as many whales and other marine mammals as humans who are grateful Captain Watson cares.
Seafood connoisseurs in New York City might not be getting the fish they think they’re paying for, according to a recent Oceana DNA analysis. This seems to be a recurrent problem in various parts of the world. What I can’t figure out is why consumers can’t taste the difference. I tried just once passing sockeye salmon off as the King variety and had two friends who quit talking to me for like six months.
The Maplecroft risk analysis group released its sixth annual Human Rights Risk Atlas. It seems to indicate a dramatic rise in human rights violations in recent years. To see where your nation ranks on its scale of human rights violators, please go here.
Most women imprisoned in Afghanistan are not guilty of violence or deception. They are there because they refused to accept being treated as property in a male dominated society with an extremely high illiteracy level. Ironically, prison turns out to be safer for many of these women than life on the outside. For a moving window on what life is like for them, please go here.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, NATURE AND EXPLORATION
While still maintaining a strong interest in Mars, the American space agency is planning on pursuing possible colonization of one of Saturn’s moon. For more on this one, yep, go here.
There was a 20th Century cartoon strip that was very popular because it combined police work with science fiction type gadgetry. After television became popular, Dick Tracy and his fellow cops began sporting wrist audio-video phones. Now, some 70 years later, guess what?
It seems like scientists keep coming up with more, different and newer causes for the mass extinction of dinosaurs. Now, many of them think it may be have been caused by volcanoes instead of a big meteor.
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.
THE GREEN AGENDA
Depression is an unfortunate side effect of the holiday season. To see which foods help combat it, please go here.
America actually appears to have scored some victories against childhood obesity. Yep, for more on this one, please go here.
We thought this was cute. It seems porcupine quills are inspiring the creation of better needles for medical machines.
FOR WOMEN ESPECIALLY
Well, this should be interesting. A pay by the mile insurance company is starting up in Portland, Oregon.
If you really want to live to 100, here are a few things you should probably think about doing. I looked at the list and figure that if you actually survive to do all of them, it will probably take you to about 200. And you’ll never be bored.
SHORTS‘Science Geek’ Gift Guide: 22 Best Holiday Gift Ideas (PHOTOS) Huffington Post Gift Guides: Pictures, Videos, Breaking News OutsideOnline.com Holiday Gift Guide Gift-Giving Made Easy — A Year of YES!. Buy 1, Get 1 FREE Celtic Music Magazine Holiday Gift Guide: Support The Celtic Musicians and Crafters Edition
ON THE CANCER FRONT
After a treatment which nearly killed her, a young girl losing the battle with leukemia emerged victorious. For the dramatic details on this one, yep, go here.RESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS: Cancer: What You Need to Know American Cancer Society Canadian Cancer Society
BEST OF THIS WEEK’S NET MEDIA
NORTHSTAR ENDORSEMENTSAMNESTY INTERNATIONAL BACK COUNTRY GALLERY: BEST NATURE PHOTOS ON THE NET BLACK SEA AGRO: AGRICULTURE IN THE BLACK SEA REGION CREAM MAGAZINE & MILLENNIUM ART GALLERY THE SEADOC SOCIETY: PEOPLE & SCIENCE HEALING THE SEA SIERRA CLUB
JUST IN TME FOR CHRISTMAS READINGWrath of the Testament, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available as a kindle book, for $3.99 at amazon.com. For a preview, go here
Seattle’s economy is on the upswing and it appears that cautious optimism is in order. For details, Seattle Moves Up On Economic Index
That big machine that is going to bore a tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct now has a name. It’s apparently been decided that this mechanical behemoth is female and that her name is Bertha. I see a class action suit on the part of many human beings with that name. For more, yep, go here.Seattle Weather Map of Seattle Seattle City Cams More Seattle Facts & Figures Komo 4 News (ABC) King 5 News (NBC) Seattle Times
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
Apparently, there is a place where catfish hunt pigeons. We’re not sure we’d want to make it a major tourist destination but all other factors being equal, it might be someplace cool to visit to see something this weird.Living With Wildlife BBC’s wildlife finder National Geographic Daily News – Animals
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
A FINAL WORLD OR TWO
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. And if you’d like to receive The Northstar Journal’s considerably graphically enhanced edition by direct email, let me know at email@example.com Rusty