Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007Sunday, December 16, 2012
Volume 5, No. 51
Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor
Seattle, Washington


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.


The unemployment rate in America dropped to its lowest point in four years and three dozen private college presidents earned over $1,000,000 in 2010.

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?


AustraliaAustralian Outback Police Warn Against Apple Maps

ChinaSignals in China of a More Open Economy

DenmarkUnknown Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale ‘Tallow Candle’ Found

FinlandHuawei to Open Research Center in Finland

International – European Union Receives Nobel Peace Prize 2012

IranIran Captures U.S. Drone: Tehran Claims Data Decoded

South Africa – Nelson Mandela Has Lung Infection, South African Officials Say

US – Study Predicts Future for U.S. as No. 2 Economy, but Energy Independent

UzbekistanFather Frost Ban: Uzbekistan Reportedly Bans Russia Santa Clause Equivalent


Sandy Aftermath: FEMA Trailers Sitting Unused, Despite Thousands Still Powerless

After Hurricane Sandy, Fighting to Save the Flavor of New York


Global Trends 2030 Predicts Water Struggles And Climate Change Challenges

Climate change poll: 4 out of 5 Americans see global warming as serious problem


Syrian Rebels Tied to Al Qaeda Play Key Role in War

Damascus Is Tested as Clashes Draw Near

Syria: Refugee Numbers Top 500,000, U.N. Refugee Agency Reports (PHOTOS)

U.S. Will Recognize Syrian Rebels, Obama Says

Syrian Armenians Seek Shelter in Armenia

Pro-Assad Alawites Blamed in Killings of Others in Sect

Russia Acknowledges Syria’s Assad Is Losing Control

Leon Panetta Reportedly Signs Order To Send Missiles


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.

Canada’s Generation Y Still Believes In Marriage, Kids And Retirement, Poll Finds.  However, fewer of them are congregationally religious and more of them are defining their own spirituality.

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.


Doreen Winkler, New York Woman, Saves Two Strangers From Oncoming Subway Train

Farmers Markets Go to the Internet in Portland, Oregon

Corporate Climate Change Rankings Show Which Companies Are Lowering Their Emissions

Multimillion-Dollar Physics Prizes for Stephen Hawking and CERN

Books to Match Diverse Young Readers

My Perfect Adventure: National Geographic’s Casey Anderson (This is a Five Star Favorite)


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.


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.


ISS Robot: Humanoid ‘Kibo’ Bot Will Accompany Astronauts In Space

European Space Authorities Unveil First-Ever Active River System on Another World

It’s a Smart, Smart, Smart World

Hobbit Face: Homo Floresiensis Researchers Reconstruct Facial Features

New Duck-Billed Dinosaur With Huge Nose, Latirhinus Uitstlani, Discovered


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.

On Mars, Opportunity Rover Continues to Cover New Ground


1990 IPCC Report Successfully Predicted Warming, New Study Shows

UN Climate Conference: Kyoto Protocol Extended At Doha, Qatar Talks

EPA Aquifer Exemptions For Injection Wells May Threaten Underground Drinking Water

Drilling Methane Emissions Lawsuit: New York And 6 Other States To Sue EPA

Bicoastal Clean-Energy Leadership – Coming Clean

Brigadier General On Keystone XL Pipeline: ‘All Americans Should Be Outraged’


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.


Vegetables That Cold-Proof Any Salad

Listen With Our Hands: How Words Influence Our Motor Activity

Teaming Up to Make New Antibiotics

Feds Say Washington Making Progress On Health Exchange


Five Best Foods For PMS


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.

Here are three lessons for gracious living “in a stuff-filled world,” by Fran Korten.


AOL.com Video – Revealed: The Struggles of Army Wives

Stand-Up Desks Gaining Favor in the Workplace

Why Denser Cities Are Smarter and More Productive

‘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


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.

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


Tard The Grumpy Cat Never Smiles (VIDEO)

The Effects of Climate Change in One Gorgeous, Terrifying Video

Earth as Art: NASA releases book of stunning satellite images




Wrath 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.

THE TODAY FILE:  “Your guide to the latest news from Seattle and around the Northwest”

Seattle Weather
Map of Seattle
Seattle City Cams
More Seattle Facts & Figures
Komo 4 News (ABC)
King 5 News (NBC)
Seattle Times


Apparently the Grumpy cat we featured in Best Videos has a relative who is only slightly less anti-social

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.

We congratulate the Costa Rican Congress for banning sports hunting in that nation of incredible biodiversity

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


Here are some interesting highlights from the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records.


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 minstrel312@aol.com  Rusty


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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