Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007Sunday, January 27, 2013 Volume 6, No. 5 Published by Northstar Media Services Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor Seattle, Washington firstname.lastname@example.org
SEATTLE’S NOT SO FRIENDLY FOG
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, the rain is back, thank whoever is responsible for that. Given Seattle’s reputation, I know it must sound strange to read that. And yep, it probably does beg an explanation.
Seattle’s situated between two mountain ranges. Going from west to east, there’s the Pacific Ocean, and then the Olympic Peninsula, with its high peaks, then the Puget Sound/Salish Sea, which is the Pacific Ocean coming in from further north. Then there’s Seattle, with a big fresh water lake to its east, then the start of the Cascade Mountains.
What happens here sometimes is that the weather clamps a lid over us. It’s called an inversion layer. It keeps the colder air and moisture closer to the ground, while any air warmed by the sun escapes above that level. The moisture in that fog traps all the emissions associated with this city. The nearest I can come to it in my own experience is Los Angeles smog but at considerably lower temperatures. This fog you see has ice in it.
It’s not something we live with gracefully, even though we don’t complain about it much. It’s one of the reasons we’re as green as we are; why we’ve invested so much in things like solar, wind and other sources which produce without poisoning.
It wasn’t always like this here. For several thousand years, as near as it’s been figured so far, the bluest skies you’ve ever seen really were in Seattle. There’s still a reason it can’t get too smoky here. And the latest wave of immigrants are learning that now.
It’s nice to see the rain again.
IN OTHER NEWS
Who are the world’s heaviest Internet users? The answer just might surprise you.
Well, apparently one way to predict how high the world’s tides might rise during this apparent period of climate change is to study how high it has risen during a previous era like this. I live on high ground, otherwise, I would not have found this particular study at all reassuring.
Well, North Korea has decided to rattle its saber by essentially saying it’s going to develop the capability to nuke the United States. With all due respect to the North Korean people, that’s not one of the brightest ideas your esteemed leaders have ever had, guys. It is about 6,893 miles from Pyongyang to Washington, DC. It is 506 miles to Beijing; 798 to Tokyo; 3,398 to Moscow; 4,946 to Berlin; 5,400 to London; and 5,271 miles to Sydney, Australia. Trust me, nobody’s going to be real thrilled with that prospect. So good luck with that one, Kim Jong Un, et al.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
Africa: Jihadists’ Surge in North Africa Reveals Grim Side of Arab Spring, North Africa Is a New Test, In Chaos in North Africa, a Grim Side of Arab Spring, Trapped Between Africa and Saudi Arabia, Morocco To Change Law That Allowed Rapists To Avoid Punishment By Marrying Their Victims
China: In China, Widening Discontent Among the Communist Party Faithful, China Criticizes Clinton’s Remarks About Dispute With Japan Over Islands, Chinese Leader Takes Conciliatory Tone in Meeting With Japanese Politician, As Graduates Rise in China, Office Jobs Fail to Keep Up
France: The French Way of War
Mali: Africa Must Take The Lead In Mali, France Says, French Airstrikes Push Back Islamists in Central Mali, Mali Islamist Rebels Expelled From Town Of Douentza, U.S. Begins Airlift of French Unit to Fight Militants in Mali, Mali Army, Riding U.S. Hopes, Is Proving No Match for Militants
AMERICAN WOMEN CLEARED FOR COMBAT SHORTS
CLIMATE CHANGE SHORTS
FROM YOU GUYS
This came from one of my neighbors, via our local neighborhood association. It’s a real simple and practical way to turn your vehicle alarm into a burglar and person emergency alarm. Our thanks to Brianna McDonald/
Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your doctor’s office, the check-out girl at the market …everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. My Mom has suggested to my Dad that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn’t hear him. He can activate the car alarm and then she’ll know there’s a problem.
Apparently Canada’s not doing enough to protect its polar bear population and an international environmental group is not real happy about that.
In a nation already known for its pedestrian friendly cities, here’s a list of Canada’s most walkable.
Unseasonably cold temperatures have gripped all of North America and in Canada, temperatures have plunged to minus 40C and below. That’s also, for some anomaly in the two temperature measurements, 40 below zero Fahrenheit. When it gets that cold, even the polar bears start layering.
If there’s any doubt in your mind that women cannot handle combat, you really should check this out.
We’re glad to see that John Kerry, in anticipation of assuming the role of America’s Secretary of State, is divesting himself of financial holdings which might at some point be considered a conflict of interest, particularly given the strong environmental stance he’s taken.
Sex abuse charges have been filed against Catholic clergy in Los Angeles. Last week, Germany made headlines in this regard. Ireland has been rocked by it and certainly the Western Hemisphere. I cannot help wondering if it is a good thing that all of this is finally coming to light or a bad thing that it has been kept in darkness for so long.
Here’s why I think too much reliance on navigation satellites and not enough on road maps is not always such a good thing.
Gay marriage may be gaining more and more acceptance among Americans at large. But it’s still facing a tough time in the military.
AND ACCORDING TO MY SAINTED UNCLE SEAMUS
Editor’s Note: “Uncle Seamus” is actually based on several dead relatives from whom I learned a great deal. Rusty
Uncle Seamus had a big family on a small farm that raised as many rocks as potatoes. So he was always looking for ways ~ however modest and sometimes questionably legal ~ to improve the fortunes of his immediate clan.
He happened to overhear his wife Molly and her sister Fionna talking about the Protestant minister’s wife in the village, who was a bit of a snob even before she married Reverend Easterbrook, whose third cousin was fifth in line for the Lordship of Essex.
“I don’t mind the pretense so much,” Fionna shrugged. “But when she carries on about havin’ a home so clean you could eat off the kitchen floor? I think that’s a bit cheeky.”
“Aye,” Molly agreed, “but you know how some of them are. To them, we’re not just heathens. We’re heathens of the unwashed variety.”
For the next couple of days, Uncle Seamus sequestered himself away in his workshop. That Sunday morning, after church, The Reverend Mrs. Easterbrook and her husband returned home to find a large wooden crate on their front stoop. Most curious, of course, they hastened to unbox it.
When they were done, what stood before them was a beautifully crafted sessile oak kitchen table just big enough for both the Rev. Mrs. Easterbrook and her esteemed husband, the Rev. Mr. Easterbrook. Taped to its polished surface was a note written in a most elegant hand which read:
We heard that you were taking your meals on the kitchen floor. Please accept this donation to the church, with our blessing. Seamus Sean Padriac Finn Quinn Mulroney McGuire, XVII.
Yep, the Reverend Mrs. Easterbrook was so embarrassed that she paid Uncle Seamus a London price for it and refused to take a penny less. That next Sunday, all of Uncle Seamus’ kids turned up at Mass with new shoes.
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Is extra terrestrial life really out there? Apparently the possibilities are as endless as the universe itself. So why haven’t we discovered one another? Or have we? Or is it simply that we really haven’t been looking that long? For a discussion of these and other intriguing possibilities, please go here.
Here’s another of those, “if they pose no threat, why are we being told about them,” stories about very large rocks in space. This is beginning to rank right up there with sharks, politics and insomniac roosters as my unfavorite topic. And of course, in a related story, we learn that there are companies which intend to mine the minerals on those very large rocks in space. This is flipping insane. I can just see them drilling into something they thought was a very large rock in space, only to discover it is sentient and not real happy about being disturbed. “The Asteroid That Ate Australia.” Just leave that stuff alone.
Well, here’s one that might start a new fashion trend. They’ve apparently been able to recreate ~ in 3D ~ the elaborate hairstyle of a lady Egyptian mummy.
THE GREEN AGENDA
HEALTH & LIFESTYLE
ON THE CANCER FRONT
RESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS:
The battery problem with the Dreamliner not withstanding, more people than ever are flying so we thought we’d take a look at jet lag. What is it? What’s this weird thing called a “circadian rhythm”? Is there any cure for it? So yep, for more on this one, please go here.
Is America’s “gun culture” really that nation’s fault? Marni Soupcoff doesn’t seem to think so.
BEST OF THIS WEEK’S NET MEDIA
Here’s another reason I love living in Wedgwood. It’s an extremely pet friendly neighborhood and even those whose leases might preclude personal ownership still find ways to bond. Now there’s a service which provides dogs to walk. Yep, check it out here and thanks again, Shannon. This is pretty cool.
Local climatologists are estimating how Seattle’s shoreline is going to be affected by climate change. It looks like some of us are going to get wet if we don’t move.
Komo 4 News (ABC)
King 5 News (NBC)
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
I know we’re going to get mail on this one. The entire planet is going to think this video of a seal down in the Southwest Pacific Ocean off Brisbane, Australia hitching rides on sailboats and other recreational craft is totally cute. It was apparently a young one and photogenic as all get out. The humans who gave it a ride got the impression it had probably done this before. Of that, we have no doubt. Seals are cute, when they’re small and on somebody else’s boat. They do not remain small and sometimes ~ particularly when hungry, in heat or defending territory ~ they are not cute. The water is their element but they’re also no slouches on land. If this seal pup’s behavior is encouraged, one day ~ much larger than it is now and worse, perhaps also hungry ~ it will board a vessel like the animated buccaneer it can be and there better be fish onboard or someone’s going to be sacrificed to Neptune. I have also noted that many Australians, for some reason, seem to feel like they have this weird genetic bond with all creatures great and small that exempts them from some pretty fundamental laws of nature. They surf and swim with sharks, for instance. And tread on golden shores where sting rays are often known to slumber. And now, apparently, they’re contributing to the delinquency of a marine mammal. This cannot possibly bode well.
SHORTSLiving With Wildlife BBC’s wildlife finder National Geographic Daily News – Animals
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
And then there were some men who wanted to better appreciate what childbirth feels like so they underwent simulated birth contractions.
A FINAL WORLD
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