Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007Sunday, February 10, 2013 Volume 6, No. 9 Published by Northstar Media Services Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor Seattle, Washington firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR VALENTINE’S DAY, A STORY OF LOVE AND WAR
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. I want to share with you for Valentine’s Day, a story of love and war that we publish each year as a reminder of just how precious love is and how fragile. It has been updated and revised for this publication. The original appeared in the Portland Oregonian. It is entitled RAIN.
They’d been married once. Younger then, their lives had been a collage of rain dimpling a duck pond, wishing games in the high branches of the evergreens, intimate meals in the kitchen and nights that grew richer with familiarity.
Theirs was a strange, almost inarticulate love best captured in the mornings she’d fall asleep at her easel, exhausted over a night’s work, or the cold-coffee dawns he’d come home totally exhausted and with not nearly enough to show for a week on the road with his band.
“I like it.”
“You don’t think the trees are too green?”
“I’m glad you’re home.”
“How much do we owe the landlord?”
“I’m glad you’re home. The landlord will keep.”
There were, as well, those funny/sad times when the edge cut so deep it blunted itself on midnight cornflake conversations.
“What are you doing still up?”
“Couldn’t sleep. What’s your excuse?”
“I missed you. Go for a walk?”
“You look fine.”
And then they’d stroll the quiet streets, reaping a clear night star harvest, or stand alone on the levee, watching the moon play on the rolling glass river. Sometimes it was back to the all-night coffee shop, where they would sit across from each other without talking, or needing to. Theirs was the rule of no apology, and that gentle dictate blessed their lives for two years and a season.
Then time and an era caught up with them.
His best friend was killed in Afghanistan over Thanksgiving, and she sold two of her canvases, only to learn they’d been purchased for their frames. She began her rage at one end of town, he his at the other, and they met in the heat of it all at the coffee shop. She cursed him for something he said, and he slapped her. In a moment of absolute terror, they told each other they were sorry.
He came back 18 months later with a limp and a double row of campaign ribbons. They talked over coffee, and he whistled at the prices her paintings were bringing. She reached out to touch the gaunt planes of his cheeks. They dined together, then went walking.
Along dusty country lanes, they played in rainbow leaves, chased squirrels and waded in the Indian summer silt of bullfrog ponds. They renamed the trees and called the southbound geese by the colors of the palette. He memorized her eyes again, and traced her long mane from bangs to shoulder blades. She felt the gentle strength of his hands and heard the quiet joy of words a cordite-parched throat could barely speak. Loves was theirs once more — and for an emerald instant — time and an era left them in peace.
When he returned to stay, she met him at the airport and saw him through the final mile home. He never smiled or told her how glad he was to see her. She never mentioned how much she had missed him. When the final strains of epitaph faded into the eternal chill, she walked home and sat down on the living room couch.
Rain fell softly beyond her.
© 2013 by Merritt Scott Miller
IN OTHER NEWS
In what must be the most horrific example of a bad idea gone epidemic, a report recently released cites over 50 nations involved in the illegal detention and torture of suspected terrorists. For more, please go here.
And here we go again with the big rocks from space. This one’s about 164 feet (50 meters) long and will pass closer to earth than much of the orbiting tin already up there. But don’t worry, folks. This one’s not supposed to hit us either. I guess if they’re ever wrong about that, it will be pretty much a moot point after impact, eh?
For our readers in the 14 states east of the Mississippi, this is not going to come as much of a surprise, but what they’re calling “The Storm of the Decade” and “Nemo” could very well be the result of climate change. Yep, for more, please go here.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
Netherlands: Dutch Put Electric Cars To The Test
United Kingdom: Scholars Say Bones Belonged to Richard III, King Richard III Of England Skeleton Shows Deformity & Deadly Wounds, House of Commons Approves Same-Sex Marriage, Mark Carney: Bank Of England’s New ‘Super Cop’ Will Have Stunning Powers
CLIMATE CHANGE SHORTS
Well, as of this month, Canada is no longer using the penny. Here are ten things we’ll miss about the one-cent piece. And here are some things you can do with those copper thingies you still have around the house.
Canadians are actually putting more money into savings than ever before. Check out some of the things they’re putting that dinero away for.
Despite the fact that her track record is less than perfect, Canada has generally treated her First People better than most nations, including the United States. This accounts, in part, for the 21st renaissance of that culture. Yep, for more, please go here.
The United States Congress called her “the first lady of Civil Rights.” On the 100th anniversary of her birthday, it is, therefore, appropriate, to remember Rosa Parks.
If you’re green and a woman in need of inspiration, you might want to check out this story about those of your gender making majour contributions to the Sustainable Cities Movement. We know a couple of these people and we could not be prouder of them if we were related to them.
One of our favourite people, Gabrielle Giffords, a victim of it herself, is preparing to go to war on gun violence. Gaby, you totally rock, girl.
Even in his culture and religion, there’s a special Hell waiting for the Muslim cleric who beat his five year old daughter to death. He allegedly questioned the girl’s virginity. And yes, we did say FIVE year old.
If you’ve got a weak stomach, you might want to take a pass on this one. It’s a story about Seattle’s dirtiest restaurants. Nope, folks, it is not pretty.
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
One of the greatest mysteries of the scientific world is what caused the mass extinction of most dinosaurs and one of the theories that keeps being recycled is that it was caused by the impact of a large meteor. There seems to be more proof than ever before now that this was in fact the case.
The recent discovery of living bacteria in lakes beneath the South Pole has scientists again revising their criteria for what constitutes a habitable planet. One source I spoke with said that it’s likely that the same instruments and protocols used to facilitate this Antarctica find could be used in future explorations of other planets beyond our own solar system.
Its name is ISON and it’s a comet that’s been headed our way for quite awhile now. A NASA deep probe captured the first photos of it and it very well could rival Halley’s as “the comet of the century.” It will swing through our solar system later this year. Its tail is already 40,000 miles (64,400 km) long and when it reaches us in November, it will be visible from everywhere on the planet. If you’re a stargazer, you’re absolutely going to love the details of this one.
THE GREEN AGENDA
HEALTH & LIFESTYLE
Well, here’s a good reason not to be a male couch potato, unless, of course, you don’t want to help produce other male couch potatoes. Apparently too much TV watching lowers the sperm count. Significantly.
That old saying that the road to Hades is paved with good intentions is, in fact, about is far from the truth as it gets. Good intentions are linked to health, happiness, optimism and positive thinking.
The latest Gallup Poll has identified the happiest and saddest days of the year. Yep, check it out here.
ON THE CANCER FRONT
Allergy suffers may be much less susceptible to brain cancer, according to a new study released this month. Yep, for more, please go here.
A ten year old boy battling cancer has created a “List For Life.” This one moved me to tears.
RESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS:
If introspection characterized the 20th Century, then “outrospection” ~ coming to know who you are by getting outside yourself and relating to other minds around you ~ will likely be one of the hallmarks of the 21st. This is another of Roman Krznaric’s cartoon videos and it is as informative and thought provoking as it is entertaining and insightful. Our profound thanks to the folks at YES magazine for this one.
I blush at sex scenes in nature movies so I was more than a little scarlet when I read this one. But I learned a lot and as far as I’m concerned, it’s as much for men as it is for women. Check out Orgasm Facts: 14 Things You Never Knew About Climaxes
One of my favourite comedians is Norm Crosby, the one who has fun messing around with words. So I thoroughly enjoyed 15 common words that are (probably) made up
BEST OF THIS WEEK’S NET MEDIA
In October, we told you about Seattle’s plan to use drone aircraft for various functions, including surveillance and criminal apprehension. This week, Mayor McGinn and SPD Chief Diaz cancelled the program. For more on this one, please go here.
Well, our EmeraldCity seems to have its head on straight. Check out this great story headlined In Seattle, It’s Cats, Dogs And Kids — In That Order
The Chamber of Commerce is not going to be thrilled with us for telling the world about this one but then again, maybe the exposure will move them to pressure the Health Department to actually do something about Seattle’s dirtiest restaurants. And save those of us who live here from spending a lot of money to get sick and throw up.
Komo 4 News (ABC)
King 5 News (NBC)
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
Here’s something people in Florida might be able to handle because of the alligators but really stretches my imagination. At an Indonesian wildlife preserve, a Komodo dragon strolled into the park office and attacked a ranger and several others. Nobody was seriously injured but all agreed they could have enjoyed a less exciting day.
Here’s the SeaDoc Society’s monthly update. Lots of good stuff in this one.
The land which brought us the (allegedly) fictional Godzilla and Rodan is now presenting us with the reality of flying squid. (And no, I am NOT making this up).
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
You will NOT believe who wants to be Iran’s first astronaut. In my humble opinion, the monkey is still a better choice.
A FINAL WORLD
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’re reading this on our blogsite and would like the graphically enhanced edition delivered to you by email, please so inform us at email@example.com Until next week, cheers, then, eh? And stay well. Rusty