Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, February 17, 2013
Volume 6, No. 7
Published by
Northstar Media Services
Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor
 Seattle, Washington
chicken little


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, stargazers in Siberia certainly had an interesting time of it this past week, didn’t they?  They were told about an asteroid that might be close enough to see in broad daylight but nobody warned them about a meteor that might blast windows from buildings and rain chunks of space rock down on them, injuring well over 1,000 people.

That begs so many questions I don’t even know where to begin.  I mean, we’ve got all this multi-million dollar “stuff” out there which can probe the depths of a cosmos that keeps expanding the more we know about it.  It can detect possibly habitable planets hundreds of light years away, reveal moons around a planet so small it was almost declassified and put a cute little robot rover on the surface of an angry planet.  But it didn’t spot this meteor which, had its trajectory been a bit further east or west, could have killed millions.

I’m sure glad the Cold War is over.  I got an email from one of you in Russia asking me if America was mad at us and decided to shoot something at them to remind us we could still do it.  How easily, in an earlier age, that could have triggered a nuclear holocaust.

And here we are, in America still unable to get our elected officials to act in concert for the benefit of the national constituency.  The slaughter rages on in Syria.  North Korea not only tests a nuclear device in spite of censure from even its closest ally and brags about doing it again and again until they’ve got one and a missile capable of wiping out every major city in North America and Europe.

Global warming/climate change deniers are still telling us that Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Nemo are just unlucky coincidences.  Americans are flocking to gun stores to arm themselves with assault rifles before those are banned and a rogue cop goes on a killing spree and ends it by smoking a gun.

And I’m betting that nobody’s going to take this meteor as an ultimate wake-up call that it’s about time the human family started acting a little bit more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Ma and Pa Kettle clan on meth and moonshine.

I’m honestly beginning to wonder if maybe my notorious Uncle Seamus wasn’t right when he contended that stupidity was a human population control device.

What is it going to take for us to realize that we no longer have the luxury of indulging our differences of opinion?  Does the entire flipping sky have to fall on us before we get a clue?

I sure hope not.  But then that’s probably just me.


We note with some interest that with the resignation of Pope Benedict, a Canadian cardinal is one of those being considered for the post.  It might be kind of cool to hear Mass said in Latin, English and French.

If you’ve got a son or daughter who wants to major in computer science and you can afford to send them anywhere in the world for the education, which among these top ten universities would you select?

India is not the only place where women are fed up with being victimized and are fighting back.  Let’s hope this becomes global.  This crap has gone on long enough.


Afghanistan:  Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. Takes Control of Afghanistan MissionsMiddle-Class Afghans Haunted by Fears of FutureAfghanistan Withdrawal: Karzai Welcomes Drawdown Of NATO Forces;  U.S. Troops Leave Afghan Outposts, Still Facing FireAfghanistan’s Female Special Forces Break New Ground In Ultraconservative CountryPressure for Peace With Taliban Is Renewed

Brazil:  Brazil Seethes Over Public Officials’ ‘Super Salaries’; 

China:  Vowing Change, China’s Leader Airs Other Message in PrivateIn China, Families Bet It All on a Child in College

Egypt:  Egypt’s Sexual Assault Problem: Women Fight Back Against Violence During Protests

Europe:  European Meat Scandal May Include Donkeys

Japan:  TV Show Mirrors a Japanese Battery Maker’s BindU.S. Signals Support for Japan’s Yen Policy

Kenya:  In Kenya Debate, Odinga and Kenyatta Deplore Ethnic Politics

Mali:  Militants Infiltrate Towns in Freed Areas of Mali

Myanmar:  Journalists’ E-Mail Accounts Targeted in Myanmar

North Korea:  North Korea Confirms It Conducted Third Nuclear TestNorth Korea Nuclear Test Celebrated With Massive Rally (PHOTOS)North Korea Prepares More Nuclear Tests, Source Says

Russia:  Russians Seek Clues and Count Blessings After Meteor Blast

Scotland:  Scotland Faces Hurdles if It Votes to Be Independent

South Korea:  Japan and South Korea Ready Armies in Wake of North Korean Nuclear Test

United StatesSharp Slowdown in U.S. Health Care Costs Eases Deficit;  Rise of Drones in U.S. Spurs Efforts to Limit UseObama Focuses on ‘Thriving Middle Class’ in State of the Union Speech

The VaticanPope Resigns: Benedict XVI To Step Down, Cites ‘Advanced Age;’  The Catholic Church Shifted Southward Over the Past CenturyA Statement Rocks Rome, Then Sends Shockwaves Around the WorldA Turbulent Tenure for a Quiet ScholarPope Names Von Freyberg to Head Vatican BankThe 117 Cardinals Who Will Choose the Next Pope – Interactive Feature

The World2012 Was the Safest Year for Airlines Globally Since 1945In World Trade Data, Signs of a Slowdown


Hurricane Sandy Was Second-Costliest In U.S. History, Report Shows

U.S. Sea Level Rise Along East Coast To Accelerate With Gulf Stream Slowdown

Middle East Water Loss: NASA Pictures Reveal Massive Water Loss (VIDEO)


Meteor Fragments Rain Down on Siberia – Hundreds of Injuries Reported

A Meteor Streaking Through the Sky From Six Vantage Points

Size of Blast and Number of Injuries Are Seen as Rare for a Rock From Space

Meteor Explosion: Russian Region Begins Recovery In Frigid Weather

Here’s the Big Rock that did not “rock” our world:  Asteroid DA14 Passes Near Earth (VIDEO)


Syrian War Closes In on the Heart of Damascus

Syria Death Toll: UN Human Rights Chief Says Casualties ‘Probably Approaching 70,000


Not that anyone I know is planning to do this any time soon, but if I’ve learned one thing after a few decades on this little blue green marble, it’s that Lady Success can be a fickle and surprisingly passionate lover.  So it probably wouldn’t hurt to know what are the most expensive mansions in Toronto, eh?

Canada’s Indigenous Movement is not just about First People.  It involves and concerns everyone of us born here.  Why?  For that answer, please go here.

Canadians are nothing if not gregariously literate and when not munching down on stuff made with cheese and French fries, extremely health conscious.  Sample the 50 best healthy living and fitness tweeters living under the Maple Leaf flag.


Obama’s Manufacturing Push Good For Canada: Ambassador Jacobson

Birth Weight In Canada: Newborns Of Immigrant Mothers Generally Larger, Study Shows


The one good thing that may have come from this meteor exploding over Siberia is that those who have been advocating for a concentrated effort to put into space vehicles which could knock these things out before they get here are vindicated, validated and empowered.  Yep, for more, please go here.

Instead of arbitrarily assigning currency values or continuing to work with dubious economic models, the Group of 20 has decided to let market values dictate.

In what could prove to be a major step in reducing motor vehicle pollution, several major auto makers are researching hydrogen fuel cell cars.


An Ottawa Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman and his wife are facing multiple counts of aggravated assault, assault with weapon, aggravated sexual assault, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessaries of life.  If these allegations prove true, there’s a half acre in Hell now flying the Maple Leaf flag.

Well, apparently infidelity isn’t something which originated with humans.  We apparently picked up that particular bad habit from baboons

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is a hero of mine.  He must be dying of shame after his son was charged with misusing $750,000 in campaign funds.


A temple recently discovered in Peru could make it the oldest existing example of its kind in the world  Yep, for more, please go here.

The salty Don Juan Pond in Antarctica could provide clues as to whether there is still water on Mars.  I found this absolutely fascinating.

Check out this awesome photo of Winter Storm Nemo from space.


NASA’s Curiosity Rover Collects 1st Mars Bedrock Sample with Drill

Curiosity Rover Finds Shiny ‘Doorknob’ Rock on Mars

Mars Myths & Misconceptions: Quiz

Pluto Rocks!

Private Moon Travel Startup Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

Asteroid DA14 Facts: Feb. 15 Space Rock’s Size, Speed, Proximity & More


Renewable Energy Policy Uncertainty Stalls A Fossil Fuel-Free Future, Experts Report

How green is your favorite ski area?

Fishing for plastic in a peaceful sea: a journey through the Pacific Ocean ‘garbage patch’

Transocean Plea Deal In Lawsuit Over 2010 Gulf Oil Spill To Be Ruled On By Judge


It’s still flu season and if you’re like me, with vaccinationaphobia and a pronounced dislike of prescription drugs to begin with, consider these foods that can reduce one’s risk of contracting said condition.

Check out these six ways to prevent heart disease.

It turns out the one of what was thought to be an almost useless organ actually evolved some 30 times and does, in fact, have a reason for being.  Yep, check it out here.

A new report strongly suggests that those who spend so much time behind a computer that our butt is in danger of sending roots into the chair can also get really stressed.  The good news is that taking a break to call up scenes of nature on the monitor can do a great deal to mitigate that.  Our personal recommendation for that cure is the beautiful photography of the Back Country Gallery.


This is not going to come as real good news for the alcoholic beverage industry but if you’re even a moderate consumer of spirits, it just might save your life.  A new study establishes a direct link between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and a higher risk of cancer.  Yep, for more, PLEASE go here.

Last year, 227,000 America women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,000 died from the disease.  A new federal advisory group is demanding that the more research be done into the environmental factors involved.  We strongly recommend that each and every one of you take a look at your own immediate surroundings.  It might just be a case of keeping a clean house or dying from domestic pollution.


Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society


Polyamory May Be Good for You

Marriage And Millennials: Why Do Generation Y Couples Say ‘I Do’ To Matrimony?

To Lower Suicide Rates, New Focus Turns to Guns

Erden Eruc’s Three-Year Journey Around the World


Carnival Photos 2013:  The Best Images From Brazil’s Big Festival

Russian Meteor Explosion VIDEOS

Boston Blizzard PHOTO: Aerial View Of City Post-‘Nemo’

Video Vancouver: God Created Transit

Best Science Photos of the Week










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.

This is a rain water garden in winter.   These are very popular in Seattle and in the spring and summer will not require any water from the hose.

This is a rain water garden in winter. These are very popular in Seattle and in the spring and summer will not require any water from the hose.


Well, here’s another chance to die of cute.  Those four lion cubs born at the Woodland Park Zoo last November made their official debut yesterday, Saturday, February 16.  For your own Internet glimpse and a chance to help name them, please 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


Chimpanzees may actually be smarter than humans in at least one regard.  I totally loved this one.  It sort of put a new spin on the expression “going ape.”

This video of a baby pig which lost its hind legs and was fixed up with a wheel chair has gone viral.  And in our opinion, with good reason.

And an injured loggerhead turtle in Japan is swimming again, thanks to the dedicated efforts and ingenuity of some humans who really care.


Persistent Cat’s Hilarious Knock On Bedroom Door (VIDEO)

‘Kickboxing’ Frogs Battle For Highest Ground

Westminster Dog Show Winner: Banana Joe, Affenpinscher, Takes Home Top Dog Title


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


And then there was the town in Brazil where it rained spiders. 


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 minstrel312@aol.com  Until next week, cheers, then, eh?  And stay well.  Rusty


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



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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