Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Volume 6, No. 8

Published by
Northstar Media Services
Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor
 Seattle, Washington


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, I’m pleased to report that apparently, we’re not the only ones who are getting just a bit “bemused” by these Big Rocks In Space (BRIS).  While we can only sit and hurl words at them, there are others building the hardware necessary to protect the planet.  I’m proud to say Canada’s one of the first responders and she’s launching an asteroid tracking satellite next month, in March.  And America’s NASA is preparing an actual asteroid buster vehicle.

There is also more attention being paid by both the governments of the world and the global commercial sector to the occupation of near space itself.  We’re expanding our planetary territorial waters, as it were, into an orbit of influence extending to Mars.  For there, we will likely remain and consolidate, sending robots beyond our solar system to explore and to stand sentinel over us.

Within that new territory, we will not grow so much as we will inhabit, environmentally colonizing, as it were, with technology and wisdom gleaned from cleaning up our own planetary house and yard.  All of the problems we are facing here, now, on this planet, are being acted upon now.

It is no longer a “green movement” belonging to tree huggers and other environmental idealists.  Regardless of the explanation for it, the climate of the planet is changing and it is changing quickly.  It is forcing us to adapt and to adapt as never before in the brief history of our species.

We could add some real orchestration to this and some real pathos, I suppose, by saying that we are fighting for our very survival and while that may be true, to me, it is NOT front page news. 

So I prefer the term “adapting”.  I like what I see going on out there and I’m encouraged by it.  It does not feel “fear driven”.  And while climate change this dramatic may be a unique experience for us as a species, it is hardly unprecedented on the planet.

It feels like, that on some level ~ all over the planet ~ we just sort of woke up, rubbed the sleep from our eyes, looked around, yawned and said to one another, “Well, this is not cool.”

This is probably also where someone should start waxing patriotic by saying such things as, “Well, it will not be easy,” or “the road may be long but as the Chinese observe, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  And by God and praise Jesus our Lord, we have taken that first step,”

I’ve used words almost exactly like that as a journalist and editor.  But when I look at them now, I’m quite frankly glad I look good in red because I’m wearing embarrassment like a set of full body long johns.  Yeah, it’s the wrong kind of energy.

Getting healthy, whether it’s on an individual level or as an entire species moving to restore the damage it did to the rest of life on this planet when human beings were still in their adolescence, it can and should be fun.  It should be an enjoyable, validating and invigorating experience.

When survival ~ adaptation ~ evolution becomes a truly pleasurable process, we won’t have to spend 40% of our time getting up for the game, as it were, and staying that way.  It will just be something we roll out of the hammock every morning and do because we like it. 

I’m guardedly optimistic but I don’t think that time is far off.  It’s probably just me, but I’ll be real glad when it gets here.


American winters are definitely warming up.  To see both nationally and by state, please go here.

Here are 20 great ideas from cities that could change the country, if not the world

Estonia ~ a country the size of Delaware and New Jersey combined and with a population of around 1.3 million ~ on the west shores of the Baltic Sea just southeast of Finland ~ became the first flag on the planet to produce a complete nationwide electric car power charging grid


Afghanistan: Civilian Death Toll From NATO, U.S. Airstrikes In Afghanistan Declines;  
China: China Suspected Of Hacking Attacks Against The U.SChinese Plan to Kill Drug Dealer With Drone Highlights Military AdvancesChina’s Last Wild RiverIs China The World’s Biggest Trader? Beijing Says No, Data Says Yes 


Cyprus Trial Offers a Rare Look Inside HezbollahAhead of Election in Cyprus, Gloom and Voter Apathy Tied to Financial Woes 
European Union: The Head of the European Central Bank Is Trying to Quell Fears of a Currency War 
Iceland: Iceland Weighs Exporting the Power Bubbling From Below 
India: Hyderabad, India, Hit by Deadly Bombings – 
Italy: Success of Five Star Movement Shows Italy’s Anger 
Kenya:  Neighbors Kill Neighbors in Kenya as Election Tensions Stir Age-Old Grievances 


Mali an Unexpected Mission for French Defense Minister
Niger: In Niger, US Sets Up Drone Base 
Norway: In Norway, TV Program on Firewood Elicits Passions 
Russia: Misha Friedman’s Photo51 Series Examines Corruption In Russia (PHOTOS) 
South Africa: Anti-Apartheid Leader Starts New Party in South Africa 
United Kingdom: 3 Convicted in Britain Over Terrorist Plot 
United States:


Thin Snowpack Signals Summer of Fire and DroughtSign of a Comeback – U.S. Carmakers Are HiringSeen as Nature Lovers’ Paradise, Utah Struggles With Air Quality 
Vatican: Scandals and Intrigue Heat Up at Vatican Ahead of Papal Conclave 
Yemen Yemen, Hailed as a Model, Struggles for Stability


Climate Change And Blizzards May Be Connected, Global Warming Studies Demonstrate

Permafrost Melting Rate Could Be Faster And Worse Than We Thought

Kentucky Birds, New York Rats Raise Disease Risks, Climate Change Concerns


Russians Prospect for Meteorite Fragments

Russian Meteorite: Fragments Of Shattered Space Rock Fetch Thousands

Meteorite Map Of Earth Shows Site Of Every Space Rock Impact Since 2300 B.C.


Syria Presidential Palace Nearly Hit By Rockets

Syria: Car Bomb Blast Kills Dozens Near Headquarters Of Ruling Baath Party

Syrian Flood Into Lebanon Stirs Fear of Looming Disaster


Fifty million years ago, Canada was a lot different than it is now.  For one thing, it was tropical.  For another, it was one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.  For a fascinating look at Canada’s real “good old days,” yep, please go here.

Canada’s residential school system is a national disgrace, a new and comprehensive report contends.  Since its inception in 1910, 3,000 First Nations children have died in its care.

Most Canadians say they have no intention of retiring at 66.  Why not?  The reasons just might surprise you.


Montreal City Hall Raided By Police In Anti-Corruption Sweep

Canadian Oilsands Dependence Could Hurt Economy


Tiny Estonia, which Is slightly smaller than Delaware and New Hampshire combined 17,462 square miles/45,228 square kilometers (with 1,500 islands on the Baltic Sea) ~ and a population, pop. 1,270,000 – became the first country in the world to build a nationwide electric car charging network.

When landlords in the Spanish city of A Coruňa tried to evict an 86-year-old woman, even the fire department stepped in to see that didn’t happen.

Before a problem can be solved, it needs to be adequately addressed.  Here’s what it’s like for state correctional officers to keep firearms out of the hands of convicted felons.


Lawyers Call for Drastic Change in Educating New Lawyers

Students Use NASA Satellite to Study Mars

BeltLine Provides New Life to Railroad Tracks in Atlanta


If growing silver in America isn’t quite everything it was promised or hoped for, chances are, growing older is still a lot better in the States  than it is in China.

Jesse Jackson, Jr., charged earlier this month with misusing $750,000, pled guilty Wednesday to one count of felony fraud.  Jackson is scheduled for sentencing June 28.

Because those incarcerated in the American penal system far longer than in most industrialized nations, their families are among the poorest and most struggling in the United States.  These longer sentences are now under fire by legal experts more of a cause than a solution.


The bad news is that the universe apparently does have a finite lifespan.  The good news is that its demise is not imminent.  For more on this one, yep, please go here.

The contest to name the two moons of Pluto is still going on.  Right now, the most popular name is Vulcan, presumably in tribute to a character in an American science fiction series which has since gone globally and historically viral.

If your soul turns to space when the sun goes down and you love seeing what is way out there in the Great Beyond, you are going to totally love this video taken by a telescope in Chile of the Lobster nebula.  I’m telling you, this is incredible.


Ancient Asteroid Strike In Australia Changed Face Of Earth, Scientists Say

The 3-D Printer May Be the Home Appliance of the Future

Has the Meteor Mystery Finally Been Solved?



Climate Rally In Washington Brought Out 40,000 People

Leaking tanks are Hanford nuke site’s latest woe

Sea Shepherd Boats Intentionally Rammed By Japanese Ship, Anti-Whaling Activists



The scientific community is calling on those of us who eat red meat to reduce our consumption of same by half.

Whether you decide to go with the percents on less red meat or simply want some perhaps new, appetizing and creative ways to be a vegetarian, this ought to interest you a lot.

Cycling and bone damage, information you probably should have now, while the inclement weather provides you with the non-bicycling time to bring yourself up to speed about one of your favorite activities.


Gym Class Isn’t Just Fun and Games Anymore

DNA Analysis, More Accessible Than Ever, Opens New Doors

New Bionic Hand Prosthesis Called First To Give Amputees Sense Of Touch (VIDEO


Women should not ~ as recommended by New Age guidelines ~ wait until age 25 to begin screening for cervical cancer screening, according to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada and two related medical organizations.


Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society


Republican Brains Differ From Democrats’ In New FMRI Study

Generation Y vs. Boomers In Canada: Is It Really Tougher For Millennials?

College Degree Required by Increasing Number of Companies

Why Gender Equality Stalled


If you want to see why so many of us who live here love the scenery so much, check out this totally awesome view of Mt. Rainier so many of us can see from where we live or work.

Here are LiveSpace’s Photos of the Week and as usual, yep, totally incredible.

If you want a good excuse to die of cute, this ought to do it for you.  Meet Eddie, the arthritic otter and geriatric basketball star.










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.

Blessed Sacrament Church

 One of the Seattle’s more resonant landmarks, Blessed Sacrament Church rises sentinel over the University District.


A purse snatcher armed with a knife robbed but did not injure a woman walking along Roosevelt Way near NE 72nd Street at about 2:15 p.m. last week.  Neighborhood watch captains are urging to partner up until this guy is caught.  For more details, please go here.


Hi neighbors:   My name is Deborah and I am working at a new developmental preschool for autism students at Lowell Elementary.  While we have a few toys, we are looking for more clean working toys for our preschoolers. In particular, we are looking for Fisher Price and Play School type toys like car garages with toy cars, bobble people, a doll house with furniture and the kind of toy with push buttons that result in pop up characters.  (We call these cause and effect toys.)  Also we are looking for clean hand puppets, small dolls, and any other toy you might think age appropriate for preschoolers. If you have any in good working order that you would be interested in passing on to us, I could come by and pick them up this weekend or next week. My number is 508-566-2825. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.  Deborah, Wedgwood neighbor   View or reply ·

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


I love it that we ~ as human beings ~ take such an interest in dolphins.  We keep “discovering” things about them that every other species with whom they’ve interacted as known for a very long time.  Dolphins are kind of the Canada of the global flora and fauna communities.  They’re big enough to take care of themselves but disinclined to boorish behavior.  They take what they need and no more.  They do not impose their will on any other species.  They travel, for the post part, in families that are linked in a global network, without the need of human-style technology, and in fact far superior to it.  By my criteria, they’re a lot smarter than us.  Here’s apparently what we’ve concluded about how they derive the names they give one another.

Cat lovers range the spectrum from those who talk about their feline friends or acquaintances as though they were humans in four-footed form and attribute to them all of the traits of our species on them, much to the considerable slander of the entire species.  Others ~ the ones we resonate with ~ talk about them like they do other humans.  I think where you are on the scale from interspecies surrogate parenting to pals, mates and pub buddies is reflected on what you name your “pet” cat.  Here’s how humans in general made out, based on the most popular cat names of 2012.  To be real honest with you?  I found this list a little scary.   No self-respecting cat I know would want to be called Bentley.  Or Katniss, I’m betting.  I like names that are easy for cats to live up to, like Fred or Judi.  I personally think we need show much more consideration for our pets when we name them.  In return for which maybe we’ll be lucky enough never to learn some of the other names they’re calling us.

Here’s one I’m glad I don’t need to do anymore because all the dogs I know can swim and bathe themselves.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


And where does the average ocean mussel get its incredible strength?  The answer just might surprise you


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  Until next week, cheers, then, eh?  And stay well.  Rusty

 TESTAMENT ICON  Wrath of the Testament, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available.  For a preview, go here:

For the kindle book, $3.99) at 


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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