Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Volume 6, No. 12

Published by
Northstar Media Services
Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor
 Seattle, Washington
Ricco, the Mafia Squirrel, chowing down on sunflower seeds, with good manners.  Photo by Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller

Ricco, the Mafia Squirrel, chowing down on sunflower seeds, with good manners. Photo by Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it looks like it’s time to talk about Internet behaviour again.  This is in response to several emails and a couple of AOL Instant Messenger conversations I’ve had with some of you.

First, no, I do not think that the Internet and the “Real World” are different realms.  They are one in the same.  The Net is like the telephone.  I may not be able to get an all-seven-senses impression of the person at the other end of the line but I do know I’m talking to a human being.

It therefore certainly follows that I believe that online and offline behaviour are generally consistent.  If someone is nice person on the Net, chances are they are real easy to hang out with in “real time.”  Conversely, if they’re stinkers, as my Uncle Seamus used to put it, “Being downwind don’t make them no less a skunk.”

As far as acting out, I react the same way to mental instability and extremes of behavior whether I’m standing next to them, watching them on television, or seeing them in a chatroom.  I don’t want to hurt them.  I just want to get away from them, far, far away.

That’s because unstable people are exactly that.  With all due respect to the professions involved, I don’t see how in the world the behavior of a crazy person can be predicted.  Seems to me the only person who can anticipate an unstable human being is another unstable human being.  But just because they understand each other doesn’t mean we can understand them.

I think it would be really cool if they had a nice land of their own where they could all live together in mutual defense of their illusions.  As I look about my own world and its pretensions, I’m not so sure most of us aren’t already doing that, to some extent.

Someone who is a bully in a chatroom may not actually behave that way offline.  But chances are excellent they would like to be able to push people’s buttons, jerk their chains and manipulate them in real time.  That goes to both motive and intent.  The only thing missing is the opportunity.

The government is fully aware of all this.  That is why there are laws on the books now which criminalize a variety of inappropriate online behavior, including psychological coercion.

I watch the behavior of those who deny that the two worlds are the same.  I find most of their behavior consistent with their belief that it doesn’t matter what they say or do online because the Net isn’t real.  I think it would be really cool if they too had a nice land of their own where they could all live together in mutual defense of their illusions. 

I do, in fact, have a place like that myself.  It’s the San Juan Islands and it’s where we’ll be physically moving within the next several years.  It’s not a home where buffalo roam but it is a still wild kind of place where human beings learn from orcas, dolphin, the eagles, the otter and the other creatures that were there first.

Sometimes it’s nice to hang out with life forms not nearly sophisticated enough to be rude.


If you’re one of those people who worries if you wake up and there’s nothing to worry about, here’s something that should take care of that.  It’s about Big Rocks In Space and the problems with getting the human family together in time to effectively deal with those big enough to destroy a city, province or state.

Well, despite the problems it caused people in northeastern Canada and the US, one little dudette at the Buffalo, New York Zoo certainly seemed to be enjoying herself.  Yep, this is an “awww” moment.

That flash in the sky visible Friday evening from New Hampshire south to Virginia and east to Pennsylvania was “likely” a meteor, according to NASA.  For more on this one, please go here.


Afghanistan: Afghanistan, U.S. Reach Deal On Wardak Troop Withdrawal

Afghan Villages Rise Up Against Taliban 

China: China’s Premier Offers Plan of Economic and Social Reforms  

China’s Top Environmental Priorities   

India: Five Men Arrested In Gang-Rape Of Swiss Woman In India
Indonesia: Indonesian Carrier Orders $24 Billion in Jets From Airbus
Iraq: Iraq Attacks Across Baghdad Kill 56, Wound Hundreds
Israel: With Obama as Broker, Israelis and Turkey End Dispute
Mali: West Fears for Mali’s Fate After French Forces Leave
Myanmar: Myanmar Troops Sent to City Torn by Sectarian Rioting
North Korea: Pentagon Warns Pyongyang

Video Shows Washington Under Attack 

Kim Jong Un Supervises Simulation Of Drone Attack

South Korea: Cyber Attack On South Korea Suspected

The Reincarnation of Seoul

Russia: Russia’s Beautiful Killer Whales

Russian Ties Put Cyprus Banking Crisis on East-West Fault Line

Russian Oligarch and Critic of Putin Dies in Britain  

Spain: Defiant Strategy in Spanish Scandal Makes Diego Torres a Prisoner in His Home
Turkey: Kurdish Leader Declares Truce With Turkey
United Kingdom: Britain Approves Construction of New Nuclear Power Plant

Agreement Reached on British Press Restrictions

United States: Use of Generics Produces an Unusual Drop in Drug Spending

Whistle-Blower Complaints at Veterans Hospital

Oregon’s Next Big Earthquake

US Makes First Plutonium in 25 Years, for Spacecraft 

US Military Launches SBIRS GEO-2 Missile Defense Satellite

Deflecting Big Asteroids Will Require International Cooperation

Hanford Nuclear Reservation Workers Hit By Sequestration Layoffs

Surprise U.S. Housing Demand Catches Industry Off-Guard

Chicago Says It Will Close 54 Public Schools

Immigrants Held in Solitary Cells, Often for Weeks 


Second Thoughts in Europe as Fear Spreads in Cyprus

Cyprus Bailout Backlash Promises Crucial Test for Germany

Protecting Their Own, Russians Offer an Alternative to the Cypriot Bank Tax

Cyprus Has 4 Days To Create New Plan To Avoid Bankruptcy

Cyprus Makes Plan to Seize Portion of High-Level Deposits


Climate Change Denying Congressman to Head Subcommittee on Climate Change

Storm Surge Risk Amplified By Climate Change, Study Finds

Himalayan Adventure Foretells Climate’s Effects

Three Tactics for a Stronger Climate Movement


Syrian Opposition Pushes For Interim Government

Syrian Opposition Picks Ghassan Hitto as Interim Prime Minister

Watching Syria’s War

Syria and Activists Trade Accusations on Chemical Weapons

Jammed in Roman Caves, Ducking Syria’s War

In Syria’s Civil War, Doctors Find Themselves in Cross Hairs


We admire both French Canadians and the French.  We are also all for preserving one’s cultural heritage.  But as this totally hilarious video entitled “The Language Police” sometimes one can get just a lit-tle carried away.

Yes, believe it or not, in addition to Chinese food, Mexican food, Italian food and French food, there is now Canadian food.

Check out Canada’s richest cities and towns.


Quantum Stealth Invisibility Cloak, From Canada’s Hyperstealth Biotechnology

Winnipeg Residents Play It Forward

Canada-U.S. Price Gap: Budget’s Tariff Changes Could Mean Higher Prices


One of our favorite people has come out in support of gay marriage.  Ms. Clinton, with all due respect, Your Former First Ladyship, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again.  Hillary, you rock, girl.

In Scotland, there is a church shared by both Christians and Muslims.

If you’re looking for a Hallmark Moment (super sentimental), this video of a note left on the rig of a woman whose boyfriend is serving in Afghanistan will definitely do it for you.  If you don’t get a little misty behind this, you need to ask the Wizard for a heart.


Cyclists Design Bike Friendly Truck

Locals Raise Money to Open Yellowstone on Time

Video: Seattleites Make Rain Gardens to Curb Stormwater Pollution


The individual heading the American House Subcommittee on Climate Change is a climate change denier.  To me, that makes about as much sense as putting a cat in a bird house.

Here is yet again another example of the contention that if you motor your mouth long enough, you’re probably going to offend someone.  In this case, it was Romas all over the world.

An Ohio judge made it clear that online bullying will not be tolerated.  See what happened to two teens who used the Internet to threaten the Steubenville girl raped by two of her school mates.


Facing Protective Orders and Allowed to Keep Guns

MSNBC Almost Entirely Dominated By Opinion: Pew Study Finds

In a New Aisle, Energy Drinks Sidestep Some Rules


There’s a team of scientists in Switzerland building a “virtual brain.”  Right now, it takes up the space of about four vending machines.  This reminds me of the first binary computers which were also large “at birth” but which obviously have become smaller and more powerful with each succeeding “generation”.  For some reason, this one sent chills through me.

The progenitors of all life have been found in yet another place once considered too extreme to support any.  Microbes have been discovered in the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Apparently the existence of the Higgs Boson aka “the God particle” has been confirmed.  Scientists say this is important to helping them understand how something could have been created from nothing and specifically, the universe.  Lord, sit on my tongue now.


Cyclones May Swirl on Icy Saturn Moon Titan

Universe’s Age? Planck Space Probe Data Push Back Date

Eight Cool Facts About the ALMA Telescope


It’s More Likely A Comet, Not An Asteroid, Which Killed Off The Dinosaurs

Do Earthquakes Deposit Gold?

States Vie to Conduct Drone Tests

Lockheed Martin Harnesses Quantum Technology


Okay, gang.  Here’s chance to see how much you and those you hang out with know about the species from which you come with this quiz on human evolution.


Video: Seattleites Make Rain Gardens to Curb Stormwater Pollution

Disposal of Older Monitors Leaves a Hazardous Trail

Himalayan Adventure Foretells Climate’s Effects

Three Tactics for a Stronger Climate Movement


Now that the spring allergy season is here, it’s time for our annual re-visit to this one, just to refresh and update.  What Makes You Sneeze – Causes of Sneezing: Pollution, Dander, Dust

Robert Lustig to me is like the Ralph Nader of heath.  He’s gone after tobacco to keep us on the Hit Parade.  Now it looks like he’s training his sights on sugar.  To find out way and for a link to one of the most unlikely videos to go viral, yep, please go here.

If you’re a man and you’re trying to help make a baby, here’s another reason for laying off the saturated fats.  Apparently they lower a man’s sperm count.


There s a new cell therapy which shows great promise in treating acute leukemia.

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


Good News Spreads Faster on Social Media

Religious People Less Driven By Compassion Than Are Atheists And Agnostics

San Francisco’s Role in Opposing Gay Marriage Ban Led Way to Supreme Court

American Academy of Pediatrics Backs Gay Marriage

How Do We Keep Veterans with PTSD Out of Jail?

Intel Science Talent Search Finalists Talk Science


Wingsuit Flying Over Rio De Janeiro Video Might Be The Coolest Thing Ever (VIDEO)

Quebec Language Police: Video Shows The Future Of Linguistic Lockdown?

Watching Syria’s War

Cute Animal Videos Could Help Science

WWII In Color: Rare Photos Show American VIII Bomber Command In 1942 (PHOTOS)


NASA Earth Observatory : Home

Outer Space, Space Shuttle & Solar System Videos

LiveScience 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.

Sign on Metro Bus Close Up

Despite my environmental leanings, I’m a lover of poster advertising.  This one on a Seattle Metro bus is one of my favorites.  It pokes good-natured fun at the Pacific Northwest and yet it also is as authentic as a documentary.  Click the photo for the link to a YouTube of the commercial or go here


The Wildlife Department is reminding everybody that with the arrival of spring also come hungry bears so, among other things, secure your trashcan lids.  Seattle residents could be fined $1,000 for not doing that.  This is another seasonal rite so just to make sure you’re up to speed, yep, please go here

Monday, President Obama is creating some new national monuments.  One of them is right in our own front yard.

Would you like to virtually tour Washington’s State Parks?  Check this out.

Earlier this week, hundreds of workers were laid off at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site. Thousands more workers were told that they may be furloughed for as long as a month and a half.  The Huffington Post is interested in hearing from these laid-off and furloughed workers. If you or anyone you know has been affected, please send them a note at

Why taxi when you can SideCar?


Linda Mikkelsen from Wedgwood said:

Good Evening! I would like to recommend a young man, Rolando Sanchez, who cleans garden beds, trims hedges and other gardening. He only charges $15/hr. His English is limited so you have the opportunity to practice your Spanish. He is delightful. A number of the neighbors on 26th NE have used him. Call 206-849-1639

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


Here’s the 10 day forecast, courtesy of the good folks at our CBS affiliate, KIRO 7.


Seattle Weekly’s 21 Best Things To Do In Seattle:  March 13 – April 4th


Seattle Weather

Map of Seattle

Seattle City Cams

More Seattle Facts & Figures

Komo 4 News (ABC)

King 5 News (NBC)

Seattle Times


Scientists are capable now of reviving extinct species.  But should they?  To weigh in on this one, yep, please go here.

There’s a place in the Cayman Islands where tourists are so friendly with string rays that these normally shy, nocturnal and solitary creatures are schooling up in the daytime and starting to act a lot like the bears in America’s Yellowstone Park.  Marine biologists wonder how these new habits are going to affect the rest of the food chain in the region.  For more on this one, yep, please go here.

Why did a sea lion cross a road in a town in Brazil?  Because it could.  It even used the crosswalk


Mo The Otter Could Give Grumpy Cat A Run For His Money

How Whales’ Ancestors Left Land Behind

John James Audubon Showcased and Preserved America’s Natural Beauty


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


And then there was the giant South American rodent who was adopted by a litter of orphaned Dachshund puppies.  To die of cue, please go here


Bust with glasses

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


WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available.

Business card









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



WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available.






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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