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Sunday, March 31, 2013
Volume 6, No. 13Published by Northstar Media Services Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor Seattle, Washington firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. I’d like to wish our Christian readers a Happy Easter and our Jewish readers, a Good Passover. I would also like to wish all of you in general a hopefully promising spring. In some ways, it’s been a very long winter for all of us, I suspect.
We join much of the rest of the world in praying for the recovery of Nelson Mandela, who was hospitalized last week in Pretoria, with a lung ailment. The 94-year-old former South African president contracted tuberculosis during the 27 years he fought apartheid from behind prison walls. The Nobel laureate is living proof that the good do not necessarily die young. That having been acknowledged, his departure from this life now would seem incredibly premature to me.
We’ve spoken out often before in this publication against bullying. Here’s what it feels like to be the mother of a victim of it who killed herself because of it. If you think this cannot or may not happening to a child you know, really, think again. Here’s how it did happen to Amanda Todd.
We join our Jewish brothers and sisters around the world in marking the passing of Rabbi Herschel Schacter, whose words “Shalom Aleichem, Yidden, ihr zint frei” told the Jews of Buchenwald their suffering was over. During WW II, Rabbi Schacter was a chaplain attached to Patton’s Third Army. When he learned the infamous concentration camp had been liberated, he had himself driven from headquarters and arrived just hours later. He wandered from barracks to barracks repeating the same phrase and gathering a bigger and bigger crowd of emaciated men and women and children who had endured an existence no one but those who shared it could possibly imagine, no matter how often the tales are told.
Rabbi Schacter stayed on after liberation to administer to the shattered remnants of a once proud, productive and prosperous people. As a leader of the Ashkenazi Jews, he served them for the remainder of his life. If the strength of a people can be measured by the humanity of a single individual, it is not surprising even the Holocaust could not destroy the children of Ysroel. For a moving tribute to Rabbi Schacter, please go here.
Apparently we’re not the only ones fed up with bad manners on the Internet and elsewhere. There’s a new army of Cyberspace Emily Posts. They’ve had enough and they’re not taking it anymore. Yep, I totally loved this.
So it has been an interesting week on the shores of the Salish Sea. Have a good next one, gang. Let’s hope it’s not quite as interesting as this past one has been, eh?
IN OTHER NEWS
It could very well be an even bigger technological breakthrough than the microchip and the timing for it could not have been better. A team of scientists at the University of Calgary has produced a fuel cell that is safe and a thousand times cheaper than those currently in use. Fuel cells serve the same function as batteries and are actually their technological successor.
Another miracle may well be in progress. A drug that shrinks all tumours is set for human clinical trials.
We’re very proud to announce that Seattle, Washington is building the nation’s first food forest.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
CLIMATE CHANGE SHORTS
The issue of school bullying is being taken up not by Ottawa but by the provinces. An examination of the legislation is a dissection of the behaviour itself. And certainly a reflection of the varying climates of tolerance for it.
Canada this past week welcomed the Chinese giant panda couple who will be spending the next ten years living part of the time in the Toronto Zoo and part of the time in the zoo in Calgary. The two nations have long enjoyed good trade relations and this symbolic gesture resonates profoundly with the people of both countries as well. There has been some concern expressed among Canadians living in Seattle about what would happen to relations should either of the creatures suffer harm or death. Consensus seems to be that it would not be grounds for war but that the consequences for those responsible would certainly not be pleasant and likely more a Chinese judicial issue than one for Canadian courts or the prison system.
The first quarter’s GDP places Canada well behind the United States, Japan and several members of the Group of Seven. This does not appear to be a matter of grave concern but rather a slow start out of the gate. For more, please go here.
American women are again making strides in government and particularly in the US Senate.
New Jersey governor Christie has told Eastshore property owners that public safety comes before a property owner’s sense of aesthetics. They apparently don’t like hearing it but a recent poll indicates most Americans do.
London, England mayor Boris Johnson, is out to make his city the most bike-friendly on the planet. The flamboyant municipal chief executive is an avid cyclist himself and reminds this writer, in style, of Fiorello La Guardia, New York City’s civic powerhouse during the Depression and the Second World War.
What major Canadian city is also that nation’s illegal drug capital? The answer just might surprise you.
If you’re traveling abroad, please pay attention to what’s going on around your destination. Some countries don’t handle the stress of crises as well as others. When they start unraveling, women are their first victims and it’s generally based totally on gender alone. Here’s a short list of the ones we’d avoid even if the leader of it just had a bad cold.
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
We want to congratulate Expedition 35 on a successful transfer of one astronaut and three cosmonauts to the International Space Station. The flight was apparently the fastest yet. For the narrative and some outstanding photos of this mission, please go here.
Well, here’s one we found a lit-tle bizarre. It’s about a man who fakes insanity by deliberately scoring high on what’s called The Hare Psychopathy Checklist. Trouble is, the guy does so well on this test that he cannot convince anyone he was just faking it. I took it and scored five, which makes me just about as much of a threat to life on the planet as Casper the Friendly Ghost. To see how close you are to the edge, check it out here.
Here are Cara Santa Maria’s five top science story picks of the week. We’ve learned she is as fun to watch as she is to read. Her selections are just out there enough to make her fun for all ages.
OUTER SPACE SHORTS
CLOSER TO HOME SHORTS
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY READER QUIZ
Okay, gang. Here’s a chance to see how much you and those you hang out with know about the universe with this quiz on the stars. (I got 8 out of 10 and I’m no rocket scientist.)
THE GREEN AGENDA
Nuclear Power Flood Risk: Insiders Say NRC Looking Other Way
Marlo Thomas is one of my favorite people. I also have it on good authority that she, too, loves to create stuff in the kitchen. It is, therefore, both an honor and a privilege to share ten of her “fresh and healthy recipes for Spring.”
It looks like some parents may be feeding their infants solid food too soon. To see if anyone you know is doing this and how to correct for course? Yep, please go here.
Ever wonder if it’s you or the other person? For a rough idea of how close to the edge you might really be, please go here.
RESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS:
ON THE CANCER FRONT
Thanks to a new breakthrough in technology, for the first time, it is possible to see cancer cells very “up close and personal.” I found these photographs stunning and morbidly fascinating, in a “know thy enemy” sort of way.
As everyone who is associated with this killer is finding out more and more each day, love is a potent weapon in the arsenal against cancer. This young man, whose girlfriend has the disease, fired a big volley in that war. Yes, absolutely for more, please go here.
RESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS:
If you’re a woman who travels internationally a great deal, this recently released United Nations report and map should interest you a great deal. It rates every nation on its potential for extreme violence to the female gender during times of extreme stress, like war, famine, economical depression or a natural disaster.
We’ve been expecting this and now it’s here. There’s a new film out now about several people whose lives are so connected to the Internet that the distinction between online and real time becomes very nebulous.
If you’re a college graduate looking for work in Canada (and elsewhere, we suspect) one applicant recommends hiding your education.
GAY MARRIAGE SHORTS
BEST OF THIS WEEK’S NET MEDIA
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.
Well, just as we mark the return of our resident orca pods, so we celebrate another rite of spring. Yep, the gray whales are back.
There’s a new study out which ranks several ~ but not all ~ Seattle zip codes by how healthy a place they are to live. The results, skewed though they might be by incomplete research, should not be surprising. Nor is the quality of life in these “bad ‘hoods” nearly as toxic as those some of us escaped when we chose to move here.
Komo 4 News (ABC)
King 5 News (NBC)
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
The lifestyle habits of the Humboldt jumbo squid have remained a mystery. That’s changing now that marine biologists have figured out how to attach a “critter cam” to some of these six foot/1.8 meter long creatures. At the end of this article are links to several other critter cams we’re pretty sure you’ll want to bookmark.
They’ve just discovered a microbe that is seven different genders. In that creature’s world, would that mean there are 350 shades of gray?
The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington is celebrating the birth, last week, of jaguar triplets. There are proud parents of a different species on Catalina Island, off the Southern California coast. These particular caregivers have feathers. BIG feathers.
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
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WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available.