Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Volume 6, No. 13

Published by
Northstar Media Services
Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor
 Seattle, Washington
One of the ways we know spring has arrived in Seattle is when the cherry trees start to blossom.  And there are a zillion of them in this town.  These happen to be in the University District, so named because the neighborhood (District) includes the University of Washington and its cherry trees.

One of the ways we know spring has arrived in Seattle is when the cherry trees start to blossom. And there are a zillion of them in this town. These happen to be in the University District, so named because the neighborhood (District) includes the University of Washington and its cherry trees.


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?


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.


Afghanistan: John Kerry Arrives In Afghanistan On Unannounced Visit

Skiing Afghanistan (Video)

Central African Republic

(Sierra Leone):

Rebels Seize Capital of Central African Republic

Central African Republic Rebels Show Split After Michel Djotodia Declares Himself President

China: Xi Jinping Imposes Austerity Measures on China’s Elite

Cost of Environmental Degradation in China Is Growing 

Egypt: Morsi Issues Vague Warning After Violence Rocks Cairo

Egyptian Women Blamed for Sexual Assaults

SCUBA Divers In Egypt Nearly Sever The Internet

Egypt, Short of Money, Sees Crisis on Food and Gas 

International: Group of Emerging Nations to Form Development Bank

Sexual Violence In Conflict Index 2013 Shows Countries With An ‘Extreme Risk’ 

Ireland: Irish Farmers Lose 1,500 Sheep To Extreme Winter Weather

Irish Legacy of Leniency on Mortgages Nears an End 

Kenya: Kenyan Court Upholds Election of Candidate Facing Charges in The Hague 
Korea – North: North Korea Threats Intensify As Kim Orders Rocket Prepped

Pyongyang Blusters, US Worries About Quieter Risks

North Korea Threatens to Close Vital Factory Park It Runs With South  

Korea – South: U.S. B-2 Bombers In South Korea: Nuclear-Capable 
Myanmar: Buddhist-Muslim Violence Spreads

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Attends Military Parade in Myanmar 

Pakistan: Taliban Extending Reach Across Pakistan
Peru Peru Declares Oil Contamination Emergency In Remote Amazon Region 
Russia: Sochi Winter Games Organizers Begin Hoarding Snow 
Spain: Spain Investigating Lance Armstrong

Easter Gets an Exemption From Spanish Austerity 

Tibet: Culture on the Edge, Photos By Phil Borges 
United Kingdom: British Banks Told to Raise $38 Billion in Capital

London mayor’s ambitious bike plan a lesson for other cities – especially Toronto

United Nations: U.N. Close To Curbing Arms Trade With Treaty
United States: Immigrants’ Solitary Confinement to Be Reviewed

Cape Wind wins billions in backing, launches offshore wind in the U.S.

2011 Oklahoma Quake May Be Man-Made

Broad-Based S.& P. 500-Stock Index Ends at Record High

Nuclear Power Flood Risk: Insiders Say NRC Looking Other Way

Exxon Mobil Pipeline Ruptures in Central Arkansas 


Cyprus and Europe Officials Agree on Outlines of a Bailout – NYTimes.com

Europeans Planted Seeds of Crisis in Cyprus

In Cyprus, Big Losses Expected on Deposits

For Cyprus, a Sudden Need to Play Nice With Turkey

Long Lines as Banks Reopen in Cyprus After Freeze


Matthieu Rytz’s Photos from Panama’s Islands

Melting Ice Is A Boon For Archaeology

Arctic Sea Ice Maximum In 2013 Is Sixth Lowest On Record

Strawberries Should Not Be Growing In The Arctic Circle, And Yet Here They Are

IMF: Want To Fight Climate Change? Get Rid Of $1.9 Trillion In Energy Subsidies

Americans Oppose Paying For Storm-Ravaged Beaches


Arms Airlift to Syrian Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid

Syrian Opposition Group Takes Seat at Arab League – NYTimes.com

Damascus University Attack: Syria State Media Says At Least 12 Killed, 20 Wounded

Damascus Students Killed in Mortar Strike

Refugees From Syria, Sudan, Pose With Their Prized Possessions


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.


Ralph Klein Dead: A Divisive Legacy, A Controversial Politician And A Man Of Times

Target Canada Prices: Some Items On Par With U.S., Comparison Finds

Best Restaurants Toronto 2013: Which Best-Of List Should GTA Foodies Use?


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.


McQuaid Jesuit High School Welcomes Gay Couple To Junior Prom (VIDEO)

Washington State Passes Legislation To Tackle Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Kyle Hartman Cancer Video: Canadian Gets Celebrities To Wish Girlfriend Fighting Cancer Well


It’s a little hard to convince kids in school that honesty is the best policy when a top level administrator is charged with cheating.

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.


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 GhostTo 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.


Mars Panorama, Captured By Curiosity Rover, Shows Red Planet In High Definition

Asteroid Started Wildfires? Ancient Impact May Have Sparked Global Inferno

YouTube Videos Unlock Meteor’s Secrets


James Cameron’s Deep-Sea Dive Reveals New Species

Magnetic Silly Putty Time-Lapse VIDEO Shows Power Of Rare-Earth Metals

Caffeine-Addicted Bacteria, Created In Lab, May Help Combat Water Pollution


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.)


Nuclear Power Flood Risk: Insiders Say NRC Looking Other Way

Northern Gateway Attack Ads Recall Exxon Valdez Spill (VIDEO)

Geoengineering Is a Dangerous Solution to Climate Change

U.S. District Judge Upholds Ban on Mining Near the Grand Canyon

Washington State Passes Legislation To Tackle Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Gas Industry Report Calls Anti-Fracking Movement a “Highly Effective Campaign


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.


Countdown: 7 Medical Myths Even Doctors Believe

Here’s What 2,000 Calories Really Looks Like

Is Your Kitchen a Health Hazard?


Real Age Health Videos

Why You Should Eat Dinner As A Family

Get Enough Of This Cancer-Fighting Supplement

3 Reasons To Eat More Eggs

Load Up On These Brain-Saving Vitamins


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.

Make sure you’re getting enough of this cancer-fighting supplement.


Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society


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.


How Much Does It Cost To Send A Kid To College These Days?

States Redefining Public Schooling

Vinegar Cleaning Recipes To Replace Household Chemicals


Claire McCaskill Backs Gay Marriage

Political Success Can Be a Setback in Gay Rights

Maine Lawyer Credited in Fight for Gay Marriage

Justices Hear Arguments on Defense of Marriage Act

Lisa Murkowski Says Gay Marriage Views Are ‘Evolving’

Bill Clinton’s Decision, and Regret, on Defense of Marriage Act


Only In Canada – Spring Edition (PHOTOS)

Deer Playing In A Mud Puddle Will Totally Make Your Day

Baby Giraffe VIDEO: Rare Female Calf Stands Up For The First Time

Baby Sea Lion Found Lounging In Chair At San Diego Hotel (VIDEO)

Stunning Time-Lapse Video Shows Four Hours Of Aurora Borealis In Two Minutes


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.

If there’s no pizza in Heaven, I’m probably going to Hell for my Funghi Salsiccia.  For a menu and to find the one nearest you, click the photo.  This one happens to be in the University District.

If there’s no pizza in Heaven, I’m probably going to Hell for my Funghi Salsiccia. For a menu and to find the one nearest you, click the photo. This one happens to be in the University District.


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.

It’s Not a Fairytale: Seattle to Build Nation’s First Food Forest

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.


What’s Going On In Seattle

What’s Going On At The Library?


Seattle Weather

Map of Seattle

Seattle City Cams

More Seattle Facts & Figures

Komo 4 News (ABC)

King 5 News (NBC)

Seattle Times


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.


Embryos of World’s Most Endangered Cat Preserved for 1st Time

Tiny Lemur Twins Are Two New Species

Shh! Will U.S. Navy Turn It Down for Whales and Dolphins?


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


And then there was that really belligerent bunch of rowdy bee soccer fans in Sao Paulo, Brazil earlier this month who totally disrupted the match.

Bust with glassesA 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 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.


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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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