Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Volume 6, No. 18

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

This is what some eastern Australians look like


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, there’s a new study out which suggests that women prefer men who don’t shave every day.  Apparently heavy stubble is especially sexy.

Before you start taking that too seriously, consider a couple of things with me here.  The study came out of Australia, an upside down land where everything has magnetic feet or roots to keep from falling off the planet.

It is a strange place, this place, I am telling you.  Men wrestle with these very large predatory marine reptiles that eat sheep for lunch.  In the House of Northstar, that is not normal behavior. 

In the House of Northstar, with its slightly cowboy tradition, wrestling a steer is marginally acceptable because it at least has a point.  If you’re ever hungry enough to pin a huge horned animal with hooves down, you’re probably not going to starve.  Nobody, however, that I know of, including my cousins Down Under, eats crocodiles.

Unless maybe they were married to someone like my wife, GRHS.  LJ could get me to eat anything by cooking it exotically, making it not taste like what it was, and then adroitly lying to me about its gene pool.  However, I digress.

Australia is also a place where human beings and sharks have this totally bizarre relationship along the Great Barrier Reef.  The sharks own that world.  And Australian humans pay to surf, SCUBA and engage in scientific research, environmental investigation and mitigation and species extinction prevention.

It’s the coin of the realm in payment that wierds me out a little.  Money doesn’t mean anything to a shark.  They are appetite-driven.  And of all the things in the ocean, there is one the Devonians prize above all others because it tastes more exotic than fish or other marine mammals.

Those incidents where a shark attacks a human down there?  Those aren’t assaults.  They are human sacrifices.

So in a world this strange, I tend to think that maybe Australian women like men who could give a cast iron plate rug-burn with their stubble.  Just to live Down Under, you have to be a little masochistic to begin with.

I shave everyday because my love has smooth and very soft cheeks.  She’s also not from Down Under, has never eaten crocodile and doesn’t even wrestle with a tough decision.

Sometimes perspective really is all, isn’t it?  Until next week, take care and Godspeed, then, eh?

P.S.  We’re moving next week to a shared household a couple of neighbourhoods north of here.  It’s still Seattle but it’s higher ground.  So next winter, I probably won’t have the lonesome-est skis on the shores of the SalishSea.  My heartfelt gratitude to all those of you who expressed your concern, gave suggestions and were there for me in the most important ways.  This job of publishing both a weekly email-formatted magazine and the blogsite is not easy and it does not pay nearly enough in the traditional coin of the realm sense.  Your appreciation of what we do here, on the other hand, makes it one of the highest paid positions of its kind in the Fourth Estate.  Thank you.


We believe in government subsidy of the arts and here’s the best reason.  A flourishing culture underwrites a healthy citizenry.  Yep, for more, please go here.

Check out the world’s 50 best restaurants and see if yours is among them.  Mine, this little mom and pop place on Robson Street in Vancouver, which serves egg foo yung burgers, is not.  On the other hand, I don’t need to tip the price of a Mini Cooper for a meal consisting of cold soup, snails and wine produced in a country whose culture and grapes I respect but whose cuisine my pallet does not recognize, and whose language not in eight million years will I ever understand.

One of the most quietly dramatic stories we are following is that of the Solar Impulse and its American transcontinental flight.  This entirely solar powered has been breaking sustained flight records for several years now and as nano technology evolves, these aircraft won’t need the surface area it currently takes to get these graceful creatures aloft in the first place.


Afghanistan: CIA Bribes Karzai: Millions In ‘Ghost Money’ Paid To Afghanistan President’s Office, New York Times ReportsFather Shoots Daughter Dead In Front Of Mob Bangladesh Arrests Engineer Who Warned of Dangers 
Bangladesh: ‘Little Hope’ Of Finding More SurvivorsDeath Toll In Bangladesh Building Collapse Tops 400Bangladesh Factory Collapse: Man Recalls Cutting Off Woman’s Arm In RescueSome Retailers Rethink Role in BangladeshBangladesh Fears an Exodus of Apparel Firms 
Bolivia: U.S. Agency Is Expelled From Bolivia 
China: Chinese Subsidies Under ScrutinyChina Missing 28,000 RiversBay Dinosaur Bones Found in China Point to Tiny New Species 
Czech Republic: Prague Explosion: Powerful Blast Injures Dozens 
Egypt: Who Rules the Street in Cairo? The Residents Who Build It 
European Union: Europe Warns of Harder Economic Times to Come 
Germany: Huffington Post To Launch German Edition 
India: Illegal Districts Dot New Delhi as City Swells 
Iraq: Deadliest Month In Iraq Since 2008 
Italy: Italy Forms New Coalition Government to End Months of Political Stalemate 
Pakistan: Fleeing Pakistan Violence, Hazaras Brave Uncertain Journey 
United Kingdom: Skeletons Found Under Parking Lot In Scotland May Belong To Medieval Knight’s Family In England, Ancient Roman Cemetery Discovered Beneath Parking Lot 
United States: Shifting Focus, Federal Agents Arrest New Suspect in Ricin CaseGuantanamo Hunger Strike Lays Bare Detainees’ Growing DesperationSuicide Rates Rise Sharply in U.S.Jobs Data Ease Fears of Economic Slowdown in U.S.U.S. Spending Cuts Seen as Key in Slowing GrowthCollege Graduates Fare Well in Jobs Market, Even Through Recession


A Battered Dream, Then a Violent Path

Agents Pore Over Suspect’s Trip to Russia

Mother Of Bombing Suspect: “It’s All Lies And Hypocrisy’

A Battered Dream for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Then a Violent Path

Three Are Accused of Impeding Boston Bombing Inquiry

Boston Plotters Said to Initially Target July 4 for Attack


Now You Can Track The Inexorable Progress Of Climate Change On Twitter

Ocean Temps Along U.S. Northeast Break Major Record

CO2 In Atmosphere Poised To Blow Past 400 Ppm Mark

Slow, Steady Climate Change Defeating Color-Changing Bunny

Climate Change Hurts Women. Wall Street Journal Sneers.

2012 Was Ninth-Hottest Year Since 1850

What would ‘wartime mobilization’ to fight climate change look like?

Atlantic coastal waters are the hottest since measurements began


Hurdles Remain For North Korea Talks

United States Calls on North Korea to Free American

Syrian Forces Strike Rebels in Wide-Ranging Assaults


Islamist Rebels Create Dilemma on Syria Policy

Syrian Prime Minister Reportedly Escapes Assassination Attempt

Islamist Rebels’ Gains in Syria Create Dilemma for U.S

Syrian Troops Push Into Center Of Homs

Syria’s War Has Once-Quiet Border Area in Israel on Alert

Israel Bombs Syria as the U.S. Considers Its Own Military Options

Outwitting Sanctions, Syria Buys Dell PCs


With the melting of the Arctic cap, Canada has new sea lanes to patrol and a host of other climate change issues with which to deal.  See what happens when funding for the research starts to dry up and science stops at the top of the world.

Whether you are a tourist or a Leaf off the tree, you owe it to yourself to check out the 50 Best Restaurants In Canada.

We’ve said it’s coming, Canada’s plastic currency.  Now, check the new five and ten dollar bills.


San Francisco and 10 other cities move toward dumping stocks in fossil-fuel companies

Check out these bicycles made from recycled auto parts.

A county in New Mexico is the first in the nation to ban drilling and fracking.  If its legislation is upheld in higher courts, this could well be a major victory for those opposed to these practices.


It looks like some of those at the American colony of Jamestown may have tried to survive by turning to cannibalism

Check out history’s 10 worst leaders.

Sometimes national leaders don’t get enough sleep and utter things without thinking that come back to bite them and their countries big time.  Mr. President, you own this one, sir.


Well, this is interesting.  Seems that NASA is paying $70-million a seat to the Russians to fly American astronauts to the International Space Station.  Since that is American tax dollars at work, I really hope it’s cheaper than it was when we drove ourselves.

We are absolutely delighted to report that our favourite cool little dude in outer space is back on the job.  Yep, Curiosity is on the case again, searching for signs of life and telling us more about the next target of human colonization.  In a way, I hope Mars is barren in that regard.  The human species has not been too kind to its own members or other life on this planet.  On Mars, at least we couldn’t hurt anything.

One of the more esoteric discussions we have around here is how Seattle smelled before the automobile ascended.  I grew up around horses and I’ve marched behind more than a few of them in parades.  Organic emissions may not be as toxic for the planet (methane excluded) but they can play absolute havoc with one’s olfactory system.  To be on a sidewalk when a hardworking team of them passes you by is to almost get knocked off your feet by the ‘sweet’ aroma of horse sweat.  Apparently scientists have determined that early Earth was no Disneyland For Noses, either.


Speed of Light May Not Be Constant, Physicists Say

Technical Knockout

Scientists Bounce Laser Beams Off Old Soviet Moon Rover

Spot a ‘Celestial Zoo’ in the Night Sky

Tycoon’s ‘Spaceship’ Passes Major Milestone

‘Adopt-an-Alien Planet’ Campaign Launched Last Week

Meteor Shower and Eclipses of Sun and Moon to Grace May Sky


Science of ‘Protein Origami’ Unfolds

YUCK: Early Earth Had Surprising Stench

Check out this robotic hand that actually works almost as good as the real thing.

Humans Show Empathy for Robots

Robot Uncovers Ancient Burial Chambers Beneath Teotihuacan Temple

First Website Ever Restored To Its 1992 Glory

Earth’s Core Temperature 1,000 Degrees Hotter Than Previously Measured


Okay, gang.  Here’s a chance to see how much you and those you hang out with know about Mars rover Curiosity


Bike sharing goes global

Electric Vehicles Could Stabilize Grid, Make Money As Batteries Improve

What would ‘wartime mobilization’ to fight climate change look like?

Now You Can Track The Inexorable Progress Of Climate Change On Twitter


Ask Umbra: Could dish soap make our family sick?

Can Healthy Eating Help with Child ADHD?

Check out Clean 15 list of fruits and vegetables least contaminated by pesticides.

The Hidden Costs of “Free” Food

Make Stroke Prevention a Top Priority

Tricia Sedgwick: Nutrients In Vegetables: Raw or Cooked?


New evidence confirms that all cancers share certain genes.  For the dramatic breakthrough in treatment and cure this represents, please go here.

Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society


Hitler’s Food Taster Recalls Gripping Fear, Delicious Asparagus

The Dark Side, Carefully Masked

Slide Show: The People You Meet at McDonald’s

A Child’s Wild Kingdom

The Last Refuge From Scandal? Professorships

Seeking to Lure Tourists to a Rugged Outpost Famed for a Deadly Feud


Here’s the latest in nature screensavers from the Back Country Gallery.  This is five star stuff.

Watch this incredible video of a pod or orcas playing with a couple in a boat.

WOW: World’s Tiniest Movie Turns Molecules Into Actors


WATCH: Amazing Robotic Fly Hovers Like The Real Thing

NASA Earth Observatory Home
Outer Space, Space Shuttle & Solar System Videos
LiveScience Best Science Photos of the Week





Well, as drivers, Washingtonians are either getting better or lucked.  Car crashes are on the decline again.

How to build a better Seattle

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


Do you know where the largest veterinary hospital which treats falcons is?  The answer just might surprise you.

When One Man’s Game Is Also a Marauding Pest

Animal Sex: How Newts Do It

Here’s the monthly newsletter from our friends at the SeaDoc Society.  Lots of cool critter stuff on this site and I’m not just saying that because I also think the world of these folks.

Dwarf Lemurs Hibernate Like Bears

Mind-boggling infographic shows why sharks should be way more scared of you


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


This sounds like something straight out of a Grade Zed sci fi flick.  There may be terrifying predatory land-walking fish in Central Park 


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


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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