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Sunday, June 9, 2013Volume 6, No. 23 Published by Northstar Media Services Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor Seattle, Washington email@example.com
A CAMERA ON EVERY CORNER, YET, WE ARE STILL DYING
Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea Well, it would seem that the American public is a little upset to learn the extent to which domestic terrorism laws have been used to further the “Big Brother” theme which began long before either President Obama or his Republican predecessor.
Now, thanks to orbiting cameras, those on public buildings and private homes across the land, on signal lights, street signs and other innocuous, less visible sites, and even in the nature around us (eagle cams, for instance), there’s not a square meter on this planet which cannot be Googled up 24/7.
This didn’t just appear out of nowhere. And it did not sneak up on us. It’s not part of some multi-generational conspiracy or a Pinky and the Brain type plot to take over the world.
We asked for it. We wanted to deter crime so we put our public places under surveillance. So now criminals wear better disguises and execute A Team type operations. So that worked real good, didn’t it?
We wanted advance warning before another Pearl Harbor, 9/11 or Oklahoma City. So, in the name of national defense, we gave the government the authority to put groups who might do this under covert surveillance, in the process denying those who were not charged with a crime, their Constitutional right to privacy.
There was a time in this country when neighbors knew one another and looked out for each other. There was a time in this country when the beat cop was the first line of defense because those he was charged to protect trusted him and depended on him.
There was a time in this country when America did not interfere in the domestic lives of people in other countries to the extent that those people felt compelled to come to this country and kill several thousand of us in a single day.
And there was also a time in this country when teenagers didn’t engage in peer bloodbaths nor single individuals, the slaughter of an innocent public.
All these cameras have not worked all that well, have they? And all this surveillance, what has it really accomplished? Does that possibly suggest that we need to go back to treating one another with more kindness and concern and stop depending on a camera on every corner to protect us from each other?
Until next week, take care and Godspeed, then, eh? And thank you. I hope you like this week’s edition.
IN OTHER NEWS
What city has the largest influx of commuters? I’m absolutely certain the answer will surprise you.
Even though it would seem the obvious thing to do, we are aware that government agencies are often not entirely guided by the sense God gave a Mayfly. We believe, however, that in this case, they were. National weather forecasters won’t be furloughed after all
Well, this is not going to come as good news to the Amazon Rain Forest, a region already devastated by perhaps the most pernicious creature in the history of life on this planet. Ecuador Oil Spill Pollutes Amazon Tributary
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
CLIMATE CHANGE SHORTS
OBAMA SURVEILLANCE SHORTS
SYRIAN WAR SHORTS
TURKISH PROTEST SHORTS
Despite their proximity and several centuries of peaceful co-existence, the Dominion of Canada and the United States of America are two separate and distinct nations. Check out just some of the differences between the two.
What’s next for Canada’s favourite man in space? What’s Next for Astronaut Chris Hadfield?
This is one of the reasons Michelle Obama is a hero(ine) of ours. The woman has chutzpah. The First Lady Refuses to Let a Heckler Go Unscolded
If Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s new mayor pulls this off, it will be one of the most stunning urban decline reversals of my life time. Pittsburgh’s next mayor sees a green future for the “smoky city” Bill Peduto says the Steel City is poised for a sustainable revival, thanks to a new generation of Pittsburghers who are pushing for change.
If you think you’re too old for anything you want to do, you might want to take a page from the life of a 102-year-old base jumper.
The American military high command still doesn’t seem to get it yet. Joint Chiefs’ Answers on Sex Crimes Dismay Senators
Well, we found the irony in this one a rich mother lode. I.R.S. Spent $4.1 Million on Conference, Audit Finds
Well, this certainly is not going to enhance the eco-friendly reputation of the rich and foolish. Facebook cofounder Sean Parker illegally destroys redwoods for fantasy Game of Thrones wedding
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israeli Company Builds Giant Battery To Improve Power Grids When it comes to power grids, a major issue is the differences in consumption in different times. The solution could come in the form of giant batteries, storing energy during off-peak hours – and releasing them when necessary. To continue reading, click here.
Scientists have discovered a lake that apparently has not been influenced by any kind of climate change in over 7,000 years. Naturally it’s in the wilds of a place that’s still pretty wild to begin with, Australia. Why they are calling it “God’s bathtub” is beyond me. I’ve always thought ~ judging by all the rain in the world ? ~ that the Divine One was probably a fine-minute shower type person.
Sometimes I think that if our species was better at remembering stuff, archaeology would probably be pretty much a spectator sport. I mean, I think it’s cool that ancient Roman concrete could teach modern builders something. But if it was that good, why did we forget it in the first place?
OUTER SPACE SHORTS
Nuking Dangerous Asteroids Might be the Best Protection, Expert Says
CLOSER TO HOME SHORTS
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY READER QUIZ
Well, this week, let’s see how much we know about world history.
THE GREEN AGENDA
Well, it appears that coffee and tea have been a part of our culture for so long now that caffeine withdrawal is a legit mental disorder now
OrCam Will Help The Visually Impaired Read Anywhere For many people, the simple task of reading a street sign or a restaurant menu is impossible due to visual impairment. Israeli startup OrCam is using sophisticated artificial intelligence to give these people a solution. To continue reading, click here.
Well, these ought to help out those of us who never have the time to fix a four course meal. Two Minute, Nine Second Recipes. Really.
ON THE CANCER FRONT
Researchers Find Reason For Infertility In Cancer Patients And Discover Remedy Researchers at the Center for Fertility Preservation of the Sheba Medical Center in Israel have recently discovered the reason behind high rates of infertility in female cancer patients and have already begun testing a possible treatment. To continue reading, click here.
If Our Gadgets Could Measure Our Emotions
BEST OF THIS WEEK’S NET MEDIA
Video: In Performance: Cinderella — The New York Times invited Tony nominees to perform scenes on location. Here, Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes sing a cinematic interpretation of a song from “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”
OTHER BLOGGERS WE FOLLOW
The Tomatoman Times – Sardonic, ironic, sometimes poignantly incisive, this is also one of the longest running human interest blogs on the Net and well worth the read.
Meade’s California Coast is moving commentary and photos by one of that state’s premier photojournalists. Short, poignant and memorable, it is a tribute to both the craft and the subject.
No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News is like a blend of Popular Mechanics, Scientific American and the science pages of the New York Times and the Huffington Post. I totally geek out when I read these folks.
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.
NEWS, WEATHER & INFORMATION
Summers in Seattle can be among the most pleasurable in the world. We dry out, for the most part. It warms up enough for fresh and saltwater sports. Mayor Schwinn wears shorts when he pedals his bike to work. And every neighborhood in King County has its annual street fair. For a more complete look at this to do in Seattle during the summer, yep, please go here.
Well, our neighbor city of Redmond, across Lake Washington from us, has earned a rather dubious distinction. Check it out here.Seattle Weather Map of Seattle Seattle City Cams More Seattle Facts & Figures KOMO 4 News (ABC) KIRO 7 (CBS) KING 5 News (NBC) Seattle Times
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
This short video appropriately entitled Maya, the Deer Whisperer, Befriends a Fawn moved me beyond words. To know that such untarnished kindness can coexist in a world of such violence also flat out flipping amazes me.
‘Blind As A Bat’ Is Surprisingly Inaccurate, As Researchers Determine The Mammals’ 3D Vision Studies on the way the brain navigates on a plain have so far focused on two dimensions. Now researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Israel set out to get a better understanding of how the brain processes 3D environments – using fruit bats. To continue reading, click here.
When I was there in 1970, restaurants along the Bangkok waterfront routinely threw their garbage out back of the establishment, where it was devoured by rats, dogs and starving children. Therefore, this story of a dog saving a newborn baby tossed in a garbage heap does not surprise me, as moving as it is.
ANIMAL PROTECTION NEWS LETTERS WE READ & SUPPORT
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
I knew when we ran that short about curing hunger by more of us eating bugs that I was probably going to regret it. However, having made one of the stupider editorial decisions of my life, I’m bound to follow up. Those of you insectivores whose lives are so busy that you don’t have time to cook your favorite cockroach casserole will be delighted to know there is now an energy bar made from some of your favorite culinary carapace life forms.
AVAILABLE FROM NORTHSTAR
WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT
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Until next week, then, take care and Godspeed. Rusty