Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Volume 6, No. 28

Published by

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor

 Seattle, Washington



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, I don’t know how it is  in your house but here at Northstar, we’re waiting for the arrival of the next Royal and pondering the implications of the Trayvon Martin verdict.

I honestly try not to have an opinion about some issues, events and people.  I tend to be more value-related.  For instance, I don’t know whether the verdict was appropriate.  But due process was served and it doesn’t look like the decision has been appealed.

I watched several of America’s black leaders ~ including President Barack Obama, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, chairman of the House Black Caucus, and US Attorney General Eric Holder ~ discuss racism in America.

According to them and others, it still exists and I think that’s very sad.  I am adopted but I grew up in a racially prejudiced household.  I clearly remember watching on television when police dogs were unleashed against Civil Rights protestors during the Sixties.  My father ~ a California Highway Patrolman ~ was sitting in “his” chair, having a beer and cheering the canines on, this guy responsible for law enforcement in his corner of America.

As sometimes happens, I came out of that bastion of bigotry loving all the colours of the rainbow, much to my stepfather’s mortification.  Granted, it took “escaping” to the service and service in a theatre of war, where I served with men and women of all colours, religions and ~ though closeted ~ gender preferences.

I think it was with them, under those circumstances, that I learned my greatest lesson about humanity in general.  When it comes to running a ship ~ which is like a floating city at sea ~ none of this crap about what is “supposed” to be important in assessing (or passing judgment on) a human being matters.  What matters is whether the person assigned the job can do it.

Since then, I’ve also learned a couple of things about bigots  Most of them have very low self-esteem.  No one who really respects themselves needs to put someone else down to feel good.  And no honest person needs to exploit someone else to be happy either.

I don’t hang out with people like that unless it’s to sell them a white sheet made by someone they would not like.  If racism still exists in America, the victims need to cash in on it as well. 

We can use the money to stop this practice of inter-species breeding which produces these flipping idiots in the first place.


Last week, we told you about Malala Yousafzai.  When the Taliban shot this young Pakistani last October for campaigning for better education, they thought they had quelled a movement.  They thought wrong.  She survived and came out swinging.  If Malala Yousafzai ever runs for national office, I will probably immigrate to that country just for the privilege of voting for her.  This past week, the Taliban apologized for that attack.

We join much of the world and certainly the Fourth Estate in marking the passing of American journalist Helen Thomas.  Described in a New York Times headline as a “barrier busting White House reporter,” she was ~ across the board ~ a great deal more than even that.  Along with former California Supreme Court Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird and feminist and human rights activist Joanne Elizabeth Blossom, Ms. Hunt was an outstanding role model, professionally and privately.  For an outstanding tribute to a totally stellar individual, please go here.

Great Britain legalized gay marriages last week, with the approval of Queen Elizabeth II.  The United Kingdom joins the Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Spain and Canada (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway and Sweden (2009), Portugal (2010), Iceland (2006 & 2010), Argentina (2010), Denmark (2012), New Zealand and Uruguay (2013).  Source:  AFP, Paris, July 13, 2013


CHINA Court Ruling Deals a Blow to China’s Labor-Camp SystemChina’s G.D.P. Growth Slows as Government Changes Gears

Glaxo Used Travel Firms for Bribery, China Says

China’s G.D.P. Growth Slows as Government Changes Gears

Video: China’s Consuming Billion

Video: Intersection: New Style in Old Beijing  

For Global Drug Manufacturers, China Becomes a Perilous Market

China plans a major solar spree

I.M.F. Tells China of Urgent Need for Economic Change

EGYPT Egyptian Liberals Embrace the Military, Brooking No Dissent
EUROPEAN UNION Merkel Urges Europe to Tighten Internet SafeguardsJoblessness to Keep Rising, O.E.C.D. Forecasts

Europe Wants More Concessions From Google

E.U. bans another bee-killing insecticide

GERMANY Germany Backs Greece’s Austerity Measures
INDIA 22 Children Die After Eating Free School Lunch
ISRAEL Tel Aviv Opens Its First Public Library with a Sea ViewNew Hope For A Peace Process?

Palestinian Prisoner Release Is Critical Hurdle in Resuming Peace Talks

JAPAN 2 Japanese Airlines Report No Problems With 787 2,000 Fukushima Workers At Risk Of Thyroid Cancer
LIBERIA Children in the Fight Against Corruption
NORTHERN IRELAND Third Night Of Riots Rock Belfast
PAKISTAN Taliban Leader Apologizes For Attack On Malala Yousafzai 
PANAMA Panama Seizes Korean Ship, and Sugar-Coated Arms PartsCuba: Weapons On NKorean Ship ‘Obsolete’
PERU Peru’s poorest will soon have solar power
RUSSIA Top Putin Critic JailedAntarctic marine reserve plans scuppered by Russia

Leading Putin Critic Is Freed Pending Appeal After Protests

UNITED KINGDOM UK Spy Agency’s Use of U.S. Data Was Legal, Parliament Says
UNITED STATES Justice Department To Review Zimmerman CaseZimmerman To Have Gun That Killed Teenager Returned To Him

For The First Time In 50 Years, Bostonians Take A Dip in the Charles River

Detroit Declares Bankruptcy

Heroin in New England, More Abundant and Deadly

In Wake of Zimmerman Verdict, Obama Makes Extensive Statement on Race in America

VATICAN Pope, in an Angered Brazil, to Focus on Social Justice
VENEZUELA Venezuela Stops Efforts to Improve U.S. Relations



Dangerous global warming could be reversed, say scientists

Seas may rise 10 yards during centuries ahead

You can look forward to more blackouts in a climate-changed world

CIA backs $630,000 scientific study on controlling global climate


No Quick Impact in U.S. Arms Plan for Syria Rebels

Pakistani Taliban Set Up Camps In Syria

Ruins in a Center of Syria’s Uprising

Pro-Assad Militia Kills Syrian Reconciliation Team

Syria’s War Children Will Grow Up Illiterate

Video: The Fight for Syrian Schools


Industry forecasters turned out to be wrong.  The housing boom is back, if ~ in fact ~ it ever ended in the first place.

After the train wreck in Lac-Megantic, Canada’s two largest rail carriers are instituting tighter safety measures.

Well, it looks like at least in Canada, drone aircraft ~ also known as unmanned air vehicles (UAV) ~ are here to stay.  Despite my initial concerns of an Orwellian, Big Brother Can See Me nature, they seem to just be automation in action.  They’re still controlled by a human pilot.  The pilot just isn’t in the aircraft.  I discussed this with a retired Boeing engineer who pointed out to me that technology as basic as the human hand is only as good or as evil as the purposes to which it is employed.


When we see behaviour like this, we’re inclined to believe that the compassion gene is alive and well in some human beings.  Check this out.  It’s about a diver freeing a huge Right whale from a fishing line before she drowned.

Last week ~ in Seattle Scenes ~ we ran a photo and a short article about one of Seattle’s alternatives to private transportation.  Here’s further endorsement of this particular good example.

Apparently the United States Marine Corps has had its bellyful of sexual assaults among the ranks.  Now maybe the Department of the Navy will start taking this seriously.  And then the Joint Chiefs.  From Northstar’s mouth to God’s ear.  And Semper Fi, guys.  Bravo zulu and nice going.


In a Military Town, Calls Grow to Lift the Voices of Sexual Assault Victims

Solar installations soar in California

The littlest parks could make the biggest civic changes

FDA moves to keep arsenic out of your apple juice


If you’re at least as big a fan of undersea exploration as I am, this article Incredible Technology: How to Explore the Deep Sea:  From underwater robots to submersible vehicles, technology has begun to give humans a glimpse of the deep sea landscape. will absolutely fascinate you.

Coolest Science Stories of the Week:  Science brought us the discovery of Vampire graves, tail-slapping sharks and the birth of a giant iceberg

If you are one of these intrepid people who enjoys going where you need to take your own oxygen and tee pee, imagine landing on a planet where the dominant life form seemed to be this rather destructive flying ant that made a lot of noise that made absolutely no sense to you.  See if the following will help you.  WATCH: Are We Too Stupid For Alien Attention?


Student Team Set for Zero-Gravity Fire Experiment on NASA ‘Vomit Comet’

Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week – July 14, 2013

Private Spacecraft’s 1st Space Station Trip Launches in September

Ancient Mars River May Have Flowed into Huge Ocean


Ancient Graves, Pyramid Ruins Found in Mexico

Who Invented the Telescope?

Battery Seen as Way to Cut Heat-Related Power Losses

This pavilion was 3D-printed by 6,500 silkworms

Two NASA Droids Set for Military Robotics Challenge

‘Longhorn’ Dinosaur Fossil Discovered in Utah

Science of Summer: Where Does Beach Sand Come From?

Meet The Israeli Company That Wants To Put A 3D Printer In Every Home


Okay, gang.  How much do you know about elephants?


Dangerous global warming could be reversed, say scientists

Solar installations soar in California

Peru’s poorest will soon have solar power:  Two million of Peru’s poor are getting solar panels (a nice upgrade from oil lamps). Why can’t we do that?

Wind power is a steal: Big deals in Midwest show wind’s affordability:  New wind farms in the Upper Midwest are cheaper than natural-gas plants, so utility Xcel plans to boost its wind capacity by 33 percent.

If you want to help the environment, try not being a jerk to your friends:  Here is a research-backed tip on green evangelism:  Act nicely, and don’t make people feel like hypocrites.

Deepwater Horizon blamed for still more oil spills:  Mysterious oil sheens spotted in recent months in the Gulf of Mexico have been traced back to the submerged wreckage of the rig, scientists stay.


Obesity, which kills about three million people a year, could soon be a condition of the past.  British researchers believe they have discovered the gene responsible for it.  They believe that as they study how it works, they will be able to modify its behavior.

According to Women’s Health magazine, the Garcinia Cambogia Extract is the latest buzz in the “battle of the bulge”  Check it out here.

Lose two pounds or 9/10ths of a kilogram and gain of gram of gold worth $45.  It’s a Ramadan contest and the only catch is that you need to live in Dubai.  We still think it’s a good idea except that with obesity rates as high as they are in some countries, $22.50 a lb/.45 kg would likely bankrupt the national treasury.


FDA moves to keep arsenic out of your apple juice

West Nile Virus: Large Outbreaks Follow Warm Winters

Looking for Early Signs of Dementia? Ask the Patient


Could one of the most popular soft drinks (sodas) in America be carcinogenic?  If you don’t live in California, yep, it could be.


Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society


DIY contraption for making all-natural makeup lets you be the world’s prettiest chemist

When Prisoners Protest:  Why we should all be concerned about the inhumane conditions of prolonged solitary confinement.

Barrage of Cyberattacks Challenges Campus Culture

If you still do not believe in the power of love, perhaps this will convince you.  Separated By War, Childhood Sweethearts Reunite After 70 Years And Tie The Knot


Clouds Cover NYC’s Last Manhattanhenge Sunset of 2013:  Cloudy skies blocked New Yorkers’ view of “Manhattanhenge” this evening, a phenomenon when the sun hits the horizon precisely in line with Manhattan’s rectangular grid of streets.

Space History Photo: Endeavour Nears Splashdown

Slide Show: A Finnish Town Mad for Tango

Video: Fun Factory:  After spending a shift on the factory floor, young workers in China’s manufacturing cities let off steam.


Liveblog: Cute animals to look at | Grist

NASA Earth Observatory Home

Outer Space, Space Shuttle & Solar System Videos

LiveScience Best Science Photos of the Week











The Tomatoman TimesSardonic, 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 virtual tour of the Northstar Gallery, please go here. 
Pinehurst Pocket Park

Like a growing number of American cities, Seattle is going “mini park happy.”  Around the corner from the House of Northstar, is Pinehurst Pocket Park.  It’s a great place for a picnic table lunch, laptop conversation or park bench afternoon nap.  It’s also my current favourite place for a “first green date.”  


Well, our portion of the Salish Sea (Puget Sound) was apparently the vacation destination for a family of tourists who are not known for spending a lot of money or asking where all the rain is when they hit town on a sunny day.  They’re a fun group, nonetheless and since we have two resident pods up here, they also could have been orcas in laws.  Yep, check them out here AND here.

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

What’s Going On In Seattle?
Seattle Restaurant Guide
Here’s the 10 day forecast
Seattle Weather
Map of Seattle
Seattle City Cams
More Seattle Facts & Figures
KOMO 4 News (ABC)
KING 5 News (NBC)
Seattle Times


Remember Lucky, that tiny kitten whose rescue from a burning home was recorded on the helmet camera of the fireman involved.  That footage has been reworked into a short “Indie Video” reminiscent of the epic films of the Golden Age of Hollywood.  If you do nothing else today, call whoever else is around to the screen and share this invitation to die of acute Cute.

Positive Buzz: One Bumblebee Species Makes A Comeback:  In A Hopeful sign for bee fans, the once-common Western bumblebee has been glimpsed in Washington state for the first time since the mid-90s.

We’re delighted to report that a large pod of Minke whales has been seen in the Irish Sea, 19 miles east of Irish Eye, on the Dublin Coast.  For more and an excellent source of worldwide animal news, yep, please go here.


Take a Stand to Stop Wildlife Crime

Two Indus River Dolphin Calves Rescued

Big Lionfish Found at Disturbing Depths

Lamprey: bringing back an ancient species

World Wildlife Fund
Living With Wildlife
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals


In six years as a weekly and three as a monthly, this is absolutely the weirdest story we have ever shared.  It’s about a Canadian teenager who volunteered to work at a South African wildlife park because she really wanted to hug one of the big cats.  She was warned about the total inappropriateness of this mode of affection expression.  She was caught hugging or trying to hug several animals.  She was seen doing that to a big lion, whose mate was looking on.  Later that day, when she got too close again, both attacked her and attempted to drag her into their cage.  She survived and now blames the wildlife park for making it too easy for the lions to get ahold of her in the first place.  I know, so go here.




an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion

For a preview, go here:

For the kindle book, ($3.99) at



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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, then, take care and Godspeed.  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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