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Sunday, November 3, 2013
Volume 6, No. 43
INTERNATIONAL ESPIONAGE, REVISITED
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, last week our two resident cougars had a good time with the theme of global espionage. Maybe Halloween contributed to it but the prophetic nature of their column made the House of Northstar a little spooky for a couple of days. And nights.
Reality eventually sets in, thank you, Lord. This international espionage has been going on since the invention of gossip. It’s an art of diplomacy, this gathering of information and trading secrets and all.
Considering the easy of access of information in the 21st Century, however, it is becoming rather mundane. There is no such thing as a secret anymore because we have become our brothers’ keepers and also his confessor.
We seem to have this inordinate need to bear our souls on the Internet, as if seeking some kind of validation for even the most pedestrian details of our personal lives. Are we then so surprised when that information is used to hurt us?
The easiest way to keep a secret is to not tell anyone. The easiest way to avoid the issue of whether you can keep a secret is to nod and say, “Sometimes. It just depends on the secret.” If that doesn’t work, interrupt the telling of the secret a couple of times with the word “Huh?” It’s not much fun confiding in someone with no attention span.
As far as I’m concerned, secret management takes entirely too much time away from cool stuff. There is also a real dark side to being the repository of secrets. Dead people tell no tales.
As a journalist, I’m covered professionally and legally, but I have also developed this marvelous ability to truly totally forget stuff that is either totally not relevant to my life and/or somehow not healthy for me to know.
There are several simpler ways to deal with secrets. One is for us to stop doing things we’re afraid of being caught at. Another is to make respect for privacy a two-way street. We have no right, as private citizens, to expect that in our own lives when we spend millions of dollars annually for the most intimate details of the lives of public figures.
The ultimate solution, for now it would seem, is to lead a life so totally devoid of spice that watching icicles melt would provide more entertainment. Sometimes there is a lot to be said for bland.
IN OTHER NEWS
Well, guarded or not, this is still good news. Yes, CO2 emissions are down, but they have much further to go
Somehow, I did not find this surprising. I don’t think any of you will either. Voters’ Anger Over Shutdown Is Inspiring Democrats to Run
When you live in both the shadow of a (northern) rain forest and a convergence zone, like we here in Seattle do, it’s nice to see that something like this may eventually improve weather forecasting locally. Lightning-Detection Network Tested Out for Storm Tracking
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
WAR ON TERROR
This cannot be good news on the Prairies, Albertans carrying more personal debt than Canadians in any other province
We’re sorry to see this as well. This store was an iconic part of my own youth. Struggling Sears to abandon flagship store in Toronto, four others
Well, now that oil pipelines have fallen out of vogue, Canadian petro-chemical processors are moving more and more of their product by rail. See what this bodes for all of those impacted by this trend.
Sam: Well, that sort of backfired, didn’t it, Felina?
Felina: Your ambitions for international espionage was not one of your better ideas, no, Samuel Alexander, mate of my three lifetimes.
Sam: They have totally no sense of humor about things like this, Sweetheart.
Felina: They have, I think, my love, such a passion for secrets and for discovery that it clouds their vision, impairs their judgment and makes them behave sometimes as though they lacked the common sense the Creator gave a Crimean catfish.
Sam: If memory serves, Crimean catfish are not real bright.
Felina: Crimean catfish have no self-preservation instinct, Samuel. When they see a fisherman, they leap out of the water and onto the bank. And yet they look so stunned when the angler strikes them forcefully on the head and sends them to the Catfish Hereafter.
Sam: Well, I’ve done some dumb things, I’ll grant you. But I’ve never walked up to a human with a bow or a gun in its paws and said, “Hi, my name is Samuel Alexander Mountainlion. Shoot me.”
Felina: Nothing you have ever done, oh sun and moon of my life, comes within a thousand galaxies of human foolishness. It is not in your nature to be stupid. Unfortunately, it seems to be the essence of quite a few of them.
Sam: Not to mention that trying to keep a secret in this cave would be an exercise in futility.
Felina: It would be an exercise in the impossible, mate mine.
Sam: This is also true, love of my life. So on that note, Felina?
Felina: So on that note then, Gentle Readers, may the Creator bless and keep you. Until next week then, eh?
Here’s something we totally love and in comes ~ in part ~ from a peer publication on the other shore of the SalishSea, YES magazine. It’s called The Gratitude Challenge and it is interactive. The publication is inviting readers to count down their blessings each day from Nov. 7 to American Thanksgiving, which this year is on the 28th of this month. They’re also inviting us to email to them some of the things for which they are thankful. We accepting the Challenge and if you’d like to join us (and them), please go here.
A bus driver prevented a distraught young woman from jumping off an overpass in Buffalo, New York this past week. Watch Today’s interview with a true American hero.
I like this one because I’m a fan of China and the empowerment of women by the personal example of individuals like this. Another Look at the Empress Dowager Cixi, This Time as the Great Modernizer
Is there no end to what these morons tried to foist off on us? N.S.A. Said to Tap Google and Yahoo Abroad
This reminds me a Murphy’s Law which contends that while there is not always time to do it right the first time, there is always time to do it over. 344,000 Minivans Recalled by Honda for Brake Problem
Sometimes I think Congressional ineptitude must now be a requirement for holding public office. 2 Democrats Split on Tactics to Fight Military Sex Assaults
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Some of the best inventions still come from the genius of one person. Check out this totally cool video of a kayak that ~ in seconds ~ turns into a one person submarine.
Here’s something that should definitely save lives. Watch: Crash-Proof Flying Rescue Robot
This sort of blew me away. They Did WHAT!? 10 Scientists Who Risked It All For Their Research
HERE ON EARTH
BIG ROCKS IN SPACE HEADED OUR WAY
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY QUIZ
Okay, gang. How much do you know about asteroids?
THE GREEN AGENDA
Well, this is not good news. F.D.A. Finds 12% of U.S. Spice Imports Contaminated However ~ and mind you, I love to cook? I look for seasonings grown in North America because that’s where I live. If it’s not cultivated, packaged and sold somewhere here, I probably should not be cooking with it in the first place. I mean, what if there was an embargo? What if the country producing it wanted to extort stuff from us that they should not have in return for it? One of the things the Locavore Movement has done is made American citizens less vulnerable to Spice Terrorists. So in the interests of national security, right?
Realizing that there is no way I could afford some of this stuff even if I was a professional athlete, I thought these 11 athletes sharing their favorite nutrition secrets and recipes was awesome. I’m personally going to see how many of these are available in generic and how many of them really sound like something you and I would actually eat because we wanted to and not because it is “good for us”.
The battle against hepatitis C got a major addition to its arsenal. U.S. to Approve Potent Oral Drugs for Hepatitis C
ON THE CANCER FRONTIn loving memory of: Shannon Patricia Goddard Mills “Short Stuff” 1962 – 2001 Cancer: What You Need to Know American Cancer Society Canadian Cancer Society
BEST OF THE NET
Video: Intersection: The Warsaw Way — In Poland’s Savior Square, Martina Matwiejczuk, a singer, displays her elegant nonchalant style through mixing simple and avant-garde pieces.
Video: Breakthrough Performances — Logan Hill looks at some of the noteworthy performances of the holiday movie season.
BLOGS WE FOLLOW
GRITtv With Laura Flaunders is about personal and community empowerment in an environmentally sane world.
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.
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.
Gale for winds hammered Western Washington Saturday, leaving thousands without power for as long as eight hours. KING 5 TV has more.
A large pod of orcas surrounded a WashingtonState ferry carrying artifacts to the new ChiefSealthMuseum. The Associated Press’ Doug Esser has more.SEATTLE DIRECTORY THE TODAY FILE: “The latest news from Seattle & around the Northwest” Earthquake Watch 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) KIRO 7 (CBS) KING 5 News (NBC) Seattle Times
It is an America gone mad from the addiction to war and desperate for resources beyond her own borders. A military dictatorship controls the country and life is grim. The Republic is fighting for its very survival and for decades, especially with Latin America.
This is the world of the United States Coast Guard cutter Testament, a cybernetic patrol boat, and her six-person crew. Her mission, and those of her sister craft, is simple.
Quench the rebellion and stop the flow of Americans seeking refuge in Canada. Kill when expedient. Deliver the survivors to the Bellingham Re-Education Center.
A simple operational order and one which has served America well. Until Testament
Feature Magazine Articles
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
If someone doesn’t make a film out of this, I will be very surprised. Dog’s Tale: From Death Row to Doorstep
Oarfish are as elusive and as interesting a denizen of the deep as any yet recorded. A pair of them washed up on the California coast last month, providing marine biologists with an unprecedented opportunity to solve some of the mysteries surrounding this enigmatic creature.
FROM OUR GOOD FRIENDS OUT THERE MAKING A DIFFERENCE
The World Wildlife Fund’s winter quarterly magazine is now available and it is awesome. If you love animals, you will totally enjoy this. It is also a great way for adults and kids to spend time together. This comes with a five star endorsement and this is the second time in six years, we’ve awarded that rating. Yep, go here.RELATED LINKS: Living With Wildlife BBC’s wildlife finder National Geographic Daily News – Animals
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
The Northstar Journal is entirely reader-supported. If you enjoyed this edition and would like to help out with the next, please go here. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Until next week, then, take care and Godspeed. Rusty