Proudly serving North America and the International Community
Sunday, February 16, 2014
2007 – 2014
GOING HOME WITH THE GOLD
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. As the Winter Olympics in Sochi reach the half-way point, I’m taking a moment to raise my eyes silently to the Heavens in thanks that there were no successful acts of terrorism committed on this occasion.
I’m not sure why or how we have thus far been spared this bloody spectacle but I’m absolutely certain the list of people to thank is a long one and involves ~ to one degree or another ~ citizens of every participating nation.
I would like to think that this kind of cooperation can extend into other international arenas and yes, I wish the American Congress could work as well together.
Perhaps when the welfare of the constituency is as important to them as the security of the Sochi Winter Games was to the international community, this will happen. Nope, I’m not holding my breath.
I was, as well, profoundly moved by the sports-personship displayed. And it’s okay, I think, to say that while I am proud of how the Americans performed, I am equally impressed with the gold medal tally of nations like Canada, which has roughly a tenth of the population from which to draw.
And finally, as corny as this must sound to the cynical, to me, it’s really not about who “wins” or “loses”. It’s about playing the game with honour, integrity and heart.
In that regard ~ in the Sochi Winter Olympics of life ~ there’s not a human being on this planet who cannot go home with the gold, now is there?
Have a good week, gang.
IN OTHER NEWS
This is certainly welcome news. And I don’t believe in the expression “better late than never” when an individual or entity makes good choices. Duke Energy pledges to overhaul coal-ash storage, after destroying river
We join much of the world in mourning the passage of American child actress and diplomat Shirley Temple Black. Shirley died this past Monday at her home in Woodside, California. She was 85. For me, Shirley was an outstanding role model in terms of what women can accomplish in this life. French actor Adolphe Menjou called her “an Ethel Barrymore” at six. As a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, Ambassador to Ghana and President Gerald Ford’s Chief of Protocol, she won the respect and cooperation of both sides of the aisle. Perhaps most importantly, this ingenuous Californian’s greatest performances were not for Depression audiences. They were for Posterity. For an outstanding tribute to this particular American legend, please go here.
There is a comprehensive new study out, involving 90,000 women, strongly indicating that mammograms may not only be much less effective than previously thought but that they may actually identify a benign tumor as cancerous. The study, published last week in The British Medical Journal. For more information, please go here.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
This needs to be fixed. Canadians are not the only ones who use this. Air Canada gets the most formal complaints of any airline in Canada
This would be a real good time for some of us to stay home and watch snow sports on television. Avalanche danger rising across southern B.C.
We have to stop this. Shock over meat of endangered whales shipped through Canada
Sam: Hi, Sweetheart. I smell popcorn and I’m hearing some real interesting stuff from your buddy Arnie, there.
Felina: Good morning, mate of my three life times. Arnold is telling me about a countrywoman of yours who apparently charmed the world and then went on to try to make it a better place. You’re welcome to join us, if you like. There are lox and bagels in Amana.
Sam: Amana the refrigerator.
Felina: Yes, Samuel, that Amana.
Sam: Gotcha. And then a visit to Nicky the Nuker.
Felina: Nicholas the Microwave Oven.
Sam: Yeah, him too. And through the miracle of time lapse photography, viola and I am here, my tawny rose of Toronto.
Felina: You make me smile, Samuel. And that would be so romantic if it were true.
Sam: It’s hard to find something that works with…wait…”and I am here, my Cougar Queen Of The Kootenays.”
Felina: Oh, my darling, I absolutely love that! Henceforth, I shall be known as Felina Elizabeth Mountainlion, Cougar Queen Of The Kootenays.
Sam: Let the word go forth. From every mountain top that a new day is dawning and her name is Felina Elizabeth Mountainlion, Cougar Queen of the Kootenays. However, we digress.
Felina: We are the Princess Kate and the Prince William of Digression. And the Federico Felini of the smooth transition.
Sam: Which is to say that we are now paying homage to American royalty.
Felina: Quite so, mate mine. Shirley Temple was just a kitten when she came like a ray of sunshine into some of America’s darkest times.
Sam: Yep and she came onto the scene honest, ingenuous and just as full of love and wisdom as the characters she portrayed.
Felina: And when she became an young adult and audiences no longer adored her as much, she married a mate who loved her as those millions did and for the same reason.
Sam: So a heart which once filled sound stages in Hollywood and theatres from Bangor, Washington to Bangor, Maine embraced her entire species and she went on to serve in the United Nations, Africa and the capitol of her nation.
Felina: Your country has a remarkable habit of producing the finest examples of the female of that species as any in the world. Shirley Temple Black is most certainly one of them.
Sam: Aye, Lass. She most certainly is. And on that note, then, Felina?
Felina: On that note, Gentle Readers, until next week, may the wind be always at your back and the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.
Despite the fact that she’s got a tough road ahead of her, we are glad that the United States Air Force is now being run by a woman. For New Air Force Secretary, a Baptism by Fire
They could not have found a much better place to put this, eh? Monster wind farm planned in South Dakota
I rather imagine what remains of this man’s life will be a living hell. Quebec father whose slap killed daughter to have sentencing hearing
There are probably reasons for this but certainly no excuses. U.N. Report Says Progress for Women Is Unequal
My mother, GRHS, would be turning over in her grave if she knew about this. With all eyes on Russia, Kremlin expands ban on same-sex adoptions
BAD EXAMPLES EXTRA
Idi Amin would be sending this monumental jackass roses. Ugandan President Says He Will Sign Tough Antigay Measure
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
An international team made a fossil discovery in a western Canadian national park that dates back a half billion years and could further explain the evolution of life. Yep, for more on this one, please go here.
I think this might be taking “bombs bursting in air” just a lit-tle too far. How Nuclear Bombs Could Save Earth from Killer Asteroids
We thought this was an outstanding application of technology for the best of reasons. This boat hull was left rusting in a bay until it turned into a forest
HERE ON EARTH
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY QUIZ
Okay, gang. How much do you know about the planet on which you live?
Merriam-Webster Online offers a short battery of games to improve one’s spelling and vocabulary. They are short, timed and the scores are ranked by age group. These are also activities you can share with friends and family. In my house, learning together is also considered cool.
THE GREEN AGENDA
I’ve tried this and it really does work. Shake off a Charley horse
Since this country is a major supplier of over the counter medications to North America, this is not good news. Medicines Made in India Set Off Safety Worries
Well, I’m glad we know this now. But it’s not very reassuring. Kids can get sick in doctors’ waiting rooms
YOUTUBE “JUST TO FEEL GOOD” STUF
BEST OF THE NET
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL — AI has been at the front of every human rights issue and concern since its founding in 1961 by a British attorney. Without this organization, thousands would still be imprisoned and international justice would yet be a dream.
BACK COUNTRY GALLERY: BEST NATURE PHOTOS ON THE NET — This nature photographer’s work is the single best I’ve seen outside National Geographic.
BLACK SEA AGRO: AGRICULTURE IN THE BLACK SEA REGION — This region feeds most of the former Soviet Union. How they tackle issues of concern to their own agrarians deserves to be read by every farmer on the planet.
CREAM MAGAZINE & MILLENNIUM ART GALLERY — We have a relationship with the two Canadian men in Vancouver who own and manage this gallery that goes back over 30 years. They were the first to publish our mountain lions, Felina and Sam. Their literary magazine features talent from all over the world and their virtual gallery is a cozy rainy afternoon virtual excursion.
GRITTV WITH LAURA FLAUNDERS is about personal and community empowerment in an environmentally sane world.
HELP END WORLD HUNGER & POVERTY | HEIFER INTERNATIONAL® | HEIFER.ORG — This was recommended to us by a staffer who loves cows and admires the splendid work this particular organization is doing.
NEW DICTIONARY: We were asked to give this new online dictionary a try. We already use Merriam-Webster and have that on our browser’s tool bar. M-W is linked to a medical dictionary and an encyclopedia. When we need to cite the source for a definition, etc., M-W also packs the gear. That having been said, this new dictionary is great for everyday writing, editing and email correspondence. It is simple, extremely user friendly and was obviously designed by people who use these tools themselves. Yep, check it out here.
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.
OUTSIDE MAGAZINE — This is the comprehensive weekly for the rugged and socially responsible nature sports set, which marginally includes me. The National Geographic is still the standard here so if NG is a ten, OM is an eight.
THE SEADOC SOCIETY: PEOPLE & SCIENCE HEALING THE SEA — Affiliated with the University of California – Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, these folks are headquartered on a small forested island in the north part of Washington state’s Puget Sound. They are actively involved in research, education and legislation to protect the marine environment. Their monthly newsletter is an animal lover’s delight.
SIERRA CLUB — Historically, the Sierra Club has been in the vanguard of the Conservation Movement. They are very reflective of the mountains for which they are named.
WORLD WILDLIFE FUND — I like the spirit with which these folks pursue the task of protecting life on this planet. They’re engaging, interactive and educational without being preachy. They’ve learned early on the power of a good visual and a restrained narrative. Reading their newsletter is like talking to a naturalist.
WRITING FOR PEACE — This is an ambitious project which I think has an inestimable value to those learning about war. These weekly blogs are written by those who have experienced that particular horror. Because I’ve seen some of the more horrific things they write about, I don’t go there often. Anyone who still believes that war is better than peace should.
Governor Jay Insley this week suspended executions in this state, citing a necessary review of the capital punishment procedures. For more, please go here.
Well, it looks like engineers have figured out what it will take to get Bertha going again. She should be up and running just in time for the tourism season. I wonder if there’s a way we can capitalize on that with tours. Vendor them out at ten percent after expenses and use the rest of the money to compensate merchants along the route for the inconvenience. We have also learned that this tunnel may not even be necessary. Yep, for more, please go here.
KOMO 4 NEWS (ABC)
KIRO 7 (CBS)
KING 5 NEWS (NBC)
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
Check out the winners at this year’s Westminster Dog Show. Sky, Wire Fox Terrier and Veteran Show Dog, Wins at Westminster
Okay, here’s something we did not know, despite decades around these folks. A Grizzly Answer for Obesity
If you are at all concerned about “lesser life forms” taking over the planet, you probably don’t want to watch this in the Full Screen mode. Video: ScienceTake: War of the Ants
FROM OUR GOOD FRIENDS OUT THERE MAKING A DIFFERENCE
The Great Backyard Bird Count’s February newsletter is available online and is another bird lover’s delight. Their website is very informational and interactive and you don’t need to be an avian geek to enjoy it. It can also be a small group activity, something you can do with your kids or grandkids. In my opinion, there are few pleasures more sublime than sharing an educational experience with a child.
The SeaDoc Society’s February newsletter is available online. These folks are personal favourites. Affiliated with the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine, they are headquartered on a small forested San JuanIsland in the northern Puget Sound/Salish Sea. They are a very hands-on group of scientists and support staff. Their website is interactive and extremely interesting. Like the GBBC above, this is a Northstar Journal Five Star recommendation.
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
This one has maximum freakout potential and at first, I thought it was an exaggeration. But the reporter, Holly Richmond, is a veteran of this kind of coverage so trust me. It is not an exaggeration. Horrifying five-foot jellyfish washes ashore, signaling our imminent demise
A FINAL WORD
Since several of you have asked, yes, the Northstar Journal is non-profit and entirely supported by its readership. It costs about 25¢ (twenty-five cents) U.S. per reader to produce. If you would like to toss a quarter in the can, please go here
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Until next week, then, take care, stay well and Godspeed. Rusty