Serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, May 18, 2014

No. 384

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. One of the most fascinating courses I never got to take in university ended up being one of my non-hedonistic passions. I’ve been fascinated since forever by the evolution of tools from the first flint knapper to the electronic wallet.

I think, first of all, it says a lot about the people who used them, their values and priorities. Why did some of our ancestors create what they did in the first place? Once they learned how to start their own fires and that tossing a rock around was not only good clean family fun, but also a cool way of knocking down supper on the fly or the run, survival was pretty much guaranteed.

The study of tools also goes to the psychological evolution of our species. Assuming a uniform level of intelligence, why did some cultures invent the bow and arrow but not the spear? And of course, the other way around. Why did some invent gunpowder but not the cannon or the plow but not the saber?

What motivated some of our forbearers to dramatically alter the environment with great cities made of earth and irrigation projects, within the context of their times, that would rival anything the Tennessee Valley Authority ever attempted in America, while others in our gene pool were content to live simply with the elements, taking only what they needed and living as biodegradably as all the other lifeforms around them?

The study of the evolution of technology is also useful in determining what among our presents tools, gadgets and electronic flint knappers we really need and to determine if our relationship with them healthy for us, those around us and the living and breathing planet itself?

We’ve come a long way since our ancestors brought down the first bear with a boulder. I think it really helps to ask ourselves occasionally how many of those trips were really necessary and how many of them will our great-grandchildren consider necessary when they look back from the future.

Thanks for the ear, gang. Have a great week, then, eh?


The United Nations has weighed in on the side of those of our species most impacted when a committee of that august body essentially told the Canadian federal government that before any pipelines were approved on the coast of British Columbia, the First Nations needed to be consulted. For more, please go here.

I am both proud and gratified to hear this. Healed, Landmark Again Beckons: Come On Up. The View Is Terrific.

This is good news where I live. Washington state’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since the Recession of 2007.



Nigerian Islamic Extremists Blow Up 2nd Bridge, Kill Many In Village Attack

Villagers In Nigeria Form Vigilante Groups, Kill Suspects To Stem Attacks By Militants

A Simple Theory, And A Proposal, On H.I.V. In Africa

Libyan Kidnappers Free Jordanian Ambassador

Libya Sets Benghazi No-Fly Zone

French Journalist Killed In Central African Republic

South Sudan Cease-Fire Proves To Be Short-Lived

Into Africa: China’s Wild Rush

West African Nations Set Aside Their Old Suspicions To Combat Boko Haram


Australia’s Biggest Wildlife Seizure Ever ››

Australia’s Elite Flock To Byron Wedding

Weakening Dollar Blamed For New Car Price Hike

Thousands Gather To Protest Against Federal Budget

State And Territory Leaders Reject Budget Cuts, Want Urgent Meeting With PM

Life Inside The Courtroom At Tora Prison


China Real Estate Falls Back To Earth

China Evacuates Workers From Vietnam


European Court Lets Users Erase Records On Web


France’s Sale Of 2 Ships To Russians Is Ill-Advised, U.S. Warns


Hikers Spread Democracy In India

Hopes Of A Restless Generation Are Riding On India’s Elections

India’s Opposition Leader Sweeps Into Power

Some Muslims React Warily To Hindu Party’s Victory In India

India Delivers Clear Mandate To Hindu Party

Victor In India Promises To Make Country Strong


Israeli Court Sentences Ex-PM Ehud Olmert To 6 Years For Bribery


North Korea Threatens To ‘Wipe Out’ South Korea As War Of Words Escalates

S. Korea Ferry Crew Charged With Homicide

N Korea Apology For Building Collapse


Latin America’s Mutating Cities, In Photographs

Colombia And FARC Reach Drug Deal


High-Octane Burger Chain From New Zealand Aims At The U.S.

New Zealand Forecasts 2014-15 Surplus In Budget


68 Pakistani Lawyers Are Charged With Blasphemy After Protesting The Police

Pakistani Police Arrest Seminary Teacher, Friends On Gang Rape Charges


Video Shows Giant Sinkhole Open On Russian Road During Traffic Jam


Fare Dodging Is An Organized Rebellion In Stockholm, And It’s Winning


Privacy Group Challenges Surveillance Practices In Britain

Britain Expands Power To Strip Citizenship From Terrorism Suspects

London Death-Ray Skyscraper To Get Permanent Sunshade

Slowly Producing A Spirit England Can Call Its Own

Prince Harry On Two-Day Trip To Estonia

Hinduja Brothers Top UK Rich List


Two Killed In West Virginia Mine Where Safety Lapses Were Cited

Advocating Pill, U.S. Signals Shift To Prevent AIDS

California Fire Season Starts Early, And Fiercely

Video: The Science Behind Forest Fires

$35 Million Fine For G.M. Over Lapses On Ignition Defect

Man Charged With Arson In One Of 10 Southern California Wildfires; Investigators Probe Other Burn Sites


China Targeted By Vietnamese In Fiery Riots

Vietnamese Officials Intolerant Of Violence As Standoff With China Continues


30 Nations Which Consume the Most Alcohol & America’s Drunkest Cities



Scientists Warn Of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts

Parts Of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Starting To Collapse, Scientists Find

Climate Change Deemed Growing Security Threat By Military Researchers

Cyclones Moving Further From Tropics And Toward Larger Populations, Study Finds

Oh, Snapchat: Your Smartphone Just Became A Climate Scientist

Military Experts Are Worried About Climate Change, And You Should Be Too

These Solutions Fight Climate Change And Empower People


Michelle Obama ‘Outraged And Heartbroken’ Over Plight Of Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

British, U.S. Experts Arrive In Nigeria To Aid In Search For Kidnapped Girls

In Town Of Missing Girls, Sorrow, But Little Progress

Nigerian Girls Seen In Video From Militants

Canada Part Of Effort To Free 300 Nigerian School Girls From Terrorist’s Grip

West African Nations Set Aside Their Old Suspicions To Combat Boko Haram


Strong Evidence Syrian Army Used Chemical Weapons Last Month: Human Rights Watch

Top U.N. Mediator In Syria Conflict Resigns

French Say Assad’s Forces Used Chlorine Gas 14 Times


Public’s Outrage Over Mine Disaster Casts Harsh Light On Turkey’s Premier

Turkish Mining Company Denies Negligence As Police Use Tear Gas To Quell Protesters Demanding PM’s Resignation

As Turkish Mine Yields The Last Body, Recriminations Remain

Turkey Toll 301 As Mine Rescue Ends


Merkel And Hollande Send Russia A Warning

Kremlin Hopes For Dialogue Between Ukraine, Eastern Regions After Vote

Russia Keeps Its Distance After Ukraine Secession Referendums

Ukraine Agrees To Launch Talks On Decentralizing Power

Ukraine Destroys Two Pro-Russian Bases In The East

Workers Take To Streets To Calm Tense Ukrainian City

Workers Seize City In Eastern Ukraine From Separatists

Eastern Ukrainians Criticize Kyiv In 2nd Round Of European-Brokered Talks To Resolve Crisis


In Yemen, A Counterterrorism Challenge

Qaeda Affiliate Steps Up Video Propaganda Push


The War On Drugs Destroys Lives And Six Things You Can Do About It

What are your climate questions for Ernest Moniz and Gina McCarthy? ~ The American energy secretary and the Environmental Protection Agency administrator will join Grist magazine for a live chat next week about Obama’s climate initiatives. Submit your questions now


This strikes deep to the soul of the Canadian national character. Village of hope: B.C. couple’s Project Somos gives Guatemalan families a new start

Is there no end to this man’s flipping lunacy? Fords helped lobby for client’s tax break

This is a relief. Cancer drug-maker’s shutdown down won’t result in shortages, says Health Canada


Banks Try New Tricks To Poach Customers

Farley Mowat Said What He Meant, And Loudly

Ottawa Examines Merits Of U.S. Missile Defence Program



With thanks to Inna Deineko and the Black Sea Agricultural Cooperative

The Omsk region is ready to organize supply of grain to China, as well as take active part in construction of a logistic warehouse on border of China and the Republic of Khakassia (Russia). The governor of the region Victor Nazarov reported about it.

The realization of the project it is planned to enable within Interregional association of economic interaction of subjects of the Russian Federation “Siberian agreement”. Thus, from the Russian side some Siberian regions will take part in the project.

The governor hopes also for support from Moscow. It reminded that the Mayor of Moscow called more than once the Omsk region the industrial center providing the capital with products, petrochemistry and other production. The region is ready to deliver environmentally friendly products and to other Russian regions that will give incentive for further development of Omsk agrarian and industrial complex.

Now People’s Republic of China intensified searches of suppliers of grain. In particular, the Chinese businessmen are interested in acquisition of the large companies in the north of Kazakhstan and already today conduct negotiations with owners of arable lands, granaries and other infrastructure, allowing to adjust a full cycle of production and grain transportation. In turn, Kazakhstan for activization of deliveries is ready to take part in construction of grain terminals on border of Iran and Turkmenistan, and also in the Chinese direction.

As for our country, for the purpose of coverage of the Asian markets construction of grain terminals and in Primorsky Krai is planned. Japan and South Korea are interested in implementation of these projects.

We will remind that in 2013, the Omsk region received one of the biggest crops of grain over the last 50 years. Gross collecting grain made 3.6 million tons, including 2.6 million tons of wheat.

She’s Canadian.  He’s American.  Here’s what we look like from a puma’s perspective.

She’s Canadian. He’s American. Here’s what we look like from a puma’s perspective.

Felina:     Samuel, have you ever noticed that human beings use words in interesting ways?

Sam:        Yep, Felina, I have. It’s one of their more endearing traits.

Felina:     I am reading this story in this Seattle Times newspaper and they have used the term “Great Recession.”

Sam:        And considering the homelessness, higher crime, misery, uncertainty and unhappiness of that time in their history, you are wondering why the adjective was applied to the tragedy?

Felina:     You are amazing. That is exactly what I am pondering. How do you do that, mate of my three lifetimes?

Sam:        Sweetheart, you and I have time in grade together. And I do pay attention, mostly. It’s like a well worn path that your feet know by heart.

Felina:     To you then, I am like a deer trail that has been trod for centuries?

Sam:        Felina, we really don’t need to go there.

Felina:     I just want to see if you can either get yourself out of this or if there is room in your mouth for your other paw.

Sam:        You are the majesty of our eternal peaks, Felina Elizabeth. And is the Path through Paradise still not Paradise? Is the cosmos any less infinite and ephemeral simply because its trails are known? Is our cave less our home because your parents know our address?

Felina:     Sometimes I bet you amaze even yourself, don’t you?

Sam:        Yep, Sweetheart. Every once in awhile. However, we digress.

Felina:     We are the Rob and Laura Peachtree of Digression and the Stanley Rubric of the smooth segue.

Sam:        And the question ~ should I decide to accept it ~ is…

Felina:     I am absolutely certain you will accept it, sun and moon of my life.

Sam:        What was so great about the Great Recession and why did they use that particular adjective to describe it?

Felina:     Darling, that is actually two questions.

Sam:        They were on sale.

Felina:     How lucky for us then, eh?

Sam:        Indeed and in response, “great” is one of the handiest words a limited vocabulary can possess. It carries its own “coin of the realm,” as it were. It is the universal ingredient in any human endeavor.

Felina:     It is a word for all seasons, then?

Sam:        And all occasions, Sweetheart.

Felina:     And apparently with absolutely no regard for honesty, integrity or accuracy.

Sam:        Nope. Absolutely none. And in this particular case, it was not even the most significant economic reversal. It was simply the latest.

Felina:     Then their mothers should make them call it that. It was the Latest Recession, not the Great Recession. Shame on them. Someone needs to give them a good spanking.

Sam:        That’s why they were born with long arms, Felina. And they do that to themselves and one another on a regular basis.

Felina:     It would appear that sometimes they do not do it often enough.

Sam:        No argument there, Lass. And on that note, then, Felina?

Felina:     On that note, then, gentle readers, until next week, may the wind be always at your back and may the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.


This is nothing short of unbelievable. Cat saves boy, 4, from vicious dog attack

It is never too late for something like this. B.C. apologizes for past discriminatory policies towards Chinese Canadians

I sincerely wish I could be there to see this. A Decision That Helped Shape Michelle Obama


Portland, Oregon Is First U.S. City To Divest Funds From Walmart

The Girl Who Sparked Brown V. The Board Of Education With A High School Walkout

Growing Up In A Kenyan Slum Taught Me The Real Value Of Stuff


This was sooo uncool. Whatever possessed these people? Airline rejects combat veteran with service dog

This definitely needs to stop. Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries

This kind of attitude should have gone out when teenaged girls quit the linen mills. G.M. Recalls Another 2.7 Million Vehicles


This is something which impacts us all. The Struggle to Save the World’s Greatest Communication Network

If you are into space exploration and nature both, you are totally going to love this Video: Cart-wheeling spider inspires robot for Mars

Let’s hope these two get things worked out before this actually happens. Russia To Close Space Station In 2020 Due To U.S. Sanctions


Video: Spades Strike History In Galilee

Photos: An Unrivaled View Of Mount St. Helens

Argentina Unearths One Of The Largest Land Creatures In Earth’s History


Video: Profiles In Science | The Planet Hunter

NASA’s Latest Humanoid Robot ‘Valkyrie’ May Explore Mars (With Video, Photos)

Sun’s Magnetic Field Will Soon Flip, Presenting Us With A Light Show


Oh, Snapchat: Your Smartphone Just Became A Climate Scientist

Error Leads IBM Researchers To A New Family Of Materials

Gillian Shaw: Invasion Of The Domestic Robots (With Video)


Okay, gang, how much do you know about our sun?

And for others so addicted, here is a 10-question daily trivia we have emailed to us.

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.


A Lesson in Farming, Classroom to Cafeteria

One Use For 150,000 Plastic Bottles: Build Your Own Personal Island

How Women Will Save The Earth

End Fossil Fuel Burning, Save $71 Trillion — And Preserve Civilization As We Know It

Stanford Has An $18 Billion Endowment. These Students Made Sure It Won’t Be Invested In Coal


We found this extremely interesting. Does your supermarket pass the green seafood test?

With the largest segment of the American populace moving into susceptibility range, we thought this information particularly appropriate:

Antidepressant May Cut Protein Involved In Alzheimer’s Development

More Information: Alzheimer’s Disease

More Information: Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease: Is A Cure Close At Hand?

Alzheimer’s Disease: Risk Factors

Alzheimer’s Disease: What Is It?

Here is a good reason to get out of the house more. And on a darker note, what solitary confinement irreplaceably destroys. How Extreme Isolation Warps Minds


Abbott & Costello: Two Classic Bits: $28.00 and Loafing


Video: Grandma’s A Bridesmaid

Noah Tops List Of Baby Names For Boys; Sophia, For Girls

The 9/11 Story Told At Bedrock, Powerful As A Punch To The Gut

Seven Ways To Garden Like You Know What You’re Doing

Will My Daughter Grow Up To Be A Farmer Like Me?


Video: Bill Cunningham | Turning Heads ~ The fashion note at the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy “hat luncheon” was a one-piece fitted dress with a full skirt replacing the suit.

Michelle Obama Cites View Of Growing Segregation

Nicholas Kristof: What’s So Scary About Smart Girls?


Photo courtesy of Canadian Forces Command

Photo courtesy of Canadian Forces Command

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 BellinghamRe-Education Center.

A simple operational order and one which has served America well. Until Testament

For a preview: Go Here

For the kindle book: ($3.99) at


Business Correspondence



Copy Writing


Feature Magazine Articles

Ghost Writing




Online Research





Song Lyrics

Special Projects


Travel Copy


Southern Resident orca J2, or "Granny" (left), with L87, or "Onyx," in the foreground in the southern Strait of Georgia off Vancouver Island, British Columbia at 2:00 pm, May 9, 2014.  Credit: Capt. Simon Pidcock of Ocean EcoVentures

Southern Resident orca J2, or “Granny” (left), with L87, or “Onyx,” in the foreground in the southern Strait of Georgia off Vancouver Island, British Columbia at 2:00 pm, May 9, 2014. Credit: Capt. Simon Pidcock of Ocean EcoVentures

One of our neighbours is back and quite frankly, she rocks. Welcome back, Granny.

I am not a great fan of creatures with more than four legs but for the apparently altogether too many of you who are? Video: Sociable Spiders And along these same lines? Three new tarantula species discovered ››

Here’s A Chance To Die Of Cute. Hero Cat Will ‘Throw’ First Pitch At Baseball Game


Four Stolen Monkeys Returned To Blackpool Zoo ››

Fewer Honeybees Died Over The Winter, A Report Says

Drones to be deployed across Kenya to combat poaching.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


For $110, the toilet bike will help you get laid   Uh huh. On what planet?


Amnesty International

Black Sea Agro: Agriculture In The Black Sea Region

Cream Magazine & Millennium Art Gallery

Grittv With Laura Flaunders

Help End World Hunger & Poverty | Heifer International® | Heifer.Org

No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News

Outside Magazine

The SeaDoc Society: People & Science Healing The Sea

Sierra Club

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace

Rusty Oval May 2014JUST A REMINDER

The Northstar Journal is non-profit and entirely supported by its readership. If you would like to contribute, please go here

Thank you very much. Until next week, then, take care, stay well 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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