MY OWN EYES ON THE STARS

New Masthead

A weekly ezine of news, commentary, health, humor and general interest

Sunday, November 16, 2014

No. 414

“If your two brothers were fighting with sticks, would you give one of them a knife?”  Olha Bereza

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor

Kiev, Ukraine At Night, November 2014.  Photo by Olya Bereza

Kiev, Ukraine At Night, November 2014. Photo by Olya Bereza

MY OWN EYES ON THE STARS

Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  First of all, we would like to express our appreciation to American president Barack Obama and his administration for putting the welfare of the constituency above politics.  Their list of climate change executive orders has been called “sweeping.”  I have no doubt we’ll hear much less complimentary terms for it from those who care little about the world their great-grandchildren will inherit.

I think that landing a rover put together by a conglomerate of lowest bidders is something in which our species can take a great deal of pride.  As sometimes happens, Hollywood beat them there.  Remember that Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thonrton film Armageddon?

And in view of how relatively close to our home planet some of these extraterrestrial flying objects (efo) come, it is gratifying to know that if we can land on one, we can blow it to smithereens to save all that St. Francis of Assisi valued so dear, including us.  Remember that Sean Connery and Brian Keith film Meteor?  It was made in 1979, so yep, Hollywood got there first again.

The human imagination has always been the vanguard for our noblest aspirations and our basest depravities.  It is appropriate, then, to look to the art our species produces.  It would not surprise me that every piece of culture is a window into a choice of futures and provided so that we, as individuals, can make choices based upon our own visions of Tomorrow.

We have daring and monumental epics of space on the one hand and situation comedies with walking and talking dead people on the other.  If one truly comes from graveyard mud and the other from a quest for a benevolent universe, I’ll keep my own eyes on the stars, thank you very much.

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

THE NEWS

Welcome home, guys.  Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, Released by North Korea, Are Back on U.S. Soil

This is more than a little scary.  Pentagon Studies Reveal Major Nuclear Problems 

Nice going, gang.  ‘We are on the comet’: Rosetta team says comet landing was a success

WORLD

AFRICA

Quarter Of A Million Pounds Worth Of Rhino Horn Seized At South African Airport »

Thousands Of Animal Skins Seized In Senegal Crackdown »

South Africa Police Scuffle With MPs

Oil Dispute Takes A Page From Congo’s Bloody Past

ASIA

Obama Arrives in China on Trip With Complex Agenda

Shanghai-HK Stock Connect approved

A Rare Form of Malaria Is Spreading in Malaysia

Frosty Meeting At APEC Could Be Start Of Thaw Between China And Japan

At APEC Meeting, Beijing Strengthens Ties To Its Neighbors

South Korea Ferry Captain Jailed

Mr. Obama’s Message To Myanmar

Obama To Meet Suu Kyi At Time Of Transition For Myanmar’s Democracy Icon Turned Politician

North Korea To Send Envoy To Russia

AUSTRALIA & OCEANA

Australia Challenges Use of Unpaid Internships

All Eyes On This Aussie City

Blue Mountains Bushfire Threat Eases

Bushfire Warning For South Australia

Australia Prepares For Bushfire Season

Rebuilding Lives After Australia Bushfires

CHINA

Canadian Couple Held In China For Spying Won’t Be Released

China And U.S. Agree To Cut Tariffs, But Vie For Trade Blocs

China’s Global Powerhouse

China’s Rise as Arms Supplier Is Put on Display

EUROPE

Catalonia Overwhelmingly Votes for Independence From Spain in Straw Poll

E.U. Members May Limit Welfare Benefits to Immigrants, Court Rules

German Economy Avoids Recession

Europe Takes Aim at Deals Created to Escape Taxes

E.U. Accuses Starbucks and Netherlands of Making Unfair Tax Deal

Eurozone Eked Out Growth in Third Quarter

G-20 Leaders Hammer Out Final Details Of $2 Trillion Global Growth Plan As Summit Nears End

INDIA

India And US Reach WTO Breakthrough

In India, Latrines Are Truly Lifesavers

IRELAND

Ireland Vies To Remain Silicon Valley’s Low-Tax Home Away From Home

Video: 36 Hours In Dublin

LATIN AMERICA

Mexican Chief Prosecutor’s “Enough, I’m Tired” Comment Becomes Rallying Cry For Protesters

Mexican President Faces Nation Tired Of Crime

Ugandan Priest Found In Mexico Grave

Obama Defends Immigration Pledge

Drones ‘Patrol Us-Mexico Border’

Escaped NZ Murderer Found In Brazil

Colombia Rebels ‘Sorry’ Over Murder

MIDDLE EAST

New hope in Syria war, says UN envoy

Queen Noor Of Jordan On Slavery

RUSSIA

Fisher: Russian President Vladimir Putin steals spotlight at G20 summit in Australia

Russia Plans Long-Range Air Patrols

UNITED KINGDOM

Bank Of England Officials Cleared Of Wrongdoing In Currency Manipulation

Crackdown On Prison Violence Pledged

BBC Apologises For Strictly Swearing

Town’s ‘Resilience’ Scoops It Award

UNITED STATES

States Listen As Parents Give Rampant Testing An F

Arctic Blast Hits Canada And US

U.S. And China Agree To Cut Tariffs, But Vie For Trade Blocs

US And India Reach WTO Breakthrough

THE VATICAN

U.S. Bishops Struggle To Follow Lead Of Francis

TOPICAL

AFGHANISTAN

3 Explosions Rock Afghan Capital After Months Of Calm

Afghan Opium Cultivation Rises To Record Levels

In Shift, Pakistanis Fleeing War Flow Into Beleaguered Afghanistan

Canada’s Work On Dahla Dam Project In Afghanistan Could Vanish, Report Concludes

CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate Tools Seek to Bend Nature’s Path

What Climate Change Means For A Land Of Glaciers

U.S. And China Reach Climate Deal After Months Of Talks

Warmer World Might See More Lightning

President Obama Readies Series Of Climate Change Executive Orders

COMET EXPLORER

Philae Had A Very Bumpy Landing As It Drifted Across The Comet’s Surface.

‘Time For Risks’ With Comet Lander

Philae Comet Lander Loses Power

Analysis: Sleep Well Little Probe

EBOLA OUTBREAK

Ebola’s Mystery: One Boy Lives, Another Dies

Mali Reports a Second, Larger Ebola Outbreak

Surgeon With Ebola Treated In US

ISIS & THE WAR ON TERRORISM

Militant Group In Egypt Vows Loyalty To Isis

Yazidi Girls Seized By Isis Speak Out After Escape

In Egypt, Jihadists Release Video Of An October Attack

Us Hostage Kassig ‘Killed By Is’

Battle Turning Against Is – Dempsey

SPYING

More Federal Agencies Are Using Undercover Operations

THE UKRAINE

Ukraine Rebel Areas Lose Funding

OH CANADA

This would be cool in any country but I’m glad it’s taking place in this one. Chester, the false killer whale, thrives at aquarium’s rescue centre (with video)

I have a feeling this is not the last we have heard of this.  Judge orders pipeline protesters to clear out by 4 p.m. Monday

Since I am a fan of his, this came as good news. Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson ‘humbled and honoured’ to win a third term

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.

Sam:        Hi, Sweetheart.  Beautiful night.  Mind if I join you.  I have pizza.

Felina:     I would be delighted, love of my three lifetimes.  And you know how I so love salmon deep dish with anchovies.

Sam:        Yep.  It’s the only food group I’m jealous of.

Felina:     That was so sweet, Samuel.  But surely you know for whom my real passion is saved.

Sam:        I do, Lass.  And I am honored.  So, star gazing?

Felina:     I am looking for that little robot that landed on that comet.  I should like very much to applaud its spirit of adventure and its courage.

Sam:        Having much luck with that so far, Felina.

Felina:     His wee voice is growing louder.  I had no idea there are so many of these metal creatures out there, all with something to say.

Sam:        All of them speaking human, right?

Felina:     You do not really want to know that, do you?

Sam:        When you put it that way, no, probably not.  If any of those little metal weirdos are questing cougar cuisine, I’d just as soon go down their gullets ignorant of the fate which awaits us all.

Felina:     It is ironic, I think, that as the planet becomes a healthier place to live, those of us who dwell here become tastier to extra-foreign palates.

Sam:        It kind of makes me wonder if all those invasion science fiction movies are actually documentaries, thinly disguised.

Felina:     We might also wonder where the people who made them are really from.

Sam:        And what their true intentions really are.

Felina:     Precisely.  Space exploration is a bit like crying loudly in a rain forest.  One never knows who will answer.

Sam:        That’s enough to put a puma off its pizza, Sweetheart.  And on that note, Felina?

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

GOOD EXAMPLES

It does not, in my opinion, get much better than this.  The family that saved 3000

Pete McMartin: David Suzuki wants you to save the world. First step: Vote

For those of us who can remember an earlier era, this is very validating.  The New Grassroots Heroes: They Fight Pollution—and Police Brutality—And They’re Changing How Social Movements Happen

BAD EXAMPLES

This just shows me how little one nation’s chief executive understands the Asian concept of “saving face.”  U.S. Gives North Korea the Silent Treatment

This cannot bode well.  The students who feel they have the right to cheat

This is absolutely reprehensible.  11 Years Later, Woman’s Death Is Tied to G.M. Ignition Defect

SHORTS

New Orleans Police Routinely Ignored Sex Crimes, Report Finds

Microsoft Patches ’19-Year-Old’ Bug

What Should Happen To A Released Rapist?

EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

This Week In Science: Rosetta Touches Down, Thought Control Made Easy, and Why You Cry When You’re Happy

This is why I always wanted to be an explorer.  Scientists Journey Inside Mysterious Crater

And this too.  Rare Footprints Discovered In Denmark

INNER SPACE

Scientists Achieve Direct Brain-To-Brain Communication

Earth’s Magnetic Field Flips More

Skeleton Found In Alexander-Era Tomb

OUTER SPACE

Why Aliens Haven’t Called Yet

Movie Lessons On Life In Space

Planet Formation Captured In Photo

ROBOTICS

Weapons Directed By Robots, Not Humans, Raise Ethical Questions

Ebola Robots On White House Agenda

Sea Robots Seek Climate Change Data

OTHER TECHNOLOGY

A Revolution On Two Wheels?

Learning How Little We Know About The Brain

These 14 Teenage Inventors Built A Glove That Translates Sign Language—And Other Tech Solutions

 NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY IMAGES

The Earth Observatory’s mission is to share with the public the images, stories, and discoveries about climate and the environment that emerge from NASA research, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and climate models.

THE GREEN AGENDA

7 Ways to Get Happy—Without Costing the Planet

Where have oceans acidified? Check this map

Why Low Oil Prices Can Be Good For The Environment

HEALTH

This really needs to change.  US women put themselves at risk for cancer

Something needs to be done about this and NOT tomorrow.  Cancer-causing ingredient found in bread

The Weekly Health Quiz — In the news: Asthma, children’s coughs and colon cancer rates. Test your knowledge of this week’s health news.

LIFESTYLE

Number one worst state for working women

Sex will soon be just for fun, not babies: father of the Pill

Wading rhinos and wasp nests

NORTHSTAR COMICS

We’ve collected what we consider the most wholesome, family-oriented and genuinely humorous comic strips we could find on the Net.  They include:  Adam@Home, Calvin & Hobbes, Emmylou, For Better or For Worse, Foxtrot Classics, Garfield, Get Fuzzy, and Peanuts.  Either click the banner or this link.

BEST OF THE NET

A Captured Ice Moon — Neptune’s moon Triton was the last stop on Voyager II’s tour of the outer planets. It is one of the coldest objects in the solar system and a big brother of Pluto, which NASA will visit next year.

Graphic: Landing on a Comet, 317 Million Miles From Home

Baby elephant fends off 14 lionesses

FROM NORTHSTAR

Testament Ad Graphic

WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT

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

For a preview:  Go Here

For the kindle book: ($3.99) at amazon.com

 NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES

minstrel312@aol.com

206-478-9254

Business Correspondence

Communications Consulting

Classified and other Advertising Copy Writing

Editing

Ghost Writing

Humor:  Jokes & Monologues

Online Research

Proofreading

Song Lyrics

Speeches

Special Projects

minstrel312@aol.com

206-478-9254

NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES

ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

This is an experience most of us would probably pass on, methinks.  LOL.  Face To Face With A Man-Eating Tiger

This has Movie of the Week written all over it.  Mystery Of The Man-Eating Snakes

This was definitely worth watching.  Wading rhinos and wasp nests

SHORTS

Wild Mouse Lemurs Live Six Times Longer Than Similar-Sized Mammals »

Sciencetake | Jellyfish Buffet

Sea Otter Pup Loves Snacks, Toys and Milk

RELATED LINKS:

Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals

YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP

The people with the reddest hair in the world apparently live here.  So how come me and Cousin Olya are blond(e)s?

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL ENDORSES THE FOLLOWING:

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

Wildlife Extra magazine

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace

ABOUT THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL

The Northstar Journal is an international non-profit news, commentary and general interest Internet magazine.  Entirely readership supported, it was founded as a monthly in 1999 and won two Hersh Best Read on the Net Awards for its coverage of Bosnia and of Seattle’s Nisqually Earthquake.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute to the next, please go here  For more information, contact Rusty Miller at minstrel312@aol.com

 

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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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