A weekly ezine of news, commentary, health, humor and general interest  The Magazine With Heart

  News & Commentary,  Good Examples, Bad Examples, Our World & Beyond, The Green Agenda, Health, Lifestyle, Northstar Comics, Best of the Net, All Creatures Great & Small, Northstar Endorses, You Guys Think I Make This Stuff Up, About Us

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

May 3, 2015 Vol. 8 No. 32

Rusty Miller – Editor

Denny Steussy – Associate Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Rusty's Birkenstocks in bw


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Once in awhile, someone asks me how I deal with the stresses that go with my particular job here at Northstar and I’m real honest with them.  I take time out to reflect profoundly on aspects of human existence seldom explored by even the brilliant.

I wonder, for instance, during the era of black and white movies, did stuff have to match?  Were redcoats really red?  What about socks and accessories for women?  Could they tell what it was going to look like in black and white before or as they filmed?

I lived and worked on the periphery of Hollywood for awhile and two of the angels watching over me were character actor and screenwriter True Boardman, Jr. and his wife, the silent screen actress Thelma Hubbard.  I learned a lot from these kind and gentle people but never once did the subject upon which I now reflect so profoundly ever come up.

How come they call something really dumb by a name that sounds scholarly?  Like oxymoron, which is basically just stupid, squared.

Why is it that the people we agree with are among the best of the species and those with whom we do not, the most ungodly?

Personally, I think these are issues which could well determine the evolution of society as we know it.  But priorities being what they seem to be, it is back to bringing you war, rebellion, megalomania, mayhem and all the other relatively pedestrian things we do to occupy our time while the universe itself decides what to do with us.  Since I was asked and stuff.

Thanks for the ear, then, gang.  Have a good week.  And remember this magazine is ~ in large part ~ supported by small contributions from folks like you.  To drop a dollar in the sugar can, please go here


What were the ten most popular languages in the world 2014?  The answer just might surprise you.

Which American cities are the most polluted and the least?  This will not come as good news to Californians.   The answer just might surprise you.

We have not mentioned Baltimore Riots very much in this magazine for two reasons.  We do not want to encourage those who behave like this in the hopes of getting on television.  Second, we were waiting for someone who could discuss Baltimore a lot better than we could and our patience has been rewarded.  Our thanks once again to our across the Salish Sea bigger cousin, Yes magazine.


Powerful Scenes As May Day Unites Protesters Around The World

The Path to Happiness: Lessons From the 2015 World Happiness Report

Why a Bipolar World Is More Likely Than a Unipolar or Multipolar One


Boko Haram: 300 Girls And Women Taken To Safety

Boko Haram ‘Captives’ Arrive At Camp

‘I Want To Know If My Brother Is Alive’

Burundi Links Protests To ‘Terror’

Hundreds Seek Refuge Near U.S. Embassy In Burundi As Unrest Spirals

Seychelles Rum: An Export Success

The ‘White Zulu’ Singing Maskandi

Boost For Seychelles Tuna Industry

Artists Sing For A United Africa

Exquisite Photos Of Egypt From Instagram Users Around The World

Kenyan Minister Admits Intelligence Warned Of Bloody College Attack


Indonesia Executes 8, Including 7 Foreigners, Convicted on Drug Charges

Vietnam Celebrates 40th Anniversary Of War’s End With Enormous Parade

Shanghai Models Dress As Beggars To ‘Protest’ Ban And…

Maldives: Protest Leaders Arrested

Kim Jong-un Won’t Attend World War II Celebration in Moscow

North Korean Diplomats Disrupt Human Rights Panel

In Suicide, at Least, Farmers Win India’s Love

11th-Hour Deal Spared Philippine Woman From Indonesian Firing Squad

South Korea’s Governing Party Skates Through Elections Despite Scandal

Hue Journal: Economic Boom Poses a New Threat, Among Many, to a Vietnamese Heritage

North Korea Executed 15 Top Officials in 2015, South Korean Agency Says


China’s Growing Middle Class Pushes Apple To New Heights

Wang Jianlin, A Billionaire At The Intersection Of Business And Power In China

Beijing Is Building The World’s Biggest Airport Terminal

Born In The USA: Why Chinese ‘Birth Tourism’ Is Booming In California

Chinese Police Raid Uber Office Over Alleged Black Cab Operations

China Rethinks Safety Net For Its Banking System


Woman in Punjab Is Killed After Being Molested on Bus

India rejects US ‘freedoms’ report

10 Things You Might Not Know About India

India’s Tense Relationship With NGOs

Does Hollywood Pose A Threat To Bollywood In India?

India Girl Dies After Molestation Attempt On Bus


Iran Nuclear Deal A Triumph Of Hope Over Experience

Iran Takes Control Of Cargo Ship; U.S. Sends Destroyer To Persian Gulf

Afghan Troops Rush To Kunduz Amid Taliban Assault

Afghanistan Begins Trial in Killing of Woman

Saudi King Announces New Heirs

Song Of Lahore: Pakistan’s Musicians Affirm Their Place In A Country That Threatens To Forget Them

Why the Crisis in Yemen Could Tilt Middle East Power From Saudi Arabia Toward Iran, Turkey and Pakistan


France Increases Defense Spending

Nuns Intercede For Victims Of Sex Trafficking In Italy

Germany: Suspects’ Videos Found

Could Australia’s Tough Approach To Migrants Work In Europe?


Russia beefs up anti-piracy laws

Russia Cuts Rates As Rouble Rallies

Ashurkov: Confronting regime in Russia is ‘not easy’


British Public Vote In Favor Of Lynx Reintroduction »

Leaders face public on Question Time

Duchess Of Cambridge Gives Birth To Baby Girl


6 Things To Expect From Pope Francis’ Address To Congress

Can Pope Francis Help Avoid a ‘Third World War’?



Canadian Plane Delivers Aid To Nepal, Picks Up Angry Passengers

Canadian Soldiers Unprepared For The Reality Of Killing, Retired Officer Warns

Harper Makes Surprise Visit To Baghdad, Meets Iraqi Prime Minister


Scenes Of Chaos In Baltimore As Thousands Protest Freddie Gray’s Death

It’s Unstoppable: Same-Sex Marriage Is Coming To The U.S.

US Interest Rates Kept At Record Low


Jailed Venezuelan Mayor Is Moved To Hospital For Surgery

Chile Volcano Remains Unstable

Union Condemns Federal Agency For Lending Volkswagen $526 Million To Expand Operations In U.S. And Mexico

New Kermit Look-Alike Frog Species Discovered In Costa Rica

Mexico Signs Historic Agreement To Protect Jaguars

VIDEO: Chile Volcano Erupts For Third Time


100 Deception Bay Homes ‘Totally Smashed’, Hardship Payments Announced

Surfer Injured In Shark Attack Near Taree In Northern NSW

Chris Bowen Moves To Support Same-Sex Marriage

Australia Not Equipped To Deal With Growing ‘Tsunami’ Of Dementia Cases: Advocates

Ruddock Calls For Death Penalty Abolition In Wake Of Bali Nine Executions



Pope Francis Forces The Issue On Climate Change

Climate Change Is Melting Arctic Archaeological Sites

California Sets Fancy New Climate Goal, Makes Other States Look Bad

Study Finds Global Warming As Threat To 1 In 6 Species


Russian Hackers Read Obama’s Unclassified Emails, Officials Say

Canadian Veteran Blogs As He Battles ISIL On The Front Lines: ‘Coalition Gunships Putting On A Fine Show’

Saudi Arabia Accuses 93 of Terrorist Links, Including to ISIS

Germans ‘Helped US Spy On France’

Afghanistan: Taliban Offensive Forces Thousands From Homes

Afghan and Taliban Representatives Meet in Qatar


Video: Devastation in Katmandu

Perseverance And Grace As Nepal Is Turned Upside Down

Relief starts reaching Nepal villages

VIDEO: Tourist Captures Nepal Temple Collapse

Hints Of Normalcy In Katmandu, But Rebuilding Is Ahead

What Nepalese Culture Lost Forever In The Earthquake


EU-Ukraine Summit As Shelling Worsens

Camera Traps Reveal Chernobyl’s Wildlife

VIDEO: Fears In Odessa Over Fragile Ceasefire


Good!  Pakistan Jails 10 For Malala Attack

This will definitely make a difference. Meet The Ghana Man Making Bikes Out Of Bamboo

We do not, of course, recommend doing this at home alone. Man Punches Bear in the Face to Protect His Chihuahua


This has bloody well got to stop.  Another white-tailed eagle poisoned in Ireland »

This needs to change.  Maimed Defending Afghanistan, Then Neglected

This is getting old.  South Korean N.Y.U. Student Is Reported Arrested in North Korea


Soon, the things that we depend on are going to be smarter than we are.  I wonder who is going to be walking the dog when that happens.  The Sensor-Rich, Data-Scooping Future

Do not eat a pizza too close to bed time and read this.  The Photographer Who Captures The Horrors Of The Sea

This is reassuring.  The Universe May Be A Giant Hologram…


The World’s Fastest Recreational Runners

Watch This Kansas Farm Beat The Market With The Honor System (And A Llama)

Inside The Slowly Disappearing Everglades


When Will We Find Aliens?

Bubbling Lake Of Alien Lava Seen

NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Views A Crescent Ceres


What Happens When Our iPhones Become More Intelligent Than Us?

Watch: Crazy Caterpillar With Erupting Tentacles

Trying to Save the Oceans, One Small Grant at a Time


Video: Drones Help Aid Relief In Nepal

NASA Unveils Shape-Changing Plane Wing

Tesla Unveils Battery To Power Homes


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.


Break-Up Of The Century: U.S. Emissions And Economic Growth Are Really, Finally Separating

The Future Looks A Lot Hotter And Wetter, Says Science

How American Consumption Drives Chinese Pollution


Admitted to Your Bedroom: Some Hospitals Try Treating Patients at Home

For Teenagers, Potassium May Matter More Than Salt

Faces of Breast Cancer: Find Your Story, Join the Conversation

Go Inside An Emergency Trauma Centre In Our Videos Of The Week

Fab Five: Spring Skin Care

College for the Masses

Emma Thompson, An Ant Biologist, And A Bodega Documentarian, Courtesy Of Grist Daily.

Daily Meditation: A Prayer For Travelers

‘It Was Never a Dress’ Campaign Will Change How You See Bathroom Signs


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.


On The Water At Morro Bay – Youtube

Ten Amazing Real-Life Dragons

Bowhead Whales Heard Singing Unique New Songs


Small Testament Cover


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, please go here   To purchase the kindle book at amazon.com for $3.99, please go here.

THE BACK COUNTRY GALLERY’S new free monthly nature wallpaper is available here.  Lens jockey Steve Perry also has a newsletter offering a great deal of cool stuff for wildlife photographers, amateur and professional, alike. 



Political, Classified and Commercial Writing, Editing, Proofing

Book Projects

Jokes and Monologues

Online Writing Tutoring

Song Lyrics


Special Projects

Online, from my computer to yours,

Paypal or direct deposit to account

Negotiable rates & payment plans

International clients welcome




One of the greatest friends of this planet is also one of its smaller creatures.  Over the last two decades, they died in such numbers that extinction loomed as a possibility.  They are the barometer species of the planet and if we ever lose them, there will be no one around to ask where all the flowers have gone.  I totally enjoyed this article.  When I eat honey, do I hurt bees? A Grist Daily reader wonders if she should avoid using beeswax, royal jelly, and honey. Umbra’s answer is sweet.  Ask Umbra®

I am very glad I did not share the planet with this dude.  Mystery of the giant terror shrew.  A large, flesh-eating shrew dominated Europe, then inexplicably vanished


Researchers Find Ants Have Their Own Highway Code In High Traffic Areas

Three Cheetah Cubs To Enjoy New Life After Rescue From Illegal Pet Trade

Bird Nests On Jersey’s Offshore Reefs Been Deliberately Damaged Says DOE


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s Wildlife Finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Amnesty International

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


This Is The Inside Of A Zebra Fish’s Ear. Here’s Why This Tiny Photo Won A Big Prize

Mystery Of The Man-Eating Snakes

Police Found a Stoner’s Hilarious To-Do List


 The Northstar Journal is an international news, commentary and general interest weekly Internet magazine.  It goes out by direct email to readers in 18 countries.  It also has a website linked to both Facebook and Linked-In.  Founded as a monthly in 1999, it is the winner of two Hersh “Best Read on the Net” awards” for its coverage of Bosnia and Washington State’s Nisqually Earthquake.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute to the next, please go here.  For more information and to receive us in your email, contact us at minstrel312@aol.com



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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