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

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

News & Commentary, From the Ukraine:  Let the Force Be With You – Olya Examines Her Nation’s Emerging IT Industry, 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 We Make This Stuff Up, About Us

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

August 2, 2015  Vol. 8 No. 45

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor

lion king


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  This past week, the death by trophy hunting of a lion named Cecil made headlines around the world.  The resounding message was clear.  Cecil’s murder is totally unacceptable.

I am familiar with the style of hunting that killed Cecil.  As a kid, my stepfather and his cop buddies went after deer in the Sierra Nevadas with radios, maps, dogs and high powered rifles with expensive scopes.

Planned like a military operation, there was absolutely nothing sportsmanlike about it.  Granted, they took the meat as well as the full head or antlers alone.  They sold most of the meat to pay to have the head mounted, then smoked or jerked the rest for home consumption.  And I don’t care what anyone says, venison does not taste like chicken or beef.  It’s not something, to paraphrase Dick Smothers, you’d want every day.

My rancher grandfather, however, hunted from horseback with an iron-sights Winchester 78, in the high mountains above tree line.  He went out alone and usually got back by supper time.  He did that three times a year.  We never saw anything except the meat, the hide and the antlers because we used all those.  The rest, my grandfather buried out of respect for the deer and gratitude for the subsistence it provided him and his own.

Cecil’s killer is being vilified around the globe and I do not think he deserves that.  Cecil was a lion, not a jackal, so I do not believe he would sanction this either, had he survived.

Cecil’s killer is as much a victim in some ways as the Cecil.  What both succumbed to was the trophy culture and that culture is hardly limited to the killing of wild animals.

How many of us married or purchased for status, rather than for love or value?  Are we any less guilty ~ albeit perhaps in principle alone ~ then, than Cecil’s killer?  I’m not.  None of us are.

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


This is certainly good news.  Water Use in California Down 27% in June, Beating Goal

This, however, is certainly not good news.  ‘Brain-eating amoeba’ in US tap water

I think we need to pay attention to this.  Here’s How We Can Help Educate and Empower Millions of Marginalized Girls Worldwide


A Renegade Trawler, Hunted For 10,000 Miles By Vigilantes

Elon Musk And Stephen Hawking Among Hundreds To Urge Ban On Military Robots

Food Program Gets Emergency Cash

Key Ally Of Burundi’s President Assassinated By Gunmen


Obama Begins Key Talks In Ethiopia

Terror On The Beach

New Meningitis Strain in Africa Brings Call for More Vaccines

Egyptian Court Again Delays Verdict On Al Jazeera Journalists

Kenyans Ridicule CNN For Obama Visit Coverage

South Sudan’s Conflict Is Killing Women Far From The Battlefield

Life Inside A UN Base Where Thousands Shelter From South Sudan’s War

Why The Deadly Attacks Against Foreigners In South Africa Come As No Surprise


Malaysia Sackings Over Money Scandal

North Korea’s New Growth Industry: Enormous Bronze Kim Jong Il Statues

MH370: Caution Urged On Debris Find

Video: Is Asia Facing A Tech Bubble?

Flooding Spurs Disaster Zones in Myanmar

Tibetan Who Called For Dalai Lama’s Return Is Said To Be Freed From Chinese Prison

A Voice From China’s Uighur Homeland, Reporting From the U.S.


China Uses ‘Picking Quarrels’ Charge to Cast a Wider Net Online

China Shares Tumble More Than 8%

China Shares Continue To Slide

The Newest Chinese Obsession

For Sympathetic Ear, More Chinese Turn To Smartphone Program

How A Chinese Billionaire Built Her Fortune


Video: India And Bangladesh Enclave Exchange


Turkish Pm: No Troops Into Syria

Gaddafi’s Son Sentenced To Death

Stunning Hanging Garden Will Cover Israel’s Busiest Highway

Video: On The Banks Of The New Suez Canal

Palestinian Fury At Child Fire Death

Tribal Traditions In The UAE

After Deal, Europeans Are Eager To Do Business In Iran

120 Degrees And No Relief? ISIS Takes Back Seat For Iraqis


Man Dies As Hundreds Target Tunnel

How Germany Prevailed In The Greek Bailout

Video: One Night By The Calais Security Fence

Royal Dutch Shell To Cut 6,500 Jobs

Eurozone Inflation Holds Steady

Airbus Reports Profits Up By 34%


Russia Profile

Inquiry Into Litvinenko Poisoning Ends With a Nugget of Debris

France Will Compensate Russia for Canceling Arms Deal, Kremlin Aide Says

Bolshoi Is Not Renewing Acid Attack Victim’s Contract


Catholic Church Failing To Honor Royal Commission Compassion Pledge: Alleged Victim


Litvinenko Witness ‘Will Not Testify’

UK Economic Growth Picks Up To 0.7%

Reversing Itself, Britain Grants Ai Weiwei A Six-Month Visa

Flooding Spurs Disaster Zones In Myanmar



Canada Had Weak First 4 Months But Not In A Recession:

Canadian Dairy Farmers Head To Maui In Last Ditch Effort Against TPP

Huge Tornado Touches Down In Manitoba As Band Of Storms Hammer The Region

Abortion Pill Finally Receives Approval From Health Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Calls Federal Election


Problems Plague System To Check Gun Buyers

Los Angeles Council Passes Ban On High-Capacity Firearm Magazines

University Of Cincinnati Officer Indicted In Shooting Death Of Samuel Dubose

A Psychologist As Warden? Jail And Mental Illness Intersect In Chicago

Police End Icebreaker Bridge Protest

Key Voting Rights Test Now In Federal Judge’s Hands

Dylann Roof, Suspect In Charleston Killings, Indicates Desire To Plead Guilty

Grand Jury Indicts Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, on Felony Charges


Video: ‘Mass Grave’ At Colombia Landfill Site

Mexico: Runaway Truck Kills Pilgrims

Lawmakers On Azerbaijan Trip Cleared

Dominican Resort Is A Refuge Twice Abandoned

Deals Flow To Contractor Tied To Mexican President

Brazil Arrests Nuclear Chief In Widening Of Graft Case

Chile: 7 In Pinochet’s Military Charged In Death Of Protester

Mexican Panel Criticizes Inquiry In Missing Students Case

Officers Arrested In 1986 Burning Death Of U.S. Student In Chile

Suspicion Falls On The Police After Dozens Of Execution-Style Killings In Brazil

Brazil: Three Executives Are Guilty Of Graft In Petrobras Scandal

Colombia: Rebels Free Captured Soldier


Bronwyn Bishop Tenders Resignation As Speaker

Cilla Black Dies Aged 72

New ‘Metallic Debris’ Found On Reunion Island: Reports

Catholic Church Failing To Honor Royal Commission Compassion Pledge: Alleged Victim

IOOF Senior Executives To Front Senate Committee Amid Cover-Up Allegations

Blue Mountains Bushfire Being Treated As ‘Suspicious’

Chevron Workers To Vote On Strike Action Over Rosters

Police Find Body And Missing Trawler Off WA Coast



Tech Experts Caution On Killer AI

Video: Turkey Bombs IS And PKK Positions

Goals Diverge And Perils Remain As U.S. And Turkey Take On ISIS

F.B.I. Emphasizes Speed As ISIS Exhorts Individuals To Attack

N.S.A. Will Not Be Allowed To Keep Old Phone Records

Taliban Leader Mullah Omar ‘Is Dead’

Taliban Leader Mullah Omar Died in 2013, Afghans Declare

Rivals of ISIS Attack U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group

Inquiry Into Litvinenko Poisoning Ends With a Nugget of Debris

U.S. Decides To Retaliate Against China’s Hacking


US Hunter ‘Regrets’ Killing Cecil

Pair Due In Court Over Cecil The Lion

Killer Of Cecil The Lion Finds Out That He Is A Target Now, Of Internet Vigilantism

Video: Protesters Call For Hunter’s Extradition


How Climate Change Is Affecting Everything, Everyone, Everywhere—And How We Can Respond

Dry Days Bring Ferocious Start to Fire Season



Let the Force Be With You


Hi Rusty:

Ukraine is among the top ten world leaders in export-oriented software development and despite all the recent  turbulence here, the IT industry showed a 120% increase in value last year. Even the fact that the first IT experts in the history of Ukraine won seats in Parliament is promising for future development.

The other promising fact is that venture capital comes to the country while more conservative investors are still weighing the risks. Another positive in this regard is that new tech start-ups are growing as mushrooms in the forest after rain, meaning more entrepreneurially-inclined people come with ideas on how they can satisfy people’s needs and then go directly to the clients globally with the suggested solutions via various crowd funding platforms. So eventually all are the winners as users receive a product making their life easier.

As an example, Branto Orb, developed in Dnipropetrovsk city, is a smart home keeper, the design of which was inspired by R2-D2 from the world famous “Star Wars”. And that is really not surprising when one sits down in Branto’s office and gazes at a poster of Yoda, also from Star Wars.

The product itself is a home-monitoring robot that can communicate with its master regardless of distance. It can rotate around to give a full 360 HD panoramic view in every room of the house.  It can warn about problems such as water or gas leaks, and can control all appliances while the building’s occupants are away.

IT, then, is one of the most promising emerging industries it Ukraine.  It has the potential to financially empower the country to overcome domestic problems and provide the international community with a worldwide benefit.  That is how it is done and that is how Ukraine intends to do it.

Now, as Yoda on Branto’s wall would tell you, “Let the Force be with you.”

That’s it for this week, then.  Stay cool, Mishka.

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor


Video: On The Front Line With Ukraine Troops


I hope this makes a difference.  Fiat Chrysler hit with record US fine

This has been a long time in coming. Boy Scouts End Ban on Gay Leaders, Over Protests by Mormon Church

This man has an unrivaled capacity for cool.  ‘Nobody Should Be President for Life,’ Obama Tells Africa


This should sear the conscience of every human being on the planet.  Video: Drugged, Kidnapped And Enslaved

America has absolutely no right criticizing how well other nations protect their children when this is true of them.  Epidemic Of US Children Sold For Sex

This must be a fun place to live if you are black and young.  St. Louis County Biased Against Black Juveniles, Justice Department Finds


This reads like something right out of Jack London.  ‘Freezing And Struggling’: Good Luck Finds Pilot Stranded On An Ice Floe For 32 Hours — And Down To His Last Flare

I learned a lot from this.  The strange properties of light

These people have been busy. Interactive Feature: What China Has Been Building in the South China Sea


The Reign Of The Terror Birds

Unearthing Jamestown’s Leaders, And A Mystery

Chimps Nearly Wiped Out Monkeys


The Largest Thing In The Universe

Inside NASA’s Secret Control Room

Lessons From Spaceship Two’s Crash


Bacteria That Breathe Electricity

Where The Cave Dwellers Once Lived

Terrafugia TF-X, Flying Supercar


The Most Beautiful Bikes Of 2015

Thousands Of Hackers Come Together To Reduce Computing Research Time By 37,000 Years

Meet Windows 10, A Throwback With Upgrades In Software And Security


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.


Video: The ‘Smart’ Suit That Can Purify Air

A Romantic Escape, Above The Trees

Obama to Unveil Tougher Climate Plan With His Legacy in Mind


The Limits Of Human Sight

What I Learned At The Weed Dispensary

Revolutionary: Israeli Researcher Says He Can ‘Erase’ Memory Of Addiction

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

Praluent Looks Cheap to Those With Extreme Cholesterol

When Cancer Triggers (or Hides) an Eating Disorder

Catching Up on Lost Sleep

Prison Worker Who Aided Escape Tells of Sex, Saw Blades and Deception

Forget Balance, It’s All Life


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.


‘I Think I Can See A Galaxy!’

How Global Warming Burdens The World’s Women, And How They’re Finding Solutions: A Portrait Series

Video: DIY Astronomers Probe Pluto’s Secrets


 Small Testament Cover  


A tale of insurrection and war in an America of a dark and distant future

For a preview, please go here  

Now available in both paperback and Kindle at

 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. 


Have something you’ve written that needs editing?

How about a resume that needs polishing?

Need some jokes or a speech for a special occasion?

How about a “message” that will bring them to tears or to their feet cheering and contributing?

Are you an international student or professional who wants to improve their written English?

How about an international business which wants to “Americanize” its writing?

What about a special project, like a book, press release, poster or business or product name?

I’ve been in the writing and editing profession for awhile now and there are few creatures made of words, I haven’t captured in print.  So if you have something like that and you want it done quickly, simply and reasonably, shoot me an email at

International clients are not only welcome but encouraged and for more on my background and experiences, as well as a precise listing of services offered, please go here

My name’s Rusty Miller.  I look forward to hearing from you.


The more we learn about them, the cooler these little dudes seem to get.  Video: ScienceTake | The Very, Very Clean Ant

It is good to see the truth coming out about these creatures.  The Truth About Rabbits

We thought this was pretty cool and certainly well deserved.  New lizard named for Attenborough


These Tips For Making Your Home, Your Commute, And Even Your Pet More Climate Friendly

Tiny Birds, Big Drama: Inside The World Of The Birdmen Of Queens

Laos, Destination in Illegal Ivory Trade, So Far Eludes Global Crackdown


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s Wildlife Finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals

Koala Facts – All About Koalas

Field Guide To Whale Sharks

Insider’s Guide To Relocating Giraffes

50 Best Dive Sites In The World

Insider’s Guide To Aging A Whale Or Dolphin

How To Identify Birds And Mammals In The Field »

Alyson Chorley Of The Somerset Wildlife Trust Offers Advice To Attract Wildlife To Your Garden

Discover Kielder: A Guide To This Magical Forest

How To Look After An Orphaned Hippo

How To Create A Wood


Amnesty International


Grittv With Laura Flaunders

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

Mother Nature Network

No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News

Outside Magazine

SeaDoc Society: People & Science Healing The Sea

Showcase Magazine:  Today’s Media For Artful Living

Sierra Club

Wildlife Extra magazine

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace


Sweden Spots a Russian Submarine, 99 Years Late

A Torture Survivor’s Drawings Show The Hell This Country Has Become

Through Your Lens: Tanzania’s Breathtaking Landscapes

111714ABOUT US

The Northstar Journal is an international news, commentary and general interest weekly Internet magazine.  We go out by direct email to readers in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Oceana.  We also have a website linked to both Facebook and Linked-In.  While we do occasionally accept classified advertising we are largely supported by the contributions of our readers.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to donate to the next, please go here  For more information and to receive us in your email, contact us at






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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