News & Commentary, From You Guys, Our Window On Europe, Our Window On Asia, Good Examples, Bad Examples, Our World & Beyond, The Green Agenda, Health, Lifestyle, Northstar Comics, Thought Of The Week, Best Of The Net, All Creatures Great & Small, Northstar Endorses, You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up, About Us
August 23, 2015 Vol. 8 No. 49
NOT ONE OF RUSSIA’S BETTER IDEAS
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, not surprisingly, tourism is apparently way down at Black Sea resorts since the former Soviet Union took the Crimean Peninsula away from the Ukraine.
Their public relations people in the Kremlin came up with a rather unique pitch to turn this around. They are appealing to the nationalism in their citizens. Russia’s Pitch to Vacationers: Crimea Is for Patriots
With all due respect to Vlad and the rest of the commissars, good luck with that. I have been to places where patriots gather to relax and partake of godly pleasures like a good swim and stuff.
For the most part, I have observed that they are not into communing with nature and are a rather boisterous lot. Conversationally, they appear to be just a little multi-subject challenged. It’s like there are just three colors in the rainbow; red, white and blue. Their taste in music runs to songs that one can march to and/or sing along with, but you can’t dance to any of it. And if you cannot dance, what is the point of any of it, right?
I have also noticed that many of them are so focused on their nationalistic vision that they know little or nothing about the rest of the world, which in their minds, is okay because America is a big country and there’s no need to live anywhere else than there.
Put walls around all of it with a big bridge from Fairbanks to Fargo. Make it tougher to break in or out of than the legendary Siegfried Line. Mann those walls with dedicated patriots of poor education but good dental hygiene. And turn America into the biggest and most diverse human reservation in the history of our species.
That’s your average super patriot’s wet dream, folks. Keep the pure of heart on one side of that great wall and the unwashed infidels on the other. And God or Allah forgive you if you forget who is which on what side of the wall.
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
FROM YOU GUYS
In a message dated 8/21/2015 4:30:52 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, PlatinmTabbyRose@aol.com writes:
Rusty… I have been wanting to drop you a quick note… You have been on my mind all week… watching the news of all the horrible fires up there… I can’t even imagine the “Hell” all the residents are going through… Please know you have been in My Heart and Prayers… God’s Blessings Serena
Serena, thank you very much. And I’ll pass that down the line. Here in Seattle, we’re on the other side of the Cascades. We refer to where Lake Chelan is as “east of the mountains”
As you know, we are a small state, population-wise, so nothing happens anywhere in Washington that does not impact us all. Our first responders are among the best in the world and our legislature and local news media are proactive and responsible.
But I think sometimes we all need to be reminded that we also live here by choice, Serena. What is true of us now is true of every part of not only America but everywhere else.
Some handle it well. Some handle it not so well. But since the dawn of human history, this has always been the case. If there were lessons to be learned from all of this, we would have learned them long ago.
For all of that, your intuition serves you well, Serena. The rains always come eventually and the ground after always breaks green. Human hearts are often much slower to heal and I suspect that is not a bad thing.
Your thoughts and prayers are part of that healing process, Serena.
Thank you and God Bless You.
This may not be the most important thing happening in the world today, but its implications could be among the most profound. Bedtime Stories For Young Brains
This might explain a great deal. The Man Who Can’t Feel Emotions
The longer we hang out with these folks, the cooler they seem to become. Saving 100,000 Acres/156 Square Miles/404 Square Kilometers
ESPIONAGE AND TERRORISM
TRAIN ATTACK IN FRANCE
WEATHER AND CLIMATE CHANGE
OUR WINDOW ON EUROPE — by Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor
photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/ArchiDesign
This week, I want to congratulate and celebrate United Nations World Humanitarian Day. My total admiration to all organizations like Unicef or Human Rights Watch working throughout the world and now Ukraine and to all people who are doing this very important work. And I really appreciate the Northstar Journal sharing these values. Please enjoy dedicated to this day this astonishing video of Beyonce It is so very inspirational. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i41qWJ6QjPI
And just to prove that in life there is always place for beauty here is a picture of a Czech Grandma who paints her village
Stay cool, my cousin Mishka.
OUR WINDOW ON THE EAST by Sara Goldstein
Editor’s Note: Sara is a Fullbright English Teaching Assistant embarking on a year in Taiwan. She and her sister have been readers of this magazine since they were in high school and their mom, Amy, is the creator of Thoughts of the Day/Week. Sara’s a fine writer in her own right and we are both proud and honoured to welcome her aboard the Goodship Northstar. Rusty
Nĭ hăo (hello) from Taichung!
It has been quite an exciting first week here. We just completed our first week of training, which will continue through the rest of this month. Training so far has included workshops about education in Taiwan, Chinese language, classroom management, teaching English as a foreign language, and Taiwanese culture. Our coordinators have also helped us accomplish settling-in tasks such as getting Taiwanese SIM cards for our phones (we were in a tiny shop for two hours trying to figure out all of our phone plans!), buying bus passes (the bus here is free!), and opening local bank accounts.
There are 10 Fulbright ETA (English Teaching Assistant) Grantees in our group in Taichung. There are about 60 ETAs in all of Taiwan; we are spread out in five locations around the island and will meet formally all together in a few weeks. In our group, nearly everyone has just graduated this past May with their Bachelor’s degree, and I am the only one who has my Master’s. This helps to balance things out because I am also the only one who has never been to Asia or studied Chinese! Everyone in my group has studied Chinese at the college level, studied abroad and/or traveled in Asia for an extended period of time, and/or has family who lives here. So the nine other Taichung ETAs have the advantages of knowing the language and culture well, and I have the advantage of significant experience in the classroom. It is a good balance and so far we have all been sharing and learning quite a bit from each other. Not surprisingly, it is an extremely intelligent, well-traveled, and motivated group. I look forward to continuing to work, learn, and travel with the other Taichung ETAs!
Below are some pictures to illustrate a bit of what Taichung is like.
Everyday life in Taichung: Mopeds are called “scooters” here, and there are so many!!! It’s great to see parents riding with their kids, dogs balancing on scooters, baskets piled up by drivers’ feet … people here make anything and everything fit onto their scooters.
For those pictures and more of this exceptional narrative please go here
Let us hope someone pays attention to this one. Simple Solution Proposed To Save Blue Whales From Being Struck By Ships
It is going to take a lot of cool to beat this one, gang. International Nobel Prize Winners Travel To Israel To Mentor Students
I am sure even Shell will ultimately regret this. As solar takes hold, consumers will remember that “Big Oil” had a chance to exercise a conscience and failed, utterly, to do so. I, personally, am boycotting anything Shell has anything to do with. Shell Gets Final Permit For Arctic
This needs to stop, Your Majesty. Bottlenose Dolphins And Seals Are Being Harassed In Cornwall
Not at all cool. Macedonia Fires Tear Gas At Migrants
OUR WORLD AND BEYOND
This is a good reminder that evolution is ongoing. Chimps living in the Stone Age
Do not read this real close to bed time. Earth’s most poisonous plants
Or This One. Atlas, A Humanoid Robot, Takes A Walk In The Woods
HERE ON EARTH
FROM JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE
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
HEALTH & LIFESTYLE
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.
THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK by Amy Goldstein
Life is not something we go through or that happens to us; it’s something we create by our decisions. ~ Kathleen Dean Moore
How I love this man! ~ Mister Rogers Talks About How Moms Feed Their Babies – YouTube
To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Ame at SpringggRain@aol.com
BEST OF THE NET
A tale of insurrection and war in an America of a dark and distant future
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.
RUSTY MILLER, WRITER/EDITOR FOR HIRE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Rusty Miller. I look forward to hearing from you.
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
We need to help these little folks. Red Pandas Are Adorable and in Trouble
This is fascinating. Secrets Of Nature’s City-Dwellers
This is awesome. The Rarest Wolves On Earth
NORTHSTAR ALL CREATURES LIBRARY
THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL ENDORSES & RECOMMENDS:
YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP
The Northstar Journal is an international news, commentary and general interest weekly Internet magazine reaching readers in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Oceana. We also have a website linked to both Facebook and Linked-In. While we occasionally accept classified advertising, we are otherwise entirely reader-supported. 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 email@example.com