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 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

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

August 30, 2015  Vol. 8 No. 50

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Sometimes, in the midst of what seems like an impossibly chaotic week, it helps to take a break and learn from the other creatures around us.  I give you, this week, then, the tale of Bertrand Bucktooth, who was not your ordinary mountain beaver.

Bertrand Bucktooth was not your ordinary mountain beaver.  First of all, his namesake industriousness was not something he took particularly personally.  He preferred, instead, to reflect at some length before initiating anything more provocative than a small yawn.

Second, being just a tad claustrophobic, he was not fond of lodges as a habitat.  He incorporated, instead, an old miner’s cabin on Beavers Creek, at the high end of the canyon by the same name.

And finally, while the other beavers lived on a diet of mostly fish and small rodents, Bertrand was inclined toward roots, berries and woodland herbs.  He also wrote poetry, but that’s a story for another time.

Well, beavers being the tight community they are, you can imagine how Bertrand’s lifestyle went over.  Yuppers.  He was thought to be everything from bewildered to a Bolshevik and by the time he reached adulthood, he was pretty much on his own.

At first, Bertrand liked it that way.  It was hard to feel like an outsider with no one around to remind him.  But as the seasons passed, like autumn leaves in the lowers, he began to miss his own kind, for you see, beavers are no more meant to be hermits than most human beings.

So, his heart grew heavier and his pride leaned out some.  Finally, he found he could no longer bear to be alone and started out one winter morning along the banks of gurgling Beaver Creek, down to his former home.

That afternoon, a blizzard struck Beaver Canyon and sheeted everything so thick it sealed the top of the bucktooth lodges, froze the pond to a depth of ten feet out of fifteen, and plugged up the creek at both ends.  Betrand’s family and neighbours were trapped with a dwindling supply of air.

Bertrand, who’d found an abandoned wolverine’s den to hole up in for the night, awoke at first light and through the ear-shattering stillness, ‘heard’ the cries of his family and community.  Launching himself like a one-person bobsled down the icy, twisting frozen channel Beaver Creek had become, he slid, ricocheted, crashed and careened clear to the bottom, where, of course, he landed in a heap.

It took him a bit, but he finally got the frozen white stuff dusted out of his eyes, and then he surveyed the pond with a seeming lazy gaze.  His dark shiny orbs came to rest on a very old evergreen, an ice cloak of its own, already bending over the pond near the lodges.

Gathering himself up behind a slightly provocative yawn, Bertrand slid down the bank, landed in a heap (of course), took a bit getting his webbed and clawed footing, then ambled on across the frozen pond, fell back on his tail a couple of times trying to climb out, then made his way to that big old leaning evergreen and sat down to rest from his travels.

Off and on for most of the rest of the day, that glacial stillness was interrupted by bursts of a bucktooth chainsaw.  And the crackling of slivers of ice.  There was no rhythm to it.  Nothing you could set your watch by.  It just kept happening.  Sporadically.  But consistently.  Throughout an endless primordial winter day.

And as the blue chill of night begin creeping into the frozen mountains and all life began to twinkle and fade, that venerable evergreen finally toppled.  It shattered the ice in the pond on the first bounce and the noise it made broke the dome of the lodges on the second.  On the third, it got the creeks running again.

After they gathered on the far bank, the other beavers went looking for Bertrand and found him snoring softly against the up-mountain side of what remained of that ancient evergreen.  That evening, his family joined him, kept him warm and fed him fish and small rodents in his sleep.

The next morning, the sun was shining.  And Bertrand Bucktooth wasn’t lonely any more.

Except when he recited poetry which, of course and as you know, is a story for another time, then, eh?

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


To PJ in Seattle, Darcia and James in London, Ontario, Canada, and the Ericcson Clan in Minneapolis-St. Paul, thank you for your donations and your support.  Rusty


The message in this is something we all need to remember. 6 Strategies to Make Powerful Social Change—Starting With “Stay Woke” Our thanks to Sarah Van Gelder of YES magazine for this one.

Go, you guys!  India Virtually Eliminates Tetanus as a Killer

Indeed.  Mississippi’s Recovery After Katrina Holds Lessons for Policy Makers


Shanghai Stocks Continue To Dive As Global Markets Elsewhere Stabilize

From Venezuela To Iraq To Russia, Oil Price Drops Raise Fears Of Unrest

China Falters, And The Global Economy Is Forced To Adapt

As Economies Gasp Globally, U.S. Growth Quickens

Grim Findings In Austria And At Sea Push Migrant Crisis Into Public View


Bombs Strapped To Two Children In Nigerian City Of Damaturu Explode, Killing At Least Six People

38 People Killed In Truck Crash In Swaziland

U.N. Official to Visit Central African Republic Amid Scrutiny Over Peacekeepers


S Korea Firm On Border Broadcasts

Video: Massive Fire At Steel Factory In Japan

Prominent Afghan Officials Are Killed by Taliban in 3 Attacks in South

Thai Police Announce Arrest In Bangkok Shrine Bombing

Anti-Government Protesters Gather In Malaysia, Defying Police Orders

Police Arrest Foreigner, Find Passports in Bangkok Bomb Case


Chinese Shares In Dramatic Slide

Consumer Anxiety In China Undermines Government’s Economic Plans

Beijing Battens Down, Cranks Up Propaganda Ahead Of War Parade

Beijing Battens Down, Cranks Up Propaganda Ahead Of War Parade


Sect’s Death Ritual Clashes With Indian Law


Turkey Launches Its First Airstrikes Of Isis Campaign

Lebanese Protesters Aim For Rare Unity Against Gridlocked Government

Al Jazeera Journalists Sentenced To 3 Years In Prison In Egypt

Erdogan Approves Caretaker Government In Turkey


France Honors Train Heroism

 Farewell Crimea: Ukraine Holidaymakers Flock To Odessa

Things Are Looking Up For Ukraine: Debt Deal Reached

Europe’s Halting Response To Migrant Crisis Draws Criticism As Toll Mounts

Europe to Bolster Railway Security After Thwarted Train Attack


Russia Profile

With Ruble’s Decline, Russian Tourists Gain Appreciation For The Motherland

U.S. Is Seen As Laggard As Russia Asserts Itself In Warming Arctic


On Planet In Distress, A Papal Call To Action


Amazing Animal Sightings In Sussex

Efforts To Save The Cornish Bottlenose Dolphins

Anti-Terrorism Laws Prompt British Library to Distance Itself From Taliban Project

Britain’s Most Famous Cuckoo Has Dropped Off The Radar



Foreign Affairs Found No ‘Red Flags’ For Israel In Saudi Arms Sale

Canadians Believe Economy Is In Recession, Okay With Deficit: Poll

RBC Chief Upbeat On Banking Sector In Face Of Gloomy Economy


Judge Increases Pressure On U.S. To Release Migrant Families

Rhode Island Church Taking Unusual Step To Illuminate Its Slavery Role

Maryland Restricts Racial Profiling In New Guidelines For Law Enforcement

Ex-Broadcaster Kills 2 On Air In Virginia; Takes Own Life

San Francisco Firefighters Become Unintended Safety Net for the Homeless

Mormon Church Will Keep Ties With Boy Scouts Despite Objecting to Gay Leaders

From The Bench, A New Look At Punishment

Owen Labrie of St. Paul’s School Is Found Not Guilty of Main Rape Charge


Young Hands in Mexico Feed Growing U.S. Demand for Heroin

Residents Take Canoes as Venezuela Expands Border Closure

The Mysterious Death Of Alberto Nisman

Baseball’s Last Cuban Escapees

Dominica Digs Out From Storm Damage That Killed at Least 20


Local Nets, Not Faraway Markets, Key To New Zealand’s Dolphin Decline



Palmyra Temple ‘Blown Up By ISIS’


California Beats Water Conservation Goal for 2nd Straight Month

Philippines: Typhoon Takes Deadly Toll

OUR WINDOW ON EUROPE  by Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Olya is on holiday in Odessa and will return, fortnightly, next week  Rusty.

OUR WINDOW ON THE EAST by Sara Goldstein

Saturday, August 22, 2015

It is the end of my third week here. In just a few days we will be finished with training, and school will begin one week from tomorrow!

I have been placed at Chong Qing Elementary School, a school that has 435 students in grades 1-6. I will be teaching English to students in grades 1-5.  I have already met some of the teachers and am so excited!

At least twice a month, I will also facilitate what Fulbright calls “English Camp.”  Along with 3 other ETAs, I will lead one-day English workshops for students at different schools all around the county. These are all schools that do not have “foreign teachers,” as we are referred to here, and so they applied to Fulbright to be granted one day of programming led by native English speakers. We will be visiting a wide range of schools, including tiny schools and schools in the mountains.  Our group is currently working to develop our curriculum; we will pick one topic and then modify it as necessary for each school visit (depending on students’ age and English-speaking ability).

I have enrolled in a basic Chinese class, which starts on the first day of school! I have also found a language partner whom I met this past week.  She is wonderful and her English is fluent, so we plan to exchange Hebrew and Chinese lessons 🙂

For more of this exceptional narrative please go here


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Frankly, good.  Maybe the attitude will catch on elsewhere.  Europe Reels From More Migrant Deaths on Land and Sea

With all due respect to our southern neighbor, this is not good news.  Young Hands in Mexico Feed Growing U.S. Demand for Heroin


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Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Sees A Mesmerizing River Of Lava

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In The Search For The Perfect Sugar Substitute, Another Candidate Emerges

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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.


In Alaska, Obama Will Be in Middle of Oil and Climate Change Battle

California Dam Lets Water Shared By Farms Flow To Salmon

China’s Carbon Dioxide Emissions May Have Been Overstated by More Than 10%

Ex-Executive Pleads Guilty In Toxic Spill In West Virginia

Methane Leaks in Natural-Gas Supply Chain Far Exceed Estimates, Study Says

U.S. Is Set to Propose Regulation to Cut Methane Emissions


Hossam Haick’s Revolutionary Device Detects Deadly Diseases, Cancer, On The Breath

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Israeli Surgical Adhesive Makes Sure All Stays Sealed Inside


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.



Lest we forget

To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Ame at SpringggRain@aol.com


Amazing Film Of Sky At Night — A Giant Honey Moon Streaks Across Stunning Us Rock Formations

Bizarre ‘Creatures Of The Deep’

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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 amazon.com

 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 minstrel312@aol.com

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 http://nstarmed.wordpress.com

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


Why is this starting to remind me of a certain sci fi movie starring Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell?  Can Apes Really Talk Like Humans? Apparently a gorilla is on the cusp of learning to talk. BBC Earth’s Melissa Hogenboom looks at the evidence

With all due respect to our readers who do, I am sooo glad I do not live where these guys do.  Video: ScienceTake | How the Boa Kills — Understanding how a boa constrictor’s grip is deadly

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Born Free Launches “What Elephants Like” Website, Video And Book Aimed At Children

Double Whammy For Native Species When Humans Alter The Landscape »

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Attracting Wildlife To Your Garden

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Discover Kielder: A Guide To This Magical Forest

Dive Sites In The World – 50 Best

Diving With Marine Wildlife

Identifying Birds And Mammals In The Field

Koala Facts

Looking After An Orphaned Hippo

A Spotter’s Guide To Mustelids

Red Panda Facts

 Rehabilitating An Ex-Circus Lion

Relocating Giraffes

Responsible Tiger Watching

Sumatran Rhinoceros

Whale Sharks – A Field Guide

White Rhino Facts

Wildlife Finder – BBC


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

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World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace


Insect Thought Extinct Found In Edinburgh

Study Finds Surprising Byproduct of Middle Eastern Conflicts: Cleaner Air


The Northstar Journal is an international news, commentary and general interest weekly Internet magazine reaching 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 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 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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