News & Commentary, From You Guys, Our Window On Europe; Olya Reflects on Her Odessa Holiday, Sara’s Fullbright Year: Taichung, Taiwan, 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
September 6, 2015 Vol. 8 No. 51
ONE OF THE MOST HEART-BREAKING WEEKS THIS PLANET HAS SEEN IN A VERY LONG TIME
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, now that the Labor Day weekend is waning and the house I share with three other men until year’s end is quiet again as well, it is both safe and provident to reflect on what has undeniably been one of the most heart-breaking weeks this planet has seen in a very long time.
I’ve talked to you guys about how I feel about immigration and why. I am the son of the Masada and the Diaspora and the Famine and The Troubles both. I was fortunate enough to have been born in a place where freedom is safe and raised in another where it was when I came here. I repaid the debt by serving in the armed forces and ended up realizing that wars are mistakes with personal and political consequences far beyond the carnage itself.
Since none of us lives on an island alone, what happens to those victims of war we are now calling ~ when we are in a mood to be nice about it ~ immigrants or refugees is in fact, our responsibility. That seems to be the judgment of the European Union and the growing sentiment of the entire International Community.
This tragedy could very well be a turning point in our approach, as a species, to the problems we cause one another and other life on this planet. It could just mean that we ~ as individuals and as nations ~ are accepting responsibility . making amends and correcting for course.
I would like to think this also means that one day ~ perhaps not in the next three decades or so of what is left of my life ~ but one day, we will become as adept at making peace as we have been at making war.
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
I loved your beaver story and shared it with my children. Did you write that? I’m just curious. Janine S., Brighton Beach, UK.
Thank you very much, Janine. I wrote the words but the idea came from the Canadian editor of the magazine in 2000, when we were a monthly. Shannon had a marvelous ability to spin silver from starlight and Bertrand was a favourite of her two children. Rusty
Love it when you tell your critter and Native American stories. DWS, Des Moines, WA
It is a nice break from listening to me shout at the wind, isn’t it? ROFL
Our thanks once again to PJH for his support, with the assurance it will one day be repaid in full, if not in kind.
And a “bless your heart” to GU for the donation. When you’re a reader supported publication, the clink of coin in the sugar can is right up there with Pines of Rome and the cry of a newborn in beauty. Thank you very much.
For many Americans, this will come as some surprise. For too many others, it will not. Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities
This reminds me of a time when America too had open borders. Migrant Crisis Tests Core European Value: Open Borders
Because some of you live here, this is certainly good news. Eurozone Jobless Rate Lowest Since 2012
Open Source: Hungarian Leader Rebuked For Saying Muslim Migrants Must Be Blocked ‘To Keep Europe Christian’
THE REFUGEE CRISIS
ESPIONAGE AND TERRORISM
WEATHER AND CLIMATE CHANGE
OUR WINDOW ON EUROPE by Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor
REFLECTIONS ON AN ODESSA HOLIDAY
Sky and water are the main attractions of Odessa. And its beaches are great place to meditate early in the morning when only seagulls crying like babies make your company.
I found the city a bit untended, like it had better times before. It is an interesting mix when a few centuries old architecture with obvious influence of Mediterranean culture are neighboring abandoned Soviet style buildings.
The town history routes from antique settlements of Fifth Century, but officially the modern Odessa was founded in 1794 by decree of Russian Empress Catherine II after Ottoman Sultan defeat in the Russian-Turkey war.
That influenced a lot of territories of Eastern Europe. Quite a few cities were started by a successful Russian couple, Empress Catherine the Great and her favorite duke, Potemkin.
By the way recently Hollywood star Angelina Jolie announced plans to produce a film devoted to this iconic part.
While I was here, a big fire took place in Odessa this week when a luxury 22-storey building was set on fire Firemen could literally do nothing as their ladders were too short for such a building.
Okay, that’s it for now. Stay safe, Mishka.
SARA’S FULLBRIGHT YEAR: TAICHUNG, TAIWAN by Sara Goldstein
This week has been our transition week. We finished training this past Monday and start school this coming Monday. We have been busy preparing, meeting with our co-teachers and administrators at school, continuing to further set up and settle into our apartments, and using our bit of less-scheduled time to explore the city.
I spent most of the workday at school on Friday, and I am so excited to begin working at Chong Qing. The teachers and staff have all been very welcoming, and we had the chance to start working together yesterday. The school is trying something new with Grade 5 this year. In years past, it has been difficult to teach classes that are made up of such a wide range of abilities, so this year Grade 5 students will be split into three classes according to their English language skills.
Yesterday I worked with Patty and Pauline, two of my LETs (Local English Teachers; our acronym for our co-teachers) to develop the screening test that we will use on Monday. It was great to have the chance to be able to help these teachers during the last-minute craze of getting school ready for the students, and a wonderful experience to collaborate on our first project together. Six of us also went out for lunch, and it was nice to get to know everyone a little bit more.
For more of this exceptional narrative please go here
As remarkable as it may seem, history sometimes changes dramatically for the better with gestures like this. Finest kind. VIDEO: One Egyptian’s Message Of Love To Israel
This is one of those “if it doesn’t move you, you need to ask the Wiz for a heart” moments. History Channel Host Helps His Teacher Find a Kidney
Well, this one has sure rattled some proverbial cages. Obama Renames Mount McKinley As Denali I like the idea. I live in what was once known as the Puget Sound. Now I’m living on the shores of the Salish Sea. My only reservation with this is that we need to make sure the new name can be pronounced by most people. Among the two more challenging I’ve come across in the Pacific Northwest are Umpqua (Oregon) and Puyallup (Washington)
This person no longer belongs in Canada. Former hospital clerk in Toronto pleads guilty to selling personal data of maternity patients
This is what happens when the ill bred take to the woods. Concerns grow about hikers behaving badly on Appalachian Trail
Satan’s warming up the coals for this one. God forgive me, but I’d really like to watch. Anti-Semitic murderer gives Kansas jurors a Nazi salute after conviction for killings at Jewish sites
OUR WORLD AND BEYOND
Interesting question, this one. Are we addicted to technology?
The answer to this question just might surprise you. Is the world running out of space?
I learned a lot from this. Choosing the Best Smartphone Plan for You
Do not read this too close to bed time. One of the US’ greatest mysteries
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.
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
Parents are bows and children are arrows
and we just have to let them fly into this world.
(thanks to Olya for sharing)
To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Ame at SpringggRain@aol.com
BEST OF THE NET
WRATH OF THE USS TESTAMENT
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.
NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES
Whatever your editing, writing, tutoring or consulting needs, chances are good I can handle them. Negotiable rates, flexible payment plan, Paypal and from your email to me and back. Simple, friendly, professional. I also accept barter and trade. If you need it done quickly, simply and for a price tailored to your budget, shoot me a brief project description at email@example.com I’ll get back to you one way or another within 24 hours. For a list of specific services provided, please go to http://nstarmed.wordpress.com My name is Merritt Scott Miller and my friends and clients call me “Rusty”. I look forward to hearing from you.
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
I thought the headline of this one was cute too. Video: Apiarists Stung As Bee Thefts Increase
I have honestly ~ and no offense intended ~ associated Scotland with predatory cats. I do now, however. Scottish Wildcat Action Website Launched
This is something that needs to be taken more seriously. Double Whammy For Native Species When Humans Alter The Landscape
NORTHSTAR ALL CREATURES LIBRARY
THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL ENDORSES & RECOMMENDS:
YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP
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