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 Olya: African Notebook, Good Examples, Bad Examples, Our World & Beyond, The Green Agenda, Health & Lifestyle, 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

100% Reader Supported.  Donations Accepted Here.

October 18, 2015  Vol. 9 No. 5

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – Fan Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  We are privileged here in Seattle to be the home of an internationally renowned “green” think tank which blends science, technology and a “get wet and swim with your local orcas” approach to creating a more environmentally appropriate world for all of us.

Founded by Alan Durning in 1993, Sightline Institute has a great daily email newsletter with environmental articles from around the region.  They also host open houses in their downtown Seattle office where the public can meet and schmooze with them.  They also have a prominent networking position with such regional organizations as The SeaDoc Society, YES magazine and this publication.

I cite Sightline on the issue of climate change because I find a remarkable similarity between their philosophy and the climate change points Pope Francis has been making.  Among them:

Any harm done to the environment is harm done to humanity.  The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. 

What is at stake is our own dignity.  Climate change dramatically affects us, for it has to do with the ultimate meaning of our earthly sojourn. 

Now is the time for an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time, protecting nature. 

I am convinced that we can make a difference.  I am confident we can find a solution.

According to a BBC report, there are about 1.2 billion Catholics on the planet.  I hope it does not take all of them to persuade the rest of us to do what we know we need to do.

Take care, stay well and have a great week, gang.



This is why all of us who love especially dolphins, porpoises, orcas and whales protest when any sonar testing is done where they live.  Listening to the sounds of the deep:  How undersea noises can have deadly results 

This would certainly explain a lot, would it not?  Humans may be a hybrid species

Is it just me or does this seem a contradiction in terms?  AK governor: We need oil drilling to pay for climate change damage



The Chains Of Mental Illness In West Africa

A Wild Portrait Of South Africa

No new cases of Ebola in West Africa last week for the first time since March 2014

No New Cases Of Ebola In West Africa Last Week For The First Time Since March 2014

Migrants Diverted To Slovenia After Hungary Closes Border


Video: Leisure Time In North Korea’s Capital

Myanmar Signs Peace Deal With Rebels

Malaysia Arrests Kosovan For ‘IS Hack’


Warehouse Blast Rattles Tianjin, Two Months After An Explosion In The Chinese Port City Killed 165 People

China Hits Back At US Over Islands

Why China Builds Giant Dams

Where Modern China Began 


Indian Writers Return Awards To Protest Government Silence On Violence


Three Killed In Jerusalem Attacks

Video: UK Pensioner Faces Public Flogging In Saudi

Palestinians Torch Jewish Holy Site

UN Nuke Agency: Iran Agrees To Allow Tougher Inspections


The Flussbad Plan In Berlin Re-imagines A Canal For The People

Video: Why Odessa Is Crucial To Ukraine Reform

Russian-Made Missile Exploded Less Than A Metre From MH17’s Cockpit, Dutch Investigators Say

Turkey Suspends Ankara Security Chiefs

Pressure Grows On Merkel As Strain From Refugees Increases

Greece’s Big Challenge: Fix Bad Loans Without Destroying Banks 


Frozen Zones: How Russia Maintains Influence In The Post-Cold War Era

Russia And Allies To Raise Guard At Borders With Afghanistan


Pope Asks For Forgiveness For Scandals

France In Stalemate With Vatican Over Nomination Of Envoy Said To Be Gay


Britain’s Brainiest City?

Britain Is Bending Over Backward To Prove Its Friendship To China

Bumblebee Is UK’s Favourite Insect

British Museum’s Director Follows A Fascination To Germany

Letter From Europe: The Great British Immigration Debate



Giant Panda At The Toronto Zoo Gives Birth To First Giant Pandas Born In Canada

Canada’s senior public officials targeted by little-known corruption law

Valeant Probed By U.S. Prosecutors Over Drug Pricing Concerns

Caterpillar To Close Ontario Locomotive Office, Sets Layoffs


2 Outside Reviews Say Cleveland Officer Acted Reasonably In Shooting Tamir Rice, 12

California Law Will Automatically Register Drivers to Vote

Two Officers Were Shot; Wisconsin Store Liable for Gun Sale

Why Hasn’t The US Eradicated The Plague?

For Third Time In 40 Years, Social Security Benefits Won’t Increase


Rise In Women Returning To Domestic Work A Sign Of Tough Economic Times In Brazil

Ecuador: Government Loses Bank Case

Marlon James, Jamaican Novelist, Wins Man Booker Prize

Argentina: Former Transportation Official Found Guilty In Graft Case

Ciudad Juárez Journal: Portrayal Of Juárez In ‘Sicario’ Vexes Residents Trying To Move Past Dark Times

A Steinway From New York Meets Virtuosos In Havana 

C.I.A. Believed Pinochet Ordered 1976 Assassination In U.S., Memo Reveals

Guatemala: More Bodies Are Recovered In Neighborhood Hit By Landslide

Chile: Documents Point To Direct Role By Pinochet In 1976 Killings In U.S. 


Nauru ‘Rape Victim’ Flies To Australia

Ethereal Images Of Australia Seen From The International Space Station 



In Major Shift, Obama Will Keep 5,500 Troops In Afghanistan Into 2017

A Terror Worse Than The Taliban


Turkish PM Blames Ankara Bombing On ISIS

Afghan ISIS Branch Makes Inroads In Battle Against Taliban

Where In The World Is This Argentinian Spymaster Hiding? In The U.S., Argentina Says.


The Tech Sector’s Best Innovations For Solving The Syrian Refugee Crisis

EU States Back Turkey Migrants Deal

As Winter Looms, Germany Struggles To Find Homes For Refugees

Migrants Diverted To Slovenia After Hungary Closes Border 


Putin Defends Russia’s Syria Strikes

Syrian Kurds ‘Razing Captured Villages’

Video: Saving Syria’s Refugee Children

US-Russia Talks After Syria ‘Near Miss’

World Bank To Help Syria’s Neighbours

Turkey Downs Drone Near Syrian Border; Russia Denies Aircraft Lost

Pentagon Says Khorasan Leader Killed In Syria Air Strike 


This Is How Rising Seas Will Reshape The Face Of The Us

How Indonesia’s Staggering Fires Are Making Global Warming Worse

Climate Change Could Triple Amazon Drought, Study Finds

Climate Change Is Getting Worse — And U.N. Climate Reports Are Getting Harder To Understand

Why The Earth’s Past Has Scientists So Worried About The Atlantic Ocean’s Circulation

Why Scientists Are So Worried About The Ice Shelves Of Antarctica

Video: Five Dead After Southern Europe Rains

Climate Change May Be Abrupt

El Niño Means More Drought For Eastern WA

NOAA: Another Warm Winter Likely For Western U.S., South May See Colder Weather 

FROM OLYAOlya Bereza – European Associate Editor



Hello Mish:

Last week I was really glad to hear about the Nobel Peace Prize going to Tunisia.  To slightly change that famous Leo Tolstoy quote: “All happy societies are alike; each unhappy society is unhappy in its own way.” Having troubles in one’s own motherland makes people more empathetic with those who experience turbulence too. That is how I became connected with one of my acquaintance.  Originally from Tunisia; he was very compassionate about Ukraine. The last two years here have been hard so having a good conversation with somebody who experienced the same pressure in society really helped.

His message was that “there is a real need for a comprehensive forgiveness. When roots, ethnic origins, religion, politics, money are on board, things get messed up. People should forgive otherwise it will be an endless thing.

“These lessons cannot be drawn immediately; it is at the level of generations, if they really study and analyze critically history then hoping time and environment will be better for our kids”.

I praise those in Tunisia where the critical situation was turned into constructive way. Taking into account the dramatic swing of pendulum for other countries on the continent leading to recent immigration flow to Europe, it is high time to give even more attention to Africa’s potential. The countries here are all so different but each of them unique in a way. It was interesting to find out some facts about them in our conversations:

“In Tunisia the weather is hot.  Its summer temperature varies between 30 to – 43C/86 – 109F.  But the good thing is that they have beautiful beaches there.

In Chad, you will have a bottle of boiled water with you as in 45C/113F degrees, water cannot be kept fresh. But people here are very kind and like colorful gowns. Chinese are running the oil fields there. Everywhere are Chinese restaurants, hotels.

Senegal with Dakar as capital city is a very beautiful country. The northern African environment is good.

Mali is really poor…

In fact the old colonials still influence the African countries. As most of Central and West African countries were colonized by France they are still dependent on France and their economy is strongly linked to Europe and France in particular even their currency is linked to Euro”.

To recall history, about 70 years ago when Europe was in ruins after WW II, capital and will were put into the well-known Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program) to restore the various economies. Maybe now, when many countries of Africa are devastated and urging people to migrate, another similar global plan or program needs to be implemented.

Perhaps it will not be one plan but a synergy of plans. At the moment, there are  scattered endeavours by a few conscious people like my Tunisia acquaintance engaged in the implementing of agricultural projects in those countries. Or as another example- ISG entrepreneurs in West Africa seeking for cooperation with others to create jobs and reduce poverty.

As it is said, every drop in the ocean counts.

That’s it for this week.  Stay warm, Mishka.



This is a fine and appropriate tribute now, is it not?  Giving thanks, and giving back: As a refugee, I know there’s nothing more Canadian

Despite an early adolescent and entirely prurient fondness for Hugh Hefner’s magazine, I now believe that this is a good idea.  Playboy ‘to drop’ naked women images

I love it when cool stuff happens where I live. King County buys hundreds of apartments to keep them affordable


At least he manned up to it.  Astronomer Apologizes For Behavior

Shame on you guys.  Outrage over China cabin crew ‘ritual’

Nothing like a little more exploitation of the most vulnerable.  Sigh.  Video: Gangs Sell Fake Passports To Refugees


Uh huh.  Ooookay.  Watch Tesla’s new autopilot handle highway driving

Why am I not surprised?  First drones.  Now this.  Pandora never had so many bees in her box.  California DMV official speaks candidly about the headache of regulating self-driving cars

On the other hand, this is reassuring, for those of us who can afford one.  Volvo’s CEO Won’t Eliminate The Steering Wheel Anytime Soon


Video: In Hong Kong, Neon’s Fading Glow

Why Earth’s Future Will Depend On How We Build Our Cities

‘A Wall of Mud’ in California, and Warnings to Heed El Niño


Video: Jupiter’s Red Spot Revealed In 4k

Who Will Become The First Martian?

What It Would Take To Drink The Water On Mars


The Big Trends In Synthetic Biology You Need To Know

First Fully Transparent Solar Cell Could Make All Windows A Power Source

The World’s First Underwater Club — You’re As Likely To Encounter A Killer Shark As A DJ Killing The Dance Floor

How Artificial Intelligence Is Moving From The Lab To Your Kid’s Playroom


Behind the European Privacy Ruling That’s Confounding Silicon Valley

This Electric Scooter For Urban Commuters Coasts On Its Own

Why A Taxi Service Could Make The Most Sense For Google’s Self-Driving Technology

Video: Hands-Free, On The Highway


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.


Chicago’s Top Power Company Wants To Install A Million Smart Thermostats In Homes By 2020

A Canadian Power Plant Set Out To Prove Coal Can Be Clean. Did It?

Shell’s Oil Rigs Leave The Arctic—And Will Skip Seattle

Toyota Aims To Nearly Eliminate Gasoline-Only Cars By 2050

Four Of The ‘Greenest’ Hospitals In The Us Are In Seattle

Greenpeace Turns To Owning Mines And Powers Plants To Keep Coal In The Ground


Am I More Likely To Get Cancer Because I’m Tall?

Popular Exercise Found To Accelerate Aging And Cause Middle-Age Weight Gain

13 Lifestyles That Can Lead To Depression

Healthy People Can Now Order A $299 ‘Liquid Biopsy’ Blood Test For Cancer. Should You Get It?

Video: 8 Trends To Emerge From Fashion Month

British Nurse’s Re-Hospitalization, Reports Of Blindness And Other ‘Post-Ebola Syndrome’ Complications Haunt Survivors

Scientists Say ‘Runner’s High’ Is Like A Marijuana High

Ebola Lingers In Semen For Nine Months

A Jolt From Peanut Butter: The Newest Way To Get A Caffeine Fix

Take A Walk: 11 Ways To Build The Healthy Habit

It Took Me Years To Believe That Black Lives Matter. Now Here’s What I Need From You


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.


Leaf~in hand

Sweet stuff that of course has me all teary:

BBC News – Woman dies after farewell to horse at Wigan hospital


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


Video: Amtrak’s Gateway to the Hudson

The Polar Bears Are Coming To Town

Video: Cars Engulfed In Enormous US Mudslide


Small Testament Cover


A super power no longer, a resource hungry and repressive America faces a Latin American armada rampaging its west coast and a strong, silent and powerful Canada manning the North Wall.  The fires of rebellion burn in the Pacific Northwest and it is into this crucible and forge that the cybernetic patrol boat Testament and her crew of three men and three women are thrust.  Individuals of duty and conscience both, when they join the other side, all Hell breaks loose.  A rollicking adventure for anyone who loves the sea, a good yarn and characters which spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves.  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. 


Whatever your editing, writing, tutoring or consulting needs, chances are 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.  International clients encouraged.  If you need it done quickly, simply and for a price tailored to your budget, shoot me a brief project description at minstrel312@aol.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.


This is fascinating.  The bird that’s more valuable than ivory

I found this absolutely amazing.  More than 200 new species found in Eastern Himalayas, including a ‘walking’ fish

I found this a little weird.  This Fish Is Breastfeeding


Gatekeeper tops butterfly count

Congo’s Wildlife Rangers Launch Offensive Against Armed Groups Trafficking Charcoal In Gorilla Zone Of Virunga

Major Wildlife Trafficking Ring Foiled By Beijing Forest Police


The Cornel Lab of Ornithology’s October newsletter

The Cornel Lab of Ornithology’s FeederWatch October newsletter

The SeaDoc Society’s October newsletter


Amnesty International


GritTV With Laura Flaunders

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

Mother Nature Network

National Wildlife Federation

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

Sightline Institute

The Sun Magazine

Wildlife Extra magazine

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace


Hunter Survives Six Days In Outback By Eating Ants After Getting Lost In Searing Heat While Pursuing A Camel

Texas Boy Arrested For Making Clock Meets Sudan’s President, An Accused War Criminal

Are You Willing To Wear A Bikini To Clean Toxins From Water?


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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