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 ~  Sometimes There Are Tragedies Beyond Words, Good Examples, Bad Examples, Our World & Beyond, The Green Agenda, Health & Lifestyle, Sara’s Fullbright Year: Taichung, Taiwan, 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.

November 15, 2015  Vol. 9 No. 9

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it has certainly not been a fun weekend in Paris.  We have responded to several Facebook posts by reminding everyone of the legacy France and America share.  Plain fact is, if it had not been for the support of France, America’s favorite drink would still be tea, no offense to the Queen.

We also said that we join the world community itself in mourning this tragedy, that we hoped that the desire for revenge was tempered by the respect for justice that has made each and both nations great, and then we posted a link to the French national anthem.

Paris will survive and grow stronger for that is the way of the French.  And if we choose, the war against ISIS will continue, sword against scimitar, until blood washes over an entire world which has seen entirely too much of it.

If this is what we really want, this is what we will get.  Until we devote as much to making peace as we do to waging war, there is not a home in any city on the planet that will be truly safe.  Until we provide solid and substantial alternatives to those who support ISIS and terror in general, this tragic and bloody pantheon will parade on.

Until we make life on earth as safe and as provident as the Hereafter, those with nothing here now, will seek a better life in the next.  I wonder, sometimes, if I could honestly blame them.

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



When we take the battle for these creatures to every front page on the planet, we will be correcting for a mistake we should never have made in the first place.  That these kind, sensitive and sentient creatures have managed to forgive us is to me all the proof necessary that there is compassion somewhere in the Universe.  Seaworld San Diego To Phase Out Killer Whale Show

This is absolutely good news.  She’s been a hero of mine for a long time.  Myanmar Leader Congratulates Suu Kyi

I found this a grim reminder that this could happen to any coastal city in the world now.  7 Mind Blowing Underwater Cities


Warming Set To Breach 1c Threshold

‘We Are Moving Into Uncharted Territory At A Frightening Speed’: Greenhouse Gases Hit New High

A Global Academy’s Crash Course Makes Angels Out Of Investors


Video: Drought Takes Terrible Toll In Ethiopia

Bility Rejected As Candidate By Fifa

25 African Countries Unite And Call For Immediate Action To Save Elephants »


The Asian City That Never Sleeps

Thousands March In Kabul Over Killings

Myanmar Army ‘Will Work With Government’

A Poet’s Election Victory Over A Former General Speaks Of A New Myanmar

Tens Of Thousands March In Seoul, Calling For Ouster Of President

Taiwan’s President Defends Meeting With Chinese Leader

U.S. Sanctions 4 North Koreans, Including Myanmar Envoy

Cambodia: Court Orders Arrest Of Opposition Leader

News Analysis: With Aung San Suu Kyi’s Rise, China And Myanmar Face New Relationship

South Korea’s Top Court Upholds Life Term For Captain In Ferry Sinking

News Analysis: Myanmar Generals Set The Stage For Their Own Exit

Nancy Pelosi Made Rare Visit To Tibet, China Says

Uzbekistan Releases Political Prisoner After 21 Years


Front-Page Warning For China’s Party Cadres: Buy The Paper, Or Else

  1. And A.: Ezra F. Vogel On China’s Shifting Relations With Japan And Taiwan

Rights Lawyers In China Routinely Face Abuse, Report Says


A Castle Receives A Weekly Delivery Of Delhi’s Secret Desires

Shedding Light On Indian Business

Why India Is About To Move To The ‘Center Stage’ Of World Energy


Obama And Netanyahu: A Story Of Slights And Crossed Signals

Security Of Israel To Be Focus Of Netanyahu’s Visit To U.S.

Iran To Get Russian Missile System

Beirut Suicide Bombings Kill Over 40

Day Of Mourning In Lebanon After Deadly Beirut Bombings

List Of Attacks In Lebanon – Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia


EU Criticises Turkey On Human Rights

The Lake At The End Of The World

France Attacks to Dominate Agenda at G-20 Conference in Turkey

5 Ukrainian Soldiers Killed As Cease-Fire Offenses Rise

Romania: Fire’s Death Toll Increases

Europe Nears Accord With Turkey To Stem Tide Of Refugees

Coordinated European Raids Target Ring Supporting Terrorist Groups


Russian Activist Sets FSB Door On Fire

Russian Athletes Part of State-Sponsored Doping Program, Report Finds

Putin Orders Doping Investigation

Has The Kremlin Been Meddling With Its Arctic Friends?

Russia Says Leak Of Secret Nuclear Weapon Design Was An Accident


After Paris, Pope Says It Is Blasphemy To Use God’s Name To Justify Violence

Vatican Investigates 2 Journalists Over Leaked Documents


This Was How London Showed Terrorists Where It Stood

X Factor’: Simon Pays Tribute To Paris Terror Attack Victims

Cameron Hosts Emergency Meeting In Wake Of Paris Attacks

Briton Confirmed Killed In Paris Attack With Warning There May Be More



Virtually There: B.C. Museum Launches Website As Part Of Avalanche Education

First Nations, Activists Urge Trudeau To Block Lng Project

Canada To Move Ahead With Oil Tanker Ban On Northern B.C. Coast, Crushing Northern Gateway Hopes


Video: Drone Footage Of Cars In Mississippi Hole

University Of Missouri President And Chancellor Step Aside Amid Protests

From Coast To Coast, Voters Are Fighting For A Democracy That Works

Utah Judge Drops Order On Lesbians’ Foster Child

U.S. Sees Alarming Jump In Rate Of Newborns With Syphilis


Video: In Rio, Pacification Without Peace

Drug Charges For Nephews Of Venezuela’s First Lady Could Add To Public Distrust

In Run-Up To Olympics, Rio’s Property Market Already Looks Hung Over

2 Said To Be Venezuelan First Lady’s Nephews Charged In Drug Plot

Mexico’s Governing Party Vows To Stop Using Neuromarketing To Study Voters

Nephews Of Venezuela’s First Lady Face Drug Charges

No Charges Against Rio Police In Fatal Shooting Of 10-Year-Old Boy

Chile: Powerful Quake In Pacific

Policiais No Rio Não São Indiciados Na Morte De Menino De 10 Anos

Cuban Revolutionaries Hope Their Legacy Won’t Fade Away

New Mystery Surfaces 4 Decades After Pablo Neruda’s Death

Colombia: Apology For Army Raid

Villa Baviera Journal: Chilean Community, Once A Site Of Torture, Reinvents Itself For Tourists


Tear Gas Used In Migrant Centre Stand-Off

Apple Apologises After Racism Outcry

Australia Needs To Be Battle Ready: Experts

Five Things To Do In Response

Who Were The Victims Of The Attack?

State’s Most Overachieving Schools 

‘I Held Him In My Arms’

‘This Is Not A War Versus Islam’

Markets To Tumble After Paris Attacks



Afghanistan’s First Female Conductor — The First Female Conductor Where Music Used To Be Banned

Taliban Close to Taking Over Key Afghan District

Day at Office for Afghan Drug Prosecutor: Paperwork, and Death Threats


As U.S. Escalates Air War On ISIS, Allies Slip Away

Video: Calling In Air Strikes Against ISIS

Kurds In Bid To Retake Sinjar From ISIS

Video: On The Front Line With Kurdish Forces

Kurds Retake Strategic Highway in Iraq’s North From ISIS

Strategy Shift for ISIS: Inflicting Terror in Distant Lands

Terrorism Fight Enters New Phase


Paris Attacks Kill More Than 100, Police Say; Border Controls Tightened

Three Teams of Coordinated Attackers Carried Out Assault on Paris, Officials Say; Hollande Blames ISIS

Out For Fun On A Friday Night, Victims Are Mostly Young

As Paris Terror Attacks Unfolded, Social Media Tools Offered Help In Crisis

What Is Happening In Paris And How You Can Help

The Moment A Man Played John Lennon’s Imagine On Piano Outside The Bataclan

This Is Why It Makes No Sense To Blame All Muslims For The Paris Terror Attacks


Times Insider: Reporting Europe’s Refugee Crisis

The Global Refugee Crisis, Region by Region

Video: The Eritrean Children Fleeing To Ethiopia

Sweden Brings In Migrant Border Checks

Immigration Sanctuary Ban Creates Uncertainty In North Carolina


Video: Syrian: ‘We Live Between Two Fires’

Russia’s ‘Syria Peace Plan’ Unveiled

Life After ISIS And Assad: A Journey In A Free Syria

Video: The Airbase Where Russia Carries Out Syria Airstrikes


Weather Disasters Linked To Climate Change

Entire Liberal Canada Cabinet Responsible For Climate-Change Agenda

Bill Nye Wants Us To Invent Our Way Out Of Climate Change

Greenhouse Gases Hit New Milestone, Fueling Worries About Climate Change

FROM OLYAOlya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Sometimes there are tragedies beyond words.  List of terrorist incidents, 2015 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents,_2015



Let us hope this means that there is also going to be something done about this.  Soldier suicides on radar now, Canada’s Veterans Affairs Minister says

There’s a special place Up Yonder waiting for this person.  Video: Doctor’s ‘Holiday’ Helping Refugees

I agree.  Views: Hanford, Known For Nuclear Peril, Will Make A Fine National Park


I hope these perpetrators get the whomping on they deserve.  This is outrageous.  Real Estate Shell Companies Scheme To Defraud Owners Out Of Their Homes

Here are some other folks Satan is waiting to play with.  Tricked And Indebted On Land, Abused Or Abandoned At Sea

We totally agree with this.  Solitary Confinement Needs To Go, And It Shouldn’t Take Lawsuits To Do It


This is an interesting question.  If Aliens Exist, How Would We Know?

This totally blew me away.  Incredible Bridge Transitions Into Underwater Tunnel That Connects Denmark And Sweden

I think this is a fantastic idea.  When It Rains In Seoul These Beautiful Murals Appear On The Roads


Video: Mysterious Light In California Sky

What’s Autumn Like Underwater? — See A Hidden Underwater Kingdom Bursting With Life In Autumn

What Triggers Supervolcano Eruptions? 

These Ancient Rats Were The Size Of Lap Dogs


Scientists Think They Just Found The Most Important Planet Outside Our Solar System

The Infinite Wisdom Of Carl Sagan

Family Portrait Of Mars Dust Devils

Pluto Might Have Ice Volcanoes

Pluto’s Moons Spinning Wildly

No Radio Signals From That ‘Alien Megastructure’ Yet — But Scientists Are Listening

TED Prize Goes to Archaeologist Who Combats Looting With Satellite Technology


Humans Have Relied On Honeybees For Nearly 9,000 Years — And Now They’re Mysteriously Declining

75 Years After Steinbeck Sailed, A Boat Is Readied To Go Back To Sea

The Next Internet? Marijuana Delivered as Easy as Pizza


Video: Drone Racing Dreams

Cola, A New Start-Up, Introduces Ways To Do More In Text Messages

Bringing IPhone-Style Medical Research To The Android World

This Could Be The Biggest Sign Yet That The Battery Revolution Is Here


This absolute jewel for sky watchers features a daily newsletter listing, among other things, celestial events and astronomy news.  I totally love it.


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.


Keystone Rejection = More Oil Tankers In The Pacific Northwest

Not Doomed Yet: Pacific Northwest’s ‘Thin Green Line’ Fights The Oil Terminals

The Push To Employ Veterans In The Solar Industry

These Could Be The First U.S. States To Tax Carbon — And Give Their Residents A Nice Paycheck

Peabody Energy, The World’s Largest Coal Company, To Disclose More Climate Risks To Investors


Canadian Doctor Breaks Through Blood Brain Barrier To Treat Cancerous Tumor

Uterus Transplants May Soon Help Some Infertile Women In The U.S. Become Pregnant

Data On Benefits Of Lower Blood Pressure Brings Clarity For Doctors And Patients

Use Of Long-Acting Birth Control Methods Surges Among U.S. Women

A Seismic Shift In How People Eat

Your Kids Will Live Longer Than You Thought

Web Poets’ Society: New Breed Succeeds In Taking Verse Viral

Autism Cases In U.S. Jump To 1 In 45: Who Gets The Diagnosis, In 8 Simple Charts

Here’s What Happens To Your Body After You Down An Energy Drink. It’s Kind Of Scary.

Who Still Smokes In The United States — In Seven Simple Charts

BBQ, Pan-Fried Meat And Kidney Cancer: 5 Key Takeaways From A New Study


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It’s been several weeks since my last blog post … time is beginning to fly in the way it does when routines become better established … I continue to love my time here in Taichung and am excited to share more here on this blog.

Last week at school we celebrated Halloween, which is something that many schools do here. At our weekly whole-school assembly, I talked a little bit about Halloween and then some of our Grade 3 and 4 students sang and danced to “A Witch on Halloween.”  One of my co-teachers and I had been teaching this song for the previous two weeks, and the students were so cute and funny about it. Afterwards we all took many pictures, some of which I have included here.

For more of this fascinating narrative and photos, please go here.


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.


Animals reading

“I’m too old to play young and too young to play old.”

~ Cher

More cool stuff to share:

Gavin Pretor-Pinney: Why Should We Look At The Clouds More Often? : NPR http://www.npr.org/2014/11/21/364703019/why-should-we-look-at-the-clouds-more-often

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


This Teeny, Tiny Dwarf Antelope Looks Like A Disney Creature Come To Life

Adorable Baby Elephants Play With Tires, Ride Away With Our Hearts

Mama Whale Takes Baby For A Piggyback Ride In Amazing Gopro


testament amazon.com 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.


If this doesn’t melt your heart, you do not have a heart.  Ben the Dog and Duggie the Dolphin – Unlikely Animal Friends Video – Nat Geo

Ever since I found out they did, I’ve been wondering why they do.  Why do dolphins hitch rides on whales? | MNN – Mother Nature Network

I’ve seen these magnificent, albeit much-maligned creatures in their neighborhood.  I therefore was absolutely mesmerized by this story.  The “Wild Dog Whisperer”: Rescuing Wolves in California


Tourists Are Finding Out What Happens When Bears Have A Food Shortage

The Truth About Hammerhead Sharks — Why Their Heads Are Shaped Like That

Record Number Of Salmon Return To Hanford Reach


The Cornell University Ornithology Lab’s November Nestwatch Newsletter Is Now Online


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

YES magazine


Video: Hollywood In The Operating Room

Korean War Memorial Group Finds More Aid In Korea Than In U.S.

Spectacular Flower Lamps Bloom When You Walk Nearby


111714The 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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