REFLECTIONS OF A SIMPLE MIND

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 ~ And the Weather In Iceland Is…, Good Examples, Bad Examples, Northstar Interactive, 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

100% Reader Supported.  Donations Accepted Here.

December 13, 2015  Vol. 9 No. 14  428th Consecutive

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor

Looking out across Seattle’s Ship Canal, southeast, to the University of Washington.  Photo by MS(R)M.

Looking out across Seattle’s Ship Canal, southeast, to the University of Washington. Photo by MS(R)M.

REFLECTIONS OF A SIMPLE MIND

Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  First of all, Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord In Paris

This was not only a stunning feat of international diplomacy, it was a clear victory over the forces of ennui, xenophobic self-interest and egocentrism that have paralyzed efforts like this in the past and continue to grip the American Congress.

What is also of some significance ~ at least to me ~ is that President Obama continued his nation’s full participation in the process despite strong resistance from those not so much opposed to the Accord but the acclaim the “opposition” would garner for so strongly and proactively support it.

I am not an intelligent man, nor ~ for my years ~ a particularly wise one.  So when I see the leaders of my government doing things I do not understand, I sometimes become easily confused.

I do not, for instance, understand why ~ with all the scientific evidence in ~ there should even be an issue about the need to stop hurting and start healing the planet.  Second, I cannot comprehend the logic behind making something as fundamental as this a political football.  I mean, we are talking about the lives of about 7.3 billion people, including them.

As a Pacific Northwestern American who has written about the environmental movement since Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia hit the NYT Bestseller List, I have watched my own region do what I hope and pray the Climate Accord will do for the world.

Northwesterners have made incredibly lifestyle changes and sacrifices for the predominantly clean environment we have here.  We can do nothing about the weather nor the volcanos nor the earthquakes.  But there is something profoundly and spiritually satisfying in knowing that we do not cause these things.  Rather, we embrace them.

It is a season of giving in many parts of the world.  The Northstar Journal is supported entirely by its readers.  This keeps us free to provide what you want, rather than what an advertiser might.  That $5.00 or $10.00 you contribute every year makes that possible.  If you’d like to do that now, please go here.  Thank you.

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

Rusty

THE NEWS

Lest we forget.  Impossible Dream:  A Tribute to 9/11 By Robert Goulet

We were so glad to read this.  He has done much for America and we need him now more than ever.  Jimmy Carter says he is cancer-free

This is one class act.  Canadian Prime Minster Greets First Wave In Airlift Of Refugees Seeking Better Life

GLOBAL

World Oil Markets To Remain Oversupplied Through 2016: IEA

Dalai Lama – Caring for Our Global Environment

ASIA

US Spy Plane Deployed To Singapore

Japan Avoids Technical Recession

Strong Earthquake Off Indonesia’s Ambon Island

CHINA

The Cost Of Living In Smog-Infested Beijing

Smog So Thick, Beijing Comes To A Standstill

The Globe’s Beijing Correspondent On Living In A Toxic Smog

Chinese Tycoon Reported Missing

INDIA

Locals Dig Deep To Save Himalayan Springs From Drying Out

India Can Beat Climate Change With Trees On Farms: World Agroforestry Chief

Full Text Of Joint Statement On India And Japan Vision 2025

AFRICA

They Helped Erase Ebola In Liberia. Now Liberia Is Erasing Them.

Military Bases Attacked In Burundi

MIDDLE EAST

Video: Saudi Women Vote For First Time

‘Coalition Strike’ Kills Syrian Forces

RUSSIA

U.S.-Russian Relations On The High Frontier

Got A Diplomatic Dilemma? Send In The Clowns

MSU Claims Third Place In Emerging Countries Education Ranking

Stalin Center To Open In Central Russia

EUROPE

Italy’s Secret Chocolate Town

Finland Accuses Russia Of Violating Airspace

UNITED KINGDOM

Police Target Young Cybercriminals

A Rare Find In The City Of London

U.S. Police Leaders, Visiting Scotland, Get Lessons On Avoiding Deadly Force

CANADA

Canada Caught In Middle Of China’s Dissident Dragnet

Trudeau To Get Red Carpet Treatment During White House Visit

Moody’s Sticks With ‘Negative’ Outlook For Canadian Banks In 2016

Air France Flight To Paris Makes Precautionary Landing In Montreal After Receiving Anonymous Threat

Guard, Three Inmates Injured In Hostage Taking At Thunder Bay Jail After ‘Prisoners Took Control’ Of Wing

RCMP Chief Tells AFN He Wants To Rid Force Of Racist Officers

Canadian Initiative Aims To Get Scientists On Track To Winning Nobel Prize

UNITED STATES

Massive Natural Gas Leak Forces Relocation Of Hundreds Of Ca Residents

Colorado Shooting Suspect Declares ‘I’m Guilty’ In Court

Us Embassy Worker Hacked For Sex Images

Obama Signs Education Law Shifting Power To The States

Watch: CA Natural Gas Leak Will Take Months To Plug

Oregon’s Apartment Vacancy Rate Was Nation’s Lowest

LATIN AMERICA

Venezuela’s Socialists Trounced In Vote

Argentina’s Fernandez Hands Over Power

Momotombo: Volcano In Nicaragua Erupts For The 1st Time In Over 100 Years

OCEANA

Two Arrested In Sydney Terror Raids

Australian Police Raid Home Of Man Said To Be Likely Creator Of Bitcoin

TOPICAL

CLIMATE CHANGE & WEATHER

New Kids’ Book By Australian Scientist Explains Climate Change Through Christmas Story

At Paris Climate Talks, Experts Cite Looming Risk Of Methane

Nearly 200 Nations Agree On Draft Climate Change Plan At Paris Summit

An Economist Outlines 4 Wins We Need To Make Paris A Success

An Attorney Explains How Carbon Markets Are Driving Deeper, Faster Pollution Cuts In Paris Climate Pledges

EDF President Fred Krupp’s Top 3 Reasons We’re Entering A Golden Age For Carbon Markets

1.5: Moving The Climate Target In Paris

Indigenous Rights Boosted In The Paris Climate Negotiations

Listen In: Climate Change Is Killing Us, Literally

Great Things About The Alberta Climate Plan

Former Climate-Change Leaders Now The Dogs Of Paris Conference

Alaska’s Melting Permafrost: The Chilling Science

These Towns Aren’t Waiting For World Leaders To Take Charge On Climate Change.  

ESPIONAGE AND TERRORISM

Killers Were Long Radicalized, F.B.I. Investigators Say

U.S. Strategy Seeks To Avoid ISIL Prophecy

Americans Attracted to ISIS Find an ‘Echo Chamber’ on Social Media

Love In The Time Of Mania: Six Ways Americans Are Defying Islamophobia

REFUGEE CRISIS

Refugee Job Hopes Better In Western Canada, Data Suggest

What Two Syrian Refugee Families Are Bringing To Canada

FROM OLYA 

safetravel

AND THE WEATHER IN ICELAND TODAY IS

Hello Mishka:

This week’s weather forecast for Iceland was quite unpredictable, having gone from -20C/-4F to +3C/37.4F, thanks to Storm Desmond.  Hopefully, everyone there stayed safe.

As for Ukraine, the most resonating story was about a paintings scandal with Dutch masterpieces reappearing in the country after being stolen a decade ago

And even though such a plot would be promising for the cinema industry, in real life this upsetting situation definitely did not favor our international image. And we really are sorry when such things happen.

That’s it for this week, my cousin.  Stay warm, Mish.

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

GOOD EXAMPLES

This well may be this man’s finest hour to date.  VIDEO: Obama: ‘We can’t turn against each other’

I will never in my life be able to spell the name of this city but I do like its style.  Albuquerque, Revising Approach Toward the Homeless, Offers Them Jobs

Hooray for these folks.  How Google And Other Big Corporations Are Going 100% Renewable

BAD EXAMPLES

This should not be happening.  Canadian Islamic Organization In Ontario Closes Doors Amid Fears Of ‘Backlash’

Doesn’t this man ever know when to stop talking?  Donald Trump Calls For Barring Muslims From Entering U.S.

I would be willing to shake hands with Satan to make sure whoever did this gets to where they deserve to be going.  Famous lion found poisoned

OUR WORLD AND BEYOND

This is totally awesome and not what the name suggests.  Germany to Implement ‘Bird Train’

I love how this keeps coming back to haunt me.  Baidu Driverless Car Completes Test

This is inspiring.  An Exiled Nation Turned Private Eden

EARTH

What is the Ring of Fire?

Looking For Meteorites In Antarctica

Welcome To “Bestie Row”: Lifelong Friends Build Row Of Tiny Houses

SPACE

Japan’s Akatsuki Venus Probe Tries Again

Monstrous Baby Galaxies In Dark Matter 

Why Blue Origin’s Rocket Landing Is Big News For Space Travel

JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE

Hidden Portrait ‘Found Under Mona Lisa’

Greenland Icy, Not Green, When Colonized? 

The Rise Of Hate Search

OTHER TECHNOLOGY

Listen In: The House Designed To Pay Your Energy Bill Actually Works

For Children, Dumbed-Down Phones May Be Smartest Option

3D Printed Sculptures Come Alive When Spun Under A Strobe Light

NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY IMAGES

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.

NORTHSTAR INTERACTIVE

How does booze shape your personality?  Take this short quiz and find out.

What Grade Should You Be In Based On Your Knowledge?

Here’s a fun one for FaceBookers:  Let Us Analyze Your Personality  They base this on your four most distinctive traits and by percentage.  Mine read:  Modesty:  120%  Altruism:  95%  Stubborn:  4%  Resilience:  101&

THE GREEN AGENDA

British Columbia, Canada Is Home To A Green Building Renaissance

Video: How Building Small Means Living Large

British Columbia, Canada Pledges All New Vehicles To Be Zero-Emission By 2050

Details Of Shell’s Aggressive Push To Drill In The Arctic

Diverse Groups Working Together Killed The Keystone Plan

Really Want To Help Fight Climate Change? Eat That Ugly Food.

Oregon’s Apartment Vacancy Rate Was Nation’s Lowest

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

This Is What Happens When You Eat Garlic On An Empty Stomach

The ‘Tricorder’ That Reads Your Blood

Sharp Rise In ADHD Diagnoses In Girls Challenges Myth That The Condition Is Mostly A Boy Thing

Chipotle Scare: As Number Of Sick In Boston Jumps To 120, Putting Food-Borne Illness Into Perspective — 3 Key Data Points

Breast-Conserving Surgery Plus Radiation Increases Survival Rates For Women With Early-Stage Cancer

Happiness Won’t Help You Live Longer (But Unhappiness Won’t Kill You Either)

Latinos Live Longest Despite Poverty. Here’s Their Secret

‘A Whole New Being’: How Kricket Nimmons Seized The Transgender Moment

As City Rents Rise Where, Are The Poor Supposed To Live?

NORTHSTAR COMICS

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

Chaukah~zebra

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other, “Do you believe in life after delivery?”  The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something.”

~ unknown

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

BEST OF THE NET

Six Astonishing Hunters

Fishing, Whale Style

Amazing Hedgehog Rescue — Thank You Simon Cowell!

FROM NORTHSTAR

testament amazon.com cover

WRATH OF THE USS TESTAMENT

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. 

NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES

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  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 agree with this.  The Realities Of The Portuguese Man-O’-War Are Fascinating

This is impressive. How Insects Build Skyscrapers

I found this incredibly ironic considering the economic dislocation protecting this bird caused the American Northwest well over a quarter century ago.  Spotted Owls Still Losing Ground In Northwest Forests

SHORTS

11 Shocking Hybrid Animals That Actually Exist

Finding Refuge For Salmon, Cold Water Preferred

Feds’ New Rules Seek To Plug Oil And Gas Leaks On Wildlife Refuges

FOLKS WE FOLLOW

The SeaDoc Society’s November newsletter is now online

NORTHSTAR ENDORSES

Amnesty International

EarthSkyNews

Ecofinder-Kenya

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

Ocean Conservancy

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

YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP

The Air That Makes You Fat

Video: How Eating Insects Could Help The Climate

Large Mummified Crocodile Revealed

ABOUT US

Outstanding closeup 061115The 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

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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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