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 ` Of Mice & Moon,  Examples Good & Bad, Our Science Section Unabridged, The Green Agenda, Health & Lifestyle, Sarah’s Fulbright Year in Taiwan, Best Of The Net, All Creatures Great & Small, Northstar Endorses, You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up, About Us

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

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January 3, 2016  Vol. 9 No. 17  431th Consecutive

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor

Credit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center click the photo for a song

Credit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
click the photo for a song


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  I hope all of you had a good holiday season and an appropriate transition to 2016.  I pray, as well, that this calendar infant has thus far been kind to you and yours.

I spent New Years Eve ~ as I traditionally do ~ alone but not unplugged.  You folks, the individuals with whom I communicate on the Net, are very real people to me, as they are to God and the rest of humanity.  So from Sydney, Australia to Seattle, America, with some stops along the way, I watched and I listened and I reflected.

While I totally enjoyed the beauty of the major celebrations, I also watched people in some of the most chaotic and pestilential places on the planet grab what little they had for existence, praise their god for that and celebrate the new year with hope and faith in their “fellow man” that under most circumstances was pathetically unjustified.

I have said this before and it was validated for me again.

There is not one human being alive today who needs lessons in compassion, mercy, tolerance and understanding.  But there is a teeming planet full of us who need to give one another the chance to be all of those things.

Take care, stay well and have a great week, gang  Welcome again to 2016.



I am having a little trouble with perspective on this one.  If one does not engage in “at risk behavior,” does one need to give this an apocalyptic spin?  Gonorrhea May Soon Be Untreatable, Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Warns

I am sorry to read about this and our condolences go out to his family.  N Korea Top Official Dies In Car Crash

Which American state was best for making a living in 2015 and which was the worst?  The answers just might surprise you.


Countries Rush For Upper Hand In Antarctica

Top 10 Reasons To Love Earth From 2015


Death For Bangladesh Blogger Killers

Investigators Blame Violent Weather for Yangtze Cruise Ship Disaster

Kabul Journal: After Taliban Attack in Kabul, a Music Teacher Keeps Playing

South Korean and Japanese Leaders Feel Backlash From ‘Comfort Women’ Deal

Aide to Kim Jong-un Dies in Car Accident, North Korean Media Says

Suicide Attack Targets Regional Government Office in Pakistan

Japan and South Korea Settle Dispute Over Wartime ‘Comfort Women’

Observatory: The Residents of Vanuatu, Then and Now


China Telecom Chief Resigns Amid Probe

China Builds Second Aircraft Carrier

Video: China’s One-Child Policy Ends

Xinjiang Seethes Under Chinese Crackdown

China Detains 12 People Over Shenzhen Landslide, Police Say

Book Says Zhou Enlai, Chinese Premier, May Have Been Gay

Sinosphere: As China Hungers for Coal, ‘Behemoth’ Studies the Ravages at the Source


Narendra Modi of India Meets Pakistani Premier in Surprise Visit

Stars Of India’s Online Video Scene Struggle To Make A Living

Electrifying India, With The Sun And Small Loans

Goat Meat, Not Beef, Found in Home of Indian Killed Over Cow-Slaughter Rumors

The China Factor | Part 7: A Chinese Company in India, Stumbling Over a Culture 


Video: Inside Boko Haram’s Stronghold

Video: Meet Ghana’s Street Skate Footballers

South African King Begins Jail Sentence


How A Toddler’s Death Touched Off The Israeli-Palestinian Cycle Of Revenge

Syria Blasts ‘Kill At Least 16’

Iranian Protesters Ransack Saudi Embassy After Execution Of Shiite Cleric

Israeli Extremists Charged In Connection With Deadly Attack On Palestinian Family

Iran’s Supreme Leader Condemns Saudi Arabia’s Execution Of Shiite Cleric


Alexei Stakhanov: Former Soviet Union’s Superstar Miner

How Russia-Turkey Relations Soured

Russia Plans Survey In Crimea On Ukraine Electricity Contract

Khodorkovsky Arrested In Absentia, Placed On International Wanted List

Sochi Environmental Activist Released from Prison

Vladimir Putin’s Quotes: A Collection For The Discerning Russian Official


Sweden Wants Russia to Explain ‘Threats’ Over NATO Entry

Dutch V&D Department Stores Go Bust

Barge Set Loose in North Sea by Violent Weather Is Secured

Shell Opens Natural Gas Wells Off Irish Coast

Georgia Lawmakers Approve A New Prime Minister

Cellphone Contacts In Paris Attacks Suggest Foreign Coordination

World Leaders Agree To Extend Efforts To End Ukraine Conflict

Turkey’s Campaign Against Kurdish Militants Takes Toll On Civilians

Paris Journal: French Artists Will Take Their Irreverence To The Grave

Belgium Arrests 2 Linked To New Year’s Eve Plot To Attack Brussels

Poland: Law Altering Top Court Goes Into Effect Despite Criticism

Tied Vote On Catalan Separatist Leader In Spain

Vichy Journal: Vichy Yearns To Shed Heavy Yoke Of Past Shame

Istanbul Journal: Syrian Migrants In Istanbul Confront Choice: Stay Or Move On


Pope Francis Urges Overcoming ‘Indifference’ To Attain Peace


UK Leads E-Commerce Says Google’s Schmidt

Group Claiming To Oppose ISIS Says It Committed Cyberattack On BBC

Britain: 2 Plotters Sentenced

Britain: Man Is Suspected Of Killing Relative At Essex Nursing Home

David Cameron Defends Flood Record As Northern England Is Drenched

British Army Is Deployed As Flooding Submerges Northern England


Record Profits Fuel Growth Plans At Canadian Airlines

One Man’s Drive To Reunite His Family In Montreal After Years Of Turmoil As Refugees

Earthquake Strikes Near Victoria, Felt Across Much Of South B.C.

Relatives Of Alan Kurdi Arrive In Canada To Warm Welcome

Canada’s Housing Market Could Finally Cool Down In 2016

Obama To Welcome Trudeau For Official Visit In March

Bill Cosby Charged With Sexual Assault Of Canadian Woman


Twin Birth Rates Hit An All-Time High In The United States

Cleveland Officer Will Not Face Charges in Tamir Rice Shooting Death

Oil Drags Wall Street To 2015 Losses

U.S. Says Airstrikes Killed Militants Tied To Paris Attacks


Untangling An Accounting Tool And An Ancient Incan Mystery

Mexican Mayor Is Killed A Day After Taking Office

Escaped Convicts in Argentina Shoot 2 Police Officers

Alarm Spreads In Brazil Over A Virus And A Surge In Malformed Infants

Venezuelan Court Blocks 4 Lawmakers 

Mauricio Macri, Argentine President, Is Cleared Of Wiretapping Charges

Argentina: Ex-Transportation Ministers Get Prison

Venezuela: Opposition Victories Are Challenged

Costa Rica: Some Stranded Cubans To Be Allowed To Continue North

Venezuela: Murder Rate For Year May Be World’s Worst, Report Says

Argentina’s New President Moves Swiftly To Shake Up The Economy 



Alabama Declares State of Emergency as Flooding From Storms Continues

Tornado Leaves Long Path of Destruction in South

Tornadoes Leave Paths of Rubble and 11 Dead in the Dallas Area

Will Climate Change Make Foods Extinct?

Iraqi Forces Retake Center Of Ramadi From ISIL

Worries Grow Over ‘Strongest El Nino’

Missouri Floods Close Mississippi River

The Challenge Of Making Climate Change Matter In The U.S.

2015 In Review: A Great Year For The Environment


Obama’s ‘Boots on the Ground’: U.S. Special Forces Are Sent to Tackle Global Threats

ISIL Influence on Web Prompts Second Thoughts on First Amendment

Using Laser Scanners to Preserve Antiquities in ISIL’ Cross Hairs

As U.S. Focuses On ISIL And The Taliban, Al Qaeda Re-Emerges

Belgium Holds Two Over ‘New Year Plot’

Pakistan Bombing Kills ‘At Least 22’

Video: Ramadi Residents Describe ISIL Ordeal

Munich Alert Over ‘ISIL Attack Threat’

US Man ‘Plotted New Year’s Eve Attack’

Atlanta Begins Charging for a Streetcar Named Undesirable by Some

As U.S. Focuses on ISIL and the Taliban, Al Qaeda Re-emerges

Syrian Journalist Who Documented ISIL Atrocities Is Killed In Turkey

Veteran International Prosecutor Foresees War Crimes Trials For ISIL


Refugee Family Finds Hope, Health And Home In Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

On Perilous Migrant Trail, Women Often Become Prey To Sexual Abuse

Letter From Europe: The E.U. Migrant Crisis, Told In 2 Startling Numbers

Open Source: Ai Weiwei’s Instagram Dispatches From Lesbos, Greek Island At Center Of Migrant Crisis



Hello Rusty and Happy New Year 2016:

I really liked this article by BBC  “New Year: Celebrations Mark Start Of 2016” .  I was amazing how New Year welcoming starts in the East and gradually comes to the West hour by hour, country by country.

For me receiving congratulations and wishing happy New Year started from a call from Australia where New 2016 came 9 hours before ours in Ukraine.  A call from the future in a way. It was nice to hear that they are lucky to have summerly 29 C /84 F compared to Ukrainian -1C/30.2 F. What was more unexpected weatherwise is before having almost the same 21C/84F degrees for New York and Sydney, Australia a week ago on Christmas Eve.

As I am writing to you it must be a dawn of new day where you live. Hoping it will be cheerful especially knowing about your moving to a new place. Wishing you a good luck!

This week that was an interesting experience for me in the child center. They needed someone to conduct role of Father Christmas and somehow by circumstances the choice was me. Having a nice suit, beard and pillow to look more respectable I tried to merge with my role but what was the most astonishing is the children actual belief in Father Christmas, the awe in their eyes and this joy of receiving gifts.

Of course everyone of them said they behaved good this year and promised to be obedient next year too 🙂 That’s maybe naive believe in miracle is very touching So let’s believe in magic   with this little cartoon.

Also I was impressed and would like to share with The Elders post. ” Chair of The Elders and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan talks about a life lesson he learned at school and never forgot.”

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

Olya Bereza, European Associate Editor


This Will Never Disappear From The Canadian Legacy But God And Queen Willing, Healing Will Happen.  The Painful Journey To The Heart Of Residential School History

And A Rousing Round Of Applause For These Folks.  Costa Rica’s Green Energy Feat Shows Hope For The Planet

As Enigmatic And Controversial As He Has Been, I Like, Admire And Respect This Man.  My Father Served His Father When Edmund G. Brown Sr. Was Governor.  The California Ranch That Takes Jerry Brown Off The Grid

This Is A Little Scary.  U.S. Doesn’t Know How Many Foreign Visitors Overstay Visas

Here Is Irony At Its Richest.  China’s Homeless Find Shelter Under McDonald’s Golden Arches

I’m Sorry But I Do Not Predict Good Things To Come Of This.  Armed Texans Celebrate State’s New Open-Carry Status

This person is headed for sainthood.  F.D.A. Regulator, Widowed by Cancer, Helps Speed Drug Approval


It seems this question is asked each time technology makes an evolutionary leap.  The answer remains consistent.  We adapt to the technology we create.  Will augmented reality change your job?

Moon In 2016 ~ Pretty much everything you want to know about the moon in 2016 – including phases, cycles, eclipses and supermoons – from world-renowned astronomer Fred Espenak. Bookmark this!

Understanding Moon Phases ~ Why does the moon seem to change its shape every night?  Remember that the moon is a world in space – with a day side and a night side.

Curiosity’s 10 Best Images Of Mars In 2015 ~ Some truly amazing images

I hope there’s enough room in the sky for what I suspect this will produce.  A Silicon Valley for Drones, in North Dakota

Here’s an interesting and timely question.  Video: Is It Time For More Laws To Govern Space?

I’ve long suspected this.  Ancient Irish Genome Reveals A Massive Migration From The East

And I thought skateboards were challenging.  Video: Space Firm Creates A ‘Real Hoverboard’

Oh good.  Now we have Microsoft watching Big Brother.  The question obviously begs, then, eh?  “Who is watching Microsoft?”  Microsoft To Notify Users Of Government Hackings

This is pretty cool too.  Observatory: New Type of Rock Is Discovered on Moon


Chinook Tribe Continues Recognition Fight

Sustainable Affordable Housing Through Energy Efficiency

Views: To Help Stop Warming, Curb Short-Lived Pollutants

Yurok Tribe First To Ban GMOs

Wind, Solar Power Soar In Spite Of Cheap Fossil Fuel Prices

5 Ways To Be A Climate-Friendly Eater In 2016


The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life

Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children

Cool at 13, Adrift at 23

Divorcing a Narcissist

The Fats You Don’t Need to Fear, and the Carbs That You Do

The Joy of (Just the Right Amount of) Sex

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

Watch What You Eat — Literally: Hanging A Mirror In The Kitchen Can Prevent Weight Gain, Study Finds


The Year In The World: Globe’s Mark Mackinnon Returns To A Refugee Camp Where Fears About A Lost Generation Are Becoming A Reality

The Best From Globe And Mail Photographer John Lehmann

Video: A Year, One Second At A Time


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

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  I’ll get back to you one way or another within 24 hours. For a list of specific services provided, please go to  My name is Merritt Scott Miller and my friends and clients call me “Rusty”.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Shadow and Chance were the two dogs in the Disney Classic:  Homeward Bound:  The Incredible Journey.  Their dog’s sudden death was too much to bear — so they cloned him  The newborn puppies, Shadow and Chance, are adorable little feats of genetic engineering

These two are going for cutest couple in the universe.  Gem 106 – Best Friends

So are these two.  A Baby Rhino Playing With A Little Lamb Is Not Just Special


Yet Another Chance To Die From An Overdose Of Cute.

The Beautiful, Invisible World Of Microbes

On Location With Wildlife Filmmaker Gordon Buchanan

Woodlands Photo Competition Winners

Interview With Doug Allan, Photographer On BBC’s Frozen Planet


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

Ocean Conservancy

Outside Magazine

The Rainforest Site

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


Giant Squid Makes A Rare Appearance In Japan

The Reindeer That Glow In The Dark

You Will Absolutely NOT Believe The Beauty Of This


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



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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