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 A Zimbabwe Kind Of Christmas In Orthodox Ukraine, Examples Good & Bad, Our Science Section Unabridged, The Green Agenda, Health & Lifestyle, 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 10, 2016  Vol. 9 No. 187  432nd Consecutive

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, this year is starting out interestingly enough.  In one of the most moving speeches I have ever heard, America’s president made an eloquent appeal for gun control.

Here in my state, Washington, our governor signed into law our version of such legislation.  And in the midst of it all, not to have the spotlight off them for long, North Korea informed the world that it too now has the hydrogen bomb.

There’s a song that covers how I feel about Pyongyang’s announcement.  Check this out.  Tom Lehrer – Who’s Next – with intro – YouTube  For further background, here’s a good Wikipedia brief.

If I could address Kim, et al, I’d say something like, “Hey, in the first place, you guys are just a little late on the scene and you’re surrounded by nations with bombs both A & H.  So good luck rattling the saber on that one.

“Secondly, in the some 71 years atomic weaponry has been around, it has been used twice and only twice.  It also ushered in a new energy age and regardless of what we’ve subsequently learned, it was a good option at the time.  Conceivably, as in space travel where an accident would not kill people on Earth, it might still be an appropriate one.

“Third, and perhaps most importantly, like millions of other people, I’ve about had a bellyful of this nonsense in the first place.  If you guys or anyone else is foolish enough to push a button, God help you.  Your home will not be a fit place to live for many generations.”

And on that optimistic note, gang, take care, stay well and have a great week.  Welcome again to 2016.



This is good news.  Sigh.  North Korea Says It Has Detonated Its First Hydrogen Bomb

Now here’s an interesting question.  Who is smart enough to decide how to improve the human species?

I actually don’t believe this for a second.  I think this jackass is ramping it up for the attention.  Gunman Said He Shot Philadelphia Officer for ISIS, Police Say


Global Stocks, Oil Prices Stabilize After New Year Nightmare

World Malaria Report Reveals Historic Progress

United Nations

Giving Hours To Change The World

On Universal Health Coverage Day, Well-Being For All

UN Women Launches New Flagship Program On Energy Access

Global Daily: Feeling The TB Aftershocks In Haiti

UN Emerges As Powerful Platform For LGBT Advances

Global Moms Challenge: Saudi Women Vote For First Time

Clean Cookstoves: Why I’m Optimistic For 2016

Girl Up Visits UNFPA’s Action For Adolescent Girls Initiative In India


New Glimpse Of Geology Under Antarctic Ice 

Antarctic Life: No Dogs, Few Vegetables And ‘A Little Intense’ In The Winter


World’s Largest Blue Sapphire ‘Found’

White House Disputes North Korea’s Claim Of Hydrogen Bomb Test

Creating A Cuteness Empire In Japan, One Fuzzy Bear Suit At A Time

Sri Lanka: Leader Frees Man Jailed In Plot To Kill Him

South Korea To Resume Propaganda Broadcasts That Angered North

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Kashmir Chief Minister, Dies At 79

Samsung’s Operating Profit Rises 15%, A Sharp Slowdown

News Analysis: North Korea Blast Revives Question: How Do You Contain Pyongyang?

Comparisons Don’t Support North Korea’s Claims Of A Hydrogen Bomb, Experts Say

Yeongdeok Journal: Bitter Debate Over Nuclear Power Simmers In Rural South Korea

Bombings Near Kabul Airport Add To String Of Attacks Around Afghan Capital


China Halts Trading After Market Tumbles More Than 7 Percent

A New Economic Era For China Goes Off The Rails

Stock Markets Shudder After Chinese Stock Plunge Forces A Trading Halt

China’s Economic Turmoil Sends Ripples To Global Markets

Microsoft Faces New Scrutiny In China


Video: Delhi ‘Odd-Even’ Car Policy Fails To Curb Pollution

Chasing the Lure of a Royal Past With Greyhound Racing in Punjab

India Says All 6 Gunmen Have Been Killed in Pathankot Air Base Attack

Earthquake Strikes Northeast India, Killing at Least 6


Nigeria Goes To The Mall

South Africa’s Ruling Party Calls For Tougher Anti-Racism Law

Mali: Swiss Woman Is Kidnapped For A Second Time

Central African Republic: Runoff Is Set For Presidential Candidates

South Sudan: New Unity Cabinet

Nigeria: Former Minister Is Charged With Corruption

Central African Republic: U.N. Requests Inquiry Into Peacekeepers

Rwanda: President Paul Kagame Says He’ll Run Again

Trial Of Chad’s Ex-President Brings Harrowing Accounts Of Abuse

South Africa: A King Goes To Prison

Rwanda: Pastor Jailed For Life

Egypt Officials Stop Facebook Program For Free Access To Internet

Middle East

Saudis Set Deadline For Iran Diplomats

Kuwait Recalls Ambassador From Iran

Iran, Emerging From Sanctions, Faces More Isolation After Embassy Attack

Yemen Reverses Decision to Expel U.N. Rights Envoy

Egypt’s Parliament Prepares for Session With Some Familiar Names

Suspect In Tel Aviv Rampage Is Killed In A Shootout With Police


Putin Labels The US A Security Threat To Russia For The First Time

Russian Patriarch Kirill Does Not See Tragedy In The Economic Crisis

Ukrainian Businessman Sues Russia Over Annexed Crimea Airport

Moscow’s Swissotel Hotel Ceases Operations After Sanctions Against Turkey

Russia to Issue Visas to Turkish Airline Crews if Applied for “On Time”


Sweden Introduces Border Controls

Reports Of Attacks On Women In Germany Heighten Tension Over Migrants

Paris attacks suspect’s ‘hideout found’

Europe Markets Steady After China Gain

‘Mein Kampf,’ Hitler’s Manifesto, Returns To German Shelves

Over 200 Members of German Choir Were Abused, Investigator Says

United Kingdom

Armored Vehicles In Saudi Deal Will Pack Lethal Punch

The Lake District’s Best-Kept Secret

New Health Advice for Britons: No More Than Six Pints a Week

British Man Admits Past in Terror Cell in Yemen


Aftermath Of Resource Rout Will Be Long And Painful

Ottawa Keeps Analysis Of Saudi Human-Rights Record Under Wraps
London, Ont. Defends Saudi Arms Deal As Integral To Region’s Economy

United States

Obama Takes Action Over Us Gun Laws

As Justices Weigh Affirmative Action, Michigan Offers An Alternative

After Mass Shootings, Some On Wall St. See Gold In Gun Makers

Pentagon Will Extend Military Honors to Drone Operators Far From Battles

Georgia Prosecutors Seek Indictment Of Officer Who Shot Unarmed Man

Earthquakes In Oklahoma Raise Fears Of A Big One

US Economy Adds 292,000 Jobs

Robust Hiring In December Caps Solid Year For U.S. Jobs

San Francisco Office Rents Pass Manhattan As Most Expensive In Country

Latin America

Three Videos To Help You Understand Peru’s Conservation Plight

Why The Right Is Returning To Latin America

El Chapo, Escaped Mexican Drug Lord, Is Recaptured In Gun Battle

Mexico Is Considering Extradition of Escaped Drug Lord Known as El Chapo

Cause of Crises? For Rio Governor, Life Incriminates Art


Ambitious Aussies Take The Wheel

Video: Australia Bushfire Consumes Whole Town


Climate Change & Weather

Climasphere: Climate Deal Caps A Long Quest For UN Chief

Global Daily: In 2016, Global Goals Officially A Go

Most Americans Believe In Climate Change, But Are Iffy On The Cause

Ocean-Cycle Phase Causing Global Warming Spike

Northwest Ski Resorts Adapt To Climate Change

What’s With The Weird Winter Weather?

Climate Change And Farming: Wealthy Nations Can Learn From Poorer Ones

From Paris To Iowa: Local Impact Of Historic Climate Agreement

Espionage And Terrorism

UK Examining ISIL ‘Spy Killing’ Video

Ramadi, Reclaimed By Iraq, Is In Ruins After Isis Fight

Obama Shifts Online Strategy On ISIL

Islamic State Attacks Oil Port In Libya 

Refugee Crisis

A Young Girl And A City Struggling For Life

A Rush Of Central Americans Complicates Obama’s Immigration Task


Photo credit

Photo credit


Hello Mishka:

I enjoyed a snowy Christmas, making it fairytale like. This week it was interesting to get acquainted with a girl from Zimbabwe, who said that when she first came here, she was very surprised by the Orthodox celebration of it on January 7th.  But then appreciated double festive. But since ~ apart her tribal language ~ her native language is English, so they follow traditions of Western world.  So now she appreciates having two Christmases to celebrate.  She is studying medicine in Sumy town of Ukraine, and it’s a nice opportunity to get acquainted with another culture also.

Although -18 C/-4 F was not even close to +30 C/86 F in her homeland, but she had six previous years of studying here to get used to different climate. Somehow our talk came about my first major in psychology and I told her about my experience in social care service for alone elderly people. For me it was nice to hear that in her country they don’t have alone old people as always they are cared for by someone in the tribe.

I still remember an old lady from my that my first employment who were touched to tears just that someone celebrated her with holidays, saying that no one did it for her for years… sometimes kindness is cost almost nothing but means a lot. So hospitality of Zimbabwe people to each other really deserves appreciation.

From the news of this week that one took attention “Greece debt crisis: Scuffles at pension reforms protest” Hoping it won’t be the most vulnerable to pay the price

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

Olya Bereza, European Associate Editor


I always liked Sweden and here’s another reason why.  Where New Dads Are Encouraged To Take Months Off Work

I watched this and was profoundly movedObama Pleads for Stricter Gun Laws and Faces Tough Questioning

Way to go, Jay!  On Heels of Obama, Washington Governor Takes Gun-Control Action

This needs to improve, quickly.  Zoning Restrictions Make Segregation Worse

So does this.  California’s Enormous Methane Leak = Driving 7 Million Cars Every Day

Good for you guys.  I’ve been a life-long fan.  Campbell Soup Will Label G.M.O. Ingredients

What bothers me about this was that it was on his brain in the first place.  Gov. Paul Lepage Of Maine Says Racial Comment Was A ‘Slip-Up’


This is fascinating.  The ways Sherlock teaches us to think

So is this.  Fascinating, I mean.  ‘Their lives are dependent on water’

I wish they built one of these in my size.  The Little Car You Can Drive Without A License

Video: Drone Hides Its Blades In A Cage  And this disguise worked, did it?

The Universe can be so crude sometimes.  Handing the Universe a napkin.  Black Hole Caught ‘Burping’ Gas

In our eternal search for an end to existential loneliness.  Looking For Alien Civilizations? Check These Star Clusters, Scientists Say.

See also Kepler is back! 100 new planets

This is awesome.  I watched it then dreamed about it.  Week’s Best Space Pictures: Erupting Superstar Gets Siblings


American Northwest Activists Face Off Against Largest Oil-By-Rail Terminal In North America 

Study Links Fracking To Even More Health Problems

Keystone Xl Pipeline Project Is Dead, But The Lawsuits Are Just Beginning


The Horrible Science Of Hangovers (And How To Stop Them)

Video: A Decades-Long Search for a Perfect Diet

These Newborn Triplets Are All Identical. Here’s How That Happens.

7 Surprising Signs Of An Unhealthy Heart

4 Potent Ways of Accessing the Most Creative Forces of Your Mind

New Report: Why Women Stop Using Contraceptives


Free Wildlife Wallpaper from the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF)

The Most Magical Forest On Earth

Secrets Of The Island Surrounded By Ice

Seven Stunning Places Of Worship



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. 

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  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.


Here’s a profound “awww” moment for you guys.  The first time baby meerkats go outside

This is fun.  The insect that jumps on water

I am very glad we do not have these where I live…as far as I know.  When hippos turn violent


The Tiniest Chameleons May Actually Have The Most Powerful Tongues

Invasive Asian Carp Could Overtake Lake Erie, Study Finds

Healthy Diet Helps 183-Year-Old Tortoise Feel Young Again

New Protections For World’s Largest Population Of Giant Manta Rays

The Fast and the Furless: Explaining Newly Recognized Dog Breeds

Mystery Solved? How Sharks Find Their Way Home

Folks We Follow

The SeaDoc Society’s January 2016 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

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


Lost Whaling Ships Discovered In Arctic Thanks To Global Warming

Cricket Kick: Newest Health Food Craze Is Bugs

How Sherlock Holmes Changed The World


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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