The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

News & Commentary; From Olya ~On Recalled Mars Bars; Meade Travels ~ Adventure Photojournalism; David Grinberg ~ Why Even Good Dreams Have PR Problems; Good Examples; Bad Examples; Our Science Section Abridged; The Green Agenda; Health, Lifestyle; Best Of The Net; Thought of the Week; 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.

February 28, 2016  Vol. 9 No. 194  439th Consecutive

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Editor

Dennis Steussy – Associate Editor


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Since I do not follow politics and since we usually avoid them here in the magazine, when I can feel the earth moving beneath my feet and no books are falling from the shelves, I tend to look beyond the pale for the source of the tremors.

I like China and most of the Chinese people I’ve met, both in Hong Kong and on Taiwan, as well as those among the Asian communities in Southern California, San Francisco, Sacramento and Seattle.  I know something of the history of China and I respect both its culture and its traditions.

I also appreciate, applaud and respect China’s expanding role in the international community and I do not feel threatened by that nation’s considerable population, recent history, military or internal affairs.

Communism, like western industrialization, has not been around in China nearly as long as China itself has been around.  A cradle of civilization, literally, human-like species lived in China as far back as 2.24 million years ago.

That is a long time to establish ways of doing things whose efficacy is evident in the survival of China itself.  Younger civilizations may not like or approve of how China deals with its people or its neighbors.  But neither does any culture have either the experience or the personal precedence to “fix” what may, in fact, not even be broken.

We have chosen to welcome China to the global marketplace so in this inter-dependent context, every one of China’s trading partners has not only the right but the obligation to be concerned when that nation’s finances appear to be in trouble.

That notwithstanding, the days of gunboat diplomacy of any kind are over.  If China offends us, we find other markets for our exports and other sources for our imports.  That seems to me a much better use of time and energy than preaching a sermon to a country that wrote the book.

Have a great week, gang.


To comment, email us at  To contribute to the next edition, please go here.


This cannot possibly be good news, right?  Dear Massachusetts Residents: Venomous Rattlesnakes Coming To An Island Near You

What, according to Skycanner, are the five happiest states in America?  The answer just might surprise you.

I found this nothing short of astounding.  I thought the twin cities of salt were in Nevada.   City of Sodom Discovered



Seas Are Rising At Fastest Rate In Last 28 Centuries

IMF Warns Global Economy “Vulnerable”

Largest Fireball Since Chelyabinsk Falls Over Atlantic

El Niño Prolonging Record Coral Bleaching Event

Decline Of Pollinators Poses Threat To World Food Supply, Report Says


Reporting On Life, Death And Corruption In Southeast Asia

Activists Stage Holographic ‘Ghost Rally’ In South Korea

Nepal Passenger Plane Crash Kills 23

Japan Lost Nearly A Million People In 5 Years, Census Says


Why Does China Have Women-Only Mosques?

China Maintains Respect, And A Museum, For A U.S. General

Beijing Is New ‘Billionaire Capital’

Pastor In China Who Resisted Cross Removal Gets 14 Years In Prison

In Rare Appearance, China’s Central Bank Chief Says All Is Well


Army Takes Control Of Delhi Water Link

Water Begins To Return To Delhi

Video: India’s Deadly Superstition


U.S. Plans To Put Advisers On Front Lines Of Nigeria’s War On Boko Haram

Shabab Militants Claim Deadly Attack on Hotel in Somalia

Training Exercise Off W. Africa Becomes Real-Life Navy Drama

Burundi Strife Is Turning More Sinister, Report Finds

South Africa: Student Protesters Force Their University To Close

South Africa: Students Injured In Clash

Burundi: President To Free Detainees

Zimbabwe: Government Seizes Mining Operations

Newly Elected Central African Republic Leader Faces Hard Realities

Middle East

Syria Warring Parties Accept Truce Plan

U.N. Security Council Endorses Truce Deal for Syria

Amid Iraqi Chaos, Moktada al-Sadr, an Old Provocateur, Returns

Palestinian Fugitive Found Dead Outside Embassy in Bulgaria

Palestinian to End Hunger Strike After Israel Agrees to Free Him by May


Dozens Of Russian And Foreign Cities To Mourn Slain Oppositioner Nemtsov

Putin Says 400 Foreign Spies Discovered In Russia In 2015

Russia To Continue Air Strikes During Syria Cease-Fire

Russian Politician Wants Tripadvisor Investigated For Calling Crimea Ukrainian

Russia Sees Plummeting Demand For Passports In 2015

Shortage Of HIV And Hepatitis Medications For Russian Prisons – Report

Russia Cancels Planned Deportation Of Three Syrian Refugees


Pound Drops Most In A Year On EU Fears

Swedish Doctor Given 10 Years For Bunker Kidnap

EU In Crisis Talks Over Migrant Limits

The Greatest Glacier: What Makes Switzerland So Cool? How About A 23 Km Chunk Of Ice?

Letter From Europe: Russia And Germany Cling To Fragile Business Ties

Ukraine Sings Its Frustration With Russia

FIFA: Hotelier, Landlord And, Yes, Soccer Overseer

Mobs In Ukraine Attack Russian Banks In Burst Of ‘Office Pogroms’

The Vatican

For Catholics, Dismay And Delight Over Pope’s Clash With Trump

Pope Francis Captivated By Cancer Patient’s Rendition Of Ave Maria

1,000 Worshippers Welcome Pope Francis With A Living Portrait

Pope Francis Offers Rallying Cry Against The Exploitation Of Workers

Pope Francis Ends Visit To Mexico Near U.S. Border

United Kingdom

Big Firms Warn EU Exit ‘Threatens Jobs’

Britain: Setback For Nurse With Ebola

Jimmy Savile Inquiry Accuses BBC Of Failing To Report Sexual Abuse

The Secret Life Of The NHS  — What It’s Really Like To Work For The Health Service


Ontario’s New Post-Secondary Tuition Grant Is Just A First Step, Experts Say

Sympathetic Judge Jails N.S. Man Who Accidentally Shot And Killed Son

Canadian Olympic Outfitters Send Open Apology Letter To Indigenous People

Alberta Invests $25-Million In Flood-Protection Projects Across Province

Ontario To Offer Grants To Cover College Tuition For Low-Income Student

Canadian Court Says Some Can Grow Marijuana At Home, With A Prescription

United States

Kalamazoo Shootings Leave 6 Dead As Gunman Fires Randomly

When A State Balks At A City’s Minimum Wage

Veterans Want Past Discharges To Recognize Post-Traumatic Stress

FBI Director Makes Personal, Passionate Plea On Apple San Bernardino Controversy

After Almost Every Official In This Texas Town Was Arrested Black Water Started Coming Out Of The Pipes

Texas Court Dismisses Criminal Case Against Rick Perry

25 Plead Not Guilty In Standoff At The Oregon Wildlife Refuge

Dr. Robert Califf Wins Senate Confirmation To Run F.D.A.

Apple Boss Hits Back At FBI Conduct

5 teens cleared of Brooklyn gang rape charges as prosecutors say woman’s father committed incest

Video: Did ‘Socialism’ Save This US Town?

San Francisco Wants Homeless To Leave Tent Camp, But Some Vow To Fight

Latin America

Like The Last President To Visit Cuba, Obama Seeks A Change

The Royal Mummies Of Peru

One Of El Chapo’s Biggest Rivals Pleads Guilty In Washington

Cuba’s Had A Lung Cancer Vaccine For Years, And Now It’s Coming To The U.S.

What Really Wiped Out The Maya?

Oceana & Polynesia

Asylum Baby ‘Will Be Sent Back To Nauru’

Clean-Up Begins In Fiji After Cyclone

Village Built By Australian For Fiji’s Poor Survives Cyclone Unscathed

Government Defends Decision To Cancel Queensland Teen’s Passport

One Man Killed, Another Severely Injured In Yacht Crash


Climate Change & Weather

Top Scientists Insist Global Warming Really Did Slow Down In The 2000s

Graphic: What Global Warming Looks Like In Every State

We Can’t Solve Climate Change Without Teaching It—Why More Classes Are Heading Outside

Espionage And Terrorism

Gates Calls For Terror Data Debate

Obama Administration Set To Expand Sharing Of Data That N.S.A. Intercepts

Teenage Girl Rescued From ISIS Returns Home To Sweden

Crackdowns on Free Speech Rise Across a Europe Wary of Terror

Refugee Crisis

Video: Calais Camp ‘Is Our Second Home’

Trial In Firebombing Of Refugees Exposes Far-Right Grip In Germany

Private Prisons Are Cashing In On Refugees’ Desperation

With E.U. Paralyzed, 10 Nations Try to Stem Migrant Flow


CDC Investigating 14 New Potential Cases Of Sexually Transmitted Zika In U.S.

Texas Hospitals Announce First Quick Test For Zika That Could Help Identify When The Virus Reaches U.S.

Philanthropist Paul Allen Announces $2 Million In Grants For Zika Diagnostic, Mosquito Control



Diamonds May Not Actually Be A Girl’s Best Friend But Neither, These Days, Is Chocolate

Hi Mishka

There are things that really make me worry and if this case is an extreme “Mars recalls chocolate bars in 55 countries after plastic found in product“, the question is, “What else remains unknown about the products affecting the most vulnerable consumers, children?”  If it’s not plastic, it seems to be things like the palm and palm kernel oils and other apparently harmful ingredients or additives in chocolate.  At some stage, I just refuse to purchase such products at all, being as tired as I am of producers who don’t care much about health of their little customers.

Olya Bereza, European Editor  To comment for publication, email her c/o 


Where has one of North America’s foremost kayaking photojournalists and writers been lately and who or what has he been shooting?  Yep, find out here.  This is a Northstar Journal Five Star Recommendation.


An Insightful Look At Why Even Good Dreams Have PR Problems.


I think this is an outstanding example to follow, don’t you?  Ottawa aims to improve no-fly list data to curb mistaken identity cases

This one too.  MP’s animal welfare bill the latest attempt to ban import of shark fin

This had me on my feet and cheering.  The mind-boggling tale of how a mom found the baby stolen from her 18 years earlier

To comment, email us at 


Let’s hope nobody got sick from these.   Mars Recalls Candy In 55 Countries Due To Choking Hazard

It is extremely difficult for me to embrace this brand of “justice”.  Egypt Sentences 4-Year-Old To Life In Prison For Four Murders, Eight Attempted Murders And Police Threats

This needs to change and not tomorrow.  The Puget Sound Is Full Of Drugs — Including Cocaine, Prozac, Ibuprofen — And The Nasty Chemical Cocktail Is Making Its Way

To comment, email us at 


I found this extremely absorbing.  Video: Gates Explains ‘Superpower’ To Help Poor

This is amazing.  Robot Performs Everyday Tasks

So is this.  Video: Time-lapse of icebreaker ship as storm moves in


The ‘Super Bloom’: When Death Valley Becomes ‘A Valley Of Life’

Extinction Of Giant Herbivores Changed Global Landscapes

What Exactly Is Leap Year?


Moons Might Hold Key To Finding E.T. Life

What Is Time?  And Why Does It Move Forward?

Scott Kelly’s Year In Space

Map Of The Milky Way’s Star-Forming Gases Creates A Stunning New View Of The Galaxy


Your Home Water Heater May Soon Double As A Battery

Electric Vehicles Could Soon Be As Cheap As Gas-Fueled Cars

Video: Boston Robot Fights Against Pushing


100% Renewable Energy: What We Can Do In 10 Years

Unlikely Battle Over Fracking Intensifies In Florida

California Gas Leak Was The Worst Man-Made Greenhouse-Gas Disaster In U.S. History, Study Says

These States Are Adding Tons Of Wind Energy – And Suing Over Obama’s Climate Plans

Science Confirms It: Denial Of Climate Change Is All About The Politics

The Real Source Of America’s Urban Revival


Johnson & Johnson Ordered To Pay $72 Million In Suit Linking Talcum Powder To Ovarian Cancer

Keeping Mentally Active Doesn’t Stave Off Alzheimer’s Disease — Only Its Symptoms

IBM And New York Genome Center’s New Cancer Tumor Repository Aims To Revolutionize Treatment

The Teenage Brain: There May Be A Silver Lining To All That Misbehavior

Sleep-Deprived America In Five Simple Charts: The Impact Of Marriage, Education And Work


“We Couldn’t Possibly Be Poor”: How A Doctor Fell Into Poverty

The Girl Who Said ‘No’ To Marriage

The End Of Night: Why We Need Darkness In The Age Of Artificial Light

How To Pick A President Without Being Sexist

The Role Of An Activist Attorney In The Black Lives Matter Movement


At the request of several of you who live near us, we are reviving Seattle Scenes as a kind of bulletin board for local news and events reflective of the community at large.  Rusty

It’s A Puzzle: Seattle Is Ranked The Best For Professional Careers But Worst For Quality Of Life In A Staffing Firm’s Ratings. We Overcome Lack Of Sunshine, Housing Crunch And Terrible Commutes To Rank As The No. 1 City For Professional Workers.

Seattle-area home prices surged, up 10 percent over last year and posting the fourth highest annual gain among 20 metros, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index out today. Check out the new average home price.

Mayor Ed Murray is opening the city’s third homeless encampment near the Othello light-rail station in Rainer Valley — with 22 tents and 12 tiny houses — as soon as next week. Authorized camps in Ballard and Interbay opened in November.

Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg has been named chairman, fully succeeding former CEO Jim McNerney after the two shared oversight of the company for the past 18 months. McNerney’s legacy: profits, but also what workers considered his cold-blooded approach.

Bertha restarts — again. The massive boring machine began digging the Highway 99 tunnel yesterday, six weeks after a sinkhole and tipped barge prompted the state to suspend work. The $1.35 billion project is more than two years behind schedule.

Near Seattle’s notorious Jungle tent encampment, there’s a 100-bed shelter — with empty beds. Columnist Danny Westneat looks at what that says about the city’s response to dealing with The Jungle.


thoughts 022816

Adults are difficult to repair so treat your children right.

 ~ unknown

To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Ame at


Unique View Of World’s Biggest Dinosaur

This Rescue Of Ducklings Is The Best Video I’ve Seen On The Net In Years.

Meet Possibly The World’s Shyest Plant


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 


Advertising Copy ~ Classified and Display

Editing ~ General and International

Online English Tutoring

“Americanization” of International Websites

Comedy ~ jokes, monologues

Ghost writing


Special Projects

Negotiable rates, flexible financing, payment via Paypal for international clients, Paypal, email or direct deposit for US.  Email me at and I will reply within 24 hours. For my background and other services provided, please go to   I look forward to hearing from you.


I totally loved this.  How Butterflies Outwit Their Prey

This is certainly good news, especially for the creatures involved.  Shark Conservation Success In Fiji

Here’s something I have always wanted to know.  How Do Fish Shoot Arrows Of Water?


Video: Sciencetake | Flight Of The Sea Snail

Blinking Fireflies Light Up Night Sky

Bat ‘Super Immunity’ To Lethal Diseases Could Help Protect People

World’s Rarest Antelope Flourishes Under Community Conservation

Polar Bear Breeding Begins In The Highlands

5 Non-Native Plants Causing Environmental Problems In Cheshire


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 Conservation Society

Wildlife Extra Magazine

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace

YES magazine


Video: Woman, 106, Dances With The Obamas

Video: Inside Taipei’s Upside-Down House

Video: Maternity Consultant Delivers Baby Gorilla


Okay, before you go, I want to tell you about a weekly magazine and ask you a question.  This is a well-crafted publication draws its news and information from over two dozen different sources world-wide.  It also includes:

News analysis and commentary with heart and humor

Practical Living Information on Health & Lifestyle

Educational Information on Science and Environmentalism

Entertainment via Best of the Net, All Creatures Great & Small, Thought of the Week and You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up

It is a magazine which can be read together as a family

It is a total interactive experience you can put down for awhile and then return to for more.

All it costs is what you think it is worth.

My question to you then is, how much would you pay to read a magazine like this?

Yep, I just described the Northstar Journal.  If you’d like to SHOW how much you’d pay to read a publication like this, here’s your chance.  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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