The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart News & Commentary; From Olya ~TED Talks, Chicken Soup for the Mind; Meade Fischer Travels ~ Adventure Photography & Other Travel News;  Good Examples; Bad Examples; Our Science Section Abridged; 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

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart
News & Commentary; From Olya ~TED Talks, Chicken Soup for the Mind; Meade Fischer Travels ~ Adventure Photography & Other Travel News; Good Examples; Bad Examples; Our Science Section Abridged; 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

100% Reader Supported.  Contributions Accepted Here.

April 3, 2016  Vol. 9 No. 199  444th Consecutive

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Editor

Dennis Steussy – Associate Editor

Meade Fischer – Contributing Editor

Amy Goldstein – Contributing Editor

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

Credit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it looks like we’re having summer this week.  Thank you, El Nino, for that and for the wettest winter our soggy region has seen in some while.

It has been a week of ironies.  I have ties to Russia and enjoy a couple of their websites a great deal.  I have two favorite singers and one of them is Russian.  The magazine also gets most of its Russian news from the Moscow Times.

I enjoy the interaction.  It’s like they post a photo of some of their army and I remind them we have one too so their point is?  Or this morning, this jet fighter preparing to take off from an aircraft carrier.  I told them I wanted one and asked them how much they cost.

But that’s about as far as that behavior goes.  I respect their president and stay out of their politics.  I do not criticize their lifestyle or the decisions they make until those decisions impact my world and frankly, most of them do not.

In some very important ways, I am a lot ~ both in person and therefore on the Net ~ like James Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.  Except I’m not naïve.

So if I get into an argument with someone on that site, it’s the same as anywhere else.  This one started because I wanted to see how bright a couple of these people were.  So I asked them what other country’s flag had the same colors as theirs.  Do you guys know?

And when it took them too long, I just sighed and muttered something about hoping their guns were as dumb as they were.  Red, white and blue happen to be the colors of the flags of both Russia and the United States of America.

Here’s another irony.  El Nino or his sister La Nina generally impact the weather almost to the point of temporarily altering the climate.  Look up what those two names literally translate to.  Since Spanish nouns are case sensitive, it means “child”, male (el) or (la) female.

So I am thinking, if those are kids doing that, we need to find their parents and make sure they’re not mad at us about anything.  I suspect these are offspring of the planet herself and that as long as we’re stupid enough or self-destructive enough to defy nature, we’re headed ~ walking tall ~ down the road to our own extinction.

Mightier beasts than humans have walked this planet before.  I suspect it was not a cataclysm which killed them.  It was, I believe, their fatal arrogance.

Have a great week, all.


To comment, email us at minstrel312@aol.com  To contribute to the next edition, please go here.


For our American readers especially, which state ~ based on the quality of its secondary (high school) education system ~ ranks first and which ranks 50th?  The state in which I was educated came in second.  The state in which I’ve lived now for about 30 years came in 15thHow did yours do?

This is probably the best reason we will ever have to stop poisoning the planet..  Even Before They Start Breathing, Babies Can Be Harmed By Air Pollution, Scientists Say

I live in the state where this happened and I am very proud to be where people do this.  Our thanks to the Los Angeles Times for this one.  When those guys pick a story up, the whole world reads it.  Washington’s Olympic Peninsula Loses 2 Dams And Gains A Wild River – Plus A New Beach



Antarctic Loss Could Double Expected Sea Level Rise By 2100, Scientists Say

The Alarming Science Driving Much Higher Sea Level Projections For This Century 

A Really Bad Winter For The Arctic Just Got Even Worse

What Florida’s Ancient Past Tells Us About Sea-Level Rise Today


Vietnam’s Battle With Tuberculosis

Video: Exploring Myanmar’s Ageing Sewers

Patrolling Disputed Waters, U.S. And China Jockey For Dominance

Xi Meets South Korean President On Bilateral Ties, Korean Peninsula Situation

Constitution Does Not Ban Japan From Owning, Using Nuke Weapons: Japan Gov’t


China To Work Together With The US For New-Type Relationship: Xi

China’s Nuclear Industry Goes Global Supported By  Technology And Credibility

China To Launch General Survey On Left-Behind Children

Friendship Trees Planted By Chinese President Xi Jinping


Half-Built Kolkata Flyover Collapses

Hope Fading In Kolkata Flyover Collapse

Eatery Puts Fridge On Street, So Patrons Can Leave Leftovers For Those In Need


Egypt Hijack Suspect In Cyprus Court

Life For Killer Egyptian Policeman

UN Police Force In Burundi Approved

UN Chief’s Horror At CAR Bestiality Claim

Middle East

Video: On The Ground With Kurdish Forces In Aleppo

Video: Aleppo’s Destruction Seen From Above

Video: Yemen’s ‘Forgotten Conflict’


Russia’s First McDonald’s Turns 26

Russian Human Rights Ombudswoman Pamfilova Appointed Election Commission Head

Mikhail Lesin’s Strange Death In U.S. Follows A Fall From Russia’s Elite

Moscow’s Summer Riverboat Season To Begin Saturday

Putin Advises Journalists To Publish Their Income, Journalists Say ‘No, Thanks’

Russia Drops Out Of EU’S Top Three Trading Partners

Investigators Treating Suspicious Death Of St. Petersburg Journalist As Murder

Russian Domestic Tourism Rose By 1.3 Million People In 2015

Criminal Case Opened Against Regional Deputy For Video Criticizing Putin


Montenegro Set To Deport Russian Organized Crime Group

Azeris ‘Call Truce’ In Caucasus Clash

Brussels Airport Set To Reopen

Migrant Crisis: Concern Rises As EU-Turkey Deal Looms

The Vatican

Pope Francis’s Reforms Polarize The Vatican

United Kingdom

State Ready To Help On Steel Deal – Javid

Large Fire At Industrial Bakery

Inquiry ‘Will Cover False Abuse Claims’

Man Bailed In Prison Murder Inquiry

Desert Dust Health Warning Issued

Three Hurt In ‘Suspicious’ Gas Blast

Most People In Scotland ‘Not Religious’


Solitary Confinement Reform Hindered By Gaps In Prison Statistics

Prison Watchdog Encouraged By Ottawa’s Aboriginal Pledge

Health Care Initiative Aims To Ease Wait Times For Syrian Refugees

Drone Warfare: A Cautionary Tale For Canada

Economy Off To ‘Roaring Start’ As Canada Sees Biggest Gain Since 2013

BC Now Has Lowest Minimum Wage in Canada

United States

7 Million Americans At Risk Of Fracking-Related Earthquakes, USGS Says

Minneapolis Officers In Jamar Clark Shooting Will Not Face Charges

In San Jose, Poor Find Doors To Library Closed

Video: Tornadoes Tear Through Oklahoma

Video: Aerial Footage Shows US Tornado Damage

More Racist And Homophobic Texts By San Francisco Police Are Found

Federal Judge Voids Mississippi Ban On Same-Sex Couple Adoptions

Jobs And Wages Notch Gains As The Economy Tries To Heal

Crime Spike In St. Louis Traced To Cheap Heroin And Mexican Cartels

Latin America

Argentina Wins Approval For Debt Deal

Guatemalan Women’s Claims Put Focus On Canadian Firms’ Conduct Abroad

Argentina Wins Approval For Debt Deal

Venezuela Lawmakers Pass Amnesty Bill

Oceana & Polynesia

‘Severe’ Coral Bleaching Is Damaging Huge Swaths Of The Great Barrier Reef, Scientists Say

New Mauritius ‘MH370 Debris’ Examined


Climate Change & Weather

As The Planet Flashes Warning Signs, U.S. And China Pledge Hasty Signing Of Climate Accord

Investigation Broadens Into Whether Exxon Mobil Misled Public, Investors On Climate Change

As Sea Levels Rise, Can Coastal Communities Adapt?

Big Floods Along Yangtze River Likely, Authorities Warn

Even In A Warming World, It Will Still Snow Somewhere

Espionage And Terrorism

Taliban Suicide Bomber Targets Christians At Pakistan Park

U.S. Says It Has Unlocked iPhone Without Apple

Video: Israel On Alert For Is Sinai Attacks

Xi Urges Strict Supervision, Prompt Response To Counter Nuclear Terrorism




Hi Mishka:

This’ has been a long week. Those who had chickenpox, a child’s disease, in adulthood  would understand. In such circumstances, one needs something to distract their mind from painful symptoms.

I do not have ~ nor ever intend to own ~ a television set.  So for me, it was the Internet and especially the short videos called TED Talks.  TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design) also hosts interactive global conferences on an equally impressive range of topics.  It is amazing to have so many enthusiasts, researchers, dreamers in one place to share ideas.

Books and writing children stories were another entertainment of mine for relief.

Albert Einstein once said, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

During these days I reread again 6 books of Kir Bulychev’s children’s science fiction series about Alice – girl from future having lots of space and time adventures. It was interesting to compare the writer’s 30 years old view of development with current world. Interesting and sad sometimes as the author expected ours to be a much more humane era. Still there is a hope that by 2088 ~ year of described events ~ it will happen. Of course at least we have now videophones and screen TVs.  That was a future back his days.

The last two decades of the last century are nostalgic for many people. There was some “promise for better life” in the air, reflected in the world pop culture. Feels like a paradigm flaw happened later.   But who knows? Maybe “Like the legend of the phoenix, we too will Get Lucky”

On this philosophical note wishing you a great week ahead 🙂

Olya Bereza, European Editor  To comment for publication, email her c/o minstrel312@aol.com 

MEADE FISCHER TRAVELS – 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 moving.  Video: The Doctors Helping India’s Acid Victims

We celebrate this with extreme applause.  Landmark Presidential Shift In Myanmar

This is nice, except Jackie died in 1972.  Philadelphia Apologizes To Jackie Robinson For The ‘Unconscionable Abuse’ He Once Suffered There

To comment, email us at minstrel312@aol.com 


Pray to Whoever you believe in that this never happens to you or anyone you love.  My Life As A Sex-Trafficking Victim

I’ll take “Here We Go Again,” Alex, for a thousand.  Boeing Commercial Airplanes is taking steps to eliminate 4,000 jobs by June — and that may be only halfway toward the total cuts this year. “We’re being pushed to the wall” by price competition from Airbus, CEO Ray Conner told employees in an internal message.

For the sake of a gentle readership, I will not express the utter contempt I have for this young man and the profound sympathy I have for the victim and her family.  All-American Swimmer Found Guilty Of Sexually Assaulting Unconscious Woman On Stanford Campus

To comment, email us at minstrel312@aol.com 


This is great.  Debunking Some Of The Misconceptions About Health And Science

To me, this is flipping bloody amazing (pardon my English).  Amateur Astronomers Captured Footage Of A Space Rock Crashing Into Jupiter

This is NOT good news.  Three Electric Car Recalls In A Month


Pavlof Volcano In Alaska Erupts

Did ‘Unicorns’ Co-Exist With Humans? Yes, But They Were Just Rhinos.

40,000 Feet Over Greenland

New Evidence Of Viking Life In America?


Best View Yet Inside Mars

Race To Save Japan’s Lost Satellite

Lasers Could ‘Cloak Earth From Aliens’


A Supreme Court Pioneer, Now Making Her Mark On Video Games

‘The Bots Are Coming’ – Microsoft

Police Body Cameras: What Do You See?


The Enormous Carbon Footprint Of Food That We Never Even Eat

Waiting On Instructions For Cleaning Up The Willamette

Washington Carbon-Tax Initiative Goes To November Ballot

Ideas Worth Stealing: Parking Benefit Districts

Seattle Preserves Farmland By Building Taller Condos


World’s Obese ‘Outnumber Underweight’

New F.D.A. Guidelines Ease Access To Abortion Pill

 Some People May Be Genetically Programmed To Be Vegetarians, Cornell Study Finds

Mom’s And Dad’s Pre-Pregnancy Caffeine Intake May Affect Miscarriage Risk, Britain’s National Institute of Heath Study Warns

Your Questions About Fitness, Answered

You’ll Save A Lot Of Money Buying Running Shoes Online

Ultrasounds Missed Her Zika Infection–Until One Showed Serious Harm To Her Fetus

Seattle Chefs Consider Link Between Healthy Food And Healthy Environment


Worrying You Might Get Hurt Is Worse Than Knowing You Will, Study Finds

Will Tomorrow’s Office Be Friend Or Foe?

What Is The Most Extroverted US City?


Seattle Facts & Figures

The number of foreign children adopted by American families fell to 5,648 last year, the lowest since 1981, over concerns about corruption and child trafficking in several nations. On the flip side, 93 American children were adopted by families in other nations.

Record crowds are expected at Sea-Tac airport the next couple of weeks as many school districts go on spring break. If you’re flying, here’s a survival guide. Hint: Avoid Thursdays and Fridays if you can.

The University of Washington is suing Seattle for control over historical buildings on campus. The university says it wants the issue settled by the courts, not raucous community meetings. 

Google is giving $344,000 in grants to the city of Seattle to bring Wi-Fi to low-income residents and to parks and recreation centers across the city.

The new 520 bridge is opening, after 31 years of arguments, planning and construction. Check out the world’s longest floating bridge here first, then walk, run or bike across the new span this weekend. Drivers get their first ride on the bridge April 11.

Seattle’s minimum wage, heading to $15 for all by 2021, has lifted some low-income earners, left other workers feeling downgraded, and led to similar moves elsewhere. The law is a year old now.


This is absolutely the cutest cartoon video we have ever seen.  It’s been popular in Russia and Eastern Europe for several years.  So, gentle readers, meet Masha and the Bear.

Watch A Middle-Aged Cop Teach An 11-Year-Old Homeless Girl How To Play Hopscotch

Love In The Time Of Zika: A Young American Couple’s Story About Life And Babies In Brazil


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 http://www.amazon.com/Wrath-USS-Testament-tale-rebellion/dp/1511900660/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

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


Advertising Copy ~ Classified and Display

Comedy ~ jokes, monologues

Ghost writing


Editing ~ General and International

“Americanization” of International Websites

Online English Tutoring

Special Projects

Northstar Media Services


email: minstrel312@aol.com


What is the world’s loudest animal?  The answer just might surprise you.

This is great news.  Bison Coming “Home” To Montana Indian Reservation After 140 Years

They’re like some human parents I have met.  Weird Frogs Have Even Weirder Tadpoles


How Do Flocking Birds Move In Unison?

The ‘Tiny Farm Animals’ Kept On Ice

Evolution Insights From A Walking Cavefish


The Cornell University School of Ornithology’s March Nestwatch newsletter is now online.


If you’re feeling generous and want to spend some  money making yourself feel good, instead of a trip to the mall or the deli, check out one of the outfits on this list and consider joining it.  You’ll be contributing to something really important and each month, you’ll be reminded of what your contribution is doing.  Some of them even have cool things like sweatshirts with their name on it or coffee mugs with lids.  As the King of Kitsch, that kind of appeals to me.  And if you want to throw a couple of bucks or Euros in our sugar can, here’s now to do that.   Thank you very much, guys.  Rusty

Amnesty International



GritTV With Laura Flaunders

Help End World Hunger & Poverty | Heifer International® | Heifer.Org

Mother Nature Network

Nature Conservancy in Washington

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


Jesse Webster, An Inmate Serving Life, Turned To His Last Hope: President Obama

Can You Really Drown In Quicksand?

The Case For Looking For UFOs

Rusty & The Big Red 1

Rusty & The Big Red 1


We are a reader-supported news, commentary and general interest Internet weekly magazine reaching readers in 22 countries.  They range in age from 12 – 93 and cross all demographics.  We have been publishing for over eight years.   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, please go here


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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.