The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

News & Commentary; From Olya ~ Sharp Decline in Tooth Decay Among Children;  Meade Fischer Travels & Other Travel News; Good Examples; Bad Examples; Northstar Interactive – Short Knowledge Quizzes; Our Science Section Abridged; The Green Agenda; Health; Lifestyle; Thought of the Week; Best Of The Net;  From Northstar; All Creatures Great & Small; Northstar Endorses; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

May 15, 2016

No. 450



Hi again, gang, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  We’d like to take this opportunity to wish Israel a late happy birthday.  She turned 68 this past Thursday, May 12, 2016.  ישראל עלולה שוב יודעת שלום ועשוי ששלום יימשך לעד.  May Israel again know peace and may that peace last forever.

We want again to express our concern and our prayers for those impacted by the Fort McMurray Oil Sands Fires in Alberta, Canada.  Despite efforts and prayers to the contrary, this has become an ecological disaster of major proportions at a time when the national economy can least afford it.

To suggest that this might be a major victory for the environmental movement is also to suggest that they are worth the price.  It will no longer be worth the price when the end user stops paying for it at the pump.  Until then, accidents like this will occur and all the weeping for the dead, burned, homeless and spiritually devastated will change nothing.  We have alternatives to fossil fuels and if we chose not to use them, we can at least mourn quietly.

A little closer to home and perhaps on a much lighter note, I love shopping but sometimes not the discoveries I make that suggest I should be wearing around my neck a sign reading “Stupid”.  I have rather belated just learned that the popular but expensive cereal I have been buying for years does NOT have anything that the generic equivalent does not except twice the price.  That’s about $2.00 a week which in my house adds up quickly.

Okay, that’s it for now.  You folks have a great week.  And thanks again, then, eh, for the ear.


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


This is stunning and in a way, it reminds me that sometimes revolutions are not ignited by those who would save our species from itself.  Rather, they begin when one woman stands alone in the street as marching Neo-NAZIs bear down on her, and dares to tell them with silent salute that they have no place in her community.  I remember something quite similar to this when a black cleaning lady got on a bus too tired to go to the back of it  The Woman Who Defied 300 Neo NAZIs.

This is certainly good news.  Nearly 90 Per Cent Of Fort McMurray Still Intact; 2,400 Structures Lost

I somehow knew this was coming.  Video: ScienceTake | Meet the Humanoid Mer-Bot  ~ A submersible robot in human form, developed at Stanford University, completed its first dive, recovering a 17th-century vase.



Mystery In Sochi Doping Case Lies With Tamper-Proof Bottle


Maverick Wins Philippine Presidency

Obama’s Visit To Japan Raises Ghosts Of Hiroshima

Video: Japanese Premier Discusses Obama’s Visit

Taliban Cut Off Afghan Highway Linking Kabul To Northern Gateways

Japan Has A Kit Kat For Every Taste, And Then Some

Look Out, Celebrity Chefs. Here Comes Kim Jong-Un.


Chinese Judge Decides For Facebook In Trademark Case

For Chinese Police Officers, Light Duty On Tourist Patrol In Italy

50 Years After The Cultural Revolution, A Son Awaits Answers On His Father’s Death

Man Fosters Love And Care In Lives Of Unwanted Children

China Launches Yaogan-30 Remote Sensing Satellite

Taiwanese Fraud Suspects Deported From Malaysia Confess


The River Ganges, India’s “Dying Mother

Two Journalists In India Are Fatally Shot

Man Spent 40 Days Digging A Well For His Wife During A Drought

Teen Girls Create Apps To Tackle Gender Violence, Clean Water Access In India Slum

Literal Food Bank Lets People Deposit, Withdraw Food As Needed

Daughters Of Domestic Workers In India Fight Back Against Exploitation


Zimbabwe Is Trying To Sell Off Its Wildlife Because Of Severe Drought

Congo Lurches Toward A New Crisis As Leader Tries To Crush A Rival

Yoweri Museveni And Other African ‘Presidents For Life’

Ambush Kills 8 Police Officers In Egypt

Seeing President Mugabe’s Frailty, Zimbabwe Braces For Turmoil

In Congo, Wars Are Small And Chaos Is Endless

Kenya Building Collapse Kills At Least 10 In Nairobi

Nairobi Demolition Starts As Death Toll Rises In Collapse

Lives: Hunger Games In South Africa

Egypt Sentences 152 To Prison For Protest Over Transfer Of Islands


Khan Dismisses Trump ‘Exception’ Offer

Solar Project Pairs Muslims And Jews To Aid West Bank Farmers

Mustafa Badreddine, Hezbollah Military Commander, Is Killed In Syria

The House Lights, If Not The Stars, Shine Bright At Gaza’s Film Festival

In Syria, An Aid Convoy Is Refused Entry To A Besieged Town

Iran Says It Will Avoid The Hajj This Year, Blaming Saudi Arabia


Removal Of Top Editors Signals Trouble For Independent Russian Paper

Russia Denies Doping At Sochi Olympics

Russia’s Former Anti-Doping Lab Head Claims He Can Prove Sochi Doping

Russia Loses To Ukraine In ‘Politicized’ Eurovision Final

From Sore Loser To Slated Winner: Russia’s Eurovision Victory

Jailed For Protesting Against The Kremlin — Life Four Years After Bolotnaya

Janitor Demands $3M As Face Of Russian Chocolate Bar ‘Alyonka’

Duma Bill Restricting Foreign Travel For Russians Passes First Reading

Three Top Managers Leave Russia’s RBC Media


Video: Despair In Turkish Town Hit By War

EU-Turkey Deal ‘Only If Conditions Met’

US Turns On Missile Shield In Romania

Germany To Annul Convictions Of Gay Men

Beer Purity Law, A German Tradition (And Marketing Tool), Turns 500

Spanish Activists Push For Laws To Protect Whistle-Blowers

My Berlin: Reckoning With The Past

Spring In Paris, My Adopted City, After The Attacks

The Dutch Prime Minister Is A Big Fan Of Robert Caro

Obama Warms Up To Nordic Leaders


Corruption Causes Extremism, Says PM

Hundreds Evacuated In Bath, England, After Wartime Munition Is Found

Alan Rusbridger, Once Guardian’s Celebrated Editor, Severs Ties With It


Inside Fort McMurray: Helicopter Crews Battle Wildfires To Save City’s Infrastructure

No End In Sight To Oil Sands Shutdowns

Canadian Universities Fail To Meet Diversity Hiring Targets

Canada Poised To Embrace UN Indigenous Rights Declaration

Canada’s Fire-Hit Oil Plants To Restart

BC Brings In Tougher Penalties For Drivers Caught Texting, E-Mailing

BC First Nations appeal to UN to help stop LNG project

Surveying Fire-Ravaged Fort McMurray, Justin Trudeau Praises Responders


Black Americans See Gains In Life Expectancy

U.S. Directs Public Schools To Allow Transgender Access To Restrooms

Judge Finds Planned Parenthood Shooting Suspect Unfit For Trial

U.S. Will Step Up Deportations, Focusing On Central Americans

As ‘Sextortion’ Proliferates, Victims Find Precarious Place In Legal System

Senator Demands Answers From Facebook On Claims Of ‘Trending’ List Bias

US Oil Industry Bankruptcy Wave Nears Size Of Telecom Bust


A Slice Of The Confederacy In The Interior Of Brazil

Impeachment Trial For Brazil’s Rousseff

South America’s Powerful Women Are Embattled. Is Gender A Factor?

Nicolás Maduro Tightens Hold On Venezuela As U.S. Fears Further Tumult

Aid Arrives In A Devastated Ecuadorean Village


Australian Researchers Say They’ve Found The World’s Oldest Hatchet

Westpac ATM Network Restored After Customers Left Frustrated

AMA Urges Government Rethink On Medicare Rebate Freeze



After The Pacific Ocean Swallows Villages And Five Solomon Islands, A Study Blames Climate Change

E.P.A. Methane Leak Rules Take Aim At Climate Change

WHO: Global Air Pollution Is Worsening, And Poor Countries Are Being Hit The Hardest

This Scientist Just Changed How We Think About Climate Change With One GIF


Muslim Leaders Wage Theological Battle, Stoking Isis’ Anger

Lack Of Plan For ISIS Detainees Raises Human Rights Concerns

Belgium’s Anti-Isis Airstrikes Expand From Iraq Into Syria

Navalny Detained In Russia’s Krasnodar To Check For Links To Isis


VIDEO: The Migrants Buried Without A Name  See also:  Plane Wreck At Los Gatos Canyon

Kenya Plans To Expel Somali Refugees From Dadaab Camp, Citing Terror Threat




Hi Mishka:

It was good to learn from our Health section’s article “Under five tooth decay ‘improving’” that the number of five-year-olds with tooth decay has dropped to its lowest level in almost a decade.  The latest figures from Public Health England suggest that this is probably because both parents and society are more aware of the impact of sugar on teeth.

Talking about older kids and teens and taking into account how much fizzy drinks they consume, the rhetorical questions now is, “What has happened to drinking fountains at schools?”  According to a teacher acquaintance of mine in Great Britain, in some schools, all drinks children can buy are Pepsi, Cola etc. but not water.

Coming back to the above-mentioned article, what also caught my attention is the recommendation to use fluoride toothpaste twice a day.  But fluoride is claimed to be quite a toxic substance. For example, look at the warning that the FDA now requires on all fluoride toothpastes sold in the U.S. and other impact could be read here: 

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

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


Where has one of North America’s foremost kayaking photojournalists and writers been lately and who or what has he been shooting.


New York’s New Underground Park — You’ve Heard Of The High Line – Now Meet The Low Line

First Group Of Foreign Climbers To Reach Mount Everest Summit After Two Years Of Deadly Disasters


I’m definitely doing the Happy Dance around this one.  U.S. Denies Permit For Coal Terminal In Washington State

When all else fails, sometimes this is necessary.  Faced With A Fracking Giant, This Small Town Just Legalized Civil Disobedience

We believe this is appropriate.  Gates Foundation Quietly Dumps All Of Its British Petroleum Stock

To comment, email us at minstrel312@aol.com 


If this is true, Satan’s waiting for this oneU.S. Judge Resigns After Allegations He Exchanged Reduced Sentences For Sexual Favours From Young Men

I will never understand how anyone could do this.  Fire That Left 15 Dead At Texas Fertilizer Plant Is Ruled Intentional

This is what we thought.  Released Emails Show Use of Unclassified Systems Was Routine — A review of tens of thousands of documents reveals that sending sensitive information on unclassified computer networks was not limited to Hillary Clinton.


This Request For Signatures (RFS) comes from the World Wildlife Foundation and is aimed at reducing the pollution caused by the aviation industry.  Act Now To Fight For A Global Cap On International Aviation Emissions.

For those into exotic and/or meaningful holiday experiences, you might want to check out Natural Habitat’s Great China Adventure.  You tour with a group which visits panda research centers in that vast country.  At some of them, you have hands-on experience with the creatures themselves.  We highly recommend this one so for more information, please go here.

Interactive Feature:Quiz: Guess The World Leader’s Nickname

To comment, email us at minstrel312@aol.com 


This is a discussion worth dropping in on.  Scientists Talk Privately About Creating A Synthetic Human Genome

This is not good news.  First Report Of All The World’s Plants Finds 1 In 5 Species Facing Extinction

It’s nice they have a plan.  I hope it works.  Saving Earth From ‘Doomsday’ Asteroids


At The ‘Crater Of Doom,’ Geologists Dig Up Rocks From The Day The Dinosaurs

How Dalí Entered The Fourth Dimension

The 10 Cities Where Solar Is Going Viral


Kepler Confirms 1,284 New Planets

Just 40 Light-Years Away, 3 Potentially Habitable Planets

Four Mini-Neptunes Orbiting In Lock Step


15-Year-Old’s 200 Vintage Apple Computers Are Now A Mac Museum

In Dark Alaska, Solar Power Might Work Better Than You’d Think

Rare Time-Lapse Of Webb Telescope Mirror Rollover


Rich Countries Have Pledged Billions In Climate Aid. Why Has Progress Been So Slow?

Red States Are Leading The Way In Renewable Energy

What Happens To Our E-Waste? One Man’s Mission To Find Out

Protesters Block Train Tracks To 2 Washington Refineries

Lummi Nation Defeats Coal Export Terminal  See Also:  Video: How Lummi Nation’s Treaty Stand Beat Big Coal

The World’s Fastest Growing Source Of Toxic Waste

Shell Forfeits Arctic Leases Once Worth $2 Billion

EPA Chief: US Quickly Phasing Out Coal For Clean Energy

Only 6 Years After Bp Oil Disaster, Gulf Coast Is Faced With New Drilling


Men, Turn Back The Clock 9 Simple Steps To Keep Your Body Strong And Your Realage Younger. 

Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction At Epicenter For Opioids

Well – Tara Parker-Pope On Health

FDA: What Does ‘Healthy’ Mean Anyway?

Even While Sucking Down Fumes, Biking To Work Is Healthier Than Driving


Crossing The Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women In Private

Why Humans Sometimes Turn Killer

F.B.I. Director Says ‘Viral Video Effect’ Blunts Police Work

Confined To Nursing Homes, But Longing (And Ready) For Home


Life's shagows getting in the way

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


Humans And Mastodons Coexisted In Florida, New Evidence Shows

Smoke From Canada’s Wildfires In Clouds

Hate Mosquitoes? This Easy Trick Will Stop Them From Ruining Your Summer Nights!








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


Is the world ready to see dinosaurs as they really were?  To find out, go here.

At a five-star lodge in Zambia, elephants are taking over.  Wildlife cameraman Nathan Pilcher is on a mission to find out how and why. What he discovers may reveal elephants to be far more intelligent than we could’ve imagined

This is scary.  How Dust From The Sahara Fuels Poisonous Bacteria Blooms In The Caribbean


Snakes Have A Secret Superpower

The Starfish Baby Boom Comeback In Oregon And California

Why Scientists Are Making Polar Bears’ Poop Glitter

The Vaquita, The World’s Smallest Porpoise, Slips Closer To Extinction


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


Where Tea Is Made With Cow Dung

The World’s Most Polite Country?

The Truth About Icelandic Happiness


The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Editor

Dennis Steussy – Associate Editor

Meade Fischer – Contributing Editor

Shannon Patricia Goddard (1962 – 2001) – Editor Emeritus

We are a reader-supported international news, commentary and general interest Internet weekly magazine reaching readers in 22 countries.  They range in age from 12 – 93 and cross all demographics. If you like what you read and would like to contribute to the next edition, please go here.  International currencies accepted. For more information and to receive us in your email if you currently view us on our website, contact us at minstrel312@aol.com


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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