The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

News & Commentary; From Olya – Octopuses and the Age of Outrage; Meade Fischer – The Summer Travel Season  and Other Travel News; Sara’s Fulbright Year in Taichun; Good Examples; Bad Examples; Our Science Section Abridged; The Green Agenda; Health; Lifestyle; Funzone; From Northstar; All Creatures Great & Small; Northstar Endorses; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

June 5 2016  No. 453



Hi again, gang, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Sometimes headlines like the one above tend to freak me out a little. I mean, what if there is life on one of these things and since the best survivors on our planet are cockroaches, let’s assume this lifeform is as well?  And capable of space travel, in rocketships about the size of a matchbook?

What if they had overcome their instinct to war among one another but, in so doing, over populated their comet or asteroid or whatever?  What if they needed more room and had these teensy orbiters and landers sampling our solar system.

Mercury, because of its proximity to the sun, is too hot and too small to have an atmosphere.  Venus has one but it’s mostly carbon dioxide (CO2).  Atmosphere pressure is also about 95 times greater than earth.

On the other side of us, Mars has a thin atmosphere of mostly CO2.  It is really dusty and really cold, with temperatures ranging from -51F/-41C – -225F/-142C.  Jupiter is intensely radioactive, with spewing volcanoes and winds in excess of 315 mph/620 kph.  Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are gas giants with no solid surface.

And then there is us.  We have atmosphere, climate, a variety of environmental options, a host of life forms substance, sport and other pleasures.  Granted, the dominant species looms over these little extraterrestrial cockroaches like a 17 story building.  But observation has shown that the most deadly creatures on earth are the smallest.

What if we woke up one morning with tiny interplanetary cockroaches calmly dismantling our world in order to make it theirs.  What would be our fate when at last we were reduced to naked and shivering millions?  Hint:  cockroaches, like us, also eat meat.

It is precisely because of this risk that I think NASA and all the other space agencies of the world, as well as private enterprise needs to build five kilometer long cannons out in the desert someplace with atomic, hydrogen and nitrogen warheads and as soon as an asteroid of a comet or a meteor enters our atmosphere, it’s like slam, bam, thank you Uncle Sam.

God made earth for earthlings, not for extraterrestrial cockroaches.  If God had wanted extraterrestrial cockroaches here, She would have had them earthlings.

This land is our land, after all, from California to the New York island and  from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters, this land was made for you and me.  Not for extraterrestrial cockroaches.

Have a great week, gang.  And thanks again, then, eh, for the ear.


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


You guys in Australia who surf the Great Barrier Reef with these guys are going to love hearing about this.  Expert warns 2016 could see a record number of shark attacks, but remember, accidental drownings are way more common

If they also learn to skate, Copenhagen will never be the same.  Wild elephants could soon roam Denmark

This is amazing.  The Village With No Locks Or Doors


United National Global Update

Macarthur Foundation Will Award $100 Million For Solution To A Global Problem


In Hong Kong, Protest Over ‘Pokemon’ Name Change Reflects Fears Of Chinese Encroachment

Court Convicts 24 Over Gujarat Massacre

Japan Officials Raid Suzuki Headquarters

Kidney Racket At Top Delhi Hospital

Thai Tiger Temple Operation ‘Completed’

Okinawa Murder Case Heightens Outcry Over U.S. Military’s Presence

Governor Of Jakarta Bucks Indonesia’s Party Politics

Thousands Rally In Hong Kong To Mark Tiananmen Anniversary


Boko Haram Attack Kills 32 In Niger

When West Africans Dress, The Fabric Is The Message

Political Violence Roils The Republic Of Congo

Uganda Halts Military Cooperation With North Korea

Hissène Habré, Ex-President Of Chad, Is Convicted Of War Crimes

Power Struggles Stall South Sudan’s Recovery From War

Dakar Journal: A Mission To Bring Stem Skills, And Robots, To Children In West Africa


Iran’s Supreme Leader On America: Don’t Trust, Don’t Cooperate

Palestinians Elect A New President (On A Reality TV Show)

Saudi Oil Chief Khalid Al-Falih Tells OPEC Changes Are Coming

U.N. Plans No Imminent Airdrops Of Aid In Syria, Despite Expired Deadline

King Tut’s Dagger Made Of ‘Iron From The Sky,’ Researchers Say

Top Aide To Assad Takes Syria’s Case To A U.S. Audience

20,000 Iraqi Children Are Trapped By Falluja Battle, U.N. Warns


Germany Defies Turkey Over ‘Genocide’

Paris River ‘To Peak At Six Meters’

Lightning Hurts Dozens At Rock Festival

In Turkey, A Syrian Child ‘Has To Work To Survive’

Moldova Is Rattled As Washington Welcomes A Feared Tycoon

Trying To Fill Void, France Holds Talks On Mideast Peace Process


Scapegoat Or Spy? Vatican Consultant Commands Attention At Leaks Trial


First Residents Return To Fort McMurray After Wildfire

He’s A Pastor And A Firefighter And Fort McMurray Made Him Question God

How Internet Detectives Tracked A Child Porn Trail From Idaho To Red Deer

3 Slain Mounties ‘Ran Toward Danger’ To Protect Community: Moncton Unveils Memorial


Death Rate For Americans Ticks Upward, Reversing Long-Term Trend

Cuomo, Fighting Boycott Against Israel, Will Halt State Business With Groups That Back It

A Weekend In Chicago: Where Gunfire Is A Terrifying Norm

America Is Hitting The Road Again


Firebombs And Accusations Fly In ‘Ruthless’ Election Campaigns In Mexico

Argentine President Mauricio Macri Will Repatriate Savings From Bahamas

Recording Spurs Anticorruption Minister To Resign In Brazil

Grass-Roots Anticorruption Drive Puts Heat On Mexican Lawmakers

Argentine Court Confirms A Deadly Legacy Of Dictatorships


Australia Surfer Dies After Shark Attack



The Winter Was Wet, But California Could Get Thirsty Again

The Trillion-Dollar Climate Threat

Climate Change Film Tells Us “How to Let Go of the World”

Tired Of Running From The River: Adapting To Climate Change On India’s Disappearing Islands


3 Somali-Americans Found Guilty Of Trying To Join Islamic State

Militias In Libya Advance On ISIS Stronghold Of Surt With Separate Agendas


Three Days, 700 Deaths On Mediterranean As Migrant Crisis Flares

Migrant Boat Rescue Under Way Off Crete

Graphic: Migrant Death Toll On The Rise Again




Hi Mishka:

It was informative to read an article Living In The Age Of Outrage highlighting the problems we encounter being people of a digital age.

Besides, being positive, connecting with the Internet apparently does also have a negative side.   While we stop communicating face to face, it is common now just to stereotype people with whom there is a disagreement and fall into unconscious behaviour seeking and demonizing enemies. With the power of the Internet it is easier than ever to find information that already confirms pre-existing beliefs, without even trying to understand others.

Also it would be not excessive to point out that health and food choices are first to affect mental state. Compromised liver, for example, leads to agitation and outrage too. The only way to control emotions is to be conscious of their grounds.

Of course it is a matter of choice to find a common language with each other. If not, Mother Nature has always Plan B, in case homo sapiens as a species opt to be irresponsible.

Also, since I too also love All Creatures Great and Small, I wanted to share this with everybody.  Check Out Eight Reasons Why Octopuses Are The Geniuses Of The Ocean

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

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.  Summer Travel Season


The Road That Defies Gravity


This is a fascinating little report about trash collection in this country. So interesting … and gives us something to think about in terms of the sheer volume of trash we generate in our own country (especially in comparison to Taiwan). Please listen:

This is the newly updated Fulbright ETA website:

Here is the “Teaching in Taichung” page:

For photos and more, please go here.


Good for us!  U.S. Bans Commercial Trade of African Elephant Ivory

Given some of the bizarre behavior I’ve seen in Seattle recently, I think this is an excellent concept.  What If Mental Health First Aid Were as Widespread as CPR? New York City’s Planning to Do It

I thought this was pretty inspiring.  Longevity Pose: Teaching Yoga At Age 97


This is a kind of big “Ooops.”  Spy agency accidentally shared Canadians’ data with allies for years

We are certainly glad papal justice is prevailing.  Bishops Face Sack For Mishandling Abuse

This needs to be corrected.  Computer Vision Syndrome Affects Millions


After almost two decades of construction, World’s longest rail tunnel opens

This is fascinating.  How rockets are catching up to sci-fi

So Is This.  Ancient Civilization Of Microbes, Not Greeks, Built ‘Lost City’


Madagascar’s First Settlers Came From 3,000 Miles Away

Where Two Continents Are Breaking Apart

Scientists Announce HGP-Write Project to Synthesize Human Genome


Watch International Space Station’s Newest Module Expand

Life Ingredients In Rosetta’s Comet

Asteroids Splashed Into The Young Moon – And They May Be The Source Of Its Water


Five Cities Beloved By Digital Nomads

How To Save A Billion Gallons Of Petrol

Walmart Looks To Drones To Speed Distribution


Washington to force state’s biggest carbon polluters to cut emissions

Scientists From Around The World Call On Trudeau To Reject Pacific Northwest LNG

Why Did The US Let Highways Ruin Its Cities? How Can We Fix It?

US Congress Aims To Cut Climate Science

How To Not Love The National Parks To Death


The Invention That Stops Girls Missing School Every Month

Foods That Steal Sleep

After A Stroke At Age 30, Making Our Own Luck

Yoga May Be Good For The Brain

Using Meditation To Help Close The Achievement Gap

Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?

Migraines Tied To Increased Risk Of Heart Problems

‘New Era’ Of Personalised Cancer Drugs


Immigrant Moms Were Told They Can’t Have Jobs—So They Started Their Own Tamale Co-op

Who Is To Blame When A Child Wanders At The Zoo?

Moscow’s Chief Architect Envisions The City’s Future

In Istanbul’s Taxis, Buckling Up Is An Insult

The Y’s And Wherefores Of How Cubans Name Their Children



Important things

Another person it’s hard not to be drawn to.  Krista Tippet’s books and interviews are consistently insightful and not what one might imagine.

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


Heartwarming Video Of Sea Otter Pup Reuniting With Mom

How Did That Missing Japanese Boy Survive?

Music In Moscow On Sunday: The A

Adventures Of Foreigners In Russia











KIKORIKKI ~ a truly fun way to experience science



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

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

Comedy ~ jokes, monologues

Ghost writing


Editing ~ General and International

“Americanization” of International Websites

Online English Tutoring

Special Projects

Northstar Media Services



This does not surprise me.  It is also why I don’t go swimming with them.  Octopuses are the geniuses of the ocean

Since I’m a fan of these little dudes (and dudettes), I thought this was really cool.  Bees’ secret superpower explained: How they sense flowers’ electric fields

Weird, even for us, this one is.  Scientists crack mystery of shrimp packing such a punch it can split your thumb


Officials Seize Tigers From Thai Temple

Top 10 New Species Of 2016

Deciphering Mysterious Honey Bee Decline


The SeaDoc Society’s June 2016 newsletter is now available online and it is one of the best they have yet published.


VIDEO: Arnie vs. Elephant — Arnold Schwarzenegger Is Chased By An Elephant While On A Trip To South Africa.

Village Completely Relocated Because Of Elephants

A Weekend In Chicago: Where Gunfire Is A Terrifying Norm


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 would like to receive a graphically enhanced version delivered to your email, yearly subscriptions are now available for a limited time at the reduced price of $12.00 US. To do so,  please go here.  Then send us your email address at and bingo.  International currencies accepted.


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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