The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart


News & Commentary; From Our European Desk ~ Kiev; Meade Fischer ~ Big Bear Kayaking Festival; Good Examples; Bad Examples; Our Science Section Abridged; The Green Agenda; Health; Lifestyle; Funzone; Northstar Classifieds; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

October 2, 2016 Vol. 9 No. 4



This Week’s Theme Music:  Puff The Magic Dragon ~ Peter, Paul & Mary

Hi again, gang, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, aside from the usual sound and fury our species makes in the course of seven days, it has not been an especially noteworthy week around my house.  The high point of it was the opportunity to give ~ by request ~ input on a subject of a rather sensitive nature.

It would probably be appropriate to mention at this point that there are three social situations that I absolutely dread, all of them, ironically, involving the opportunity to give input on subjects of a rather sensitive nature.

I cringe when people make a change in their lives like a new hairstyle and then ask me what I think.  One of the most beautiful women God ever created asked me that often in our relationship and at first, most of the time, my honesty got me a week on the couch.

If you had seen this woman, you would know why it seemed much longer than that.  So, in desperation and like I always do when nothing else works, I petitioned for Divine Intervention.  This time, God was listening.  So next time, I got asked that question, with a face as straight as a pine wood plank, I replied,

“How can a Hollywood hairdresser possibly improve what the Divine created?”

Yep, right answer, Rusty.  However, God is a very busy deity and even though She loves me as only a mother could love an errant son, it’s not like we have this “Dial A Mom” relationship.

The second dreaded human encounter is the one that begins, “If you were me, what would you do?”

Honestly?  The first thing would be not to ask that question.  It would assume that I know better than you do what’s best for you.  That’s a dumb assumption when people make it about me and it’s even stupider when I get maneuvered into making it about someone else.  I’m not you.  I never will be you.  Now, get over it because we are not going there.

The last one is when someone asks me to experience something they have created and then wants to know what I think.  Honesty is perhaps the most over-valued virtue in the moral code of our species.

For instance, I wonder how many wars have started because some king asked his third cousin, the queen of another country, what she thought of the painting he’d just finished and she told him she absolutely adored works of art depicting small ferocious dogs.  Except this was a portrait of the king’s pet duck, Malcolm.  Malcolm the Mallard.  The Sixteenth.

Have a great week, gang, and thanks for the ear.


This Week’s Theme Music:  Puff The Magic Dragon ~ Peter, Paul & Mary


This is certainly good news.  Millions In U.S. Climb Out Of Poverty, At Long Last

This is not particularly good news.  US Winter Forecast: Frequent Snow To Blast Northeast; Freeze May Damage Citrus Crop In South

This sounds like the beginning of Chinese glasnost.  China Starts Streaming Court Trials


United Nations Global Update

Why Some Wars (Like Syria’s) Get More Attention Than Others (Like Yemen’s)

What In The World? 10 Questions On Global Quirks


Japan Scrambles Jets Over China Flights

China Slowdown ‘Biggest Economic Risk’

What’s Wrong With The Russia-India Relationship?

Mali Islamist Jailed For Shrine Attacks

India ‘Launches Kashmir Border Strikes’

India’s Scandinavian Secret

In India, A Small Band Of Women Risk It All For A Chance To Work


‘Fees Must Fall’: Anatomy Of The Student Protests In South Africa

U.N. Criticizes Congo For Response To Deadly Unrest

‘Many Killed’ At Ethiopia Protest

US Fund To Pay $412m Over Africa Bribery

Libya: More Than 100 Families At Risk Of Starvation In Benghazi


Aid Convoys Reach Besieged Syrian Towns

The Middle East’s Time Of Troubles: The View From Russia

Syria: The Kids Playing Football In Aleppo’s Ruins

Audio Reveals What John Kerry Told Syrians Behind Closed Doors


Inside France’s ‘Boot Camp’ For Wavering Radicals

German Firms ‘Expecting Golden Autumn’

The Pros And Cons Of A European Army

Stolen Van Gogh Paintings Found In Italy

The Europeans Who Chose Mystical Islam

Women’s Emergence As Terrorists In France Points To Shift In ISIS Gender Roles

Reykjavik Briefly Swaps Its City Lights For Northern Ones

World’s Deepest Underwater Cave Discovered In Czech Republic

Hungarians Vote On EU Compulsory Asylum Seeker Quotas


Cambridges Visit Remote Forest Community

How The Mountie Became Canada’s Symbol

Liberals Approve Pacific Northwest LNG With Conditions

Pacific Northwest LNG Stalled By More Than 190 Federal Conditions


Roy Moore, Alabama Chief Justice, Suspended Over Gay Marriage Order

Oil And Coal Train Protest Shuts Down BNSF Tracks In Spokane

Heavily Armed Police Arrest Up To 21 Water Protectors At Dakota Access Pipeline

EPA Is Breaking Its Own Rules About Protecting Communities Of Color

Obama Pushes To Make Cities Denser And More Affordable

Timber Company Tells California Town, Go Find Your Own Water


Video: ‘Last Armed Conflict In Western Hemisphere’

Jamaica, Long Opposed To Marijuana, Now Wants To Cash In On It  

Inside Venezuela’s Crumbling Mental Hospitals

At A Loss For Meds, Venezuela’s Mentally Ill Spiral Downward

Evacuations In Guantánamo, Haiti As Hurricane Matthew Looms Near


Six People Rescued From Victorian Waters Amid Gale-Force Winds

SA Conditions Ease; Towns Bracing For More Rain


This mosaic of Kievan Duke Vladimir the Great adorns a tunnel of the Underground Metro System in Kiev.  Photo by Olga Bereza.

This mosaic of Kievan Duke Vladimir the Great adorns a tunnel of the Underground Metro System in Kiev. Photo by Olga Bereza.


Hi Mishka

This time I am in Kiev for a few days. Capitals through out the world are well-known for their faster pace of life and for me as for a “towner,” city living is a bit too fast. Ukrainians appreciate Kiev as a cultural center of the country and as the melting pot of everything that takes place in the country. Architecture of the city is quite diverse as it is described in this article headlined Kiev’s Tsarist And Stalinist Buildings – Charm, Convenience And Opportunity

 Film festivals, various international events and possibilities for careers attract to Kiev various public from dwellers of suburbs to expats from other countries. What I found interesting here are the various thematic places for leisure.

One of them situated just near railway station called Varenichnaya Latisha took me into my childhood. Designed in the late 1970s, it features music of the era with groups like Abba and Pesnyary, a pop music group from Belarus.  The epoch itself here was nostalgic for many.  Something was in the ambience of that era, promising freedom and well-being for everyone.

Another interesting feature of Katyusha restaurant is using decoration details quite recognizable for people living during that period of time. Vinyls of Beatles, pieces of mass production furniture or dishes that were in every house, old fashion television sets, etc.

Another legacy is Kiev’s underground, or what Americans call “a subway”.  The spherical planning of its entrances is very effective in directing flows of people. An escalator on Arsenalna Station reaches 100 meters/328 feet and passes through a long tunnel with lights.  However, don’t look down.  It is also the deepest metro station on the planet.

 It is also quite educational to see the reflection of historical heritage in mosaic images  of like Zoloti Vorota (Golden Gate) and the mosaic of Kievan Duke Vladimir the Great, who baptized Kievan Rus.

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

Olya Bereza – European Editor


Where has one of North America’s foremost travel photojournalists and writers been lately and who or what has he been shooting?   Big Bear Kayaking Festival


The U.S. West’s 70 Best Waterfalls

Top 10 Fall Hikes On Mt. Rainier

Five Amazing Hikes In the Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Solo Hiking:  The Gift Of Going It Alone


The Results Of The Duma Elections Send The Wrong Signal To The Kremlin

Russia’s Trade Ministry Proposes Halving Price Of Vodka To $1.50

Winter, bears and danger: 3 popular myths about SiberiaPutin’s Upcoming Visit To France Won’t Be A Game-Changer


France Bans Plastic Cups and Plastic Plates

Burger King Says No to Battery Cages and Gestation Crates In Latin America

Seattle Just Passed A Citywide 20 Mph Speed Limit, And Portland Could Be Next


Pangolin: The most trafficked mammal in the world

Too Poor For Proper Plumbing: A Reality In 500,000 U.S. Homes

‘Barefoot Bandit’ On Work Release In Seattle ~ Colton Harris-Moore, The Former Teenage Car, Boat And Plane Thief Who Became Known As The “Barefoot…  


Mary Shelley would have loved this.  The Genius Who Grows Tiny Brains

This is very interesting.  A Peek at the Secret English Farm Where Amazon Tests Its Drones

We have the technology to do much better than this.  Ghost Gear: Whales, Sea Turtles, Seals Are The Unintended Catch Of Abandoned Fishing Gear


Solved: Mystery Of Early Human Ancestor Lucy’s Death

Are We In A 6th Mass Extinction?

Why Leaves Change Color


European Space Agency’s Great Rosetta Comet Mission Ends: View Its Final Hour Here

Autumn’s False Dawn

Need Details On Spacex’s Mars Mission?


Meeting Israel’s Master Phone Crackers

Protecting Humans And Jobs From Robots Is 5 Tech Giants’ Goal

A Generational Challenge: Ending The Age Of The Automobile


This Amazing Planet: September 2016

How To Raise An Environmentalist

Portland Task Force Will Focus On Climate Change Resilience

New Lawsuit Escalates Exxonmobil’s Climate Troubles


Four Easy DIY Exams Men Can Do At Home

One In 10 Children Has ‘Aids Defense’

Popeye Was Right: There is Energy In Spinach

The 4 Traits That Put Kids At Risk For Addiction


Why Being Offline Is Over Rated

A 6,000-Year-Old Rite Of Passage

Teaching Teenagers To Cope With Social Stress



Vavara, Russia’s “Barbara” In A Video That Is a Paean To The Planet Herself

Bryan Ferry – Johnny & Mary [Official Video]

Hava Nagila ~ Andre Rieu



Hope is like a road in the country: there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.

Lin Yutang

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A superpower 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 who spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves.  For a $4.00 Kindle Book adventure you will remember for a lifetime, please go here.

A superpower 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 who spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves. For a $4.00 Kindle Book adventure you will remember for a lifetime, please go here. 

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This will totally warm your heart.  Hikers Find Dog Missing For Almost A Month In Australian National Park

This man has a suite in Heaven reserved for him.  Where The White Rhino Safely Roams

Uh huh.  We Have Cockroaches All Wrong


How To Move 500 Elephants  

Wedding Bells For Kenya’s Biggest Crocodile

The Animals That Do Not Drink


Better late than never, the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s September 2016 Nestwatch newsletter is now available online.  It is an absolute avian lovers delight



The Kung Fu Nuns Of Nepal

US Army Builds ‘Ambidextrous’ Grenade

Chinese Space Station Expected To Plummet To Earth In 2017


FRIENDS OF NORTHSTAR:  Amnesty International, EarthSkyNews, Ecofinder-Kenya, 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

New Masthead

Rusty Miller – Editor in Chief

Olya Bereza – European Editor

Dennis Steussy – Associate Editor

Meade Fischer – Contributing Editor

Shannon Patricia Goddard (1962 – 2001) – Editor Emeritus

We are a reader-supported weekly Internet magazine reaching readers in 22 countries.  Ranging in age from 12 – 93, they cross all demographics but are united in a sincere desire to help make our world a better place to live.  We are both proud and honored to be a resource for them in that regard.  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


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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