December 10, 2017 Vol. 10 No.14
Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
INSIDE: Killer Fog & Making God Laugh; Happy Holidays From The Northstar Journal gift page; Headline News At A Glance; From Olya – Ukraine’s Soft (But Successful) Ecomotive Revolution; For Your Consideration; Ways to Help; Our Science Section, Unabridged; Good Examples; Dalai Lama; Bad Examples; Travel; The Green Beat; Health; Home, Family & Lifestyle; Best of the Net; Masha & the Bear; Northstar Classifieds; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

Reader Supported:  All Contributions Appreciated and Accepted Here

The Killer Fog shrouding Interstate 5, America’s main north south West Coast route. It also impacted all routes east into the Cascades. To the west, limited visibility made life a real adventure on the commuter and freight rail lines and a major international airport. Photo by Rusty Miller


Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it’s been another interesting week on our battered bluegreen marble, has it not?  Where I live, in Seattle, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest?  Fog so thick you could snowboard on it.

Our Canadian sister city, Vancouver, British Columbia, was socked in as well.  We’re at 354 feet/108 meters above sea level.  A couple of weeks back, I went out to take photos of it and it was so “pea soup” that I got lost in the backyard and had to be rescued by my housemate Jake’s big black Labrador, Carlos.

These dogs are our region’s St. Bernard’s, without the hooch.  And when Carlos found me, the fog was so thick I could not see my wool sox and Birkies.  Carlos does not this pea soup stuff so I followed his barks back to the house, where there was, of course by now, thanks to all that canine venting, a sizable audience.

Yep, you’re right.  Not exactly a Kodak, Hallmark or Campbell Soup moment.  The whole town was busting a gusset trying not to laugh loud enough for me to hear it.  And I know God was Up There too, rolling on a cloud, laughing Her head off.

But you know what?  Just between you and me?

I kind of like the idea that I can make God laugh.  I know how good it feels when I do.  And I also know, as a journalist just witnessing the struggles of Her children/my “family,” that sometimes, it is a very long time between rolling on the floor or cloud laughing.

Seattle is a good place for the kind of faith I have in abundance.  Before the Killer Fog That Ate The Space Needle, we had monsoons.  And before that, a drought that lasted three months, which in this place is a long time without rain.  All of you know what bad weather can do.  It’s done some to us.  But, like most of you, and pardon the dusty saw, it comes with the territory.

I’m not sure what God can or cannot do but logic tells me that there are two forces of nature over which She has, at best, limited domain.  One of them is the weather.  The other is us.  In my own experience, I’ve learned that the best thing to pray for is whatever She can provide to help you.

I’ve also learned not to go to Her until I’ve pretty much exhausted my own resources.  It’s never The Rusty Miller or even the Olya Bereza Show.  It’s about kids and a Mom.  And I love this Mom enough to not keep taking from Her without giving back.

Like most moms, God never complains.  But She feels bad when She can’t fulfill a prayer.  You guys know how hard it is to say no to one of your own kids.  So of course you can understand how She feels when we ask for something and she has to say no.

I am thinking that we should also make this a good holiday season for Her.  I make Her laugh.  And I thank Her.  And I work really hard at not disappointing Her or diverting her time, energy, etc. from people who need Her a lot more than I do.

I also remind myself that if I am, sometimes, indeed the author of my own mishaps, it is MY book and I can make it a good read or a bad one.  Best of all, I can make it one God would enjoy.

Have a great week, gang.  Rusty

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller is a journalist, author, editor and photographer who lives in Seattle, Washington.  For comments, please go here.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL is a page full of mostly free stuff and several unique gifts for under $5.00//4.5 EUROS.  It includes films, television episodes, gadgets and apps to make our work lives easier.  And it also has songs and videos for both Hanukah and Christmas.  So load up on the good stuff and if you have any spare change, drop it in the jar on your way out.  You can even try it now and use your back browser to come back to the rest of the magazine.




Hi Rusty:

Good news for all Elon Musk alike thinkers in Ukraine as after further tax reduction i.e. “value added tax” (VAT) for electric cars here, they will become cheaper than in the other European countries.

Electric cars became accessible to Ukrainians, gradually. Now cheaper by 30% after already canceled the import duty and now the lifting of the import VAT, the number of electric vehicles in the country has already doubled and this is just the beginning.

Ukraine at the moment is in the TOP-5 in the world at the pace of development of the industry. But electromotive revolution in Ukraine would never have been possible were it not for the enthusiasts who started to support building the infrastructure of recharging stations first.

They continue to propel this evolution by spreading the network of free charging stations for EV (electric vehicles). For businesses like big malls or business centers etc., the presence of a free charge is now considered a basic convenience that a business provides to its clients and makes them more attractive for clientele.

Basically, it is a win-win situation for everyone, including ecology. The photo provided by Go To-U community from EV conference in Warsaw, Poland shows the increasing numbers of electric vehicles by European countries. С уважением, Ольга Береза

Olya Bereza, who was born in the Soviet Union, now lives in Ukraine and is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian.  She is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management.  For comments on this please go here.


A Buddhist Guide To The Cycle Of Birth, Death And Rebirth And How To Escape It.

Bamboozled By Brexit?

Obama Alludes To Nazi Germany In Warning About Being Complacent In American Politics


This, to me, is absolutely remarkable.  Voyager 1 Fires Thrusters After 37 Years

Amazing.  The World’s Most Innovative City?

I don’t think even Rick Steeves would go here. Land Of Terror: A Satellite Image Of The Tanezrouft Basin, A Part Of The Sahara Desert Known As The Land Of Terror.

Our Planet

Ice Caves Atop A Volcano Give Taste Of Otherworldly Science – Eos

The Land Sinking As The Sea Rises

The Ancient Symbol That Spanned Millennia

Outer Space

Announcement Of Opportunity – RCM

Pizza Night Aboard The International Space Station

Station Ramps Up For December Cargo And Crew Swaps – Space Station

From Our Friends At Earth/Sky News:  When Is The Next Supermoon?2017 Had Just 1 Full Supermoon, But 2018 Will Have 2. In Fact, The Next 2 Full Moons – Both In January, 2018 – Will Be Supermoons.

From Our Friends At the NASA Earth ObservatoryIncredible Images Of Our World And Far Beyond


The Awe-Inspiring Buildings Created As Temples Of Tech

An App For Farmworkers’ Rights Makes Its Way Into The Fields

Rethinking The Utility Company As Solar Power Heats Up


She rocks.  Schoolgirl Invents Low-Cost Lead Detecting Device

Once again, my home and native land is in a class by herself.  Canada’s National Parks Free For People 17 And Under Starting In 2018

We are with these people in spirit and sincerely wish we could be there in fact.  Meet The People Fighting To Protect The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


Here’s The Winner Of The Reader Poll For TIME’s 2017 Person Of The Year
5 Heroes Who Gave Us Hope In 2017

‘A Safe Place No Matter Where You’re From’: Seattle Leaders Push Back On Trump Administration

OHCHR | Soumayya´S Story: A Bold Fight Against Female Genital Mutilation


If we were really to see one another as brothers and sisters, there would be no basis for division, cheating and exploitation among us. Therefore it’s important to promote the idea of the oneness of humanity, that in being human we are all the same.


This is so long overdue.  American Congress Is Facing A Moment Of Reckoning On Sexual Harassment. Here’s What Changed

Should this surprise us?  Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Just Hit a New Low

Good for them!  San Francisco To Restrict Goods Delivery Robots Because The City Is Concerned About The Safety Of Pedestrians If There Are Also Many Robots On The Pavements.


What Is — And Isn’t — In The Travel Ban The Supreme Court Just Upheld

The Town The World Tried To Erase

Take Belfast ‘Troubles’ Taxi Tour


How Cascadia Is Stopping Big Oil

Where To Invest According To Your Values

Watch: Alleyway Revitalization

From Congestion To Carbon To Fatalities, Roads Are Getting Worse

Can Tiny Houses Halt The Trans Mountain Pipeline?

Renewable Energy Isn’t Perfect, But It’s Far Better Than Fossil Fuels


Here’s A Promising Way To Treat Pain In Breast Cancer Treatment

3 Healthy, Nutritionist-Approved Meals At Chipotle

Here’s Why Daydreaming Is Good For Your Health

How Heart Doctors Stay Healthy
Eating Cheese Every Day May Actually Be Good For You


Pests Or Pals? How To Live In Harmony With Urban Wildlife
How To Survive Your Office Holiday Party Without Doing Anything Stupid

Pope Francis: 3 Ways To Find Happiness This Holiday Season

The Imaginative, Elegant Furniture Of Latin America

Faith Salie: How To Raise Sweet Sons In An Era Of Angry Men


See Astonishing Images Of The California Wildfires From Space

National Geographic Best Travel Photos of 2017

Love Letters To God


DAILY 10 QUESTION TRIVIA QUIZ:  This one is from Daily Email Trivia and delivered to me in mine.  There is also an opportunity, the site, to take more quizzes on a wide range of subjects and to engage interactively and competitively.


NEXTDOOR is a dynamic non-profit community networking association helping neighborhoods across America become friendlier and better organized.  They offer membership profiles, free classifieds and local social networks, all at no charge.  For more information, contact them at

DAILY 10 QUESTION TRIVIA QUIZ:  This one is from Daily Email Trivia and delivered to me in mine.  There is also an opportunity, the site, to take more quizzes on a wide range of subjects and to engage interactively and competitively.


NEXTDOOR is a dynamic non-profit community networking association helping neighborhoods across America become friendlier and better organized.  They offer membership profiles, free classifieds and local social networks, all at no charge.  For more information, contact them at

A Christmas Story for Children. Mysterious disappearance of the Christmas Director at the Know-it-all school to be solved by self-appointed detective Mr. Peter Pointyfinger.. On sale here at the ridiculously low price of $2.99 US

Thought of the Week/Day:  For true inspiration delivered to your email every week, contact Amy at  It will be the nicest thing you’ll do for yourself today.

A kid friendly story about Little Queen Harmony and her best friend, Rocky the Rocket, as they head out to enter Rocky in the World Space Models Championship. A very cute Kindle Book, it is on sale here for just $0.99: 

NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES is my online editing, writing and tutoring  service.  Visit my website at To contact me directly,  Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.  Rusty

ADVERTISE WITH US:  A dime a word

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.


How can you not love the French when they do stuff like this?  Brigitte Macron Names France’s First Baby Panda

This is heart-stopping.  Ice Breaks During Dog Rescue Bid

This, unfortunately, comes as no surprise and it applies to all God’s creature, great and small.  We need to walk much more lightly among them.  Narwhals Wearing Heart Monitors Reveal Danger Of Human Encounters


Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count Starts December 14 ~ Here’s How To Participate.

Are They Abominable Snowmen? Nope, DNA Study Says Bears

By Shifting Nesting Times, Early Birds Adjust To Climate Change


Turning Hurricanes Into Music

The Largest Land Organism Is … A Fungus

How Bathrooms Have Changed

ABOUT US: The Northstar Journal reaches strong, intelligent, proactively compassionate readers in 22 countries who are making our world a better place. We are proud to serve them as a resource in that regard. If you would like to help us help them, please go here.  If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact me, Rusty Miller, at Thank you.  See you next week.  RM/OB




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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