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INSIDE: To Jesus, With Thanks; World Headlines At A Glance; Happy Snow & Christmas, From Magical Lviv ; Rusty’s Uncle Seamus; For Your Consideration; Our Science Section, Unabridged; Praise; Censure; Travel; The Green Beat; Health; Community, Home & Lifestyle; Best of the Net; Masha & the Bear; Northstar General Store; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us
TO JESUS, WITH THANKS
By Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller: Editor
As we did some two weeks ago with Hanukkah and that faith, so now we join much of the world as it celebrates the birth of an exceptional human being who may not occupy the same hierarchy in our sometimes seeming endless pantheon of gods, true, false, temporary and timeless, but who nonetheless walked among us and did things to try to make us more compassionate. He died a horrible death begging God/His Father to forgive those who were killing him for “they know not what they do.”
He was not the first to live and die in that way and his examples can be found in every religion on the planet. They have also always been among us, those willing to live and die for a better world. And every nation has them.
You live with them even now. Next time a fire truck, ambulance or police car rolls by, Jesus and all the others who have lived and died trying to make a better world ride with them. That soldier in the screaming winds mountains of Afghanistan, surrounded by hostiles who have never been conquered, frightened and lonely beyond belief. The anguish of the letter his commanding officer will write to next of kin when that kid wakes up with his throat slit. Jesus is with that boy too.
And what about those who go out every day at tough jobs to provide a home for their families; people who commute four hours a day or more roundtrip. How about the people Alabama sings about in Alabama’s 40 Hour Week?
Perhaps if we were quicker to recognize the heroes among us and the hero in each of us, we would not need so many of them. Then, I suspect, there would be no more need for martyrs.
As we say sometimes in my part of the country, “God willing and the creek don’t rise.”
Happy holidays, gang, Love, Rusty
HAPPY SNOW AND CHRISTMAS FROM MAGICAL LVIV
Story and Photos by Olya Bereza: Associate Editor
From a magical Lviv our West cultural capital which is often called a soul of Ukraine for its beautiful architecture and atmosphere of old town. It’s been really snowy this week here. One day was especially wonderful. It was snowing in the morning. It was snowing at lunch, snowing at midday, afternoon, evening and night. Basically everytime I happen to look into window or go outside the little tender snowflakes were dancing around. Something Bing Crosby once sung about- “White Christmas” is so real now in Lviv.
While the lights are glittering on the big Christmas tree near magnificent Opera House I would also like to tell about a few characters that are often seen on the streets of Lviv giving that feel of familiarity as only small town where everyone knows each other could offer.
First shall we mention an angel. See her wide wings on the picture that she likes to use flirting with men, using wings for slapping the ones she chooses for a chat. A good looking lady in her late thirties or early forties, always on her roller skates, which she is mastering on the level the Olympic champions of figure skating would envy. She is earning her living by making henna tattoos so quite often could be seen somewhere in the center with her henna gear ready for a job or chat.
On Christmas time Lvivanians could often see a newcomer. A gray haired foreigner to my guess from some Scandinavian country. On the Rynok Square, he makes his performance with a guitar as he plays a big Santa toy so the deal is one need to turn him on with few grivnas (local currency) and he is playing electric guitar for few minutes and stops before next one volunteers to put more cash into it. Obviously he is wearing red costume, colors of Santa.
Rynok Square is the central square of the town filled with all sorts of venues to amaze tourists. Starting from the best coffee/chocolate in the world to nice stand-up stalls to test cherry liqueur in good company and have a laugh. During the day young ladies in last centure outfit are going around to give candy sticks, from a local independent candy crafts, again super tasty.
One of my favorite characters is the “socks lady” -babushka- an old lady wearing countless layers of cloth for chilly weather. She is always sitting on the corner of one of the central streets selling the warmest handmade socks in the world. I have got a pair myself. Very useful when it gets from minus 10 to minus 20 Celcium (not to worry that cold gets only on February).
So yes for someone ready to new destinations to celebrate Christmas, check Lviv that came one of the top 100 destinations last year.
And to cheer you up here is a Christmas Lullaby by Andrea Pinto definitely another distinguished character – an Italian living in Lviv.
Merry Christmas to those celebrating it and best wishes to all the rest of you.
Stay warm, Mishka. Olya
Northstar columnist and associate editor Olya Bereza was born in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Ukraine. Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English, she is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management. For comments, please go here.
According to Rusty’s infamous Uncle Seamus, of a world leader, the media was so busy telling everyone what he could not say that they did not hear him keep right on saying it.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
OUR WORLD, UNABRIDGED
If this is, in fact, true – and we believe it is – it needs to get fixed. Yesterday. Americans Don’t Understand How Bad Climate Change Is Or What They Can Do About It
One Hundred Cities Are Leading The Way To 100% Clean Energy Is yours one of them?
Astronomers Spy Most Distant Solar System Object Yet I wonder if it has spotted us yet?
THE GREEN BEAT
COMMUNITY, FAMILY, HOME AND LIFESTYLE
BEST OF THE NET
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.
THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL GENERAL STORE is a page full of links to mostly free stuff and several unique gifts for under $5.00//4.5 EUROS, including Olya’s novel “Rocket Man” and mine, “Wrath of the USS Testament”. The ‘shelves’ also offer films, television episodes, gadgets and apps to make our lives easier and more enjoyable. Now, here’s the really cool part. Load up your cart and instead of getting your plastic out, just drop in the jar on your way out whatever it’s worth to you. You can even try it now and use the back browser to return to the rest of the magazine.
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
Sometimes the witnessing, reporting or treating the suffering of all creatures great and small without being able to prevent more of it is a load even the broadest of shoulders cannot bear. Veterinarians Face Disproportionately High Suicide Rates, Study Says
I’m proud to call these folks neighbors. Graham Firefighters Add Pet Oxygen Masks To Every Rig
FOLKS WE FOLLOW
The December 2018 edition of Nestwatch is now online. They feature a good article on how to secure heavier nest boxes and birdhouses with pulleys.
YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP
ABOUT US: The Northstar Journal reaches an international readership of strong, intelligent, proactively compassionate people like you, who are out there helping make this a better world. We are proud to serve them as an information resource in that regard. If you would like to help us help them, please go here. No contribution too large or too small. If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact us at email@example.com Thank you and see you next week. RM/OB