Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
December 23, 2018 Volume 11 Number 18

This is our 600th consecutive edition.  If you would like to contribute to the 601st, please go here

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


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

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



Story and Photos by Olya Bereza: Associate Editor

Hi Rusty:

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.


What Does The Violence Against Women Act Have To Do With Climate Change?


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?


Where Noon Comes Just Once A Year

Huge, Previously-Undetected Coral Reef Off US East Coast

NOAA Releases 2018 Arctic Report Card


Apollo 8: NASA’s Biggest Gamble

Take A Good Look At Saturn Before It’s Too Late, Because It’s Losing Its Rings

1st Image From Inside Sun’s Atmosphere

Comet Gives Birth To A Baby Bow Shock

December Solstice Starts Shortest Season


Weather Stops Plastic Waste Car Reaching South Pole

Flights Halted By Drones At Key UK Airport

Selling Brains: U.S. Tech Giants Buy Teams, Not Startups, From Russia And Eastern Europe


The ‘Angel’ Who Secretly Pays Patients’ Hospital Bills

Women Shave Their Heads To Protest Lawyer’s Detention In China — Video

Obama Plays Santa At Children’s Hospital In Washington — Video

A Filipino Boy Was ‘Speechless’ After Discovering George H.W. Bush Was His Pen Pal For Years


Why Muslim Nations Remain Silent As China Sends Ethnic Minorities To Re-Education Camps

The Camp: When A US Child Experiment Goes Wrong

Japan ‘To Leave Whaling Commission To Resume Hunting’

Gun Deaths In The U.S. Are At Their Highest Rates In Decades, CDC Says

Baby Trafficking: ‘They Stole My Son From Me — Video’


A New York Restaurant Unlike Any Other

What It Takes To Be A Newfoundler

Is Dubai Still A High-Paid Expat Haven?


Why Eating Less Meat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For The Planet In 2019

When A Huge Utility Company Pledges To Go Carbon Free

Statistic Of The Year: 90.5 Percent Of Plastic Is Not Recycled

The Greenest Classroom In The World Is In Seattle

How Green Is Coffee?


Here’s The Best Way To Boost Your Immune System

10 New Year’s Resolutions Doctors Actually Want You To Make

The Most Common Type Of Birth Control In The U.S. Might Surprise You

Surgeon General Calls For Reversing ‘Epidemic’ Of Youth Vaping

Why Barbershops May Be Key To Improving Black Men’s Health

More People Have Gotten A Flu Shot Than This Time Last Year, CDC Says

Gently Stroking Babies ‘Provides Pain Relief’

Health Questions? Email TIME’s Health Editors


US Air Force Dad Surprises Daughters As Dolphin Mascot

Paternity Leave And Leadership Pipeline In The Workplace

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself. Experts Say You Have A Pretty Good Sense Of Your Own Personality

Rebuilding A City Through The Eyes Of A Child

Why Icelanders Believe In Elves

Online Shopping Was Supposed To Keep People Out Of Traffic. It Only Made Things Worse



Joy To The World/Deck the Halls – Sissel – Live on Danish TV (In English)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Canon (Official Video) – YouTube

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – Celtic Woman Live at Helix – YouTube


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.


Crowd Holds Its Breath As Bear Grabs A Tiny Creature And Makes A Huge Unexpected Move  It makes one rather wonder sometimes, who belongs on which side of the cage.

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


Does Salmon Fishing Hurt Orcas?

Changes To Dams Benefit Salmon, Hydropower, And Orcas

Agreement Helps Salmon Survive Columbia River Journey

Habitat Protection Widened For Endangered Orcas Off Vancouver Island

Rockfish Are Bouncing Back From Years Of Overfishing

Could Taking Koalas Back To Where They Existed 100 Years Ago Save Them?


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.


Our Enduring Love Of Unicorns

Meet Nepal’s Daredevil Honey Hunters — Video

Egypt: ‘One Of A Kind’ Tomb Found In Saqqara – Video

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  Thank you and 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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