Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
January 13, 2019 Volume 11 Number 21

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INSIDE: Bertrand Bucktooth: A Beaver’s Tale Of Diversity; World Headlines At A Glance; Good News For Environmentalists On Gregorian New Years Eve; Rusty’s Uncle Seamus; For Your Consideration; Our World, 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

Bertrand Bucktooth was not your ordinary mountain beaver.  First of all, his namesake industriousness was not something he took particularly personally.  He preferred, instead, to reflect at some length before initiating anything more provocative than a small yawn.

Second, being just a tad claustrophobic, he was not fond of lodges as a habitat.  He incorporated, instead, an old miner’s cabin on Beavers Creek, at the high end of the canyon by the same name.

And finally, while the other beavers lived on a diet of mostly fish and small rodents, Bertrand was inclined toward roots, berries and woodland herbs.  He also wrote poetry, but that’s a story for another time.

Well, beavers being the tight community they are, you can imagine how Bertrand’s lifestyle went over.  Yuppers.  He was thought to be everything from bewildered to a Bolshevik and by the time he reached adulthood, he was pretty much on his own.

At first, Bertrand liked it that way.  It was hard to feel like an outsider with no one around to remind him.  But as the seasons passed, like autumn leaves in the lowers, he began to miss his own kind, for you see, beavers are no more meant to be hermits than most human beings.

So, his heart grew heavier and his pride leaned out some.  Finally, he found he could no longer bear to be alone and started out one winter morning along the banks of gurgling Beaver Creek, down to his former home.

That afternoon, a blizzard struck Beaver Canyon and sheeted everything so thick it sealed the top of the bucktooth lodges, froze the pond to a depth of ten feet out of fifteen, and plugged up the creek at both ends.  Bertrand’s family and neighbors were trapped with a dwindling supply of air.

Bertrand, who’d found an abandoned wolverine’s den to hole up in for the night, awoke at first light and through the ear-shattering stillness, ‘heard’ the cries of his family and community.  Launching himself like a one-person bobsled down the icy, twisting frozen channel Beaver Creek had become, he slid, ricocheted, crashed and careened clear to the bottom, where, of course, he landed in a heap.

It took him a bit, but he finally got the frozen white stuff dusted out of his eyes, and then he surveyed the pond with a seeming lazy gaze.  His dark shiny orbs came to rest on a very old evergreen, an ice cloak of its own, already bending over the pond near the lodges.

Gathering himself up behind a slightly provocative yawn, Bertrand slid down the bank, landed in a heap (of course), took a bit getting his webbed and clawed footing, then ambled on across the frozen pond, fell back on his tail a couple of times trying to climb out, then made his way to that big old leaning evergreen and sat down to rest from his travels.

Off and on for most of the rest of the day, that glacial stillness was interrupted by bursts of a bucktooth chainsaw.  And the crackling of slivers of ice.  There was no rhythm to it.  Nothing you could set your watch by.  It just kept happening.  Sporadically.  But consistently.  Throughout an endless primordial winter day.

And as the blue chill of night begin creeping into the frozen mountains and all life began to twinkle and fade, that venerable evergreen finally toppled.  It shattered the ice in the pond on the first bounce and the noise it made broke the dome of the lodges on the second.  On the third, it got the creeks running again.

After they gathered on the far bank, the other beavers went looking for Bertrand and found him snoring softly against the up-mountain side of what remained of that ancient evergreen.  That evening, his family joined him, kept him warm and fed him fish and small rodents in his sleep.

The next morning, the sun was shining.  And Bertrand Bucktooth wasn’t lonely any more.

Except when he recited poetry which, of course and as you know, is a story for another time, then, eh?


© 2005, Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller

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


Recycling bins outside a cafe in Lviv, Ukraine. Photo by Olya Bereza


By Olya Bereza, Associate Editor

Hi Rusty

We are in the middle a Christmas and New Year season that in Ukraine, includes two Christmases (December 25 and January 7) and two New Years (January 1 and January 14).  Why?  Because we have both the Gregorian calendar of more modern times and our traditional/historical Julian calendar.  So, from finishing leftovers from one festive salad to starting to make a new one, yep, it’s a long season.

So, at the start of BOTH New Years, here are some good news headlines for environmentalists:

From January 1, 2019, Moldova banned the use and sale of disposable plastic bags 50 or more microns thick

Turkey To Ban Free Plastic Bags From Start Of 2019

South Korea bans single-use plastic bags in supermarkets

Jamaica to ditch single use bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam in 2019

Remembering my trip to Moldova just about two years ago, it is not the richest country in the world, so their efforts on saving the environment should, even more, be appreciated. If Moldova was able to implement it, I’m sure Ukraine will be able to follow in the near future. While individuals’ efforts are important, when the big moves are introduced at the governmental agency level, obviously it will be much more effective.

Also, it would be good if corporations began reducing the packaging of plastic everywhere. What happened to old good times when there were only drinks in glass bottles and we as kids got our pocket money for putting them to recycling collectors?  In those days all the fizzy drinks would be available at cafes only in taps and arriving there in big metal barrels. Now, hundreds of thousands small individual plastic bottles roll out every day.

How can we — as individuals — recycle this oversupply without some systematic decisions being made?  We, the ordinary people, are not producing plastic, so really while all these advertisements that now urge us to start recycling are good; the producers of this inappropriate packaging must participate as well.

That is a nice classic song by The Sparks from 1974 covered by Martin Gore

Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth

Stay warm, Mishka.  And dry.  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 if that world leader was any more toxic, he’d be wearing a Hazmat sign.


Why The World Is Getting Better


This needs to change.  Soon.  How America Is Losing Its Innovation Edge

I thought this was pretty cool.  The Man Who Built His Own Castle

These could solve a lot.  The Rise Of The Urban Cable Car


Climate Change: Will Insect-Eating Dogs Help?

More East Antarctica Glaciers Are Waking Up

Japan’s Grand Plans To Mine Ocean Vents


Russia’s Only Space Telescope Breaks Down

New Canadian Telescope Detecting More Brief, Powerful Radio Blasts From Far Beyond Our Galaxy

New Juno Images Of Io’s Fiery Volcanoes

A Star Is Born … And Then Planets


The 13-Year-Old Drone Photographer

The Cyberattack That Sent An Alaskan Community Back In Time

Europe Is Testing Self-Driving Mars Rovers

CES 2019

The Expanding Door That Fights Parcel Thieves

 The Lightsaber You Can Strike With Force

Samsung’s New Shape-Shifting TVs Revealed

‘Indestructible Notepad’ Works Underwater — Video


Supreme Court Turns Away Exxon’s Appeal In Climate Change Lawsuit

How Vancouver Is Saving Addicts’ Lives — Video

The ‘Superwoman’ Midwife Of The Mountains

Golden Globes 2019: Bohemian Rhapsody And Rami Malek Are Surprise Winners

The African Comic Book Kugali Hoping To Take On Disney


After Natural Disasters, Workers Rebuild — And Face Exploitation

Why People Are Calling Out Bryan Singer After Bohemian Rhapsody’s Golden Globes Win

The Greatest Threat To Civilization

Thieves Targeting Wheelchair Ramps At Seattle Elementary Schools


Europe’s Most Competitive Country?

The Town At The ‘Centre Of The World’

The Town That Changed The Way We Eat


What Happens If We Can’t Clean Up Mistakes Of Our Nuclear Past?

Baseball Great Dusty Baker Wants To Harness Solar Power

EPA Allows Protections For Youth Farmworkers After All

600+ Enviro Groups: This Is What A Green New Deal Looks Like

Here’s The Green New Deal Debate You Haven’t Heard Yet

9 Things To Know About The Pipeline Blockade

U.S. Carbon Pollution Surged In 2018

Supreme Court Turns Away Exxon’s Appeal In Climate Change Lawsuit


Flu Season Is Picking Up. Here’s How Many People Have Gotten Sick

CDC Calls The Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak Officially Over

Cancer Deaths Have Fallen Drastically Over The Last 25 Years. But These Types Are On The Rise

Body Fat May Affect Your Brain Volume, Study Says

Flu Season Got Off To A Slow Start. But Now It’s Widespread In Almost Half The Country

The Future Of Sustainable Protein

These Are The Best Ways To Improve Your Memory

Why Millions Of People Wrongly Believe They Have Food Allergies

Fund Battling AIDS, TB And Malaria Seeks $14 Billion To Invigorate Fight


The Music That Changed America

Uber And Lyft Don’t Reduce Cars On The Road

These Are The Biggest Threats To World Stability In 2019

Are Americans Really Ditching Their Cars?

World Bank Warns Of ‘Darkening Skies’ For Global Economy

Golden Globes: Highlights From The Ceremony

How Soon Will Climate Change Force You To Move?



TIME Magazine’s 2018 Best Photojournalism

The BBC’S Most Striking Images Of 2018

Newly-elected California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Sleepy Son Invades Stage During Speech

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.


As a sailor, a student of marine engineering and design, and a profound lover of these creatures, I know this is true.  Quieter Ships Could Help Canada’s Endangered Orcas Recover

We need to understand the relationship between these two much better.  Future Of Declining Southern Resident Orcas At Risk   Uncovering The Secret Lives Of Salmon

I see a movie in this.  The Couple Raising 34 Orphaned Chimpanzees


Watch Hummingbirds Feed – And Fight – In Slo-Mo

The Man Protecting Burundi’s Crocodiles By Keeping Them In His Garden

Does A Refuge Protect Too Much Wildlife Or Not Enough?


The True Origin Of Salem’s Hysteria?

What’s Your Secret Nationality?

India Scientists Dismiss Einstein Theories

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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