Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
January 19, 2019 Volume 11 Number 22

Supported by Readers Like You.  To Contribute, Please Go Here.  Thank You.

Inside: I’m Sorry, But Sky Diving Makes Absolutely No Sense To Me; World Headlines At A Glance; Good-bye, Holidays ; 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


(To Donald Trump, Whom I Wished Shared My Sentiments In These Regard)

By Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller: Editor

Because of a fascination with flight, I recently got an invitation to go sky diving. I’ve always been a hands-on journalist so there was no presumption involved. I found a legitimate reason for taking a rain check but I have been wishing maybe I’d just explained to my friends why it was I said no.

I put sky diving right up there with bungee jumping, mountain climbing, SCUBA diving, downhill skiing and any body contact sport, bar none

Why in the world would I – without wings – want to go real high up in the air, hurl myself from a perfectly good airplane, and trust the rest of my life to a couple of big nylon tablecloths? Why would I want to subject my system to that kind of stress? My body doesn’t know we’re going to parachute safely to Mother Earth. It thinks its demise is imminent. I’m sorry, but sky diving makes absolutely no sense to me.

Neither does bungee jumping, for pretty much the same reasons as sky diving, only in reverse. It’s like I really want to leap into this deep, steep, rock-walled chasm and at almost the last minute, have my life saved by this elastic rope that’s been mass produced by machines. And rigged by people I don’t know and whose motives for providing such an experience are at least as suspect as those of their clientele. I’m sorry, but bungee jumping makes absolutely no sense to me.

Mountain climbing? You mean for a hobby? Hey, my ancestors pushed Conestoga wagons over the Cascades. But not for exercise. You want exercise? Take the stairs and walk to anything within a half mile radius of your home and workplace. Only one good reason I can think to climb a mountain and it’s not to get to the top. It’s to get to the other side. I’m sorry, but mountain climbing makes absolutely no sense to me.

SCUBA diving? As in going into this huge world that looks like mine but water instead of air? Where I can’t breathe naturally, but instead have to take my oxygen, et al, out of a couple of pressurized steel canisters with some pipes, valves, fittings and hoses attached? And in a world populated with creatures so alien to my daily existence they might as well be extraterrestrial? And where some of them are far more lethal than even the cobra, the tiger or the hawk? Where I might get lashed by a sting ray, brush up against a Portuguese man of war, or have a limb removed by a shark? And we’re talking about doing this for a hobby?

Downhill skiing? As a voluntary activity instead of just because you need to get to the bottom fast?

Contact sports. As in recreationally going out with pads and mouthpieces and other forms of body armor to slam myself into another human being and/or be slammed? As in getting happiness out of getting bruised and banged up? That sounds a little weird to me. I mean, what kind of people enjoy either being in pain or inflicting it?

That’s what I wish I’d told these folks. Except they were also talking about shooting a few hoops.  And I don’t even own a gun.

© 2007 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



By Olya Bereza: Associate Editor

The holiday season is over so it’s time to face it, sober up and move on.  It is always a bit  sad when all the festivities of New Year celebrations are gone and people are returning to their routine of work places.

All the decorations are waiting to be removed from the streets. On the picture, there is a lovely Teddy Bear I spotted in Podil, one of the oldest and most beautiful districts of Kyiv. He’s almost reflecting that mood in patient anticipation to be taken away soo until  next time.

I was early morning in Kyiv so met dawn there. When I saw this bear cub I couldn’t stop singing the song Sunrise by beautiful Norah Jones

“Sunrise, sunrise

Looks like mornin’ in your eyes.”

To say good bye to the holidays before merging into the reality of the world, I would like to share my little story “Chocolate http://openkniga.com/pages/1863/“.

Chocolate: a Christmas story

It was a rather an ordinary milk chocolate bar no different from thousands that were born everyday in the mechanized stainless steel world. After birth it was efficiently dressed in a colourful package and sent with her sisters to a warehouse in a big box. Embracing each other in the darkness, feeling secure.

Suddenly bright light entered the box and everyone was lifted out and carefully placed on the top shelve of a supermarket. Christmas music played in the background and the chocolate bars chatting excitedly.

A few moments later a group of them were grabbed and dropped with a shopping basket before entering a plastic bag. A bump ride and coming to rest in a cool dark environment.

Our chocolate did not know exactly what she was waiting for, but knew something exciting could happen.

At last a clatter of heels and joyful voices. Lifted back into the warmth and light by a small woman’s hand, the chocolate noticed the glisten of a shiny bracelet.

“A gift from me”.

“Thank you. It looks delicious”, said a kind voice.


This time the chocolate bar was bathed in orange light from another plastic bag.

In the background music and conversation started getting louder.

Outside of a restaurant an old man wearing shabby cloth was asking passers by for help. People hurried passed taking no notice of his plight, but he did not take offense. It was awkward for him to beg but circumstances were such he had no choice. Surviving day by day, hoping for better times ahead.

The small woman hand entered into orange bag again this time carefully taking chocolate bar and handed it to the old man who was say grateful. She also gave him packaged restaurant food.

They, the chocolate and old man, were on the “move again” this time a long slow going by feet. Lots to see though in the dim lantern light. Snow started falling in big flakes coating the world in white.

Chocolate felt happy watching all the people and beauty around.  She felt her mission in life was approaching.  The old man turned into courtyard. It became very dark only the stars above were brighter.

“Grandpa”, – cried an excited little girl’s voice.

The apartment was cold and damp but despite the obvious poverty there was love. On a table sat a few pine tree branches wrapped in shiny ribbons. The only indication that it is Christmas.

The old man hugged his granddaughter. He then handed her the chocolate bar which caused a cry of surprise and laughter. The wrapping was immediately removed, foil gleamed in the lamp light.

It was a rather an ordinary milk chocolate bar, which became a great joy to a little girl.

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, be careful what you advertise. Someone might just want to buy it.


The Widow Who Asked Eight French Presidents For The Truth


Here is a “wow!” moment.  Chinese Lander’s Cotton Seeds Spring To Life On Far Side Of The Moon

Fascinating.  Did Life Arrive On Land Earlier Than Thought?

May we never lose people like this.  Citizen Scientists Discover Rare Exoplanet


Is The Ground Nostalgic For Snow?

Oceans Warming Even Faster Than Thought

The Shrinking Aral Sea

Finding Magnetic South

Antarctica Is Losing Ice 6x Faster Than In The 80s


China’s First Lunar Leaf Dies After Scientists Are Forced To Cut Power

How Many Supermoons In 2019?

Coming Up … Total Lunar Eclipse Of January 20-21

Rotating Black Holes As Portals For Hyperspace Travel?

Onwards To Mars For China After Moon Mission Success

Giant Streaks Discovered In Venus’ Atmosphere 


How To Reduce Emissions And Congestion While Preparing For A Just Transition To Self-Driving Cars

Timeline: What’s Going On With Huawei?

Twitter Warns That Private Tweets Were Public For Years

How To Have A Daily Tech Detox

CES 2019: Virtual Reality Shoes Are Exhausting To Use

CES 2019: The Sat Nav Of The Future Has Arrived


Washington Governor Jay Inslee Plans To Head To Snowy New Hampshire To Test Possible Presidential Run

These Pacific Northwest Spots Are Offering Freebies, Discounts To Government Employees…

City Of Auburn Offering Assistance To Federal Employees Impacted By Shutdown

Microsoft Pledges $500 Million To Tackle Housing Crisis


New Drilling To Unleash 1,000 Coal Plants’ Worth Of Pollution

Washington AG Says Navy Dumped Hazardous Substances Into Puget Sound

Burkina Faso: Prime Minister And Cabinet Resign From Office


The World’s Secret Club Of Explorers

In Search Of My Grandmother In Mexico

The Genius Cheese Dish Invented By Slaves


King County, Washington (Seattle, etc.) Poised To Lock Out Fossil Fuels In 2019

You Decide: How Clean Is Clean Enough?


Here’s Another Reason To Avoid Taking Unnecessary Antibiotics

You’re Not Imagining It: Food Recalls Are Getting More Common.

Is Black Pepper Healthy? Here’s What The Science Says

Which Exercise Burns The Most Calories? Here’s What Science Says

Here’s The Best Way To Boost Your Immune System

Want To Live Longer? For Just 30 Minutes A Day, Do Anything Else But Sit

The World’s First Fusion Food

The ‘Perfect 10’ Gymnastics Routine


The Hidden Victims Of The Yemen War — Video

Where Is A Car-Free Commute Easy?

The Myth Of ‘We Don’t Build Houses Like We Used To’

‘I’ve Talked With Teenage Boys About Sexual Assault For 20 Years. This Is What They Still Don’t Know’

The First Celebrity Photographer

Malala Yousafzai: What Does A Nobel Peace Prize Winner Do For Fun? — Video

Transit Systems Must Address Safety Concerns



Malala: ‘Mum Tells Me Off For Being Untidy’

Each State Hilariously Depicted By One Stereotypical Photo

Video: 15 Years Of Mars Images 

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.


Breaching humpback whale in the waters of Gabon in Western Equatorial Africa. Image via ©Tim Collins/Wildlife Conservation Society.

This is absolutely beautiful.  Whales Share Songs From Other Oceans

Our prayers are with all concerned.  God be with youA Desperate Measure To Save The Caribou

With all due respect, this is how we do it in the Pacific Northwest.  Views: United To Save Salmon And Orcas


The Panda Who Didn’t Know She Had Twins

Britain’s Busiest Autumn Animals

After Huge Investments, Salmon In Washington Are Still Declining

Discovering The Secrets Of Manatee Chat


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s January 2019 newsletter is now online.


Indonesian Woman Mauled To Death By Giant Pet Crocodile

The Library Of Forbidden Books

Massive Spinning Ice Disk Forms In US River


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 minstrel312@aol.com  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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