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
I’M SORRY, BUT SKY DIVING MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE TO ME
(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
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
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.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
OUR WORLD, UNABRIDGED
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
Washington Governor Jay Inslee Plans To Head To Snowy New Hampshire To Test Possible Presidential Run
THE GREEN BEAT
COMMUNITY, FAMILY, HOME AND LIFESTYLE
‘I’ve Talked With Teenage Boys About Sexual Assault For 20 Years. This Is What They Still Don’t Know’
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
This is absolutely beautiful. Whales Share Songs From Other Oceans
Our prayers are with all concerned. God be with you. A 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
FOLKS WE FOLLOW
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you and see you next week. RM/OB