The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

News & Commentary; From Olya – Hi From Odessa; Meade Fischer—Remembering My Wife, Denise;  Good Examples; Bad Examples; Our Science Section Abridged; The Green Agenda; Health; Lifestyle; Funzone; From Northstar; All Creatures Great & Small; Northstar Endorses; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

June 19, 2016  Vol. 8, No. 38



Hi again, gang, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Our condolences to all those impacted by what happened in Orlando last week.  We followed the story, kept you posted on FaceBook and ameliorated its impact among community, family and friends.  There is nothing more we can add to the coverage provided by our media peers.  Prayers will help but so will other measures which do not require Divine intervention.

Gun control does not mean disarming the population at large.  First, it presupposes that an automatic weapon is not necessary to hunt for food, defend one’s self against creatures of the wild or for dispatching cop-threatening rodents.

Think of it this way.  If you can squeeze the trigger and hold it until all your bullets are gone, you have, in fact, a submachine gun.  It may not look like a tommy gun or a Sten gun or an Uzi.  But it does the same job.  Where is it legal to hunt anything except human beings with one of those?

Gun control also means keeping any firearm out of the hands of those deemed most likely to use it in a criminal act.  That’s why there needs to be background checks and sales of any gun denied potential killers.

I also favor an added protocol involving the National Rifleman’s Association, of which I was a member when I was a kid.  In our family, firearms were part of the hunter’s ritual.  So before I was allowed to shoot my first firearm alone, I went through the NRA’s fire safety course.

Guns in my house were kept in locked racks except for my father’s duty weapon and his personal home defense weapon of choice.  Everybody knew where those were in case it was necessary to use them.  But we all also knew they were not toys and we would no more have thought of playing with Merritt’s guns than we would borrowing his toothbrush to polish our shoes.

We need to take the glamour out of guns and those who use them to kill people in any capacity.  They are tools put to an evil purpose or a good one, depending on who uses them.  The more media coverage this act receives, the more likely that it will be repeated.

Perhaps most importantly, we need to curb that in ourselves which triggers a fascination for bloodlust and blood letting.  Deny the perpetrators of these heinous crimes the humanity they blasted from others.

Give them due process and strip the convicted of all identity save a number.  Execute them with a single bullet, cremate them and use their ashes to grow vegetables for the prison kitchen.  Perhaps the ignobility of such end will erode the motivation for it.

And on that admittedly grim note, have a great week, gang.


To comment, email us at  To contribute to the next edition, please go here.


Here’s a question for the ages.  Is This The World’s Favorite Second-Hand Tractor?

Well, cancel my flight to Sydney.  Sigh.  Australia Is Battling A Killer Toad By Turning The Frog’s Own Toxin Against It

I think this is a very interesting and timely question.  What Do Planes Tell Us About The European Union?



China Tries to Redistribute Education to the Poor, Igniting Class Conflict

New Technology Reveals Cities Hidden In Cambodian Vegetation For Thousands Of Years

China’s Last Wild River Carries Conflicting Environmental Hopes

194 Held In Bangladesh Mass Arrests May Have Militant Ties, Police Say

11 Sentenced To Life For Muslim Killings During Gujarat Riots In India

3 Others Detained In China Over Liquor Commemorating Tiananmen Killings

A Publisher In Exile Gets The Big Scoops On China’s Elite

American Kills Himself In Taiwan Court After 4-Year Drug Sentence

Protesters Rally Against Us Military On Okinawa


Judge In Kenya Upholds Use Of Anal Exams For Men Suspected Of Being Gay

Desperation Rising At Home, Africans Increasingly Turn To Risky Seas

Reeva Steenkamp’s Father Says Oscar Pistorius Must Pay For Her Murder

Dispute Over Area’s Status Heightens Suffering In South Sudan

Border Clashes Between Ethiopia And Eritrea Heighten Fears Of War

Oscar Pistorius Is Unfit To Testify At Sentencing, Psychologist Says

A Conversation With: Samuel K. Wasser, A Scientific Detective Tailing Poachers

Uganda Arrests Dozens Of Military Leaders Accused Of Plotting Coup


EgyptAir Wreckage Found In Mediterranean

Second EgyptAir Flight Recorder Found

Palestinians Enter Talks With Egypt To Stake Mediterranean Claims

When A Phrase Takes On New Meaning: ‘Radical Islam,’ Explained

Palestinian Killed By Israeli Soldier Posed No Danger, Commander Testifies

EgyptAir 804’s ‘Black Box’ Recovered In Mediterranean

51 U.S. Diplomats Urge Strikes Against Assad In Syria


While Young Britons Favor Staying in E.U., They Aren’t Big on Voting

A Tiny Country Of Creative Geniuses

Russia Given Suspended Disqualification

German Bonds Below Zero For First Time

UK Inflation Rate Stays At 0.3%

Eurozone Releases Greece Bailout Money

Premier Of Ukraine Urges Europe Not To Ease Russia Sanctions

A Front-Row Seat To Germany’s Long Reckoning With Its Past


BC Flooding Could Be A Sign Of Worse To Come

BC First Nations Take Pipeline Opposition From Coast To Coast

Not Just A U.S. Problem: Black Lives Matter Here, Too, Canadians Say

Canadian Neighborhood Rots In The Shadow Of An Unborn Bridge To Detroit


Control And Fear: What Mass Killings And Domestic Violence Have In Common

Oregon Court Allows A Person To Choose Neither Sex

Obama Proposes Vast Expansion Of Pacific Ocean Marine Sanctuary

Spurred By Orlando Shooting, G.O.P. Senator Offers A Gun Control Compromise

At Memorial For Charleston Shooting, A Call For ‘Meaningful Action’ On Guns  

Shaken by Sex Scandal, Oakland Police to Get New Leader, Again


Haze Returns To Mexico City, Where Not Driving Is Hardly An Option

The Colombian Hit Man Who Became A YouTube Star

At The Birthplace Of A Graft Scandal, Brazil’s Crisis Is On Full Display

Mexican Congress Approves Package of Anti-Corruption Bills

To Beat The Rush, Americans Rush To Cuba, Overloading Services


‘You Ain’t Seen Anything Yet’: Shorten Declares Labor Can Win

Medicare Upgrade To Be Undertaken By Government: PM

Heavy Rain Drenches Qld, NSW Prepares For East Coast Low

Northern Beaches Bomb Suspect Returned To Australia After Almost Two Decades

‘Father Of Australian Independent Cinema’ Dies

Hydro Tasmania-Basslink Partnership Hostile: Documents



What Would A Global Warming Increase Of 1.5 Degrees Be Like?

The Atmosphere Has Hit A Grim Milestone—And Scientists Say We’ll Never Go Back ‘Within Our Lifetimes’

Climate Corridors Could Be Critical For The Survival Of Plants And Animals

CO2 Levels In Atmosphere Surpass Limit. What Now?

The Next US President Could Save Or Destroy The Arctic

12,000 Years Ago, Humans And Climate Change Made A Deadly Team


Detainees Describe C.I.A. Torture in Declassified Transcripts

Iraqi Forces Enter Falluja, Encountering Little Fight From Isis

ISIS Committed Genocide Against Yazidis In Syria And Iraq, U.N. Panel Says

Fighting ISIS With An Algorithm, Physicists Try To Predict Attacks


MSF Rejects EU Funds Over Migrant Deal

Video: A Syrian Surprise: Rouaa’s Doll

Doctors Without Borders Says It Won’t Take E.U. Money For Refugees


Odessa Cityscape.   Photo by Olya Bereza

Odessa Cityscape. Photo by Olya Bereza


Hi Mishka, from the shore of Black sea.

Thank you and everyone for all the birthday wishes, I do really appreciate it.  It was amazing to meet that new day listening to the waves and admiring the celestial blue sea and Odessa’s sandy beach. If you look on the map, it is situated on the same altitude as South of France so Odessa has a potential of Côte de Azur for Ukrainians and guests of the country.

The city itself has the ambience of a metropolis that was once the pride of an empire.  Different Colossus figures holding the arcs of buildings, nymphs and other intricate features make the architecture quite unique.  Unfortunately much of the construction is showing its age but many of us are hoping that investors in historical preservation will help rescue and restore many of these centuries old buildings.

Odessa’s long history of settlement dates back to Greeks who left their cultural influence on future generations.  For example Snake Island ~ located not far from Odessa ~ is mentioned in the lost Trojan War epic of Arctinus of Miletus, as the final resting place of the remains of Achilles and Patroclus, brought to this island by Thetis, to be put in a sanctuary.  Ruins there are believed to be of a square temple dedicated to Achilles.

Also Odessa is a port city so with dusk coming, one can see from a distance all these lights of transoceanic cargo vessels.  Their twinkling and that of the lighthouse built in 1842 add their own magic to this Black Sea resort’s big city life.

That’s it for this week.  Stay safe, my cousin Mishka.

Olya Bereza, European Editor  To comment for publication, email her c/o 


June 18, 2016


My wife of many years, Denise Fischer, died suddenly on June 5, 2015. We’d shared many ups and downs over the years, but we always had each other’s backs. A true partner in life, Denise felt she was too busy for an extended vacation so in May of 2015, she booked us to the mountain resort of Helen GA. It was lovely, particularly visiting the many waterfalls in the area. The town, like a Bavarian old fashion village, was charming. She loved being there, and the trip was during the last month of her life. I hope you enjoy the photos.  To view them, please go here.


Good, outstanding and right-flipping-on!  VIDEO: Florida’s message: ‘Love will always win’

America needs more citizens like this one.  Moving to Make Amends, Georgetown President Meets With Descendant of Slaves

Now THIS makes me want to stand up and cheer.  National Aquarium Plans to Create Dolphin Sanctuary


I do not feel comfortable with this at all.  Canada Ranks As No. 2 Arms Dealer To Middle East

This is not good news but it certainly comes as no surprise.  Biggest US Coal Company Funded Dozens Of Climate Change Denying Groups

This absolutely never should have happened.  British Mp Killed, Stunning Nation And Halting Brexit Campaign


This is incredible.  The world’s oldest computer is still revealing its secrets

I’m kind of glad I don’t live here.  The hottest place on Earth

I think this is incredibly cool.  NASA Unveils Plans for Electric-Powered Plane


Scientists Just Got One Step Closer To Answering One Of Biology’s Greatest Mysteries

A Map Of Where Your Food Originated May Surprise You

How Much Warmer Was Your City In 2015?


The Rising Threat Of Falling Satellites ~ How To Prevent Death From Above

NASA Just Set A Fire In Space — On Purpose

Ancient Swedish Space Rock May Be A Whole New Kind Of Meteorite

Why Earth Often Has Two Moons


Court Backs Rules Treating Internet As Utility, Not Luxury

Artificial Intelligence To Put Many Entry-Level Jobs ‘At Risk’

A Tiny Robot That Can Fly and, Amazingly, Rest 


Washington Firefighters To Gov. Inslee: Halt The Oil Trains

Coal Production Plummets To Lowest Level In 35 Years

Energy Lessons From The Mcmurray Wildfires

Renewables Are Poised To Put Global Fossil Fuel Investment To Shame

US Govt Announces $82 Million For Nuclear Energy Research

Judge Says Waste Leak From Montana Coal Plant Ponds Is ‘Alarming’

The False Promise Of Biodegradable Plastics


Coffee May Protect Against Cancer, W.H.O. Concludes

One In Three Strokes Is Caused By Air Pollution

Air Pollution Has Deadly Impacts On Women And Children’s Health

What Really Causes Asthma

Deadly Diseases Can Jump From Animals To Humans. These Maps Show Where That Might Happen Next.

Slash Your Risk for Fatal Prostate Cancer

See Why Donuts, Lemons And 4 Other Surprising Foods Are The Best Snacks For Your Love Life.

Eat Whole Grains, Live Longer?


Message to Graduates: Times Are Tough, but You Can Make It

Living With My Lesbian Partner Where It’s Illegal To Be Gay

Facebook Offers Tools for Those Who Fear a Friend May Be Suicidal



prpose of life

How cool is this – – solar in the air!

To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Ame at


Video: Jo Cox Mp: In Her Own Words

A Face-Reading Fish

The Ancient Greek Philosopher’s Guide To The Galaxy

The Ancient Greek Philosopher’s Guide To The Galaxy










KIKORIKKI ~ a truly fun way to experience science



testament kindle cover

A super power no longer, a resource hungry and repressive America faces a Latin American armada rampaging its west coast and a strong, silent and powerful Canada manning the North Wall.  The fires of rebellion burn in the Pacific Northwest and it is into this crucible and forge that the cybernetic patrol boat Testament and her crew of three men and three women are thrust.  Individuals of duty and conscience both, when they join the other side, all Hell breaks loose.  A rollicking adventure for anyone who loves the sea, a good yarn and characters which spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves.  In the name of a greener environment, we have discontinued the paperback version in favor of a kindle for your tablet that you’ll enjoy just as much and be able to look a tree in the eyes.  For a $2.00 adventure, please go here.

  • * * * * * * * * *

Advertising Copy ~ Classified and Display

Comedy ~ jokes, monologues

Ghost writing


Editing ~ General and International

“Americanization” of International Websites

Online English Tutoring

Special Projects

Northstar Media Services


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I thought this was a little unsettling until I read about how basically gentle ~ albeit big ~ these creatures actually are.  Apparently, one of the world’s largest and most elusive predatory sharks ~ the Sixgill ~ has suddenly appeared in Seattle’s waters.  Since we have those in the Seattle Aquarium, I am wondering if there is not some kind of shark mind connection at work here.  To Learn More About These Amazing Creatures, Read PBS’s Interview With Biologists From The Seattle Aquarium at

Of course they do.  They just don’t have a lot of respect for it.  Physics Test Suggests Cafe Cats Understand Gravity

I wonder what these folks did to get the monkeys so mad at them.  After Chinese Tourist Destination Folds, The Main Attraction — Monkeys — Terrorize Residents


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s June newsletter is now available.  This one contains a fascinating article entitled Baby Birds Learn Calls From Their Mothers While Still in the Egg

The World Wildlife Fund’s June 2016 newsletter is now available.  It is so good we’re not going to spoil it for you by telling you about it.


Scientists Discover A Giant Planet That Orbits Two Suns – And Could Have Habitable Moons

A Starving Wolf Stalked A Woman And Her Dog For 12 Hours. Then Along Came A Bear.

This Robot Chose To Injure The Man Who Built It. Here’s Why Its Inventor Is Pleased.


Amnesty International, EarthSkyNews, Ecofinder-Kenya, GritTV With Laura Flaunders, Help End World Hunger & Poverty | Heifer International® | Heifer.Org, Mother Nature Network, Nature Conservancy in Washington, National Wildlife Federation, No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News, Ocean Conservancy, Outside Magazine, The Rainforest Site, SeaDoc Society: People & Science Healing The Sea, Showcase Magazine:  Today’s Media For Artful Living, Sierra Club, Sightline Institute, The Sun Magazine, Wildlife Conservation Society, Wildlife Extra Magazine, World Wildlife Fund, Writing For Peace, YES magazine


The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Editor

Dennis Steussy – Associate Editor

Meade Fischer – Contributing Editor

Shannon Patricia Goddard (1962 – 2001) – Editor Emeritus

We are a reader-supported international news, commentary and general interest Internet weekly magazine reaching readers in 22 countries.  They range in age from 12 – 93 and cross all demographics. If you like what you read and would like to contribute to the next edition, please go here.  International currencies accepted. For more information and to receive us in your email if you currently view us on our website, contact us at