Sunday, June 24, 2012

VPS: A compromise between virtual server and dedicated server

With the advancement of information technology, the world has seen a tremendous development of internet, so is e-business. Nowadays there are so many on line businesses that more and more of them take virtual server as their web hosing plan. This kind of server has both its pros and cons. Their owners prefer virtual server for sites which have a low to moderate traffic and couldn’t afford the high price a dedicated server may costs. But for those with a high traffic, a dedicated server is the only choice. That seems an easy option, but for some demanding for a steadier, more reliable server with a relatively low price, virtual server is less than efficient, while dedicated one is of high expense. In that situation, the concept, virtual private server, short for VPS, has come into being.

As the concept indicates, free VPS hosting seems like a upgrade of the previous virtual server. There are still hundreds of web sites sharing one drive, but in a more reasonable, reliable way-----By using server virtualization and the technology of automation, the server is partitioned into average parts, so that each account has its own space, separated from others and runs like a physical server. The advantage of free VPS hosting lies in the isolated parts having no affects on each other. It’s so perfectly virtualized that accounts using them have no sense that they are actually in one server. Unlike virtual server, the VPS can provide individual user with isolated operating system, root access, and rebooting features, which is equivalent to a physical server in most respects.

In comparison with virtual server, free VPS has a apparently better performance. As we all know, whether a virtual server works in a good condition largely counts on the accounts about. Whether it is a heavy flow of junk mail or being blacklisted by certain originations, the whole server will be affected till the problem is cleared. That’s only one case, in another case, if hackers break into any of the accounts on the server; they could definitely damage all the accounts on the server, too. But when it comes to free VPS, what have been stated above are out of question. The isolation of the accounts secured the separated users from being attacked by the danger from outer wads. Each account has its own operating system, disk space, memory and root access, which lowered the danger caused by other accounts. You even can’t realize there are other users existing, for you separated one work in a smooth condition with fixed space allocated to it by the server. You could install application downloaded from the web, reboot the system or customize services without affecting other accounts. Considering the price, VPS is just a little higher than virtual server, but the gap is so small that can be neglected given the better performance.

Although not as perfect as the dedicated one, VPS are still competitive in price. It could do eighty percent of the function a dedicated one could achieve, but only half as high as the dedicated one costs-------a compromise between price and function. If your business is under go and your budget is tight, you could have no hesitation to use VPS, which is the best choice currently.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Injury claim

If you have been involved in an accident, and through no fault of your own have suffered an injury as a result, then chances are you will be able to claim compensation. No matter how minor your injury appears to be at this stage or who the person or company at fault was, making an injury claim is your right and should be exercised to bring justice to a difficult situation.

What types of injuries can be claimed for?
One of the most frequent types of injury claim submitted relate to accidents on the road. Whether you were a driver or passenger of a car, or were travelling on public transport or a bike at the time of the accident, if you were hurt and another driver was at fault, you can claim. Common injuries include back and neck injuries, including whiplash, and injuries to the head or hands as a result of the collision.
Less common, but still a source of regular claims, relate to slips and trips when out and about. Building owners, local councils and workmen have a responsibility to ensure public rights of way and the public areas within buildings are kept safe, clean and free from hazards that could cause a trip. Slipping on wet floors, broken paving slabs or tripping over trailing cables can all result in a range of injuries, from twisted ankles to broken wrists, all of which are regularly seen by professionals handling injury claim cases.
Sometimes even the workplace is not as safe as it should be, and workers sometimes become injured as a result of faulty machinery, poor training or bad health and safety practice. In cases like this an injury claim will often result in remedial action by the employer, meaning other employees will be safer at work in the future, so it is especially important to make a claim if this has happened to you.

When should you claim?
As a general rule of thumb, the sooner the better applies to any type of injury claim. The sooner you can start the claims process, the easier it will be for your solicitor to contact any witnesses and get hold of any other evidence required. Also your injury will be fresh, so if you need to see an independent doctor they will be able to see first hand the extent of your injuries.
Personal injury law understands that making an injury claim is not necessarily the first thing on someone’s mind after they have been involved in an accident. That is why claims can still be started up to three years after the accident happened. In the case of industrial disease and other issues that take years to reveal themselves, there is still a chance to claim beyond the three year cap.

How much does it cost?
These days, the majority of solicitors who deal with injury claim cases will work on a no win no fee basis. This means you will not have to pay them anything if your claim is not successful, and there will be nothing to pay up front. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Systems at Work - How the Postal Service Moves the Mail

Last December the National Postal Museum opened a new permanent exhibit titled "Systems at Work" that explains how the postal service moves the mail.

According to the museum, "The exhibit recreates the paths of letters, magazines, parcels, and other pieces of mail as they have traveled from sender to recipient over the past 200 years. In 1808, a stagecoach carries newspapers and the latest news to people hundreds of miles away. Two hundred years later, the integration of ZIP Codes™, bar codes, intelligent mail, automated sorting machines, and advanced technologies enable the U.S. Postal Service to process and deliver mail to 150 million homes and businesses across the country."

It goes on to say, "At the exhibit’s core is a 270-degree high-resolution film experience that puts visitors into the middle of the mammoth world of a mail-processing center, surrounded by examples of automated machinery that moves mail through the system at astonishing speeds."

To learn more and watch the 9-minute and 30-second film, click here.

To view the exhibit on line, click here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sav-A-Stamp Postal Scale

The Sav-A-Stamp postal scale is the Object of The Month on the National Postal Museum's website. The scale was first manufactured in 1933 during the Great Depression and were used to weigh letters so as not to waste a stamp.

According to National Postal Museum Historian and Curator of Postal History Nancy A. Pope, "The amusingly named Sav-A-Stamp scale could weigh items up to four ounces. The attached clip held letters or small mail pieces to be weighed by the pendulum balance. The scale [shown here] bears a postage rate chart that places its manufacturing date between March 26, 1944 and September 30, 1946, when the U.S. airmail rate was eight cents per ounce."

She goes on to say, "Manufacturers in the U.S. and other nations produced letter scales for use at home. Personal letter scales were popular through the mid 20th century. They could be purchased for relatively low prices. The Sav-a-Stamp scale sold for 69-cents in the early 1940s. Businesses purchased items such as this to give to current or prospective customers."

To learn more, click here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Philatelic Estate and Financial Planning

Columnist Kristi Ellington writes on California's Gilroy Dispatch website, "Your estate could wind up paying substantial and unnecessary taxes and administrative costs – further, your wishes may not be met – the ring from your grandmother that you want to leave to your granddaughter, the stamp collection you worked so hard on that you want to leave to your son and so on."

According to Ellington,"We tend to associate estate planning with significant wealth, and while those who are fortunate enough to fall into that category are generally motivated to perform more formal and complex estate planning – it is not just for the very rich. Every one of us has an estate; as I mentioned last month, no matter your financial situation, you have an estate."

She goes on to say, "...I have witnessed on too many occasions the results of lack of planning. Beyond the financial costs there are emotional ramifications – both of which can be reduced significantly with a little advanced effort. This may be the last gift you leave to your loved ones - I urge you to take the time to put your affairs in order sooner rather than later – an added benefit is that you will have a greater peace of mind knowing you have planned for the well being of your loved ones in the event of an unexpected ability to continue to provide for them yourself. Unless you are confident that all is in order, I urge you to seek professional legal advice to alleviate potential problems down the road."

To read more and get some good planning tips, click here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rare Perot Stamps To Be Displayed

The Bermuda News website is reporting, "Bermuda’s Post Office will be celebrating its 200th anniversary next month with an exhibition that will include eight of the 11 known Perot stamps."

According to the article, "Bermuda’s first postage stamps were produced locally in 1848 by Hamilton postmaster William B. Perot at his Queen Street post office, consisting of the words 'HAMILTON BERMUDA' in a circle, with the year and Perot’s signature in the middle. Known as the Perot provisionals, they are among the greatest rarities of global philately. Only 11 examples of the stamps — issued until 1861 — are known to still exist."

The Perot provisionals have appeared on several Bermuda stamps as shown above. Note the flowers along the side.

Apparently Perot’s postal duties though were just a sideline. Gardening was his primary passion according to a write-up on the Bermuda Biographies website. His five-acre garden at Par-la-Ville on Queen Street, Hamilton, where he lived for most of his life, was a horticultural showpiece.

For more on this story, click here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Australian Stamp Show Features Pieces of Polar Postal History

Australia's Canberra Times reports after finishing an economics degree, and working briefly for a major bank, Melbourne businessman Tony Shields decided to quit the world of banking finance and do something he was really passionate about. So he opened a stamp dealer's shop in Melbourne.

According to reporter Rosslyn Beeby,"His specialty is Antarctic philately (stamps, postcards, postal stationery) and this weekend's Canberra stamp show is showcasing the centenary of Sir Douglas Mawson's polar expedition. Such is the global demand for polar postal memorabilia that Mr Shields recently sold several items to a keen collector in the Czech Republic for $30,000. At the Canberra show, he has a rare letter ($9500) from Robert Scott's polar expedition in 1901, and postcards ($1500) issued to raise funds for the Mawson expedition."

Robert Scott was a Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions. During the second expedition Scott and his four comrades all perished from a combination of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold. Following the news of his death, Scott became a British hero according to an entry on Wikipedia.

Also according to Wikipedia, Sir Douglas Mawson was an Australian geologist, Antarctic explorer and academic. Along with Roald Amundsen, Robert Falcon Scott, and Ernest Shackleton, Mawson was a key Antarctic expedition leader in the early 1900s.

Shown above, a letter to Robert Scott.

To read the entire article, click here.

For more on polar postal history, click here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Investing in Comics and Stamps

Reporter Antonia van de Velde writes on the CNBC business website, "Since 1856, Stanley Gibbons has been buying and selling rare stamps. Its index of Britain’s 30 rarest stamps has risen by almost 70 percent over the past five years, outpacing equities and gold."

However, she notes, "If superheroes conjure up happier memories than those of your stamp collection the market for collecting comic books could offer solace."

Vincent Zurzolo, COO of vintage comic book auction website is quoted as saying, "Vintage comic books have definitely appreciated over the last 30, 40, 50 years. You never see the best of the best going down in value."

An early Superman comic book just sold for $63,000, Zurzolo said. Superman made his first appearance June 1938, with an original price tag of 10 cents. Last year that edition sold for over $2 million, making it the most expensive comic book ever.

To read the entire article (and watch a video about investing in rare comic books and stamps), click here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Congressman Urges USPS to Release Secret Report

Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly has filed a motion with the Postal Regulatory Commission to make public a study on the impact of mail service cuts on United States Postal Service revenue.  The USPS has filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to keep the study secret.

According to a write-up on the website, "The Postal Service study quantified the impact on revenue of reducing mail service from 6 to 5 days, eliminating next-day mail service, closing mail processing facilities, and closing thousands of Post Offices.  The study may also have considered the impact of stamp price increases on projected revenue."

It goes on to say, "Congressman Connolly has argued that Postal Service reform should begin with the development of a new business model for the 21st century that would allow it to raise new revenue through innovative products and services.  He has introduced legislation, HR 1262, that would allow the Postal Service to co-locate with private facilities and state and local governments, sell new products and services through the mail, and expand voting by mail."

To read the entire piece, click here

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Highway Post Office Bus

The National Postal Museum's Pushing The Envelope blog posts, "This advertisement, for the White Motor Company, was published in a number of magazines, including the May 24, 1941 issue of 'The Saturday Evening Post.' The company touted their longevity, 'for 40 years the greatest name in trucks' appears at the bottom of the page, and used their connection with the U.S. Post Office Department to promote itself. The bus that appears in the advertisement was used in the Highway Post Office (HPO) bus service. As railroad passenger traffic declined, railway companies were pulling more and more trains out of service. As a result, the Department began to outfit buses with mail sorting equipment for use on lines as Railway Mail Service to some towns was cut."

It goes on to say, "The advertisement refers to the first HPO bus, which was put into service that year. That bus, manufactured by the White Motor Company, is in the collection of the National Postal Museum. The ad references America’s most famous mail moving service, the Pony Express, at the top of the image. Although the Pony Express was not operated by the U.S. Post Office Department, it has become connected to the system in popular memory. The ad also includes a map of the first HPO route, which operated between Washington, DC, and Harrisonburg, Virginia."

For more on the Highway Post Office Bus, click here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kiribati is Disappearing Underwater

The Sydney Morning Herald reports, "The Pacific nation of Kiribati is negotiating to buy land in Fiji so it can move islanders under threat from rising sea levels, in what could be the first climate-induced relocation of a country."

According to the article by reporter Paul Chapman, "Anote Tong, the Kiribati President, said he was in talks with Fiji's military government to buy up to 2000 hectares of freehold land on which his 113,000 countrymen could resettle. Some of Kiribati's 32 flat coral atolls, which straddle the equator over 3.5 million square kilometres of ocean, are already disappearing. The total land area is 811 square kilometres and the average elevation is less than two metres above sea level."

Kiribati is a member of the Commonwealth and was known as the Gilbert Islands until independence from Britain in 1979.The islands were named after Thomas Gilbert, a British naval captain who navigated the archipelago in 1788. Kiribati is the local pronunciation of Gilbert.

For more on this story, click here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"First Days" Digital Archive Now Available

009The American First Day Cover Society is pleased to announce the availability of the entire run of the Society journal, First Days, in electronic format.

According to a write-up on the The American First Day Cover Society's website, "Every issue of the journal from 1955 to 2011—that’s 395 issues—has been scanned in high resolution and converted to PDF format, viewable on any computer. What’s more, each issue is completely searchable by keyword. So, for instance, when you want to find information about cachet artist Dorothy Knapp, a simple search of the word ‘Knapp’ will produce results in seconds. No more flipping through musty old back issues trying to find the article you remember reading twenty years ago."

It goes on to say, "From a humble 4-page quarterly newsletter beginning in 1955, it quickly became an authoritative semi-monthly magazine under editor Gerald Strauss. Sol Koved took the helm in 1960, a position he held without interruption for 30 years. Under Koved the magazine grew in frequency (eight issues per year starting in 1982) and in size (some issues in the 1980s topped out at 180 pages). Sol’s editorials, always thoughtful and direct, became the magazine’s most-read feature. When Koved retired in 1990, Barry Newton maintained the journal’s standard of excellence for a dozen years. Since 2002, Richard Sine and Peter Martin (now in his second stint as editor) have kept First Days among the best of philatelic journals."

The entire collection is priced at $79 on DVD. There is also a USB flash drive option for $89. 

For more on this story, click here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Philatelic Chocolate Candy Bar Wrapper Contest

The American Topical Association (ATA) is having a contest that encourages kids to design a chocolate candy bar wrapper that promotes stamp collecting.

The winning design will be featured in the September/October edition of the ATA's Topical Tidbits and free packet of stamps will be sent when your candy bar wrapper is received.

You can use markers, crayons, paint, or whatever else you like. Just make sure it’s about stamp collecting and mail your entry by May 15, 2012, to:

Mary Ann Bowman
Topical Tidbits- Fun Foods
P.O. Box 1451
Waukesha, WI 53187

In the meantime, check out the ATA's latest edition of Topical Tidbits which features Fun Foods. On page 20 you'll find the entry form for the philatelic chocolate candy bar wrapper contest.

Click here to view Fun Foods

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Institute for Analytical Philately

Two years ago an organization was formed with the mission of solving philatelic mysteries by applying modern scientific technology. Called the Institute for Analytical Philately, Inc. (IAP), the nonprofit corporation offers funding to researchers who would like to explore scientific approaches to solving philatelic mysteries.

According to a press release issued in January 2010, "The Institute was founded by a group of dedicated philatelists who, in their 'other' lives, are scientists and researchers. More importantly, they were also senior managers responsible for getting results."

In an article, Philately and DNA, that appears in the March 2012 issue of the American Philatelist, The Institute for Analytical Philately is mentioned as possibly becoming involved in researching how analysis of traces of DNA on stamps and covers that were licked can reveal the identity of unidentified persons who died many years ago.

In November of this year the First International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately will be held at the National Postal Museum.

Click here to visit their website.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Persistance Pays Off in Getting Danny Thomas His Stamp

Alabama's website reports an Alabama business man, Raymond Zoghby, spent nearly four years leading a volunteer effort to have St. Jude Children's Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas' image placed on a postage stamp.

According to the article by Casandra Andrews, "Zoghby served for about a decade on the Board of Governors of St. Jude, and chaired the special events committee that erected a statue of Thomas there and pushed hard for the stamp."

She goes on to say, "When the stamp campaign began, Zoghby was undeterred by predictions that the effort was a long shot, at best...In 2008, Zoghby sent a 50-page presentation to the committee that included a 30-minute CD about Thomas, who died in 1991...The next year, Zoghby and others at St. Jude asked national lawmakers to write letters of endorsement. A petition for the stamp garnered about 15,000 signatures."

Then, Zoghby said, he would call the head of the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committtee every six months to get a commitment which finally came in January of this year.

To read the entire article, click here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Operation Cornflakes

Business Insider reports on how the Allies during World War II got the Nazi postal service to deliver their propaganda for them. After bombing a German mail train near the city of Linz, Austria on Feb. 5, 1945, Allied aircraft dropped eight bags of mail among the wreckage.

"Inside each bag were 800 propaganda letters, all addressed to homes and businesses along the train’s route and appropriately stamped. When the train was discovered, German postal workers recovered the bags and delivered the letters without being any wiser about their contents or origins," writes .

According to the article, "Operation Cornflakes (named so because the subversive mail was usually delivered just as its targets sat down for breakfast) had many advantages over simple airdrops, but required a lot of legwork to get off the ground. The inner workings of the German mail system had to be learned, so POWs who had been postal workers were interrogated about everything from postal cancellation markings to the ways mail bags were supposed to be packed and sealed. Spies and sympathizers gathered samples of stamps, postal cancellations, mail sacks, and envelopes while OSS staff pulled names and addresses from German telephone directories."

It goes on to say, "Every aspect of the German postal system, down to the smallest details, were replicated, with some small changes. Forgers manipulated the standard stamp with Adolf Hitler’s face to show the Fuhrer’s exposed skull. Other stamps had their country tag on the bottom changed from 'Deutsches Reich' (German Empire) to 'Futsches Reich' (Ruined Empire).

To read the entire article, click here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Zealand Collector Uses Hobby to Raise Funds for Church

New Zealand's Aucklander website reports, "Victor Sutcliffe has put his own stamp on philately. His house in Titirangi has stamps everywhere you look. You could say he has this hobby licked. He has boxes of stamps in his lounge, dining room, kitchen sink and his 'operation' room. He has drawers bursting with stamped envelopes and a cupboard full of albums."

Sutcliffe, shown here, is the exchange superintendent for the Auckland Philatelic Society. He also sorts, values and sells stamps on behalf of the Baptist Church according to the article by reporter Rowean Orejana.

"His volunteer work is almost a full-time job. It takes him six hours a day to go through boxes and boxes of stamps from churches around the country," pens Orejana.

Orejana goes on to say, "Mr Sutcliffe then painstakingly sorts stamps that are valuable from those that have little value. The ordinary stamps are put in a bag and sold per kilogramme. The others are put in books and priced accordingly. These books are the ones that go to Auckland Philatelic Society collectors who buy them.

Sutcliffe is quoted as saying, "In round figures, around the country, I've constantly got about a thousand books in circulation. And every three months, I send the Baptist Church of New Zealand a cheque."

To read the entire article, click here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Signed Mercury 7 Sheet Up For Auction

The Live Auctioneers website reports a rare Project Mercury stamp sheet that is signed in two different places by each of the original Mercury Seven astronauts will be put up for auction tomorrow by Blue Moon Coins, Inc.

According to the site, the sheet was obtained by the son of a Navy captain who was working on top-secret missile technology with Lawrence Livermore Laboratories and was invited to a signing event when he was working at Cape Canaveral in 1962.

It goes on to say, "Mercury Seven was the group of seven Mercury astronauts selected by NASA on April 9, 1959. They are also referred to as the Original Seven and Astronaut Group 1. This was the only astronaut group with members that flew on all classes of NASA manned orbital spacecraft of the 20th century — Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle. These seven original American astronauts were Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper and Deke Slayton."

Opening bid is $6,000 with an estimate of $6,000 to $10,000.

According to the Sky Image LAb website, "The stamp was designed, printed, and distributed to 305 post offices across the United States in secret. The postmasters did not know what the stamps were or resembled until official word was sent to unseal the packages and begin the distributions and sale of the stamps. The Project Mercury stamp was released for sale at 3:30 pm, Feb. 20, 1962 upon the spectacular mission and successful splashdown of the astronaut, John Glenn Jr."

For more information and to bid, click here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Philatelic Crossword Puzzles

If you like to do crossword puzzles (and happen to be a stamp collector as well) then check out the Philatelic Database.

Each month they offer a different on-line crossword puzzle to perplex philatelists. Actually, they're pretty easy so you won't go crazy trying to figure them out.

The Philatelic Database is an excellent online resource for stamp collectors and others where you will find lots of information pertaining to the hobby. 

To try your brain on the March puzzle, click here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Stamps Authorized on This Day in 1847

The Golden Gazette News reports that on this day in 1847 the U.S.Post Office Department was authorized to issue postage stamps.

According to the article, "Private enterprise, however, beat the government to the punch, with a carrier service in New York City issuing the first-ever adhesive postage stamps to be produced this side of the Atlantic and then requiring those stamps to be used on all mail that it processed. The City Despatch Post, which was founded by London merchant Henry Thomas Windsor (then a resident of Hoboken, New Jersey), had as its agent one Alexander M. Greig—whose name, ironically, is far more remembered than that of Windsor by both stamp enthusiasts and historians."

It goes on to say, "On March 3, 1845, an Act of Congress established consistent postal rates, but it was not till two years later to the day that the production of stamps was authorized—again, by Congress. While most of the earlier stamps used by the United States City Despatch Post were somewhat crude, once stamp production was authorized the Postmaster General contracted for engraved stamps with artwork that is still sought after today by philatelists."

Shown above, the first U.S. postage stamps.

To read the entire article, click here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Appointment with Danger

Appointment with Danger (1951) is an American crime film noir starring Alan Ladd as a U.S. Postal Inspector investigating the murder of another Postal Inspector in Gary, Indiana and bust up a mail robbery.The film has a good deal of footage of a large metropolitan post office including vintage mail trucks which makes it a lot of fun to watch..

According to a write-up about the film on the Greenbriar Pictures website,"It was part of a noir cycle where enforcement agencies were methodically glorified badge by badge. T-Men, C-Men, and immigration watchdogs had been celebrated. Now it was the post office's moment. That institution could use a back-pat right now for all I'm hearing about them going broke, but we're too cynical to extend plaudits for fed employees on any job, so Appointment won't likely get remade, but 1951 being that simpler time we keep hearing about, Paramount sent out bands blaring for the USPS and put flyers into (wow!) 21,000 post offices tieing-in across the land."

And there's even a letter endorsing the film from the Postmaster General!

The film also features both Jack Webb and Harry Morgan as villains. Both would later work on the Dragnet television show as fictional police detectives for the Los Angeles Police Department.

For more background on the film, click here.

Click here to watch Appointment With Danger.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Royal Mail Fears Anger Over Stamp Prices

Britain's Telegraph reports, "Five million people will be able to buy cut-price stamps to protect them from steep rises in the cost of sending a letter, the head of Royal Mail has disclosed."

Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent, pens, "For the first time, stamp prices will be frozen for some pensioners and benefit claimants to help them with the cost of sending Christmas cards this year. The deal will be limited to a few weeks in December and Royal Mail said customers would be rationed to prevent abuse of the scheme. It is preparing for a public backlash when it announces large rises in the cost of first and second-class stamps."

He goes on to say, "The price of second-class stamps is expected to increase from 36p to as much as 55p in April, and then rise by inflation every year for seven years. The price of a first-class stamp – currently 46p — will no longer be capped by the regulator."

According to the article, "Royal Mail is planning to write to households later this year setting out how the scheme will operate. A spokesman said it would be limited to the five million people who claim pension credits and other employment-related benefits."

For more on this story, click here.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stamp Story 1955

A tip of the tongs to Janet Klug for sharing this short film about stamp collecting in the 1950s when Nassau Street was still going strong.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stamp Collecting Software

Looking for some simple to use  cataloging software for under $20 bucks?

Then check out Stamp Collection Manager designed for serious stamp collectors.

Among its features:
  • Store Your Stamp Collection Details with Images
  • Large Capacity - You can store thousands of stamps
  • Summary - View information about a selected stamp
  • Printing - Make prints from your collection
  • Export - Export your collection to HTML, PDF or CSV format
  • Image Preview - Preview the image of selected stamp
  • Zoom - View the image of stamp in actual size
  • Search - Search your collection
  • Valuation - Shows the total money you spend on your collection along with its current value
  • Free Life Time Updates - Buy once and get all future versions for free
System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, 7

For more information, click here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Social History Attracts Post Card Collectors

"They are storytellers as much as they are collectors. Inquire about a postcard for sale at the annual Toronto Postcard Club show at the Old Mill Inn and you receive a free history lesson along with it, " writes reporter Noor Javed on Toronto's the website.

George Sachs, president of the club, is quoted in the piece as saying, “The lure of postcards for many collectors is that they are interested in social history. They love reading the messages on the back as much as looking at the image on the front.” 

Siobhan Angley, a dealer and one of the few women at the show says postcard collecting is an education in itself.

She's quoted as saying, "“You aren’t going to bump into any dimwits here. They are people who have photographic memories. They might have 10,000 cards at home and they know every card, they know every image, they know what’s on the back. They can identify the stamp, they can remember it, they know the series, and they can identify the publisher. And they are always in search for more. It really caters to packrats."

Shown above, dealer Derek Dalton's holding a cloth postcard postmarked in 1906 which most likely depicts a Coast Guard cutter.

To read the entire article, click here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Legends of Hollywood

The Sqiudoo website reports, "The Legends of Hollywood is a series of commemorative stamps issued by the US Postal Service starting in 1995 with Marilyn Monroe. Since then, each year, one Hollywood legend, be it actor, actress, or director is chosen to grace these beautiful and highly collectible pieces of Hollywood memorabilia."

According to the site, "The artist chosen to create this stamp, Michael J. Deas, drew much of his inspiration for the stamp from a studio publicity photo of Marilyn taken in the 1950's. What is interesting to note, though is that while her face is inspired by the photo, her hands and her torso are actually a composite of a variety of photos taken of Marilyn.

It goes on to say, "The selvage art (art found around the surplus margin of the stamp sheet) was going to be the famous skirt blowing up scene from the movie, 'The Seven Year Itch', but it was decided that image was not appropriate and would demean Marilyn's memory."

On the site, you can vote for your favorite Legends of Hollywood celebrity and who should be honored with their own stamp in the series.

To learn more about the Legends of Hollywood series, click here .... and don't forget to watch the 84th Academy Awards tonight 7e/4p on ABC.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Scientists Want New Stamp For Pluto

Don Finley writes on the My Sant Antonio website, "Two decades ago, the Postal Service issued a series of stamps depicting Earth, its moon, and the spacecraft sent to explore each of the other planets in the solar system. The 10th stamp, featuring tiny, distant Pluto, was the only one to read 'not yet explored.'

He goes on to say, "Those three words have annoyed Alan Stern ever since. Stern, an associate vice president and scientist at Southwest Research Institute, was making plans at the time for what would become the New Horizons mission to Pluto, which launched in 2006."

According to Finley, "Now Stern, principal investigator of the mission, along with astronomer and artist Dan Durda, is trying to set the record straight. The scientists have designed a new stamp for Pluto, and they have launched a petition drive to get the post office to issue it when New Horizons reaches the dwarf planet in 2015."

"Pluto could probably use a boost to its self-esteem, " pens Finley. "It was downgraded from planet to “dwarf planet” in 2006. Even when it was a planet, it was the smallest and farthest from the sun. Its name was given to the only nonverbal life form in Mickey Mouse cartoons."

Shown here, the proposed design which was created by planetary scientist and astronomical illustrator Dan Durda for Astronomy magazine.

To read the entire article, click here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mr. Zip Revisited

Alyson Kuhn writes on the Felt and Wire: Impressions from the Paper-Obsessed website,"I love Mr. Zip. He is tidy, smiley and energetic. I like to 'perf' him off panes of vintage stamps and then proudly position him on the flaps of envelopes. I still cherish a Mr. Zip good luck charm I bought back in the mid-’90s … but I’d never thought about any other “Zippiana.” Now Mr. Zip has his own website, rich in history, photos and yes, ephemera. The site was researched and written by Abby Curtin, a college student who wasn’t even born when Mr. Zip retired in 1983. How’d she do that?"

In talking about her site Curtin says, "At first we envisioned a pictorial history of Mr. Zip, showcasing various ways he was used. Interestingly, his appearance didn’t really evolve over his 20 years of  'service,' and so the site took on a life of its own. As I was doing my research, I also realized that it’s nearly impossible to discuss Mr. Zip outside of the context of the ZIP Code campaign, so my project evolved into one where I told the story of the entire campaign."

Among  many other interesting factoid, Curtin says Mr. Zip appeared on consumer products such as ZIP Code board game, and on a children’s lunchbox and thermos which helped draw attention to ZIP Code in the early 1960s. Curtin says she actually played the board game (show above) with three other interns while at the National Postal Museum.

"It’s not played on a board, but there are cardboard pieces in the shape of envelopes," she writes.  "Each piece has a ZIP Code on it, and there are also pigeonhole mail sorting pieces. Each player has an assigned area from which you try to collect all the mail."

To visit the Mr. Zip site, click here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Precancel Stamp Society

According to the The Precancel Stamp Society's website, "Precancels are postage stamps that have been canceled before being used on letters or packages. Typically they are stamps cancelled with two lines, and the city and state where they were mailed. I like them because of the many ways you can collect them, and the affordability of most of them. Above all, the best part of collecting precancels are the other great collectors you’ll meet along the way."

It goes on to say, "The Precancel Stamp Society, Inc. is the outgrowth of two earlier organizations of collectors of precanceled stamps. The International Precancel Club was organized in 1910. The IPC held several conventions in conjunction with other stamp gatherings. By 1921 it had 111 members, but was relatively inactive. At about this time, a rival precancel organization was formed under the name: Precancel Club of America. This group had an initial rapid growth and changed its name to The Precancel Stamp Society at what is now considered to be the first PSS convention in Denver in 1922."

Today the Society offers free downloadable precancel albums, a sample copy of their periodical, in-depth, articles about precancels and information on precancel styles.

To visit The Precancel Stamp Society website, click here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stamp Collectors as Guardians of History

John Finch, Stamp Collecting Guide writes about Barry Landau (shown above), the so-called presidential memorabilia super-collector. According to Finch, Landau has pled guilty to stealing historical documents, "which may include drafts of FDR speeches, a land grant signed by President Lincoln, a letter from Ben Franklin to John Paul Jones, as well as numerous other items of great import to the United States' culture and heritage."

Finch points out, "We all -- as collectors -- have the desire to reach out and touch history. For some it's our raison d'être. Stamps provide us with satisfaction in that regard. But for some, who feel they are touching history second hand, it is not enough. Stamp collectors know that they are temporary curators of philatelic material. One way or another, it will be passed down through history, either to family or another collector."

To read the entire article, click here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Six-Grader Strives to Get Forgotten Slave on Stamp reports,"An eager crowd of parents and children filed into the atrium of the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. recently for the Museum’s African American History Month Family Day. Though there were many activities available for kids that day, many in the crowd were there for one reason: to hear Jackson L. Davis, V., speak. This phenomenal twelve-year-old boy was invited to speak at the Museum because of the national campaign he launched to get York – the slave who worked alongside Lewis and Clark on the first transcontinental expedition – honored with a commemorative stamp."

Reporter Brooke Obie pens, "And though Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea have been posthumously acknowledged with stamps and a coin for their work, Davis was upset to learn that York, the only African American on the expedition, has not yet been honored with a stamp like the others."

According to the article, " Davis submitted a proposal to the United States Postal Service Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for York to be considered for a 2013 Black Heritage Stamp.  He also wrote to every living American president to raise awareness of his campaign, and so far has received letters of support from President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, his own congressman, Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. , the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial, and many other leaders. The York stamp is now under consideration by the Committee."

The 12-year-old is the great-grandson of a postal worker.

To read the entire article, click here.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Each Stamp a Piece of History

Reporter Nora Avery-Page writes on Arizona's Daily News-Sun website, "To Mike O’Neill, a stamp is a little piece of history."

O'Neill, president of the Sun City Stamp Club, is quoted in the article as saying, "“You look at a stamp and each stamp is history. When you look through the books, you can just go through history.”

“I started when I was about 7 or 8, probably,” O’Neill said. “When I retired, I started it up again.”

"Club member Mike Eller also recounted how he renewed his interest in stamp collecting after retirement about 19 years ago. Eller said he didn’t want to invest in stocks because he felt he didn’t have any control over it. Stamps were an alternative," pens Avery-Page.

The Sun City Stamp Club has 70 members and has an auction at each meeting.

Shown above, Sun Citian Elliott Engberg, left, has his stamp collection appraised by Tom Goetz of Peoria during a Sun City Stamp Club appraisal event.

To read the entire article, click here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Letter Writers Alliance, Stamp Fingernails and Carrier Pigeons Without The Poop

A tip of the tongs to Facebook friend and the American Philatelic Society's Stamp Talk host Nancy Clark, for bringing to the Round-Up's attention The Letter Writers Alliance (LWA).

The LWA was established in 2007 by Kathy Zadrozny and Donovan Beeson to encourage people to write more letters.

According to their website, "In this era of instantaneous communication, a handwritten letter is a rare and wondrous item. The Letter Writers Alliance is dedicated to preserving this art form; neither long lines, nor late deliveries, nor increasing postal rates will keep us from our mission."

It goes on to say, "As a member of the Letter Writers Alliance, you will carry on the glorious cultural tradition of letter writing. You will take advantage of every opportunity to send tangible correspondence. Prepare your pen and paper, moisten your tongue, and get ready to write more letters!"

A recent post on their blog talks about decorating your finger nails with stamps.

It reads, "From Reuben Miller, via The Improvised Life, here is a new way to artify your finger nails using stamps! I suppose you could technically use any image, cut it to size and then cover it with clear nail polish, but this is STAMPS people! STAMPS!"

Also. check out their Pigeon Post Kit where you can have your own carrier pigeon "without all the messy poop clean-up. As seen above, mail the bird as is, no box needed!

To visit their website, click here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

USPS May Raise 1st Class Postage to 50 Cents

ABC News and other news agencies are reporting the United States Postal Service may raise the price of first class postage to 50 cents if it is to survive financial ruin.

According to an article by Alan Farnham, "The U.S. Post Office, facing financial losses of up to $18.2 billion a year by 2015, wants to charge more for postage, more for services, and to suspend Saturday delivery.The 50-cent stamp would represent an 11 percent increase in postal rates."

Franham goes on to say, "The last postal increase occurred late last month, when the cost of mailing a first-class letter rose from 44 cents to 45 cents. Rates also rose for packages, for  periodicals, and for a wide variety of services.  The law limits USPS increases overall to the rate or inflation, or 2.1 percent a year."

Shown above, 1933 United States #C18 (affectionately known as "The Baby Zeppelin")

To read the entire article, click here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Audio Interview with Terry McCaffrey and Ethel Kessler

In an interesting audio interview on the 99% Invisible website, Julie Shapiro, artistic director of the Third Coast International Audio Festival, spoke with Terry McCaffrey, the retired manager of stamp development for the USPS Stamp Services Office, and Ethel Kessler, an art director who’s been working with Stamp Services for over 15 years.

In the interview, Kessler says, "Somebody might be able to do a great painting that’s 20 x 30 inches, but you take that down to 1 x 1.5 inches, and it’s a challenge to make it work."

Among other topics discussed includes the rules for the selection of a stamp and U.S. stamp design such as the Breast Cancer semi-postal (shown above).

Also recorded, University of Ghana post office workers whistling while cancelling stamps.

Click here to listen.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The ‘Holy Grail of Philately’

Britain's Daily Mail reports, "One of the rarest and most sought after stamps ever produced is up for sale and expected to fetch over half a million pounds.The plate 77 Penny Red has been dubbed the ‘Holy Grail of philately’ and is one of just nine examples of the stamp ever recorded. Although millions of Penny Reds were printed between 1841 and 1879, a number of plates were never used due to technical faults."

Reporter Katie Silver pens, "Flaws in plate number 77 meant the stamp’s perforations were lined up incorrectly, so all of the test sheets were destroyed. But at least one sheet was released into circulation by mistake - making the 77 every stamp collector’s dream. Dealer Stanley Gibbons heralds it as the 'most valuable single stamp' the company has ever had for sale in their 156 year history, with a value of around £550,000."

According to the article, "To date, four mint and five used examples have been reported, although some have not been seen for so long their authenticity is unconfirmed and often doubted. Of the mint examples, there is one in the Royal Philatelic collection, one in the Tapling collection in the British Library, one in the Raphael collection that was stolen in 1965 and has not been seen since, and the fourth was in the Ferrary collection sold in the 1920s."

Shown above, The extremely rare used penny red stamp (left) from 'plate 77' compared with a regular four penny red (right).

To read the entire article, click here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's Not About Ripping Stamps Off Envelopes

Financial reporter Michael Ettershank writes on the Business Day website, "Stamp collecting offers high returns and history lessons and offers investors an opportunity to buy a little piece of history."

Graham Royan, a member of the Institute of Financial Markets and the Philatelic Traders’ Society in London is quoted in the piece as saying, "Stamp collecting is the second largest-hobby in the world with more than 50-million serious stamp collectors. It’s not about ripping old stamps off envelopes and stuffing them in a book — this is people collecting, and normally specialising in, a particular type of stamp."

Royan goes on to say, ""It’s a hobby where one can easily become hooked because it’s fascinating — the amount of historical and geographical information you can learn from a little stamp collecting is vast."

To read the entire article and watch a video, click here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

French Valentine's Day Stamps

The Squidoo website reports, "Every year, for Valentine day, La Poste (the French postal service) issues postage stamps designed by the greatest name in the French fashion industry. These Valentine day stamps are heart shaped and comes in various denomination and presentation. They are gorgeous tiny pieces of art, and can make a cheap affordable collection."

According to the site, "The first ever France Valentine day 'designer hearts' postage stamps were issued in 2000. The stamps, designed by the Yves Saint-Laurent couture house, represent 2 facing snakes and a face. These valentine stamps were also available in a booklet of 10 adhesive stamps and a souvenir sheet."

It goes on to say, "For the basic collection (regular stamps, self-adhesive stamps and souvenir sheet) you will not ruin yourself! The souvenir sheets are at the most 10$ a piece. Don't pay more than that per piece!! The regular stamps runs between 1.50$-3$ a piece. The adhesive version are a bit harder to find and can run up to 5$-8$ (then again, don't pay more than this)."

Shown above, 2011 French valentine souvenir sheet and stamps. Designed by Maurizio Galante, they can be colored or written on as can been from the side inscription.

Click here to see other designer Valentine stamps issued by France.

Click here to view various "Love" stamps issued by the United States over the years.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Postal Museum Offering Free Book About Owney

American country music star Trace Adkins is helping children learn more about Owney, a dog who played a real role in mail-service history. According to the website, Adkins uses words and music to help bring to life Owney and his canine adventures in a free downloadable book called Owney: Tales From the Rails.

Adkins is quoted in the piece by Vernell Hackett as saying, "As a father of five, a history buff and animal lover, I am very proud to work with the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum to bring Owney's fascinating story to life. The song and this story provide a fun way for families to learn together."

Hackett goes on to say, "This is a natural move for Trace, who three youngest daughters love for him to read to them when he's at home. They also have dogs, so it is a relatable story for them when they hear about Owney and all the things he gets to do. It also fits right in with Trace's upcoming Songs and Stories tour, which launches in March. The intimate tour will play to smaller venues than Trace has been playing recently, and gives the singer the chance to talk to his audience about the songs he'll be performing."

To read and listen to Owney: Tales From the Rails, click here.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Abe!

Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday!

According to Wikipedia, "Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from 1861 to 1865. He successfully led the United States through its Civil War, thus preserving the Union and bringing an end to slavery. Lincoln was the first Republican president, elected in 1860. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoted the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Second only to the number of times George Washington has appeared on U.S. postage, Abraham Lincoln appears on U.S. postage more than all the remaining other presidents."

It goes on to say, "The first postage stamp to honor Abraham Lincoln was issued on April 14, 1866, one year to the day after his death in 1865...The engraving of this image was modeled after a photograph taken by Mathew Brady. The 90c issue of 1869 displays an engraving of Lincoln that was fashioned after the same photograph taken by Mathew Brady used to model for the 1866 issue. A total of only 47,460 stamps were printed by the National Bank Note Company."

Shown above, 1866 Lincoln stamp.

To learn more about Abraham Lincoln on U.S. postage, click here.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Stamps Give Seniors a New Lease on Life

India's The Hindu reports, "Every second Saturday, at the philatelic bureau here, a largely silent crowd gathers to delve into the world of stamps. They include school children, a few college students and many senior citizens. Tweezers are passed around and instructions given on how to handle the stamps very carefully. For these elderly people, the hobby in a way has given a fresh lease of life after they retired from work."

S. Visvanath, who has been collecting stamps for the last 55 years, is quoted as saying, "“For a true philatelist, the true pleasure lies in the knowledge he gets out of the stamps he owns. It has helped me appreciate art better. I buy books on artists the stamps have featured and then read about them. While one might have a huge collection of stamps on blood donation, another's cherished collection might be on holograms."

According to the article, "The Philatelic Bureau has been regularly sending stamps to over 1, 200 people across the country, and since most backlogs have been cleared, there is better quality coming in, say officials. The Black Penny issued by Great Britain and the stamp on Gandhi printed in Switzerland in 1948 are the present rage now, say philatelists."

To read the entire piece, click here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Free Stamp Catalogue

A tip of the tongs to fellow American Legionnaire Mel Rogow for bringing to my attention Freestampcatalogue (FSC).

According to its website, "Freestampcatalogue (FSC) is a world stamp catalogue free for everyone to use. Almost all official stamps issued from about 1920 to the present day are shown in the catalogue. However, this includes only stamps and blocks - no special items, misprints, varieties etc. The stamps are displayed per set, resulting in nearly 200,000 series and blocks. By using the filter function, you can find stamps sorted by country, theme or date, or a combination thereof."

It goes on to say, "FSC is built and maintained by PostBeeld, international stamp dealers located in Haarlem, The Netherlands. Items that are in stock are displayed with a PostBeeld selling price and an order button. PostBeeld uses the reference numbers of various catalogues (e.g. Michel, Yvert, Stanley Gibbons, Scott, NVPH)."

Due to numbering rights, FSC only publishes Michel, Yvert, Stanley Gibbons, Scott and other numbers for items that are on sale on the PostBeeld website.

Click here to visit Freestampcatalogue and PostBeeld.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

U.S. Postal Service Ranked Best Among Wealthy Nations

The website reports, "Maligned by American citizens and politicians, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is still the best of its kind in the Western world. A review of postal service providers by Oxford Strategy Consulting resulted in the USPS getting the top ranking among the G20 nations." 

The consulting group said in a prepared statement, "“The USPS topped the ranking due to its high operating efficiency and public faith in its performance, measured over three years. The report found the agency delivers over five times more letters per full-time delivery employee than Germany’s privatized provider, Deutsche Post.” 

Japan came in second, Australia third, followed by South Korea, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Brazil and Russia. The worst rankings were given to the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and China. 

To read the review, click here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Boy Scout Stamp Collecting Merit Badge Workshops Being Planned

This past weekend at the ORCOPEXPO stamp show in Anaheim/Garden Grove, Calif., the eleven scouts shown above got their Scout Stamp Collecting Merit Badge.

The 4-hour work shop consisted of a history of stamps and stamp collecting, different types of stamps, different types of collections, different types of albums, mounting stamps and covers, use of catalogs and various tools of the hobby.

A big thank you to the Philatelic Society of Los Angeles, American Philatelic Society and Mystic Stamp Company for helping to underwrite the cost of putting on the workshop and providing materials for these fine young men.

If you would like to donate stamps or other items for several other upcoming workshops being planned in Southern California, contact Don Schilling at

For more on the Scout Stamp Collecting Merit Badge, click here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Britain Issues Miniature Sheet for Queen's Diamond Jubilee

 Britain's Daily Mail reports, "The Royal Mail has issued a special sheet of first class stamps to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. The Diamond Jubilee Miniature the first time that the official portraits of the Queen, which have been used on stamps, coins and banknotes throughout her reign, have been brought together for a set of stamps. The new collection includes a new first class diamond blue stamp, which will replace the standard gold stamp in post offices over this year."

According to the article,"Since it first appeared, the standard image has been reproduced on more than 220 billion stamps and has now been updated with the words Diamond Jubilee highlighted in iridescent ink on the background."

This Diamond Jubilee Miniature Sheet is the second of three stamp issues in 2012 celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.A special eight-stamp issue featuring the Queen throughout the six decades of her reign will be issued on May 31.

To read the entire article, click here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Indian Professor Collects Gandhi and Palindrome Dates.

"For Venkatesh S Yalvigi, a retired botany professor from Bangalore University, collecting stamps, coins and currency notes is more than just a hobby — it is a way of life," writes reporter Sudha Hegde on India's Deccan Herald website.

According to Hegde, over the last forty years, 83-year-old Professor Yalvigi has spent a lot of time, money and energy on philately and "his collection has almost all the stamps, mints and currency notes on Gandhi from across the world." He also collects other individuals who fought for India’s independence.

"Though he has been into this hobby for the last 40 years, he got a new idea around 12 years ago. He started getting the stamps and special covers cancelled on special dates," says Hegde. "Hence, from 01-01-01 to 11-11-11... he has a collection of stamps and special covers cancelled on these special days."

Hegde is quoted as saying, “In this millennium, we have a series of 12 dates occurring every year from 2001 to 2012. Postal cancellation stamps are accepted as an official mark of the date across the world. So if I get the cancellation on 12-12-12, I will complete the circle and it will be a record in itself. I am waiting for 12-12-12 to complete my philately circle of special dates. I will probably have an exhibition after completing this occasion. I also have to design a special cover for the date."

Shown above, Professor Venkatesh S Yalvigi with part of his collection. 

To read the entire article, click here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Homemade Postcards Help Save Postal Service

Minnesota's website reports that St. Paul architect and artist Peter Kramer (shown here) has never sent a single email in his life. However this weekend, the "snail-mail enthusiast" will present his "Postcards to Save the Post Office" collection of original artwork.

According to the article the collection consists of more than 120 one-of-a-kind postcards featuring his drawings.

Reporter Amy Carlson Gustafson pens, "On Saturday, his postcard project debuts at the Grand Hand Gallery where folks can purchase a Kramer original for $20. Buyers will fill out an address label and when the show is over in March, he'll write a note on each one, stick a personalized stamp on them and take the cards to the post office for delivery. "

Kramer is quoted in the piece as saying, "I'm just in love with the idea of mail. Everything about it is enjoyable - writing the letter, thinking about the person getting it, putting the stamp on." 

Pete Nowacki, a spokesman with the Postal Service, appreciates Kramer's support and thinks the postcards are a fun idea.

"There is kind of a natural tie-in between mail and art," Nowacki said. "After all, stamps really are little works of art. What Peter is doing - personalizing his art with a message and then popping it into the mail - that's a first for me and I think a really neat twist."

Click here to read the entire article.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Volunteers Begin Stamping Valentine Cards

Denver, Colorado's ABC Channel 7 News reports volunteers in Loveland have started stamping Valentine cards.

More than 160,000 cards are sent to Loveland each year to be stamped and remailed. Most are from the United States but many are from other countries.

According to Wikipedia, "Loveland’s Valentine Re-mailing Program began in January 1947 by Ted Thompson and Elmer Ivers, the Loveland postmaster after Ivers received about 30 valentines from individuals requesting to have the cards postmarked from Loveland for, “a romantic extra touch.” The two thought re-mailing valentines would be an opportunity to advertise Loveland, and the Loveland Chamber of Commerce agreed to promote the service. Thompson designed a cachet with the message, “A Valentine Greeting from Sweetheart Town, Loveland, Colorado,” and the image was a heart pierced by an arrow over the Rocky Mountains. The cachet was used twice, then Thompson started the tradition of changing it each year at the request of collectors. Since then, a different verse and design have been used every year."

The 2012 special message, called a cachet, says "Valentine greetings from a city with heart, Loveland, Colorado, home of fabulous art!"

To read the entire article, click here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

United Nations Stamp Artist Wendy Wray

Virginia's website reports, "If you are a devoted philatelist or just someone who enjoys owning a collectors item, the United Nations endangered species stamp, designed by local artist Wendy Wray, might be high on your list of guilty pleasures."

According to the article, "Last year, Wray's representative in New York got an exciting offer from the United Nations. The United Nations Postal Administration was looking for an artist to design a set of stamps depicting 12 endangered bird species. Wray was thrilled and honored to get the job."

Wray is quoted as saying, ""The way it was done was Brian Arthur photographed my drawings and then I sent the file to the U.N. for the limited release series. These are not stamps you purchase at your local post office. The only place you can get them is online or at the United Nations office in New York. If you want to actually post a letter with the stamp, it would have to be mailed from the U.N. The stamps are issued in dollars, euros and francs."

Shown above, some of the stamps featuring Wray's artwork.

To order these and other United Nations stamps, click here.

To read the entire article, click here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Buying Stamps in Tough Economic Times

John Finch writes on the website about buying stamps in tough economic times and offers some money saving tricks for acquiring stamps.

Finch suggests the following...
  • Buy new issues from countries or agencies,
  • Have a few favorite dealers,
  • Trade with fellow collectors,
  • Buy lesser quality,
  • Buy for the future,
  • Buy in bulk,
  • Possess the knowledge,
  • Take care of your stamps and they'll take care of you.
Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Match Made in Postal Heaven

Nothing says love like a heart-themed postmark according to The Winnipeg Free Press.

Canada Post says the Love (Saskatchewan) and St-Valentin (Quebec) post offices, because of their aptly named towns, will cancel twice as much mail as usual over the coming weeks, with a special cancel designed for the romantic at heart.

According to the paper,"Already, mail is coming in from across Canada and from countries such as China, Japan, Hungary, United States, Switzerland and France."

Canada Post is calling the cancellations "a match made in postal heaven."

For more information and where to send your cards and letters, click here.