Sunday, July 29, 2018

The First Ascent of Lhotse by Tomo Česen, Yugoslavia

And here comes the so much dreaded letter X for the Sunday Stampers (ok, Ill speak on my behalf only), or Scrabblers... though the latter can be really rewarding with points if you nail it :) (Speaking of it, I'm kinda terrible at Scrabble... for some reason I just never think of the good words at the time of playing, even though it ends up the best word choice was something pretty easy and common).

Now, for today's edition, I kinda cheated with the X...

Namely, I chose this FDC issued on 24 April 1991 by the Yugoslav Post. commemorating the Slovenian Alpinist Tomo Česen, who had climbed the first solo ascent of South Face of Lhotse (which happened exactly a year earlier), the fourth highest mountain in the world at 8,516 metres. It is part of the Everest massif, and of course part of the Himalayan mountain range. And here comes the catch... namely the Latin letter "H" is transcribed as "X" in the Cyrillic alphabet, the word Himalayas in part of the languages used in Ex-Yugoslavia is "Хималаи", so there you go, it is an X in some way :) Plus, the issuing country does not exist any longer and is now referred to as eX-Yugoslavia, so there is another X :P

Funny thing though, when I googled for this Tomo guy, the third result given by google included the word controversy... so this is where this post got really interesting for me.
Turns out that the Soviet Himalayan expedition later claimed that his ascent would be impossible (don't know why exactly).
He said he had climbed the mountain in 46 hours  and was awarded sponsorship contracts, $10,000 in cash and a national medal. But soon his climb was debunked... probably AFTER this stamp had been issued, otherwise, that would just add to the controversy.

Oh well, he had his hours of fame.

So if you are intrigued to see more X-related posts, simply visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Whales of the Southern Ocean, Ross Dependency

I was a bit indecisive about today's post since I had two super duper things on the menu, but in the end I opted for this one, and decided to leave the other for a different letter in the third round since there will be a third ABC round after all... Yay!!

So today W is for their majesty, the Whales!

I do like whales actually and don't find them as intimidating as sharks, though that might be because I haven't encountered one in real life yet :D
This post today shows a number of Whales issued by the Ross Dependency, and I believe  that first I should say a word or two about this issuing entity before I move on to the whales.

Ross Dependency stamps have been issued by New Zealand postal authorities for use on mail from Scott Base since 1957. This post office was closed in 1987 as part of the rationalisation of New Zealand Post, for later, New Zealand Post to resume the issue of stamps inscribed “Ross Dependency” in 1994, “due to local and international demand.
The denominations match those of contemporary New Zealand stamps but these stamps are not generally valid on New Zealand mail. Mail from the Ross Dependency is processed by the “Ross Dependency Agency”, located at a post office in Christchurch where people can post items bearing Ross Dependency stamps. Mail is canceled with the inscription “Ross Dependency Agency, Christchurch.
The general rule is that there is just one issue per year, and this issue here is the one that was chosen in 2010.
It consists of 5 stamps on a mini-sheet, featuring:

- 60c - the Sperm Whale / Physeter macrocephalus - the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator

- $1.20 - the Minke Whale / Balaenoptera Acutorostrata - It is the smallest member of the rorquals and the second smallest species of baleen whale. Although first ignored by whalers due to its small size and low oil yield, it began to be exploited by various countries beginning in the early 20th century. As other species declined, larger numbers of common minke whales were caught, largely for their meat. It is now one of the primary targets of the whaling industry. (unfortunately =/)

- $1.90 - the Sei Whale / Balaenoptera Borealis - a baleen whale, the third-largest rorqual after the blue whale and the fin whale. It inhabits most oceans and adjoining seas, and prefers deep offshore waters. It avoids polar and tropical waters and semi-enclosed bodies of water. The sei whale migrates annually from cool and subpolar waters in summer to winter in temperate and subtropical waters, with a lifespan of 70 years.

- $2.40 - the Killer Whale / Orcinus Orca - ok, this is like the most famous whale out there thanks to movies and stuff. It is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. These whales are considered to be highly social. (unlike me :D)

- $2.90 - the Humpback Whale / Megaptera Novaeangliae - a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species that has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is known for breaching and other distinctive surface behaviors, making it popular with whale watchers. Males produce a complex song lasting 10 to 20 minutes, which they repeat for hours at a time. Its purpose is not clear, though it may have a role in mating.

So that would be all from the whale world today. For other interesting W-related stamps, you know what to do :)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bridges and Viaducts, Croatia

Going with the Viaducts for the letter V today, the choice for Croatia is totally unintentional but kinda suited prior today's World Cup Final, where Croatia and France shall fight the battle for the throne... my support certainly goes out to Croatia, which has been one of the greatest positive surprises in the event.

So cheers to that with the following two FDC's issued by Croatian Post in 2017 and 2013, respectively.

The first FDC shows the Kosinj Bridge, Limska Draga Viaduct on a Souvenir sheet.

A viaduct is a bridge composed of several small spans for crossing a valley, dry or wetland, or forming an overpass or flyover. The term  is derived from the Latin via for road and ducere, to lead. The ancient Romans did not use the term; it is a nineteenth-century derivation from an analogy with aqueduct. Like the Roman aqueducts, many early viaducts comprised a series of arches of roughly equal length.
Known as the Limska Draga Viaduct, Croatia’s highest bridge crosses a wide valley on the Buje-Vodnjan highway between Medaki and Kanfana - consists of a large steel box girder spanning several tall reinforced concrete piers, one which rises 120 mtrs in height.
The works began in 1986, and completed after 30 months of construction when it was opened for traffic in June 1991.

 The second FDC shows the old bridge at Torunj and the Railway bridge in Zagreb (also known as the Green bridge).

for more interesting posts of the interesting letter V, simply visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps :)

Sunday, July 8, 2018

London Underground, United KIngdom

Good Sunday to all! This is gonna be a scheduled post since I will be away for the weekend, but I hope it turns out fine.

U may seem like a tricky letter when it comes to stamps but it surely isn't as near as tricky and challenging as X, to which we shall come very soon indeed :D

While the subject may not be something spectacular, still I really love these two FDCs issued by Royal Mail, celebrating 150 years of the London Underground... wow, it is quite unimaginable to me that back in 1863 something as an underground had been a means of transport. (it is the first Underground in the world).

The stamps were issued on 9th January 2013 which marks the exact date of the opening of the Metropolitan Railway between Paddington Station and Farringdon Street – the first part of what was to become the London Underground.

The first FDC bears six stamps, showing the timeline of the development of the London Underground, ranging from the first steam driven Metropolitan Line service through to a striking image of Canary Wharf, the most modern Jubilee Line station.

2nd class stamp - Metropolitan Railway opens
2nd class stamp - Tunneling below London streets
1st class stamp - Commute from the suburbs
1st class stamp - Boston Manor Art Deco Station
£1.28 stamp - Classic Rolling Stock
£1.28 stamp - Jubilee Line at  Canary Wharf

The second FDC features a four stamp miniature sheet focusing on the design heritage of London Underground posters.

The pictorial poster was a distinctive and highly effective medium for promoting all aspects of the London Underground and later London Transport.The visual images brought modern art and design to a huge audience and many of the artists commissioned were influenced by the avant-garde European art movements of the early 20th century.
This brought Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism to the general public of Britain and the four stamps have three classic London Underground posters on each.

Btw, I have taken the London Underground.....quite some long time ago. That was my first experience with this means of transport...but I found it super cool, esp. since, you know, coming from a city with less than 1.000.000 inhabitants, where you are used to riding on buses only - something like an Underground is quite an experience... esp. once you figure out how it works and can make it on your own, and be able to get simply anywhere in London.

 Check out the other cool U-topics on the Sunday Stamps blog.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The 100th Anniversary of the Titanic disaster

Letter T is very tempting for Trains lets say, but trying to be not so transparent and predictable, I will go with some Titanic stamps today, all issued in 2012, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of its sinking.

First is a cover from Canada, showing two of the four stamps that are part of the block showing the bow of the ship, as well as an international stamp, showing its side-view. These stamps were issued on 4th of April.

Even though many countries commemorated this anniversary on stamps, Canadians were among those personally involved with the world's most famous ocean disaster. In addition to a number of Canadians aboard, and the tireless efforts of the people of Halifax, it was a team of employees working at the Canadian Marconi company's wireless station on Cape Race, Newfoundland, who heard the early distress call.

Next we have the FDC issued by the BH post, on 29th of May.
No extra information regarding this stamp, but anyway, it is not like any extra info is necessary on this world-wide known tragedy.

then we have this FDC from Alderney, issued on 22 February, featuring 6 striking stamps. During its journey, Titanic had sailed past Alderney as well.
The story behind the six stamps is:

36p. - Leaving Southampton
47p. - Sailing past Alderney
48p. - The Grand Staircase
52p. - Orchestra plays the final rune
61p. - Captain Edward J. Smith
65p. - Lifeboats leave the ship

And just as it had caught me by surprise that I had never posted Titanic stamps before here, I was also surprised to see I have this FDC in my collection, issued by Macedonia Post on 17th April. The reason is cos I simply don't know why I would have bought this for myself, taking into account it is a bit pricey, and not as part of my collectibles. But I guess this was during the times I was just splurging on stamps (un)necessarily. Oh well :D

I have this gut feeling that I may be overlooking some other Titanic related FDCs or covers from my collection, but I guess these four will do for now.

For more T-related stamps, simply visit the Sunday Stamps blog.