Monday, September 22, 2014

Bophuthatswana - Platinum in the chemical industry

Four postage stamps commemorating platinum, issued on August 15, 1979, are of particular historical interest. 4c stamp shows pouring of platinum and an African worker, 15c, 20c and 25c  stamps summarize the importance of platinum in the chemical industry, in telecommunications satellites and in jewelry. The stamps were issued by Bophuthatswana, a bantustan (homeland) in the Republic of South Africa.

At the time, Bophuthatswana consisted of seven enclaves dispersed in northwest South Africa. The homeland was set up to house Setswana-speaking peoples, with its capital, Mmabatho, situated in an area bordering Botswana. Bophuthatswana was given nominal self-rule in 1971, and became independent on December 6, 1977. A head of state was appointed by the South African government, but the new country was not recognized as independent by any government other than that of South Africa and Israel. In 1983, it had more than 1,430,000 inhabitants. Two attempted coups were suppressed by South Africa.
Thank you Dear Maria.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Solar Eclipse over Australia 1978

The special postmark  by Australian post was used to mark the Solar Eclipse in Australia on 23rd October 1978 when the zone of totality passed over SE Australia. Many scientific experiments were conducted during this period.

Thank you Maria.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Centenary of the ANWM 1994

These two stamps on the Dutch FDC of 1994 were issued to commemorate the Centenary of the ANWM.  The Royal Dutch Touring Club (Dutch, Algemene Nederlandse Wielrijdersbond or ANWB) is a travelers' association in the Netherlands, supporting all modes of travel. It's responsible for traffic signs and signage on roads and trails. It also offers test reports, travel services and roadside assistance, comparable to the German ADFC / ADAC.
ANWB was formed July 1, 1883 as Nederlandsche Vélocipèdisten-Bond (Dutch bicyclists' club) and renamed two years later. In 1905 the nameKoninklijke Nederlandse Toeristenbond (Royal Dutch Tourist Club) was adopted. ANWB has over four million members, and is the largest nonprofit association in the Netherlands.
In the 20th century, the association expanded to include motorists, hikers, equestrians, motorcyclists, as well as participants in water sports, winter sports and camping.
The second stamp or the one on the right was also issued as The 1994 FEI World Equestrian Games were held in The HagueNetherlands from July 27 to August 7, 1994. They were the second edition of the games which are held every four years and run by the FEI.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Crystals



The stamp on this Liechtenstein stamp of 1989 depicts a Calcite crystal. The stamp is one of a set of three on the subject of crystals.
Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate (CaCo3 ). 

The other polymorphs are the minerals aragonite and vaterite. Aragonite will change to calcite at 380–470°C, and vaterite is even less stable.

High-grade optical calcite was used in World War II for gun sights, specifically in bomb sights and anti-aircraft weaponry. Also, experiments have been conducted to use calcite for a cloak of invisibility. Microbiologically precipitated calcite has a wide range of applications, such as soil remediation, soil stabilization and concrete repair.

Thank you Merja.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fishing industry in Denmark

These four stamps were issued in Denmark in 1978 to highlight the various facets of the Danish fishing industry, namely -
·         (0.70) Fishing boats in Harbour.
·         (1.00) Eel Traps.
·         (0.80) Ship on Slipway.
·         (2.50) Drying of Fishing Nets. 
The fishing industry in Denmark operates around the coastline, from western Jutland to Bornholm. While the overall contribution of the fisheries sector to the country's economy is only about 0.5 percent, Denmark is ranked fifth in the world in exports of fish and fish products. Approximately 20,000 Danish people are employed in fishing, aquaculture, and related industries.
·         Denmark's coastline measures about 7,300 kilometres (4,500 mi) in length, and supports three types of fishery industries: for fish meal and fish oil, pelagic fishery for human consumption, and the demersal fishery for white fish, lobster and deep water prawns. The key ports for demersal fishing are Esbjerg, Thyborøn, Hanstholm, Hirtshals, and Skagen. The North Sea and Skagen account for 80% of the catches.
·         The Danish fishing fleet is noted for its economic democracy: the value of the catch is shared by everyone on the ship according to a pre-set scale, and this system unites the whole crew's interest in returning the largest possible catch.  
Thank you Merja.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

1999 EUROPA CEPT - The ibex in the Gran Paradiso National Park and Vanoise national park.

The theme for EUROPA stamps in 1999 was "Nature reserves and parks". Switzerland issued this stamp about the Ibex and the Reserves in the country.  

The Alpine ibex (Capra ibex), also known as the steinbock or bouquetin, is a species of wild goat that lives in the mountains of the European Alps. It is a sexually dimorphic species with larger males who carry larger, curved horns. The coat colour is typically brownish grey. Alpine ibex tend to live in steep, rough terrain above the snow line. They are also social, although adult males and females segregate for most of the year, coming together only to mate. Four distinct groups exist; adult male groups, female-offsping groups, groups of young individuals, and mixed sex groups.

During the breeding season, males fight for access to females and use their long horns in agonistic behaviours. After being extirpated from most areas by the 19th century, the Alpine ibex was reintroduced to parts of its historical range and all individuals living today descend from the stock in Gran Paradiso National Park in northwest Italy and from the neighbouring French valley of Maurienne, now part of the Vanoise National Park linked to the former. These two national parks are connected and have been especially created to help the ibex to thrive. The ibex is the emblem of the Gran Paradiso National Park and of the Vanoise national park. The species is currently listed as of least concern by the IUCN.

Thank you Maria.