Sunday, August 21, 2016
Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (24 January 1732 – 18 May 1799) was a French polymath. At various times in his life, he was a watchmaker, inventor, playwright, musician, diplomat, spy, publisher, horticulturist, arms dealer, satirist, financier, and revolutionary (both French and American).
Born a provincial watchmaker's son, Beaumarchais rose in French society and became influential in the court of Louis XV as an inventor and music teacher. He made a number of important business and social contacts, played various roles as a diplomat and spy, and had earned a considerable fortune before a series of costly court battles jeopardized his reputation.
An early French supporter of American independence, Beaumarchais lobbied the French government on behalf of the American rebels during the American War of Independence. Beaumarchais oversaw covert aid from the French and Spanish governments to supply arms and financial assistance to the rebels in the years before France's formal entry into the war in 1778. He later struggled to recover money he had personally invested in the scheme. Beaumarchais was also a participant in the early stages of the French Revolution. He is probably best known, however, for his theatrical works, especially the three Figaro plays.
Thank you Merja.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
From the vast Åland flora, the Post chose three medicinal plants to be featured in the 2016 stamp booklet issued on 9 May. Artist Jonas Wilén’s illustrations are reminiscent of old pharmacy bottle labels.
Representing nature pharmacy are the medicinal plants henbane, foxglove and tansy that all appear in Åland to a smaller or greater extent. Since time immemorial, herbs and spices have been used to cure or ease various ailments. According to Nordic folklore, curative plants were also ascribed magic powers.
Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) is a sticky and odorous herb that flowers from June to September with large dingy yellow flowers. It has been grown in the North for medicinal purposes since the Viking and Middle Ages. Highly toxic, henbane has been used for its painkilling and sedative effect.
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is a biennial herb and flowers from July to August with purple or white tubular flowers. Foxglove is a highly toxic plant that affects the heart. An extract containing the glycoside digitoxin was earlier used for the treatment of heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia.
Tancy (Tanacetum vulgare) is an herbaceous perennial plant with clusters of yellow flowers. The plant is slightly toxic and has been used for medicinal purposes to treat intestinal worms and vermin. The leaves and flowers may also be used to flavour aquavit and colour yarn and fabric.
Thank you Ella.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Aquitaine; Occitan: Aquitània; Basque: Akitania; Spanish: Aquitania), archaic Guyenne/Guienne was a traditional region of France, and was an administrative region of France until 1 January 2016. It is now part of the new region Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-
Charentes. It is situated in the south-western part of Metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain. It is composed of the five departments of Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes and Gironde. In the Middle Ages Aquitaine was a kingdom and a duchy, whose boundaries fluctuated considerably.
Bordeaux is the largest city in Aquitaine. It is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department. It is the capital of Aquitaine, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Bordeaux is famous for its wine industry. Apart from Bordeaux, there are also other important cities in Aquitaine.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (/2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was a French novelist, playwright, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'accuse. Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902. His death from carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected to have been murder.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
2016 Europa stamps focus on a greener Europe
To celebrate 60 years of Europa stamps, a design competition on a Think Green theme was arranged among the European postal administrations. 9 May sees the Åland version of the joint motif as well as the Post’s own design.
24 postal operators submitted designs on the theme Think Green. The design from Cyprus received most votes and decorates the joint Europa stamp issued by the participating posts. With her design, artist Doxia Sergidou wishes to inspire us to create a greener planet. The stamp illustrates two versions of Europe, a polluted and a green Europe. The Åland motif was designed by graphic designer Carl-Johan Listherby.
Thank you Ella.
Thank you Ella.
Monday, August 15, 2016
In June this year (2016) the Centenary of the Battle of Verdun was solemnly observed. This FDC takes us back 40 years to the 60th Anniversary of one of the deadliest battles of all time – The Battle of Verdun.
The Battle of Verdun fought from 21 February to 18 December 1916, was one of the largest and longest battles of the First World War on the Western Front between the German and French armies. The battle took place on the hills north of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France. The German 5th Army attacked the defences of the Région Fortifiée de Verdun (RFV) and those of the French Second Army on the right bank of the Meuse. Inspired by the experience of the Second Battle of Champagne the year before, the Germans planned to rapidly capture the Meuse Heights, providing them with an excellent defensive position that would also allow them to bombard Verdun with observed artillery fire. The Germans hoped that the French would commit their strategic reserve to recapture the position and suffer catastrophic losses in a battle of attrition, as the Germans would have a tactical advantage.
An estimate in 2000 found a total of 714,231 casualties, 377,231 French and 337,000 German, an average of 70,000 casualties a month; other recent estimates increase the number of casualties to976,000, with 1,250,000 suffered at Verdun during the war. The Battle of Verdun lasted for 303 daysand became the longest and one of the most costly battles in human history.
Thank you Merja.