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      News — Philatelic Friday

      Philatelic Friday: Space is the Place

      Since Discovery was retired this week, it seemed fitting to take a trip into space when I came across this Space Shuttle stamp from my box. Turns out this comes from a series of eight stamps celebrating space achievement. Unfortunately the Shuttle pictured is the ill-fated Columbia, but it still speaks to our innovation and curiosity. With only two more Shuttle missions left, we're really coming to the end of an era.

      1981 USA

      And we tend to think of the Space Shuttle as a national achievement, but apparently our neighbors to the north, while not launching an astronaut program until 1982, contributed to the Shuttles and the first Canadian astronaut flew aboard the Challenger in 1984. Going to guess this stamp was inspired by him.

      1985 Canada

      And not to be left behind, here's a set of stamps from China entitled "Space Flight" (some of the few mint condition stamps in the box--not sure who gave them to me). According to a Taiwanese seller, these depict...

      1. Dongfanghong-1 satellite
      2. Returnable remote sensing and technical test satellite
      3. Submarine-launched rocket
      4. Launch to Geosynchronous Orbit
      5. Satellite receiving earth station
      6. Geosynchronous Earth Orbit communications satellite

      1986 China

      Philatelic Friday: King Carlos

      Many apologies to our Spanish readers, but I had no idea Spain has had a king for the last 35 years (needless to say I feel pretty ignorant!). Apparently Juan Carlos I took over after Franco died in 1975 and has been head of state ever since. Much like Queen Elizabeth, I guess his royal visage requires no identification so I had to figure out that he graced these stamps from my box by first coming across some more recent ones. These are from much earlier on in his tenure and I like the profile and monochromatic nature. I'm drawn more to the font and design on the left, but they're both strikingly modern for a monarch.

      1981 (left), 1985 (right) Spain

      Philatelic Friday: Nippon

      The Japanese are masters of all things illustrated and postage stamps are no exception. I had a hard time finding information about these (which look a little weird blown-up as part of their appeal, besides all the detail and great colors, is that they're rather petite), but I will guess they're from the '80s since they come from the box.

      1980-4 Japan (this at least seems to be part of this set)

      Philatelic Friday: Classic Australian Kid's Books

      If, like me, you didn't grow up in Australia, these books might be new to you too! This set of Australian stamps issued in 1985 and designed by Peter Leuver focused on classic children's books. Looks like I only received 4 out of the 5 (missing "Snugglepot and Cuddlepie" written by May Gibbs).

      "Blinky Bill" (written by Dorothy Wall, published in 1933)

      "Elves and Fairies" (written by Annie Rentoul & illustrated by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, published in 1916)

      "Ginger Meggs" (a comic book character created by James Charles Bancks in 1921)

      "The Magic Pudding" (written & illustrated by Norman Lindsay, published 1918)

      Philatelic Friday: Love

      Here's a little stamp love in honor of Valentine's Day...

      1982 USA

      This one's not from the shoebox and the design isn't as good, but it's a nice sentiment.

      1991 USA

      And here are some roses, to be cliche, but it turns out that New Zealand has issued some cool rose stamps (at least before 2001), including the rest from this series.

      originally issued 1975 New Zealand (not sure when mine are from)

      And lastly here's a heart stamp which is a little odd since it's for International Youth Year (a United Nations program in 1985), especially compared to the ones from other countries. I guess back then neon and denim equaled youth. Oh, Canada.

      1985 Canada