Category Archives: philately

Harold Cohen

In a recent box lot I found a number of post cards addressed to the Vancouver Art Gallery. What was interesting is that the majority of them were informing the gallery of various art exhibitions.

Postcard sent November 28, 1977 franked with a 50 cent Queen Juliana stamp

This one piqued my interest because the image side of the post card was extremely interesting.

Artwork produced by AARON

What at first appeared as just simple squiggles and random lines turned out to be digital art created by Cohen through his computer program AARON.

Who Was Harold Cohen

Harold Cohen was a British born, digital artist, born to Polish-Russian parents on May 1, 1928, in London. He was educated at the Slade School of Fine Art which is part of the University College of London.

In 1968 he left the UK for a one-year appointment as a visiting lecturer in art at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). This one year stint ended up with him retiring in 1994 as a professor emeritus after serving as department chair and then Director of the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts at UCSD.

He taught himself how to program and developed AARON along with machines that could translate the artwork developed from AARON into a physical form.

Cohen passed away on April 27, 2016.

You can find out more about Harold Cohen and his life at the following links.

Russian Cosmonaut Day

Russian Cosmonaut Day is Celebrated every April 12, and I figured I would use this to feature Russia’s 1980 souvenir sheet issued to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the first-ever spacewalk. This took place on March 18, 1965, by Alexei Leonov. 


The spacewalk lasted 12 minutes and 9 seconds and commenced 90 minutes after the Voskhod 2 mission started. You can read more about the mission, the first spacewalk by going to

Law 1 – The Field of Play

According to the Laws of the Game for Association Football (Soccer), Law 1 deals with the field of play.  

Field Surface

FIFA and the IFAB specify that the field of play must be a natural, or where the competition rules allow a synthetic, surface.


The field is to be rectangular and marked with continuous lines, the lines belong to the area they mark. The longer boundary lines are touchlines and the shorter ones are the goal lines. The field is divided in two halves by the halfway line. The midpoint of the halfway line is where the centre mark is placed and it is surrounded by a circle with a radius of 10 yards (9.15 m) around it. All lines must be the same colour and width. The width of the lines should be no wider than 5 inches (12 cm).  The goal lines must be the same width of the goalposts and crossbar. Other lines off the field of play can be made.  The purpose of these lines is to mark 10 yards from the corner arc.


For normal competitions the field should have a length along the touchline (sideline) between 100 yards (90 m) and 130 yards (120 m). The width of the field along the goal line should be between 50 yards (45 m) and 100 yards (90 m).  

For international mathes the dimensions should be between 110 yards (100 m) and 120 yards (110 m) along the touchline.  The maximum width (measured along the goal line) is 80 yards (75 m) with a minimum width of 70 yards (64 m).

The Goal Area

For the goal area two lines perpendicular to the goal line 6 yards (5.5 m) from the inside of the goalposts for a length of 6 yards. These lines are joined by a line parallel to the goal line.

The Penalty Area

The penalty area is the area bounded by two lines that are perpendicular to the goal line 18 yards (16.5 m) from the inside of the goal post.  These lines are 18 yards in length and are joined by a line parallel to the goal line.

A penalty spot is to be placed 12 yards (11 m) from the mid point between the goal posts. An arc 10 yards from the penalty spot is drawn outside the penalty area.

The Corner Area

The corner area is defined as a quarter circle drawn 1 yard (1 m) from each corner flagpost. A flagpost is required in each corner.

The Technical Area

The technical area only realtes to stadiums that have a designated seating area for team officials, substitutes and substituted players. The area extends 1 yard from the sides of the seating area and upto 1 yard from the touchline.


A goal must be placed on the centre of each goal line. A goal consists of 2 vertical posts, joined at the top by a crossbar. The posts are placed an equal distance from the corner flagposts. The goals should be 8 feet (2.44 m) from the lower edge to the ground and be 8 yards (7.32 m) apart from the inner posts.

Other aspects of Law 1 deal with goal line technology, commercial advertising, logos and video assistant referees.

This post is a the scond in a series I am writing on the laws of the game. The first post originally written on October 4, 2016 on Law 2 – The Ball can be viewed read here.

INS Taragiri

 The INS Taragiri  was a Nigiri class frigate in the Indian Navy.

Commissioned on May 16, 1980,  she is named for a range of hills located in the Himalayas. She was constructed by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai. Her keel was laid down October 15, 1975 and she was completed October 25, 1976. 

Displacing 2962 tons fully loaded her two, 3000 h.p. motors provide a top speed of 28 knots. With a maximum range of 4000 nautical miles the Taragiri served in the Western Naval Fleet where she first performed surveillance operations and then coastal patrols and anti-piracy operations. 

The last Nigiri class frigate to be decommissioned, she was paid off on June 27, 2013.



Fedor A. Vasilev

Portrait of Vasilev by Kramskoi

Fedor Aleksandrovich Vasilev was a Russian landscape painter who was born on February 22, 1850, in Gatchina, Russia. His dad was a low ranking government official.

Having to work from the age of 12, Vasilev was a mailman, scribe and an assistant to an art restorer. After the death of his father he became the sole supporter of his family.

He started to take evening classes at the Society For Promotion of Artists’ School of Painting in 1863. While attending these classes, Vasilev, he met many painters who took care of him.

In 1866, famous landscape painter Ivan Shishkin, fell in love with Vasilev’s sister and began to teach him landscape painting.

Vasilev and Shishkin worked together between July and November 1867, on the island of Vallam. As a result of his friendship with Shishkin, Vasilev was introduced to other famous Russian painters and art collectors.

After painting Thaw in 1871, Vasilev became famous with the Russian royal family ordering a copy. Unfortunately, he was unable to enjoy his fame as he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and had to leave Saint Petersburg for the Crimea.

It took him a long time to get used to his new surroundings and he painted landscapes from the plains of Russia. Eventually he got used to his new surroundings and started painting landscapes of the Crimea.

On October 6, 1873, at the age of 23 Vasilev passed away in Yalta.


Ivan Kramskoi

Souvenir Sheet featuring a self portrait of Ivan Kramskoi

Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi was a Russian painter and art critic. He was born on the 27th of May in Ostrogozhsk in the Russian Empire to a petit bourgeois family.

He was educated at the Imperial Academy of Arts and while at the Academy he led the “revolt of 14” which led to his and the others expulsion from the academy and the creation of a commune of democratically minded artists.

In 1869 Kramskoi was appointed as an academic to the Saint Petersburg’s Academy. While there he started a society who had the intent of (1) allowing Russians to experience their contemporary art; (2) develop a love for Russian art; and (3) to make it easier for Russian artists to sell their works.

Kramskoi passed away on April 6, 1887.

Olga’s Gallery.

Scouting through Norman Rockwell’s Eyes

Norman Rockwell, Image from Wikipedia

One of my favourite stamp sets is Liberia’s 1979 set on Scouting through the eyes of Norman Rockwell. The set of 50 Stamps issued on September 1, depicts various paintings by Rockwell for the Boy Scouts of America. Norman Rockwell was an American painter, illustrator and writer. Through his lifetime he produced over 4,000 original works.

Rockwell had a relationship with the Boy Scouts of America for 64 years. Between 1925 and 1976, he produced illustrations for the annual calendars produced by the Boy Scouts of America.

Rockwell was born on February 3, 1894, in New York City. At the age of 14, he started attending the Chase Art School. He then attended the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. His first paying job as an artist was with the Boys Life, the magazine of the Boy Scouts of America.

On November 8, 1978, Rockwell died of emphysema at his home in Massachusetts.


The SS Zambezia

the SS Zambezia

The SS Zambezia was constructed in 1903 by Sir Raylton Dixon & Co. of Middlesbrough for Empreza Nacional de Nav a Vap of Lisbon as a cargo-passenger liner.

Her tonnage was 1174 gross tons with a length of 220 feet and a breadth of 33 feet. She had a single, triple expansion steam engine designed for 9 knots.

Completed in September 1903, The Zambezia was delivered to her owners for service. In May 1917 the Zambezia caught fire and burned out while laden with cased petrol and was deemed a total loss.

She was eventually salvaged and then in 1920, the Zambezia sold to Thesen’s Steam Ship company of South Africa. She was sold to the Colonial Navigation Company(Cia. Colonial de Navegacao) of Lisbon in 1931 and renamed the Buzi.

Sold to the Colonial Steamships Co. Ltd. of Port Louis, Mauritius in 1934, she was renamed the Zambezia and was used primarily in domestic service. She was sold to and delivered to the breakers in 1951.

Tees Built Ships,

The MS Jutlandia

Originally published September 2, 2017.

The MS Jutlandia was built for the East Asiatic Company (EAC) by the EAC at the Nakskov Shipyard in 1934. She was 461 feet long with a beam of 61 feet and a draught of 36 feet. The Jutlandia was a combined cargo and passenger ship. She had a cruise speed of 15 knots.

During WWII she was laid up after Germany invaded Denmark and was only manned by a skeleton crew. During an allied air raid in May of 1945 she only suffered some bullet holes and a minor fire. She returned to EACservice after the war and sailed between Europe and the US East Coast.

At the outbreak of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula the Danish government pledged support for the UN effort and the Jutlandia was converted to a hospital ship as part of the Danish contribution to the UN action.

The Jutlandia did three tours of duty as a hospital ship during the Korean War. During these tours she treated military and civilians. This included the treatment of orphans and at one point the creation of a childrens ward onboard. She received the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the ships crew and medical staff were officially decorated by the Danish Government. After her service in Korea she returned to her original service of sailing between Copenhagen and Bangkok.

In September 1960, the Jutlandia became a Royal Yacht, first serving the King of Thailand and then in 1963 serving as the Royal Yacht for Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

On January 14, 1965 the Jutlandia left on her final voyage to Bilbao where she was scrapped.