Saturday, January 30, 2010

FDC from Russia/FDC de la russie

Catherine I /Catherine Ier

Catherine I (In Russian: Екатерина I Алексеевна) (born Marta Helena Skowrońska, Latvian: Marta Elena Skavronska, later Marfa Samuilovna Skavronskaya) (15 April [O.S. 5 April] 1684 – 17 May [O.S. 6 May] 1727), the second wife of Peter the Great, reigned as Empress of Russia from 1725 until her death.

The life of Catherine I was said by Voltaire to be nearly as extraordinary as Peter the Great himself. There are no documents that confirm the ascent of Catherine. The commonly accepted version is that Catherine was born in Ringen (Rõngu), in present-day Estonia. At the time this area was the Swedish province of Livonia. Originally named 'Marta Skowrońska', she was the daughter of Samuel Skowroński, later Samuil Skavronsky, a Latvian peasant of Polish origin, most likely a Catholic, and who was already a widower of one Dorothea Hann. Her mother has been listed on at least one site as Elisabeth Moritz, whom her father married at Jakobstadt in 1680. There is some speculation that her parents were runaway serfs. Some sources state her father was a gravedigger. Samuil and her mother died of plague around 1684 or 1685, leaving five children. She was taken by an aunt who sent her to be raised by Ernst Glück, the Lutheran pastor and educator who first translated the Bible into Latvian, in Marienburg. She was essentially a house servant. No effort was made to teach her to read and she remained illiterate throughout her life.

She was a very beautiful young girl, and there are accounts that Frau Glück became fearful that Marta would become involved with her son. At the age of seventeen, she was married off to a Swedish dragoon, Johan Cruse or Johann Rabbe, with whom she remained for eight days in 1702, at which point the Swedish troops were withdrawn from Marienburg. When Russian forces captured Marienburg the Pastor Glück offered and was taken to Moscow to work as a translator for Field Marshal Boris Sheremetev. There are unsubstantiated stories that Marta worked briefly in the laundry of the victorious regiment, and also that she was presented in her undergarments to the Brigadier General Adolf Rudolf Bauer to be his mistress. She definitely worked in the household of his superior, the Field Marshal Sheremetev. It is not known whether she was his mistress, or domestic servant.

She then became part of the household of Prince Aleksandr Menshikov, the best friend of Peter the Great. Anecdotal sources suggest that she was purchased by him. Whether the two of them were lovers is highly disputed, for Menshikov was engaged to Darya Arsenyeva, his future well-loved wife. It is clear that Menshikov and Marta formed a lifetime alliance, and it is possible that Menshikov who was quite jealous of Peter's attentions and knew his tastes, wanted to procure a mistress on whom he could rely. In any case, in 1703, while visiting Menshikov at his home, Peter met Marta, and shortly after, he took her as his own mistress. In 1705, she converted to Orthodoxy and changed her name to Yekaterina Alexeyevna. She and Darya accompanied Peter and Menshikov on their military excursions.

Catherine and Peter married secretly in 1707. They had nine children, two of whom survived into adulthood, Yelizaveta (1709) and Anna (born 1708). Peter had moved the capital to St Petersburg in 1703. While the city was being built he lived in a three-room log cabin with Catherine, where she did the cooking and caring for the children and he tended a garden as though they were an ordinary couple. The relationship was the most successful of Peter's life and a great number of letters exist demonstrating the strong affection between Catherine and Peter. As a person she was very strong, energetic, compassionate, charming and always cheerful. She was able to calm Peter in his frequent rages and was called in to attend him during his epileptic seizures.

Catherine continued to accompany Peter on his Pruth Campaign in 1711. There Catherine was said to have saved Peter and his Empire. Surrounded by overwhelming numbers of Turkish troops, Catherine suggested before surrendering, her jewels and those of the other women be used in an effort to bribe the Grand Vizier Baltaji into allowing a retreat. Baltaji allowed the retreat, whether motivated by a bribe or considerations of trade and diplomacy. In any case Peter credited Catherine and proceeded to marry her again (this time officially) at Saint Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg on 9 February 1712. Catherine was Peter's second wife; he had previously married and divorced Eudoxia Lopukhina, who had borne him the Tsarevich Alexis Petrovich. Upon their wedding,she (Catherine) took the style of her husband and became Tsarina. When Peter elevated the Russian Tsardom to Empire,Catherine became Empress (Imperatrica). The Order of Saint Catherine was instituted by her husband on the occasion of their wedding.

Upon Peter's death, Catherine found her four siblings, Christine, Anna, Karl and Friederich/Theodor, gave them the newly created titles of Count and Countess, and brought them to Russia. Christine Skowrońska, renamed Christina Samuilovna Skavronskaya (1687 – 14 April 1729), married Simon-Heinrich N (1672-1728) and their issue were Counts Hendrikov; Anna Skowrońska, renamed Anna Samuilovna Skavronskaya, married one Michael-Joachim N and their issue were Counts Efimovsky; Karl Skowroński, renamed Karel Samuilovich Skavronsky, was created a Count of the Russian Empire on 5 January 1727 and made a Chamberlain of the Imperial Court, married to Maria Ivanovna, a Russian woman, by whom he had issue extinct in male line in 1793; Friedrich/Theodor Skowroński, renamed Feodor Samuilovich Skavronsky, was created a Count of the Russian Empire on 5 January 1727 and married twice to N, a Lithuanian woman, and to Ekaterina Rodionovna Saburova, without issue of any of them.

In 1724 Catherine was officially named co-ruler.

The year before his death, Peter and Catherine had an estrangement over her support of William Mons (brother of Peter's former mistress and secretary to Catherine) and his sister Matrena, one of Catherine's ladies-in-waiting. Peter had fought his entire life a somewhat hopeless battle to clear up corruption in Russia. Catherine had a great deal of influence on who could gain access to her husband. William Mons and his sister had begun selling their influence to those who wanted access to Catherine and, through her, to Peter. Apparently this had been overlooked by Catherine, who was fond of both. Peter found out and had Mons executed and his sister exiled. He and Catherine did not speak for several months. Rumors flew that she and Mons had had an affair, but there is no evidence for this.

Peter died (28 January 1725 Old Style) without naming a successor. Catherine represented the interests of the "new men", commoners who had been brought to positions of great power by Peter based on competence. A change in government was likely to favor the entrenched aristocrats. For that reason during a meeting of a council to decide on a successor a coup was arranged by Menshikov and others in which the guards regiments with whom Catherine was very popular proclaimed her the ruler of Russia, giving her the title of Empress. Supporting evidence was "produced" from Peter's secretary Makarov and the Bishop of Pskov, both "new men" with motivation to see Catherine take over. The real power, however, lay with Menshikov, Peter Tolstoy and with other members of the Supreme Privy Council.

Catherine was the first woman to rule Imperial Russia, opening the legal path for a century almost entirely dominated by women, including her daughter Elizabeth and Catherine the Great, all of whom continued Peter the Great's policies in modernizing Russia. She was said to be a just and fair ruler.

The Supreme Privy Council concentrated power in the hands of one party, and thus was an executive innovation. In foreign affairs, Russia joined the Austro-Spanish league to reluctantly defend the interests of Catherine's son-in-law, the Duke of Holstein, against England.

Catherine gave her name to Catherinehof near St. Petersburg, and built the first bridges in the new capital. She was also the first royal owner of the Tsarskoye Selo estate, where the Catherine Palace still bears her name.

In general, Catherine's policies were reasonable and cautious. The story of her humble origins was considered by later generations of tsars to be a state secret.

She died just two years after Peter, at age 43, in St. Petersburg, where she was buried at St. Peter and St. Paul Fortress. It is not known what caused her early demise.

Catherine I (Екатерина I), de son vrai nom Marthe Skavronskaïa (née le 15 avril 1684 en Livonie et décédée le 17 mai 1727), est impératrice de Russie de 1725 à 1727. Elle épouse l'empereur Pierre Ier en 1707.

Née de parents pauvres, qui moururent atteints de la peste, elle fut envoyée par sa tante en tant que servante chez le pasteur Johann Ernst Glück (en), traducteur de la Bible en letton. Analphabète, elle venait d'épouser à 17 ans un simple soldat suédois lorsqu'elle fut réduite en captivité après la prise de Marienbourg. D'une beauté remarquable, elle plut au prince Alexandre Menchikov, et bientôt après à Pierre le Grand lui-même. En 1711, elle accompagna le tsar dans sa campagne contre les Turcs, et lui rendit le plus important service en traitant avec les ennemis qui le tenaient enfermé sur les bords du Prout : elle acheta au prix de ses pierreries la retraite du grand vizir. Le tsar l'épousa après en avoir eu plusieurs enfants ; en 1724 il la fit couronner solennellement impératrice. Après la mort du tsar (1725), elle fut reconnue souveraine de toutes les Russies puis laissa Menchikov prendre une grande influence.

Friday, January 29, 2010

FDC from Poland/FDC de la Pologne

4th June 1989 - The Twentieth Anniversary of the Memorable Elections/
Le 4 juin 1989 - le Vingtième Anniversaire des Élections Mémorables

4 June 1989.
The Twentieth Anniversary of the Memorable Elections.

4 June 2009 marks the twentieth anniversary of the exceptional elections in our country. It is worth reminding, especially younger generation, how momentous this event was and how enthusiastically it was received by the citizens who, the day after the elections, could not believe what just happened. The Warsavians gathered at Pl. Konstytucji (eng: Constitution Square) where the Headquarters of the Citizen's Committee could be found. The Committee comprised activists of "Solidarność" and opposition. The posters featured photographs of the candidates that got into the Polish parliament. The elections for the Sejm allowed 35% parity for the opposition, and the elections for the Senate were free. What came as a complete surprise was the unprecedented result of the elections for the Senate in which the opposition took 99 seats out of 100 possible.

Before it All Began...

Since the end of the World War II and acceptance of unfavourable conditions of the Yalta Agreement, Polish people could not resign themselves to the imposed regime. Poland became a country which was heavily reliant upon the mighty Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The reliance demonstrated itself in, among others, allocating all the political and economic executive power to the United Workers' Party (dissolved in January1990) and the presence of the Soviet Army in Poland. At the end of its stay, this huge army occupied 707 km2, and numbered 53 000 of soldiers and 7 500 of civil workers. One of the priorities of the opposition was to make the Soviet soldiers withdraw from our country. The withdrawal began on 8 April 1991 finished at the end of 1993.


This hated institution was ubiquitous. Yet, not everybody was aware of its severity. It formally functioned from 5 July 1946 as the Central Office for Control of the Press, Publication and Entertainment (Central Office for Control of the Publication and Entertainment since 1981). The activity of the censorship varied, and did not only consist in interfering in texts of articles, books or speeches but also songs and any sort of, even the smallest, prints such as, for example, labels. All the radio and television broadcasts, and after 1981 also radio sermons preached during holy masses were censored. Foreign radio stations such as Free Europe or Voice of America were found legally invalid by the state and jammed. The censorship also involved telephone tapping, which was a particularly prevalent phenomenon during the martial law. The abolition of censorship took place in 1989 causing Polish people to regain freedom of speech.

Strikes and Establishment of Solidarność

Oppressive activities towards the citizens, economic negligence and violation of workers' rights resulted in numerous protests over the years. One of the most famous strikes was that of Gdańsk shipyard workers in 1980. The workers (including those from Gdynia and Szczecin) who fought for their rights and free and independent unions that were supposed to represent them allied with other strike committees creating the Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union "Solidarność". Their requirements and expectations were included in 21 postulates posted up on the shipyard's gates. The strike instigated a wave of workers' strikes across the whole Poland, which was supported by intelligentsia and youth. The strikes finished up with the August Agreements. Next step to be taken was the official registration of NSZZ "Solidarność" by the District Court in Warsaw on 10 November 1980. Soon "Solidarność" came to have 10 million of members becoming a force the authorities had to reckon with. The sessions of the Round Table that took place between 6 February and 5 April 1989 resulted in re-registration of the proscribed during the martial law "Solidarność" and restricted elections for the Sejm and free elections for the Senate. That was the first step towards democratization of the country, which was followed by the abolition of censorship and the withdrawal of the Soviet soldiers. The next steps to be seen were the entry to NATO (1999) and the European Union (2004)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

FDC from Taiwan/FDC du Taiwan

3rd Print of Dragons Circling Two Carps Postage Stamp/
De 3ème Caractères de Dragons Tournant autour Deux Chicanent le Timbre

NOTE: This FDC send from Taipei, TAIWAN to Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh(NKR), via Yerevan, ARMENIA at 04.06.09-17 (postmark:bureau d'echange erevan, ARMENIA (office of exchange, Yerevan, ARMENIA). It arrived Stepanakert at 11.06.2009.

Monday, January 25, 2010

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

Sergeant Keroro(Keroro Gunso)/
Sergent Grenouille ou Sergent Keroro(Keroro Gunso)

Keroro Gunsō (ケロロ軍曹, Keroro Gunsō, Sergeant Keroro), released in English as Sgt. Frog, is a manga series by Mine Yoshizaki. It was later serialized into a TV anime series directed by Junichi Sato. Both the anime and manga are comedies that follow the attempts of a platoon of frog-like alien invaders to conquer Earth. Sergeant Keroro, the titular character, is the leader of the platoon, but is at the mercy of a human family of three after he is captured while trying to hide in one of the family member's bedroom. In both the manga and anime, Keroro is forced to do meaningless chores and errands for the family after his army abandons his platoon on Earth.

The series takes its comedy from a combination of wordplay (particularly puns and homophones), physical humor, situational irony, and numerous pop culture references (especially to Gundam, Space Battleship Yamato, Dragon Ball Z, and Neon Genesis Evangelion)[1]. Various anime, games, manga, and other aspects of pop culture are parodied/referenced throughout the series as a bonus to older viewers. Both the manga and the anime are laden with pop-culture references, and even in the same story the references often vary wildly. The anime does not explicitly refer to Evangelion or other animations to which Bandai does not hold the copyrights, but only recreates the "feel" of famous scenes from these anime. The anime is much more detailed and direct in its Gundam references, however, since Bandai does hold rights to the Gundam franchise.

Keroro-gunsō (ケロロ軍曹, Keroro Gunsō) (en français, Sergent Grenouille ou Sergent Keroro) est un manga humoristique, créé par Mine Yoshizaki et prépublié dans le magazine Shōnen Ace. 19 volumes sont parus au Japon chez Kadokawa depuis 1999 et 14 en français chez Kana depuis 2007.

À l'origine écrit par Mine Yoshizaki dans un but humoristique, le manga fut tout de suite un succès auprès des collégiens, lycéens et amateurs de mangas. Ensuite, sa popularité s'est étendue quand l'anime, appelé Keroro, mission Titar (à partir de l'épisode 14, le titre est renommé Keroro), a commencé à être diffusé à Tōkyō en 2004.

L'humour du manga est produit par l'usage de jeux de mots (en particulier de calembours et d'homophones), de mimiques, de comique de situation. De plus, des références et des parodies sont constamment faites à la culture populaire (en particulier des mangas et séries de Gundam), rendant l'humour difficile à apprécier pour les plus jeunes. On y retrouve par exemple des références à la série Evangelion mais celles-ci restent très implicites car Bandai ne dispose pas des droits de celle-ci. Le manga a donc seulement recréé les sensations propres aux scènes connues de ces séries. Les références aux mangas de Gundam sont elles beaucoup plus explicites, parce que Bandai dispose des droits.

Friday, January 22, 2010

FDC from Algeria/FDC de L'Algerie

Jewellery of the Southern Algeria/
Bijoux du Sud Algérien

Thursday, January 21, 2010

FDC from Israel/FDC d'Israël

Honey/Le miel

Honey is a sweet food made by certain insects using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans. Honey produced by other bees and insects has distinctly different properties.

Honey bees form nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and store it as a food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive. Beekeeping practices encourage overproduction of honey so that the excess can be taken without endangering the bee colony.

Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar (74% of the sweetness of sucrose, a disaccharide). It has attractive chemical properties for baking, and a distinctive flavor which leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners. Most micro-organisms do not grow in honey because of its low water activity of 0.6. However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants as the endospores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in the infant's immature intestinal tract, leading to illness and even death (see Potential health hazards below).

Honey has a long history as a comestible and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavoring. It also has a role in religion and symbolism. Flavors of honey vary based on the nectar source, and various types and grades of honey are available. It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments. The study of pollens and spores in raw honey (melissopalynology) can determine floral sources of honey. Because bees carry an electrostatic charge, and can attract other particles, the same techniques of melissopalynology can be used in area environmental studies of radioactive particles, dust, or particulate pollution.

Le miel est la substance sucrée, de couleur blonde, produite par les abeilles à miel à partir de nectar ou de miellat qu'elles entreposent dans la ruche et qui leur sert de nourriture lors des périodes climatiques défavorables. Il est aussi consommé par d'autres espèces animales, dont l'espèce humaine qui organise sa production à l'aide d'abeilles domestiques élevées dans des ruches artificielles.

Les abeilles butineuses ont en charge l'approvisionnement de la ruche. Une fois posée sur une plante à fleurs (angiospermes), l'abeille en écarte les pétales, plonge sa tête à l'intérieur, allonge sa trompe et aspire le nectar qu'elle met dans son jabot. Du fait de leur anatomie et en particulier de la longueur de leur trompe, les abeilles domestiques ne peuvent récolter le nectar que sur certaines fleurs, celles-ci sont dites mellifères. Le nectar des fleurs a pour fonction d'attirer les insectes pollinisateurs, qui assurent ainsi leur fécondation.

Les abeilles peuvent aussi récolter du miellat, excrétion produite par des insectes suceurs comme le puceron, la cochenille ou le metcalfa à partir de la sève des arbres. Il sera utilisé de la même façon que le nectar de fleur (c'est ce produit de base qui est notamment utilisé pour le miel de sapin).

L'élaboration du miel commence dans le jabot de l'ouvrière, pendant son vol de retour vers la ruche. L'invertase, une enzyme de la famille des diastases, est ajoutée, dans le jabot, au nectar. Il se produit alors une réaction chimique, l'hydrolyse du saccharose qui donne du glucose et du fructose.

Arrivée dans la ruche, l'abeille butineuse régurgite le nectar à une receveuse (trophallaxie), qui régurgitera et ré-ingurgitera ce nectar riche en eau, en le mêlant à de la salive et à des sucs digestifs, ayant pour effet d'ajouter davantage d'enzymes, et d'entamer le processus de déshydratation destiné à prolonger la durée de conservation du miel. Pour cela, la butineuse le dépose en fines couches sur la paroi des alvéoles.

La chaleur de la ruche ainsi que les ouvrières ventileuses, qui peuvent entretenir un courant d'air pendant 20 minutes dans la ruche, provoquent l'évaporation de l'eau. Le miel arrive à maturité lorsque sa teneur en eau devient inférieure à environ 20% ; il est alors emmagasiné dans d'autres alvéoles qui seront operculés une fois remplis.

Le miel est ainsi stocké par les abeilles pour servir de réserve de nourriture pour les périodes climatiques défavorables, en saison sèche pour les Apis dorsata ou l'hiver pour les Apis mellifera.

Le scientifique Heinrich a mesuré le volume de travail effectué par les abeilles butineuses. Ainsi, pour produire 500 grammes de miel, les abeilles doivent effectuer plus de 17 000 voyages, visiter 8 700 000 fleurs, le tout représentant plus de 7 000 heures de travail.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FDC from Israel/FDC d'Israël

The Dead Sea/La mer Morte

The Dead Sea (Hebrew: יָם הַ‏‏מֶּ‏‏לַ‏ח‎, Yām Ha-Melaḥ, "Sea of Salt"; Arabic: البَحْر المَيّت‎, al-Baḥr El-Mayyit, "Dead Sea"), also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake in Jordan to the east and in the West Bank and Israel to the west. Its surface and shores are 422 metres (1,385 ft) below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface on dry land. The Dead Sea is 378 m (1,240 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. It is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, with 33.7% salinity. Only Lake Assal (Djibouti), Garabogazköl and some hypersaline lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica (such as Don Juan Pond and perhaps Lake Vanda) have a higher salinity. It is 8.6 times more salty than the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment where animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River.

The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets.

La mer Morte est un lac d'eau salée du Proche-Orient. D'une surface approximative de 1 050 km2, elle est alimentée par le Jourdain et bordée par Israël, et la Jordanie. Alors que la salinité moyenne de l'eau de mer oscille entre 2 et 4 %, celle de la mer Morte est d'approximativement 27,5 %. Aucun poisson et aucune algue (macroscopique) ne peuvent subsister dans de telles conditions, c'est ce qui lui vaut le nom de « mer morte ». En réalité, cette mer n'est pas complètement morte puisqu'on sait aujourd'hui que des organismes microscopiques (plancton, bactéries (halophile et halobacteria), etc.) y vivent.

La baisse de la pluviométrie, amorcée il y a 40 000 ans environ, a entraîné, en raison d'une très forte évaporation, une régression du lac et une augmentation constante de sa salinité.

La dite « eau » est une solution de sels dont la concentration diffère grandement de la salinité normale d'un océan. Le chlorure de magnésium et le chlorure de sodium sont les principaux composants de cette solution. Riches en minéraux, les eaux de la mer Morte sont réputées pour soigner le psoriasis et les rhumatismes.

La masse volumique de l’eau de la mer Morte (1 240 kg.m-3) est telle qu'un être humain peut y flotter sans aucun problème.

La mer Morte est le point le plus bas du globe (417 m sous le niveau de la mer) mais d'autres points du rift africain pourraient un jour la supplanter.

La mer morte descend de 1 mètre par an.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

FDC from Taiwan/FDC du Taiwan

Flowers Postage Stamps (II)/
Timbres de Fleurs (II)

Having issued the first set of definitive stamps on flowers on March 12, 2009, Chunghwa Post is going to follow up with a second set, featuring Calliandra emarginata, Bombax ceiba, Delonix regia, and Spathodea campanulata. This set of stamps was organized by Dr. Heng-piao Chin, the former director-general of the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Council of Agriculture of the Executive Yuan, and Dr. Ting-Fang Hsieh, director of the Floriculture Research Center, Agricultural Research Institute, Council of Agriculture of the Executive Yuan. The stamps were painted by Mr. Hung-tu Ko, and printed by

Central Engraving and Printing Plant in color deep-etch offset. The set of four stamps will be released on October 14, 2009. Details of these stamps are as follows:

1. Calliandra emarginata (NT$1.00): Calliandra emarginata, or powder puff, is a semi-deciduous shrub

of the Fabaceae family. Leaves are bipinnately compound, with oval lanceolate leaflets. The leaflets fold together at night and unfold during the day. The inflorescence is axillary and capitulum. The corolla is semicircular, with dense long filaments, resembling a powder puff. It is a very good ornamental specimen.

2. Bombax ceiba (NT$2.50): Bombax ceiba, commonly known as cotton tree, is a deciduous tree of the Bombacaceae family. Leaves are palmately compound. Flowers are orange or red, with five petals. The calyx is cup-shaped. It produces a capsule which, when ripe, will burst open and disperse seeds that are covered thickly with cotton-like fibers. The tree has a masculine shape and looks different in all four seasons. One of its salient features is that it blooms before it leafs out.

3. Delonix regia (NT$10.00): Delonix regia—which is commonly known as royal poinciana, flamboyant, or flame of the forest—is a deciduous tree of the Leguminosae family. Most of them have buttress roots. The tree has an umbrella-shaped crown. Leaves are opposite and bipinnately compound. Each of its flowers, which are arranged in terminal racemes, has five petals, which are bright red with a touch of yellow, and its filaments are slender and red. Because the tree blooms in June, it is often used to symbolize graduation. The royal poinciana is a large tree and mainly used for firewood, or as an ornamental or street tree.

4. Spathodea campanulata (NT$32.00): Spathodea campanulata, or fountain tree, is a deciduous tree of the Bignoniaceae family. Leaves are opposite and pinnately compound, with oval leaflets. The inflorescence is in the form of a terminal panicle, with the outer buds blooming first. The flowers are orange scarlet, resembling flames on the crown of the tree. The fountain tree loves heat and sun light. It is commonly grown as a street tree and garden specimen.

NOTE: This FDC send from Taipei, TAIWAN to Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh(NKR), via Yerevan, ARMENIA at 29.10.09-12 (postmark:bureau d'echange erevan, ARMENIA (office of exchange, Yerevan, ARMENIA). It arrived Stepanakert at 04.11.2009.

FDC from Germany/FDC de l'Allemagne


A sea of black-red-gold flags was during the 2006 World Cup in Germany to be seen in many places. At that time, the Germans proved that they can now deal with national symbols at ease than ever before. During the football World Cup saw guests from around the world that pride is imprinted on one's own country for the majority of the Germans from a peaceful, democratic and liberal patriotism. 60 years Basic Law and the Federal Republic of Germany are a good reason to be proud of our achievements. Today, Germany accept responsibility in the world for peace, freedom and democracy. After German reunification 20 years ago, all Germans can now celebrate together 60 German years.

FDC from Germany/FDC de l'Allemagne

Series «for us children» - cowboy and Indian/
La série "pour nous les enfants" - le cow-boy et l'indien

Small cowboy Tommi and his best friend Tina are on a new adventure trip by the wild west. The good Kissi button eye, with her suspension struts the best jump horse in the whole world, carries the both fast in the Indian's land. Kissi never becomes tired to join in and keeps even in the most dangerous situations the nerves.

The philatelic series《for us children》offers since 1993 every year a postage stamp which shows childish motives. Whether children or adults - everybody can think up while looking the motives stories with the colored figures in the leading roles.

Friday, January 15, 2010

FDC from Germany/FDC de l'Allemagne

The German Bundestag and the Bundesrat/
Bundestag allemand et le Bundesrat

60 years ago, on 23 May 1949, entered the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany in force, etc. constitutional bodies, the German Bundestag and the Bundesrat defined. Shortly afterwards, both institutions began on 7 Its work in September 1949. Since German reunification on 3 October 1990, the Constitution is the supreme law of all citizens of Germany.

The Bundestag is the German parliament. As the only constitutional body at the federal level, its members are elected by the people. The main tasks of the Bundestag, the election of the Chancellor, the legislation and the monitoring of government performance. The Bundestag assembled since 1999 in the Reichstag building in Berlin.
The Bundesrat represents the interests of the Länder at the federal level. It consists of representatives of the countries. The Federal Council can influence the federal legislative initiatives, or even block. He meets since 2000 in the historic Prussian manor house in Berlin.

FDC from Algeria/FDC de L'Algerie

Centenary of the University of Algiers/
Centenaire de l'Université d'Alger

The University of Algiers Benyoucef Benkhedda (Arabic:جــامــــــعة الجـــــــزائر - بن يوسف بن خـدة ) is a university located in Algiers, Algeria. It was founded in 1909 and is organized into seven faculties.

The University of Algiers, the first Algerian university was established in 1909 (under the Law of 30 December, 1909). This creation, however was the result of a series of stages in academic activity, marked in particular by the Law of 1879 establishing four specialized schools: medicine, pharmacy, sciences, letters, and law.

During the colonial period, it experienced both quantitative and qualitative changes.

After independence, while pursuing its teaching mission, it also went through a number of changes involving its organization, structuring, and orientation in terms of pedagogy and research.

L'université d'Alger (arabe: جــامــــــعة الجـــــــزائر بن يوسف بن خـدة) est une université algérienne se trouvant dans la capitale Alger. Fondée en 1909, elle regroupe aujourd'hui sept facultés.

L'université d'Alger est la première université algérienne, elle a été fondée par la loi du 30 décembre 1909. La création de cette université est le résultat d'une série d'étapes marquée par la loi de 1879 créant quatre écoles spécialisées : médecine, pharmacie, sciences, lettres et droit.

Le 6 juin 1962, l'Organisation armée secrète (O.A.S) mit le feu dans les bâtiments de la Bibliothèque Universitaire, détruisant la presque totalité du bâtiment et quelques 300 000 ouvrages furent la proie des flammes. Lire article In:

Après l'indépendance de l'Algérie, l'université s'est beaucoup développée surtout depuis la réforme de l'enseignement supérieur de 1971, entrepris par le gouvernement algérien.

Monday, January 11, 2010

FDC from Algeria/FDC de L'Algerie

International Day of Telecommunications and the Society of Information -Protection of the Children in the Cyberspace./
Journée Internationale des Télécommunications et de la Société de l'Information.- Protection des Enfants dans le Cyberespace.

To celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society, which takes place May 17 of each year the Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has chosen for 2009, entitled "Protection of Children cyberspace.

At the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), ITU has been entrusted by the leaders of the international community the responsibility to "Building confidence and security in the use of technology ' information and communication.

The WSIS documents specifically highlight the needs of children and youth and the need to protect them in cyberspace and recognize the role of Information Technology and Communication (ICT) in the development of children where the emergency strengthen measures for their protection against abuse and to defend their rights in the context of ICT.

Ten years ago there were in the world only 182 million Internet users. In early 2009 the number rose to 1.5 billion including more than 400 million have access to broadband. They are more than 600 million users in Asia, 130 million in Latin America and the Caribbean and 50 million in Africa. In Algeria, the number of Internet users was estimated by the Regulatory Authority for Post and Telecommunications (ARPT) in 2007 to 3.2 million users, with a penetration rate of 9.5% and a total of 5,000 Internet cafes.

Global resource that continues to grow the Internet enhances the dangers online, especially those faced by children who are among the most active users and most vulnerable. According to recent surveys, over 60% of children and teens use every day on websites and can be potential victims in cyberspace.

Accordingly, the Global Cybersecurity Agenda adopted by the ITU Council at its 2008 session and approved by the heads of state, ministers and heads of international organizations has established a framework for international cooperation providing strategies and solutions to enhance security and confidence in the information society.

The safety of young people in the real world, as well as that of the Internet in this digital age is a responsibility of all for the adventure online every child is tagged and secured.

Pour célébrer la journée mondiale des télécommunications et de la société de l'information qui a lieu le 17 Mai de chaque année, le Conseil de l'Union Internationale des Télécommunications (UIT) a choisi pour 2009, le thème « la protection des enfants dans le cyberespace ».

Lors du Sommet mondial sur la société de l'information (SMSI), l'UIT s'est vue confier par les dirigeants de la communauté internationale la responsabilité « d'Etablir la confiance et la sécurité dans l'utilisation des technologies de l'information et de la communication ». Les documents du SMSI soulignent spécifiquement les besoins des enfants et des jeunes et la nécessité de les protéger dans le cyberespace et reconnaissent le rôle des Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication (TIC) dans le développement des enfants d'où l'urgence de renforcer les mesures destinées à leur protection contre tout abus et à assurer la défense de leurs droits dans le contexte des TIC.

Il y a dix ans on comptait dans le monde à peine 182 millions d'internautes. Au début de 2009, le nombre est passé à 1.5 milliards dont plus de 400 millions ont accès à la large bande. Ce sont plus de 600 millions d'utilisateurs en Asie, 130 millions en Amérique Latine et dans les Caraïbes et 50 millions en Afrique. En Algérie, le nombre des internautes fut estimé par l’Autorité de Régulation de la Poste et des Télécommunications (ARPT) en 2007, à 3.2 millions d'utilisateurs, avec un taux de pénétration de 9.5% et un total de 5000 cybercafés.

Ressource planétaire qui ne cesse de se développer l'Internet accroît les dangers en ligne, en particulier ceux auxquels sont exposés les enfants qui figurent parmi les utilisateurs les plus actifs et les plus vulnérables. Selon les enquêtes récentes plus de 60% des enfants et des adolescents utilisent chaque jour les sites Internet et peuvent être des victimes potentielles dans le cyberespace.

Dès lors, le programme mondial cybersécurité adopté par le Conseil de l'UIT lors de sa session 2008 et approuvé par les chefs d'Etat, de ministres et de dirigeants d'organisations internationales a établi un cadre de coopération internationale proposant des stratégies et des solutions afin de renforcer la sécurité et la confiance au sein de la société de l'information.

La sécurité des jeunes dans le monde réel, autant que dans celui de l'Internet à cette époque du numérique est une responsabilité de tous pour que l'aventure en ligne de chaque enfant soit balisée et sécurisée.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

FDC from Bulgaria/FDC de la Bulgarie

Fauna: Night birds of prey/
Faune : rapaces nocturnes

0.10 Leva - Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo)

The Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of eagle owl resident in much of Europe and Asia.

The Eagle Owl is a large and powerful bird, smaller than the Golden Eagle but larger than the Snowy Owl. It is sometimes titled the world's largest owl, but so is the Blakiston's Fish Owl, which is slightly bigger on average. The Eagle Owl has a wingspan of up to 138-200 cm (55-79 in) and measures 58-73 cm (23-29 in) long. Females weigh 1.75-4.2 kg (3.9-9.4 lbs) and males weigh 1.5-3.2 kg (3.3-7 lbs). In comparison, the common Barn Owl weighs about 500 grams (1.1 lbs). It mainly feeds on small mammals, but can kill prey up to the size of foxes and young deer (up to 10 kg/22 lb), if taken by surprise. Larger prey (over 3 kg/7 lb) is consumed on the ground which leaves the bird vulnerable (for example to foxes).
Face of a female

The call of the Eagle Owl is a deep resonant “ooh-hu” with emphasis on the first syllable for the male, and a more high-pitched uh-Hu for the female (in German and Hungarian, the name of this bird is "Uhu" and the Dutch name is “Oehoe”). Each member of an Eagle Owl population can be identified by means of its vocalizations.

The size, ear tufts and orange eyes make this a distinctive species. It has a strong direct flight. The ear tufts of males are more upright than those of females.

The horned owls are a part of the larger grouping of owls known as the typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae.
In winter.

The Eagle Owl is largely nocturnal and is found in mountains and forests with cliffs and rocky areas, usually nesting on cliff ledges. They live for around 20 years although like many other bird species in captivity they can live much longer, perhaps up to 60 years.

Although Eagle Owls are usually considered to be a bird of the wilderness, they have been observed hunting vermin on open landfills in Northern Europe. This poses a certain risk for the owls as any pollutants the rats they feed on have ingested may be enriched in the owls. Eagle Owls that hunt on landfills have also sometimes been seen flying with waste entangled around their feet.

Eagle Owls have also been observed living in European cities. Since 2005, at least five couples have nested in Helsinki. The number is expected to increase due to the growth of a wild rabbit population in Helsinki, most likely originating from released pet rabbits. In June 2007, an Eagle Owl nick-named 'Bubi' landed in the crowded Helsinki Olympic Stadium during the European Football Championship qualification match between Finland and Belgium. The match was interrupted for six minutes. After tiring of the match, following Jonathan Johansson's opening goal for Finland, the bird left the stadium. Finland's national football team have had the nickname Huuhkajat (Finnish for Eurasian Eagle-owls) ever since. The owl was named "Helsinki Citizen of the Year" in December 2007.

Le hibou grand-duc appelé aussi grand-duc d'Europe (Bubo bubo) est une des espèces de rapaces nocturnes les plus puissants d'Europe. Il ne doit pas être confondu avec le Grand-duc d'Amérique.

Avec ses 70 cm de haut, le grand-duc est le plus grand des rapaces nocturnes d'Europe : il fait le double de son congénère le hibou moyen-duc. Qualifiée d'aristocratique, sa silhouette est massive, Sa tête, piquée de deux gros yeux rouge-orangé est surmontée d'aigrettes de 8 cm environ (normalement horizontales et un peu repliées vers l'arrière), que l'oiseau dresse verticalement s'il est excité ou dérangé. Rappelons que ces aigrettes ne jouent aucun rôle dans l'audition.

* Mimétique aux branchages, son plumage est brun-roussâtre dessus, taché et rayé de brun noir. Le dessous est plus clair, fauve avec des stries longitudinales et des zébrures transversales de couleur brun foncé.
* Poids et mesures :
o Poids : 2 à 2,5 kg pour le mâle, et 2,5 à 3,3 kg pour la femelle ;
o Longueur : 65 à 70 cm ;
o Envergure : 160 à 180 cm.
* Voix : un « bouhou » ou un « ouhouhou-ou-ouhouhouhouhou » (d'où son nom latin, Bubo bubo) audible de loin, ainsi que toutes sortes d'autres bruits.
* Longévité : plus de 20 ans en liberté.

Un hibou grand-duc (Bubo bubo) appelé aussi grand-duc d'Europe, le plus grand des rapaces nocturnes d'Europe
Mœurs [modifier]

* Alimentation : sa nourriture est des plus variées : rongeurs, lapins, lièvres, hérissons, oiseaux (corbeaux, pigeons, perdrix, oiseaux marins..., et même d'autres rapaces diurnes et nocturnes). Pour ce faire, il n'hésite pas la nuit tombée à parcourir cent lieues : d'où l'expression « faire la tournée des grands ducs », appliquée le plus souvent à de joyeux noctambules, c'est-à-dire nous.
o Pelote de réjection : 10 cm de long.
* Habitat : répandu dans toute l'Europe en dehors de la partie la plus occidentale ; en France, zones rocheuses de l'est, du centre et du sud. On le rencontre aussi bien dans les plaines que dans les montagnes. Il aime particulièrement les falaises, près des plans d'eau.

Très discret, il s'installe sur des corniches rocheuses, sur les remparts d'un vieux château ou à même le sol ; parfois dans les régions du nord, dans un trou d'arbre mais sans aucun doute, sa préférence va aux grandes falaises proches d'un plan d'eau.

* Reproduction : fin mars, début avril, il construit un nid simplement garni de restes de poils ou de plumes arrachés à ses proies.

La femelle y pond 2 à 4 œufs qu'elle couve seule pendant 32 à 37 jours, tandis que le mâle lui apporte la nourriture. Une fois éclos, les petits sont protégés par la mère des intempéries, du soleil. Un mois et demi plus tard environ, les petits quittent le nid mais restent à proximité. À trois mois, ils savent parfaitement voler.

o Œuf: 51 à 73 x 42 à 54 mm

En Europe, il a longtemps été pourchassé comme oiseau de malheur ou parce qu'on croyait se protéger en le clouant sur les portes de granges, avant qu'on ne s'aperçoive de sa grande utilité écologique et agronomique et qu'il soit protégé par la loi. Les causes de sa disparition sont le recul, la dégradation ou la fragmentation écologique de son habitat, les pesticides agricoles, les poisons utilisés contre les rongeurs (bromadiolone notamment), les accidents dus aux véhicules et la pollution lumineuse, car il est très sensible à l'éblouissement des phares de voitures.

0.50 Leva - Little Owl (Athene noctua)

The Little Owl (Athene noctua) is a bird which is resident in much of the temperate and warmer parts of Europe, Asia east to Korea, and north Africa. It is not native to Great Britain, but was first introduced in 1842, and is now naturalised there. It was also successfully introduced to the South Island of New Zealand in the early 20th century.

This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae.

The Little Owl is a small owl, 23-27.5 cm in length. It takes prey such as insects, earthworms, amphibians, but also small birds and mammals. It is partly diurnal and often perches prominently during the day.

This is a sedentary species which is found in open country such as mixed farmland and parkland. It usually nests in holes in trees or rocks, laying 3-5 eggs which are incubated by the female for 28–29 days, with a further 26 days to fledging. Little Owls will also nest in buildings, both abandoned and those fitted with custom owl nest boxes. If living in an area with a large amount of human activity, Little Owls may grow used to man and will remain on their perch, often in full view, while humans are around.
Little Owl Athene noctua

The adult Little Owl of the most widespread form, the nominate A. n. noctua, is white-speckled brown above, and brown-streaked white below. It has a large head, long legs, and yellow eyes, and its white “eyebrows” give it a stern expression. This species has a bounding flight like a woodpecker. Juveniles are duller, and lack the adult's white crown spots. The call is a querulous kee-ik.

There is a pale grey-brown Middle Eastern type known as Syrian Little Owl A. n. lilith. Other forms include another pale race, the north African A. n. desertae, and three intermediate subspecies, A. n. indigena of southeast Europe and Asia Minor, A. n. glaux in north Africa and southwest Asia, and A. n. bactriana of central Asia. A recent paper in the ornithological journal Dutch Birding (vol. 31: 35-37, 2009) has advocated splitting the southeastern races as a separate species Lilith's Owl Athene glaux (with subspecies A. g. glaux, A. g. indigena, and A. g. lilith).

The Little Owl was sacred to the goddess Athena, from whom it gets the generic name.

La Chevêche d'Athéna ou Chouette chevêche (Athene noctua) est une espèce d'oiseau de petite taille à l'aspect trapu. La Chevêche d'Athéna n'est pas une chouette, nom réservée par le CINFO à d'autres espèces. C'est la plus diurne des strigidés, malgré son nom latin (Athene noctua). On peut l'observer en plein jour perchée sur des poteaux ou sur des toits, très attentive et faisant des « révérences ».

Elle présente un vol très onduleux. Elle se rencontre dans les milieux ouverts voire cultivés, niche dans les cavités des vieux arbres ou les bâtiments inoccupés, ou encore dans des terriers.

Elle doit son nom générique à la déesse Athéna dont elle est le symbole. Le logo de l'École nationale supérieure de l'aéronautique et de l'espace (SUPAERO) représente une Chevêche d'Athéna stylisée. Elle doit son nom générique à la déesse Athéna, dont elle est l'animal symbolique. Dans l'Antiquité grecque, la Chevêche d'Athéna, attribut d'Athéna, symbole de la Connaissance (la sagesse mais également la science) devint naturellement celui de la ville d'Athènes.

C'est l'une des espèces protégées qui a fait l'objet en France d'une politique de repeuplement actuellement en cours d'évaluation.

0.60 Leva - Ural Owl (Strix uralensis)

The Ural Owl (Strix uralensis ) is a medium-large nocturnal owl of the genus Strix, with up to 15 subspecies found in Europe and northern Asia.

The Ural Owl is smaller than the Great Grey Owl, and much larger than the Tawny Owl, which it superficially resembles. Distinguishing features apart from the size are the pale, buffish grey-brown plumage, with copious dark brown streaking on the back, back of the head and underparts. It has a round head with plain buffish-grey facial discs, orange-yellow bill and small black eyes. The tail is long and wedge-shaped, with dark barring on the uppertail, and the wings are rounded. Flight is direct and purposeful, recalling that of the Common Buzzard. Sexes are similar, with no seasonal variation. Size: 50–59 cm; Wingspan: Male 115 cm, female 125 cm; Weight: Male 540-730 g, female 720-1200 g.

The Ural Owl has an extended distribution area in Europe and Asia, from Sakhalin, Japan and Korea in the east to Scandinavia in the west. The northern border is at approximately 65 degrees north latitude, and the southern border follows the southern delimitation of the taiga. There are relict populations in the mountains of central Europe belonging to the subspecies S.u.macroura. Birds in northeast Poland and Scandinavia belong to the subspecies S.u.liturata, and those in western Siberia to the nominate race S.u. uralensis.

The northern populations of the Ural Owl occupy similar habitat to the Great Grey Owl, nesting in lowland forests but avoiding dense areas, especially those of purely conifers. In central Europe it is an upland species, preferring deciduous woodland. It usually occupies open woodland and is more often found in moist rather than dry areas. It nests in hollow tree trunks, occasionally in old raptor nests, and increasingly in nestboxes. It normally lays two to four eggs, which hatch after 27–34 days. The young leave the nest after about four weeks, but will not fly until about six weeks old. It is a very aggressive owl, chasing other birds of prey from its territory, and it will attack human intruders, especially when young are present.

The Ural Owl feeds on rodents and medium-sized to large birds such as Jays and Willow Grouse, although normally only up to the size of a Woodpigeon. Its territorial call, which can carry up to two kilometres, is a soft, deep 'wo-ho….. woho uhwo-ho'. Birds also give unmistakable yapping ' wau - wau ' calls, which are delivered by both sexes.

La Chouette de l'Oural (Strix uralensis) est une espèce de rapaces de la famille des Strigidae. Cet oiseau de proie nocturne peut ressembler à la Chouette hulotte, et se rencontre à l'est de l'Europe, appréciant les forêts profondes. L'espèce n'est pas menacée.

1.50 Leva - Eurasian Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum)

The Eurasian Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium passerinum, is the smallest owl in Europe. These owls are a dark reddish to greyish-brown, with spotted sides and half of a white ring around the back of their neck.

The owl preys on birds – some nearly as large as itself – and small mammals, such as voles.

It is found in the boreal forests of Northern and Central Europe to Siberia, usually at the edges of clearings. It nests in old Woodpecker holes, often those of the Great Spotted Woodpecker.

This is a sedentary species, meaning that adults are resident throughout the year in its range. The exception would be during harsh winters, when the adults may move south. Young of the species usually move in autumn or winter. In the wild Eurasian Pygmy Owls may live six to seven years and sometimes even longer in captivity.

This Starling-sized bird hunts at dawn, dusk, and even daytime, rather than in total darkness.

La Chevêchette d'Europe (Glaucidium passerinum), anciennement Chouette chevêchette, est la plus petite espèce des strigidés européennes. Sa taille est d'environ 16 cm. Elle est en partie diurne et consomme de petits oiseaux qu'elle chasse au vol. On la rencontre le plus souvent dans les forêts de conifères des régions montagneuses. Son aire de répartition est plutôt continentale et nord-européenne.