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Old 25 May 2013, 08:06 PM   #31
Tsunami
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Amazingly, even the TAAF issue their own stamps (TAAF = French abbreviations for the islands owned by France in the Southern Indian Ocean and seas surrounding Antarctica, such as Kerguelen, Crozet, Amsterdam Island, ... most of those islands are unpopulated and scientists staying a couple of months rarely are larger than 20 or 30 in numbers... Still, they issue stamps. Amazing!)

There is even a true club founded by people collecting stamps from DPR Korea. I didn't know it was even possible to send a letter to/from that place (embassies as sole exception) but apparently they've issued more stamps so far than their Southern neighbours!

Also, according to Wikipedia, this is about the rarest it gets when it comes to collecting stamps: Tannu Tuva. Apparently the "country" issued only a limited number of valid stamps, with many fakes going around, making it a fascinating task for a collector to get such a stamp AND succesfully verify whether it is an authentic one.

Hmmm, stamp collecting sounds like a more interesting hobby than I thought initially
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Old 28 May 2013, 03:42 AM   #32
webecedarian
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Tsunami, I still think your much-travelled life sounds exotic. And I don't think your analogy really holds - I think that England and Lithuania must differ much more than Virginia and Oregon in the U.S. With Israel, having just come out of an Israeli movie, I'm not sure I could live in a country where gender segregation is considered normal.

As to Vatican stamps, any value would have to do with how many stamps are issued. If they only issue one a year, probably not that rare. I somehow assume that at the Vatican there are more letters and fewer emails.

And I don't know about you guys, but to me Tristan de Cunha sounds like an 18th century Brazilian historian.
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Old 28 May 2013, 03:52 AM   #33
FredOnline
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Originally Posted by webecedarian View Post
Tsunami, I still think your much-travelled life sounds exotic.
So I guess, despite what some people may say, philately will get you somewhere.
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Old 28 May 2013, 03:53 AM   #34
David
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Early stamps from Japan used to be cheap (during the 1950's) but increased phenomenally when they become a major world economic power. I collect stamps from India myself.
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Old 1 Jun 2013, 05:05 AM   #35
Tsunami
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Originally Posted by webecedarian View Post
Tsunami, I still think your much-travelled life sounds exotic. And I don't think your analogy really holds - I think that England and Lithuania must differ much more than Virginia and Oregon in the U.S. With Israel, having just come out of an Israeli movie, I'm not sure I could live in a country where gender segregation is considered normal.

As to Vatican stamps, any value would have to do with how many stamps are issued. If they only issue one a year, probably not that rare. I somehow assume that at the Vatican there are more letters and fewer emails.

And I don't know about you guys, but to me Tristan de Cunha sounds like an 18th century Brazilian historian.
Not sure if he was Brazilian, but the island is indeed named after its discoverer. He discovered it during a mission for the UK though, hence the island came under British control (well, under St Helena control, but St Helena itself is a UK territory). Tristan Da Cunha is not the remotest island on earth, that is Bouvet°ya (which interestingly has its own .bv domain despite being not inhabited, and some internet pages talk about ordering taxis on Bouvet°ya while the island is so inaccessible not even ships come close). However, Bouvet°ya is unpopulated, which means Tristan Da Cunha, despite having less than 500 people, gets the title of the remotest populated island on earth. It takes about a week to get there by ship, there is no air strip. Boats are very infrequent due to the stormy climate, so you better have a flexible itinary when visiting

Interesting book in Dutch is "Eilanden" by Boudewijn BŘch. This translates as "Islands" and covers some extremely unknown obscure islands never mentioned in other travel guides, such as Clipperton, Wake Island, Socotra, and indeed Bouvet°ya. The problem is: Bouvet°ya is like a huge frozen rock, even coming close to it is life-risking due to the extremely stormy seas and bitter cold. Hence only few people ever reached it, most discoverers only saw it from a distance but realised getting close would be signing a death cert. Because of this, they had to guess the exact coordinates of Bouvet°ya and some maps of the world have slightly varying positions for the island. BŘch said "we know Bouvet°ya exists, but that's all we know"

Isn't such description like wanting to pack your bags and go there? I'm glad that even in the age of science, some places are still unspoilt and still kept a bit of mystery to the outside world.
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Old 1 Jun 2013, 05:17 AM   #36
Tsunami
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As for Vatican email: I am unsure if Francisco I uses the web, but 'pope emeritus' Benedict XVI (aka Ratzinger) surely used the web, even had a Twitter account he maintained himself. Released from his papal duties, I expect his account to be littered with daily news
There once was a website www.nic.va but they quickly decided not to allow outsiders to use the "holy" domain extention. Since then nic.va is gone and the only remaining .va domains active are property of the Vatican or people working for them. They do have their own nameservers and mailservers, so the Pope is NOT using Google Apps


As for travelling, i always said it was my oxygen. But did I see more of the world by living in 6 European and one non-EU nation? Or has someone who only travelled twice but has been to different continents seen a lot more of the world? Quality > quantity. I am glad to have experienced so much of Europe but I would just love to do a road trip through Africa or the old USSR, visit Latin America or China and Japan... Once I did 3 continents I'm willing to accept the title "well travelled".

On the wanting list (sorry if some names sound a bit obscure):
Murmansk
Dikson
Tiksi
Ellesmere Island
Greenland
Troms°
Svalbard
Azerbaijan
Armenia
the Congos
Morocco
Cuba
Pitcairn Islands
Falkland Islands
at least two Latin American countries
Australia
Hong Kong
Mongolia
Tierra del Fuego including Puerto Williams
North Korea (it looks so surreal I wanna have seen this with own eyes)
the Sinai desert
the less touristic areas of China


In other words, finances alone indicate that dreams rarely come true. If I can do 2 or 3 of these, I'm happy.



Without claiming to be an Israel specialist (I am an Israelophile studying Hebrew and regularly mailing Israeli pen pals) : gender segregation is very common in the religious districts of Jerusalem and other holy places. In Tel Aviv, which is often called the Sin City of the Middle East, gender segregation and other religious customs are rare or unseen. Mainly Jerusalem is a very spiritual city where religion is taken very seriously. Tel Aviv, Haifa or Eilat ... not religiously vibrant places at all. So gender segregation is very much depending where in Israel you are. In Tel Aviv or Eilat, some tourists actually go there to hang out at the beach specifically because of mixing with the other gender Tel Aviv, Sin City of the Middle East, huge nightlife and clubbing scene.

Also, a place where some practises are making you feel uncomfortable, can be the ideal place to bring some change for the better. I very much believe in the ת׳קוּן אוֹלַם theory. "Tikkun Olam" more or less means "make the world a better place"
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Old 13 May 2021, 02:05 AM   #37
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Now a more interesting topic could be the price of petrol/gas in your country!
I've been reading about the current gas shortage in America due to cyberattack.

How's that effecting the cost of fuelling up the car, presumably there's been a price increase?

Compare with the UK, we buy petrol by the litre - and converting litres to US gallons and GBP to USD, we're paying roughly $6.29 per gallon for our gas!
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Old 13 May 2021, 03:07 AM   #38
TenFour
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So far no shortages where I live in the Northeast, but gas shot up $0.20 per gallon over the weekend. Not sure what it is today, but the average cost around here is around $3 per gallon. The real problem is that every time there is a rumor of shortages people start to fill up gas cans and their vehicles more often, which exacerbates any real shortage. Most people can't get to work without a car.
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Old 13 May 2021, 03:24 PM   #39
n5bb
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I live in the Dallas / Fort Worth area of north Texas. My daily vehicle is a 2020 Ford Fusion Energi PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) and I have been retired for 18 months. I drive this car an average of 10.8 miles (17 km) per day and the last last time I added any fuel was in August, 2020 (and I still have about 1/3 of a tank of fuel). I charge the car in my garage each day, and on the average it takes 4 kW of electricity per day to charge the high voltage battery. I purchase my electricity from a supplier which uses 100% renewable wind energy from Texas windmills, so I don't care very much if the price of gasoline, oil, or natural gas increases or if there are shortages.
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Old 13 May 2021, 03:33 PM   #40
FredOnline
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Bill, won't the gas in your tank go stale after a few weeks in the Texas climate?
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Old 13 May 2021, 03:41 PM   #41
n5bb
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Bill, won't the gas in your tank go stale after a few weeks in the Texas climate?
No, it does not. PHEV cars are designed for a wide range of driving behaviors and temperatures. My Ford PHEV has a fuel maintenance mode which automatically activates if you have not used a tank of fuel in 18 months. In fuel maintenance mode, the car runs in normal hybrid mode and does not allow full EV (electric vehicle) mode. Refilling the fuel tank after the level has gotten low (I believe it's a quarter of a tank) will reset the system to normal operation allowing EV mode. I have owned the car for 18 months, but I have used more than one tank full over that interval, so I have never seen this mode activate.

There is also an oil maintenance mode which may activate the ICE (internal combustion engine) from time to time to keep the engine lubricated and the oil system in proper condition. In normal driving I use the engine a small amount every week, so I may never see either of these modes activate.

We also have other methods besides automobiles to get around in the DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) metropolitan area of North Texas.
  • There are about 775 miles (1,247 km, with more being built) of bicycle and pedestrian trails in the DFW area.
  • We have two large passenger airports (DFW Airport and Love Field).
  • Dallas County (where I reside here in North Texas) has DART, with the longest light rail system length in North America (93 miles, or 150 km).
  • The DART system connects in downtown Dallas to the TRE (Trinity Railway Express) commuter diesel rail line to downtown Forth Worth. TRE has a length of 34 miles (55 km).
  • At the Fort Worth end of the TRE line, another diesel commuter rail line (TEXRail) runs from downtown Fort Worth through several other cities to the north end of DFW Airport. The DART light rail system also has a terminus at that same airport. TEXRail has a system length of 27 miles (43 km).
  • At the northern edge of Dallas County, the Denton County A-train commuter rail line connects to the DART light rail system at a transfer point. This Denton commuter rail line has a system length of 21 miles (34 km).
  • The total system length of these four interconnected light and commuter rail systems is 175 miles (282 km). The Dallas Streetcar line (1.6 miles or 2.6 km) and M-Line antique electric trolley line (4.6 miles or 7.4 km) are also connected to the system. And, of course, many bus routes connect to the light rail and commuter rail stations.
  • You can purchase a system pass (on your smartphone, of course) which allows access to the whole interconnected system for an interval (such as a day).
Bill

Last edited by n5bb : 13 May 2021 at 04:47 PM.
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