Friday, February 28, 2014

The Horrifying Search - The 228 Massacre in Taiwan

Postcard HK-126198 from Hongkong was entitled "the Horrifying Search - The 228 Massacre in Taiwan." Measured 14x18.3 cm, the illustration was first published by WenWeiPo, a newspaper in Shanghai, on April 28, 1947.

The 228 Massacre was an anti-government uprising in Taiwan that began in 1947. After the Japanese rule of Taiwan for 50 years ended in 1945 due to Japan's loss in World War II, Republic of China government, led by the Chinese Nationalist Party or Kuomintang (KMT), took control of Taiwan. However, local inhabitants became resentful over the perception of corrupted KMT authorities that tended to seize private property arbitrarily and mismanage economy. A dispute between a cigarette vendor and an officer of the Office of Monopoly on February 27 triggered civil disorder in Taipei and an open rebellion spread to the whole island and lasted for days. The uprising was violently suppressed beginning on February 28, or 2/28, resulting in the massacre of more than 10,000 civilians.

The incident marked the beginning of the KMT's White Terror period in Taiwan as the island was placed under martial law. Thousands more had vanished, died, or were imprisoned, before martial law was lifted on July 14, 1987. This incident is one of the most important events in Taiwan's modern history. It continues to divide Taiwan after 66 years.

恐怖的檢查 -- 臺灣二二八事件 by 黃榮燦(力軍)民國36年(1947) 4月28日上海文匯報首度刊登

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mule Deer

Outgoing postcard US-2651000 to Germany shows a Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus), known for its stocky body, sturdy legs, and an antler spreading of up to 1.2 meters or 4 feet. According to the descriptions on the back of the card, its large ears can move independently and almost constantly,  thus account for the common name with those "mule-like" ears. These ears move constantly and independently. Surprisingly, despite their big ears, mule deer are thought to rely primarily on their sense of smell in detecting danger. In addition, their hearing is also extremely acute. As a solitary animal, it seldom forms large herds, but occasionally some of them band together before and after rutting season.

The postcard was purchased at the Mount Charleston Visitor Center along with other wildlife cards featuring Baby Coyote and  Least Chipmunks. Photo by Jim Osterberg.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Sirens of TI" Permanently Closed

Outgoing postcard US-2651118 to Lithuania shows the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino with its iconic pirate ships. The long-running pirate show “Sirens of TI” show was closed on October 21, 2013 as noted in my previous blog. However, rather than a temporary closure as it was originally announced,  The show had been permanently canceled. According to a Las Vegas Review Journal article, it caught the cast and crew members by surprised. We will certainly miss the show. Good luck to all the cast and crew members. You can still watch the show on Youtube.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Western Horseman

Outgoing postcard US-2651090 to Finland shows a vintage cover of the Western Horseman magazine's December issue in 1951. It is the magazine for admirers of stock horses,  featuring articles on Western horse riding, horse breeding, horse training, horse ranching, and horse care.

When illustrator Orren Mixer visited the magazine's offices in August 1951,  he was asked to paint a cover for the magazine's December issue. The painting arrived, still wet, on deadline day, just in the nick of time. The magazine sells for 35 cents a copy in 1951.

The postcard was from a postcard book purchased at the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show during the National Finals Rodeo in 2012.

Monday, February 24, 2014

How Many Days Until Next Holiday?

Postcard RU-2424924 came from Russia with a lovely holiday theme. However, it does remind us that all the winter holidays had faded away, and makes us wonder how many days until the next holiday. For the people in the U.S., next federal holiday, Memorial Day, is 91 days away on Monday, May 26, 2014. You can check XDAYSLEFT for a countdown to other events or holidays.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dawn Over Moscow

Postcard RU-2410688 from Russia shows a beautiful dawn over the Khoroshevsky District, part of the North-Western Administrative Okrug in Moscow where many historical and cultural monuments are located. In the middle of the picture on the card is the Triumph Palace Building, a 57-story 1,000-unit luxury apartment building that was once the tallest building in all of Europe at 264.1 m or 866 ft until 2007.

With a stamp featuring one of the three 2014 Olympic Winter Games mascots "the Polar Bear", the postcard's arrival coincides the closing of the Games in Sochi.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ladram Bay

Postcard GB-515408 from the United Kingdom shows Ladram Bay on the south coast of Devon, England. It is a secluded bay with pebble beach, between the coastal towns of Budleigh Salterton on the southwest and Sidmouth on the northeast. The RV park at Ladram Bay, Ladram Bay Holiday Park,  is the second largest holiday center in Devon, offering fantastic views over the ocean. It is located within the 155-km or 96-mile Jurassic Coast where a continuous sequence of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rock formations reveal 185 million years of the Earths history.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dniester Canyon, Ukraine

Postcard UA-951602 from Ukraine shows Dniester Canyon, a 250-km or 155-mile river segment of the Dniester River from the mouth of Zolota Lypa River to the mouth of Zbruch River. According to Wikipedia, Dniester River is the second largest and the most ecologically clean river in Ukraine.

Similar to the Colorado River below the Glen Canyon Dam in the United States, Dniester Canyon is partly flooded by reservoir waters. While the water depth can reach up to 50 meters, the canyon valley has its depth varied from 80 to 200 m or from 260 to 650 ft. Its original and unique geological, botanical, archaeological, and hydrological nature earned its reputation as one of seven natural wonders in Ukraine. Dniester Canyon was recognized the National Nature Park on February 3, 2010.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Least Chipmunk

Postcard US-2205864 to Belarus was one of the several wildlife cards that I bought at the Mount Charleston Visitor Center. The description on the card says "the Least Chipmunk climbs swiftly and nimbly, often ascending tress to sun itself or build a summer nest. The winter nest is less sheltered and constructed of grass and other fibrous or downy material. It will use its large cheek pouches to carry food back to its nest. It feeds on seeds, fruit, insects and reptiles."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Map of West Virginia

Postcard US-2643270 from West Virginia shows a map of the West Virginia in the Appalachian region, noted for its mountains and wildlife, as well as various activities such as coal mining, recreational caving, skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, and hunting. It is the 41st largest state by area and the 38th by population of the 50 States in the U.S. The state capital is Charleston, also the largest city in the state.

In history, West Virginia was part of Virginia until those fifty northwestern counties of Virginia decided to secede from Virginia. It was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863. West Virginia was one of the only two states formed during the American Civil War. Nevada was the other state that separated from Utah.

Maps are also great tools to help protect environment and human health. During a chemical spill in West Virginia on January 9, 2014 that had left thousands in Charleston and surrounding counties without drinking water, The Waterkeeper Alliance quickly developed an online map to illustrate the impact of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol spill on the Elk River just upriver from a West Virginia American Water facility.

As West Virginia is bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the north, and Maryland to the northeast, any emergency event has the potential to impact other states. In this case, Cincinnati in Ohio had stopped using water from Ohio River as chemicals from West Virginia Spill was moving downstream. There was another separate chemical spill in West Virginia on February 11, 2014. It shows the continuing challenges that West Virginia faces to preserve its traditional mining and logging industries while striving to protect its citizens and environment. New technologies including mapping might just provide the much needed help.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Angus Barn

Postcard US-2640210 from North Carolina shows the Angus Barn at Raleigh, NC, just minutes from the RDU airport. The restaurant prides itself on rustic elegance, featuring certified Angus beef aged in-house, fresh seafood delivered daily, and more than 1,500 selections of wine from around the world. Showcased on both sides of the wine cellar, customers may choose to dine in one of the two Renaissance style gourmet dining rooms. It also has a lakeside Pavilion for weddings and other private events.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Washington’s Birthday

Washington’s Birthday is a federal holiday, originally established by an Act of Congress in 1879 and celebrated on the third Monday of February, in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The holiday is widely known as "Presidents Day" often to celebrate other, if not all, presidents. In 2014, the holiday falls to February 17 due to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Washington's actual birthday is February 22.

I present this maxi card showing the Washington Monument, an obelisk on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to mark this occasion. The Monument was built to commemorate George Washington. On August 28, 1963, a massive crowd marched by the Monument en-route to the Lincoln Memorial for the "March on Washington" rally.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Postcard US-2621782 from U.S. shows this well-documented quilt that was the work of Abigail Scott Duniway (October 22, 1834 - October 11, 1915). Outspoken and often controversial, Abigail Scott Duniway was an American women's rights advocate, newspaper editor and writer, whose efforts were instrumental in gaining voting rights for women. She came over the Oregon Trail in 1852 from Illinois with her educated parents and family. The quilt, measured 80.75" x 60", was made from 1869 to 1900.

Wikimedia Commons: Abigail Scott Duniway ca 1870-1900

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Nelson Mandela

Postcard IT-258885 from Italy shows a smiling Nelson Mandela in the front and his quote "It always seems impossible until it's done!" on the back. Nelson Mandela (July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. USA Today has listed 15 of Nelson Mandela's Best Quotes; this is one of them.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

In this Valentine's Day, we feature postcard US-1823773 to Germany that shows a heart-shaped sculpture at the corner of Union Square in San Francisco. Every year, a set of 5-foot, 400-pound hearts are made, painted by local artists, and put on display around various city locations in San Francisco. They are auctioned off to raise funds for San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. The picture on the card was taken on June 24, 2012.

You can find more pictures of the hearts at other locations from a post I Left my Heart in San Francisco at blog Little Hiccups.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bakkie Doen?

Postcard NL-2316706 from the Netherlands shows a popular phase "Bakkie doen?" in Dutch, meaning "Let's have a cup of coffee?"

There was a short documentary film titled "Bakkie doen!" that was made during the 48 Hour Film Project at Breda, the Netherlands in 2011, when 37 teams of filmmakers went out for a weekend of filmmaking in Breda. Based on a randomly assigned genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue, filmmakers would wrote, shot and edited a movie in 48 hours. 30 out of the 37 finished on time. All completed movies were shown at Pathé Breda during the International Film Festival Breda on March 27th, 2011. "Bakkie doen!" won the awards of the Best Directing, the Best Female Acting, and the Public Choice. It was a Runner-up for the Best Film.

Las Vegas will also host the 48 Hour Film Project around April, 2014.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Austin, Texas

Postcard US-2628163 to Japan shows a fun map of Austin, the capital of Texas, designed by FunGraphix.  It is the 11th-largest city in the U.S. and the fourth-largest city in the state of Texas, and home to the University of Texas at Austin.

Austin hosts South by Southwest (SXSW), a cluster of festivals of film, interactive media, and music, and technical conferences every year in spring. It will run from March 7 to March 16 in 2014.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Winter on Lake Michigan

Postcard US-2615869 to Finland shows a winter scene on Lake Michigan. However, when I bought this postcard during a layover at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport on August 27, 2013, I had no idea that the incoming winter in Chicago could be the 8th snowiest in history by early February, 2014. The unusual repeated arctic cold air assaults have over 60% of Lake Michigan frozen. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter "Biscayne Bay" is working to break ice on the southern Lake Michigan.

For Finnish people who are no strangers to a cold weather, here are the forecasts for Chicago and Helsinki in comparison.
Find more about Weather in Chicago, IL
Weather forecast for Chicago, IL

Find more about Weather in Helsinki, FI
Weather forecast for Helsinki, Finland

Monday, February 10, 2014

From Finland, with a Stamp Bearing Braille Text

Postcard FI-2007704 from Helsinki is gorgeous by itself. However, I was equally impressed by the stamp that came with the card. The stamp was the first issue in the series depicting Finnish national parks, issued in 2009. It shows the winter landscape of the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park at western Lapland. The stamp is friendly to the visually impaired with the Braille text "1 lk. kl", the 1st class non-value indicator. The stamp was designed by Teemu Ollikainen and photographed by Pekka Luukkola.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Postcard US-2598763 to Taiwan shows that a charming Panda looks out over a beautiful valley with cranes flying by, created by Birgit Schulz from London, Ontario, Canada. Although unrelated, I was reminded to this card when I saw the crew from Panda!, a new resident show at Palazzo, performing at the Chinatown Plaza in Las Vegas for the Chinese New Year Celebrations today on February 9, 2014.

The new show follows the hero’s journey of a panda Long Long, trying to save his girl peacock princess from evil. Director An Zhao, who had involved in directing the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, said in a news release: "We've taken two of China's national treasures, pandas and kung fu, and illuminated them in a visually stunning production that tells an unforgettable and timeless story. Our team couldn't be happier to bring this experience to the international audiences Las Vegas is known to attract."

The show's opening was planned for December, 2013 but was delayed by a month due to visa problems. The congressional office of the U.S. Representative Dina Titus was involved to help securing the visa. She was pictured with the Panda! crew at the festival today.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Chinese New Year in the Desert

Postcard US-2615407 to Germany shows a Chinese New Year themed card with a horse in traditional Chinese art. As the Year of the Horse celebration runs from January 31, 2014 (Spring Festival) to February 14, 2014 (Lantern Festival), downtown Las Vegas is marking the occasion with an international food vendor village, live ice sculpture demonstrations, and special performances on the 3rd Street Stage at the Fremont Street Experience during the 3rd Chinese New Year in the Desert festival this weekend from February 7 to February 9, 2014. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman kicked-off the festival during the opening ceremony yesterday.

Dragon dance by the Las Vegas Lohan School of Shaolin on February 7, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Go ATOM Trefl Sopot!

ATOM Trefl Sopot is a professional volleyball team from Poland that won double-champion. The team is currently playing in Confédération Européenne de Volleyball (CEV) European Champions League in 2014 for the third consecutive time.

Postcard US-2615864 sent via TouchNote to Poland shows billboards featuring the team in New York City, a composite image made by PhotoFunia with team photos from their Facebook page. Good luck ATOM Trefl Sopot! Maybe we will see you on billboards in New York City for real in the future.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

2014 Winter Olympics Starts at Sochi

Postcard RU-2282790 from Russia shows the 2014 Winter Olympics that starts today at Sochi, Russia with opening rounds in Figure Skating (Team – Men Short), Freestyle Skiing (Ladies' Moguls – Qualification), and Snowboard (Men's Slopestyle – Qualification). The Opening Ceremony will be held at 8 pm local time (8 am PST or 11 am EST) tomorrow on February 7. There are 98 events to compete in 15 winter sports through February 23, 2014.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Pirin Mountains

On postcard BG-30315 from Bulgaria is the Pirin Mountains in southwestern Bulgaria, with Vihren as the highest peak shown in the background. Most of the mountain range is within the Pirin National Park. The mountain is named after Perun, the highest god of the Slavic pantheon and the Thunder and Lightning God.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Prince Edward Island

Postcard CA-406670 from Canada shows Prince Edward Island, one of the three Maritime provinces in Canada. It is also the smallest province in Canada in terms of both land area and population. The island has a nick name of "Garden of the Gulf" referring to the pastoral scenery and lush agricultural lands throughout the province. It is hard to imagine that it produces 25% of Canada's potatoes.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Coca-Cola Airs "America the Beautiful" Commercial at Super Bowl

From MSNBC: "Coca-Cola celebrated diversity in America Sunday night with a powerful commercial that featured a variety of faces young and old, of every skin color, with roots all over the world, and -- for the first time in Super Bowl ad history -- a family with gay parents."

Postcard US-2303290 to Italy shows the Coca-Cola bottle evolution in its 120-year time span, as part of the popular American culture. From the early non-distinctive glass bottles, to the famous contour shaped bottles, to the green PlantBottle recyclable bottles, it captures the journey of a society with increased creativeness, environmental consciousness, and recognition of diversity. See more of the Coca-Cola History at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta and in Las Vegas.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Free Super Bowl Postcards

From NJ.COM: The remnants of a free Super Bowl postcard left outside MetLife Stadium. By Ed Beeson 
Understandably, almost all things related to the 48th Super Bowl between at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey are either expansive (i.e. tickets, parking permits, or stadium foods) or time consuming (i.e. train rides home after the game). However, according to Ed Beeson/The Star-Ledger, fans to the Super Bowl XLVIII did receive picture postcards with commemorative stamp, courtesy of the NFL, as one of the few freebies.

So far, all the postcards featured on my blog are the ones I sent or received or possessed. I am breaking the tradition today by putting this postcard to my wish list. If you have an extra copy, blank or mailed, would you please send it to me? Contact me for postal address.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

BeaverTail PricklyPear

Postcard US-2070982 was sent to the Netherlands on February 2, 2013 and had since expired. It is about to fall off the PostCrossing Universe as it is approaching its life span of 365-day travel time. The postcards shows the Beavertail PricklyPear (opuntia basilaris), a cactus species mostly found in the Mojave Desert, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Colorado Deserts and Colorado Plateau, and northwest Mexico. A single plant can grow up to 60 cm tall and may consist of hundreds of fleshy, flattened pads that are measured up to 14 cm long, 10 cm wide 1.5 cm thick. Their flowers are mostly pink to rose in color, but also rarely white or even yellow,  blooming from spring to early summer.

The postcard was purchased at the gift shop of the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, which again offers free admission to the Bank of America or Merrill Lynch debit/credit card holders through the Museums on US program on February 1 and February 2, 2014.