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Just a quick heads up on what’s happening

Howdy all. I thought I’d do a quick end of summer summary on what’s happening with my life.  Needless to say it’s the past 18 months have been one heck of a “joyride”, but things are finally beginning to normalize.   But lots of changes in my life have happened and many are still happening; many of them things I considered unfathomable even six months back.

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Using a macro lens with smart phone to turn your camera app into digital magnifier/loupe/microscope

Using a macro lens with smart phone to turn your camera app into digital magnifier/loupe/microscope

Here’s one of the tools I’ve used for few years:a 20x clip-on macro lens that fits pretty much any smartphone.  There are dozens of brands selling similar lenses from 10-40€ price range; mine’s pretty much in the middle price range.  Some stamp brands, such as Lighthouse/Leuchtturm got their own equivalents, but IMHO they seem lower grade and quality than those aimed for ‘general photographers’.  I thought I’d show some photographs of what is possible with stamps using a “cheap” macro lens, as well as talk some of the ups and downs compared to scanner vs. digital microscope vs. traditional magnifier/loupe.

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A day at Finnish Postal Museum

A day at Finnish Postal Museum

During my winter holidays I went to three day trip to Tampere, the “Manchester city of Finland”.   My main goal there was spending a day visiting Vapriikki Museum center.  There amongst other museums lies also the Finnish Postal Museum.  All in all I wasn’t expecting too much as I acknowledge the main goal of Postal Museum is not with stamps nor stamp collecting, but history of postal services.

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Stamp collecting and cognitive biases

Stamp collecting and cognitive biases

I’m sure most of us stamp collectors know a lot about stamps. But I have a gut feeling that very few of us know very little if nothing about cognitive biases. Before my ongoing crash course with human psychology, I had no clue what the term meant in practice, even though as hindsight I can say it has influenced and shaped my life, stamps included to very large extend. In nutshell cognitive biases are mental shortcuts (aka. heuristics) that our brains use to handle vast amounts of data around us as quickly as possible. It sounds like a perfect match for every worldwide stamp collector.

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Getting back to stamps and collecting (and blogging)

Getting back to stamps and collecting (and blogging)

Life can be a bit of mysterious creature, and never did I imagine taking a one year break from stamps and blogging. But so did happen. As I’ve been rebuilding myself, reconnecting with myself, I’ve realized I’ve been given quite a unique change to re-approach pretty much everything in my life. All in all I’m still very much in middle of lengthy process (aka life), so I really don’t know what the final outcome of all this will be some day. But I do know stamps, collecting and writing about all of it will remain part of my of future regardless of events.

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Stamps and collecting as therapy (pt.2): shame and vulnerability

Stamps and collecting as therapy (pt.2): shame and vulnerability

This article is not strictly stamp / collecting related, but more about life, and especially life of particular stamp collector in times of personal hardships. This is somewhat up, close and personal stuff, but that should not come as surprise to anyone who has followed SCB for years. What I am about to say is more or less continuity to my previous post.

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Stamps and collecting as therapy

Stamps and collecting as therapy

As long term readers might recall the story of SCB started out when I was experiencing what felt like the biggest crisis of my then life. Well, decade later I am again undergoing yet another ‘biggest crisis of my life’. Talk about déjà vu.  Back on the early days a lot of my writings were not so much about technical side of stamp collecting, but more about the “philosophical” side of collecting and collectors, and this weeks blog roots on those same deep existential waters on what makes us collectors tick.

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Understanding Canadian (small sized) definitive stamp series

Understanding Canadian (small sized) definitive stamp series

Though I’ve been keeping a somewhat low profile lately (life happening; still is), I have managed to find some time for stamps every now and then.  My re-housing project with Canadian stamps has slowly but surely now reached late 1970s, and though there are still half-a-century’s worth of stamps awaiting to be worked, I have already discovered an interesting, but less talked (at least on this side of the big pond) perspective on Canadian definitive stamps.

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Canadian 1983 World University Games postage stamp – perforation variant or something else

Canadian 1983 World University Games postage stamp – perforation variant or something else

Now here’s an interesting Canadian stamp specimen of which I don’t know what to think of. According to all major stamp catalogs (Unitrade included) these 1983 World University Games stamps should be easy and straightforward to collect: two values (32 and 64c), no variants (besides gum side printed sheet EFO). The stamps should have perf 13½ and gereral tagging on two opposite edges (aka GT2). What I’ve got breaks the pattern.

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Poste Maroc stamps of 1907/1909 – bogus, cinderella or something else?

Poste Maroc stamps of 1907/1909  – bogus, cinderella or something else?

Below are few Moroccan stamp like items which have made me pulling my hair. These are not mentioned in any of the printed catalogues or resources I have access, which very strongly suggests some kind of bogus or cinderella stamp release. Even the very few online references for these are highly mixed, so if any of you can share ‘better knowledge’ on what these are, it would be highly appreciated.

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