Karl Drais and the Dandy Horse or, The Invention of the Bicycle

On 12 June 1817, the earliest form of bicycle, the dandy horse, was driven by inventor and baron Karl von Drais. Dandy horse is actually a derogatory term for what Drais initially called the Laufmaschine or “running machine”. It was later called a vélocipède or draisienne (in French and then English), and then a pedestrian curricle or hobby-horse. This was the first commercially successful two-wheeled, steerable, … Continue reading Karl Drais and the Dandy Horse or, The Invention of the Bicycle

Post #1000: One Thousand (!)

As a number, one thousand seems rather insignificant. Most schools I have worked at in Thailand have had many times that number of students. A collection of just a thousand of anything seems fairly tiny. Even in terms of currency, it seems rather poor but that depends on which currency you are dealing with. The highest denomination banknote here in Thailand is one thousand baht. … Continue reading Post #1000: One Thousand (!)

Huckleberry Finn

On February 18, 1885, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was published in the United States after initially being published in the United Kingdom and Canada on December 10, 1884. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the … Continue reading Huckleberry Finn

The Immortal Chaplains of S.S. Dorchester

On February 3, 1943, the United States War Shipping Administration troop ship S.S. Dorchester was sunk in the Labrador Sea by a torpedo from a German U-boat. Of the 904 on board, 675 died. Dorchester had been sailing to Greenland as part of naval convoy SG 19 when the U-boat attacked. The loss of the ship became especially famous because of the story of the … Continue reading The Immortal Chaplains of S.S. Dorchester

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria. He showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court but grew restless and traveled in search … Continue reading Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Today is the first “random stamp day” of the New Year. In fact, it’s the first such entry since the end of November 2018. This is a day on which I cannot match a single anniversary (event, birthday, etc.) with a stamp in my collection. For example, on this date in 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense which advocated independence from Great Britain to people … Continue reading Pinnochio

The Birth Anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien

There are many days where it can be difficult to find a single stamp in my collection to match an anniversary of an event, a birth, or occasionally a death on a particular date. When this occurs, I usually pick a “random stamp” portraying something not usually associated with a date such as an animal, fruit or place. However, there are days when I need … Continue reading The Birth Anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien

A Month of Christmas: Santa’s Around-the-World Journey by Sleigh on Christmas Eve

As I write this, it’s almost 8:00 p.m. Christmas Eve here in Thailand and Santa Claus has already begun his long series of flights delivering gifts to all of the good boys and girls in every corner of the world. This journey, via his technologically-advanced sleigh pulled by a total of nine reindeer (including the famous guide, Rudolph) will cover an estimated  316,899,308 miles (510,000,000 … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Santa’s Around-the-World Journey by Sleigh on Christmas Eve