Sunday, May 08, 2016

Week #2016.18 on SébPhilatélie and France Inter

This past week, almost all articles have their version in French and English, but two:

Thursday 5 May: ships on Chine stamps, a way to show power.
Stamped corner of a postcard from the People's Republic of China.
After Gauthier Toulemonde's new special issue on geopolicy, an article about the expanding sea power of the People's Republic of China. The French journalist discovered that former French colony and current French military base, Djibouti, was to host a Chinese facility in the international operation against piracy from Somalian pirates.

I found back in my archives French news article on how the small Pacific islands states and Sri Lanka were courted by Beijing, in competition to other regional, and even, world power.

These stamps I received on a Postcrossing exchange show an Arctic research vessel of Chinare, the Chinese Administration on Arctic and Antarctic (issued 2014) and an oil refinery ship from a 2013 three stamp series on off shore oil production.

Sunday 8 May at 9am: Cinderella for a counterfactual history book.
Cover of the 2011 edition of Niall Ferguson's book (
As a lover of uchrony/alternate history, I am interested in the historians who have tried counterfactual history: to study the documents and facts of past events and tried, by imagining that History could have gone elsewhere, to understand how it would have been possible or impossible, forced by certain choices. The objective being to weight the actors, their choice, etc.

To promote the reedition of 1997 counterfactual history book Virtual History by British historian Niall Ferguson, Penguin ordered a recreation of British 1929 Universal Postal Congress stamp into a Nazi 1949 Universal Postal Congress with the effigy of Aldolf Hitler... Sure to catch the eye of a philatelist.

And as I was browsing for philatelic intelligence:

Sunday 8 May at 6am: Gauthier Toulemonde launch new media offensive.
Cover of the second special Le Dessous des timbres [Underneath the stamps]issue on "The unbelievable French presence in the world" (Timbropresse webstore).
On the model of the first special issue last Autumn-early Winter, editor-in-chief Gauthier Toulemonde made his first appearance on a French national media to promote philately and the second special issue on the French presence in the world through - and I only quote a few examples - stamps of the French post offices in Greece or Ethopia, history on how the French interferd in local affairs of many continents and some anecdotes on French dreamers trying to seize empty territories for themselves.

This morning he was interviewed by Dorothée Barba in the early morning broadcast of national public radio France Inter between 6:17 to almost 7am: anecdotes on stamps and geopolicy mainly, and why do the adventurer want to live and telework from desert island (an experiment he will do again next October).

Because of the heated French debate on the Labour Law reforms, he was asked about remuneration inequalities, the indeterminate work contract (CDI) he prefers as a small firm boss, and what his view on working conditions are.

And at 11.30am in France, let's remember Victory against totalitarism in 1945 and tomorrow reflect on why we need stronger European Union and United Nations.

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