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Also available - EMOTIONAL MANAGEMENT FOR ORDINARY FOLK
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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
6th May 1840: The Penny Black is introduced
The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It first was issued in Great Britain on 1 May 1840, for official use from 6 May of that year. It features a profile of Queen Victoria.
In 1837, British postal rates were high, complex and anomalous. To simplify matters, Sir Rowland Hill proposed an adhesive stamp to indicate pre-payment of postage. At the time it was normal for the recipient to pay postage on delivery, charged by the sheet and on distance traveled. By contrast, the Penny Black allowed letters of up to half an ounce (14g) to be delivered at a flat rate of one penny, regardless of distance.
Hill was given a two-year contract to run the new system, and together with Henry Cole he announced a competition to design the new stamps. There were some 2,600 entries, but none was considered suitable; instead a rough design endorsed by Hill was chosen, featuring an easily recognisable profile of the former Princess Victoria. Hill believed this would be difficult to forge. An envelope bearing a reproduction of a design created by the artist William Mulready was also issued.
The portrait of Victoria was engraved by Charles Heath and his son Frederick, based on a sketch provided by Henry Corbould. Corbould's sketch was in turn based on the 1834 cameo-like head by William Wyon, which was used on a medal to commemorate the Queen's visit to the City of London in 1837. This portrait of Victoria remained on British stamps until her death in 1901, although by then she was 81 years old. All British stamps still bear a portrait or silhouette of the monarch somewhere on the design. They are the only postage stamps in the world that do not indicate a country of origin; the monarch's image symbolises the United Kingdom.
Initially, Hill specified that the stamps should be 3/4 inch square, but altered the dimensions to 3/4 inch wide by 7/8 inch tall (approx 19 x 22 mm) to accommodate the writing at the bottom. The word "POSTAGE" at the top of the design distinguishes it from a revenue stamp, which had long been used in the UK; "ONE PENNY." at the bottom shows the amount pre-paid for postage of the stamped letter. The background to the portrait consists of finely engraved engine turnings. The two upper corners hold Maltese crosses with radiant solar discs at their centres; the lower corner letters show the position of the stamp in the printed sheet, from "A A" at top left to "T L" at bottom right. The sheets, printed by Perkins Bacon, consisted of 240 stamps in 20 rows of 12 columns. One full sheet cost 240 pence or one pound; one row of 12 stamps cost a shilling. As the name suggests, the stamp was printed in black ink. A two penny stamp printed in blue and covering the double-letter rate (up to an ounce) was issued on 8 May 1840.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Business promotional work
Shift 1 of the Weekend Job
Twitter Followers = 2,224 (up 1)
Never-followed unfollowers eliminated = 2
Followed unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 0
Spammers not followed back = 3
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
I went to bed last night DETERMINED not to indulge any boners, no matter how raging, overnight. Sure enough I had both urine boners and standard boners and ignored them all other than urinating overnight. I have also got into the habit of removing cat food overnight to discourage tomcats Both these moves were great successes - I slept better, didn't soak the bed with my own sweat and this morning the house didn't stink of tomcat piss. Our own cats have nevertheless taken to sleeping with us rather than risk confrontations!
I remain convinced that an orgasm-a-day is good for you, but not at the expense of sleep, so I have them in the evenings with Missus or daytime on my own - or both! For solo sessions I have now invested in an inexpensive artificial vagina - not because I am in any way frustrated or looking for new thrills, but purely to save my wrist! Everything takes longer these days and with declining muscle tone, fingers, wrists and arm were starting to complain.
The investment has proved sound. There is much less strain on the muscles as you thrust rather than stroke and orgasms arrive considerably faster, making the experience pleasant again after starting to become a chore. Unsure of what the reaction of Missus and Son would be, I haven't informed them of this new toy. They may ultimately find out, but for the time being I'm happy to be furtive.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Are you making yourself unhappy by repressing the real you?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Dry, cloudy, mild
1015 millibars and falling
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
She said she hates my analogies and wishes I would communicate like a normal person, which is like telling a samurai not to use his sword :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Mock The Week - Frankie Boyle's best bits - wonderful!
In Ancient Times, people were very worried about the population declining. In ancient Greece, Solon (638-538 B.C.) once contemplated making marriage compulsory, and in Athens under Pericles (495-429 B.C.), bachelors were excluded from certain public positions. In Sparta, single and childless men were treated with scorn. In ancient Rome, Augustus (63 B.C.-A.D. 14) passed drastic laws compelling people to marry and penalized those who remained single.
9. ZEN WISDOM
When we have a genuine sense that, no matter how difficult our present circumstances, we are not alone - that we are vitally connected with others and with the world - we will, without fail, rise up to the challenge of living victoriously.