Life Sentence

Random thoughts about publishing, stamp collecting, politics, popular music of the 60s and 70s, mooses, and my motley other obsessions.

Monday, November 28, 2005

JUMP at Home

"Daddy, I can't figure out this math homework." Dreaded words. Not because I dread the math (I like math and like trying to teach it to my kids), but rather because I have problems with how it is being taught, and because the textbooks are dreadful.

"Can you show me how they subtracted 16 from 34 and got 28? I don't get it." I look where she's pointing. Sure enough, the example in the book is 34 - 16 = 28. (JUMP at Home, Grade 5, Number Sense 1, page 46, if anyone cares.)

We work through the questions on that page together. She turns the page. The example on the next page is 56 - 18 = 18. (That one's on page 47.) I hit the roof. Leah says, "why are they getting all the answers wrong, Daddy?"

I look at the page more closely. It is full of tiny copy editing mistakes, and occasional not-so-tiny ones too.

So I looked up "JUMP at Home" on the net, and was floored at what I found:

Anansi is one of the most careful publishers in the country. What in hell is going on? Presumably this is just some sort of distribution deal -- but how can someone like Anansi put their name on the sort of math book where 56 - 18 = 18?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fournier and Fiji

I've been having fun trying to make sense of these one shilling Fijians. The problem is that Fournier made "very deceptive" forgeries of this stamp. The forgeries are perf 11 or 11 x 11.5, which means the top row here are ok -- they are all other perf combinations. (The Sydney receiver on the first stamp was a big clue to genuineness too.) Row 2 are perf 11 x 11.8; row 3 are perf 11.

Bill Claghorn has the Fiji Fourniers illustrated here. Serrane describes how to identify them: "the shading lines are not congruent and there is a very large blank space forming a spot". Ummmmmmm. That's a translation from the French. Could anyone provide a translation from the "English"? Does Serrane mean the shading at the base of the bust? There is more white space down there on most of my iffy ones than there is on any of the known genuines.

Serrane also says that the genuine ones are 27mm high, and the forgeries are 26.75mm high. All ten of mine are just a shade under 27mm high -- but not as little as 26.75mm. So do I conclude they are all genuine?

Serrane also points out that many Fourniers are postmarked "NOAPOPIPOR 5 MAR 02 FIJI", which is a Madame Joseph postmark. None of mine have that or any other Madame Joseph postmark, though a couple of them (row 2 stamp 2 and row 3 stamp 2) have identical, dubious-looking SUVA cancels.

I'm leaning towards a conclusion that all 10 of mine are genuine, but with no confidence whatever. Anyone?

(For a higher-res scan of my stamps, click here. )

Later: David Benson looked at the image and thinks they are all genuine, but I'm not convinced. I think I may have figured them out. Look at row 2 stamps 1 and 2 and row 3 stamps 1 and 4. All the stamps except those four have shading that goes right to the base of the neck. Those four stamps have about two fewer shading lines at the bottom of the bust. I think those four are likely Fourniers. I wish Bill Claghorn was around. He always knows the answers to questions like this. But I haven't seen him online for a couple of weeks. Billlllllllll!

Later still: Mystery solved, I think. From the Catalogue Fiji website:
The government of Fiji also made stamps for stamp collectors by applying a cancel to them. The cancels used were a circle with 'SUVA 15 DEC 00' and 'SUVA DE 9 19 01'.
Row 2 stamp 2 and row 3 stamp 2 have the remainder cancel. And row 2 stamp 2 was one of the ones I was sure was a Fournier. It isn't. So the other three that look like it presumably aren't either. So David was right. They're (probably) all genuine. How boring of them! Posted by Picasa