Monday, June 25, 2007

SmartStamps

You may probably know what is SmartStamp. This is a service started some times ago by Royal Mail which allows you, for a fee of £4,99 for one month (or £49,99 for one year) to print your own stamps directly on a cover. You can read more about this service by clicking here.
The result is a sort of meter stamp which contains a security matrix and an indication of the mail class. More recently, Royal Mail has added the possibility to add a logo, or a picture, in order to customize the stamp. This idea is primarily for companies so that they can include their logo on their mail. Karim, a fellow reader of my blog, had the nice idea to produce a SmartStamp just for me. And he chose to include a picture of… guess what ?… a frog, of course ! Here is the cover I received few days ago.


Thanks a lot for this cover, Karim. I think the result is really nice. I do not know if there are collectors who collect such illustrated SmartStamp. After all, this is like the personalized stamps, the number of possibilities is infinite, as you can produce the stamp as you like.

I wanted to add a few words about the frog that is pictured on the SmartStamp from Karim. This is a Poison dart frog. It is sometimes called Poison arrow frog, dart frog or poison frog. In fact this is a common name given to the group of frogs belonging to the family Dendrobatidae. These frogs can be found in Central and South America. The reference to “arrow” or “dart” in their name is due to the fact that those frogs are used by South American tribes for the preparation of the poison that they put on their arrows or blow-gun darts.
These frogs are usually very colourful, as the one shown on the cover. This is a way to warn the eventual predator that there is a danger to touch or eat this frog. The skin colour can range from bright orange and black to blue or yellowThe poison is coming from numerous alkaloids contained in the skin of the frog. Only a few types contain poison that can kill human beings by entering through cuts or the mouth. The poison is like curare and affects the heart. The Golden Poison Dart frog (Phyllobates terribilis) is reputedly the deadliest creature in the world with enough poison in it to kill ten humans.

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