Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cover on a Cover

This week I was honored to see some of my small contributions to the philatelic world published in the French journal, Doar Ivri #9, Mai-Aout 2007:

It's published by Cercle Francais Philatelique d'Israel, & the current president is Jean-Paul Danon, who also authored the 2-page article entitled "Tirage de la Serie 'Nouvel An 1948'".

On the cover is a photo of an envelope in my collection, covered by Jerusalem "24-10-1948" postmarks, & 2 semi-rare blocks of LMLK stamps including margin/gutter elements.

Because of a miniscule notch in the blue band of the 5-mil block, we can positively identify not only the pane of these 2 stamps (#6), but their exact position on the sheet of 300 stamps: K02 & K03 (with the margin being K01).

Furthermore, the contents were addressed to a lady-soldier, Miriam Eichelberg, at the Ramat David army base near Nahalal. (Thanks to the father of the anonymous antiquities collector in Boston for this translation of her name!)

The back of the cover (shown on the Table of Contents page in the photo above) was also covered by 2 more of the same marks used on the front, plus a "26-10-1948" Tel Aviv mark, & a rare army postmark for Doar Tzvai (DAR $BAY) the same day, "26-X-48".

But none of those interesting tidbits made me acquire this envelope! The real reason I bought it was that right now, the serial number on the 10-mil block represents the lowest-known number for the 10-mil sheets: 26160 (pane 4 would be 05160). And that's the main focus of Jean-Paul's article on pp. 188-9.

In the photo of these 2 pages above, you can see a large blue 20-mil sheet-heart from my collection, which currently represents the lowest-known sheet number for that denomination: 79504/100504 (pane 4 would be 16504).

Below this you can see another record-setting specimen for the 5-mil sheets in Jean-Paul's collection, a tete-beche pair with the lowest-known number for it: 33536 (pane 4 would be 12536).

The highest-known 5-mil number is in my collection, but not shown in the article--a tete-beche with margin attached: 121493.

At the bottom of p. 188 is a rare imperforate tete-beche from the 65-mil sheets. By tracking which serial numbers have imperf gutters, we can learn clues related to their rarity. This particular configuration was limited to a group of about 100 sheets (not mentioned in the article because my research is ongoing).

The top of p. 189 contains the lowest-known 65-mil supplementary printing sheet number from the collection of Victor Silver: 124513 (pane 4 would be 19513). This block has another rare feature--the pinhole pair in the margin is shifted to a slightly different position than that seen on most sheets. Rather than straddling the perforation line, they appear well-centered in cell H01.

Congratulations to Jean-Paul Danon for being elected president of C.F.P.I., for his excellent contributions to this publication, & for winning a gold medal at the FFAP (Federation Francaise des Associations Philateliques) national exhibition in Poitiers last week!

Song of the week: "Close Cover" by Wim Mertens (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 25-second sample; 328kb).
G.M. Grena

Sunday, June 17, 2007

June 13th To Be Exact

Some months ago, I had heard about an ocean's worth of water discovered below eastern Asia. It's not enough to cover the 1/3rd of exposed land on Earth, but it is a significant quantity heretofore unknown, roughly the size of the Arctic Ocean. But what really put a smile on my face this afternoon as I read the story published February 28th (2007) at, was the graphic of Earth's interior that conveyed essentially the same message as Fig. 4 on p. 46 of my "Evolution Science" book (which went to press over a month before this amazing discovery):

"Inside Earth: Scientists don't know exactly what lies below..."

Also notice that their drawing isn't to scale, but mine is! Of course, no one expects scientists to be as accurate or reliable as the Bible has been. One day we're told by atheists that the global flood recorded in Genesis can't be historical because only 2/3rd's of Earth's surface is covered by water today; yet the next day (June 13th of this year to be exact), we're told that 1/3rd of Mars' barren surface was once covered by an ocean that no longer exists--it simply vanished beneath the surface!

Progress! (Note that I touched upon this controversial subject on pp. 272-4 of "Evolution Science".)

In 1932, the president of the Royal College of Surgeons said that no one had done more than Henry Wellcome to make progress possible in the art & science of medicine (The Wellcome Research Institution, London: The Wellcome Foundation Ltd., 1934, p. 16). In 1936, he was eulogized as American pharmacy's gift to the world (E.F. Kelly, Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association 25, 1936, pp. 888-9). To those of us interested in Biblical archeology, Wellcome's name will always be synonymous with the groundbreaking (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) excavation work done at Lachish from 1932-1938.

But this week (again, June 13th to be exact), the institute bearing his name punctuated another important discovery in the history of Evolution Science.

For many years, evolutionists have preached that humans evolved from an apelike ancestor, & the similarity of the human genome to that of modern apes proves it. They commonly quote a 90-something (usually 98) percent similarity, but what they don't tell you is that this percentage spans only a miniscule portion of the genome that has been analyzed--the rest/majority is unknown. Like the unknown interior of Earth, they don't like to discuss these unknown regions, or mention plainly how little we know about it. This week's report came as a pleasant/refreshing surprise:

"A major study of the organization and regulation of the human genome published today changes our concept of how our genome works. The integrated study is an exhaustive analysis of 1% of the genome that, for the first time, gives an extensive view of genetic activity alongside the cellular machinery that allows DNA to be read and replicated."

Wow! An exhaustive analysis of a whoppin' 1 (i.e., one) percent! Please tell me more, Mr. Smart-Scientist-Person-Who-Knows-For-Sure-That-Humans-Evolved-From-Apelike-Ancestors-Instead-Of-Being-Created-By-A-Very-Good-God (in this case, played by Drs. Tim Hubbard, Manolis Dermitzakis, Ian Dunham, & Francis Collins):

"...our perspective of transcription and genes may have to evolve ... RNA transcripts overlap known genes and are found in what were previously thought to be gene 'deserts'. A major surprise was that many of the novel control regions are not shared with other species, but restricted to our human genome ... There is every expectation that a great deal more will be revealed as the project scales to the whole genome. Although much that is new has been discovered, much yet remains to be understood. ... The role of the massive new numbers of RNA transcripts is unknown. And the function of the large number of control elements is yet to be elucidated. ... the scientific community will need to rethink some long-held views about what genes are and what they do, as well as how the genome's functional elements have evolved."

Rethink indeed! The article states that 1% of the human genome sequence represents a mere 30,000,000 (thirty million) DNA base pairs. The fact that they're arranged in a sensible, productive order plainly indicates a building operation, not a random, purposeless assortment as mandated by Evolution Science.

"Every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God."--Hebrews 3:4

But according to evolutionists who claim to be masters of our genetic "house" after examining only 1% of it, given the right circumstances, there's a chance the 3,000,000,000 (three billion) pieces of the "house" might have simply been struck by lightning in some primordial soup, & then 1/3rd of the soup vanished...

...and, God Almighty, have you seen what's happened since? Jesus, it's amazing how it goes...

Song of the week: "Master of the House" by Les Miserables Dream Cast (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 31-second sample; 393kb).
G.M. Grena

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Buried Treasure & Treasured Bronze

It's more than a year old, but I've been meaning to cite this blog & keep forgetting--today I remembered: "Jerusalem Graves and the Politics of Archaeology" by Bible Dudes:

"...the latest controversy involves new Muslim graves along the eastern wall of the Temple Mount. This area, it seems, is one of the few places where archaeologists can see remnants of First Temple period, such as LMLK seals..."

Coincidences being what they are, those Muslim graves resurfaced the previous week this year in this article by Haaretz:

"...senior archaeologists including Ehud Netzer, Ronny Reich, Ephraim Stern, Gabriel Barkai and Eilat Mazar, lobbied heavily to ban burials in the area. The area runs 800 meters, 650 meters of which are north and south of the Lion's Gate and Mercy Gate, and are occupied by Muslim cemeteries. The southern edge of the southern cemetery is marked by an old fence. From that fence to the southeast tip of the Temple Mount is an 80 by 35 meter stretch designated as an antiquities site. Muslims began using the area for burial a few years ago. The police have identified 21 graves, 39 empty graves and 35 plots ... British archaeologist Charles Warren, who excavated there 140 years ago, found cornerstones for the five lowest layers of construction built into a layer of terra rosa, which includes remains from the First Temple. The first sealing rings stamped 'for the King,' found in Israel, dated to late 8th Century B.C.E., were found in the red soil."

They quote Gabriel Barkay in a petition stating, "Muslim burial on the site, which was never a cemetery in the past, could end any possibility of excavating the area in the future, as has been done at the foot of the southern wall and the bottom of part of the Western Wall." featured LMLK jars indirectly this week (1Chronicles 4:23) in one of their morning devotionals by the so-called "Prince of Preachers", Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892):

"Potters were the very highest grade of workers, but 'the king' needed potters, and therefore they were in royal service, although the material upon which they worked was nothing but clay. We, too, may be engaged in the most menial part of the Lord's work, but it is a great privilege to do anything for 'the king'; and therefore we will abide in our calling, hoping that, 'although we have lien among the pots, yet shall we be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.' The text tells us of those who dwelt among plants and hedges, having rough, rustic, hedging and ditching work to do. They may have desired to live in the city, amid its life, society, and refinement, but they kept their appointed places, for they also were doing the king's work. The place of our habitation is fixed, and we are not to remove from it out of whim and caprice, but seek to serve the Lord in it, by being a blessing to those among whom we reside. These potters and gardeners had royal company, for they dwelt 'with the king' and although among hedges and plants, they dwelt with the king there. No lawful place, or gracious occupation, however mean, can debar us from communion with our divine Lord. In visiting hovels, swarming lodging-houses, workhouses, or jails, we may go with the king. In all works of faith we may count upon Jesus' fellowship. It is when we are in his work that we may reckon upon his smile. Ye unknown workers who are occupied for your Lord amid the dirt and wretchedness of the lowest of the low, be of good cheer, for jewels have been found upon dunghills ere now, earthen pots have been filled with heavenly treasure, and ill weeds have been transformed into precious flowers. Dwell ye with the King for his work, and when he writes his chronicles your name shall be recorded."

Considering the importance of these artifacts, it's amazing that you can still buy some for about $100 each. During this past week, a single bronze statue fetched $28,600,000 (twenty-eight million, six-hundred thousand dollars) in a record-setting antiquities auction. Though I readily admit that it's a beautiful work of art, it's just a statue with no direct bearing on history other than being one of many representations of a mythological character (Artemis).

Coincidences being what they are, that price tag is only slightly more than the total cost of the newly opened Creation Museum (estimated at a mere $27M, but valued at more like $100M after subtracting volunteers & non-profit donations). It's just amazing that someone with that amount of money would spend it on a single chunk of bronze with little historical/educational value, when so much more could be done with it.

To counterbalance this strange transaction, consider purchasing a commemorative bronze coin from Answers in Genesis. Unlike the statue of Artemis, it's affordable ($19.95), promotes The King's work (preserving the Biblical record amidst a degenerate, heathen, sinful culture), & represents a historic occasion: the first time in history that a major museum has presented the study of our origins from a Biblical bias side-by-side on an equal playing field with the atheistic bias that dominates every other major museum in the world!

For those who still think that young-Earth creationism is to be belittled due to its minority view among degreed/credentialed scientists, this week National Geographic presented an article about feathered dinosaurs in which Alan Feduccia, a bird evolution expert at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, stated emphatically, "...if science operates by a majority view, we're in serious trouble."

Or you could spend a little more (~5x) & buy a broken old jar handle that represents the turning point of human history--the reign of King Hezekiah--without which, there might not have been any Jewish (Old Testament) Bible written/preserved, without which, there might not have been any Christian (New Testament) Bible written/preserved, without which, there might not have been any Muslim (False Testament) Quran written/preserved.

Without which, there would probably not be any issue over Muslim graves today.

Song of the week: "The Fortune" by Angel (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 30-second sample; 393kb).
G.M. Grena