Thursday, September 02, 2004

Feynman Is About to Come on Postage Stamps

After a long while I revisited the "Friends of Tuva" website, and found the news "Feynman stamp to become a reality in 2005." The news had a link to a web page at the site. The article on that page, dated August 14, 2004, has the title "Fonda, Garbo, Headline Stamps," and carries the photo of the actress Greta Garbo.

Patiently reading the paragraphs of the article down, down, down, ... to the seventh paragraph, I finally found the name of the Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918—1988). This is because the media first write about celebrities (famous persons in the entertainment business). Deplorably to scientists, non-celebrities come second. Anyway, it is a piece of highly good news for me, one of many Feynman fans. Other scientists who are coming on stamps in 2005 are the geneticist Barbara McClintock (1902—1992), the thermodynamicist Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839—1903) and the mathematician John von Neumann (1903—1957).

Dave Failor, the executive director of Stamp Services for the U.S. Postal Service, is cited to have said, "These four American scientists that we picked out are people that have had a tremendous impact on our history and on our culture over the years." I am one of those who sent a letter to recommend Feynman for the postage stamp through Friends of Tuva. My letter seems to have had an infinitesimally small but finite effect on the decision to include Feynman in the 2005 U.S. stamp program.


  1. Congratulations! I can imagine how happy you are with this news. Inspired by your writings, I started looking for the famous books by Mr. Feynman. I?m going to try the library at a local university today for the English version of ?Surely You?re Joking Mr. Feynman?.

    BTW, thank you for the links to my blogs. (I feel a little embarrassed, though, because my blog is not academic or intellectually stimulating at all.) May I make links to your homepage and blog from my ?watercolor painting? blog which has a section for recommended links?

  2. > Obachan --- I'm glad to hear that my essays are making you a Feynman fan. You need not feel embarrassed about my links to your websites. My websites are not limited to academic things, and I like to make overseas people to learn about Japanese cultures and the presence of non-stereotypical persons in Japan.

    Of course, I should be happy getting links to my web pages at your blog site. I made "Links: Recommended" section at my blog site by duplicating "Links" section in the template and modifying it.

    BTW, an apostrophe and quotation marks (possibly "smart" ones) in your comment above appear as question marks on my browser, and I cannot change them into the characters as you intended, by any choice of the character set on the browser menu. --- Tatsu

    P.S. We are sometimes writing comments not directly related to the blog posted. It might be useful for us to know e-mail addresses each other. I'm showing my e-mail address in my profile section of this blog site for some days. So please send me a message by e-mail, if you like to do so. T.T.

  3. P. S. (2) You can send me an e-mail message by going to "my complete profile" page and clicking "E-mail" in the Contact section.