Thursday, 23 December 2010

Scientists produce 'world's smallest Christmas card'

Scientists have produced what they believe is the world's smallest Christmas card.

It was created by nantotechnologists at the University of Glasgow and is so small it could fit on to the surface of a postage stamp 8,276 times.















Prof David Cumming said: "Our nanotechnology is among the best in the world but sometimes explaining to the public what the technology is capable of can be a bit tricky."

"We decided that producing this Christmas card was a simple way to show just how accurate our technology is."

Source: BBC News



Friday, 17 December 2010

Jesus and Mo at Christmas

Our Atheist and Secular Christmas card offerings have been woeful this year... Sorry.

Please do visit Jesus and Mo for joyful images such as these:
















































Jesus and Mo   (sadly not available at Cool Cards)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Operation Holly. Turkey or Porridge? Cops send Crim-bo cards to the worst offenders

CHRISTMAS cards warning criminals they could end up “doing porridge” instead of eating turkey are being sent out by police in Wales.














The greetings, personally signed by detectives, will be hand-delivered to the most prolific offenders across Cardiff in the coming days.

Featuring a stark picture of a man lying on a cell bunk next to a stainless steel toilet and a tinsel-covered tree, the greeting inside warns known burglars and thieves they could spend Christmas Day behind bars if they fail to show good will to all men.

Detective Inspector Tudor Thomas said the cards served as a timely reminder and deterrent to those who might be tempted to break the law as the season’s financial pressures build.
“Those who ignore our message could find themselves spending the festive season in one of our cells,” he added.

The greeting inside the cards warns: “Don’t be a turkey this Christmas; South Wales Police are continuing their operation against persistent offenders. Season’s greetings from South Wales Police.”

They are just one of the many measures – including increasing police patrols by putting back-office staff on the beat – which are part of the city’s Christmas crime crackdown, known as Operation Holly.

Detectives across Cardiff will be given cards to send to those who commit the most crimes in their area.
Det Insp Thomas, from Roath and Cathays CID, said: “We have an effective and successful offender management unit, which monitors convicted criminals who are now out of prison.
“Many of these people have stopped committing crime; however, we know that there are extra financial pressures and temptations at this time of year so the cards serve as an additional reminder.”

Police have acknowledged that although the latest Home Office figures show burglaries are down 15.1% compared to the same period last year, break-ins traditionally increase in the run-up to Christmas as criminals know people have presents and other valuables at home.
Det Insp Thomas added: “The cards might seem light-hearted, but the image on the front is the reality and they carry a very serious message.”

Source: Wales Online

Secular Xmas cards

Secular Xmas cards are a sign that ‘Christ is being airbrushed out of Christmas’

"A SURVEY carried out by the Daily Mail reveals that less than one per cent of cards stocked by supermarkets have religious themes.
Some had no cards at all with religious references in their extensive ranges.


Customers are far more likely to choose this sort of card at Xmas
The paper visited major outlets of the big four supermarkets – Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons – in seven towns and cities.
Out of 5,363 cards sold individually or in multipacks, just 45 featured Christian scenes such as the Nativity – 0.8 per cent.
The “worst offender” was Morrisons, which had six out of a range of 973 cards, or 0.6 per cent.
Second “worst” was Tesco, despite chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, a practising Catholic, writing to a customer in October to tell her:
We have increased the number of Christmas cards that will be available with a religious theme this year.
Dr Don Horrocks, of the Evangelical Alliance, said supermarkets were:
Airbrushing Christ out of Christmas.There has been a rise in cards that say ‘Season’s greetings’ or ‘Happy holidays’ which is evidence of the speeding up of the trend of stripping the religion out of Christian festivals.
Stephen “Birdshit” Green, the solitary voice of Christian Voice, added:
The situation is caused by managers subscribing to political correctness and the idea that in some way Christian cards are offensive to other religions. This is simply not true.
Even Muslims have been jumping on the bandwagon. Anas Altikriti, of the Muslim Association of Britain, said he was “worried” at the increasing secularisation of Britain.
People who are looking for proper choice of Christmas cards should raise it with the store manager.
The Mail was contacted by a Tesco customer earlier this week who said her local store in Ely, Cambridgeshire, had just a “handful” of cards with religious themes last year – and still had only three out of 67 last month, despite a personal assurance from Sir Terry.
After she had repeatedly contacted customer services, she received a letter from the company chief. She moaned:
Sir Terry promised more cards this year. But the selection of cards with anything relating to the true meaning of Christmas was tiny, so he has not kept his word.
Tesco said it had doubled the range of religiously themed cards this year but refused to give numbers, saying they “vary from store to store”.
An Asda spokesman said:
We sell five different Christmas cards that have religious sentiment and traditional designs.
And Morrisons said:
We stock types of cards that appeal to our customers.
A Sainsbury’s spokesman added:
The ranges that appear in our stores reflect what our customers want to buy.";


Saddened by the lack of religious xmas cards? 




Dutch Elm Conservatoire come up with new greeting card slogans.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Mechanicards : mailable scultptures by Brad Litwin

MechaniCards™ are miniature, hand-operated, kinetic sculptures, designed and produced in limited edition by Bradley N. Litwin.   

Each one is hand made, numbered and signed by the artist.   
They are constructed primarily from paperboard, with a few bits of wood, metal, or plastic. 
They make excellent gifts, and are suitable for mailing, as truly unique greeting cards.  Each piece comes with complete instructions and display recommendations. 
They are also available as do-it-yourself construction kits.




Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects

Come on, let's get creative people..!



"W. Reginald Bray (1879-1939) was an avid collector who amassed stamps, postmarks, train tickets, and girlfriends, and who, after reading the entire British Post Office Guide, impishly determined to take the rules as challenges. He tried posting an unimaginable array of things, to see whether the post office would deliver them. Apparently, at the time, the smallest item that could be posted was a bee, and the largest an elephant. Bray seems to have tried most things in between. At one point or another, he mailed a bowler hat, a rabbit skull (the address spelled out on the nasal bone, and the stamps pasted to the back), a purse, a slipper, a clothes brush, seaweed, shirt collars, a penny, a turnip (address and message carved into the durable tuber), an Irish Terrier, and a pipe, among other curios.

Perhaps most remarkably, he posted himself, becoming the first man to send a human through the mail in 1900, and then, through registered mail, in 1903. Tingey’s book includes a picture of Bray being delivered to his own doorstep—presumably the sort of package likely to please the lady of the house.
And Bray did not stop there. He sent postcards crocheted by his mother. He made out address fields in cryptic verse, or to the inhabitants of empty caves, or describing only the latitude and longitude of the destination, or with a picture of the location to which the article was meant to be delivered (see, in the slideshow below, the postcard made out to “The Resident Nearest This Rock,” for example). He threw messages into bottles and solicited the world’s largest collection of autographs, including ones from Gary Cooper and Laurence Olivier, Charlie Chaplain and Maurice Chevalier."

Book available from: Amazon (UK)

Friday, 3 September 2010

World first for Royal Mail - 'intelligent' stamp

The Royal Mail has launched the world's first "intelligent" stamp, the first to work with image recognition technology.

The stamp, part of the Royal Mail's latest Great British Railways edition, will launch online content via an iPhone or Android smartphone.

Users place the camera over the stamp, which then launches the online content.



The Royal Mail said intelligent stamps "mark the next step in the evolution of our stamps, bringing them firmly into the 21st Century."

People can use the stamps via the Junaio application, which contains a Royal Mail channel which activates the phone's camera.

Royal Mail has created a short film of Bernard Cribbins reading WH Auden's poem Night Mail for the launch, first made famous in the 1936 documentary film of the same name about the London to Glasgow postal train.

Mr Cribbins said: "WH Auden wrote the Night Mail poem in 1936 for the Post Office's own blockbuster film of the same name, which has for years remained in the hearts and minds of many.

The application is available in the iTunes store and Android Market free of charge.

The Royal Mail's Philip Parker said: "This is the first time a national postal service has used this kind of technology on their stamps and we're very excited to be bringing intelligent stamps to the nation's post.

"Royal Mail's special stamps mark key events and anniversaries in the UK's heritage through a programme which aims to be both educational and informative.

"Through Intelligent Stamp technology, our stamps will open up to a whole new world of information, interest and fun to collectors and the millions of people who will receive them on letters in the coming months alike."

The technology will also be made available on selected future special stamps.

Source: BBC - Yorkshire Evening Post
Also: Night Mail

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Friday, 13 August 2010

Keep in touch

Nothing to do with greeting cards... but a thought provoking piece which reminds us to keep in touch with friends and reaffirm relationships...



Keep in touch with Cool Cards

Monday, 7 June 2010

It beggars belief...

Hallmark have been selling a graduation card for three years... but have now withdrawn it from sale. Why?

"And you black holes, you are so ominous. Watch your back," the card vocalizes.








"That was very demeaning to African American women. When it made reference to African American women as whores and at the end, it says 'watch your back,'" said Leon Jenkins of the Los Angeles NAACP.

When Hallmark was reached by phone, they said the card is all a misunderstanding. The card's theme is the solar system and emphasizes the power of the grad to take over the universe, even energy-absorbing black holes.

The card company says the card speaks about the power the grad will wield.

"The intent here is to say that this graduate is not afraid of anything," explained Hallmark spokesman Steve Doyal.

But that's not what some people heard.

"You hear the 'r' in there. 'Whores,' not, 'holes.' The 'r' is in there," said Minnie Hatley of the Los Angeles NAACP.
"

Source: ABC

Friday, 7 May 2010

Greeting Card Writer

We've posted this before but it's due a review... Just to remind you how very, very, hard it is to write a great card verse.

Design Idea - Song Lyrics

Music Philosophy

Mico is a designer. He likes music and typography.
So he combined them on this Project because he had nothing better to do.

"Music Philosophy is a weekly graphic/typographic interpretation of philosophical song quotes. All the posters look great as an iPhone desktop wallpaper, so feel free to download them. Hope you enjoy."


John Lennon


The Beatles


Michael Jackson


Rolling Stones


Music Philosophy

via: Aqua Velvet

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Ghana Postal Workers - Work Music

In praise of Postie: Creativity through monotony.
Joyful Posties at work stamping stamps, all the live long day.

Elise Moab Q&A: "Where and where was it created?

This particular piece is a field recording that was recorded by ethnomusicologist James Koetting in 1975. The music was created by the postal workers canceling stamps in the University of Ghana post office in Ghana.
The whistled part is from the hymn "Bompata," by the Ghanaian composer W.J. Akyeampong (b. 1900). This type of music is created daily as a normal part of life for the Africans in Ghana."





Vimeo version:

Cancelling Stamps in Ghana from Tim Foil on Vimeo.


MP3 version at WFMU.

Read a detailed account of the recording, featured in the book/CD Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World's Peoples

Multitasking man in action...



Thursday, 11 March 2010

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home - Since 1860

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home - 150th anniversary - Royal Mail Stamps

150 years of cruelly miniturising rescued animals to save on food and accomodation bills. Yet still celebrated, now with stamps, now with the Queen's approval... where will it end? It beggars belief.
How much longer can this be allowed to go on for?
Why do we all continue to turn a blind eye to all that goes on at the Battersea Dogs Home?

"we’re making a number of stamp issues available; each one beautifully capturing the richness and diversity of British heritage and culture." (Royal Mail)

With respect, are they bollocks. And, to put it mildly, it's a National Disgrace.
It is not part of British heritage or culture to shrink dogs to postage stamp size.



battersea_yapper_dog.jpg

(actual stamp size) Does that look normal to you?

"Leonard (above), a terrier, eventuallly less than 1cm tall, somewhat underweight and wary of people. He now lives with his new owners Claire and Pete in Maidenhead."(source)

---------------------------------------------



"Tigger, a tomcat, was brought into Battersea after his owner died. He now lives with his new owners Charlotte and Ciaran in London" (source)

His left wang eye is clearly visible. It may have been due to shrinkage.

---------------------------------------------


Two miniturised Battersea dogs together - both sat against actual sized postage stamps - a rare sight.

"Herbie, a mongrel, competes in nanoball competitions and has represented Battersea Dogs and Cats home in the sport. Tafka, a collie, ex-miner, came to Battersea because her owner died and now lives together with Herbie and their new owner Tamara in Berkshire! (source)


Sources:
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Royal Mail Special Special Stamps
The Guardian

Friday, 12 February 2010

Bald Guy Cards - Facts & Interview

Bald Guy Greetings: When you care enough to send a witty jest

Our Bald Guy Birthday cards are selling like proverbial hot cakes (where on earth can you buy hot cakes nowadays?).

We wanted to know more about the deviant brain geniuses behind the Bald Guy snark: Ian Kalman and Sean Farrell.

Little is known of Sean Farrell. What we have gleaned so far is that he is a multi-millionaire, eco-warrior, reclusive philanthropist, rides an original Moto Guzzi California and is an award-winning advertising art director who also designs movie posters for 20th Century Fox. But, disappointingly, not bald.

Ian Kalman, on the other hand, both genius writer and President of Bald Guy cards... is bald.
Well, not quite... Ian is one of those freakishly, throw-backishly hairy guys that has to shave more than once a day.

Prior to Bald Guy Ian wrote commercials for Budweiser before turning to soft drugs and hard shaving.

In order to sustain the Bald Guy corporate image Ian now shaves his head 4 times a day and it is only during these intensely creative and bitterly resented shaving periods that Ian stares deep into his shaving mirror and only then is able to develop and fine tune his greetings card snark.
Despite this Ian remains upbeat, "Shaving 4 times a day, it could be worse. Muslims have to pray 5 times a day on their knees, at least I can see what I'm doing..."

"Just this morning I snicked my ear whilst thinking about a special friend and came up with this..."

For my special friend
on your Birthday

inside:
Part of me calls you my special friend
because you're special to me.
But part of me calls you that
because it makes you sound retarded.




"We've been described as the "Anti-Hallmark" of greeting cards, but I like to think of Hallmark as the "Anti-Bald Guy Greetings" of greeting cards" said Ian.

---

Skinnymag journalist Jennifer Elks has this to say about the Bald Guy guys:

"Once upon a time, a man with a tremendously thick and beautiful mane of hair woke to find that it had all fallen out. Traumatized into a life of silence and mental instability, the only way he could communicate was through a series of cards he created ...

Never mind, I've got nothing. Actually, Ian Kalman and Sean Farrell - only one of whom is bald - are the men behind Bald Guy Greetings, a new local greeting card company with a wicked sense of humor. The "fake history" of the company was something they promised on their website, but it never appeared.

"I've been waiting a year for Ian to write that one," Farrell says. "I think he got a little too into writing the real history and got tired. It's longer than War and Peace."

Kalman, a Bay Area native and copywriter, met artist Farrell working at a local advertising agency in 1998. The two became friends but never collaborated on a project until Bald Guy Greetings. According to the real history of the company, they got their name from a friend who commented on Kalman's lack of hair. Shouldn't both of them be bald? You wouldn't want to mislead people.

"Not only is Sean not bald, he has a ridiculous amount of hair," Kalman says. "I've been trying to talk him into shaving it bald for the sake of our greeting cards, but he refuses.

The line includes a slew of birthday, get well, apology, anniversary and relationship cards, all with some kind of eloquent insult or back-handed compliment, as well as the first "you're welcome" card we've ever seen.

Other favorites include the "I'm sorry" card with "I still think it's your fault, but they don't make a card that says that" on the inside, "I was thinking of you the other day" / "But to be honest, I was thinking about a lot of people," and "Congratulations, you two" / "Regardless of what everyone says, I don't think either of you settled."

It almost seems a shame to create such a witty collection of cards when snail mail is dying a slow, painful death at the hands of email, taking away the personal touch that giving or sending a physical cards brings.

It's definitely dying, of course it is. We're a lazy society," Kalman says. "But when you get an actual, real card in the mail with a handwritten note in it, it means a lot more than getting an e-card. E-cards are just kind of a last-minute thing, but if I actually care about the person and I want to say something special, then I'll write them a card."

The two have come a long way from their humble beginning just before Christmas of 2005, with their first sale of cards made on an HP home printer. Though they've graduated to using a professional printer - the cards are still made locally, on recycled paper - they say they have some growing to do before Bald Guy can become a full-time gig.

"Bald Guy is just kind of a hobby right now, we both still freelance in advertising," Kalman says. "But my dream has always been for this to take off. I love it; we don't make any money doing it right now but it's so much fun."

"My dream would be to paint and sell my stuff for enough money to pay my dad back," Farrell says. "[But] I would love to see the line catch on so we can try some other things under the Bald Guy name," Farrell says. "I think the characters and the tone of the writing lends itself to a lot of different areas."

You many want to avoid sending Bald Guy cards to loved ones who don't have a sense of humor. Otherwise, "Get well soon" / "Before you become a financial burden on the entire family" might not go over well.

------

So now you know.

Bald Guy Cards @ Cool Cards

Friday, 5 February 2010

Cornwall man celebrates 110th birthday


"I don't know how it happened.
I never thought I'd get to this."


"Stanley Lucas, who was born on 15 January 1900 and now lives in a care home in Bude, has received seven birthday cards from the Queen.
He said: "I don't know how it happened. I never thought I'd get to this."
But he said his faith was important to him, he had an active life, and good care had helped.
'No half measures'
Mr Lucas, who was born in Morwenstow in north Cornwall, said he was too ill to serve in the armed forces during World War I, and he worked through both world wars as a farmer.
He was a member of Bude Town Council throughout the 1960s and was a keen bowler, still playing when he reached 100.
When asked if his Methodism was important in his life, he replied: "Yes very much so, and no half measures."
His daughter, Phyllis Stevens, said she had her own ideas about how he had made it to such a grand age.
She said: "It's down to hard work, good living, good plain food and good care."
Mr Lucas received his first birthday card from the Queen at the age of 100, and has continued to receive them since reaching 105"
Source: BBC

Happy Birthday Mr. Lucas..!

Edit: Stanley Lucas (15 January 1900 – 21 June 2010) from Bude, Cornwall was a British supercentenarian, he was the oldest living man verified in Europe. He was also the third-oldest man in the world.

The Pig of Happiness - Film

An original animated film by Edward Monkton. Watching it is likely to make you a happier person. Sharing it with your friends is likely to make them happier too. So spread the love & press play.




Voice by Geoffrey Palmer
Animation by Andy Veasey for Essence

Music by Simon Bass
Sound by Zak Kurtha and Scott Marshall for Angel's Egg
Post Production by Essence
Produced by Giles Andreae


Buy The Pig of Happiness greeting card at Cool Cards