New Stamps of Israel

International Year of Light

israel international year of light stampThis stamp marks two events that have much in common.

The first is the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry that was jointly awarded to Martin Karplus (Harvard University), Michael Levitt (Stanford University) and Arieh Warshel (University of Southern California) for the development of multi-scale models for complex chemical systems.  The second event is the International Year of Light 2015, which was declared by the United Nations to celebrate the light sciences, light-based technologies and their importance to humankind.

 The right side of the stamp features the protein Rhodopsin, which is a bundle of seven helices connected to each other by peptide loops. This protein, which is embedded within the cell membrane, binds retinal, a small light-sensitive molecule shown as a group of grey spheres that represent atoms. The left side of the stamp exhibits the Schrödinger equation, which is the most fundamental tool of quantum mechanics. Nobel Prize laureate Erwin Schrödinger formulated this equation in 1925 as a way to describe various states of atoms and molecules, opening the door for the science of theoretical and computational chemistry and physics. The stamp tab features the logo of the International Year of Light as well as a schematic representation of the two major types of light-sensitive cells in the human retina: the rods (in yellow) and the cones (in blue, green and red). The rods are responsible for black-and-white vision and the cones are responsible for color vision. The human eye contains three types of cone cells, which discern red, green or blue light. All of the retinal cells translate the light stimulus to chemical changes and electrical impulses, which are transmitted to the vision centers in the brain via the optic nerves.

Issue Date: 10.02.2015 Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France Process: Offset Colours: 4 Colours
Values: 11.92, 44.70

Chess

Chess is one of the most prevalent games in the world. It is thought to have been inventedisrael chess stamp in India in the 6th century CE and was popular among the Arab nations and in Persia. The game reached Europe around the 10th century, and the modern rules of the game were established there in the 15th century. Since then, this version of the game has spread throughout the world.Chess is mentioned in the Kuzari, written by medieval Spanish philosopher and poet Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, as well as in writings by Rashi and Maimonides, and Abraham ibn Ezra even dedicated one of his poems to the game. Chess was mentioned many times in our literary sources for a good reason: this game has been extremely popular among Jews, who have also had significant achievements in this field. Four of the 16 World Champions were Jewish and three others were half-Jewish. Many other Jewish players were (and still are) at the international pinnacle of the game.

Issue Date: 10.02.2015 Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France Process: Offset Colours: 4 Colours Values: 4.16, 15.60

Winter Flowers

Most of Israel’s wild flowers bloom in spring, when the soil is moist from the winter rains andtemperatures are warm. However, some of Israel’s wild flowers bloom much earlier during the growth season.israel winter flowers stamps

Coast False-Chamomile (Anthemis leucanthemifolia) This semi-recumbent annual plant forms spectacular blooming carpets on the coastal sand fields as early as January. Unlike other species of False-Chamomile of Israel, it has succulent leaves which are wedge-shaped, and not pinnate; and the inflorescences are relatively large and dense. The False-Chamomile species belong to the Daisy family, which is characterized by its flower-like inflorescences. It has many white flowers which look like petals, arranged in the outer circle of the inflorescence and numerous yellow flowers in the center which resemble stamens. The inflorescence appears to pollinating insects to be a flower (as it does to humans). The Coast False-Chamomile is endemic to the coastal plains of Israel and Southern Lebanon, and grows nowhere else in the world.

Dyer’s Alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria)

This recumbent perennial plant is covered with rough bristles, as are many other plants belonging to the Borage family. During much of the year the Alkanet is a dull looking plant, but in winter and early spring it displays a profusion of bright blue flowers.

The root coat of Dyer’s Alkanet is red and was used in the past to produce a red dye. When rubbed on paper, it dyes the paper bright red. The plant’s scientific name stems from this: Alkanna is the Latin form of the Arabic word “Al- Hinna” – the general term for yellow-red dyes produced from plants. The word tinctoria means “of the dyers”.

Crown Anemone (Anemone coronaria)

Everyone in Israel knows the Crown Anemone, one of Israel’s most beautiful wild flowers. The Hebrew name “Kalanit” is derived from the same source as the word for bride – “Kala”. Crown Anemones bloom from early winter through the end of spring, forming magnificent flowering carpets. The red variety of the Crown Anemone grows through much of the country, while the multicolored variety, in colors ranging from white to deep purple through all shades of pink and blue, grows mainly in the north. The multi-colored variety is sensitive to lime, and thus is rare in lime-rich soils. It is abundant mainly in the basaltic soils of the eastern Galilee and the Golan, and in the deep soils of the northern valleys. The red variety which grows through much of the country is drought-hardy and creates blazing flowering fields in the south.

Issue Date: 10.02.2015 Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France Process: Offset  Colours: 4 Colours Values: 2.12, 2.25, 2.72

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