October 9, 2012 - World Post Day

Ever since 1969, October 9 has been celebrated around the globe as World Post Day. Post offices of various countries use the day as an excuse to share with customers all the services provided by their postal workers.

Of course, in 1969 instant messaging through e-mail, texting, Facebook, and Twitter didn't exist. There were few private companies such as FedEx providing shipping services for small packages, back then, and there were few private mail centers. Things have changed a lot since then, and many people wonder if we really need government-run mail service anymore. However, I have a feeling that having a low-cost public option does help to keep prices down for FedEx, UPS, and other companies.

Did you know...?

In many cities and towns in the past, until maybe the early 1960s, mail was delivered twice a day, morning and afternoon. It was common to have morning and evening newspapers delivered, too.

In Victorian-era London, mail was delivered to each house TWELVE TIMES A DAY! Remember, back then, there was no telephone, let alone texting! Smaller cities had mail delivered six times a day

So, basically, using “snail mail” less and less these days is just part of a larger trend of diminishing use over the decades.

Don't forget, it's Nautilus Night tonight!

All hail the shelled cephalopod known as the nautilus! This creature can withdraw into its shell completely and close the opening, but it is more commonly seen with its many short tentacles—about 90 of them!—extended into the sea and its eye peeking out from the shell.The nautilus's tentacles do not have suckers, but instead have ridges—and they somehow manage to have such a strong grip that it is easier to tear a tentacle off the nautilus's body than it is to break its grip.

The beautiful nautilus shell has long been popular in collectors' “Cabinets of Curiosities,” in art pieces, and even in home décor! The nautilus shell is also popular with mathematicians, since it forms a logarithmic spiral, a sort of fractal shape made by connecting points on a series of Golden Rectangles, or by building boxes with the dimensions of the Fibonacci numbers. What the heck does all that mean? you ask. Check out this video, and then this here and that other math website to find out! 

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