The United States Postal Service (USPS) wants to raise the fees it charges Amazon.com and other internet commerce shippers by 9 to 12 percent. This comes just months after President Donald Trump criticized the USPS, saying it gives Amazon too good of a deal. Read the rest
The UK's Royal Mail is issuing a new series of Star Wars postage stamps to celebrate the December release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. "Beautifully illustrated by UK digital artist, Malcolm Tween, some of the stamps feature secret details, revealed only by UV light," according to the Royal Mail. Read the rest
"How am I gonna get this in there? Gimme my glove back!" Read the rest
Apparently the Pope, or one of his attachés, likes to put popsicles in mailboxes when they roll into town. The D.C. Post Office was prepared.
[via] Read the rest
In Smithsonian, read about the new National Postal Museum exhibition where you can see the anthrax-laden letters that were sent to media outlets and two Democratic senators in 2001 and the mailbox into which they were dropped. Read the rest
The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper received this returned mail last week. The USPS label says: “Not deliverable as addressed. Unable to forward.” No surprise, considering the letter was mailed in 1945 and the intended recipient had moved from that address before 1970 and has since died. The reporter who mailed the letter is also long dead. "How did a 68-year-old letter get delivered to the Chronicle?" Read the rest
In what Nicole Perlroth describes as "the online equivalent of a riot", Yahoo Mail users are revolting against recent updates to the service. Apparently they turned it into a confusing gmail clone with gaudy backgrounds and display advertising, or something. Read the rest
A red mailbox has mysteriously appeared on the side of a bridge crossing the River Thames in Sonning-on-Thames, Berkshire, England. Even village resident Uri Geller (yes, that Uri Geller) is puzzled by it. The Royal Mail was quick to comment that "It is certainly not an operational posting facility." (BBC News) Read the rest
A variety of animals have been used to deliver mail over the years, from camels and dogs to horses and pigeons. But cats? According to a 19th century article in the New York Times, around 1877 the Belgian Society for the Elevation of the Domestic Cat tested 37 cats for the task by taking them far from the city of Liege where they "promptly proceeded to 'scat.'" Within 24 hours, they had all returned home.
This result has greatly encouraged the society, and it is proposed to establish at an early day a regular system of cat communication between Liege and the neighboring villages. Messages are to be fastened in water-proof bags around the necks of the animals, and it is believed that, unless the criminal class of dogs undertakes to waylay and rob the mail-cats, the messages will be delivered with rapidity and safety.
"Domestic Explosives and Other Six Column Fancies: (From the New York Times.)" - William Livingston Alden Read the rest
Ron Nixon: "The Postal Service is expected to announced on Wednesday that it will stop delivering letters and other mail on Saturdays, but continue to handle packages, a move the financially struggling agency said would save about $2 billion annually as it looks for ways to cut cost." [NYT] Read the rest
Derek Watkins created a visualization tracking the spatial distribution of U.S. postal offices from the 18th to the 20th century. Gathering data from the USPS Postmaster Finder, with lat/long coordinates extracted from the USGS Geographic Names Information System, the results were animated using Processing. [Thanks, MR!] Read the rest
Popular Mechanics and National Instruments put national mail carriers to the test, concealing accelerometers inside packages to see what pressures the boxes were subjected to. USPS was gentlest, but USPS packages fly express via FedEx, so it's a little inconclusive. This is the finding that I'll remember: "Our package received more abuse when marked Fragile or This Side Up." Read the rest