So I finished my QSL cards. This post will serve as a placeholder showing my current QSL card (and any past ones), as well as an explanation of the items on the card. Pics and details after the jump!
(Pics are 300dpi, so click them for glorious high resolution full sizedness.)
First, the two flags on the top right, from top to bottom:
Fort Moultrie Flag
This flag was first flown over an island fort built by General William Moultrie near Charleston, South Carolina and reflects the desire by the American colonists for divinely inspired Liberty. The American forces defending the fort wore a silver crescent on their caps emblazoned with “Liberty or Death,” and the Moultrie design was the first American flag flown in the Southern states. The fort was built out of the materials at hand – palmetto logs and sand – and came under heavy British naval bombardment on June 28th, 1776. The flag was shot away in the withering fire, but the fort – and the spirit of the defenders – did not yield. The design was adopted by the Minute Men of South Carolina. Variations of this design were used throughout the American Revolutionary War and had a strong influence on the design that became the state flag of South Carolina.
In fall 1775, the United States Navy was established to intercept incoming British ships carrying war supplies to the British troops in the colonies. To aid in this, the Second Continental Congress authorized the mustering of five companies of Marines to accompany the Navy on their first mission. The first Marines that enlisted were from Philadelphia and they carried drums painted yellow, depicting a coiled rattlesnake with thirteen rattles, and the motto “Don’t Tread On Me.” This is the first recorded mention of the future Gadsden flag’s symbolism. At the Congress, Continental Colonel Christopher Gadsden represented his home state of South Carolina. He was one of three members of the Marine Committee who were outfitting the first naval mission. It is unclear whether Gadsden took his inspiration from the Marines’ drums, or if he inspired them himself. Before the departure of that first mission, the newly appointed commander-in-chief of the Navy, Commodore Esek Hopkins, received the yellow rattlesnake flag described above from Gadsden to serve as his distinctive personal standard. Gadsden also presented a copy of this flag to the South Carolina legislature in Charleston, South Carolina. This was recorded in the South Carolina congressional journals: Col. Gadsden presented to the Congress an elegant standard, such as is to be used by the commander in chief of the American navy; being a yellow field, with a lively representation of a rattle-snake in the middle, in the attitude of going to strike, and these words underneath, “Don’t Tread on Me!”
And now the icons along the bottom, left to right:
The Georgia Institute of Technology (commonly called Georgia Tech) is a public, coeducational research university in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States. Founded in 1885, Georgia Tech has become one of the premiere engineering, science, research, and technology universities in the world, and is comparable to universities such as Cal Tech, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Carnegie Mellon. The campus is situated in the heart of midtown Atlanta in the shadow of numerous skyscrapers. In addition to a rich academic tradition, Georgia Tech has a strong athletic tradition as well, particularly in (American) football where it has won four National Championships and is in the Top 15 all time in wins. Georgia Tech’s campus played a large role in hosting the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games.
Republican Liberty Caucus
For more than twenty years the Republican Liberty Caucus has been the lone, strong voice for the principles of limited government, free enterprise and individual liberty within the Republican Party. Many Republicans talk about these values, but the RLC has taken the lead in promoting candidates and legislation designed to act on them. We believe that less government means more liberty and we work through local chapters and with our member activists all over the country to oppose government excess and demand accountability to the people and the Constitution. Please join us in the fight to reclaim the Republican Party as the party of liberty which it was founded to be.
The Out Campaign was launched by famed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, to encourage atheists to assert themselves and be more publicly open with their views so as to encourage public discourse on the often taboo issue of religion.
Linux refers to the family of Unix-like computer operating systems using the Linux kernel. Linux can be installed on a wide variety of computer hardware, ranging from mobile phones, tablet computers and video game consoles, to mainframes and supercomputers. Linux is predominantly known for its use in servers; in 2009 it held a server market share ranging between 20–40%. Most desktop computers run either Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X, with Linux having anywhere from a low of an estimated 1–2% of the desktop market to a high of an estimated 4.8%. However, desktop use of Linux has become increasingly popular in recent years, partly owing to the popular Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, and openSUSE distributions and the emergence of netbooks and smartphones running an embedded Linux. The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software collaboration; typically all the underlying source code can be used, freely modified, and redistributed, both commercially and non-commercially, by anyone under licenses such as the GNU General Public License. Typically Linux is packaged in a format known as a Linux distribution for desktop and server use. Linux distributions include the Linux kernel and all of the supporting software required to run a complete system, such as utilities and libraries, the X Window System, the GNOME and KDE desktop environments, and the Apache HTTP Server. Commonly used applications with desktop Linux systems include the Mozilla Firefox web-browser, the OpenOffice.org office application suite and the GIMP image editor. The name “Linux” comes from the Linux kernel, originally written in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The main supporting user space system tools and libraries from the GNU Project (announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman) are the basis for the Free Software Foundation’s preferred name GNU/Linux.
Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded by Richard Stallman on 4 October 1985 to support the free software movement, a copyleft-based movement which aims to promote the universal freedom to create, distribute and modify computer software. The FSF is incorporated in Massachusetts, USA. From its founding until the mid-1990s, FSF’s funds were mostly used to employ software developers to write free software for the GNU Project. Since the mid-1990s, the FSF’s employees and volunteers have mostly worked on legal and structural issues for the free software movement and the free software community. Consistent with its goals, only free software is used on FSF’s computers.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an international non-profit digital rights advocacy and legal organization based in the United States. Its stated mission is to: (1) Engage in and support educational activities which increase popular understanding of the opportunities and challenges posed by developments in computing and telecommunications. (2) Develop among policy-makers a better understanding of the issues underlying free and open telecommunications, and support the creation of legal and structural approaches which will ease the assimilation of these new technologies by society. (3) Raise public awareness about civil liberties issues arising from the rapid advancement in the area of new computer-based communications media. (4) Support litigation in the public interest to preserve, protect, and extend First Amendment rights within the realm of computing and telecommunications technology. (5) Encourage and support the development of new tools which will endow non-technical users with full and easy access to computer-based telecommunications. The EFF is supported by donations and is based in San Francisco, California, with staff members in Washington, D.C. They are accredited observers at the World Intellectual Property Organization and one of the participants of the Global Network Initiative. The EFF has taken action in several ways. It provides funds for legal defense in court, defends individuals and new technologies from what it considers baseless or misdirected legal threats, works to expose government malfeasance, provides guidance to the government and courts, organizes political action and mass mailings, supports some new technologies which it believes preserve personal freedoms, maintains a database and web sites of related news and information, monitors and challenges potential legislation that it believes would infringe on personal liberties and fair use, and solicits a list of what it considers patent abuses with intentions to defeat those that it considers without merit.
SKYWARN is a program of the United States’ National Weather Service (NWS). Its mission is to collect reports of localized severe weather. These reports are used to aid forecasters in issuing and verifying severe weather watches and warnings and to improve the forecasting and warning processes and the tools used to collect meteorological data. It consists of a network of severe storm spotters that observe weather conditions and make reports of severe weather to their local NWS offices. These spotters are trained by personnel from the local NWS offices each spring in advance of the coming severe weather season. Where severe storms are possible, storm spotting groups such as SKYWARN in the United States coordinate amateur radio operators and localized spotters to keep track of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Reports from spotters and chasers are given to the National Weather Service so that they have the information to warn the general public. Spotting provides ground information and conditions locally that the National Weather Service could not otherwise be aware of. Spotters also give reports during winter storms, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires.
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the largest membership association of amateur radio enthusiasts in the USA. ARRL is a non-profit organization, and was founded in May 1914 by Hiram Percy Maxim of Hartford, Connecticut. The ARRL represents the interests of amateur radio operators before federal regulatory bodies, provides technical advice and assistance to amateur radio enthusiasts, and supports a number of educational programs throughout the country. The ARRL has approximately 154,000 members. In addition to members in the US, the organization claims over 7,000 members in other countries. The ARRL publishes many books and a monthly membership journal called QST. The ARRL is the primary representative organization of amateur radio operators to the US government. It performs this function by lobbying the US Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. The ARRL is also the international secretariat of the International Amateur Radio Union, which performs a similar role internationally, advocating for amateur radio interests before the International Telecommunications Union and the World Administrative Radio Conferences. The organization is governed by a member-elected Board of Directors. Each director serves a three-year term and represents the members within their particular region of the country. The national headquarters facilities are located in Newington, Connecticut. Along with the administrative headquarters, the 7-acre (2.8 ha) site is home to amateur radio station W1AW. The ARRL Field Organization carries out local and regional activities across the United States.