Paper Made the Modern Economy

If you’ve got 9 minutes to spare, why not listen to the episode about Paper from the radio series 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy?1 It is narrated by the pop star of economists Tim Harford.2

The image has been taken from a previous blog post about stationery stores in Shanghai.

  1. Don’t answer that. It’s a rhetorical question. []
  2. This is not the first appearance of his name in this blog. Can you find the other appearance? []

Happy National Pencil Day

Happy National Pencil Day to our American friends!

To celebrate the USA’s National Pencil Day I want to reheat some of the previous content:

You might remember the link to Staedtler’s Mandala creator from the bestselling Noris blog post. Unfortunately, the shapes available have nothing to do with stationery, so I put some circles and hexagons together to make them look like pencils, plus something that is supposed to be a fountain pen nib. In case you really want to colour this in, here’s a link to the PDF.

Since the National Calendar page’s entry on the National Pencil Day includes a few words about Roald Dahl I thought I also show this video again. It has previously been featured in the Nail-gun-sharpening discontinued glow-in-the-dark pencils blog post.

To finish off just a quick note that there are 70 new articles in the Stationery Wiki. Please feel free to add more information.

You can find more National Pencil Day blog posts at Pencil Revolution and Lead Fast.

A dangerous pencil hack 4

Youtube suggested I should watch this video – I couldn’t resist.

Having touched a live 240V wire by mistake was a memorable experience (I still remember it even though it was twenty years ago), so I am not too keen on trying this pencil hack out and I suggest you don’t either.

The idea is interesting, though. An explanation how this works would be nice.

Again, I don’t suggest that you try this at home (or at work, or while out and about).

Farewell Joe Dever / Medieval Manuscript Marginalia 5

Farewell Joe Dever

I just found out that Joe Dever, the author behind the Lone Wolf books and other books and games, has died.

His Choose Your Own Adventure books are great. I didn’t own any as a kid, but lent a few from friends who had them. Twenty years later I bought some and again rediscovered them another ten years later.

As his millennium gift Joe Dever made his books available free of charge online.


Well, here’s my Choose your own Goodbye:

1 If you wish to bid him farewell turn to 2

2 You say “I bid you farewell, my brother. May the luck of the gods go with you.”1



Medieval Manuscript Marginalia

This morning Radio 4’s Today programme talked about marginalia in medieval manuscripts2.

You can listen to it online, the segment about the marginalia starts at 1:43:40


In this segment Dr. Johanna Green from the University of Glasgow looks at the doodles and ink flow tests in the margins of a 15th century manuscript.


I believe that the use of the twitter screenshot in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

  1. Joe Dever. “Flight from the Dark.”, Section 349 []
  2. I was quite tempted to spell it mediæval []

Nail-gun-sharpening discontinued glow-in-the-dark pencils 1

What an odd blog post title, but it’s just about a few things worth mentioning that didn’t make it into their own blog posts. You might have already seen some on Bleistift’s Facebook page.


Pilot 78G

It’s quite sad to read that the Pilot 78G has been discontinued. I have been using one for a while and really like it. There were rumours about it being discontinued for a while, but it now seems to have come true. You can still get them cheap on eBay, especially the ones with M or B nibs.

Image from ebay seller currycurrysing

Image from ebay seller currycurrysing

I just bought a blue one with a fine nib. More expensive than many other 78Gs, but still not more expensive than a Lamy Safari.


Roald Dahl

Bruce send me this link to a video where Roald Dahl, probably most famous for his books for children, talks about sharpening pencils.

Nail Gun

A very different way of sharpening pencils: a nail gun with a built-in pencil sharpener on Reddit.


Glow-in-the-dark pencil

I wish our city had a store like that (Image © Karrot Entertainment)

I wish our city had a store like that (Image © Karrot Entertainment)

When our little one was watching CeeBeebies I noticed that the episode of Sarah & Duck he was watching also had some content for stationery fans. It was about a glow-in-the-dark pencil.

Glow-in-the-dark pencils (Image © Karrot Entertainment)

Glow-in-the-dark pencils (Image © Karrot Entertainment)

I believe that the use of the eBay image and the images shown in this blog post, taken from the third episode pf the third season of Sarah & Duck, falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.