30 kg of Pencils 1

I’d like an eraser, two notepads and 30 kg of pencils, please.

Also: notice the price difference between the first item, a dozen Ticonderogas for £2.69, and the third item, the same product for £19.99.

Startlingly expensive. Yes, I think if I were to tell you how much more expensive it was it would be fair to say that you would be startled.1

(By the way, that’s 643.123% more expensive2.)


PS: Find out more..

  1. Freely adapted from Chapter 27 of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams, 1987. []
  2. Said Wolfram. []

Microsoft’s Pen

In the sixteen years I’ve been with my current employer my computer has been replaced a few times, but this is the first time the new hardware1 came with a pen. The new pen even has an eraser at the end.

I guess there will be even fewer chances of marking student assignments with pen and writing feedback with pen or typewriter (our feedback forms used to be spaced just right for use with typewriters, a remainder of the past).  Let’s see whether I’ll like using this pen as much as my analogue pens -I doubt I will2.

  1. Of course not the latest model, but the one from a few years ago, with the smallest RAM and storage configuration on the market []
  2. Maybe because this is quite a low spec piece of hardware the line you draw doesn’t seem to follow the tip if you move fast []

Kenji’s Cat Pencil 2

Earlier this week I had to go to Preton’s1 city centre where I made two discoveries.

Helix Oxford

The Oxford series from Helix (which belongs to France’s Maped, with most or all products made in China) seems to have launched a new vintage range which is available in WH Smith stores.

Kenji

I also discovered what seems to be a local Muji copy: Kenji. The outside looks like Japan’s Muji, but the goods they sell seem to be at least halfway (if not further) between Muji and Denmark’s Tiger stores. When I asked the employee he said the store opened last October.

I assumed this is a bigger chain, but when I visited their web site I was suprised to see that there are only two shops, one in Preston and one in Bury (together Preston and Bury have 200,000 inhabitants). Even more surprising when keeping in mind that despite being small they have a large selection of items, seem to be good value for money, and their web site looks rather good, too.

 

The DS-508

I couldn’t resist and bought a novelty mechanical pencil for £0.80 (~$1; €0.90). It’s the DS-508 from D&S点石. Despite being from a Chinese company the pencil is labelled in Japanese. The push button is the cat’s tail.

 

Like another Chinese mechanical pencil reviewed in the past, the M&G m9, this pencil has a sliding cone. You need about 0.8N for the cone to slide, which means that the sliding mechanism won’t work for most users – unless you hold the pencil nearly vertically. To refill leads you remove the tail of the cat. There is no  eraser.

The jaws of the ratchet mechanism that holds the lead are even metal, so this pencil should last a while before breaking down. For a novelty mechanical pencil, and especially when keeping the price in mind this pencil is surprisingly good.


Please excuse the poor quality of the photos, this blog post only contains mobile phone photos.

Price and exchange rates: June 2017

I have added the DS-508 to my sliding sleeve table.

  1. where I live []

Pencil Pot Of The Month – June 2017

Description: Officially a toothbrush holder this item makes a great pencil pot, too.

Price: £2.50 in the UK. €2.99 in Germany$4.99 in the USA.

Material: A stoneware container with a rubberised surface. I bought the turquoise version.

Further information: IKEA’s Ekoln toothbrush holder has a rubberised surface. Sometimes these surfaces can turn nastily sticky over the years. I hope IKEA did a better job than many other companies, but only time will tell. The $4.99 version from IKEA USA is available in different colours.

 


Prices: June 2017


Ninety-Nine 7

Well, who would have thought that Apple will one day make a pencil case. As far as I can tell their £29 pencil case was released earlier this month. Before you start wondering how you can use it for your pen collection: It can only hold one pen – the £99 Apple pencil.

Time to turn this into a ‘lucky bag’ blog post1. In the UK the Apple pencil is £99, in the USA it’s $99, so let’s stay with the theme of 99 and look at how to say2 this number in different languages:

90 9 (English)

9+90 (German)

9 10 9 (Mandarin, Japanese, Korean)

4 20 10 9 (French)

10 100 1 10 (Roman Numerals)

 

  1. An expression I got from Gunther and like. []
  2. or how to write it, in the case of Roman Numerals []