Month: January 2013

Digital pencil

Staedtler introduced a digital pen a while ago. I never got excited about it and have seen a similar looking digital pen in Aldi in the UK. It looked so similar that I was wondering whether they were the same and whether Staedtler just relabelled an OEM product.

Their new digital product might be more interesting, though I don’t have any further information yet [1]I asked Staedtler for further information and will let you know if I get a reply.. It’s a digital pencil‽ [2]Two ideas so far: It could either just be a pencil similar to Faber-Castell’s Perfect Pencil with a conductive end, to be used on tablets and phones, or, less likely, it could be something … Continue reading You can see some picture at their Initium site. You’ll also find pictures of their new fountain pens there.

 

References

References
1 I asked Staedtler for further information and will let you know if I get a reply.
2 Two ideas so far: It could either just be a pencil similar to Faber-Castell’s Perfect Pencil with a conductive end, to be used on tablets and phones, or, less likely, it could be something similar to Staedtler’s existing digital pen.

MAD

Was Mad Magazine a staple in your diet of comics and magazines when you were younger? If so you’ll probably like these:

A Spy vs. Spy Pencil sharpener gag by Bob Clarke.

 

Spy vs. Spy (Image © Bob Clarke)

…and another pencil sharpener gag from the The Mad Student Survival Guide for Those Bored of Education.

(Image © Mad Magazine)

 


I’d like to thank Anthony Snyder for allowing me to show Bob Clarke’s drawing. He is currently selling this drawing on eBay.

The image of Bob Clarke’s Spy vs. Spy comic is from Anthony Snyder, who allowed me to show it in my blog. The sharpener gag is taken from The Mad Student Survival Guide for Those Bored of Education. I believe that the use of these images in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

0, 3, 4, 6

 

I’d like to thank Lexikaliker for the Graphit Kropfmuehl Group pencil and my colleague Dr. Mitch Larsson for the Rothschild pencil.

Magnesium sharpeners

Unfortunately I don’t know too much about chemistry. Even though the Bavarian school system provided me with 13 years of education [1]I think this has now been reduced to 12 years., the type of school I went to and the modules I picked meant that I only ever had one semester of chemistry – so please forgive me and correct me if I am using the wrong words in this blog post.

A few days ago I noticed that my magnesium sharpeners look pretty bad. The surface is now very rough, not shiny any more at all, except for some small areas. The sharpeners have been stored together with a silver plated letter opener I bought very cheap from The Pen Shop. A few erasers were also next to the sharpeners for a long period of time. I’m now wondering what caused the corrosion/tarnishing of the magnesium.

Maybe someone who knows more about chemistry can tell me what happened – so that I can avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Click to get a better look how the surface looks like now

 

My first idea what might have happened: A process similar to the one when aluminium is used to clean tarnished silver took place. The magnesium sharpeners kept the silver-plated letter opener untarnished, because magnesium is less noble than silver and therefore attracted sulphur or other chemical elements.

My alternative suggestion: Just like the chemicals from another eraser ‘ruined’ one of my wooden pencil boxes once, the chemicals from the erasers that were stored together with the magnesium sharpener changed the sharpeners’ surface, too.

Can anyone tell me what really happened to the magnesium sharpeners?

References

References
1 I think this has now been reduced to 12 years.