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Vote for Pencil! 3

You might remember the blog post from April where I mentioned the paper episode in the BBC’s 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy series.

Well, now is your chance to support the humble pencil by voting for it as the 51st thing that made the modern economy.

You can vote on this BBC page (link).

Other contenders are the credit card, glass, GPS, Irrigation and Spreadsheets.


Israel, Italy, Football and Lunch…

Today: a mixed bag of tidbits

An Isreali pencil

Seen in episode 3 of Israeli TV thriller False Flag (כפולים): an eraser tipped pencil with a natural finish. False Flag is on Fox UK, but the HD version of the TV channel costs money, so I only have a photo of the SD channel where you can’t read the writing on the pencil. I wonder what pencil brands are commonly used in Israel.

False Flag (Image © Keshet Media)

An Italian pencil

Seen in one of my son’s books: a cameo of Staedtler’s Noris in an Italian book (original: Topo Tip non vuole andare all’asilo by Marco Campanella (Illustrator) and Anna Casalis ). He has the German version (Leo Lausemaus), but there is (or was) also an English version (Billy Brownmouse).

Leo Lausemaus Noris (Image © Andrea Dami / Lingen Verlag)

(Image © Stationery Stores FC)

Nigerian Football

Last time I mentioned Nigeria on this blog was when the Nigerian pencil factory was announced that was supposed to employ 400,000 people. That’s not the only Nigeria related stationery item to report on.

Turn out Nigeria even has a football team named after a chain of stationery stores: Stationery Stores F.C.

 

..and something for lunch

Dine in style for under $10.

Dine INK (Image © FRED)


I would like to thank Val for telling me about the Dine INK. 

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


Worst pencil museum / Postcards / Pencil+ 3

There are a few small things I want to mention that all didn’t make it into their own blog posts.

Pencil Museum

Last Sunday Sue Perkins was asking BBC Radio 2 listeners about their worst Sunday activities and gave visiting a pencil museum as an example ? (about 7 minutes into recording I linked to). Well, I enjoyed my visit to the pencil museum very much …and I guess the listeners, too, as none of them mentioned visiting the pencil museum as their worst Sunday activity.

Postcard Campaign

This morning our friend Phoebe Smith, editor of Wanderlust magazine, was on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme (about 41 minutes into recording I linked to), having a look at the postcards Radio 4 has received as part of their campaign to revive the use of postcards. I think the postcard campaign is a great idea, especially with the postcard having many friends in the stationery community, such as East…West…Everywhere’s Shangching, Banditapple’s Arnie and many more.

Pencil+

When searching on Google for something rather unrelated this morning I came across Pencil+, an upcoming Kickstarter. I thought I share the link with you, but I don’t have any further information (price, start date, …) and have not been in contact with the people behind the pencil.

Pencil+ (Image © Pencil+)


I believe that the use of pencil+’s image shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Suspicious Sellers 11

There seem to be a few suspicious sellers on Amazon Marketplace.

Well, I say they are suspicious, but I prefer to tell you what’s going on so that you can judge for yourself.

There are several accounts on Amazon Marketplace selling fountain pens for £7.99, £8.99 and £9.99, but even pens usually selling for several hundreds of Pounds are being offered for under £10.

Some of these sellers have real names, some just have random letters as their seller name. All of them seem to be registered in the USA. I wrote ‘seem’ because I don’t know whether Amazon will actually check the address used by sellers who register.

Why would they sell these pens so cheap, far cheaper than what they’d have to pay from the manufacturer?

..and especially when Amazon offers their “A to Z Guarantee”, which means that if there is a problem the customer won’t be out of pocket (and Amazon will probably chase the seller to get their money back…).

I rule out that this is just a simple mistake form the sellers. All these pens are sold by new sellers on Amazon Marketplace and they put a lot of them online. One wrongly priced pen might be a mistake, but not if all you offer is under £10.

Explanation a) Maybe it’s a bored millionaire who just wants to make people happy by reselling pens with a colossal loss.

Explanation b) Maybe they want to get people’s address details? ..but I guess there are easier ways of collecting people’s addresses

Explanation c) When you pay they get the money from Amazon and keep it for a while. Delivery times are very long (many weeks), so they have many weeks before the customers can complain that the product didn’t arrive (and then the postal service can be blamed), so it will be a long time before they have to return the money. Time they could use to get interest on the money or time to pack it all up and disappear.

Well, the good thing is that if anyone wants to try these sellers out and my suspicion that this is dodgy is right the customers are only out of money for a few weeks – until Amazon reimbursed them, so the risk for customers seems small.


Update: shortly after posting this I have been told that Scribble has discussed this issue a few days ago in Facebook’s Fountain Pens UK group. Thanks Mark Porter, for letting me know.


Happy National Stationery Week 2017

National Stationery Week 2017

Look what letter I got today.
It’s nice that Royal Mail is in on National Stationery Week.

More blogs in the new pencil world

Something else I wanted to mention: There’s a new blog from the ‘new pencil world’. FI started linking to it in my blog link list a few weeks ago, but didn’t get round mentioning it yet, it’s A New Kind Of Pencil. Like The Weekly Pencil it features a series of blog posts about members of the Erasable Facebook group.

In case you wonder why some of my blog links don’t have the latest post displayed, that is usually because my software can’t read their RSS feed, often because it is a Square Space site. If I find a way of getting it to work I will change it, so that their latest blog posts are displayed, too.