Non-stationery


Goodbye Graphite? 4

In a few years, we might all be carrying less graphite with us.

Not because we’ll be switching to harder pencils with less graphite and more clay, but because of our mobile phone batteries. There’s a new carbon in town (called OSPC-1) that might replace graphite in lithium-ion batteries.

It can…

  • …”store more than twice as many lithium ions, and therefore power”
  • …”store lithium ions at more than double the rate as graphite – meaning charging speeds can be twice as fast”
  • “Discharge speeds can also be vastly improved […] which means it can also be used to power more energy-hungry applications”
  • It also seems to avoid the problem current lithium-ion batteries have (dendrites) that can cause them “to explode into flames”.
  • It also seems to be “much more longer-lasting than graphite” meaning batteries might not deteriorate so fast.

Read more about it in this article from Lancaster University.

One thing to mention though: Graphite is quite cheap (unless you buy it in the shape of a CalCedar Blackwing or a Graf von Faber-Castell pencil). The new material isn’t (yet?). Who knows how long it will take to end up in consumer products.

Graphite (Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Similar stuff on Bleistift.blog:

Graphite from the moon

Graphite in the news

Soapy graphite


Other uses for cedar wood 7

Pencils obviously aren’t the only use for cedar wood. Here’s an interesting other use: protect clothing from moth damage. Aromatic oils from the red cedar are said to kill moth larvae.

Red cedar wood from Arkansas

Red cedar wood from Arkansas

Red cedar is actually not exactly the same wood as the one used for making pencils. The red cedar is actually a juniper, but it is, like the pencil cedar, part of the cypress family.

I bought this pack of two hooks for £3.49 (~ $5.25; €4.95) in my local HomeSense.


Price and exchange rates: March 2015


More graphite screensaver

While in a local supermarket today I noticed that the latest Kindle, which was on sale there, seems to have a new screensaver with a pencil theme.  Not surprising when keeping in mind that some of the Kindle models have graphite in their name and that Amazon uses pictures of the Kindle next to a yellow pencil to show how thin it is.


Birds in our garden (2) 2

A male blackbird feeding a fledgling, photographed by my wife.

One of the blackbirds even knows how to let us know that they want more food on the bird table: if there is no food left he will fly to the roof of the bird table, land and then fly towards us when we are near the window or in the garden.