Dangerous Pencils and Fountain Pens 9

What a cruel world:

In the real world…

…people seem to be taking planes hostage with fountain pens.

Look at this headline from Sky News:

An Air China flight had to be diverted after a passenger held a crew member hostage using a fountain pen as a weapon.

Picture from Sky News (Image © Sky News)

In the fictional world…

..people seem to get tortured with pencils. In the TV series Bosch this pencil is referred to as the Black Guardian Pencil.

You might think the torture is down to the pencil being so scratchy – or so overpriced and doesn’t keep it’s point …but the fictional world is far more physical when it comes to stationery torture.

Last chance to look away…

Bosch: The Black Guardian Pencil

Bosch: The Black Guardian Pencil

 


The images in this blog post have been taken from Sky News and from the second episode of the fourth season of the TV series Bosch. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Smelly Pens – Zebra Sarasa Chupa Chups Edition 1

Welcome to what is probably my first gel pen focussed blog post: a quick look at the Zebra Sarasa Chupa Chups Scented Pens – and at the Staples gel pens.

Staples Sonix gel

The Staples Sonix gel pens were on offer and only 50p each: they are a mixed bag. The fluorescent pink usually writes well, other colours do sometimes smudge and don’t always have a good ink flow… This is very different to the experience Bob from my pen needs ink had. I’m not sure whether this is because of poor quality control, the difference between different colours, declining standards or the fact that my pens were too old, i.e. stored too long in the store before I bought them.

Staples Sonix Gel

Staples Sonix Gel

The performance of the Staples Sonix made me think of this video from the Wall Street Journal:  What Took China So Long to Master Ballpoint Pens?

Zebra Sarasa – Scented Chupa Chups pens

The Sarasas, on the other hand, are excellent performers. My green / yellow / red pack, bought from this seller, smells very nice, but the orange / blue / black pack has an artificial, bought here, slightly unpleasant smell to it. $9.50 for a pack of three seems a good price.

Zebra Sarasa - Chupa Chups Flavour

Zebra Sarasa – Chupa Chups Flavour

In the video review, you’ll also see my first scented pen, or at least the first I remember – a Hello Kitty Pen I got in the early or mid-1980s.

Scented Hello Kitty Pen

Scented Hello Kitty Pen

You can watch the video review here.

Or in full screen on YouTube.

More Sarasa Chupa Chups goodness at The Well-Appointed Desk. There are also several other smells, including from the Mister Donut series reviewed at The Pen Addict.


Pencil Blogs – More Revolutions 2

Work is keeping me busy, so there haven’t been many blog posts recently. To prove that I’m still alive here’s just a quick add-on to my first blog post in my Pencil Blog Series.

Let’s have a quick look at the word count1 of Pencil Revolution blog posts over time.

Word Count

The longest Pencil Revolution blog post had nearly 2500 words. The shortest blog posts didn’t have any words and just consisted of a picture.

Pencil Revolution Word Count over Time

Let’s have a look at the word count plot. The x-axis (horizontal axis) is used for the dates of the blog posts. The y-axis (vertical axis) is for the word counts of the blog posts.

Each dot represents a blog post. Early posts are on the left, recent posts are on the right. Short posts are near the bottom, long posts are higher up.

The black line is a straight linear regression line. The blue curve is a LOESS (local regression) curve, which is a bit more ‘flexible’ than the straight line. You can see that in the first years, posts got longer and longer, while in recent years posts got shorter and shorter.

Cumulative Word Count

Looking at the cumulative word count we see that all Pencil Revolution blog posts together reached a word count of nearly 170,000 by now.

Pencil Revolution Posts and Cumulative Word Count

In this chart, the solid line shows the number of cumulative blog posts, as seen in the previous blog post, while the dotted line shows the cumulative word count. The average word count per post is 266, both lines are aligned accordingly. You can see that up to 2011 the posts were longer than the current word count average, while the posts since 2016 have been shorter than the current word count average.

That’s it for now like I said – just a quick blog post to show I’m still here. I hope to post more once work is less busy.

  1. I guess it’s not always clear what counts as a word and what doesn’t, so your word count might vary. []

Lamy specs

Earlier this month Lamy released their new magazine ‘specs’, you might have seen my tweet about it at the time.

It’s a bilingual magazine that comes with an AR (augmented reality) app. I got mine today and had a quick look.

After ordering my free copy at https://specs.lamy.com it took about a week for it to arrive.

Here’s a little video where I share my first impressions.

Open in YouTube to watch bigger or in full-screen.


Pencil Blogs – It’s a Pencil Revolution 4

It’s a Pencil Revolution.

No, I’m not talking about the song by Schradinova.

A New Series

I’m talking about Johnny’s pencil blog – because this is another one of those R / statistics blog posts – as threatened previously. I actually started to work on this in 2015. Originally I wanted to present all the data in one blog post, but because there are old pencil blogs disappearing and new ones appearing regularly this somehow hasn’t worked out yet.

That’s why I’ve now decided to switch to looking at the pencil blogs one by one, always adding to the previous stats and since I haven’t yet figured out a better way of ordering them I decided to start chronologically. The thing is, though, if pencil shops have been around for decades, there may be older pencil blogs I’m not aware of. If you know of any pencil blogs please let me know in the comments, so that I can add it to my list of blogs to be covered. At the moment I have around 30 pencil blogs on my list. Some of the next blogs to be covered will be Pencil Talk, Dave’s Mechanical Pencils and Lexikaliker.

I decided to stick with pencil related blogs, but if there is any interest (usually there isn’t much interest in the statistics related blog posts here) I’m happy to expand to more general stationery blogs.

Also, if the blog owner contacts me to object I will take the blog post about their blog offline, so there is a chance that these stats posts won’t stay.

Pencil Revolution

Here’s the first plot about the oldest pencil blog I know: Pencil Revolution. If there are no objections from Johnny other stats about Pencil Revolution will follow soon.

So far there have been 635 blog posts on Pencil Revolution. Congratulations!

Pencil Revolution Blog Posts Over TIme

Pencil Revolution Blog Posts Over TIme

The plot above shows the blog posts over time. Horizontal lines are an indication for periods of inactivity while ‘more vertical’ lines show periods with many blog posts. In the case of Pencil Revolution, you can see that Johnny stopped revolutionising between the Summer of 2006 and the Summer 2010 and between Spring 2011 and Spring 2012 before picking up again. The latest spurt started in the Summer of 2017. I won’t comment further as the graph is fairly straightforward.

Congratulations on more than ten years and more than 600 blog posts.