BBC Radio 4


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.


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.


Paper Made the Modern Economy

If you’ve got 9 minutes to spare, why not listen to the episode about Paper from the radio series 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy?1 It is narrated by the pop star of economists Tim Harford.2

The image has been taken from a previous blog post about stationery stores in Shanghai.

  1. Don’t answer that. It’s a rhetorical question. []
  2. This is not the first appearance of his name in this blog. Can you find the other appearance? []

The Flâneuse and the pencil 2

I’m familiar with the German verb flanieren (to stroll), but I didn’t know that is seems to be a ‘serious hobby’ and art until I heard about the Flâneuse on Radio 4 on my way to work this morning.

Why is this of interest in a pencil blog? ..because it all starts with the need for a pencil – from Street Haunting:  A London Adventure (1930)

…so when the desire comes upon us to go street rambling the pencil does for a pretext, and getting up we say: “Really I must buy a pencil”.

We are no longer quite ourselves. As we step out of the house on a fine evening between four and six, we shed the self our friends know us by and become part of that vast republican army of anonymous trampers, whose society is so agreeable after the solitude of one’s own room.

Radio 4 talked about it at 8:21am when presenting the idea from a book by Lauren Elkin.

It’s very good if you find a pencil on your stroll through the streets because part of this hobby seems to be that you then write down what you have observed.

Good that there’s a happy end. At the end of the clip they luckily do find a pencil shop.

You can listen to it on the Radio 4 web site. You have to jump about 2h 21m into the programme to hear the part about the Flâneuse (and the pencil).