BBC Radio 4


Boring dysfunction

Dysfunction

Staedtler’s Noris is near-daily occurrence on UK TV. Thanks to its ubiquitousness in schools it is sure to make an appearance in stock footage about primary schools. There is however a new place where you can admire the Noris on UK TV: during the day and in the evenings: in TV advertising for an erectile dysfunction blood test. Yes, I was also surprised they show this during the day. You can see a Noris triplus in two shots. First the lead is intact, then the lead is broken off. Subtle?

Image © Numan

You can watch the whole advertising below. I’m surprised that at the time of posting this blog post it only has 100 views. You always think that companies that pay for nation-wide TV advertising must be quite big, but maybe the company behind this is rather small or just doesn’t promote their videos online.

Boring

Image © BBC

On to the next topic: A buyer from one of my eBay auctions mentioned the Pencil episode of The Boring Podcast to me. I listened to this Podcast (or the radio show version) when it was new and I enjoyed it, but somehow stopped listening, even though it still is still in my podcast app. That was a mistake. This show originally caught my eye because the presenter is James Ward, the author of the Adventures in Stationery book. By the way, I never got a reply to my question what his favourite pencil is, but I might try again in another six years. The pencil episode‘s main contributor is Brian Mackenwells. He’s talking about many pencils, including the Tombow Mono 100, the real Blacking and the CalCedar Blackwing, the Noris, the Columbus and many more. Have a listen – and also have a look at Brian Mackenwells’ cool typewriter products!


In praise of the pencil 2

Yesterday’s edition of the Financial Times featured an article by Tim Harford about our beloved pencil.

Tim Harford is a journalist (‘the Financial Times’ undercover economist’) and is also the man behind my favourite radio show: More or Less.

He is certainly non stranger to pencils as they feature in his work every now and then. In his radio show he even managed to sneak in a definition of ‘ferrule’.

His pencil work got him several mentions here at Bleistift.blog so far. Last year, this blog mentioned his pencil article for the BBC and a few years earlier Bleistift.blog ‘campaigned’ to get the pencil added as the 51st thing to his series ’50 Things That Made the Modern Economy’.

His latest book, How To Make The World Add Up, is currently Radio 4’s book of the week. If you not only like stationery, but also statistics or numbers, then please have a listen.

You won’t be surprised to read that a signed copy of his book is on top of my Christmas wish list. A signed copy must be expensive, I hear you say. Well, you’d think, but actually it’s much cheaper than what a pack of copies of Eberhard Faber’s Blackwing sells for in the UK.


The Underrated and Humble Pencil 1

George, a reader of Dave’s Mechanical Pencil blog and of Bleistift, has contacted me this morning and told me about an article Tim Harford wrote about the pencil. Not much later my wife contacted me about the same article. The article is part of the “50 Things That Made the Modern Economy” series.

In 2017 I was hoping that the pencil gets voted to be the “51st thing”. My blog post Vote for Pencil! might have added a few to the pencil, but in the end “credit cards” won.

An image of a humble pencil from an old blog post – to make this one less boring

Luckily Tim Harford, who made several ‘appearances’ on this blog in the past, has finally had a closer look at the pencil.

You can read his article Have we all underrated the humble pencil? on the BBC web site.

Just a few weeks ago I finished his book “Messy” (around $9 or in the UK around £7). Fascinating reading, like his other works.

His podcast More or Less: Behind the Stats is available for free.


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.