Nano-engineers from the University of California, San Diego have developed bio-inks that can turn regular ballpoint pens into chemical sensors.
Among other things, people can measure glucose levels simply by drawing on skin with the engineered ink. According to CNN Money, it works like this:
When drawn on the body, the ink adheres much like a temporary tattoo. It can detect things like the amounts of sodium insulate, lactate and glucose in your sweat. To read the measurements, the group is creating an electric Bluetooth-enabled device that will take the info from the drawn-on sensor and transfer it to a smartphone or laptop.
The ink also is able to detect pollutants on the leaves of plants, and researchers hope eventually to be able to use the bio-ink pens to test for everything from toxic gas to explosives, the university reports.
The really cool thing here is that the researchers, led by Dr. Joseph Wang, simply went out and bought cheap ballpoint pens, then refilled them with their bio-ink to conduct these tests. Continue reading →
Four years ago, when President Obama signed the new healthcare law into effect in the US, we told you about the 22 Cross pens he used to do the job.
Now, his pens are in the news again because of a comment he made about his intentions to veto certain controversial legislation during his second term.
He told National Public Radio in December, “I haven’t used the veto pen very often since I’ve been in office. Now, I suspect, there are going to be some times where I’ve got to pull that pen out.”
And true to his word, President Obama pulled out the veto pen recently on the Keystone XL pipeline bill, bringing attention back to the black Cross pens that he uses for official moments. Continue reading →
Stabilo is promoting its Point 88 range in the UK with a television commercial and a giveaway and an epic giveaway that runs through the end of March.
The commercial is short and to the point: You can make studying easier by using the various colors of Point 88 pens to group your notes and help find similar themes more easily.
To go along with the commercial, Stabilo is giving away a ton of awesome loot. There are five available prize packs that made up of the following:
A Stabilo satchel, an I ♥ School t-shirt, a felt iPad case, pencil shaped USB stick, friendship bracelet, bubbles, I ♥ School lanyard, 5 Mini Heroes, 24 Green Colour, Exam Grade pencils, Festival s’move pen, 5 Festival swingcool highlighters, 6 Festival tropikana pens, SMARTball pen, SMARTgraph pen, 8 mini neon highlighters, pen 68 wallet of 30, 4 neon highlighters, 6 pointball pens, 4 worker pens, roller set of point 88 and point 88 colour parade.
The haul looks like this:
For a chance to win, all you have to do is go to the Stabilo blog, fill in one question (the answer is 30), and provide your contact information. The first 1,000 entrants also will receive a 15-pack of Point 88 colored pens.
The contest is open only to UK residents. There are no age restrictions. Entries will be accepted until March 31.
The drawing will be held April 1 – no foolin’.
We at Tiger Pens are not eligible to enter, so we wish all of you the best of luck in scoring some great Stabilo swag.
In case you’ve missed it, North America is experiencing nerdvana this week with TED 2015 underway in Vancouver and SXSW going in Austin.
Moleskine has signed on as a sponsor of the TED conference and is inviting fans to take part via Twitter for chances to win Moleskine loot.
(The Technology, Entertainment and Design conference is a gathering in which the top minds in those fields give brief talks – each one 18 minutes or less – about ideas worth spreading).
Using #IdeasNoted, Moleskine is tweeting questions about how people use their notebooks to keep track of ideas. The notebook maker also has a table set up at the conference where attendees can “write, discuss and record their answers through a mixture of handwriting, tweeting, sketchnoting, video and human contact.” Continue reading →
This is the time of year when some days are best spent curled up inside where it’s toasty, drinking something hot and sweet and reading about your favorite things.
If you’re a pen person, this is a collection of reads that might just make you feel all warm and fuzzy. So, grab your tablet and your mug, find the snuggliest seat in the house and settle in.
Pocket protector envy
Gizmodo is in love with the Rotring 800+, except for its price tag. So, now that Monteverde has a mechanical pencil/stylus on the market – one that includes a ruler, scale and phillips and flathead screwdrivers – for less than the Rotring, the writers at Gizmodo are ecstatic.
Now this is an new angle on the whole kids-and-handwriting discussion. The Herald Scotland reports that, in response to concerns that Scottish children’s handwriting skills are deterioriating, an academic in the education field blames the use of baby buggies.
My fountain pen can beat up your keyboard
The always pen-friendly Guardian makes another argument for the superiority of handwriting to keyboarding with a round-up of studies linking improved cognition with writing by hand. And it’s not just handwriting that enriches mankind, the piece concludes.
Certainly the graphic arts and calligraphy are thriving. Perhaps, in their way, they compensate for our soulless keyboards.
At least ink knows no gender
Author Ted Bishop earns a double-edged review from the Winnipeg Free Press for his engaging book, “The Social Life of Ink.” The reviewer enjoys Bishop’s exploration of inks and their uses, including his attempts to make ink from charred sheep bones, but takes issue with the author’s tendency to lapse in chauvinist tropes.
A book that’s been out for a few months now in the UK – Adventures in Stationery – will finally be available in the US by mid-April.
If you’re a pen, paper or ink person, you’ll want to get your hands on a copy of this book.
It’s author James Ward’s humorous exploration of the origins of pens, pencils, Blu-Tack and an assortment of other items you probably have in your desk right now. The book has been getting great reviews, with special mention for the author’s ability to inject levity into a potentially dry subject.
Can’t get enough of pens, paper and ink? Check out these bits of pen miscellanea we’ve collected for your reading enjoyment.
Forget oil, invest in pens
The BBC has devoted quite a bit of space to pure penography for fountain pen collectors, including offering some advice for finding and maintaining choice additions. The network’s conclusion: There is more demand for vintage fountain pens than there is supply. Continue reading →
Since the launch of Platinum’s 3776 Century series in 2011 they have released several model’s each with a different theme. July 2014 saw the appearance of the Nice, which is a design with a feminine touch. The barrel has pink hues whilst the nib & accents have a pink gold finish. Following in these footsteps is the PUR, also styled to embrace Nice & “the Bay of Angels” its due for release on 20th September.
The 3776 Century fountain pen range all have an innovative slip & seal mechanism in the cap which prevents the ink from drying out & pre “Nice” they were available with black red & blue barrels all with the carefully engineered hallmarks expected of Platinum.
The forthcoming Platinum PUR has been designed with the intention of bringing the shimmering azure waters of the illustrious Côte d’Azur to life. Favoured by the rich & famous for well over two hundred years this area in the South of France has seen the coming & going of Queen Victoria, Henri Matisse, Bridget Bardot & Elton John to name but a few.
This stylish fountain pen has a resin body with a transparent frosted sandblasted finish, a screw on cap & indented lines in a diamond cut effect that catch the light in the same way that sunlight reflects on shimmering water. The Silvery white hardwearing rhodium plated accents add a touch of class. At the centre of the pen a wide band is home to the logo, the 14ct gold nib also has a rhodium finish & you can choose broad medium or fine tips.
The first 2000 PUR fountain pens will have a serial number engraved on the back of the cap they will be packaged in an oval gift box with a cartridge & converter. Enhanced by the slip & seal mechanism this limited edition pen will provide a smooth reliable writing experience even to infrequent users, apparently the ink will flow if the pen is unused for 2 years.
In launching the PUR Platinum aim to have provided a matching pair of pens for couples.
I think the key to their success may be the pen’s compatibility with an amazing number of refills, more than 50 all total. Included in that list: Pentel EnerGel, Pilot Hi-Tec-C, Lamy Rollerball and both the Pilot FriXion and Uniball Fanthom erasable ink pens. Continue reading →
Apparently, Wile E. Coyote has gotten into international politics.
That can be the only explanation for a rash of reports the last couple of years about tricksters smuggling “disappearing ink pens” into polling places around the world from Russia to Maldives.
I am totally not making this up.
At first glance, I thought maybe it was the ink pens that were disappearing. Everyone knows we have a global pen thief problem. But no, the reports are about actual pens filled with disappearing ink. The story is that voters use the pens to mark their ballots, and then their vote quickly fades away. Continue reading →
Pentel has been supporting various cancer campaigns for several years, starting with breast cancer in 2006. Now, the pen company is getting involved with pancreatic cancer research, too.
November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. The color of the campaign is purple. So, naturally, Pentel has offered up its violet Pentel EnerGel pens to help raise funds for the cause.
For each pack or box of a dozen sold in the US, Pentel is donating US$.05 to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. The company is also donating pens to the group for use during training and other events.
The violet EnerGels join Pentel’s range of pink pens that help raise money for breast cancer research and blue and white EnerGels that go toward prostate cancer support.
Pancreatic cancer is a particularly scary incarnation of the illness, with Pentel reporting on its blog that:
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest five-year survival rate of all major cancers at just 6 percent, while seventy-three percent of patients die in the first year of diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer death because there are currently no detection tools to diagnose the disease in its early stages.
So, if you’d like to pick up some great gel pens and give a little to help improve the odds of survival, look for the specially marked packages of violet Pentel EnerGel pens at US retailers.
In early September, NPR took on the issue of brick-and-mortar pen stores by focusing on one that has been up and running since 1924, Daly’s Pen Shop in Milwaukee, Wisc.
Daly’s bills itself as the oldest pen store in the US, selling mainly fountain pens and inks, as well as other high-end pens.
But the irony?
Just a few weeks after the NPR program aired, the store closed its main location after 90 years and moved into a smaller space because rents were too high and customers too few to keep the doors open.
Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening to pen shops in the US and, to a lesser extent, the UK. The niche market is being squeezed on the local level to the point that they are being forced to shift online or go out of business. Continue reading →
Zebra Pen company has chosen a…unique…way of celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Zebra Sarasa gel pen.
The company has teamed up with Lipton tea and released a limited edition set of iced tea-scented Zebra Sarasas. The 10 pens of the set each smell like a different flavor of Lipton available in the Japanese market, including apple tea, caramel tea and milk tea.
Each scent has its own color ink, ranging from red for the apple tea to light blue for the vanilla tea. The barrels bear the Lipton Tea logo and match the ink color. Other than that, they seem to be regular 0.5mm Sarasa gel pens. Continue reading →
Usually a Multi-Pen has either three or four colours typically black blue red & green or perhaps two colours and a pencil. However those clever boffins in Japan at Pilot Pens have developed the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Multi-Pen system this allows you to create a pen just the way you want it by mixing & matching from 15 different colour refills.
To create your own Multi-Pen first you need an empty Multi-Pen body to fill it with your favourite colours. We currently have three different models and changing refills is really easy each pen has a cap at the top which flips open and you simply pull out your old refill and slide a new one in. the refills all easily identifiable by their colour coded fins.
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto 4 Colour Gel Multi- Pen Body
The Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto 4 pen body is available with a clear barrel or translucent black, blue or pink barrel and it has a matching rubber grip area.
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto 5 Colour Gel Multi- Pen Body
The Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto 5 pen body is available with a clear barrel or translucent black, blue or pink barrel and it has a matching rubber grip area.
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Lumino 4 Colour Gel Multi- Pen Body
The Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Lumino 4 pen body is their top of the range model made from strong plastic with either a matt black or metallic silver finish.
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Refills
Pilot Hi-Tec-C refills are available with either a 0.4mm tip that writes a 2.0mm wide and available in 15 colours or with a 0.5mm tip that writes a 0.3mm wide line and available in 10 colours. There is also a refill which is a 0.5mm mechanical pencil.
We think that the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Multi-Pen system is a great idea and would love to hear any comments you have, maybe you already own one and could let us know what you think of it.