Space pen; Da Vinci Code mug; Plain English guide


Never buy anything from Amazon unless Dr M von Vogelhausen has reviewed it first…

Fisher Space World Famous Bullet Pen In Black Titanium Nitride Lacquer Finish
***** out of this world!
If, like me, you often need to write when upside down, or on grease, then you may have been mildly frustrated by the lack of a writing solution for those situations. I have always been able to deal with this frustration as I do the many questioning voices in my head – by humming internally.

However, I was recently selected as the science officer on a secret Chinese space mission. While in the disorientating zero gravity environment of their spacelab, I was tasked with observing its effects on a variety of living organisms. The chihuahuas did not cope well whilst the candy floss seemed to flourish. Try as I might, however, I was not able to record more detailed observations as my biro and fountain pen both were messy failures. My frustration grew.

Matters came to a head when i was chosen to lead a group of Austro-Portuguese marine therapists on an expedition to perform counselling on an unhappy section of coral reef off the coast of Southampton. My role, not being trained in the field, was of overseer or supervisor, but I was unable to fill in the endless paperwork that inevitably comes with marine therapy these days, because my pen simply didn’t work underwater. In fact the paper was pretty poor as well.

So, this pen, able to write in all of these conditions, would have been invaluable to me.

The Da Vinci Code (Logo) Mug
***** good for drinks
well, i’m a fan of coffee but sometimes the rush hits me so hard that i forget what my favourite book is. darn it! wait a moment… what is this? a mug… with a reminder of that book! what machiavellian genius thought of this? yes, admittedly, when drinking the coffee, the name of the book is obscured by the nature of the human drinking process, but at such times drinking in front of the mirror, with a little bit of Leonardo’s backward genius, is the way to go. superb!

plain english2

Oxford Guide to Plain English
***** a triumph!

It was not without an insinuating sense of foreboding that I came to open this instructive tome. Having done so I feel it would be more than somewhat remiss of me not to take the time to elaborate on its effectiveness as a tool for the simplification, nay clarification, of the style with which one writes. It almost goes without saying – but does not quite do so – that prior to my perusal of this work i found that the meaning i intended to convey when I put pen to paper (or indeed fingers to keys as in this case) was sometimes obscured. In the time (the exact measure of which i feel bound to admit has escaped me) that has elapsed since i came to the end of this manual of style, the change in my own style has not been impossible to appreciate, nor has it been by any means unwelcome. I found myself concerned that my judgement of the book itself might fail to encompass the nature of my positivity towards it, nevertheless I cannot deny myself the pleasure of saying that this failure did not in fact materialise.

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4 thoughts on “Space pen; Da Vinci Code mug; Plain English guide

    Richard Holmes
    March 19, 2014 at 09:43

    Robert, I took your advice and checked out the Veet comments – I can honestly say the second one left me weeping with laughter. Thank you!

    March 19, 2014 at 15:00

    It is a psychological strain — in fact, a kind of torture — for me to write a comment on a Dabbler blog which is not facetious, or ironic, or at least clever-sounding (to me, anyway) but. . .

    Over thirty years ago someone gave me a Fisher Space Pen. It was purchased at the Museum of Modern Art shop, I believe. I have never been without one since then, and I have some spares in a drawer.

    The best thing about it, as far as I’m concerned, is that I can keep it in my pocket — capped, it is not much larger than a small pen knife, 3.5 inches of sleek chrome. The ink goes on forever (almost) — except for once, I’ve lost my pen before having to buy a refill.

    The “space” qualities make a difference too. The pen works on surfaces — such as plastic or sellotape (what we call Scotch tape) — that ordinary ballpoint pens do not. And while I’ve never had to use the pen upside-down, I often find I have to write something on the horizontal, such as a shopping list on the refrigerator or a note already affixed to a door. An ordinary pen, in which the ink flow depends on gravity, gives out after the first couple of words; there is no problem with the Fisher Space Pen.

    While some “masterpieces” of modern design touted by MOMA are utter failures on the practical level — such as a Bauhaus clear glass teapot, in which, if anyone were to put it to practical use, the temperature of the tea would fall to lukewarm by the time he or she would be pouring his or her second cup (there, I’ve had my little opportunity for cleverness) — the Fisher Space Pend combines utility with a sleek Brancusi-like aesthetic.

    March 19, 2014 at 20:47

    My pleasure, Richard. I’m amazed and overjoyed Amazon keeps this stuff up there. 777 reviews, each trying to outdo the last in horrific hyperbole. Presumably grown up men straining their descriptive powers over an absurd product. Nearly restores my faith in the public.

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