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Fun Stuff

  • A Whole Bunch Of Google Pens

    Google maze penAt the risk of sounding like a fanboy, I like Google.

    Chrome, Google Earth, Android, those funny little driverless cars. I even liked the movie "The Internship," even though it was just a two-hour commercial for Google.

    They make good stuff.

    So when I read a passing mention the other day of Google pens, I got a little excited. After some searching, I tracked them down. Turns out it's a good news/bad news type of thing. The good: Yes, Google has pens. The bad: They're mostly just promotional ballpoints.

    Still, these are some cool novelty pens. With the Google logo. If you're into novelty pens and Google, that's great, right? Continue reading

  • Relax, Focus With Adult Coloring

    marvel coloring bookIf you've ever spent much time in the hospital, you know how bored you can get. That happened to me recently when I was in for quite a long stay.

    I'd run out of books, got tired of TV and wasn't all that mobile. I was desperate for something to do. Luckily, a kind nurse turned up a Marvel coloring book and a tub of crayons. Kid stuff, but I was in no position to scoff.

    For the first time since grade school, I put Crayola to paper and turned out quite a nice Captain America, even if his suit was deep black and his shield a shiny purple.

    Wow, I had no idea how relaxing coloring could be for an adult. It's one of those singular tasks that requires all your focus – and none of it. Your hands and eyes take over and your mind feels free to wander where it will. Continue reading

  • Winner of the Tiger Pens June 2015 Giveaway!

    Congratulations to Liz Slade.

    You've just won a 24-pack of Stabilo Aquacolor pencils!

    As usual, we used random.org to select one of the entries from our June 2015 giveaway. That number, 56, belonged to Liz Slade.

    Liz, please use the contact link at the bottom right of the page to send us an email with your mailing address.

    We'll get your prize on the way as soon as possible.

    For everyone else, thanks for entering and keep an eye on the blog because we'll be announcing another awesome giveaway in just a few weeks.

  • Some of Our Favourite Blog Posts in June

    Here at Tiger Pens we all like reading other peoples pen & paper related blogs. Here are a few posts that have caught our eye recently. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

    Matt from the Pen Habit lists his top 5 - his no.1 is an OMAS Ogiva which he finds a joy to hold and a joy to behold

    If there are any fans of the series Blacklist Bob's post on My Pen Needs Ink may be of interest

    Tim at the Wirecutter considers the uni-ball Jetstream has the best ink flow of any non fountain pen you can read his review

    Cheryl shares some great sketches created with fountain pen ink you can take a look on the Writers Bloc blog

    We recently came across Anderson Pens, they have a series of podcasts talking about a range of pen related stuff, anything from nibs to myths you can check them out here

    Joshua at The Pelikan's Perch has a comprehensive guide to Pelikan Fountain Pens on their blog

    Dries at The Pencilcase blog reviews Sailor Jentle Tokiwa-Matsu & has some impressive writing samples

    There's a post on Goldspot Pens about a trio of Kaweco pens. They take the sports for a spin & summarise the findings

     

  • Is being Left Handed good or bad news?

    All this hoo-ha about Prince George being left handed had me wondering if being a leftie is a good or bad thing. For starters I was a little surprised to learn that currently less than 15% of the population is left handed, here are a few other things that I came across in my travels..... hand

    • Any readers old enough to remember school days in the 30's & 40's will recall lefties being punished as if it were a sin, they had their knuckles wrapped & were forced to change their writing hand.
    • Lefties are better at sports, well that's what some say & there's no doubt that there are a fair few superstars both past & present, John McEnroe, Arnold Palmer, Babe Ruth & Paula Radcliffe to name just a few.
    • Studies suggest that babies born prematurely are more likely to be left handed
    • Left-handed people are at a disadvantage in some sports like Polo. This is down to good old health & safety as rules of the game state the mallet has to be held on the right of the horse.

    There was a time when left handed people were at a distinct disadvantage however, today there are a great number of writing aids & Left Handed Pens. Since 1976 one day each year has been labelled International Left Handed Day, this year if falls on 13th August & will promote awareness of the inconvenience of being left handed in what is essentially a right handed world.

    There are any number of random facts & figures around some more believable than others like the idea that lefties were possessed by the devil. Whether these statements/beliefs are fact or fiction can be proved or disproved depending upon what you read & where you look.

  • Do You Know This Unidentified Fountain Pen?

    There was a time in America when fountain pens were so ubiquitous they showed up as props in cartoons for kids. With that in mind, here's one for your fountain pen buffs.

    A member on the Badger & Blade forum posted a clip from a 1941 cartoon called "Mr. Bug Goes to Town." In the clip, one of the bugs hides inside what looks like a red lacquer fountain pen. RaiderSix wants to know whether anyone recognizes the unidentified fountain pen.

    (The pen makes its appearance about 47 seconds in.)

    So far, no one has definitively identified the pen. One person thought it might be an Esterbrook, another said it resembled a Parker Duofold, somebody else thought it had Sheaffer characteristics. Probably just a generic fountain pen, a few concluded.

    So, we put it to you...is this a specific fountain pen, and if so, do you know what kind it is? We might be able to scare up a little gift for the person who can solve the mystery.

    And just for giggles, here's Mickey Mouse using a generic lever filler as a machine gun.

    (At 5:27)

  • Tiger Pens Giveaway: 24-pack Stabilo Aquacolor Pencils

    Stabilo Aquacolor

    (UPDATE: This giveaway is closed. Please check the blog for the current month's giveaway.)

    Earlier in the week, we promised you a giveaway, and here it is!

    The prize for this drawing is a tin of 24 Stabilo Aquacolor pencils. They come in a wide range of pastel and primary hues and have 2.88 mm leads.

    They're great for coloring and sketching, especially since they are water-soluble and the lines can be washed for a softer, more elegant look. Stabilo calls them "the paintable pencil," suited for use by students and amateur artists.

    professional_colored_pencil(If you've not tried it before, Empty Easel offers some points on blending and brushing with colored pencils. They take you step-by-step through some simple techniques for adding a little sophistication to your sketches.)

    For a chance to win the 24-pack of Stabilo Aquacolors, just leave a comment at the bottom of this page. Entries close at midnight June 30.

    The contest is open worldwide. One entry per person, please.

    We'll randomly select one winner and announce the results on the blog July 2.

     

  • Summer 2015 Pen Giveaways

    You know what everybody loves?

    FREE STUFF!

    There, didn't your pulse speed up just the tiniest bit? It should because there are freebies in the offing from some of your favorite pen makers.

    Here are some of the pen giveaways currently running:

    UK Only

    Stabilo contestStabilo is looking for the Young Journalist of the Year in the UK. Impress the judges with your writing and you could win your own column at First News and £1000 worth of Stabilo goodies to share with your class. Continue reading

  • 5 Random Ink Facts

    Ink has been around for centuries, it's one of those everyday things we don’t take much notice of. Here are 5 facts about ink that surprised me, hope you find them interesting.

    blue-paint-splatsF2

    1. Soy Ink might not be is not as green as we think
    Initially developed in the 70's by the newspaper industry as an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional ink, it's often claimed that soy ink is easier to remove from paper. Some studies suggest however that it's difficult to treat in the recycling process due to increased oxidation that develops once vegetable oils age & dry.

    2. Ink goes all the way back to the Bronze Age
    We know that ink goes way back in time but the question of who invented it depends upon what you read & who you believe. According to historian BN Goswamy the use of ink dates back to the Bronze Age & many say that black ink was invented in 2697 BC by philosopher Tien-Lcheu.

    3. Even permanent ink can be removed
    Our medieval ancestors sourced things like hawthorn & soot, iron salts & tannic acids were also used to produce Iron Gall ink, said to be the most important ink in Western history. The latter was apparently used by Leonardo da Vinci & Bach to create & compose their masterpieces. Today a variety of complex combinations can be used to produce pens, markers & bottled ink. Although we often want something permanent & long lasting in order for important documents to stand the test of time we occasionally need to remove it. Using a lanolin based cream like Amodex should do the trick, it's eco-friendly & non-toxic.

    Amodex Ink & Stain Remover

    4. Squid Ink can be used to Treat Cancer
    Squid ink has been used in restaurants for ages, often found in pasta & rissoto dishes, but did you know that it's now considered to be a health food & can shrink tumours? Researchers have discovered that squid ink can boost immunity due to its antioxident properties, protect white blood cell production & help fight cancer and tumor cells by stopping new blood vessels growing in them.

    5. Ink can't kill you
    In the unlikely event that you should you choose to swap your morning coffee for ink then it can be harmful, the worst that can happen mind you is you may get headaches or skin irritation which is likely to be due to solvents or pigments in the ink.

  • Could Digital Pens Be Worth Writing Home About?

    The challenge to develop digital pens apparently started some 25 years ago. Today there are a number on offer, some use a camera technology developed by Anoto, others have a device that tracks the pens movement across the writing surface.

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    The description of a digital pen according to PC mag is “An electronic ballpoint pen that digitizes, stores and transfers what is written or drawn to the computer” The taking of notes is an important skill for many of us in a variety of situations, whether that's at a lecture, meeting or important presentation. A digital pen is less cumbersome to use than a tablet or laptop & is less of a distraction allowing you to concentrate on what you write without dipping in & out of emails or surfing the net.

    One of the latest gadgets around is Phree, users can scribble & make note on almost any surface, from the car dash to the office chair, you won't have to reach for a pen or your phone to record your thoughts or an all important contact name or number. It will connect to your phone, TV or laptop, anything with a bluetooth connection. As a current Kickstarter campaign Phree isn't expected to be ready for shipping until March 2016.

    If you can't wait to get your hands on a piece of this technology then you could check out the Staedtler Digital Pen. This intuitive ballpoint saves time by allowing you to record your notes or drawings by simply attaching the receiver to your page, when you're ready transfer to a PC just download using a USB cable.

    Other features

    • Capture up to 100 A4 pages
    • Refillable with standard D1 refills
    • 3 settings - choose from mobile, mouse or online modes
    • Recognises 30 languages
    • Easily manage files

    I see digital pens as another tool, ideal for taking notes where laptops, phones or tablets are banned or where there's a need for taking copius notes that need to be written up & stored digitally or emailed. Whether they will ever replace a pen or pencil is anyone's guess.

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