Wiser Web Wednesday

Wiser Web Wednesday – a semi-regular link to posts of interest from around the web, by those far wiser than myself:


Three Staples
Upon first glance I thought this was simply a Kakuno customisation initiative — an extension of the “whimsical and colourful design” of the pen, which Jinnie describes in the post.

Although the cracked caps are a little concerning, I am sure there are more than a few completely undamaged Pilot Kakunos now sporting embellished caps since this post was published.

Three out of three staples for both vision and execution. I like it:
Pilot Kakuno Fountain Pen Caps


The Pen Haul
Cody of The Pen Haul writes about becoming a pen addict. Like many, it began a long time ago, yet accelerated and expanded with the assistance of the internet and discovery of the online pen community.

Although the stories always interest me, I always find it interesting to read about the pens which dot the path of these journeys:
How I Became a Pen Addict


The Gentleman Stationer
The Pelikan Stola III definitely caught my attention when I first saw some images online, and Joe’s review certainly doesn’t discourage my interest. This pen actually reminds me of the Tombow Object fountain pen in my collection, which I wrote about a year or so ago.

Pelikan markets this pen as “a modern writing device for a successful start into the business world.”  If that’s their goal, Pelikan has largely succeeded, though the relatively short barrel, inability to post, and the lack of any variety in nib size will probably limit the size of the audience who can use this pen for a true daily writer.

Personally, were I to use it in my “business world”, I finer nib choice would go a long way:
Pelikan Stola III: A New Entry Level Contender?


The Pen Addict
I admit to having never been a fan of “word cloud” type patterning — particularly so with my pens. This one? Well, I must admit topic might just trump my usual preference. The texture and antique bronze trim just about seal the deal.

The build quality, form and function of the Retro 51 is, of course, a given. Indeed – I like it.
Retro 51 Coffee Tornado Review


From the Pen Cup
Although the nib grind is the hero of this story — what a great looking pen as well.

I’m trying to make 2016 the year of fewer acquisitions and more/deeper use, so it finally seemed like the perfect time to send this pen off to Dan Smith, The Nibsmith, for some nib magic.

To me, that is a sound strategy, and better yet — some mighty fine execution as far as I can tell:
High Praise: An Architect Grind by Dan Smith


David Hewson
I must admit I’ve found the Ulysses iPhone app pretty handy for adding a few hundred words to draft posts here and there, as well as putting these links together while sitting on the bus during my daily commute.

Although I could be capturing this text anywhere and adding it later, removing one step from the process makes it infinitely more efficient and convenient.

One essential in my view is that you need to be able to read, edit and make entries on a phone. A lot of the time I have thoughts about the book I’m nowhere near a computer. I need to be able to get them down quickly and have the results synced back to all of the places I want to access them

Author David Hewson writing about another use for this type of convenience — keeping a book diary:
Writing a book diary in Ulysses – David Hewson


Early yesterday morning saw a fairly subdued Apple event, which included the release of the smaller 5s-by-design, 6(ish)-by-nature iPhone SE.

Macstories is a great one stop shop for all the news and announcements, as well as looking a little deeper into the new products.

Clearly the descendant of the iPhone 5s, the new iPhone SE comes in a very similar form factor, but now packs nearly the same power and feature set as Apple’s flagship iPhone 6s

Having jumped from an iPhone 4s to the 6 upon its release 18 months ago, I am not about to return to the smaller phone, however I do believe the from factor still has considerable merit, and it sounds as though there is a market for such a device:
Apple Announces New 4-Inch iPhone SE

The real reason for my early morning yesterday? To hear about the upcoming addition of the smaller 9.7 inch Pro to the iPad line. Over the past 12 months, I’ve been particularly surprised by the proportion of writing I do when away from home, most of which occurs on my iPad mini 2 — a fantastic device in its own right.

I have however been looking forward to returning to the slightly larger form factor, and the added advantage of split screen capability. A combination which narrows my choice to either the iPad Air 2, 9.7 inch Pro, or of course the larger iPad Pro.

Federico Viticci writes in a review of the new device:

Apple is positioning the 9.7-inch iPad Pro as a smaller version of the bigger iPad Pro that comes with some unique benefits because of its higher portability. The improved display, for instance, with True Tone capabilities directly relates to the fact that more people carry around a 9.7-inch iPad than they do with a 12.9-inch device.

That said, as someone who uses a bigger iPad Pro as his only computer every day, the changes to the display brought by the 9.7-inch model don’t sound as compelling as fast charging, USB 3 transfer speeds, and the additional screen real estate of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

In some ways I’d agree with the above sentiment, however portability is key here for me, and the precise reason I moved from an iPad 2 to the mini in the first place. It won’t be much of an adjustment returning to the 9.7 inch size, and the added benefits I see for my writing workflow I’m very much looking forward to.

Read more on the Macstories review here:
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro: Our Complete Overview

Pardon…? Oh, the Air 2 or the 9.7 Pro? Newest and shiniest does have its place dear reader — indeed it does.

Before I move on, one more thought: there has been a little hand wringing online about the camera bump on the rear of the device. While I hardly use the camera on my current iPad (with the exception of scanning a few documents), I also cannot remember the last time it lay flat on its rear surface while I used it. For me and how I use an iPad? The bump won’t even get a second thought.


The Telegraph UK
With a headline like the one below, why would we panic, I mean — wait..what!

Experts say the shortage could last 10-15 years, and push up prices considerably

Don’t panic, but we might be running out of Scotch whisky

Though another article would suggest we need not worry — the French have it covered:

Nicolas Julhès, head of the Distillerie de Paris, said: “Within 15 years the world’s best whiskies will be French. We will be able to stop copying the Scots to bring a real French style. We have the greatest specialists on the ageing who have always worked in wine and cognac.”

Umm… there remains a 15 year gap in there:
Whisky could soon be France’s national drink


Perfect Daily Grind
If there is one main aim of adding water to grounds and brewing coffee, it is extraction. An interesting look into the principle of measuring said extraction through TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) via a refractometer

This tends to be between 18-22% extraction, yet each coffee is individual and has a different character. Merely aiming for this golden range, without evaluating its impact on the coffee’s taste, will leave you doomed to failure

Of course, it follows that if there is one main aim of drinking the coffee you have just extracted, it is taste:
Coffee Science: What Is TDS and Why Should You Care?


Speaking of extraction, one way of achieving the result you are seeking is though even grind particle size — something the Rafino Kickstarter project aims to assist with.

Frsh Grnd take a look:
Rafino Coffee Sieve

One thought on “Wiser Web Wednesday

  1. Pingback: In Praise of the iPad Air 2 – Pete Denison

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