Wiser Web Wednesday

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


512 Pixels
This time of year there is much ado about the Atlanta Pen Show, and of course The Pen Addict podcast community as an ever-increasing subset of attendees. Although I cannot see myself ever getting over there, I’ll chip in for the Live Podcast Video while each year it continues to run on Kickstarter.

I like the challenges presented by producing a live podcast. The tech requirements are different, as is the environment. The Pen Addict community is amazing, and it’s always fun to do something new and exciting with them.

Here Relay FM co-founder Stephen Hackett with a little of what goes on behind setting and recording the live show:
Behind the Scenes at The Pen Addict 200


The Pencilcase Blog
Pocket-sized pens do hold some allure for me, as I’m often walking from office to writing spot (read:cafe) with a pen in my pocket.

Of course having a demonstrator pen eyedroppered is awesome, but the folks over at FC went beyond that, and added a custom, rough finish to the inside of the barrel and cap. This texture adds a lot of visual interest to the pen, with ink sloshing around inside, that gets stuck on the texture.

There is even more allure with a pen that looks like this one. A great review, and also check out the associated giveaway:
Franklin-Christoph Pocket 40 Review


Peaceable Writer
I still find Patrick Ng’s Chronodex system to be one of the more attractive ways of managing time and tasks in an analogue system.

After trying it a few years ago, I couldn’t quite make it stick. That may have had something to do with me drawing freehand the graphical dial at the heart of the system on occasions when I ran out of printed templates.

There were some areas of Patrick’s Daily Scheduler that didn’t resonate for me, and so I, uh, took them out.

As described here, probably a little modification of the template is perhaps as far as one should go with any “mods”:
Tale of a Vandal Notebook User: More #Chronodex


The Clicky Post
I must admit some of my favourite posts are those celebrating some of the cheaper options in this hobby of ours.

Whilst it may seem that the only writing instruments I use are fancy fountain or machined barreled pens, I actually use my fair share of your normal, everyday, “over-the-counter” pens for much of my general writing and note taking

I’m with Mike. Despite the blog posts and Instagram feeds full of fountain pens, fancy nibs and inks – I’m sure a lot of gel, felt tip and “roller-balling” goes on in the day-to-day of many:
Inexpensive Pens That I Reach For Often


Dot Cross Dot
After seeing this Indian-manufactured pen reviewed by Ian Hedley on Pens! Paper! Pencils!, I remain no less intrigued upon seeing it again.

The level of craftsmanship involved in making this pen is amazing, the finish looking as good as an Edison even if the design is not as well refined

In keeping with that initial post, more words of praise from this thorough review:
Fosfor Bangalore


Crónicas Estilográficas
A summary of some recent “issues” that have played out, and continue to do so in many ways within the “enthusiast” segment of the pen community.

I have always argued that we, stylophiles, were a small group, economically weak, almost irrelevant in the economic balance of pen makers when compared to the group of occasional pen buyers.

Highlighting what I have often pondered: which is whether — as a community of enthusiasts — the collective weight of the “little guy” has much sway in the thinking of larger companies, given the market afforded them by the volume of casual purchasers.

I also wonder if we will ever really know the answer:
Signs of Change


Being fairly entrenched with Spark for iPhone and iPad, and the Gmail web interface on the Mac for my email needs, I’m not inclined to shake things up again. One thing I will say though, for something I spend a bit of time in each day – design is a little more important to me than what the following suggests:

While Airmail’s iPad design won’t win any design awards, its support for iOS 9 technologies is some of the finest on the platform. Alongside integration with Split View for iOS 9 multitasking, Airmail for iPad comes with fantastic keyboard shortcuts which highlight how the app strives to provide desktop-class versatility to its users.

I guess for those looking for the full iOS and OS X suite – it’s now all there:
With Version 1.1 and an iPad App, I’m Switching to Airmail


Finer Things in Tech
David Chartier on the iOS file system:

After working in various forms of customer support, campus laptop rental support, classic computer sales, and ‘friends and family support’ throughout the years, and doing my fair share of people watching in cafes, businesses, and Apple Stores, I believe the file system never actually worked for regular folks who don’t live and breath technology. The Windows and even Mac file systems were something they barely tolerated or, most often, simply avoided by saving everything to the desktop.

I’d agree with the above, and when you read enough tech writing, it’s easy to think every user is at least a little interested, which of course could not be further from the truth:
Apple made the right decision in hiding iOS’s file system, and now we have the tools to make everyone happy


You Tube – USA Network
After initially being a little hesitant about whether I’d enjoy Season 1 of Mr Robot, that was soon resolved after a couple of episodes.

Looking forward to Season 2:
Mr Robot Season Two Trailer


That Inking Feeling
Now headlong into an Olympic year – come the August opening ceremony in Rio, stories such as this will probably be more common than we think.

Some time, some perspective and some travel have reminded me of a few things. If I’m going to define myself as a hockey player – and maybe even as a person – based on whether I’ve played in the Olympics, I’ve realised I’m devaluing myself

So close, yet a champion all the same:
The Story of a Not-Quite Olympian


CRS Coffeelands Blog
After a flurry of writing on the slave labour in Brazil’s coffee industry, it’s nice to see some follow-up.

It won’t be easy.  But thanks to more than 20 years of relentless innovation by leaders in Brazil’s public, private and non-profit sectors, the path to total eradication of slave labor may be shorter there than anywhere else in the world.

Interesting reading in relation to what this all might mean for policy makers, coffee companies and consumers:
Stamping out slavery in Brazil’s coffee sector


Brisbane Times
Firmly in the camp of just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should, we have a Sunshine Coast cafe serving coffee made on camel milk.

The milk is very accessible and because it is a tourism area near the Australia Zoo we have people interested in camel milk

Yes… of course they are. So – for your $14.50 — I guess only one question remains: One hump or two?
Sunshine Coast cafe serving up camel milk coffees


Perfect Daily Grind
Sometimes I think the great coffee which comes from many countries is in at least some ways because of the challenges faced in bringing it to the consumer.

Don’t get me wrong, great coffee is great coffee — and some grown virtually on our doorstep in Papua New Guinea fits that description.

If you could design the perfect country for growing coffee, it would look something like Papua New Guinea. With its vast mountain ranges, tropical climate, and fertile volcanic soils, it has the ideal mix of environmental factors.

It certainly looks like a tough slog in producing it though:
Poor Roads: Are They the Biggest Issue Facing Papua New Guinea’s Coffee?


With an increasing amount being said on the topic of gender diversity in the coffee industry, this piece I found particularly interesting, given the views on traditional roles and societal norms playing a large part in where things stand today.

Our own gender expectations—and what classifies as public/skilled work, typically classified as male, as opposed to private/service work, typically classified as female—can lead to this sexism problem, e.g. men being expected to have more technical proficiency than women, and women to be better at hospitality.

An interesting read:
Gender & Coffee: Challenging The Status Quo


The Whisky Sponge
Angus MacRaild on perhaps the passing of what made great whisky, well… great. Settle in (with your favourite dram of course) – this one is an interesting read though certainly not a short one.

How connected can you feel to a product when your role in its creation becomes solitary and related to the correctly timed pushing of buttons? There are undoubtedly many good malt whiskies still produced in Scotland but it has become an industry of factories. An industry long divorced from true notions of craft, authenticity or tradition; except in the abstract as instruments of marketing. The very worst aspects of capitalism emerge when it is allowed to unleash the natural hunger of human greed without checks or balance. A vast corporation is a machine in which each individual can contribute but in which so few can regulate. The greed of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Posts on The Whisky Sponge typically bring about a smile or chuckle, however it’s all business this time. In the midst of corporate efficiencies, large-scale production and the dreaded distiller’s yeast, thankfully there appears some remaining hope for greatness again:
Whisky: The Past & The Possible

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