Wiser Web Wednesday

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

 

The Pen Addict
I enjoyed this piece on vintage pens, as I can see myself eventually looking in that direction as my experience continues to grow within the hobby.

Posts such as these will be infinitely helpful when that time comes:
Vintage Pens for People Who Think Vintage Pens Are Scary

 

The Desk of Adam
Back in my school days, mechanical pencils were certainly in heavy use in the classroom, with rOtring providing most of the supplies for my grade 9 and 10 tech drawing class.

Since then, my desk hasn’t seen the likes of a mechanical pencil very much at all. Great reviews such as these might lead to me reconsidering that situation:
rOtring 600 Mechanical Pencil Review

 

The Finer Point
The Zebra Sarasa Clip remains a staple in my desk drawer at work, where often the paper and/or situation may not be conducive to my favourite fountain pens.

Anything below 0.5mm tends to be a little fine for me, and the Sarasa has been a go-to for quite some time now:
Zebra Sarasa Clip 0.5mm Review

 

Pens! Paper! Pencils!
Ian with a great review of what can certainly be described as a very striking looking writing instrument.

Somehow though what I feel when I’m using this pen is that it’s going to create its own history. It’s going to write millions of words, it’s going to create it’s own story, it’s going to write trivial nonsense (as it did while it was with me) and it’s going to write some words that will be very important in some people’s lives

I’m also probably not the only one picturing Ian’s slightly trembling hand ever so delicately placing the pen on that scratch-inducing mosaic table for the photograph:
Yard-O-Led Grand Viceroy Victorian Fountain Pen Review

 

Alt. Haven
I mentioned in a recent review of the Lamy Nexx and Pelikan Pelikano entry-level pens I didn’t think those two necessarily looked as such. The Twist – to me at least, probably does, which of course doesn’t exclude it from being a great pen for the intended purpose.

However the moulded grip is extremely opinionated. It insists loudly that there is only one right way to hold the pen. You either have to conform or suffer trying to shoehorn the pen to your own writing style. The triangular grip on the Lamy Safari is way easier to handle in comparison. I do not write with the traditional tripod grip and the grip section bothered me greatly.

I would say I have a standard sort of grip when writing, and even I often find myself fine tuning my grip as I go — even with something like a Lamy Safari. Not sure how I’d go with the Twist1:
Review: Pelikan Twist

 

Sprudge
An outline of the proposed merger between the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) and the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA):

What both groups propose is a hybrid organization, one that hopes to expand opportunities for education, professional development and leadership training, as well as an expanded calendar of events.

With questions raised about the real benefits to the respective membership bases, it will be interesting to see the final outcome.

As simply a keen non-industry observer, probably about the only thing I can offer is an appropriate acronym, which mathematically works quite well – SCA(A+E):
The World’s Largest Coffee Trade Organizations Want To Unify

 

Observer Business & Tech
I must admit at times I’ve wondered, though probably not enough to actually ask the question of people toiling away at my favourite cafe.

Two gentlemen decided to do just that, and wrote about the answers:
What Are People Working on in Coffee Shops?

 

ABC News
Coffee may be involved, however this programme has more to do with the great people behind organisations like Mission Australia (many of whom are volunteers) than the beverage.

Mission Australia programme manager Sarah Brown:

Unfortunately we lost some funding down in Brisbane, so we brought the van up here as a great opportunity for us to support our clients

It’s easy to forget the difficulties organisations such as these face in obtaining funding for the great work they do:
How coffee is changing the lives of the long-term unemployed in far north Queensland

 

The Specialty Coffee Chronicle
I like the idea of this “palate training” process. Sometimes I feel the flavours whose names escape me might just be helped by exercises such as these. That said, perhaps “a little fruity” might just continue to suffice:
The Importance of Exercise: Palate Development

 

Huffington Post
What sort of effects are you faced with in kicking a caffeine habit? Everything you’d expect really.

Although I can suggest a relatively easy way to avoid them, a piece on said effects here:
What Happens To Your Brain When You Quit Coffee

 

FlowingData
Although of course you may interested in the average, per person daily consumption of various foods in the American diet since 1970.

For me, the presentation of… well … flowing data caught my eye:
The Changing American Diet

 

Ulysses Blog
There is a lot to be said about getting down those ideas somewhere, whether related to your novel or not.

If it’s a dumb idea it doesn’t matter. If it’s a lost one it does.

Upon reflection, unfortunately most of mine sit firmly in the former of the above categories:
Ten Things You Should Know About Writing a Novel With Ulysses, by David Hewson

 

Academic workflows on a Mac
Although I don’t use TaskPaper myself, there are plenty who do, and seem to love it. This sentiment only seems to be growing with version 3.

Most visibly, it allows to collapse or expand items as well as focus on specific projects in the side-bar, thus acting as an outline and not simply a linear task list.

Tempting indeed:
TaskPaper 3

 

The Brooks Review
Upon reading and listening to concerned voices about Apple’s position in the AI/Big Data realm, I found myself shaking my head thinking: Nah, I don’t agree with that. Why exactly? I’m not one hundred percent sure.

I think however, it is probably something like this:
Avoiding BlackBerry’s Fate

 

Evolving Economics
Make of this what you will:

Today I want to muddy the waters. Not only is the “we can save the world” TED talk angle that tends to accompany behavioural science stories boring, but this angle also ignores the problems and debates in the field.

I have attempted of late to read a little outside my usual sphere of content. To that end I have been ably assisted by a kind reader providing some audio content for my listening pleasure as well.

More of this reading will likely find its way here on the occasional Wednesday:
Bad Behavioural Science: Failures, bias and fairy tales

 

  1. Incidentally — I can bust a move; here I’m talking about the pen in the review. Just to be clear ↩︎

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