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November 17, 2023

Helpful Hints from joeeze: How to fix a credit card that won't swipe


Wrote Judy Dutton in Wired:

A credit card is like a cassette tape: it slowly gets garbled from overswiping.

The reason: both the tape and the magnetic stripe on the credit card are made up of millions of iron-oxide particles that convey information by generating electrical pulses in the reader.

With wear, these particles get smeared, creating background noise. Luckily, this noise has very low magnetism, and it can be dampened by increasing the space between the magnetic stripe and the head that reads it.

So simply cover the stripe with Scotch tape.

November 17, 2023 at 04:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

'Trompe l'oeil with Writing Materials' — Edwaert Colyer

Screenshot 2023-09-22 at 8.48.32 AM

Oil on panel, painted in London c. 1702.

From the Victoria & Albert Museum:

A Dutch painter possibly of English descent, Edwaert Colyer (who later anglicised his name to Edward Collier) worked in Leiden and later Amsterdam.

He moved to London in 1693, where he worked until 1706.

During this period in London he was active as a painter of still lives and trompes l'oeil.

This trompe-l'oeil painting is a virtuoso representation of the painter's skill at making a flat surface appear three-dimensional.

Objects represented are a letter rack with writing materials including a quill, sticks of sealing wax, a stamp, and a paper knife.

There is also a folded news sheet, a copy of the almanac Apollo Anglicanus, and a medal representing Charles I.

These three items allude to the accession of Queen Anne, which occurred on 8 March 1702 (1701 old style).

Collier's signature appears as an inscription on a folded sheet of paper.

On display at Young V&A (Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA), Imagine Gallery, Living Room, South Wall

November 17, 2023 at 12:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Pen Fetish Peeps: Your Ship Just Came In


Since forever I've been looking for a better pen.

Now comes the Uni Jetstream Edge, an ultra-fine (0.28mm) pen that's "rollerball smooth, but with fast drying ballpoint ink."

From Core77:

This will only matter if you're a serious sketching/writing nerd.

If you're looking for a pen with a ultra-fine point, you can grab a 0.5mm at your local big-box. Dig deeper online, and you'll find pens with 0.3mm or even 0.2mm tips. But they're all rollerballs. That's because the ink chemistry required for such a fine point is easier to pull off with rollerballs, which use thinner ink; you just can't get that smoothness with the oil-based ink that ballpoint pens use.

Or at least, you couldn't before. Japan's Uni, a/k/a the Mitsubishi Pencil Company, has figured out the ink formula with their Jetstream Edge, a pen with an absurdly fine 0.28mm ballpoint.


Says the company:

"Prepare yourself for an extraordinary writing experience that will leave you amazed. With its hexagonal barrel, knurled metal grip, and eye-catching wire clip, the JETSTREAM Edge oozes style. But it's not just about looks — our archival-quality hybrid black ink delivers smooth and vibrant writing that rivals gel pens, all while drying quickly like a ballpoint."

The Uni website says "limited-time availability" and indeed it's sold out there.

No worries, readers: my Crack Research Team©™® was all over this instanter and I'm pleased to report that you can buy one of these bleeding-edge pens — in White, Black, Navy, or Champagne Gold — for $8.20-$8.75.


Want to differentiate yourself from hoi polloi?

No worries, we got you covered:

Limited Edition Red: $63.54.

Limited Edition Light Blue: $30.70.

Limited Edition Yellow: $30.50.

Can't quite pull the trigger?


the video.

I can feel the gravitational waves emanating from my Crack Pen Fetish Correspondent©™® in Atlanta's southern suburbs.

November 17, 2023 at 08:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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