Tuesday, September 29, 2009
This is the 4th part to the 10 part blogs of the Sailor Creatures of the Deep fountain pens collection. Previously, we wrote about clown fish, Hammerhead Shark and Whales. Today, we will talk about Octopus, known by the Japanese as "Tako".
Friday, September 25, 2009
We always wanted to start our small collection of ink color, and didn't want to burn a hole in our pocket. Ink can be pretty expensive nowadays. We went out hunting for a budget ink. We found Pelikan...
During our hunt, we found that brown color is hard to come by. The ink is available at most big departmental, Popular book store and pen retailers.
Here are pictures of our favour color ... brown and violet...
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
As we walk down the path of our pens collection, there are moments in the past where we purchased a pen(s) that we don't like, or a pen that just does not fix into our collection.
There have been requests from our readers for us to set up a market place to help them free up some funds.
We hear you and are considering how best to do it for the community. If we do set up the market place, rest be a assure that we will not ask you to “pay and pay” to feel the ERP(ain) in order to release your own funds (pen(s)).
Hopefully, we can work out the details that meet all parties soon.
In the meantime, write to us if you are planning to release some of your collection or looking for a particular pen(s). We will help you as much as possible.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Last year (2008) F1 was not only a landmark race for Singapore, but also one for Forumula One history book as it is a night race - a first in it 59 years history of the championship.
Honestly, we do not understand why it is called a night race when the lighting setup stuck up almost all the power of our little "right" dot, and lit up the streets so bright that it is even brighter than the day... maybe it should be call sometime like "F1:Beyond the Day light race".
There was another first title for last year 2008 F1 race that not well know. It was also the first street race in Asia for Formula 1, as well as being one of the few held on a race track that runs anti-clockwise.
Many big boys in different industries, taking this opportunity to release their own version of "first". First on the line, we have our favour watches. Here is a flash back on all the Singapore Night Race watches.
On the top of the list we have Richard Mille who launched a friendship version of a watch to celebrated Mille's friendship with the Ferrari team driver Felipe Massa, and marked Massa's first Grand Prix in Singapore. It is a special timepiece for Ferrari's Felipe Massa, the RM 011 Felipe Massa Special Edition. The watch is limited to 50 peices. The cost of watch ... hold on to you chair ... S$300,000.00 (non-limited edition) ... can you guess the price tag for the RM011?
Next, we have Concord, released a C1 WorldTimer Night Race in a limited edition of 1000 pieces.
Cartier unveiled its Roadster Special Racing Edition that house the Cartier's caliber 8510 automatic chronograph movement with red seconds and chronograph hands, and water resistance to 100m. The yellow gold edition is limited to 15 pieces, and stainless steel version is limited to 100 pieces.
Tag Heuer tour de force for the Singapoer Grand Prix is a limited edition of its Grand Carrera Calibre 9 RS Grande Date GMT. It is limited to 150 pieces.
Local big brother, The Hour Glass, teamed up with Gerald Genta and Hulbot to launch their version of F1 limited edition.
Gerald Genta Fantasy Mickey Racing was launch first. It came in a black-and-white carbon fiber dial, our national symbol of Singpaore (red lion head) prominently display at the top of the dial. It is limited to 50 pieces. The price tag was 5 digits.
Next "bang" is Hublot Project F. The Hour Glass launched the watch to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Hour Glass had committed 5% of the retail price of every Project F Bang chronograph sold at it boutique in Singapore and Malaysia.
Taking this opportunity to do it part for the charity is Chopard, who contributed 2 limited edition watches. The Chopard L.U.C. Tourbillion Tech Twist with innovative silicium escapement, and the Happy Sport. Both watches are up for auction at the "President's Challenge F1 Charity Luncheon". All the proceeds from the auction was donated to the President's Challenge.
Finally, our favour watch on the list. The AP (not to be mistaken with the luxury pen AP limited edition) Royal Oak Off Shore. It came in forged carbon case with red dial, complemented with steel bezel and eight black PVD-coated screws. It is limited to 250 pieces, with 125 pieces allocated to Singapore and the reminder to the rest of the world.
While there was no pen to mark the Singapore F1 Night Race last year, however, there was one pen that marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the legendary Brooklands moter racing track.
Bentley Motors and Tibaldi proudly introduced the Bentley at Brooklands Limited Edition Collection. Hand etched with a racing motif created especially by Bentley Interior Designer, Jonathan Punter.
These pens evoke the grand style and exhilarating moments of Bentley victories at the fabled oval track. Depicting two cars racing on the famous Brooklands banking, the composition is inspired by artwork produced for the actual historical races at Brooklands, with which Bentley is so strongly affiliated.
Presented in sumptuous veneered wooden cases, lined in genuine leather, only 550 each of the sterling fountain and rollerball pens have been crafted for worlwide acquisition.
Can you feel the rush yet? No! Here is another to drive up your blood pressure. A actual Bentley Brooklands Limited Edition car... Yes, a physicall car that you can drive on the road and feel the ERP(ain). It is limited to 550 cars in production. The estimated cost is USD$300,000 (excluding all taxes).
All the items mentioned are available here in Singaproe, except the Bentley LE car which need special order and have to be placed on a wait list.
Friday, September 18, 2009
After all the talks on the net and discussion about the new Sailor REALO, it is finally available here in Singapore. We finally managed to purchase one with a music nib. It is another good fountain pen from Sailor... the piston filling system was easy to manage, and the nibs give us the satifaction of writing ...
We took a few photo shots of our new big boy toy to share the joy with all our readers.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Polar bears, or “Nanuuq”, as the Eskimos call it, are among the largest members of the bear family. They lives in the Northern Hemisphere, on the Arctic ice cap, and spend most of its time in coastal areas.
Although the polar bear snowy coat appears white, each individual hair is actually a clear, hollow tubes that reflect sunlight, producing a whitish/yellow camouflage in their Arctic habitat. Underneath the snowy coat is black skin, which helps them retain hear from sunlight.
Polar bears has no problem living on ice and show. These bears have a some cool ways to stay warm!
As mentioned earlier, their hair is actually clear, hollow tubes which help to reflect sunlight. There is a dense and thick undercoat of fur, which is protected by an outer coat of long guard hairs that stick together when wet, forming a waterproof barrier to keep them dry.
Blubber helps insulate polar bears from the freezing air and cold water, and act as a nutritional reserve when food can't be found. This blubber also helps the bears float in the water. It is 5 to 10 centimetres thick.
When the weather is cold, we also want to stay in bead and sleep. It is the best time to sleep. Yah! Polar bear just do that during winter. When the temperature outside drops, many bears stay warm by making a den and sleep. Polar bears do not hibernate, but their body functions do a slow down at this time. Many scientist call this “winter sleep,” because the bars can easily be awakened. A mother polar bear can give birth and nurse her young while still in her winter sleep.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
The Siberian tigers are the largest subspecies. Male weigh 180 to 306 kg, and females weigh 100 to 167 kg. The Sumatran tigers are the smallest. The male weigh 100 to 140 kg and female weigh 75 to 110 kg.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Flying to the moon had previously been the realm of science fricition and a distant dream. John F. Kennedy make a historic speech to the U.S. Congress on May 25, 1961. He called for the fullfillment of this dream, and he set a deadline - before the end of decade. Is this possible???
Back then, a lot of American felt it was a crazy plan, a waste of resouces and money, as the moon was at least a quarter of a million miles away. Any such voyage would take a minimum of five (5) days there and back, and it doesn't include the actual time spend exploring the lunar surface.
During Kennedy days, there was an international politices between 2 superpowers; Russian and American. The American was seen as second best both by itself and the others, when the Russian launched the first spaceflight piloted by Yuri Gagarine, who was a son from a ordinary carpenter. It is something that American government found it hard to swallow.
Unlike Armstrong, Gagarin was relatively inexperienced. While he might have the basic training, he doesn't have to use a single thing as the craft was design to autopilot to the destination. Gagarin basically was a passenger, who is a working class and a sons of a carpenter.
Gragarin profile fitted very well into Soivet planned progaganda - In a communist society, anyone have the equal chance and could make history. It is not necessary the elite only.
While the American launched their first flight a few week behind the Russian on May 5, 1961, the perception view by the world and themself were always that the American are 2nd best.
For years, the Russian continue to race ahead. The outside world view the Soviet program as flawless, way ahead of the American and seemed unbeatable. The contiunue to set impressive records one after another.
In 1921, the send two manned spacecraft... 1963, the sent the first woman into space ... and in March 1965, they did the first spacewalk...
The Soviets continue to be seemed as unbeatable and years ahead of the American. Flying program was more like being an airline services.
We don't have to tell you how the race end ...
While both countries fought the 'the space race', one fantastic thing was invention. Introducing the Space Pen by Paul Fisher.
In the early days, pencils was used by the astronauts when they travel to space. The problem with ordinary pencils were they broke very easily, and the lead will float around in the gravity less space cabin causing dangerous situations to the astronauts because of the debris and the scrapts. The worst was that the pencils is not cheap.
As an example, for Project Gemini, NASA ordered mechanical pencils in 1965 from Tycam Engineering Manufacturing, Inc., in Houston. The fixed price contract purchased 34 units at a total cost of $4,382.50 ($128.89 per piece). That created something of a controversy at the time, as many people believed it was a frivolous expense.
Hence, there is a need for a safer and more reliable writing instrument.
Paul see this as an opportunity and start to channel funds and resources into developing. Finally, in 1965, Paul Fisher successfully developed the first pressurized pens – Space pens.
After World War II, Paul worked for Milton Reynolds. During that time, Reynolds introduced a pen that sold for USD$12.50 each. At the store front, the queues were three blocks long to buy the new “fabulous” ball. What people didn't know was the refund line at the back of the store was about 2 blocks long... the pen didn't work well. The pens leaked everywhere.
When Paul was given the pen by Mr. Reynolds, he feedback the pens were no good at all, the basic principle wasn't any good and he walk out of the opportunity. Paul didn't want to be part of it. He went on his on way trying to perfect the ball pen. And it seemed that was not an accomplish able task at that time.
In 1965, NASA visit Paul to request his company to make a pen for space travel. Initially, Paul rejected, telling NSA straight in the face that it cannot be done. NASA was not deter and request Paul to give it another try.
NASA came to us and they said they had been using pencils in space flight, and they said that pencils were too dangerous to use in space during long flights because of the debris and the scrap. NASA asked us, would you make us a pen?
Two night later, Paul dead father visit him in his dream. In that dream, he came to Paul and said Paul, if you add a minute amount of rosin to the ink, that will stop the oozing. The following day, Paul told it to the chemist about that dream, and the chemist laughed.
The chemist continue to work with different possible type and quantity of rosin, but yeast no success. Three months later, the chemist got a break through. He used two percent resin, not rosin, and it work perfectly fine, even with a 140 pounds of air pressure behind it, it didn't leak.
Immediately, Paul called NASA and informed them his company could produced a pen for them. With the discovery, they developed the most valuable patent in all of the pen industry. Now, the pen have been used ever since in all the manned space flights.
There was a rumours that Fisher developed his space pen with NASA funding. Based on the information from the NASA history web, Fisher developed with no NASA funding. The Fisher company invested about $1 million of its own funds in the effort then patented its product and cornered the market as a result.
The Fisher pen was to operate better in the unique environment of space. The new pen, with a pressurized ink cartridge, functioned in a weightless environment, underwater, in other liquids, and in temperature extremes ranging from -50 F to +400 F.
When Fisher offered the pens to NASA in 1965, NASA double the pen concept and its approach, if it will work due to the earlier controversy. After rigorous testing, NASA managers agreed to equip the Apollo astronauts with space pens. The Media reports indicate that approximately 400 pens were purchase from Fisher at USD6/piece.
Later part of the space rate, the Soviet Union also purchased the Fisher pens.
Because of the ability to operate in a unique environment, it is no longer used by the astronauts, but many different government agency, and users who need a pen that can write in air, land or underwater...
This is a pen that you don't leave home without it … in an emergency, you need a writing instrument that you can depend on... and we believe this is the pen.
There are many look alike in the market, ask for the real thing … Fisher Space Pen.
Now, you don't have to travel far to purchase these pens, it is now available at Fook Hing Trading.
Important dates for Fisher:
1965 - Patent # 3,285,228: zero gravity space pen, original AG7 zero gravity pens were developed by Paul Fisher
1968 - Fisher Space Pen used on Apollo 7 after two years of testing by NASA
1976 - The Fisher Space Pen Co moves into its 30,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Boulder City, Nevada from Van Nuys, California
1980 - Paul Fisher selected as Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Nevada
1983 - Fisher Space Pen is used by Ronald Reagan to sign the Proclamation inaugurating the Air and Space Bicentennial Year to celebrate Man's first flight in a hot air balloon near Paris France
1985 - Fisher Space pen Co. produces the Stowaway pen line manufactured using genuine gold from the treasure recovered from the 1622 Spanish Galleon - Nuestra Senora de Atocha
1995-96 - Fisher Space Pen Co. received the Nevada Governor's Industrial Appreciation Award as Exporter of the Year
1996 - Good Morning America names the Fisher Space Pen a best stocking stuffer
1996 - Fisher licensed to produce 150th Anniversary Pens for the Smithsonian
1997 - Fisher Space Pen is used during Everest North Face Ski Expedition. Associated Press released a national article on the Fisher Space Pen Co.
1998 - The Fisher Space Pen is used on the Russian Space Station Mir to write the letters QVV (QVC Shopping Network) - the first product sold in space. Seinfeld builds an episode around the Fisher Space Pen - Seinfeld is berated by his parents for accepting the pen as a gift from a neighbour who offers the Space Pen as a token of friendship.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Lord Shiva is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, the other two being are Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. The Hindu believe that Lord Shiva represents the aspect of the Supreme Being who are behind the cyclic process of creation, preservation, dissolution and recreation of the universe.
Due to his cosmic activity of dissolution and recreation, he has been view as a destroyer or destructor in many a time, which some Hindu feel it is erroneously associated.
They believe that the creation is only possible or sustain itself by the balance of the destruction. The balance that is very delicate between the forces of good and evil. Hmmm... It seems similar to our Chinese believe of the balance of Yin and Yang.
When this delicate balance is disturbed, and life maintenance is becoming not possible, the Hindu believe that Lord Shiva will destroy the current and recreate the next cycle to set free the imprison souls from the worldly bondage. Hence,