Boing Boing 

Tactical stabbing pen adds handcuff key and other stuff

The Uzi Tactical Defender Pen goes beyond the usual "if it's stabby and matte black, it's tactical" realm, adding in a DNA-Catcher (a snaggy bit), a hidden handcuff key, a glass-breaker, and a writes-upside-down-and-underwater cartridge. It's not even black.

Are you expecting the unexpected? Does expecting the unexpected make the unexpected expected? Either way, the Uzi Tactical Pen turns a mere pen into a life saving tool. The DNA Catcher on the crown of the pen is very sharp and can be used to deliver a very nasty jab to an attacker, causing extreme pain and giving you a sample of their DNA to use when you go to the police. Not expecting to get attacked? The crown also doubles as a glass breaker if you ever get trapped in your vehicle... If things get really bad, you can always rely on the hidden handcuff key inside the top of this pen. This badass writing utensil is made of high-grade aircraft aluminum and writes upside down or under water. If you can find a situation where you use all of this pen's features and live to tell the tale, we probably owe you some sort of prize.

Uzi Tactical Defender Pen (via Red Ferret)

How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical and Theoretical Treatise on the Artisinal Craft of Pencil Sharpening

On the surface, David Rees's How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants is just a protracted mockery of the mania for "authenticity" and "artisanship" -- poking fun at the pretense of snobbish reworking of everyday objects and tasks into extremely precise and expensive amusements for the bourgeoise (ultimate milkshakes, high-priced hand-roasted coffee beans, small cask liquor). John Hodgman's very funny and acerbic introduction certainly hints at that, and by the book's end, that's what Rees is getting up to, with chapters like "How to Sharpen a Pencil With Your Mind" and "Mastering Celebrity Impression Pencil Sharpening (CIPS)."

And yet. The first 100+ pages of this book are, for the most part, an incredibly detailed and often loving obsessive's guide to putting a really, really fine point on a pencil. Notionally this is the outcome of Rees's "Artisinal Pencil Sharpening" business in Beacon. But there's just a little bit too much detail in these sections to just be a parody. I'm left with the inescapable conclusion that Rees just fucking loves sharpening pencils. Really.

And like everyone who puts a lot of attention into something that we do without any conscious thought, Rees has, in fact, found something marvelously obsessive and fascinating at the heart of the everyday. As silly as it seems, there really is something deeply satisfying about a really sharp pencil.

It's this genuine obsession at the heart of the mockery that makes How to Sharpen Pencils more than a predictable, bitter indictment of "hipsters" and the world's delight in hand-crafted, attentive care in the everyday. Because for all that Rees is poking fun, he's also there, at the coalface, unquestionably putting dozens (hundreds?) of hours into getting his writing implements into a state of deadly pointfulness. From his vantage-point atop Mount Obsessive, Rees is able to see far and wide, and the picture he paints there is both true and very, very funny.

If Rees's name sounds familiar, it's because he's the guy behind Get Your War On (AKA "My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable" and "My New Filing Technique is Unstoppable") -- one of the greatest political webcomics of all time.

Rees's publisher, Melville House, was kind enough to supply a PDF of chapter 2 for your delectation and edification.

How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants

Scotch Tape ad with flying saucers

3M's 1957 Scotch Tape ad makes me want to go out and buy office supplies.

Five Fun Friday Ads :P

Fractal Menger sponge made from Post-Its

Nicholas Rougeux made this fabulous Menger sponge fractal out of mini Post-its, which he swears by for erecting fractals:

Each Post-It was torn into 16 equal squares, then folded into units and assembled into the sponge.

Post-its offer surprisingly structural durability and are easy to get in large quantities making them ideal for assembling structures like these.

(via Kottke)