I worked as an engineering intern for a couple of summers when I was in college. I shared a cubicle with a draftsperson named Laura. She was obsessed with two things -- being a member in good standing of an outlaw motorcycle gang, and her drafting materials, especially her mechanical pencil. I liked her very much, but one time I made the mistake of borrowing her pencil while she was on a cigarette break. When she came back and discovered me using it she was so mad I thought she was going to stab me with it. I remember her describing the pencil as her "bread and butter." I promised I wouldn't use it again and we got along wonderfully for the rest of the summer.
I'm 99% percent sure the pencil she owned was an Alvin Draft-Matic 5mm. They are available on Amazon, and reviewers love them. I bought one a few years ago and is a pleasure to use and not get hollered at.
If you want to be truly-bad ass, you can get a set of 3 in various lead thicknesses, stored in a "leather-look" pocket pouch.
Image Scrubber is a useful website that removes all the identifying metadata from any photograph and gives you the option to blur out certain parts of the photo. This is a tool for anonymizing photographs taken at protests. It will remove identifying metadata (Exif data) from photographs, and also allow you to selectively blur parts […]
Paper Mate introduced the Flair felt tip pen in the 1960s. I liked them when I was a kid because the lines were so clean and you could vary the line width. I kind of forgot about them until I was at Maker Faire and my toy inventor friend, Bob Knetzger, said he uses them […]
In this Cool Tools video, Sean Michael Ragan reviews a wall-mounted thread-checker – a handy thread verifier for nuts and bolts. It measures 3″ wide by 39″ tall, and, like the original version, features both male and female reference threads in a range of standard SAE and metric sizes. It’s mounted on a half-inch thick […]
Software apps are a dime a dozen. Well, if you’re going by their actual monetary cost, maybe not really. But considering how useless some poorly conceived, poorly executed apps are at doing the job you actually downloaded them to accomplish, it isn’t a stretch to think that many apps aren’t even worth a free download. […]
With everything happening in the last few months, we all but guarantee no one has been thinking about their taxes. That’s understandable — because, beyond all of our current concerns, nobody enjoys the whole tax filing process during even the best of times. Unfortunately, Benjamin Franklin was right — taxes truly are as inescapable as […]
Most parents know that giving their kids educational toys and other projects will expand their minds. But what many might not realize is that physical play is actually building their mental abilities as well. Studies are still in beginning stages, but some early research supports the theory that kids who get the chance to get […]