Now with thixotropic ink


in Daily updates, Oxford

St. Hilda’s College, Oxford

With the addition of St. Hilda’s, my collection of all the Oxford colleges actually located in Oxford is complete. At some point before I go, I will need to duck out to Kennington to have a look at Templeton College.

Today, I received the bullet-style Fisher Space Pen that I bought on eBay. The suggested complement to the ‘hipster PDA,’ the pen is meant to partially embody my new spirit of active task completion. The design is an elegant one, though the experience of writing is not as enjoyable as with my fountain pen or my nicest ballpoint pen. I’d say it is on par with the four colour pens that are my mainstay, though with a bit less scope for note categorization and a lot more of an eye-catching look.

I haven’t been able to test it underwater or in space so far, but you can expect an update once I have.

[Update: 29 March 2007] The space pen writes perfectly well on an index card submerged beneath a few inches of water. The ink does smudge if you rub it, however. I would like to test it at a greater depth. At some level, the water pressure must be greater than the gas pressure in the ink cartridge.

[Update: 13 November 2007] My father has started using a Hipster PDA as well, having seen me using mine during a recent visit to Toronto. We shall see how useful he finds it and how long he keeps it up.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan March 28, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Oh, and for those curious about the title of this post:

“Thixotropy is the property of some non-newtonian pseudoplastic fluids to show a time-dependent change in viscosity; the longer the fluid undergoes shear, the lower its viscosity. A thixotropic fluid is a shear-thinning fluid which takes a finite amount of time to reach an equilibrium viscosity when introduced to a step change in shear rate. However, this is not a universal definition; the term is sometimes applied to pseudoplastic fluids without a viscosity/time component.”


Anonymous March 28, 2007 at 7:30 pm

The space pen is the only writing instrument to have an episode of Seinfeld centered around it.

Brett March 29, 2007 at 7:48 am

If only I didnt have my nasty pen chewing habit…

Anonymous March 29, 2007 at 8:34 am

Templeton College and Green College announced their plans to merge earlier this year, so you needn’t worry about making that trek.

Milan March 29, 2007 at 10:19 am


This pen seems to be made from chrome plated steel. I doubt you could get too far by chewing it.

Brett March 29, 2007 at 11:37 am

I would wear out my teeth in no time, thus why I stick to plastic pens…

Anon @ Wadh March 30, 2007 at 12:43 pm


You can get space pen type refills for most varieties of pen body. Of course, the Fisher bullet pens have the most interesting shape.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: