Now with thixotropic ink

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.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

7 thoughts on “Now with thixotropic ink”

  1. 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.”


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

  3. Brett,

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

  4. Brett,

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

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