Waterman Exception Pen Review

Waterman Exception Pen

If you are giving any product a name such as “Exception”, it better lived up to it. Waterman, sure knows how to do it.

Breaking away from the conventional rounded shape of a pen, Waterman went on to create a series of pen that is square in shape. Befittingly named Waterman Exception, the pen is a genius conception that has been brilliantly brought to life, despite the difficulties it might have faced in the making. It has definitely added a feather to Waterman’s hat, considering the immense skill and dedication it must have took.

The lacquer finish on the body gives a glossy, smooth effect to it. The end of the barrel has a blank platinum plated blind cap. A think platinum-plated barrel band has Waterman and France engraved on either side – a trademark in Waterman pens. The pull-off cap has cap has a luxurious platinum-plated trim too. The top of the cap has a round black lacquer medallion with the emblem “W” embedded on it. The silver plated clip is a classic Waterman clip with the slit in the middle. The pen weighs a total of 55gms with the 19gms owned by the cap alone. Hence, it is quite a labor to attach the cap to the barrel and write; an inconvenience for many.

Since the body is squarely shaped, the pen doesn’t have a section thread. Interestingly, they have introduced bayonet system, which cleverly does the job of keeping the barrel and the nib-part of the pen realigned. The nib on the fountain pen version is rhodium-plated, 18kt gold, yet quite flexible, wet and thus gives an easy, smooth writing experience. Then again, Waterman are known for their high-performing nibs. The grip on the pen is more rounded than the body, so there is no discomfort when writing.

The Exception series of Waterman comes in three different styles: Night and Day, Slim and Ideal. The former and the last of the Waterman are very similar, except that the former bears grey stripes on either side of squared plush body and the latter doesn’t. Both of these are available in fountain pen (medium and fine nib only) and rollerball versions only. The available colors are black and gold, and black and silver. Waterman Exception Slim, however, is available in rollerball, fountain and ballpoint version, with more color options to choose from. All in all, the Waterman Exception pen series is definitely a head turner and unique. All the versions available are high in performance and won’t let the writer down. And just like the pen which is pushing the boundaries in pen designing, it evokes the desire in the user too, to be more creative and out-of-the-box.

The brainchild of Lewis Edson Waterman, an insurance broker, the company’s first factory was set in 1883. Stories say that Waterman was so disgusted by the low quality of a pen on one occasion that he decided to develop a worthy fountain pen. And today, Waterman’s determination has truly been fruitful. You don’t have to look beyond Waterman Exception to know that.

World Ozone Layer Day

Celebrated on the mid September annually, The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer has been observed since 1995. The date 16th of September marks the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987 and thus to commemorate this initiative taken for the protection of ozone layer at a global level, this day has been picked by United Nations General Assembly.

Ozone in simplest terms is tri-oxygen. The naturally occurring gas made up of three oxygen atoms forms a protective shield above 10-50km the earth surface. That region of earth’s stratosphere is the sole reason we are still able to breathe, see, eat, read this post or be alive. Otherwise the harmful rays of the sun would fry us like our favorite potato chips. The ozone layer was discovered in 1913 by the French physicists Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson. Then after various studies and researches were carried out on its properties, its necessity but the alarm rang only during the 1970s when it was discovered that the layer was depleting and Ozone hole had come to existence. This revelation jeopardized the life forms on earth. All the nations thus, came together with an initiative to guard the Ozone layer, basically to protect Earth. In 1985, the Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer was agreed upon.

This observation aims to spread the awareness of the causes and consequences of the Ozone Layer depletion. Corresponding promotional items are also used this day that makes the use of symbols of sun, sky, or to represent the significance. As much as it intends to evade the use of ozone depleting substances mainly CFC (chlorofluorocarbons) used as refrigerants, it encourages finding possible alternatives and solutions for the perpetuation of the earth’s protective cast.

United Nations Environment Programme is currently responsible in supervising the compliance with the international protocols in the eradication of use of CFC not only as refrigerants but in aerosols and the pesticide Methyl bromide. UNEP’s efforts to recover the original form of Ozone and maintaining it have a lot of challenges but it is attainable with persistency. This year, the theme for Ozone Layer Day is “Ozone Layer Protection: The Mission Goes On”.

As per UNEP in their official site, “this year’s theme seeks to galvanize all stakeholders to increase their efforts to address the challenges. It was selected following an online voting exercise.”

Visit UNEP Ozone Secretariat site to know more.

World Ozone Day is observed all around the world. For educators, community and organizations of all levels, this day is practical in organizing various activities and raise understanding about ozone, its importance and our role in the depletion as well as protection. The topics regarding this subject matter is addressed with value.

In contrary to the substantial role Ozone layer has, it’s merely a fragile gas layer preserving life on Earth. We Earthlings are not actually saving the ozone from depletion but ourselves. Hence, for us and the future generations to come, it’s time we contribute and if not add up; then stop thinning the layer that has protected the whole ecosystem so far.

Fighting Ebola

On 23 March 2014, a notification reached World Health Organization (WHO) from the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Guinea regarding what was to be “the worst Ebola outbreak” in history. Cases of Ebola virus disease was rapidly picking up pace in the forested area of south eastern Guinea with a total of 29 deaths and 49 infected patients by 22 March. Soon, there were suspected cases in Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone as well. By the end of July, 670 people had been reported dead because of the virus, which would reach around 1500 within a month and thousands confirmed cases.

First recognized in 1976 in Zaire, Ebola virus is a complex organism whose origin remains a mystery till date. However, it is believed that the first patient of the disease got infected after coming in contact with an infected animal. The virus spreads through direct contact with blood or body fluids. The symptoms of the disease are influenza-like, beginning with fatigue, fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, headache and stomach pain. The virus damages the immune system and organs, causes level of blood-clotting cells to drop, which results in uncontrollable bleeding inside and outside the body. Within a few days of infection, a patient can die. With up to 90% mortality rate in infected people, the virus is a rare but deadly one.

Along with thousands of people, the virus also engulfed the life of a leading Ebola doctor, Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan. Dr. Khan, who had been treating the disease in Sierra Leone got infected and died on 29 July while hospitalized in quarantine. However, an experimental drug named ZMapp was available, which could have been used on Dr. Khan making him the first person on the planet to receive it, but the medical team opted to decide otherwise.

Around the same time, as Dr. Khan’s death, Kent Brantly, a Texas-trained physician and a nurse, Nancy Writebol were stricken by the disease as well. After being given doses of Zmapp, both of the American aid workers made recovery. Made by Map Biopharmaceutical Inc. of San Diego, California, the drug is yet to be proven 100% effective, since a Spanish priest who had received the same drug couldn’t survive. And even if it were, unfortunately, the supply of ZMapp is too limited, to be available for all patients. There are other pharmaceuticals that are trying to come up with effective drugs against Ebola virus. But as of now, Ebola is still a cure-less disease.

Days after Ebola virus was traced in Guinea, health workers were already spreading words of preventing Ebola contraction across the land. Till a solid cure is discovered, which is unlikely to be found till 2016, these methods are the only possible way of staying Ebola-free and alive. However, the chances of Ebola breaking into US is very low, considering the safety measures that is being taken. Nevertheless, here are some of the preventive measures that might come in handy:
• avoiding countries and locations, where Ebola virus have been confirmed,
• avoid direct contact with body fluids of those infected with the virus,
• avoid direct contact with the body of someone who has died from the virus.

For more information on prevention and control of Ebola, go to:

Parker 5th Technology Ingenuity Review

Parker is considered to be the epitome of fine writing instruments. Founded by George Safford Parker in 1888, in Janesville, Wisconsin, the pen brand represents reliability, innovation, revolution and class styling. Probably one of the finest pens ever to come from America, Parker has a glorious history ornamented with monumental pen variants. Amidst it all, stands the 2011 Parker 5th technology Ingenuity, marketed by Parker as “innovative and modern”, which “intuitively adapts to your writing style in seconds for an effortlessly smooth, easy glide feeling”. Let’s find out.

The pen comes in a nice case and upon opening reveals a shiny, attractive pen. There are a bunch of finishes and patterns this pen is available in so, you don’t need to worry about not finding the right color or the right pattern. The color options are coupled with gold or chrome plated trims. The pull off cap comes with a springy arrow clip. The cap band has Parker etched on it along with its emblem and date code. The cap button is simple with the Parker emblem etched on it. The barrel tapers down beautifully. There is nothing exceptional about its structure, nothing that we have not seen before.

What is new is hidden beneath the cap. Inside is a metal grip section which is spacious enough to be comfortable when writing for long hours. But the most significant aspect of the pen is the new nib/tip, about which different people have different opinions. For me the nib is not much of a fountain nib because it resembles, both in look and performance, a fine liner or fiber tip. What gives it an edge is its hood-like design and the fake nib underneath. When you unscrew the barrel, you are welcomed not by a cartridge or a converter but a refill, which again is closer to ballpoint pens and rollerball pens than to a fountain pen. The refill twists out and when pushing it back makes a half turn to resume its original place, which actually is a smart concept.

It is a big, comfortably heavy pen, which will fit snuggly in any hand. The good thing about Parker is that its built is not poor and feels sturdy. It works decently well when the cap is posted as well. The performance on paper however lacks the beauty of a fountain pen. It gives line variations but it isn’t very pronounced. Skipping should be expected unless used upright or perpendicular to the paper like a ballpoint. What bothers me is the fact that a so-called fountain pen features a fine-liner tip in disguise of a nib. For lesser money, you can get decent rollerball or ballpoint pens that could use fine-line refills.

However, not everyone may feel the same way about this pen as I do. So, keep your options open and make a smart choice.

Back to School Basics

Vacation is over and it is time to face school again. Are you ready? I know, you don’t want to be but look at the bright side. All your friends are going to be there. Together you can survive another school year, can’t you? If the answer is yes, then you better hit school in style. Here are some essential things you must have to go back to school this year.

1. Notebooks: You cannot possibly go to school without notebooks. How else can you take notes or do assignments? While there are lots of plastic-coated, fancy notebooks available all over, why not up the ante and get some eco-friendly lokta notebooks. Remember, eco-friendly is the new cool. Color and pattern is not an issue, since these durable, hardcover notebooks come in endless color options. Stand out in the crowd of hundreds of schoolmates with these super-cool lokta books.

2. Pens and pencils: Again. You cannot go to school without the most important tool – writing instruments. This year, skip the fuss of sharpening the regular pencils and go with mechanicals. They come in an array of colors and look smart too. If you are already using pens by now, it is time you used something worthwhile. Shop for a classic Montblanc or Parker. They are a keeper and will last you longer than your school. Plus, a stunner pen as such will draw some attention: something you might enjoy.

3. Erasers: If you are learning something, you are bound to make mistakes. So, add a bunch of erasers to your shopping cart. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to keep it boring. You can find a variety of exciting erasers at stationary stores these days. I used to be a big cartoon fanatic, hence I always created an army of cartoon shaped erasers. Pick a bunch of variants of your own preference and have fun making mistakes. But do make sure, they do their work well.

4. Supply Pouch: Once you have all the essentials at hand, find a nice big pouch to keep them all safe. Of course, you can throw them all in the bag pack, but finding them later will be a much easier task if they are all in the pouch. This article here was always on the top of my back-to-school list, even before I picked up the other essentials.

5. Lunchbox: Who wants to eat cafeteria lunch? I don’t. One thing is for sure, nothing beats Mom’s cooking, no matter if it is a humble peanut butter and jelly sandwich, mac and cheese or something fancy like a club sandwich (that is the fanciest lunch I ever packed to school). So be prepared. Get yourself a nice, strong, not-to-forget cool lunch box and you are set to go.

6. Bag pack: I don’t see why it is necessary to buy a bag pack every year, since a good one lasts more than a year, at least two easily. But, in case you still want a new one, make sure they are comfortable, big enough to hold your textbooks, notebooks and other school supplies, and durable. Remember, that you will be carrying this every day to school so keep it simple.

7. Clothing and Shoes: Since, school starts in summer, get a couple of pair of shorts and nice airy tops. Focus on the fall and winter clothes and stack up on sweaters, denims, hoodies and caps. At least buy enough undergarments and socks to last you each week. Buy comfy shoes. You don’t want to be spending most of the school time in uncomfortable shoes that give you blisters. Girls, go with ballerina flats, easy strap on shoes, sneakers and warm boots. For boys, sneakers, sports shoes and strap on shoes look great all year around.