Labor Day

Labor Day is an annual celebration that pays tribute to the achievements and contributions of the workers throughout the world. In America, it is observed on the very first Monday in the month of September. Originated during the 19th century labor movement and the Industrial revolution era, the first Labor Day was observed on September 5th 1882. This day was supposedly chosen by the union as it fell in between Independence Day and thanksgiving. Gradually, the idea of holiday for Working Men spread and caught up across the workers in the country and after more than a decade, after some states designated Labor Day, it was ultimately declared as a federal holiday in 1894.

The end of summer, this day symbolizes the end of gloomy period in the history of American Labors. As bizarre as it may sound right now, it was true that even after working for a 12 hours a day, seven days a week; it was difficult to acquire basic needs. To the dismay of Americans, not only the adults but even the kids had to face unbefitting toil, unsafe working conditions and low wages. This stipulation of late 1800s slowly but surely started taking a turn where labor unions were not just formed but their voice was now more audible. The wages were renegotiated, the unfeasible commands were protested and there were strikes and gatherings raising voice for Labor rights. The consequences weren’t all that pleasant however.

Even so, President Grover Cleveland wasn’t a supporter of Labor union and it was partly because of him that the American railroad union strike took a violent turn – he signed a law that cited that the first Monday in September will be celebrated as Labor Day. That was almost a century ago, yet still there is a mystification on who proposed the holiday. While some credit the co founder of the American Federation of Labor, Peter J. Mcguire while other records suggest the name of Matthew Maguire, a machinist to have proposed the holiday. The subsequent researches done also add evidence to the latter being the founder of this holiday.

A Day dedicated to the commencement of socio-economic upliftment of American labors has a considerable national importance but seems to be losing significance with time. The celebration should come ahead as a tribute to all the efforts that the Labor has put in to build a nation. Currently, apart from treating Labor Day as just a day off or a holiday, numerous parades can be observed that in fact demonstrates the spirit and vigor of the workers. The power of Labor rights and its significance of this are the major highlights of this special Monday. Though we have seen a change in the pattern of Labor Day celebration, the prominence has remained the same.

With various audiovisual and print mediums, mass displays have been a way of expression. Similar expressions happen throughout the globe but on different days. In Europe, Asia and various other parts of the world, May Day, the 1st of May is observed as a holiday to commemorate the value of labors in nation building.

World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day

There has always been a difference between doing well and doing good. In a world age, where everyone is so engulfed by the desire of achieving something in life, there has been a notable negligence in finding out what you take for granted, might be a need to others. Amidst the slogans of human rights, humanitarianism speeches and huge ongoing projects; it’s quite ordinary to lay back and comment. But let’s not forget that we ourselves are capable of bringing that one small change that can make a huge difference.

Change starts from us, from our minds. If not go out in the fields to work, the finest we can do is – comprehend and acknowledge the ethics and zeal of those who do. Well, to be honest, we wouldn’t need this day to do so, but what better day?

August 19th has been declared by UN as World Humanitarian Day, a day of the year with other remaining 364 days to recognize the passion and effort of those who face millions of perils and adversity on their way to help the ones in need. United Nations define it as an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the Globe.

The date coincides with the date in 2003 when United Nations’ Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq was bombed. After a decade, this year too, United Nations continue their campaign of turning words into aid with their campaign. The theme for this year is THE WORLD NEEDS MORE. After the commemoration of World Humanitarian Day in 2009, various themes had been integrated successfully to credit the activities and attainment of the workers in this field. We are Humanitarian Workers, People Helping People are few themes including I Was Here for which Beyonce, the American singer also did an exclusive performance.

This day is also designated as the effect of persistent efforts of the Sérgio Vieira de Mello Foundation and his family working in corporation with the Ambassadors of various countries. Sergio Vleira de Mello, a Brazilian national who lived more than thirty years of his life as a UN service officer working in the most adverse of situations during conflict dedicated his life serving the humanitarian community. As a respect to such humanitarian leader in every humanitarian worker, for the courage and empathy in them, August 19th is an aspiration to achieve greater goals in humanitarianism.

To quote the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, “Humanitarian workers and their families are hit hardest by these crimes. But they are also felt by millions of others. Let us honor the fallen by protecting those who carry on their work – and supporting humanitarian relief operations worldwide.”

To find out more about this day and United Nations campaign, visit their official site.

Montblanc Signature for Good Review

Montblanc Signature for Good

As the leader in the market of writing instruments, Montblanc pens, by default, have been supporting education and literacy. With the Montblanc Signature for Good collection, launched in 2013, the brand made a visible contribution towards the education of children, by donating 10% of every “Signature for Good” product to UNICEF’s education programs. With this fund, Montblanc is doing its part to make quality education, including infrastructures accessible for children in the most vulnerable parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Montblanc’s Signature for Good collection includes writing instruments, jewelry and other leather goodies, all including a special design symbolic of the company’s effort.

In this collection, the famous Montblanc Meisterstuck 146 makes a comeback with a few changes in its original design. The usual glossy, black resin body showcases a unique brick design (inclusive in all products of this collection) on the platinum cap-top ring, which is symbolic to building a better future for children. The ring also features a blue sapphire which is inspired by UNICEF’s blue color. The nib as always is gold, this time 14kt and the top of the cap bears the usual Meisterstuck emblem. One practical feature added to this collection are the transparent vertical rectangles, which allows one to see the available ink in tank, without having to unscrew the end of the body. For this collection, the pen is available in Meisterstuck LeGrand Fountain pen, Rollerball and Ballpoint pen, and in Meisterstuck Classique with the same three options. Affluent as its other counterparts, the pens in this collection continue to maintain the legacy of the brand in terms of writing. Plus, each of these come in an exclusive black gift box, designed with the symbolic brick-by-brick pattern.

Other items in the collection, such as the handcrafted leather wallets, cardholders, pen pouches and notebook, all hold the special brick design and a blue colored decor. The leather used in this collection is Italian full-grain calfskin, embracing a pattern of a series of diagonal lines. The cufflinks, bracelets and key rings complete the jewelry selection. The cufflinks feature reversible surfaces of polished stainless steel, with a round blue sapphire on one side and smooth, black onyx on the other. The bracelet and the key ring showcases the symbolic brick design and the blue sapphire. Every product has the famous emblem and holds a serial number too.

Overall, the entire collection of Montblanc’s Signature for Good is desirable. Add the moral satisfaction of having contributed a sum, no matter how small, with its purchase and to use any of these product is rewarding. It is an investment that you will keep giving you return values every time you decide you use it – in the form of a heartwarming knowledge of having given a child the biggest gift called education.

Pens – A Brief History

History of the PenImagine a current world without a pen or pencil or any writing instrument. No, we didn’t ask you stop breathing but it seems as difficult, doesn’t it? A piece of equipment that seems so simple wasn’t that simple always. It has evolved with humankind and the tale of its evolution is even more interesting.

It probably would have been a lazy afternoon around 4000 BC when a man scratched the surface of moist mud with a sharp object. Then, arrived the ages of Egyptians and Romans who developed pictures and scripts written with reed pens and metal scrapers. Later, Europeans, particularly Spanish started using Quill Pens that hold a fascination till now. It was in 1790s when pencil was developed. Pencil meant brush back then. Though they were developed in Australia and France independently, the breakthrough is considered when Nicholas Conte, a French chemist patented the process of making Pencils. And the process and the structure of pencils is still more or less the same – a cylindrical strip of wood with a slot for lead.

The century that followed saw the replacement of quill pens by pens made of metals like Steel, Rhodium and iridium. The first apposite fountain pen was invented in 1884 by a French insurance Salesman, Lewis Edson Waterman, whose last name is one of the biggest names in Pen world presently. With time, there have been a lot of modifications and changes in the fountain pen and its styling but the core remains the same.

The history of Ballpoint Pens traces back to the end of 19th century when the first patent was issued to John Loud who used the pen to mark leather. In 1916, similar device was invented and patented by Van Vechten Riesburg. However, both of the devices failed to make it to the commercial globe. That soared to the heights after the lapse of previous couple of ballpoint versions was the one invented by Josef and Georg Biro in 1943 during World War II which was later sold to British Government. Apart from being more rugged, ballpoints were loved because they were able to be taken on high altitudes. Gradually, ballpoints were made inexpensive and other mediums like soft tips and Rollerballs came into the scenario in the late 1960s.

When in talks about Ballpoint pens, one could not miss out Reynolds Pen named after its creator Milton Reynolds. The first ball bearing medium that wrote under water was a lure yet it couldn’t hold consumers’ attention for long. They chose the ones that were for lower price.

Currently, there are pens of various shape, size, style, quality, mechanism and price available in the market. You can buy pens in the shop near you or from across seven seas. While brands like Montblanc, Waterman, Carandache, Namiki, Sailor, Michel Perchin, Montegrappa, Lamy and many more are raising the standard of fine writing, there are various other companies who supply to fulfill basic writing needs. Hundreds of wholesalers and retailers deliver a variety of writing modes to thousands of consumers. For instance, a Maryland based Pen retail business, Pen Boutique has been continuously working to provide a better impression of Pen Companies, Brands and their offerings. They are striving to encourage the habit of writing among kids and youths; and at the same time, stocking up for the veteran pen aficionados. All in all, the history and the present of Pen and writing instruments serves as an evidence that we have come a long way in the skill of writing and there is still a long way to go.

Paper and Pen

Paper and Pen
There is something simply desirable about picking up a pen and a paper. Whether it is to scribble down the craziest of ideas or to jot down the menial of chores, nothing is more satisfying and easy than using a notepad and a pen. Yes, there is technology but it will be a cold day in hell before they take over a humble piece of paper and pen.

Personally, the act of writing in a paper with the help of a pen is endearing to me. A handwritten letter is far more interesting and valuable that an email or a printed letter. The handwriting itself holds a character and to receive something in written, and not in print, feels special. A friend of mine gave a parting letter to me, which although in itself was an emotional gesture, upon discovering that it was first typed and then printed out, my heart sank. Of course, notes and letters typed in a computer is cleaner , faster and easier, but you have to agree that it lacks the charm. And I am not only talking about letters, even short messages and grocery lists hold meaning when written down in the most crumpled of papers. I, for one, will always prefer and treasure a handwritten note saying “I miss you”, to an electronic text saying the same with added fonts and figures.

As for grocery lists or a to-do-list, I am saying this from experience, when written, is engraved in my memory. Once I write down things, in all the aforementioned situations, I can recall them from the memory of just having jotted it down on a paper. It is uncannily surprising, but true. However, I can’t say the same for the few shopping apps that I have tried or the task applications I have used. Most of all, I find using these apps daunting. First, you have to learn how to go about it and then get used to it. Next, every time you have to take a look at your chores, you have to open it to see it. On the other hand, the use of paper and pen is as familiar to us as coordinating hand and mouth when eating.

Also, as a writer, I find using a pen and paper comforting. No matter how advanced technology has become, I still find jotting down incidents and quotes of any event on the paper more fun, casual and easier. I remember using a tablet on one occasion and having the toughest time keeping up with the speaker. Plus, writing down in a paper has no barriers. When brainstorming or keeping notes of what a speaker is saying, it allows one to go back and add things wherever seems fit. I like to scribble new ideas or use arrows and bubbles next to the point that needs elaboration. I draw illustrations for myself to be reminded of what someone was speaking about, instead of having to write down a ten worded sentence. A paper and a pen gives me freedom to do that. It assists spontaneity. The same can’t be expected from a device.

I am reminded of another instance, when the office I previously worked at introduced Wunderlist to the employees. The app allowed us to assign tasks to our team-mates, keep track of the daily work load and was supposed to keep us posted about our to-do-list. We were made to abandon our beloved notepad then. But the app backfired. Nobody remembered to log in to the application and in turn we failed to keep up with the given tasks. In no time, the notepads and memo stickers were back in our stations. Besides this, I enjoy the fact that a pen and paper promotes creativity and learning. Typing anything on a computer gives us the luxury to misspell or make grammatical errors. While it is convenient, it deteriorates a writer’s true ability. In another word, it makes us lazy and inefficient.

Of course, one can come up with an entire manuscript that disagrees with the simple brilliance of the partnership between a pen and a paper, which might hold truth somewhere. But one cannot defy the emotion that the product of a pen and a paper brings out, whether you are on the giving end or the receiving.