Top 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Pens (Yes That’s Exciting)

The pen is an everyday object. The stuff that always lies on the corner of a table, at the bottom of a bag (except when you need it), or that you accumulate in your back pocket (if you’re a waiter, you know what I mean). Besides allowing us to write (yes, yes, I swear), these little objects are full of well-kept secrets. Finally, kept until today. Now I’m throwing everything away. Shameless. No more small secrets.

1. The four-color ball has a real purpose

The four colors is THE pen that we all had. ALL. But we were probably too busy taking it apart to reverse the ink tubes to land. THE real question: what is this white ball at the top for, if not to get chewed up in French class? Well, imagine that in 1970, when this mythical pen was created, this little ball had not one, but two reasons to exist.

The first, not foliochonne: an aesthetic question. It gives a nod to the famous “Bic” man, the brand’s logo. The second, more astonishing and concrete: it made it possible to operate the dial of old telephones, more easily, without directly touching the handset. And yes ! Respect for barrier gestures. Precursor, this Mr. Bich. (He is the creator of the brand, as his name suggests, except for one letter.)

2. The ballpoint of the pens (ballpoint, therefore) allows the ink to be distributed

Let’s talk ballpoint pen. As their name indicates so well, they have, at their end… A small ball (but nooooo???) in steel, or in brass. What for ? Quite simply to distribute the ink evenly, and prevent it from drying out. It is for this reason that they were the favorite pens of airmen during the Second World War. Despite the altitude, the pens did not leak, unlike all the others.

Another fan of this type of pencil: left-handers. With an ink that dries in two stages, three movements, no more big disgusting smudges on your copy. And that, believe me, is revolutionary. To all the teachers who force the use of an ink pen, for all the students, you are tyrants. The left-handed community hates you.

3. The hole in the cap of the BICs can prevent choking

All BIC plugs are drilled. Apart from the fact that it allows you to whistle, spitting in it (it’s unbearable by the way. Stop it. Please.); this hole was reflected for a much deeper reason. Added in 1980, it simply allows any moron capable of swallowing a cork not to choke. Indeed, the air can continue to circulate, even with a piece of plastic stuck across the throat.

Useless, you say? Doesn’t anyone choke that way? Well yes. 100 people per year, on average. Blame all those other undrilled plugs, damn it.

4. No writing without small hole on your pen body

And always on your good old BIC. The classic. The transparency. The “Crystal”. The one you buy every month because it has a tendency to disappear all the time. You may have noticed another orifice, on his “body” this time. No ? Look well. It’s okay, you know what I’m talking about? Good. So no, this one is not for surviving if you swallow it. If you’re able to ingest this stuff, we can’t really nothing more for you. Sorry.

This time, the hole balances the pressure between the inside and the outside of the pencil. Technical. Basically, the air circulates, pushes the ink, which then comes out of the pen, while allowing to limit leaks. Without this small opening, the ink would not come out of the mine. And right away, your pen wouldn’t be of much use.

5. The hexagonal shape is designed for better storage

You’ve probably already noticed: your BIC pen is not round, but hexagonal. A design chosen for practical reasons: this shape makes it possible to store pencils more efficiently, prevents them from slipping and offers better writing comfort. That is. Not very sexy, but okay, it’s not stupid.

Another much nicer utility: if I say “cassette”, do you make the connection? Old people, don’t say anything. Let the young people learn a little.

In any case: best blowgun of all time. The young man in the video takes his time well, 7 minutes, explain how to do it. Effective, for something that literally takes 20 seconds.

6. One BIC can write 2km

Last little point, more anecdotal, on this brave pen, which will have accompanied me for years. Finally, the mark especially, my pens having too regularly disappeared, in a very suspicious way. Too bad, since only one of these pencils could actually accompany us for a whole semester. Even a year. Even an education (it all depends on your attendance in class, in fact).

Indeed, a bic pen can write up to 2km of lines, without letting go. Say like that, it doesn’t seem like much. But note that it is still equivalent to more than six times the Eiffel Tower. Twice the Empire State Building. Or approximately 200 pages. Bullshit for such a small thing.

7. A pen saved the lives of astronauts

And not just any: among the miraculous, Neil Armstrong. Aka the first man to walk on the moon. While quietly in space, during the Apollo 11 expedition, alongside Buzz Aldrin in particular, their ship’s engine communicator was lost. Without him: no return to earth possible. And logically, a slow and painful death that we don’t even prefer to imagine. HAPPILY, a super marker came to save their lives. Buzz Aldrin stuck it in place of the missing piece. And bam, it worked! The guys were able to come back to earth, thanks to a simple pencil. Not a trivial story.

8. The pen makes you megalomaniac

Or else, it’s because we are already good enough. According to a study, when you give someone a pen, the first thing they write down is… Their first name. In any case, it is true in 95% of cases. Which, compared to the world population, is still a lot. Very much. Like 6.65 billion people.

9. Why are the crayons yellow?

If I asked you to draw me a pencil (or gray, or pencil), I could bet you would color it yellow. I don’t blame you, I would have done the same. And that’s normal. Since the 1890s, they have been painted this color, as it is associated with royalty and respect in China. The Americans have therefore decided to follow the move to make this royal feeling last, and to mark their association with the Asian country. This design has traveled the years, and today it is still used. CQFD.

10. You can do “Z control” with your pen

Specifically, with a Pilot Frixion. The pen you dreamed of in primary school, for its too magical side. But that you never had, because your mother never wanted to invest that amount in a pen that was going to disappear. And she was right. Finally, it was you who stole it from your little classmate. You are garbage. But well done! (We do not encourage this type of practice at all, it is bad).

This famous completely revolutionary pen allows you to erase the ink, without an eraser, thanks to a small integrated eraser. Convenient, especially for left-handers. But as with all the best magic tricks: there is a trick. Here, it is the rubbing of the eraser that heats up the ink, making it invisible. By placing the sheet in a very cold place, -10 degrees minimum (like, on your windowsill, in Paris, at the moment), the ink reappears. BUT IT’S MAGIC.

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