As a kid, I had a favorite pen–the Parker Jotter, stainless steel with a thick barrel.

I thought it was cool looking, like something James Bond would use. I liked the way it felt in my hands and the way it wrote.

I just checked Jeff’s store and sure enough, they still make it.

That was a long time ago. Now I buy whatever’s on sale.

Probably because I do most of my writing today on my computer and yes, I have my favorite writing apps.

But I don’t want to talk about pens or apps right now. I want to talk about chalk.


The other day, a video came up in my feed with the curiosity-inducing title, Why the World’s Best Mathematicians Are Hoarding Chalk.

I had to know.

Do people still use blackboards (and chalk?)? I thought everyone had moved to whiteboards and markers.

Is chalk on the endangered species list?

What’s going on?

It turns out that a certain Japanese company makes the “best” chalk in the world and the company is going out of business.

They make a chalk “to die for”. Okay, that’s me speaking. It writes better and is easier to use than anything made by anyone else and when it was announced that it would no longer be sold, math folks started hoarding it.

One mathematician had put away enough chalk, he reckoned, to last him ten years.

That’s a lot of chalk.

We love our favorite tools, don’t we? Our favorite pens, our favorite apps, our favorite chalk.

Do we work better when we use them?

I think we think we do and maybe that’s all that matters.

Evernote is my favorite note taking app

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