Pens, pens, pens for the pensive scientist

Maryn McKenna writes (in The Further Adventures of Germ Girl):

Ever wondered which is the best — or the worst — ink to use in your lab notebook? Wonder no more: Colin Purrington has done the work for you. Herewith, his table of inks from 20 pens (plus one pencil), subjected to erasure, heat, and splashes and soaks of water, methanol, ethanol and acetone.

Results: Bics and Sharpies do surprisingly badly, while #2 pencils stand up to everything except, umm, erasers. (True story: In journalism school, you’re taught to always carry a pencil in case you have to take notes in the rain.) And as a pen geek, I am intrigued by the brilliantly performing, and evocatively named, Sakura Pigma Micron .45.

Purrington’s account of his research is here.