Editorial: So you want to be a drone pilot.
Travel: Wolverine Pack.
Technology: The Bladeless Drone.
Stationery: Machine Era Fiekd Pen.
Gadgets and gear: Sportes MITI-001.
Books and writing: The Book part 3.
Project of the week: Sun Spots.

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EDITORIAL: So you want to be a drone pilot

PD has featured several drones - in issues 107, 108, 109 and 119, not to mention some future helicopters such as the Ehang. Even in this issue there is a bladeless drone concept.

In Issue 119 PD touched on the rules of flying drones, however if you are serious about being a drone pilot for fun or work, PD recommends that you head over to Jen Reviews, which features a great comprehensive guide on everything that you want to know about drones and flying them.

The guide covers the basics about drones - what they are, how they are made and how they work. It then has a course on flying techniques - how to do various manoeuvres and even how to race them. There are great hints that will help you become a better drone pilot and therefore have more fun.

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TRAVEL: Wolverine Pack

For those after a rugged handy pack, this is the pick of the bunch. It is the first bag made from self-healing material. The bag is lightweight and the right size for a day out.

There are other similar small duffel type bags, however none can boast being self-repairing. The material is FuseFabric. Based on ripstop fabric, small punctures will repair.

Amazing. Check it out here:

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TECHNOLOGY: The Bladeless Drone

This is the Dyson of drones. Dyson revolutionised the fan by removing the blades. This not only worked but was safer for little fingers.

Edgar Herrera has applied this technology to produce the bladeless drone, which has won a Red Dot award. Like the Dyson fan, there is a central propeller from which air is ducted to the propulsion mechanism. The latter can tilt to manoeuver the drone. Neat. It would be great if this was put into production.

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STATIONERY: Machine Era Field Pen

There are many pocket pens around, but not all have the look and feel of quality.

This pen is made from either brass or stainless steal, with the option of a Black Diamond Like coating, which is more scratch resistant than anodised ones.

The pen has a bolt action mechanism, but unlike other such actions it incorporates the clip. The pen uses Fisher Space Pen refills.

Check it out here:

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This is the ultimate camping stove.

It consists of a cooking plate and pins that hold together a log which has been split into four pieces. The log itself provides the fuel. These instructions give you the idea.

This has to be the ultimate barbecue. It is available in two sizes, 205x65mm and 300x80mm.

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BOOKS AND WRITING: The Book part 3

PD has been reviewing "The Book", a history of all the elements that go into producing a book. He continues with snippets to whet your appetite.

N.B.: The illustrations below are not from the book.

The invention of the printing press is fascinating. We all known that Gutenberg invented the printing press, or did he? Well, like with many of these things, it appears that it is not that simple. The Chinese had a printing press four hundred years before Gutenberg, but it did not gain wide acceptance, mainly because the complexity of the Chinese written language made it cumbersome to use. It was invented by Bì Shēng (990–1051 AD).

All this does not diminish Gutenberg's contribution. He worked very hard to overcome the difficulties of taking the wine press and adapting it to movable type, and made it work. He experimented with different materials, eventually settling on lead. Jewelers' skills were needed to create the letter punches. The inks that were available were not suitable and required more experimentation. Eventually, after many years he succeeded.


Gutenberg's life was not easy, and was filled with commercial disappointments, having to borrow money to develop the press, whilst dealing with law suits emanating from his efforts. Eventually, when the printing shop succeeded, local politics meant that Gutenberg's printers were scattered from their home town of Mainz, and they set up presses in every country.

[Illustration: Daniel Niklaus Chodowiecki]

The rest of the section deals with the further development of the printing press as industrialisation proceeded in the Western world. To be continued.

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Thornwillow Letter Press has been featured on the pages of PD before, with its Broadsides series (PD Specialist Periodicals 4), Identity Cards (PD issue 118) and correspondence cards (PD issue 128). Thornwillow press also prints books. This project however is different. It pays tribute to Maria Mitchell, America's first lady astronomer, famous for her work on sun spots, which included many beautiful and scientifically valuable photographs.

The project gives you a large informative broadside and five prints from Maria' Mitchell's original glass plates.

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Contact Prowling Dog at

Important disclaimer: Remember that crowdfunding sites are not stores. You may decide to back this project and provide funds, however there is no guarantee that any project will be delivered - the rate of failure is about 10%. PD is in no way accountable for the success or otherwise of any project and writes in this column purely for entertainment purposes, and will in no way be held liable for any failure or money lost by anyone. It is a case of "buyer beware". It is a sad reflection on the era we live in that PD must resort to this type of disclaimer.

Note: Photographs and illustrations are from the relevant websites and are the copyright of the respective owners.

© 2017 Prowling Dog