A fountain pen made by the Pilot Pen Company, though frequently under their Namiki brand. This is a good pen—well balanced, gold nib, reasonably priced (for a gold-nibbed fountain pen). If I had to take one pen with me on a vacation or a business trip, this often the one I reach for, and the only fountain pen my wife uses regularly. I strongly recommend it for beginners.

Oh! I haven’t mentioned its best feature. It is the only retractable fountain pen in current production. A push-button mechanism raises and lowers a trap door as the nib is extended or retracted. This allows for easy one-hand operation, especially when bouncing around a data center or the office. It does mean, however, that the clip is on the nib end of the barrel.

Even without the retractable feature, it is a great pen. With it being retractable, it is a classic.

The vanishing point is a technique in perspective drawing. The simplest use of the vanishing point is the one point perspective.

The first step is to define the vanishing point itself and the horizon line. This horizon line represents the eye level of the viewer and is where the ground and the sky meet.

--------- * ---------
All receding parallel lines (known as orthogonals) converge at the vanishing point.
       \     /
        \   /
         \ /
--------- * ---------
         / \
        /   \
       /     \
To draw a box with a single vanishing point style:
--------- * ---------
        / |
     /    |
    /     |
   |      |
   |      |
Notice, how the the lines that move away from our view point converge to the vanishing point.

The two point perspective is used when looking at the corners of boxes and buildings (and other similar objects) and uses multiple vanishing points. This type of drawing starts out with a line and the two vanishing points at either end of the line.

* ------------------------------ *
Perpendicular to this line is the front most corner of the object.
* ------------------+----------- *
From this point, the ASCII art gets difficult. It follows many of the same rules of one point perspective, however, lines that recede to the right converge at the right vanishing point, while lines that recede to the left converge at the left vanishing point. The box below is marked in bold.
     ___.---'|      |    |--._
 _.-'        |      |    |    `-.
* ------------------+----------- *
 `._         |      |    |    __'
    `---.____|__    |   _|.--'

It is possible to use multiple single vanishing points in a single drawing. The most often instance of this is with a road vanishing into the distance, but turning (not a straight road as seen in the desert). Each twist of the road leads to a new vanishing point.

See also:


Vanishing Point is a great 1971 road movie directed by Richard C. Sarafian. The explosive combination of high speed pursuit scenes, hippie and a well balanced soundtrack makes it one of the main cult films of the 1970s, comparable only to such masterpieces as Easy Rider.

Notable cast

  • Barry Newman - Kowalski
  • Cleavon Little - Super Soul
  • Dean Jagger - snake catcher
  • Victoria Medlin - Vera Thornton

    Plot synopsis (Warning: Spoilers ahead)

    Vietnam war veteran, ex-cop and former professional race driver Kowalski works as an agent for a car delivery service. After arriving in Denver, Colorado he takes on an impossible bet with a friendly drug dealer: Kowalski has to deliver a supercharged 1970 Dodge Challenger to San Francisco, California in less than 15 hours. It doesn't take long until our hero (who is helped by his best friends - speed/amphetamine) runs into trouble with the Colorado highway patrol. Chased by the cops Kowalski continues his high speed journey through Nevada. Along the way he is guided by a blind radio DJ Super Soul who tracks his moves using a police frequency scanner, for which he (the DJ) gets beaten up by several thugs (although there is a significant racial background to the fight).

    After several bizarre meetings with gay hitchhickers, a snake catcher in the Nevada desert and a naked woman riding a motorbike, Kowalski finally encounters a road block just after the California state border. By this time he has already lost the bet - it took him over 24 hours to get to California alone. As stopping and giving up doesn't seem to be a good alternative, our hero decides to commit suicide by crashing into the road block at full speed. The beatiful white Dodge explodes in a great fireball. The End.


    Vanishing Point / 1971 / 20th Century Fox
    Directed by: Richard C. Sarafian
    Written by: Guillermo Cain
    Runtime: 97 minutes

  • Vanishing Point was Primal Scream's fifth album, released in 1997 on the Creation label in the UK and Ireland, and on Sony or Sire/Reprise elsewhere.

    Track Listing:

    1. Burning Wheel (Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy)
    2. Get Duffy (Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy)
    3. Kowalski (Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield)
    4. Star (Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy)
    5. If They Move, Kill 'Em (Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy)
    6. Out Of The Void (Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy)
    7. Stuka (Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy)
    8. Medication (Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy)
    9. Motörhead (Kilmister)
    10. Trainspotting (Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy)
    11. Long Life (Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy)


    Vanishing Point was a great return to form for the Scream Team, after the disappointing retro mess that was Give Out But Don't Give Up. The album begins with the long, trippy instrumental build-up to Burning Wheel, the bassline coming in as sitars and tablas float through the ether with electronic bleeps, before Gillespie's bruised vocals appear and the song coalesces behind him; it ends with the woozy come-down of Live Life, where Bobby tells us "it's good to be alive", while sounding on the verge of passing out.

    In between, we get the jazzy/techno instrumentals of Get Duffy (named after their keyboard player) and If They Move, Kill 'Em, the soothing melodica of rebel song Star, the spooky vocoder vocals of Stuka, and an incredibly kitchy disco cover of Lemmy's Motörhead, which features original Sex Pistols bassist, Glen Matlock.

    Most of the songs here are enhanced by the wonderful, bouncy bass guitar of Mani, who joined after The Stone Roses split up. He adds a kind of effortless funkiness to a lot of the tunes, especially Burning Wheel and Medication (which sounds suspiciously like Rocks from their previous album).

    Vanishing Point was half inspired by the film of the same name (see above); the first single, Kowalski, was named after the film's hero, and contains samples of most of the dialogue quoted in meiso's writeup, above.

    To sum up, Vanishing Point is an excellent, atmospheric album with some very cinematic moments (Trainspotting was originally written for the soundtrack of the film of the same name). It's only weak points are Bobby Gillespie's occasionally clumsy lyrics, but the music is so good, that you can always forgive him.

    It's 1971 on the American highway. Duel gives Steven Spielberg his start, and Two-Lane Blacktop may be the purest road movie ever made. However, Duel's been made-for-TV, and only gradually will its reputation spread. Blacktop, after its initial run, will be plagued by soundtrack issues not resolved until the twenty-first century. The many years of too-few showings will bolster its cult status but limit its audience. The most successful road movie1 of that year is Vanishing Point, an existential car chase with enough mysticism that it also drifts across the line dividing realism and fantasy.

    And then there's that barenaked lady on a motorbike.

    Kowalski (Barry Newman), a Vietnam vet and onetime police officer, delivers cars. He lives on the rush and makes a bet with his speed dealer that he can take his current charge, a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 440 Magnum from Denver to San Francisco in record time. The race hardly helps with wear and tear on the Challenger, and it brings Kowalski into conflict with law enforcement. After some 1970s chases and cop car crashes in the scenic southwest, the police grow determined to stop him. He becomes a cause célèbre thanks to the DJ, "Super Soul" (Cleavon Little), who speaks to him over the radio and, at times, can hear his responses. And it is not just Kowalski's interplay with Super Soul that skirts the edges of reality. While this film features a lot of road action— 1970s style—it also takes us through the countercultures of a dissatisfied era, and hints about what the road and race may represent to the haunted hero.

    The road movie always involves eccentric characters met along the way. Some of these characters here feel like people from our driver's past, and the film juxtaposes them against actual flashbacks. The key women seem eerily similar to his deceased girlfriend, Vera (Victoria Medlin), and also a girl he saved from a sexual assault years earlier. We receive hints that two of them might be that young woman, now older. First Girl seems to recognize and admire Kowlaski, while "Nude Rider" keeps a collection of articles related to the incident.

    Others seem like genuine lost souls, a fact worth considering when we arrive at the conclusion. When Kowalski gets trapped on the highway, he drives out across the desert and encounters a mysterious prospector (Dean Jagger). Both offer assistance to each other, before crossing paths with Christian snake handlers let by one "J. Hovah."

    Of course, the characters also reflect the times. Our antihero served in the Nam, surfed, and was discharged from the police force for taking action against a corrupt partner. The snake-handlers combine old-time rural fundamentalism with hippie-influenced Jesus Freakdom. Kowalski's popularity reflects an era of antiheroes, distrust of authority, and sympathy with the outsider. Super Soul, African-American and blind, comes under attack by small town rednecks. Kowalski also encounters a pair of gay men; sadly, two years after Stonewall, these characters get played for cheap comic relief. Their "just married" status, nonetheless, may represent a kind of first for American cinema. Angel (Timothy Scott), who acts to help Kowalski, is both hippie and biker, and he and his Old Lady, believers in free love. Billed as "Nude Rider," Angel's girlfriend plays her entire part sans clothing.

    When I was a little kid, this film made its way into primary school consciousness via the early adolescents some grades ahead of us, who doubtless heard about it from smirking teens and scandalized adults. The one thing we knew was that there was a movie playing where a barenaked lady rides a motorcycle! The fact rated mention for a week or two and then vanished from the playground and my mind. Decades passed and I finally saw this movie and realized, with a nostalgic chuckle, that I was watching that movie. While not irrelevant, the nudity is obviously exploitative. Still, if seven and eight-year-olds were discussing the scene, it got the overall public reaction the director was seeking. The woman in question, Gilda Texter, has a lengthy and illustrious career as a Hollywood costumer, but she also made a handful of onscreen appearances, most trading on her comfort while uncostumed.

    Vanishing Point begins and ends in enigma. After the prologue and its cryptic low-budget fade, we flash back days earlier, with Kowalski delivering one car and picking up the Challenger. We then make our way across the country to a slightly different take on that opening scene. While we're directed to certain conclusions, the greater significance of the finale remains up for interpretation.

    Vanishing Point was remade for TV in 1997, with its hero now a Gulf War veteran. I haven't seen the remake, but no one I know has much positive to say about it. The original is a different story. It has dated, to be sure. The years have been kinder to Duel and Two-Lane Blacktop, but the films form a trilogy of sorts, and Vanishing Point remains a trip worth taking.

    Director: Richard C. Sarafian
    Writers: Guillermo Cabrera Infante and Barry Hall, from a story outline by Malcolm Hart.

    Barry Newman as Kowalski
    Cleavon Little as Super Soul
    Dean Jagger as Prospector
    Victoria Medlin as Vera Thornton
    Lee Weaver as Jake the Dealer
    Karl Swenson as Clerk
    Paul Koslo as Deputy Charlie Scott
    Robert Donner as Deputy Collins
    Timothy Scott as Angel
    Gilda Texter as Nude Rider
    Anthony James as First Hitchhiker
    Arthur Malet as Second Hitchhiker
    Severn Darden as J. Hovah
    John Amos as Engineer
    Delaney & Bonnie & Friends as Revival Singers
    Cherie Foster as First Girl
    Valerie Kairys as Second Girl
    Tom Reese as Sheriff
    Rita Coolidge as Singer
    Ted Neeley as Singer

    1. The 1970s was a kind of Golden Age of Road Movies. In addition to Two-Lane Blacktop, Duel, and Vanishing Point, we have acclaimed films as diverse as Paper Moon (1973), Badlands (1973), and Harry and Tonto (1974). In the same era, Gene Hackman and Al Pacino walked, hitchhiked, and trainhopped across period America in Scarecrow (1973), to critical acclaim but little box-office success.

    The real-life Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash inspired Gumball Rally (1976) and Cannonball (1976); Rally's better, but either is preferable to the celebrity-infested Cannonball Run franchise of the 1980s. Cannonball shares a director with the SF car flick Death Race 2000 (1975). Spielberg followed up Duel with The Sugarland Express, a crime comedy/drama, very loosely inspired by real incidents. Goldie Hawn and William Atherton play a pair of low-level crooks who hijack a police car on a cross-country quest to regain custody of their son. In a similar vein, Slither (1973) features James Caan, Peter Boyle, Sally Kellerman, and Kitty Kopetzky as a recently-paroled car thief and some hangers-on in an adventure instigated by stolen money. Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974), a trashy outing, features the road, Peter Fonda, and hilariously bad dialogue, but it holds up as guilty pleasure and time capsule. Fonda starred that same year in Race with the Devil, a road movie with Satanic villains, while Max Baer Jr. co-wrote and starred in the drive-in hit, Macon County Line. The latter's sequel-by-setting, Return to Macon County (1975), comes closer to the road, with its 1950s fantasy about a driver (Nick Nolte) and his mechanic (Don Johnson) traveling to California. Along the way they pick up a slightly demented waitress (Robin Mattson), tick off a small-town sheriff and some local badasses, tear up rubber, and spend nights in abandoned houses. Also in '75: Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins, in which down-on-his luck driving instructor Rafferty (Alan Arkin) joins wannabe singer McKinley Beachwood (Sally Kellerman) and runaway "Frisbee" (Mackenzie Phillips) on an aimless road trip across 70s America. The trio form bonds, commit petty crimes, and make a rather pointless movie work more often than it should. Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke lock horns with bad guys on the road to Vegas in the family-unfriendly The Gauntlet (1977), and Jack Nicholson heads across Africa in the more cerebral and cinematic thriller, The Passenger (1977). The Driver (1978), with Ryan O'Neal pursued by Bruce Dern, falls somewhere between. When the Muppets finally hit the big screen in 1978, they also hit the road (The Muppet Movie). The oddball '78 film, Wanda Nevada gives us Peter Fonda again, who hits the road after winning thirteen-year-old Brooke Shields in a poker game. The story has them following a prospector's map, and stands as the only time Peter worked alongside his famous father, Henry Fonda. Carny (1980) came along a little too late, but it still looks and feels like the 1970s, and the artful cult flick, with Gary Busey, Robbie Robertson, and the teenage Jodie Foster, contains echoes of Two-Lane Blacktop.

    This list is by no means exhaustive. Feel free to /message me with, "good review, jackass, but how could you forget...?"

    Mad Max (1979)-Suggested by FlavouredMilk (who actually began his message with, "good review jackass, but how could you forget...")
    Bad News Bears in "Breaking Training" (1977)- Reminded myself that the first Bad News Bears sequel was a road movie.

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