Substitute

Posted By on July 14, 2011

.: Ever since visiting Europe four years ago, I’ve kept a small moleskine notebook in my pocket at all times for instant access note taking. Each moleskine typically lasts three to four months, either until the pages are full or they fall apart. At $9 per three pack, that’s roughly a dollar a month — a dollar a month I no longer have to spend thanks to a truly revolutionary innovation on my part.

.: It all started when I bought my first pair of shorts in nine years. (Some backstory to the backstory: in tenth grade I enrolled in New Braunfels High School, whose policy forbade boys from wearing shorts. Since my recent growth spurt at the time had obsolesced my old shorts and ridiculous rules prevented me from buying new ones, I simply got used to suffering the sweltering Texas heat in pants, a habit that stuck until yesterday.) Now, as with all cargo shorts, the pockets are spacious — far more spacious than the moleskine-mangling pockets of my blue jeans. I began to think about all the things I could do with a slightly larger moleskine, something my jeans would surely protest but my cargo shorts would warmly accommodate. However, the next largest moleskine notebook was too large even for my shorts, and this is where innovation, inspiration, and genius all collided in a violent display of applicability and functional non-fixedness.

.: Behold!

.: For the non-molecular biologists in the audience, the cover is a thick piece of paper pulled from a QIAGEN Plasmid Maxi Kitâ„¢ protocol. Every kit we buy comes with one, and I realized that, folded in half, it would be just the right size and durability for a new pocket notebook. In my lab, I average one maxi kit ($209) every three months, which is on pace with how often I replace a moleskine. Add to that the price of two staples ($0.0004) and ten sheets of printing paper ($0.10), and that dollar a month I’d otherwise be paying for a genuine moleskine drops to a mere $69.70013. Success!

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