"Secret" messages with Pilot Frixion

Never mind the double-entendre; Frixion is not a sex toy. It's the next generation of eraseable ink pens. I honestly thought this finally went the way of the dodo in the 1990s. Who of us twenty-and-thirty-somethings can forget those old EraserMate Pens that would smudge and leave our pinkies and wrists blue?

Well, Pilot went about it a different way. The packaging (and website) says this is a thermo-sensitive ink and that the heat generated by the "eraser" (actually a soft plastic or hard rubber nub that doesn't really rub off on the paper) is enough to make the ink disappear so that you can correct the mistakes you make.

My wife bought me one to play with because I like quirky pens. Don't ask. It writes just like a typical gel pen.

Sure enough, the hard "eraser" does work, and apparently quite well.

As you can see, all traces are gone. Holding it up to the light, this looks like a blank sheet out of my notebook. Holding it at an angle to the light, there are faint marks of the ink, but it's not legible. The marks could be passed off as impression from the page above it.

I decided to try an experiment with the temperature sensitive ink, and only seconds after being exposed to the cold air in my freezer, the ink started to reappear. It did get a little darker after a few minutes. I'm wondering if heat that didn't involve friction (a toaster oven, candle, clothes iron or steam) would result in a more legible message. Maybe I'll try that next.

There you have it. A completely innocuous method of passing messages that uses nothing suspicious whatsoever. Just a pen you bought at the drug store, and a burst of cold air to make it legible again.

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