Requirements for Pencil Pushers: The Perfect Pencil
When was the last time you looked, I mean 'really' looked, at a pencil? I'm talking about looking so close your eyes get crossed, you become dizzy and you fall off your chair, only to wake up when the dog starts licking your face. OK...so don't look that close...but how about glancing at one and seeing the pencil for the first time...so to speak.
According to pencil researchers, at the University of Pennsylvannia (pun not intended, but it came out anyway) the pencil will be defunct by the year 2020, being completely replaced by digital products, and the only extant pencils by that time will be found in dusty old glass cases in dusty old museums (dust will still be around in 2020) and when little boys named Theobald will say things like 'Daddy! What is that yellow thing?' and Daddy will regale them with stories of pencils from his past, and try to convince little Theobald that at one time they only had pencils and such things as the Blackberry was something they ate in Granny's pies. And little Theobald will kick Daddy in the shins and say 'stop fibbing!...do I look like a Dummy to you?'...or something to that effect...after all, if your name is Theobald, you are expected to act like that aren't you?
So having exhorted you to 'really look' at a pencil, I should now do the same myself, and see what I shall see and then you tell me what you see, and we can compare notes sometime in the next century when I have an opening in my schedule.
The pencil, and I am referring to the average pencil here, so don't get your wires crossed thinking otherwise, is always yellow in colour has a rubber or eraser on the end, and a piece of lead in the middle. These are the minimum requirements in order for you to call yourself a 'pencil' although why you would want to is beyond me.
I have a pencil--and I'm not afraid to use it! This is the motto of the professional pencil-pusher, who spends his long days, writing implement in hand, recording, jotting,scribbling,scrawling,transcribing and otherwise immortalizing the things he needs or has been instructed by superiors, to set-down on paper.
Unlike the ink-pen, which is indelible, and used by persons who make good decisions,and take care in their writing and thinking; whereas the pencil is the instrument of choice for those prone to making mistakes, changing their minds, or otherwise covering up their tracks.
Personally, I tend to belong to the latter group.
Some Early Pencils
Pencil Beginnings Began in Rome
IT was those old Romans, clever chaps, who used to write with marking device known as a stylus--which was a metal stick, made of lead, and used to scratch words (or perhaps draw pictures if you were a Roman child) onto papyrus. A date to remember, for pencil-ologists,is 1564, when a huge cache of graphite was uncovered in Borrowdale, England. Local residents used it to mark sheep,('ba-ba-black sheep' got it's name from the black graphite used to mark it--?) and soon realized that they could cut it into sticks and lo-and-behold, carry it with them. Now, as any schoolboy, or schoolgirl knows, graphite is generally soft and crumbly like a wet cracker, so soon after, Italian craftsmen (more clever chaps!) came up with the idea of hollowing out a stick of juniper wood and then filling it with graphite. And so the more modern looking pencil was born, the only difference being that today they simply glue two pieces of wood together to capture the graphite stick in the middle, because carving out piece of juniper to make it hollow simply takes too much time, and you have to have such tiny hands to do it!
Other Pencil Places to Visit
Got a hankering to handle a stick of graphite? You could try some top sites for your pencil purchases such as these:
- Pencils.com has everything from premium art pencils to green-conscious recycled.
The Pencil Grip is said to be "a revolutionary applied technology that works with the body’s natural physiology to gently place fingers in the proper position for gripping." which makes it the ideal writing instrument for kids and oldsters alike, who may find a pencil a hard thing to get a grip on!
- Are you a Pencilholic? Are you crazy about the graphite stick? Do you even like jokes and trivia about your pencil-pal? Then here's your site!
Give a Pencil to an African Child with The Pencil Project
pencil links on Hubpages
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Milton Friedman Does a Riff on The Pencil
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