Monday, March 18, 2013

Pencil Appreciation

atmospheric, clouds, Angeles Forest, small sketch,  Katherine Kean, graphite on paper
Clouds Moving Over the Angeles Forest Sketch  ©2013 Katherine Kean
graphite on paper approx 8 x 8 inches

This past two weeks saw me trip a circuit breaker by turning on the vacuum, while one of my computers randomly and stubbornly refused to burn anything to a CD. Then a space heater died, my hair dryer died, and the oven stopped working, followed two days later by the microwave. The oven simply cooled down and then refused to warm back up. The microwave on the other hand went out in a shower of sparks and arcs of blue electricity crawling across the outside of the door, leaving little burn marks in its wake.

While all of these technical issues are being resolved I’m feeling very grateful for my pencil. It’s very reliable, always ready to go, easy to carry, and doesn’t need an outlet. It doesn’t require warming up, or cooling off and it won’t over heat and shut itself down or refuse to start. I don’t need to study a confusing owner’s manual to use it and it doesn’t require technical support, service calls, repairs, or upgrades. It works very much the same way each and every time I use it - no matter how long it has been since the last time I needed it.

More pencil facts:

Pencils write in zero gravity and although I’ve yet to try it, apparently under water. (But on what?)

A typical pencil can write as many as 45,000 words. A single pencil can make a line 35 -70 miles long.

Pencils were invented in 1565, but didn't get embedded erasers until the 1800s. I also hear that pencils without erasers are more common in Europe.

March 30th is Pencil Appreciation day.

"The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser - in case you thought optimism was dead. Robert Brault 


Kathryn Hansen said...

wow...what a bad few weeks you had! hope it's getting better!!

some really interesting facts on pencils...and you know how much i love pencils!!

Katherine Kean said...

Thanks Kathryn, me too.

Yes, I know! You and pencils are a team - a force to be reckoned with! :)

Anne M Bray said...

Pencil appreciation day! LOVE IT!

Thank you for all those fun pencil facts! I bet pencils are fairly earth-friendly as well (compared to printer cartridges).

Katherine Kean said...

Hi Anne,
Yes - compared to printer cartridges. There have been a lot of studies done comparing mechanical pencils to cedar casing pencils, but generally speaking, as long as the graphite is thoughtfully mined, then pencils are not the worst thing for the environment.

"As We Speak" said...

You have given me a whole new appreciation of pencils. Whoever said that twitter wasn't educational was wrong.