“Politics is the study of who eats… and who gets eaten.” So, when it comes to humans, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid *everything* political. But the Oval Office Firehose of Bullshit can overwhelm the best of us. Also, I keep setting aside interesting articles that never get linked.
So, let’s try a Saturday-morning experiment: How many comments can we thread before somebody Fails to Read the F***ing Header?
And apart from that one restriction, what’s on the agenda for the day?
Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories https://t.co/4qBoIdbohs
— Katherine Miller (@katherinemiller) January 12, 2018
I’ll confess, I always assumed that liquid lead must somehow be poured into cored wooden cylinders, but noooo. Definitely click over for the Christopher Payne photos that go with Sam Anderson’s text:
A pencil is a little wonder-wand: a stick of wood that traces the tiniest motions of your hand as it moves across a surface. I am using one now, making weird little loops and slashes to write these words. As a tool, it is admirably sensitive. The lines it makes can be fat or thin, screams or whispers, blocks of concrete or blades of grass, all depending on changes of pressure so subtle that we would hardly notice them in any other context. (The difference in force between a bold line and nothing at all would hardly tip a domino.) And while a pencil is sophisticated enough to track every gradation of the human hand, it is also simple enough for a toddler to use.
Such radical simplicity is surprisingly complicated to produce. Since 1889, the General Pencil Company has been converting huge quantities of raw materials (wax, paint, cedar planks, graphite) into products you can find, neatly boxed and labeled, in art and office-supply stores across the nation: watercolor pencils, editing pencils, sticks of charcoal, pastel chalks. Even as other factories have chased higher profit margins overseas, General Pencil has stayed put, cranking out thousands upon thousands of writing instruments in the middle of Jersey City…