Hello Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome back to Taco Tuesday with me, Mel, and my cowriter, Taco Tim. Today we are going to do a classic five about:
Oh look at that, he wrote it all by himself. Using a pencil. Interesting isn’t it, how much we depend on pencils? It’s practically a sin to not bring a pencil to class. But what about pens? Well, pencils are definitely better, and here are five facts to prove it.
Pencils can write in a lot of places, including underwater and in zero gravity. Both Russian and American missions used pencils while in space. The problem with using pens (or at least normal pens) in space is that they rely on gravity to pull the ink to the bottom of the pen so that it can be used for writing. In zero gravity there is nothing to make the ink go to the bottom of the pen. Pencils however, do not require gravity to work. There is a story that the US government used thousands of dollars to develop a space pen that could work in zero gravity. The Russians? They just used a pencil.
Pencils AREN’T made of lead. The little black thing in the middle of the pencil, often referred to as lead, is NOT lead. It is actually made of a combination of graphite and clay. Pencils formerly used lead, until people realized it was poisonous and could kill you. After that, it was graphite and clay all day. So, if you ever get a piece of pencil stuck in your hand (or another body part) don’t worry, you aren’t going to die.
Pencils can last a long time! It has been calculated that an average pencil can draw a line 35 miles long before it runs out of lead (sorry, graphite and clay!) However, this has never actually been tested, so we don’t know for certain (yet!). The pencil is also estimated to be able to write 45,000 words. This hasn’t been tested either, so if you have a lot of time, you could get your name written down somewhere.
Pencil marks can be erased! We take our erasers for granted, but the human race didn’t always have such a beautiful creation. Originally, artists erased things using bread crumbs. Eventually, French scientists played with the idea of using caoutchouc, a gum made from vegetables (now known as rubber) to erase pencil marks. Thanks goodness they did! Can you imagine trying to fix something on a math tests with bread crumbs!?
Faber-Castell is the largest pencil producing company in the world. It was started by a man named Kaspar Faber in 1761. He began as a cabinet-maker. Eventually, he became so succesful that he was able to start his own company. Faber-Castel now currently has over 7500 employees and makes over 755 million EUR each year.
Thanks to these wonderful people for lending me their information!