(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘pencils

“The life so short, the craft so long to learn…”*


David Rees put aside a successful career as a political cartoonist to devote himself to artisanal pencil sharpening.  Rees began after a stint with the 2010 Census, where he spent all day recording his findings with a No. 2 pencil.

“I thought there’s got to be a way to get paid to sharpen pencils for people,” he said.

1,804 flawlessly-sharpened (mostly) No. 2 pencils later, Rees has authored a book on his craft, collected an arsenal of different sharpeners, and taught classes on the finer points of fine points.

Rees’ website “Artisanal Pencil Sharpening” sells his book and sharpened pencils.  (“Traditionally people mail in their pencils to be sharpened; however David now offers a new service: He will provide the pencil.”)  The books ship quickly, the pencils ($35) take approximately six weeks to ship, and cost more than the book ($20).

Read more at Tyler Cown’s Marginal Revolution.



As we ponder the point, we might send mysterious birthday greetings to John Innes Mackintosh Stewart; he was born on this date in 1906.  A prolific and distinguished Oxford literary scholar and an accomplished literary novelist. Stewart is more widely known by his pen name, Michael Innes, under which he wrote almost fifty crime novels and short story collections, most featuring the urbane detective John Appleby (for example, your correspondent’s favorite, Hamlet, Revenge!)


Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 30, 2013 at 1:01 am

Up, Up, and Away…

Your correspondent is headed to the other side of the International Blog-Post Line; so, while occasional missives may emerge over the next several days, regular service will resume on or around Memorial Day.

Lest readers be under-occupied in the meantime, the illuminating illustrations of Nathan Pyle:

Danger Quiz!

The Other Numbers

More at Pyle.

As we commit to continued self-improvement, we might recall that it was on this date in 1856 that a pro-slavery posse led by Sheriff Samuel J. Jones burned the Free-State Hotel, destroyed the equipment of two anti-slavery newspapers, and looted several other businesses in Lawrence, Kansas– an attack known as the “Sack of Lawrence.”  Abolitionist John Brown’s nearby Pottawatomie Massacre is believed to have been a reaction to this attack.

Five years earlier– on this same date in 1851– the nation of Columbia abolished slavery.

Ruins of the Free State Hotel after the attack

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