[FoRK] Losing my religion
dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Sat Feb 13 16:21:56 PST 2010
On Sun, Feb 14, 2010 at 11:14 AM, Sean Conner <sean at conman.org> wrote:
> And there's a problem with using pencils in space---graphite. Graphite
> powder is conductive, so sharpening a pencil could be a dangerous act
> (causing a short, heck---who knows the long term effects of breathing
> graphite powder).
What is often overlooked in the russian space pencil anecdote is the
complicated pencil sharpener they issued with the pencils. This sharpener
was mounted on the hull of their spacecraft and was capable of opening into
space to evacuate the shavings and graphite. It was a particularly dangerous
device that could only be used a limited amount of times so as to reduce the
amount if air that was evacuated in the process of sharpening the pencil.
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