I, Pencil My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read I am a lead pencil—the ordinary wooden pencil familiar to all boys and girls and adults who can read and write Writing is both my vocation and my avocation; that's all I do. You may wonder why I should write a genealogy. I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove. Simple? Pick me up and look me over. Innumerable Antecedents Just as you cannot trace your family tree back very far, so is it impossible for me to name and explain all my antecedents. My family tree begins with what in fact is a tree, a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern California and Oregon. The logs are shipped to a mill in San Leandro, California. Consider the millwork in San Leandro. Don't overlook the ancestors present and distant who have a hand in transporting sixty carloads of slats across the nation. My "lead" itself—it contains no lead at all—is complex. My cedar receives six coats of lacquer.
Researchers Develop Technique to Remotely Control CockroachesRemote control cockroach cyborgs Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique that uses an electronic interface to remotely control, or steer, cockroaches. “Our aim was to determine whether we could create a wireless biological interface with cockroaches, which are robust and able to infiltrate small spaces,” says Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper on the work. “Ultimately, we think this will allow us to create a mobile web of smart sensors that uses cockroaches to collect and transmit information, such as finding survivors in a building that’s been destroyed by an earthquake. “Building small-scale robots that can perform in such uncertain, dynamic conditions is enormously difficult,” Bozkurt says. “We decided to use biobotic cockroaches in place of robots, as designing robots at that scale is very challenging and cockroaches are experts at performing in such a hostile environment.”
RobotsThis lesson plan may be used to address the academic standards listed below. These standards are drawn from Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education: 2nd Edition and have been provided courtesy of theMid-continent Research for Education and Learningin Aurora, Colorado. Grade level:6-8Subject area:technologyStandard: Understands the relationships among science, technology, society, and the individual.Benchmarks:Benchmark 1: Knows ways in which technology has influenced the course of history (e.g., revolutions in agriculture, manufacturing, sanitation, medicine, warfare, transportation, information processing, communication). Benchmark 3: Knows examples of advanced and emerging technologies (e.g., virtual environment, personal digital assistants, voice recognition software) and how they could impact society. Benchmark 4: Knows that science cannot answer all questions and technology cannot solve all human problems or meet all human needs.