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Read, I, Pencil

Read, I, Pencil
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.

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Of Plymouth Plantation, by William Bradford 1590-1657 Original Source: Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation, 1606-1646. Ed. William T. Physicist uses math to avoid traffic penalty A physicist faced with a fine for running a stop sign has proved his innocence by publishing a mathematical paper, and has even won a prize for his efforts. Dmitri Krioukov is a physicist based at the University of California in San Diego. When faced with a court hearing over allegedly driving through a stop sign, he put together a paper called The Proof of Innocence, which he has since published. The abstract for the paper reads: "A way to fight your traffic tickets." The paper was awarded a special prize of $400 that the author did not have to pay to the state of California.

Sol LeWitt’s Advice to Eva Hesse: Don’t Worry About Cool, Make Your Own Uncool Sol LeWitt, “Horizontal Brushstrokes (More or Less),” 2002. Gouache on paper, 22-3⁄8 x 22-3⁄8 inches (Photo courtesy Craig F. Starr Gallery. Art © 2011 The LeWitt Estate /Artists Rights Society, New York) Rural Hours. Rural Hours by Susan Fenimore Cooper (1813-1894). Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1887. [Title Page] 102 Spectacular Nonfiction Stories from 2012 Each year, I track the most exceptional stories I encounter while assembling my twice-weekly newsletter, The Best of Journalism, as well as acting as an editor-at-large for Byliner. These projects afford me the opportunity to read as much impressive nonfiction journalism as any single person possibly can. The result is my annual Best of Journalism List, now in its fifth year. If you’re feeling nostalgic, here’s the 2011 edition. There are, of course, worthy pieces of writing and reporting that escaped my attention in 2012, but I can assure you that all of the 102 stories listed below deserve wider attention—as do the authors of these stories. The featured bylines are linked to the authors’ Byliner writer pages, which makes it easy to discover and read more of their excellent work.

Top 10 Tips: Award-winning artist Susanne du Toit 18 April 2014Last updated at 19:46 ET By Alison Feeney-Hart BBC News Susanne du Toit likes to have 'a relationship with the person I am painting' Susanne du Toit won last year's BP Portrait Prize, one of the UK's most prestigious visual arts awards.