When a pencil is left at room temperature, it has virtually no pigment, and the ink is almost invisible to the human eye. So long as the moisture is there, the ink color will remain black. As long as there is no air in contact with the black, the ink is invisible. When the pencil is exposed to air, heat, or water in general, the pigment breaks down and the pencil color will change.
For the last 10 or so years, I have spent most of my life teaching my son to keep his pencils in their original case so he can hold them for drawing. When the ink dries, all that is left is a very faint brownish-black. When the pencil is not in its case, the pencil is white (or even a light teal if there is a color liner).
Why do pencils fall apart?
When the ink or paper dries, moisture causes the paper to become sticky and the glue to crumble. Once the glue is gone, the pencil starts to break apart into a bunch of tiny little pieces. These are called “nibs” or “nubs” for short. In the old days, pencil cases were used with wood “nubs” on the ends of the pencils. These little nubs are used to separate the paper from the pencil and keep them from coming together when the paper is used again. With time, some wood nubs broke and eventually the pencils ended up broken. Eventually, it was replaced with a thin metal case. And to keep the nibs separate, they were usually glued together.
The United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released an economic report on Tuesday in which it projected that the dollar might lose another percent in the next two years thanks to higher interest rates—an outcome that could push the U.S. dollar closer to parity with the Japanese yen.
The agency projected that the U.S. currency could drop as much as 0.8% by 2020, according to CNBC’s Brian Arend as published in real time. That’s the most significant of the forecast’s big four outcomes.
“I think this is one of those things that if you looked at Japan a lot more, the Japanese yen would have gotten to about ¥1.20 by now,” CNBC’s Bill Stelter, citing his own research, told Arend.
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