The Unsolvable Physics Problem
I know a little about physics, but there is one problem that using neither classical or quantum mechanics has allowed me nor anyone else to approach a solution. Perhaps someone like John Nash (A Beautiful Mind), or Albert Einstein were he still alive might solve. As chaos theory is refined over the next decade, or computers get more powerful there may be a slight chance of a crude solution, though highly unlikely.
What is that problem you ask? The disappearance of all ball point pens and pencils within a two week period after they are acquired. Oh I'm sure there will be simplistic answers from the ignorant like, they fall behind sofa cushions and car seats, or that people steal or borrow them, even that they didn't function properly and were discarded. But none of these theories really go toward explaining the pure volume of lost writing equipment.
The fact is that over 2 billion ball point pens, and nearly two billion pencils are manufactured in the United States per year. There are approximately 281,000,000 people in the United States. That's about 14 writing instruments per capita, removing infants, the mentally infirmed, and the illiterate the number is probably nearer 20 per capita. That would mean that over a fifty year period the pen count should be about 1,000 per capita.
Something has to be done to stop this hemorrhage of ink pens from the country. Obviously terrorists, and Mexicans account for many of the missing Jotters. At a buck a piece this is a loss to the nation of some $400,000,000,000 over that period. Some evil is obviously at work here. While people starve around the world, and we cut long growth forests to make pencils. We are losing ink pens like an AK47 victim loses blood.
There can be no question that what ever the mathematics and science of the situation are aliens from outer space are some how involved. Apparently at least some of the writing equipment is being transported up to mother ships far out in space. They obviously plan to take over our planet through the use of pencil theft there causing public school students to do even worse on their SOL tests, if that's even possible.
What can we do? A few suggestions might be to go back to using quills, chaining your Bic to a radiator, locking your writing implements in your gun safe, or even returning to the days of doing homework on the back of a shovel with a charcoal brickett much like the great Abraham Lincoln.
If we could ever find all those pencils and pens we could easily end our energy crisis overnight by trading these implements for oil. We could leave deficit spending behind, and perhaps even end graffiti. If the kids had pencils they might be less inclined to use spray paint.
Won't you do what you can? The next time a buddy asks have you got a pen man, just say no.