On IcarusPosted: February 24, 2012
Remember Icarus? Me neither.
I do remember him as a character from a Greek myth. But I have no direct knowledge of anyone named Icarus. Maybe you know someone with that name.
If you do know someone named Icarus, you probably have teased him about what a crazy guy that mythological Icarus was. Mythical Icarus supposedly died when he flew using wings his father made him out of wax and feathers. Icarus ignored his father’s instructions and flew too close to the sun. The sun melted the wax, Icarus lost his feathers and plummeted into the sea.
Part of Icarus’ problem is that he did not know a bad idea when he heard one. Wax and feather wings are a bad idea.
I Was Thinking About Icarus
I had an Icarus incident the other day.
A few times a year, I instruct a class which I open by doing some juggling. Juggling has nothing to do with the class, it’s just a good way to get the students’ attention as they come back from break. Also, I like the idea that I’m getting paid to throw stuff around for the two minutes that I’m doing it.
I was juggling some eggs, when some in the class challenged me to throw them higher. I did, I threw higher and higher in response to their cheers. I threw so high that one egg hit a ceiling panel and rocketed back down toward the floor. The panel deflected the egg, the egg sailed out of my reach and plummeted to the tile.
My problem was not recognizing a bad idea when I heard one. Letting oneself get egged on when juggling eggs is a bad idea.
This Was Going To Be About Me
I was going to write something more that connected Icarus to me. When I did a little reading about Icarus, I learned something that changed what I planned for this post
Greece has an academy to train members of the Hellenic Air Force. Originally, they called the academy the Military Academy Of Aviation. Military Academy Of Aviation is a good name that says exactly what the school is.
Apparently that name wasn’t good enough. Greece renamed their Air Force Academy. They renamed it the Icarus School, because he is a “mythical pioneer in Greece’s attempt to conquer the skies.”
He’s a pioneer, just not a particularly good one. If you’re going to name someplace for a pioneer in a particular field, you should choose a good pioneer.
Do you know what Greece’s problem is? Like Icarus and me, they don’t know a bad idea when they hear one.