Leonardo da Vinci – Not That Smart

Historians tell us that Leonardo da Vinci was a bright man. Artist, musician, inventor, botanist – Leonardo did it all. He was the renaissance man during the renaissance. No one called him a renaissance man back then, they just called him “The Right Now Man”.

Perhaps you’ll join me in considering if Leonardo, “The Right Now Man”, was all he was cracked up to be. Let’s examine a few of his inventions.

Machine For Storming Walls

Back in Leonardo’s day, cities had walls. When one city had a beef with the città at the other end of the strada, they’d head over and attack them. Defenders of the city under attack closed their gates and repelled the aggressors from behind the safety of the walls.

Leonardo considered the problem and came up with this:

Leonardo’s “siege machine”, or, “machine for getting all our soldiers killed by the other guys.” (public domain)

It looks like a good idea. A mobile solution; steps like the rolling steps used at some airports, leading to a covered bridge/tunnel that could be lowered onto the wall of a town. Soldiers could climb the steps, then traverse the bridge in relative safety. Read the rest of this entry »

Kaleidoscope? No Thanks. I Have Something Better.

Kaleidoscopes suck. Unless you have chugged an enormous amount of medication, they remain entertaining for about five minutes.

A multi-colored view of a kaleidoscope

Ooooh, symmetry! Alright, Grandma, I’m done. Next?! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me tell you a story to illustrate what a lousy toy the kaleidoscope is. I was in a gift shop the other day. There’s no need for you to get all hung up on what I was doing in a gift shop. I was there. I was there when a woman asked her granddaughter if she wanted a kaleidoscope. Do you know what the little girl said?

She said no. This was a rare event. No child ever says no to a gift from Grandma. Even a box of socks from Grammy might have cash at the bottom. No way any child on top of her game turns down the Grandma gift. Yet this girl said no to the gift of a kaleidoscope. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Jackson and me. Leaders in fields we never worked in.

I recognize that a lot of people are mourning the loss of Michael Jackson. I completely respect that, and I am sorry for your loss. I am not a fan, but there are artists I enjoy that his fans may not. To each his own.

However, the idea of the headline of this article “How Michael Jackson helped start the Patriots dynasty” is ridiculous. I think with this article, the drive to further sensationalize the loss to this man’s family, fans and friends reaches a new low. Read the rest of this entry »