Monday, September 15, 2008
Over the summer I saw a few good shows in the Houston area. One of particular interest was at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences entitled - Leonardo da Vinci: Man, Inventor, Genius. There were over 60 working models of Leonardo's inventions that were handmade in Italy. Not of Leo's own hands of course, but modern Italian craftsmen.
One thing that I enjoyed learning was that not only did Leonardo invent many new contraptions for his day, but he greatly improved things that were already in existence as well. He made great leaps and bounds in the natural sciences, arts, agriculture, nautical sciences, aviation, and warfare. The greatest thing though about his attributes to warfare was his model of the first tank. The genius here is that he purposefully reversed some of the cogs so that the tank, if ever made, would be unable to move and function properly. Da Vinci predicted that if this were actually to be made, that the casualties would be devastating, and he didn't want to aid in the destruction of life, but in the development of the human intelligence.
Little known to many people, Da Vinci invented the first working robot, and car. These were somewhat made like clockwork objects in that springs needed to be wound to propell these objects. Also, everyone's favorite teenage mutant ninja turtle designed the first wiffle ball!