• What is it that should trace the insuperable line? ...The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? --Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

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Leonardo Da Vinci Print E-mail

Leonardo Da Vinci was born in Vinci, near Florence, in 1452. He has been described as ‘the most gifted man who ever lived’.  And he was a vegetarian!

Leonardo the artist created the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. He was an engineer, a musician, an architect, a cartographer, a mathematician, an astronomer, a botanist, a zoologist, a geologist, a physiologist.

He was a pioneer in optics, in hydraulics, in the physics of sound and the nature of light. Sound moves in waves, he noted – which is why two church bells, one further away than the other, struck simultaneously, are heard separately. And, noting a lag between a flash of lightning and a thunderclap, he concluded that light must travel faster than sound.

In his investigations into the circulation of blood, he was able to describe arteriosclerosis, which he attributed to lack of exercise!

He designed and supervised the building of canals all around the city of Milan, a feat still praised by engineers.

In the fifteenth century, he invented the glider. And the parachute. And the helicopter. He described the value of retractable undercarriages and wheels.

He left behind notebooks – some 6 000 pages of which have been discovered in collections all over Europe – which are surely the most remarkable record of creativity ever produced by one human being.

He died when he was 67, a ripe old age in that distant day.

Source: Reader’s Digest – October 1986 – by Leo Rosten – titled “The Most Gifted Man Who Ever Lived”.

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