Thursday, January 13, 2005
to succeed where da Vinci failed...
All this to lead into the actual point I was going to make (I have been known to be apt and able to challenge for the crown held by the King of Sidetracking... whoever that may be! But I digress...).
Every generation (no matter how inept it gets) thinks it will do better than the preceding one... Another thing we all know full well... So, to see a scientist announce his intention to topple ONE non-accomplishment (in other words, one of the few failed experiments...) in Leonardo da Vinci's long list of accomplishments, is not surprising at all... It is extraordinary and news-worthy, sure, but it surprises much less this particular observer than, say, any bunch of guys randomly picked off the streets - fully-accreditated members of the aforementioned Generation Y - and hear THEY claim they will do much better than their sorry misguided forefathers in regards to the environment or social injustices (their forefathers - many of whom were misguided by the lure of profit... others, as elaborated upon precedingly, by mere lack of interpretive powers in relation to their own BODIES and what it might have been doing to them... clouding their judgment and nullifying any common sense they might have inherited... if any...) *LOL*.
As a wise man once said... 'Nuff said. :)
Prof hopes to succeed where da Vinci failed
CTV.ca News Staff
A University of Toronto professor hopes to succeed where Leonardo da Vinci failed -- by making an ornithoper fly.
But before we talk more about Dr. James DeLaurier's dream, you might want this question answered: What's an ornithopter?
Simply put, it's a bird and it's a plane! The aircraft's design aims for the wings to supply propulsion as well as lift. This imagined flying device would thus become airborne without use of jet engines or propellers.
In the late 1400s, da Vinci -- the brilliant Renaissance painter and thinker -- came up with the idea, but his ornithopter never left the ground.
Sir James Cayley got the theory right in 1799 when he said it would be better to use the wings for lift only and have a separate propulsion unit. That was the approach used by the Wright Brothers in their short flight over the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.
The ornithopter was left behind at that fork in the aeronautical road. DeLaurier, an aerospace studies professor, believes it's not too late to make it work.
"A full-scale, human-carrying, flapping-wing aircraft has never been successfully attained," DeLaurier said. "And it's humanity's most ancient dream of flight, so the motivation is to finally achieve that."
DeLaurier has previously built test-model-sized ornithopters to prove they could fly. The first test flight was in 1985, more than a decade after he joined the University of Toronto faculty.
Now he has built a full-scale ornithopter out of foam, plywood and kevlar cloth.
For those who doubt it will ever lift off, DeLaurier said he wouldn't put so much time and effort into the project if he didn't think so.
And all of the computer calculations, simulations and lab testing indicates that it is possible, he said.
Besides all that, it's a challenge.
"What's the meaning of life?" DeLaurier asked rhetorically. "Well, life has meaning when you embrace a worthy challenge, and that's what this is."
While every attempt to fly has failed so far, DeLaurier's goal is to bring da Vinci's dream machine back to Italy and fly it at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.
With a report from CFTO's Alicia Kay-Markson
After Miss M - it is time to make way for Godmother of Scribes - Lady G. (no - not lady Godiva...). ;)
"Your blog isn't too hard hitting...no point in writing a social/political thing if you don't have a strong opinion and express it."
Well... what am I supposed to do here? I am thinner, younger and hairier than Rush Limbaugh... I do not have nearly as much PUBLICITY for this blog as he does for his column (or whatever it is he does now...!!!). And I still make discontents left and right... while being such a "softy" - somehow...!!! Feel reassured though, fellow writer, that when I will feel like IT IS TIME... I will be pushing the envelope. Something to look forward to... hmm? (Is it enough incentive though to keep the regulars coming back for more...?!? Please say yes... all five of you, in unison! LOL).
Oh yes - by the way...
Luminous Blog is ME... and reality.
"Darkenings Into The Light" is a NOVEL... and thus fiction! My NaNoWriMo Winner...
There is a thematic approach there, which is evident to see...
But please do not get blinded by the light now... and confuse things in the process! ;)
(in which case I may change my previous statement - they are not generation 'Y' after all... merely generation Z - the last one!!!). Yikes!
**Hell has frozen over!
The Art of Thinking ----- The following is supposedly an actual question given on an University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.
Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?
Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.
One student, however, wrote the following:-
First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. (?) I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. (AH...!). Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different Religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.
With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.
This gives two possibilities:-1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose. 2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you", and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.
The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct...leaving only Heaven thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."
THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY "A"!!!**
Still... he got an A for what... Admitting that he fooled around out of wedlock there...?
College kids should not even contemplate marriage, of course... STILL...
(For those of you not sure what the last "STILL" was a ll about there...!!!).