The Dreams of an Inventor in 1420
This article, Dreams of an inventor in 1420 was originally published in The Public Domain Review Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. If you want to reuse, please visit: https://publicdomainreview.org/legal/-Bennett Gilbert Sometimes we try to invent something new by exploring within the limits of what we know is possible, and sometimes we invent expanding those limits. For […]

This article, Dreams of an inventor in 1420 was originally published in The Public Domain Review Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. If you want to reuse, please visit: https://publicdomainreview.org/legal/
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Bennett Gilbert

Sometimes we try to invent something new by exploring within the limits of what we know is possible, and sometimes we invent expanding those limits. For an imaginative engineer early fifteenth century - working more than two hundred years before the discoveries of Newton - the process of the invention is often a curious mixture of both. You would know so little about the mechanical force that you could discuss almost everything and believe that it is convenient. Of course, attempts to realize the designs often failed, but may, on occasion, also succeed.

Assume for a moment that you are such a person with a knack for gadgets in the early fifteenth century, or engineer hoping to build wonderful machines and smart structures that no one else had ever dreamed - how would you do to show your talents? And if you were someone who wanted to possess wonderful and mysterious devices, like a prince - how would you find the person who could make these things? A remarkable testimony to the meeting of engineering skills, technological ignorance, individual initiative and public demand is at the State Library of Bavaria, in the sketchbook of an Italian inventor of the early fifteenth century. This is a volume of sixty-eight drawings announcing inventions Johannes (or Giovanni) Fontana (circa 1395-1455), who was both the engineer and the artist hoped to sell to patrons. Thought to have been created between 1415 and 1420 the work has no title Fontana who survived, but a later owner gave him the title Bellicorum instrumentorum liber - the book of war devices - despite the fact that the most do not concern military matters.


Toy back to show the bodily resurrection. Johannes Fontana Bellicorum instrumentorum liber (1420), BSB Cod.icon. 242, f. 51r - Source (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Fontana has devised a wide range of projects: mechanical camel to entertain the kids, mysterious locks to keep the treasure, gear flamethrower to terrorize defenders besieged cities, huge fountains, musical instruments, masks actors and many other wonders. One of the most remarkable features of his ideas is that many of them are impossible to execute: they are simply not consistent with the principles of mechanics. This gives them a lot of charm and perhaps makes it more interesting than his more rational and practical proposals. We see similar designs impassable in very few other existing engineering books of this first period, especially in notebooks Leonardo da Vinci.


Johannes Fontana Bellicorum instrumentorum liber (1420), BSB Cod.icon. 242, f. 12v and 13r - Source (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Fontana lived at the time of transition from the medieval knowledge of the world to the Renaissance, which many now see as the origin of modern science. In the same years that Fontana worked, drew and dreamed, other builders and engineers were inventing perspective. The goldsmiths and artisans of the Rhine in southwestern Germany and elsewhere were considering how to mechanically copy shapes of letters. The wood carvers and metal tried dozens of techniques, some of which we are now lost, to reproduce images. The engineers and tinkerers were learning to build larger buildings and lighter and experimenting ways to defy gravity, operating materials and natural forces and dominate nature. And they were learning new ways to think about their ideas on paper.

The towers and rockets, water and fire nozzles and pipes, pulleys and ropes, gears and grappling hooks, wheels and beams, grids and spheres that were occupying a engineer at the dawn of the Renaissance fill the Fontana sketchbook. His way to illustrate his ideas, however, is clearly medieval, lacking perspective and using a limited range of angles for exposing mechanical works. He designed according to practice in the previous century and not in those of Italy Alberti and Brunelleschi in which he lived. He used liberal splashes of ocher to animate mechanical monsters and demons with the effects of fire.


Johannes Fontana Bellicorum instrumentorum liber (1420), BSB Cod.icon. 242, f. 26r - Source (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

The fire had a less terrifying function in some other Fontana designs being used instead for its luminous properties. In fact, Fontana made the first drawing survivor of a lantern apparatus, which turned light fire in emotional display. It is likely that he actually built such a thing, because his idea is specific and achievable. Maybe one day a relic of it appear.


Johannes Fontana Bellicorum instrumentorum liber (1420), BSB Cod.icon. 242, f. 70r - Source (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

While many fire and lighting in Fontana's drawings were for the battlefield, others were considered as elaborate displays for use in shows such as religious items. Played in front of churches and cathedrals, shows attracted large crowds seated on bleachers, built to resemble battlements around the scene. Fans of medieval games worshiped see the mouth of hell, angels fly on son and heavenly clouds lifted and lowered by ropes.


Johannes Fontana Bellicorum instrumentorum liber (1420), BSB Cod.icon. 242, f. 60r - Source (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

The most elaborate design of Fontana was perhaps an illuminated spectacle by the impressive fire, probably serving propaganda machine for use in war and in peace.

This fascinating idea was inspired numerous arts practiced in the late Middle Ages. The drawings on vellum beaten finely rotate in endless loops on time. A light source shining through the translucent medium casts shadows on temporary walls overshadowed by a tower with powerful emblems. The visitor is led through a series of doors in the maze of a fantasy world. The structure was most likely intended to run as a huge building that represented the personal residence of a prince or lord.

In addition to burning buildings, Fontana also designed many fountains and other water features. Before modern water infrastructure, water sources were more visible in the lives of people they are today. The importance of water and the fragility of its supplies were not masked by massive administrative projects. The water was life, and also the danger.


Johannes de Fontana, Bellicorum instrumentorum liber (1420), BSB Cod.icon. 242, f. 27v - Source (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Here the idea of ​​Fontana to raise sunken ships - an urgent problem and difficult day.


Johannes Fontana Bellicorum instrumentorum liber (1420), BSB Cod.icon. 242, f. 35r - Source (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Fontana also tried to harness wind power and water power for musical instruments.

It was also interesting for the eye and ear.

In one of the most curious drawings of the book, Fontana imagined a life support system for patients undergoing horrific surgeries.

He also directed his imagination to more frivolous topics and designed moving toys to entertain the children.

In general, he was interested in the development of flexible structures for entertainment and for civil engineering. He was particularly fascinated by the locks and nested structures.

But there are lots of designs that are quite confusing.


Johannes Fontana Bellicorum instrumentorum liber (1420), BSB Cod.icon. 242, f. 2v - Source (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

They use some of the strengths and themes mentioned above - hydraulics, fire, and flexible or nested parts. But because the cross-section and other visual techniques such as perspective were not used by (and probably not known) Fontana and perhaps also because his imagination beyond his skills, he wanted to do and how he thought it should be done remain something of a mystery. His descriptions, written in code, do not help much because they describe the function they fulfill it wanted rather than explaining how they were actually built or operated.

This is only a sample of the wealth of drawings found in Johannes script Fontana. Many others show fierce gear seat and trebuchets, and beautiful fountains and playful ornaments. Flipping through the pages, we get a glimpse of what it was like to be an imaginative inventor at the dawn of the Renaissance. It was ingenious and ambitious in the way that people of all times and recognize that we can see in ourselves. We may be more science than he, but, like Fontana, we always show our inventions to the rich and powerful, searching and looking for their financial support. War is as much a part of modern life as it was at the time of Fontana, with his incessant need new inventions for killing and destruction. Also unfamiliar may be the line drawn by Fontana, he used his pen and his brush with very similar purposes to ours when we draw and paint, write and talk about, or imagine and hope: find one way or another, the opportunity to build what we dream of creating. .

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About six months before I turned 50, a friend tried to convince me to enter a physique contest. He had just turned 40, and was thrilled to be in the over-40 category because there were fewer guys for him to compete against. He said to me, “Kirk, you can win the over-50 category. There are only a few guys who enter. But, you have no lats or traps—most older dudes don’t. Work on your back and you got it in the bag ! ” I wasn’t too excited to enter a competition with “no competition, ” but I was pretty peeved to hear him say I had no lats or traps. My back was better than that. Although I had no volonté to enter the competition, I started doing more single-arm dumbbell rows to work my back. Now, a few years later, it’s one of my favorite dumbbell exercises. Importantly, I’m not trying to break any records when it comes to weight here, like I might have in my younger days. Quality reps at low weight is the bigger focus.

There are variantes of the exercise where you see guys use a bench for support, using a hand or even placing a knee on the bench. These have their merits ( although MH fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C. S. C. S. would rather you not put a knee up ). However, I mostly do the version with no aide from the bench with both feet on the ground as points of contact. This version works your traps, rhomboids, rear delts and rotator cuff muscles, but you also get some core work, something you greatly need as you get older. Remember, though, that the way do the exercise is subjective to your own abilities. If you need some extra support for balance, don’t hesitate to put a hand down.

tera set up for my preferred variation, pick up a light dumbbell, especially to start. Stand with your feet in a parallel stance about shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbell in a neutral position at your side, as if you would for a hammer curl. Place your free hand behind you, with the back of your hand on the small of your back ( you can also extend your off arm out to balance ). Next, bend over by pushing your butt back and hinging at your waist, with your knees slightly bent. There should be no rounding of the spine, and you should keep your gaze down at the floor in a neutral neck position. Lastly, as you’re hanging onto the dumbbell with your arm pointing to the floor, squeeze your shoulder blades together so your shoulders lock in place and don’t slump.

From this starting place, use your back to sweat the dumbbell up without twisting your spine. Pull up as high as you can, pause for a moment at the top and squeeze your shoulder blades together even more. Then release by lowering the dumbbell back to the starting place. tera control my pace, I usually sweat up for 2 seconds, squeeze at the top for 2 seconds, then release back to the starting place in 2 seconds.

By doing the dumbbell row unilaterally ( one arm at a time ), you’ll feel yourself being pulled off balance. You must fight with your abs and obliques to maintain balance and stability, which is why I love this exercise so much. Although you won’t be able to load up with as much weight as you would using the bench for stabilization, the extra core work you’ll get makes this version well worth putting in your arsenal of exercises. Try 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps during upper body workouts to get started.

We all know that it’s common for men to skip the doctor until they become sick, injure themselves or are faced with a serious health problem. And a majority of men will postpone seeking care for a few days to see whether they feel any better. It’s the whole ' if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ' line of thinking.

But there are steps the men in your life can take today to improve their vitality and help prevent health problems down the road. Of course, there are some things that can’t be changed, such as family history and age, but every day choices can have a big impact on their current and future health.

Eating a diet that’s low in fat ( less than sept percent of calories should come from saturated fats ), cholesterol, and salt, and packed with fresh fruits and vegetables ( two cups of fruit per day; three cups of vegetables per day for men up to age 50 and two and a half cups for men aged 51 and over ), whole grains and fiber can help improve your health, prevent heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Try to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. Taking a walk, jogging, swimming and mowing the lawn all count. But don’t be a weekend sports warrior. Start slowly if you aren’t normally réactive and gradually build up. No time ? Research shows that even bermuda bursts of physical activity—as few as 10 minutes of intense activity several times a day—can help men improve their health. Talk to your doctor about the right exercise program for you.

It’s important to maintain a saine weight. Excess weight, especially around the waist, can be on your body. Carrying too much body fat forces your heart to work harder and increases your chances of heart disease and stroke, even if you have no other risk factors ! So, try to curb weight gain as you age.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4, 000 chemicals and is a known cause of cancer. Smoking also increases the likelihood of high blood pressure, heart disease, lung problems and other health problems. And if you think chewing tobacco is safer, think again. Not only is chewing tobacco a known cause of cancer ( carcinogen ), it also contributes to gum disease and tooth loss and may be linked to fertility problems. And, few could argue that chewing and spitting is attractive to a partner. If you smoke or chew, talk to your health care professional about ways to quit. Consider nicotine replacement therapy products that include self-help programs, if appropriate.

Whether it’s pulling out the weed whacker, going for a bike ride or grilling with the neighbors, safety is key. Here are just a few examples : Take care when moving heavy objects. It’s easy to strain yourself when lifting boxes, furniture and other heavy items. Use your knees and legs and not your back for leverage. And ask for help, if you need it. Wear appropriate protective gear for your eyes and ears when using leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other machines at home or work. Excessive exposure to noise is the most common cause of hearing loss. Wear a helmet when you ride a bike or ski and throw on reflective clothing if you go for a run after dark. When grilling, never leave the grill unattended, especially when small children and pets are around, and keep a fire extinguisher handy. The grill should be at least 10 feet from your house or any building. to protect your skin, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and apply ( and reapply ) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that provides protection against UVA and UVB rays.

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