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Through all of his years of testing recipes for the perfect chicken soup (as detailed in my new book The Da Vinci Cold), Leonardo was puzzled by barnyard birds' inability to fly. His conclusion — that despite having wings chickens are just too stupid figure out how to get airborne — may have inspired his design for a proto hang-gliding contraption (pictured above) that would allow humans — whom he optimistically presumed to be smarter than poultry — to go where no chicken had gone before.
This moment in Da Vinci History is brought to you by my latest book, The Da Vinci Cold, or Chicken Soup for the Renaissance Man's Soul, on sale now at Amazon.com and finally at Barnes & Noble where they're offering it at a pretty sweet discount.
Long thought to be the sketch for some sort of threading device for weaving, in light of recent revelations about Da Vinci's culinary experiments, this drawing is now believed to be Leonardo's design for a six bird at a time-rotisserie, allowing him to slow-roast up to half-a-dozen plucked and seasoned chickens at one time, all while rotating them occasionally to ensure even cooking but at a safe distance from the flames (see the lever at right). Although the rods may seem too close together to accommodate six birds, remember that Renaissance chickens were much smaller than modern poultry, closer to the size of a cornish game hen.
This moment in Da Vinci History is brought to you by my latest book, The Da Vinci Cold, or Chicken Soup for the Renaissance Man's Soul, on sale now at Amazon.com and maybe by now at Barnes & Noble if they ever get their act together and put in up on their damned site.
7 Things You Didn't Know About: Leonardo Da Vinci. A blast from the Ant Farmer's Almanac vault and a none-too-suble reminder that my book, The Da Vinci Cold is still for sale and that various and sundry holiday gift-giving occaisions (Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) are coming up soon.
CIASPCA: Reincarnated as a dog, super spy Jack Russell has only three days to expose the double agent who betrayed . . . squirrel!
REMILF: He only sees her in his dreams...
HTMLDorado: Feuding identical twins -- one a straight-laced IT nerd, the other a freewheeling slacker/hacker -- join forces to save their family's mom and pop internet startup from a ruthless corporation bent on dominating the world wide web . . .
DVDOA: There was only one way for the studio to defuse this bomb . . .
WTFBI: Ken Burns' documentary details the Federal Bureau of Investigation's long history of outlandish undercover operations. Kyle McLoughin narrates.
CNBCSI: How could a TV network devoted to 24-hour coverage of finance and big business not see a worldwide economic collapse coming? When the answers don't add up, one forensic accountant who plays by his own rules is gonna have to use some new math . . .
DDSOS: Dentists on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
TGIWTF: Instead of the weekend they'd planned, they got two days nobody would ever forget . . .
LSDMV: They just got their license to the ultimate road trip.
M*A*S*H*UP: High-altitude hyjinx ensue when a mobile army hospital hits the skies — in a balloon!
A ruined masterpiece, a genius in peril, a doctor on the run, a shadowy and secretive organization, a missing notebook, another (different doctor), the French army, some guys with leeches, 11 herbs and spices, special guest appearances by Michelangelo and the Spanish Inquisition, a cookbook deal worth millions, and lots and lots of chickens....
What does it all add up to? A mystery 500 years in the making!
(We can neither confirm or deny that this book was actually written by J.K. Rowling. Honestly, we don't know how this rumor is spreading so fast or why we started it.)
Thirteen things that happened on the 13th of Mays past.
1637: Cardinal Richelieu invents the table knife; 1787: Eleven ships full of convicts sail for Botany Bay, Australia; 1848: First performance of Finland's national anthem; 1940: Churchill states that he has nothing to offer but "blood, toil, tears & sweat"; 1942: First cross-country helicopter flight; 1950: Diner's Club issues its first credit cards; 1958: Velcro is trademarked; 1965: Rolling Stones record "Satisfaction"; 1967: An octagonal boxing ring is tested to avoid corner injuries; 1981: Pope John Paul II is shot and wounded in St Peter's
Square; 1989: 2,000 students begin a hunger strike in Tiananmen Square; 1992: Final episode of "Night Court" airs; 1992: Frank Stallone beats Geraldo Rivera in boxing match on the Howard Stern Show; 1996: O.J. Simpson appears on British TV discussing his not guilty verdict.
Thirteen things that happened in history on 13ths of April.
837: Best view of Halley's Comet in 2000 years (they don't say which 2000, though); 1204: Crusaders occupy Constantinople (later known as Istanbul); 1796: First elephant arrives in US from India; 1808: William Henry Lane ("Juda") perfects tap dance; 1860: First Pony Express delivery reaches Sacramento, California; 1861: After 34 hours of bombardment, Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederate forces; 1870: Metropolitan Museum of Art forms in New York City; 1957: Due to lack of funds, Saturday mail delivery in U.S. is temporarily halted; 1958: Van Cliburn is the first American to win the Chaikovsky Compettion in Moscow;
1965: Beatles record "Help"; 1970: Apollo 13 announces "Houston, we've got a problem!"; 1976: The $2 bill is re-introduced as US currency; 1980: US boycotts Summer Olympics in Moscow.
As a public service, we offer these satirically inspirational rhymes to not-so-gently remind Congress both why they're less popular than cholera, cockroaches and colonoscopies and what they were sent to Washington to do... you know, they're f**king jobs!
to avoid committing to the process of making of a difficult choice in a passive-aggressive and transparently self-serving manner;
• [verb} what one does when there isn't a 10-foot-pole handy with which to not touch something unpleasant; The Supreme Court hedgetated over the legality of gay marriage.
483: St Felix III begins his reign as Pope; 607: 12th recorded passage of Halley's Comet; 1519: Cortez lands in Mexico; 1677: Massachusetts gains title to Maine for $6,000; 1759: 27th recorded passage of Halley's Comet; 1852: Uncle Sam cartoon figure makese its debut; 1884: U.S. adopts Standard Time; 1887: Chester Greenwood patents earmuffs; 1888: Great Blizzard of, well, 1888; 1925: Tennessee makes it unlawful to teach evolution; 1961: Pablo Picasso (79) marries his model Jacqueline Rocque (37); 1965: Jeff Beck replaces Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds; 1993: Blizzard of, well, '93.
WASHINGTON DC (AFA NewsWire) Speaking to reporters Friday as news of the damage and injuries was still trickling in from Chelyabinsk, Russia, NRA president Wayne LaPierre cited the meteor's crash site as evidence that, "No meteor would dare hit the United States of America," LaPierre insisted, "Not so long as we not only manufacture and sell the sort of weaponry needed to fend off such a threat; but that those weapons are available freely and in volume to every citizen, and at attractively affordable prices."
"The only thing that can stop bad meteors is good astronauts with guns," continued LaPierre, urging NASA to arm all personnel on the International Space Station, "Ideally, American astronauts," LaPierre quickly added, "Barring that, only the arming of every citizen on the planet can guarantee our continued safety from the effects of objects falling from space."
Asked if this meant the people of Chelyabinsk, where the 7,000-ton meteor fell to the earth in a dramatic fireball, were somehow 'asking for it', LaPierre stated that his point was that, "Decades of government dictated communism had deprived them of gun ownership, leaving them without the firepower to protect themselves, something that the current talk about maybe looking into doing something symbolic and virtually unenforceable in regards gun regulation in the U.S. would surely lead to."
Mr. LaPierre abruptly ended the press conference when he received word that someone had "built a fire down on Main Street that needed to be shot full of holes."
Elsewhere, gun rights advocate Alex Jones was seen shouting defiantly at the sky, daring it to drop anything his way and promising to blast it back to kingdom come, unless, of course, it was aimed at Piers Morgan.
TRENTON, NEW JERSEY (AFA NewsWire) Despite 48% of New Jersey Republicans adamantly stating that they wouldn't support him if he ran and only 26% of registered voters statewide offering a whiff of interest in seeing him get elected, Geraldo Rivera, Fox News commentator and radio host, continues to hint that he'll seek the senate seat being vacated by Frank Lautenberg, who is retiring after nearly 30 years in office.
"Oh, like we haven't got enough trouble already," sighed a weary Governor Chris Christie upon hearing the news of Rivera's intentions at the state capitol in Trenton.
"We've got real problems that need real solutions," said Christie, "What we don't need is a big mustache attached to a bigger ego, entering the already overcrowded competition for Biggest Jackwad in Congress..." adding, "Call me back when Springsteen says he wants to run for the senate."
The annual trotting out of this Ant Farmer's Almanac Valentine's Day Holidaze Classic! Read it aloud to someone you love.
—Love and/or Kisses, Your Local Neighborhood Ant Farmer.