nedelja, 04. december 2016

Noto, Part 2

Nothing new under the sun... or, under the clouds, I should say. There were no news from me since we had few weeks of bad weather and every time I wanted to take the bike to Noto for some free wifi it started raining. Same yesterday, but this morning I woke up to a beautiful sunny day, so here I am. Nothing much going on, just trying to learn Sicilian dialect - I already mastered the Sicilian cuisine. Not a big deal, you just have to know the correct prayers.... yes, prayers. It was here that I first heard that you "add one Ave Maria of olive oil"... which means you continue to pour oil as long as it takes to say the complete Ave Maria...
Nothing more to say. I'm staying here till Xmass or NY or my birthday, will see. And a few pics from when the weather is nice.

nedelja, 13. november 2016


Two weeks ago I left the city of Archimedes, Siracusa, for a short hike. Since then I'm off the grid. The first four days on the road, the rest wwoofing. But let's proceed in order.
I had a good breakfast and left the LOL hostel late in the morning, two Sundays ago. The weather was perfect: cloudy with a friendly wind, the temperature about 18 C. Went west in the direction of Canicattini Bagni. following the regional road, and in the late afternoon, just before coming in Canicattini, I left the road and started back east. Weird? Not at all, since my goal was... south. I had plenty of time and this way I could do some proper hiking in the wild, following the canyon of the Cassibile stream, which happened on day two.

I was back on the coast before noon of the second day, near Fontane Bianche and I walked south by the sea till Calabernardo.

Then it was just a short stroll, again west, till Noto.

In noto I met my wwoof hosts, Vittoria and Juan Carlos (Giancarlo, as they call him here),  and they took me to their farm some 7km from the town. It's an isolated place, no internet and lousy phone signal, but with two dogs and four cats. Vittoria and Giancarlo live in the town, since they have to take care of his 97 yers old father, so I'm here alone most of the time. A lot of things to do, around the house, in the orchards, at the spring... but mostly, it's italian way of life - we eat, then we eat a bit more, then we have a rest, some more food, a coffee... oh, how time flies, it's already time for a glass of wine or two....

sobota, 29. oktober 2016

Another Day at the Museum

The Leonardo Museum, this time. Crappy weather today again.

Went in a search for a bookstore to buy me a good map, can't rely on g++gle maps once I'm in the wild, then literally stumbled on the Leonardo Museum on Ortigia island. Well, it's nothing flashy, but to me it was quite amazing. I always knew da Vinci was a genius, a genius and a genius... maybe he was a genius, too. But I was never that much interested in his works to study it, so I was surprised to see some stuff I've never heard of it before. Mostly are just scale models, built by Niccolai Artisans of Florence, using only materials available at the age of da Vinci. This one was a shock.
 As I learned there's still a dispute about the "bicycle of Leonardo", the page with its drawing in one of the many "da Vinci Codes" is unanimously recognized a fake, but very possibly being a copy been made by one of his pupils. Why would it be plausible? because there's no fail that Leonardo knew all about chain transmission of the movement. Built from a verified drawing.
 Warfare. The first tank, human powered, ever designed, never built (as far as I know and I know little, just that some 100 years later the first armored ship was built in Korea). This one I would really love to see in full scale.
 There was a model of a "perpetuum mobile non existens" and I didn't want to take a picture of it. Too many people would be more than willing to point at it and start drooling the like he was one of  the zionist communist reptilian aliens that live in the hollow Earth and THEY killed him at the tender age of almost 70 to not give humanity free power from perpetuum mobiles ... That's stupid folks for you (=average person), when confronted with someone clever, the only way out is to demonize him. Or her. OK, never mind, about the perpetuum. Leonardo had no clue about gravity, but he sure knew what friction is, so he used bearings even in the unpictured  perpetuum. Yep, he invented the bearings.

 With whom would you associate this boat, with Mark Twain or with Steamboat Willie? Wrong, with Leonardo da Vinci!
 And if you fall of that boat...
 Don't know the proper name, we used to call this a self grip, the heavier the load the stronger the hold. Guess who invented it...
 Fans of opera, drama and concerts... another guess, who invented the spotlight? Or reflector, as it was called at the time. Dude made some good dough from famous stages at the time.
 Back to real life... a water powered saw. If there was something like patenting at his time, his descendants would own the world. WAIT! They already do, since he...  he was one of  the zionist communist reptilian aliens that live in the hollow Earth
 A dream to never come true.
 A dream that came true. The differential gear. Actually this one blasted me much more than the bicycle, now that I think about it. It's just so unobtrusive as invention...
Infinity screw to lift weights...
 Another infinity screw to transform circular motion to linear...
 Lift with automatic stop
And a way of transmission I just can't remember the name - it's a proper anvil and a heavy sledgehammer, but turning the handle is a piece of cake (they put a piece of felt on the anvil, if every visitor is as keen as me the stuff would probably go crazy)
 Another bad picture, but you'll have to get used to them. Blame the fucking Mexicans who stole my camera. A precious gift from my son. I hope they will die from diarrhea. No, I hope they already died. Never mind, just to make clear I'm still a bit fucked up. OK, yes, it's a bridge. yes, it's just a model, the sticks about 50 cm long. They are NOT glued, NOT screwed, NOT nailed, NOT tied. The joints are just carved to keep the "logs" in place, it's the weight added that makes it really stable. In the workshop you can build one and feeble as it may look I was able to step on it withot breaking it apart.
 Leonardo wasn't a bunch of roses. He invented the log-arched-bridge for blietzkrieg. Contrary to the warfare logic of his time ( yeah, I know, he was one of  the zionist communist aliens that live in the hollow Earth) he believed in sneak and swift attacks. And he believed in the value of human life, he did think of a lifebelt for sailors, did'd he? Or an armored "vehicle".... Also for warfare he made the "extendible ladder" as a siege weapon, so well balanced that it couldn't be pushed away from the city walls...
Hmmm.. since I'm in Archimedes' city, let's drop it with Leonardo. Ever heard of  ostomachion? It looks like a puzzle, 14 pieces of different shapes, called also Ioculus Archimedeus...
....always treated as a sort of game, but it could have been a tool of Archimedes for the combinatory calculus and the basis for his geometrical and mathematical theories. But... we do know he... he was one of  the zionist communist aliens that live in the hollow Earth