Monday, October 02, 2006

Leon Battista Alberti

I read once that a Renaissance man was such a man in every way. It was said that he could, with feet together, jump over a standing man (something like that). I was trying to relate this to someone tonight on the sideline of our flag football game. I thought maybe it was Descartes, but wasn't sure. So I came home and Googled it. Eventually, I came up with Leon Battista Alberti. I realize I was way off on Descartes. Do you know what Moliere had to do with commedia dell'arte?* [you would if you saw Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (which happens to be one of two shows NBC is basing on the behind-the-scenes of a sketch comedy show; I guess this is a slow death for SNL, satired by your parent network) tonight] Here's the salient quote from the preceding link:

He is credited with inventing the cypher wheel, and it was said that from a standing position, with his feet together, Leon Battista Alberti could jump over a man's head.

I don't know if this is true. Obviously it could be; these are 15th century men we are talking about (John Smith was big at 5' two hundred years later--granted the Italians probably had better sanitation/nutrition than the English) they could be short. And the quote says over a man's head. I know the Medici's had big noses, but how big can a head be? This might be a fun exercise, get a friend to lay on the ground and stand next to their head. Then, with your feet together from a standing position, jump over their head. Sounds like a full evening of fun if you ask me. What I really like about the great jumping Alberti is that six hundred years after he was born, I'm web logging about this incredible physical feat. What feat would you like to be remembered for?


Daniel Xisto

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At October 03, 2006 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The feat I'd like to be remembered for also involves jumping...


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