Art meets science
Art history professor Martin Kemp (The Oxford History of Art) previously examined Leonardo da Vinci's life in 2004's Leonardo; now he concentrates on the artist's notebooks in Leonardo Da Vinci: Experience, Experiment, and Design. Kemp speculates that da Vinci brainstormed and doodled as a way of thinking out loud; remarkably, his seemingly three-dimensional drawings are so complex, they continue to intrigue and baffle even today's most scientific minds. Particularly interesting is Kemp's documentation of recent scientific efforts to build Leonardo's fantastic flying machines. In 2000, Adrian Nicholas successfully launched himself from a 3,000-foot height using a parachute modeled after a da Vinci drawing. Earlier, James Wink of Tetra Associates and Kemp collaborated on an ornithopter which mimicked another, more birdlike da Vinci flying machine.