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Doing A Da Vinci — If Only Leonardo Could See This

Filed by KOSU News in Science.
September 20, 2013

More than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci tried to imagine what it would be like to soar over mountains, to dip, to glide like a bird. He’d sit on Italian hillsides, sketching, imagining, dreaming. In 1502, he drew one of the first ever, looking-down-from-the-sky panoramas of the Earth — in this case a bit of Tuscany, as if seen by a high flying eagle.

Well, if only Leonardo had hung around to see this. Because this is the real deal: a real eagle, living in the alps, near Chamonix in France, is fitted with a teeny camera and microphone and like a feathery magic carpet, we get to hop on its back, wind whistling in our ears, and off we go down a river gorge, oh-so-close to tree tops, along a mountain road, over the heads of three pitiably small tourists, into a woody glen, where — darn! — just as we’re about to touch down (and I’m wide-eyed at the effortless of it all), the camera switches off and … oh, well. The first minute and 24 and a half seconds are glorious. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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