Friday, April 8, 2016

Those daring mad geniuses and their flying machines...

Mysterious flying machine from the past... or future?
Time machine? Steampunk aircraft?

I was at Victoria's waterfront Clover Point. Visitors couldn't help but notice the odd looking contraption at the top of the windy hill. It was an 8 foot high metal tripod fitted with colourful kites. Suspended in the middle was some sort of sling attached to a small sail. I couldn't figure out its purpose...how it worked. I was too intrigued not to investigate.

The sling was actually a chair swinging gently in the breeze. In the chair sat Simon.

"What is this thing?" I asked him.

"It can be whatever you want it to be," was his mysterious reply.

Simon is a true eccentric. He's a self-described inventor who assured me that he has re-invented kites, sailboats, and binoculars among other things. He also described a complicated boom-mounted flying machine of his own design, although he doesn't have an actual working model.

He's the most hated man on earth because his revolutionary inventions are a threat to the status quo. Some would like to see him killed.

His understanding of aerodynamics and Newton's Law of Inertia was shaky. As it turned out, his tripod sling didn't actually do anything but let him sway around in the breeze a bit. In the end it was just a fancy, but expensive, hammock.

Simon would have cheerfully filled my time forever with his random thoughts so I shoehorned in an exit and said my goodbyes.

Still who's to say there wasn't a germ of truth in Simon's ramblings? Many geniuses go unrecognized in their time. Perhaps one day we'll all be wheeling about in our flying booms watching the world spin by through our revolutionary binoculars.

Simon, the enigmatic inventor...
A man before his time?

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