20 December 2019

On the 20th day of ...

For rather a while, the default email signature in my phone's settings has been:

(sent by my steam-powered mechanical pigeon)

Mostly, either people have seen it and don't need to ask about it, or don't notice, or keep it to themselves that they think I'm some kind of ridiculous poseur.

But sometimes someone asks. And it delights me to tell them that I learned, in a 2012 New Yorker article by Nick Paumgarten called "Here's Looking At You: Should we worry about the rise of the drone?", that there really may have been such a thing, a really long time ago:

The prospect of unmanned flight has been around—depending on your definition—since Archytas of Tarentum reputedly designed a steam-powered mechanical pigeon, in the fourth century B.C.,

You know you want to know more about Archytas of Tarentum. Ancient Origins can help.


Oxfordshire said...

Delightful thank you!🐓🌟

MARY G said...

But ..Icarus.