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Penn and Teller: A Matter of Perspective

Filippo Brunelleschi is not the first to create a painting using linear perspective, but he is the first to do so as a Euclidean experiment. He has painted a panel of the Florentine Baptistery. By standing in front of the Baptistery and looking though a hole in the back of the painting, one sees the building itself in reality. Then a mirror is held up so that the viewer can see the painting in perspective, so that an artist can understand how a 3D realism can add to a painting rather than the normal flatness of 2D. From this point on, using linear perspective in art will become popular and soon become the norm. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Penn & Teller (the magicians) recently produced a film about Tim Jenison, a man of modest artistic talents who invented a contraption using mirrors that allowed him to duplicate the same techniques used by the great Dutch artist: Johannes Vermeer. Vermeer's paintings were the CGI of the age and remain incomparable in their realism yet Tim was able to do it using the same mechanical means that Vermeer had kept secret all these years. The film is entitled, "Tim's Vermeer" and just so you know....Tim is the founder of NewTek of Texas... the software company that produced the technology for the visual effects used in the TV space opera, Babylon 5. [4] [5] [6] [7]

China, Gunpowder and the Fire Dragon Manual

The Fire Dragon Manual outlines the use of gunpowder in Chinese "Fire-weapons". The main text was compiled Jiao Yu and Liu Ji. Earlier forms of the manual exist but its full form is published this year. It describes various explosive devices, flame throwers and rockets that ranged in lethality from simply being frightening to injurious to deadly. The earliest forms of the metal-barreled gun are described. What passes for a grenade is actually a cast-iron tub filled with gunpowder and flung by a trebuchet. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Mythbusters asked the question: "Could the ancient Korean Hwacha Fire Arrow actually fire 200 arrows at once at a range of 500 yards and explode on impact? The answer was.... yes... oh heck, yes. They miss the 50 Styrofoam soldiers but the grouping was good so if you can get the aim right, this weapon can be devastating. [13]

100 Years' War: Joan of Arc is Born

Joan of Arc is born in the town of Domremy in the French province of Champagne which is famous for producing wine with bubbles but at this time bubbles are considered a problem rather than a virtue. (The pressure tends to break the bottles.) Joan will have virtue in abundance and receive a vision from the Archangel Michael. She will convince the King of France that she can win the 100 years' War, but for now she is just a baby girl, born of peasant family in a province that produces wine with too many bubbles. [14] [15] [16] [17]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Joan of Arc is an inspiring woman for a brief period of time but her reputation will falter and she will be scorned by the Church. Later her reputation will be redeemed and she will be sainted in 1920. She will also be revived as a hologram in a SciFi novel from the Foundation Series created by Isaac Asimov. Gregory Benton wrote an authorized sequel to the Foundation series: Foundations Fear, where a computer simulation of Joan of Arc matches faith and intellect with the philosopher, Voltaire. [18] [19]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1412, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events: Year 1412. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. (BOOK)
  2. Scott, Leader. (Pseudonym) Filippo di Ser Brunellesco. London: G. Bell & Sons. 1901. (PUBLIC DOMAIN)
  3. Filippo Brunelleschi: The Invention of Linear Perspective - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Penn & Teller - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Babylon 5 - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Johannes Vermeer - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Garrett, Diane. 'Tim's Vermeer' Review: Penn & Teller's Doc a Magic Mix of Art and Science, TheWrap.com. December 5, 2013.
  8. Huolongjing (Fire Dragon Manual) - A Great Book about Chinese Ancient Fire-weapons. History.Cultural-China.com, 2009 [last update]
  9. Bellis, Mary. The History of Early Fireworks and Fire Arrows, About.com, 2014 [last update]
  10. Huolongjing - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  11. Early Modern Warfare - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  12. Trebuchet - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  13. Mythbusters - Hwacha - The super rocket pod. YouTube.com. Mythbusters Episode 110, Original air date: October 22, 2008.
  14. Thurston, Herbert. St. Joan of Arc. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 22 Aug. 2014.
  15. Joan of Arc - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  16. St. Joan of Arc - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online, catholic.org, 2014 [last update]
  17. History of Champagne - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  18. Voltaire - Wikiquote, en.wikiquote.org, 2014 [last update]
  19. Foundation's Fear - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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