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|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 9 to 12|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||8.41|
Leonardo da Vinci, the Renaissance Multitasker
By Colleen Messina
1 When you think of multitasking, you might think about talking on the phone while doing your homework, but for one man of the Renaissance, multitasking happened on a grand scale. Leonardo da Vinci was probably the best multitasker in history. He was an amazing scientist, architect, engineer, and artist. Leonardo excelled in everything he tried.
2 Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, a sleepy town in the lush hills near Florence, Italy. His father was a public official, and his mother was a simple country girl. Not much is known about young Leonardo's childhood.
3 Leonardo's strong, wiry build made him an excellent hiker. He brought bugs, lizards, and bats into his room to study them. He didn't like to see animals in cages, though. When he saw songbirds for sale in the marketplace, he bought them so he could set them free. Leonardo also became a vegetarian, an unusual idea for his time, because he didn't want to hurt any living thing. He took many long walks to study nature. On his hikes in the fresh Italian air, Leonardo also studied birds in flight. This fascination with flight inspired his later designs for flying machines. Centuries before airplanes roared across the sky, flying machines soared in Leonardo's imagination. He later wrote, "For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." Leonardo was constantly thinking, studying, and wondering. He carried a notebook around so he could jot down ideas or sketch. He had the unusual habit of writing backwards so his words could be only read by looking in the mirror. He could write well with both hands; he was ambidextrous.
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