The Law of Innovative Featherization


In the intense summer heat that was encapsulating all those residing in Italy in the year 1591, a young mathematics student named Baggio was strategically positioned under the shade of a well-placed olive tree about 100 metres from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. From there, he could just see his Professor of Mathematics, a man called Galileo Galilei, carefully reaching over a crumbling restraining wall at the top of the tower with both arms fully extended. In each hand, Galileo gently released two spheres of different mass in an attempt to prove one of his now famous laws.

However, on this particular attempt, one of the heavier spheres collided with an unfortunate pigeon that just happened to be flying past the tower. The result was a mass array of loosened feathers, a pigeon with a monster headache, and an angry Galileo uttering some obscenities knowing that he again needed to walk up the 284 steps and repeat the damn experiment!

Although Baggio did feel some empathy for his mathematics professor who was known to have consumed a tad too much pasta, and would have welcomed the invention of an elevator should it have existed, his gaze was fixed on the trajectory of the poor pigeon’s once owned feathers that now individually wofted with gleeful freedom in the prevailing wind gusts.

Little did Baggio know it, but this feather observation formed the basis of the now well known “Law of Innovative Featherization”, which some modern day students from the University of Pisa have colloquially named “Baggio’s Law” out of respect.

What Baggio identified was that creative ideas are like feathers. Once an idea is identified, it takes time to settle and to be slowly formulated into something practical and worthwhile. However, whilst that process is occurring, the idea floats around, just like a feather.

The key to “Baggio’s Law” is in how the creative feathers are accumulated, and then consolidated into what science now classifies as an invention. For example, not all birds that have feathers can fly. Similarly, not all ideas are useful.

In proving the “Law of Innovative Featherization”, scientists devised numerous clever experiments, some of which have been successful, unfortunately, many of which have failed, the latter being Baggio.

In 1593, after studying many a pigeon, a bare bottomed Baggio carefully applied a warm glue mixture to his body, then rolled around for about 5 minutes in a blanket of loose feathers to achieve the state of full featherization. Once the glue had set, and the feathers were firmly affixed, he, like Galileo, waddled up the 284 steps to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There he waited for the right summer wind gust, took flight and flapped to his doom.

In 1903, the Wright brothers also tried to prove the “Law of Innovative Featherization”, however, unlike Baggio, they devised a flying machine that happily worked to the relief of Orville and Wilbur, and those fearfully watching.

With the “Law of Innovative Featherization” now proven and demonstrated, there was no stopping mankind from taking to the skies, and eventually into space, and it was all due to the insightful, yet luck-less, Baggio.

So next time you see a feather slowly dancing in the wind, take notice, stop and think of Baggio, but make sure you keep clear of any thoughts of glue application, as it will not assist your creative well-being, and just make you sticky.

Work Wear for the Active Martian

Jean Shrimpton - photo by Richard Avedon for HarperÕs Bazaar, April 1965

“It’s the year 2165 and we have been living on Mars for the past 30 Earth years and we still can’t differentiate the shape of a woman from a man when we are working outside on the planet surface! These old fashioned, unflattering, NASA styled baggy space suits all make us look like we are living in the 1960s! Enough is enough, it’s time to modernise our Martian appearance and to bring a long overdue standard of fashion to this red dusty plant.”

Yes, we hear you! So, you will all be pleased to know that the Galactic branch of “Space Road”, the leading fashion designer of casual clothing, has now expanded their work wear to accommodate the needs of the discerning Martian resident. No longer will women and men be visually indistinguishable. Yes, we understand the needs of the Martian worker and have developed a unique clothing range that will ensure the wearer is seen on this planet as a stylish leader in your chosen work team.

To cope with the extreme temperature fluctuations, and those pesky and highly unpredictable red dust storms, we have developed a remarkable lightweight fabric that provides optimum thermal protection, together with an inbuilt anti-static additive to repel dirt. This will ensure that the wearer always feels comfortable, refreshed and has that all over clean and stunning professional looking appearance.

The fabric comes in a range of colours and patterns, and there is even a transparent selection available, however owing to the high levels of solar radiation, we would recommend that only those with a large body hair covering choose this one to avoid potential discomfort.

I can hear you asking whether the fabric is clingy? Absolutely is the answer! The wearer will now be able to show the Martian civilisation the complete personality attributes of the individual without any physical limitations from gravity typically experienced when on Earth. There will now be no doubt as to the gender of the wearer, however, for those that are a tad more traditional and conservative by nature, blue and pink fabric selection options are indeed available. We at “Space Road” are also thinking ahead and should the human race mutate with the influence of some potential yet unknown alien relationships, we have reserved a number of unspecified gender colours, just in case they are required at some point in the future.

This modern leading edge Martian wear also fits comfortably into your space boots, gloves and helmet ensuring a snug and compete seal for added protection. Our new solar season range of clothing will soon contain a stylish helmet, which unfortunately wasn’t available for release in this clothing catalogue owing to some slight teething issues with oxygen leaks, a minor problem which we will quickly remedy I’m sure. Please ensure you send us your Martian email address so we can add you to our distribution list for when this helmet, and other cosmically exciting fashion items, become available.

We look forward to servicing all your Martian fashion requirements. For further information, please go to our website in about 6 months as we await the launch of our newly built Telstra 10G satellite which will soon be orbiting Mars. We at “Space Road” thank you you for your patience, but you know what it’s like getting a new satellite these days!

Image: Jean Shrimpton – photo by Richard Avedon for Harpers Bazaar, April 1965

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