Leonardo da Vinci: The Biography by Walter Isaacson

What do you know about Leonardo da Vinci?

  • he painted The Last Supper and Mona Lisa
  • he drew Vitruvian Man
  • he was left-handed
  • he wrote right to left on the page in mirror script
  • he was hundreds of years ahead of his time in some scientific disciplines

Mike Sissons, the young artist, was a fan. He was first to tell me those facts.

I loved Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography. For me Leonardo was not as riveting as the Jobs book. But I still recommend it. Leonardo’s life story is very interesting and entertaining.

I was surprised to learn Leonardo finished very few projects over his long career. He died carrying Mona Lisa and other paintings around with him as he simply could never decided they were finished.

He was more interested in studying the tongue of the woodpecker than in working on his paintings.

At times he hated the paint brush. Studying nature to satisfy his own curiosity was more compelling, especially near the end of his life.

His last words:

The soup is getting cold. 

I bought the audio version but Kindle would be better. The book comes with 144 illustrations.

Blake Morrison review:

Flamboyant, illegitimate and self taught, he was unreliable and an unashamed self-publicist. He was also one of the most gifted and inventive men in history

Leonardo da Vinci: The Biography by Walter Isaacson review – unparalleled creative genius



Hard Luck Hank – comedy Science Fiction

By Steven Campbell.

Warren gave me a copy of book 2 – Basketful of Crap

I finally got around to listening to the audio book read by the fantastic Liam Owen.

Haven’t laughed out loud so often at a book since A Walk in the Woods.

Eat suck, suckface.

Hank is a thug. He knows he’s a thug. He has no problem with that realization. In his view the galaxy has given him a gift: a mutation that allows him to withstand great deals of physical trauma. …

Screw The Galaxy (Hard Luck Hank #1)

I read book 1 second. And I’ll definitely continue on to book 3 …

Now a successful series, this was a kickstarter project at first for author Steven Campbell.

Click PLAY or watch a crappy preview on YouTube.

arrived El Bolsón, Argentina

Staying at La Casona de Odile Hostel, one of the best in the nation.

El Bolsón is where people flee when tired of crowded Bariloche. In fact, Bolsón is a miniature version with a Hippie vibe. I like it much better.

I arrived on one of their colourful market days.

I can walk from my hostel to some of the best hiking.


The Human Division by John Scalzi

The Human Division is a science fiction novel by American writer John Scalzi, the fifth book set in the Old Man’s War universe.

I’m giving up on the series after book 5.

Though it’s still well written, this book was too scattered for me. It’s a compilation of 13 separate episodes.

I’ll wait on the movie version.



my favourite restaurant in Buenos Aires

The population of greater Buenos Aires is about 14 million.

There are countless numbers of restaurants. Yet I ate nearly every meal at one nondescript buffet catering mostly to locals.

Some of the choices were excellent. Especially Chinese items. Most especially the ribs.

Cost was less than half anywhere else I could find. Food in Argentina is expensive in both supermarkets and restaurants. They have trouble importing many items due to high tariffs.

It reminded me of my favourite restaurant in Rio. Another buffet.

Eat what you want. And as much as you want.

trash removal in Buenos Aires

As I travel I’m always interested to see how trash is removed / recycled.

Huaraz, Peru was one of the best I’ve seen.

For a huge city, Buenos Aires seems to do a good job. The trash guys and their trucks are efficient and quick.

Their job is made easier by the cartoneros, which literally means “cardboard people”.

These are mostly young, fit, motivated guys who dash around city streets late evening sorting through dumpsters with metal hooks collecting cardboard for recycling. (Along with other valuables, I assume.)

It seems very competitive. There are a couple of cartoneros working each street.