Ankles

My trip to Canada was short; my bus trip to Canada was l-o-n-g. Like most old people, my ankles swell during and after long periods of sitting. It takes, cold packs, anti inflammatory, and time to restore order. What a surprise to find that a 400 year old friend has the same problem. Well, not exactly the same problem and certainly not for the same reason. Nevertheless, the news delighted and disappointed me.

 

It seems that Michelangelo’s David is suffering ankle cracks. A tiny defect in the design of the statue means that David’s center is off. He could stand in one spot for centuries with no ill effect. While standing in one position for 300 years David actually did not move, the earth around him did. The earth moved enough over the 300 years for David to stand several degrees off center. As a result, David’s ankles are cracking.

 

To help preserve the statue, the Florentines moved it from the main plaza to its own museum many years ago. Although scientists discovered and then mapped the cracks several years ago, it is only recently that the extent of the damage has been known.

 

I would love to have been a fly on the wall while scientists were devising this experiment. It sounds like a cross between fantasy and fact. I must quote this directly from the article by Sam Anderson: “… by creating an army of tiny David replicas and spinning them in a centrifuge, at various angles, to simulate different levels of real-world stress. What the researchers found was grim. (Grim is a strong word, don’t you think?) If David were to be tilted 15 degrees, his ankles would fail.”

 

Actually, if I were tilted 15 degrees stepping off the bus, my ankles would fail.   I doubt very much that five handsome technicians such as those working on David as seen on the cover of the Time’s magazine section for August 21, 2016 would find the time and the inclination to patch me up, ankles and all, if I missed the bottom step due to ankle swelling.

 

May no earthquakes nor floods nor any other pestilence cause David to stumble. May no amount of memory loss, dimming eyesight or swollen ankles cause me to stumble.

 

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