?Sam is mulling it over.—ED.
In the last paragraph of his man-powered plane story Sam Moses writes, "When Leonardo da Vinci was trying to fly five centuries ago, he would never have believed that man would be capable of walking on the moon before he could actually fly under his own power." It's a nice sentence, but it's inaccurate. While Leonardo made a lot of sketches of flying machines and may have built and tried to fly one, I know of no evidence that he did.
The first flight in which a heavier-than-air craft took off and flew under human muscle power alone occurred on Nov. 9, 1961 in England; the aircraft was called SUMPAC (for Southampton University Man-Powered Air Craft) and the pilot was Derek Piggott. Neil Armstrong took the first moon walk on July 20, 1969.
Jiro Horikoshi, not Hidemasa Kimura, designed the World War II Zero fighter.
I would like to comment on your readers' responses (19TH HOLE, Aug. 1) to the British Open. Three of the five letters expressly or implicitly took issue with Dan Jenkins' assessment of Tom Watson as a golfer.
Those three letters missed the point of Jenkins' article. What he was saying is that Watson is a better golfer than Nicklaus in the Year 1977 and that Watson has the potential to remain a better golfer than Nicklaus.
I agree with the Nicklaus fans that Jack is the greatest golfer today from a total career standpoint.
NEIL M. SCHWARTZ
Foster City, Calif.
Last night, several of us were sitting in a Milwaukee bar quietly sipping what our fine city is known for, when we noticed an obvious error in your SCORECARD article about highway accidents involving deer.
Being college men, we felt that through empirical observation your writers should have realized that deer read very well but that the DEER CROSSING signs are simply facing the wrong way. If the intent of the signs is for the deer to cross there, then the signs should face into the woods. Go into the woods sometime and try to distinguish between a DEER CROSSING sign and one that reads: SLIPPERY WHEN WET. Very difficult!
We know that deer can't play basketball, as evidenced by a certain NBA franchise, but please don't assume their lack of reading skill without proper evidence.