Modern Stone Age

Nashville, Tennessee

I am a Flight Instructor and university professor. I love to teach people to fly and the best part is teaching them to navigate. Charts, plotters, and manual flight computers are the things I love. I am also a potter of clay and several years ago I started transforming clay into "ancient" navigational instruments. I make sundials, star charts, latitude and longitude finders, and solar calenders - all from clay that becomes stone. Recently, while teaching a college course in basic air navigation (using a textbook that I authored) I came to the shocking realization that the tools of my trade: charts, plotters and manual computers are now all obsolete. The students have all the the information they need on their iPads. That is when it hit me. A sundial is an ancient navigational instrument to me. But now a plotter and a manual flight computer is just as ancient to today's students --- so, I made fully functioning plotters, a wind face calculator and a time-speed-distance calculator all in stone. It's ironic. The tools I learned to fly with just a short time ago are now from a modern stone age. Now I am working on a set of working stone flight instruments from the not so distant past that some today call round or "steam engine" gauges. Will someday a historian come across these pieces and determine that flight really did take place in the stone age?

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