Bill Gates has shelled out $30.8 million for a 500-year-old manuscript written by Leonardo da Vinci — and the founder of Microsoft believes it's worth every cent because it inspires him.
In the manuscript, da Vinci — the Italian renaissance master who was a painter, sculptor, architect, mathematician, engineer, and musician inventor — mulls the properties and uses of water.
"He had an understanding of science that was more advanced than anybody else at the time," Gates tells Charlie Rose in an interview to be aired Sunday on CBS News' "60 Minutes
"He's looking at how it flows when it hits barriers and it goes around and comes back together. He's actually trying to understand turbulence. How you build a dam, does it erode away?"
He said the document stands for one man's unquenchable thirst for knowledge — something that continuously inspires him.
"It's an inspiration, that one person off on their own with no positive feedback, that he kept pushing himself . . . found knowledge in itself to be a beautiful thing," Gates tells Rose.
Da Vinci, famous for his "Mona Lisa'' and "The Last Supper'' paintings, was also an inventor, something Gates identifies with.
Like da Vinci, Gates is also an inventor and has invested in several projects.
One is a nuclear reactor that would burn depleted uranium, and be cheaper, cleaner, and safer than those now made. Another is a system that can keep vaccines cold and potent for 50 days.
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