Karl Frank

St. Paul's Academy
Bellingham, WA, United States

About Karl

An idea worth spreading

We have the technology to fly farther than ever before under our own power. With focus and determination, we can realize tremendous gains in efficiency through the development of ornithopters which precisely imitate specific types of birds such as Ardea herodias. This can be part of the way forward for us as a species as we approach E.O. Wilson's 'bottleneck'. The twin concerns of peak oil and climate change demand that we act boldly to change our own future.
What could be more bold than engineering our way into the air in droves?

Comments & conversations

132895
Karl Frank
Posted almost 3 years ago
I am making a personal effort to help promote peace by creating my own peace contest called the "Going for A Global Truce" Peace Contest.
Yes, Go! and Keep Going! This is the first and only time in the entire history of the planet when such a radical notion as world peace is possible. We are at last connected together by this massive electrical web and we can agree to be peaceful together. We can look around the entire planet at once and see the humanity in each others eyes and not feel fear but love instead. Governments can not lead us there but we the people can persuade them to follow our lead. We can rise up and our sheer numbers can cause them to back down. We would need to organize a massive citizens coalition for disarmament and this would idea would need to spread to every corner of the globe. It is ambitious yes, but certainly worth working toward. Why would we want to keep walking down this path loaded with cluster bombs landmines, nukes and so much suffering when we could choose to create another? Are we at the right moment in our history to take control of our collective penchant for violence and choose to live peacefully with each other? The 'occupy' protests have been modeling this energy nicely. Would you agree?
132895
Karl Frank
Posted over 3 years ago
Focusing our attention on a species (Ardea herodias) as we endeavor to break the human powered flight distance record with ornithopters.
Hi Ben, Ornithopters come in many shapes and sizes! I made a few videos to try and illustrate my way of thinking and I recognize that this is a lot to ask, but the shortest is just under three minutes and I tried very hard to make it a visual feast for the eyes. The ornithopter I can see see clearly flapping about in my imagination is a carefully constructed model of a great blue heron that uses our lightest and strongest materials. In terms of energy usage, Birds are far more efficient at flying than our best aircraft. When I wrote that flight is the shortest distance between two points, I perhaps should have written 'Flying between two points on a map generally involves a shorter transit distance than traveling by road. This is especially true in regions with some topographic relief.' I believe I have the same ornithopter flight you refer to embedded on my website. Was it put together at the University of Toronto? It does represent innovation for us and much is to be learned by their work, but I am interested in a different approach. Thank you for your interest! I hope I may sustain it. Karl
132895
Karl Frank
Posted over 3 years ago
Should anyone be able to upload their TEDTalk to TED.com?
No, TED can venture outside its own confines (with a contest or competition) to look for excellence and academically rigorous work, if it ultimately comes up lacking, but it would seem that more often than not, jaw-dropping, rock solid talent is finding its way to TED all by itself. TED already functions as an innovation engine quite well. No tweaking required.