Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Mimic Me!

Ahuvah Sofer

Despite advances in technology and engineering, nothing competes with the natural world —no boat glides as flawlessly as a fish; no plane flies as effortlessly as an eagle

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

 Mishpacha image

 

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Welcome to the world of biomimicry. The word comes from two Greek words: “bios” meaning life, and “mimesis” meaning to imitate. It refers to designs or inventions that imitate the natural world.

The core idea is really simple, yet game-changing. Despite the many advances of technology and engineering, nothing competes with the natural world — there is no boat that glides as flawlessly as a fish, or plane that flies as effortlessly as an eagle. But by observing the wonderful world Hashem created, we can learn crucial lessons, solve issues that technology is grappling with, and improve manmade products such as the swimsuit and underwater eyes in the examples above.

Biomimicry wasn’t popular until 1997, when self-proclaimed nature nerd Janine Benyus wrote her famous book, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, and founded the Biomimicry Institute, an organization dedicated to studying biomimicry.

Since then, even large, famous companies have started using this concept to come up with remarkable new inventions inspired by nature. Here are some of the latest:

Fly, Fly

Today, traveling across the globe is no great shakes. But hopping on a plane wasn’t always an option. It took plenty of trial and error — often with fatal ramifications — before the Wright brothers entered the scene. Where did they get it right, where everyone else went wrong?

 

Orville and Wilbur Wright spent a great deal of time observing birds in flight until they picked up a crucial insight. They noticed that birds change the shape of their wings to turn and maneuver. The Wrights thought that if they could use this technique, and learn to warp or change a portion of the wing during flight, their plane quandary might be solved. Of course, they were right. After a couple of tweaks, the first plane was invented, and history was made

Velcro

In the 1940s, Swiss engineer George de Mestral was taking a leisurely stroll with his dog, when burrs — those pesky round plants with spiked, thorny edges — got caught in his dog’s fur and on George’s pants. After examining the troublesome plant, George realized that a replica of the burr, with its tiny hooks, could make a great adhesive. And — voilà! Eight years later, good ol’ Velcro was born. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 695)

Related Stories

The Mysterious Candlesticks: Chapter 1

Y. Bromberg

“You must go now,” Rav Yehudah said, his voice calm and even. “There is a ferry that leaves in 20 mi...

Teen Fiction: The Play and the Players

Shiri Newmark

And here they are, directed to smile at the audience, when they may be crying inside. To suppress th...

Yosef Chaim’s Adventures: Yosef Chaim Learns a Lesson

Shira Yehudit Djalilmand

That was a really cool class. It was amazing to hear about all the smart ideas Hashem put into anima...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Har Sinai on the Gaza Fence
Rabbi Moshe Grylak “Who would ever believe I’d be holding a sefer Torah?”
In Budapest, a Thirst for Torah
Yonoson Rosenblum “This is a matter of saving an entire tzibbur”
Torah Consumer’s Alert
Eytan Kobre To learn Torah — but just as surely, to learn from it
Relive Matan Torah Every Single Day
Rabbi Henoch Plotnik Incredible zechusim we can generate through resolutions
5 out of 10: Top 5 Seforim Intros Celebrating Torah
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin What are you going to learn on Shavuos night?
Right-Hand Man
Jacob L. Freedman “Goodbye, Dr. Freedman, I’ve got a whole world to save”
The Good News about Obituaries
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman To write our own epitaphs while we can still write
Endnote: The Song That Still Plays for You
Riki Goldstein What’s that tune that, when you hear it, brings you back...
A Golden Opportunity
Faigy Peritzman What did Rus have that Orpah lacked?
Say It with Cheesecake
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A positive learning experience creates lessons that stic...
Say Yes to Kindness
Miriam Kosman With her, Rus brought the key to humanity’s redemption
A Soaring Spirit
Chana Ungar To Marcie a”h, life meant doing what G-d expected of her