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    The Origami Frog High Jump Challenge
    By Garth Sundem | July 30th 2009 06:00 AM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Garth

    Garth Sundem is a Science, Math and general Geek Culture writer, TED speaker, and author of books including Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the...

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    Many geeks adhere to Stiff Paper Theory (SPT), holding that frogs made of expensive company letterhead will jump higher than those made of flimsy copy paper. However, while SPT adds giddy-up to any origami amphibian, it also adds weight. The trick is to find a paper that offers the happy combination of high spring at low weight.

    In this regard, linen papers tend to under perform; so too do cardboard mailers, as they lead to bulky, bullfrog-esque hoppers.

    Like the Mongols conquering much of the known world with their invention of the compound bow (horn and sinew grafted into the wooden grip), some forward-thinking geeks have developed a Frankenstinian technique whereby cardboard legs are grafted onto a lightweight paper body, but this technically falls outside the rules of traditional origami and thus in most arenas is considered cheating.

    And remember when choosing your frog’s overall dimensions that success doesn’t necessarily depend on the size of origami frog in the fight, but rather on the size of the fight in the origami frog.

    In addition to choice of paper, pay special attention to precise construction and to the technique of your frog stroke. Push directly down on your frog’s hopping mechanism and you will lose spring due to a slow release (you can’t release your hand faster than your frog’s recoil); stroke too far forward and you risk losing precious compression. Instead, geeks know that a confident but gentle stroke from the frog’s nose, ending off its backside produces maximal hopping power.

    If comparing origami frog jumping heights in an online forum be sure to account for altitude and humidity at your test site, both of which drastically affect performance (higher humidity leads to damp and thus somewhat flaccid frogs; higher altitude allows less air resistance, though can provide cardiovascular challenges for the frog’s operator).

    Plans follow. Please comment your maximum height cleared (with toothpick arrangement similar to Olympic high jumping).

    origami high jump paper challenge

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