POTENTIAL VS KINETIC ENERGY: Potential energy is that which is stored in an object. For example, if you stretch back the band in a sling shot to propel a small rock through the air, the slingshot now has potential energy. Once the band is released, that potential energy becomes kinetic energy or energy of motion, which snaps the band and transfers energy to the rock. As the rock flies through the air it has kinetic energy. The same concept holds true for the fishing rod. Because the rod is flexible, waving it behind your head stores energy in the rod, which provides that extra snap to help the fly land on the far side of the river where the fish are biting.
WHAT IS BIOMIMICRY? Biomimicry is a field in which scientists, engineers, and even architects study models and concepts found in nature, and try to use them to design new technologies. Fishing lures are a type of biomimicry -- an attempt to emulate fish food. Here are some well-known examples of biomimicry: Velcro was inspired by cockleburs, which cling tenaciously to clothing and animal fur. The design for the Eastgate Building in Harare, Zimbabwe -- the country's largest commercial and shopping complex -- is based on the region's termite mounds. Both Leonardo da Vinci and the Wright brothers studied the flight of birds when designing their flying machines. Alexander Graham Bell designed his telephone receiver around the principles of the human ear. Sonar was inspired by the way whales, dolphins and bats emit high-pitched sounds and analyze the returning echoes to help them navigate.
The American Physical Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.