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  • Come on:

  • Hasn't everyone here dreamt of flying?

  • So why haven't humans flown yet?

  • I've been obsessed with learning to fly my whole life.

  • I grew up a feral, adopted child on the northern shore of Lake Ontario,

  • following my bricklayer/fisherman father around.

  • I was always fascinated by things that moved,

  • catching small animals, holding them in my hands,

  • feeling the magic of their movement;

  • playing with fire,

  • thrilled and terrified at its unrelenting force,

  • accidentally burning my father's barn down --

  • just once.

  • (Laughter)

  • That was my first brush with real danger,

  • the fire and my father.

  • When I was about eight or nine years old, I caught a fly in a mason jar.

  • Studying that fly, I thought, "Wow,

  • it's changing directions in midair with acute angles,

  • and it's going so fast, it's a blur.

  • Why can't we do that? Can we?"

  • Everywhere I looked, there were things moving.

  • And these things moved with their very own causal rhythms,

  • their very own mechanistic anatomies.

  • It was clear to me -- and to Newton --

  • that things move based on their component parts:

  • worms squirmed, birds flew, kangaroos hopped.

  • And a human's first bout with flying was falling accidentally, tripping,

  • or slipping on that fabled banana peel.

  • Once your ground is dragged out from under you,

  • a world of wonder comes rushing in.

  • I had found my territory.

  • I was seized with a compulsion,

  • a primordial urge to learn how to fly,

  • like a human.

  • For the next 10 years, I did my experiments alone,

  • on my own body.

  • I drove my Honda 350 across the United States

  • in an "Easy Rider" kind of way.

  • I got my degree in modern dance. I mimicked that fly in the box.

  • I dove horizontally through glass;

  • on the way, I punched a hole in it.

  • I was trying to figure out something about flight.

  • When I was 27 years old,

  • I found myself in a rat-infested New York City loft,

  • getting ready to hurl myself off a ladder.

  • I climbed higher, higher, higher,

  • and I jumped.

  • Wham-o! I landed.

  • That hurt.

  • (Laughter)

  • And it occurred to me that people didn't really enjoy getting hurt,

  • and that maybe the reason that we weren't flying yet

  • is that we were still attached to that false idea

  • that we would fly the way birds do,

  • or butterflies.

  • Maybe we needed to assumption-bust,

  • to ask a different kind of question --

  • about duration, for instance.

  • Humans in the air? A few seconds.

  • Birds and butterflies? Minutes, maybe hours.

  • And what about fear?

  • I think fear is complex and personal.

  • I really think it has to do with curiosity

  • and not taking yourself so seriously.

  • We might need to get a little hurt,

  • just not too hurt.

  • And pain: redefine it.

  • Rather than "pain," say, "another rather interesting, foreign sensation."

  • Something like that.

  • I realized then that to learn to fly, we were going to have to learn to land.

  • My hero, Evel Knievel -- one of them -- said,

  • "Anyone can jump a motorcycle.

  • The trouble begins when you try to land it."

  • (Laughter)

  • Landing hurts.

  • I was curious, though.

  • I thought, "Well, why don't we invent an impact technique?

  • Why don't we just expand our base of support?"

  • I had seen pieces of plywood fall,

  • and they didn't flinch on the way down.

  • So I made my body into a perfect line

  • and tilted back.

  • Whaft!

  • It was a totally different sound than "wham-o."

  • And I rushed out onto the streets of New York City

  • and went up to complete strangers,

  • and I said -- well, I thought --

  • "I did a backfall today. Did you?"

  • In 1985, we started to tour all over the world a little bit,

  • and I started my company,

  • called STREB EXTREME ACTION.

  • In 2003, we were invited to go to Kitty Hawk

  • to celebrate the 100th anniversary of flight with the Wright Brothers.

  • We had gotten very good at landing;

  • now we needed to get up into the air.

  • And like them, we wanted to stay there longer.

  • I came across this quote by Wilbur:

  • "If you are looking for perfect safety, you will do well to sit on a fence

  • and watch the birds;

  • but if you really wish to learn, you must mount a machine

  • and become acquainted with its tricks by actual trial."

  • Ah, machines.

  • It incited the hardware junkie inside of me.

  • And if we did want to go or travel to unhabitual places in space --

  • to that banana peel spot that confuses us;

  • to that place outside our vertical comfort zone,

  • where we encounter unexpected turbulence

  • and get accelerated oddly,

  • where the ground changes and moves out from under us --

  • like the composer who is trying to hit a note

  • higher than the human voice can sing,

  • he invents a piccolo or a flute,

  • I set about the invention of my prototypic machines.

  • And if we wanted to go higher, faster, sooner, harder,

  • it was necessary that we create our very own spaceships.

  • And we did.

  • And we did travel to unknown, invisible, dangerous territories,

  • and it changed us.

  • If any of you want to try this, let me know.

  • (Laughter)

  • In 2012, we brought all of our best machines to London

  • and put them in their most iconic places.

  • We got on the London Eye.

  • It was 443 feet above the earth.

  • And as we reached the zenith, we unlocked our brake and fell --

  • 200 feet on the radius,

  • on the spoke that we were attached to.

  • We reached as far up as heaven that day,

  • I'm pretty sure of it.

  • And then I and two of my dancers

  • walked down the outside of London's City Hall.

  • As I stood up there, 300 feet above the ground,

  • and looked down,

  • I saw 2,000 eyes staring up at me,

  • and they saw what they usually do -- the sky, a bird, a plane -- and then us.

  • And we were just a tiny speck up there.

  • And I realized that action is for everybody.

  • Now we have our very own mason jar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

  • It's called SLAM: STREB Lab for Action Mechanics.

  • It was a former mustard seed factory.

  • And I designed it after the use of a petri dish,

  • and in that petri dish,

  • I put Kid Action, STREB EXTREME ACTION

  • and circus arts,

  • and we all learned to fly, fall and land and invent extreme action together.

  • And you know what we found?

  • In comes everyone --

  • every size, shape, age, capacity,

  • every nationality, every race, every class, all genders,

  • the timid and the bold, the outcast and the cool,

  • the risk avoiders and the risk obsessives.

  • And these buildings exist all over the world,

  • and every one of them can be a flying training center.

  • And you know, as it turns out,

  • people don't want to just dream about flying,

  • nor do they want to watch us fly.

  • They want to do it, too, and they can.

  • And with a little training,

  • they learn to relish the hit and the impact,

  • and, I guess even more, getting up afterwards.

  • I've found that the effect of flying causes smiles to get more common,

  • self-esteem to blossom,

  • and people get just a little bit braver.

  • And people do learn to fly,

  • as only humans can.

  • So can you.

  • Come fly with us.

  • (Applause)

  • (Music)

  • Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • (Applause)

Come on:

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B1 US TED fly flying action hurt higher higher

【TED】Elizabeth Streb: My quest to defy gravity and fly (My quest to defy gravity and fly | Elizabeth Streb)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2018/11/15
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