One obvious way to crumple paper that you've certainly tried at some point is to munch it up into a ball with your hands. This has the advantage that it doesn't take any equipment to do, and that it produces a very compact ball, but it's hard to figure out exactly what your hands have to do to crumple it. Since we don't really know what is going on, it is hard to make a theory about it, and also hard to repeat experiments. We don't know if Ron (pictured) really does the same thing when he crumples that I do.
Despite these problems, we did do some experiments with hand crumpling. We found it was very important to crumple slowly. A typical person takes about 6 seconds to crumple a ball of paper if they are trying to do it slowly, but I had to learn to do it over the course of about a minute so that the computer could understand the sound produced.
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