Shrinking Human Clickbait?

June 16, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Hmmm, interesting. In the context of what seems to be the promotion of a new book on mammals, professor Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh lists several all too well-known examples related to the phenomenon of shrinking as a survival mechanism when temperatures rise…

Reduced Brackets (Outgrowing Eames)

June 14, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Ray and Charles Eames first introduced the Eames Lounge Chair (670) and Ottoman (671) in 1956, a time when people were considerably smaller than they are now. Some fifty years later, sales of the chair declined because its potential customers had become taller. Since we…

Court Dwarfs: Nano Morgante

June 13, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Surely one of the most remarkable sculptures created during the reign of Cosimo I de’ Medici is that of the dwarf jester Nano Morgante, whose real name was Braccio di Bartolo. Morgante, which means giant, was ironically nicknamed after the giant from the poem of the same name…

A Small Advantage

May 30, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

According to research of the University of Southampton the body mass of mammals will shrink by 25% over the next century, as creatures large and small will seek to adapt to environmental changes brought on by extensive habitat loss and other stressors as a result…

3-Point Space & Time

May 29, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Not long ago basketball was dominated by very tall men who positioned themselves near the basket to score, rebound, or discourage any opponent from getting to the hoop. The closer a player got to that hoop, the better, as shots from up close earned him…

Micro Insects

April 20, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

There are clear advantages to becoming very small. Micro-organisms gain access to new niches, acquire new food sources and avoid predation. They shrink towards abundance. Yet there are limiting factors to how small an animal can become including the disruption of thermoregulation or respiration, water…

GHRE: Gravitropism

March 29, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

The word growth is rooted in the proto-Germanic word GHRE. It refers to early spring when the first signs of green emerge as young leaves and grasses start to sprout. The GHRE-series investigates if and how our generally positive understanding of growth was influenced by its specific seasonal…

Lancelot’s Pony

January 22, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

The importance of the horse for social, cultural, and economic life in the Middle Ages made them a research focus for both historians and archaeologists. A recent paper in the International Journal of osteoarcheology presents a dataset of English horse bones from 171 unique archaeological…

Butterfly Goalie

January 18, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

When something grows, other things shrink in comparison. Sports are often an interesting discipline to investigate this simple principle and its effects. In ice hockey the relatively small size of the goal makes it effective for a goal tender to put as much of the…

Fóxì

January 5, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

‘Tang Ping‘ or ‘Lying flat’ can be translated as a resistance to participate in the tempo and demands of current neo-liberal society by doing very little or nothing. Fóxì, or Buddha-like, is a rather more frequently used word similar to tang ping. Buddha-like youth, also…

Japanese Miniatures: Bonkei

January 4, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Our series on Japanese Miniatures investigates the specific Japanese small scale sensitivity as expressed through a love for things like bonsai, sushi, netsuke, and capsule hotels. Perhaps Japan ‘knows’ things about smallness that may help us embrace the desire for less. A bonkei is a miniature landscape…

Fry-Denial

December 23, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

In 2014 The Incredible Shrinking Man picked up on a story about Japanese McDonalds restaurants resorting to only selling small fries because of a frozen potato shortage. It seemed like a good idea. Now the Makudo’s or Makku’s, as they are called in Japan, are…

VW (Think Small)

December 7, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

In the 1950’s, U.S. industry had firmly embraced the ideology of planned obsolescence and obsolesence of desirability to convince consumers they constantly needed to buy something new. Competing auto makers were building ever bigger and more stylised cars for growing families with baby boomer children.…

Tang Ping

December 6, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

Capitalism is driven by an inexorable logic of expansion. The profits of production are invested in more production, which requires expanding markets to consume what is made. This gives rise to the marketing industry, whose job it is to convince consumers that fulfilment lies in…

Small Amazonians

November 27, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

Birds are sensitive indicators of environmental change. A recent study of understory birds of the Amazon rainforest over a timespan of 40 years and 77 species shows again that most birds are adapting to the current drastic environmental changes by becoming smaller. By zooming in…

MCR3

November 7, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

According to research at the University of Cambridge the protein melanocortin receptor 3 appears to have an important role in linking signals of caloric sufficiency to the control of lineair growth of the human body. The research provides a mechanistic basis for the global secular…

Miss Heightism

October 31, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

If your ambition is to be Miss France there are considerable discriminating parameters. You cannot have children, you cannot be married, tattoos are forbidden and you have to be at least 170cm tall. Selection on height is outright height discrimination and an example of the…

Mating Swarms

October 25, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

Selection on male body size is the result of four components of lifetime reproductive succes . 1. Daily mating success (how often do you get lucky). 2. Fecundity (number of offspring per mating). 3. Stamina (time remained within a situation of possible mating). 4. Longevity.…

Hard(en) Deceleration

May 3, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

According to Marcus Eliott, who has analyzed the biomechanics of hundreds of NBA players, Brooklyn Nets basketball player James Harden is pretty pedestrian by all traditional performance metrics. But when Harden came for a closer examination there were several areas in which Harden was an…

Salmons Too

May 2, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

Most of us presume growth of body length in vertebrates to be unidirectional, with organisms progressively increasing in body size as they become older. However, under challenging environmental conditions for some vertebrates body length shrinkage is also possible. This ability is called the Dehnel phenomenon.…