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.…

Short-Tongued Bombus

April 10, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

A study in Science shows that in a period of just 40 years two alpine bumblebee species (Bombus balteatus and Bombus sylvicola) rapidly evolved significantly shorter tongues. Short-tongued species are more generalist foragers, able to feed on many different types of flowers. They are replacing more specialised, long-tongued…

Vamana

April 6, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

The Hindu god Vishnu manifested himself on earth through ten primary incarnations. Within each of these incarnations are lessons for humanity. The first four incarnations are animal/human hybrids between a man and a fish, a turtle, a boar and a lion. The last six manifestations…

Suez-Maxed Out

March 30, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

At 07:40  on 23 March 2021, one of the largest containerships in the world, the Ever Given (400 x 59 x 21m) , was passing through the Suez Canal. After losing the ability to steer because of high winds the ship became stuck and blocked…

Buddhist Auxology

March 21, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

Buddhist auxology is the not-yet-existing study of all aspects of human physical growth from the perspective of the desire to be as small as possible. It would be a multi-disciplinary science involving health sciences/medicine, nutrition science, genetics, anthropology, anthropology, anthropometry, ergonomics, history, economic history, sociology, public…

Woolly Desire (35 kg)

February 25, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

Between 13.000 to 11.000 years ago, sheep were the first animals to be domesticated by humankind. At first flocks were kept mainly for meat and milk. Archaeological evidence found at sites in Iran suggests that selection for woolly sheep began around 6.000 BC. As wool became more important…

Vertical Empathy

February 16, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

He who shrank is a 1936 sci-fi story by Henry Hasse, originally published in Amazing Stories Quarterly. It is about a man who is forever shrinking through worlds nested within a universe with apparently endless levels of scale. Written long before moon travel and our current…

No Small Fish

February 10, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

One of many food-related ecological challenges is the overconsumption of fish. Worldwide, especially in the global south, fish is still a key component of a nutritious and healthy diet. Until we find and are able to produce widely available and sustainable alternatives (which we must)…