Author arne hendriks

Hard(en) Deceleration

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 outlier—not only among basketball players, but among thousands of athletes. […]

Salmons Too

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. Small mammals, such as insectivorous shrews, show body length shrinkage […]

Short-Tongued Bombus

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 bumble bees that feed on flowers with deep corolla tubes. […]

Vamana

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 are people, including for example Krishna, the popular blue god, […]

Suez-Maxed Out

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 the canal, creating an economic choke-point. As many as 360 […]

Buddhist Auxology

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 health, and psychology, among others. Buddhist economic theory considers it […]

Woolly Desire (35 kg)

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 for the manufacture of textiles the selective pressure on sheep […]

Vertical Empathy

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 explorations of Mars, and decades before Richard Feynman gave his […]

No Small Fish

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) hundreds of millions of people depend on what the oceans […]

Peeling a Pomelo

“Peeling a Pomelo” is a simple exercise allowing you to experience what it’s like to be very small. All you have to do is imagine you’re peeling a mandarin rather than a pomelo. The pomelo (Citrus maxima) is the largest member of the citrus fruit family and can have a diameter of up to 25 […]