Category Competition

Butterfly Wall

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 body as possible between the puck. If the goalie is […]


‘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 sometimes referred to as as Generation Zen, reject consumerism by saying, “I have […]

Miss Heightism

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 flawed idea that tall people are better or more beautiful […]

Mating Swarms

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. It is commonly presumed that larger males are favoured by […]

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. […]

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 […]


The growth of a tree trunk demands considerable investment and focus of resources. The competition for sunlight can lead to very differently formed trunks within the same species of tree. A comparison of two white oaks tells the story. The broad-crowned shorter oak grew as a free-standing tree at the edge of a pasture. As a […]