The Research Puppet

October 11, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

This is a photo of my mother in the mid 80’s holding a self-marionette, more or less the size of our projected future people. The Incredible Shrinking Man is developing tools to investigate what it would be like to be 50 centimeters. One of these tools…

The Methuselah Gene

September 28, 2010 By arne hendriks 3

The strong correlation between size and the aging process has been discussed here before. However the connection between the two is a very complex puzzle of different ingredients, all playing a role in the aging/growing process. A type of gene mutation long known to extend…

Gravitational Time Dilation

September 25, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

Einstein’s theory, that short people grow old slower then tall people, has finally been proven scientifically. In an experiment using the most accurate atomic clocks ever invented, researchers of the National Institute of Standards and Technology showed that clocks run faster if they are raised…

The Shrinking Iguana

September 20, 2010 By arne hendriks 4

Much to his surprise, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University has found that in times of famine, marine iguanas in the Galápagos Islands shrink in length and then regrow when food is plentiful again. “For vertebrates, it’s sort of a dogma that they don’t shrink,”…

Koro Syndrome

September 16, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

The Incredible Shrinking Man is interested in mapping shrink desires that already exist in society. But we shouldn’t close our eyes to the opposite; the fear to shrink. One of the more curious manifestations of this fear is the Koro Syndrome, the pathological fear that…

Degrowth: Small is Happy

September 15, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

In the influential collection of essays “Small is beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered” first published in 1973, the economic thinker Fritz Schumacher proposes the idea of “smallness within bigness”. For a large organization to work it must behave like a related…

An Act of Rebellion

September 14, 2010 By arne hendriks 2

In The Tin Drum, one of the great postwar literary classics, the protagonist Oskar Matzerath decides to stop growing at age 3. He explains to the reader that since he was born with a fully developed consciousness he could observe adults, and their ways. Since he…

Is there a better human size?

September 9, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

43 years ago, in 1967, R.J. Hansen and M.J.Miley, two civil engineering professors from MIT, published an article in Technology Review, on the advantages of smaller human beings. They ask themselves if we can afford to NOT consider, in all it’s aspects, the question of…

The Sugar Climate

August 29, 2010 By arne hendriks 2

We eat 2500% more sugar then we did about a century ago. In his book Pure, White and Deadly John Yudkin associates this increased intake with a number of serious health risks.  He also points out a relationship between the increased sugar consumption and increased height. Yet…

Is Global Warming Shrinking our Brain?

August 28, 2010 By arne hendriks 2

This study by Jessica Ash and Gordon G. Gallup Jr. suggests that human cranial capacity as an indicator of brain size grew dramatically during our evolution, and that variations in global temperature as well as progressive shifts toward global cooling account for as much as…

World of Dwarfcraft

August 21, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

One of the goals of The Incredible Shrinking Man project is to archive existing forms of the desire to shrink. It’s difficult to know how many people have this  desire. But maybe online behaviour and the public games we play shed some light on this.…

There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom

August 17, 2010 By arne hendriks 2

Richard Feynman’s groundbreaking lecture at Caltech in 1959, There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom,  introduced the idea of nanotechnology. Since then we are as obsessed with miniaturizing our tools, as we are with growing tall. It seems strange that our tools keep getting…

The Second Law of Thermodynamics

August 16, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

The second law of thermodynamics, also called the entropy law,  says that the disorder of a spontaneous system is a function of its mass and energy. Entropy is a measure of disorder, decay, or chaos within a system. More mass and energy mean more possible…

Short Baseball Players Live Longer.

July 31, 2010 By arne hendriks 4

The Baseball Encyclopedia provides statistical data on thousands of professional baseball players.  Apart from stating batting averages and field positions etcetera, it gives information on height and weight. If a players dies during his professional career this is also mentioned.  In a study conducted by…

Transport Retrofit

July 18, 2010 By arne hendriks 1

Airlines have tried to compensate the increase in passenger size and weight by adding extra taxes and designing larger and more fuel efficient airplanes but surely there are limits to how big our vehicles can become. Shrinking on the other hand would open up a…

Court Dwarfs: Curiosity & the Tiny Caretaker.

July 11, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

Dwarfs, throughout the ages, have aroused curiosity. Some, like the American circus artist General Tom Thumb, even achieved great wealth by cleverly turning smallness into a spectacle. Certainly one of the most remarkable stories in this category is that of the Italian dwarf Sebastiano Biavati.…

Sunlight and Vitamins

July 11, 2010 By arne hendriks 1

Dr. Julian O’Dea proposes an interesting theory as to why ethnic groups living in the rainforest are often very small. Adult Pygmy males, for example, are less then 150cm on average. According to Dr. O’Dea this could be because of the near absense of ultraviolet light in…

Growth Hormone

July 6, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

Tuning down the amount of growth hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in order to decrease human size is easier said then done. Growth hormones are responsible for a number of important processes in the body including the increase of calcium retention and the strengthening…

Dwarf Worship

June 27, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

At the end of the 19th century R.G. Haliburton ‘hunted’ for a secret dwarf tribe he believed to live somewhere in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. It aroused quite some interest as this article in The New York Times dated 27 september 1891 shows. The…

Big Small Possible

June 25, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

Two short films created for Raum für Projektion from Berlin give a rare insight into a possible future when there may be extreme size differences between generations.  There is something natural in the way people of different sizes feature in these films. They seem to…