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 (400m x 59m 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)…

Peeling a Pomelo

January 24, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

“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…

Harden’s Step-back

December 20, 2020 By arne hendriks Off

Team sports are to a large extent about the creation, or reduction, of space and time. While the offence tries to find space and time to score, the defence is trying to shut these dimensions down. Therefor, in theory, each offensive act is countered by…

Court Dwarfs

December 6, 2020 By arne hendriks Off

If we are to overcome the irrational prejudice against smallness we must understand how its current perception is the cumulative result of past ways of seeing. Rather than being an abstraction such ‘traditions of perception’ can often be traced back to specific historical traditions and…

The Not So Resolute Desk

November 30, 2020 By arne hendriks Off

At first sight it seems rather curious that a man so sensitive to the image of power as is Donald Trump, would allow to be photographed sitting behind a very small desk. His large body in relation to the small table just looks awkward. Plus,…

The 5&1 Step-back

November 15, 2020 By arne hendriks Off

On the Japanese island of Okinawa people start a meal by offering a piece of advice: hara hachi bu. It means eat until you’re 80% full. Don’t eat until you can eat no more, but eat until you’re not hungry. The Incredible Shrinking Man understands…

Trunkism

November 10, 2020 By arne hendriks Off

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…