Juvenile Coccoloba

December 3, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

The Coccoloba gigantifolia, or Giant Seagrape, has the third largest leaf of any plant or tree, just after those of Gunnera manicata and Victoria boliviana. Holding one of its leafs makes you feel tiny, but the trees themselves are not very large and belong to the undergrowth…

Young Mum Factor

November 22, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

To mediate the effects of global warming the Soay sheep on the island of Hirta in Scotland responded by becoming smaller, as many other species of animals are. In the case of Soay sheep the specific reason for a decrease in size is what professor…

3 x 3.75 Mollys

November 17, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Will a desire for small eventually help us overcome our obsession with continuous growth or is it just another way to continue a feeling of control and abundance? This paradox is the heart of The Incredible Shrinking Man as we state that it is better…

Environmental Stress Hypothesis

November 10, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

In the past 4.000.000 years, human evolution is broadly characterised by a trend of increasing body mass and stature associated with changes in behaviour, diet, cognition, and demographic expansion. The past 2.000.000 years have seen an increase in estimated body size among most Homo species from an…

Social Canines

October 1, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Basically it was women who made us human. A female desire for less macho behaviour in male great apes and consequently a greater capacity for collaboration allowed enabled our evolution, and the directional female choice for men with smaller canine teeth led the way. Canine…

Human-sized Penguin

July 20, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Global warming is causing many species of animals to shrink. That is why we’re intrigued by this counter-intuitive RESEARCH on prehistoric giant penguins. Most penguin species today are small to average sized flightless birds that live in the colder regions of the southern hemisphere. They…

Japanese Miniatures: The 1/8th Project

July 5, 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. The 1/8th Project is an episode…

Big Hand Hug

June 29, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Acromegaly is a serious growth disorder that results in continuous growth of the body as a result of a benign tumor of the gland that produces growth hormone. Before medication made it possible to suppress this unnatural growth patients would simply grow to their untimely…

Shrinking Human Clickbait?

June 16, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Hmmm, interesting. In the context of what seems to be the promotion of a new book on mammals, professor Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh lists several all too well-known examples related to the phenomenon of shrinking as a survival mechanism when temperatures rise…

Reduced Brackets (Outgrowing Eames)

June 14, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Ray and Charles Eames first introduced the Eames Lounge Chair (670) and Ottoman (671) in 1956, a time when people were considerably smaller than they are now. Some fifty years later, sales of the chair declined because its potential customers had become taller. Since we…

Court Dwarfs: Nano Morgante

June 13, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Surely one of the most remarkable sculptures created during the reign of Cosimo I de’ Medici is that of the dwarf jester Nano Morgante, whose real name was Braccio di Bartolo. Morgante, which means giant, was ironically nicknamed after the giant from the poem of the same name…

A Small Advantage

May 30, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

According to research of the University of Southampton the body mass of mammals will shrink by 25% over the next century, as creatures large and small will seek to adapt to environmental changes brought on by extensive habitat loss and other stressors as a result…

3-Point Space & Time

May 29, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Not long ago basketball was dominated by very tall men who positioned themselves near the basket to score, rebound, or discourage any opponent from getting to the hoop. The closer a player got to that hoop, the better, as shots from up close earned him…

Micro Insects

April 20, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

There are clear advantages to becoming very small. Micro-organisms gain access to new niches, acquire new food sources and avoid predation. They shrink towards abundance. Yet there are limiting factors to how small an animal can become including the disruption of thermoregulation or respiration, water…

GHRE: Gravitropism

March 29, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

The word growth is rooted in the proto-Germanic word GHRE. It refers to early spring when the first signs of green emerge as young leaves and grasses start to sprout. The GHRE-series investigates if and how our generally positive understanding of growth was influenced by its specific seasonal…

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…