Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Short is better

I'm talking about people, not stories, although there's an interesting series on why to write short stories over at Electric Spec.

If you've not been reading Mind Hacks then you may have missed this article that explains that tall people live further in the past than short people. This is because perception isn't instantaneous. When someone touches our toe the signal takes longer to get to our brain than when someone touches our nose, yet if the touches are simultaneous then we experience them both at the same time. We seem to be waiting for the later signal to arrive before perceiving the earlier one. In short people the signal from outlying areas arrives sooner so short people are more up to date than tall people.

The original article Mind Hacks draws on is here.

15 COMMENTS:

sylvia said...

Cool! Quick as a whip, that's me!

moonrat said...

hahaha. guess i'm screwed.

Scott from Oregon said...

My sister had a great Dane that began to suffer some kind of spinal thingy when he got old. It meant that his hind legs were about half a second lag to his front half. He was constantly looking behind him to convince the back half to keep up. It was sadly funny. She cured him with high doses of vitamin C and he lived to be ten, a ripe old age for a Dane of his size...

fairyhedgehog said...

Sylvia: you'd better be quick as a whip while you're flying that plane!

Moonrat: I'm 5'7". Is that more or less screwed than you are?

Scott: I knew vitamin C was powerful but I didn't know it was that good.

JaneyV said...

Another advantage to being small is that you don't have as far to fall if you trip up. This is especially important if you are dyspraxic.

I'm just under 5'7" - so I have about 2/8ths of an inch advantage on you.

fairyhedgehog said...

I hadn't thought of that one, Jane.

Whirlochre said...

Not sure the odd foot and a half matters, for all practical purposes, given the speed of nervous transmission.

What I do know is that when hobbits stand on one another's shoulders to converse, eye-to-eye, with wizards, by the time they've erected the stepladder, the wizard has often fallen asleep.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I like living in the past: it's cheaper.

freddie said...

Heh - I'm 5'2". Guess I'm as modern as can be.

fairyhedgehog said...

Whirl: thanks for the tip about hobbits. Next time I'll send someone taller.

Kevin: the good old days. Well old, anyway.

Freddie: I'm afraid you're not the most up-to-date person I know. I have friends who barely make it to 5'.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Good to know that I will be better off when I'm older and have shrunk a few inches. Gotta have some perks to being a crabby, decrepit old lady. Oh wait. Being crabby is a perk.

Vitamin C is interesting. Do you know they now recommend not taking it when you're having chemo? It repairs cells - good, bad, indifferent.

fairyhedgehog said...

Sarah: I'm practising being crabby now, in the spirit of Jenny Joseph's poem.

That vitamin C must be very strong stuff indeed.

Robin S. said...

Good to know there's something positive about being short enough to have to ask for help reaching stuff tucked back in away from the edge of the top shelf in the grocery!

fairyhedgehog said...

Robin: it's good to find the silver lining.

Sophie in the Moonlight said...

Y'know what I'm most pleased about? I'm the shortest member of my family and they love to pick on me for it. My brother is a full foot taller than me and all of my female relatives are 4-8 inches taller than me.

I can't wait to tell them that I'm Waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy more au courant than they are. (smiles smugly to self)

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