[ExI] tiny martians again

spike spike66 at att.net
Thu Apr 17 03:54:29 UTC 2008

	Subject: Re: [ExI] tiny martians again
	...I once had a beautiful co-worker from the former East Germany and
she was convinced that dwarfs had smaller brains and were generally the
intellectual inferiors of "full-sized" people...John Grigg

John, I have a biker buddy she should meet.  This very short man is a
mechanical technician who modified a motorcycle to fit his frame.  His trunk
is not so different from an ordinary person, but he has extremely short arms
and legs.  He fitted a smaller rear wheel, installed low profile tires,
modifed the suspension fore and aft using shortened springs and compensated
by using higher damping and higher spring rates, cut away part of the rear
fender to allow it to come down closer to the rear tire, removed nearly all
of the padding from the front of the seat so that when at a stoplight, he
moves forward, straddling the frame.  The frame is two parallel bars
foreward of the seat and aft of the tank, so he can straddle the bars
without damage to his manliness.  With all those individual solutions, the
front of the seat is only 26 inches from the pavement.  He built up this
bike mostly by himself, using mostly his own ideas.  But he still needed
about two inches to touch down.  I might have come up with all these ideas,
but he had one more idea I would never have thought of: he modified his
riding boots with extensions.

On a group ride he was wearing them, so I had to ask: Guy, how do you walk
in those things?  He said: Well... these boots ain't made for walking.  You
know what I had to say: ...and that's just what they won't do...  

You need to be nearly fifty to get that joke.

Regarding little people with smaller brains, I would argue thus: small
people evidently have sufficient brain matter up front to do what large
people do.  

At the start of WW2 (no I wasn't there dammit) the men went off in large
numbers to fight the war, so people (mostly women) poured into the aircraft
factories as replacements.  A group of little people who couldn't be
soldiers went into the factories, where they found a perfect job: they were
small enough to climb into the tail sections and other tiny spaces to
install and inspect control cables.  

Ordinarily workers came into the factories in the early war years with no
experience of any kind, so they were taught a skill: riveting, welding or
soldering for instance.  After they mastered a skill, they were given a
raise to the second tier.  A few of the workers already had a specific skill
when they started, so they started at a higher pay.  The midgets already had
a specific skill: climbing into tight spaces.  So Lockheeed, Doouglas and
Booeing did the logical thing: started them at the second tier.  I can
imagine that did wonders for their self esteem, especially considering that
ordinary sized people could never be trained into those positions: they were
too big.

A PBS special had an interview in which the little people commented that
these were some of the happiest years of their lives: they had been
chronically underemployed, some finding work with the circus, in the movies,
or in travelling comedy shows etc.  But when the war started, they were a
valuable asset for the war effort.  

When we do the numbers and realize how much more mission we can do with how
much less rocket, it looks to me all of the Mars missions should be
undertaken by these valuable specially-abled little persons.


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