Good Morning

Mar 02022
⪮ Good Morning :: ⪮ s01e03: Small Size, Enormous Impact
Old Icelandic village diorama taken with the TinType Camera app.

A Boy and His Atom

Nine years ago, back in 02013, IBM made a 1-minute short film about a boy and his pet. It was done by moving around individual carbon dioxide molecules.

It is recognized as the world's smallest stop motion film, but the goal for IBM was to store more data in a smaller space.

Nine years is a LONG time in the computer world, so what's happened? The best explanation we found was from Nanotechnology, Nanoparticles and Nanoscience: A New Approach in Chemistry and Life Sciences by Dan Tshiswaka and Dan Zhejiang.

"This century will probably not reach mass production of nano-robots functional with these tools, for many reasons. First, atomic manipulation only gives access to one object at a time and requires a lot of time and effort. Then, the objects are manufactured in conditions far from the ambient conditions (low temperature and low pressure) to avoid any interference with the environment and are often not stable outside their place of manufacture. It is, therefore, more of a proof of concept—very elegant—than a technological solution."

So, yes we can do cool stuff at the nanotechnological level in the lab, but on the device in your pocket? Ha, good luck!

Small can still have a big bite

In high school, we had to read a book called "The Mouse that Roared" by Leonard Wibberley. It was written in 01955 as a satire of the Cold War.

In 01959, it was turned into a movie starring Peter Sellers in one of his early roles.

The Mouse That Roared Trailer

The premise is that a tiny nation gets a nuclear bomb, therefore deterring anyone from invading and immediately catapulting it to a world power.

It was a funny, improbable situation in the 01950s, maybe less so now.

Peel P50

The Peel P50 was a 3-wheeled microcar from the Isle of Man, produced from 01962 to 01965.

Designed as a city car, it had enough room for "one adult and a shopping bag." The car only had one door and no reverse gear. It held the Guinness World Record for the smallest production car ever made.

In 02011, faithful reproductions have been released. Now you don't have to spend $200,000 at an auction to own one yourself.

Monkey Minibike

The history of mini motorcycles is fascinating. The first tiny bike was for a kids' theme park in Japan in 01961. After refinements, it was mass-produced by Honda as the Z50 (Z-series).

It was only became street-legal in the US in 01988 when it met the correct saftey standards. In 02019 it finally got an update. What's amazing about these tiny bikes is the gas milage!

A new 02019 Honda Monkey gets 125MPG, as compared to the pitiful 15MPG for a 02021 Land Rover. That's nearly a 10x difference!

Emojis to Scale

Browse all the emojis from smallest to largest in the correct scale.