Sunday, September 26, 2010

Q & A

littlelostgeek asked some good questions. I'll see what I can answer...
I have to wonder if textures feel different now than before as well as other things like how hearing/vision has changed.
Yes, things feel coarser, though my sense of touch is otherwise unchanged. My hearing is the same, though I have to be careful, because things close by seem louder, though not to the degree expected. And don't even ask about my sight. My vision is the same as it was, taking into account the different angle, which so upset one eye doctor that he swore at me, called me a freak and an abomination, and refused to study the question any further. I think that if other people hadn't been there, he actually would have attacked me!
Plus I'm wondering if foods tastes different or how much it takes to fill up. Sure she's shrunk a great deal, but she now has even less internal volume.
Everything tastes the same, though, again, the texture is thicker. And liquids are is… weird. The surface tension is much greater. I can still drink, but I usually need to "break" it first.

I do fill up quickly. I only need about two calories a day! I just take a few crumbs from Lisa's food. Unfortunately, 1. She's a vegetarian, and 2. She's very, very weight conscious. She has to be, since she's a model and actress.

But I would kill for a steak, baked potato w/ butter, and a mug of Guinness!
Lisa was actually able to pick you up. This means your mass wasn't compressed, otherwise that would be.. well... OK I'm not sure where the rest of it would've went (or anything else about the transition.) However your apparent jump in strength relative to new size is interesting.
My starting weight was 135 lbs. I am currently 2.2 ozs. During a recent interview I said I was two ounces exactly, but that was a slight… understatement. What, you've never lied about your weight?

Anyway, we don't know what happened to all the extra mass. There was no big pile of goop nearby. I had asked if it could somehow all have converted to energy, but it turns out that would have meant an explosion equivalent to over 1315 megatons of TNT. I think somebody would have noticed.

As for jumping, it turns out the of strength of a muscle is based on its cross-section, which is reduced on the square, and a jump depends on strength versus mass. It still takes getting used to.

Oh gee... you can breath. That's a biggie. The fact your body is able to process oxygen is interesting. i'm not sure how since if everything shrunk then the little sacs in your lungs wouldn't have been able to.. you know.

Yeah, this is just one of the many questions the scientists studying me (I'll talk more about them later) can't answer. I still breathe normally, though the air feels a bit… thicker. Almost like heavy humidity. My blood is… weird.

Another question is body heat. Small animals lose heat more rapidly than big ones. That's why shrews eat a million billion times their own weight every day, and why polar bears are so big. My weight shrunk on the cube, but my skin's surface area shrunk on the square. I should be freezing, but my temperature is what it was before. 99.2 f or 37.3 c. I've always been hot-blooded.
Forget the techno-mumbo-jumbo. I can think of no process that would explain this short of 'a wizard did it.'
That seems as good a reason as any, I guess. I don't remember offending any wizards…

Seriously, I don’t believe in magic. Just because I don't know the answer, doesn't mean there is no answer.

But if it was a wizard, I didn't mean to offend you, Mr. or Ms. Wizard sir or ma'am, and I am very, very, very sorry. I've learned my lesson. Please change me back.

Some basics about the Square-cube law

I've had to learn a lot about the Square-cube law just to survive. Actually, though, it's fairly simple.

We'll start w/ a regular cube, and a daz 3d woman. To make things simpler we'll be growing. The same principles work in reverse for shrinking.

 Now we'll double the height. Just the height. This is scaling on the line.

Okay, see how tall and thin she is. And notice that there are two boxes, so the weight has been doubled. To make her look more like a person and less like a Na'vi we have to double the width, too. This is scaling on the square.

Now we have four boxes, so the weight is four times our starting weight.  Our model, seen from the front, looks like she has the same proportions as when she started. From the side, however...

She's actually sort of squashed flat So we have to double the breadth as well. We have to scale on the cube.

Now she's twice her starting height, w/ her normal proportions in all directions. But see the boxes? We needed eight boxes to double the boxes in all three  dimensions. That means that girl weighs eight times her starting weight. Diet time!

My height is one/tenth normal. On the line. My surface area, shoe size, and some other things is one one-hundredth normal, or on the square. My weight is on the cube. One one-thousandth what it had been the night before.

More information can be found at Square-cube law on Wikipedia and Square Cube Law on TVTropes, The Biology of B-Movie Monsters, and On Being the Right Size by J. B. S. Haldane.

You can also look at The Physics of Superheroes: Spectacular Second Edition by James Kakalios and Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics: Hollywood's Best Mistakes, Goofs and Flat-Out Destructions of the Basic Laws of the Universe by Tom Roger.

Yeah, it's messed up, and I'm still not used to it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Jump to the left…

So there I was, on the carpet, mostly unhurt, just stunned by what I had just learned about falling. I got to my feet almost immediately and hitched up my shorts. Lisa crouched down, looked worried.

"I'm okay, I think," I said. "Let's get some coffee. I gotta get ready for work." Lisa held out her hand for me to get on it, and I jumped up.

Remember what I said last post about how gravity seems different to me in my new condition? Turns out my jumping ability is, in real terms, a little better than before. In scale terms, much, much, much better than before. I can jump vertically over two feet (about four times my height). My broad jump is close to six feet. And that's w/out a running start! Again, more info I didn't have at the time.

So I jumped what I thought would put me in Lisa's hand. I flew as if I'd been thrown off a fast-moving car.

Before either of us could react (remember, my reaction time is against the real distances involved, not the scale equivalent of what the distance would be), I collided w/ Lisa, just below her neck, and tumbled into her blouse.

Lisa made a sort of an eeep sound, and quickly reached in and pulled me out.

She held me carefully (later we'd learn that I'm not overly fragile and don't need to be handled like I'm made of glass).

"Oh, crap!" Lisa said. "Are you okay?"

"Aside from living every school-boy's fantasy, I'm fine. Why don't you ever wear a bra?"

"If I'd known my boobies were going to have a visitor, I would have." Then w/ her other hand she reached into her blouse again and pulled out my shorts. They'd slipped off w/out me noticing.

This time I eeeped.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hi to Entrecard droppers and to followers

I'd like to say hi to everyone stopping by from Entrecard. Be sure to click the "Drop" button. And, remember, you can advertise, or write a review.

And hi to my new followers: Clara, who has the blogs Regarding Reading and clara-fied; Jean, who has the blog The Joy of Bird Watching and Living a Simple Life; and Patricia Rockwell, who has the blogs Subjective Soup and Communication Exchange.

If you have any questions or comments, well, I've been answering questions all week, and there's so much I just don't know about my condition, but I'll try to be nice.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Falling lessons

Falling is weird.

I did not fall seven stories. I did not fall the equivalent of 50+ feet and smash the equivalent of 135 pounds of flesh and bone and blood and guts and brains against the carpet. I fell about five feet and hit w/ a little over two ounces.

I reached the ground much sooner than I would have thought. It takes about a half-second to fall five feet and almost two seconds to fall seven stories, regardless of your size. So my speed on hitting the floor was about 12 miles per hour instead of close to 40 mph.

 Additionally, my terminal velocity is about one-tenth of a normal-sized human's ~200km/h, so I wouldn't have reached 40 mph anyway.

The following is taken from "On Being the Right Size" by J. B. S. Haldane:
You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom, it gets a slight shock and walks away, provided that the ground is fairly soft. A rat is killed, a man is broken, a horse splashes. For the resistance presented to movement by the air is proportional to the surface of the moving object. Divide an animal’s length, breadth, and height each by ten; its weight is reduced to a thousandth, but its surface only to a hundredth. So the resistance to falling in the case of the small animal is relatively ten times greater than the driving force.
Of course, I realized none of this at the time. All I knew was that I fell a humongous distance, hit the floor, bounced slightly, and I was a little bruised but basically unhurt.

But I quickly figured out two things.

First of all, I need not fear heights.

Second, everything else did not grow ten times its normal size. The world was normal.

I had truly shrunk.


I needed clothes. What did I… Of course! "Lisa!" She leaned in close to listen to me. I could only imagine how high-pitched and squeaky my voice must be. "Lisa, my old dolls! Up there in my closet on the top shelf. Miss Floppy-ear looks about my size. The rabbit. Right in the middle, between Mr. Bugwug and Miss Keepy."

Lisa looked at me oddly. She asked, "Are you on a first-name basis w/ any of your toys?"

She grabbed the stuffed rabbit and put it down next to me. I pulled off Miss Floppy-ear's shirt and shorts. The shirt was a little too big for me, and the shorts were much too big and had a large hole in the back for a tail, but it would have to do for now.

I asked Lisa to bring me to the kitchen. She picked me up in her hand, somewhat uncomfortably. "Uh… put me on your shoulder, I guess?" She did.

Lisa seemed to me to be the size of a small building. I might as well have been six or seven stories above the ground.

This thought occurred to me just before I slipped off her shoulder and fell to the floor.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Enter Lisa

The alarm clock went off and I woke up startled, just like any other morning.

I had been sleeping naked, on my pillow, everything was still ten times too big. Not like any other morning.

I wasn't dreaming. I wasn't dreaming. I WASN'T DREAMING!

The alarm continued to buzz.

I had been in the habit of hitting the snooze button or just turning the alarm off and going back to sleep, so I'd put it on the dresser across the room,

Well, it worked. I was wide awake now.

Lisa, my room-mate, knocked on my door. "Debby, you up? Debby?" She opened the door. "Debby, where are you?" She turned off my alarm, looked around, saw me. "Oh, there you are. Get dressed, time to get ready for work." She turned around to leave.

Lisa was not a morning person. It took longer to process things before her first cup of coffee. Finally, she realized something was wrong. She turned back, stared. "What the huh?"

I had crawled back into my pjs. "Um… good morning?"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The night before and the morning after

I'll start where it started for me.

Thursday night, I'm feeling a bit run-down. Not sick, exactly but tired and out-of-sorts. So I go to bed early. At this point I was 5'5", about 135 pounds (I had weighed myself that morning). Shorter than most of my friends, but not especially so.

I must have had a nightmare, because I woke up suddenly, practically jumping, my heart racing, my breath in gasps. I must have had a nightmare, but I don't remember what it was about.

I was sitting up, getting my breathing back under control, when I noticed I was naked. I thought for a second, remembered putting on pajamas the night before, but now I was butt-naked. I never slept naked.

 Next thing I noticed was that I wasn't in my bed. I was sitting on a coarse blue fabric, the same fabric lying over me like a big blanket. I could see, sort of. Light shone through it from the outside.

I thought… I didn't know what to think. I just knew I had to get out of there somehow.

I clawed and crawled my way out, reached the edge of the fabric, got free. Standing up, covering myself w/ my hands, I looked around.

I was in my room, standing on my bed. Everything was ten times its normal size. The coarse blue fabric was my pajamas.

"Ah," I said, relieved. "I'm dreaming. I'm naked, in a giant room, standing on a giant bed. A dream. Just a weird dream. That's all." I climbed up on my giant pillow, lay down to go back to sleep.

Who is this Debby Small person, anyway?

Okay, a blog.

I’m already famous, but people still want to know more and more about me. My agent says a blog could be good publicity. My therapist says it could help me work out "issues". Lisa says if it keeps me from bugging her so much, she's all for it.

There's a lot to me. My name is Debra Macen Small. People call me Debby. I'm a brunette. I'll be twenty-five this October. I'm an assistant manager at a Fas-Save supermarket (assuming I can still do the job). I'm taking an online course in Business Management and Administration from Averton University. I have a boyfriend, Thomas Guerrera, but, to be honest, we've been going through a bit of a rough patch these past few weeks, even before this whole thing started. I have a younger sister named Michelle Riler Small. I have a room-mate, Lisa Takahashi. I…

And none of that matters. The only thing you care about me, the only thing you'd even notice now, is that I'm six and a half inches (16.8 cm) tall! Small enough for you to pick up in one hand!

Did that sound harsh? I didn't mean to sound harsh. It's just been a very, very bad and very, very weird week, and I'm still trying to deal.