Wee got you covered

This week’s briefs get tiny

Published March 18, 2024

Every Monday we bring you miniature news stories. This week, we’re bringing you miniature news stories. Get ready to feel huge! 

Mmm, mini colada

Hey, single fruit lovers: Del Monte sees you. 

credit: Del Monte

In a time when a record 28% of Americans live alone, and 40% of food goes to waste, the Cali-based fruit-and-veggie giant saw a market for personal-sized versions of the big fruits that solo flyers tend to avoid. So they bred some trees in Costa Rica to grow cute little “Precious” pineapples, which weigh in at less than 2 lbs. apiece – about half the size of the original. As part of their “Honeyglow” range, they stand to be a bit sweeter than normal pineapples too.

While you wait for it to get to a store near you, ponder this: Does it belong on a personal-size pizza?

The set Gotham deserves

Get ready to build, Batfans: To celebrate the franchise’s 85th anniversary, the Lego Group recently unveiled a cool 4,210-piece model of Gotham City as it appears in the 1990s classic Batman: The Animated Series.

credit: LEGO

The Lego set features iconic locations from the Warner Bros. series, including Arkham Asylum, the courthouse, the classic Batwing, and Bat-Signal. It also includes minifigs of The Joker, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn (plus Batman himself, of course), and enough Easter eggs to choke a Penguin. 

Huge as it is–experienced brickheads would say to set aside eight hours or so–it still only has some 42% as many pieces as the biggest set currently available, the five-foot, 10,001-piece Eiffel Tower. In fact, Gotham’s not even in the all-time top 10. But hey, that just means you know what to do if the Batman set doesn’t quite scratch your itch… 

… and they never put the seat down

Scientists have seized upon a unique aspect of cicada physiology: their teeny urination anatomy. The way cicadas pee is unique in the animal world. Unlike other insects and small mammals that urinate in droplets, cicadas shoot jets of pee out of their little insectile bodies. 

According to Interesting Engineering, a research team at the Georgia Institute of Technology is aiming (so to speak) to unlock the secrets of cicada projectile urination. In a scientific paper published this month, researchers remarked that while jetting is common in animals that weigh more than 3 kg, “cicadas—weighing just 2 g—possess the capability for jetting fluids through remarkably small orifices.”

Basically, cicadas consume so much xylem sap that to eliminate it in droplets would be too tiring. So they save energy by blasting it out instead. Previously unaware that such a thing was possible in a critter so tiny, scientists say the findings could have implications in the development of robots and tiny nozzles.

By the way, they discovered the cicada weirdness by spending years in the examination of animal fluid ejection. Make sure you bring that up on your next trip to the guidance counselor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *