Which NEW YORK TIMES Do You Read?

Maybe you read Jane Brody's column for May 11, 2010.

People of normal height or taller might be inclined to assume, as that silly Randy Newman song put it, that “Short people got no reason to live.... Short people got nobody to love.”

As someone who never broke the 5-foot mark, I can attest that most assumptions about short people are just that: assumptions. Here are a few facts.

¶ Children who are naturally short are no less socially competent or intelligent than taller ones.

¶ Being short was no deterrent to the likes of Yuri Gagarin, who, at 5-foot-1, was the first man in space; the actor Danny DeVito or the pop singer Prince, both 5-2; former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, a mere 4-10; or George Stephanopoulos, TV correspondent and talk show host, just over 5 feet.

¶ Short people can run countries (though not necessarily well): Napoleon, Caesar, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Franco.

¶ Being short is no impediment to financial success: Ross Perot and Michael Bloomberg.

¶ Even professional basketball is not out of reach: Spud Webb, 5-6, and Muggsy Bogues, just 5-3.

Or maybe you read "FOR CRIME, IS ANATOMY DESTINY?" printed just a few pages afterwards.

Poverty, greed, anger, jealousy, pride, revenge. These are the usual suspects when it comes to discussing the causes of crime. In recent years, however, economists have started to investigate a different explanation for criminal activity: physical attributes.

A small band of economists has been studying how height, weight and beauty affect the likelihood of committing — or being convicted of — a crime. Looking at records from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, they have found evidence that shorter men are 20 to 30 percent more likely to end up in prison than their taller counterparts, and that obesity and physical attractiveness are linked to crime.

There is already a sizable stack of research that examines the connections between physical characteristics and the labor market. Economists have found, for example, that every inch of additional height is associated with a nearly 2 percent increase in earnings...

     Posted By: Paul - Tue May 11, 2010
     Category: Body | Newspapers | Screwups

I'd say that the long and short of the economist's findings are akin to a tall tale.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 05/11/10 at 01:14 PM
That little short bastard Kim Jong-il was left out of the leader list ... hehehe (I only had to mention it because he made claims to be taller than Tom Hanks)
Posted by ANON in Nowhere on 05/11/10 at 03:36 PM
I also can't resist adding this link:


Posted by ANON in Nowhere on 05/11/10 at 04:30 PM
perhaps being in a physical sub-group that is less accepted and more abused by the social mainstream results in a larger % of that sub-group partaking in antisocial behaviors. being less able to identify with society as a whole and having an over all negative experience with others would make it easier to justify illegal and immoral behavior. instead of guilt for stealing from someone such a discontented subject might feel justified because they'd think if given a chance the other person would do the same or worse to the subject. in other words societal mistreatment of those who are different may well be the cause for a higher % of criminal behavior in such groups.

as for unsubstanciated rumors about julius caesar, my 10th grade world history teacher told us that history supports the possibility that caesar was gay. so what, right? but in 10th grade we were impressed.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/11/10 at 07:20 PM
might this be the origin of the phrase 'bigger than life' as relates to someone held in high esteem? its an interesting effect.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/11/10 at 08:33 PM
he has a strange face.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/12/10 at 03:22 AM
patty, that's why it's called a Napoleon complex: if you're gonna do the time, may as well do the crime.
SpyOne: France used a different system of measurement than the rest of the world: gee, whodathunkit?
Tall managers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRJaWN4q4W8 - there IS proof!
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 05/12/10 at 05:55 AM
Does that mean that if we don't move to metric, we're following in the footsteps of France?
Posted by jswolf19 in Japan on 05/12/10 at 06:27 AM
wow mario, that is disturbing. also very sad.

js, if so then i just give up! :cheese:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/12/10 at 01:11 PM
I am a short person (5'2") and, unfortunately it seems, am not a criminal. Am I the exception to the rule?
Posted by Nethie on 05/12/10 at 09:23 PM
hey nethie i'm about 5'2" as well. short guys are usually the ones with problems us girls are well adjusted and intellegent.(and modest) 😉
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/12/10 at 09:29 PM
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