Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This Man's Got His Finger On The Pulse Of . . . His Pulse

I've been between jobs, and I've been a heartbeat away from losing one. But I've never used the tiny interval between my heartbeats to complete a job like Russian micro-miniaturist Vladimir Aniskin, who apparently had a decade to sit around and figure out how to manufacture a chess set small enough to pack around in one of your capillaries:

A microscopic chess set no bigger than a match head could be the smallest board game in the world. The board is 3.5 mm by 2.5 mm and the gold and silver pieces are 0.15 mm and 0.3 mm high.
Of course the crux of why I find this story so ridiculously compelling:

He uses powerful microscopes and equipment that he designed himself and says that he must work between his heartbeats to create the tiny pieces.

Leave it to those pesky, "Got all the time in the world" Russians. It seems Mr. Aniskin hasn't batted an eye, flitting away a third of his lifespan on this stuff. His protoypes are none-too-unimpressively weird as well:
The chess took six months to complete and he has about another 40 works to his name. His first was a grain of rice inscribed with 2,027 letters. “The rice grain took three months, camels in an eye of a needle took two months and camels in a horse hair also took two months,” he said. “Even with these simpler jobs it is still time-consuming.”

Mr Aniskin, 30, works at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science in Tyumen, specialising in developing microphobes for aerodynamic investigations.

Cool. Weird, but cool.



aahrens said...

"Simpler jobs"? WHAT? I don't think there's anything simple about this! Why is it that true "coolness" requires a large dose of "strangeness?" Oh well, I guess we're all weird in our own way.


Steve said...

Why is it that true "coolness" requires a large dose of "strangeness?"

What a great question!