Technology seems to be able to do many things. Yet sometimes it is the simple things that elude it the longest.
We can send a man to the moon- and afterwards- but we still struggle with making people thinner or fatter. Or taller.
So I suppose we should be grateful for the Ilizarov Scientific Center in Siberia. For, if you are able to salt away at least $40,000 (I suspect it might be a cash business) you can take a trip to the Salt Mines State and become taller.
I will make no attempt to reference Tom Cruise or Harrison Ford here. For, as I understand it, they remain rather below an optimal male height. And may, on occasion, use lifts. In their shoes, rather than in hotels.
However, many wealthy and not so healthy citizens of the world have ventured to the Ilizarov for a little enhancement.
I know you'll be wondering how they do it. Well, I can only hope you have not eaten in the last hour or so.
As a welcoming gift, the staff at the Ilizarov smash your legs at the shins. Then they stick pins in your legs and attach you to the Ilizarov frame. The frame takes the role of a plaster cast. Except that it's slightly more uncomfortable.
You see, it has metal spokes that go through the flesh to keep the bone in place.
Now here's the fun part.
Normally, when you break your leg the nice doctors try to bring the two parts of the bone back together so that they end up where they started before you were silly enough to break your leg.
But the Ilizarov Method takes something of an opposing philosophy.
The frame keeps the bones apart. This apparently allows new bits of bone to grow in the gap. If you have resisted regurgitation up to this point, might I add that muscles and nerves are also materialized by the body to add to this remarkable personal growth.
Yes, you can gain three inches in height- after up to a year of rehabilitative agony, that is- using this simple, yet effective method.
A method about which I can stomach to write not one more word.
However, how is it that science and technology can make people's faces smoother, their breasts larger or smaller, their stomachs less round and, of course, their searches more profound and yet cannot make people shorter or taller?
Is it that no one has thought about it? Or is it just too hard, like, I don't know, lowering the voices of people who talk like Woody Woodpecker or eliminating cankles?
If we can spend time writing books and holding conferences about how we will shortly be having sex with robots, shouldn't we dedicate some of our most charmed brains to the world's vast height complexes?I mean, wouldn't you like to see a taller remake of Time Bandits?