Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A question we've all been asking:

Changizi et al. propose that the pruny wrinkles forming on our finger-tips after immersion in water are not a bug, but a design feature that has evolved so that when the blood really starts pouring you won't spoil things with a slippery grip!! to provide us with a good grasp of rocks or shellfish or whatever despite wet conditions. They invent the BEST EXCUSE EVER for hours spent surfing the intertuber, i.e. "I was downloading images of finger-tips to compare the pattern of wrinkles with the water-removing drainage patterns of tyre treads";
which they then convert into designs for hoodies and balaclavas in response to the University administration's demands for research with commercial applications:
(1) There is the obvious corollary that tread patterns might work better in wet conditions if they are modeled on finger-tip wrinkles, or better still, if they are made out of human finger-tip skin. Here at the Riddled Research Laboratory we leaped straight to the next logical step, which is that the Riddled Evolvamat might be used to create a tyre that is actually a human being -- but with finger-tips expanded to cover the entire toroidal body -- by accelerating an ordinary subject (or indeed Greenish Hugh) through several million years of evolution.

(2) No-one could possibly have predicted that the subject would develop psychokinetic powers and turn into a psychopathic murderer with a streak of voyeurism.

(3) In a world of melting ice-caps and rising water-levels, anyone with an all-over texture of non-slip tyre-tread patterns will have an advantage over everyone else in adapting to an aquatic existence. Having watched Rupert Murdoch during his recent appearance before the UK Parliament, one suspects him of borrowing the Evolvamat and fiddling with the settings in an attempt to develop such a whole-body pattern. That would certainly explain (2).

UPDATE: Bonus Evolutionary Pathways for specialised human tyres. This one's for ITTDGY.

It occurs to me that it would actually be simpler to make the roads out of wrinkle-tread human finger-tips; then it wouldn't matter what kind of tyre drivers use in wet weather.

Another virtual chocolate fish to any helpful pixy who can provide a suitable illustration for this, from the "Good Intentions Paving Company" scene in "Highway to Hell".

13 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Are the toes not capable of similar enhancement?

I believe the research goes back 6,000 years.
~

ckc (not kc) said...

...am I the only one to think "Gollum"?

or

...damn, another funding opportunity missed!

Smut Clyde said...

am I the only one to think "Gollum"?

Rupert Murdoch is best understood as a DNA recombination experiment involving Gollum on one hand and the Mekon on the other.

Actually this "on one hand... on the other hand" talk sounds like I am describing a very strange Punch & Judy show, which was not the intention.

fish said...

There are times when I just bang my head on the desk after reading "scientific" articles. Usually when the papers are in Journals such as "Brain, Behavior, and Evolution."

I especially like the figure with the racing tires (tyres?) vs. the rain tires. I was convinced right there. I know my hands often reach speeds of 95 miles an hour in the rain.

Shut up smut.

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

A reference to Rubber: The Movie? Bravo. But not enough to excuse you for meddling with things the likes of which that man was not meant to know.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

which they then convert into designs for hoodies and balaclavas

Dazzle camouflage gloves would have a military application- I CAN HAZ CONTRAKT?

J— said...

which they then convert into designs for hoodies and balaclavas in response to the University administration's demands for research with commercial applications

Shop those designs to Buff. Those things will sell like hotcakes at REI.

Substance McGravitas said...

The wrinkle-grip makes perfect sense, as nobody who has gone all pruney has ever slipped in the tub.

A tip for drivers: you can hold together a timing belt with a judicious application of raisins.

vacuumslayer said...

Is that guy with the big foot getting ass-raped by the hill?

Smut Clyde said...

Thankyew, VS, for that kind attempt to bring us some interesting search traffic. "Big foot ass-raped hills" has not yet shown up in the statistics. On the other hand, we have had 23 visits in the last few hours from people looking for "mimic octopus", so that is evidently the wave of the future.

vacuumslayer said...

Mimic octopus, huh? How can Rule 34 that baby?

tigris said...

Helping VS

Smut Clyde said...

I don't know which is more disturbing: Uncle Ghastly's Comic, or tigris' apparent familiarity with it.