November 20, 2010
At November 26 the ‘Welcome Collection’ in London presents their ‘Hands’ event! How would our society look like without any hands? We sense, create and communicate with our hands. A social event for the incurably curious and celebrate these vital parts of our bodies across four floors of Wellcome Collection!!
From medicine to mesmerism, magic to mannerisms, visitors will find out about the curious history of digits, palms, fingers and thumbs, and put their own to use, as we celebrate the organs that shape the world around us. We will have scientists, artists, palmists and magicians at hand for discussions, performances and, of course, hands-on activities, all designed to make us look afresh at our body. ‘Manipulate’, ‘manoeuvre’ and ‘manufacture’ are all words deriving from the Latin word ‘manus’, meaning hand. These creative appendages allow us to make, touch and feel, but they also hold mystical and cultural significance. For one night only, visitors can explore a digital age that goes back millennia.
• Revel in the mystery of hands with palmistry and neuroscience illusions.
• Try out some nail art.
• Get dexterous with games and computers from different ages – and paper, scissors, stone.
• Enjoy an installation produced by young people from HCA, Coram’s Fields, KCBNA and artist Elaine Duigenan.
• Try out some surgeon’s tools, and see how steady your hands are.
• Explore the wonders of handwriting in the Wellcome Library, and meet a palaeographer and a graphologist.
• Play a piano and see your digits up close.
• Enjoy the physical theatre performance of The Articulate Hand with Andrew Dawson. Performances start at 20.00 and 21.45. Tickets are available on the night of the event only.
• Hear from evolution expert Christophe Soligo on the difference between the hands of apes and humans. Tickets are available on the night of the event only.
• Chris McManus will uncover the science of left and right handedness. Tickets are available on the night of the event only.
LOCATION: 183 Euston Road, London (nov 26, 19:00 – 23:00)
It’s a FREE event, so anyone can drop in anytime!!
A discussion about more details of this ‘hands’ event is available at the Modern Hand Reading Forum.
September 3, 2010
In 1943 Cummins & Midlo presented a work which became known as the Bible of fingerprints, titled: “Finger Prints, Palms and Soles”. The book is e.g. featured with a model named: ‘a family tree of finger print types’: see the picture above.
This ‘family tree’ presents an interesting perspective on how various types of fingerprints are related. Starting with the ‘concentric whorl’ (which sort of raises associations with various phenomena – such as: a solar system in the cosmos, or force fields in the atmosphere, hair streams on the human body, etc.), progressing via the ‘loop’, and ending with the ‘simple arch’ (which raises associations with more stable, inert phenomena).
At Amazon you can order a copy of ‘Finger prints, Palms and Soles’, or another fingerprint book (such as: ‘The Science of Fingerprints’ – a FBI production). For more details about the book, see: Google books & Ed Campbell’s article ‘Fingerprints & Palmar Dermatoglyphics‘.
Related news reports & articles are available at: Fingerprints & dermatoglyphics news.
June 9, 2010
Dyshidrotic eczema is a chronic relapsing form of vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis of unknown etiology. Although the etiology is unclear, there is a strong association with atopy. Fifty percent of patients with dyshidrotic eczema will also have atopic dermatitis. Exogenous factors, especially metals (such as nickel), may trigger episodes.
Patients typically report pruritus of the hands and feet with a sudden onset of vesicles. On examination, patients will have symmetric crops of clear vesicles and/or bullae on the palms as well as lateral aspects of the fingers and toes, feet, and soles (shown). The distribution of lesions is 80% hands only, 10% feet only, and 10% feet and hands.
Lichen simplex chronicus is a thickening of the skin with variable scaling that arises secondary to repetitive scratching or rubbing. It is not a primary process, but develops when patients sense pruritus, repetitively excoriate the area, and develop lichenification.
The etiology of the pruritus may be due to any underlying pathology, or none at all. Patients typically report stable pruritic plaques, most commonly on the scalp, nape of the neck, extensor forearms, elbows, vulva, scrotum, upper medial thighs, knees, lower legs, and ankles. Erythema is found in early lesions. The plaques are typically well demarcated, lichenified, firm, and rough with exaggerated skin lines. Hyperpigmentation may be present. Treatment is aimed at reducing pruritus with topical corticosteroids or oral antihistamines. In some patients, antianxiety medications are require.
Irritant contact dermatitis is a nonspecific response of the skin to direct chemical damage. It is the clinical result of inflammation arising from the release of proinflammatory cytokines from skin cells, principally keratinocytes.
The major pathophysiologic changes are skin-barrier disruption, epidermal cellular changes, and cytokine release. Although a wide range of chemicals may be responsible, the most common causes are repeated exposure to low-grade irritants, such as soaps and detergents. Acute irritant contact dermatitis may develop within minutes to hours of exposure, whereas the cumulative form may be delayed by weeks. On examination, patients may exhibit macular erythema, hyperkeratosis, or fissuring over vesiculation with a scalded appearance of the epidermis (shown). Healing typically beings promptly after removal of the offending agent, although creams containing ceramides or dimethicone may be useful to help restore the epidermal barrier.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:
Recently Barack Obama was recognized in an international poll as the most popular leader in the world of today, and this week Obama was also listed in the 2010 TIME TOP 100 as the no. 4. of world’s most influential people (in the 2009 TIME TOP 100 he was listed as no.20). Into the hands of Barack Obama – a tribute to the hands of the current US president!
The most remarkable hand characteristics of Barack Obama’s hands are:
>> THUMB: Slender & waisted;
>> FINGERS: Slender & bony, low set index finger, low 2D:4D digit ratio, long ring finger, long pinky finger;
>> FINGERPRINTS: (unknown);
>> HAND SHAPE: Narrow & long palms;
>> HAND LINES: Strong primary lines, multiple long ‘ring finger lines’ (a.k.a. ‘sun lines’ or ‘apollo lines’).
MORE ABOUT OBAMA’S HANDS:
• 4 Out of the 5 last US presidents were left-handed!
• What hand experts say about Barack Obama’s hands!
• Psychodiagnostic hand analysis of Barack Obama’s hands!
• FINGER LENGTH: Barack Obama’s “digit ratio”!
• TIME’s presidental palm readings: hand files of the last 10 US presidents!
August 13, 2009
Tripe palms is a very rare skin disease which is characterised by thickened velvety palms that have the appearance of tripe – the stomach lining of beef, pork, or sheep. If tripe palms is featured with acanthosis nigricans (a brown to black, poorly defined, velvety hyperpigmentation of the skin), the cause is usually related to stomach- (35%) or lung cancer (11%).
Some statistics on ‘tripe palms’ & cancer:
“In over 40% of patients, tripe palms are the first sign of an undiagnosed cancer, hence all patients should undergo a full diagnostic workup for an associated malignancy, particularly lung cancer, gastrointestinal carcinoma, or a colonic polyps.”
“There is no specific treatment for tripe palms. It has been reported that approximately 30% of cases resolve once the underlying cancer is treated. However, tripe palms inconsistently respond to successful therapy and may persist for many years despite remission of the underlying cancer.”
Approximately in 90% of people having tripe palms this unusual hand characteristic can be associated with internal malignancy, for example a colonic polyps.
SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:
In may 2009 Dr Roland Ennos and his team at The University of Manchester presented fingerprints findings with a surprizing outcome. Fingerprints do not help primates grip, as previously thought. Instead, a fingerprint actually reduces the friction needed to hold onto flat surfaces.
Dr Ennos disproved the long-held assumption that fingerprints help primates to grip with a simple machine, three strips of perspex and the right hand of Masters student Peter Warman. They tested the student’s grip on every finger + thumb at three different widths of perspex as the machine pulled the perspex strips down via a weight in a plastic cup. The researchers also tested grip at three different angles by bending both the fingers + the thumb. This wide range of testing conditions allowed them to separate pressing force from the contact area and overcome any confounding variables.
The results indicate that fingertips act more like rubbers than hard solids; their friction coeficient fell at higher normal forces and friction was higher when fingers were held flatter against wider sheets and hence when contact area was greater.
WHY DO WE HAVE FINGERPRINTS?
“The experiment was so simple, this discovery could have been made 100 years ago; but scientists make assumptions and tend to look at complicated things instead.
My preferred theory is that they allow the skin to deform and thus stop blistering. That is why we get blisters on the smooth parts of our hands and feet and not the ridged areas: our fingerpads, palms and soles.”
SUGGESTIONS FOR LEARNING MORE ABOUT FINGERPRINTS: