June 1, 2009

The blog post picture from beyond the grave

I don’t know who first asked what chairs would look like if our knees bent the other way, but that old question may have been in the back of my mind a couple years ago when I found myself wondering how things would be designed differently if our middle fingers bent the other way. Would that make life more difficult? Or would it make certain tasks easier? What would musical instruments look like? What about computers, or eating utensils? Is there any way that having a backwards middle finger would be useful?

I considered writing a blog entry pondering this question. As I like to do, I came up with a photo-illustration to accompany the blog entry. I took a couple photos, played around a bit in Photoshop, and accidentally ended up with an image that is so bizarrely disturbing that I can actually feel my brain having trouble making sense of it. I could not in good conscience subject an unsuspecting reader to this photo. So I killed the whole post.

I just came across the file now, and it still disturbs me. But I hate to let a good disturbing image go to waste, so now with the proper context, and a build-up designed to minimize the shock, I present the photo illustration that I killed two years ago. Click on the pixelated version below and get ready to look away:

Backwards Finger


Years of exposure to /b/ has served me well. If it was an actual broken finger then I might be less sanguine, but this, this is nothing.

Did you come up with anything that would be easier or harder to do with a reversed middle finger?

I think you should of reversed all of the fingers. I think that would be much weirder.

I just came across the file now, and it still disturbs me.

Talk about the easily disturbed.

P.S Don’t try any Cronenberg.

Haha I think that looks cool. Not gross at all. If you want gross see THE MAN WHOSE ARMS EXPLODED on YouTube.

I am officially disturbed for the rest of the day!

That’s kinda wrong - the knuckle should actually be on the other side of the hand. Also, this is maybe just mildly disquieting to the desensitized reader.


I agree with the not-disturbed above (seen enough weird stuff that this is tame) but I think hands are right after eyes and mouths on the list of “things that can be made incredibly creepy”. I know what you mean about “having trouble making sense of the image”, though.

Can’t think of many things that would be easier except you could scratch the back of your hand with the same hand :) How would you make a fist though?

@Ben Carlson
I would think there would be a lot of things you could do easier because you could hold to things in one hand… Maybe play a guitar using two picks? Stuff like that…

The most disturbing thing, to me, is the hair differential between the reversed finger and the rest of the hand.

This adaptation would make for excellent hand-pantomimed quadrupeds; it’s always such a strain to get those pseudocritters to lift their necks and heads!

You should speak to some furrys… we tend to give a lot of thought to odd body shapes for purposes of art and roleplay. Between the tails, the taurs, and us birds with forwards-bending legs, there is much to deal with. In furniture, clothing and accessories.

Geckos peel their fingers away from a surface like that, bending backwards starting from the tip.


As a minor footnote, the question about knees and chairs was printed in tiny type around the perimeter of the cover of George Carlin’s “FM & AM” album. Along with a bunch of other funnies.

I guess fistfights would not happen if the middle finger bent the other way.

@Zak: How would you hold two picks? You’d need a second thumb bending the same way as the middle finger…

When seeing this image I immediately had to laugh very hard: holding up such a hand you will immediately get into any trouble you can think of …

“That guy over there did offend me badly by giving me the bird!” *snicker*

If evolution may have come up with this any time before I’m sure it was a dead path right from start, because those persons never survived long enough in society.

that ain’t bad at all…

this ain’t bad at all…

I think it’s very creative. :)

Three years ago I pondered that very thing - the chair thing. Here is my crappy MS-Paint illustration of a backwards-kneed chair: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/91/223799835_a935ccc279.jpg