Stumped

A few days ago, I cut my left index finger with the back of a knife. How this happened, I do not know. The back of a knife isn’t meant to be sharp. Two blades for the price of one — bonus!

The finger is healing nicely. It’s at that itchy stage, which signals that the body is knitting itself back together.

I have been wondering if this cut has changed my fingerprints. Where do fingerprints come from? What layer of the skin is responsible for these whorls and loops? How deep do I actually need to be cut before there is slash across my fingerprints?

I have some friends who work at London Olympic Park site. The security is tough. You can only get in if your hand print scan matches a print stored in the database.

My friends were telling me about one woman whose hands expand in hot weather and shrink in cold weather. On a cold day like today, she sighs and factors in the extra time it will take to get on to site. Her cold-shrunken hands always fail to pass the security test.

A a man who works at the site has no fingers. This stumps (ha ha) the hand print scanner, so his security clearance is based on a retina scan.

This seems unnecessary to me. Surely a fingerless hand (a palm?) is a unique identifier? Seems much more secure than scanning a common garden-variety fingered hand.

2 comments

  1. Alden says:

    Our feet expand too for a few mm when it’s hot (while running). that’s why runners get black toes when they run for too long and realise that the right size shoes has suddenly become the wrong size.

  2. mr joel says:

    it took me ages to get my fingerprints scanned for my UK visa, because I have no fingerprint on one finger (where I sliced the tip off) Eventually they accepted it, though.

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