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August 13th is Left handed Day

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Left handed Day – What do Bill Clinton, Jay Leno, Monica Seles, Bruce Willis, Jerry Seinfeld, Paul McCartney, Prince Charles, Keanu Reeves and Oprah Winfrey have in common?

If you answer “they are all left-handed,” you are right!

August 13th is Left Handers Day.

Full disclosure. I am left handed.

In LEFT IS RIGHT: The Survival Guide for Living Lefty in a Right-Handed World, author Rae Lindsay presents an upbeat look at the sinisterly side of life. She lists dozens of well-known people who belong to this “exclusive club” (estimated members in the United States: 40 million), discusses the theories about hand preference and brain organization, and traces the superstitions and religious customs associated with lefties through history.

Rae Lindsay writes that “all the world’s major languages have special terms for being left-sided or left-handed…and very few of them are flattering,” dating back to the Latin word sinister, which really meant “the pocket side” of togas. In modern languages gauche means “clumsy” or “awkward,” mancini indicates “crooked” or “maimed “in Italian; in Romany bongo translates as “evil” or “crooked;” and in Spanish, no ser zurdo means to be “very clever,” in other words, not to be left-handed. Bizarre information is that some people are afraid of left handedness.

What causes someone to become a southpaw? Scientists aren’t exactly sure, but research points to a complex collaboration between genes and environment. While no exact set of “leftie genes” have been discovered, people who dominantly use their left hands do have more left-handed family members. Researchers have found different brain wirings in righties vs. lefties. Why exactly people are left-handed is still a bit of a mystery — partly because left-handed people are often excluded from scientific research, experts say —There’s no denying it. Left-handers are the odd ones out.

Lefties make up about 10 percent of the population but it seems as if society has forgotten about them. Just consider all of the right-handed gadgets, awkwardly designed desks, and cooking tools that fit comfortably only in your right hand.

Lefties are more likely to have allergies and are more prone to Migraines. They are more likely to be insomniacs and are three times more likely to become alcoholics – the right side of the brain has a lower tolerance to alcohol!Sd7DSNu5eBI

On the brighter side, lefties seem more adept at processing information and concepts from the right side of the brain, the hemisphere which controls intuitions, the five senses, and “holistic thinking” which allows them to grasp broader concepts, such as an entire painting or musical composition. They are more likely to be on extreme poles of the intelligence scale Lefties are better at 3D perception and thinking and better at multi-tasking. .

We certainly shouldn’t worry about lefties chances of success: here’s a list of left handed presidents. James A. Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry S Truman, Gerald Ford, Roald Regan, George H W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Lefties make especially good baseball players, tennis players, swimmers and boxers. Almost 40% of the top tennis players are lefties. Graduating lefties are likely to become 26% richer than right handed graduates. Four of the five original designers of the Macintosh computer were left-handed. One in four Apollo astronauts were left-handed – 250% more than the normal level.

It seems the percentages have remained consistent over the years dating back to Neanderthal days so I guess we are here to stay…

By Donna Byrne – info@mtltimes.ca

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