Saturday, August 13, 2011

Happy International Left Handed Day 2011

Today salutes the Southpaws in the world.  Celebrate the lefties in your life!

How many lefties do you have in your family?

William is left handed.  My Dad was a lefty.  David's Grandma was a lefty.

Left-handers, who account for around 10 percent of the world's population, spend 364 days a year in a world that seems to be built for right-handed people. August 13 is the exception. In 1976, a special day was created just for lefties and now it is celebrated annually all over the world.

A little fun trivia......

Brain organization

No-one has come up with a definitive reason for WHY some people are left-handed, but about 13% of the population around the world are, and it is thought to be genetic - it definitely runs in families. Researchers have recently located a gene they believe "makes it possible to have a left-handed child " so if you have that gene, one or more of your children may be left-handed, whereas without it, you will only have right-handers - sorry! The good news is, that if you are left-handed yourself, you have that gene and will pass it on through the generations!
The way the brain works is incredibly complex, but this simplified explanation will give you some understanding of where our left-hand dominance comes from. The brain is "cross-wired" so that the left hemisphere controls the right handed side of the body and vice-versa and hand dominance is connected with brain dominance on the opposite side - which is why we say that only left-handers are in their right minds!
Brain organisation left hemisphere and right hemisphere
The left hemisphere (RIGHT HAND CONTROL) controls Speech, Language, Writing, Logic, Mathematics, Science, this is the LINEAR THINKING MODE.
The right hemisphere (LEFT HAND CONTROL) controls Music, Art, Creativity, Perception, Emotions, Genius, this is the HOLISTIC THINKING MODE


By Order of The Left-Handers Club

So if you don't have sinistrophobia (that's a fear of left-handedness or anything on the left side of your body), read on for some fun left-handed facts.
2. In sets of twins, there is a tendency for one of them to be left-handed.  Davey is right handed and William is left handed (Twin theory supported?)
3. Neurologists have said that left-handers are able to adjust to seeing underwater better than right-handers. Olympic swimming champion Mark Spitz happens to be a leftie.
4. There have been eight left-handed U.S. Presidents. For the record they are: James A. Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
5. Left-handed? Then you are in some interesting company. Some famous lefties past and present  include: Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Benjamin Franklin, Julius Caesar, Judy Garland, Jimmi Hendrix, Michelangelo, Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Seinfeld, Oscar de la Hoya and Babe Ruth. A much longer list can be found here.

5 surprising facts about left-handed people

Psychologists have found that lefties and righties reacted to a scary movie in sharply different ways. What else distinguishes the left-handed?

President Obama, who's left-handed, signs papers in the Oval Office: Studies suggest that lefties are more restrained decision makers than their right-handed counterparts.
President Obama, who's left-handed, signs papers in the Oval Office: Studies suggest that lefties are more restrained decision makers than their right-handed counterparts. Photo: CC BY: The White House
Human beings have been predominantly right-handed for more than 500,000 years,according to new research findings. Yet 10 to 12 percent of people prefer using their left hand — and scientists continue to probe the differences between that group and the right-handed majority, often with surprising results. Here, a look at five ways lefties are different than righties:

1. They're more affected by fear
In one recent experiment, lefties who watched an eight-minute clip from the film Silence of the Lambs exhibited more symptomsof post-traumatic stress disorder than did their right-handed counterparts. That may be because the right side of the brain, which is dominant in lefties, is more involved in the fear response, according to Dr. Carolyn Choudhary of Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, as quoted in The Telegraph. But more research is needed, Choudhary warns.

2. They're angrier
Left-handed and ambidextrous people are more susceptible to negative emotions, including anger. A small study published last year in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease found that the brains of lefties process emotions differently than those of righties, with more communication between the brain's two halves. As a result, the areas that produce negative emotions experience greater activity, according to the Daily Mail. Then again, maybe lefties are just "more angry because the world is designed for the right-handed majority," says John Cloud in TIME.

3. They're more inhibited
That emotional wiring also may explain why righties tend to charge ahead, while lefties "tend to dither," according to behavioral psychologist Lynn Wright, as quoted in NewScientist. A study performed by Wright at Abertay University in Scotland found that lefties were more restrained andmore worried about making mistakes.

4. They associate "left" with good
Most people tend to have positive associations with the concept of "right" and bad associations with "left." Lefties are the opposite. In a recent study, Stanford researcher Daniel CasasantoCasasanto says, as quoted by the Stanford Report, despite so many signals from language and culture "telling them the exact opposite."
5. They may have an advantage in politics
Casasanto's conclusions could actually favor left-handed politicians, at least in televised events like debates, says Jocelyn Rousey in Mediaite. Casasanto found that politicians tend to accompany statements they see as positive by gesturing with their dominant hands. When a rightie uses his dominant hand to give a thumbs-up, television viewers — who see the image flipped — see him gesture on the left side of their screen. The left-handed, meanwhile, "appear to be putting things in a much more positive light for the 90 percent of viewers who are right-handed."
Be gentle.

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