Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Archivists and Presidents - Left Handers

I am left-handed. Many years ago, I was in Boston for a high school conference (Model United Nations trip to Harvard) and during some free time, I went shopping and came across a store that catered to the left-handed. I am fond of the saying that goes, "If the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, then only left-handed people are in their right minds." I used to have a mug that said so.

My mother was also left-handed and used to tell stories about being persuaded to change. Growing up, she was made to write with her right hand, but it didn't take. She wanted to learn to knit but her favorite aunt refused to teach her to knit left-handed so she learned to knit right-handed.

President Obama is also left-handed. I have noticed sometimes when he signs his name he has that over-the-top curl, which I don't have (and neither did my mother). In the modern era of the ball-point pen, it is less of an issue (less smudging), but I don't know how my mother made out.

I have also noticed that in my profession, there are an inordinate number of left-handed archivists. I don't know what that says, but there it is. And here's a list of facts about being left-handed.
  • According to Scientific American, 15% of people are left-handed. Males are twice as likely to be left handed than females.
  • Left-handers are more likely to be geniuses. 20% of all MENSA members report being left-handed.
  • A study found left-handed men are, on average, 15% richer than right-handed men for those who attended college and 26% richer if they graduated.
  • Left-handed people are three times more likely than right-handed people to become alcoholics.
  • If both parents are left-handed, 50% of their offspring will be left-handed. Two righties have only a 2% chance of having a lefty. (I've been working on SoBA, who tends to bat from the left. That formula sort of works - 50% of my parents were left handed, so 25% of their kids should be left-handed, right? That's me.)
  • Psychologists from Queen's University Belfast found that female cats are more likely to be right-pawed, while male cats tend to be left-pawed.
  • Lefties are more likely than righties to really, really hate spiral notebooks. (Yes we do.)
  • Research conducted by Dr. Nick Cherbuin shows that lefties are better at handling large amounts of stimuli, making them naturally better at playing video games. (Well that explains a lot.)
  • Statistically, the older a mother is, the more likely she is to give birth to left-handed children.
  • Left-handers are believed to reach puberty 4 to 5 months after right-handers.
  • Only 50% of lefties report using a computer mouse with their left hands.. Similarly, 68% use their right hand for scissors and 74% hold a dinner knife in their right hands. (Raising my hand, my left hand, but even so.)
  • 4 of the 5 original designers of the Apple Mac computer were left-handed. [In addition to President Obama], three of the past five presidents were left-handed (Clinton, and Bush 41).
  • According to one study, lefties have an average lifespan that is nine years fewer than that of righties. (Well, that's depressing.)


C in DC said...

My grandfather was ambidextrous, my father a leftie, and my sister a leftie. Still waiting to see if A. is really a leftie or not.

Brave Astronaut said...

I'm holding on to the possibility that I got 50% of mine too.