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Is It A Left-Handed Compliment?

Aug 15, 2008
It's not easy to be left-handed in a right-handed world. Things like shaking hands or being helped to put on a coat can be awkward. To make their lives easier lefthanders deserve innovations like notepads that tear from the right, doors that open from the right and toilets that flush on the right. They deserve August 13th to be celebrated as Lefthanders Day. We need to give lefties a hug - remembering, of course, that hugs can be awkward too. We need to remember that for left-handed people things will never be all right.

Yes, things like can openers, scissors and stick shifts can be hard for left-handed people to use; but maybe that makes them more determined people. Maybe that's why five of the last seven presidents have been lefties. Then again, maybe it's because a different type of creativity is linked to left-handedness. Left-handers supposedly use more symbolism and visual imagery when they speak, which supposedly makes them more inspiring speakers. Unfortunately, that theory can't be tested in the 2008 presidential election because both John McCain and Barack Obama are left-handed.

Something that is fact and not theory is that southpaws have an advantage in sports when they play against right-handers. Only 10% of the population are lefties, but 25% of baseball players are and this included Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Tony Gwynn and Barry Bonds. In basketball lefties like Bill Russell can block righties' shots. In tennis the ball spins differently off a left-hander's racket. Rod Laver, John McEnroe. Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova and Roger Nadal are all left-handed. Obviously when it comes to sports, left-handers don't have to feel left - out.

Now snails don't have to feel left out. Snails are considered left-handed if their shell curves to the left. When a Yale University biologist studied 2,000 snail fossils, he discovered that right-handed shells had many more scars on them. From that he deduced that righties were attacked more by crabs. When the biologist put both types of snails in an aquarium, he discovered that crabs, because their right claws are larger than their left claws, have a harder time picking up southpaw snails. The crabs would get frustrated and try to pick up a different snail. Although this experiment proved that left-handed snails have a survival advantage, it raised another question. If lefties are better able to survive, why aren't there more of them?
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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