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Monday, August 13, 2007

Being Left-Handed: Is it all it's crack up to be?

As a sufferer of this infirmity, I think it wise to say that we all have certain skills endow to us by The Creator (that crackhead-like presence that made this vast universe on this plane of existence.) But the advantages of being left-handed are outweighed by these things:

  1. We die quicker. According to some study I read (well, heard about) we kick off 3-5 years before our right-hand brethren. I guess the stress of using scissors, school desks, screws, doors, watches, mouses, guitars (predominately right strung) and driving stick shifts, get all us lefties ready for a dirt nap sooner.

See quote below:

Handedness is a characteristic, obviously complex in its causation, that may prove amenable to analysis of genetic contribution when a full gene map has been developed (Williamson, 1986). It is a behavioral trait that may be a model for other behavioral traits, normal and abnormal. The observation that the proportion of left-handers in populations decreases with age, diminishing from 13% in 20-year-olds to less than 1% in 80-year-olds, led to the suggestion that sinistrality may be associated with decreased life span.

Reduced longevity in left-handers was also suggested by an archival study of records on 2,271 major-league baseball players (Halpern and Coren, 1988). In a questionnaire study of deceased persons identified through death certificates, Halpern and Coren (1991) found significantly more left-handers than right-handers among those who had died in accidents--a result consistent with earlier findings. Age of death in general was lower in left-handers and mixed-handers than in right-handers of either sex. Halpern and Coren (1991) stated that it is likely that the correlates of sinistrality, not sinistrality itself, are responsible for the increased risk; left-handedness may indicate covert neuropathologic features.

We are more likely to have schizophrenia or other "disorders" of the peanut...For some reason, going crazy is a left-hand disease. If not wrong (I could be) I believe the word left in Latin, Greek or Spanish carries evil (Sinister) connotations. So way back when, our ancestors decided that being left was being no good. Sucks doesn't it?

From the same source:

Schizophrenia (181500) and non-right-handedness are moderately associated, and both traits are often accompanied by abnormalities of asymmetrical brain morphology or function. Francks et al. (2003) found that in a sample of 191 reading-disabled sib pairs, the relative hand skill of sibs was correlated more strongly with paternal than maternal relative hand skill (p = 0.0000037 for paternal identity-by-descent sharing). Similarly, in affected sib-pair analysis of 241 schizophrenic sib pairs, the authors found linkage to schizophrenia for paternal sharing (lod = 4.72, p = 0.0000016) within 3 cM of the peak linkage to relative hand skill. Francks et al. (2003) suggested that the causative genetic effects on chromosome 2p12-q11 may be related, and they proposed that these linkages may be due to a single maternally imprinted influence on lateralized brain development that contains common functional polymorphisms.

3. DNA is right-handed. So that sucks too.

Anyways, August could be deemed Universal (national) left-hander month. It fits, since August is the only month that has 31 days after one with 31 days (July.)

To remember the days in the month, use your knuckles and spaces counting from the left and ending before the space to your thumb.

Please comment on your handedness. The more lefties I hear from, the better. Of course, lefthand people are said to be in their "right" mind. I'd probably be excluded from that group...

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