Saturday, October 6, 2007

Hi, my name is Clyde. I'm left-handed.

I always note how many left-handed people are in a group. I was training faculty yesterday in New England – seemed to be at least three out of 25. Could have been more, but that exceeds the 10% in the general population, particularly when you add me. Four out of 26 is 15%. (I’ve seen general population numbers claiming that we be up to 25%, but I have never encountered anything close to one in four – and I’ve been looking!)

The most obvious mark is choice of hand in writing. Something I use that seems highly reliable but not foolproof is placement of jewelry on wrists and fingers. You people put your watch on your left wrist; we reverse it, generally. T’aint much more annoying than writing with a watch on the same wrist – gets caught on everything and makes noise. The same logic extends to bracelets and rings.

I’m the only left-hander up and down my genetic pool for one generation – that’s three generations inclusive. I am told that one other person – maternal grandmother’s twin brother – was left-handed, but that is it for that generation on both sides. So four generations yielded two people. Pretty small harvest.

I should be on the Endangered Species List. I wonder if I can get a National Park Ranger to follow me around in bars and arrest people with whom I get into fights. I could be entry #1239 on the Endangered Species List (Animals). I’d be classified under “Vertebrate Animals: Mammals,” in this species list. I would be among such animals as the Chinese alligator, giant sable antelope, African wild ass, the Mexican grizzly bear, and the koala. Pop quiz: Why are all of these animals endangered? Because they taste good.

The Delta (CA) Smelt is on the list. I think I remember that on the menu when I lived in California. Guess it was pretty popular! It’s all in the preparation: hot pan, little EVOO and garlic, very light breading, squeeze a freshly cut lemon over them when you plate on a bed of arugula, and be sure to have a thinly sliced and warmed sourdough on the side.

Isn’t putting the Brazilian three-toed sloth on the list a contradiction? I thought all these bleeding hearts were God-less in the sense that Darwin knows better how all this evolution thing works and that ain’t nuttin been “created.” Let’s set aside the patent illogic of the position: Darwin wrote of evolution – one thing became another – which presupposed the existence of that “one thing.” Creationism says, “here is where that one thing came from.” The two positions have nothing to do with one another. Besides that, not a shred of evidence exists for macro-evolution – species to species, only micro – intra-species. Don’t get me started on irreducibly complex systems and Darwin’s own renunciation of his theory.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, the three-toed sloth is stupid and ugly. It deserves to become extinct. Just like the guy that zoomed past me yesterday at 95 MPH yesterday on Route 95 in NY in some car held together by duct tape. The whine of his engine made me think of a lawnmower about to go super nova – or a Viagra-induced pocket rocket cranking into its fifth hour. The only question in my mind was whether I would see the guy and the “car” a few miles down the road in a thousand pieces none bigger than a softball or something vaguely resembling an Uncle Buck pancake. Fortunately, I exited to the Tappen Zee Bridge; I dislike seeing survival of the fittest in action.

So the bleeders in this world create the Endangered Species List and mess with Darwin, yet we can’t pray before a football game – go figure.

Here’s a great fact: In 2007, researchers discovered LRRTM1, the first gene linked to increased odds of being left-handed. The researchers also claim that possessing this gene slightly raises the risk of psychotic mental illnesses. The principal researcher? Clyde Francks. A coincidence? There is no such thing as coincidences, just unknown connections.

Now, what the hell is this crack about “psychotic mental illness”? WTF do they think they are talking about? I get so fricking angry when people think they can much broad statements – because they are jealous, yeah, that’s right, JEALOUS - just because I can use my left hand like a standing-erect homo sapien! You people are pathetic. Condemning someone because of an immutable characteristic. It’s ok to be gay; it’s ok to be a heroin addict or an alcoholic; it’s even ok for Johnny to have his dick surgically removed so he can become Joan. But, hey, pick up a pen with your left hand and you’re labeled psychotic! F*CK YOU PEOPLE! A**HOLES!! YOU CAN KISS MY A**! HERE! JAMMIES DOWN, BENT OVER! KISS IT! NOW!!! PECKERHEAD! I HATE YOU, WITH A WELL-CONSIDERED DEEP LOATHING, I JUST HATE YOU. HERE’S MY LAWNMOWER, A ROLL OF DUCT TAPE, AND A MAP – GO FIND AN INTERSTATE! IF I'M PSYCHOTIC THEN I WANT A HANDICAP LICENSE PLATE SO I CAN ENTER AND EXIT QUICKLY AND YOU PEOPLE WON'T HAVE TO LOOK ME! WHERE'S THE PHONE BOOK? I WANT TO CALL MY CONGRESSMAN!

I have to take my meds. I’ll be right back.

Alright, better. It’s a pretty day outside, isn’t it? I love how flowers look in early fall. So soft and cuddly! I want to nap in them. I’ll get my stuffed mouse and blankey later, and use the flowers as my pillow and dream of clouds and the Moon and walking on the beach. Smile soooo big!!!!

So 92% of left-handers use their left hand to hold their toothbrush. I’ve hurt my left hand and had to use the other one – felt like someone was cramming something into my mouth with all the grace of a speed boat chewing up a three-toed sloth. Almost a third of us use scissors with the wrong hand – I am not included in that group of traitors. But a good point is made – society makes its tools for wrong-handed people: Scissors, watches, can openers, even the angle on spatulas. Here’s a good source for thoughtfully designed items. Do you realize tape measures are wrong-handed? Think about it. You designers are a bunch of pricks. I better double up on my meds. brb …


I lifted this text from here: “Some researchers claim that we are more intelligent and eloquent that our right-handed counterparts. In tests conducted by Dr. Alan Searleman from St Lawrence University in New York, he found that left-handers can be considerably more intellectually gifted.

“There were more left-handed people with IQs over 140 than right-handed people – which is the ‘genius’ bracket. This is perhaps why there are more ‘lefties’ in creative professions – such as music, art and writing – and more left-handed astronauts and leaders than would be expected.”

More – on an absolute basis – lefties than wrongies with high IQs. Interesting. Let’s presume “more” is 6 out of 10. I found this reference to IQ frequency: 1% are 135 or over. “135” is close enough to “140.”

Assume a general population of 1,000 people: 100 are left; 900 are wrong; 10 are “genius.” (You following me? Able to keep up? Maybe there’s a left-hander around that could help you.)

If 60% of the 10 are left, that is 6 geniuses in the left-handed population; the wrong group is the remaining 4. (Still with me?)

6 out of 100 base left population are geniuses, or 6%. 4 out of the 900 base wrong population are geniuses, or 0.4%. So, we are 13.5X more likely to be … well, I hope even you can figure out the end to that sentence.

Kinda explains the crack about there being a “fine line” between genius and insanity, eh? I got no problem with that. Let me know if I need to explain to you. Who you labeling with that word “insanity”?

Some interesting people that were correct-handed: Napoleon, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Ramses II, Queen Victoria, Helen Keller, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Euell Gibbons (the “many parts of the pine tree are edible” guy who died of a heart attack at age 64; guess there’s more cholesterol in trees than is generally reported), and me. Another list: Billy the Kid, John Dillinger, the Boston Strangler, and Jack the Ripper. My homies. Bad-ass boys just acting out. I bet if there were more thoughtful household-product designers through history, these guys would not have been angry. Think about it. All Jack ever wanted was to do was to pick up a surgical instrument that cut from right to left. Simple. But, noooo! Just can’t design it that way, can we? You people think we have forges to create our own stuff! You make me sick. I would just as soon ta … MEDIC!

Mmmm. Much better. I’ve never tripled up on my meds before. This could get interesting.

Did you see that? It was purple. Had yellow spots. It looked right at me and smiled. Does it know something? Why would it smile at me? Wait a sec … what? What did you say? No, I am not hungry right now, but thank you. Alright, I will. I guess a banana sounds good. Would you like one? Here you go. Oh, let me open it for you. I am sorry that I didn’t see your lack of arms. Yes, it is good. I am so glad you sugges …. Zzzz zzzz zzzz …

{Sniff}, {cough}, {hick-up}, {burp} Oh, hey, I’m back. Must have dozed off for a second. Where was I?

Remember the 10% of the general pop that is left-handed? It seems that 25% of the general pop that s-s-s-st-stut-ters is l-l-left h-ha-handed. I am included in that group. I used to stutter involuntarily a lot. I thought it began when I was five years old and got run over by a bus in Scranton – well, not run over, the clown hit me and I flew some distance. It was 1964 or 1965. He carried my unconscious body into my house, gave me to the biological fount, and left – “Sure am sorry, ma’am. Hope your boy is ok.” “B-b-b-bye, M-m-mr. B-b-b-bus D-dr-driver. T-t-th-thanks f-f-f-for h-h-it-ting m-m-me.” I use stuttering purposefully now when I speak in front of crowds; it tends to interrupt people’s wanderings – they refocus on me. I still stutter involuntarily, but only when my emotions are crushed and my lifeless heart is left for dead.

I shouldn’t overlook the basic stuff: a left-handed person has the right hemisphere of their brain control their intellectual processes; a wrong-handed person has the left hemisphere dominate.

The left hemisphere (yous guys) has a unique functional profile. Sequential Analysis: systematic, logical interpretation of information. Interpretation and production of symbolic information: language, mathematics, abstraction and reasoning. Memory stored in a language format.

The right hemisphere (us) has its functional profile. Holistic Functioning: processing multi-sensory input simultaneously to provide "holistic" picture of one's environment. Visual spatial skills. Holistic functions such as dancing and gymnastics are coordinated by the right hemisphere. Memory is stored in auditory, visual and spatial modalities.

So I see the world in intellectual 3D. Must suck to be you.

I’m gonna sit back and construct a model in my head to minimize line loss in the transport of electricity to remote areas – I am curious whether utilizing thermal protections naturally occurring three to six feet underground will have a statistically significant impact vis-à-vis running conveyance media above ground. I would think that increased installation costs would be offset by decreased maintenance. What's the breakeven for loss recapture to make this worthwhile? I've always thought that low-voltage thermal tape can be a net gain - what if you moderated the temperature inside the encasement to even 40 degrees F? You could balance depth (and initial cost) of installation with low-voltage thermal supplementation. I think roadways should be contructed with the same ability to heat above freezing - easy enough to make the flows sufficiently redundant to handle frost heave and other movement. Think of the saved costs in property and humans from removing the variable of ice from roadways. Let me think of this some more - why don’t you lean forward, pick up the remote with your right hand, and watch some TV?


  1. I went to Catholic school for three years. The Nuns would smack you, if they caught you using your left hand. I was left handed and would do homework left handed and then I got busted for that. I didn't realize that they could tell by the way I wrote, from the slant and all. My Mom threatened to break my fingers, if I was caught again, using my left hand. I was kinda ambidextrous. But what's pathetic is I an clearly remember the Nuns saying that only criminals and psychpaths, use their left hand.

    If you think about it, that's some crazy shit, how those nuns handled things.

  2. I too am left-handed. But I wear my watch on the left wrist, perhaps because everyone around me (the right handers) were doing that. But I hold my tooth brush with the left. But play cricket (India's national obsession). I too had written a post on being left handed: