December 26, 2007

Planner for Lefties

A Reader wrote:

As a lefty, one of the most frustrating things for me is the lack of tools designed for left-handed people. Specifically, anything having to do with writing (I'm an over-the-top writer) becomes a challenge.

As such, I designed a planner especially for lefties. It uses discs instead of rings so the pages lay completely flat, and the discs are out of the way. Also, it uses mind mapping instead of lists, which I've found works with how I think better.

You can find it at I think your readers will appreciate this product.

December 20, 2007

Left-Handed Discrimination?!

A Reader wrote:

I'm currently signed up with Express Personnel, a temp.-hire. Their office in Gresham,OR (suburb outside Portland, where I live) called me yesterday offering a long-term assignment at a fabrication facility. Nothing I hadn't done before.
The dispatcher ran down some of the qualifications for the job, including the use of machines, including drills & table saws. But the "deal-breaker" was that I was LEFT-HANDED! Apparently, & this is according to her, the machines, for some very odd reason, are so precise that they can only be used by people who are RIGHT-HANDED. These machines cannot be adjusted to accommodate someone who's left-handed - apparently this is how the damned things were designed.

Now, warehousing/industrial/manufacturing/assembly/production is my work history, so I've been around, & handled A LOT of different types of machinery. But never have I heard of any equipment that was so user sensitive that they could ONLY be used by RIGHT-HANDED workers, & that such equipment couldn't even be re-adjusted for a worker who just might happen to be LEFT-HANDED!

Bottom line is, I was DENIED job placement for no other conceivable reason in the world, other than the fact that I'm left-handed. I really don't know how else to put it.

Thing is, I've been in a real rough spot as of late. I've been out of work for 3 WEEKS now & have had a Hell of a time trying to get any work. And I was just told that I wouldn't receeve a long-term job assignment all because i am left-handed?! Wtf? I've never even heard of such a thing!

I have a question that might possibly (I'm hoping) be answered by someone who reads this: Is there a LEGAL president for such a thing? Is it actually legal to discriminate against someone because they're LEFT-HANDED?

December 18, 2007

Left-Handed Guitar

Playing the guitar is one of the most popular topics here. Ben Willis has an interesting blog that explains how lefties can play a right-handed guitar without modifying the instrument. See

December 5, 2007


A Reader wrote:

Hi everyone. I'm a foreign student who is currently studying in America. When I first came to the USA it was ok, I made some friends and people were very impressed by my speaking skills, 'cause they said I did not have any accent, stuff like that and I made some great accomplishments by getting into my school's student leadership program, and some teachers were very impressed by thoughtful answers.

Anyway, as time passed I have been not feeling well, I felt very out of place, and the friends I made felt very superficial, and I felt I could not trust them. Then when I got more separated from them I felt it is very difficult for me get close to people again, I did not shy away from some random conversations. Then I felt like I wanted to be acknowledged but when I got the acknowledgment I did not want that and I just backed away.

As time progressed I found myself with no true friend here, but that is not the issue, and then I started losing interest in what I was doing, like my studies went down. I felt very terrified to approach teachers and ask them questions to help me out with problems so on. And then I stopped doing my lessons at all. I felt nothing, I felt so empty. I felt nothing will fill the void inside of me. Then one day I did not go to school at all I just stayed in bed the whole day, it felt so comfortable yet also at same time not very assuring, and I felt more comfortable staying home so basically I started not going out at all for few days. And deep inside something was eating me, I did not even want to share this info with my family or my close friends, I felt they would not understand.

And there were days I thought things that were not pleasant, I felt jealousy towards and hatred towards someone I love, and sometimes I thought of living all alone not worrying about anything, and there was one time when I thought about ending my life.

That's when I went to a therapist, and I was diagnosed with depression.

I just want to know did anyone ever felt same things as i did, wanted to be alone, felt nobody would understand me (not in a EMO way), or thought about taking your life. 'Cause I heard on many occasions that left handed people are more prone to diseases similar to depression.


December 1, 2007

Credit, Copyright, Etc.

readingWhen quoting material from books, websites, or other sources, please remember to include the author and the name of the work. This is important because people are entitled to credit for their work and also because members who are doing research need to know where this information comes from.

Also, please remember to keep direct quotations brief. It is fair to quote short passages (a sentence or two) from someone else's work if you are reviewing the work or if you are using it to validate a point of discussion. (You still need to include the reference.) But longer passages should not be copied. You can include a link to a website so that other people can read it for themselves, or include the name and author of a book that others might want to read, along with a short summary, in your own words, of what it's about.

Please remember this portion of our posting policy: "You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless you own the copyright or have the owner’s explicit permission." Note that you may quote very short passages as described above, but posts containing longer passages are subject to removal without notice.

November 15, 2007

Lefty with writing pain

A Reader wrote:

I had always had decent handwriting. However, upon entering college 10 years ago, I started writing with the hook, because I had to take notes so fast. Over the years, my writing has become increasingly sloppy and painful. My wrist is in pain if I hook it to write. However, if I don't use the hook, the writing is sloppier than with it (its not too legible either way). This is becoming more and more of a problem and can be really embarrassing when filling out a form that someone can't read. Are there any suggestions on how to help increase the strength in my wrist and decrease the pain of writing. Also, is there a way to work on getting my handwriting back to normal? I would appreciate any suggestions.

November 7, 2007

Left Handers Quicker Thinkers?

Here's a link to an article citing research that suggests the brains of left-handers may be better at processing some kinds of information and may fare better in old age. Are left-handers quicker thinkers than righties?

October 11, 2007

Stay with left or start with right?

A Reader wrote:

My son is 8 years old and I don't know if he is left handed or right handed. He writes with his left hand and does everything else with his right hand. His writing is sloppy and slow. He is very talented in math and he is at his level in reading. I asked his doctor for advice and his doctor told me to start training him to write with his right hand. So I tried and he complained it's too difficult. When he writes he angles his wrist so he can see what he writes, this bothers me because I'm afraid he might have wrist problems in the future. I don't mind if he is a lefty because I have a sister who is left handed and she is doing well in college. What should I do? Train him to write with his right hand or let him continue writing with his left hand?

September 18, 2007


A Reader wrote:

A few years ago, I decided to learn how to play guitar. I am a lefty. Luckily, I was able to find a guitar shop that special ordered me a left handed guitar. Being from the same home town as Jimi Hendrix, you'd think I would have had an easier time at it. I encountered a few sales clerks who told me I should just play right handed because its easier. Luckily, that is the only instance in which someone has tried to switch my handedness and I was required to defend my handedness. It would be an interesting experiment if a righty had to adapt to a left hand dominated world.

September 4, 2007

Reading: is it just me?

A Reader wrote:

Hi all you southpaws. What a fun and informative site. Thanks.

Okay, I have to admit this right away. I am one mixed up dude. I'm not ambidextrous, but I do things with either hand. To be more specific, I am left-handed and right-armed.

When I throw a ball, bowl, play tennis or any other activity that involves using my shoulder and hand, I am a righty. When I write or eat or do anything that doesn't involve the shoulder to a great degree, I am a lefty.

As with a number of people who've written here, I don't find that I'm very imaginative or artistic. I've had my moments in both areas, but it is not my natural inclination.

Probably the most disconcerting thing I've always attributed to being a lefty is my inability to read and comprehend easily. I always got good grades in school, but I attribute this to having an excellent memory, rather than any great reading ability.

I remember taking a speed reading course in high school and getting absolutely nowhere. I could never develop the ability to view a large number of words at a time and getting its meaning. When I was a child, we heard about then President Kennedy's ability to read at some fantastic rate like 17,000 words per minute and when I couldn't grasp more than a couple hundred a minute, I felt like a failure.

Long story short, I was never much of a reader because it wasn't very easy for me to read quickly. It can take me a very long time to read an entire book. Now as I get older, I want to read more and what I want to read usually involves scientific or philosophical concepts. The upshot of this is that I find myself re-reading a paragraph a number of times to get its meaning. This might not be unusual, but I also find myself re-reading magazine articles, more because I can't stay focused than because I don't understand what I'm reading.

Sometimes, I attribute this to mild dyslexia, or perhaps a touch of ADHD, or even simply a lazy mind.

What I'm wondering, then, is do other lefties find reading difficult? If so, have you discovered any methods of improving this?

Mixed-Up Man

June 13, 2007


A Reader wrote:

Ever since I was able to write, I have been left-handed. It wasn't until I was maybe 7 when an anomaly occurred. I began to play baseball. Ever since I first picked up a ball, I was able to throw right-handed. No one forced me to throw right-handed nor did the task seem complicated. It seemed just as natural as water flowing. I never really questioned it until a couple of years ago. When I wanted to know why I am able to write left-handed and not right, but in sports like baseball, basketball, and soccer, my right side is better with handling sports. I recently read an article from a website that gave characteristics of both right handed and left handed people. The strange thing about it is that I have a majority of both characteristics of both handedness. I don't know if this makes a difference or not, but ever since I was 9 I have excelled in math. It wasn't until a couple years later when I noticed I was excelled in English. I was wondering if I am ambidextrous or just an anomaly among left-handed people.

May 7, 2007

SmudgeGuard review


Rosemary has kindly invited me to post a link to my review of the SmudgeGuard over at, a product she herself looked at last year. I hope it's of some interest to you.

We're also running a competition with three SmudgeGuards as prizes; all we want is a little artistic talent demonstrated...

Thanks for your time,

Chris Davies

April 12, 2007

Forcing Children to Switch

This question comes up again and again. I am constantly amazed that in the 21st century, in a supposedly enlightened civilization, there are still people who think it's a good idea to force a left-handed child to switch to the right hand.

Help!I've been operating the Left-Handed Page for many years and have heard from thousands of people, left-handers of all kinds, as well as researchers, writers, teachers and parents.

I have never come across any subject of forced switching who claims to be glad he was switched. Most describe it as misguided at best, and as vicious child abuse at worst. Many excuse and forgive their parents for having forced them, because they see that the parents were either well-meaning or simply ignorant. But that does not make the victim feel any better about the experience and its aftermath. While a small minority seems able to switch without difficulty, this is not typical. Again and again, I hear from people who say that having been forced to switch caused problems that bothered them for the rest of their lives. Physical awkwardness is a recurring problem, preventing the person from doing well at sports, interfering with the ability to use tools, contributing to bad handwriting, and causing the person to be tense and easily fatigued. Some report mild to moderate learning disabilities, difficulty thinking, social problems, emotional isolation, etc. Surely a loving parent would not want this for his child.

April 10, 2007

Hidden Handedness

This book was inspired by a letter the author received from Dr. Oliver Sacks in 1999 advising that the story contained in these pages needed to be told in a book length account. "Hidden Handedness" treats an untouched subject; the story of what really happens when a child's natural handedness is reversed, and the incredible consequences of making the return journey as an adult. The premise of the book is that millions of humans are neurologically "detoured" by handedness reversals - that they become something that they would not otherwise be - submergees. The author tells what it was like to return from the submergee state by becoming left-handed again, to become an emergee. In addition to experiencing a wonderful "awakening" of body and mind, the search for others with similar histories and resources turned into the quest, one that led to the challenge from Sacks and other professionals who heard the story, and asked that this book be written.

March 29, 2007

Not a Lefty?

I've moved Ronald Reagan from the list of left-handers to the "Not a Lefty" section. The official website of the Ronald Reagan Library describes him as "generally right- handed", whatever that means. Some researchers state that his handedness was switched in childhood. I've also moved Fidel Castro and Bob Dylan to the "Ambidextrous" section, based on information from a variety of public sources.

March 8, 2007

How to Tie Your Shoes

Here is a clear depiction of shoe-tying from both a right-handed and a left-handed perspective.