May 8, 2006

On going both ways

A long, long time ago I told you all that I was ambidextrous. Fascinating, no? Since I am quite clearly brain-dead and lead a non-blogworthy life, you are getting a list of random facts about ambidextrous people.

But first, let me 'splain how I am ambidextrous. I can do everything with both hands. I write better with my right but I can get by with my left. With my left hand I do the following: brush my teeth, use a mouse, staple things, answer the phone, raise my hand, tie my shoes, sweep the floor, putt, bowl, bat, and throw a ball. Also, it's been a while, but I skateboard and snowboard goofy-foot.

With my right hand, I can do all of those things, too and often I switch back and forth. The other day we played miniature golf and I tried alternating hands; I did a little better with my left handed strokes (but that's not saying much!).

Anyway, on with the list of Ambidextrous Trivia! You know, the one you have waited for your whole life.

From Wikipedia: Ambidexterity, being equally adept with each hand (or, to a limited degree, feet). The word "ambidextrous" is derived from the Latin roots ambi, meaning "both," and dext, meaning "right (as opposed to left)." Thus, "ambidextrous" is literally "right on both sides".

Famous Ambis:
Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes).
James Garfield
Shigeru Miyamoto (inventor of Donky Kong)
Harry Truman
Michael Angelo Batio
Leonardo da Vinci

I might be mentally ill or a genius:
The genes underlying handedness might also explain why our brains are asymmetrical. And left-handed or ambidextrous people are more likely to store language in the right side of the brain, are more prone to schizophrenia and, anecdotally, are more often creative or even geniuses. [emphasis mine]

A German study says I might just be brain-damaged:
On the basis of extensive diagnostic testing, the overwhelming majority of people may be clearly categorized as either right- or left-handers. The hypothesis presented and supported here is that ambidexterity which is frequently viewed as a positive attribute, is in fact either (1) the result of the converting of a left-hander (a functional brain damage); or (2) the result of perinatal cerebral damage in the dominant cerebral hemisphere.

So, naturally, since I am one curious girl, what are you: righty, lefty or do you go both ways? Comments, please!



At 13:53, Blogger Craig said...

Some of those things that favor one hand over the other also have to do with eye dominance. For example, I am left-handed. I wield both writing and eating utensils with my left hand. If I throw a ball or hit a ball, I do so right handed because my left eye is dominant.

I remember reading a study a while back that was discussing the genetics of L/R hand dominance and the basic conclusion was that a much larger portion of the population had the appropriate genes to be left-handed than the percentage of southpaws would indicate. Their conclusion was that having the genes be a lefty made you possibly left-handed and then other factors determined left, right or ambidextrous.

I've always been impressed with Pres. Garfield's ambidexterity. It's one thing to write with either hand (I had to learn that when I broke my left arm), but it's something else entirely to write with both hands at the same time, one hand writing Latin, the other writing Greek. Sure, it's not of much use except as a parlor trick, but it's pretty impressive one.

At 14:09, Blogger Richard said...

As a left handed person I have to say that I claim Davinci and Michaelangelo for my own handedness.

Cool! Another left hand mouse user. You cannot imagine how frustrating it is to have to move the mouse over after the rest of my family has been using it (although, I can use it with the right hand as well).

You can tie your shoes with one hand? I have to confess that I need both.

I definitely right with my left hand (and apparently can't spell with either). On the other hand, I use my right hand for certain precision tasks (using scissors to cut along a line, but using my left hand if I am using an exacto knife).

I don't worry about being labeled or categorized. I simply use whichever hand seems most natural. My daughter, who is a lefty too, seems to be conscious about using her left hand. My son is right handed all the way.

At 15:46, Blogger Craig said...

A couple of things I missed that I need to comment on:

I completely missed the innuendo of the title and ending question when I first read this post. I am apparently left-handed and naive.

While I am left-handed, I cannot--absolutely cannot--use a mouse with my left hand. I've tried, but it just doesn't work. I'm not sure if it was learning and using it with my right hand for so many years before I tried the left mouse or if I just can't do it. Either way, I end up looking like a fool if I try.

At 15:46, Blogger Jesse said...

You ask for comments, you get comments.

I am right handed. My left hand has one use. That use is as a paper weight. An important use to be sure.

However, I am an ambidex fist shaker. I can shake either fist with equal amounts of malice.

Also wasn't Da Vinci only pretend ambi? I was under the impression he hurt his right hand badly and had to use his left hand. However he tended to write backwards, ala a mirror image, with his left hand. This made his notes cryptic and hard to read to others. I refuse to back up these claims with fact. It's just something I recal hearing. Which means it is probably erroneous.

At 18:42, Blogger J.J. said...

No Way! I'm ambidextrous too!
I can do almost everthing with both hands. It made me so frustrated when I broke my arm because my left arm was useless. It was really the first time I'd experienced do everything with only 1 hand.
Too Cool!!

At 12:45, Blogger Ty said...

I'm a lefty who plays sports right-handed! Can't write or use scissors or those sorts of things with my right hand, but I play baseball and golf right-handed and am mouse-ambidextrous. Funnily though, I play volleyball as a crazy mix of both. On a jump hit (not quite tall enough to call it a spike) I jump like a righty, but I hit with my left hand...totally confused my clinic coach last summer...

At 12:46, Blogger Oliver said...

I'm primarily left handed - believe it or not - but I can achieve a lot with both hands. Not like you though! I only write with my left hand... and badly at that... but I play guitar, use can openers, scissors and a computer mouse with my right hand. Oh, knife and fork too.

You know who else was left handed? Julius Caesar, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and perhaps the most important of all - Jerry Seinfeld. Classic.

At 16:59, Blogger my imperfect offering said...

Damn, I'm just a boring ol' righty. All you ambidextrous folks make me GREEN with envy! ;) I always wanted to be ambidextrous as a kid and struggled and struggled to pretend that I was by writing with my left hand. (I wasn't fooling anyone, I'm sure.) Now I am motivated to go do it again....dangit!

Very cool, Q!

At 19:12, Blogger luckybuzz said...

I'm a righty--I really can't do anything at all with my left hand (actually, you wouldn't believe the things I *can't* do with my left hand...but this is a family blog, so I'll leave that to the imagination). The only thing I can do with my left hand, weirdly, is throw a perfect spiral pass with a football. How bizarre is that?

GB is mostly a lefty, but pretty ambidextrous. I'm totally jealous of the ambis.


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