- It's possible that left-handers were once predominant. "A study of stone-age tools in France found that 55 percent of them were designed for left-handed use," Rutledge and Donley report. "Yet other studies (based on the excavated remains of animals) have claimed that the majority of blows inflicted on animals by prehistoric hunters were struck with the right hand."
- The basic gripe us left-handers have is that the world was designed for right-handed people. These are just some of the items Rutledge and Donley list that discriminate against left-handers: watch stems, phone booths, men's shirts, ice cream scoops, voting machines, chain saws, power saws, slot machines, playing cards, coffee mugs with imprinted messages, drinking fountains.
- Based on the above, is it any surprise that left-handers are more likely to suffer from insomnia, migraines, phobias and manic depression, are three times more likely to commit suicide, and are even more prone to alcoholism? And get this: In 1991, a study by Dr. Diane Halpern revealed that left-handers live an average of nine years less than right-handers. Chief among several reasons for the untimely demise of left-handers, according to Halpern: "... in several studies left-handers report more accidents, particularly serious accidents, probably because of the way equipment is designed for optimal use by right-handers."
- Lefty Leonardo da Vinci wrote in a minute backward script that ran from right to left. Some speculate he did this to "conceal potentially heretical thoughts about God and nature."
- Thousands of women suspected of being witches were put to death in England in the 1600s, many of them left-handed. "Left-handedness was often ... regarded as evidence of demonic possession," Rutledge and Donley report.
- The good news: a lot of very illustrious people were left-handed (we say "were" because most have already met their untimely demise), including Michelangelo, Mark Twain, Bob Dylan, Babe Ruth and Benjamin Franklin. Franklin (who invented bifocals, the lightning rod, the Franklin stove and did many other cool things plus was reputed to be quite the ladies man) sought to eliminate bias against lefties, "noting the turmoil, prejudice and rebukes that he himself had suffered ...," according to Rutledge and Donley.
- The bad news: a lot of wingnuts, whackos and general all-around bad guys were also left-handed, including Napoleon Bonaparte, Richard Simmons, the Boston Strangler and Jack the Ripper. Ripper, the notorious disemboweler, killed as many 14 women in London over a six-month period in 1888. "I am down on whores and shant quit ripping them," he cheerfully scrawled with his left hand in a letter to the press.