International Left Handers Day

Posted on Thursday 11 August 2011 at 06:41 am in category: Whatever
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Related link: Left Handers' Day - Celebrate your right to be left handed

He can't be wrong - he's left handed!

This Saturday, like every year on August 13th since 1976, is International Left Handers' Day. A club of left handed people started this initiative to raise awareness about some serious issues that left handers need to deal with on a daily basis in this world that is dominated (in numbers at least) by right handed people.

I myself am left handed, and going to school when I was a kid, it was pretty unique. It wasn't until I was older and attended Hogeschool Rotterdam en Omstreken that I realized that among my fellow engineering students there was a pretty large amount of left handers.

So what are these problems that left handed people are faced with every day? We all know about the problem with scissors and stuff like that of course, but there is so much more that you right handed people do not even realize.

Look at this picture for example:

Right handed coffee machine

This is our coffee-maker in the office. To me it is clear that this was put there by a right handed person. You cannot stand in front of this machine, and operate it comfortably with your left hand, because on the right side of the machine is a wall. Of course, left handed people solve this by operating it with their - awkward - right hand, resulting in coffee stains and other injuries. Which is why I prefer somebody else makes coffee.

Now, if you let a left-hander build a toolbench, for example, you end up with this: 

Workbench for left handers

As you can see, my vise is all the way on the left side of the workbench. This drives my right handed dad & brother insane when they are here and try to use it. That's how I've felt my whole life.

Other examples are: can-openers, knives, 'ergonomical' computer equipmenttape measures

I'm lucky enough to be able to operate a computer mouse with my right hand (I actually prefer it that way, so I can smoke, eat & drink with my left hand while I mouse around), but some people aren't that lucky. Take Jimi Hendrix for example. he played the guitar left handed, but couldn't get a left handed guitar when he was young. So he just played a right handed guitar, upside-down.

Over the last few decades, the number of left handed people seems to be rising though. So pretty soon, everybody that is right handed will have to deal with left handed products!

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