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Happy Left-Handers Day!

writing left handedHey, all you south paws around the's your day.

Every year, the world's population of left-handed people - about 10 percent - are honored on August 13th when everybody stops to consider what it's like being a lefty.

This year, International Left-Handers Day is celebrated on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.

What makes lefties special

Living in a right-handed world means you're set apart from nearly 90% of the population.

You're also most likely to be creative, if only because you have to have your wits about you. That's especially true when handling right-handed soup ladles or carving knives - which can turn into a very dangerous endeavor in the kitchen if you're not clever.

Of course, it could be worse. Back in the day, teachers were still rapping the knuckles of any student writing with their left hand in a misguided effort to help them fit in. It rarely worked, and only increased the frustation level of a challenged minority.

Lefties tend to think out of the box

Today, research studies have proven that being left-handed nevertheless comes with handy benefits.

For example, left-handed people are more apt to have leadership abilities having had to forge their own way. Modern day American presidents like Clinton and Obama are both left-handed. Lefties are more likely to use the right sides of their brains, as well. That usually means they often have increased aptitude for math, science, and architecture.

Famous lefties include tennis star Rafael Nadal, actor Tom Cruise, President Barack Obama, and actress Angelina Jolie.

So it should really be no surprise that Albert Einstein was a famous southpaw. The math genius is joined by artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and M.C. Escher who were all expert at spatial relationships.

Musical abilities are also heightened in lefties, illustrated by an unusual number of musicians (everyone from Kurt Cobain to Beethoven) who have been left-handed.

kermit, left-hander
Another famous leftie.

Other famous lefties include baseball pitchers Ron Guidry, Whitey Ford, and Tommy John; tennis champs Martina Navratilova, Rafael Nadal, and John McEnroe; and Olympic greats Dorothy Hammil and and Mark Spitz.

Celebrities famous for being left-handed run the gamut from Robert DeNiro, Angelina Jolie, and Tom Cruise, to Nicole Kidman, Robert Redford, and Keanu Reeves.

Another famous star leftie? It's none other than Kermit the Frog, which kind of makes Muppet sense: It's not that easy being left-handed.

DID YOU KNOW? More Left-Handers Day fun facts

turn left sign• According to one study left-handers are generally more intelligent and apt to have higher IQs compared to the rest of the population.

Left-handers are likely to make more money than right-handers. According to one study south paws can expect a 15% bump in riches, 26% if they graduated college.

• The Incas thought left-handers were possessed of magical abilities and healing powers. The North American Zuni tribe believed left-handedness signified good luck.

• Cats, dogs, and monkeys all show some handedness (or pawedness). But it is the parrot that shows a distinct preference with a surprising 90% using their left foot for picking things up or manipulating objects.

• Throughout history, southpaw baseball pitchers, tennis players, and left-handed swordsmen have been the most feared of any opponent. The reason? When battling left-handed opponents, rIght-handed athletes often get confused about where the next strike might come from!

• And speaking of southpaws, where did the term "southpaw" originate? Traditionally, the word is assumed to have begun with left-handed baseball pitchers. But its origins appear to date back much further - to the early 1800's - when southpaw simply meant an unexpected turn of events.

More about National Left-Handers Day around the Web:

62 Interesting Facts about Left-Handedness and Left-Handed People - If trivia and fun facts are your thing, turn left here.

Handedness - Wikipedia - Check out facts and related resources for more on the science and history of left-handedness.

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