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Unleashing the Power of Left-Handedness: Exploring the Advantages of Being Left-Handed

Unleashing the Power of Left-Handedness: Exploring the Advantages of Being Left-Handed

Left-handedness, a natural phenomenon that has intrigued scientists and societies for centuries, refers to the preference of using the left hand over the right hand for various activities. Approximately 10% of the global population is left-handed, making it a relatively rare trait. While left-handedness is often seen as a unique and intriguing characteristic, it has also been associated with certain advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will delve into the advantages of being left-handed, explore its presence in different cultures, examine famous left-handed individuals, discuss its impact on sports, address the challenges and misconceptions surrounding left-handedness, explore the concept of ambidextrousness, and highlight specialized products and tools for left-handed individuals.

The advantages of being left-handed

Being left-handed can provide individuals with various advantages. One significant advantage is enhanced creativity. Studies have shown that left-handed individuals tend to have a more developed right brain hemisphere, which is associated with creativity and artistic abilities. This may explain why a significant number of artists, musicians, and writers are left-handed. Additionally, left-handed individuals often possess increased problem-solving skills and are adept at thinking outside the box, which can be advantageous in many professional fields.

Another advantage of being left-handed is improved spatial reasoning. Left-handed individuals typically have a more developed right parietal cortex, which is responsible for spatial awareness and visualization. This enhanced spatial reasoning can be beneficial in activities such as architecture, engineering, and sports that require precise coordination and understanding of spatial relationships.

Left-handedness has also been linked to better multitasking abilities. Research suggests that left-handed individuals have a higher degree of interhemispheric connectivity, allowing for more efficient communication between the brain’s two hemispheres. This enhanced connectivity enables left-handed individuals to excel in tasks that require simultaneous processing of multiple sources of information, such as driving while talking on the phone or multitasking in a fast-paced work environment.

Left-handedness in different cultures

Throughout history, left-handedness has been viewed differently across various cultures. In some cultures, being left-handed was considered taboo or associated with negative connotations, leading to discrimination and attempts to convert left-handed individuals to right-handedness. However, in other cultures, left-handedness was celebrated and considered a sign of uniqueness and special abilities.

For example, ancient Egyptians believed that left-handedness was a divine characteristic, associating it with the goddess Isis. In certain African cultures, left-handed individuals were believed to possess spiritual powers and were revered as healers or shamans. In contrast, many Western societies historically viewed left-handedness as a sign of evil or witchcraft, leading to societal pressure to convert left-handed individuals to right-handedness.

Fortunately, the perception of left-handedness has evolved over time, with greater acceptance and recognition of its natural occurrence. Today, many cultures celebrate left-handedness and highlight the advantages and unique qualities associated with being left-handed.

Famous left-handed individuals

Left-handedness has been prevalent among numerous famous individuals throughout history. From artists and athletes to politicians and scientists, left-handedness has not hindered the success of these individuals but has often contributed to their achievements. Some notable left-handed actors include Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, and Julia Roberts, who have captivated audiences with their exceptional acting skills and charisma.

In the realm of music, left-handed musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, and Kurt Cobain have left an indelible mark on the world of music with their innovative styles and groundbreaking compositions. Their left-handedness brought a unique perspective to their craft, contributing to their iconic status in the music industry.

From a scientific standpoint, left-handed individuals such as Albert Einstein and Marie Curie have made significant contributions to their respective fields, showcasing that left-handedness is not a hindrance but rather a characteristic that can coexist with exceptional intelligence and groundbreaking discoveries.

These examples serve as a testament to the fact that left-handedness is not a limitation but rather an asset that can contribute to remarkable achievements in various domains.

Left-handedness in sports

Left-handedness can provide a competitive edge in the world of sports. In many sports, left-handed athletes possess a natural advantage due to their opponents’ relative lack of experience in facing left-handed competitors. This unexpectedness can disrupt the opponent’s usual strategies and provide left-handed athletes with a higher chance of success.

For instance, in tennis, left-handed players often have an advantage over right-handed players due to the difference in spin and angle of the ball when it is struck by a left-handed player’s racket. This can create difficulties for right-handed opponents in adjusting their shots and positioning on the court.

Similarly, in combat sports such as boxing or martial arts, left-handed fighters, known as southpaws, often pose challenges for their right-handed opponents. The reversed stance and different angles of attack can catch right-handed opponents off guard and require additional adaptation and strategy.

Left-handedness can also be advantageous in team sports such as basketball or soccer. Left-handed players can provide a unique playing style and contribute to the team’s tactical diversity. Their left-handedness can create unpredictable situations for the opposing team, as they are accustomed to defending against right-handed players.

Challenges and misconceptions about left-handedness

Despite the advantages associated with being left-handed, there are also challenges and misconceptions that left-handed individuals may encounter. One common misconception is that left-handed individuals are less intelligent or more prone to certain health conditions. However, scientific research has debunked these myths, reaffirming that left-handedness is simply a natural variation in human development with no inherent disadvantages.

One challenge that left-handed individuals may face is the lack of left-handed products and tools in a right-handed dominant world. Many everyday objects, such as scissors, can openers, and desks, are designed for right-handed individuals, which can make certain tasks more challenging or uncomfortable for left-handed individuals. However, with increasing awareness and demand, there has been a growing availability of specialized products and tools designed specifically for left-handed individuals, alleviating these challenges to some extent.

Ambisinistrousness: The ability to use both hands equally well

While left-handedness is often associated with a preference for using the left hand, some individuals possess the unique ability to use both hands equally well. This phenomenon is known as ambisinistrousness. Ambisinistrous individuals are not strictly left-handed or right-handed but have a high degree of ambidexterity.

Ambisinistrousness can be advantageous in various situations. Individuals with this ability can effortlessly switch between hands, allowing them to adapt quickly to different tasks and situations. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial in activities that require fine motor skills or coordinated movements.

Ambisinistrous individuals often excel in musical instruments that require both hands, such as piano or guitar, as they can seamlessly navigate the keys or strings with either hand. Additionally, ambisinistrousness can be advantageous in sports that demand bilateral coordination, such as fencing or archery.

Left-handed products and tools

Recognizing the unique needs of left-handed individuals, there has been a growing market for specialized left-handed products and tools. From left-handed scissors with reversed blades to left-handed keyboards and computer mice, these products are designed to provide comfort and ease of use for left-handed individuals.

Left-handed desks and writing instruments with a slant towards the left are also available, enabling left-handed individuals to write without smudging the ink or experiencing discomfort. Additionally, specialized kitchen utensils, such as left-handed can openers and peelers, have been developed to facilitate food preparation for left-handed individuals.

The availability of these specialized products and tools has significantly improved the overall experience for left-handed individuals, allowing them to navigate a right-handed dominant world with greater comfort and efficiency.

Tips for left-handed individuals

If you are left-handed, here are a few tips to enhance your experience and make daily tasks more manageable:

  1. Embrace your left-handedness: Recognize that being left-handed is a unique and valuable trait that contributes to your individuality. Embrace it with pride and celebrate your differences.
  2. Seek out left-handed products and tools: Invest in specialized left-handed products and tools that cater to your needs. This will make everyday tasks more comfortable and efficient.
  3. Develop ambidexterity: Practice using your non-dominant hand to improve your ambidexterity. This can be done through simple activities such as brushing your teeth or writing short notes.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to the layout of objects and tools in your environment. Make adjustments, if necessary, to ensure optimal comfort and functionality.
  5. Educate others: Inform friends, family, and coworkers about the challenges that left-handed individuals may face. By raising awareness, you can help create a more inclusive and accommodating environment for all.

Embracing and celebrating left-handedness

Left-handedness is a fascinating characteristic that has both advantages and challenges. It is important to recognize and celebrate the unique qualities that left-handed individuals bring to the world. By understanding the advantages of being left-handed, appreciating its presence in different cultures, acknowledging the accomplishments of famous left-handed individuals, and addressing the challenges and misconceptions surrounding left-handedness, we can create a more inclusive and supportive society for all individuals, regardless of their dominant hand. So, let us embrace and celebrate the power of left-handedness.

Celebrate your left-handedness! Share this article with your friends and family to spread awareness and appreciation for the advantages of being left-handed.

By Juliet Kinsey

Image Source: Photo by Sebastian Dumitru on Unsplash

Read more on our Blog from Juliet with articles like Stress Awareness Month

Lughnasa Celtic Harvest Festival

Lughnasa Celtic Harvest Festival

Lughnasa is one of four traditional Celtic harvest festivals.  It happens at the end of summer when the grains are ripening, but have not yet been harvested. Usually celebrated on the 1st of August, it marks the end of summer and the beginning of the second half of the year. It occurs halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox.

A History of Lughnasa

Lughnasa is an ancient Gaelic holiday, said to be in honour of the pagan god Lugh, and his mother Tailtiu. As well as the usual traditions of feasting and gathering, it is believed that this was when the Tailteann Games were held. Games included “the long jump, high jump, running, hurling, spear throwing, boxing, contests in swordfighting, archery, wrestling, swimming, and chariot and horse racing. They also included competitions in strategy, singing, dancing and story-telling, along with crafts competitions for goldsmiths, jewellers, weavers and armourers.”[Source]

Lughnasa is still celebrated today in Ireland as a holiday. It includes music, dancing, stories and crafts. Furthermore, One modern-day legacy of Lughnasa is “Reek Sunday”. This involves climbing up a mountain or hill. In Ireland, many people climb up Croagh Patrick in Co. Mayo., also known as “the Reek” hence the name “Reek Sunday.”

The Myth

The myth that Lughnasa is based on according to Máire MacNeill who wrote on it back in1962 is the following:

“[it involves] a struggle for the harvest between Lugh and Crom Dubh, another mythical god who stores the grain, which Lugh seizes for humanity. Often, this is portrayed as a struggle for ‘Eithne,’ a woman who symbolizes the grain. Also, Lugh combats and destroys another figure representing blight. ‘Óenach Tailten’ or ‘Aonach Tailteann’ was a ceremony held during Lughnasadh in commemoration of Tailtiu [Lugh’s mother].” Source  

The four feast days

As well as Lughnasa, there is Samhain, Imbolg and Beltane. These are all based on the harvest periods and seasons. Samhain is celebrated on the 31st of October and is linked to Halloween celebrations. People leave gifts for the dead to appease their spirits and festivities and bonfires are often lit. Imbolc or Imbolg is celebrated on the 1st of February and is a lesser know celebration. It marks the beginning of spring and rebirth of the land. The final festival, and a very big one for Edinburgh is Beltane. It happens on the first of May and involves a lot of dancing and bonfires. Why not visit Edinburgh this year and attend our Beltain event on the top of Carlton Hill.

Read more on Scottish history at librarysearch.napier.ac.uk

By Juliet Kinsey

Photo by Polina Rytova on Unsplash

Read more on Scottish history and Festivals with articles on:

The Edinburgh Festival

International Moon Day

International Moon Day

It was way back in the 5th century B.C. that Greek astronomer Anaxagoras correctly surmised that the moon was not a god, but a big rock with mountains on its surface. The sun, too, was a burning rock that “puts brightness into the moon”. These beliefs got him arrested and exiled, but he stuck by them. No doubt Anaxagoras would have been delighted when, 23 centuries later, three US astronauts landed on the big rock.

Apollo 11

It was on 20th July 1969 that Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon. It was, you’ll recall, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

The Apollo 11 lunar mission, one of the most daring engineering feats ever pulled off, lasted exactly eight days,18 minutes and 35 seconds. That was 54 years ago, but it was only last year that the first International Moon Day was recognised.

You may wonder why the moon needs its own special day. Well, sadly our only natural satellite is not immune from destructive human activity.  According to the United Nations, we need to ensure that moon exploration remains sustainable and peaceful. Indeed, the UN is so concerned about lunar safety that as early as 1967 the General Assembly adopted the “Magna Carta of Space”. The charter sets out principles governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space.

Article three states that “the moon shall be used by all States Parties exclusively for peaceful purposes” and goes on to prohibit the use of the moon for threatening behaviour and mass destruction.

For more information, see here:


About us (unoosa.org)

As long as we don’t destroy it – or our own Earth – we’ll continue to be fascinated by the moon, and all other celestial bodies. Countless films and dramas have been set on the moon or other non-Earth locations. Fancy rewatching Apollo 13, The Dish or Neil Armstrong – First Man on the Moon?  Just log into BoB through LibrarySearch:

Search · BoB (learningonscreen.ac.uk)

By Lesley McRobb

Read about some Alien fun here 

Photo source Thula Na

May Day

May Day

Ancient Europe

May Day today, the start of Summer. Celebrations can date to the Ancient Romans and Celts. The ancient Celts celebrated the 1st of May with the festival of Beltane throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Island of Man. Beltane festival was marked with bonfires to symbolise the ‘return of life and fertility’ associated with the beginning of Summer. Whilst, the Romans celebrated May Day as a five-day celebration to worship the Roman Goddess of flowers, Flora.

 Medieval Europe

The medieval times brought the tradition of the maypole dance, the exact date and place of origins of the maypole dance is not clear. However, it is still celebrated today. Like the bonfires of the Ancient Romans and Celts, the maypole symbolises fertility. It is a tall wooden pole decorated with floral garlands. And people danced around the pole with the joy that summer is returning.

The Industrial Age

Moving on May Day has become symbolic of workers’ rights which originated in the United States during the 19th century. In Chicago, in 1884, the American Federation of Labour proclaimed that the eight-hour working day would become legal after the 1st May 1886. And worker strikes and protests began for this proclamation. The US government sent in the police and the tension resulted in the Haymarket Riot. In the years after, workers around the United States and Europe demonstrated on the May 1st, in commemoration of the Haymarket riots. Later the Soviet Union would also proclaim May 1st as a workers’ holiday.


Today, perhaps May Day is less seen as either a worker’s holiday or rural festivities. However, the day is still a public holiday in some countries and some festivities continue.

You can read about May and Springtime

Photo source Kristine Tanne

Record Store Day 22nd April

Record Store Day 22nd April

April 22nd is Record Store Day celebrating the small, independent record stores that offer in-store shopping for classic and newly released vinyl records. Although we now mostly listen to music through streaming services, until the 1980’s vinyl was the preferred method. When the compact disc arrived in 1982 it spelt trouble for vinyl records. Improved sound and portability meant that purchases of vinyl records plummeted. There was still a small market for vinyl-DJs who preferred the sound and found it easier to mix tracks on vinyl, and collectors who wanted to own as many releases as possible from their favourite artist. Without the convenience of Internet shopping, collectors had to visit shops in person or use mail-order facilities if available.
Some artists persisted with vinyl. In 1983 New Order released Blue Monday on 12-inch vinyl despite the huge popularity of CDs. The track has gone on to become the best-selling 12-inch single of all time. Despite this, vinyl sales were still badly in decline. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, sales of vinyl albums tumbled from a peak of 1.1 billion worldwide in 1981 to 450 million in 1989; 109 million in 1993; and just 33 million in 1995. By 1997, they were down to 17 million, and they plunged as low as 3 million in 2006. Many independent record stores closed, but some managed to stay open thanks to their loyal customers.

Vinyl Comeback

By 2020 however, vinyl sales had taken off again with over 27.5 million sales in America. Why the rise in popularity? According to Robert Palmer of Roan Records in London:
“There is definitely something to be said for the tangibility of vinyl. Anyone can stream music any time they want, but for those looking for a deeper connection to music, you can’t match a physical record you can hold in your hands and go through the ritual of putting it on and listening.”
Then there’s the artwork. There are many iconic album covers which are often more collectable than the album itself.
As part of the resurgence of vinyl, the inaugural Record Store Day was held in 2007. It’s a day when small independent record shops celebrate their culture and role in in their communities. The shops put on special promotions such as limited editions of vinyl records by well-known and lesser-known artists in colour or 12-inch format and they may also have live music in-store. The aim is to shine a spotlight on independent record stores and hopefully increase revenue as well as try to introduce people to new music. Business students may find it interesting to note the different marketing strategies used.

Edinburgh and Records

Going along on the day is a great way to meet people and make friends with a shared interest in music, get to know some new music or begin a new hobby collecting vinyl or album artwork.
Click on the link below to find a list of Edinburgh independent record stores:
Edinburgh record stores.

We contacted local independent record stores to find out what they are doing for RSD. Here’s what the ones who replied told us:

Thorne Records  Will be open 8am-8pm and have beers, good vibes and all the releases.

Underground Solu’shn  Will be open from 8am and will have a selection of DJs and live performances in the afternoon. Will stock all the RSD releases.

Assai Records  Will be open from 8am and have most of the releases. Also hoping to have live music.

Whether it’s grunge or jazz, Britpop or hip hop we all have our go-to music to help with study, and chores or to listen to when socializing with friends. Listening to music can also have psychological benefits which can improve mental health. Click on the link below for more information:

Psychological benefits of music

Library Resources

In the library, we are promoting our Spotify playlist and in our relaxation spaces, we have posters explaining how listening to music benefits mental health and well-being.


Craiglockhart campus relaxation space has a small number of artist biographies available from Ozzy Osborne to Freddie Mercury.

You can use Library Search to find music books, music scores and CDs in the Edinburgh Napier collection.

By Vivienne Hamiliton

You can read more in our about World Music Day in this post

Image Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Scrabble Day

Scrabble Day

Little did unemployed architect Alfred Mosher Butts realise, as he set out to amuse himself during the Great Depression of 1938, that he was about to change the games world forever. As he sat at home carving out those little wooden letter tiles, his only thought was to keep himself and his wife amused with word games. Combining crossword puzzles and anagrams, he called his game Lexiko.

A decade on, James Brunot bought the rights, changed the name to Scrabble (from the verb to scratch frantically), sold it to department store Macy’s. And sent the game all over the world. To date, more than 150 million games of Scrabble have been bought. And it’s been translated into at least 29 languages, including Braille.

The 13th of April is National Scrabble Day (chosen to commemorate Butts’ birthday) and the Association of British Scrabble Players has arranged a series of tournaments throughout the next couple of months, including the Scottish Open on May 20th-21st. Find out more here:


Playing Scrabble

Of course, these days, there are a myriad ways to play Scrabble. You can play online, against a pal or a robot. You can take part in a tournament, or download the app and play by yourself. But we’re old-fashioned in our attitude to Scrabble and believe the best way to play is the way it’s always been played. With that foldy-up board, a pencil and paper for marking the score, and those fiddly little pale tiles.

That’s why we’ve got a box in our relaxation zone within Merchiston library. If you’re stressing before an exam, chilling after handing in a paper, or just taking some time out from your studies, pop in with a pal and crack open a game. Oh, and here’s a tip. If you want to notch up an incredible 1778 points, make sure you find a way to fit in oxyphebutazone – the highest-possible scoring word in Scrabble.

Let me leave you with this fun but useless factoid: a Z is only worth 1 point in Polish Scrabble.

You can read more game based posts like our one from last year, International Games Month

or you can play some games over on our virtual relaxation space

by Lesley McRobb

Photo source: UnSplash Clarissa Watson

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