Monday, June 23, 2008

Left Wondering about the Upper Hand?

Today's New York Sun hones in on an interesting bit of trivia that unites John McCain and Barack Obama: They're both left-handed. Which means that the next president -- like every president since 1974 (except for George W. and Jimmy Carter) -- will once again be a leftie. That's right: Ford, Reagan, H. W. Bush, Clinton and our next president-to-be're all lefties. So what? Well, since only 10% of the population is left-handed, the recent spree of lefties in the Oval Office is a statistical anomolie that may very well have a biological explanation.   The Sun pokes around for evidence linking left-handedness to other presidential traits like ambition or problem-solving skills but comes up only with ... hair whorls:
[Amar Klar's] research shows that the whorl for right-handers curls clockwise in 92% of cases. In left-handers, the distribution is random, with half exhibiting clockwise whorl and the other half spinning counterclockwise. Mr. Klar said he could spot a counterclockwise whorl from seeing Mr. McCain and Mr. Clinton on television and looking at the way they appear to comb their hair.
Also? Apparently those hair whorls have been linked not only to electability in recent decades but also to sexual orientation. This all must mean something, but I'm not really sure what. 

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