Handedness and Decisiveness

Researchers have firmly established as a very true fact™ that left-handed people are more creative than right-handed people and that ambidextrous monkeys are more talented than both. But what about people and robots who are neither right- nor left-handed and cannot show off their ambidextrosity at the talent show? What do researchers have to say about those who are right-handed at some things and left-handed at others? And why would anyone care?

To answer the third question first: (3) everyone should care because sometimes-left-sometimes-right-handed people and smurfs have been marginalized for too long! To answer the first two questions: (1) we don’t know, and (2) nothing. Until now! For the past 40 years, I have been conducting a longitudinal, eco-friendly study of sometimes-left-sometimes-right-handed people (person), and I am finally ready to share my results with the rest of the known universe:

Handedness and Decisiveness: A Rigorous Scientific Study

approved!Subject: The study has one subject: me. While some have questioned this aspect of the research, the Board of Directors of the Society for Sometimes-left-sometimes-right-handed People and Vampire Clowns has decreed that, because the subject is also the researcher (and the Chairman of the Board), this subject constitutes a Representative Sample.

Materials: Pencil, toothbrush, ball, frisbee, hands, fork, ball (to kick), skateboard, hockey stick, pool stick, gun, razor.

Data: The following chart demonstrates the handedness of the subject while engaged in various activities:

Activity Left-handed Right-handed
Writing x
Brushing Teeth x
Throwing Ball x
Throwing Frisbee x
Eating with Hands x*
Eating with Utensils x
Kicking Ball x
Skateboarding x
Shooting Hockey x
Shooting Billiards x
Shooting Gun x
Shaving x

* especially while in Eastern countries, for sanitary reasons

Conclusion: The research clearly demonstrates that people and leprechauns who can’t make up their minds about which hand to use also have a hard time making up their minds about anything else. Or, it could clearly demonstrate something else entirely that the researcher may have missed.

Yours Truly,

Karl Swedberg
Subject, Researcher, Chairman of the Board
Posted in self-indulgence | 4 Comments

What did you say?

When I read the first couple examples of a recent blog entry on “Marital by Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic, I laughed in absolute recognition of the scenes in my own life. Then I read this…

Posted in miscellany | 1 Comment

Calling All iPhone Users

I finally got my very own iPhone this weekend, and I’m very excited about it. A lot of my geek friends are talking about the Android-based phones now and some are even acting like the iPhones are a bit passé, … Continue reading 

Posted in technology | 14 Comments

The World Is Too Much With Us

I’ve never been an outdoorsy kind of guy, but something about these first few lines from William Wordsworth’s poem resonates with me.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers …

Posted in language | 3 Comments

Goodbye, Edgar

It all happened much more quickly than Sara and I had expected. We put our 1993 Volvo 240 Wagon on Craigs List last week, and within two hours it was sold. In addition to the guy who bought the car, three others called to ask if they could check it out…

Posted in family | 7 Comments

XyliChew Mints

A big box of mints arrived at my doorstep last week. But they weren’t just ordinary mints. No, they were XyliChew Mints with 100% Xylitol! I’ve been a big fan of XyliChew and its dusty purple cousin Ricochet for a couple years now, but their great taste is only one small reason for my affection.

Posted in miscellany | 1 Comment

Paper Airplanes

On Sunday at one in the afternoon, a local Grand Rapids guy named Rob Bliss and a handful of friends started to dump paper airplanes off of downtown buildings. By the time they finished, one hundred thousand planes had descended on the nearly 20,000 people crowding the streets below…

Posted in friends and neighbors, photography | 3 Comments


I started writing this thing a month ago with some lame generalization about how kids behave radically differently from one minute to the next while they all pretty much look their age. But I couldn’t sustain the thought, and I’m not even sure I believe it, so I’m just going to relate a little anecdote about Ben and Sara that occurred earlier this summer.

Posted in family | 4 Comments

Happy Anniversary

Some people like to propose marriage in a public way — a banner pulled by an airplane, a radio call-in request, an electronic marquee at a ball game. When I asked Sara to marry me nineteen years ago, I chose a more private setting: the front steps of the dormitory where we had first met. The actual proposal was merely a formality anyway, since we had discussed getting married for the previous eight months or so.
My attitudes about self-revelation have changed quite a bit over the years, and the change, I admit, has coincided with the Internet Age and its ubiquity of online information about everything and everyone. But here is one thing I know I’d want to shout from the rooftop of my house if I didn’t have this virtual rooftop …

Posted in family | 10 Comments

A few baby names you might want to avoid

Our dear friends are expecting a baby, and they think it’s going to be a boy. When they were in town a couple weeks ago, we chatted a bit about possible names for the kid. And that made me wonder: What are some boy names that most parents should avoid? Here are a few that I came up with after almost no reflection on the matter …

Posted in friends and neighbors | 7 Comments