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LEFT BEHIND

Sorry, southpaws, but new scientific evidence suggests your chances of succeeding in your chosen career are lower than right-handed people.

The Telegraph reports on a new Harvard University study claiming that left-handed people are faced with more disadvantages in the workplace than their right-handed peers.

In assembling the study, Harvard Kennedy School economist Joshua Goodman studied U.S. and U.K. data assessing a wide range of age groups.

According to Goodman, "Compared to righties, lefties score a tenth of a standard deviation lower on measures of cognitive skills."

And the odds against left-handers get even more daunting: "Lefties have more emotional and behavioural problems," said Goodman. "They have more learning difficulties such as dyslexia, complete less schooling and work in occupations requiring less cognitive skill."

The new research runs sharply opposite of public belief that left-handed people are disproportionately more talented or gifted than right-handed people.

The study points out that in large part that perception stems from the indisputable success of several famous left-handers, including Leonardo Da Vinci, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and current U.S. president Barack Obama.

As for the study's ominous title – The Wages of Sinistrality: Handedness, Brain Structure and Human Capital Accumulation – Goodman explained that, "During the Middle Ages, left-handed writers were thought to be possessed by the Devil, generating the modern sense of the word sinister from sinistra, the Latin word for left."

But as Goodman discovered, left-handers, who account for approximately 12 per cent of the global population, more often have the odds in life stacked against them.

All told, the study concluded that lefties are likely to earn 10 per cent to 12 per cent less than righties, which equates roughly to them having received a year's less schooling.

The Harvard study also suggests there are two types of left-handed people: Those whose left-handedness is simply in their DNA (genetic lefties) and those individuals whose left-handedness seems to have been caused by trauma or stress during their time in the womb (environmental lefties).

The good news: Left-handed people whose mothers were also left-handed – thereby indicating genetic left-handedness – are apparently not prone to the shortfalls in cognitive ability.

FALLING BACK

The vast majority of Americans who decide to go vegetarian end up relapsing back to meat-eating. A recent study funded by the Humane Research Council studied the eating habits of more than 11,000 U.S. citizens over 17 and determined that 84 per cent of vegetarians and vegans eventually go back to eating meat. The study also revealed that more than half of the ex-vegetarians gave up on their veggie regimen within their first year, and one-third went back to meat-eating within a three-month period.

Source: New York Magazine

SHOCK AND AWE

For the first time, Jon Stewart was at a loss for words on The Daily Show. The normally jovial comedian opened Wednesday night's episode by discussing a Staten Island grand jury's decision not to indict the NYPD officer who placed an unarmed Eric Garner in a chokehold last summer. The African-American Garner, whose alleged last words were, "I can't breathe," died shortly after. Stewart's response: "I honestly don't know what to say. If comedy is tragedy plus time, I need more f–-ng time." Stewart also compared the Garner case to last week's decision by a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, to refrain from indicting a white police officer who had likewise killed an unarmed black male. "None of the ambiguities that existed in the Ferguson case exist in the Staten Island case," said Stewart. "And yet the outcome is exactly the same."

Source: Washington Post

BAD BOYS

Just as you may have always suspected: Boys are meaner than girls. Researchers at the University of Georgia recently released a study that tracked the behavioural patterns of a group of boys and girls from grade six to grade 12. The study concluded that the male students scored 55 per cent on a scale measuring the likelihood of committing a violent act, while female students scored 45 per cent on the same scale. The study also revealed that on every grade level, boys engaged in aggressive behaviour more often than girls. "Overall, we found relational aggression to be a very common behaviour," said study leader Pamela Orpinas.

Source: Time

HACK AWAY

The hackers who broke into the files of Sony Pictures Entertainment have revealed the paydays received by Seth Rogen and James Franco for their new film, The Interview. The still-unidentified hackers allegedly obtained a cache of private files from the entertainment conglomerate last week and have been slowly releasing them to media outlets in recent days. According to Bloomberg, Rogen and Franco were allegedly paid $8.4-million (U.S.) and $6.4-million (U.S.), respectively, to co-star in The Interview, which reportedly cost $44-million (U.S.)to make. Slated for release on Christmas Day, The Interview stars Rogen and Franco as high-profile TV journalists who are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Source: Hollywood Reporter