Writing backwards

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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Topic » Tue Jan 01, 2002 10:22 pm

I am interested in information on being able to write backwards. I am left handed and can easily write backwards. I can also write upside down, as well as upside down and backwards. It is also easy for me to write with both hands at the same time: backwards with the left hand and regular with the right hand.
Submitted by Ann Humphreys (Charleston - U.S.A.)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Jan 01, 2002 10:37 pm

Ann, There has to be some way to make money off of [sic] this thing. I would take a stab at drawing the ‘Vitruvian Women’ (<;) and if you have any success immediately apply for a “MacArthur genius award” (MacArthur Fellowship), which includes $500,000 – no strings attached! If that doesn’t work I’d try touring with “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.”

Just kidding, but Leonardo is said to have been a lefty, which was very unusual in his time because people were very superstitious about being left-handed and usually forced their children to use their right hands – a practice which I witnessed as a child as late as the 20th century! He was said to have written in mirror image from right to left because a) He was trying to keep people from stealing his ideas and/or b) Was trying to hide his scientific ideas from the Catholic Church which would not have smiled upon some of what he had to say and/or c) Was trying to make life easier for himself, since as any lefty knows writing from left to right with ink is messy because your hand wipes over the fresh ink and tends to smear it.

However, your writing skills may be one up on Leonardo. But who knows, maybe he could do the same thing and maybe there is a sizable subset of lefties who have that skill – which is probably what you are curious to find out in the first place, and all of what I have said is useless and tells you nothing you didn’t already know – but that’s all I know!
___________________

Ken G – June 15, 2004



Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Jan 01, 2002 10:51 pm

Thanks for the suggestions and comments. It figures that I have a talent that will get me nowhere. Oh well, my students think it's great. So far, they are my only audience.
Reply from Ann Humphreys (Charleston - U.S.A.)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Jan 01, 2002 11:05 pm

Ann: I have a wonderful book titled, "Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women," by Ricky Jay, 1986, which is available at Amazon.com. It tells of unique, eccentric and amazing entertainers. Among them are two people with the talents you describe. And I'm sure there are many others.

Following are some excerpts about them:

Sitting in front of a blackboard, Harry Kahne wrote five different words simultaneously with pieces of chalk held in each hand, each foot, and his mouth. Next the words "idiosyncrasies," "Constantinople," and "Indianapolis" were chosen by the audience. Kahne was hoisted upside down over the blackboard. He requested a popular piece of poetry. Rudyard Kipling's Gunga Din was selected. He began writing the three words and reciting the poem at the same time. He alternated the letters of each word. One was written right side up, another upside down, and the other in mirror writing, upside down and reversed. (And so on.)

Thea Alba, billed as "The Woman with 10 Brains," did an act much like Kahne's in Europe. She could write in French, German and English at the same time and ambidextrously drew a landscape in colored chalks. She learned to write with both hands, both feet and her mouth simultaneously.

There's much more about both of them. Great stuff, I would say!
Reply from Keith Allen (Los Angeles - U.S.A.)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Jan 01, 2002 11:20 pm

Keith, WOW! Thanks for the information. I will check into it. I've never tried with my feet or mouth. I can't imagine doing it simultaneously.
Reply from Ann Humphreys (Charleston - U.S.A.)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Jan 01, 2002 11:34 pm

Doesn't this belong as a counter-example on the recent "can’t fart and chew gum at the same time" thread?
Reply from Phil White (Munich - Germany)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Jan 01, 2002 11:49 pm

Phil: Amazingly, neither of those two could chew gum while writing! :-)

Funny you should mention it, though. In the same book, the last chapter is about Joseph Puhjol, who billed himself in the 1890s in Paris as "Le Petomane." He could play tunes, put out a candle two feet away, and otherwise delight audiences with his sphincter exhalations.

He could "modulate sound from the smallest and almost inaudible to the sharpest and most prolonged, simply according to the contraction of his muscles ..." The book does not specify this, but I have no doubt that he could chew gum at the same time.

All of this is well documented. The standard biography is Nohain and Caradec's Le Petomane, 1857-1945, Sa Vie - Son Oeuvre (Paris, 1967). There are English translations and an American edition from 1968. What fun!


Reply from Keith Allen (Los Angeles - U.S.A.)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 02, 2002 12:03 am

Keith, Clearly "Le Petomane" wasn’t anal retentive. And thanks for the ANALysis! (<;)
___________________

Ken G – June 16, 2004

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 02, 2002 12:17 am

Ann: I just went to Google and typed, "Harry Kahne." What I got was a treasure trove of information on the subject of your original inquiry.
Reply from Keith Allen (Los Angeles - U.S.A.)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 02, 2002 12:32 am

Thanks Keith! I checked it out. Today, I may try to write with my feet, as well as with both hands. I'll let you know.
Reply from Ann Humphreys (Charleston - U.S.A.)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 02, 2002 12:46 am

Ann: This has been fun for me. In the Internet stuff, I found out that people can be taught to do many of these things. I'm sure that only those with the predisposition could ever excel at it, though. And, evidently those who can are left-handed.
Reply from Keith Allen (Los Angeles - U.S.A.)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 02, 2002 1:01 am

Well, I tried it. I was able to use both hands and feet. I used crayons for the feet. It wasn't the neatest, but legible. Thank all of you who gave me information and ideas. Bye!
Reply from Ann Humphreys (Charleston - U.S.A.)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 02, 2002 1:15 am

I am not left handed.I am able to write Arabic(Right to Left-backwards to Westerners).I challenged my self to write a simple sentence in English using my left and the same sentence in Arabic with my right.It was not easy and I was not able to do it simutaneously.
Ahmed
17th of June,2004
Reply from Ahmed ELNamer (Dawson Creek - Canada)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 02, 2002 1:29 am

I've come across some people over here who can drive on both sides of the road at the same time. It's a major occasion when I use more than two fingers on the keyboard.
You sound like you'd make a splendid subject for research into "mapping the mind", Ann, but I don't know how much fun it would be or how you would go about volunteering.
Reply from Edwin Ashworth (Oldham - England)
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Writing backwards

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 02, 2002 1:44 am

When I was seventeen I was writing a lot, and would get headaches if I didn't write backwards. Also, my left upper back and pinky fingers would have pain if I didn't write with my left hand. I learned how to write with two hands simultaneously. I've heard that Teddy Roosevelt could write greek with the left hand and latin with the right hand at once. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has experienced headaches or muscle pain that could only be allieved from writing backwards, or writing in any certain way.
Reply from Layla Layla (Vashon Island - U.S.A.)
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