Celebrating the art of handwriting

It’s Handwriting Day today. National Handwriting Day, to be exact, but as I’m prone to do, I’ll just ignore the ‘National’ bit, and claim this US day for the rest of us.

Handwriting – a unique expression of personality, with stylistic nuances making each person’s writing different. Sadly, writing is an art that seems to be fast dying away as we type our way through the day. Where people used to take pride in drafting artfully crafted hand-written letters, our modern-day fingers are much more adept at finding their way across a keyboard or touch-screen.

When last did you write an entire page of text by hand?(© All Rights Reserved)
When last did you write an entire page of text by hand?
(© All Rights Reserved)

Writing some Christmas cards a while ago, I was reminded again how bad and inconsistent my handwriting has become, and how quickly my hands started getting painfully tired. If I were to subject myself to a handwriting analysis right now, I’m sure there’d be serious questions asked about my character.

At least I don’t have to feel alone in the bad handwriting department – most doctors beat me by a country mile when it comes to illegible scribbling. I’ve never been able to understand why bad handwriting appears to be a prerequisite for entering the medical profession. Yet it seems to be the case – according to a 2007 article in Time Magazine, doctors’ sloppy handwriting directly resulted in the death of no less than 7000 people in the US per year (based on a July 2006 report from the National Academies of Science’s Institute of Medicine). According to the article, “…preventable medication mistakes also injure more than 1.5 million Americans annually. Many such errors result from unclear abbreviations and dosage indications and illegible writing on some of the 3.2 billion prescriptions written in the U.S. every year.”

If these are the figures for the US, imagine what it must be internationally!? If that is not a good argument to get doctors using tablets (tablet computers, I mean) and typing e-prescriptions, then I don’t know what is!

Whether you are a perfectly consistent scribe, or the proud owner of an illegible scribble, today is the day to celebrate your handwriting style – it’s one of the things that make you uniquely you. Perhaps Handwriting Day is just the time to make a commitment to writing more by hand – losing this special skill will surely be a terrible tragedy.

Analysing your personality on World Egg Day

Today, the second Friday of October, has been proclaimed World Egg Day by the International Egg Commission (IEC) [], to raise awareness of the nutritional value of eggs, and has been celebrated annually since 1996.

As an affordable source of high quality protein, eggs do indeed play a vital role in feeding people around the world, both in developed and developing countries. According to the IEC, eggs contain just the right mix of amino acids required to build human tissue, and is second only to mother’s milk as a protein source for human nutrition. Egg yolks are also an abundant source of Vitamin D.

Considering the different ‘egg personalities’, I wonder what a preference for double yolked eggs might signify?
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OK, so here’s an interesting egg story. According to a recent report on research performed by Mindlab International, a person’s preferred way of eating eggs may have a lot to say about their personalities, jobs and even sex drive. Applying data mining techniques to a sample of just over a thousand British adults, they searched for statistically meaningful relationships between people’s characters, lifestyles, social class etc, and whether they preferred their eggs boiled, poached, fried, scrambled or as an omelette.

Here are a few highlights from the Mindlab findings:

  • Poached egg eaters are mostly women, and tend to be outgoing, energetic extroverts. They prefer brighter clothing, livelier music and tend to be happy.
  • Boiled egg fans are also mostly female, and they tend towards the upper working class. They are likely to be disorganised, careless and impulsive, and run a higher than average risk of getting divorced.
  • Fried egg eaters tend to be younger males, and from the skilled working class. They are more open to new experiences, creative, curious and imaginative. They apparently also tend to have a higher sex drive.
  • Scrambled eggs is the preferred choice among those in their twenties and thirties, who tend to be in managerial or senior level jobs. They were also found to be less neurotic, but at the same time more guarded and less open.
  • Finally, the omelette is a middle class favourite, and omelette lovers tend to be reliable, organised and disciplined. They also tend to have tidy homes, live longer, and are less likely to get divorced.

So there you have it…

If the above ‘research’ does not sound enough like pseudoscience yet, the Mindlab findings go further and relates egg-eating habits to star signs. Apparently Aquarius, Leo and Taurus prefers their eggs poached, Cancer, Capricorn and Libra are fans of fried eggs, and Aries, Gemini, Pisces, Sagittarius, Scorpio and Virgo opt for scrambled eggs.

Still reading?  Well, even your position in the family pecking order may influence on your egg preference – first borns are said to prefer scrambled eggs, while those who were born third or later would rather eat their eggs fried. Second borns apparently have no marked preference.

What exactly the value of these results are, is beyond me. But then again it did give me something to write a blog post about, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. 🙂

Happy World Egg Day, everyone!