Here's another fun finger fact (ooh, how alliterative!). Fingers are never perfectly straight. They all curve slightly toward the middle finger, while the middle finger itself can point slightly one way or the other. A rather gross hand fact is that during the Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar ordered the thumbs of captured warriors to be amputated. This served as a tragic example for their people when they returned and made certain they would not bear arms again. Since that time, the practice has been repeated in a number of other wars and in slave trade.
Speaking of gross, the longest fingernails on one hand in the world belonged to Shidhar Chillal, who began growing them in 1952 and stopped in 2000, after it caused some nerve damage in his hand and deafened his left ear. He cut the record-breaking 20 feet nails. Now the record holder is Lee Redmond of Utah, US. She had started in 1979 and had planned to cut them in 2006, but had decided against that. Instead she kept them, a complete length of 24 feet! In 2009, Miss Redmond was in a car accident and broke her nails, as well as suffering serious injuries.
Another hand-related fact is that 12.6% of men are left handed while only 9.9% of women are. All you lefthanders can celebrate International Left Handers Day on August 13th. An incredible number of politicians have been left handed. 8 presidents, including the present Barack Obama, are left handed. Benjamin Franklin, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Senator McCain are some others. Historically speaking, there is an amazingly long list. Joan of Arc, Alexander the Great, Charlamagne, Caesar, Napoleon, Queen Victoria, Fidel Castro, Henry Ford, John Dillinger and even Jack the Ripper were left handed. Recently, there have even been guitarists who actually play left handed, namely Paul McCartney, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Zacky Vengeance.
Artists M.C. Escher (his work Hand With Sphere pictured above), Paul Klee, Michelangelo, Raphael and Da Vinci. There's also an extraordinarily long list of left handed actors. Some are Matthew Broderick, Carol Burnett, Charlie Chaplin, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Robert DeNiro, Whoopi Goldberg, Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Jim Henson, Goldie Hawn, Nicole Kidman, Ron Perlman, Robert Redford, Christian Slater, Dick Van Dyke and Oprah. There is, of course, also a large amount of famous athletes, but as I don't care much for sports, you are on your own in finding out who they are.
I hope everyone found today's lesson entertaining and interesting.