August 13, 2014, is Left-Handers’ Day

As Wikipedia notes, being a left-hander living in a right-handed world is inconvenient. The design and placement of everyday objects such as ticket dispensers in underground stations, door handles, hot water taps, can openers, pens chained down in banks and post offices, ringbound notebooks and even the printing on promotional pens is created for right-handers.

Left-Handers’ Day is August 13th, 2014. It is a great opportunity to celebrate being left-handed with millions of other left-handers all over the world. All year long, lefties have to fit in with a right-handed world, but on August 13th it is time to demonstrate left-handed solidarity.

Ideas for celebrating Left-Handers Day could be:

  • 02df93572c9ac3246e9329f3cc2e5ecaShow your right-handed family members what you have to deal with every day. Why not ask them to help with cooking a meal using only their left hand? They’ll soon see how difficult regular peelers, spatulas, microwaves and bread-knives are to use with their left hand.
  • If you happen to own left handed devices, replace certain items for the day–e.g., left-handed scissors, can opener, tape measure, even kitchen knives are shaped to respond to right-handed pressure, so there are left-handed sets that will help lefties cut, for instance, bread straight, while righties struggle against curved cuts. (Note: since lefties have had to adapt to a right-handed world, some of these devices are even awkward for southpaws at first, through years of practice the hard way.)
  • If you are an adult and inclined to engage in drinking games, maybe have a drinking game with your right-handed friends, where everyone has to just use their left hand – and anyone who touches the glass with their right hand has to do a forfeit.
  • Create a ‘Left-Handed Zone’ in your office with informative posters that are available to download from

Any other ideas? Share them. It’s all in the name of awareness. Realize, please, that the safety and convenience of left-handed users is generally overlooked by right-handed designers in our society. The safety features on most power tools, for instance, are made for right-handed users. Some firearms eject spent shells away from right-handed shooters, and directly across the line-of-sight of left-handed shooters. These are just several examples of countless daily hazards.

Although 12% might not seem like much, in the grand scheme, that means that of the 4 million people in Los Angeles, for instance, there are 480,000 lefties, in the United States there are over 37 million lefties, and in the world there are almost 850 million southpaws. Among the present, well-known personalities that are left handed are:

  • Robert De Niro
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Prince William
  • Barack Obama
  • Robert Redford
  • Jay Leno
  • David Letterman
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Keanu Reeves
  • Seth Rogan
  • Owen Wilson
  • Bruce Willis
  • Morgan Freeman
  • Mark Wahlberg
  • Tom Cruise
  • Justin Bieber
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Ben Stiller
  • Bill Gates

To name just a few. Many of the people you go to school with (more that one out of ten of them) are left handed. Consider them next time you use a ticket machine that draws tickets from your right hand, or use a cell phone with volume and mute buttons strategically placed for easy use with a right hand.



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EBOOK NEWS: Apple Enters Hi-Lo Settlement of E-Book Price-Fixing Claim Contingent Upon Result of Appeal from DOJ Suit

Apple, Inc., has revealed details of its settlement with states and consumers alleging that Apple conspired to fix the prices of eBooks. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan), follows an earlier case by the Department of Justice in which U.S. District Judge Cote ruled that Apple orchestrated a price-fixing conspiracy among five publishing companies. That decision is being challenged on appeal, and the outcome of the agreement between Apple and plaintiffs in the present suit is contingent on the outcome of that appeal, with a range of exposure to Apple between $0 and $450 million.

In entering the settlement it appears that neither Apple nor the plaintiffs agree or concede that the other side is right. Rather, they agree to follow the fortunes of Apple’s challenge of the DOJ ruling. Specifically, there are at least three potential outcomes disclosed as follows:

  • Apple loses the appeal and the District Court’s ruling is affirmed
  • Apple obtains the right to go back to the District Court for trial.
  • Apple has the case thrown out.

According to the papers filed today, if the decision is affirmed, Apple will owe $400 million to consumers and $50 million to states and for attorney fees. If the case goes back to trial, Apple will pay $50 million to consumers and $20 million to states and for attorneys fees. If the decision is thrown out, Apple won’t have to pay a dime.

The agreement makes sense from both sides. Apple caps its maximum exposure to about half what is sought in the lawsuit, with a big advantage if Apple is confident of its position on appeal. The plaintiffs, if confident, secure a substantial recovery without the risk of trial, and in the case of an Apple win in the DOJ matter, it doesn’t seem the plaintiffs would have a case in any event. “This settlement –- contingent on the outcome of Apple’s appeal –- represents a fair and equitable effort by all parties to resolve this litigation,” Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said in a statement.’

This is only the big picture. The settlement requires judicial approval. There are a lot of details, and anyone interested should research the matter. It is reported that states and consumers have recovered $166 million from earlier settlements with other publishers in the case. The case is In Re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, 11-md-2293, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.

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Two Year Anniversary: Battlespace, Volume 1–a Noble Project and a Great Science Fiction Anthology

thumbnail_imageTwo years ago–July 2012–The Science Fiction Show released Battlespace, Volume 1–Military Science Fiction Anthology. The book is still available at Amazon in its Kindle format for $3.99, or used through Amazon dealers.

The anthology is a great collection of military science fiction stories from authors around the globe, and was produced for a worthy cause. Conceived and produced by Jason Tudor, Keith Houin and Michael J. Wistock of the Science Fiction Show, Battlespace serves to raise money for wounded soldiers via the Warrior Cry Music Project. From the back cover:

“100% of all proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to the Warrior Cry Music Project of Washington, D.C., to benefit soldiers injured in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. For more, visit”

Battlespace has drawn unparalleled praise for its quality and purpose. Authors contributing to the anthology largely donated back to the cause everything they earned on the book’s publication. Many of the well-published contributing authors are veterans or have close ties to one aspect of the military or another, and the authenticity of the stories shine through. The reviews and ratings are solid.


Battlespace was even featured on the Department of Defense Webcast and blog, “Armed with Science.” Click here for more about the webcast and blog.

From Amazon Customer Reviews:

I found BATTLESPACE an enjoyable read, it is well worth your time and attention. Especially Faith Eaters, A Flash of Insight and A Rare Chance at the Enemy.
“Actually I liked the WHOLE BOOK.“–Victrix

I’ve been following this project since its inception, so it won’t surprise anyone to hear I jumped to Amazon and grabbed my Kindle copy as soon as it was available. I’m glad I did, too. There are some real gems in here.”–Amazon Customer

About Warrior Cry Music Project

The Warrior Cry Music Project is a group of volunteers who work with wounded veterans across the country, providing musical instruments and instruction, working closely with therapists to create a positive educational and therapeutic program. Music is a great form of physical and mental therapy. Warrior Cry gives wounded soldiers something positive to work toward and helps to get their minds off of their injuries. Music also helps get our wounded soldiers out of their shell and regain an interest in socializing with others. Warrior Cry works with other groups and non-profits to help better the lives of veterans that were wounded in battle. The foundation’s website is

Warrior Cry can also be found on Warrior Cry’s Facebook Page and can be followed through Warrior Cry on Twitter.

About The Science Fiction Show

The Science Fiction Show (“SFS”) is an entertaining, professionally produced hour of audio entertainment about a broad spectrum of things in pop culture, science fiction, science, and so much more. SFS reaches audiences with great content and sharp wit. With better than 11,000 downloads, 50+ hours of programming, and 1,000 followers since May 2011, SFS is a fast-rising vehicle that appeals to broad demographics, reaching listeners through iTunes. Past interview subjects include comic book artists Steve Rude, Chris Trevis and Christian Waggoner; writers Mike Baron, Adam Slade and Eric Trautmann; author Paul Sammon; Charlie Adlard, creator of “Walking Dead”, and Hollywood special effects artist Shannon John Shea, among many others. The show’s website is You can also find the Science Fiction Show on Facebook or follow it on Twitter.

Following is a trailer for the Battlespace Anthology.

Battlespace is not for profit. It is in support of those military personnel that can benefit from the extraordinary care and music therapy the Warrior Cry Music Project can provide. Please support the project this Veterans Day. Battlespace can be purchased online at Amazon.


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“Worlds Less Traveled” Now Published in Print and Audio Formats Online at Comets and Criminals

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“Worlds Less Traveled,” my short science fiction story about a troubled attorney at an off-world deposition struggling to manage his waning anti-psychotic field, is the July feature at the online ezine, Comets and Criminals, edited by Samuel Mae. Comets and … Continue reading

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Curiosity Rover’s First Martian Anniversary

A Martian year is 687 Earth days long. Accordingly, NASA’s Curiosity Rover reaches its one-year Martian Anniversary on June 24, 2014 (Earth Calendar), 687 days after its mission began. Curiosity has already accomplished the mission’s main goal of determining whether … Continue reading

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Summer Vacation Blog Hop

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I am participating in an author blog hop this weekend with other authors. To jump onto the hop and see what the authors are saying about summer vacation (I’m on Flash of Romance talking about an archaeological “summer dig” as … Continue reading

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“Murphy’s Traverse” Now Available in the Summer Issue of The Colored Lens

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The Summer Issue of The Colored Lens is now available on Amazon, with my new short story, “Murphy’s Traverse,” a somber science-fiction tale about Murphy, the Chief Mechanic aboard a colony sleeper ship and the series of events that lead … Continue reading

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Free NASA Book: Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication

NASA has made available for general download as an eBook, the compilation of works titled Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication, edited by Douglas A. Vakoch. In this collection, scholars are grappling with some of the enormous challenges that will face humanity … Continue reading

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Questions About the Number of Human Species 1.8 Million Years Ago

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My novel, Hearts in Ruin, asks whether human civilization fluctuated more than we realize within the hundred-thousand-year span to the present. But that span is just a fraction of the time men and women have walked the Earth, and the silent … Continue reading

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Audie Awards 2014 Winner and Finalists for Literary Fiction

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The Audie Awards are presented to the best works in an important and growing part of the book market–audiobooks. Audiobooks are not the lion’s share of the book market. That battle is being waged between eBooks and print books. But … Continue reading

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