Posts Tagged "Queen Elizabeth"

10 Important (and Happy) Facts About Lefties

Dear Kid,

Today is Auntie M’s birthday (it would be quite nice of you to send her a text recognizing this auspicious event).

As you may recall, Auntie M is left handed, so this seems like an excellent time to discuss the stigma of handedness.

Keep Left DearKidLoveMom.comIf one were to look up facts about left-handedness (which I did and don’t recommend you do), you would find all sorts of nasty (and frequently untrue) things. You would also find a few important facts missing.

It seems like a Big Mistake to focus on fallacies, inconsistencies, and just plain mean facts on Auntie M’s birthday. (I figure I can return to being a rotten sister tomorrow if I feel like it.)

So, being the kind of mom and sister I am, I now present you a list of Happy Facts and Important Reminders About Left-Handers.

1. Between 10-12% of people on earth are lefties. Researchers postulate that the proportion of left-handers has remained constant for over 30,000 years. How they figured that one out, I have no clue.

2. One must always knit right-handed. This is not discrimination; it is fact. I know because Grandma Pat said so and she was left-handed, and if you think I’m going to argue with Grandma Pat you are out of your mind.

3. There are more left-handed people with IQs over 140 than right-handed people. Smarty pants lefties include Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, and Auntie M.

4. The Incas thought left-handers were capable of healing and that they possessed magical abilities. The North American Zuni tribe believed left-handedness signified good luck. The Incas and the Zuni are well known for being insightful people. At least on this subject.

Keep Left Handed Sisters DearKidLoveMom.com5. Studies have suggested that left-handers are more talented in spatial awareness, math, and architecture.

6. Left-handedness runs in families. Lefties in the British royal family include the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and Prince William. No official word yet on the baby.

7. Because connections between the right and left sides of the brain are faster in left-handed people, information zooms back and forth, making left-handers more efficient in dealing with multiple stimuli.

8. Less than 1% of the world’s population can be considered truly ambidextrous. The correct term for this is both-side-handed.

9. The longest words that can be typed using only the left hand with conventional hand placement are sweaterdresses and tesseradecades. No idea why you’d want to worry about this.

10. Lefties make lovely sisters.

Happy Birthday, M.

Love, Mom



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Canada: Hockey, Polar Bears, the Flag, and Snow

Dear Kid,

Olympic hockey is upon us. Which means Dad is getting up extra early (and extra awake) to watch early round competitions. I like hockey. Been a fan a long time. But overly excitable commentators and Dad coaching/commenting/refereeing before breakfast is a bit much.

Speaking of Canada, February 15, 1965, was the day Canada adopted what we now know to be the Canadian flag. Queen Elizabeth issued a Formal Proclamation and the flag went up. (Note: This is a good example of a time to use the phrase “run it up the flagpole.” Most other times are not.)

“So,” I hear you asking, “tell me about the Canadian flag.” Well, if you insist.

Union Jack DearKidLoveMom.comWay back in 1610 (that’s before you were born), Lower Canada was a new British Colony and therefore flew Britain’s Union Jack. The polar bears in Upper Canada weren’t impressed and continued to frolic on the icebergs. This was before global warming and the Titanic, so polar bear moms didn’t warn their cubs to stay off the bergs.

By 1763, the French had lost a sizable portion of Canada so the polar bears had to stop speaking with a French accent and all of Canada lived under the Union Jack. (Extra points if you know who lived “under the name of Saunders.”)

Fast forward to 1867, when Canada started getting uppity (as much as Canadians ever get uppity) and the Dominion of Canada was established as a self-governing federation within the British Empire. Which meant, among other things, a new flag had to be created. This was a swell time to be a flag maker. It took three years, but the Canadian Red Ensign was adopted (it was red with the Union Jack in the upper-left corner and a crest on the right).Canadian Red Ensign Flag

That worked for a while, but eventually (and by eventually I mean it took a loooong time) Canadians began to point out that their flag didn’t have a maple leaf which is what they’d wanted all along, they’d just been too polite to say so.

King George V had nothing much to do in 1921 so he used the time to officially declare red and white the official colors of Canada. Officially. Which is why the maple leaf is white and not maple-leaf-color and why the background is red and not purple.

Canadian Flag DearKidLoveMom.comCanadians are very proud of their flag and of being Canadian–as they should be. While we have a lot of good stuff going for us as Americans, one doesn’t usually hear the term “ugly Canadian” batted around. Granted we don’t have crack-smoking Toronto mayor Rob Ford and we know how to pronounce the word donut. Then again, we eat too many donuts and have plenty of our own idiots.

Hope you had a good Valentine’s Day. Happy Saturday, and stay safe in all this crazy weather.

Love, Mom

P.S. Winnie-the-Pooh lived under the name of Saunders

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Long Live the Queen! Social Media is King for Elizabeth II

It's all to do with the training Queen Elizabeth II DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

Once upon a time on February 6, 1952, King George VI died. Instantly, because that’s how these things work, his daughter Elizabeth became queen. (She wasn’t crowned until a year and a half later. I don’t really know why–maybe it takes a long time to plan a coronation?)

Anyway, Lilibet (as she was known to her family) became the 40th British monarch since William the Conqueror. There have been 12 US presidents during her reign (as of today). Extra points if you can name them.

Queen E’s popularity has soared and dipped over the years, much the way any public figure’s popularity (except Winnie The Pooh) does. What is indisputable is that she has been around a long time (monarch years are about 3 or 4 normal human years) and that she is media savvy.

She allowed her coronation to be televised even though Winston Churchill objected. A zillion years later she allowed herself to be part of the Olympic opening ceremonies in a rather un-crownlike way. Too cool.

She was sending email eons before anyone sent email. March 26, 1976 to be exact (which is a million years ago in technology years). She was the first Head of State to send electronic mail.

The Royal Channel on YouTube was launched in 2007. She joined Twitter in 2009 and Facebook in 2010 (note: before you go try, it is not possible to poke the royal family). And when I say “she joined,” I mean The Crown joined. The Queen herself does not tweet or update her FB status. There are buckets of people who maintain her social media accounts.

Her Majesty is fluent in French and Royal Looks (which is kind of like a Mom Look but with a crown).

The Queen’s birthday is April 21st (quite a marvy day) but it is celebrated in May and June depending on where you live. Each country in the Commonwealth celebrates on a different day, which I think is brilliant. Your Auntie M used to drag her birthday out from late December through early March but she hasn’t yet managed to get the entire world to join in an elongated celebration.

Speaking of royal birthdays, Her Majesty did not learn to drive when she was 16. The then princess learned to drive in 1945 when she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service to help in the war effort. She was trained to be an expert driver and mechanic. The best part? The Queen is the only person in Britain who can drive without a license or number plate on her state car. Because of being the Queen, not because of her war service.

Random fact: She once demoted a footman for giving her corgis whiskey. That is nothing compared to what would happen to someone who tried to give Booker alcohol.

Queen Elizabeth has traveled–a lot–in her life. She has been to 116 countries (several more than once) and yet she does not have a passport. Since British passports are issued in the queen’s name, she doesn’t need one.

Love, Mom

Presidents during Queen Elizabeth’s reign:









Bush I


Bush II



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