Alister Cameron // Blogologist

Changing the world. One blog(ger) at a time.

Inane things to do when really bored, Part 2

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a post on how when I’m really bored I go looking for the longest surname in the phone book. Well, truthfully I don’t have much time for boredom, although I am astonished at how many people do! Check this out… this is the 103bees report on the questions people ask search engines, that leads them to my site. Look what the most common question is:

103bees questions in search queries

That’s right, variations on a theme of “What to do when really bored.”

Doesn’t that make you feel just a little sad? I have to assume the people punching these sorts of questions into the search engines are kids. I sure hope so.

But heck, it’s not beneath me to keep feeding the darlings what they want so here’s my second inane thing to do when bored: practice writing backwards.

I have been doing this for years. It started because as a left-hander, I wanted to know what it felt like for right-handers, writing in “Roman Script”, left-to-right in other words. See, right-handers write from across their body outwards, like a tennis volleying action. Left-handers write from outside their bodies across to the right, like a forehand tennis action. This explains why left-hander in the “old days” were forced to write right-handed; because they’d smudge what they’d just written with a fountain pen with the side of their hand as their hand slid across the page from left to right. Right handers, on the other hand, had no such problem, writing as they do in such a way that their writing hand is always ahead of the ink getting put down on the page. Luck people!

So with these kinds of thoughts, I decided to try writing backwards, meaning mirrored right-to-left. Part of the challenge for me, rather than to re-learn to write, was to try and train my brain to “think” mirror-imaged, or backwards. A bit like learning to drive on the other side of the road when you’re in Australia (or I’m in the States).

Years later, I’m pretty good at it. I still freeze on a few letter that don’t get used often, as well as special characters. Heck, it’s hard to read it back later, never mind write it in the first place.

But there is one time I always write backwards: my signature on my credit card. I’m onto my third card now, always signing backwards. I love to see which people at the teller notice, and which don’t. It’s a fun little conversation starter. I tell them it’s a way to heighten security with my card (here in Australia we’re still signing as the main security mechanism on cards… smartcards with chips are still a very new thing).

This is the worst YouTube video you’ll ever see. I did it just now with my phone’s camera, just to show you. It was fun. Best I could do in 10 minutes!

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/?v=duzrvVJlHi8″][/gv]

So if you’re really bored, learn to write backwards. If you want to start some fun conversations with total strangers, sign your next new credit card backwards. Or your checks… whatever you think is zany enough for you!

boredom, bored, writing backwards, writing reversed, mirror-imaged writing, left-handed

One Comment

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  1. Posted 10 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    hmm, interesting 🙂
    I actually just did a post on a couple things I do when I’m bored too. I’d have to say, my things are slightly more productive. After all, one of them landed me on your site 🙂
    http://www.nathanrice.org/2007/01/17/some-things-to-do-when-youre-bored/

    Nathan
    http://www.nathanrice.org/

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