General Question

wundayatta's avatar

What physical thing (other than a person) do you know the best?

Asked by wundayatta (58591points) October 1st, 2010

Do you know cars? Trains? Birds? Brains? The beach? The sun? What? Imagine you are trying to impress someone you want to be friends with. Tell us a few things about this subject that illustrate it’s allure for you.

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35 Answers

OpryLeigh's avatar

Probably animals. I used to know a lot more than I do now about animals but over the years my mind full of useless animal trivia seems to have shrunk! This question actually made me doubt myself. I don’t know what I know.

kissmesoftly's avatar

I know an obscene amount of information about the usage of colors in artwork/movies and symbolism in books and also a hellavalot about human emotion/brain and neuro-disorders. And everything medical. I grew up reading medical encyclopedias.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Books. I’ve read a lot, and many of the books quite deeply.

Vunessuh's avatar

Or rather writing them myself or teaching someone how to.

I can’t really teach someone how to have an imagination, but I can show someone how to use their imagination when writing within the realms of a screenplay format. I’ve taught many people how to structure every piece of “information” in their screenplay such as action, dialogue, camera direction/angle, scene heading/transition, etc.
Sometimes people know exactly what they want to write about and who they want their characters to be, but they need a little help with scene and character development.
I do so carefully without taking away any originality, but I also teach people to avoid cliches. Research is also important in this process. Making sure any information you want to express as factual is indeed actually correct and not just estimated. (For example, when writing about anything medical or historical.)

Screenwriting is one of the only things I know very, very well and it obviously happens to be a huge passion of mine. Being able to put all of the ideas in my head down on paper and then witnessing the transition from paper to screen is fascinating and one of the most amazing experiences ever.

kenmc's avatar

Probably cameras. They fascinate me. I own a decent amount and try to use all of them (even though my brownie won’t open). With every camera I own, I try to figure out all of the exact mechanisms that cause them to capture light and apply said light to the film or sensor.

My collection so far is 2 film SLRs (a Ricoh and a Minolta both fully manual with mulitple lenses), 1 digital SLR (a Pentax), 2 Polaroid 600s (a Sun600 and a One Step), 1 Polaroid 100 (Land camera), 1 digital point and shoot (Fujifilm), and 1 Brownie Jr. 16 (Kodak).

tedibear's avatar

Pie crust. I’ve spent a lot of time getting my pie crust to be the right combination of flaky, buttery, tender and very very tasty. You have to work quickly and it helps to have everything that you’re working with be cold. Not frozen, just chilled. I’ve also learned that an egg white wash (egg white, a touch of cream and some water) and a sprinkling of sugar makes the best glaze for pie crust.

Cruiser's avatar

Guitars and guitar gear. It is something I had in my life since I was 14. I never had much money to buy the stuff so flea markets, garage sales and trading is how I acquired most of what I have. Plus I have had to build and retrofit much of it so I know a lot about the instrument and just love playing them especially my electric. It is also an extension of my inner most feelings and emotions and nothing feels quite like how it does when I can express myself through my playing…words just cannot describe that type of ability or the feeling of it when I do play.

erichw1504's avatar

Computers. Been working with them since I was 12. I’m more of a software guy though.

Would have said programming, but a programming language isn’t exaclty physical

Thammuz's avatar

Videogames, also i have a really good memory for characters of fiction and their characteristics

gondwanalon's avatar

I have a general knowledge about most things and I know a lot about nothing. I’m sure that I know more about animals and plants than most folks so someone may be impressed with that. I’m also good at clinical biochemistry as well.

wundayatta's avatar

@erichw1504 Code does have a physical presence. It appears on the screen or on printouts. Even conceptually, it is like a physical thing because of the relationships each part has to other parts and to the whole. It’s something you can watch. It’s something you can tinker with. It’s something you can get to know the character of.

I think code counts as physical. So what do you know about it (not, what is it), and how do you feel when observing/interacting with it?

erichw1504's avatar

@wundayatta Very well. I know how a lot of programming languages work, logically. I have an in-depth knowledge of various languages including HTML, Javascript, Visual Basic, .NET, C++. I feel empowered when working on a program or script. It is what I love to do and can get very creative with it.

eden2eve's avatar

Gardens, particularly those that contain edible plants. I continue to learn more about the respective types the more I work with them. I am very gratified when I am able to feed myself and others almost exclusively from what they produce. I feel a great sense of peacefulness when I am working the soil. Almost like it is a form of anti-depressant. And being physical as I work in the garden is a great stress reducer as well.

I am also very conversant with some types of computer programs, particularly those involving information management and graphic arts. I enjoy creating things using those mediums.

Seek's avatar


When you sell a man a book you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night – there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book. ~Christopher Morley

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Pottery techniques,glaze chemistry, firing methods and techniques.Also painting.
I have no desire to teach though ;)

free_fallin's avatar

Books, cooking, writing techniques, art, xkcd, pumpkins, tea.

Kayak8's avatar

HIV which doesn’t sound like a physical thing (unless, of course you have HIV which makes it a very physical thing). As for other physical things, probably watercolors . . . or kayaks . . .

chels's avatar

Italian food.
I few other things as well but I’m too tired to type ;)

YARNLADY's avatar

I know a lot about crafts and re purposing. I can take almost any object and make it into a piece of art.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I know piercings.

boffin's avatar

…do you know the best?

Vultures, Buzzards, Condors

the last two from personal experience…

laureth's avatar

I know yarn. I make it myself, and if need be, I could turn the stuff someone shaves off of a sheep into a pretty nice garment all by myself, with relatively simple tools. I used to take commissions for handmade stuff, too. Someone once said, “Laureth, you don’t just knit and crochet, you sculpt yarn!

I am the yarn whisperer. :D

YARNLADY's avatar

@laureth as an end user/collector of yarn, I salute you

mattbrowne's avatar

Stars, photons and atoms.

ducky_dnl's avatar

Books. It’s the only physical thing I know, to be honest. I don’t have much enthusiasm for social interaction.

stratman37's avatar

@Cruiser , I’m right there with ya brother! I have taught myself to be a pretty decent luthier, and I love to take apart stuff and fix it. I love to solder, and have buttloads on making my own repairs and mods.

The only dangerous part is telling someone else what you know, then they bring all their gear to YOU to fix(!) and they figure since you enjoy doing it, they don’t have to pay you!

Cruiser's avatar

@stratman37 I am most fortunate in that my 14 yr old is as good at it than I ever was. For my birthday he rewired and set-up my first electric which is an old Silvertone I “Frankenguitared” when I was his age. It screams now!

ipso's avatar

I was on a bullet train, full-on, heading from Tokyo to Gala. The train was full of young people like me. We had our snowboarding gear on; excited with anticipation that so much fresh snow had just dumped; shared visions of a Nordic heaven, porpousing through drifts of powder; gasping – urgent to shred, as if our lives depended on it.

And it does. Most certainly it does.

This one young Japanese girl was just standing there with her friend. This girl…. She was just holding her snowboard, propped up next to her, with one hand, pinky sticking out, like a fine wine glass – immaculate.

How can I possibly explain this? It was the way she was holding it. It was her grace. It was her confidence. It was her extreme competence in just holding something.

I imagine her from a wealthy austere family and having spent decades studying things like being a geisha, and dance, and flower arrangement, and calligraphy, and 100 other things related to physical movement.

Yah.. she was insane hot, and this has been known to cloud a young man’s perception, but that’s not it, I am sure. You can spend a lifetime of study, and only after many decades even begin to understand the art of just holding something properly, because just holding it can somehow incorporate everything you know about the object/subject.

The picture of these Southern men (although just being defeated – in defeat) is the closest I can come. Just look at them: debonair, a relentless self-purpose, a transcendent sophistication and presence – full of grace dangerous.

That is how I am with a mountain bike. That is the object I am most familiar with.

Thammuz's avatar

@ipso That’s so fucking poetic i might actually cry. And i’m not even joking. +1

Jude's avatar

Not a physical thing, but, I would say teaching 3rd grade.

I deal with 28 third graders and am awesome at it, if I do say so myself.

Music is not far behind.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I’m better at the intangible stuff. I’m really great at understanding tons of different things, no matter what they be. Very useful when arguements arise.
Tangible things, I’d have to say quilting and sewing. I can look at any pattern and instantly know how to create it. My mom loves this. I’ve also got a pretty good eye for color matches and such.

MooCows's avatar

Tarot cards….I became interested in them..mostly the angel ones
and have used them on occasion but it is mostly for fun. I am a
Christian and believe in God so many people do not understand
my interest in these. I do not run my life by them. I am also interested
in astrology and numerology and know a great deal about these subjects
but many of my friends no not know this as I know they would not approve.

Seek's avatar

I use tarot cards occasionally as a sort of meditation – a way to hack my brain, if you will.

It’s sort of like how flipping a coin can help you make a decision: Everyone knows the coin-flip isn’t a binding contract, but if then thing you land on makes you balk, you know you want to go with the other choice. With tarot, you can look at what the cards are supposed to mean, and if anything particularly resonates with you, you know that is something you should think more about and work through. The rest can be safely ignored, because there’s no real mystical quality to it.

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