52 Fun Things to learn.
December 11, 2006 11:48 AM   Subscribe

a list of 52 cool things you always wanted to learn but never got round to!

Ive decided i want to spend the next 52 weeks learning fun / cool TRIVIAL things that ive always wanted to do but didnt get roudn to. Thing is my list so far comprises of bar flaring, false card shuffling, build a go kart for my nephew (i never had one), shuffling poker ships like the pros, spinning a pencil around your thumbs and urmm thats it. I know ive come across a hell of a lot more but i cant remember so i turn to you all to nominate something cool youve always wanted to do but just never got round to... bizare, insane, complicated it doesnt matter just needs to be fun and cool (oh and require about a weeks attention tops so that ruels out learning a language). You dont need to give an explanation of how to do it just the idea. I may even write up the how to for each one if i have time.
posted by thegeezer3 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (32 answers total) 143 users marked this as a favorite
Tie a variety of neckties
Refinish an old coffee table
Plant an herb garden
posted by solid-one-love at 11:50 AM on December 11, 2006

Are you aware that there is a site that invites people to list the "43 things" they want to do? (Google for the URL)

Probably has some ideas for you.
posted by Good Brain at 11:56 AM on December 11, 2006

Juggling. Anyone can learn in in 15 minutes. Another week of practice and you'll know a couple tricks as well. I highly recommend the Klutz book.

Learn to recite the alphabet backwards really fast. Might come in handy if you're ever stopped for a DUI.

Learn to draw a map of the United States from memory. I saw someone do this once (possibly Al Franken on SNL) and it was a lot more impressive than it sounds.

A book on slight-of-hand tricks should keep you busy for a while.

This is a really good question. I shall mark it as a favorite post-haste!
posted by bondcliff at 11:57 AM on December 11, 2006

Spin a basketball on your finger.
Do a headstand/handstand.
Bake some sort of fancy desert from scratch.
Make balloon animals.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:03 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Learn CPR

Learn how to say "hello/Good Morning/Good afternoon", "Thank you", "Excuse me" and "Please" in the top 10-20 languages in the world.

Learn how to make ONE dish really well (e.g. chili) by spending a week trying different ingredients, cooking times etc.

Learn how to shuck oysters.

Learn how to start a fire with different starting tools.

Learn different types of knots (from camping and sailing) and how to wrap a bandage.

Learn how to pitch a tent.

Learn how to quickly mix and serve several of the most popular bar drinks.

Memorize the first 50 digits of PI (instant math geek cred among math geeks)
posted by vacapinta at 12:08 PM on December 11, 2006

I've always wanted to learn how to proofread.
posted by box at 12:09 PM on December 11, 2006

Whistle with your fingers.
Learn calligraphy.
Learn how to French braid.
posted by gnomeloaf at 12:12 PM on December 11, 2006

Make balloon animals. You can get pretty good in a week.
posted by mikepop at 12:12 PM on December 11, 2006

Learn how to say the alphabet backwards really fast.

Learn the pen flippy trick where you spin it around your thumb.
posted by dead_ at 12:24 PM on December 11, 2006

Penny whistle
Speed read
Cook a soufflé
Cook risotto
How to say [insert interesting phrase] in as many languages as possible (with the correct accent).
posted by ceri richard at 12:25 PM on December 11, 2006

I've often thought about Gregg shorthand and Morse code.
(it will take more than a week to master either, but you can certainly get a strong start.)
more reasonable:
Write with the other hand, pick up objects with your toes, wiggle your ears, make fire without matches, tie useful knots (i.e. bowline, alpine hitch, noose, timber hitch, etc), sharpen knives and other tools, make cheese (start with paneer and work your way up), make paper, knit/crochet, take a CPR course, learn to dance salsa, make a creme bruleé, change the oil in a car (if you don't know how yet. If you already know how, try a brake job, radiator flush & fill, timing belt replacement or other maintenance), learn to judge measurements in metric by instinct (or Imperial units, if you already use metric), take x apart and put it back together in functional order (where x is one of: lawnmower, computer, clock, VCR, M-16 rifle, bicycle...), make and fire pottery, build a shelter in the wilderness, multiply large numbers in your head....
is that 52 yet?
posted by leapfrog at 12:34 PM on December 11, 2006 [3 favorites]

Building on some of the others...

Learn how to take apart/put back together your bike.
Start brewing a batch of beer/cider
Bake some kind of bread you like
Learn basic sign language
Learn how to throw/catch balls/etc and generally play as many sports as you can - ultimate, basketball, football, baseball, rugby, tennis, etc.
Try a different microbrew beer (or a couple) every night, so by the end you have a better idea of what kind of good beers you like
Learn how everything you depend on works (computer, car - start with the basic overview, then engine, etc, basic home electronics - what kind of 'computer' they actually have, etc)
Make a techno song to learn how trackers/samplers/etc work.
Pick a couple drugs/vitamins/processed foods and look up every chemical.
Learn how to bunnyhop on your bike.

That enough?
posted by devilsbrigade at 12:45 PM on December 11, 2006

Palming/pulling a quarter from someone's ear/easy social magic trick. Stained glass (glass cutting and soldering). Do a cartwheel. Learn "I'm sorry. I only speak English" in as many languages as possible. Draw cartoon animals. Tape & mud drywall. Read tarot cards/palms/tea leaves. Make a shirt/sew. Crochet/knit/embroider. Make pasta from scratch. Make bread from scratch. Clean & gut a fish perfectly. HTML. Breakdance. Swing dance. Leatherworking. Woodworking. As many digits of pi as you can fit in your head. All the US Presidents, in order. All the US Vice Presidents. The location of every country on the map and its capital.

Me, I'd pick a different country/political issue each week and read everything I could about the history/culture/feeder issues and create truly informed opinions about everything.
posted by Gucky at 12:55 PM on December 11, 2006

Although I know I am physically capable of whistling, I've never been able to do it on purpose. I always figured one of these days I'd be bed bound and in need of something to do.

Basic car repair, translate poetry, hula hooping.
posted by Sara Anne at 1:01 PM on December 11, 2006

Learn to use the capital letter for the first person singular pronoun when it appears other than at the beginning of a sentence. That has practical as well as aesthetic value to the reader.
posted by Neiltupper at 1:11 PM on December 11, 2006 [3 favorites]

I can't believe with all these cooking suggestions no one has suggested pie!

Solving a Rubik's cube.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 1:31 PM on December 11, 2006

As mentioned above, you've see 43 things haven't you?
posted by banished at 1:34 PM on December 11, 2006

-- Learn contact juggling
-- Learn to turn backflips
-- Learn to write a villenelle
-- Learn to spot every Hitchcock cameo
-- Learn to use your fingers as an abacus to do difficult math without a calculator (chisambop?)
-- Learn to play the jaw harp
-- Learn to drum the opening riff from "Wipe-Out" with your bare hands
posted by junkbox at 1:35 PM on December 11, 2006

"Memorize the first 50 digits of PI (instant math geek cred among math geeks)"

This song makes it easy (direct mp3 link is there in the html).
posted by Manjusri at 1:55 PM on December 11, 2006

All stuff that I've wanted to do since forever.

Get the best shave.
Volunteer/Run a Marathon for a good cause.
Learn to setup a home network.
Write and direct your own short movie (YouTube?).
posted by theiconoclast31 at 1:56 PM on December 11, 2006

That pen through your fingers thing, but with a quarter.
posted by clh at 2:29 PM on December 11, 2006

learn the probabilities of all poker hands for texas hold'em
learn basic pool physics
learn to consisitently shoot free throws in basketball
learn to use the food pyramid
learn about your local representatives
learn to make a few paper air planes

and lastly, learn how to tell snarkers to f-off!
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:44 PM on December 11, 2006

-Learn how to frame and mat artwork
-Take a race car driving class
-Learn how to appreciate fine wines
-Read and learn about the history of your region.
-Learn how to wear a kimono or other Japanese clothing
-Memorize a dozen famous quotes that appeal to you and that you can relate to
-Discover how to have the edge in a game of tic-tac-toe
-Learn caligraphy
-Learn a new way to play solitaire
posted by bristolcat at 2:48 PM on December 11, 2006

How to say "I hate (people) and (people's) culture," in as many foreign languages as you can. Or, if you aren't comfortable with that, how to say "I understand you completely," in as many foreign languages as you can.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:31 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Whistle with your fingers.

I've ALWAYS wanted to learn how to do this! Someone please teach me!

Here's mine: Practice lifting a soccer ball more than ten times!
posted by misozaki at 4:29 PM on December 11, 2006

Here's my contributions:

- Learn to skip a rock on water at least 6 times or more
- Learn how to do "hacky-sack" tricks
- Learn to recognize bird calls
- Learn to imitate those bird calls yourself
- Learn to do some *Chinese calligraphy* with a brush
- Study Feng Shui and "redo" your dwelling
- Learn the basics of the art of bonsai
- Learn how to do henna body art (mehndi)
- Learn to make a proper pot of tea
- Learn to give a good foot or back massage
posted by Jade Dragon at 6:06 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Learn to shoot a gun.
posted by RoseovSharon at 7:13 PM on December 11, 2006

two suggestions from my list:
- learn to lucid dream
- learn to circular breathe
posted by philomathoholic at 7:45 PM on December 11, 2006 [2 favorites]

How to pick a lock.
posted by booth at 7:29 AM on December 12, 2006

How to juggle. How to do belly rolls. How to trill the 'rrr's. Sleight of hand. 3 good jokes. Handstand. Splits. A few good card tricks.
posted by sLevi at 9:55 AM on December 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

How to build a solar cooker.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:50 PM on December 12, 2006

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