We all have hidden talents. We all share Secret Feats of Amazing Strength!

There is no shame in quietly revealing your Super Powers.

Today I will share with you three of my most secret — yet most incredible — hidden abilities.
Double Vulcan  Spock has nothing on me.

I am not only able to do the Vulcan hand sign at will with one hand — without using my other hand to evenly spread my fingers — I am able to open and close the Vulcan greeting as ever I wish.

This “Vulcan Scissors Effect” isn’t limited to just my dominant hand.

I can open and close BOTH HANDS in Vulcan greeting at the same time and independently — at will — while others stare at me in awe.

I do not play the piano. I do a lot of typing.

While I know American Sign Language, my hand and finger dexterity is rare and I have yet to meet a Deaf person who can even begin to compete with the excellence of my double Vulcan finger/hand dexterity.

Whistling Madman

I am also a master whistler.

My tongue and mouth work in harmony to recreate melodies heard on the
radio and on records and CD players layered across my life.
I’m not whistling simple melody.

I’m whistling with vibrato. I’m
whistling a trilling like you’ve never before thrilled to experience.

When I whistle — songbirds stop singing to listen.

Master Snapper
am a Master Finger Snapper.
I can snap my fingers with both hands. I can snap in harmony or in

You can hear my finger snapping from over a mile away.
I can also — in classic The Three Stooges form — snap all of my
fingers in a row on both hands.

That means I can start snapping with my
Itty fingers, then my Commitment fingers, then my Howdy fingers and,
finally, my Over There fingers!

The cascading sound of snapping created by that talent is delightful to
the ear and eye and, when accompanied by my whistling, creates a feast
for the entire body proper.

Now it’s your turn!
Please tell us everything we need to know about your three best — yet
hidden — Secret Feats of Amazing Strength!


  1. Oooooh David! I love this article! Yay!
    I can do the Vulcan hand thing too! I don’t know that it is a natural talent, though; I played cello for so long my hands have been trained to stretch in weird and amazing ways. Like you, I am also a master typer. I type roughly 105 wpm with 0 errors.
    I also have quite a knack for memorization. This has come in handy in Latin when I’ve had to memorize hundreds upon hundreds of words and endings and countless combinations of the two. It also made memorizing music easy back in my performance days.
    And last but most certainly not least, I can flare my nostrils faster than any rabbit on the planet! This special talent has brought the awe of many. :mrgreen:

  2. Emily!
    Wow! I love your Secret Feats!
    The Vulcan Hand Thing IS a natural talent. How many people do you know who can do it regularly with both hands without assistance?
    You wouldn’t be able to play your cello unless you were a natural talent. Do you still play the cello? Do you own a cello? Would you ever play a cello made from carbon graphite?
    How did you learn to type so well?
    Memorization! Niiiiice. Where are you studying Latin? What use is it in your daily life?
    The nostrils thing is interesting! Do you have Super Smell ability? How did you discover that Amazing Strength?

  3. You are most amazing and I stand in utter awe of your talents. While I am not deaf, I am hearing impaired and I just discovered—just today after reading this post, that I can also open and close BOTH HANDS in Vulcan greeting at the same time and independently — at will — but nobody is staring at me in awe!
    I must go out and find a Vulcan to test this theory. I’ll get back to you, and maybe we’ll have a competition to see who can do it flawlessly. (g).
    As for your other amazing feats, I fear I cannot even come close to such a thing.

  4. David,
    I do own a cello. It is over 100 years old and has the most beautiful sound. I still play occasionally, but only for fun and for myself. I don’t play gigs anymore.
    Carbon graphite cello bows are pretty common; almost every Classical musician starts with a graphite bow. As you get better, you acquire more expensive instruments and bows. Wood, in all cases, produces a better sound than graphite. It has been quite a while since I’ve played with a graphite bow, and I’ve never played a graphite cello.
    I learned to type from using AOL Instant Messenger so much back in the day. When I was 12 or 13, it’s all anyone did when they got home from school, and we did it for hours. I would have ten or more chat windows open talking with all my little friends; to keep up with that much girlie gossip you have got to type fast!
    My major is Classics; for that degree, you must select either Latin or Greek as your primary language and cultural study. I took Latin throughout high school and absolutely loved it. It comes very naturally to me for some reason. As far as what use it is in my daily life, it has helped me immensely with vocabulary, grammar and data recall in general. Do I walk down the street speaking Latin? No. Does anyone? No. But it is such a huge passion of mine regardless.
    No Super Smell ability here! My dad showed me how to do the nostril thing when I was four or five and told me I had to practice a lot, so then I did it constantly; watching TV, eating, reading, any mindless activity brought it out! It really annoyed my parents and they tried to make me quit it. I probably looked rather silly!

  5. Dear Laura —
    Welcome to Urban Semiotic! Since you are new here and your contentions are unproven by lots of Comments DNA we will need some sort of video proof from you to confirm you Double Vulcan Hands claim.
    We are wary. We are slightly skeptical. People who have this talent don’t “discover” it by reading a blog. They know it from birth. And if they were born before Star Trek and Spock were part of our universe, they just thought their hands did weird things.
    I can also do Vulcan Mind Melds — I was holding that Secret Feat of Amazing Strength to myself just in case we had a challenger to the throne like you today. There! Hold your face against your computer screen so I can read the verity of your mind!
    You, of course, can skip the Mind Melding verification by going to your local supermarket, standing in a long line and having some one videotape you while you say out loud, “Look at me! I’m Spock! I’m Spock with two hands!” And then you do the Double Vulcan Scissor your hands while repeatedly speaking those sentences. Upload it to YouTube, post the link here, and you’re done.
    We thank you for your claim and we appreciate your participation.

  6. Emily —
    Why don’t you play cello gigs any longer?
    I saw on my favorite show — “How It’s Made” — how to make a carbon graphite cello. I could make you one if I had enough carbon fiber and epoxy. They looked expensive, but hardy, and the weather probably wouldn’t bother them much. The sound sounded great to me.
    When you typed on AOL did you use full sentences? Or did you truncate words to save time and space?
    Love the Latin! I wish we lived closer so you could teach me.
    What do you plan to do with your Classics degree beyond banking and advocating for the Death Penalty?

  7. I taught myself the Vulcan Hand Thing in third grade. I can open and close both hands.
    I can lift only my left eyebrow while lowering my right one, but I can’t do the the opposite. Trying makes me look exceptionally silly.
    I am also someone who learned to type with IM, though I have no idea how fast I actually type. I know I type faster when it’s coming strait out of my head then when I’m copying something. Especially on typing tests, because they tend to be the most random things.
    Your really lucky to be able to memorize things, that is my biggest obstical to learning another language. Supposedly, I have good pronunciation. I’m fairly good at mimicry, and I enjoy confusing dogs and cats. I probably weird people out, because if a dog barks at me, I bark back. It usually makes it be quiet for at least a second.
    I read pretty quickly, but I’m not a speed reader or anything.
    I once knew a girl who could vibrate her eyeballs, can anyone here do that? It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.

  8. David,
    Playing an instrument isn’t like riding a bike; that is, you can’t go without playing it for months and then pick it up right where you left off. If you want to remain at a consistent “level” good enough to play professionally, you must practice every day. There is no way ’round it! As I only pick it up once every month or two, I am just not at that professional level anymore. 🙁
    I have always used full sentences and correct punctuation on Instant Messenger! No self-respecting writer wouldn’t! In fact, all of my friends would make fun of me for it. Now, I have not extended this practice to text messaging on my phone. There is just not enough room sometimes!
    Latin is fabulous! I think you would love it. It is like putting together a puzzle that has many solutions.
    Mr. Boles, you need to reread my bio! I might not read all embedded links about Tooty Vaginas, but if you read my bio you would know what I am going to do with my Classics degree! 😉

  9. Stacy!
    Please give us proof of the Double Vulcan hand thing. Too many people are claiming that throne!
    Can you scissor your Vulcan hands in such a way as to cut paper?
    Can you cut carbon fiber fabric with them?!!

  10. Emily!
    Why did you stop practicing your cello?
    Full sentences. Are. IMportant. LOLROTFLMAO.
    Oh, we’ve memorized your bio! But have you? This was a test, it was! High school teaching can’t pay more than banking!

  11. No no no, in Oklahoma garbage men get paid more than teachers. Vera fabula (true story). But I don’t want to teach for the money. That would just be silly!
    Oooh oooh, I thought of another talent that I have! Okay, it is hard to explain. I lift one upper-corner of my mouth in an Elvis sort of sneer and push the opposite lower-corner of my mouth downward to create a diagonal shape with my mouth! Some people can do it, but hardly anyone can do it with either side! I can!

  12. Proof? hmm… that will have to wait until after dinner.
    Isn’t it a Klingon Axe?

  13. Emily!
    You could speak Latin while you empty other people’s garbage! It might be a good talent/money fit for you. Think on it some!
    The mouth thing is wild — pictures, please — how did you discover that talent?

  14. HA! That would be great!
    Oooh, as a matter of fact I DO have a picture of this talent. Sending it your way!

  15. Oh my, Emily!
    You win! What great fun! You are certifiably WACKO!
    How long ago did you take that image and how were you able to find it so fast?
    Now… let’s make that face of yours there the default Avatar for you on our Authors page and as your Avatar here!

  16. Super power no. 1:
    I can sing – any tune under the sun, after listening to it once. I was known as a ‘live music system’ when I was in college. I was like an open book – if I stopped singing/humming – everybody knew I was not in a good mood! 🙂
    Super power no. 2:
    Same goes with whistling! David, I am asking for an open competition – any time, any day. Get ready for a great defeat!
    The funniest thing was I was not supposed to whistle – it was not acceptable, not at all lady like – but I did, as usual!
    Super power no. 3:
    I have an uncanny ability to dig up information about anything I like! My gut feeling also seems to be eerily accurate!!!

  17. Stacy!
    We have no way to verify that’s you! We have no way to verify if those are your hands or if one of the hands belongs to someone else because of the angle in which you shot your proof!
    What happened a year ago when you were told not to whistle?

  18. Yeah, I guess your right – I wanted to be able to see what I was doing on the view screen. That was actually one of the easier angles at the desk. But it is me!
    I wasn’t really told not to whistle, my professor (Women and Gender 1900-1970) told us that it was inappropriate for females and asked us how many people had been taught to whistle by our dads. She was using it as an example of difference between males and females. I was surprised, because nobody had ever said anything before about it. I whistle quite often too.

  19. I will have to believe the video is you, Stacy! So funny! I left you a comment and saved it and Favorited it!
    Why did your professor say whistling was inappropriate for women?

  20. David is scared of me, mwuahahahahaha!
    That picture was taken last summer. My brother’s pathetic attempt at my talent is the best part of the picture.
    But I like my Avatar! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! 🙁

  21. Emily —
    Yes, you have many frightening talents — and the fact that you photograph them is further evidence of your insanity!
    Your brother is sad. You are scary. :mrgreen:
    All Avatar decisions belong to you. I am only suggesting. I know what happens to people when they tell you what to do!

  22. I think the professor was using it as an example of social differences between men and women that are still around today. It was really a passing reference though, so I’m not exactly sure what she was trying to say. Sometimes she was a bit scattered. She didn’t think it was inappropriate, and nobody else in my class did either.
    I get funnier comments from my grandma, really. One time grandma told me not to wear my cargo pants out because they were boys pants. I don’t see how they were anymore ‘boy pants’ than all the other pants I own. I’m a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl. She’s just part of a different generation though.

  23. Stacy!
    Your Vulcan Hand video is so funny between your hairbrush on the table, the music in the background and you giggling at the end. Your thumbs are hypnotic! I… can’t… stop… watching…
    We should have a contest: Name All the Wacky Things You Can Identify in Stacy’s Video!
    I was raised that whistling was considered low class. Proper people didn’t whistle. I didn’t know it also had historic gender ramifications, as well!
    Cargo pants have lots of pockets and zippers and flaps: Boy Territory. Men love pockets. Men love shirts with pockets. Even t-shirts with pockets. We don’t carry purses so we need pockets. I’m sure that’s why grandma was reeking out. You can’t get more gender-bending than wearing cargo pants.

  24. Actually, that’s why I liked wearing them. It was a lot handier than a purse, really. Usually all I need is my wallet. I’m always annoyed that dress pants don’t have pockets.
    Yeah… my desk is a bit cluttered…

  25. I agree, Stacy! One cannot have too many pockets.
    Are pockets gender neutral or are they mainly in the male domain?
    Proper pocketbooks, we know, are of a woman’s world. 😀

  26. They are mostly gender neutral, but I don’t think it’s possible to by a pair of boy jeans with fake pockets like girl jeans sometimes have. I bought a pair of those once, and was pretty surprised when I tried to put my hands in my pockets and I couldn’t! So I guess they are more male than female. Like, it’s ok to have pockets, just not to use them.
    I never understood how guys were suppose to carry checkbooks – do only women get to use checks? You can’t fit those in most pockets comfortably.
    Also, it is important to bring up the ‘man bag’ in this discussion – things are becoming more gender neutral all the time. I knew a guy from work with one – I didn’t have the heart to tell him that my mom had one just like it. It was more book bag looking though. Modern people have more stuff they carry around – phones, ipods, etc… Our consumer society demands man bags!

  27. Hi David,
    I can do the Vulcan greeting! I had never tried it before — even though I lived with various roommates in college and law school who were addicted to all things Star Trek.
    Don’t tell anyone, but I found out there were women who were really into STNG via my living with Star Trek fans. And, this was in the days before the Internet took off and people could meet up to share their special interests. Too bad I’ve lost touch with all of the Trekkies. I’d be interesting to see how many can do that.
    What other secret powers can I reveal?
    Sometimes I can master the obvious. 😉
    Other times, I think I’m psychic, but maybe I’m just making informed guesses based on prior experiences. Like the traffic light is going to change green right now. Always works if I can see the other light turn yellow.
    I’m always curious to see if I have any Art Bellian abilities like remote viewing or chupacabra husbandry skills, but sometimes they day is too jam packed with other events and activities and I never get to explore my superpowers.
    Government scientists are developing their own superpowers — the ability to read peoples’ minds:

    In the past, scientists had been able to detect decisions about making physical movements before those movements appeared. But researchers at Berlin’s Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience claim they have now, for the first time, identified people’s decisions about how they would later do a high-level mental activity – in this case, adding versus subtracting.
    While still in its initial stages, the techniques may eventually have wide-ranging implications for everything from criminal interrogations to airline security checks. And that alarms some ethicists who fear the technology could one day be abused by authorities, marketers, or employers.

    Beware of those G-men with superpowers!

  28. Any day…David! Any day…I will beat you in whistling, trust me!!! Like Stacy and you I was raised with a notion that whistling was considered low class and not appropriate for girls – even then I managed to whistle, in the shower, on the tree, alone on a rooftop at night – wherever I could!
    It’s very difficult to explain the third one…my gut feeling and research ability almost work like E.S.P!

  29. Stacy!
    Fake pockets are for girls. Real pockets are for boys. I guess Freud would have a heyday with that, eh? “Girls are born with a pocket, and boys are envious they have nothing to fill so they compensate with the over-population of pockets on their pants and shirts while women tease and remind the boys of their pocket deficiency by wearing false pockets that go nowhere.”
    Guys carry One Check at A Time. A Real Man only needs to write One Check a day — to himself — for Cash. Ah! The Good Old Days!
    Man Purses are a curse of the modern world: A Big Fake Pocket always in need of filling and never being satisfied.

  30. Chris! Can you do the Double Vulcan thing with BOTH HANDS? If so, I think we’ve found our new requirement for being an Urban Semiotic Author and Expert Commenter. If you can’t do the Double Vulcan Scissors, you’re out! 😀
    I love all things Star Trek. I love all versions of the show except Deep Space 9. I didn’t like the static idea of that story. Nothing beats the original series, though. Not even the movies with the original cast years later.
    I love your SuperPower gifts!
    I had a friend once who would send me Art Bell updates every day! Did Art return to the air? I know he retired for some time because he was concerned with alien threats against his life.
    That’s a fascinating link about mind reading! Wowser! We’re at Clockwork Orange Level Alert!

  31. Katha!
    I think you’d better upload video proof of your whistling talent to YouTube immediately!
    We can all make requests. Here’s mine: “Here, There, Everywhere” by the Beatles.
    Here’s the current best YouTube guitar version as inspiration:

    Good Luck!

  32. Katha!
    I think you’d better upload video proof of your whistling talent to YouTube immediately!
    We can all make requests. Here’s mine: “Here, There, Everywhere” by the Beatles.
    Here’s the current best YouTube guitar version as inspiration:

    Good Luck!

  33. Ah, Star Trek. I actually really liked the movies, and the Next Generation. I haven’t seen much of the original, I was a bit too young. Voyager was alright though. I can’t remember if I started watching Star Trek because LeVar Burton (Geordi) was in Reading Rainbow or vice versa.
    Has anyone else seen Trekkies, or am I the only one that nerdy?
    I look forward to hearing this whistling contest.

  34. Ah, Star Trek. I actually really liked the movies, and the Next Generation. I haven’t seen much of the original, I was a bit too young. Voyager was alright though. I can’t remember if I started watching Star Trek because LeVar Burton (Geordi) was in Reading Rainbow or vice versa.
    Has anyone else seen Trekkies, or am I the only one that nerdy?
    I look forward to hearing this whistling contest.

  35. Hi Stacy —
    The original Star Trek TV series was culturally groundbreaking. They could deal with race and sexuality and war in really interesting ways because it was a theoretical future and not “now” so their issues didn’t come across as politically charged, even though they were.
    LeVar is a great talent. He was sort of wasted on Generation — his fame and good deeds are cemented in the Rainbow.
    Katha better do her challenge right. NO OFF CAMERA WHISTLING ALLOWED! She could be using trained dogs or something if we can’t see her actually performing the deed.

  36. Yeah, science fiction is really good for that – I love science fiction and fantasy. They’re both good for dealing with things differently because they aren’t real. They can address a problem more directly by being indirect. I seem to remember one episode where they found an alien race where some of them were right half black and left half white, and some of them were opposite. They were at war because of it.
    “Take a look, its in a book, the Reading Rainbow!” I just went and looked up some episodes on youtube. I miss all those late 80’s early 90’s cartoons I grew up with.
    Speaking of actors, I think I’m going to try and see Patrick Stewart in The Tempest at Stratford upon Avon. I was looking up tourist stuff for there and it turns out it’s running for awhile there.

  37. Right, Stacy! That was a great episode! The “wrong half” of the face was Black, so there had to be the remedy of removing that “strain” of being from the Race.
    You can buy the old Star Trek episodes on iTunes!
    The first interracial kiss was also shared on TV on Star Trek when Kirk kissed Uhura. It was “forgiven” by the current mainstream morality because they were being controlled by outside influences and wouldn’t really do that if they were themselves. 😀
    Reading Rainbow is historic. It was created and is produced by Nebraska ETV!
    Patrick Stewart is an incredible actor. He made the Next Generation watchable.

  38. Maybe I’ll look them up sometime, I need to watch more of the old episodes.

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