Talk to The Hand
April 24, 2006 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Talk to The Hand. They say you should always sing from the heart, but no one ever said anything about what do to with the hands. Enter Robert A. Wilson, N6TV, manualist extraordinaire. If you thought the Human Beatbox from Spearhead was great, wait until you see Robert perform the Theme from Hawai'i Five-O or for Classical music lovers, there's The Toreador Song, from Carmen and The William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger Theme).

Robert is no stranger to talking with his hands. He's also a ham radio operator, a hobby and public service which is not only celebrating 100 years of wireless voice communication, but also makes excellent use of another mode of communicating with the hands: Morse Code. As old and seemingly antiquated as it seems at first glance, Morse Code has been used to allow those with physical challenges communicate with those around them.
posted by jackspace (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
[my hands] fart in your general direction.
posted by pmbuko at 12:17 PM on April 24, 2006

Nicely put together. Great stuff
posted by wheelieman at 12:18 PM on April 24, 2006

I can fart with my hands but this is truly amazing... I guess I just need to start with my scales.
posted by bigmusic at 12:19 PM on April 24, 2006

Man, that made me laugh.
posted by dammitjim at 12:32 PM on April 24, 2006

Invisibility shminvisibility. If I had to pick a superpower, that would be it.
posted by bondcliff at 12:34 PM on April 24, 2006

Nikola Tesla
posted by PurplePorpoise at 12:38 PM on April 24, 2006

So this is what Robert A Wilson does when not selling conspiracy porn to college kids?

Also: Without Sarah Purcell, Skip Stevenson, Byron Allen, or John Davidson around, he'll never get his 15 minutes.
posted by sourwookie at 12:59 PM on April 24, 2006

That is talent. I love the William Tell Overture one.
On preview: I was thinking the same thing, sourwookie.
posted by brundlefly at 1:04 PM on April 24, 2006

Wow. Someone needs to start a Spike Jones tribute band and get this guy in as a frontman.
posted by wanderingmind at 1:57 PM on April 24, 2006

The FCC needs to hurry up and drop the Morse Code requirement from the Amateur Radio tests already!
posted by nlindstrom at 2:16 PM on April 24, 2006

Can't wait to hear the first manualist orchestra...

(this is good)
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:18 PM on April 24, 2006

There's a lot of pitch variation inherent to the process. Still, pretty funny, and the tunes are at least recognizable. I give this a rating of PARTY TRICK EXTRAORDINAIRE.
posted by jenovus at 2:22 PM on April 24, 2006

nlindstrom: not that this is on-topic, but you can get a Technician-level license without knowing morse code. You have to know code to proceed to General. So unless you need to operate in HF, you have no excuse not to get a license. Besides, what's so wrong with learning code?
posted by dammitjim at 2:27 PM on April 24, 2006

Yes, but what is the sound of one hand farting?
posted by isopraxis at 2:27 PM on April 24, 2006

I remember seeing a guy on the Tonight Show years and years ago doing this, and thought it got debunked as some sort of ventriloquism sort of thing.
posted by timsteil at 6:38 PM on April 24, 2006

Wow. Spearhead (well, RadioActive) and Ham radio in one post. I have interests in both. Never did it occur to me to combine the two.

When it comes to expressive hands, though, I have to refer you to K & K Mime Ministry (warning, freaky twin gospel mime action)
posted by afflatus at 10:26 PM on April 24, 2006

S'all right!
posted by rob511 at 11:23 PM on April 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine spent a great deal of his Romanian army service learning to play tunes by snapping his fingers. During a snap, he would curl or uncurl the remaining fingers to form an echo chamber of the right size to get the desired note. Usually, he played Popeye the Sailor Man.

I shit you not. I will try to get him to upload Popeye to teh intarweb. His pitch control was significantly better than this guy's.

He told me that the guy who taught him could harmonize (snapping with both hands simultaneously). Alas, this I never saw for myself.
posted by Aknaton at 11:28 PM on April 24, 2006

I once got on TV playing "How much is that doggie in the window?" by whacking the top of my head with a dessertspoon. But this - this takes talent.
posted by flabdablet at 4:58 AM on April 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

This is completely ludicrous. And the fact that so many people have now taken the time to watch it makes it also completely hilariously.
posted by The Monkey at 3:14 PM on April 25, 2006

Aknaton, sounds like what Lesley Clarke can do (scroll down to March 12).
posted by scruss at 7:25 PM on April 29, 2006

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