Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 08-27-2001, 04:40 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: In the medicine cabinet.
Posts: 895
I feel deprived of a vital gesture. I'm able to roll my tongue along the longitudinal axis, am able to rRrrRoll my Rs with ease, and have double-jointed thumbs, but I can't raise one eyebrow at a time. I consider this gesture the height of niftiness, and wish to know whether or not I can learn this.

I understand that the eyebrows are controlled by the (forgot the Latin name. Frontalis something. Let's call it the eyebrow-raiser-thingy.) eyebrow-raiser-thingy, which seems to be a single sheet of muscle by my best (albeit ignorant) guess. Are people like Leonard Nimoy simply blessed with a split E-R-T muscle, or is it finely-controlled co-ordination of a seemingly uncoordinated muscle?

I thank you in advance.
__________________
"Alle Idole müssen sterben."
"All idols must die."

—Einstürzende Neubauten, Seele Brennt (Soul is on Fire)
#2
Old 08-27-2001, 04:43 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 7,090
It can probably be learned. There was a prominent nonverbal psychology researcher who supposedly learned to move most of the muscles in his face individually (and there are a surprising number of them.)

I can raise my right eyebrow, Spockwise, but when I try to raise the left one alone they both go up. I have not been able to overcome this, but it's not like I devote a lot of time to trying.
#3
Old 08-27-2001, 04:45 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Fort Awesome, Alberta.
Posts: 302
Live Long and Prosper

I, too, can raise one eyebrow at a time, if the one you refer to is my left. If I scrunch up my face, I can also lift my right independantly, but I rather think the face-scrunching negates the lift there. It just takes hours of boredom and a good mirror to practice this technique.....much like the art of moving one eyeball seperate from the other. That I can also do (in a limited way). Just wait for a *really* dull day, and try your darndest. Then maybe hit yourself on the head if that doesn't work.
________
Arwen
#4
Old 08-27-2001, 04:50 PM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Fortress of Solidude
Posts: 9,832
I think you could learn to do an at least passable one. Here's what you do: Halfway squint one eye, and raise your eyebrows. Keep doing this. It'll eventually give you the ability to raise one eyebrow with almost no movement. That's how I taught myself.
#5
Old 08-27-2001, 05:07 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 378
I can do one at a time, either one, very quickly in succession. It's definitely a learned skill. I couldn't always do it. It's like getting wrinkles in your forehead. The more you contract your muscles, the easier it is to control them. So practice, practice, practice.

And thank you for inadvertently stating that I, in some obscure way, represent the height of niftiness.
#6
Old 08-27-2001, 06:04 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 1,966
I dunno. I've always been able to do it, although my left one is much better than my right.
#7
Old 08-27-2001, 06:12 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: on the porch
Posts: 7,867
i can raise my left eyebrow. it is a very important weapon. becareful where you aim it.
#8
Old 08-27-2001, 06:36 PM
Inebriate of air
Moderator
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Near Eskippakithiki
Posts: 11,489
You can; I did, in my callow youth when I had nothing better to do than stare in the mirror and try to think of ways to improve my face. You can see me doing it if you click on the link below.

It is a lethal weapon, I agree. I frequently intimidate without wholly meaning to.
#9
Old 08-27-2001, 07:48 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: LIC
Posts: 20,673
I learned to do it. If necessary hold one eye brow with your and raise the other. I'm far better at right brow then my left.

Just to make sure you do have two eye brows?
#10
Old 08-27-2001, 07:55 PM
lno lno is offline
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: In the state of denial
Posts: 4,836
Christ on a crutch, I'm going to get NOTHING done tomorrow thanks to reading this thread.
#11
Old 08-27-2001, 08:22 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 11,029
I learned when I was a little kid in church and it predated Star Trek. Actually, my father the minister could do it with his left eye, and sometimes when he was preaching that was his secret signal to me.

I can raise either the left or right, but am maybe slightly better with the left. I can also in rapid succession go left right left right left right maybe 20 times before getting "tired".

A completely useless ability.
#12
Old 08-27-2001, 09:10 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,381
This is so weird! I can only do my left eye too! Are there any 'righties' out there?

Another thing I can do that totally freaks my wife out is moving my bottom eyelashes side to side. It's hard to describe... imagine being able to blink sideways, instead of up and down.
#13
Old 08-27-2001, 09:10 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,381
This is so weird! I can only do my left eye too! Are there any 'righties' out there?

Another thing I can do that totally freaks my wife out is moving my bottom eyelashes side to side. It's hard to describe... imagine being able to blink sideways, instead of up and down.
#14
Old 08-28-2001, 07:38 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 58,597
I read a line in a book (it was something about submarines, IIRC; perhaps Blind Man's Bluff) that said the captain had the "unusual" ability of raising one eyebrow. I thought this was strange because I've always been able to raise only one eyebrow or the other. It also seems strange that some people can only raise one eyebrow but not the other. But then, some people probably think it's strange that I can't curl my tongue.
__________________
'Never say "no" to adventure. Always say "yes". Otherwise you'll lead a very dull life.' -- Commander Caractacus Pott, R.N. (Retired)

'Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man.' -- Lu-Tze
#15
Old 08-28-2001, 08:17 AM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Edge of insanity
Posts: 2,254
It is so not a useless ability!
When I arch my eyebrow people run. Highly effective with the kids and hubby.
However when hubby tries it and cannot this sends the heathens into fits of laughter since he has only one eyebrow. Okay, I giggle a bit also.
I had heard somewhere that the tounge thing is hereditary and so maybe the eyebrow thing as well?
Do a poll of family members.
__________________
Your Dominatrix Smurf
Mistress Kricket

#16
Old 08-28-2001, 08:22 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The other Long Beach.
Posts: 3,061
I, too, am left-browed, as well as left-handed. I am also a self-taught brow-raiser, and as for learning it, I suggest doing it in your youth, while working at a job that requires mind-numbing repetition.

For me it was almost twenty-five years ago, I worked as a mechanical artist pasting-up business cards. Good thing I spent my day hunched over a drawing board looking down, as the facial contortions required in learning to raise an eyebrow made me look as if I was in extreme pain.
#17
Old 08-28-2001, 08:27 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 3,065
As a slight hijack, I can wiggle one ear (right).
#18
Old 08-28-2001, 08:38 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 58,597
When I wiggle my ears (one or both) my whole scalp moves.
#19
Old 08-28-2001, 08:41 AM
Inebriate of air
Moderator
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Near Eskippakithiki
Posts: 11,489
I can wiggle each ear independently also. My, we're a talented lot.
#20
Old 08-28-2001, 08:42 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Lurking nearby...
Posts: 6,447
Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny L.A.
I read a line in a book (it was something about submarines, IIRC; perhaps Blind Man's Bluff) that said the captain had the "unusual" ability of raising one eyebrow. I thought this was strange because I've always been able to raise only one eyebrow or the other..
It was unusual because of his fine degree of control over it. Very useful skill for a Naval Officer, although in his case I think it was only partly conscious. He could give all manner of subtle meaning to his words with his eyebrows, and God help you, if, during a qualification board, you mananged to make his eyebrow jump straight to full-mast. That always meant a huge list of look-ups, and frequently a re-board (Yes, I was part of SUBDEVGRU ONE).

I taught myself the eyebrow trick by holding one brow down with my fingers, and then trying to raise the free brow. It didn't take very long, maybe a couple of weeks for full control. It is, I've found, a somewhat perishable skill. I hadn't done it much in the last couple of years, and have found my lange of motion and control isn't what it used to be. Wanna guess what I'm doing as I type this..?
#21
Old 08-28-2001, 10:43 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 6,032
I can raise my right eyebrow very well, my left eyebrow only the outer tip (?)

I can also : wiggle my ears and my scalp

I guess I am half nifty
#22
Old 08-28-2001, 11:02 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 997
I am much better with the right eyebrow than the left. The right I can do really great but with the left it looks more confused than evil. I remember specifically the day way back when, in 10th grade Geography class when I decided to learn how to do it. Guess I didn't practice too much with the left.

I cannot roll my tongue, and any attempt to wiggle my ears causes my whole scalp to move too.

I can, however, do a really great Billy Idol/Elvis type of sneer--left, right or both. Also, I can make my eyeballs shake which makes me look pretty freaky. And last, my fingers (but not my thumbs) are double jointed and it would seem that the pinky on my left hand is not connected to the ring finger like on my right. I can make the number 3 without having to hold down the pinky with my thumb.
(My brother says this pinky thing makes me a freak, but he can't move one finger without all the others following.)

Any wonder why Mr. Sunshine loves me so?
#23
Old 08-28-2001, 12:44 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 6,032
Sunshine, my pinky moves on it's own too. Maybe your bro is the freak.
#24
Old 08-28-2001, 02:16 PM
sjc sjc is offline
Guest
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 1,250
I can do the Elvis sneer, but only to the right.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:19 PM.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: [email protected].

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: smearing poop disorder muriatic acid experiments used soloflex here here hand cycle machine butane inlet valve counterfit casino chips long snorkle night owl batman aaa ingear 12 commandments laetitia casta teeth mujahideen reagan coolest scp roman legion motto forced bimbofication gay porn archive ancestry board comfortmaker air conditioners old twins logo president vs chancellor dremel router tool mexicans fucking chase business days distilled wine american cheese block bloodborne message board beetlejuice worm salad tossing does redbull expire plugged ears ringing larry king microphone absent ankle jerks seeing your breath pooping at college my car shakes when i start it bread machine mix walmart air conditioners for crank out windows men with narrow shoulders plumbers tape to stop leaks star trek andromeda galaxy how do you reheat corn on the cob can you buy beer with a walmart gift card drove off with gas pump that 70s show star wars episode how to say i'm cumming in japanese stop excel from changing numbers to dates ps4 names not taken tapping into cast iron drain pipe hardest high school classes what engines will fit in my car top ten strip songs how to connect two printers to one computer sudafed 24 hour high garbage disposal connection to dishwasher white collared blue shirt what action could have averted the revolutionary war how bad is a dishonorable discharge where can i get boric acid powder what happens when you mix ammonia and bleach using oven to heat apartment how to fake laugh what animal is salami made from i refuse to answer on the grounds why does mexican food make you poop citizenship in the community movie should realtor be capitalized