Like cooking, protection is a primitive skill that can go a long way toward earning people's respect.
Learn to recite multiple digits of pi
Impressive skills aren't always practical.
Memory experts remember long strings of words or numbers by "chunking" different batches together. To learn the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter — an irrational number that stretches on forever — spend each day memorizing six or seven numbers after the decimal.
As the days go by, add each new batch to the overall string.
Learn to speak the basics of a new language
People who speak multiple languages are called polyglots. Matthew Youlden and his brother Michael can speak over a dozen, making them "hyperpolyglots." Recently, they learned to speak conversational Turkish in a week.
The Youldens credit a language learning app called Babbel, lots of flash cards, and Turkish pop culture as the keys to getting familiar with the new tongue.
Learn to break an apple with your bare hands
Tough as the fruit may be, there's a trick to splitting an apple with no knives or stomping required.
First, remove the stem. Then place your fingertips underneath the apple with the fleshy part of both palms on the top of the apple. Pull up with your fingers and roll your hands out. With a few tries, the apple should split clean in half — no super-strength required.
Learn to juggle
Even if you seriously doubt your hand-eye coordination, juggling is probably within reach.
The easiest way to get the hang of it within a week is to start with two balls. Practice tossing just two up in the air, first with your right hand and then with your left. Work your way up to tossing a third when the first is at its peak.
Soon you'll be able to put separate tosses into one fluid juggling motion.