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Mentally stimulating hobbies

by Gale
Tags: hobbies, mentally, stimulating
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Gale
#1
Aug3-06, 03:55 PM
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Due to financial issues, i can't go to school for a while, so i'm finding i have a lot of free time. i've been applying to a lot of jobs, but nothing worthwhile. i may work two jobs, but it's still looking like a lot of free time. I just moved here so i don't know too many people either...

So, i think i'll develop a hobby. What sorts of hobbies do you guys have? anything exciting? my requirements are that its A) not too expensive. B) interesting and time consuming. C) constructive. i don't know if collecting sounds too interesting. i thought of puzzles, but they can get pretty boring. i may take up a recreational sport, but we shall see. since i'm off from school, i was thinking of something perhaps mentally stimulating would be nice.. but what? ideas? thoughts? suggestions?
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pace
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Aug3-06, 04:01 PM
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Do roleplaying. It's storytelling, drama, social, art, intelligent, existential, exciting, you can make the story whatever you want, and it contains alot of puzzling, all at once. Shouldn't cost too much either, especially if you're a player and not gamemaster.
Writing is also another alternative. I like to invent stories myself, even though.. well, they are not on paper yet
chroot
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Aug3-06, 04:24 PM
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If you're interested in sports, how about indoor rock climbing? It's not very expensive, and very good for your body.

You could learn to play the guitar. You might need to spend a little money to get a decent instrument to play, but there are millions of good, cheap, used guitars.

You could also buy a pair of binoculars (cheap) and start learning some astronomy.

- Warren

scorpa
#4
Aug3-06, 04:25 PM
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Mentally stimulating hobbies

A sport would be a great idea, if you are just playing recreationally it should not cost to much, and would be a lot of fun. You could also look into learning to play an instrument like guitar or something, you can find them for a pretty reasonable price, and after that you really dont have to spend money on them aside from the very occassional pack of strings, and maybe a music book or two.
Schrodinger's Dog
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Aug3-06, 04:30 PM
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Quote Quote by pace
Do roleplaying. It's storytelling, drama, social, art, intelligent, existential, exciting, you can make the story whatever you want, and it contains alot of puzzling, all at once. Shouldn't cost too much either, especially if you're a player and not gamemaster.
Writing is also another alternative. I like to invent stories myself, even though.. well, they are not on paper yet
I used to do roleplaying as a kid and miss it immensely, dealing with a world in terms of the imagination was an immensely important part of realising ideas about the real world for me, you could play an evil twisted misfit, or you could play someone who was suited to your own ideals; as a stereotype of yourself, but by far in a way the best fun was to play out roles that weren't consistent with your own life, if you like drama or acting then you know already what I'm talking about.

I loved writing adventures as a GM, and even campaigns, some of them never got played out but the way that the players forced you off the beaten track and into winging situations was always a serious pleasure, a good gamesmaster always gave the party what they wanted without them realising it sometimes, even killing off a character made for a dynamic that created enjoyment, as dissapointing as that was, I was a realist as a gamesmaster always the moderator, you can make a matrix type environment where everything is perfect, but by far the most fun was to be had in realising consequences for stupidity. Such as trying to jump a chasm that no human had ever jumped just because you could do it on a roll of 1 on a D100; imagination without frontiers was great, but some reality had to insert itself somewhere, I remember a game(Middle Earth role playing game in fact) Devolving into an argument of whether according to the rules a troll running at full pelt would be stopped dead by a man roling an event that demanded this in blocking it's path, I resorted to physics to settle the argument(and responded that rules are not meant to be taken as literal in all circumstances) And as GM my rule was of course law, but it was only when LotR came out that they saw my point about the sheer size of a troll: thank you Mr Jackson for the troll fight scene in the Fellowship of the Ring. Good times

My hobbies are forums, reading, physics in general, walking and carousing, although I do less of some of these than I would like, I will say though that sacrificing a social life for education is a better proposal than socialising and sacrificing education at least I hope so.
loseyourname
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Aug3-06, 04:34 PM
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Quote Quote by chroot
If you're interested in sports, how about indoor rock climbing? It's not very expensive, and very good for your body.
If she's still in Arizona, she should strongly consider outdoor rock climbing.
chroot
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Aug3-06, 04:36 PM
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Quote Quote by loseyourname
If she's still in Arizona, she should strongly consider outdoor rock climbing.
Not until she has some experience indoors, first. IMO.

- Warren
Astronuc
#8
Aug3-06, 06:23 PM
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Gale, welcome home to PF.

Swimming would be a good excercise - indoors and outdoors. Some weight training would be good, along with some running or walking about 2 miles in the morning or evening. Maybe there are some hiking or outdoor clubs - especially at the university. Hopefully it's not too polluted where you are, Gale.

chroot has some great ideas.

Indoor climbing is great! I wouldn't recommend outdoor rock climbing without appropriate conditioning, and when one is ready, start with an experienced person who can supervise.

Astronomy would be a great hobby.
berkeman
#9
Aug3-06, 07:36 PM
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On the mental side, I highly recommend chess. You can get a PC-based program like ChessMaster to help you learn and improve (using the coaching and puzzle features), and I really enjoy playing the computerized boards. After you get a little better, you can look around for other people to play with -- you'd be surprised how many folks you can meet who are near your level of play. It is very rewarding to learn some of the basic tricks and strategies of chess, and see your level of play improving (as measured by the PC-based or computerized board games).

On the physical side, swimming is good as already stated, but I'd also recommend that you consider mountain biking. You can probably pick up an okay basic used MTB for a couple $100, and with that and a helmet, you're ready for some fun adventures. You can start easy, on easy trails and roads and riding for maybe 30 minutes easy. But you'll find pretty soon that your endurance is increasing a lot, and you can ride harder trails and stay out for an hour or even multiple hours (bring lots of water and snacks). I train in swimming, running and biking, and honestly, I have the most fun on my weekend morning MTB rides. Lots of fun scenery, and really great cardio training.
Evo
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Aug3-06, 07:43 PM
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How about photography? With a digital camera and access to a computer you could really have a lot of fun. You could start a thread here to show off your pictures.

You can probably find a decent used one for very cheap. If spawn hadn't thrown away my old digital camera, I'd send it to you. Maybe someone on here has one they could send you. Once you have the camera, the hobbie is free.
franznietzsche
#11
Aug3-06, 09:10 PM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc

Astronomy would be a great hobby.

Dang it, someone beat me to it!
Aether
#12
Aug3-06, 09:20 PM
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I would go to a bookstore with a well-stocked news stand and buy the current issue of "The Economist" magazine, and read it from cover to cover including the ads (be sure to have a dictionary handy). If you like that, then you could get a subscription.
Cyrus
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Aug3-06, 09:21 PM
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Quote Quote by Aether
I would go to a bookstore with a well-stocked news stand and buy the current issue of "The Economist" magazine, and read it from cover to cover including the ads (be sure to have a dictionary handy). If you like that, then you could get a subscription.
Why not just memorize the words in the dictionary, it would be just as dull!
Aether
#14
Aug3-06, 09:40 PM
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Quote Quote by cyrusabdollahi
Why not just memorize the words in the dictionary, it would be just as dull!
What makes you think that what I suggested would be dull, have you tried it before?
Cyrus
#15
Aug3-06, 09:42 PM
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Quote Quote by Aether
What makes you think that what I suggested would be dull, have you tried it before?
No thanks! Reading magazines are not a hobby!

Hobbies include things like riding a bike, building things, dancing, etc.

Reading........
Aether
#16
Aug3-06, 09:49 PM
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Quote Quote by cyrusabdollahi
No thanks! Reading magazines are not a hobby!

Hobbies include things like riding a bike, building things, dancing, etc.

Reading........
Not only is reading a hobby, but it consistently ranks as the most popular hobby of all (about seven times as popular as riding a bike and dancing combined...I don't see "building things" per se on the list).

http://www.harrisinteractive.com/har...ex.asp?PID=328
JasonRox
#17
Aug3-06, 09:52 PM
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Quote Quote by Aether
Not only is reading a hobby, but it consistently ranks as the most popular hobby of all (about seven times as popular as riding a bike and dancing combined...I don't see "building things" per se on the list).

http://www.harrisinteractive.com/har...ex.asp?PID=328
I wouldn't consider reading as being one of the most popular. I think everyone lies about reading. I never see anyone reading, talking about reading, and/or anything like that. Also, when people say they read, they are normally talking about reading magazines. Sorry, but that doesn't count.

Regardless of that, reading is great. Sometimes I spend lots of time at the library browsing things that I should read next.

I think reading a variety of things helped me learn a lot about myself and where I want to go in life.
Aether
#18
Aug3-06, 10:07 PM
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I challenge you two to try out what I suggested for Gale sometime when you have the time...read one copy of "The Economist" magazine cover to cover. Maybe you won't like it, but maybe you will be surprised. Anyway, that's my suggestion.


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