Subscriber Account active since. Free subscriber-exclusive audiobook! And sometimes, making what you think is an innocent gesture in one country can land you in hot water somewhere else. Just ask any traveler who's given a thumbs-up in Afghanistan.
The shaka sign , sometimes known as "hang loose", is a gesture of friendly intent often associated with Hawaii and surf culture. It consists of extending the thumb and smallest finger while holding the three middle fingers curled, and gesturing in salutation while presenting the front or back of the hand; the hand may be rotated back and forth for emphasis. While the shaka sign has spread internationally from its Hawaiian cultural roots to surf culture and beyond, the hand gesture also bears a variety of meaning in different contexts and regions of the world. According to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin ,  prevailing local lore credits the gesture to Hamana Kalili of Laie ,  who lost the three middle fingers of his right hand while working at the Kahuku Sugar Mill. Kalili was then shifted to guarding the sugar train, and his all-clear wave of thumb and pinkie is said to have evolved into the shaka as children imitated the gesture. Another theory relates the origin of the shaka to the Spanish immigrants, who folded their middle fingers and took their thumbs to their lips as a friendly gesture to represent sharing a drink with the natives they met in Hawaii.
Ancient Rome, thumbs up & thumbs down meant the opposite of what many think
Gestures are a form of nonverbal communication in which visible bodily actions are used to communicate important messages, either in place of speech or together and in parallel with spoken words. Physical non-verbal communication such as purely expressive displays, proxemics , or displays of joint attention differ from gestures, which communicate specific messages. Although some gestures, such as the ubiquitous act of pointing, differ little from one place to another, most gestures do not have invariable or universal meanings, but connote specific meanings in particular cultures. A single emblematic gesture may have very different significance in different cultural contexts, ranging from complimentary to highly offensive. This list includes links to pages that discuss particular gestures, as well as short descriptions of some gestures that do not have their own page.
Berkeley -- Imagine typing on a computer without a keyboard, playing a video game without a controller or driving a car without a wheel. That's one of the goals of a new device developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, that can recognize hand gestures based on electrical signals detected in the forearm. The system, which couples wearable biosensors with artificial intelligence AI , could one day be used to control prosthetics or to interact with almost any type of electronic device.