Watch enough movies and you learn pretty quickly that what you see on the big screen is a far cry from real life. But every now and then, filmmakers like to inject a little factual information into their fantasy, and a movie can actually teach you something. But, usually when people talk about learning things from the movies, they are talking about 'big picture' stuff; morals, life-lessons, those kinds of things. Well, either that or the kinds of ridiculous traditions of every movies, like everyone has a phone number that starts with 555, or that there is always a parking right spot in front of the building our hero is about to enter.

But I think that there is a whole other world of lessons learned from the big screen that have changed the way we live. In most cases you might not even remember learning it, but trust me; you have the movies to thank for some of your most random factoids, and that's what today's discussion is all about. So with no further ado, today we're going to find out: what have the movies taught you?

After the jump; three things I have learned by going to the movies...



'Counting Storms': Poltergeist


When it comes to movie lessons, for me, the scene in which Steve Freeling (Craig T. Nelson) teaches his son, Robbie, a handy meteorological trick to measure the distance from the eye of a storm is the granddaddy of them all (and the inspiration for today's discussion). After asking friends and family, I have come to the conclusion that counting the time between a lightening flash and a rumble of thunder has stuck with practically everyone who ever saw this ghostly horror.

How a Gun Shot Wound Works:
Three Kings

For all of the shootings I've witnessed on the big screen, it wasn't until David O. Russell's Iraq heist flick, Three Kings, did I finally get a step-by-step explanation of why a gunshot wound to the stomach is the worst there is -- complete with a nausea-inducing visual aid.

How to Make a GoodSsauce: Goodfellas

I don't cook often (don't get me wrong, I've got the skills, just not the inclination), but believe it or not, a cooking trick that I use to this day comes courtesy of Martin Scorsese's mob masterpiece. Food is a huge part of Scorsese's tale of the mobster Henry Hill, and after Henry (Ray Liotta) ran down the perfect prison meal, I had a recipe for a great meat sauce and a new method to add to my library of cooking skills -- I may not use a razor, but my garlic slices are always paper thin.

What have you learned from watching the movies? Leave your lessons in the comments below...