Back in 2010, Jewel Pie illustrated this great method for eating mandarin oranges: slice off the top and bottom, then unroll the fruit into a peel-backed strip of sections.
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Inspired by her nephew's stories of bad food at the mess hall when he was on deployment in Afghanistan, retired photographer Jody Anderson created a recipe-book of meals that could be prepared using a coffee-maker (soldiers were allowed to have coffee-makers in their rooms), and posted some online. Coffee-makers are quick to clean, and the different stages of the coffee-maker give you different, simultaneous, cooking options (grilling, poaching and steaming). All useful stuff for frequent travellers: beats the old "cooking salmon in three thicknesses of foil using the ironing-board and iron" technique.
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The self-described Crazy Russian Hacker of Youtube demonstrates in eye-watering detail a method for tool-free can opening: just grind down the can's rim on a handy block of concrete, then squeeze. The stunt is repeated several times, just to be sure you've absorbed the technique in all its complexity. It's all framed in post-apocalyptic terms, naturally: a kind of Russo-Survivalist Youtube version of Three Men in a Boat.
How to Open a Can without Can Opener - Zombie Survival Tips #20
By attaching a lag bolt to a plastic scrubbing brush, you can make a cordless-drill-powered polishing brush for sinks and tubs. Manly Housekeeper's howto make the process look simple, and you can't argue with the sparkling results.
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To celebrate their 110th anniversary, our friends at Popular Mechanics assembled a collection of 110 tips from their archives.
The August 1955 issue told a farsighted person to punch a pinhole in cardboard and peer through it to read small type. It still does the trick!
I blogged the site Unfuck Your Habitat, which offers timely, humane, simple advice for people who struggle with mess and disorganization . Today there's "MAKE YOUR BED: excuses are boring" and a brief post on getting sex stains off a comforter, though a more typical bedtime post reads:
Unfuck tomorrow morning
Wash the dishes in your sink
*Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories
*Set up coffee/tea/breakfast
*Make your lunch
*Put your keys somewhere obvious
*Wash your face and brush your teeth
*Charge your electronics
*Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)
*Set your alarm
*Go to bed at a reasonable hour
All of this simple and useful stuff has been packaged into a new Android app that's simple and cute -- good advice, timers for short sprints of cleaning (along with suggestions, room by room, for said sprints), a wall commemorating your achievements, and the same friendly, understanding, compassionate approach to "terrifying motivation for lazy people with messy homes."
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In September I wrote about the Hobonichi Techo, a cult-favorite Japanese day planner that will soon be made in an English version. Here's a fun video (with happy music) that shows illustrators drawing in copies of the planner.
I'm not sure if these 32 tips really work, but I'm going to give them a try. Here are four:
- Stop: Stop: Play. Skip advertisements in movies and go straight to the movie.
- When receiving a call from a solicitor, simply press 9; the call will be dropped and your phone number is then put on the companies do not call list. 95% of companies support this feature.
- If you are speeding and suddenly up ahead see a cop that clearly just tagged you, slow down and wave to him/her. Your odds of being pulled over are quite a bit reduced.
- Get the WiFi password for many establishments by checking the comments section of FourSquare.
32 Real Life Cheat Codes That Will Change Your Life
I'd not heard of the Hobonichi Techo day planner until I read this interview with the publisher. An English version is coming out soon and I want one.
[I]n Japan there is one planner that for some years has been gathering a huge following. The Hobonichi Techo. (Techo — pronounced “tetch-oh” — means “handbook”.) One thing that makes it unique is that it is produced by the web media site Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun (or Hobonichi), but more than anything it is the sense of affection and camaraderie it has created amongst its users that has lifted it above the rest: “I use a Hobonichi Techo.” “So do I.” “Me too!” So the conversation goes.
And now, from this autumn, the English version of the Techo, the Hobonichi Planner, is due to go on sale worldwide. Tom Vincent sat down with the editor-in-chief of Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun and the person who created the Hobonichi Techo, Shigesato Itoi, to learn all about how the planner came to be.
Hobonichi Planner going global — PingMag talks to Shigesato Itoi
The Art of Manliness has reprinted "37 Conversation Rules for Gentlemen" from a 1875 book entitled, A Gentleman’s Guide to Etiquette by Cecil B. Hartley. The rules are still valid!
33. When asking questions about persons who are not known to you, in a drawing-room, avoid using adjectives; or you may enquire of a mother, “Who is that awkward, ugly girl?” and be answered, “Sir, that is my daughter.”
37 Conversation Rules for Gentlemen
Update: Here's Mark's first post of this, from 2009
Here's literary critic Edmund Wilson's form-letter for turning down requests from strangers. As Tim Ferriss notes, Wilson wasn't a hermit or antisocial, but he maximized the time he spent socializing with the people he liked by not letting strangers gobble up his time:
Edmund Wilson regrets that it is impossible for him without compensation to:
contribute to books or periodicals
do editorial work
judge literary contests
make after-dinner speeches
Under any circumstances to:
contribute to or take part in symposiums
take part in chain-poems or other collective compositions
contribute manuscripts for sales
donate copies of his books to libraries
autograph books for strangers
supply personal information about himself
supply photographs of himself
allow his name to be used on letter-heads
receive unknown persons who have no apparent business with him.
The Best Decline Letter of All-Time: Edmund Wilson
(via Making Light)
Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less is a just-published book by Asha Dornfest (of Parenthacks) and Christine Koh. It's a simple, short, entirely sensible guide to escaping social expectations and personal childrearing anxiety. It's a book about figuring out the parenting choices that'll make you and your family the happiest, and to clearing your life of all the stuff that's been foisted on you as a must-do for modern parenting.
There's a lot of Getting Things Done in here (tailored for parenting), a lot of general life-hacking, and a lot of free-range parenting. For me, it was just the right balance of time-saving tips, techniques for figuring out your own priorities, and specific advice about schools, holidays and birthdays, vacations, chores, allowance, and all the other minutae of parenting. It's a great book for new parents and for those of us already mid-adventure.
Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less