November 30, 2004


When draining the body of fluids, time can be saved by leaning on or applying pressure to the abdomen and essentially 'squooshing out' the fluids. Don't attempt this if the deceased underwent an autopsy, however. The Y shaped incision is only sewn up and could pull apart. In addition, this pressure forces out any necrotic gasses that may accumulate, making any contact with the loved one while on display less likely to result in unpleasantness.

-- Frank

Posted by Matthew at 04:46 PM

November 29, 2004


When searching for a book, look for the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and use that number to reference it instead of a title or author (although those things are useful as well). Each book is issued an ISBN upon printing, and it is never duplicated, like a social security number for the book. It differentiates between things like editions and hardcover or paperback binding. This will guarantee that you always get the exact title that you want, and all librarians and bookstores recognize it.

-- Ensie

Posted by Matthew at 01:20 PM

November 23, 2004


If you ever want to gain some volume in exchange for a quality, the bubble gum baffle will work wonders. Simply chew some bubble gum (sugar-free, so it doesn't mess with the pads on your horn), and stick it in the cavity inside the mouthpiece. The effect is the same as placing your thumb over a garden hose: the air moves faster, giving you much more volume. The tone will be harder to control, but it gives you a nice edge on directional brass for marching band or pep band.

-- Steve

Posted by Matthew at 11:42 AM

November 22, 2004

Diner Worker

To clean up the gunky ick that accumulates on a glass coffee pot, fill it with crushed ice and and a tiny bit of water. Swoosh it around in there and the ice will abrade the pot enough to make the stuff come off.

-- Anna Banana

Posted by Matthew at 02:00 PM

November 19, 2004


If food residue is stuck to a pan or baking dish, simply fill the pan/dish with water and place a dryer sheet in it to soak.

-- Emily

Posted by Matthew at 01:21 PM

November 18, 2004


When making a model of a building, some people use a lot of glue, assuming the pieces will stick together better that way. But that never works: you have to wait so long for the glue to dry that pieces you've placed will fall off and your fingers will become sticky and dirty when you try put the pieces back on.

The trick is to use a really small amount of glue, a very thin layer is all you need. It takes seconds for the glue to dry, and placed pieces will bond right away. As a bonus, your model will be free of glue marks and looks completely professional.

-- Shunny

Posted by Matthew at 12:59 PM

November 17, 2004


Pouring a little vanilla into a can of latex paint will greatly reduce the smell.

-- Jessica

Posted by Matthew at 12:58 PM

November 16, 2004

Digital Video Filmmaker

Carry your camera where the action is. If you hear sirens, go out and tape the ambulances or police cars; if you smell smoke, go tape the fire. Now you've got a dramatic image that would've cost thousands if you'd had to rent the vehicles or set the fire. You might have to rewrite the script a little around whatever event you filmed, but it's often worth the effort.

-- Holly

Posted by Matthew at 02:00 PM

November 15, 2004

Carpet Cleaner

A very easy and practical way to remove wax spilled onto material is to first scrape the excess wax off of the material (a credit card works nicely), put butcher paper or newspaper over the spill, and place a warm iron on the paper. The wax should melt and transfer to the paper. This also works well for carpet and some upholstery.

-- NaTa2

Posted by Matthew at 02:01 PM

November 12, 2004


When you have access to a tuner, pick up the phone and figure out what pitch your dial tone is. Then, the next time a tuner isn't handy, just pick up the phone.

Posted by Matthew at 11:25 PM

November 11, 2004


When boating, the lack of reference points on the water can distort your perception of the position of other craft or objects afloat.

This trick won't work in open water, but when another craft or object afloat seems to be motionless against the landmass visible behind it (from your perspective), you are, at that instant, on a collision course. If the other craft appears to be moving in her forward direction compared to the land, you'll pass behind her; if she appears to be moving backwards, you'll pass in front. Obviously certain caveats apply for large or fast vessels-- just because the bow of the ship will pass in front of you doesn't mean you aren't on a collision course with her stern.

Landlubbers may try this while walking across an open square while others do the same in different directions, with the understanding that it assumes people walk in a straight line.

Posted by Matthew at 11:27 PM

November 10, 2004

Hotel Worker

If you cover the bathroom mirror with regular shaving cream and then wipe it off, it will not fog up when guests take showers.

-- Tbert

Posted by Matthew at 11:18 PM

November 09, 2004


Shaking a little salt on your napkin or coaster will prevent it from
sticking to the bottom of your glass.

Posted by Matthew at 04:34 PM

November 08, 2004


The easiest way to peel garlic is to rest the flat side of a large knife on the clove then quickly smack the blade with the heel of your palm. If executed properly, the skin will pop and easily fall away from the uncrushed clove. If you push too slowly, the clove will end up smashed (and possibly embedded with bits of skin).

-- Robert

Posted by Matthew at 04:33 PM

November 05, 2004

High School Teacher

When the students are acting up (or your performance is being evaluated) , turn on the air conditioning as high as it goes. The students are far better behaved when they are frozen. Note: the opposite effect does not work: excessive heat only exacerbates the issues of problem children.

Posted by Matthew at 09:02 AM

November 04, 2004


If you forget your line while on-stage, try saying "What do you think?" to your fellow actors. 99% of the time one of them will know what to say, and, if you do it fast enough, the audience won't even notice.

Posted by Matthew at 03:47 PM

November 03, 2004

President Of The USA

Thanks to the dozens of people who sent in "President of the USA" tricks today, but I think I'll decline to reprint them here.

Posted by Matthew at 03:56 PM

November 02, 2004


For quick garment repairs, keep your sewing machine threaded with clear nylon thread (available at all fabric stores). No need to search for the correct color or re-thread the machine!

-- Jerry

Posted by Matthew at 01:09 PM

November 01, 2004


The only thing worse than having a table of eight people in your section demanding water is a table for eight demanding water with lemon slices in it, thinking their sophisticated just because they have a hunk of citrus in their glasses. So, the first person asks for water "with lemon," say "sparkling, spring, or tap" Now they either pony up for the bottled water or say "tap water" in front of all the friends they are trying to impress.

-- Carrabbamico

Posted by Matthew at 02:26 PM