101 New Uses for Everyday Things
December 30, 2009 12:50 AM   Subscribe

101 new uses for everyday things lists some interesting and sometimes innovative ways to use things you find around the home.
posted by Effigy2000 (160 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
Using newspaper to clean glass and to pack delicate items is not new, unless they're working with a definition of "new" I've not yet heard - like "new to not living at mom's house."

I do like the idea of using coffee filters to diuffuse flash, though.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:08 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The bookcase tips on that site are for people who don't actually own many books. My tip would be something like: "Pack it full of books and then start double-shelving, theoretically with the least often used books in the back but actually with that one particular book you're looking for always well hidden behind a bunch of other books."
posted by pracowity at 1:11 AM on December 30, 2009 [26 favorites]


This construction worker demonstrates new uses for his tape measure.
posted by netbros at 1:15 AM on December 30, 2009 [13 favorites]


"Use the hook side of Velcro to pull off pesky balls."

Who has pesky balls? Honestly.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:25 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


The unglazed ring on the bottom of a teacup or coffee mug can sharpen a knife.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:28 AM on December 30, 2009 [15 favorites]


pracowity's link - people have empty shelves? Every time I build more shelves, books appear from the ether to fill them. I'm not actually convinced empty book shelves are possible.

I'm just going to move into a small second hand bookshop and be done with it. One of the ones with more staircases than floors, lots of rooms too small for multiple browsers and books still piled up on the stairs and the top of the loo cistern...
posted by twine42 at 3:02 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Most of those "new" uses for lemons are the same old boring uses for lemons we've had for years now.
posted by longsleeves at 4:22 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


So not only do the bookshelves not have books, the picture frames used to decorate them are ALSO empty.

I think the real problem here is people buying a house that's too large and then feeling a need to fill it with junk.
posted by DU at 4:27 AM on December 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


Most of those "new" uses for lemons are the same old boring uses for lemons we've had for years now.

Oh sweet zombie jeebus, seriously. Here's something that would be an interesting post: Somebody who takes these "new" ideas and traces them back through history to figure it when (or if) they ever were new. I bet Native Americans in Florida and California were using lemons to keep apples from browning in 1,000,000 B.C.. If there had been Native Americans in 1,000,000 B.C and if they'd had apples, which there weren't and they didn't.
posted by DU at 4:30 AM on December 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


10 New Uses for Newspaper, or, shit the HuffPo can't do.
please buy print media, please buy print media...
posted by radiomayonnaise at 4:32 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


What, no 10 New Uses for Chronic?
posted by bwg at 4:50 AM on December 30, 2009


I don't see what was referred to as an "odortron" in my college days on the list for dryer sheets.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:55 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


10 new uses for teh internet ...
posted by fistynuts at 5:11 AM on December 30, 2009


The unglazed ring on the bottom of a teacup or coffee mug can sharpen a knife.

A broken shard of teacup or coffee mug can be a knife.
posted by pracowity at 5:18 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


New Uses for Your Index Finger:
1. Count to one.
2. Working in combination with the fat finger known as a thumb, you can use your index finger to grab and hold small objects.
3. Not sure if you smell? Run your index finger under your arm and sniff it! Pro Tip: You probably smell.
4. Press the number buttons on your telephone with your index finger to talk to people who are out of earshot of your screaming voice.
5. Feeling itchy? Simply scrape the nail of your index finger along the itchy spot for immediate relief.
6. Gouge out the eyes of your enemies and all who dare to oppose you.
...
posted by MegoSteve at 5:29 AM on December 30, 2009 [55 favorites]


101 Reasons Why Magazines are Dying

1. Stupid lists of stuff you already knew
2. ...
posted by octothorpe at 5:35 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Just look at the site where this came from - "Real Simple" magazine - a site for middle-aged women trying to keep up with the Jones' doing the "green" "right" thing - but alas always falling short short short because they don't actually get the true meaning of simplicity as it is presented as couched in consumerism through this site. If they didn't say these were new uses for things - the word "new" paramount here - then how many of these image conscious women do you think would be caught dead doing something the "old" way like grandma did?
posted by franklen at 5:35 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Seems like the real simple thing would be to stop publishing the paper magazine, and just have it online.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:59 AM on December 30, 2009


50 All-Time Favorite New Uses for Old Things seems to have more, you know, actual new uses. Honestly, though, I like Real Simple but it does have basically the same articles over and over again.
posted by bettafish at 6:00 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


10 6 New Old Uses For Hair

*Dry the feet of Jesus
*Cover your nude body as you ride through town on the back of a horse
*Make into a towering birdcage on your head
*Twist into a rope to secure your birchbark canoe
*Make jewelry for your loved ones to wear when you are dead
*Make very fine art brushes so you can obsessively paint each blade of grass in a meadow scene
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:03 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, these tips are all things I've learned from my own grandparents and the grandparents of other people, except for the Ziploc bag, Velcro and dryer sheet tips. I found the tips for all three of those pretty pointless anyway. Ziploc bags are not durable plastic and end up in landfills; dryer sheets end up in the same place and their chemicals are toxic.

Here in France the "uses for everyday things" list would include linseed oil (nutritional, antibacterial, insect repellent, great to use combined with soap on tile floors, also works as a wood finish, is used in linoleum, etc.), Marseille soap (cheap, it can wash anything, and is safe to boot) and lavender (also insect repellent, antiseptic, relaxing, edible). I love plain old generic linseed oil soap, using it to clean much of my apartment; it works beautifully and smells wonderful.
posted by fraula at 6:06 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


For salt, they didn't even list the best one, which is that if you spill red wine, pour salt on it - the salt will soak up the wine faster than the carpet or upholstery.

Amateurs.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:10 AM on December 30, 2009


Honestly, though, I like Real Simple but it does have basically the same articles over and over again.

101 new uses for old articles?
posted by criticalbill at 7:05 AM on December 30, 2009


The People's Pharmacy is great for new ways to use banana peels. Home remedies include such things as coffee for asthma and soy sauce for burns.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:10 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, what you're saying is: white vinegar doesn't have a nine-figure advertising budget, so no one knows what it is good for? Sweet Jesus, has civilization fallen so far as this, where evidently no one has a grinning granny with a baby food jar full of "pins" that can solve any mechanical problem solvable without high explosives, an uncle with an indelible grease stain on his right temple where his fingers rub constantly reaching for the pencil that has always just fallen from his ear, or god forbid a tatty copy of Heloise?

Fuck consumerism.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:12 AM on December 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


Soy sauce for burns? WTF? What's wrong with cold water?
posted by DU at 7:16 AM on December 30, 2009


BTW, Heloise the Younger, who is still continuing her mother's syndicated newspaper column and books today) has a website. But wasn't enough to get me to follow up here. What brought me back was this photo of her... with a little yappy dog... on her Russian-made Ural motorcycle, painted camo, with sidecar. FUCK YEAH.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:35 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Using newspaper to clean glass and to pack delicate items is not new, unless they're working with a definition of "new" I've not yet heard - like "new to not living at mom's house."
...
Oh sweet zombie jeebus, seriously. Here's something that would be an interesting post:
...
Yeah, these tips are all things I've learned from my own grandparents and the grandparents of other people...
...
Just look at the site where this came from - "Real Simple" magazine - a site for middle-aged women trying to keep up with the Jones' doing the "green" "right" thing - but alas always falling short short short because they don't actually get the true meaning of simplicity as it is presented as couched in consumerism through this site. If they didn't say these were new uses for things - the word "new" paramount here - then how many of these image conscious women do you think would be caught dead doing something the "old" way like grandma did?
...
So, what you're saying is: white vinegar doesn't have a nine-figure advertising budget, so no one knows what it is good for? Sweet Jesus, has civilization fallen so far as this, where evidently no one has a grinning granny with a baby food jar full of "pins" that can solve any mechanical problem solvable without high explosives, an uncle with an indelible grease stain on his right temple where his fingers rub constantly reaching for the pencil that has always just fallen from his ear, or god forbid a tatty copy of Heloise?

Fuck consumerism.


Did we all wake up on the wrong side of the site this morning? Not everyone learned this stuff from their families. Not everyone had grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings or parents who happened to be handy with tools or knew how to MacGuyver common household items. Not knowing that a lemon, (for example,) can do various things other than what it says on the tin is not the result of ignorance or consumerism. It's a bit of trivial knowledge that some people know and others don't.

These articles are written and published with good intentions. Do y'all also attack the folks who ask questions on AskMe that you happen to already know the answers to?
posted by zarq at 7:46 AM on December 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


'Shave every day with olive oil.' At $15 a litre?

Thanks to this article I found 10 new uses for the 'Close Tab' button.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:49 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I clinked the link. I hit Ctrl+F. I typed in the word "hack." And Firefox tells me the phrase is not found.

Thank you so much.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:57 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Zarq: it's the word "new" that pisses me off. These aren't new tips. There's not a lick of originality in any of it. It's just cribbing off hundreds of years of "common" knowledge for the sake of advertising revenue. It's the eBaum's World of "household tips." Bah!
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:01 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Not knowing that a lemon, (for example,) can do various things other than what it says on the tin is not the result of ignorance or consumerism. It's a bit of trivial knowledge that some people know and others don't.

If civilization collapses and the only survivors are a rag-tag bunch of children who lived in the sewer system and never learned English, it will continue to be widely known that lemons keep apples from browning, smell nice and look pretty.
posted by DU at 8:03 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Heloise rocks.

The Real Simple website is screwed. If there is a real SIMPLE list of 50 things, why do i have to click 50 miserable pages to read the damn thing?

Answer: I don't. The back button is my friend.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:04 AM on December 30, 2009


Lemons are good for controlling pit-stink, just rub a wedge in your armpit like deodorant. But for chrissake (as I would remind my roommate), don't put it back in the fridge when you're done.
posted by stinker at 8:14 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


This kind of thing is the corporate cancer of the internet.
posted by beerbajay at 8:22 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


If civilization collapses and the only survivors are a rag-tag bunch of children who lived in the sewer system and never learned English, it will continue to be widely known that lemons keep apples from browning, smell nice and look pretty.

Well, I wasn't aware. I like to think I know my way around a kitchen, too. I suspect that quite a few other folks probably don't know it either.

Just because you happen to be aware of something doesn't mean that everyone else does. It seems pretty self-centered to assume otherwise.
posted by zarq at 8:23 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ditto, it's the "new" that grates. And the staged photos of Brand Name products thrown in for good measure. I mean, Heinz distilled white vinegar? (Hint: generics work just as well when it comes to the distilled stuff.) A&H baking soda? (It's sodium bicarbonate. With this knowledge in hand, you can find no-name stuff pretty easily.) Ziploc? (It's a registered trademark.) Morton's salt? Hello, marketing being passed off as down-home "innovative" advice that they were actually able to find for free.
posted by fraula at 8:27 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Zarq: it's the word "new" that pisses me off. These aren't new tips. There's not a lick of originality in any of it. It's just cribbing off hundreds of years of "common" knowledge for the sake of advertising revenue. It's the eBaum's World of "household tips." Bah!

The average American reads at around an 8th-grade level. Real Simple's demographics are here. The average reader of the magazine is white, has a decent income and at least some college education, but more than a third (34%) have not attended college. (49% have college degrees. 12% have graduate degrees.)

I agree that the article is presented poorly, and may rely too heavily on advertiser plugs. However, simple, easy-to-read articles like this one make up the bulk of most major US women's consumer and general interest magazines, such as Good Housekeeping or Family Circle. They focus on ways their readers can save money and help their families. And they rarely promote products that are outrageously expensive or useless.

If someone learns a single thing from this list, then they'll find that bit of trivia new and helpful. Just because some folks here did not, that doesn't mean that it's a bad list. It's not for them, that's all.
posted by zarq at 8:37 AM on December 30, 2009


Well, I wasn't aware.

In all seriousness, did you just teleport to Earth from Outer Nowheresville? I'm absolutely floored that an adult human living in the US (according to your profile) could be unaware of the "new tips" that lemons smell nice and keep apples from browning.

It's like the very first thing anyone says to anyone else. Sample conversation:

Person #1: Hello, how are you?
Person #2: Fine. How's the weather?
Person #1: It's not the heat, it's the humidity.
Person #2: You got that right! Did you know that swimming is the best form of exercise?
Person #1: I did not. And in the spirit of sharing information, lemons keep apples from browning.
Person #2: Whoa! Wait...should I have told you that fire is hot before you told me about lemons?
Person #1: No, I think the lemon thing is more fundamental than that.
Person #2: Good call. Anyway, back to "hardly working"! Har!
Person #1: Huh, I'm not familiar with that joke.
posted by DU at 8:48 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


I've just been up for a couple hours, checked email, looked at a couple news sites, got a few things done around the house, read the most of the Andrew W.K. thread and this thread.

That photo of Heloise the Younger (sounds like some pre-1066 British monarch type) is the best thing I've seen on the internet all day.

I don't know it that means I should spend more time on the internet or go outside.
posted by marxchivist at 8:55 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


This list is for amateurs. Pros go here for ideas.
posted by emjaybee at 9:02 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


In all seriousness...

Perhaps if you're looking for a serious answer, the best tactic to use when questioning someone isn't arrogance or condescension.
posted by zarq at 9:07 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


I got a little carried away, but I'm perfectly serious. Putting lemon juice on apples has got to be in the Top 5 Pieces of Household Advice People Give along with "drink water/scare someone to stop hiccups", "baking soda helps control odors", "sharp knives are safer than dull knives" and "cut onions under water".

Even having no parents/grandparents to "pass these things on" isn't an explanation. If you've ever packed a cut apple in your lunch at work (or for kids going to school) someone has got to have suggested this at some point. And every single cooking show/cookbook in the world has this in there, so if you've ever looked at one you've seen it. Plus there's lists like this in every housekeeping magazine every month.
posted by DU at 9:29 AM on December 30, 2009


In all seriousness, did you just teleport to Earth from Outer Nowheresville

This is one of the more condescending things I will read today.

One person’s idea of “common knowledge” is another person’s idea of “a neat little trick”, and vice versa. That someone doesn’t know the useful properties of lemon wedges does not reflect on their general knowledge or ability to function in day to day life.

Also, readymade is a marketed magazine like any other; that they may try to include some tips and tricks about alternate uses of everyday products should be seen as a good thing. However, this is metafilter, so we see most things in a negative light – “consumption is bad. Commercialism is bad. A commercial magazine that often highlights ways one may reduce consumption, yet still retains all of that icky marketing and product placement is . . . bad?”
posted by Think_Long at 9:35 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Why are all the new ways to repurpose Velcro actually just ways that Velcro was intended to be used?

Make two things stick together but able to come apart with gentle pulling! Amazing!
posted by shakespeherian at 9:35 AM on December 30, 2009


My approach to Readymade may have been adjusted somewhat since my girlfriend became a subscriber; she get’s pretty mad at me when I make fun of the content.
posted by Think_Long at 9:36 AM on December 30, 2009


!LEMONS
posted by nola at 9:36 AM on December 30, 2009


A friend writes for magazines similar to his, and she told me that whenever you see an article that mentions "The X best Ys," or the "X things you need to know about Y," etc, that the number X is given to the writer in advance, by the editor.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:37 AM on December 30, 2009


A total rip-off.
Last week I bought a copy of the book (publ. 1999, 10th reprint 2000) for 50p at our local car boot fair.
Useful, but corney. Stuff from grade 2 mags since 1888
posted by Crustybob at 9:43 AM on December 30, 2009


Hey there couples, swingin' bachelors & bachelorettes! Did you know that extra virgin olive oil also makes for an excellent, ahem, personal lubricant?
posted by squalor at 9:44 AM on December 30, 2009


Velcro my remote to my TV? Screw that, I velcroed my remote to my nightstand and coffee table.

I mean, getting up and touching the TV when I'm done with it? Madness.

(The coffee filter/ popcorn bowl is a great trick though. I've been using it at work for years; we have cabinets full of coffee filters but frequently run out of things like napkins and paper towels.)
posted by quin at 9:59 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I got a little carried away, but

The comment was obnoxious.

Putting lemon juice on apples has got to be in the Top 5 Pieces of Household Advice People Give along with...

Well, everyone neglected to mention it to me. Perhaps it's not as widely known as you are convinced it is.

Even having no parents/grandparents to "pass these things on" isn't an explanation.

As it happens, I grew with grandparents and parents who all cooked, and did so quite well. They never mentioned it either.

If you've ever packed a cut apple in your lunch at work (or for kids going to school) someone has got to have suggested this at some point. And every single cooking show/cookbook in the world has this in there, so if you've ever looked at one you've seen it. Plus there's lists like this in every housekeeping magazine every month.

I make (or order) my own lunches. I read tens of newspapers a week and dozens of magazines each month for my job. Haven't seen it. I don't read cookbooks for trivia -- I pull recipes from them to cook or bake. I rarely have time to watch cooking shows other than the original Iron Chef, or an infrequent Good Eats repeat. Perhaps Alton Brown mentioned it on an episode I missed. Or maybe I somehow missed Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai's apparently endless explanations that his freshly peeled apple could be kept fresh by dousing it with lemon juice.

To repeat: Just because you happen to be aware of something doesn't mean that everyone else does. Is my lack of knowledge of this single bit of trivia unique? Perhaps. But your arrogant, self-centered, fuckwitted implication that I am somehow ignorant for not knowing it sucks.
posted by zarq at 10:04 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


The People's Pharmacy is great for new ways to use banana peels.

yeah! - did you know you can SMOKE them and get high?

---

Did you know that extra virgin olive oil also makes for an excellent, ahem, personal lubricant?

and because it's extra virgin, you can use it twice
posted by pyramid termite at 10:06 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Correction: "grew up with"
posted by zarq at 10:06 AM on December 30, 2009


They focus on ways their readers can save money and help their families. And they rarely promote products that are outrageously expensive or useless.

Except when they encourage you to just buy more things - especially non-reusable items where the costs add up quickly, and they're not particularly great for the environment. (I'm looking at you paper coffee filters, dryer sheets, and Ziploc bags). I don't need to find more ways of using these things (especially when they're really just stretching for ideas - coffee filters as bowls?). I'd find it more useful, cost-effective, and "green" if Real Simple gave alternatives to these products so I could stop buying them just to use them and throw them away.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 10:06 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Soy sauce for burns? WTF? What's wrong with cold water?

No, no. Butter is much more delicious on burns than cold water.
posted by electroboy at 10:12 AM on December 30, 2009


Readymade, real simple, whatever.

fuck me I'm out of it
posted by Think_Long at 10:12 AM on December 30, 2009


You know what? Squeeze a little lemon on anything fried. This is what lemons are for.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:13 AM on December 30, 2009


I was disappointed that they didn't have the best tip I've ever seen for sandwich bags: in New York, they'd put them over freshly-dry pedicures so you could put your socks on and go without worrying about destroying your nails with the fabric. They didn't use the brand-name bag, though, because the zippers would hurt your feet, so I guess that's not a good tip.
posted by immlass at 10:14 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


When you're trying to get a broken lighbulb out of its socket, use a cut potato to push into it and grip it, and then turn.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:14 AM on December 30, 2009


When you put on rubber galoshes over regular shoes, put plastic bags over your shoes first to help you slide the galoshes on and off super smooth.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:15 AM on December 30, 2009


in New York, they'd put them over freshly-dry pedicures so you could put your socks on and go without worrying about destroying your nails with the fabric.

Doesn't your wet nail polish stick to the plastic as it dries, though? Or smear?
posted by zarq at 10:16 AM on December 30, 2009


Spray PAM cooking spray on your snowshovel to keep wet snow from sticking to it.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:16 AM on December 30, 2009


Just because you happen to be aware of something doesn't mean that everyone else does.

That is not my assertion, either explicitly or implicitly.

Here's the challenge: Find 3 random people and ask them how to keep cut apples from turning brown. If fewer than 3 of them say "lemon juice" (or the equivalent, such as orange juice, vitamin C, lime, etc) I will eat the entire Internet and put the video on YouTube (which I will have to regurgitate to post to, then eat it again).
posted by DU at 10:17 AM on December 30, 2009


Use body wash instead of bar soap to eliminate disgusting soap scum in your shower/tub.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:17 AM on December 30, 2009


If civilization collapses and the only survivors are a rag-tag bunch of children who lived in the sewer system and never learned English, it will continue to be widely known that lemons keep apples from browning, smell nice and look pretty.

Well, I wasn't aware. I like to think I know my way around a kitchen, too. I suspect that quite a few other folks probably don't know it either.


Actually, it's been genetically encoded for some time now. We were wondering how long it would take to identify the aberrant strain.

Get 'im, boys.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:17 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Pour stanky bongwater into a very shallow dish, freeze it, and slide it under the door of your arch enemy while they are sleeping.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:18 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Keep an old-school single edge razor blade near your glass cooktop to easily remove baked-on gunk without scrubbing.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:19 AM on December 30, 2009


That is not my assertion, either explicitly or implicitly.

No, your explicit assertion is that I'm stupid for not knowing something obvious.

I'm done sparring with you. You're incapable of polite discourse.
posted by zarq at 10:20 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


See, now you can't go introducing me to a phrase like "stanky bongwater" at a time like this. On 3 hours' sleep it sounds like the PERFECT ALIAS.

... brb. I need to go order some ID.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:20 AM on December 30, 2009


Save money by explaining to your kids that you're broke and college is going to be on them.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:21 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Fill small holes in plaster with toothpaste and the edge of a credit card.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:22 AM on December 30, 2009


Put your rent check in the microwave for 30 seconds to screw up the magnetic ink and buy yourself a few extra days before it clears the bank.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:24 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Bring a tin of bacon fat camping to help you get the campfire started (smear it on your little sticks) and then just smear it on yourself to attract interesting wildlife.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:27 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


When you're making bread, since you've got everything out already, premeasure a dozen or so baggies with all the dry ingredients except the yeast, and throw them in the freezer for quick breadmaking later.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:29 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Tired of throwing away used kleenex? Stuff an old sweater with them and sew it up into a decorative throw pillow!
posted by orme at 10:29 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Household tape can be used to hold open the latch on hotel doors, allowing you to steal campaign information from your political opponents.
posted by electroboy at 10:29 AM on December 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


No, your explicit assertion is that I'm stupid for not knowing something obvious.

In order for that to be my explicit assertion, I would at least have to have used the word "stupid" (not to mention "obvious"). I have not done that, nor have I implied or even thought that you are stupid. Using lemon juice on apples is far from obvious and is definitely something that has to be heard of to be useful. My point is that everybody (except you, apparently) has heard of it. 1.75 million google hits is pretty widely known and that only counts the online stuff.
posted by DU at 10:29 AM on December 30, 2009


Reset stupidsexyFlanders timer to <1 min. to generate increased rate of interesting facts and potentially disturbing personal insights.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:31 AM on December 30, 2009


Metatalk or a hotel room can be a handy way to settle your differences.
posted by electroboy at 10:32 AM on December 30, 2009


When you're near a payphone, put the number into your cell. When you want to chat with a stranger, just call that number. To get you started: 215-922-8426 (payphone on the platform of the Market East station in Philadelphia). 570-672-9593 (payphone at the entrance to Knoebels Amusement Park in central PA)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:35 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, everyone neglected to mention it to me. Perhaps it's not as widely known as you are convinced it is.

No. It is that widely known.
posted by atrazine at 10:36 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you have really bad itchy eczema, don't buy Velcro. I speak from bitter experience.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 10:38 AM on December 30, 2009


When you're stalking someone and want to see how long they were parked in a particular place, put an old analog watch under the tire of their car. when you come back, the crushed watch will tell you what time they left! (Thanks Robert Towne)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:39 AM on December 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


Well, everyone neglected to mention it to me. Perhaps it's not as widely known as you are convinced it is.

No. It is that widely known.


Jesus Fucking Christ. Let it go, all of you.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:40 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


Quickly seal up drafty doublehung windows by pressing rope caulk into the gaps between the sashes. Remove the rope caulk in the spring and throw it in a ziplock for next year.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:44 AM on December 30, 2009


Mayonaise is a poor substitute for either ketchup or mustard on hot dogs.
posted by electroboy at 10:45 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Mayonaise is a poor substitute for either ketchup or mustard on hot dogs.

But it will turn yellow piano keys white again (smear it on, leave for 30 minutes, wipe off)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:48 AM on December 30, 2009


Cork tile makes an excellent hypoallergenic mousepad for people with sensitive skin.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:51 AM on December 30, 2009


Well, everyone neglected to mention it to me. Perhaps it's not as widely known as you are convinced it is.
No, it's that widely known. Seriously. DU was kind of obnoxious about it in (what I presume to be) an attempt to be funny, but my first thought as well was that you must have never cooked with apples ever. It's often included explicitly in recipes and instructions and it's also the reason why most apple pie recipes include "toss apples in lemon juice" as a step. (Granted, you're often tossing in sugar and other stuff at the same time, so it's not as obvious that you're doing that for non-flavor reasons). In the context of preparing apples as food, this on the level of "don't eat the core".
posted by Karmakaze at 10:55 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


stupidsexyflanders wins the thread. And I wish I'd known about that rent check thing yesterday :(
posted by emjaybee at 11:03 AM on December 30, 2009


Likewise done at every restaurant I've worked at with lettuce, for the same reason. Quartered lemon, squeezed, thrown in with the greens you're washing.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:07 AM on December 30, 2009


(Granted, you're often tossing in sugar and other stuff at the same time, so it's not as obvious that you're doing that for non-flavor reasons).

As obvious? It's not obvious at all. Unless a recipe spelled it out, I would have know way of knowing that information.

In the context of preparing apples as food, this on the level of "don't eat the core".

Fine. I give up. Apparently this is something I should have been taught in utero. How I ever lived without this vital piece of information, I'll never know.

Thanks for not managing to imply that I'm an idiot while explaining. It's nice to know that at least one person around here is capable of being polite.
posted by zarq at 11:08 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


beerbajay: "This kind of thing is the corporate cancer of the internet."

This is true, and sadly will be the demise of these here internets.

but emjaybee is right - http://thereifixedit.com/ is not only hilarious, but it's actually filled with great ideas. Some implementation issues here and there, but I cried laughing.
posted by sneebler at 11:11 AM on December 30, 2009


Olive oil in door hinges? What a stupid idea. Shit'll go rancid in a few weeks, and gum up the hinge to no end.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:12 AM on December 30, 2009


Put your rent check in the microwave for 30 seconds to screw up the magnetic ink and buy yourself a few extra days before it clears the bank.

Ooooooh, does that work at stores that run checks electronically right there at the checkout counter, or will their system just reject the check altogether?

One of the most maddening things about modern banking technology, for my family and many others who live paycheck-to-paycheck, has been losing the ability to get groceries within a 2-3 day buffer before payday. This isn't about being irresponsible or not budgeting correctly, it's simply a common reality when money gets tight.

I really do hate that almost all non-cash commerce is conducted electronically these days. Won't someone think of the poor folk!? Just let me go back to writing checks with some breathing room! If I wanted the money to be debited from my account immediately I would have used my debit card!
posted by amyms at 11:34 AM on December 30, 2009


DU: I had no idea about it, either, because I never had to cut an apple. And I love apples. I eat them daily. Why would anyone in their right mind want to cut them? Eating an apple is the simplest thing in the world, Eve has done it, for christ's sake. Note: no cutting or browning or lemons were involved. And why not? Because it's absolutely unneeded and overly fussy and useless thing to do.
posted by rainy at 11:38 AM on December 30, 2009


Doesn't your wet nail polish stick to the plastic as it dries, though? Or smear?

They'd do it after you sat under the air dryer (which is nice and toasty on a cold winter's day in NYC). Even when your polish is dry to the touch, it can still be imprinted with the fabric weave by your socks, and that's what they put the bags on your feet to prevent. You did have to dry them first, though.
posted by immlass at 11:44 AM on December 30, 2009


For salt, they didn't even list the best one, which is that if you spill red wine, pour salt on it - the salt will soak up the wine faster than the carpet or upholstery.

And of course, if you spill salt, pour red wine on it - the wine will soak up the salt....
posted by vac2003 at 11:50 AM on December 30, 2009


rainy, if you're cutting a quantity of apples, say for a fruit salad, that's where the lemon application comes in.
posted by Skot at 11:50 AM on December 30, 2009


CitrusFreak12: "I clinked the link. I hit Ctrl+F. I typed in the word "hack." And Firefox tells me the phrase is not found.

Thank you so much.
"

Yeah, this is Real Simple, for regular people. The MAKE article with the exact same tips is titled "101 Hacks for Everyday Items".
posted by graventy at 12:20 PM on December 30, 2009


When you're trying to get a broken lighbulb out of its socket, use a cut potato to push into it and grip it, and then turn.

Not to stir up another shitstorm on this thread stupidsexyflanders, but have you ever tried this? Because I have tried it several times, and all I got for my troubles was a lamp with a broken bulb base still stuck in it, and covered in potato juice and bits besides.

Who started this urban legend? Because they owe me some lamps.

To get a broken light bulb out of its socket, use a pair of needle-nose pliers. Trust me on this one.
posted by ErikaB at 12:25 PM on December 30, 2009 [10 favorites]


I didn't know about the lemon juice and apples either.

This doesn't add anything to the conversation, so I haven't commented previously. zarq, probably lots of other people who didn't know didn't comment for this reason. You are From Earth.
posted by rainbaby at 12:26 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


People can still pay for groceries with cheques?
posted by ODiV at 1:03 PM on December 30, 2009


The OP reminds me of that Urawaza book (lifehacker feature here with some example tips from the book).
posted by intelligentless at 1:09 PM on December 30, 2009


Why would anyone in their right mind want to cut them?

I make no claim to being in my right mind, but I cut up apples because the bridgework and various grafts and implants in my lower jaw make it unpleasant to bite into crunchy stuff with my front teeth. So your useless and fussy is pretty much just my way of life. Stupid teeth.
posted by elizardbits at 1:27 PM on December 30, 2009


erm, I'm allergic to apples. Does lemon juice fix that?
posted by Think_Long at 1:39 PM on December 30, 2009


Next time you overthink, considering using a shallow pasta bowl instead of a plate. This will allow for more rigorous overthinking with minimal bean spillage.
posted by dr_dank at 1:41 PM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Re cutting apples: In order to eat them with thinly-sliced cheddar cheese!
posted by ErikaB at 1:44 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


elizard: I got no beef with that, I guess I was too vigorously rejecting DU's thesis that it's crazy not to know about this / not to need to know. I got crowns instead of two teeth but they work fine for apples.
Skot: point taken, didn't think of that 'cause I'm not a fan of fruit salads. I just see a fruit and eat it. I still think it's a bit silly to overthink a plate of fruit.
posted by rainy at 1:49 PM on December 30, 2009


The OP reminds me of that Urawaza book

STOP TRYING TO DERAIL THE DISCUSSION
posted by longsleeves at 1:56 PM on December 30, 2009


zarq, probably lots of other people who didn't know didn't comment for this reason. You are From Earth.

Thanks. :)
posted by zarq at 2:05 PM on December 30, 2009


So wait, why is there no discussion of how useful lemon juice is in anti-browning apple scenarios?
posted by Babblesort at 2:06 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


They'd do it after you sat under the air dryer (which is nice and toasty on a cold winter's day in NYC).

They should install them at intersections. :D (I live in one of the boros. Work in NYC.)

Even when your polish is dry to the touch, it can still be imprinted with the fabric weave by your socks, and that's what they put the bags on your feet to prevent. You did have to dry them first, though.

Ah! I see. Thanks for the explanation! :)
posted by zarq at 2:07 PM on December 30, 2009


Here you are boys and girls... 2000 uses for WD-40[pdf].

And I'll add 2001 - it's great for killing wasps. Little bastards fly up to the nest, come in contact with the residue and fall on the floor...
posted by twine42 at 2:16 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are people in our midst who stand up to wipe their ass. It should be little surprise that there are people who have managed to go through life without learning about lemons and apples.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:23 PM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


I used to use lemons to polish the bright-work ( that's brass to you landlubbers) on the old sloop. The acidity of the juice, along with the shape and texture of a halved lemon makes it the perfect organic tool for the task; and serves as definitive proof that God is, in fact, a cabin-boy.

Now ... lemons to brighten up apples? Never heard of it, and I'll tell you why.

When you're completely lost at sea, while a hurricane's a-blowin'; with a splintered main-mast, and all yer sails torn and adrift; and the bow's all stove in, and the bilges are takin' on water quicker 'n' a doxie on skid row, and yer rudder is snared in the grip of the slimy tentacles of a giant octopus, the last thing you care about is the colour of any apples that haven't already been washed overboard.

That's why.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:36 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Soy sauce for burns? WTF? What's wrong with cold water?

No, no. Butter is much more delicious on burns than cold water.


First of all, I know you are just kidding about the butter, right? Right? Don't ever do that. Don't use lard or margarine or any other fat-- it will make the burn worse.

Second of all, cold water is good for immediately bringing the temperature of the skin down if you have a bad, third degree burn, however you will still have redness, a blister, and pain. Soy sauce on a bad burn will stop the pain and prevent it from hurting later. I stopped using soy sauce and switched to yellow mustard because soy sauce turns your skin dark brown where it is burned and it will stay dark until new skin replaces the old.

Yellow mustard, on the other hand, is magic. The next time you have a bad burn (small enough you don't need to go to the hospital) get the yellow mustard out of the refrigerator, stand over the sink and slather it on. The pain will go away pretty quickly. Leave the mustard on for a minute or two. No redness, no blister, no pain. You'll be amazed.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:41 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


When you're completely lost at sea, while a hurricane's a-blowin'; with a splintered main-mast, and all yer sails torn and adrift; and the bow's all stove in, and the bilges are takin' on water quicker 'n' a doxie on skid row, and yer rudder is snared in the grip of the slimy tentacles of a giant octopus

well you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Salty Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have you paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:00 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Prevent a jacket or a blouse from gaping open. Sew small pieces of Velcro between the buttons to create a smooth surface.

I see your problem, and it is not a lack of Velcro, but a dearth of fabric.
posted by palliser at 5:30 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


No redness, no blister, no pain. You'll be amazed.

I almost want to give myself a 3rd degree burn just to test this out. Fortunately I'm not that dumb. Unfortunately, I expect that now that I've expressed curiosity, I'll get one just because of bad luck.

So I guess we'll see soon enough.

of course, me smelling like cooked meat and mustard is going to make every pet in the house want to eat me.
posted by quin at 5:40 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Peanut butter removes chewing gum from hair.
posted by marimeko at 5:49 PM on December 30, 2009


quin, I burn myself good about 3 or 4 times a year because I do a lot of baking-- the tops of my hands or my wrists make contact with the oven racks and...bingo. The yellow mustard trick has never failed me.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:04 PM on December 30, 2009


Pets make efficient space heaters in winter.
posted by subbes at 6:11 PM on December 30, 2009


You be wanting these, SLoG.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:22 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you get a vaguely threatening e-mail from your corporate-doubletalk-spouting "team leader" and you don't feel like doing the research required to counteract her nickel-and-diming you to a painful, weeping death, read a Metafilter thread all the way to the bottom and obtain an approximately 80% chortle rate. (Extra chortles supplied by utter meaninglessness of the FPP vs. snarling, protracted dogfights in the comments.)
posted by scratch at 6:26 PM on December 30, 2009


quin, I burn myself good about 3 or 4 times a year because I do a lot of baking-- the tops of my hands or my wrists make contact with the oven racks....

You need some silicone oven mitts.

bettafish's 50 (genuinely) new uses link saves this post (along with Heloise the Younger).
posted by eye of newt at 6:56 PM on December 30, 2009


Oh, and use vinegar instead of Jet Dry in your dishwasher. Works, and is a heck of a lot cheaper, and you no longer need that 'run a cup of vinegar through the dishwasher cycle' advice.
posted by eye of newt at 7:02 PM on December 30, 2009


I like Real Simple but it does have basically the same articles over and over again.

I'm a magazine junkie; I love magazines. But don't expect Real Simple to aspire to be a magazine. If you want these kinds of tips, read Yankee - better yet, read Yankee from 20 years ago and learn the tips from Earl Proulx (may he rest in peace).

Real Simple is a catalog. Reading with an editorial eye reveals the whole thing to be a very nicely styled product placement enterprise, loaded with faux editorial to make people think they might learn something by reading it. The 2.0-ish "readers write" section in the beginning is free content for them, and they throw in a couple of essays to make the whole thing seem a little deeper - but almost every article and department exists to promote products. Once this realization clicks, it's hard to read the magazine ever again.

I have to agree with those who say that if you are interested at all in cooking or housekeeping or handymanism or DIY anything, none of these tips are actually new - not even new on MeFi, where we've had some great AskMe threads with similar content. They are just repackaged for a new generation of readers, some of whom are here and who are enjoying the content. There's not much wrong with that, but in the context of Real Simple, one of the most depravedly and disingenuously consumeristic publications out there, it's fair to be a bit contemptuous.
posted by Miko at 7:45 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lemon juice and salt together are a great cleaner for brass. Which should be rubbed afterwards with olive oil to deter tarnishing (the oil, of course, attracts dust, so the treatment has to be repeated maybe once a year). Anyway, this is what I do for our old spanish chandelier. Commercial brass cleaners leave a nasty whitish film.

And zarq, my sympathies are with you, but yeah. Cut-up apples without lemon juice are like a gift without the ribbons. You can do it, and the insides will still be the same--but it won't be as pretty, and the alternative is easy and, yes, fairly well-known.
posted by torticat at 10:22 PM on December 30, 2009


Yellow mustard, on the other hand, is magic.

Yeah, that's just terrible advice. Don't put anything except cool running water on a burn. And if you actually get third degree burns, go to the damn hospital.
posted by electroboy at 10:58 PM on December 30, 2009


Wait, wait! Am I too late? Most amazing "new" (read: old) use of common household item ever: Did you know butter will instantly and completely remove sticky tree sap from your skin? It is truly an awesome thing to behold.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:10 PM on December 30, 2009


I think I'm already enough of an Italian stereotype without shaving with fucking olive oil. That'd be pretty much a gimme for my pals.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:27 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Butter works wonders for the usual first-degree 'ouch' kitchen burns- takes the pain & redness away pronto. For second-degree or godforbid anything worse, probably not so much.
posted by squalor at 11:42 PM on December 30, 2009


Olive oil is good for putting on cockroach traps when the gecko gets his little feet stuck on them. The oil will loosen the sticky stuff and you can gently pry him off with a butter knife leveraged under his belly.
posted by Surfurrus at 1:07 AM on December 31, 2009


THANK YOU METAFARKER FOR THESE AMAGZING LEMON HACKSZ
posted by tehloki at 5:10 AM on December 31, 2009


cold water is good for immediately bringing the temperature of the skin down if you have a bad, third degree burn, however you will still have redness, a blister, and pain....Yellow mustard, on the other hand, is magic. The next time you have a bad burn (small enough you don't need to go to the hospital) get the yellow mustard out of the refrigerator, stand over the sink and slather it on.

If "bad" means third-degree, as you seem to be saying, SLoG, this is really crazy advice:

"Third-degree burns occur when the epidermis is lost with damage to the subcutaneous tissue. Burn victims will exhibit charring and extreme damage of the epidermis, and sometimes hard eschar will be present."

If your skin has been literally charred off, exposing damaged tissues that used to be under your skin, then (a) don't put mustard on it, and (b) go to the hospital.

But I don't think you really mean that; if you're burning yourself by touching a hot oven rack, you probably get first-to-second-degree burns, with redness and blistering, certainly very ouchy but not a bad burn.
posted by palliser at 6:12 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Please don't put butter on your burns is an old folk remedy but it has not held up under the scrutiny of evidence-based medicine - even when I first took First Aid over 20 years ago this was one of the first home remedies they debunked. Butter is not sterile. It can cause infection on damaged skin - and it doesn't do anything to speed healing, since burns need oxygen to heal and butter (or any other oily substance) cuts off the oxygen. Also, if it's a serious burn and you need a doctor's care, the first thing they will have to do is flush the burn with a solvent to remove the butter - and you don't want to have to go through that, since the burn hurts bad enough already.

Mayo Clinic: "Don't apply butter or ointments to the burn. This could prevent proper healing."
posted by Miko at 7:06 AM on December 31, 2009


"Real Simple" magazine - a site for middle-aged women trying to keep up with the Jones' doing the "green" "right" thing

Ahem. As a "middle-aged" woman, I'm horrified that anyone would think I would buy that magazine. I see it more as a magazine for Simple-minded twenty-somethings, actually. The rest of your comment is probably pretty accurate, though.
posted by fairywench at 8:36 AM on December 31, 2009


Also: A long-haired house cat makes a good substitute for a pillow, should you need to smother someone and find you don't have a pillow handy.

And oh, yeah, while I've known about the lemon juice-apple hint for decades, it's also been my experience that it doesn't actually work very well. Unless you use so much lemon juice that the apple becomes ceviche. But maybe my apples are just suicidal.
posted by fairywench at 8:42 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


HAMBURGER is the only safe thing to put on burns.
posted by electroboy at 9:10 AM on December 31, 2009


"Real Simple" magazine - a site for middle-aged women trying to keep up with the Jones' doing the "green" "right" thing

Isn't it Woman's Day/Ladies' Home Journal for Gen Xers and maybe early Yers too hip to be seen reading the originals? Any magazine that tells you to use a disposable coffee filter as a bowl and throw it out afterwards doesn't have a green bone in its body.

Full disclosure: it's been my bathroom reading for a while, but I agree with Miko's assessment and this thread finally motivated me to cancel my subscription (which had apparently auto-renewed last year when I wasn't looking). The household tips on how to use things in new ways are generally laughable; I get better ones from the big Home Comforts book on my shelf or *gasp* asking my mother.

What middle-aged ladies (and probably younger ones) do get out of it is the promise of finding ways to let go a little and streamline so that you can get what you want to get done done. The cataloging Miko notes both encourages consumption behavior, as designed to assist the advertisers--the real purpose of almost all consumer periodicals--and promotes the illusion that you can feel zen and get your life in order in the articles. It also plays on a generally female insecurity about providing the best for their families, which is where all the "best spaghetti sauce" type articles come in. The overall aim is to link consumption behavior with the feeling of zen, which is impossible to maintain. If your goal is really to streamline and get zen, you ultimately end up streamlining Real Simple out of your life.
posted by immlass at 10:00 AM on December 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


That is very well expressed, immlass. And the pull of that desire for zen-style perfection is very powerful; I subscribed for a year, too, until I got gradual whiplash from the content/subject dichotomy. (I confess I still read it at the gym if someone leaves it on the pile, but I won't pay for it.)
posted by Miko at 10:34 AM on December 31, 2009


Yellow mustard, on the other hand, is magic.

Yeah, that's just terrible advice. Don't put anything except cool running water on a burn. And if you actually get third degree burns, go to the damn hospital.



Sorry, guys, you are right. I'm throwing the term "third degree burn" around here loosely.

I don't mean when your skin falls off from black charring. I mean contact-- worse than sun burn-- type burns that Don't Require an Emergency Room Visit! Burns from the oven, the hair curling iron, the clothing iron that turn red and blister and cause an inordinate amount of pain from such a little burn. I've always used cold running water on those type of burns which is effective in keeping the burn from getting worse because it brings down the surface temp, but sometimes you can still end up with a painful, red blister that hurts. Yellow mustard (I think the magic ingredient is turmeric) prevents that. I always use yellow mustard now and it always takes the sting away and keeps the burn from getting worse. But I am not your doctor, so definitely do not try this at home. It only works for me. Not you.

Hot water, on the other hand, is good for poison ivy itching in the short term.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:41 AM on January 1, 2010


"Real Simple" magazine - a site for middle-aged women trying to keep up with the Jones' doing the "green" "right" thing

You miss the mark with the word "doing." Real Simple is just another Dream Book, in industry parlance. No one is expected to do anything described in there, they just want to read about it and imagine that someday they might.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:04 AM on January 2, 2010


I didn't know about the lemons and the apples either. So that makes 4 people in this thread including zarq. Does that mean DU has to eat the internet now?
posted by liquorice at 3:45 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Household baking soda can be used to soothe acid indigestion caused by eating the entire internet.
posted by electroboy at 7:38 AM on January 4, 2010


Does that mean DU has to eat the internet now?

That's hilarious. :D

Actually, I should probably thank him. Found and made a delicious recipe this weekend, through the link he posted earlier. (Followed the directions in the comments for fewer lemons and better topping.) Turns out most of the results you get on Google when you search for "lemon juice apples brown" are recipes for Apple Brown Betty.
posted by zarq at 8:30 AM on January 4, 2010


"lemon juice apples discolor" gets you lots more about the topic.
posted by Miko at 11:17 AM on January 5, 2010


"lemon juice apples discolor" gets you lots more about the topic.

Yet shockingly, not the 1.7 million hits he was touting upthread.

Thank you.
posted by zarq at 12:38 PM on January 5, 2010


Hmm...well, just "[lemon juice] + apples" gets you 2.3 million, the majority of which are about prevent apples from turning brown.

I haven't got time to sort out that list to see if only 600,000 of them are recipes, but that's still a lot of results.
posted by Miko at 1:51 PM on January 5, 2010


I haven't got time to sort out that list to see if only 600,000 of them are recipes, but that's still a lot of results.

Fair enough. At a quick glance, I believe at least 50 or 60 of the 100 results on the first page of that link are references to recipes, cleanses and other non-browning tips. But I didn't bother counting, nor flipping through to subsequent pages.

Google results are not a clear indication of whether a piece of trivia has become embedded in the public consciousness anyway. My point was simply that the link had been tossed out as a supposedly valid argument and it didn't live up to his assertion.
posted by zarq at 2:02 PM on January 5, 2010


"Lemon juice" +apples -recipe nets 678,000.
posted by electroboy at 2:02 PM on January 5, 2010


I meant tossed out by DU, by the way. I didn't assume you intended it as such.
posted by zarq at 2:03 PM on January 5, 2010


Trufax anecdote: I learned in a pinch that hairspray works as a nail polish remover.

Once when I was in high school, I was a flapper for Halloween -- and at about that same time I was involved in a community theater production set during the 1600's. I didn't realize until I was already in costume the night after Halloween that I'd forgotten to take my bright red flapper-costume nail polish off - I have no idea why me and the wardrobe mistress decided to try hairspray instead, but were pleased to see that it was actually effective.

The only drawback was we needed about half a can, but hey.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:32 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yep. Hairsprays which contain alcohol will work to remove nail polish stains, but not terribly well. Alcohol is the active solvent there. :) I once watched a makeup artist remove a model's nail polish backstage at Fashion Week with most of a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, when she ran out of acetone.
posted by zarq at 6:30 PM on January 5, 2010


"Lemon juice" +apples -recipe nets 678,000.

Yeah, but a lot of them are apple recipes in which the writeup contains the tip about preventing browning.

Anyway, I agree with zarq that Google results are not able to serve as the final arbiter of whether something's common knowledge. But for people who cook, the lemon juice + apples trick is not new, not arcane, and is one of the first things you learn about cooking with fruit from any formal teaching mechanism, whether it be a cookbook or magazine, informal teacher, or professional training. Whether an individual knows it or not is, I suppose, down to quirks of life experience.
posted by Miko at 7:41 PM on January 5, 2010


"Lemon juice" +apples +brown -recipe leaves 113,000.
posted by electroboy at 7:52 AM on January 6, 2010


But for people who cook, the lemon juice + apples trick is not new, not arcane, and is one of the first things you learn about cooking with fruit from any formal teaching mechanism, whether it be a cookbook or magazine, informal teacher, or professional training. Whether an individual knows it or not is, I suppose, down to quirks of life experience.

Thank you for replying this way. It's far kinder and friendlier than being obnoxiously snarked at.
posted by zarq at 8:42 AM on January 6, 2010


"Lemon juice" +apples +brown -recipe leaves 113,000.

You'd have to leave the recipes in to get at what I was saying.

Thanks, zarq.
posted by Miko at 11:29 AM on January 6, 2010


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