I read somewhere that the only difference between men and apes is the former’s ability to use tools. So were it not for our simian friends’ lack of access to a Tool Depot credit card, we could see chimpanzees driving down the freeway or flying planes1. And although we have seen rudimentary behavior by apes using branches or twigs to extract ants out of the ground, they still have a long way to go before they invent an air-compressed bolt extractor.
Which brings me back to Man: is tool-invention still part of our mental process? Since every tool has already been invented, do we still strive to create new ones? The following pictures show that the answer is a resounding YES. These are creative uses for everyday items and are sometimes referred to as Life Hacks2.
But call me an apostate, I don’t believe everything I read on the Internet. My comments follow each life hack below, and there’s even a fun video presentation that is a lot more entertaining than my dry prose.
My take: If you use the lid as a coaster, you can now spill your drink. And if you pick up the cup, the coaster comes with it. Looks strange, but it would work.
The proposal: All pots are designed to allow you to rest your spoon on the handle.
My take: The pan hole was made primarily to hang the pan on the wall. You could use it to hold a spoon, but only if you found a spoon that fits the hole. I suspect that some “creative” whittling was done to make it work.
Was the soda can designed to hold your straw in place?
My take: Soda can tab was modified in order to save material. It just happens to also function as a straw holder, if you rotate it. But then, why was it made to rotate? The rotation serves no purpose. I suspect it’s a manufacturing side effect (to attach tab to can) and not intended to facilitate your straw holder configuration.
The proposal: Tic Tac boxes were expressely designed to dispense *one* Tic Tac at a time.
My take: I believe this one. But could someone tell me what happened to the “Toe” in tic-tac-toe ?? Someone got paid really well to come up with this name, incredibly.
And here is a video that will put it all in perspective. Enjoy.
POSTSCRIPT: I promised that I would add a life hack of my own so that you can promote/criticize it. Turnabout is fair play, as they say !
My proposal: Cut an empty tube of toothpaste in half and clean out the bottom part (throw away the part that has the cap). You can now flatten the other half and put it in your pocket for a handy-dandy drinking cup. As a kid, I loved the telescoping plastic drinking cups and bemoaned the fact that you cannot find them anymore. But this flexible, unbreakable, plastic tube becomes a nice drinking cup. You can make it shorter for convenience and you can fold the top to prevent it from getting cruddy with pocket lint (yuk).
- They were admirable astronauts in the Mercury program, but that’s another story
- visit www.lifehacker.com for more of these