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augustlan's avatar

Will you teach us how to do something new?

Asked by augustlan (46577 points ) May 7th, 2012

I love learning how to do new things, or new ways to do old things. Common skills or obscure, we all have something to teach others. Will you give us your best “how to” advice?

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45 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

What a great question. And I remember remarking, recently, at least, in my own head how I had just learned something new and that it was quite wonderful to have done so… now I just need to remember what the hell that thing was.

Brian1946's avatar

How to convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit in your head:

Example:

10º C. 2*10=20. 20/10=2. 20–2=18. 18+32=50. 10º C=50º F

The first 3 steps are an easier way (at least for me) to arrive at 9/5 of the Celsius temperature [C]. 9/5C=1.8C=2C-0.2C.

If one wants to know the word for a particular thing or concept: http://www.onelook.com/reverse-dictionary.shtml

If one wants to identify an image that they’ve seen online: http://www.tineye.com/

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I just learned how to suck up to the high priestess of fluther.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

:) Can you water witch?

janbb's avatar

How to start to recover from a bad break-up:

Join a walking group.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@wilma It’s cool isn’t it? I lost the ability for a while. I had to get back in touch with nature.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t like that my front load washing machine barely uses any water, sometimes I want the clothes to soak more. The something new is I trick it by soaking a small towel or something else in that load of wash before I turn it on, so the washer thinks there is more clothes in there (it judges the load by weight) and puts more water into the wash.

thorninmud's avatar

How to roll out pie/tart/quiche dough and keep the edges intact

When you roll out a lump of dough into a thin circle, deep tears tend to develop in the outer edges of the disk. You end up having to mend these by patching and pinching, and it looks crappy. This happens because the edge of the disk is forced to expand more rapidly than the center. Here’s how to avoid the tearing in the first place.

You have the lump of dough in front of you on the floured board. All of your pin strokes will be directly away from you and directly toward you. Start at the middle of the lump with firm pressure and roll out away from you, applying less pressure as you near the far edge. Stop altogether before reaching the edge. Repeat this in the direction toward you, again starting at the middle and stopping shy of the near edge. The slab should now be thinnest in the middle and thicker at the near and far edges.

Rotate the slab 1/8 of a turn (in either direction, but be consistent) and repeat the above. Keep doing this until the center is the thickness you want, then (and only then) give a few strokes to the edges to even out the thickness. Don’t be concerned with keeping the disk round; the circle will take care of itself as you repeat this operation over and over.

Key points:

This assumes that you’re using a pin at least as long as the disk is wide; if you’re using one of those little stubby ones, I can’t help you.
.
Start each stroke from the center.

Greatest pressure at the center, feathered out toward the edge.

Stop short of the edge.

Get yourself a consistent, almost mechanical pattern going. Trust the repetition.

janbb's avatar

@thorninmud A trick I learned that really helps me is putting the dough in between two pieces of Saran wrap and lifting them off occasionally as you roll. That way, you don’t have to flour the pin and you don’t get sticking.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

Sure here is an easy one for you windows users… hold down the windows key on your keyboard (the one with the windows symbol) and the L key at the same time. Now you know the most efficient way to lock your PC.

okay jokes aside… Its really easy to make your own hair gel. 1 tbs of flax seeds (whole) and 1 cup of water. (optional 1 tsp coconut oil). Boil the water and the flax seeds stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until it looks like you have partially cooked egg whites in you pot. Add coconut oil (i only recommend this for thick curly hair) Strain the mixture immediately (before the stuff cools). Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Voila all natural hair gel and its really inexpensive.

lloydbird's avatar

For people who have difficulty telling left from right. (As in direction)

Hold your hands out in front of you. Palms facing away from you, as if you are about to push a door open. Keeping your hands upright, lower your thumbs so that they are pointing at each other. Now notice that the index finger and thumb on your left hand look like a letter L.

L for left.

augustlan's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe and @wilma What is water witching (is it like dowsing?), and how do you do it?

john65pennington's avatar

Especially in the summer, carry a gallon of water, a roll of duct tape, and an old towel in the trunk of your car.

You never know when your engine will overheat or a hose will break.

Use your old towel to open the cap to the cars radiator…..very slowly and careful of steam. Let the steam subside and open the cap all the way. Start your engine and look down inside the your car’s radiator to see if liquid is moving. If not, open the gallon of water and slowly pour into car’s radiator all the way to the top. The car’s thermostat should begin to lower the engines’s temperature. Check gauge on car’s dash. Retighten the radiator cap, lower the hood and you are on your way.

Use duct tape to wrap a radiator hose that has sprung a leak. Be careful, the steam and water coming from the damaged hose will be hot. After the hose has cooled down, wipe off all moisture on the effected hose with your trusty old towel. Next, wrap duct tape tightly around the damaged radiator hose. Fill radiator with water and check hose for leaks. If none, then you are on your way.

Have AutZone check out both of the above for corrections. jp

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@augustlan Yes it’s dowsing. Get a forked branch of wood, I prefer apple or willow. You have to be able to turn your brain completely off and just tune into nature. Hold the forks in your hands and move slowly across the ground. If you’re doing it right it will really twist in your hands.

Charles's avatar

“Its really easy to make your own hair gel. 1 tbs of flax seeds (whole) and 1 cup of water. (optional 1 tsp coconut oil). Boil the water and the flax seeds stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until it looks like you have partially cooked egg whites in you pot. Add coconut oil (i only recommend this for thick curly hair) Strain the mixture immediately (before the stuff cools). Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Voila all natural hair gel and its really inexpensive.”

Easy?

Inexpensive? If your time is worth a nickle an hour it is inexpensive. Also, how much does a pound of flax seed and coconut oil cost?

This is easier and less expensive than buying a $3.99 bottle of hair gel at CVS that will last a year?

Do you have to keep it in the refrigerator? Isn’t that kind of a hassle to go to the kitchen to retrieve hair gel when most people do their hair in their bathrooms? And it only lasts two weeks?

gailcalled's avatar

Learni how to do the Asian squat; much easier on your knees, back and thighs…

Asian Squat

It’s harder than it looks. Have a go.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Burying a pile of logs under soil when making a raised bed for gardening will drastically reduce the need to water plants, eventually eliminating it. Don’t use black locust or walnut, though.

wilma's avatar

@augustlan and @Adirondackwannabe I use a copper wire to dowse. I made my dowsing wands by stripping the copper ground wire out of some heavy gauge household wire. I use 2 pieces each about the length of my arm. I straighten them out then bend one end down so I have an L shape. I actually made sleeves for the short angle out of small copper tubing. I did this to stop the doubters. I cannot purposely turn the copper wire in my hand because my hand doesn’t actually touch it. They look something like this.
As @Adirondackwannabe says, you “let go” I often close my eyes as I walk slowly. The rods will cross in front of me when I am over flowing underground water.

gailcalled's avatar

If you feel an almost irresistible urge to follow @thorninmud counsel on how to make pie/tart/quiche dough, lie down immediately and breathe slowly.

Or, better yet, do the Asian Squat.

Cruiser's avatar

@wilma I too have used thick regular wire to find buried plumbing pipes in concrete floors. The first time the wires move is freaky to say the least. It is actually a very accurate way to locate buried pipes.

gasman's avatar

To make Jiffy Pop, use the highest heat setting & control the rate of popping by how far above the burner you hold it, which gives you instant control. Keep shaking it constantly. I often have no unpopped kernels when done. (Unfortunately I’m now on a low-sodium, low-fat diet.)

@wilma, @Cruiser: A lot of controlled, scientific tests of dowsing say different. But if it works so reliably for you, you should consider applying for the $1M prize offered by the James Randi Foundation ;)

Nullo's avatar

If you have a hankering for quesedillas but do not have any tortillas, you can make a Chupaqueso.
In a nonstick pan sprinkle a quantity of your favorite cheese. Let it toast for a while until you’ve got enough structural integrity to permit you to flip the cheese. Once flipped, add more cheese – preferably a different sort – as you would place beans in a burrito. Once the bottom is done toasting, fold the cheese shell over onto itself. Let it cook a while longer to melt the second cheese, but try to keep it from burning.
Cool.
Enjoy!

If you enjoy both rifle shooting and wax-coated cheese, you can make short-lived candles.
First, a wick. A thin strip of cotton fabric, dipped in molten wax and twisted, does well enough.
Insert the wick into an empty casing, leaving some to stick out the top. Uncrimped brass works better, as with the .45–70 or the .45LC, but the more common .30–06 or .308 will do.
Pour more wax into the casing. Keep the wick from leaning.
Let it cool.
Voilà! Candle. You’ll get maybe 5–10 minutes of burn time in a 7.62×54mmR. It is inadvisable to handle the candle directly when lit.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I could teach you how to properly use the word “fuck” in every single sentence, but I have a feeling you, and most other jellies, already know how to do so. =0)

Mariah's avatar

Here’s how to take the derivative of a polynomial function: for each term, simply multiply by the exponent and then reduce the exponent by one. For example,

y = x^3 – 4x^2 + 3x + 5
y’ = 3x^2 – 8x + 3 (the 5 vanishes – following the same rule I provided, you can think of it as 5x^0 (because x^0 = 1), so you multiply by 0, or you can just remember a second rule of derivatives which is that the derivative of a constant is always 0!)

Now you can say you know a teeny tiny bit of calculus.

Nullo's avatar

How to find the length of tape on a given roll:

1. Measure the diameter of the plastic piece that the tape is wrapped around. Let the lowercase letter “d” represent this diameter in the calculations you will need to do later.

2. Measure the diameter of the entire roll of tape including the tape itself and the core it is wrapped around. Let this be known as the uppercase letter “D”.

3. Calculate the volume of the tape divided by its length with the equation 3.14 / 4 * (D*D – d*d).

4. Measure the thickness with a ruler if you have one that can measure distances that small. Alternately, most tapes have their thickness printed on the tape, core, or package.

5. Divide the number you calculated in step 3 by the thickness of the tape. This number is the length of your tape.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

How to wash your vehicle in30 minute and have it air-dry without spots:
Get two buckets of water. In bucket #1 squirt in ¼ ounce of dishwashing liquid. The second bucket has clear water. You need a hose with an adjustable nozzle. It is best ho have a truck brush, and one with an extended handle for tall vehicles, or some terry rags, and a med size rubber squeegee.
• Hose down the whole vehicle. Start from the room, go to the hood, down one side and finishing with the back or trunk.
• Take the bucket of soapy water and a large poly sponge, you can use natural but unless you spend money on a very good one, they don’t last, start applying soapy water to the roof, before the soapy water has a chance to dry, which means you have to work quick on a hot day if you have no shade, rinse with water.
• Travel to the hood and repeat the process, slather on the soap, use a brush or rag to break up and wipe loose the dirt and grim, immediately rinse until all of the soap is gone from that area. Large areas you might have to break into 2 or 4 sections. Always start with the higher points and work your way down, otherwise soapy water will run back over what you already cleaned causing you to u have to rinse again, and again; wasting water and time.
• Do the same down the sides of the vehicle just start high at the bottom of the windows and work your way down, let gravity be your friend in pulling dirty, soapy water off your vehicle.
• After you have made your way around the whole car it should be able to air-dry with no spots, if you see s stubborn drop, and you want to remove it, use a shammy to blot it up.
• Do the windows, making sure you catch the drips, and you are done, the whole vehicle in about ½ hour or less and no need to wipe and wipe afterwards.

lloydbird's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Phew!

I’m breathing heavily after just reading what you advise.

Trillian's avatar

When I make soap from scratch I use a large glass gar with holes in the lid. I add distilled water first, and get the oils heating on the stove. I add lye to the distilled water a bit at a time and stir with a long handled wooden spoon. I add it all and keep stirring with the fan on anf the window over the sink opened. I wear gloves and eye protection. I use a candy thermometer and when the water is at 105 and the oils are too I add the oil to the water. then I stir and stir and stir and stir. It eventually cools and thickens and after it;s almost too thick to stir I add fragrance and any extras like spices.. I stir some more and put into the mold.
I let it harden for a day or two, then I cut into bars and cure for several weeks. I turn them about once a week.
I get nice, hard bars of soap that lather like crazy and last a good long time. They smell nice and are great for the skin.

Akua's avatar

The creamiest and healthiest lentil stew. Soak half a bad of french lentil (orange ones) in spring water. While that soaks, put a few teaspoons of olive oil in a cast iron pan on a medium flame. When oil is hot add a huge handful of chopped onion, Chopped tomatoes, a handful of green or red peppers, 5–7 cloves of fresh peeled garlic, 2 cups of kale and a cup of scallions. stir until the onions are transluscent. Drain water from lentils and add to stir fried onion mixture. stir some more. The add several cups of fresh spring water to the mixture slowly until it covers the lentil mix. Turn flame down low, mix until your sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of pot and cover, occasionally stirring. When you hear the stew begin to bubble a bit, add 1 cup of coconut cream, a dash or two of allspice, sea salt to taste and about 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper (or as much or little as you can stand) and sweet basil. stir some more cover. Come back and stir every 10 minutes. Stew is done when it’s a creamy stew consistency and the lentil look as if they have been but in a blender and the kale is tender. This recipe is very beneficial to health. It cures constipation and gas, is great for filling up before a workout and good for diets. It expels mucus and some types of intestinal bacteria and worms. Great when you have a cold or flu and on cold winter days. It is meant to be very spicy (and very delicious) but you can gauge the recipe to your own taste if it’s too hot for you (but try and eat it as spicy as you can to get all the medicinal effects). I usually add much more onion and garlic and cayenne in my foods so I’m used to the spicy hot stuff. Enjoy!

Charles's avatar

Use Ad Block plus as an add in on Firefox or Chrome (maybe other browsers too). It blocks advertisements on web pages.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

@charles it only takes 5 minutes and I always have flax seeds on hand. A whole bag of them cost me 3 dollars. I also save a ton of money and time not having to repair hair that becomes damaged due to chemical products :)

gailcalled's avatar

I grind up flax seeds in a little Krups coffee grinder and use the powdery but tasty stuff on oatmeal and in salads. It is today’s miracle food-du-jour.

Symbeline's avatar

Fruit fly invasion;

These muthas can be extremely psychologically taxing when they’re everywhere in your place. It’s apparently very hard to get rid of them. It is quite a battle, but not as hard as some say. If you keep your place clean, that’s already half the battle won.

Fruit flies are attracted to sugars, grime and fermentation. They feast upon it, and lay their eggs in moist places, like your drain. As someone who drinks a lot, I learned a lesson. Get rid of your fuckin beer bottles. Even if you stack them neatly somewhere, the flies shall come.
And when you do get rid of the bottles, this is when they really strike. As their main source is cut off, they’ll do anything to maintain themselves. Fruit flies reproduce very quickly, and a female stores sperm from the male to fuck herself with later, and lay more eggs. Their growth is extremely rapid, eggs take less than a week to hatch, and a female can lay an abominable amount in her short lifespan. If not taken care of, you can find yourself with a badass invasion. They’ll get in your food, your drinks, crawl in your ear…seriously.

If you’re a filthy hog, clean everything, especially the kitchen and bathroom. This limits their sources. Wash your dishes and counter tops like an obsessive freak, even if you’re already a neatfreak like me. Make sure to empty the garbage on a regular basis.
Pour boiling water down all your drains, at least four times a day. This kills the eggs. This is a favored nesting area for fruit flies.

After you destroy all their entry points, you must destroy the flies themselves. This is how I did it. Grab a few empty margarine containers and the like, and put some beer or wine at the bottom. Cover the top with some saran wrap, and seal everything tightly. Poke small holes in the wrap with the point of a knife, so that the flies can get inside the container. Then stick these containers where the fruit flies gather the most. I had two in the kitchen and one in the bathroom. The flies eventually sniff out the traps, and go through the holes to get the beer. They end up drowning and dying in the beer. Most of them can crawl inside, but for some reason can’t crawl out after. SOME can; I’ve observed it with the finesse of a ninja; but most get stuck and die. Swishing around the container every now and then can help if you wanna speed up the fly Holocaust, so you can catch and drown flies manually.
Before you notice a considerable amount of flies inside, it may take a few days. They like old, warm flat beer. But before you know it, your containers will be filled with a disturbing amount of flies. It’s actually quite disgusting how many there can be in there. But it works. Make new containers when they’re too filled up with flies. Give it half a week to two weeks, then throw the containers away. Some flies will remain, but with no friends or sources left, they quickly die or go away.

Fruit flies can invade even in the winter; do not be fooled. It’s not fun, but during your battle, keeping windows and doors open can greatly help in fucking them up, using the cold.

And this is the closest I’ve come to a zombie invasion, but I pride myself in having destroyed them all single handed, without paying for anything at all.

Only138's avatar

@Symbeline Fruit flies are little bastards anyways. :)

Symbeline's avatar

LOL I’m never gonna get sick of that. if we ever get married or some shit, you have to vow to me that they’re little bastards anyways. :D

Only138's avatar

@Symbeline LOL You got it. :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Symbeline Holy shit. Remind me to never fuck with you.

Symbeline's avatar

O_o

Gee thanks. Now I’m all on there, checking out various insect penises.

Only138's avatar

Why did I get drug into the gnat dick thingamabob?

gailcalled's avatar

Forget learning the Asian Squat. I put my back out while string to perfect it.

Keep_on_running's avatar

@lloydbird I learnt that in 5th grade. ;)

To get pomegranate seeds out: cut in half, whack peel side really hard into a bowl. I use a wooden spoon. If you watch a lot of cooking shows you probably already know, but damn it really works.

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