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George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images
George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

Try These 1957 Life Hacks Out Around the House

George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images
George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

Life hacks existed long before websites like Lifehacker or Buzzfeed (or Mental Floss). In the mid-20th century, the magazine Science and Mechanics published an annual book called 1001 How-to Ideas, a book full of domestic life hacks. As Core77 reports, the YouTuber behind HouseHold Hacker discovered a vintage 1957 edition in his basement, and decided to see if the advice stood the test of time.

And most of the tips did. Here are a few of the best:

  • Have trouble peeling bacon out of the package without tearing it? Roll the package back and forth in your hands before you open it. That will break the adhesion holding the strips together, allowing you to peel them apart easily.
  • You can mount a flashlight on the floor by attaching it to an upside-down funnel with a rubber band.
  • You can move heavy furniture across your floors easily and safely by placing flattened egg cartons under each of the corners.
  • Attach a cheap metal coil to the top of a door hinge to keep a door open. No doorstop needed.
  • Doing a job around the house? Stick your loose nails or screws in a potato or a piece of hard fruit to keep them handy.
  • If your suction cup won’t stick to the wall, rub it with hand soap. The glycerin in the soap will help it hold.
  • Prevent hair from clogging your shower drain by sticking a piece of steel wool inside. When things get gross in there, just remove the steel wool and throw it away, replacing it with a new one.

Check out more of the tips in the video below.

[h/t Core77]

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Big Questions
How Are Balloons Chosen for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?
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The balloons for this year's Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade range from the classics like Charlie Brown to more modern characters who have debuted in the past few years, including The Elf On The Shelf. New to the parade this year are Olaf from Disney's Frozen and Chase from Paw Patrol. does the retail giant choose which characters will appear in the lineup?

Balloon characters are chosen in different ways. For example, in 2011, Macy’s requested B. Boy after parade organizers saw the Tim Burton retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. (The company had been adding a series of art balloons to the parade lineup since 2005, which it called the Blue Sky Gallery.) When it comes to commercial balloons, though, it appears to be all about the Benjamins.

First-time balloons cost at least $190,000—this covers admission into the parade and the cost of balloon construction. After the initial year, companies can expect to pay Macy’s about $90,000 to get a character into the parade lineup. If you consider that the balloons are out for only an hour or so, that’s about $1500 a minute.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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fun
If You Can Solve This Puzzle, You Might Just Be Qualified to Be an Astronaut
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by Reader's Digest Editors

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Once a child hits kindergarten, the answer to this question starts to become a bit more reasonable. Sure, at age 3, little Jimmy wanted to be a dinosaur when he grew up, but by age 5, Jimmy realizes how preposterous this career path would be. After all, dinosaur graduate school is entirely too cost prohibitive nowadays.

Beginning in the latter half of the 20th century, more and more kids aspired to reach for the stars, stating firmly that when they grew up they would be an astronaut. And there might just be a way to test the viability of this claim, courtesy of British astronaut Tim Peake. Peake posted a puzzle pulled straight from his astronaut selection test to his Facebook page—can you figure it out?

Since he originally posted the puzzle on October 21, the brain-buster has been shared, liked, and commented on thousands of time.

 
See Also...
Welcome to the World's Most Useless Airport
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Good News—People Who Daydream in Meetings Are Actually Smarter!
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10 Myths About Frozen Food You Need to Stop Believing
 

Although the instructions may appear to be pretty vague, there is a correct answer; in the paraphrased words of Maxine Nightingale, the dot ends up right back where it started from, on the bottom.

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