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How to Lift a Car in a Pinch

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Normally, if you need to lift a car, your best bet is a jack. But if you find yourself in an emergency where you need to move a set of wheels off of a trapped victim, plain old elbow grease and adrenaline can be more effective than you would expect.

1. Get Hysterical

Hoisting up an automobile is no small task, but there’s anecdotal evidence that an emergency situation can kick start your muscles. It’s still scientifically mysterious, but “hysterical strength” apparently occurs when a disaster triggers a surge of adrenaline that allows otherwise average people to engage in awesome feats of strength. Mothers have lifted cars off their children and little old ladies have flipped lawnmowers off friends. This maneuver is only recommended for emergency situations, but if you really need the strength, you may find you have it.

2. Brace Yourself

Even if you’re not muscle-bound, don’t despair. Getting a car off the ground doesn’t require as much raw strength as you might expect. Remember, you don’t need to lift the whole thing. You just need to get a wheel or two in the air to allow anyone trapped underneath it to get out. Finding a good place to grab the car is a must. Open one of the front doors and brace your shoulders against the upper part of the frame. If that doesn’t work, find a good handhold on the bumper or anywhere else sturdy on the car’s body.

3. Put Your Best Feet Forward

Remember all those squats you’ve done at the gym? You’re going to be doing basically the same thing, but with a much more impressive burden than a barbell. Take a broad stance with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart and slightly out in front of you to maximize your leverage.

4. Get a Leg Up

You’re going to be a hero once you lift this car, but there’s no sense in being a hero with a mangled spine. As always, lift with your legs and pretend you’re doing the toughest squat of all time.

5. Hold That Pose

Once you get the car in the air, hold it long enough for anyone trapped underneath to wriggle out. After they’re clear, gently lower your burden back down. Take a celebratory flex – this is one of the few times nobody will hold it against you.
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If you’ve lifted a car, you’ve probably worked up a massive sweat. Why not cool off with a frosty Dos Equis?

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How to Shave With a Straight Razor
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Our Be More Interesting series will teach you new skills to wow your friends. Today, Max Silvestri learns to shave with a straight razor. 

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How to Cross a River Without a Bridge
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Need to cross a roaring river? It’s always best to find a bridge, but if you absolutely must make it to the other side on your own, a few easy steps can keep you high and relatively dry.

1. Scout Around

Invest a little time in finding the best place to make your crossing. Avoid bends in the river, where water whips around the fastest. Once you find a suitable spot, walk downstream a few hundred feet to make sure there aren’t any hazards. It’s always good to know about the pesky 30-foot waterfall around the bend.

2. Don’t Be Narrow-Minded

They look tempting, but narrow crossings can be the most dangerous—they’re often the deepest part of the river. Look for the widest section instead. Keep an eye out for mild ripples—which are safe to cross—and avoid whitecaps, which can be treacherously slippery.

3. Ditch Your Duds

If the water will reach your knees, strip down to your skivvies - your pride isn’t worth getting hypothermia from wet clothes. Even if the river is shallow, remove your socks and put on a second pair of shoes if you have them. If you’re backpacking, unbuckle your front straps so you can quickly slip out of your pack if you fall.

4. Shuffle Up

Face upstream, lean into the current, and move across the river with shuffling sidesteps. You’re less likely to fall while sidestepping since you don’t lift your feet as high. If you’re with a group, link arms. The technique creates more contact points with the streambed and gives everyone a more solid footing.

5. Become a Bump on a Log

If the rapids are too fast, shuffling across may be a bad idea. Look for a log that spans the whole river instead. But don’t walk on it! Wet wood can be dangerously slippery. Instead, straddle the log and scoot along until you reach the other side.

6. Float Away

In situations where the river is deep but the current isn’t very swift, a football or soccer ball can be a handy improvised flotation device. Tether it to your wrist and grab on when you get tired of swimming. Or hug it with one arm as you sidestroke for extra buoyancy.
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Once you make it to the opposite shore, dry off and toast your successful crossing with a round of Dos Equis.

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