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Hack your life (part 1)

By Staff | Aug 30, 2013

The word “hacking” has negative connotations, like taking control of someone’s computer, or coughing really hard and incessantly. But in terms of your life, “hacking” doesn’t have to mean that at all. Hacking, with regards to your life, can be a synonym for making your life a bit easier, or getting more use out of things you can find in your home, that you wouldn’t often use, or buy on the cheap.

Today we’re going to take a look at some ways you can hack your life.

1. Get more ketchup- Say you’re at a fast food joint, like McDonalds for example. Odds are they have a place with condiments that include a ketchup pump, am I right? Now, some of these joints offer little “cups” in which you can put your ketchup and enjoy your french fries, but there’s one problem. The cups they provided for your dipping pleasure are small and made of paper. Really? They couldn’t have supplied you a bigger cup with which you can enjoy your plethora of fries?

There is a way you can get more ketchup in the paper cup. First look at it. Notice how the top looks like it’s been rolled? Unroll it, you’ll be able to get millimeters more of ketchup and enjoy more of your fries.

2. Protect your car door from dings – You’re parking your car in your garage, if you have one, you get out and what happens? Your car door hits the garage wall and gets dinged. Dings are annoying and detract from the beauty of your car. After all, people buy cars because they look pretty, right? (No, they don’t? It has something to do with getting from a point A to a point B? Oh, okay.)

A long time ago kids used things called pool noodles (floatation devices made from an industrial foam) to swim with, build forts, shoot water at, and pummel each other with while spending time in the urine-infested bacteria dens that are swimming pools.

But pool noodles can be used to protect your car door from getting further dinged. Take a pool noodle-you can buy it new from somewhere or get it from someone you know who has one-and cut it in half lengthwise. (Depending on how big your garage is, and how big your vehicle is, you may need more than one noodle.) Once you’ve cut the noodle, apply it to your garage wall with glue or duct tape. Nails or screws should not be used, because if your car door hits said nail or screw it will ding the door, making this whole exercise be for naught. Once the noodle has been applied, let it cure for a bit before testing out your new “car door bumper”.

3. Make it harder to fall out of bed – Not everyone can sleep in one position and stay there. Some shift about to find a more comfortable position. Unfortunately some shift so violently while they sleep, it’s almost akin to an alligator’s death roll, that they wake up on the floor.

Pool noodles have another use here, as what you’re going to form is another bumper zone. Measure how long the sides of the bed are, not where the headboard and footboard would be. Once you’ve done that, cut the noodle to the length of the bed. Next, take a fitted sheet. If the bed was already made when you were doing this, that’s great. What you want to do is put the noodle under the fitted sheet or even the mattress cover, and then remake the bed normally. If the bed is near a wall, you only need one noodle, but if only the headboard is near a wall and the bed juts out from there, you’ll need two.

4. Make smartphone videos sound better – This next one is for anyone who has a smartphone and considers him or herself “hip, cool, with it”, etc. and goes to concerts, plays, and the like. There’s always the need to take a video of the event, be it for posterity or to upload it to YouTube. But there’s a problem, the sound of the video that was taken is not like how you remember. If anything, it sounds just horrible.

To fix that, while you’re filming, take your finger and cover your phone’s mic. The mic is near the 3.5 mm plug (if it has one) and is so small you almost miss it, usually. Do this and you’ll have clearer sounding audio.

5. Amplify iPods/MP3 players without speakers – Let’s say you have an MP3 player or an iPod, and you want to share your music with everyone in the room, but you don’t have speakers. There is a way around this, and it’s inside your cabinet.

Put your iPod/MP3 in a glass, both of which need to be standing. Music should be on when you’re doing this, by the way. Just be advised, you do this with an actual glass glass, you’ll be adding some harmonics from the glass into the fray. You should also probably not have a mezzosoprano or someone attempting that high F note in that infernal “Loving You is Easy ‘Cause You’re Beautiful” song, because you don’t want a bunch of shattered glasses everywhere.

A bowl and a vase will work too, provided they’re big enough. This also works with smartphones. I did the glass trick with an LG P390, also known as an “LG Nitro HD”, and got the desired result. But that doesn’t mean you should try it in some place that’s huge, like a stadium. Try it in a room that’s smaller than that, like your living room.

6. Fill huge containers – Let’s say you’ve got a sink, and a container so big it won’t fit in said sink. Take a (clean) dustpan and put it in the sink in such a way that the handle is pointing downward. Put the container underneath and angle the dustpan handle. Turn the faucet and you’ll fill that puppy up quickly.

Those are only six “life hacks” but if you want more, feel free to request more and maybe a part two will be in the works.

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