8 Weird, Extremely Specific Life Hacks You Might Need Someday

8 Weird, Extremely Specific Life Hacks You Might Need Someday
Photo: nancekievill, Shutterstock

We generally try to cast a wide net at Lifehacker.com, covering topics that will improve the lives of millions, maybe billions, of people. But that puts us at risk of missing the niche-dwellers and oddballs who would benefit from specific, targeted tips (those of you who might want to steal a relative’s remains, for example, or go streaking without anyone stealing your clothes).

In the interest of serving the entire population of the planet, here is a list of extremely specific life hacks you very well might need one day. There’s not something in here for everyone, but there may be something in here for you.

How to replace a relative’s cremated remains

Photo: VDB Photos, ShutterstockPhoto: VDB Photos, Shutterstock

This tip comes from Reddit, where user forestdude is having some unique family issues. Forestdude says their stepmother is trying to make off with their late father’s ashes, and forestdude would like to perform the old switcheroo.

“Since you can’t buy spare cremated remains online, I’m wondering what the best approximation of those would be?” forestdude asks.

Reddit’s most upvoted suggestion: Bone meal. User PhoridayThe13th points out you can find it in the gardening department, and it’s much closer to cremated human remains than ashes or dirt.

“Human cremains are grittier than ash,” PhoridayThe13th points out, adding that cremains look more like “mealy sand.” Other users warn forestdude to expect a plastic bag inside the urn that holds what’s left of his father, and to not be surprised if there are some spare teeth and bone chips in there. A user even offered to hand over some cremains that they happen to have hanging around the house. Helpful!

In a pinch, you can carve realistic-looking Cheetos out of baby carrots

Photo: David Pimborough, ShutterstockPhoto: David Pimborough, Shutterstock

If you see Cheetos in a movie or television show, they might really be baby carrots! This tip comes via Los Angeles prop master Ben Lewis, who tells me that he’s used a Dremel tool to carve baby carrots into good-enough-for-Hollywood Cheetos at least once. (Actually, exactly once.) If your production depends on Cheetos, and you only have baby carrots and a Dremel, this tip could save your professional life.

Note: This will not work if anyone touches the Cheetos or tries to eat them.

How to hang out with smokers if you do not smoke

Illustration: Butt Poems, Fair UseIllustration: Butt Poems, Fair Use

You know what I miss most about smoking? The cigarettes. But I also miss the people. I miss the doomed esprit de corps found only among little klatches of addicts huddling in doorways and alleys, defiantly giving themselves cancer. But if you don’t smoke, you don’t get to hang, right? Not necessarily. This clever little webcomic from butt poems provides a brilliant solution: Bring a sparkler.

“Now you’ll have a reason to ask for a light & hang out for a while,” the comic proclaims.

How not to have your clothes stolen when you are streaking

Photo: musicman, ShutterstockPhoto: musicman, Shutterstock

Here’s another tip from Reddit, where user humanmandude solves a problem streakers have when they are surrounded by untrustworthy people. Don’t leave your clothes lying around while you run around naked. Someone will steal them. Instead, lock them in your car and hold your keys in your hand as you streak. Simple. Elegant.

Reddit is never a site to leave good-enough alone, as you can see from this comment from user engineersanon, who has a solution if you prefer empty-handed streaking:

“Put a small eyebolt into the external flange of a butt plug, so that it will be outside the anus when the plug is inserted. Thread the eyebolt – and therefore the plug – onto the split ring of the keys. Sure, they’ll dangle outside, but nobody is going to try to take them…”

How to replace a Pierce Calibre 134’s clutch friction washer

If you’re repairing a Pierce Calibre 134 watch, take note: The 134’s movement uses a vertical clutch to engage the chronograph, so if the friction washer needs to be replaced, you’re going to have a big problem, as the part is unavailable for purchase.

Thankfully, you don’t have to create your own friction washer or strip a second Pierce Calibre for the part. According to horologist Matt Chapman, there’s a perfect replacement part right under your nose. “Simply slide a 1.5mm 0.6×0.45 rubber crown o-ring on the chronograph second runner pinion, and you’re all set. It works perfectly,” Chapman said. Why didn’t I think of that?

How to make people overbid for your storage space contents

Photo: TK Edens, ShutterstockPhoto: TK Edens, Shutterstock

If you’re being evicted from your self-storage unit for non-payment, and you really hate the vultures who buy other people’s possessions, Redditor RevolutionarySoup703 has a simple solution: “Write things like ‘19th century samurai swords’ or ‘Vintage 1970s G.I. Joe – box 3 of 12’ on the boxes.” This way, when they auction off the content of your storage space, people will massively overbid, then be bitterly disappointed when they learn they paid $1,249 for your cast-off gardening books, childhood photos, and college diploma. This won’t help you keep your stuff of course, and it will enrich the owner of the storage place, but on the other hand, you can really stick it to storage space bidders.

Use glue instead of stitches when building miniature clothing

Photo: VH-studio, ShutterstockPhoto: VH-studio, Shutterstock

If you’re sewing clothing for tiny people, you can use glue instead of stitches on the hems. The stitching on 1:6 scale clothing can be purely ornamental, with the glue holding things together. This tip comes from miniature costume designer Robyn Simms (Full disclosure: Ms. Simms is my wife. And she isn’t miniature. She’s regular sized but designs miniature clothing.) Simms recommends using Aleene’s Original “Fast Grab” tacky glue and applying it with a toothpick.

How to beat the final boss in ‘Bad Boys II: Miami Takedown’

If you’ve been stuck on Mendoza, the final boss in Bad Boys II: Miami Takedown, since the game came out in 2002, I can help. The final fight in this movie tie-in game is actually much easier than it seems at first. The trick is to recognise Mendoza’s pattern. He will always fire at you either two or three times, and then turn and start shooting at Marcus. As long as you move from cover to cover to avoid taking damage when he’s aiming your way, you should be able to hit at Mendoza when his attention is turned to Marcus. This will allow Marcus to move forward and eventually nail Mendoza with a grenade. Then you will win the game. I mean, FINALLY, am I right?

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