Apr 072017
 

How to gut fish the Japanese way with a pair of chopsticks.

If you need to gut your fresh catch of the day, all you need is a pair of chopsticks. Warning: you will literally see a fish’s guts get yanked out of its mouth.

This gutting method removes fish innards and gills without forcing you to cut it open or remove the head. Take a pair of throw-away chopsticks and insert them into the fish’s mouth past the gills, give the chopsticks a few hard twists, then slowly pull out the innards through the mouth. Rinse the inside of the fish with water and it’s ready to be cooked or frozen for later use.

This fish cleaning method is known as the “tsubo-nuki” technique in Japan, and is popular throughout many parts of Eastern Asia. It’s ideal when you’re serving fish whole or just tossing them on the grill because the body stays intact and keeps its shape nicely while cooking. You also avoid accidentally cutting into the fish’s digestive tract or other organs that may require additional cleaning of the fish.

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Apr 012017
 

How To Of The Day: How To Climb A Rope

From those awkward days in early gym class to Marine trainees racing through obstacle courses, rope climbing is a time-honored practice of testing and building your physical fitness. At one time, rope climbing was even an Olympic event, pitting agile athletes from around the world to see who could race up their rope the quickest. Rope climbing is not only a great workout for the upper body, it’s also a useful skill, whether you’re looking to do some technical climbing or scale Mount Midoriyama to become the next American Ninja Warrior.

There are several methods taught for proper rope climbing technique. The biggest difference between each technique is how you use your feet. No matter what method you use, you should always start by jumping up to grab the rope at the highest point possible. This helps give you a head start and provides some wiggle room for you to position the rope between your legs.

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

 

How To Of The Day: How To Survive An Earthquake

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Mar 282017
 

how-to-survive-an-earthquake

The Gulf Coast and East Coast have hurricanes, the Midwest and South have tornados, and the West Coast faces tsunami threats. No area of the country is without their own special brand of natural disaster to worry about. Earthquakes, however, span state lines, cross mountain ranges, and traverse climates. With the increased practice of deep wastewater disposal in the oil and gas industry, even the typically stable Midwest and central areas of the country are seeing an exponential rise in the number of earthquakes strong enough to get your house shaking (e.g., before 2009 there were an average of two magnitude 3+ earthquakes in Oklahoma; last year there were 907).

Surviving an earthquake starts far before the tremors begin, with careful preparation and planning. You should have enough food and water (a gallon per person per day) to last a minimum of three days, and communicate to friends and family where to meet and how to contact each other after an earthquake, assuming phone lines and electricity are down. Finally, take time to go through your house and secure tall, heavy pieces of furniture and appliances that might topple over. After an earthquake, be prepared to experience powerful aftershocks, and try to get to an open area as soon as it’s safe to do so. During an earthquake, the best survival techniques depend on your surroundings, so heed the tips above.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

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How To Of The Day: Hang Paintings Perfectly With A Fork

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Feb 182017
 

Hanging items on a nail isn’t hard, but it’s always tough to hang something you can’t see. You need the string to thread the nail, but not the wooden frame itself. You could photocopy a template, but your poster or painting might be too big. A simple fork can make the job easier.

Place the fork on the nail, with the handle sticking upwards and the nail going through the middle tines. The handle will be at a slight angle, which is perfect. Thread the painting rear wire or string behind the fork handle, and slide it all the way down to the nail. Then just pull the fork up and out. Voila, you have a perfectly hung painting.

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How To Of The Day: How To Hot Wire A Car

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Feb 082017
 

How To Of The Day: How To Hot Wire A Car

Today we’re going to learn an always fun skill that will land you in jail if used improperly. As always, this article is FOR LEGAL PURPOSES ONLY. We don’t promote any illegal activities here.

This can be used to start your car when you’ve lost your keys, or to get a car going in an emergency or survival situation. You just never know when this skill will come in handy.

These methods are surprisingly simple. They may not work with all cars, particularly new ones that require microchip activation to get started.

The “Hot Wire” Method For Starting A Car

This method requires rewiring the car to bypass the ignition system.

  1. First you need to determine if the steering wheel lock can be disabled. Pull the steering shaft off the back of the steering wheel. Look for a little disk with holes that the lock pops into. If possible, remove the disk.
  2. Use a screwdriver to remove the access cover underneath the steering wheel.
  3. Remove the harness collector to gain access to the ignition wiring.
  4. Find the two red wires. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation off of each end, and then twist the wires together. Make sure the exposed wires do not touch any metal. Make sure these wires stay twisted when driving, as you will lose power if they come loose.
  5. Find the brown wire. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation off of the end.
  6. Touch the end of the brown wire against the twisted ends of the red wires until there is engine ignition.
  7. Once the engine is going, keep the brown and red wires separate, to avoid sparks and draining the battery.

The Screwdriver Method For Starting A Car

This method uses a drill to disable the lock pins, and will destroy the key switch. Once this is done, the key mechanism will be permanently damaged. Any key, screwdriver, or flat piece of metal will be able to start the car from this point on.

  1. Drill into the key hole, about 2/3 up, where the inner flap starts. Drill into it as deep as a key would.
  2. Remove the drill bit, allowing the lock bits to fall into place.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 a few times, until all the bits are in place.
  4. Put a flat head screwdriver into the keyhole, and turn it the way you would a key.

Remember that these methods may cause damage to a car, so use only as a last resort.

Always wear insulated gloves when working with wires.

And again… only for legal purposes!

 
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How To Open A Can In An Emergency

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Jan 302017
 

Dave Hax with a another useful tip. This time, he shows you how to open a can in an emergency situation.

Enjoy!

How to open a can of food using a spoon. If you haven’t got a can opener, you can use this life hack to cut your way into the can using a spoon. Good for an emergency or a camping trip. Be very careful of sharp edges and consider wearing safety gloves.

 

How To Of The Day: Cut String With Your Bare Hands

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Jan 292017
 

If you need to cut a piece of string or thin rope and you don’t have any tools around, try this quick and easy trick.

Handy little trick, you will use it more often than you think. With the right tension, and the right distance of “travel” it doesn’t even hurt your hand…much…

 

How To Of The Day: Microwave Potato Chips

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Jan 222017
 

Enjoy!

A recent revelation that I’ve discovered was microwave potato chips. Now, there’s no need to have a deep fryer to make potato chips or even get your chips at the store anymore – this recipe will provide the crisp, crunchy potato chips you want! It’s exactly what it sounds like: simply get potato slices and microwave them to get the crispiest potato chips you’ve ever tasted.

Directions:

First, cut a potato in half and use a mandoline to slice potato into thin shreds. The key to great potato chips is to slice them very thinly. If you don’t have a mandoline, simply use a chef’s knife to slice your potato into extremely thin slices.

Next, our olive oil over a plate and spread out the oil so that your potato chips won’t stick to the plate. Lay your potato slices over the plate. Season with salt and pepper.

Microwave for 3-4 minutes

Give them a second to cool off, then dig in!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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How To Of The Day: Create An Endless Supply Of Hot Water

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Jan 202017
 
How To Create An Endless Supply Of Hot Water – No Power Required

How To Of The Day: Create An Endless Supply Of Hot Water

Whether one lives off-grid and seeks to create an endless supply of hot water or lives in a location with sparse resources, this video is sure to inspire and inform.

Are you interested in moving off-grid so you might live a self-sufficient life away from society? If so, you’re sure to benefit from this video uploaded to YouTube by engineer775 Practical Preppers. The information shared reveals that all one needs to create an endless supply of hot water is some recycled parts and a small rocket stove.

In case you’re not aware, a rocket stove is a hot burning stove that uses small diameter wood fuel. It ensures almost complete combustion prior to the flames’ reaching the cooking surface and is extremely efficient. Learn how to build your own here.

The ingenious technique described in the video utilizes thermal siphon pumping to move the freshly heated water into the reservoir. It’s easy to reproduce and will ensure an individual has an endless supply of hot water for as long as they need.

 
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How To Of The Day: How To Wash Your Hands Like A Doctor

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Jan 112017
 

You think you’re warding off disease, but if you don’t spend enough time washing your hands in the correct manner you’re fooling yourself.

Use the simple guide below to wash your hands like a doctor.

How to Wash Your Hands Like a Doctor

January has been the month of the cold that would not die at the McKay household. First one half of the family got sick, then the other, then the first half again. It was a downright pandemic around here. Productivity, morale, and my gains — my poor, poor gains! — have suffered greatly.

It’s gotten me thinking about how to better handle getting sick in the future, and how to prevent getting sick in the first place. When it comes to the latter, proper and regular hand-washing is one of the most important weapons in your cold and flu-fighting arsenal.

In the past I’ve admittedly been a short and sloppy washer. And I’m not alone; studies have shown that only 5% of people wash their hands correctly.

So we talked to Bryan Canterbury, ER doctor at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, MA, to get his tips on how to wash thoroughly like a right-old medical professional. His doctor-endorsed guide is above.

According to the CDC, you should wash your hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

Skip the antibacterial soap; it’s not only no more effective at getting rid of germs than regular soap, it may lead to the development of resistant strains of bacteria (i.e., the “super bug”). The antibacterial label also tends to make people careless about washing their hands the right way, figuring the soap will take care of the germs itself, which isn’t the case.

Hand sanitizer will work in a pinch — use a big glob, make sure it’s at least 60% alcohol, and rub it over every surface of your hands. Sanitizer’s not a good choice when you’ve got actual grime on your hands, and it doesn’t kill all germs, but it’s almost as effective as hand washing. It won’t lead to super bug-dom, either; hand sanitizer breaks down bacteria in a different way than the anti-microbials in antibacterial soap do. Here’s how Dr. Canterbury recommends using sanitizer:

“In the hospital, we use hand-sanitizer in-out of each patient room. But we are told to soap-and-water after the bathroom and before/after meals and when hands are visibly dirty — and I think that’s great minimum criteria throughout the day no matter your work/life setting; more if possible to prevent catching a cold, flu, pneumonia — or worse.”

There you go, how to wash (or sanitize) your hands like a doc. Until next time, keep your noses, and your hands clean.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

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How To Of The Day: Seal Foods Air-Free Without A Vacuum Sealer

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Jan 092017
 
How to Seal Foods Air-Free Without a Vacuum Sealer

Seal Foods Air-Free Without A Vacuum Sealer

Here’s a quick, easy, inexpensive way to seal foods airtight in a plastic-bag. All you need is a zipper-lock bag, and a tub or pot of water.

If using this method for storage use freezer bags for a better seal. For cooking sous-vide, do not use this method for foods that need to cook longer than a couple of hours. For long cooks, use an actual vacuum sealer. Zipper-lock bags can fail with extended cooking times.

When it comes to plastic-bag storage, there are a lot of good reasons to remove as much air as possible. Marinating in an air-free plastic bag helps better distribute marinades around food. Excess air causes oxidation that can develop into off flavors or promote spoilage. Air pockets can exacerbate freezer burn in the freezer and slow down sous vide cooking. Removing that air is simple to do with a vacuum sealer, but what if you don’t own one or don’t want to use the expensive bags for a relatively simple storage or cooking task?

Here’s a quick, easy, inexpensive option called the water displacement method. All you need is a zipper-lock bag and a tub or pot of water.

I first learned about this technique when Dave Arnold demonstrated it to me as an alternative to vacuum sealers for sous vide cooking, but it has far wider applications.

To do it, you start by placing your food inside a zipper-lock bag, then seal the bag, leaving just the last inch or so of the seal open. Next, you lower the bag into a pot or a tub of water. As the bag gets lowered, water pressure will push air out of the bag through the small opening you left. Just before the bag gets completely submerged, seal off that opening and pull the whole bag out of the tub.

Ta-da! Food that’s sealed in a nearly air-free environment, no special tools required.

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How To Of The Day: Store And Stack Firewood

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Jan 052017
 

Stack your firewood to last the Winter and to dry perfectly with this handy graphic.

store-and-stack-firewood

After you split firewood, you want to stack it up and store it to begin the seasoning process and prepare it for burning. Firewood should be stored for a minimum of 6 months, and during that time you want to ensure it loses as much moisture as possible by exposing it to ample sunlight and air circulation. As noted above, while both elements are important, sun exposure should be prioritized over wind direction. If your backyard or property has inconsistent wind patterns, the stack should be aligned so that it catches the west-to-east winds which are common in North America.

You’ll know when your wood is ready for stove or fireplace by sight and sound: Check the ends of your firewood for hairline cracks that spiderweb across the grain, and bang the wood together; a low thud sound means you’re good to go, but a sharp clap means it still needs time.

If you’ve waited six months and your wood still doesn’t seem ready, your stack may be out of whack; check the guidelines above for tips on how it might be improved.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

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