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How to Rip a Tablecloth Off a (Dish-Laden) Table

Few tricks are as classically cool as ripping a tablecloth out from under an array of dishes, wine glasses, and table settings. The potential for disaster is enormous, but that only makes the reward of doing it successfully that much sweeter. You’ve probably seen the trick performed dozens of times in movies, or even done in person by a magician. But you don’t need a degree in sorcery to pull off this move. At its core, it’s a simple application of Newton’s First Law of Motion: “Every object pe...
Tags: Life, Newton, Just For Fun, Manly Skills, Ted Slampyak, Amazon Illustrated


6 Ways to Sharpen Your Pencils

Editor’s note: This is a guest article from TJ Cosgrove. You’ve likely never given much thought to pencils (though you really should!). Likewise, you’ve probably never lent much thought to how to sharpen your pencils, defaulting to whatever was on hand. But much like pencils themselves, pencil sharpeners are a rich and detailed rabbit hole into which you can easily fall, should you find yourself drawn to minutia and the perfection of craft. There are many different ways to sharpen a pencil, an...
Tags: UK, Life, India, Time, US, Hobbies, Bentley, Ford Fiesta, Ye, Manly Skills, Pocket Knives, Handwriting/Penmanship, TJ Cosgrove, El Casco, Hovel


How to Fall (Without Hurting Yourself)

In 1981, stunt man Dar Robinson earned a world record for a 220-foot freefall — a feat which was shot for a Burt Reynolds flick. It’s a record that’s still unbroken nearly forty years later. Stuntmen like Robinson make a living knowing how to fall without getting hurt. The same goes for actors and professional wrestlers, who may have to fall dozens of times in a single scene or fight.  Learning to fall like these professionals is an incredibly useful skill, especially if you practice it enough ...
Tags: Life, Burt Reynolds, Robinson, Manly Skills, Health & Sports, Ted Slampyak, Amazon Illustrated, Dar Robinson


An Introduction to Rope: Construction and Materials

You can do a lot with rope.  Tie stuff down; pull stuff out; hoist things up.  Without rope, humans wouldn’t have been able to sail across the globe, climb the tallest mountains, or build epic monuments and skyscrapers.  It wouldn’t be too far fetched to say that rope made civilization possible.  Yet despite the profound impact rope has had on humanity, and the use you’ve likely gotten out of it personally in the mundanities of your own life, you probably know very little about these m...
Tags: Life, Manila, Wild West, Knots, Manly Skills, Kernmantle, Jute Jute


3 Ways to Make Improvised Snow Goggles

At the end of the 19th century, explorers and adventurers were focused on being the first to reach the South Pole. Known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, the period saw legendary names, like Ernest Shackleton, spend years surrounded by the frozen expanses that make up one of the harshest environments on the planet. For explorers like Shackleton, common maladies included frostbite, scurvy, and snow blindness.   Snow blindness occurs with prolonged exposure to UV radiation. It’s essent...
Tags: Outdoors, Life, Survival, Shackleton, Ernest Shackleton, Manly Skills, Visual Guides, Ted Slampyak, Amazon Illustrated, Doug Swingley


How to Make Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Oh, it doesn’t show signs of stopping, And I’ve brought some corn for popping. The lights are turned way down low, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow Whether or not you’ve got snowflakes gliding down outside your window, it’s a great time of year to pop some corn on the stovetop inside your kitchen. While it might seem laborious and needlessly old-fashioned to make popcorn on the stove, it’s a process that anyone can do in under 5 minutes. And the result has its distinct advantages.  Stovet...
Tags: Life, Travel & leisure, Food & Drink, Manly Skills, Ingredients Easily


How to Make Stovetop Popcorn

Oh, it doesn’t show signs of stopping, And I’ve brought some corn for popping. The lights are turned way down low, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow Whether or not you’ve got snowflakes gliding down outside your window, it’s a great time of year to pop some corn on the stovetop inside your kitchen. While it might seem laborious and needlessly old-fashioned to make popcorn on the stove, it’s a process that anyone can do in under 5 minutes. And the result has its distinct advantages.  Stovet...
Tags: Life, Travel & leisure, Food & Drink, Manly Skills, Ingredients Easily


What to Do When Your Car Is Stranded In the Snow

Winter is here, which means plenty of travel for the holidays and lots of adventures through snowy environments and mountain passes. Before you head out to more rural and remote areas this season, take some time to stock your vehicle with tire chains, a portable shovel, flashlight, lighter/matches, extra clothes, blankets, kitty litter (for traction), water, and food. Carry this kit with you throughout the winter, even if you don’t think you’ll be encountering snow. Mountain weather conditions ...
Tags: Life, Cars, Survival, Manly Skills, Visual Guides, Ted Slampyak, Amazon Illustrated


How to Harvest and Use Nature’s Aspirin

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from wilderness survival expert and instructor Creek Stewart.  When I was a boy, my grandfather in Kentucky taught me how to harvest my own natural pain medicine. It all started with a headache and a long walk down the hill in front of his house to the edge of a pond where a large, showy white willow (Salix alba) grew. Using his pocketknife, he carved away a few slivers of smooth bark from one of the new growth branches. He popped them in his mouth to “simme...
Tags: Wellness, Outdoors, Kentucky, Life, Indiana, Maine, Food And Drug Administration, Willow, Bayer, Creek, Salix, Sonoran Desert, Hippocrates, Manly Skills, Health & Sports, Creek Stewart


How to Pick Up the 7-10 Split in Bowling

Every sport has its own holy grail move or shot. In golf, it’s the hole-in-one. In football, there’s the Hail Mary. For basketball, the full-court buzzer-beater. And in bowling, it’s the 7-10 split. Also known as “bedposts,” the 7-10 split happens when a bowler’s first ball knocks down every pin except the 7 pin and the 10 pin — the rear corner pins. Knocking down one of the pins is simple, but picking up a spare by knocking down both is nearly impossible. While statistics suggest that there ar...
Tags: Games, Life, Manly Skills, Visual Guides, Diversions, Ted Slampyak, Amazon Illustrated


How to Make a Leather Belt

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Michael Magnus.  Whether being worn for function or fashion, a well-made leather belt can last a lifetime. Many “genuine leather” belts available to purchase at stores, though, are a layered, man-made material that’s more akin to a leather pressboard than true leather. These types of belts are sewn together by sewing machines, which don’t offer as strong of a stitch as sewing leather by hand and tend to separate and fall apart with time. Why not make...
Tags: Accessories, Life, Projects, North Texas, Magnus, Manly Skills, Style & Grooming, George Hurst, Michael Magnus, Jim Linnell, Don Gonzale, Leathercraft Academy, Tandy Leather 's YouTube


Two Methods for Homemade Invisible Ink (One of Which Works)

The story of invisible ink —  as detailed by Brett and Kate a number of years ago  — goes back millenia. Used mainly as an espionage device, militaries and governments the world over continually worked on ways to discreetly send messages between covert parties.  These “inks” started as very simple concoctions in two primary categories: 1) an acidic liquid applied directly to paper or parchment, like lemon juice, vinegar, or even urine, which would then be revealed by heat exposure ( as in...
Tags: Life, Just For Fun, Manly Skills


How to Open a Can Without an Opener

Do you remember the scene in The Road where the boy and his father discover an untouched, perfectly stocked survival bunker? The hungry nomads happily gape as they take in crate after crate of canned goods, an unbelievable oasis in an otherwise desolate, apocalyptic landscape. The pair liberate the contents of the cans with an opener, and make a dinner of canned pears and peaches; “They licked the spoons and tipped the bowls and drank the rich sweet syrup.” But what if father and son hadn’t fou...
Tags: Outdoors, Camping, Life, Survival, The Road, Manly Skills, Visual Guides, Ted Slampyak, Amazon Illustrated


How to Make a Paracord Rock Sling

Slings are an ancient weapon. Often called shepherd’s slings or rock slings, these primitive devices may date back as far as 40,000 years, when bows, arrows, and spears were first making their debut. Perhaps most famously, it was a sling that allowed a pint-sized David to take out Goliath. But they weren’t just for taking out giants and other human enemies; they were also used for hunting small game.  The mechanics of a sling are relatively simple. At the center is a piece of woven cordage or fa...
Tags: Outdoors, Life, David, Projects, Knots, Manly Skills


How to Make a Dakota Fire Hole

There are countless ways to make a fire, and each one has its benefits. We’ve shown you how to make a Swedish Torch, how to build a summer fire, and many more. Now, it’s time to visit an ancient methodology known as the Dakota fire hole — the fire-building technique of choice when you’re trying to evade a human tracker.   Dakota fire holes were often used by American Indians to create easily concealed, highly efficient fires that burned clean, even in windy conditions. Dakota fire holes are no...
Tags: Life, Dakota, Manly Skills, Visual Guides, Ted Slampyak, Amazon Illustrated, Fire Building


How to Make a Lantern Out of an Aluminum Can (And a Candle Out of Bacon Fat)

Nowadays, lighting up your campsite or backcountry getaway typically means flicking on an LED headlamp or flashlight. These modern torches are undeniably convenient and efficient, but in some ways they can’t hold either a metaphorical or literal candle to an old fashioned lantern. Lanterns not only throw light in multiple directions rather than concentrating it in a single beam, but they also have an alluringly warm glow. Lanterns conjure up images of old railroad days, covered wagons, and lon...
Tags: Cook, Camping, Life, Survival, Manly Skills, Fire Building, Bacon Fat, Cook Bacon Yum Cut


How to Make an Archery Bow Out of PVC Pipe

Few things are more satisfying than the thrum of a released bow string and the thunk of an arrow hitting its target. And archery isn’t just for fun (though it is that too); it can also be an important survival skill and tool. But, bows can be expensive, and you don’t always want to use them for play. Fortunately, there’s a way you can make your own bow for less than the price of dinner, and not feel bad about playing around with it, even with the kids. Enter the humble PVC pipe.  PVC is an inc...
Tags: Life, Projects, Archery, Manly Skills


How To Change A Flat Tire

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on November 6, 2008. We’ve updated it with images. Flat tires always seem to come at inconvenient times, but you can easily change a flat. Just like knowing how to jumpstart a car, knowing how to change a flat tire is a skill every man should possess. It will save your own butt when you’re out on some lonely stretch of highway and come in handy when helping a damsel in distress or a hapless traveler on the side of the road. Follow these steps...
Tags: Amazon, Life, Cars, Gertie, Manly Skills


Ernest Hemingway’s Advice on Camping Out

Editor’s note: Throughout Ernest Hemingway’s life, he maintained a love for the outdoors and for outdoor pursuits. This love was inculcated early, as his father took him into the woods as soon as he was able to walk, and taught Ernest the rudiments of hunting and fishing when the boy was only a toddler. Hemingway Sr. further instructed his son in how to build fires, make wilderness shelters, tie fishing flies, and cook wild game; he always insisted that Ernest eat whatever he killed. Hemingway...
Tags: Apple, Outdoors, Camping, Life, Fishing, Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway, Ernest, Manly Skills, Hemingway Sr, Toronto Star Weekly


How to Unclog a Toilet Like a Plumber

It’s every man’s worst fear. You’re at someone’s house, you  finish doing your business and flush the toilet, but instead of going down, the water comes up along with whatever you just deposited in the bowl. Would you be paralyzed with panic in that moment? Or do you know what to do? Thankfully, unclogging a toilet isn’t hard at all. Even the most gnarliest of clogs can be taken care of with ease. To help us learn how to effectively unclog a toilet, I called up Rod from Roto-Rooter and got the...
Tags: Life, Allen, Rod, Roto Rooter, Manly Skills, DIY Home Maintenance, Joes Rod


How to Make a Soda Can Stove

Diehard backpackers are always trying to find ways to cut weight from their pack, and one of the heaviest things they can carry is a cookstove. While there are loads of ultralight, advanced stoves on the market, few can compete with the simplicity and supreme frugality of a traditional alcohol-burning stove. While purchasable backpacking stoves can cost $40 on up (even a simple manufactured alcohol stove can set you back $20), you can create your own for less than 50 cents. A DIY alcohol stove...
Tags: Outdoors, Camping, Life, Mark, Step, Manly Skills, Fire Building


How to Get a Bird Out of Your House

A return to warmer temperatures means a lot of us are cracking open our windows and letting fresh air into our homes. But, that refreshing breeze is also an easy way for unwanted critters to come inside. If you don’t have screens on your windows or doors, you should expect a few flies and mosquitoes to share your living space. What you might not expect is a bird to get turned around and turn your kitchen into an aviary. It’s not uncommon for a bird to end up inside a house (or even workplace), ...
Tags: Life, Manly Skills, Visual Guides, DIY Home Maintenance, Ted Slampyak, Amazon Illustrated


How to Survive (and Prevent) a Carjacking

You’re sitting in your car at an intersection listening to the Blend on Sirius XM. Suddenly your door swings open and a gun is shoved in your face. “Out of the car!” a voice yells. You’re getting carjacked. While rare, carjackings have been on the rise in recent years in cities across the United States (more on why in a bit). So it pays to have a plan for how to avoid becoming the victim of this crime, and what to do if you can’t. To put together both prongs of said plan, I researched this area...
Tags: Life, Cars, Self-defense, United States, New Orleans, Sirius, Mike, Manly Skills, Mike Seeklander, American Warrior Society, Tactical Skills, Chicago Memphis Nashville Baltimore, Honda Civic Cars


How to Make a Marine Corps Fighting Hole

To the uninitiated, a Marine Corps fighting hole appears to be nothing more than a basic burrow in the ground. But it is in fact one of the most effective defensive positions you can make. It requires only a shovel (even just the military-issue, folding kind) to create, and it helps protect you from a variety of environmental and enemy threats. This fighting hole or foxhole features several elements that help keep you dry, warm, and out of the wind. It also keeps you out of sight and protected ...
Tags: Outdoors, Life, Marine Corps, Survival, Manly Skills, Visual Guides, Tactical Skills, Ted Slampyak, Amazon Illustrated


How to Make a New Hole in a Leather Belt (Using Whatever Tools You’ve Got)

Editor’s Note: This is a guest article by Michael Magnus. Whether putting on a few pounds at the holidays or getting fit and shedding inches with The Strenuous Life, it’s handy to know how to add a new notch or two to your leather belt. In this article, you’ll see several different methods for punching holes: some involve tools that make the job especially easy, while others allow you to make do with what you have. The first 3 methods featured here will show ways to get an ideally rounded belt ...
Tags: Accessories, Tools, Life, Projects, North Texas, Tandy, Magnus, Manly Skills, Style & Grooming, Michael Magnus, Tandy Leather


How to Make a Potato Cannon

Made out of a few simple PVC fittings and lengths of pipe, potato cannons can launch spuds up to 300 yards. They’re cheap and fun to make, and they’re also a great way to get introduced to the basics of cutting, priming, and gluing PVC together. If you’ve been hesitant about DIY plumbing, making a potato cannon is a pretty low-risk intro course.    A potato cannon/launcher/gun consists of a combustion chamber and a barrel. The barrel is made out of 2” PVC pipe and the combustion chamber is mad...
Tags: Life, Projects, Just For Fun, Manly Skills


How to Tie a One-Handed Bowline Knot

The bowline is one of the most useful knots you can know. Simple to tie, and easy to undo, the beauty of the bowline is that it creates a quick loop secured by a knot that tightens when under load. Sailors use the bowline to fasten halyards and other rigging which require a super-secure connection.   The one-handed bowline is a technique that allows you to tie the knot using only one hand. Why is that useful? Imagine you’ve slipped and fallen into a rushing river. At the last second, you grab t...
Tags: Life, Survival, Knots, Manly Skills, Visual Guides, Ted Slampyak, Amazon Illustrated


How to Escape a Car Hanging Off a Cliff

The image of a car dangling over a cliff is one of Hollywood’s favorite go-to moments of suspense. In real life, finding yourself in that situation is quite a bit rarer, but it’s certainly not unheard of. When you consider the number of human-made “cliffs” like highway overpasses and bridges, there are ample opportunities for a basic fender bender to turn into a serious cliffhanger. If you find yourself behind the wheel of a precariously positioned car, the key is to avoid any sudden movements...
Tags: Hollywood, Life, Cars, Survival, Manly Skills, Visual Guides, Ted Slampyak, Amazon Illustrated


How to Turn a Pringles Can Into a Secret Safe

Pringles cans are one of the most versatile DIY materials you can get your hands on. People have made the iconic chip packaging into speakers for their phones, storage containers for dry goods, gift boxes, and even pinhole cameras. One of the most creative uses for a Pringles can is a safe. Based on the idea that the right illusion is more secure than a steel-reinforced vault, the Pringles can safe maintains the top seal and most of the chips inside while concealing a small spot for your valua...
Tags: Life, Projects, Manly Skills


Podcast #482: The Power of Penmanship

In the 21st century, most of our written communication is done through typing on a computer or tapping digital buttons on a smartphone screen. But my guest today argues that we can increase our sense of humanity and our connection to the physical world and to other people by rediscovering the lost art of putting a real pen to real paper. His name is Michael Sull. He’s a master penman, penmanship instructor, and the author of several penmanship books. Today on the podcast, I talk to Michael ab...
Tags: Podcast, Life, Michael, Manly Skills, MICHAEL Michael, Facebook Listen, Penman, Hair Club, Handwriting/Penmanship, Michael Sull, Instagram Michael



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