If it sounds stupid, looks stupid, quacks like stupid, but also (kinda) works, is it still stupid? The jury’s still out on this one. What we know for sure is that in the world of life hacks, even the weirdest ideas can still have merit. All it takes is a bit of creativity and the willingness to stick a broken key into a potato to make a new grip. Genius and madness are often two sides of the same coin, after all.
Our team over here at Bored Panda wanted to share some of that peculiar worldly wisdom with you, so we’ve compiled this list of the most bizarre life hacks that (sorta, kinda, surprisingly) work. Scroll on down and remember to upvote the ones that impressed you the most, as well as the ones that got you giggling so hard, you had to take a five-minute break. Got a particular fave hack that you can’t wait to share with all of your friends semi-seriously? Let us know which one it was in the comments.
Who better to help navigate the world of silliness than a comedian? Comedy writer and musical stand-up comedian Ariane Sherine put an end to the age-old discussion about whether or not something's dumb if it works. "It’s actually very smart, and it’s a shame if people don’t use it through fear of looking dumb!" she told Bored Panda. Read on for the rest of our interview with Ariane.
British comedian Ariane explained that human beings tend to look down on ideas that sound dumb on a theoretical level because we want to appear much more intelligent than we might actually be. It's all to do with our (perceived) reputations!
"Everybody wants to think they’re smart (even if they’re actually Donald Trump!) and people hate feeling stupid or being duped. If a piece of advice doesn’t sound helpful, I guess people who see themselves as clever will automatically reject it rather than try it and risk feeling dumb," she shared with Bored Panda.
If It's Stupid And It Works It's Not Stupid
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Meanwhile, Ariane, just like us, is a huge fan of avocados. Not surprisingly, her favorite life hack has to do with them and how they have an "inbult ripeness sensor" that lets you tell if the avocado is overripe or still green (yes, yes, they're always green, but you know what we mean!).
"You know how hard it is to tell whether an avocado’s ripe before cutting into it? Simply twist the stem. If it doesn’t come off, it’s underripe; if it comes off and is green underneath, it’s ripe; if it’s brown underneath, it’s overripe. Voila—no more rock hard or mushy grey avocados!" she shared, adding that she has, just us, found that supermarkets promoting 'ripe' avocados tend to lie about just how ripe they really are.
Unethical Life Pro Tips
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Life hacks come in all shapes and sizes. From tiny modifications to how you go about your day for increased efficiency to some seriously out-of-the-box thinking that stays with you, changing your entire perception about life and how you’ve been living it.
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In short, life hacks are concentrated bits of worldly wisdom that people have picked up during their lives. We’ve all got at least a few pearls of wisdom that we can share with others, but we’re sometimes not aware that it’s something that others wouldn’t know about.
If It Works It's Not Stupid
While some life hacks we pick up from others, improving them to fit our needs, others are, as Bob Ross would say, “happy little accidents.” It just goes to show that even when we think that we’ve got life all figured out, a small slip or mistake can actually be an opportunity to live life better. I mean, I probably won’t use a potato as a key handle until I absolutely have to, but it’s good to have the idea about how flexible I can be somewhere in the back of my head.
For the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, practical wisdom (also known as practical rationality or ‘phronesis’) was the highest intellectual virtue. “Phronesis is the complicated interactions between general (theory) and practical (judgment),” one paper explains.
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While we might not immediately link life hacks to something as profound as Aristotelean philosophy, they do hold some things in common, specifically the practical and correct application of theoretical knowledge. And considering that some of these life hacks help solve real-world issues (however small they might be), they shouldn’t be dismissed despite how dumb they might sound on a purely theoretical level.
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Life hacks might not be as mighty as author John Bradshaw explains in his book ‘Reclaiming Virtue’ (i.e. practical wisdom being “the ability to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason”), but they are a reflection of humankind’s ability to adapt and overcome challenges, from the tiny and ridiculous to the profound and consequential. There’s nothing wrong with MacGyvering a solution if conventional knowledge fails us!
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But what life hacks do you have to share with all the other Pandas? Are they something that you discovered by accident or did you see them somewhere? Do you believe that life hacks can be considered to be successful if they’re really dumb but work? What’s the absolute stupidest life hack you’ve ever seen that still (kinda, sorta, surprisingly) works? Let us know what you think below.