life hack

Can’t cope with the feeding frenzy at meal times? Why not stack your cats!

As anyone from a multi-pet household can tell you, trying to feed several hungry animals at once without ending up covered in stinky, sloppy pet food and teeth marks is a serious task. If several of your fur buddies have special dietary requirements and/or special medicine that must be skilfully disguised in the morning’s Fancy Feast, then it gets even harder. If you’re looking for a way to make the whole operation a lot less of a hassle, you could take inspiration from this company president’s method of feeding his nine kitties. All you’ll need is a flight of stairs!

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Tips from Japan to make your skin extra beautiful! It begins with a bath and…

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, in Japan, beauty is in the water of the bath taker. Over here, winter has arrived, and many people woke up to falling snow in much of the country this past week. And while pets are finding ways to stay warm and stylish, there isn’t much for us ol’ humans to do besides desperately stand in front of the heater or soak in a nice hot bath. Besides being a great way to heat up the frozen flanges, people around the country are using common items found in the Japanese household that are really great for giving your skin the extra luster and moisture to fend off the cold, dry months. Try adding any one of these three ingredients to your next bath!

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Too busy to wrap Christmas presents? Not if you’ve got 12 seconds, Japanese store shows【Video】

I honestly don’t remember the last time I wrapped a Christmas present. Due to a lack of time during the busy period at the end of the year, plus a lack of manual dexterity during…my life in general…I usually just put everyone’s presents into a gift bag.

However, if you want to give someone the gift of satisfaction that can only come from tearing through some festively patterned paper, and you’re got more aptitude for arts and crafts than me (trust me, you do), there’s no need to let your hectic schedule stop you, as this video shows you how to wrap a present in just 12 seconds.

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Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick

If you’ve just spent an exorbitant amount of money on a new smartphone, chances are you’re also going to want to buy a case to keep it scratch-free for as long as possible.

But why waste your hard-earned money on a flimsy bit of plastic that you just know won’t fit the next model when it comes out and society demands that you upgrade? With this simple–and kind of hypnotic–trick, you can turn any old balloon into your next smartphone case!

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Life hack! Make your own “Louis Poulsen” light fitting with nothing but paper plates and bowls

Apartments in Japan are a bit strange. Most don’t come with furnishings, which isn’t all that uncommon, but many also don’t even come with light fixtures. It comes as a bit of a surprise for foreigners in Japan when they walk into their brand new rental and aren’t able to turn on the lights…because there are none.

It’s not so bad when you have been living in Japan your whole life, and thus take the light fixtures with you whenever you move, but often times, it’s an extra cost of moving that you didn’t factor in. Since you own these lights, it seems like a good place to invest in something unique that will stand the test of time and it’s a chance to show some individuality in your own personal space.

For some, that means going the “eco” route and forking out the money for some really expensive, but long-lasting LED lights. For others, it might mean purchasing that stylish but expensive fixture you’ve been seeing in all the home decor magazines. But who says you have to spend a lot to be trendy? Here’s a handy DIY instruction guide for making your own Louis Poulsen PH 5 hanging light!

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Crafts for grown-ups! Make your own portable smartphone speakers with toilet paper tubes

It’s a well-known fact that the average person has 27 plastic bags under their kitchen sink, and a minimum of three old toilet paper tubes in their bathroom. Also, did you know that 63 percent of statistics are made up?

Anyway, if you’re looking for a nifty use for old toilet roll tubes, and don’t have a small child to palm them off on in the name of encouraging their crafting creativity, Japanese Twitter user @ChigasakiR134 has a summer life hack for you! All you’ll need is one toilet paper tube and two paper cups.

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Genius Korean method for unclogging toilets is probably more trouble than it’s worth

So, you’re at a party and having a great time. The girl/guy you’ve had a crush on since you walked in seems to be really into you, the drinks are flowing, and the host is cool. But then you realise you have to poop. Like, really bad.

You excuse yourself, get to the bathroom and do your business only to find that the party’s all-you-can-eat Indian curry and Taco Bell buffet was a little more than your body could handle. Now you’ve got 11 inches of stagnant water staring you down and the romantic interest you were hitting on is knocking on the door saying she’s next in line to pee.

Do you: A) reach for the nearby plunger, B) exit the bathroom complaining loudly about the mess that “someone” left, C) escape through the nearest window, or D) use one of these patented South Korean toilet seals to clean up the whole mess?

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Say it isn’t so! Illustrator spills the beans on how women really put on their tights

Women around the world may know them as tights, stockings or pantyhose, but most men think of them simply as those things that make girls’ legs look even more awesome. There have been numerous stocking trends over the years, not least in Japan where thigh-highs and “tattoo” designs have been enormous hits, but one image shared via Twitter earlier this week, which purportedly shows how to put the things on, will likely ensure that men never find tights quite as sexy ever again.

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Simple tricks to make the most of your Japanese shoebox apartment

The standard comparison to an average Tokyo apartment is to a shoebox. Okay, taken literally, that’s an unfair comparison, but it’s true that Tokyo’s huge population and extremely limited space leads Japanese architects to wedge tiny apartment cubicles into every nook and cranny, often resulting in bizarre, Lilliputian floor plans.

True, things aren’t as bad as they are in some parts of Hong Kong, but making the most of Tokyo’s miniscule living spaces means thinking like an extremely tiny engineer. It also means making sacrifices.

Here are some quick tips and simple steps to making the most of your new miscroscopic Japanese home, brought to you by clever Japanese Netizens:

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How to eat lunch in Tokyo for less than 300 yen

For students and professionals just starting their careers in pricey Tokyo, finding ways to economize is a must. Unfortunately, the cost of housing in the city means a lot of young singles end up in pretty cramped living quarters. In my old apartment, the only refrigerator I could cram into the place was so small there wasn’t enough room to keep both my beer and my drinking water chilled. For the record, it takes about two months to get used to drinking lukewarm H2O.

This lack of space also makes it difficult to stock up on groceries to use in cooking your own lunch to bring to school or the office. As a result, many people buy bento, boxed lunches with rice and some sort of side dish. You can get passable bento at any convenience store, and in recent years even some full-fledged restaurants have started selling them on the sidewalks of business districts in the afternoons.

Bento tend to be somewhere in the range of 500-1,000 yen (US$5-10) though, so the cost really adds up if you’re buying one a day. Trying to cut our expenses even further, we sent our reporter out with 500 yen and a mission: go get lunch, and bring back change.

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10 tips to help you survive the Japanese summer

Hot enough for ya!? Despite having enjoyed an extremely mild spring, summer in Japan has kicked off with the ferocity of a right-wing tiger with a bad case of hemorrhoids and a stinging mouth ulcer. If you’re from more tropical climes and currently living in Japan you’re likely wondering why everyone keeps moaning “atsuiiiii” (“It’s hoooot!”) and dabbing their faces with handkerchiefs like politicians struggling to explain cross-dressing photos published online. For the rest of us, though, summer is a sweaty nightmare than can not so much be beaten as endured.

Thankfully, we’re here today to help you out with 10 tips for getting through summer without melting into a sad little puddle. Read on, my sweaty friends.

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The Japanese government teaches us the proper way to dry a book

Despite its image as a high-tech country, a lot of Japan’s government paperwork still takes the form of bound collection of hard copies of legal documents. The National Diet Library has the responsibility of housing countless numbers of these collections.

However, like a fiery balrog, water is the bane of physical printed documents (which admittedly have a bit of a problem with fire, too). The National Diet Library occasionally has to deal with restoring books that have become wet before water damage sets in. Recently, the library revealed its simple, easy to copy technique for properly drying out a soggy book.

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【Life Hacking】 Eight Great Tips for Getting a Seat on Japan’s Crowded Trains

Taking the train during weekday rush hours is a grind in pretty much any country, but Tokyo and Osaka are almost in a league of their own. We’ve all seen pictures and videos of station staff wearing white gloves leaning against walls of commuters and stuffing them inside trains to the point that the entire carriage tilts dangerously to one side, and no doubt many of you have experienced the sweaty, space-invading hell that is Japanese inner-city transport firsthand, but did you know that it doesn’t always have to be such a miserable experience?

Thanks to the knowledge being shared by Japan’s commuting elite this week, you might just be in with a chance of grabbing a seat – and with it a few cubic inches of breathing space – during your next rush-hour journey!

All eight seat-scoring secrets after the jump >

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Lemony Life Hack – Squeeze More Juice From Your Lemons!

Whether it’s a savory slab of salmon, or a sweet cheesecake, lemon juice can enhance a multitude of foods. But the squeezing of lemons to get their fresh juice is often tedious and seems to bear little reward. How do you all normally squeeze lemons? Most people typically cut it in half and get to squeezing straight away. But there’s a method that will yield much much much more juice, as we present below:  Read More

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