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Uploaded:2014-12-01
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A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. To get the holiday season started, John tests 16 "life hacks" to see if they work as promised.

Thanks again to our sponsor, Intel, for making today's episode possible. Like a perfect life hack, the right smart technology will make your life easier. IntelĀ® RealSenseā„¢ technologies, like gesture control, 3D camera, and immersive chat are poised to make computing easier, smarter, and more connected. http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/realsense-overview.html

1. Potato Chip Gift Wrap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE75vRV9tos
2. Keep Wrapping Paper from Unraveling: http://whatmusesme.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/wrapping-paper.jpg
3. Wrap Christmas Lights Around a Coffee Can: http://lifehacker.com/5871243/wrap-christmas-lights-around-a-coffee-can-to-keep-them-organized-and-untangled-for-next-year
4. Ping Pong Ball Lights: http://www.nationalbuildersupply.com/blog/how-to/last-minute-christmas-decor-you-can-make-at-home
5. Pick Up Broken Glass with Bread: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCIuQ0ysfeY
6. Turn Wine Glasses Upside Down: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/97601516895859789/
7. Mason Jar, Salt, and Candle: http://www.beautifulfloors.com/mason-jar-magic/
8. Snow Slime: http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2012/12/slime28.html?m=1
9. Sap and Toothpaste: http://lifehacker.com/5966988/remove-tree-sap-from-your-hands-with-toothpaste
10. Dental Floss and Cranberries: http://www.marthastewart.com/267644/garland-trick
11. Store Ornaments in Egg Cartons: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/479914904013532772/
12. Use Aluminum Foil Box for Cookie Storage: http://www.auntpeaches.com/2012/12/boxn-and-cookie-swapn.html
13. Frosting in Condiment Bottles: http://applepins.com/icing-in-condiment-bottles-for-a-cookie-decorating-party/
14. Coffee Filter for Snowflakes: http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/enhanced/webdr01/2012/12/12/15/enhanced-buzz-15861-1355344246-12.jpg
15. Bread tab for tape: http://lifehacker.com/use-a-bread-tab-to-hold-your-place-on-a-tape-roll-1189969081
16. Rudolph Party Game: http://fionacarter.typepad.com/my_ramblings/2009/12/christmas-ideas-kids-christmas-party-games-activities.html

Mental Floss Video on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mf_video

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Hi, I'm John Green. Welcome to my salon. Did you know that there's a quick trick for when you're out of wrapping paper? Just clean out the inside of a bag of potato chips, and invert it to make a stylish, silvery, last minute package! Tie a little ribbon around it and then boom! Happy Holidays. That's a pass. And just one of the holiday life hacks from the Internet that I'm going to test for you today in this video brought you to by Intel. 

(Intro Music)

Now if you do have some wrapping paper - I just have to stop briefly. Meredith are you sure that this is a holiday hat? Because I feel like it's just a funny hat. Meredith says that it's definitely a holiday hat, so I'm gonna keep wearing it. So if you do have wrapping paper you can keep it from unraveling by cutting a toilet paper roll in half, which Meredith has already done. So then you like wrap it in tin foil and you clamp it around here, and.....wrapping paper clasped. Pass. You know what else is reasonably effective, a uhh...rubber band. 

Okay the Internet also tells me that to keep Christmas lights from tangling, you can wrap them around a coffee can.  Okay, let's give this a try here. This is....starting out poorly. There is no one on Earth who is going to spend the time necessary to wrap their Christmas lights around a coffee can. When you finally take down the Christmas lights you're just so full of joy that the last thing that you want to do is spend another 20 minutes with them, wrapping it around a coffee can. It's already twisted. My friends, let me ask you, in what world is this a good solution to the holiday light tangling problem? Fail!

But apparently if you cut these ping pong balls with x's, they look cool when put over the lights. Now we've already learned that it's almost impossible to cut the x's in to ping pong balls, but let's see if it looks cool. *laughs* So bad. *laughs* Of all the life hacks, I have ever life hacked, this is the worst. Such a fail. By the way, we got these little red cups so I just noticed we could play tiny beer pong. Nope. Nope. *laughs* There's nothing to do with the third one now. 

Alright, so here's another holiday life hack, apparently if you break your holiday lights, not with a hammer hopefully, but however you break them, you can pick them up with a piece of bread. That saves you the trouble I guess of getting out a mop or a broom or whatever. Let's try it out. *smacks hammer* Oh God! It's picking up some glass, but it's also leaving some bread and leaving lots of glass. Double fail!

So let's say you want to class up your holiday party and you've got wine glasses and candles but no candle holders. Wait, maybe you do have candle holders! Candle. Candle. Candle. It's not amazing, but I think it's better than no candle holder. Pass. 

Now if you want fancier seasonal decorations, Pinterest tells me that all you need is a Mason jar, salt, and a candle. I'm gonna fill the jar up with salt and then add the candle, and it should look like snow...? Well first off, we didn't pick the best bowl for this. Uhh...oh yeah. Pinterest is a weird place. Pass? Now I know what you're wondering, how are you gonna light the candle that deep in the Mason jar? With uncooked spaghetti. Haven't you watched all of our life hacks videos?

Now for a more kid friendly version of fake snow, Meredith and Mark have combined glue, water, glitter, and borax to make this snow slime. Let's see if it's as fun as it looks like it's gonna be. Oh! Hmmm, this is slimy. Oh boy. In no way resembles snow, but it's very entertaining to play with. It's like Flubber! I'm gonna say a strong pass and insist that we put the recipe for this in the video info below.

Now we all know that soap does nothing to eliminate the tree sap that collects on your hands after lugging a Christmas tree home. But using a little toothpaste will apparently break down those chemicals and eliminate the stickiness. Now we don't have any tree sap because you know, it's outside and we live inside and outside is cold and miserable. So we're gonna use maple syrup. Ohh, there we go. Okay. Just rub, rub. That's disgusting. On the long list of things I thought I would never do. Let us please include rubbing maple syrup carefully in to my hands. *squishing noise* Is that enough toothpaste Meredith? *laughs* I mean, not at all! It's....it's...no! No! Fail! 

I hear it's possible to string popcorn or cranberries more easily using waxed dental floss instead of thread. That is pretty easy. Yep, I mean we're just able to uh, we can put the cranberries right on the needle and then on to the dental floss and down it goes. That's a good...that's a solid, yeah, pass. 

To make post holiday clean up easier, you can supposedly use egg cartons for smaller ornaments.  Which totally works. I mean as long as they're round, or egg shaped. 

Okay so Mark has wrapped up this old tin foil box with some pretty paper. Which apparently is a nice way to store holiday cookies. Well that's quite nice actually. I don't understand why we have to limit this life hack to the holidays. I like to store cookies all year round. Pass.

But what if you want to decorate your holiday cookies? Well an easy way to do that is by using frosting in a condiment bottle, or at least so says the Internet. This is possible but it really requires quite a bit of squeeze strength. Those are for you Mark and Meredith. 

Speaking of decorating, who doesn't love making paper snowflakes. But what if it's 2014, and you no longer have any paper because email? Well you can use a coffee filter. Maybe try this one over here. See how that looks. Up! Too much! *laughs* Not my best work. Let's see how it came out. That's actually quite beautiful! Doesn't look like a snowflake, but it's lovely. Pass. 

And if you're wrapping presents with a big roll of tape, use a bread tab to save your place. That's a total pass!

And finally, I return to my salon wearing a blindfold to play 'pin the nose on the reindeer'. Uh...this was all created with just bulletin board, some push pins, and construction paper. I have no idea where it is. Uh....yeah. Nailed it! How did I do? Where...where did I put it? Oh! Not good. Oh, I think this is a pass, but my personal work was a fail. 

Thanks for watching Mental Floss here on YouTube which was made with the help of all of these nice people. And thanks again to Intel for sponsoring this video. Intel will soon be releasing real sense technology featuring gesture control and 3D scanning and more. So check that out and as we say in my home town, don't forget to be awesome.