The last time I turned to YouTube to solve a problem was to get a half broken cork out of a $400 bottle of wine.
The time before that, I watched a woman make a drain fly deterrent comprised of vinegar and rotting raspberries, before covering it with plastic wrap and poking holes in the top. Both tutorials led to successful outcomes for me, but other than a random ‘How to open an iPhone with a bobby pin’ video here and an old ‘How to make a cement water fountain out of a kid’s umbrella‘ there, I’ve never really given YouTube tutorials the undivided attention they deserve. What better time than now, as we hunker down in our homes to flatten this wildly presumptuous curve? Plucked from a bountiful library of knowledge, here are nine new skills you can learn thanks to YouTube.
How to peel potatoes the fastest way
If, like me, you’ve been painstakingly peeling each potato individually like some kind of Irish ignoramus, please listen to this Crazy Russian Hacker (his words, not mine.) As evidenced by their name, Russians are always in a hurry, so it makes perfect sense that they’d be looking to peel an entire bag of potatoes in 60 seconds flat. ‘Imagine, a whole bag of patatas, impossible, you say?!’ All you need is a toilet brush, a drill, a water bucket, a sack of spuds, and some Eastern European innovation.
How to pick a lock with a paper clip
For some unbeknownst reason, YouTube suggested this tutorial right after I finished watching Crazy Russian Hacker. Obviously sharing this one under the premise that none of you are scumbags who would ever be low enough to steal someone else’s property, unless by ‘someone else’ you mean ‘Jared Kushner’, in which case, let me lend you a paper clip. Though I’ve yet to try this life hack from Bill, his comment section is loaded with grateful viewers who once rode bicycles but now drive BMWs.
How to make a pinball machine with cardboard
Sure, this might seem a little nerd-burger at first, but take a closer look. This whole contraption comes to life with nothing more than an old cardboard box, glue, some cut up wooden skewers, and a few coloured rubber bands—all things you probably have lying around the house anyway. The real nerd-burger test, though, is if you just happen to have a marble handy. There’re actually hundreds of cardboard pinball tutes out there, but this one has the best soundtrack, so it wins. If you wanna make other stuff out of heavy paper, may I suggest this gumball machine and this soda fountain.
How to make a coke can vacuum
If this thumbnail image doesn’t draw you in, are you even human? Who doesn’t want to learn how to make this absolute eyesore of a contraption? All you’ll need is an empty coke can, a glue gun, a zip tie, a battery, wires, a switch, blue tape, a box cutter, and 146 stitches.
How to paint a winter scene with Bob Ross
Growing up in Australia, Bob Ross’ significance escaped me as a child. Even as an adult, I’ve had very few brushes with his work. In America, he’s a national treasure; an example of all that is good and pure in this world. Reruns of his 80s PBS show, The Joy of Painting, seem to have the same nostalgic effect on Americans today as Mr. Squiggle clips have on most Australians born between 1965-95. Anyway, even without the sentimentality, Bob Ross has made his way into my heart with this video. Let him into yours, and while you’re at it, learn how to paint a spectacular mountainous landscape before you forget what outside looks like altogether.
How to play chess
Chess has a bad rap for being boring, but once you actually know what you’re doing, it will consume you until you’re mumbling ‘checkmate’ in your slumber. The beauty of chess is that it doesn’t discriminate—literally anyone can play it, and all it requires is that you use the intelligent parts of your brain you muted whilst attempting to make a miniature vacuum cleaner out of a coke can. There’s a high chance you have a chess board hidden in some miscellaneous cupboard somewhere, or if you still live with your parents, it’s probably already in use. Some chess games can go on for hours and hours, so if you’ve got some extra time to kill these days, indulge in some mind exercise.
How to fix a broken zipper
Yes, this is a snoozefest of a video, but guess who’ll never lose sleep over a broken zipper again? Me, because I just jimmy-rigged the hell out of my once ruined jacket thanks to this tutorial. Everyone has at least one renegade zipper in the family, but most refuse to invest any money into actually pulling them back in line. There are literally thousands of people heaping their praise upon Science Sir, the uploader of this video, for sharing this simple skill with them. I think ‘mcry’ said it best when he wrote, ‘Bless you, your entire family and all your pets.’ This one is really random, but actually quite useful for when you need to zip your cohabitant’s mouth shut during lockdown.
How to unclog a sink with vinegar
I don’t know how this quickly deteriorated into Woman’s Weekly: Household Tips Edition, but while we’re on the subject of broken things you don’t want to pay someone else to fix, I may as well give you everything and the kitchen sink. (Arrest me now). Instead of loading your pipes with those toxic pebbles that looks like nuclear kitty litter, simply pour some hot water down and chase it with some baking soda and vinegar. Pretty much just summed up the whole tutorial, but if you’d rather hear how to do it from the lips of a kind Canadian man, press play.
How to cook lasagne with Paris Hilton
Saving the best for last, here is Paris Hilton proving on camera that she has never cooked a meal for herself in her life, nor seen what cottage cheese looks like. If you’re Italian, I know you already have enough on your plate right now, so best look away. I’m a white Australian woman who grew up thinking salt was a spice and even I’m offended. Absolute shit show of a tutorial ahead.