5 Post-Truth ‘Life-Hacks’

[And a real solution to the problem…]

It’s official, the international Word of the Year is: ‘post-truth’.

Arguably grimmer than last year’s ‘smiling with tears of joy’ emoji, ‘post-truth’ nonetheless neatly summarises a year in which thousands have been willingly misled by lies in the media, represented as fact.


Although most commentators have jumped on the recent election race in America for context for this particular (Britain’s exit from the EU was another good example of ‘post-truths’ skewing public opinion), this kind of things has been going on for much longer on the internet. 

This week, we’re going to be debunking some less harmful forms of ‘post-truths’. Life-hacks, in the form of memes, have been proliferate for the past 10 years. They are the 21st century ‘urban myth’;  baseless classroom rumours which serve little purpose, other than to waste the user’s time.

Here are 4 Post-Truth ‘Life-Hacks’ along with a better solution to the problem:

Use a Dishwasher Tablet To Clean Your Oven

A contributor known as ‘Wittery Twittery’ reported this hack on Mumsnet in September this year:


Although she denies coming up with the idea herself, commentators were quick to assert that this did not work. Cleaning your oven is something that should be done at least once a year. High temperatures and food with high-contents of fat will often cause a thick crust of grease to form all over the sides, requiring some serious elbow grease or some caustic cleaning chemicals to cut through.

In case your curious as to whether this will work – stop. Wetting a dishwasher tablet will lead to tablet breaking up in your hand. Attempting to scrub a dirty oven with a dishwasher tablet will result in the aforementioned tablet crumbling into nothing as it’s too small to grip and has zero-structural integrity.

You may feel like attempting a cheap, quick solution is the best option – but it’s not. Just call an oven cleaning professional, they can come out once a year – charge a small fee – and get the job done better than you ever could have hoped to.

Urinate on jellyfish stings to reduce the pain

Other than this being kind of disgusting (where exactly are you meant to be doing this, anyway, just on the beach?), it will also not work.

The cells that cause pain from jellyfish stings, called nematocysts, are more likely to release more poison if you and you’ll also smell of urine. Swimming in the seas around Australia, South East Asia and Americas comes with the problems of rising jelly fish populations. They can vary greatly in the amount of physical pain they cause (certain species can even kill), but this much used wives’ tale will not help you.

The current consensus is currently being shared in a variety of graphics (see below) – the most important tip to remember is to avoid touching the stings with your hands – this will just lead to your hands being stung as well.


Take a used loo roll and make a cheap iPhone speaker

Nope. This is perhaps one of the dumbest ideas, perpetuated by many sources and emulated by eager beavers looking to ‘bring the party’ to their next camping trip.


Modern smart phones are designed to project music as best as they can – people are paid very well to get the job done as best as they can – to think that something as simple as a cut up loo roll will improve on their work, is foolish. And before you consider trying any different configurations, just don’t. Most smartphones project music through their bottom – planting them in a loo roll will only serve to block the sound waves from reaching your ears easier.

If you’d like to amplify your music, just buy a good speaker.

Wooden Spoon Boiling Over

There is some grounding for this much shared meme:


Essentially, the science is sound. The idea is that the bubbles of hot water, being made of hot water, will burst on impact with a colder surface (such as the wooden spoon).

This hack will work to a certain extent – if you simmer your water instead of boiling hard, the spoon will do it’s job. Turn the heat up, however, and you’ll soon find your wooden spoon being hopelessly ineffective – simply because the spoon will eventually rise to the same heat as the water.

This hack was created to stop pasta water, especially, from boiling over and covering the hob surface in starchy water. A great way to avoid this is simply simmering your pasta, instead of boiling it like an idiot.

As the amended adage goes: “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.”