The majority of the problems in life can be rectified by following certain tips and tricks, whereas others require experience and knowledge gained over the years. In today’s scenarios, everything is fast paced and you will be surprised to learn that certain abilities can be learned in under a few minutes. These abilities can save a lot of time and also your life when you are in the face of danger. Thanks to a thought-provoking question asked by a user on AskReddit, here is a list of ten of the most important skills that can be learned in just ten minutes.

1. Basic search techniques: It is crazy to discover how much more efficient Google can be when you know how to use it efficiently.

Image credits: Pixabay

Save time by optimizing your search results by using symbols. Yes, you heard it right! The Google interface consists of useful tricks to obtain precise results. One can affix the “@” symbol before a word to search social media such as @Facebook. Use the “#” symbol in front of a word to search for hashtags such as #TGIF.

Search for multiple queries by combining words using the “OR” symbol between them, i.e. “car OR bike.” To obtain accurate search results, you can include or exclude keywords by using the “+” and “-” symbols, i.e, “+ dog” or “- cat.” For exact matching results. specify a word or a phrase within quotes, i.e. “red roses.” You can customize your search by searching a specific site or domain by adding “site:” in front of the domain. i.e. “site: YouTube.”

To obtain information about the site you are searching, affix the keyword “related:” before the site address, i.e. “info:” If the web page cannot be accessed due to a connectivity issue, affix keyword “cache:” before the site address to display a cached version of the site. i.e.”cache:” (12)

2. Changing a tire: this life-changing skill can save you during a roadside emergency without requiring any assistance.

Every driver must know how to change a tire. This life skill can come very handy when you are stuck with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Assistance might not be available always when you have a flat tire. You can heave a sigh of relief since changing a tire is an easy task. The basic items that you would need to change a tire are a jack, a lug wrench, a fully inflated spare tire, and the owner’s manual. These tools are usually concealed in the boot space of your car.

Once you realize that you have a flat tire, reduce the speed of your vehicle and halt at a safe location such as a parking spot or in a service lane. Make sure to park the car on even ground. Once the vehicle is parked safely, turn on the hazard lights to indicate your presence to other drivers. Remember to apply the parking brakes when you are replacing the tire to avoid the vehicle from moving. As a precautionary measure, you can also place the wheel edges in front of the tire while changing the rear tire. Place the wheel wedges behind the tire if you are changing the front tire.

Proceed to remove the wheel cover and the lug nuts in a counterclockwise direction to loosen. Place the wheel jack under the vehicle frame to safely lift the vehicle. You can also refer to the owner’s manual for placement details. Once the jack is placed strategically, start raising the vehicle and place a small cube of 2″ x 6” wood underneath the jack to prevent it from buckling. Once the vehicle is lifted, change the tire and tighten the lug nuts. Finally, lower the car and check the tire pressure in the spare tire as a safety measure. If the pressure is low head to the nearest service station. (source)

3. Photo Manipulation: Remove tourists from perfect vacation photos like a pro at home using Photoshop.

Are tourists crowding your perfect vacation photos and you want to remove them? Use Photoshop to remove unwanted tourists from your vacation photos by using the Image Stack Mode. The mode applies a median algorithm for identifying identical areas and to remove unwanted details.

Choose an image from which you want the tourists to be removed and import it to Photoshop. The image should be in the form of a series to ensure accurate removal. Open the images in Photoshop by choosing the File > Scripts > Statistics. Once the pictures are loaded, choose the “Median” option from the dropdown menu. From the menu select the desired pictures and wait for Photoshop to work its magic. Photoshop discovers what’s wrong in the image by using the median algorithm and rectifies it by removing the tourists.

Moving objects such as cars and people tend to change their location in each image. This makes it easier for the algorithm to remove the moving object while retaining the background image. (12)

4. Identify a stroke: Use the FAST method to save a life and to reduce long-term disabilities.

Image credits: Quinn Dombrowski/flickr

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. However, one can successfully avert a stroke attack by acquiring timely medical assistance. Stroke can be identified by recognizing the symptoms using the FAST method. These symptoms are based on how much brain tissue has been deprived of blood supply.

FAST is an acronym put forth by the American Stroke Association to identify stroke symptoms. “F” stands for “face drooping.” It can be noticed on one side of the face. Ask the person to smile and check for face droopiness on one side. “A” stands for “arm weakness.” Ask the person to lift their arms and check for weakness. Find out whether one side of the arm is drifting downwards. “S” stands for “speech.” Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Check whether their speech is slurred or if they have difficulty talking. “T” stands for “time.” If you observe the above-mentioned signs, call 9-1-1 or seek immediate medical help. (12)

5. Packing a suitcase: Pack like a pro and travel light by comfortably fitting everything within your suitcase.

Packing your suitcase for a trip can be quiet stressful since many of us like to pack extra items. Learn to pack a suitcase like a pro by following certain tips and tricks. Before you start packing, choose the right luggage for packing. Modern suitcases come equipped with numerous compartments making it easier to pack. Moreover, several companies manufacture plastic compression bags that remove air from folded clothes. These bags also allow you to accommodate more clothes in a limited space.

Once you have zeroed in on the suitcase, sort necessary clothes for packing. Follow a simple “1-2-3-4-5-6 rule” while packing your clothes. For a week-long trip, you can pack 1 hat, 2 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of pants, 4 shirts, 5 pairs of socks, and 6 sets of undergarments. You are free to modify the list as per your requirements.

Assemble your clothes by pushing the heavier ones to the bottom. Save space by rolling up your casual clothes such as socks, pajamas, and t-shirts to make space. Wrap delicate items such as watches inside a sock or under a towel. Remember to carry only essential things while traveling and refrain from keeping items such as wallets and mobiles within the suitcase. (12)

6. Self-Defense: Defend yourself by learning basic self-defense moves that can be used to protect yourself during danger.

Image credits: Pixabay

Basic self-defense moves come in handy when you are traveling alone. Learning self-defense moves is an essential responsibility to ensure one’s safety. Attackers are always on the lookout for vulnerable victims, and it is necessary to be prepared. Be aware of your surroundings if you are traveling alone and try to stay in well-lit areas.

If you are being confronted, avoid getting into an altercation and try to get away safely. If an attacker tries to assault you, try to defend yourself by observing his body language. Channel your energy and try to inflict an injury on him. When he is trying to regain his balance, try to quickly slip away from his view and call for help.

Also, aim to inflict injury on crucial body parts such as the eyes, nose, ears, neck, groin, knee, and legs. If an attacker takes hold of your arm, try poking the attacker’s eyes with your free hand. If the attacker is in close proximity to you, strike under his nose with the palm of your hand. If an attacker takes hold of both your hands, kick him hard on the knees. These basic self-defense moves will likely disrupt an attacker’s balance and give you time to escape. (source)

7. Jump start; Jump start a dead car battery by using a jumper cable from another vehicle and get back on road in no time.

Everyone who owns a car should learn the essential rules of jump-starting a dead battery using a jumper cable. Before you try jump starting your car, determine whether that the battery is the reason for the car not starting. If you hear a cranking noise after the ignition is turned on, your car is likely not facing a battery issue. However, if your car does nothing, then you can be assured that the battery is dead.

Once you have determined the cause of the issue, signal for help to a passing car for assistance. Once assistance is available, determine whether the voltage power of the assisting car is the same as your own to prevent ignition damage. Before proceeding to jump start, ensure that you possess a jumper cable to facilitate this process.

Engage the parking brakes and turn off the ignition in both the cars. Attach the red clip from the jumper cable to the positive terminal of your battery that is indicated by “POS” and “+”. Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the other car. Attach the black clips to the negative terminal “-” on the other car. The other end of the black terminal should be connected to an unpainted metal surface. Start the ignition of the other car and rev up the engines for a few minutes. Try starting your vehicle and if it starts, drive around for a few minutes to recharge the battery. If the car fails to start, then it is beyond help and probably needs a new battery. (12)

8. Furnace cleaning: Clean a dirty furnace flame sensor that won’t work properly with a few handy tools available at home.

Image credits: walmart

Is your furnace not functioning properly and won’t start, it is likely you are looking at a dirty furnace flame sensor. Flame sensors are essential to confirm whether the gas valve is open or not. If the sensor valve malfunctions, it can lead to gas leakage. The flame sensor can give you a hard time if it gets dirty due to carbon buildup and dust from the surroundings.

A furnace is usually fixed by a professional if it is damaged, but cleaning the furnace is a simple task. All you need is a wrench that fits the mounting screw, an emery cloth, and a clean paper towel. Before you start working on the furnace, shut-off power to the furnace. Proceed to locate the sensor that is situated towards the rear of a furnace. The sensor is held in place by metal screws attached to a bracket.

Remove the screws and gently clean the carbon buildup by using soft emery cloth. After the sensor is cleaned, reattach the sensor to the rod and turn on power to the furnace. Periodically check the furnace for carbon buildups and keep it clean. (12)

9. Breaking into a locked car: Break into your vehicle when your keys are locked inside with the help of a blood pressure cuff.

Image credits: consumerreports

Getting locked out of a car with the keys inside can be a frustrating situation. Don’t worry, as there are a few handy tips to break into your car without seeking professional help. Have you ever imagined that you can break into a locked car with the help of a blood pressure cuff? Yes, you heard it right. A blood pressure cuff is a handy tool that can withstand high pressure without ripping.

It is a cheap tool that can be picked up from any store. Slide the deflated pressure cuff into the top corner of the driver’s side with care. Once it is placed strategically under the door, start inflating the cuff until a small gap is created between the doors. Be cautious not to inflate the cuff anymore as it may inflict damage on the door. Use a long rod or a wire hanger between the gap to press the unlock button. (12)

10. Decipher a map: Learn to read a map and understand basic directions to find your way out when GPS fails.

Image credits: pexels

Electronic devices are often proven to be useless when there is no reception. Imagine going on a hike and getting stuck with a GPS that is not able to pinpoint your location. Don’t worry, learn how to read a map and understand basic directions to find your way out in no time.

There are different kinds of maps available in the market that are used for dedicated purposes. Political maps are used for finding state, national, and international boundaries. Road maps help drivers to navigate through roads and highways, whereas a topographical map is useful for trekking and highlights various landmarks along the way. Once you lay your hands on the map, check for the “compass rose” to check your orientation. The top of the map is neutral and corresponds with the true north.

Refer to the map key that is provided at the bottom of the map. It is comprised of various symbols such as roadways, parks, camping grounds, towns, and city limits. There are also color-coded symbols such as water bodies, forests, mountains, and plains. Once you are aware of your surroundings, make a note of the longitude (long vertical lines) and latitude (long horizontal lines) as reference points to coordinate your position. The map’s scale is also provided at the bottom and provides a ratio of map distance to the actual distance. For example, a ratio of 1:100,000 means that 1 unit of distance is equal to 100,000 units in real life. The ratio of scale varies for each map.

Once you are aware of your location, align the map along with your compass. Draw a circle on your current location and the destination you want to reach. Once the circle is drawn, connect the circles by drawing a straight line as the distance computed that way is shorter. Using a scale measure the distance between two points and compare it with the mapping ratio. Keep track of your progress along the way until you reach the destination. (12)

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