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Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things Paperback – September 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740738593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740738593
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Offering readers a chance to become real-life MacGyvers, Tymony (Computer Gamer's Survival Guide) shares a mixed bag of useful and useless tricks. The book, which may remind 007s-in-training of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, offers sections on gimmicks, gadgets and survival techniques (the last section is by far the most valuable). Tymony's tips for fashioning gel packs for swollen muscles (out of water, rubbing alcohol and a plastic bag) and for making a fire extinguisher out of kitchen supplies (with baking soda and vinegar) are undoubtedly functional. But other suggestions, such as placing bubble wrap underneath a doormat to alert you when someone's standing on the other side of your door, or making a videotape rewinder out of a paper clip and a hanger, are somewhat farfetched. Still, adventurous, inquisitive teens may delight in a book that shows them how to "use ordinary objects as sneaky weapons."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Cy Tymony has been creating homemade inventions since childhood. He has appeared on CNN Headline News, ABC's Chicago Morning Show, and NPR's Science Friday with Ira Flatow, and he has been featured in the Chicago Tribune and Future Life magazine. Cy is a technical writer and computer specialist in Los Angeles, California.

Online:

www.sneakyuses.com

More About the Author

Cy Tymony has created his homemade inventions since he was a kid. His imagination and innovative way at looking at the world continues today as a technical writer and computer network specialist in the Los Angeles area. He has appeared on CNN and NPR, and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and U.S. News & World Report.

Visit the Author's Website:
http://www.sneakyuses.com

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to students of all ages.
Special Teacher
This is my first time writing a review for anything, but I felt I had for this "book" because its so ridiculous.
S. Hickey
I do have one sneaky use for this book though toilet paper!
Kevin Anderson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Raqi on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book isn't / doesn't include 1500 uses for vinegar or how toothpaste gets rid of pimples.

Nope, this book and it's sequel (Sneakier Uses ... ) is chock full of simple gadgets and science experiments you can build in your home using coins, magnets, leaves, etc. Any boy and a lot of girls would love to spend time with a parent, uncle/aunt or godparent putting this Spy Stuff/Survival Equipment/Home Security Systems together.

Included are sneaky sources of power (a battery using coins or fruit); how to scavenge wire (to connect your sneaky battery to something); how to use Mother Nature to help you survive in the wilderness; build radios, amplifiers and wireless microphones (baby monitor?); lights, alarms, telescope. There is also a "Green Lantern" magic ring to control the objects you make.

So let's see: Build useful stuff for the home, office, outdoors; spend time with your kids; teach them some science, creativity, frugality, recycling, how to protect themselves, how to survive. That makes this quite a full package.

When I let one youngster read the table of contents it elicited a series of "ooo's" from him. But you can judge for yourself by using the "Search Inside" feature above.

Just the entry on making your own form-fitting ice pack to place on your strains and sprains makes it worth the price!

As for some previous comments, they are cynical and have no soul and no imagination. They knock the book as nothing more than common sense. I'd like to have seen one make a radio from a toilet paper roll and a penny with no directions, just common sense.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By L. F. Smith VINE VOICE on November 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a sort of training manual for MacGyver wannabes. It's a collection of low-tech, cheap little projects that one can do in order to simulate "real" technology. You could certainly use some of these in an emergency, which is what the author suggests, but that's not really the point of the book in my view.

The real use would be for kids-- or, even better, kids and parents-- who want to mess around with some every day items in ways they haven't previously, have some fun, and enjoy some "Wow! Look at that!" moments. Had the author designed the book explicitly for that purpose, many of the negative reviews here wouldn't have been written.

So, the book is both pretty silly and enjoyable, but it's not any sort of survival manual. A word of advice: Avoid the sequel; the author used all of his good ideas in this volume.
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271 of 322 people found the following review helpful By S. Hickey on June 9, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With maybe the exception of 5 year olds, this "book" is completely useless. I've had it for 20 minutes and its going in the garbage. Nothing inside this "book" isn't plain ol' common sense. Some of the highlights of this book are:

Using Ordinary Objects as Sneaky Weapons - You can throw coins at an assailant to "stun and throw him or her off balance." Yeah right, that'll work!

Sneaky Wire Sources Are Everywhere - Big surprise, you can use tin foil and speaker wire as spare wire.

Make a Portable Light - Tape a flashlight light bulb to a battery. Wow, that's amazing!

And the most amazing part of the "book":

Capture Break ins On Film - Great project if you don't mind having a large eye sore built next to your door, and the burglar is too dumb to take the disposable camera with him after his picture has been taken.

This is my first time writing a review for anything, but I felt I had for this "book" because its so ridiculous. Even the couple useful things like turning milk into plastic can be found on the web. Obviously the author made up most of this stuff off the top of his head, or found a couple useful things on the web and published it as a "book".
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jan Peczkis on September 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
This small book assembles a considerable range of content. Some of the devices proposed to be constructed (as, for example, a contraption that would photograph an entering burglar) seem so farfetched as to belong to the realm of Rube Goldberg. Others are quite practical. For example, there are simple, helpful tips for foiling intruders and for hiding valuables in homemade safes. A procedure is given for the manual rewinding of cassettes and VCRs. There is a section on survival techniques in the wild. This includes ways of starting a fire, including the use of a sparking arc from an automobile battery.

As a science teacher, I especially appreciate the ideas that can be readily converted into science projects. There are, for example, several different ways that batteries can be made from homemade materials. A homemade telescope can be built. There are various activities that manipulate everyday electronics. There is, for instance, an interesting entry on the modification of an everyday radio so that one can eavesdrop on aircraft pilots' conversations.

Finally, the end of a book contains a list of helpful websites, and books, for further reading.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Ryanzilla on February 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought the book for $3 and it may have been too much. If you were awake during 3rd grade science class you have already seen these "sneaky" things. Most of it is common sense, for instance, this gem:

Use ordinary objects as "sneaky" weapons:

You can throw a handful of coins at an attacker's face to stun and throw him or her off balance.

And believe it or not they have an illustration (see figure 1) just in case you forgot how to throw a handful of coins. What a magnificent "sneaky" weapon.
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