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Tricks & Dodges (The Poles are nothing if not inventive)


bimber94 7 | 254
4 Sep 2010  #1
The Poles are nothing if not inventive.

When satellite TV first came on the scene about twenty years ago, it was someone in Poland who was the first to get satellite TV for free by using a metal dustbin lid. This was a couple of years before the channels were coded. This was mentioned in "The Daily Telegraph" at that time, but I don't have the details to hand.

Other tricks they use (and not used in other countries as far as I know), are:

- blocking your chimney with a hat, slit into a cross shape at the top. You then get a blocked chimney with the resulting smoke in the house. When the chimney sweep shoves his brush up, the hat opens up and all seems well to him. When he pulls his brush down, the hat closes again.

- using a large bicycle wheel (tyre removed) as a TV antenna, linking it up to your TV. You'll get a brilliant reception, but your neighbours' TVs will have an unwatchably poor one.

- putting a cracked egg in a wall when doing, say, tiling or plastering. After a couple of weeks your room will pong to high heaven for ages, and you won't know how to get rid of it.

Anybody got any more bright ideas?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,388
4 Sep 2010  #2
Anybody got any more bright ideas?

i mentioned this the other day:

make friends with your neighbour... copy down the WEP key from their control box... free internet.
NorthMancPolak 4 | 648
4 Sep 2010  #3
Shame that Polish TV channels can't see the huge opportunity of around 1 million Polish people living in the UK, though. Chinese/Indians/Pakis have had access to their most important channels for decades, and it's really easy to subscribe (at fairly low cost), I'm reliably told. But not only is decent Polish TV really expensive to access over here, but they also make it as difficult as possible to obtain the channels everyone really wants. Sorry, but TVP Polonia is cr*p!

Like I keep saying, wiping out the Jews was the worst thing that ever happened to Poland, because apart from the loss of a longstanding community who didn't really cause any problems, the business skills also died with them.

Discuss ;)
enkidu 7 | 623
4 Sep 2010  #4
the business skills also died with them.

And good old sense of humour and pure-nonsense died with them, I am afraid.
Did you heard about this media action in Poland called "Tęsknię za Tobą, Żydzie" (I missed you, Jew)? Sometimes I miss them too.
OP bimber94 7 | 254
22 Oct 2010  #5
Saw another trick the other day. Nasty, this one: when digging new foundations for a house, a presumably jealous 'pomocnik' stuffed a large amount of tin foil paper into the ground where the cement was to be poured later. Inside the foil was a lot of sliced cucumber. So during the winter it would freeze, expand and damage the foundations. Baaad karma for him in the future. Good job I removed it for the owner, a mate of mine.
szkotja2007 27 | 1,500
22 Oct 2010  #6
Inside the foil was a lot of sliced cucumber. So during the winter it would freeze, expand and damage the foundations.

Why does the cucumber not just go rotten and mushy ?
OP bimber94 7 | 254
22 Oct 2010  #7
I guess it does, but I also guess the liquid still stays in there and freezes during the winter.
convex 20 | 3,978
22 Oct 2010  #8
Why does the cucumber not just go rotten and mushy ?

The liquid doesn't have anywhere to go. Temperatures in the slab won't get warm enough for it evaporate. This is prime well thought out "innovation".
Wroclaw 44 | 5,388
22 Oct 2010  #9
Saw another trick the other day

i doubt it would work, if the concrete was vibrated or tamped down during the pour the package would open and the mush or liquid that's left over would just mix with the water in the concrete.

the foil wouldn't make much difference either.
OP bimber94 7 | 254
22 Oct 2010  #10
I was there during the work. The concrete wasn't vibrated or tamped (I don't know what that is), simply poured in. And prior to that I removed several empty beer cans and a cardboard egg box from the foundation site. You've got to be on your toes and be there 25 hours a day if you want a job done more or less how you hope and expect it. Of course this happens in other countries too.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
23 Oct 2010  #11
Anybody got any more bright ideas?

Along the lines of the egg thing:

Shove a piece of fish in to a curtain pole (obviously has to be hollow) give it a few weeks - the house will smell to high heaven..who would think of looking in the curtain pole? Some people really shouldnt try and knock the price of your house down and then demand certain fixtures and fittings!
z_darius 14 | 3,969
25 Oct 2010  #12
Saw another trick the other day. Good job I removed it for the owner, a mate of mine.

Absolute bullsshit. Nothing will freeze below the footing.

That's why building codes require certain minimum depth for the footing (the bottom of the foundation). That depth, for a given climatic area, is known to be below the frost line (strefa przemarzania/zamarzania). In Poland the typical minimum depth of the foundation (including the footing) is between 0.8 and 1.2 meters. Exceptions to that are sandy soil where the footing may be closer to the surface. Even then, the cucumber will do squat to the foundation. Instead it will expand into that sand.

This is a map of Poland's frost zones: budujemydom.pl/images/stories/artykuly/659d.jpg
convex 20 | 3,978
25 Oct 2010  #13
Absolute bullsshit. Nothing will freeze below the footing.

I read that wrong, thought it was laid in the concrete. Would give the desired results?
z_darius 14 | 3,969
25 Oct 2010  #14
The desired results?
The whole idea is pretty silly but let's see.

There are too many variables to allow for a simple "yes" or "no".

- How deep close to the footing is the cuke embedded? If below the frost line then the cuke will not freeze. Period.

- Where is it embedded in relation to wall's center? Closer to the outside or to the inside of the foundation wall? In either case the flaw ill be caught when the forms are removed. If it's on the inside then it is inconsequential to the structural integrity of a standard foundation (about 30cm thick). If on the outside, the flaw will be covered by the exterior sealing and insulation. If it's below the frost line it will not freeze. If above the frost line then it will push towards the insulation and it will cause no harm as the soil has not compacted sufficiently, but the walls are hard, so the cuke will expand according to the principle of least resistance. It takes soild between 15 and 20 years to get compacted to pre-excavation density, but even then it is far softer than concrete.

- How big is the cuke? Smaller cukes will cause less structural issues as their smaller volume will cause smaller volume increase resulting from freezing (1:1.1 ratio, if I remember correctly). Bigger ones will be subject to higher hydrostatic pressure of concrete. At 6 feet (1.80cm) a 6 inch long, 2inch thick cuke will have to withstand a couple hundred of pounds of pressure. It will get squashed, cracked and the moisture from the cuke will be absorbed by the curing concrete. Not an ideal situation but far from cracking the foundation.

- Was the concrete vibrated as it should? If so then the cuke will likely migrate off center. If there was no vibration used then the cuke is the least of the problems.

Oh, and we cannot underestimate the power of anerobic bacteria bacteria that are likely to crack the cuke open before it has a chance to freeze.
convex 20 | 3,978
25 Oct 2010  #15
The desired results?

In this thread, the desired results are dickishness :)

I think it's fair to say that everybody's favorite green treat doesn't make an effective weapon to sabotage home construction.

Sounds like if that was observed, someone was maybe too lazy to throw away their uneaten lunch? That begs the further question, why would anyone throw away perfectly good cucumbers?

This is leading us to only more questions. I'm going to bed.

PS, here's a trick. Get the local government to pay your rent and utilities and then run a washing service out of the apartment. That screws over all of us.
jonni 16 | 2,485
25 Oct 2010  #16
Of course this happens in other countries too.

Yes. Another trick (that I heard about in Poland) is to add salt to the cement.
z_darius 14 | 3,969
25 Oct 2010  #17
Salt may be added to some cement (mortar) varieties so they can be used in freezing weather, but the amounts are not very high. I think it's about 1 pound of salt per 20 gallons of water or so. The amount of salt should be increased by one ounce for every degree below 32F (0 Celsius).

Rock salt added (in sufficient concentration) to foundation concrete will basically increase the foundation's porosity and permeability, thus fvcking it up.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,388
25 Oct 2010  #18
Salt may be added to some cement (mortar) varieties so they can be used in freezing weather,

washing-up liquid keeps cement pliable too.
Richfilth 6 | 415
25 Oct 2010  #19
because washing-up liquid contains salt, which is why you shouldn't use it to lubricate certain rubber components on cars (you're rubbing salt into the metal; guaranteed rusty death!)

In terms of cars; kasza, breadcrumbs or rice mixed with olive oil and smeared on someone else's car will absolutely ruin the paintwork when the birds peck the hell out of the bonnet (hood) and roof, and sh!t on the rest. It leaves no traces and it's inexpensive (unlike other paint ruiners.)
zetigrek
25 Oct 2010  #20
Anybody got any more bright ideas?

Once I heard how to phone from booth for free but now I don't remember how. It was famouse times when people where "refilling" their magnetic phone booth cards.
Richfilth 6 | 415
25 Oct 2010  #21
The phone booth trick was to hold a recorder to the earpiece when you put in your money. back in the days of pulse-tone technology, the earpiece would play a small "blip" noise, which you could then play back down the microphone to trick the phone that you had paid. Put in ten coins, record the tones, then cancel the call to get your coins back. You then just had to play that recording whenever you picked up the phone, and you got free calls.

I don't think it's worked since about 1993 though.
convex 20 | 3,978
25 Oct 2010  #22
It was famouse times when people where "refilling" their magnetic phone booth cards.

They did that with a card writer. Once people figured out that it was just a value encoded on a magnetic strip card, all you needed was a writer.

The phone booth trick was to hold a recorder to the earpiece when you put in your money. back in the days of pulse-tone technology, the earpiece would play a small "blip" noise, which you could then play back down the microphone to trick the phone that you had paid.

Blue boxes :) That's where the name for the magazine 2600 came from. It's a bit more complicated than tricking it into thinking that you paid, but not much.
z_darius 14 | 3,969
25 Oct 2010  #23
One trick, used when rotary phones were still in use, was to bypass the dial lock in some public phones (bars, cafes etc). Without the key one could dial a number simply by tapping the buttons where the receiver normally rested. The taps had to be fairly swift and the timing between them pretty consistent. Of course, the higher the number the harder it was to dial it but it was doable.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
25 Oct 2010  #24
Blue boxes :)

Captain Crunch and friends!

textfiles.com is always worth a browse about this stuff, even today.

This brings back memories..
OP bimber94 7 | 254
28 Oct 2010  #25
Sometime in the 1980s or 90s, someone in London covered 10p coins with Baco Foil, giving them the shape and weight of 50p coins. Off he took them to his nearest tube station where he fed the ticket machine, then pressed the cancel button, returning him with real 50p's. Unfortunately, he was so engrossed he forgot a queue was building up behind him, and was arrested. Embarrasingly, he turned out to be Polish, according to the London news.
jonni 16 | 2,485
28 Oct 2010  #26
The phone booth trick was to hold a recorder to the earpiece when you put in your money. back in the days of pulse-tone technology, the earpiece would play a small "blip" noise,

I worked for BT at the time that was happening. The trick was to get voicemail, which meant you were given a free digital tonepad to pick your messages up from a non-digital phone (which nearly all phones were in those days. The tonepads were also on sale in some electronics stores.

If you used the tonepad in an old telephone box, you didn't have to put money in, and could make international calls. The worst offenders were students from overseas, and paradoxically BT staff, who all knew about it and all had a tonepad.

You're right that it hasn't worked since about 1993 - when I left in 92, they were rushing to fix the situation.

There was also a huge amount of cellphone cloning in pre-SIM card days - that could be done using a paperclip and a bit of tinfoil, by anyone who knew the serial number and mobile number of a phone. Pre-1985, the old 'system 4' carphones relied on honesty for the billing (when you picked them up, the connection went straight to an operator who asked for the number and timed the call), and since they were mostly used by businessmen, honesty was by no means universal.


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