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Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 10:04 p.m.

Rules of thumb were made to be broken

Everyone needs a little guidance from time to time. Hence the existence of, whose goal “is to gather every rule of thumb on earth into one gargantuan, easily searchable online reference database.”

Rules submitted so far include:

  • “If a turtle covers the bottom of a five-gallon bucket, then it will make a decent meal.”

    You could substitute it for the chicken in a healthy enchilada recipe as long as you follow another rule: Check the neighborhood for “lost turtle” signs before cooking.

  • “If a polar bear charges you, dodge to the right. Eskimos say most polar bears are left-pawed.”

    If you’d like to further improve your chances of survival, you can skip the Arctic and visit the polar bear exhibit at Germany’s Nuremberg Zoo, which not only has a slightly cross-eyed new cub, but also big bars between you and the bears.

  • “You have to look through a wastebasket three times to find a missing piece of paper.”

    Prepare to apply this rule if you lose Apple’s new ultra-thin laptop, which is a mere 0.76 inches thick. The computer comes with an 80-gigabyte hard drive, but Apple failed to equip it with either a CD/DVD drive or a homing beacon to help you find it before it gets dumped in the trash with the piles of junk mail on your desk.

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