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How to Clean Old Black-and-White Negatives — and Possibly Destroy Them

9 Mar

This article comes courtesy of a reader who writes:

Great site you’ve got here. I Googled “ehow has the worst articles” to see if anyone agreed and your site popped up. People need to know how shitty the articles on eHow are. You can damage things or hurt yourself, etc – like you said “nobody tries it before writing it”. Misinformation is worse than no information.


I found this article particularly disturbing:

She begins by telling you to wear cotton gloves to handle film negatives. Mind you negatives have _thin_ layers of gelatin on them (yes, gelatin like ‘Jell-O’), the slightest ‘bump’ can scratch a negative. She continues on saying to use a paintbrush to sweep the film. If that wasn’t bad enough, her last suggestion is using ACETONE. I nearly lost my mind when I saw that. Picture an exploding firey missile being shot through a piece of tissue paper… Acetone eats through plastic in a heartbeat!

Yes, these methods will clean film —- clean it right off the Earth!
I think I’ll now officially block eHow results from appearing on Google and add them to my hosts file. Enough’s enough.

See the archived version here when eHow reads this post and removes the article.


Behind the Scenes at eHow Pt. II: TL;DR

16 Aug

If you want to know why eHow articles are so bad, it’s because the writers spend more time writing their notes explaining their crappy writing than they do writing the article.

My favorite writer comment out of this manifesto is, “I disagree with AP about calling boats ‘it’ (see Item 3, above) and have written around that offensive pronoun insofar as is possible.” Seriously, who cares?

I also like the logic here: “I chose the slant of the article because of my extensive experience. If you disagree with the slant of the article, see the DMS Editorial Guidelines. If you disagree with the Guidelines, see the Content Curators.” In other words, I wrote this because I said so, and the rules say I can say so.

Click the image to see it in all its glory. The CE’s comment sums up the eHow editing process.

Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that Will was not a real captain. Will is a real mothah fuckin’ cap’n’. We regret any confusion that this may have caused.

How to Make Money in a Trailer Park

21 Apr

Sometimes when I watch the brainless money-making schemed employed by Ricky, Julian and Bubbles on Trailer Park boys, I think, “this is prime eHow material right here.”

Apparently I am right.

The sum of the article is this, open up an illegal liquor and cigarette shop out of your trailer.

Many people in trailer parks smoke cigarettes and drink beer. You can profit from this by having a supply of beer and cigarettes available for weekends especially sundays when football is on T.V. Many will not run out to pick up these items but will not mind paying more for them when convienant. Put the word out to the neighbors and let then know you keep beer and cigarettes for resale.

"Living in a trailer park has its advantages, you have access to many homes and people whom all are potential profit centers."

How to Make Money in a Trailer Park |

Demand Media Produces Quality Content

29 Mar

I don’t know about the content of this article. To be honest I just read the part that someone highlighted for me, the tips and warning section which reads:

It appears that the writer included her notes to the copy editor in the body of the article and the copy editor didn’t have the sense to remove them. Good to see that Demand Media is improving their quality.

Thanks to Kenneth Crawford of Kenneth Crawford Writing for the scoop.
Read more: How to Change the Blade on a Ridgid Miter Saw |

Update: DMS fixed the article, but you can see the original here.

How to Learn Chinese

21 Mar

Sigh… I mean, I know that all eHow articles are pretty shitty, but usually that’s because the titles are crap. Here’s an example of an article that could be potentially useful and what do I get? Advice on learning Chinese like “watch Chinese movies”.

This article includes five completely incongruent steps.

Step 1: Move to China.

Step 2: Get an apartment in Chinatown.

Seriously, WTF?

But don’t worry, this step by step guide might seem too simple, but the author has categorized the difficulty level as “easy”.

Watch Rush Hour 3 and you'll pretty much be fluent in Mandarin.

How to Learn Chinese |

How to Recognize a Gay Bar

15 Mar

If you are incredibly obtuse or maybe just a little backward this article may be for you.

Perhaps I’m just used to living in big cities with progressive populations, but to my mind identifying a gay bar is about as easy as recognizing a Chinese restaurant.  If I’m wrong, you may benefit from knowing that “Many bars that don’t advertise themselves as gay will let the public know of their true orientation with a well-thought-out name.” Yes, if the bar is called The Tool Box, The Manhole or The Cockpit, it probably a gay bar (or a carpenters’, sewer workers’ or pilots’ bar respectively).

If you’re still uncertain, just ask a patron. Indeed, if you’re ever in an unfamiliar bar and you’re not sure just pull up a seat beside a stranger, look into his eyes and casual ask, “excuse me sir, would this perchance be a homosexual establishment?” Surely nothing bad could result from that.

"Wait a minute... there's something bothering me about this place. I know. This lesbian bar doesn't have a fire exit. Enjoy your death trap ladies!"

How to Recognize a Gay Bar |

Homemade Weed Vaporizer

13 Mar

I imagine that there are a lot of really disappointed stoners trying to figure out what the fuck this article is about. A weed vaporizer is — as a simple Google search will tell you — a device for smoking pot. This eHow “author” has managed to come up with some ridiculous article about a vinegar concoction that will vaporize your garden weeds.

This reminds me of the time Otto visits Stoner’s Pot Palace on The Simpsons. Flagrant false advertising.

"Man, that is flagrant false advertising!"

Homemade Weed Vaporizer |

How to Unlock Locks

27 Feb

Where does the key go?

If I Google “how to unlock locks” I’m probably interested in something to do with lock picking or locksmithing. Unfortunately for me, if I stumble on this link, eHow doesn’t have much in the way of skilled writers who might know something about locksmithing. The result is that I get a piece of garbage article that explains that I need a key to unlock a lock (which, admittedly, is pretty good advice if I am visiting from Mars).

What I like about this article is that the writer has some balls and basically gives a big fuck you to his employer by writing a sarcastic piece that points out the stupidity of eHow and then takes his $15 pay.

Here’s my favorite part:

“When faced with a locked door, your choices are many, but only two are generally permitted. If the locked door leads into a building or a space within a building, knock on the door and request entry. If knocking on the door proves fruitless and fails to provide you with access to the space, your socially-acceptable choices become more limited. You must obtain, through proper channels, a key to the space.”

Solid gold!

If you want to know how to open a combination lock, there’s probably a separate eHow article for that.

Read more: How to Unlock Locks |

How to Figure Out the Demand Media Business Model

25 Feb

Garbage in, garbage out.

The article purports to teach you how to understand the business model of Demand Media (the owner of eHow), and yet the author does not appear to grasp the model at all.

The fact that an eHow writer does not understand the Demand Media model is actually a very good summary of the model itself, which is this: hire a shit-load of people who have basic literary skills and pay them the bare minimum to crank out as many articles as possible. Research, quality and knowledge not required.

How would you describe the DMS business model?

How to Figure Out the Demand Media Business Model |

How to Become a Gigolo

4 Feb

"Dress well when you become a gigolo. Most well-heeled women like their boy-toys to look good so they can show them off to friends and family. If you can't afford at least one Armani suit, improvise as best you can with less expensive styles."

eHow has an article on how to be a man-whore?!?! Well no, actually. The author explains that a “gigolo differs from a male escort because a gigolo tends to form an emotional bond with his benefactress over time”.

Although this article is primarily aimed at men who are looking to be career gigolos, it also offers some sage advice for relationships in general, reminding men to “play to her vulnerabilities” and “most importantly, be good to her in the bedroom”.

Read more: How to Become a Gigolo |

Update: DMS has removed this gem. You can still see it here:

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