History BoringButPractical / RealLife

23rd May '16 5:38:25 PM brolaf
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

**It also vastly reduced the amount of cargo lost to damages and "damages"(theft by the crew) during transport.
19th May '16 11:37:02 PM dinohunterpat
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Public universities and community colleges. Sure they lack the small class sizes, accommodations, and prestige of many private universities, but they offer the helpful courses with reasonable financial returns. Many of these colleges have higher acceptance rates and offer the same basic courses as a private university, with some even having vocational-specific courses that several private colleges lack. Furthermore, they are much more affordable with the average public college having a tuition only half as much as the average private counterpart, to say nothing of the more flexible in-state tuition coverage for lower-income students. In fact, many public colleges have higher return-on-investments than even some private colleges. who are more financially successful than those who graduate

$59,600

to:

* Public universities and community colleges. Sure While they lack the small class sizes, accommodations, and prestige of many their private universities, but counterparts, they offer the still provide helpful courses with reasonable financial returns. Many of these colleges have higher acceptance rates and rates, offer the same basic courses as a private university, with some even having vocational-specific courses that several private colleges lack. Furthermore, they prepare students for work, and are much more affordable with the (the average public college having has a tuition only half as much as of $9,410 compared to the average $32,405 of most private counterpart, to say nothing of the more flexible in-state tuition coverage for lower-income students.colleges). In fact, many public colleges have higher return-on-investments than even some private colleges. who are [[note]]''The Economist'' calculated in its first college rankings that graduates of the public university UCSD have median salaries of $59,600 while the graduates of the more financially successful than those who graduate

$59,600
prestigious private university Reed College has median salarise of only $36,000 even though UCSD has a lower tuition[[/note]]
19th May '16 11:28:45 PM dinohunterpat
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* Public universities and community colleges. Sure they lack the small class sizes, accommodations, and prestige of many private universities, but they offer the helpful courses with reasonable financial returns. Many of these colleges have higher acceptance rates and offer the same basic courses as a private university, with some even having vocational-specific courses that several private colleges lack. Furthermore, they are much more affordable with the average public college having a tuition only half as much as the average private counterpart, to say nothing of the more flexible in-state tuition coverage for lower-income students. In fact, many public colleges have higher return-on-investments than even some private colleges. who are more financially successful than those who graduate

$59,600
17th May '16 3:52:20 PM m0untainking
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** The Spartans also had an extremely serious disadvantages which is so boring but important it is typically overlooked. The training and singularly-focused martial culture required to produce a Spartiate meant that, to a far greater extent than its contemporaries, Sparta relied on large numbers of slaves – the helots, an unusually cruelly oppressed slave class. This meant that the total number of Spartiates, especially in later years after the Peloponnesian Wars had killed many of them, was actually extremely small. They were tactically effective but Spartan institutions could not economically or culturally sustain enough individuals whose defining feature was that they did not labor for their contingent to be reliably decisive in battles. Worse, the crippling imbalance between a minority of armed-to-the-teeth _homoioi_ and oppressed-but-seriously-pissed-off helot slaves meant that the Spartans regularly could not field their army, or have it on campaign too long, or too far away, for fear of a slave revolt killing their families at home and crippling their shaky economic foundations. This fear was totally justified - there were a number of strategically very significant helot rebellions. It's hard to read about Spartan social institutions, especially their treatment of the helots, and come away still thinking highly of the culture (though maybe that's just what the Athenians want you to think).

to:

** The Spartans also had an extremely serious disadvantages which is so boring but important it is typically overlooked. The training and singularly-focused martial culture required to produce a Spartiate meant that, to a far greater extent than its contemporaries, Sparta relied on large numbers of slaves – the helots, an unusually cruelly oppressed slave class. This meant that the total number of Spartiates, especially in later years after the Peloponnesian Wars had killed many of them, was actually extremely small. They were tactically effective but Spartan institutions could not economically or culturally sustain enough individuals whose defining feature was that they did not labor for their contingent to be reliably decisive in battles. Worse, the crippling imbalance between a minority of armed-to-the-teeth _homoioi_ ''homoioi'' and oppressed-but-seriously-pissed-off helot slaves meant that the Spartans regularly could not field their army, or have it on campaign too long, or too far away, for fear of a slave revolt killing their families at home and crippling their shaky economic foundations. This fear was totally justified - there were a number of strategically very significant helot rebellions. It's hard to read about Spartan social institutions, especially their treatment of the helots, and come away still thinking highly of the culture (though maybe that's just what the Athenians want you to think).
17th May '16 3:51:05 PM m0untainking
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** The Spartans also had an extremely serious disadvantages which is so boring but important it is typically overlooked. The training and singularly-focused martial culture required to produce a Spartiate meant that, to a far greater extent than its contemporaries, Sparta relied on large numbers of slaves – the helots, an unusually cruelly oppressed slave class. This meant that the total number of Spartiates, especially in later years after the Peloponnesian Wars had killed many of them, was actually extremely small. They were tactically effective but Spartan institutions could not economically or culturally sustain enough individuals whose defining feature was that they did not labor for their contingent to be reliably decisive in battles. Worse, the crippling imbalance between a minority of armed-to-the-teeth _homoioi_ and oppressed-but-seriously-pissed-off helot slaves meant that the Spartans regularly could not field their army, or have it on campaign too long, or too far away, for fear of a slave revolt killing their families at home and crippling their shaky economic foundations. This fear was totally justified - there were a number of strategically very significant helot rebellions. It's hard to read about Spartan social institutions, especially their treatment of the helots, and come away still thinking highly of the culture (though maybe that's just what the Athenians want you to think).
15th May '16 8:56:30 PM DavidDelony
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* As with midrange computing hardware, midrage A/V equipment is a better bet than the latest high-end equipment, simply because there's a lot more content for hardware that's been around for a while. There are still ''way'' more movies on UsefulNotes/{{DVD}} than there are on UsefulNotes/BluRay and even on Creator/{{Netflix}}. There's also more HD content designed for 1080p and 720p than for 4K. Indeed, most HD broadcasts are still only 720p because of lack of available bandwidth. For the longest time, there were still more standard definition than HD sets out there as well.
15th May '16 2:27:39 PM LucaEarlgrey
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** Even if you are a gamer, most games will run just fine with a moderate-performance PC. You might have to tone back some of the more outstanding visual effects, but they aren't absolutely necessary to enjoy most games, and there is more to a game than just its looks.
10th May '16 10:22:17 AM Jhonny
Is there an issue? Send a Message


%% For sports related items

to:

%% For sports related itemsitems and strategies in sports


Added DiffLines:

* Playing Defense. In most sports Offense looks flashier, gets the fans excited and is mostly what the sport is ''about'' (e.g. soccer is about scoring goals). But there is a reason for the tired cliché "Offense wins hearts, Defense wins championships". There are a handful of real life subversions, but most of the times the best Offense meets the best Defense, it's not even close. Just two examples from the UsefulNotes/SuperBowl: In 2013 Creator/PeytonManning was without a shred of a doubt the best Quarterback in the game. His Offense put up ridiculous numbers and broke the records of Creator/TomBrady and his Patriots from their perfect season (which found a similar end) as if they were nothing. Than they play the Super Bowl against the best Defense in the league and hit it like a brick wall. 43-8 does not even begin to describe what a CurbStompBattle it was. The Denver Offense got outclassed in every conceivable way. Fast forward two years and the same team has changed a lot. Peyton Manning is visibly past his prime, and the Offense does not produce anything above and beyond mediocre numbers. The Defense however is the stuff of legend and when they face undisputed MVP Cam Newton and his prolific Carolina Panthers Offense, which won several games, including a Playoff game in one half, the result is as much a ForegoneConclusion as it was two years earlier. 24-10 for Denver and the Carolina Offense never got a foot on the ground. Defense wins championships indeed.
10th May '16 2:49:41 AM xenol
Is there an issue? Send a Message


%%
%% Most of these folders have a comment on what they're supposed to contain. Use them to figure out where your entry may fit.
%%






* Humans are often praised for their high intelligence compared to any other animals. However, this is only the second best superpower humans possess. Even more important and providing humans with an advantage over almost any other animals of the plain was the ability... to walk! On two legs! And keep walking for hours on end! Many animals are a lot faster than humans but also tire much faster. Humans can travel over very long distances with relatively short amounts of rest and their ability to carry water with them extended this even more. To capture a horse alive, the average human just had to follow the horse until it was too exhausted to take one more step. Of course, intelligence is no small help too: Even the small segment of animals with more efficient energy expenditure (mostly birds) are far outclassed as soon as a human gets on a bicycle. This is unbelievably energy-efficient, using more than 85% of the energy applied to the pedals. The amount of energy needed to go 10-15 MPH (15-25 Km/h), is the same sort of energy needed to walk.
** One of the few other animals with a similar ability to travel over long distances is the trusty dog. The beginning of a wonderful partnership.
** Kangaroos can travel at high speed over long distances by hopping, which recovers most of the energy used in each leap by use of natural spring-like structures in the animal's legs. This does cost them maneuverability, however.
** Really, many things on the animal kingdom are this. For example, for many birds like swans and doves, just beating their wings is enough of a defense weapon, the former being able to ''break human bones'' with well place strokes.
** We should reemphasize also that the walking and intelligence are not unrelated; humans' permanent ("obligate" in biolo-speak) bipedalism, besides probably helping with the endurance aspect, also freed up the forelimbs, allowing us to start carrying things. Carrying things eventually led to making things to carry--tools. Tool use and intelligence became a mutually-reinforcing cycle: "[[VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri We use crude tools to fashion better tools, and then our better tools to fashion more precise tools, and so on]];" with each step the things the tools allow us to do makes intelligence an ever-more-important factor in fitness; and with each step the intelligence allowed us to improve on the tools we had.
*** Also more generally, bipedalism has always been a great evolutionary move for land animals that made it; humans simply benefited the most because they had hands with broad, flat nails (from our descent from tree-dwelling primates that therefore used their hands to grasp branches) rather than claws. However, the kangaroos and the dinosaurs (all of whom were descended from bipeds; the four-legged herbivores like the sauropods and ceratopsians returned to quadrupedal stances after they got too fat) are/were (well, still are: birds are everywhere, and they are dinosaurs) giant successes. Walking on two legs gives an animal improved manipulation ability even if they don't have human-style opposable thumbs; bipedalism allows for improved field of vision, as it raises the head; it allows for better defense/combat; and it has other advantages as well.
*** In the case of the dinosaur lineage that led to birds, bipedalism allowed their forelimbs to gradually evolve into functional airfoils, and they did so by assisting in climbing steep slopes rather than for gliding, according to one fairly well supported theory.
** And finally, as the simplest and most reliable way to close a short distance, your own two feet can work in any weather, can't be stolen (easily), costs nothing, doesn't need (much) maintenance, can take short cuts many vehicles can't, never have to worry about running someone over, needs no garage to store, helps you get fit and still work reasonably well if you're drunk.
* Another uniquely human trait is our ability to throw things with a reasonable balance of distance, accuracy, and power. It often gets overlooked because it's so basic an ability to us that we amuse ourselves by skipping rocks, shooting paper balls at garbage cans, or tossing balls at milk bottles in order to win large stuffed animals. And yet that simple ability is something that absolutely no other animal on the entire planet, including our closest relatives, can do, or ever did before our own ancestors. Just one of the many unique benefits of opposable thumbs and arms designed to swing freely. However, this can become MundaneMadeAwesome when talking about a superfast baseball pitch.
** A 10 year old child can throw a baseball at about 40-50 mph. An athletic adult can throw a baseball somewhere in between 70mph to over 100mph. An adult chimpanzee can only throw something at around 20mph. Considering that kinetic energy increases with the square of velocity, a 10 year old child puts 4-7 times as much energy into a throw as a chimpanzee and and adult puts 11-30 times as much energy into one.
** Things which are easy for us -- like balancing on two legs, or throwing a ball, -- are only easy because, while a great deal of our brainpower is dedicated to these things, little or none of it conscious. To illustrate -- when a Major League pitcher throws a ball (around 90 mph), releasing the ball 0.01 second too soon or too late would result in missing the strike zone. Since it takes about that long (10 milliseconds) for a nerve signal to travel from the brain to the fingers, the command to release the ball must be sent when the hand has not yet reached that window. In other words, "swing-and-release" is a preprogrammed sequence, performed without the benefit of seeing (or feeling) where the pitcher's own arm is.
*** On the flip side, one of the most difficult physical tasks in sports is hitting an MLB pitch. A batter has less than 0.5 seconds before a 90 mph pitch crosses home plate. A batter has to figure out exactly what pitch the pitcher threw, where he's aiming, how it's moving, and how fast it's going. All of that is visual and the batter must then decide whether or not to swing at it and, when then swinging, how to swing their bat. With an 0-2 count (i.e. no balls, two strikes ... which heavily favors the pitcher) MLB batters swing less than half the time.
* [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Shields]]. Rocks, pieces of wood, animal hide, a convenient wall, and metal shields are damn useful. Even in the modern day shields still find use in riot work and even in tactical entry (although they can't be expected to stop much more than pistol rounds). It functions well with armor and strap shields can be used with any one handed weapon. If you need a smaller one to have an open hand, you can use a buckler. Someone trained with a shield can easily defeat someone without one, or an untrained person with one. Oh, and countless examples have proven that [[ShieldBash handheld shields can]] [[ThrowingYourShieldAlwaysWorks make good weapons, too]].
* The "Wash" method of shuffling cards. It's not pretty, it's slower than other techniques, looks decidedly amatuerish and is the natural shuffling technique of people who can't otherwise shuffle cards (including small children), but when it comes right down to it, spreading the cards around on the table with the palms of your hands is simply the best way to achieve truly random results, so-much-so that professional dealers will typically "Wash" a brand-new deck of cards (which will, of course, start-off ordered by suit and by number) in order to properly randomize them before flashier and faster but less random shuffling techniques such as the Riffle take over.

to:

* Humans are often praised for their high intelligence compared to any other animals. However, this is only the second best superpower humans possess. Even more important and providing humans with an advantage over almost any other animals of the plain was the ability... to walk! On two legs! And keep walking for hours on end! Many animals are a lot faster than humans but also tire much faster. Humans can travel over very long distances with relatively short amounts of rest and their ability to carry water with them extended this even more. To capture a horse alive, the average human just had to follow the horse until it was too exhausted to take one more step. Of course, intelligence is no small help too: Even the small segment of animals with more efficient energy expenditure (mostly birds) are far outclassed as soon as a human gets on a bicycle. This is unbelievably energy-efficient, using more than 85% of the energy applied to the pedals. The amount of energy needed to go 10-15 MPH (15-25 Km/h), is the same sort of energy needed to walk.
** One of the few other animals with a similar ability to travel over long distances is the trusty dog. The beginning of a wonderful partnership.
** Kangaroos can travel at high speed over long distances by hopping, which recovers most of the energy used in each leap by use of natural spring-like structures in the animal's legs. This does cost them maneuverability, however.
** Really, many things on the animal kingdom are this.
[[foldercontrol]]

%%
For example, for many birds like swans and doves, just beating their wings is enough of a defense weapon, the former being able to ''break human bones'' with well place strokes.
** We should reemphasize also that the walking and intelligence are not unrelated; humans' permanent ("obligate" in biolo-speak) bipedalism, besides probably helping with the endurance aspect, also freed up the forelimbs, allowing us to start carrying things. Carrying things eventually led to making things to carry--tools. Tool use and intelligence became a mutually-reinforcing cycle: "[[VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri We use crude tools to fashion better tools, and then our better tools to fashion more precise tools, and so on]];" with each step the things the tools allow us to do makes intelligence an ever-more-important factor in fitness; and with each step the intelligence allowed us to improve on the tools we had.
*** Also more generally, bipedalism has always been a great evolutionary move for land animals that made it; humans simply benefited the most because they had hands with broad, flat nails (from our descent from tree-dwelling primates that therefore used their hands to grasp branches) rather than claws. However, the kangaroos and the dinosaurs (all of whom were descended from bipeds; the four-legged herbivores like the sauropods and ceratopsians returned to quadrupedal stances after they got too fat) are/were (well, still are: birds are everywhere, and they are dinosaurs) giant successes. Walking on two legs gives an animal improved manipulation ability even if they don't have human-style opposable thumbs; bipedalism allows for improved field of vision, as it raises the head; it allows for better defense/combat; and it has other advantages as well.
*** In the case of the dinosaur lineage that led to birds, bipedalism allowed their forelimbs to gradually evolve into functional airfoils, and they did so by assisting in climbing steep slopes rather than for gliding, according to one fairly well supported theory.
** And finally, as the simplest and most reliable way to close a short distance, your own two feet can work in any weather, can't be stolen (easily), costs nothing, doesn't need (much) maintenance, can take short cuts many vehicles can't, never have to worry about running someone over, needs no garage to store, helps you get fit and still work reasonably well if you're drunk.
* Another uniquely human trait is our ability to throw things with a reasonable balance of distance, accuracy, and power. It often gets overlooked because it's so basic an ability to us that we amuse ourselves by skipping rocks, shooting paper balls at garbage cans, or tossing balls at milk bottles in order to win large stuffed animals. And yet that simple ability is something that absolutely no other animal on the entire planet, including our closest relatives, can do, or ever did before our own ancestors. Just one of the many unique benefits of opposable thumbs and arms designed to swing freely. However, this can become MundaneMadeAwesome when talking about a superfast baseball pitch.
** A 10 year old child can throw a baseball at about 40-50 mph. An athletic adult can throw a baseball somewhere in between 70mph to over 100mph. An adult chimpanzee can only throw something at around 20mph. Considering that kinetic energy increases with the square of velocity, a 10 year old child puts 4-7 times as much energy into a throw as a chimpanzee and and adult puts 11-30 times as much energy into one.
** Things which are easy for us -- like balancing on two legs, or throwing a ball, -- are only easy because, while a great deal of our brainpower is dedicated to these things, little or none of it conscious. To illustrate -- when a Major League pitcher throws a ball (around 90 mph), releasing the ball 0.01 second too soon or too late would result in missing the strike zone. Since it takes about that long (10 milliseconds) for a nerve signal to travel from the brain to the fingers, the command to release the ball must be sent when the hand has not yet reached that window. In other words, "swing-and-release" is a preprogrammed sequence, performed without the benefit of seeing (or feeling) where the pitcher's own arm is.
*** On the flip side, one of the most difficult physical tasks in sports is hitting an MLB pitch. A batter has less than 0.5 seconds before a 90 mph pitch crosses home plate. A batter has to figure out exactly
what pitch the pitcher threw, where he's aiming, how it's moving, you eat and how fast it's going. All of that is visual drink!
[[folder:Food
and the batter must then decide whether or not to swing at it and, when then swinging, how to swing their bat. With an 0-2 count (i.e. no balls, two strikes ... which heavily favors the pitcher) MLB batters swing less than half the time.
* [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Shields]]. Rocks, pieces of wood, animal hide, a convenient wall, and metal shields are damn useful. Even in the modern day shields still find use in riot work and even in tactical entry (although they can't be expected to stop much more than pistol rounds). It functions well with armor and strap shields can be used with any one handed weapon. If you need a smaller one to have an open hand, you can use a buckler. Someone trained with a shield can easily defeat someone without one, or an untrained person with one. Oh, and countless examples have proven that [[ShieldBash handheld shields can]] [[ThrowingYourShieldAlwaysWorks make good weapons, too]].
* The "Wash" method of shuffling cards. It's not pretty, it's slower than other techniques, looks decidedly amatuerish and is the natural shuffling technique of people who can't otherwise shuffle cards (including small children), but when it comes right down to it, spreading the cards around on the table with the palms of your hands is simply the best way to achieve truly random results, so-much-so that professional dealers will typically "Wash" a brand-new deck of cards (which will, of course, start-off ordered by suit and by number) in order to properly randomize them before flashier and faster but less random shuffling techniques such as the Riffle take over.
drink]]



* Regular, comfortable clothes. Spend a few months rehearsing/acting in a corset, hoop-skirt and high heels if you don't believe so.
** Anyone who works in a professional environment would agree. One of the greatest joys in an adult's daily life is getting home after a long day at work, stripping off the rigid work clothes one has to wear in order to convey the requisite "professional" appearance (and the accompanying work SHOES), and getting into nice, comfortable, cottony sweats, pajamas, or similar, and soft socks and/or house slippers.
* Sweatpants are anything but associated with sharp fashion sense, but they're comfortable, let the skin breathe easily, and quite versatile--they can be used for running, lounging around the house, sleeping, and even everyday out-of-the-house wear.
** Yoga pants have all this and are reasonably acceptable for wear in casual social situations without throwing an immediate impression of slovenliness.
* The Jacket: It's just a piece of fabric fitted for human use with sleeves, but ''good lord'' is it truly useful, you can take it off ''much'' easier indoors, and for people in colder climates, where Jackets often become large, bulky masses meant to keep you from freezing over, can really make things easier, as indoors the temperature can rise by ''20 degrees'' or more. Just try not taking it off and see what happens.
* The technology that made the jacket as we know it possible: the button. A simple piece of material attached to an item of clothing which goes through a corresponding hole. Despite the simplicity, it revolutionized clothing when it was invented in 13th-century Europe; you could now make snug-fitting clothing that would keep you warm through the cold winters much more easily. Earlier fasteners, like laces, tended to leave an open space that let the air in; not so with buttons.

to:

* Regular, comfortable clothes. Spend Rice. Not counting flavored, spiced, salted, egg, or with a few months rehearsing/acting curry/sauce. Just plain rice. For its size it is incredibly rich in a corset, hoop-skirt nutrition and high heels energy. Even if you don't believe so.
have a specialized rice cooker, cooking rice is still a simple matter of adding rice and water to a pot and boiling it for several minutes.
** They happen to be an excellent flavor buffer for a lot of saucy foods. That or they just go good with saucy foods (or with sauce in general).
** How practical is it, you ask? Literally half of the entire world's population gets two-thirds of their daily calories from rice. It is the #1 most consumed food on Earth and has been for centuries, possibly even millenia (depending on when humans first started shifting from hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural societies).
*** Add in some beans and you have the world's most inexpensive complete protein. Complete proteins are absolutely ''vital'' in a person's diet, since ''everything'' in a person is made out of one protein or another. Most of Central America relies on rice and beans (under various names, which one you chose is SeriousBusiness) as their staple food. Add a bit of spices and side dishes (e.g. an egg) and you have a meal that is both filling and surprisingly tasty if nothing fancy.
* Noodles. Just like rice, they go well with a whole host of sauces or seasonings.
Anyone who works for some spaghetti?
* Potatoes, as well. They don't look like much, but they did save Europe from continuous famine for quite some time. They are much more energy dense than traditional staples foods (you get 17.8 million Calories per acre for potatoes, compared to 6.4 million Calories per acre for wheat), thus allowing the same plot of land to feed three-times more people.
** Potatoes also grow
in a professional environment lot of places where cereals won't. This allowed massive population expansion in countries like Ireland where a lot of land isn't suitable for cereals but potatoes like it just fine. (Until you hit the problems of monoculture agriculture in a pre-chemical environment...)
** Fun fact: You can get almost all the nutrients you need from a diet of just potatoes and milk, in the right quantities. It
would agree. One be a very bland and monotonous diet, but you wouldn't die or get any serious deficiencies except for molybdenum, which you only need tiny amounts of the greatest joys in an adult's daily life anyway.
* Tap water. Doesn't look very fancy and tastes pretty bland. But it's far less expensive than bottled water or juice (if not outright free at many eating establishments), far healthier than alcohol or soft drinks, and
is getting far better at keeping you hydrated. And is readily available at home whenever you want it.
** And if you live somewhere where there is no reliable source of clean water, the old fashioned beer takes that place. Since it gets boiled during production, it's usually much cleaner than any unfiltered water. Calories and carbs in tasty, drinkable, preserved form. Staff of life, potable water, and recreation all in one. Tea and coffee also serve(d) the same purpose, although they have neither calories nor carbs in quantity unless you add sugar. In fact, if you're drinking good enough coffee, you don't even need condiments to make it taste good.
** The two most expedient way to clean water for drinking? Boil it for a few minutes, use it to cook, brew a hot drinks, and clean things. Can't boil it? Poor some booze in it, preferable high proof spirits, and stir. 25ml of something like vodka can make an entire quart of water safe, becuase the ethanol kills bacteria and protozoa, which are the primary waterborne nasties that make people sick.
** Water in general is this. Most people don't think much of it, but it can generate renewable electricity, is a powerful industrial solvent, can save lives in a pinch, clean tools and wounds, be a measuring device, etc. Combined with a bit of that human ingenuity there is very little that water can't do. If you want to get decidedly impractical, water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. If you can separate it, you have the stuff stars run on. Which is more readily available and safer than radioactive elements like Uranium.
*** And on the subject of hygeine, flossing. If you floss
after a long day at work, stripping meal, which is something quite easy to do considering you probably have bits of food in your teeth anyways, it removes more gunk between your teeth than brushing, and also helps with bad breath (a la bacteria on your tongue and rotting food in your teeth.) It'll also stave off problems like gingivitis. There's a reason dentists recommend it. Speaking of dentists, they do actually tell you to floss more even if you do floss regularly if they cause your gums to bleed, probably because it's a safe explanation, and it is very unlikely to lead people to sue.
* The humble sandwich. It makes any foods taste good together in a simple, no-silverware package that can often be an entire meal that fits in your pocket. It can be made for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is almost always one of
the rigid work clothes one has to wear in order to convey the requisite "professional" appearance (and the accompanying work SHOES), healthiest things you can eat.
** And it can be filled
and getting into nice, comfortable, cottony sweats, pajamas, or similar, and soft socks and/or house slippers.
* Sweatpants are
dressed with almost anything but associated you can think of.
* Salads are inherently low-calorie (thanks to lettuce being mostly water), and are extremely customizable; dressings, fruits, veggies, meats, and the like (all in moderated quantities, of course) can help add taste to a healthy bowl of lettuce.
* Everyone in the whole world knows the absolute importance of food in everyday life. But what is just as important as food is the taste and smell of it. People are very likely to consume and enjoy foods that smell good and taste good than they are to consume foods that have no flavor at all or have offensive odors and tastes. Because of this, the manufacturing and distribution of flavors and spices is an international industry that brings in billions of dollars.
** Expanding on that: salt. It was worth its weight in gold for a long time due to its ability to flavor and preserve food before refrigeration and other methods of chemical preservation, purposes it is still widely used for today.
[[/folder]]

%% For military equipment, vehicles, strategy, and tactics.
[[folder:Military and Warfare]]
* [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Shields]]. Rocks, pieces of wood, animal hide, a convenient wall, and metal shields are damn useful. Even in the modern day shields still find use in riot work and even in tactical entry (although they can't be expected to stop much more than pistol rounds). It functions well
with sharp fashion sense, but they're comfortable, let the skin breathe easily, armor and quite versatile--they strap shields can be used for running, lounging around the house, sleeping, and even everyday out-of-the-house wear.
** Yoga pants
with any one handed weapon. If you need a smaller one to have all this and are reasonably acceptable for wear in casual social situations an open hand, you can use a buckler. Someone trained with a shield can easily defeat someone without throwing one, or an immediate impression of slovenliness.
* The Jacket: It's just a piece of fabric fitted for human use
untrained person with sleeves, but ''good lord'' is it truly useful, you can take it off ''much'' easier indoors, one. Oh, and for people in colder climates, where Jackets often become large, bulky masses meant to keep you from freezing over, can really countless examples have proven that [[ShieldBash handheld shields can]] [[ThrowingYourShieldAlwaysWorks make things easier, as indoors the temperature can rise by ''20 degrees'' or more. Just try not taking it off and see what happens.
* The technology that made the jacket as we know it possible: the button. A simple piece of material attached to an item of clothing which goes through a corresponding hole. Despite the simplicity, it revolutionized clothing when it was invented in 13th-century Europe; you could now make snug-fitting clothing that would keep you warm through the cold winters much more easily. Earlier fasteners, like laces, tended to leave an open space that let the air in; not so with buttons.
good weapons, too]].



* The deceased [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norm_Borlaug Norm Borlaug]] was quite possibly the exemplar of this trope in RealLife. He saved about 10 times more people from death than died in WorldWarTwo. He spent decades interbreeding plants in a process even he admits damn near drove him insane with tedium. However, the result was the Green Revolution, which increased crop yields to such an extent as to save more than a ''billion'' people from dying of starvation.



* General Dwight D. Eisenhower once said that the "equipment ... most vital to our success in Africa and Europe were the bulldozer, the jeep, the 2½ ton truck, and the C-47 airplane. Curiously enough, none of these is designed for combat." The point being that the preparations prior to battle are just as important as actually fighting them. Even though the Germans' best weapons were technologically far better than that of the Americans, Brits, and arguably the Soviets, they 1) couldn't get enough of them to the front, and 2) couldn't keep them fueled and maintained for long enough for them to be useful.

to:

* General Dwight D. Eisenhower once said that the "equipment ... most vital to our success in Africa and Europe were the bulldozer, the jeep, the 2½ ton truck, and the C-47 airplane. Curiously enough, none of these is designed for combat." The point being that the preparations prior to battle are just as important as actually fighting them. Even though the Germans' best weapons were technologically far better than that of the Americans, Brits, and arguably the Soviets, they 1) couldn't get enough of them to the front, and 2) couldn't keep them fueled and maintained for long enough for them to be useful.



* BruceLee loved this trope up to the point where he developed his own fighting style based entirely around it called Jeet Kun Do (''way of the intercepting fist''). However, in practice, everything he did off-screen ended up appearing awesome, anyway.
** Lee developed his ideas after observing the stop hit of fencing, which can best be described as follows: when your opponent winds up for something big, stick your sword in him. The rules are a bit more technical.
* [[WhatAPieceOfJunk Regular, ordinary cars.]] They lack the ruggedness of an SUV or pickup or the power and sleekness of a sports car, but are more efficient with gasoline, are usually the cheapest new cars you can find, and they won't make your insurance rates sky rocket. Newer such cars also come with various safety features such as front and side airbags and proximity sensors that will raise your chances of avoiding or at least surviving an accident more than a sports car will, as most sports cars sacrifice safety features and other luxuries in order to achieve optimum performance.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GL1T-JVpgQ The 2011 Mediocrity]] is an intentional exaggeration of this trope.
** This is Toyota through and through, not the best in any field, except maybe and probably reliability.
** On that note: Older cars amongst regular cars are generally cheaper and still have a good amount of efficiency, even if they have over 100,000 miles on the engine. All it really takes to maintain this car is a decent understanding of mechanics and keeping an eye on your car's fluids. Decent or extraordinary maintenance can turn these older cars into[[WhatAPieceOfJunk ...]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroën_2CV The Citroën 2CV]], a small, unassuming car that eventually became France's answer to the Beetle, with over 3.8 million produced (not counting the numerous variants) between 1948 and 1990. This car is so versatile, it can drive almost anywhere. [[WhatAPieceOfJunk One 2CV]] drove all the way from Paris to ''Yokohoma''.
** Minivans (or [=MPVs=], as where you called) may have that "soccer mom" stigma (though OnlyInAmerica for the most part), but they have the passenger and cargo capacity of an SUV without the gas-guzzling property; granted, a minivan can't go off-road, but if you just need a vehicle for everyday purposes, that isn't necessary. This gains minivans a popular status in Asia and Europe where people use them as family vehicles.
** [[WhatAPieceOfJunk Used cars.]] They may not have the newest features and looks, but they have already suffered the biggest depreciation and their weak and strong points are well-noted.
** Japanese kei cars are small, dismally underpowered and slow at first glance, but they are actually [[BiggerOnTheInside tall and roomy]], and they can handle better than most regular cars due to their narrow sizes. Mid-engined kei cars like [[FragileSpeedster Honda S660]] and [[JackOfAllStats Mitsubishi i]] deserve this mention.
** Small trackday cars like the Lotus Elise or Caterham 7. They may lack the babe magnet capabilities of sports and super cars, the sheer power numbers of muscle cars and the daily usability of both, but they can beat them on race tracks and winding roads.
* On that note, even the ordinary pick-up truck qualifies. While some you have your "crucks" and your "Oversized pickups for fashion and compensation", the majority of them are massed produced utility vehicles designed take a decent amount of cargo and one or two people and move them from one place to another. The basic design of the pick-up truck hasn't changed in over half a century. It's safer then many other vehicles in most types of common collisions because [[MemeticMutation Sir Issac Newton is the deadliest SOB on the road]]. It's so damn utilitarian that if an ordinary pick-up truck is properly maintained and driven normally you can even get more mileage and years of usage out of a good truck then a car and have average to better than average gas mileage.
** 90s body-on-frame [=SUVs=] also qualify. While new models might have stuff like GPS and leather seats, the old ones have the offroad and hauling capabilities of trucks while being able to carry more people. You also shouldn't forget that running ones can be bought for under $2500 or £1500.
* Diesel engines fullfill this trope. While they might be less powerful and cool-sounding than petrol ones, they are also more frugal with fuel and have more torque. [[InvincibleHero Audi]] used the diesel engines to beat UsefulNotes/TwentyFourHoursOfLeMans.
* Simply driving smoothly with gentle applications of the accelerator and brake pedals and keeping your speed at the speed limit on the highway (when traffic conditions allow it) will get you solid fuel efficiency and make you a much safer driver to yourself, your passengers, and drivers around you. Your DrivesLikeCrazy friends may think you're boring to ride with, but others who ride with you will thank you for being a driver they can trust and ride comfortably with.
* The Sturmey Archer AW internal gear hub: Originally designed in the 1930s as a mix of parts from their other hubs to provide a low-cost seller, the hub became the standard gear system for bicycles up until the 10 speed fad of 1970s. Unbelievable reliability has kept it in production for ''over seventy-five years''.
* The basis of Collegiate wrestling. Most common takedowns? High Crotches or Double Legs (Because you can't go wrong with basically spear tackling a guy and trying to throw him off to the side.) First taught and commonly used Escape? The stand-up. Pin? Half nelson. All of these moves are some of the first taught to new wrestlers and seasons.
* The jerry can (or jerrican). A simple fuel container at the surface, its simplicity betrays a sophisticated nature. It was designed to be operable without a pump, funnels, or a wrench (at least one of which was required by most of its predecessors), and the multiple handles mean that empty cans can be carried two in each hand by a single person, and full ones can be carried by two people at once. The 'X' mark you see on the side is not just for show; it reinforces the sides and allows the contents to expand without warping the container. It's one of the first German technologies adopted by the British in WorldWarII; the Allies often used jerrycans in place of their own fuel containers whenever they could acquire them. Even now, the jerry can design has been used in more civilian goods, like liquid detergent and gasoline cans.



* The cargo container has radically transformed shipping over the last 60 years. Instead of moving dozens of boxes or barrels one at a time, you just put them into a single cargo container and move that. Standardize the size of cargo containers and you can have trucks, ships, and traincars specifically designed to carry them, and infrastructure to transfer them from one to another. Simple, boring, and so useful that it is difficult to imagine doing it another way.
** To put this in perspective: one of the many difficulties the US, particularly the Navy, faced during WWII was loading cargo and munitions on ships in a timely manner. (As you can see above, the US was busy shipping a ''lot'' of cargo overseas to allied forces and its own.) There were two serious proposals that would speed things up over the time-honored "have a guy lift it onto the boat" -- [[PoweredArmor hydraulic power-assist gear]], and standardized shipping containers. Take a wild guess which one they chose to pursue.
* Pencils and paper. Incredibly simple, lightweight, and almost 100% reliable in all conditions as long as it's not wet. And a lot cheaper than those i- and e- items.
** An anecdote about the space race says that while the Americans were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop a high-tech pressurized pen that could write in Zero-G, the Russians simply shrugged their shoulders and said "Meh, we have pencils."[[note]]In reality, the space pen was the private pet project of a pen manufacturer, and received no government funding for R&D (he eventually sold the pens to the government, of course). Both sides used pencils at first, but then the Soviets switched to ''grease pencils'' (wax core, wrapped in paper, a bit like a hard crayon) on plastic slates, and the Americans switched to felt-tipped pens (i.e. markers), which do not rely on gravity but rather on pure capillary action (other pens also use capillary action, but also depend on gravity). Also, both sides eventually adopted the "space pen." Pencils were abandoned because loose graphite would float away and cause respiratory problems in the astronauts, not to mention cause problems with the ventilation systems; the graphite dust also presented a risk of interfering with electronics and electrical systems if it got into the wrong places.[[/note]]
* A codex i.e. leafs of paper bound together. These thoroughly tromped scrolls which damaged the paper with curvature, were hard to navigate since they needed to be rolled, and couldn't have sections replaced or repaired. Although it may or may not be about to be replaced by e-readers, for the last few thousand years there has been no more economical and efficient means of containing information.
** The comparison to e-readers is particularly appropriate... the book may not be electronic or have an internet connection, but it never runs out of batteries, doesn't have problems with funny formats or DRM, doesn't break when dropped, doesn't cost $200 to replace, and if your friend borrows a book, you can still read your other books. E-readers have a lot of advantages (and, indeed, many e-reader critics seem to gloss over how much space is required for, and how friggin' heavy even a dozen books can be--to say nothing of the fact that with an e-reader, you don't have to deal with the ContemptibleCover), but books definitely fit this trope.
** Related: There was a tongue-in-cheek science fiction story (possibly by Isaac Asimov). In a distant future, all books and libraries have long disappeared being replaced by microfilms due to their better storage capacity. One character pointed out the shortcomings of microfilms such as the need for a relatively expensive hightech equipment to read it, equipment that can broke and must be replace at a certain cost, etc; not to mention that you need a constant source of electrical power. Then someone came up with a brilliant idea: what if we take each frame of a certain microfilm, magnified it and print it on a sheet of white paper, lets call it a page; then we put each page on top of each other and bound them together then put some covers on it for protection... et voila! we (re)invented the book.
** To quote Creator/CarlSagan: "For the price of a modest meal you can get ''the history of Rome''".
* Rice. Not counting flavored, spiced, salted, egg, or with a curry/sauce. Just plain rice. For its size it is incredibly rich in nutrition and energy. Even if you don't have a specialized rice cooker, cooking rice is still a simple matter of adding rice and water to a pot and boiling it for several minutes.
** They happen to be an excellent flavor buffer for a lot of saucy foods. That or they just go good with saucy foods (or with sauce in general).
** How practical is it, you ask? Literally half of the entire world's population gets two-thirds of their daily calories from rice. It is the #1 most consumed food on Earth and has been for centuries, possibly even millenia (depending on when humans first started shifting from hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural societies).
*** Add in some beans and you have the world's most inexpensive complete protein. Complete proteins are absolutely ''vital'' in a person's diet, since ''everything'' in a person is made out of one protein or another. Most of Central America relies on rice and beans (under various names, which one you chose is SeriousBusiness) as their staple food. Add a bit of spices and side dishes (e.g. an egg) and you have a meal that is both filling and surprisingly tasty if nothing fancy.
* Noodles. Just like rice, they go well with a whole host of sauces or seasonings. Anyone for some spaghetti?
* Potatoes, as well. They don't look like much, but they did save Europe from continuous famine for quite some time. They are much more energy dense than traditional staples foods (you get 17.8 million Calories per acre for potatoes, compared to 6.4 million Calories per acre for wheat), thus allowing the same plot of land to feed three-times more people.
** Potatoes also grow in a lot of places where cereals won't. This allowed massive population expansion in countries like Ireland where a lot of land isn't suitable for cereals but potatoes like it just fine. (Until you hit the problems of monoculture agriculture in a pre-chemical environment...)
** Fun fact: You can get almost all the nutrients you need from a diet of just potatoes and milk, in the right quantities. It would be a very bland and monotonous diet, but you wouldn't die or get any serious deficiencies except for molybdenum, which you only need tiny amounts of anyway.
* Tap water. Doesn't look very fancy and tastes pretty bland. But it's far less expensive than bottled water or juice (if not outright free at many eating establishments), far healthier than alcohol or soft drinks, and is far better at keeping you hydrated. And is readily available at home whenever you want it.
** And if you live somewhere where there is no reliable source of clean water, the old fashioned beer takes that place. Since it gets boiled during production, it's usually much cleaner than any unfiltered water. Calories and carbs in tasty, drinkable, preserved form. Staff of life, potable water, and recreation all in one. Tea and coffee also serve(d) the same purpose, although they have neither calories nor carbs in quantity unless you add sugar. In fact, if you're drinking good enough coffee, you don't even need condiments to make it taste good.
** The two most expedient way to clean water for drinking? Boil it for a few minutes, use it to cook, brew a hot drinks, and clean things. Can't boil it? Poor some booze in it, preferable high proof spirits, and stir. 25ml of something like vodka can make an entire quart of water safe, becuase the ethanol kills bacteria and protozoa, which are the primary waterborne nasties that make people sick.
** Water in general is this. Most people don't think much of it, but it can generate renewable electricity, is a powerful industrial solvent, can save lives in a pinch, clean tools and wounds, be a measuring device, etc. Combined with a bit of that human ingenuity there is very little that water can't do. If you want to get decidedly impractical, water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. If you can separate it, you have the stuff stars run on. Which is more readily available and safer than radioactive elements like Uranium.
*** And on the subject of hygeine, flossing. If you floss after a meal, which is something quite easy to do considering you probably have bits of food in your teeth anyways, it removes more gunk between your teeth than brushing, and also helps with bad breath (a la bacteria on your tongue and rotting food in your teeth.) It'll also stave off problems like gingivitis. There's a reason dentists recommend it. Speaking of dentists, they do actually tell you to floss more even if you do floss regularly if they cause your gums to bleed, probably because it's a safe explanation, and it is very unlikely to lead people to sue.
* The vibrate option on cellphones. Sure, it doesn't let you show off your personalized ringtone [[SarcasmMode that everyone is dying to hear]], but it's very useful in noisy environments and, in places that demand reduced noise levels such as libraries and inside smaller stores, it'll notify you of a call or new message without [[MostAnnoyingSound pissing off everybody around you]].
** Not only that, but if you put the cellphone on the right surface, it can be suitably loud enough to get your attention. And you can stage cell phone races with your friends!
* The Zippo cigarette lighter. An exceedingly simple design that succeeds largely because its simplicity means that it will rarely ever fail. As long as you have a handful of flints and maybe a replacement wick, it'll serve you for years. You can feed the Zippo its specially formulated fluid, camp stove fuel, gasoline, moonshine, practically anything, and it'll still burn. A Ronson might become unusable due to the head or threading of the fuel compartment stripping out; on a Zippo, you just pull out the inner body from the main case. There's a reason the brand has been sold, largely unchanged, since 1933. The company turned 80 years old in 2012 and has manufactured over 500 MILLION lighters.
** And every single one of them is guaranteed. [[BadassBoast "It works or we fix it for free"]] is a trademark of the company.



* Boring old tactile keyboards over cooler, [[TheAestheticsOfTechnology more "advanced"]] touch screen keyboards. Why? Because you can navigate a tactile keyboard solely by feel while keeping an eye on the display. Touch screens are, well, flat and more time goes into looking at finger placement than would on a tactile keyboard.
** In fact, some mechanical keyboards built over 20 years ago still work with modern equipment, and are favored by modern typists because they provide excellent tactile feedback, are impervious to water, and never break. Find one single other 20 year old peripheral that still works without modification or adapters on your new computer. There have also been cases where people have still typed on tactile computers with damaged monitors. If the monitor of your touch screen is damaged, you're fucked.
** While we're on it, boring old [=PCs=] over flashy tablets, for similar reasons. Marketing for certain tablets can go on and on about how it's the "post-PC" era, but their relative cheapness, mass producibility, and tactile input means that they'll likely stick around for a long time.
** Don't forget computing power. Even a basic laptop will outperform a tablet, to say nothing of a high-end gaming desktop.
*** Plus, just ''try'' writing a term paper, essay or novel with a tablet sometime.[[note]]Granted, the current Constitution of UsefulNotes/{{Hungary}} was first drafted on an [=iPad=], but that's an exceptional circumstance: it was a lot of legislators passing the thing around during and between legislative sessions, so the tablet was probably the best device.[[/note]] Yes, you can buy a keyboard for your tablet, but at that point you just have a netbook that costs more and does less than a regular one.
*** Until the day comes that someone creates something that can replace the tactile input of a [=PC=], we really won't be in the post-PC era for awhile.
* The Mouse. Compare the speed an efficiency of the mouse versus trackballs, touchpads, Joysticks, [=WiiMotes=], or touchscreens, and the mouse will win 100% of the time outside of specialized video games. The ability to stop on command, move it around freely, and have clear predictability make it the dominant form of pixel selection input for the foreseeable future.
** A more specific example would be the wired mouse. Yes, wireless mice look a little cooler by default due to being wireless, but wired mice are much less prone to breaking (due to, of course, being wired), and eventually save on AA batteries over time.
* In relation the above, keyboard shortcuts and mouse button commands. No touchscreen interface has yet come up with anything so quick and convenient for input. Many who mastered keyboard shortcuts can use them so well that they rarely have to use a mouse and type really fast, and right-clicking is just plain practical for many quick command options. Even moreso when it comes to copying/cutting and pasting large chunks of text, where the "hold down and (often fiddly) drag" input of the touchscreen is extremely slow and ponderous in comparison.
* Microsoft [=PowerPoint=] and its clones allow for fancy presentations involving colorful backgrounds and exciting text effects and slide transitions. However, the best way to get your point across tends to be a simple, plain background with few (if any) text and transitional effects and tasteful use of images and clipart, rather than something out of a typical MySpace page. Unfortunately, many students up to high school (and in many cases, even in university or even after schooling) don't get the hint...
* For hobby-grade r/c boats, constructing the hull out of wood rather than fiberglass or carbon fiber. Wood does not carry the same cachet of a hull made of high-tech composites, and are often sold in kit form, requiring you to build it yourself (Glass hulls are almost always sold ready to accept their hardware.) However, wood is cheap, and, if built correctly, just as strong as fiberglass (though not carbon fiber, although its use is largely limited to large scale boats.)
** For gas r/c boats, the humble Homelite and Zenoah engines. Converted Homelites (they are typically used for yard equipment) powered the first gas r/c boats, while Zenoah released the first dedicated marine engine, the G23. Its successor, the [=G260PUM=], is the most popular engine in the hobby. Stock, they will reliably power most hulls at a respectable speed. When modified by a skilled engine builder, the G260 can chuck out about 6hp (increased displacement and/or aftermarket top ends can further increase that,) up from a claimed 3.2hp, and can push the fastest hulls up to 100 mph, depending on setup, hull, and conditions. The Zenoah is so ubiquitous, that every other brand of gas r/c engine is designed to fit in the same footprint, and parts commonality is, well, common. The only realistic challenger to the Zenoahs crown are the RCMK engines, which are sold for not much more than a stock G260, but can develop 5hp, in addition to far better after-sale support.
* Any and all utilitarian IT standards. ASCII text, for instance, doesn't come with fonts, or nifty accents, but ''every Goddamn computer '''in the world''' can read it''. Dial-up internet access is slow and inconvenient, but everybody who has a phone can use it for low cost.
** The humble .csv (comma separated value) file. It is a plain text file, with rows of data, and each [[ExactlyWhatItSaysontheTin value separated by a comma]]. Doesn't have fancy formatting, tabs, or other genuinely useful tools that an Excel file can have, but is loved by IT Admins and programmers everywhere for how easy it is to have a script read. In addition, there are a variety of programs specifically designed for editing .csv's, for those who don't like working with plaintext, and spreadsheet applications like Excel and [=OpenOffice=] Calc have .csv support.
** Universal asynchronous receiver/transceivers (UART). Very slow by today's standards, but every freakin' computer system has one and can understand it. Messing with a microcontroller that for some reason doesn't? You can bit bang your own in software easily. And depending on your communication needs, it requires 2-3 wires at the minimum.
*** Serial communication in and of itself. It's boring to send everything one bit at a time. But when you consider that trying to send data in parallel signaling and timing issues that limit how fast you can push data out? Now it becomes practical.
** For that matter, parallel port communication. Doesn't even need a voltage translator (it uses 5V) or a serial-to-parallel converter. Just connect straight to your microcontroller pins.
* Application programming in general uses this trope. While you can make all sorts of obfuscated C or use fancy loops, recursion and stacked subs, the vast majority of work will be simple mathematical and string operations, basic SQL calls (>95% of which are simple select, update, insert, and delete statements), and for or while loops. In fact, going exotic or esoteric makes your code harder to read, harder to maintain, more prone to bugs, typically much slower, and more likely to fail in the next operating system upgrade. See [[http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Programming-Sucks!-Or-At-Least,-It-Ought-To-.aspx this article]] on TheDailyWTF.
* For computer cooling, the heatsink and fan. While liquid cooling looks awesome and phase-change cooling sounds like space-age exoticness that cools your processors to freezing temperatures easily, both are really expensive (relatively) and both have inherit problems with moisture (liquid for obvious reasons, phase-change will create condensation around exposed electronics). And the only thing lowering a part's temperature buys you, if you're not hitting thermal thresholds, is lifespan.



* Skis and the slightly more awesome dog sled for moving across snow. One of the reasons [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Amundsen Amundsen]] won the race to the South Pole (and, you know, survived) was the use of these two simple methods of transport. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Falcon_Scott Scott]] on the other hand wanted to use high tech mechanical crawlers that soon broke down due to the extreme conditions. There have been claims that Scott and his men didn't even know how to ski, usually with the implication that they would have survived had they known.
* On the topic of medicine: modest exercise, a good diet, rest, avoiding alcohol in excess, tobacco altogether, buckling your seat belt, reading the directions of every medication you take, sanitation and hygiene. This sounds as sexy as saw dust and yet if followed rigorously by a population would dramatically reduce the burden of disease. Even the half-assed implementation in the modern world has lengthened life expectancy by many years.
* [[UsefulNotes/{{Fonts}} The Times typeface]].
** Courier and Courier New as well. Clean fixed-width fonts used by many programmers and those who work with documents where positions of characters matter greatly.
** Likewise, Helvetica, and Arial and Comic Sans. Stylish and easy to read.
*** A note about Comic Sans, it's popular with those starting out on computers because it's interesting. It's hated because it's popular, and seemingly obnoxious. But research suggests, and said research has been made more widely known by popular media, that Comic Sans is good for those with dyslexia.
** Verdana is also a common and effective typeface for Net text.
** This site uses Trebuchet (though newer models of hard drives are more likely to display Arial).
* The humble sandwich. It makes any foods taste good together in a simple, no-silverware package that can often be an entire meal that fits in your pocket. It can be made for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is almost always one of the healthiest things you can eat.
** And it can be filled and dressed with almost anything you can think of.
* Salads are inherently low-calorie (thanks to lettuce being mostly water), and are extremely customizable; dressings, fruits, veggies, meats, and the like (all in moderated quantities, of course) can help add taste to a healthy bowl of lettuce.
* Medieval alchemists spent a great deal of time looking for a "universal solvent", capable of, well, dissolving anything. It took a very long time before anyone realized that you'd have trouble finding a more versatile solvent than plain old [[MakingASplash water]].
* In the days when the CoolTrain was hauled by steam, the most common and useful steam locomotive was the 0-6-0 goods engine (think Donald and Douglas from ''TheRailwaySeries''). The long boiler allowed the locomotive to build up a lot of steam and conserve it, so the locomotive would not need to be cold-started every time it needed to move. As all the wheels were driving wheels, the locomotive had a lot of tractive effort for its weight. It had more adhesion than the 0-4-0, but could go more places than the 0-8-0. The 0-6-0 was not fast, but it was a powerful little machine, and every country that used steam locomotives used the 0-6-0. Examples would be the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_South_Wales_Z19_class_locomotive New South Wales Z19]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_G_3 Prussian G 3]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonian_Railway_812_Class Caledonian 812]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LMS_Fowler_Class_4F LMS Fowler 4F]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GWR_2301_Class GWR Dean Goods]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NER_1001_Class North Eastern 1001 class]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBR_C_Class North British C Class]], and the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USRA_0-6-0 USRA 0-6-0]]. The NSWGR Z19 class was [[LongRunner in service for almost a CENTURY]].
** In North America another example is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4-4-0 4-4-0]]. It wasn't as flashy or fast as later engines but it handled rough terrain well and was very simple mechanically, making repairs easy. It is also (at least for Americans) the most recognizable design of steam locomotive.
** The Hungarian [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%81V_Class_424 424 "Buffalo" class]] 4-8-0 engines served [[LongRunner from 1924 to 1984]]. The Buffaloes were popular because they were extremely simple engines, cheap to build, able to pull nearly any train, and very easy to repair or upgrade. They became the largest locomotive class in UsefulNotes/{{Hungary}}, and at least six of the 500+ Buffaloes survive.
** The British [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LMS_Stanier_Class_5_4-6-0 Black Five]] served right up until the final days of steam in August 1968. Over 800 were built, for anything from top-link expresses to local pick-up goods trains, and 18 survive in preservation.
** The German [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DRG_Class_52 class 52]] "war locomotive". Its immediate predecessor, the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DRG_Class_50 class 50]], a comparatively lightweight 2-10-0, was introduced shortly before WorldWarII. During the war itself, the Reichsbahn required insane amounts of steam locomotives capable of pulling whatever trains on whatever (standard gauge) tracks and made of materials that didn't have to be imported. The class 50 was stripped and simplified so much that it was possible to build more than 3,000 locomotives in three years. When the 50 had been simplified to the max, it became the 52, an almost absolutely no-frills austerity locomotive of which more than 6,000 were built in less than three years—an average of about six a day. Originally, they were designed to operate no longer than five years. But their utter simplicity made them so robust that they would survive the next several decades in some places. Poland, for example, used unreconstructed 52s labeled [=Ty2=] and [=Ty42=] in regular services until the early 1990s and still has two operational [=Ty2=], and the Soviet Union still had hundreds of former 52s with only few modifications on stand-by as a strategical reserve in East Prussia when it was dissolved in 1992.
* Diesel shunting locomotives. One of the best examples would be [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DRG_Kleinlokomotive_Class_II the Köf]][[note]]Technically, not all of them were Köfs, the exact naming depended on the engine and the drivetrain; also, the Deutsche Bundesbahn acquired a larger and more powerful Köf class in the 60s which has got almost nothing to do with these[[/note]]. One of the least remarkable German locomotives. It came up in the early 30s as a small shunter with an internal combustion engine (some had gasoline engines, most had diesels), and although easily ignored, they were a common sight on big and small yards and stations for decades. In fact, when the Bundesbahn began to phase them out in the 80s and 90s (the Deutsche Bahn AG put the last one out of service in 1999), there were plenty of buyers for these small, cheap, simple and reliable machines, and countless ones are operational still today.



* This is one of the reasons why Western martial arts have been downplayed or ignored in most media compared to Eastern martial arts. The latter is known for being exotic, with often thematic naming of forms and styles and some level of mysticism fused with the styles themselves--making them excellent for flashy media depictions. European martial arts, however, had more straightforward names of both schools and techniques, and as such don't seem quite as impressive-sounding for media depictions.
** Some Eastern Martial Arts get the same treatment as well. About ten or fifteen years ago, people were more likely to have heard of Karate and Kung-Fu (which are often used as umbrella terms for a variety of Japanese and Chinese Martial Arts) than Judo or Muay Thai. However, with the popularity of MixedMartialArts growing over the years, the later two are becoming more well known. Ironically, their popularity in MMA has to do with the fact that they largely ditch the flashy posturing for practicality.
** Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and its [[IsraelisWithInfraredMissiles IDF]]-created variant Krav Maga are probably the best examples of this trope in the martial arts world, as they are extremely effective and extremely boring to the vast majority of spectators. Those who don't train in them don't really understand the complex positional battles or the attacks, counters, etc. being used; so while one combatant may be dangerously close to getting their arm broken or being choked unconscious, most of the audience sits there wondering when the action is going to start. Watch a match or two on Website/YouTube and you'll see what I mean.
* The medical dressing. In use for thousands of years, incredibly straightforward to apply, easily capable of saving wounded people from various horrible deaths, cheap to make, quickly obtained from clothing or other nearby items, it's perhaps one of the most enduring elements of medical technology ever. Now it exists in thousands of different variants, from the humble Band-Aid to complex and fancy dressings intended for severe trauma victims, but it certainly seems like it's not going anywhere soon.



* This is one interpretation of the drumming style of RingoStarr. Some [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] fans find his drumming tedious, uninteresting and bland. Others feel that this is his greatest strength - when [[Music/PaulMcCartney the]] [[Music/JohnLennon other]] [[Music/GeorgeHarrison three]] band members were pulling in different styles and directions, he was always [[TheMario able to adapt to a reasonable level]], no matter what style they were playing in. Music/JohnLennon in particular would only work with Ringo for a long time after the break-up of the band because he was able to give Lennon exactly what he asked for.
* Those niggling behind-the-scenes clerical tasks you either don't know or care about or might not want to come within a century of? Office workers are those little jars of oil that keep their department running like clockwork. Think of them as real-life {{Worker Unit}}s.
** Maintenance workers are almost the exact same thing, except that they take care of the grounds on which we earn our living. AlmightyJanitor exists as a trope for a reason.
** To give you an idea of the effectiveness of these workers, the Bolshevik Revolution had famous leaders like Lenin and Trotsky who preferred being revolutionaries and didn't care as much for the paperwork and bureaucracy. They handed it off to a volunteer named Stalin, who proceeded to use the incredible powers delegated him to become a political powerhouse who took control of Russia even after Lenin specifically wrote that he shouldn't be given that power. Remember, Stalin's official position was [[AlmightyJanitor General Secretary.]] It may not be as grand a rise to power as a fast-paced presidential campaign, revolution, or AwesomeMomentOfCrowning, but it worked.
* Laboratories might not be the most exciting places on the planet, no matter what WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory may tell you, but the [[TheLabRat people who work in them]] take care of the [[CopAndScientist scientific details that crack the case for those on the front lines]].
** Speaking of laboratories, the invention of glass. It may be fragile and prone to shattering if heated or cooled too quickly (or dropped on the floor) but it conducts heat fairly well, refracts light, is easily cleaned, and cheap to replace. [[CaptainObvious Oh, and it's transparent.]] A lot of work in science couldn't be done without it. On a more day-to-day level, it's nice being able to look out of windows and let sunlight in without causing a draft.
* The Russian Soyuz spacecraft are often derided as being shitty, outdated spacecraft compared to [=NASA's=] capsules and the space shuttle. The space shuttle has since been retired, and no real replacement has yet been developed for production. There's also the Progress, an unmanned version used as transport craft. The first Soyuz capsule went up in 1967. They are still being used to this day - ironically, also by NASA astronauts due to the aforementioned lack of a shuttle replacement.
** Similarly, the R-7 rocket family, which was originally desiigned as an ICBM and was not good at it (its use of liquid oxygen meant it could only be kept on standby for a day at most, and it required guidance from ground stations that presumably wouldn't last long during a full-scale nuclear war). As a space launch vehicle, however, it was excellent and is often touted as a fine example of "If it ain't broke, don'tfixt it." Still in service today, and all manned Soviet/Russian missions were sent to space by this very rocket.
** It is questionable if Soyuz can be called outdated. Well, the basic construction has been quite similar since beginning, but the avionics etc. have been revised many times. With their Kurs navigation subsystem, Soyuz and Progress spacecraft can automatically rendezvous and dock to space stations. Could be possibly considered SimpleYetAwesome.
** The Soyuz's three-part design[[note]](a service module that holds the capsule's propulsion and life support systems, an orbital module where the crew spends much of their time in space, and a small descent module used during launch and re-entry)[[/note]] is actually considered superior in some ways to the two-part Apollo design (the less of the ship that returns, the less mass is needed for the heat shield and retro-rockets).
* One of the reasons that the Russians have made so many of the space firsts. They have used sturdy and robust system, with simplified electronics as opposed to the bleeding edge of their US and European counterparts. So, end result, a slight frost the night before a lunch doomed the Challenger. Russians routinely launch in blizzards.
** As UsefulNotes/RichardFeynman pointed out it wasn't a failure of AwesomeYetImpractical tech that doomed the Challenger, but the desire to lower costs by cutting corners and using sub-par materials, allowing outright broken components to be within "tolerable stresses," and endless politics and outright ''lies'' about the safety of space travel that caused the Challenger disaster
** The Apollo programme was an exception to the traditional "bells and whistles" US approach. Hardware was simple and reliable. It routinely performed above specifications
* Duct Tape. [[DuctTapeForEverything While what you can do with it is amazing]], in and of itself? Not that exciting, but cheap and widely available. Ironically, it's terrible on ducts, since it's not good at handling the rapid and repeated temperature changes.
* The Glasgow subway system: [[http://www.spt.co.uk/cms/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/subway_map.png No one gets lost.]]
* Command line interfaces. Beloved by programmers and techie types, they can be a lifesaver when trying to do things designers of [=GUIs=] never intended. They also allow servers to run "headless," without a keyboard and monitor and accessed remotely.
* The sailboat. Cheap to use - it takes its energy to from the wind, and its range is limited only by its storage of food and potable water. The Bermuda rig allows to sail into almost any wind direction except straight into headwind, but you can always tack. Even a small sailboat (as small as 6 m overall length) can be used for a transoceanic voyage.
* Map and magnetic compass. Most of all, they do not need electricity nor special gadgets to use.



* Much of the ex-Soviet, now Russian, automobile industry embodies this trope. Rough roads and climate conditions don't play well with modern vehicles that haven't been explicitly built to withstand them, and those that ''have'' are usually far too expensive for a land with a long history of chronic monetary scarcity. As a result, the typical Soviet/Russian car up until a few years ago relied on dated designs and uncomplicated, robust and cheap componentry, but paid the price with low performance, low efficiency and ghastly safety standards. Even the half-hearted attempts of the Soviet Age to implement the Western luxuries like automatic transmissions failed when repairs and maintenance would have been prohibitively expensive. This has slowly been changing, with many cities seeing more and more imported cars of recent design, but it's been a slow process - the Lada Riva, based on the seventies-era Fiat 124, has only been discontinued sometime between 2010 and 2012. And if you go to places where the cold and warm seasons are rather classified as "lethally freezing" and "slightly survivable", you can bet you'll still be seeing a lot more Lada Nivas than Range Rovers.



** Britain's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Mosquito de Havilland Mosquito]] bomber. It wasn't as glamorous or well armed as the all-metal Spitfire and couldn't carry as many bombs as the Lancaster (4,000lb vs. 22,000lb), but it was both cheap (being made almost entirely from wood and only needing a relatively simple de Havilland Gipsy Twelve engine) and easy to build (since its airframes could be put together in a short space of time and didn't need specialised machinery). This translated into it being extremely fast with a low radar profile, making it perfect for hit and run tactics (it could essentially fly in, drop its payload and disappear into the clouds before enemy bombers had a chance to scramble - including a precision strike which knocked German radio broadcasts off the air in the middle of a speech by Hermann Göring celebrating the Nazi party's 10th anniversary since coming to power), 4 times more efficient (based on the cost:damage done ration) than a Lancaster bomber and despite being one of the most numerous aircraft produced it ended up with the lowest loss rates of any aircraft in WWII.
* Simply living within your means, not buying anything too extravagant, and boring ol' responsible financial management. Sure, you may not be able to "keep up with the Joneses" on the latest flashiest toys, but those become pretty insignificant when compared to not having to take out a 3rd mortgage or having enough money in the bank for when life decides to take a piss on you.
* Want to make sure something goes right? Come up with a list of steps you need to accomplish a task, write them down in order, and then get working on the task, crossing off each step once it is completed. Congratulations, you have invented the checklist. One of the reasons why airliners crash so rarely is that the flight crew goes through a printed checklist before takeoff. Early in TheNewTens, the World Health Organisation trialled a similar checklist for surgery. It resulted in an average drop of one third in deaths and major complications, and is being widely adopted. It takes up one side of A4 or US letter paper.
* "If something looks stupid but it works, then it's NOT stupid." ~ One of the additional rules on MurphysLaw
* Carbon, hands down, is the most essential and widely used element in existence. Not only does it give rise to carbon-based life but it is also the most needed element for maintaining modern civilization.
** Without Carbon, there would be no filters for making water safe enough for drinking.
** Without Carbon, there would be no filters for the gas masks needed to protect against chemical and biological weapons.
** Without Carbon, there would be no filters for Air-Conditioning units to keep out dust and other microbial contaminants.
** Without Carbon, '''NOTHING would be clean.''' Which means no toothpaste, no computer chips, no flour...
** Without Carbon, '''nothing would BE'''. It is the only suitable element for creating organic life when using water as a solvent.
** Without Carbon there would be no heavier elements than boron[[note]]Since carbon is used by massive stars to create heavier elements [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-burning_process by fusing carbon atoms (to begin with)]]. Since carbon is used, too, as a catalyzer for the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNO_cycle CNO cycle]], that is the main way those massive stars fuse hydrogen, it's even debatable if massive stars could exist as well. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boron Boron]] is not made inside stars, by the way.[[/note]]
* [[{{UsefulNotes/Baseball}} Major League Baseball]] manager Joe Torre once described Mariano Rivera's pitching as this during the New York Yankees dynasty years in the mid-to-late [[TheNineties 90s]]. However, he done so in a positive light, making it clear that as a manager, you want your top pitchers, especially closers, to be boring and effective so you can rely on their performance each time out. Mariano Rivera going down in history as likely the greatest closer of all time, shows how effective he's been during his career.
* The [[{{UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation}} San Antonio Spurs]] are often described as this. After a disastrous 1996-97 season in which general manager Gregg Popovich decided to take over as coach, the team drafted Tim Duncan and became consistent in both personnel (along with Popovich and Duncan, players like David Robinson, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker never left) and results (15 consecutive playoffs). The players are humble and soft-spoken, and have an effective and not-eye catching play (in 2007-08, the Spurs' 56 win season that lead to the 2nd result in the West had the third-lowest scoring average, 95.4 points per game) that gave the Spurs 4 titles.
* The New England Patriots had this reputation during their championship years. They were generally a low-key, hard-working team with an efficient, but hardly explosive offense (unlike say the Indianapolis Colts) and a strong highly-effecive defense that was nonetheless not nearly as bone-crushingly violent as the Ravens. Their coach Bill Belichick further enforced this trope with his dour, stoic personality. [[BadassCrew They won 3 championships in 4 seasons]].

to:

** Britain's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Mosquito de Havilland Mosquito]] bomber. It wasn't as glamorous or well armed as the all-metal Spitfire and couldn't carry as many bombs as the Lancaster (4,000lb vs. 22,000lb), but it was both cheap (being made almost entirely from wood and only needing a relatively simple de Havilland Gipsy Twelve engine) and easy to build (since its airframes could be put together in a short space of time and didn't need specialised machinery). This translated into it being extremely fast with a low radar profile, making it perfect for hit and run tactics (it could essentially fly in, drop its payload and disappear into the clouds before enemy bombers had a chance to scramble - including a precision strike which knocked German radio broadcasts off the air in the middle of a speech by Hermann Göring celebrating the Nazi party's 10th anniversary since coming to power), 4 times more efficient (based on the cost:damage done ration) than a Lancaster bomber and despite being one of the most numerous aircraft produced it ended up with the lowest loss rates of any aircraft in WWII.
* Simply living within your means, not buying anything too extravagant, and boring ol' responsible financial management. Sure, you may not be able to "keep up with the Joneses" on the latest flashiest toys, but those become pretty insignificant when compared to not having to take out a 3rd mortgage or having enough money in the bank for when life decides to take a piss on you.
* Want to make sure something goes right? Come up with a list of steps you need to accomplish a task, write them down in order, and then get working on the task, crossing off each step once it is completed. Congratulations, you have invented the checklist. One of the reasons why airliners crash so rarely is that the flight crew goes through a printed checklist before takeoff. Early in TheNewTens, the World Health Organisation trialled a similar checklist for surgery. It resulted in an average drop of one third in deaths and major complications, and is being widely adopted. It takes up one side of A4 or US letter paper.
* "If something looks stupid but it works, then it's NOT stupid." ~ One of the additional rules on MurphysLaw
* Carbon, hands down, is the most essential and widely used element in existence. Not only does it give rise to carbon-based life but it is also the most needed element for maintaining modern civilization.
** Without Carbon, there would be no filters for making water safe enough for drinking.
** Without Carbon, there would be no filters for the gas masks needed to protect against chemical and biological weapons.
** Without Carbon, there would be no filters for Air-Conditioning units to keep out dust and other microbial contaminants.
** Without Carbon, '''NOTHING would be clean.''' Which means no toothpaste, no computer chips, no flour...
** Without Carbon, '''nothing would BE'''. It is the only suitable element for creating organic life when using water as a solvent.
** Without Carbon there would be no heavier elements than boron[[note]]Since carbon is used by massive stars to create heavier elements [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-burning_process by fusing carbon atoms (to begin with)]]. Since carbon is used, too, as a catalyzer for the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNO_cycle CNO cycle]], that is the main way those massive stars fuse hydrogen, it's even debatable if massive stars could exist as well. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boron Boron]] is not made inside stars, by the way.[[/note]]
* [[{{UsefulNotes/Baseball}} Major League Baseball]] manager Joe Torre once described Mariano Rivera's pitching as this during the New York Yankees dynasty years in the mid-to-late [[TheNineties 90s]]. However, he done so in a positive light, making it clear that as a manager, you want your top pitchers, especially closers, to be boring and effective so you can rely on their performance each time out. Mariano Rivera going down in history as likely the greatest closer of all time, shows how effective he's been during his career.
* The [[{{UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation}} San Antonio Spurs]] are often described as this. After a disastrous 1996-97 season in which general manager Gregg Popovich decided to take over as coach, the team drafted Tim Duncan and became consistent in both personnel (along with Popovich and Duncan, players like David Robinson, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker never left) and results (15 consecutive playoffs). The players are humble and soft-spoken, and have an effective and not-eye catching play (in 2007-08, the Spurs' 56 win season that lead to the 2nd result in the West had the third-lowest scoring average, 95.4 points per game) that gave the Spurs 4 titles.
* The New England Patriots had this reputation during their championship years. They were generally a low-key, hard-working team with an efficient, but hardly explosive offense (unlike say the Indianapolis Colts) and a strong highly-effecive defense that was nonetheless not nearly as bone-crushingly violent as the Ravens. Their coach Bill Belichick further enforced this trope with his dour, stoic personality. [[BadassCrew They won 3 championships in 4 seasons]].
WWII.



* Professional subtitles, especially for {{Anime}}. Fans decry them as lazy, especially compared to the fancy "karaoke subs" used by many {{Fan Sub}}bers. But as industry professionals point out, they're not supposed to be fancy -- they're supposed to be ''legible'', and the "boring" yellow-on-black, sans serif subtitles are by and large the easiest to read.
** The same logic extends to the translations themselves. Professional anime subtitles also get a lot of flak from fansubbers for actually ''translating'' Japanese into English and leaving out things like UsefulNotes/JapaneseHonorifics (although sub companies generally do include them when relevant to the plot) and rendering names in the "Firstname Lastname" Western style. Professional sub companies want to make anime videos accessible to as wide an audience as possible that includes people who aren't necessarily familiar with the Japanese language or Japanese culture rather than [[PanderingToTheBase pandering to]] OccidentalOtaku.
* Most people with RapunzelHair swear by the two basics: Braids and/or buns, which keep hair contained, tangle-free, and out of the way. Since they usually wear their hair like that every day, it's boring for the people who ''don't'' have RapunzelHair and expected to see long, flowing locks.
* [=SpaceX=] has made a 'space-pencil' like development in building its rockets. Instead of building them vertical as many agencies do, they build them horizontal, erecting them only on the launch pad, saving huge costs on facilities (don't need a VAB, a long shed will do), transport (a big truck, but nothing like the crawler-transporter) and construction (essentially the whole length of the rocket can be accessed at any time). It helps that they also use ball-joint connections between the stages rather than explosive bolts, because the ball-joints don't need to be removed every time there's a fault caused non-launch, they just lie the rocket down again and wheel it back to the facility. In other words, what the Russians always did.



* Tugboats. Small, hardy craft designed to help maneuver bigger ships around in the confined spaces of a harbor. They could also be used to move cargo around by having them tow barges around (very handy for loading and unloading a large vessel in shallow water). During the [[WorldWarII Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor]], Navy tugboats were hard at work fighting fires, towing ships free of their moorings (either to get them out of harms way, such as the ''Vestal'' being pulled away from the burning wreck of the ''Arizona'', or to clear lines of fire for ships docked next to each other). When the battleship ''Nevada'' was severely damaged while making a run to the sea, she needed to be beached quickly to avoid blocking the harbor entrance. The Tugboat USS ''Hoga'' helped to shove the crippled and burning dreadnought into the shallows and continued to help ''Nevada's'' crew fight fires (with the additional help of the seaplane tender USS ''Avocet''). The ''Hoga'' would spend the next several days fighting fires in the harbor and assisting with DamageControl.
* Freddie Francis, Academy Award winning cinematographer (winning his first in 1960 for ''SonsAndLovers'' and his next in 1989 for ''Film/{{Glory}}'') and having a long career, from starting as a cinematographer in the 50s and 60s, to directing for Hammer and returning in the 80s (he shot two movies for Creator/DavidLynch, both ''Film/TheElephantMan'' and his last movie ''Film/TheStraightStory'' when he was [[CoolOldGuy 81]]) famously said:
** "There are three types of photography: good photography, bad photography, and the right photography. The right photography is what tells the story best."
* Motorcycles 500cc and below. Sure they're not high speed powerhouses like the Suzuki Hayabusa or a badass bike like a Harley Davidson in the 1200cc range, but they're light, can reach sufficiently fast highway speeds, are easier to handle (weight being part of it, not being twitchy being the other), and are insanely efficient (250cc bikes can routinely achieve 80MPG, 500cc bikes maintain a Prius worthy 55MPG). There's a reason why many motorcyclists suggest new riders to get something in that range.
* When new aircraft and vehicles are introduced you may notice they look just like... planes and cars, with no wild, amazing, exciting concept designs. The problem is we've already found the best aerodynamic shapes for these things, and to vary too much would harm fuel efficiency. So yep, it's the same-old-same-old, but still ''incredibly'' practical.
* The most common style of exit between a freeway and a surface street is the "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_interchange diamond]]", a simple construct that doesn't require an excessive amount of space, channelized ramps, or extra bridges. Just four ramps providing full access in all directons.
* Even here on this very website! [[OrderVersusChaos There are two factions]]: [=SPOONs=] [[note]]Society to Prevent Overly Original Names[[/note]] and [=FoRKS=] [[note]]Friends Of Really Kool Sobriquet[[/note]]. The former want trope names to be as simple and understandable as possible, making them this trope. The latter, by contrast, want trope names to be as funny or witty as possible, even if they don't make obvious sense, making it more AwesomeButImpractical. There's also [=PLATTER=]s and [=KNIVES=] who think the whole argument is stupid.
* In the U.S., the Interstate Highway System. The single largest government project in world history, a network of precisely engineered high-speed, high-volume superhighways connecting every major population center, manufacturing center, farm and natural resource. Available to everybody, all the time, mostly without tolls, restrictions, or checkpoints/barriers.
** There's also the even older system of United States Numbered Highways (i.e. US Routes). It's more than three times as long as the Interstates and was built after World War I to address the transportation issues the US faced during World War I. It currently connects all but the most remote parts of the Continental US to each other. If a US Route can't get you there, one will at least get you close. In some instances, a US Route is the only paved road directly connecting two communities.
* Clear and plain writing.



* Paved surfaces in general. They support the weight of heavy vehicles and equipment far better than dirt or gravel roads or grass will, and they don't turn into mud when it rains. Entire armies have been destroyed and the course of wars changed because of troops and supplies getting bogged down in the mud at some key moment instead of being able to get to where they needed to be.
** In addition, when you are dealing with airplanes, paved airfield surfaces can not only support heavier aircraft, but are also much safer (an airplane getting a wheel stuck in the mud while trying to land can have catastrophic results). Once you have a paved runway, it's nice to have some place solid to park the plane so it won't sink or get stuck while it's parked, whether this means a concrete or asphalt apron or just a simple hard stand, just big enough to rest the plane's wheels on. Also remember that planes usually launch and land flying into the wind for aerodynamic reasons, and that any plane taxiing up the runway will block any other planes from using it, and consider the simple expedient of installing a taxiway parallel to the runway, meaning planes can land, pull off the runway, and sedately taxi to their parking spaces without holding up the landing pattern.
** Similar to paved surfaces, solid foundations for buildings. A large concrete slab, despite being fairly heavy itself, will much better distribute the weight of a building over a wide area, meaning you will have less issues with the ground settling beneath it and possibly causing the structure to fail. Even tents can be vastly improved by laying a solid surface to built them on (in addition to concrete, wooden platforms and metal mats can be used for this).
* Electric fans. Though not as powerful as air conditioners, they generally provide sufficient cooling, and keep air circurlating, all at a lower operating cost and without the need for tedious construction; you can even get a small battery-operated fan for your desk or to wear around your neck. You also don't need all doors and windows closed for them to function properly.
* Everyone in the whole world knows the absolute importance of food in everyday life. But what is just as important as food is the taste and smell of it. People are very likely to consume and enjoy foods that smell good and taste good than they are to consume foods that have no flavor at all or have offensive odors and tastes. Because of this, the manufacturing and distribution of flavors and spices is an international industry that brings in billions of dollars.
** Expanding on that: salt. It was worth its weight in gold for a long time due to its ability to flavor and preserve food before refrigeration and other methods of chemical preservation, purposes it is still widely used for today.
* Work. Sure, it's boring and tedious for many people (though some people have jobs that they genuinely enjoy), but it's how you make money to pay for your needs, and almost everything we enjoy or need is created or improved by it.
* Education. Regardless of how you get it (e.g. self-teaching, an institution, or getting homeschooled), skills such as reading, writing, and basic mathematics are of the most important things you need to function well in life and contribute to society.
* Humans tend to think of predators as more [[PantheraAwesome cool]] [[NobleWolf and]] [[NobleBirdOfPrey awe-inspiring]] than herbivores. However, the reason herbivores outnumber predators is that eating stuff that doesn't run away or fight back is much more efficient. Worst case scenario for a predator is burning more calories chasing their food than they get from eating it.



* The doll. One of the oldest and most universal toys ever conceived, it doesn't seem nearly as spectacular an innovation as discovering fire or crafting the stone ax, yet it revolutionized child care by giving young children something to safely try out social interactions with. Compare that to other social primates, in which subadult females can only practice infant care by stealing actual infants away from their mothers - a risky situation for baby and young female, alike - and youngsters of both sexes are smacked around by their elders if they commit a ''faux pas''. But dolls don't die if mishandled and don't hit back if your play gets too rough. Plus, learning to regard dolls as substitute-playmates gave the human imagination a jump-start.



* Numbered and single-letter streets are often not the most fancily-named streets, but they have the side utility of being usable as rough indicators of distance. For example, if you're on a street called 1st Street and your friend tells you to meet up with them on a street called 15th Street, you know right away that you need to travel 15 blocks, rather than having to consult a map.
* Letter-based alphabets such as Cyrillic and Latin are this compared to languages who have different characters for each word, such as Japanese and Chinese dialects. While Hanzi and Kanji are beautiful ways to convey language, there are thousands of each, and they are all specific to the angle of each stroke. Simple combinations of letters are dull and repetitive, but are far easier to memorize and write down.
** Korean ''hangeul'' combines the letter-based simplicity of the aforementioned Western alphabets with the phonetic properties of Japanese and Chinese. It looks as elegant as other Asian languages, but without the need to look up how every individual character block is read. Once you learn some fairly consistent alphabet rules, you realize that each block actually tells you how to read it.
* Plain bicycles can be this. They are typically inexpensive compared to other types of bicycle (or many vehicles) but they are very practical. Most are hassle-free vehicles (no registration nor licenses are required, just buy and use straight out of store), versatile, environment-friendly, and easily repaired. Although limited by users' strength, they are versatile enough to navigate both pedestrian space and motor traffic. Throughout Europe it is often faster to take a bike than any other mode of transport in major cities. In cities like Amsterdam or Copenhagen every class and age group will bike to work and leisure activities. A cheap bike costs less than a tank of gas and lasts for years if taken good care of. Most repairs can be done by every moderately competent mechanic.
* [[Series/TheITCrowd "Have you tried turning it off and on again?"]] Sure, this might sound lazy, but rebooting fixes so many software issues.
* A simple can of compressed air can work wonders for a slow PC. Computers will throttle the processor if they get too hot. Laptops, with their cramped spaces, are especially susceptible. Blowing the dust bunnies out of the fan intake and heatsink will have the [=CPU=] running at full speed again.
* The simple act of doing a short pass with the ball (or puck), it's not nearly as glamorous as letting your team all-star play "hero ball" and single-handedly outmaneuver the other team's defense. But it has the huge advantage of working a lot more consistently, especially during post-season games where the opposing team will be focusing on stronger defensive play than in the regular season.



* This was one of the original goals behind the design of UsefulNotes/{{UNIX}}. The use of data stored in flat ASCII files, simple algorithms and programs built from small components was a breath of fresh air for computer scientists and programmers in the '70s. VMS users laughed at [[ObviousBeta the incomplete features]] but Unix's simplicity made it very easy to port to new machines. Many programmers still prefer Unix-like systems because the development environment in UsefulNotes/MicrosoftWindows is comically baroque.



* This is the fundamentals of Risk Management. Every course of action will have a low, medium, or high risk along with low, medium, or high benefit.

to:

* The tents used by the German scouting movement. Designed in the waning years of the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic by one Eberhard Köbel (aka tusk) on the basis of Scandinavian and Mongol tents, they can basically all be constructed from simple triangular or rectangular pieces of black cloth. The standard issue [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohte Kohte]] takes no more than four identical pieces which can be carried easily by the people sleeping in that tent when on the road. Even a single piece can serve as an [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Gro%C3%9Ffahrt_des_Pfadfinderstammes_%C3%84gypten_entlang_der_Thei%C3%9F%2C_1992_-_1.png impromptu shelter]] in a pinch. Add a bit of dedication and architecture and you get into decidedly AwesomeButImpractical territory like [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9a/Jurtenburg.jpg this]] or [[http://www.theblackmagic.de/index.php?id=51&L=1 this]] UpToEleven version.
[[/folder]]

%% For items that don't fit elsewhere
[[folder:Miscellaneous]]
* The "Wash" method of shuffling cards. It's not pretty, it's slower than other techniques, looks decidedly amatuerish and is the natural shuffling technique of people who can't otherwise shuffle cards (including small children), but when it comes right down to it, spreading the cards around on the table with the palms of your hands is simply the best way to achieve truly random results, so-much-so that professional dealers will typically "Wash" a brand-new deck of cards (which will, of course, start-off ordered by suit and by number) in order to properly randomize them before flashier and faster but less random shuffling techniques such as the Riffle take over.
* Regular, comfortable clothes. Spend a few months rehearsing/acting in a corset, hoop-skirt and high heels if you don't believe so.
** Anyone who works in a professional environment would agree. One of the greatest joys in an adult's daily life is getting home after a long day at work, stripping off the rigid work clothes one has to wear in order to convey the requisite "professional" appearance (and the accompanying work SHOES), and getting into nice, comfortable, cottony sweats, pajamas, or similar, and soft socks and/or house slippers.
* Sweatpants are anything but associated with sharp fashion sense, but they're comfortable, let the skin breathe easily, and quite versatile--they can be used for running, lounging around the house, sleeping, and even everyday out-of-the-house wear.
** Yoga pants have all this and are reasonably acceptable for wear in casual social situations without throwing an immediate impression of slovenliness.
* The Jacket: It's just a piece of fabric fitted for human use with sleeves, but ''good lord'' is it truly useful, you can take it off ''much'' easier indoors, and for people in colder climates, where Jackets often become large, bulky masses meant to keep you from freezing over, can really make things easier, as indoors the temperature can rise by ''20 degrees'' or more. Just try not taking it off and see what happens.
* The technology that made the jacket as we know it possible: the button. A simple piece of material attached to an item of clothing which goes through a corresponding hole. Despite the simplicity, it revolutionized clothing when it was invented in 13th-century Europe; you could now make snug-fitting clothing that would keep you warm through the cold winters much more easily. Earlier fasteners, like laces, tended to leave an open space that let the air in; not so with buttons.
* The cargo container has radically transformed shipping over the last 60 years. Instead of moving dozens of boxes or barrels one at a time, you just put them into a single cargo container and move that. Standardize the size of cargo containers and you can have trucks, ships, and traincars specifically designed to carry them, and infrastructure to transfer them from one to another. Simple, boring, and so useful that it is difficult to imagine doing it another way.
** To put this in perspective: one of the many difficulties the US, particularly the Navy, faced during WWII was loading cargo and munitions on ships in a timely manner. (As you can see above, the US was busy shipping a ''lot'' of cargo overseas to allied forces and its own.) There were two serious proposals that would speed things up over the time-honored "have a guy lift it onto the boat" -- [[PoweredArmor hydraulic power-assist gear]], and standardized shipping containers. Take a wild guess which one they chose to pursue.
* This is one interpretation of the drumming style of RingoStarr. Some [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] fans find his drumming tedious, uninteresting and bland. Others feel that this is his greatest strength - when [[Music/PaulMcCartney the]] [[Music/JohnLennon other]] [[Music/GeorgeHarrison three]] band members were pulling in different styles and directions, he was always [[TheMario able to adapt to a reasonable level]], no matter what style they were playing in. Music/JohnLennon in particular would only work with Ringo for a long time after the break-up of the band because he was able to give Lennon exactly what he asked for.
* Those niggling behind-the-scenes clerical tasks you either don't know or care about or might not want to come within a century of? Office workers are those little jars of oil that keep their department running like clockwork. Think of them as real-life {{Worker Unit}}s.
** Maintenance workers are almost the exact same thing, except that they take care of the grounds on which we earn our living. AlmightyJanitor exists as a trope for a reason.
** To give you an idea of the effectiveness of these workers, the Bolshevik Revolution had famous leaders like Lenin and Trotsky who preferred being revolutionaries and didn't care as much for the paperwork and bureaucracy. They handed it off to a volunteer named Stalin, who proceeded to use the incredible powers delegated him to become a political powerhouse who took control of Russia even after Lenin specifically wrote that he shouldn't be given that power. Remember, Stalin's official position was [[AlmightyJanitor General Secretary.]] It may not be as grand a rise to power as a fast-paced presidential campaign, revolution, or AwesomeMomentOfCrowning, but it worked.
* Simply living within your means, not buying anything too extravagant, and boring ol' responsible financial management. Sure, you may not be able to "keep up with the Joneses" on the latest flashiest toys, but those become pretty insignificant when compared to not having to take out a 3rd mortgage or having enough money in the bank for when life decides to take a piss on you.
* Want to make sure something goes right? Come up with a list of steps you need to accomplish a task, write them down in order, and then get working on the task, crossing off each step once it is completed. Congratulations, you have invented the checklist. One of the reasons why airliners crash so rarely is that the flight crew goes through a printed checklist before takeoff. Early in TheNewTens, the World Health Organisation trialled a similar checklist for surgery. It resulted in an average drop of one third in deaths and major complications, and is being widely adopted. It takes up one side of A4 or US letter paper.
* "If something looks stupid but it works, then it's NOT stupid." ~ One of the additional rules on MurphysLaw
* Professional subtitles, especially for {{Anime}}. Fans decry them as lazy, especially compared to the fancy "karaoke subs" used by many {{Fan Sub}}bers. But as industry professionals point out, they're not supposed to be fancy -- they're supposed to be ''legible'', and the "boring" yellow-on-black, sans serif subtitles are by and large the easiest to read.
** The same logic extends to the translations themselves. Professional anime subtitles also get a lot of flak from fansubbers for actually ''translating'' Japanese into English and leaving out things like UsefulNotes/JapaneseHonorifics (although sub companies generally do include them when relevant to the plot) and rendering names in the "Firstname Lastname" Western style. Professional sub companies want to make anime videos accessible to as wide an audience as possible that includes people who aren't necessarily familiar with the Japanese language or Japanese culture rather than [[PanderingToTheBase pandering to]] OccidentalOtaku.
* Most people with RapunzelHair swear by the two basics: Braids and/or buns, which keep hair contained, tangle-free, and out of the way. Since they usually wear their hair like that every day, it's boring for the people who ''don't'' have RapunzelHair and expected to see long, flowing locks.
* Freddie Francis, Academy Award winning cinematographer (winning his first in 1960 for ''SonsAndLovers'' and his next in 1989 for ''Film/{{Glory}}'') and having a long career, from starting as a cinematographer in the 50s and 60s, to directing for Hammer and returning in the 80s (he shot two movies for Creator/DavidLynch, both ''Film/TheElephantMan'' and his last movie ''Film/TheStraightStory'' when he was [[CoolOldGuy 81]]) famously said:
** "There are three types of photography: good photography, bad photography, and the right photography. The right photography is what tells the story best."
* Even here on this very website! [[OrderVersusChaos There are two factions]]: [=SPOONs=] [[note]]Society to Prevent Overly Original Names[[/note]] and [=FoRKS=] [[note]]Friends Of Really Kool Sobriquet[[/note]]. The former want trope names to be as simple and understandable as possible, making them this trope. The latter, by contrast, want trope names to be as funny or witty as possible, even if they don't make obvious sense, making it more AwesomeButImpractical. There's also [=PLATTER=]s and [=KNIVES=] who think the whole argument is stupid.
* Clear and plain writing.
* Work. Sure, it's boring and tedious for many people (though some people have jobs that they genuinely enjoy), but it's how you make money to pay for your needs, and almost everything we enjoy or need is created or improved by it.
* Education. Regardless of how you get it (e.g. self-teaching, an institution, or getting homeschooled), skills such as reading, writing, and basic mathematics are of the most important things you need to function well in life and contribute to society.
* The doll. One of the oldest and most universal toys ever conceived, it doesn't seem nearly as spectacular an innovation as discovering fire or crafting the stone ax, yet it revolutionized child care by giving young children something to safely try out social interactions with. Compare that to other social primates, in which subadult females can only practice infant care by stealing actual infants away from their mothers - a risky situation for baby and young female, alike - and youngsters of both sexes are smacked around by their elders if they commit a ''faux pas''. But dolls don't die if mishandled and don't hit back if your play gets too rough. Plus, learning to regard dolls as substitute-playmates gave the human imagination a jump-start.
* Letter-based alphabets such as Cyrillic and Latin are this compared to languages who have different characters for each word, such as Japanese and Chinese dialects. While Hanzi and Kanji are beautiful ways to convey language, there are thousands of each, and they are all specific to the angle of each stroke. Simple combinations of letters are dull and repetitive, but are far easier to memorize and write down.
** Korean ''hangeul'' combines the letter-based simplicity of the aforementioned Western alphabets with the phonetic properties of Japanese and Chinese. It looks as elegant as other Asian languages, but without the need to look up how every individual character block is read. Once you learn some fairly consistent alphabet rules, you realize that each block actually tells you how to read it.
* This is the fundamentals of Risk Management. Every course of action will have a low, medium, or high risk along with low, medium, or high benefit.



[[/folder]]

%% For science related items.
[[folder:Science]]
* Humans are often praised for their high intelligence compared to any other animals. However, this is only the second best superpower humans possess. Even more important and providing humans with an advantage over almost any other animals of the plain was the ability... to walk! On two legs! And keep walking for hours on end! Many animals are a lot faster than humans but also tire much faster. Humans can travel over very long distances with relatively short amounts of rest and their ability to carry water with them extended this even more. To capture a horse alive, the average human just had to follow the horse until it was too exhausted to take one more step. Of course, intelligence is no small help too: Even the small segment of animals with more efficient energy expenditure (mostly birds) are far outclassed as soon as a human gets on a bicycle. This is unbelievably energy-efficient, using more than 85% of the energy applied to the pedals. The amount of energy needed to go 10-15 MPH (15-25 Km/h), is the same sort of energy needed to walk.
** One of the few other animals with a similar ability to travel over long distances is the trusty dog. The beginning of a wonderful partnership.
** Kangaroos can travel at high speed over long distances by hopping, which recovers most of the energy used in each leap by use of natural spring-like structures in the animal's legs. This does cost them maneuverability, however.
** Really, many things on the animal kingdom are this. For example, for many birds like swans and doves, just beating their wings is enough of a defense weapon, the former being able to ''break human bones'' with well place strokes.
** We should reemphasize also that the walking and intelligence are not unrelated; humans' permanent ("obligate" in biolo-speak) bipedalism, besides probably helping with the endurance aspect, also freed up the forelimbs, allowing us to start carrying things. Carrying things eventually led to making things to carry--tools. Tool use and intelligence became a mutually-reinforcing cycle: "[[VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri We use crude tools to fashion better tools, and then our better tools to fashion more precise tools, and so on]];" with each step the things the tools allow us to do makes intelligence an ever-more-important factor in fitness; and with each step the intelligence allowed us to improve on the tools we had.
*** Also more generally, bipedalism has always been a great evolutionary move for land animals that made it; humans simply benefited the most because they had hands with broad, flat nails (from our descent from tree-dwelling primates that therefore used their hands to grasp branches) rather than claws. However, the kangaroos and the dinosaurs (all of whom were descended from bipeds; the four-legged herbivores like the sauropods and ceratopsians returned to quadrupedal stances after they got too fat) are/were (well, still are: birds are everywhere, and they are dinosaurs) giant successes. Walking on two legs gives an animal improved manipulation ability even if they don't have human-style opposable thumbs; bipedalism allows for improved field of vision, as it raises the head; it allows for better defense/combat; and it has other advantages as well.
*** In the case of the dinosaur lineage that led to birds, bipedalism allowed their forelimbs to gradually evolve into functional airfoils, and they did so by assisting in climbing steep slopes rather than for gliding, according to one fairly well supported theory.
** And finally, as the simplest and most reliable way to close a short distance, your own two feet can work in any weather, can't be stolen (easily), costs nothing, doesn't need (much) maintenance, can take short cuts many vehicles can't, never have to worry about running someone over, needs no garage to store, helps you get fit and still work reasonably well if you're drunk.
* Another uniquely human trait is our ability to throw things with a reasonable balance of distance, accuracy, and power. It often gets overlooked because it's so basic an ability to us that we amuse ourselves by skipping rocks, shooting paper balls at garbage cans, or tossing balls at milk bottles in order to win large stuffed animals. And yet that simple ability is something that absolutely no other animal on the entire planet, including our closest relatives, can do, or ever did before our own ancestors. Just one of the many unique benefits of opposable thumbs and arms designed to swing freely. However, this can become MundaneMadeAwesome when talking about a superfast baseball pitch.
** A 10 year old child can throw a baseball at about 40-50 mph. An athletic adult can throw a baseball somewhere in between 70mph to over 100mph. An adult chimpanzee can only throw something at around 20mph. Considering that kinetic energy increases with the square of velocity, a 10 year old child puts 4-7 times as much energy into a throw as a chimpanzee and and adult puts 11-30 times as much energy into one.
** Things which are easy for us -- like balancing on two legs, or throwing a ball, -- are only easy because, while a great deal of our brainpower is dedicated to these things, little or none of it conscious. To illustrate -- when a Major League pitcher throws a ball (around 90 mph), releasing the ball 0.01 second too soon or too late would result in missing the strike zone. Since it takes about that long (10 milliseconds) for a nerve signal to travel from the brain to the fingers, the command to release the ball must be sent when the hand has not yet reached that window. In other words, "swing-and-release" is a preprogrammed sequence, performed without the benefit of seeing (or feeling) where the pitcher's own arm is.
*** On the flip side, one of the most difficult physical tasks in sports is hitting an MLB pitch. A batter has less than 0.5 seconds before a 90 mph pitch crosses home plate. A batter has to figure out exactly what pitch the pitcher threw, where he's aiming, how it's moving, and how fast it's going. All of that is visual and the batter must then decide whether or not to swing at it and, when then swinging, how to swing their bat. With an 0-2 count (i.e. no balls, two strikes ... which heavily favors the pitcher) MLB batters swing less than half the time.
* On the topic of medicine: modest exercise, a good diet, rest, avoiding alcohol in excess, tobacco altogether, buckling your seat belt, reading the directions of every medication you take, sanitation and hygiene. This sounds as sexy as saw dust and yet if followed rigorously by a population would dramatically reduce the burden of disease. Even the half-assed implementation in the modern world has lengthened life expectancy by many years.
* Humans tend to think of predators as more [[PantheraAwesome cool]] [[NobleWolf and]] [[NobleBirdOfPrey awe-inspiring]] than herbivores. However, the reason herbivores outnumber predators is that eating stuff that doesn't run away or fight back is much more efficient. Worst case scenario for a predator is burning more calories chasing their food than they get from eating it.
* The deceased [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norm_Borlaug Norm Borlaug]] was quite possibly the exemplar of this trope in RealLife. He saved about 10 times more people from death than died in WorldWarTwo. He spent decades interbreeding plants in a process even he admits damn near drove him insane with tedium. However, the result was the Green Revolution, which increased crop yields to such an extent as to save more than a ''billion'' people from dying of starvation.
* Medieval alchemists spent a great deal of time looking for a "universal solvent", capable of, well, dissolving anything. It took a very long time before anyone realized that you'd have trouble finding a more versatile solvent than plain old [[MakingASplash water]].
* The medical dressing. In use for thousands of years, incredibly straightforward to apply, easily capable of saving wounded people from various horrible deaths, cheap to make, quickly obtained from clothing or other nearby items, it's perhaps one of the most enduring elements of medical technology ever. Now it exists in thousands of different variants, from the humble Band-Aid to complex and fancy dressings intended for severe trauma victims, but it certainly seems like it's not going anywhere soon.
* Carbon, hands down, is the most essential and widely used element in existence. Not only does it give rise to carbon-based life but it is also the most needed element for maintaining modern civilization.
** Without Carbon, there would be no filters for making water safe enough for drinking.
** Without Carbon, there would be no filters for the gas masks needed to protect against chemical and biological weapons.
** Without Carbon, there would be no filters for Air-Conditioning units to keep out dust and other microbial contaminants.
** Without Carbon, '''NOTHING would be clean.''' Which means no toothpaste, no computer chips, no flour...
** Without Carbon, '''nothing would BE'''. It is the only suitable element for creating organic life when using water as a solvent.
** Without Carbon there would be no heavier elements than boron[[note]]Since carbon is used by massive stars to create heavier elements [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-burning_process by fusing carbon atoms (to begin with)]]. Since carbon is used, too, as a catalyzer for the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNO_cycle CNO cycle]], that is the main way those massive stars fuse hydrogen, it's even debatable if massive stars could exist as well. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boron Boron]] is not made inside stars, by the way.[[/note]]
[[/folder]]

%% For sports related items
[[folder:Sports]]
* BruceLee loved this trope up to the point where he developed his own fighting style based entirely around it called Jeet Kun Do (''way of the intercepting fist''). However, in practice, everything he did off-screen ended up appearing awesome, anyway.
** Lee developed his ideas after observing the stop hit of fencing, which can best be described as follows: when your opponent winds up for something big, stick your sword in him. The rules are a bit more technical.
* The basis of Collegiate wrestling. Most common takedowns? High Crotches or Double Legs (Because you can't go wrong with basically spear tackling a guy and trying to throw him off to the side.) First taught and commonly used Escape? The stand-up. Pin? Half nelson. All of these moves are some of the first taught to new wrestlers and seasons.* This is one of the reasons why Western martial arts have been downplayed or ignored in most media compared to Eastern martial arts. The latter is known for being exotic, with often thematic naming of forms and styles and some level of mysticism fused with the styles themselves--making them excellent for flashy media depictions. European martial arts, however, had more straightforward names of both schools and techniques, and as such don't seem quite as impressive-sounding for media depictions.
** Some Eastern Martial Arts get the same treatment as well. About ten or fifteen years ago, people were more likely to have heard of Karate and Kung-Fu (which are often used as umbrella terms for a variety of Japanese and Chinese Martial Arts) than Judo or Muay Thai. However, with the popularity of MixedMartialArts growing over the years, the later two are becoming more well known. Ironically, their popularity in MMA has to do with the fact that they largely ditch the flashy posturing for practicality.
** Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and its [[IsraelisWithInfraredMissiles IDF]]-created variant Krav Maga are probably the best examples of this trope in the martial arts world, as they are extremely effective and extremely boring to the vast majority of spectators. Those who don't train in them don't really understand the complex positional battles or the attacks, counters, etc. being used; so while one combatant may be dangerously close to getting their arm broken or being choked unconscious, most of the audience sits there wondering when the action is going to start. Watch a match or two on Website/YouTube and you'll see what I mean.
* [[{{UsefulNotes/Baseball}} Major League Baseball]] manager Joe Torre once described Mariano Rivera's pitching as this during the New York Yankees dynasty years in the mid-to-late [[TheNineties 90s]]. However, he done so in a positive light, making it clear that as a manager, you want your top pitchers, especially closers, to be boring and effective so you can rely on their performance each time out. Mariano Rivera going down in history as likely the greatest closer of all time, shows how effective he's been during his career.
* The [[{{UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation}} San Antonio Spurs]] are often described as this. After a disastrous 1996-97 season in which general manager Gregg Popovich decided to take over as coach, the team drafted Tim Duncan and became consistent in both personnel (along with Popovich and Duncan, players like David Robinson, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker never left) and results (15 consecutive playoffs). The players are humble and soft-spoken, and have an effective and not-eye catching play (in 2007-08, the Spurs' 56 win season that lead to the 2nd result in the West had the third-lowest scoring average, 95.4 points per game) that gave the Spurs 4 titles.
* The New England Patriots had this reputation during their championship years. They were generally a low-key, hard-working team with an efficient, but hardly explosive offense (unlike say the Indianapolis Colts) and a strong highly-effecive defense that was nonetheless not nearly as bone-crushingly violent as the Ravens. Their coach Bill Belichick further enforced this trope with his dour, stoic personality. [[BadassCrew They won 3 championships in 4 seasons]].
* The simple act of doing a short pass with the ball (or puck), it's not nearly as glamorous as letting your team all-star play "hero ball" and single-handedly outmaneuver the other team's defense. But it has the huge advantage of working a lot more consistently, especially during post-season games where the opposing team will be focusing on stronger defensive play than in the regular season.
[[/folder]]

%% For general technology, not limited to electronics or computers
[[folder:Technology]]
* The cargo container has radically transformed shipping over the last 60 years. Instead of moving dozens of boxes or barrels one at a time, you just put them into a single cargo container and move that. Standardize the size of cargo containers and you can have trucks, ships, and traincars specifically designed to carry them, and infrastructure to transfer them from one to another. Simple, boring, and so useful that it is difficult to imagine doing it another way.
** To put this in perspective: one of the many difficulties the US, particularly the Navy, faced during WWII was loading cargo and munitions on ships in a timely manner. (As you can see above, the US was busy shipping a ''lot'' of cargo overseas to allied forces and its own.) There were two serious proposals that would speed things up over the time-honored "have a guy lift it onto the boat" -- [[PoweredArmor hydraulic power-assist gear]], and standardized shipping containers. Take a wild guess which one they chose to pursue.
* Pencils and paper. Incredibly simple, lightweight, and almost 100% reliable in all conditions as long as it's not wet. And a lot cheaper than those i- and e- items.
** An anecdote about the space race says that while the Americans were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop a high-tech pressurized pen that could write in Zero-G, the Russians simply shrugged their shoulders and said "Meh, we have pencils."[[note]]In reality, the space pen was the private pet project of a pen manufacturer, and received no government funding for R&D (he eventually sold the pens to the government, of course). Both sides used pencils at first, but then the Soviets switched to ''grease pencils'' (wax core, wrapped in paper, a bit like a hard crayon) on plastic slates, and the Americans switched to felt-tipped pens (i.e. markers), which do not rely on gravity but rather on pure capillary action (other pens also use capillary action, but also depend on gravity). Also, both sides eventually adopted the "space pen." Pencils were abandoned because loose graphite would float away and cause respiratory problems in the astronauts, not to mention cause problems with the ventilation systems; the graphite dust also presented a risk of interfering with electronics and electrical systems if it got into the wrong places.[[/note]]
* A codex i.e. leafs of paper bound together. These thoroughly tromped scrolls which damaged the paper with curvature, were hard to navigate since they needed to be rolled, and couldn't have sections replaced or repaired. Although it may or may not be about to be replaced by e-readers, for the last few thousand years there has been no more economical and efficient means of containing information.
** The comparison to e-readers is particularly appropriate... the book may not be electronic or have an internet connection, but it never runs out of batteries, doesn't have problems with funny formats or DRM, doesn't break when dropped, doesn't cost $200 to replace, and if your friend borrows a book, you can still read your other books. E-readers have a lot of advantages (and, indeed, many e-reader critics seem to gloss over how much space is required for, and how friggin' heavy even a dozen books can be--to say nothing of the fact that with an e-reader, you don't have to deal with the ContemptibleCover), but books definitely fit this trope.
** Related: There was a tongue-in-cheek science fiction story (possibly by Isaac Asimov). In a distant future, all books and libraries have long disappeared being replaced by microfilms due to their better storage capacity. One character pointed out the shortcomings of microfilms such as the need for a relatively expensive hightech equipment to read it, equipment that can broke and must be replace at a certain cost, etc; not to mention that you need a constant source of electrical power. Then someone came up with a brilliant idea: what if we take each frame of a certain microfilm, magnified it and print it on a sheet of white paper, lets call it a page; then we put each page on top of each other and bound them together then put some covers on it for protection... et voila! we (re)invented the book.
** To quote Creator/CarlSagan: "For the price of a modest meal you can get ''the history of Rome''".
* The vibrate option on cellphones. Sure, it doesn't let you show off your personalized ringtone [[SarcasmMode that everyone is dying to hear]], but it's very useful in noisy environments and, in places that demand reduced noise levels such as libraries and inside smaller stores, it'll notify you of a call or new message without [[MostAnnoyingSound pissing off everybody around you]].
** Not only that, but if you put the cellphone on the right surface, it can be suitably loud enough to get your attention. And you can stage cell phone races with your friends!
* The Zippo cigarette lighter. An exceedingly simple design that succeeds largely because its simplicity means that it will rarely ever fail. As long as you have a handful of flints and maybe a replacement wick, it'll serve you for years. You can feed the Zippo its specially formulated fluid, camp stove fuel, gasoline, moonshine, practically anything, and it'll still burn. A Ronson might become unusable due to the head or threading of the fuel compartment stripping out; on a Zippo, you just pull out the inner body from the main case. There's a reason the brand has been sold, largely unchanged, since 1933. The company turned 80 years old in 2012 and has manufactured over 500 MILLION lighters.
** And every single one of them is guaranteed. [[BadassBoast "It works or we fix it for free"]] is a trademark of the company.
* Boring old tactile keyboards over cooler, [[TheAestheticsOfTechnology more "advanced"]] touch screen keyboards. Why? Because you can navigate a tactile keyboard solely by feel while keeping an eye on the display. Touch screens are, well, flat and more time goes into looking at finger placement than would on a tactile keyboard.
** In fact, some mechanical keyboards built over 20 years ago still work with modern equipment, and are favored by modern typists because they provide excellent tactile feedback, are impervious to water, and never break. Find one single other 20 year old peripheral that still works without modification or adapters on your new computer. There have also been cases where people have still typed on tactile computers with damaged monitors. If the monitor of your touch screen is damaged, you're fucked.
** While we're on it, boring old [=PCs=] over flashy tablets, for similar reasons. Marketing for certain tablets can go on and on about how it's the "post-PC" era, but their relative cheapness, mass producibility, and tactile input means that they'll likely stick around for a long time.
** Don't forget computing power. Even a basic laptop will outperform a tablet, to say nothing of a high-end gaming desktop.
*** Plus, just ''try'' writing a term paper, essay or novel with a tablet sometime.[[note]]Granted, the current Constitution of UsefulNotes/{{Hungary}} was first drafted on an [=iPad=], but that's an exceptional circumstance: it was a lot of legislators passing the thing around during and between legislative sessions, so the tablet was probably the best device.[[/note]] Yes, you can buy a keyboard for your tablet, but at that point you just have a netbook that costs more and does less than a regular one.
*** Until the day comes that someone creates something that can replace the tactile input of a [=PC=], we really won't be in the post-PC era for awhile.
* The Mouse. Compare the speed an efficiency of the mouse versus trackballs, touchpads, Joysticks, [=WiiMotes=], or touchscreens, and the mouse will win 100% of the time outside of specialized video games. The ability to stop on command, move it around freely, and have clear predictability make it the dominant form of pixel selection input for the foreseeable future.
** A more specific example would be the wired mouse. Yes, wireless mice look a little cooler by default due to being wireless, but wired mice are much less prone to breaking (due to, of course, being wired), and eventually save on AA batteries over time.
* In relation the above, keyboard shortcuts and mouse button commands. No touchscreen interface has yet come up with anything so quick and convenient for input. Many who mastered keyboard shortcuts can use them so well that they rarely have to use a mouse and type really fast, and right-clicking is just plain practical for many quick command options. Even moreso when it comes to copying/cutting and pasting large chunks of text, where the "hold down and (often fiddly) drag" input of the touchscreen is extremely slow and ponderous in comparison.
* Microsoft [=PowerPoint=] and its clones allow for fancy presentations involving colorful backgrounds and exciting text effects and slide transitions. However, the best way to get your point across tends to be a simple, plain background with few (if any) text and transitional effects and tasteful use of images and clipart, rather than something out of a typical MySpace page. Unfortunately, many students up to high school (and in many cases, even in university or even after schooling) don't get the hint...
* Any and all utilitarian IT standards. ASCII text, for instance, doesn't come with fonts, or nifty accents, but ''every Goddamn computer '''in the world''' can read it''. Dial-up internet access is slow and inconvenient, but everybody who has a phone can use it for low cost.
** The humble .csv (comma separated value) file. It is a plain text file, with rows of data, and each [[ExactlyWhatItSaysontheTin value separated by a comma]]. Doesn't have fancy formatting, tabs, or other genuinely useful tools that an Excel file can have, but is loved by IT Admins and programmers everywhere for how easy it is to have a script read. In addition, there are a variety of programs specifically designed for editing .csv's, for those who don't like working with plaintext, and spreadsheet applications like Excel and [=OpenOffice=] Calc have .csv support.
** Universal asynchronous receiver/transceivers (UART). Very slow by today's standards, but every freakin' computer system has one and can understand it. Messing with a microcontroller that for some reason doesn't? You can bit bang your own in software easily. And depending on your communication needs, it requires 2-3 wires at the minimum.
*** Serial communication in and of itself. It's boring to send everything one bit at a time. But when you consider that trying to send data in parallel signaling and timing issues that limit how fast you can push data out? Now it becomes practical.
** For that matter, parallel port communication. Doesn't even need a voltage translator (it uses 5V) or a serial-to-parallel converter. Just connect straight to your microcontroller pins.
* Application programming in general uses this trope. While you can make all sorts of obfuscated C or use fancy loops, recursion and stacked subs, the vast majority of work will be simple mathematical and string operations, basic SQL calls (>95% of which are simple select, update, insert, and delete statements), and for or while loops. In fact, going exotic or esoteric makes your code harder to read, harder to maintain, more prone to bugs, typically much slower, and more likely to fail in the next operating system upgrade. See [[http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Programming-Sucks!-Or-At-Least,-It-Ought-To-.aspx this article]] on TheDailyWTF.
* For computer cooling, the heatsink and fan. While liquid cooling looks awesome and phase-change cooling sounds like space-age exoticness that cools your processors to freezing temperatures easily, both are really expensive (relatively) and both have inherit problems with moisture (liquid for obvious reasons, phase-change will create condensation around exposed electronics). And the only thing lowering a part's temperature buys you, if you're not hitting thermal thresholds, is lifespan.
* [[UsefulNotes/{{Fonts}} The Times typeface]].
** Courier and Courier New as well. Clean fixed-width fonts used by many programmers and those who work with documents where positions of characters matter greatly.
** Likewise, Helvetica, and Arial and Comic Sans. Stylish and easy to read.
*** A note about Comic Sans, it's popular with those starting out on computers because it's interesting. It's hated because it's popular, and seemingly obnoxious. But research suggests, and said research has been made more widely known by popular media, that Comic Sans is good for those with dyslexia.
** Verdana is also a common and effective typeface for Net text.
** This site uses Trebuchet (though newer models of hard drives are more likely to display Arial).
* Laboratories might not be the most exciting places on the planet, no matter what WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory may tell you, but the [[TheLabRat people who work in them]] take care of the [[CopAndScientist scientific details that crack the case for those on the front lines]].
** Speaking of laboratories, the invention of glass. It may be fragile and prone to shattering if heated or cooled too quickly (or dropped on the floor) but it conducts heat fairly well, refracts light, is easily cleaned, and cheap to replace. [[CaptainObvious Oh, and it's transparent.]] A lot of work in science couldn't be done without it. On a more day-to-day level, it's nice being able to look out of windows and let sunlight in without causing a draft.
* Duct Tape. [[DuctTapeForEverything While what you can do with it is amazing]], in and of itself? Not that exciting, but cheap and widely available. Ironically, it's terrible on ducts, since it's not good at handling the rapid and repeated temperature changes.
* Command line interfaces. Beloved by programmers and techie types, they can be a lifesaver when trying to do things designers of [=GUIs=] never intended. They also allow servers to run "headless," without a keyboard and monitor and accessed remotely.
* Map and magnetic compass. Most of all, they do not need electricity nor special gadgets to use.
* Electric fans. Though not as powerful as air conditioners, they generally provide sufficient cooling, and keep air circurlating, all at a lower operating cost and without the need for tedious construction; you can even get a small battery-operated fan for your desk or to wear around your neck. You also don't need all doors and windows closed for them to function properly.
* [[Series/TheITCrowd "Have you tried turning it off and on again?"]] Sure, this might sound lazy, but rebooting fixes so many software issues.
* A simple can of compressed air can work wonders for a slow PC. Computers will throttle the processor if they get too hot. Laptops, with their cramped spaces, are especially susceptible. Blowing the dust bunnies out of the fan intake and heatsink will have the [=CPU=] running at full speed again.
* This was one of the original goals behind the design of UsefulNotes/{{UNIX}}. The use of data stored in flat ASCII files, simple algorithms and programs built from small components was a breath of fresh air for computer scientists and programmers in the '70s. VMS users laughed at [[ObviousBeta the incomplete features]] but Unix's simplicity made it very easy to port to new machines. Many programmers still prefer Unix-like systems because the development environment in UsefulNotes/MicrosoftWindows is comically baroque.
** UNIX's security model is very simple, yet could protect against a wide range of vulnerabilities. Since everything about the computer is treated as a file in UNIX, you have three types of permissions: read, write, and execute (or search in directories). You also had three groups: the owner, the group the owner is in, and everyone else. All of this data can fit into 9-bits and can be represented by three numbers.
* Electric engines are so simple that they were invented before the light bulb. Their efficiency is well above 99% and many of them can run for ''decades'' without any needs for shutdown or repairs. The fact that nobody thinks much about them, yet everybody uses them just serves as further proof that they are this trope.
* In a lot of PC technology, it's better to go with the more boring midrange parts at best than going all in for high-end. Why? Various reasons:
** Every day use programs are already optimized as best they can to run reasonably well on a wide variety of systems. For example Windows can run on ''tablets'' with almost no tweaking as of 2014, which was something unthinkable without serious sacrifices several years prior.
** For networking, the fastest speeds are usually not standard equipment for years after its introduction. Meaning if you want the fastest network possible, you're going to have to buy peripherals and equipment to take advantage of it.
** Ultimately, the price to performance ratio diminishes rapidly and various factors beyond your control can kill performance.
[[/folder]]

%% For civilian vehicle and transportation related items
[[folder:Vehicles]]
* [[WhatAPieceOfJunk Regular, ordinary cars.]] They lack the ruggedness of an SUV or pickup or the power and sleekness of a sports car, but are more efficient with gasoline, are usually the cheapest new cars you can find, and they won't make your insurance rates sky rocket. Newer such cars also come with various safety features such as front and side airbags and proximity sensors that will raise your chances of avoiding or at least surviving an accident more than a sports car will, as most sports cars sacrifice safety features and other luxuries in order to achieve optimum performance.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GL1T-JVpgQ The 2011 Mediocrity]] is an intentional exaggeration of this trope.
** This is Toyota through and through, not the best in any field, except maybe and probably reliability.
** On that note: Older cars amongst regular cars are generally cheaper and still have a good amount of efficiency, even if they have over 100,000 miles on the engine. All it really takes to maintain this car is a decent understanding of mechanics and keeping an eye on your car's fluids. Decent or extraordinary maintenance can turn these older cars into[[WhatAPieceOfJunk ...]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroën_2CV The Citroën 2CV]], a small, unassuming car that eventually became France's answer to the Beetle, with over 3.8 million produced (not counting the numerous variants) between 1948 and 1990. This car is so versatile, it can drive almost anywhere. [[WhatAPieceOfJunk One 2CV]] drove all the way from Paris to ''Yokohoma''.
** Minivans (or [=MPVs=], as where you called) may have that "soccer mom" stigma (though OnlyInAmerica for the most part), but they have the passenger and cargo capacity of an SUV without the gas-guzzling property; granted, a minivan can't go off-road, but if you just need a vehicle for everyday purposes, that isn't necessary. This gains minivans a popular status in Asia and Europe where people use them as family vehicles.
** [[WhatAPieceOfJunk Used cars.]] They may not have the newest features and looks, but they have already suffered the biggest depreciation and their weak and strong points are well-noted.
** Japanese kei cars are small, dismally underpowered and slow at first glance, but they are actually [[BiggerOnTheInside tall and roomy]], and they can handle better than most regular cars due to their narrow sizes. Mid-engined kei cars like [[FragileSpeedster Honda S660]] and [[JackOfAllStats Mitsubishi i]] deserve this mention.
** Small trackday cars like the Lotus Elise or Caterham 7. They may lack the babe magnet capabilities of sports and super cars, the sheer power numbers of muscle cars and the daily usability of both, but they can beat them on race tracks and winding roads.
* On that note, even the ordinary pick-up truck qualifies. While some you have your "crucks" and your "Oversized pickups for fashion and compensation", the majority of them are massed produced utility vehicles designed take a decent amount of cargo and one or two people and move them from one place to another. The basic design of the pick-up truck hasn't changed in over half a century. It's safer then many other vehicles in most types of common collisions because [[MemeticMutation Sir Issac Newton is the deadliest SOB on the road]]. It's so damn utilitarian that if an ordinary pick-up truck is properly maintained and driven normally you can even get more mileage and years of usage out of a good truck then a car and have average to better than average gas mileage.
** 90s body-on-frame [=SUVs=] also qualify. While new models might have stuff like GPS and leather seats, the old ones have the offroad and hauling capabilities of trucks while being able to carry more people. You also shouldn't forget that running ones can be bought for under $2500 or £1500.
* Diesel engines fullfill this trope. While they might be less powerful and cool-sounding than petrol ones, they are also more frugal with fuel and have more torque. [[InvincibleHero Audi]] used the diesel engines to beat UsefulNotes/TwentyFourHoursOfLeMans.
* Simply driving smoothly with gentle applications of the accelerator and brake pedals and keeping your speed at the speed limit on the highway (when traffic conditions allow it) will get you solid fuel efficiency and make you a much safer driver to yourself, your passengers, and drivers around you. Your DrivesLikeCrazy friends may think you're boring to ride with, but others who ride with you will thank you for being a driver they can trust and ride comfortably with.
* The Sturmey Archer AW internal gear hub: Originally designed in the 1930s as a mix of parts from their other hubs to provide a low-cost seller, the hub became the standard gear system for bicycles up until the 10 speed fad of 1970s. Unbelievable reliability has kept it in production for ''over seventy-five years''.
* The jerry can (or jerrican). A simple fuel container at the surface, its simplicity betrays a sophisticated nature. It was designed to be operable without a pump, funnels, or a wrench (at least one of which was required by most of its predecessors), and the multiple handles mean that empty cans can be carried two in each hand by a single person, and full ones can be carried by two people at once. The 'X' mark you see on the side is not just for show; it reinforces the sides and allows the contents to expand without warping the container. It's one of the first German technologies adopted by the British in WorldWarII; the Allies often used jerrycans in place of their own fuel containers whenever they could acquire them. Even now, the jerry can design has been used in more civilian goods, like liquid detergent and gasoline cans.
* For hobby-grade r/c boats, constructing the hull out of wood rather than fiberglass or carbon fiber. Wood does not carry the same cachet of a hull made of high-tech composites, and are often sold in kit form, requiring you to build it yourself (Glass hulls are almost always sold ready to accept their hardware.) However, wood is cheap, and, if built correctly, just as strong as fiberglass (though not carbon fiber, although its use is largely limited to large scale boats.)
** For gas r/c boats, the humble Homelite and Zenoah engines. Converted Homelites (they are typically used for yard equipment) powered the first gas r/c boats, while Zenoah released the first dedicated marine engine, the G23. Its successor, the [=G260PUM=], is the most popular engine in the hobby. Stock, they will reliably power most hulls at a respectable speed. When modified by a skilled engine builder, the G260 can chuck out about 6hp (increased displacement and/or aftermarket top ends can further increase that,) up from a claimed 3.2hp, and can push the fastest hulls up to 100 mph, depending on setup, hull, and conditions. The Zenoah is so ubiquitous, that every other brand of gas r/c engine is designed to fit in the same footprint, and parts commonality is, well, common. The only realistic challenger to the Zenoahs crown are the RCMK engines, which are sold for not much more than a stock G260, but can develop 5hp, in addition to far better after-sale support.
* Skis and the slightly more awesome dog sled for moving across snow. One of the reasons [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Amundsen Amundsen]] won the race to the South Pole (and, you know, survived) was the use of these two simple methods of transport. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Falcon_Scott Scott]] on the other hand wanted to use high tech mechanical crawlers that soon broke down due to the extreme conditions. There have been claims that Scott and his men didn't even know how to ski, usually with the implication that they would have survived had they known.
* In the days when the CoolTrain was hauled by steam, the most common and useful steam locomotive was the 0-6-0 goods engine (think Donald and Douglas from ''TheRailwaySeries''). The long boiler allowed the locomotive to build up a lot of steam and conserve it, so the locomotive would not need to be cold-started every time it needed to move. As all the wheels were driving wheels, the locomotive had a lot of tractive effort for its weight. It had more adhesion than the 0-4-0, but could go more places than the 0-8-0. The 0-6-0 was not fast, but it was a powerful little machine, and every country that used steam locomotives used the 0-6-0. Examples would be the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_South_Wales_Z19_class_locomotive New South Wales Z19]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_G_3 Prussian G 3]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonian_Railway_812_Class Caledonian 812]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LMS_Fowler_Class_4F LMS Fowler 4F]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GWR_2301_Class GWR Dean Goods]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NER_1001_Class North Eastern 1001 class]], the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBR_C_Class North British C Class]], and the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USRA_0-6-0 USRA 0-6-0]]. The NSWGR Z19 class was [[LongRunner in service for almost a CENTURY]].
** In North America another example is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4-4-0 4-4-0]]. It wasn't as flashy or fast as later engines but it handled rough terrain well and was very simple mechanically, making repairs easy. It is also (at least for Americans) the most recognizable design of steam locomotive.
** The Hungarian [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%81V_Class_424 424 "Buffalo" class]] 4-8-0 engines served [[LongRunner from 1924 to 1984]]. The Buffaloes were popular because they were extremely simple engines, cheap to build, able to pull nearly any train, and very easy to repair or upgrade. They became the largest locomotive class in UsefulNotes/{{Hungary}}, and at least six of the 500+ Buffaloes survive.
** The British [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LMS_Stanier_Class_5_4-6-0 Black Five]] served right up until the final days of steam in August 1968. Over 800 were built, for anything from top-link expresses to local pick-up goods trains, and 18 survive in preservation.
** The German [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DRG_Class_52 class 52]] "war locomotive". Its immediate predecessor, the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DRG_Class_50 class 50]], a comparatively lightweight 2-10-0, was introduced shortly before WorldWarII. During the war itself, the Reichsbahn required insane amounts of steam locomotives capable of pulling whatever trains on whatever (standard gauge) tracks and made of materials that didn't have to be imported. The class 50 was stripped and simplified so much that it was possible to build more than 3,000 locomotives in three years. When the 50 had been simplified to the max, it became the 52, an almost absolutely no-frills austerity locomotive of which more than 6,000 were built in less than three years—an average of about six a day. Originally, they were designed to operate no longer than five years. But their utter simplicity made them so robust that they would survive the next several decades in some places. Poland, for example, used unreconstructed 52s labeled [=Ty2=] and [=Ty42=] in regular services until the early 1990s and still has two operational [=Ty2=], and the Soviet Union still had hundreds of former 52s with only few modifications on stand-by as a strategical reserve in East Prussia when it was dissolved in 1992.
* Diesel shunting locomotives. One of the best examples would be [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DRG_Kleinlokomotive_Class_II the Köf]][[note]]Technically, not all of them were Köfs, the exact naming depended on the engine and the drivetrain; also, the Deutsche Bundesbahn acquired a larger and more powerful Köf class in the 60s which has got almost nothing to do with these[[/note]]. One of the least remarkable German locomotives. It came up in the early 30s as a small shunter with an internal combustion engine (some had gasoline engines, most had diesels), and although easily ignored, they were a common sight on big and small yards and stations for decades. In fact, when the Bundesbahn began to phase them out in the 80s and 90s (the Deutsche Bahn AG put the last one out of service in 1999), there were plenty of buyers for these small, cheap, simple and reliable machines, and countless ones are operational still today.
* The Russian Soyuz spacecraft are often derided as being crappy, outdated spacecraft compared to [=NASA's=] capsules and the space shuttle. The space shuttle has since been retired, and no real replacement has yet been developed for production. There's also the Progress, an unmanned version used as transport craft. The first Soyuz capsule went up in 1967. They are still being used to this day - ironically, also by NASA astronauts due to the aforementioned lack of a shuttle replacement.
** Similarly, the R-7 rocket family, which was originally desiigned as an ICBM and was not good at it (its use of liquid oxygen meant it could only be kept on standby for a day at most, and it required guidance from ground stations that presumably wouldn't last long during a full-scale nuclear war). As a space launch vehicle, however, it was excellent and is often touted as a fine example of "If it ain't broke, don'tfixt it." Still in service today, and all manned Soviet/Russian missions were sent to space by this very rocket.
** It is questionable if Soyuz can be called outdated. Well, the basic construction has been quite similar since beginning, but the avionics etc. have been revised many times. With their Kurs navigation subsystem, Soyuz and Progress spacecraft can automatically rendezvous and dock to space stations. Could be possibly considered SimpleYetAwesome.
** The Soyuz's three-part design[[note]](a service module that holds the capsule's propulsion and life support systems, an orbital module where the crew spends much of their time in space, and a small descent module used during launch and re-entry)[[/note]] is actually considered superior in some ways to the two-part Apollo design (the less of the ship that returns, the less mass is needed for the heat shield and retro-rockets).
* One of the reasons that the Russians have made so many of the space firsts. They have used sturdy and robust system, with simplified electronics as opposed to the bleeding edge of their US and European counterparts. So, end result, a slight frost the night before a lunch doomed the Challenger. Russians routinely launch in blizzards.
** As UsefulNotes/RichardFeynman pointed out it wasn't a failure of AwesomeYetImpractical tech that doomed the Challenger, but the desire to lower costs by cutting corners and using sub-par materials, allowing outright broken components to be within "tolerable stresses," and endless politics and outright ''lies'' about the safety of space travel that caused the Challenger disaster
** The Apollo program was an exception to the traditional "bells and whistles" US approach. Hardware was simple and reliable. It routinely performed above specifications
* The Glasgow subway system: [[http://www.spt.co.uk/cms/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/subway_map.png No one gets lost.]]
* The sailboat. Cheap to use - it takes its energy to from the wind, and its range is limited only by its storage of food and potable water. The Bermuda rig allows to sail into almost any wind direction except straight into headwind, but you can always tack. Even a small sailboat (as small as 6 m overall length) can be used for a transoceanic voyage.
* Much of the ex-Soviet, now Russian, automobile industry embodies this trope. Rough roads and climate conditions don't play well with modern vehicles that haven't been explicitly built to withstand them, and those that ''have'' are usually far too expensive for a land with a long history of chronic monetary scarcity. As a result, the typical Soviet/Russian car up until a few years ago relied on dated designs and uncomplicated, robust and cheap componentry, but paid the price with low performance, low efficiency and ghastly safety standards. Even the half-hearted attempts of the Soviet Age to implement the Western luxuries like automatic transmissions failed when repairs and maintenance would have been prohibitively expensive. This has slowly been changing, with many cities seeing more and more imported cars of recent design, but it's been a slow process - the Lada Riva, based on the seventies-era Fiat 124, has only been discontinued sometime between 2010 and 2012. And if you go to places where the cold and warm seasons are rather classified as "lethally freezing" and "slightly survivable", you can bet you'll still be seeing a lot more Lada Nivas than Range Rovers.
* [=SpaceX=] has made a 'space-pencil' like development in building its rockets. Instead of building them vertical as many agencies do, they build them horizontal, erecting them only on the launch pad, saving huge costs on facilities (don't need a VAB, a long shed will do), transport (a big truck, but nothing like the crawler-transporter) and construction (essentially the whole length of the rocket can be accessed at any time). It helps that they also use ball-joint connections between the stages rather than explosive bolts, because the ball-joints don't need to be removed every time there's a fault caused non-launch, they just lie the rocket down again and wheel it back to the facility. In other words, what the Russians always did.
* Tugboats. Small, hardy craft designed to help maneuver bigger ships around in the confined spaces of a harbor. They could also be used to move cargo around by having them tow barges around (very handy for loading and unloading a large vessel in shallow water). During the [[WorldWarII Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor]], Navy tugboats were hard at work fighting fires, towing ships free of their moorings (either to get them out of harms way, such as the ''Vestal'' being pulled away from the burning wreck of the ''Arizona'', or to clear lines of fire for ships docked next to each other). When the battleship ''Nevada'' was severely damaged while making a run to the sea, she needed to be beached quickly to avoid blocking the harbor entrance. The Tugboat USS ''Hoga'' helped to shove the crippled and burning dreadnought into the shallows and continued to help ''Nevada's'' crew fight fires (with the additional help of the seaplane tender USS ''Avocet''). The ''Hoga'' would spend the next several days fighting fires in the harbor and assisting with DamageControl.
* Motorcycles 500cc and below. Sure they're not high speed powerhouses like the Suzuki Hayabusa or a badass bike like a Harley Davidson in the 1200cc range, but they're light, can reach sufficiently fast highway speeds, are easier to handle (weight being part of it, not being twitchy being the other), and are insanely efficient (250cc bikes can routinely achieve 80MPG, 500cc bikes maintain a Prius worthy 55MPG). There's a reason why many motorcyclists suggest new riders to get something in that range.
* When new aircraft and vehicles are introduced you may notice they look just like... planes and cars, with no wild, amazing, exciting concept designs. The problem is we've already found the best aerodynamic shapes for these things, and to vary too much would harm fuel efficiency. So yep, it's the same-old-same-old, but still ''incredibly'' practical.
* The most common style of exit between a freeway and a surface street is the "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_interchange diamond]]", a simple construct that doesn't require an excessive amount of space, channelized ramps, or extra bridges. Just four ramps providing full access in all directons.
* In the U.S., the Interstate Highway System. The single largest government project in world history, a network of precisely engineered high-speed, high-volume superhighways connecting every major population center, manufacturing center, farm and natural resource. Available to everybody, all the time, mostly without tolls, restrictions, or checkpoints/barriers.
** There's also the even older system of United States Numbered Highways (i.e. US Routes). It's more than three times as long as the Interstates and was built after World War I to address the transportation issues the US faced during World War I. It currently connects all but the most remote parts of the Continental US to each other. If a US Route can't get you there, one will at least get you close. In some instances, a US Route is the only paved road directly connecting two communities.
* Paved surfaces in general. They support the weight of heavy vehicles and equipment far better than dirt or gravel roads or grass will, and they don't turn into mud when it rains. Entire armies have been destroyed and the course of wars changed because of troops and supplies getting bogged down in the mud at some key moment instead of being able to get to where they needed to be.
** In addition, when you are dealing with airplanes, paved airfield surfaces can not only support heavier aircraft, but are also much safer (an airplane getting a wheel stuck in the mud while trying to land can have catastrophic results). Once you have a paved runway, it's nice to have some place solid to park the plane so it won't sink or get stuck while it's parked, whether this means a concrete or asphalt apron or just a simple hard stand, just big enough to rest the plane's wheels on. Also remember that planes usually launch and land flying into the wind for aerodynamic reasons, and that any plane taxiing up the runway will block any other planes from using it, and consider the simple expedient of installing a taxiway parallel to the runway, meaning planes can land, pull off the runway, and sedately taxi to their parking spaces without holding up the landing pattern.
** Similar to paved surfaces, solid foundations for buildings. A large concrete slab, despite being fairly heavy itself, will much better distribute the weight of a building over a wide area, meaning you will have less issues with the ground settling beneath it and possibly causing the structure to fail. Even tents can be vastly improved by laying a solid surface to built them on (in addition to concrete, wooden platforms and metal mats can be used for this).
* Numbered and single-letter streets are often not the most fancily-named streets, but they have the side utility of being usable as rough indicators of distance. For example, if you're on a street called 1st Street and your friend tells you to meet up with them on a street called 15th Street, you know right away that you need to travel 15 blocks, rather than having to consult a map.
* Plain bicycles can be this. They are typically inexpensive compared to other types of bicycle (or many vehicles) but they are very practical. Most are hassle-free vehicles (no registration nor licenses are required, just buy and use straight out of store), versatile, environment-friendly, and easily repaired. Although limited by users' strength, they are versatile enough to navigate both pedestrian space and motor traffic. Throughout Europe it is often faster to take a bike than any other mode of transport in major cities. In cities like Amsterdam or Copenhagen every class and age group will bike to work and leisure activities. A cheap bike costs less than a tank of gas and lasts for years if taken good care of. Most repairs can be done by every moderately competent mechanic.



* The tents used by the German scouting movement. Designed in the waning years of the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic by one Eberhard Köbel (aka tusk) on the basis of Scandinavian and Mongol tents, they can basically all be constructed from simple triangular or rectangular pieces of black cloth. The standard issue [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohte Kohte]] takes no more than four identical pieces which can be carried easily by the people sleeping in that tent when on the road. Even a single piece can serve as an [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Gro%C3%9Ffahrt_des_Pfadfinderstammes_%C3%84gypten_entlang_der_Thei%C3%9F%2C_1992_-_1.png impromptu shelter]] in a pinch. Add a bit of dedication and architecture and you get into decidedly AwesomeButImpractical territory like [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9a/Jurtenburg.jpg this]] or [[http://www.theblackmagic.de/index.php?id=51&L=1 this]] UpToEleven version.
* Electric engines are so simple that they were invented before the light bulb. Their efficiency is well above 99% and many of them can run for ''decades'' without any needs for shutdown or repairs. The fact that nobody thinks much about them, yet everybody uses them just serves as further proof that they are this trope.

to:

* The tents used by the German scouting movement. Designed in the waning years of the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic by one Eberhard Köbel (aka tusk) on the basis of Scandinavian and Mongol tents, they can basically all be constructed from simple triangular or rectangular pieces of black cloth. The standard issue [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohte Kohte]] takes no more than four identical pieces which can be carried easily by the people sleeping in that tent when on the road. Even a single piece can serve as an [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Gro%C3%9Ffahrt_des_Pfadfinderstammes_%C3%84gypten_entlang_der_Thei%C3%9F%2C_1992_-_1.png impromptu shelter]] in a pinch. Add a bit of dedication and architecture and you get into decidedly AwesomeButImpractical territory like [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9a/Jurtenburg.jpg this]] or [[http://www.theblackmagic.de/index.php?id=51&L=1 this]] UpToEleven version.
* Electric engines are so simple that they were invented before the light bulb. Their efficiency is well above 99% and many of them can run for ''decades'' without any needs for shutdown or repairs. The fact that nobody thinks much about them, yet everybody uses them just serves as further proof that they are this trope.
[[/folder]]
26th Apr '16 4:49:22 PM dinohunterpat
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Rocket Launchers. As mentioned above, the likes of the Bazooka, RPG-7, and panzerfaust are cheap. They are a fraction of the cost of main battle tanks or other vehicles. A modern M1a2 Abrams costs over 8million dollars. An RPG-7 costs less than 1/1000th of that. Tanks have evolved to the point of being [[AwesomeButImpractical]] as their costs are ridiculous to give them enough armor to survive any rocket shots. Even a vehicle that is capable of surviving a shot can easily be shot by many more.

to:

* Rocket Launchers. launchers. As mentioned above, the likes of the Bazooka, RPG-7, and panzerfaust Panzerfaust are cheap. They easy to use and are a fraction of the cost of main battle much cheaper than tanks or other vehicles. A modern M1a2 Abrams costs over 8million dollars. An tank can cost as much as $10 million while an RPG-7 costs less than 1/1000th of that. only $500. Even the most expensive man-portable missile launchers like the Javelin and TOW can easily destroy a tank that cost 500 times as much as a single launcher. Tanks have evolved to the point of being [[AwesomeButImpractical]] AwesomeButImpractical as their costs are ridiculous to give them enough armor to survive any rocket shots. Even a vehicle that is capable of surviving a shot can easily be shot by many more.more or put out of action for repairs.
This list shows the last 10 events of 321. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=BoringButPractical.RealLife