How to rip a phonebook in half despite a total lack of arm strength

Let's face it: You've always wanted to rip a phone book in half. Now that the entire corporate world has a webpage and the entire private world is on facebook, there's no reason to keep phone books around anyway. Ripping one to pieces is practically a public service. You should do it right away! What's stopping you?

Well, I'm guessing the first thing that's stopping you is those skinny, soft, over-boiled green beans you call arms. No way can you perform the amazing feat of strength (that will totally make you popular) with those things, right? Wrong! Physics can help you tear up the yellow pages without having to work out.

The only reason that a phone book is so tough is the fact that all of its pages are close together. While it's easy to pull the two edges of a single page so far apart that they'll tear, pulling the edges of hundreds of pages requires a lot more strength. Separate the pages, even by just a small amount, and they become easy to tear once again. In an ideal world, people would be just as impressive if you tore a phone book in half one page at a time, since persistence and patience should count as much as strength when they accomplish the same thing. Since that isn't the case, you are forced to find more subtle - some might say deceptive - ways to separate the pages of the book.

To do this, brace the book on your hip and hold the far side. Your thumbs should be on top, you fingers underneath, and your hands should be fairly widely spaced. Hold your thumbs stead on the top side of the book, but slide your fingers inwards. The movement should resemble a supervillain steepling their fingers, but upside down. The motion of your fingers should pinch most of the bottom section of the book into a deep 'v'. This 'v' fans out all the bottom pages of the book, giving them space. You can use your thumbs to help crease the 'v'. Meanwhile a few top pages are still together, making it look impressive when you roll your hands outwards, almost like you're peeling a banana, and ripping slowly through the book.

How to rip a phonebook in half despite a total lack of arm strength

Some will find this too much effort, and seek and easier solution. There is one available, but you have to be domestically inclined. As paper ages and loses moisture, it becomes brittle. The problem is, this takes time. Unless you have a phonebook from the 1970s, you don't have that kind of time. Fortunately, there are ways to speed the process along. Put the phonebook in a dish - preferably a clean pyrex baking dish - and throw it in the oven. Turn up the heat to around 200 degrees (Fahrenheit, not Celsius) and let it sit for a couple of hours. It will become extremely fragile, and will tear pretty easily. Do not exceed 300 degrees, since this will probably set your oven on fire, and the firefighters won't be impressed, even if you do tear the blackened phone book in half afterwards.
Start on thinner phone books, to practice your technique. Over time, when you get the hand movements down and come up with a reliable way of fanning out the pages, it will get easier and easier. Soon you'll be able to impress drunken strangers for up to 30 seconds at a time! When you do, though, make sure there aren't any people strong enough to actually rip the phone book in half. They are quick to point out methods of cheating, and if you protest, they will destroy be able to destroy you. Easily. I mean, they can rip a phone book in half.

Via Scam School, eHow and WikiHow.