Would you like to be the world's strongest human? Well, you don't have to be to perform this stunt.

Let me describe what happens. You tear a phone book in half with your bare hands.

First, acquire a phone book. Preferably a big phone book. Go into the kitchen, open all of the windows and place the phone book in the oven at 350 degrees or lower. It has to be at this tempurature or the phone book will catch on fire (Be very careful). Cook the phone book until it slightly crumbles in your fingers. Let the phone book cool.

Now comes the fun part; hold the phone book with both hands side by side and with the binding towards you. Slightly bend the pages up so that you rip one page at a time rather than the whole phone book at once. And finally, let er rip. If it doesn't rip, then you did not cook the phone book long enough

For the record, pre-baking the phone book does not appear to be a necessary first step, although with today's phone books, it may be. I saw this stunt performed on a 1950s episode of the game show "I've Got a Secret" (in rerun on the Game Show Network one Sunday night) by former Miss America Bess Myerson (who, this being the 1950s, resembled June Cleaver more than Sable), and given the way the books were being manhandled before Bess tore hers in half, I doubt that they were prepared in any way.

Of course, again, this may be a question of the quality of the paper differing between a 1950s-era phone book and one of today's. Also, Bess tore hers along the long axis of the book, in which direction it's slightly easier to squeeze the book in such a manner as to tear one page at a time.

I once read a Beakman and Jax in the sunday comics that said you can do this by folding the book such that the pages come to a point that is then easy to tear. Once you get it started it's easy. I never tried it though.

The proper way to rip a phonebook (dictionary, book of mormon, bible, (insert favorite religious text here), cookbook, any nathaniel hawthorne book, etc...):

First, remove or fold back the front and back covers. These are almost impossible to rip through, and you will still look macho enough if they aren't there.

This next step is the most difficult part. You need to fold the phonebook in half with the crease parallel to the binding, similar to if you were rolling it up to beat someone over the head with.

The trick is to grasp it so none of the pages can slide anymore. Unfold the phonebook slightly, and a little bit of space should open up between each page (as opposed to the pages sliding. keep a good grip!).

Now here is the fun part. If you did it right, you should be able to start ripping the book. Keep "unfolding" the book, ripping each page where the crease was as soon as that page becomes almost flat again. Get it? You are ripping it one page at a time.

As soon as you can see the little tear in each page, keep pulling apart as hard as you can. If you're lucky, the whole book should rip where your initial fold was. Good job!

I would recommend practicing on smaller and older phonebooks so you can get the hang of it, and soon you will be a master book destroyer!! Go impress some chicks.

I remember reading this trick, which gets the job done although not giving the audience what they were expecting. In short, open the phone book in the middle, and rip through the glue binding, so that you get 2 halves of the book: the front side, and the back side.

If you see the opened book from the bottom, it looks like this:

 ____  ____
      \-- rip through here.

It's still ripping the phone book in half, and no ovens or training needed. Maybe it will impress chicks too. (I'm thinking more of chicks who prefer the brainy over equiped-with-clever-tricks the macho guy-types. :)

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