Consider something as simple and wide spread as glasses:
Loose the screw to your glasses? Use a paperclip. Now you can use your glasses. Break the bridge of your glasses? Use a paperclip. First bend a section into the shape of the bridge, this will be your splint. Place it against what remains of the bridge. Wrap with the rest of the paperclip until you run out of metal, problem solved. The idea of using scotch tape is just to make glasses users look silly.
Need to short circuit a subway car? According to the move Paycheck you use a paperclip.
It's a small malleable rod of metal that is soft enough to to work with your fingers but strong enough hold its shape when you're not working it. The possibilities seem to be endless.
Today I went to school with jeans that had a small hole in the left knee. Unfortunately with the act of walking the small hole soon became a large hole. I don't have a sowing kit with me (I know, shameful lack of preparedness) so I needed a solution. That solution? Paperclip
Now this is a temporary solution that may end up doing more harm than good in the long run, but right now I'm concerned with the short term. Not having freezing air assaulting my unprotected knee. And for the short term it works.