If you're the kind of person who frequently does science experiments at home, you probably have a hot plate. But if you're more of an occasional amateur scientist (or just don't want to buy one), it's much easier to hack your own.
It may not be the best permanent solution, but it will save you from having to scrap your impromptu experiments for lack of equipment! Check out Charlie's post for details.
Do you have any other ideas for a makeshift hot plate?