Mechanical 3-way light switch
Some contractor renovated the room with a light switch ten feet from the door. Nothing that fishing line, duct tape and paper clips with a toothbrush couldn't handle.
In 2012 I once again found myself living with an incomprehensible light-switch situation. Below left shows the light at the top of the staircase, as seen from the entrance to the apartment. This arrangement would typically have a 3-way electric switch so you don't need to walk up or down the stairs in the dark.
I built a mechanical 3-way switch which allows you to turn the light on and off from the bottom of the stairs by pulling on some wires. Learning from my previous experience, I used wires instead of stretchy fishing line. I eventually replaced the cereal-box cardboard gears with some sturdier CD case plastic (below). You can see the nails I've carefully placed to prevent you from pulling the wire too far. Notice also that there is some gear reduction going on here with a large pull on the wire turning into a smaller lift up of the switch.