My favorite way to extract the arils from a pomegranate is best demonstrated in the homemade video, shown below. It's similar to the one demonstrated in the picture above but with a few important modifications. What I like about this method is that she is careful to never cut into one of the seeds with her knife. Cutting a cone shape from the top and carefully slicing the bottom are key.
The video only shows opening the pomegranate (in order to eat the arils directly from the fruit.) If you want to remove the arils to use in salads and other delightful things, gently break them away from their white membrane. If they're a little too attached, a bowl of warmish water seems to help soften the pith up enough to complete the task. The pith will float to the top of the water and can easily be skimmed away.
What's your favorite method? Do you whack your pomegranate and if so, how in the world do you keep yourself and everything around you clean?
Related: Seasonal Spotlight: Pomegranate
(Image: Dana Velden)