Reminder: Neglecting to Water Your Christmas Tree Could Be Hazardous


The holidays always bring additional responsibilities, like pie-baking or negotiating dead-end conversations with relatives. Popular Mechanics would like to remind you that before you even think about shopping, eating, or singing, you really need to water your Christmas tree.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), keeping your live tree well-hydrated can prevent a living room blaze that could engulf both your seasonal spirit and your curtains. Dry Christmas trees are essentially as flammable as a newspaper, and the results can be devastating when they ignite. Here's a video that shows how big the difference is between a well-watered tree and a dry one when it comes to fire. It is harrowing.

The CPSC recommends that trees have water in their bases at all times, that you keep them away from heat sources like candles and furnace vents, and that you avoid using decorative lights that have frayed cords. And of course, don't forget to check those smoke alarms.

While we're discussing fire safety during the holidays, here's another warning: While it might be tempting to stuff your discarded wrapping paper in the fireplace to quickly dispose of it, you shouldn't do that, either. It can cause flash fires.

Have a safe and non-immolating holiday, everyone.

Wednesday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Computer Monitors, Plant-Based Protein Powder, and Blu-ray Sets

As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 2. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

This All-in-One Storage Solution Can Be Used at Home or Carried on the Go


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Whether you're looking for a durable storage solution for your garage or a roomy pack for a long camping trip, the collapsible RUX carrier can help keep your stuff safe and secure without taking up much room in your closet when you're done. And until December 10, you can support the project on Indiegogo.

The main idea of the RUX is to serve multiple purposes at once. You can carry it around like a backpack or duffle bag during a weekend trip outdoors, or you can use it as a stationary storage bin for your car or home. Despite being strong enough to hold your bulkiest gear, it only weighs around four pounds and is designed to be collapsible, so you can fold it up and slip it away afterwards. (Unfolded, the RUX comes in at 15.7 by 19.5 by 13.8 inches.)

And if you're looking to use it during more serious outdoor adventures, you can rest assured that its weatherproof construction will keep your stuff dry in the rain. There's even a window that allows you to double-check that your items are safe and sound.


The RUX was created with sustainability and longevity in mind. Not only does the RUX have a lifetime warranty, but each component can also come off and be replaced easily so you can continue using the product no matter the problem. RUX is a member of 1% For The Planet, which is a group that gives back 1 percent of sales to environmental causes, even if they are not profitable.

There is still time to back the RUX campaign and reap the rewards. If you back $196, you’ll get your first RUX along with it. However, if you back $265, you’ll get one RUX, two divider totes, an EDC pouch, and two utility straps. If you back $449, you’ll get all the same things from the second level along with an extra RUX. If you want to back $515 or $725, you’ll get double or triple everything, respectively, from the second level.

The RUX campaign ends on December 10, so there is still time to back this product through Indiegogo. Shipments of RUX will hopefully start by June 2021.

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