Watch What Happens When Mannequins Misuse Fireworks

martaland/iStock via Getty Images
martaland/iStock via Getty Images

With the Fourth of July comes all the requisite warnings about fireworks safety. These sometimes-legal (check your local laws) explosives can provide a rapturous end to holiday festivities and events. They can also end in emergency room bills and tragedy.

This week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) set up a demonstration to illustrate how quickly the mishandling of fireworks can go wrong, and it looks like something out of the opening sequence in Saving Private Ryan:

These mannequins violate a number of safe practices for fireworks, including pointing them directly at the heads of friends and peering into the mouth of a mortar tube. There’s also a caution about trying to make fireworks at home, which can have roof-blasting consequences.

While the dummies in the video exhibit poor judgment, their sacrifice might help humans avoid a similar fate. According to the CPSC, 280 people end up in the emergency room per day in the month around July 4 as a result of fireworks-related mishaps. Hands and fingers make up most of the injuries (28 percent), with legs (24 percent) and eyes (19 percent) also being vulnerable. Nearly half (44 percent) of injuries are burns. All told, 12,900 people were treated for fireworks wounds in 2017 [PDF].

To avoid injury, it’s best to avoid fireworks that come wrapped in brown paper, since those are typically made for professional use only. It’s also a good idea to keep children away from sparklers, which can burn in excess of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. (If you would not hand your child a blowtorch, it’s probably not a good idea to hand them a sparkler.) If you must light a firework, do it and then get as far away from it as possible.

The CPSC has capped consumer fireworks so that they contain no more than 50 milligrams of powder. More formidable explosives, like cherry bombs and M-80s, have been banned by the federal government. Most states allow at least some fireworks to be sold and used.

If the mannequins really wanted protection from accidents, they should have moved to Massachusetts; it’s the only state where all consumer fireworks are banned.

[h/t CBS Denver]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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A Short, Sweet History of Candy Corn

Love it or hate it, candy corn is here to stay.
Love it or hate it, candy corn is here to stay.
Evan-Amos, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Depending on which survey you happen to be looking at, candy corn is either the best or the worst Halloween candy ever created. If that proves anything, it’s that the tricolor treat is extremely polarizing. But whether you consider candy corn a confectionery abomination or the sweetest part of the spooky season, you can’t deny that it’s an integral part of the holiday—and it’s been around for nearly 150 years.

On this episode of Food History, Mental Floss’s Justin Dodd is tracing candy corn’s long, storied existence all the way back to the 1880s, when confectioner George Renninger started molding buttercream into different shapes—including corn kernels, which he tossed at actual chickens to see if it would fool them. His white-, orange-, and yellow-striped snack eventually caught the attention of Goelitz Confectionery Company (now Jelly Belly), which started mass-producing what was then sometimes called “chicken feed” rather than “candy corn.”

But what exactly is candy corn? Why do we associate it with Halloween? And will it ever disappear? Find answers to these questions and more in the video below.

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