The Safest Seats on an Airplane Are The Ones That Passengers Really, Really Hate

vovashevchuk/iStock via Getty Images
vovashevchuk/iStock via Getty Images

Do you groan when you find out you ended up with a middle seat at the very back of an airplane, just feet from the restroom? You’re far from alone, but there's a definite upside: it's one of the safest places to sit on a plane, Lifehacker reports.

In 2015, TIME studied data from 17 plane crashes between 1985 and 2000. The fatality rates were as follows: 32 percent for the rows in the back third, 39 percent for the middle third, and 38 percent for the front third. Those stats might not be a compelling enough reason to give up your hard-earned (or randomly assigned) bulkhead seat, but this could change your mind: the middle seats in the back of the plane had a 28 percent fatality rate, compared with a daunting 44 percent for the aisle seats in the middle third of the plane.

TIME's research reinforced the conclusions from a 2007 Popular Mechanics study, in which researchers analyzed data from 20 crashes over the previous half-century. They measured in terms of survival rate rather than fatality rate, but the verdict was the same: Your chances of surviving a plane crash are much better if you're seated at the back of the cabin. The rear cabin’s survival rate was 69 percent while the over-wing and coach sections came in at 56 percent; first- and business-class travelers survived only 49 percent of the time.

Both studies mentioned that some of the crashes had no discernable survival patterns, and TIME made it clear that the data means less without factoring in the circumstances of the crashes themselves. If the tail of the plane has an issue, for example, the rear cabin is obviously not very safe. The problem (if you could call it a problem) is that there just aren’t enough plane crashes to study. That’s why you have to evaluate these results with a critical eye. “There are too many variables, and this is the important one—so few accidents—that a simple answer is probably not statistically defensible,” Federal Aviation Administration communications manager Lynn Lunsford told The Washington Post.

So if you value your first-class aisle seat as much as your life, that’s probably OK. Rest easy with a neck pillow and this much-less-morbid parting stat: For every 16 million commercial passenger flights, there’s only one fatality.

[h/t Lifehacker]

7 Massage Guns That Are on Sale Right Now


Outdoor exercise is a big focus leading into summer, but as you begin to really tone and strengthen your muscles, you might notice some tough knots and soreness that you just can’t kick. Enter the post-workout massage gun—these bad boys are like having a deep-tissue masseuse by your side whenever you want. If you're looking to pick one up for yourself, check out these brands while they’re on sale.

1. Actigun 2.0: Percussion Massager (Black); $128 (57 percent off)

Actigun massage gun.

Don't assume you need a professional masseur to provide relief—this massage gun offers 20 variable speeds and can adjust the output power on its own according to pressure. Can your human massage therapist do that?

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

2. JAWKU Muscle Blaster V2 Cordless Percussion Massage Gun; $260 (13 percent off)

Jawku massaging gun.

This cordless, five-speed massager uses a design that's aimed to increase blood flow, release stored lactic acid, and relieve sore muscles through various vibrations.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

3. DEEP4s: Percussive Therapy Massage Gun for Athletes; $230 (23 percent off)

Re-Athlete massage gun.

Instant relief is an option with this massage tool, featuring five different attachments made to tackle any muscle group. You can squeeze in eight hours of massage time before you have to charge it again.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

4. Handheld Massage Gun for Deep Tissue Percussion; $75 (15 percent off)

Massage gun from Stackcommerce.

With five replaceable heads and six speed settings, this massage gun can easily adapt to the location and intensity of your soreness. And since it lasts up to three hours per charge, you won't have to worry about constantly plugging it in.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

5. The Backmate Power Massager; $120 (19 percent off)

Backmate massage gun.

Speed is the name of the game here. The Backmate Power Massager is designed for fast, effective relief through its ergonomic design. Fast doesn’t need to mean short, either. After the instant relief, you can stimulate and distract your nervous system for lasting pain relief.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

6. ZTECH Percussion Massage Gun (Red); $80 (46 percent off)

ZTech massage gun.

This massage gun looks a lot like a power drill, and, similarly, you can adjust its design for the perfect fit with six interchangeable heads that target different muscle areas.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

7. Aduro Sport Elite Recovery Massage Gun (Maroon); $80 (60 percent off)

Aduro massage gun.

Tackle large muscle groups, the neck, Achilles tendon, joints, and small muscle areas with this single massage gun. Four massage heads and six intensity levels allow this tool to provide a highly customizable experience.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

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This Innovative Cutting Board Takes the Mess Out of Meal Prep

There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
TidyBoard, Kickstarter

Transferring food from the cutting board to the bowl—or scraps to the compost bin—can get a little messy, especially if you’re dealing with something that has a tendency to roll off the board, spill juice everywhere, or both (looking at you, cherry tomatoes).

The TidyBoard, available on Kickstarter, is a cutting board with attached containers that you can sweep your ingredients right into, taking the mess out of meal prep and saving you some counter space in the process. The board itself is 15 inches by 20 inches, and the container that fits in its empty slot is 14 inches long, 5.75 inches wide, and more than 4 inches deep. Two smaller containers fit inside the large one, making it easy to separate your ingredients.

Though the 4-pound board hangs off the edge of your counter, good old-fashioned physics will keep it from tipping off—as long as whatever you’re piling into the containers doesn’t exceed 9 pounds. It also comes with a second set of containers that work as strainers, so you can position the TidyBoard over the edge of your sink and drain excess water or juice from your ingredients as you go.

You can store food in the smaller containers, which have matching lids; and since they’re all made of BPA-free silicone, feel free to pop them in the microwave. (Remove the small stopper on top of the lid first for a built-in steaming hole.)

tidyboard storage containers
They also come in gray, if teal isn't your thing.

Not only does the bamboo-made TidyBoard repel bacteria, it also won’t dull your knives or let strong odors seep into it. In short, it’s an opportunity to make cutting, cleaning, storing, and eating all easier, neater, and more efficient. Prices start at $79, and it’s expected to ship by October 2020—you can find out more details and order yours on Kickstarter.

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