The Reason Why Airplane Seats Are Blue

daboost/iStock via Getty Images
daboost/iStock via Getty Images

While airlines can have varying levels of services and amenities on flights, some things remain constant. The food is generally not great, the bathrooms are cramped, and seating anywhere other than first class can be uncomfortable.

You may have noticed one other fairly consistent feature, this one aesthetic in nature. Most airplane seats are blue. Carriers like Southwest, American Airlines, and United Airlines all feature the shade in their fleet. And there’s a good reason why. It’s the most practical color.

First, blue seats are among the easiest to keep clean—or at least the best way to give off the appearance of being clean. Blue allows smudges and stains to blend into the fabric in a way a white or darker seat would not.

Another reason is that many people associate the color blue with a sense of peace and well-being. Considering that anxiety about flying is common, it makes sense to have widespread use of a color that has a calming effect.

Airlines also use blue as part of a branding effort, with several major U.S. carriers opting for the color in logos because—along with red—it represents America. On a corporate level, it symbolizes a sense of trustworthiness, another positive when you’re allowing a pilot to carry you through the sky at speeds of up to 575 miles an hour.

You'll see other design choices on airlines—Virgin Atlantic, for example, has red seats—but chances are that blue will remain the most dominant color in the skies for the foreseeable future.

[h/t Reader’s Digest]

12 Perfectly Spooky Halloween Decorations Under $25


Halloween is right around the corner—which means it’s officially time to bring out the jack-o'-lanterns, watch scary movies, buy your costume(s), and hang up your festive decorations. Although there are thousands of decorations to choose from, you don’t have to blow your budget while decking out your house or apartment in honor of the spooky season this year. With a little guidance, you'll find plenty of ways to create the perfect ambiance at home without going for broke. (And best of all, you can put the money you saved toward extra Halloween candy to stash away.)

From giant spiders to hanging ghosts and lawn decorations, here are a few of our favorite props under $25.

1. Halloween Pillow Covers (4-Pack); $17


These adorable Halloween-themed pillowcases make the perfect accessory for any couch, sofa, or mattress. Made with thick linen fabric, these are durable, sturdy, and designed to last for seasons to come. (Tip: To prevent the zipper from breaking, fold the pillow in half before inserting.)

Buy it: Amazon

2. Black Lace Spiderweb Fireplace Mantle; $12


This versatile spiderweb prop is made with 100-percent polyester, and its knit lace spiderweb pattern adds a spooky touch to any home. Display it on your doorway, across your fireplace mantel, or atop your table. (It also makes a great backdrop for Halloween photo ops.)

Buy it: Amazon

3. Statement Halloween Signs; $16


These festive, statement-making banners come pre-assembled, making them incredibly easy to install. They’re also weather-resistant and washable for both outdoor and indoor use. Use tape, push-pins, or weights to prevent the signs from blowing away.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Jack Skellington and Sally Plush Dolls; $23 (Each)


Celebrate your favorite holiday with a pair of adorable Jack Skellington and Sally plush dolls from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack stands at 28 inches tall, while Sally is a bit shorter at 21 inches. Set them up on your sofa or against the window sill for all to see.

Buy them: Disney Shop (Jack and Sally)

5. Halloween Zombie Groundbreaker; $22


This spooktacular zombie lawn decoration is sure to scare all of your friends, family, and neighbors alike. Made with a combination of latex, plastic, and fabric, this durable Halloween prop is sure to last for years to come.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Hanging Ghost Decoration; $14

Moon Boat/Amazon

Drape this handmade, 14-foot-long hanging ghost decoration over your porch, doorway, or window. You can also hang it outdoors over a tree or a (very tall) bush. And, since it comes pre-assembled, you won’t have to waste time constructing it yourself.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Two-Piece Hanging Ghost Set; $17


This pair of ghosts adds a whimsical touch to any home. While they’re not “scary,” per se, they certainly are adorable. Display them in your front yard, on your porch, on a lamppost, or a tree. To hang, simply tie the ribbons and bend the wires, arms, and tails.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Pumpkin String Lights; $19

Eurus Home/Amazon

Not only are these solar-powered, 33-foot-long LED string lights good for the environment, they’re also incredibly easy to install (no long, tangly power cable chords necessary). Since they’re waterproof, you can use them both indoors and outdoors. Choose from eight different light settings, including twinkling, flashing, fading, and more.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Inflatable Ghost; $22


This adorable inflatable ghost (which dons a cute-as-can-be wizard hat!) features built-in LED lights and sandbags to help it stay sturdy. It also comes complete with a plug, extended cords, ground stakes, and fastened ropes. Simply plug it in and watch it magically inflate within just a few minutes.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Graveyard Tombstones; $17


Turn your front lawn into a graveyard with this six-piece set. Each tombstone is made with foam and designed to add a touch of spookiness to your space. To install, insert one holder into the bottom of the tombstone, and one into the soil. You can use these indoors, as well.

Buy it: Amazon

11. 10-Piece Skeleton Set; $24

Fun Little Toys/Amazon

This skeleton set includes a skull, hands and arms, and legs and feet—plus five stakes to hold everything in place. Each “bone” and “joint” is flexible, allowing you to prop the skeleton into different frighteningly fun poses. Simply place the stakes into the bone socket and turn clockwise.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Outdoor Spider Web; $18


This giant, ultra-stretchy spider web spans a whopping 23 feet. It also includes a 30-inch black spider, 20 pieces of fake spiders, one hook, and one nail. Its thick polyester rope—combined with the sturdy stakes—allows the spider web to stay in place all season long. Place the hook on a wall or tree, and expand the web using the stakes.

Buy it: Amazon

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Got a Job Interview and Need to Explain Why You Were Fired? Here's How

Talking about being fired can make people apprehensive.
Talking about being fired can make people apprehensive.
skynesher/iStock via Getty Images

Being fired from a job is rarely a pleasant experience. The only thing more uncomfortable than being handed a pink slip is having to explain to a potential employer why your previous employer decided to part ways with you. While it’s a job interview question that applicants dread—with being asked about your "weaknesses" a close second—there are strategies to help you cope.

According to employment advice columnist Alison Green, who wrote about the topic for The Cut, the best way to approach an explanation of why you were fired is to be honest, not evasive, and take responsibility if the lay-off was due to your performance. You might, for example, say that you weren’t prepared to demonstrate the skills the job required because you were so eager to tackle the challenge. Or you might admit that the workload became too much.

In either case, you can admit you didn’t meet performance standards without coming across as lazy or incompetent. (If you are lazy or incompetent, be sure not to mention this during the interview.) You’re effectively stating that you bit off more than you could chew, but hidden in that message is an expression of ambition. Things didn’t work out, but you were looking to assert yourself. Now, you’ve learned to pace yourself.

It’s also important to know what not to say. If there were personality conflicts that led to your dismissal, it doesn’t do you much good to voice them. A prospective employer has no way of knowing whether the problem was on the previous company’s end or yours. And you want to take care not to be defensive in your answers. Saying something like, “They didn’t give me the right tools,” or that the company “was poorly managed” shifts blame, and employers may not consider that a positive character trait.

Being fired is hardly uncommon. Employers know it, and with a little humility, you don’t have to feel disadvantaged because of it.

[h/t Quartz]