An airport made a Christmas tree out of confiscated items, and it's both festive and educational

When you're packing your bags for a trip, there's always that moment where you stop and wonder what you're allowed to bring. How many ounces is it again? One airport had a very simple and effective way to remind people what (literally) flies. The Aviation security officers at Vilnius Airport, aka Lithuania's main airport, wanted to spread a message of airport safety and Holiday cheer. So, they made a Christmas tree entirely out of items confiscated from passengers during security screenings.


"Here at Lithuanian Airports, we are certain that you have seen many different Christmas trees - natural, modern, innovative, and simply quirky. We can guarantee - you haven't seen anything like this," wrote Lithuanian Airports in their LinkedIn post. "With knives, scissors, lighters, blades and all other sorts of dangerous goods on it - this Christmas tree has it all."

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The five-foot-tall tree took two weeks to make, but instead of pine needles, it has scissors. And instead of ornaments and ribbons, it has knives, lighters, matches, and bullets. The tree is topped with a star made entirely out of cheese knives. While airport security did confiscate guns (seriously, you shouldn't even need a tree to know you can't travel with them), they opted to hang cardboard cutouts of guns instead of the real deal.

The tree got some attention on Twitter, as did the massive amount of scissors.







Vilnius Airport security confiscated so many scissors that they were able to make an entire tree base out of them. Airport security has a theory as to why they have so many. "We suppose, that there is so many scissors because travelers don't know that it's prohibited to take them on board," Marius Zelenius, Lithuanian Airports' Head of Communication, told Mashable. It all ties into the theme of the tree, which is to educate passengers on what you can't pack in your bags. "So, with this Christmas tree we want to grab the attention and to show what kind of things are prohibited to carry on a plane," Zelenius continued.

"[I]f you don't want your personal, yet prohibited, belongings to land on our next year's Christmas tree - better check out the baggage requirements before you pack for your next flight. Safe travels!" Lithuanian Airports concluded their LinkedIn post.

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It does seem as if people do need to have the helpful reminder. Here in the U.S., 4,239 firearms were confiscated in airports in 2018. That's an average of 81.6 firearms per week, and 11.6 per day. Seriously, how do people not know better?

Lithuanian airport security is different from the TSA in America, however many of the same items are prohibited from traveling in both countries. But in the off chance you do have any questions, you can always consult the Christmas tree.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

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Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

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While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

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While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


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