Watercooler Ammo: Don't be a pack rat

We're going all Lifehacker-y today for Watercooler Ammo, since some of you may be traveling for the weekend (and since all four of us will be traveling on Monday and Tuesday). Here's how to pack under the new "hand over the Burt's Bees and nobody gets hurt" rules, from the Philly Inquirer:

* If you are not sure whether an item is banned from carry-ons, pack it with the luggage going on the plane. ... It can get confusing. Lipstick does not appear to be prohibited, but lip balm does. [Editor's note: What do you think they make of these?] [Editor's note: No, seriously, that's what I use; what should I do?]

* Don't try to defeat the screening process by attempting to carry on liquids or gels purchased from shops in the gate areas. Additional gate-area security checks are being conducted.

* Some hotel chains are helping fill the void. ... Omni Hotels, for example, is making available to its guests cosmetics, skin-care and hair-care products, along with sunscreen, toothpaste, contact-lens solution, and nail polish and remover.

* US Airways has dropped its excess-baggage fee to avoid penalizing passengers who check what had been carry-on bags.

* British Airways and US Airways passengers to and from Britain and those passengers returning from Britain on other airlines are subject to tougher limits on what they can bring onboard.

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Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead

Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]


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