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You Don't Want to Miss Wednesday's Best Amazon Deals

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amazon / istock

As a recurring feature, our team combs the Web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, January 4.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

GADGETS, TOYS, AND MEDIA

Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer, Yellow and Black for $17.88 (list price $49.00)

Toysmith Classic Pin Art (Black) for $11.34 (list price $16.99)

Awinner - World's Best Fine Point Precision Active Stylus Pen for iPad, Surface,iPhone, & Most Android Tablets,Windows 8 & 10 Tablet PC and Smartphones. Machined aluminum housing (Gold) for $17.99 (list price $69.99)

[Upgraded] Maxboost Wall Charger 4.8A 24W Dual USB Universal Portable Charger with mSmart Technology, Foldable Plug for iPhone 7 6 6s Plus, SE 5/5S, iPad Pro, Galaxy S7, S6 Edge+,S5,Nexus, HTC & more for $9.99 (list price $29.99)

AELEC S350 Bluetooth Headsets Wireless In-Ear Sports Earbuds Sweatproof Earphones Noise Cancelling Headsets with Mic for Running Jogging for $24.98 (list price $129.99)

Kobert Waterproof Cell Phone Case - Best Dry Bag Pouch For Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus Samsung Galaxy s7, s7 Edge, s6, s6 Edge, Any Phone Up To 6 inches - Lanyard + Stylus for $9.89 (list price $35.99)

Kobert Waterproof Cell Phone Case - Best Dry Bag Pouch For Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus Samsung Galaxy s7, s7 Edge, s6, s6 Edge, Any Phone Up To 6 inches - Lanyard + Stylus for $35.99 (list price $35.99)

Anker Quick Charge 3.0 51.5W 5-Port USB Wall Charger, PowerPort Speed 5 for Galaxy S7/S6/edge/edge+, Note 4/5, LG G4/G5, HTC One M8/M9/A9, Nexus 6, with PowerIQ for iPhone 7, iPad, and More for $28.99 (list price $84.99)

Pur Tablet Computer/Cell Phone Universal Mount Stand for $38.00 (list price $49.00)

TechMatte MagGrip CD Slot Magnetic Universal Car Mount Holder for Smartphones including iPhone 7, 6, 6S, Galaxy S7, S7 Edge - Blue for $10.99 (list price $19.99)

Tendak International Power Adapter Travel AC Adapter 2.1A 2 Ports USB Universal Charger Word Travel Adapter - US UK AU EU Plug Adaptor for $13.49 (list price $38.50)

Anker Astro E3 Ultra Compact 10000mAh Portable Charger (2nd Generation, Classic External Battery Power Bank) Slim with PowerIQ Technology (Black) for $24.99 (list price $59.99)

Aolaifo Waterproof Speakers, Outdoor Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with MIC, IP x 4 Water Repellent, Support TF Card, 2000mAh Battery for 10 Hour Playtime, Bass 10W Drivers Speakers for Outdoors/Indoor for $79.99 (list price $79.99)

Aolaifo Waterproof Speakers, Outdoor Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with MIC, IP x 4 Water Repellent, Support TF Card, 2000mAh Battery for 10 Hour Playtime, Bass 10W Drivers Speakers for Outdoors/Indoor for $39.99 (list price $79.99)

AudioMX HB-S3 Wireless Bluetooth 4.1 Over-Ear Headphones with Mic, Low Latency, HD Quality Stereo Sound for $51.19 (list price $99.99)

Apple Pencil Stand, TechMatte Apple Pencil Charging Dock/Stand (Aluminium) with Built-in Charging Cable (5FT) for $21.00 (list price $49.99)

ONSON iPhone Charger,Dual USB Portable Travel Wall Charger,Foldable Plug with 10FT Long Lightning Cable Charging Cord for Apple iPhone 7/7 Plus/6S Plus/6/6 Plus/5/5S/5C/SE,iPad Pro/Air/mini(White) for $14.99 (list price $27.99)

Fritesla 12500mah Power Bank Portable Charger for Smartphones (Black) for $17.59 (list price $99.99)

AUKEY 16000mAh Portable Charger with Quick Charge 2.0 & USB-C Cable for iPhone, LG G4, Samsung Galaxy S7/S6/Edge and More for $23.99 (list price $37.99)

Anker SoundCore nano, Super-Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Wireless Speaker with Big Sound and Hands-Free Calling, works with iPhone, iPad, Nexus, Laptops and More - Gray for $16.99 (list price $49.99)

ZEALOT S6 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speakers Power Bank with Built-in 5200mAh Battery,IP65 Waterproof&Dustproof,Dual Drivers&Subwoofer,Aux Audio/TF Card Supported for $35.99 (list price $99.99)

FosPower (5 Pack) 3.5mm Male to Female Auxiliary Stereo Audio Headphone Jack AUX Adapter [4-Conductor TRRS | 24K Gold Plated Plug] for iPhone, Smartphones, Tablets, Speakers, Microphone & Card Readers for $8.99 (list price $11.99)

PNY Attache USB 2.0 Flash Drive, 64GB/ BLACK (P-FD64GATT03-GE) for $11.99 (list price $14.99)

1byone 5GHz Wireless HDMI Streaming Media Player, WiFi Display Dongle Share Videos, Images, Docs, Live Camera and Music from All Smart Devices to TV, Monitor or Projector for $26.99 (list price $48.99)

AVANTEK Household No Need Setting Locator Device Kit Suit Tracker with LED and Beep Non-Bluetooth for $18.99 (list price $39.99)

USAopoly Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Puzzle (550 Piece) for $10.99 (list price $18.06)

AmazonBasics Shockproof and Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Mini Speaker for $19.99 (list price $29.99)

Enkeeo 8X30 Compact Monocular for Bird Wildlife Viewing, Camping, Sports Events, Concerts, Hunting, Surveillance for $24.99 (list price $49.99)

Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n Wi-Fi USB Adapter, Nano Size Lets You Plug it and Forget it, Ideal for Raspberry Pi / Pi2, Supports Windows, Mac OS, Linux (Black/Gold) for $7.99 (list price $14.99)

Samsung EVO 64GB Micro SDXC Memory Card with Adapter up to 48/MB/s (MB-MP64DA/AM) for $19.98 (list price $59.99)

Timex TWG012800QM Analog Quartz Brass Brown & Blue Weekender Watch for $71.96 (list price $89.95)

Timex 'Waterbury' Quartz Stainless Steel and Leather Dress Watch, Color:Brown (Model: TW2P84100ZA) for $100.00 (list price $125.00)

Stuhrling Original Men's 976.02 Bridge Mechanical Hand Wind Brown Leather Strap Watch for $159.00 (list price $825.00)

KITCHEN

Excelvan CM6811 Mini Stainless Steel Coffeemaker Steam Espresso and Cappuccino Maker (4Cup) for $37.99 (list price $81.98)

Brita Replacement Water Filter for Pitchers, 3 Count for $14.88 (list price $19.89)

Besiva Knife Sharpener, 2 Stage Coarse & Extra-Fine Sharpening System for Knives, Red & Black for $11.99 (list price $29.99)

After Christmas Sale - Collapsible Microwave Popcorn Popper with handles (blue) for $13.99 (list price $35.99)

Color Knife Set - Top Stainless Steel Knife Set - Gift Set in Box by LeDishTM - Includes Chef, Bread, Slicer, Santoku, Utility, Paring Knife - PLUS Magnetic Strip and Professional Sharpener for $27.99 (list price $49.99)

Freehawk 4 Pieces Set Cheese Knives with Wood Handle Steel Stainless Cheese Slicer Cheese Cutter for $6.99 (list price $8.99)

LINKYO French Coffee Press - Stainless Steel Coffee Maker 34oz, 1L for $49.99 (list price $49.99)

Potato Masher by Bobbi Jean's | Comfy Grip Handle for Mashed Potatoes, Vegetables and Fruit for $9.97 (list price $21.91)

Norpro 5 1/2-Inch Stainless Steel Funnel with Detachable Strainer for $10.26 (list price $14.49)

Pratico Kitchen 18oz Leak-Proof Glass Bottles, Juicing Containers, Water / Beverage Bottles - 6-Pack for $21.99 (list price $42.98)

Presto 01264 6-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker for $22.39 (list price $27.65)

VonShef Round Slate Cheese Board Serving Set with Carrying Handle for $9.95 (list price $49.99)

Salton DH1454 Collapsible Dehydrator for $33.79 (list price $41.75)

Yoofor Pizza Wheel Cutter, No Wobble and Sturdy for $9.99 (list price $29.99)

Totally Bamboo 3 Piece Bamboo Cutting Board Set, For Meat & Veggie Prep, Serve Bread, Crackers & Cheese, Cocktail Bar Board for $12.99 (list price $24.66)

Westmark Stainless Steel Double Blade Mezzaluna Mincing Knife, 7-inch (Black) for $12.99 (list price $19.99)

Dash Go Rapid Egg Cooker, Black for $19.00 (list price $22.99)

1Easylife 18/8 Stainless Steel Metal Measuring Spoons, Ergonomic Set of 6 for Dry and Liquid Ingredients, Narrow Shape Easily Fits in Spice Jars for $11.99 (list price $21.99)

Jokel Silicone Dishwasher Safe Rubber Wine Glasses (Set of 4) for $22.98 (list price $39.99)

Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds - Set of 2 for $9.33 (list price $11.00)

MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears and Multi Purpose Scissors for $14.99 (list price $35.99)

Utopia Kitchen Reversible Cast Iron Grill Griddle, 17 x 10 inch for $19.99 (list price $59.99)

Pyrex 10 Piece Simply Store Food Storage Set, Clear for $19.94 (list price $24.99)

Anchor Hocking 16-Ounce Café Mug Beverage Set, Set of 6 for $22.77 (list price $39.99)

Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Cook's Knife for $99.95 (list price $139.95)

Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 3-Piece Cookie Pan Set, Gray for $11.29 (list price $39.00)

Stainless Steel Whisk Set - Wire Whisk - Balloon Whisk Set - Egg Frother, Milk & Egg Beater - Kitchen Utensils for Blending, Whisking, Beating & Stirring - Set of 3 - by Utopia Kitchen for $6.99 (list price $19.99)

Yonanas Elite Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker - 100% Fruit Soft-Serve Maker (Black) for $83.98 (list price $129.99)

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker, Black for $85.40 (list price $149.00)

WonderVeg Vegetable Spiralizer - Tri Blade Spiral Slicer - Cleaning Brush, Mini Recipe Book and 6 Spare Parts Included - Zucchini Spaghetti Pasta Noodle Maker for $23.97 (list price $49.90)

TOP QUALITY Shaker and Blender 14 - Ounces (around 400 ml) Colors May Vary (1) for $6.95 (list price $18.09)

30 oz Tumbler | Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel for $12.99 (list price $19.99)

BLACK+DECKER CJ625 30-Watt 34-Ounce Citrus Juicer, White for $15.89 (list price $17.99)

Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG Stainless Steel Mug, 16-Ounce, Smoky Blue for $23.49 (list price $45.00)

Hamilton Beach 62650 6-Speed Classic Hand Mixer, Silver for $15.99 (list price $19.99)

Brita 10 Cup Everyday BPA Free Water Pitcher with 1 Filter, White for $19.99 (list price $21.49)

HOME

AVANTEK Essential Oil Diffuser Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Humidifier Cool Mist Ionizer, 7-Color Lights for $16.99 (list price $49.99)

SONGMICS 10 Tiers Shoe Rack 50 Pairs Non-woven Fabric Shoe Tower Organizer Cabinet Black 39 3/8" x 11 1/8" x 68 7/8" ULSH11H for $36.99 (list price $39.99)

Fancii 10X Magnifying Lighted Makeup Mirror - Daylight LED Travel Vanity Mirror - Compact, Cordless, Locking Suction, 5.2" Wide, 360 Rotation, Portable Illuminated Bathroom Mirror (Square) for $27.99 (list price $39.99)

Honeywell HCE100R Heat Bud Ceramic Heater, Red for $14.99 (list price $24.99)

Sleep Master Ultima Comfort Memory Foam 10 Inch Mattress, Queen for $177.76 (list price $249.00)

Pure Enrichment PureSteam Fabric Steamer - White for $29.99 (list price $34.99)

Elf Stor Premium Red Rolling Duffle Bag Style Christmas Tree Storage Bag for $39.95 (list price $89.95)

Digital Glass Bathroom Scale Black - Ultra Slim Tempered Glass - by Utopia Home for $8.99 (list price $29.99)

O-Cedar Easy Wring Spin Mop and Bucket System for $33.88 (list price $39.99)

Set of 4 Cravegreens Pest Control Ultrasonic Repeller -Electronic Plug -In Repeller for Insects- Best Repellent for, Cockroach, Rodents, Flies, Roaches, Ants, Spiders, Fleas, Mice - White Color for $29.99 (list price $69.99)

Sunbeam Fleece Heated Throw, Garnet, TSF8US-R310-31A00 for $24.96 (list price $39.33)

Snugpak Jungle Blanket, Olive for $24.50 (list price $49.00)

Rowenta DW5197 Partner of Fashion Focus Steam 1725-Watt Micro Steam Iron with Stainless Steel Soleplate, 400-Hole, Purple for $64.99 (list price $99.99)

Bionaire Ultrasonic Filter-Free Tower Humidifier, BUL7933CT for $66.99 (list price $99.99)

HC Collection Bed Sheet & Pillowcase Set HOTEL LUXURY 1800 Series Egyptian Quality Bedding Collection! Deep Pocket, Wrinkle & Fade Resistant,Luxurious,Comfortable,Extremely Durable(Queen, Multiple Colors Available) for $24.99 (list price $69.99)

Hospitology Heavenly Microfiber Goose Down Alternative Overstuffed Hypoallergenic Mattress Pad / Topper, 78-Inch by 80-Inch, King for $52.00 (list price $111.00)

HEALTH AND BEAUTY

Dove Men+Care 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, Anti Dandruff 12 Ounce for $3.97 (list price $5.39)

Men's Rogaine Foam, Three Month Supply for $37.49 (list price $39.49)

NIVEA Men Active3 3-in-1 Body Wash 16.9 Fluid Ounce (Pack of 3) for $13.14 (list price $17.97)

American Crew Fiber (Pack of 4) - 3oz each for $31.90 (list price $50.29)

Just For Men AutoStop Men's Hair Color, Real Black for $7.97 (list price $8.99)

Dove Men+Care Body and Face Wash, Deep Clean 18 oz, Pack of 3 for $13.74 (list price $21.94)

SmartyPants Kids Complete Fiber Multivitamin Omega 3 EPA and DHA Fish Oil Vitamin D3 Methyl B12 Dietary Supplements, 120 Counts for $9.29 (list price $29.95)

SmartyPants Probiotic & Prebiotic Immunity Gummies for Adults: 7 billion CFUs & Wellmune Prebiotic, VEGAN, NON-GMO, GLUTEN-FREE, PATENT-PENDING; BLUEBERRY; 30 Day Supply for $9.49 (list price $24.99)

SKINFUN IPX6 Waterproof Portable Rechargeable Facial Cleansing Brush Travel Kit Face Exfoliator System Charged by Complimentary USB Cable Multi-function Skin Scrubber for $14.99 (list price $39.99)

PLEMO Sleep Mask, Ultra-Soft Gel Beads Eye Shade Cool & Warm Therapy SPA for Puffy Eyes Black Eyes  for $6.12 (list price $19.99)

DUcare Wooden Handle Makeup Brush Set with Roll Cases for Girls, Mint Green (11 Pieces) for $15.29 (list price $49.99)

IBEET Blackhead Remover Kit,Comedone Extractor Tool, Anti-microbial Double-side 4 Pieces, Treatment for Blemish, Whitehead Popping, Zit Removing for Risk Free Nose for $5.99 

Mother Dirt Biome Friendly Face and Body Cleanser, Preservative Free, 3.4 fl oz for $12.70 (list price $14.95)

NPW Cat Crazy Nail Art Stickers, Multicolor for $5.42 (list price $5.92)

Matte Styling Cream - Medium-Firm Hold 3OZ - Challenger Blue - Best Hair Product for Short-Medium Length Hair - Professional Hair Head Wax Paste Style Water Soluble with Clean and Subtle Scent for $19.47 (list price $23.47)

FHI Brands Platform Tourmaline Ceramic Professional Hair Styling Iron, 1-Inch for $99.99 (list price $125.99)

Simoniz ST1075004 Think Pink Hand Soap, 1 gal Bottles per Case (Pack of 4) for $30.20 (list price $37.95)

Glass Roller Bottles with Metal Roller Balls Aguder Set of 8 Amber Roll on bottles 10ml(1/3oz) for Aromatherapy, Perfume, Essential Oil and other liquids for $10.16 (list price $11.97)

Aromanice Goat Milk Shower Cream,Shea Butter,Daily Nourishing Moisturizing Body Wash,620ML(20.9 Oz) for $30.60 (list price $30.60)

TRYM PRO Premium Hair Trimming Set - Grooming Kit with Adjustable Cordless Hair, Mustache, Beard and Body Trimmer Plus 7 Trim Attachments for $32.97 (list price $49.99)

ESARORA Makeup Brush Cleaning Mat Set of 2 (Light Purple) for $10.99 (list price $19.99)

Anti-Wrinkle Smoothing Serum with HYALURONIC ACID And Peptides - Get Rid Of Wrinkles with Skin Tightening Daily Moisturizer - Dermatologist Anti-Aging Skin Care for Eyes, Face, Forehead - 1 oz for $27.99 (list price $55.00)

Gillette Venus Spa Women's Razor with 1 Razor Handle and 2 Razor Blade Refills for $6.83 (list price $12.99)

Gillette Venus Swirl Women's Razor Handle with 2 Razor Blade Refills for $10.70 (list price $13.74)

Top Double Edge Safety Razor Wet Shave Kit by Shaveology for $29.97 (list price $99.00)

Lather & Wood Shaving Soap - Sandalwood - Simply the Best Luxury Shaving Cream - Tallow - Dense Lather with Fantastic Scent for the Worlds Best Wet Shaving Routine. 4.7 oz (Sandalwood) for $18.69 (list price $24.99)

Eqoba Heat Resistant Flat Iron Glove, Professional Anti-Burn Protection Black Glove Pink Cuff for $5.99 (list price $11.99)

OFFICE, SCHOOL, AND CRAFTS

Gaiam Balance Ball Chair, Blue for $54.99 (list price $79.98)

Shuttle Art Face Paint,Body Paint Kit with 24 colors for Kids Gift set for $13.99 (list price $59.99)

Super Doodle 36 Color Gel Pen Set for $10.95 (list price $22.95)

Acrylic paint 12 set by Crafts 4 All Perfect for canvas,wood,ceramic,fabric & crafts.Non toxic & Vibrant colors.Rich Pigments With Lasting Quality for $9.99 (list price $19.99)

Water Brush Pen for Watercolor Painting & Lettering - Assorted Durable Nylon Tips (Pack of 3 Brushes - Fine/Medium/Broad) for $11.99 (list price $22.50)

Yarn Storage Bag for Ultimate Organization. Portable, Lightweight and Easy to Carry Knitting/Crochet Yarn Holder with Pockets for Accessories and Slits on Top to Protect Wool and Prevent Tangling. for $23.99 (list price $34.00)

Clover "Shiro" Tape Measure for $4.79 (list price $6.99)

MCS Shadow Box Frame Holds 12x12 Scrap Book Page (40950) for $14.99 (list price $16.99)

Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmaker's Shears for $23.91 (list price $39.99)

Scotch Multi-Purpose Scissor, 8-Inches (1428) for $2.64 (list price $2.99)

Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Packaging Tape, 1.88 Inches x 800 Inches, 6 Rolls with Dispenser (142-6) for $10.20 (list price $14.55)

Pilot FriXion Clicker Retractable Erasable Gel Pens, Fine Point, Assorted Color Inks, 7-Pack (31472) for $9.99

TOPS Double Docket Writing Tablet with Extra Rigid Back, 8-1/2 x 11-3/4 Inches, Perforated, 3-Hole Punched, White, College Rule, 100 Sheets per Pad (63384) for $4.48 (list price $5.61)

Sharpie Pro Permanent Markers, Bullet Tip, Black, Box of 12 for $13.68 (list price $27.36)

Sharpie Accent Gel Highlighters, Colored, 4 Highlighters (1780477) for $6.96 (list price $8.49)

Amzdeal New Money Bill Counter Counting Bank Machine Counterfeit Detector UV & MG Cash Bank (Black) for $299.99 (list price $110.49)

Loew-Cornell 390 Multi Bin Brush Organizer, 50 Hole for $5.33 (list price $8.91)

Super Doodle - Glitter Gel Pens - 24 Glitter Colors - Premium Quality Gel Pen Set for Crafting, Doodling, Drawing, Scrapbooking, and Adult Coloring Books for $10.95 (list price $19.95)

ArtBin Super Satchel Double Deep with Removable Dividers: Clear Art Craft Storage Box,6990AB for $17.01 (list price $30.99)

Strathmore Sketch Spiral Paper Pad 9"X12"-100 Sheets for $7.40 (list price $10.29)

Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine for $249.99 (list price $299.99)

Prismacolor Premier Verithin Colored Pencils, 36-Count for $16.38 (list price $19.28)

Paper Mate Point Guard Flair Porous Point Stick Pen, Assorted Colors, Medium, 16-Count for $12.76 (list price $14.92)

Singer Denim Iron-On Repair Kit, Assorted for $3.29 (list price $4.99)

Xerox WorkCentre 3225/DNI Monochrome Multifunction Printer for $199.99 (list price $249.99)

Art Wall 2506-126 100-Piece Tissue Paper, 20 x 26-Inch, Assorted Colors for $6.53 (list price $9.99)

Sharpie Pen, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 6-Count for $7.59 (list price $8.94)

Sharpie 1780478 Accent Gel Highlighter, Fluorescent Yellow, 12-Pack for $13.67 (list price $29.40)

IRIS Large Desktop File Box, 4 Pack, Black for $15.28 (list price $27.99)

Loew Cornell 841 20-Piece Foam Brush Set, 2-Inch for $4.19 (list price $5.99)

Sharpie Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 24-Count for $10.19 (list price $11.89)

OUTDOORS, GARDEN, AND SPORTS

Asamoom Reflective Stripe 60 MPH Windproof Umbrella, Double Canopy Auto Open Close Waterproof 300T Fabric Compact Travel Automatic Folding Umbrellas for $16.55 (list price $69.98)

Kealive Solar Lights, Outdoor Garden Lights with 5 LED Spotlights, Waterproof Adjustable Auto Dark Sensor Landscape Light for Garden, Lawn (2 pack) for $22.99 (list price $50.99)

Imarku BBQ Grill & Baking Mats, Durable , Heat Resistant, Non-Stick Grilling Accessories ,Works on Gas, Charcoal, Electric Grill and more- 15.75 x 13" - (Set of 10) for $9.99 (list price $29.99)

Field Logic Block Invasion Archery Target, 16-Inch for $40.49 (list price $69.99)

Spoga 1/4-Inch Anti-Slip Exercise Yoga Mat with Carrying Strap, Dark Pink for $11.04 (list price $12.99)

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) for $236.00 (list price $289.99)

Pipeline Snow Arrow Lazersled for $10.39 (list price $16.37)

Holzhaus Outdoor Beach Picnic Blanket with Water-Resistant and Sandproof Backing, Lightweight for $11.19 (list price $30.00)

Vicsou Heat Resistant Gloves, Updated 932°F 3-layer Structure Heatproof and Non-Slip Silicone Grip BBQ Grilling Gloves Oven Mitts for $8.99 (list price $24.99)

Camp Solutions Lightweight Self-Inflating Air Sleeping Pad for $25.33 (list price $49.99)

Tacklife Digital Anemometer Woopower Wind Speed Meter Air Flow Velocity Thermometer LCD Backlight for $12.74 (list price $46.99)

Moobibear MD002 Outdoor Portable Ultra Bright Tactical Flashlight ,Zoomable LED Handheld Flashlight,Adjustable Water Resistant Torch with Rechargeable Battery For Hiking, Camping, Emergency for $24.64 (list price $65.59)

Camp Solutions XL Ultralight Flannel Lined Sleeping Bag for $25.49 (list price $54.99)

Ideal Sno Toys Sno-Art Kit for $14.74 (list price $22.99)

Barbecue Grill Brush | Best Grill Cleaner On Amazon! Lifetime Replacement! 4-In-1 Stainless Steel Bristles, Won't Scratch! 18" W/Carrying Case for $14.97 (list price $19.87)

J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight - The Original 300 Lumen Ultra Bright, LED 3 Mode Flashlight - Black for $13.95 (list price $29.95)

Enkeeo 2 Pack Hiking Walking Trekking Poles Ultralight Collapsible Trail Walking Stick with Durable Aluminum, Anti Shock & Quick Lock Technology (Black and Orange, 1 Pair) for $23.99 (list price $35.99)

Flexible Flyer Snowball Maker, colors may vary for $8.06 (list price $8.95)

Repel 94101 6-Ounce Sportsmen Max Insect Repellent 40-Percent DEET Pump Spray, Case Pack of 1 for $3.86 (list price $6.99)

16pcs Camping Cookware Stove Carabiner Folding Spork Set Bisgear(TM) Outdoor Camping Hiking Backpacking Non-stick Cooking Non-stick Picnic Bowl Pot Pan , Folding Spork , Mini Stove with Piezo Ignition for $26.99 (list price $59.99)

Sminiker Portable Survival Aircraft Aluminum Defender Tactical Pen with Glassbreaker, Writing, Self Defense (Black) for $32.99 (list price $13.99)

Mini Bike Pump with Glueless Puncture Repair Kit! Fits Presta & Schrader (No Valve Changing Needed), 120 PSI Mini Portable Cycle Frame Pump for All On & Off Road Tires. for $19.97 (list price $38.99)

Camp Solutions Lightweight Self-Inflating Air Sleeping Pad for $29.69 (list price $49.99)

Coleman 2000020271 ComfortSmart Cot for $46.19 (list price $64.99)

Enkeeo Front Top Tube Bike Bag 5.5 inch Mobile Phone Screen Touch Bicycle Frame Bags Water Resistant with 2-Side Pockets, Sealed Zipper, Nylon Fabric for Outdoor Cycling (Black/Orange) for $11.99 (list price $28.99)

ELECTRONICS

Full Size Black Electric Guitar with Amp, Case and Accessories Pack Beginner Starter Package for $79.95 (list price $99.95)

AUKEY USB-C Hub with 4 USB 3.0 Ports, VGA Port ( 1080P Resolution), Aluminum Body for MacBook 2016, ChromeBook Pixel, Other Type-C Supported Devices for $14.99 (list price $28.99)

1byone 35 Miles Super Thin Digital Indoor HDTV Antenna Omni-directional TV Antenna with Included Stand and 10 Feet High Performance Coaxial Cable - White/Black for $14.99 (list price $36.99)

Bluetooth Speakers,TaoTronics 14W Stereo Wireless Portable Speaker Pulse X from Dual 7W Drivers, Strong Bass, High Definition Audio, Built-in Microphone for $25.49 (list price $55.99)

Acer Aspire TC, Intel Core i5-6400, 8GB DDR4, 2TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, (ATC-780-AMZi5) for $399.99 (list price $449.99)

Etekcity Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Receiver Audio Adapter (NFC-Enabled) for Sound System for $18.69 (list price $35.99)

iPad Pro Stand, TechMatte Multi-Angle Aluminum Holder for iPad Pro 12.9 9.7 inch Tablets, E-readers and Smartphones - XL-Size Stand for $12.99 (list price $29.99)

Sabrent USB-DSC9 USB 3.0 TO SATA/IDE 2.5/3.5/5.25 Inch Hard Drive Converter for $22.99 (list price $34.99)

Acer R240HY bidx 23.8-Inch IPS HDMI DVI VGA (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Monitor for $129.99 (list price $179.99)

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM) for $94.99

TP-Link N450 Wireless Wi-Fi Router, Up to 450Mbps (TL-WR940N) - V3 for $29.95 (list price $49.99)

Bluedio U (UFO) PPS 8 Drivers Over-ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphone with Mic (Black and Red) for $99.99 (list price $179.99)

Ogima BL20 Video Projector,2600 Lumens Home Cinema Theater 5.0 Inch LCD TFT Display 1080P HD 3D with 1-year warranty for $127.19 (list price $228.99)

1byone Digital Amplified Outdoor / Attic HDTV Antenna, 70 Miles Range with Power Supply Box for VHF and UHF Band for $34.99 (list price $76.99)

Tendak 4K HDMI Splitter 1X4 Powered Amplifier 4 Port Splitter Support 4K x 2K, 3D 1080P, CEC for PC HDTV Blu-ray Player PS4 for $14.99 (list price $32.50)

TOOLS

Broan 690 Bathroom Fan Upgrade Kit, 60 CFM for $32.99 (list price $40.83)

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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
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technology
Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva

Jacques Mattheij made a small, but awesome, mistake. He went on eBay one evening and bid on a bunch of bulk LEGO brick auctions, then went to sleep. Upon waking, he discovered that he was the high bidder on many, and was now the proud owner of two tons of LEGO bricks. (This is about 4400 pounds.) He wrote, "[L]esson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high."

Mattheij had noticed that bulk, unsorted bricks sell for something like €10/kilogram, whereas sets are roughly €40/kg and rare parts go for up to €100/kg. Much of the value of the bricks is in their sorting. If he could reduce the entropy of these bins of unsorted bricks, he could make a tidy profit. While many people do this work by hand, the problem is enormous—just the kind of challenge for a computer. Mattheij writes:

There are 38000+ shapes and there are 100+ possible shades of color (you can roughly tell how old someone is by asking them what lego colors they remember from their youth).

In the following months, Mattheij built a proof-of-concept sorting system using, of course, LEGO. He broke the problem down into a series of sub-problems (including "feeding LEGO reliably from a hopper is surprisingly hard," one of those facts of nature that will stymie even the best system design). After tinkering with the prototype at length, he expanded the system to a surprisingly complex system of conveyer belts (powered by a home treadmill), various pieces of cabinetry, and "copious quantities of crazy glue."

Here's a video showing the current system running at low speed:

The key part of the system was running the bricks past a camera paired with a computer running a neural net-based image classifier. That allows the computer (when sufficiently trained on brick images) to recognize bricks and thus categorize them by color, shape, or other parameters. Remember that as bricks pass by, they can be in any orientation, can be dirty, can even be stuck to other pieces. So having a flexible software system is key to recognizing—in a fraction of a second—what a given brick is, in order to sort it out. When a match is found, a jet of compressed air pops the piece off the conveyer belt and into a waiting bin.

After much experimentation, Mattheij rewrote the software (several times in fact) to accomplish a variety of basic tasks. At its core, the system takes images from a webcam and feeds them to a neural network to do the classification. Of course, the neural net needs to be "trained" by showing it lots of images, and telling it what those images represent. Mattheij's breakthrough was allowing the machine to effectively train itself, with guidance: Running pieces through allows the system to take its own photos, make a guess, and build on that guess. As long as Mattheij corrects the incorrect guesses, he ends up with a decent (and self-reinforcing) corpus of training data. As the machine continues running, it can rack up more training, allowing it to recognize a broad variety of pieces on the fly.

Here's another video, focusing on how the pieces move on conveyer belts (running at slow speed so puny humans can follow). You can also see the air jets in action:

In an email interview, Mattheij told Mental Floss that the system currently sorts LEGO bricks into more than 50 categories. It can also be run in a color-sorting mode to bin the parts across 12 color groups. (Thus at present you'd likely do a two-pass sort on the bricks: once for shape, then a separate pass for color.) He continues to refine the system, with a focus on making its recognition abilities faster. At some point down the line, he plans to make the software portion open source. You're on your own as far as building conveyer belts, bins, and so forth.

Check out Mattheij's writeup in two parts for more information. It starts with an overview of the story, followed up with a deep dive on the software. He's also tweeting about the project (among other things). And if you look around a bit, you'll find bulk LEGO brick auctions online—it's definitely a thing!

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iStock
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Live Smarter
Working Nights Could Keep Your Body from Healing
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iStock

The world we know today relies on millions of people getting up at sundown to go put in a shift on the highway, at the factory, or in the hospital. But the human body was not designed for nocturnal living. Scientists writing in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine say working nights could even prevent our bodies from healing damaged DNA.

It’s not as though anybody’s arguing that working in the dark and sleeping during the day is good for us. Previous studies have linked night work and rotating shifts to increased risks for heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, and car accidents. In 2007, the World Health Organization declared night work “probably or possibly carcinogenic.”

So while we know that flipping our natural sleep/wake schedule on its head can be harmful, we don’t completely know why. Some scientists, including the authors of the current paper, think hormones have something to do with it. They’ve been exploring the physiological effects of shift work on the body for years.

For one previous study, they measured workers’ levels of 8-OH-dG, which is a chemical byproduct of the DNA repair process. (All day long, we bruise and ding our DNA. At night, it should fix itself.) They found that people who slept at night had higher levels of 8-OH-dG in their urine than day sleepers, which suggests that their bodies were healing more damage.

The researchers wondered if the differing 8-OH-dG levels could be somehow related to the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate our body clocks. They went back to the archived urine from the first study and identified 50 workers whose melatonin levels differed drastically between night-sleeping and day-sleeping days. They then tested those workers’ samples for 8-OH-dG.

The difference between the two sleeping periods was dramatic. During sleep on the day before working a night shift, workers produced only 20 percent as much 8-OH-dG as they did when sleeping at night.

"This likely reflects a reduced capacity to repair oxidative DNA damage due to insufficient levels of melatonin,” the authors write, “and may result in cells harbouring higher levels of DNA damage."

DNA damage is considered one of the most fundamental causes of cancer.

Lead author Parveen Bhatti says it’s possible that taking melatonin supplements could help, but it’s still too soon to tell. This was a very small study, the participants were all white, and the researchers didn't control for lifestyle-related variables like what the workers ate.

“In the meantime,” Bhatti told Mental Floss, “shift workers should remain vigilant about following current health guidelines, such as not smoking, eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of sleep and exercise.”

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