You Should Never Wash Dishes During a Thunderstorm—Here’s Why

Consider a storm yet another reason to procrastinate on your dishes.
Consider a storm yet another reason to procrastinate on your dishes.
SVphotography/iStock via Getty Images

You may know to avoid taking a shower during a thunderstorm, but that's not the only indoor activity that leaves you vulnerable to electrical shock. Washing dirty dishes can be just as dangerous when there's thunder and lightning outside your home, according to Reader's Digest.

Stories of people getting injured while showering in electrical storms may sound like myths, but they're rooted in fact. When a lightning bolt leaves a cloud, it follows the fastest route to the ground. Because metal framing and piping make for good conductors, that path sometimes leads through a building.

It's possible for lightning to move through a home without harming the people inside, but it can also cause serious injury under the right circumstances. The water in a house's plumbing system often contains metallic impurities that are conductive. If lightning hits your home while you're doing the dishes, that charge can travel through the pipes, through the water, and ultimately through the sink you're in contact with. The same thing can happen with the water from your shower head.

The chances of lightning striking you in or out of your home are slim, at roughly 1 in 775,000. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't take precautions as soon as you hear thunder in your area. In addition to steering clear of the water that comes from your pipes, you should also avoid using any corded appliances for the duration of the storm. Your toaster, stand mixer, and landline are all potential conductors.

[h/t Reader's Digest]

13 Father's Day Gifts for Geeky Dads


When in doubt, you play the hits. Watches, flasks, and ties are all tried-and-true Father’s Day gifts—useful items bought en masse every June as the paternal holiday draws near. Here’s a list of goodies that put a geeky spin on those can’t-fail gifts. We’re talking Zelda flasks, wizard-shaped party mugs, and a timepiece inspired by BBC’s greatest sci-fi series, Doctor Who. Light the “dad” signal ‘cause it’s about to get nerdy!

1. Lord of the Rings Geeki Tikis (Set of Three); $76

'Lord of The Rings' themed tiki cups.

If your dad’s equally crazy about outdoor shindigs and Tolkien’s Middle-earth, help him throw his own Lothlórien luau with these Tiki-style ceramic mugs shaped like icons from the Lord of the Rings saga. Gollum and Frodo’s drinkware doppelgängers each hold 14 ounces of liquid, while Gandalf the Grey’s holds 18—but a wizard never brags, right? Star Wars editions are also available.

Buy it: Toynk

2. Space Invaders Cufflinks; $9

'Space Invaders' cufflinks on Amazon
Fifty 50/Amazon

Arcade games come and arcade games go, but Space Invaders has withstood the test of time. Now Pops can bring those pixelated aliens to the boardroom—and look darn stylish doing it.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Legend of Zelda Flask; $18

A 'Legend of Zelda' flask

Saving princesses is thirsty work. Shaped like an NES cartridge, this Zelda-themed flask boasts an 8-ounce holding capacity and comes with a reusable straw. Plus, it makes a fun little display item for gamer dads with man caves.

Buy it: Toynk

4. AT-AT Family Vacation Bag Tag; $12

An At-At baggage tag

Widely considered one of the greatest movie sequels ever made, The Empire Strikes Back throws a powerful new threat at Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion: the AT-AT a.k.a. Imperial Walkers. Now your dad can mark his luggage with a personalized tag bearing the war machine’s likeness.

Buy it: ShopDisney

5. Flash Skinny Tie; $17

A skinny Flash-themed tie

We’ll let you know if the Justice League starts selling new memberships, but here’s the next best thing. Available in a rainbow of super-heroic colors, this skinny necktie bears the Flash’s lightning bolt logo. Race on over to Amazon and pick one up today.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Captain America Shield Apron; $20

A Captain America themed apron

Why let DC fans have all the fun? Daddy-o can channel his inner Steve Rogers when he flips burgers at your family’s Fourth of July BBQ. Measuring 31.5 inches long by 27.5 inches wide, this apron’s guaranteed to keep the cookout Hydra-free.

Buy it: Toynk

7. Doctor Who Vortex Manipulator LCD Leather Wristwatch; $35

A Doctor Who-themed watch

At once classy and geeky, this digital timepiece lovingly recreates one of Doctor Who’s signature props. Unlike some of the gadgets worn on the long-running sci-fi series, it won’t require any fancy chronoplasm fuel.

Buy it: Toynk

8. Wonder Woman 3-Piece Grill Set; $21

Wonder Woman three-piece gill set

At one point in her decades-long comic book career, this Amazon Princess found herself working at a fast food restaurant called Taco Whiz. Now grill cooks can pay tribute to the heroine with these high-quality, stainless steel utensils. The set’s comprised of wide-tipped tongs, a BBQ fork, and a spatula, with the latter boasting Wonder Woman’s insignia.

Buy it: Toynk

9. Harry Potter Toon Tumbler; $10

Glassware that's Harry Potter themed
Entertainment Earth

You can never have too many pint glasses—and this Father’s Day, dad can knock one back for the boy who lived. This piece of Potter glassware from PopFun has whimsy to spare. Now who’s up for some butterbeer?

Buy it: EntertainmentEarth

10. House Stark Men’s Wallet; $16

A Game of Thrones themed watch

Winter’s no longer coming, but the Stark family's propensity for bold fashion choices can never die. Manufactured with both inside and outside pockets, this direwolf-inspired wallet is the perfect place to store your cards, cash, and ID.

Buy it: Toynk

11. Mr. Incredible “Incredible Dad” Mug, $15

An Incredibles themed mug

Cue the brass music. Grabbing some coffee with a Pixar superhero sounds like an awesome—or dare we say, incredible?—way for your dad to start his day. Mom can join in the fun, too: Disney also sells a Mrs. Incredible version of the mug.

Buy it: ShopDisney

12. Star Wars phone cases from Otterbox; $46-$56

Star Wars phone cases from OtterBox.

If your dad’s looking for a phone case to show off his love of all things Star Wars, head to Otterbox. Whether he’s into the Dark Side with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, the droids, Chewbacca, or Boba Fett, you’ll be able to find a phone case to fit his preference. The designs are available for both Samsung and Apple products, and you can check them all out here.

Buy it: Otterbox

13. 3D Puzzles; $50

3D Harry Potter puzzle from Amazon.
Wrebbit 3D

Help dad recreate some of his favorite fictional locations with these 3D puzzles from Wrebbit 3D. The real standouts are the 850-piece model of Hogwarts's Great Hall and the 910-piece version of Winterfell from Game of Thrones. If dad's tastes are more in line with public broadcasting, you could also pick him up an 890-piece Downton Abbey puzzle to bring a little upper-crust elegance to the homestead.

Buy it: Hogwarts (Amazon), Winterfell (Amazon), Downton Abbey (Amazon)

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

What Are Your Rights If You Get Arrested?

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As of Wednesday, June 3, U.S. police have arrested approximately 9300 people in connection to the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd. Protestors lose certain rights when they're taken into police custody, but there's plenty they can do (and avoid doing) to legally protect themselves. Here are some rights regarding arrests that everyone in America should be familiar with.

When to Remain Silent

Thanks to the popularity of cop shows, the first few lines of the Miranda Warning are common knowledge among the public. It's true that you have the right to remain silent when you're arrested, even if the arresting officer doesn't recite this warning while apprehending you. According to The Legal Aid Society, there are a few pieces of information you should surrender if the police ask: your name, address, and date of birth. Lying about your identity could get you into more legal trouble. In an interview with Teen Vogue, clinical assistant professor of law and director of appellate litigation for the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University David M. Shapiro said questions about height, weight, and criminal history should also be answered honestly when you're booked into jail. If you're an immigrant, you don't have to tell the police your citizenship status or say where you're from.

During an arrest, you also have the right to make requests of your own. You're allowed to ask why you're being arrested if you haven't been told already, and according to the ACLU, you should ask for a lawyer immediately. When you get to the police station, you have the right to make one local phone call. The police aren't allowed to listen if you call a lawyer, but that's not the case if you phone a friend or relative. If you don't already have a lawyer or don't think you can afford one, let the officers know so they can set you up with representation that works for you.

When to Withhold Consent

While apprehending you, an officer can pat you down and remove anything from your person. This may include your phone, but police need a warrant to search your personal devices without permission. That means they're not allowed to look through photos, videos, or other data without your consent. If an officer asks for your device, or asks for your passcode or fingerprint to unlock it, you have the right to deny the request. That being said, The Legal Aid Society recommends using a passcode with six or more digits and disabling face/fingerprint unlock on your phone to protect your digital security in case of an arrest.

The police may also ask to collect a DNA sample after arresting you. Even if you don't consent to this, you may leave behind a sample for them to test without realizing it. The Legal Aid Society Warns against drinking, smoking, or chewing gum in police custody, and if you do, they say to take any items you used with you and say out loud that you don't consent to your DNA being tested.

What to Do If You Think Your Rights Have Been Violated

Knowing your rights also means being able to recognize when they've been violated. If you think an officer is abusing their power during an arrest, remember and record as much information from the incident as possible. That includes badge numbers, patrol car numbers, names of the officers, the agency they work for, and witness contact information. Record video or photograph evidence of the violation if you can. With this information ready, you can file a complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. You can also sue for civil rights violations, though such lawsuits against police can be expensive and hard for prosecutors to win.