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.
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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]

Thursday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Guitar Kits, Memory-Foam Pillows, and Smartwatches

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, December 3. 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!

The Meanings Behind 25 Common Acronyms and Initialisms

Remember POGs?
Remember POGs?
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Before POGs became collectible items printed with our favorite ’90s pop culture characters, they were just simple discs found inside bottle caps. In fact, that’s how they got their name—POG is an acronym for Passion Fruit, Orange, Guava, the name of a Maui-based beverage whose lids gave rise to the game.

On this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss host Justin Dodd is sharing the origin stories behind 25 popular acronyms and initialisms, many of which you may not have realized actually stood for anything at all. Geico, for example, isn’t a word that insurance providers made up to match their spokes-gecko; it’s an acronym for Government Employees Insurance Co., made up to match the company’s original target demographic (government employees). And since LED stands for light-emitting diode, the phrase LED light is rather redundant.

Press play below to uncover the secrets behind other popular abbreviations, from Alien Life Form (ALF) to Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle (Yahoo!).

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