4. You’ll Be Struck by Lightning If You Carry an Umbrella (or a BlackBerry) in a Storm
News flash: Metal doesn’t attract lightning. Even a lightning rod doesn’t—it can only conduct lightning, should a bolt happen to strike nearby. People who are zapped while holding a golf club or listening to an iPod are just in the wrong place at the wrong time—and that’s anywhere outside during a thunderstorm. Carrying an open umbrella may slow you down if you’re running for cover, but the fact that the umbrella is part metal doesn’t factor into it.
John Jensenius is a meteorologist and a lightning safety specialist at the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.