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Ask Slashdot: Large-Scale DIY Outdoor Cooling of Cairo's Tahrir Square? 259

Posted by timothy
from the squares-must-be-different-over-there dept.
ClimateHacker writes "The struggle for freedom is still ongoing in Egypt and one of the many challenges that face the demonstrators in Tahrir Square is the sweltering heat. Skies are mostly clear and temperatures can reach up to 44 degrees Celsius (111 F) with hardly any shade. The risk of life-threatening heat stroke is quite real. I ask clever Slashdotters out there for novel DIY passive and active ambient cooling techniques. Perhaps some ideas could be a model for saving energy on cooling elsewhere."
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Ask Slashdot: Large-Scale DIY Outdoor Cooling of Cairo's Tahrir Square?

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  • It's not difficult (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ribuck (943217) on Monday July 11, 2011 @05:09AM (#36718062) Homepage

    Making shade is the obvious solution. Anything from portable gazebos to improvised Berber tents to poles and shade-cloth. Shade is going to be more efficient than anything else at keeping people cooler.

    If water can be spared, a fine mist of water in one part of the square would let people who have gotten too hot cool themselves down.

    • by Sique (173459)

      That's why the oriental bazaar is either roofed or full of little stands with shade-cloth. And that's why oriental plazas often have small artificial creeks and lots of fountains - it's all for the cooling.

      • by Mathinker (909784)

        And that's why the original question strikes me as stinking of colonialistic snobbery. OTOH, if some genius here can somehow, with only second- to third-hand knowledge of what kind of resources are really available and what conditions are really like over there, come up with a solution which will make their life easier, I'm all for it.

        I'm not holding my breath.

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          And that's why the original question strikes me as stinking of colonialistic snobbery.

          We're going to tell desert people how to keep cool...!

          How about some air conditioned shoes...

          • by bytesex (112972)

            We're going to tell desert people how to keep cool...!

            How about some air conditioned shoes...

            You'd never get them past the TSA.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            We're going to tell desert people how to keep cool...!

            Just do what we do in the more civilized West: chug an ice cold bottle of beer and go inside to your heavily air conditioned condo, which is powered by the remains of ancient dinosaurs that we drill out of the ground at great expense from...Egypt!

            See how neat that works? It's like a big circle that only makes one rotation and only goes in one direction.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          And that's why the original question strikes me as stinking of colonialistic snobbery. OTOH, if some genius here can somehow, with only second- to third-hand knowledge of what kind of resources are really available and what conditions are really like over there, come up with a solution which will make their life easier, I'm all for it.

          I'm not holding my breath.

          No kidding. What kind of snob asks how to actively and passively cool a city that has been around longer than almost any other city on the planet. I can seriously imagine some ridiculous sandal wearing tree hunger walking around Cairo right now dripping all over the place bitching and moaning about how "quaint these people are that they can't figure out how to survive in the desert. iPhone... to the Internet. Find me the the answers that have alluded this ancient civilization for millennia. While we're

          • I doubt they have to worry about any tree hugging iPhone using New Englanders or Old Englanders for that matter since they have managed to kill their number one industry which was tourism. It's relatively easy getting rid of a government but you should at least try and have some sort of plan to replace the old before you start storming the barricades.
            • by isorox (205688)

              I doubt they have to worry about any tree hugging iPhone using New Englanders or Old Englanders for that matter since they have managed to kill their number one industry which was tourism. It's relatively easy getting rid of a government but you should at least try and have some sort of plan to replace the old before you start storming the barricades.

              I went on holiday to Cairo in May, wonderful time to go. There's never been any danger to tourists, aside from people unused to checkpoints that went out for a period of about 3 days in the height of the revolution.

              There's hardly anyone in the Egyptian museum, rock up to the great pyramid at 12 and walk straight in (normally last ticket is sold at 08:46, 90 second after opening), and a 6 day holiday, staying in 5* accommodation, swanky resturants, etc. with a business class day trip to luxor, cost less than

          • by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Monday July 11, 2011 @10:31AM (#36720164)

            And that's why the original question strikes me as stinking of colonialistic snobbery.

            Just because someone asks for help and thinks there might be a novel answer an expert might think of, even if it's a question it would have been nice to have an answer to any time in the last ten thousand years, doesn't mean we should call him a snob for asking. Ignorance or shortsightedness is not necessarily snobbery. The pursuit of knowledge should not be punished. Nor should he be called a colonialist, for that matter--he didn't advocate taking over the place.

            Me, I'd go with shade, big fans, and ice-cold beverages. But I don't know if there's too much sand for the fans.

        • by Hadlock (143607) on Monday July 11, 2011 @08:50AM (#36719088) Homepage Journal

          People generally hang towels soaked in ice water around their neck. We do this sailing down wind here in Texas (no shade, no apparent wind due to the speed and direction of the boat) in the summer. Your neck has two giant arteries in it and quite a bit of blood flow, not to mention the ice water soaks your shirt and gives enormous evaporative cooling. The icewater gives immediate relief and the evaporation keeps you cool for 45 min or more. AFAIK this is a pretty common practice in hot areas.

    • Also use reflective fabric for the shade-cloth. Reflect sunlight back in to the air.

    • by Zzootnik (179922)

      I looked thru the discussion and couldn't find this one elsewhere....
      A Blimp. A Really Big, Shade Producing Blimp.
      Or failing that, maybe some thousands of individual mylar balloons?
      In either case, park them strategically, and should provide some shading for the square.

      • If I remember correctly, blimps are not allowed to overfly Egypt. Something to do with the Hindenburg, probably. You never know, with all that explosive helium...

        It might be that it was some other country (countries) over in that region, but I think it was Egypt. Someone I know was doing a cross country trip in a blimp and had to make a huge detour.

      • by 1u3hr (530656)

        A Blimp. A Really Big, Shade Producing Blimp.

        Right,. The government is going to be real happy to allow that to make demonstrating against it easier.

        This "Ask Slashdot" is even more stupid and obvious pandering to the audience than usual.

      • Color, tint, and coat everything white. Have white walls and roofs, white pavement, and maybe even white tires so the pavement won't be darkened as fast. Have self cleaning coatings of titanium dioxide.

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      For cooling, Misting Tents are better than simple tents.

      http://www.bigfogg.com/product262.html [bigfogg.com]

      • by Skal Tura (595728)

        with mist there might be temp cooling, but the problem is that it makes the air more humid, which makes it for more than the moment even worse.

        overtime the surroundings will become more humid.

        However it might work, as long as new air comes in which is not that humid. :)

        • by tmosley (996283)
          Nope. The air is zero percent humid. It will suck the humidity away VERY quickly, leaving behind cool air.

          This is why swamp coolers work so well in the desert.
    • May I suggest to use tin-foil to reflect the light?

      Reflected sunlight might be an effective demonstration tool.

      • by Skal Tura (595728)

        cover the plaza with solar panels :D :D
        Use the solar panel generated electricity half for ACs and whatever else is needed on the plaza, rest sold back to network ;)

    • by Xest (935314)

      Mount some solar panels up high and use them to power cooled tents- shade from the panels, and cooling in the tents!

    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      I would also add improvised camelbaks like those used by the US military would probably help. Dehydration in those temps is VERY real and VERY dangerous whereas a couple of two liters filled with water frozen the night before with a hose or surgical tubing would not only provide cooling as the ice melts but a source of fresh drinking water.
  • by tinkerghost (944862) on Monday July 11, 2011 @05:09AM (#36718064) Homepage
    Pheonix Az & several other cities use tall evaporative towers to cool plazas -- pump water to the top & let it cascade down over tera-cotta tiles. The evaporation drops the air temperature and the cooler air combined with the dropping water forces the cooler air out the bottom of the tower.
    • by CrazyDuke (529195)

      Assuming the need for a temporary setup, the park is only about 2 blocks away from the Nile River. It should be possible to use a pump truck or something to pump the water in. There are some things to look out for, though. For instance, the smell of raw river water, blocking city streets with the temporary line, and the political football it gives to any opposition if (even decommissioned) fire-fighting equipment is used for a political event. E.G. politicians in the US will take emergency equipment ou

      • Problem: This is a protest. The government probably isn't going to approve, and that long pipe is just a very easy target. A man with an axe, or even a deniable 'accident' with a truck to lessen the diplomatic fallout, and the coolant supply is gone.
        • by vlm (69642)

          Problem: This is a protest. The government probably isn't going to approve, and that long pipe is just a very easy target. A man with an axe, or even a deniable 'accident' with a truck to lessen the diplomatic fallout, and the coolant supply is gone.

          Bucket brigade... its only "two blocks". Where I live that means either about 100 feet or about 2000 feet. Either way, they seem to have enough people. It would only take at most a thousand people to pass buckets.

          The obvious solution, is to move the protest where its cool. If the square is symbolic, you only need enough people in it to be symbolic, and put the masses along the cool riverbank? If they're trying to get international press, when I hear Egypt I think the pyramids (hard to keep cool) and th

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 11, 2011 @06:09AM (#36718308)

      A tall tower open at the bottom to the square and at the top can be made to generate a significant up-draft of air, cooling the street-level. The top of the tower needs to heat up in sunlight to generate the up-draft. This system exists in a number of mosques and old, traditional buildings in Egypt to cool the street-level covered walkways. You need to have a tall building with a stair-well or similar open tower at the down-wind end of the square, and to cover the area leading up to the tower.

      All shade and covers should be removed at night to maximise the cooling of the earth, and re-covered when earth has stopped cooling - this can actually be quite late, when the sun is low, and does not mean getting up in the early dawn.

      Evaporative cooling, like the bush-air-conditioner, can be used if the local humidity is low. Wet the shading fabric and it will cool with evaporation. It becomes unpleasant as the local humidity rises, so use the minimum water to keep the fabric damp and no water if the fabric stays damp.

    • Currently the humidity in Cairo is 89%. I doubt that the solutions used in one, very dry location in another country would work there.
  • by c0lo (1497653)
    The shade of a tent cooled by Peltier elements powered by the PV panels on top of the tent. No moving parts.

    Water will help as well... drink it plenty.

    • by the_olo (160789)

      Wouldn't that add to the heat? The waste heat transported by Peltier elements needs to be moved somewhere else, otherwise you'll just get more heat stemming from the thermodynamic inefficiency of the process.

      Sure, the hot air might rise upwards and the tents might gain some cooling from such a setup, but I think this needs testing in real life in order to determine whether the real effect will be that of cooling, or warming.

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        You are correct...you could maybe spray the tents with water but the increased humidity in the plaza might be more uncomfortable than the heat.

        • by Z00L00K (682162)

          If the humidity is low from the beginning it might work fine, and setting up a system using evaporation of water [wikipedia.org] can be very effective. In reality that method has been in use in some areas of the world for a long time. Way before the use of modern air conditioning units as seen here [about.com].

      • by c0lo (1497653)
        Mount the Peltier elements outside the tent, with the cold side on the tent canvas (wasn't it evident?). Have the canvas wet to have a better heat conductivity.
        • by the_olo (160789)
          Yes, that's obvious, but what do you do about the unmanageably hot sides of the elements that hang outside the tents? They will emit heat into the air, the air will circulate and reheat the surroundings and possibly the insides of the tents... What about people who travel between the tents?
          • by c0lo (1497653)
            I'm betting at a max to a 30 centigrade between the hot and cold side. Say a 25-27C on cold to a 55-57C the hot side - not that hot to burn one when briefly touched.
            In regards with the increased temperature outside - that's an opened system, with the convection eliminating most of it. Anyway, the balance of incoming energy is the same: the Peltiers are powered by PV-es, this the total heat eliminated cannot be higher than the incoming solar radiation.
          • by Joce640k (829181)

            Yes, that's obvious, but what do you do about the unmanageably hot sides of the elements that hang outside the tents?

            They could be cooled using Peltier elements.

        • by the_olo (160789)
          You need to solve the problem of transporting the heat away, otherwise you're doing a thing that amounts to (pardon my French) shitting next to your dining table.
          • by c0lo (1497653)
            Convection - it's not like the heat extracted from the tent will start forming some kind of ponds outside, is it?

            Now, look, I know what I'm saying is sound from the physics perspective. I also know that the problem is the cost (for the PV mainly), this is what it makes the solution impractical.

      • by mdsolar (1045926)
        No. The only extra heat would be owing to a change in albedo from the solar panels. Enhanced convection outside the tent should more than compensate that. You can't add more energy than is already entering the system with solar. you are just making use of the low entropy of few photons as it converts to higher entropy of many photons (of lower individual energy). The energy stays the same and the entropy conversion would happen anyway without the PV. You would get net heating if you used grid power si
        • by the_olo (160789)

          Not quite. Without PV, lots of solar enerdy would simply get reflected (assuming that the tents would be made of a bright material - you could even possibly use bare sheet metal roofs that would act like mirrors, reflecting most of that energy with just a fraction of complexity of the system involving PV and Peltier).

          With PV, you are deliberately accepting that energy using dark solar panels and have to do something with it.

          • by the_olo (160789)
            Sorry, took a minute to reread what you said about albedo and convection. Are you sure that you don't overestimate convection here?
            • by mdsolar (1045926)
              Convection kicks in when there is a large temperature gradient. The hot side of the coolers will have a gradient and should thus create thermals that would not otherwise be there. That carries warm air out. It may not be very important compared to what the wind does anyway.
    • Peltier elements are not only expensive, but not very effective at cooling areas. If you had an array of PV panels you'd be better off having them power fans.

      Of course if you had unlimited resources or knew of where to get unbelievably cheap PV panels and massive and amazingly efficient and large Peltier elements a PV array roof with a Peltier cooled floor in the middle of an area like this would be pretty awesome. It's a shame it's probably economically impossible.

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        Peltier elements are not only expensive, but not very effective at cooling areas.

        Not [ebay.com] that expensive (certainly lot less expensive than the PV - I reckon these are the bottleneck).
        It is going to be expensive anyway - you are fighting 1kW/sqm incoming flux, with an outdoor temperature that makes a heat transfer against entropy a pain - with water not quite easily spared.

        • Peltiers suck up energy. The area of PV panels needed would be impractical. The only use I can see for peltiers in this situation would be to cool down drinking water.
          • by c0lo (1497653)

            Peltiers suck up energy. The area of PV panels needed would be impractical. The only use I can see for peltiers in this situation would be to cool down drinking water.

            Yes, but ... the shade the PV-es generate ;) !

      • Im not sure whether fans would help at 110f-- it may help your body cool evaporatively, but you will also be heating people up by blowing air warmer than their bodes over them. Seems to me it would be self defeating, and just increase the rate at which they get dehydrated.

        Can anyone else comment, whether the rate of cooling would be higher than the rate of heating?

    • by the_olo (160789)

      Wouldn't that only add to the heat present in the system? Unless you solve the problem of moving the waste heat somewhere away from the place, you'll just introduce more heat produced by thermodynamic inefficiencies of the process involving transport of heat using Peltier elements - the laws of thermodynamics [wikipedia.org], especially the first one, are ruthless.

      True, the air heated by radiators attached to Peltier elements might get hot enough to raise upwards and travel away from the camp, but you'd need to perform rea

  • by SharpFang (651121) on Monday July 11, 2011 @05:26AM (#36718132) Homepage Journal

    Water evaporating from clothes. Arrange for fire service to spray people with water from the trucks. This is quite common in outdoor festivals - the car moving very slowly through the crowd, and firemen pouring a mist of water over the crowd. This suffices for a hour or so, can be repeated as needed. Also, if anyone faints, or feels otherwise ill, they can be handed over to the fire truck to be taken out to a medical station..

    Otherwise, if you can't get cars, just get a bottle of water for yourself and pour it over yourself from time to time.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Here you go! This is the ONLY realistic solution. Keep everyone wet. You're not going to be able to put shade up and keep it up in a space you don't really control.

    • by jpvlsmv (583001)

      And supplement the water delivery system with a chemical that will enhance "donations" of additional water from the participants.

      Water cannons and tear gas. Great idea.

      And shooting the protesters will reduce their body heat's contribution too.

      --Joe

    • Arrange for fire service to spray people with water from the trucks

      "We weren't trying to disperse the crowd with water cannons! We were just trying to help them cool off!"

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday July 11, 2011 @05:30AM (#36718148) Homepage
    And be part of the solution, you lazy smelly hippies.
  • I recently saw this and think it might work if you're looking for a more complex solution as all the obvious:

    Have water run over a thin plate of some sort (glass is more aestethical pleasing) and have a stream of cold water run over it while your container or source of water is cooled. (your container before repumps the water fe.)

    In these temperatures, place de device preferably in a enclosed improvised portable room (aka "tent").

    The result should be a pleasing soothing sound of water, in cooled down high

  • Let's see... something that reflects heat, and has other possible benefits against an abusive government... hmmmm...

    Have you considered a tinfoil hat [wikipedia.org]?

  • Obviously not a DIY solution - but I was wondering if a government wanting to do this on a large scale could actually use a solar updraft tower type design directly above the area that would suck hot air out and bring in a breeze and and (hopefully) cooler air from the surrounding vicinity. Bonus: you get power from it as well

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_updraft_tower [wikipedia.org]
    http://science.slashdot.org/story/01/12/10/0610203/Thermal-Solar-Plant-To-Be-Erected-In-Australia [slashdot.org]

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      All those people will already do that. people at the perimeter of the group will be a LOT cooler than the ones in the middle.

  • by Jeremy Lee (9313) on Monday July 11, 2011 @06:04AM (#36718284) Homepage

    Spray a firehose upwards through something that will make a fine mist. Most will evaporate, sucking vast amounts of heat out of the air, which will flow downwards onto the crowd, along with the remaining chilled water. You want pressure rather than sheer volume.

    Burlap/canvas tents can be cooled with a constant trickle over them in the same way.

    Slightly less messy might be a series of hoses that carry chilled water from a tank out to modified hot-water-bottles strapped to people, and then away again, maybe even back to the tank to close the system. Rip a few fridges apart and put the cooling pipes in the tank. Run any waste water over the hotside pipes and then into the drains.

    It's like CPU cooling, just on a larger scale: :-)

  • In addition to the above posts about reflecting away heat from above, may I suggest you wet down the pavement in advance.
    This will reduce the heat coming from the hot pavement below which may otherwise reach dangerous temperatures.
     

    • Heh.. I come from an equally hot place, where it is hard to stand out for more than 5 or 10 minutes, let alone the whole day. The problem with wetting down the pavement is that the water evaporates literally in 10 minutes (since it is water spread over a large area). I don't know if they can spare enough man power to keep repeating this process.

      Like other posters said, the only feasible option is constructing a shade preferably with a very good reflective material. Drink water and yoghurt to keep yourself

    • by Jeremy Lee (9313)

      Except in the short-term it acts like a sauna, transmitting the trapped heat in the pavement into hot saturated air.

  • Burn hydrocarbons. Lots of them.

    Love,
    The real "ClimateHacker."
  • A couple years ago I was at universal studios in August (a hot time to be in Florida) what they had was a kiosk of misting stations just some pipes pumping a fine mist of water to a group of 10 people at a time. For about a minute in those you feel better for about 15 minutes. But you could store a large tub of water and a gas pump and place these at key locations. After you are done you take it apart and pack it away.

  • Ask the RAF to fly them over some British weather. We'd be happy to spare it, really!
  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday July 11, 2011 @06:34AM (#36718396) Homepage Journal

    A couple of years ago in Penang I took a tour of the botanical gardens. A short section of the tour took us through a stretch of native forest. The microclimate in the forest was much more comfortable than other areas. So break up the concrete and replace it with trees. I know this may not sound very feasible in the short term but it is the only way to beat the climate in the long term.

  • You have got to be kidding me. You seriously thing anyone on Slashdot has anything to teach the people of Egypt anything about how to stay cool in the heat, in a civilisation that has been running countless generations of agrarian workers out in the fields on the Nile delta for ten / twelve hour days for oooohh, over ('scuse me) FIVE THOUSAND (ahem) years and the millions of city dwellers who also make their livelihoods substantially outdoors? Either this is an epic troll or epically short of self-awarene
    • Not really. You would be surprised at how insufficient many of the ideas are. Add this to the fact that the majority of the people these days are used to the indoor environment, and are no longer agrarian workers slogging out in the sun. New thoughts and ideas are always welcome.
    • by Jeremy Lee (9313)

      Well, I'm Australian. We have heat and deserts too, you know. Not everyone here is from Minnesota or Canada.

      Yes, it's a long shot. Most of the solutions will be obvious repetitions, which alone can be reaffirming, but we live in hope that one person out there has solved this so thoroughly and elegantly that we will be amazed by their ingenious solution.

      People have made excimer lasers from tinfoil and air. I know one guy who invented a nanopore water filter that removes 99.99% of contaminants and is made fro

    • by Jeremy Lee (9313)

      Besides, who cares if it's a troll. It's still an interesting intellectual challenge.

      Not up to it? That's OK. Others will have a go.

  • by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Monday July 11, 2011 @07:18AM (#36718550) Homepage

    slighly off-topic: two major cities - tel aviv and bangalore - cut down large numbers of trees in order to make room for more people. the immediate result was a rise of 10 Centigrade in bangalore (from 45C to 55C). in tel aviv's case, not only did the temperatures rise but also migrating birds no longer have a stop-over point half way along their route between the two hemispheres.

    not that planting some saplings in a public place is going to help in the immediate short-term, i appreciate...

    • by Jeremy Lee (9313)

      Hmmm. They can't plant them directly... but they could bring in planter pots. Buckets of soil. Six guys to a tree.

      We'd want to fill the square with as many as possible, using the least footprint. So, we need a locally available plant with a relatively small root ball, long stem, and large crown, with a high transpiration rate. This will cool the air and provide shade.

      Botanists. We need botanists. They'll know.

      Plus, the sudden greening of Tahrir square might be news-worthy by itself.

  • The most energy efficient way to cool people is to pour ice directly into them. Give each person an styrofoam cup of crushed ice to eat. The low temperature of the ice plus the heat of fusion will pull a lot of heat.

  • I'd suggest anything that can create shade, either making some space blanket [wikipedia.org] awning (something like this perhaps [setsail.com]) or try to get hold of cheap beach umbrellas.

    The umbrellas can also be painted with slogans etc.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday July 11, 2011 @07:49AM (#36718702) Homepage

    The following is what I have done at Burning Man festivals in the past.

    1 - space blanket.... Yes a space blanket. they reflect 98% of Infrared and visible light. it makes a HUGE difference in the desert heat.
    2 - water soaked white neck wrap. The evaporation effect of that wet cloth around my neck makes a GIANT difference in low humidity.
    3 - water soaked white turban. Again.. Evaporation is your friend.
    4 - white umbrella..... seeing a trend here? if you are in bright sun the best thing you can do is reflect as much of it's energy away from you as possible.
    5 - wet clothing.. Again white, again wet.... isn't physics neat!

    The biggest problem is pesky deserts dont have a constant supply of water. Someone needs to complain to the planet engineers about this oversight.
    What I have discovered is that most people that live in those regions already know how to keep cool. It's the idiot Americans that cant understand why people don't die instantly when they dont have AC in their cars or homes that cant figure out how to stay cool outside.

    Actually that was unfair. It's pretty much any Idiot that is lacking in education and lives in a 1st world society no mater what the country.

    And yes, I am an American... Most of us really are pretty stupid when it comes to common sense and life skills.

  • What they do in Phoenix, Arizona to cool out door areas is have tall hollow cooling towers with openings at top and bottom (at ground level), and something akin to blankets hanging at the top kept wet.

    Hot air comes in at the top of the tower, cools via evaporation of the water, and therefore becomes heavier/denser and falls down the inside of the tower then comes out of the openings at the bottom under it's own momentum.

    I guess in a country where labor is super cheap you could have humans keeping the "blan

  • Have the mosques and churches ask worshipers to bring bags of ice in when they come. Have protesters carry those to the square. Build cooling shelters from the ice and collect the melt water to filter and drink. Anyone who gets into medical trouble can get relief at the at one of the shelters. People who are not in trouble can get some relief from a cold drink.
    • My first car was imported to Florida from Ohio, without air-conditioning (and was understandably inexpensive, especially when I purchased it in June). Over the next three months, I developed the habit of stopping every hour to purchase an ice-drink (Slurpee from 7-11), or just travelling at night. Sheepskin seat covers to wick the sweat were also very helpful.

      Direct ingestion of ice works, and in my experience, one liter of crushed ice lasted about 45 minutes for comfort, 90 minutes before there were poss

  • White, wet turbans. White wet clothing. You can use non-drinking water to soak the clothing. Even very warm water will help as it cools via evaporation.

    Drink isotonic drinks at body temperature. If drinks are cold, the body produces more heat to cool the liquid down.

    Don't forget minerals and vitamins. Minerals like regular table salt are important to keep the body going and the mood up, especially when people have been sweating a lot. Alcohol free beer, barley water and simular drinks are both isotonic and

  • Here's my idea:

    - Create two row of light colored cement blocks about a foot apart
    - Place a steel or aluminium pole with a base into your bricked area and fill with sand or soil
    - Plant a native grasses or shrub into the media you filled the bricked area with.
    - On the top of the put a solar panel facing towards the sky and underneath the panel put a bank of cooling chips.

    The solar panels will create shade,a wind block and reflect some of the light away. The grass or shrubbery will do the same will absorbing

  • by MasaMuneCyrus (779918) on Monday July 11, 2011 @09:03AM (#36719194)

    I'm in Taiwan right now. People here sometimes spread water all over the ground (though they do it in Japan a lot more). With enough people doing it, you can really cool the air in a local area just by watering the hot asphalt and letting it evaporate. Otherwise, people just stay in the shade. There are some misting tents, too. And, of course, big straw hats (though I don't think people in the middle east need help on dressing appropriately for hot weather, they seem to have had that covered for thousands of years).

    • Another thing that construction workers do in japan is get a small white towel and put it on their head longways going down and covering their neck, and then they put their hard hat on top of that. It's not uncommon for them to soak the towel in cold water before they do it, either. that would be effective, combined with a turban or straw hat or whatever else kind of hat you might find in Egypt.

  • Stillsuits. The good desert models, not the shoddy ones sold in cities by museum Fremen.

    • by dargaud (518470)

      Stillsuits. The good desert models, not the shoddy ones sold in cities by museum Fremen.

      I always wondered how they didn't die of heatstroke in suits designed to not let sweat evaporate. Try to wear a rubber suit in the desert...

  • all cool gardens in hot countries have a lot of trees to make shadow and even better, some running water on that shadow. No one yet out perfect this nature design on a open space.

    one bit part of the problem is that the cities are more and more concrete, stone and roads, there is no green space, no shadow, no running water

    of course, this is a very slow solution for the future children :)

    for a short term solution, you need shadow, whatever material is good, but put at least 2 layers of it and some space betwe

  • by jbeaupre (752124) on Monday July 11, 2011 @12:33PM (#36721938)

    The goal is to keep people cool, not a place. Here's one cool option (pun intended).

    People have been making "cool ties" for several years now. Basically a cloth tube with a little bit of water absorbing polymer inside (available at gardening centers in the US). They hold a lot of water and create a little evaporative cooler for your neck. Like soaking a towel, but more water with less dripping.

    People make them and send them to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. there are versions for necks, helmets, even vests.

    Here are some detailed instructions: http://www.watersorb.com/polymer_cool_neck_bands.htm [watersorb.com]

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