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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 Mathinker (909784) on Monday July 11, 2011 @06:00AM (#36718270) Journal

    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 memyselfandeye (1849868) on Monday July 11, 2011 @08:02AM (#36718790)

    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 at it, ;let's start a blog to figure out perpetual motion so we can finally put big oil out of business."

    So here's my advice. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or in parlance... If you can't stand the heat, take your iPhone and fly back to your air conditioned hovel in New England. And try to avoid 'constructive criticism' of that 'authentic demonstrating mother' whose taken her child outside in the 'child endangering' heat... mother's always know best.

    This just pisses me off more than my relatives visiting me in New Mexico and bitching about the heat... ignoring the crystal clear skies, clean air, and mosquito free evenings.

  • Re:Tarp. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by the_raptor (652941) on Monday July 11, 2011 @08:33AM (#36718976)

    And why do you think that being from those parts magically imparts knowledge of how to effectively and efficiently cool large open areas where lots of people congregate?

    Maybe because this isn't a novel situation you dumbfuck. The people that live in Egypt have dealt with this issue on a daily basis for thousands of years. This isn't a matter of a group of people going to a place whose environment is out of the bounds of their everyday experience. If the question was "I am going to Egypt as a tourist and would like to know how to deal with the heat" it might be a valid question. Thinking that a bunch of mostly Western nerds can come up with a better solution then the natives, that can be rolled out in time to have any effect on the protesters in Tahrir square, is Western arrogance of the extreme.

    "Oh the poor little brown people are too naive to understand that standing in the sun all day is tiring!"

    If the Egyptians need our help in anything it is in making sure our governments stop supporting oppressive regimes. Not tips on dealing with hot weather.

  • 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.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang

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