IQ-tips: Beat the heat with... cabbage?

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As the year's worst heat wave continues to cook our readers in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi, I thought I'd bring the following sizzling facts to the floor, courtesy of cnsnews.com:

"From June 1 to August 31, 1930, 21 days had high temperatures that were 100 degrees or above" in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, Patrick Michaels, senior fellow for environmental studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, told Cybercast News Service. "That summer has never been approached, and it's not going to be approached this year."

The summer of 1930 also marked the beginning of the longest drought of the 20th century.

A "dust bowl" covered about 50 million acres in the south-central plains during the winter of 1935-1936.

While this trivia is certainly interesting, it still does little to comfort me as the planet continues to warm. Nor do the facts give us any actual relief from the heat. But hopefully these tips from the good folk over at This Old House will"¦ after the jump...

Besides all the obvious things, like pulling down shades and closing curtains, you should also consider:

A fan, which costs two to five cents per hour to operate, will make a room feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler. Also, a fan works well in tandem with an air conditioner because the dehumidifying action of the air conditioner provides drier air that the fan can then move around.

Any appliance that generates heat adds to your cooling load. An oven baking cookies can easily raise the room temperature 10 degrees, which in turn jacks up overall cooling costs 2 to 5 percent. Save cooking (especially baking) for cooler hours, or cook outdoors on your grill. It is also a good idea to run the dishwasher and clothes dryer at night.

And if none of that works, you can do what Babe Ruth did to keep cool on hot days by placing a frozen cabbage leaf under your baseball cap. One last tip: as the story goes, Ruth changed cabbage leaves every couple innings.ruth.jpg

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August 8, 2006 - 4:35am
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