We could have had AC 50 years earlier but the ice lobby killed it

With another sweltering summer over you might have already forgotten the glory of your AC unit, the 100-year-old modern convenience which truly changed the way we live. But the U.S. might have felt the cool breeze of relief a half-century sooner, if an entire industry built on keeping things frozen hadn't stopped… » 10/22/14 5:22pm 10/22/14 5:22pm

How Air Conditioning Struggled to Make Its Way Into Your Home


When air conditioning first appeared—a technology initially developed for use in textile factories—it was feared by many as unhealthy. So how did it make it into virtually every home in the country? » 8/12/14 7:45am 8/12/14 7:45am

Which Hurts More, AC or DC Electricity?

If you mange to get yourself electrocuted, you probably won't care too much what type of electricity is pumping through your body. But this video takes a playful look at whether AC or DC current will hurt more when that day comes. » 3/07/13 3:43am 3/07/13 3:43am

Air-Conditioned Pants May be the Most Over-Engineered Garment, Ever

It's hot as hell outside, these days, and it's pretty much unfuckingbearable to endure. Which may be why it took me an embarrassingly long amount of time—a few minutes, in this case, is a few minutes too many—to come back down to Earth and realize that pants with their own built-in A/C are not as brilliant as my… » 7/17/12 12:30am 7/17/12 12:30am

This Between-the-Sheets Fan May Be the Best Thing You Sleep With All…

It is hot hot hot right now. So hot, in fact, while I was hanging out on the roof this afternoon, my iPad overheated and flashed the "Temperature!" warning screen. » 6/21/12 8:40pm 6/21/12 8:40pm

How to Remove Your Window Air-Conditioner Without Killing Anyone

As of Friday, it's officially fall. The box in your window that brought much-needed coolness during the summer is now preventing you from breathing that lovely autumn air (and will soon freeze your face off). Let's take it out. » 9/26/11 4:40pm 9/26/11 4:40pm

How to Supercharge Your Air Conditioning

It's hot. Parts of your body are sticking to other parts of your body, and it's horrible. Lucky for you, you've got air conditioning. Unlucky for you, A/C is a real punisher on the power bill. » 8/01/11 2:30pm 8/01/11 2:30pm

What the Heck Did People Use to Stay Cool Before Air Conditioning…

Air conditioning is one of man's greatest inventions. I dare you to disagree with me. But what the hell did people use to stay cool before AC existed? Apparently, mountains of snow, windowless sun-side walls, good ol' suffering, and more. » 7/25/11 10:52am 7/25/11 10:52am

You're Sweaty. You're Broke. Here's How to Stay Cool without Going…

Summertime, and the livin' is … sweaty. From the subway to the sidewalk, it's freaking hot. (At your office, though, it's probably freezing AMIRITE?) Good news: you can stay cool at home without running up a ridiculous electric bill. » 7/18/11 12:00pm 7/18/11 12:00pm

A Brief History of Tesla and the AC/DC Wars

Today is inventor extraordinaire Nikola Tesla's 154th birthday. To celebrate, someone made this gushing video overview of Tesla's life, including a lengthy digression on how Thomas Edison was a "jerk." Is this, I wonder, our very first Tesla fanboy? [Reddit] » 7/10/10 3:00pm 7/10/10 3:00pm

Researchers Develop Incredibly Efficient Air Conditioning Tech

My current apartment lacks air conditioning of any kind. Good for the environment and the utility bill, but bad for me and my restless sleep. News today of some crazy 90% more efficient AC has made me feel worse. » 6/20/10 5:00pm 6/20/10 5:00pm

What Is This?

A mock-up of a weapon from Bioshock 3? A radioactive steampunk fish tank? The glowing engine of a recovered Area 51 spaceship? The answer may shock you. Actually, it almost certainly will. » 5/05/10 6:40pm 5/05/10 6:40pm

Apple iPad's Myriad Optional Dongles: USB, SD, AC, BBQ

The iPad really is a giant iPhone—so much so that if you want to get a laptop-like experience out of it, you'll need adapters to change the typical 30-pin connector into USB, SD, or AC power. Correction: » 1/27/10 3:29pm 1/27/10 3:29pm

This Is How Office Assistants In Tiny Shorts Fight Freezing Summertime…

I came today to Gawker's office—under 95º heat and 95% humidity—to find Julia, our brilliant office assistant, typing inside a Slanket, hiding her shorter-than-short shorts. My first reaction: "What the hell are you doing?" Her explanation was good. » 8/17/09 4:40pm 8/17/09 4:40pm

Why Is Japan So Sweaty?

Imagine Slate columnist Daniel Gross's surprise when he arrived at the Nikkei offices in Japan and was greeted by businessmen, sans ties. To appear so casual in the workplace is almost sacrilege in Japan, and yet here it was, happening. » 6/28/09 10:00am 6/28/09 10:00am

Vent-Miser Freezes Out the Guests On Schedule

File these under "new to me" category, but while I'd seen programmable thermostats before, I'd never encountered a vent that opened and closed on a timer. » 12/29/08 11:00am 12/29/08 11:00am

Greencore Semi-Solar-Powered Units Use Both the Sun and the Grid

AC manufacturer Greencore has come up with a long-awaited solution to the inherent problem » 8/16/08 1:00pm 8/16/08 1:00pm in solar-powered air conditioning units-solar panels are still not efficient enough to power the energy-gobbling machines on their own. The company's 10200 model uses a single 170-watt solar panel during the day and electricity…

Air-Conditioned Bed Is Almost Way Cheaper Than A/C

For those who have been softened by years of artificially produced 72-degree work, sleep and play, this "air-conditioned bed" is a promising tool to fight midsummer sleep sweat. A simple air pad that circulates fresh air under your body, the air-conditioned bed gets the cool air just where you need it-under your… » 6/13/08 4:40pm 6/13/08 4:40pm

Cankle Fetishists Rejoice Over AC Brick Spy Camera

This AC wall adapter is no ordinary AC wall adapter. It's loaded with an A/V recorder that can save 66 hours of footage to its 2GB microSD card. And even if the wall socket is turned off, a built-in lithium ion battery will keep shooting for 3 hours of glorious, socket-height footage. Yes, that's the extreme low angle… » 4/22/08 12:00pm 4/22/08 12:00pm

Samsung's Vivace Shadow and Neo-Forte Air Conditioners Kill Germs

Having an air conditioner running during the summer while we're sitting naked on our leather chairs is luxurious enough, but an air conditioner that also kills germs? That's just plain opulent. Samsung's Vivace Shadow and Neo-Forte (black and white) air conditioners do just that, using their Micro Plasma Ion… » 2/29/08 2:20pm 2/29/08 2:20pm