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What's the Best Fan?

In short order everyone will transition from complaining about how cold it is to complaining about how hot it is, especially me. A fan is a great thing to have around to supplement your air conditioning, or depending on the temperature, protect your electric bill from your A/C unit getting run at all. But which fan is… »4/27/15 3:46pm4/27/15 3:46pm

A New Super-Thin Coating Could Cool Buildings Without AC

When it's hot out, buildings have a hard time staying cool: bombarded with ambient heat and generating yet more inside, their air conditioning systems have to work hard to keep temperatures down. Now, a new super-thin coating developed at Stanford could be applied to buildings to help them cool themselves more… »11/28/14 7:00am11/28/14 7:00am

Why Smooth Surfaces Make Your City Sizzle in Summer

It's not just you, city-dwellers. Urban areas actually do get noticeably hotter than the rural areas around them, and that's especially problematic in summertime. Why does that happen? Well, a new study says it all has to do with the aerodynamic shape of your city. In other words, the smoother your skyline, the… »7/10/14 12:40pm7/10/14 12:40pm

How Space Heat Helps Us Hunt Down Alien Technologies

My colleagues and I have begun the Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies (G-HAT) SETI program, which has been written about here on Centauri Dreams and in other places, like in this nice summary article. I describe some of the foundations of the search here on my blog, but I have written up this short primer for … »2/10/14 2:20pm2/10/14 2:20pm

Australia Is So Hot They Had to Add New Colors to Their Weather Maps

It's super-hot in Australia right now: there are massive bush fires happening spontaneously and it's 95°F in Sydney at midnight. In fact, the Australian bureau of meteorology has recorded the highest ever known temperature in Australia—and as a result, it's had to add new colors to its weather maps. »1/09/13 10:00am1/09/13 10:00am