Ways to stay cool for school

09:22, May 26, 2010      

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Most university students in China don't have air-conditioning in their dorms, but it seems that's no big deal - it's no sweat. Escaping the heat is simply a matter of getting creative and being resourceful.

Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province is famed as one of China's "four ovens" (four hottest cities), where the highest summer temperature reaches up to 40 C.

Lu Ming, a junior at Nanjing Normal University, says the oppressive conditions prevent him from sleeping.
"Sleeping naked or taking frequent showers doesn't help much," said Lu, who is 1.7 meters tall and weighs over 80 kilograms. "I have other effective means for keeping cool."

Lu buys a watermelon on the way to the dorm every afternoon, and then immerses it in a bucket of ice cool water. But he doesn't then eat it. Instead, he takes it to bed and gives it a hug.

"A few hours in iced water is enough," he said. "If I get thirsty at night, I get up and eat it. Kills two birds with one stone."

According to Lu, he started a trend and others began copying his "invention". Unfortunately, the cooling effect didn't work so well for those of a thinner disposition. "It only works for us fat boys," Lu joked.
In the dorm rooms, employing the laws of physics satisfies the need for a breeze.

In rooms with bunk beds, people on the upper beds get less benefit from the fan hung from the center of the roof. Wan Xiaorong, a senior at Nanchang University in Jiangxi Province, learned a trick to solve it.
By opening an umbrella and hanging it from the bed beam closest to the fan, the breeze blows from off the umbrella and back towards the bed.

"It works in the same way as the principle of light reflection," said Wan.

One student at Shanghai University finds escaping the campus is the best way to stay cool. Chen Mei gets all her studying done while riding the city subway, which is fitted with air-conditioning.

"I avoid the morning and evening peaks, and I usually bring several books and a cup of tea, and then read on the train," she said. "It is more comfortable than staying in the sweltering dorm, and more economical and environment-friendly than turning on an air-conditioner at home."

Zhou Xiao, a medical junior at Tongji University in Shanghai, says that he stays cool by deploying a trick he learned from his studies - rubbing alcohol on himself.

"The alcohol content is 75 percent, which doesn't give off a strong smell. It absorbs the heat," he said. Zhou doesn't advise non-medical students to try it. "It's only one for the professionals," he said.

Tang Yaowu, a medical professor, said students should consider the practicalities of their situations before opting for any unusual methods.

"Putting plants in the dorm can help adjust the temperatures and might bring a sense of a cooler climate. Drinking Mung bean soup also helps to cope with the heat," he said.

"Extreme solutions to cool down, such as sleeping on a cold floor or immersing your feet in cold water might damage your health in the future."

Source: Global Times


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