Cool Down

Cool Down

Ladies and gentlemen of the Northern Hemisphere, we have almost made it to the middle of the summer. That means only a handful of weeks left of barbecues, hiking, and swimming until pumpkin flavoring begin lurking around every corner to slap you directly in the tastebuds. That also means that the heat is on — both in the fire pit and the temperature outside. If you live above the Equator, there is a good chance you have looked like this at least once the past few weeks

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What do Finn, Donald Duck, and Cory Booker have in common? The body's natural cool aid. 

Sweat, perspiration, diaphoresis if you’re fancy. It is the magical way that our body keeps us from overheating, but how does it work? Why the heck does this even happen?

When you get hot, your brain tells your 2 to 4 million eccrine glands to start pumping out water and salt, the components of sweat. As the little water droplets come to the surface of your skin, your body takes advantage of evaporation to cool down. To get water to evaporate into the air, the sweat takes the heat energy from your skin and turns the water into a gas. To make things simpler, think of heating water in a pot. If your sweat is the surface of the water and you turn on the burner, the heat that you gave the water causes it to transform from liquid water to the steam that rises above the pot. But unlike a pot of water, when the air carries away some heat, cool remains on your skin and travels back to your core to keep your body functioning at a normal temperature. 

Why do humid days feel hotter than drier days? When it is humid out, there are more water molecules bouncing around in the air. So when the air becomes saturated with water molecules and your sweat tries to join the party? Air can’t take it anymore and is all 

and your sweat just posts up on your skin, not evaporating, not cooling you down, just sitting there making you feel sticky. That means that someone in dry, arid, triple-digit Nevada weather could feel the same as someone in 20 degrees cooler, sticky, humid Florida weather. So when the map of the daily forecast looks akin to the sunburn you might receive later, remember that though the numbers may be different, everyone feels like

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Pints of Gold Medals

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