Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Heat

The summer heat has finally arrived, a couple weeks late: today was the first day the high temperature was above 90 degrees here. In a perverse way, I enjoy the heat for the contrast it provides with January - as long as it doesn't go on too long and the nights aren't too warm. But the heat can cause problems similer to winter's cold: "Even in far more temperate settings than the Middle East or Southeast Asia, an hour's exposure to temperatures over 90 degrees tends to impair physical performance, while two hours' worth interferes with difficult mental tasks. Not everyone responds to heat in this way, nor do all types of effort diminish equally, but generally, the more the temperature rises over 90 degrees, the faster these declines set in." (Winifred Gallagher, The Power of Place) So that's why I get sluggish when it gets hot - human bodies just aren't supposed to function in extreme temperatures.

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