June 20, 2005


It's hot in London these days. Yesterday (Sunday) it reached 33 C, and today is just a bit fresher. But walking down the streets isn't too bad anyway. And you can get a tan, rare thing in Britain.

It is bad on the buses: only the very newest ones have air conditioning (I think); on most buses AC is only a pipe dream, and simple ventilation is not scarce; it's next to nothing.
So every journey, except night or early morning is an agony of searing, stale, stuffy air carrying the smell of sweaty rather than unwashed bodies, the general dirt of the buses, and if you're unlucky enough the stench of some food or drink that a careless folk spilled on the floor.

And my lab is another place of torture: it has big windows facing south-west, and a certain number of furnaces and other devices always on. Today the temp in there is happily 33 - 34 C, and I have to work near my oven. I can't stand more than ten minutes in a row in there. Cooling of electric and electronic appliances can become a problem in these conditions, and indeed my colleague had to add a supplementary fan to stabilize his mass spectrometer.

But my office is not that better: it used to be cool, even cold in the past weeks. But now it's hotter than outside - cooler than the lab, still. Apparently the conditioning plant here is under the influence of some obscure and imprevedible force.

A beer, give me an icy Mexican lager!


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