According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, air-conditioning accounts for nearly a fifth of annual U.S. residential electricity use. This is more energy for cooling overall and per capita than in any other nation. Most Americans consider the cost of energy only in terms of their electricity bills. But it’s also costing us the planet. Joe Biden’s announcement to shift toward a renewable energy infrastructure obscures the uncertainty of whether that infrastructure could meet Americans’ outrageously high energy demand—much of it for cooling that doesn’t save lives. Renewable energy infrastructure can take us only so far. The rest of the work is cultural. From Freon to HFCs, we keep replacing chemical refrigerants without taking a hard look at why we’re cooling in the first place.
Comfort cooling began not as a survival strategy but as a business venture. It still carries all those symbolic meanings, though its currency now works globally, cleaving the world into civilized cooling and barbaric heat. Despite what we assume, as a means of weathering a heat wave, individual air-conditioning is terribly ineffective. It works only for those who can afford it. But even then, their use in urban areas only makes the surrounding micro-climate hotter, sometimes by a factor of 10ºF, actively threatening the lives of those who don’t have access to cooling. (The sociologist Eric Klinenberg has brilliantly studied how, in a 1995 Chicago heat wave, about twice as many people died than in a comparable heat wave forty years earlier due to the city’s neglect of certain neighborhoods and social infrastructure.) Ironically, research suggests that exposure to constant air-conditioning can prevent our bodies from acclimatizing to hot weather, so those who subject themselves to “thermal monotony” are, in the end, making themselves more vulnerable to heat-related illness.
The troubled history of air-conditioning suggests not that we chuck it entirely but that we focus on public cooling, on public comfort, rather than individual cooling, on individual comfort. Ensuring that the most vulnerable among the planet’s human inhabitants can keep cool through better access to public cooling centers, shade-giving trees, safe green spaces, water infrastructure to cool, and smart design will not only enrich our cities overall, it will lower the temperature for everyone. It’s far more efficient this way.
here’s a lil comic i made recently with ao3’s annathehank— TRADITIONS! in which a demon bluffs really hard to get an angel to kiss him and the angel sees right through it but takes him up on it anyway. i hope you enjoy! :D
Imagine it's a hot summer, heat waves are raging, and your house has no air conditioning, so every night when you and Loki go to sleep, he morphs back into his frost giant form and cuddles with you to give you some relief from the heat. This makes him feel more comfortable in his true form, and soon enough he keeps it during the day as well and keeps the house cool for you.
Since it's already gotten above 41°C (105°F) where I live in the subtropics and is going to keep getting hotter and hotter through the summer, here are some simple, easy-to-do ideas to keep cool during the summer. A lot of people will already know this, but for people who have moved out from home recently, didn't grow up somewhere hot, or are in a variety of other situations, this list may be helpful:
Don't run hot appliances. If it's hot out, you can air-dry clothes - you don't need to run the dryer. I try not to use my oven in the summer, and I usually try to only use the stove once a day (if possible). I also always (even in winter, but especially in summer) wash my clothes in cold water. It's better for them, and it doesn't require heating water when it's already hot.
If you have a grill or a way to cook outside, that may be a good option. It keeps the heat generated by cooking outside your home. Otherwise, keep the vent on while you're using your indoor stove to vent the hot air out as much as possible.
In my experience, if you have an air-con, it's probably best to keep your windows closed to keep the cool air in. Otherwise, if you don't have an air-con, open your windows and set up a cross-breeze.
If you have an air-con and are worried about cost, it saves a lot of money to keep it hot in your house during the day and comfortably cool at night. In my experience, turning the air-con on about 2 hours before I go to sleep is enough to cool it down to a more comfortable temperature.
Fans are your best friend. My ceiling fan is on 24/7, and I have several other fans I use as needed. These can also be used in your cross-breeze.
You can put a bowl of ice in front of a fan to blow cold air through your home if necessary.
If the sun is making it hot inside your home, close your blinds and curtains. If you need to keep your windows open for ventilation, close just the blinds/curtains necessary to block the brightest/hottest part of the sunlight.
If you're looking for a new place, pay attention to the amount of summer sun it will get. If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, south-facing windows typically get direct sun through the entire day, east- and west-facing windows get it about half the day, and north-facing windows get no direct sun. If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, reverse the north- and south-facing windows.
If you live somewhere tropical, subtropical, or just humid, and you can afford to, consider investing in a dehumidifier. Only do this if you have an air-con and can keep your windows closed. If your windows are open, there's no point because you'd just be trying to dehumidify the outdoors.
Depending on where you are, it's likely a lot cooler at night and in the early morning. Opening your windows (even with an air-con) at night may help cool your home, and taking advantage of the cooler early morning air will allow you to get outside safely and comfortably.
Even if you still like taking hot showers in the heat, rinse in really cold water when you finish. You'll start from being cool and not from being hot - in the heat, it's easier to warm up than cool down.
If you get too hot, putting ice or cold water on the back of your neck is one of the best ways to cool down. A cold shower can also help.
Staying hydrated is extra important in the heat! Make sure to drink a lot of water and potentially include some electrolyte drinks in the mix. Sodas, coffees, teas, energy drinks, alcohol, etc. dehydrate you so make sure to pair them with water if you still want to drink them.
Adjust your clothing to the weather. Materials like linen and cotton will help keep you cool, as will loose-fitting clothing.
Eat cool and light foods. This sounds obvious, but so many foods are either hot or really heavy and we don't necessarily think about that before choosing our meals.
Of course, sleeping with no blanket (i.e. just a sheet or nothing at all) is the coolest option. However, if you're like me and can't sleep without the weight of a blanket, here are some ideas for how to keep your bedding heat-friendly and sleep-friendly.
Having your body touching a top sheet (rather than a blanket) is much cooler. Even if you sleep under "only" a blanket, using a top sheet under the blanket will help keep you cooler.
When buying bedding, research fabrics. Some fabrics are really hot and some keep you cool. My bedding is linen, and I find that it does a great job keeping me cool. In the (extremely mild and short) winter we have here, I just add a microfiber blanket under my linen cover to keep me warmer.
My cover is a linen duvet cover from IKEA with a really thin duvet inside. IKEA duvets show their temperature rating on the packaging, so I chose one that wouldn't keep me warm at all, and it works pretty well for me, even in the heat. However, I do have a somewhat functional air-con, so this may not apply the same as it would without an air-con.
Sometimes, if I get too hot, I adjust my cover to only cover my lower torso. For me, this provides enough weight to sleep but keeps me a lot cooler.
Sleeping with no pillow also helps keep you cooler, if you can manage the discomfort of getting used to it.
Relevance to my blog: Being too hot affects my mental health, especially because it makes it hard for me to sleep. I'm pretty sure this a common experience, so I'm hopeful that these tips may help someone.
I love how Crowley and Aziraphale are different kinds of intelligent. They’re both super smart and idiotic at the same time, but in different ways and it’s beautiful.
Aziraphale is book smart. He knows obscure facts, history, literature, math. He can do calculations and understand Old English easily. If you give him enough time, he can analyze situations well and come up with an excellent strategy. Remember, he was the one who realized something went wrong with the baby swap, and he wasn’t even there when it happened. He’s also the first to suggest being at Warlock’s birthday party and works out all the details about the Antichrist.
Yet he can’t pick up on sarcasm to save his life, walked right into the trap the Nazis had set for him, and thinks Major Milkbottle is a real person.
Crowley is street smart, or social smart. He can read a room and think on his feet. When Aziraphale is confronted with angels, he turns into a stammering mess, but when Crowley is confronted with demons, he comes up with an escape plan on the spot. He may not know whether ducks have ears or who Agnes Nutter is, but he can tell when someone is lying or doesn’t have good intentions. He knew which kid was the Antichrist despite never having seen any of the Them before, that the war was still on despite the Horsepersons disappearing, that Greta wasn’t who she said she was, and who to bribe for his M25 plan. He can also read and understand Aziraphale better than anyone else. And that’s not even getting into his ability to keep up with and use the latest technology, design, music, and fashion.
They may both be idiots, but they’re also intelligent in ways unique to them, and it makes them perfect for each other. 💜
“Absolute menace,” Aziraphale sneered, yanking the jar from Crowley’s hand as his neighbor laughed, “I do wish you’d leave my work alone.”
“Suit yourself,” Crowley said with a shrug, sinking into one of the chairs at the small dining table, immediately leaning it back on two legs, wood groaning underneath him. “But anyway, like I was saying, giving my whole sales pitch and this so-and-so can’t even be bothered to pay attention! Too busy ogling the waitress and her low-cut shirt!”
“I don’t know where you keep digging these people up at, dear boy,” Aziraphale said, resigning himself to the long rant that he knew his friend had in store for him. He didn’t understand much of Crowley’s job. He called it ‘freelance publicity, social, and community marketing’, which sounded like a lot of nothing to Aziraphale.
“Cut the meeting short, wasn’t going anywhere anyway. I have enough clients right now, ones who don’t make a big deal about my odd work hours or my propensity for sunglasses at night.” Crowley leaned back further as he said this, long limbs rearranging themselves so he could prop his feet up on the table.
“Crowley, you idiot, get your feet away from my tea or I will end you.”
“Angel,” Crowley laughed as he pulled his sunglasses down the bridge of his nose, eyes flickering bright yellow as they caught the light, “You know I’m already dead.”
Hello friends! It's getting close to creepy season and me and @ouidasart are proud to bring you vampires! This is our fill for the monthly A Strongly Worded Note prompt in the All That Slithers Good Omens monster server, and it has been a true delight to work with my bestie on this creepy gory (yet comedic and soft) AU <3 (but do mind the tags)
Chapter 1 is now live! You can read it here on AO3!
It’s book omens week!!! so here’s First Day at the Office starring “I’m full of annoying questions and I’m about to make it everyone’s problem” and “Oh god oh fuck I only just got this job and I may have already fucked up real bad” in the laborious process of inventing gay stupidity
After Cooling concisely charts how Midgley’s “chemical progeny” helped secure a victory for the Allied forces during World War II, as air-conditioning allowed for the streamlined, round-the-clock production of warships, bullets, and bombs, “extend[ing] the limitations of time and space by homogenizing the air.” After the war, air-conditioning helped enable the suburbanization of less temperate regions like the sunbelt. The single-family home became increasingly sealed off and separate from the outside world, laying the foundation for an insular form of architecture and a new concept of domestic comfort. “Air-conditioning was born of a certain American belief in the nation’s invincibility, its power to master the wildest aspect of the earth: the weather,” writes Wilson. In 1955, about 2 percent of U.S. residents had air-conditioning; by 1980, it could be found in more than half of all U.S. homes. Climate control spread to vehicles, too, first as an option and then as a standard feature.
Hi! I was just watching good omens and I came up with some questions, but I didn't know whom to ask, so I was digging around for go analysis blogs and found you. *takes a breath* So, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on why Heaven's camera angles are the way they are. I noticed that, in heaven, the camera tends to focus on the characters' heads specifically, so they fill most of the screen. Either it's a meta reason or a reference to something (like Newt with the Office) that I'm not getting. That's the main thing, but I've also wondered why exactly Aziraphale uses the verb "fraternize" in the 19th century. It seemed an odd pivot from caring about Crowley's safety to Heaven's rules. Thanks so much!
Hello! Omg yes, let's talk Good Omens cinematography.
First, the obligatory Analysis Disclaimer: I doubt there's a specific interpretation that you're just not getting, some singular, "correct" reading of the scene(s). Two years past release, I'm positive the fandom as a whole has come up with plenty of ideas (I mostly hang on the periphery. I'm far from up to date with GO meta), but any and all of it will, by nature, be subjective. Thus, all I can offer is my own, personal interpretation.
So for me? It's about intimacy.
Not intimacy in the sense of friendship, but rather the broad idea of closeness. Confidentiality. Emotion. Knowledge. Understanding by means of literally getting into the thick of these conversations. I love the camerawork in Heaven (and elsewhere) because the camera itself acts like a person — an additional party to these interactions. And, since we're the ones watching this show via the camera, it makes it feel as if we're peeking into scenes that are otherwise private. Obviously all cinematography does this to a certain extent, the camera is always watching someone or something without acknowledging that we're doing the watching (outside of documentary-esque filmmaking), but GO uses angles and closeups to mimic another person observing these scenes, someone other than the characters involved.
The easiest example I can give here is when Michael makes their call to Ligur. Here, the camera is positioned up on the next landing of the staircase, as if we're sneaking a look down at this otherwise secret call. There's even a moment when the camera pans to the right to look at them through the gap in the railing, briefly obscuring Michael from our view.
Here, a standard expectation of any scene — keep your character in focus — is done away with to instead mimic the movements of someone actually hiding in the stairwell, listening in on the conversation. It creates that feeling of intimacy, as if we're really there with Michael, not just watching Michael through a screen. The camerawork acts like a person overhearing an illicit conversation prior to falling back on mid/closeup shots. We're spying on them.
To give a non-Heaven example, the camera helps us connect with Aziraphale during Gabriel's jogging scene. It's hard to show through screenshots, but if you re-watch you'll see that the camera initially keeps them both in the frame with full body shots, allowing us to compare things like Gabriel's unadorned gray workout clothes with Aziraphale's more stylish outfit; one's good jogging form and the other's awkward shuffle. However, this distance also creates the sense that we're jogging with them, we're keeping pace.
That is, until Aziraphale begins to lag. Then the camera lags too, giving them both the chance to catch up, so to speak.
Until, finally, Aziraphale has to stop completely and the camera, of course, stops with him. We're emotionally attuned to Aziraphale, not Gabriel, and the camerawork reflects that. Even more-so when we cut to a low shot of Gabriel's annoyed huff at having to stop at all, making him appear larger and more imposing. Because to Aziraphale, he is.
This work carries over into Heaven's other scenes. The closeups are pretty much a given since, whether it's Gabriel realizing Aziraphale has been "fraternizing" with Crowley (more on that below!), or Aziraphale choosing to go back to Earth, the scenes in Heaven are incredibly important to the narrative. Closeups allow the viewer to get a good read on each character's emotional state — focusing on minute facial changes as opposed to overall body language — and that fly-on-the-wall feeling is increased as we literally get an up close and personal look at these pivotal moments.
Compare a shot like this one of Gabriel to the line of angels ready for battle. We don't get closeups on any of their faces because their emotions aren't important. Yes, that's in part because they're background characters, not main characters, but a lack of emotion — their willingness to enter this war without question — is also the point of their presence in this scene. So they remain a semi-identical, nearly faceless mass that runs off into infinity down that hallway, not any individual whose inner life we get a peek at via a closeup.
I particularly like Aziraphale's conversation with the angel... general? Idk what to call this guy. He's just gonna be Mustache Angel. But, getting back on track, his scene has a lot of over the shoulder shots which, admittedly, are pretty common. From a practical perspective they're used to help the audience situate both characters in the scene — you're here, you're there, this is how you're spaced during this conversation — but it can also help emphasize that closeness between them. Keeping both characters in the shot connects them and though Aziraphale and Mustache Angel definitely aren't on the same page here, those shots help cue us in to the unwanted intimacy of this moment. They're both angels... even though Aziraphale no longer aligns himself with them. They're both soldiers in a war... but Aziraphale will not fight. This angel has a list of Aziraphale's secrets, including that he once had a flaming sword and lost it... but Aziraphale doesn't want to admit those circumstances to him. This angel wouldn't understand, even if he did. Intimacy here, connection and closeness, is something discomforting because Aziraphale can no longer embrace those similarities. They put him (and us) out of sorts, so when we get them both in frame, that connection creates tension, not relief.
And many of those over the shoulder shots are given sharp angels, or the camera is placed too close to the "off screen" party. Compare a shot like Luke and Rey to Aziraphale and Mustache Angel. Here, Luke is a clean, solid line on the left side of the screen, just enough there to cue us in to where he is in relationship to Ray, In contrast, Mustache Angel's mustache is Too Close and proves rather distracting. Rey and Luke are connecting here over being Jedi with responsibilities to uphold (or at least, Luke will acknowledge that connection later lol); Mustache Angel is forcing a connection with Aziraphale that makes everyone uncomfortable.
We are too close to him here. He feels too close to Aziraphale too. This whole conversation is upsetting and discomforting, pushing Aziraphale to finally choose which side he's on (his own with Crowley). The shots aren't meant to subtly keep the audience from getting lost and then otherwise be unobtrusive, we're supposed to be Very Aware of this angel's body and how close he's getting to the character we've come to identify with — both literally (he's leaning in) and in terms of forcing Aziraphale to finally make his choice.
When Mustache Angel marches forward and gets all up in Aziraphale's face, the camera positions itself behind Aziraphale in a way that makes it feel like we're hiding behind him, with Aziraphale taking up far more of the screen than Luke does. Like the scene with Michael or running with Gabriel, the camera often likes to mimic a "realistic" response to these events. This angry, shouty angel is getting closer, best take a step back and stay out of sight behind Aziraphale, holding his ground.
These closeups also serve as a nice contrast to the wide and longshots we get of Heaven. It's an imposing place with skyscrapers in the distance, lots of steel, immaculate floors, and endless white. It's overwhelming and it's cold. But then we cut to those mid-shots of Gabriel and Michael, telling us that they're in control of it all.
Aziraphale? Aziraphale is not in control. Not now, anyway. When he appears in Heaven we get a longshot to show off this endless void and he's just another, tiny speck in it. If he weren't flailing around — an acting move that likewise helps sell how out of his depth he is — it's unlikely you'd even notice him. Aziraphale's clothing and hair blends in perfectly with the background. He's forgettable. Easily overlooked. Someone to underestimate. And when he moves, he has to come to the camera. We don't cut to Aziraphale to establish control like we do with Gabriel. He's left to awkwardly shuffle up to Mustache Angel until he's finally come into view.
Yet when Aziraphale makes his decision, he aligns himself with the brightest, most colorful, most interesting thing in the room: Earth. Earth, with all its messy individuality, is the antithesis to Heaven's controlled uniformity and a bright blue orb hanging in the midst of all this white helps remind us of that. Aziraphale rejects becoming one of the identical soldiers and instead literally reaches out for the one thing in Heaven that doesn't fit in.
When he leaves, we get an extreme closeup for the first time. Mustache Angel is pissed and as such we not only get a good look at his face in the aftermath of Aziraphale's choice, but that extreme closeup on his mouth as he's shouting too. It's like he's shouting directly at us, the viewer who is currently cheering on Aziraphale's decision. There's a war, dammit... but we don't care. Not in the way he cares, anyway.
So there's a lot! And I could probably go on, but apparently I'm only allowed to add 10 images per post now (tumblr what the actual fuck if anyone knows a way around this please share!) and I've already had to merge a bunch of images like an animal. So let's awkwardly finish up with the duck pond scene.
...without a GIF because they apparently count as images too 🙃
Simply put, I don't think Aziraphale bringing up fraternizing is a pivot from one to the other — from caring about Crowley to caring about Heaven's rules. I mean yes, Aziraphale is lagging behind Crowley in terms of rebellion and a part of him is, at this point, absolutely concerned with how he'll come across to the higherups, but that worry doesn't stem solely from a (now very shaky) desire to obey for the sake of obeying. The thing is, Aziraphale's disobedience is, by default, also Crowley's disobedience. If they're friends and they're ever found out, they'll both get in trouble. Which, we know from the end of Season One, basically means being wiped from existence. That's horrifying! And it's a horror that threatens them both. I don't think Aziraphale cares about rules for the sake of rules; after all, he started off by giving away his sword, lying to God, is currently meeting with Crowley anyway... this angel has always ignored/bent the rules — established and implied — that don't suit him. Rather, he cares about the rules if he thinks they have a chance of being enforced. If there will be consequences for breaking and bending them. This is still about caring for Crowley (as well as saving his own, angelic skin). If they're found out, Crowley dies. And, as we the viewer learn, Heaven was indeed observing them that whole time. There was always legitimate risk attached to this relationship. Aziraphale's fear, hesitance, and at times forceful pleas to stop this stem as much from Aziraphale worrying about Crowley's safety as they do a learned instinct to obey the rules without question. He pushes to end the relationship because the relationship threatens the only thing Aziraphale cares about more than that: Crowley himself.
As for the term "fraternizing," that's a loaded one! I won't go into a whole history lesson here, but suffice to say it has military roots: to sympathize as brothers with an opponent. That is literally what Crowley and Aziraphale are doing. They are an angel and a demon, supposedly innate enemies, supposedly poised for an inevitable war... yet they've formed an incredibly strong kinship. They've both learned to love their enemy, the thing every army fears because, well, then your army won't fight (just as Aziraphale won't). However, beyond the enemy implications, "to fraternize" eventually took on a sexual meaning: to not merely love as a brother, but to lay with the enemy too, usually women from enemy countries (because, you know, heteronormativity). Nowadays, "to fraternize" often implies a sexual component. I've been rewatching The Good Wife lately and in one subplot, the State's Attorney cracks down on fraternization in his office. He doesn't mean his employees are forming bonds with assumed enemies, he means his employees are having sex on his office couch. So Aziraphale's phrasing here carries a LOT of weight. He's both reminding Crowley of their stations in the world — you are a demon, I am an angel, us meeting like this can have formal, irrevocable consequences for us both — as well as, given the fact that this is a love story, drawing attention to the depth of this relationship. They love one another, as more than just friends. Though whether Crowley's scathing "Fraternizing?" is a response to Aziraphale falling back on the technicalities of their positions, or acknowledging a love he's yet to overtly admit and commit to — or both! — is definitely up for debate.