Staying cool

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Cool your space…

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy put together a list of ways to cool your homes without resorting to a power-sucking, CFC-spewing air conditioning unit. Some of the ideas require a bit of investment, while others merely suggest better ways to position fans.

Heat distractions…

Unless you’re a fan of golf or baseball on television, there isn’t much to do when you’re stuck indoors because it’s too hot to go outside. That doesn’t mean you have to sit around staring into space, passing in and out of consciousness while the flies circle.

When I was young and even more prone to sun burns than I am now, my parents looked at the summer as an opportunity to get me into arts and crafts and try out various hobbies. Some of those hobbies took, and even now I think of summer as a time to play guitar, read books, write creatively, and make things. I haven’t made much this summer I confess, but I plan to.

Need a hobby? Visit and get a sampling of the different kinds of hobbies you can take up, everything from making soap to drawing to operating radio controlled vehicles.

Want to teach yourself guitar? This is one of the better sites I’ve ever come across for six-string wannabes with free lessons, and little digital features that can help you do everything from tune your guitar to get your timing down.

How Stuff Works has thousands of in-depth lessons on how things work, from computer processors to bird houses. It’s an essential resource for any hobbyist or curious person.

This isn’t really a summer site per se, but ever since I learned of its existence I’ve been tuning in for the latest episodes. It’s like an online comic book in which four characters come together to solve a mystery and battle an unknown foe. The drawings are beautiful, the Flash animation is nothing short of revolutionary, and the story, although it starts off slow, is gripping. If you’re stuck inside anyway it’s not a bad way to spend some time.

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