Turns out the Amazon rain forest is air-conditioned.
Well, the indoor parts at least. The outdoors? No so much.
And that's become almost as big a topic of discussion in the run-up to Sunday's U.S.-Portugal game as Cristiano Ronaldo's sore knee.
"It will be difficult to ignore the heat and humidity with so many people asking about the heat and humidity," Portugal Coach Paulo Bento said. "If we are thinking about the heat and humidity and we forget about our game strategy, then we will be in trouble."
On Saturday, the first day of winter in Brazil, it was 81 degrees with 87% humidity in Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas. The weather is expected to be largely the same on Sunday, with the possibility of a few thundershowers thrown in.
"I think everyone can feel the difficulty that we and the United States will have with the high humidity," said Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles. "But it will be difficult for both teams. So it will not be an excuse."
Sunday's game is the third of four group-play games scheduled for Manaus, situated in the center of the Amazon rain forest in the northern part of Brazil. In the first game, players from both England and Italy wilted in the second half.
"Obviously we are aware of the climate," said U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann, who visited Manaus six months ago. "I think we are very well-prepared for these conditions."
World Cup 'miracles'
Brazilian police are investigating fans who appeared to be leaping out of their wheelchairs at World Cup games, London's Daily Telegraph reported.
The fans are suspected of being able-bodied supporters who bought discounted handicapped-section tickets, which come with free companion seats.
One fan seen jumping from his chair explained his rapid recovery by telling police "the World Cup is creating miracles."
The art of healing
The folks at the Sao Paulo Museum of Art apparently have quite a heart.
After England was bounced from the World Cup in the group stage for the first time since 1958, museum workers posted a sign that read: "English, don't be sad. This week you get free admission to MASP."
That's a $7 discount. Passports, however, are required.
The joy of six
The Silva family from Aguas Claras, just outside the capital of Brasilia, has become a talisman for Brazil's World Cup team. That's because 14 of the family's 24 members were born with six fingers on each hand, the result of a genetic condition called polydactyly.
That's made them a good-luck charm for the Brazilian national team, which is going for a record sixth World Cup title this summer. But the family, who is enjoying the extra attention this month, says the extra digit can come in handy for non-soccer activities as well.
"I have never played the piano, but I want to learn," 8-year-old Maria Morena da Silva told the Associated Press. "It might be easier playing with six fingers."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun