Dumbo knows what's coolBig ears are not...


Dumbo knows what's cool

Big ears are not exactly stylish, but if we had the ears of an elephant, we could keep a whole lot cooler these hot summer days.

Endowed with an extensive network of veins, the elephant's ears function like an automobile radiator, cooling off the beast's blood supply as it fans its floppy ears, according to Brian Rutledge, director of the Baltimore Zoo.

Canines do almost as well by panting, expelling heat with each breath and again cooling their blood by exposing tongues to the air.

Mr. Rutledge feels animals do better at keeping cool than most humans simply by following instinct. "They seek shade, try not to be too active and conserve their energy," he says.

Try telling that to the boss!

The heatdial goes on

It started with the kids, and then the adults joined in. Now, several times a summer, families in the Foxridge section of Essex cool off with water warfare.

"The best way to beat the heat is to have water battles between the families," says Danielle Scott, who called Heatdial with this suggestion. "We use water pistols, sprinklers, filled buckets of water and, the heaviest artillery of all, garden hoses."

And which family emerges victorious? "We pretty much don't have any winners because everyone gets soaked," says Mrs. Scott. Instead, they end the battle with a cook-out.

What are your ideas on keeping cool? Using a touch-tone phone, call 783-1800 (or 268-7736 from Anne Arundel County.) Once the system answers your call, enter code 4400. This is a local call from the Baltimore area. If you don't have a touch-tone phone, send your ideas to: "Hot Enough," Features Dept., Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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