Monthly Archives: April 2010

Airlines Concerned About Volcanic Ash in Air Conditioning Systems

Europe’s airports have been troubled by Icelandic volcanic ash for the past three weeks. While a growing number of airports are reopening and accepting passengers, many are boarding flights hesitantly, concerned about the potential health problems caused by ash and dust caught in air conditioning systems.

Allergies, reactions, and ill-effects caused by airplane air conditioning are relatively common, with many passengers experiencing dry breathing passages or a common cold during their holiday. Most aircraft air conditioners are fitted with large filtration systems, ensuring the ash and grit won’t pass through into the cabin, but a number of passengers are still concerned. Air New Zealand

The potential risks don’t seem to be limited to those inside the cabin, either. Pilots are concerned about emergency landings which could be caused by the ash. As grit and dust enters the plane’s air conditioning system – a system also responsible for regulating cabin air pressure – pilots may be required to switch air conditioning off to ensure passengers are kept safe.

While relatively inconsequential for local flights, international flights and long-haul carriers may need to land in order to clear out the dust and carry out air conditioning maintenance. With many British air travellers still stranded overseas, news of health risks from airlines certainly aren’t coming as welcome news.

6 Devastating Heat Waves and Bizarre Weather Events (Part Two)

<<< Part One

4. The 1995 Chicago City Heat Wave

Chicago, Illinois, USA


Chicago wasn’t the most desirable city in the mid-1990s. With its reputation damaged by crime and the economy still recovering from the early 1990s recession, the Windy City was far from ideal for most American residents. In mid-July, daytime temperatures soared from their relatively warm standard levels of 25ºC to over 40ºC, causing major problems for the city’s infrastructure and residents.

The problems were compounded by Chicago’s crime climate at the time. Residents without air conditioning refused to open their windows for fear of robberies and crime, while those with air conditioning were concerned about their power bill increasing. A total of 700 people were left dead or injured as a result of the heat wave – one of the worst natural events in recent US history.

5. The 2007 Asia-Wide Hot Cloud

Shanghai, China


Hearing that India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar are warm is no surprise – their temperatures regularly exceed 35ºC, and residents treat is with little regard or surprise. However, hearing that temperatures have skyrocketed throughout Russiea the People’s Republic of China, and Korea would come as a shock to most, since those countries aren’t particularly well-known for their extreme heat.

Nevertheless, a large pocket of warm air crossed the Asian continent in 2007. Covering everything from New Delhi to Beijing, the huge burst of heat caused entire companies to shut down their operation and even the explosion of a fireworks factory in China’s capital, Beijing. While Southeast Asia escaped untouched by the heat wave, we can’t help but think residents wouldn’t have noticed – temperatures throughout the region tend to hover around 35ºC year-round.

6. Argentina’s Warmest Winter, 2009

La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina


South America has a reputation as the world’s wildest and most exotic continent. While Argentina tends to excel in the more historic and traditional aspects of Latin culture, the giant country does offer a temperature that’s cause for envy. With year-round mediterranean weather in the capital and lush mountain scenery in the country’s souther regions, Argentina could be one of the world’s most varied climate zones.

However, its temperatures throughout winter 2009 were just one thing: consistently warm. Tanning fans will have enjoyed the boost in temperature, but many Buenos Aires residents objected to the extreme heat, opting to open windows or pump out cool air conditioned air to stay comfortable. The city rarely experiences any heat during winter, but 2009 saw highs of over 34ºC.

Whitney Blames Air Con For Poor Live Vocals

It was an off-key night for American diva Whitney Houston as she caused hundreds of fans to walk out of her sold-out concert at London’s O2 Arena.

The world famous singer failed to hit the high notes when she performed her hit song, “I Will Always Love You,” on Sunday night – as demonstrated by amateur YouTube footage.

The 46-year-old apparently knew she was disappointing the crowd and tried to reassure the audience, saying “I want to do it, but my voice just doesn’t want to.”

“Sometimes the old girl sings, but not tonight,” Houston told the crowd. “She’s getting a little temperamental.”

Whitney, who’s making a comeback after a battle with drug addiction and her divorce from Bobby Brown, blamed her poor performance on the air conditioning service in the venue and asked that it be turned off. “I can feel it — it takes away my soprano,” she said.

Houston struggled through I Will Always Love You, her best-known song, and didn’t bother finishing Greatest Love of All.

6 Devastating Heat Waves and Bizarre Weather Events (Part One)

Ever wake up, get dressed, and step out the door to be greeted with a wave of ultra-hot air? Whether you’re located in the tropics or the subarctic, there’s little doubt you’ve felt that burst of warm air as you stepped outside of your home, mostly during the middle of summer. For some cities, it’s a near-blanket of tropical humidity and misty – a high-30s heat wave that forces you inside with the air conditioning cranked up.

For other cities, it’s a dry, arid heat – the type of temperature that makes concentration impossible and physical exertion a dream. Whether you fight it with a cool drink or a day huddled in front of the air conditioner is anyone’s guess – these days aren’t comfortable, and there’s no doubt about it.

We’ve found six truly devastating heat waves and hot weather events, each located in a different part of the world. From Chicago to Shanghai; Melbourne to Buenos Aires, these six heat waves brought sudden heat, devastating commercial effects, and potentially lethal disruption to the globe. Fans of a good old air conditioning service best close their eyes, but tanning gurus and hot weather fanatics will love these extreme heat waves.

1. The 2003 French Heat Wave

Paris, France


France’s 2003 heat wave was one of the most economically and socially devastating events in recent history. With almost the entire European continent affected by record temperatures and severe drought, a number of crop failures and agricultural setbacks pushed South and Central Europe’s countries into a spin.

However, few countries were hurt more than France. With over 30,000 deaths throughout Europe and multi-billion dollar financial damage, the heat wave’s epicenter was located directly above France’s central region. Temperatures were dangerously high from Paris all the way to Marseilles, with some cities experiencing heat well above 40ºC – a major change from France’s relatively temperate central conditions.

2. The Great Depression ‘Dust Bowl’ Years

The Mittens, Monument Valley, Utah/Arizona


The 1930s weren’t a great time to be American. There was the Great Depression – a sever economic downturn in the wake of some short-sighted financial decisions. There was also the ultra-cold winter of 1935 – one of the coldest and most disruptive on record. Finally, there was the the North American heat wave – one of the most extreme climate events in history, and a major source of health and financial woes at one of the United States’ worst points.

Piece it all together and you’re left with a fairly nasty decade. Unfortunately, the 1930s weren’t the best decade to experience a heat wave – air conditioning had yet to be invented, and due to the ongoing depression, most public buildings had severely reduced service and operating budgets. Besides sweating it out 24/7, most of the United States’ population were struggling to piece things together financially.

3. Southeast Australia’s Six-Day Fire and Sun Wave

Melbourne, Australia


Australia’s international reputation may paint it as the ‘warm’ continent, but in reality its southern corners can see some pretty extreme cool points during the year. From Melbourne to Adelaide; Hobart to ACT, Australia’s southern points experience a cool winter and relatively Spartan summer temperatures, with daytime temperatures rarely exceeding 30ºC.

It’s amazing then, that the region’s temperatures saw such a surge in early 2009. Record high temperatures – well above 40ºC in some cities, and over 46ºC in Melbourne – saw the giant country’s southern areas turn into an arid desert overnight. Following severe fires in the area surrounding Melbourne, the state of Victoria was put under alert – residents sat inside their houses watching the sky fill with drifting smoke.

>>> Part Two

Air Conditioned Circus Tent Puts Paid to Sweltering Queues At Disney World

You pay through the nose for the liberty of spending good times with the likes of Mickey, Minnie and Pluto – yet for all of Disney World’s fun and fantasia, queueing in scorching hot temperatures for half the day isn’t quite so appealing,

And so Disney have decided to do something about it – finally. Disney World charactersDisney World charcters

Walt Disney World have confirmed that they’re current testing a system that would ask guests to ditch the tedious waiting lines and instead spend their time in a holding area at some of its most popular attractions.

Tests inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios last week assigned group numbers to those wanting to ride the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – these tests appear similar to a concept for a revamped Dumbo ride in Walt Disney World’s upcoming Fantasyland expansion project.

Disney has said that rather than waiting in line, guests will be invited to play carnival games and enjoy entertainment in the circus tent in the renderings below, fanned by an air conditioning service, while awaiting their turn to ride the flying elephants. Of course, you’ll also be invited to purchase Disney merchandise while you wait.

A poll on a news site which first announced the idea asked punters if they thought this was a good step being taken by Disney – and a convincing 78% voted ‘Yes’.

The waiting system that was tested isn’t a scheduled appointment to ride where you could leave the ride and come back later; rather, you are expected to stay in the designated waiting area. Signs warned that if you weren’t there within 5 minutes of your group being called, you would lose your place in the queue.

It’s expected to be a big hit with families with young children, who find it difficult to stand waiting, restlessly for a prolonged period of time.

LG roll out crystal clear ambitions for new air conditioners

LG have become a pioneer in the evolution of next-generation appliances with innovative products such as TV refrigerators, remote monitoring washing machines and network connected appliances – not to mention their ARTCOOL air conditioners decorated with classic art pieces by famous painters such as Van Gogh and Matisse. swarovski logo

So it should come as little surprise that the technology/electronics brand have unveiled a new snazzy offering in the shape of a blingy air conditioning service provided by a new ‘Titan’ product encrusted with Swarovski crystals for a ‘pleasing aesthetic effect to enhance the overall design of the unit’.

The glamorous air conditioner is set for release in the UAE to gauge initial reaction.

This was in response to customer demand after the company embarked on an extensive market survey in 2008 as part of the R&D initiative underpinning the new Titan range.

“We have even had requests for henna patterns on the units,” says marketing manager Michelle Sequeira. “Customers clearly want to add a little glamour to the traditional plain white air-con unit.”

Another Air Conditioning Plot Hits 24

Over the years, we’ve seen the likes of Jack Bauer, Tony Almeida and Renee Walker chase numerous terrorists and suspects through back alleys, dock yards and sewers – with the occasional favourite thrown in – the air conditioning shaft.

Every great movie or TV series possesses a classic air con vent scene, and the recent episode number thirteen of this season’s 24, currently on Sky One, was no different. And thirteen certainly proved unlucky for someone.

Though this wasn’t an old fashioned hunt through the ventilation system, this was far more sinister.

It’s been apparent for a while that data analyst Dana Walsh isn’t all that she seems. With a self-confessed criminal past and having already disposed of an ex-boyfriend, Kevin, and his accomplice in a lake earlier in the series, she’s a proven butter-wouldn’t-melt-but-seriously-deadly assassin. And she’s proved it once again.

Investigating the disappearance of her previous boyfriend was his parole officer, simply referred to as Officer Prady. He can tell that Dana is a tough nut to crack and can sense she knows more than she’s letting on with regards to Kevin being missing. With Dana realising that Prady is on to her, she strangles him dead and hides his body in an air conditioning service duct. He could be there for weeks, months, years… who knows?

Bad girl! But we didn’t realise quite how bad she was until moments later, she was revealed to be a dirty traitor liaising with the terrorists that are currently threatening the security of New York.

24 is as good as ever…

Dana Walsh - 24

Dana Walsh – Don’t Mess With Her

Monster Raving Loony Party turn up the heat with manifesto

One of Britain’s best-loved political parties has made a series of eye-catching proposals in their manifesto.

The Monster Raving Loony Party is fielding up to 50 candidates across the country at the general election.

Nutty Farrquha Perigrine Parker is contesting Welwyn Hatfield, Howling ‘Laud’ Hope will stand in Witney against David Cameron and Lord Toby Jug will take on Diane Abbott in Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

Monster Raving Loony Party

Monster Raving Loony Party

Among their 98 election proposals is a change to the way we vote in elections.

The MRLP questions why voters mark a cross in the box, as that normally means “that’s wrong”. They propose a tick, of course.

This election the Loonies also propose a knighthood for Ozzy Osborne, sending the UK’s traffic wardens to Iraq to give tickets to US tanks and a minimum of two nuclear war drills a day, “to keep the nation on its toes”.

But right at the top of their manifesto is a somewhat bizarre yet intriguing thought:

  • Cool On The Outside
    To combat global warming and climate change all buildings should be fitted with air conditioning units on the outside.

Bet you wondered where this blog was going until that point! The party also proposes creating a 13th month, “to get all those little things out of the way, the things you just never had time to do, like take out the trash, vote in a general election, learn Latin”.

Now, we’re not wishing to get all political on you but they sound like a decent bunch of country-runners to us – and those who love an air conditioning service are always likely to get our vote…

Rio De Janeiro Heat Wave Causes Over 30 Deaths, Slows Business

While Brazil’s capital city certainly isn’t renowned for cool temperatures, few residents expected summer heat levels to reach almost 40°C. Average high temperatures throughout March and April tend to hover around 32°C, but this year’s heat wave has seen daytime temperatures boosted to as much as 39.7°C. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,

While Rio’s more wealthy residents can afford to sit inside with their air conditioning service, many of the city’s workers have been forced to continue in the deadly heat. Fatigue has been quite common amongst labourers and outdoor employees, with many shops and restaurants forced to close due to the daytime heat.

Over 30 people have died as a result of the heatwave, primarily ill and elderly resident of Rio’s southern districts. Heat throughout southern Brazil has been particularly high since mid-March, although the sudden surge in temperatures has been somewhat unexpected. With Rio’s world famous carnival due to begin soon, many residents are praying for an end to the extreme heat.

Rio’s record temperature is 39.7°C – at an international level, not a particularly hot temperature. However, the city’s humidity and direct sunlight has resulted in record isolated temperatures, with certain areas reaching well above 40°C.

Google, Amazon and Microsoft Protest New Air Conditioning Regulations

Despite Google’s reputation as a ‘green’ corporate giant, the California-based search company is fighting back against new power regulations that would cause significant problems for their air conditioner data centres. Claiming that they do not object to energy guidelines and targets, Google’s vice president of operations Urs Hoelzle described the new guidelines as too “prescriptive” and difficult to work within. Server Room Powerstrips by camknows.

Google’s data centres use significant amounts of power, despite coming in below the industry average for data storage resources. The company uses large air conditioning systems and cooling strategies to ensure that their servers remain stable, which engineers believe could be affected by restrictive new guidelines.

Google’s certainly not alone in objecting to the new list of energy guidelines. Software giant Microsoft, online retailer Amazon, and a range of other technology companies have protested the guidelines, claiming that their air conditioning suggestions are too specific, and fail to provide reasonable space for data centres to work within.

With online business remaining powerful throughout the economic recession, it appears that the complaints of Google and others could be a powerful message to air conditioning service providers and energy boards. Despite remaining green, few technology companies like being told how to operate.