This stretch of the planet is having a cold snap right now, sustaining temperatures well below freezing for days on end. Today Prague enjoyed a high temp of something like -4 C, or 269 K. (that’s about 25 F). Now before all you midwesterners (both of you) get all in a huff saying, “That’s not cold! Why I had to walk to school…” let me just say, Yes, it is cold. When you were tramping through the drifts with only wonder bread bags for shoes you were saying “Crap! This is cold! I can’t wait until I can buy an RV and take it down to Boca Raton in the winter!” Don’t deny it.
So where was I? Right, I hadn’t told you that yet. I’m at home. I’ve been on a trip and as a cheap bastard I had the heat turned way down while I was away. I came home to an apartment at a balmy 12.5 C, turned on the heat, and went out to dinner. When I got home more than two hours later the place was up to 14.5. It takes a long time for things to heat up here. So with my home at less than 60 F it was time to get creative. That’s when I invented the toasty tent. I am now sitting in one of my moderately uncomfortable comfy chairs right next to the radiator. I have a blanket draped over the radiator and over me, bringing a significant fraction of my home’s heating power to bear on only a few cubic feet, some of which contain my head and other favorite organs.
I am toasty.
I’m sure I’m not the first to put a blanket over the radiator to keep warm. It’s obvious, really. What sets my invention apart is the name. Toasty Tent. Come on, that’s golden!
Some engineering remains to perfect the toasty tent. The blanket is smaller than I would have at first thought ideal, but that keeps it from getting too stifling in here. If I move my hand toward the floor, there is a sudden drop in temperature at the bottom of the blanket. At first I was most concerned with the light level, but the smaller blanket lets in enough light I merely had to dim my laptop screen a bit. The main problem is the difficulty in keeping a beer within easy reach just outside the toasty tent. If I move around too much the blanket pulls off the radiator and I have to construct my haven all over again. With only a little engineering this problem can be overcome. All I have to do is make it so my head is not a significant part of the structure.
Apparently my radiator also has a “safety feature” called a “thermostat” that shut it down just as things were reaching their toastiest. The final version of Toasty Tent will have to be sure not to insluate the radiator, but merely to make sure its heat stays in the correct general area. A delicate balancing act for the world’s top scientists at Muddled Industries, Inc.
The Toasty Tent is just what this energy-starved world needs to keep going. By only heating the parts of a home where people are, a typical family can save a fortune, and help the environment at the same time. The Toasty Tent. It just might save humanity.