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Re[2]: Air at Pennsic - some ideas

     Suggestions for period looking cooling devices at Pennsic:
     Long before I wandered into the Laurel Kingdoms, I had occassion to 
     make travels in the Holy Land.  There, at the edge of a water hole in 
     the Judean Hills and in a hostel outsice of Acre, I saw two renditions 
     of a device that might be useful for Pennsic.  
     At the edge of an oasis in the desert, one good innkeeper had 
     established a large overhead arbor.  It was overgrown with massive 
     grape vines that blocked the direct rays of the sun.  We sat at tables 
     underneath.  On the side of the square arbor from which a (negligible) 
     breeze was blowing, the host had tied a very large muslin sheet of 
     loose weave, and stretched it like a sail between the posts holding up 
     the arbor.  At intervals, a small child threw buckets of water at the 
     sheet to dampen it.  The combination of the overhead shade and the 
     water-soaked sheet lowered the temperature under the arbor quite 
     noticeably.  Even the melon slices we were eating seemed cooler under 
     the arbor than outside.
     The hostel keeper in Acre employed a second device was similar in 
     principle, but more complex in construction.  The hut we stayed in had 
     windows that were not covered with glass.  Instead, they had two 
     layers of cloth screening in between which was packed about an eighth 
     of an inch of something vegetative and absorbent.  I think it was 
     dried moss or shredded leaves.  Water trickled through a hose that ran 
     along the top of the screens and dripped into the stuffing below.  
     There was not enough water flowing to drain away or trickle out - just 
     enough to keep the screens permanently damp.  The huts were at least 
     20 degrees cooler inside than out.
     While we won't have time to plant and nurture a grape arbor to the 
     spendor of the one I remember, the combination of overhead shade and 
     the soaked sheet is certainly attainable (and I wouldn't be surprised 
     to find out - period as well).  The second construction might be a bit 
     ambitious for temporary tenting at the War, but the ingenious might be 
     able to adapt its design into something more suitable.
     -Ianthe d'Averoigne                        kim.salazar@em.doe.gov
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