The Afternoon Mess blog

Why women are always cold in the office



Some people take frequent breaks outside. Others bring in a sweater, a scarf or an “office blanket.” Some block air vents with cardboard, or quietly switch on space heaters under their desks. If you’ve ever sat shivering in your office in the dead of summer, you too may be a victim of excessive air conditioning.

Even as the temperature outside rises to sweltering temperatures, America's extreme air conditioning habit mean that people in offices, movie theaters and restaurants end up being chilled like TV dinners.

How did this happen? How did America become the land of overpowering air conditioners? Will it ever change?

It's not just a matter of taste or personal comfort. Some studies have found that worker productivity falls with the temperature. Customers aren't happy either: In a 2008 survey, 88 percent of people said they find at least some retail establishments too cold, and 76 percent said they bring extra layers of clothing with them to movies and restaurants. The Post's Petula Dvorak has observed that in offices, the trend exacts a particular toll on women, and, of course, it wastes huge amounts of energy. The U.S. uses more electricity for air conditioning than Africa uses for everything.

America, it turns out, is addicted to A/C for reasons of fashion, physiology, gender norms, architecture and history. Over the last century, air conditioning improved our health, happiness and productivity. But somewhere along the way we grew dependent on it, and now we don't know how to find our way back.

The battle of the sexes

If you've spent time around the opposite sex, you may not be surprised to hear that women tend to get chilly more easily than men.

Part of that is just due to the difference in male and female bodies. Men tend to be bigger and heavier than women, meaning they heat up and cool down more slowly. Men also typically have more muscle than women, which helps to generate heat. Women tend to have more body fat, which holds heat into their cores, but can leave them with icy toes and fingers that make them feel colder.

These differences are the origin of countless domestic spats over the thermostat and the covers. It's also why some sleeping bags have two temperature ratings, one for “standard woman” and “standard man.”


Feel Good Story of the Day



CEMENT, OKLAHOMA — They are still experiencing those painful firsts; weekends, sporting events, seasons where a husband and father used to be and where, now, he is not.

“He was diagnosed in September,” says widow Sandy Seibold. “He passed away in May.

“He’s a great person,” says his 13 year old daughter Saige before covering her face to hide fresh tears.

On the first Father’s Day since Johnny Seibold’s funeral, Saige and Sandy paid a visit to his burial site near the town of Sterling.

Johnny’s unfinished marker lies near his father’s and other members of the Seibold family.

Sandy thought it might be helpful that afternoon to release a bunch of balloons with a message.

The handwritten note asked the finder to please contact them.

“We thought the idea of sending balloons to heaven sounded good.”

Saige’s release didn’t go very well at first.

The ribbons tying the balloons together caught in a power line.

Sandy recalls, “It upset Saige and I just remember praying, ‘please God. Let these balloons fly for her.”

Then, minutes later, a gust of wind caught them and away they went.

Sandy and Saige left the cemetery, ran some errands.

It took a few hours for them to make the 25 mile drive north, back home to Cement.

Saige went downhill from their house to the pasture where she and her father often worked together.

There, tangled in a fence, was her message.

“It was right here,” says Saige pointing to a section of barbed wire a few hundred feet from the house.

The same letter she’d released earlier that day had flown on a southerly breeze straight home.

“What are the chances?” asks Sandy.

“I think I started crying,” she says. “It felt like a message from him.”

They are both still mourning, but after what happened on Father’s Day they both say they feel a little more free now.

It’s hard for them not to believe that Johnny sent them a message, that he is free now too.

“This has given us a lot of peace and good feelings about where he’s at.”




23 words with a different meaning in Florida



23 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Florida

1. Winter


What it usually means: The coldest season of the year.

What it means in Florida: It’s slightly less hot.

2. Coffee


What it usually means: A caffeinated drink you consume when you’re tired.

What it means in Florida: A Cuban shot of perfection that is the most blissful morning pick-me-up you could ever ask for.

3. Mountains

Flickr: chapstickaddict / Creative Commons

What it usually means: A range of breathtaking scenery.

What it means in Florida: Landfills.

4. Humidity


What it usually means: Hot and sticky.

What it means in Florida: An omnipresence that hits you like a brick wall when you step outside at 7 a.m.

5. Summer

23 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Florida

What it usually means: An enjoyable time for beach trips, frozen yogurt and fun in the sun.

What it means in Florida: A LITERAL HELLSCAPE.

6. Sub


What it usually means: A sandwich.

What it means in Florida: A heavenly bundle of joy God spreads to the world through Publixes.

7. Hurricanes


What it usually means: A tropical cyclone that can cause serious damage.

What it means in Florida: Anything below a Category 3 is an excuse to drink excessively and party indoors.

8. Flip flops

Flip flops
Flickr: jmazzola1 / Creative Commons

What it usually means: Shoes you wear in the summer, usually to the beach.

What it means in Florida: Shoes you wear to school, to clubs, and to every other event or hangout.

9. Cockroach

23 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Florida

What it usually means: A terrifying creature you sometimes find in your house.


10. Steering wheel

Steering wheel
Flickr: dotcomboy / Creative Commons

What it usually means: That piece that allows you to control a car.

What it means in Florida: A burning wheel of death that’s been sitting in the parking lot for an hour.

11. Rain


What it usually means: A day or two of gray skies and precipitation.

What it means in Florida: Your friendly torrential downpour at 3 p.m. every day.

12. Staycation

23 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Florida

What it usually means: Taking off work to hang out at home.

What it means in Florida: DISNEY WORLD.

13. 65 degrees

65 degrees

What it usually means: Great day for a light jacket.

What it means in Florida: Where are my UGG boots?

14. Parallel parking

23 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Florida

What it usually means: Carefully maneuvering your car into a street parking space.

What it means in Florida: LOL, this is a thing that exists?

15. Snow

Flickr: sweetone / Creative Commons

What it usually means: White stuff that falls from the sky in winter.

What it means in Florida: That small pile of ice in the freezer.

16. Ducks:


What it usually means: A bird often found in ponds or lakes.

What it means in Florida: “Wait for the ducks to walk across before you back up the car.”

17. Keys


What it usually means: What you use to unlock doors.

What it means in Florida: Gorgeous islands.

18. Tan

23 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Florida

What it usually means: When your skin turns a darker color from being out in the sun all day.

What it means in Florida: A base level of color you consistently sport just from walking from your car to your office.

19. Pools


What it usually means: A fun activity to do in the summer.

What it means in Florida: Something to do when you get home from school.

20. Interstate


What it usually means: An interstate.

What it means in Florida: HIGHWAY TO HELL.

21. Wildlife


What it usually means: Deer.

What it means in Florida: Gators.

22. Miami


What it usually means: A fun place to vacation.

What it means in Florida: Its own separate country.

23. Florida


What it means to everyone else in the country: A crazy place full of weirdos. (Not totally true!)

What it means to you: Your gorgeous home sweet home.



15 Small changes for weight loss

If your goal is to lose weight and exercise more, forget the deprivation diet and marathon workouts. Research shows that taking baby steps—not giant leaps—is the best way to get lasting results.

A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that participants who made one small, potentially permanent change in their food choices and/or physical activity each week (such as drinking one fewer can of soda or walking 5 more minutes each day) lost more than twice as much belly fat, 2½ more inches off their waistlines, and about 4 times more weight during a 4-month program, compared with those who followed traditional calorie-restriction and physical-activity guidelines.




The 10,000 calorie burger within a burger!

A massive burger within a burger, which was originally created in a hit cartoon show, is now available in real life.

The ‘Ulti-Meatum’, which contains 10,000 calories, was cooked up by Corinne Clarkson after she saw an episode of The Regular Show on Cartoon Network.

Just like the sandwich in the animation, Mrs Clarkson’s burger is quite a mouthful and includes a burger inside another one.







2015-08 | 2014-04 | 2014-03 | 2013-10

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