Tips to beat the heat
If you're thinking about joining the convention scrum — to protest or just watch democracy in action — don't forget it's August in Florida and the heat doesn't care why you're there. If you must protest, do it under a tree. Believe it or not, it could feel 10 degrees cooler in the shade. If you can't find a nice big oak, put that "Save the Whales" sign to good use and make yourself a cardboard tent.
Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid concrete and asphalt, which reflect the heat. Stick to the grass. Just watch out for fire ants. They'll eat you alive, regardless of party affiliation.
Cover up. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Dump the cotton. Synthetic fibers will wick away the sweat and keep you cool. This is one case when artificial is better. Baggy fishing shirts and shorts are the garments of choice for locals. Go native.
Ditch the black balaclava and head to the nearest hardware store to buy a straw hat, the kind yardmen wear. Get a red bandana and soak it in ice water, then drape it over the back of your neck. It will drop your core temperature. Plus, you'll look like a cool cowboy.
Get some good sunglasses. They will reduce eye fatigue and offer at least minimal protection if you get sprayed with Mace.
Keep an eye on the weather. Thunderstorms roll in most afternoons. That means lightning, so get out from underneath that tree. But don't worry. You're more likely to get zapped by a Taser than struck by lightning.
Stay hydrated, but forget the sports drinks. Nothing beats H2O. And the city will be providing it for free.
Terry Tomalin, Times