29 ridiculous tips for keeping warm in winter (from Bear Grylls, nature and the internet)
It's cold and if you're doing it right, so is your student house. Here are some of the stupidest suggestions for staying warm we've found from nature, Bear Grylls and the internet...
1) Put tin foil behind the radiator
The BBC recommend you put tin foil behind your radiator. This will stop your walls from absorbing the heat, reflecting it back out at the room.
However it'll make your house will look like a crack den. Whilst you're at it, why don't you warm your hands by heating heroin in a spoon with a lighter.*
2) Start greeting people with hugs instead of waves.
Refuse to let go. It'll be warm in prison.
3) Smear yourself in goose fat
Swimmers, geese and David Walliams slather themselves in goose fat to keep warm. Why are you not doing this before you go out? You are losing vital body heat.
4) Ask a housemate to spoon you to sleep at night
Ask your housemates to measure their body temperatures, choose the warmest and ask them to spoon you to sleep at night. When that one says no, ask the second warmest (and so on) until you get your 'yes'.
Some animals evolved to sleep right through the cold. The alpine marmot (Marmota marmota) sleeps through eight months of the year. In the four months they're awake, the animals scurry to mate and gorge on food to build fat reserves for the long winter's nap.
A breeding / sleeping / eating frenzy sound familiar? That's right, it was first term at uni. With that out of the way, feel free to nap your way to spring.
6) Go somewhere warm and catch the warm air in a bag
Go to heated buildings and catch the warm air in a bag or a thermos. Seal the device, take it home and release it when you need a burst of warm air.
7) Google "hot water bottle for your face". See if that's a thing.
Is it a thing? Well good. Get one of those for your face and be warm.
8) Live like a penguin
Emperor penguins use a huddle formation to stay warm. Why aren't you and your housemates doing this? Are you dumber than a penguin?
Are you dumber than this penguin??
9) Stand ever so slightly too close to people.
Leech off their body heat and look like a serial killer.
10) Sleep around
Free body warmth. Free sense of shame.*
11) Use a sheep as a sleeping bag
No man has ever looked this proud whilst inside a sheep.
12) Be a lizard
"To avoid being stabbed from the inside out, some frogs and lizards increase the amount of glucose, a type of sugar, and glycerol, a sugary alcohol, in their blood. Glucose and glycerol in the blood can help prevent the formation of ice crystals. The European common lizard (Lacerta vivipara) went a step further and developed specialized mitochondria, the energy producing part of the cell, according to a study in the Journal of Experimental Biology. These mitochondria help the lizard continue producing energy without creating harmful byproducts even when half of the lizard's body water freezes." - Discovery News
13) Cocoon yourself in your duvet from now till March.
Then emerge like a sweaty moth.
14) Steal radiators
Students have been known to steal toilet paper from public toilets. Have you thought about stealing radiators?
15) Use anti-freeze instead of blood
Icefish survive in water colder than -2 Degrees Celsius. These Antarctic cod evolved antifreeze proteins flowing in their blood and bodily tissues that stop them from freezing.
Why not try evolving? If that doesn’t work, it's time to start injecting anti-freeze like you're Pete Docherty visiting the Arctic.*
16) Flex for a friend
Burmese Pythons (Python Bivittatus) flex their muscles near their eggs, to give off heat and keep the eggs warm.
Take off your top, hold a friend in close and make your pecks dance near their face, to keep their chin warm.
17) Freestyle dance instead of sitting
Whilst you're sitting down you feel a lot colder than when you're freestyle dancing. Freestyle dance instead of sitting.
18) Sneak a bath
Japanese Macaques (Macaca Fuscata) stay warm in the winter by sneaking into man-made hot springs. Why not sneak into a friend or neighbour’s bath? What, you think you're better than these monkeys??
The Macaques pass this on from generation to generation. Be generous. Try teaching a fresher.
19) Lure a herd of stray cats back to your place
Train them to sleep on your feet.
20) Lure a herd of stray cats back to your place and sacrifice them
Sacrifice them to the sun god Ra.*
21) Copy the whales
Whales use a layer of blubber to keep warm in the icy depth of the polar oceans. Blubber insulates the whales and traps their heat energy from escaping into the cold waters, like a scuba diver wearing a wet suit. Without the blubber, the whales would burn too many calories just trying to stay warm.
The cold-busting benefits of blubber can be modelled at home. First, fill a plastic bag with lard. This will mimic the effect of body fat. Then insert another bag and tape the tops of the two bags together so the fatty substance can't escape. Then, put a hand in the blubber glove and squish the fat around until it surrounds the hand like an oven mitt - Thank me later. The New England Aquarium provides more detailed instructions.
22) Seal off the unused rooms
If you have any rooms you don't use, the advice is to seal it off, to stop it sucking the heat from everywhere else.
The problem is it'll look like you have a dark family secret, or a secret house mate that no-one knows about. Start a rumour a crazy hermit lives in there who gets violent if you approach him, to keep curious strangers from letting the heat out.
23) Drink coffee
Drink so much coffee you have heart palpitations and need medical attention. Enjoy a warm hospital bed, courtesy of the NHS.
24) Eat what whales eat
Whales use blubber made through a high fat diet. It’s time to pie down. Whatever Whales eat, you should eat. If they eat seals whole, so should you.
Slow down their, brunch.
25) Use seals as a wetsuit
Whilst we're on seals, don't leave seal carcasses lying around the house. Use them as a wetsuit like Bear Grylls.
Starting to think Bear Grylls is a bad man.
26) Put shower curtains up in your lounge to trap the heat
The BBC advices you put shower curtains up in your lounge to stay warm. They're right, but when you have guests over there'll be a "am I meant to pee in this room?" vibe, which might kill a party somewhat.
27) Turn your tights into a draught excluder
Make a draught excluder by stuffing tights with rice and putting them in front of the door. Alternatively, try wearing your tights on your legs to keep warm. Eat the rice.
28) Emit pheremones
Male garter snakes (Thamnophis sp.) will emit female scent chemicals to trick other males into trying to mate with them. They then sap the other males heat, which gives them an advantage as they warm up after winter. Try emitting your own pheromones to lure in same-sex housemates.
29) Steal all the fiberglass from your attic
Fibreglass is keeping the attic warm when it should be keeping you warm. Rip it down, and roll in it like a duvet.*
*Do not do this.
For more ridiculous life hacks see 41 Ridiculous Life Hacks.