Library branches offer book clubs that meet various days and times. You can listen to what others have to say, as well as interject your own thoughts. You don't even have to whisper.
6. Kick around an ice-cream idea
The members of Girl Scout Troop 1678 in Plano, Texas, are out of college now. Their leader, Patty Townsend, still recalls how much fun the troop had making coffee-can ice cream. She shared the top-secret, can't-find-anywhere-else- but-the- Internet recipe: Into a very clean 1-pound coffee can, stir one cup each of milk and heavy cream, one-half cup sugar and one-half teaspoon vanilla. Add fruit, nuts or chocolate, if you'd like.
Put the lid on the can and seal with duct tape. Set the can into a 3-pound coffee can. Pack ice around it. Pour at least 3/4 cup rock salt on top of the ice. Seal the can.
"The girls would stand in lines about 10 feet apart," Townsend says. "They'd kick it back and forth and sing songs and giggle. It was a huge hit."
After 30 or 40 minutes, unseal the cans. Voila ! Ice cream, three cold and creamy cups of the stuff. You've already had your workout, so indulge without (much) guilt.
7. Cave in
Learn more about real caves and grottoes and other outdoor features by attending a course at a local adventure equipment store.
8. Make jokes
Not only will laughter take your mind off how miserably hot you are, it's also (did you know this?) a good abs workout. With that in mind, we asked Dave Little (www.lovedavelittle.com) for a bit of heat mirth. He dabbed cool compresses on his pulse points and offered this:
"The devil calls up his travel agent and says, 'I'd like to go somewhere hot this summer.' The travel agent says, 'Have you ever been to Dallas in July?' The devil answers, 'It's a vacation, not work.'"
A PRIMER ON WHY PEOPLE SWEAT
The biology behind the sweat of your brow:
For those steamy days ahead, Dr. Robert Dimeff offers this reassurance: You will adjust to the heat. That doesn't mean you'll like it. Or that you won't need to be careful.
Instead, it means that our bodies can adapt to the heat in as little as four days.
"It involves a complex physiological change," he says. "We're increasing the ability to dissipate heat through sweat."
First, a short primer on sweating, which is imperative for staying cool (relatively speaking) and healthy (free of heatstroke). Here's how it works: