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dancing-baby-santas-dreamstime m 7375212Want to know the quickest way to get everyone warmed up at a Christmas party? Take your clothes off!

No, seriously, instead of trapping all that body heat under clothing, why not spread the joy and warmth of the season to those around you? And you won't get cold, I promise you.

You won't really "get cold", because technically "cold" does not exist, just different degrees of heat, all the way down to absolute zero, -273°C. You may well feel cold, but what you'll really be doing by removing your clothing

is losing heat, along with drawing gasps of admiration or horror depending on the company and the quality and quantity of what is revealed.

How quickly you lose heat, and to what extent, depends not so much on the ambient air temperature as the temperature of the surroundings; i.e. the floor, ceiling, windows, walls, furniture, plus those other bodies around you. Once you have thrown caution to the wind and divested yourself of clothing, most heat will be lost by radiation, and the rate and degree of heat loss will be dictated by the difference in temperature between you the radiator, and the surroundings, the radiatee (yes I know it's not in the dictionary, but it jolly well should be!). So if your Christmas party is in a concrete warehouse in Boston, you'll no doubt lose a lot more heat when you bare all than you would in a plush ballroom in Beverly Hills, where no one is going to take a blind bit of notice anyway.

We tend to think of heat radiation as that being transmitted to us by an object that is at a higher temperature than ourselves; i.e. the sun, a camp fire, the neighbors turkey fryer going up in flames, etc. Old-style heaters have always been known as "radiators", but these actually heat rooms mainly by convection.

man-naked-ice-dreamstime m 48813882But when we humans (and I count myself in that group ... just) are surrounded by objects at a lower temperature than ourselves, then we become a radiator and we radiate heat to the surroundings. That's why we sometimes feel cold in a room even though the air temperature is at a comfortable level. The more insulation we wear (heat-trapping clothing), the less heat we will radiate, and the warmer we will feel.

So who's with me? Let's really bring joy and warmth to the Christmas party this year by slipping out of these clothes and generously and unselfishly radiating our body heat to others. You first .....

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