why white clothes are cooler than black


i leaf through the boys’ book of popular science, which was published in the twenties. there is a page explaining each subject briefly. the titles include: ‘the wonder of your backbone’, ‘what everything is made of’, ‘how to breathe poison air’, ‘the modern all-electric kitchen’, ‘why white clothes are cooler than black’.
there is something interesting in this last title.
i was led to believe that black clothes were cooler, but here are scientific diagrams, conclusive evidence. i am convinced: white clothes reflect more light and thus absorb less heat.
howie and i are going to photocopy this page and paste it around brunswick and fitzroy. paste one on the door of the black cat café in brunswick street. paste one on the door of the fitzroy lawn bowls club. start a bloody holy war.

(snail, Penguin Books, 1996)

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