Raindrops keep falling on his boyish charm

'There is nothing in a million years of human evolution to prepare us for taking a warm shower'
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"When you stand in a bathroom shower, you are, in effect, taking part in a scientific experiment without realising it. You are attempting to see how far you can reduce the temperature of the water before it lands."

"When you stand in a bathroom shower, you are, in effect, taking part in a scientific experiment without realising it. You are attempting to see how far you can reduce the temperature of the water before it lands."

This is Professor David Pasquale talking. That is the sort of thing that Professor David Pasquale says the whole time. That is the sort of thing that Professor Pasquale will be saying the whole time in his new BBC 2 series "Science in the Bathroom".

"I won't go into the scientific reasons for it, but clearly it is easier to cool water in the shape of droplets than in bulk. Rain, for instance, can get colder quicker than the Atlantic Ocean does. Now, when you turn on a hot shower, the drops of water cool rapidly as they fall, so that by the time the water hits the bottom of the shower - or the bath, if you are standing in a bath - it is five or 10 degrees cooler than it was when it started falling. You may think it is a hot shower up around your head, but your feet think it is rather a cool shower.

"And, of course, a lot of the water hits your body and runs down it. Your body is usually colder then the water. So that adds another cooling effect on the water by the time it gets to your toes. What this means is that every time we have a shower, the upper body is having a quite different shower experience from the lower half. Logically, we should all have showers lying down."

Why?

"Because the water would then hit every part of our body at exactly the same temperature."

But it doesn't make sense to have a shower lying down, does it?

"I said that it was logical, not sensible. You might even say that it was more logical to take a shower standing on your head... "

Professor Pasquale is a man who is driven by two powerful urges. One, in his capacity as professor of domestic science at the University of Milton Keynes, is to explore all the ways in which science can be applied to daily family life. The other, in his capacity as an ambitious young academic, is to have his own TV series so that he can make his colleagues wildly jealous and also, with a bit of luck, popularise science.

"Now, the extraordinary thing is that in nature it is virtually unknown for hot drops of water to fall on the human head and then be cooled by their descent. Rain is almost always colder than blood temperature, and when it falls on a human, it becomes warmer as it trickles down, as it is warmed up by our bodies. By the time rainwater gets to our toes, it is tepid, especially if it gets into our boots. The human body has evolved to feel cold water falling on it, which then gets warmer. Therefore it is quite unnatural for us to take a warm shower, and there is nothing in a million years of human evolution to prepare us for it, with all that that implies."

And what does that imply?

"I think you'll have to watch my new BBC series 'Science in the Bathroom' to find out," grins David Pasquale with the sudden boyish charm that women all over the country are starting to find irresistible. "Suffice to say, I took enough showers in the making of this series to keep me clean for a lifetime."

Does Pasquale come to the conclusion that showers are logically preferable to baths?

"In most ways, yes. If you like to doze off in a bath, of course, then a shower is no substitute, though we did film me in a shower trying to nod off to sleep."

With what success?

"I think you'll have to watch my new BBC series 'Science in the Bathroom' to find that out," says Pasquale, trying out that telegenic grin again.

The point that Pasquale makes over and over again is that much of our household behaviour would be quite different if only it were more scientific.

"For instance, it doesn't make sense to dry ourselves in the bathroom. After a bath or shower, the air in a bathroom is saturated with moisture. There couldn't be a worse place to try and towel yourself dry. Go straight to the dry atmosphere of the bedroom."

Right. Incidentally, will the handsome Professor Pasquale be taking these numerous TV showers with no clothes on?

"I think you'll have to..." starts the telegenic prof.

...watch your new BBC 2 series "Science in the Bathroom" to find out?

"Right!"

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