Weeeell, say the computer chips are MADE of compressed smoke :-) and if you let the smoke out you've had it. Burn your house? If you leave it off or idling when you aren't using it, no. Could light up your kitchen table maaaaaaybe...
Improv lap desk for cooling purely by better airflow: take one deep-ish cookie sheet and rack. Not as deep as this Wear-Ever brand example:
That's a 15x10 inch roasting pan - a bit too deep, but illustrative of the rounded corners you want for something you're going to lay on your lap. Stick the rack in place with hot-melt glue or some rubbery craft glue. Run beads of the glue across the top of some of the wires of the rack, for grip. That way the (no longer) flaming electrobeast will stay put. With no holes on the actual bottom of the rig, you want the overall size bigger than the laptop in at least one direction so the air has somewhere to come and go freely. Remember the space between the arms of your favorite cartographing chair or any other size limitations. I'm picturing you trying your laptop in various cookware at WalMart :-). If it slips on your lap too much you could run more beads of the glue across the bottom surface too, as non-slip. Or do what i do to keep my mountain dulcimer in my lap - a piece of rubber-mesh keep-throw-rug-in-place stuff between object & legs. If you take it aboard the International Space Station or use it in roller coasters, substitute velcro for the glue.
Laying it on cloth is a serious problem because flexible stuff conforms to the bottom of the mapmakingmachine and practically seals the vents. Statistically I guess there's more dust going to come from cloth than from a hard surface too. Refer to the There I Fixed It section of the Cheezburger / Fail Blog website for examples of active cooling schemes :-).
Failing an appropriate cookie sheet plus rack, nesting cookie sheets would work - one deeper than the other. That would give you the delightful opportunity to put a whoooole bunch of vent holes in top and bottom both. Hammer & nail, drill & bit, punch, bullets, fireplace poker, ice axe... whatever best punches metal and relieves tension.
Failing that, there are flat plastic storage boxes that might be stiff enough. Or you could stiffen an unused pizza box. That would be really easy to put holes in.
At random points in the world, I have resorted to simply propping up the hinge-side of my laptop an inch or so with a book.
No CD/DVD writer? Yikes. Being able to back stuff up is pretty vital. Maybe a dropbox account and a friend or coworker or family member who could download your uploads and write discs for you? Or a internet cafe or library or other public-access machine? That might be harder to transfer to. Dropbox at least happens in the background.
As for the map - if you look at the NE and SW corners where you have a drop shadow -- that makes the picture look like a flat thing hovering above the ground. You need to smear the shadow a bit so it reaches all the way to the corner of the wall itself - imagine not only the (depicted) top visible layer casting shadow, but also the whole vertical edge of the corner. Other than that, it's developing some nice plausibility :-).