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Freezing in Fargo?

It’s been a long-running curiosity for me… do nudists really live up north?  I never go anywhere without an extra sweater, even in the summer, even in Texas.  Going without any clothes at all in a place where it remains below freezing for months on end?  No way.

And some others appear to agree.  A February 1938 Popular Science article found that:

Human flesh, the experimenters report, is as efficient as an insulating medium against cold as is paper, leather, asbestos, or cork. However, there is only a small difference between fat and thin persons in their ability to withstand cold for long periods. Incidentally, the tests show that a quiet subject, without the protection of clothing, will begin to shiver at a surprisingly high temperature, eighty-three degrees…

Because the blood supply to the skin is throttled down to a minimum [at lower temperatures], the body can do little to halt the increasing loss of heat. The extra warmth generated by shivering may raise the temperature of the body half a degree, but this heat is soon dissipated…  Without the protection of clothing, the motionless human system is constitutionally unfitted to cope with cold. Only in lands where the temperature never drops below eighty-three degrees, can nudists live in comfort.

And one of my coworkers announced not long ago that Austin had been ranked as the sexiest city in the U.S.

Seven of the 15 sexiest cities in the poll of 100 urban areas were in Texas… “One possibility is that in an area where’s it’s hotter, people need to dress lighter and that puts pressure on them to look better and keep in better shape,” said Matt Marion, the deputy editor of [Men’s Health magazine].

In contrast, New England, with its freezing temperatures and parka-wearing populace, was home to many of the least libidinous cities.

The unstated assumption – people in New England are actually wearing clothes in winter.

But do a quick search for nudist resort locations, and it turns out that it’s not so uncommon to be a nudist in New England afterall.  And Minnesota…land of mosquitoes…what are they thinking?

While I was musing to one of my friends over lunch, she wondered aloud whether there might be any relationship to the conservative versus liberal leanings of different regions in the U.S.

Hmm, compared with 2008 election results by county, she might have a point…  that big swath of red counties down the center of the U.S. is suspiciously nudist resort-free.  They’re still bundled up in Bismarck.

Posted in Maps, Various.