An inquiry into human physiology
How does the human body respond to intense cold?
The question is simple, the answer complex. Here are two approaches that have gained attention and spurred cold curiosity.
Man in Shorts in the Cold
Astrophysicist Scott Sandford of NASA Ames has experimentally stripped to nearly the buff during some of his Antarctic expeditions. It was on one of these outings that Sandford and his colleages collected the now-famous meteorite that spurred anew the question "Was there life on the planet Mars?" [Sanford explained his innovative metoerite collection technique in the research report "To Catch a Falling Star," Scott Sandford and Randy Korotev, Annals of Improbable Research, vol. 2, no. 6, November/December 1996, pp. 18-19). The photograph here first appeared in an Annals of Improbable Research annual swimsuit issue (vol. 5, no. 2, March/April 1999).
Another Man in Shorts in the Cold
Physician Doug Lindsay, age 73 at the time this photo was taken, also experimentally stripped nearly to the buff during a research expedition to Antarctica. The photograph here first appeared in an Annals of Improbable Research annual swimsuit issue (vol. 4, no. 2, March/April 1998).
Investigators Martha Kold Bakkevig of Sintef Unimed in Trondheim, Norway, and Ruth Nielson of the Technical University of Denmark won the 1995 Ig Nobel Prize for public health for performing related, yet very differeent -- research. They published details of their exhaustive study: "Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses and Thermal Comfort in the Cold." [Published in "Ergonomics," vol 37, no. 8, Aug. 1994 , pp. 1375-89.] :
"Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses and Thermal Comfort in the Cold." [Published in Ergonomics, vol 37, no. 8, Aug. 1994 , pp. 1375-89.]
We would be interested in receiving news of other, equally provocative research in this field. We would also be interested to receive photographic submissions for future swimsuit issues of AIR.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Sandford is a member of the editorial board of the Annals of Improbable Research. Until his recent passing, Dr. Lindsey also was an editorial board member.]
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