We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
You can die of hypothermia when the temperature is well above freezing, and you will die of hypothermia after a while in 77 degree water. Many interesting facts at Freezing Persons Recollect (h/t, Cons Grapevine). All outdoorsmen should know this stuff. One example:
...many hypothermia victims die each year in the process of being rescued. In "rewarming shock," the constricted capillaries reopen almost all at once, causing a sudden drop in blood pressure. The slightest movement can send a victim's heart muscle into wild spasms of ventricular fibrillation. In 1980, 16 shipwrecked Danish fishermen were hauled to safety after an hour and a half in the frigid North Sea. They then walked across the deck of the rescue ship, stepped below for a hot drink, and dropped dead, all 16 of them.
Thanks for the post BD. I always wondered about the mechanics behind half frozen people dying of shock from ingesting warm liquids. Capillaries all open up. Hmmm... Just learned something I will never forget.
Hmm, Wiki only lists 3 shipwrecks in 1980. Not that Wiki is an absolute authority. Can't find any other reference via Google. Nothing in Snopes. Original article is from 1997, back when you could make up any sort of nonsense and no one would know the difference. No mention of the name of the ship. Rather remarkable claim. Having a pretty good memory for the odd news story, I'd be curious if anyone out there in MF land knows what ship this may have been.
I gotta say that I had the same sort of feeling that sent KRW on his research quest. The Danish fishermen story is exactly the sort of thing that sends me to snopes, double-time.
That said, being cold is a very interesting thing. I spent a few days in some very cold weather this winter. Nothing that left me in any danger of hypothermia, mind you, but enough to find myself downright chilled to the core. On one of those occasions I entered the "lodge" and found some kindly women handing out little cups of warm apple cider. Just those little doctor's office water cooler cups. MAYBE three ounces. Maybe.
Drinking that little cup of warm cider caused a warming sensation through the entire core of my body. I was amazed at it, but became doubly amazed when the person I was clomping along next to, who had also casually grabbed and downed a little cup of warmed cider, said, "Holy shit! That's amazing!"
It always amazes me that so many of you folks live casually in climates I consider to be deadly-dangerously cold! Here, the main problem for most months out of the year is usually heat exhaustion, which also can sneak up on you. I can't even imagine going outside in below-zero temperatures for anything less than a life-threatening emergency. I'm a cold wimp.