The Myths and Facts about Nudism

Scientists have a general idea about when humans first started wearing clothes. They draw their conclusions from genetic studies of the common body louse. The body louse feeds on humans but needs clothing to infest in order to do so. The studies show that humans first began to wear clothes some 72,000 years ago. That is give or take 42,000 years, so it is not exactly pinpointed. The human has existed in it present form, homo sapiens, for around 200,000 years, so the numbers show that most likely for more than half the existence of our species, we all were nudists. A nudist is, of course, a person who does not wear clothes.

In those early days, most humans lived in warm climates and there is some indications that they were much hairy than they are today. It was only when they began migrating to colder climates that clothes were first worn and even then it was not modesty, but warmth that was the motivation. Even as we became civilized and in the time of recorded history, the attitude about nudism was much different. In ancient Greece, for example, the habit of nudity was so common that even our word, gymnasium, comes from the Greek word, gymnos, which means nude. This came about because nudity in athletic events was common and accepted. Nudism as a cultural issue exists in only a few scattered and primitive tribes in the Amazon basin or remote Pacific Islands and these few remaining hold outs are under relentless pressure to get dressed.

Today, in what are called nudist colonies, or nudist resorts, people are selectively removing most of all of their clothing. This has led to some myths about nudity, or naturalism, as it is sometime called. One such myth is that nudity is immoral. The reason is seen as sexual in nature. It may be thought of as erotic or pornographic, but still sexual. In fact, nudist do not see themselves as either voyeurs, people who have a prurient interest in seeing naked bodies, or exhibitionists, people who have a prurient interest in being seen naked. In fact, the truth is that most nudists view it as a natural state and our purest form. They state we are born naked, so how can it be evil to be naked? They also extol the health benefits. The exposure to sunlight is good in that it leads to the production of vitamin D in the body. On the other hand, our increased knowledge of the causes of skin cancer has led sun block to be part of the nudist’s equipment.

Nudism is practice in many forms today. Nudist beaches are quite popular as are nudist vacations on either public or private land. The movement has several divisions of a philosophical nature within the lifestyle. One of the main ones being between the “clothes optional” and the “nudity required” subgroups.

Aviation – Really Part Of Our Lives

I often wonder how things affect the way I live. In particular something like aviation. We tend to think of it as a means of transport and of course it is. But how much of a role does aviation actually play in our lives?

Let’s first look at just one aircraft. Take the Boeing 737. First introduced in the early 1960s, this plane has been in service pretty well constantly since then. Naturally, there have been modifications. Slight tweaks and changes to improve performance and safety. This is no different than other aircraft. Consider this: there is a Boeing 737 taking off somewhere in the world every FIVE SECONDS. Take that in for a moment. Remember, this is just one make of aircraft! These are not company figures but data gathered from reliable air traffic movement sources

Look at your television daily. I guarantee you will see an image of a Boeing 747 – or a jumbo jet as it is more popularly known. Now, these things move between 400 and 500 people at time over distances of thousands of kilometres every day.

Now I have given examples of two of the more popular aircraft in the world today. Aircraft we are familiar with and ones that if we travel occasionally, we are likely to use for both short and long haul journeys.

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Let’s take a look at another way that aviation could affect us all. Most hospitals today have facilities to land helicopters. These fantastic machines are used for a number of things in a normal daily lives. The one to which I refer is the lifesaving machine that transports an unfortunate patient from say a road accident in the fastest possible way, therefore cutting down the time before the patient receives treatment.

We also come across the helicopter – quite often daily – when we travel freeways to and from our places of work. They monitor traffic conditions and congestions and are able to report to the appropriate authorities, if there is a need to send emergency vehicles in the event of road problems.

More and more, private aircraft are taking to the skies. Companies invest in air transportation as a way to alleviate the problem of traffic snarl ups and rail congestion. They are no longer the toys of the rich, but a logical means of conducting business in a quick and efficient way.

I have referred principally to the topic of aviation in our daily lives and in particular civil aircraft. However, we do not realise that we are always being protected by military aircraft that patrol our skies. Often we do not hear or see them – but they are there, or at least I hope so.

Day after day we have military aircraft taking off and landing somewhere in the world, often not taking part in military exercises, but in fact performing humane acts like delivering food to needy nations and flying much needed medicines and other supplies to different parts of the world.

As an avid aviation admirer, I must say that it doesn’t cross my mind very often just how much aviation does intrude into our lives, but technology and other advancements have made them virtually indispensable.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Aviation