Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ready, Set, GO!

This weekend, the Ocean Angels take to the seas.

We've been cheering them on for a while now, and put in a donation to get our faces on their boat. The donation goes towards breast cancer research.

Come to find out, they aren't the only ones going naked. There's a pair from London rowing naked in support of Asthma research. They will have a satellite phone for receiving text messages and posting their thoughts. There's also these two Berkshire boys rowing in support of Sparks (medical research charity) and Headway (a head injury charity). The Berkshire boys say in their article that they'll bring 6 liters (almost 1.6 gallons) of sun creme. Lastly, because he's a single and can't row as fast, there's Simon who has also said he will row naked for the Willow Foundation charity.

All-in-all, this is part of a much bigger event: The Indian Ocean Rowing Race. There are 11 teams competing to be the among the first to cross the Indian Ocean. The different team sizes are:
  • 1 team of 8, which will probably be the first since they have the most people-power.
  • 4 teams of 4, which include the Ocean Angels and a group of Aussies in budgie smugglers.
  • 4 teams of 2, which include the guys I linked to above, except Simon.
  • 2 singles, which are brave people to attempt this huge trip alone.
This isn't your typical canuding trip. It's a 4,350 mile trip with threats of 50 foot waves and an array of dangerous ocean critters. There's a lot that can go wrong, and it's a long trip back to civilization. I really hope they all make it back to civilization safely. If they're lucky, they'll cross the finish line in Mauritius in 60 to 100 days.

The true nudists can answer this question of mine: Is 1.6 gallons of sunblock enough protection from the sun for 3 months? Or will we see naked lobsters crossing the finish line? Also, will they forget to put on clothes after 2 or 3 months of nakedness? I hope so -- it's big publicity if they're all smiles, naked, and crossing the finish line. They should keep that uncomfortable clothing off their freshly burnt skin.

The race website has a cool scoreboard of each team's progress. The naked ones to watch are #13 Pura Vida (Ocean Angels), #9 Southern Cross (Berkshire boys), #2 Dream It Do It (Londoners), and #3 Old Mutual Endurance (Simon). I'll be cheering them on, and I'll have more posts in the future about their progress.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Book and DVD Reviews

The nice thing about living in Wisconsin is that I can just drive to TNS HQ. My girlfriend and I went there Thursday to purchase a bunch of stuff from their Skinny Dipper Shop, drop off a CD, and to chat with Nicky for a bit.

As we were shopping, Nicky was explaining the history of each item. It's clear that they take a lot of pride in their merchandise, because they seek out the best quality for everything they stock. Additionally, they've been moving toward more eco-friendly items, which I certainly appreciate.

Anyway, among the things we bought are the following books and DVD. (What can I say -- I love books and always like to expand my library.) I haven't read them all cover to cover, obviously, but have skimmed them well enough to post a review.

The World's Best Nude Beaches and Resorts
The book is made to be a reference. It has color-coded tabs on the pages which makes finding a location easy. At the start of each country's section is a map of all the places listed. Each listing has a paragraph or two describing the place, along with a section of "practical info" on what you need to know to get there. When possible they include addresses, phone numbers, and websites. Not only is this book a great text, but it also has great pictures for most of the places listed and can give you a feel for what the place is like. About 1/3 of the book's content is pictures. The only downside is that the book only shows 1000 places, the "best" 1000 places, so it's not a complete reference. Based on the listings for Wisconsin and Queensland (places I know), there is about a 5:1 ratio for listings. I concur that the 4 that are unlisted aren't as good as the 1 that is listed, so they really do pick the best. This will certainly be my primary reference for beaches and resorts, and any traveller should have this book with them. It's a fairly cheap book, and is well worth the money.

The Funny Side of Going Naked
At about 150 pages of mostly images, it's a quick read. It's a book that once you pick it up, you can't put it down. The only time that you'll stop reading is when you're laughing too hard to continue. This happens a lot! Plus, the jokes are still funny after you've read them a few times. Whenever you need to cheer yourself up, reach for this book and open it up to any random page. This, too, is well worth the money.

Bodies and Souls: The Century Project
It started out as a fairly simple project, but has evolved over the last 20 years into something quite impressive. Each turn of the page reveals a new woman, slightly older than the previous one, with a picture on one side and their words on the other. Sometimes the author adds a little text to the bottom to put things into context better. The goal is to present real women, along with their stories of body acceptance and inspiration, to show other women that they are not alone in their struggles. It directly goes against society's pressure that women must be perfect. This book shows that you can be happy without being perfect. This isn't a full review, because I'm not a woman with body acceptance issues, and therefore don't have the qualifications to say if this book is of benefit or not. Sorry. My girlfriend is better qualified than I am (even though she doesn't have many body acceptance issues), so I may revisit this after she's read through it.

The Spirit of Lady Godiva
It's a book full of impressive black&white photography at many places across America. Each turn of the page has a full picture on one side, and some text about it on the other. The photographer shows standard building, landscape, and people shots, except with one small twist. His images show a world where people have a true choice of what to wear, or what to not wear. Textiles mix with nudes, and nobody seems to mind. (Well, OK, some heads are turned and some faces have a big smile, but a vast majority don't seem to notice.) What's most impressive is that all of these shots are real, and are of great quality. The book is a bit pricey, since it's a big chunk of tree. I'd only recommend it if photography is a big interest of yours.

Chasing the Sun DVD
This is a short video from TNS that is an introduction to naturism. It's made to be shown to classes, politicians, and anyone who doesn't really understand the topic. I'd say that it meets the goal pretty well. It includes statistics from the Roper polls, the positive economic impact of a nude beach, how beaches are self-policing and very safe, and how naturism is a family friendly activity. It addresses every big concern or misunderstanding that people have, and shows them that naturism is a good thing. The only problem with this video is that it shows a lot of nudity. Anyone who is seriously offended by nudity will not want to watch it, despite them being the ones that should watch it. Since it's a short video, they could've added a censored version just in case, or a version that uses alternative video clips that don't show nudity. Either way, it's in my archive just in case I need it.

If you have more to add about any of these items, or have questions, post 'em in the comments.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Springtime News

A few times a year I post what's new, what I've been working on, and my plans for the near future.

Freehiking Season

St Patrick's Day brought us some Irish Luck. My girlfriend and I went freehiking (for the first time ever) during the only 72+ degree day in March. We hiked a 3 mile trail that is absolutely perfect for freehiking. It has a clear wide path, wide open fields, a river, and not a house in sight. There was nobody else there, no bugs, no snow, and not much mud.

I sent a writeup about this trip to TNS. Most of it consists of how to find a good local trail for freehiking. I pointed out that almost all of their freehiking articles are from out West. I took on the task of finding a trail locally, in a state that has a higher than US average population density. Hopefully it'll be in one of the future issues. I could dive into the details of this trip, but I think it would only make you jealous.

I concluded that here, "freehiking season" is the few warm days we get in March. Summer months are too buggy, too weedy, and too busy. Fall is deer hunting season. April and May are turkey hunting season. March is all that's left, assuming it gets warm enough!


My other site, the World-Wide Nudist Collaboration Wiki, has been revamped to version 3.0. I removed the whole social web idea, stripped the profiles, and removed almost everything. Naturists don't need another social platform -- they need a collaboration platform! The new Wiki does only that, without any fluff and as simply as possible. It's fair to say that I gave the WWNCW a really big KISS.

So how does it work now? Follow these steps if you would like to initiate a project, event, or meeting:
  1. Enter a project name and click "add project".
  2. Fill out the new project form, which is only 4 questions.
  3. Add events to your project calendar, create sections specific to your project for tables, polls, or more text. Tables contain information for tasks, items that are needed, or other general information. See the examples for how to use the tools.
  4. People volunteer to help out or bring stuff by adding their name to the table. They can also vote for stuff, or post comments. The project almost organizes itself, since everyone has all the information in one central place.
Most important is that people DON'T NEED TO REGISTER anymore to go in and create/edit stuff. There is a shared WikiGuest account that anyone can use, or they can register to get their own username.

Nude Olympics

We're still in the process of organizing the Mazo Beach Nude Olympics this year. Of course, the project will be organized via my handy site mentioned above. (I'll do a special post when it's ready.)


At the start of winter, I had a pile of stuff that I wanted to read. And it kept getting bigger, since I never wanted to pull myself away from the computer just to read. I looked for another solution. Scheduling a time to read didn't work because I didn't take it seriously. I'm very limited to what I can take on my weekends of travel. I can't read at the beach since it's winter. All I needed was about a half-hour each day, so I moved my reading materials to the bathroom. Hey -- it works! I read through my 9 back-issues and 2 current issues of Nude & Natural Magazine, and highlighted some things in the NR 45 regulations (DNR land use rules). The real test is next -- I moved my Worldchanging book to there. It's almost 4 pounds of very small text. I bought it new in 2006, and haven't yet hit the half-way point.


We answered the call from N 28.3 page 87, and it sounds like it might happen this summer! We not only offered ourselves as subjects, but also offered some of our "secret" locations. I'll keep you posted on what develops from this.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Missed News (4/2009)

If you were expecting pictures and a farewell today ... April Fools! :-) I at least convinced one blogger who realized it may not be true an hour later. I also had friends questioning if it was true or not, but they at least flagged my post as fishy right away. Other than that, it seems that nobody cares... Or they wanted to wait and make sure I was leaving before commenting. Here's a roundup of other April Fool's jokes.

The "Missed News" series is for all the random stuff I found interesting, but was missed by other popular bloggers. (Or that needs to be covered again.) Hopefully I filtered out the duplicates from Nudiarist's recent flood of news posts.