Scientific Experiment

Among the many horrific experiments conducted by the nazis on their prisoners during WWII, a whole set of them focused on hypothermia: hapless Russian POW were put into icy water baths until they collapsed, then attempts to reanimate them using more or less scientific means were made.

Unlike most of their other pseudo-scientific experiments, this one actually had some kind of vaguely reachable goal: improve the life expectancy of the average Luftwaffe pilot forced into a sudden scuba-diving trip in the English Channel. Quite a problem at the time, especially among German tourists returning home from a leisure flight over London.

Amazingly perhaps, given the type of sub-scientific approach, these “research” yielded one usable result. On Herr Doktor Sigmund Rascher’s advice, pilots life jackets were modified so as to keep the body upright in the water, upper body sticking out (formerly, the whole body was kept horizontal, in an attempt to minimize heat loss by contact with the water): indeed, it was established that exposing the neck and occiput to low temperatures, tend to significantly accelerate the internal temperature drop.

Well, many years after reading the very chilling reports of these experiments (and I honestly do not recommend them, if you value your peaceful sleep at night), I was able to confirm the findings firsthand.

Although there’s definitely no need for nazi doctors to test that: bad Japanese hairdressers will work just as well. It appears that, while I could take the Canadian’s blizzard alright, Tokyo’s comparatively mild winter combined with a lack of natural protective fur on the back of my head was fatal to my immune system.

All that to say that, after four days of nasty cold, normal blogging operations should be resuming any day now.

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