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(Outside Online)   What it feels like to freeze to death   (outsideonline.com) divider line 23
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14460 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Dec 2012 at 11:13 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-29 11:59:01 AM
3 votes:
First Chill-Then Stupor-Then the Letting Go

As someone who froze half to death once, it's like this...

First you're wondering where you are, but you're not freezing to death, so it's okay.
You ask yourself questions, because you're near no human:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.


Then you start to get mildly confused, for example, starting to think that the local animals are talking or having complex thoughts.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.


The auditory hallucinations are the first ones. The silence of the snow starts to make noises. Now you're more confused...now you think the animals are capable of asking questions.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.


You start to repeat things, wondering if you've said it before, first just phrases, then whole sentences.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


Once you're at the repeating sentences stage, you decide to take a lay down in the snow since you're so sleepy. It ceases being cold to you, then you die.
2012-12-29 06:59:55 PM
2 votes:
When I was about 4 years old we found our neighbors dog froze solid on our back porch. My mom was all freaked out that the dog was dead or dying so we propped him up, stiff as board next to the fireplace. I still remember to this day the dog thawing out, springing to life and running around shaking his wet fur all over the house. Mom was not impressed.
2012-12-29 12:30:46 PM
2 votes:

FarkTorrance: I'm sure there was a lot of data that came out of the experiments mentioned in the article and by other posters. But I'd ask which is the greater disrespect: discarding that data as morally tainted, or pretending the value of that information is in some way a silver lining that "gave their death meaning"? I think the best we can do is to respect and mourn them as victims of something awful; the worst is to offer their murderers (or those complicit in their torture) a voice in the scientific community, no matter how much you try to spin some sort of "greater good" merit from all this.


Firstly, how can you ask those of use reading this to honestly mourn for those people we've never met? This may sound heartless, but I didn't even mourn for my own grandfather when he died, I celebrated the well-lived life he had. I'm not trying to spin this as any type of greater good, but did your mother or anyone else in your family or friends ever tell you the phrase "waste not, want not"?

I view ignoring the knowledge that we've gained over the centuries, even that which was gained in a horrific fashion, as a waste. It would be a waste of lives, it would be a waste of information, and most importantly to me, it would be a waste of future lives which could potentially be helped by the information.

Forgive me for being so heartless as to think that I'd rather the information and knowledge be used to help those alive today and tomorrow, rather than ignoring it because of what was done to those who have been long since dead.

Oh, and for the record, once you stop giving coherent points and begin calling names, you've lost the discussion. Case in point:

To RKade:

FarkTorrance: Happy to disappoint you. You sound like you'd fit right in among the blind pigs.


This poster did nothing to insult you directly, they merely disagreed with the things you said. Your response was to tell them, perhaps not in so many words, but certainly in implication, that they'd fit in among Nazis. Well done. As of this point on, I'm disregarding all future comments from you, since you cannot keep yourself from attacking the argument rather than the arguer.
2012-12-29 12:00:13 PM
2 votes:
I'm sure there was a lot of data that came out of the experiments mentioned in the article and by other posters. But I'd ask which is the greater disrespect: discarding that data as morally tainted, or pretending the value of that information is in some way a silver lining that "gave their death meaning"? I think the best we can do is to respect and mourn them as victims of something awful; the worst is to offer their murderers (or those complicit in their torture) a voice in the scientific community, no matter how much you try to spin some sort of "greater good" merit from all this.
And at the end of the day, all the data in is case really offers is some finer points on what most of us with opposable thumbs already know: if it's freezing cold outside, you probably are better off staying in. Otherwise, wear something warm.
2012-12-29 11:53:01 AM
2 votes:
He lost me at "by this time you've moved off the road." No I haven't I'm not an idiot.
2012-12-29 11:48:40 AM
2 votes:

FarkTorrance: BiffDangler: On a related note: As I understand it most of what we know about hypothermia, medically speaking, is the result of Nazi experiments on Jews where they deliberately exposed them to freezing water to try to understand hypothermia. Many died of course.

Yeah, they mention in the article some test results from experiments at Dachau. That's actually my biggest gripe about the article: by including that sort of thing, it seems to me that you're validating the scientific "merit" of such experiments. I don't think those d-nozzles deserve to have anything they did put forth as having scientific value, period. Any actual scientists who feel like stepping forward to argue that point, please feel free.


Are you going to disrespect the tortured souls even further by throwing out the results that they gave us? it's not like pretending those experiments didn't happen is going to bring anyone back to life.
2012-12-29 11:36:07 AM
2 votes:

BiffDangler: On a related note: As I understand it most of what we know about hypothermia, medically speaking, is the result of Nazi experiments on Jews where they deliberately exposed them to freezing water to try to understand hypothermia. Many died of course.


Yeah, they mention in the article some test results from experiments at Dachau. That's actually my biggest gripe about the article: by including that sort of thing, it seems to me that you're validating the scientific "merit" of such experiments. I don't think those d-nozzles deserve to have anything they did put forth as having scientific value, period. Any actual scientists who feel like stepping forward to argue that point, please feel free.
2012-12-30 01:54:01 AM
1 votes:
That's what used to be called journalism.  Great find subby and great write, journalist.
2012-12-29 09:23:29 PM
1 votes:

aerojockey: FarkTorrance: In what way? Is expecting the scientific method to exclude torture and mass-murder setting the bar too high?

Yes.

You deal with ethical problems in the science in other ways.  Like, in this case, trying and executing the people who did it.  You don't reject the science.


THIS. It wasn't just the Nazis of course. Much of the early work on anatomy and thus surgery was done on cadavers who hadn't necessarily left instructions that their bodies be donated to science. Grave robbing was the light end of the spectrum. Murder and the sale of the cadaver to a respected surgeon was not unheard of. There's a very good Simon Pegg movie on the topic.

So is FarkTorrence now going to reject any surgical intervention which may have drawn on knowledge gained from such practices? Better hope you never get appendicitis buddy.
2012-12-29 03:29:25 PM
1 votes:
hugheric: He lost me at "by this time you've moved off the road." No I haven't I'm not an idiot.

Did you miss the part where he explained that the cold negatively affects your judgment? Or are you one of those "my mind is impregnable and all those things that affect other peoples minds can't stop mine from being a perfect reasoning machine" types?


Except at this point in the story the person's temperature had not yet dropped. I realize that it is a fictional story and the author had him make that decision to further the plot, but would someone with skis really decide to go uphill over rough ground rather than on a relatively smooth street? The skiers around here have an absolute caniption fit if there is even a footprint on their ski trail, much less choosing to break ground through a heavily wooded area.

Also, I don't know of anyone who is this cavalier of the temperature once it passes ~-25.
2012-12-29 03:20:11 PM
1 votes:

Fear the Clam: LumberJack: So, we learn here that, in order not to freeze to death:
1. We need to know how to drive a Jeep without spinning it and planting it so deep that we can't get it out of a snow drift.

Pretty much this. If you don't know how to get your car out of a snowdrift you shouldn't be allowed to drive in the winter. Use the shovel (that should have been in there) to dig some paths, put some branches under the tires for traction, and be on your way, but more carefully.


If you think you can get any car out of any snowdrift by yourself using one shovel and some branches, you shouldn't be allowed to drive in the winter.

I am a skilled winter driver with years of experience in 2WD and 4WD vehicles in snow, ice, and on all surfaces. I don't drive Jeeps but I once found myself in almost exactly this situation. Winding up the ditch was a surprise and getting the vehicle out wasn't going to happen without a winch. I came very close to dying from hypothermia while trying to disprove that fact. I knew I wasn't going to survive a 17 mile walk in the weather I was in but I genuinely thought I could get my truck out. Had it not been 20 degrees below freezing I might have been successful. As it were, I nearly died. The only good to come of my attempts to free my Rover was the fact that I'd cleared rapidly-building drifts in front of the truck, had I not done that the driver that found me simply wouldn't have.

This article is not inaccurate. You'd be surprised how close to dead you can get without even realizing it and how stupid you can become in the process while still thinking you are right on top of your game.
2012-12-29 02:44:49 PM
1 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: Excuse me, but... To all of you who say that we should NEVER use the Nazis' research on hypothermia because it's morally tainted:

What, then, would you have us do? There's a dying person in front of you, and the Nazis figured out how to save her life. Do you let her die because the information that could save her was gathered in morally objectionable circumstances?

It's all well and good to say that the research that brought us the information was abhorrent. It's quite another to suppress that information. And IMHO, it's equally abhorrent to refuse to treat a patient using information gained in ways that are awful.


This. The methods used to gather the data was simply evil, and I would never condone experiments like that. BUT... The data is out there. It can be used to save lives. It MUST be used to save lives.

It is likely that we would have learned these methods on our own, after many, many attempts at saving those suffering from hypothermia. Should we have ignored the data and experimented on our own until we reached the same conclusions? No.

I've experienced hypothermia, though not as bad as the person in the article. Before the cellphone boom, I lived out in the country, an hour's drive from work. I was driving home on a clear, cold day (just above freezing, not very windy). My car broke down about 2 miles from home, so I started to walk. It was supposed to snow, but not until after dark, so I had a few hours to make the walk home... plenty of time. I was mostly dressed appropriately for the weather at the time... sweater, thick coat, knit cap, good gloves, etc. About ten minutes into my walk, BOOM, blizzard. The temperature dropped, the wind started screaming, and I couldn't see shiat.

More than three hours later, my roommate almost ran over me. I was leaning on a snow bank with my feet sticking out into the road, "taking a short rest". Not so short... he had to break the ice under me before he could get me into his jeep. He'd come out looking for me when I didn't make it home. At least up to the "auditory hallucinations" part, the author is spot on. I'm just glad my roommate knew what to do... and what NOT to do.
2012-12-29 01:46:15 PM
1 votes:

hugheric: He lost me at "by this time you've moved off the road." No I haven't I'm not an idiot.


Did you miss the part where he explained that the cold negatively affects your judgment?  Or are you one of those "my mind is impregnable and all those things that affect other peoples minds can't stop mine from being a perfect reasoning machine" types?
2012-12-29 01:19:34 PM
1 votes:
Excuse me, but... To all of you who say that we should NEVER use the Nazis' research on hypothermia because it's morally tainted:

What, then, would you have us do? There's a dying person in front of you, and the Nazis figured out how to save her life. Do you let her die because the information that could save her was gathered in morally objectionable circumstances?

It's all well and good to say that the research that brought us the information was abhorrent. It's quite another to suppress that information. And IMHO, it's equally abhorrent to refuse to treat a patient using information gained in ways that are awful.
2012-12-29 12:16:54 PM
1 votes:
FTA When your Jeep spins lazily off the mountain road and slams backward into a snowbank, you don't worry immediately about the cold.


After a day of skiing I always remove my jacket and fleece before I get in the car for the drive home but I always think about what would happen if I had a car wreck going over the mountain pass...would I be able to reach my outer layers and put them on while waiting for rescue.
2012-12-29 12:08:01 PM
1 votes:

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: You can tell that subby didn't grow up in a mega (as in a population in the millions) city. If s/he had, instead of "What it feels like to freeze to death," that headline would have been "What it feels like to die of hypothermia"


Only people that grew up in a city with several million people call it hypothermia? Please explain.
2012-12-29 12:03:01 PM
1 votes:

FarkTorrance: BiffDangler: On a related note: As I understand it most of what we know about hypothermia, medically speaking, is the result of Nazi experiments on Jews where they deliberately exposed them to freezing water to try to understand hypothermia. Many died of course.

Yeah, they mention in the article some test results from experiments at Dachau. That's actually my biggest gripe about the article: by including that sort of thing, it seems to me that you're validating the scientific "merit" of such experiments. I don't think those d-nozzles deserve to have anything they did put forth as having scientific value, period. Any actual scientists who feel like stepping forward to argue that point, please feel free.


While it is merely anecdotal, and not from my personal experience, I remember my grandfather, a lifelong physician and surgeon, telling me about the surviving victims he personally found when he was in WW2, as well as experiences he had in other wars afterwards. He NEVER agreed with the methods that were used by the Nazis, however, he himself had used the RESULTS of their work in order to save other lives in conflicts in which he later served while in the military. He also used some of this knowledge in his private practice when he left the military, in order to help civilians as well.

Would you honestly tell a man like that, who's first and foremost concern was ALWAYS for his patients, that he should ignore the results of such work no matter how many lives it may save, merely because the methods used were abhorrent?

Knowledge in and of itself is not evil. Methods can be, I admit, but once the knowledge is there, isn't it better to honour the dead by using that knowledge to save others who don't have to die?
GCD
2012-12-29 11:51:01 AM
1 votes:
Ironically, almost all the known information that is out there on hypothermia originally came from the Nazis.

In 1941, the Luftwaffe conducted experiments with the intent of discovering means to prevent and treat hypothermia. One study forced subjects to endure a tank of ice water for up to five hours.

Another study placed prisoners naked in the open air for several hours with temperatures as low as −6 °C (21 °F). Besides studying the physical effects of cold exposure, the experimenters also assessed different methods of rewarming survivors.

There's no doubt that the tests were absolutely inhumane and there's no question that Dr. Josef Mengele was a deranged lunatic...but up until then, there wasn't a lot of information known about hypothermia.
2012-12-29 11:45:55 AM
1 votes:

FarkTorrance: Madbassist1: FarkTorrance: BiffDangler: On a related note: As I understand it most of what we know about hypothermia, medically speaking, is the result of Nazi experiments on Jews where they deliberately exposed them to freezing water to try to understand hypothermia. Many died of course.

Yeah, they mention in the article some test results from experiments at Dachau. That's actually my biggest gripe about the article: by including that sort of thing, it seems to me that you're validating the scientific "merit" of such experiments. I don't think those d-nozzles deserve to have anything they did put forth as having scientific value, period. Any actual scientists who feel like stepping forward to argue that point, please feel free.

Ya cant think of science in that way.

Also, the guy wouldnt have had any problem if he could have just built a fire.

The article writer could learn a thing or two from this writer.

In what way? Is expecting the scientific method to exclude torture and mass-murder setting the bar too high?


I am sure you can make it all better with that time machine of yours
2012-12-29 11:40:09 AM
1 votes:

FarkTorrance: BiffDangler: On a related note: As I understand it most of what we know about hypothermia, medically speaking, is the result of Nazi experiments on Jews where they deliberately exposed them to freezing water to try to understand hypothermia. Many died of course.

Yeah, they mention in the article some test results from experiments at Dachau. That's actually my biggest gripe about the article: by including that sort of thing, it seems to me that you're validating the scientific "merit" of such experiments. I don't think those d-nozzles deserve to have anything they did put forth as having scientific value, period. Any actual scientists who feel like stepping forward to argue that point, please feel free.


Ya cant think of science in that way.

Also, the guy wouldnt have had any problem if he could have just built a fire.

The article writer could learn a thing or two from this writer.
2012-12-29 11:20:45 AM
1 votes:
4.bp.blogspot.com
2012-12-29 11:17:48 AM
1 votes:
How does anyone know? Seems like all we know is how it feels to almost freeze to death.
2012-12-29 10:21:25 AM
1 votes:
Chilling.
 
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