9 Nudist Resort Rules of Etiquette

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IStock

“Feel the freedom!” That’s the mission statement behind the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), a not-for-profit group based in Kissimmee, Florida. For more than 85 years, the AANR has helped hundreds of thousands of nudists find like minds and safe spaces for wholesome, clothes-free fun.

Those curious about nudist gatherings might wonder how social interactions differ when one or both parties are unencumbered by clothing. To find out, we asked Carolyn Hawkins, the public relations coordinator for the AANR and a frequent presence at Kissimmee’s Cypress Cove Nudist Resort. Here are a few things to keep in mind should you ever find yourself on “nakation.”

1. YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON.

Some organizations like to ease first-time nudists into the unfamiliar world of genital exposure by arranging what’s known as a “clothes-optional” gathering. That means attendees are welcome to keep their clothes on—even if it’s just a long T-shirt—until they’re comfortable enough to leave them behind. “Clothes-free,” however, means that you need to shed your fabrics without reservations. If you find yourself in the former group, remember that certain areas will still frown on a lack of crack. “In all of our clubs,” Hawkins says, “you have to be nude to get into a pool or hot tub, even if it’s clothing-optional.”

2. THEY MIGHT BLOCK YOUR CAMERA LENS.

The advent of cell phones with megapixel cameras has made protecting privacy at nudist gatherings slightly more difficult; Hawkins says that anyone who strolls into a group clutching a cell phone will probably be called to the side. “At Cypress Cove, we have a red dot policy. If someone brings a phone, we ask them to put a red dot over the camera lens. No one’s complained about it yet.”

3. YOU NEED TO BRING A TOWEL WITH YOU EVERYWHERE.

While no one is casting aspersions on anyone’s personal hygiene, most nudist gatherings mandate that guests carry a bath or beach towel with them at all times and use it as a barrier when sitting down. “It’s for sanitary purposes,” Hawkins says.

4. FOOTWEAR IS WELCOME.

Because Florida is populated by fire ants, Hawkins says she frequently runs into nudists who sport shoes or sandals on an otherwise naked body: “There are also little sticks and things like that on the beach.” Hats and jewelry are also common.

5. THEY EAT IN THE NUDE.

While this sounds like it might be hazardous when ordering hot soups, Hawkins says most resorts welcome nude diners (provided you bring that aforementioned towel). Some patrons might find a dining area chilly and wear something light to avoid feeling cold. And while most servers are nudists themselves, they remain dressed while on duty.

6. THEY DON’T MONITOR TOENAILS. (CLIP THEM ANYWAY.)

While it’s probably good form to keep your nails trimmed, Hawkins says that most groups aren’t going to make a big deal out of some slightly lax hygiene. “That would be at a person’s discretion,” she says. “It’s about body acceptance.”

7. PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION ARE OUT.

While you may discover a newfound appreciation for nature and the freedom of a non-clothed lifestyle, you can't let it get out of hand. Hawkins says most clubs have the modesty of the minister in Footloose when it comes to touching. "The most public affection displayed would be holding hands or a quick hug when you meet friends," she says.

8. SINGLE GUY OR GAL? YOU MIGHT NOT MAKE IT IN.

"The clubs try to keep a gender balance as best they can," Hawkins says. While couples typically won't have trouble being admitted, singles could be. "If a single male or female comes to the gates, they're asked if they have nudist experience," Hawkins explains. If not, and there's no singles function planned, they might need to reconsider their nakation.

9. YOU CAN BE NUDE, BUT YOU CAN’T LOOK SEXY.

For clothing-optional gatherings, Hawkins says that there’s actually a type of dress code: provocative lingerie, dresses, or tight jeans aren’t welcome sights. “That’s sex appeal, not a nude body,” she says.

That doesn’t preclude romance: Hawkins has arranged several nude weddings for people who met at Cypress Cove during singles gatherings. And yes, the brides saved a lot of money by not having to buy a dress. “They can spend it on the honeymoon,” says Hawkins.

All images courtesy of iStock.

The 10 Fastest Animals in the World

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iStock

Though humans love to assign superlatives—smartest, fastest, strongest—to the creatures of the animal kingdom, those attributes are, in practice, pretty difficult to measure. There are stories of sailfish traveling at 68 mph, for example, but they date to the 1940s and '50s; since then, scientists have determined that anything faster than 33 mph is likely impossible and would lead to "destructive consequences for fin tissues." Old record breaking numbers might be inflated by everything from high wind speeds to inaccurate methodology—not to mention the difficulty of determining the top speed of animals that may or may not be going full out when measured, or the lack of measuring all animals all the time (which means that there still might be record breakers out there). But of the measurements that have been done—and with those caveats in mind—scientists have determined that these 10 creatures are good candidates for the fastest animals on Earth.

10. QUARTER HORSE // 55 MPH

A tan-colored horse running with its mane flying out behind it.
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At the lower end of the list there are several animals that run around the same speed. One of these is the quarter horse, which is generally faster than its more famous thoroughbred relatives—at least over short distances like a quarter mile. And the differences can be pronounced: One study found that over various races of various distances the quarter horse averaged 45 miles per hour, while the thoroughbred averaged only 35 mph—although the thoroughbred generally ran longer races. More impressively, the quarter horse was able to manage over 55 mph near the end of the race [PDF].

9. SPRINGBOK // 60 MPH

A springbok jumping high above yellow grass.
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According to recent research, the black wildebeest has unusual muscle fibers that allow it to run at high speeds for long distances. It's thought that the springbok—which is related to the wildebeest—may also have these fibers, which allows them to escape predators on the African Savannah.

8. PRONGHORN // APPROXIMATELY 40-62 MPH

A pronghorn running.
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The pronghorn is frequently cited as the second fastest land animal on Earth, although many of those speed estimates are based on studies from the 1940s [PDF], when researchers proposed they could run at around 60 mph. Other observations have put pronghorns running almost seven miles in just 10 minutes, which works out to 40 mph.

7. ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD // 61 MPH

An Anna's hummingbird in flight.
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This little critter can travel at 61 mph for short distances during mating dives. That fact alone is impressive, but this hummingbird is a good candidate for fastest vertebrate by body lengths per second. According to a 2009 paper, it can reach speeds of 385 body lengths per second (that figure doesn't factor in the avian's .59-inch bill; factoring that in reduces the speed to around 320 bl/s). By comparison, the space shuttle reentering the atmosphere travels at around 207 bl/s. For a blue whale to match this hummingbird's relative speed, it would have to circle the entire planet in about an hour.

6. CHEETAH // 65 MPH

A cheetah running.
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The top speed of a cheetah is extremely difficult to determine. One of the fastest reliable records was obtained by a conservationist and the cheetah he'd raised. He attached some meat behind his vehicle and took off, and the cat gave chase, clocking approximately 64 mph over the trials. Meanwhile, a cheetah from the Cincinnati Zoo managed 61 mph in 2012. But these numbers aren't indicative of wild cheetah speed: When scientists put GPS collars on wild cheetahs, they found that although one reached 59 mph, the average top speed was just 33 mph, because it's easier to maneuver at slower speeds.

5. COMMON SWIFT // 70 MPH

A common swift flying.
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Many sources claim that the fastest bird in level flight is the white-throated needletail, sometimes called the spine-tailed swift. But there's no evidence for the methodology behind determining the record, so it's rarely considered valid. So this spot belongs to another swift: One specimen of common swift was observed flying at almost 70 mph.

4. GRAY-HEADED ALBATROSS // APPROXIMATELY 80 MPH

A gray-headed albatross flying.
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The official Guinness World Record for fastest bird in level flight, however, doesn't go to the common swift. It goes to the gray-headed albatross, specifically one gray-headed albatross that got caught in an Antarctic storm. The paper detailing this record holder explained that "typical air speed of small albatrosses flying with a tail wind is [20±9 miles per hour], that speed being relatively constant with increasing wind force" and noted that the bird seemed to have a 40 to 50 mph tailwind. Audubon summarized this as "the equivalent of avian steroids."

3. HYBOMITRA HINEI WRIGHTI // APPROXIMATELY 90 MPH (WE THINK)

A horse fly sitting on a rock.
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According to an article published in Discover in 2000, an entomologist at the University of Florida attempted to recreate the mating behavior of the Hybomitra hinei wrighti horsefly. Males of this species chase and catch the females, and together they fall to the ground. To simulate this, the researcher fired a plastic pellet from an air rifle; the male horsefly chased the pellet, reaching speeds of at least 90 mph. Since then, little research has been done on the subject, and the result is noted as being "a noteworthy record" in "the unrefereed literature."

2. BRAZILIAN FREE-TAILED BATS // 100 MPH (MAYBE)

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According to a 2016 paper, all seven of the Brazilian free-tailed bats studied traveled faster than 55 mph. Five hit almost 70 mph and one flew 100 miles per hour, making it potentially the fastest flying animal in the world. Some scientists that spoke to New Scientist were skeptical of the record, however, saying that the bats may have had gravity or wind assists, but the authors of the study expressed confidence in their results.

1. PEREGRINE FALCON // 200+ MPH

A peregrine falcon flying.
iStock

It's often said that the peregrine falcon can fly around 200 mph, which isn't the entire story. In level flight, the peregrine falcon is usually thought to max out at 40 to 60 mph—fast, but not ridiculously so. It reaches its top speed by falling in a specialized hunting dive called a stoop.

(This may seem like a bit of a cheat—extreme human skydivers can go considerably faster, and if diving speed for all other creatures were counted, this list would be almost entirely birds. A paper published in 2001 [PDF] looked at several dive speeds of just passerine birds and found a barn swallow that dived at 117 mph, a yellow wagtail diving at 118, and a pied flycatcher diving at 120 mph.)

For years, there was suspicion of this top speed, and in the 1990s, some researchers pegged the birds at a more reasonable stoop speed of 90 miles per hour. It wasn't until the 2000s that a researcher began skydiving with a peregrine falcon. Together they were diving at speeds well in excess of 200 mph. But because this is a dive, the title of fastest animal on Earth is still open to debate.

6 Superheroes Getting Their Own Movies and TV Shows

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iStock

by Mason Segall

Superheroes are all the rage right now and for the foreseeable future. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has redefined what blockbuster cinema means in the 21st century, aided in no small part by its propensity for multi-media enfranchisement.

Though their business model has been copied unsuccessfully (looking at you DCEU), many companies are looking to try their hand at the same lucrative enterprise by adopting a number of superheroes for visual media. Here are just a few of the ones that are currently in development or are upcoming.

1. INVINCIBLE

One of the hallmarks of the Image Comics label, fans have been crying for Invincible to leap off the page for years. Following a young superhero as he gradually sheds his naive innocence to overcome the increasingly large obstacles in his life, Invincible is being converted into an eight-episode Amazon animated series, making it the first partnership between Amazon and the comic's creator Robert Kirkman, who also penned the incredibly popular The Walking Dead.

2. AQUAMAN

Aquaman has always been derided as something of a novelty among superheroes. How is someone who talks to fish considered on the same tier as Superman and Wonder Woman? But then Jason Momoa was cast in the role for Justice League, and the world had to start taking him seriously as a character. Though his Justice League role wasn't highly regarded, there's still time for Aquaman director James Wan to turn things around for the character's standalone film.

3. THE BOYS

While not technically superheroes themselves, the Boys do have a lot to do with them, so they technically count for the purposes of this list. In a world where heroes are more akin to super-power celebrities than role models, the Boys are an international black ops team of super humans tasked with policing the superhero community, enforcing their own set of rules by any means necessary.

Made by the late great Garth Ennis, The Boys will be coming to Amazon in 2019 and will be produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the same team that saw Ennis's Preacher comic adapted to television for AMC.

4. CAPTAIN MARVEL

​As the next major addition to the MCU, Captain Marvel will be the latest of Marvel's more niche comic characters to be introduced to a mainstream audience. Taking place in the 1990s, her film will see ​Brie Larson in the title role as she comes to terms with both her human and alien backgrounds, eventually becoming the most powerful force yet seen in the MCU.

5. SWAMP-THING

​​Swamp-Thing is universally regarded, among fans anyway, as one of the most underrated DC characters. As an elemental guardian, Swamp-Thing channels and protects the Green, the very force of nature itself, to fight crime and preserve the environment. He'll be getting his own limited series on DC's upcoming streaming service where James Wan, director of the upcoming Aquaman, has reportedly taken a deep interest in production.

6. SHAZAM

One of the oldest and least appreciated superheroes, ​Shazam​ (previously Captain Marvel) has the powers of legendary gods and heroes and the body of a physically perfect adult, but the mind of a little boy more interested in having fun with his magically enhanced body than saving the world. He'll be played by Zachary Levi in an upcoming Shazam! film, directed by David F. Sandberg.

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