Go Galaxy!

This morning I was looking through my copy of the popular monthly periodical British Naturism (which I buy for the Spot-the-Ball competition).

In the magazine I found an advertisement with the slogan

If you can’t go naked, go Galaxy!

The immediate thing that sprang to mind was that I didn’t think I’d ever seen Galaxy used as an adjective before. However, this is advertising so the usual rules of grammar don’t apply. The next question was whether it might have something to do with astronomy. It doesn’t.

Galaxy is the strangest range of clothing you’ve ever seen. Essentially it contains bathing costumes that are almost transparent, enabling the Sun’s rays to pass through the material. At the same time a kind of disruptive pattern camouflage (available in a choice of designs) printed on the meshlike material makes the items appear opaque to prying eyes. Here’s an example

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This combination allows the wearer to acquire a suntan in his or her private places but the swirling patterns confuse the observer’s eye to the extent that he/she doesn’t realise that the wearer’s personal credentials are actually in full view. Perhaps this is an example of Moiré is less?

Having been swimming au naturel on many occasions, I would say the best part of it is the freedom you feel in having your private parts unconstrained. The downside is the exposure of sensitive areas to the harsh rays of the Sun. It seems to me that in this sense the Galaxy range offers the worst possible combination of being hindered as well as burnt. Still, they do offer an option to those people who are too shy to go nude on a beach and who want to get an all over tan without using one of those horrendous ultra-violet tanning machines that look like a fluorescent coffin or slapping  orange dye all over themselves.

I’m not sure how effective these things are at concealing the relevant appendages, so maybe I’ll buy a pair and see. Perhaps I could run an undergraduate project to investigate their optical properties?

7 Responses to “Go Galaxy!”

  1. “Having been swimming au naturel on many occasions, I would say the best part of it is the freedom you feel in having your private parts unconstrained. The downside is the exposure of sensitive areas to the harsh rays of the Sun.”

    If you spend enough time not just swimming but also sunbathing nude, and start in the spring in England and not in the summer in a southern country, then even the sensitive bits will be tan enough to withstand the sun. That is, if you tan at all. If not, a sunburn anywhere is rather painful.

  2. So what’s your take on why they decided to call the things Galaxy?

    It seems to me to be another example of an astronomical term that people think sounds expansive and positive and spectacular, so it can get applied to just about anything.

    Chocolate bars, say.

    Or, in the example I found this morning, a method for parents to deal with unruly children.

    That was called ‘Comet’, mind, with the slightly different connotations you get from dirty snowballs.

  3. Bryn Jones Says:

    The designs in that picture look nothing like galaxies, be they irregular or peculiar. I’m not going to attempt surface photometry for fear of finding low surface brightness features lurking in the image.

    Although I did buy some compact discs on a recommendation on this blog, I’m going to avoid buying this product. In any case, I tend to use lots of high-factor sunblock on any exposed skin when on a beach to minimise tanning, regardless of how much – or very much – skin may be exposed.

  4. Anton Garrett Says:

    There have been articles in Physics World on recent progress in designing invisibility cloaks, at least at a particular wavelength. Light from a source hits the cloak, is diverted round its surface, then leaves heading in its original direction. Can anybody give me an intuitive explanation of how such a garment ‘knows’ when the light has gone far enough round its surface to depart in its original direction of propagation, and how that directional information is preserved? Physics World articles run the risk of dumbing down the details too much for physicists to get the key ideas, yet assuming too much to be comprehensible to the layman.
    Anton

  5. “I was using “swimming” in a euphemistic sense.”

    I don’t get it. 😐

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