GeekNights Thursday - How to Not Suck at The Beach


Listening to this podcast episode makes me realise again how many layers deep the oppression runs in America. The idea that a way to discriminate against poor people is to not let them change clothes near the beach only even works if public nudity, even just to change into swimming gear, is so shameful it can be used as a deterrent. A family holding towels up to let someone get changed behind them is so alien to me, a European, who doesn’t even think about getting changed on the beach. I did so today. Meanwhile, about five or six women nearby were just going into the sea topless.

America is fucked up in so many ways I don’t even realise until I hear people talk about the fucked-up-ness in a fashion that makes me think they don’t even know how fucked up it is.


Its not only that it is shameful but that it is -so- culturally shameful that it is illegal. Being purposely nude in public for any reason whatsoever is illegal in most places.


Once, when I still used debit cards, I went to a store to buy something that cost $9.99. The cashier punched in $99.9. I did not have that many monies. I realized their mistake after the transaction was already complete, and they immediately issued a refund. However, that counted as an overdraft, and the refund took several days to clear. From then on, every purchase I made, no matter that I could “afford” it, cost an additional $35, which triggered MORE fees when I actually overdrafted, from fees.

The overall cost of that cashier’s typo was ~$350.

Then the new regulation came out that one should be able to opt out of overdraft “benefits” and I did not hesitate to avoid such a “convenience”.


But surely not a beach.


Yes even a beach, if its a public beach or a private beach visible from a public area. In most places in the US you can only be nude below the waist on private property out of the view of others. Some places allow women to be topless - IIRC NYC is such a place I had a female friend who liked to topless sunbathe in central park if I remember right.


Be careful with swimming perpendicular to a rip current (rip tide is a misnomer, it’s not a tide and has nothing to do with the moon)

In some rips swimming perpendicular is perfectly fine and will result in you safely going back to water not dragging you outward. Some rips are circular however, that is to say those rips have a correct parallel direction to swim and choosing wrong is EXACTLY THE SAME as swimming towards the beach. In a circular rip the correct move is actually just tread water. It’ll drag you back to the beach all on its own.

The most important thing in a rip is just stay calm. If you’re a good swimmer try and detect where the whitewater is around you and if you’re already moving towards it. If so swim that way. If not then swim either direction and you’ll be fine. Or just put your hand up and wait to be rescued.

And recognize they don’t pull you out to sea, they don’t go that far at all, they’re just the water on the beach not wanting to be on land anymore and all going back to the ocean at the same time, it goes as far as that water has momentum and no further.


One thing I was going to mention is I really like the idea of rescue drones that can come out and drop you a liferaft.

I would even go so far as to say at beaches you should be able to grab a little bracelet lanyard or something that you can use as a locator beacon and/or distress signal, which will call in drone support if you need it to.

Sure some lifeguard could Baywatch it up, but the drones could work in all weather and times of day/night. So even if your alone on a remote beach, if so equipped, a small drone with a flotation device and a powerful spotlight and maybe even a tow-rope is only a minute or so away.


Unmanned rescue drone? I give it 30 minutes of being actually unmanned before it’s stolen.


Most people who drown don’t get to wave at someone on the beach or shout for help or anything. They just disappear below a wave and don’t come back up.

The main reason a life guard can save a life isn’t to swim out and rescue you, but to tell you not to swim to far out, to stay within a certain area with other people, etc.


That’s some bullshit right there. Also, yes. It would be better to just have the charge be denied than to overdraft, even if their were no evil fees. I would disable the overdrafting feature even if I had many monies.


Only a very very few select beaches are “clothing optional” in the US.


I’ve been in overdraft and credit card debt since buying my house in December. In the UK this isn’t anywhere near as bad as all that. The overdraft on my main account has cost me about £1.00 and the interest on the credit card is about £100 since December. Before then I’d built up some major savings that allowed us to put down a 20% deposit, a great wedding and holidays.

Of course housing balances the other way here and for the amount we spent on a modest semi detached 3 bedroom brick house in the suburbs would have got us something big, isolated with a pool if we were in say a US state like Georgia (where my dad now lives and just bought a house).


101 pounds seems a perfectly reasonable amount to pay. Surprise expenses of buying a house is a fine reason to take on some debt.


Welcome to being Real estate rich and cash poor :-p



This is why I am incredibly leery of buying a house.


Was just talking about the emergency services expo with a friend of mine, and turns out, they already exist and are in use. Beach lifesavers and emergency services use them, they’re doing a demo at the expo this year.