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13 May

Love the Sun with a Hat On

The sun is finally starting to show it's face around the Seattle area and nothing makes me happier. You really can't beat the weather around here when it's sunny which got me thinking about something: how important is it really to wear a sun hat to protect yourself from the sun? My wife is really diligent about putting hats on our kids' heads when it's sunny. I never really thought about it because for most of my life I've had a thick head of dark hair and have only been burnt on rare occasions. When you have kids though, you have to start thinking like an adult; even if you're already an adult but never thought like one. For instance, if you're obsessed with tanning yourself, like this New Jersey mom, you really ought to think twice about exposing your kids to the negative affects of the sun.  There really is no easier way to protect yourself from the sun than throwing on a hat. You can mess with sunscreen and that is an option but that can be messy and time consuming. It is also something you have to keep reapplying every few hours to keep up the protection. If you wear a sun protection hat it will not only cover your head but the wide brim will cover your back and shoulders a lot while you are standing. Not to mention that a hat has many more uses than keeping the sun off you and out of your eyes. It can also keep you warm at night too besides just keeping you cool during the day. Not to mention that a stylish hat can be a fashion statement and add a very noticeable level of sophistication in a way that no other accessory really can. It's funny when you hear about teens and crazy moms from New Jersey using tanning beds like crazy. I have nothing against a good tan and actually love sitting out in the sun myself. It just seems like I hear more and more about the negative affects of too much sun exposure and skin cancers. Especially if you are susceptible to sunburns and have some of the high risk factors such as light hair, eyes, and skin than you should really think about wearing something to protect yourself from getting burnt. There will always be people that are naturally tanner than you and nothing is really worth getting skin cancer for. The most important thing is always to keep yourself from getting sunburned and a good sun hat is the perfect way to do that if you have to be out in the sun.
30 Apr

Crazy Kentucky Derby Hats

Posted by Colin Jones in funny, hats in pop culture, Sun Hats
The Kentuck Derby is coming up in just a few days and while I've never been to one or even watched it on t.v. there is one thing that everyone knows about it: there will be hats. Next to the actual races there is nothing that comes to mind more than celebrities wearing crazy hats while drinking their mint juleps in Millionaire's Row. Surely there will be some derby hats in the audience alongside what look like giant sun hats with crazy feathers and colors on it.  While the women do wear quite elaborate, bold, and gaudy hats, it's the men that I find to be truly entertaining. It's obvious that for most men being the most stylish is not the goal. Being funny and awesome seems to be what is on most men's mind (and on top of their heads). Just check out this gallery here of some of the great hats that men wear. It really got me wondering how much time these guys spend on making these things? I'm assuming that they make them themselves because I'm pretty sure you would have a hard time convincing your wife or girlfriend to make a cowboy hat out of a Coor's Light box. But who knows? Maybe some women are into that kind of craftiness? It's funny how these kinds of traditions last over all these years. It seems like if you can get a whole bunch of people to get together and do something silly together they will make it a tradition and keep doing it for years. As long as everyone is being stupid then anyone can. Not that I'm saying we shouldn't do these kinds of things, it actually looks really fun. It's kind of like being a kid again. If you ever sit around with a bunch of kids and watch the way that they play you'll notice that the most important thing to them is what the other kids are doing. If everyone is doing something they have to do it to. If they can't participate that's when the trouble starts. If all the kids are wearing hard hats except for one there is bound to be trouble. So perhaps silly hats are just a way for grown ups to take a break from being so serious and just play like they used to. If only it was that simple because grown ups have a hard time playing anything without attaching some kind of labels or hierarchy system. But maybe for a day everyone will have fun
27 Apr

Kids and the Head Heat Loss Myth

If you are fortunate enough in this life to have children you are also well aware of all of the difficulties involved in raising them. For young children especially it can be trying at times just to get them dressed to get out of the door. If you live in a place that is cold and wet most of the year than just add a few more levels of difficulty for those extra layers of clothing they need to wear. But was your mom was right when she told you that you need to wear a hat when you go outside to keep your head warm. What about when people told you that you lose most of your body heat from your head? It seems that it is a little more complicated than that. You actually don't lose the majority of heat from your head but it's more of a variable rate of something between 20%-35% depending on how cold it is outside, if you are exercising, and how big your head is. While the old saying is not really true it is more true for some people than others. Newborn babies lost more heat from their head because their heads are so much bigger in comparison to their heads as compared to adults. Of course wearing a hat is not only for places that are cold. Protecting your children from the sun is just as important as protecting them from the cold. Though I don't have fair skin or problems with sunburns my daughter turned out to be very fair. My wife is very diligent about keeping a sun hat on her head when she is out in the sun we vacation in places like Hawaii. I on the other hand don't think twice about it since I tan easily and have dark hair. Although, the older I get the less dark hair there seems to be on my head so I may have to start thinking about that more as time goes on. So how do you get your kids to wear hats? One of the best ways I've seen is to get them "fun" hats. While this won't work for newborns once your child is old enough to be more aware you can get them to wear hats that may be like characters they like or are more like "dress up" hats. My daughter loves to pretend she is a princess and normally princesses don't wear hats but we can get her to wear a pink cowgirl hat at least. I'm sure if I had a son I could get him to wear an Indiana Jones hat. And then there are those really fun animal hats that I see a lot of kids wearing these days. If it's fun, kids are way more likely to wear something on their head than for reasons of sheer pragmatism. And tough they may not get hypothermia the first time they walk out of the house without a hat on, it's probably still a good idea the younger your child is.  
14 Apr

Hats on Film

If there is ever two things that I love that go together so well it's movies and hats. Why? Well because a hat is such a great way to give some personality and character to someone on screen. Just as in real life "characters", and people that have an everyday uniform like Steve Jobs or  Simon Cowell, their clothing becomes a real part of who they are. So let's take a look at some of my all-time favorite film characters and their hats.

1. Indiana Jones

O.K. so no list about hats and movies would be complete without Indy's classic fedora so let's just get it out of the way first. No one in film is more famous for wearing a fedora than the whip slinging archaeologist known as Indiana Jones.

2. V

So this one may not be on the level of Indiana Jones but like I said this is a personal list. While it's likely you would disagree with his political methods, you do have to give V plenty of credit for style. No other Englishman can pull off a Spanish Hat quite this sewer dwelling masked terrorist.

3. Alex DeLarge

Never has a derby hat looked so maniacal as it does on Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange. Disturbingly dark humor or morality tale? I will leave that up to you. But one thing that can't be debated is this is one unforgettable derby wearing droog.

4. Red

Let's get back to someone that everyone can admire. Red from the Shawshank Redemption spends a whole lot of the film in a "newsboy cap" or maybe even more specifically an "apple newsboy cap". It's obvious where it got it's name from but I would argue that no one has worn a newsboy cap with as much grace and poise as this convicted murderer. For whatever reason, we still fall in love with Red. Maybe we can tell he is sorry for whatever he did. Guilty or not he wears his hat well.

5. Jack Sparrow

Caption Jack Sparrow to be more precise. I have to admit that after the first Pirates of the Caribbean I wasn't too thrilled with the sequels. However, Johnny Depp's character is likable enough to carry the whole franchise. And Jack Sparrow just wouldn't be the same without his black tricone hat. Not one to be without it, Captain Jack Sparrow understands the importance of a really good hat and would often go to great lengths to make sure it was never left behind. So even if you aren't a character on the big screen you can still create a look that is unique by adding your own style of hat. Hats can be one of the most memorable things you wear to people. Find a good one, whether it's a fedora or a pink hard hat and stick with it and it will stick with you.

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