Could the traditional Japanese belly warmer become a new fashion trend worldwide? Probably not, but they could help you stay warm in the winter. The idea is that if you keep your torso warm enough, the blood flowing to the rest of your body will stay warm. Link -via Metafilter, where you’ll find more haramaki links.

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or you could take the typical american skirt and move it up a couple inches. though by then it could be considered a belt (hooray for mini-skirts and all their premiscuous glory). who'da thunk it...
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Well, for what it's worth in my youth I had a friend who had been in the Black Watch Regiment in WWI. He spent 4 years in the trenches of Flanders as a young man.

He said the worst part of the war wasn't the death, the shelling, or even the mud. It was the lice. The Scots all felt sorry for the Tommys, who wore button-front trou. The Scots lads all wore kilts which made it easy to get the lice off. After all, no drawers meant easy access.

"Weren't you cold in a kilt?" I asked. "Not a bit of it," he replied. "We all wore woolen kidney warmers. If you keep your kidneys warm, you'll stay warm, and you'll never get sick."

I've never tested it but there is the testimony I heard.

Are there any veterans of the trenches still left alive?
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Probably has the opposite effect. Core body temperature is pretty well managed all by itself. Heating up the "middle" just means your body is going to dilate more external (to the trunk) vessels to cool off the body. So by artificially insulating the trunk, you probably cause your body to attempt to cool itself off. Maybe that makes you feel warmer (like the effect alcohol has) but it really isn't keeping you warmer.

Keep in mind this "invention" is from people who don't believe in insulating their homes or providing central heating or cooling (they use room heaters and window ac/fans).
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