Tucci78 on December 28, 2010, 11:35:28 pm
The current story arc emphasizes the "battered cowboy hat" worn as a sort of trademark by the character Ed - who's announced in the transcript as "the hero of this story" - and this gives one to wonder just why the hell anybody wears a hat on Ceres.

Certainly, there's reason enough for something with a bit of a bill - like Miss Guzman's "Ceres Spaceport Agent" ballcap - to shade the eyes from overhead glare, but considering that Belters are either "indoors" or they're in pressure suits, wearing any other kind of hat seems a pretentious affectation.  

Hm.  On t'other hand, given that Ceres' microgravity would invariably cause Terran-evolved muscles to slam skulls against ceilings, even with padding on those surfaces it should be expected that any Belter's indoor headgear would most commonly resemble that of Kimball Kinnison described in Doc Smith's Galactic Patrol as the Unattached Lensman's:

"...round, almost visorless cap, heavily and softly quilted in protection against the helmet of his armor."

Something like a medieval knight's arming cap.  Definitely not a wide-brimmed cowboy hat.  These latter were designed to keep sun and rain off the face and the neck.  

What's coming off old Sol by way of interplanetary space ain't gonna be mitigated by a layer of felt.

So is Ed just making a fashion statement?  And why aren't the folks inhabiting Ceres displaying scalps criss-crossed with traumatic laceration scars if they're not wearing bump caps or the equivalent?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 11:47:08 pm by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

quadibloc on December 29, 2010, 01:30:56 am
And here I thought that people in the Belt tended to wear clothing that reflected their self-image as self-reliant rugged types, which nicely subliminally got the reader in the right mood for reading the story. So, if the costume might be anachronistic, it still was appropriate.

Had the story been about a future socialist utopia, then the people would be wearing outlandish "futuristic" outfits - pointy hats, close fitting hoods covering their scalps, shoulder epaulets, bare legs and high boots.

J Thomas on December 29, 2010, 06:57:37 am
The current story arc emphasizes the "battered cowboy hat" worn as a sort of trademark by the character Ed - who's announced in the transcript as "the hero of this story" - and this gives one to wonder just why the hell anybody wears a hat on Ceres.

Possibly, lots of places are careful about open fires and have sprinkler systems that go off at the first hint of smoke.

And possibly, Ed smokes. He feels like it's his right to smoke tobacco etc wherever he is, and it's other people's right to have sprinkler systems.

So he has a hat that protects his face and his cigarette. Perhaps the cowboy hat is a social signal, it tells everybody who sees it, "This person is a smoker. If you stay in the same room with him you are likely to get sprinkled.".

;)

SandySandfort on December 29, 2010, 07:01:50 am
Certainly, there's reason enough for something with a bit of a bill... wearing any other kind of hat seems a pretentious affectation.  

As I write this, I am wearing a boonie hat. In the volcano, it can get cool so I wear the hat. But why do I own a boonie hat in the first place? Perhaps it is a pretentious affectation or, like Ed, maybe I just like hats. It might behoove you to pick more substantive nits in the future.

GlennWatson on December 29, 2010, 07:28:39 am
First post

I think Ed is just making a fashion statement.  Just because Ayn Rand is the patron saint of Ceres does not mean people, even heroes, are'nt vain.  Cowboy hats are cool.

Although my mother always told me not to wear a hat indoors.  I might wear one walking "outside," like in the halls or main concourse.  But not in a specific room like a bar or someone's home.

Maybe it was a bad hair day.

terry_freeman on December 29, 2010, 07:58:11 am
I'll go with "fashion statement". As you can see in my pic, I choose to wear a small fedora; I like the looks and tell myself that I look good in such a hat. It might be self-delusion or not.

A hat - any hat - also provides protection - I stand 6'3" and find that many overhanging branches and signs are just a tad too low for my height. A bit of cushion has often protected my noggin from minor scrapes and bruises. In a micrograv environment, it could help protect against banging one's noggin against the ceiling. Who knows? That cowboy shape might conceal a good bit of foam padding, for all you know.

Others prefer cowboy hats, baseball caps, and so forth. Different strokes please different folks.

mellyrn on December 29, 2010, 08:42:15 am
Hats?  Fashion statement.  Suki's not the only one who cares.

Clothes are another matter.  Clothes are not optional, they're a compulsion.  At the extreme end, there are folx who will hesitate to flee a burning building if they're naked.

How many of you, having the house or room in glorious solitude and without fear of interruption, post in the buff?  Why are you wearing clothing?  If you're chilly sitting quietly & not generating much extra body heat, a blanket and a hot cuppa will serve that need.

The folx on Ceres may or may not really be wearing clothing, as they don't have much weather vagaries to worry about.  They are shown wearing clothes at least in part because readers who aren't card-carrying nudists would make some erroneous assumptions about what kind of strip (heh) this is.

'Sides, clothes can be fun.  Like hats.

Big.Swede on December 29, 2010, 03:26:10 pm
I just find the title of this thread hillarious. :)

As for why heīs wearing a cowboy hat (They are called Stetsons or something, or am i wrong?) there can be a thousand reasons realy. Most likely is personal expression. "This is me, this is my hat, donīt diss the hat." For the same reason some people chose to wear a certain scarf year around even when weather doesnīt call for it. Or it could be sort of a family heirloom. I got a pair of workers gloves i got from my gramps, and i still have them and use them when needed even though i could easily get a new pair. They just wear very well and remind me of him.
"Iīm purely a layman, wondering from a laymans point of view."

ZeissIkon on December 29, 2010, 03:46:06 pm
[M]y mother always told me not to wear a hat indoors.  I might wear one walking "outside," like in the halls or main concourse.  But not in a specific room like a bar or someone's home.

You might not (and neither would I -- my fedora comes off indoors except when shopping in a store, where there's no place to hang it), but most self-identified "cowboys" likely would -- at the least, in a place like a tavern/bar; they're also likely to leave the hat on in a restaurant (even while actually dining), and most other non-private indoor locations (and they're virtually certain to dance with their hats on).  Remember "Smokey and the Bandit" and the one thing Bandit took his hat off for?  Hint: it wasn't drinking...

Different places, different rules.  As noted, that hat might well also include significant padding under the crown, though it seems likely that head lacerations from unintended leaps are likely to be mainly limited to Belt newbies -- a few weeks in 3% gravity, and your reflexes will reset to appropriate force levels and inertial expectations.

AmriloJim on December 30, 2010, 12:35:19 am
Big Swede, Stetson is a hat maker that specializes in cowboy hats. The Stetson name is one of those trademarks that people use interchangeably with the item, similar to the abuse of the Xerox trademark as a synonym for photocopy.
Ed appears to be wearing a felt hat, rather than a straw number, which fits in with the padding theory.

Jim in Amarillo

Tucci78 on December 30, 2010, 09:07:38 am
Stetson is a hat maker that specializes in cowboy hats. The Stetson name is one of those trademarks that people use interchangeably with the item, similar to the abuse of the Xerox trademark as a synonym for photocopy.Jim in Amarillo

Nope.  Stetson was a hat maker that turned out cowboy hats - among other headgear.  John B. Stetson established his company and factory in Philadelphia (that romantic town of the Old West) in 1865, and the Stetson company ceased manufacturing cowboy hats forty years ago.

If you buy an "authentic" Stetson hat today, it was manufactured in Garland, TX, by the Hatco company.
Quote
"A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat."

-- P.J. O'Rourke

"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

J Thomas on December 30, 2010, 11:34:51 am

A hat - any hat - also provides protection - I stand 6'3" and find that many overhanging branches and signs are just a tad too low for my height. A bit of cushion has often protected my noggin from minor scrapes and bruises. In a micrograv environment, it could help protect against banging one's noggin against the ceiling. Who knows? That cowboy shape might conceal a good bit of foam padding, for all you know.

This is a good point. It doesn't have to be just fashion.

NSS cavers always insisted on wearing hard hats when they went caving. Always. One iconoclast told me that when he wore a ski cap he didn't hit his head because he could feel it and he stopped. But when he wore a hard hat he was *always* hitting his hardhat on things. But I never saw him go caving without a hard hat. He was somewhat tolerant of social expectations.

A cowboy hat which is not full of foam padding will still give you a warning when you are about to hit your head, which could be useful particularly when you're about to hit something you don't see in back or on top.

Hard hats are often much better at protecting you from a blow from straight up than from other directions. They originally evolved in work environments where people were usually vertical and where things that moved fast fell directly from above. Bicycle helmets were designed for other blows too, and so they look weird. Perhaps for low gravity it would often be a bigger deal for a hat to encourage you to tilt your head, to roll etc, than just to cushion a blow. When I imagined what would help with that, my intuition quickly came up with a design.

Then I remembered I'd seen it somewhere before.

http://bastille-day.com/symbol/Phrygian-Cap
http://northernelectric.ca/medieval/hats/hatpix/papasmurf_med.jpg
http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:Vulcan_workers.jpg
« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 02:17:52 pm by J Thomas »

quadibloc on December 30, 2010, 04:51:59 pm
Nope.  Stetson was a hat maker that turned out cowboy hats - among other headgear.  John B. Stetson established his company and factory in Philadelphia (that romantic town of the Old West) in 1865, and the Stetson company ceased manufacturing cowboy hats forty years ago.

If you buy an "authentic" Stetson hat today, it was manufactured in Garland, TX, by the Hatco company.
True enough, but they're being manufactured by Hatco under license from the John B. Stetson company of St. Joseph Missouri to their specifications. At least they're not having them made in China.

Karadan on December 31, 2010, 01:00:38 am
and this gives one to wonder just why the hell anybody wears a hat on Ceres.

but considering that Belters are either "indoors" or they're in pressure suits, wearing any other kind of hat seems a pretentious affectation.
I'd surmise for similar reasons as to why you (or belters for that mater) wear clothing.  Presumably you're either indoors or wearing winter clothing or the outdoors are nice enough that you don't require clothing to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Sure there is 'so as not to be naked', but most people spend alot on clothing that 'looks good' as opposed to clothing that 'functions well'.  It is a matter of appearance, of character, of expression, of showing off.  Perhaps to be more fair the response should be 'for similar reasons as to why you don't wear tattered hand-me-downs from the salvation army'.  Because you look better in name brand clothing (That is artfully tattered brand new!).

Ed, quite simply, looks better in a cowboy hat.  And given the most recent reveal of him being from Texas, it could also be a keepsake.

Archonix on December 31, 2010, 04:22:14 am
Hard hats are often much better at protecting you from a blow from straight up than from other directions. They originally evolved in work environments where people were usually vertical and where things that moved fast fell directly from above.

Now in the People's European Soviet of Englandistan the health and safety zealots will fail an apprentice plumber for not wearing a hard hat during an assessment of how well he can fix a leaky pipe under a sink. I've seen them being won by council workers painting the road or digging with a pneumatic drill. Everyone has to wear a hardhat. And gloves. And goggles. And a high visibility jacket, just in case.

I wear my wide-brimmed fedora as a protest against a society that thinks hats are silly (and I measure it in inches dammit! ;D )

 

anything