VIRGINIA

'Naked Ned' seeks infinite power while building dams

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Why is he naked?

Chaosmi says he doesn't like to wear clothes, particularly cotton, because the production of clothing is bad for the environment.

"The Russian Empire diverted all this water to grow cotton, he explained to me one day while taking a break from dam building. "Now the Aral Sea is only about half as big as it used to be."

It turns out that's true. I had to Google it when I got home. It was one of the many things I learned from our chats.

For a naked guy who has spent a third of his life running around the woods and rocks of the Potomac River building dams, he's fairly rational and coherent.

Over the years, he has never remembered my name, but he remembers our conversations. When I told him I work for WTOP Radio, he said, "the traffic station."

He tells me he has a home he goes to, but won't say where. When the river gets too cold to work on his dams, he spends his days hiking..

I asked him if he was searching for something. "Yes," he told me.

"My goal is to be infinitely smart and infinitely powerful, but whether I'll reach that I don't know." he says, but he'll keep trying one stone at a time.

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