Looks like Santa needs Mrs. Claus to put more sunscreen on his back

Half naked Santa Claus in the Fenway

Stuck in the cluster that is the Muddy River work in front of Landmark Center today, roving UHub photographer Brian had plenty of time to observe Half Naked Santa Guy, who has been jauntily jaunting about the Boston area for years now, at least, in warmer weather.



Free tagging: 


You mean ...

That bunch of half-naked kids on the bus! Who were photographed! When "half-naked"!!!

Shame on you for putting them on the internets! (/snark)


If you put a sidecar on the

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If you put a sidecar on the scooter and put the keytar bear in it wearing a french toast alert t-shirt, and then somehow had the whole gang involved in a bicycle accident in South Boston, I think this site would explode.


Oh no no no

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Things you cannot un-see.

of course now my coworkers are gawking at my computer screen wondering what I was looking at.


The horror

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The site of this guy ruins my run around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir about once a month.



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Why? It looks like he's got a decent bit of melanin going. Sunscreen should only be used for periods of intensive sun that will likely cause sunburn (thus upping your risk of skin cancer). If you expose for shorter, more frequent periods then there's no need for sunscreen. You can also then increase your periods in the sun without sunscreen safely as your skin starts to darken from increased melanin response to the sun exposure. You actually make your chances for sunburn WORSE by artificially keeping your skin lighter in melanin for those times when you do get a longer exposure and didn't apply any/enough sunscreen.

In fact, our over-obsession with sunscreen has led to dark-skinned people using it (at our health professionals' behests) and ending up with Vitamin D deficiencies (we naturally create Vitamin D by skin exposure to sun activating enzymes that create it from other molecules in the body)...who then have to take supplements to keep their Vitamin D levels up!


Not just sunburn

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A proper sunscreen doesn't just protect from the immediate effects of sunburn, it also protects against the kind of rays that lead to skin damage and aging and skin cancers. If it was just sunburn, your advice would be relevant.

The problem with sunscreen is more that people think they can stay out in the sun longer because they're not getting a sunburn.

Here's what skincancer.org says about the Vitamin D concern:

The truth is that the body can produce only a certain amount of vitamin D from UVR; after reaching that limit, additional UV exposure actually results in the breakdown of the vitamin! UV exposure does not represent the only — or the best — source of Vitamin D. Dietary sources such as fatty fish (salmon), cod liver oil, and fortified milk and orange juice provide substantial amounts of the vitamin, as do supplements, which are available at relatively low cost. Current evidence strongly suggests that the detrimental effects of exposure to UVR outweigh the benefits, especially since vitamin D can be obtained without risking your health.



Written by an "expert"

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I'm sure that good doctor is versed in the ways of dealing with the skin, but her science is a bit lacking. First, UVB makes Vitamin D. UVA has shown *some* ability to break it down. However, plain sunlight is going to make more D than it ever breaks down. The doctor is probably half-remembering the report detailing situations where UVB is being filtered when UVA isn't. Some types of windows can filter UVB but not UVA and you can get D depletion that way. Nobody ever got rickets from working outside too much.

Secondly, unless your diet is going to consist of at least half a pound of salmon each day, you're not going to get enough Vitamin D by eating it instead of never going in the sun. And the only reason orange juice or milk have any Vitamin D at all is because we keep putting it there ever since people were getting lots of rickets in the 30's. Your best and most reliable source of Vitamin D is less than an hour of sunlight per day. You're not going to die from skin cancer from that level of exposure either. The overt hand-wringing around skin cancer these days...The idea that you should avoid the sun completely and eat pills to get your Vitamin D...It's really disturbing.

Here, have an interesting read: http://nautil.us/issue/14/mutation/america-is-getting-the-science-of-sun...

Your Melanin May Vary

The "suncreen in winter and all the time every minute!!!" crowd is a bit tedious, granted, but I suspect that you are probably pretty good at making melanin and don't have to be so careful about these things.

I'm in that camp, too. I don't bother with sunscreen unless I'm going to be out all day. I have had pretty serious sun exposure in my lifetime, but don't have a lot of damage to show for it.

One of my sons is similar. The other is "fish belly white" like his paternal grandmother. He needs to be far more vigilant about sunburn than I do or his swarthy, raven-haired brother does.

That's why articles like the one you posted are important - the downside of being a melanin factory is not making enough Vitamin D - and I also can't eat any of those fish oil supplements listed due to allergies. I kind of have to get mine from the sun.

I have had two outdoorsy friends with very fair complexions battle melanomas, and it sucked severely, so I suspect that this is where the skin cancer folks are coming from and being highly cautious and assuming that everyone is at high risk.


It gets worse

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I can attest to the fact that he rocks this outfit year round with an accompanying fanny pack/murse. My wife and I are BC Alum and she still attends mass regularly at St. I's on campus. Naked Santa is also a parishioner at St. I's and attends mass in all his resplendence.


how is this newsworthy?

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I know that you can *legally* post someone's photo on the Internet like this, but maybe he doesn't want his photo posted for people to make rude comments, and it doesn't seem like anyone asked him.

This is a general problem on social media. UH is not the worst offender, and this is not the worst example that's been on UH, but even UH does do it from time to time. It's not much different than the infamous People Of Walmart site and the awful smug and mean-spirited local attempts I've seen to mimic that (for the T, for Market Basket, etc.).

Would be great if UH was one of the first new media operations to take a lesson from the most respectable old news media on this kind of thing.

I beg to disagree

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He's an interesting character who has been showing off what nature gave him for years now. If he doesn't want to be seen in public like that, he shouldn't be going out in public like that.

I've tended to shy away from "People of the T" type photos that, yes, exist mainly to make fun of people who look different. It's a fine line, perhaps, but I find this guy different because he's so, well, obvious in what he's doing.


one compromise

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One compromise I'd suggest in this case would be to interview him. Then there's less confusing people about the difference between light human interest stories and Facebook-era mocking like everyone wants to be Internet-famous.


The rulings I've seen agree.

Swirly has mentioned it before.

No expectation of privacy in public.

And it is sort of twisted to call attention to yourself and then object to the likelihood of getting in a photo.

There is a related civil issue I've run into where a photo subject may retain rights if the camera bug makes a lot of money off the person's image.

News media things would often have permission waivers to seek for such.

The usual problem area is with unattributed use of a photo because the disruptive impact of web 2.0 has been to profoundly undermine the value of photos.

The pro photographer of yore may be headed for the livelihood extinction zone along with a number of creatives now displaced.

I run into photographers who get pretty shrill about usages and spend a lot of time doing image searches to see if their stuff has been grabbed.

I just go with the flow. I already know my photo stuff is worthless. I have no interest in being a paid shutter bug and I put my stuff up as a public service in situations where it actually is.

I give it away to encourage people to explore the places the photos indicate.

Digital cameras make photography nearly cost free as there isn't any film to develop.

In rare situations where I actually take a photo of someone, I just tell em they own it.

A musician friend was here on Wednesday and I did a 7 shot set of him and the bass player he was with and told both of em that it's their stuff ,as I want it to be useful for them and it'll be handy for me when I do an article on them in the coming week, also for free.


It really is time to rethink the entire set of assumptions that prevailed before web 2.0.

The most likely approach would be to negotiate better arrangements with Google about money in the way the music and film biz did but photographers lack the clout due to their lack of solidarity as a biz group.

It's a bunch of individualists.

My guess is that compensation models will move from the artifact to the capability.

You'll get paid by making content for someone who is too busy to do so.

The Crapfake Cupkake Shoppe will want someone to fully express the glory of its splendid small biz concept or some such.

I take photos...

... for my enjoyment and to please other people. I discovered that folk and jazz musicians LOVE to have reasonably decent photos of their performances taken for free. If performers like my photos, I'll send them them the photos for free.

What is it with people and photo phobia?

maybe he doesn't want his photo posted for people to make rude comments

Maybe he shouldn't be such an obvious exhibitionist then. This isn't like posting pictures that you took of your privately sunbathing neighbor from your 3rd floor balcony or something.


shouldn't we....

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Blurr out his license plate in this day and age...?

Granted hes into attention but the point should still stand...



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As I like to say...

"I like to keep america beautiful by keeping my clothes on" (and so should this guy)


Better a unique visual

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than ears being blasted. He can ride with his johnthomas saluting (which granted that is crossing the line of civil modesty) so long as his motorcycle is not causing every heart in a 50 yard radius to skip a beat from the explosive noise.