Though it was erroneously attributed to Vonnegut, Mary Schmich first lit the flame, imploring the youth today to wear sunscreen. Baz Luhrman fanned the fire with his hit rallying anthem, Everyone's Free (To Wear Sunscreen). And today? Well, today it was announced that all that sunscreen is massacring coral reefs around the world.
Undoctored photograph of a Chicago milk-truck driver's face. What we're seeing is called photoaging.
Sunscreen: Are you really covered? from WebMD. Debunking the most common myths about sunscreen. [more inside]
The human body is made up of more bacteria cells than human cells. Now, researchers at Harvard have isolated the genes responsible for producing amino acids that can block ultraviolet light and managed get E. coli bacteria to produce them too. Can I interest you in some sunblocking bacteria living on your skin?
Sunscreen's a pain, but sunburn is worse. UV-protective clothing is expensive and not to everyone's taste. Instead, treat your own cotton, rayon, or silk clothing to make it sun-protective. Some clothing is inherently protective, but you can easily burn right through a new shirt, especially if it gets wet. A couple of boxes of either of two different brands of a wash-in UVA/UVB blocker will invisibly increase the SPF of a whole washer-load of clothing from 5 to 30 (repeat for an SPF of 50). The stuff wears off after a season's worth of launderings, so use a permanent marker to note the year of treatment inside the collars.
"...but trust me on the sunscreen." That memorable, always-infallible commencement advice (not from Kurt Vonnegut) takes a hit as scientists now propose that we all need to get more direct sunlight, in order to... wait for it... fight cancer!