Naked in a public space

The photographic images presented here tell the tale of the ride itself, as well as a few of its related stories, and each “picture is worth a thousand words”. Indeed, many images from the WNBR are truly excellent and belong in the photo-std-2011_0611wnbr0078-bcdocumentary slot of any comprehensive photographic library purporting to be representative of modern times, and we present a frustratingly small selection of these images for your curiosity here.

However, there are still some people who wish to join the WNBR and yet not take part in the photographic record, which seems to be an untenable position in principle. This is a very naturist kind of outlook, the wanting to be naked and wanting other people to see, but not wanting anyone to take a photograph, for some unspoken, half-guessed at reason. At a WNBR event, this approach just does not wash.

Naked in public

When someone is naked in a public space, and when that person is clearly taking part in a massively advertised protest event, which event is expressly designed to attract the media, photographers and news reporters from all around the world, there is very little credit to be had from complaining when someone takes a photograph. I don’t think anyone would assume this opinion to be valid legal counsel for photographing naked people in public in every country around the world, but certainly anyone who attends a WNBR event has almost certainly voided any reasonable claim to privacy, and it’s almost certain the law courts would take a similar view in any sensible case.

Extract from the World Naked Bike Ride book.

Request Tracker

RT Essentials, co-written by one of the RT’s original core developers, Jesse Vincent, starts off with a quick background opx-p1200796lesson about ticketing systems and then shows you how to install and configure RT.

This comprehensive guide explains how to perform day-to-day tasks to turn your RT server into a highly useful tracking tool. One way it does this is by examining how a company could use RT to manage its internal processes.

Advanced chapters focus on developing add-on tools and utilities using Perl and Mason. There’s also chapter filled with suggested uses for RT inside your organization.

From the reviews on Amazon:

When I first started learning about RT and how to apply the utility to our business, I needed a book that was simple and easy to understand. This taught me all the fundamentals and the examples were easy to follow.


Request Tracker (RT) is a great product. I am the only sysadmin at a small company, and having an automated tracking system is going to be an immense benefit for me. I bought “RT Essentials” to help me get up to speed on RT3 really quickly. And, since it was written by the programmer who’s responsible for RT, the book had lots of detail and tips.

Check it out for yourself.

Too close to Nature

I learnt for the first time what it was not just to be amongst nature, but to be part of it. Boots had left me stumbling blindly across the ground, oblivious to what lay on it. mid-image45My clothes had insulated me, not just to the elements, but to the whole environment. Was I really not tough enough to handle a bit of wind, maybe an occasional spot of rain?

And while paths are often rough and gravel strewn did I really need boots for grass strewn slopes? While the climate of Scotland could be harsh, I realised there would always be days when nature welcomed me, when clothes, maybe even boots might not be needed.

Too close

However, you can sometimes get a little too close to nature. One particular example of this takes me back to a hot summer day on the north coast of Scotland. We had thought about finding ourselves a secluded beach to take advantage of the warm Gulf Stream waters, but instead we decided to climb a mountain, Ben Hope, one of the largest of the isolated peaks of the far north. Parked at the bottom of it, the weather seemed so good that for a moment I briefly considered leaving my waterproof jacket behind. But then I remembered this is Scotland, and we have a saying here – “if you don’t like the weather, just try waiting fifteen minutes.”

Extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Stuart Pitsligo

Listing perl code

Using the perl debugger to produce a code listing.

l usage
l [min+incr|min-max|line|subname|$var]

List code within the currently loaded file, in “windowSize” chunks. Note
you can always get back to the current code position with the “.” command

See options for more information about “windowSize”

opx-p1200794Sometimes the default “windowSize” view of your code just is not
sufficient, and knowing how to modify the view can make the difference
between an easy trouble-shooting session and a hard one.

List code from current viewing position

perldb@monkey> B<perl -d>
<…truncated output…>
main::( my @args = @ARGV;
DB<1> B<l>
8==> my @args = @ARGV;
10 # help requested?
11: my $help = grep(/^-h(elp)*$/i, @args);
12: if ($help) {
13: logg(help());
14: exit 0;
15 }
17 # get the pattern to match against.

Now do it again to continue the listing:

DB<1> B<l>
18: my $REGEX = shift @args || ”;
20 # get the files for processing.

21: my @files = grep(!/^-h(elp)*$/i, @args);

22: unless (@files) {

23: push(@files, $0);
24: logg(“using default $0 while no files given”);
25 }
27 # loop through the files

l line
List the single line of code at line 11.

DB<1> B<l 11>
11: my $help = grep(/^-h(elp)*$/i, @args);

l min+incr
List the range of code from line number min and the following incr lines.

DB<2> B<l 11+3>
11: my $help = grep(/^-h(elp)*$/i, @args);
12: if ($help) {
13: logg(help());
14: exit 0;

l min-max
List the range of code from line number min up to and including line
number max.

DB<3> B<l 11-14>
11: my $help = grep(/^-h(elp)*$/i, @args);
12: if ($help) {
13: logg(help());
14: exit 0;

l subname
List “windowSize” lines of code of the given subroutine.

DB<4> B<l report>
56 sub report {
57: my $FH = shift;
58: my $regex = shift;
59: my %report = ();
60: my $i_cnt = 0;
61: while (<$FH>) {
62: $i_cnt++;
63: my $i_match = 0;
64: my $line = $_;
65: if ($line =~ /($regex)/) {

The subroutine may be in any file loaded in %INC.

DB<5> B<l Carp::croak>
Switching to file ‘/usr/lib/perl5/5.8.0/’.
191: sub croak { die shortmess @_ }


Extract from the Perl Debugger Pocket Reference book.

Awareness of her surroundings began…

When Nathalie awoke, it was an awakening like no other that she had known. A warmth seemed to surround her, wrapping her in contentment and bringing her a feeling of utter bliss. Even with her eyes still closed she could see the bright, white light that enveloped her, adding an extra layer of comforting co9780957243293ntrast to the icy darkness she had last known.

Awareness of her surroundings began.

She was lying down, yet she felt nothing underneath her, no force supporting her of any kind. She felt as if she were floating in infinity, wrapped in this calm, soothing and warming light.
Then sounds came to her. They were initially distant, almost like an echo, but slowly they took shape and became recognisable. First it was shouts, the sound of people exclaiming loudly, their fears, their elations. Then came screams, loud and terrible and Nathalie’s eyes snapped open and she sat up.

An excerpt from Afterlife, part of the Promoted Beyond Glory series

Pro Perl Debugging

Pro Perl Debugging steps in to help resolve the dilemma of application testing and debugging—one of the biggest time commitments in a programmers daily routine.

opx-p1200807What this book will do is rescue you from substandard application testing practices.

The book commences with several chapters that overview the debuggers basic features, then covers common debugging scenarios. The concluding portion examines debugger customization, alternative debugging utilities, and debugging best practices.

From the reviews on Amazon:

I’ve had this book for several weeks and foolishly ignored it. Part of that was because I was busy with a lot of other stuff, but a large part was that I didn’t have much interest: what do I need a perl debugger for? What’s wrong with “print”‘s?

Boy was I wrong. By the second chapter I was kicking myself for being so stupid. Perl’s debugger is a thing of joy – it almost makes me look forward to my next confused Perl program.. well, I’d still rather not have any problem at all, but reading this book gives me a powerful tool to help me figure out where I went wrong.

Try it out for yourself.

Magical zone

The most compelling reason that I have found though for hiking in the nude, is the ease of sliding into that magical zone of existence while naked. As my freehiking buddies and I have all experienced, especially while hiking solo, it is the process of just wandering, and slowly drifting into that zone of existence mid-bb-07where you are acutely sensitive to everything around you, yet deeply calm, and passively observing. On one hike on an early spring day, I nearly tripped over a bright orange newt (a small lizard-like amphibian) amongst the green undergrowth at my feet, if tripping over a newt is possible.

I just had to squat down and stare at it for awhile. That newt was my total existence for that moment. On another hike, I found myself sitting during a rest break, upon a small ledge halfway up a hillside on the Long Trail in Vermont, in the Northeast Kingdom. Overlooking a medium size pond a few hundred feet below me, the water below was framed by clouds and mist boiling and spilling over the mountain tops several hundred feet above me. Sitting in my nakedness, temps in the low 50s , overcast weather, I was acutely aware of my environment, the sound of the rain drifting down through the trees, the lush green smell, the color of the light filtering through the mists above, the texture of the surface of the pond. I was totally at peace with that moment.

Heightened state

Parts of the past few years have been rather wet for hiking here in the northeast US, a blessing in keeping some of the tourists at bay. A relative delight in discovering how comfortable one can be hiking naked during the summer, in the rain that would otherwise have one miserable, soggy and chilled. This has come at the expense of the trails getting very beat up because they have remained so muddy that they cannot support the foot traffic when the sun and crowds do return. There has also been a lot of damage caused by the hurricanes and major storms experienced in my area these past two years.

A side benefit that I have noticed through this adversity though, backpacking sections of both the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail is that because the going is rough and much slower than normal, I have been able to notice many things along the trail that I may have unconsciously walked by under more normal conditions. The slower pace and the heightened state of my senses brought on by my nakedness have allowed me a deeper appreciation of some very special parts of this planet we inhabit. And yes, I have been asked by fellow hikers that I meet in the overnight huts, how it can be that my clothes have spilled out of my pack dry and why my spirits have remained bouyant. And I have been pleased to have been able to share my personal take on simple nudity with an open minded audience.

Extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Dan Kidwell.


There’s an old myth about body painting being dangerous, as it supposedly doesn’t let your skin breathe, so-called epidermal suffocation. This was the gimmick used in the James Bond (Sean Connery) movie Goldfinger in 1964, when std-2012_0609wnbr20120057-bcthe girl Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton), was covered in gold paint and apparently died a terrible death from suffocation.

This is an entertaining fantasy, but the skin on the human just does not breathe in the same way we might imagine by comparing this organ with our lungs, and if you can breathe through your mouth, covering your skin in a safe paint will make no difference to you.

Goldfinger myth

I suspect the origin of this myth goes back to the days of the Judy Garland movie, The Wizard of Oz in 1939, when the actor playing the Tin Man (Buddy Ebsen) role became seriously ill and was hospitalized because of inhaling dangerous metal flakes from the unsafe aluminium-based paint make-up, which was used at the time.

Today’s body paint is safe and fun to use, although it’s still worth pointing out that one should of course use body paint made for the purpose, and not just any old paint one happens to have to hand. Kids put paint on for fancy dress parties, and WNBR protest activists wear body paint to both attract attention to the cause and to have fun.

Extract from the World Naked Bike Ride book.


Shall we say goodbye to all the Big Brother and American Idol style TV shows, because ‘they encourage exhibitionism or voyeurism’. Never mind whether these shows are morally uplifting, or not, according to the dictates of the repressed std-125594771.d9onfni5-bcand deviant mindset of the puritan hypocrite, clearly these ideas are supported with enthusiasm by the general population and people vote with their feet, their television control units, and their internet browsers.

And the vote is they want to see someone who wants to be seen. Exhibitionism and voyourism are intrinsically linked in our genetic make up, and we see this effect in our social environments, whether private or public.

Voyeurism by the media

Voyeurism is the same charge leveled at the media when they click frantically, capturing all the bare naked flesh on show at a typical WNBR, only to have publication in their newspapers denied because of the editors who fear their advertisers and their readership, or their paymaster. What man doesn’t want to gawk at the naked ladies? What woman doesn’t want to peer sideways at the naked men, and pretend she’s not looking? Of course any public naked event can be seen as a gay boys’ paradise, as there is usually a predominance of naked men than naked women, although in London particularly the numbers are more balanced. But is this important?

Does it matter whether someone, somewhere might be a little excited by seeing a printed image of a naked person on a bicycle, whether they are gay or straight, male or female? I applaud the many women who take part either to support their menfolk or to support the WNBR itself, just as I applaud the many men who continue to pioneer the original concept of non-sexual public nudity

Extract from the World Naked Bike Ride book.

Stand and fight or run and hide?

No freedom has ever been freely given, freedoms have always been taken, and the only question is whether we stand and fight, or run and hide. The people who pioneer the new, (because not “normal”), views are inevitably regarded as extremists. Today, we bow to lesbian/gay rights, women voters, etc.Only because some people made a hard stand during difficult times.

Stand and fight?

When those people were fighting for OUR rights, most people called them extremists and nutcases.

Imid-20120717_103914f Emily Parkhurst had been “sensitive to the appropriateness of the situation”, I’m sure she would not have thrown herself under the King’s horse and women would probably still not have the vote. Nelson Mandela is another example of precisely the same case where one man suffers for years under the barbaric of the current regime, while today he is hailed as a hero. He was fortunate, he was able to enjoy his last years of life in freedom.

Alan Turing is another who was shamed, and forcefully chemically “treated”, by the government of his time, for the crime of following his own harmless activities. Turing was so persecuted that he committed suicide rather than face the rest of his life as a chemically castrated individual.

What fate awaits Stephen Gough?