Be In The Moment

Photo by PleasureSean

I recently saw Daft Punk play at the Greek Theater in Berkeley and beside the fact that the cheeky French duo’s light show blew my mind, i couldn’t help but notice the sea of glowing blue-hued screens of cellphone and digital cameras capturing that particular moment of the concert.

It increasingly feels like we as a culture are becoming more preoccupied with capturing a potentially “special” or “unique” moment on some sort of recording device in an age of YouTube and MySpace, where everyone is jostling to be noticed and recognized among the masses just to say “I was THERE!”

While I definitely like the concept of recording those special moments to relive again and again, there’s no arguing that a digital rendering simply cannot recreate the moment quite like being there and experiencing it.

In other words, enjoy Burning Man for what it is — Live and be in the moment! (more…)

Let’s Begin

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Well hi there. You’ve come to the right place. We’re quite sure of that. If you were in the wrong place, you’d probably know.
So now that we know that you’re right and they are wrong, let’s get down to it.
First off, some introductions are probably in order. My name is Timmmii. I’m a human, much like most of you reading. I come from a land far, far away, but I managed to escape that land and find myself in this place, where I am right now.

More importantly, I’m a big fan of this thing called Burning Man. You may have heard of it. Burning Man is this unbelievably amazing event that happens but once a year out in the Black Rock Desert. For just one week. But people plan for it year round. (more…)

For the love of life, please leave your plants at home.

fleur

dead orchids :(

Folks, nothing funny about this: plants are not allowed on the playa. If you bring them, the Gate crew will take them, and they will die. They’re not going to babysit them for you for the week, and I can all but assure you they’ll be nothing but compost fodder when you get back to them–and that’s IF you can find em, which I doubt.

PLEASE: DON’T BRING PLANTS TO THE PLAYA.

Sorry to shout, but wanted to make sure that’s clear. A plant on the playa is like a dog or small child, but one that can’t communicate. They don’t belong. Hell, we don’t belong. But they don’t have a choice–you do.

Please, we’re on our hands and knees here, please don’t bring plants to the playa.

Gotta go? Step into the light.

beacon

It’s a fact: 40,000 people + water + playa= problem. The BLM does not want people to answer nature’s call on the play–it’s just too many people, in too small a space. Plus, it’s a health hazard.

We know, we know– you want to put it in the right place–the portopotty–instead of on the ground. We know you only pee on the playa in a REAL EMERGENCY, which is often made worse when you’re looking everywhere for the bank of port-o-lets to let fly, and can’t find em.

Still, peeing on the playa releases toxins into the environment. And is a violation of our permit. And earns you a really dumb ticket from the BLM…AND leaves you still needing to go ( we assume you pause the action while they’re writing your ticket ).

Well, we’ve got a solution. Our friends Blue and Hazmatt found these (for lack of a better term ) Pee Beacons. They’ll be on 20 foot poles out on the banks of potties on the open playa, flashing blue and green. So, need to answer mother nature’s call? Follow the blue and green blinky thing….no, the other blue and green blinky thing!

Transformus!

Not a moment to loose, I returned to the states from London and took off running the next morning to find Transformus and my Dirty Southern Burner friends. The drive to Deerfields was familiar. The air was steamy and humid, very different from my last visit to the region. Everything was huge and green, the fields of tobacco and corn were significantly taller and bursting with activity.

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Manageble doses…a quick reference guide for cutting carbon

Someone wrote in to point out the Cooling Man.org site has a great list of simple things a person can do to cut their carbon footprint, so why bury the light under a bushel, as my bishop used to say? Good question, no reason, so here you go:

Direct Actions Effect on GHG (CO2eq) Estimated GHG Offset (CO2eq) Assumptions
Plant a Tree
How? – Listing of Tree Planting Organizations
1 ton absorbed per tree
(over 50-100 years)
Source
0.2 ton per tree planted 10 years growth of tree w/ 50 year lifetime (discounted due to timing and permanence concerns)
Buy Renewable Electricity for Your Home
How? – Listing of Renewable Energy Retailers
Avg. U.S. Home:
10 tons eliminated per year
1.6 lbs eliminated per kWh purchased
Source 1,Source 2
20 tons Average home, 100% renewable electricity, purchased for 2 years
Increase Home Energy Efficiency Electricity: 1.6 lbs eliminated per kWh saved
Gas: 0.1 lb eliminated per cu ft saved (117 lbs per million BTU)
Source
Case by case -
Lighting and Appliances      
Install a compact fluorescent light bulb 150 lbs eliminated per year
Source
0.4 tons Average use for 5 years
Replace 1973 refrigerator with Energy Star refrigerator 1.4 tons eliminated per year
Source
7 tons Average use for 5 years

Want the rest of the list? After the jump— (more…)

UK Burners!

The shock of hitting the streets of London after Nowhere was rough. It really did feel like returning from the playa but it was time to move along and find out what the UK burners are up to.

My first stop was to Salisbury to meet up with Russell Wiltshire, one of the Regional Contacts for UK. Russell lives many hours from London so we met in the middle and paid a visit to Stonehenge.

Russell Wiltshire
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Burning Green? Start here: coolingman.org

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Two years ago we literally didn’t want to know, and now we’re taking it head on: the total climate change impact, or carbon footprint, of Burning Man 2007 is 27,000 TONS. That’s everything as best we could figure it out–travel, fire art, everything. Wow. That’s a lot of pollution.

To fully embrace the “Leave No Trace” ethic means more than just keeping the playa clean. It also means paying the full price of attending the event. And now we know how much that is.

So, Burning Man is supporting the Cooling Man project. It’s as simple and elegant as their newly redesigned web page. Figure out what your share of the event is, then either take actions or make contributions to offset it.

This site is PACKED with great info. For example, did you know that all the fire art on the playa generates only 1% of the carbon impact of Burning Man? I didn’t, either. Or that if 70% of burners offset one ton of carbon then Black Rock City would be the first carbon negative city in the world? Ditto.

If you’re already convinced, and want to get right to figuring out how you can help, click here to go direct to the Cooling Man site.

Want to know more? C’mon after the jump. (more…)