December 31st, 2011  |  Filed under Afield in the World

Happy New Year

Happy new year!

The whole shebang

When these words hit the Internet, there was one minute left in 2011 on the East Coast of the U.S. By now, we’re past that, even if only by seconds. We’re in that new chapter of the future, and people don’t call the years “two thousand” anymore. It’s “twenty” from here on out. Quicker. Fewer characters. Faster downloads.

Yeah, it’s the future, baby.

Read more »

December 23rd, 2011  |  Filed under The Ten Principles

What Gifting Teaches Us About The Holidays

Everything I needed to learn about Holiday Gifting, I learned at Burning Man…

**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Half-baked ideas & views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **

Read more »

December 21st, 2011  |  Filed under Afield in the World

Your Ice Purchases at Work: The Safe Haven Rescue Zoo

Frog is not only part of our BMHQ ticket team, she also heads up the Playa Animal Welfare (PAW, get it?) team, assisting non-human animals on playa. She writes:

Ifaw and Kovu (rawr)

“It isn’t all that publicized but the Burning Man Organization donates a portion of proceeds from ice sales to many local Nevada charities each year. The posted list from 2010 is an example. I’m fond of one organization in particular, the Safe Haven Rescue Zoo. Located in Imlay, Nevada about two hours north of Reno, they take in big cats and other wild animals and give them a safe, healthy environment, free of the stress from their previous lives. A lot of the animals were kept as illegal pets and others were found orphaned. They always make room for those most in need, especially geriatrics and those compromised by previous substandard housing. The most common story is that of people who thought it was a great idea to have a wild animal as a pet and then realized the huge responsibility and danger involved and decided to find them a better home. Read more »

December 20th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

The Combinatorial Whimsy of Interactive Art

Whether you can twiddle it, tweak it or twirl it, Burning Man art oftentimes requires the viewer to somehow complete the piece through their engagement with it.  With interactive art, the viewer becomes an active part of the experience, rather than a passive observer. They become a participant.

Fish car, entrapped

And an awesome corollary to this is the unexpected combinatorial whimsy that spontaneously happens in what is essentially a community of 50,000+ performance artists spending a week in a giant dusty idea factory.  Here’s a place where you’ve got fish, and you’ve got fishermen.  You’ve got maids, and you’ve got dirty people.  You’ve got folks running around in animal costumes, and you’ve got Animal Control officers.  You’ve got platforms, and you’ve got performers.  And you’ve got an appreciative audience that might just get involved, given the opportunity.

This, of course, makes for a fabulous melting pot to brew up those magic playa moments … those serendipitous vignettes you stumble across and find yourself uttering “Oh my God … only at Burning Man” before chuckling, shaking your head, and smiling as you head off to the next adventure. Yes, if Burning Man offers us one thing, it’s the permission to rediscover our inner child … to be spontaneous, and PLAY.

So here you go … here’s a quick collection of some great ones that were caught on film.  If you know of others, pop a link to them in the comments, and tell us the story! Read more »

December 19th, 2011  |  Filed under Spirituality

I disagree with your festive holiday wishes!

Photo by Javichu el jefe (creative commons license)

This isn’t about Burning Man. 

I tend to get depressed around the holidays.  Last year, I sent the following message to the Media Mecca email list, in the hope that if someone else was getting depressed around the holidays, it would help.  It was well received. 

So now I’m putting it here, to strike back at a season that demands we smile when our hearts might be breaking.  I hope it’s helpful. 

– Caveat

***

“Happy holidays,” you say?  “Merry Christmas?”  “Have a great New Year?”

Wrong!

You couldn’t be more wrong.

You couldn’t be more wrong if you used creationism as an excuse to deny global warming.  You couldn’t be more wrong if you said the Bush tax cuts would help acai berries cure cancer.  You couldn’t be more wrong if you said the War in Iraq is filled with hot single girls just waiting for your call.

Lies.  All of them.  Lies.

This month’s holidays are not festive, whatever the propaganda machine at the Mall of America tells you.  Don’t listen to CBS!  Do not believe the internet.

Believe your eyes.  Believe your soul.  This is the darkest time of the year.

Literally and figuratively, the darkest time of the year.

I am going to speak up, now, on behalf of those of for whom “holiday” is synonymous with “blues.” Read more »

December 19th, 2011  |  Filed under News

Black Rock Solar Has a Banner Week

[This post comes to you courtesy of Black Rock Solar's Marnee Benson.]

Rupert Powers, Freddy Pete, and Norman Fillmore of the Washoe Tribe atop Stewart Community Center

Black Rock Solar, one of Black Rock City LLC’s spin-off non-profit organizations, completed work last week on two new solar arrays for the Washoe Tribe of Nevada. The 14 kW roof-top arrays will provide electricity for the Stewart Community Center, where community members attend meetings and cultural events, and to the Head Start building, where educational programs and support services are provided for tribal youth.

Dave Lasky

These are Black Rock Solar’s third and fourth projects for the Washoe Tribe. Through these projects, BRS worked with members of the tribe to provide hands-on job training and classroom education in photovoltaic systems.

These two installations were supervised by Dave Lasky, one of Nevada’s most recent North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certified solar installers, a distinction held by only 22 people in the entire state.

Western Nevada College Array

Also last week, BRS completed work on their largest array to date, for Western Nevada College, located in Carson City, NV. This 201 kW installation will provide a savings of $28,000 per year for the college.  The crew (including 5 newly hired members) dug 518 holes to build the racking system, and installed 836 solar panels at a value of just under $1 million.

This is the first in a series of arrays BRS will be doing across the state for the Nevada System of Higher Education. The dedication ceremony for WNC is scheduled for April 18th, 2012, a few days before the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. For information, visit the Black Rock Solar website.

December 16th, 2011  |  Filed under News

Burning Man’s Charitable Donations for 2011

bm_logoEvery year since 2003, Burning Man has used proceeds from ice sales at the event to make year-end donations to various charitable, art and service organizations in Northern Nevada and the San Francisco Bay Area. For 2011, our donations totaled $216,750. Below is a list of charitable donation recipients for 2011:

Bay Area & National Organizations:
Best Friend’s Animal Society (in memoriam Bill Carter)
Black Rock Arts Foundation
Black Rock Solar
Burning Man Project
Circuit Network
The Crucible
Lawyers for Burners c/o Levin Law Firm Client Trust Account
Leave No Trace
Nimby
Pearlington Library
Friends of Potrero Hill Nursery School
San Francisco Parks Trust
Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce (Cedarville)
Yick Wo School

Nevada Organizations (not including Pershing Co.):
Gerlach Volunteer Fire Department
Gerlach High School
Gerlach General Improvement District
Gerlach-Empire Senior Citizens Palace
Crisis Call Center
Friends of the Black Rock
Nevada Museum of Art
Nevada Outdoor School
Nevada State Museum
Historical Society of Dayton Valley
Friends of the Nevada State Railroad Museum
Sierra Arts Foundation
Bruka Theatre
Nevada Discovery Museum
Kiwanis Bike Program
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum
Pyramid Lake Volunteer Fire Department
Nevada Rural Development Council
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada

Lovelock/Pershing Organizations:
Pershing County Government General Fund
Pershing County Senior Center
Eagle Scholarship
Pershing County Community Center
Lovelock Middle School (Special Education)
Pershing County High School (Athletic Department)
Pershing County Domestic Violence Intervention
Pershing General Hospital & Nursing Care
Pershing County Humane Society
Lovelock Frontier Days
Lovelock Lion’s Club
Friends of the Library
Marzen House Museum
Kids, Horses & Rodeos
Lovelock Food Bank
Lovelock Boy Scouts Association
Lovelock Little League Association
Lovelock Chamber of Commerce
Pershing County Arts Council
Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary
Lovelock Volunteer Fire Department
Project Graduation

December 13th, 2011  |  Filed under Spirituality

Remembering Captain Jim

I was saddened to read on the Tuna Guys Facebook Page:

long time burner, Captain Jim Peterson of Tuna Guys is lost at sea. On 12/12 his boat capsized. The 2 other deck hands were rescued and they will be OK. The search for Capt. Jim has been suspended by the Coast Guard. A memorial fund has been established to help his family. Those of you who wish to donate can do so here.

Captain Jim

 

Few people embodied the Burning Man spirit to me like Captain Jim & The Tuna Guys. I met him my first year on the playa (1998) and have made a point to connect every year since. The only meat I’ve eaten since going vegetarian was tuna caught by Jim & his crew. I am grateful to have been so blessed by his gifts and spirit.

I recorded a tribute to Jim during  my weekly podcast.

 

 

 


Recorded live during Hug Nation, Dec. 13, 2011.
**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Half-baked ideas & views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **