MOOP Map 2012: Day 2 Results

Welcome back, all you MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire, to the second day of our thrilling live coverage of MOOP Map 2012!

If you’re just tuning in: Day One was a perfect day and the Playa Restoration team is off to a record-breaking start. But where yesterday we were covering the back blocks of Black Rock City, today the team tackled a bigger challenge: Esplanade, the epicenter of Burning Man’s multifarious madness. In years past, Esplanade has seen some of the worst scores — and some of the best, too.

How much MOOP was left on the Esplanade this year? How did those big EDM camps score? Was Day Two another win for our Playa Restoration home team? We’re about to find out.

Before we unveil the results from Day Two, let’s talk a little about:

How To Moop.

MOOP, noun – Matter Out Of Place; especially as it applies to Black Rock City and its Citizens. Can be anything: cigarette butts, bottle caps, glowsticks, fireworks, but is often disguised as debris, i.e., broken bits of wood, plastic, metal, glass and plants. Can also be a condition: burn scars, grey water, dunes, etc.

moop, verb – to pick up Matter Out Of Place.

Photo by Vertumnus. Click for full size!

This is a MOOP bucket. Cut-open water jugs work perfectly, but you can use any container you wish. Each person arms themself with one of these (the bucket, not the girl) as well as a MOOP stick and a set of vise grips or a multitool for pulling up rebar and tent stakes.

You can do this too! Get your own MOOP receptacle, gather up your campmates and line up at the edge of your camp, about arm’s length apart.

Photo by Vertumnus. Click for full size!

And then, you walk. The speed is a slow trudge, a zombie shuffle, each pair of eyes scanning the ground for anything that doesn’t belong. If you see it, you pick it up. If there’s a lot of something — say, a scattering of wood chips or a broken-up bike light — you get down on hands and knees and make every last splinter disappear.

Photos by Vertumnus. Click for full size!

That’s all there is to it. When you’ve mooped an area, all that should be left is dust, the occasional black rock and the happy ghosts of Burning Men past.

Day 2 Results

And now, without further ado, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Our Playa Restoration moopers scoured the Esplanade and the ultra-crowded block behind it (Alyssum to Begonia), expecting the best but prepared for the worst. And here’s what they found!

Click to enlarge!
MOOP Map Legend

GREEN: GO! GO! GO! The Line Sweep moves quickly because it’s clean. Minimal time and effort spent in this location.
YELLOW: Caution! The Line Sweep moves at a stop-and-go pace. Moderate time and effort spent in this location.
RED: Full stop. The Line Sweepers are on their hands and knees. A ton of MOOP. Extensive time and effort in this location.

Not bad, not bad. Especially considering the amount of traffic in those blocks. Let’s all stop and appreciate all those Esplanade and Keyhole camps who left their zones spotless, even after a week of entertaining thousands of guests!

I’d also like to give an Honorable Mention to Playa Skool, who really stepped it up this year. In 2011, they scored red on the MOOP Map. In 2012, they’re mostly green. Playa Skool, can any of you stop in and talk about your MOOP strategy this year? Any ideas to keep improving next year?

Unfortunately, some of the MOOPier areas weren’t the front-line theme camps, but their neighbors between Alyssum and Begonia. We’re looking at you, 8:30 to 10:00. How can you improve your neighborhood next year? Somebody who lived there, what do you think you can do to educate your friends and neighbors?

All in all, it’s better than we expected, and yes, there’s room to improve. We’re going to talk about some ideas for MOOP prevention in the days to come, so stay tuned to this frequency!

For now, this is The Hun signing off.

Photos by Vertumnus!

About the author: The Hun

The Hun, also known as J.H. Fearless, has been blogging for Burning Man (and many other outlets) since 2005, which is also the year she joined the BRC DPW on a whim that turned out to be a lifetime commitment. Since then she's won some awards for blogging, built her own creative business, and produced some of the Burning Blog's most popular stories and series. She co-created a grant-funded art piece, "Refoliation," in 2007, and stood next to it watching as the Man burned on Monday. She considers that, in many ways, to have been the symbolic end of Burning Man that was. The Hun lives in Reno with DPW Shade King, Quiet Earp. You may address her as "The Hun" or "Hun". If you call her "Honey" she reserves the right to cut you.

34 thoughts on “MOOP Map 2012: Day 2 Results

  • Glad to see the update and you back on line, The Hun. I know there were prevailing winds towards the 10 o’clock side which made for dunes. I wonder if the wind has something to do with the poor record for 8:30 – 10 between A&B? I doubt there could have been a cabal of bad citizenry packed in there, but I suppose it’s a possibility. Still reading, still pulling for y’all.

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  • Naming names on the map is a nice touch. Moop, like sex and farts, well, everyone wants to know who done it!
    That said, here’s hoping my camp comes green. Less confident due to the fact this year lots of camp mates were still there tues morning when I left.

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  • durgy – Thanks! As for the wind, I’m not sure. We had enough rain right after the event that most of the MOOP got pretty much cemented into place. But of course there’s a possibility that things blew around a bit. Nothing is 100% certain, but we can usually tell when the wind is obviously to blame.

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  • too much time in front of the computer & AlmondButter, I think I can answer both your comments at once: We try to keep the names somewhat anonymous, which is why I haven’t posted a hi-res copy of the map. We will have a higher resolution version available after this whole process is done, but will probably blur out the names so there won’t be unwarranted finger-pointing.

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  • If you blur out the names on the higher resolution version to avoid finger pointing, then that doesn’t require blurring out the names on camps that came up green, right? I mean we should enough information to go around giving high-fives to our friends whose camps came up green when the final map is out, no?

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  • Is there any way to get feedback on the nature of the MOOP found? Our village is pretty shocked by the yellow rectangle and red spot on our space, since it’s in an area we’re confident in having cleared. Knowing if this is wood splinters vs. zip ties vs. tinsel would help us figure out what went wrong…

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  • Having read the above entries, blurring out the names in the bad scoring places is a tactful thing to do.
    I can make out lots of camp names as the map exists right now, FYI, and that is on this crappy monitor at work.
    Clearly when I retire, I need to join the clean up crew some year, I find playa restoration strangely compelling.

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  • Looking forward to not only seeing the high resolution map, but seeing the genuine article up close and in person at Decompression this year. Thanks again for the updates!

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  • I am surprised at the Red for Root Society. Also the entire block back to A was not all Root Society. Most of the Red was inhabited by a neighboring group that was not a part of our camp ( unknown name but had an Art Car).

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  • I am all for naming names: people should have the choice, for example, to not support theme camps and villages that who are unable to manage their MOOP.

    I had to leave two cases of expensive beer on Playa–because I needed the room to cart a 30 gallon bag of mysterious moop home. I was absolutely not a happy camper about that.

    Theme camps I’ve been a part of over the years have scored green on the MOOP map–always: LNT is a big deal for us. We understand the existential threat (to the BLM permit, at the very least) of not doing the right thing. And really, it’s not hard.

    Anyways, props to the fine folks on Playa Restoration!

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  • For people complaining about quality and who want to blame names, the day 1 pic is hi-res. (google it)

    I’d like to hear more from the MOOPers who know, can you really blame the wind for the swaths of red and yellow? My camp is green, but I know it’s only through the huge efforts of my friends who were on their hands and knees pulling up hair and scraps up tin foil up Tuesday.

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  • Hey, thanks for the update! I’m disappointed to see our whole camp was yellow, but I’m happy to see there aren’t any red dots – When we were MOOPing the area, a couple of our neighbors had some faulty graywater ponds that bled all over our little plot of land. We spent quite a bit of time getting all of it up, but maybe we didn’t smooth it out enough after digging…

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  • @Bryan: I don’t think you can blame the wind that much, especially in the instance of red. I WAS shocked this year at the amount of little black feathers flying through camp, on Monday and even on Tuesday during our final MOOP sweeps. With that, and odd amounts of Human Hair, this WAS the worst year for flying moop, but the teams usually can tell what was you and what wasn’t…

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  • My neighbors have been going to Burning Man for many years now, still they smoke outside their place in San Francisco and throw mounts of cigarette butts in the street. That’s a common site to most of the burner parties I go to. If multi-year participants aren’t able to apply LNT outside of Burning Man, we’re far from changing the world… The world’s been changing BM.

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  • Mr. Peeps, that’s good to know! All we have is the official placement map. That’s definitely something you’ll want to talk to your BM contact about, so they know you may not have been responsible for all the red area.

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  • Pete Lee, Pinga Loco — Sorry friends, the map is not finalized and officialized and not even finished yet. Hi-res version to follow.

    As for naming names & whatnot. The Theme Camp Placement team works with camps and assigns real estate, and one of the things they take into account is how a camp scored on the MOOP Map in the previous year. Trust me, if a camp did poorly, they don’t just hear about it — they can lose their spot. So you don’t need to take their reputation into your own hands, though I certainly understand why you would be interested to know more. I hope that helps.

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  • Bryan – Thanks for the tip on that hi-res map, I made it go away.

    As for the wind. Yes, in previous years there has been a HUGE amount of MOOP blowing around the playa into other people’s camps, and when that happens, we definitely take the wind into account. However. This year there was rain right around the end of the event, and again during teardown, so all the MOOP pretty much got cemented into the dirt exactly where it fell.

    Great job getting a green!

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  • Beemah, thanks for tackling those greywater spots. It’s okay that you didn’t smooth them out; we don’t make note of disturbed earth unless it’s a big hole dug into the surface. What we do mark down is general MOOP, and sometimes that MOOP can get buried when the surface is loose. Rakes are your friend!

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  • The Hun: The Hive, 2:30 and Esplanade on the 3:00 side. I’ve also written to our placer to try to get more data, but haven’t yet heard back. (Sorry for the delay — forgot to check back here for a response!)

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  • To The Hun and gang, thanks for doing what you do!

    I was camped at 7:45 and Esplanade (Baal-Mart). I was part of the loadout crew, stayed til Tuesday, and I can tell you, we went over that patch several times. What I found personally was a bunch of greyish or light tan fibers, like a loose-pile rug had been shredded and dumped on our campsite. Pretty sure no one in our camp had a rug (not like that anyway).

    I can see a red square on the 8:00 side of our green location, hope that’s not ours as we worked our butts off to clean that space up. There was a lamp post there that seemed to be a common bike dump location. That was disheartening to see. We’re on our hands and knees, picking up shreds of fiber, while people are walking along and just leaving their bikes there like it was no big deal…

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  • VicW – Wow, thank you for going to that level and getting all the fibers. Good news bad news: Carpet fibers are not on my list! So you cleaned that up beautifully.

    It sounds like the red zone was wood chips. Mostly firewood chips, mixed with some other small stuff. Does that sound accurate?

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