Posts by The Hun

August 13th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment, Playa Tips

Poop in a Cooler: A BM Story

Symbolic dramatization. Not to scale.

Symbolic dramatization. Not to scale.

Once upon a time, some 340 days ago, a Reno grocery store employee received a very special Burning Man gift. It was a cooler full of poop. Some thoughtful Burner had left this doo-doo cooler at a trash drop-off point.

“Wow!” said the grocery store employee (I am assuming this is what he or she may have said).

“Wow! This is the most memorable gift a Burner could possibly leave for me. I will remember this gift, and it will help me to understand Burning Man culture so that I can pass this lesson on to my friends.”

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August 1st, 2013  |  Filed under Environment, Playa Tips, Preparation

Trash bags on the highway: OUT! Cargo net: IN!

Sexy! Strong! Kinky! Flexible! And oh, so stylish. What’s not to love about cargo net?

An 1897 stereoscope from Meteora, Greece. Source: andthenface2face.wordpress.com

An 1897 stereoscope from Meteora, Greece. Source: andthenface2face.wordpress.com

This year, Answer Girl and the theme camp placement team are officially naming cargo net as the #1 Most Great Thing To Have At Burning Man.

Why?

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July 23rd, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

Oil Drip City: Protect the playa from your undercarriage!

2007's "Big Rig Jig" by Mike Ross. Photo by Tobin on Flickr.

2007′s “Big Rig Jig” by Mike Ross. Photo by Tobin on Flickr.

Hey! Are you hitchhiking to Black Rock City this year, then sleeping in a tent with no cookstove?

No?

If you’re bringing any type of liquid to the playa this year (even cooler water, but especially motor oil), you need to be aware of how spills affect the desert. Matter Out of Place isn’t limited to wood chips and cigarette butts. It encompasses anything that doesn’t occur naturally on the playa surface. Spills and drips are everyone’s responsibility:

  • Your car, RV, mutant vehicle or motorcycle can leak oil and fluids.
  • Your kitchen and shower can leak cooking fuel and gray water.
  • Your black water tank (ew) can (ew) all over the (ew).
A Restoration worker prepares to dig up an oil spill. Photo by Vertumnus.

A Restoration worker prepares to dig up an oil spill. Photo by Vertumnus.

If you spill or drip, you must clean it up! Here’s why, and how.

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Austin’s Burning Flipside: Taking Leave No Trace to the Next Level

 

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the Burning Man regional event. By working with authorities to override a long-term population cap, Burning Flipside organizers have successfully rewritten the rules!

Photo by Mark Kaplan.

Photo by Mark Kaplan.

In order to increase the event’s capacity, State regulations required Flipside organizers to provide potable water, daily trash service, trash receptacles, cups, napkins, lighting and other services. But Flipside is a Leave No Trace event based on personal accountability; participants are expected to bring in everything they need and pack it out when they leave (sound familiar?).

The vast majority of large-scale events and festivals do provide trash cans, based on the assumption that attendees are not interested in picking up after themselves. Leave No Trace events like Burning Man and Burning Flipside have a different ethos. The latter trust that community members are not only perfectly capable of cleaning up after their own wild rumpuses, but that they feel satisfied and self-reliant as a result of doing so.

We come together, build something amazing, burn it to the ground and then pick up every last cinder. It’s an achievement we’re proud of, and it’s part of what defines us as a community rather than merely an event. We do it because we respect the land and the right of others to enjoy the land once we depart.

Incorporating trash services would change the very nature of what Flipside is about and Austin Artistic Reconstruction (AAR), the organization running Flipside, wasn’t willing to subvert the community’s values just to sell more tickets.

Faced with a choice of either going against our community’s values by providing trash cans, or limiting the population, AAR did what they had to do:

They changed the rules.

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November 1st, 2012  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live 2012: Your Questions Answered!

Your pal The Hun! Photo by Vertumnus; click for full size.

Hello out there all you MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! It’s been a couple of weeks since Burning Man passed its BLM site inspection, and I’ll be honest: I’ve missed you! Almost as much as I miss my Playa Restoration family, now scattered to all corners of the earth to return next August.

You and I also have some loose ends to tie up. While I tried real hard to respond to every comment during MOOP Map Live 2012, I eventually ran out of time. Now I’m back to answer your questions!

First, A Note.

Going forward, let’s agree to be good to each other. The Restoration team understands that people are giving huge gifts of time, money, art and entertainment! We also understand how disappointing it can be when you don’t score as well as you’d like on the MOOP Map. Please, remember that the MOOP Map is a collaborative effort. The Restoration team’s job is to report the facts of what they find, and they do that as accurately as humanly possible.

When I post results here, do I call people names or insult what they did? Of course I don’t. Please offer me and my teammates the same respect, and extend that respect to every single one of your fellow Black Rock Citizens.

Now. These are some of the most common questions I’ve been asked this year. Don’t see your answer? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best!

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October 17th, 2012  |  Filed under Environment, News

BLM Site Inspection: PASSED.

Two of our BLM site inspectors, holding what remained of the Man as of 11am this morning. Click to enlarge.

Hip-hip-HURRAH! Three cheers for YOU, Black Rock City. You did it again. You threw a humdinger of a whizbang, and left without a trace. That’s straight from the mouth of the Bureau of Land Management, who just completed their site inspection. They’re still tabulating the precise results, but at a glance they can tell us that YES, we passed, and Burning Man can happen again next year.

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October 11th, 2012  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live 2012: FINAL RESULTS!

Hello out there, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! Well, this is it. The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived. It’s almost time to unveil the COMPLETE 2012 MOOP MAP!

Finishing strong with one final cheer. Photo by Vertumnus; click to enlarge.

Let’s have a big hand for the Playa Restoration team, who covered more ground in 2012 than they’d ever done before. Kudos too to Mother Nature, also a major player in this game, who kept the winds low and the temperature moderate so our team could knock this one out of the park. It’s a year that will go down in legend, folks, and you were here to watch it happen.

Just some of the amazing people who make Playa Restoration the best time of the year. Photo by Vertumnus; click to enlarge.

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October 8th, 2012  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live 2012: Day 6 Results

Hello out there all you MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire. We’re back with the penultimate installment of MOOP Map Live 2012! Yes, that’s right, another incredible season is drawing to its close, and the last teensy remnants of Black Rock City have been swept away by the amazing Playa Restoration crew.

Let’s give a shout out to that crew now, as we examine the well-dusted machine that is our 115-member Restoration team. This group of highly trained, dedicated and foolhardy individuals join forces to create the ultimate Playa Zamboni, inhaling MOOPy dust and exhaling pure drifted playa.

Phase One of this process belongs to the imposing MOOP Line Sweep, a 75-member force with another 15 acting as support. The Line Sweep marches tirelessly from block to block, capturing every morsel of MOOP it can — all without breaking pace. See video:

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