Posts for category News


January 20th, 2014  |  Filed under News

Make Sure You’re Still Getting the Jackrabbit Speaks!

Randall & Ra$pa at the Billion Bunny March, 2008 (photo by Scott London)

Randall & Ra$pa at the Billion Bunny March, 2008 (photo by Scott London)

Hi there!  Has it been a while since you’ve opened a Jackrabbit Speaks?  Did you miss the last few (very pretty, graphical) editions?

There could be a reason for that.  We recently changed email service providers, which may have created confusion for your email filters. Here’s what’s changed:

  1. While the JRS still comes from the email address jackrabbitspeaks here: jackrabbitspeaks (at) burningman.com, the NAME the email comes from is now “Burning Man” (for a number of years it was Will Chase –and yes, he’s still writing them).
  2. The email address the JRS is sent TO is now YOUR email address (it was bman-announce here: bman-announce (at) burningman.com).
  3. The subject line now reads “The Jackrabbit Speaks” (where it used to say [BMmanUpdate]).

So, if you didn’t receive a JRS this month, it’s possible your beloved JRS is sitting — lonely, sad, abandoned (*sniff*) — in your SPAM folder or was filtered off to God-knows-where, and you might need to update your email filters.

Apologies for the inconvenience. We look forward to continuing to serve you with our newfangled graphical JRS.

- The Jackrabbits

January 8th, 2014  |  Filed under News

Solving Burning Man’s Traffic Issues

Line of Cars, 2011 (photo by Peg Ortner)

Line of Cars, 2011 (photo by Peg Ortner)

Traffic is the greatest impediment to the growth and sustainability of Black Rock City. Burning Man is under pressure from the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada Department of Transportation to reduce the number of cars entering the event. Highways 447 and 34 are at max capacity during the event and we’re being asked to pay for road damage caused by participant vehicles. Road travel represents 60% of the carbon emissions related to the event.

And the #1 challenge experienced by participants last year? Entry and Exodus.

Clearly, it’s critical we address the traffic issue — and we can only solve this problem by working together as a community. To that end, Burning Man is expanding existing programs and launching new ones to encourage participants to rideshare or take alternative transportation. These programs include:

Awareness
Our community has always policed itself — and changed its behavior when necessary — through awareness. That’s how we became the largest Leave No Trace event in the world, against seemingly impossible odds. Burning Man will continue pushing this information out into the community throughout the year so we can solve these issues together.

Burner Express
Burner Express exceeded all expectations during its inaugural run in 2013, accommodating 2,459 riders to and from San Francisco and Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and participant feedback about the experience was overwhelmingly positive. This year we will expand the service, increasing capacity to 5,000 riders. Tickets for Burner Express will go on sale in late February … keep an eye out for an announcement of exactly when. Read more »

December 18th, 2013  |  Filed under News

What’s Up With the Burning Man Project?

So, what’s the Burning Man Project been up to lately?

Wait … let’s step back a minute. What is the Burning Man Project? Short answer is it’s Burning Man’s non profit dedicated to spreading Burner principles and values worldwide – it’s taking the playa to the planet!

Burning Man Project received its 501c3 status as a charitable organization in May 2012, has been getting its administrative house in order and is starting to make things happen. We’re wading into deeper waters now, taking on projects on a variety of topics. We wanted to take a minute to highlight a few of the recent ones.

Event flyer

NYC Symposium

New York City Symposium on Burning Man, Technology, Religion and the Future

In November, the Burning Man Project joined Columbia University’s Department of Religion and Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life to present a free forum on Burning Man, technology, religion and the future, featuring panelists Larry Harvey (founder of Burning Man), John Perry Barlow (founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and Peter Hirshberg (disruptive cultures and technology expert). Dr. David Kittay of Columbia’s Department of Religion moderated a lively conversation about Burning Man as a philosophical movement, its history, and its predicted global applications.

More than 300 turned out for the two hour-long discussion and Q&A session.

We’re looking to offer traveling symposia like this in more cities around the world as part of the Project’s education programming. They’re an ideal way to share the wisdom of Burner values with the academic community and beyond.

Youth Educational Spaceship at Burning Man 2013 (photo by Sue Holland)

Youth Educational Spaceship at Burning Man 2013 (photo by Sue Holland)

Youth Education Spaceship (Y.E.S.) Project

Burning Man Project collaborated Black Rock Arts Foundation, Black Rock City, The CrucibleExploratorium, and Maker Faire to work with Burner artist Dana Albany and kids from San Francisco’s Tenderloin and Hunters Point neighborhoods to build a 12′ diameter 10′ high space ship from repurposed and found objects.

Y.E.S. is a mobile spaceship classroom and collaborative art project that gave the kids experience creating and exhibiting their creation, which has gone on tour to Burning Man, the Exploratorium, Hunter’s Point Open Studios, and Maker Faire in San Mateo.

Downtown Project, working with Burning Man Project, helped bring Y.E.S. to Las Vegas, where it opened to the public at the Learning Village November 15, with a variety of family friendly programming including spaceship tours, mosaic workshops with recycled materials, wiring and interactive robotic demos. The spaceship has taken up temporary residence at Zappos headquarters.

The response has been fantastic and the Project is looking at similar programs in other cities.

The crowd at Distrikt, 2013 (photo by Jared Mechaber)

The crowd at Distrikt, 2013 (photo by Jared Mechaber)

Crowdfunding: Trends in the Sharing Economy

Earlier this month, Burning Man Project hosted a free panel discussion on trends in the sharing economy. Crowdfunding and the sharing economy reflect our principles of gifting, communal effort, civic responsibility and decommodification, and we brought together Kate Drane from Indiegogo, Daniel Miller from Fundrise, and Harry Pottash from Kiva to talk about the future of crowdfunding.

More than 50 people turned out to discuss the state of crowdfunding, the challenges they’ve faced, and new ideas on how this movement can be used to empower underprivileged projects through the democratization of fundraising.

Like What You See?

If these are the kinds of programming you find interesting and want to bring to your community, we can use your help with a donation to the Burning Man Project. We’ve got even more ambitious plans for 2014 and we need your help.

December 3rd, 2013  |  Filed under News

Joseph Pred, Burning Man’s Emergency Services Operations Chief moves on

Joseph Pred

Joseph Pred

Joseph Pred, who founded the Emergency Services Department and served as its Operations Chief, has announced he is moving on after 17 years to focus on his consulting work. Joseph helped develop the Black Rock Rangers prior to the 1996 event and it was his vision that grew the event’s Emergency Services Department to a world class organization.

From his early involvement as a volunteer medic with the Black Rock Rangers, he spun off the Emergency Services Department in 2001 as the event grew and organizers recognized a need for a dedicated focus on fire and medical support for Black Rock City. He joined the organization full time in 2003.

“Philosophically, what makes ESD different from any other event in the world is the municipal nature of what we’re doing,” Joseph said. “In the early days I don’t think we realized how groundbreaking it was. We weren’t following any blueprint.”

In the 13 years since ESD was created it has grown to an organization with more than 100 managers and 1,000 staff involved in oversight and strategic planning year round overseeing advanced and basic life support, fire, dispatch, communications infrastructure and mental health services for a temporary city of 68,000. Read more »

November 12th, 2013  |  Filed under News

Burning Man Settles Lawsuit with Pershing County, Nev.

Gavel

A gavel.

[Editor's Note: The AP has published a retraction and correction of its original story, which incorrectly stated the facts of the case.]

San Francisco, CA. – Black Rock City, LLC and Pershing County have reached a settlement of all issues of the lawsuit brought by BRC last year. Associated court documents were filed in U.S. District Court in Reno, Nevada last week. The parties are now waiting for the federal district to approve the settlement in a hearing scheduled for this coming Monday, November 18th.

“This is a very favorable outcome for all parties,” said Raymond Allen, Government Affairs Representative for BRC. “The terms address all of BRC’s and the County’s concerns.”

The settlement agreement spans ten years and is designed to cover all of Pershing County’s costs and impacts related to the Burning Man event, while also preserving participant freedoms protected by the First Amendment. The agreement is based on integration of operations of the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) law enforcement command. Read more »

October 15th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World, News

Black Rock Solar Honored for Selflessness

Black Rock Solar

Black Rock Solar

Well now … Burning Man’s spin-off non-profit Black Rock Solar is being recognized for their great work and good deeds over the years!

Solar Power World Newsletter has announced that Black Rock Solar has been awarded the Brian D. Robertson Solar Schools Memorial Fund Award — honoring BRS’s selflessness in solar advocacy, installations and education work. BRS Executive Director Paddy McCully will accept the award at the Solar Power World Top 250 Gala in Chicago, during the Solar Power International conference.

Here’s the story from SPWN:

By popular acclamation, Black Rock Solar, a Reno, Nev.-based solar non-profit installer, will be awarded the Brian D. Robertson Solar Schools Memorial Fund Award.

The Brian D. Robertson Solar Schools Memorial Fund will recognize the non-profit at the Solar Power World Top Contractors Gala on Oct. 21 at The Drake Hotel in Chicago for its selfless solar advocacy, installations and education work.

Black Rock Solar began as a volunteer crew installing a 30-kW solar photovoltaic (PV) array at the Burning Man festival in 2007. That fall, the array was donated to the nearby town of Gerlach, Nev., and Black Rock Solar began its mission of building low-cost solar for organizations and communities who can use it the most.

Since 2007, Black Rock Solar has installed more than three megawatts of solar power for tribes, non-profits and schools in Nevada. Many of its systems have been built at zero cost to its clients.

The BDR Fund is a project of The Solar Foundation, a national non-profit dedicated to expanding access to solar energy and broadening solar energy education in our nation’s K-12 schools. Named for Brian Robertson, a young entrepreneur and solar pioneer who died in a plane crash in December 2011, the award was created to honor Brian’s legacy and recognize the often overlooked work of community-oriented organizations and companies in the world of solar.

“Black Rock and others who have demonstrated their dedication to solar philanthropy make us proud to be part of this industry, and it is important that their generosity be publicly acknowledged,” said BDR Fund Board Member Jigar Shah.

Grid Alternatives and Solar Liberty also competed for the award.

The Top Solar Contractors Gala, taking place during Solar Power International 2013, is the culminating ceremony celebrating the publication’s 2013 Top 250 Solar Contractors rankings. The event will bring together more than 80 companies and 300 installation professionals.

UPDATE: Here’s a nice recap of the gala.

October 10th, 2013  |  Filed under News

Your New Nobel Laureate in Chemistry is a Burner

Go figure. The most recent winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry is a Burner.

Helix thing.

Helix thing.

Congratulations to Michael Levitt, professor of structural biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He was awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work back in the 1970′s ”for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.” According to the Stanford News, “Levitt’s work focuses on theoretical, computer-aided analysis of protein, DNA and RNA molecules responsible for life at its most fundamental level. Delineating the precise molecular structures of biological molecules is a necessary first step in understanding how they work and in designing drugs to alter their function.”

(Admittedly, we only understand this at a barely-survived-10th-grade-chemistry level at best … there was something about cool-looking spirally things.)

Michael and Rina and their sculpture "Unity" at Burning Man 2013. (Photo c/o "Soloride" on Reddit)

Michael and Rina and their sculpture “Unity” at Burning Man 2013. (Photo c/o “Soloride” on Reddit)

It’s notable that the Prize is related to work that the 66-year old Levitt did back when he was just 20 years of age. Most of us likely boast no greater achievement at 20 than moving out of our parents’ house. Or back in, as the case may be. So we’re thinking this guy really had his sh*t together.

But anyway, the reason you care about any of this (if you’re not a die-hard chemist or Nobeliphile, a word we made up) is that Levitt and his wife Rina are Burners. According to the article, “[h]e and his wife together designed a two-dimensional wire sculpture for the 2013 Burning Man festival in Nevada. Rina, the artist, designed the piece, called Unity. Levitt, of course, used a computer to calculate the exact shape and dimensions the single long wire outline should assume.”

And that? Is pretty cool. We love our people.

September 30th, 2013  |  Filed under News

Burning Man Epiphany Makes for Better Pizza

Pizza.

Pizza.

The Dallas Observer reports on a local man who went to Burning Man, had an epiphany (as you do), and took it back home with him in a very real way.

Influenced by his years of attending the Burning Man event, Dallas pizza shop owner Frank Nuccio decided to make some changes to his business’s (My Family’s Pizza, formerly Pizza by Marco) pizza-making process.

“The dough will use water only from a reverse osmosis system being installed this month. I’m removing all toxins such as chlorine and fluoride from all the water used in the restaurant,” Frank said. Not only that, he’s also stopped selling any products that contain aspartame — including soda — instead opting for a soda brand made with pure cane sugar (which tastes a helluva lot better, frankly).

We like to say that being a Burner is a way of being, a lens through which we perceive our relationship to the world, and it’s up to each of us to make change happen on a local as well as global level … as we do. And a pizza joint is as good a place to start as any, right? Right.

Nice job, Frank. Next time we’re in Dallas, we’ll be sure to stop in for a slice.

So tell us, how have YOU manifested your Burner ideals in your day-to-day life?