Thursday, September 1, 2011

Burning the Ground, Part 2: What's the Deal With the Goggles?

Burning Man  is happening all week this week (August 29 - September 5) in Black Rock City, a temporary city in the Nevada desert.  The city springs up once a year and once the fesitval is over it goes away again, leaving no trace that anyone (let alone 50,000 people) has been there. 


A couple of days ago you all met LaLa, goggles and all.  So, what is the deal with the goggles?  Well, it gets a little dusty.  "You need to protect your eyes when the wind picks up," she told me.  "And it adds to the Mad Max thing."  CAUTION: Video is NOT safe for work.  In fact, just assume all Burning Man related videos are NOT safe for work.

The desert is an extreme climate even without dust storms.  There could be flooding, in which case your friendly neighborhood stilt walker might be able to kit you out with a set or teach you how to use your own.  You might catch a ride on a passing tall ship or reimagined ark.

Mostly the desert means lots of sunshine, though, and according to LaLa the festival received a gift of solar panels in 2007 to power the Man (the one they burn at the end of it all).  "Then they gave the panels to Gerlach [NV] and decided to form a non-profit," she told me.  That non-profit became Black Rock Solar which has been gifting communities with solar power ever since. 

Other non-profits under the Burning Man umbrella are Burners Without Borders, which came into being in response to Hurricane Katrina, and the Black Rock Arts Foundation, which funds a lot of the pieces that wind up both on the playa and in local communities.

And I'm going to end this piece here because I've been dying to use this insanely gorgeous video.  Coming soon is Part 3: Mutant Vehicles because they're so cool.  Till then, have a flood of sunshine.



  1. Flood of sunshine? :)

    Have you gone to one of these?

  2. Nice music and pictures in that last slideshow video! :)

  3. @Kurbiss..."Flood of Sunshine" is the name of the song, by the Posies. That guitar is so beautiful. Burning Man always takes place during the first week of school for my kids so I've just been living vicariously through LaLa. One of these days, though, I plan to go.

    @bccmee...I know, the photographer did an outstanding job putting it together.

  4. Here are the lyrics to "Flood of Sunshine" if you can't make them out.


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