Reconciling a Couple Tragedies

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.

Feel the love

Postby beatdizzy » Wed Sep 03, 2003 2:29 pm

The love on these boards is almost tangible.
Almost.

I have to agree with the cow kissing the naked arse here.

If you cant take care of yourself don't go.

The survival guide tells bikes to have head lights. It tells bikes to do that so that you don’t run over a burner burning in the dark. Part of the Playa for me was to burn in the dark - I hid glow sticks as they were too bright - whipping them out (err who am I kidding - fumbled them out) when I heard people or bikes coming towards me. When my hands could actually make it to my pockets.

And have you SEEN some of the structures - to me it is amazing that not more people where hurt.

Whoever the girl was I hope she was having the best night of her life right up until that moment. I would be honored to be part of any celebration of her life.
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Re: Feel the love

Postby Hotspur » Wed Sep 03, 2003 2:53 pm

beatdizzy wrote:The survival guide tells bikes to have head lights. It tells bikes to do that so that you don’t run over a burner burning in the dark. Part of the Playa for me was to burn in the dark - I hid glow sticks as they were too bright - whipping them out (err who am I kidding - fumbled them out) when I heard people or bikes coming towards me. When my hands could actually make it to my pockets.

And have you SEEN some of the structures - to me it is amazing that not more people where hurt.


I guess what I'm saying is that the point is to make it home in one piece, not to end up in the hospita while fairly saying, "but...but is was HIS fault!"

The rapidly varying light conditions on the playa make a biker's lamp inadequate-- it's very easy to overdrive your headlight even at a slow speed. (You drive through a bright area or your eyes react to a flamethrower, and then you drive through a dark area and you can see about half as far as you could a second ago). This is not excusing bikers who don't procede with caution but even a reasonable, cautious biker can have trouble seeing darkly-dressed folks in those conditions.

But I wholeheartedly agree: sometimes it's surprising that so few people get seriously hurt, given what goes on.
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Postby bgirl » Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:12 pm

:evil: Totally agree with last poster.
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Re: safety is not a one sided endeavour

Postby mags » Thu Sep 04, 2003 11:48 am

PJ wrote:...safety has to be maximized...

Burning Man is dead; long live Disneyland.

...my friend on his bike, almost sober, ran over some kid passed out in the middle of the playa...

That's more like it.

...my friends saw this guy who decided to spit out and light on fire whatever he was drinking get his whole chest and face lit on fire...

Finally, somebody that gets it.


right on. What's next? Tickets for jaywalking?
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Tickets?

Postby Gothalot » Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:20 pm

Tickets for Jaywalking errr naw but next year Pantzooka Patrol is giving out pants to the just shirt wearing pantless nude guys via high presure pantzooka.
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Postby mags » Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:24 pm

THAT'S funny
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Postby stu » Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:27 pm

I'm wondering if people still read the back of their ticket.
<i>What's</i> my fucking gift?
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Postby nodule » Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:27 pm

For those who don't yet know, the fatality had nothing to do with not being seen. The woman stepped off the art car, somehow fell backward, and was run over by the trailer.

As for this discusion, anyone who drives a vehicle or a bicycle into a person they didn't see, is driving or riding unsafely. They need to slow down and/or increase their headlight capacity. I don't know of any pedestrians who ran into other pedestrians because they couldn't see them (well, not any light-related incidents anyway). Some of the opinions here remind me of a person who almost ran into my parked car - and wanted to blame me for it. (I think you'd have a hard time convincing your insurance comapany).

Dan
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Postby Saint Christopher » Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:34 pm

Hi guys,

I think that there is some common ground amongst these postings. Allow me to note them.

• Suffering is bad.
• Freedom is good.
• Visibility for peds and vehicles at night makes common horse sense.
• Let's try encouragement rather than regulation.

-Saint Christopher
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Burning Man the safest spot on Earth?

Postby captain mcguiver » Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:44 pm

My friends and I were disucssing and mourning the deaths and injuries this year on the playa, and we ended up having quite an epiphany...

I am thinking now that with all the fatalities and injuries occurred this year, statistics will prove that Black Rock was actually one of the safest cities in America on Labor Day weekend.

Think about it: 30000 people, 8 days, XXXX amount of drugs and alcohol, fire breathing vehicles and exploding dynamite, sharp metal structures, idiots wandering around in black under a new moon, sleep deprivation, etc. etc. How many people died? How many people were injured? I almost think the numbers are wrong. I would expect hundreds of casualties and thousands of injuries. I bet the number of dui related traffic deaths in Nevada at one single lake or tourist destination blows away Black Rock in terms of population and percentage of injury. I think we are doing an amazing job. We could do better of course, but statitstically I feel very safe in Black Rock.

The deaths we suffer through now are important. The force us to stop, think, discuss this situation. If we had no injuries we might forget how dangerous Black Rock COULD be. Then we would drop into the category of drunken slobbering fraternity boys, cruising down the street on Labor Day weekend, crashing into innocent bystanders in their path. Let's not go there.

My love to those that lost their lives, I'll see you at the temple next year.

CM
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Re: Burning Man the safest spot on Earth?

Postby Hotspur » Thu Sep 04, 2003 2:45 pm

captain mcguiver wrote:Think about it: 30000 people, 8 days, XXXX amount of drugs and alcohol, fire breathing vehicles and exploding dynamite, sharp metal structures, idiots wandering around in black under a new moon, sleep deprivation, etc. etc. How many people died? CM


I was doing a little research, trying to find some hard numbers. As a point of comparison, the first data I found was for the state of Missouri. Over labor day weekend in 2002, with a population of over five and a half million, they suffered 10 deaths and 590 injuries. Given a burning-man sized population of 30,000, if BM were as dangerous as Missouri you would expect .05 deaths at BM-- ergo, BRC in 2003 was 20 times as dangerous as the state of missouri for auto accidents during labor day weekend.

I only chose Missouri because it was easy to find the data. What about SF? Well, in 1998 there were 37 pedestrians killed by autos all year. Given SF's population (about a million), you get an accident rate about about 1.1 people PER YEAR per 30,000. That means, basically, that you about as ikely to die via auto accident at BM as you are if you live in San Francisco for an entire year.

I'm just throwing these numbers out there, because I'm sure I'm not the only person who's wondering how many deaths are expected.

Maybe that should be the new slogan: "Black Rock City: 20 times as dangerous as Missouri!"
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Re: thunderdome

Postby zeno » Thu Sep 04, 2003 3:08 pm

Gothalot wrote:I hate to take the thread off too far but, damn when is that group going to refresh their act a little eh? Yawn.


We stood around for an hour, waiting for something to happen. People were all over the dome, just like the movie, and angry looking boys and girls were walking around inside. I thought something interesting was going to happen. Finally, after an opera concert (!!), a couple of guys whacked on each other for 5 minutes with padded sticks.

Triple yawn.

The arias were the most exciting part.
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Postby zeno » Thu Sep 04, 2003 3:13 pm

[quote="precipitate"]My point is that you should not attempt to dictate to me how I should be safe. That's my responsibility both when I succeed and when I fail.

I like your point.

I blame BOTH pedestrians who choose to walk into a dangerous area without any light or other protection, AND vehicle riders/drivers who speed around without lights. Drunks of both kinds are even more delusional about their own safety.

Make it safe? No - at least not by anyone's universal rules.

Live and Learn? yes.
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Re: Burning Man the safest spot on Earth?

Postby zeno » Thu Sep 04, 2003 3:27 pm

captain mcguiver wrote:
I am thinking now that with all the fatalities and injuries occurred this year, statistics will prove that Black Rock was actually one of the safest cities in America on Labor Day weekend.



I agree completely.

Despite the accidents, widespread stupidity and inconsiderate behavior, I was amazed to see totally spontaneous, anarchistic (individual) traffic regulation on the playa and at street intersections. No cops, no signs, almost no one obeying the 5 mph limit - it still worked remarkably well.
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Re: Burning Man the safest spot on Earth?

Postby zeno » Thu Sep 04, 2003 3:38 pm

Hotspur wrote:...BRC in 2003 was 20 times as dangerous as the state of missouri for auto accidents during labor day weekend.

...you about as ikely to die via auto accident at BM as you are if you live in San Francisco for an entire year.

Maybe that should be the new slogan: "Black Rock City: 20 times as dangerous as Missouri!"


A more appropriate conclusion from your data would be "about the same as San Francisco." That's where most burners are from anyway.

OK, OK, I'll go bother some other list now.
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Re: Burning Man the safest spot on Earth?

Postby Hotspur » Fri Sep 05, 2003 7:21 pm

zeno wrote:
Hotspur wrote:A more appropriate conclusion from your data would be "about the same as San Francisco." That's where most burners are from anyway.


Except it's not BRC for a week is as dangerous as SF for a year (actually, the math is more complicated because BRC's population is lower at the beginning of the week) but if you assumed BRC had a population of 30,000 for the whole week, then you'd still say SF was about 1/52nd as dangerous.

(That type of comparison gets really trickly because some dates--New Years Eve, Labor Day, etc--are more dangerous than others--the only reason I went with the Missouri stats was that I found Labor-day-specific stats for them.)
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Re: safety is not a one sided endeavour

Postby Guest » Fri Sep 05, 2003 7:29 pm

PJ wrote:Burning Man is dead; long live Disneyland.


Not after today...
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Postby BirthdayBabb » Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:10 am

I brought a couple of strands of battery powered Christmas lights and wrapped one around my suspenders and the other around my bike. I thought it was very pretty.
My sympathy and prayers for your losses. God Bless.



I can't wait to GO HOME. PEACE
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Thu Jan 29, 2004 9:40 am

Lighting self and bike is important.
The Emergency Services Department has pretty good reasons to want to drive faster than 5 mph--when they need to. Fire must go out before spreading, the "Golden Hour" of emergency medical means that we don't want to waste a minute. That's who was doing CPR on Kathy Lampman. (And at least one of the medics still isn't over it.) We're damn careful, but I've spent too many hours squinting at a dark playa ready to sing out to the driver if anything/anyone shows up at the last moment on the right side.
BM is BM, and finding a balance is tough.
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Postby technopatra » Thu Jan 29, 2004 2:53 pm

y'all probably already know this, but I didn't see it mentioned lately -

-

Kathy was not hit by an art car because she or it was poorly lighted. She tried to jump off of it when it was moving (how many times have we all done that?) and fell in between the car and whatever it was towing.

-

Yes, absolutely, everyone walking, biking, scooting, jumping, or driving needs to be lit at night. But just as important - we need to be careful and aware of our own movements and decisions.

I remember being on the playa early in 2001, and catching a ride on the firetruck one night. It was maybe 3 or 4 days before the opening of the event. Bunches of us on the firetruck, much fun being had.

We were "racing" a jeep (some convertible-type open air vehicle, anyway, so let's call it a jeep) at somewhere between 5 and 10 mph (I guess) . We kept weaving close to each other then backing off, but staying side-by-side. Everyone was laughing and having a great time, and someone decided to climb from the firetruck to the jeep while still moving.

The maneuver was carried off without incident, and we all cheered. 2 seconds later the an Emergency Services Dept. guy pulls over the jeep. We're laughing our asses off. There were only a few hundred people camped on the playa, and we were on what would be the esplanade, so there was no chance of us endangering anyone but oursleves. They didn't pull us over, so we keep touring the playa.

We go hither and yon and circle back to where the jeep got pulled over. The jeep folks were STILL there, must have been 30 minutes later, getting lectured by the ESD guys.

We were still laughing then, but it did get me thinking later. I truly don't believe ESD enjoys telling people what dumbasses they are. It's a duty, not a pastime. And if they spent that much time reaming these guys, they're doing so because it really was a dangerous thing to do, and they are damn lucky no one got hurt.
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I'm sort of a broken record

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:47 pm

On the night visability thing. Several reasons.

1--it's real. And darned scary when someone looms out of nowhere right in front of the truck.

2--When I started posting here, I made a desicion--not to be the voice of ESD on e-playa, I try to be real clear that I am not an official mouthpiece for the department--but to bring that perspective to the e-playa in the hopes that people will learn to consider these issues. This is a real simple one.

I know how Kathy Lampman died. The department took it hard. That and the two plane crashes took place in like a 36 hour period and it was a real strain on us. And CIT was absolutely slammed by it. Even though I'm not a medic this year, as the requirements have been tightened, my sweetie is and always will be--and i've already seen too much in certain ways. I learned a lot, but it can also be really hard to see some of the stupid stuff people do. Gut wrenching, even.

It's culturally okay to make fun of the head of ESD on this board, and I sort of can see that. But I can also see the awesome responcibility he has too. I couldn't do that job. One slip and he--and the rest of us--could be in serious trouble.

So I try and remind people of that one simple thing. I point out that there are times and situations when vehicles have legitemate reasons to go faster than 5 MPH on playa. I ask people to get out of the way of any car or truck with red, yellow, or blue flashing lights. If a half dozen people think about it, that's something.
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