Light Too Too Bright 2005

Light Too Too Bright 2005

Postby Hawk Butterfly Freedom » Thu Sep 08, 2005 4:45 pm

What's up with the light pollution at Burning Man this year? Yeah, the event is going to change every year, but what's up with all of the gigantic spotlights, Vegas style overrefined lighttastic gaudiness, and headlights? When I got to Reno it almost seemed like it was darker than it was on the Playa.

There were giant spotlights around the city that were all directed to form a canopy over the playa. I could barely see the stars.

It seems like I couldn't stand or pedal for literally a minute without another pair of headlights shining in my eyes. Here's a crazy idea--completely ban all cars from the playa except for emergency vehicles and force the popo to ride bikes. They do it everywhere else--why can't they do it at Burning Man?

One of the things I look forward to most about Burning Man is getting to do some star gazing and enjoy the darkness. This year I felt like I was living in a slot machine.

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Re: Light Too Too Bright 2005

Postby HughMungus » Thu Sep 08, 2005 7:26 pm

Hawk Butterfly Freedom wrote:There were giant spotlights around the city that were all directed to form a canopy over the playa. I could barely see the stars.


Yeah, what was up with this? I saw lights pointing straight up for no apparent reason. Why?
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Re: Light Too Too Bright 2005

Postby Eric » Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:41 pm

Hawk Butterfly Freedom wrote:There were giant spotlights around the city that were all directed to form a canopy over the playa. I could barely see the stars.


I didn't mind the Vegas lights around the city, but those damn spotlights were pissing me off. It was a new moon- I wanted to see the stars, dammit.
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Postby Stilesfamily » Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:27 am

I agree, it was way to bright this year. In years past I always enjoyed the dark window that opened up between 10 and 2 as you look out over the playa. This year all the art cars made me feel like I was surrounded with light at all times, I could not escape it. The spot lights polluted the sky and I felt like a was constantly dodging art cars. I don’t know if it was the tragic vibes coming from Katrina back east, or there was a shift in BM culture, but I definitely felt a change this year in the community. Anyone else get that impression?
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Postby horseradish » Sun Sep 11, 2005 6:15 am

Oh come on. Earlier in the week it was pitch black. I hate blinkies and glowsticks but they were absolutely required to stop people bumping into me!

I enjoyed cycling out to the fence to watch the stars and they were very much visible... maybe this diminished on the last couple of nights but I don't think it's fair to say that it was as bright as Reno!!
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Postby Stilesfamily » Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:02 am

horseradish wrote:Oh come on. Earlier in the week it was pitch black. I hate blinkies and glowsticks but they were absolutely required to stop people bumping into me!


You may be correct, due to a transmission failure half way to the playa we were waylaid in BFE for repairs and did not get to the playa till Wed eve. At that point we practically ran to the esplanade and noticed what I described above, I guess I’m just upset we missed the quieter part of the week. I still think it had a different vibe this year, you don’t agree?
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Postby b00m3rang » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:20 am

Stilesfamily wrote:I agree, it was way to bright this year. In years past I always enjoyed the dark window that opened up between 10 and 2 as you look out over the playa. This year all the art cars made me feel like I was surrounded with light at all times, I could not escape it. The spot lights polluted the sky and I felt like a was constantly dodging art cars. I don’t know if it was the tragic vibes coming from Katrina back east, or there was a shift in BM culture, but I definitely felt a change this year in the community. Anyone else get that impression?


So, you're saying that having more lights than usual one year indicates a "change in the community"?

I'll have a heaping bowl of whatever kind of Leprechaun crack you've managed to find... sounds like good stuff.
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Postby damon » Sun Sep 11, 2005 10:45 am

People will never stop complaining :)
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Postby geekster » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:40 pm

I was there for about half the week before the event, it was fucking DARK. The Milky Way actually looked bright. There were some orgish looking spotlights and in a way, I am kinda thankful for them. There were a lot of unlit bikes and pedestrians out and about. What I didn't like was people driving newer cars with the headlights on full blast at night. Turn em off. Newer cars have those daytime running lamps that give plenty of illumination for navigating the streets at BRC. Nothing worse that someone driving past and now you are blind for a good 5 min or more.

It was dangerous riding my bike around at night before the city filled in. Each corner had a t-stake with no sign and no markings on it diagonally across from the post with the street sign. I slammed them a couple of times when I wandered off the street. I saw a some unlit pedestrians get wiped out.

I suppose by Wednesday or Thursday it had brightened up quite a bit. Add in the dust caused by cars, people, wind, etc. that scatters the light even more and you could navigate on foot without any real problems.

Oh, and we will have a waxing half moon (first quarter) for the burn next year.
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Postby Gravity Mike » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:10 am

I saw several shooting starts (aka meteorites) throughout the week, as late as Thursday, without even 'trying.' Friday and Saturday the sky wasn't very visible, probably couldn't see anything if I tried, but that didn't seem to be a *new* situation.

If anything, I think there were more 'darkies' this year to avoid hitting.

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Postby blyslv » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:14 am

You go to a ocmpact city of 35,000 and complain about light? If you want darkness go to the playa when few others are there.

And how did you light up your bike? Did your headlight blind anybody?
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Postby Kinetic IV » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:14 am

Gravity Mike wrote:I saw several shooting starts (aka meteorites) throughout the week, as late as Thursday, without even 'trying.'
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This is the first post I've seen that mentions the meteorites. I saw more of them on the playa this year than I've ever seen before in my life. I wonder if anyone snapped a picture of them or if they'll show up in any time lapse shots? (Maybe Folding Time captured a few on their images!)
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Postby djmalloc » Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:05 pm

And did anybody notice how many people were talking loudly this year? Also I smelled a lot more cooking going on than in previous years. And was it just me or did people seem to be consuming more oxygen than seemed required?

I came out to BurningMan to experience a completely prisitine desert unencumbered by the presence of man. What the hell were all these people doing out there!?

HAHA this sounds rude but isn't, I just think it's funny. You could see the stars in the early part of the week and the quietude of the early part of the week is why I always go up nice and early. It is a madhouse at the end of the week but...it kinda has to be.
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Postby Hawk Butterfly Freedom » Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:01 pm

Man, DJMordichai is right-
I should cultivate the right on, bro vibe type of life he has and bail out of normal life so I can get to the Playa earlier.

People talking and the organization bringing out gigantic spotlights that must have cost tens of thousands of dollars to run with fossil fuel all week so they could point at the sky are the exact same thing. Also, cars driving with their headlights on is the exact same thing as someone riding a bike with a headlamp.

You know what? Forget bikes. Why doesn't Burning Man just allow everyone to drive a car next year?

Some 'people' say they go to Burning Man and enjoy pedestrian transportation. Don't they know that in a city of 35,000 people there are going to be at least 40,000 cars running on $3 a gallon gas with their headlights blazing at all hours of the night?

And while we're at it, why don't we have an actual war at Burning Man. You know, a lot of cities of 35,000 people have nuclear missile silos and national guard posts.

Damn, why didn't I think of all this? Next year maybe they should have Burning Man in North Korea. They're just people with lights, too.
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Postby RedHeaven » Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:18 am

Im not opposed to blinkies or LED lights, but I thought it was funny: I found myself hanging out with a bunch of "goth punks" by the end of the week. (my 'hippie' ass went back to the days of high school...lots of fun) but I found myself walking with my Darkie playa honey, and we werent lit up. People called us Ninjas, and others threw glowsticks at us "light yourselves up, vampires!" Totally hiilarious. I made sure I kept my LED necklaces on after that. All sides of the coin have a voice at Burning Man, it was fun to be goth again for 5 minutes. But not very safe....hahaha

My worst was the unavoidable HEADLIGHTS from cars entering later in the week. REALITY CHECK....ugly! ut yeah, unavoidable....unless everyone would just get there before thursday....not gonna happen...
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