I like being a "darkwad"

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I like being a "darkwad"

Postby portaplaya » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:46 pm

I wear a headlight (default:turned off) and a red blinker on the back of my waterpack, but do not illuminate myself fully. This technically makes me a "darkwad" and earns me jeers from bicyclists passing by. [None of who were on at risk of colliding with me; their just surprised and react vocally.]

I have exceptional night-vision and peripheral vision (these are related, I understand). To wear any light sets my local environment to a brighter level and I can no longer see as far. Like looking out of a nighttime window while standing in a bright room, the rest of the world is just dark.

As long as I am not getting excessively drunk or some kind of high, I don't see the problem, at least while I am on foot. My back is covered (blinky) and I can see approaching riders from the other directions. Clearly if I am on a bike I am bigger and harder to swerve than I am on foot. Only solution I have then for visibility is turning on the head lamp. Which is probably why I do "destination riding" and then leave my bike locked up while exploring the 10:00 camps or the nighttime playa art around the Temple.

For ten years not I have endure the calls to "get with the program", all the while ignoring them. Some try to force glow-items on my, but get heated when I refuse. *sigh*

Ideas on how to keep my delicate nightvision working well and reducing the "burnier-than-thou" comments? Or should I recommend an attitude check for these hecklers?
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby Sham » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:53 pm

Just dangle one of these things from your belt and try to be a conformist! :roll:
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby lemur » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:57 pm

moop.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby portaplaya » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:59 pm

lemur wrote:moop.


What do you mean? I should leave a trail of moop? I should drop/moop glowsticks forced on me?
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby TinkerMom » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:02 pm

I too have the "bat" vision, or Riddick eyes. And extra lights do hurt my eyes.

I have found it easier to put lights on my bike that point more to the ground.
So it appears I am floating along. I found bar end lights, and I use the glow bracelets
on my wrists and ankles or in my shoe laces, and on my hat above the brim.
So it doesn't affect my vision any. And they can certainly see me, even though I
have already seen them.

I hope this helps you out.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby TomServo » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:04 pm

I think you just jinxed yourself with this post.

It's not all about YOU! How good a night vision you have..how good a rider you are...how sober you are...

Some people just aren't as cool as you! While I admire your superman capabilities, your attitude and stubbornness just sucks.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby BBadger » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:07 pm

Last year I wanted a giant steam-roller to crush the plague of Thursday night darktards. A few grievous injuries/deaths to those 'tards would've been great. I doubt most of them were dark-by-design, but-dark-by-'tardation darktards. However, the worst unlit problems last year were not the darktards, but the dark abandoned bikes that 'tards left in the middle of the playa unlit, making them a huge riding/tripping hazard. I almost felt compelled to permanently wreck those bikes as the owners did not deserve the privilege of bike transportation; however, chances were the asshole previous riders would leave them as MOOP, or the bikes were stolen in the first place.

As for you: my only criterion is that you should be lit up enough to not be a hazard. This can even mean being completely unlit in general but aware enough to turn on a beacon/light when someone is in close proximity. A bona fide darktard is the kind of person who has no lights whatsoever because he was too stupid to buy and use them.

If you want to avoid the hecklers, try flashing a signal at approaching vehicles to acknowledge their presence. It can be just some red beacon or something that doesn't affect night vision. That way they know that you're not just some regular dumbass darktard, but are instead choosing to remain dark, but are sufficiently equipped.
Last edited by BBadger on Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:08 pm

portaplaya wrote:
lemur wrote:moop.


What do you mean? I should leave a trail of moop? I should drop/moop glowsticks forced on me?

I suspects he means that you are moop because you could be hit and killed...

The thing is, you're not lighting up for you to see, you're lighting up to be seen. I think Tink's got it right, find a way of lighting yourself that doesn't interfere with your vision. Or don't, but understand that you will continue to get negative attention, for going against not simply the communal norm, but against one of the norms where the community at large has been given "permission" to correct you.

(Tom [and Bbadger] got ahead of me on some of this.)
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby Sham » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:09 pm

I have driven a mutant vehicle on the playa at night, and darkwads are so utterly dangerous. I have come across some just sitting in the dust looking at the stars. It's also very discourteous for a driver to aim directly for the darktard only to force them to jump out of the way of a moving vehicle because they couldn't be seen.

Just hang the light and don't be a darktard!
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby vapor » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:11 pm

Likewise. What I try to do is tailor my brightness to the surroundings . . . deep dark playa I can get by with less, busy esplanade needs brighter. A hat or other head piece with a circle of elwire is great, even just a single red light on top is quite visible. Full moon Thursday so the busiest evenings are going to be quite bright already. Light colored clothing makes a big difference as well
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby Homiesinheaven » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:22 pm

TomServo wrote:I think you just jinxed yourself with this post.

It's not all about YOU! How good a night vision you have..how good a rider you are...how sober you are...

Some people just aren't as cool as you! While I admire your superman capabilities, your attitude and stubbornness just sucks.


it's true, it's about safety. you're not thinking about the dude tripping balls and driving the art car. the giant ones are sometimes guided by cameras and monitors and not windows to the open playa. if you're into the hassle of signaling every art car that comes your way then that's one thing but being well lit is a consideration for safety.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby uncle sticky » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:34 pm

Not to beat a dead horse, but it really is so that art cars don't kill you. I drive a small art car, am not high or loaded, and am sequestered from the riders so I don't get a ton of distractions. It's still takes a ton of focus to drive it, even with a regular sized windshield. All the lights, the fire, the constant movement in random directions, all of these things catch my eye so that I can avoid them. You, my friend, will not. I appreciate the effort with the backpack blinky, and so i say this: I will not enjoy running you over, since you seem like a decent guy.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby Sham » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:44 pm

It's always such a hassle when someone gets run over on the playa. They come up with all sorts of new rules and policies for everyone, just because one person had a miscalculation and walked in front of a moving vehicle at night.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby gaminwench » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:45 pm

I wear a tiny flashlight on a long cord around my neck; when I leave camp, I turn it on...
the ground around my feet becomes a pool of light, but no 'light in the eyes'- mine or anyone else's.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby some seeing eye » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:02 pm

Red LED's have little effect on night vision. (You are correct, peripheral and night vision is rods and rods are not sensitive to red. Of the cones, the blue green are most sensitive, but way less so than rods.) That is why red light is used to light astronomical observatories. Even red EL wire will be similar. Blinking and moving even if not blindingly bright is the way to go - you could put them on your feet and pants, out of sight out of mind. And though you think it is interfering, it is not.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby CornMan » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:02 pm

Darktard is the actual term of which you describe.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:24 pm

some seeing eye wrote:That is why red light is used to light astronomical observatories.

At the dawn of history, they used the red light in darkrooms...

But that's not why, because it makes no sense. Great, something else to keep me up at night.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby Eric » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:33 pm

portaplaya wrote:Ideas on how to keep my delicate nightvision working well and reducing the "burnier-than-thou" comments? Or should I recommend an attitude check for these hecklers?


Everyone else has pointed out the the lights aren't for you (thought the fact the people on bikes yell at you that they can't see you should have given you a clue), so you seriously need to look at the solutions being offered.

I'm far from a darkwad, but I'm not a huge fan of looking like an xmas tree either, so I try to make myself visible to others without annoying myself or ruining my own night vision. The last few years I've purchased LED necklaces & pins from Extreme Glow and then pin them around the hem of my jacket. It gives enough light for people to see me (pooled around my legs, as someone said above) without wrecking my night vision or making me look like said dreaded xmas tree.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby BBadger » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:36 pm

You don't even need to have lighting that'll disturb your night vision. Having a blinking red light always on your back and/or on your hat is enough. I just left my headlamp in red blink mode and it worked fine.

Maybe the solution to this problem is to use spotlights to illuminate the potential road hazards. I mean, if you think having your night vision ruined by a tiny on-body light is bad, imagine a 1200lm light trained on you.

theCryptofishist wrote:
some seeing eye wrote:That is why red light is used to light astronomical observatories.

At the dawn of history, they used the red light in darkrooms...

But that's not why, because it makes no sense. Great, something else to keep me up at night.


The red light doesn't affect your scotopic (night-time) vision, which lies outside most of the red wavelengths of light. In the dark room the red wavelengths also don't expose photographs. In some labs where they develop lithographic masks for stuff like computer chips, they use yellow light because it doesn't expose the masks, but is a lot less oppressive than red light.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby Gonzo Frothwood » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:40 pm

I wear a bicycle light tied to a cotton rope when I go to the portos at night. otherwise I'm naked. Dickweed, yes. Darkwad, no.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby lemur » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:41 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
some seeing eye wrote:That is why red light is used to light astronomical observatories.

At the dawn of history, they used the red light in darkrooms...

But that's not why, because it makes no sense. Great, something else to keep me up at night.


common black and white photographic paper is sensitive to light when exposed with blue and green light only.. this allows you to see what yer doing in the darkroom with a red light.

more modern (past 40ish years) papers use multiple emulsions.. one sensitive to blue light and one green light.. the green sensitive emulsion will be a high contrast one and the blue sensitive will be low contrast.. with filters over the projected film image one can use this to create a wide range of contrasts in the final developed image..

older papers were single contrast only.. and sensitive to blue/green light..
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby lemur » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:46 pm

and the really ancient photographic processes allow you to have light sensitive emulsions coated and handled in a room with white light (which means any color) ..so long as there is no UV light source..

if you coated/mixed/handled most any modern silver/iron/based emulsion in the same condition itd fog to black..

at the start in ancient times.. 19th century..(and well before with some processes) almost all of the emulsions were UV sensitive only.. so you could coat them with a lamp on.. or with a candle ..

of course these images need times like 15 minutes in bright sunlight to expose a proper print instead of 15 seconds under a not-very-bright light under an enlarger..
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby Gonzo Frothwood » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:52 pm

uh...what?
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby BBadger » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:05 pm

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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby oneeyeddick » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:27 pm

Gonzo Frothwood wrote:I wear a bicycle light tied to a cotton rope when I go to the portos at night. otherwise I'm naked. Dickweed, yes. Darkwad, no.

AND, exactly what do you attach the cotton rope to?
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby portaplaya » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:37 pm

I did not mention that when an art car approaches, their headlights easily overwhelm my nightvision, so I turn the headlamp on. Thus that concern that you all have about driving over me is lessened. As for art cars that are hard to see out of, isn't this the policy from the DMV?
"Have ground guides (walkers) if the vehicle is large, has a limited field of vision or is dangerous to pedestrians"


Observation: When you say this is "not all about you" and then tell an anecdote about how you might run into me in the dark, you are turning this into all about you. :wink:
Additional Observation: If the bike rider can yell at me because he "can't see me", he must have remarkable hearing. (Or is exaggerating greatly.)

Sadly, I have experimented. Any white or colored illumination of the ground around me is sufficient to drop my range of vision by at least half. But wearing an illuminated hat, where the brim directs the light upward from my eyes, is an excellent suggestion. I might try the red light as well, but remember, most red-colored lenses still allow the other colors through to some degree.

Thanks for the tips. Feel free to add more.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby Gonzo Frothwood » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:48 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:
Gonzo Frothwood wrote:I wear a bicycle light tied to a cotton rope when I go to the portos at night. otherwise I'm naked. Dickweed, yes. Darkwad, no.

AND, exactly what do you attach the cotton rope to?

a smoothly shaved scrotum.
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:06 pm

Did Gonzo just give Dick a reach-around?
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby ygmir » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:32 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Did Gonzo just give Dick a reach-around?



*noting attentive eplayan* can we guess who?
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Re: I like being a "darkwad"

Postby moonrise » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:37 pm

I came close to driving over two naked dust covered hippies in the middle of the night in the middle of the playa. One of my passengers on the moonmobile spotted them before we got too close, but it still sucked. I drive sober, yet it was difficult to see them. I struggle with using my high beams, it's rude don't you think?

I'd say wear a hat with a lighted beacon of some sort.

One night out there I got so damned sick and tired of a few darktard hunting Nazi passengers heckling and throwing glow stix at poorly lit humans...
I simply gave up and told them no more heckling, arguing, debating and picking up unwanted glow stix that you threw at the un-lit humans or you'll get dropped off back at your camp. They chose to go back to camp and I granted them their wish. Then I went off in search of the naked hippies...you see, I'm a shower Nazi, haha!
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