I’ll be making short videos and doing longer live streams.
In the first episode I cover the 174,000 Bitcoin seized by the FBI and US Marshals Service when Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was arrested a mile from Burning Man Headquarters during the Silk Road themed year Caravansary. More than half those BitCoins are unaccounted for, over a billion dollars worth.
You know the one problem with Burning Man? There wasn’t another 20,000 people there, waiting in line for port-a-potties or butt sex. If only there could be more people on the Playa, then finally we could really be making the world a better place.
Well, good news Burners. We’re upping the head count to 100,000.
I wonder how many of the 1000 new camps will be high-end plug-n-play hotels? Lucky K street is so long. If your camp was preparing to give away free stuff to 65,000 people, your costs just went up by +50%. And BMorg’s potential ticket revenue just went up by +$42 million.
Burning Man currently hosts 65,000 participants (closer to 80,000 including vendors and volunteers) for the week long arts festival, but organizers are now looking to expand to up to 80,000 to 100,000 people in the coming years. The Nevada Bureau of Land Management is currently undergoing an annual review on how the event affects surrounding environments and communities, and organizers have proposed long-term expansion.
In addition to the expansion, organizers are also asking for increased space of 22 miles (about 500 acres) to be closed off for Burning Man to support the increased capacity, art pieces and more. With their proposal, they project that art pieces will increase to 400 compared to 330 in 2017, 2,000 themed art camps compared to 1,100 and 1,000 art cars/modified vehicles compared to 600.
In effort to get the wheels in motion for the proposed expansion, organizers have met with representatives of the three communities most prominently affected by Burning Man: Gerlach, Reno and Lovelock. The week-long event does have financial support on its side, as it brings in over $50 million to the state of Nevada each year.
However, locals have brought up concerns about traffic, water supply, law enforcement services and disruption of the peaceful, remote setting many locals appreciate about the desert area.
Each year, Burning Man receives criticism about its growing overexposure: the event has reached the point where tech tycoons are shipping fresh lobsters out to the desert. However, organizers have proposed the expansion as they prepare to plan out Burning Man operations for the upcoming decade with promising reports of minimal environmental change due to their strict “leave no trace” policy.
RENO, Nev. – Lindsay Weiss once lost her cellphone and got it back, so she and a friend knew what they had to do when they discovered a camera under a pew during a festival in the Nevada desert – even though it meant giving up their coveted, shady seat for a musical performance.
The friends snapped a quick selfie and took the device to the lost-and-found, so the owner could claim it and the pair could “forever be a part of their journey,” Weiss said.
“Losing something out there on the playa makes its mark on your trip,” she said of the sprawling counterculture gathering known as Burning Man. “Kinda makes you feel like a loser.”
Still missing are a marching band hat with gold mirror tiles, a furry cheetah vest, a headdress with horns and a chainmail loincloth skirt.
“As of mid-November, we’ve recovered 2,479 items and returned 1,279,” said Terry Schoop, who helps oversee the recovery operation at Burning Man’s San Francisco headquarters. “We have about a 60 percent return rate,”
This year’s haul included:
570 backpacks or bags
529 drivers’ licenses, passports or other forms of identification.
200+ shirts or tops,
80 hydration backpacks,
50 pairs of eyeglasses,
several dozen water bottles, including one with the desert-appropriate warning: “Stop Not Drinking.”
Be on the look out for still-missing items:
Other articles lost-but-not-yet-found include a wedding ring, a flute, “fire nunchucks,” a stuffed bunny – “daughter’s since birth,” and a “dark-leafy-print bandanna lost on the playa somewhere around the giant flamingo.”
After the horrible attack on a mosque in Egypt, in which more than 300 Sufi Muslims lost their lives at the hands of Daesh, I decided it was time to explain the connection between Sufism, drugs, spirituality, rebellion, and of course, prohibition. We’d like to think that drug use in the classical Islamic period of 700 AD doesn’t have anything to do with the attack last week by almost 30 ISIS militants, but history paints a different story. Many members of Sufi orders throughout history have been persecuted for their substance use, especially as a pretext by conservative rulers to shutter coffee houses, opium dens, brothels, bars, and other meeting places of potential insurrectionists.
Muslims invented the coffee house as we now know it, and were responsible for coffee finding its way into Christian Europe. But when coffee first made its way from Ethiopia into Yemen and up the Arabian Peninsula, some Muslims challenged its appropriateness. It was clear to early observers that coffee had an effect on people, but legal thinkers had to decide whether these effects qualified as intoxication. More threatening than coffee’s impact on the body, however, was the drink’s social consequence. Like wine drinkers, coffee drinkers tended to assemble in groups. Could the coffee house invite the same troublesome activities that surrounded taverns? Moreover, coffee appeared to assist Sufis in their all-night gatherings, leading some to consider that prohibiting coffee would also aid in the suppression of controversial religious practices and subversive teachings. ~Confession of a Muslim Psychedelic Tea Drinker, Michael Muhammad Knight (VICE.com)