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Crowdfunding Xylovan: a musical instrument mutant vehicle

Mack writes, "XyloVan is a roving musical mutant vehicle that our family built four years ago. Thousands of musicians, kids, Burners and amateur XyloVanists have enjoyed banging on the van, everywhere we've taken it. But its weird old heart blew a gasket last summer on the way to the playa, and we had to have it towed home. We're raising money to give it a new motor, some front-end work and general upgrades to get it back on the road, plus we're building a strobing, pulsing new lights-and-sound system for its reappearance this summer in Black Rock City, NV. Please give our Indiegogo campaign a look - we're offering some pretty neat hand-machined perks to our generous donors. Thanks!"

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Burners: photos needed of Cradle of Mir creator Sasha Mironov


Sasha Mironov is a Russian artist who instigated the Cradle of Mir, one of Burning Man 2013's most spectacular artworks. He has been arrested by US authorities for an undisclosed felony and is in jail in LA. His colleagues believe -- again, for frustratingly unspecified reasons -- that photos of Mironov taken on Aug 30 will help clear his name and they're appealing for anyone who might have a picture of him to send it in.

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Burning Man 2013 time-lapse

Matthew says: "Filmmaker Jason Phipps and his team spent several days atop Old Razorback (a.k.a. Trego Peak) to capture this time-lapse footage of Black Rock City."

General Wesley Clark is a burner

M. Otis Beard sez, "John Perry Barlow has confirmed the rumor with journalists: General Wesley Clark did indeed attend Burning Man 2013. . . but what does it mean?"

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Drone's-eye-view of Burning Man

[Video Link] Matthew says, "Filmmaker Eddie Codel used a DJI Phantom drone and a GoPro Hero3 camera to film a "drone’s eye view" of Burning Man."

Burning Man drone rules

This year, the Burning Man Organization has set out rules for drone operation on the playa, developed in concert with drone-hobbyist/burners who attended a summit at BMOHQ on July 17. The rules include a common-sense safety code, parameters on where/when/who can be videoed; fire safety rules; spectrum management procedures; and guidance on elevation and wind.

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Ardent Industries to build raining voxel cloud on a forklift

Ardent Industries, the crazy people behind such large art installations as Dance Dance Immolation and SYZYGRYD, are building a giant 3D Mario cloud stuck to the top of a forklift so they can rain on people's parades. Their Kickstarter is fully funded and they're starting production and getting their forklift licenses! Rad!

Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform on Kickstarter

Bureau of Land Management increases population cap for Burning Man

M Otis Beard sez, "Today the Bureau of Land Management issued a multi-year permit good through 2016 for Burning Man, increasing the population cap to 68,000." This is a big deal -- in recent years, there's been a mad scramble for tickets as it appeared that the number of would-be attendees would outstrip the BLM cap. It all ended up coming to naught, but the writing is on the wall: Burning Man is growing beyond the BLM's (old) max size. Cory 4

Building a 15-foot-tall brain-controlled brain for Burning Man and beyond

My cousin Katherine Leipper is part of a crew that's building a 15-foot-tall head and brain with interactive light and flame effects that will be controlled by a participant's brain waves.

Yup. Weirdness runs in our family.

She and her co-makers will take it to Burning Man, but the bigger plan is to take it around to schools after the festival, "to get kids excited about science, technology and fabrication."

Katherine and her brain-building buddies have a crowdsourcing campaign under way. They're well on their way, but if you love 15-foot-tall brain-controlled brains like I love 15-foot-tall brain-controlled brains, and you think America's children need more 15-foot-tall brain-controlled brains in their classrooms because SCIENCE, you should kick in a little to ensure this weird dream comes true.

Katherine explains the wild idea to Boing Boing, below:

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Blinkytape: kickstarting a smart strip of LEDs

Todd sez, "Check out this awesome LED strip lights controlled by a simple controller board. Matt Mets went through the Haxlr8r program and came out with this project, with the help of Marty McGuire and Max Henstell. Just a few days left to get in on it."

BlinkyTape is a one meter long, full-color light tape with 60 independent RGB LEDs controlled by our custom light processor. Power and communications are provided by a built-in micro-USB connector. An on-board button allows for simple interactions such as choosing between effects.

BlinkyTape is flexible, so you can easily integrate it into any shape your project needs. BlinkyTape also comes enclosed in weatherproof silicone, so it's suitable for outdoor use!

It's $50 minimum pledge for a meter of the tape (as with all Kickstarters: caveat emptor, you may get nothing).

BlinkyTape: The LED Strip Reinvented (Thanks, Todd)

HOWTO die at Burning Man

M Otis Beard sez, "You don't often hear about the deaths that happen at Burning Man. Here is an overview that just might save your life." Be that as it may, Black Rock City has extraordinarily low mortality compared to comparably populated/sized areas in the USA. Cory

Nevada bans counties from gouging Burning Man

M Otis Beard sez, "The Nevada State Assembly has passed a bill that forbids the counties from charging permit fees to Burning Man and other festivals. . . but has anything really changed?" Cory

Nevada State Legislature poised to take regulation of Burning Man away from state and local cops

M Otis Beard sez, "A bill gaining support in the Nevada State Assembly would make Burning Man hands-off for state and county law enforcement officials, and subject only to Federal authority."

Each year, the local sheriff has been jacking Burning Man for increasing per-head fees, and the county's conservative lawmakers have been passing silly-season unconstitutionalities, like a law prohibiting a man from being naked in the presence of a child. It's combination of revenue generation and garden-variety harassment, and there had been rumbles about the festival taking up local native groups on an invitation to move it to Paiute land where the county wouldn't get a say.

“Earlier this morning, the Chamber supported AB 374 in the Assembly Government Affairs Committee. This bill, pushed by Assemblyman David Bobzien, came about because of threats by some rural counties to start charging local permitting fees and increasing costs for the Burning Man festival that comes to the Black Rock Desert every summer. This bill would prohibit any local government from interfering with a federally-licensed event on federal land. We strongly support this concept because of the enormous positive economic impact that Burning Man attendees have on our region.”

Some of the problem stems from the fact that Burning Man is held just over a county line; all the on-the-way spending done by burners takes place in Washoe county, but once you turn off to head to the playa, you're in Pershing county, and that's also when the ban on (most) commerce begins. So the county doing the legislating has no real financial stake in the festival continuing. So the local law gets to screw the neighboring county, threatening its one of its major source of economic activity and win points with the voters by harassing hippies.

The Man vs. the Man: Will Local Authorities Be Booted From Burning Man? (Thanks, M Otis Beard!)

Electroluminescent paint: like EL wire you apply with a brush

A company called Lumilor has announced a permanent electroluminescent paint that can be selectively illuminated by applying a charge to it. Burning Man attendees are already familiar with the ubiquitous, cheap EL wire, but this takes things to a new level:

The LumiLor TM electroluminescent coating system is a patent-pending, practical, durable and affordable technology that can be illuminated with a simple electrical current.

Used in conjunction with simple driver electronics, LumiLor will illuminate any surface brightly, and is capable of being custom-animated to flash in sequenced, strobed, and sound activated modes.

The potential for customization is practically limitless!

ABOUT LUMILOR (via JWZ)

Beautiful, cleverly fastened wooden sculptures from the architect for this year's Burning Man temple


M. Otis Beard writes, "Gregg Fleishman, the architect whose team was awarded the honorarium grant to build the Temple for Burning Man 2013 today, makes insane sculpture, furniture, toy cars, etc. out of single pieces of flat plywood, with no metal fasteners, joints, nails, or screws. Some of his pieces even incorporate wooden hinges and springs."

The 2013 Temple design is highly geometrical, and will be built using Fleishman’s patented connectors at each joint, capitalizing on the intrinsic strength of the arch at every opportunity in an interlocking jigsaw of triangles and pyramids. No nails, screws, or other metal connectors will be used at all. The gross form of the Temple will consist of a large central trussed pyramid, sixty-four feet tall and eighty-seven feet square, with four smaller satellite pyramids measuring twenty feet tall and twenty-nine feet at the base, intricately interlocked and ornamented in Fleishman’s signature style: Archimedes, Pythagoras, and R. Buckminster Fuller holding hands and enjoying some really good acid.

Temple Builders Revealed! (Thanks, M. Otis!)