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JRS VOLUME #12; ISSUE #10

Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 12, Issue #10
February 27, 2008

Howdy all, and welcome to our new subscribers! It's time once again for your dosage of the Jack Rabbit Speaks. Grab that comfy chair, settle in, and make yourself at home. There's Burnin' Man news afoot!

As the Burn approaches (yes, it does, get used to it), it's time to start figurin' out how you're going to participate, right? Right. As if on cue, we start this edition with our project registration questionnaires ... uncanny, isn't it?! Yep, they're now live and ready for you to register your theme camp, art installation or mutant vehicle for Burning Man 2008. Down below, we've got some words of advice (one could actually say gentle pre-emptive chiding) for those of you who will be registering a project this year.

To get you warmed up, and possibly get you inspired to participate, we've got some events on the horizon that you should check out if you're in the area. Our Burnal Equinox Flambe Lounge takes place on March 8 in San Francisco. In case you were wondering, the Burnal Equinox is the calendar date temporally equidistant between Burns. Yes, we're that dorky ... it's part of our charm. And the Black Rock Arts Foundation will be hosting a members' event at BMHQ on March 13; despite the name, all are invited ... definitely something you'll want to check out. And save the date for BRAF's Flip Your Lid fundraiser on April 17th ... details follow.

Moving onward and outward, things are hopping with the Outreach Network. Last weekend, nearly 100 regional contacts from around the world participated in our (now) annual Regional Leadership Summit. During this dauntingly-packed weekend of forums, lectures, break-out discussions and activities, they shared ideas, pooled resources, brainstormed solutions, and forged invaluable connections that will enable them to better represent the Burning Man ethos and support the Burners in their local communities. We were very excited to see everybody and have these dialogs, and the whole thing went smashingly. And as if that wasn't enough, we launched the brand new Regionals section of the website right there LIVE at the Summit. Check it out at http://regionals.burningman.com ... it's now global, just like us!

Speaking of global, the Burners Without Borders crew now has a blog so they can tell their ongoing story to the world. Currently, they're hard at work down in Pisco, Peru, helping out earthquake victims in what we will graciously call a "challenging environment". But don't take our word for it ... take theirs: http://blog.burnerswithoutborders.org ... and as always, if you'd like to donate or volunteer, they sure could use the help! I've cut and pasted a small sampling of their inspiring posts below ... you're going to want to read this, believe me.

Now, because you've been so good to us, we'd like to gift you a multi-media extravaganza, including photographs, audio and video. Shortcake was kind enough to send the Rabbits her photojournalistic documentary of the wonderful "A Cavallo" project (the carousel-like mutant vehicle, built in Brooklyn), and Lenny Jones graced us with his latest compilation of Burning Man videos. And in the audio category, Jane Heaven invited us to join her on her radio show on KPFA 94.1 FM in Berkeley to talk about Burning Man. The result was a nice hour-long chat about this year's Burn, upcoming art projects, the American Dream art theme, and the efforts of the Outreach Network. The link to the archived stream is below. Hope you enjoy.

Finally, we wrap up with a peek at what was the 2008 ticket launch ... and luckily it's a story with a happy ending! Yes, the ticket launch went swimmingly this year, we're very pleased to report. Did you get your ticket? Good. Now, have you ever wondered what the scene looks like at Burning Man Headquarters on that momentous day? Well, wonder no more. Read onward, as we give you a little glimpse into the ticket day festivities at BMHQ. And of course, there's bacon involved. Naturally!

Burn on, everybody.

-PQ (Associate Rabbit)

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LATEST NEWS:
+ PROJECT REGISTRATION QUESTIONNAIRES -- REGISTER YOUR PROJECT!!
+ BURNERS WITHOUT BORDERS LAUNCHES NEW BLOG
+ VIDEOS FROM LENNY JONES
+ A CAVALLO: A PHOTOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARY

EVENTS:
+ BURNAL EQUINOX 2008 FLAMBE LOUNGE - SAN FRANCISCO - MARCH 8
+ BLACK ROCK ARTS FOUNDATION MEMBERS EVENT - SAN FRANCISCO - MARCH 13
+ SAVE THE DATE -- BRAF'S 3RD ANNUAL FLIP YOUR LID FUNDRAISER - APRIL 17

AND MORE!:
+ 2008 TICKET LAUNCH: A GLIMPSE OF BMHQ ON PAJAMA DAY
+ BURNING MAN ON KPFA RADIO

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BURNING MAN PROJECT REGISTRATION QUESTIONNAIRES -- REGISTER YOUR PROJECT!!

If you're going to be creating an art installation, a mutant vehicle, or large scale theme camp, our project registration questionnaires are now available for you to start filling out.  Now, our placement team, art team and DMV work very hard to help you get your project onto the playa safely and efficiently, and you can do them a big favor in return.  What's that, you say? Well, I'll tell you:

Don't.  Procrastinate.

Who meeee? Yes, you, you slackers.  We know how it goes.  You wait 'til the last minute.  I know I know ...  I was in college too.  Slack slack slack slack ...  PANIC!! ALL NIGHTER!! GAH!! CRAM!! OK so yeah, don't do that, would ya? Help our folks spread out their workload by getting on it, and filling out your questionnaire as soon as you can.  They'll love you that.  much.  more.

Much appreciated.  For reals.

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BURNERS WITHOUT BORDERS LAUNCHES NEW BLOG

If you've been wanting to keep tabs on the ongoing activities of the Burners Without Borders crew, it's just been made easier for you! We've set up a new blog for them at http://blog.burnerswithoutborders.org/ and they've been posting to it from Pisco, Peru.  Here's just a snippet to pique your interest:

"This morning I joined the BWB crew working at a school for children aged 5-11 in the central market of Pisco, which gave me the opportunity to cry for all the best reasons.  The locals call the school Collegio Basura (Trash School), as this once served as the dump for all of the marketís detritus.  During the last 9 years, it has transformed into the only schools in Pisco with an ecological bent.  The schoolís director is actively teaching her teachers and students about recycling (which doesnít actually exist as such in Peru, outside of Lima), water management, sanitation, wise use of resources and organic gardening."

OK, now you want to go read it right? Thought so.  And while you're there, consider a donation to the hard-working, generous folks volunteering with BWB.

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VIDEOS FROM LENNY JONES

Long-time Burner and videographer extraordinaire Lenny Jones has posted a set of 6 videos from Burning Man 2007.  Quicktime, a high-speed connection, and parental discretion (not all of these are 100% work safe, yo) are recommended.  Check them out:

http://lennyjones.net/burn2007page/burn2007video2.html

Enjoy!

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A CAVALLO: A PHOTOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARY

Heather White writes:

"I'm a photojournalist who spent last summer documenting "A Cavallo," the carousel art car project funded by Burning Man (http://www.acavallo.org).  As a photographer, I documented the entire build process and journey -- from building in Brooklyn, driving cross-country to the playa, the carousel in action during the event, then the return trip home to Brooklyn.

The complete story of photos are online here: http://www.heatherwhitephoto.com/

I'd love to share our story with JRS readers and display the hard work and effort of the A Cavallo crew/project.  It was such an epic journey and great images as a result (thousands dancing at our stage for the Critical Tits afterparty! ...followed by the double rainbow!!).  A Cavallo made so many friends on the playa this first year, it would be great to share our story and keep the playa fires burning until next year.

Also, A Cavallo is now looking to book music acts for this year's burn.  We're looking for some kick ass rock stars to play our stage -- anyone interested should contact linus (at) acavallo (dot) org.  Thanks!

Dusty playa hugs,
Heather White
'Shortcake'"

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BURNAL EQUINOX 2008 FLAMBE LOUNGE - SAN FRANCISCO - MARCH 8

Whispered Dream: BURNAL EQUINOX 2008 Flambe Lounge!

March 8, 2008 - 8PM-4AM - 21+ w/ID
At: The Whisper Ultra Lounge
535 Florida St., between 18th St.  and Mariposa St.  SF
http://www.whispersf.com/maps.php
$15 Playa finery; $25 Street clothes
21+ over
Happy Hour Drink Specials from 8p-10p with early bird treats!
Food service available Whisper's Back Room Bistro!
No ins and outs at this venue.  Come early; stay late!

AND SO IT BEGINS...

At the midpoint between burns, we whisper our dreams into being.  Soon, the whispers grow to a chorus and our dreams will reinvent reality.

Come stir up the magical energy of Burnal Equinox again and dance to new dreams - for the playa, America, and the planet.  American Dream-inspired attire especially encouraged! This will be an intimate Flambe Lounge with plenty of dancing on two floors and an outside patio open all night.  The Rooftop Sky-Deck will also be open until Midnight.

Save the date...and pARTicipate!

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Burning Man is thrilled to put out the call to YOU to participate in creating our first Flambe Lounge of 2008!!

We particularly seek DJs, roving performers, small acoustic music acts for the outdoor spaces (no room for large bands at this one), and some theme camps, freestanding sculptures and wall art.  Whatcha got? Email flambelounge (at) burningman (dot) com right NOW!

We also need some volunteers to help with some shifts, including set-up, tear-down, and supporting the sound and visuals team.  Email firekitty (at) burningman (dot) com to join the do-ocracy!

This event came to us in a whispered dream.  Now we invite YOU to make Burnal Equinox 2008 a living dream of global proportions!

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BLACK ROCK ARTS FOUNDATION MEMBERS EVENT - MARCH 13

Black Rock Arts Foundation presents:

Elemental Interactions: Fire!
Physics, Art and Inspiration

In appreciation of our Members and Donors, we're pleased to offer a new series of informal talks and demonstrations with artists, scientists and community members.

Hosted by Crimson Rose - Art Director, Burning Man / Board Member, Black Rock Arts Foundation

Featuring ...

Paul Doherty - Renowned Physicist and Iron Science Teacher, San Francisco Exploratorium, http://www.exo.net/~pauld

Vatra Amidzich - Acclaimed Fire Dancer and Director of accomplished Burning Man Fire Conclave and performance troupe The Pyronaughts.  http://www.vatra.org

Members of the Flaming Lotus Girls - 2007 Black Rock Arts Foundation Grantees, Burning Man artists and of pioneers of large scale fire sculpture.  http://www.flaminglotus.com

We'll kick off our first evening of the series with dialogue around fire as a medium in art and dance.  Our guests will illuminate us with demos and discussions of the physics and chemistry of fire, the history of fire dance and the future of fire art.  The evening will end with a fire performance by Vatra!

Thursday March 13 at 6:30 pm
Burning Man Headquarters
1900 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94158

Black Rock Arts Foundation Members and Donors attend for free. A donation of $10.00 is suggested donation for non-members.

Stay tuned for our next Elemental Interactions event in June: Air

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SAVE THE DATE -- BRAF'S 3RD ANNUAL FLIP YOUR LID FUNDRAISER - APRIL 17

Black Rock Arts Foundation's Third Annual

FLIP YOUR LID!
Thursday, APRIL 17

Dust off your chapeau and embellish your noggin with your fanciest headwear for BRAF's annual hat-tipping, head-turning, hair-raising affair.

Join us in tipping our hats as we proudly honor:

* Mike Farrah
Director of Mayor Newsom's Office of Community Services

* REBAR
2007 BRAF grant recipients and creators of (PARK)ing Day

Flip Your Lid!
Thursday, April 17
supperclub san francisco
657 Harrison Street

Our last three events have SOLD OUT, so please get your tickets today!

For tickets, visit: http://www.donatetoblackrockarts.org/flyoli20.html

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BURNING MAN TICKET LAUNCH 2008: A GLIMPSE OF BMHQ ON PAJAMA DAY

We arrived at the Burning Man headquarters at 9:00am.  That's really early for us geeks, honestly, and particularly painful for a handful of the more nocturnal types in our crew.

But if there's one true thing about Burners, they're pretty smart.  Our bosses know that if you're going to try and get a geek in the office anytime before the crack of noon, you'll be much more successful by plying them with bacon, waffles, hash browns, and coffee.  But most importantly ...  bacon.

It was the third Wednesday in January ...  also known as Burning Man ticket launch day.  In years past, we've had some nightmarish scenarios on launch day, where participants, eager to acquire the cheapest tickets they could get, would descend upon our website all at once, absolutely crushing our ticketing partner's servers.  Between the confusion and frustration, mayhem would ensue ...  and the electronic bulletin boards would erupt with screaming posts from angry participants.

Two years ago in 2006, I was manning the Burning Man website from my home office.  As soon as tickets went on sale at 10am, all hell broke loose.  The deluge was so great that it actually overloaded the power circuits at the colo facility, taking all the ticketing servers down.  Still bleary eyed with sleep, I ended up locked at my computer dealing with the fallout for 12 hours straight ...  never got out of my pajamas, never got up to eat, get coffee, or even use the bathroom.  It was an absolute horror.  And as much as participants suffered through that day, the ticketing team suffered worse.

Since that day, we've worked hard with InTicketing (our ticketing partner), and made great strides towards improving the stability and flexibility of the servers to handle the massive load.  And most importantly, we did some social engineering ...  we created a queue that tells people where they are in line, so they can put their minds at rest, and know where they stand, rather than opening up browser window after window and hitting refresh until their fingers bleed.

In honor of the debacle that was the 2006 ticket launch, the whole Burning Man office staff now wears pajamas on ticket day, and we feast on a great (if nutritionally bankrupt) breakfast before we open the floodgates.  It makes for a wonderful scene around the office, people padding around in their jammies, hoovering waffles.

The team here at BMHQ keep in constant touch with InTicketing and our system administrators during the day through an uber-geeky chat application called Internet Relay Chat (or IRC, in the parlance).  The "topic" of the chat room this day was "Missing Apes Found Shaved." Theoretically, this should in no way affect the ticket purchasing experience itself, but one never knows.

We also keep in touch with our participants through Tribe, the ePlaya, and email, providing periodic updates and answers to technical questions that people were posting.  This effort is meant to unwind potentially catastrophic spirals of imagination ...  given a dearth of information, people always manage to conjure the worst case scenarios possible, and completely freak out.  Just a little status goes a long way to keeping everybody happy.

We're pleased to report that things cranked along quite nicely for ticket launch 2008.  By 11am, we'd processed 3,000 tickets.  By 11:30am, we'd processed 6,000.  The 10,000 tickets offered at the lowest price level ($210) were sold out by 1:00pm, and the 10,000 second level ($225) tickets by 7:00pm.  Even though the pace of sales was a little slower than last year, our ticket partner still kept a steady hand on the tiller, actively managing server load and bandwidth, opening the doors a little wider as the onslaught eased.

And as ticket day 2008 came to a close, we turned off the ticketing queue which staved the masses, Burners around the globe rejoiced in their promise of playa dust, and the pajama-clad Burning Man ticketing team went home for a well-earned night's rest.  Kudos to all involved.

Burn on, everybody ...  we'll see you on the playa.

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BURNING MAN ON KPFA RADIO

We were invited by Jane Heaven of KPFA Radio 94.1 FM in Berkeley (aka Berzerkeley) to come and talk about Burning Man on her show.  It was a very nice hour of conversation, and there's an archive of the stream here:

http://tinyurl.com/yu9xb8

The Burning Man chit-chat starts exactly one hour into the broadcast, and their audio format allows you to forward through the first hour if you so desire.  Thank you, Jane, for the generous invitation.

Enjoy!

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