Goddamn Hippies Watch


by Chris Bodenner

Burning Man began today. Photographer John Curley and his team will be documenting the desert debauchery on the Burning Blog. (Jealous.) If you're unfamiliar with the week-long phenomenon, here's a brief take from Wikipedia:

Burning Man is an annual event held in the Black Rock Desert, in Northern Nevada. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening. In 2008, 49,599 people participated in Burning Man. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance. Participation is encouraged.

A recent report on the playa (that's dry lakebed) after the jump:

[N]ot bad. Yes there are chunky areas. Yes there are areas that will force you off your bike. But in general, not bad at all. There is a surface crust of an inch or so in most places, with some patches, like the area above, a bit deeper than that. The surface is hard-packed right now, but obviously that's going to change when everyone gets here. Will there be dust? Yes there will be dust.

Bonus hippies: A video shot at Venice Beach of a topless protest staged by a UFO cult called  the Raelians (NSFW, obviously). One woman explains at length the difference between their group and the Scientologists.