The Man Burn 2018: Dancing the Embers

This year’s Temple Burn had to be postponed (to next Sunday, November 4, 2018) because Second Life was experiencing massive technical issues, but at least the Man Burn went well.  I’ll admit to some disappointment, however.   I always love filming it, but this year, it happened so fast that I didn’t film it at either burn.  However, the burning of the structure beneath The Man went well and provided an excellent setting for filming and photographing the dancing in the embers after the burn.  Some of these photos are below.

dancing in the embers
Peni (skydiverpeni.fall) (click to enlarge)
Dancing in the embers after the Burn
(click to enlarge)
Dancing in the embers after the Burn
(click to enlarge)
dancing in the embers
(click to enlarge)
Dancing in the embers after the Burn
(click to enlarge)

Burn2: Photos from Electric Sheep

Electric Sheep is one of the five sims in Burn2 this year.  The following are a few builds I’ve photographed.  There’s a lot more there to see than just these!

  1. I, Robot Main Stage

One of the official Burn2 stages where you can dance and catch performances.  Check the Burn2 event calendar at

I, Robot Main Stage
I, Robot Main Stage (click to enlarge)


2. R.U.R – Rossum’s Universal Robots by Vian Magic

This build is based on a 1920 Czech play, Rossum’s Universal Robots, in which the word “robot” was first used (although in today’s terms, they were more like androids).   In the play, a factory creates synthetic humans who at first work for real humans, but end up rebelling and wiping out humanity.  You can read about R.U.R.  in Wikipedia and you can read the entire play on the University of Adelaide website.

In Vian’s Burn2 build, Robots visit a Robot Museum to learn their origins.

R.U.R. - Rossum's Universal Robots
R.U.R. – Rossum’s Universal Robots (click to enlarge)


3. Grand Piano with Music Notes by Fuschia Nightfire   ( Man- Electric Sheep/150/110/25

A large, crystalline-seeming grand piano, with keys flowing off to the sides and musical notes hovering above.

grand piano with musical notes by Fuschia Nightfire
Grand piano with musical notes (click to enlarge)


4. Maxie Halpern Memorial by Pianoman (p1an0man) and Daark Gothly Man- Electric Sheep/37/106/25

A memorial to Maxie Halpern, who died on July 8, 2018.

Maxie Halpern
Maxie Halpern (click to enlarge)


5. Lost in Space by Lillith Loneraven (lillithslair Man- Electric Sheep/187/71/25

An extremely ambitious build that may be confusing for some.  You can find yourself in interesting, beautiful spaces, you can find hidden free gifts, or you may find yourself just lost in space.  This photo is of a  beautiful planet I found  on one visit, but never was able to find again.

Lost in Space
Lost in Space (click to enlarge)


There’s a lot more to see, so come and explore.

Burn2: Builds in the Time Machine sim

Burn2 ends in a few days with Burning the Man on this Saturday, October 27, 2018, and of the Temple on Sunday.  Builds will remain up for a few days after that, but there will be no more events.  Visit now!

In this post, I’m presenting some photos from Time Machine, one of the five sims in the Burn2 Playa.  These are only a few of the builds you’ll see there.

Click any image to see an enlargement.

#1. Dig #64 The Cavern  Club Man- Time Machine/60/21/25

The year is 2164 AD.  Androids have taken over and humans are gone, but android society is breaking down.  They realize that humans had something essential that androids do not have: culture, so androids are now digging up old centers of human culture, seeking the culture they themselves have not known.  This site is dig #64, at Matthew Street in Liverpool, England, the site of the old Cavern Club , where androids are uncovering music of the 1960s.

Dig #64
Dig #64 (click to enlarge)

#2. XD Robotics: An exploration of RobARTics by Daark Gothly & Xiija Man- Time Machine/106/20/25

Humans of all classes are scanned and enter a processor from which they emerge as robots.

XD Robotics
XD Robotics  (click to enlarge)


#3. World Robots Wrestling League by Slatan Dryke Man- Time Machine/110/224/25

Two wrestlers, El Santo (prim) and The Gravedigger (mesh) face each other.

World Robots Wrestling League
World Robots Wrestling League  (click to enlarge)


#4. Deep Thought by Dorie Bernstein Man- Time Machine/46/125/25

Colorful raw 1’s and 0’s get processed and poured monochromatically into waiting goblets.

Deep Thought  (click to enlarge)


#5. Boxanne: Rusty robots and wild art on the playa by Elle Thorkveld Man- Time Machine/62/71/25

Boxanne, Rusty robots and wild art on the playa
Boxanne, Rusty robots and wild art on the playa  (click to enlarge)

#6. The Man

The Man of course is the reason we are all here.  On Saturday October 27, 2018 he will burn twice, after Lamplighter processions that begin at 10am and 4pm SLT.  During the Burn itself and the hour or so leading up to it, only authorized personnel will be allowed in the sim.

The Man
The Man (click to enlarge)

Burn2: Dancing at the Temple

I’ve been too busy this week to write, so here are some photos of the Temple in this week’s Burn2 (Burning Man in Second Life).

If you do only one thing at Burn2 this week, be sure to come and dance with the Lamplighters at the Temple (full disclosure: I am a Lamplighter Elder).  Lamplighters leave Lamplighter Village in a procession at about noon and 6pm SLT (Second Life Time) today, Thursday, and Friday and arrive at the Temple about 15 minutes later.  You can teleport to Lamplighter Village at Man- Deep Hole/140/128/25 and you can teleport to the Temple at Man- Dont Panic/167/95/25

The Temple is the spiritual heart of  Burn2. A tradition there for nearly two decades has been for people to leave special thoughts in the Sensor, such as prayers for people in their lives they have lost.  On Sunday, the last day of Burn2, the prayers and thoughts will be read aloud as the Temple burns to the ground to end the festival.  The Sensor is on the Temple’s second floor.

Lamplighter procession leaving Lamplighter Village on way to the Temple
Lamplighter procession leaving Lamplighter Village on way to the Temple
The Temple, created by Daark Gothly

Dancing at the  Temple – everyone is welcome to join in

Octoburn is coming

Burn2’s big annual festival begins in Second Life in just two weeks.  It’s been two years since I posted anything here – that’s far too long, so I’m restarting the blog.

Since I haven’t been posting here for a few years, you may not know my background.  I’ve been a Burn 2 Ranger and Lamplighter since 2009 and I’ve been active in SL since 2004.  I wrote an column about SL for many years until that news website folded.

I also produce machinimas.  While you’re waiting for Burn2, here’s the URL of my YouTube machinima playlist, which contains machinimas from past Burn2 events.


From the Archives: M2Danger Ranger tells campfire tales of ships in the desert

(I originally published this article on on April 28, 2012)

Avatars seated around a campfire on the dry caked mud of a Second Life® virtual desert listened in rapt attention yesterday as the legendary M2Danger Ranger recounted tales of the great ships that once plied the Nevada playa during Burning Man festivals of days past.

M2DangerRanger telling campfire tales
M2DangerRanger telling campfire tales

It was the kind of storytelling that was the only history most humans knew before a few centuries ago. Blogs and videos have been around for only a few decades. Film is only a century old. For a few centuries before film, privileged humans got their history from books, at least those humans who could afford the books and were literate enough to read them, and before that, from even rarer scrolls, parchments, and carved tablets. For the rest of human existence, history came mostly from the tales of elders who had experienced it themselves or who knew the tales of those who had.

This oldest form of history telling is what we experienced yesterday, sitting around the digital flames of that virtual campfire, avatar hands clutching sticks with roasting marshmallows that we could never taste, but with Danger’s tales of great events of Black Rock playa’s past sparking our imaginations. Of course it wasn’t the same as sitting around a physical fire – I’ve lit enough campfires to know the difference – but it was nonetheless real. This is the emerging reality of post twentieth century human life, when virtual and physical cease being opposites and begin in baby steps to converge.

This reporter won’t divulge the text of the stories M2Danger Ranger told yesterday. You need to hear them yourself, while sitting around a crackling campfire. If you want to hear the stories, find Danger at a campfire. It doesn’t matter whether the fire is virtual or physical. You’ll find him there. The stories he recounted told of glorious “ships” such as La Contessa, a great wooden sailing ship that drove around the desert and ended in a great pyre that could be seen for miles, a fiery end worthy of a Viking funeral (you can see a photo of La Contessa here). Another tale was of Temporal Decomposition, a six foot diameter desert ice ball embedded with clock components (see it here) that met its match in the Vegomatic of the Apocalypse (photo here).

A virtual campfire can’t replace a physical one – I love being with friends in the darkness around the warmth of a hot, crackling fire – but that doesn’t make the virtual campfire any less real. The virtual campfire allows us to be with friends we could never meet otherwise and to experience things we could never experience in the physical world. That’s what’s wonderful about occurrences like M2Danger Ranger’s storytelling at the campfire yesterday. It brought both worlds together and allowed those of us present to experience storytelling as humans and prehumans experienced it for millions of years.

Yesterday’s storytelling was part of Burn2’s Occuplaya festival, which continues through Sunday night  with live music performances, DJ’s, Lamplighter processions every night at 7pm, and creative exhibits. Second Life members can visit Occuplaya today and tomorrow by clicking Lamplighters will assemble for their procession at 7pm at  Everyone is welcome to dance and drum with the Lamplighters.