What Burning Man Has in Common With a South Pacific Islander Cult

This week is Burning Man, when your quiet downstairs neighbor with the amber-lensed glasses takes off for the Nevada desert wearing less clothing than Miley Cyrus at the VMAs (but surrounded by the same ratio of plushies). Each year Burning Man has a theme beyond the overarching Will-Trade-Glowsticks-for-Molly, and… » 8/30/13 11:00am 8/30/13 11:00am

The Best and Worst Gear for Nine Days in a Dust Storm

This year I acted as an embedded reporter at Burning Man, a place of extreme temperatures, high winds, and white-out dust storms. The ultra-fine alkaline dust is hell on gear—so it'd seem like a good place to test some rugged stuff out, right? » 10/09/12 4:20pm 10/09/12 4:20pm

The Next Industrial Revolution Starts in this 20-foot Shipping…

» 9/13/12 3:40pm 9/13/12 3:40pm

The guys at Re-Char, a small startup that makes carbon-negative products, were faced with a problem. They wanted to ship products to Kenya, but the options available were wasteful, costly, and not nearly as efficient as simply manufacturing near to the customers. To do it, in a place with little industry or… » 9/13/12 3:40pm 9/13/12 3:40pm

This Drone Aircraft Could Save Lives

» 9/07/12 3:40pm 9/07/12 3:40pm

We generally hear about drone aircraft killing people in war zones. But there's a reverse side to that narrative—an autonomous copter can drop medicine and supplies to people stranded after a natural disaster even when roads have been demolished. A humanitarian group called Ideate recently tested drones' viability… » 9/07/12 3:40pm 9/07/12 3:40pm

Why Burning Man Is Just a Giant Chatbot Festival

Remember those amazing chatbots that talked about unicorns, God, and got a little flirty? As xkcd astutely observes, there's only one other place on Earth you can find that combination of philosophy and disorientation: the Black Rock Desert, last weekendish. » 9/07/11 9:00am 9/07/11 9:00am