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The Burning Man flood gave life to "dinosaurs" 🦐🦖

Plus: Imagine a car-free Lombard Street.


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With nearly an inch of rain flooding the Nevada desert in less than a week, three-eyed “dinosaurs” and shrimp as long as a human hand were popping up in temporary pools during this year’s Burning Man festival.

The scene that unfolded at this year’s Burning Man was apocalyptic; it also doubled as a sliding glass window into our future defined by the climate crisis. The unusual late-summer storm brought nearly an inch of rain — at least 0.8 inches, to be exact — from Friday to early Saturday morning. This rainfall amount is what the arid area normally receives over the course of two to three months.

Thankfully, the conditions cleared earlier Monday, and the enacted shelter-in-place order was lifted at 2 p.m., creating a mass exodus of attendees. Satellite footage published in Axios shows a long line of hundreds of vehicles feeling the sudden swampland in search of drier ground.

(FYI: Burning Man is hosted on the prehistoric Lake Lahontan, a dry lakebed — colloquially known as “the playa.” The arid AF ground of the playa is made up of alkaline dust, which can cause a niche coughing condition known as “playa lung” that usually resolves in a few days or weeks once outside the empty lake.)

To say that COVID is over is not just remissive, dishonest, and utterly tone-deaf, it’s a dangerous falsehood to purport. It allows room for negligence around public health edicts, as well as offers opportunities to devalue ongoing work around the disease conducted by experts in the field. The tainted outcomes from expressing such a fallacy largely depend on what pulpit, digital or otherwise, it’s spoken from, as well as who is uttering said delusion.

Though the festival ended on September 4th, officials urged attendees to delay travel until Tuesday, September 5th, if possible. For some, they got to see one of nature’s most resilient, haunting subsets of creatures that date back 220 million years: vernal pool shrimp, specifically tadpole and fairy shrimps.


What if we took cars off the most crooked road in the world? 🚗❌ 
Car-free street corridors sprouted up across the city during the pandemic. They grew in popularity; they became subjects of controversy and morphed into political topics. As of publishing, seventeen of these automobile-less swaths of road remain — much less than the twenty-five that were created and maintained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But what if we expanded this idea of embracing San Francisco’s innate micro-mobility and density? What if we say, reimagined a portion of Lombard Street, the part often called the “most crooked street in the world,” sans vehicles?

It’s an urbanistic wet dream, frankly. However, said vision was recently conjured in an image posted by X user [at]VladSF.


It's been a big week for CA's state legislature 🍄🏳️‍⚧️
This week alone, the California Assembly passed its psychedelics decriminalization bill (SB 58), which will head to the Senate for a final sign-off, and State Assemblymember Matt Haney announced that CA will recognize every August going forward as Transgender History Month — a first in the nation.

The latter is yet another example of how SF foreshadows political shifts in California (and the nation, for that matter); San Francisco declared it would honor Transgender History Month in 2021.

The Burning Man Flood Brought to Life These Prehistoric Creatures

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Sachin Agarwal, who co-founded GrowSF in 2020 with Steven Buss — both of whom now co-own The Bold Italic — wrote in a now-deleted post on X early Thursday that “Covid is over,” never mind that COVID-19 cases have spiked across the country, including right here in San Francisco. Keep Reading

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