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45 + 135 points

And God said, 'Let There Be a Little Less Light, Please' by Lincøln, Tricia Tanaka, anna one, Kyle Hamilton, Malaysian Eddy, Lank, Adam, GYØ Ben, Tøm, niallsb: Forevolution, GYØ Daryl, GYØ Vicki, Dax Tran-Caffee, Flea, praximity, GYØ Asslime., zer0gee, GYØ Katie, Secret Agent Squigs

April 2nd, 2008 9:42 AM

INSTRUCTIONS: Eliminate a source of public light pollution.

main_29-03-08201759526.jpgThe Ultimate Collaboration Team presents...

All over the world people turned off their lights from 8:00 to 9:00 PM in order to save energy and cut down on light pollution for a short while.
Here's how did our part.

anna one & Lank in SF

We decided to turn off the power to our whole apartment. See the video below, and enjoy the music while reading the rest of this task.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

(This video and accompanied music supplied by Lank, just Lank, all by himself. anna one takes no responsibility for the content of the above video. She also does not condone it. At all. Ugh. For those writing the SFØ trivia game, yes, that's the same candle from this task.)

After shutting off the lights, we lit some candles, got into bed, and...

played a board game!

board game

anna also took a picture of the street outside...
...we were the lone dark house on the street. Even the streetlights were still on.

Then at 9pm we turned the power back on but kept the lights off, as we went out for a drink to celebrate giving the world a little more darkness.

Adam Smythe's Experience

Turned out my lights at 8pm leaving only my laptop on and turning my TV, Radio and CD player off standby. I spent the hour browsing Flickr and getting on with the website I'm making. Most of the street turned off their lights but not my immediate opposites as you can see in this photo.

Much reduced light pollution. This was on a 6 second exposure and this scene is usually bathed in orange but today it was not the case and there is only a hint of orange on the horizon as most people's lights were off.

Minch Niddle's Experience

I doused the lights at 7:30... simply to watch the transition from dusk to dark completely. Unfortunately, I don't see much difference in the light pollution between tonight and any other... but my neighborhood does have a lot of street, restaurant, laundry mat light. What I can say is, with the lights out in my apartment, street watching takes on a new, and slightly sneaky form, I sort of like - in a non-creepy way.


Also, I finally got caught up on the podcast. Luckily they're long, so I could just click play and sit in the dark laughing.

Dax in Chicagø
I killed the lights in my apartment and biked over to a classmate's place for a house-"cooling" party. It was a small gathering of demure art students - we folded some tamales, set them to steam, then killed the lights, lit a roomfull of candles, and bitched about the iniquities of Chicago. Wonderful food, the most incredible horchata I have ever tasted, followed by truffles and the thickest Ibarra hot chocolate. Thanks EV for the exquisite party, and for having an Esperanto text book on the same shelf as Céline's Journey To The End Of The Night.

zer0gee in the dark

I got home from work at about 7:30 and ate dinner, since I decided I wouldn't use any electronic light source during EarthHour, including the refrigerator light. I turned off the lights at 8pm and spent the hour playing with my cats (I lit a couple of candles just so I could see enough not to step on them) and talking to my mom on the phone. I put my club clothes on at quarter to 9, since I was meeting Molotov to see some bands at 10 - I refrained from doing my hair and makeup until it was time to turn the lights back on. :) Other than having a quiet hour at home, I didn't really notice any effects, since most of my neighborhood seemed not to be participating.

Lincoln in Løs Angeles

I spent my Earth Hour in bed listening to the day's podcast on my battery powered lappy with candles burning. Which was a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours on a Saturday night.
Lincoln's real candles.
View of Lincoln's dark placeHere is a view of my place all blacked out, this first picture was taken with an insane long exposure, which makes it look like it's daylight, when in actuality it was very dark. There was a lot of cloud cover which probably explains both the extreme dark and the light in the picture coming from bounce.

View of Lincoln's dark placeAnd this second shot was taken with a regular exposure. which is a far better example of what it was like. You'll notice that all that was visible are those two strange lights up on the hill. It was nice being in the dark like that. And with the cloud cover there wasn't even moon or starlight.

I was so glad to have completed this task with a large bunch of other players because if I had done this alone, it would have been lame. Just me alone listening to a podcast does not make for good praxis. Although to make it a bit more exciting, I took down my electric candles that I normally use to light my place. I use christmas lights and electric candles as my only source of light in my room. I disconnected the electric candles and unplugged the christmas lights. I lit three candles and put on the podcast and laughed to myself in the dark, just like Minch Niddle was doing about 370 miles North. I also turned off every single thing that uses electricity, I turned off my power strips and everything. I found the whole experience rather enjoyable. But not much different from a regular night for me.

Flea's Experience
With my brother remaining in the house with me, I had to prepare for his wanderings...
Despite taking out all ten bulbs in the house, we stayed in the living room and watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in front of a burning fire which provided more than enough light to move about in easily.
That being said, going to the bathroom was an unpleasant experience...

GYØ Daryl's Experience

Before I start, I want to point out that I had to use a flash here, as
the problem was using a long exposure tine is only any good, if you
have any half decent source of light in the first place which I didn't.

I didn't prepare well I looked at the date at like 6 o'clock and thought, "Oh yeah I have to have the lights out for an hour in a bit" so for safety reasons I dug out an old torch for use in my bedroom. when the lights were off there was a small orangey glow from the street outside, but mostly stuff was 'just' visible, for some reason we have NO candles anywhere. And I also went with out my PC or TV as well, cause TBH they give off a lot of light as well.

I tried reading a book, and that failed

I tried making a cup of tea, (nearly burning myself) but that didn't taste to good, I couldn't see the colour properly and think that I didn't put enough milk in. (YAY for fridge light - a photo without flash)

In the end I got bored and just listened to music for the remaining 40mins.

et al in Berkeley

Funny story: the lights in my room do not actually work, save one desk lamp.
This is just what it looks like all the time.

As such, I felt it was necessary to simply unplug everything in my room.


I don't have much control over the light pollution in my area. The hallway lights outside my room, as well as the massive stadium lights illuminating the field outside, stayed on.
So my immediate habitus was still flooded with light as usual. I decided to climb a hill for some nasty perspective.

There were still massive amounts of light pollution. Less? It's difficult to say. I could even see Sutro Tower from my hill, its aircraft warning lights faintly blinking on and off.

Was this really how Earth Hour was going down? The same old mass of light pollution as always, minus maybe a few?

I wasn't going to leave it at that, though. I decided on some old fashioned neighborhood investigation. In residential zones that I found light pollution was down, overall.

But even there I found some pretty egregious light pollution.

People had christmas lights on outside! Really!

So, journey over, I headed back up to my room.

GYØ Vicki's Experience
It got to about half seven, so I started lighting the mass of candles in my room.
All was well, until my mum came home and blew out the candles and put the dining room light on *argh*. So I went upstairs and had a lovely candlelit bath =P
Here's one for Minch:

I was quite annoyed by the fact that most of my neighbourhood didn't seem to join in!

Melissa in the Night
At about 7.45 I searched for anything that resembled a non-electric light source. Harder to find than you might think.
Checked the time on the clock, then turned all the lights off. + shut my door - purely for effect as the landing light was on, grrr.

Just for "fun", father + brother appeared and flicked my light on and off. A beam of light from a torch (wind-up, of course) sent them away (+ probably blinded them ...) but anyway...

About 8.30, I attempted to read magazines and some articles were rather strange, I have to admit.
Then found a globe and thought how so many people were saving electricity ... NOT.
Because the lights were on everywhere else and my little cul-de-sac was glowing. Put on sunglasses + took a picture for the sake of it.
And that's about it to be quite honest - 9.15 and I turned them back on because arm was aching . =)

Tom's hour of dark pizza related fun

Having turned all the lights off in the house, I spent my hour trying to explain it to my family and turning lights back off after they insisted on them being on. Then I ate pizza. Pizza makes an hour go by oh so fast, so I kept them off for a good deal afterwards too.

The rest of my street didn't partake in the event, there were one or two houses in darkness but no more than usual. Most of them are hotels, so maybe that's why. Oh well, at least Camperdown saved one house worth of energy.

Eddy and the night
A friend came into town. We turned off the lights and walked out the door. My tasking on this event is pretty weak, but hey, I still remembered to turn out my lights and computer off before I left.


+ larger

FH: Lightswitch
FH: Lights out
FH: Lights out
AS: Lichfield Road
AS: Same scene in the day
AS: My bedroom
AS: So bright
AS: Me
actually much darker than it looks
about 8ish
so much street light
some people have their lights out, but only some
listening to the sfø podcast
Dax in Chicago
0g: zer0gee at zero hour
0g: powering down
0g: for kitty protection
0g: end of the hour
0g: my neighbors do not participate
Lincoln's experience.
Lincoln's electric candle
Lincoln's electric candles
Lincoln's real candles.
More of Lincoln's candles.
View of Lincoln's dark place
View of Lincoln's dark place
Flea's Lights
Flea's Fire
Me getting milk from fridge
Tea making
Street lights still on outside
GYØ Vicki - Candles!
For Minch Niddle
The time tbh .
Apparently Hugh Laurie aka. House is stupid ?
8.37 ...
on the hill.
A street of homes.
almost time!
what my room looks like all the time at dusk.
Lights were still on
Turn your lights out for Earth hour =)
Another interesting article
The Time is 8.00.

27 vote(s)

Favorite of:


collaborationbased, multicompletion

24 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by susy derkins on April 2nd, 2008 10:40 AM

Laptops and fridges and TVs on? A little less light allright, but a tepid EarthHour, IMHO.
We have power outages very often, so are used to doing a lot of EarthHours: sex, food, showers, talking, story time, phoning friends, stargazing, folding laundry, playing with pets, sleeping, tickling sessions, dishwashing and driving can be done fine with no electricity at all.
Put it in praxis or shut up! Please disregard, then. :)

(no subject)
posted by Adam on April 2nd, 2008 11:47 AM

Yes, I do apologise for the laptp but there is really nothing to do in the dark and it's also my only source of time in my bedroom so I wouldn't know when it was over. I probably should have turned it off.

(no subject)
posted by Minch on April 2nd, 2008 11:51 AM

Adam: I used my laptop too, to listen while the screen was sleeping (no light). Don't beat yourself up over it. I also used my camera, which runs on batteries... so one could argue either way on that one.

I do agree Susy, it would be much more impactful to sever all use of technology for a period of time - but I think that is a different task, perhaps not yet written.

stargazing, tickling sessions and story time are my favorite mentions :)

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on April 2nd, 2008 12:09 PM

I used my lappy as well. But I think the point of Earth Hour wasn't to do without electricity, it was to turn off your electric light, and I think that means AC current. I think nobody would have a problem with DC in conjunction with Earth Hour. As I don't believe anybody has a problem with the lighting of candles, which produces light. I know I and others turned off all of their AC power, I don't think that was the point. I think everybody involved in this pracksis did their jobs in reducing light pollution.

Now, comes the challenge of trying to do the same thing every day. Reduce your use of electricity as much as possible. Replacing light bulbs with candles is a good start. And there must be more ways to do this, creative ways. I replaced my heater with a good blanket, and my fans and air conditioner with some open windows and doors. I replaced my TV with books and I'm almost at the point where I can trade my car for a bike, but I'm not quite there yet. But I'm sure there are plenty of ways to make a creative difference.

I think that's what Earth Hour (and this task) wants of us. To get us to start (or continue) to think about it. Maybe someday, we'll all be able to shplank this. Maybe not just Earth Hour, but Earth Day, or Earth Month or Earth Life.

(no subject)
posted by Jellybean of Thark on April 2nd, 2008 5:54 PM

Everything's good with Teddy Pendergrass.

(no subject)
posted by done on April 3rd, 2008 2:47 AM

I also find that using batteries instead misses the point of such a project. It's about using less energy.(maybe not the task, but defenitly the earth hour)
I wonder if it's really so difficult to spend an hour without using energy, I'm gonna try tonight, no light no TV, laptop, music (just homemade music) and what's gonna be hardest: no heater!

(no subject)
posted by susy derkins on April 3rd, 2008 9:53 AM

The heater comment gave me deja vu...
Ah, right! Flitworth did it! Awesomely too!

(no subject)
posted by Minch on May 27th, 2008 5:59 PM

uhm. what's up with the spice votes?

(no subject)
posted by JJason Recognition on May 27th, 2008 6:10 PM

Evil spice robots. They appear to be voting for everything that Loki's done this error, having previously done the same for me and pucker unit op

(no subject)
posted by Minch on May 27th, 2008 6:42 PM

Evil spice robots... is that anything like the spice girls. If so, that's terrifying!

(no subject) +1
posted by teucer on May 27th, 2008 6:57 PM

I want to know more about Loki's error.

(no subject) +1
posted by susy derkins on May 27th, 2008 8:03 PM

An impossibility. Must be "era".

(no subject)
posted by GYØ Ben on May 28th, 2008 8:58 AM

No, susy, definitely error.

(no subject)
posted by Fonne Tayne on May 27th, 2008 9:32 PM

Dax, all you could think of was to break out the Esperanto book ?!

AAHHH!! [bad taste in mouth scrambles for cinnamon mints]

(no subject)
posted by Flea on May 31st, 2008 2:09 AM


sockpuppet votes!

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on May 31st, 2008 2:12 AM

This set of bots is after Tricia Tanaka (again).

(no subject)
posted by teucer on May 31st, 2008 2:14 AM

One of them has hit me as well. But only one, so my score is only inflated by 30 points at the moment.

(no subject) +4
posted by Loki on May 31st, 2008 2:28 AM

Oh come on, scienceguru. This is pathetic, even by your standards.

Do you really expect to bring down the game and teach us all a lesson by forcing Sean to delete a few hundred sockpuppet votes every week?

(no subject) +4
posted by Minch on May 31st, 2008 7:33 AM

Is Scienceguru really trying to bring down the game and teach us all a lesson?

What is so wrong with our community that we need a lesson, and our game needs to be brought to it's knees? Everyone in this bizarre world - and I'm talking the real world here, not SFØ - has an outlet, be it creative, political, radical, nurturing.. what have you. We choose to work and play together here and we hurt no one. So why is our chosen outlet being targeted? If you dislike our game, you do not have to play it, no one will make you... and if you dislike our game so very much that you feel the need to punish us... well, then, truthfully, I wish I could give you a hug and help you find your own outlet because obviously you need something to give this crazy world more meaning.

(no subject) -2
posted by Scienceguru on May 31st, 2008 9:38 AM

Er ... no.

That's to Minch's question.

What exactly are you talking about? Haven't been able to bring up the site in over a week.

Not that it matters much.

Sockpuppet votes? That's pretty funny.

Got nothing to do with me, though.

(no subject) +2
posted by Sean Mahan on June 1st, 2008 4:45 PM

Well, I tried emailing, and apparently the scienceguru address is fake, too. Would you care to enlighten us on what we've all been taught over the last few weeks, or should we just keep trading scripts back and forth?

(no subject) +3
posted by GYØ Ben on June 1st, 2008 2:25 AM

I'm tired of the sockpuppet voting now.

(no subject)
posted by praximity on June 3rd, 2008 11:01 AM

agreed. not fun.

(no subject) +1
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on June 1st, 2008 1:05 PM

I blame Rubin. It is clearly Rubin's doing.