The Daily Render

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A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future

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Federal Triangle Quilt
|| 1/14/2008 || 5:20 pm || Comments Off on Federal Triangle Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Federal Triangle Quilt

Around the time that I made the Google Earth layer featuring the map of 109 brothels within sight of the White House, I downloaded the imagery to make a few follow-up maps. Since the source aerial photography has such high spatial resolution (6 inches per pixel), the area shown in the map is quite limited. It features: the John A. Wilson Building (the DC City Hall), the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, the I.R.S. Building, Department of Commerce buildings, Old Post Office, and my favorite landmark, Freedom Plaza. And because Freedom Plaza is laid out in the form of a map of DC, this map actually contains numerous maps of DC (but how many?).

Due to my research related to Google’s censorship of downtown Washington, DC, I can claim that this map features newer imagery that one cannot see on the current version of Google Maps or Google Earth.

View the Google Map of Federal Triangle in downtown Washington, DC.

View Rendering Details:

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Mercury is nigh [flyby stimuli]
|| || 12:51 am || Comments Off on Mercury is nigh [flyby stimuli] || ||

According to Astroprof’s Page:

The MESSENGER spacecraft is now nearly to Mercury. It will pass the planet on Monday, January 14, 2008, at about 1:05pm, Central Standard Time.

MESSENGER (the MErcury Surface, Space Environment, GEochemistry and Ranging spacecraft) is the first space probe to visit Mercury since Mariner 10 last passed that planet in 1975, over three decades ago. Technology and instrumentation have come a long way since then. MESSENGER is far more capable than Mariner 10 ever could have been. Furthermore, MESSENGER aims to do something that Mariner 10 never did: MESSENGER, after several flybys, will enter orbit around Mercury. Mariner 10 only flew past three times. MESSENGER will pass closest to Mercury tomorrow, and then again 266 days later, on October 6, 2008. This is important, because it is about 4.5 Mercury rotations. That means that on the second flyby, MESSENGER will see the opposite side of Mercury lit than the one lit on the first flyby. When Mariner 10 flew past, each time by was almost 3 exact rotations later, so nearly the exact same side of Mercury was lit each time by. As a consequence, half of Mercury could never be seen by Mariner 10. And, not even all of the side lit by the Sun was imaged, so less than half of Mercury has been photographed and mapped. MESSENGER will not have this problem. The MESSENGER website has several animations that show the launch, trip across the solar system, and approach for the spacecraft.

Read more here & here.

Watch the flyby animation of Mercury in HD [quicktime]

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[Sunday Selections] Nickodemus DJ set from Power to the Peaceful Festival {9.8.07}
|| 1/13/2008 || 1:21 pm || Comments Off on [Sunday Selections] Nickodemus DJ set from Power to the Peaceful Festival {9.8.07} || ||

photo from the Power to the Peaceful Festival website

••••Nickodemus of Wonderwheel Recordings: Live at Power to the Peaceful Festival (2007) [right click to download] More information from Art Radio.

The flip side of the ESL110 (graphic on right) has a very good remix of Supreme Illusion by Nickodemus. He and Quantic produced the tune on Apple’s summer iTunes commercial “Mi Swing Es Tropical.” This DJ set is from Michael Franti‘s Power to the Peaceful Festival in San Francisco. After listening to it, I found that I really enjoyed the closing track the most [80 second clip mp3]. I’ll post the track ID when I get it. Enjoy dem riddems.



The Grand Design Lenz Quilt
|| || 11:20 am || Comments Off on The Grand Design Lenz Quilt || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 6,000 :
The Grand Design Lenz Quilt

Using the elements from the Lenz Projection I was able to magnify portions of a tessellated Messier 101 Pinwheel Galaxy (a grand design galaxy) to create this fine celestial perspective.

Read more about this project here.

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6 Years of the Guantanamo Gulag
|| 1/12/2008 || 1:43 pm || Comments Off on 6 Years of the Guantanamo Gulag || ||

Screen Grab from the AFP via Google News

I was contracted by Pax Christi, a catholic workers group, to provide sound for a demonstration at the Supreme Court on Friday. It was the 6th anniversary of America’s illegal detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

More pictures added below

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Curbed LA – Downtown Derricks
|| 1/11/2008 || 9:52 pm || Comments Off on Curbed LA – Downtown Derricks || ||

Screen Grab from Curbed LA

It looks like my ‘oil slick’ overlay of downtown Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Interchange Series are getting some exposure.

Some day I’d like to have the entire series printed and hung in Los Angeles and maybe include a gilded bicycle [ha!]. I wonder why there isn’t a Curbed DC yet?



Messier 101 Mandala [birth/death of a star]
|| || 6:22 pm || Comments Off on Messier 101 Mandala [birth/death of a star] || ||

: saved at 12,000 X 12,000 :
Messier 101 Mandala

It was originally rendered at the normal size (216mp), but I decided to cut the center out and use the circular Mandala layout. Being that its my first use of tessellated space I decided to use an archetype that represents rebirth.

Read more about this project here

View Details:

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Carte du Telegraphe Optique [dans l’hexagone]
|| 1/10/2008 || 10:21 pm || Comments Off on Carte du Telegraphe Optique [dans l’hexagone] || ||

Undated Map of Optical Telegraph Stations in France
Courtesy of Low-Tech Magazine via Ecole Centrale de Lyon

E-mail in the 18th Century

Centuries of slow long-distance communications came to an end with the arrival of the telegraph. Most history books start this chapter with the appearance of the electrical telegraph, midway the nineteenth century. However, they skip an important intermediate step. Fifty years earlier (in 1791) the Frenchman Claude Chappe developed the optical telegraph. Thanks to this technology, messages could be transferred very quickly over long distances, without the need for postmen, horses, wires or electricity.

The optical telegraph network consisted of a chain of towers, each placed 5 to 20 kilometres apart from each other. On each of these towers a wooden semaphore and two telescopes were mounted (the telescope was invented in 1600). The semaphore had two signalling arms which each could be placed in seven positions. The wooden post itself could also be turned in 4 positions, so that 196 different positions were possible. Every one of these arrangements corresponded with a code for a letter, a number, a word or (a part of) a sentence.

The other day I found this tremendously enlightening article about optical telegraphs on Low-Tech Magazine. Prior to reading this article I had no idea about this arcane method of communication. The authors supplied a map (above) to really drive home how extensive this system was.

Something that I think few people do when surfing through Wikipedia is to check the articles in other languages. It’s really easy to do and the results tend to be very useful. For words that have equivalent spellings, all one has to do is change the URL’s prefix (fr to en). For words that have different spellings (telegraph vs télégraph) you will have to correct this spelling in order for the entry to show up.

For example, the French entry on telegraphe yields quite a bit more information related to the use of semaphores (the object used to construct the optical telegraphic code) than the English entry on telegraphs.

Below is a carte of the semaphoric number system and an engraving of Mont St. Michel with a semaphore at the top. Both images obtained from the French wikipedia.

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Tessellated Space
|| 1/9/2008 || 1:13 pm || Comments Off on Tessellated Space || ||

The Messier 101 Pinwheel Galaxy photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope
Courtesy of the European Space Agency & NASA

Back in October, Georgetown English professor Mimi Yiu gave a presentation at conference called Defining Space in Dublin, Ireland. The title of her presentation was “The Virtual Fabric of Tessellated Space: Nikolas Schiller’s Geospatial Art as Map, Quilt, and Arabesque.” I mention this because my next project uniquely involves tessellated space.

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Syndicated in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution & ABC News
|| 1/8/2008 || 9:33 pm || Comments Off on Syndicated in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution & ABC News || ||

Screen grab from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Teresa Mendez article from the Christian Science Monitor was syndicated on Sunday, December 23rd, 2007 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to wikipedia, Sunday’s circulation is a little over 500,000 papers and this article appeared right before Christmas (when there are a lot of house guests). Unlike David Montgomery’s article, Teresa’s was not edited very much upon syndication, but her’s is a shorter article in wordage.

A couple weeks ago I spotted the article syndicated on the ABC News website (screen grab below), but I still don’t know how the article was ultimately used. It was written for newspapers and ABC News is broadcast news, so did it appear on a TV segment? I doubt it. ABC News probably just paid to have the article syndicated on their website to get more advertising dollars.

For both ABC News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the editors included my URL in the story, but unlike the Christian Science Monitor article, neither hyper-linked the URL, so I don’t know how many direct visitors my website received because of the article’s syndication. This is very annoying and I wished the web editors of the respective news organizations would do a better job with their on-line articles.

Regardless, what I like best about this syndication is that while the Christian Science Monitor article contains a 90 second audio report by the author, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a robot that will read the entire article for you.





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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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  • thank you,
    come again!