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Vacation
|| 6/29/2008 || 10:06 am || Comments Off on Vacation || ||

I just realized that I never published this entry before I went on vacation from both the daily entries to this blog and out of the DC area. Often I write entries to this blog and keep it private until I am ready to publish it. This allows me to refine the content before it’s captured for eternity by search engines. I am back dating this entry to the date it was supposed to appear. I should resume activity sometime in late July…



YouTube Has Chosen For You! – Digital Scrapbooking Explicit Bipartisanship
|| 6/28/2008 || 5:55 pm || Comments Off on YouTube Has Chosen For You! – Digital Scrapbooking Explicit Bipartisanship || ||

Last month I snail mailed a letter to YouTube citing the fact that their political page was being explicitly partisan and did not include any third party politicians running for president. I have yet to receive a written reply. Instead YouTube gave the page’s layout a makeover, but still left out 3rd party presidential candidates. To document this flagrant bipartisanship, I decided to take a screen shot every day I was on-line this month.

Below you’ll see the candidates YouTube has tacitly endorsed during the month of June:

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This week is the four year anniversary of my geospatial art
|| 6/27/2008 || 5:27 pm || Comments Off on This week is the four year anniversary of my geospatial art || ||

Random geospatial art from somewhere on this website

This week marks the fourth year anniversary of when I started to publish my geographic designs on a this website. In the time since, which feels like only yesterday, I’ve published over 750 different creations on this website, which amounts to nearly 2,500 different image details. At first I started creating them partly as a quest for self-discovery and partly as a reaction to the fact that I was not able to graduate from college due financial circumstances. I wanted to document what I had learned, produced, researched, and published while on permanent sabbatical. After witnessing how my old housemate had to deal with on-line strangers on her now-defunct blog, I decided to do something that no other blogger had ever done before, I chose to keep the contents of my website hidden from web crawlers and subsequently, most strangers. This kept this website off the map of the internet for nearly 4 years. Only recently in March of this year, exactly one year after an internationally syndicated article was published about this website, did I open my website up to the dreaded robots. I don’t know where this year will lead me, but I’m glad I’ve made enough maps to point me in the right direction.

Check the aggregate listings: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.



The Millbank Penitentiary, the Tate Britain, and the Panopticon
|| 6/26/2008 || 4:20 pm || Comments Off on The Millbank Penitentiary, the Tate Britain, and the Panopticon || ||

Detail of Smiths New Map of London (1860)
Courtesy of the Library of Congress Geography & Mapping Division


The other night I was browsing the antique maps on the in American Memory Collection map stumbled upon Smith’s New Map of London (1860). As I was looking at 19th century London, I came across the geometrically shaped building that look surprisingly like some of the mashed-up buildings in my maps (see map detail above).

The building was known as the Millbank Penitentiary and was designed by William Williams in 1812 in accordance with the utilitarian principles laid down by Jeremy Bentham‘s Panopticon prison design. This radial design would allow the guards to monitor all the prisoners at all times, without any prisoner being aware of whether he/she was being monitored or not. Akin to today’s closed circuit television cameras, the Panopticon design is still used today in many prisons around the world.

Peter McRorie Higgins describes the Millbank Penitentiary extensively in The Scurvy Scandal at Millbank Penitentiary: A Reassessment:

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New York Public Library Quilt
|| 6/25/2008 || 7:50 pm || Comments Off on New York Public Library Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

This fractal octagon quilt projection map was recursively rendered four times before the final result above. It took approximately two hours for each rendering to complete and then each tessellation was sampled while maintaining the source spatial integrity. Altogether this map took about 12 hours of rendering time and post-processing time to complete. I intend on printing this out for the upcoming lecture.

View the Google Map of the area around the New York Public Library in New York City.

: detail :

View the rest of the details:

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Dalai Lama: “If you have a Green Party I want to join it”
|| 6/24/2008 || 12:45 pm || Comments Off on Dalai Lama: “If you have a Green Party I want to join it” || ||

About 2 minutes into the video the 14th Dalai Lama asks if America has a Green Party and if so he would want to join it. Made me smile :-) Read more about his remarks here.



Definitely not Comcastic
|| 6/23/2008 || 1:12 pm || Comments Off on Definitely not Comcastic || ||

For the last two weeks the internet has been down at my house. This makes it nearly impossible to do daily blog entries. I hope to get back to the regular routine once the internet is back up….



Wale Versus WALL-E [via youtube doubler]
|| 6/13/2008 || 5:21 pm || Comments Off on Wale Versus WALL-E [via youtube doubler] || ||

click to view the mashup

I downloaded Wale’sMixtape About Nothing” the other day and it occurred to me that Disney has a cartoon coming out that had a similar spelling of the main character. This mashup features Wale’s video called “Uptown Roamers” and on the right is Pixar’s trailer for the upcoming animated feature film called WALL-E. The cartoon’s main character looks a bit too much like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit (1986). I doubt I’ll be seeing the movie, but I’m enjoying Wale‘s newest mixtape.

Click here to download Wale’s “A Mixtape About Nothing”. Click here to read a great review of the mixtape.

View more screen grabs:

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In Praise of a Contented Mind / My Mind to me a Kingdom is
|| 6/12/2008 || 12:19 am || Comments Off on In Praise of a Contented Mind / My Mind to me a Kingdom is || ||

Edward de Vere – 17th Earl of Oxford
from an engraving by J. Brown after G.P. Harding 1575
via Wikipedia


In Praise of a Contented Mind
My mind to me a kingdom is;
Such perfect joy therein I find
That it excels all other bliss
That world affords or grows by kind.
Though much I want which most men have,
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely pomp, no wealthy store,
No force to win the victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,
No shape to feed each gazing eye;
To none of these I yield as thrall.
For why my mind doth serve for all.

I see how plenty suffers oft,
How hasty climbers soon do fall;
I see that those that are aloft
Mishap doth threaten most of all;
They get with toil, they keep with fear.
Such cares my mind could never bear.

Content I live, this is my stay;
I seek no more than may suffice;
I press to bear no haughty sway;
Look what I lack my mind supplies;
Lo, thus I triumph like a king,
Content with that my mind doth bring.

Some have too much, yet still do crave;
I little have, and seek no more.
They are but poor, though much they have,
And I am rich with little store.
They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lack, I leave; they pine, I live.

I laugh not at another’s loss;
I grudge not at another’s gain;
No worldly waves my mind can toss;
My state at one doth still remain.
I fear no foe, nor fawning friend;
I loathe not life, nor dread my end.

Some weigh their pleasure by their lust,
Their wisdom by their rage of will,
Their treasure is their only trust;
And cloaked craft their store of skill.
But all the pleasure that I find
Is to maintain a quiet mind.

My wealth is health and perfect ease;
My conscience clear my chief defense;
I neither seek by bribes to please,
Nor by deceit to breed offense.
Thus do I live, thus will I die.
Would all did so as well as I!



Last night I was adding some new books to my shelves and decided to look at my old copy of the Norton Anthology of English Literature. I opened it up, turned a few pages and stumbled on to In Praise of a Contented Mind. It’s anonymous poem most commonly attributed to Edward Dyer but according to Norton, it was possibly written by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (painting above). According to the Oxfordian Theory, some believe that Edward de Vere was the poet who’s pseudonym was Shakespeare. I hold the opinion that Shakespeare was most likely a group of nobles who collaborated together to write under the pseudonym of Shakespeare because their status as nobles prevented their official authorship.

In 1588 William Byrd set the poem to music in Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs of Sadness and Piety, as “My Mind to me a Kingdom is.” This version (below) is attributed to Sir Edward Dyer and includes some modification to the original prose.



My Mind to me a Kingdom is
My minde to me a kingdome is,
such perfect joy therin I find,
That it excells all other blisse,
which God or Nature hath assign’d.
Though much I want, that most would have,
yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely port nor welthie store,
no force to winne a victorie,
no wyly wit to salve a sore,
no shape to winne a loving eye:
to none of these I yeld as thrall,
for why my minde despise them all.

I see that plentie surfeits oft,
and hastie clymbers soonest fall:
I see that such as are a loft,
mishap doth threaten most of all:
these get with toyle and keepe with feare,
such cares my minde can never beare.

I presse to beare no haughtie sway,
I wish no more then may suffice:
I doe no more than well I may,
look what I want my minde supplies,
loe thus I triumph like a King,
my minde content with any thing.

I laugh not at anothers losse,
nor grudge not at anothers gaine:
no worldly waves my minde can tosse,
I brooke that is anothers bane:
I feare no foe nor fawne on friend,
I loth not lyfe nor dread mine end.

My wealth is health and perfect ease,
and conscience cleere my chiefe defence,
I never seeke by brybes to please,
nor by desert to give offence:
thus doe I live, thus will I dye,
would all did so as well as I.



The score was mass produced as a broadside where it remained popular for over 100 more years. According to google, this posting is between the 15th and 30th mention of this poem on the internets.


click below to download a PDF of the score:


Related Poetry Entries:

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The Trilingual Afghan Calendar
|| 6/11/2008 || 7:50 pm || Comments Off on The Trilingual Afghan Calendar || ||

Last night I had someone from Pakistan query Google with the sentence “i want to see gregorian calendar 1387,” and the third result was my Zodiac link. After “reverse searching” the query I found this calendar for the year 1387 written in Dari, Pashto & English.

The following text was copied from the author, Emal Alekozai (thank you!) I will note there are some formatting issues with the tables, so bear with me.

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Madison Square Garden Quilt
|| 6/10/2008 || 6:17 pm || Comments Off on Madison Square Garden Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Using my new procedure, I pre-rendered 2 tiles to create this third derivative map of Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan. It looks very similar to Hirshhorn Quilt (they are both circular buildings) but they are composed of aerial photographs taken at different spatial scales. The NYC imagery has been downsampled to 2ft per pixel compared to DC’s imagery which is at 6 inches per pixel or a difference of about 16 times less detail (I think). Up next will probably be the New York Public Library, which was actually in the first tessellation, but dropped from the second.

View the Google Map of Madison Square Garden in New York City.

: detail :

View the rest of the details:

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The Dr. Bill Show!
|| 6/9/2008 || 9:00 pm || Comments Off on The Dr. Bill Show! || ||

I’ve been at odds with DC Vote for years. While we are on the same side regarding the importance of congressional representation for DC residents, I’ve been quite dissatisfied with their approach toward bringing true equality. As an ardent supporter of statehood, I’ve been annoyed that DC Vote has been a puppet of the Democratic Party and has wantonly gone after partial representation instead of full representation.

Last year I modified their logo to create a 1/3 fraction because of their support for the constitutionally dubious Norton-Davis bill that would give DC a token vote in the House of Representatives, but no representation in the Senate, or 1/3 representation. This was followed up by a nice phone call from the executive director of the organization asking me nicely to not screw around with their copyrighted logo (free speech rules!). I even created multiple designs of the DC Flag that had only one out of the three stars filled in to show my fractional contempt. However, my best creation was the modified DC license plate that said “TAXATION WITH 1/3 REPRESENTATION,” which was ultimately mentioned in the Washington Times.

Worse is that DC Vote has been able to conflate “voting rights” with “statehood” in public discourse to the point that people use the words “voting rights” incorrectly. The inherent irony is that they’ve been advocating for a voting right (singular) because they are staunchly in favor of giving Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton *a* vote in the House. In my opinion, “voting rights” (plural) involves DC residents having Congressional representation in both the House and the Senate. I remember when we marched at last year’s rally, I had to stop people from chanting “Give us the vote” because they were naively advocating for partial representation when we were holding a large flag that said “DC STATEHOOD NOW!


Earlier this afternoon I noticed an advertisement on Wonkette for “Dr. Bill” and after clicking on it I was brought to DC Vote’s website to watch a flash version of the video above.

Frankly, I really like the video and that’s why I am posting it here today. With my reservations about DC Vote aside, I actually like this video as a means for explaining the disenfranchisement of DC residents. There is no mention of any constitutionally dubious legislation, rather its a simple & straightforward video that makes a strong case for giving DC residents representation in Congress while making fun of America’s worst president.

If you are reading/watching this from outside of Washington, DC, please share this video with your friends. If you think “change” is coming to Washington, maybe it should start with the enfranchisement of DC residents.

Related Entries:

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Mark Your Calendars!
|| 6/8/2008 || 2:45 pm || Comments Off on Mark Your Calendars! || ||

A few months ago I was contacted about giving a lecture at the October meeting of the New York Map Society. At first I was slightly bashful about the offer because most map societies deal primarily with antique maps, but after talking with the organizer I realized that it would be a great opportunity to present my work to a larger audience.

Originally the presentation was scheduled for October 11th (the day after my birthday) but due to potential scheduling conflicts with the New York Public Library (Columbus Day weekend), the date was pushed a week earlier. I haven’t given an extensive presentation related to my maps in a couple years, but with four months to prepare, I have ample time to collect my thoughts. However, since I’ve generated so much new content since my last presentation I think the hardest part will be finding a way to distill everything into 90 minutes!

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m going to be making some new maps of New York City. On the docket are some maps of Midtown Manhattan, which is where the Humanities & Social Science Library of the New York Public Libraries is located. It’s also where I’ll be giving my presentation.

I hope to donate one of these upcoming maps to the library in conjunction with my presentation. I figure that there is no better way say thanks than through a donation. Its also a great way to give the audience a chance to visually inspect what I think will be one aspect of my presentation.

WHO: Nikolas Schiller & the New York Map Society
WHAT: A presentation & discussion about my maps
WHERE: The New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018
WHEN: October 4th, 2008 at 2:30pm
WHY: The questions related to where you are from, where you are at, and where you are going are timeless!
COST: ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Mark your calendars!



Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridge Quilt
|| 6/7/2008 || 6:12 pm || Comments Off on Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridge Quilt || ||

Yesterday I went through all my 2008 entries and began to compile this year’s maps like I’ve done for previous years. However, this year I decided to expand the listing to include designs & animations that I’ve made.

The rationale for this expansion was rather simple: if these yearly listings are to be aggregates of my creative work, they might as well include everything. I’m a bit tepid about going through the previous years to find creations that I might have missed, but I imagine that I’ll get around to doing it. Also, since this website has gone public, I’ve found myself sharing content that I did not create and this makes it more difficult to decipher what I’ve created and what I have found on-line & decided to share here.

Today’s creation is the start of a new series of New York City maps that I expect to make in the coming days. This morning I discovered that the USGS has released newer imagery of New York City that was taken in March of 2006.

However, as with other imagery, I’ve found that the older imagery is of better quality. Its not that this new imagery is fuzzy or not as sharp, but rather I found the coloration to be more subdued. The 2004 imagery, which I used to produce all of my previous New York City maps, is more vivid and the colors just look nicer. With that issue aside, I’ve made a few different tessellations that I’m going to be using for the next set of maps of New York City.

This map shows the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as a tiny portion of Brooklyn and a larger portion of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. I tried a few different Quilt projection shapes and finally settled on using the Diamond Quilt Projection because I like the way the bridges create a square box within the diamond layout. I have made a derivative tessellation of this map, but I think I’m going to use some of the other imagery first.

View the Google Map of the Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridges.

: detail :

View the rest of the map’s close-up details:

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Tonight! Art Party @ Capitol Hemp
|| 6/6/2008 || 12:37 pm || Comments Off on Tonight! Art Party @ Capitol Hemp || ||

If you haven’t been to Capitol Hemp yet, come & check it out tonight!



My Brash Poem from Artomatic 2008
|| 6/5/2008 || 5:32 pm || Comments Off on My Brash Poem from Artomatic 2008 || ||

Inverted scan of the poem

Brash is a poet that goes around Artomatic and leaves each artist a poem. Last week I noticed that my poem had been taped up to my exhibit space, so I decided to take it home, scan it, and post it here on-line. Word is that Brash will probably have a poem made for EVERY artist (thats a thousand poems!) at Artomatic 2008. Brash, if you are reading this, thank you!

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CurrentTV: Green On Green [feat. the 2008 Green Party Presidential Candidates]
|| 6/4/2008 || 12:39 am || Comments Off on CurrentTV: Green On Green [feat. the 2008 Green Party Presidential Candidates] || ||

This four minute video showcases some of the 2008 Green Party presidential candidates and their stances on a few issues. I like the way the video goes about rectifying some misconceptions about the 2000 election and the importance of voting for who & what you believe in. As I noted last week, Cynthia McKinney has clinched the Green Party‘s presidential nomination, but regretfully I won’t be able to attend the national convention this year because family duties call me to Colorado at the same time. After attending the two previous annual meetings I’m really curious to see who shows up, but this year I’ll just have to watch the videos of the proceedings on-line.



Bicycle Freedom! [Vélib’ in DC]
|| 6/3/2008 || 6:33 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

With Washington, DC about to begin the first bicycle sharing program in the United States, I’m posting some videos featuring the Parisian bike sharing service called Vélib’. The names in French is a combination of vélo liberté or vélo libre and in English it means free bicycle or bicycle freedom.

I think these YouTube videos are a fitting follow-up to my new bicycle freedom in Washington, DC :-)


Bikes Belong presents: Velib
Bikes sharing is transforming how cities look at public transit. We went to Paris in November 2007 to see for ourselves what Velib is all about.
[I really like the use of the infographics]




V̩lo Libert̩ РParisian Bike Culture
The author of Copenhagen Cycle Chic rides around Paris with his wife:
“In ten short months the urban landscape of Paris has been transformed by the Vélib’ bike share programme.” See Blog Entry




Bicycle Freedom
TV News Footage from Canadian Global Television Network:
The city of Paris rolled out a citywide bicycle program involving 10,600 bikes in a bid to cut gridlock and give citizens a greener way to get around town. The program, named Vélib’ a blend of vélo (bike) and liberté allows users to swipe their credit card and take and return a bike from one of 750 stations in the city.

“In the morning, you can go to work in the tram and come home by bike; it depends on the weather, it depends on your mood and on your friends,” said Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe Sunday.

Delanoe aims to cut car traffic in the city by 40 per cent by 2020.




Velib’
[en Français]Voici un reportage sur Vélib’, le nouveau service public offert par la mairie de Paris que j’ai réalisé pour le magazine Webcarnews. Retrouvez le sujet complet sur www.webcarnews.com
Here is a report on Vélib, the new public service offered by the mayor of Paris that I produced for the magazine Webcarnews.
Find the subject comprehensive www.webcarnews.com



I post more when I find them….

Related Bicycling Entries:



DC Bicycle Registration Law to be Discontinued [Yeah!]
|| 6/2/2008 || 5:28 pm || Comments Off on DC Bicycle Registration Law to be Discontinued [Yeah!] || ||

Great news from the DC DMV:

DC Bicycle Registration Law to be Discontinued
Bicyclists Encouraged to Register with National Bike Registry

Media Contact: Karyn Le Blanc at (202) 671-3490

(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) announce a major change in DC bicycle registration law.

Beginning June 1, 2008 bicycle registration is no longer required by law in the District of Columbia. Subsequently, registration will no longer be available at any District police or fire station as of this date.

DDOT and MPD now encourage citizens to register their bicycles with the National Bicycle Registry (NBR). NBR is a service that allows users to register their bicycle by serial number in a national database.

Accessible by law enforcement anywhere in the United States, NBR makes it easier and faster for police officers to identify and prove ownership of stolen bicycles and return them to their rightful owners.

“Using the National Bicycle Registry will help streamline bicycle registration for District residents and provide for an easier registration process be it online, by telephone, or by mail,” said Emeka Moneme, Director of DDOT.

“Each year, over a million bikes are stolen. Most are left unclaimed and cannot be returned to their owners because the bicycles have no label or identification. It is simple to put an NBR label on the bike to register it, and we want to encourage all of our residents to do it,” said Chief Lanier.

To register a bicycle with NBR residents may do any of the following:

* purchase a NBR registration kit for $10 at area bicycle shops
* register bikes and find additional information online at www.nationalbikeregistry.com
* call 1-800-848-BIKE

For additional information contact DDOT’s Bicycle Program Office at (202) 671-0681.

Truth be told, I’ve been riding around Washington, DC on my bicycle for the last six years illegally. After hearing only horror stories from friends dealing with DC’s antiquated registration system, I boldly decided to never register my bike. There was a great City Paper article on how the registration program basically allowed DC police to pull over ANY bicyclist to check the status of their bicycle’s registration, and if the bike was not registered, it was confiscated by the police. The unfortunate result was that this law was used disproportionately to arrest young black youth suspected of crime instead of going after the actual bicycle thieves (I’ve had 3 bikes stolen in the last few years!). I actually read over the current bicycle laws over the weekend and have some interesting findings, but I will save them for when the current laws are updated.

NBC 4 has an article on this topic, so does the Washington, DC Express newspaper, where I left a brief comment. I’ll also have more bicycling videos posted here shortly.





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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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