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YouTube Video of Edith Piaf Singing “La Foule” with English Subtitles
|| 2/16/2010 || 2:57 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


[WATCH ON YOUTUBE]

I’ve always enjoyed this song, but never knew what the lyrics translated to.

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Teki Latex dans un QR Code tee-shirt
|| 8/11/2009 || 12:06 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Screen grab of Teki Latex in a QR-Code T-Shirt

Teki Latex in a QR Code Shirt

I came home very early Sunday morning from a long night out with friends and before I passed out I checked Facebook one last time. It’s a good thing I checked too. It just so happened that Parisian Rapper / Producer / Record Label Owner / DJ Teki Latex had just posted that he was doing a live DJ mix via webcam. I had recently signed up for a competing streaming video website and was curious about what were some of the pros & cons of the service he was using. So before nodding off, I decided to watch/listen to his mix. What I saw, however, was that he was wearing a t-shirt with a big QR Code on it. Over the last few years I’ve tried to document QR Codes that I randomly find, so I futilely tried to take a few screen grabs of the t-shirt, but was unable to get the full image that is needed to decode the message. It would have been the first time I’ve been able to decode a QR Code that was displayed over streaming video.

The next day I left a message on his Facebook page asking what it decoded to and he responded that it was “probably Grenoble.” I guess I’ll have to find a photo of him wearing the shirt again to find out for sure….


Screen grab of Teki Latex in a QR-Code T-Shirt

Below are a couple YouTube videos featuring Teki Latex:

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24 on 14th – One Long Day on 14th by Graeme King
|| 5/22/2008 || 12:28 pm || Comments Off on 24 on 14th – One Long Day on 14th by Graeme King || ||

On April 19th, 2008 I met Graeme King near the Black Cat nightclub after he had just started his 24 hours on 14th Street project. His goal was to take pictures of people for 24 hours and exhibit the photographs at his Artomatic exhibit space.

I had just finished the VJ setup upstairs in the main room of the Black Cat and was about to head home to change clothes before the evening. Although I didn’t blog about it at the time, that evening I VJed alongside DJ Rekha from New York City. DJ Rehka is a London-born musician who DJs her own blend of contemporary bhangra hip-hop fusion and has been credited with pioneering bhangra music in North America. Her first album, DJ Rekha Presents Basement Bhangra, was released in October 2007 on Koch Records, fuses the South Asian genre of bhangra music with international hip-hop and drum beats. It was quite a lot of fun! Click here to download an MP3 from her CD.

Graeme’s photograph of me is unique because he caught me wearing an article of clothing that has been blogged about and even written about in the Washington Post. Look at the sidebar photograph to see another view of the shirt (the photograph was taken nearly one year earlier). Although you can only see the top of the graphic in Graeme’s photograph, it features the close-up detail from Ball of Destruction, which is a map I created in September of 2005 that features a woman textured by aerial photography of the area around White House holding a globe of Hurricane Katrina with a devastated New Orleans in the background.

For the show I wore a shirt that I had recently ordered from France that says “Jeux de mains, Jeux de vilains” which is definitely not something that says Bhangra, but I didn’t know I’d be VJing when I was getting ready for the night. The phrase literally translates to “Hand Games, Evil Hands,” but the proverb has multiple different meanings. From what I understand, the phrase was first was coined during the French Revolution by rich nobles who played Jeu de paume (the precursor to tennis) with rackets & gloves while the poor (the villains according to the nobility) played with their bare hands. Now it’s a traditional proverb adults use when children are playing too rough. It also has a sexual connotation, but I’ll let you figure that out yourself.

Enough about the clothing, check out Graeme’s time-lapse video of his Artomatic installation. His exhibit space is on the south end of the 6th floor. The picture of me above is featured about 27 seconds into the video:



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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Découvrir Carte Est Mort!
|| 11/30/2007 || 7:43 am || Comments Off on Découvrir Carte Est Mort! || ||

“Crédit est mort, les mauvais payeurs l’ont tué.”
“Credit Is Dead – The Ill Payers have killed”
Unknown Artist – Paris, early 1800’s
obtained from the Baker Library of the Harvard Business School

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French parodies in parallax
|| 11/29/2007 || 7:20 am || Comments Off on French parodies in parallax || ||

“Confessions Nocturnes” by Diam’s Feat Vitaa.
“Mauvaise Foi Nocturne” by Fatal Bazooka feat Vitoo

Over the summer I created my first YouTube mash-up “Scratch Slavery,” which allows you to create a beat track to congressional hearing about slavery being used in the construction the American embassy in Baghdad.

Today I am posting something a little different- French Youtube videos.

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the world is you, a fashion experiment
|| 10/4/2006 || 11:52 am || Comments Off on the world is you, a fashion experiment || ||

On Monday I purchased the printable T-shirt transfers from Staples, on Tuesday I went to American Apparel to buy two shirts, and today I made my first geospatial fashion design (above, using the graphics from “Ball of Destruction“). I ended up wearing it to ESL and got a lot of great feedback from random people :) If I am able to secure the wholesale prices from American Apparel I’d like to make an entire line of clothing. I’m still trying to parse out the interesting and unique ways I’d be able to design the clothing, but I think what I made is a positive start. Got a t-shirt idea? Leave me a comment!


UPDATE


This shirt somehow ended up being mentioned in the Washington Post articleHere Be Dragons” by David Montgomery.


Related Fashion Entries:



La Haine – tonight
|| 12/7/2005 || 12:53 pm || Comments Off on La Haine – tonight || ||

C’est l’histoire d’une société qui tombe et qui, au fur et à mesure de sa chute se répète pour se rassurer : “Jusqu’ici tout va bien, jusqu’ici tout va bien, jusqu’ici tout va bien.” Mais ce qui compte c’est pas la chute. C’est l’atterrissage.

Tonight I am going to be having the long-awaited screening of the French film La Haine. I have people coming over at 7pm and hopefully there will be a decent turnout. Playing Host is fun :) I have a good feeling they’ll like the film as much as I do, and more importantly see the linkage between what was made 10 years ago and what transpired last month in France.

It is the story of a society which is falling and as it falls, it repeats to be reassure himself: “So far so good, so far so good, so far so good, so far so good.” How far you fall doesn’t matter, it’s how you land.



America Supports You, “Freedom Walk”
|| 9/11/2005 || 7:17 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Today Angela & I took part in the America Supports You “Freedom Walk,” and I must say that we definitely celebrated our freedom….

read my account:

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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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