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i'm currently on daily blogging sabbatical, but i'll be back very soon.

THE EXPECTANT HAND – The Mahoning Dispatch, June 04, 1909
|| 8/28/2010 || 12:02 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

The article below is a condensed short story from a biography by Frank Allaben on the life of Gen. John Watts De Peyster. I chose this article because it describes a doctor recommending Indian hemp, which is the colloquial name for one of these five plants: Cannabis indica, Apocynum cannabinum, Sida rhombifolia, Asclepias incarnata, Hibiscus cannabinus. The doctor was most likely recommending Cannabis indica because it is the only variety of Indian hemp which has medicinal properties. Sadly, today in America a doctor would lose their license to prescribe drugs if they were to assist their patient in acquiring Cannabis indica as described below.


the expectant hand THE EXPECTANT HAND   The Mahoning Dispatch, June 04, 1909

THE EXPECTANT HAND


No Charge Made, But a Present of Money Not Refused.

In recording an illness of his grandfather, Gen. John Watts De Peyster tells an amusing story in connection with Indian hemp. It is printed in his biography by Mr. Frank Allaben.

Indian hemp was recommended as a remedy during my grandfathers illness, but where to get it was the question. Finally some one said it was grown in the garden of old Mr. Henry Brevoort, who owned a large plot on the east side of Broadway, extending through to the Bowery above Tenth street. Grace Church stands on part of this ground.

Doctor Bibby gave me some money, told me to jump into his gig, drive up to Brevoort’s old low-storied cottage house on Bowery, and tell the owner that I wanted some Indian hemp for my grandfather, John Watts. I was to use diplomacy if necessary, but not to return without it.

I trotted briskly, roused Mr. Brevoort from a nap, stated my case, found no demur, and got the Indian hemp, which he dug up with his own hands.

“How much am I to pay?” I questioned.

“I never sells it,” Mr. Brevoort replied, “because if I takes money for Indian hemp, it weakens the vartoo.”

I stated that I was ordered to pay, and we discussed the matter, walking across the garden toward the gig, which I had left on Broadway.

I had made up my mind that I had met with a disinterested Christian, had replaced the money in my pocket, when I felt a brawny, sunburnt, freckled hand restraining me, and heard these words whispered in my ear: “I never sells Indian hemp, for that weakens the vartoo, but if I gives it, I never refuses a present.”

I extricated the money confided to me, placed it in the expectant hand, hurried home and related my story, and I have heard it laughed over many times.



If you don’t get the joke, don’t worry, its not that funny. My reading on this story is that “vartoo” is Mr. Brevoort’s Dutch pronunciation of the word “virtue.” As in, virtue is a trait or quality deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. By selling something medicinal, Mr. Brevoort is saying that he would weaken the plants effectiveness by profiting off the sale. A contemporary aspect of this moral concept is that some medical cannabis dispensaries in California only take donations instead of selling their medicine. Maybe they don’t want to weaken the vartoo either.



The Strange Narcotics Used in Asia and South America – The New York Sun, February 8th, 1880
|| 3/24/2010 || 6:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

This text is from a longer article about global drug use that was first printed 130 years ago. Since I have been working on DC’s medical cannabis legislation, I have found it very interesting to research the historical uses of cannabis and to see how it was written about before the “reefer madness” of the 1930′s. What I found most interesting is that today’s marijuana was then called “Indian hemp.” I have added a few notes in [brackets] as well as hyperlinks.


The Strange Narcotics Used in Asia and South America

The New York Sun, February 8, 1880

One of the earliest attempts to expand the popular acquaintances with the practical lessons of chemical science was made in Jonhsons’s Chemistry of Common Life, first published twenty-five years ago [in 1855]. The progress of inquiry since that epoch has rendered a new edition of the book desirable, and the work of revision and addition has been carefully performed by Mr. A. H. Church in the volume now issued by the Appletons. Mr. Church is himself favorably known as the author of several lucid and trustworthy handbooks on topics relating to the applications of chemistry, and in the portions here contributed by himself he has striven, not unsuccessfully, to emulate the cogency of method and simplicity of style which distinguished the original treatise. His additions comprise some valuable matter which had been gleaned by Prof. Johnston and inserted in that writer’s private copy of the first edition. Altogether, the book, in its present form, deserves to maintain its old preeminence as a readable exposition of the main uses of chemistry in the daily life of man. Of peculiar interest will be found the chapters which discuss the effect of the various narcotics, including opium, tobacco, Indian hemp, the betel nut, the coca leaf, the red thornapple, and the Siberian fungus. Some of the data relating to the least familiar of these narcotising agents deserve particular attention.

Few persons appreciate to what extent certain races are addicted to forms of narcotic indulgence with which Anglo-Saxons are almost wholly unacquainted. According to the work before us, the use of Indian hemp obtains among upwards of 200,000,000 of human beings, dispersed over a large part of the earth, viz. in Persia, India, and Turkey, throughout the whole continent of Africa, from Morocco to the Cape of Good Hope, and even in Brazil. One hundred millions of men in China, Hindostan, and the Eastern Archipelago consume, for the same narcotic purpose, the betel nut and betel pepper. Again, the chewing of coca is more or less practised among some 10,000,000 of the human race.

As regards the first named of these agents, Indian hemp, it seems at first sight curious that the narcotic properties of hemp should never have obtained popular recognition in southern Europe, when we consider that our common plant [Cannabis sativa], so extensively cultivated for its fibre, differs in no essential feature from the Indian variety [Cannabis indica] which, from the remotest times, has been celebrated in the East for its care-dispelling virtues.

In northern climates, however, the peculiar resinous substance residing in the sap is so small that it would naturally escape observation. Yet even in such latitudes the growing plant emits a peculiar smell, which sometimes occasions headache and giddiness in those who remain long in the field.

In parts of India resinous exudation is so abundant that it may be gathered by the hand in the same way as opium. The resin obtained this way is the most highly prized, and is known as the chorrus. It appears that that even the tops and tender parts of the plant, when dried, are powerful narcotic agents, but the seeds, it said, are not used for this purpose.

The preparation known as hashish in Syria is made by boiling the leaves and flowers of the hemp with water, to which a certain quantity of butter has been added, and evaporating and straining the decoction. The butter thus becomes charged with the active resinous principle of the plant, and acquires a greenish color. It is apt to have rancid taste, and hence is commonly mixed with sweetmeats and aromatics, so as to form a sort of electuary. One of these confections used among the Moors is called el mogen(?), and is sold at an enormous price; another is well known at Constantinople under the name of madjoun, and is reputed to possess aphrodisiac powers.

The dried plant is also smoked, and sometimes chewed, five or ten grains reduced to powder being mixed with tobacco in a pipe or narghile. The pure resin and resinous extract are generally swallowed in the form of pills or boluses.

In one or other of these forms the hemp plant appears to have been used from very early times. Herodotus, for instance, tells us that ancient Scythians excited themselves by inhaling its vapor. The potion which Homer makes Helen administer to Telemachus was prepared from a plant said to have been procured from Thebes in Egypt, where, there is reason to believe, a knowledge of the qualities of hemp existed as early as the eighteenth dynasty (1700 B.C.).

There is no doubt that hemp is often mentioned under the name of beng in the “Arabian Nights;” we may add that the derivation of the English word assassin from the hasisheens, or the hemp-eating followers of the Old Man of the Mountain, seems to be generally acknowledged.

The effects of the churrus, or natual resinous exudation, have been carefully studied in India by competent physicians. We are told that when taken in moderation, it produces increase of appetite and great mental cheerfulness, while, in excess, it causes a extraordinary kind of delirium and catalepsy. In the latter case, limbs of the patient can be placed in every imaginable attitude, and they will remain perfectly stationary in violation of the laws of gravity, the brain, meanwhile, being almost insensible to impressions from without.

It has been proved also by experiment that the hemp extract exercises the same extraordinary influence upon other animals as as well as upon man, and it is believed that the wonderful feats of the Indian Fakirs and snake charmers of India should, in many cases, be explained by their employment of this agent. It appears that after the cataleptic trance has passed, the patient is left entirely uninjured.

In general, indeed, the effects of hemp upon the human system are pronounced less deleterious than those of opium. Hemp does not lessen, but rather excites appetite. Moreover, it does not occasion nausea, constipation, dryness of the tongue, or the lessening of any of the secretions, and is not usually followed by that melancholy state of mental depression to which the opium eater is subject. It appears, however, that a long and gradual training to its use is requisite before its agreeable effects can be fully experienced; it is affirmed, also, that the remarkable cataleptic state above described has never been produced in a European.


Click here to continue reading the article on Chronicling America.



The 1910 Publication Calendar of the New York Tribune from the Chronicling America Newspaper Collection [100 Year Old News]
|| 1/6/2010 || 1:13 pm || + Render A Comment || ||



new york tribune masthead The 1910 Publication Calendar of the New York Tribune from the Chronicling America Newspaper Collection [100 Year Old News]

Text & content from the Chronicling America newspaper collection website

Horace Greeley founded the New York Tribune as a Whig party, penny paper on April 10, 1841, and would continue as its editor for the next thirty years. During Greeley’s tenure the Tribune became one of the more significant newspapers in the United States, and Greeley was known as the outstanding newspaper editor of his time. In 1924 the Tribune merged with the New York Herald to form the New York Herald Tribune, a publication which would remain a major United States daily until its demise.

Distinguishing features of the early penny press were their inexpensiveness, their appeal to the average reader, their coverage of more and different types of news, and, in some instances, a marked political independence. Penny papers such as the New York Sun and the New York Herald were known for their emphasis on lurid crime reporting and humorous, human interest stories from the police court. The Tribune offered a strong moralistic flavor, however, playing down crime reports and scandals, providing political news, special articles, lectures, book reviews, book excerpts and poetry. As with other penny papers, the Tribune was not averse to building circulation by carrying accounts involving sex and crime, but it was careful to present this material under the guise of cautionary tales.

Greeley gathered an impressive array of editors and feature writers, among them Henry J. Raymond, Charles A. Dana, Bayard Taylor, George Ripley, Margaret Fuller, and, for a while, Karl Marx served as his London correspondent. Reflecting his puritanical upbringing, Greeley opposed liquor, tobacco, gambling, prostitution, and capital punishment, while actively promoting the anti-slavery cause. His editorial columns urged a variety of educational reforms and favored producer’s cooperatives, but opposed women’s suffrage. He popularized the phrase “Go west, young man; go west!” The Tribune supported Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, but opposed his renomination in 1864.

While the Tribune’s circulation always trailed its rivals the Sun and the Herald, neither could match the immense success of its weekly edition. First published on September 2, 1841, the Tribune weekly enjoyed a wide popularity in small cities and towns, and by 1860 had registered a record-breaking circulation of 200,000.

Greeley died in 1872. Under Whitelaw Reid’s control (1873-1912), the Tribune became one of the nation’s leading Republican dailies. Reid’s son, Ogden, succeeded him and purchased the New York Herald in 1924, merging the two newspapers to form the New York Herald Tribune. Noted for its typographical excellence, the high quality of its writing, its Washington and foreign reporting, and its political columnists, the Herald Tribune would reign as the voice of moderate Republicanism and competent journalism for the next four decades. It featured some of the best reporters in the business-Joseph Barnes, Homer Bigart, Russell Hill, Joseph Driscoll, Joseph Mitchell, Tom Wolfe-and top drawer political columnists such as Walter Lippman, David Lawrence, Joseph Alsop, and Roscoe Drummond. Following Ogden Reid’s death in 1947, the paper began a steady decline, undergoing numerous financial setbacks. In 1961 media entrepreneur John Hay (“Jock”) Whitney became majority shareholder, publisher and editor-in-chief, investing $40 million in a vain attempt to save the paper. The newspaper’s last issue as the Herald Tribune was published April 24, 1966. It merged with two other struggling New York papers, the Journal American and the World Telegram and the Sun to form the World Journal Tribune, which began publishing September 12, 1966 after a lengthy strike. It ceased publication May 5, 1967.

See also: New York Tribune, April 10, 1841-April 12, 1842; New York Daily Tribune, April 22, 1842-May 1, 1850 and May 13, 1850-April 9 1866; New York Tribune, April 10, 1866-March 18, 1924; New York Herald, New York Tribune, March 19, 1924-May 30, 1926; New York Herald Tribune, May 31, 1926-April 24, 1966.


1910 Newspapers

January, 1910
S M T W T F S
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
February, 1910
S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28          
             
March, 1910
S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
             
April, 1910
S M T W T F S
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
             
May, 1910
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
             
June, 1910
S M T W T F S
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    
             
July, 1910
S M T W T F S
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
August, 1910
S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
             
September, 1910
S M T W T F S
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  
             
October, 1910
S M T W T F S
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
November, 1910
S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      
             
December, 1910
S M T W T F S
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
             

+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Alexandria Gazette
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Deseret Evening News
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Los Angeles Herald
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the New York Sun
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the New York Tribune
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Ogden Standard
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Paducah evening sun
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Palestine Daily Herald
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the San Francisco Call
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Washington Herald
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Washington Times



The 1910 Publication Calendar of the New York Sun from the Chronicling America Newspaper Collection [100 Year Old News]
|| 1/5/2010 || 1:10 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

new york sun masthead The 1910 Publication Calendar of the New York Sun from the Chronicling America Newspaper Collection [100 Year Old News]

Text & content from the Chronicling America newspaper collection website

The New York Sun debuted on September 3, 1833, becoming the first successful penny daily, popular with the city’s less affluent, working classes. Its publisher, Benjamin H. Day, emphasized local events, police court reports, and sports in his four-page morning newspaper. Advertisements, notably help-wanted ads, were plentiful. By 1834, the Sun had the largest circulation in the United States. Its rising popularity was attributed to its readers’ passion for the Sun‘s sensational and sometimes fabricated stories and the paper’s exaggerated coverage of sundry scandals. Its success was also the result of the efforts of the city’s ubiquitous newsboys, who the innovative Day had hired to hawk the paper. The Sun added a Saturday edition in 1836.

The paper’s true glory days began in 1868 when Charles A. Dana, former managing editor of the New York Tribune, became part owner and editor. Dana endeavored to apply the art of literary craftsmanship to the news. Under him, the Sun became known as “the newspaperman’s newspaper,” featuring editorials, society news, and human-interest stories. A Sunday edition was added in 1875 and, later, a Saturday supplement appeared, offering book notices, essays, and fictional sketches by Bret Harte, Henry James, and other well-known writers. In the 1880s, the paper’s size increased to eight pages and in 1887 the Evening Sun hit the streets in two editions: Wall Street and Night

On September 21, 1897, in response to a letter from eight-year-old reader Virginia O’Hanlon (“Papa says ‘If you see it in The Sun it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?”), the paper published “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” This opinion piece by veteran newspaperman Francis P. Church, insisting that Santa Claus “exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist,” caused an immediate sensation. It became one of the most famous editorials in newspaper publishing history; the Sun would reprint this editorial annually until 1949.

By 1910 the paper averaged some 15 pages, with Sunday editions triple that length. In 1916 entrepreneur Frank A. Munsey, owner of multiple other newspapers, purchased the Sun, and a series of mergers followed. The Sun folded into the New York Herald in 1920. The Evening Sun, renamed the Sun, continued until January 5, 1950, when it merged with the New York World-Telegram and became the New York World-Telegram and The Sun. In 1966 that title became part of the World Journal Tribune; the latter folded the following year.

The Sun morgue of clipped newspaper articles is held by the Humanities and Social Sciences Library of the New York Public Library. The Library of Congress Prints and Photograph Division holds an estimated one million photographs, which were assembled by the Sun and subsequent papers between the 1890s and 1967, in the New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.


1910 Newspapers

January, 1910
S M T W T F S
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
February, 1910
S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28          
             
March, 1910
S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
             
April, 1910
S M T W T F S
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
             
May, 1910
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
             
June, 1910
S M T W T F S
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    
             
July, 1910
S M T W T F S
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
August, 1910
S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
             
September, 1910
S M T W T F S
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  
             
October, 1910
S M T W T F S
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
November, 1910
S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      
             
December, 1910
S M T W T F S
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
             

+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Alexandria Gazette
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Deseret Evening News
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Los Angeles Herald
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the New York Sun
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the New York Tribune
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Ogden Standard
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Paducah evening sun
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Palestine Daily Herald
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the San Francisco Call
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Washington Herald
+ 1910 Publication Calendar of the Washington Times



A Diagrammatic Photograph Showing The American Warship, The Delaware, Blowing Up New York City
|| 10/31/2009 || 1:20 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

gunship nyc 1909 A Diagrammatic Photograph Showing The American Warship, The Delaware, Blowing Up New York City

Talk about a scary Halloween! This graphic features a new American warship, the Delaware, bombing New York City. The transcription is as follows:

The New York Tribune, Sunday, October 31st, 1909

TWELVE-MILE RANGE OVER WHICH OUR NEW DREADNOUGHT COULD SCATTER DEATH AND DESTRUCTION

Besides demonstrating last week, by attaining a speed 21.98 knots, that she is the fastest first class battleship ever made, the Delaware has the most powerful battery in the service. From each of her ten 12-inch guns of the largest type she can throw a shell weighing 870 pounds to a distance of twelve miles, or from below the Narrows, down the Bay, into City Hall Park, and a little beyond. After traversing 9,000 yards these shells can still penetrate eleven inches of solid steel.

+ MORE



Bright Felon: Autobiography And Cities By Kazim Ali Is Now Available
|| 9/1/2009 || 6:52 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

amazon bright felon kazim ali Bright Felon: Autobiography And Cities By Kazim Ali Is Now Available


This groundbreaking, trans-genre work—part detective story, part literary memoir, part imagined past—is intensely autobiographical and confessional. Proceeding sentence by sentence, city by city, and backwards in time, poet and essayist Kazim Ali details the struggle of coming of age between cultures, overcoming personal and family strictures to talk about private affairs and secrets long held. The text is comprised of sentences that alternate in time, ranging from discursive essay to memoir to prose poetry. Art, history, politics, geography, love, sexuality, writing, and religion, and the role silence plays in each, are its interwoven themes. Bright Felon is literally “autobiography” because the text itself becomes a form of writing the life, revealing secrets, and then, amid the shards and fragments of experience, dealing with the aftermath of such revelations. Bright Felon offers a new and active form of autobiography alongside such texts as Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee, Lyn Hejinian’s My Life, and Etel Adnan’s In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country.



From the Book:

You wouldn’t think I would have wanted a beacon. Rather to find myself in the wilderness on my own.

But I did, I always did.

Could there have been someone else like me, not one thing not another, barely able to choose.

A poet, a Muslim, and of a particular persuasion.

When I knew someone like me I barely knew him and we couldn’t bring ourselves to speak of the one thing we needed to speak to each other about.

Silence stretched between us taut as sin.

In 2004 I moved with Marco down the river to Beacon, NY.

Named for the signal fires placed on top of each mountain in chain running from New York City to Albany.

So if either city fell to the British the insurgents at the other end would know about it.

I placed signal fires up and down each street, so anxious I was to belong somewhere.

—From the chapter “Beacon”



Endorsements:

Bright Felon will steal your heart and outrage your poetics. Part memoir, part trip book, part literary discourse, there is in it an urgent sense of a life lived in words. The tale is one of both innocence and experience. Rigorous, romantic, experimental, true, and yet mysterious, it is a book for the ages.” —Laura Moriarty, author of A Semblance: Selected and New Poems, 1975–2007

“Kazim Ali writes in Bright Felon a prose shaped by the various cities he has lived and loved in. This is a book that is so much more than memoir or autobiography. It is embodied and questioning and it carries through its politics a grace and generosity. —Juliana Spahr, author of Fuck You, Aloha, I Love You



KAZIM ALI is the author of two books of poetry, The Far Mosque (2004) and The Fortieth Day (2008). He is an assistant professor of creative writing at Oberlin College and teaches in the low-residency MFA program of the University of Southern Maine. He is one of the founding editors of Nightboat Books.



The text above was copied from the website of book distributor, University Press of New England



Below is a detail from my map Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridge Quilt, which is featured on the cover of the book:

manhattan&brooklynbridgequilt cut2 Bright Felon: Autobiography And Cities By Kazim Ali Is Now Available


Related New York City Entries:

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A Gigapan of the New York Public Library Quilt
|| 2/12/2009 || 12:40 pm || Comments Off || ||


A couple weeks ago, after seeing the fabulous Gigapan of the 2009 Inauguration by David Bergman, I decided to try out Gigapan for myself.

In the past I’ve used Zoomify to do roughly the same type of zooms, but over the years I’ve found that it has some important limitations. Most notably, I’ve found that Zoomify freezes up after I’ve been using it for a couple of minutes, which would always force me to reload the page. I believe this has to do with the Flash buffer or cache filling up with data and slowing down the viewing experience. Maybe the software engineers have changed this flaw, but I haven’t been too keen on adding all my maps as Zoomifiable entries because it takes too much time and I’m aware of a means to reverse engineer the tiles into the original map.

What is unique about this Gigapan, unlike all of my previous Zoomify maps, is that I went through the extra steps of saving the original map at its full size in .jpg format. In the past when I’d use Zoomify, I’d use a map that was saved at 9,000 x 6,000 pixels, which is half the original size of 18,000 x 12,000 pixels. The reason I shrunk the map was because I was unable to save the full-sized map in .jpg format using my photo manipulation software. Since the free Zoomify converter only took .jpgs, instead of the native tiff file format, I would have to resave the file at its largest size in .jpg format, which was around 9,000 x 6,000 pixels.

In order to bypass this current limitation, I chose to use Graphic Converter to open the original 18,000 x 12,000 tiff file and save it as a .jpg. The inherent problem here is that even with a somewhat new computer, it takes about 15 minutes to open the 216 megapixel file and another 10 minutes to save the file. In the end, the final .jpg saved to about 65 megabytes, which is considerably smaller than the original file size of about 500 megabytes. With this newly compressed map being so much smaller in size, I was able to upload it and share it here.

As regular readers know, a printed 60″ x 40″ copy of this map was donated to the Map Division at the New York Public Library back in October when I gave my presentation to the New York Map Society. If you are in New York City and curious about what it looks like printed out, head over to the library and ask to see it.


If you are subscribed to my RSS feed and are reading this on through your RSS reader, please click here to view it on my website or click here to view it on the Gigapan website.


Related Interactive Entries:

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[FOUND MAP] New York City: The 51st State
|| 12/24/2008 || 6:34 pm || Comments Off || ||

nyc 51st state [FOUND MAP] New York City: The 51st State

I have rallied for years about having DC become the 51st state in America. Even last week I redesigned the American flag to address my feelings toward this subject. However today I came across this map above that mentions the 51st state and predates the organization of the DC Statehood Movement.

In 1969 author Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City and one aspect of his campaign was New York City secession through urban statehood. This lovely map shows all the neighborhoods in each of the boroughs and subtly pokes fun at the current “state” of New York City.

I can’t help but wonder, what if this political option was pursued again? Would New York City residents be interested in having federal funds being directed to the city instead of the rest of the state? Political climate aside, would Americans be more receptive if DC statehood was concurrently offered so that the number states is not an odd number? Or is America just stuck at 50 because its a nice number?

When president-elect Barack Obama assumes office, he’ll be the first black president to live in the same federal district that has a majority black population who can never duplicate the steps in his American Dream. His path to presidency included a path no resident of the nation’s capital can follow- he was a United States senator. Without two senators like every other state, the residents of the nation’s capital, unlike the residents of New York City, are still second-class citizens denied the same equality every other American enjoys. Will Obama be a real leader and address this fundamental flaw in our government?

While the map above proposes the concept of urban statehood, there is also the notion of urban / island balancing worth mentioning. The boroughs themselves are drawn as distinct counties and in some respects their natural geographies create urban islands, like Manhattan & Staten, within the unified state of New York City. President-elect Barack Obama comes from a former island territory, now state, Hawaii, which was brought into the union at nearly the same time as Alaska for balancing purposes. Could urban statehood, like that of Washington, DC or New York City, be balanced with statehood for other American islands, like Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands? Or with the islands having a majority population of non-white people, like their urban counterparts, be a lurking reminder that racism still present in America? Should congressional representation be denied to American citizens simply based upon how their geography happens to be located or politically aligned? Sadly, I think thats what we have today and, to me, its veiled racism defended as normal partisan politics.



Click here to read more about the map and view numerous close-up details.



Commission: Yankee Stadium Quilt
|| 12/19/2008 || 1:51 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 6,000 :
yankeesstadiumquilt Commission: Yankee Stadium Quilt

At the beginning of the week I received an inquiry about making this map. It’s intended to be a gift for the client’s friend who’s a big Yankees fan. I was unsure if I’d be able to obtain the newest imagery featuring the new Yankee stadium, but since the client felt the friend had spent more time in the old stadium, the newest of the imagery was not an issue. I went with .5 meters per pixel imagery from April, 2006. There was a second set of imagery of the area at lower spatial resolution, but I liked the coloring on this imagery better and went with it. This is my first map of the Bronx borough of New York City and for 2009 I am planning on mapping the rest of the boroughs.

Like my previous commission I was able to modify the source aerial photography so that the nearby outdoor track has been converted into a heart. I debated on modifing the coloration so that the pinkness of the heart (below) would be more pronounced, but I opted to follow my current style of non-modification. Yet this inclusion of the heart motif is something that I find to be an unique addition to my current map design. I am adjusting the imagery to not only create a geometrically perfect design, but literally adding a bit of love to it. An aerial landscape design of love, so to speak.

There is also a sense of transition in this map. By the varying degree of translational symmetry placed upon the the actual stadium, there appears to be an architectural metamorphosis taking place. Where the old stadium is becoming a new stadium. And some day in the future, when it’s time that I make the next map of Yankee Stadium, with newer contemporary imagery, it will be a new stadium. But will the heart (track) still be there in the future? Will development change the love of the geography? I don’t think so. Yet in making this map for the client, I’ve captured the love between two people (and probably thousands of others) that will never change.

Unlike my previous commissioned map, which was printed at 32″x48″ on stretched canvas, this Hexagon Quilt Project map will be printed a bit smaller at 10″x16″ on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl paper. If you are interested in obtaining a custom map, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

View the Google Map of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx

: detail :
yankeesstadiumquilt cut2 Commission: Yankee Stadium Quilt

View the rest of the details:

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New York City Photo Series #6 – Looking at the southeastern skyline
|| 10/12/2008 || 1:10 pm || Comments Off || ||

This week I am posting photos from New York City that took last weekend.

looking southeast in midtown New York City Photo Series #6   Looking at the southeastern skyline

The photograph above features some high rise buildings (which I don’t know the name of) and was taken from the rooftop of my friend’s apartment in Midtown Manhattan using a 15 second timelapse.


Related New York City Entries:

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New York City Photo Series #5 – One Worldwide Plaza
|| 10/11/2008 || 12:53 pm || Comments Off || ||

This week I am posting photos from New York City that took last weekend.

one worldwide plaza New York City Photo Series #5   One Worldwide Plaza

The photograph above features One Worldwide Plaza and was taken from the rooftop of my friend’s apartment in Midtown Manhattan using a 15 second timelapse.


Related New York City Entries:

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New York City Photo Series #4 – Ludlow & Rivington
|| 10/9/2008 || 11:52 am || Comments Off || ||

This week I am posting photos from New York City that took last weekend.

rivington and ludlow New York City Photo Series #4   Ludlow & Rivington

The photograph above was taken from the 6th floor window of Hotel Rivington in the Lower East Side looking down Rivington street.


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New York City Photo Series #3 – Corner of Rivington & Essex – Timelapse
|| 10/8/2008 || 1:45 pm || Comments Off || ||

This week I am posting photos from New York City that took last weekend.

rivington and essex 15seconds New York City Photo Series #3   Corner of Rivington & Essex   Timelapse

The photograph above was taken from the 6th floor window of Hotel Rivington in the Lower East Side using a 15 second timelapse.


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New York City Photo Series #2 – Corner of Rivington & Essex
|| 10/7/2008 || 1:35 pm || Comments Off || ||

This week I am posting photos from New York City that took last weekend.

rivington and essex New York City Photo Series #2   Corner of Rivington & Essex

The photograph above was taken from the 6th floor window of Hotel Rivington in the Lower East Side.

For temporal comparison here are the advertisements as seen from Google’s Streetview:

streetview essex rivington New York City Photo Series #2   Corner of Rivington & Essex

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New York City Photo Series #1 – Economy Candy
|| 10/6/2008 || 4:28 pm || Comments Off || ||

This week I am posting photos from New York City that took last weekend.

economy candy lower east side New York City Photo Series #1   Economy Candy

The photograph above was taken from the 6th floor window of Hotel Rivington in the Lower East Side.


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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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