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Hello from the base of the Contiental Divide
|| 6/8/2011 || 12:05 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


I filmed this short video at Kroenke Lake in the San Isabel National Forest. Click here to see some of the photos from the hike. If this video does not work, blame Facebook’s embed code and/or try clicking here.


This short video includes a 4 short video clips I took of our hike to the snow-covered Kroenke Lake at the base of the Continental Divide.

Clip #1 = view of an unnamed peak near Mount Yale and snow in the forest
Clip #2 = view of the snow-covered meadow near Kroenke Lake
Clip #3 = “Hello from the base of the Continental Divide”
Clip #4 = driving away from the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area with Mount Princeton off in the distance.



Brief Media Recap of the Townhall Meeting on the District’s Medical Cannabis Program
|| 2/11/2011 || 10:06 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Before the town hall forum, I was interviewed by Mike Conneen of TBD/WJLA in Adams Morgan.


When we arrived to setup the town hall, DC Fox 5 was already waiting for us. I was interviewed for the segment:



Overall, I would say the town hall meeting was a success. Hopefully the law gets implemented soon.



The U.S. Capitol surrounded by high-rise buildings in Fort Knox Five’s new music video “SHIFT” featuring Afrika Bambaataa & Mustafa Akbar
|| 7/14/2010 || 4:36 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

In another dimension America the District of Columbia is represented in Congress by B-Boys….

Fort Knox Five – SHIFT featuring Afrika Bambaataa & Mustafa Akbar
Music Video from Fort Knox Recordings.



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YouTube Video Showing Where George Washington Grew Hemp at Mount Vernon
|| 7/4/2010 || 12:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


[ Watch On YouTube ]

In May I had the opportunity to participate in first annual Hemp History Week. From printing up an old newspaper article showing how hemp was used in the Civil War to taking a field trip to George Washington’s farms in Mount Vernon, Virginia, I had a great time learning about America’s historical use of hemp.

In the video above, I make a cameo at the beginning and later in the video the editor included a map of Mount Vernon from the Library of Congress that I submitted for inclusion in the video. The map nicely corresponds to the map shown during the interview at Mount Vernon.

When we arrived at Mount Vernon, the staff had prepared copies of a statement concerning George Washington’s cultivation of hemp at Mount Vernon. Below is a transcription of the document:



Hemp Production and Use at Mount Vernon

Throughout his lifetime, George Washington cultivated hemp at Mount Vernon for industrial uses. The fibers from hemp held excellent properties for the making of rope and sail canvas, which was a major industry in the age of sailing ships. In addition, hemp fibers could be spun into thread for clothing or, as indicated in Mount Vernon records, for use in repairing the large seine fishing nets that Washington used in his fishing operation along the Potomac.

At one point in the 1760’s Washington considered whether hemp would be a more lucrative cash crop than tobacco but determined that wheat would be a better alternative. During the period when he was considering hemp, he wrote to his agents in England in the hope of determining the costs involved in production and shipping.

In September 1765 he wrote:

“In order thereto you woud do me a singular favour in advising of the general price one might expect for good Hemp in your Port watered and prepared according to Act of Parliament, with an estimate of the freight, and all other incident charges pr. Tonn that I may form some idea of the profits resulting from the growth.” (Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington v. 2, September 20, 1765, George Washington to Robert Cary & Company, p. 430-431)

The Act of Parliament that Washington mentions in his letter to Robery Cary & Company, was enacted to promote hemp production in the American Colonies. In 1767, he did sell some of his Mount Vernon-grown hemp, gaining an income from the bounty that Parliament had laid on the crop.

Hemp Background and History:
“Hemp, Cannabis sativa, a plant originally from central Asia, was cultivated with, and sometimes in place of flax, because its stem fibers are similar to those of flax. Hemp seeds, like those of flax, can be used to extract an oil used in paints, varnishes, and soaps. By the seventeenth century, Russia, Latvia, and other countries around the Baltic Sea were major producers of hemp, and it was from this area that Britain obtained its supply, a situation which left the English vulnerable during periods of military hostilities. Hemp made into rope was vital to navies worldwide. Hemp was also used to make a coarse linen cloth as well as sacking, and other rough materials.” (Colonial American Fiber Crops, Charles Leach, from The National Colonial Farm research Report No. 20. the Accokeek Foundation, Inc. p. 3-4)

Although George Washington’s initial interest in hemp was to determine if it could be a viable cash crop, he proceeded to cultivate it just to meet the needs of his own plantation. Hemp was used at Mount Vernon for rope, thread for sewing sacks, canvas, and for repairing the seine nets used at the fisheries.

Washington’s diaries and farm reports indicate that hemp was cultivated at all his 5 farms, (Mansion House, River Farm, Dogue Run Farm, Muddy Hole Farm, & Union Farm.) In February 1794, Washington wrote to his farm manager, William Pearce, “…I am very glad to hear that the Gardener has saved so much of the St. Foin seed, and that of the India Hemp… Let the ground be well prepared and the See (St. Foin) be sown in April. The Hemp may be sown anywhere. (Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington, v. 33, George Washington to William Pearce, February 24, 1794, p. 279.)

It must be noted that industrial hemp, Cannabis sativa, — the kind that Washington grew– is not the same strain of the plant as Cannabis sativa indica which is used as a drug (marijuana). Cannabis sativa (industrial use hemp) contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and therefore has no physical or psychological effects. Cannabis sativa indica grown for marijuana can contain 6% to 20% THC.

Therefore, there is no truth to the statement that George Washington was growing marijuana. His hemp crop was strictly the industrial strain needed for the production of rope, thread, canvas, and other industrial applications.



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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YouTube Videos & Photograph From Last Weekend’s Historic Snowball Fight In Dupont Circle
|| 2/10/2010 || 2:19 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

The video above contains four short video clips I recorded from my Canon SD750 on February 6th, 2010 in & around Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. The video clips show the what the snowball fight looked like when I arrived, a dance party, a fallen tree on New Hampshire Avenue, and an SUV pulling a snowboarder. The camera is rather beat up and there is a noticeable dark spot on camera lens– sorry!


This is my favorite video of the snowball fight. It was filmed from a building overlooking Dupont Cirlce:


At least there were no guns.



Preview Video of the 2010 Cartographic Calendar [Color Edition]
|| 12/7/2009 || 8:15 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


[Watch On YouTube]

Today I received the two calendars I ordered last week. I decided to make this short video to show prospective buyers what the calendar looks like when printed out. In the video above I simply hang the calendar on the wall and flipped through each month of the Color Edition of my 2010 Cartographic Calendar. Its a somewhat simple method of showing the maps in the calendar, but I think it helps to visualize what a 17″ x 11″ calendar would look like on your wall.



15th Street on YouTube || North Meets South || A Game of Locational Awareness [part 2]
|| 12/3/2009 || 2:50 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

click image above to view

On August 5th, 2008 I made the first version of this mashup, East Meets West and with the newly created contraflow bicycle lane on 15th Street NWDC, I decided to make the second version, North Meets South.

The two videos were taken from one continuous video recording that I conducted while riding on my bicycle from U Street & 15th Street to Massachusetts Ave & 15th Street and back. At home I split the videos into North & South and used the crosswalks as the starting & ending points. The object of this video mashup is to find the exact time when the two recordings pass each other on opposite sides of the street.


A few notes:

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My Record Cover Was Featured On Current TV Last Night
|| 11/12/2009 || 1:47 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Last night a friend of mine from college, Andrew Wiseman, left a message on my Facebook wall saying that he saw the map I made on Current TV. Knowing that I had met the film crew back in June of this year at the 18th Street Lounge, I was expecting the show to eventually broadcast. Earlier today the full show was uploaded to YouTube:

Around 18 minutes into the episode, while Eric Hilton and Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation are at the record shop Som Records (about 4 blocks from my house), Rob picks up the record Supreme Illusion, which I licensed Pentagon Quilt and Lower Manhattan Quilt as the cover artwork.

If you don’t want to watch the entire show, you can skip to 50 second mark on this truncated version of the show:


[Watch on YouTube]


“Welcome to my room” – A YouTube video showing my outdoor photo installation for Fotoweek DC
|| 11/5/2009 || 3:23 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

This short video documents my temporary photo installation called “Welcome to my room.” for FotoweekDC 2009. The installation consists of about 24 random photographs that I had doubles of in my archives. They were stapled to the temporary wooden walkway on the west side of 14th Street near the intersection of T Street, NW, Washington, DC. The building for which the temporary walkway was constructed will become the chain department store called Room & Board. So welcome to my Room, I hope you are not Bored. Please add your own photos to the walkway and make the room ours. Send me photos of your additions.


UPDATE – I’m pleased to say that in the week since I installed the photographs, they’ve all been removed. Every other day I walked by the exhibit to see how many were remaining, which were mixing with the leaves on the sidewalk, and by yesterday they were all in the urban ether. The installation was never meant to be permanent nor really even a serious photographic exhibit, just an experiment, and since the photographs were all duplicate photos from 1992-2002, their sacrifice totally was worth it!





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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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