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Map Mashup: Healthcare Heartburn
|| 3/23/2010 || 5:39 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Healthcare Heartburn by Nikolas Schiller

Above is Amy Martin’s “Keep America Healthy – Public Option Please” with a map of the average federal revenue per capita by state in 2007 superimposed. At over $34,000 per citizen, the District of Columbia pays the more any jurisdiction in America, yet the 600,000 citizens have no representation in Congress….

Ironically related is my entry on Hartburn, DC.



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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The Craig Retroazimuthal Projection aka the Mecca Projection
|| 4/21/2009 || 11:45 am || Comments Off on The Craig Retroazimuthal Projection aka the Mecca Projection || ||

The Craig retroazimuthal map projection was created by James Ireland Craig in 1909. It is a cylindrical projection preserving the direction from any place to another predetermined place, while avoiding some of the bizarre distortion of the Hammer retroazimuthal projection. It is sometimes known as the Mecca projection because Craig, who had worked in Egypt as a cartographer, created it to help Muslims find their Qibla. Check out the mathematical calculation used to create the map on Wikipedia.

I think it would be neat to use this cartographic projection technique to create a map that uses Washington, DC as the center.


Related Mecca Entries:

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Google Map Mashup: The Qibla Locator
|| 4/20/2009 || 10:54 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Following up on yesterday’s posting, I stumbled across this interesting Google Map mashup. The Qibla (or Kiblah or Qiblah or Quibla) is the Arabic word for the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays, otherwise known as the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca. For obedient muslims, the Salah, or formal prayer, is performed five times a day: at dawn (fajr), noon (dhuhr), in the afternoon (asr), at sunset (maghrib) and nightfall (isha’a). The Qibla Locator is a simple Google Map that is designed to automatically orient Muslims toward the direction of the Kaaba. Simply enter your location and the red line that is generated shows the shortest distance to the Kaaba. In the case of the screen grab above I decided to show what direction a Muslim would pray if they were in the White House in Washington, DC. I chose this location because I’ve read about some nutty folks who actually think president Barack Obama is a Muslim. Frankly, I don’t care what religion he practices and to take issue with anyone’s religion is a sign of intolerance and veiled ignorance. What I find most interesting about the Google Map is that the rhumb line toward the Kaaba can be somewhat deceiving. I’m not blaming the author of the mashup, rather, I think the nature of how the Quibla is found is unique. Since its based on the shortest distance to Mecca, sometimes the fastest way seems counter-intuitive, as in, I was thought the path from the White House (above) would be facing South-East instead of North-East. If you have a moment, try it out.


A couple interesting notes from the Wikipedia entry:

• The head of an animal that is slaughtered using Halal methods is aligned with the Qibla.
• Muslims are buried with their faces in the direction of the qiblah. Thus, archeology can indicate a Muslim necropolis if no other signs are present.

A short history of the Qibla:

Originally, the direction of the Qibla was toward Masjid al-Aqsa, Jerusalem (and it is therefore called the First of the Two Qiblahs). At least since Mishnaic times (AD200), Jews face the Temple Mount in Jerusalem while praying. The Mishnah speaks about this in Berakhot (Talmud) chapter 4, Mishnahs 5 and 6 and this practice is even found as early as I Kings 8:35-36. In Islam, this qiblat was used for over 13 years, from 610 CE until 623 CE. Seventeen months after Muhammad’s 622 CE arrival in Medina, the Qiblah became oriented towards the Kaaba in Mecca. According to accounts from the prophet Muhammad’s companions, the change happened very suddenly during the noon prayer in Medina, in a mosque now known as Masjid al-Qiblatain (Mosque of the Two Qiblahs). Muhammad was leading the prayer when he received revelations from Allah instructing him to take the Kaaba as the Qiblah (literally, “turn your face towards the Masjid al Haram”). According to the historical accounts, Muhammad, who had been facing Jerusalem, upon receiving this revelation, immediately turned around to face Mecca, and those praying behind him also did so.


Related Mecca Entries:

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[Update] The Architectural Athan Drum & Bass Mashup via YouTube Doubler is now transcribed
|| 4/19/2009 || 10:36 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Click image to view the mashup on YouTube Doubler

Just under one year ago I created an interesting mashup using Brian Kane’s YouTube Doubler. Dubbed “the Athan Drum & Bass Mashup” (and since then I’ve added “architectural” to the title), the mashup features a slideshow of Islamic architecture on the left side and a stationary camera focused on a Drum & Bass DJ’s turntables on the right. Last night I revisited the original entry and discovered that whomever had uploaded the slideshow decided to transcribe the Athan using YouTube’s annotation feature. Now you can actually read the English translation of the morning call to prayer sung in Arabic.

#update – This iteration also automatically rewinds!


Related Interactive Entries:

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The Mad Decent Block Party Video
|| 8/7/2008 || 10:10 am || Comments Off on The Mad Decent Block Party Video || ||

On the very same weekend in June when the Washington, DC police setup checkpoints in the Trinidad neighborhood, the record label Mad Decent was having their first block party in Philadelphia. I had heard about it on-line, but decided not to take the train up to Philly (regret!). A couple days later I saw the pictures from the event and couldn’t help but be impressed. There is nothing more special than seeing a community come together and have a good time. While the DC police were stripping a neighborhood of its soul, another neighborhood 3 hours away was showing how much soul it really had. Last night the latest Mad Decent Video Podcast was released (below) and really captures the essence of the block party. I hope to attend next year.




To stay up to date with Mad Decent, I highly recommend subscribing to Mad Decent World Wide Radio Podcasts via iTunes and/or their blog. There are always fresh mixes posted and the occasional flier for an upcoming event.

If you are interested in watching more of the Mad Decent Video Podcasts, below are the three previous releases. They are roughly edited (on purpose) and mashed up with quite a bit of cultural ephemera & general randomness. You can also download the videos in MP4 format here if you aren’t using iTunes.



Check the rest:

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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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The Athan Drum & Bass Mashup via YouTube Doubler
|| 4/24/2008 || 11:00 pm || Comments Off on The Athan Drum & Bass Mashup via YouTube Doubler || ||

The other day I wrote about Brian Kane’s YouTube Doubler. Continuing on the same style of taking a beat track and adding a new element, today’s mash-up is similar to one that I made before using dub reggae back in December of 2004. Unlike the last version, which was created before YouTube even existed, this mashup features the Muslim call to prayer, known as the Athan, combined with a very techy drum & bass mix.

First and foremost, if you are reading this and are offended by my use of the Athan, I apologize. It is not my intent to debase or make fun of the Athan in any way, rather this mashup was designed to expose others to different ways of hearing the Muslim call to prayer. One of the fundamental tenets of Islam is tolerance and I hope you are able to tolerate this mashup. Drum & bass is very abrasive form of electronic music and the Athan is normally sung without any instrumentation, so I feel it’s an interesting sonic juxtaposition.

What I like most about the Athan video is that it features mosques from around the world. So not only do you get to hear the beauty of the call to prayer, you are shown the beauty of Islamic architecture as well. If you are interested in seeing/hearing a different Athan, check out the call to prayer being sung inside of a al-Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca. It’s the holiest site in all of Islam.

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YouTube Doubler [Scratch Slavery Revisited]
|| 4/13/2008 || 3:32 pm || Comments Off on YouTube Doubler [Scratch Slavery Revisited] || ||

YouTube Doubler

Links to my first YouTube mashup “Scratch Slavery.”

This weekend I found Brian Kane’s YouTube Doubler and smiled. In August of last year I coded a proto-version of YouTube Doubler to create my first YouTube mashup “Scratch Slavery.” The mashup juxtaposed Rory Mayberry, a former subcontractor employee for First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting Company, giving testimony at the Oversight Committee’s hearing on “Allegations of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse at the New U.S. Embassy in Iraq,” with a simple beat track by DJ Loomy showing the Vestax Controller One turntable.

What I would like to see next is YouTube Wall. In November of last year, I was able to place four YouTube videos together to create a YouTube Quadrupler. I think it would be interesting to scale down the size of the YouTube videos and create video tiling where the different video screens make a design. It would also be interesting to use multiple scales to create border of videos with a large video in the center. A random YouTube selector (a la Lost Series) would be a lot of fun because of the vast of amount of videos that could be chosen.



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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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!