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WETA’s Late-Night All-Access Programming Sponsored by the FBI
|| 7/15/2009 || 6:49 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Back in April, I was home late on Saturday evening / Sunday morning and stumbled on to the Washington, DC PBS affiliate station WETA showing a Federal Bureau of Investigation recruitment video on their All-Access programming. It’s the first time and only I’ve seen this type of sponsored recruitment video on public television before.



Timelapse YouTube Video of the 4th of July Fireworks in Washington, DC
|| 7/5/2009 || 7:11 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Every 4th of July for the last 5 years I’ve watched the massive firework display on the National Mall from a rooftop in the Washington, DC area. This year I finally decided to see the display from my rooftop and make a video of it. The music is the Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa and performed by the United States Marine Band. One of my favorite aspects of being on a rooftop in DC on the 4th of July is watching everyone shoot their own fireworks. You can see them exploding in every direction!

Before the fireworks, I attended my friend’s second annual “Jerk Off” BBQ competition in Rock Creek Park. And to continue my other 4th of July tradition, I rode around the city with my Adbusters Corporate flag attached to a large flagpole attached to my backpack. Like in the years past, people would still applaud when they see it, most not knowing there was a subtle protest waving before their eyes. Next to being on rooftop, waving this flag is my second favorite 4th of July tradition…



Changing Channels – Al Jazeera English begins broadcasting in Washington, DC
|| 7/2/2009 || 11:52 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

A couple weeks ago on June 25th, I attended the taping of Al Jazeera English’s town hall forum titled “Changing Channels” at the Newseum. The aim of the Q & A styled show was to give people in the Washington, DC area the opportunity to ask pointed questions to some of Al Jazeera’s main movers and shakers. Starting yesterday Al Jazeera English began broadcasting in the Washington, DC area on Comcast Channel 275, RCN Channel 34, Cox Channel 474, and Verizon FiOS Channel 457. Its too bad none of those channels show up on the basic cable at my house.


I was able to spot myself in the crowd:


For more videos visit Al Jazeera’s YouTube Channel. If you don’t have access to Al Jazeera in your city, contact your cable provider here.



YouTube Video: “A Fly on the Wall at Artomatic”
|| 6/15/2009 || 4:36 pm || Comments Off on YouTube Video: “A Fly on the Wall at Artomatic” || ||

On Saturday June 13th, 2009, I attended the Artomatic “Meet The Artist Night.” As an experiment, I decided to place my digital camera on my exhibit wall. This time-lapse video documents what it would be like to be a fly on the wall at my Artomatic 2009 exhibit.

About midway through the video, I remove the camera from the wall and a friend takes a photo of me with a couple friends and then I place the camera back on the wall for the remainder of the filming.


Music used in the video is Azul (Gianma’s Drum and Bass Remix) by Natalia Clavier from her El Arbol EP (2008).



You can also view a somewhat better quality version of the video on Facebook.



YouTube video of the early years of Disco in the Washington / Baltimore area from 1976
|| 6/1/2009 || 2:41 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

This video was created by Tom D’Antoni in 1976 for Maryland Public Broadcasting‘s show “The Critic’s Place” on the Disco phenomenon when it was happening. It shows some of the nightclubs that existed in Washington, DC and Baltimore during the early years of Disco. I really enjoyed how Tom highlighted the social differences that existed between DC and Baltimore 30 years ago and how they, in some ways, still exist today. I am really curious about where the clubs that were featured in the video were located. At about 4 minutes in he mentions 20th & L streets and that area is now all office buildings. I gotta wonder if there are any nightclubs in the locations shown in the video that still exist today?


A big thanks goes to Dori Hadar, who posted this on Facebook, and is the person we can collectively thank for helping to discover Mingering Mike. You can purchase his insightful book about Mingering Mike on Amazon.


Note: while the YouTube video’s title says “Disco 1975 (74?),” upon a thorough reading of the comments posted on YouTube, audiophiles were able to accurately place the video at 1976.


UPDATE – 2/28/2011 – The Sagittarius, shown at the opening and again at around the 2 minute mark, was located inside of the Fraser Mansion and is currently the national affairs office of the Church of Scientology. -via DCist.



“A Haircut One Year In The Making” – A time-lapse YouTube video of my long-awaited haircut
|| 3/25/2009 || 12:27 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

After growing my hair out for the last year, I decided to film the long-awaited haircut in my living room using my digital camera’s time-lapse recording function. While the haircut was taking place a couple of my housemates come home and watch the haircut unaware that there was a camera recording in the background.

The video gratuitously starts out with a couple photos I took of myself from July of 2008 until March of 2009 then transitions to the footage my Canon SD750 recorded using the one frame per second time-lapse feature. I would have included more photos from June of 2008 to March of 2008, but I couldn’t find any photos on my hard drive.

Anyways, I doubt I’ll grow my hair out like this again for awhile, but honestly, I enjoyed having it.
Up next: the sideburns!


MUSIC: Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in F Major by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by the Gardner Chamber Orchestra. Audio directed by flutist Paula Robison.
Audio courtesy of Archive.org


Artwork Note: On the wall, behind me to my left, is my map “Washington Monument Lenz




Related YouTube Entries:

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Where did Google’s video rankings go?
|| 3/18/2009 || 2:55 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

About a week ago I noticed that Google had quietly removed my favorite component of their on-line video services: video ranking. It was an automated service that allowed users to be able to see which videos were viewed the most, blogged the most, and shared the most each day, week, and month. This ranking system offered a unique snapshot of the internet video zeitgeist and oftentimes helped me find videos that I otherwise would not have found.

There was also the ability to seek out the popular videos based on geography through the country search. This allowed me to find videos that were popular in England or Canada and compare them to the popular videos in America. All there is now is Hot Videos, which does not provide the same depth of understanding the other metrics offered.

So why the removal of a popular feature with no note to the public? Well there was a tangentially related note posted back in January on Google’s Blog about the discontinuing support for uploads to Google Video. However, in their FAQ and blog entry there was no wayward mention that the video rankings would be taken away.

I understand that Google Video, the video hosting service, had to spend a great deal of time & money removing copyrighted material on an ongoing basis. With YouTube already having to deal with this, it makes sense to consolidate the video operations within YouTube. But why remove the rankings that cross over to all of the videos hosted by Google, including YouTube? It just doesn’t make sense.

The only answer that I’ve been able to come up with is the suppression of popular videos. By removing the ability of users to see what videos are popular at a given time, Google can prevent users from sharing the popular videos with others. If they want to prevent the next Zeitgeist film or rant about the smelly New World Odor, they have found the perfect way to do so: don’t let people know what is popular through their on-line services. Instead, make them find it themselves through other means.

But why would Google do this? What would be their motive? I really don’t know, but it reminds me of the Samizdat in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, where Google wants to prevent its users from watching The Entertainment in order to help maintain social cohesion. But, alas, people will always find a way to obtain what they are looking for. The only difference is that it now appears that Google is not being the best search engine it can be.

In summary, I don’t care if Google stops allowing people to upload videos to their Google Video servers, people will find other servers, but don’t remove popular methods of finding video content. I want to know what the most viewed video was yesterday in _____[country]_____. I want to know why ____________ was watched by more people yesterday than any other video on the internet. Google once provided an excellent tool for knowledge discovery through it’s rankings system but has taken it away without a decent reason. So, dear Google, when will you reinstate the video rankings? …And why did you remove them in the first place?


The screen grab above links to what used to be the video ranking page and now forwards visitors to basic Google Video front page.


Related Google Entries:

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The D.C. Colonist receives a warm welcome from Senator Joe Lieberman at today’s Business Meeting of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
|| 2/11/2009 || 2:43 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Roll Call’s photo of the week from April, 2007

Today I attended the Business Meeting of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs dressed in my colonial attire. I wear this costume for every congressional hearing related to representation for the residents of Washington, DC. I arrived early enough to snag a decent seat and sat down next to my friend Shadow Senator Michael D. Brown. As the other Senators arrived for the meeting he & I chatted about ideas related to what we can do next to get statehood for the District of Columbia.

A few minutes later when Senator Joe Lieberman walked in, Shadow Senator Michael D. Brown stood up, greeted him, and shook his hand. Senator Lieberman then looks at me and said something along the lines of “I’m glad to see that we have a colonist here. Do you go by the name of Paul Revere?” I said, “No, I’m just a DC colonist.” He followed, “So you don’t have a name? Just ‘DC Colonist’?” and I responded, “I’m just a DC Colonist that suffers taxation without representation.” He smiled, walked over to the end of the table, and sat down at his seat. A few minutes later the hearing began and he decided to greet me publicly…..

Click here to listen to the audio
or
Click here to watch the video

[to watch the video, you first need to hit play, then scroll the slider over to about 21:10 to watch the introduction]

Senator Lieberman said:

I do want to note and welcome Mayor Fenty of the District of Columbia we are honored that you are here and a somewhat older resident of the District from colonial times [laughter] also present. I gather you are making the general point about taxation without representation [off camera I nod in the affirmative]. Okay I don’t need to make my case any stronger than that [laughter]. Thank you for being here.



Also worthy of mention is that later on in the hearing (at around 43:15 into the video), Senator George Voinovich mentions the time when the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe were in Washington, DC and we lobbied them on the Potomac River (right photo). Hearing him mention that day made me laugh. It was one of my favorite demonstrations I’ve ever taken part in! I remember watching the parliamentarians applaud our efforts from the ship and the following day they passed a resolution calling on the United States government to give DC residents congressional representation.

In the end, only Senator John McCain voted against the bill, S.R. 160, the senate version of the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009, and it passed the committee with a vote of 11-1. Unfortunately, I agree with McCain’s opinion, only states should receive representation in Congress.

I feel that DC Vote and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton wasted a huge opportunity to give DC residents equal representation in Congress by reintroducing this three-year-old, constitutionally questionable legislation that was written for a Republican controlled congress. Times have changed, however, the bill and its constitutional underpinnings have not. I’m not sure what will happen next to the bill, like when will it be voted on, but I am sure it will be challenged on it’s constitutionality. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to work with my Shadow Delegation on lobbying for statehood for the District of Columbia.



UPDATE: February 12th, 2009 – Comedian Stephan Colbert interviewed Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton the following night:

Its too bad the editors missed the chance with the Colonist…

Related Colonist Entries:

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Photos from the DC Manifest Hope Gallery Party
|| 1/19/2009 || 11:44 pm || Comments Off on Photos from the DC Manifest Hope Gallery Party || ||

My friend from Los Angeles who was in town for the inaugural festivities invited to attend the Manifest Hope Gallery party this evening. After hearing that Moby, De La Soul, and Santogold were performing and it was an invite-only party, I was quite excited. It turns out that although she had tickets, she opted to volunteer for the event, so as her guest I also volunteered for most of the party. All I did was stand next to a wall and guard the artwork and tell people not lean on the wall. It was pretty easy and I took quite a few breaks to dance, look at the art, and say hello to my friends who were also at the party. I think the highlight of the party was when one of my friends gave me an extra ticket to the swearing in ceremony tomorrow at the Capitol.

Below are a couple pictures I took of the party:

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YouTube Video of Newschannel 8’s coverage of the “YES WE CAN – DC STATEHOOD NOW” poster
|| 1/15/2009 || 11:50 pm || Comments Off on YouTube Video of Newschannel 8’s coverage of the “YES WE CAN – DC STATEHOOD NOW” poster || ||

I was able to snag this video from the Newschannel 8 website and upload to YouTube. I know its not quite legal, but neither is being denied representation in Congress.

Below is the text of the article:

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The Daily Render By
A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future.

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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!