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Freeing a Mourning Dove from a glass vase
|| 5/18/2011 || 9:10 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


source

This morning when I went to my backyard I noticed the glass vase moving around on the ground. Upon seeing that it was actually a Mourning Dove stuck in a glass vase, I quickly ran upstairs and got my camera so I could film my attempt at freeing the stuck bird….



Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives: Hearing on the District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: “Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability”
|| 5/12/2011 || 10:21 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I went to Capitol Hill to attend “the District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability” hearing dressed in colonial attire. You can see me in the screen shot from the start of the 2nd Panel:

Screen Grab from YouTube showing DC Colonist


Mayor Gray, Chairman Brown to testify to Oversight Hearing on D.C. Budget

WASHINGTON- The House Committee on Oversight and Government D.C. subcommittee will host the top two at-large elected officials in the District on Thursday at 8:45 a.m. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown will testify at a hearing on the District’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget.

The subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC., has called the hearing to examine the fiscal sustainability of D.C. spending. In 1995 the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act established a five member “Control Board” to oversee financial matters. The Control Board was disbanded in 2001 when District had achieved four consecutive balanced budgets and met other criteria. There are seven separate “triggers” which would automatically revive the Control Board.

In addition to the two elected officials, D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi will testify on a separate panel. Full witness list and hearing information can be found below. Testimony will be posted as it becomes available at http://oversight.house.gov/

WHAT: The District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability

WHO: Subcommittee on Health Care, DC, Census, and the National Archives, Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-SC.

WHEN/WHERE: 8:45 a.m. on Thursday May 12th in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses:

Panel I

• The Honorable Vincent Gray, Mayor, District of Columbia

• The Honorable Kwame Brown, Chairman, DC City Council

Panel II

• Dr. Natwar Gandhi,Chief Financial Officer, District of Columbia

• Mr. Jim Dinegar, CEO, DC Board of Trade

• Mr. Matt Fabian, Managing Director, Municipal Market Advisors

• Dr. Alice M. Rivlin, the Brookings Institution; former Chair of the Control Board

Twitpic from inside the hearing

Below are three YouTube videos of the hearing followed by photographs I took at the end of first panel.

+ MORE



YouTube Video of Congressman Serrano speaking on the House floor about the need for Congress to respect DC
|| 2/16/2011 || 3:19 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


Basically Congressman says that other Congressmen experiment on the citizens of the District of Columbia because they cannot do the same types of experiments on their own constituents.

Thank you Congressman Serrano for speaking up for the 600,000 American citizens of the District of Columbia.



YouTube Video Clip of the Driving Scene from Babylon Central
|| 7/27/2010 || 10:28 am || + Render A Comment || ||


[ Watch On YouTube ]

With Babylon Central coming out today, I decided to post the final clip that has been placed on-line prior to it’s release. I look forward to receiving my copy.



A New Strategy For Full Representation in Congress: Have the District of Columbia Government Sue State Legislatures
|| 7/14/2010 || 2:54 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Last night I received an e-mail from Timothy Cooper, executive director of World Rights, about his recent appearance on NewsChannel 8 and decided to save the video to publish here. The thrust of the new strategy is to have the District government sue the State legislatures around the United States for denying District residents full representation in Congress using international law as the basis for this lawsuit. The strategy is quite novel and I’m curious to see how this turns out.



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.



Interiview with Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation about his film Babylon Central
|| 6/16/2010 || 10:43 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


[ Watch on YouTube ]

Following up on the Babylon Central trailer, ESL Music has released a short interview with director Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation about his new film.



Trailer for “Babylon Central” – A film by Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation
|| 6/9/2010 || 11:52 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||


[ Watch on YouTube ]


Back in September of 2006 I briefly blogged about working on the film Babylon Central as a production assistant. I was brought on for the last month of the filming in order to help complete the last major scenes before Thievery Corporation left for a tour in Brazil. I had an absolutely great time working on the film and I’m very excited to see the final cut!



From ESL Music:

The directorial debut from Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation, Babylon Central is an original screenplay and film, shot on location in Washington, DC. Features a musical score created by Hilton in the style of his record label, ESL Music.

Sebastian James is a courier by day and aspiring DJ by night. When he forgets an important delivery, Seb finds himself an unwitting participant in an economic power-play with a Saudi Prince and his attempt to change the currency for oil. As Seb begins to fall for the Prince’s daughter and his friends are dragged into the conflict, the powers that control modern-day Babylon – Washington, DC – are exposed, and the US Empire is called into question.


Babylon Central will be exclusively released as a digital download on Amazon.com on July 19, 2010 and will be available in stores everywhere on July 27, 2010. The film is being sold as a DVD + CD combo, which includes the DVD of film and CD of the film’s soundtrack. You can also preorder a physical copy of the film and receive it the day the film comes out. At $15 + shipping, it’s a pretty good deal & an innovative way to distribute the film.



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.

+ MORE



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.





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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!