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money troubles
|| 8/25/2004 || 3:37 pm || Comments Off on money troubles || ||

baghdad bissaulenz lenz

This rendering is pretty good. There isn’t too much to say about it, except that I need make a digital installation with all of these renderings. I think I am going to make a page with all the thumbnails arranged in some mildly artistic way. It will look good, but in the meantime I need to fnd some stable income! Bills are due and the money isn’t adding up the way I want it to! Eeek! I added a “donate” button at the bottom of the right panel, but I sincerely doubt anyone will throw me any loot. I mean I’ve never donated to anyone before, but maybe I should start. In the meantime I am going to be submitting my resume to a bunch of different temp agencies and calling my family to ask for money (a first!). If I would have done this earlier this month and not spent so much money last weekend with my guest I don’t think this would have happened, but that is hindsight and its always 20/20. Yet if anyone has anything they need done for them and are willing to pay me, drop me a line!

The next rendering will use the same inner satellite image as the first Guinea-Biassau rendering, but with the torus being one that I’ll create. Expect something special in about 9 hours….



power struggle
|| || 4:19 am || Comments Off on power struggle || ||

guinea-bissaulenz lenz

I’m not sure how I feel about this rendering. The torus looks nice but the inner satellite image looks a bit off. I am not sure what it is, it might be the way it looks in its full size, but the rendering is definitely not my favorite. I think it might be from the original satellite image and the nature of the original pixilation. The next image rendering will be the same torus but with the Baghdad satellite image. I have a feeling this one will look better.

Earlier today I went to Joanne McNeil’s happy hour at Cafe Nema. It was fun. I met up with a few of DC’s more popular bloggers Matt Yglesias and Julian Sanchez, as well as a host of friends I hadn’t seen in a while. After a few drinks the discussion did make its way toward politics and I tried my best to promote DC Statehood. They both laughed at the insinuation that DC could be a viable state in the union. Matt even went so far as to place the irony of how he only lived in DC because of the government. Yet I couldn’t help but wonder about the rest of the DC residents, those that do not live here because of the government, rather they live here because they were born here and due to their disenfranchisement have not been given the same rights & benefits as the rest of Americans have been given. I guess its one thing to be a pundit and give analysis and a completely different thing to try to actively change things. There is a quote in Adbusters a few issues back- “there are more talkers than walkers,” and I guess it aptly applies here. Nonetheless, I’d like to believe that pundits do have the power to challenge people into action.

Afterwards, I attempted to go to Aldis to get some cheap-ass groceries. I found out that there was a store about 8 minutes from me at 7609 New Hampshire Ave, but it was closed when I arrived so I had to settle for the nearby Giant store. When I got home I cooked up some of my signature vegetarian gruel- sautéed onions, green chilies, and black-eyed peas mixed together with “deluxe” macaroni & cheese. All I can say is that I love to cook, even if the final product doesn’t look the most pleasing to the eye.

After dinner, I had a short conversation with my friend Jill about relationships. She mentioned how her mother said that to tell if you are dealing with a healthy couple you ask each of them separately who has the control in the relationship and in the ones that last, both parties will say that they have it. I found that this was a particularly interesting insight that I’ll definitely have to consider in dealing with my future relationships. Essentially, a power struggle exists in most relationships, but those that are successful have an inherent balance that keeps both parties actively working toward a healthy love life. I definitely know how my previous relationships were balanced and why they were successful / unsuccessful.

The next image is about 20% finished, so I’ll have it on-line in the morning. Each one of these bad-boys is 300 megabytes and I’m starting to run out of space! Its time for a massive backup!



lucklaster lenz
|| 8/24/2004 || 2:54 pm || Comments Off on lucklaster lenz || ||

baghdad lake lenz

I think this rendering is just okay- it could be better. I chose to make the “lenz” aka the central sphere less round and it made the central image look very flat, which is not what I wanted it to look like. However, I do like the way the torus turned out as well as the green halo that surround the torus- call it a Green Halo for the Green Zone!

Last night while adding the new links section “Eye in the Sky” (which are links to satellite imagery outlets), I found what looks like a treasure trove of images from the U.S. Geological Survey. Aside from tons of images that have to be purchased, they have two galleries of composite satellite images which can be downloaded. It is called the “Earth As Art Collection” (Gallery 1, Gallery 2) and the images are all roughly 200 megabytes each, and due to their generous sizes, I’ll be able to make massive renderings using them. Best yet, they are completely free to use. Unlike the images I have used from Space Imaging & Digital Globe, which might be subject copyrights, the USGS images seem to be free to use. I also think its funny that they call the gallery “Earth As Art,” because I am using them for just that, with some slight, but significant variations.

Right now I am rendering a 4-panelled reflection of Guinea-Bissau with the torus texture being the same image but with the colors inverted. It should look very interesting!



banner drop recap
|| 8/21/2004 || 1:08 am || 4 Comments Rendered || ||

The flag drop went great! We counted how many times people honked, waved, and gave thumbs up, and we decided to go home when hit we 510- it took about an hour and 15 minutes. One of the best parts was that there wasn’t any interference from the police. I can’t wait to do it again!

With the buzz I got from the banner drop, I decided to do a little bit more work for the campaign when I arrived home, so I registered the domain names for www.strikeforstatehood.com and www.strike4statehood.com. These domain names will be used for the promotion of October 1st- Budget Autonomy for the District Day. I am pondering ways in which we can eclipse the activities of last year and make sure there is more national attention given towards DC Statehood. It should be very interesting :-) Now I’m off to Fairfax, Virginia for a friend’s party!



the double use of satellite images…
|| 8/19/2004 || 5:02 pm || Comments Off on the double use of satellite images… || ||

baghdadmonroviaeyebaghdadmonrovia

I made two new renderings using a 4-panel reflection satellite image of downtown Baghdad as the center and a 4-panel reflection satellite image of Monrovia, Liberia. I think they are absolutely beautiful! Most definitely my favorite renderings yet. I really am pleased with how the double use of inner and outer satellite images looks. I think I’ll make a couple more with Baghdad as the centeral image and just change the size & texture of the torus. So far this summer I’ve made about 30 of these images, and if I were to professionally have these printed I could definitely have an interesting exhibit- I’ll continue dreaming in the meantime!

I am starting to redesign Citizen Policies Institute’s website and I am excited about making this website look amazing! I’ll begin working on this shortly. In the meantime, I have a very special guest in town who I haven’t seen in a year! So I’m not sure how much work I’ll be able to do on my blog or my next website redesign. However, do to the passive nature of rendering graphics, I’ll probably churn out a few more in the meantime.



very interesting
|| 8/18/2004 || 7:52 am || Comments Off on very interesting || ||

Published Monday in the New York Times….

The Sept. 11 commission found that an American plan in early 1999 to launch a missile attack against a hunting camp in Afghanistan, which Mr. bin Laden appeared to be using, was postponed because three Emirates officials were also at the camp at the time. Policymakers “were concerned about the danger that a strike would kill an Emirati prince or other senior officials who might be with bin Laden or close by,” and Mr. bin Laden moved on after the strike was put off, the report said.

Wow, it seems that 9/11 can be blamed on petty international politics. I can’t help but wonder why there were 3 officials from the United Arab Emirates chillin’ with Bin Laden and more importantly, why there were 80 fighter jets being sold around the same time…. This isn’t conspiracy theory, this is the sad truth that Bin Laden could have been taken out, but apparently was given a bye because Lockheed Martin… Corporate interest over national security? nawww… Also the anonymous author of “Imperial Hubris” now has a name: Michael F. Scheuer- looks like the CIA outted one of their own- better than Robert “whatta hack” Novak. I wonder if this subject has been covered over at talking points memo? [update- it looks like he didn’t! oh well!]



mmmm, food
|| || 2:39 am || Comments Off on mmmm, food || ||

I decided to complete the fast at around 11pm tonight. For my first fast I made it 54 hours and I drank over 25 nalgene bottles of water. I found it to be something I’ll definitely do again. It will be for a week next time! I really think voluntary fasting might help a lot of people look more closely at their eating habits.

This evening I went around DC putting up campaign flyers with Adam Eidinger. The incumbent, Ray Browne, has finally decided to put up campaign flyers, but they are the exact same as the ones he used in 2002. Pretty lame! We had one incident with the police. They shouted over their car speaker that we were not allowed to put up the campaign poster on the street light. But I continued to put up the poster anyways because I knew that I was completely within my legal bounds. DC has a cool law that allows you to put up 3 posters per side of the street per block! We explained this to the police officers after they had gotten out of their car and checked our IDs. The whole confrontation ended with us giving the police a campaign palmcard and saying goodbye. Its a nice thing when you can end a confrontation with the police without any problems, and even a smile & laugh. They realized that they were not correct in their assumption about campaign postering and let us be. Later in the evening while we were putting up more posters, I saw the same squad car and waived and they waived back. I guess this incident would fall under the “soft-side” of a police-state (if there is one). I watched the Hardball clip again today. I am going to send the link to my close friends and family for them to get a better picture of my involvement with the campaign.

Earlier today, I tried to get a 48 megabyte satellite image of Baghdad to reflect in Photoshop, but was unsuccessful due to lack of space on my scratch disk. I was able to halve the size of the image and resample it. It will be for next and potentially largest rendering. I really love the way the satellite images reflect!

Time to clean my room and prepare for my guest. And eat a lil more…



..still fasting..
|| 8/17/2004 || 9:00 am || Comments Off on ..still fasting.. || ||

Image Links to Flash Player:
brussels zoom

Above is a screenshot of today’s rendering– a 5 second animation of the most recent “Brussels Lenz” (see previous post). If you look closely, you can see why I’ve been so fascinated by the use of the glass sphere with embedded images. Well if you don’t want to look closely, I’ll explain it anyways- I like the way the sphere refracts the satellite images to look similar to the curveture of the earth. If you’ve ever been on top of a high mountain (one that goes above tree line) you might get what I’m talking about. Anyways, I’m not sure what graphic I’ll render next…. oddly at 30 frames per second at 720X480 size, a five second animation takes less time to make than a conventional still image….. hmmm, I think I’m sold on the idea of really large posters.

Adam kicked ass on Hardball last night. I recorded the show and put it on his campaign website. I was amazed at how Chris Matthews kept on insinuating that protestors are violent and bent on destruction. Yet Adam managed to keep his cool the entire time. Much respect!

I encoded the recording using Real Video. This was my first time using this A/V format. I was able to download the Export Plugin for Quicktime, and I am very pleased with the compression that I was able to get. However to encode the 13 minute segment of the show from DV format to Real Video format took over 3 hours! Way too long but the export plugin was able to take a 5,500 megabyte video file and compress it to 35 megabytes….that pretty impressive, albeit time consuming.

On the fasting front, this morning I ate a cayenne pepper. My friend David mentioned how the pepper is supposed to help cleanse the body by way of heat. After not eating any food for 36 hours (while drinking about 3 gallons of water) the cayenne pepper actually made my body temperature rise slightly. It was kinda cool. I am expecting a ketosis buzz sometime this afternoon. It should be interesting. And tomorrow a special friend will be coming to DC to visit me. I’m excited!



fasting fun
|| 8/16/2004 || 4:54 pm || Comments Off on fasting fun || ||

earth eye brusselsbrussels version #2

Tonight Adam Eidinger will on Hardball with Chris Matthews (7pm on DC channel 64). I have my Macintosh “tivo” set to record the show, and hopefully I’ll be able to put it on his website.

Last night I decided to make today and possibly tomorrow fasting days. Only water for me- no cigarettes, no food, nothing but water. So far today I’ve drank 2 liters of water, and I’ll probably drink another 4 more (at least). So why fast? Well my friend David of the Superstars of Love explained to me that he would fast a couple times a year to cleanse out some of the toxins in his body. I am really concentrating on using fasting as a vehicle to expel a variety of toxins from my body- including nicotine. David said it helped him, and I think it makes sense- your body will crave food not cigarettes. Also, historically humans did not eat three square meals a day, sometimes not even one square meal a day, and I think its important for my body to experience the absence of food. David did mention that on the third day of his fast he’d get kinda high in that natural, vision-quest kinda way. I’m excited to see how it turns out. For some more info about fasting read this. Also, last week I ate a 75% vegan diet, which should help me out somewhat in the dietary transition.

As for the new renderings, I am very happy with both of the newest ones of Brussels, however the “spiral” rendering has an “error” on the left side of the image. For some reason the texture does not look right. However, the other one has a nicely reflected texture. Version 4.0 will be up shortly. I wonder what satellite image I’ll use next. I think I might use one of the images from Athens, Greece in honor of the Olympics.



Brussels & the American Candidate
|| 8/15/2004 || 9:55 pm || Comments Off on Brussels & the American Candidate || ||

earthlenz brusselseartheye monvrovia black

Version 4.0 of the Monrovia series is very simple with a black torus & some blue smoke. I started a new series using a satellite image of Brussels, Belgium. The Brussels rendering image looks pretty good. I tried to make the texture of the torus similar to the rooftops in the city and it turned out well. The only problem is that the satellite image is not as large as it could be (about 8,000 pixels) so when the rendered image is looked at in full size it looks slightly pixilated. That kinda sucks, however the actual rendered image looks good the way its reflected. I am going to start on version 2.0 shortly.

Right now I’m watching American Candidate on Showtime. Its a pretty good show! I think I’ll record it next week. There is actually a green party candidate “Bruce” who has some intelligent words to say. More importantly, the show actually gives 3rd parties a platform to speak. Bruce is making a point of putting animal rights into political discourse. I wish the actual presidential candidacy was like this- minus all the psuedo-drama of the reality show. Next up is Entourage, Ali G, and Def Poetry- probably my favorite night of television :-)

The party at my house last night was a lot of fun. I got rather drunk and met a bunch of people. Good times!





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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!