The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


She’s got the sole of the city with SWIMS galoshes
|| 10/31/2008 || 11:51 am || Comments Off on She’s got the sole of the city with SWIMS galoshes || ||

Map of Paris featured on SWIMS City Slipper high heel

I read about these stylish galoshes a little while ago, and saw the map on sole of the shoe, but I couldn’t find a high resolution version that showed the actual map. Yesterday I found it. SWIMS, a Scandinavian company known for making stylish galoshes, incorporates lots of great details both for practical and aesthetic reasons such as:

• Extra traction for slippery surfaces.
• The sole of each CitySlipper has the map of either New York, Paris, or Tokyo.
• Pull on/off grip and the soft siliconpad on the sides makes it very convenient.
• Flexible design to fit almost any heel height and thickness due to flexible material and construction.
• Protection for the delicate leather/suede sole of your shoe and the tip of the shoe against the elements.
• Low-Cut style is for shoes with bows and buckles.

The maps themselves definitely fall into the realm of aesthetics not cartographics, but ya know, I am a big fan of those kind of maps.

Related Fashion Entries:


In the classroom #4 – The University of Auckland, Aotearoa
|| 10/30/2008 || 12:30 pm || Comments Off on In the classroom #4 – The University of Auckland, Aotearoa || ||

I still find one of the most interesting things about opening my website up has been watching the slow diffusion of my body of work and how educators have included some of my creations in their lesson plans. Earlier today I found that my Geospatial Art is being used as a case study for the class “Visualising Research and Communicating Places“, an elective course (ARCHDRC773) in the Architecture program at the University of Auckland, Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you have a few minutes, check out some of the student’s work. Their course blogs are listed on the sidebar below the case study links.

Related Entries:

YouTube Video of Thievery Corporation’s Radio Retaliation
|| || 10:34 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

In August I sampled the first 30 seconds of the song above to create the time-lapse video of my nighttime bicycle ride home from the 18th Street Lounge. It’s the title track of Thievery Corporation’s newest CD, Radio Retaliation, which I’ve found to be my favorite Thievery Corporation album to date.

What I like most about the video above is it’s simplicity. You’ve got Sleepy Wonder singing the song in a small crowd, but it’s mainly just him singing and its not laden with fancy editing or too many visual effects that you get in many contemporary music videos. Of all things, the video reminds me a lot of a Wednesday night at the 18th Street Lounge with the band See-I crossed between scenes from the film Rockers. Also, if you look closely, you can see Hutchy in the video :-)

According to my sources, the next video from their new album will be Chuck Brown‘s song “The Numbers Game.” I’ll post the video when it’s released and if you haven’t picked up their newest CD yet, you are missing out on some of the finest music produced in Washington, DC this year.

Click here to watch The Numbers Game.


The microphone flag I designed makes an appearance
|| 10/29/2008 || 8:55 pm || Comments Off on The microphone flag I designed makes an appearance || ||

Back in August before I went to Denver to help cover the Democratic National Convention, Liz Glover asked me to design microphone flags for the Huffington Post, Radar Magazine, and Blackbook Magazine. The idea behind making these microphone flags was that she’d be able to change the flags on her microphone before interviewing people for the different news organizations. It adds an extra sense of legitimacy to any reporter in the field and it genuinely looks more professional.

On Monday she went up to New York City to cover the opening of Steve Lewis’ new club Aspen Social for Blackbook Magazine. In the video above I spotted the Blackbook microphone flag that I designed for the first time. Judging by the success of the interview, I hope to see that flag more often.

By the way, did you see what happened to that same microphone in Minnesota? I’m still laughing at that dog named Sarah.

Assaulted in my neighborhood—- again.
|| 10/28/2008 || 7:48 pm || 8 Comments Rendered || ||

Back in July I was assaulted on my doorstep by three men who jumped out of their car. Today while walking back from the convenience store located about 500 feet from my front door I was assaulted by a group of about 7 teenagers. Below is the e-mail that I sent to my neighborhood association listserve:


Today at 3:30pm while walking back home from the 10th Street Market a group of teenagers assaulted me.

After I had purchased a soft drink from the 10th Street Market, I was walking north on 10th street on the eastern sidewalk when a teen ran down the sidewalk from Westminster street and literally started throwing punches at me on the sidewalk near the alley. He didn’t ask for money, rather just wanted to fight and I looked like an easy subject.

When I turned around another youth had approached me from behind and took a swing at me. Since I wasn’t taken down with any of the punches, I continued to hold my fists up and take on both of the youth. I was able force the main attacker of the teenagers up 10th street to the corner of Westminster Street, whereupon another teen came running north on the sidewalk and attempted to punch me again. I continued yelling at them at the top of my lungs asking them why they wanted to fight me and telling them that I live here in the neighborhood.

In all there were about 7 youth, about 14 in age, and three or four of them fought me. They worked as a pack, with one ahead of the group, one behind the group, and a small group on the other side of the street watching. This type of group fighting strengthen bonds between youth because they are able to work together on a single target. The youth who first approached me was clearly trying to show off to his friends.

In all, I got punched in the left eye, right rib, and right lip. The police response was swift, within 5 minutes, and I was able to drive around with the officer Sarah Guarin, but were not able to spot any of the youth.

I am saddened that they’ll be in the neighborhood again in the not-so-distant future because they most likely go to school nearby. Many of us know that the time after school until dark during the school year is when we are most likely to be assaulted by teenagers, especially groups of teenagers.

While I want them to be punished for their actions, I do not want the youth to go to jail because from my experience it only hurts their future prospects. Community service can be a strong reforming agent for wayward youth like the ones who find sport in an after school fight club.

What I found bothersome during the entire altercation was that I was yelling at the top of my lungs the entire time & no neighbors heard me and that a UPS driver made a delivery to a neighbor while it was taking place and neither parties did anything. But at the same time there is little that can be done by observers except yelling “I am calling the police,” unless they want to risk getting beat up as well.

If I can ask a request for the police, it would be to do more patrols right when school is out. There are only a few places that teens congregate when after school and one of them is the 10th Street Market. I have a cordial relationship with the owner and I know he cannot do much because many walk by the store after school and give him patronage. For the time being, I’ll avoid shopping there after school.

The descriptions of the youth are as follows:
– One youth, 5’9″ African American, light skinned and wore a beige jacket, short black hair, slightly large ears. Skinny, about 145 lbs.
– One youth 5’6 African American, darker skinned and wore a neon blue t-shirt, with pink writing. 160 lbs. hat.
– One youth 5’8 African American, darker skinned and wore a white jacket with a patterned black print. 150 lbs. black hat.
– One slightly heavy-set youth, African American who did not get involved but played a supportive role. 5’11 180 short hair .25 inch
– Two African-American youth wearing black jackets

My glasses were nearly knocked off after the first blow, and I put them in my pocket so they would not break, and because of this I am unable to describe the youth in better detail.

Afterwards, while waiting for the police, a two young African American girls spoke to me and said they [the youth] “do that sometimes.” The girls were about 10 and 6. The youngest had shoulder-length braided hair. They probably know the teenagers who assaulted me.

The youth left going north toward the metro, then went down T street @ 3:35pm.

Nikolas Schiller

So far its only my ribcage that really hurts. I don’t know if the cut below my eye will turn into a black eye or not. And no, I didn’t have my camera on me… Ugh. When I moved into this house four years ago I thought the neighborhood was bad. Nearly half of the houses on S Street were boarded up and now they all have people in them. In the late 1980’s my street was an open air drug market and for the last 20 years the neighborhood has slowly prospered. But kids will be kids and when they don’t have enough activities keeping them busy, they’ll move toward criminal behavior.


#2:30 Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
Below are some e-mails that were generated because from the e-mail above:

E-mail from my neighbor:

This appears to be very similar to what happened on Friday afternoon at 5pm next to our home. A group of about 6 teenagers jumped one of our neighbors, demanding his cell phone. They had been following him south on 10th st., and as he turned to try and get away from them through the back of a Vt. Avenue neighbor’s house whose backyard faces 10th st., they jumped him. My husband witnessed it and immediately screamed out the window at the youth, who ran away. We called the police and they were there within about 5 minutes (along with what I assume were members of the gang unit). I agree that this is very disturbing. The same group of teenagers had been hanging out on 10th st for about 1/2 an hour before this. I had walked right by them and into our house, so they knew people were home and yet felt comfortable attacking someone right in front of the house in broad daylight. It’s very troubling, as the attack on our neighbor appeared to be more out of boredom than anything else.

E-mail from my city council member Jim Graham:

I am very saddened to read your message, though your strength and compassion is very compelling. The attack was discussed in this evening’s meeting in LeDroit Park, and then I returned home–after going to the scene of a homicide at 11th and Harvard–to find this description on my email.

I am including MPD leadership and the Mayor on this message.

I wonder whether this might not be in some way gang related. Some kind of perverse initiation, since there is no evidence of any robbery intention.

Perhaps MPD can shed some light on this. I sure hope so. I am including the head of detectives as well. These juveniles really need to be brought to justice.

With sincere sympathy, Jim

E-mail from ANC 2C01 Commissioner Alex Padro:

This activity has been reported numerous times in the past several years, as far away as western Ward 5 (east of New Jersey Avenue), but mostly focused in the area between 9th, 11th, R and T Streets. The youth target a single Caucasian male for the attack, without robbery as a motive, and in some instances, the injuries have been more serious. All the assaults have occurred in the 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM weekdays time frame.

E-mail from Mayor Adrian Fenty:

Commissioner and Councilmember: mpd will work with dcps and mpd to determine whether these were youth from the local high school and will also take some of the precautionary steps recommended

E-mail from Police Chief Cathy Lanier:

Mr. Schiller,

First of all let me offer my sincerest apologies for this assault! I
sincerely appreciate your reporting the crime and reaching out to MPD
with this great description of the youths. While not all of our youth
are engaging in this type of behavior we are seeing a small group that
are. We are taking an aggressive approach and stance on these
incidents. In most incidents reported to us, we have seen that the
attack preceded a robbery. Although this incident is horrific, I am
thankful that your personal property was not taken.

One of our current initiatives that we reiterated to the community
yesterday is the reward program we have in place for information related
to robberies. The police department offers up to $10,000 to anyone who
provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of an
individual(s) responsible for an armed robbery or a robbery that does
results in serious bodily injury. In addition to our efforts to
encourage citizens to come forward with information, DC Crime Solver’s
program also will reward up to $1,000 for information that leads to an
arrest and indictment of an individual(s) for a robbery or other serious

I shared that information with you, Mr. Schiller, to say that we are
aggressively working and fighting for you and the citizens of the
District. We are strongly encouraging citizens to come forward with
information about these crimes (any crime for that matter). This is a
completely unfortunate and undeserved attack on you and I will ensure
that we follow up with you and do our absolute best to identify and
arrest those responsible for it.

10/29/08 – 4:00pm – I spoke with Detective McKenna on the phone about everything and he said he’d come by tomorrow.

10/30/08 – 4:40pm – Detective McKenna and female detective, who’s name I cannot recall, stopped by the house today and spoke with me for about 15 minutes. According to their research, only one nearby school, Sunrise Academy, does not have uniforms for the students. This means the kids involved in my assault either went to that school, they were skipping school, or they changed out of their uniforms once they left school property. Judging from the map, I doubt it was kids from that school simply due to the distance they would have had to travel after school to make it to my neighborhood. Anyways, I am told to call 911 and say that I have “a second sighting” if I see any of the kids involved in the assault walking around my neighborhood.

11/14/08 – 5:10pm – I noticed police activity at the corner of 10th & S and decided to leave my house to see what was happening and to purchase some beer from the 10th Street Market. Upon my arrival I noticed that a youth was in handcuffs and about 8 police officers were present. I went inside of the 10th Street Market to purchase my evening’s victuals and when I walked outside the youth was facing me and I immediately recognized the youth as the one who assaulted me.

I walked up to the youth who was partially surrounded by the police officers and looked him in eyes and yelled “DO YOU REMEMBER ME?” The police looked at me confused and said the female officer said, “Excuse me?” I turned to the nearby officer and said, “I have a second sighting.” Whereupon about 4 of the police officers approached me for questioning and I removed the piece of paper from my wallet which I had written the case number down on. I gave the police officers the paper and they proceeded to get some of my contact information and I was told that I would be contacted shortly. I walked back home and called Detective McKenna at the police department and left him a message.

11/15/08 – 1:41pm – While I was riding my bike down to the National Mall, I received a follow-up call from Detective McKenna. He said the youth in custody had a previous criminal record and was found with a BB gun on him the previous night. He said the “second sighting” was useful to the police and the youth was currently being detained indefinitely. He also stated that the youth did in fact attend Sunrise Academy as was originally suspected due to the lack of school uniforms on the day of the original assault.

In all, I’m glad the youth was caught and I hope he learns from his mistakes. However, I fear that he’ll become more hardened while in police custody and for this I feel sorry for him. I hope he able to change his ways.

11/17/08 – 10:15am – A detective stopped by the house today with a printout of 9 different photographs on it. My instructions were to circle the picture of the person who was involved with the assault. After doing so I wasn’t told if I had chosen correctly or not. The detective thanked me for my time and left.

12/12/08 – 9:45am – About 30 minutes ago I received a phone call asking if I would be home to receive a subpoena. I confirmed and shortly afterwards someone from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (Family Court) delivered a subpoena to my residence. I am due in court on January 5th, 2009.

12/19/08 – 1:00pm – A representative from the Public Defender Service stopped by my house unannounced at 11:30am. I let him in and we spent the next 90 minutes making an oral and written statement regarding the events.

1/5/09 – 10:30am – Returned home from the DC Superior Court slightly disappointed. I arrived in the courtroom on time only to find out that the judge changed the court date and I never received an updated subpoena from the prosecutor’s office. The arraignment is set to take place tomorrow and fortunately I will not need to be present because the youth plead guilty to possession of a firearm and my assault case is not going to be pursued.

On one hand I’m thankful that I don’t have to testify in court and possibly send the youth to jail for a longer period. Yet on the other hand, I’m unsure if justice is really being served on my behalf. Did the youth decide to obtain a gun because he got tired of fighting people with his bare hands? Is the charge of illegal possession of a firearm a more serious crime than assaulting someone? Justice might be blind, but in some ways I feel that this case is written in Braille.

As I stated above, I did not want the kid to be jailed for his crime against me, rather I was seeking some sort of written apology, but now I don’t think any of that will happen. In this respect, I don’t feel that justice is being served on my behalf. It would have been nice to have some sort of resolution regarding my case, instead of it being subsumed by the weapons charge.

Regardless, my thoughts are with the youth and I hope he does not become a more hardened criminal while he is incarcerated. Or worse, I wonder if he’ll be put on probation and released tomorrow after the trial concludes. I think it would be best to contact the prosecutor tomorrow afternoon to find out what will happen to the youth and if I should keep an eye out for him in my neighborhood.

1/5/09 – 4:30pm – An official from the DC Superior Court delivered another subpoena to me. It was dated December 22nd, 2008, and it would have been nice if I would have received it last year instead of 6 hours after I arrived in court and 12 hours before I was scheduled to appear in court again. Judging by what the prosecutor told me this morning, I can ignore this subpoena, but I called the prosecutor’s phone number on the subpoena and asked her to confirm that my presence is not required in court tomorrow.

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The newest Vlogorrhea with Jason Linkins & Ana Marie Cox is now up on the Huffington Post
|| 10/27/2008 || 11:55 pm || Comments Off on The newest Vlogorrhea with Jason Linkins & Ana Marie Cox is now up on the Huffington Post || ||

On Sunday, I went with my friend Elizabeth Glover to Ana Marie Cox’s house and help direct the 3rd edition of their semi-weekly Huffington Post on-line show “Vlogorrhea with Jason Linkins & Ana Marie Cox.” This week’s show was about the election and the demise of Radar Magazine. Click the image above to watch the two videos.

Change in America by Head-Roc featuring GODISHEUS International Funk Train aka The G.I.F.T
|| 10/26/2008 || 6:33 pm || Comments Off on Change in America by Head-Roc featuring GODISHEUS International Funk Train aka The G.I.F.T || ||

I am still getting used to Head-Roc‘s performing with a rock & roll band, but I like it. It shows Head-Roc’s sincere talent as one of the best musicians in Washington, DC.

Geospatial Art in a box – The Anticipation
|| 10/25/2008 || 2:54 pm || Comments Off on Geospatial Art in a box – The Anticipation || ||

On Friday my most recently commissioned map, Shirlington Quilt, arrived at my house. I placed it in my living room and decided to wait until the future owner arrived before I took the map out of it’s extremely large shipping box. I can’t help but be reminded of Christmas time when I was a kid. There’s that unique sense of anticipation that I feel toward what’s inside of this box. Will the map be printed nicely? Will the canvas be stretched perfectly? Are the colors nice? Will the future map owner like what they are paying for?

Well, I am pleased to say that the map turned out perfectly and the new owners are pleased :-) Hopefully, in the not too distant future, I’ll get a photograph of how the owners hung the map in their house. Everyone puts their maps up in different places and it should look great no matter where it’s hung.

The National Archives Cross
|| 10/24/2008 || 1:38 pm || Comments Off on The National Archives Cross || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

So far I’ve made two other crosses: Mount Pleasant Cross and Memphis Cross. I am pretty sure how to make these now and future maps of this type will be added to it’s own special category on the sidebar. The cross above was chosen out of about 8 different tessellations and within this map is the National Archives at the center of the cross (hence the name), the Federal Trade Commission, the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Navy Memorial– which features a map of the western hemisphere (below), the Winfield Scott Hancock statue, the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial, and portions of the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and the west building of the National Gallery of Art, which make the vertical and horizontal stripe.

For reference, click here to view the outdated Google Map of downtown Washington, DC.

: detail of the National Archives :
: detail of the Navy Memorial :

View the rest of the details:


Torturing Democracy – A PBS Documentary from the National Security Archive
|| 10/23/2008 || 4:58 pm || Comments Off on Torturing Democracy – A PBS Documentary from the National Security Archive || ||

I watched Torturing Democracy last week and was quite stunned on how thoroughly the Bush administration violated international law.

See for yourself:
Click here to watch the 3-part documentary on-line
Click here to check your local listings

— More about the National Security Archive at the George Washington University.
— Torturing Democracy’s film credits.

Related Torture Entries:


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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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