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The Grand Juxtaposition
|| 11/15/2008 || 6:38 pm || Comments Off on The Grand Juxtaposition || ||

Back in March of this year, I mentioned that I was in the process of making another interactive environment for the Lost Series. The concept behind “The Grand Juxtaposition” is to put two unrelated images originally featured in a previous blog entry together on the same page. This is achieved by giving the viewer two random pictures from somewhere on this website upon each loading of the web page. In the background of the page, the viewer is shown a random image from my posters folder (which contains over 2,000 different images) and in the foreground the viewer is being shown an image from my images folder (which contains over 500 different images). Upon clicking on the image in the foreground, the next page that loads will be the inverse, where a graphic from the posters folder is placed in the foreground and the a graphic from the image folder is used in the background. Generally speaking, most entries on this website feature images from either one of the two folders and by placing them together on one page, I’ve created a grand juxtaposition to showcase this website’s visually diverse content.



Related Interactive Entries:

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DC.gov website confuses Statehood with Voting Rights & Representation
|| 11/14/2008 || 6:52 pm || Comments Off on DC.gov website confuses Statehood with Voting Rights & Representation || ||

The other day I was looking around on the DC government website and noticed this lexical ambiguity. When a visitor hovers their mouse over the “DC Guide” section they are given the option of learning more about DC Statehood. However, when a visitor clicks on the link that says “DC Statehood,” they are taken to a page that only mentions the word “statehood” once and uses the term voting rights. Instead of being given more information about how citizens can achieve DC Statehood, visitors are given cursory information about voting rights and the struggle of DC residents to attain representation in Congress. Moreover, the text incorrectly explains the role of the shadow delegation– that are elected to lobby for statehood, not “lobbies Congress on District issues and concerns.” I am not going to expound on the difference between Statehood & Voting Rights in this posting because I have already written at length about the difference between the two in earlier entries (see list below). However, the more important issue, and the reason I am posting this, is to shows how little effort the DC government is currently putting into DC Statehood, especially now that there is a favorable climate for the enfranchisement and that goal of DC Statehood is undermined by using “Voting Rights” as the method of providing equality for DC residents. I believe the page should contain more information about the history of DC’s struggle for self-determination and more information about routes to achieve statehood.



UPDATE – The DC Government has updated their website to include https://statehood.dc.gov

Related Colonist Entries:

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Bird’s Eye views of Big Diomede, Russia
|| 11/13/2008 || 6:39 pm || Comments Off on Bird’s Eye views of Big Diomede, Russia || ||

After I posted the photograph of Little Diomede, Alaska, I told my friend that I had used their photograph on my blog. Instead of being annoyed, the person sent me a couple more photographs that were taken on their Alaskan trip in the summer of 2007. Above & below are the unmodified versions of the photographs and below the fold I decided to include the two photographs after doing some color correction.

View the same photographs after color correction:

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Tango in the DC Metro – YouTube Video of Federico Aubele’s “Tan Dificil”
|| 11/12/2008 || 1:28 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

I absolutely love this video. Directed by my friend Robin Bell, it features my favorite track from Federico Aubele‘s most recent studio album Panamericana, and showcases local dancers Sharna Fabiano and Isaac Oboka doing the tango in the Washington, DC Metro. Sharna teaches an intro to tango class at the 18th Street Lounge on Tuesdays at 8pm and the song is also available on iTunes.



What D.C. Statehood Would Mean To Black America – Ebony, October, 1990
|| 11/11/2008 || 10:11 pm || Comments Off on What D.C. Statehood Would Mean To Black America – Ebony, October, 1990 || ||

Today I posted the article below to numerous DC neighborhood yahoo groups. The aim was to get people thinking about what the coming administration might be able to do for the disenfranchised Washington, DC residents. I’m hoping some people see the importance of the next few months and are motivated to demand full representation in Congress.

“There is no Black America… there is the United States of America.” but do residents of Washington, DC get to participate?

Below is the e-mail I sent out:

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A dual purpose QR-Code added to the splash page
|| 11/10/2008 || 12:10 pm || Comments Off on A dual purpose QR-Code added to the splash page || ||

QR-Code superimposed over a zoom in of Good Hope Quilt #3

To this day, one of my favorite parts of this website is my splash page. By using the random image generator, there are well over thousands of different visual combinations that you might see when visiting this website’s splash page. Today I decided to add what consider to be a “meta” or dual purpose QR-Code to the splash page. The dual purpose aspect is that its both the HTML link and decoded QR-Code mean the exact same thing: https://nikolasschilller.com/blog/ – So if someone doesn’t read this entry, and decides to decode the QR-Code on the splash page, they’ll be given the same link that they’d receive if they simply clicked on the QR-Code. I could have made the QR-Code link to some random photograph hidden on this website saying “You’ve won a million dollars!!” —but I didn’t (okay I still might make another). Instead if someone takes a screen grab of the splash page that shows the QR-Code and then reposts the image somewhere else, the embedded link back to my website will still exist in the QR-Code.



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Listed in the Art & Maps Resources on the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Map Library Website
|| 11/9/2008 || 6:35 pm || Comments Off on Listed in the Art & Maps Resources on the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Map Library Website || ||

The other day I noticed a new incoming link from the University of Colorado at Boulder. I thoroughly enjoyed going through their list of links and I hope the students & educators find my Geospatial Art useful in the studies.


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Domespace Versus The Dymaxion House
|| 11/8/2008 || 6:22 pm || Comments Off on Domespace Versus The Dymaxion House || ||

Undated photograph of the Dymaxion House

In November of 2007, I visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan with my family. Of all the exhibits that I saw, my favorite was Buckminster Fuller‘s Dymaxion House.

The house was conceived as way to help the airline industries transition away from airplane manufacturing in the post-World War Two era. The Dymaxion House was designed as a prefabricated metal house that could be delivered directly to buyers. Since it was only a prototype, there were only three were made and only the Dymaxion House at the Henry Ford Museum still survives.


The other day I stumbled on the Domespace building design and after watching the video videos below, I can help seeing the interesting parallels between the two designs.

They are both:
• Circular
• Internally customizable
• Prefabricated
• Environmentally friendly
• Can rotate along with the sun

However, there are some interesting differences:
• The Dymaxion House used aluminum for the exterior and much of interior furnishings
• The Domespace is constructed primarily out of wood
• The Dymaxion House was supported top down from one central pole
• The Domespace is built from the ground up
• The Dymaxion House is a relic of mid-twentieth technology
• You can buy the Domespace right now!


Watch these videos to get a better ideal of the design:


Présentation Domespace
Uploaded by Domespace-International

Solaleya Domespace NY TV Feature – World’s most extreme home
Uploaded by Solaleya

Someday I’d love to have a hybrid of the two houses on a big plot of land with a nice view :-)



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The Singapore 18
|| 11/7/2008 || 11:56 am || Comments Off on The Singapore 18 || ||

This morning I received an e-mail from Timothy Cooper announcing that his Op-Ed was published today in the Washington Times (below).

After I read the article, I went on to do my morning IP analysis, and guess who visited my website looking for more information? None other than the Singaporean government. The very same government the Op-Ed was written to agitate. Examples like this prove that we really do live in a small world, while at the same time showing that human rights transcend borders.

COOPER: The Singapore 18

Prosecution or persecution?
Op-Ed by Timothy Cooper
Friday, November 7, 2008

The names Gandhi Ambalam, Chia Ti Lik, Chong Kai Xiong, Jeffrey George, Jaslyn Go, Chee Siok Chin, Govindan Rajan, Chee Soon Juan, Jufrie Mahmood, Jufri Salim, Surayah Akbar, Ng E-Jay, Seelan Palay, Shafi’ie, Carl Lang, John Tan, Francis Yong and Sylvester Lim aren’t exactly household names — but they should be. This week 18 Singaporeans — the Singapore 18 — are standing trial for purported crimes against America’s 11th largest trading partner — Singapore.

Indicted for violating the Miscellaneous Offences Act for assembling peacefully without a permit to register their concerns over escalating housing costs, they claim that they’re innocent by virtue of their right under the Singapore constitution to enjoy the guarantees of freedom of assembly and expression. Historically, however, Singapore has viewed political dissent through a lens darkly, treating protest as a threat to social tranquility and economic prosperity, rather than what it is — a fundamental right and necessity in any democracy.

While Singapore claims to be a constitutional democracy, it nevertheless routinely arrests Singaporeans for attempting to assert those rights articulated under the constitution in the open light of day. A democracy, it’s not quite.

Ironically, while their trial is about their right to public assembly in numbers more than four without a permit, and to free speech, they view it as a test about whether Singapore’s judiciary is independent enough to interpret the country’s constitution objectively. In effect, Judge Chia Wee Kiat, who’s presiding magistrate over the case, is on trial, too. Many Singaporeans will be watching how he rules. Americans should be watching, too.

That’s because Singapore’s Minister for Home Affairs, Wong Kan Seng, appears to refuse to be bound by the affirmative rights guaranteed under the country’s basic law. Last February, he stated that “[w]e have stopped short of allowing outdoor and street demonstration … Our experiences in the past have taught us to be very circumspect about outdoor and street protests.” His reference is to the race riots in Singapore during the 1960s — almost 50 years ago. Which is like saying that because Washington, D.C. experienced race riots in the 1960s, the residents of Washington must be denied the right to protest government policies. That argument simply doesn’t wash.

But the judge in the case will likely rule accordingly, regardless of the plain language of the constitution.

The late Singaporean politician, Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, stated in an interview shortly before his death that his main concern was that the public had the “perception that its judiciary was not independent.” He himself had been made a bankrupt by defamation lawsuits filed against him by his political opponents and the high damages awarded them by Singapore courts. After paying off his debts, he’d recently committed to heading a new political party, whose primary agenda was calling for the independence of the judiciary.

He was not alone. In July, the International Bar Association (ABA) issued a 72-page report on the state of Singapore’s judiciary noting that “there are concerns about the objective and subjective independence and impartiality of Singapore judges.” The report’s final recommendations advocate tenure be granted Singapore judges and that the transfer of judges between “executive and judicial roles” be banned. They also call on the government to prohibit defamation as a criminal offense, and forbid public officials from initiating criminal defamation suits, which detractors claim are used by government to silence its critics.

One of those critics is Chee Soon Juan. He’s been jailed seven times on a potpourri of politically-related charges, including speaking without a permit, contempt of court, and even for attempting to depart Singapore in order to attend an international rights conference. He’s been fined nearly $1 million to date and made bankrupt by defamation suits brought against him by former Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Chok Tong, and Singapore’s current Minister Mentor, Lee Hsein Loong. In the next few months, he faces six more trials and an indeterminate amount of jail time. Yet all he wants is for the courts to properly enforce the spirit and letter of the Singapore constitution. Barred from leaving the country, he’s been put under country arrest and is a prisoner of conscience.

Were the Singapore 18 living in China or Russia, they’d be enjoying considerable support from the U.S. Instead, they’re victims of a sad neglect. They’ve been cut loose by a nation otherwise preoccupied. But the next Congress and administration should take up the cause of freedom in Singapore. They should exert their influences on Singapore to open up its political space to peaceful dissent and to embrace the benefits of political pluralism. Economic prosperity and political freedoms are not mutually exclusive in Singapore or anywhere else.

Above all, this country should call for judicial reform in Singapore because as J.B. Jeyaretnam would no doubt agree without independence there can be no rule of law.

Timothy Cooper is executive director of the human-rights group Worldrights.



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Google Street View of Washington, DC suffers from out-dated imagery
|| 11/6/2008 || 5:53 pm || Comments Off on Google Street View of Washington, DC suffers from out-dated imagery || ||

As a cutesy election day surprise, Google announced the release of their Street View feature for the Google Maps of Washington, DC. For the last year and a half I’ve been waiting for Google Maps to include the city I live in, while at the same time planning my next installment of my geopolitical art project Google Street View IED , the first google bomb for Street View.

In June of 2007, around the time Street View was first released, Washington, DC’s imagery was “updated” with newer aerial photography from 2005. However, the central business district of Washington, DC continues to this day being shown using out-dated imagery from 2002, and the rest of the District is being shown using the newer imagery from September 2005. In the time since this”update”, even after I assisted in exposing this passive censorship in the Washington Post, the imagery has not been updated and because of this the new Street View feature suffers.

In the screen grab above you are being shown the massive parking lot known as City Center which was the site of the former convention center. The old convention center was imploded in December of 2004, which makes a gross mismatch. By using outdated imagery the convention center is still being shown on the Google Map, but the Street View imagery shows a completely different temporal view. The disturbing part of all of this is that the USGS imagery is completely available to anyone in the world to download. It’s already being used by Google Maps for the rest of Washington, DC and I’ve been using in my maps as well.

So, Google, when are you going to update your imagery? If its for security reasons, why release Street View? This provides far more “on the ground” information the aerial views profide. Please tell your content providers that the imagery of Washington, DC deserves an update so you can better serve your customers. Maybe you can use your new satellite?



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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!