The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


A Polar Bear In Denver
|| 8/30/2008 || 10:14 pm || Comments Off on A Polar Bear In Denver || ||

A Polar Bear In Denver from Nikolas Schiller on Vimeo,

On Wednesday, August 27th, 2008, after the Iraq Veterans Against the War concert & march, I attended Ralph Nader’s “Open the Debates” rally at the University of Denver’s Magness Arena. At the end of rally I saw a polar bear inside the arena and decided to film this rare sighting.

Related Vimeo:


A video of an American Goldfinch eating my sunflower’s seeds
|| 8/20/2008 || 7:43 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

An American Goldfinch eats my sunflower’s seeds from Nikolas Schiller on Vimeo

In May I received two sunflower seedlings from an exhibitor at Artomatic and I decided to plant them alongside two tomato plants in a large plastic pot on my third floor deck. After diligently feeding them about 5 quarts of water each day, they bloomed in mid-July. A few years back I harvested the seeds from a sunflower plant too prematurely and ended up with partially matured seeds that were unusable. This year I decided to not cut of the heads of the plants to ensure that the seeds would mature and could be used for next year’s planting.

Last week on Thursday, August 14, my 3rd floor deck was visited by a curious guest who announced that it was time to harvest the seeds. I had seen an American Goldfinch before, but in the 4 years years that I’ve lived in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC, this was my first sighting. I found that his coloring matched the sunflowers perfectly and made me wonder if the specie obtained its yellow coloring generations ago by feeding on sunflowers?

After noticing him return to the plant a second time, I decided to place a camera on a ladder, hit record, go inside, and remotely film him eating my sunflower’s seeds. It’s a no-frills video, just the wildlife of Washington, DC. At about 6:20 there is the obligatory police siren that one can never seem to escape from in this city. At about 9:15 a Mocking Bird swoops down and attacks the American Goldfinch. You can see the Mocking Bird follow the American Goldfinch in the lower corner about a second later, but the American Goldfinch returns and continues to eat for a few more minutes.

The day after recording this video I decided to cut the heads of the sunflowers and harvest the seeds, but due to the mess recently left on the deck, he’s been back with a hearty appetite and has eaten a few more of the smaller heads. No biggy. I hope he comes back next year.

Related Animal Entries:


Bicycle ride home from the 18th Street Lounge in time-lapse
|| 8/14/2008 || 8:55 pm || Comments Off on Bicycle ride home from the 18th Street Lounge in time-lapse || ||

Bicycle ride home from the 18th Street Lounge in time-lapse from Nikolas Schiller on Vimeo

After listening to one of my favorite bands, SEE-I, at the 18th Street Lounge, I decided to record my short bicycle ride home in time-lapse. What is nice about the ride home is that I travel in a special bicycle lane for much of the trip. The music that I added is a sample from Thievery Corporation‘s upcoming album “Radio Retaliation,” which is due in stores on September 23rd, 2008. You can watch a live recording of Sleepy Wonder singing “Radio Retaliation” on Thievery Corporation’s Facebook page.

Related Bicycle Entries:


OUROBOROS : A Sluggish Time-Lapse Short Video
|| 8/10/2008 || 11:14 pm || Comments Off on OUROBOROS : A Sluggish Time-Lapse Short Video || ||

OUROBOROS : A Sluggish Time-Lapse Short Video from Nikolas Schiller on Vimeo

The Ouroboros is a serpent or worm who eats its own tail. It has been used to represent many things over the ages, but it most generally symbolizes the ideas of cyclicality, unity, infinity, and for this short video, a Great Grey Slug.

Saturday night I was in Baltimore over at a friend’s house and we noticed some slugs crawling up the walls on her back porch. A couple hours later I found the slug on a metal spike and decided to bring it inside to make a time-lapse recording of the slug moving around. After watching the recording a few times, I noticed that it appeared that the slug was always moving in a circle.

Unlike previous short videos that I’ve made recently, I decided to add some music to give it some extra zest. I believe chose I Concerto in A minor, Op. 102 ‘Double Concerto’ – III. Vivace non Troppo performed by Isaac Stern, but I’m not 100% sure because the MP3 that I was given about a year ago did not have the proper citation.

Make sure to look closely at the hole in the side of the slug its a rather interesting breathing apparatus. Also, if you look even more closely, you’ll see my reflection in the pots & pans in the background.

Related Vimeo Entries:


A Ziploc Bag of Leftovers Overlooked
|| 8/9/2008 || 6:48 pm || Comments Off on A Ziploc Bag of Leftovers Overlooked || ||

The video above shows Thursday night’s dinner in a gallon Ziploc® bag with the text “You are here” left outside of the “Quart Bag” group art exhibit at the Civilian Art Projects. It was supposed to compliment my piece as locationally humorous street art. I only wish I would have taken more quality video to put this together, but I overlooked that technicality myself. Woops.

Check the photos from Friday night here, here, and here.

Jupiter traveling through the night sky of Washington, DC
|| 8/3/2008 || 7:53 pm || Comments Off on Jupiter traveling through the night sky of Washington, DC || ||

Jupiter traveling through the night sky of Washington, DC from Nikolas Schiller on Vimeo.

Due to light pollution it’s very hard to observe the planets and stars at night in Washington, DC. However, Jupiter has been visible on the southern horizon this entire summer.

The video clip was taken on my back deck using a tripod and Canon SD750 digital camera set to time-lapse mode. A photograph of Jupiter was taken every two seconds for over two hours.

If you look closely, you’ll see a tiny ball in the lower portion of the screen. It goes invisible for a few seconds, which I believe was from a distant cloud, but for most of the video clip you can see Jupiter slowly transit the night sky.

I’ll have to check Stellarium to see when Mars is visible again because I’d like to try recording that planet as well. Maybe someday I’ll have a camera with better zoom controls so the planet doesn’t look like a spec of dust on the screen!

Related Space Entries:


An interview on a bicycle conducted while riding through Amsterdam
|| 7/31/2008 || 5:56 pm || 3 Comments Rendered || ||

Amsterdamize Bicycle TV : Riding With Marie from Amsterdamize on Vimeo.

Yesterday I watched the video above and smiled. It was the first time I’d seen an interview conducted whilst riding down the street. Have you ever seen one conducted in this fashion?

The 9 minute video above features the author of the Dutch bicycle advocacy blog Amsterdamize as he rides side-by-side & interviews the co-author of Copenhagen’s bicycle advocacy blog Copenhagenzine. They discuss the differences in bicycle riding in their respective cities while showing the beautiful scenery of Amsterdam. It truly made me want to go back to Amsterdam just to ride around the city and take in the city’s car-free culture & rich history.

Anyways, this year I’ve added bicycle advocacy to the disparate topics this website covers. It makes sense as well because my main transportation method is a bicycle and the 120-year-old house I live in is on the site of a former bicycle racetrack.

Since I recently purchased a digital camera I’ve been running through a bunch of ideas as to how I can creatively use this simple technology to make new content for this blog. Expect some more bicycle related entries in the coming days….

In case the video above didn’t satiate your appetite for urban bicycling, here are few of my favorite bicycling videos from Amsterdamize, Copenhagenzine and it’s sister site Copenhagen Cycle Chic for you to enjoy:


24 Hours in Rocky Mountain National Park
|| 7/21/2008 || 4:49 pm || Comments Off on 24 Hours in Rocky Mountain National Park || ||

Click here to view the video on the Vimeo website

From 7/10/08 to 7/17/08 I was in Colorado visiting family & friends. On 7/13/08 I went to Boulder to visit my old summer camp buddy, Jourdan. I had originally planned to spend Monday (7/14) in Boulder, but that morning Jourdan suggested a different plan- a plan that involved driving up to Rocky Mountain National Park and checking the backcountry office to see if there were any available campsites. To our chagrin, there was a spot available at Fern Lake, which is located about 4.7 miles from the Bear Lake trailhead.

This video documents our journey into the park, hiking through the park, and driving out of the park. Along the way I showcase the Bear Lake trailhead, the demise of my hiking boots, hiking through snowfields near treeline, waterfalls at the base of the continental divide, fish swimming in a beaver dam at the foot of Fern Lake, and the grand vistas that can be seen in Rocky Mountain National Park.

This video is minimally edited using Quicktime Pro and is composed of a series of video clips taken with my Canon SD750 digital camera at 640×480 at 30 frames per second with mono audio recording.

Had I surrendered my digital camera late Thursday night when I was assaulted, this video would not have been possible.

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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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