Archive for June, 2007

The U-Bahn stations in English

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If you happen to be one of those English-speaking people in Vienna, either as a tourist or an expat, have you ever wondered what’s gonna be the English counterpart of the streetnames in Vienna?

Well, not only the streets but also the stations might seem to intrigue you.

Horst P, a Viennese veteran blogger, perhaps to satisfy everyone’s curiosity, brought out his English translation of the stations. If you are a German speaker then you’ll find the “map” hilarious or outrageous. Some Viennese call it their Tube, others the Metro. I simply call it the U-bahn, which is its real name by the way.

For example, Taubstummengasse, which means Deaf-mutes street, or Flowery Village that stands for Floridsdorf. Another one, how about Kagran for No Crane? Don’t ask me how did he translate everything.

Religionsloser Kapitallist Walla

There is a pretty awesome outsider art/art brut exhibition at Freiraum/Museumsquartier.

I especially like this drawing.

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It’s called “Religionsloser Kapitallist Walla” [“Confessionless Capitallist Walla”] (sic!) by August Walla. It’s from the collection of Dr. Otto Breicha.

Exhibition open until July 2.

Link

Die Hard 4.0

I saw this yesterday and it rocks.

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I know, macho, the usa-myth of the loner against the evil hordes, saving the world aka the usa, etc. I don’t care. Bruce Willis found the role of his life in John McClane and it is a great action movie, that has already found its intellectual apologizing in the cineast media years ago. Either way, I wouldn’t care. This movie is fun to watch.

There is a lot of self-irony, an unbelievable fighting scene you haven’t seen that way yet, not a lot of defined characters and some nerd-jokes. Oh yeah, and a lot of shit gets blown up. What else do you need on a hot summer night?

This summer it seems to be all stupid blockbuster-sequels to me: pirates, shrek, die hard… Aren’t there any decent independent-movies coming to our cinemas anymore?

Makava

They serve an excellent new tea-ish tea drink (with a fruity fruit attitude) at Metalab.

It’s called Makava.
(Sounds a little bit like “makaber” if you order it, but whatever.)

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Try it!

Urinal Bondage

Or is it a real Duchamp and you shouldn’t piss in it?

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Location: MQ, main entrance restrooms.

workless city

Rushing out at noon to fetch some snacks, then heading back to my computer to eat while working, I always wondered how come so many people are out on the street shopping, relaxing, doing whatever. Today I did some research and found some interesting information.

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According to Statistik Austria there are 761.800 people working in Vienna and 81.000 out of work (based on 15 ys. or older). With a total population of 1.635.800 people this means that only 46.5 % of all Viennese are actually working. The rest is pupils, students, on the dole, pensioneers, on parental leave or whatever.

Think about it, every second person you see is not working to pay for his live. That means you have to pay for the livelihood of a little more than one person not working with your taxes. Of course, the more you earn, the more taxes you have to pay. Before you get all neoliberal on me and flame this blog with “I don’t want to pay for the friggin junkies on Karlsplatz” or “I’d make them work! no work – no food is what I say!” or the like, please remember that the unemployment rate in Austria is really low and all the other people not working may have a really good reason. See above.

Another interesting thought is: those 761.800 people aren’t working constantly. Some may work in shifts, some only 20 hours per week, some might be on holiday, some are calling in ill, etc. That might add up to that at any given weekday in the afternoon, not even a third of all people in Vienna are working. No wonder Saturn is always crowded when I go there.

Georg Danzer (1946 – 2007)

Georg Danzer died on 21st of June. He was supposed to appear on the Donauinselfestival but then lung cancer got him first. I intended to write about him as soon as I heard the news but then some things always seem to be faster, more important or more urgend – which of course is not at all true, if you think about it.

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Growing up in Vienna somewhere between 1965 and 1985 you just knew Georg Danzer. He was a Viennese status quo musician. Almost every year he released a new album, though in the last ten years they went mostly unnoticed, except for the last one which was pr-technically linked to him “surviving” his cancer.

In his songs he personified Viennese people, mindets and life-styles. Especially famous are the songs “Jö Schau” (a Nackerter im Havelka – look, a nude man in the Cafe Havelka) and “Hupf in Gatsch” (Jump in the mud – does anybody have a real good translation for that?). He also sang our secret youth-anthem “A Gulasch und a Seidl Bier” together with Wolfgang Ambros.

I always like to remember how Danzer started his carerr: with tramping through half of Europe, discovering “Sgt. Pepper”, then writing songs for almost every singer in Vienna in the late Sixties. Then a single covered in a plastic bag instead of a proper cover appears in Austria called “Der Tschick” (slang for a cigarette-stub) – a song allegedly by and about homeless people. (If you have that 7″ you’ll probably get a few hundred Euros for it!).

That Danzer emigrated to Germany in the late Seventies to early Nineties and now is being re-discovered again by Austrian media is just the way things always work in this country. He just became too much of a political songwriter than the poet of underdogs and Vienna streetlife that he started off as. Too serious and too much fingerpointing. Anyway, we like to remember people the way we preferred them.

Invasion R.O.B.O.T.

A Viennese approach. Seems fitting for this blog.

(Sorry, German only. Just found it in our video archives.)

Raildroad victim–not!

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No, no, this isn’t a blown-up doll of a railroad accident wide-eyed victim. If you take a closer look it is supposed to be this guy from that new commercial of ÖBB’s “How-oh” Summer ticket promo for youths under 26 years old, in which it featured an astonished long-haired young man listening to the earth and hearing music or noise or something. And in the end the raging ÖBB train appeared…

Whatever.

This is the actual promo ad.

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Seen at the entrance of Südbahnhof as the construction workers tried to install the gigantic figure yesterday morning.

Dorkbot Vienna #3: Hacking Game Machines

There is a new Dorkbot Vienna meeting… and the special guest star is Martin Pichlmair.

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Games are a defining medium of our time. The majority of them is produced by multinational corporations, designed to appeal to the mass audience, locked on drm-protected and region-coded data media, and sold, shrink-wrapped in plastic. yet resourceful hackers and artists are working on the liberation of this medium. serious games, homebrew games, and game art are results of their great efforts. martin pichlmair and his guests will present a number of game machine hacks – from a modified pinball machine dating back to the 70s to musical instruments running on the nintendo ds.

Let’s crack open the game machine a bit further.

Lecture/workshop in English language.

Saturday, June 23, 2007, 8:30 PM
Duration: ~90 minutes
@ Metalab, Rathausstrasse 6, 1010 Vienna

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