Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Time Travel On 8 Bits A Day

Jason Scott will talk about time travel. A special kind of time travel: “8 Bits A Day”!

Computer History, once a somewhat strange idea, has now taken the world by storm; a magazine or newsletter merely has to dip their ladle into the piles of nostalgia and older images of computing technology to guarantee readership, commentary and links. But what is it like to live in this just-past world of unusual keyboards, cartridge slots and 256 colors?
Jason Scott describes the process by which he became a collect of online artifacts, the strange twists and turns his journey has taken (both legal and financial) and the lessons he has learned towards the goal of “saving everything”.

Jason Scott is a digital historian and documentary filmmaker based out of the Northeastern US, focusing on bulletin board system culture of the 1970s and 1980s. He often finds himself well outside of that realm and has collected many archives of general computer and software history, which he makes available on various parts of his online archive, TEXTFILES.COM.

– When: Thursday, September 18 2008, 8:30 PM
– Where: Metalab, Rathausstrasse 6, 1010 Vienna

http://www.metalab.at
http://www.paraflows.at

Let’s hug the past!

Are you in Vienna today?
Come and hug the past!
And maybe even witness an arrest.

Saturday, June 21 / Around 2 PM / U2 Museumsquartier exit

Pfingsten, Pfingsten

The “winter of our discontent” is over and thank the Gods the weather is playing along so we can enjoy a long weekend until tomorrow, Whit Monday, which is a holiday for those of us who are living in Austria, Germany or Switzerland.

Vienna has been quieter since Friday with the absence of cars in our streets. Many natives might be basking under the Italian sun right now. The Viennese might be at the Neusiedl See in Burgenland or any other Seen in Austria or Europe that has more than 25 degrees!

Coming from a strictly religious Christian country, I wonder why the Philippines doesn’t declare the Whitsunday and Monday holidays unlike the more secular German-speaking countries mentioned above.

Don’t get me wrong, I am out of the Roman Catholic fold. And like the others I have forgotten why this or that is being celebrated. But I am happy that they exist.

During my first year I was really surprised that the Austrians do observe it. I just hope that it wouldn’t get abolished like in France, Sweden or UK. I mean, I admit I really love the fact that this country enjoys its free time/days. And holidays because of the Roman Catholic Church are considered very okay.

A few hours ago watching the news channel n-tv, a giddy reporter asked a few Germans what is Pfingsten or Pentecost. Sad (well, sad?) to say, no one knew and nobody understand why it is a holiday. A few answered that it is connected to the church. That’s it.

So what do you know about the Pentecost?

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:

A feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, on the ancient Jewish festival called the “feast of weeks” or Pentecost (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). Whitsunday is so called from the white garments which were worn by those who were baptised during the vigil; Pentecost (“Pfingsten” in German), is the Greek for “the fiftieth” (day after Easter).

So those of you who opted to stay in Vienna, you might have seen and/or heard the celebration of yesterday’s official opening of the new stations of U-bahn line U2.

And today you might be visiting your mums as it is also Mother’s Day. Or you could be anywhere in the city enjoying a scoop or two of Eis in any of the ice cream salons.

Or maybe you are just wrapping up the rest of the day at the Ernst Happel Stadion after stripping for Spencer Tunick.

There are lotsa exhibitions offered this month like the Wiener Bezirksfestwochen until the first week of June. It is for free, mind you.

Whatever it is, let’s enjoy this week as we are in for the nice sunny, warm days ahead.

China – Facing Reality at MuMoK

China - Facing Reality @ MuMoK

After a month of talking about it I finally walked over to the MuMoK today and checked out the China – Facing Reality exhibition and I’m totally pissed I didn’t go earlier. I’m definitely going back again soon and if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend swinging by and checking it out before closes in Feb next year. Two things I was blown away by were a 13,500 piece installation by Fang Lijun on the first floor of the exhibit, and the paintings by Zeng Hao on the 8th floor. Unfortunately today was school day or something so in addition to the hundreds of screaming kids running around the joint there were also extra security guards being extra observant. I say that’s unfortunate because I wasn’t able to steal a snapshot of Lijun’s installation but I’ll be going back for sure and hope to get one then. It’s hard to describe but awe inspiring to see. 13,500 golden blobs mounted on different length rods and lined up making something that feels a bit like flowing fields of some kind of crop, corn or wheat, but upon closer inspection are individual faces. It’s rather impressive. Anyway, go see it yourself.

Morgenlatte

If you are the parent of a young child and live anywhere within the “first nine,” you’ve almost certainly already heard of or been to the Smalltalk Kids Cafe just off of Mariahilferstraße. For those not in the know, it’s basically a big open room that is divided into 3 parts: a bar area, an open area with tables and booths, and a large, staffed play area with innumerable toys and equipment for the amusement of the youngsters. The whole place is, of course, non-smoking.

I applaud this effort, and have visited quite a few times. So, apparently, has the rest of Vienna. This place is a serious success. It’s always crowded, and word is spreading quickly. It underscores something that I’ve been ranting about since I moved here, and I hope it points toward a trend. The other day I was lounging there with my wife, my two kids, and another couple with their two kids, and we agreed: if the same company or a similar place opened a location 2 blocks away, it would be equally successful. So I think we’ll see a huge boom in child-friendly establishments in the years to come.
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Dressed to Chill

dressed_to_chill.jpg

What does it take to call yourself a punk: be it a punk, cyberpunk or post-cyberpunk?

In the late 70ties, Drahdiwaberl’s bandleader and Kapellmeister Stefan Weber, a retired teacher, declared that some day he just put on a red bathing cap and that was it. However you do it, Vienna’s definitely most notorious punk-bigband will perform tonight at the Volksstimmefest (People’s Voice Festival).

Drahdiwaberl („roundabout”) are infamous for their elaborate stage shows which often include bizarre and, as some „boring old farts” claim, disgusting elements, for example faked police raids, the mockery of US-President George W. Bush or the slaughtering of the Pope and even a nun (Stefan Weber’s daughter, Monika „Shockira” Weber). The liberating climax of every live show is their famous performance of the so-called Mulatschag („orgy”), including sexual actions onstage.

Now please do excuse me: as you can see, I’ve to dress up.

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drahdiwaberl
http://members.chello.at/drahdiwaberl/index.htm
http://www.myspace.com/drahdiwaberl

Vienna Pizza

metroblogging vienna flickr photo from scottpartee

The sheer volume of pizza places in this town must place it in the top tier of available pies per capita. I get a flyer for a new pizza and schnitzel delivery place every few days, and walking down any street, you simply can’t avoid seeing at least a few different places with pizza on offer.

I have tried many. By and large, they are crap. However, a few really stick out so far — and these I frequent.

However, none, to the best of my knowledge, has the peculiar Italian quality of taking something simple to the limits of perfection.

What I mean by this is that in some pizzza places in Italy, the only ingredients allowed are flour, sea salt, fresh tomatoes, basil, fresh mozarella, water and yeast. The most obsessive of these places use no commercial or activated yeast, but rely on a pinch of the dough from the previous day to provide overnight levening.

In such pizzarias — a few of which I have found in the U.S. too — the pizzas can only be served as long as dough remains. Once the dough is gone, there’s no way to make more because it must be left to rise overnight.

Dough made this way is exceptional — truly something special. But remarkably rare.

So, knowing that this is unlikely to exist in Vienna, I’d still like to fragen: what is the best pizza in Vienna?

Reminder

Just a quick reminder that the Reading Steiner & Weinberger will be on Friday.

citation: “Roland Steiner is to Elfriede Jelinek like Yamatsuka Eye to Mike Patton.”

Spargel!

metroblogging vienna flickr photo from scottpartee

Well, everybody, I know it has been a long, hard winter. But please don’t dispair because just as sure as Franz Josef’s daily Tafelspitz lunch, anti-fur protests on Mariahilferstraße, or the unyielding wrath of a Viennese waiter, it is Spargel Time!

What’s It All About

metroblogging vienna flickr photo from scottpartee

I stumbled across these bizarro flyers in the bus shelter at the base of Neustiftgasse the other evening.

I can read the German, but the context is totally alien to me.

Can anyone translate/explain?

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