Archive for February, 2007

Afterthoughts to yesterdays hostage-taking

An incident like the hostage taking at the bank on Mariahilferstrasse leads to a lot of thoughts, some of which I want to put into questions here. Maybe you can help me out.

> never to my knowledge did a hostage-taker in a bank or any other public building get away. Why do people still do it?

> the chief negotiator was interviews on the ZIB2 late news yesterday and he avoided any kind of answers to the anchor’s questions much better than any politician ever would. Should he go into business consulting?

> the hostage-taker requested nothing but cigarettes and a coke light. the media told us the police fetched these from the McDonald’s on the opposite side of the street. Is that good or bad PR for those brands?

> what is the best way to behave when getting into such a situation? run away as fast as possible, hide in the women’s toilet, kick somebody’s ass? What would happen if the hostages declared they are on the side of the hostage taker and start to help him robbing the bank?

> what did go through the mind of the journalist of the local tv station when he called the bank to talk to the hostage-taker live on the show?

Bankrobber takes hostages

Today a man who tried to rob a bank on the Mariahilfer Stra├če, the biggest shopping city in Vienna, took hostages and barricaded himself into the bank when the alarm took off. At the moment I am writing this there are still several people inside the bank and the police are negotiating with the man.

The ORF provides an interesting picture show to this event.
Slideshow at ORF WIEN

Let’s hope he turns himself in without turning the whole thing into a bloodbath. I have never heard of a bankrobber or any other criminal taking hostages who got away. It just never happens.

2nd “Painday” in Vienna

No, it is not a convention for S&M-lovers nor a death metal music festival, though both might be reason to visit the event: the second Viennese “Schmerztag” (transl. painday) will be held on 2nd of March in the Rathaus.


Presentations and talks will touch all kinds of pains, preventions and reliefs of pain, from fear of the dentist to urology and that tick in the knee you feel after three hours of jogging in the Prater. According to some figures almost two out of five people in Vienna live with some chronic pains, so that should make for a big crowd. Various health care services are being offered for free, like Hara-Shiatsu, lung function testing and advisories on several medical issues.


Snow? Again?

A little sleet, a little rain … how did that old song go? But what a way to start the week is that? What do we need that little snow for? On a monday morning?

Well, there is no use to complain about the weather, is there? We are doing what we can down here to change the climate to make the weather warmer all yeal long. So, here is this morning’s view from atop the Rathausturm with regards from the webcam-service of the city of vienna


webcam from Rathausturm

Weekend magazine launched in Vienna


Today a lot of you should be finding a new free magazine in your letter boxes. Weekend magazine started in Upper Austria and over the course of probably two years spread over all of Austrian federal districts with the exception of Carinthia and now distributes 1.1 million copies every other week. That’s more than the printrun of the Kronen Zeitung, by the way. Next to the subway-daily Heute and its offspring the weekly magazine Live (which will start in a few weeks I think) it seems as if starting a mass market magazine these days only works well if it is free of charge.

No comment


I cannot possibly translate this.

Falco 50th birthday

Actually, I wanted to post about how Paris Hilton and the opera ball were unavoidable even on Sunday on the telly. But DaddyD hit me to it and I think at one point all of us should just shut up about Paris and end the whole hype. So here is something about a different topic:


Today the greatest popstar ever to leave Vienna for worldwide stardom would have turned 50. If he hadn’t had a fatal car accident in the Dominican Republic on Feb 6th of 1998. I have been to the DomRep once and there I heard that about 50 % of all drivers don’t have insurances for their cars,

Britney Bald Because of Bauherr Bemerkung?

Okay, I know it’s a stretch, but could Britneys bald head be a result of a deep emotional loss due to her not being able to attend this years Opera Ball alongside the queen of steam?

After the gimp mask, and his response to the ex-communication, it would just be one more feather in Mr. Lugners hat (if he were to wear one).


Overheard on the subway from Stephansplatz in the direction of Leopoldau the other day, two men, both in their early 30s, one wearing a very large coat with beer cans loaded into every pocket, and both drinking beers as they sit haphazardly on the bench seats (refer to map for humor):

Guy One: What station is this?

Guy Two: It’s Vorgartentstr├če.

Elsner & the good old days


Apart from Paris Hilton at the opera ball, the main political issue these last days was the return of scandal banker Elsner to Vienna, his imprisonment and the current status of the parliamentary hearings about the Bawag-scandal. All of this you can read much better in any newspaper. But yesterday I overheard an elderly men talking to some people and offering this opinion:

“Back in the good old day, any decent businessmen, who lost millions of Euros like this, would have retreated to his home office. And his wife and servants would have been waiting in the antechambers for the sound of the pistol-shot.”

Aah, the good old days. How I miss them. Don’t you just have to love the people in Vienna?

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