The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

March 2004 Archive

March 01, 2004

Lord of the Rings wins 11 Oscars. As usual, the monumental triumphs over the good. What a pity. There were some really good films nominated, and the big winner is the film that saved hundreds of thousands of people from reading a 1000-page book and using their brains to imagine things. That's the way our world works: you get prizes for destroying people's imagination and filling their heads with special effects.

Posted by Horst at 12:16 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

March 02, 2004

What is it about dentists — you're lying there on the chair, your mouth wide open with all kinds of weird-looking instruments in it, the dentist either drilling or filling away happily, and he's still trying to make conversation with you? Like, asking complex questions that cannot be answered with a simple "unnngh", "uh-huh" or "uh-oh" and actually expecting an answer? An answer that is, I might add, not in sign language?

—So this winter is almost over and you weren't skiing yet? Did you do anything else?
—Huh. Ahhhnunghhh ah hunghuhhh hnung huh hhhuhhungahuhh.
—Oh, I see. [drilling noise] Did you have a good time there?
—Uh-huh. Hnungh.... aaaaaagh!
[Dentist retracts drill]
—Oh, sorry.

I never know what to do. Answering questions with a drill in your mouth seems dangerous. Not answering questions might be misconstrued as impolite, and you wouldn't want a disgruntled dentist. So I settle for an odd polite uh huh whenever the situation doesn't seem to be too dangerous and hope that he understands me.

Oddly enough, even though I myself often don't have an idea what I'm saying, more often than not he does. I suppose it's the language of pain, a universal code that is exchanged between dentists and patients, and understood only by them. One of the last language mysteries not yet solved by linguists.

P.S.: A belated thanks to Ralf for his link to Relief of Pain and Suffering. It was much appreciated.

Posted by Horst at 04:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 03, 2004

March 04, 2004

Currently the milk mafia is at work in front of Vienna University. It's an annual ritual. Every year in January and February, when it's really cold, people are handing out free samples of some yoghurt, milk drink or milk dessert. Only today everything went a bit over the top: I was bombarded with no fewer than four different types of yoghurt. I mean I know that European farmers are producing way too much milk, but this is ridiculous.

What's particularly nasty about this is that they only give out the free samples in winter, despite the well-known fact that it's totally unhealthy to eat milk products when you're already cold. That some of these products claim that they are strengthening your immune system when they are actually weakening it (when ingested in cold weather) is a dark irony.

My explanation for this marketing crusade is simple: people have an innate ability to notice that ingesting milk products when it's cold is not good for them. Hence, they are consuming less of these products in winter. Consequently, the dairy industry, which wants to increase winter sales, starts these crazy marketing ploys, inundating people with yoghurt at exactly the time of they year when they should be eating less of the stuff. I suppose it's to be expected in a society where they even brand tap water. Why should they be concerned about your health?

Posted by Horst at 11:09 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

March 05, 2004

Lapinot et les carottes de PatagonieAfter a two-month wait thanks to a lengthy odyssey (I'll spare you the details, let me just tell you that due to post liberalisation some incompetent Deutsche Post postmen at work in Austria had sent the parcel back to France instead of contacting me about it), it has finally arrived:

Lewis Trondheim's Lapinot et les carottes de Patagonie, a 500-page tour de force, a story wth no beginning and no end, a pure stream of consciousness designed with no plan or concept in mind (for a sample page, click here). It's totally brilliant. Find out more about Trondheim at the Lambiek Comiclopedia.

You can order the book from, with whose service I've always been happy until their shipping contractor started using Deutsche Post for Austrian deliveries. If you're not living in Austria, it probably doesn't matter.

Posted by Horst at 12:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 06, 2004

One thing that can ruin a journey is when you suddenly notice that the person in the seat next to you has a terrible cold.

One thing that can totally ruin a journey is, when during a two-hour journey, the same person keeps blowing his nose into the same cloth handkerchief at two-minute intervals and you can't stand up and look for a different seat because there's none available.

I am not kidding. For once, I am actually understating rather than exaggerating because nobody would believe me that the guy pulled out his handkerchief, unfolded it by waving it around, blew his nose, folded it and put it back in his pocket at least once per minute, if not more often. Which is exactly how often he did it. Only nobody would believe me if I said it like it was. So I'm saying "every two minutes" only to make it sound more likely, even though it's not true.

I bought antiseptic throat lozenges, Vitamin C tablets and anti-cold medication and hope I can somehow avert catching this man's cold. Only I'm not too optimistic about it.

Posted by Horst at 12:02 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

March 07, 2004

Hello, this is Haldur Gislufsson speaking. This is just to tell you that Horst is taking today off and won't be blogging anything. I am also taking a day off and won't be blogging anything either. So there won't be a weblog entry today. None whatsoever. See you soon!

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 11:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 08, 2004

I'd like to fall in love like they do in Indian movies. You know, it's the boy-meets-girl or even boy-sees-girl-across-the-street-or-even-further-away routine, and both instantly know that they are meant for each other. And they're never wrong about it. It always is true love, the kind that will last forever.

Shahrukh Khan stumbles down the stairs at the sight of Kajol in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Ajay Devgan mindlessly walks on a drain pipe from the roof of one to another towards Kajol (again) without noticing it in Ishq, Aamir Khan almost swoons over Juhi Chawla on horseback in slow motion in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak — that'd be true romance, not the complicated, messy business that we call "reality" in which no-one actually knows what's on, or if anything is on, where people pretend something's on and there isn't, where there's words like "unrequited", or where nothing's on at all and people just make believe there is.

Oh yes, I suppose love like in Indian movies would be boring after a while (not at least because you'd never be allowed to kiss), and I can easily live without all the melodrama that seems to come with it (after all, Shahrukh is expelled from his father's house for 10 years for marrying Kajol, Ajay falls victim to his father's schemes and almost embarks on an unhappy marriage with someone else, and both Aamir and Juhi die under extremely tragic circumstances). If that's the price you pay, then no, thank you.

On the other hand, the prices that some people pay in our messy, complicated reality aren't much better. Not as melodramatic, but none more pleasant. Which is why the Indian movie escapism is so popular. And Indian movies, unlike western movies, at least have the added benefit of showing everything in such unlikely terms that you aren't tempted to believe that real life could actually be anything like it. Still, sometimes you wish life or love would be as simple as this.

Pretty dangerous.

Posted by Horst at 11:51 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

March 09, 2004

I may be about to achieve some kind of online fame. My Vienna Underground website has been around since 1997, but it's only now that it's becoming kind of famous. If you remember, I did a map with mock-English translations of Vienna Underground station names a while ago, and the selfsame map is now apparently cruising around like mad on the Austrian side of the Internet. It's been forwarded to me by a couple of people who received it from somebody else, and it keeps popping up on discussion forums and other websites — fortunately with the copyright notice intact (so far). Hits to the Underground site (which is mentioned on the map) have more than doubled since last Friday, when the whole thing really seemed to have kicked off.

Isn't it weird how a useful website can lie dormant for seven years and how it can be launched to semi-fame by what was nothing more than a side joke?

Posted by Horst at 11:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

I have been asked what I'm thinking about the recent election results in Carinthia, where Jörg Haider's right-wing Freedom party won the majority again last Sunday.

I won't go deeply into politics on this weblog, so let me just say that I find Mr. Deedee's suggestion for the future of Carinthia worthy of more serious consideration.

Posted by Horst at 11:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 10, 2004

In my youth, when people were talking about "Mecki", they were talking about these weird hedgehogs that you could buy either as puppets or on myriads of tasteless postcards.

These days, when young people in Vienna are talking about "Mecki", they are referring to McDonald's.

It took me a while to realise this, and my mind hasn't made the complete switch yet. Whenever I hear somebody talking about "meeting at Mecki's", I always wonder for a split second why on earth they want to see these abominable hedgehog puppets before I realise they are talking about hamburgers and Big Macs. Then, I never know if I should feel relieved or not.

Posted by Horst at 11:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 11, 2004

I'm beginning to feel that the London Underground is actually benefitting from the Public Private Partnership programme under which it's been run for a while now.

If only in small and rather marginal areas.

Like I never used to understand any of the platform announcements. It was never clear what the croaking voice on the loudspeakers was actually saying, whereas this year I suddenly understood every single announcement.

Mind you, most of them were perfectly pointless, like the one that was repeated every two minutes while I was waiting for a delayed train that just wouldn't come. Nevertheless, the voice kept informing passengers that there was a good service on all lines and that all trains were running on time.

If nothing else, they have at least somebody with marketing skills in charge of the platform announcements now.

Posted by Horst at 12:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 12, 2004

I always thought that in order to solve a problem, you have to deal with the problem itself, not kill the next random 200 people you come across.

If you have a look at the news these days, however, you could start thinking that everybody, whether they're called "terrorists" or "politicians", seems to think that every problem can be solved if you only kill enough people.

Maybe that's even true: a lot of problems will surely cease to exist if the human race one day manages to eradicate itself.

Posted by Horst at 11:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

You with the
          green shirt, you
with the
          cocky smile your
speckled elvish
          eyes I'd
love to
          hold that which you
are in my
          arms and feel your
soft breath
          on my
skin and all that is
Posted by Horst at 02:31 PM

March 13, 2004

I am blue cheese!
Click on the cheese to find out what cheese you are. [thx to greengrl, who is parmesan]

Posted by Horst at 12:07 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

March 14, 2004

Could all people who were promised autographed Haldur Gislufsson pictures please contact me. The new printer has now arrived and Horst can finally make the printouts so that I can sign them, but I mislaid the names of the people who get the cards. So please drop me a note, and don't forget to tell me your postal address. Thanks.

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 01:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 15, 2004

So I'm in this airport toilet, peeing away happily, and this other bloke comes in, walks to a bowl at the other end of the room and goes "Hmmm", as if to say "well, this bowl is not perfect, but I'll use it anyway". He unzips and starts peeing. Again, he says "Hmmm", and after a while again, "Hmmm".

It's a strange kind of "Hmmm", one that does not at all seem to express the pleasure of emptying one's bladder, instead it seems to convey a slight puzzlement, perhaps even an ounce of irritation over something, like he is constantly assessing what he is doing just now and kind of, but not quite, happy with it: "Hmmm."

Then, a slight variation: "Mm-hmm." Suddenly oddly affirmative. Not pleased. Not particularly puzzled any more. What on earth is this man thinking about while he is emptying his bladder? Is he perhaps a urologist who's doing some kind of experiment on himself?

Slightly confused by the strange display of a man critically hmmm-ing to himself while peeing, I zip and go to the washbasin. As I look into the mirror, I notice a cable coming out of the man's ear.

Bloody mobile phones.

Posted by Horst at 07:39 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

March 16, 2004


Argh. Hooray. Whatever.

Posted by Horst at 11:23 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Food: Tarka dal, Tofu saag, Spicy fish with coriander and green chilies.
Drink: Rodenbach Grand Cru.

The recipes can be found over at The Aardvark Cooks. If your local dealer doesn't have it, the beer can be ordered from Beermania.

Posted by Horst at 11:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 17, 2004

To welcome the 38th year of my life, I thought I'd disclose 37 facts about me that you probably never wanted to know. At least, except for three or four points, nobody ever asked me about them. Anyway, here we go:

  1. My birthday is March 16th, same as that of Jerry Lewis, Bernardo Bertolucci and Karlheinz Böhm.

  2. I'm taller than 5'10" and shorter than 5'11" and will never get used to imperial measures.

  3. "Horst" means "he who comes from the forest". As a noun it also means "eagle's nest". It's an awfully Teutonic name, which seems somewhat inappropriate for an Austrian. I've had 37 years to grow used to it.

  4. My middle name is Peter, which is spelt the same, but pronounced differently in German. It means the same thing as in English though.

  5. "Prillinger" can either mean "the people who live near the swampy meadow" or "the farmer who breeds pigs", depending on whether you prefer the German or the Czech etymology.

  6. I have never lived in or near a forest, in or near an eagle's nest, or in a village near a swampy meadow, and neither myself nor my parents have ever bred pigs.

  7. Four of my eight great-grandparents were of Czech origin, which is not unusual in Austria.

  8. I can read and speak German, English and French; I can read Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Swedish with some difficulty (but not really speak any of them). I had six years of Latin at school, but I'm not sure if I still understand any of it. I understand a handful of words in Hindi movies. I don't understand a single word of Czech.

  9. I have a "Magister" degree (similar to an M.A.) in English language and literature and Communications, media studies and journalism from Vienna University. I also have a Ph.D. in English literature and linguistics.

  10. Nineteen years ago, I was sure that I never wanted to become a teacher. Oddly enough, so far I have spent most of my professional life teaching.

  11. I started cooking when I was living in students' residence, mostly because I couldn't stand the food in the various student canteens, refectories and snack bars.

  12. I have been seriously addicted to curries since my return from a prolonged stay in the UK in 1995.

  13. I have lived in the UK twice, in 1990/91 and 1994/95.

  14. I'm a hopeless romantic.

  15. I have bizarre fantasies, but I don't discuss them publicly, not even when I'm very drunk, and they're mostly harmless anyway.

  16. I'm a published writer, but my book is unlikely to become a bestseller and my published newspaper articles are limited and of minority appeal. I do intend to write a bestseller soon, though.

  17. I seriously doubt that I'll be working as a librarian for the rest of my life.

  18. I used to play the bass guitar in a band. We had five gigs with moderate success, but I haven't played in a band for over ten years now and probably don't even know how to hold the bass any more.

  19. I'm brilliant at memorising and remembering numbers, but really terrible at remembering and/or recognising people's faces, which can be rather embarrassing.

  20. I'm a liberal Roman Catholic. I'd much rather be an agnostic, but I can't seem to let go of some Catholic concepts, despite the fact that I disagree with much of what the Pope says.

  21. I have 29 1/2 teeth. One wisdom tooth came out only half, one was extracted, and the other two are in there somewhere, but haven't shown up yet. The other 28 teeth are still all there.

  22. During my army service, I worked for a few months at the doctor's office, writing medical reports and prescriptions.

  23. I had a stint in student politics. During that time I was alternatingly accused of being too eager to compromise and of being a hardliner. I guess you can't please everybody.

  24. Sixteen years ago, I dyed my hair black. I don't know whether to blame the dye or my maternal grandfather's genes for my current hair loss.

  25. I find toilet humour totally unfunny.

  26. Despite annual visits to London since 1986, I still haven't travelled the London Underground Network in its entirety.

  27. I'm allergic to cats.

  28. I barely ever remember my dreams, and those I do remember seem to make no sense. For example, my wet dreams puzzle me to no end because they're terribly abstract and there seems to be nothing even remotely erotic about them.

  29. I wasn't born in Vienna, but I've been living here for the past 19 years (minus the time when I lived in the UK).

  30. One thing I like about Vienna is the high density of Italian ice cream parlours.

  31. One thing I hate about Vienna is the dog dirt on the streets.

  32. My shoe size is 9 1/2.

  33. My favourite Monty Python sketches are 'The Spanish Inquisition', 'A Theory on Brontosauruses by Anne Elk', and the Raymond Luxury-Yacht sketch.

  34. Despite the fact that I am bombarded with dozens of e-mails every day urging me to enlarge my penis, I have so far remained unconvinced as to the advantages of being "hung like a horse".

  35. I don't own a car. Which is why I've driven at least 18 different makes of rental cars. I've also on a handful of occasions driven a class 5081 DMU and a class 2043 diesel engine with a 1100-ton freight train attached to it (no, not on Microsoft Train Simulator — in real life).

  36. I sometimes fear that watching The Avengers as a child has somewhat shaped my outlook on life because I have a fascination with weird gadgets and smart, good-looking women who wear catsuits and kick ass like Emma Peel.

  37. My name may be spelt "Horst Prillinger", but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove".

Posted by Horst at 09:36 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

March 18, 2004

Finally, a voice of reason from Spain: unlike the previous government, which ignored the will of 90% of the Spanish people and took a leading role in George Bush's Iraq war, Prime Minister-elect Zapatero says Spain will pull its troops out of Iraq unless the United Nations takes charge there by June 30 this year.

The interesting bit is that everyone reports "Spain to pull out its troops" as if it's totally inconceivable that the USA would ever cede power to the UN. Funny, isn't it?

In the meantime, it seems that former Prime Minister Aznar's government may really have been as morally corrupt as many have said before: more and more evidence is brought forward which proves they directly instructed the Spanish media to blame the Basque separatists ETA for last Thursday's bomb attack even though there had been ample proof otherwise.

On Tuesday, notable Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar even accused Aznar of planning a coup d'état to prevent the elections from taking place last Sunday. Almodóvar admitted it was only a rumour, but "it would be terrible if it turned out to be true" [update in English].

The Spanish voters have responded to a government that has misled them more often than once and has repeatedly shown its inability to handle crises. The election came in handy, just as Aznar was caught red-handed spreading another lie. Good riddance indeed.

Posted by Richard Ellenson at 12:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Paolo Valdemarin asks: "Are we ready for videoblogging?"

I answer: "Only if we can embed clickable links into our videos so that our viewers can actually visit any sources or other sites that we are referencing. Showing my face and speaking URLs which nobody can click on seems pretty pointless."

So far, videos run counter to the networking principle of weblogs because they lack linking capabilities. Besides, showing my pretty face talking about clever things is not my idea of what videoblogging is about.

Update: Paolo has found a way to embed URLs in QuickTime movies. Nice.

Posted by Horst at 05:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 19, 2004

First, an important customer announcement: if the person who ordered the Martin Parr book from my Amazon wishlist is a reader of this blog, would you please identify yourself and tell me whether you ordered this for yourself or for me, because I really want to order it myself now and don't want to get it twice.

And now, a few links:

Posted by Horst at 07:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

STUDENT: (holding a piece of paper with bibliographic information on it): "I need to read this book for a seminar. The catalogue says you have it in the stacks. Can I have it?"
ME: "Sure. Just order it from the computer or with one of these order forms, and you'll have it in about two hours."
STUDENT: (disappointed) "Oh. No, that's too late. The seminar begins in one hour." (walks away)

Question: What's wrong here?

Well, I asked myself the following questions:

  1. Did the person really think that one hour was enough to get the book from the library, read it, understand it and reflect on it to the extent that they were sufficiently prepared for the seminar afterwards?

  2. How important was the book really if the person could simply walk away without inquiring whether there might be a second copy of it elsewhere, or if there wasn't a way to speed things up and get the book any faster?

I suppose in the end it probably didn't make any difference whether they had one hour to look at it or whether they didn't look at it at all; they wouldn't have been prepared either way. But just how naive are these people? Are they truly able to survive in the real world?

Posted by Horst at 08:08 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

As it has been so hugely successful (page hits have quadrupled and I'm getting tons of some fan mail) , the mock-English translation of the Vienna Underground map has been updated to contain the sections and stations scheduled to open within the next 4 years. Also, "Nestroy", "Pilgram", "Tschertte" and "Erlaa" have finally moved out of obscurity into plain English and some minor translation errors have been corrected. Have fun!

Posted by Horst at 10:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 20, 2004

Again and again I'm amazed by posters during political campaigns in this country. For example, we are currently experiencing the beginnings of the electoral campaign for the Austrian presidency. Let's just compare the following two images:

This is satire, made by fellow blogger Godany a few months ago:This is the official poster for Conservative candidate Benita Ferrero-Waldner:
1001 Märchenwie eine Löwin
["The first one who knows 1001 fairy tales by heart"]["The first one who fought like a lion for Austria"]

As you can see, the difference between the two is minuscule. In fact, Godany, the author of the satire, was pretty amazed herself at how reality seemed to be even more of a satire than her own creation.

But then again, so far everytime when I thought that some political poster was really bad (and I hope you agree that Ferrero-Waldner's official poster is bordering on caricature), the candidate on this poster always won. Says something about this country and its voters, I guess.

Posted by Horst at 11:13 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 21, 2004

It has been brought to my attention that counterfeit Haldur Gislufsson autograph cards are being circulated on the Internet and via mail. If you are among the lucky people who received one, please check the signature on the card to see if it is authentic. The picture below shows a counterfeit and an original card; it should help you identify fakes:

An example showing the counterfeit Haldur Gislufsson autograph card.

As you can see, the difference shouldn't be too difficult to spot. Whoever thought they could imitate my handwriting did a very poor job.

Please accept only original Haldur Gislufsson autograph cards. Original cards come free of charge to Friends of Haldur. Do not waste money on cheap counterfeits. Autograph piracy is a crime — do not accept it, do not support it.

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 10:27 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

March 22, 2004

So who's the terrorist — the victim or the killer? It's getting increasingly hard to tell...

Posted by Richard Ellenson at 10:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

When I was in London recently, I was pretty surprised that Secretary was (and apparently still is) in the list of the top 20 bestselling DVDs in the UK. Which is just as well, because it's a good movie, but I hadn't expected it to have this kind of, well, mass appeal. So is it selling this well because many people (very mistakenly) think it's adult S&M erotica, or is it a movie that touches a nerve in a country of secretaries and repressed sexuality? Or is it simply because Maggie Gyllenhaal is an amazing actress?

Posted by Horst at 11:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 23, 2004

On March 23rd, 1931, one day earlier than scheduled, a man called Bhagat Singh and two of his associates were executed in Lahore Central Prison (India), their bodies smuggled out through the back door, chopped into pieces and burnt by British officers.

Bhagat Singh's story is extraordinary and very relevant today, as he is a prime example of somebody you could either call a "freedom fighter" or a "terrorist", depending on your perspective, and these days perspective seems to be more crucial than ever when it comes to political activism.

As one might expect, Bollywood has made a number of movies about this charismatic man, no fewer than five in 2002 alone, of which probably Rajkumar Santoshi's The Legend of Bhagat Singh [2] (the only one of the five I've seen myself) seems to be the best. It has a couple of historical inaccuracies and some weaknesses which are most likely due to its completion in great haste for a release before the other movies, but I'd say it serves well as an introduction to the subject and makes a compelling 3-hour movie experience.

Posted by Horst at 07:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 24, 2004

I already mentioned that I can't remember faces. Well, I can, but only faces of people I've seen several times. Still, my face memory is bad enough to cause me lots of embarrassing moments with people I'm apparently supposed to remember, only I can't.

Like yesterday. This reader appears at the reference desk, smiles and says "Hi", like I should really know her.

On comes the feeling of embarrassment, and I ask, "Hi. Um, should I know you?" Somewhat mystified, she says, "Well yes, of course. We were in a course together."

I still can't remember anything, especially since I've been in a lot of courses. "Your name?" I ask. She tells me. Click. I instantly remember her. I even see her face as it was back then.

She used to be a bit pale-ish, had black shoulder-length hair and no glasses. The problem is that now she has a tan, short red hair and glasses. It reminded me of a similar situation with a former student of mine that I hadn't recognized either after she had grown her hair long and dyed it blonde, lost 20 pounds and switched from shabby jeans to designer clothes.

As it happens, I have a pretty good picture in my mind of what the two of them looked like two years ago. Only they look nothing like it nowadays. It turns out that the problem is not that my face memory is bad. The problem is that some people competely change their appearance and expect you to still recognize them as if they still looked the same as two years ago. I wonder if other people can do it; I can't.

Posted by Horst at 02:49 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

March 25, 2004


Karl has pictures of the moor near the village of Ibm in Upper Austria [thx IT&W], which happens to be only some 15 miles from the town where I was born and grew up. The joke about Ibm and computer manufacturer IBM is so old over there that it never occurred to me that it actually is kinda funny. Now that Karl went ahead and published it, I might draw your attention to a village that is only a few miles west of Ibm, which one might misconceive as a statement about the computer manufacturer. Or the village. Or whatever.

Fucking IBM
(Click on the map to enlarge it)

I assure you that this map has not been doctored apart from adding the red circles. If you want proof, check out

Posted by Horst at 10:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 26, 2004

I noticed that neither the Hindi coursebook that I own nor the one that I borrowed from the library has the word "dil" ("heart") in its glossary, yet it seems to be one of the most frequent words in Hindi movie titles and Hindi film songs.

Now I wonder what is more unlike real life: Hindi coursebooks or Hindi movies?

Posted by Horst at 12:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 28, 2004

This is a service announcement from Haldur Gislufsson to all fellow moose: Please avoid the area of Mat-Su, Alaska. Since October, an average of two moose per day have been killed in the area in moose-car collisions. Also thank you for heeding the warning about stying clear of the railroad tracks, we've had significantly fewer moose deaths in moose-train collisions this year. But there's still room for improvement, so please take extra care. Don't take any risks. Remember: cars kill.

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 10:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 29, 2004

As the weather was pretty awful during the weekend, I played around with iMovie 4 and actually managed to record and edit my first fully digital movie using just iMovie and the iSight camera (I used to make super-8 movies in the 1980s). Here are two stills from it:

Stills from 'Dear Mona'

iMovie is pretty slick software. I managed to edit this in a little under two hours with no consultation of any manual or help file. I also played around with a couple of other clips and found it to be pretty intuitive and easy to use.

Unfortunately, it's not at all bug-free. Several times, iMovie went into some kind of infinite loop, causing me to lose unsaved changes (which taught me to hit Command-S frequently). Also, the title previews do not at all look like the finished titles, and the limitation to two lines and 60 seconds per title is somewhat ridiculous. Now that they're charging for the software, it needs some major tune-ups.

Still, I'm quite amazed at how easy it is to use. I suppose more films will follow. Maybe I'll even post one of them on this weblog. Eventually.

Posted by Horst at 04:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 31, 2004

Tired. Busy with work. Interest shifted a bit away from writing at the moment. Posted a lame post about playing around with iMovie again earlier today, linked to a clip from the video I made, and deleted it because I found it so uninteresting that I couldn't imagine how somebody else could even bother to read and/or watch it.

Anyway. Lots of updates over at The Evil Empire during the last few days, so head over there if you want to read something. I'll be back as soon as my inspiration is back.

PS.: I'm looking for somebody to act in a small role in yet another video project. There is no dialogue, all you need to do is try to look sinister and open a few doors. I can't pay you anything, but you'll be mentioned in the credits. If you are in Vienna, can spare a few hours on a Saturday morning and are interested, drop me a note.

Posted by Horst at 07:07 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

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