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

June 2006 Archive

June 01, 2006

As the blogroll on my weblog's front page has only very limited space and therefore can only contain a selection of the weblogs that I'm reading, here is a more extensive listing of blogs that I am in some way connected with.

Linking to me (afaik):

The Bell Jar
dd denkt laut
The Eclectic Chapbook
e. n. sanders
Exploded library
Exploding Cigar
Fish dreams
Giornale Nuovo
Going Underground
Kakanien Weblog
Keys Corner
Life As It Happens
London Leben
My Boyfriend Is a Twat
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Naked Paint Blog
netbib weblog
Ostracised from Österreich
Other worlds
Quickos Daily News
Rabid Librarian
Route 79
sidrah's blog
Sugarglider Palm
Tholos of Athena
Under the Sycamore Trees
Verflixt und zugenewst
Walt at Random
Wos waas a Fremda?

Irregular reads:

46halbes Weblog
Ani Moller
arved's weblog
Becky's Journal
Comandantina Dusilova
Couchblog Webpropaganda
The Daily Thing
Gary Turner
Gavin's Blog
Generic | Synthetic
Heli's Heaven and Hell Radio
Here in Katie's Head
I Hate Peas
Me and Ophelia
Ministry of Propaganda
Minnie's musings
random acts of alex
This Modern World
Tread lightly on the Things of Earth
Universal rule
Your Local Goddess

Fellow librarians:

Blonde Librarian
Cathy The Librarian
Exploded Library
Library Mistress
Library Stuff
MBI Blog
Netbib Weblog
Open Stacks
Peter Scott
Resource Shelf
Shifted Librarian
That Rabbit Girl
Walt at Random

Met in real life:

Konstantin Binder
Rebecca Blood
Stephanie Booth
danah boyd
Lee Bryant
Thomas N. Burg
Ricardo Cambiassi
Suw Charman
Steve Clemons
Natalie D'Arbeloff
Hossein Derakhshan
Adalbert Duda
Lilia Efimova
Kathleen Fitzpatrick
Richard Hemmer
Dan Gillmor
Scott Hanson
Thomas Hassan
Haiko Hebig
Heiko Hebig [sic!]
Richard Hemmer
Petra Hennrich
Nathan Horowitz
Jörg Kantel
Arno Kempers
Mig Living
Nico Lumma
JJ Merelo
Maria Milonas
Jag Minhas
Annie Mole
Philipp Naderer
Georg Niklfeld
Jane Perrone
Scott Partee
dd petschl
Martin Röll
Michael Schuster
Jill Walker
David Weinberger
Phil Wolff
Oliver Wrede
Ralf Zeigermann
Ton Zijlstra

Posted by Horst at 12:07 AM

Once you start rummaging through the vinyl racks in second-hand record stores, you're invariably bound to get depressed at some point, depressed because of the sheer amount of abominably bad records that you'll encounter as you leaf through the album covers, depressed at the sheer amount of bad taste that didn't stop, but actually encouraged people to buy these records at some point.

And depressed because, what's worse, the fact that the records probably didn't end up in the second-hand store because people realized that these records were really bad and wanted to get rid of them; no, most likely they ended up there because people bought the CD.

Posted by Horst at 07:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

June 04, 2006

Sunday 4 June
DJs dd & h-prill @ Rhiz
1080 Wien, Gürtelbogen 37-38 (U6 Josefstädter Strasse)
Starts 9pm - ends late.
Come. If you can't come, listen to the live stream.

(Note: this entry will remain at the top of this page for a while. Scroll down for new entries.)

Posted by Horst at 01:33 PM | Comments (6)

June 05, 2006

I must say that 7½ hours of dj-ing can be pretty exhausting, even though it has some interesting side-effects, such as discovering a remarkably non-seedy restaurant with a somewhat questionable clientèle (including myself), which seems to be open 22-24 hours a day and offers a perfectly decent Zwiebelrostbraten, rather competitively priced at €8.20, even at 5 o'clock in the morning. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who came and/or listened to the live stream, I hope you enjoyed it. Comments about the music programme can be posted on the Rhiz website. Personal comments to me in the comments below as usual.

It's also the first time I've done this that it has been documented, so please excuse my enthusiasm and let me point you to the archived MP3 stream, which will still be online for another seven days. Right-click and choose "Save link target as...". If the server is offline (which happens quite a lot), try again 12 hours later.

Unfortunately, the first 30 minutes (8:30pm to 9:00pm) and the last hour (3:00am to 4:00am) are missing. Sorry, but we started somewhat early and finished somewhat late.

Track selections are alternatingly by DJ dd and myself; my first selection is the Oscar Peterson jazz piece that starts about 30 seconds into the first transmission.

If I ever have too much time on my hand (not likely), I might eventually publish a playlist. Because I had too much time on my hands, you can also download the playlist.

Posted by Horst at 05:39 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

June 06, 2006

Yesterday was the last day of the fourth deadline at which Amazon promised to send me a CD I ordered back in February ("available in 2-5 weeks"). Let's see if they cancel the order this time or if they make the fifth promise to send it to me in yet another 2-5 weeks.

You see me shiver with antici--


Posted by Horst at 10:10 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

June 07, 2006

I've always had the nagging feeling that most horoscopes, at least those aimed at the general public in newspapers, magazines and books are, well, somewhat generic so that a great number of people can identify with what they're reading, under the assumption that they only read their own horoscope and thus fail to notice that other people's horoscope might also apply to them.

But I've never come across anything as openly generic as this:

[The Pisces man's] eyes are often of an undefinable colour, green, blue, with brown spots, or so dark that they seem to be almost black.
(Source: Stella Starsky/Quinn Cox, Sextrology, German edition, Munich 2004, p. 597, my translation)

In other words, the Pisces man's eyes usually have any colour commonly found in humans. Like, I'm unlikely to have yellow, red or purple eyes. It's actually a big relief to know that, believe it or not.

Posted by Horst at 08:11 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

June 10, 2006


My idea of fun during this time when everybody is talking about the Soccer World Cup and watching soccer matches, is to invent new kinds of sports that are not in any way even remotely related to soccer.

For example, Radishball. It's a hockey-like game involving eleven small radishes and one human with a broomstick. The objective of the game is for the human to use the broomstick to get the radishes out from under the dishwasher (where they ended up after he accidentally dropped them) and to avoid hitting them in such a way that they disappear even further under the kitchen cupboards.

A typical game of Radishball takes about 7 minutes; or up to 14 if the human accidentally drops some of the radishes yet again once he has retrieved them.

If the radishes remain under the dishwasher, they win and the human loses. If the human manages to retrieve all the radishes, he wins and they lose. If the radishes remain under the dishwasher for so long that they are beginning to rot, both the human and the radishes lose and the germs win.

Posted by Horst at 11:54 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

June 11, 2006

If you find yourself referenced on a strange blog such as this, this, or this, then you know that you are either in the company of autistic dadabloggers, or this is why the trackback spammers just won't leave you alone.

Posted by Horst at 10:34 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Apparently an Austrian nutrition scientist has calculated that if you drink one bottle of beer and eat one packet of potato crisps per soccer half, you will have gained 12 kilos by the end of the FIFA World Cup.

Posted by Horst at 01:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 12, 2006


Well, contrary to the US government's PR, this PR move actually seems to be working, but that may be because the detainees in Guantanamo are insidious enough to trick the rest of the world into believing that they actually have a point.

Posted by Horst at 11:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

My email to them:

Guten Tag, meine Bestellung Nr. XXX ist heute angekommen, aber Sie haben mir leider eine falsche CD geliefert. Ich habe bestellt: Chet Baker Ensemble (Pacific Jazz) / Sie haben geliefert: Chet Baker Ensemble and Sextet (Fresh Sound). Bitte um Anweisungen bezüglich Rücksendung und Ersatz.

Their answer to me:

Dieser Artikel ( Chet Baker Ensemble [Audio CD] Chet Baker ) ist unterwegs seit dem 02/06/2006. Die durchschnittliche Lieferungsfrist beträgt 5 bis 10 Tage. Jedenfalls können wir Ihnen keine Lieferungsfrist gewährleisten. Diese Frist kann wegen Post und Zoll verzögert werden. Wir bedanken uns für das Vertrauen, dass Sie uns erteilt haben.

I don't know how many emails their customer service department is receiving every day, but my guess is it's more than they are able to read.

Posted by Horst at 08:34 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

June 14, 2006

Should I keep the wrong CD or send it back? Suggestions in the comments, please.

Posted by Horst at 10:46 PM | Comments (5)

June 15, 2006

I suppose that if you go through three attempts at writing a weblog entry and find that three days after you first started writing it, you are still not happy with the third rewrite of the third version, then you should just abort the whole thing and leave it at that.

Posted by Horst at 11:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 18, 2006

They're beginning to shut down the city in preparation for the arrival of George W. Bush in Vienna next week. The government has issued no fewer than seven information brochures about the no-go zones on 20 and 21 June. A substantial part of the inner city will be totally inaccessible. Tourists had better avoid the area around the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) and the Hotel Intercontinental, or they might be shot by these nice people.

And while the Austrian government is preparing to welcome the president, some Viennese are expressing their sentiments about the upcoming visit:

Viennese welcome for George W. Bush, June 2006

In the meantime, the initiative is preparing a big demonstration against the American president. The meeting point is on 21 June, 5pm at Westbahnhof station.

Posted by Horst at 10:50 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

June 19, 2006

This morning I got a phone call from a colleague whose office is located in the Imperial Palace, and our conversation was constantly interrupted by clicking noises every ten to twenty seconds, which was pretty annoying.

It somehow reminded me when I briefly had a post in a section of the Austrian Army with a rather high security/secrecy level. During the entire time when I was posted there, the telephone line at home in my flat seemed to suffer from severe technical problems with periods of rather intense clicking, which only stopped a month or so after I had been transferred to a different unit.

My guess is that, even though the Theatre Studies Library sounds like an unlikely place for acts of terrorism (especially as it's closed and inaccessible on Wednesday anyway), the US Secret Service is already busy tapping phone lines in preparation for president Bush's visit to the Palace on Wednesday.

Posted by Horst at 08:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 20, 2006

At least the Americans didn't demand that the sewers be welded shut, like they did during Mr. Bush's last visit in Germany. It's a small victory I guess. Still, the Austrian police are currently patrolling the Vienna sewers, and will continue to do so for the next 48 hours.

Sealing off the entire Stephansplatz area for five hours tomorrow just so that Mrs. Bush can go visit St. Stephen's Cathedral says a lot about the perceived self-importance of the American president and his wife. Since not even the Pope demanded that the inner city be emptied of people during his visit and the Pope supposedly ranks directly below God, this must mean that the American president and his wife rank somewhere in the supernatural sphere above God. Or that that at least they think they do. Or, if we all didn't know that the president of the United States is a fearless pillar of courage, someone might suggest that they are simply very, very, very afraid.

Not that Mr Bush matters all that much any longer. He cannot be re-elected, and it has become quite obvious that, apparently for this very reason, he doesn't seem to care much about anything any longer. In fact, I think he makes a very poor target. If terrorists didn't primarily think about the symbolic value of their targets and would instead go for long-term effects, they'd instantly forget about Mr. Bush and choose somebody else instead.

The Austrian chief of police has said that the estimated cost of Mr. Bush's visit for the police force alone is about €1 million. No estimate has been published about the expected losses due to closed shops and museums in the city. Still, if you think about the number of heads of state who visit Vienna every year, and the security measures applied in those cases, I can think of quite a few who are more likely to be killed by assassins and still enjoy not even a fraction of the attention that Mr. Bush receives.

Information about public transport disruptions in Vienna today and tomorrow can be found on the Vienna Transport website (summary here).

Where the tens of thousands of tourists will be heading when the two most popular tourist spots in Vienna -- Stephansplatz and the Imperial Palace -- are totally sealed off, remains to be seen.

Adalbert has some pictures of the preparations to shut down Vienna on his website, by the way.

Posted by Horst at 08:28 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

June 21, 2006

This joke has been posted all around the internet in numerous variations for the past year or so, so please forgive me if you know it already.

One day in the future, George W. Bush has a heart attack and dies. Obviously, he goes straight to hell, where the devil is already waiting for him. The devil tells him, "Unfortunately hell is so crowded that we have no room for you at the moment. However, as you definitely have to stay here, I'm going to have to let someone else go. I've got three folks here who weren't quite as bad as you. I'll let one of them go, but you have to take their place. I'll even let you decide who leaves."

George thought that sounded pretty good, so he agreed.

The devil opened the first room. In it were Richard Nixon and a large pool of hot water. He kept diving in and climbing out, over and over. Such was his fate in hell.

"No," George said. "I don't think so. I'm not a good swimmer and don't think I could stay in hot water all day."

The devil led him to the next room. In it was Ronald Reagan with a sledge hammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing the hammer, time after time.

"No. I've got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day," commented George.

The devil opened a third door. In it, George saw Bill Clinton lying on the floor with his arms staked over his head and his legs staked in a spread-eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best.

George Bush looked at this in disbelief for a while and finally said, "Yeah, I can handle this."

The devil smiled and said, "Very well. Monica, you're free to go."

In the meantime, Adalbert is disappointed, Richard is filling some gaps, and Ingmar concludes that closing down the city was actually not entirely legal.

Posted by Horst at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

President Bush has left Austria. He was not attacked by the Thing From The Sewer at any time during his visit.

Posted by Horst at 06:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Riot police protecting George Bush, who had already left Austria

Some uniform designer must really like the movie Robocop. Unfortunately, as a direct result of this, Austrian riot police now look as silly as Peter Weller.

Posted by Horst at 09:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 22, 2006

My final comment (promise) on the Bush visit is a quotation from the Süddeutsche Zeitung:

In May, the authorities in Vienna showed how discreet high security can be when they protected 60 heads of state and government during the summit between the EU and the Latin American states.

Of course, the single visitor from the northern part of the American continent demands a different degree of attention.

I'm pretty convinced that this is not about security at all. It's about showing authority, about bullying others into submission.

Update: In other news, Betablogger has some dialogues (in German) that illustrate the Viennese position on authority in the face of George W. Bush and the Austrian police. [via novala]

Update: In some American online media I found references to "hundreds" or "350" people protesting against President Bush in Vienna on Wednesday. However, the Austrian police, whose counts are usually very conservative, announced that there had been some 15,000 protesters, and the committee organising the demonstration spoke of at least 20,000 participants.

Posted by Horst at 12:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 23, 2006

Speaking about submission, there was this broadcast on the private Austrian TV channel ATV the other day. Not having won the rights to broadcast the World Cup soccer games, they are currently guaranteeing a "soccer-free programme", so during a somewhat boring soccer match I decided to see what they had to offer instead and reached for the remote.

As it turned out, I zapped right into a 60-minute pseudo-documentary on dominatrixes in Vienna. It was totally cheesy, and especially the voice-over sounded like one of those know-it-all types who is really pretty clueless, but thinks he is teaching the rest of the world important things about a hitherto undiscovered subculture. Still, I sat on my sofa and watched in awe as strange stories unfolded before me. At some point a noteworthy pattern seemed to emerge:

  1. There was this one particular dominatrix at home with her boyfriend, an "unemployed actor", preparing coffee or something, and talking about how her work doesn't interfere with their personal lives or their relationship at all, and then the voice-over said, "Ms X has a twenty year-old daughter who moved out two years ago and knows nothing about her mother's line of work." And I thought: Uh-huh. Well, she may know now.
  2. Then they filmed a brief segment in the SMart café, showing plenty of faces, and again the know-it-all voice-over says, "Some people come here with their girlfriends or spouses, but in most cases their families do not know anything about their sadomasochistic desires at all." Let's hope then that no-one from their families or friends was watching this.
  3. Later, we were introduced to Robert, one of Ms X's customers, who apparently lost his normal sense of pain after an accident and now needs extreme stimulation to get aroused. Because I am queasy I switched back to the significantly more soothing soccer game while Ms X was doing all sorts of things to him. When I switched back, you could see Robert leaving her house and the voice-over said, "Robert is now going back to his girlfriend, who knows nothing about his desires." Good. So let's hope that neither she nor anyone she knows saw this, or else Robert may be in for an unpleasant surprise. On the other hand, if she never noticed that Robert needs extreme pain for sexual stimulation, there might have been something inherently wrong with their relationship anyway.

The pattern is of course that there seem to be all these people whose spouses/friends/family know nothing about their sexual preferences and practices, but they choose to talk about them openly on television.

I'm getting more and more convinced that shows like this are either completely staged and scripted, and everything is just a performance by a couple of actors, or, if these are real people, that they must be extremely naive in believing that a 20-to-30-minute personal apperance on TV goes completely unnoticed by anybody.

For example, when I appeared in this rather obscure 3-minute segment about the London Underground, at least six people I know saw it just by mere chance. You can expect a significantly higher number of people to tune in to a cheesy sex report. Even during the Soccer World Cup. Never forget that it's a small world.

Like, as I was cycling home from work the next day, I saw Ms X's unemployed actor boyfriend walk along Landesgerichtsstrasse. It was definitely him, no doubt at all. He was even wearing the same pullover over his shoulder, an odd thing to do in this heat.

It's a small world.

Posted by Horst at 01:10 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

June 24, 2006

I read about the untrustworthiness of eyewitnesses, and how some professor at an English university had conducted a fairly simple experiment to state his point on the matter.

They had a person approach somebody on the street and ask for directions. While the other person was explaining the way, two people carrying a huge opaque glass pane would pass between them; during that brief moment, the first person would be replaced by someone else. They conducted this experiment with over 350 people.

In over 60 per cent of all cases, the person explaining the way would just go on talking, not noticing at all that s/he was now talking to a different person.

Posted by Horst at 12:16 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

June 25, 2006

I've known these two penguins for almost twenty years, but today was the first time I actually saw the bigger one spew water.

To celebrate this event, the first two persons who correctly identify the penguins and send an e-mail telling me where they are win a prize.

Update: I'm changing the rules. Everyone is free to guess the location of the penguins. The prizes go to the two people whose guess is closest to the penguins' real location. A few more hints have been added to the picture if you click on it.

Posted by Horst at 11:11 PM | Comments (18)

June 27, 2006

After almost two years of criminal neglect, I decided to update my bloglist and discovered the following moderately interesting facts:

  • Remarkably, all but 9 of the blogs I linked to are still active
  • Of the active blogs, 6 have changed their name
  • Of the active blogs, about 60% have changed their layout, but about 98% are still writing about excatly the same things.
  • Of the active blogs, about 50% have kept the same posting schedule, whereas the other 50% have slowed down considerably.
  • Of the inactive blogs, only 2 have been removed from the server
  • 18 blogs removed me from their blogrolls
  • 12 blogs removed their blogrolls altogether
  • 6 blogs added me to their blogrolls
  • at least 75 splogs have me on their pseudo-blogrolls

I'd have blogged these facts enthusiastically about two years ago, but today I think that this is one of the lamest posts that I came up with recently.

Obviously, things change.

Like I realized when I recently changed the layout of this weblog's front page -- which you may or may not have noticed because the actual change visible to a casual visitor is barely noticeable, but the changes in the source code are rather profound -- that my way of writing source code has changed significantly since when I first put up this design in 2003.

I came across a very old site of mine a while ago, and I realized how inconceivable it seems now to write a page like this, like, not closing my <p>s properly with </p>s and stuff like that. I wondered whether my perspective on other things in my life, other than HTML source code had also changed this radically. I couldn't come up with anything quickly, but I realized that back then the idea of cooking Zwiebelrostbraten was also inconceivable back then. You don't notice these gradual changes as they happen, but whenever you're suddenly confronted with a piece from your past, it may just suddenly hit you how much you've changed.

So whilst it can be argued from a design point of view that this weblog now resembles another little website I did a while ago even more closely, I do now have the impression that I have a better idea what I'm doing with my source code. If the new layout isn't completely tableless, it's mostly due to the fact that Internet Explorer has great problems displaying these properly, but basically I get the feeling that that other little website has taught me an awful lot about Strict XHTML and CSS.

It has also taught me a lot about other things, but I'm not ready to discuss them publicly. At least not yet.

Posted by Horst at 06:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 28, 2006

A Photo A Day - #36: Survival Kit

This is not a shameless plug for the pharmaceuticals industry, even if it may look that way. It's my current survival kit. Getting a sunburn at 36°C is one thing, getting a pretty horrid cold is quite another. However, getting both is quite an accomplishment.

Posted by Horst at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2006

The penguin quiz is still on, and will be for a few more days, until at least ten people have sent in their guesses.

Posted by Horst at 07:44 PM

A Photo A Day - #37: Package

I wonder -- have DVD cases been specifically designed not to be wrappable in A4-size paper sheets?

Posted by Horst at 07:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 30, 2006

Posted by Horst at 11:43 PM | Comments (15)

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