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July 01 2011

(Meine Heimatstadt) Graz mit anderen Augen

“So I’ve been in Graz, Austria for the past few days”, schreibt Scott drüben von iso50, “getting ready for my ISO50 Springsessions talk today (which is in this amazing building btw) and the Tycho Springfestival set tonight. Although I’ve been very busy working on some finishing touches to the upcoming Tycho album, thanks to my recently-made-portable workstation, I was able to make it out for a couple hours to take some photos”:

(Gefunden bei iso50)

Reposted fromglaserei glaserei

May 11 2011

Slovakia: Second-Class Customers

During the last years of the socialist Czechoslovakia, there was a typical lack of goods in the country. Don't misunderstand: people were not going hungry or naked, it was still possible to buy basic things. But if you wanted something a bit more special - say, a pair of jeans - you had to look for that in special shops and pay with special vouchers there, which ordinary people could only acquire at the black market.

Shop-keepers kept tropical fruit or better parts of meat under the counter for the customers they deemed more valued, such as doctors and auto repairs specialists. Most others had to stand in long lines. Buying a new car or a new flat used to take years of waiting. Western brands - with the exception of soda, perhaps - were very rare.

The situation changed after the revolutionary year of 1989, when the borders opened and nearby agricultural villages in western Austria turned into shopping centers - and they remain so even today, when international brands and stores are already strong players in the Slovak market.

Often, however, food products of the same brand differ in quality and price, depending on whether they were produced for consumers in Western Europe or those in Central and Eastern Europe.

Even though customers might expect products of the same brand to be of the same quality worldwide, regional differences do exist, according to a study (SLO, .ppt file) sponsored by the Slovak department of the European Commission and carried out by the Association of Slovak Consumers.

Of the products tested during the study, Milka Alpine Milk chocolate's quality turned out to be the most consistent: there was no significant difference discovered between versions produced in Western Europe and in Poland. German and Austrian customers, however, are guaranteed to get chocolate made of milk from the Alps, while the famous purple cow that supplies milk for Eastern Europeans' chocolate may live somewhere in the Tatra Mountains, of which they would not be made aware.

In the case of Coca-Cola, the difference is the kind of sugar used. German as well as Czech consumers will get a version with beet sugar, while the nations further east have corn sugar in their drinks. The company explained (SLO) that this way they could supply cheaper product for the Slovak market - and when you compare Coca-Cola's price table in the study, you can see that it is really so.

Blogger Tibor Pospíšil wrote (SLO) that beet sugar is more expensive in Europe because of the “sugar lobby” and, for most of customers, there is no significant difference in quality. What's more, this way Slovak customers are getting the original American-quality Coca-Cola.

There was visible difference in Nescafé Gold coffee for Western and Eastern Europe - due to different preferences of local customers, according to the manufacturer (SLO).

But the biggest differences were found in spice products from Kotányi, an Austria-based company. Customers across Europe are getting similarly-sized packs with different amounts of spice inside and very different pricing per kilogram. Even though everything is produced at one factory, the worst quality was found in a package produced for Bulgaria: nearly 10 percent of its contents was just powder, and in the case of red pepper, a significant part of its natural color was missing. The company's spokesperson said (SLO) it had happened accidentally, and, to support this view, it should be noted that packs produced for the Austrian, as well as Hungarian and Slovak, markets had problems with humidity levels.

Below are excerpts from a discussion of the article about the study's results (SLO), published in April 2011 in the Economy section of online news portal.


If it was just about food, but it also happens with other products, but I always think that it is mainly about the customer, because they import here only that what the customer wants. If the customer does not care about contents, weight, origin and cares only about the price, then the producer will meet his wishes. It's a huge difference between a typical Austrian and a typical Slovak customer. How many Slovak customers are looking at the country of origin? […]

Jumo (in reply):

I do this [check the country of origin] and others do it as well. And I do not think that Austrian customers pay more attention to these things than the Slovak ones.


My parents grumble that smoked meat is not the same quality it used to be, but the only thing they care about is the price. With contents or taste they deal only when it is impossible to eat it.


It does not matter that food in Germany is of higher quality - here it is more expensive.

hektor22 (in reply):

Official data: Please, see page 2 - price index for food. Germany: 111, Slovakia: 80. Food in Germany is nearly 40 percent more expensive.


And especially the mentioned Kotanyi… even cheaper brands in Slovakia have higher quality.


Common knowledge, now already confirmed by laboratory. From personal experience, I can confirm a big difference in quality of chemical components - for example, there is a big difference in baby diapers bought in Austria and here.

ivan the terrible:

And who is responsible for it, comrades? Show me the guilty ones! Surely, the Western imperialists could be blamed for our own stupidity again! Imperialist companies are giving us second- and third-class goods? But we like to eat them and pay for them!

Radike 777:

And that's why I'm buying Slovak products… Unfortunately, sometimes it is a problem to find Slovak products at grocery stores.

Grüß Gott:

For the stupid tactics of our merchants there is a simple cure. I'm already shopping in Austria only. Prices are similar, sometimes markedly lower, and quality is markedly better.


I was speaking with dairy producers […]. In the era of a Slovak owner, they were using the same recipe as during the communist time. Which meant that cheeses were taking their time to mature and yogurts also were the way they have to be. As soon as a foreign investor stepped in, they introduced a new recipe. Cheese matures in a few hours now…


Nothing compares to the quality I'm using. It is classic quality of food as during the communist era. Milk, meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables - I'm buying them at local farms that are not under [official] control. Egg yolk is yellow and even my son does not want eggs from the shop. And when milk turns sour, it is possible to drink it as sour milk…

April 21 2011

Museum to return $44m Klimt painting seized by Nazis

Researchers discover Gustav Klimt's piece, Litzlberg am Attersee, was confiscated during second world war

An Austrian museum has announced plans to return a precious Gustav Klimt painting to the heir of its rightful owner after researchers discovered it was confiscated by Nazis during the second world war.

The painting, Litzlberg am Attersee, currently owned by the modern art museum MdM Salzburg, could be worth as much as €30m ($44m).

Research showed that the Nazis seized the 96-year-old painting from an apartment of a woman named Amalie Redlich in a village near Vienna. Redlich was deported to Poland, where she was killed, Salzburg deputy governor Wilfried Haslauer and the head of the museum, Toni Stooss, told reporters. Her 83-year-old grandson, Georges Jorisch, lives in Montreal, Canada.

The painting was bought by Salzburg art collector and dealer Friedrich Welz who exchanged it in 1944 for a piece from Salzburg's state gallery. It was subsequently taken over by the state gallery's successor, the Salzburger Residenzgalerie, in 1952 and later became part of the inventory of Salzburg's modern art museum.

"This is looted art, there's absolutely no question about that," Haslauer said in comments carried by Austrian radio Oe1.

Redlich's heir is her 83-year-old grandson, Georges Jorisch, who lives in Montreal, Canada, according to Haslauer's spokesman, Thomas Kerschbaum.

Salzburg's government now has to decide whether to proceed with the restitution, as recommended by Haslauer. It is expected do so by this summer, Kerschbaum said.

Jorisch's lawyer, Alfred J. Noll, appeared impressed by the way the matter has been handled so far.

"In no other case have I experienced such openness and objectivity during the discussion of individual points," Noll said in comments also carried by Oe1. He said Stooss met personally with Jorisch.

The likely restitution is a reminder of the return in 2006 of five other Klimt paintings by Vienna's Belvedere gallery to the late Maria Altmann of Los Angeles, niece of a Viennese art patron. Altmann had waged a seven-year fight for their return. An arbitration court had ruled that they were improperly seized by the Nazis who annexed Austria in 1938.

Austria has returned looted works of art held by federal museums to their rightful owners or heirs, most of them Jewish, under a 1998 restitution law. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

March 08 2011


Republik Waldviertel: Gründung


 steht kurz bevor !

Utl.: Nationalversammlung konstituiert sich =

   St. Pölten (OTS) - Das Waldviertel wird sich am heutigen 8. März
aus dem österreichischen Staatsverband lösen. Ein Konvent bestehend
aus sämtlichen Waldviertler Entscheidungsträgern tritt heute
zusammen und wird den Beschluss zur Konstituierung einer eigenen
Nationalversammlung fassen.
" Mit Unterstützung durch eine böhmische Delegation werden wir heute
den Weg zur Unabhängigkeit unserer Region beschreiten. Durch diesen
historischen Schritt wird Europa um einen Staat reicher und das Land
NÖ wird schmerzlich erkennen müssen, was es mit uns verloren hat!",
erklärt der Abgeordnete Gottfried Waldhäusl.
Für die Nationswerdung des neuen Staates seien alle erforderlichen
Voraussetzungen erfüllt, so ein Sprecher der konstituierenden
" Das Waldviertel verfügt mit Schremser Bier und Zwettlerbräu über
weltweit einzigartige Bierspezialitäten. Weiters gibt es bei uns die
schönsten Frauen und tüchtigsten Männer. Mit dem TÜPL Allentsteig
verfügen wir über den idealen Ort um unsere Streitkräfte aufzubauen.
Dadurch werden auch die hiesigen Kasernenstandorte nachhaltig
gesichert. Die Republik Waldviertel ist aus unserer Sicht das
mitteleuropäische Monaco !", berichtet ein Sprecher der
konstituierenden Nationalversammlung euphorisch.
Zur Hauptstadt des neuen Staates soll Waidhofen an der Thaya erklärt
werden. Gerüchte, wonach auch die übrigen Viertel Niederösterreichs
in den nächsten Tagen ihre Unabhängigkeit erklären könnten, werden
von Regierungssprechern der Republik Waldviertel nicht kommentiert.
Freiheitlicher Klub im NÖ Landtag
Tel.: 02742900513441
post.fpklub<!-- @ -->@<!-- @ -->
OTS0093    2011-03-08/10:46
081046 Mär 11
FKN0001 0221 Republik Waldviertel: Gründung steht kurz bevor !
Reposted fromkellerabteil kellerabteil

March 07 2011


Kein sanfter Tod für eine Schüchterne | Kultur, Aktuell, NZZ Online - 2011-03-07

Frieda Roth, die Frau des Dichters Joseph Roth, starb in der NS-Gaskammer von Schloss Hartheim

«Sie war ein hübsches mädchen. schlank, mit einem feingeschnittenen gesicht.» - friedl roth um 1920. (bild: pd)Zoom

«Sie war ein hübsches Mädchen. Schlank, mit einem feingeschnittenen Gesicht.» - Friedl Roth um 1920. (Bild: pd)

Ein Teil der Tragik im tragischen Leben des österreichischen Schriftstellers Joseph Roth war die psychische Erkrankung seiner Ehefrau, für die er sich selbst verantwortlich machte. 1930 wurde Frieda Roth ins Sanatorium eingeliefert. Sie fiel, wie hier erstmals belegt wird, am Ende dem NS-Euthanasieprogramm zum Opfer.




November 24 2010

November 11 2010


Thema: Integrations-Debatte «

via: bildung_news Türkisch als Maturasprache: Der türkische Botschafter in Wien, Kadri Ecved Tezcan, will Türkisch in der Schule f...

November 09 2010

Eine bemerkenswerte und merkwürdige europäische Regelung ist, dass es im Bildungsbereich keinen Länderausgleich gibt. So müssen Belgien und Österreich das Studium von vielen Studenten aus ihren größeren Nachbarländer bezahlen.
Wie schön, dass es Österreich gibt! | erlebt - Der Universitätsalltag eines Wissenschaftlers 20101109

September 22 2010

June 06 2010

Worldwide: Demonstrations for Palestine

By Eman AbdElRahman

Roba from Jordan published pictures from different demonstrations world wide against Israel's last attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, in Holland, Greece, Egypt, United Kingdom, Lebanon, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sweden, France, Turkey, India, Italy, Canada, Spain, Belgium, United States, Bulgaria and Austria.

April 29 2010

Russia: The 2009 Killing of Umar Israilov

By Veronica Khokhlova

Robert Amsterdam writes about Ramzan Kadyrov's alleged involvement in the 2009 murder of Umar Israilov in Vienna, and links to C.J. Chivers' New York Times investigative piece, whose opening paragraph has reminded him of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, a collection of Vietnam War short stories.

April 26 2010


April 25 2010

In einem Wahlsprengel in Oberösterreich - konkret in der Stadt Schärding am Inn - ist bei der Bundespräsidentenwahl am Sonntag nur eine einzige Stimme abgegeben worden. Das stellte die Wahlbehörde vor ein Problem: Hätte sie das Kuvert sofort geöffnet, wäre das Wahlgeheimnis nicht gewahrt worden. Nach Rücksprache mit der Landeswahlbehörde entschied die Gemeindewahlbehörde, die eine Stimme zu den anderen in der Wahlurne im Bezirks-Seniorenheim zu werfen. Dann wurden alle ausgezählt. Damit wurde das Wahlgeheimnis gewahrt und das Gesamtergebnis des Wählerwillens in der Stadt Schärding auch nicht verfälscht.
Kuriositäten und Extreme zur Wahl |
Reposted fromcygenb0ck cygenb0ck viaantifuchs antifuchs

March 30 2010


Die meisten Österreicher interessieren sich kaum für Sängerknaben und Lipizzaner.

Brix: Das ist richtig. Das Image und das Land passen eben nicht recht zusammen. Aber Stereotypen sind nun einmal Tanker, die sich sehr schwer bewegen lassen.

Brix: "In der Politik ist es nicht wie bei Max & Moritz" «
Reposted fromgulyas gulyas

February 09 2010

Alfred Hrdlicka obituary

Sculptor whose work probed political and religious themes

The Austrian artist Alfred Hrdlicka, who has died aged 81, was a controversial, radical figure whose work was driven by his political beliefs and profound sense of humanity. His notoriety peaked in 2008 with the exhibition of his painting Leonardo's Last Supper, Restored By Pier Paolo Pasolini. Although the title alone spells trouble, the picture was initially accepted by the conservative Cardinal Christoph Schönborn for the show Religion, Flesh and Power at the Cathedral Museum in Vienna.

When Christians around the world expressed their anger at Hrdlicka's seething, homoerotic image, the Church authorities removed it, claiming that this was done out of "reverence for the sacred" rather than censorship. As Hrdlicka himself remarked, the only surprise was that they had agreed to display the work in the first place.

He was born in Vienna into a family of Czech descent. His mother and brother were both professionally involved in psychoanalysis, which later influenced Alfred, although he was never a full-blown Freudian. He inherited leftist convictions from his father, who was arrested for communist activities in 1934, four years before Austria was incorporated into the Third Reich. Only his age spared Hrdlicka from fighting for Germany during the second world war; his brother was killed in 1942 during the siege of Leningrad.

After an apprenticeship as a dental technician, Hrdlicka began his artistic training at the age of 18 under Albert Paris von Gütersloh, an exuberant, lyrical expressionist. Seven years later, Hrdlicka continued his education with the sculptor Fritz Wotruba, whose austere, geometric style exerted some influence on him during the 1950s.

Ultimately the younger artist came to see modernism as too remote from real life and began to concentrate on a more vigorous, carnal approach. Hrdlicka's hostility to abstraction produced the print cycle Roll Over Mondrian (1966) and an article with the same title, which he wrote in 1967. He also declared that "all power derives from the flesh", a belief that was powerfully illustrated by Friends (1964-65), a heavily textured marble relief of two naked women.

With their contorted, at times fragmented, figures, Hrdlicka's works were meant above all to express themes of oppression and alienation. His numerous statues of Marsyas, the mythical character flayed for challenging Apollo to a musical contest, are intended as symbols of anti-authoritarianism, while other pieces refer directly to the outsider in contemporary society.

These images are extremely varied. The prints known as Striptease in Soho, the result of a trip to London in 1966, examine the experiences of sex workers, while others drew on Hrdlicka's study of psychiatric patients, some of whom he subsequently interviewed in a TV documentary, in 1972. Many of these works are enigmatic and allusive, but all have a strong graphic style, with dramatic tonal effects created from pools of black ink.

Like his father, Hrdlicka was a lifelong Marxist. Although he resigned from the Austrian Communist party after the invasion of Hungary in 1956, he maintained cultural links with East Germany throughout the cold war, as well as collaborating with leftwing western artists such as the Italian composer Luigi Nono, for whom in 1992 he designed the set of the opera Intolleranza 1960.

He appeared in anti-fascist demonstrations, particularly during the election of Kurt Waldheim as Austria's president in 1986, when he made a grotesque wooden horse mocking Waldheim's attempts to distance himself from his past. Who was the Nazi: Waldheim or his horse?

Marxist or anti-fascist themes also inspired some of Hrdlicka's most accomplished sculptures, from the Friedrich Engels memorial (1981) in Wuppertal to the Memorial against War and Fascism (1991) in Vienna. With its bronze figure of a Jew coerced into washing the street, this monumental composition, in the Austrian capital's historic Albertinaplatz, attracted criticism for its unsentimental and anti-heroic imagery.

The work, which has also been vandalised several times by neo-Nazis, typifies Hrdlicka's stubborn disregard for decorum and correctness – as well as his intuitive feeling for poses and gestures that get to the heart of the matter, however uncomfortable that may be.

Despite his communist sympathies, Hrdlicka received significant commissions from Christian organisations, including a series of shocking, violent images for a Protestant community centre at Plötzensee in Berlin. In these contexts, Hrdlicka produced highly original variations on conventional subjects.

Hrdlicka's identification of Jesus with the murdered, gay film-maker Pasolini led not only to his infamous version of the Last Supper but also to sculptures, prints and pastels in which the Italian director adopts poses associated with Christ's Passion. These works reveal Hrdlicka's preoccupation with the creative outsider, one of the leitmotifs of his career, and exemplify his mastery of human anatomy.

Hrdlicka was predeceased by his wife, Barbara, in whose honour he made a memorial that was installed in 1995 at the Central cemetery in Vienna.

Alfred Hrdlicka, artist, born 27 February 1928; died 5 December 2009 © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

December 02 2009

Austria: How Social Media Set “Universities on Fire”

Did you know that at this very moment many universities throughout Europe are occupied by students? Thousands of them are sleeping, cooking, debating and partying in their auditoriums to protest against the under-financing of the educational system and the so-called Bologna Process, a European Union education policy.

What is so special about these protests is the fact that they have not been centrally coordinated by student unions but have been organized entirely bottom-up, with the help of online social media.

It all started in Vienna, Austria on October 22, when a small group of students met for a flashmob in the city center to protest, and then headed to University of Vienna where they spontaneously occupied the Auditorium Maximum. By the time police arrived, the news of the occupation had already circulated on Twitter, mobilizing so many supporters it was impossible to clear the hall.

Unsereuni website

Unsereuni website

Within days, the occupiers - to their own surprise - put in place a remarkable organizational structure: Mobilization and communication was organized via the Twitter “hashtags#unibrennt and #unsereuni (”university on fire” and “our university”).

A 24h webcast from the Auditorium Maximum was put in place. Organizational tasks from cooking to cleaning were structured via a wiki, and a website communicated with the public. Twitter, blogs and Facebook (32,400 fans so far) were used to spread the word.

This had two effects:

- For the first time protests of this scale did not need the support of mass media for mobilization. Within less than a week after the beginning of the protests more than 20,000 demonstrators roamed the streets of Vienna, preceding any mass media coverage. Media contacts were limited to a bare minimum (which produced much confusion). Students simply didn‘t need the media and since the protests lacked hierarchy, there was a shortage of spokespersons.

- Second, because everyone could follow what was going on inside the Auditorium Maximum (the webcast produced half a million views within one month) it kept the tabloid press from labeling the protesters as rioters or extremists. Too many people knew it wasn‘t true. The power of opinion-making had shifted.

Soon the protests infected other university cities in Austria and abroad: Today, less than a month and a half after the first protests, almost 100 universities in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Albania, Serbia, France, Italy, Croatia and the Netherlands are occupied or have seen other forms of mass protest.

On Wissen belastet, Max Kossatz, a blogger and media observer from Austria, has analyzed [de] the Twitter stream: 66,379 tweets by 6,780 different usernames have been published on the subject in the last month. 1,043 pictures were posted on Twitpic and produced 125,612 views - see this Twitpic photo mashup on Youtube. And especially interesting, is the following map of tweets that illustrates how the protests spread over time (watch in HD and fullscreen to get the full experience):

Gerald Bäck of Bäck Blog, who works in the media observation business, found out that the gross reach of the tweets, i.e. the unique number of followers exposed to them, was 386,860. His analysis [de] shows who the key influencers were, what URLs were most linked to and what hashtags were used most.

In his blog, smime, Michael Schuster who is specialist in blogging and semantic analysis, contributed an overview [de] of the “old media” covering the events. He counted 2,700 articles and identified four trends lasting roughly one week each: “Protests take place”, “protests continue”, “protests widen”, and recently, “ok, enough now.”

Luca Hammer of 2-Blog, a student and technical mastermind behind the Viennese web activities, has published a field report [de] of how wikis, Twitter and webcast were used to get things rolling.

It looks like the case of #unibrennt may become an early milestone in the transformation of Austrian politics by the use of online social media. It has created wide attention - and confusion - among established media and political structures, and created a spirit of empowerment among students and digital leaders.

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