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Posts from the ‘Philosophy’ Category

Privacy, Power and Freedom in the Age of Information

“We must plan for freedom, and not only for security, if for no other reason than that only freedom can make security secure.” Austrian-born philosopher, Karl Popper, “The Open Society and Its Enemies.”

“I always thought America was so free, but …” As a high school exchange student in Germany I often heard the complaint and knew word-for-word what would follow.

Did someone prevent the Germans from exercising their Fourth Amendment rights in front of the Capitol building? Forbade them from drafting a New York Times editorial in between stints to the Grand Canyon and Disneyland? No.

The reason why America’s Land-of-the-Free reputation was losing serious ground in the court of German tourist public opinion was: “we couldn’t even go “oben-ohne” on the public beach.” Helga’s inability to display her knockers while soaking up the rays on Newport Beach was indisputable proof that The Land of Liberty was nothing more than a Hollywood-based, Bob Dylan propagated, myth.

My German at the time was far too basic to explain that Helga’s one-sy was an act of public kindness and the freedoms anchored in the Bill of Rights supported far weightier issues than her Double Ds. At the time, less than a day’s drive away, Germans far less fortunate than their Western counterparts were living in a society with very different ideas about privacy and freedom.

The government statistics office in the Hans Beimler Street counts everything, knows everything: How many shoes I buy a year: 2.3; how many books I read; 3.2, and how many students successfully complete their graduating exams: 6347. But one statistic is never recorded, perhaps because even the bureaucrats find such numbers painful, and that’s the amount of suicides. If you call Beimler-Street and ask them, how many people between the Elbe and Oder or Ost Sea and Erzgebirge were driven to their deaths by desperation, then our number oracle remains silent, and probably jots down their exact names, for the sake of national security, those grey gentleman, who are in charge of our country’s security and happiness.

– “The Lives of Others”

In 2006, German filmmaker, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck premiered, “The Lives of Others” (Das Leben der Anderen) portraying a world where, in the name of national security, ordinary citizens were constantly monitored by secret government agents and anything you said or did in the privacy of your four walls could be used against you. Objectively, you might not have anything to hide, but because information is power and the state had information about your most personal exchanges, your innocence was forever vulnerable to the whims, fears and desires, of the government agents recording your data or those directing them to do so.

God is Watching You graffiti, Donaukanal, Vienna, Austria, 2014

God is Watching You graffiti, Donaukanal, Vienna, Austria, 2014

“It was a film about the mass surveillance of an entire society in the name of public security.”

This past Friday, after navigating my way through a street full of partying, kissing lesbians protesting in front of Café Prückl, I arrived at a long queue extending to the curb outside the Gartenbaukino. After a wine and some chit chat, my friends and I made our way into the cinema. Almost every single one of the 736 seats was filled. The audience represented a broad strata of the Vienna public – old and young, men and women, Austrians, Germans and English-speaking expats, alternative and conservative types, students and business people, all crammed together to see another film on mass surveillance — Citizenfour.

Since then, I’ve tried to trace my memories back to a time before email, Google, Twitter, Reddit and Facebook. I’ve recalled the clicking coins of a pay phone, the musty warm smell of a library book, the ultra-thin paper of an international letter, and the homemade covers of personalized cassette tapes. Sweet, private, transient memories from a past age in which vital words and thoughts only persevered when recorded in the hearts and minds of those that shared them.

In the dawn of the internet age, we eagerly embraced the new technology that promised a hitherto unimaginable capability to connect with people around the world and access to treasure troves of information previously stored in the dusty bowels of libraries and archives. All in the blink of an eye, in real time, news, photos, recipes, songs from Cincinnati to Sydney, were ours for the taking. Adieu old publishing house gatekeepers, hello information age. As technology advanced in leaps and bounds, computers decreased in size and the ability to store terabytes of information increased at a phenomenal rate.

The future seemed rosy.

Then came the cookies (not chocolate chip), personalized ads (no banner behind the airplane), smart search engines, chat archives, tracking software, motion activated video cameras and cloud computing. Suddenly Lyndon Johnson’s words in 1968 when urging members of the US Congress to enact the Privacy Act, seemed chillingly prescient:

“We must protect the American people against a new threat to one of our oldest and most precious rights—the right of personal privacy.

The principle that a man’s home is his castle is under new attack. For centuries the law of trespass protected a man’s lands and his home. But in the age of advanced technology, thick walls and locked doors cannot guard our privacy or safeguard our personal freedom. Today we need a strong law – suited to modern conditions — to protect us from those who would trespass upon our conversations.”

“Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear.”

At one point in Citizenfour, Guardian journalist, Glenn Greenwald, jots down information he would like to share, then shows the pad of paper to the person he’d like to share it with, and once it has been read, rips it to shreds, and leaves it in a pile no doubt destined for a match and garbage can. It reminded me of a very similar scene in “The Lives of Others” when one character points to hidden listening devices in the walls, turns up a record player and then holds up hand-written signs to communicate with his visitor.

Throughout the history of mankind, people have been abused, flogged, stoned, tortured, interned, exiled and put to death for adhering to the wrong religion, the wrong race, the wrong sexual orientation, the wrong political party, the wrong social class, the wrong education level, and the wrong belief system. “Wrong” determined by power, not objective principle. The “harmless” information stored about you today could be the proof of your adherence to the “wrong” tomorrow.

Watch “The Lives of Others.” Then watch, “Citizenfour.” Then try not to think about watching what you say, do or type, because, who knows who else could be watching and their definition of wrong vs. right.

It begs the question: Are we now all living the lives of others?

****

My hero, John Oliver, tries to convince the American public, this is an important issue and goes to Moscow to interview Edward Snowden – you have to watch this:

***

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

– Pastor Martin Neimöller in reference to the failure of citizens to act against the Nazi regime.

***

Unterleutnant Axel Stigler: [enthusiastic] I’ve got a new one. So… Honecker comes into his office in the morning… opens the window, looks at the sun, and says…

Unterleutnant Axel Stigler: [starts to worry] … eh… what is it?

Unterleutnant Axel Stigler: [startled] Oh, excuse me. That was… I’m just… I…

Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz: [tries to put Stigler at ease] No no no, please colleague. We can still laugh about our state officials. Don’t worry.

Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz: [almost laughing] I probably know it already anyway.

Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz: [encouraging] Come on! Tell it.

Unterleutnant Axel Stigler: [feeling more comfortable] Well… Honecker, I mean… the General Secretary… sees the sun, and says, ‘Good morning dear sun!’

Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz: [with high pitch mocking voice] ‘Good morning dear sun!’

Unterleutnant Axel Stigler: …and the sun answered, ‘Good morning dear Erich!’ At afternoon Erich sees the sun again and says, ‘Good day dear sun’ And the sun says: ‘Good day dear Erich!’ After work Honecker goes back to the window and says, ‘Good evening dear sun!’ But the sun doesn’t answer! So he says again, ‘Good evening dear sun, what’s wrong?’ And the sun answered and said, ‘Oh, kiss my ass, I’m in the West now!’

[laughing]

Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz: Name?

[becoming deadly serious]

Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz: Rank? Department?

Unterleutnant Axel Stigler: [frightened] Me? Stigler, 2nd Lieutenant Alex Stigler. Department M.

Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz: [almost sighing] Don’t need to tell you what this means for your career, what you just did.

Unterleutnant Axel Stigler: [scared, slightly angry] Please Lieutenant Colonel… I just…

Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz: [angry] You just mocked our party! That was political agitation! Surely just the tip of the iceberg! I am going to report this to the minister’s office.

– “The Lives of Others”

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Some interesting stuff to look into: Frontline – United States of Secrets: http://video.pbs.org/program/frontline/episodes/?page=2 http://video.pbs.org/program/frontline/episodes/?page=1 New Yorker article of October 20, 2014 on Filmmaker Laura Poitras: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/20/holder-secrets Julie Angwin’s book, “Dragnet Nation”: http://www.amazon.com/Dragnet-Nation-Security-Relentless-Surveillance/dp/0805098070

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Bumpa Bumpa – Franz is the Man

“It’s not the species that survives, or the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” -Charles Darwin

I swear, I was all set to write an enthralling post about New Year’s in Vienna. And I will. But this is an emergency – YOU’VE-GOT-TO-SEE-THIS – post. Because I was just getting my fix of a US TV series via Youtube with my trigger finger on “Skip this ad” when I was confronted with the following ad for a rather otherwise nondescript Austrian grocery store called ADEG.

You’ve got to check this out. Einfach Wunderbar! Think of it as your little dose of Austria. What Austrian or non-Austrian cannot be thoroughly enthralled by the artistic talents of Franz? Or the marketing genius of Franz’s creator. I hope it’s not just me suffering from some midnight madness and you can also appreciate this odd but ingenious marketing ploy. Oh, and by the way, they obviously recognized the potential for this to go viral and Franz to get a fan club, so you can even download Franz misc from the website here: ADEG.

Think of it as the Austrian version of Find Waldo – how many Austrianisms can you find in this video? They’re endless. Here are a few to get you started:
Brettljausen, Kaiser Franz Josef,  Bier, farm animals, skis, Hüte, the brass band, Mozart, the waltz, Leberkäs, Topfen, Schnitzel, Sachertorte, Mozartkugel, Maibaumtanz, Dirndl, Lederhosen, accordian, Holzknecht, Jugitzer, Ball, Strauss
And then you got all the sites: the Parliament, Stephansdom, Almwiese, Alpen, Skipiste, Stadtpark, Prater, Riesenrad,
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Vienna Ball Calendar (Jan 2015 – Sept 2015)

Oh, well, what’s a royal ball? I suppose it would be frightfully dull, and boring, and completely… completely wonderful.”
– Cinderella (film, 1950)

 You’re yearning, burning for some Somebody to tell you
That life ain’t passing you by

So get  your butt off the couch (or computer chair), buy your ticket, get someone fun to join you and put your dancing shoes on rock (or waltz) and live a little.

2015 VIENNA BALL CALENDAR Print This Post

JANUARY

Friday, January 9, 2015

Styria Ball/ Steierball/

Who/What? The Ball of the Austrian Federal State of Styria

Steirerball Poster

Steirerball Poster

Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: festive traditional Austrian attire (Tracht: Dirndl, Steyr Suit) or formal evening wear
Music: traditional Austrian, brass band, waltz, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 75€ (students 40€) / ticket
At the door: 85 €
website:  http://www.steirerball.com/

Un Ballo in Maschera

Who/What? Lions Club – Masked Ball
Where? Palais Auersperg, Auerspergstrasse 1, 1080 Vienna
When? entrance: 7  pm, Dinner begin:  8  Ball begin: 9:30 pm
Attire: tux or ball gown, historical costume – must wear a mask until midnight!
Ticket price: 195 € minimum donation for ticket per person adult, 26 and under 120 €  — all inclusive – includes table seating, Aperitif, 4-course dinner, drinks including champagne, Midnight food, coffee, snacks, entertainment.
Ball ticket without dinner – minimum donation: 90 €
website: http://www.lions-arte.at

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Kaffeesiederball Vienna Palace

Kaffeesiederball Vienna Palace

Boogie Ball/ 7th City Dancing

Who/What? Rock-n-Roll Boogie Dancing
Where? Stadion Center Vienna, U2 subway station Stadion (directly by entrance to Stadion center)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 2 am
Attire: dancing without tux or ball gown – modern, well-dressed and ready to move in Boogie outfit
music: standard, Latin, boogie, twist, mambo
Ticket price: 33€ ticket plus 5 € per person for seating, includes 3 hrs free parking.
website: http://www.city-dancing.at/ballabend.html

Lower Austrian Farmer Union Ball/ Niderösterreichische Bauernballbund

Who? 72. Annual Lower Austria Farmer Union Ball
What? Ticket sales support over 300 students from agriculture and forestry fields
Where? Vienna Austria Center (https://www.acv.at/)
When? entrance: 7 pm, begin: 8 pm, end: ? am
Attire: festive traditional Austrian attire (Tracht: Dirndl, Steyr Suit) or formal evening wear
Music: classical, disco, traditional Austrian, brass band
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 35€ (students 20€) / ticket
At the door: 40 €
website: http://www.akademikergruppe.at/bauernbundball/karten/

Ball of the Vienna University of Economics and Business / Wirtschaftsuniversität Ball

Who/What? The Ball of the Vienna University of Economics and Business
Where? Hofburg Palace, Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo, black suit with bow tie or class A uniform
Music: waltz and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 95€ (students 30€) / ticket
At the door: 110 €
website:  hWU Ball

Ball of the Senses / Ball der Sinne

Who/What? Ball der Sinne
Where? Baroque Castle Miller-Aichholz, Linzerstrasse 429, 1140 Vienna
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm
Attire: black & white, classic or modern
Music: Disco with DJ Dominic
Ticket price: 39€ (with discount 24 €)
website:  http://www.balldersinne.at/

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Confectioner’s Ball/ Zucker-Bäcker Ball/

Who/What? 114th Confectioner’s Ball
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo or uniform
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Latino, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 80€ (students 40€) / ticket
At the door: 85 €
website:  http://www.zuckerbaeckerball.com/
For 12 € a limited amount of “Cake Guarantees” (Tortengarantie) can be purchased in advance only to ensure that you will leave the ball with a cake from one of the confectioners when you buy a raffle ticket and did not manage to win a cake. But the amount is limited and usually sold out before Christmas. If you missed it this year, mark your calendars for next.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Flower Ball of the Vienna City Gardens/ Blumenball der Wiener Stadtgärten

Who/What? 93rd Flower Ball of the Vienna City Gardens
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; dark suit
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Latino, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 80€ (students 33€) / ticket
At the door: 80 €
website: http://www.ballkalender.com/ballkalender/ballkalender-ballinfo.php3?ilang=d&iballid=6

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ball of the Viennese Pharmacists / Pharmacie Ball

Who/What? 73. Ball of the Vienna Pharmacists
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo or black suit with bow tie (no tie)
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price:advanced: ? € (students ? €) / ticket; at the door: ? € (students ? €) / ticket
website:  http://www.pharmacieball.at/

Croatian Ball / Wiener Kroatenball / Hrvatski Bal

Who/What? 68th Ball of the Croatians in Vienna (from the Austrian Croatian Society)
Where? Parkhotel Schönbrunn, Hietzinger Hauptstr. 6 – 8, 1130 Vienna (http://www.austria-trend.at/Parkhotel-Schoenbrunn/en/history.asp)
When? entrance: 7.30 pm, begin: 8:30 pm
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: Croatian music, waltz
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 40 € (25 € / student), at the door: 60 € / 40 € (student)
website: http://www.hrvatskibal.at/index.php?id=115

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Vienna Philharmonic Ball / Wiener Philharmoniker Ball

Vienna Philharmonic Ball Poster

Vienna Philharmonic Ball Poster

Who/What? 74th Ball of Vienna Philharmonic
Where? Musikverein Building, Bösendorferstraße 12, 1010 Vienna (http://www.musikverein.at/)
When? entrance: 9 pm, begin: 10 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie or uniform
Music: ball orchestra, jazz, waltz, modern, and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 170 € (students 60€) / ticket
At the door: ? €
website: Vienna Philharmoniker Ball
Most expensive box price (for 8 people) 12,500 € (at 1562.50 € (or 3.72 € per minute) per person I would be afraid to leave for fear I wouldn’t be getting my money’s worth)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Ball / BoKu Ball (Bodenkultur Ball)

Who/What? Vienna University of Technology Ball
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo or black suit with bow tie (no tie)
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price:advanced: 60 € (students 25 €) / ticket; at the door: 70 € (students 30 €) / ticket
website: http://www.bokuball.atexpected guests: 3700

Mechatronics, Automation and Robotics Ball / Ball der Mechatronik

Mechatronik Ball Vienna

Mechatronik Ball Vienna

Who/What? Ball of the Mechatronics, Automation and Robotics
Where? Grand Hotel, Kärntner Ring 9, 1010 Vienna (http://www.grandhotelwien.at/?)
When? entrance: 7 pm, begin: 8 pm
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, orchestra, string quartet, piano, live bands
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 80 € (includes seat at table), 50€ (reduced ticket w/o table), 20€ student, 30 € student date / ticket
website: http://www.f-ar.at/journal/veranstaltungen/ball-der-mechatronik/ball-der-mechatronik-2014/

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Imperial Palace Ball of the Viennese Businesses / Hofburg-Ball der Wiener Wirtschaft

Who/What? Imperial Palace Ball of Vienna Economy
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Latino, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 85€ (students 40€) / ticket
At the door: ? €
website: http://www.hofburg-ball.at/?sprache=de&menu=programm

Slavic Ball / Heiliger Sava Ball / Светосавски бал

Who/What? Ball of the Slavs in Vienna (from the Austrian Serbian Society)
Where? Parkhotel Schönbrunn, Hietzinger Hauptstr. 6 – 8, 1130 Vienna (http://www.austria-trend.at/Parkhotel-Schoenbrunn/en/history.asp)
When? entrance: 7.30 pm, begin: 8 pm
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: slavic music, waltz
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 60-80 € (includes reserved seat), 25€ (reduced ticket w/o seat)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hunters Ball/ Jägerball des Grünen Kreuz

Who/What? 93rd Annual Ball of the Austrian Hunters of the Green Cross
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm
Attire: festive traditional Austrian attire (Tracht: Dirndl, festive hunting attire, uniform)
Music: traditional Austrian, brass band, waltz, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: ? € (students ? €) / ticket
website: http://www.verein-grueneskreuz.at/Reservierungen.82.0.html#c734
5200 people expected – tickets usually sell out!

Thursday, January 29, 2014

Vienna University of Technology Ball / Ball der Technischen Universität Wien

Who/What? Vienna University of Technology Ball
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8:30 pm, begin: 9:30 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo or black suit with bow tie (no tie)
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price: 80 € (students 30 €) / ticket
website: http://www.tu-ball.at/en/karten/

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Medical Doctor’s Ball / Wiener Ärzte Ball

Who/What? 65th Annual Ball of the Vienna Medical Doctors
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9:30 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, orchestra, jazz, live bands, Italian, Austrian
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 110 € (students 45 €) / ticket
website: http://www.aerzteball.at/english.htm

Ball of the Weightlifters / Ball der Gewichtheber

Who/What? Ball of the Weightlifters
Where? Schutzhaus “Zukunft auf der Schmelz” , 1150 Vienna
When? entrance: 5 pm, begin: 6 pm
Attire: ? (who’s going to argue no matter what they wear?)
Music: ? (again, I’d say, they get to hear what they want)
Ticket price: 12 €
website: http://www.argos-hermann.at/ball.html

FEBRUARY

Raffle Goodies at Kaffeesiederball

Raffle Goodies at Kaffeesiederball

Friday, February 6, 2015

Vienna Coffeebrewers Ball / Kaffeesiederball (LOVE THIS BALL BECAUSE IT INCLUDES MOST OF THE ROOMS OF THE IMPERIAL PALACE AND THE KAFFEESIEDER KNOW HOW TO PUT ON A GOOD SHOW )

Who/What? 58th Annual Ball of the Vienna Coffeebrewers
Motto: A Night in Venice
Ticket sales support cultural activities offered in Vienna’s coffeehouses
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 7:30 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, orchestra, jazz, live bands, Italian, Austrian – highlight – Bad Powells in the Dachfoyer!
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 125€ (students 55 €) / ticket
website: Kaffeesiederball Website
amount of guests expected: a whopping 6000!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

IAEA Staff Association Ball / International Atomic Energy Association Ball

Who/What? 58th International Atomic Energy Association Ball
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 7pm
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Austrian, disco and more
Ticket price: SOLD OUT
website: http://stylearts.eu/iaea/

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Vienna Opera Ball/ Der Wiener Opernball

Who/What? 73. Ball of the Vienna Pharmacists
Where? Vienna State Opera House, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8:30 pm, begin: 10 pm, end: 5 am
Red Carpet entrance
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: coat and tails
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price:  (range from basic for 250 € – 18,500 € for stage boxes) SOLD OUT (also tickets to the rehearsal are SOLD OUT)
website: http://www.wiener-staatsoper.at/Content.Node/home/opernball/Allgemein.en.php
Legend has it that the ball dates back to the Vienna Congress (1814 – 1815).  The emperor finally allowed the ball to take place in the Court Opera in 1877 but forbade dancing. Viennese blood managed to abide by the prohibition until midnight — then their dancing feet couldn’t stand it anymore and they danced. Here a quote from the Opera House website which provides a brief history of the event: In 1877, the Emperor finally gave his consent to a “soiree” in his opera house. However, dancing was not officially allowed at this celebration on the night of the 11th to 12th of December. However, the “Vienna Tourist Journal” stated the following day: “…it was initially quite difficult, but Viennese blood and Viennese courage withstood… after midnight there was the first proper dance in the ballroom of our opera house.”

Rose Ball / Rosenball

Who/What? Ball of the Roses
Motto: Hindu World of Gods
Hostess: Miss Candy
Where? Kursalon Wien
When? entrance: 10 pm, Begin: Midnight
Attire: glamorous costumes or elegant evening wear
Music: national and international DJs
Ticket price:48 €
website: Rosenball

 Friday, February 13, 2015 (Friday the 13th)

Bon Bon Ball/ BonBon Ball

Who/What? 66th Annual BonBon Ball
Elect Miss Bon Bon 2015 – Vienna’s sweetest darling
Where? Wiener Konzerthaus
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm
Attire: full length ball gown, tuxedo, tailcoat or black suit
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 90 € (students 44€) / ticket
website: http://www.bonbonball.at/programm/

Vienna Police Ball / Wiener Polizeiball

Who/What? Vienna Police Ball
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; dark suit, uniform
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 45 € (students  and uniformed personnel 35 €) / ticket
website:http://www.polizeimusik.at/

Estate Ball / Immobilienball

Who/What? 10th Ball of the Vienna Real Estate Agencies
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Latino, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 100€ (students 45€) / ticket, At the door: 100 €
website: http://www.immobilienball.at/

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Druggist Ball / Drogistenball

Who/What? 69th Vienna Druggist Ball  (from the Austrian Druggist Union)
Where? Parkhotel Schönbrunn, Hietzinger Hauptstr. 6 – 8, 1130 Vienna (http://www.austria-trend.at/Parkhotel-Schoenbrunn/en/history.asp)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: orchestra music, waltz
Ticket price: 45 €
website: http://www.drogistenverband.at/faktuell.htm  

Vienna Polish Spring Ball / Polnischer Frühlingsball

Who/What? 13. Polish Spring Ball (sponsored by the Polish-Austrian Society)
Where? Ferstel Palace, Freyung 2, 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; dark suit, uniform
Music: waltz, polish music, disco and more
Ticket price: ?
website: http://www.taktkultur.at/de/ball.html

Johann Strauss Ball / Johann Strauss Ball

Who/What? Johann Strauss Ball
Where? Vienna Kursalon (Kursalon Vienna)
When? entrance: 6 pm (dinner guests), 7:30 pm (guest without dinner), 9 pm ball opening
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: orchestra music, waltz
Ticket price: 137 € per person includes 3 course meal in Strauss Hall
website: http://www.soundofvienna.at/sound/48.0.html?&L=2 

Monday, February 16, 2015 Carnival Monday “Rosenmontag”

Rudolfina Redoute Masked Ball / Rudolfina Redoute

Who/What? Rudolfina Redoute Ball in the spirit of Fledermaus
All women, whether they are accompanied or not, are obliged to wear a mask. “Redoute” means “masked ball” and only ladies who wear a mask can invite a gentleman to dance. After the de-masking at midnight, a Quadrille is danced and then men and women can invite one another to dance.
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9:30 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo with bow tie (no tie)
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price:advanced: 85 € (students 35 €) / ticket
website: Rudolfina Redoute

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Elmayer Dancing School Ball / Elmayer-Kränzchen

Who/What? Ball of the Elmayer Dance School
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 5 pm, begin: 6 pm, end: midnight
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo with bow tie (no tie), uniform
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price:advanced: 70 € (students 30 €) / ticket; at the door: +15  € (students +15 €) / ticket
website: http://elmayer.at/baelle/elmayer-kraenzchen/

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Vienna Techno Ball / Wiener Techno Ball

Who/What? 6th Annual Vienna Techno Ball “Walzer Meets Beets”
Where? Kursalon Hübner
When? begin: 9 pm
Attire: anything you’d wear at a ball from formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo, black suit with bow tie or class to traditional Austrian, to uniforms to fantasy costumes to a mix of all of the above is welcome
Music: techno, electronic
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 17€ (students 14.50€) / ticket
At the door: 20 €
website: http://www.technoball.at/
Watch the cool video on their website

MARCH

Friday, March 6, 2015

Vienna Fire Department Ball / Wiener Berufsfeuerwehrball

Fire Department Ball in Rathaus in Vienna

Fire Department Ball in Rathaus in Vienna

Who/What? 65. Ball of the Vienna Professional Firemen
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; dark suit, uniform
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Ticket price: 50 €
website: http://www.firefighter.at/site/sportkultur/article/938.html   

APRIL

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Dancer against Cancer Spring Ball /

Who/What? 9th Annual Dancer Against Cancer
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 7:30 pm, begin: 8:30 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo or black suit with bow tie (no tie)
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price:advanced: 59 € (students 39 €, school age: 22 €)
website: http://www.danceragainstcancer.com/

MAY

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Me and my friend at the Lifeball 2014

Me and my friend at the Lifeball 2014

Vienna Life Ball/ Life Ball

Who/What? 23rd Annual Life Ball – Fighting AIDs and celebrating Life
One of the world’s biggest AIDS charity events and perhaps Vienna’s craziest party with internationally famous guests flying into the city to attend. Kick off is the opening ceremony in front of the Vienna City Hall with a colorful red-carpet entrance of celebreties where over 500 international media crews and 60 TV teams are present to capture the event.
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: see pix from previous years — too hard to explain
Music: waltz, jazz, and everything
Ticket price: Registration for tickets takes place from March 21 – April 2, 2014 with a drawing for randomized opportunity to puchase tickets
website: http://www.lifeball.org/?lang=en

Some charmingly mischievous Lifeball Guests

Some charmingly mischievous Lifeball Guests

Guests expected: 3,780

JUNE

Friday, June 19, 2015

Concordia Ball / Pressclub Concordia Ball

Who/What? Ball of the Concordia Pressclub
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: 9 pm, begin: 10 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; tuxedo, tails, dinner jacket or military uniform
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 95€ (students  40 €) / ticket
website: http://www.concordiaball.at

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fête Impériale Summer Ball

Who/What? Fête Impériale  Summer Ball
Where? Vienna Spanish Riding School, Michaelerplatz 1, 1010 Vienna (http://www.srs.at/en/)
When? entrance: 8:15 pm, begin: 9:45 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; tuxedo, tails, dinner jacket or military uniform
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 120 – 180 € (students  50 €) / ticket (VIP Loge for 12 people 7,200 €)
website: http://www.fete-imperiale.at/

SEPTEMBER

Friday, September 25, 2015

Almdudler Austrian Traditional Clothing Pair Ball / Almdudler Trachtenpärchen Ball

Who/What? Almdudler Ball
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: Details to be announced
Attire: girls in Dirndls and guys in Lederhosen (see website for examples – the left side which shows things like super geek and Jesus and super heroes are the no-goes category in case you don’t speak German and don’t understand “So nicht / So not”  https://www2.almdudler.com/#/at/trachtenpaerchenball/dresscode
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Tickets: Advanced sales: beginning in April
website: https://www2.almdudler.com/#/at/trachtenpaerchenball/tickets

Friday, November 20, 2015- New Year’s Eve

Vienna Red Cross Ball

Who/What? Vienna Red Cross Ball
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 7 pm, begin:
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo with bow tie (no tie) or uniform
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price: ? € (entrance)
website: http://www.wienerrotkreuzball.at/

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AND THEN IT STARTS ALL OVER AGAIN

If you missed my post about the balls – check it out here: Time to Have a Ball — Vienna, World Capital of Balls. Here I am posting a comprehensive list of the balls in Vienna — not all but most (at least I will try, there are MANY and this is taking me quite a while).

Don’t have a man? Get one here: Taxi Dancer – Rent a Man … to Dance

Good Advice for Balls and Sex: http://www.kcblau.com/balls-and-sex/

 

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The Top 10 of the Top 5 Expat Bloggers in Austria – Week 4: Austrian Adaptation

As mentioned, back in April of this year,the English language online news blog, The Local, featured “The Five Best Expat Blogs in Austria.” The five of us thought it might be fun to do something together so the other four ex-pat bloggers agreed to appear on my blog with their top 10 favorite things Austrian.

During the first week, expat blogger, Kristina Cosumano from the blog, The Practice Room wrote about her love of unusual, forgotten places and shared some very interesting ones.

Week 2 was A Mommy Abroad, Emily, who confessed a new found love of Krapfen.

The third week included my favorites and an Oachkatzlschwoaf challenge: KC Blau’s Top 10 Favorite Austrian Things.

This week, week four, ex-pat blogger Carly Hulls, of the blog, Austrian Adaptation, an “Aussie girl’s perspective on living in Austria,” shares her top 10.

Expat Blogger, Carly Hull’s Top 10 Favorite Austrian Things

1) Food

Kaiserschmarren

Kaiserschmarren

It would be boring to say Schnitzel, so I’m going to go with Kaiserschmarrn. But its only best when you’re at the top of a Mountain after a morning of skiing in perfect bluebird conditions – then it’s absolutely heavenly.

2) Drink

I’ve actually developed a deep love for the Apfelsaft gespritz since moving here, it weaned me off my Diet Coke addiction which can only be a good thing. Second vote would be a weiss wine gespritz or a Hugo on a summer’s day.

3) Film or TV Show

We don’t have a TV so I’m rubbish for that question and unfortunately my Deutsch is not quite up to watching Austrian films yet. On the advice of some of my blog readers I’ve just recently started watching Tatort to improve my German which is strangely intriguing.

Tatort Crime Series

Tatort Crime Series

4) Book

I’ve been making my way through some Stefan Zweig novels but my absolute favorite book to paint a picture of Austria/Vienna during WWII is Night Falls on the City by Sarah Gaiman. An incredibly vivid and moving read.

5) Month

October is beautiful. Fresh weather, Autumn leaves and the winter coats come out. I’m a summertime beach baby at heart but in Vienna, October is definitely the prettiest month – plus pumpkins are finally in season!

6) Place

Tirol. I’ll always have a soft spot for the mountains, the ski fields, the food and the gorgeous little villages. I’m always telling my mister that he grew up in a fairytale village.

Egon Schiele Self Portrait

Egon Schiele Self Portrait

7) Historical Figure

Tough call – you have to respect Maria Theresia for all that she did for Austria. But I think if I had to invite a party guest it would be Egon Schiele or Gustav Klimt to get their impressions of early 20th Century Europe and art.

8) Tradition / Past time

The Perchten festival in Tirol is a special one for me – my very first week in Austria was the week of Perchten and I had no  idea what was going on but I loved it!Now I know what Krampus and the devils are all about and can dodge the ‘Teufels’ that roam the streets armed with coal.

9) Song

Any après-ski singalong that has dance moves to go along with it! They are so adorable and get the whole bar involved in ridiculous moves. The Fliegerlied is a fave because we taught my whole Aussie family all the moves last Christmas.

10) Word

Brustwarze. Come on…a wart on your breast is a nipple? That’s comedy gold, every time!

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