By chance, I came across an image on Facebook which was taken on the day of my birth, May 7, 1964, showing shops on the busy Kärntner Straße close to my parents‘ flat in the centre of Vienna. The photographer was the American Charles W. Cushman. A quick research led me to his photo collection which, today, is part of the Indiana University Archives. The colour images taken on and around my birthday constitute a random selection with no connection to me or my family. Weiterlesen
Two years ago I was elected Honorary Secretary of the European Union of Science Journalists‘ Associations (EUSJA). It was an honour to serve in this function, a pleasure it was not. Together with my colleagues on the board Jens Degget, Marina Hužvárová and Antonio Calvo Roy, and with auditor Kaiainders Sempler, we were faced with the most serious threat to the union so far. My contribution to ease and hopefully solve this challenge was to draft and negotiate the new constitution which was passed at the General Assembly in Madrid on 24 March 2018. On the web page of the Austrian association I explained the essentials of the new constitution in German. On my departure from the board I left the delegates the following farewell note. Weiterlesen
I love the classicist Mary Beard. And I advise everyone else to do so too. While studying history at The Open University a fellow inmate of A219 summoned all her courage and contacted Beard over Facebook to tell her that we had spent weeks with her writings, loathing and loving them, and were now revising for our TMA 04. The night before the deadline Beard contacted our learning group to wish us luck. Minerva herself had spoken and blessed us. The Guardian rightly dedicated a long read to her. One telling excerpt: „The (EU) referendum then, should not be treated as the final word, she said, but as a straw vote. ‚Sure, say we want to leave, but you can only in the end say we are going to leave when we know what it means. Otherwise,‘ she said, ‚it’s just wanking in the dark.‘ Thinking I had misheard, I asked her to repeat. ‚Wanking in the dark,‘ repeated Beard, at volume.“
A moment of reflection in the days of frantic preparations for the holidays and, then, the ball. Yesterday we laid Margarete Healy to rest after she passed away peacefully on November 26, 2017. Weiterlesen
Margarete Healy (nee Schön), born on March 8, 1923, in Vienna, passed away on November 26, 2017, in Baden bei Wien. A life well lived.
Photo: Nini Tschavoll / Madame Wien
The flight of a starling flock at dusk, know as a murmuration, is one of nature’s most beguiling sights. Blurring the line between the individual and the group, murmurations involve synchronised swooping patterns to ward off predators and exchange information in a manner that’s still something of a mystery to scientists. This two-minute excerpt from the Dutch filmmaker Jan van Ijken’s short documentary The Art of Flying follows a spectacular aerial performance from a massive, shape-shifting starling flock over an open field in the Netherlands.
Source: Aeon, Nov 24, 2017.
„Wo Ferien noch Ferien sind“ – „Where vacation is still vacation“ was possibly the most popular slogan my father Günter P.F. Lehmann devised, supported by the daringly psychodelically designed claim „I like Niederösterreich“. The province of Lower Austria was one of the more important customers of his advertising agency „Wilkens & Lehmann“, which he had founded in Vienna in the early 1960s with partners from Hamburg (Wilkens) and for some time from London (Pemberton). „Wilkens & Lehmann“ was sold shortly after the death of my father in March 1979 and then dissolved. Eventually I will spend more time on my father’s company which appears to represent Vienna’s 60s and 70s version of „Mad Men“. The samples found by chance in the picture archive of the Austrian National Library seem to corroborate this assumption.
The Canadian-born, Vienna- and Moscow-raised Tova Marr runs – among a myriad of other things like an incredibly busy social life – the very entertaining podcast „Operation Tubetop“. In 2016, Tova was the social media correspondent of the Vienna Ball of Sciences. To mark the begin of the carneval season she invited me to talk about what it was like to grow up in Vienna in the 1970s (dull), how to organize a ball in the 2010s (fun) and which historical period in Vienna I would like to have encountered (you will never guess). For all this and more check out Tova’s podcast page.