Saturday, November 24, 2007


Vienna is a beautiful city, once the seat of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and home of the Habsburgs. Its coffee houses are legendary, and its pastries sublime. Yet increasingly it's becoming famous for a new tradition--the annual gathering of bartending robots--Roboexotica. (For those of you who have read my Simpsons book, I mention it on p. 97.) As its website describes:

"It is the first and, inevitably, the leading festival concerned with cocktail robotics world-wide. A micro mechanical change of paradigm in the age of borderless capital. Alan Turing would doubtless test this out."

The 2007 festival is taking place this weekend. It's co-sponsored by Shifz, makers of the Mind-O-Matic Brainwashing Machine, who advertise that "a daily brainwashing is more important that brushing your teeth."

Vienna is also home of the band Falco. One of their songs "Ganz Wien" begins with the lines:

"Er geht auf der Straß'n
Sagt nicht wohin,
Das Hirn voll 'heavy Metal,'
Und seine Leber ist hin"

loosely translated as: "He's going up the street, not saying where. His brain is full of heavy metal but his liver's not there."

Perhaps the song is describing one of the cocktail-mixing robots heading to Roboexotica..


magnus said...

OMG, how could I overlook the reference to your book when I went through blog entries about Roboexotica back in 2007?!
After a recent tip-off by a friend I ordered said book and today received it and found the reference!
Wow, thank you, Sir! On behalf of the many who make this thing work year after year I thank you for this very quotable mention.
(holding the book in my hands i somehow vaguely remembered THIS here blog post and suspected relation, then googled "simpsons roboexotica" ...)

magnus said...

Oh, also I realized we totally quoted this blog post in the book we published 2008 in the "What They Say About Us" section!
A copy or two are heading your way as soon as I find a mailing address for you.

Paul said...

Hi Magnus,

Glad that you found my book as well as my blog. I was pleased to mention your exciting Roboexotica contest--sounds fantastic! Looking forward to reading your Roboexotica book!