Saturday, December 7, 2013

Updates and Marni's Ark Animal 3

My word, how has over a month passed since my last update and Ark animal (Marni's Ark Animal 2: the Pygmy Seahorse)? Lots has happened in that time, such as my moving from Europe to America, launching the Seeking Lemur Superheroes campaign, and continuing to babysit Mystery Illness 2.0. FYI (with a TMI warning)- I also had one of the more uncomfortable moments of my life during a "sterile" urine collection procedure at the E.R. So there was that.

Anyhow, getting back to the animals with Marni's Ark Animal 3.

Many of you will know what this critter is right off the bat (and no, its not a bat). If you don't know what this animal is, get ready, because you are about to be blown away. And if you already know, enjoy anyway. 

Clue 1. The hands. This animal has five digits with opposable thumbs. Moreover, the middle finger is long, very skinny, and has a full ball-and-socket joint (like your hip). And the hand kinda looks like a big spider. 

Clue 2. Teeth. This amazing beast has huge continuously growing incisors. What are those? Incisors are your front teeth, and continuously growing incisors, well, they continue to grow. Scientists originally thought this animal was a rodent, because of it's dentition, however they were quite wrong. 

Check 'em out. photo credit:

Clue 3. I like to think of this animal as the 'platypus' of primates. A real WTF of nature. Here are some pics of this fabulous beast. 


What the...


Got it? 

Its the Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)!! Ok, so maybe not a huge shocker, but the Aye-Aye is definitely ark worthy and thus the third critter on my list.

The Aye-Aye is a very specialized lemur, which is in turn, a very specialized primate. All lemurs are found on the island of Madagascar and Aye-Ayes are found in pockets throughout the island (with the exception of the southern regions). 

Aye-Aye distribution map. 

Aye-Ayes are nocturnal, and at about 2-3 kg in size, which makes them largest extant nocturnal primate. Mostly, Aye-Ayes are solitary although they do have overlapping home ranges and have may hang out with one another now and then. 

Why the weirdo morphology? Aye-Ayes are extraction foragers, which mean they take pull their foods out of things. More specifically, they tend to knaw into really hard things like tree trunks and certain nuts, in order to get at the nut meat or insect larva. Watch here:

And last, but certainly not least, is this wonderfully descriptive video of the aye-aye which eloquently outlines all its glories. Enjoy.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Marni's Ark Animal 2: the Pygmy Seahorse

Thanks for all of your messages about my last post, on the narwhal. And for the well wishes. I am barely dragging my sorry behind around, but glad to be thinking about something more exciting. Like...

Marni's Ark Animal 2: the Pygmy Seahorse
Potbelly seahorse at the
Monterey Bay Aquarium, 2009.

I must first tell you about seahorses generally, because they are so crazy amazing. They're cramazing.

All seahorses are a type of fish which are said to have the

1. head of a horse (hence the name)
2. eyes of a chameleon (they move independently)
3. tail of a monkey (meaning the prehensile tail of a New World monkey)
4. the pouch of a kangaroo

Now that is a weird little fish.

Seahorses and closely related pipefish (Syngnathid family) have a tube-like mouth and no teeth, so their prey must be small enough to be sucked up and swallowed whole.

Full credit for these great snout shots goes to Dr. Heleen Leyson

Due to their odd shape and small fins, seahorses are pretty bad swimmers (some can only manage about 5 m/hour). However, they are excellent at the art of camouflage and spend most of their time clinging to look-alike habitat. See?

Another cramazing seahorse fact, is that MALES give birth to live young. What?! Its true. Males have a special brooding chamber, and following an often elaborate courtship ritual, females deposit their eggs into the male pouch. He then self-fertilizes the ova (between 5 and 2500 per pop) and carries their wee babies until they hatch. That's my kind of dude. Here are some other excellent animal dads. The following video shows a captive seahorse dad "Andy" giving birth, and then the development of the young.

Alright, on to the pygmy seahorse. There are actually a number of species of pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus) found throughout the warm tropical waters of Asia and Australia. The obvious novelty of the pygmy seahorses is that they are small. Adult length ranges between 13-25 millimeters, making the pygmy seahorse one of the smallest vertebrates. Here are some other remarkably small critters, which I find so unbelievably charming. This video features Hippocampus denise and is totally worth watching:

Before signing off on the wonderful pygmy seahorse, I must give a shout out to the leafy (or weedy) sea dragon (Phycodurus eques). In fact, I'll let Sir Attenborough tell you about them, as he does them justice. Watch for the somewhat creepy, externally brooding, roaming baby eyeballs.

Pure awesome. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I'm boring, but critters aren't.

I'm totally over me. Plus, I've been functioning at like 20% (mystery illness 2.0), so I've gone from being regular bored of myself to pulling-out-my-own-fingernails bored of myself, which does not make for inspiring blog posts.

However, in my sloth-like state, I have taken to watching nature videos on youtube, and Attenborough's Ark got me all jacked up on weirdo animals. So I am going to create my own 'ark' of 10 critters that top my super-awesome list, and over the next few weeks, will tell you about them. Here goes...

Marni's Ark Animal 1: the Narwhal

Super awesome feature of the narwhal: males have 1.5-3 m (that's 5-10 ft, for my Yank friends) canine tooth that grows straight through their upper left lip. They are basically a mammalian-fish-unicorn. For real.

Narwhal male, showing the glorious tooth-o-horn.

Narwhal distribution (in blue).
The narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is one of the toothed whales, is most closely related to beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), and is found in areas of the Canadian arctic (represent!) and waters off Greenland.

Narwhal are social animals and travel in groups ranging from small pods (5-10 individuals) to large aggregations (of a few hundred), depending on the seasonal food supply. They are fairly deep divers (up to 1500 m) and feed on benthic prey such as flat fish, squid, and cuttlefish.

Here is a clip narrated by Sir Attenborough himself, showing a group of narwhal cruising along.

Nobody really knows why male narwhals grow the immense tooth. About 1 in 500 males has two of the elongate canines, and a few females also have the tooth. The tooth is packed full of sensitive nerve endings, which suggests that it plays a sensory role. But, the males also engage in "tusking" behavior, where they joust with their tooth. This implies that the tooth is a secondary sexual characteristic, i.e. it serves to impress the ladies, but needs to be investigated further. I know I'm impressed.

Here is clip from National Geographic, with some great tusk footage.

Cool, huh?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Getting stinky

Lemurs are awesome for a number of reasons. 

The first being that females are dominant to males, which is very unusual within mammals, and makes female lemurs seem like little lemur-wonder-women. 

Another reason lemurs are awesome is that they use olfactory communication much more than flat-faced primates (monkeys, apes, humans) and love to make things stinky. Mostly with their butts. For real. 

Both male and female ring-tailed lemurs have angogenital scent glands, and males have additional scent glands near their armpits and spurs on their forearms that help with spreading around their armpit stink. All the scent glands produce a thick oily discharge that apparently smells marvelous (or very threatening) to a lemur, but we can't really smell because of our bloody flat faces. Oh, the haplorrhine curse...

Anyhow, because ring-tailed lemurs they are highly territorial both over habitat and each other, they pretty much walk around all day rubbing their stinky selves on things. And generally taking all this very seriously. 

The following are a few videos of lemurs getting stinky and making other things stink. While watching, try to envision your co-workers/friends/kids doing this around the office/pub/house. 

In this one a female ring-tailed lemur really gives a stick a sniff and then a good stink-down. 

Here, one a female gets a small tree good and stinky and then a male comes along, really checks out her fabulous stink, and then gives the tree his own eau de toilette, so to speak.

And in this classic, a couple of males have a good 'ole stink fight. Sorry about the obnoxious annotation, but if its any consolation, I was having a good time watching them in the -1) get stinky,-2) wave tail,-and-3) get a square head routine.

Awesome right?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Conservation sucks.

I must apologize in advance for the dark nature of this post. In general, it is a pretty sucky time to be a conservationist, and at the moment it is an extra sucky time for me, for reasons I have outlined below. I am cautiously hopeful that a lot of squawking and some persistence will pay off. Fingers crossed...

I spent the last few weeks at Tsimanampetsotsa National Park (TNP) in southwestern Madagascar. This is the same site where I lived for about 10 months while collecting data on lemurs for my doctoral dissertation. You may recall when Madagascar tried to kill me, or the fact that I survived this attempted assassination. TNP is the largest remaining spiny forest parcel in Madagascar and an important habitat for many bizarre endemic animals and plants. Like the eye-less, pigment-less cave fish. They will freak you out.

Blind, pigment-less cave fish (Typhloetris madagascariensis). We-eird.

Anyhow, before this trip, I was last at TNP in April of 2011, so two and a half years passed between my visits. And sadly, time has not been good to my critter friends or their forest home. Habitat degradation (primarily resulting from cattle grazing) continues at TNP but it is no longer the primary threat. Here are a few of the dramatic changes which have taken place that are placing the plants and animals in immediate peril:

1. The radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) which was plentiful in 2011, is at least locally extinct. These are harvested for the luxury bush meat trade and traditional medicines in Madagascar and Asia. In Madagascar these critically endangered beasties sell for about $5 US, and in China they go for up to $60000 USD. The black market trade of radiated tortoises has been a serious problem over the last 10 years or so, but TNP was a strong hold for the species because of local taboo against touching or eating forest animals, and the large and inhospitable nature of the landscape. But someone figured out that tortoises were present, and now the they are gone. Here is a little clip of me admiring a tortoise female in 2010:

2. Direct deforestation is rampant. People are just chopping down and hauling out trees. Even though TNP is a National Park and supposedly protected area. And of course, it is the big old trees which are useful/valuable, so the big ones are being selected and huge open gaps of desert are left. There is plenty of other evidence of human activity, such as fire pits, garbage, and tracks/scat of the dogs that people bring along. Other than occasional dog tracks, I had not previously seen any of this activity. Yowzer. I documented some of this, which you can see here:

And perhaps the worst of all,

3. The lemurs and the Little Bastards (i.e. Galidictis grandidieri) are being poached. Ring-tailed lemurs and Verreaux's sifaka are both endangered and the Bastards are critically endangered. They are being taken from TNP for the alternative meat trade ("alternative" because there are more cows than people in Madagascar, and meat or protein per se isn't limited, although food in general is), and each animal sells for about $2.50 US in neighboring ethnic regions or the larger cities of Madagascar. Southern Madagascar, until now, has been relatively free of hunting because of the local taboos, but outside pressures are now sufficient to warrant harvesting these mammals. My local friends report *hundreds* of smoked animals being brought out of the forest at a time. For two bucks a head. 

F*ck me. Honestly, I wouldn't have expected this in twenty years, let alone in a little better than two. 

How did this happen? Its complicated. Political instability and the breakdown of governmental processes. Increasing transientness with decreasing traditional values. Lack of community communication and conservation education. Non-existent protection. These all contribute. Not to mention extreme poverty and global demand for extractive resources. 

But I mustn't get carried away with the woes of the world and lose focus on the critters I know so well, who need help. The situation isn't completely hopeless. Tortoises could be reintroduced. Trees can be planted. In fact, hope to get some grant monies for emergency conservation work, so that I can head back to TNP in the next couple of months and get a better handle on what is happening and how to best address the needs of the people, forest, and animals. Fingers double crossed that my colleagues and I can accomplish some major changes in time. Because the alternatives suck. 

PLEASE do send ideas, suggestions, or simply virtual hugs. All are needed.

Here are a few lemur pics from this year that I just like.

Hanging on. Barely.

The lemur version of "can I help you?"

What a bad-ass. And check out the snaggle cap!

Awe. Its snuggle time.

PS I never said they were perfect.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What are the chances it is Tuesday?

I've been to Paris once before, but decided to visit it again to take an extended lay-over on my way back from Madagascar as a) long periods of air travel are increasingly smothering my will to live, and b) I wanted to visit the Museum National D'Histoire Naturelle. So, today I woke up bright and early and ventured across the city to the museum. But when I got there, the doors were locked and the sign said "Fermeture Mardi." Having just returned from Madagascar and being rather out of touch with, well, everything (including the days of the week) I thought, "give me a break. What are the chances it is Tuesday?" Apparently 1 in 7. And today was my unlucky day. 

Fermeture Mardi. Sniff. 

This beast was outside the Natural History Museum. I have no idea what it is supposed to be, but I think I am afraid of carnivorous hippos.

Pretty creepy. 

 Oh well. I had a lovely day in Paris, none the less. I wandered around looking at whatever, ate lunch in a busy Parisian bistro, wandered and looked at stuff some more, and seriously considered but couldn't bring myself to buy some very expensive, very beautiful shoes.


Drool of a different color.

I really wanted/want those shoes, but I just couldn't reconcile spending the equivalent of about 3 years wages in Madagascar, on footwear. No matter how pretty.
Ah, Very Prive in 100mm.

Rural and dusty southern Madagascar. 

And a couple more pics from today.

Some monument. I liked the light.

Some newlyweds and the Eiffel tower. 

What a strange world this is. So strange, that it may even be Tuesday.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I must be in... Toliara!

Electricity, toilets, internet, and cow cars full of cow? 

Well, you don't see that everyday. Unless you are in Toliara.

I must be back in Toliara! And wow, is a cold beer ever amazing after three weeks of tea temperature, salty, hollow-tasting pond water. Not to mention the >40°C daily forest temperatures. But I miss the forest and the animals already. Tsimanampetsotsa (the forest where I follow lemurs around) and it's flora and fauna certainly hold a piece of my heart.

The dry forest of Tsimanampetsotsa.

I was so pleased to see many familiar fuzzy faces. Pinkie, 5 Head, Momma, Chubbers, Short tail Bert, Short tail Bert 2 (creative, I know), Snoze, Hoppy, LJ, & the very handsome George Clooney. A few are noticeably absent, but I like to think they just moved to other groups.

I love this pic and think it qualifies as an awkward (lemur) family photo. 

Great to also see The Little Bastards. They are mischievous as ever and will get their own post in time.

Ah, Galidictis. What a little bastard. 

Part of my agenda on this trip was to see if it was possible to collect lemur pee, and it is! So, if my current funding proposals get approved, I will be back for more pee in the near future. How exciting. Right? See for yourself:

Alright, I am off to drink something cold and eat something sweet. More soon...

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I'm like a deadbeat dad, but for kilowatt hours.

I've now been living in a foreign country, where I don't speak a lick of the language, for nearly five months. And like any good primate, I am learning to adapt. Ish. And that doesn't mean learning the language, because I know approximately four more German words than when I arrived. But, I have learned few things that I didn't even know I needed to learn. Which I will now share with you. This is some insider shit, people. Seriously mundane, insider shit.

1. Addresses. These f*ckers are tricky. Businesses and residences are not separated, so there are most likely several apartments amongst some doctors' offices, and in my case a kindergarden or two (?). Also, street numbers aren't necessarily in order, and the street number can actually be several street numbers. Like currently, I live at 33-35 Rotensterngasse. As if someone couldn't make up their mind if it was actually 33 or 35, and just went with both. Next, there may or may not be a hallway number, which is not to be confused with an apartment number. I am at Tur 3 (i.e. hallway number 3), and apartment 17. And the saga continues, as apartments are not numbered by floor, but sequentially, so you can have any number of units on any given floor. I am at hallway 3, apartment 17, and  on the 5th floor. NO, 6th floor, because the first floor is on the second floor. Right? Here, the first floor is E, and then second floor is the first. Get it? It goes E, 1, 2, etc... This took me months to catch on to and I still have to think, "wait, what floor is that?"

2. Laundry. Rule number one (and rules are very important) is that you turn off the water when you are not using the washer. Austria may cease to exist otherwise. Or flood, apparently. Rule number two is that you disassemble the soap container area after each use. For fear of nighttime bubbles? Oh, and there are no dryers. At all. Next, given that I use a common laundry room, the sub-societal protocol is to record the number of electricity units you use for each wash. Why record the electricity, you may ask (as I did/do)? Because then you can go to the cigarette store to pay for your electricity. On the honor system. Seriously. I have been recording, but haven't yet worked out which cigarette store (there are often more than one per block), or how on earth to explain the hallway/floor/apartment I occupy, let alone my laundry electricity units.

3. Rubbish. Is. Ridiculous. OK, deep breath. Actual garbage and paper recycling go below your building. Always. Glass and metal go to the public bins down the street and (in my case) to the right. Plastic also goes in the other public bins, but these are up the street (and in my case) to the left. Tetra packs, on the other hand, go into special cardboard boxes with olives on them. These boxes magically appear. Obviously from the tetra-pack-olive-box Santa. And once a month (on an undisclosed date) the olive box full of tetra packs goes out onto the street and then (magically) disappears. Santa's elves? Given that I have no idea where to get the olive box or when to put it out, I have a significant collection of tetra packs.

And likely an exorbitant electricity bill.

And clean, yet completely bagged out clothes.

And a pastry belly, which is thankful for the bagged clothes. And empire waist dresses.

Alas, in less than a week I will be back in San Diego. And in less than a month, I will be in Madagascar. And then it will all start again...


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday in Vienna

One of the things that I've wanted to see in Vienna was the "Boys Choir." So, this morning I went to the Hofburg Palace.

Hofburg Palace

And, I would have enjoyed the singing (although I am generally not that into noise), but I was quite annoyed by the end, on account of all the sermon-y stuff and bishop-y type dudes, who were waving around fancy things. And I am sure they were going on about the Jesus. In German. I mean, yeah, dudes can be fancy and swing around smoke all they like, but I'm not really that interested in sitting through it. Plus, I was crammed in the middle of a million people who just discovered their phone cameras, but have no idea how to operate phones or cameras. So between the ishutter clicks and flashes, thinking that fallen for the old bait-and-switch (i.e. they lure you in with the singing kids and then you're stuff watching this procession), and my increasingly rumbbly stomach, I got a bit cranky.

Closed captioning of the fanciness.

Which, I am certain had to do with this fellow. 

 And then I went to Cafe Central and my life changed.

Because you can never un-taste this:


Layers of the airiest, thinnest, crispiest pastry, topped with carmelized sugar (that had the crunch-like top of a proper creme brule), between layers of a vanilla custard that you would shank your momma for. Even on this holiest of mothers' days. Also, the red thing in the background is a hazelnut chocolate that comes with your coffee (or tea, in this case), lest you get peckish.

And to date, my biggest life failure is this:

Too. Full.

Oh, and to be clear, there was no bait-and-switch. When I got home, I looked at the very same website I had used earlier to get the location of the choir, and it was clearly titled "HOLY MASS with the Vienna Boys Choir at Hofburgkapelle."

And that was Sunday.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Austrian hot yoga made me cry

In an effort to be social and keep active, I decided to try a Bikram yoga class. I saw a blog write up about a studio in Vienna which sounded really good (here is the link, if you are interested:, and since I enjoy Hatha yoga, I thought I'd give it a go.

So, I did. Except, it didn't go well.

Some foreshadowing which should have tipped me off to the impending 90 min of hell:

1. The yoga studio is set to 38 degrees Celsius. Which is hot. And sweaty. And I am hot and sweaty all the time anyway. Of course I knew it was going to be hot, but thought it would be manageable. I survived Madagascar heat (over 40 degrees C daily and over 50 degrees on especially hot days), right?

2. Upon arrival, the instructor (the Austrian yogi version of Nurse Ratched) said that the most important thing about the class was not to leave. If it was too intense, she said, sit down and rest. But DON'T leave. "NR" also said not to drink any water. A tiny sip was ok, she conceded, but only a sip and only if absolutely necessary.

3. Oh, and I have a heart thing. My heart condition is no big deal (inappropriate sinus tachycardia), its just  a bit fast, which means my blood doesn't move around as efficiently. Mostly, my ticker is totally solid, but sometimes it gets really poundy, which lets me know its time to chill.

You can probably guess how things unfolded, but I am going to tell you anyhow, because this is a blog post and that is the point.

Mins 1-45:  I got really uncomfortably hot and sweat out a few buckets. As an aside, NR conducted the class in German, which if I am being totally honest, I find to be a very ugly language to listen to. Plus, the way native German speakers talk is quite abrasive. They are overly loud and commanding, and make a lot of noises which require excessive saliva, none of which I particularly like.

Mins 30-60: My heart got super poundy and I felt miserable. I sat for 15 min or so, but didn't feel better. My face turned an interesting shade of purple and I could feel my pulse in my eyeballs. The heat was just too oppressive and my poor ticker, try as it may, couldn't catch up.

Min 61: I decided to leave.

Min 62: NR shamed/bullied me into staying and told me (and everyone else) that I looked fine and to sit back down. And in my weakened state, I obeyed.

Min 63: I sat back down and cried.

Min 64-89: I continued to sit there, like an idiot, staring longingly at the door (which was blocked), sweating profusely, trying to catch my breath, and willing myself not to faint or have a heart attack. I was also completely parched and my hands and feet were swelling at an alarming rate.

Min 90: Hallelujah! I very shakily bolted for the door made it to the lobby. Ate some fruit, got my wits about me, stole a coconut water, drank the coconut water, and then (finally) walked out. I didn't actually mean to steal the water, but think it was a bit more delicious because of the theft and all.

And that was my entry to Austrian Bikrim yoga.

I think an extra pastry is in order today.

For shiz.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Clearing Kitty LaFleur's good name. Maybe.

I *may* owe Kitty LaFleur an apology.

Let me explain.

Last week, while visiting home, I spent a day cleaning.

Let me explain, more.

My sweet husband is a bit of a man-pig when left to his own devices, and I generally like to remove any ill-placed mustard or kilo-sized dust bunnies before settling in, if I've been away. Honestly, I usually arrange to have someone else work on the de-piging, but this time I did it myself.

And LOOK at what I found:

OMG. Could it be? Is that a very linty, desiccated FROG LAFLEUR?

You may recall Frog LaFleur, who was a pet of Fish LaFleur, who were both pets of Kitty LaFleur.

Frog LaFleur (left) and Fish LaFleur (right).

Kitty LaFleur (left)  Fish LaFleur (center) and Frog LaFleur (right).

Kitty LaFleur has responsibly had numerous pets, including transgenic red-florescent-protein mice (a long story, in which I executed many mice, but got fed up), gerbils, Fish LaFleur, Hammy, and (present tense) Hammy 2. All of these former pets have died of natural causes (except Fish LaFleur who met the garburator after getting pine-cone-disease; maybe Hammy, who died at an unusually young age under the care of a certain husband; and Hammy 2, who is alive). Yet, I've always (somewhat) secretly blamed the death of Frog LaFleur on Kitty LaFleur and her appetite for amphibians. Despite her being an angel with the rest of her pets. And an angel with her sock babies. And an angel in general.

Kitty LaFleur being an angel with and Fish LaFleur.

Kitty being an angel with Hammy (doesn't he look young and spry?).

Kitty LaFleur being an angel with Marni LaFleur.

The hallway. After Kitty LaFleur had a long night
gently carrying around  her sock babies.

So, maybe I was wrong about Kitty LaFleur's involvement with Frog LaFleur's death.

Except, Kitty did kill an bird, thus making her capable of murder.

Poor little bird, who must have ventured into our apartment
only to meet Kitty LaFleur, the killer.

Although, we moved apartments since Frog LaFleur vanished, which complicates matters. And there are frogs in the canyon in front of where we now reside, which make another apartment/frog/desiccation situation possible.

So, as I see it there are four plausible scenarios:
1. Kitty LaFleur ate Frog LaFleur. Case closed. She is guilty.
2. Despite my frantic efforts to locate him, Frog LaFleur escaped and perished in apartment number 1, only to be unknowingly transported to apartment 2 and discovered nearly a year after said move and two years after his disapearance. Kitty LaFleur is innocent.
3. A different frog of similar size and shape to Frog LaFleur ventured into apartment 2 (which is on the second floor) and subsequently croaked (clever, I know). Kitty LaFleur is innocent.
4. Frog LaFleur got tired of being drooled over and moved out. Kitty LaFleur is innocent.

So, maybe I owe Kitty an apology. Or maybe she is a frog killer. Or maybe not.

Friday, March 29, 2013

People who are not Justin Bieber

Don't get excited.

This dude is not Justin Bieber.

This dude is not Justin Bieber.

This dude is not Justin Bieber.

This fur coat donning lady is not Justin Bieber.

This dude is also not Justin Bieber.

I am certainly not Justin Bieber.

But I couldn't help myself and after stumbling across a mob of 12-ish year-old girls today, I joined in trying to catch a glimpse of Justin Bieber. These little chickies meant business. They were Bieber or bust. They were so jacked up that every time someone came out of the hotel, which was frequently, they went bizerk (screaming and crying) thinking that it might be Justin Bieber, who is apparently staying at the Hotel Sacher. It was quite funny to watch all these old dudes have hoards of young girls screaming at them.

But I got tired of the screaming 12-ish year-olds and the dudes who were not Justin Bieber. So I went in for some cake.

Mmm. Sacher torte.