Czechs celebrate 100 years of aviation, a car-thief steals a car with a baby in the back-seat and the Prague Academy of Fine Arts has organized a course in Gothic bookbinding. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
As airports around Europe gradually closed down last Friday, emptying the skies, overhead paradoxically aviation fans descended on the town of Pardubice to celebrate the centenary of Czech aviation on April 16th. On that day in 1910 the first Czech aviator Jan Kašpar fulfilled his dream, taking his legendary Bleriot 25 meters up into the air for a two kilometer flight over his home town. The next day the local papers proudly reported on the first Czech to have experienced the incredible sensation of flying. A year later –on May 13th of 1911 Kašpar undertook a flight from Pardubice to Prague – at the time the longest flight ever undertaken in the Austro-Hungarian Empire – flying at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour and covering the 120 km distance in 1 hour and 32 minutes. By some strange twist of fate the Bleriot XI plane – a replica of Kašpar’s historic plane - also had the skies pretty much to itself when it took off from Pardubice airfield last Friday ascending to a height of 60 meters and circling around town before executing a perfect landing on the airstrip. Pilot Petr Mára, who flies ultra-light planes, said taking the Bleriot XI up had been an incredible experience – though it was much colder up there than he expected. Kašpar was known to fly his plane in a sweater, scarf and goggles. His beloved Bleriot XI is now on display at the National Technical Museum in Prague.
An association for people with disabilities called Adrenalin Without Barriers is working on a motorbike for wheelchair users. The motorbike is to be fully hand-controlled and will have small electronically controlled side-wheels which would hit the ground when the motorbike comes to a stop for the rider to be able to keep balance. The team has been working on it for two years and hopes to have it ready for testing by the end of 2010. Interest in it is expected to be considerable since at present there is nothing like it in the Czech Republic and wheelchairs users who can afford the expense by three and four wheelers to ride. Jiří Suchánek who came up with the idea is an enthusiastic biker who had friends among wheelchair-users and wanted them to experience the joy of riding a motorbike.
A car thief in Ceske Budejovice got more than he bargained for when he stole a car with a dog and baby in the back-seat. The absent-minded mother had just left the car with dog and baby unattended, moreover leaving the car keys on the front seat. The thief clearly had no idea he had two passengers in the back when he jumped in and drove off and then in a panic he turned into a deserted yard abandoned the car and ran away. The police found the car within an hour – with the baby and dog still in the back safe and sound – and are now searching for the car thief.
The Prague Academy of Fine Arts has organized a course in Gothic bookbinding for the public. The five-day-course teaches applicants the art of bookbinding as it was performed at royal courts, cloisters and universities in the late 13th to early 16th century. Applicants are given step-by-step instructions and helped to bind a book from scratch –using the Herringbone stitching technique, binding the cover in soft leather and using split thongs for decoration and support. The course has so far attracted mainly museum workers, restorers and surprisingly even an IT specialist but is open to anyone who wants to give it a try. If there is interest the Academy of Arts says it will expand the course to Renaissance book-binding.
Although the Czech Republic has the largest number of tea-houses in the
world few Czechs would actually consider using tea as a cooking ingredient.
Czech chef Radim Gerlich is an expert in using various brands of tea in
Czech and international cuisine. He uses tea leaves as a marinade, cooks
rice, pasta and couscous in it and even adds it to deserts to give them an
The main thing he says is to gauge which tea suits which dish best so as
not to overpower the original flavour but to add something extra – such
as jasmine or mint tea will add to deserts. On the other hand black tea is
said to be perfect for marinades, because it tenderizes meat, and poultry
and oolong makes good sauces, blending extremely well with cream. The Czech
tea-chef is one of twelve cooks to get an invitation to the second annual
tea festival in Sri Lanka. The main event is a competition in Cooking with
tea where Gerlach is expected to present five dishes – among them lamb
with a tea-spiced sauce with mushrooms, maize and spinach, tea-spiced
ravioli and panna cotta with black tea and cinnamon. If that is making your
mouth water – go ahead and try your hand at a tea recipe. There are some
recipes on the internet and Gerlach says he worked on a trial and error
basis to find out what tea is best suited to a given dish.
And if you have any the left over – give it to your plants – they will
greatly appreciate it.