Magazine

11-03-2006

The Decin practical jokers club which traditionally ferries the seasons up and down the river Labe has announced that it will forcibly expel winter from the Czech lands. "We'll fight it tooth and nail and everyone is welcome to come and help" the club's president Milan Rosenkranc told the media. People have been advised to bring high spirits, good food and some brandy to keep warm. Some brandy is traditionally spilled into the river to ensure the continued goodwill of water goblins and sprites who live in the river. The long, cold winter has many people down in the dumps and everyone is hoping that this attempt to finally drive it away will prove successful.

 

The Czech Republic currently holds the micro-light world record - i.e. the highest speed achieved in an ultra light plane. The Federation Aeronautique Internationale /FAI/ has ratified a record set by co-pilots Jiri Unzeitig and Vera Vavrinova on October 19th last year. The Vanessa Air Klenor plane flew from Beroun to Zebrak on a straight 17 kilometre course at a speed of just over 274 kilometres per hour. Congratulations!

 

A dinosaur egg is up for sale at the Antik expo in Olomouc. The egg was unearthed in the Gobi desert and its age and authenticity have been confirmed by laboratory tests. This unique exhibit can be yours for the price of just 50 thousand Czech crowns. Ever heard of a better bargain?

 

A Czech taxi driver from the eastern city of Ostrava has just tried to file claim to 2 million crowns in compensation for a bad smell in his taxi. The driver demanded two million from the leading Czech insurance company Ceska Pojistovna on the grounds that "some very smelly cheese had slipped between the seats of his car last summer and because of the hot weather his entire car now smelled worse than a skunk." The insurance company in question has rejected his claim so look out for one very smelly taxi!

 

Did you know that cats have diet problems as well as people? The heaviest cat in the Czech Republic weighs a full 16 kilograms and loves cheese and fish. Despite her weight Pulik is still fairly active. She loves sleeping but, according to her owner, when she decides to give you a run for your money it is impossible to catch her. That's quite a feat, given that she measures an impressive 70 cm round the waist! The Chinese cat named Monster who weighs the same as Pulik allegedly only ever moves her jaws these days!

 

The employees of a maternity hospital in Olomouc are attending courses in sign language in order to facilitate communication with mothers with hearing defects. At present this concerns approximately ten patients a year. But no doubt their number will rise because not many maternity wards in the Czech Republic offer this kind of service.

 

A plane carrying the Czech prime minister on his way back from an official visit to South America on Tuesday was the target of a joint NATO reconnaissance exercise. As the plane entered Spanish territory an F-18 fighter jet suddenly appeared at its side, flying in close proximity for several minutes before it disappeared. The same thing happened over the Swiss Alps, when the pilot was finally alerted to the fact that this was part of NATO's routine training - identifying a flight from close proximity without communicating with the crew. Allegedly NATO only targets special flights for this type of training, not commercial airliners.

 

A beer-lovers dream has just come true: beer on tap in your living room! This latest invention was presented at the Pivex trade fair and it generated plenty of interest. The stainless steel refrigerator and tap comes on wheels and all you need to do is insert a new twenty litre beer barrel when you are out of the golden brew. The pub atmosphere you'd need to take care of yourself by inviting all your good friends in for a drink and you can enjoy a great beer on tap any time of day and night. And the price? A mere thirty thousand Czech crowns.

 

Would you venture a guess as to what brand of Czech beer is most often consumed abroad? If you guessed Budvar or Pilsen Urquell you were off the mark. Those two brands are possibly the most well known but it is the Velkopopovicky Kozel which people abroad drink the most of, mainly because it is produced under license in Russia, Hungary and Slovakia. The Kozel brand is sold in 24 countries the world over. In Russia Kozel is not just the best known Czech beer but also the most successful licence-produced product in the country.

 

Sales figures indicate that in the last few years Czech have been buying less gold and precious stones than in the past. According to economists this is due to the growing indebtedness of Czech households. People are now spending much more of their money on technology and housing.

 

Triplets are born in the Czech Republic once in every eight to ten years. The latest trio to come into the world arrived on the 3.3. 2006 and their mum 26 year old Petra Vrchlavska says 3 is definitely her lucky number!

11-03-2006