Compact archive December 2007

The greatest, biggest annual fireworks in Prague

The traditional, most massive fireworks take place in Prague not in the night 2007/2008, but in the evening of the first day of the new year.

Thousands of rockets are going fly from Letna on 1st of January 2008, 6pm. It usually takes about 15 minutes to 1000 seconds to be precise. The authors always promise new effects. The traditional spectacle, that costs about 54 thousands €, can be best seen from Cechuv Most (Cech’s bridge), and close riverside.

The show can be as great for kids, as it is scary for dogs. Anyway It is watched by tens of thousands of locals and foreigners alike every year, and it belongs to great attractions Prague offers.

Kylie Minogue concert Prague

Kylie-Minogue Kylie Minogue (b. 1968) is an Australian, Grammy award-winning pop singer. Minogue rose to prominence in the late 1980s through her role in the Australian television soap opera Neighbours, before she commenced her career as a pop artist in the late ’80s.

Even when she had to overcame large difficulties; in Australia, she was dismissed early in her career by some critics. She, however, came out of her problems as a pop-star and a new sex-symbol.

According to Warner Music Australia, Minogue has sold over 40 million records worldwide.

12th May 2008, Sazka ARENA, Ocelarska 2, Prague 9. Starts 21:00. We highly reccomend to book the tickets in advance.

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Snow for Prague Castle - preparations for Tour de Ski

Like the last year, there are going to be ski competitions in Prague. The square closest to Prague Castle, Hradcanske namesti, will be hidden under snow cover. Today the organizers started to transport the most necessary thing for it – 2 000 cubic meters of snow, as there is no snow in Prague, as usual.

The race takes place on 30th December. The snow was brought from four am from Sumava to Prague. The unusual transportation can be seen from now to 30th Dec, when the competition starts.

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The War on Smoking: Second Act

Who is going to win in the Czech Republic, the well-known liberal country? There are new proposals of the law that should bring some fresh air to non-smokers in restaurants.

1st variation – total ban on smoking in restaurants
2nd variation – smoking only in a smoking room, build specially in enterprises
3rd variation – so called Spanish model – under 100m2 the owner decides, whether the hospitality enterprise is going to be smoking or not, over 100m2 he/she must build a wall between both sides
4th variation – The owner chooses, regardless of acreage.

smoking no-smoking The first wave of war on smoking brought the law, that can be interpreted like this: Smoking in the Czech Republic is prohibited in these places : theatres, cinemas, sport halls, railway stations, waiting rooms and bus or tram stops, in offices of state administration, in schools, hospitals and other medical institutions. People can smoke in restaurants provided the restaurant does not have any extra places for smokers.

The law has been valid for a year now. It is not only ambiguous, but it is also not extorted enough by the police. Policemen usually inflict only a symbolic fine. Another problem is, that owners of the restaurants usually understand the law in different ways.

Which of the new proposals is going to win? We will inform you in January.

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  • The War on Smoking: Second Act [December 28 2007, 12:03 PM]

New Year's Eve in Prague, outdoor, fireworks

fireworks in prague If you plan to spend the New Year’s Eve in Prague, and you plan to spend it outdoors, there are going to be many fireworks. I’ll skip the part where we warn you how dangerous it is bla bla and give you the numbers of injured, bla bla, and get to the part where I tell you – the place where you will definitely see many people shooting fireworks, that often fall back to the crowd to explode, is Old Town Square.

Wenceslas Square will be full of people, as there will be the free show broadcasted live on Czech TV station Nova. A big stage will be built near the statue of St. Wenceslas. The place will be full of fireworks, too.

If you want to enjoy a view of fireworks, take some drink with you and find some perch. I remember Vysehrad worked quite well for us. Of course, not all of us want to be outdoors; for you we have some New Year’s Eve tips. And PS: Karlovy Lazne is the place where it may be the best to spend the night, if you like disco music. Happy new year!

Winter swimming in Prague Vltava river

winter swimming in freezing water The traditional winter swimming in Vltava river, at the National Theatre, joined 114 swimmers from the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Germany and Belgium. There were 29 women among them.

The fastest swimmer at the longest, 750 metres long route, which swum 37 winner swimmers, was Jan Vane with his time 8:58. The water had 3,7 Celsius that day, the air was -1 Celsius. Hundreds of Prague citizens watched them swim in water, which is deadly for inexperienced.

The most agile swimmers present were those, who have overcome the English Channel – Petr Mihola and Richard Haan, a solo singer of the State Opera Prague. Yvetta Hlavacova, who swum across the English Channel for the third time this year, swum at the 100m race.

This year, Czech Hlavacova managed to get the best women time across the English Channel – 7 hours 54 minutes, by which she is the best in women category, she was beaten by three men only.

Prague Public Notice: Prostitutes, out from streets!

The new public notice, delivered by Prague City Hall, wants to change the practice, that knows everyone who tried to walk through the tourist centre of Prague at night; prostitutes. The new public notice shouldn’t be overestimated – the ‘tradition’ can’t be abandoned that easily.

Prague Police should only get a tool for giving a prostitute, that ‘stands in the way’, a fine up to thirty thousands CZK (1 t. €). According to the deputy of the Prague Mayor Rudolf Blazek they usually don’t pay the fine, but at least the police has a tool to show them out from the streets.

The order is not concerned about Prague brothels, there is about 60 of them in Prague, they continue in ‘business as usual.’

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Communist Party and Presidential Candidates in Czech Republic

“It’s good we didn’t prohibit them” said Klaus in a talk show this Sunday. He spoke about the KSCM; Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia. The presidential elections are getting near, as they are planned to February. Votes of the Communist Party are going to be the decisive ones, the president is voted by the parliament, and the last Czech municipal and senate elections ended almost by a draw.

Jan Svejnar, who emigrated from the Czechoslovak communism years ago, labeled the communists as ‘different than before’ a week ago. He said in a radio talk show that he would like to help them with their reformation, so they would, by their ‘active political participation’ stop the trend of weak governments.

The past regime did harm both of the candidates. However, now they become advocates of the new communist party, as they proclaim it has changed a lot, and they need their votes.

AVRIL LAVIGNE The Best Damn Tour concert Prague

Avril-Lavigne Avril Lavigne (b. 1984) is a Canadian rock/punk-pop singer. In 2006, Canadian Business Magazine ranked her the seventh most powerful Canadian in Hollywood, and in 2007 she won ninth place in the Jabra Music Contest for the Best Band in the World, based on fan votes from around the world.

Lavigne’s debut album, Let Go, was released in 2002, and over 16 million copies were sold worldwide and was certified six times platinum in the United States. Her second and third albums, Under My Skin (2004) and The Best Damn Thing (2007), respectively, reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. Lavigne has scored six number one songs worldwide to date and a total of eleven top ten hits, including “Complicated”, “Sk8er Boi”, “I’m with You”, “My Happy Ending”, and “Girlfriend”. She has currently sold 33 million albums worldwide.

She has already made her performace in Prague in 2005. At the time it was criticized by many. Anyway, we all hope this concert will be as we wish it to be. Concert of a young legend. on-line booking

AVRIL LAVIGNE – Prague 20:00, July 8, 2008,
Sazka ARENA Ocelarska 2, Prague 9

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Living Christmas crib performance in Prague

living nativity scene Biblical figures came to life during the annual weekend action on the third courtyard of the Prague Castle, and formed a live nativity scene, or as the Czechs say, Betlém.

Twenty-minute performance is made of Christmas folk games and known and not-so-known noels. The acting company is from theatre Apropo. During the last years they managed to collect almost 30 000 CZK (1 thousand €), as the performance is connected to ‘Help the Kids’ charity.

Christmas Cribs are a vital part of the Czech Christmas tradition. This year, we could see a huge nativity scene made of straw in Prague.

Happy Holidays!

Baby Jesus or Santa Claus?  BABY SANTA !!! We from ABC PRAGUE would like to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you liked the articles we tried to provide for you at our best. We look forward to many great years to come, in Prague, the city with an attitude.

What are the Czech Christmas traditions?

Slitting an apple – you cut and apple, and find out, whether the following year will be successful or not; If there is a star, it’s positive. If a cross, it’s negative.

You can also heat lead or tin, and pour it into cold water – the shape, which it takes, tells you about your future.

Of course we decorate trees, hand gifts and sing Christmas noels. Jingle bells of course exist in Czech language, so if you hum the tune, you should be OK. And if you are in Prague during Christmas, many go to church at midnight time, to ‘pulnocni’.

So again, Merry Xmas to you all!

Last Minute Music Party Tips for the New Year's Eve in Prague

New Year's Eve in Prague Silvestr ve Vezi/The new years’ eve in the Zizkov tower; TV broadcaster, Prague 3 – Special menu, music programme ‘Elvis Presley Memory’ unique view of Prague. Entry 2500 CZK (90€).

Imperialistic Night – for all the alternative people, imperialistic silvestr night, DJ Philip TBC, Baba LN, Stanzim and other, enty: 100 CZK. Cross Club, Plynarni 23, Prague 7

Mecca – The night with Minstry of Sound, Main DJ: DJ Lisa Loud (MTV), start 21:00, Entry: 990-250 CZK Club Mecca, U Pruhonu street 3, Prague 7

Futurum Music Bar – Silvestr for People, DJ Jirka Brezina and his guests. Stsrt: 21:00 Entry: 90 CZK (3€). Futurum Music Bar, Zborovska 7, Prague 5.

Silvestr na Lodi/ The new years’ eve on the Boat – houseboat U Bukanyra, L. Svobody street, music by Pat Heart, start: 20:00, Entry: 200 CZK.

Radost FX – 2 Levels of Entertainment, the main guest DJ Pierre Ravan, start 20:00, Entry: 1500-2000CZK, Radost FX, Prague 2, I.P. Pavlova.

Club Roxy – Golden Eyes 2007, three stages, presents DJ Loutka, Chris Sadler, IM Cyber, Pedro Rodriguez and others. Entry: 600 CZK. Club Roxy Dlouha 33, Prague 1.

Czech Hearse driver caught with 3,58% of Alcohol

According to court doctors, his alcohol load was at the edge of alcohol poisoning. The 46-year old drunken driver was transporting a dead body to post mortem examination in Hospital in Usti nad Orlici, when he got Drunkard caught by the police from the city.

Czech law does not allow drivers to drink at all, so his licence was taken away and he faces court proceedings.

The record holder of drunk driving in the Czech Republic is Milan Curda, who, driving a gulley sucker, had an accident, afer which he was secured with almost 8% of alcohol in blood. He ended in prison, as he didn’t finished the alcohol treatment the court ordered him to.

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Svejnar: CR can adopt Euro in 5 years

The Presidency candidate Jan Svejnar is sure, the Czechia should adopt Euro as soon as possible. The year 2012, which is seen by the Czech prime minister Mirek Topolanek as unreal, is o.k. for Svejnar.

euro-notes The Czech economics is, according to Svejnar, ready for Euro adoption. A good experience is, according to him, Slovenia, which entered the Eurozone in January. Slovenian economy is similar to the Czech one. He shares his opinion with the Czech minister of finance.

Svejnar expects the next year to be in token of slowing GDP growth, the country he says, will battle growing inflation. The Czech National Bank can take care of monetary politics, by which it stops the Czech currency from from inflating, but it slows the economy growth. “There is something more; whether the country is willing to except lower inflation and lower growth, or higher inflation and higher growth.” He explained.

Border Checks of Czech Republic are History

Starting today, the Czech Republic and eight other states of the EU entered the Schengen space. 2000 km of Czech border zone are, from today, without custom officers. The main celebrations are planned for today, at the Czech-Poland-German border.

The idea of Schengen space is based on countries entering a union, where it is not necessary to go through border checks; free movement of goods, persons, services and capital. As the Czech Rep. is surrounded only by states in the zone, the borders are (at least for the next few years) going to lie out.

The physical borders are going through changes; the crossing barriers are going to disappear, the police is going to almost leave the place, and the ‘line’ will became cross-able almost anywhere. If you are interested in more information, you can continue here.

Dan Perjovschi - genius of clever shortcut in Prague

Dan Perjovschi Dan Perjovschi is a great artist, writer and cartoonist born in 1961 in Sibiu, Romania. He is blessed with an unique sense for a shortcut. His domain is a primitive caricature painting, which he can be unbelievably fitting.

The drawings present political commentary in response to current events. Another exhibition of Perjovschi’s is within a Portuguese bank consists of several comic strip style drawings which address more European issues such as Romania’s acceptance to the EU.

The comments of his drawings are so clever, you don’t know if you should laugh or cry. After Cold War – Global Warming. Middle class have middle drams.

Jiri Svestka Gallery, until 2th February, Tue – Fri – 12.00 – 6.00 p.m. Sat – 11.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. Biskupsky dvur 6, Prague.

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The Narrowest Street in Prague is Equipped With Traffic Lights

Little Quarter is a special part of Prague it surrounds Prague Castle and it is rich in baroque and renaissance architecture. One of streets there, is the most narrow street in Prague

It is so narrow there must be traffic lights in order people wouldn’t collide – maybe two dogs could sidetrack, but they have to be very small dogs. If you are square-shouldered or well.. fat, you shouldn’t enter the street at all – you can get struck.

It is steep, full of stairs, doesn’t have a name, but have two traffic lights. It goes from U Luzickeho seminare street to the Certovka restaurant, offering spectacular view of Charles Bridge.

Most of the tourists see the street as an attraction, so they push the walk button, take a few pictures and when they go, they don’t take the light seriously, so in the end they push with somebody so close only lovers usually do that.

“One time, one really corpulent German tourist got stuck” remembers the owner of Certovka Restaurant. “She couldn’t go up or down. The personnel tried to push her back to the street , but in vain. In the end we had to soap her, so she would slide more easily. She just had to go somewhere else for her lunch.” He smiles. Source: MF Dnes

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Parking in Prague 1 and 2 paid only

prague parking machine The parking situation in European city centres is quite similar. The locals cannot park in front of their house, supplies are hard to deliver and the traffic intensity is high.

You want to park? You have to pay.
Prague City Hall solves the packed city centre by installment of zones of paid parking, where those who doesn’t reside around, can put their vehicles. Since yesterday, parking machines (on the picture) are operational.

There are reserved parking zones for locals and local enterprisers in function since November. In Prague 3 paid parking zones start in spring.

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Maté drinking; Argentinian exhibition in Prague

a cup for maté czechoslovakia ceramics The unusual exhibition of Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague introduces some 140 maté vessels for the traditional south-American drink maté.

Maté drinking has been a cherished tradition among the Argentinian people from pre-Colombian times. Originally, maté cups were made from gourds, later on also from other materials, including silver.

Commissioned by Argentina, ceramic maté-drinking ware was produced from the late 19th century to the beginning of the Second World War in some European countries, particularly Germany and Czechoslovakia. In the 1940s, Argentina established its own production of such containers; however their quality was inferior compared to the European output.

The exhibition has been prepared in partnership with the Embassy of Argentina in Prague

Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, The Glass, Porcelain and Ceramics Hall, 17. listopadu 2 street, December 19th, 2007 -February 24th, 2008

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The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble in Prague

The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble (NYSJE) is an internationally renowned recording and touring group. Since the bands inception in 1994, they have released five CDs and they have performed regularly throughout Europe, Canada, USA, and South America.

The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble is exactly what its name suggests: a group of New York ska musicians dedicated to exploring the links between ska and jazz.

NYSJEs recordings and performances have garnered them critical acclaim for their high energy, creative originals, kinetic ska interpretations of jazz standards, as well as their potent mix of dance hall, reggae, rock steady and jazz.

27th December 2007, Lucerna Music Bar, Vodickova 36, Prague 1

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Letters for Baby Jesus in Czech Republic

As each year, the Post office at Bozi Dar (Gift of God) CR, gets letters in total weight about 500 kg. The letters are sent to Baby Jesus, an has wishes inside – toys for kids, or even wishes like ‘dad should stop smoking’ or ‘mam should be less worried’.

If you want to send your wishes to Baby Jesus, the address is Jeziskova Posta, 362 62, Bozi Dar, Czech Republic. Don’t forget, Baby Jesus does the same job as Santa Claus in the United States, but with one difference – Baby Jesus loves all, so he doesn’t make a list with good/bad deeds. Also, he doesn’t use chimneys.

As Baby Jesus is supernatural, he doesn’t have to open the letters to know what is inside. But the letters have to be stamped, for which the post in Bozi Dar have to work very hard until 22th of December.

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New Prague Tourist Advertisement

Petra Nemcova Petra Nemcova, the Czech Top-model, and world-wide known hottie, becomes the face of Prague City Hall advertisement for tourists of foreign countries, councilmen decided yesterday.

Prague is a favorite tourist destination, which attract tourists from all around the world, but this spot planned for Fashion TV is prepared for young individuals from higher income groups. Fashion TV broadcasts non-stop in 202 countries.

The Ad spots, usually in the Alfons-Mucha style, will be broadcasted during the first year more than 500 times. The councilmen expects the costs to be 8,5 mil. CZK. The main face Petra Nemcova carries not only famous Czech beauty, but also intelligence, which got her to the top.

Petr Cech the Best Player?

Czech representative goalkeeper and Chelsea saver Petr Cech is better than the winner of the Golden Ball, and the one voted world’s best player, Brazilian Kaka. This is an opinion of the representative coach of the Welsh team John Toshack, who in the Fifa inquiry put Cech at the first place.

In total, Cech was, as the only player from the Czech Republic, awarded 18 points and so is at the 17th place from 29 players, who were in the vote by Coaches and Captains of National teams.

Wales boss John Toshack ofen speaks good of Czech footbalists, like when he said he believes the Czech Republic “are making hard work” of qualifying for the European Championship finals.

Once on DVD

once Every time, an independent movie becomes famous, the critics talk about a miracle. Is it so in the case of Once? Let’s have a look into. Once is a 2006 Irish musical film written and directed by John Carney. Set in Dublin, it stars musicians Glen Hansard (of popular Irish rock band The Frames) and Markéta Irglová, a fictional Czech emigrant, as struggling musicians.

Irglova’s Czech character stays at the “wild east” definition, I mean the way western film makers see us, and probably always will. One example for all – she is dressed like a Bulgarian beggar from 19th century. But her screen performance is just sweet. The same way we can talk about Hansard – every time he looks, sings, talks, he is just sweet. But the film doesn’t stand on acting – it stands and falls with music, which is just great.

I would recommend the film for all those who are tired by movies, which will put you into a never ending spiral, or that which will make you feel guilty, or simply those genre simplifications – Once is a clean, sweet and poetic movie, that doesn’t pretend anything. I shouldn’t say it here, but it is also nice to see a Czech actress in other than an ‘adult’ movie.

The Tree of Life in Prague Gallery

strom zivota or the tree of life The unique example of baroque wood-carving, Strom Zivota, or The Tree of Life, is exhibited in the National Gallery.

Strom Zivota comes from an abolitioned Czech church close to Nova Bystrice. The unique piece of carving stands two metres high, and decorated by a number of miniature statues. The date of origin is back in the 17th century. Originally, it was thought to be a piece of art made as expiation of a Czech monk. As a matter of fact, it is a masterpiece of a master carver from South Germany.

The Tree of Life, The National Gallery in Stenbersky palace, Hradcanske square 15, Prague 1

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Cedok was bought by an American company

cedok logo The biggest Czech travel agency was sold by its owners to the investment group Odien. They want to invest hundreds of millions to the Czech Republic.

After 12 years Cedok changes its owner. The Unimex company sold 98 percent of Cedok to the American investment company Odien. The price is kept secret.

Because Cedok has moiety of exotic travel agency Eso Travel, the Americans have a half of this company now, too. The American holding Odien wants to invest into more travel agencies in the CR, as they expect the tourist trade to grow in Middle Europe.

Cedok is a company with long history and well-known name. It started in 1920 as a Czechoslovak tour and travel company, which mostly took customers to Adriatic sea. Its name was made famous during communism, as it had no competition as a state company.

Pozor na Kapsare / Beware of Pickpockets in Prague Tramways

Christmas time comes, and no one feels the spirit of Christmas like pickpockets do. So many people carrying heavy bags, wallets filled with money, busy and lost in thought in Christmas shopping concentration… oh, pickpockets love Christmas.

Prague Public Transport company or the MHD learned a new strategy, probably during the executive board trip by the London public transport, how to make pickpockets’ living a bit harder during Christmas – there is a message coming out of speakers in Prague tramways, that warns us of pickpockets. But don’t worry! It’s in Czech only, so don’t get too disturbed or excited. Christmas is the time of sharing.

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Introducting Team of Svejnar

jan svejnar Czech-American presidency candidate Jan Svjenar has a team of close cooperatives, who should help him to beat Vaclav Klaus and get Svejnar to Prague Castle.

Let us introduce you his five-member team now.

Klara Pospisil is a Media advisor, who used to be the speaker of the former prime minister Vaclav Klaus, today president. She explains the obvious dispute : “I knew Vaclav Klaus in his best political times. There is a difference between Klaus in 1992 and 2007.” Her role in the team is of a media advisor, who should take care of Svejnar’s media promotion. It is not an easy task, as half of the population do not know, who is Svejnar at all.

Svejnar has also chosen Lukas Macek, politics specialist who helped to get Josef Zilinec into the European Parliament. His role in getting support can be the key one. Not long ago, he implied, it is worth to fight for the votes of the ODS (Vaclav Klaus is often labelled the ‘Founding Father’ of the Civic Democratic Party) “To deny to give votes to the founding father may be a painful decision, but Kluas repeatedly demonstrated he plays, above all, his own game.

Michael Kraus is a political advisor of Svejnar. In 1969 emigrated from the communist Czechoslovakia to the United States as Svejnar did: Michael Kraus as a politics professor, now at Middlebury College. He is a member of the board of American Friends of the Vaclav Havel Library.

Karel Matousek is Jan Svejnar’s business manager. He takes care of the organizational matters. Works as a business manager for Middle, East and South Europe of the Humanscale Inc. company.

Elen Navratilova works as a Svejnar’s personal assistent. At this position she has been working from 1993 in Svejnar’s Prague economical institute CERGE. Now she helps Svejnar in his campaign.

The expenses of the team for office rents, telephones or transport pays Svejnar himself. He doesn’t pay the team though – they all say they help him for free.

Russia Warn: Answer for Base will be Rocket

Jurij Balujevskij ‘The way the Russian Generals spoke is unacceptable’, for Prague commented the speaker of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Warsaw labeled the message as ‘the memory of the worst times’

The Russian generals sent other sharp warning against the construction of the Radar base close to Prague and a missile silo in Poland to the West. General-in-chief Jurij Balujevskij (photo) stated this Saturday that a possible start of a defensive missile from the base in Poland can Russian systems read as a launch of a ballistic missile. That would ‘provoke a launch of a Russian missile in return’.

What is even more appealing, he was the second one to threaten Czechs with a missile attack, the first one was the other Russian general Nikolai Solovtsov.

The Russians are against the Radar, according to Moscow, it is a danger for the strategic balance in Europe, and the threads because of which the Americans want to place the radar, doesn’t exist. Both, CR and Poland have rejected the threads as unacceptable.

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U.K. SUBS + THE VIBRATORS in Prague – Legends of Punk Rock

UK_Subs-PromoPhoto The U.K. Subs were part of the original punk rock movement in England that formed in 1976. The band’s founder, Charlie Harper selected guitarist Nicky Garratt, bassist Paul Slack, and various drummers (eventually Pete Davis became fairly stable) under the initial name “U.K. Subversives”.

Their style combined the energy of punk and the rock and roll edge of the then thriving pub rock scene. The band had some hit singles such as “Stranglehold”, “Warhead”, “Teenage”, and “Tomorrow’s Girls”, with several of their songs managing to enter the United Kingdom’s Top Forty.

With the arrival of new bassist Alvin Gibbs and drummer Steve Roberts in the early 1980s, the songs took on a more heavy metal-influenced edge. In 1991, the U.K. Subs also had Lars Frederiksen (now of Rancid) on guitar for a 30 date UK tour. Decades after the disbanding of other late-1970s punk groups such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash, the U.K. Subs continue to perform.

The Vibrators was founded by Ian ‘Knox’ Carnochan, bassist Pat Collier, guitarist John Ellis, and drummer John ‘Eddie’ Edwards. They first came to public notice at the 100 Club when they backed Chris Spedding in 1976. On Spedding’s recommendation, Mickie Most signed them to his record label RAK. Most produced their first single, “We Vibrate”. The band also backed Spedding on his single, “Pogo Dancing”.

The Vibrators recorded sessions at for John Peel at BBC Radio 1 in October 1976. They were one of the pioneering punk bands that played live in the first few months of London’s Roxy Club. They headlined in January 1977, supported by The Drones, and in February they played twice at the venue. In March 1977 the band supported Iggy Pop on his British tour.

22th January 2008. Starts: 20.30. Pre-sale Ticketpro 320,- at the spot 370,- Rock Cafe, Narodni 20, Prague 1

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Gorilla Moja Celebrated

gorilla moja The famous gorilla celebrated her third birthday. She got fruit and sweets on Saturday, assisted by her parents and others from her pack of gorillas in Prague Zoo ; The leader and father Richard, her mother Kijivu, aunt Kamba, and her brother Tatu, who will soon have his own first-year birthday

Her tender said, Moja grown up to her pubescence, and now entertains the whole Gorilla pavillon in Prague Zoo. ( And as there are web cameras, many others too ). Moja mostly surprises others by the way she plays with her younger brother Tatu. They fight, she pulls him, and Tatu, even when he is still a small one, pays her back.

Moja stays in Prague Zoo for other four years, than she leaves to find her husband.

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Czech Republic enters the Schengen space

From Thursday to Friday there is a huge change at the Czech borders going on – first, the crossing barriers are going to disappear. Second – the Police is almost going to leave the place. Third – the ‘line’ will became crossable almost anywhere.

Czech Republic enters the Schengen space on 21st December 2007. The Schengen space will grow of 9 other countries, like Poland, The Slovak Republic or Latvia.

The borders will be possible to cross by foot or by any other mean of transport. The only restrictions are in National Parks and protected nature areas.

Every state that is in Schengen space has the possibility to re-establish the borders checks for 30 days, with later reasoning.

When travelling to countries outside the Schengen space it is necessary to have a valid travel documents like a passport or visa.

Schengen Agreement Map When travelling with a pet, it needs to have a passport and a tattoo, or a chip.

At the airports, there will be even more checks, because the numbers of policeman there should rapidly increase. Later, checks of travellers from Schengen countries should have less quicker passes.

The Czech Republic obviously enters its new state of being, as a genuine and valid member of the united Europe.

Source: MF DNES

The map: dark blue: members, purple: new members, light blue: not yet implemented

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Opera House Christmas Edition in Prague club Mecca

House Christmas Opera House Christmas Edition is inspired by Czech Christmas traditions, so you can look forward not just to house music, but also to bonuses, like:

  • Every guest gets an apple at the entrance – he can slit it and find out, whether the following year will be successful or not. If there is a star, positive. If a cross, negative.
  • You can also take part in lead casting and get to know more about your future. The shape, which the lead takes, shows you.
  • You also have an opportunity to hand over your Christmas gifts; yes, you can take your gifts to Mecca and put them under the OPERA Christmas tree, and than enjoy singing Christmas noels with the rest of the visitors.
  • The other thing you can look forward to is a very special performance of this Opera House – live Christmas Crib.

The music will be provided by the OPERA public darling DJ Lafayette the other 2 DJs – BARON VON YAROUSH and young talented viscount – DJ MACIO. The other stage plays RnB by DJ L.P.

Fri 21th December 12 OPERA HOUSECHRISTMAS EDITION, Club Mecca, U Pruhonu street 3, Prague 7, ENTRY: 190,- CZK / START: 10PM

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Right-wing extremists Back to Streets again

neo-nazi want to march again and again Czech right-wing extremists obviously weren’t beaten up enough the last time, when they decided to demonstrate their anti-semitism in Prague. This time, they proclaimed they are going to march the center of Plzen (Pilsen), and this time they call it a ‘Protest march for the freedom of speech’. Just to remind- the last time, the November march was advised as the ‘Demonstration against participation of Czech military forces on the occupation of Iraq’.

The main organizer Vaclav Bures initiated the meeting as a reaction on November police disperse of their demonstration on the anniversary of The Crystal night pogrom in Prague Jewish Town.

Bures also appealed to those of ‘his’ neo-nazis who have a gun licence, to take a weapon with them, as he is afraid they will be attacked by opposite groups like always. The date provokes again, as it was chosen on 19th January, which is a date that relates to the first transport of Pilsen Jews to concentration camps, which meant almost total liquidation of their community in the city.

Svejnar Officially Challenged Klaus: Who will be the New CR President?

Svejnar’s official candidacy was signed by ten senators of all Czech parties, excluding the ODS (Civic Democratic Party) and the KSCM (Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia). Svejnar is sure, he will unseat Klaus. “ I want to be an unifying president, not a polarizing one .”

svejnar photo by michigan uni klaus photo by i.treehugger Svejnar hesitated over the official challenge. At the end he was convinced by dialogues with representatives of political parties. The executive bureau of the CSSD (Czech Social Democratic Party) than officially announced their support. He had support of the SZ (Green Party) from the beginning. But the communist party and KDU-CSL (Christian Democratic Union) still didn’t speak clearly.

Svejnar is a politician who puts development first: “It is time to turn the page from the black-and-white view of the world. That left of right perception of the world, that can be summarized by the slogan ‘with Klaus, or left’, is an example of polarization, where you have to choose.” Said Svejnar for MF Dnes. He also announced he wants the presidential post to be more “modern, dynamic and especially effective.”

The elections will be on 8th February 2008.

New Year with Czech President

klaus new year speech The President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus changes the settings of his annual presidential speech. Usually, we have seen Klaus next to his little speech-table in the presidential study room, accompanied by the sound of Smetana’s Libuse. 1st January 2008 should be different – Klaus will be at the Prague Castle courtyard, people standing behind him.

The president so chooses the typical setting of American presidents speeches, with a clear message: people are behind me, they support me. And why he would do that? This is the fifth speech, so the last one in his functional period. And the speech comes a month before the presidential elections, where he wants to succeed as the future head of the state.

His endeavor is interesting in the context of not agreeing with a television debate with Svejnar. He stated it would be contra-productive to the present state, as he has 281 supporters in the parliament.

ZOO Prague: Gorillas Trained Evacuation

prague zoo gorillas - dont panic The Famous Gorillas in Prague Zoo trained evacuation yesterday. It is floods the heads of Zoo Prague, led by Petr Fejk, are afraid of.

Five years ago, 500-year water came and flushed the Gorillas’ pavilion away. As a consequence, the Zoo built a new Gorilla pavilion according to the most advanced practice, which brought even the most precious fruit – two baby gorillas were born there.

To protect the gorillas, Zoo Prague trains them to evacuate two times a year. When the hooters sound, they move to the anti-flood tower for 20 minutes. There are their instructors, waiting for them with sweet honours. The gorillas train like this two times a year.

Theme:

Prague Olympics Cheaper?

According to the newest economic study of a renowned company PricewaterhouseCoopers, the estimated costs of Prague Olympic Games should be ‘only’ 88 billions CZK (3,14 bil. €).

A similar analysis from 2004 expected the cost to be 136 billions, which means the direct costs lowered of 36%. The new study was given to media by the Praha Olympijska (Prague Olympic community) manager Tomas Petera

Lowering the estimation of 48 billions CZK is partly accomplished by changes in the plans of investing. The new conception interchanges building for reconstructions of already standing structures.

Prague applied for the Olympics in 2016, but the supporters see the year 2020 as more real. The Czech government approaches the matter in a reserved way. But Pavel Bem is still sure, all the necessary guarantees will be ready next week.

Theme:

“Daylight” in Prague Streets

Christmas markets in Prague nowadays won’t do without special advertising events. Probably the biggest project that takes place, introduces ‘daylight’ into the streets.

Pinelli company prepares a tour during the advent for support of their energy-drink Semtex. During the tour, they are going to illuminate streets of various cities including Prague by huge helium balloons, shaped like Semtex cans.

Those balloons are five meters long and four meters in diameter. They light up at 5 pm and shine until 9 pm. But just this wouldn’t be fun, so you can of course look forward to entertaining programme! Some free Semtex, hostesses, barmen show and a fashion show, in “Night and Day” theme.

Friday 21st December 2007, Prague, Namesti Republiky, in front of Palladium.

Theme:

Czech Government cancels the Steyr Transporter contract worth 750 mil. €

steyr transporter The government chancels the deal of the century, it won’t purchase 234 armored transporter vehicles from the Austrian-based Steyr Daimler Puch. The contract was worth 21 billions CZK (750 millions €).

Czech Army didn’t gain the first shipment of 17 armored transporters on the set up date 1st December, and the Czech Government decided, the record contract will be canceled.

Anyway the contract was sighed by an ex-minister Karel Kühnl, just a few days after his political party US-DEU completely lost the elections.

The minister of defense, Vlasta Parkanova, commented: “I don’t want to evaluate if the contract was or wasn’t good at that time. But what I have to evaluate, is whether the contract is being kept. And it isn’t, in quite a serious manner.”

Austrian-based Steyr Daimler Puch didn’t want to comment the decision yet.

Poetic, Naive Pictures Exhibition in Prague

emma srncova - the rainbow From 6th November 2007 to 6th January 2008, visitors have an opportunity to see the exhibition of positive pieces by Emma Srncová. The pictures with dreamlike sceneries, levitating lovers, clowns on bicycles or smiling girls with fluttering hair will be exhibited till the first week of January 2008.

Clowns and Dwarves of Emma Srncova
This big retrospective exhibition of poetic, naive pictures by an author, who has held exhibitions for instance in Germany and Great Britain or Monaco, presents Prague 2 to Emma Srncova’s 65th birthday.

New Town Hall, Karlovo Square, Prague, to 6th January 2008. Everyday except Mo 10-18.

Theme:

What will be new in Prague Zoo the next year?

Seals
seals in prague zoo They are going to get a new pool, twice as large as the present one, and a transparent one. It’s edges are to be an imitation of a rock bank.
Because the Zoo trains seals, a large platform for future audiences is planned to appear at the water basin. It is going to be opened at the beginning of 2009, the price of the structure is a million €.

Restaurant
Prague Zoo plans also something for us, visitors. At the upper station of the zoo funicular, a reconstruction of a listed cottage, where they want to have a poetic café room with a terrace, starts the next year. It is going to be opened in 2008, the price is 350 thousand €.

Observatory Tower
exotic birds in prague zoo At the highest place of the Zoo, next to the buffalo yard, there should be a wooden tower, with wiew of the Zoo and Vltava river. It is going to be opened in 2008, the price is 100 thousand €.

Exotic Birds aviary
Close to the new Observatory Tower there will be an aviary with parrots and others, with the possibility of walk-through. Visitors could get to direct contact with exotic birds. Finished in 2008, opened in 2009, the price is 100 thousand €.

Theme:

The New Skoda Superb

new skoda superb Left: The New Face of Superb

Skoda Auto presented the new and improved face of Skoda Superb, the company most luxorious model.

The new generation of Škoda Superb, with its exceptional interior space, follows the tradition of the current modern generation. The New Superb brings a number of technical refinements and interesting solutions.

Particular details, like prize, were not revealed. Skoda promises to provide us with further technical details at the world premiere at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show this spring.

The New Superb model fabrication should start in March, in the Skoda Auto factory in the Czech Republic town Kvasinky, east from Prague.

Source Skoda web

Devil's Bible: Codex Gigas in Klementinum may stay longer

codexgigas Originally, Codex Gigas should have stayed in the super-modern strong room of Prague Klementinum, where it is put until the end of 2007, and one of the most unique books of the world was supposed to come back to Sweden.

Now it looks like, those interested in the book will get two more months. “We negotiate pro-longing of the exhibition. The Swedish site have already agreed, but we need more guarantee. The request is now at the Ministry of finance.” Said the speaker of the National Library.

Even when there is only 10 minutes one can dedicate to checking it through, there is really high visit rate. This weekend, the Codex was seen by 35 000 People, in Prague. The tickets must be reserved (online), though.

If the ministry will agree, it will stay in Klementinum until half of March.

Theme:

Vaclav Havel - Czech Myth exhibition in Prague

hergetova cihelna The long-term exposition, Havel – Czech Myth is from today to see in Hegertova cihelna.
Hergetova Cihelna is a stylish restaurant on banks of Vltava river, with a spectacular view of the Charles Bridge. It’s aim is to introduce the playwright, thinker, ex-dissident and ex-president Vaclav Havel since he was born until now.

“The title is naturally meant half-ironically,” Havel told the press.

And the aim? It is supposed to bring near the times and affairs, during which he lived and worked and which formed him. The exhibition is organized by Library of Vaclav Havel. It is placed there until it moves to its permanent seat, somewhere to the city centre.

Hergetova Cihelna, Opening time: 11:30 – 01:00, Cihelna 2b – Prague 1.

Theme:

Animals from Prague ZOO should help Wild Animals

Photo from zoopraha.cz The following article is based on an article by Petr Fejk in MF Dnes.

The year 2007 brought records of Prague Zoo. The first one – there has never been so many visitors in Prague Zoo as this year. Until today it is 1 240 000. It is the third year in a row, when we have the visit rate higher than a million, that meas we are among the world elite Zoos – in Europe there is only 15 of such a brand.

The second historic record is the number of nursed cubs. About 1 200. Including extra-rare Komodo dragon lizards, the famous Tatu gorilla, tigers, giraffes and other species, for which the other Zoos wait in line. Just to contrast: ten years ago it was 300 cubs.

Both those records are a great success. Especially just a few years after the floods. But this success doesn’t just bring more money – the Zoo wants to become a middle man, passing its success on. We want to let the cubs come back to the wild, where they come from, and where they disappear on a large scale. The animals in Zoo should help the animals in the wild. That makes sense.

Theme:

Czech Olympic Games Candidacy was still not given Government Guarantee

referendum olympics prague Candidacy of Prague for organizing the Olympic Games in 2016 will probably be again discussed by the representatives of the capital city.

The Prime minister Mirek Topolanek (ODS) said during the question time in the House of parliament the government is not guarantying anything to the city in the matter of Olympic Games. This comes as a logic consequence of Pavel Bem and Milan Jirasek still haven’t delivered any official document for the Olympic candidacy to the Czech Government.

The speaker of the Czech Olympic Committee Karel Tejkal stated “We do not want a financial guarantee from the government. We just want a guarantee the Olympic Charter is going to be adhered and that the Czech Republic is a democratic country”

The Prime minister was given at least a new economical study by the director of the Prague Olympic community Tomas Petera.

The opposition sees the Community hadn’t negotiated government guarantee as the big mistake. “It was a mistake, and if the whole thing goes flummox, it will be necessary to end it as soon as possible.”

Theme:

World's fastest Brass Band comes back to Prague

Fanfare Ciocarlia, palac akropolis Respect Plus: Fanfare Ciocarlia / Romania in Prague
Meanwhile Czech brass bands are the embodiment of music dullness, at the East of Europe it is blessed with completely different colors, rhythms and temperament. Balkan brass play in incredible tempo, their music is intoxicated with fire wine, home-made rakia, Roma feeling, and other that just wait to be discovered.

They are best known for a very fast, high-energy sound, with complex rhythms and high-speed, staccato clarinet, saxophone and trumpet solos, sometimes performed at more than 200 beats per minute.

With historical roots in Austrian and Turkish military bands, Fanfare Ciocarlia’s instrumental lineup includes trumpets, tenor and baritone horns, tubas, clarinets, saxophones, bass drum and percussion. Their song lyrics are usually either in Romani or Romanian.

The band won the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award for Europe in 2006. Their latest release is entitled Queens and Kings.

The band plays a cover version of “Born to Be Wild” in the film Borat.

If you want to hear some brass or Roma music in Prague, this is a concert for you! Fanfare Ciocarlia / Romania 14th January 2008, 19:00. Tickets: pre-sale 400 CZK Palac Akropolis, Kubelikova 27, Prague 3

Theme:

Tyn church, vista point of Old Prague, gets New Bell

the old bell from Tyn church The church of our Lady before the Tyn gains a new bell. The bishop Jiri Padour have blessed it on Sunday. It is named after its patron archangel Michael, weights 2,7 ton and it was made in Bohemia. The original bell can finally retire (left picture)

The church of our Lady before the Tyn is one of the most prominent symbols of Prague Gothic style. As well as many other monuments in Prague, this church has a long and eventful history. In the place we see the church with two Gothic towers that dominate the Old town square and all the Old centre of Prague, Ungelt, have stood three churches, each destroyed by the wickedness of times.

Theme:

Russian TV: American radar was already built in Czech Republic

a radar, an illustration photo If you have heard the news, in which the Russian state television broadcasts, you have heard the American Radar in the Czech Republic close to Prague had already been built. This news is definitely a hoax.

The information came from the French news-agency AFP, which has announced the anti-missile NATO radar location was moved to Slavkov, and that it is already standing. However the radar which was finished there only monitors flight traffic in Moravia, and it has nothing to do with the American Radar. The Russian television have obviously confused two different radars.

Russia is long-term protesting against the NATO radar. According to their leaders, it liquidates the strategic balance in Europe.

Theme:

Polar bears walked up to the Prague Castle

polar-bear - a symbol of global warming Dozens of demonstrators went with banners to Prague Castle. They wanted to make the politics to take some action, which would reduce global warming. In the front of the demonstration that took place this weekend walked men in polar bear costumes. The international demonstration against the global warming took place.

Demonstrations in more than hundred of world metropolises took place during the huge OSN conference about climate changes. Delegates from 190 countries should agree on a document, which will replace Kyoto protocol in 2012. Greenpeace activists stay on the smokestack.

Prague Had Walls 1000 years ago already!

old prague city walls The new finding of archaeologists of this weekend supports the Abraham ben Jacob deposition; Prague was in 10th century the “City from stone and slake”

Left: The probable proportions of Prague walls in:
1 – 12th cent
2 – 13 – 14th cent
3 – 15 – 16th cent
4 – 19th cent

In the early Medieval age, in Prague would live a few thousands of people, who would manufacture among others saddles, reins or shields. In the settlement, there would prosper also workshops offering high-quality ceramics and fabrics.

Prague of 10th century was a city of active business. For the safety reasons city walls were essential. The findings of 10th century walls were made close to the Lesser Town Bridge Tower.

The new finding definitely supports the place of origin of Prague, which was at the Vltava River, at the place where is now Charles bridge.

Whom does public want for CR president?

62% of people would vote for the present president Vaclav Klaus. The information comes from the research by Median, ordered by MF Dnes. Jan Svejnar would get only 15% votes. Even when the presidential elections are the matter of the parliament in the Czech Republic, the public is clear about their candidate.

As the biggest handicap of Klaus’ possible opponent Svejnar appeared he is not so known here. When Median asked, what is the biggest problem of both opponents, 47% said “Who is Svejnar anyway?”(Svejnar had to emigrate when he was 17) About Klaus; 64% people complained about his arrogance, but they would vote for him anyway.

Czech out Christmas Concert of Cechomor

cechomor Do you what to see some traditional Christmas show? Some Prague Christmas evening? Some Christmas traditional concert? You can’t do better, when you are in Prague, than to go to hear a concert of Cechomor. They are just going on tour, presenting Svatecni Cechomor (Festive Cechomor)

They presents Christmas songs from Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia and Poland. They also carry a decent, but festive pageant with them as they make Cristmas concerts in various Czech cities, and 22 December is the day they arrive to Prague, Vinohradske theater. It is two days before the Christmas Eve. There are going to be three special concerts in one day, featuring all the good musicians, Cechomor made their last album with.

Theme:

Obcan Havel – The Citizen Havel - The Movie

Vaclav Havel The film chronologically maps both the functional periods of Vaclav Havel as the Czech president. We can see how he two times prepares for his presidential swearing.

One of the leitmotivs of the movie is Havel’s relationship with Vaclav Klaus. Really special is the episode, when Bill Clinton is in Prague. “I’ll be at least one tenth as rude as Klaus is to me, and I won’t invite him” says Havel, reacting to Klaus’ wish to see Clinton playing the saxophone in Jazz Club Reduta. Cut. Klaus sitting next to Bill Clinton in Reduta, as happy as King.

In the autumn of 1992 Havel agreed to cooperate with a documentarist Pavel Koutcky, who wanted to film the backstage of presidential activities. Until now, there were 45 hours of material, that were edited into 1:20 film, into the film The Citizen Havel, which has its premiere on 31st January. Everything is authentic, there is not a stylized moment. It deals minimally with politics – it is a story of Havel, and in its moments it is more funny than some comedies.

Statues came back on the Astronomical Clock

the statues Statues at the Old Town Astronomical Clock are after two weeks back on their place. The Prague ‘orlojnik’ have installed them yesterday. The lower statues, which place is by the Calendar (which is the lower clock face) are Chronicler, Angel, Astronomer and Philosopher.

They came through a complete restorer maintenance. A restorer Jiri Matejka added the lost hand of Astronomer which an unknown vandal broke off (and also damaged stone parts of the clock).

The Astronomical Clock becomes often a target of attacks of vandals. Lastly, a young man climbed the clock this Wednesday, just for fun. But the clock faces belong to the most fragile parts of the monument. They are made of acid-etched glass.

For all the future vandals: police officers are permanently present on the Old Town Square so they can get to the monument in a matter of seconds, rather than minutes.

Theme:

Greenpeace staying on Czech smokestack, anti-coal demonstration

greenpeace chimney Prunerov – 11 Greenpeace activists from the Czech republic, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Hungary and Great Britain seized a smokestack of the biggest brown coal electric power plant in the Czech Republic Prunerov.

Prunerov is a giant facility producing 8,9 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. This action takes place during the international conference of Kyoto Protocol of climate changes.

“It is necessary to make an agreement about continuing to protect the living environment, after the Kyoto Protocol expiration in 1012” Sain Jan Rovensky, the leader of energetic and and climatic campaign Greenpeace CR. “However the climate change starts here. This chimney releases 17 ton of carbon dioxide every minute, which would fill three hot-air balloons a minute.” He added.

You can watch videos and skype, icq and write them at the Greenpeace page. You can also read there Greenpeace do not agree with lengthening of life span of old coil power plants from deep communist era, which didn’t care for the environment. According to them, Prunerov works with 32% effectivity, however the modern standard is 47%.

DJ DAMIAN WILSON in Mecca, Prague

mecca mix For the last Meccamix of 2007, the most successful night of Mecca, a truly interresting guest star from London arrives – DJ DAMIAN WILSON ( BBC Radio 1/Ministry Of Sound London / Cr2 Records / UK ) Damian spent 8 years producing the most listened to dance music programme worldwide – Pete Tong’s Essential Selection on BBC Radio 1.

Damian Wilson won a Sony Gold Award, which is the Oscars for Radio and numerous other awards including the best Radio Show from the House Music Awards 2005.

While he was working on the Essential Selection and when Pete did take time off – he produced some of the world leading DJ’s who covered for Pete from the likes of Erick Morillo, Paul Van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold and the band Scissors Sisters.

Alongside him will perform DJ DIOME, who celebrates 10 years behind the decks this year. His sets can be characterized by musical freshness and good mood.

Second stage with DJs BON FINIX a SCAR COKE will host a new project SELECTRO. You can watch irresistible IBIZA DIVA performers, Meccamix decorations, videoprojections a special light show.

14th December – Mecca in Prague, U Pruhonu street 3, Prague 7 Pre-party with all drinks 50 CZK ( 10-11PM ) Entry: 290 CZK, V.I.P. 490 CZK, Pre-sale in Ticketstream 250 CZK.

Theme:

Special guest of BUSH in Roxy - DJ Marky (Brazil)

dj marky - a very special artist Regarded as a drum’n’bass innovator under the name Marky Mark and then just DJ Marky, he is in the focus of the global Drum and Bass.

Marky’s scratch skills are by one word amazing (just have a look at his videos on his myspace). When England heard him, they loved it. And so Marky stayed. He is a resident in Movement club, London, and works for the UK’s BBC Radio 1.

Marky got started in drum’n’bass in 1992, choosing a more hardcore edge, but the small audiences nearly caused him to give up. At the time, he was told that that kind of music was for only a few. In 1997, he went to London and met DJ Hype and Goldie. The meeting with Brian Gee was definitive for Marky’s conquering of England. In 1999, he was awarded “Best New DJ” by the British critics.

19th January 2008 BUSH in Prague Roxy, Dlouha 33, Tickets: pre-sale 280 CZK, at the spot 350 CZK

Theme:

A Vandal at Prague Astronomical Clock

A vandal climbed Prague Astronomical Clock yesterday, to swing for a few minutes on the lower clock-face. The speaker of Prague constables said: “Police officers had to go to the man using a ladder and make him climb down. From a breathe test, they found out he wasn’t drunk. He reasoned his act as a recession. The thing is probably going to bepassed to be solved to an adequate administrative agency.

The ladder had to be brought to the spot by the fire brigade. This little incident happened only a short time after the figure of anastronomer lost his hand to some other vandal. Prague Astronomical clock, which has its statues returned toady, is going to be watched by a security camera system since the beginning of 08.

Theme:

Famous Czech self-murderer shocked America

viselec - hanging sigmund freud at home in prague - david cerny In Michigan city of Grand Rapids, they got real turmoil, when they thought (and massively called the police and fire brigade), that there is a person hanging from a roof of a building.

When a crowd gathered, and police and fire brigade arrived to talk the ‘unhappy person, which hanged there by the hand’ off the sin (no one thought it strange he was so strong to hang there for hours), they found out it is just a statue.

The famous Czech Artist Jan Cerny, who installs lots of his sculptures in the streets of Prague, is the author. The statue is called Viselec, or The Hanging Man and it is ‘on holiday’ on the roof of Open Concept Gallery in Grand Rapids. It represents life size psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, hanging by one hand.

It is going to scare the Americans until spring 2008. After, it is going to come back home, to Prague, above Jilska street in Prague Old Town.

Theme:

Czech 'thief of the century' still lost. How much he got exactly?

Prochazka, the person who stole the biggest amount of cash in CZK banknotes, is still on the run. There are hundreds of police officers looking for him. On the frontiers are his photographs. There are even normal folks looking for him, as there is almost 2 million € reward.

He proved to be really cold-blooded, as he got on work, stole the money, got back to work and finished his schift. Thanks to it the theft was not discovered until the next day.

How to launder so much money?

  • An amateur spends small amounts, deposits them into various accounts at various banks, invests into gemstones or arts and changes small amounts to a foreign currency.
  • Mafia founds a company in a tax paradise like Costa Rica, buys and sells realities.

Piles of banknotes he stole:
prochazka 1000 banknotes worth 5000 CZK
– a 10cm pile – 5 millions CZK
91 000 banknotes worth 2000 CZK
– a 0,9 m pile – 5 millions CZK
342 000 banknotes worth 1000 CZK
– a 10m pile – 5 millions CZK
100 000 banknotes worth 500 and 200 CZK
– a 34 m pile – 35 millions CZK

In total it is 564 millions CZK (20 millions €), the total weight of the banknotes is 450 Kg. It has been five days, since he did his theft, and there is not a track of him anywhere in Prague or elsewhere.

Improvements of Prague Zoo

a cheetah in prague zoo A new treasure of Prague Zoo is called Indian Gavial, and it is a very endangered and very precious specie of a crocodile. We should see seven of them since 1st April 2008 there, when they arrive directly from India. Gavials are seen just in Zoos that have renowned in world.

The next year 20 millions CZK (0,7 mil. €) are invested to a project of a new pavilion of elephants and hippos. The are should be accessible since 2010. “ We want to breed them ” says the manager Fejk “ it have never succeeded in Czech Zoos, we want to be the first”.

Prague Zoo plans also something for us, visitors. “At the upper station of the zoo funicular, a reconstruction of a listed cottage, where we want to have a poetical café room with a terrace, starts the next year”.

Theme:

Project of Letna Ocenaium Underwater World in Prague moved or ended

bye-bye underwaterworld Huge Underwater World, which should have been built on the place of former monument of Stalin in Prague, will be probably moved. It is even probable it will be moved for good.

People against the Oceanium in Prague can celebrate – Prague City hall admits there are many problems with the enormous building that should host 250 sea fish. The Australian investor Underwater World Oceanium wants for example the city to take the business risk by itself.

The place that over the past twenty years became a skate-park seems saved for this time. There was made a petition by the Green Party against the construction. I was signed by about three thousands people, among them by the ex-president Vaclav Havel.

Theme:

New Pictures of Blob – The National Library

golden national library The National Library Commission, that wanted new pictures of Blob, got some from the Future System Atelier of Jan Kaplicky. The surprise was, it introduced Blob in Golden Color.

Many argued against the ‘sputum’ color of the Blob. Kaplicky said that the golden color was intended from the beginning (?) and that this is no real change.

Kaplicky previously announced he doesn’t intend to change the height or location of the blob interior stays purple library, and so was asked for more pictures of the Blob from various places of Prague. They are going to use a ladder truck with a pulled out ladder to the intended height. Kaplicky previously pronounced the worries of The Octopus being too high as allegation, as it is planned to be high as the National Theater.

The Golden color was chosen because “Almost every doorknob in Prague is of golden color.”

Theme:

News from Wenceslas Square

good-bye, sausage stance Prague Wenceslas square is going to change back to the pre-communist state of things. The process is already underway, and so the square loses one of its dominants – stances with sausages, or bratwursts, and beer. The deputy of the Prague Mayor Rudolf Blazek stated: “There is a huge problem with hygiene and whats’ more, the place attracts homeless people and various delinquents”.

Sure, if you got problems with your gallbladder or digestive system, just to see their menu could make you sick, but during the totalitarian regime there were no MacDonalds or other fast-foods available, normal restaurants were closed or too bad and posh restaurants were (and are still) the most expensive there, so the stances were the only option for tourists.

Rudolf Blazek also commented those stances were significant 25 years ago, but not today. But still – am I the only one who feels like to get rid of everything resembling communism, like the USSR metro trains or these stances means to get rid of a part of our history? Sure, nobody would like to get back to the times of injustice, but still…

Theme:

The biggest Christmas Crib or Nativity Scene in Prague

nativity scene, an illustration photo It is not only the biggest Christmas Crib in Prague, but also in the Czech Republic. It is a unique one though, by its used material – such material was used just in France and Belgium before. And what is it? In the Charles Bridge Museum of Prague, you can see the biggest Christmas Crib made of straw.

Twenty biblical characters statues are unique not only in size and material, but also by the specific way of processing. “It is my biggest art piece, I have been making it for six months.” said the author (his wife helps him) Andrzej Wrzecionek, a graduated philosopher.

The artists used hand-stitched ropes from hay and straw, which they fixed on the wooden frame of the characters. The Hay Nativity Scene will be possible to see in the Chapel under the Church of st. Francis of Assisi. Until 31st January 2008.

Are you allergic to hay and straw? You can visit the other nativity scene exhibition

Cibelle in Prague

cibelle The Brazilian singer Cibelle arrived to the UK four years ago with an eponymously titled debut under her belt, and a set of songs that mixed Brazilian rhythms, delicate acoustic textures, electronica and idiosyncratic lyrics.

Singing at Sao Paulo clubs and parties since 1990s, Cibelle’s has been very much an international success rather than a Brazilian export. Indeed, only now is she making an impact in her home country. “I’m going back to play a couple of festivals, but as an international artist,” she says, laughing. “And I am. I’m a Dalston girl now.”

On the stage, she uses one mic for straight vocals and another for multiple sound-effects, “playing with whatever percussion I pick up on the way to the gig. Live shows never sound like the album.”

Based on an Interview by Tim Cumming

Palac Akropolis,Kubelíkova 27, Praha 3 , Saturday 08.12.2007, start 19:30

Theme:

Vegetarian Food in Prague

smazeny syr A food which is vegetarian, does not necessary have to be dietary. This is the case of the traditional vegetarian food in the Czech Republic. There are at least two meatless dishes about which Czechs have been mad about for centuries. The first is smazeny syr and the second is ovocne knedliky. And yes, you should definitely try it.

Smazeny syr, fried cheese, is really popular among Czechs. Actually, it is so popular that many Czechs claim now the Czech Republic needs a trademark on it. Typical pubs as well as good restaurants have smazeny syr on their menus. It is served mostly with potatoes or fries.

Ovocne knedliky, in English fruit dumplings, are not the same dumplings as those you know from the dish: pork, dumplings and sauerkraut. Oh no! Those fruit dumplings are sweet!

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Past and Present of Prague Gardens Exhibition

Which flowers were grown by our ancestors? Some light into the matter sheds the exhibition of Prague historical gardens.

What is to be seen there? Maps, pictures or drawings from those almost three hundred historic gardens, which were/are on the maps of Prague.

Visitors will learn not just the fate of the historical gardens, but also the fate of their creators and about interesting plants which grow there.

The oldest garden of Prague is the one close to Saint Jiri temple in the area of Prague Castle. Since 10th century there was a garden with healing plants and flowers for decoration of the Church.

Most of Prague gardens date its origin in Early Middle Ages. The gardens were established by monasteries, and they served mostly for embellishment of the surroundings.

The Exhibition takes place in ‘Architect Hall’ of the Old Town square City Hall, since 5th December, until 16th March 2008. Everyday 9 – 18, Mo 11-18.

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Gas Lamps Lighters Returned to Prague

Lampar - the lamplighter at work Historic center of Prague is illuminated by 182 gas lamps. Gas lamps produce pleasant, warm light and the feeling of nostalgia.

The deputy of Prague Mayor Pavel Klega went through the ceremonial acceptance to the Guild of Lamp Lighters of Prague yesterday. He didn’t say his pledge to support gas light just in vain – it is his credit and work of past years that gas lamps came back to the historic centre.

To restore the specific light, evoking noble atmosphere of Prague of the 19th century, is the main point of changing lamps to gas again, and it has started in 2002 already.

Lamp lighter Prague To do ground-works in Prague centre is extremely difficult, especially because of number of engineer sites and number of tourists. For example when the constructions took place at Old town Square, they had to interrupt the works every hour.

In the future gas lamps should be by the whole Royal Route, even continue to Prague Castle.

The historic center of Prague so joined the ancient Europe metropolises, especially London, which is said to use gas lamps widely, but definitely was the first city, which in 1813 introduced gas lamps to its streets. This is also why the uniform of the Guild of Lamp Lighters of Prague resembles wear of Londoners of such times.

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Czech Theft of the Century: 564 Millions CZK (20,14 mil.€)

Frantisek Prochazka - if you see him, you can get 2 mil € - photo by police CR The crime is the first of such cunning here. There were similar thefts before, like the one five years ago, when an organized group with guns in masks assaulted a hard-faced car in Prague Europe boulevard, stealing 5 millions €. This time the thieves didn’t even have to be armed, they just abused (probably) their knowledge of the security agency and a disguised car.

Security agency G4S Cash Services was insured for such a case, but they offer two millions € for an information leading to the arrest. The main suspect is an employee of G4S, who started to work in the company four months ago, and was supposed to guard the money at the time of the theft. He hasn’t been seen since.

Altogether, 564 millions is a huge amount of money and he wouldn’t be able to load it by himself, as the weight of banknotes is a few quintals. They used a van – white Volkswagen transporter of the same year of production as the rest of G4S vans, they even stole company logo stickers, so the van looked like an original company car.

Karel Steigerwald points out in MF Dnes such amounts were always stolen in the CR by ‘masters’; rich men, ruling class men. This is the first time half a billion was finally stolen by ordinary people from the low social class. He also points out there is nothing ever going happen to them – they stole too much to be affected by the law.

Digitalism performing blend of rock and rave arrives to Prague

digitalism photo by collectivision wordpress Digitalism consists of Jens Moelle and Ismail Tuefekci, who are among the finest world dance music producers. Their style is called electro-punk and it is a blend of club electronic music with independent rock elemnts.

Digitalism’s songs are described as simple chapters in a complex novel about social interaction and attraction, with distorted baselines and thumping rhythms comprising the punctuation.

Digitalism has remixed tracks for Tom Vek, The Futureheads, Daft Punk, Tiga, Klaxons, White Stripes, Monk, Depeche Mode, Cut Copy and many others, including a re-edit of “Fire in Cairo” by The Cure (entitled “Digitalism in Cairo”). Their tracks and remixes are played by DJs such as Erol Alkan, Soulwax, Boys Noize, and Justice, among others.

Digitalism is pioneering the electro-punk and indie dance movements, making appearances at festivals such as Coachella and various clubs worldwide.

20th December 2007, Palac Akropolis, Kubelikova 27, Prague 3

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Roma Music in Prague

Terne Chave Photo by David Skala Terne Chave have their roots in traditional East-European gypsy music. They play and sing old Roma songs, which have learned from their grandparents, who came to Czechia from East-Slovakian gypsy settlements. But they also compose their own songs – recent stories about love and sadness, joy and poverty, women and children, all sung in Roma language.

Gypsy roots and emotions are the main ingredients when mixing their music with latin, jazz, rock, flamenco, reggae, blues, arabian and jewish spices and urban grooves. Sound of the band is based on 2 guitars and 3 vocals, accompanied with violin, accordion, bass, drums and percussions. With this sound and fusion of styles (gypsy roots & urban grooves) the Terne Chave crosses boundaries of gypsy music. With the Terne Chave a gypsy music is different than we have known it till now. Concerts of the band are filled with an energy, which can’t leave you quiet and motionless.

Friday 6th December 2007, „Gipsy Night“ : TERNE ČHAVE, Rock Café, Narodni 20, Prague 1 Tickets: 100 CZK

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Czech Airlines Triumphed Again

csa logo Czech Airlines (CSA) were on the first place of the European chart of flight steadiness.

They were clearly at the position for the first three quarters of the year 2007. Steadiness of flight services is being evaluated by the Association of European Airlines (AEA). The jury decides among 26 classic flight companies, which activity is regularly evaluated since 2003.

CSA was successful in this test also last year, when it was second. CSA is, from the ‘new’ countries of the EU, the largest national flight company with their 5,5 million travelers just for the year 2006. High numbers of customers are expected this year too, as during just the half-year of 07, it dispatched 56 000 flights.

Styrsky painting auctioned off for 10 millions CZK

krajina v oblacich Yesterday auction of art pieces at Zofin introduced the fourth most expensive painting sold in the Czech Republic by this way.

The new owner is going to pay 10,25 millions CZK (336 100 €) for the artpiece Krajina v Oblacich (Scenery in Clouds) by Jindrich Styrsky (CR). The put-up was 7 mil. CZK. Paintings by Styrsky are those with highest prices. His painting Cirkus Simonette was sold for 8,6 mil CZK last year.

TOP TEN of Czech Art Auctions

1. Frantisek Kupka – Élévation (Heights) IV auctioned off for 22,1 mil. CZK , 2007
2. Frantisek Kupka – Abstraktní kompozice (Abstract Composition) auctioned off for 13,4 mil. CZK, 2007
3. Josef Capek – Děvče v růžových šatech (Girl in Pink Dress) auctioned off for 12 mil.CZK, 2007
4. Jindich Styrský – Krajina v oblacích (Scenery in Clouds), auctioned off for 10,25 mil.CZK, 2007
5. Josef Capek – Koupel nohou (Leg Bath) auctioned off for 9,3 mil. CZK 2006
6. Antonin Procházka – Poprsi muze (Male Breasts) auctioned off for 9 mil. CZK, 2007
7. Jindrich Štyrský – Cirkus Simonette auctioned off for 8,6 mil.CZK , 2006
8. Ivan Siskin – Před zrcadlem (In Front of a Mirror) auctioned off for 7,5 mil.CZK , 2006
9. Emil Filla – Zlaté rybičky u okna (Golden Fish by a Window) auctioned off for 7,3 mil.CZK , 2000
10. Antonin Prochazka – Kopretiny auctioned off for 7,1 mil.CZK , 2006

Prague Mayor lighting up the Christmas tree

About fifteen thousand people came this Saturday evening to see the ‘tree lighting ceremony’ on the Old Town Square. The pine tree wasn’t switched on all at once, Prague mayor Pavel Bem, with assistance of children, lighted it up slowly, step by step. Small red light bulbs at the bottom of the tree were the first, followed by golden ones. Larger silver lights were the last.

After the light performance the Old Town square vibrated with noels. The next day in the morning, festival markets opened.

The markets are traditionally at Wenceslas square and Old Town square until the 1st January.

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Reconstruction of Prague Main railway station underway

secession hall of main train station Prague This weekend the Lockers and Luggage Storages were moved to the first floor. All the changes which are due to reconstruction of Prague Main railway station, can be found on an information orientation plan.

The North part of the railway, where the works are underway, has been closed into some kind of a giant box, which increases in size and the traffic goes around it. The reconstruction is sequent so the station is in function, you just have to look for things. Foreign investor is the Italian company Grandi Stazioni.

Even when the reconstruction was delayed, we can see the face of the largest secession building of Prague changing to the good, hopefully. Prague Main railway station has suffered many years not just of the notorious D1 expressway, built right in front of it..

Prague Main railway station (in Czech: Praha hlavní nádraží, abbreviated as Praha hl.n) is the largest and most important railway station in Prague. It was opened in 1871 as the Franz Joseph I station. During the First Republic and from 1945 to 1953 the station was called Wilson station after US president Woodrow Wilson.

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