Compact archive January 16, 2008

Czech sciencist takes part in butterfly navigation discovery

Danaus_plexipus Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexipus) travel from Canada to Mexico and back. The flight is 8000 kilomentres long. The difference between birds is, birds live longer and so they can gather experience, but from the butterflies that are born in Mexico, third or even fith generation would arrive to Canada. So what do they use for navigation? A ‘solar compass’.

The complicated mechanism was uncovered by the team of Professor Steven Reppert from the University of Massachusetts, USA. Sauman, who works in the Entomological Institute of the Academy of Sciences in Ceske Budejovice, took part in the research.

The solar compass maps the Sun’s position, which is connected to butterflies’ inner ‘navigation clock’ by which the butterflies find their way. Sauman says the monarch butterfly is the first organism where this unique navigation was uncovered.

Józek z bagien – 30 years old Czech hit loved by the Poles

jozin z bazin Polish people found the music video at youtube, which was made 30 years ago by Ivan Mladek and his group ‘The Banjo Band’. They equipped the video with Polish subtitles. The popularity, which the video after gained in Poland, was sudden and huge. (click to see the video)

The music video on youtube is available with Polish subtitles. Ivan Mladek on the left acts mostly serious, the guy on the right does funny dance.

The Poles like Czech humor, especially the kind of humor where Czechs make fun of themselves. And they know the things the songs is about – Jozin eats especially Prague citizens, Skoda 100 is an old car still used in Eastern Europe. We have similar

experience, we can laugh at the same things. Ivan Mladek himself is glad, because of sudden Polish media interest, but as he has never stopped playing, the thing that matters for him is whether there will be a tour in Poland.

ENGLISH lyrics of Jozin z Bazin:

1. I drive Skoda 100 to camp here on Orava So I hurry, take a risk – go through Moravia The monster lives there, comes out of the bog Eats mostly Prague citizen, its name is Jozin (Joseph)

Chorus: Jozin from the bog creeps through swamp Jozin from the bog closes to the village Jozin from the bog edges its teeth Jozin from the bog bites, strangles To defend Jozin from the bog, who could imagine, only works a plane with manure (white powder)

2. I was driving through the village on road to Vizowice The village mayor greeted me, said to me during drinking Sliwowica (DIY plum vodka) ‘The one who will bring Jozin dead or alive gets my daughter and a half of National Agrarian Farm

Chorus: Jozin…

3. I said: ‘give me a plane and powder, mayor, I’ll bring you Jozin, I see no trouble about that’, Mayor helped me, in the morning I went up in the sky The powder from the plane prettily fell on Jozin.

Chorus: Jozin… …I got Jozin, I seized him, Every penny is fine, I’ll sell him to a Zoo.


Flowers in the Dustbin : Society and Fashion in Czechoslovakia Exhibition

The exhibition is the next instalment of a series of exhibitions of clothing organised by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague in Prague. Dedicated to the seventies, it seeks to present the lifestyle of the decade in Czechoslovak fashion and fashion accessories together with foreign manufactures and articles made by domestic dress-makers (roughly seventy models and around forty accessories).

flowers in trash From the point of view of developments in international fashion this was a very rich era and in many respects a turning-point. Fashion trends born at the end of the sixties and connected with the ideas of the hippie movement were developed to the full in the following decade. Wardrobes filled up with jeans-style clothes and garments inspired by folklore oriental and South American styles. Concurrently there was a vogue for romantic retro looking back mainly to the thirties and forties. Starting from the middle of the decade, an aggressive style including sadomasochistic elements dress entered fashion with the punk movement. Traditional haute couture developed under the influence of what was known as the “counter-culture” or even “anti-culture”.

December 7th, 2007 -February 17th, 2008, Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, 17. listopadu 2, Prague 1


BBC reveals shocking truth: Cages are still imposed at disabled in Czech Republic

J. K. Rowling, during her visit last year, find out the horrible situation and decided there must be something done. Now, one year after, a BBC team in disguise films that nothing much changed.

BBC – The Czech Republic banned the use of cage-like beds in children’s care homes a year ago, under international pressure. But as Clive Myrie reports for the Ten O’clock News, secret filming shows the use of the beds goes on. Link to the BBC article here.

The pictures they filmed show youngsters with severe mental and physical disabilities being housed in so-called “cage beds”. The cages are 1.5m tall. The personnel touched them only through the bars, as if touching an animal in its cage at the zoo, reports the BBC.

Martin Zarsky, Czech Minister of Social Affairs commented it: “We are trying – it’s difficult to put in a comprehensive system of monitoring overnight.”

The BBC report closes: “If the Czech Republic is truly to fulfil its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, then it must look after all its citizens – including those who have been warehoused in cages for society’s convenience.”


Free Rides in Prague Public Transport can cost you

check-revizor-a conroller About 140 controllers travel in Prague Public transport, checking whether the passengers have a valid ticket with them. Those who didn’t have one in 2007, paid total over one hundred million CZK (3,6 mil. €) in fares. Every controller so collected 1 688 fines on the average. 230 000 people tried a free-ride, or as Czechs say, jet nacerno (black ride).

What makes problems for tourists, is the difference between transferable/non-transferable tickets in Prague. Also, some don’t know the non-transferable ticket (the one that costs 18 CZK) can be used for 5 stations only.

The statistics show, that the percentage of passengers who don’t pay for tickets is about 10-20 %. Most of them are 15-25 years old. The MHD (Prague Public Transport Company) tries to help those, who are travelling for free unwillingly, by instituting the possibility of SMS tickets.