Compact archive February 2008

Mariusz Szczygiel: Gottland – How Czechs live without God

The book Gottland evoked great interest. But also questions; is the Polish writer able to write about Czechs? Can he tell anything about us we don’t know? Also, there came troubles, Karel Gott Museum Gottland doesn’t like the book carries the same name.

Gottland Museum may sue you to change the name of the book. Would you go to a court to defend it?

Szczygiel-mariusz “A writer at a court? I would love to! It’s like Franz Kafka’s spirit floats above my book.”

Did the name offended anyone else?

I don’t know about it. When I was in Gottalnd, I saw many times people aged 60-90 there and I had the feeling, from how they couldn’t wait to get in, as if they were to go to heaven. Inside, people have a feeling of solidarity, the one of people who survived communism together with Gott. Like if they were looking for balance Karel Gott sung about – that life is good, we are good, our past is good…

Do you think Gott can be a substitute for God?

“No. But he provides religious dimension, as a religion does.”

How do the Poles see Czechs?

Czechs say they cure tragedy by laughter. That seems outward for us. I published a book about regular Czechs, who don’t believe in god. Czechs are regarded as the least religious nation of Europe. Completely exotic for us! Reactions on this text, depicting how the life is without God, got over my expectations; I got more than 500 letters! Some positive – “I wonder on Czechs, who live their lives in harmony with ethics, even without religion.” or negative, like those on a hospice in Ostrava, where people have no wish for divine services – for some Poles life without God equals lack of morale.

How Czechs and Poles differ in viewpoint on world events?

“We have more definite answers. Catholicism ables us to judge easily. When the famous Sister Lucie from Fatima died, Polish press wrote: “…Sister Lucie talked to Virgin Mary many times…” but Czech Press wrote: “… Sister Mary is said to have talked to Maria many times..” the Czech Republic is a country of doubts, which I personally like (laughter).”

Source: MF Dnes, Ludek Navara

Big exhibition of alternative contemporary art in Prague

Contemporary art, that stands out of the main art establishment. This is how the International triennale of contemporary art ITCA 2008 defines itself.

The Exhibition Palace introduces hundreds of pieces of art from the Czech and Slovak Republic, Great Britain, France, Germany or Japan. After Prague Biennale, it is another exhibition aiming to increase interest of public in contemporary art.

There will be workshops and seminars, media campaign is prepared, web pages and catalog are ready. Curators’ choice focuses on non-eatabled art forms, sensitive to what represents esthetic, genre, ideological trends and conventions.

3rd June to 14th September 2008, National Gallery Prague, The Trade Fair Palace (Veletržní palác)

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Czech Philharmonic Concert

The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra has enjoyed unprecedented success for a number of years now. It became the focus of attention on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Antonin Dvorak, who conducted its first ever concert and is currently the best known Czech composer worldwide. The Czech Philharmonic continues to give proof of its artistic excellence and the distinctive nature of its sound.

Cycle K6-07 M. DE FALLA: Spanish suite for violin and piano.

MARTINU: Tree Czech Dances for piano
L. JANACEK: Sonet for violin and Piano
B. SMETANA: Concert etude “On the Seashore”
E. GRIEG: Sonet for violin and piano no. 1
A. DVORAK: Mazurek e-moll for violin and piano

violin Bohumil Kotmel
grand piano Jiří Kollert

Sukova Hall, Thursday, 25th March 2008, 19:30, Rudolfinum, Alsovo Nabrezi 12, Praha 1

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Lenny Kravitz in Prague O2 Arena

Lenny_Kravitz O2 Arena is a new name for Sazka Arena, which is the largest multipurpose hall in Middle Europe. It hosts stars of the world scene, like R.E.M, and now even Lenny Kravitz comes to show his skills.

Leonard Albert “Lenny” Kravitz (b. 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and arranger whose “retro” style incorporates elements of rock, soul, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk, and ballads.

In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often plays all the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and percussion himself when recording. He won the Grammy Award for “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance” four years in a row from 1999 to 2002. He has sold an estimated thirty million albums worldwide.

The star has published a new album called it is time for a love revolution, featuring Hendrix rock, black soul and Kravits’ songstering. His Love Revolution Tour will go around Europe, the tickets are 990-1690 czk apiece in pre-sale. Prague, 23th June 2008, Sazka – O2 Arena

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The oldest tram in Prague is one hundred years old

historic_tramway If all the Prague tramways were so old, the Prague Public Transport Company (MHD) probably wouldn’t get so many customers, but there is just this one, on its regular route 91 – the tourist sightseeing tramway.

Its evidence number is 240, its first day in work was in 1908. The design was very modern until 1930’s – its round corners, luminous interior, lined with combination of mahogany and red ash still evoke refined feelings.

And where will the oldest working tram in Prague take you? On a route around Prague Castle, on a trip in the historic centre, with the sight of Charles Bridge and around Vltava River. Recommended for romantic types and those who like ‘the good ol’ times’

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Five-year old boy crashed his car

illustration photo During the night from Tuesday, the young, 5-year old boy set off from a Czech town Mimon, from his parent’s garage, in their car. He rode for 500 metres, during of which he damaged two parked cars and ended his ride by crashing into a house. He didn’t get hurt, but the damages got to 100 thousand czk, about 3,7 thousands €.

According to the police report the boy wasn’t harmed thanks to low speed he was moving, his crashes didn’t even blast airbag.

The boy was driving in his pyjamas with bunnies. When he crashed into the house, he ran out of the car and hid in a park. The police found him there, after they got a call from a woman who had seen him behind the steering wheel. They turned to social workers, to investigate, how it was possible the parents didn’t know the boy has left in the night, and how it is possible he was able to drive in five years.

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Vortex VII in Roxy Hosts Andromeda

andromeda The last episode of Vortex introduced Swedish Progressive project Human Blue. And because the reactions were quite positive, the club dramaturgy invited other psytrance stars, this time from Spanish islands.

Anders Nilsson (30) & Linus Eriksson (25) are Sound Designers based on the Balear Islands – Spain. Both have been producing trance professionally since 2001. First release was out on legendary Spiral Trax & further on English Transient Records. After having released 7 albums and 100+ features on compilations with sales over hundreds of thousands of copies. They constantly touring the most important festivals such as Boom, Trancedence, Ozora, Full Moon, Rainbow Serpent and travelling to all 5 continents frequently to deliver their wellknown Scandinavian Soundscapes.

Andromeda – Anders Nilsson & Linus Eriksson + videotrip by Mimo-TV, start 22:00, Tickets: 220czk, Experimental space Roxy / NoD, Dlouha 33, Prague 1 8th March 2008

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Forbes Magazine: Prague Zoo the 7th Best in the World

What did Forbes Magazine stated about Prague Zoo?
“Despite its modest area of 111 acres, Prague Zoo has 4600 animals of 630 kinds. Just last year, a few young of Comodo varan, Rothschild giraffe or Panther turtle were born there.”

Petr Fejk, the manager of Prague Zoo was surprised: “I still don’t get it, this is a really prestigious company we were put in. Of course we are very flattered.”

What was the thing that made Troja stand up the most? “Probably because the zoo is active and friendly. The animals and visitors feel the same here – they both feel nice.” Petr Fejk

The Best Zoos of the world
By Forbes magazine

1. Animal Kingdom (Orlando, USA)
2. Basel Zoo (Basilej, Switzerland)
3. Beauval Zoo (France)
4. Berlin Zoo Garden (Germany)
5. Bronx Zoo (New York, USA)
6. Chester Zoo (Great Britain)
7. Zoo Praha
8. National Zoo of S. Africa (JAR)
9. San Diego Zoo (USA)
10. Schönbrunner (Austria)

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Klaus didn't congratulate Irglova on her Oscar success. Why?

glen and marketa. anything but arrogant It is a common presidential duty, not to miss the opportunity to show up in the company of renowned artists and sportsmen. Meanwhile Irish President McAleese congratulated Glen on his success the very evening, Klaus keeps silent towards Marketa. The last Czech person to get an Oscar was Jan Sverak for his Movie Kolja in 1996. Oscar is an equivalent for a World Championship trophy in sports. If Klaus passes this fact, the reason is clear – his ego, as always.

Marketa Igrlova said last year for an interview in Pravo: “I am really ashamed of our president, who always speaks so arrogantly about ecologic problems. I can’t understand, how a president of a country can doubt something that is scientifically proved and everybody knows about … it is a great shame to have him the president.”

Here we go. We would ask Vaclav Klaus too much to swallow this and admit somebody who criticises him is actually quite successful. And I personally think Martina Irglova doesn’t long for getting congratulations from Klaus.

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Kaplicky: If there won't be a decision about Blob, I quit

Blob News: after a year of debates which didn’t bring any satisfactory outcomes, after being said there is a new report, fourth in a row, necessary, Kaplicky stated to resign on the project, if there won’t be a decision in a month.

It has been precisely a year, since Kaplicky’s Blob won the international contest of the best library. Since than, Kaplicky went through many debates (by his own words, those debates made him a politician from an architect against his will) which were not able to set, what the course of action will be. It has been a long year for Kaplicky, and tiredom finally shows up – he stated yesterday, that if the National Library commission won’t decide in a month, he is off.

His decision seems logical when we look at the whole picture – President Klaus would rather chain himself to the ground than allow Blob to Prague, and Prague Mayor Pavel Bem and many other important persons from the ODS back Klaus. For Kaplicky, who is a renowned architect that doesn’t need to be gibbeted just for the sake, will be much better to build his internationally famous National Library in Brno, or Edinburgh, where they will treat him with respect.

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A new Law proposal: gay couples adoption

this is sick vs. this is wonderful After the law of registered partnership become a common practice in the Czech Republic, Czech lawmakers think it’s time for the next step in law support of the homosexuals; they should be able to adopt kids.

According to the team for minorities of Dzamila Stehlikova (Green Party), position of homosexuals could be better. In her analysis, she recommends e.g. registered partners could be able to get widow’s or widower’s rents, adopt kids or forester them.

“Either the EU or international visitors say, the climate in the CR is very friendly for gays and lesbians. However, we are aware there is still a long way to go” The gay activist and the minister’s advisor Jiri Hromada commented.

Middle Europe Design Exhibition in Prague

The long-awaited international match in a unique formation of designers is finely here. Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and Austrian designers are the actors of this year’s volume of Design match biennale.

Second volume of design biennale – Design Match 2008 is based on common history and heritage of Austria-Hungary monarchy tradition of production of the countries which have been part of the monarchy. History versus present production, four neighboring countries will present their design in this international match.

The premiere of the Design Match 08 will take place at home ground – in Fair Trade Palace, National Gallery in Prague from 14th March 2008.

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Marketa Irglova praised for her Oscar speech

The Sunday Oscar ceremony was commented by international media, especially the acceptance speech by Martina Irglova got a lot of approvals.

“… No matter how far out your dreams are, they can become true…fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up… ”

This is an often quoted sentence from the short speech by Iglova, which the British Mirror labelled a one of the most inspirational Oscar speeches. Mirror recalled, that before the movie gained fan base, Hansard with Irglova were practically unknown.

USA Today pointed out a scene from the backstage; Glen and Marketa played with the gained statues. Glen said: “Let’s put them together, like if they are kissing each other.” Marketa: “But they are two boys!” Glen: “But this is Hollywood!”

Server New Musical Express stated Hansard gained a sms from Bono: “From the streets directly to the Oscars. Congratulations.”

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Czech crown jewels will be exhibited again

czech jewels Czech crown jewels, the most prescious Czech treasure – St. Wenceslas Crown, Royal Sceptre and Royal Apple are safely locked in the chamber in St. Vitus Cathedral under lock and key, and without exaggerating it is the place least accessible in Prague Castle. The door, and likewise the iron safe, has seven locks and there are seven holders of the keys: the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Prague Archbishop, the Chairman of the House of Deputies, the Chairman of the Senate, the Dean of the Metropolitan Chapter of St. Vitus Cathedral and the Lord Mayor of Prague, who must all convene to facilitate opening the impenetrable door and coffer.

The St. Wenceslas Crown is made of pure gold of about 21-22 carat. There are four fleurs-de-lis at the diadem, decorated with precious gemstones such as sapphires, rubies, pearls and spinels. There are 96 gemstones on the crown in total. The national myth says, that anyone who puts the crown on his head without authorization will die soon. This happened to the Nazi protector Reinhard Heydrich, who was assassinated by Czech parachutists in 1942.

Now, it seems it will be possible to take a glance on the prescious piece of the Czech nation again, as it will be presented after five years. The exhibition is going to last for about a week, planned month is April 2008. When and where precisely it will be possible to see them, was not stated yet, but it will be the next week.

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Czech Citizens can go to the USA without Visa since autumn 2008

The historic document, signed by Mirek Topolanek in Washington, is of comparable importance as the Schengen one.

The Memorandum of understanding describes, on eight pages, how the cancellation of visa for Czechs to the USA will proceed. The last piece of former Berlin wall will take its leave to the history this year already.

“This means, dreams of a few generations of Czech have been fullfilled.” Mirek Topolanek sated. He compared the signing to cutting of barbed wires at the Czech side of Czechoslovakia borders, after the Berlin wall has went down.

Michael Chertoff chose ceremonial words as well; “This is a milestone, which makes travelling to the USA from countries like the Czech Republic easier, and at the same time it strengthens security of both countries. We are really looking forward for first Czechs to come to the USA without visa, in October or November.”

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March ducks are nesting. It means spring is here.

When we went to our offices today, even when Prague should becovered in snow in February, the reality is different; girls in skirts, we just in sweatshirts. If we step out of our building now, there is pleasant 20 Celsius – we can go out in t-shirts. I can see the comments which will appear under this article: “We don’t give a damn what you are wearing” but the point is, for people who are heading to Prague as a city on the North, prepare for a winter like by the Mediterranean.

The nature is giving clear signs the spring has begun ; blooming snowdrops, mating rabbits; birds are coming back. March ducks, as the name tells, come back to nest in March – that they are coming back in February means only one thing – Klaus is wrong, global warming is real. I can see the comments again; “How can you state such a thing, there is no expertise, proving that … you damned left-winger” well, there is not, but come to the CR, you will see the proof. It’s February and here is spring already.

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Legendary Hoxton Whores in Prague Roxy

The Hoxton Whores Hoxton Whores aka Gary Dedman (seen with the glasses) and Kevin Andrews have been on the dj circuit now for around 15 years gracing most top London Clubs and throwing many different parties. Successfully hosting there own night Flaunt-it, which has now been running once a month for the past 10 years – with an up for it glam crowd found in numerous luxury locations www.flaunt-it.co.uk

They have been co-producing records as a team now for five years and are inspired by producing music aimed at immediately working the dance floor to give back to the crowd energy and inspiration that the crowd have given to them whilst djing over the last decade. They have created many monster club anthems worldwide (Friday saturday love, Fusion, Sunrise, Sunshine of my love, You’re in my hut now, Lost in Ibiza, Promised Land, Bomb the Terrace, Slave, Been a long time, Boys and girls, Smoothe, Shiny disco balls to list a few), alongside numerous major remixes – the likes of Faithless, Danny Howells, Infernal, Njoi, Moloko, Judy Cheeks & Todd Terry - and for labels such as Sony, Appollo, Positiva, Data, Manifesto, Nebula & Azuli!!!! Behind the decks expect a unique ‘Hoxton Whore’ performance with their signature blend of dirt-laced funky pumping electro and vocal uplifting house, combined with tones of tribal, dirty disco and large progressive beats mixed in.

29th March 2008, Prague Roxy, Dlouha 33, Prague 1

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Pilsner Urquell is Cheaper in Germany than in the Czech Republic

Pilsner Urquell MF Dnes have drawn attention to the fact; Germany, which has symbolised the rich and expensive country for Czechs twenty years ago, is now becoming comparably cheaper.

If we go through a little counting, we find out: a bottle of Pilsner Urquell costs 19,90 CZK, meanwhile in Germany it is 15,93 CZK. The beer is four crowns cheaper, and also empties of Pilsner pay for more in the Czech Republic, than in Germany.

It would be very lucrative to build a business on it, however there is a problem; beer sold in the CR must have a Czech label.

Why the company Plzensky Prazdroj, the maker of Pilsner Urquell, puts its prices so high? They can afford it, as every second beer drunk in the Czech Republic is made by the company. They are setting the price. In 2006 it made 130 millions €, which makes it tenth most profitable company in the CR.

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Nick Cave & The Bad Seed in Prague

Nick Cave Nick Cave is one of the most important and cult person of world music scene. He and his Bad Seed have a huge fan base even in the Czech Republic, and all his concerts are great events, which are hard to get to, as they usually sold out very quickly.

The last Cave’s visit was his solo appearance in Prague in 2006. The idea of going on tour comes with the new album, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! which is coming out on 3rd March. Nick cave has a gift of making albums, about which you know they are good, even when you haven’t heard them yet.

As the name says, this album is about Lazar’s resurrection, seen from Lazar’s point, in contemporary New York. Nick Cave celebrated his fifty birthday last year.

Tickets 880-2000CZK, HC Sparta Praha Arena, Za elektrarnou 419, Prague Exhibition Ground, Sat 24. May 2008, start: 20:00

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Czech PM went to Washington to finish Radar negotiations

Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek went to Washington to finish the negotiations about the rocket radar base in the Czech Republic.

“We have reached the point, where it is possible to finish the negotiations already.” Topolanek stated. “We are going to focus on last details, and wait for results of Polish-American negotiations.”

“The agenda is, except some details, ready, and both the actual contracts are ready to be signed in Washington” That the negotiations are coming to an end has been presented by the American ministry of defense for weeks. The Czech Government always explained the most important is not when, but how.

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Gavilas like Prague Zoo

gavial Gavials are doing well. Acclimatization goes faster, than the Zoo, with Petr Fejk in front, expected. There were no complications so far. The animals spend most of their time at a heated island close to the glass by the pavilion corridor. They move flexibly in the water, demonstrating, they are from all crocodiles the specie most adapted to swimming and fish hunting.

gavilas Gavials like flowing water, and they appreciate artificial stream and the waterfall they have. They started to ingest without problems, and they have great appetite; 50-70 fish in total weight 2,5-3,5 kg every second day.

Together with gavials, 10 turtles of two kinds share the spacious pavilion. The turtles were scared at the beginning, but when found out the crocodiles aren’t interested, now they get up their backs and sunbathe.

The article basis and pictures come from www.zoopraha.cz

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Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard won the OSCAR

The incredible dream of two independent artists became true; the message of the movie Once, filmed in three weeks, but speaking with the power of emotions that are ageless, moved hearts and rejoiced souls so much Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard won the Oscar for the best film song, Falling slowly.

Glen Hansard, gave the acceptance speech as the first one:

“Thanks! This is amazing. What are we doing here? This is mad. We made this film two years ago. We shot on two Handicams. It took us three weeks to make. We made it for a hundred grand. We never thought we would come into a room like this and be in front of you people. It’s been an amazing thing. Thanks for taking this film seriously, all of you. It means a lot to us. Thanks to the Academy, thanks to all the people who’ve helped us, they know who they are, we don’t need to say them. This is amazing. Make art. Make art. Thanks.”

Redirect here

Because of directing confusion, after Glansard finished his speech, they were taken off stage, and after advertisements, Marketa Irglova was called back, which was against Oscar regulations, but really emotional. As she is a really shy person, to see her like this was moving for real.

“Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it’s just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it’s possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along the way. Thank you.”

What to say more? Congratulations, Marketa and Glen, you have became legends. Good Luck.

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Kosovo Independence Protesters Gather in Prague

About two hundreds protestants came to Prague to demonstrate against Independent Kosovo declaration, and to support Serbia. On the action, which was called in by an extremist organization ‘Autonomous Nationalists Middle Bohemia’, went without fights, police didn’t have to step in.

The afternoon demonstration took place in Prague, Paladskeho namesti, the Czech Hyde Park, and continued to Kinsky Square. Demonstrants carried flags and chanted “Kosovo is Serbia”.

It was also possible to hear anti-american slogans, and the participants also, among others, applauded the Serbia radicals, who set the American embassy in Belgrade on fire.

Czech diplomacy still haven’t acknowledged Kosovo independence, the Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg stated it will happen when ‘the time will come’.

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International Metal in Prague

CHIMAIRA (USA), MAROON (GER), THE SORROW (AT). Americans Chimaira are no beginners on the music scene, they excite their audience by their aggressive style for quite a long time and they did quite a number of interesting enterprises Chimaira is a respected music group also tahnks to the fact they avoid trends, they have their own distinctive direction. If they are labelled by a genre, it is the genre they co-established. Their 2007 album Resurrection is an example of a quality Metal album.

Base of everything are instrumental and composing qualities of those six young men from Cleveland. Guitar attacks of Arnold-Devies are breath-taking. A jewel of the brutal rhythmic is a fantastic drum play of Andy Herrick. Roaring of the group frontman Mark Huntar needs no comment.

16th March 2008, start: 18.00 !, 420 CZK, Rock Café, Narodni 20, Prague 1

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R.E.M Heading to Prague Again

The Czech Republic slowly becomes the music crossroad in the middle of Europe. Almost every month hosts one of world’s leading music groups or singers. R.E.M probably like Prague, as this won’t be the first concert; they started to going to Prague since the 90’s. The last concert in Sazka Arena in 2005 attracted 15 000 fans.

R.E.M. is an American rock band formed in 1980 by Michael Stipe (lead vocals), Peter Buck (guitar), Mike Mills (bass guitar), and Bill Berry (drums and percussion). R.E.M. was one of the first popular alternative rock bands, and gained early attention due to Buck’s ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe’s unclear vocals.

rem Following years of underground success, R.E.M. entered the mainstream in 1987 with the hit song “The One I Love”. The group signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1988, and began to espouse political and environmental concerns while playing large arenas worldwide.

By the early 1990s, when alternative rock began to experience broad mainstream success, R.E.M. was viewed as a pioneer of the genre and released its two most commercially successful albums, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992), which veered from the band’s established sound.

In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

R.E.M make a stand in Prague on 17th August 2008. They are going to rock the new football stadium SK Slavia Praha. Tickets prices vary from from 795 to 1695 kc will be on sale since 15th February in Ticketpro outlets and webpage.

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New MHD Tickets Design

During this weekend, the new tickets will be introduced at all common distributors. According to the MHD Prague Public Transport company they will be much safer, as they include more safety elements than the older travel vouchers. A controllers will recognize fakes much easier.

According to its speaker, the MHD doesn’t have much problems with counterfeiters, but they want to be up-to-date, according to modern standards.

The biggest change is in the color, which is green, with a color line according to the price. The pictures we provide are cut in half, if you want to see the whole design, check it here. If you want some information about SMS tickets in Prague, go here.

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Unique Czech Discovery will help Malaria Treatment

malaria parasite Czech Scientist have managed to get a unique discovery, which should help to develop a medication against the mortal disease, malaria.

The key was to find the mysterious predecessor of today’s parasites. These are conducive to, among others, malaria, to which 1,3 million die every year. There is no vaccine, present preventive medications can cause depressions, leading to suicide. To research a new medicine is problematic, because handling the parasite responsible for malaria is very expensive, sophisticated and dangerous.

As Nature magazine informed, the Czech scientist team went for a clue, the parasitic protozoa have chloroplast in their cells. It was sure there was some sea-weed able of photosynthesis among its ancestors, but the science world regarded it as extinct. However, an Australian biologist Robert Moore found it on a coral reef in Australia, and send it to the Miroslav Odbornik in Ceske Budejovice. Odbornik’s team proved, it is really the long searched-for ancestor, a living fossil who has lived on Earth 750 millions years already.

Testing a new malaria medicine on the newly discovered model, the sea-weed Chromera velia, will be much easier, safer, and faster.

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Vlacil's classic on Vltava River

The unusual film performance is possible to see in Prague in the evenings, until Saturday 23th February 2008 on Vltava River. At a sliding caisson close to the Manes’ Bridge a water wall, working as a projecting screen was made. Sequences of films of a Czech Director Frantisek Vlacil are screened there. The project is a part of an accompanying programme of the exhibition about this artist, which takes place in the Emperor Stables of the Prague Castle

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Applicants for Czech citizenship to do Language Exams

cestina pro cizince The new system of accepting applicants for Czech citizenship demands them to pass a language exam in the Czech Language.

The new law will be valid since January 09, with the exam based on a Europe-wide testing system. The bill is an initiative of the Czech Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Dzamila Stehlikova. She explains the idea behind the project on a model of two countries: In the UK they combine multiculturalism with a demand for standard English. In Germany they underestimated the need of language for integration with the result of segregation of various groups, because of lack of language communication.

Minister Stehlikova, originally from Kazakhstan, also adds it will still be necessary to have lived in the CR for at least five years. The language exam shouldn’t be too difficult, if the person have not avoided normal social contact. The themes will be based on everyday situations, like going to the doctor’s, looking for a job, travel and such.

Will Old Town Square Get a new Building?

Old town square town hall - how it looked like Prague stands before another architectonic contest. The Prague Municipal Council wants to give the Old Town Square the missing part back. The spot left after bombed Town Hall, with a little park and horse carriages, could be occupied again. Old town square town hall - how it looks like now

The reason, why it lays unused since the WWII are continuing disputes among two groups, one desiring to keep it the way it is; historic, the other claiming the Square is chaotic and needs a central point – probably with a center of travel movement with a permanent exposition of the city development.

There has been many designs before, but no one good enough. To build in the Oldest part of Prague is a controversial idea, for some much more controversial than the Blob library.

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Exhibition of contemporary Czech painting in Prague

resetting- 'office' If you want to see some works of contemporary Czech young and successful painters, the good choice is to visit the exhibition, which is now held in The City Gallery Prague in exhibition spaces of the Municipal Library.

Among the artists who exhibit here are Jakub Hosek, who was already twice nominated for prestigious Chalupecky prize for young Czech artists, Petr Malina with his self-portraits, Jakub Spanhel, who became famous for his dark and sizable acryls, Josef Bolf, Petr Petrbok, Filip Cerny and many others, there are almost 30 of them.

The gallery is situated in the building of the Municipal Library, on Marianske Square, but the entrance to the gallery is from Valentinska Street, it is not far from Staromestka metro station (green line). They are open from Thursday to Sunday, always from 10 AM to 6 PM. And exhibition is to be here until 23rd of March 2008.

Read the whole article on prague.net

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Klaus and Svejnar Continue in their Rivalry after Elections

The battle of two presidential candidates continues. The first to blame the other was Jan Svejnar, who, at a meeting of the Social Democrats said “…the present president owns his mandate to the votes of turn-coats.” he also expressed hopes for Klaus “will administer his office with more submission, conscious the people want change.”

Vaclav Klus appeared in a TV debate, where he replied “Svejnar has taken recourse to banalities, empty phrases and undignified words in his candidacy speech … I would be ashamed to use such dicta.” when he was asked to specify a little, he continued “… banalities such as education is important and and globalization is important. To discuss the necessity of education is useless, everybody knows how important it is.”

Jan Kaplicky to Build an Enviromental Building in Brno?

classroom by kaplicky's future systems Jan Kaplicky is an architect who is a matter of many discussions in the Czech Republic nowadays. For many the savior, for many others the bane of Prague Letna, where his environmental Blob was supposed to be build, before Vaclav Klaus stepped in.

Discussions, how the Blob should be changed, moved, forbidden, or even build as it won the international contest, have been taking place for half a year new. But as a matter of fact, other cities like Brno, Bratislava, even Edinburgh would do a lot, to have Blob Library by Kaplicky. And it is the Brno mayor, who invited Kaplicky last week, to plan something for his city.

As MF Dnes informed, the abolished railway station in Brno is to be replaced with a brand new ‘city’. The Mayor Roman Onderka stated: “…there could be a bench or a building by Mr. Architect, which would become the new dominating feature of Brno” He would also like Kaplicky, living in London, to be an exterior advisor for the whole project of Brno becoming a new world architectonical metropolis. Kapilcky commented their meeting as “a very good start.”

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Tourists are still interested in Prague

The Czech Republic was visited by 6,7 millions foreign tourists, which is an international increase of 3,8 percent. According to the stats of Czech Statistical Office the most favorite place remains traditionally Prague, which attracted 4,5 millions tourists in 2007.

About 60 % of foreign tourists visit Prague only. The problem is most of other regions lack large 4-5 star hotels, which could be offered in catalogs of travel agencies. Those are the hotels which are the most busy, informed the Association of Czech Travel agencies. Most of regions lack hotel infrastructure, but at least they have gastronomical specialties in well-developed restaurant system.

A Snake Took A Shelter in A Czech Police Car for A Month

The unusual mascot who accompanied a police unit in Brno, lived in a police car and probably liked it enough to not let himself caught for a month, was finally found. The story starts, when the red grass-snake escaped his breeder to his neighbour, where he hid for a week. pantherophis guttatus - red grass-snake When he was found, the person called police and handled the snake in a box. The snake sensed adventure and so broke from it in the police car, and hid close to engine, where it was warm enough (the story took place during Czech winter).

The police mechanics worked on dismantling the car for a week, then they just gave up. Where exactly the red, nonpoisonous snake hid, is not clear. They labeled the snake as missing and life went on. But one day, the policeman sitting on the front passenger seat recognized the red and hissing, and probably also hungry animal getting to him. He was surprised, but not panicked and caught him. The sanke and his breeder were than reunited again.

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Svejnar is not the President, what are his Plans?

Svejnar_Jan Two days after the presidential vote, Jan Svejnar had a press conference in the Congress Centre, which he managed in a relaxed and professional way. “Do you want to know how I am? I’m fine. I had a long, good sleep.” He joked. The question, what is he going to do in the Czech Republic now, remains unanswered.

In cooperation with Svejnar, who gained in a very short period of time a part of the public on his side, are interested CSSD and SZ, but if he wants to run for the president in five years again, he shouldn’t get too involved with any political party. The only thing he revealed from his future is he is not going to enter any political party.

What is seen as the most possible course of action is Svejnar will enter the Senate. “I don’t exclude my Senate candidacy. I could do other things in the position, too.” What did he think by it? Possibly his science career in the Michigan uni, as to fly to Senate meetings wouldn’t be too difficult. He flies to Prague anyway, as he has other responsibilities here – he is the leader of CERGE institute and also is a member of the supervisory board of CSOB.

Permanent Cubism exposition in Prague opened again

hofman_vase The permanent cubist exhibition at the ‘U Cerne Matky Bozi’ house opened after three months to the public again. It was closed in November last year for the reason of new air-conditioning device installation.

The lovers of cubism can, again, come and wonder the pieces of significant Czech Artists; Bohumil Kubista, Vincent Benes, Josef Capek, Antonin Prochazka or Vaclav Spala. The exposition was prepared with by the National Gallery in Prague in cooperation with the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague and the National Museum in Prague.

According to the information given by the National Gallery the reason for closing were rising summer temperatures that forced the space to be closed.

Opening Hours: 10-18, no Mondays. The house of the Black Madonna (Dům u Černé matky boží) Celetna 34, Prague 1

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From Prague to Paris by Bike Information

International_Paneuropean_Union_flag The Paneuropean bikeline, runs through Norimberg and a number of other touristically attractive areas in Germany, France and the Czech Republic. There are hundreds of interesting spots in its on the 1537 km long track. The new bikeline will be inaugurated 12th April 2008 on the Pan-European festival in Nuremberg.

The European highway E 50, named Via Carolina, connects the CR with France. But the famous predecessor was the Middle-age ‘Golden Route’ on which basis the Paneuropean bikeline is founded.

Paneuropean bikeline runs on existing routes or bikelines. Somewhere it was needed to added pieces, for which purpose were used mostly closed railway sections. Paneuropean bikeline covers under one logo three European countries and two world metropolises, demonstrating connection between the East and the West and contributing to the idea of international understatement.

If you need any more information, visit the Paneuropean bikeline web : www.paneuropa-radweg.de

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Dancer of the Year 2007 – myCITY, mySTAGE in Prague

The dance event is coming! Prague Roxy becomes the dancing stage. Prepare for Czech and Slovak National finals of the Dancer of the Year 2007 – myCITY, mySTAGE. Watch the finals of the dancing competition of the best streetdance and breakdance dancers.

On Thursday, starting 19:00, finalists will battle in contemporary forms of modern dance as Hip-hop, Lockin, Funk, Break dance, Krump and others.

The star of this year’s final is the American choreographer and dancer Jonté, who recently shone as a choreographer of Beoncé world tour and her videos. The young Afro-American will come to Prague for the first time.

The evening will be featuring other characters like Vincent Vianen (Amsterdam), Nobru (Rio de Janeiro), Yemi AD… And of course the best Czech and Slovak talents.

Pre-sale: 249czk, at the spot 299czk, Start 19:00, 6th March 2008, Prague Roxy, Dlouha 33, Prague 1

GolfYacht in Prague - Unique Hotel

Since March, visitors of Prague can stay overnight in an unconventional hotel. In the boat designed as a huge yacht, anchored by the Rohansky island in the centre of Prague.

The luxurious 4-star hotel GolfYacht offers, besides accommodation, a golf spot for shooting balls into Vltava River. There are three kinds of cabins, restaurant, sun terrace, Finnish sauna and café on the board.

The yacht was build in Hamburg and it floated to Prague with great difficulties thanks to its massive size on the water.

golfyacht

Vaclav Klaus - The Winner of Discreditable Elections

Vaclav Klaus has won in the knife-edge indirect vote, which has been far from dignified. Just a reflection of Czech Political Culture, in which we live.

We have Klaus for president – a devotedly europhobic president of a EU country which organizes Chairmanship of the EU in 2009. We have a president whose economic skills brought tunneling of the 90’s, and he determines the leaders of the National Bank. A president, who has always put his opinions first. Like when he claims global warming and diseases from passive smoking are just a nonsense.

The world watched the elections and commented; BBC described the vote itself as “marred by threats, bribes and corruption.” and the negotiation ways as “the mafia-style pressure tactics” no wonder. Five ministers reported to get threatening letters, one with a bullet and black powder inside; the first day of elections changed from a dignified ceremony into a street feud, where everyone blamed everyone. At the end, one congressman was threatened on the toilets by an unknown man, after which he got heart stroke and was hospitalized, other two collapsed under the pressure.

The best comment I red was the one by J. X. Dolezal; “At the beginning, one congressman collapsed, than one another started to feel sick, and than also one senator; and at the end about two million people who watched the live broadcast started to feel sick, too, and the representatives went home.”

But I personally accept, Klaus can fascinate his fans; if somebody was born in 1990, he was already born in a country where Klaus has a strong position; and Klaus is still here to be with us. Strong in position for 23 years.

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Funk Corportion - Funk in Prague

Funk Corporation is a Czech music group formed in 2000. Nine members of this group got over many succesful performances on club scene, and within festivals. They play classical funk, mixed with soul, and if you have some favorite classics of this genre, they have lots of their own arranges.

djs: Ben Reef (7th reef, france), Roman Rai – live set (tribal vision, solstice rec.), Slater (tribal vision)

Free Entrance, start 20:00, 31th March 2008, Roxy Promotion, Dlouha 33, Prague 1

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Prague is one of the Wealthy European Cities

illustration photo Even when it doesn’t have to be obvious, we Prague people live quite a high standard life. If have a look at stats, we see Prague is twelve most rich region of the EU.

Prague has always been ahead of other regions, and the trend is strengthening now. At the moment, Prague produces 25% of Czech GDP. In practice, it means people have higher average salary, companies and banks build its main seats in Prague, which attract more companies to Prague, which again means more money for people.

It is logical. “The Czech Republic is a small country and for large companies it is enough to have one main seat for managing the whole country.” an economist Patria Online David Marek stated.

Digitalized model of Prague soon ready

Langweil model of Prague is one of the most extraordinary and most admired exhibit in the Museum of the City of Prague. And now, they prepare a 3D digitalized version of the unique piece.

Anyone interested in old Prague can virtually go through all the corners of the city from the first half of the 19th century. E.g. there is St. Vitus Cathedral before the southern wing was finished.

In the half of 2008, the digitalized version should be accessible by the public. It will cost probably about 12,5 millions czk.

If we go to prague.net, we can read more about Langweil’s model of Prague :

Langweil model of Prague is one of the most extraordinary and most admired exhibit in the Museum of the City of Prague.

Langweil’s model of Prague is a paper and wood model that shows Prague what it looked like about 150 years ago. Many buildings in the model cannot be found in present Prague any more. The model was created in a scale of 1:480, which means there is a street one millimeter wide, the graves on the Jewish town are similarly petite.

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Vaclav Klaus re-elected president of the Czech Republic

Vaclav Klaus president again Vaclav Klaus received support of 141 deputies and senators. He needed 140 votes to be re-elected. He was elected in the second vote, on 15th February 2008, for another five years. Being a founder, he had support of the leading ODS Civic Democratic party.

His opponent, Czech-American economist, Jan Svejnar gained 111 votes. He was nominated by the SZ Green Party, and got votes from them and the CSSD Social Democrats. A third candidate, Jana Bobosikova, nominated by the communist party, lacking support, dropped the race before the voting begun.

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New York Honours Forman

Milos Forman The Museum of Modern Art in NY presents a complete retrospective of the films of Milos Forman, one of contemporary cinema’s most acclaimed directors.

17-film exhibition spanning the director’s career from 1963 to the present, is presented and includes major critical and commercial successes such as Amadeus (1984) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), as well as early film and TV work made in his native Czechoslovakia.

Milos Forman is one of Famous Czechs, who emigrated from Czechoslovakia, to escape from the communist regime, and became permanent jewels of other countries.

Irglova Will Sing at the Oscars

The Czech songster Marketa Irglova with the Irish musician Glen Hansard will perform at the Oscar Ceremony on 24 February 2008. They will sing their hit Falling Slowly, nominated in the ‘Best Film Music’ Category.

Everyone who is their fan, keep yours fingers crossed. They lost the Emmy to Amy Winehouse recently, but it’s not the end of the world. The ceremony will host also Jessica Alba, Cate Blanchett, George Clooney, Pénelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and others. Also other songs competing for the Oscar will sound in the evening. Like Happy Working Song from the Magical Romance movie, sing by Amy Adams.

The moderator of the gala evening will be a comedian Jon Stewart. As the with a group of scenarist, who will write jokes and sketches to his role. The Hollywood scriptwriter strike is over.

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African Tribal Marriage is Valid in the Czech Republic

tribal girls may posses special beauty The new precedent was established last week. The initiator was a man, who married an African woman from a tribe living in Nigeria. The marriage was contracted in African way, on a gathering in the woman’s village, where was this Czech citizen presented, and where was also settled the matter of marriage portion.

Now, living in the Czech Republic, he found out he doesn’t want to be married anymore and he entered a lawsuit the marriage is nonexistent. He claims, marriages according to African tribal law are not valid in Europe. However The Supreme Court has denied his appeal and supported previous court decisions.

Source: aktualne.cz

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Musicians Support Jan Kaplicky

blob On the concert named ‘Chci to na Letny’ (I want it on Letna) featuring dozens of well-known Czech music groups and singers, all sounded like one voice: The Blob library should be build. Their support of Jan Kaplicky and his Octopus could have been seen in Prague Lucerna Music Bar.

The construction is a subject of endless disputes and debates, but it is still not sure whether the City Hall will make it possible to build.

The Sunday concert was organized by the initiators of the petition for Blob support, which was signed by more than 11 thousands experts. It was already handed the deputies of the City Hall.

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2nd Round of Elections; Who will be the next Czech President?

If Vaclav Klaus watches the courses at betting agencies, he could have started celebrating; The agencies has lowered the courses for Klaus’ win, now they are on their lowest level in history – 1,1:1. In the betting language it means Klaus is right before being elected.

Jan Svejnar was an outsider of the elections from the very beginning, but still he has done everything to interest the public and to get into sub-consciousness of people. He can pay interest on this capital; he would be perfect in Czech Senate, there will also be many positions needed to take up in approaching Czech EU Chairmanship in 2009. There will be many possibilities opening, we can only guess, which he will finally take, it probably won’t be the one to come back to the US.

Thinking about Jana Bobosikova? There is not a chance she would be elected, but the communist party needs her for their strategy; they even straightforwardly say they just use her to have the other parties negotiating with them. Bobsikova doesn’t mind though; she has her own EU ministry’s post defending ahead, for which it is necessary to be seen.

Postscript : Vaclav Klaus was elected the president today.

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Music Infinity: Blue States concert in Prague

states Trip-hop magician Andy Dragazis aka Blue States introduces his monumental electronic composition.

With the help of a couple of friends, Andy Dragazis’ Blue States became active in 1997. After playing out for a short amount of time, Andy was courted by Memphis Industries, a label that began issuing his singles. Between 1998 and 1999, five of his singles were released.

Nothing Changes Under the Sun was a very well-sold album, probably also because of the quite melancholic sound of the record and Andy’s music talent. He plays six instruments himself and most of his parts are recorded without anyone’s help.

After he opened a recording studio in 2005 London, there was a pause in his own composing, to which he came back by publishing his new album First steps into… and coming back to concerts again. You have a chance to hear him this Friday in Palac Akropolis.

15th February 2008, 19:30, Palac Akropolis, Kubelikova 27, Prague 3

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Putin: We will target missiles on you if necessary

putin According to the Russian President, most of Czech citizens are not in favor of building the anti-missile shield. He stated that at his last press conference as the president.

Russia is going to aim a part of its missiles to the objects of the American anti-rocket shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, if necessary.

“Who has ever asked Poles and Czechs, whether they want to have these systems there, or not? Who ever asked? The absolute majority are not really keen to support these plans.” Putin said in front of 1300 journalists.

The Russian President repeated again, that his general staff and military experts claim, the American system threatens Russian interests. That’s why Russia has to take actions in the case of a base on the Polish territory “There is not a real thread; Iranian rockets do not exist and everybody knows that.”

“We are not really keen to do that, but it won’t be a problem in other areas. We try to negotiate, but nobody listens.”

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Trial With Kozeny Started

The trial with escaped Viktor Kozeny, who reputedly defalcated 16 billions CZK (600 mil. €) was initiated. According to the judge it will take more than a year to be finished.

The ex-president of ‘Harvard Funds’ (which has nothing to do with Harvard) Viktor Kozeny and his colleague Boris Vostry are charged with fraud and violation of duty while administrating external financial sources. The trial could give them up to 12 years in state prison. Both of them are prosecuted as fugitives.

The complaint was filed by Zdenek Castoral, who as the company liquidator found heavy deficiencies, pointing to tunneling. The partners were probably deliberately transferring funds with losses, so they could export the company holding away.

If you are interested in interesting and complex information about Viktor Kozeny and Czech Tunneling of the 90’s, click here.

Presidential Elections and Role of Communists

The communist party boycotted the presidential elections on Saturday. As they expected, the price of their votes is raising, now when the second round comes. They are willing to vote for Jan Svejnar, but only under certain conditions.

“Jan Svejnar can get all our votes, if the Social Democrats and the Green Party promises, they won’t support the contract of building the American Radar base in the Czech Republic.” the chairman of Czech communists said to MF Dnes.

The Communists put their price quite high, they enjoy being the index hand. And for the case Svejnar refuses? They have their own own candidate, our Euro representative Jana Bobosikova. It is clear that if they will vote for her, the president will be Vaclav Klaus. But Klaus probably doesn’t need it – if the situation repeats, he needs only one vote more to be elected the president again.

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A new arrival at CSA

 Romantic Airbus A310 The first new arrival to the CSA fleet, Airbus A319, is almost finished. In the Hamburg Airbus fabric it got itself already painted in red-white CSA colors and within a few days, the flying machine is ready to take off for its first test flight. Czech Airlines should receive the functional piece in the half of February.

The whole process of building a plane at Hamburg factory is more about assembling, than anything else. The plane is ready in 30 days. The first part ready is the fuselage, parts of which are made in France and Germany. Next part are the wings, build in Britain, and a the tail, build in Spain.

The final touch is made when the plane is painted in a company colors, before the inside is equipped. CSA Airbuses will fly in two classes – economy and business.

Easter and Easter Markets coming to Prague

On Saturday 8th March, the traditional Eastern Markets start in Prague. The stalls with Easter symbols and souvenirs will be placed on Old Town Square as usual, this years’ season partially moves from Wenceslas Square to Na Prikope street.

Old Town Square hosts a stage as usual, offering cultural programme. The Organizers promise also display of Czech and European Easter traditions and habits. The markets last 23 days, until Sunday 30th March

The markets will be devoted to the Czech Easter traditions and habits. People can taste traditional Czech food, such as a cake called Easter Beranek or Easter stuffing. The birch tree, which is connected with Easter, will be put in the middle of Old Town Square.

We’ll certainly inform you about other events during the Easter in Prague.

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Valentine's Day celebration in house rhythm

loveflower Valentine´s day – the magic day of love. What about celebrating holiday of the strongest emotion? In the lovable place – Mecca club. Who else could go along with this evening than the most competent – DJ Kuba Soulcheck (Meccamix) and DJ Macio(Soundcream), who will play sets devoted to love and happiness.

How does Mecca invite? “Their sets loaded with the best house music will touch you just in the middle of your heart. At the Valentine´s Mecca party, we´ll dish you the best of the house music on a golden tray along with our hearts.” That sounds sweet. Did we mention there is free entry?

Dance Valentine Party in Prague Mecca Thursday 14th February 2008, U Pruhonu street 3, Prague 7

Prototype Skoda Fabia S2000

prototype skoda fabia S2000 Skoda Auto has started testing the first prototype of the Skoda Fabia Super 2000 today. Designed to be used in the Super 2000 category, the vehicle is based on the second-generation Fabia and, in compliance with the FIA regulations, is equipped with a two-litre atmospheric four-cylinder petrol engine, a six-speed sequential transmission and a four-wheel drive system with three mechanical differentials.

Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Eckhard Scholz, Skoda Auto BOD Member responsible for technological development, said: “We are glad to have started testing the Fabia Super 2000. This year we are planning to optimise and certify the vehicle so that we can use it on both national and international levels. When exactly will the vehicle be released for competition use will depend on the achieved progress, relevant test results and the final certification. Then we are also planning to offer the vehicle to private teams. Based on a customer service arrangement, further development work on the vehicle will be done in close cooperation with our importers worldwide“.

The rest of the article here

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Czech Music Awards 2007

aneta lang. ‘Deska Roku’ – ‘Album of the Year’ 2007 prizes were given away.

The winner in the ‘Album of the Year’ women category, and also the absolute winner became Aneta Langerova, the 2004 Czech Pop Idol, with her new album Dotyk.

Daniel Landa scored three times in men category – the most sold records, the most radio played and the most tracks sold via the Internet. Daniel Landa is favored by some for his genially simple songs and success in sports, hated by others for his skinhead past.

The best music group award went to Cechomor, the well known group playing popularized traditional music.

The most sold international singer in CR was Madonna.

The results however confirmed decline in sales of CDs – in 2006 the most sold album of pub-rock group Kabat called ‘Corrida’ won with 56 900 sold pieces, Aneta Langerova managed to sell only 31 957 CDs to became the most bought songstress.

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The sun brought Prague citizens outdoors

If you plan to go to Prague those days, you should prepare for a very mild winter – present temperatures in Prague are not probable to drop below zero during the day, much probably are to move around ten Celsius, the mood is spring-like, people go to parks and gardens to hear birds singing.

Zoo Prague reported to have 12,5 thousands visitors over the Saturday and Sunday only. Warm weather makes it hard for winter sports organizers, all the ski slopes had to be cover with artificial snow.

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Irglova didn't get Grammy, Winehouse did

irglova and hansard - maybe next time... British soul star Amy Winehouse has overmastered the Grammies by gaining five “little gramophones”, but she didn’t fetch them, as she wasn’t given American visa until it was too late. Czech nominee, Marketa Irglova with Glen Hansard, with their song Falling Slowly, which vibrated romantic hearts of not only those who have seen the film ONCE, have lost.

Amy Winehouse won not only the best film song category, her other awards were for best new artist, song of the year, pop vocal album and female pop vocal performance.
The vibrant Amy Winehouse dominated the Grammys on Sunday night, winning five awards and delivering her ‘Rehab’ song performance via satellite from London.

Herbie Hancock took album of the year for River: The Joni Letters; “You know it’s been 43 years since the first and only time that a jazz artist got the album of the year award,” Hancock said, then proceeded to honor “the giants upon whose shoulders I stand, some of whom like Miles Davis, John Coltrane … unquestionably deserved the award in the past. But this is a new day, that proves that the impossible can be made possible.”

1st Round of CR Presidential Elections: Klaus was close

Friday and Saturday elections brought no winner. The number of votes necessary was 140, from the total 278 (three voters were absent). Klaus was however extremely close when he gained 140 votes, while Svejnar only 113. If Klaus got one more vote, he would have won.

The voting itself was full or arguing and tactics. When the lawmakers were supposed to vote on Friday, they have got themselves into a debate, whether the voting should be secret or open, which only led to accusations and rising pressure, finally ending in two voters collapse.

The second round of elections is on Friday again. The communist party plans to came up with their own candidate. They were present, but they did not take part in electing.

After the last voting being open, the method for next Friday stays unclear. Civic Democrats insist on secret vote. The candidates might be nominated tomorrow.

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Who will win the Elections?

The Czech Republic doesn’t, contrary to the USA, elect the president directly. The 281 decisive votes comes from congressmen and senators. Last days brought disputes, how the president should be elected.

Should the election be secret, or public? The lawmakers couldn’t decide on the eve of elections to Prague Castle. Both the candidates, Vaclav Klaus and Jan Svejnar, indirectly expressed they agree with the present state of things; secret election.

The CSSD Social Democrats and the KSCM communist party back public voting, the ODS Civic democrats are strongly opposing. There has been debates in the parliament until the night. Right now, when the elections are on their way, all the 281 executives still debate, whether secret or public.

Spring Weather got Charles Bridge reconstruction back on track

Old Town Bridge Tower Sun rays and pleasant temperatures around 5 Celsius, continuing in present days, made it possible for the archaeologists to get back to Charles Bridge.

They just moved from the Lesser Town Bridge Tower, were they found small pieces of pottery, the oldest probably dating back to the 8th century, to the other tower-gate of the Charles Bridge, Old Town Bridge Tower.

The archaeologists speculate, there could be one more arch hidden on the side of Old Town Bridge Tower. But they also state they are at the beginning. Spring Weather got Charles Bridge reconstruction back on track. The archeologists weren’t the only ones who came back; temperatures abled the workes to come back too, and continue the reconstruction.

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Mladek with Jozin z Bazin head to Poland

Ivan Mladek, the Czech comedian and musician has just finished a new album – Jozin z bazin v Polsce. After the stunning success of the Józek z bagien (Joseph from swamps) song got in Poland, Mladek recorded an album with 17 songs, a part of them in Polish. Now he and his band prepare for their tour in Poland.

There are many youtube remixes, I would say the various versions together were viewed by more than 10 million viewers. “Because of the madness Józek z bagien brought after it’s 30 years of existence to Poland, we have made a new album, a mix of Czech and Polish versions of my songs.” Said Ivan Mladek.

Why is Józek z bagien still funny? because of the lyrics, our cultural similarity, and simply; because it is fun.

Baby Cloud Rat born in Prague Zoo

ma cloud rat in prague zoo The cloud rats are a group of nocturnal rodents native to the forests of the Philippines.

Wikipedia states: “The Filipino Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau has begun breeding Northern Luzon slender-tailed cloud rats in captivity. London Zoo and the Bronx Zoo are the only locations outside of the Philippines where cloud rats are bred in captivity.”

cloud rat - Phloeomys pallidus If we want to be precise, we should edit the Wiki article, in order to add a new city into the list; Prague Zoo had a baby cloud rat born last month.

Maybe it is a sign of the coming year of the rat, but there were also traditionally uberstandard care of the Fejk’s Team. Zoo Prague gained two couples of these rodents last year. After the necessary quarantine they were placed into a carefully developed environment, the Zoo modelled after their Brazilian forest nature environment.

The baby Cloud Rat was born on 11th January 08, the young was born with hair, having about 120g.

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Michael Rittstein expressionist exhibition in Prague

 Rittstein Michael - Rock-n-roll Michael Rittstein belong to the group of artists, who got to their specific way of expression, which they are probably not going to leave. His gestic paintings, brushed in impasto style are typical by its baroquelly surrealistic illusionism, amplified by poisonous colorfulness and dynamic mummery of characters and objects.

Michael Rittstein’s pictures are displayed as a part of the cycle „Projects, Probes, Experiments“, introducing large format works of art of the artist in dialogue with the unique architectural space of Small Hall of Trade Fair Palace in Prague.

MICHAEL RITTSTEIN´S LARGE FORMATS: THERE, Veletrzni Palac – Trade Fair Palace, Dukelskych hrdinu 47, until: 27th April 2008

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1st Round of Czech Presidential elections tomorrow

We give you selected quotations of both candidates, Vaclav Klaus and Jan Svejnar.

I know Svejnar very little, but I am scared of his economical opinions. He really got me down by his articles during CSFR separation.

I think there will be the radar at the Czech ground. It won’t be soon, there is a lot of things that need to be solved before.

Euro adoption will lower salaries.

Climate changes happens all the time and it always did. Now somebody wants to control it and to accept drastic disposals with immense impact on our freedom and economical and social conditions.

Let’s be proud of who we are. One man told me once: “I am proud of you being proud of the Czech Nation”

You can choose somebody for the past, or you can choose somebody for the future.

I agree with the Radar from the beginning. What is important are the conditions.

Euro adoption will lower prices.

There is global warming and the world starts to consider, how it is connected to the activity of man. It is showed by not only long-therm researches, but also by the fact it speeds up in the past ten or twenty years.

I found out, the presidential institution is a very deep symbol and people expect the loyalty will be sealed by the head of the state by having exclusively Czech citizenship.

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New Czech Discovery makes cloning easier

Czech scientists discovered, why it is not often possible to clone animals or human embryos. The Josef Fulka team from Research Institute of Animal Production in Prague published their findings in American magazine Science.

They found out and proved, the key factor during fertilized egg or early embryo development is the nucleolus from a mother’s egg. They were able to discover, how does the nucleus work, and how to remove or insert it safely.

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New Kofola Light

kofola - If/When you love it/her nothing else matters Kofola is a carbonated soft drink produced in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is the principal rival of Coca-Cola and Pepsi on the two markets.

The soft drink named Kofola was introduced in 1962, and it survived until now, being still popular. In 2002 they launched a a successful media campaign aimed at a young and hip audience based on the slogan “Když ji miluješ, není co řešit. / Keď ju miluješ, nie je čo riešiť.” (“If/When you love it/her nothing else matters.”) and since then, their sales steadily increase. The public image of Kofola is associated with being sexy by untypical way (picture).

Now, Kofola comes with a light version, called “Kofola Bez” (Kofola Without). The name is ambiguous, as the most popular Kofola campagin theme was nude beach.

Price and packages will be the same, the question is if it will be sold in those 50-litre kegs, from which they traditionally tap you one in a pub across the country.

Czech Police Cars to probably have a make-over

skoda fabia in the police uniform MF Dnes informed about the possibility of Czech police Skoda cars giving up their white with green stripes. In the autumn 2008, there should appear new ones in silver metallic and blue lines.

“It is almost clear it will be that way.” The Police president commented for MF Dnes. “There should be some modernization of the image, that would demonstrate we are changing.”

octavia metallic Police management claims, that change is profitable from other reasons too. On the streets, Silver cars can be seen better than the white ones. And metallic cars can be sold better than plain white ones, when police decides to get rid of them.

This year, 700 new, mostly Skoda cars are planned to be bought, in the next three years another 2300 vehicles. The estimated costs are 1,4 billions CZK.

Wadaiko Yamato Stunning Drummers show in Prague

yamato The renown Japanese drummers group Yamato returns to Prague. Last two times, they completely sold out their performances and captured the hearts of those in the big hall in the Congress Centre, who thanked them by standing ovations.

Wadaiko Yamato is a Japanese musical group of taiko drummers founded in 1993. In Japanese, the word “wadaiko” means “Japanese drum” and “Yamato” was the former name of the city of Nara, where the group comes from.

Since its creation, the group has made over one thousand live performances to over one million people in more than 20 countries in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Yamato’s international debut occurred in 1998 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where the group was awarded the “Sprit of the Fringe” award. The following year, the group embarked on three international tours, covering South America, six countries in Europe, and Israel.

12-13. March 2008, Congress Centre Prague Vysehrad, tickets :ticketportal.cz 800-1600 CZK (30-62 €)

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Rihanna promises big show in Prague

rihanna Rihanna was born in 1988, in a county in Barbados called St. Michael. She lived the life of a normal island girl going to Combermere, a top sixth form school, similar to grammar schools in the UK. Rihanna won a beauty pageant and performed Mariah Carey’s “Hero” in a school talent show. Her life changed forever when one of her friends introduced her to Evan Rodgers, a producer from New York who was in Barbados for vacation with his wife, who is a native. Rodgers arranged for her to go to New York to meet Jay-Z, CEO of Def Jam Records. He heard her sing and knew she was going to be big and for more than just one song. She was 16 when she was signed to Def Jam. Rihnanna’s debut album is called “Music of the Sun”.

One of her nicknames is ‘The New Princess of Pop’. She dominated last year’s hit-parades with her song Umbrella. Now she comes to perform her mix of rnb, soul, reggae and pop music to the Czech Republic fro the firs time.

HC Sparta Arena, Prague Exhibition Ground, Tickets: 790, 990 in pre-sale. 20th March 2008.

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Svejnar: I am ahead in opinion polls

Ian Willoughby from Radio Praha had a chance to make an interview with Jan Svejnar recently. We bring you the shortened version.

What do you have to offer that the incumbent Vaclav Klaus doesn’t have to offer?

“Well, there is the fact that I am above politic parties. The president here should be politically independent. I am. I have both the local and the international experience, and obviously in the world of globalisation broad international experience is important.

“I am looking more forward than backward. I pretty much do hold strong views that are aligned with those of the Western world, be it in the area of global warming, or the active role that the Czech Republic can play in the EU. So there are major differences.”

Given yours relative outsider status – and Mr Klaus’s ultimate insider status – isn’t it a disadvantage for Jan Svejnar that when it comes to horse-trading for votes, he simply has less to offer?

“You’re right, I’m not offering that. I’m offering vision, I’m offering my skills, my expertise. I believe that the parties that are supporting me – and that’s my advantage, I’m supported by a significant part of the political spectrum, from the left to the right – will do whatever is needed in good old politics, where I have no comparative advantage whatsoever. I’m focusing really on ideas, and where the country should go.”

All things considered, how does the candidate himself rate his chances?

“One has to take the dynamics into account. When I started a couple of months ago I was obviously the outsider both in opinion polls and among the members of Parliament who are going to vote. Now I am the one who is if anything ahead in the opinion polls. Many people in Parliament are seriously considering voting for me, so I think that the chances now are about fifty-fifty.”

The original article is here

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The end of Czechoslovak Currency

1-kcs-1967-avers 1993, fifteen years ago is the date, when the Czechoslovakia divided. Forty thousands people worked at the time on introduction of two new currencies – Czech and Slovak Crown.

8th February 1993 is the date when the new currencies started to work, at that time the currency KCS (Czechoslovak Crown, not to be confused with KSC, which was the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia) gained revenue Czech/Slovak stamps, the new designs were introduced later.

It was necessary to stamp 45 millions 1000, 500 and 100 banknotes, worth 21 billions CZK. Ever since, there are CZK and SK currencies.

The Slovak Republic converts to Euro in 2009, the Czech Republic converts in 2012 or later.

Prague Dancing House is Beautiful

I go around it every day on my way to work. It is a dignified, yet sexy and emotive.

Prague Dancing House, designed by architects Vlado Milunc and Frank O Gehry, was originally called the “Astaire & Rogers Building”, named after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It resembles a post-modern statue of a dancing couple.

So beautiful, yet ambivalent. Ghery’s buildings are a unit, and so the inside should be united too. But the building hosts a bar, La Perle de Prague restaurant and offices at the same time.

Not many Czechs go inside, even less have a chance to do some new pictures of the object. When I found some on the web addicted2decor (they claim the pictures are from Dwell.com, however they are no longer there) I decided to share them with you. Here they come.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

How significant is the role of architecture for Prague tourism is clear.

Prague is a traditional city, which has grown for thousand years. The centre of the city fulfills various functions and it is suitable for pedestrians.

The dancing house represents unity of the old with the new and brings hopes for us, Czechs, to be in peace with our past, as well as with our future.

BUSH - High Contrast in Roxy Club, Prague

high contrast Lincoln Barrett aka High Contrast published his new album called „Tough Guys Don´t Dance“ in 2007 and now it is the right time to hear his present sound in Prague dominant club Roxy.

Everything Liam does in a studio, he learned by himself at the computer. He found his own way thanks to it – his liquid funk is spiced by samples and sound jumps to jazz or grime. Vocals, piano, violin, that’s his style.

On his vinyls and albums, you can hear classic or house music influences. Or a movie soundtrack. His tracks have dramatic composition, they are full of emotions, just like film music. Btw Lincoln dreams of making a real soundtrack to some cool movie.

High Contrast concert in Prague, presale 280 ticketpro.cz, 350 at the spot. Start 22:00, 21st March 2008, Experimental space Roxy, Dlouha 33, Prague 1

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Czech Scientists at Antarctica found and eaten 50-years-old soup

1950's soup The unusual discovery happened at Antarctica to a team of Czech geological scientists. During their research, they found not only valuable minerals, but also food supplies left by a British science team in 1950’s. In the area, where the temperatures drop well under -30 Celsius, the bag soups stayed in a good shape. The team reported it tasted just fine.

According to the leader of the Czech expedition the half-a-century-old soup satisfied the Scottish specialist on logistics and transport in cold environment Nick Halls, too.

Czech scientists initiated geological mapping of neighbour areas of James Ross island, where is the Czech Polar Station. They found Jurassic sediments close to Crystal Hill, and to their surprise also a supply point set by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), who is the world leader exploring global problems connected to Antarctica weather.

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Russia warns Poland: learn from the history

Negotiations among Poland and the USA about the military base have moved forward. Moscow doesn’t like it, warns of new Russia-Poland confrontations.

“Attempts to set up a confrontation line in Poland has until now always ended up tragically – as in WWII when the country lost almost one third of its population.” these were the words of the Russian deputy for Nato Dimitrij Rogozin, stating Poland has not learned from the history.

It is not the first diplomatically stated warning, Russia send. Last time, General-in-chief Jurij Balujevskij stated that a possible start of a defensive missile from the base in Poland can be red by the Russian systems as a launch of a ballistic missile. That would ‘provoke a launch of a Russian missile in return’.

As for the radar in Brdy, close to Prague, it will be build, as the last week brought the main negotiations to an agreement of the US and Czech governments.

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Morcheeba in Prague Lucerna

new morcheeba Morcheeba are an English band that mixes influences from trip hop, rock, rhythm and blues and pop. Their most popular albums include debut Who Can You Trust? and Big Calm. They achieved huge international pop crossover success with the single “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day” in 2000.

The founding Godfrey brothers (DJ Paul Godfrey and multi-instrumentalist Ross Godfrey) recruited Skye Edwards as vocalist in the mid-1990s, when the Morcheeba project started. Five albums later (2003), Edwards was asked to leave the band by the Godfrey Brothers as the individuals were beginning to go in separate directions musically, as the brothers wanted to try different things and had different musical ambitions.

Morcheeba comes to the Czech Republic with another singer – Jody Sternberg – for their live performances. The experience, if you are used to ‘good old Morcheeba’ can differ. They are featuring their new album dive Deep, released 4th February.

29th April 2008, Prague, Lucerna Tickets pre-sale at ticketpro for 690, ale the spot for 790 CZK.

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Pilsner Urquell Dominates Czech Market

urquell Last year, the Czech beer brand Pilsner Urquell held its 17% share on the non-alcoholic beer market.

Half a million hectolitres of nonalcoholic beer has been sold in the Czech Republic only. A year before, it was 328 thousands hectolitres. The general director of Urquell Mike Short claims, the sales of non-alcoholic beer are growing up in the whole Europe, but not so fast as in the CR.

Urquell’s brand is called Radegast Birell and it competes with another 25 brands on the Czech market.

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Sazka Arena ends, O2 Arena starts

sazka arena Prague multi-functional hall Sazka Arena changes its name to O2 Arena this march. Five-year contract has been signed yesterday.

Telefónica has became the general partner so it’s logo and graphics will be seen in and outside the multipurpose arena. Unofficial data speak about 30-50 millions CZK in rental per year.

The Spanish giant in telecommunication, Teléfónica, has entered the agreement about general partnership with the concert organizer Live Nation, representing stars like Rolling Stones, Madonna, U2 or Coldplay, so there should be plenty good concerts to look forward to.

Metropolis centre had the looks of a bright carnival parade.

carnival The main part of Bohemian Carnivale took place this weekend. Among few hundreds of participants stood out original masks from Sardinia, but the actors on stilts stood out even higher.

What else was possible to see? Masks, clowns, jugglers, allegorical baby-carriages, drummers and motorbikes. Hundreds of people walked with the parade, or stopped at the Old Town Square and watched the fun.

The theme of this second year of Bohemian Carnivale is metamorphosis and everything connected to it. People change, or morph, into something they want.

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Czech Policeman - American Solider Murder Case Petition

illustration photo Last week, an American Solider was stabbed to death by a Czech off-duty policeman. On Friday, he was released to be investigated at liberty. Friends of the murdered stand against the court decision and have written a petition. They don’t like the situation in which the ex-policema would be able to manipulate the witnesses or escape.

According to Murray’s friend the law has failed and a petition is the only possibility how to change it. They also revealed the murder situation; Mike Murray knew Prague, he went there almost every weekend. He also liked to play paintball, and that night he wanted to park his car close to the paintball station, where was no place, so he parked the car close to Sazka Arena. He prepared to sleep in the car, because he had bad experience with thieves and he protected his car that way.

The drunk policeman who passed by, didn’t like the way Mike parked, but as he was off-service, there was not much he could do. But he managed to anger Mike to such extent, he went out of the car and beaten him. The ex-policeman strikes back in a moment – with a massive pocket knife.

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Fenin started by Hattrick

Czech Martin Fenin entered the game in Frankfurt dress, and charmed Germany – he shoot three goals in his very first game. The commentator replied – “If you didn’t believe in fairy-tales, you do now.” Fenin crushed Hertha Berlin on their own ground. Hertha – Frankfurt (39. Fenin, 59. Fenin, 90. Fenin).

There has never been a more significant entry to an abroad team by a Czech, than this time. Fenin’s premiere was better than the one of Nedved, Cech, Rosicky or Baros. The crowds went wild.

Czech Miss Given Sash by Allain Delon

eliska buckova A-18-year-old high school student Eliska Buckova from the most Eastern part of the Czech Republic likes to drink Slivovice (traditional plump spirit) and wear the folk costume. The young beauty got her sash at the Prague Airport from Allain Delon.

The show was probably somehow different from the past years – First, to get a sash at the airport, second – instead of free disciplines there were promenades with animals, and Eliska balloted a falcon she was scared of, third – Straznice, the city she comes from, is the same city which miss candidate won also last year.

Czech Republic Presidential Elections in four days

Elections MF Dnes brought us results of a questionnaire, in which they asked 281 congressmen and senators. Who would they vote for? Klaus would get 126 votes, Svejnar 102. There are 23 representatives who would vote for none, 30 of them didn’t tell.

That means, there is still enough of those, who wouldn’t tell, aren’t decided, or vote ‘against their club’. The first round of presidential elections in the Czech Republic is on Friday.

Svejnar bets he will also get some votes of the ODS; “I expect it could happen” he said for MF Dnes, where he also stated he hasn’t got a flight ticket to the USA booked: “ …because I’ll win

Klaus prospers from People’s Party and Communists don’t support Svejnar as expected: “I am a candidate, because I believe I’ll win.”

To be elected, the candidate needs 141 votes of congressmen and senators.

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The Biggest Czech Solar Power Plant Working

biggest czech solar power plant This project was co-financed by the European fund for the regional development MPO CR. It is placed in Busanovice, Southern Czech Republic.

The production of electricity of this powerplant is 628 000 kWp per year, which makes it the biggest solar power plant not only in the Czech Republic, but also in the Eastern Europe. This enterprise can supply more than thousands of households.

Grands for this powerplant from the OPPP fund were 29,2 mil. CZK (1,1 mil. €), the total costs were 85 mil. (CZK 3,3 mil €)

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Ska Party in Prague

theslackers The Slackers are one of the more well-known bands emerging from the New York City ska scene, having been formed in Brooklyn in 1991.

The band’s sound is a mix of ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, soul, swing, garage rock, and jazz. The Slackers’ notability is credited to their prolific career, tours of North America, Europe, and elsewhere, and signing to notable punk label Hellcat Records.

Greensmatrol is a recognizable Czech SKA Group, with an English front man, playing good Ska-jazz at various clubs and festivals. They remain active in Prague, where they are well-know not just on the SKA scene.

28th February 2008, THE SLACKERS (ska/rocksteady, USA), GREEN SMATROLL (Rude Jazz Prague, CZ) 20.30 + DJ, Tickets 280,-, Rock Café, Narodni 20, Prague 1

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Prague Prostitutes to get a Licence?

The City Council brought a new law, according to which prostitutes working in Prague should have a licence, given by the specific city part.

If the law is passed, the prostitutes must show their health certificate, medical checkup and criminal record extract, to get a ‘prostitution licence’. “The law is the only possibility, how to solve the situation.” states the deputy of Mayor Rudolf Blazek. “We have no chance to control the situation at the present moment”

Some non-profit-making organizations, dealing with prostitution problematics however oppose that forcing prostitutes to have a licence only makes the problem worse – “I am afraid, that if such a law is passed, prostitutes only move to privates, or use the Internet to get the clients.” Hana Malinova. “We will only have more troubles getting to them.”

According to her estimations there are 3000 prostitutes, male and female, in the metropolis.

SMS Tickets Working Fine

mobile The new way of Prague Public Transport payments via mobile phone, the SMS Tickets, are getting popular – 15 thousands people buy it every day.

Prague Public Transport company (MHD) introduced it, because they hoped for reduction of people, who involuntarily battle the rattler, because they can’t buy a regular ticket anywhere. And, according to recent study, it works.

Westminster company asked 500 respondents, and from them 15-21 % sometimes do not pay for their ride in the public transport, but 9 from 10 of them think SMS tickets changed the situation, as they started using it. The MHD sees the success of SMS tickets in their good information campaign, and easy use.

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Gavials arrived to Prague ZOO

Gavialis gangeticus Prague Zoo got very special new inhabitants – seven young crocodiles Gavialis gangeticus, in English called Fish-eating Crocodile, Gharial, Long-nosed Crocodile or Gavial. Seven of them have permanently moved to Prague Zoo.

Population of Gavial in the nature is declining, the population is counted in hundreds already. Prague is the first European city, which joined endeavours for saving the species.

The crocodiles were transported from India, after several years of efforts. “ Zoo Prague got the endangered animals as an appreciation of our active role in efforts for saving of the species. “ Said the speaker Vit Kahle.

Gavilas are another cherry on the cake, Zoo Prague gained under the lead of Petr Fejk, as well as another very special world animal.

The group is formed by three males and four females. To see those Gavials is possible from 5th April.

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