The Czech legendary genius Jara Cimrman has had a plaque unveiled in London. Is the theatre seat too small for you? Then lose some weight! Those are "EU standard size" seats! Will some Czechs have to give up dumplings to see a play? And, why would hockey star Jaromir Jagr need watering? Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
The Czech legendary genius Jara Cimrman has had a plaque unveiled in his memory at the Czech embassy in London. Present at the ceremony were ambassador Stephan Fulle and two leading Czech experts on the Cimrman phenomenon Ladislav Smoljak and Zdenek Sverak. "Archive materials prove that Jara Cimrman visited London in 1908," ambassador Fulle said, "he lived in this very residence and met with James Haywood, chairman of the British Sunday Society." Those present nodded their heads and told a few Cimerman stories of their own for good measure. Everyone present knew perfectly well that Jara Cimerman never existed but nobody would have dreamed of spoiling the fun. Ever since his birth 37 years ago Cimerman has fasinated Czechs and tickled their sense of humour. Today everyone knows who Cimerman was and there is a Jara Cimerman theatre putting plays that the great Czech genius allegedly wrote. There are at least 15 plaques in his memory in various parts of the country. One of them reads " Cimerman was never here". If you think we are all mad - let me try to explain how all this came about. Cimerman was created - over a bottle of vodka, they say - by Oscar winning director Zdenek Sverak and Jiri Sebanek - who made him a central figure of their radio shows and later theatre performances. Jara was a prodigy - gifted at everything - ready to take on anything and always on hand with a solution to any problem. The tales about him entertained Czech audiences so well that they took him to their hearts and created a great myth about the perfect Czech. If we are going to Europe, we're taking Cimerman, some of his fans joke. Well, why not. We may well need him. By the way, if you want to see the Cimerman plaque you'll have to wait for a special occasion when the embassy gardens in London are open to the public. The embassy placed it out of public view - so as not to confuse the British public.
The first telegram which Samuel Morse sent from the Capitol to the Baltimore railway station allegedly read "What has God created?"
The longest telegram ever delivered in this country contained 16 thousand words. It was sent in 1899 to the spa town of Marianske Lazne or Marianbad to the English king Eduard VII who often visited the spa incognito to take the healing waters. Well, a lot has changed since and today the telegram is on the list of endangered communication technologies. While in 1989 Czechs sent some 5 million telegrams their number has now dropped to an absolute minimum. Prague's main post office sends only about 60 a month. Sending a sixteen word telegram today costs around 100 crowns and you have to go to the trouble of going to the post office and filling in a form. Who would bother when E-mails, faxes and telephones are a quicker and cheaper alternative....
The inhabitants of Trebic are engaged in a heated argument over the size of seats at the newly renovated Trebic theatre house. The five hundred new seats have turned out to be too small for some theatre goers. " Why don't they just put a notice outside saying fatties are banned ? " one of the outraged visitors demanded. "I weigh 89 kilos and measure one metre and eighty centimetres which is not all that unusual - so how come all these seats are made for midgets?" Another visitor mused that even if he could fit himself into the seat he was not sure he could get out of it once the performance was over. The town's mayor has not helped matters by telling outraged visitors that they should go on a diet. "The new seats are standard European size and if someone can't fit into them they should think about going to the gym", the mayor said. The conflict rages on ....in the meantime culture in Trebic is only for slim - or "EU standard size" individuals. It will be interesting to see what will have to go in the end....
If you are a company producing musical instruments - what better advertising could you hope for than to show a former American president playing on one of your saxophones? Amati-Denak hit on that idea some time ago and put a picture of the former US President Bill Clinton playing an Amati saxophone in the Reduta club during his visit to Prague in 1994, on its web page. The orders poured in - but now Amati has been ordered to pay the photographer 400 thousand crowns in damages, because they did not have a license to use the photograph. It was the only one made because the club was closed to journalists and the public on the occasion that Mr. Havel, then Czech president threw a party there for the visiting US head of state.
Many Czech schools have problems catering to the needs of unusually talented and highly intelligent children. This concerns about two percent of Czech children. These whiz kids could easily sit for university exams in their given field of interest but they still have to sit through a regular maths or physics lesson with the rest of the class. At best, teachers faced with this situation will let the child engage in something quietly so as not to disturb the others. Now the Education Ministry and the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University is preparing an "individual study plan" for highly intelligent children over the internet. This would take a lot of weight off primary school teachers and allow the whiz kids to develop their skills under the guidance of top experts in their field. It won't be easy -one of the authors of the project warned - the kind of tasks these kids will be working on is what do you do when one of the motors of a spaceship fails.
The town of Hrabyne will soon have a special attraction - flower beds of VIPs. And who's on the list? Hockey star Jaromir Jagr, singer Jaromir Nohavica and model Monika Zidkova, who won the Miss Czech Republic and Miss Europe title a few years ago, to name just a few. With some weeding and watering they should look good all summer and no doubt increase tourism to the area as well!