An Indonesian jungle is coming alive in Prague. Czech entomologists spend two years filming life in a puddle. Toyota's new generation Prius hybrid car comes to the Czech Republic. And, can you make a stone float? Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova

Can you make a stone float? Sculptor Jan Rerich from Pelhrimov decided that he could - if only for a little while -and so he set about carving a hollow stone cube out of marble. A huge crowd turned out to watch the experiment at the Pelhrimov Museum of Records and Curiosities. The stone cube was thrown into a water tank- and to the delight of the crowd -it floated. The question is for how long? Jan Rerich says the marble he used has microscopic pores through which the stone will soak up water and eventually sink - he's giving it about a week. So right now the stone is floating in a water tank, locked behind a glass panelling so that it can't be exchanged for another. The time which it manages to stay afloat will be entered into the Pelhrimov Book of Records and the "floating" stone cube itself will remain a museum artefact.

Photo: Archiv of ČRo7
A 57 year old Czech man who raised four kids all by himself is fighting to be allowed to go into early retirement. The man claims that if women can retire early -depending on the number of children they've given birth to and raised - then he should have the same rights. He's filed numerous complaints and wants the Constitutional Court to review the respective retirement article in the Czech legal system and give men and women equal rights. Czech women can detract a year from their retirement age for every child they have. Czech men are discriminated against in this respect - Mr. Andrle says - and if all else fails - he's ready to take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.

Marjanka,  photo: CTK
Turning eight is a big occasion - even if you are only a chimp. And Marjanka -or Marjoram- from the Liberec Zoo is not just any chimp. She's a respected artist who has had her paintings exhibited on many occasions both at home and abroad. The zoo threw a big party for her eighth birthday this week and journalists jostled to get good snapshots of Marjanka attacking her cake, drying her lips on a napkin and painting another masterpiece.

Toyota's new generation Prius hybrid car has been officially presented in the Czech Republic. The gas-electric car is a hit in the United States but Toyota is not anticipating big sales in this country, at least for the time being. Environmental concerns are not a priority issue here and we'll have to do a lot of PR - the Czech Toyota representative said at the presentation. On the Czech market the car costs approximately 800 thousand crowns and there are currently just four of them up for sale.

Rare relics believed to be the remains of Buddha Shakjamuni who lived 2500 years ago are being displayed in the Czech Republic this week. The twelve small pieces of bone are on an "epic pilgrimage of Europe" and have been shown in 30 countries including Germany, Austria, Switzerland and most recently Hungary. The relics were displayed in Liberec this week and are currently in Prague / at the Narodni Dum at Namesti Miru Square/. This will be the only opportunity to view them in the Czech Republic. The governments of Buddhist Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar have agreed to yield these most prized relics to the UN headquarters in New York where they will be preserved and shown to the public only once a year -on Vesak Day -the most sacred Buddhist holiday. The relics actually resemble little pearls or grains of rice and none of them is bigger than a centimetre. According to the group of monks accompanying the relics, Buddha Shakjamuni's bones bring those who view them happiness, peace and harmony and they have the power to soothe conflicts and controversies.

Last week several hundred scouts from around the world met in Prague for the 5th Euroscout Exhibition - an international gathering of scout collectors. Participants could admire, trade and buy badges, postcards, literature and a vast variety of scout related articles and souvenirs. An exhibition of stamps SCOUTPHILEX 2004 was part of the event and it boasted some prize-exhibits. The very first scout stamps in the world were printed in this country - ten and twenty haller stamps from 1918. Most people could only admire them for today they are valued at around one million crowns each.

'Life in the Puddle'
Entomologists from the Czech Academy of Sciences have just premiered a film called Life in the Puddle. The result of two years of filming a puddle -in different seasons, in different weather - the film shows a world as colourful as you would find at the bottom of the ocean or in the depth of a jungle- with numerous species fighting for survival, breeding, playing, resting. Apart from our own research goals, we wanted to show the public what dramas were being played out in every puddle in their back yard or garden, the film's "director" Josef Dlouhy said at the premiere.

In just a few weeks time people in Prague will be able to loose themselves in an Indonesian jungle -a tropical rainforest, mist and high humidity, exotic plants, over 100 animal species, a waterfall and trees reaching a height of 13 metres - all this in a glass pavilion on an area of over two thousand square metres. The idea is for visitors to have a sense of adventure - they are not supposed to get their bearings immediately, the director of the Troja Zoo told reporters this week. The Indonesian Jungle Pavilion is the zoo's most ambitious and costly project to date with the flora and fauna imported from Asia and south America. There will be monkeys, lizards, birds, insects, fish and turtles in close proximity, barriers are either natural or well hidden and visitors will be able to watch life in the river - through a glass panelling in one section. It is something that most Czechs have not experienced and we are anticipating a huge interest from the public, the zoo said. The project cost 185 million crowns - and the Indonesian Jungle Pavilion will open its doors to the public on November 29th.