Hurvínek, photo: archive of the Jablonec Muzeum of Glass and Glass Jewelry

In Magazine: a Czech couple caught having sex in public in New Zealand argued that it was perfectly normal in the Czech Republic, the Jablonec Muzeum of Glass is showing figurines of famous politicians, storybook characters and fictional heroes, a third of Czechs try to avoid physical activity, and, the town of Ivančice hosts its annual Asparagus Festival.

Illustrative photo:
A Czech couple caught having sex in public in New Zealand attempted to soften the local authorities by saying they thought it was OK because they could do it in their home country, the Southerland Times reported this week. The paper said the couple were found in an "amorous" position at about 3am across the road from one of Queenstown's most expensive hotels. A passing patrol car was alerted to the scene by members of the public who pointed them in the couple's direction. Their line of defence was thwarted by the Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Auckland Gregory Shanahan who said that sex in public was certainly not the norm in the Czech Republic. "When you go to Prague you won't find people copulating all over the place," Shanahan said, adding that either way, the couple needed to follow the laws that apply to New Zealand. The couple came close to being charged with offensive behaviour, but were let off the hook.

Photo: archive of Michaela Mertlová
Czech glass makers go back a long way but tradition and skills are no longer enough to sell products – designers are looking for innovative approaches and Michaela Mertlova’s glass collection Munchies is a case in point. The highlight of her munches collection is a ring with a chewing gum bubble blown from glass, complete with teeth marks, stuck on a gold ring. The designer says the hardest part was to capture the ephemeral nature of the bubble. It is fragile, frivolous and young and because the bubble is filled with your breath it is intimate as well, the author says.

Hurvínek,  photo: archive of the Jablonec Muzeum of Glass and Glass Jewelry
The Jablonec Muzeum of Glass and Glass Jewelry has just opened an exhibition of glass figurines made in the famous Železný Brod glassworks. The company is known for its exquisite glass figures for nativity scenes, one of which was also donated to the Vatican. The glassworks have produced thousands of figurines over the years and the present exhibition in Jablonec is showing 660 of the best pieces. They include glass figures of storybook characters as well as real life people such as Charles IV, Winston Churchill, Fidel Castro, the football player Pele, Sherlock Holmes and the popular Czech puppet Hurvínek. The exhibition runs until October 4th.

Karel Bejšovec,  photo: YouTube
Forty-two-year old base jumper Karel Bejšovec conquered Prague’s City Tower building two weeks ago taking a leap from the roof of the 109 metre-tall building. Bejšovec who has 650 base jumps under his belt never tried to get permission, planning the secret jump for two months and visiting the top storey restaurant with friends in order to map the terrain. On D-Day Bejšovec arrived with a couple of friends and ordered coffee. While his friends distracted the waiters he slipped out and climbed to the roof unnoticed in just 20 seconds. The jump is on Youtube and Bejšovec in now planning a expedition to the Cave of Swallows in Mexico.

Photo: archive of Radio Prague
How fit do Czechs appear to you overall? If opinion polls are to be believed the majority of Czechs –over 50 percent- exercise at least once a week. According to the outcome of a poll conducted by Ipsos people’s favourite means of keeping fit are outdoor cycling and jogging. 16 percent of respondents said they exercise three to four times a week in the gym. On the other hand a full 30 percent of respondents said they had almost no physical activity and did their best to avoid it. Long distance running has become increasingly popular in recent years with marathons and half-marathons held in every big city. The Czechs even won the silver medal in an international stairclimbing competition in Qatar last month running up 50 storeys and covering an incredible 1300 stairs in one go. The Australian team got there ahead of them, clinching the gold and Austria took the bronze.

Photo: Ivana Vonderková
The Asparagus Festival in Ivančice that annually draws foodies and visitors from around the country sold a record amount of asparagus - the most in the festival’s 21-long tradition. The festival saw 7,000 visitors and five tons of asparagus was sold or consumed on the spot. Ivančice, was once a leading producer of asparagus but although the tradition remains it is no longer able to meet the festival’s needs and buys asparagus from farmers in Hostín, north Bohemia. The annual Asparagus Festival includes cooking classes for adults and children, farmers’ markets, wine tastings, concerts, exhibitions and competitions.