A bid to make road junctions in the Czech Republic safer by pitching cardboard cut-outs of female officers has backfired. With their miniskirts and high heels the cut-outs have become crash-magnets instead. And, a student wins a million crowns in the lottery – and tears up the ticket. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarová.

A bid to make road junctions in the Czech Republic safer by pitching cardboard cut-outs of female traffic police has backfired because the miniskirt-clad officers have proved such a distraction that accidents have doubled. Traffic police in Prague decided to put fake women officers on duty with stop-and-go signs at a variety of dangerous junctions - after it was decided that traffic lights were too costly. But with their raised hemlines, high heels, stockings and lipstick, the police officers have become crash-magnets instead. A Czech radio station recently tried to help by providing hats and jackets for the cut-outs, but they were quickly stolen and now the sexy officers themselves have started disappearing – most likely ending up in bedrooms, saunas and gardens. If you think male models would have done better – I have news for you. Those were planted at crucial spots about a year ago and although they caused no accidents –they prevented few and in the end they too became a popular collectors’ item.

The Christian Democrats, the oldest party on the Czech political scene, which has found itself marginalized by newcomers recently produced a calendar to try and win over young voters in its traditional bastion Moravia. It picked a number of attractive young women to pose in regional costumes –to represent the party’s traditional values. A party official was present to see to the photo session, making sure that the young women looked sweet and virtuous. It was made clear to the photographer that in all snapshots there should be no cleavage and knees should be primly covered up. The calendar was deemed a big success until someone put up very different pictures of one of the girls on the Internet – she’d kept quiet about the fact that she had previously posed for a soft-porn magazine. The calendar is now having to be re-done without her offensive presence.

Bursas Charalambos, photo: CTK
The Prague-based Greek-born juggler Bursas Charalambos set a new record in Prague this week doing headers with a ball for eight hours straight. Fifty-eight-year-old Charalambos is world champion in this discipline. He holds eighty Czech and ten world records in ball-juggling – which he took up after he gave up playing football professionally. I just liked playing around with the ball and it developed into a serious hobby, Charalambos said. He can do headers in any position - sitting down, lying down, kneeling or anything else he's asked to try. One of his records is walking backwards with a ball on his head for 24 hours straight. His next feat – which he says will take him a year or two to perfect is to be walking with a ball on his head with his eyes tied. Looks like there’s isn’t much he does in life without balancing a ball on his head.

Illustrative photo
Jan Čečrle is a guardian angel. In the past twenty years he has saved more than fifty lives and is always on the lookout for people in trouble. It’s not as if he feels he has a vocation –he is simply there when things happen. It all started when at the age of around thirty he bought a house on the Ohre river, seeking to get away from the bustle of city life and envisioning long quiet evenings fishing and sitting around a campfire. The reality was somewhat different. The house was located right next to a dangerous weir on the river which has proved fatal for many canoeists. The first time we heard a call for help we thought it was children playing, but it was a girl in trouble. Jan ran out and saved her life. Ever since it has become a routine thing not only for him but for his wife and daughter as well. Dozens of canonists overturn at the weir in the course of a year and like a team of well-trained professionals whoever’s home dashes out and throws a lifeline to the person in trouble. Most of the time it is Jan Čečrle who this year received an award for merit.

A twenty-year-old Czech student won a million crowns in the lottery after putting together the date of his birth and that of his girlfriend – combined with Jaromir Jagr’s jersey number. Unfortunately he failed to check the winning numbers properly and dejected by another loss he tore up the lottery ticket before throwing it in the bin. The next day the entire family was on its knees searching the bin for the scattered pieces of paper. The ticket was reassembled – somewhat the worse for wear – but officials accepted it and paid out the money.