Footwear specialists from the Tomáš Baťa University have made replicas of the shoes warn by the terracotta army warriors. Water pipe smoking is gaining popularity in the Czech Republic and a politician sends 21,000 sms messages to say he is sorry! Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarová.
Traveling around the country you will see statues of Czech politicians, poets and scientists but a group of important-looking people in the centre of České Budějovice might leave you stumped. Four men and two women in business suits looking as if they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. The Humanoids are the work of artist Michal Trpák and symbolize life at the turn of the 21st century, a group of managers who no longer have the time to lead lives of their own. The group is seen in motion – striding towards the next board meeting presumably – and they have done quite a lot of traveling around the country. They were exhibited at Prague’s Ruzyně Airport –where they were a big hit with tourists and in Prague’s Smíchov district. Michal Trpák says he did not make the piece with the intention of “moralizing”. “It is merely my perception of what present day life is like,” he told reporters. Well, have a look for yourself – as far as I’m concerned this is a scary picture and plenty of people are sure to recognize themselves.
Speaking out before you stop to think can be pretty expensive. David Vodrážka, deputy chairman of the Civic Democratic Party, recently committed a bad blunder when he told the press the party intended to sue the state for millions of crowns over the aborted early elections. Outraged party leader Mirek Topolánek rejected the claim as “rubbish” telling journalists that they might as well quote a fool from the back of beyond and present his words as party policy. Cowed, the fool from the back of beyond sent all party members with a registered cell phone an sms apology. He sent out 21 thousand sms messages for which he paid 31 thousand crowns from his own pocket. If more politicians were forced to apologize for their goofs the state of Czech politics might be a lot better - or mobile operators much richer.
Water pipe smoking has been gaining popularity in recent years not just among young Czechs but also among the older generation, women and even non-smokers. “People first try smoking water pipes while traveling in the Arab world and then bring a pipe back as a souvenir,” says Petr Halamka who is doing good business selling water pipes and tobacco here in the Czech Republic. He ascribes their growing popularity to three factors – for one, people associate the feeling with their holiday and it makes them happy and relaxed, secondly – it helps people socialize. “You wouldn’t sit around smoking a water pipe by yourself,” he points out. And thirdly – people generally believe that smoking a water pipe is far less addictive and harmful than lighting up a cigarette – a misconception that has the health authorities ringing alarm bells.