Dieting to be slim? Think again. A new survey has revealed that women with a 42 dress size (size 14) are happier than others! Scuba divers drink a toast to the New Year 20 meters underwater and, why is there so little water in the sea? Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarová.

If there were a prize for the most original New Year’s toast the Chrudim Scuba Diver’s Club would be a serious contestant. Over a dozen professional scuba divers popped champagne bottles and drank a New Year’s toast 20 meters underwater this year. The New Year’s party took place in a caisson, a watertight box used for the construction of dams or piers. The caisson is an underwater capsule of sorts, filled with compressed air and sealed at the top. An airlock allows access to the underwater chamber. As an underwater mini-pub it guarantees total privacy, but the freezing cold had the divers out in just a few minutes, happy to rejoin the celebrations on the ground.

As usual in the first days of the new year, fitness clubs are bursting at the seams as people driven by new year resolutions pump iron to try and lose the extra weight gained over the Christmas holidays. But before you rush off – stop and listen to this – a newly published study suggests that women with a dress size 42 are the happier than others. So if you are desperately striving to be a 34 or 36 thinking it will bring you instant happiness - then think again. Size 42 respondents were found to be happier both with the state of their private lives and their careers. The second happiest group were the 40 dress size ladies, followed by sizes 36, 44 and 38. But before you go and binge, please keep in mind that the unhappiest of the lot are the size 50s. So – don’t go overboard. Only one carton of Hagens Daaz and one plate of cream cakes allowed.

You’d be hard put to find someone in the Czech Republic who’s not seen it – the popular Soviet-era cartoon series about the big bad wolf and the smart little rabbit, who always outwits him at the end of the day. There aren’t many Soviet- era products that are still around but, like the cult fairy tale Mrazík from 1964, the legendary wolf and rabbit from Nu, pogodi! are still going strong and you’ll see them on computer screens, mobile phones, schoolbags and puzzles. The cartoon series has an interesting history – it was made by Alexej Kotenochkin in the late 1960s, becoming an instant hit.

In 2005 Kotenochkin’s son did a follow- up series with the same wolf, rabbit and a sow with three bras. However critics say that the follow-up does not quite manage to recapture the magic of the original cartoon series. Though, maybe that was because the original was an immensely refreshing work in its day and age, devoid of Soviet propaganda. In fact it was said to contain many a hidden jibe at the regime and its makers even managed to smuggle in one of the songs by dissident musician Vladimir Vysocki who was to have lent his voice to the wolf but whom censors rejected for political reasons.

The town of Liberec, which is to host the Nordic World Ski Championship in February, is in the grip of ski fever. While the organizers are busy producing artificial snow, local businesspeople are gearing up for an onslaught of visitors and even the local puppet company has tailored its programme to the big event. Last Friday the Liberec puppet theatre premiered a play about Jiří Raška –the only Czech to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the ski jump. He won the gold in 1968 in Grenoble jumping 79 meters for the world title. Raška himself was present at the premiere and said later he had greatly enjoyed himself, adding that about 70 to 80 percent of the play was based on his real life.

Czech travel agencies shared their woes with the public on New Year’s eve publishing a list of some of the complaints they get from clients. And, believe it or not, some tourists are hard to please. One woman who spent time on the Italian coast complained about the fact that “there had not been enough water in the sea”, and she had had to “wade for miles” before being able to swim properly. Her demand for financial compensation was rejected. Another client – this time a man – wanted compensation for the fact that there had been too much snow at the Monte Bondone mountain resort where he stayed. After several days of heavy snowfall his windows were so plastered with snow and it was impossible to tell whether it was daytime or nighttime. The company rejected his demand on the grounds that he had a clock and computer in the room for orientation purposes. On the other hand, some holidays really bring some unpleasant surprises. For instance a Czech tourist holidaying in Cuba was brutally attacked by a dolphin – although dolphins are generally peace-loving creatures who like to play with humans. The dolphin slammed into the man several times and even pulled him underwater before lifeguards came to the rescue. The man came back with huge bruises on his back and across his ribs and tooth marks on his legs. And the same agency also got a complaint about one of its drivers. He repeatedly lost his way on a trip from Prague to Venice and back – making the journey twice as long as it was meant to be. But, worse still, on the way back he used foul language and complained that he couldn’t drive because the roads were full of writhing snakes. He was sacked on the spot and all the passengers were given compensation.