A newspaper vendor acts as midwife, archeologists uncover mammoth bones in Usti nad Labem and the biggest folding story book in the world takes up three rooms and you'll find it in the Czech Republic. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
The Czech Republic also boasts the biggest folding picture book in the world. It's called The History of the Valiant Czech Nation and Some Inconsequential World Events. The book is two meters tall and an impressive 70 metres wide and takes up three rooms at the Louny Museum where it is currently on show. The book which casts a comic and satirical slant on Czech history has become a huge best-seller - in smaller size of course. The book received the Magnesia Litera Award for children's books in 2003, the Golden Streamer and the Golden Seal award for children's literature.
The Prague town hall has a plan that should help to provide shelter for more homeless people during the winter months. It wants to buy a huge freight ship and turn it into a winter shelter for the homeless with cabins for 250 people and a canteen for approximately the same number below deck. The ship would be manned by a charity organization and the town hall would arrange for it to dock somewhere on the Vltava embankment. A great deal depends on whether the town hall will get a grant for the project from the ministry of labour and social affairs. The ship would cost around 21 million crowns and the grant should cover approximately two thirds of the costs. Giving homeless people shelter when the cold becomes life-threatening has become a big problem for the Czech capital. Prague has an estimated 6 thousand homeless people and others are drawn to the Czech capital when the weather makes life outdoors insufferable. Yet the city only has some 600 beds for them all. Last year when temperatures dropped to minus twenty long-term the army pitched in to help erecting army tents to serve as makeshift shelters on Letna Plain.
Learning foreign languages later in life is not easy - as many Czechs could tell you. The generations of Czechs who spent their lives behind the Iron Curtain are having a hard time catching up - trying to become fluent in English and other world languages. No matter how hard they study their grammar books or how often they travel abroad their Czech sentence structure and pronounced Czech accent always give them away. Many parents now want something better for their children and although English lessons are now an important part of the school curriculum there is interest in starting much earlier. In Zlin kids are learning English before they can speak their own mother tongue. Helena Zmelikova has set up nursery English classes for babies under the age of one. "I didn't want my children to learn the hard way and I wanted them to grow up bi-lingual, to hear English and get used to it from an early age so it would be as natural to them as Czech," Helena says. She looked around for something appropriate but there was nothing for children under two -so she set up a nursery class herself. Dozens of parents immediately signed up their babies and she's now in business with a class of the youngest language students ever!