Czech celebrities discover flower food -though most Czechs still prefer dumplings. Having trouble bending down? Jaroslav Kucera's sock-aid might be just what you need to start the day. And, the Vltava river is being prepared for a world championship in trout fishing! Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

Throwing a party tonight? Forget about sushi and caviar - if you want to "wow" your guests start thinking along the lines of orchids, daisies, tulips and apple-blossoms. Cooking and garnishing with flowers has become the rage among Czech celebrities. A recent flower party at the Opera Garden brought together gourmets, diet freaks, and noted cooks who all swore that flowers in the kitchen were something else. And to prove it they munched on daisy salad, salmon with a rose leaf dressing and avocado salad with orchids. If you feel that this is just a little too sophisticated for your taste - then try a simple flower delicacy: broccoli soup with floating daisies is reported to be delicious. You never know where this may lead - a woman in Holland is recently said to have found a live frog in her salad! While that seems a bit much - who says a live grasshopper wouldn't look nice in the rose leaf dressing?

Jaroslav Kucera need never bend down to put on his socks again. He has invented a so called sock-aid for people who have difficulties bending down. He has had it officially patented after getting it tested on heavily pregnant women, people with disabilities and elderly people. All are said to have been delighted with the sock-aid. The only problem is that you won't get it on the market just yet. When Jaroslav offered it to a producer he was told it would cost consumers a thousand crowns a piece. But the inventor claims this would be daylight robbery - saying that by his own calculation the sock aid should not cost more than three hundred and 50 crowns VAT included. And he says he's not going to strike a deal until the price is right.

Photo: Zdenek Fric,  CC BY 3.0 Unported
Slipping unnoticed into the grounds of the Benesov police headquarters (near Prague) is not easy but a recent visitor managed it and soon had the place in turmoil: the visitor being a poisonous snake "on the run". Luckily one of the police dog trainers put a broom and spade to good use and by the time the pest control team arrived the snake was waiting for them in a plastic container.

There are only 16 of them in the world and three of those are in the Czech Republic. I'm talking about the "fire-tank" -a more powerful version of the fire engine - built onto a T-55 tank. One is on standby at Kennedy Airport in New York. Two others are used by fire fighters in Spain. In Azerbaijan and Iraq they are used to put out burning oil wells. The three in the Czech Republic are all in private hands. One is owned by Miroslav Janacek a collector of military technology. He says the tank runs at a speed of 60 km per hour carrying nine thousand litres of water. From his back yard he could use it to target a building a good 70 metres away and the force of the jet stream would cave the door in. The fire tank can also put out fires with the help of foam and powder. And in extreme conditions - the tank will cool itself down with jet streams targeting the armour plate. It's unlikely that Mr. Janecek will ever get to use it but he still spends a huge amount to time polishing and maintaining it - just in case it should one day be called into action.

The children in the asylum centre in Pribram
The non-governmental organisation Nesehnuti which is involved in helping refugees to integrate in society recently organized a sports day for Czech kids and children from Chechnya, Palestine, Somalia, Armenia and Kazakhstan who are still living in asylum camps or have been granted political asylum in the Czech Republic. "We wanted to help the kids bond and feel more at home by getting everyone to play their games" one of the organizers explained. The event was a huge success and the next project on the agenda is a multi-culture tea-house which the asylum-seekers themselves will help to decorate.

Pardubice - the town known for its gingerbread and health spa - has produced the biggest ever chocolate and marzipan heart. The heart weighs 120 kilograms and is 1 metre 67 centimetres wide. It made it into the Czech book of records just in time - before being consumed by over a hundred kids at a party thrown in its honour.

Only a decade ago Prague residents would not have dreamed of eating fish caught in the Vltava river - it was simply too polluted. But in recent years things have improved to such an extent that local fishermen are planning to release 10,000 trout into the river - between Manes Bridge and Charles Bridge. This is happening in preparation of a world championship in trout fishing to take place in Prague in October. There are trout fishing competitions in many parts of the Czech Republic, but none have ever taken place in Prague - with good reason - there are very few trout in the river. Now that the state of the water has improved fishermen are preparing the ground - or river bed - for a good catch. Fishing will be banned for ten days before the championship to make sure that there are plenty of fish in the river for the big day. Some two hundred sport fishermen are expected to descend on Prague in October - and fish from small boats on the river. As for the local enthusiasts - they won't be disappointed. No matter how many trout are caught that day they will all get thrown back in - which means that anyone interested will be able to try their luck right after the championship. With 10,000 fattened trout in the river they stand a fair chance.