Beer spa, photo: CTK

The first beer spa opens in the Czech Republic. Take a bath and feel the benefits! A stray beaver moves into a heated pool. And three siblings -of different ages- all born on the same day? It's happened. Find out more in magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

What with the threat of bird flu, birds aren't exactly popular with everyone nowadays, but the Jihlava Zoo is not letting them get a bad name. This year's Bird Day at the Zoo is being held on April 1st as usual, April 1st being International Bird Day. Traditionally, the Czech Ornithological Society has announced the bird of the year - which for 2006 - is the sea eagle. Bird lovers from near and far congregate in the Jihlava Zoo on bird day and according to tradition everyone whose name is Orel - meaning eagle in Czech - gets free admission. Diminutive versions such as Orlikovi or Orlickovi are also acceptable. Every year different bird-named people thus meet at the zoo - the blackbirds, the sparrows or the magpies in their human form. The event is one of its kind in the Czech Republic and very popular. Of course, although the Eagles are the visitors-of-honour this year everyone else is welcome to come along for a fun day at the zoo. There is a special raffle and the winner gets to take his whole family for a plane ride over Jihlava for a birds-eye view of the place. Kids can take part in bird-knowledge competitions and learn all about the sea-eagle. This year the zoo has also planned a lecture and debate on bird-flu related issues for the public.

The Svoboda family in Bobrova no longer feel in control of their home. All was reportedly well until last Thursday when - as they were watching the evening news- the light bulb overhead exploded. Shelves came down and glasses smashed as if some force was set on destroying everything in the place. This went on all night and throughout the next day until the whole house was in shambles. Mr. Rudolf Svoboda believes it must have been a small scale earthquake, but experts have ruled this out. An earthquake that smashed things and brought down shelves would have had to be monitored. There was no sign of any quake at all in the region. TV crews have been in and out of the house since the incident and the neighbours have had a field day gossiping about what's going on at Svoboda's place. Some claim it is definitely poltergeists, others say Mr. Svoboda must have had a drink too many. Question is what the insurance company will say when they come round to assess the damage...

A stray beaver seeking a new home found a haven in the heated pool of a nightclub in Domazlice recently. It must have made a pleasant change from the icy cold river because although there was no food in the pool he showed no intention of leaving. The owner eventually had to call the pest control team to have him caught and removed to his former, significantly colder, habitat. Although the beaver is a migratory animal he is usually quite timid and it is most unusual for one to move so close to a human dwelling.

Beer spa,  photo: CTK
Beer is supposed to be good for you in many ways and if you are a beer lover it is now possible to put that to the test by trying out the first beer spa in the Czech Republic. The main procedure is a warm beer bath with a luxuriant white cap of bubbles. You are submerged in a mixture of mineral water and dark bathing beer made especially for that purpose and enriched with active beer yeast and a mixture of dry crushed herbs. The treatment lasts for twenty minutes and promises "a purified and rejuvenated body and the release of a stream of positive thoughts and energy". After the bath you are moved to a relaxation area for a special wrap in dimmed light and pleasant music, followed by a soothing massage. The effect is further heightened by a glass of the golden brew containing live yeast cultures. An hour later you should emerge re-born - for the price of 550 Czech crowns.

Nobody likes dealing with red tape, but it must be done and if there's anything worse than having to fill in forms it is having to take a day off from work to do it. Lots of people do - except those who happen to live in the town of Milovice. Employees of the local town hall decided to offer their services to the public on Saturday mornings twice a month. The interest was huge and the office had its hands full until midday. As a result you won't hear a cross word about bureaucrats in that one Czech town. The problems stemming from the fact that office hours at town halls coincide with people's normal work hours - from eight to four - have been debated for years, but nobody has done anything about it. Nobody except the town of Milovice that is. Now Czechs living elsewhere occasionally try the door of their town hall on a Saturday morning, just in case they've decided to follow a good example ...

Mr. and Mrs. Koutsky from Pelhrimov have managed what you can only call a hat trick. They have three children of different ages all born on the same day - March 17th, all at around midday. Jana, Danecek and Kubik are several years apart and their parents say they had no intention of planning the childrens' birth to all come on the same day, but somehow or other it did with Kubicek arriving last on March 17th of this year, just over two weeks ago. Hospital staff were amazed at the coincidence saying the chances of that happening were one in a hundred thousand. As for the Koutskys, they say they will have an eve bigger party on that day. We've been making two cakes so far - in future we'll just make three, the proud father said. It is not clear whether the Koutskys are planning to have any more children on March 17th.