Today in Mailbox: the planned new national library building in Prague, Radio Prague shortwave frequencies. Listeners quoted: Christine Takaguchi-Coates, Odette Parsons, Martin, Paula Heyma.

Design of the National Library building in Prague
Welcome to Mailbox. First of all, I would like to apologise to all of you who had been expecting a different programme right now instead of Mailbox. I am very sorry for misinforming you last week. Even though it is the anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia today, Mailbox is here as every Sunday to give you, the listeners, a chance to voice your views on Radio Prague programmes as well as current events in the Czech Republic.

The latest developments concerning the planned construction of a new national library building in Prague have been making headlines in the country. The futuristic building, popularly known as the Octopus or the Blob, designed by Czech-born architect Jan Kaplicky has raised a lot of controversy and Radio Prague listeners joined in the debate.

Christine Takaguchi-Coates is writing from Japan:

"I have been following with interest the saga of the Blob! I was surprised to read that the latest polls show that 60% of people in Prague are in favour of this very modern building being built near the historic centre of the city. If I may be allowed to add my opinion to the debate, I would say that to build The Blob in the centre of Prague would be like seeing the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra playing at the Rudolfinum led by a conductor dressed in punk clothes and sporting a Mohican hairdo! I have nothing against punk clothes or Mohican hairdos, but NOT on the stage of the Rudolfinum! In other words, I just don't think the Blob fits in with the beauty of the historic and traditional architecture of Prague!"

From Canada, Odette Parsons wrote this:

"I do enjoy Radio Prague news and articles, however cannot resist to make a comment on Letter from Prague 'To blob or not to blob'. Why not put this blob on the site of the proposed radar station in Bohemia. The land and the people would be safe and, no one would mind it there."

Thanks for those comments and, of course, Radio Prague will keep you informed on the future developments in the matter.

A shortwave enthusiast from somewhere in cyberspace, who signed as Martin, has sent us this request:

"While you have a very good web site, I cannot seem to find the times and frequencies for when the Mailbox show is broadcast on shortwave. Please send me this information, as I am compiling a list of stations (with times and frequencies) that broadcast this type of shows."

The complete list of frequencies can be found on Radio Prague website. All you need to do is click on "Our frequencies" in the right hand side menu on our home page and then scroll down to find your respective area or language you would like to listen to. As of today, the beginning of the winter broadcast schedule, Mailbox is premiered on Sundays at 1400 UTC. If you would like to have a printed copy of the new broadcast schedule, you can send in a request to Radio Prague, the addresses will follow shortly.

Paula Heyma from Australia sent us a long e-mail from which we quote just a section:

"Just to say how much I love reading and listening to your programs on-line. My family came to Australia from Czechoslovakia in the early 1950's. I learnt about your Czech Radio website via a not so recent article about my cousin Ondrej Hejma, lead singer of Zluty was a great surprise and great fun to hear his familiar 'dulcet' tones on-line! This was a wonderful introduction to your website, and I now get your news in both Czech and English sent to me via email. I especially love your section 'SoundCzech' (a very clever pun!) because it really helps to learn colloquial Czech and Czech idioms in a fun and painless way. I print out every week's edition for learning and revision and am able to listen and re-listen whenever I want. Thank you so much; your website not only helps me with my Czech, but also lets me know what is going on over there!"

And thank you, Paula, for letting us know you are out there and for telling us what you like about our broadcasts.

Of course, all comments and questions are welcomed here - you can write to us via e-mail to [email protected] or you can send a good old fashioned letter to Radio Prague, 12099, Prague. Those are also the addresses for your competition answers. You have until Wednesday to send us your suggestions as to who this month's mystery person is.

Our mystery man was born in Prague on October 5th, 1781. He was a learned man, a Catholic priest but also a mathematician, theologian, philosopher and logician. As a lecturer at Prague University he was known for his antimilitaristic views. His views were seen as too liberal by the authorities and he was dismissed from the university and exiled to the countryside. His works had not been fully published until the middle of the 20th century.

Next Sunday, we will reveal the correct answer and announce the four lucky winners who will receive small gifts from Radio Prague. And of course, there will be a brand new mystery Czech for you. Till then, thanks for listening and bye-bye.