What are today’s most pressing housing challenges? What are the current trends in residential development? And how to plan and build for well-being? These are among the questions that will be discussed in Prague this week by some of the world’s leading architects and urban planners, who will be attending the annual reSITE conference.
Prague is a major hub when it comes to alternative cryptocurrencies. At the epicentre is a building known as Paralelní Polis, part of a project set up by the guerrilla art group Ztohoven and home to quite possibly the first café in the world where you could buy a coffee using cryptocurrency. Recently that café, Bitcoin Coffee, hosted a Do-It-Yourself market to help start-up companies and entrepreneurs of all stripes sell their products using a range of virtual currencies.
Why do ethnic conflicts in some parts of the world flare up so easily and spread so fast? Is ethnic hate and intolerance contagious? Researchers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia joined forces to try to find the answers to some of those questions and arrived at some surprising conclusions. I spoke to Associate Professor Michal Bauer, an expert on experimental and behavioral economics at CERGE-EI, who is one of the authors of the study, and began by asking him what motivated the research in this field.
A group of right-wing protestors who over the weekend disrupted a theatre performance of the controversial play by Croatian director Oliver Frljić have filed a criminal complaint against one of the lead actors as well as the director of the National Theatre in Brno for propagating religious intolerance and defamation of a state symbol. Two other complaints are also pending.
For about one third of the world’s population, bugs are a common part of their diet, but most Europeans still find the thought of eating insects revolting. A couple of Czech businessmen, Radek Hušek and Daniel Vach, of SENS Foods, are trying to change that by producing protein and energy bars containing crickets from their farm in Thailand.
It’s almost a year to the day since the Czech Republic finally moved to ban smoking in bars, cafes, and restaurants. And while the ban is still a live issue with sporadic attempts to change the law, a survey commissioned by Charles University shows support is still strong among Czechs and suggests that there are a lot of myths about its impact.
With the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation due to come into force on May 25th individual member states are scrambling to comply with the new directive. The Czech Republic has a lot of catching up to do – national data protection laws supplementing the GDPR are still not in place and a flash poll has revealed that a fifth of Czech firms are unaware of the existence of the new EU data protection rules.
A few weeks ago the Czech Republic joined “Refugees Welcome International ” a platform that was founded in November 2014 to connect refugees with locals who are willing to share their living space and on a day-to-day basis help refugees feel at home in their new country. I spoke to Tomáš Jungwirth, one of the organizers of the project in the Czech Republic, about how it will work and what he hopes to achieve in a country that is not perceived as being overly friendly to migrants.
As controller of BBC World Service English, Mary Hockaday is one of the most senior executives at the globe’s biggest radio station. When she was in Prague last week for a recording of the debate show World Questions, I asked Hockaday about various aspects of the World Service’s role and today’s media landscape. But the conversation began with her years here in the Czech capital in the early 1990s, when she was the BBC’s correspondent in the city.
The Czech Republic is known for its skilled glassmakers, getting commissions for lighting installations and glass artworks from palaces, luxury hotels and residences the world over. However this year the studio of Czech glassmaker Zdeněk Lhotský concluded work on a truly unique project – a four-tonne glass case that will serve as a sarcophagus for Denmark’s Queen Margarethe II.