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Dr Hudebnik
146919.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:41 am Reply with quote

Very good Ali. The first is quite interesting. In fact, the Wenceslas (or 'Vaclav' in Czech) of the English carol was not a King at all, but rather a Duke.

Have you read 'The Good Soldier Svejk?' by Hasek?

146923.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:51 am Reply with quote

Yes, it's one of my favourite novels.

147006.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:47 pm Reply with quote

Dr Hudebnik wrote:

I suppose the 'what have the Czechs done for us' seems a bit odd. Are countries only to be judged on what they did for England? We certianly know what the English did for us in Munich. I digress!

You certainly do! I don't want to sound a sour note in all this sweetness and light, but you did bring it up.
Firstly I would explain the 'oddity' of the question. It comes from the Python film 'A Life of Brian'. The Jewish Liberation Front asking 'what have the Romans ever done for us?' and then coming up with a myriad of answers. In other words Suze seems to be saying the Czechs have made plenty of contribution to the world at large, not just to England. And it is true.
Secondly though, Munich. Leave aside the fact that it was Britain not England, what would you have preferred? That Chamberlain go to war totally unprepared and sacrifice his own country in the process? As it was it was a close run thing when we finally did declare war. It would have served no-one's interests in Europe (barring Germany's) for Britain to have been overrun.

147023.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:32 pm Reply with quote

I was going to contribute The Good Soldier Svejk, but you've beaten me to it. What about Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics?

147025.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:35 pm Reply with quote

Actually it's widely held that Mendel "cheated", or embellished his results somewhat. But he was right!

147189.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:56 pm Reply with quote

I read 'The Good Soldier Svejk' many years ago when I was in my late teens, and loved it. Must re-read it one of these years (so many books, so little time...)

Dr Hudebnik
147245.  Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:03 am Reply with quote

Jenny, please allow me to recommend the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997). For me is best Czech writer since Kafka (and, if I may dare, I think he's every bit as good).

I am going to let the subject of the Munich 'agreement' go.

148005.  Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:10 pm Reply with quote


148105.  Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:38 pm Reply with quote

Thank you Dr Hudebnik - I'll look out for that. I read some Kafka while I was at university, but not in recent years.

173291.  Thu May 10, 2007 8:37 am Reply with quote

Spinoza wrote:
Actually it's widely held that Mendel "cheated", or embellished his results somewhat. But he was right!

aaah well some of us have been to his monastery in Brno :)

Czech factlet:

Strch prst skrz krk (stick a finger down your throat)

is the hardest tongue twister of any european language

173296.  Thu May 10, 2007 8:55 am Reply with quote

Bearing in mind Suze and the good Dr's earlier convo on here, there seems to be a thriving Slav Trade....

[/gets coat]



Lingua Latina
223811.  Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:49 pm Reply with quote

I've read that the Czechs invented Blood Types (A,B,O), Street Trams and Microwave Ovens. Is this right?

223819.  Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:23 pm Reply with quote

Don't know about trams or microwave ovens, but the discovery of the ABO blood group system is generally attributed to Karl Landsteiner, who was Austrian. There was a Czech scientist, Jan Janský, who discovered pretty much the same thing at pretty much the same time, but divided the groups into four, rather than Landsteiner's three. The two systems were then combined as A, B, AB and O.

223822.  Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:40 pm Reply with quote

The A/B/AB/O blood typing system was indeed discovered by a Czech, one Dr Jan Janský, in 1907. He actually called the four types I, II, III and IV when he published his discovery (Hematologická studie u psychotiků, 1907) and it went largely unnoticed by the wider world - at least in part because it was published in Czech.

An Austrian named Karl Landsteiner published a paper on blood groups a few years earlier, in 1901, but he didn't know about the AB group. He revised his work in 1909 to include the four groups we now recognise - in line with Janský's work - and was to win the Nobel Prize for it. But yes, Dr Janský got to the four group system first.

Do you have any sources for the other two claims, Lingua Latina?

From a bit of brisk Wikiing, I reckon that the first trams in the world ran in Swansea in 1807, and the first to run on the streets were in New York City in 1832. The first cable cars in the world ran in San Francisco in 1873 (and indeed, that city will probably be the last in the world to use that form of transport as well), and the first electric streetcars ran in St Peterburg in 1880.

I reckon that the microwave oven was an American invention of the 1940s, but again I'm open to correction.

223835.  Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:10 pm Reply with quote

From a bit of brisk Wikiing

I assume this action verb is defined as 'obtaining information that is presented as correct and up to date without any independent verification'.


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