The Viridian Design Movement

From: Bruce Sterling []
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 9:40 PM

Subject: Viridian Note 00329: Poor Prague

Key concepts: Prague, weather violence, giant flood

Attention Conservation Notice: Dismal events in a distant country that Neville Chamberlain didn't much care about.


Oh look. The glaciers are gone. Thank you, Exxon-Mobil.

I went to Prague once. It was lovely. Then.

Entries in the Global Civil Society Design Contest.

From: Steven W. Schuldt <swschuldt*> etyLaptop.jpg

From: Ben Davis <bend*>

From: Joerg F. Wittenberger <Joerg.Wittenberger*>

From: Scott Vandehey <scot* >

From: Bob Morris <bob*>

From: Anonymous

From: Jim Thompson <jim*> ml

From: Mike Rosing <eresrch*>

From: Till Westermayer <till*>

From: Duncan Stewart <stewarts*>

From: R. Charles Flickinger <idlewild*>

From: Kevin Prichard <kevin*>

From: Dave Phelan <dphelan* computer.html

From: "Dan Reynolds" <orion_obrien*>
To: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 15:11:33 -0400

"Hi, my name is Dan Reynolds and I've knocked together a bit of an entry for the current Viridian contest.

"My entry is not bulletproof or even waterproof. I'd hope people would have the sense to come in out of the rain.  Or at least put the thing in a bag. Thanks for all the work you do that you probably don't get paid for."

From: John Romans <joro*>

"I enjoyed doing my entry to the design comp. Should've done some more pics and apostrophes. :) Regards."

From:"Allen Wong" <threadprinter*>

"Pope-Emperor, I have completed my entry for the Global Civil Society Laptop and have stored it at:

"Thanks for organizing this. It was a fun design exercise, and I really enjoyed the creative opportunity."

This contest expires tomorrow: August 15, 2002.

Source: Radio Free Europe in Prague

From: "RFE/RL List Manager" <>
Date: Wed Aug 14, 2002 10:17:49 AM US/Central To: Subject: RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 6, No. 152, Part II, 14 August 2002


RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 6, No. 152, Part II, 14 August 2002


"Water levels continued to rise in Prague on 14 August as Mayor Igor Nemec reported that the flow of the Vltava River through the capital could no longer be gauged, having exceeded the measurable limit of 5,000 cubic meters per second, CTK reported.

"During a flood in 1890, the rate reached 3,700 cubic meters per second and was considered the highest in the city's history. Experts also revised their forecast of when levels in the city will peak, predicting on Czech Television that the river will continue a gradual rise into the evening of 14 August.

"The city began the evacuation of additional downtown areas, such as the historic Jewish Quarter and streets around Old Town Square, in the early hours of 14 August.

"Low-lying sections of the city are inundated and metro lines are operating only outside the city center, while all but one bridge over the Vltava are closed to private vehicles. Gas and electricity supplies have also been shut off to sections of the city as both major distributors declared a state of emergency in some areas.

"City police have refuted media reports of significant looting in areas already evacuated or swamped, according to CTK. (((Oh well, that's a mercy.))) So far, more than 50,000 have been evacuated from their homes in Prague. MS/AH


"Interior Minister Stanislav Gross said on 13 August that some 200,000 people have been evacuated throughout the country, making the evacuation the largest since World War II, CTK and international news agencies reported. (((Too bad that guy doesn't have a handy "Global Civil Society" computer.))) Nine deaths have been reported in the two weeks since the flooding began, including two victims on 13 August, Czech media reported on 14 August.

"Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla on 14 August commended the country's emergency response, saying: 'Few people realize just how little loss of life [there has been] and how few injured people there have been.... What it means is that decisions were made in time on evacuations.' (((How very advanced and first-world of you. Congratulations.)))

"Damages are estimated so far at some $2 billion, but Spidla said after a cabinet meeting on 13 August that the extent of damages will only become known some 14 days after the waters have receded. Spidla announced that the government approved the state of emergency he declared one day earlier in six of the country's regions and announced that 380 million crowns (nearly $11.9 million) was released for immediate aid. He said the parliamentary Budget Committee will approve an additional 1.15 billion crowns by the end of the week. MS/AH

"...AMID MASSIVE RESCUE AND EMERGENCY EFFORTS. Some 4,000 policemen, 9,000 firemen, and 2,000 soldiers are battling the effects of flooding in the Czech Republic, particularly in the western part of the country, a government spokeswoman told CTK on 14 August. (((Why not give them all the same uniform and rename them "Homeland Security"? After all, the evacuation's the biggest since World War II.)))

"The hardest-hit major cities include Ceske Budejovice and Plzen, (((tough break, beer lovers))) while scores of smaller towns and villages have been devastated.

"Some 30 bridges have been swept away, according to the daily 'Hospodarske noviny.' Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda added that offers of technical and financial assistance have come in from Sweden, Poland, France, the United States, Norway, Japan, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, and other countries as well as NATO and the EU, according to CTK the same day. (((Large areas of Asia and Africa also felt pity, but have been reduced to states of savagery and can't help much.)))

"The country will accept offers of assistance from abroad, Svoboda added, stressing that Czechs particularly need medicines, vaccines, and drying devices. ((("Drying devices?")))

"President Vaclav Havel cut short a vacation in Portugal and was expected to arrive in Prague in the afternoon of 14 August and meet with Prime Minister Spidla. MS/AH

(((This is the best part here – even their incredibly juicy, ongoing political scandal got drowned. It's become a kind of "Underwatergate.")))

"INVESTIGATION OF FORMER CZECH FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL ON HOLD DUE TO FLOODING. Investigators from the special police squad conducting an investigation into charges of corruption and serious economic crimes against Karel Srba had to postpone questioning of witnesses because of the floods, the daily 'Pravo,' cited by CTK, reported on 14 August.

"A police official said the offices where the investigation is being conducted had to be evacuated due to the floods.

"Srba is also under investigation on suspicion of having commissioned the attempt to murder journalist Sabina Slonkova and for the illegal possession of firearms. (((This scandal's really hot. This minister's sexy femme fatale girlfriend wanted this snoopy female journalist whacked, so they hired this tattooed hit man, and...)))

"One of Srba's lawyers told 'Pravo' that two executives from the Certos company, who have been charged with bribing Srba and who are not in custody during the investigation, informed the authorities they will not be able to attend the investigation due to the floods.

"Another Srba lawyer told the paper that one of the two Certos officials, Jiri Sitar, has admitted that 5.5 million crowns ($172,160) of the 30 million crowns confiscated by police during a search of Srba's house is his money. Sitar reportedly said he 'just kept it there.'" MS

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