Around Slovakia

"Erotica 99" celebrates sex
Parliamentary cholesterol check
Miss Slovakia helps STV beat TV Markíza
Wall creepers return from castle ruins
Excellent spring ski conditions reported

"Erotica 99" celebrates sex

In an attempt to "remove taboos from sex and erotica" and to "increase sex's popularity among common people," Slovakia's first international fair of erotic culture blasted off on March 25 and climaxed on March 28 at Výstavníctvo in Bratislava, organisers said.
Upon paying an entry fee of 280 Sk per day, visitors over 18 years of age were treated to a stimulating line-up that included a showcase of erotic goods from eleven different exhibitors and various forms of entertainment. According to organisers, the exhibitors displayed luxury underwear, hard-core heterosexual and homosexual videotapes and magazines, lubricants and gels for sexual organs and water beds.
The entertainment line-up showcased stripteases, sex talk shows, erotic dancing, "lesbian, transsexual and auto-erotic live shows," the 'Miss Erotica Slovakia' pageant and special appearances by porn stars Rocco Sifredi and Paula Wild.
'Erotica 99' organisers also said that the fair was user-friendly, as several "sexual competitions" had been planned for visitors.

Parliamentary cholesterol check

Health care firm Floraporadna, which offers free blood testing and consultation sessions to promote healthy lifestyles, visited Slovakia's 11th parliamentary session and, in cooperation with state health institutions, offered all MP's blood cholesterol level tests.
Floraporanda representatives explained that a blood cholesterol level of 5.2mmol/L or lower indicates a low risk for the development of arterosclerosis. Levels of 5.2 to 6.5 mmol/L represents a medium risk while 6.5 mmol/L and higher indicates high risk.
High cholesterol combined with stress and obesity are the main factors contributing to heart attacks and strokes as well as the aforementioned arterosclerosis, the representatives said.
Recent conflicts amongst parliamentary members, including opposition HZDS deputy Peter Baco's fisticuffs with coalition SDĽ deputy Ľubomír Andrassy, opposition SNS Chairman Ján Slota's angry anti-Hungarian and Romany comments, which may lead to possible criminal prosecution, and former SDK depity Peter Ďuračka's drunken altercation with the police and a Bratislava taxi driver, led Floraporanda representatives to advise a "slowdown," adding that the MP's should think about how they will take care of their lives in the future.

Miss Slovakia helps STV beat TV Markíza

The Miss Slovak Republic 1999 beauty contest gave state-run STV its first victory in television ratings against the private TV Markíza in over two years. According to the results of viewership surveys, STV grabbed 43% of all viewers on March 6, the night that nineteen-year-old Aneta Kuklová of Lučenec garnered the title of "Miss Slovakia." TV Markíza recorded 40.8% and the privately-owned Czech NOVA TV clocked in at 7.8%. STV's victorious March 6 line-up also included "An Evening with Milan Markovič", who returned to television after a four-year hiatus.

Banská Bystrica
Wall creepers return from castle ruins

The rare wall creeper (Tichodroma muraria) bird has been spotted in the mountainous regions of Slovakia by Miroslav Šaniga of the Staré Hory Forest Ecology Research Station of the Slovak Academy of Science. Šaniga explained that the birds have relocated for the second winter in a row at Jakub Housing Estate in Banská Bystrica.
"They spend their nights in a nearby rock wall and catch their prey of spiders and insects on the buildings of town," Šaniga explained. "But they also nest in Harmenacká Valley in the Veľká Fatra Mountains."
The 'Slovak birdman' said that 40 to 50 pairs of the birds live in Slovakia and typically inhabit limestone rocks above the upper forest levels and cliffs in the Slovak mountains - the Veľká and Malá Fatra and the High and Low Tatras. In the winter, Šaniga said, the birds fly to lower altitudes and take shelter in castle ruins or rock quarries.
The wall creeper is as big as a sparrow but has a larger wing span of 26 centimetres. It is also the only member of the Slovak bird community which is able to climb vertical walls using their "characteristically jerky jumps". It flies in a criss-cross pattern resembling a butterfly, thus its nickname in Terchová of "rock butterfly". The wall creeper has wide elliptical wings which are usually crimson with sixteen oval spots, Šaniga explained, and has gained a reputation among bird lovers as "a wondrous beauty of Slovak nature."

High Tatras
Excellent spring ski conditions reported

The deadly blizzards that blasted Slovakia in February have resulted in excellent ski conditions that are expected to last well into April, First Tatranská a.s. reported.
Lomnické Sedlo, the highest ski resort in Slovakia, currently boasts up to a metre and a half of snow while the resorts at Štrbské Pleso and Esíčko also report metre-plus snow levels. Solisko, Ždiar nad Strednici, Jamy and Jakubkova Lúka all checked in between 60 and 80 centimetres with good skiing conditions. All the resorts report that with the aid of artificial snow-making machines, skiers will be able cruise the slopes past Easter.

Compiled by Chris Togneri

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