STRONGMAN Chobot also holds records for dental prowess.
Record-breaking Slovaks showcase bizarre skills
THREE Slovaks are to be entered into the Guinness Book of Records for tearing telephone directories in half, lifting beer barrels and pulling a seven-ton truck by a rope gripped in the mouth for a record distance.
On October 19 Juraj Barbarič lifted a 50-litre beer barrel 100 times above his head in 29 minutes and 24 seconds.
František Oszi tore 120 copies of the Bratislava yellow pages telephone directory in half in just over three minutes, improving his previous record by 20 copies.
Renowned Slovak strongman Zdenko Chobot, nicknamed "the dentist's menace" according to the Nový čas daily, performed a number of feats using his unusually strong teeth.
In the first record, Chobot bent a set of three 30-centimetre-long iron nails with his teeth, three steel bars that each had a diameter of 1.3 centimetres, and three bars that each had a diameter of 1.5 centimetres, all in 55.7 seconds.
After that Chobot broke his previous record for pulling a seven-ton truck with his teeth. He pulled the vehicle for a distance of 10 metres, two metres more than his previous personal best.
Chobot is not new to the Guinness Book of Records, having gained his most recent entry last year after he had a 200-kilogram block of concrete put on his head and smashed with a 10-kilogram hammer.
The records must be officially approved before they can be entered into the Guinness Book of Records.
Kindergarten left in the dark
THE FATE of a kindergarten in Smolenice is uncertain, after the facility ran up huge electricity bills that far exceed the school's budget.
The kindergarten owes a total of Sk352,000 ($8,200) for electricity it used. It was saved from closure October 16 when the state provided Sk80,000 ($1,900) to cover the cost of the most urgent electricity bills.
The Slovak press reported that teachers at the kindergarten had to use candles to light the classrooms when the electricity supply was turned off.
It unclear how the kindergarten will pay its remaining debts.
Slovak youths kill two in Vienna
TWO MEN from southern Slovakia are facing 15 years in jail for a brutal killing of two Austrians they attacked with knives and scissors in Vienna.
The two men, 20-year-old Gábor and 19-year-old Gabriel, left Slovakia for Austria in April this year in an attempt to avoid obligatory conscription in the Slovak army.
Wandering around Vienna with no money, the two men were approached by a 42-year-old local man, Peter W. The men said Peter W. offered them food, a shower and a place to stay in his flat in Vienna at Ottakringer Strasse.
On arrival at the flat, the two said Peter W. played a homosexual porn video and tried to convince the two Slovaks to have intercourse, physically harassing Gábor.
When Gábor defended himself against Peter W., the Austrian allegedly reached for a pair of scissors and threatened Gábor with them. At that moment Gabriel rushed to help his friend, pulling a pocketknife on the Austrian. Both Slovaks attacked Peter W., stabbing him 25 times.
When Peter W.'s stepfather Franz, 76, came into the room, Gabriel and Gábor stabbed him to death as well.
They took two mobile phones and a wallet containing credit cards and left the flat. Later they rang their families from one of the mobile phones, a move that helped the Austrian police track down the offenders.
Gábor and Gabriel admitted to the killings and are now in custody pending trial.
SAINT Martin's church in Nitra leans 155 cms off its central axis.
Leaning tower of Nitra tilts further than others
SAINT Martin's church in the western Slovak town of Ivanka pri Nitre is the tower that leans the most in the country.
The church, built between 1769 and 1771, leans from its central axis by 155 centimetres.
Inclining nearly as far is the neo-Roman basilica of the Virgin Mary in the western village of Vráble, built in 1901, which leans 150 centimetres from its central axis.
Granny nabbed for dealing smack
A 66-YEAR-OLD pensioner has been charged with dealing heroin, leading observers to wonder if she is the oldest drug dealer ever to operate in Slovakia.
State-run news agency TASR reported October 21 that a national anti-drug squad found 32 doses of heroin packed into separate paper slips and used syringes in the flat of Oľga T. from Trnava.
The woman said that she had bought the drugs from an unknown man a day before the police raided her flat, and that she had intended to sell it on to end-users.
ĽUDO Matejov has been mailing aid packages for 30 years.
Man helps poor around the world
FOR OVER 30 years a Slovak man has been sending humanitarian aid packages to people all around the world.
Ľudo Matejov, 82, from Bánovce nad Bebravou recently sent two 15-kilogram packages to poor people in Madagascar.
Matejov said that last year he sent 36 packages to various countries and paid more than Sk45,000 ($1,050) in postage to send them. The average monthly pension in Slovakia is about Sk6,000 ($140).
The recent package, which contained soap, clothes, medicine, and various products for personal hygiene, was sent to a Madagascar missionary of Slovak origin, Štefan Bebjak, who will distribute the items among those in need.
Soldiers' graves plundered for memorabilia
THE GRAVES of soldiers killed in one of the second world war's bloodiest battles are being systematically plundered by thieves hoping to get rich quick by selling war memorabilia in Germany and other parts of Europe.
Curators at the Valley of Death open-air war museum near Svidník, east Slovakia, have claimed Czechs and Poles are raiding the graves of soldiers killed in the battle for the Dukla Pass - later dubbed the Valley of Death - to steal soldier's identification tags and other memorabilia buried with them.
"This is taking on a threatening dimension," said Jozef Rodák, head of the museum. "The whole Valley of Death has been dug through. They're searching for weapons, soldiers' identification plates and anything that has a swastika sign on it or eagle," said Rodák.
More than 100,000 soldiers died in what historians describe as one of the bloodiest battles of the second world war when, in October 1944, Russian and Czechoslovak armies fought against Nazi troops to liberate Slovakia.
Curators at the museum say that while each piece of stolen memorabilia would fetch about Sk2,640 ($60) in Slovakia, the price in Germany or western Europe would possibly double or triple.
They say the Interior Ministry has been informed of the problem but has yet to take any action.
28. Oct 2002 at 0:00