Around Slovakia

Parrot is a PC freak
Man arrested for arranging his ex-wife's murder
Milk, fresh air over booze, smokes, says 100-year-old
Pizza contest
Test calves run free

ED the parrot checking his e-mail.
photo: TASR

Parrot is a PC freak

FOUR-MONTH-OLD baby parrot Ed, a rare blue-yellow Ara from Košice Zoo in eastern Slovakia, is making his way in the PC world.
Although still hidden from public eyes, Ed is discovering modern technology in the zoo's deputy director's office, where his incubator is kept.
"Ed is a very curious baby bird. He just wants to know about everything," Štefan Kollár, the zoo's deputy director told The Slovak Spectator.
When not sleeping or stepping on the back of the boss's office chair, Ed enjoys playing with the keyboard of the desktop computer, staring at the screen in curiosity.
Kollár, who took care of Ed in his own flat in the first months of the bird's life, said Ed was very active and often woke up the whole Kollár family when he spotted something unusual or simply got scared in the night.
"The whole family was up, and half the block of flats too, he was screaming so loudly," said Kollár. "Now Ed is in my office at work. I need to get some sleep at night!"
Zoo representatives said the public will have to wait until spring to see Ed, as the bird is sensitive to cold weather.

Man arrested for arranging his ex-wife's murder

BUSINESSMAN Miloš D. was charged with plotting to have his ex-wife killed by a contract killer, who was allegedly going to be paid Sk200,000 (4,800 euro) for his efforts.
The man had been looking for someone in the Košice underworld to do the job for several months, said spokesman for the Interior Ministry's investigators' section Stanislav Ryban. The murder was to be carried out after January 15. Miloš D. was arrested by a police swat team on January 16.
His ex-wife, Renáta D., was surprised to hear the news from a Košice regional investigator.
"I was shocked to see how far his hatred and his need for money had gone," Renáta D. told daily Pravda.
She confirmed that despite the fact that the couple had divorced three years earlier, if she was killed, her ex-husband would be authorised to control her property. Because their only daughter is still a child, he would be automatically made responsible for managing the property until she turned 18.
Ryban also said that a payment of Sk50,000 (1,203 euro) had already been paid to the unnamed hitman, and that part of the agreement was that the body of Renáta D. was to be disposed of so that it would never be found.
Ryban said police and investigators had been working on the case for several months and that an undercover agent had infiltrated the underworld to uncover the operation.

Milk, fresh air over booze, smokes, says 100-year-old

ANTON Mašlar, who recently turned 100, said his secret to long life was drinking milk every night before bed and abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes.
On the occasion of his 100th birthday, Mašlar told the Nový Čas daily that an active life spent in the fresh air was the key ingredient in his retaining youthful looks and spirit.
"I don't miss anything. I am fit as a fiddle," Mašlar said.
Born to a family of farmers, Mašlar spent much of his life working in the field. His favourite food is the traditional Slovak dish halušky and he admits that his only "weakness" is milk. He has to have it everyday.
"I always drink a glass of milk [before bed]," Mašlar said.

SPECTATORS wonder if the pizza will be big enough.
photo: TASR

Pizza contest

DOZENS of cooks from around the country tossed their dough in Slovakia's second annual pizza championships in Bratislava.
On the three-member jury was champion Erik Rudolf who last year was voted best in three categories - best pizza, biggest pizza, and best at pizza-dough acrobatics.
Rudolf admitted, however, that this local pizza contest does not compare to the one held every year in pizza's home country, Italy.
"In Italy baking pizza is a tradition comparable to our cooking of halusky. At their championships about 300 contestants usually take part every year," Rudolf told the Nový Čas daily.

Test calves run free

A TEAM from the Research Institute of animal production in Nitra-Lužianky had to leave their laboratories to track down four calves that ran away from the institute's farm.
"The calves are part of an international research programme, in which teams from Slovakia, Austria, Germany, and the US are participating," said František Benc, head of the institute's animal-production research section.
The four-month-old, 100-kilogram to 150-kilogram calves that were part of the research project ran away from the farm on January 14 and were later caught after a large-scale search was launched.
"We were putting the calves into their new stalls on Tuesday. The snow and the cold had stressed them out. They broke through the fence and ran away into a nearby 35-hectare forest," said Benc.
While two of the calves were found roaming free the next day, the remaining two were lured into a trap containing an adult cow and a horse. The search party thought that the hungry and cold calves would smell them and seek refuge with the big animals.
"We are happy that we found them," remarked Benc.

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