Slovaks' favourite fairy tale characters
CINDERELLA is Slovakia's most popular fairy tale character, showed an end of the year survey carried out by the GfK polling agency.
The poll included 500 respondents aged between 16 and 69. People were asked to pick from 30 fairy tale and cartoon characters. The characters included traditional fairy tale figures such as Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood, as well as modern cartoon and fantasy characters like Bart Simpson, Tom and Jerry, and Harry Potter.
The state-run TASR news agency wrote that Cinderella was particularly popular with older women. Young people, and especially young men, liked Tom and Jerry the best.
The third most popular character was Perinbaba (the Feather Fairy, a character from a German/Czechoslovak co-production fairy tale film, in which the good-hearted witch Perinbaba was played by Giulietta Massina, the wife of the famous Italian director Federico Fellini).
Businesspeople and self-employed people often cited Donald Duck as their favourite character.
Among the top ten were Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Uncle Frost (from a famous Russian fairy tale), the Wolf and the Hare (a Russian cartoon equivalent of the USA's Tom and Jerry show), as well as the traditional Slovak cartoon shepherd duo Maťko and Kubko.
The survey showed that teenagers like Tom and Jerry, Bart Simpson, Harry Potter, and the Hungarian cartoon boy inventor Aladár Miazga.
Spouse tortures blind wife for 20 years
TYRANNICAL husband Dušan Husarčík from Liptovská Lúžna in the Ružomberok district was sentenced to three years in jail for torturing his blind wife, Viera, for the 20 years of their marriage.
The district court in Ružomberok also ordered that Husarčík undergo treatment for alcoholism. The man appealed the court verdict, but was rejected by the higher court in Žilina.
According to the Slovak daily Nový Čas, at the start of their marriage, Hisarčík, 43, occasionally abused his wife, 45, with vulgarities and later started to beat her. He complained that his wife could not cook well and that she was unable to keep the house clean.
Their son was often a witness to his father pulling his wife by her hair.
"Mom was crying and she begged father to let her go," the son testified in court.
Years of abuse contributed to the deterioration of Viera Husarčíková's health; she had to undergo psychiatric treatment for hallucinations and extreme anxiety.
THIEVES who tamper with Vámoš's case will not be hurt but will be marked with a pungent odour.
photo: SME - Jana Beňová
Ultimately safe case
A FORMER secondary school teacher from Dolná Seč, Štefan Vámoš, a dedicated inventor for 17 years, has come up with another unique patent. He invented a case that is equipped with special technology that he says provides complete security.
Vámoš says that no one can steal from the case.
When tampered with by an unauthorised person, an alarm is triggered and the case explodes.
"The carrier of the case secures it to his or her hand with a leather belt and then connects a security cable that activates the [security] system," Vámoš said to the Slovak daily SME.
"The six-kilo case can't even be broken into by the person carrying it. It can't be pulled out of the carrier's hand without consequences. If the person carrying the case pulled out the [security] cable, a sharp 240-decibel sound would go off. It can be decoded within five seconds by, for example, an [authorised] bank or a special guard.
"After [five seconds] the case explodes. It does not physically hurt the person, but it marks him or her with a smell that cannot be removed for at least two days. Police can track him or her down easily. The bank notes also smell and are destroyed by a sticky liquid," he said.
Vámoš said that in his opinion the silicone case with six-millimetre-thick walls is indestructible.
When he was 48, the trained car-mechanic, who can also fix TVs, underwent a special study program in carmaker plants in Germany through the PHARE program.
Vámoš hopes that his case will at some point be produced on a large scale and he said he has already received a preliminary promise from a foreign producer.
Apart from the case, Vámoš has also developed several car security systems.
AS A CHILD, Andrej Kendrala collected small tin and plastic soldiers, but he never thought that the hobby would eventually become his living.
Kendrala, 29, said to the Slovak daily Nový Čas that as he was growing up, he started to make his own tin and lead soldiers.
"Some time later I thought that maybe I could start selling them," he said, adding that today his wife and his sister help him in the business.
When designing new figurines, Kendrala consults his designs with experts, including historians and heraldists, to give his models an authentic look.
"For now we are focusing on the Middle Ages, which is a very attractive period. It was a time of knights, and in Slovakia we have plenty of medieval castles. We do not want to jump from one historical era to another; therefore, we will later concentrate on the Roman and the Austro-Hungarian Empires."
Shootout in army barracks
IN AN UNEXPLAINED accident in the Bratislava army barracks, one soldier shot another in the face.
The accident took place on the evening of January 6. Defence Ministry spokeswoman Katarína Hemschildová said to the Slovak daily Nový Čas that the victim was Tomáš J., 20. The young soldier suffered serious injuries after a bullet hit him in the left side of his face, but he is now in stable condition.
The shooter was professional soldier František B., 29, who shot his colleague while manipulating his legally owned ČZ 83 pistol.
"Due to a presently unclear cause, the gun fired and the bullet hit Tomáš in the left side of his face," Heimschildová said.
Police are investigating the case.
A STRONG fire destroys the loft of Košice's local Jewish community building.
photo: SME - Judita Čermáková
Fire in Jewish community building
A FIRE that, on January 3, destroyed the loft of a building that is the site of the local Jewish community in the eastern Slovak city of Košice caused damages worth Sk500,000 (€12,000).
The loft is just above the office of the local rabbi, Josimm Steimer, who was in Israel at the time of the incident.
Shortly before 7:00, Mária Koperdaková, a housekeeper from a nearby building, saw smoke coming from under the roof of the building.
According to the Slovak daily SME, the rabbi's office was also damaged, as the fire gradually descended from the loft to the lower floor, requiring the firemen to cut out a large part of the ceiling to kill the flames.
While the fire was being extinguished, some office equipment was destroyed, as was part of the rabbi's flat next door.
The gradual heating of timber inside the chimney was identified as the possible cause of the fire.
Slovakia's only female oceanographer
NUCLEAR chemistry graduate Henrietta Dulaiová, 30, Slovakia's only female oceanographer, told the Slovak daily Nový Čas that she is currently working "to prove that women in any profession are equal to their male colleagues".
For more than three years she has lived in Florida, USA, where she has been studying chemical processes in oceans - a subject that she says still leaves many questions open to humankind.
"I dive, and I drive vessels that are no longer than 30 metres. When there is a problem in the middle of the sea, I am dependent upon myself," she said.
She is working on her PhD in the US, where she became student of the year at her university. She has held several lectures at symposia around the world and has dined with the Japanese emperor.
19. Jan 2004 at 0:00