Around Slovakia

Tooting stone
Four tons of rail stolen
Arsenic water
Quit and Win results
Used chewing gum paper
Strongman carries 210 kilos in his teeth
Antenna as a bribe
Nothing thief
Mountains of halušky

LOVERS of the traditional Slovak meal, halušky, recently gathered at the 10th Championships of Cooking and Eating Halušky in Turecká.
photo: TASR

Mountains of halušky

LOVERS of the traditional Slovak meal, halušky, recently gathered at the 10th Championships of Cooking and Eating Halušky in Turecká village near the central Slovak town of Banská Bystrica. The winning local four-member team Žinčica cooked a 3.5-kilo meal in 13 minutes and ate it in 1.1 minutes. A team from Poltár ate 12 portions in 44 seconds.

Tooting stone

A UNIQUE three-meter-long volcanic stone, situated six kilometers off the Sucháň village in the Veľký Krtíš district, is being used by some as a vocal trumpet.
The stone, which carries an inscription dating back more than 200 years, has two holes and locals say that by blowing in the upper hole, a sound that can be heard two kilometers away comes out of the lower hole.
"The stone carries a carving from the year 1794, so it is believed that the holes were sculpted by a human at this time. The saying goes that in the Turiec [region] the stone was used to summon soldiers from the area," Anna Triznová, the mayor of Sucháň, one of the few people who can use the stone to make the sound, told the Slovak daily Pravda on June 5.
According to Triznová, the stone has become a major attraction for visitors to Sucháň.

Four tons of rail stolen

A 42-YEAR-OLD man from the eastern Slovak village of Svätuš was accused of stealing nearly four tons of rail and then selling it as a scrap metal for Sk14,000 (€350), according to the state run news agency TASR. The man, not named, sold the weighty bag by introducing himself with the name of a man who had been dead for two years. A transport police unit from Čierna nad Tisou discovered the scam and started an investigation in June last year. The man later admitted to the theft and fraud. He worked in the rail section in Čierna nad Tisou, and helped the men from the scrap metal shop collect the rail. According to the Train police spokesman Jozef Buranský, police did not find the stolen rail.

Lehôtka pod Brehmi
Arsenic water

PEOPLE from the Lehôtka pod Brehmi village in central Slovakia have for years been banned from drinking the tap water which, according to hygiene experts, contains excessive amounts of arsenic.
The locals therefore have to take water from water containers that come to the village regularly, the Slovak daily Pravda wrote.
"People have already become apathetic [to the problem]. In the beginning, when they found out that the water which they had been drinking for years was dangerous, they got scared, but today only a few come [for water] from the cisterns and many prefer to buy mineral water instead," the mayor of Lehôtka pod Brehmi Kamil Pinka told Pravda.
"Some of them have even drunk the tap water at their own risk. It has dragged on like this for five years already, and no one knows when it will end," Pinka said.
"We have been writing petitions for years demanding additional finances for the supply of clean water, but until now we haven't had safe water," the mayor added.
Svätoslav Mravec, the technical and investment chairman of the Stredoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť waterworks company in Banská Bystrica, said that according to the original plan, a safe water supply was to be secured by the end of last year, but lack of funds has caused delays.
To be completed, the project was said to require Sk45 million, (€1.1 million) but a total of Sk92 million (€2.3 million) has already been spent.
"Our goal is to finish cleaning the drinking water supply by next year," Mravec said.

Quit and Win results

HARAKAĽA saved money by quitting smoking and also won a $1,000 trip.
photo: SME - Miroslava Cibulková

THE WINNER of the Slovak round of the international smoking cessation contest called Quit and Win, Ján Harakaľa from Modra, won a $1,000 trip and may win more if he's lucky in the international contest to be held in Moscow.
The contest, which has a long tradition, is aimed at encouraging people to quit smoking. Slovak contestants, numbering 1,470, of which 1,079 were men, entered the contest this year, the Slovak daily SME wrote.
"[Since the start of the contest] I haven't had a single drag and I want to carry on with it," Harakaľa said to the daily.
Quitting smoking also helped him quit drinking coffee, but it has had an impact on his weight. Harakaľa said that he has put on six kilos since he bid the smokes goodbye.
A winner of a special health care employees' category, nurse Aurélia Barkološová of Dunajská Streda said that before entering the contest, she had been the only smoker in her family. She quit smoking in May this year and has replaced her habit with sports.

Used chewing gum paper

PAVEL Škarabela, who was annoyed with the problem of used chewing gum that people leave in restaurants and in the streets, often causing problems to others who stick to it, had an idea to get rid of the problem.
He invented a special paper for used chewing gum into which the gum is wrapped when the chewer is done, or when people just want to put the gum aside for a while.
The invention was patented under the name Pinkg, and is currently protected by copyright in 109 countries, including the US, the Slovak daily Nový Čas wrote.
"Once I was out for coffee with a friend. She had nowhere to put her chewing gum, so she wrapped it an empty sugar bag. That gave me the idea, based on which I invented the used gum paper," Škarabela, 33, told Nový Čas.

Strongman carries 210 kilos in his teeth

MARTIN Božík from the town of Trnava hopes to enter the Guiness Book of World Records for having carried, with his teeth, a man weighing 210 kilos with a barbell for a distance of 1.46 meters.
The extraordinary performance took place in the Slovak capital Bratislava, the Slovak daily Nový Čas wrote.
Božík is not a newcomer to esoteric records. Last year he carried a man with a barbell, a combined weight of 130 kilos, for 8.5 meters. He is also the Slovak champion for lifting weights with his teeth, once holding a 250 kilo weight with his teeth for four seconds. This feat was 31.5 kilos less than the current Guiness record.

Banská Bystrica
Antenna as a bribe

A PRISONER who needed a favour from a guard gave him a satellite antenna as a bribe in December 2002, according to the Slovak daily Pravda. The former prison guard was sentenced to two years with a conditional delay of the jail term for 18 months for accepting the bribe, for which he promised that the prisoner would be conditionally released from jail.
The ex-guard has appealed the verdict, and the case will now be heard in the District Court in Banská Bystrica.

Nothing thief

A MAN who broke into a house but stole nothing may end up in jail for two years, according to the state run news agency TASR. Ján F from the Hrušov village in the Veľký Krtíš district broke into a private house in May this year, and wanted to steal a large wine jug that he saw through the window. He broke the door with an axe but when he realised that the jug was empty, he left the house.
Luboš Podlesný, the spokesman with the district police headquarters in Banská Bystrica said to TASR that the man caused Sk200 (€5) in damage to the house.

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