Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
It would seem that UNESCO needs to keep a closer eye on the historic Old City of Dubrovnik to protect against modern devastations.
The latest monstrosity to blemish the city is a pair of awnings over a doorway to what appear to be apartments in Žudioska Street. These kind of tacky awnings might be acceptable for a shop on the Stradun or a café bar, but seeing them over the entrance to an apartment looks extremely distasteful. Make your own conclusions on the latest wart on the stone face of Dubrovnik.
All week the weather has been stable and indeed sunny and then comes the weekend and the rain arrives.
This morning the rain started and continued all day with heavy southerly winds bringing with them clouds and high seas. The historic city core of Dubrovnik certainly had its winter face on today with an almost empty main street, Stradun, and waiters fighting with blowing awnings.
There were a few tourists in the city and these lucky few had the landmarks and monuments to themselves.
Check out this photo gallery by Tonči Plazibat
The Hard Rock International company, which is includes the Hard Rock Café brand and the Hard Rock Hotel chain, is interested in opening a hotel in Croatia. According to reports they are currently considering several destinations in Croatia.
The Vice President of Development for markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Josh Littman, commented to Poslovni dnevnik that “Apart from becoming more and more popular among investors and brands, Croatia is a very interesting market for us, because it fits in with our rich culture in our business philosophy. We are interested in Split, Dubrovnik, but also in Zagreb and in the northern Adriatic, and we hope that over the coming period we will be able to realize a hotel project, of four or five stars, in some of these destinations.” He added that the company is open for various options, from franchising to contract management or investment.
The company Hard Rock International operates in 75 countries, and has a portfolio of 176 cafes, 24 hotels and 11 casinos. The only Hard Rock Café in the region is located in Podgorica in Montenegro.
On a European level the number of fatalities due to road traffic accidents however Croatia still has lots of work to do to improve safety. In 1996 there were 60,100 fatalities in the European Union in traffic accidents, or around 1,150 people a week were killed in accidents. Thanks to education, safety measures, new technology and campaigns to wear seat belts this number has drastically fallen over the past ten years. In 2016 the number had dropped to 25,624, or well under half the total of fatalities from 1996.
Croatia is lagging behind the rest of Europe, and takes the unenvious position of sixth of the list of road traffic fatalities per million citizens. According to data from Eurostat in 2016 there were 75 fatalities per million people in Croatia. The worst safety record in 2016 went to Bulgaria with 98 fatalities, followed by Romania with 97, Latvia with 80, Poland with 79 and in fifth spot was Greece with 76. The leader of the pack and the safest country to drive in the EU was Sweden with only 28 fatalities per million inhabitants.
‘’I don’t care that they stole my idea...I care that they don’t have any of their own’’, were the words of one of the greatest inventors of all times.
Nikola Tesla is well known for his numerous inventions without which the modern world could not exist in a way we know it today. He is an icon of the scientific world, who invented alternating current, wireless signal and energy transfer, electric motor, radio communication, remote control and many other things most people have never heard of and yet they are using them every day.
Therefore, here are ten interesting facts about Nikola Tesla you probably didn’t know:
1. A man of thunder - It is interesting to note that Tesla, who invented alternating current, was born during a storm around midnight between the 9th and the 10th of July 1856 in Smiljan, Lika, today’s Croatia. According to a story told by his family, a midwife put her hands in the air and in panic she said, ‘’This baby will be a child of the darkness’’, to which Tesla’s mother replied, ‘’No, he will be the child of light’’.
2. The Nikola Tesla Museum in the US was funded thanks to a comic book – Tesla’s tower or Wardenclyffe was restored thanks to the intervention of the largest fans of his life and work. In May this year, the building purchased the Tesla Science Center for around $1,3 million. The funds were donated by the popular website for public financing IndieGoGo. The organizer and the main initiator of this campaign is Matthew Inman, an illustrator known for his online comic book Oatmeal.
3. Tesla was a true ecologist – Nikola Tesla was very concerned by the fact that people are spending planet resources very quickly so he engaged himself in renewable sources of energy. Therefore, he decided to study ways of extracting natural energy from land and air.
4. Tesla conceptualized the smart phone technology back in 1901 – Tesla truly had excellent ideas, however, they rarely came into practice. For example, he presented new ways of instant communication to his business partner J.P.Morgan - sending stock exchanges info and short telegram messages. Tesla would receive every message through a tube connected to his lab, where he would encode them and join to the selected frequency, which would then be transmitted to a handheld device.
5. Tesla succeeded in scaring Mark Twain –Tesla had a machine called a frequency oscillator in his lab on Manhattan. During his experiments, the machine made such a tremendous noise and an ‘’earthquake’’ kind of trembling that he almost crushed a whole block once. However, there were no damages whatsoever, but he managed to scare Mark Twain. The great writer was widely known for his digestive problems. One day Tesla invited Twain to his lab. When he turned on the fierce machine, Twain was so terrified and had to rush off to the nearest toilet.
6. Tesla would go nuts every time he saw pearls – Hmm, pearls were obviously Tesla’s kryptonite. Every time he saw them, he would be so disgusted that he wasn’t able to talk to a woman who wore them. However, nobody ever knew why he had such an aversion to this jewellery and yet Tesla had a very specific taste for style and aesthetics.
7. Tesla was in panic with microbes and used a photographic memory – Tesla was known for his photographic memory. He used to memorize photos in books and use them later as a basis for his inventions. On the other hand, Tesla suffered from a terrible fear of bacteria because he almost died from cholera when he was a young boy.
8. Tesla made a tower for extracting electric current from the air – Tesla planned to extract electric current for the air and send it through the ground to a final recipient with a 56-metre high tower on Long Island. Unfortunately, this project was never completed.
9. Some Tesla's inventions have become state secrets – After Tesla died in 1943, the Foreigners’ Property Office took all his things. Most of them ended up in the Tesla family, out of which a large number of them were transported to the Tesla Museum in Belgrade. However, some documents are still hidden and buried in the US government’s archives.
10. Tesla literally planned to light up the entire planet – Tesla was convinced that he could light up the Earth’s atmosphere, dispel the darkness and create a new era of eternal light. He developed a theory that the upper atmosphere contains gases that can conduct high frequency electric energy that would create ‘’a night light for the whole planet’’.
It is interesting to note that the largest multimedia exhibition ever dedicated to this great man titled ‘’Nikola Tesla- Mind from the Future’’ will be opened in Zagreb on the 25th of November 2017 and will remain open until the 20th of March 2018.
With a new hotel and resort comes a new footpath as representatives of the investor and designer of the new Hotel Belvedere met with the Mayor of Dubrovnik this week. They presented a proposal for a new public promenade next to the Adriatic Sea that would be located on the hotel’s land but would be open for everyone to use.
The construction of the new public walkway will be funded by the hotel owner and the estimated value of the investment amounts to 350,000 Euros. The planned walkway would open a new part of the coastline to citizens as until now this seaside has been impossible to reach on foot.
When presenting the new plan, it was emphasized that the public walkway will have minimal impact on the existing coastal configuration and rock morphology and will, wherever possible, follow the natural lie of the land.
Although the microchipping of dogs in Croatia has been in force since 2004 less than half of the registered dogs in the country actually have a microchip. This situation will soon change with the new Animal Protection Act which makes microchipping a legal obligation. All local governments are required, before the 30th of June 2018, to obtain and implement the microchip readers.
The Animal Friends Association informed all cities and municipalities about this news and urged them to provide funds for microchip control in the budget for next year and to produce a timely plan for its implementation. The legal obligation to label dogs with microchips has been in place since 2004 but now dog owners could face a 6,000 Kuna fine for failing to comply.
The law stipulates that the enforcement of the compulsory microchipping of dogs is to be carried out by communal officers, and the Animal Friends Association has proposed to local communities the recruitment of new communal officers who will, together with the existing ones, control and visit all households in their area.
The microchip contains a unique identification number that reveals the information about the pet owner (address, phone number, etc.) as well as basic animal information and information on castration, vaccination, etc. If dog owner loses their pet then a vet or shelter can identify the dog with the microchip and return it.
During the action of enhanced surveillance of the driving speed in Dubrovnik that lasted from 6 am yesterday to 6 am today, 144 drivers were fined by police officers of Dubrovnik-Neretva County.
The action was held on a total of 83 locations, where 351 vehicles were controlled and it included the maximum available number of traffic police officers who used all the available speed control devices. The highest speed ''award'' goes to driver that drove 104 km/h, measured on the state road D-8 in Bacina, Ploce.
Citizens were included in this action since they got the chance to suggest locations where the greater presence of the police and speed control is needed. All the suggestions were considered and will be used in the future actions too.
The Dubrovnik-Neretva Police continues with preventive-repressive activities aimed at reducing the number of traffic accidents. Next will be held during the Saturday night, when the control of intoxicated drivers will be increased.