Friday, 13 December 2019
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Today, the 6th of December, will forever be etched in Dubrovnik’s history, for on this very date in 1991 the city came under the heaviest of attacks in the Homeland War and thanks to the bravery of a group of heroes defended itself and repelled the attack.

On this day 28 years ago, at exactly 5.50 am, the Yugoslav National Army with warships, planes and cannons attacked Dubrovnik with all their might with the aim of weakening the defence lines around the city from Belvedere, in the south, to Sustjepan, in the north. It was a bitter fight.

The Yugoslav Nationals Army’s bombardment of Dubrovnik, including that of the Old Town—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—culminated on 6 December 1991. The bombardment provoked international condemnation, and became a public relations disaster for Serbia and Montenegro, contributing to their diplomatic and economic isolation, as well as the international recognition of Croatia's independence.

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Black Friday around the world might conjure up images of shopping sales and discounts, but Black Friday in Dubrovnik has a completely different meaning. Black Friday as this day was to be known was the fiercest attack on Dubrovnik, not only during the Homeland War, but in the entire and lengthy history of this Adriatic city. And Black Friday also represents a turning point in the siege of the city as the Croatian defenders managed to defeat the numerous attacks from the land, air and sea and therefore foil the plans of the aggressor.

After this fatal day the morale of the defenders rose significantly and the Yugoslav National Army realised that taking Dubrovnik would not be as easy as they had hoped. This day, 28 years ago, proved to be a turning point, not only in the defence of Dubrovnik, but also in the Homeland War. In May of 1992, the Yugoslav National Army retreated to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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During the offensive on the 6th of December the Old City was struck by 48 82-millimetre missiles, 232 82-millimetre and 364 120-millimetre mortar shells, as well as 22 wire-guided missiles. Two impact craters indicated the use of heavier weapons. The bombardment was concentrated on Stradun—the central promenade of the Old City—and areas north-east of Stradun, while other parts of the Old City sustained relatively few impacts. The attack subsided at 11:30 am. Sadly 13 civilians lost their lives — the heaviest loss of civilian life during the siege of Dubrovnik.

At this festive time of the year it is always time to give and we have been contacted by a very needy and worthy charity in the UK, Bone Cancer research Trust, asking you, our readers for help.

More postage stamps are used in December than all the other months in the year added together so this is the time to get our plea out to your readers. We are DESPERATE for used and new postage stamps from the UK and overseas, any amount at any time of the year is very much appreciated. We also need horizon labels, stamp collections and anything philatelic. This is a newish challenge for us as a fundraiser so please pass on our details to anyone and everyone.

Primary bone cancer can occur at any age, but affects mostly children, teenagers, young adults and the elderly. Every 10 minutes somewhere in the world someone is diagnosed with primary bone cancer. Please help us to raise awareness as well as funds just by sending in something that you would normally put into the rubbish bin.

How to get involved

What types of stamps do we need?

There are so many different types of stamps and BCRT love them all! Whether they are new or used, first or second class, foreign, first days covers, horizon labels or part of a larger collection or album. We can use them all to help fund our life-saving work into primary bone cancer.

How does it work?

The stamps that we receive are sorted into categories and then sold in bulk by weight. We receive £10 per kilogram, so it really is an easy way to raise funds! We work with an auction company that sells stamps onto collectors and dealers throughout the UK and overseas. However, the special collections, albums or rare stamps that we receive are sold separately at auction (usually with a reserve on the items).

The majority of our stamps are sold onto private individuals to fill gaps in their collections, but some are also sold onto artists who use them to create pop art collage canvases.

Carefully cut the stamp from the envelope or package, leaving a 1cm border around the edge.

Save them up and once you have a bundle, send them to - BCRT Stamp Appeal, 20 Bowers Road, Benfleet, Essex, SS7 5PZ

More information can be found on the website - https://www.bcrt.org.uk/get-involved/other-ways-to-donate/the-bcrt-stamp-appeal

Once again the Dubrovnik Winter Festival is proving a hit! Free public transport after 5:00 pm and mostly dry weather are certainly making it easy for many to make the decision to go to the historic Old City and soak up the festive fun.

Also, there are numerous events these days that take place in the evening which is another factor that significantly affects the number of people enjoying the Dubrovnik Winter Festival.

Take a peek at the festive fun through the lens of Tonci Plazibat.

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Gambling has undoubtedly evolved throughout the years. Before, people had to go to land-based casinos before they can wager money with the intent of winning extra cash. Now, technology helped the gambling industry to let players gamble across the globe without leaving their homes. Modern online gambling helped create more opportunities for gamblers over the years.

What is Online Gambling?

Online gambling means players can use the Internet to place bets on different sports and videogames. Although, you can still find the traditional gambling games in the online realm as well. These games include:

● Poker
● Bingo
● Blackjack
● Baccarat
● Slots

Among the various traditional gambling games that are readily available online, video slots might be among the most popular of the bunch. The learning curve for learning online slots might be shorter than other games like poker or blackjack. You can check out sites like Slotty Vegas slots to check out the latest advancements technology brought to this gambling game.

How did Online Gambling Change over the Years?

Gambling has been a popular pastime for centuries. Despite the lack of technological advancements, many people like the idea of winning extra money with little effort. Many gamblers know that the odds are always against them. Still, betting became a regular hobby for various individuals throughout generations. Here are four ways gambling changed over the years.

Gamification

Gamification is the standard of incorporating gaming characteristics to specific systems to make processes more engaging and fun to participants. Particular online casinos create videogame-like features to existing gambling games.

For example, you spin slots to make a pirate reach Treasure Island. If you win, the pirate moves forward, and the distance traveled might be relative to the amount you win. However, if you lose, then the character might either stay in place or go back a few notches.

Reach the finish line, and you may have the chance to win additional prizes. But, bear in mind this aspect can be addicting. Perhaps, all aspects of gambling should come with a caution. Remember to stop when you think your wallet can’t afford to participate further. Don’t bet with more money than your allotted spending allowance, or you might see yourself losing more than just the money in your pockets.

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Mobile Gaming

When online gambling started to become popular, people still need to gain access to a computer before they can play their favorite games. Now, you can use the Internet using various mobile devices. Mobile app developers caught on with this trend, and they soon made software allowing users to gamble while traveling.

Mobile casino apps started appearing, and some of them delivered specific styles of play. For instance, one app might only let users play Texas Hold’em Poker, whereas another program only offered slots. Still, mobile casinos exist that provide a range of gambling games for users who want variety.

Enhanced Graphics

Online gamblers may now enjoy High-Definition (HD) graphics complete with engaging animation and sound effects. Internet casino developers adapt to changes to cater to better, more streamlined coding options for their client bases.

Before, many websites use Flash technology to animate graphics and introduce sound effects to players. At the time of writing, many gambling apps and sites now use the HTML5 format instead of Flash. It’s because the former contains more advanced benefits than the latter. A few benefits of using HTML5 may include:

● Using open-source software in comparison with Flash, which is an Adobe proprietary application.
● Lightweight which allows for faster downloads than Flash.
● Requires less processing power.

Live Casinos and Virtual Reality

Many digital casinos advertise their software by allowing players to gamble with the help of an appropriate device. But, many apps only provide players with windows that showed the game of their choice.

So, various online casinos decided to incorporate live viewing and gambling. These offerings allowed players to interact with dealers and other gamblers in real-time.

For example, live casinos allowed players to use webcams to communicate with dealers more personally as opposed to using chat boxes. Consequently, virtual reality (VR) casinos help gamblers check the current status of other players, which might be useful when playing games like poker or craps.

Conclusion

Technology plays a critical role in the evolution of online gambling. Many app and site developers might continue to push the boundaries of the digital gambling playground. VR technology and live casinos might not be the epitome of progress for Internet gambling. Perhaps, people might see additional advancements down the road as developers adapt to new technologies to cater to modern gamblers.

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board has traditionally organized the gourmet event “Cod Fish Days” in December as part of the rich program of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival, and this year is no different.

One of the delicious traditional delicacies that can be found on most Dubrovnik tables during the winter months, especially Christmas Eve, along with doughnut balls and dried figs, is certainly dried cod prepared in many ways.

In cooperation with Dubrovnik restaurants and their offer from the 20th to the 24th of December you will be able to taste real traditionally made cod, part of Dubrovnik's gastronomic heritage, prepared according to a traditional recipe, in white or red sauce, or in slightly different and more modern ways.

November was certainly an impressive month for Dubrovnik with a passenger increase of 114 percent compared to the same month from 2018.

Whilst the tourist season is slowly extending in Dubrovnik the real end of the season is the last week of October as the vast majority of flights stop. Indeed, October was a great month for the airport with almost 300,000 passengers passing through the southernmost airport in Croatia, an increase of almost 23 percent over the same month from last month.

In November the airport handled 56,924 passengers, an increase of 113.9 percent over November last year. And although the figures might seem impressive there is a reason why the numbers are higher than normal. According to a report on EX-YU Aviation, Freebird Airlines, from Turkey, have been contract to operate two flights a week to Germany.

So far this year Dubrovnik Airport has seen an incredible 2.86 million passengers, a 13.7 percent increase over last year, and will by the end of the year come close to hitting the 3 million mark for the first time ever. Unsurprisingly the busiest month for the airport was August when 524,000 passed through the doors.

The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra traditionally in December gets into the Christmas spirit and offers free concerts to citizens and guests. Entrances to these concerts are free of charge, and regularly gather many visitors. The first such concert will be held on Thursday, the 5th of December, on the occasion of the feast of St. Nicholas and Dubrovnik Veterans Day and will be held at the Church of the Friars Minor, beginning at 8:00 pm. The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Marc Tardue, will perform with the Libertas Mixed Choir.

On Thursday, the 12th of December, in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Dubrovnik, there will be a traditional concert "Christmas is coming". It is a humanitarian concert, and the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will perform conducted by Marc Tardue. The concert will be held in the Franciscan Church starting at 7.30 pm.

On Sunday, the 15th of December 15th, in the Marin Držić Theatre at 7.30 pm, in co-operation with the City of Dubrovnik, the final concert of the year of Orlando will be held, with a performance by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra together with guests.

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The Christmas Concert, which has been taking place ever since 1991 on the same date, on the 21st of December at 8:00 pm, in the Valamar Lacroma Hotel, featuring the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, soloists, renowned singer Vanna with guests and the FA Linjo, Subrenum and Blasius Choir. The conductor at this concert will be Veton Marevci, and the program features traditional Christmas songs and tunes.

On the 27th of December at 8:00 pm, a Christmas concert will be held at the Franciscan Church with the conductors Victor Lenert and Slobodan Begic, as well as Dubrovnik soloists, vocal groups and choirs.

And the entry into the New Year doesn’t go without music - at exactly 12 o'clock on Wednesday, the 1st of January, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will perform on Stradun conducted by Noam Zur from Israel. The concert is organized in cooperation with the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik.

 

One of the tastiest events of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival is without doubt the Cake Party. And on Saturday, the 14th of December the Dubrovnik Tourist Board will once again organize the traditional Cake Party.

The proceeds from the sale are aimed at humanitarian purposes. Around the Orlando Column, in Luža Square, all the cakes will be exhibited and sold, along with an entertainment program, as well as a performance by the popular Croatian singer Domenica.

Aware of the importance of protecting the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources, this year the Dubrovnik Tourist Board will organize the Cake Party in an ecological tone: by rejecting the use of plastic plates and cutlery and turning towards environmentally friendly and biodegradable materials.

A huge thank you to all media outlets, hotels, patisseries, restaurants and others who will participate in this worthy charity event this year!

Don't miss this year's Cake Party, have fun and do a good deed! Oh, and The Dubrovnik Times as ever will prepare a special Christmas cake for this worthy event.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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