Alice Hlidkova is an international freelance journalist currently based in Brooklyn, NYC. Her work appears regularly in the international press, for publications including The Christian Science Monitor, Ragmag and Beyond. She has also been published in The New Scientist, Doha Centre for Media Freedom, and Arab Media & Society. She speaks and writes in English, Czech and Spanish.
Navigating the Earth

Navigating the Earth

Seamen from the Pacific practiced with some of the most primitive orientation tools to trace their voyages from one island to the next. Sailors in carved wooden canoes relied on the latitude hook consisted of two bamboo pieces; one of them was split, with a hook at the end. The...
All of the lights—Rio de Janeiro's Carnaval

All of the lights—Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval

Every year the Carnival of Brazil paints a colourful collage of unimaginable props and floats, enticing dancers, exotic costumes, and parties galore. Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro become the nation’s pivotal attraction glorified by the grand Samba Parade, housed within the concrete walls of the Sambadrome stadium, consisting of...
Blowing in the wind – Lebanon's alternative energy future hangs in the balance

Blowing in the wind – Lebanon’s alternative energy future hangs in the balance

On the morning of December 7, 2009, the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams, wrote a statement following a meeting with Prime Minister Saad Hariri after the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Williams wrote: “I think that Prime Minister Hariri has given a very good signal by attending the...
Journey of the asteroids – one company's plans to mind resources from outer space

Journey of the asteroids – one company’s plans to mind resources from outer space

Imagine that a company with enough funding and brain power sends armies of spacecraft to observe thousands of asteroids and then mine them. Planetary Resources, Inc, unveiled its plans in April to mine near-earth asteroids (NEAs) for raw materials, ranging from water to precious metals. The resource-rich asteroids will soon...
The Colours of Corno

The Colours of Corno

When Joanne Corneau was growing up in the countryside of Quebec, her father, a religious man used to buy heavy art books from Paris and hide them in a walking closet so that his daughter couldn’t find them. “He didn’t want me to see nudes by Paul Cézanne or Van...
The five stars of Barbados

The five stars of Barbados

Island clusters anchored in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea below the foot of North America and above the shoulder of South America bake in the sun all year round. The Caribbean Islands in the shape of an arc extending from the Atlantic Coast of Florida to the...
Sunny playground of the ancients – Salvador, Bahia

Sunny playground of the ancients – Salvador, Bahia

Highly attractive from a distance, spirit-shattering when seen up close, the city of Salvador juts out into the Bay of All Saints, stretching clear across the Atlantic Ocean into the palms of Yoruba culture, into modern-day Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. Once the dark, colonial capital of Brazil is today a...
Suns and stars – Lebanese making their mark in astronomy

Suns and stars – Lebanese making their mark in astronomy

On the Chajnantor plateau of the Chilean Andes, in South America, at an altitude of 5,000 meters above sea level, countless white bowls kiss the sun. An array of parabolic “dish” antennas observe the universe in unison, capturing large numbers of radio waves. The antennas aim with unique precision to...
Rio de janeiro – juxtaposing finery + filth

Rio de janeiro – juxtaposing finery + filth

On a narrow coastal plain, between the foothills of Brazilian Highlands and the Atlantic Ocean, peaks the dramatic setting of Rio de Janiero. Often called Cidade Maravilhosa, the marvelous city, for its verdant hills and crescent shaped beaches has long been the darling of early Portuguese settlers. Descriptions of its...
The writing on the wall – clear as day changing types

The writing on the wall – clear as day changing types

Stanley Nelson leans over a small folding table inside New York City’s Grolier Club, America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles. Wrapped in an apron, the retired graphic arts specialist from the National Museum of American History lays out candles, file tools, and punches. He folds his fingers around a...
Celebration tie one on – champagne wishes + caviar dreams

Celebration tie one on – champagne wishes + caviar dreams

It all began in the Champagne province of France, where a pale, pinkish still evolved into a sparkling, bubbly drink of celebration. “When wine was fizzy, people liked it,” says wine and spirits expert, Becky Sue Epstein, of the Frenchmen who first acquired a taste for the beverage in spring....
Opposing societal poles – Ground Zero's contreversial neighbor Park 51

Opposing societal poles – Ground Zero’s contreversial neighbor Park 51

Last year in June, the American media was flooded with political commentary of the Supreme Court upholding a federal law that makes it illegal to give “material support” to foreign terrorist organizations. As the nation debated free speech verses national security, two Americans on their way to Somalia with intentions...
The golden domes of Kiev

The golden domes of Kiev

Yellow mini buses zoom along highways bending around residential slabs of concrete. They are haunting relics of the Soviet regime, the fabric of their totalitarianism still woven into the Ukrainian landscape. The monstrous Brezhnev-era leftovers disappear in downtown Kiev, but are replaced by the grim hospitality of the former Soviet...
Threads of silver and gold – lucid dreaming weaves different planes of consciousness

Threads of silver and gold – lucid dreaming weaves different planes of consciousness

Justina Lasley helps her clients understand the meaning of their dreams. The author and dream consultant believes dreams are storybooks written by the unconscious mind, and by interpreting them, she can help her clients make the necessary choices that will ultimately lead them to live a more spiritual or fulfilling...
How oil's benefits spill over to the fishing industry

How oil’s benefits spill over to the fishing industry

Twenty miles off the coast of Louisiana’s Venice Marina, large fish swim around the gigantic legs of oil rigs. Barnacles, coral, and seaweed embrace the hefty concrete and steel that stretches close to three thousand feet along the Gulf of Mexico’s seabed. Dozens of fish and mammals nest in between...
100Reporters: new approach of journalism

100Reporters: new approach of journalism

New York Times veteran foreign correspondents are cooking up a revolutionary news organisation for aspiring investigative journalists, enabling them to stir through the ingredients of corruption to serve serious stories. Launched on November 1st 2011, 100Reporters is a multinational network of professional reporters and editors dedicated to tackle corruption and...
Breaking mental boundaries: psychedelics take you to another realm

Breaking mental boundaries: psychedelics take you to another realm

One a blistering day in 1942, Harvard Professor Richard Evans Schultes cuts through the thick vegetation in the northwest Amazon of Colombia. He is a resident of the jungle, combing its remote reaches for his research; seeking out new species of plants endowed with powerful healing agents. The father of...
Latest entries
A day in the life of one president

A day in the life of one president

****An exclusive interview with the former President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, His Excellency Dr José Ramos-Horta. The telephone rang once in room number 3404 of  New York’s Grand Hyatt. “Alo,” answered a man in a low, deep voice. Silence. Nervous in my bones, I asked, “How should I address you? ‘Your Majesty’… ‘Your...
One day, one color - NYC's annual extravaganza

One day, one color – NYC’s annual extravaganza

Union Square in Manhattan breeds political, cultural, and environmental events that often spill over into neighborhoods around the square. For the past six years, in mid-October, the public and historic intersection has hosted rows of white tents with green flags for the city’s largest annual green event, “New Green City.” Low-impact lifestyle Born out of...
A reflection on revival – all angles of Bratislava

A reflection on revival – all angles of Bratislava

In the aftermath of the 1989 Velvet Revolution that liberated Czechoslovakia from a 40-year communist spell, an elitist pair shook hands to a political decision that split the country into two. The “velvet divorce” identified the Czech Republic in the west and Slovakia in the east. The world chose to embrace only one capital: the...
Epitome of a global Paris

Epitome of a global Paris

Down the long corridor of the Hôtel Ritz Paris, antique jewels and heavy furs sparkle inside display cases. The most fashionable and posh must endure the temptation walk upon entering the famous bar, where King Alfonso of Spain ordered a Dom Pérignon champagne laced with expensive cognac served with a dozen strawberries. Established American author...
Man-made elements

Man-made elements

Skyscrapers dress polycentric urban landscapes in tone and meter, such that the real beauty of its skylines is possible only when natural and man-made elements combine in proper order. Designing the aesthetic symbols of economic strength and modernity are often the result of national socioeconomic restructuring: In New York City, President Theodore Roosevelt’s New Deal...
A Capital Idea  – Paris's mayor is committed to green architecture

A Capital Idea – Paris’s mayor is committed to green architecture

In presenting the 2010 budget for the City of Paris, Mayor Bertrand Delanoe spoke of his desire to turn Paris into a true “eco-capital”. His commitment to sustainable development has earned the French capital second place among the European metropolises in the “green cities” classification. Climate Plan This is largely thanks to the proposed Climate...
A Dilemma for New York

A Dilemma for New York

As a resident of New York for twenty years, I am concerned about hydrofracking. The New York Times has recently reported that the Department of Environmental Conservation is planning to approve the natural gas extraction drilling method in the state, though no decision has been made. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat in his second year...
Stepping in pairs – the stilleto

Stepping in pairs – the stilleto

Women find themselves in all sorts of trappings: the silky, smooth comfort of an evening dress; the perfectly board-ironed appeal of a hairdo; and the sensual application of colour to pouting lips. Lately, the most culturally relevant part of a woman’s wardrobe is undoubtedly the stiletto, and it has made its way into bridal gear....
Orchestrating drama, the French Riviera

Orchestrating drama, the French Riviera

Tufts of paper erode under rows of champagne glasses, yellowing the cloth that has been pinned under wooden table edges with Victorian sterling silver clasps. The glasses tremble slightly as engines throttle on cresting tides. The bay is choked with yachts, each displaying a nimbus of celebrity. From the decks comes a racket of Italian...
Compass inconsistencies – damage to marine life in the Gulf of Mexico difficult to pinpoint

Compass inconsistencies – damage to marine life in the Gulf of Mexico difficult to pinpoint

A school of dolphins circle a strange beast as it cuts through multiple layers of blue. Sinking deeper into the Gulf of Mexico, sharks begin to gather and follow curiously in its wake. The vessel continues its descent through bands of turquoise and grayish blue, a twilight zone some eight hundred feet deep. The sharks...
An impulse to make a statement

An impulse to make a statement

André Borschberg strapped himself to a single seat inside his aircraft, which is propelled only by solar energy, and took off from Brussels. He flew silently over Europe for twelve hours before landing safely in Paris in time for the largest international air show. “The Solar Impulse was not built to carry passengers, but to...
Louisiana's losing game

Louisiana’s losing game

On the sixth anniversary of the perfect storm that drowned more than two-thirds of New Orleans, and obliged over a million of its residents to evacuate overnight, gray clouds of smoke veil city blocks. A year ago, nearby marshlands dressed in coats of oil—thanks, BP!—coughed up billowing smoke as a result of a stubborn fire...