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
On Location: Chernobyl, Ukraine

On Location: Chernobyl, Ukraine

The city of Chernobyl is colorful in spite of dreadful weather and contamination. The bricks, dusted with cayenne peppers, dress the long narrow roads that for years have been poisoned. A memorial in honor of the first response firefighters remains tainted but is nonetheless decorated with fresh, colorful laurels. But the birch trees appear in...
On Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

On Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

If any bird can withstand torrential rains it’s the Black Hawk. During a tropical gulf storm—the meteorological definition of a tropical depression—that wet New Orleans three months ago for several days, the Louisiana Army National Guard awakened an enthusiastic parade of UH-60 Black Hawks. The military helicopters flew in one or two pairs, side by side,...
The nuts and bolts of orbital mechanics - Astronaut Chris Hadfield occupies space

The nuts and bolts of orbital mechanics – Astronaut Chris Hadfield occupies space

When Chris Hadfield boarded the space shuttle Endeavour for the STS-100 mission, he expected a smooth ride into space. The objective of the mission was to deliver and install the second generation of the Canadarm on the International Space Station (ISS). Two hundred fifty miles above the earth, the crew assembled the robotic arm, using it...
Old stories from New York City

Old stories from New York City

In New York City, the rotten bunch of vagabond artists, dream-seeking hooligans and ageing vagrants stagger with exhaustion, a heavy load, or intoxication. Gnarling shamelessly at urban gentrification that has swallowed their landmark neighbourhoods; many exchanged loft apartments for empty factory corners and “squalors”—hobo slang for wretched and filthy buildings—located in city outskirts, until those too become infested...
The dark romantic realm of Alexander McQueen

The dark romantic realm of Alexander McQueen

When British fashion designer and couturier Lee Alexander McQueen hung himself in February 2010, days before London Fashion Week, family and friends dressed in his designs to the funeral. For most iconoclastic designers, fame flourished after decades of hard apprentice and new contributions to the fashion world, but for McQueen it came sooner with his...
The mosaics of Isaiah Zagar

The mosaics of Isaiah Zagar

A welter of anxious faces study the jagged walls protruding with bottles, ceramics and tiles. Held together by cement, more bottles spring from wall edges like barbed wire on a fence. Bent rusty wheels, broken mirrors, sinking ship—a perverse Park Güell? This is not the famous mosaics park in Barcelona or stage set designed by...
Upside down logic: Scientology's complex draw

Upside down logic: Scientology’s complex draw

Slipping through the revolving doors into NYC’s Church of Scientology is like walking into a space-aged Barnes & Noble. Colourful theology books and self improvement DVDs line the shelves and countertops within the atrium, while its high walls are used as a message board delivering an inspirational quote from L. Ron Hubbard. My first impression...
Madrid right side up

Madrid right side up

Six burly black beasts paw the earth with slow powerful strokes. Their piercing gaze penetrates the crowd as the chant “Olé!,” resonates throughout the arena. The costumed toreros drape their red cloth to the ground and the ritual begins. “Olé, Olé!,” the crowd shouts again with excitement and anticipation, fuelling the performers within the ring....
Inside Brazil's slaughterhouse: The Amazon Rainforest

Inside Brazil’s slaughterhouse: The Amazon Rainforest

Among shaded patches of green broken by ribbons of brown river streams, the Manaus International Airport marks the Amazon Rainforest’s first pit stop. The capital city of Amazonas state lies at the mouth of the largest basin in the world. It is at its artery, Rio Negro, that illegal loggers, ambitious tourists, and founders of Sambazon—the...
From Kon-tiki to Plastiki

From Kon-tiki to Plastiki

Designing a 60-foot catamaran using recycled plastic bottles is unimaginable for a sea voyage. However, a team of mostly British explorers, engineers, and environmentalists have pioneered a round-the-world expedition, using principles of sustainable design. The Plastiki concept took three years to conceive—on land. After reading a UNEP report, “Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Deep Waters and...
New York City is greening up its act

New York City is greening up its act

New York City is greening itself. From sustainable building designs and school programs to urban green space and waste byproducts, the Big Apple is greening its grid. As the city adapts to the new Gold Rush – engaging in sustainable practices and purchasing new technology – it should focus on long-term goals, and not just...
Leland Sklar rocks your world

Leland Sklar rocks your world

There are only a few days remaining before American legendary musician Leland “Bruce” Sklar turns 64, and the songwriter and notable bass guitarist is pacing circles inside his Los Angeles home. The passing of another year is not a special concern to “Lee”, instead he is roused by his twelve-hour studio session of cutting more...