Sunday, July 19, 2015

Excellent Polish politics blog in English

Just recently, I came across an excellent Polish politics blog written in English.  The blog is being run by Aleks Szczerbiak, Professor of Politics and Contemporary European Studies at the University of Sussex.

I found his analysis of the current political news in Poland to be excellent.

Check it out at:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Polish comedy group "Kabaret Ani Mru-Mru" touring USA

By far, Kabaret Ani Mru-Mru, is one of the best Polish comedy groups today.  Their sketches are witty and hilarious.  If you enjoy Polish comedy, you will have a blast.

Dates and cities.

Copernicus Center 
9/26/2015 (Saturday) 7:00 PM 
5216 W Lawrence Avenue
Chicago, IL 60630

Tribeca Performing Arts Center 
9/27/2015 (Sunday) 3:00 PM 
199 Chambers Street
New York, NY

Polish American Cultural Center 
9/27/2015 (Sunday) 7:00 PM 
1-3 Monroe Street
Passaic, NJ 07055

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Greedy cunning old woman strikes at Bialystok

Personally, I think the story of the "cunning old lady" or "chytra baba" from last year's Christmas celebration at the town square in Radom became a template for all the nasty freeloaders all over Poland. You can watch the video and read my post from last year here.

First, let me just explain how important the tradition of the Christmas wafer or "opłatek" is during the Christmas Eve in Polish tradition.  The wafers are a reminder of the Body of Christ and are shared among the family before the Christmas Eve dinner.  Wafers are baked from wheat flour and water and depict some Christian images.  Family members wish each other health, happiness, and fortune and break a piece of the wafer from each other's hand consuming the wafers as a sign of peace.  All in all, the significance of the wafer is one of the most important Polish Christmas traditions.

Now, take a look at the below YouTube video.  The lady with the basket passes the wafers to all the people at the town square in Białystok when the greedy cunning old lady grabs a fistful of wafers without any hesitation.  And what do you know?  Yes, she even has a baggy for her loot.  I guess she'll be making wafer sandwiches for the Christmas diner.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Enej and Pectus at Copernicus Center in Chicago

On November 23, 2013, at 7:30 PM, at Chicago's best known Polish venue, Copernicus Center, fans can see one of the hottest new Polish bands: Enej and Pectus.  Both groups will perform their hugely popular hits live on stage.

Where: Copernicus Center, 5216 W Lawrence Avenue, Chicago IL 60630
When: Saturday, November 23, 2013 @ 7:30 PM
Tickets online: or           
Tickets by phone: Polamer 773.685.8222 or 708.867.9200 - Bookstore D&Z 773.282.4222 - Bookstore Quo Vadis 773.622.1271

Enej band was created in 2002 by brothers Piotr and Pawel Soloduch together with a friend Lukasz Kojrys in Polish town of Olsztyn.  Band was named after cheerful Cossack character called Enej from a poem Eneida by an Ukrainian author Iwan Kotlarewski.  Since most of the band members have Ukrainian roots, the band creates music described as Ukrainian folk, ska, and alternative. Their most famous hits are "Radio Hello", "„Skrzydlate Rece" and "Tak smakuje zycie".  You can read more about the band on the band's website

If you want some info on band Pectus, their website actually provides are really nice English info version available at
Band's best hits are "Barcelona", "Dla Ciebie" and "Oceany".  Check out the YouTube videos below.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

More Polish license plates around Chicagoland

So here it is again.  Some more Polish license plates around Chicagoland.  Just in case you wonder what they mean.  Here you have it.

Legia stands for Legion but it really represents the Polish football team (soccer) Legia Warszawa from, yes you guessed it, Warsaw.


Irena PM stands for a popular woman's name, Irene. Not sure about PM. Perhaps she's pm-esing.

Irena PM

Kept the best one for last. Fura means a fat wheels, loosely speaking, and everyone in Poland knows if you own a great fura, you spent some serious cash for your ride.  It's a funny play on words since originally, fura, described an old fashion horse wagon.


Polish National Independence Day - November 11

The National Independence Day, celebrated on November 11, is the most important event in modern Polish history.  After 123 years of partition by Prussia, Austria, and Russia, First Marshal of Poland, Józef Piłsudski, led the fight for the independence at the end of the Word War I.  Gaining the independence and restoring the nation was no small task.  Poland was split between three, very different occupiers, with different infrastructure, governmental and judicial systems, languages, and levels of development.

After Bolshevik Russia attacked Poland in 1919 and suffered a great defeat in Battle of Warsaw in 1920, Second Polish Republic finally established it's right to exist as a strong nation.  Until this day, Józef Piłsudski is recognized as the most important Polish statesman.  You can find more information about the National Independence Day here.

During the World War II (1939-1945) , under the German occupation, and then under the communist rule (1945-1989) the National Independence Day on November 11th was forbidden.  Currently, every year Polish statesmen gather at the Piłsudski Square for the change of guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the arm forces defilade afterwards.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Double Nobel prize winner Marie Skłodowska-Curie was Polish

Most uninitiated don't realize that Marie Curie was born  Maria Salomea Skłodowska. Yes Marie Skłodowska-Curie was Polish and all her scientific work was done in Paris, France, where she also met her French husband Pierre Curie.
Her achievements included a theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined[2]), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment ofneoplasms, using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I, she established the first military field radiological centres.
While a French citizen, Marie Skłodowska Curie (she used both surnames)[3][4] never lost her sense of Polish identity. She taught her daughters the Polish language and took them on visits to Poland.[5] She named the first chemical element that she discovered – polonium, which she first isolated in 1898 – after her native country.[a]
Curie died in 1934 at the sanatorium of Sancellemoz (Haute-Savoie), France, due to aplastic anemia brought on by exposure to radiation – mainly, it seems, during her World War I service in mobile x-ray units created by her. - Wikipedia
An interesting article prompted me to write a post about Marie Curie who, at the time, was one of the most admired scientists in the field reserved for men.  After winning a Nobel prize, twice, she came to the United States to meet the most powerful men at the time.  Smithsonian website writes about her visit.
She attended a luncheon on her first day at the house of Mrs. Andrew Carnegie before receptions at the Waldorf Astoria and Carnegie Hall. She would later appear at the American Museum of Natural History, where an exhibit commemorated her discovery of radium. The American Chemical Society, the New York Mineralogical Club, cancer research facilities and the Bureau of Mines held events in her honor. Later that week, 2,000 Smith College students sang Curie’s praises in a choral concert before bestowing her with an honorary degree. Dozens more colleges and universities, including Yale, Wellesley and the University of Chicago, conferred honors on her.
The marquee event of her six-week U.S. tour was held in the East Room of the White House. President Warren Harding spoke at length, praising her “great attainments in the realms of science and intellect” and saying she represented the best in womanhood. “We lay at your feet the testimony of that love which all the generations of men have been wont to bestow upon the noble woman, the unselfish wife, the devoted mother.”
So what so important about Marie Curie today?  Well, looks like Yasser Arafat was poisoned by a lethal dose of polonium, an isotope discovered by Curie.  I just hope Poles won't be blamed by some unreasonable Palestinians for the death of their leader.  If a time machine is ever invented, watch out Marie, Poland will send some GROM boys to protect you. Read the CBS News article here.
The Swiss lab examined Arafat's remains and his underclothes and a travel bag that he had with him in the days before his death in a Paris hospital and found that the polonium and lead amounts could not be naturally occurring. The timeframe of his illness and death were also consistent with polonium poisoning, they said.
"You don't accidentally or voluntarily absorb a source of polonium -- it's not something that appears in the environment like that," said Patrice Mangin, director of the laboratory, on Thursday. He said he could not say unequivocally what killed Arafat.