Polish Toledo

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Not Zimne Nogi

Social scientists study many things -- now this.

People with longer legs may be more attractive according to Polish researchers.

Maybe there's some truth that a 'leggy blonde' has more fun. Polish researchers found that people prefer legs a few inches longer than just plain ordinary average length.

Boguslaw Pawlowski and Piotr Sorokowski at the University of Wroclaw in Poland based their findings on the opinions of 218 male and female participants in a study according to the "New Scientist".

The researchers also measured the volunteers' proportions.

Regardless of the volunteers' height, the most popular model image was the one with leg length five per cent longer than average.

People with longer legs are more attractive. At least in Polish culture.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Iraqis to call Poland "home"

Iraqis who cooperated extensively with Polish troops, like agents, interpreters and guides, will be given the opportunity to move to Poland, and most valuable co-operators will be granted Polish citizenship. Poland was responsible for 1/3 of Iraq territory post war.

Representatives of the Polish army give a ballpark figure of around 30 Iraqis who would be offered this possibility, which may be the only way for them to live a peaceful life. "To terrorists these people are traitors worthy only of being killed for collaborating with the occupant", explains Michal Fiszer, military expert quoted by Polska.

Costs of Employment Up

The shortage of skilled labor is hitting the earnings of domestic Polish enterprises, with almost half admitting that salary emigration is negatively affecting their financial results.

Employment costs for each worker have increased by at least 30% since Poland's accession to the EU. Entrepreneurs are only now beginning to wake up and smell the coffee.

"Ten percent claim that employment difficulties cost them from 4% to 7% of revenue. 5% of enterprises estimate this share at 8-12% of revenue," said Leszek Wroñski. Experts from the employers' organization PKPP Lewiatan believe that not only should companies attract labor by offering higher wages, but also try to activate 1.6 million of those who are currently jobless. At the same time growth in wages should be accompanied by increasing efficiency as otherwise companies will face restructuring in the future. (Rzeczpospolita, p. B1)

Economic Boom running out of steam?

The Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) indexes have been falling on fears of a recession in the US.

Earlier this week, the WIG20 index of blue chip companies dropped by 4.2%, and bearish sentiments continued. Out of 352 firms trading on the WSE, only six have seen an increase in trade. Twenty six have remained constant, but the other 320 firms, which constitute 91% of trade at the WSE, have taken a dive.

With the WSE other European markets experience sharp losses. Tuesday, the London FTSE 100 index fell 3.06 percent, while the Paris Cac 40 lost 2.83 percent to finish. In Frankfurt the Dax lost 2.14 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of leading eurozone shares shed 2.26 percent to reach 4140.94.

Warsaw stocks were hit even harder than other European bourses as retail investors, in particular, lost faith in the market.

Buy gold and look on the bright side brothers - Thank goodness Poland didn't finance the sub-prime US markets.

Poland's CO2 Break

EU is allowing Poland to retain higher quotas on CO2 gas emissions. The EU is departing from its ambitious plans of curbing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% the the next decade.

The main burden for achieving this goal has been assigned to members of the Old Fifteen, the more developed countries which were members of the bloc before expansion in 2004. The exact targets for individual countries are yet to be set, even though the document setting out EU energy strategy will be published shortly. Poland complained that the targets originally set were too restrictive for an economy striving for quick economic growth.

Judging by the direction of the US economy - we should get a break too. A country can over spend and over regulate itself to economic death. I think I'll put another log in the fireplace. I thought they said there was Global Warming, but I'm freezing my dupa off.

BTW, the stacks shown here are neither in Poland or the US. These are big, bad communis sacks. Shown only for affect.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New Primate for Poland Soon?

The Polish daily Rzeczpospolita reports that Pope Benedict XVI will name a new primate for Poland sometime this spring.

If the Rzeczpospolita report is accurate-- and it has not been confirmed by Vatican sources-- it would contradict earlier indications that Pope Benedict would allow the current Polish primate, Cardinal Jozef Glemp, the retired Archbishop of Warsaw, to retain that title until he reaches his 80th birthday in 2009.

Cardinal Glemp became the Polish primate in 1981, when he succeeded the legendary Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski as Archbishop of Warsaw and of Gniezno. Historically the title of primate was attached to the Gniezno archdiocese. But in 1992, when he approved a restructuring of the Polish hierarchy and appointed a new Archbishop of Gniezno (Henryk Muszynski), Pope John Paul II (bio - news) stipulated that Cardinal Glemp would remain the primate.

Open Border

The lifting of border formalities between Germany and Poland has not led to an increase in crime in the north German state of Mecklenburg - West Pomerania, police there said Thursday.

"The situation is normal just as it was before" Poland joined the Schengen zone.

Since Poland and other Eastern European countries joined the Schengen zone, there had been a total of 28 people detained for entering Germany illegally. On Christmas Day, police stopped five Polish taxis carrying 18 Chechen would-be immigrants and sent them back across the border after finding their papers were not in order. While most politicians welcomed the extension of border-free travel to 24 countries, most of them in the European Union, some warned that illegal migration and crime would increase.

Only time will tell if abuses will become unmanageable.

Poznan Competes for EU Culture Capital title

Ryszard Grobelny, President of Poznan, western Poland, and representatives of local authorities signed an agreement on January 3 concerning cooperation in promoting Poznan in the run-up to the finals of the European Culture Capital 2016.

Local authorities decided to join forces as the winning city will have the opportunity to present its cultural offer to all other member states and will also receive financial aid to boost its future development.

The European Culture Capital title is a one-in-a-million chance to promote not only the city, but the entire region.

In 2016 the title will be awarded to two cities, one of them Spanish, the other - Polish. Poznan will be competing against Gdansk, northern Poland, Lodz, central Poland, and Torun, north-central Poland.

Each year the winner is chosen by the European Council, which takes into account the opinion of the European Parliament and a jury consisting of seven renowned persons from the world of culture.