Archive for 'Culture'

ALS ice bucket challenge? A little more about it in Polish

Posted on 22. Aug, 2014 by in Countries, Culture, Media, Medicine

If you are on the social media (and probably 95 % of us are) you most likely heard about ALS bucket challenge.  Almost all of social media pages have been deluged lately with videos and pictures of friends, family and random celebrities dumping buckets of ice-cold water over their heads.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (literally “wyzwanie wiadra lodu” ) began as a way to raise money and awareness for ALS research. It’s taking the entire nation by storm. The ALS challenge itself is an easy enough thing to do: If a friend takes the challenge, challenges you to do the same in a video and then tags you in it on social media, you have either 24 hours to do it yourself or donate $100 to an ALS charity of your choice.

The trend shows no signs of abating (Trend nie wykazuje żadnych oznak osłabienia) as more and more people take the challenge, post videos of it on Facebook and other social media sites, then challenge and tag others to do the same.

The National ALS Association said that it and its affiliated chapters had received more than $10 million in donations in a two-week period since the movement began to take off in late July.

What is ALS?

Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis, and ultimately, respiratory failure. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (stwardnienie zanikowe boczne),  often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” (choroba Lou Gehriga) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord (jest postępującą chorobą neurodegeneracyjną, która wpływa na komórki nerwowe w mózgu i rdzeniu kręgowym). Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost (Po śmierci motoneuronów, zdolność mózgu do inicjowania i kontrolowania ruchu mięśni zanika). With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed (sparaliżowani).

A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. “A” means no or negative. “Myo” refers to muscle, and “Trophic” means nourishment–“No muscle nourishment.” (Nie odżywianie mięśni) When a muscle has no nourishment, it “atrophies” or wastes away. “Lateral” identifies the areas in a person’s spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening (blizny lub stwardnienie) – “sclerosis”- in the region. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness (zwiększenie osłabienia mięśni), especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing.

Although the cause of ALS is not completely understood (Chociaż przyczyna ALS nie jest w pełni zrozumiała), the recent years have brought a wealth of new scientific understanding regarding the physiology of this disease.

Most people with ALS live 2-5 years after their first signs of disease. About 10% of people with ALS survive at least 10 years. This variable rate of disease progression makes prognosis difficult to predict and therapies challenging to develop.

While there is not a cure or treatment (lekarstwo lub leczenie) today that halts or reverses ALS, there is one FDA approved drug (FDA zatwierdzony lek), riluzole, that modestly slows the progression of ALS as well as several other drugs in clinical trials that hold promise (kilka innych leków w badaniach klinicznych, które dają obietnicę). This urgent unmet medical need for effective treatments for this devastating and fatal disease is the basis for the research and drug development effort at the nonprofit biotech organization, ALS Therapy Development Institute.

Importantly, there are significant devices and therapies that can manage the symptoms (istnieją istotne urządzenia i terapie, które mogą kontrolować objawy) of ALS that help people maintain as much independence as possible and prolong survival. It is important to remember that ALS is a quite variable disease; no two people will have the same journey or experiences.

“Ice bucket challenge” has been definitely popular in USA, however, it becomes popular in Europe as well and everyone talks about it! It’s also known as “splash” in Europe:)

Here is my ice bucket challenge! I nominate Lorien Green, Meaghan McGonagle, as well as all language bloggers from Transparent Language team! You have 24 hours to complete the challenge, or donate $100 to ALS organization.

Tutaj jest moje wyzwanie wiadra lodu (splash). Nominuję Lorien Green, Meaghan McGonagle oraz wszystkich blogerów językowych z naszej ekipy Transparent Language. Macie 24 godziny aby wypełnić wyzwanie, lub przekazać 100 dolarów do organizacji ALS.

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Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

 

Why are there chapels on the side of the Polish roads?

Posted on 07. Aug, 2014 by in Culture, Places to visit

If you are ever going to travel in Poland, it won’t be long before you notice either a religious figure, cross, statue, or a building that resembles a little house or miniature chapel along the roadside. These small religious chapels or shrines are commonly called roadside or wayside shrines (przydrożne kapliczki). These shrines were often built at the expense of individuals, families and sometimes entire villages to publicly thank a saint or God for a benefit or blessing received (See Calendar of Feasts – Harvest Festival (Święto Plonów – Dożynki).

In the case of smaller shrines they acted as a remembrance for a tragedy or crime. Recently constructed shrines are usually on a much smaller scale and most often mark the spot where a fatal traffic accident occurred. Here’s a photograph of a typical roadside cross marking the spot where someone was killed.

Roadside shrines or chapels can be seen almost anywhere: at the entrance of a village, up on a high point, at the outer boundaries of a village or town, or along a main road or at a major crossroads.

Here are some pictures of different shrines in Poland:

 

Image by Rantes on Flickr.com

Image by Rantes on Flickr.com

Image by Rantes on Flickr.com

Image by Rantes on Flickr.com

 

Image by "Zakwitnij!pl Ejdzej & Iric" on Flickr.com

Image by “Zakwitnij!pl Ejdzej & Iric” on Flickr.com

Image by Royston Rascals on Flickr.com

Image by Royston Rascals on Flickr.com

Image by sfu.marcin on Flickr.com

Image by sfu.marcin on Flickr.com

 

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Let’s make a toast! What Poles like to drink?

Posted on 02. Aug, 2014 by in Countries, Culture, Transport

Poles enjoy alcoholic drinks at least as much as other Europeans. You can buy beer, vodka and wine. Although Poland is known as the birthplace of vodka, local beer seems to have much more appeal to many Poles. Another traditional alcoholic beverage (napój akoholowy) is mead. Polish liqueurs and nalewka (alcoholic tincture) are a must. Legal drinking age is 18 (not 21, like in USA). I personally don’t remember anyone asking me for an ID in Poland, before I moved to US. However, I know that now they take it very seriously and card people before serving them alcohol.

Let’s start with the beer (piwo)!

Poland’s brewery tradition began in the Middle Ages. Today Poland is one of top beer countries in Europe.

Although not well known internationally, Poland traditionally sports some of the best pilsner-type lagers worldwide. The most common brands include:

Image by joelhageman on Flickr.com

Image by joelhageman on Flickr.com

  • Lech 
  • Żywiec 
  • Tyskie 
  • Okocim 
  • Warka 
  • Łomża 
  • Tatra

Popular Polish vodkas (wódki):

Image by misiek_beauchamp on Flickr.com

Image by misiek_beauchamp on Flickr.com

  • Żubrówka  – vodka with flavors derived from Bison Grass, from Eastern Poland.
  • Żołądkowa Gorzka  – vodka with “bitter” (gorzka) in the name, but sweet in the taste. Just like Żubrówka, it’s an unique Polish product and definitely something you must try.
  • Żytnia  – rye vodka
  • Wyborowa  – One of Poland’s most popular potato vodkas. This is also one of the most common exported brands.
  • Luksusowa “Luxurious” – Another popular brand, and a common export along with Wyborowa.
  • Pan Tadeusz
  • Soplica
  • Chopin
  • Belvedere

 

Wine (wino) is also very popular in Poland. Poland does make a few quality wines around Zielona Góra in Dolnośląskie, Małopolskie and Podkarpackie in the Beskidy with the most famous Polish wineyard in of the Dionisos of Jasło and Świętokrzyskie in central Poland. It the winter time, many Poles drink grzaniec (mulled wine), made of red wine heated with spices such as cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Mead – Miód Pitny is a traditional and historical alcohol drink in Poland. Mead is brewed from honey and has excellent unusual taste similar to wine. Original Polish mead contain 13-20% alcohol. Sometimes it can be very sweet.

Na zdrowie!

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Na zdrowie!