Poland's insane abortion law is back


Last month, Poland's ultra-right government collaborated with the Catholic Church to progress an extreme abortion law that would have sent doctors who performed operations to save fetuses (or their mothers) to prison. Read the rest

Poland abandons total abortion ban: "a lesson in humility" -UPDATED


Mass protests in Poland and across the world have led Poland's far-right government to drop its Vatican-pleasing total ban on abortion, which was so sloppily overbroad that it potentially criminalized miscarriage and surgeries to save foetuses' lives. Read the rest

Polish women go on strike over insane abortion law


Poland's ultra-right government has passed an insane, incoherent ban on abortion that is so badly drafted that it potentially criminalizes miscarriage and surgeries to save the lives of fetuses. Read the rest

Call for speakers: Copycamp Poland, on the future of European copyright


Marta sez, "The Modern Poland Foundation is calling for speakers at the 5th International CopyCamp Conference (Warsaw 27-28th October 2016) to discuss the Future of Copyright in Europe. If you'd like to join the debate on the impact copyright has and will have on education, politics, culture and society, send us your proposal and meet with other speakers from all over the world: lawyers, artists, politicians, academics, representatives of NGOS and the media."

It's the fifth time CopyCamp gives floor to all interested parties to talk about copyright in the friendly space of the popular movie theatre in the heart of Warsaw.

Thematic tracks of CopyCamp 2016:

* Copyright and Art

* Remuneration Models

* Copyright, Education and Science

* Technologies, Innovation and Copyright

* Copyright and Human Rights

* Copyright Enforcement

* Copyright Debate

* Copyright Lawmaking

Find more information here. If you are interested in presenting your viewpoint during a 10-minute talk, please send us an abstract of not more than 1800 characters by 31 July.

The International CopyCamp Conference 2016 Future of Copyright in Europe Read the rest

Russia bans Polish "Communist Monopoly" board-game


Kolejka ("Queue") is a popular satirical Polish board game that lampoons life under Stalinist rule; the Russian consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has banned publisher IPN, the Polish "Institute of National Remembrance," from distributing its Russian version of the game unless they remove "anti-Russian" elements that are "excessively critical" of the USSR. Read the rest

Auschwitz installs mist showers that (duh) remind visitors of Holocaust gas chambers

Poland's Auschwitz Memorial installed mist showers to cool down visitors at the former site of the Nazi's largest concentration camp. Somehow, management was surprised that some people found this insensitive. Read the rest

The stunning pen and ink drawings of Polish artist Wojtek Kowalczyk

Image: Wojtek Kowalczyk
The artist was born in 1960, in Krakow, Poland.

Call for papers: Copycamp in Warsaw

Marta from the Modern Poland Foundation writes, "we've announced an open call for speakers at the 4th International CopyCamp Conference (November 4, 2015 in Warsaw, Poland) focused around the impacts of copyright on the social changes around the world." Read the rest

Handmade Captain Marvel hoodie

This $60 handmade Captain Marvel hoodie (which has no hood!) is just one of many great superhero hoodies from Poland's Hoodie Dsz. (via The Mary Sue) Read the rest

Kickstarting Skyliner; a graphic novel memoir about jazz behind the Iron Curtain

At 81, Polish illustrator Andre Krayewski has adapted his memoir about being a jazz fan in Stalinist Poland into a graphic novel, and his son Ed has translated it to English. Read the rest

Fluorescent, pissing Lenin statue

A fluorescent statue of a urinating VI Lenin has been erected in Nowa Huta, a town built by the old Stalinist regime. The Soviet-era Lenin that stood in the spot was subjected to multiple unsuccessful attempts by activists to blow it up. The new statue, "Fountain of the Future," is a temporary installation that is meant to spur debate about what statue should be permanently installed in its place. Read the rest

Call for Speakers: Copycamp Warsaw, with Birgitta Jónsdóttir and Cory

Marta writes, "This is an open call for 10-minute presentations at the 3rd International CopyCamp Conference (November 6-7, 2014 in Warsaw, Poland), devoted to social impacts of copyright. This year, we'll have two special guests: Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a poet and member of the Icelandic parliament, Internet activist, freedom of information and freedom of speech defender and Cory Doctorow, the co-editor of this website." Read the rest

Engagement ring with tiny slide and projection lens built in

This engagement ring with a built-in lens and slide is apparently a prototype produced by an unnamed Polish manufacturer. According to Technolog, who posted the images to Reddit, the publicity-shy manufacturer hasn't gone into production yet.

Update: Technolog has updated the post with the name of the maker: Marek Mazur of Gdansk

Engagement ring with little photo slide and lens in it (via Super Punch) Read the rest

Wrist-straps for pocket-watches

Polish leatherworker MK makes some very nice wrist-straps for pocket-watches and car-watches. He's not the only one making these, but I find them particularly handsome, and rather nice retro-modern take on the massive wristwatch phenomenon.

Wristbands for pocket watches. (Thanks, Nic!) Read the rest

Vehicular tetris plan foiled by German policeman with tragic lack of imagination

This tetris of vehicles was constructed by a Polish truck driver, who conceived of it as a clever means of transporting several trucks and a car in one go. His plan was foiled by a spoilsport German cop, who made him destack it. I say that if there was a problem with this construction, it was in its lack of ambition: why not a motorcycle atop the car? Why not a bicycle atop the motorcycle? Why not a strapping lad in rollerskates on a pogo-stick bouncing on the bicycle?

On the road, the officers stopped the breakdown field daredevil transport (on the way to Belgium). On the Iveco car carrier (1) there was a large truck (2, on the deck again, a smaller VW MAN truck (3 And on the deck one Mercedes (4)!

Police spokesman Acor Kniely: "This tower contradicted all road traffic legislation. Especially as he to make matters worse the trailer still wanted to charge another truck! "

So was hatte Krefelds Polizei noch nicht gesehen: Hochstapler-Laster gestoppt! - Düsseldorf [Ulrich Altmann/Bild.de/Google Translate] (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Dried riverbed reveals stolen architecture, unexploded artillery shells

When Sweden invaded Poland in the 17th century, the Swedes made off with pieces of marble lintels, columns, and other architectural details from the Polish royal palace.

Hundreds of years later, Nazis invaded Poland, carrying with them deadly, modern weaponry and a system of violent repression aimed at the country's Jewish population.

Now, thanks to a severe summer drought, evidence of both these invasions is turning up in Warsaw, beached on the dried riverbed of the Vistula.

Low rainfall over the past few months has brought the Vistula, Poland's longest river, to its lowest level since regular records began 200 years ago.Navigation along the river has already been affected and officials say if water levels do not recover soon, power stations in Warsaw that use river water for cooling may be forced to close down.

Unexploded World War Two ordnance was found on the river bed in one part of the city at the weekend. Kowalski said on the stretch of river bed he had been studying, a few pieces of Jewish matzevah, or gravestones, had been discovered.

Read more about what lies at the bottom of the Vistula at Yahoo News Read the rest

Prize for best visions for the future of copyright

Jaroslaw Lipszyc sez, "Modern Poland Foundation organizes crowdfunded contest for the best work on the Future of Copyright. Idea is simple: the bigger the prize, the more attention contest will get and more participants will be attracted. All works participating need to be published on the web under free license, so we can all use them as we wish. Independent jury under head of prof. Michael Geist (well known copyright scholar from Canada) and Piotr Czerski (of We, the Web Kids manifesto fame) will decide, who gets the money. All supporters will receive e-book consisting of best works created for the contest, with personalized 'Thank you!' note on the first page - and much more if they pledge more than minimum $5 to the prize. Together we will help society to get more creative ideas on the Future of Copyright. Now it's your turn to show your support and make this contest bigger than Nobel."

This is simple. If you want to take part in the contest, publish the work on the Internet and mail us at contest@nowoczesnapolska.org.pl. Just follow these general rules:

1. On topic The work may be of any kind (text, video, audio), and of any genre (i.e. legal analisys, dystopian or utopian story, educational video – sky is the limit here), but it must address the general subject of the Future of Copyright. Your work has to be in English or you need to provide an English translation.

2. Limited size The size of the work is limited to 20,000 characters for text or 15 minutes for audio and video.

Read the rest

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