"Men shoot ducks
Dogs retrieve them
Women cook them
That's the food chain."
Alex (Michael J. Fox), "Family Ties"
ENCYCLOPAEDIA POLSKA RZECZPOSPOLITA
by Richard Karsmakers and Risto Kowaczewski
= M =============================================================
MAGNUM: 1. A Polish disk magazine, released by the group
»Illusions, of which four issues have been made. The
correspondence address is Address: Ul. Bukowska 16/25, 32-050
Skawina, Poland. 2. A kind of gun made famous by Clint "Go ahead
make my day" Eastwood in his "Dirty Harry" films. 3. A silly
attempt at a humorous U.S. detective series staged in Hawaii
starring Tom Selleck. 4. The best ice cream this side of both
Arctic regions. It's excellent vanille ice covered with thick
chocolate (white or brown versions available, as well as one with
nuts in the chocolate).
MAZUREK DABROWSKIEGO: The name of the Polish national anthem,
written by Jozef »Wybicki.
MILITARY: Poland has an army of around 305,000 people. Around
8.7% of »Gross National Product is spent on the military (world
average is 5.0%).
MONGOLS: One of many people who have at one time invaded Poland.
See also »Russians, »Germans, »Austrians, »Swedes, »French and
MUSIC: In many fields, such as the field of music, most people
are not aware of any Polish influences. However, some classical
composers include »Chopin, Szymanowski, Moniuzko, Wienawski and
modern classical composers such as Penerecki and Lutoslawski that
are world famous. The Polish composer Henryk Gorecki even made it
into the hit parade.
= N =============================================================
NO: Something which you have to say three times in order for the
Polish to believe you. The first "no" is deemed to be an
instinctive reaction of disbelief, the second "no" is reckoned
to be mere polite refusal. The third "no" will get the picture
across, but will also hopelessly insult them. Also see »Yes.
NOTHING AT ALL: That which Poland was from 1795 to 1807
(Prussia, Russia and Austria), 1874 to 1918 (mainly Austria,
Germany and Russia) and 1939-1945 (Germany). During these times,
Poland did not exist and was annexed by the countries mentioned
= O =============================================================
OLSZEWSKI, JAN: Prime Minister of Poland as of December 6th
= P =============================================================
PIAST: The legendary founder of the first Polish dynasty, the
Piast Dynasty. See »History.
PIRACY: There a lot of piracy in Poland. Due to its bad economy
(see »currency) and the lack of support for the Polish market by
many big companies it is usually not even considered illegal. The
United States is currently attempting to pass a law which will
separate Poland from American Music and Software products. Piracy
is not limited to the phenomenon of software piracy that no doubt
most of you have heard about, but also stretches to bootleg
trousers (like fake Levi's). As to software piracy, the latest
games can be purchased for around US$ 2 in Poland. The "Ultimate
Virus Killer" (to name but an example) would cost around US$ 2
including postage (although they don't have the latest version).
In the bigger Polish towns there are weekly meetings where
software can be bought. It's difficult to get original software,
but "Calamas SL" is available in these bigger towns for around
US$ 30-40. It is estimated that about 90% of all software sold in
Poland (at least on the ST) is pirated.
PLANT LIFE: See »Vegetation.
POLACK: Slang for someone from Poland.
POLAND: Officially REPUBLIC OF POLAND, Polish POLSKA, or POLSKA
RZECZPOSPOLITA, seventh largest country of Europe (excepting the
European portion of the C.I.S.), covering an area of 120,727
square miles (312,682 square km). The capital is Warsaw (Polish
Warszawa). The country extends about 405 miles (650 km) from
south to north and about 430 miles (690 km) at its widest from
west to east. It is bordered on the east and northeast by the
Ukraine and Bellorussia, on the northeast by Lithuania and
Russia, on the south by Czechoslovakia, on the west by Germany,
and on the northwest by the Baltic Sea. The population (est.
1991) is 38,273,000.
POLAND, BATTLE OF: The attack on Poland that was begun on
September 1st 1939, signifying the start of World War II.
POLISH BRETHREN: A group of religious people belonging to the
Minor Reformed Church.
POLISH CARPET: Also called tapis Polonais. A kind of carpet that
was imported from Kashan in the 17th century. They're not
actually Polish, but Persian.
POLAND CHINA: This, remarkable though it may seem, has nothing
to do with earthenware or porcelain to have been developed in
originated from Poland. This is, actually, a breed of pig.
POLANSKI, ROMAN: The most famous Polish director of »cinema,
also a highly respected international director. Some of his films
are "Chinatown" (1974), "MacBeth" (1971), "Pirates" (1986) and
"Rosemary's Baby" (1968). He was born in Paris, August 18th 1933.
His second wife, Sharon Tate, was part of a most horrible group
murder that took place in 1969. The Poles are not all too proud
of him due to his off life style (he got arrested in 1979 for
doing something naughty with a minor, then jumped bail to live in
POLISH: 1. The polish, or a polish person, or perhaps a polak
(or polac). Someone who lives in »Poland. 2. The »language spoken
in Poland. 3. With a different pronunciation ("pohlish" instead
of "powlish") is means 'cause something to become smooth and
shiny by rubbing.
POLISH ATARI LEAGUE: Or, for short, PAL. Something that seems no
longer to be mentioned in correspondence nowadays but that used
to be (or still is?) something that Mr. Wrobel's (see
»Wroblewski) magazine »"ST Professional" was associated with. The
League might no longer exist.
POLISH CAMPAIGN: See »Poland, Battle of.
POLISH DRAUGHTS or POLISH CHECKERS: See »Checkers, Polish.
POLISH SCHOOL: A particular film style, led by Jerzy
Kawalerowics ("Mother Joan of the Angels", 1961), Andrzej Munk
("Eroica", 1957, and "Passenger", 1963) and, most importantly,
Andrzej Wajda ("A Generation", 1954, "Canal", 1956 and "Ashes and
Diamonds", 1958). It was formed due to the loosening of
ideological criteria under premier Nikita Khrushchev. The Polish
School gave way to the Czech New Wave later.
POLITICS: A very dull subject. Some information can be found at
POLKA: Literally "Polish Girl". A dance that originates from
Czechovlovakia. It actually hasn't got much to do with Poland at
POLONAISE: A strange dance on simple music, usually performed
mid February in the Netherlands (and probably Germany too,
although it may be called different there) where many people form
a queue, hands on each other's shoulders from the back, and
rhythmically (or not all too, depending on the amount of alcohol
consumed) moving whilst chanting simple music lyrics. Stunningly
primitive, so it probably hasn't got anything to do with Poland
PROVINCES: Poland consists of 49 provinces, the biggest of which
is Olsztyn (capital of the same name) and the smallest of which
is Lodz (capital of the same name).
PRUSSIANS: One of many people who have at one time invaded
Poland. See also »Russians, »Germans, »Mongols, »Swedes, »French
= Q =============================================================
QUANT: An early Polish group, founded in 1990. They have
released some demo screens but ceased operating soon afterwards.
They have also cracked some games.
QUAST CLUB: Full name QUAST Klub uzytkownikow Atari ST. A Polish
ST fan club with around 150 members. They do their own disk
magazine, called "The Voice of Quast" (not to be confused with
»"Voice, The"). See also »"Voice of Quast, The". The main honcho
is 17 year old Artur Borkowski who is a secondary school student.
They've had a Copy Party some time ago. QUAST also distributes
software, so it would be the place for people to send software to
if they want it distributed (mainly Polish products, supposedly).
The Quast Club may be contacted at Atur Borkowski, ul. Sportowa
3b/4, 14-510 Orneta, Poland.
QUAST TEAM: A Polish group consisting of two members, named Dick
(real name Ryszard Lusiak, 18 years, does secondary school,
coder) and »Graf (real name Adam Nakonieczny, 18 years, graphics,
also helps with »"Voice, The"). They were founded in 1993. The
group finds its origin in the ST Club - »Quast (Club). Dick used
to bne the leader of the club and Graf was one of the members.
They have made some screens already and will soon release their
first megademo. Graf is rated as one of the best Polish Pixel
QUO VADIS?: A book written in 1896 by Henryk Sienkiewics, later
made into a most spectacular film of the same name. The latter
was done in 1951 by Mervyn LeRoy, starring Robert Taylor and
Deborah Kerr. A beautiful film (IMHO). Also see »Literature.
= R =============================================================
RELIEF: Poland has a largely lowland character. The average
elevation of the whole country is only 173 metres, with more than
75% of the country lying below 200 metres. The highest mountain
seems to be the »Rysy, near the Czechoslovakian border.
RELIGION: There is no official religion in Poland. The Compact
of Warsaw (not to be confused with the Warsaw Pact, officially
Warsaw Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance,
signed May 14th 1955 and disbanded on July 1st 1991), signed
January 28th 1573, is a charter that guarentees absolute
religious freedom to all non-Roman Catholics in Poland. There is,
thus, total religious freedom. A massive 95% of the Polish are
catholic, 5% are of another persuasion.
RUSSIANS: One of many people who have at one time invaded
Poland. See also »Austrians, »Germans, »Mongols, »Swedes, »French
RYSY: Poland's highest mountain, 2499 metres high, part of the
»Carpathian mountains at the south border with Czechoslovakia.
= S =============================================================
SALARY: See »Currency.
SFJ: Short for Star Force Jupiter. One of the earliest Polish
demo groups, founded in 1990. Unfortunately is had died already,
after only releasing three intros.
SKOTARCZAK, NICODEM: Supposed head of the Polish auto maffia.
Poland (and eastern Europe in general) is supposed to be a black
hole for especially German cars that get stolen, primarily in
SOIL: Most of the Polish soil consists of Podzol or Pseudopodzol
soils, followed by the less widely distributed brown-earth soils
that are much richer in nutrients. In the south there are small
patches of loess-based soil, the rendzinas being a unique one
among these, having been formed on limestone rocks. Soil is
generally a thing that Pope John Paul II likes kissing a lot
whenever on a God Promotion World Tour (see »John Paul II, Pope).
SOLIDARITY: Or, Polish, Solidarnosc. The more popular name for
the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union (Niezalezny Samorzad
Zwiazkow Zawodowych), founded in September 1980 shortly after
widespread strikesby the International Strike Committee had
forced the government to sanction free and independent unions
with the right to organize and strike. It was officially
suppressed after December 1981, lasting until April 1989.
STEK: Polish disk magazine released by the »STek Crew. At least
one issue has appeared so far, and it is reportedly very good
STEK CREW: Polish group, young and good. Their members are JAO
(coder), Paskud (music), BCA (coder) and Markiz (graphics). Their
main activity seems to be the release of a disk magazine called
ST FAN CREW: One of the very first Polish ST crews. Members are
Kijop, Softman and Banzai. They have done the "Sweenty Cola" and
"Hallo Babciu" screens.
ST MAGAZINES: There are five ST magazines in Poland.
ST NEWS: Yes, it's available in Poland. The official Polish ST
NEWS distributor is Mr. Wrobel, real name Krzysztof »Wroblewski,
address is Ul. Radosci 10/18, 20-530 Lublin, Poland.
ST PROFESSIONAL: A DTP'd magazine, the main honcho behind which
is Mr. Wrobel (see »Wroblewski). It's in Polish, done on a TT,
and looks like a good quality user group magazine. It is not
certain if it's still alive, but it was the first thing I ever
got sent from Poland about two years ago I guess.
ST USERS: There are approximately 20,000 of these in Poland,
which is actually quite a lot. Most of them (if not all) seem to
SWEDES: One of many people who have at one time invaded Poland.
Yes, even the Swedes did it. See also »Russians, »Germans,
»Mongols, »Austrians, »French and »Prussians.
= T =============================================================
TEAM FROM THE EAST: See »TFTE.
TEETH SHAKERS, THE: See »TTS.
TELEPHONE: No, the Polish are not »backward at all. They have
all the things the rest of the world has, including a great
transit system in »Warsaw, a postage system and the telephone.
Some interesting emergency phone numbers are 997 for Police, 999
for Ambulance and 998 for the Fire Guard.
TEAM FROM THE EAST: Or, short, TFTE. A Polish group founded back
in 1991. First members were STRych (alias Risto »Kowaczewski,
coder), Lovespy (real name Marek Mazur, 17 years, studies at a
technical secondary school but will study German law in Germany
next year, writes for "The Voice", graphics) and Mr. Byte (real
name Maciek Chojnacki, 20 years, student of Polish law at Wroclaw
University, writes for "The Voice", swapper). The group really
liked "Kebab Mag" (the first Polish Amiga disk magazine) and
wanted to do something similar. At that time, »"The Voice" was
started. However, TFTE is not just doing "The Voice". STRych has
written some screens like "Twisting In The Rain", "Learning To
Fly" and "Bye, What A Fuckin' Mess". They are at the moment
trying to recruit some new members, so that the future may see
their first megademo. They may be contacted at the address of
THEATRE: The most infamous (or just famous?) Polish addition to
theatre culture is Grotewski with his theatre of the absurd.
Further details not known.
TOURISM: See "Where do the Polish go on their Vacation", below.
TTS: Abbreviation for The Teeth Shakers. In 1992 this group was
formed around one of the first ST coders, a guy by the name of
Marchew. He's 20 years old, has a girl friend, and his father
runs a big clothing company. He was one of the first guys to get
an ST when it hit the Polish market. The Teeth Shakers currently
consist of Marchew (coder), Mr. Wrobel (Krzysztof Wroblewski, the
official »ST NEWS Polish foreign distributor, who is member of
TTS for graphics and music), Rademes (graphics and swapper) and
Rosomak (coder). They have written some screens but yet have to
do their first megademo (which they're in the process of doing).
This may take a while because they are all very busy with school
at the moment. The address where The Teeth Shakers may be
contacted is Artur Osuchowski, ul. Przymaslowa 10 A, 22-300
= U =============================================================
UNIVERSITY: Poland has 16 Universities/Academies. The oldest,
one of the three Universities at Krakow, was founded as far back
as 1364 (it has 9,300 students). The largest University, the
University of Warsaw, has 23,000 students. It was founded in
1818. There is one University where both Polish and English
instruction languages are used - the Stanislaw Staszic Academy of
Mining and Metallurgy at Krakow.
= V =============================================================
VASA: Name of the third Polish dynasty, 1572-1697. See »History.
VEGETATION: Over the 10,000 years that have passed since the
last ice age, all of Poland's vegetation has developed. The total
vegetations consists of some 2,250 species of seed plants, 630
mosses, 200 liverworts, 1,200 lichens and 1,500 fungi. There are
a few species specific to Poland: The Polish larch Laris
polonica and the Ojcow birch Betula oycoviensis.
VITAL STATISTICS: The birth rate per 1,000 population is 14.8
(world average is 27.1), 95% of all births are legitimate (5%
illegitimate). Death rate per 1,000 population is 10.0 (world
average 9.9), the natural increase rate per 1,000 population is
4.8 (world average 17.2). The average childbirths per
childbearing woman is 2.2, marriage rate (per 1,000) is 6.7,
divorce rate 1.2. Life expectancy at birth is 66.8 for males,
75.5 for females. Major causes of death (per 100,000 population)
are 525.4 of diseases of the circulatory system (heart attacks,
etc.) and 188.4 because of cancers.
VODKA: A distilled liquor, clear in colour and without definite
aroma or taste, ranging in alcoholic content from about 40 to 55
percent. Because it is highly neutral, with flavouring substances
mainly eliminated during processing, it can be made of a mash of
the cheapest and most readily available raw materials suitable
for fermentation. Although traditionally claimed to have arisen
from Russia in the 14th century, there have been claims to the
fact that it actually came from Poland (see »Gastronomy).
VOICE, THE: Polish disk magazine by »Team From The East. The
first issue was released in 1991, but wasn't particularly good -
low res only, no music and bad articles (these are their own
words!). Issue 2 was already better, using medium res, Mad Max
music and a mouse-controlled user interface. Issue 3 is claimed
by them to be a "small step for a people, a giant leap for a
mankind" (?!) - both medium and low resolution on screen
simultaneously, no lower border, scroller, and TCB tracker
music. They are at the moment working on Issue 4, which will be
similar to Issue 3 with some small improvements like the ability
to have digitized pictures in the text. Some other people who
help with this magazine are »Graf (see also »Quast Team), Bilbo
(real name Lech Zaciura, 25 years, writer) and Mig 29 (real name
Grezegorz Mirek, 25 years, graphics), The "The Voice"
correspondence address is Ul. Reymonta 20c, 59-901 Zgorzelec,
VOICE OF QUAST, THE: A disk magazine, not to be confused with
»"Voice, The". It is the disk magazine of the biggest Polish ST
Club, the »Quast Club. Six issues have appeared, gradually
improving in quality.
= W =============================================================
WALESA, LECH: The Polish president, former leader of the
Independent Self-Governing Trade Union (Niezalezny Samorzad
Zwiazkow Zawodowych), more popularly knows as »Solidarity
WARSAW: Polish WARSZAWA, city, capital of Poland. The city,
which is an autonomous administrative unit, is located on the
Vistula (Wisla) River in the middle of the Warsaw Plain in east
Warsaw's »climate is moderate and somewhat cool; July
temperatures average about 19 degrees Celcius and January
temperatures average -3 degrees Celcius. Most of the city's
precipitation, which averages 541 mm annually, occurs during the
summer months. Snow covers the ground for 50 to 64 days a year.
Warsaw's well-developed metropolitan transit system includes
suburban trains, surface tramways, and an expressway system. Work
began on a subway system in 1983. The area of the city is 445
square km, population around 2 million.
WATCH, THE: Short for "We Are The CHampions", a union of »Team
from the East and »TTS.
WODKA: See »Vodka.
WROBLEWSKI, KRZYSTOF: The official Polish distributor of »ST
NEWS and member of The Teeth Shakers (see »TTS).
WYBICKI, JOZEF: The composer of the Polish national anthem. It
is called "Mazurek Dabrowskiego", was written in 1797 and adopted
as the national anthem in 1918.
= Y =============================================================
YES: Whatever someone from Poland asks you, you must say this.
Also see »No.
= Z =============================================================
Z: A nice letter that usually, in a small encyclopaedia-like
effort such as this, has preciously few or no items of interest.
Not so in Poland, where the "Z" is actually quite a popular
ZEBRZYDOWSKI REBELLION: Armed uprising of Polish nobles in 1060
and 1607 led by Mikolaj Zebrzydowski against their king Sigismund
III (ruled from 1587-1632). Despite its failure to overthrow the
king, the rebellion firmly established the dominance of the Roman
Catholic gentry over the monarch in the Polish political system.
ZGORZELEC: A town near the Polish-German border, where for
example »Kowaczewski, Risto, lives. It's a small town near the
ZILCH: See »Nothing At All.
ZLOTY: The Polish currency, plural "zlotych", abbreviated as
'zl'. One US$ costs about 17,000 to 18,000 zl, one German mark
(DM) costing about 10,000 to 11,000 zl.
ZOKATHRA: A polish group formed in 1993 and consisting of two
members, called YoYo (coder) and S.B. Axel (graphics). They are a
very young group but they have already released a game by the
name of "Pacman" and are due to release their first demo soon.
Research by Risto Kowaczewski and Encyclopaedia Brittanica
(featured without permission).
FOCUS ON... by Risto Kowaczewski
TOWN PROBLEMS - ZGORZELEC, A TOWN NEAR THE GERMAN BORDER
Of course it will have to be understood that everything I write
here is only my opinion. I would like to spend some time on the
most complex problem in the town where I live, Zgorzelec. This
problem is refugees.
Every year the town of Zgorzelec suffers from Rumanian refugees.
Thousands of them come into the town to try to get across the
border and get the Germany. Of course, many of them never get to
Germany so that have to live here. All railway stations and parks
are full of them, with Rumanian children begging for food. The
worst bit is that they steal and beg a lot. None of them want to
work or get out of town. Nowadays you can see Russians selling
weapons and drugs, Rumanian begging and selling stolen goods, and
Germans buying all that stuff. Of course the Polish try to match
all of this by ripping off the German cars and stuff like that.
Here, you can buy a Mercedes 600 SL for DM 35,000, or an Atari
1040 STE & SM 146 for DM 350.
Zgorzelec isn't the only town that has this kind of problem.
Actually, all large towns suffer from it. You might have heard
already of the fact that Poland has agreed that all refugees
found on the German side of the border will be sent pack to
No comment - double problem!
WHAT PISSES THE POLISH OFF?
Well, the worst thing I've had to face some time ago. Someone
treated me as if I was someone from another planet altogether.
This happens a lot with people from the west. They treat Poles
like men from Mars - you've been on the wrong side of the Iron
Curtain for so long that you've not even heard of the tele being
invented or something.
Another thing that pisses me off is that people from the west
often think people from the east are thieves. For example, some
days ago I was in Germany (I live at a fifteen minutes' drive
from Germany). I went into this department store to look for some
things. I had a friend with me who carried some bags for the
stuff we intended to buy. When we went into the store this big
guy came up to us and asked us to show our bags. When we went out
the same guy came again and asked the same. If this happened
occasionally it would perhaps be funny, but it happens literally
all the time, which makes me very angry.
I found out that this can be avoided by simply not talking
Polish when I'm in Germany. It's better not to talk if you get
harassed this way.
WHERE DO THE POLISH GO ON THEIR VACATION
Most young Poles spend their spare time in Poland. However,
travelling agencies have offerings that include trips abroad,
too. We often stay in Poland to cut down costs, despite the
choice of foreign destinations.
In summer, the best place to go is the north-east region of
Poland. It's full of lakes and forests, and is also sometimes
called "The Lake District", or the lungs of Poland because of its
beauty. I don't think there are any young Poles who have not
spent their holiday there, or would want to.
Another popular area, I suppose, is the seaside. The Baltic sea
is rather cold and polluted, but there are still some nice
places. The worst place is near the Zatoka Gdanska; don't expect
to have a nice time there anymore. Other beaches are generally
not as soiled, though.
What more is there to say? We also have mountains, and of course
you know what you can do in the mountains.
If we ever go abroad we'll certainly go to Italy or Greece;
these are the most popular travelling destinations abroad for
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.