Poland – Warsaw Cooler

Da Freakin’ Pope

Poland has a ton of famous folks to offer as fodder for this Around the World project. Sure, the country can lay claim to dignitaries such as director Roman Polanski, astronomer Nicholas Copernicus, scientist Marie Curie, and musician Frederic Chopin, but the man born Karol Józef Wojtyła in Wadowice, Poland tops them all. That’s because he’s better known as Pope John Paul II… which, I’m led to believe is a pretty big deal. From this point forward, as we learn about the Pontiff, I will refer to his as JP2, his rapping name:

Despite considering a career in theatre as a young man, JP2 became an ordained priest in 1946. 32 years later, at the age of 58, he ascended to the position of Pope, becoming the first Polish Pope ever, as well as the first non-Italian Holy Father since 1522. In between all that, he was appointed Archbishop of Krakow and made a Cardinal (and here I never knew he played baseball (St. Louis) or football (Arizona)).

pope ready to rock

JP2’s reign as Pope lasted more than 26 years, ranking him second all-time for longest tenure as the head of the church. He certainly lasted longer than John Paul I (aka ‘the smiling pope’), who died one month after being appointed. At 58 years old when elected, Wojtyla became one of the youngest Popes in history.

When JP2 made his first trip back to Poland, after becoming the Pope, in 1979, 300,000 people came out to see their famous countryman. At one point during his visit, the crowd applauded for 14 minutes straight. I’m lucky to generate my own slow-clap whenever I serve a drink and nobody seems willing to join in with the ovation.

JP2 was an avid writer and averaged 3,000 penned pages per year during his years at the very top of the church. Combined, his works would equal 20 bibles in length. JP2 can also speak eight different languages. As you little sippers have seen over the years, I struggle with one language and it’s my native tongue! Another random tidbit: JP2 created World Youth Day in 1986 and it has since been celebrated around the world. As someone who is no longer a youth, it kind of sucks to be excluded from this party.

Pope with Bush

In 1981, JP2 was shot in the stomach, right arm and left hand by Mehmet Ali Agca (from Turkey), as his procession entered St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City. Doctors needed over five hours of surgery to repair damaged done by the attack and the Pope remained in hospital recovering for two and a half months. The assassination attempt occurred on the feast day for Our Lady of Fatima and after he survived, JP2 placed one of the bullets used in his attempted murder in the crown of the Lady of Fatima statue. Shortly after being released from the hospital, the Pope decided to meet with his attacker, although their discussion was kept confidential.

The Popemobile already existed before this attack in various forms, but following the assassination attempt, the vehicle was outfitted with bulletproof glass. Oddly, the site of the murder plot, St. Peter’s Square, often hosts events where the Pope’s vehicle is open air.

popemobile

In 1994, JP2 was named Time Magazine’s ‘Man of the Year.’ This is an honour I’m still holding my breath for, although I’m starting to feel a little light-headed. Of the Pontiff, Time wrote: “His power rests in the word, not the sword… He is an army of one, and his empire is both as ethereal and as ubiquitous as the soul.”

Pope John Paul’s career was filled with apologies to groups harmed by the Catholic Church. In total, he delivered more than 100 public admissions of guilt involving subjects including the African slave trade, Protestant Reformation and burning people at the stake, crimes against women and women’s rights, inactivity during the Holocaust, and, of course, Catholic sex abuse victims. The only time I ever apologize is when I don’t have time to scarf some potato chips and I leave my potato bros hanging.

Making Mrs. Sip furiously jealous, JP2 travelled more than any other Pope in the history of Popedom. If you added up all the miles (775,000) he traversed over his career, you would have been able to travel to the moon and back three times. He appeared in 129 countries and was even the first Pope to enter a mosque.

Pope Computer

A fan of sport and the outdoors all his life, JP2 didn’t give up skiing until he was 73 years old. Can you imagine a dude roaring down the mountain dressed in all white and with that extravagant hat on his head!? Better yet, do you think they converted any of the chairlifts into a bulletproof, Popemobile style transporter!?

JP2 passed away on April 2, 2005 from heart failure, cardio-circulatory collapse, and septic shock. He had also waged a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and was 84 at the time of his death.

Poland: Warsaw Cooler

Warsaw Cooler Cocktail

  • 1 oz Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Spiced Rum
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Drips of Honey
  • Garnish with an Apple Slice

Pope John Paul II sure led a controversial life, but he was easy to cover than Roman Polanski would have been. Something about that long standing sexual assault case would have been too glaring to not spend a fair bit of time and words on. To the Popemobile, my little sippers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’ve wanted to try the Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka for some time and here the opportunity finally presented itself. The Vodka is very interesting and I’ve already gone ahead and enjoyed it in various cocktails, particularly Caesars! This recipe was pretty damn good. It was a touch sweet, but nothing too dramatic. Them bison’s make some good booze!

Sweden – Unforgettable Night

Prize Fights

Nobel Prizes are awarded in six fields: Peace, Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Economic Sciences, none of which the Sip Advisor excels in, but I’ve made peace with my shortcomings, even if all you little sippers have not. The host country for the ceremony is Sweden (home to prize creator Alfred Nobel), except for the Peace Prize which is presented in Norway. Nobel, also the inventor of dynamite, is said to have created the awards to leave a better legacy after his condemnable obituary was accidentally printed in France (nothing good ever comes out of there!) following the death of his brother. Let’s take a look at the awards and see if Nobel’s image has indeed been altered:

Alfred Nobel

The first awards ceremony took place in 1901, five years after Nobel passed away… for reals this time. Since then, the event is held annually on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death. Prizes don’t have to be handed out each year for every category, but each award must be tendered at a minimum of every five years. Throughout World War II (1939-43), no Nobel Prize events were held.

Nobel wrote the final draft of his will, including the Nobel Prize request on a torn piece of paper. The process was witnessed by four associates, as Nobel didn’t trust lawyers… I can’t really blame him given Mrs. Sip is one and I sleep with one eye open every night! Also, Nobel never bothered to ask any of the bodies he expected to govern the awards, whether this was something they were cool with. Nobel’s family contested the will after finding out they were shit out of luck and the cash would go towards awards for strangers. Clearly, the appeals did not work out.

There are anywhere between 100-250 nominees for each category. A person who has died can’t be nominated and will also be removed from contention if they pass away during the consideration process. If a person was selected as a winner before expiring, they are still eligible to win posthumously that year. A maximum of three people can win any one award.

Scarecrow Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize consists of a medal, a personal diploma and money. The financial award comes from interest from Nobel’s estate (and varies each year), which is looked after by the Nobel Foundation. Prize winners are called laureates… another title you will never see beside the Sip Advisor’s name… although I’m still working on that Chemistry award with Mrs. Sip! Apparently, the cash awarded in 2013 was $1.2 million US per prize. Damn, Mrs. Sip and I really need to get that chemistry diorama finished!

While most of the prizes are well-deserved, some have been followed by protest, particularly over the Peace Prize. Some of the most controversial prize recipients include Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, who were awarded the Peace Prize in 1973 for negotiating a ceasefire between North Vietnam and the U.S., although both nations were still hostile towards one another. Similarly, Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, and Yitzhak Rabin were handed the 1994 Peace Prize following their efforts towards harmony between Israel and Palestine, but many issues remained unsettled between the two nations. Lastly, Barack Obama’s 2009 Peace Price was controversial in that he had only been in office for 11 days when nominations closed. Obama went on to say that he was undeserving of the award.

Not every Nobel Prize winner has accepted the honour. Jean-Paul Sartre refused the Literature Award in 1964, sticking with his credo to not accept any official honours (but unofficial ones were okay) and the previously mentioned Le Duc Tho declined that controversial 1973 Peace Prize, given the ongoing strife in Vietnam.

Nobel Peace Prize

As of the 2013 ceremonies, there have been 561 Nobel Prizes awarded to 876 recipients. Only 45 of those winners have been women. The youngest recipient ever was Lawrence Bragg (1915) for physics, at the age of 25, although he did win with his father (there’s nothing like riding someone else’s coattails). The oldest was Leonid Hurwicz (2007) for economic sciences, at the ripe age of 90. The Red Cross has won three separate times (1917, 1944 and 1963). Linus Pauling and Marie Curie each won two Nobel Prizes in different categories, while John Bardeen and Frederick Sanger received two prizes in the same discipline.

Inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla never won Nobel Prizes. They were offered a joint prize, but the committee quickly rescinded the offer upon realizing that the two competitors despised one another and refused to be anywhere near each other. The same goes for Mrs. Sip and I, but I’m pretty sure the prize money would be enough of a draw for us to put aside our differences for one night.

Antonio Moniz was awarded the Medicine Prize in 1949 for his work involving prefrontal lobotomies as a treatment for schizophrenia. The practice was abolished in the 1960’s and is now looked upon with much criticism. A similar Medicine Prize debacle (retrospectively) occurred in 1926 when Johannes Fibiger received the award for “finding a cure for cancer.” It’s truly too bad that didn’t work out as well as hoped or expected.

Women Nobel Prize

When Robert E. Lucas won the Economics Prize in 1997 for his theory of rational expectations, his ex-wife was perhaps happier than he was. Her lawyer had actually written a clause into their divorce settlement for such an occasion and Lucas was forced to share his $1 million award with her. He may have been a prize-winning economist, but he clearly wasn’t good with contracts.

We’ll end things off with this little factoid, before retiring to the post-awards gala for nibbles and drinks: Oddly enough, eight different Nobel Prize recipients were born on February 28th. I think the fix is in!

Sweden: Unforgettable Night

Unforgettable Night Martini

  • 2 oz Absolut Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Chocolate Liqueur
  • Top with Coconut Milk
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Hot Sauce
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge and Coconut

Mrs. Sip and I, along with members of the Sip Syndicate visited the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden and had a great time learning about the history of the awards and many of the recipients. I’ll be back one day to accept my long-awaited prize… or, at the very least, to steal one!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
When searching for a drink to combine with this post, I stumbled upon this incredibly interesting recipe (Coconut Milk, Lime Juice and Hot Sauce!) that had the perfect name to suit the article. I was very curious going in about how this would taste and it was pretty decent with a bit of flame at the end. The Lime Juice caused some slight curdling, but not enough to disgust the drinker.