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Debts, crises and competitiveness

Interview with Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD

Society and Economy
Authors: László Andor and Tamás Pesuth

In this interview, Ángel Gurría looks back at a decade of financial and economic crisis and draws conclusions for macroeconomic policy. What concerns the European Economic and Monetary Union, he stresses the need to further improve the shock absorption capacity of the single currency. He insists that the OECD remains committed to going beyond GDP, and this is particularly relevant at a time when a new Jobs Strategy is being developed. He also highlights some key chapters in the 22 year long cooperation between the OECD and Hungary.

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In the late 13th century Latin west, the problem of the proper subject of metaphysics (a legacy of the AvicennaLatinus) became relevant. Two candidates were open at the time: that of the 'ens in quantum ens' as the proper subject of metaphysics, and that of the separate and 'most noble substances'. This transition allows for a deeper reading of the Condemnation of 1277. The structure of the Condemnation reveals an intriguing commitment on the part of the condemned articles concerning the separate substances (or angels) and the peculiar neoplatonic 'chain of being' that was the underpinning of their accounts. Peter Olivi argued against the neoplatonic chain of being soon after 1277. Even if this polemic is still neglected in the secondary literature on 1277, Olivi's interpretation of the state of the debate reinforces the reading of the Paris Condemnation with regard to neoplatonistic chains of being, and the options available for characterizing the proper subject of metaphysics.

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Abstract  

Walter Benjamin's (WB) final important work, left untitled andusually called “[Theses] On the Concept of History” (CH) is an attempt ata philosophy of history, which is constituted by a refusal of systematicconceptuality and a great reliance on images such as the figural tableauxof the Angel of (catastrophic) History and the Chess-Player. Its foundingmove is to transfer the arrested epistemological moment to politics, whichis of a piece with the absence of any positive Subject, of the future, andof narrative. This article discusses then “1. Intellectuals and Politics, Images and Structure”, identifying WB's root experience of life underthe bourgeoisie as the Modernist topos of lay Hell. The dialectic of long-range understanding vs. short-range militancy of the anti-bourgeois intelligentsiaunderlies the strengths and gaps in CH. Its genre is seen as nearer to acompressed tractate than to theses. Its central method is the reliance onstriking images as architectonic bearers of meanings, in a Surrealist braidingwith some new or revalued concepts: WB is perhaps the Magritte of criticaltheory. CH focusses on the Chess-Player, the Angel, and the absent but necessaryMessiah, but the precise meaning and the figural status of these key mentionsare debatable. Based on this, “2. A Pointer Toward Analyzing ‘CH’”puts forth a counter-proposal to G. Kaiser's analysis of its thematics(how is history to be understood as happening?) and its structure by meansof a new grouping of its 18 sections, arguing that the ending may be readas the place where the incompleteness emerges. “3. Time and History, Image and Story” focusses on WB's refusals of the future and of story-telling, which prefigure most attempts today to understand catastrophic history. They culminate in WB's privileging of the arrested moment. It seems to confuseepiste- mology of cognition with ontology of history: if so, the price ofWB's brilliant devices may prove too high.

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Abstract

Farewell to meat – carnevale – was the origin of the initially innocent merry-making customs that came into use around Shrovetide, near the Lenten season. This frolicking gradually deteriorated so much that Pope Benedict XIV had to issue a decree “inter cetera de bacchanalibus” to warn the believers. Some peculiar crucifix representations allude to these carnival excesses in a moralizing, allegorical form.

In the engraved icon of Hieronymus Wierix (1553–1619) (owned by the author) the crucifix allegory shows perhaps the embodiments of the seven deadly sins. They try to make the youth standing at the foot of the cross swerve away from pious life. The Latin caption of the engraving is from St Paul's letter to the Romans (Rom 8,35; 8,38–39). The second important depiction of the theme is in the graphic collection of the Benedictine abbey of Göttweig. The engraved sheet is the work of Matthäus Küsell (1629–1681) after Johann Christoph Storer's (1611?–1671) drawing. The bustling scene takes place on Calvary Hill. In the celestial sphere, on both sides of the darkened Sun and Moon, angels are hovering, two of them holding a banderol. Among the Vice figures torturing Christ a few characters of the Passion can also be discovered: Longinus with the lance, the soldiers who cast lots, the figure offering the sponge. In the right-hand corner a weeping angel is guarding the Arma Christi. The banderol refers to the crucified Christ, the rest of the characters actualize the scenario of Good Friday in a figurative sense. The latest graphic piece of the theme is an engraving possibly by Franz Karl Heissig (?–?) (owned by the author) from the mid-18th century. The Latin and German inscriptions unmistakably refer to the message of carnival crosses and also make allusions to the bacchanals of pagan Rome. The penitent Mary Magdalene at the foot of the cross is the only positive figure, the rest around her are embodiments of immoderate carnival revelries.

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The study examines the short-necked lute-type instrument held by a musical angel in one of the Gothic niches in the node of a 15th century gilded silver chalice made in Transylvania. It gives a brief survey of the history of the Hungarian kobza in the Middle Ages and later. It is thought that the modern kobza still in use among Moldavian Hungarians up to the end of the 20th century was born in the course of the 18th century, but in reality the instrument and its old name of Turkish origin can be identified only from the 1870s. The author has reached the conclusion that this short-necked lute-type instrument with a staved body was probably developed from an earlier, more primitive instrument hewn from a single block of wood (neck + body) and with a weaker resonance. And he discovers this instrument in the hands of the musical angel on the Nyári chalice.Hungarian and international researchers have long been aware that the name kobza was once used to describe a wide variety of instruments, mainly in Asia. However, in future it must also be taken into account that there are a number of instruments that, although they have different names, are essentially the same as the kobza in structure and proportions, or do not differ substantially. Evidence of this can be found in mediaeval portrayals from Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East. All data collection and comparative investigations in these regions can give new impetus to future Hungarian and international research on this short-necked lute.

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Summary

In the 15thcentury, an Orthodox diocese came into being in the north-eastern corner of the Hungarian Kingdom. The centre of the diocese was the town of Munkács. As Munkács is located in the crossroads of cultures and nations, the artifacts produced in the diocese all reflect a vivid connection between northern and southern, eastern and western civilizations. The Mandylion, more typical as a mural in Byzantine art, is one of the most important subjects of icon paintings produced in the 15th–16thcenturies. In this icon the portrait of Jesus on the shawl is complemented with erect figures of archangels. In the Deisis version the angels follow the shawl with awe and worship. The notion of showing up the relic appears in several versions. The angels are either in the background, raising the holy shawl, or show it up with a ceremonial gesture. The versions show the influence of the northern Russian iconography on the one hand, and the effects of late Gothic style on the other. These influences show the changing attitudes of the artists. The Mandylion of Lukov, surviving in the Diocese of Munkács (Mucatchevo) is preserved today in the Slovakian National Gallery in Bratislava. It is one of the rare examples where the central picture is complete with side scenes, depicting an oriental version of the Acheiropoeitos-legend. There are two similar surviving icons, which appear to follow the traditions of icon painting in Moldova. The Mandylion appears as a part of the visual system of the iconostasion of the Carpathians, in the central axis of the Celebration, or as a supraport of the Royal Gate. The ancient Apotropeion-type picture, surrounded with scenes depicting the sacrifice of the Apostles, receives an Eucharistic meaning. In this way it is close to the meaning and function of the western depictions of Veronica's shawl.

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] A. Berthod , M. Ruiz-Angel , S. Carda-Broch , J. Chromatogr. A 1184 ( 2008 ) 6 – 18 . [7] M.J. Ruiz-Angel

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Orvosi Hetilap
Authors: Mária Mátyus, István Horváth, János Fehér, Róbert Farkas, Veronika Wolf, Rita Galántai, Andrea Kis, and András Gachályi

Munkánk célja a Guardien Angel (GA, azaz Őrangyal) pezsgőpor véralkoholszintet befolyásoló hatásának vizsgálata volt egészséges önkénteseken. Az összeállított protokoll szerint két méréssorozatot készítettünk, amelynek során (modellezve egy családi vagy társadalmi összejövetel étkezési, ivási szokásait) 70 g tiszta szesznek megfelelő alkoholmennyiséget kellett a vizsgált személyeknek elfogyasztani egy bőséges étkezéssel párosítva. A vizsgálatban részt vevők először nem kaptak GA pezsgőport az étel-ital mellé, míg a második sorozatban közvetlenül a vizsgálat megkezdése előtt és étkezés közben 1-1 tasak, vízben oldott granulátumot ittak meg. Az önkontrollos kísérleti körülmények között végzett vizsgálat során az önkéntesektől óránként, összesen ötször vettünk vért véralkohol-meghatározás céljából. A méréseket gőztérből vett mintavételezéssel, szilárd fázisú mikroextrakciós (SPME) módszerrel, GC-MS eljárással végeztük el. A sorozatmérések eredményei alapján megállapítható, hogy a véralkoholszint a két tasak granulátum elfogyasztása után jóval alacsonyabb volt a pezsgőpor nélküli alkoholfogyasztáshoz képest. A GA pezsgőpor hatására a vizsgálat második órájától kezdve mindenkinek jelentősen csökkent a véralkoholszintje. Ez az eredmény arra utal, hogy a GA pezsgőpor véralkoholszintet csökkentő képességét az egészséges személyek egyéni metabolizmusa csak kismértékben befolyásolta. Az eddigi eredményeink alapján érdemes további vizsgálatokat végezni annak eldöntésére, hogy a GA pezsgőpor hatásmechanizmusában az alkohol felszívódásának vagy/és az alkohol metabolizmusának befolyásolása játszik-e szerepet.

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There is a type in the iconography of Saint Stephen which, although it is perhaps one of the best known portrayals of the saint, has nevertheless escaped the attention of art historical research. The woodcut in the Augsburg edition of János Thuróczy's Chronica Hungarorum (1488) is of interest not only from the viewpoint of art history; it is at least as important for the history of ideas and constitutional law, and it was not only in one particular period, namely at the very end of the 15th century that it became a special theme, but it proved to be very much alive in the following century with minor changes. The Hungarian source of the composition is a special theme that appeared in the 14th century, the portrayal of Saint Ladislas crowned by angels which was revived by the art propaganda for display of Louis I (the Great), based on Byzantine traditions and given current relevance. As far as we know at present, the motif of angelic coronation first appeared in the iconography of Saint Stephen on a woodcut printed perhaps in Ulm around 1460-1470. However, the immediate model for the woodcuts in the Thuróczy chronicle was very probably not this image of Saint Stephen but the relief of King Matthias Corvinus on the tower of the Ortenburg castle in Bautzen. Right from the time of its appearance the woodcut was an enormous success. This was due in part to its technique and message but the main reason why it became popular was its extremely important constitutional law implications for the feudal constitution, especially in the struggles for succession following the death of Matthias Corvinus (1490). Since it gave the most succinct expression of the doctrine of the Holy Crown, the constitutional law foundation of the Kingdom of Hungary, and could be updated later too, countless copies and variants were produced in the following centuries, particularly after the appearance in Nuremberg in 1664 of the Mausoleum published at the expense of Ferenc Nádasdy chief justice, right up to the 20th century. It was probably through this art channel that it trickled down later through further intermediary stations into folk tradition although there are only a few oral and pictorial traces of this.

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–721. Wang, D., Zhang, W. H., Jiang, J. S. (2002): Combined shape and sizing optimization of truss structures. Comput. Mech. 29, 307–312. Csébfalvi, A. (2007): An ANGEL Method for Discrete Optimization Problems. Periodica

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