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  • Author: Małgorzata Dąbrowska x
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Abstract

A Byzantinist specializing in the history of the Empire of Trebizond (1204–1461), the author presents four books of different genres written in English and devoted to the medieval state on the south coast of the Black Sea. The most spectacular of them is a novel by Rose Macaulay, Towers of Trebizond. Dąbrowska wonders whether it is adequate to the Trebizondian past or whether it is a projection of the writer. She compares Macaulay’s novel with William Butler Yeats’s poems on Byzantium which excited the imagination of readers but were not meant to draw their attention to the Byzantine past. This is, obviously, the privilege of literature. As a historian, Dąbrowska juxtaposes Macaulay’s narration with the historical novel by Nicolas J. Holmes, the travelogue written by Michael Pereira and the reports of the last British Consul in Trabzon, Vorley Harris. The author of the article draws the reader’s attention to the history of a rather unknown and exotic region. The Empire of Trebizond ceased to exist in 1461, conquered by Mehmed II. At the same time the Sultan’s army attacked Wallachia and got a bitter lesson from its ruler Vlad Dracula. But this Romanian hero is remembered not because of his prowess on the battlefield but due to his cruelty which dominated literary fiction and separated historical facts from narrative reality. The contemporary reader is impressed by the image of a dreadful vampire, Dracula. The same goes for Byzantium perceived through the magic stanzas by Yeats, who never visited Istanbul. Rose Macaulay went to Trabzon but her vision of Trebizond is very close to Yeats’s images of Byzantium. In her story imagination is stronger than historical reality and it is imagination that seduces the reader.

Abstract

The Middle Ages have their great love stories. We owe one of them to Peter I Lusignan, King of Cyprus. Married to Eleanor of Aragon, who bore him a son and a successor, he had a mistress pregnant with his child. The queen decided to eliminate this rival by inducing a premature delivery. The incident was recorded by Leontios Makhairas, a Cypriot chronicler, who described the cruelty of Eleanor and mourned the fate of the baby. But it is not his account which keeps this tragedy alive in Cyprus even today. There is a folk song about beautiful Arodaphnousa, who suffered because of the bad queen. The song is deprived of historical context, but it is a historical source nevertheless. Its remote counterpart is the Catalan story of Eleanor, who was expelled from Cyprus and lived in Aragon for a long time. This story creates an image of a benign, calm lady who was venerated after death by her subjects. The clash between these images makes one think about the black and white PR created in every epoch. But this is not the point of this story. The point is the fate of an innocent child, both the flower and the victim of love. This is a rare motif in medieval literature; children are seldom present on the pages of its manuscripts. The emotion connected with this story deserves the reader’s attention.

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the study was to evaluate whether the use of instrumented versions of spasticity tests would provide us with clinically more useful information on the patient’s status.

Material and methods: the study included 19 children, 8–17 years old: 7 girls and 12 boys. Pendulum, velocity, and popliteal tests were performed using the Vicon system (knee joint angle, 8 muscles EMG). Dynamic movement ranges of the knee joint during velocity and popliteal tests (ROM), indices of the pendulum test, and muscle activity in dependence of velocity of movement (MA, MAST) were calculated. Correlation coefficients between ROM, Vmax, MA, and MAST were calculated to show whether instrumentation of clinical tests can validate the patient’s status more precisely.

Results: Vmax value from the pendulum test does not always correlate with ROM. Scores of MA and MAST do not correlate with ROM. Vmax generally does not correlate with MA or MAST.

Conclusions: ROM is one of the most important parameters reflecting the level of spasticity but it is not sensitive enough to detect small changes in the patient’s status. In that case, Vmax of the pendulum test and the number of activated muscles in velocity and popliteal tests could become important tools to assess changes in spasticity level, especially when motion systems are more commonly available.

Abstract

Calf skin collagen and three amino acids essential for its structure, namely glycine, L-proline and 4-hydroxyl-L-proline, were irradiated with gamma rays up to a dose of 10 kGy. Conversion of radicals over time or after thermal annealing to selected temperatures was monitored by X-band electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Some experimental spectra were compared with signals simulated based on literature data from the electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) studies. The following phenomena were confirmed in the tested amino acids: abstraction of hydrogen atom (glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, collagen), deamination (glycine, hydroxyproline), decarboxylation (hydroxyproline). Chain scission at glycine residues, radiation-induced decomposition of side groups and oxidative degradation were observed in irradiated collagen. The decay of radicals in collagen saturated with water occurred at lower temperatures than in macromolecules having only structural water. The paramagnetic centres were the most stable in an oxygen-free atmosphere (vacuum). Radical processes deteriorated the structure of collagen; hence, radiation sterilization of skin grafts requires careful pros and cons analysis.

Work-related risk factors of myocardial infarction

Objectives: The aim of the study was to find out which occupational factors account for the risk of the myocardial infarction. Material and Methods: A questionnaire survey was performed during the period of one calendar year in all patients (1053 subjects, 692 men and 361 women) hospitalized at the Medical University of Łódź because of the first myocardial infarction. The questionnaire was prepared especially for the purpose of this study and consisted of two parts. The first part comprised: demographic data, health status at admittance, traditional risk factors for the ischaemic heart disease and was filled-in by physicians. Part II was done by occupational hygiene specialists and referred to education, job title and characteristics, employment data, self assessment of work-related and general stress, fatigue, socio-economic status, physical activity, alcohol intake, tobacco smoking, dietary habits. Results: Mean age in the study group was 59.9±10.4 years (26-85 years), 58.7±10.0 (26-84 years) for men and 62.3±10.7 (32-85 years) for women, employment duration was 32.9±8.8 (4-65 years), for men 34.0±8.6 (5-65 years), for women 30.7±8.8 (4-60 years. Most of myocardial infarction cases both in the group of men and women were noted in the age interval 56-60 years, 22.3% vs. 17.4%, respectively. The majority of examined men were farmers, low and middle management and self-employed workers. Among women prevailed clerks, seamstresses and farmers. The most frequent occupational risk factors were: work-related stress, experienced by 54.2% of the examined subjects, occupational noise (45,5%), dust (41,7%) and various chemical factors (33%). A majority of the study group (76.5% women and 54.4% men) linked the cardiac infarction with stress, while 39.1% men vs. 16.5% women correlated it with physical effort. Conclusion: Our studies indicate that, among a wide spectrum of occupational factors, stress, noise and fine particulate dust are major contributors to the increased risk of myocardial infarction.

Abstract

The main objective of the article is to present the methodology of validating a simulation model of failures of serial production line. In case of the investigated object, the simulation model was tested to find technological solutions which could compensate for the impact of failures on the operation of important objects present on the line before a failures occurs. A possible solution may be to introduce a new buffer or to adjust the size of existing buffers. Validation is one of the most significant stages in the process of constructing simulation models, as it concerns the credibility of the model. The article presents the use of disturbances modeling, especially breakdowns and micro-stoppages, in the simulation model. It also shows the statistical distribution applied in the model and defines the validation measurement instrument as well as evaluation criteria. All these features are the major strengths of the article.