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Grading of Pupils in History: One-Year Research in the Czech Republic

Abstract

Introduction: The aim of the research was to point to a wide range of factors of the pupils’ grading in History classes and to find out if this grading on the given sample corresponds with the context of the independently selected variables: pupils’ weight, inclination to the Socratic type of values, type of family, and parents’ education. Methods: A sample of 1819 7th grade pupils was made up of the pupils of randomly addressed primary schools willing to cooperate. In the course of one school year, a questionnaire survey was carried out on this sample: each of the 14 regions of the Czech Republic was represented by 5 to 9% of the respondents. Data were evaluated at a 5% level of significance by means of the Chi-squared test. Results: In all the monitored cases, a statistically significant link was demonstrated between the dependent variable (pupils’ grading) and independent variables, i.e. the results in History have a wide-spectrum effect. Discussion: The research findings correspond with the results obtained by other scholars, and external factors (independent variables) significantly affect the pupils’ school success regardless of their mental and intellectual dispositions. Limitations: School success is simply monitored through numerical grading of pupils, which does not always and completely reflect the pupils’ progress in terms of their development. It was not a longitudinal survey but only a single one-year research from which no major conclusions can be drawn. Conclusions: It was confirmed that the results of pupils in History, or their historical knowledge, represent a broad-spectrum matter in which the multiplication effect of external influences must be counted. In the future, research should be carried out in longer time ranges and with a greater emphasis on the causality of the phenomena.

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One Hundred Years of Dermatovenereology in the Serbian Army / Sto godina detmatologije u srpskoj vojsci

Abstract

One hundred years of dermatovenereology of the Serbian Army was celebrated on November 7, 2009, in the amphitheatre of the Military Medical Academy (MMA). The oldest document in possession of the Serbian Armed Forces Medical Services is dated on St. George’s Day, May 6th, 1869 and represents a “Daily report of military hospitals”. This document clearly shows the number of patients, and what they suffered from. Moreover, this document shows, among other things, how many patients were suffering from “venereal diseases, red wind, mechanical injuries, base wounds, ulcers, lichen and mange“. Until 1909, the Department of Dermatovenereology did not exist as an independent. Today, the Clinic has 2 divisions (a total of 36 beds), as well as the Laboratory for immunodermatology, Surgical unit, General Dermatology Outpatient Clinic, Allergology Section, Phototherapy Section, Dermoscopy and Melanoma Outpatient Clinic. The Clinic is the leader in the treatment of psoriasis, autoimmune skin diseases (pemphigus, pemphigoid), severe forms of atopic dermatitis, erythroderma, skin lymphomas and cutaneous manifestations of connective tissue diseases (lupus, dermatomyositis, sclerodermia), and a dermatologic oncology section is being developed, where systemic therapy of melanoma and follow-up of these patients will be done. Regarding the vision of the future, the main task of the Clinic is to ensure continuous improvement in the field of dermatology in Serbia. The plan is to develop the area of photodiagnostics and phototherapy, which are insufficient in the region. Also, further development of dermatological surgery is planned. Further development of Allergology Service is mandatory, as well as establishment of Pediatric Dermatology, Phlebology and Trichology Outpatient Clinic. Continued scientific research is essential for the development of an academic institution and a prerequisite for continuous diagnostic and therapeutic progress, and a permanent pursuit.

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Simulational Realism—Playing as Trying to Remember

Summary

In this text, I describe a specific way of addressing the past in video games which are set in historical times but at the same time deliberately undermine the facticity of their virtual worlds. By grounding my argument in analyses of two blockbuster productions—Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft, 2007) and Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision, 2010)—I introduce and define the notion of “simulational realism”. Both games belong to best-selling franchises and share an interesting set of features: they relate to historical places, events, and figures, establish counter-factual narratives based around conspiracy theories, and—most importantly—display many formal similarities. Like most AAA games, Assassin’s Creed and Black Ops intend to immerse the player in the virtual reality and, for this purpose, they naturalize their interfaces as integral elements of reality. However, in the process of naturalizing simulation, objectivity of the past becomes unthinkable.

In my considerations, I situate this problem in two contexts: 1) of a cultural and epistemic shift in perceiving reality which was influenced by dissemination of digital technologies; 2) Vilém Flusser’s prognosis on the effects of computation on human knowledge. According to Flusser’s theory of communication, history—as a specific kind of human knowledge—emerged out of writing that was always linear and referential. Consequently, the crisis of literary culture resulted in the emergence of new aesthetics and forms of representations which—given their digital origin—dictate new ways of understanding reality. As history is now being substituted by timeless post-history, aesthetic conventions of realism are also transformed and replaced by digital equivalents.

Following Flusser’s theory, I assert that we should reflect on the epistemological consequences of presenting the past as simulation, especially if we consider the belief shared by many players that games like Assassin’s Creed can be great tools for learning history. I find such statements problematic, if we consider that the historical discourse, grounded on fact, is completely incompatible with the aesthetics of sim-realism which evokes no illusion of objective reality.

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Teratology – past, present and future

ABSTRACT

Teratology is the science that studies the causes, mechanisms, and patterns of abnormal development. The authors present an updated overview of the most important milestones and stages of the development of modern teratology. Development of knowledge and society led to the recognition that causes of congenital developmental disorders (CDDs) might be caused by various mechanical effects, foetal diseases, and retarded or arrested development of the embryo and foetus. Based on the analysis of the historical development of hypotheses and theories representing a decisive contribution to this field, we present a survey of the six Wilson´s fundamental principles of teratology. The aim of observing these principles is to get insight into developmental relations and to understand mechanisms of action on the level of cell populations (elementary morphogenetic processes), tissues and organs. It is important to realise that any negative intervention into the normal course of these processes, either on genetic or non-genetic basis, inevitably leads to a sequence of subsequent changes resulting in CDDs. Moreover, the classical toxicologic monotonic doseresponse paradigm recently has been challenged by the so-called “low dose-hypothesis”, particularly in the case of endocrine active substances. These include some pesticides, dioxins, polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), and bisphenol A. Despite modern approaches of molecular biology and genetics, along with top diagnostic techniques, we are still not able to identify the actual cause in more than 65 to 70% of all congenital defects classified as having an unknown etiology. Today CDDs include any birth defect, either morphological, biochemical, or behavioural.

Open access
Business History in Poland: Current State and Future Potential

Abstract

Purpose: This article explores the gap in the business history literature devoted to Central and Eastern Europe and discusses the potential of conducting business history research in Poland. Methodology: This is an explorative and tentative study based on a recently developed database of 387 Polish companies which are more than 100 years old. Findings: The article explores the reasons behind the lack of business history debate in the Polish academia and discusses its future potential. We argue that given the size of population and a unique historical context, the Polish sample is worth studying as it can provide valuable contributions to well established debates in the field of business history debates covering issues such as continuity, longevity, and survival strategies. Research limitations and implications: This is an explorative and tentative study and therefore has several limitations, including a limited scope of companies included in the database, sources of data, and poor quality of corporate archives. Originality and value: This is the first article explicitly discussing the potential of conducting business history studies in the context of empirical data concerning Polish long-lived companies.

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Conspiracy Theory as Therapy in Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America”?

Abstract

By focusing on a passage in Philip Roth’s book, this paper strives to outline how conspiratorial beliefs can have a therapeutic function for the community which has experienced a traumatic event. Fictitious groups depicted in such texts serve as the ultimate causes of humanity’s misgivings: from natural disasters and diseases that plague it to the inherent flaws of political and social systems. Such beliefs, however, are likely to become as dangerous as the cure, a threat Roth hints at in his work. The second part of the paper will look at the viability of conspiracism as a means to address traumatizing issues, in the context of the postmodern condition and the diffusion of motifs until recently present only in the radical texts of popular culture

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Late Pleistocene Birds from Binagada (Azerbaijan) in Collection of the National Museum of Natural History (Kyiv, Ukraine)

Abstract

Bird fossils from the Late Pleistocene locality Binagada, deposited kept in the National Museum of Natural History in Kyiv (Ukraine), are described in this paper. Twenty six bird species are identified, including five (Little Stint, Great snipe, Jack snipe, White-winged lark and Rosy Starling) which have not been previously known from this locality. The validity of extinct species Calidris binagadensis (Serebrovsky, 1940) is confirmed and the invalidity of subspecies Anas platyrhynchos paleoboschas Serebrovsky, 1940 is shown. The finding of Rosy Starling fossils in Transcaucasian region confirms the range reduction of this species at the end of Pleistocene.

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”Due honor to their relics”: Thomas Aquinas as Teacher and Object of Veneration

Abstract

After his death an intense struggle ensued for ownership of the relics of Thomas Aquinas. There were both pious and political motives for the desire to possess the bones of the saint. This article introduces the topic by describing the places where Aquinas’ relics can now be found. We then outline Aquinas’ own views on the veneration of relics, which is characterized by an appreciation of the practice but with great caution to avoid superstition. An historical overview of the fate of Aquinas’ relics sheds light on their significance, particularly in light of the canonization process. The final reflection considers the fate of Aquinas’ relics in light of his own theology.

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The Family of the Prague Patriotic Physician Václav Staněk in the Revolutionary Years 1848 and 1849

Abstract

The article deals with the topic of family in the Czech patriotic milieu of the 19th century on the example of the family of Václav Staněk, a physician and patriot. Václav Staněk was in close contact with Josef Frič and František Ladislav Čelakovský. Before the revolution in 1848, Staněk and his wife Karolina opened a Czech ‘parlour’, one of the first places for women interested in education. The paper focuses on the public activities of the family during the revolution 1848 and presents the work of Václav Staněk at the Imperial Diets in Vienna and Kroměříž. Not only does it pay attention to the political activities of Staněk himself, but it also shows the political opinions of his wife a partly his daughter as well. An important space is dedicated to the everyday life of V. Staněk as a member of the Imperial Diets in Vienna and Kroměříž and to the everyday life of his family in Prague. The main source of information is the rich and unexploited correspondence of the Staněk family, which provides insight into the political and family life at that time.

Open access