Hollosi Information eXchange /HIX/
Copyright (C) HIX
Új cikk beküldése (a cikk tartalma az író felelőssége)
Megrendelés Lemondás
1 letter to Hung. government (mind)  11 sor     (cikkei)
2 EDEN, an alternate view (mind)  466 sor     (cikkei)
3 Re: VCR NTSC VS. PAL (mind)  271 sor     (cikkei)
4 Re: The army and the churches (mind)  21 sor     (cikkei)
5 Re: A monarchy? (mind)  32 sor     (cikkei)
6 Re: VCR NTSC VS. PAL (mind)  19 sor     (cikkei)
7 Re: The army and the churches (mind)  25 sor     (cikkei)

+ - letter to Hung. government (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Dear Greg,

Please add my name to the list of people who would afix their names to the
letter to Mr. Simon. May I add here that I find the East-Central Europe's
mania for titles, inherited from the Germans, rather ridiculous. There is
even a name for it in Hungarian: ci1mko1rsa1g [directly translated: title
sickness]. I have never used my title and everybody, including the
residential college's (where I lived) cleaning lady, called me simply Eva. I
especially find ridiculous the custom of bearing the title of the husband by
the wife: Dr. Frau so and so. The Hungarian parliament is crawling with Drs,
most of them, lawyers. Eva Balogh
+ - EDEN, an alternate view (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

The Legends of the Garden of Eden
and The Angels
Fred Hamori

I have been reading various religious topics lately,
from believers and non-believers, critics and explainers,
lumpers and splitters if you may.
Religion has always been important to the majority of
the population, who had to have understandable, and simple
explanations to the mysteries of life. Human beings just
hate the unknown and always invent explanations, even if
these are nothing but farytales. The priests and
organized religion supplied a basic human need, -like it
or not-. It is easy to criticize the "church" and its
priests for being full of human weaknesses and even
blinded by human prejudices, but these should not have
any impact on our belief in the real unfathomable god, only
in the limitations of a human institution. As in all
humans there are the good and the bad, the addept and
incompetent. So what? Like it or not, much of human activity
and judgement is based on fary tales and oversimplified
categorizations of what is truth and right. We love to
oversimplify, categorize, generalize, stereotype... its
easyer than finding out the facts, if this is even possible.

It is true that some of the ancient stories are a bit
threadbare and missunderstood after more than 2,000 years
of use.
Let me post a very different point of view. One which again
should be classified as a "what if", but not provable or
even strongly believed. The world offers much more than
two opposing views and possibilities, so for your entertain-
ment this is another view of the Garden of Eden story.

Such stories as the creation, the garden of eden, the
flood and the angels of the Bible and other related
religions, may have been derived from the earliest
literature of mankind. These stories were first written
down by the earliest literate civilization of man, the
Sumerian civilization over 5,500 years ago. Their
nation was located in southern Mesopotamia, but
their influence spread from Eastern Europe to India
and Egypt. Most languages today have traces of
Sumerian loan words in them, even when not related.
Their language belonged to the "Ural-Altaian"
language family of Eurasia, which is unlike the
Semitic, Indo-European or Indo-Chinese in grammar
and is more like Hungarian, Turkish, Finnish, and
Dravidian (of India). These languages share the
largest amount of vocabulary and what is much more
important, a similar agglutinative grammatical struc-
ture. Because of the very special place the Sumerians
have in human history, the Indo-European and
Semitic scholars have tried vainly to isolate them into
a special category, after they couldn't force them into
their own language families. A few enlightened
Western European scholars however have stated that,
of all the living languages of the world, Hungarian
has the most in common with this ancient dead

Mr Kornai, has  already labeled me bad/dange-
rous because I keep bringing up these ancient roots of
culture, rather than the anti-hungarian "scientific"
myths of the FinnoUgrian school. Dont worry Mr Kornai
no one takes me seriously anyways! How can these old
myths be so dangerous to any of you? Unless you believe
there is something in them which you are afraid of.

In Sumerian mythology the "sons" of heaven, were
categorized into three main groups. The main group
was capable of creating life and able to have off-
spring of their own. These were called the DINGIR.
The eunuch like second group was originally the
servants of the main group and was called the
ANU-NAKI. The third group was known as the
EGIGI  or IGIGI, which often had some specific task
and outpost on the planet. All of them may have
came from beyond this planet and lived it seemed to
the locals for eternity. The book of ENOCH also
talks of a group, which came as reinforcement later
and were racially different from the others, and these
were to perform some basic work for the "angels"
among the human population. Their governor
according to ENOCH, was called SATANAIL. They
are the ones who broke the laws of heaven and took
the daughters of men to be their wives, and from
them they had children. The punishment for this was
the flood, which was to allow a new start and to
destroy the mistakes of these fallen angels.

>From the scanty literature available to us, such as the
ancient Sumerian and Babylonian literature, the Bible
and the Book of Enoch, some people have
generalized the basic characteristics of the 7 leading,
archangels and their names. Christian O'Brian in his
book "The Genius of the Few", has used this method
and has hit the nail right on the head. The reason I
believe that he is correct is because I have tried a
different approach, using ancient Sumerian and Hun-
garian as a reference, and was able to substantiate his
claims. The definitions of the meaning of the titles of
the archangels which I define at the beginning of each
name, all derive from Christian O'Brians evaluation,
based on ancient religious literature and is followed
by my linguistic analysis.

In our literature concerning the seven archangels the
following names are often listed:

Michael  -A militaristic guardian angel  (NIN-URTA)
Gabriel  -The governor of Eden           (NIN-LIL)
Uriel    -Ruler of all, surrounding Eden (EN-LIL)
Raphael  -Healing arts.                  (EN-KI)
Raguel   -Judging and monitoring
Sariel   -Punishment of crimes    (Ner-gal/Ninurta)
Remiel   -Responsible for spreading the word & news

As is readily apparent, all these names end with EL,
which was the title of the "angels", just like the
"gods" of the Hebrews, the Elohim. I have included
some of the Sumerian equivalents of the names in
brackets, known to us from their mythology. The
most detailed account of the activities of the angels,
is given by Enoch, who supposedly lived before the
flood. He was recruited by the angels to perform
such duties as being a go between, or messenger,
between angels and men, and to be a scribe or keeper
of records. His accounts were written down and have
been passed on for thousands of years. His stories are
very unusual, and are the stories of a simple
primitive man in the bewildering and amazing world
technically incomprehensible to man until recently.

At this point let us dispense with the religious view
of what an angel is and simply try to understand what
the earliest civilization of man handed down to us,
without any preconceived bias. In the words of the
Sumerians, what we call angels, were called by them
ANU_NAKI meaning, "from or of the sky". AN
meant "sky, heaven, high and chief god" and NAK
was the genitive suffix which we write separately as
"OF". Similarly  in Hungarian the Sumerian AN
word is found as MENY, while the NAK suffix is
also the genitive and means OF, or relationship.
Variations of this suffix is found in most Ural-Altaic
languages to which Hungarian belongs. However
there is another unusual use of the Hungarian suffix
NAK, reserved for the highest administrative posi-
tions, which originally served the king. That is why
prime minister (ELNOK), spokesman (SZONOK),
treasurer (TA'RNOK), engineer (ME'RNO"K).. used
such titles. In ancient Sumerian city states, these most
important positions were supposedly held by the second rate
angels, the ANU-NAKI. The eastern neighbors of the
Sumerians, the Elamites also used the NAK title for
the king. Only after the ANUNAKI finally left was
the government handed over to the first human  king,
who was recorded to be ETANA of the city of KISH.
This same ETANA is in Hungarian mythology as the
father of the first empire builder, the great hunter
NIMROD, rather than the Biblical Kush. It is inter-
esting that certain eastern Scythian traditions call the
ancestor of their people Kush-Tana, a combination of
the two. In Sumerian mythology unlike the Bible
version, it was ETANA and not Nimrod, who wished
to visit heaven the home of the "gods", and he suc-
ceeded with the help of a giant eagle.

Returning to the meaning of the titles of the seven
archangels, who were the ruling council which
directed the activities of the "angels".  If we remove
the suffix EL, then we are left with their functional
title, when using the Sumerian language as our guide.
Sumerian IL, Akkadian ELI means "high, above,

MICHA, MISH or MASH  (Michael) refers to
heroes in ancient Sumerian, as it does in Dravidian,
Ugrian, and ancient Scythian tongues. In Hungarian
stories the "heroes" are often called MISKA and hero
tales are also called MESHE. The heroic name refers
to the military position of Michael as the guardian
and protector. The symbol of the hero is a serpent in
Sumerian, since it had a similar name, called MUSH.
In ancient cultures the serpent was often the symbol
of rejuvenation, rebirth, healing as well as service
and wisdom. That is why the earliest Mesopotamian
art represented the mother goddess with a female
body and a serpent-like head. This tradition can be
traced also in Scythian legends.(see Naga, Boristenes)

Hungarian tradition
claims that they are also a Scythian and Hun race. In
the east, the dragon was also the title of heroes as
well as a symbol of fertility and wisdom. For these
reasons in Hungarian traditions the MISKA mug is in
the shape of the upper torso of a traditional
Hungarian soldier, the hussar, with the serpent on its
belly. It was drunk in celebration of heroes and in
remembrance of family members, who have passed

GABR, GAVR  (Gabriel), was the female governor
of Eden. If we observe that the original Latin word
for governor, was "GUBERnator", then again the
ancient GABR title is recognized. Like many lan-
guages the B became V or was then deleted altogeth-
er, leaving KOR to be the root word for government
in Hungarian. According to Sumerian tradition, the
governor of Eden was often called Nin-Ti, "lady of
life" who was responsible for "genetic engineering"
in our modern vernacular. She was the Bau-dug-Gasan
"bountiful glad queen"  and Nin-Mah "great lady"
or as the wife of lord En-Lil she was called Nin-LIL,
who helped create 7 prototypes of Homo Sapiens
from combining genetic material from wild primitive
man and a compatible angel. She was also called the
lady of the mountain "Nin-Hursag", since Eden was
supposed to be located in a mountain valley. Since in
the Sumerian word Nin-Ti, "TI" also meant rib, the
later Babylonian translations of the "Lady of Life"
became "Lady of the Rib". It was this corruption of
her name which lead in time to the Biblical Eve to be
created from Adam's "rib". While other angels were
prone to have work in and out of their colony, Nin-
Lil's main responsibilities were in Eden. The GUB
root word in Sumerian means to stand or stay, while
GUBA meant to stand firm. (Hungarian Gubaszt).
Similar to her name "hursag", the Sumerian
word "uru-zag"  was also a synonym for king-
dom/territory as is "ursa'g/orsza'g" in Hungarian. The
name of Eden in Sumerian accounts was called "kar-
sag". While the Sumerian word "Edin", which
remained as the name of EDEN could mean several
things in Sumerian, such as "edin" (uncultivated
highlands), or "E'-din" (the house of creation).  The
great queen goddess in the Emegir Sumerian dialect
was NIN, similar to Magyar "Ne'ni", while the more
archaic Emesu/Subar dialect called the queen
"Gasan", which is the source of the Hungarian/Sabir?
"Aszony", which up to the Middle Ages also meant
queen. In early Mesopotamia, east of Sumeria, the
Elamites also called the queen-goddess "ASAN",
which is even more like modern Hungarian. No
wonder that early Hungarians called their beloved
Great-Queen mother goddess Nagy-Aszony or Boldog
Aszony, which in Sumerian was also called BAU or
BAU-DUG GASZAN. Today all titles have lost their
original meaning, just as in English. Everyone has
become a Sir and a Lady, no matter how undeserving
they are.

UR or AR (Uriel) was the chief guardian and ruler
of earth. In Sumerian accounts he was normally
called EN-LIL, the chief "god" of earth and
represented by the atmosphere and air. In later ages
the title UR was passed on to kings, whose chief
function came from their responsibilities as guardians
of their territories and their people. That is why the
UR name means guardian in Sumerian as well as
hero and lord. In the ancient Hurrian language of
norther Mesopotamia, the UR name became IUR
meaning "king". The Hurrians also spoke a
Ural-Altaic like agglutinative language, just as the
Sumerians and the Elamites. Similarly in ancient
Egyptian UR also meant king and kings were
considered by them to be of divine origin. In
Hungarian the lords or kings are also known as UR,
while guards are also called similarly O:R. This is
also similar to the Old Bulgar word "Ur-ugh", from
their original Hunnish language, before they were
absorbed by their Slavic subjects. Besides the title
UR the name of EN-LIL is completely understand-
able in Hungarian, since En was a title of lords, as in
the Hungarian pronoun O:N today is the first person
pronoun of special respect. The word LIL refers to
air and breath in Sumerian as it does today in Hun-
garian Le'l-ek, Lelk, Lehel and so on. This is a
common word in the western Ural-Altaic languages.
The term LI in Sumerian however had another
different meaning, which refered to life, and was
symbolized by a potted plant. That is why he was the
father of life and the soul/breath which animates the
material body. In Hungarian "Le'lek", refers to soul
and "E'l" refers to life, while "lehel" the breath. Le'l
was also a name of one of the great lords, during the
Hungarian settlement in the 9th century. Several
Hungarian rulers of the seven tribes/nations also had
ancient Mesopotamian names. A'rpa'd/Egyptian Erpat,
Huba/Elamite Huba, Tohotom/Tehemtem,
On-d/Sumerian An, etc.)

RAPH or RAB or RAV (Raphael) is known as the
archangel responsible with the healing arts. In ancient
times the shaman was responsible with the healing
arts. In Sumerian he was called TAL-TAL, which in
Hungarian is TAL-TOS. His method often required
communication with the spirits, who could heal the
sick and remove the evil spirits from the body. The
Sumerian shaman was no primitive, like many
shamans in primitive societies are. He knew and
utilized hundreds of complex medicines, whose
ingredients scientists are studying today from their
old medicinal books. The Hungarian term RE'V,
pronounced just like the English  RAVE, means the
ecstatic trance in which the shaman enters the other
dimensions. In Sumerian ARA also meant the raving,
howling sound made. The RE'V also means the
"ferry" boat which crosses a real river. The other
dimension (heaven or hell) was often reached by
crossing a symbolic river. In modern Hungarian the
medical doctor is called ORV-os, which is derived
from the ancient eastern word ARB-is, who were one
of the seven priestly casts of the old Magian religion
of the Hungarians. They were responsible with
healing and were especially competent doctors. Many
early Hungarian skulls have been found showing
surgical marks, with the patients surviving the opera-
tion.  The Hungarian name for doctor uses the RAB
or ARB variation of the root-word found as part of
the RAPH-ael name.

RAG (from RAGUEL) was responsible with sen-
tencing or bringing to justice those who broke the
laws. In ancient Babylonian "RAGUMU" was the suit
brought against the defendant. Similarly in Hungarian
"RA'GA-lom" is the suit against the defendant. The
"lom" is just a suffix of abstract concepts. In
Sumerian the RIG word, which is the source of
RAGUEL, simply meant to talk or speech, with
which a case is typically presented to a council.
Similarly REGE in Hungarian is a story given in
speech like sing song fashion, like a saga. It is also
related to the qualities of the voice (rikkan,rekedt). In
old Hungarian the REGO"S were the bards who sang
or told stories of heroes and religion. The council of
elders, and the subject of knowledge they represented
in Sumerian is called TAN, just as in Hungarian and
several other Ural-Altaian languages, including even
Japanese. The decision which they brought forward,
based on deliberation by a judge, is called BAR in
Sumerian as it is in Hungarian BIRO'. The word is
also found in a close eastern relative of the Hungari-
an language, the Chuvash, as BAR. The word was
also adopted into English, through the influence of
the Huns. Even the remnant of the early Akkadian-
Babylonian word for lawyer UGIDU is found in
modern Hungarian U"gyve'd.

SAR (from SARIEL) is responsible with the punish-
ment of the guilty, the guardian of their imprisonment
who isolates the criminals and "encloses" them in a
penal holding area. In Sumerian the SAR word also
means to enclose. Similarly SA means inner, while
SAG means inside. Sar also meant 3600 in Sumerian,
which was the closing of the circle and is related to
the somewhat idealized period of 360 days in a year.
It was the Sumerians who first divided the circle into
360 degrees. Similarly in Hungarian ZA'R means lock
or enclose, while EZER also means a thousand.  The
old Ural-Altaic number system, unlike any others in
the world, was based on 6 and 60, like Sumerian, in
which the decimal places were in multiples of 6 or
60. That is why Hungarians still say "hatva'ny", when
expressing the idea of multiplying the effectiveness of
something. This word is derived from 60 (hatvan),
the ancient multiplier.

There is a controversy of who or what ZARA-
THUSTRA the founder of the Magian religion was
and when he actually lived. Some mistakenly
associate him with the early history of the Persians,
who were rather latecomers to the region of present
Iran/Persia. In the Bible it is the MAGI, who visited
the new born Christ child in Bethlehem, since they
prophesied his coming beforehand. Indeed Christ was
often called a Magian by the Jews, due to his
mother's Parthian ancestry. The earliest mention of
the MAGI was as one of the six ethnic tribes of the
Madja (Mede) confederacy of northern Mesopotamia,
which was later conquered and absorbed by the
Persians.  The Magi later settled in the eastern part
of the Persian Empire. The ancient and classical
historians claim that Zarathustra lived long before the
coming of the ancestors of the Persians around
500BC to Iran. The early Greeks claim that he was
none other that Nimrod of the Bible, or Ninurta of
the Sumerians. This of course is impossible to
substantiate now because of all the legends which
grew up around him over time. The Biblical stories
of Nimrod and Abraham, for example occurred
millenniums after the flood, long after the original
Nimrod supposedly ruled. According to the
Babilonians 131 years after the flood, while
Hungarian Chronicles state 201 years. The Hungarian
number must be recalculated to compensate for the
ancient 60 based system, which results in 121. Could
he be the same as the archangel Sariel? Perhaps. It
would explain the many miraculous things that
Zoroaster or Nimrod did, who was the mythical
father of the Scythians and Hungarians.

REM,REV (from REMIEL) is the most difficult of
functions to really characterize. He was supposed to
be the messenger and bringer of news and
information. However the root word REM is
normally associated with welcome, gladness,
happiness which is RU and DUG in Sumerian.
RA-GABA however means courier.  In English there
is a wonderful parallel word to this association, since
REVEL is to enjoy something but REVEAL is to
disclose hidden information. Both of these words are
related to REM. These also associate with the
definition of Raphael discussed before. In Hungarian
O:RO:M is also happiness, as in ancient Persian
RAMA. However ROV and IR in Hungarian is to
inscribe and write, which is important for sending
messages. The same word in Sumerian is SIR and
their scribes were called DUB-SAR. The bringing of
tidings and good news, was a cause of celebration
and good times it seems. Perhaps the following root
words are also part of the name of SAR; IR=to
bring, RI=traverse (Hungarian Yar), MU=a ship or
vessel (Hungarian yar-Mu:).

The Sumerian "angels" were greatly revered before
and after their disappearance and in later ages were
thought to be "gods". Early Mesopotamia was
populated by a host of non-semitic people like the
Sumerians, Subarians, Hurrians, Kasites, Elamites
and Medes who spoke related languages.  Every
Sumerian city was supposedly founded by one of
these "angels", who lived for many human lifetimes
amongst the people. They however did eat, drink and
had children like humans and some even made
serious mistakes and broke the law. That is why
many old religions gave such human-like characteris-
tics to these false "gods". The "angels" themselves
however believed in only one heavenly father, who
was called AN in Sumerian, and who lived in the sky
or heaven, from whence they also came. However
not necessarily from the highest "heaven" of AN.
Perhaps this is why some of the ancient religions of
the Greeks, Babylonians, Egyptians had such a
multitude of "gods", who often were too human like
for us to consider them to be godlike.

In Sumerian the name of the highest god was called
AN. However there was another expression which
often  described him, as the single, one and only god,
with the term Isten. (Hungarian isten) This term is
often described to mean one, but was never used for
mathematics. In many central Asian languages the
god of heaven and sky was called TEN, or TENGRI,
a word much like the Sumerian DINGIR, meaning
god or angel. The best description of the meaning of
ISTEN is found in the ancient book from Persia
called the DAB-ISTAN (book of god), written by a
people before the coming of the Persians. It talks of
the perfect unity, the uncreated creator, the ONE god
of the universe as being ISTEN or YSTEN. This
same word was used by the Babylonians to mean
ONE and only. In Sumerian ASH=one, first and
TEN= creator.
+ - Re: VCR NTSC VS. PAL (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

[I am crossposting this reply to a query on bit.listserv.hungary/HUNGARY
mailing list to soc.culture.magyar for anyone who might be interested.
It is fairly long.  I describe the situation with video standards in Hungary,
and then reviews how someone who wants to view Hungarian tapes in the USA
can achieve that goal.]

Hungarian TV broadcasts (MTV 1, 2) use SECAM color encoding, as do the
of the former Soviet Union and most of the countries once within the "Soviet
of influence' (I imagine the DDR is switching or has switched to PAL already).
The only other countries in Europe to use SECAM are France and Greece.  The
motivation  on the part of Eastern European broadcasting authorities for
adopting an effectively incompatible system was presumably to make it more
difficult for residents to receive broadcasts from neighboring (PAL) Western
European countries, although note
that merely receiving a PAL signal with a SECAM receiver doesn't mean you won't
see a picture, just that you won't get any color -- the number of scan lines
(625) and
the frame timing are the same, which is what's really important.  For a B&W
broadcast it doesn't make any difference.  What is more important is that
the >signal bands< on which video and audio are transmitted differs from
to country, even within a given encoding format.  Thus an old Soviet-made B&W
TV I had
(junoszty anyone?) was able to pick up either jugoszlav TV video, or audio, but
both at once in southern Hungary.  Compare this to the use in the former SU and
in most Eastern European countries of the 60-80MHz band for FM radio broadcasts
(Western Europe uses 88-108, like USA).  Of course people in these countries
have had radios and TVs
capable of receiving both the OIRT and the Western European bands for a long
In fact it seems to me that almost all radios sold in Hungary today receive
only the
88-108MHz FM band, despite the fact that Magyar Radis continues to broadcast
in 60-80; obviously people are more interested in the new private radio
(Bartsk Radis continues, I believe, to be audible only in OIRT.)

Now, as for SECAM and PAL: As I said, Hungarian TV is broadcast in SECAM color,
is not compatible with PAL color.  It is not difficult to convert between the
two encodings, however, and virtually all television/video equipment sold in
Europe today
is capable of doing so, thus for the most part you would never know the

HOWEVER: Video tapes containing MTV (magyar tv, nem music tv) broadcasts
recorded off the air are likely to be in SECAM format.  They may also be in PAL
format, since some
VCRs convert SECAM to PAL before recording.  However, my experience is that
>inexpensive< VCRs in Hungary tend to record MTV broadcasts in their original
On the other hand,  >commercially available< (m{soros) videotapes in Hungary
universally recorded in PAL.  In other words: if someone recorded the tape off
Hungarian TV at home, it's very likely in SECAM.  If you bought it in the
or recorded it off one of the satellite channels (including Duna TV), it's in

As I said, TVs and videos bought in Hungary and elsewhere in Europe will play
SECAM and PAL indifferently, so this information is primarily important to
of us in, say, America, where the completely incompatible NTSC system is used.
NTSC, SECAM, and PAL are all color encoding systems, but the gap between NTSC
video and the other two formats is much greater than that between SECAM and
For one thing, NTSC specifies 525 horizontal scan lines, and 60 fields per
(think: 60Hz mains current in USA) whereas both PAL and SECAM specify 625
scan lines and 50 fields per second (50Hz mains current...)  Many people think
PAL/SECAM video gives a sharper picture because of the 100 extra scan lines.
people, used to 60 field/sec NTSC, think PAL and SECAM "flicker" at 50/sec! (I
certainly can't detect any difference.)   Because of these essential
though, the timings of NTSC signals are completely different from those of PAL
signals.  This means that attempting to view NTSC on PAL/SECAM or vice versa
just give you a black and white picture, it won't give you any picture at all.
As for recording, the >tape speed< is actually different for NTSC on the
one hand (about 33 mm/sec, SP) and PAL/SECAM on the other (about 23 mm/sec)!

In any case, while converting between SECAM and PAL is fairly trivial, and can
be accomplished with about $5 in circuitry, and in any case is only a matter of
the color encoding (so if you don't mind black-and-white you can ignore the
entirely), convering between NTSC and PAL/SECAM is a bitch: analogous to
from movie film to video; the speeds are different, so you literally have to
back one, 'sample' the images, and record onto the other.  Until recently
expensive, nowadays mostly digital professional equipment (in the thousands of
dollars) was absolutely necessary.  This is why shops here in the USA which
PAL/SECAM --> NTSC (check out any ethnic neighborhood in a big USA city, eg.
San Francisco) charge a fairly high fee, e.g. $25/hr.

Recently, thanks to ever more sophisticated digital technology,
'consumer'-grade VCRs,
costing a few hundreds of dollars, are available which can convert between
and NTSC.  A couple of models have appeared in the past few years.  You can
put a PAL/SECAM tape in and play it back on your regular, American NTSC TV or
re-record it on an NTSC tape, just like the conversion services The problem
is that the result looks pretty awful: nosiy, pixellated, out of shape, etc.
is because the digital circuitry in the VCR is trying to subsample the 625 scan
lines and oversample the 50 fps to fit them into 525 scan lines at 60 fps and
doesn't always do a terrific job.  The expensive professional equipment is
somewhat better at it.  People trying to go the other way, e.g. play American
tapes on European TVs, have a somewhat better time at it; the circuity required
so sophisticated (and most European VCRs & TVs now have it, I believe) because
you can
stick 525 lines into a 625-line frame by simply blanking the extra 100.
the resulting picture is nothing to write home about.

If you are serious about viewing European tapes in America, or vice-versa, the
thing to do is to buy a multi-system (NTSC/PAL/SECAM) VCR and a multi-system
(NTSC/PAL/SECAM) TV.  Don't forget SECAM capability if you are planning to
watch tapes recorded off-the-air in OIRT countries.  Note that such a system
does no "conversion" at all.  When you play an NTSC tape, the tape goes at the
NTSC speed and the VCR sends out an NTSC-encoded signal which your TV displays
using 525 scan lines at 60 fps and NTSC colour.  When you play a PAL tape, the
tape goes at PAL speed and the VCR sends out a PAL-encoded signal which your TV
displays using 625 lines at 50 fps... and so on.  This is why you need both a
multi-system VCR and a multi-system TV.  In Europe, including Hungary, these
are not difficult to find and won't set you back too much more than an
single-system TV (of course, they won't be as cheap as a junoszty used to be
:-) In America, multi-system equipment is harder to track down but, like most
consumer electronics, costs less than it would in Europe -- though you will
pay a premium over the cost of NTSC-only TV/video equipment.

The reason for the difficulty of obtaining multi-system equipment in the USA is
fairly interesting.  Virtually all video equipment nowadays is manufactured in
East Asia, most of it in Japan.  Prices for consumer electronics, however, are
much higher in Europe than they are in the USA.  Japanese manufacturers are
deathly afraid that European tourists will flock to the USA and buy Japanese
PAL/SECAM-capable equipment for far less than they would pay at home and then
bring it back home.
(Many European tourists do just that, despite strict customs rules). Thus
PAL/SECAM(-only) equipment cannot legally (according to Japanese/USA trade
agreements) be exported into the USA -- it's true that there wouldn't be much
use for it here, except to resell it to tourists from other  countries.
Multisystem equipment, which >is< of course useful here, is legal, but Japanese
manufacturers have a similar reluctance to ship it here to anyone except
professional video dealers, because a multisystem VCR is li

Now, of course, everyone who has been to downtown New York, San Francisco, or
other large USA cities knows that PAL/SECAM equipment is freely available at
"grey-market" shops, operated (at least in NY and SF) primarily by Middle
Eastern dealers who, however, generally advertise that they can speak at least
German/Italian/French/Spanish and Japanese.  ("To speak" here generally means
"to state a vastly inflated price and  then pretend not to understand when the
customer protests.") There also seems to be a growing number of Russian-
operated electronics stores in New York.  These stores  obviously are aiming
and get most of their business from European and Japanese tourists.  It is
certainly >possible< to get a good deal on electronic/camera equipment there,
whether you are a tourist or a "native"; however, it requires a tough stomach,
knowledge of
the street prices for what you are looking for, and the ability to convince the
dealers that you are impervious to their BS.  I, a native New Yorker, have
occasionally been able to get what I want from a NY 'sleaze shop'; I've been
completely unable to make headway in such stores in San Francisco, where I now
am living.  A SF-an would probably have the opposite experience; I don't know
tourists make out but the stores are obviously making huge profits on them
they pay titanic rents to keep shop in their fancy downtown districts.  Be
of course, when you've finally extracted that rock-bottom price from them, that
you get what you pay for: they are able to sell things like PAL/SECAM video
equipment because they are not authorized distributors; the equipment has been
'diverted' from other markets.  In general you do not get a warranty valid in
USA, which means if the device breaks, you either a) have to send it to Japan,
b) have to send it to Japan >from an address outside the USA< !!! or c) bring
it back to the shop and try to get it exchanged. ( a = a pain in the neck,
b = a serious pain in more sensitive regions, c = virtually impossible).

Now, back to multi-standard video:  Unfortunately, as I described above,
Japanese manufacturers tend to want to distribute their multi-standard
in the USA only through professional video dealers, who of course will charge a
great deal of money for what should be a "consumer-grade" item.  On the other
hand you
very likely do not want to brave the 'sleaze shops' just to pick up a
TV or VCR. Fortunately there are more reputable consumer electronics dealers
stock, or can obtain multisystem equipment in the USA.  I personally would
recommend, 47th St. Photo in New York City (either go to 45th St. [sic!]
7th and 8th Ave. when you are next in NYC, or call up their mail-order
from anywhere in the world).  They are large, have been around for a long time,
and generally have prices just about as low as anything you'll get at a sleaze
shop, without the hassle.   What's more, they are authorized distributors of
they sell, so (for example) you will get a regular warranty.

Now a disclaimer:  1) I am not a video expert. Video standards are incredibly
confusing,  and become significantly more complicated when you take into
account the different schemes for broadcasting (video band, color band, audio
band, polarization, etc.) and recording (SECAM, MESECAM, PAL, NTSC, tape
speeds, ...)  I supply this information, which I believe but don't guarantee to
be correct, to satisfy the
curiosity of the curious and help anyone who might be trying to make sense of
these matters, e.g. in order to view Hungarian video casettes in the USA.  2) I
am not
by any means a consumer electronics shopping expert -- I try to avoid the whole
business when I can.  So the information I gave above and the information I am
about to give (including any specific recommendations) may well be complete

After spending many years in the USA without any sort of TV at all, I finally
about eight months ago that it might be nice to be able to watch the many tapes
I'd brought from Hungary anda few other European countries.  After figuring out
the deal with PAL and SECAM (believe me, I was surprised when I first realized
that some of my tapes had both SECAM (MTV) and PAL (Duna TV) on them!) I
decided I needed to get a
multisystem TV and VCR which could handle all three basic encodings.  I ended
buying the JVC HR-D637MS VCR (at 47th St. Photo in New York) and the JVC
C-21M1U television (at a local TV store here in the SF Bay Area which caters to
the Iranian
population, thus is ready and willing to order multi-system equipment).  I paid
about $400 for the VCR and $400 for the TV.  However I got the VCR for less
it would ordinarily have costed because 47th St. Photo was out of the model I
originally requested and I got the TV for less because someone else had ordered
and then neglected to come back to take it off the dealer's hands.  I have no
idea what these models would cost now or even if they are still on the market.
I will say, however, that I have been entirely satisfied with both items since
I bought them.  They also have been completely reliable -- not that they've
all that much use.  A video expert friend of mine once told me that JVC made
the best video equipment in the world -- I can't judge that, but it is a fact
JVC invented the VHS tape format.  I certainly would recommend the models that
I purchased to anyone wishing to watch video in (I believe) absolutely any
VHS recording standard currently in use in the world.  (The TV and VCR will
also receive broadcasts in almost every country, which is a separate matter and
presumably a big advantage, though I have no intention of lugging them anywhere
else for the time being!)

Good luck!
Adam Jacobs (Kuznetsov)

+ - Re: The army and the churches (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

>> First of all, philosophically speaking, atheism is an untenable

why is it untenable, philosphically?
i believe that in great britain atheism is still illegal, although i
doubt that the law is strictly enforced.

>> If you are not a believer, you are better off declaring yourself to be
>> agnostic.

why? an agnostic is one who claims no knowledge about the existence of
one or more deities or that no knowledge is possible.

>> Second, one may argue that religious education while one is growing
>> up is a good idea.

i'd like to hear some cogent argument to support the view that religious
education is a good idea, without resorting to religious arguments.

+ - Re: A monarchy? (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Subject: Re: A monarchy?
From: Eva Durant, 
Date: 25 Aug 94 14:18:30 GMT
In article > Eva Durant,

>IT IS TRUE*, and this time I will actually dig out some proof, so
>that you  know - as most correspondent - that "you are a liar"
>is not a good argument.
> *that the monarchy in UK has ancient privileges unknown to most,
>used (e.g. equal opportunity laws outruled for palace employees)
>in Australia (getting rid of the Whitlam government) and by laws
>drawn up in the late 16 hundreds, they can in fact choose the
>prime minister by royal prerogative. And they will, if the establish-
>ment deems it necessary. Watch this place. Eva Durant

the queen of england is also queen of australia. the governor-general acts
on her behalf, and the regent has the power to appoint ministers at her
discretion, irrespective of whether they are members of parliament or not.
these may hold office for two (maybe three) months without being members
Parliament, after which time they must lose their commission unless they
are members of parliament. however, there is no legal obstacle to their
being recommissioned at the regent's discretion. in any event, parliament
only advises the regent. thus, constitutionally at least, the queen is a
monarch in the truest sense of the word, at least in australia. this was
the siutuation in 1980, when i left australia. i am not aware of any
constitutional changes since which have altered the situation.

+ - Re: VCR NTSC VS. PAL (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Thanks Adam Jacobs (Kuznetsov) for the much-sought-after info on
intricacies of the various video systems. Here are two additional bits
I picked up recently in Hungary. One: according to apparently informed
sources (I have not seen nor sought official confirmation, so don't
quote me ;-)) the TV system is about to change for PAL - perhaps by
'95, monetary constraints allowing. Two: it is indeed very difficult to
find a radio set receiving in the low Eastern FM band - despite that
many programs, Bartok in particular are broadcast only below 88MHz. The
few available 'two-norm' models (ie. those extending below the Western
standard) may not have the coaxial antenna input connection for the
cable systems' radio signal and thus may be useless in poor reception
areas (or would require special antenna) - you have to look out for
getting something that actually works (and as an aside most sales
personnel don't know the basic things about the stuff they sell ;-().
After searching thru all the stores in my not-so-small city I ended up
having to buy a system (by Philips) that cost considerably more than
many others with similar features but this one!

-- Zoli 
+ - Re: The army and the churches (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

On Mon, 5 Sep 1994 01:22:53 GMT > said:
>i'd like to hear some cogent argument to support the view that religious
>education is a good idea, without resorting to religious arguments.
--Good to see you posting again, Imi.  Been on holiday?  Religious education is
 a good idea for purely cultural reasons.  Please note I am talking about
religious education not pure indoctrination.  There is a difference.  A
great deal of history, good and bad, revolves around religion, as does art,
music, and literature.  I have two good atheist friends, both of whom grew
up in mainstream church homes.  They haven't much use for the religion, but
are able to know why.  More important to your question is that they are
able to understand other peoples references to religious themes in the
aforesaid history, art, music and literature.

I'm still exploring your wine list.  I have found some more, but haven't
bought it yet.  In this county, they can't sell booze on Sunday.  Too much
Southern Baptist influence.  Barbaric, I think, but there it is.  I'll have
to send some comments as I record them.

Did you get that wonderful (!) paper on educational philosophy?


The Old Deaf American Bastard