Using Indigenous Games to Demystify Probability Theorem in Ghanaian Classrooms: Mathematical Analysis of Ampe
Similar to many colonized nations in the world, one indelible mark left by colonial masters after Ghana’s independence in 1957 has been the fact that many contexts used to teach statistics and probability concepts are often alien and do not resonate with the social domain of our indigenous Ghanaian child. This has seriously limited the understanding, discoveries, and applications of mathematics for national developments. With the recent curriculum demands of making the Ghanaian child mathematically literate, this qualitative study involved video recordings and mathematical analysis of play sessions of an indigenous girl game called Ampe with the aim to demystify the concepts in probability theorem, which is applied in mathematics related fields of study. The mathematical analysis shows that the game of Ampe, which is widely played by school girls in Ghana, is suitable for learning concepts of the probability theorems. It was also revealed that as a girl game, the use of Ampe provides good lessons to educators, textbook writers, and teachers to rethink about the selection of mathematics tasks and learning contexts that are sensitive to gender. As we undertake to transform teacher education and student learning, the use of indigenous games should be critically revisited.
Assessment Literacy Levels of Mathematics Teachers to Implement Classroom Assessment in Ghanaian High Schools
One key determinant of the quality of mathematics learning is the teacher’s ability to assess students adequately and effectively and make assessment an integral part of the instructional practices. If the mathematics teacher lacks the required literacy to perform classroom assessment roles, the true trajectory of learning success and attainment of curriculum expectations might be indeterminate. It is therefore important that educators and policymakers understand and seek ways to improve the literacy level of mathematics teachers to implement classroom assessments that would meet curriculum demands. This study employed a descriptive survey design to explore perceived levels of assessment literacy of mathematics teachers to implement classroom assessment with the school based assessment framework in Ghana. A 25-item classroom assessment inventory on teachers’ assessment scenarios was adopted, modified, and administered to a purposive sample of 48 mathematics teachers from eleven Senior High Schools. Seven other items were included to further collect data on their self-efficacy towards assessment literacy. Data were analyzed using descriptive and bivariate correlation statistics. The result shows that, on average, 48.6% of the mathematics teachers attained standard levels of assessment literacy. Specifically, 50.0% met standard one in choosing appropriate assessment methods, 68.3% reached standard two in developing appropriate assessment tasks, 36.6% reached standard three in administering, scoring, and interpreting assessment results, 58.3% reached standard four in making appropriate assessment decisions, 41.7% reached standard five in developing valid grading procedures, 45.8% reached standard six in communicating assessment results, and 36.2 % reached standard seven by identifying unethical, illegal and inappropriate use of assessment results. Participants rated their self-efficacy belief in performing assessments high, making the relationships between participants’ assessment literacy scores and self-efficacy scores weak and statistically insignificant. The study recommends that institutions training mathematics teachers or providing professional developments should accentuate assessment literacy development to ensure standard assessment practices and quality instruction in mathematics education at senior high schools.
Examining Geometric Thinking Behaviours of Undergraduates in Online Geometry Course
Geometry is considered an important strand in mathematics due to its wide-ranging utilitarian value and because it serves as a building block for understanding other aspects of undergraduate mathematics, including algebra and calculus. Matters regarding students’ geometric thinking have therefore long been pursued by mathematics researchers and educators globally via different theoretical lenses, curriculum reform efforts, and innovative instructional practices. However, so far, studies remain inconclusive about the instructional platforms that effectively promote geometric thinking. At the University of Education, Winneba, an undergraduate geometry course was designed and delivered on UEW Learning Management System (LMS) using Moodle platform. This study utilizes van Hiele’s theoretical lens to examine the entry and exit’s geometric thinking behaviours of prospective teachers who took the undergraduate geometry course in the LMS platform. The study was a descriptive survey that involved an intact class of 280 first-year students enrolled to pursue a bachelor's in mathematics education at the university. The van Hiele’s Geometric thinking test was used to assess participants’ entry and exit behaviours, while semi-structured interviews were used to obtain data for triangulation. Data were analysed descriptively and displayed in tables and charts. An Independent t-test was used to test for significant differences in geometric thinking behaviours between those who entered the university with a diploma certificate and with senior high certificate. The results show that on entry, more than 70% of the prospective teachers operated within the visualization level of van Hiele’s geometric thinking. Less than 20% reached analysis and abstraction levels, and no participant reached deduction and rigor levels. On exit, participants’ geometric thinking levels increased markedly across levels, but the difference from entry was not significant and might have occurred by chance. The geometric thinking behaviours of those enrolled with diploma certificates did not differ significant from those enrolled directly from senior high school. The study recommends that the design principles and delivery of undergraduate geometry course via LMS should be structured and tackled using van Hiele’s geometric thinking levels to serve as means of bridging the existing learning gaps of undergraduate students.
Determinants of Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Patients Who Underwent First-Line Treatment in Addis Ababa: A Case Control Study
Worldwide, there were 650,000 multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) cases in 2010. Ethiopia is 15th among the 27 MDR-TB high-burden countries. A case control study was conducted at St. Peter Hospital and five health centers in Addis Ababa. Cases were MDR-TB patients who were in treatment at St. Peter Hospital during the study period. Controls were patients who were on first-line anti-TB treatment and were registered as cured or having completed treatment in the period 9 April 2009– 28 February 2010, in five health centers. A structured interview questionnaire was used to assess factors that could potentially be associated with the occurrence of MDR-TB. Factors that were significantly associated with MDR-TB: drug side effects during first-line treatment (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 4.5, 95% CI; 1.9 - 10.5); treatment not directly observed by a health worker (AOR = 11.7, 95% CI; 4–34.3); and retreatment with the Category II regimen (P = 0.000).
Transporting the Setting of the Beloved Musical, Peter Pan, to Colonial India
This paper is an examination of a recent Michigan State University production of the classic musical, Peter Pan. In this production, approved by the licensor, the action was moved to Colonial India transforming the musical’s message to include themes of cultural identity, racism, classism and ultimately inclusion. Major character changes and casting decisions expanded the scope of the musical while still retaining the original book and score. Major changes included reframing the Darlings as British Colonials stationed in India. The Lost Boy’s as mixed race children of British officials and their Indian nannies, the Pirates were a female 'fishing fleet' a group of women sent from England to keep the British soldiers from mixing with the locals and the Michigan State University Bhangra Dance Team played the Indians in the production. Traditional Indian theatrical techniques were also employed in the storytelling. The presentation will cover the key changes to the musical, the rehearsal process, historical accuracy and audience reaction. A final analysis of cultural appropriation versus historical reframing will be examined.
Understanding Workplace Behavior through Organizational Culture and Complex Adaptive Systems Theory
Purpose: This article aims to rethink the phenomena of employee behavior as a product of a system. Both organizational culture and Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) theory emphasize that individual behavior depends on the specific system and the unique organizational culture. These two major theories are both represented in the field of organizational studies; however, they are rarely used together for the comprehensive understanding of workplace behavior. Methodology: By reviewing the literature we use key concepts stemming from organizational culture and CAS theory in order to show the similarities between these theories and create an enriched understanding of employee behavior. Findings: a) Workplace behavior is defined here as social cognition issue. b) Organizations are discussed here as complex systems, and cultures which drive and dictate the cognitive processes of agents in the system. c) Culture gives CAS theory a context which lets us see organizations not just as ever-changing and unpredictable, but as such systems that aim to create and maintain stability by recurring behavior. Conclusion: Applying the knowledge from culture and CAS theory sheds light on our present understanding of employee behavior, also emphasizes the importance of novel ways in organizational research and management.
Optimization Model for Identification of Assembly Alternatives of Large-Scale, Make-to-Order Products
Assembling large-scale products, such as airplanes, locomotives, or wind turbines, involves frequent process interruptions induced by e.g. delayed material deliveries or missing availability of resources. This leads to a negative impact on the logistical performance of a producer of xxl-products. In industrial practice, in case of interruptions, the identification, evaluation and eventually the selection of an alternative order of assembly activities (‘assembly alternative’) leads to an enormous challenge, especially if an optimized logistical decision should be reached. Therefore, in this paper, an innovative, optimization model for the identification of assembly alternatives that addresses the given problem is presented. It describes make-to-order, large-scale product assembly processes as a resource constrained project scheduling (RCPS) problem which follows given restrictions in practice. For the evaluation of the assembly alternative, a cost-based definition of the logistical objectives (delivery reliability, inventory, make-span and workload) is presented.
Maintenance Objective-Based Asset Maintenance Maturity Model
The fast-changing business and operational environment are forcing organizations to adopt asset performance management strategies, not only to reduce costs but also maintain operational and production policies while addressing demand. To attain optimal asset performance management, a framework that ensures a continuous and systematic approach to analyzing an organization’s current maturity level and expected improvement regarding asset maintenance processes, strategies, technologies, capabilities, and systems is essential. Moreover, this framework while addressing maintenance-intensive organizations should consider the diverse business, operational and technical context (often dynamic) an organization is in and realistically prescribe or relate to the appropriate tools and systems the organization can potentially employ in the respective level, to improve and attain their maturity goals. This paper proposes an asset maintenance maturity model to assess the current capabilities, strength and weaknesses of maintenance processes an organization is using and analyze gaps for improvement via structuring set levels of achievement. At the epicentre of the proposed framework is the utilization of maintenance objective selected by an organization for various maintenance optimization programs. The framework adapts the Capability Maturity Model of assessing the maintenance process maturity levels in the organization.
Analysis of Bed Load Sediment Transport Mataram-Babarsari Irrigation Canal
Mataram Irrigation Canal has 31,2 km length, is the main irrigation canal in Special Region Province of Yogyakarta, connecting Progo River on the west side and Opak River on the east side. It has an important role as the main water carrier distribution for various purposes such as agriculture, fishery, and plantation which should be free from sediment material. Bed Load Sediment is the basic sediment that will make the sediment process on the irrigation canal. Sediment process is a simultaneous event that can make deposition sediment at the base of irrigation canal and can make the height of elevation water change, it will affect the availability of water to be used for irrigation functions. To predict the amount of drowning sediments in the irrigation canal using two methods: Meyer-Peter and Muller’s Method which is an energy approach method and Einstein Method which is a probabilistic approach. Speed measurement using floating method and using current meters. The channel geometry is measured directly in the field. The basic sediment of the channel is taken in the field by taking three samples from three different points. The result of the research shows that by using the formula Meyer -Peter Muller get the result of 60,75799 kg/s, whereas with Einsten’s Method get result of 13,06461 kg/s. the results may serve as a reference for dredging the sediments on the channel so as not to disrupt the flow of water in irrigation canal.
An Investigation into Mechanical Properties of Laser Fabricated 308LSi Stainless Steel Walls by Wire Feedstock
Laser metal deposition by wire feedstock has been established as a process which can provide a high material deposition rate with good quality. Sound mechanical properties of the deposited parts are the pre-requisites for the real applications of this process. This paper investigates the laser metal deposition of 308LSi stainless steel wire within a process window. Single tracks and multiple layer thin-walls of 308LSi stainless steel wire were deposited on 304 stainless steel substrate. The grain structures of the built walls were examined using optical microscopy. The mechanical properties of the built walls including the micro-hardness and tensile properties along the transverse and longitudinal directions were investigated using Vickers hardness tester and tensile test machine. Long columnar grains were found growing in the wall building direction (transverse) and nucleation were observed at the boundary between two deposited layers due to remelting of the previously deposited layers. The results showed that the hardness values of the deposited walls (ranging between 194 HV and 167 HV) decreased from the track-substrate interface to the top of the wall. The ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of the wall (518 ± 7 MPa) showed dependence on wall building directions.
Sudan’s Approach to Knowledge Management in Disaster Management
Knowledge Management has become very important for Disaster Management response and planning. This paper proposes the implementation of a Knowledge Management System with a sustainable data collection mechanism for reliable and timely information management to support decision makers in making the right decisions in the timely manner.
A Universal Approach to Categorize Failures in Production
The increasing interconnectedness and complexity of production processes raise the susceptibility of production systems to failure. Therefore, the ability to respond quickly to failures is increasingly becoming a competitive factor. The research project "Sustainable failure management in manufacturing SMEs" is developing a methodology to identify failures in the production and select preventive and reactive measures in order to correct failures and to establish sustainable failure management systems.
Change of Internal Friction on Magnesium Alloy with 5.48% Al Dependence on the Temperature
The article is focused on the analysis changes dependence on the temperature on the magnesium alloy with 5,48% Al, 0,813% Zn and 0,398% Mn by internal friction. Internal friction is a property of the material is measured on the ultrasonic resonant aparature at a frequency about f = 20470 Hz. The measured temperature range was from 30 °C up to 420 °C. Precisely measurement of the internal friction can be monitored ongoing structural changes and various mechanisms that prevent these changes.
The New Approach to Airport Emergency Plans
This article deals with a new approach to the airport emergency plans, which are the basic documents and manuals for dealing with events with impact on safety or security. The article describes the identified parts in which the current airport emergency plans do not fulfill their role and which should therefore be considered in the creation of corrective measures. All these issues have been identified at airports in the Czech Republic and confirmed at airports in neighboring countries.
Social Media and Political Mobilization in Nigeria: A Study in E-Participation
Communication has subsisted as the basis for mass mobilization and political education through history with the media as a generic concept. Revolutions in ICTs have occasioned a limitless environment for the dissemination of information and ideas especially with the use of a seemingly pervasive access, penetration and use of the internet which has engendered a connected society. This study seeks to analyze the prospects and challenges for the adaptation of social media for free election and how this process can enhance public policy making, implementation and evaluation in a developing state.
Using the Transient Plane Source Method for Measuring Thermal Parameters of Electroceramics
Transient plane source method has been used to measure the thermal diffusivity and thermal conductivity of a compact isostatic electro-ceramics at room temperature. The samples were fired at temperatures from 100 up to 1320 degrees Celsius in steps of 50. Bulk density and specific heat capacity were also measured with their corresponding standard uncertainties. The results were compared with further thermal analysis (dilatometry and thermogravimetry). Structural processes during firing were discussed.
Reliability-Based Life-Cycle Cost Model for Engineering Systems
The effect of reliability on life-cycle cost, including initial and maintenance cost of a system is studied. The failure probability of a component is used to calculate the average maintenance cost during the operation cycle of the component. The standard deviation of the life-cycle cost is also calculated as an error measure for the average life-cycle cost. As a numerical example, the model is used to study the average life cycle cost of an electric motor.
Increasing Water Yields in a Forested Watershed and Water Quality Implications, Apalachicola Region, Florida, USA
Increasing forest water yields using targeted pine basal area reduction will improve water quality in the Little Owl Creek basin, Apalachicola National Forest, Florida, USA. The Apalachicola Region of Northwest Florida, an area covered by dense pine or pine timber plantation forests, experienced a loss of freshwater over the last century due to increased upstream water demand, climate change, and intensive forest management practices. Infrastructure in Little Owl Creek basin, numerous roads, ditches, and culverts built to facilitate timber harvests, efficiently directs runoff drainage away from forests and forest soils, exacerbating water quantity and water quality issues. Potential forest water-yields gains, quantified using recently published high-resolution geospatial land-cover data and relationships between basal area and pine forest water yield, identify areas that could maximize water-yield increases using pine basal area reduction. Potential initial water-yield gains, as high as 1,125 m3/day for the basin if all current areas were clear to a maximum of 7 m2/ha. Pine basal area reduction combined with longleaf pine reforestation and maintenance translates to increased long-term freshwater availability for streams, groundwater recharge, and improved water quality. Results from this study provide critical information, allowing forest managers to focus scarce resources to maximize water-yields and improve water quality in the Little Owl Creek basin. This method can be applied at various scales ranging from individual tree stands to the local and regional scales; it is easily upgraded and adapted as newer, higher resolution datasets become available and relationships between forest metrics, evapotranspiration, and water yields.
Performance Analysis of MATLAB Solvers in the Case of a Quadratic Programming Generation Scheduling Optimization Problem
In the case of the proposed method, the problem is
parallelized by considering multiple possible mode of operation
profiles, which determine the range in which the generators operate
in each period. For each of these profiles, the optimization is carried
out independently, and the best resulting dispatch is chosen. For each
such profile, the resulting problem is a quadratic programming (QP)
problem with a potentially negative definite Q quadratic term, and
constraints depending on the actual operation profile. In this paper we
analyze the performance of available MATLAB optimization methods
and solvers for the corresponding QP.
State of the Art on the Recommendation Techniques of Mobile Learning Activities
The objective of this article is to make a bibliographic study on the recommendation of mobile learning activities that are used as part of the field trip scenarios. Indeed, the recommendation systems are widely used in the context of mobility because they can be used to provide learning activities. These systems should take into account the history of visits and teacher pedagogy to provide adaptive learning according to the instantaneous position of the learner. To achieve this objective, we review the existing literature on field trip scenarios to recommend mobile learning activities.
A Machine Learning-Assisted Crime and Threat Intelligence Hunter
Cybercrime is a new category of crime which poses a different challenge for crime investigators and incident responders. Attackers can mask their identities using a suite of tools and with the help of the deep web, which makes them difficult to track down. Scouring the deep web manually takes time and is inefficient. There is a growing need for a tool to scour the deep web to obtain useful evidence or intel automatically. In this paper, we will explain the background and motivation behind the research, present a survey of existing research on related tools, describe the design of our own crime/threat intelligence hunting tool prototype, demonstrate its capability with some test cases and lastly, conclude with proposals for future enhancements.
“Friction Surfaces” of Airport Emergency Plan
This article focuses on the issue of airport emergency plans, which are documents describing reactions to events with impact on aviation safety or aviation security. The article specifically focuses on the use and creation of emergency plans, where could be found a number of disagreements between different stakeholders, for which the airport emergency plan applies. Those are the friction surfaces of interfaces, which is necessary to identify and ensure them smooth process to avoid dangerous situations or delay.
HKIE Accreditation: A Comparative Study on the Old and New Criteria
This paper reports a comparative study of new and old criteria for the professional accreditation of programme by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE). The major change in the criteria is the adoption of the outcome-based accreditation criteria and the use of measurement of attainment of outcomes which is very different from what academic did in the past. This has imposed a lot of difficulty for people in preparation for such exercise. Through this comparative study, the major difference between the two criteria is identified and a methodology is devised to help the academic to handle the issues due to the adoption of the new criteria. Thus it saves a lot of efforts.
The Tiv Oral Poet and Taraba Crisis: Anger, Frustration and Uncotrollable Emotionalism in Obadia Kehemen Orkor's Ballads
Obadia Kehemen Orkor’s songs that focus on the predicament of the Tiv man in Taraba in North Central Nigeria handle themes such as poverty, social inequality, discrimination and tyranny perpetrated by Jukun against the Tiv. The major thrust of his focus in the songs is the overriding longing for mutual understanding between the Jukun and Tiv that would usher in love, equality, peace and harmonious co-existence for the two antagonistic ethnic groups. This paper examines Obadia’s hard-hitting lyrics that reveal the anger, frustration and boiling emotionalism of Tiv people in Taraba state of Nigeria.
Maintaining Discipline in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria
Discipline is an issue that tends to undermine the provision of quality education in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This is because the overall goals of tertiary institutions, as enunciated in the National Policy of Education, can hardly be achieved by all the stakeholders without strict conformity and adherence to the rules and regulations and the ideals of the entire society. The adherence is essential for the general welfare of the society. This paper critically X-rayed the causes of indiscipline in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Such courses include laxity in home control and parental supervision, school, teacher and societal factors as well as government influence. The paper recommended among others such strategies as enculturation, acculturation as well as the acquisition of a certain number of generic skills for dealing with discipline and ethical issues in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Presenting an Integrated Framework for the Introduction and Evaluation of Social Media in Enterprises
In this paper, we present an integrated framework
that governs the introduction of social media into enterprises and
its evaluation. It is argued that the framework should address the
following issues: (1) the contribution of social media for increasing
efficiency and improving the quality of working life; (2) the
level on which this contribution happens (i.e., individual, team, or
organisation); (3) a description of the processes for implementing
and evaluating social media; and the role of (4) organisational culture
and (5) management. We also report the results of a case study where
the framework has been employed to introduce a social networking
platform at a German enterprise. This paper only considers the
internal use of social media.
Programming with Grammars
DGL is a context free grammar-based tool for generating random data. Many types of simulator input data require some computation to be placed in the proper format. For example, it might be necessary to generate ordered triples in which the third element is the sum of the first two elements, or it might be necessary to generate random numbers in some sorted order. Although DGL is universal in computational power, generating these types of data is extremely difficult. To overcome this problem, we have enhanced DGL to include features that permit direct computation within the structure of a context free grammar. The features have been implemented as special types of productions, preserving the context free flavor of DGL specifications.
Dispositional Loneliness and Mental Health of the Elderly in Cross River State, Nigeria
The study is predicated on the current trend of the rate of dispositional loneliness experienced by the elderly in society today as a result of the breakdown in the family attachment patterns, loss of close associates, and interpersonal conflicts. The research adopted the ex-post facto research design through a survey data collected from a total of 500 elderly comprising of both retirees and community-based elders. Both the stratified and simple sampling techniques were used to select the sample. Based on the findings, it was recommended that the elderly should be trained in acquiring specific attachment styles as well as be trained in developing appropriate social skills to counter loneliness.
The Impact of Metacognitive Knowledge and Experience on Top Management Team Diversity and Small to Medium Enterprises Performance
The aim of this study is to determine the impact of metacognition on top management team members and firm performance based on full team integration. A survey of 1500 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) was initiated and 140 firms were obtained in this study (with response rate of 9%). The result showed that different metacognitive abilities of managers [knowledge and experience] could enhance team decision-making and problem solving, resulting in greater firm performance. This is a significant finding for SMEs because these organisations have small teams with owner leadership and entrepreneurial orientation.
Self-Tuning Robot Control Based on Subspace Identification
The paper describes the use of subspace based
identification methods for auto tuning of a state space control system.
The plant is an unstable but self balancing transport robot. Because
of the unstable character of the process it has to be identified
from closed loop input-output data. Based on the identified model
a state space controller combined with an observer is calculated. The
subspace identification algorithm and the controller design procedure
is combined to a auto tuning method. The capability of the approach
was verified in a simulation experiments under different process
Deficits and Solutions in the Development of Modular Factory Systems
As a reaction to current challenges in factory planning, many companies think about introducing factory standards to lower planning times and decrease planning costs. If these factory standards are set-up with a high level of modularity, they are defined as modular factory systems. This paper deals with the main current problems in the application of modular factory systems in practice and presents a solution approach with its basic models. The methodology is based on methods from factory planning but also uses the tools of other disciplines like product development or technology management to deal with the high complexity, which the development of modular factory systems implies. The four basic models that such a methodology has to contain are introduced and pointed out.
Determining a Suitable Maintenance Measure for Gentelligent Components Using Case-Based Reasoning
Components with sensory properties such as gentelligent components developed at the Collaborative Research Center 653 offer a new angle on the full utilization of the remaining service life in case of a preventive maintenance. The developed methodology of component status driven maintenance analyses the stress data obtained during the component's useful life and on the basis of this knowledge assesses the type of maintenance called for in this case. The procedure is derived from the case-based reasoning method and will be elucidated in detail. The method's functionality is demonstrated with real-life data obtained during test runs of a racing car prototype.
PLA Plastic as Biodegradable Material for 3D Printers
Within Rapid Prototyping technologies are used many types of materials. Many of them are recyclable but there are still as plastic like, so practically they do not degrade in the landfill. Polylactic acid (PLA) is one of the special plastic materials which are biodegradable and also available for 3D printing within Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology. The question is, if the mechanical properties of produced models are comparable to similar technical plastic materials which are usual for prototype production. Presented paper shows the experiments results for tensile strength measurements for specimens prepared with different 3D printer settings and model orientation. Paper contains also the comparison of tensile strength values with values measured on specimens produced by conventional technologies as injection moulding.
Improvement of Piezoresistive Pressure Sensor Accuracy by Means of Current Loop Circuit Using Optimal Digital Signal Processing
The paper presents the advanced digital modification of the conventional current loop circuit for pressure piezoelectric transducers. The optimal DSP algorithms of current loop responses by the maximum likelihood method are applied for diminishing of measurement errors. The loop circuit has some additional advantages such as the possibility to operate with any type of resistance or reactance sensors, and a considerable increase in accuracy and quality of measurements to be compared with AC bridges. The results obtained are dedicated to replace high-accuracy and expensive measuring bridges with current loop circuits.
Evaluating the Logistic Performance Capability of Regeneration Processes
For years now, it has been recognized that logistic performance capability contributes enormously to a production enterprise’s competitiveness and as such is a critical control lever. In doing so, the orientation on customer wishes (e.g. delivery dates) represents a key parameter not only in the value-adding production but also in product regeneration. Since production and regeneration processes have different characteristics, production planning and control measures cannot be directly transferred to regeneration processes. As part of a special research project, the Institute of Production Systems and Logistics Hannover is focused on increasing the logistic performance capability of regeneration processes for complex capital goods. The aim is to ensure logistic targets are met by implementing a model specifically designed to align the capacities and load in regeneration processes.
How Does Improving the Existing DSL Infrastructure Influences the Expansion of Fiber Technology?
Experts, enterprises and operators expect that the bandwidth request will increase up to rates of 100 to 1,000 Mbps within several years. Therefore the most important question is, which technology shall satisfy the future consumer broadband demands. Currently the consensus is, that the fiber technology has the best technical characteristics to achieve such the high bandwidth rates. But fiber technology is so far very cost-intensive and resource consuming. To avoid these investments, operators are concentrating to upgrade the existing copper and hybrid fiber coax infrastructures.
This work presents a comparison of the copper and fiber technologies including an overview about the current German broadband market. Both technologies are reviewed in the terms of demand, willingness to pay and economic efficiency in connection with the technical characteristics.
Multi-Objective Optimization of an Aerodynamic Feeding System Using Genetic Algorithm
Considering the challenges of short product life cycles and growing variant diversity, cost minimization and manufacturing flexibility increasingly gain importance to maintain a competitive edge in today’s global and dynamic markets. In this context, an aerodynamic part feeding system for high-speed industrial assembly applications has been developed at the Institute of Production Systems and Logistics (IFA), Leibniz Universitaet Hannover. The aerodynamic part feeding system outperforms conventional systems with respect to its process safety, reliability, and operating speed. In this paper, a multi-objective optimisation of the aerodynamic feeding system regarding the orientation rate, the feeding velocity and the required nozzle pressure is presented.
Process of Research, Development and Application of New Pelletizer
The success of introducing a new product on the market is the new principle of production, or progressive design, improved efficiency or high quality of manufactured products. Proportionally with the growth of interest in press-biofuels - pellets or briquettes, is also growing interest in the new design better, more efficiently machines produce pellets, briquettes or granules completely new shapes. Our department has for years dedicated to the development of new highly productive designs pressing machines and new optimized press-biofuels. In this field, we have more than 40 national and international patents. The aim of paper is description of the introduction of a new principle pelleting mill and the description of his process of research, development, manufacturing and testing to deployment into production.
Stepanovia osogoviensis sp. n. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) in Galls of Diplolepis rosae from Bulgaria
A new distinctive species of Stepanovia Kostjukov (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae) was reared in laboratory from mature galls of Diplolepis rosae (Linnaeus) (Cynipidae). The galls were collected from Rosa sp. bushes growing in Osogovo Mt. in Western Bulgaria. The new species is close to Stepanovia rosae Boyadzhiev & Todorov but differs in POL and OOL characteristics, width of antennae, forewings and ovipositor sheaths characteristics, different U-shaped pale stripe above clypeus and the length of the ventral plaque on male antenna. The taxonomically important morphological features are illustrated and compared with the rest species of the genus using Scanning electron microscopy and light reflection by compound microscopy. Images of male genitalia are also prepared.
Evaluation of Biomass Introduction Methods in Coal Co-Gasification
Heightened concerns over the amount of carbon emitted from coal-related processes are generating shifts to the application of biomass. In co-gasification, where coal is gasified along with biomass, the biomass may be fed together with coal (co-feeding) or an independent biomass gasifier needs to be integrated with the coal gasifier. The main aim of this work is to evaluate the biomass introduction methods in coal co-gasification. This includes the evaluation of biomass concentration input (B0 to B100) and its gasification performance. A process model is developed and simulated in Aspen HYSYS, where both coal and biomass are modeled according to its ultimate analysis. It was found that the syngas produced increased with increasing biomass content for both co-feeding and independent schemes. However, the heating values and heat duties decreases with biomass concentration as more CO2 are produced from complete combustion.
Application of Fourier Series Based Learning Control on Mechatronic Systems
A Fourier series based learning control (FSBLC)
algorithm for tracking trajectories of mechanical systems with
unknown nonlinearities is presented. Two processes are introduced to
which the FSBLC with PD controller is applied. One is a simplified
service robot capable of climbing stairs due to special wheels and
the other is a propeller driven pendulum with nearly the same
requirements on control. Additionally to the investigation of learning
the feed forward for the desired trajectories some considerations on
the implementation of such an algorithm on low cost microcontroller
hardware are made. Simulations of the service robot as well as
practical experiments on the pendulum show the capability of the used
FSBLC algorithm to perform the task of improving control behavior
for repetitive task of such mechanical systems.
ReS, Resonant String Shell: Development of an Acoustic Shell for Outdoor Chamber Music Concerts
ReS is a sustainable hand-built temporary acoustic shell, developed since 2011 and built during the architectural workshop at Villa Pennisi in Musica in Acireale, Sicily, each year since 2012.
The design concept aims to provide a portable structure by reducing the on-site construction problems and the skills required by the builders together with maximizing the acoustic performance for the audience and the musicians. The shell is built using only wood, recycled for the most part, and can be built and dismantled by non-specialized workers in just three days.
This paper describes the research process, which spans over four years and presents the final results in form of acoustic simulations performed by acoustic modeling software and real world measurements.
ReS is developed by the ReS team who has been presented with the Peter Lord Award in 2015 by the Institute of Acoustics in the UK.
General and Sport Specific Fitness Testing Practices: Global Developments
This study compared general conditioning and sport specific fitness tests used in China, European Union (EU), Russia, and the United States. A constant content comparison method was used to identify the differences. Data from the study indicated that there were shared test components, including aerobic fitness, muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility. However, the testing components and items, as well as the cut-off values of the analyzed tests varied by country for the same gender and age. Culturally unique methods of testing and preparing for the tests were identified. Additionally, evidence revealed support for lifelong fitness and long-term sport participation through comprehensive fitness and wellness guidelines for different age groups and through new internet-based technologies.
Arithmetic Operations in Deterministic P Systems Based on the Weak Rule Priority
Membrane computing is a computability model which abstracts its structures and functions from the biological cell. The main ingredient of membrane computing is the notion of a membrane structure, which consists of several cell-like membranes recurrently placed inside a unique skin membrane. The emergence of several variants of membrane computing gives rise to the notion of a P system. The paper presents a variant of P systems for arithmetic operations on non-negative integers based on the weak priorities for rule application. Consequently, we obtain deterministic P systems. Two membranes suffice. There are at most four objects for multiplication and five objects for division throughout the computation processes. The model is simple and has a potential for possible extension to non-negative integers and real numbers in general.
The Complete Modal Derivatives
The use of basis projection in the structural dynamic analysis is frequently applied. The purpose of the method is to improve the computational efficiency, while maintaining a high solution accuracy, by projection the governing equations onto a small set of carefully selected basis vectors. The present work considers basis projection in kinematic nonlinear systems with a focus on two widely used basis vectors; the system mode shapes and their modal derivatives. Particularly the latter basis vectors are given special attention since only approximate modal derivatives have been used until now. In the present work the complete modal derivatives, derived from perturbation methods, are presented and compared to the previously applied approximate modal derivatives. The correctness of the complete modal derivatives is illustrated by use of an example of a harmonically loaded kinematic nonlinear structure modeled by beam elements.
Exploration of Various Metrics for Partitioning of Cellular Automata Units for Efficient Reconfiguration of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)
Using FPGA devices to improve the behavior of time-critical parts of embedded systems is a proven concept for years. With reconfigurable FPGA devices, the logical blocks can be partitioned and grouped into static and dynamic parts. The dynamic parts can be reloaded 'on demand' at runtime. This work uses cellular automata, which are constructed through compilation from (partially restricted) ANSI-C sources, to determine the suitability of various metrics for optimal partitioning. Significant metrics, in this case, are for example the area on the FPGA device for the partition, the pass count for loop constructs and communication characteristics to other partitions. With successful partitioning, it is possible to use smaller FPGA devices for the same requirements as with not reconfigurable FPGA devices or – vice versa – to use the same FPGAs for larger programs.
3D Dynamic Modeling of Transition Zones
In railways transition zone is present at the boundaries of zones with different stiffness. When a train rides from an embankment onto a stiff structure, such as a bridge, tunnel or culvert, an abrupt change in the support stiffness occurs possibly inducing differential settlements. This in long term can yield to the degradation of the tracks and foundations in the transition zones. A number of techniques have been proposed or implemented to provide gradual stiffness transition at the problem zones, such as methods to ensure gradually changing pad stiffness, application of long sleepers or installation of auxiliary rails in the transition zone. Aim of the research presented in this paper is to analyze the 3D and the dynamic effects induced by the passing train over an area where significant difference in the support stiffness exists. The effects were analyzed for different arrangements associated with certain differential settlement mitigation strategies of the transition zones.
Combining the Dynamic Conditional Correlation and Range-GARCH Models to Improve Covariance Forecasts
The dynamic conditional correlation model of Engle (2002) is one of the most popular multivariate volatility models. However, this model is based solely on closing prices. It has been documented in the literature that the high and low price of the day can be used in an efficient volatility estimation. We, therefore, suggest a model which incorporates high and low prices into the dynamic conditional correlation framework. Empirical evaluation of this model is conducted on three datasets: currencies, stocks, and commodity exchange-traded funds. The utilisation of realized variances and covariances as proxies for true variances and covariances allows us to reach a strong conclusion that our model outperforms not only the standard dynamic conditional correlation model but also a competing range-based dynamic conditional correlation model.
Distorted Digital Mediated Communication: An Analysis of the Effect of Smartphone on Family Communication in Nigeria
Communication through the smartphone connects people globally. However, since the last 10 years, there has been an increasing shift from the social engagement in the family to the digital mediated communication aided by the smartphone. The traditional family communication had largely been oral and relational, which the smartphone is now digitally mediating. The study employs mixed research method of quantitative and qualitative research design and deploys questionnaire to elicit responses from both parents and children of 50 purposively selected families from five villages in Southern Nigeria that are very active with smartphone use. Based on the Theory of Family Systems, preliminary findings show that the smartphone is becoming an addiction among Nigerian family members and has shifted the dynamics of family communication from relational to digital culture. The research concludes that smartphone use affects family communication negatively and recommends the moderation of smartphone use in the family and the search for alternative platforms for family communication that minimises smartphone addiction.
The Effect of Fixing Kinesiology Tape onto the Plantar Surface during Loading Phase of Gait
Precise capture of plantar 3D surface of the foot at the loading gait phases on rigid substrate was found to be valuable for the assessment of the physiology, health and problems of the feet. Photogrammetry, a precision 3D spatial data capture technique is suitable for this type of dynamic application. In this research, the technique is utilised to study of the effect on the plantar deformation for having a strip of kinesiology tape on the plantar surface while going through the loading phase of gait. For this pilot study, one healthy adult male subject was recruited under the USQ University human research ethics guidelines for this preliminary study. The 3D plantar deformation data of both with and without applying the tape were analysed. The results and analyses are presented together with the detail of the findings.
Depth to Basement Determination Sculpting of a Magnetic Mineral Using Magnetic Survey
This study was carried out to delineate possible structures that may favour the accumulation of tantalite, a magnetic mineral. A ground based technique was employed using proton precision magnetometer G-856 AX. A total of ten geophysical traverses were established in the study area. The acquired magnetic field data were corrected for drift. The trend analysis was adopted to remove the regional gradient from the observed data and the resulting results were presented as profiles. Quantitative interpretation only was adopted to obtain the depth to basement using Peter half slope method. From the geological setting of the area and the information obtained from the magnetic survey, a conclusion can be made that the study area is underlain by a rock unit of accumulated minerals. It is therefore suspected that the overburden is relatively thin within the study area and the metallic minerals are in disseminated quantity and at a shallow depth.
Electric Field Investigation in MV PILC Cables with Void Defect
Worldwide, most PILC MV underground cables in use are approaching the end of their design life; hence, failures are likely to increase. This paper studies the electric field and potential distributions within the PILC insulted cable containing common void-defect. The finite element model of the performance of the belted PILC MV underground cable is presented. The variation of the electric field stress within the cable using the Finite Element Method (FEM) is concentrated. The effects of the void-defect within the insulation are given. Outcomes will lead to deeper understanding of the modeling of Paper Insulated Lead Covered (PILC) and electric field response of belted PILC insulted cable containing void defect.
Finite Element Modeling for Clamping Stresses Developed in Hot-Driven Steel Structural Riveted Connections
A three-dimensional finite element model is developed to capture the stress field generated in connected plates during the installation of hot-driven rivets. Clamping stress is generated when a steel rivet heated to approximately 1000 °C comes in contact with the material to be fastened at ambient temperature. As the rivet cools, thermal contraction subjects the rivet into tensile stress, while the material being fastened is subjected to compressive stress. Model characteristics and assumptions, as well as steel properties variation with respect to temperature are discussed. The thermal stresses developed around the rivet hole are assessed and reported. Results from the analysis are utilized to detect possible regions for fatigue crack propagation under cyclic loads.
Science and Monitoring Underpinning River Restoration: A Case Study
The ‘Welland for People and Wildlife’ project aimed to improve the River Welland’s ecology and water quality, and to make it more accessible to the community of Market Harborough. A joint monitoring project by the Welland Rivers Trust & University of Leicester was incorporated into the design. The techniques that have been used to measure its success are hydrological, geomorphological, and water quality monitoring, species and habitat surveys, and community engagement. Early results show improvements to flow and habitat diversity, water quality and biodiversity of the river environment. Barrier removal has increased stickleback mating activity, and decreased parasitically infected fish in sample catches. The habitats provided by the berms now boast over 25 native plant species, and the river is clearer, cleaner and with better-oxygenated water.
Corruption and Economic Performance in Nigeria: The Role of Forensic Accounting
This study investigates the role of forensic accounting in the fight against corruption in Nigeria for better utilization of public funds and economic growth and development of the Country. We adopted a trend analysis to show the performance of the Nigerian economy as well as the quality of institutions which government economic and political activities in the country. It is an established fact that Nigeria has performed badly since the 1960s to date in terms of institutional quality and economic development despite large amount of money obtained from the export of crude oil. It was revealed also that the fight against corruption has not been very successful in recent times because experts in the field of forensic accounting have not been utilized. With the successes recorded in dealing with fraud and embezzlement using forensic accounting, it has become imperative for the EFCC to use forensic accountants in the fight against corruption in the country. Also, there is the need to introduce very seriously, the teaching of forensic accounting in Nigerian Universities to train experts.
Batch-Oriented Setting Time`s Optimisation in an Aerodynamic Feeding System
The change of conditions for production companies in high-wage countries is characterized by the globalization of competition and the transition of a supplier´s to a buyer´s market. The companies need to face the challenges of reacting flexibly to these changes. Due to the significant and increasing degree of automation, assembly has become the most expensive production process. Regarding the reduction of production cost, assembly consequently offers a considerable rationalizing potential. Therefore, an aerodynamic feeding system has been developed at the Institute of Production Systems and Logistics (IFA), Leibniz Universitaet Hannover. In former research activities, this system has been enabled to adjust itself using genetic algorithm. The longer the genetic algorithm is executed the better is the feeding quality. In this paper, the relation between the system´s setting time and the feeding quality is observed and a function which enables the user to achieve the minimum of the total feeding time is presented.
Digital Transformation in Production Planning and Control: Evaluation of the Organizational Readiness
Cost pressure, competitiveness and the increasing turbulence of globalized saturated markets has been the driver for a variety of research activities in the field of production planning and control (PPC) during the past decades. For some time past an increasing awareness for innovative technologies in terms of Industry 4.0 can be noticed. Although there are many promising approaches a solely installation of those smart solutions will not maximize the PPC performance. To accelerate the successful digital transformation the cooperation between employee and technology also has to be adapted. The existing processes and organizational structures might be not sufficient to maximize the utilization of technological innovations. This paper presents the key results of an extensive study which was conducted by the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of the RWTH Aachen University to evaluate the current situation and examine the organizational readiness for this digital transformation.
A Design of Beam-Steerable Antenna Array for Use in Future Mobile Handsets
A design of beam-steerable antenna array for the future cellular communication (5G) is presented. The proposed design contains eight elements of compact end-fire antennas arranged on the top edge of smartphone printed circuit board (PCB). Configuration of the antenna element consists of the conductive patterns on the top and bottom copper foil layers and a substrate layer with a via-hole. The simulated results including input-impedance and also fundamental radiation properties have been presented and discussed. The impedance bandwidth (S11 ≤ -10 dB) of the antenna spans from 17.5 to 21 GHz (more than 3 GHz bandwidth) with a resonance at 19 GHz. The antenna exhibits end-fire (directional) radiation beams with wide-angle scanning property and could be used for the future 5G beam-forming. Furthermore, the characteristics of the array design in the vicinity of user-hand are studied.
Synthesis of Cationic Bleach Activator for Textile Industry
Exceedingly high temperatures are used (around 95 °C) to perform hydrogen peroxide bleaching of cotton fabrics in textile industry, which results in high energy consumption and also gives rise to significant fiber damage. Activated bleach systems have the potential to produce more efficient bleaching through increased oxidation rates with reducing energy cost, saving time and causing less fiber damage as compared to conventional hot peroxide bleaching. In this study, a cationic bleach activator was synthesized using caprolactam as a leaving group and triethylamine as a cationic group to establish an activated peroxide system for low temperature bleaching. Cationic bleach activator was characterized by FTIR, 1H NMR and mass spectrometry. The bleaching performance of the prototype cationic bleach activator was evaluated and optimizing the bleach recipe was performed.
Development of Industry Sector Specific Factory Standards
Due to shortening product and technology lifecycles, many companies use standardization approaches in product development and factory planning to reduce costs and time to market. Unlike large companies, where modular systems are already widely used, small and medium-sized companies often show a much lower degree of standardization due to lower scale effects and missing capacities for the development of these standards. To overcome these challenges, the development of industry sector specific standards in cooperations or by third parties is an interesting approach. This paper analyzes which branches that are mainly dominated by small or medium-sized companies might be especially interesting for the development of factory standards using the example of the German industry. For this, a key performance indicator based approach was developed that will be presented in detail with its specific results for the German industry structure.
Information Exchange Process Analysis between Authoring Design Tools and Lighting Simulation Tools
Successful buildings’ simulation and analysis inevitably require information exchange between multiple building information modeling (BIM) software. The BIM infor-mation exchange based on IFC is widely used. However, Industry Foundation Classifi-cation (IFC) files are not always reliable and information can get lost when using dif-ferent software for modeling and simulations. In this research, interviews with lighting simulation experts and a case study provided by a company producing lighting devices have been the research methods used to identify the necessary steps and data for suc-cessful information exchange between lighting simulation tools and authoring design tools. Model creation, information exchange, and model simulation have been identi-fied as key aspects for the success of information exchange. The paper concludes with recommendations for improved information exchange and more reliable simulations that take all the needed parameters into consideration.
Dual-Polarized Multi-Antenna System for Massive MIMO Cellular Communications
In this paper, a multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) antenna design with polarization and radiation pattern diversity is presented for future smartphones. The configuration of the design consists of four double-fed circular-ring antenna elements located at different edges of the printed circuit board (PCB) with an FR-4 substrate and overall dimension of 75×150 mm2. The antenna elements are fed by 50-Ohm microstrip-lines and provide polarization and radiation pattern diversity function due to the orthogonal placement of their feed lines. A good impedance bandwidth (S11 ≤ -10 dB) of 3.4-3.8 GHz has been obtained for the smartphone antenna array. However, for S11 ≤ -6 dB, this value is 3.25-3.95 GHz. More than 3 dB realized gain and 80% total efficiency are achieved for the single-element radiator. The presented design not only provides the required radiation coverage but also generates the polarization diversity characteristic.
Legal Basis for Water Resources Management in Brazil: Case Study of the Rio Grande Basin
The water crisis, a major problem of the 21st century, occurs mainly due to poor management. The central issue that should govern the management is the integration of the various aspects that interfere with the use of water resources and their protection, supported by legal basis. A watershed is a unit of water interacting with the physical, biotic, social, economic and cultural variables. The Brazilian law recognized river basin as the territorial management unit. Based on the diagnosis of the current situation of the water resources of the Rio Grande Basin, a discussion informed in the Brazilian legal basis was made to propose measures to fight or mitigate damages and environmental degradation in the Basin. To manage water resources more efficiently, conserve water and optimize their multiple uses, the integration of acquired scientific knowledge and management is essential. Moreover, it is necessary to monitor compliance with environmental legislation.
Price Setting and the Role of Accounting Information
Cost accounting information potentially plays an important role in price setting. According to prior research fixed and variable cost information often is a key influence on pricing decisions. The literature highlights the benefits of applying systematic costing systems for enhanced price setting processes. This paper explores how costing systems are used for pricing decisions in the tourism and hospitality industry relative to other sources of price setting information. Pricing based on full cost information was found to have relatively greater importance and short-term survival and customer oriented objectives were found to be the more important pricing objectives. This paper contributes to the literature by providing a recent analysis of accounting’s role in price setting within the tourism and hospitality industry.
The Influence of Online Marketing Tactics in Tourist Destination Reputation: Egypt as a Case Study
Online marketing has been the key focus of attention for the majority of destinations since the Internet became the primarily information tool for travel marketing. Tourism is a reputation-dependent industry; potential travelers who do not have previous experience with the destination face numerous risks during the process of decision-making. An accurate perception of the destination’s reputation helps to minimize risk against unsatisfying travel experiences. However, there has been limited investigation with regards to the reputation of tourist destination. Taking the importance of reputation to the tourism industry, this research aims to: 1) Develop a destination reputation model; 2) Assess the tourist destination approach towards online marketing tactics; 3) Evaluate the impact of differentiated online marketing tactics on reputation; and 4) Measure the potential for using online marketing tactics to manage the destination’s online reputation. This research follows an interpretivism epistemological research approach through using four research methods; interviews, questionnaire, content analysis, and experiment to achieve the research goals.
Environmental Degradation in Niger-Delta and Sustainable Development in Nigeria: Issues for Consideration
The issue of environmental degradation in Nigeria is of serious concern. The colonial period brought a major change in environmental awareness and relationship with the environment. This period introduced a model of development, the major thrust of which was the exploration and transformation of natural and human resources for the benefit of the colonial masters. There is abundant evidence in the literature that there are various manifestations of environmental degradation in Nigeria, which have resulted in the various problems found throughout the Nigeria national space. The idea of the environment acting as a constraint to the growth of human activity has given way to the contrary. Environmental education, going by the literature, exists at the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. In short, the 1st National conference on environmental education gave several suggestions on how it could be realised. Thus, to realise sustainable environmental development we need to accelerate the process of providing basic education for both the old and young. Environmental education should cover the whole federation, and resources should be made available for the training of environmental education teachers and research into environmental education for the development of appropriate learning resources.
Psychosocial Challenges of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Patients at St. Peter TB Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is defined as resistant to at least Refampicin and Isoniazed: the most two power full TB drugs. It is a leading cause of high rates of morbidity and mortality, and increasing psychosocial challenges to patients, especially when co-infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Ethiopia faces the highest rates of MDR-TB infection in the world. Objectives: The main objective of this study was to identify the psychosocial challenges of MDR-TB patients, to investigate the extent of the psychosocial challenges on (self-esteem, depression, and stigma) that MDR-TB patients encounter, to examine whether there is a sex difference in experiencing psychosocial challenges and assess the counseling needs of MDR-TB patients. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted at St. Peter TB Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa on 40 patients (25 males and 15 females) who are hospitalized for treatment. The patients were identified by using purposive sampling and made fill a questionnaire measuring their level of self-esteem, depression and stigma. Besides, data were collected from 16 participants, 28 care providers and 8 guardians, using semi-structured interview. The obtained data were analyzed using SPSS statistical program, descriptive statistics, independent t-test, and qualitative description. Results and Discussion: The results of the study showed that the majority (80%) of the respondents had suffered psychological challenges and social discriminations. Thus, the significance of MDR-TB and its association with HIV/AIDS problems is considered. Besides the psychosocial challenges, various aggravating factors such as length of treatment, drug burden and insecurity in economy together highly challenges the life of patients. In addition, 60% of participants showed low level of self-esteem. The patients also reported that they experienced high self-stigma and stigma by other members of the society. The majority of the participants (75%) showed moderate and severe level of depression. In terms of sex there is no difference between the mean scores of males and females in the level of depression and stigmatization by others and by themselves. But females showed lower level of self-esteem than males. The analysis of the t-test also shows that there were no statistically significant sex difference on the level of depression and stigma. Based on the qualitative data MDR-TB patients face various challenges in their life sphere such as: Psychological (depression, low self value, lowliness, anxiety), social (stigma, isolation from social relations, self-stigmatization,) and medical (drug side effect, drug toxicity, drug burden, treatment length, hospital stays). Recommendations: Based on the findings of this study possible recommendations were forwarded: develop and extend MDR-TB disease awareness creation through by media (printing and electronic), school net TB clubs, and door to door community education. Strengthen psychological wellbeing and social relationship of MDR-TB patients using proper and consistent psychosocial support and counseling. Responsible bodies like Ministry of Health (MOH) and its stakeholders and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) need to assess the challenges of patients and take measures on this pressing issue.
Experimental Set-Up for Investigation of Fault Diagnosis of a Centrifugal Pump
Centrifugal pumps are complex machines which can experience different types of fault. Condition monitoring can be used in centrifugal pump fault detection through vibration analysis for mechanical and hydraulic forces. Vibration analysis methods have the potential to be combined with artificial intelligence systems where an automatic diagnostic method can be approached. An automatic fault diagnosis approach could be a good option to minimize human error and to provide a precise machine fault classification. This work aims to introduce an approach to centrifugal pump fault diagnosis based on artificial intelligence and genetic algorithm systems. An overview of the future works, research methodology and proposed experimental setup is presented and discussed. The expected results and outcomes based on the experimental work are illustrated.
Laser Micro-Welding of an Isomorphous System with Different Geometries: An Investigation on the Mechanical Properties and Microstructure of the Joint
Due to the demand of miniaturizing in automotive industry, the application of laser welding is quite promising. The current study focused on laser micro-welding of CuSn6 bronze and nickel wire for a miniature electromechanical hybrid component. Due to the advantages of laser welding, the welding can be tailored specifically for the requirements of the part. Scanning electron and optical microscopy were implemented to study the microstructure and tensile-shear test was selected to represent the mechanical properties. Different welding sides, beam oscillations, and speeds have been investigated to optimize the tensile-shear load and microstructure. The results show that the mechanical properties and microstructure of the joint is highly under the influence of the mentioned parameters. Due to the lack of intermetallic compounds, the soundness of the joint is achievable by manipulating the geometry of the weld seam and minimize weld defects.
Corrosion Behavior of Induced Stress Duplex Stainless Steel in Chloride Environment
Use of Duplex stainless steel has become predominant in applications where excellent corrosion resistance is of utmost importance. Corrosion behavior of duplex stainless steel induced with varying stress in a chloride media were studied. Characterization of as received 2205 duplex stainless steels were carried out to reveal its structure and properties tensile sample produced from duplex stainless steel was initially subjected to tensile test to obtain the yield strength. Stresses obtained by various percentages (20, 40, 60 and 80%) of the yield strength was induced in DSS samples. Corrosion tests were carried out in magnesium chloride solution at room temperature. Morphologies of cracks observed with optical and scanning electron microscope showed that samples induced with higher stress had its austenite and ferrite grains affected by pitting.
Effect of Evaporator Temperature on the Performance of Water Desalination/Refrigeration Adsorption System Using AQSOA-ZO2
Many water desalination technologies have been developed but in general they are energy intensive and have high cost and adverse environmental impact. Recently, adsorption technology for water desalination has been investigated showing the potential of using low temperature waste heat (50-85oC) thus reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. This work mathematically compares the performance of an adsorption cycle that produces two useful effects namely, fresh water and cooling using two different adsorbents, silica-gel and an advanced zeolite material AQSOA-ZO2, produced by Mitsubishi plastics. It was found that at low chilled water temperatures, typically below 20oC, the AQSOA-Z02 is more efficient than silica-gel as the cycle can produce 5.8 m3 of fresh water per day and 50.1 Rton of cooling per tonne of AQSOA-ZO2. Above 20oC silica-gel is still better as the cycle production reaches 8.4 m3 per day and 62.4 Rton per tonne of silica-gel. These results show the potential of using the AQSOA-Z02 at low chilled water temperature for water desalination and cooling applications.
Zinc (II) Complexes of Nitrogen, Oxygen and Sulfur Coordination Modes: Synthesis, Spectral Studies and Antibacterial Activities
This study aimed at assessing the antibacterial activities of four zinc (II) complexes. Zinc (II) complexes of nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur coordination modes were synthesized using direct substitution reaction. The characterization techniques involved physicochemical properties (molar conductivity) and spectroscopic techniques. The molar conductivity gave the non-electrolytic nature of zinc (II) complexes. The spectral studies of zinc (II) complexes were done using electronic spectra (UV-Vis) and Fourier Transform Infra-red Spectroscopy (FT-IR). Spectral data from the spectroscopic studies confirmed the coordination of the mixed ligands with zinc (II) ion. The antibacterial activities of zinc(II) complexes of were all in supportive of Overtone’s concept and Tweedy’s theory of chelation for bacterial strains of S. aureus MRSA252 and E coli MC4100 because the zones of inhibition were greater than the corresponding ligands. In summary, all zinc (II) complexes of ZEPY, ZE1PH, ZE1PY and ZE135PY all have potentials for antibacterial activities.
A Syntactic Errors Analysis in the Malaysian ESL Learners' Written Composition
Syntax error analysis studies have a significant role in English language teaching especially in the second language. This study investigates the syntax errors in written composition by 50 multilingual ESL learners in Politeknik Kota Kinabalu Sabah, Malaysia. The subjects speak their own dialect, Malay as their second language and English as their third or foreign language. Data were collected from the written discourse in the form of descriptive essays. The subjects were asked to write in the classroom within 45 minutes. 15 categories of errors were classified into a set of syntactic categories and were analysed based on the five steps of the syntactic analysis procedure. The findings of the study showed that the mother tongue interference, as well as lack of vocabulary and grammar knowledge, were the major sources of syntax errors in the learners’ written composition. Learners should be exposed to the differentiation of Malay and English grammar to avoid interference and effective learning of second language writing.
2D Structured Non-Cyclic Fuzzy Graphs
Fuzzy graphs incorporate concepts from graph theory with fuzzy principles. In this paper, we make a study on the properties of fuzzy graphs which are non-cyclic and are of two-dimensional in structure. In particular, this paper presents 2D structure or the structure of double layer for a non-cyclic fuzzy graph whose underlying crisp graph is non-cyclic. In any graph structure, introducing 2D structure may lead to an inherent cycle. We propose relevant conditions for 2D structured non-cyclic fuzzy graphs. These conditions are extended even to fuzzy graphs of the 3D structure. General theoretical properties that are studied for any fuzzy graph are verified to 2D structured or double layered fuzzy graphs. Concepts like Order, Degree, Strong and Size for a fuzzy graph are studied for 2D structured or double layered non-cyclic fuzzy graphs. Using different types of fuzzy graphs, the proposed concepts relating to 2D structured fuzzy graphs are verified.
Hardware-in-the-Loop Test for Automatic Voltage Regulator of Synchronous Condenser
Automatic voltage regulator (AVR) plays an important
role in volt/var control of synchronous condenser (SC) in power
systems. Test AVR performance in steady-state and dynamic
conditions in real grid is expensive, low efficiency, and hard to
achieve. To address this issue, we implement hardware-in-the-loop
(HiL) test for the AVR of SC to test the steady-state and dynamic
performances of AVR in different operating conditions. Startup
procedure of the system and voltage set point changes are studied to
evaluate the AVR hardware response. Overexcitation, underexcitation,
and AVR set point loss are tested to compare the performance of
SC with the AVR hardware and that of simulation. The comparative
results demonstrate how AVR will work in a real system. The results
show HiL test is an effective approach for testing devices before
deployment and is able to parameterize the controller with lower
cost, higher efficiency, and more flexibility.
Probing Neuron Mechanics with a Micropipette Force Sensor
Advances in micromanipulation techniques and real-time particle tracking with nanometer resolution have enabled biological force measurements at scales relevant to neuron mechanics. An approach to precisely control and maneuver neurite-tethered polystyrene beads is presented. Analogous to an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), this multi-purpose platform is a force sensor with imaging acquisition and manipulation capabilities. A mechanical probe composed of a micropipette with its tip fixed to a functionalized bead is used to incite the formation of a neurite in a sample of rat hippocampal neurons while simultaneously measuring the tension in said neurite as the sample is pulled away from the beaded tip. With optical imaging methods, a force resolution of 12 pN is achieved. Moreover, the advantages of this technique over alternatives such as AFM, namely ease of manipulation which ultimately allows higher throughput investigation of the mechanical properties of neurons, is demonstrated.
Energy Benefits of Urban Platooning with Self-Driving Vehicles
The primary focus of this paper is the generation of
energy-optimal speed trajectories for heterogeneous electric vehicle
platoons in urban driving conditions. Optimal speed trajectories are
generated for individual vehicles and for an entire platoon under
the assumption that they can be executed without errors, as would
be the case for self-driving vehicles. It is then shown that the
optimization for the "average vehicle in the platoon" generates similar
transportation energy savings to optimizing speed trajectories for
each vehicle individually. The introduced approach only requires the
lead vehicle to run the optimization software while the remaining
vehicles are only required to have adaptive cruise control capability.
The achieved energy savings are typically between 30% and 50%
for stop-to-stop segments in cities. The prime motivation of urban
platooning comes from the fact that urban platoons efficiently utilize
the available space and the minimization of transportation energy in
cities is important for many reasons, i.e., for environmental, power,
and range considerations.
Induction of Hsp70 and Antioxidant Status in Porcine Granulosa Cells in Response to Deoxynivalenol and Zearalenone Exposure in vitro
The aim of this study was to determine the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), total antioxidant status (TAS) and accumulation of Hsp70 in porcine ovarian granulosa cells after deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEA) exposure in vitro. Porcine ovarian granulosa cells were incubated with DON/ZEA administrations as follows: group A (10/10 ng/mL), group B (100/100 ng/mL), group C (1000/1000 ng/mL), and the control group without any additions for 24h. In this study mycotoxins developed stress reaction of porcine ovarian granulosa cells and increased accumulation of Hsp70 what resulted in increasing activities of SOD and GPx in groups with lower doses of mycotoxins. High dose of DON and ZEA had opposite effect on GPx activity than the lower doses. Slight increase in TAS of porcine granulosa cells was observed after mycotoxins exposure. These results contribute towards the understanding of cellular stress and its response.
Dynamic Ad-hoc Topologies for Mobile Robot Navigation Based on Non-Uniform Grid Maps
To avoid obstacles in the surrounding environment and to navigate to a given target belong to the most important tasks for mobile robots. According to these tasks different data structures are suitable. To avoid near obstacles, occupancy grid maps are an ideal representation of the surroundings. For less fine grained tasks, such as navigating from one room to another in an apartment, pure grid maps are inappropriate. Grid maps are very detailed, calculating paths to navigate between rooms based on grid maps would take too long. Instead, graph-based data structures, so-called topologies, turn out to be a proper choice for such tasks. In this paper we present two methods to dynamically create topologies from grid maps. Both methods are based on non-uniform grid maps. The topologies are generated on-the-fly and can easily be modified to represent changes in the environment. This allows a hybrid approach to control mobile robots, where, depending on the situation and the current task, either the grid map or the generated topology may be used.
Effect of Salt Forms and Concentrations on the Alveograph and Extensigraph Parameters of Rye Flour
Several medical research found that the sodium is one of the main risk factor of high blood pressure and reason for different cardiovascular diseases, while sodium chloride is one of the most ancient food additives. As people consume much more sodium chloride as the recommended value several salt reduction programs started worldwide in the last years. The cereal products are the main source of sodium, and the bakery products are one of the main targets of these programs. In this paper we have evaluated the effects of different concentrations of sodium chloride on the alveo graphical and extensi graphical parameters of rye flours to determine whether it has the same strengthening effect on the dough texture as it was found in the case of wheat flours and these effects were compared to the effects of other salt forms. We found that while the strength of rye flours are similar to the ones of wheat flour, rye flours are much less extensible. The effects of salt concentrations are less significant on the rheological properties of rye flour than on the wheat flour and there is no significant difference between the effects of different salts.
Periodicity Analysis of Long-Term Waterquality Data Series of the Hungarian Section of the River Tisza Using Morlet Wavelet Spectrum Estimation
The River Tisza is the second largest river in Central Europe. In this study, Morlet wavelet spectrum (periodicity) analysis was used with chemical, biological and physical water quality data for the Hungarian section of the River Tisza. In the research 15, water quality parameters measured at 14 sampling sites in the River Tisza and 4 sampling sites in the main artificial changes were assessed for the time period 1993 - 2005. Results show that annual periodicity was not always to be found in the water quality parameters, at least at certain sampling sites. Periodicity was found to vary over space and time, but in general, an increase was observed in the company of higher trophic states of the river heading downstream.
The Study of Chitosan beads Adsorption Properties for the Removal of Heavy Metals
In this study, a predicted pH model was used to determine adsorption equilibrium properties of copper, lead, zinc and cadmium. Chitosan was prepared from the exoskeleton of Cape rock-lobsters, collected from the surroundings of Cape Town, South Africa. The beads were cross-linked with gluteraldehyde to restore its chemical stability in acid media. The chitosan beads were characterized; the beads water contents and pKa varied in the range of 90-96% and 4.3-6.0 respectively and the degree of crosslinking for the beads was 18%. A pH-model, which described the reversibility of the metal adsorbed onto the beads, was used to predict the equilibrium properties of copper, lead, zinc and cadmium adsorption onto the cross-linked beads. The model accounts for the effect of pH and the important model parameters; the equilibrium adsorption constant (Kads) and to a lesser extent the adsorbent adsorption capacity (qmax). The adsorption equilibrium constant for copper, lead, zinc and cadmium were found to be 2.58×10-3, 2.22×0-3, 9.55×0-3, and 4.79×0-3, respectively. The adsorbent maximum capacity was determined to be 4.2 mmol/g.
Mental Health Literacy in Ghana: Consequences of Religiosity, Education, and Stigmatization
Although research on the concept of Mental Health Literacy (MHL) is growing internationally, to the authors’ best of knowledge, the beliefs and knowledge of Ghanaians on specific mental disorders have not yet been explored. This vignette study was conducted to explore the relationships between religiosity, education, stigmatization, and MHL among Ghanaians using a sample of laypeople (N = 409). The adapted questionnaire presented two vignettes (depression and schizophrenia) about a hypothetical person. The results revealed that more participants were able to recognize depression (47.4%) than schizophrenia (15.9%). Religiosity was not significantly associated with recognition of mental disorders (MHL) but was positively related with both social and personal stigma for depression and negatively associated with personal and perceived stigma for schizophrenia. Moreover, education was found to relate positively with MHL and negatively with perceived stigma. Finally, perceived stigma was positively associated with MHL, whereas personal stigma for schizophrenia related negatively to MHL. In conclusion, education but not religiosity predicted identification accuracy, but both predictors were associated with various forms of stigma. Findings from this study have implications for MHL and anti-stigma campaigns in Ghana and other developing countries in the region.
Application of Additive Manufacturing for Production of Optimum Topologies
Optimal topology of components leads to the maximum stiffness with the minimum material use. For the generation of these topologies, normally algorithms are employed, which tackle manufacturing limitations, at the cost of the optimal result. The global optimum result with penalty factor one, however, cannot be fabricated with conventional methods. In this article, an additive manufacturing method is introduced, in order to enable the production of global topology optimization results. For a benchmark, topology optimization with higher and lower penalty factors are performed. Different algorithms are employed in order to interpret the results of topology optimization with lower factors in many microstructure layers. These layers are then joined to form the final geometry. The algorithms’ benefits are then compared experimentally and numerically for the best interpretation. The findings demonstrate that by implementation of the selected algorithm, the stiffness of the components produced with this method is higher than what could have been produced by conventional techniques.
Food Insecurity and Its Implication for Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria
Food security concentrates on the collective efforts of all nations to produce enough food to feed their people. Recently, though the emphasis shifted from food availability to accessibility constraints, which entails the difficulties undernourished people face in gaining access to food even when it is available. Broadly speaking, access to food depends on an individual’s access to resources, markets and food transfers. The opportunities to obtain food through these channels are entitlements, which when denied constitute food insecurity. Evidence shows that a significant percentage of Nigerians are undernourished with adverse implications for the fight against poverty. The greatest danger or consequence of food insecurity is malnutrition. Food insecurity as both an agent and consequence of poverty also increases the economic, political and social tensions in the country. The undernourished in Nigeria are marginalised in several ways to the extent that they are often ill; and because of illness, their work capacity is reduced with attendant reduction in their income. Without adequate income, they cannot save nor invest enough resources to take care of their basic needs. In this paper therefore, we used the political economy approach and statistical analysis to demonstrate that poverty alleviation in Nigeria would be a mirage if food security problems are not adequately resolved.
A Software Tool for Computer Forensic Investigation Using Client-Side Web History Visualization
Records of user activities which are valuable for forensic investigation purposes are provided by web browsers -these records in most cases are not in visual formats that are easily understood, thereby requiring some extra processes. This paper describes the implementation of a software tool for client-side web history visualization providing suitable forensic evidence for investigative purposes. Visual C#, Perl and gnuplot were deployed on Windows Operating System (OS) environment to implement the system and the resulting tool parses and transforms a web browser history into a visual format that enables an investigator to quickly and efficiently explore, understand, and interpret the user online activities in the context of a specific investigation. The system was tested using two forensic cases: the client-side web history files generated by Mozilla Firefox browser was extracted using MozillaHistoryView utility, then parsed and visualized using bar and stacked column charts. From the visual representation, results of user web activities across various productive and non-productive websites were obtained.
Technical Assessment of Utilizing Electrical Variable Transmission Systems in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
The Electrical Variable Transmission (EVT), an electromechanical device, can be considered as an alternative solution to the conventional transmission system utilized in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). This study present comparisons in terms of fuel consumption, power split, and state of charge (SoC) of an HEV containing an EVT to a conventional parallel topology and a series topology. To this end, corresponding simulations of these topologies are all performed in presence of control strategies enabling battery charge-sustaining and efficient power split. The power flow through the components of the vehicle are attained, and fuel consumption results of the considered cases are compared. The investigation of the results indicates utilizing EVT can provide significant added values in HEV configurations. The outcome of the current research paves its path for implementation of design optimization approaches on such systems in further research directions.
A Procedure for Post-Earthquake Damage Estimation Based on Detection of High-Frequency Transients
In the current research structural health
monitoring is considered for addressing the critical issue of
post-earthquake damage detection. A non-standard approach
for damage detection via acoustic emission is presented -
acoustic emissions are monitored in the low frequency range
(up to 120 Hz). Such emissions are termed high-frequency
transients. Further a damage indicator defined as the
Time-Ratio Damage Indicator is introduced. The indicator
relies on time-instance measurements of damage initiation and
deformation peaks. Based on the time-instance measurements
a procedure for estimation of the maximum drift ratio is
proposed. Monitoring data is used from a shaking-table test
of a full-scale reinforced concrete bridge pier. Damage of the
experimental column is successfully detected and the proposed
damage indicator is calculated.
Knowledge and Organisational Success: Developing a Scale of Knowledge Framework
The aim of this exploratory research is to further understand how organisations can evaluate their activities, which generate knowledge creation, to meet changing stakeholder expectations. A Scale of Knowledge (SoK) Framework is proposed which links knowledge management and organisational activities to changing stakeholder expectations. The framework was informed by the knowledge management literature, as well as empirical work conducted via a single case study of a multi-site hospital organisation in Saudi Arabia. Eight in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers from across the organisation regarding current and future stakeholder expectations, organisational strategy/activities and knowledge management. Data were analysed using thematic analysis and a hierarchical value map technique to identify activities that can produce further knowledge and consequently impact on how stakeholder expectations are met. The SoK Framework developed may be useful to practitioners as an analytical aid to determine if current organisational activities produce organisational knowledge which helps them meet (increasingly higher levels of) stakeholder expectations. The limitations of the research and avenues for future development of the proposed framework are discussed.
Digital Mapping as a Tool for Finding Cities' DNA
Transformation of urban environments can be compared to evolutionary processes. Systematic digital mapping of historical data can enable capturing some of these processes and their outcomes. For example, it may help reveal the structure of a city’s historical DNA. Gathering historical data for automatic processing may be giving a basis for cultural algorithms. Gothenburg City museum is trying to make city’s heritage information accessible through GIS-platforms and is now partnering with academic institutions to find appropriate methods to make accessible the knowledge on the city’s historical fabric. Hopefully, this will be carried out through a project called Digital Twin Cities. One part of this large project, concerning matters of Cultural Heritage, will be in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology. The aim is to create a layered map showing historical developments of the city and extracting quantitative data about its built heritage, above and below the earth. It will allow interpreting the information from historic maps through, for example, names of the streets/places, geography, structural changes in urban fabric and information gathered by archaeologists’ excavations. Through the study of these geographical, historical and local metamorphoses, urban environment will reveal its metaphorical DNA or its MEM (Dawkins).
Delicate Balance between Cardiac Stress and Protection: Role of Mitochondrial Proteins
Introduction: Normal functioning of mitochondria is crucial for cardiac performance. Mitochondria undergo mitophagy and biogenesis, and mitochondrial proteins are subject to extensive post-translational modifications. The state of mitochondrial homeostasis reflects overall cellular fitness and longevity. Perturbed mitochondria produce less ATP, release greater amounts of reactive molecules, and are more prone to apoptosis. Therefore mitochondrial turnover is an integral aspect of quality control in which dysfunctional mitochondria are selectively eliminated through mitophagy. Currently, the progressive deterioration of physiological functions is seen as accumulation of modified/damaged proteins with limiting regenerative ability and disturbance of such affected protein-protein communication throughout aging in myocardial cells. Methodologies: For our study was used immunohistochemistry, biochemical methods: spectrophotometry, western blotting, immunodetection as well as more sophisticated 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometry for evaluation protein-protein interactions and specific post-translational modification. Results and Discussion: Mitochondrial stress response to reactive species was evaluated as electron transport chain (ETC) complexes, redox-active molecules, and their possible communication. Protein-protein interactions revealed a strong linkage between age and ETC protein subunits. Redox state was strongly affected in senescent mitochondria with shift in favor of more pro-oxidizing condition within cardiomyocytes. Acute myocardial ischemia and ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury affected ETC complexes I, II and IV with no change in complex III. Ischemia induced decrease in total antioxidant capacity, MnSOD, GSH and catalase activity with recovery in some extent during reperfusion. While MnSOD protein content was higher in IR group, activity returned to 95% of control. Nitric oxide is one of the biological molecules that can out compete MnSOD for superoxide and produce peroxynitrite. This process is faster than dismutation and led to the 10-fold higher production of nitrotyrosine after IR injury in adult with higher protection in senescent ones. 2D protein profiling revealed 140 mitochondrial proteins, 12 of them with significant changes after IR injury and 36 individual nitrotyrosine-modified proteins further identified by mass spectrometry. Linking these two groups, 5 proteins were altered after IR as well as nitrated, but only one showed massive nitration per lowering content of protein after IR injury in adult. Conclusions: Senescent cells have greater proportion of protein content, which might be modulated by several post-translational modifications. If these protein modifications are connected to functional consequences and protein-protein interactions are revealed, link may lead to the solution. Assume all together, dysfunctional proteostasis can play a causative role and restoration of protein homeostasis machinery is protective against aging and possibly age-related disorders. This work was supported by the project VEGA 1/0018/18 and by project 'Competence Center for Research and Development in the field of Diagnostics and Therapy of Oncological diseases', ITMS: 26220220153, co-financed from EU sources.
Regulation and Transparency: The Case of Corporate Governance Disclosure on the Internet in the United Arab Emirates
Corporate governance is one of the most discussed and researched issues in recent times in countries around the world, with different countries developing and adopting different governance structures, models and mechanisms. While the Codes of corporate governance have been weaved into the regulatory fabrics of most countries, it is equally critically important that their mechanisms, procedures and practices be transparent, and be transparently communicated to all stakeholders. The Internet can be a very useful and cost-effective tool for the timely and voluntary communication of corporate governance matters to stakeholders. The current paper details the results of an investigation on the extent of which companies listed in the UAE are using the Internet for communicating corporate governance issues, matters and procedures. We surveyed the websites of companies listed on the two UAE Stock Exchanges – the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) – to find out their level and nature of usage of the Internet for corporate governance disclosures. Regulatory and policy implications of the results of our investigation, as well as other areas for further studies, are also presented in the paper.
A Functional Thermochemical Energy Storage System for Mobile Applications: Design and Performance Analysis
Thermochemical energy storage (TCES), as a long-term and lossless energy storage principle, provides a contribution for the reduction of greenhouse emissions of mobile applications, such as passenger vehicles with an internal combustion engine. A prototype of a TCES system, based on reversible sorption reactions of LiBr composite and methanol has been designed at Vienna University of Technology. In this paper, the selection of reactive and inert carrier materials as well as the design of heat exchangers (reactor vessel and evapo-condenser) was reviewed and the cycle stability under real operating conditions was investigated. The performance of the developed system strongly depends on the environmental temperatures, to which the reactor vessel and evapo-condenser are exposed during the phases of thermal conversion. For an integration of the system into mobile applications, the functionality of the designed prototype was proved in numerous conducted cycles whereby no adverse reactions were observed.
A Method for Compression of Short Unicode Strings
The use of short texts in communication has been greatly increasing in recent years. Applying different languages in short texts has led to compulsory use of Unicode strings. These strings need twice the space of common strings, hence, applying algorithms of compression for the purpose of accelerating transmission and reducing cost is worthwhile. Nevertheless, other compression methods like gzip, bzip2 or PAQ due to high overhead data size are not appropriate. The Huffman algorithm is one of the rare algorithms effective in reducing the size of short Unicode strings. In this paper, an algorithm is proposed for compression of very short Unicode strings. At first, every new character to be sent to a destination is inserted in the proposed mapping table. At the beginning, every character is new. In case the character is repeated for the same destination, it is not considered as a new character. Next, the new characters together with the mapping value of repeated characters are arranged through a specific technique and specially formatted to be transmitted. The results obtained from an assessment made on a set of short Persian and Arabic strings indicate that this proposed algorithm outperforms the Huffman algorithm in size reduction.
An Analysis of Conditions for Efficiency Gains in Large ICEs Using Cycling
This paper investigates the bounds of achievable fuel efficiency improvements in engines due to cycling between two operating points assuming a series hybrid configuration . It is shown that for linear bsfc dependencies (as a function of power), cycling is only beneficial if the average power needs are smaller than the power at the optimal bsfc value. Exact expressions for the fuel efficiency gains relative to the constant output power case are derived. This asymptotic analysis is then extended to the case where transient losses due to a change in the operating point are also considered. The case of the boundary bsfc trajectory where constant power application and cycling yield the same fuel consumption.is investigated. It is shown that the boundary bsfc locations of the second non-optimal operating points is hyperbolic. The analysis of the boundary case allows to evaluate whether for a particular engine, cycling can be beneficial. The introduced concepts are illustrated through a number of real world examples, i.e. large production Diesel engines in series hybrid configurations.
Ceramic Membrane Filtration Technologies for Oilfield Produced Water Treatment
“Produced water” (PW) is any fossil water that is brought to the surface along with crude oil or natural gas. By far, PW is the largest waste stream by volume associated with oil and gas production operations. Due to the increasing volume of waste all over the world in the current decade, the outcome and effect of discharging PW on the environment has lately become a significant issue of environmental concerns. Therefore, there is a need for new technologies for PW treatment due to increase focus on water conservation and environmental regulation.
The use of membrane processes for treatment of PW has several advantages over many of the traditional separation techniques. In oilfield produced water treatment with ceramic membranes, process efficiency is characterized by the specific permeate flux and by the oil separation performance. Apart from the membrane properties, the permeate flux during filtration of oily wastewaters is known to be strongly dependent on the constituents of the feed solution, as well as on process conditions, e.g. trans-membrane pressure (TMP) and cross-flow velocity (CFV). The research project presented in these report describes the application of different ceramic membrane filtration technologies for the efficient treatment of oil-field produced water and different model oily solutions.
Genesis of Entrepreneur Business Models in New Ventures
In this article, we endeavor to explore how a new business model comes into existence in the Australian cloud-computing eco-system. Findings from multiple case study methodology reveal that to develop a business model new ventures adopt a three-phase approach. In the first phase, labelled as business model ideation (BMID) various ideas for a viable business model are generated from both internal and external networks of the entrepreneurial team and the most viable one is chosen. Strategic consensus and commitment are generated in the second phase. This phase is a business modelling strategic action phase. We labelled this phase as business model strategic commitment (BMSC) because through commitment and the subsequent actions of executives resources are pooled, coordinated and allocated to the business model. Three complementary sets of resources shape the business model: managerial (MnRs), marketing (MRs) and technological resources (TRs). The third phase is the market-test phase where the business model is reified through the delivery of the intended value to customers and conversion of revenue into profit. We labelled this phase business model actualization (BMAC). Theoretical and managerial implications of these findings will be discussed and several directions for future research will be illuminated.
Dramatic US Television in the 21st Century: Articulating the Human through Expressions of Violence
United States dramatic television in the 21st century is inarguably violent. This violence can be as physical as the gruesome viscera spilled in AMC’s The Walking Dead; it can be as psychological as the suppressive dominance of Tony Soprano over his wife Carmella in HBO’s The Sopranos; and it can sit like shares on the stock market, where investment in violence sits as an economic choice, as with AMC’s Breaking Bad. Violence permeates these narratives, simultaneously threatening and defining the lives of their characters through its use in their relationships. What propels this exploration of humanity through violence is the use of language: the dictation of interaction in an economy in which characters negotiate successful acts of violence, or how they meet with the successful violence of others. Language is the defining force which separates and elucidates characters through conflict, as Slavoj Žižek writes, “it is because of language that we and our neighbours (can) “live in different worlds” even when we live on the same street.” This paper examines three different manifestations that violence takes in US television, specifically through the examples of The Walking Dead, The Sopranos, and Breaking Bad. Through the prism of Žižek’s conception of language as the uniquely human vehicle of violence, I aim to display how these shows sit as expressions of a neo-humanism, in which the complexities of language manipulate violence and define character in the process.
Costa and Mccrae's Neo-Pi Factor and Early Adolescents School Social Adjustment in Cross River State Nigeria
The study examined the influence of Costa and McCrae’s Neo-PI Factor and early adolescent’s school social adjustment in Cross River State, Nigeria. The research adopted the causal-comparative design also known as the ex-post facto with about one thousand and eighteen (1,018) students who were randomly selected from one stream of JSS 1 classes in 19 schools out of seventy-three (73) in the study area. Data were collected using two instruments one is the NEO-PI scale, and students school social adjustment questionnaire. Three research questions and three research hypotheses were postulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The analysis of data was carried out using both the independent t-test statistics and the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The analyzed result indicated that the five dimensions had a significant influence on students school social adjustment. A post hoc was equally carried out to show the relative significant difference among the study variables. In view of the above, it was recommended that teachers, parents and educational psychologists should be involved to enhance students the confidence to overcome their social adjustment problem.
Effects of Knowledge of Results on Specified Skill Acquisition among Fresh Cricket Players
This study was conducted to investigate the extent with which knowledge of results influences the performance of cricket players. A sample of 160 fresh students in the Department of Physical and Health Education who are novice in the game were randomly assigned into two groups. The first group of eighty (80) subjects was classified as experimental group while the second group of eighty (80) subjects was the control group. Subjects in both groups were asked to bowl and bat ten times each for a period of six weeks. After the first round, the subjects in the experimental group were allowed feedback on their performance in the first trial while those in the control group were denied feedback. Two null hypotheses generated for the study were tested using percentages and chi-square statistical analysis at 0.05 level of significance. Analysis of data showed that knowledge of results influenced the performance of cricket players. It was concluded that knowledge of results is pertinent for effective skill acquisition and could enhance better performance among unskilled cricket players. Hence, it is suggested that immediate feedback on the level of skill acquisition by the prospective and unskilled cricket players would inspire them for better performance in cricket tournaments.
Moral Obligation as a Governor to Skeptical Theism's Relativism
In response to evidential arguments from evil, Stephen Wykstra presents CORNEA (Condition of Reasonable Epistemic Access) as a foundational principle for Skeptical Theism which urges one to think in terms of what can be expected in a given situation. The use of CORNEA results in skepticism regarding the ability of human ken to know divine levels of knowledge in instances of intense evil. However, William Rowe presents a critique of Skeptical Theism that questions its ability to argue successfully for theism. Rowe contends that siding with Skeptical Theism is akin to boarding a trolley car that does not stop. Contra Wykstra, Rowe observes that, for all that can be known, there could be greater amounts of evils than goods, and the goods that are seen may not be the best possible goods. This amounts to a mortally challenging critique of Skeptical Theism. However, there is a brake on Rowe’s Trolley. This paper makes the argument that the ubiquitous presence of Moral Obligation (MO) serves as a braking system for Rowe’s Trolley. When the rider begins to feel lost in an epistemic stalemate of good and evil it is MO that turns the tide: MO serves as evidence towards the good on a basic human level, and it is a reminder that God’s character will result in actions towards the good.
Best Practices for Healthy Estuaries
The economy of coastline areas depends on the natural splendor of estuaries. When estuaries are improperly managed or polluted, long or short term damage to local economy or harm to local life forms can be caused. Estuaries are shelters for thousands of species such as birds, mammals, fish, crustaceans, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. The delicate balance of these life forms in estuaries requires careful planning for the benefit of all. The commercial value of estuaries is very important; recreational activities that people enjoy like boating, kayaking, windsurfing, swimming, bird-watching and fishing are marketable. Estuaries are national treasures with vital community and ecological resources. Years of estuarine environmental studies have produced extensive results that merit consideration. This study reviews research results from various sources and suggests best strategies for maintaining healthy estuaries in the current socioeconomic conditions. The main hypothesis is that many estuaries can be restored to their original healthy status in a cost effective manner with restoration or prevention plans suggested in published studies.
Analysis of Weather Variability Impact on Yields of Some Crops in Southwest, Nigeria
The study developed a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) database and mapped inter-annual changes in crop yields of cassava, cowpea, maize, rice, melon and yam as a response to inter-annual rainfall and temperature variability in Southwest, Nigeria. The aim of this project is to study the comparative analysis of the weather variability impact of six crops yield (Rice, melon, yam, cassava, Maize and cowpea) in South Western States of Nigeria (Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun and Lagos) from 1991 – 2007. The data was imported and analysed in the Arch GIS 9 – 3 software environment. The various parameters (temperature, rainfall, crop yields) were interpolated using the kriging method. The results generated through interpolation were clipped to the study area. Geographically weighted regression was chosen from the spatial statistics toolbox in Arch GIS 9.3 software to analyse and predict the relationship between temperature, rainfall and the different crops (Cowpea, maize, rice, melon, yam, and cassava).
Intercultural Communication in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language in Malawi
This paper discusses how the teaching of English as a foreign language in Malawi can enhance intercultural communication competence in a multicultural society. It argues that incorporation of intercultural communication in the teaching of English as a foreign language would improve cultural awareness in communication in the multicultural Malawi. The teaching of English in Malawi is geared towards producing students who would communicate in the global world. This entails the use of proper pedagogical approaches and instructional materials that prepare the students toward intercultural awareness. In view of this, the language teachers were interviewed in order to determine their instructional approaches to intercultural communication. Instructional materials were further evaluated to assess how interculturality is incorporated. The study found out that teachers face perceptual and technical challenges that hinder them from exercising creativity to incorporate interculturality in their lessons. This is also compounded by lack of clear direction in the teaching materials on cultural elements. The paper, therefore, suggests a holistic approach to the teaching of English language in Malawian school in which the diversity of culture in classrooms must be considered an opportunity for addressing students’ cultural needs that may be lacking in the instructional materials.
Target and Biomarker Identification Platform to Design New Drugs against Aging and Age-Related Diseases
We studied fundamental aspects of aging to develop a mathematical model of gene regulatory network. We show that aging manifests itself as an inherent instability of gene network leading to exponential accumulation of regulatory errors with age. To validate our approach we studied age-dependent omic data such as transcriptomes, metabolomes etc. of different model organisms and humans. We build a computational platform based on our model to identify the targets and biomarkers of aging to design new drugs against aging and age-related diseases. As biomarkers of aging, we choose the rate of aging and the biological age since they completely determine the state of the organism. Since rate of aging rapidly changes in response to an external stress, this kind of biomarker can be useful as a tool for quantitative efficacy assessment of drugs, their combinations, dose optimization, chronic toxicity estimate, personalized therapies selection, clinical endpoints achievement (within clinical research), and death risk assessments. According to our model, we propose a method for targets identification for further interventions against aging and age-related diseases. Being a biotech company, we offer a complete pipeline to develop an anti-aging drug-candidate.
High Temperature Oxidation Resistance of NiCrAl Bond Coat Produced by Spark Plasma Sintering as Thermal Barrier Coatings
Thermal barrier coating (TBC) system is used in both aero engines and other gas turbines to offer oxidation protection to superalloy substrate component. In the present work, it shows the ability of a new fabrication technique to develop rapidly new coating composition and microstructure. The compact powders were prepared by Powder Metallurgy method involving powder mixing and the bond coat was synthesized through the application of Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) at 10500C to produce a fully dense (97%) NiCrAl bulk samples. The influence of sintering temperature on the hardness of NiCrAl, done by Micro Vickers hardness tester, was investigated. And Oxidation test was carried out at 1100oC for 20h, 40h, and 100h. The resulting coat was characterized with optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x-ray analysis (EDAX) and x-ray diffraction (XRD). Micro XRD analysis after the oxidation test revealed the formation of protective oxides and non-protective oxides.
A Possible Determinant of Musical Preference in Big Five Personality Traits
The increasing availability of music facilitated by new technology and open sourcing has eliminated many traditional limiting factors in musical taste, creating a culture of choice. This study tested 191 international subjects, mostly young adults more decisively shaped by emerging technologies like Facebook, the platform for the study. Using an aggregated Big Five personality test, subjects were asked to self-report on questions related to extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. Subsequently, subjects listened to five pairs of musical works reflecting opposite extremes of one of five musical qualities: tempo (fast/slow), complexity (simple/complex), degree of dissonance (tonal/atonal), familiarity (familiar/unfamiliar), and extra-musical significance (significant/not significant). Subjects were then asked to record listening times and preferences among the selections. Strikingly, this study shows a relatively high positive correlation between agreeableness and musical preferences (predicting preferences for simple, familiar, and fast music), as compared to extraversion, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. Thus, this research suggests that the not yet well-understood relationship between personality traits and musical qualities merits further study.
Combined Optical Coherence Microscopy and Spectrally Resolved Multiphoton Microscopy
A multimodal imaging system, combining spectrally resolved multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and optical coherence microscopy (OCM) is demonstrated. MPM and OCM are commonly integrated into multimodal imaging platforms to combine functional and morphological information. The MPM signals, such as two-photon fluorescence emission (TPFE) and signals created by second harmonic generation (SHG) are biomarkers which exhibit information on functional biological features such as the ratio of pyridine nucleotide (NAD(P)H) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) in the classification of cancerous tissue. While the spectrally resolved imaging allows for the study of biomarkers, using a spectrometer as a detector limits the imaging speed of the system significantly. To overcome those limitations, an OCM setup was added to the system, which allows for fast acquisition of structural information. Thus, after rapid imaging of larger specimens, navigation within the sample is possible. Subsequently, distinct features can be selected for further investigation using MPM. Additionally, by probing a different contrast, complementary information is obtained, and different biomarkers can be investigated. OCM images of tissue and cell samples are obtained, and distinctive features are evaluated using MPM to illustrate the benefits of the system.
Computational Model for Predicting Effective siRNA Sequences Using Whole Stacking Energy (ΔG) for Gene Silencing
The small interfering RNA (siRNA) alters the regulatory role of mRNA during gene expression by translational inhibition. Recent studies shows that up regulation of mRNA cause serious diseases like Cancer. So designing effective siRNA with good knockdown effects play an important role in gene silencing. Various siRNA design tools had been developed earlier. In this work, we are trying to analyze the existing good scoring second generation siRNA predicting tools and to optimize the efficiency of siRNA prediction by designing a computational model using Artificial Neural Network and whole stacking energy (ΔG), which may help in gene silencing and drug design in cancer therapy. Our model is trained and tested against a large data set of siRNA sequences. Validation of our results is done by finding correlation coefficient of experimental versus observed inhibition efficacy of siRNA. We achieved a correlation coefficient of 0.727 in our previous computational model and we could improve the correlation coefficient up to 0.753 when the threshold of whole tacking energy is greater than or equal to -32.5 kcal/mol.
Manual to Automated Testing: An Effort-Based Approach for Determining the Priority of Software Test Automation
Test automation allows performing difficult and time consuming manual software testing tasks efficiently, quickly and repeatedly. However, development and maintenance of automated tests is expensive, so it needs a proper prioritization what to automate first. This paper describes a simple yet efficient approach for such prioritization of test cases based on the effort needed for both manual execution and software test automation. The suggested approach is very flexible because it allows working with a variety of assessment methods, and adding or removing new candidates at any time. The theoretical ideas presented in this article have been successfully applied in real world situations in several software companies by the authors and their colleagues including testing of real estate websites, cryptographic and authentication solutions, OSGi-based middleware framework that has been applied in various systems for smart homes, connected cars, production plants, sensors, home appliances, car head units and engine control units (ECU), vending machines, medical devices, industry equipment and other devices that either contain or are connected to an embedded service gateway.
Control of Pipeline Gas Quality to Extend Gas Turbine Life
Natural gas due to its cleaner combustion characteristics is expected to be the most widely used fuel in the move towards less polluting and renewable energy sources. Thus, the developed world is supplied by a complex network of gas pipelines and natural gas is becoming a major source of fuel. Natural gas delivered directly from the well will differ in composition from gas derived from LNG or produced by anaerobic digestion processes. Each will also have specific contaminants and properties although gas from all sources is likely to enter the distribution system and be blended to provide the desired characteristics such as Higher Heating Value and Wobbe No. The absence of a standard gas composition poses problems when the gas is used as a chemical feedstock, in specialised furnaces or on gas turbines. The chemical industry has suffered in the past as a result of variable gas composition. Transition metal catalysts used in ammonia, methanol and hydrogen plants were easily poisoned by sulphur, chlorides and mercury reducing both activity and catalyst expected lives from years to months. These plants now concentrate on purification and conditioning of the natural gas feed using fixed bed technologies, allowing them to run for several years and having transformed their operations. Similar technologies can be applied to the power industry reducing maintenance requirements and extending the operating life of gas turbines.
Nilsson Model Performance in Estimating Bed Load Sediment, Case Study: Tale Zang Station
The variety of bed sediment load relationships, insufficient information and data, and the influence of river conditions make the selection of an optimum relationship for a given river extremely difficult. Hence, in order to select the best formulae, the bed load equations should be evaluated. The affecting factors need to be scrutinized, and equations should be verified. Also, re-evaluation may be needed. In this research, sediment bed load of Dez Dam at Tal-e Zang Station has been studied. After reviewing the available references, the most common formulae were selected that included Meir-Peter and Muller, using MS Excel to compute and evaluate data. Then, 52 series of already measured data at the station were re-measured, and the sediment bed load was determined. 1. The calculated bed load obtained by different equations showed a great difference with that of measured data. 2. r difference ratio from 0.5 to 2.00 was 0% for all equations except for Nilsson and Shields equations while it was 61.5 and 59.6% for Nilsson and Shields equations, respectively. 3. By reviewing results and discarding probably erroneous measured data measurements (by human or machine), one may use Nilsson Equation due to its r value higher than 1 as an effective equation for estimating bed load at Tal-e Zang Station in order to predict activities that depend upon bed sediment load estimate to be determined. Also, since only few studies have been conducted so far, these results may be of assistance to the operators and consulting companies.
Characteristics of Football Spectators Using Second Screen
The parallel usage of different media channels has increased recently owing to technological advances. Second Screen describes the use of a second device by television viewers to consume further content which is related to the program they are watching. This study analysed the characteristics of football spectators regarding their media consumption in relation to Second Screen usage while watching a football match on TV. The existing literature on Second Screen usage is still very limited, especially in the context of particular broadcasting settings such as sport or even more specific such as football matches. Therefore, the primary research objective was to reveal first insights into the user behaviour of football spectators regarding Second Screen services. The survey, which was conducted among German football supporters in 2015, revealed some characteristics such as the identification and involvement into the sports which are related to an increased use of Second Screen services. One important finding for football supporters was that at the time of a match they have a lower parallel media usage compared to other TV broadcastings. Nevertheless, if supporters used a second device while watching a match on TV, then they were using specific Second Screen services. This means they searched for more content related information. The findings on the habits and characteristics of people who are using Second Screen services are relevant for future developments in that area as well as for marketing decisions.
Early Stage Hydration of Wollastonite: Kinetic Aspects of the Metal-Proton Exchange Reaction
In this paper we bring up new aspects of the metal proton exchange reaction (MPER, also called early stage hydration): (1) its dependence of the number of protons consumed by the preferential exchanged cations on the pH value applied at the water/wollastonite interface and (2) strong anisotropic characteristics detected in atomic force microscopy (AFM) and low energy ion scattering spectroscopy measurements (LEIS). First we apply density functional theory (DFT) calculations to compare the kinetics of the reaction on different wollastonite surfaces, and combine it with ab initio thermodynamics to set up a model describing (1) the release of Ca in exchange with H coming from the water/wollastonite interface, (2) the dependence of the MPER on the chemical potential of protons. In the second part of the paper we carried out in-situ AFM and inductive coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) measurements in order to evaluate the predicted values. While a good agreement is found in the basic and neutral regime (pH values from 14-4), an increasing mismatch appears in the acidic regime (pH value lower 4). This is finally explained by non-equilibrium etching, dominating over the MPER in the very acidic regime.
In vitro Effects of Viscum album on the Functionality of Rabbit Spermatozoa
This study aimed to assess the in vitro effects of different concentrations of the Viscum album extract on the motility, viability, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by rabbit spermatozoa during different time periods (0, 2, and 8h). Spermatozoa motility was assessed by using the CASA (Computer aided sperm analysis) system. Cell viability was evaluated by using the metabolic activity MTT assay, and the luminol-based luminometry was applied to quantify the ROS formation. The CASA analysis revealed that low Viscum concentrations were able to prevent a rapid decline of spermatozoa motility, especially in the case of concentrations ranging between 1 and 5 µg/mL (P<0.05 with respect to time 8h). At the same time, concentrations ranging between 1 and 100 µg/mL of the extract led to a significant preservation of the cell viability (P<0.05 in case of 5, 50 and 100 µg/mL; P<0.01 with respect to 1 and 10 µg/mL, time 8h). 1 and 5 µg/mL of the extract exhibited antioxidant characteristics, translated into a significant reduction of the ROS production, particularly notable at time 8h (P<0.01). The results indicate that the Viscum extract is capable of delaying the damage inflicted to the spermatozoon by the in vitro environment.
Parameters Adjustment of the Modified UBCSand Constitutive Model for the Potentially Liquefiable Sands of Santiago de Cali-Colombia
Santiago de Cali is located in the southwestern Colombia in a high seismic hazard zone. About 50% of the city is on the banks of the Cauca River, which is the second most important hydric affluent in the country and whose alluvial deposits contain potentially liquefiable sands. Among the methods used to study a site's liquefaction potential is the finite elements method which use constitutive models to simulate the soil response for different load types. Among the different constitutive models, the Modified UBCSand stands out to study the seismic behavior of sands, and especially the liquefaction phenomenon. In this paper, the dynamic behavior of a potentially liquefiable sand of Santiago de Cali is studied by cyclic triaxial and CPTu tests. Subsequently, the behavior of the sand is simulated using the Modified UBCSand constitutive model, whose parameters are calibrated using the results of cyclic triaxial and CPTu tests. The above with the aim of analyze the constitutive model applicability for studying the geotechnical problems associated to liquefaction in the city.
Simultaneous Improvement of Wear Performance and Toughness of Ledeburitic Tool Steels by Sub-Zero Treatment
The strength, hardness, and toughness (ductility) are in strong conflict for the metallic materials. The only possibility how to make their simultaneous improvement is to provide the microstructural refinement, by cold deformation, and subsequent recrystallization. However, application of this kind of treatment is impossible for high-carbon high-alloyed ledeburitic tool steels. Alternatively, it has been demonstrated over the last few years that sub-zero treatment induces some microstructural changes in these materials, which might favourably influence their complex of mechanical properties. Commercially available PM ledeburitic steel Vanadis 6 has been used for the current investigations. The paper demonstrates that sub-zero treatment induces clear refinement of the martensite, reduces the amount of retained austenite, enhances the population density of fine carbides, and makes alterations in microstructural development that take place during tempering. As a consequence, the steel manifests improved wear resistance at higher toughness and fracture toughness. Based on the obtained results, the key question "can the wear performance be improved by sub-zero treatment simultaneously with toughness" can be answered by "definitely yes".
Plackett-Burman Design to Evaluate the Influence of Operating Parameters on Anaerobic Orthophosphate Release from Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Sludge
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of a total of 6 operating parameters including pH (X1), temperature (X2), stirring speed (X3), chemical oxygen demand (COD) (X4), volatile suspended solids (VSS) (X5) and time (X6) on anaerobic orthophosphate release from enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) sludge. An 8-run Plackett Burman design was applied and the statistical analysis of the experimental data was performed using Minitab16.2.4 software package. The Analysis of variance (ANOVA) results revealed that temperature, COD, VSS and time had a significant effect with p-values of less than 0.05 whereas pH and stirring speed were identified as non-significant parameters, but influenced orthophosphate release from the EBPR sludge. The mathematic expression obtained by the first-order multiple linear regression model between orthophosphate release from the EBPR sludge (Y) and the operating parameters (X1-X6) was Y=18.59+1.16X1-3.11X2-0.81X3+3.79X4+9.89X5+4.01X6. The model p-value and coefficient of determination (R2) value were 0.026 and of 99.87%, respectively, which indicates the model is significant and the predicted values of orthophosphate release from the EBPR sludge have been excellently correlated with the observed values.
In vitro Effects of Berberine on the Vitality and Oxidative Profile of Bovine Spermatozoa
The aim of this study was to evaluate the dose- and time-dependent in vitro effects of berberine (BER), a natural alkaloid with numerous biological properties on bovine spermatozoa during three time periods (0 h, 2 h, 24 h). Bovine semen samples were diluted and cultivated in physiological saline solution containing 0.5% DMSO together with 200, 100, 50, 10, 5, and 1 μmol/L BER. Spermatozoa motility was assessed using the computer assisted semen analyzer. The viability of spermatozoa was assessed by the metabolic (MTT) assay, production of superoxide radicals was quantified using the nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) test, and chemiluminescence was used to evaluate the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cell lysates were prepared and the extent of lipid peroxidation (LPO) was evaluated using the TBARS assay. The results of the movement activity showed a significant increase in the motility during long term cultivation in case of concentrations ranging between 1 and 10 μmol/L BER (P < 0.01; P < 0.001; 24 h). At the same time, supplementation of 1, 5 and 10 μmol/L BER led to a significant preservation of the cell viability (P < 0.001; 24 h). BER addition at a range of 1-50 μmol/L also provided a significantly higher protection against superoxide (P < 0.05) and ROS (P < 0.001; P < 0.01) overgeneration as well as LPO (P < 0.01; P<0.05) after a 24 h cultivation. We may suggest that supplementation of BER to bovine spermatozoa, particularly at concentrations ranging between 1 and 50 μmol/L, may offer protection to the motility, viability and oxidative status of the spermatozoa, particularly notable at 24 h.
Beyond Recognition: Beliefs, Attitudes, and Help-Seeking for Depression and Schizophrenia in Ghana
Background: There is a paucity of mental health research in Ghana. Little is known about the beliefs and attitudes regarding specific mental disorders in Ghana. Method: A vignette study was conducted to examine the relationship between causal attributions, help-seeking, and stigma towards depression and schizophrenia using lay Ghanaians (N = 410). This adapted questionnaire presented two unlabelled vignettes about a hypothetical person with the above disorders for participants to provide their impressions. Next, participants answered questions on beliefs and attitudes regarding this person. Results: The results showed that causal beliefs about mental disorders were related to treatment options and stigma: spiritual causal attributions associated positively with spiritual help-seeking and perceived stigma for the mental disorders, whilst biological and psychosocial causal attribution of the mental disorders was positively related with professional help-seeking. Finally, contrary to previous literature, belonging to a particular religious group did not negatively associate with professional help-seeking for mental disorders. Conclusion: In conclusion, results suggest that Ghanaians may benefit from exposure to corrective information about depression and schizophrenia. Our findings have implications for mental health literacy and anti-stigma campaigns in Ghana and other developing countries in the region.
Reproductive Health of Women After Taking Chemotherapy for Gestational Trophoblastic Disease
Aim/Background: To show that even after undergoing 1-5 courses of chemotherapy for Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) reproductive health of women is intact and they conceive successfully after it. Method: Retrospective cohort analysis using data from the Lugansk regional maternity hospital database of years 1993-2013, which shows n=18 females had GTD and underwent 1-5 courses of chemotherapy. Results and Discussion: Frequency of GTD was rare. All 18 patients (pts) belong to age group of 17-39 years, covering wide range of reproductive age. Out of 18 pts, 15 had hydatidiform mole (HM) while other 3 had choriocarcinoma (CC). In anamnesis, among CC pts, 1 had early pre-eclampsia at 24 weeks and 1 had 4th week of late postpartum (PP) bleeding, while all HM pts had genital inflammatory diseases, 1 pt of HM during follow-up had High hCG and 3 times curettage in 5 months. 18 women became pregnant for 25 times after chemotherapy. Chemotherapy was given under indication of either high level of HCG, luteal cyst >6cm or path-morphological results of curettage. CC 3 pts had (2 spontaneous abortions (SA), 2 term cesarean section (CS), 1 preterm CS). HM 15 pts had (3 artificial abortion, 2 SA, 7CS (5 term and 2 preterm), 8 vaginal deliveries (7 term and 1 preterm)). Conclusion: During our research we got 22.2% preterm deliveries and 55.6% CS which is higher than the normal cases, but still all the 18 women were able to have kids successfully after chemotherapy. So we can conclude that chemotherapy for GTD was successful in keeping the reproductive health of women intact.
From Script to Film: The Fading Voice of the Screenwriter
On January 15th 2015, Peter Bart, editor in chief of Variety Magazine, published an article in the aforementioned magazine posing the following question “Are screenwriters becoming obsolete in Hollywood?” Is Hollywood loosing its interest in well plotted, well written scripts crafted by professionals? That screenwriters have been undervalued, forgotten and left behind since the begging of film, is a well-known fact, but ate they now at the brink of extinction? If fiction films are about people, stories, so, simply put, all about the script, what does it mean to say that the screenwriter is becoming obsolete? What will be the consequences of the possible death of the screenwriter for the cinema world? All of these questions lead us to an ultimate one: What is the true importance of a screenwriter? What can a screenwriter do that a director, for instance, can’t? How should a script be written and read in order not to become obsolete? And what about those countries, like Portugal, for example, in which the figure of the screenwriter is yet to be heard and known? How can screenwriters find their voice in a world driven by the tyrannical voice of the Director? In a demanding cinema world where the Director is considered the author of a film, it’s important to know where we can find the voice of the screenwriter, the true language of the screenplay and the importance this voice and specific language might have for the future of story telling and of film. In a paper that admittedly poses more questions than answers, I will try to unveil the importance a screenplay might have in Hollywood, in Portugal and in the cinema and communication world in general.
Genetic Structure of Four Bovine Populations in the Philippines Using Microsatellites
This study evaluated polymorphism of 11 microsatellite markers in four local genetic groups of cattle. Batanes cattle which has never been studied using microsatellites is evaluated for its genetic distance from the Ilocos cattle while Brahman and Holstein-Sahiwal are also included as there were insemination programs by the government using these two breeds. PCR products that were genotyped for each marker were analyzed using POPGENEv32. Results showed that 55% (Fst=0.5501) of the genetic variation is due to the differences between populations while the remaining 45% is due to individual variation. The Fst value also indicates that there were very great differences from population to population using the range proposed by Sewall and Wright. The constructed phylogenetic tree based on Nei’s genetic distance using the modified neighboor joining procedure of PHYLIPv3.5 showed the admixture of Brahman and Holstein-Sahiwal having them grouped in the same clade. Batanes and Ilocos cattle were grouped in a different cluster showing that they have descended from a single parental population. This would presumably address the claim that Batanes and Ilocos cattle are genetically distant from other groups and still exist despite the artificial insemination program of the government using Brahman and other imported breeds. The knowledge about the genetic structure of this population supports the development of conservation programs for the smallholder farmers.
Analysis of Airborne Data Using Range Migration Algorithm for the Spotlight Mode of Synthetic Aperture Radar
This paper brings out the analysis of the airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data using the Range Migration Algorithm (RMA) for the spotlight mode of operation. Unlike in polar format algorithm (PFA), space-variant defocusing and geometric distortion effects are mitigated in RMA since it does not assume that the illuminating wave-fronts are planar. This facilitates the use of RMA for imaging scenarios involving severe differential range curvatures enabling the imaging of larger scenes at fine resolution and at shorter ranges with low center frequencies. The RMA algorithm for the spotlight mode of SAR is analyzed in this paper using the airborne data. Pre-processing operations viz: - range de-skew and motion compensation to a line are performed on the raw data before being fed to the RMA component. Various stages of the RMA viz:- 2D Matched Filtering, Along Track Fourier Transform and Slot Interpolation are analyzed to find the performance limits and the dependence of the imaging geometry on the resolution of the final image. The ability of RMA to compensate for severe differential range curvatures in the two-dimensional spatial frequency domain are also illustrated in this paper.
Multivariate Output-Associative RVM for Multi-Dimensional Affect Predictions
The current trends in affect recognition research are to consider continuous observations from spontaneous natural interactions in people using multiple feature modalities, and to represent affect in terms of continuous dimensions, incorporate spatio-temporal correlation among affect dimensions, and provide fast affect predictions. These research efforts have been propelled by a growing effort to develop affect recognition system that can be implemented to enable seamless real-time human-computer interaction in a wide variety of applications. Motivated by these desired attributes of an affect recognition system, in this work a multi-dimensional affect prediction approach is proposed by integrating multivariate Relevance Vector Machine (MVRVM) with a recently developed Output-associative Relevance Vector Machine (OARVM) approach. The resulting approach can provide fast continuous affect predictions by jointly modeling the multiple affect dimensions and their correlations. Experiments on the RECOLA database show that the proposed approach performs competitively with the OARVM while providing faster predictions during testing.
Everyday Solitude, Affective Experiences, and Well-Being in Old Age: The Role of Culture versus Immigration
Being alone is often equated with loneliness. Yet, recent findings suggest that the objective state of being alone (i.e., solitude) can have both positive and negative connotations. The present research aimed to examine (1) affective experience in daily solitude; and (2) the association between everyday affect in solitude and well-being. We examined the distinct roles of culture and immigration in moderating these associations. Using up to 35 daily life assessments of momentary affect, solitude, and emotional well-being in two samples (Vancouver, Canada, and China), the study compared older adults who aged in place (local Caucasians in Vancouver Canada and local Hong Kong Chinese in Hong Kong, China) and older adults of different cultural heritages who immigrated to Canada (immigrated Caucasians and immigrated East Asians). We found that older adults of East Asian heritage experienced more positive and less negative affect when alone than did Caucasians. Reporting positive affect in solitude was more positively associated with well-being in older adults who had immigrated to Canada as compared to those who had aged in place. These findings speak to the unique effects of culture and immigration on the affective correlates of solitude and their associations with well-being in old age.
Synthesis of Rare-Earth Pyrazolate Compounds
Since coordination behavior of pyrazoles and pyrazolate ions are widely versatile towards a great range of metals such as d-block, f-block as well as main group elements; they attract interest as ligands for preparing compounds. A variety of rare-earth pyrazolate complexes have been synthesized by redox transmetalation/protolysis (RTP) previously, therefore, a variety of rare-earth pyrazolate complexes using two pyrazoles, 3,5-dimethylpyrazole (Me₂pzH) and 3,5-di-tert -butylpyrazolate (t-Bu₂pzH), in which the structures span the whole La-Lu array beside Sc and Y has been synthesized by RTP reaction. There have been further developments in this study: Synthesizing structure of [Tb(Me₂pz)₃(thf)]₂ which is isomorphous with those of the previously reported [Dy(Me₂pz)₃(thf)]₂ and [Lu(Me₂pz)₃(thf)]₂ analogous that has two µ-1(N):2(Nʹ)-Me2pz ligands (the most common pyrazolate ligation for non-rare-earth complexes). Previously most of the reported compounds using t-Bu2pzH were monomeric compounds however the lanthanum derivative [La(Me₂pz)₃thf₂] ,which has been reported previously without crystal structure, has now been structurally characterized, along with cerium and lutetium analogue. Also a polymeric structure with samarium has now been synthesized which the neodymium analogue has been reported previously and comparing these polymeric structures can support the idea that the geometry of Sm(tBu₂pz)₃ affect the coordination of the solvent. Also, by using 1,2-dimethoxyethane (DME) instead of tetrahydrofuran (THF) new [Er(tBu₂pz)₃ (dme)₂] has now been reported.
Effects of Increased Green Surface on a Densely Built Urban Fabric: The Case of Budapest
Urban greenery has multiple positive effects both on the city and its residents. Apart from the visual advantages, it changes the micro-climate by cooling and shading, also increasing vapor and oxygen, reducing dust and carbon-dioxide content at the same time. The above are all critical factors of livability of an urban fabric. Unfortunately, in a dense, historical district there are restricted possibilities to build green surfaces. The present study collects and systemizes the applicable green solutions in the case of a historical downtown district of Budapest. The study contains a GIS-based measurement of the eligible surfaces for greenery, and also calculates the potential of oxygen production, carbon-dioxide reduction and cooling effect of an increased green surface. It can be concluded that increasing the green surface has measurable effects on a densely built urban fabric, including air quality, micro-climate and other environmental factors.
Internet of Things Edge Device Power Modelling and Optimization Simulator
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are Internet of Things (IoT) edge devices. They are becoming widely adopted in many industries, including health care, building energy management, and conditional monitoring. As the scale of WSN deployments increases, the cost and complexity of battery replacement and disposal become more significant and in time may become a barrier to adoption. Harvesting ambient energies provide a pathway to reducing dependence on batteries and in the future may lead to autonomously powered sensors. This work describes a simulation tool that enables the user to predict the battery life of a wireless sensor that utilizes energy harvesting to supplement the battery power. To create this simulator, all aspects of a typical WSN edge device were modelled including, sensors, transceiver, and microcontroller as well as the energy source components (batteries, solar cells, thermoelectric generators (TEG), supercapacitors and DC/DC converters). The tool allows the user to plug and play different pre characterized devices as well as add user-defined devices. The goal of this simulation tool is to predict the lifetime of a device and scope for extension using ambient energy sources.
Thermomagnetic Convection of a Ferrofluid in a Non-Uniform Magnetic Field Induced a Current Carrying Wire
Thermomagnetic convection of a ferrofluid flow induced by the non-uniform magnetic field around a current-carrying wire was theoretically analyzed and experimentally tested. To show this phenomenon, the temperature rise of a hot wire, immersed in DIW and Ferrofluid, as a result of joule heating has been measured using a transient hot-wire technique. When current is applied to the wire, a temperature gradient is imposed on the magnetic fluid resulting in non-uniform magnetic susceptibility of the ferrofluid that results in a non-uniform magnetic body force which makes the ferrofluid flow as a bulk suspension. For the case of the wire immersed in DIW, free convection is the only means of cooling, while for the case of ferrofluid a combination of both free convection and thermomagnetic convection is expected to enhance the heat transfer from the wire beyond that of DIW. Experimental results at different temperatures and for a range of constant currents applied to the wire show that thermomagnetic convection becomes effective for the currents higher than 1.5A at all temperatures. It is observed that the onset of thermomagnetic convection is directly proportional to the current applied to the wire and that the thermomagnetic convection happens much faster than the free convection. Calculations show that a 35% enhancement in heat transfer can be expected for the ferrofluid compared to DIW, for a 3A current applied to the wire.
In vitro Effects of Amygdalin on the Functional Competence of Rabbit Spermatozoa
The present in vitro study was designed to reveal whether amygdalin (AMG) is able to cause changes to the motility, viability and mitochondrial activity of rabbit spermatozoa. New Zealand White rabbits (n = 10) aged four months were used in the study. Semen samples were collected from each animal and used for the in vitro incubation. The samples were divided into five equal parts and diluted with saline supplemented with 0, 0.5, 1, 2.5 and 5 mg/mL AMG. At times 0h, 3h and 5h spermatozoa motion parameters were assessed using the SpermVision™ computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) system, cell viability was examined with the metabolic activity (MTT) assay, and the eosin-nigrosin staining technique was used to evaluate the viability of rabbit spermatozoa. All AMG concentrations exhibited stimulating effects on the spermatozoa activity, as shown by a significant preservation of the motility (P<0.05 with respect to 0.5 mg/mL and 1 mg/mL AMG; Time 5 h) and mitochondrial activity (P< 0.05 in case of 0.5 mg/mL AMG; P< 0.01 in case of 1 mg/mL AMG; P < 0.001 with respect to 2.5 mg/mL and 5 mg/mL AMG; Time 5 h). None of the AMG doses supplemented had any significant impact of the spermatozoa viability. In conclusion, the data revealed that short-term co-incubation of spermatozoa with AMG may result in a higher preservation of the sperm structural integrity and functional activity.
An Empirical Analysis of the Freight Forwarders’ Buying Behaviour: Implications for the Ocean Container Carriers
The objective of this study is to explore the buying behavior of the freight forwarders and to evaluate how their buying decision affects the ocean container carriers’ market share. This study analysed the buying decisions of the freight forwarders and validated the process of stages that the freight forwarders’ pass through before choosing an ocean container carrier. Factor analysis was applied to data collected from 105 freight forwarding companies to unveil the influential factors the freight forwarders’ consider important when selecting an ocean container carrier. This study did not only analysed the buying behaviour of the freight forwarders but also unveiled the influential factors affecting the competitiveness of the ocean container carriers in their market share maximisation. Furthermore, the study have made a methodological contribution that helps in better understanding of the critical factors influencing the selection of the ocean container carriers from the freight forwarders’ perspective. The implications of the freight forwarders’ buying behaviour is important to the ocean container carriers because it have severe effect on the market share of the ocean container carriers and the percentage of customers they control within the liner shipping sector. The findings of this study will help the ocean container carriers to formulate relevant marketing strategies in attracting the freight forwarders in purchasing the liner shipping service.
Medical Image Watermark and Tamper Detection Using Constant Correlation Spread Spectrum Watermarking
Data hiding can be achieved by Steganography or invisible digital watermarking. For digital watermarking, both accurate retrieval of the embedded watermark and the integrity of the cover image are important. Medical image security in Teleradiology is one of the applications where the embedded patient record needs to be extracted with accuracy as well as the medical image integrity verified. In this research paper, the Constant Correlation Spread Spectrum digital watermarking for medical image tamper detection and accurate embedded watermark retrieval is introduced. In the proposed method, a watermark bit from a patient record is spread in a medical image sub-block such that the correlation of all watermarked sub-blocks with a spreading code, W, would have a constant value, p. The constant correlation p, spreading code, W and the size of the sub-blocks constitute the secret key. Tamper detection is achieved by flagging any sub-block whose correlation value deviates by more than a small value, ℇ, from p. The major features of our new scheme include: (1) Improving watermark detection accuracy for high-pixel depth medical images by reducing the Bit Error Rate (BER) to Zero and (2) block-level tamper detection in a single computational process with simultaneous watermark detection, thereby increasing utility with the same computational cost.
An Attempt to Get Communication Design Students to Reflect: A Content Analysis of Students’ Learning Journals
Essentially, the intention of reflective journal is meant for students to develop higher-order thinking skills and to provide a 'space' to make their learning experience and thinking, making and feeling visible, i.e., it provides students an opportunity to evaluate their learning critically by focusing on the rationale behind their thinking, making and feeling. In addition, reflective journal also gets the students to focus on how could things be done differently—the possibility, alternative point of views, and opportunities for change. It is hoped that by getting communication design students to reflect at various intervals, they could move away from mere working on the design project and pay more attention to what they thought they have learned in relation to the development of their design ability. Unfortunately, a closer examination—through content analysis—of the learning journals submitted by a group of design students revealed that most of the reflections were descriptive and tended to be a summary of what occurred in the learning experience. While many students were able to describe what they did, very few were able to explain how they were able to do something critically. It can be concluded that to get design students to reflect is a fairly easy task, but to get them to reflect critically could be very challenging. To ensure that design students could benefit from the use of reflective journal as a tool to develop their critical thinking skills, a more systematic and structured approach to the introduction of critical thinking and reflective journal should be built into the design curriculum to provide as much practice and sufficient feedback as other studio subjects.
Original and the Translated: A Comparative Evaluation of Native and Non-Native English Translations of Faiz
The present study is an attempt to compare the translations of Faiz’s poetry made by native and non-native translators, to determine the role of the translator in terms of preserving the cultural ethos of the original text. Peter Newmark and Katharine Reiss’s approaches to translation criticism have been used to provide a theoretical framework for the study. This study also emphasizes those cultural and semantic aspects of the original which are translated more convincingly by a native translator, and contrasting those features which the non-natives can tackle more ably. The research also highlights the linguistic sockets, ignored by the interpreters in the translation process. The analysis showed that both native and non-native translators have made an admirable effort to stay as close to the original as possible. The natives with their advantage of belonging to the same culture have excelled in preserving the original subject matter, whereas the non-native renderings have been presented in a much rhythmic and poetic manner with an excellent choice of words. Though none of the four translators has been successfully able to recreate Faiz’s magic, however V. G. Kiernan and Sarvat Rahman’s translations can be regarded as the closest to the original. Whereas V. G. Kiernan with his outstanding command over English mesmerizes the readers, Sarvat Rahman’s profound understanding of cultural ties helps establish her translations as a brilliant example of faithful re-renderings.
Formex Algebra Adaptation into Parametric Design Tools: Dome Structures
The aim of this paper is to present the adaptation of the dome construction tool for formex algebra to the parametric design software Grasshopper. Formex algebra is a mathematical system, primarily used for planning structural systems such like truss-grid domes and vaults, together with the programming language Formian. The goal of the research is to allow architects to plan truss-grid structures easily with parametric design tools based on the versatile formex algebra mathematical system. To produce regular structures, coordinate system transformations are used and the dome structures are defined in spherical coordinate system. Owing to the abilities of the parametric design software, it is possible to apply further modifications on the structures and gain special forms. The paper covers the basic dome types, and also additional dome-based structures using special coordinate-system solutions based on spherical coordinate systems. It also contains additional structural possibilities like making double layer grids in all geometry forms. The adaptation of formex algebra and the parametric workflow of Grasshopper together give the possibility of quick and easy design and optimization of special truss-grid domes.
Ground Response Analyses in Budapest Based on Site Investigations and Laboratory Measurements
Near-surface loose sediments and local ground conditions in general have a major influence on seismic response of structures. It is a difficult task to model ground behavior in seismic soil-structure-foundation interaction problems, fully account for them in seismic design of structures, or even properly consider them in seismic hazard assessment. In this study, we focused on applying seismic soil investigation methods, used for determining soil stiffness and damping properties, to response analysis used in seismic design. A site in Budapest, Hungary was investigated using Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves, Seismic Cone Penetration Tests, Bender Elements, Resonant Column and Torsional Shear tests. Our aim was to compare the results of the different test methods and use the resulting soil properties for 1D ground response analysis. Often in practice, there are little-to no data available on dynamic soil properties and estimated parameters are used for design. Therefore, a comparison is made between results based on estimated parameters and those based on detailed investigations. Ground response results are also compared to Eurocode 8 design spectra.
A Flexible Bayesian State-Space Modelling for Population Dynamics of Wildlife and Livestock Populations
We aim to model dynamics of wildlife or pastoral livestock population for understanding of their population change and hence for wildlife conservation and promoting human welfare. The study is motivated by an age-sex structured population counts in different regions of Serengeti-Mara during the period 1989-2003. Developing reliable and realistic models for population dynamics of large herbivore population can be a very complex and challenging exercise. However, the Bayesian statistical domain offers some flexible computational methods that enable the development and efficient implementation of complex population dynamics models. In this work, we have used a novel Bayesian state-space model to analyse the dynamics of topi and hartebeest populations in the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem of East Africa. The state-space model involves survival probabilities of the animals which further depend on various factors like monthly rainfall, size of habitat, etc. that cause recent declines in numbers of the herbivore populations and potentially threaten their future population viability in the ecosystem. Our study shows that seasonal rainfall is the most important factors shaping the population size of animals and indicates the age-class which most severely affected by any change in weather conditions.
Analysing Responses of Intermediate and Expert Karate Athletes towards the Gyaku-Zuki Using Virtual Reality
Karate-kumite is a fast sport where a good perception and anticipation of movements is needed in order to respond appropriately. Perception and anticipation are therefore essential for an efficient and precise movement control and a limiting factor in karate kumite. Previous studies only used 2D video technologies combined with the occlusion technique to study anticipation in sports. These studies showed limitations in the usage of 2D video footage in regards to realism and the presentation of depth information. To overcome these issues a virtual 3D environment was developed to create a similar to real life environment. The aim of this study was to compare the differences in responses of intermediate and expert karate athletes towards temporally and spatially occluded virtual karate attacks from two attackers. Five male expert and five intermediate karate athletes responded physically to nine (3 temporal combined with 3 spatial) occluded attacks of the Gyaku-Zuki of each attacker in the 3D virtual environment. The responses were evaluated in regards to correct point of time and appropriate response technique. Significant differences between the expertises’ responses for the attackers were found. Experts respond more often correct to early information of attacks than novices.
Analytical and Numerical Investigation of Friction-Restricted Growth and Buckling of Elastic Fibers
The quasi-static growth of elastic fibers is studied in the presence of distributed contact with an immobile surface, subject to isotropic dry or viscous friction. Unlike classical problems of elastic stability modelled by autonomous dynamical systems with multiple time scales (slowly varying bifurcation parameter, and fast system dynamics), this problem can only be formulated as a non-autonomous system without time scale separation. It is found that the fibers initially converge to a trivial, straight configuration, which is later replaced by divergence reminiscent of buckling phenomena. In order to capture the loss of stability, a new definition of exponential stability against infinitesimal perturbations for systems defined over finite time intervals is developed. A semi-analytical method for the determination of the critical length based on eigenvalue analysis is proposed. The post-critical behavior of the fibers is studied numerically by using variational methods. The emerging post-critical shapes and the asymptotic behavior as length goes to infinity are identified for simple spatial distributions of growth. Comparison with physical experiments indicates reasonable accuracy of the theoretical model. Some applications from modeling plant root growth to the design of soft manipulators in robotics are briefly discussed.
Ethnolinguistic Identity and Language Policies: Negotiating Identity and Diversity in Modern Linguistic Environment in Malawi
The question of language and identity in the post-colonial Africa has resulted in the policy inconsistencies and perceived wayward practices regarding language use. The need to reside and situate oneself in the global village has alienated local identities, with most countries, Malawi in particular promoting exogenous colonial language(s) at the expense of local languages that mirror people’s identities. This has brought a mismatch between language policy and implementation. The resultant effect has been alienation of the ‘Self’ from one’s indigenous identity and creation of the ‘other’ in the foreign identity, and the undermining of the linguistic rights of the minority language speakers. The need to negotiate the identity and modernity in the global village is thus imperative. The paper attempts to review the language situation in Malawi in light of the growing desire for international integration vis-à-vis the cultivation and maintenance of national ethnolinguistic identity. It further highlights the dilemma that the promotion of vernacular languages is facing in the modern Malawi. It also examines the Malawi language policy and its implementation. The failures, challenges, and inconsistencies are discussed in order to negotiate the position of minority languages in the modern Malawi. The paper notes that identity construction and maintenance within the framework of language policy in Malawi is undermined by attitudinal factors towards one’s culture and language. The paper then provides suggestions of negotiating identity in Malawi within the framework of globalisation through the placement of premiums on the minority languages.
Effects of Initial Moisture Content on the Physical and Mechanical Properties of Norway Spruce Briquettes
The moisture content of densified biomass is a limiting parameter influencing the quality of this solid biofuel. It influences its calorific value, density, mechanical strength and dimensional stability as well as affecting its production process. This paper deals with experimental research into the effect of moisture content of the densified material on the final quality of biofuel in the form of logs (briquettes or pellets). Experiments based on the single-axis densification of the spruce sawdust were carried out with a hydraulic piston press (piston and die), where the densified logs were produced at room temperature. The effect of moisture content on the qualitative properties of the logs, including density, change of moisture, expansion and physical changes, and compressive and impact resistance were studied. The results show the moisture ranges required for producing good-quality logs. The experiments were evaluated and the moisture content of the tested material was optimized to achieve the optimum value for the best quality of the solid biofuel. The dense logs also have high-energy content per unit volume. The research results could be used to develop and optimize industrial technologies and machinery for biomass densification to achieve high quality solid biofuel.
Characterization of Emissions from the open burning of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) under Tropical Environment
The deliberate fires initiated by dump managers and human scavengers to reduce the volume of waste and recovery of valuable metals/materials are common at municipal solid waste (MSW) disposal sites in developed country. A large amount of toxic gases released due to this act is responsible for the deterioration of regional and local air quality, which causes visibility impairment and acute respiratory diseases. The present study was aimed at the characterization of MSW and emission characteristics of burning of MSW in the laboratory. MSW samples were collected directly from the one of the open dumpsite located in Chennai city. Solid waste sampling and laboratory analysis were carried out according to American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. Results indicated the values of moisture content, volatile solids (VS) and calorific values of solid waste samples were 16.67%,8%,9.17MJ/kg, respectively. The elemental composition showed that the municipal solid waste contains 25.84% of carbon, 3.69% of hydrogen, 1.57% of nitrogen and 0.26% of sulphur. The calorific value of MSW was found to be 9.17 MJ/Kg which is sufficient to facilitate self-combustion of waste. The characterization of emissions from the burning of 1 kg of MSW in the test chamber showed a total of 90 mg/kg of PM10 and 243 mg/kg of PM2.5. The current research study results will be useful for municipal authorities to formulate guideline and policy structure regarding the MSW management to reduce the impact of air emissions at an open dump site.
Simulation of Mid Infrared Supercontinuum Generation in Silicon Germanium Photonic Waveguides for Gas Spectroscopy
Pulse evolutions along the 5 cm long, 6.0 ×4.2 μm² cross-section silicon germanium (SiGe) photonic waveguides were simulated and compared with experiments. Simulations were carried out by solving a generalized nonlinear Schrodinger equation (GNLSE) for an optical pulse evolution along the length of the SiGe photonic waveguides by the split-step Fourier method (SSFM). The solution obtained from the SSFM gave the pulse envelope in both time and spectral domain calculated at each distance step along the propagation direction. The SiGe photonic waveguides were pumped in an anomalous group velocity dispersion (GVD) regime using a 4.7 μm, 210 fs femtosecond laser to produce a significant supercontinuum (SC). The simulated propagation of ultrafast pulse along the SiGe photonic waveguides produced an SC covering the atmospheric window (2.5-8.5 μm) containing the molecular fingerprints for important gases. Thus, the mid-infrared supercontinuum generation in SiGe photonic waveguides system can be commercialized for gas spectroscopy for detecting gases that include CO₂, CH₄, H₂O, SO₂, SO₃, NO₂, H₂S, CO, and NO at trace level using absorption spectroscopy technique. The simulated profile evolutions are spectrally and temporally similar to those obtained by other researchers. Obtained evolution profiles are characterized by pulse compression, Soliton fission, dispersive wave generation, stimulated Raman Scattering, and Four Wave mixing.
Negotiating Increased Food Production with African Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge: The Ugandan Case
Scientific agricultural knowledge was introduced in Africa, including Uganda, during colonial rule. While this form of knowledge was introduced as part of Western scientific canon, African indigenous knowledge was not destroyed and has remained vital in food production. Modern scientific methods were devoted to export crops while food crop production was left to Africans who continued to use indigenous knowledge. Today, indigenous agricultural knowledge still provides farming skills and practices, more than a century since modern scientific agricultural knowledge was introduced in Uganda. It is evident that there is need to promote the still useful and more accessible indigenous agricultural practices in order to sustain increased food production. It is also important to have a tailor made agricultural knowledge system that combines practical indigenous practices with financially viable western scientific agricultural practices for sustained food production. The proposed paper will explain why the African indigenous agricultural knowledge has persisted and survived for over a century after colonial introduction of western scientific agricultural knowledge. The paper draws on research findings for a PhD study at Makerere University, Uganda. The study uses both written and oral sources, including colonial and postcolonial archival documents, and interviews. It critiques the parameters within which Western farming methods were introduced to African farmers.
Attitudinal Change: A Major Therapy for Non–Technical Losses in the Nigerian Power Sector
This study investigates and identifies consumer attitude as a major influence that results in non-technical losses in the Nigerian electricity supply sector. This discovery is revealed by the combination of quantitative and qualitative research to complete a survey. The dataset employed is a simple random sampling of households using electricity (public power supply), and the number of units chosen is based on statistical power analysis. The units were subdivided into two categories (household with and without electrical meters). The hypothesis formulated was tested and analyzed using a chi-square statistical method. The results obtained shows that the critical value for the household with electrical prepared meter (EPM) was (9.488 < 427.4) and those without electrical prepared meter (EPMn) was (9.488 < 436.1) with a p-value of 0.01%. The analysis demonstrated so far established the real-time position, which shows that the wrong attitude towards handling the electricity supplied (not turning off light bulbs and electrical appliances when not in use within the rooms and outdoors within 12 hours of the day) characterized the non-technical losses in the power sector. Therefore the adoption of efficient lighting attitudes in individual households as recommended by the researcher is greatly encouraged. The results from this study should serve as a model for energy efficiency and use for the improvement of electricity consumption as well as a stable economy.
Characteristics of Business Models of Industrial-Internet-of-Things Platforms
The number of Internet-of-Things (IoT) platforms is steadily increasing across various industries, especially for smart factories, smart homes and smart mobility. Also in the manufacturing industry, the number of Industrial-IoT platforms is growing. Both IT players, start-ups and increasingly also established industry players and small-and-medium-enterprises introduce offerings for the connection of industrial equipment on platforms, enabled by advanced information and communication technology. Beside the offered functionalities, the established ecosystem of partners around a platform is one of the key differentiators to generate a competitive advantage. The key question is how platform operators design the business model around their platform to attract a high number of customers and partners to co-create value for the entire ecosystem. The present research tries to answer this question by determining the key characteristics of business models of successful platforms in the manufacturing industry. To achieve that, the authors selected an explorative qualitative research approach and created an inductive comparative case study. The authors generated valuable descriptive insights of the business model elements (e.g., value proposition, pricing model or partnering model) of various established platforms. Furthermore, patterns across the various cases were identified to derive propositions for the successful design of business models of platforms in the manufacturing industry.
Diversity for Safety and Security of Autonomous Vehicles against Accidental and Deliberate Faults
Safety and security of autonomous vehicles (AVs) is a growing concern, first, due to the increased number of safety-critical functions taken over by automotive embedded systems; second, due to the increased exposure of the software-intensive systems to potential attackers; third, due to dynamic interaction in an uncertain and unknown environment at runtime which results in changed functional and non-functional properties of the system. Frequently occurring environmental uncertainties, random component failures, and compromise security of the AVs might result in hazardous events, sometimes even in an accident, if left undetected. Beyond these technical issues, we argue that the safety and security of AVs against accidental and deliberate faults are poorly understood and rarely implemented. One possible way to overcome this is through a well-known diversity approach. As an effective approach to increase safety and security, diversity has been widely used in the aviation, railway, and aerospace industries. Thus, the paper proposes fault-tolerance by diversity model takes into consideration the mitigation of accidental and deliberate faults by application of structure and variant redundancy. The model can be used to design the AVs with various types of diversity in hardware and software-based multi-version system. The paper evaluates the presented approach by employing an example from adaptive cruise control, followed by discussing the case study with initial findings.
Influence of Densification Process and Material Properties on Final Briquettes Quality from FastGrowing Willows
Biomass treatment through densification is very suitable and important technology before its effective energy recovery. Densification process of biomass is significantly influenced by various technological and also material parameters which are ultimately reflected on the final solid Biofuels quality. The paper deals with the experimental research of the relationship between technological and material parameters during densification of fast-growing trees, roundly fast-rowing willow. The main goal of presented experimental research is to determine the relationship between pressing pressure raw material fraction size from a final briquettes density point of view. Experimental research was realized by single-axis densification. The impact of fraction size with interaction of pressing pressure and stabilization time on the quality properties of briquettes was determined. These parameters interaction affects the final solid biofuels (briquettes) quality. From briquettes production point of view and also from densification machines constructions point of view is very important to know about mutual interaction of these parameters on final briquettes quality. The experimental findings presented here are showing the importance of mentioned parameters during the densification process.
Transforming Art: A Cross-Cultural Study of Visual Art and Literature in Rainer Maria Rilke
The evolution of visual art can be traced back from “pre-historic” humans, from the age of Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Metal Age. Mesopotamians and the Egyptians were the pioneers of art, in the first period of history. But the field of art first flourished in the west during the Renaissance. Since then, art represents a continuous yet varied tradition till present day. Until the early 19th century art focused chiefly on representational, religious and classical motifs, but gradually art became more abstract and conceptual approaches gained popularity. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) was one of the leading poets cum art critic of European modernism. This paper addresses the relationship between Rilke's poetry and visual art, which involves an intimate transference of aesthetic means and definitions of form in the creative process of writing. Rilke’s connection with Auguste Rodin made him learn that a person who can “see” things could realize the beauty of a “thing” and could subsequently write. To “see” the “thing” or “object” rather than representing emotion was considered as more important by Rodin and that was the way he cracked the old aesthetic mould. Rilke himself agreed that his correspondence with the artists made him acquainted nothing but a new way of seeing. Rilke admitted to the constant reference to the Bible, the books of the Danish poet Jens Peter Jacobsen and Auguste Rodin, who all had given him the experience of the essence of creativity, its depths and eternity. Rilke’s association with philosophers such as Nietzhche and artists, starting from Worpweders and Rodin to Cezanne’s paintings, made him almost an apprentice in visual art.
Effect of Temperature on Pervaporation Performance of Ag-Poly Vinyl Alcohol Nanocomposite Membranes
Bio-ethanol is considered of higher potential as a green renewable energy source owing to its environmental benefits and its high efficiency. In the present study, silver nanoparticles were in-situ generated in a poly (vinyl alcohol) in order to improve its potentials for pervaporation of ethanol-water mixture using solution-casting. Effect of silver content on the pervaporation separation index and the enrichment factor of the membrane at 15 percentage mass water at 40ᵒC was reported. Pervaporation data for nanocomposite membranes showed around 100% increase in the water permeance values while the intrinsic selectivity decreased. The water permeances of origin crosslinked PVA membrane, and the 2.5% silver loaded PVA membrane are 26.65 and 70.45 (g/m².kPa.h) respectively. The values of total flux and water flux are closed to each other, indicating that membranes could be effectively used to break the azeotropic point of ethanol-water. Effect of temperature on the pervaporation performance, permeation parameter and diffusion coefficient of both water and ethanol was discussed. The negative heat of sorption ∆Hs values calculated on the basis of the estimated Arrhenius activation energy values indicating that the sorption process was controlled by Langmuir’s mode. The overall results showed that the membrane containing 0.5 mass percentage of Ag salt exhibited excellent PV performance.
Key Factors for Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainable Development
The aim of this study is to determine key factors and processes for multinationals (MNCs) to develop an effective stakeholder engagement and sustainable development framework. A qualitative multiple-case approach was used. A triangulation method was adopted (interviews, archival documents and observations) to collect data on three global firms (MNCs). 9 senior executives were interviewed for this study (3 from each firm). An initial literature review was conducted to explore possible practices and factors (the deductive approach) to sustainable development. Interview data were analysed using Nvivo to obtain appropriate nodes and themes for the framework. A comparison of findings from interview data and themes, factors developed from the literature review and cross cases comparison were used to develop the final conceptual framework (the inductive approach). The results suggested that stakeholder engagement is a key mediator between ‘stakeholder network’ (internal and external factors) and outcomes (corporate social responsibility, social capital, shared value and sustainable development). Key internal factors such as human capital/talent, technology, culture, leadership and processes such as collaboration, knowledge sharing and co-creation of value with stakeholders were identified. These internal factors and processes must be integrated and aligned with external factors such as social, political, cultural, environment and NGOs to achieve effective stakeholder engagement.
An Assessment of Adverse Events Following Immunization Reporting Pattern of Selected Vaccines in VigiAccess
Introduction: Reporting of Adverse Events Following Immunization continues to be a challenge. Pharmacovigilance centers throughout the world are mandated by the WHO to submit AEFI reports from various countries to a large pool of adverse drug reaction electronic database called Vigibase. Despite the relevant information of AEFI in Vigibase, it is unavailable to the general public. However, the WHO has an alternative website called VigiAccess which is an open access website serving as a repository of reported adverse drug reactions and AEFIs. The aim of the study was to ascertain the reporting pattern of a number of commonly used vaccines in VigiAccess. Methods: VigiAccess was thoroughly searched on the 5th of February 2018 for AEFI reports of measles vaccine, oral polio vaccine (OPV), yellow fever vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine, rotavirus vaccine, meningococcal vaccine, tetanus vaccine and tuberculosis (BCG) vaccine. These were reports from all pharmacovigilance centers in the world from the time they joined the WHO drug monitoring program. Results: After a thorough search in VigiAccess, there were 9,062 measles vaccine AEFIs, 185,829 OPV AEFIs, 24,577 yellow fever vaccine AEFIs, 317,208 pneumococcal vaccine AEFIs, 73,513 rotavirus vaccine AEFIs, 145,447 meningococcal vaccine AEFIs, 22,781 tetanus vaccine AEFIs and 35,556 BCG vaccine AEFIs. Conclusion: The study revealed that out of the eight vaccines studied, pneumococcal vaccines are associated with the highest number of AEFIs whilst measles vaccines were associated with the least AEFIs.
Defining a Reference Architecture for Predictive Maintenance Systems: A Case Study Using the Microsoft Azure IoT-Cloud Components
Current preventive maintenance measures are cost intensive and not efficient. With the available sensor data of state of the art internet of things devices new possibilities of automated data processing emerge. Current advances in data science and in machine learning enable new, so called predictive maintenance technologies, which empower data scientists to forecast possible system failures. The goal of this approach is to cut expenses in preventive maintenance by automating the detection of possible failures and to improve efficiency and quality of maintenance measures. Additionally, a centralization of the sensor data monitoring can be achieved by using this approach. This paper describes the approach of three students to define a reference architecture for a predictive maintenance solution in the internet of things domain with a connected smartphone app for service technicians. The reference architecture is validated by a case study. The case study is implemented with current Microsoft Azure cloud technologies. The results of the case study show that the reference architecture is valid and can be used to achieve a system for predictive maintenance execution with the cloud components of Microsoft Azure. The used concepts are technology platform agnostic and can be reused in many different cloud platforms. The reference architecture is valid and can be used in many use cases, like gas station maintenance, elevator maintenance and many more.
Effect of Serum Electrolytes on a QTc Interval and Mortality in Patients admitted to Coronary Care Unit
Background: Serum electrolyte abnormalities are a common cause of an acquired prolonged QT syndrome, especially, in the coronary care unit (CCU) setting. Optimal electrolyte ranges among the CCU patients have not been sufficiently investigated. Methods: We identified 8,498 consecutive CCU patients who were admitted to the CCU at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, the USA, from 2004 through 2013. Association between first serum electrolytes and baseline corrected QT intervals (QTc), as well as in-hospital mortality, was tested using multivariate linear regression and logistic regression, respectively. Serum potassium 4.0- < 4.5 mEq/L, ionized calcium (iCa) 4.6-4.8 mg/dL, and magnesium 2.0- < 2.2 mg/dL were used as the reference levels. Results: There was a modest level-dependent relationship between hypokalemia ( < 4.0 mEq/L), hypocalcemia ( < 4.4 mg/dL), and a prolonged QTc interval; serum magnesium did not affect the QTc interval. Association between the serum electrolytes and in-hospital mortality included a U-shaped relationship for serum potassium (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.53 and OR 1.91for serum potassium 4.5- < 5.0 and ≥ 5.0 mEq/L, respectively) and an inverted J-shaped relationship for iCa (adjusted OR 2.79 and OR 2.03 for calcium < 4.4 and 4.4- < 4.6 mg/dL, respectively). For serum magnesium, the mortality was greater only among patients with levels ≥ 2.4 mg/dL (adjusted OR 1.40), compared to the reference level. Findings were similar in sensitivity analyses examining the association between mean serum electrolytes and mean QTc intervals, as well as in-hospital mortality. Conclusions: Serum potassium 4.0- < 4.5 mEq/L, iCa ≥ 4.6 mg/dL, and magnesium < 2.4 mg/dL had a neutral effect on QTc intervals and were associated with the lowest in-hospital mortality among the CCU patients.
Modeling and Experimental Verification of Crystal Growth Kinetics in Glass Forming Alloys
We analyze the structure of undercooled melts, crystal growth kinetics and amorphous/crystalline microstructure of rapidly solidifying glass-forming Pd-based and CuZr-based alloys. A dendrite growth model is developed using a combination of the kinetic phase-field model and mesoscopic sharp interface model. The model predicts features of crystallization kinetics in alloys from thermodynamically controlled growth (governed by the Gibbs free energy change on solidification) to the kinetically limited regime (governed by atomic attachment-detachment processes at the solid/liquid interface). Comparing critical undercoolings observed in the crystallization kinetics with experimental data on melt viscosity, atomistic simulation's data on liquid microstructure and theoretically predicted dendrite growth velocity allows us to conclude that the dendrite growth kinetics strongly depends on the cluster structure changes of the melt. The obtained data of theoretical and experimental investigations are used for interpretation of microstructure of samples processed in electro-magnetic levitator on board International Space Station in the frame of the project "MULTIPHAS" (European Space Agency and German Aerospace Center, 50WM1941) and "KINETIKA" (ROSKOSMOS).
The Ra 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004) in the Literature Classroom via the Movie ‘Enough’
This study tried to integrate RA 9262 in literature through the use of film. It identified RA 9262 provisions reflected in the students’ concepts in their oral participation and written outputs and pointed out different attitudes toward violence against women and respect to women as shaped by the film through their responses. Four Literature 121 (World Literature) classes with more or less similar characteristics participated in this study. The discussion of Paulette Kelly’s I Got Flowers Today took place during the first session while the viewing of the film Enough and discussion of the film followed to enrich and bolster students’ concepts and awareness on violence against women and to introduce RA 9262 provisions. The students’ attitudes toward violence against women and respect to women were lifted from the students’ oral and written responses. The film Enough presented eight provisions from RA 9262 reflected in students’ concepts which centered on the acts of violence against women tarnishing women’s rights and dignity. There were 25 attitudes toward violence against women and respect to women which surfaced, 11 of which are what initiate the acts, seven tell about the results from or effects of violence against women, and another seven exemplify respect to women. With the findings, it can be viewed that RA 9262 can be integrated in a literature course to awaken students’ minds on the prevalent issues on violating women’s rights and dignity. The discussion of Paulette Kelly’s I Got Flowers Today reinforced by the viewing of Enough deduced issues on the violation of women’s rights and dignity, attitudes toward violence against women, and students’ perception with regard respect to women.
Flame Spray Pyrolysis as a High-Throughput Method to Generate Gadolinium Doped Titania Nanoparticles for Augmented Radiotherapy
Gadolinium doped titania (TiO2:Gd) nanoparticles (NPs) can be activated by X-ray radiation to generate Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which can be effective in killing cancer cells. As such, treatment with these NPs can be used to enhance the efficacy of conventional radiotherapy. Incorporation of the NPs in to tumour tissue will permit the extension of radiotherapy to currently untreatable tumours deep within the body, and also reduce damage to neighbouring healthy cells. In an attempt to find a fast and scalable method for the synthesis of the TiO2:Gd NPs, the use of Flame Spray Pyrolysis (FSP) was investigated. A series of TiO2 NPs were generated with 1, 2, 5 and 7 mol% gadolinium dopant. Post-synthesis, the TiO2:Gd NPs were silica-coated to improve their biocompatibility. Physico-chemical characterisation was used to determine the size and stability in aqueous suspensions of the NPs. All analysed TiO2:Gd NPs were shown to have relatively high photocatalytic activity. Furthermore, the FSP synthesized silica-coated TiO2:Gd NPs generated enhanced ROS in chemico. Studies on rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) cell lines (RD & RH30) demonstrated that in the absence of irradiation all TiO2:Gd NPs were inert. However, application of TiO2:Gd NPs to RMS cells, followed by irradiation, showed a significant decrease in cell proliferation. Consequently, our studies showed that the X-ray-activatable TiO2:Gd NPs can be prepared by a high-throughput scalable technique to provide a novel and affordable anticancer therapy.
Impact of Zeolite NaY Synthesized from Kaolin on the Properties of Pyrolytic Oil Derived from Used Tire
Solid waste disposal, such as used tires is a global challenge as well as energy crisis due to rising energy demand amidst price uncertainty and depleting fossil fuel reserves. Therefore, the effectiveness of pyrolysis as a disposal method that can transform used tires into liquid fuel and other end-products has made the process attractive to researchers. Although used tires have been converted to liquid fuel using pyrolysis, there is the need to improve on the liquid fuel properties. Hence, this paper reports the investigation of zeolite NaY synthesized from kaolin, a locally abundant soil material in the Benin metropolis as a suitable catalyst and its effect on the properties of pyrolytic oil produced from used tires. The pyrolysis process was conducted for a range of 1 to 10 wt.% of catalyst concentration to used tire at a temperature of 600 oC, a heating rate of 15oC/min and particle size of 6mm. Although no significant increase in pyrolytic oil yield was observed compared to the previously investigated non-catalytic pyrolysis of a used tire. However, the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR); and Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) characterization results revealed the pyrolytic oil to possess an improved physicochemical and fuel properties alongside valuable industrial chemical species. This confirms the possibility of transforming kaolin into a catalyst suitable for improved fuel properties of the liquid fraction obtainable from thermal cracking of hydrocarbon materials.
The Effectiveness of Spatial Planning And Land Use Management Act, 2013 in Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality: Case Study of Apel Nodal Point
This paper aims to present the effectiveness of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013, in addressing key spatial challenges in Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality, mainly focusing on Apel nodal point. Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013, popularly known as SPLUMA, aimed at addressing emerging and existing spatial planning and land use management challenges in South Africa. There are critical key spatial challenges that are continuously encountered in Apel Nodal Point, which include dispersed rural settlement mainly in a communal settlement. The spatial patterns and rural settlements development patterns are a challenge, and such results in uncoordinated human settlements. The objective of this research paper is to analyze the spatial planning of Apel nodal points and determine the effectiveness of the SPLUMA policy. Key Informant interviews were conducted with 20 participants, and also the municipal Spatial Development Framework was considered to explore more challenges and proposed recommendations. The results divulged that there is a huge gap in addressing spatial planning, mainly in rural areas, and correlation with the findings of the Municipal Spatial Development framework. In conclusion, spatial planning remains a critical dilemma in most rural settlements, and there must be programmes and strategies to balance the effectiveness of spatial planning in urban and rural settlements.
Clinical Impact of Delirium and Antipsychotic Therapy: 10-Year Experience from a Referral Coronary Care Unit
Introduction: Little is known about the safety of antipsychotic therapy for delirium in the coronary care unit (CCU). Our aim was to examine the effect of delirium and antipsychotic therapy among CCU patients. Methods: Pre-study Confusion Assessment Method-Intensive Care Unit (CAM–ICU) criteria were implemented in screening consecutive patients admitted to Mayo Clinic, Rochester, the USA from 2004 through 2013. Death status was prospectively ascertained. Results: Of 11,079 study patients, the incidence of delirium was 8.3% (n=925). Delirium was associated with an increased risk of in-hospital mortality (adjusted OR 1.49; 95% CI, 1.08-2.08; P=.02) and one-year mortality among patients who survived from CCU admission (adjusted HR 1.46; 95% CI, 1.12-1.87; P=.005). A total of 792 doses of haloperidol (5 IQR [3-10] mg/day) or quetiapine (25 IQR [13-50] mg/day) were given to 244 patients with delirium. The clinical characteristics of patients with delirium who did and did not receive antipsychotic therapy were not different (baseline corrected QT [QTc] interval 460±61 ms vs. 457±58 ms, respectively; P = 0.57). In comparison to baseline, mean QTc intervals after the first and third doses of the antipsychotics were not significantly prolonged in haloperidol (448±56, 458±57, and 450±50 ms, respectively) or quetiapine groups (459±54, 467±68, and 462±46 ms, respectively) (P > 0.05 for all). Additionally, in-hospital mortality (adjusted OR 0.67; 95% CI, 0.42-1.04; P=.07), ventricular arrhythmia (adjusted OR 0.87; 95% CI, 0.17-3.62; P=.85) and one-year mortality among the hospital survivors (adjusted HR 0.86; 95% CI 0.62-1.17; P = 0.34) were not different in patients with delirium irrespective of whether or not they received antipsychotics. Conclusions: In patients admitted to the CCU, delirium was associated with an increase in both in-hospital and one-year mortality. Low doses of haloperidol and quetiapine appeared to be safe, without an increase in risk of sudden cardiac death, in-hospital mortality, or one-year mortality in carefully monitored patients.
Combat Capability Improvement Using Sleep Analysis
The quality of sleep can affect combat performance where the vigilance, accuracy and reaction time are a decisive factor. In the present study, airborne and special units are measured on duty using actigraphy fingerprint scoring algorithm and QEEG (quantitative EEG). Actigraphic variables of interest will be: mean nightly sleep duration, mean napping duration, mean 24-h sleep duration, mean sleep latency, mean sleep maintenance efficiency, mean sleep fragmentation index, mean sleep onset time, mean sleep offset time and mean midpoint time. In an attempt to determine the individual somnotype of each subject, the data like sleep pattern, chronotype (morning and evening lateness), biological need for sleep (daytime and anytime sleepability) and trototype (daytime and anytime wakeability) will be extracted. Subsequently, a series of recommendations will be included in the training plan based on daily routine, timing of the day and night activities, duration of sleep and the number of sleeping blocks in a defined time. The aim of these modifications in the training plan is to reduce day-time sleepiness, improve vigilance, attention, accuracy, speed of the conducted tasks and to optimize energy supplies. Regular improvement of the training supposed to have long-term neurobiological consequences including neuronal activity changes measured by QEEG. Subsequently, that should enhance cognitive functioning in subjects assessed by the digital cognitive test batteries and improve their overall performance.
Production of Biogas from Organic Wastes Using Plastic Biodigesternoura
Daily consumption of crude oil is alarming as a result of increasing demand for energy. Waste generation tends to rise with the level of economic advancement of a nation. Hence, this project work researches how wastes which could pose toxic if left unattended to can be processed through biodigestion in order to generate biofuel which could serve as a good substitute for petroleum, a non renewable energy source, so as to reduce over-dependence on petroleum and to prevent environmental pollution. Anaerobic digestion was carried out on organic wastes comprising brewery spent grains, rice husks and poultry droppings in a plastic biodigester of 1000 liters volume using the poultry droppings as a natural inoculums source. The feed composition in ratio 5:3:2, spent grain, rice husks and poultry droppings were mixed with water in the ratio 1:6. Thus, 600 Kg of water was used to prepare the slurry with 100 Kg of feed materials. A plastic biodigester was successfully constructed, and the problem of corrosion and rusting were completely overcome as a result of the use of non-corroding materials of construction. A reasonable quantity of biogas, 33.63m3, was generated over a period of 60 days of biodigestion. The bioslurry was processed through two different process routes; evaporation and filteration. Evaporation process of analysis shows high values of 0.64%, 2.11% and 0.034% for nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium respectively, while filteration process gives 00.61%, 1.93% and 0.026% for nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium respectively.
Fast Approximate Bayesian Contextual Cold Start Learning (FAB-COST)
Cold-start is a notoriously difficult problem which
can occur in recommendation systems, and arises when there is
insufficient information to draw inferences for users or items. To
address this challenge, a contextual bandit algorithm – the Fast
Approximate Bayesian Contextual Cold Start Learning algorithm
(FAB-COST) – is proposed, which is designed to provide improved
accuracy compared to the traditionally used Laplace approximation
in the logistic contextual bandit, while controlling both algorithmic
complexity and computational cost. To this end, FAB-COST uses
a combination of two moment projection variational methods:
Expectation Propagation (EP), which performs well at the cold
start, but becomes slow as the amount of data increases; and
Assumed Density Filtering (ADF), which has slower growth of
computational cost with data size but requires more data to obtain an
acceptable level of accuracy. By switching from EP to ADF when
the dataset becomes large, it is able to exploit their complementary
strengths. The empirical justification for FAB-COST is presented, and
systematically compared to other approaches on simulated data. In a
benchmark against the Laplace approximation on real data consisting
of over 670, 000 impressions from autotrader.co.uk, FAB-COST
demonstrates at one point increase of over 16% in user clicks. On
the basis of these results, it is argued that FAB-COST is likely to
be an attractive approach to cold-start recommendation systems in a
variety of contexts.
Monitoring the Drying and Grinding Process during Production of Celitement through a NIR-Spectroscopy Based Approach
Online measurement of the product quality is a challenging task in cement production, especially in the production of Celitement, a novel environmentally friendly hydraulic binder. The mineralogy and chemical composition of clinker in ordinary Portland cement production is measured by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X ray fluorescence (XRF), where only crystalline constituents can be detected. But only a small part of the Celitement components can be measured via XRD, because most constituents have an amorphous structure. This paper describes the development of algorithms suitable for an on-line monitoring of the final processing step of Celitement based on NIR-data. For calibration intermediate products were dried at different temperatures and ground for variable durations. The products were analyzed using XRD and thermogravimetric analyses together with NIR-spectroscopy to investigate the dependency between the drying and the milling processes on one and the NIR-signal on the other side. As a result, different characteristic parameters have been defined. A short overview of the Celitement process and the challenging tasks of the online measurement and evaluation of the product quality will be presented. Subsequently, methods for systematic development of near-infrared calibration models and the determination of the final calibration model will be introduced. The application of the model on experimental data illustrates that NIR-spectroscopy allows for a quick and sufficiently exact determination of crucial process parameters.
Social Imagination and History Teaching: Critical Thinking's Possibilities in the Australian Curriculum
This paper examines how critical thinking is framed, especially for primary-school students, in the recently established Australian Curriculum: History. Critical thinking is one of the curriculum’s 'general capabilities.' History provides numerous opportunities for critical thinking’s application in everyday life. The so-called 'history wars' that took place just prior to the curriculum’s introduction in 2014 sought to bring to light the limits of a singular historical narrative and reveal that which had been repressed. Consequently, the Australian history curriculum reflects this shifting mindset. Teachers are presented with opportunities to treat history in the classroom as a repository of social possibility, especially related to democratic potential, beyond hackneyed and jingoistic tales of Australian nationhood. Yet such opportunities are not explicit within the document and are up against pre-existing pedagogic practices. Drawing on political thinker Cornelius Castoriadis’s rendering of the 'social-historical' and 'paidea,' as well as his mobilisation of psychoanalysis, the study outlines how the curriculum’s critical-thinking component opens up possibilities for students and teachers to revise assumptions about how history is understood. This ontological shift is ultimately creative: the teachers’ imaginations connect the students’ imaginations, and vice versa, to the analysis that is at the heart of historical thinking. The implications of this social imagination add to the current discussions about historical consciousness among scholars like Peter Seixas. But, importantly, it has practical application in the primary-school classroom where history becomes creative acts, like play, that is indeterminate and social rather than fixed and individual.
Magnetic Properties of Bis-Lanthanoates: Probing Dimer Formation in Crystalline, Liquid and Glassy Compounds Using SQUID Magnetometry
Magnetic ionic liquids (MILs) are a class of ionic liquid incorporating one or more magnetic atoms into the anion or cation of the ionic liquid, endowing the ionic liquid with magnetic properties alongside the existing properties of ionic liquids. MILs have applications in e.g. fluid-fluid separations, electrochemistry, and polymer chemistry. In this study three different types of Bis-Lanthanoates, that exist in different phases, have been synthesised and characterised (Ln = lanthanide): 1) imidazolium lanthanide acetate – [C4Mim]2[Ln2(OAc)8] – forms a crystalline solid at room temperature, 2) phosphonium lanthanide acetate – [P666 14]2[Ln2(OAc)8] – is in a solid glassy state, and 3) phosphonium lanthanide octanoate – [P666 14]2[Ln2(Oct)8] – is an ionic liquid. X-ray diffraction of the crystalline solid imidazolium lanthanide acetate – [C4Mim]2[Ln2(OAc)8] confirm that the Ln(III) ions form dimers, bridged by carboxyl groups, but cannot yield information about samples phosphonium lanthanide acetate – [P666 14]2[Ln2(OAc)8] (glass) and phosphonium lanthanide octanoate – [P666 14]2[Ln2(Oct)8] (ionic liquid) since these lack long-range order. SQUID magnetometry studies show that all three samples have effective magnetic moments consistent with non-interacting Ln(III) ions at room temperature but deviate from this behavior in the same way below 50 K. Through modeling the magnetic response, we are able to show that we have formed magnetic dimers, in all compounds, that are weakly antiferromagnetically interacting
Shear Stress and Effective Structural Stress Fields of an Atherosclerotic Coronary Artery
A three-dimensional numerical model of an atherosclerotic coronary artery is developed for the determination of high-risk situation and hence heart attack prediction. Employing the finite element method (FEM) using ANSYS, fluid-structure interaction (FSI) model of the artery is constructed to determine the shear stress distribution as well as the von Mises stress field. A flexible model for an atherosclerotic coronary artery conveying pulsatile blood is developed incorporating three-dimensionality, artery’s tapered shape via a linear function for artery wall distribution, motion of the artery, blood viscosity via the non-Newtonian flow theory, blood pulsation via use of one-period heartbeat, hyperelasticity via the Mooney-Rivlin model, viscoelasticity via the Prony series shear relaxation scheme, and micro-calcification inside the plaque. The material properties used to relate the stress field to the strain field have been extracted from clinical data from previous in-vitro studies. The determined stress fields has potential to be used as a predictive tool for plaque rupture and dissection. The results show that stress concentration due to micro-calcification increases the von Mises stress significantly; chance of developing a crack inside the plaque increases. Moreover, the blood pulsation varies the stress distribution substantially for some cases.
Nanoparticle-Based Histidine-Rich Protein-2 Assay for the Detection of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Falciparum
Diagnosis of severe malaria is particularly important in highly endemic regions since most patients are positive for parasitemia and treatment differs from non-severe malaria. Diagnosis can be challenging due to the prevalence of diseases with similar symptoms. Accurate diagnosis is increasingly important to avoid overprescribing antimalarial drugs, minimize drug resistance, and minimize costs. A nanoparticle-based assay for detection and quantification of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) in urine and serum is reported. The assay uses magnetic beads conjugated with anti-HRP2 antibody for protein capture and concentration, and antibody-conjugated quantum dots for optical detection. Western Blot analysis demonstrated that magnetic beads allows the concentration of HRP2 protein in urine by 20-fold. The concentration effect was achieved because large volume of urine can be incubated with beads, and magnetic separation can be easily performed in minutes to isolate beads containing HRP2 protein. Magnetic beads and Quantum Dots 525 conjugated to anti-HRP2 antibodies allows the detection of low concentration of HRP2 protein (0.5 ng mL-1), and quantification in the range of 33 to 2,000 ng mL-1 corresponding to the range associated with non-severe to severe malaria. This assay can be easily adapted to a non-invasive point-of-care test for classification of severe malaria.
Physical and Morphological Response to Land Reclamation Projects in a Wave-Dominated Bay
Land reclamation from the ocean has considerably increased over past decades to support worldwide rapid urban growth. Reshaping the coastline, however, inevitably affects coastal systems. One of the main challenges for coastal oceanographers is to predict the physical and morphological responses for nearshore systems to man-made changes over multiple time-scales. Fully-coupled numerical models are powerful tools for simulating the wide range of interactions between flow field and bedform morphology. Restricted and inconsistent measurements, combined with limited computational resources, typically make this exercise complex and uncertain. In the present study, we investigate the impact of proposed land reclamation within a wave-dominated bay in New Zealand. For this purpose, we first calibrated our morphological model based on the long-term evolution of the bay resulting from land reclamation carried out in the 1950s. This included the application of sedimentological spin-up and reduction techniques based on historical bathymetry datasets. The updated bathymetry, including the proposed modifications of the bay, was then used to predict the effect of the proposed land reclamation on the wave climate and morphology of the bay after one decade. We show that reshaping the bay induces a distinct symmetrical response of the shoreline which likely will modify the nearshore wave patterns and consequently recreational activities in the area.
Construction Unit Rate Factor Modelling Using Neural Networks
Factors affecting construction unit cost vary depending on a country’s political, economic, social and technological inclinations. Factors affecting construction costs have been studied from various perspectives. Analysis of cost factors requires an appreciation of a country’s practices. Identified cost factors provide an indication of a country’s construction economic strata. The purpose of this paper is to identify the essential factors that affect unit cost estimation and their breakdown using artificial neural networks. Twenty-five (25) identified cost factors in road construction were subjected to a questionnaire survey and employing SPSS factor analysis the factors were reduced to eight. The 8 factors were analysed using the neural network (NN) to determine the proportionate breakdown of the cost factors in a given construction unit rate. NN predicted that political environment accounted 44% of the unit rate followed by contractor capacity at 22% and financial delays, project feasibility, overhead and profit each at 11%. Project location, material availability and corruption perception index had minimal impact on the unit cost from the training data provided. Quantified cost factors can be incorporated in unit cost estimation models (UCEM) to produce more accurate estimates. This can create improvements in the cost estimation of infrastructure projects and establish a benchmark standard to assist the process of alignment of work practises and training of new staff, permitting the on-going development of best practises in cost estimation to become more effective.
An Assessment of Different Blade Tip Timing (BTT) Algorithms Using an Experimentally Validated Finite Element Model Simulator
Blade Tip Timing (BTT) is a technology concerned with the estimation of both frequency and amplitude of rotating blades. A BTT system comprises two main parts: (a) the arrival time measurement system, and (b) the analysis algorithms. Simulators play an important role in the development of the analysis algorithms since they generate blade tip displacement data from the simulated blade vibration under controlled conditions. This enables an assessment of the performance of the different algorithms with respect to their ability to accurately reproduce the original simulated vibration. Such an assessment is usually not possible with real engine data since there is no practical alternative to BTT for blade vibration measurement. Most simulators used in the literature are based on a simple spring-mass-damper model to determine the vibration. In this work, a more realistic experimentally validated simulator based on the Finite Element (FE) model of a bladed disc (blisk) is first presented. It is then used to generate the necessary data for the assessment of different BTT algorithms. The FE modelling is validated using both a hammer test and two firewire cameras for the mode shapes. A number of autoregressive methods, fitting methods and state-of-the-art inverse methods (i.e. Russhard) are compared. All methods are compared with respect to both synchronous and asynchronous excitations with both single and simultaneous frequencies. The study assesses the applicability of each method for different conditions of vibration, amount of sampling data, and testing facilities, according to its performance and efficiency under these conditions.
Hybrid Graphene Based Nanomaterial as Highly Efficient Catalyst for the Electrochemical Determination of Ciprofloxacin
The detection of drug molecules by voltammetry has attracted great interest over the past years. However, many drug molecules exhibit poor electrochemical signals at common electrodes which result in low sensitivity in detection. An efficient way to overcome this problem is to modify electrodes with functional materials. Since discovered in 2004, graphene (or reduced graphene oxide) has emerged as one of the most studied two-dimensional carbon materials in condensed matter physics, electrochemistry, and so on due to its exceptional physicochemical properties. Additionally, the continuous development of technology has opened the new window for the successful fabrications of many novel graphene-based nanomaterials to serve in electrochemical analysis. This research aims to synthesize and characterize gold nanoparticle coated beta-cyclodextrin functionalized reduced graphene oxide (Au NP–β-CD–RGO) nanocomposites with highly conductive and strongly electro-catalytic properties as well as excellent supramolecular recognition abilities for the modification of electrodes. The electrochemical responses of ciprofloxacin at the as-prepared nanocomposite modified electrode was effectively amplified was much higher in comparison with that at the bare electrode. The linear concentration range was from 0.01 to 120 µM, with a detection limit of 2.7 nM using differential pulse voltammetry. Thus, Au NP–β-CD–RGO nanocomposite has great potential as an ideal material to construct sensitive sensors for the electrochemical determination of ciprofloxacin or similar antibacterial drugs in the future based on its excellent stability, selectivity, and reproducibility.
Method of Estimating Absolute Entropy of Municipal Solid Waste
Entropy, as an outcome of the second law of thermodynamics, measures the level of irreversibility associated with any process. The identification and reduction of irreversibility in the energy conversion process helps to improve the efficiency of the system. The entropy of pure substances known as absolute entropy is determined at an absolute reference point and is useful in the thermodynamic analysis of chemical reactions; however, municipal solid waste (MSW) is a structurally complicated material with unknown absolute entropy. In this work, an empirical model to calculate the absolute entropy of MSW based on the content of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur, and chlorine on a dry ash free basis (daf) is presented. The proposed model was derived from 117 relevant organic substances which represent the main constituents in MSW with known standard entropies using statistical analysis. The substances were divided into different waste fractions; namely, food, wood/paper, textiles/rubber and plastics waste and the standard entropies of each waste fraction and for the complete mixture were calculated. The correlation of the standard entropy of the complete waste mixture derived was found to be somsw= 0.0101C + 0.0630H + 0.0106O + 0.0108N + 0.0155S + 0.0084Cl (kJ.K-1.kg) and the present correlation can be used for estimating the absolute entropy of MSW by using the elemental compositions of the fuel within the range of 10.3% ≤ C ≤ 95.1%, 0.0% ≤ H ≤ 14.3%, 0.0% ≤ O ≤ 71.1%, 0.0 ≤ N ≤ 66.7%, 0.0% ≤ S ≤ 42.1%, 0.0% ≤ Cl ≤ 89.7%. The model is also applicable for the efficient modelling of a combustion system in a waste-to-energy plant.
Health Professions Students' Knowledge of and Attitude toward Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Health professionals play important roles in helping patients use Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practices safely and accurately. Consequently, it is important for future health professionals to learn about CAM practices during their time in undergraduate and graduate programs. To satisfy this need for education, teaching CAM in nursing and medical schools and other health professions programs is becoming more prevalent. Our study was the first to look specifically at the knowledge of, and attitude toward CAM of undergraduate health professions students at a university in the U.S. Students were invited to participate in one of two anonymous online surveys depending on whether they were pre-health professions students or graduating health professions seniors. Of the 763 responses analyzed, 71.7% were from pre-health professions students, and 28.3% came from graduating seniors. The overall attitude of participants toward and interest in learning about CAM practices was generally fairly positive with graduating seniors being more positive than pre-health professions students. Yoga, meditation, massage therapy, aromatherapy, and chiropractic care were the practices most respondents had personal experience with. Massage therapy, yoga, chiropractic care, meditation, music therapy, and diet-based therapy received the highest ratings from respondents. Three-quarters of respondents planned on including aspects of holistic medicine in their future career as a health professional. The top five practices named were yoga, meditation, massage therapy, diet-based therapy, and music therapy. The study confirms the need to educate health professions students about CAM practices to give them the background information they need to select or recommend the best practices for their patients' needs.
CFD-Parametric Study in Stator Heat Transfer of an Axial Flux Permanent Magnet Machine
This paper copes with the numerical simulation for convective heat transfer in the stator disk of an axial flux permanent magnet (AFPM) electrical machine. Overheating is one of the main issues in the design of AFMPs, which mainly occurs in the stator disk, so that it needs to be prevented. A rotor-stator configuration with 16 magnets at the periphery of the rotor is considered. Air is allowed to flow through openings in the rotor disk and channels being formed between the magnets and in the gap region between the magnets and the stator surface. The rotating channels between the magnets act as a driving force for the air flow. The significant non-dimensional parameters are the rotational Reynolds number, the gap size ratio, the magnet thickness ratio, and the magnet angle ratio. The goal is to find correlations for the Nusselt number on the stator disk according to these non-dimensional numbers. Therefore, CFD simulations have been performed with the multiple reference frame (MRF) technique to model the rotary motion of the rotor and the flow around and inside the machine. A minimization method is introduced by a pattern-search algorithm to find the appropriate values of the reference temperature. It is found that the correlations are fast, robust and is capable of predicting the stator heat transfer with a good accuracy. The results reveal that the magnet angle ratio diminishes the stator heat transfer, whereas the rotational Reynolds number and the magnet thickness ratio improve the convective heat transfer. On the other hand, there a certain gap size ratio at which the stator heat transfer reaches a maximum.
Assessment of Negative Impacts Affecting Public Transportation Modes and Infrastructure in Burgersfort Town towards Building Urban Sustainability
The availability of public transportation modes and qualitative infrastructure is a burning issue that affects urban sustainability. Public transportation is indispensable in providing adequate transportation means to people at an affordable price, and it promotes public transport reliance. Burgersfort town has a critical condition on the urban public transportation infrastructure which affects the bus and taxi public transport modes and the existing infrastructure. The municipality is regarded as one of the mining towns in Limpopo Province considering the availability of mining activities and proposal on establishment of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The study aim is to assess the efficacy of current public transportation infrastructure and to propose relevant recommendations that will unlock the possibility of future supportable public transportation systems. The Key Informant Interview (KII) was used to acquire data on the views from commuters and stakeholders involved. There KII incorporated three relevant questions in relation to services rendered in public transportation. Relevant literature relating to public transportation modes and infrastructure revealed the imperatives of public transportation infrastructure, and relevant legislation was reviewed concerning public transport infrastructure. The finding revealed poor conditions on the public transportation ranks and also inadequate parking space for public transportation modes. The study reveals that 100% of people interviewed were not satisfied with the condition of public transportation infrastructure and 100% are not satisfied with the services offered by public transportation sectors. The findings revealed that the municipality is the main player who can upgrade the existing conditions of public transportation. The study recommended that an intermodal transportation facility must be established to resolve the emerging challenges.
Circadian Expression of MicroRNAs in Colon and Its Changes during Colorectal Tumorigenesis
MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs involved in a wide range of physiological processes. Post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression by microRNAs gives the organism a further level of control of the gene-expression program and the disruption of this microRNA regulatory mechanism seems to increase the risk of various pathophysiological conditions including tumorigenesis. To the present day, microRNAs were shown to participate in the mayor signalization pathways leading to tumorigenesis, including proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis and metastasis formation. In addition, microRNAs have been found to play important roles in the generation and maintenance of circadian clock. These clocks generate circadian rhythms, which participate in a number of regulatory pathways. Disruption of the circadian signals seems to be associated with the development and the progression of tumours including colorectal cancer. We investigated therefore whether the diurnal profiles of miRNAs linked to tumorigenesis and regulation of circadian clock are changed during tumorigenesis. Based on published data we chose 10 microRNAs linked to tumorigenesis or circadian clock (let-7b-5p, miR 1 3p, miR 106b 5p, miR 141 3p, miR 191 5p, miR 20a 5p, miR 25 3p, miR 29a 3p, miR 34a 5p and miR 93 5p) and compared their 24-hr expression profiles in healthy and in chemically induces primary colorectal tumours of 52week-old mice. Using RT-qPCR we proved circadian rhythmicity in let-7b-5p, miR 106b 5p, miR 141 3p, miR 191 5p, miR 20a 5p, miR 25 3p, miR 29a 3p and miR 93 5p in healthy colon but not in tumours. The acrophases of miR 106b 5p, miR 141 3p, miR 191 5p, miR 20a 5p, miR 25 3p and miR 93 5p were reached around CT 24, the acrophases of let-7b-5p and miR-29a-3p were slightly shifted and reached around CT 21. In summary, our results show that circadian regulation of some colonic microRNAs is greatly affected by neoplastic transformation.
Evaluating a Holistic Fitness Program Used by High Performance Athletes and Mass Participants
This study evaluated the effectiveness of an experimental training program used to improve performance and health of competitive athletes and recreational sport participants. This holistic program integrated and advanced Eastern and Western methods of prolonging elite sports participation and enjoying lifelong fitness, particularly from China, India, Russia, and the United States. The program included outdoor, gym, and water training approaches focused on strengthening while stretching/decompressing and on full body activation-all in order to improve performance as well as treat and prevent common disorders and pains. The study observed and surveyed over 100 users of the program including recreational fitness and sports enthusiasts as well as elite athletes who competed for national teams of different countries and for Division I teams of National Collegiate Athletic Association in the United States. Different types of sport were studied, including territorial games (e.g., American football, basketball, volleyball), endurance/cyclical (athletics/track and field, swimming), and artistic (e.g., gymnastics and synchronized swimming). Results of the study showed positive effects on the participants’ performance and health, particularly for those who used the program for more than two years and especially in reducing spinal disorders and in enabling to perform new training tasks which previously caused back pain.
Taleb's Complexity Theory Concept of 'Antifragility' Has a Significant Contribution to Make to Positive Psychology as Applied to Wellbeing
Given the increasingly manifest phenomena, as described in complexity theory, of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), Taleb's notion of 'antifragility, has a significant contribution to make to positive psychology applied to wellbeing. Antifragility is argued to be fundamentally different from the concepts of resiliency; as the ability to recover from failure, and robustness; as the ability to resist failure. Rather it describes the capacity to reorganise in the face of stress in such a way as to cope more effectively with systemic challenges. The concept, which has been applied in disciplines ranging from physics, molecular biology, planning, engineering, and computer science, can now be considered for its application in individual human and social wellbeing. There are strong correlations to Antonovsky's model of 'salutogenesis' in which an attitude and competencies are developed of transforming burdening factors into greater resourcefulness. We demonstrate, from the perspective of neuroscience, how technology measuring nervous system coherence can be coupled to acquired psychodynamic approaches to not only identify contextual stressors, utilise biofeedback instruments for facilitating greater coherence, but apply these insights to specific life stressors that compromise well-being. Employing an on-going case study with BMW South Africa, the neurological mapping is demonstrated together with 'reframing' and emotional anchoring techniques from neurolinguistic programming. The argument is contextualised in the discipline of psychoneuroimmunology which describes the stress pathways from the CNS and endocrine systems and their impact on immune function and the capacity to restore homeostasis.
Carbonation of Wollastonite (001) competing Hydration: Microscopic Insights from Ion Spectroscopy and Density Functional Theory
In this work, we report about the influence of the chemical potential of water on the carbonation reaction of wollastonite (CaSiO3) as model surface of cement and concrete. Total energy calculations based on density functional theory (DFT) combined with kinetic barrier predictions based on nudge elastic band (NEB) method show that the exposure of the water-free wollastonite surface to CO2 results in a barrier-less carbonation. CO2 reacts with the surface oxygen and forms carbonate (CO32-) complexes together with a major reconstruction of the surface. The reaction comes to a standstill after one carbonate monolayer has been formed. In case one water monolayer is covering the wollastonite surface, the carbonation is no more barrier-less, yet ending in a localized monolayer. Covered with multilayers of water, the thermodynamic ground state of the wollastonite completely changes due to a metal-proton exchange reaction (MPER, also called early stage hydration) and Ca2+ ions are partially removed from solid phase into the H2O/wollastonite interface. Mobile Ca2+ react again with CO2 and form carbonate complexes, ending in a delocalized layer. By means of high resolution time-of-flight secondary-ion mass-spectroscopy images (ToF-SIMS), we confirm that hydration can lead to a partially delocalization of Ca2+ ions on wollastonite surfaces. Finally, we evaluate the impact of our model surface results by means of Low Energy Ion Scattering (LEIS) spectroscopy combined with careful discussion about the competing reactions of carbonation vs. hydration.
Optimal Management of Forest Stands under Wind Risk in Czech Republic
Storms are important damaging agents in European forest ecosystems. In the latest decades, significant economic losses in European forestry occurred due to storms. This study investigates the problem of optimal harvest planning when forest stands risk to be felled by storms. One of the most applicable mathematical methods which are being used to optimize forest management is stochastic dynamic programming (SDP). This method belongs to the adaptive optimization class. Sequential decisions, such as harvest decisions, can be optimized based on sequential information about events that cannot be perfectly predicted, such as the future storms and the future states of wind protection from other forest stands. In this paper, stochastic dynamic programming is used to maximize the expected present value of the profits from an area consisting of several forest stands. The region of analysis is the Czech Republic. The harvest decisions, in a particular time period, should be simultaneously taken in all neighbor stands. The reason is that different stands protect each other from possible winds. The optimal harvest age of a particular stand is a function of wind speed and different wind protection effects. The optimal harvest age often decreases with wind speed, but it cannot be determined for one stand at a time. When we consider a particular stand, this stand also protects other stands. Furthermore, the particular stand is protected by neighbor stands. In some forest stands, it may even be rational to increase the harvest age under the influence of stronger winds, in order to protect more valuable stands in the neighborhood. It is important to integrate wind risk in forestry decision-making.
Effect of Cladding Direction on Residual Stress Distribution in Laser Cladded Rails
In this investigation, a laser cladding process with a powder feeding was used to deposit stainless steel 410L (high strength, excellent resistance to abrasion and corrosion, and great laser compatibility) onto railhead (higher strength, heat treated hypereutectoid rail grade manufactured in accordance with the requirements of European standard EN 13674 Part 1 for R400HT grade), to investigate the development and controllability of process-induced residual stress in the cladding, heat-affected zone (HAZ) and substrate and to analyse their correlation with hardness profile during two different laser cladding directions (across and along the track). Residual stresses were analysed by neutron diffraction at OPAL reactor, ANSTO. Neutron diffraction was carried out on the samples in longitudinal (parallel to the rail), transverse (perpendicular to the rail) and normal (through thickness) directions with high spatial resolution through the thickness. Due to the thick rail and thin cladding, 4 mm thick reference samples were prepared from every specimen by Electric Discharge Machining (EDM). Metallography across the laser claded sample revealed four distinct zones: The clad zone, the dilution zone, HAZ and the substrate. Compressive residual stresses were found in the clad zone and tensile residual stress in the dilution zone and HAZ. Laser cladding in longitudinally cladding induced higher tensile stress in the HAZ, whereas transversely cladding rail showed lower tensile behavior.
Effects of Bariatric Surgery on Preventing the Progression of Diabetic Retinopathy
Introduction: Bariatric surgery is popular with the rising incidence of obesity. Its well-known benefits include significant and rapid glycaemic control. However, cases of paradoxical worsening in diabetic retinopathy (DR) despite improved glycaemic control have been reported. Purpose: clarification on the evolution of diabetic retinopathy after bariatric surgery. Method: retrospective study of 40 patients with Type 2 diabetes who underwent bariatric surgery in a UK specialist bariatric unit between 2009 and 2011. Pre-operative and post-operative visual acuity (VA), weight, HbA1c and annual DRSS screening results were analysed. Median follow up was 50 months. Results: No significant change in VA was found during the post-operative period. 85% of patients improved HbA1c post-operatively of which 53% achieved non-diabetic HbA1c of 8%) and male gender. Conclusions: bariatric surgery does not guarantee long-term improvement or prevention of DR. Asymptomatic changes in DR occurred up to 5 years postoperatively. We therefore consider it prudent to continue screening in this cohort of patients.
Confess Your Sins to One Another: An Exploration of the Biblical Validity and the Psychological Efficacy of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the Catholic Church
The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation has long been upheld, by the Catholic Church, as one of the Sacraments of healing, mainly due to the sense of peace, tranquility and psychological quiescence it accords the penitent upon receiving Sacramental absolution of sin through the action of the priest. This paper explores the Sacramental character of this practice and the psychological benefits of the celebration of the Sacrament. This is achieved in two parts: firstly, by the intellectual engagement of Sacred Scripture and the consolidated Sacred Tradition that the Catholic magisterium protects and, secondly, via a broad survey of the works of Carl Gustav Jung and Orval Hobart Mowrer regarding confession and forgiveness. The former will serve to demonstrate the Catholic belief of the divine institution of the Sacrament whilst the latter will demonstrate how this belief, coupled with the existing benefit of confessing guilt, collectively bolsters the Sacrament’s overall psychological efficacy. Fundamentally, the analysis of Jung and Mowrer’s works demonstrate that man, as a naturally religious being, has an inherent need for the confession of his wrong that he might be alleviated of psychological guilt in obtaining forgiveness of a (divinely ordained) minister who is sanctioned to absolve, i.e. the priest. The paper also presents the curative effect of the celebration of this Sacrament, illustrating how, without the act of confession, man remains in moral isolation from God and man; and, that with it, man is relieved of the mysterious feeling of guilt which lies at the root of his disquiet of mind and disturbance of will. Thus, the paper penultimately establishes how the Sacrament of Reconciliation is positioned in that place where psychology and theology meet: man’s sense of guilt. It is Jung’s views on confession and forgiveness that ultimately bridge the chasm between psychology and Christianity.
The Aesthetic and Critiques of Weimar Democracy: The Counter and Complement to Carl Schmitt’s Political Myth
Ever since the recent resurgence of interest in political theorist Carl Schmitt’s work, much of the current analysis on Schmitt has fo-cused on evaluating Schmitt’s legacy by exposing contradictions in his rationale. Rather than condemn such contradictions, this paper instead seeks to analyze these contradictions in an effort to better understand the radical shift in Schmitt’s intellectual trajectory from an astute critic of liberal democracy to a fascist apologist towards the end of the Weimar period. An essential part of this change is his interest in what Schmitt called ‘the emergence of aesthetics.’ Schmitt diagnosed the underlying issue with the aesthetic in the political sphere to be its irrationalism, indifference, and indeci-siveness. For Schmitt, the latter two of these were especially prob-lematic for two of his key concepts: the ‘political’ and ‘the shared historical reality.’ Schmitt’s radical depiction of ‘the political’ as an existential opposition of allegiances that necessitated a state of emergency and a decisionist sovereign political struggle required an equally radical justification, or Schmitt’s call for ‘a shared his-torical reality’ not based in historical fact yet able to mobilize the masses. In this way, Schmitt clearly condemns the indifferent, indecisive aesthetic that runs against his decisionist, action-oriented political theory. Yet despite his firm stance against aestheticism, Schmitt himself used the evocative and irrational power of aesthet-icism as a tool to present his own ‘political myth’ that compelled believers to join in decisive unity against a common enemy. In short, Schmitt’s contradictions on aestheticism and his creation of a ‘political myth’ suggest that Schmitt’s underlying conflict with aestheticism was not as much of an issue of irrationality as it was a chronic preoccupation with coercing concrete action at the expense of rational deliberation.
The Effect of Different Metal Nanoparticles on Growth and Survival of Pseudomonas syringae Bacteria
The Pseudomonas syringae species complex includes many plant pathogenic strains with highly specific interactions with varied host species and cultivars. The rapid spread of these bacteria over the last ten years has become a cause for concern. Nanoparticles have previously shown promise in microbiological action. We have therefore investigated in vitro and in vivo the effects of different types and sizes of nanoparticles in order to provide quantitative information about their effect on the bacteria. The effects of several different nanoparticles against several bacteria strains were investigated. The effect of NP on bacterial growth was studied by measuring the optical density, biochemical and nutritional tests, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to determine the shape and size of NP. Our results indicate that their effects varied, with either a negative or a positive impact on both bacterial and plant growth. Additionally, the methods of exposure to nanoparticles have a crucial role in accumulation, translocation, growth response and bacterial growth. The results of our studies on the behaviour and effects of nanoparticles in model plants showed. Cerium oxide (CeO₂) and silver (Ag) NP showed significant antibacterial activity against several pathogenic bacteria. It was found that titanium nanoparticles (TiO₂) can have either a negative or a positive impact, according to concentration and size. It is also thought that environmental conditions can have a major influence on bacterial growth. Studies were therefore also carried out under some environmental stress conditions to test bacterial survival and to assess bacterial virulence. All results will be presented including information about the effects of different nanoparticles on Pseudomonas syringae bacteria.
Investigation of the Drying Times of Blood under Different Environmental Conditions and on Different Fabrics and the Transfer of Blood at Different Times of the Drying Process
The research investigates the effects of temperature, humidity, wind speed, and fabric composition on the drying times of blood and assesses the degree of blood transfer that can occur during the drying process. An assortment of fabrics, of different composition and thicknesses, were collected and stained using two blood volumes and exposed to varying environmental conditions. The conclusion reached was that temperature, humidity, wind speed, and fabric thickness do have an effect on drying times. An increase in temperature and wind speed results in a decrease in drying times while an increase in fabric thickness and humidity extended the drying times of blood under similar conditions. Transfer experimentation utilized three donor fabrics, 100% white cotton, 100% acrylic, and 100% cotton denim, which were bloodstained using two blood volumes. The fabrics were subjected to both full and low/light force contact from the donor fabrics onto the recipient fabric, under different environmental conditions. Transfer times onto the 100% white cotton (recipient fabric) from all donor fabrics were shorter than the drying times observed. The intensities of the bloodstains decreased from high to low with time during the drying process. The degree of transfer at high, medium, and low intensities varied significantly between different materials and is dependent on the environmental conditions, fabric compositions, blood volumes, the type of contact (full or light force), and the drying times observed for the respective donor fabrics. These factors should be considered collectively and conservatively when assessing the time frame of secondary transfer in casework.
The Impact of the Enron Scandal on the Reputation of Corporate Social Responsibility Rating Agencies
KLD (Peter Kinder, Steve Lydenberg and Amy Domini) research & analytics is an independent intermediary of social performance information that adopts an investor-pay model. KLD rating agency does not have an explicit monitoring on the rated firm which suggests that KLD ratings may not include private informations. Moreover, the incapacity of KLD to predict accurately the extra-financial rating of Enron casts doubt on the reliability of KLD ratings. Therefore, we first investigate whether KLD ratings affect investors' perception by studying the effect of KLD rating changes on firms' financial performances. Second, we study the impact of the Enron scandal on investors' perception of KLD rating changes by comparing the effect of KLD rating changes on firms' financial performances before and after the failure of Enron. We propose an empirical study that relates a number of equally-weighted portfolios returns, excess stock returns and book-to-market ratio to different dimensions of KLD social responsibility ratings. We first find that over the last two decades KLD rating changes influence significantly and negatively stock returns and book-to-market ratio of rated firms. This finding suggests that a raise in corporate social responsibility rating lowers the firm's risk. Second, to assess the Enron scandal's effect on the perception of KLD ratings, we compare the effect of KLD rating changes before and after the Enron scandal. We find that after the Enron scandal this significant effect disappears. This finding supports the view that the Enron scandal annihilates the KLD's effect on Socially Responsible Investors. Therefore, our findings may question results of recent studies that use KLD ratings as a proxy for Corporate Social Responsibility behavior.
The Dangers of Attentional Inertia in the Driving Task
The allocation of visual attention is critical when driving and anything that limits attention will have a detrimental impact on safety. Engaging in a secondary task reduces the amount of attention directed to the road because drivers allocate resources towards this task, leaving fewer resources to process driving-relevant information. Yet the dangers associated with a secondary task do not end when the driver returns their attention to the road. Instead, the attentional settings adopted to complete a secondary task may persist to the road, affecting attention, and therefore affecting driver performance. This 'attentional inertia' effect was investigated in the current work. Forty drivers searched for hazards in driving video clips while their eye-movements were recorded. At varying intervals they were instructed to attend to a secondary task displayed on a tablet situated to their left-hand side. The secondary task consisted of three separate computer games that induced horizontal, vertical, and random eye movements. Visual search and hazard detection in the driving clips were compared across the three conditions of the secondary task. Results showed that the layout of information in the secondary task, and therefore the allocation of attention in this task, had an impact on subsequent search in the driving clips. Vertically presented information reduced the wide horizontal spread of search usually associated with accurate driving and had a negative influence on the detection of hazards. The findings show the additional dangers of engaging in a secondary task while driving. The attentional inertia effect has significant implications for semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles in which drivers have greater opportunity to direct their attention away from the driving task.
Social Media Idea Ontology: A Concept for Semantic Search of Product Ideas in Customer Knowledge through User-Centered Metrics and Natural Language Processing
In order to survive on the market, companies must
constantly develop improved and new products. These products are
designed to serve the needs of their customers in the best possible
way. The creation of new products is also called innovation and is
primarily driven by a company’s internal research and development
department. However, a new approach has been taking place for some
years now, involving external knowledge in the innovation process.
This approach is called open innovation and identifies customer
knowledge as the most important source in the innovation process. This paper presents a concept of using social media posts as an external source to support the open innovation approach in its
initial phase, the Ideation phase. For this purpose, the social media
posts are semantically structured with the help of an ontology and
the authors are evaluated using graph-theoretical metrics such as
density. For the structuring and evaluation of relevant social media
posts, we also use the findings of Natural Language Processing, e.
g. Named Entity Recognition, specific dictionaries, Triple Tagger
and Part-of-Speech-Tagger. The selection and evaluation of the tools
used are discussed in this paper. Using our ontology and metrics
to structure social media posts enables users to semantically search
these posts for new product ideas and thus gain an improved insight
into the external sources such as customer needs.
The Effect of Kelp Ecklonia maxima Inclusion in Formulated Feed on Growth, Feed Utilization and the Gut Microbiota of South African Abalone Haliotis Midae
Kelp Ecklonia maxima is included in formulated abalone feeds in South Africa, but its effect on abalone growth, feed utilisation efficiency and gut-bacterial communities has not previously been investigated. An eight-month on-farm growth trial with sub-adult Haliotis midae (~43 mm shell length) fed graded levels of kelp in formulated feeds was conducted. Kelp inclusion (0.44–3.54 % of pellet dry mass) promoted faster growth (65.7 – 74.5 % total mass gain), with better feed and protein conversions (FCR: 1.4 – 1.8; PER 2.3 – 2.7), compared to abalone fed the non-supplemented feed (52.3% total mass gain; FCR: 2.1; PER 1.9; p < 0.001). The gut-bacterial communities of abalone fed kelp-supplemented feed (0.88 % of pellet dry mass) were subsequently compared with that of abalone fed a non-supplemented control diet. Abalone gut-bacterial DNA was sequenced using 16S rRNA pyrosequencing and sequences were clustered into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at a 97 % similarity level. A supplementary 16S rRNA denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis was conducted. The dominant OTUs differed in terms of their relative abundances, with that of an autochthonous Mollicutes strain being significantly higher (p = 0.03) in the guts of abalone fed kelp-supplemented feed. The DGGE band patterns displayed a higher within-group variability of dominant bacterial strains for abalone fed the control diet, suggesting that dietary inclusion of kelp, which is rich in fermentable polysaccharides, promotes a balanced gut-bacterial community. This may contribute to the better feed utilisation and growth in abalone fed kelp-supplemented feeds.
An Evaluation of a Sustainable Business Plan in Mexico City: Urban Gardens
Way to get our food has changed over the time, and it is a daily necessity. Nowadays we found a lot of problems involved with the economy, environment, and society, which affect the agrifood system. Some problems as construction of big cities and growing population have been increasing demand food directly. Due to the countryside are far away from the city, another alternative systems have come from, such as Urban Agriculture (UA). UA system offers food production into the cities, products with characteristics as quality, healthy and good prices, close to the customers, recycling culture and the promote environmental education. Last years in Mexico City urban gardens have taken strongly in various politic delegations. There are establishment’s public and private initiatives. Moreover, these places have had different issues like low income, many activities, few workers, low production, lack of training and advice, devaluation of your work and low sales, all these shortcomings generate the devaluation of their work. The aim of this paper is to evaluate a business plan in Mexico City´s urban gardens that contribute to ensuring economic, environmental and social sustainability; to adjust business plan for this places so that they reach viability over time. As a part of soft systems methodology developed of Peter Checkland, we interviewed owners of urban gardens and we found that recurring problem was lack planning manager activities and a master plan about their business. We evaluate the business plan based on “Ten principles in sustainable food value chain development” proposed for Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). With this study was possible measure, understand and improve performance of business plan in the three pillars of the sustainability in addition to this it allowed us to fit in with the needs of urban gardens.
Preparation of Nano-Scaled linbo3 by Polyol Method
Abstract— The growth of optical LiNbO3 single crystal and its physical and chemical properties are well known on the macroscopic scale. Nowadays the rare-earth doped single crystals became important for coherent quantum optical experiments: electromagnetically induced transparency, slow down of light pulses, coherent quantum memory. The expansion of applications is increasingly requiring the production of nano scaled LiNbO3 particles. For example, rare-earth doped nanoscaled particles of lithium niobate can be act like single photon source which can be the bases of a coding system of the quantum computer providing complete inaccessibility to strangers. The polyol method is a chemical synthesis where oxide formation occurs instead of hydroxide because of the high temperature. Moreover the polyol medium limits the growth and agglomeration of the grains producing particles with the diameter of 30-200 nm.
In this work nano scaled LiNbO3 was prepared by the polyol method. The starting materials (niobium oxalate and LiOH) were diluted in H2O2. Then it was suspended in ethylene glycol and heated up to about the boiling point of the mixture with intensive stirring. After the thermal equilibrium was reached, the mixture was kept in this temperature for 4 hours. The suspension was cooled overnight. The mixture was centrifuged and the particles were filtered. Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) measurement was carried out and the size of the particles were found to be 80-100 nms. This was confirmed by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) investigations. The element analysis of SEM showed large amount of Nb in the sample.
The production of LiNbO3 nano particles were succesful by the polyol method. The agglomeration of the particles were avoided and the size of 80-100nm could be reached.
Mitigation of Wind Loads on a Building Using Small Wind Turbines
Extreme wind events, such as hurricanes, have caused significant damage to buildings, resulting in losses worth millions of dollars. The roof of a building is most vulnerable to wind-induced damage due to the high suctions experienced by the roof in extreme wind conditions. Wind turbines fitted to buildings can help generate energy, but to our knowledge, their application to wind load mitigation is not well known. This paper presents results from an experimental study to assess the effect of small wind turbines (developed and patented by the first and second authors) on the wind loads on a low rise building roof. The tests were carried out for an open terrain at the Wall of Wind (WOW) experimental facility at Florida International University (FIU), Miami, Florida, USA, for three cases – bare roof, roof fitted with wind turbines placed closer to the roof edges, and roof with wind turbines placed away from the roof edges. Results clearly indicate that the presence of the wind turbines reduced the mean and peak pressure coefficients (less suction) on the roof when compared to the bare deck case. Furthermore, the peak pressure coefficients were found to be lower (less suction) when the wind turbines were placed closer to the roof, than away from the roof. Flow visualization studies using smoke and gravel clearly showed that the presence of the turbines disrupted the formation of vortices formed by cornering winds, thereby reducing roof suctions and preventing lift off of roof coverings. This study shows that the wind turbines besides generating wind energy, can be used for mitigating wind induced damage to the building roof. Future research must be directed towards understanding the effect of these wind turbines on other roof geometries (e.g. hip/gable) in different terrain conditions.
The Underestimation of Cultural Risk in the Execution of Megaprojects
There is a real danger that both practitioners and researchers considering risks associated with megaprojects ignore or underestimate the impacts of cultural risk. The paper investigates the potential impacts of a failure to achieve cultural unity between the principal actors executing a megaproject. The principle relationships include the relationships between the principle Contractors and the project stakeholders or the project stakeholders and their principle advisors, Western Consultants. This study confirms that cultural dissonance between these parties can delay or disrupt the megaproject execution and examines why cultural issues should be prioritized as a significant risk factor in megaproject delivery. This paper addresses the practical impacts and potential mitigation measures, which may reduce cultural dissonance for a megaproject's delivery. This information is retrieved from on-going case studies in live infrastructure megaprojects in Europe and the Middle East's GCC states, from Western Consultants' perspective. The collaborating researchers each have at least 30 years of construction experience and are engaged in architecture, project management and contracts management, dealing with megaprojects in Europe or the GCC. After examining the cultural interfaces they have observed during the execution of megaprojects, they conclude that globally, culture significantly influences their efficient delivery. The study finds that cultural risk is ever-present, where different nationalities co-manage megaprojects and that cultural conflict poses a real threat to the timely delivery of megaprojects. The study indicates that the higher the cultural distance between the principal actors, the more pronounced the risk, with the risk of cultural dissonance more prominent in GCC megaprojects. The findings support a more culturally aware and cohesive team approach and recommend cross-cultural training to mitigate the effects of cultural disparity.
Ground Response Analyses in Budapest Based on Site Investigations and Laboratory Measurements
Surface sediments and local ground conditions have major influence on seismic response of structures. In this study the focus is on applying investigation methods to obtain soil stiffness and damping properties for use in seismic design. Field and laboratory tests include SCPT, MASW, resonant column, torsional shear, and bender element tests. The site analyzed is in a moderate seismic zone: Budapest, Hungary. The study's aim was to perform tests on identical profiles and soils by different methods, in order to determine what the level of certainty would be for site response analysis and seismic design. Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves and Seismic Cone Penetration Tests were performed at the same locations. Undisturbed samples from adjacent boreholes were used for Resonant Column, Torsional Shear and Bender Element Testing. Often in practice, there is little-to-no data available on dynamic soil properties so properties are estimated for design purposes. Comparisons are made between results from the field, laboratory and estimation methods with respect to their impact on site response and seismic design of buildings. Ground response results are also compared to Eurocode 8 design spectra. Results indicate a significant differences between methodologies. However when data is normalized or adjusted for site conditions, agreement improves. The paper illustrates how to implement data generated from very different tests to achieve the same goal of determining the level of seismic action at a site.
West African Insurgents and Religious Conflict(s), Causes, Crimes and Control: An Evaluation of the Role of Economics Community of West African States
Religious conflict and insurgency are staying as growing phenomena globally especially within the West African region: this 'new wars’ in this part of the globe has brought many of its economies to the brink of collapse, creating humanitarian casualties and concerns for the visitors and international community. This ‘ugly’ trend has also affected the social, economic and political life of the West African region. Over the years, various religious and insurgency groups have raised arms against civilians and the government, the most recent extremist group, Boko Haram continues to expand and commit violent acts, such as sporadic suicide bombings and killing of innocent citizens and foreigners within the West African region especially in countries like Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad etc. It would have been expected that academic research focus on investigating the West African region; this is not the situation as most of the research on religious conflict and insurgencies have focused more on other parts of the World. Insurgencies and Religious Conflict studies in West Africa have fallen short of literature and very limited literature covers the activities of Boko Haram arm struggle. This research therefore, aims to fill the gap by investigating the role of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in managing the growing trend of religious conflicts and insurgency in West African States, by using Boko Haram as a case to review. This research adopted the critical theory paradigm using aspects of qualitative research techniques in carrying out its investigation. The findings of this research will help develop a framework that will aid the (ECOWAS) amongst other stakeholders in managing religious and insurgency motivated conflict.
The Determination of the Phosphorous Solubility in the Iron by the Function of the Other Components
The phosphorous is the important components in the steels, because it makes the changing of the mechanical properties and possibly modifying the structure. The phosphorous can be create the Fe3P compounds, what is segregated in the ferrite grain boundary in the intervals of the nano-, or microscale. This intermetallic compound is decreasing the mechanical properties, for example it makes the blue brittleness which means that the brittle created by the segregated particles at 200 ... 300°C. This work describes the phosphide solubility by the other components effect. We make calculations for the Ni, Mo, Cu, S, V, C, Si, Mn, and the Cr elements by the Thermo-Calc software. We predict the effects by approximate functions. The binary Fe-P system has a solubility line, which has a determinating equation. The result is below: lnwo = -3,439 – 1.903/T where the w0 means the weight percent of the maximum soluted concentration of the phosphorous, and the T is the temperature in Kelvin. The equation show that the P more soluble element when the temperature increasing. The nickel, molybdenum, vanadium, silicon, manganese, and the chromium make dependence to the maximum soluted concentration. These functions are more dependent by the elements concentration, which are lower when we put these elements in our steels. The copper, sulphur and carbon do not make effect to the phosphorous solubility. We predict that all of cases the maximum solubility concentration increases when the temperature more and more high. Between 473K and 673 K, in the phase diagram, these systems contain mostly two or three phase eutectoid, and the singe phase, ferritic intervals. In the eutectoid areas the ferrite, the iron-phosphide, and the metal (III)-phospide are in the equilibrium. In these modelling we predicted that which elements are good for avoid the phosphide segregation or not. These datas are important when we make or choose the steels, where the phosphide segregation stopping our possibilities.
University of Sciences and Technology of Oran Mohamed Boudiaf (USTO-MB)
Propolis is a resin-like material used by bees to fill large gap holes in the beehive. It has been found to possess anti-inflammatory property, which stimulates hair growth in rats by inducing hair keratinocytes proliferation, causing water retention and preventing damage caused by heat, ultraviolet rays, and other microorganisms without abnormalities in hair follicles. The present study aimed to formulate 10% and 30% Propolis Hair Cream for use in enhancing hair properties. Raw propolis sample was tested for heavy metals using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; zinc and chromium were found to be present. Likewise, propolis was extracted in a percolator using 70% ethanol and concentrated under vacuum using a rotary evaporator. The propolis extract was analyzed for total flavonoid content. Compatibility of the propolis extract with excipients was evaluated using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). No significant changes in organoleptic properties, pH and viscosity of the formulated creams were noted after four weeks of storage at 2-8°C, 30°C, and 40°C. The formulated creams were found to be non-irritating based on the Modified Draize Rabbit Test. In vivo efficacy was evaluated based on thickness and tensile strength of hair grown on previously shaved rat skin. Results show that the formulated 30% propolis-based cream had greater hair enhancing properties than the 10% propolis cream, which had a comparable effect with minoxidil.