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    More than a Monolith: Podcasting Authentic Self-Concepts and Cultural Expressions in Canada

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    This dissertation explores how podcasters from different racial and ethnic groups in Canada use podcasting to articulate their own identities and represent themselves and their communities through sound and language. Ten non-public podcasts were compared to ten publicly produced podcasts from the CBC between 2015 and 2020. In total, three episodes from each of the 20 podcasts were listened to for a total of 60 episodes. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used to evaluate how podcasters linguistically self-express. Sound analysis helped examine how podcasters use voice, music, added FX, and archival audio to articulate their cultural identities. Interviews contextualized how podcasters conceived of their production, their motivations, and their podcast goals to represent community and revisit cultural histories in Canada. The findings indicate that “history” and “true crime” podcasters in public and non-public models tend to critique institutionally produced myths about Canadian identity that have shaped colonial understandings of Canada today and the people who are products of its systems. On the other hand, “society and culture” podcasters from public and non-public models tend to support cross-national communication where members of non-hegemonic groups address various communities as heterogeneous collectives rather than monoliths. Findings also indicate that public (CBC) and non-public podcasts both encourage open self-expression and national criticism. Podcasts can promote voices that are difficult to access elsewhere and deepen what people can learn about infrequently taught or underrepresented historical experiences and modern cultural practices. Podcasters in this study often authored their sense of selves using local, multinational, and diasporic labels beyond a “Canadian” label and its cultural connotations. Podcasters explicitly talking about their race or ethnicity often contextualized how it influences, and is influenced by, their professional, political, and social experiences. Sonically, podcasters audibly self-represented using their regular speaking voices that reject standardized broadcasting voices. Overall, this dissertation forwards that podcasts help critique Canadian history while celebrating non-settler histories and experiences that shape what podcasters believe to be their authentic selves exhibited in their vocalized values, attitudes, and beliefs. Thus, podcasts invite us to hear a diversity of peoples, perspectives, and cultures in public and non-public production spaces

    Influence of a visual landmark shift on memory-guided reaching in the monkey

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    Reach and gaze data were collected from one female Macaca mulatta monkey (ML) trained to perform a memory-guided reaching task to determine the influence of allocentric cue shifts on reaching responses in the non-human primate. A landmark (4 ‘dots’ spaced 10° apart forming the corners of a virtual square) was presented at 1 of 15 locations on a touch screen. The landmark either reappeared at the same location (stable landmark condition) or shifted by 8° in one of 8 directions (landmark shift condition). ‘No-landmark’ controls were the same, but without the landmark. The presence of a stable landmark increased the accuracy of both gaze and touch responses and the precision of gaze. In the landmark shift condition, reaches shifted partially (mean = 29 %) with the landmark. Overall, these data suggest that the monkey is influenced by visual landmarks when reaching to remembered targets in a similar way as humans

    Upgrade Test Conference Presentation

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    The Effect of Circular Vection on the Subjective Postural Horizontal in the Pitch Plane

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    Postural orientation assessments, including the subjective postural horizontal (SPH) test, has been demonstrated as a great tool for assessing otoliths contributions to postural orientation and balance (Beule et al., 2006). Previous work has shown that dynamic visual stimuli, in the form of circular vection (CV) in the roll plane, significantly affects the body position and horizontal orientation perception of the support surface (Cleworth et al., 2023). However, CV in the pitch plane has been shown to introduce a different form of the visual stimulus and elicit distinct postural strategies compared to the roll plane. Therefore, by altering the support surface and visual information, this study aims to examine the effect of applying pitch CV in VR, on the body response and perception of horizontal orientation of the support surface. Overall, pitch CV significantly affected SPH of the platform and body position. This thesis contributes to our understanding of the complex integration of the visual and vestibular systems during postural orientation tests and offers a potential avenue for testing postural orientation and balance deficits in clinical populations

    Structural and Functional Insights into the F Plasmid Type IV Secretion System proteins TrbI and TrbB

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    Bacteria have evolved elaborate mechanisms to thrive in stressful environments. One mechanism that bacteria utilize are secretion systems that can traverse protective lipid cell membranes and serve as mediators for a diverse set of goals, including the secretion of toxins implicated with target host pathogenesis. F-like plasmids in gram-negative bacteria encode for the multi-protein Type IV Secretion System (T4SSF) that is functional for bacterial proliferation and adaptation through the process of conjugation. The periplasmic protein TrbB is believed to have a stabilizing chaperone role in the T4SSF assembly, with TrbB exhibiting disulfide isomerase (DI) activity. In the current report, we demonstrate that residues W57-K181, which include the active thioredoxin motif, are sufficient for DI activity. Moreover, a structural model of GST-TrbBWT based on ColabFold-AlphaFold2 and Small Angle X-Ray Scattering data indicate that TrbBWT’s N-terminus is disordered, and this disordered nature likely contributes to the protein’s dynamicity and recalcitrance to crystallization. A truncation construct, TrbB57-181, was designed and found to exhibit higher physicochemical stability using 1H-15N Heteronuclear Single Quantum Correlation spectroscopy and Circular Dichroism spectroscopy. Binding studies of TrbB and other T4SSF proteins TrbI and TraW were performed, and results do not support the inference of a stable complex forming in vitro. Comparative studies of TrbB, TraF, and TrbI also provide insights into the structure of these T4SSF component proteins. Lastly, crystallization trials of GST-TrbBWT and GST-TrbI provide leads for future crystallization campaigns

    Analysis of the Quality of the Green Bonds for Climate Action

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    This research aims to quantify and evaluate the quality of green bonds in terms of transparency and additionality at the issuance level. The study reveals the differences between different countries and industry groupings in their green bond quality assessment and aims to provide a snapshot of the status of the market. For the purpose of this study, 241 green bonds were analyzed. The sample represents 31% of the 774 green bonds disclosed by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) as aligned with ICMA Green Bond Principles which covers 2016 – 2022 period as updated on 25 November 2022. For each green bond issuance, the same metrics were collected through an extensive review of the publicly available green bond frameworks and their impact reporting practices. Using the data extracted and coded by the author, each issuance is scored in terms of transparency and additionality. In this study, the disclosure practices concerning the use of proceeds of an issuance feed the transparency score. On the other hand, additionality is assessed based on the presence of refinancing and if any, the share of refinancing in the total use of proceeds. Hence, an issuance may receive a high transparency score with a low additionality score in the final scoring table. Each selected metric, such as disclosure of the excluded activities from financing, affects only transparency or additionality assessment. At the same time there are some interdependencies between iii metrics. For instance, the share of refinancing in total financing is a determinant of additionality. However, to be able to assess this, there should be a disclosure of the refinancing share which feeds the transparency score. There is a growing literature focusing on the greenwashing risk in the financial markets. This research fills a significant gap in the literature in two aspects. First, it creates a green bond database focusing on detailed disclosures. To the best knowledge of the author, there is no similar database publicly available. Secondly, the analysis provides an evidence-based analysis of the quality of issuances. The results of this study indicate that there is significant room for improvement in the transparency practices of the green bonds even if they are aligned with the ICMA Green Bond Principles. Further policy development is needed to enhance the reporting practices of the issuers to limit the risk of greenwashing. Green bonds are not designed as tools to finance greenfield projects only. Any green bond can be fully or partially dedicated to refinancing. The results show that the majority of the issuances are dedicated fully or partially to refinancing. This resulted in lower additionality scores. The additionality scoring helps to distinguish financial capital dedicated to address climate change from green bond issuances structured as “nice to have” labels. In the absence of clear intentions and transparent communication of impact, no kind of label can help us in the middle of a global climate catastrophe. This iv research aims to provide evidence of the urgent improvements required in climate finance market by specifically focusing on its shining star green bonds

    Development of a Kinetically Engineered Microbial Community for Nitrite Shunt as a B-Stage Process Using Different Aeration Strategies

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    Nowadays, depleted energy resources, increasing worldwide energy demand and global climate change has been witnessed. In accordance, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have prioritized minimizing its energy use, maximizing resources recovery, while efficiently treating the received wastewater. Shortcut BNR (SBNR) has been proposed as an energy-efficient nutrients removal process towards lowering the energy use of the current WWTPs. Nonetheless, full-scale implementation of SBNR in mainstream conditions has been hindered by the major challenge of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB out-selection. To address such a key bottleneck, this dissertation proposes, for the first time, a novel kinetic-adaptation based strategy to engineer the microbial community to maintain NOB out-selection at mainstream conditions. The successful implementation of such a strategy and its underlying mechanisms was demonstrated and investigated for more than 400 days. In result, an ammonia removal efficiency of 99.4±0.4% and nitrite accumulation rate of 87.4±0.6% under low DO levels of 0.1–0.2 mg/L was reached. Afterwards, the potential to employ the developed strategy to perform mainstream nitrite shunt was investigated considering the limited carbon availability in the A-stage effluent, its fractionation, and the applied aeration strategy. At carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio as low as 6.0, ammonia, COD and total inorganic nitrogen (TIN) removal efficiencies of 99.2±0.7, 94.0±0.1 and 93.2±1.6% were successfully achieved under continuous low DO aeration strategy. Investigations revealed that maintaining NOB suppression played a key role in achieving high TIN without the need for external carbon addition. Two more aeration strategies were investigated, low DO intermittent aeration and high DO intermittent aeration. At C:N ratio as low as 6, higher TIN removal of 95.8±0.9% was achieved at low DO compared to high DO which achieved a TIN removal of 73.8±1.7%. Therefore, it was concluded that the developed kinetic-adaptation strategy can be utilized along with different aeration strategies with slight advantage to low DO intermittent aeration for its higher TIN removal with limited carbon. The findings of this dissertation present a novel strategy that blaze a trail to overcome the major bottleneck of NOB out-selection to implement nitrite shunt at mainstream as energy and resources efficient B-stage process

    A Two-Eyed Seeing Approach to Evaluating an eIntervention for Inuit Youth Using Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit

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    Inuit youth have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Presently, there is no culturally appropriate suicide intervention for this population. This study aimed to evaluate the process of developing the I-SPARX CBT e-Intervention, and its content, using Two-Eyed Seeing. Four data sets from the 2018-2019 I-SPARX project were used in this study from four communities across Nunavut: Iqaluit (n=22), Qamani’tuaq (n=3), and Kinngait (n=4). One focus group was held in Tkaronto (n=5) with youth from Iqaluktuuttiaq. Thematic Analysis explored responses to research questions as grounded in the two frameworks —three Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) principles and western CBT skills. Results demonstrated that features of the process of collaboratively developing I-SPARX met principles set out in the IQ framework. Aspects of the process of adapting fit with IQ, with Piliriqatigiingniq (Collaborative Relationships) being the most prominent IQ. Features of CBT underlying the I-SPARX game met principles set out in the IQ framework: the most prominent principles reflected in the content were Pilimmaksarniq (Skills and Knowledge Acquisition) and Qanuqtuurunnarniq (Problem Solving). Both the process and content of the I-SPARX project met criteria for a Two-Eyed Seeing evaluation, meshing IQ principles with western CBT applications. Limitations of this study, that engaged a small sample of Inuit youth, are discussed. Recommendations for future research, include incorporating additional IQ principles to expand on Inuit cultural perspectives. Preliminary results suggest that I-SPARX could be efficacious for contributing to Inuit cultural research in development and evaluation of mental health and wellness e-interventions for Inuit youth

    My Exhibition on Cute Dogs Wearing Christmas Outfits

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    My exhibition on cute dogs wearing Christmas outfits

    Best Laid Birth Plans: a relational analysis of the legal rights of birthing people in Canada

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    While it is trite law in Canada that patients have the right to make their own medical decisions, news reports, regulatory complaints, and civil claims indicate that this right is failing to translate to delivery rooms. This thesis examines the gaps between the legal rights of birthing people in Canada as they exist “on the books” and the way those rights are experienced, using the critical theory of Law in Action. Building on feminist critiques of the traditional liberal conception of autonomy, this thesis conceptualizes childbirth as an experience deeply embedded in relations to others and concludes that to close the gaps between legal rights and lived experiences, we must craft law and policy in a manner that accounts for the broader relational context in which childbirth occurs

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