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    The Dis/appearance of Animals in Animated Film during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976

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    Conventional studies of the Chinese Cultural Revolution usually come from a human-centered perspective that focuses on politics, revolution, class struggle, trauma, resistance, and agency as represented in such established artistic forms as literature, feature film, theatre, painting, and poster. This kind of approach is presence-centered by drawing attention to the most visible scenarios under the revolutionary limelight at that time. In contrast, this article calls attention to what was invisible in the much-discussed cultural scene at that time: how animals were represented and underrepresented in the marginalized genre of animation. Animation, like fairytales, fables, and parables, is usually an artistic form of fantasy full of (talking) animals. Prior to the Cultural Revolution, animated films were replete with (anthropomorphic) animals. As animated films began to be dominated by politicized human actions in the mid 1960s, animals systematically disappeared from the silver screen until the late 1970s. The Chinese Cultural Revolution can be redefined as a decade of absent animals. However, these animals did not vanish completely during the Cultural Revolution; rather they took refuge in the bodies of ethnic minorities and villains, waiting for opportunities to return, get revenge, and talk back. The disappearance of animals in the mid 1960s marked the start of the Cultural Revolution. When the animals finally returned to the silver screen in the late 1970s, the seemly impregnable ideology of the Cultural Revolution gradually disintegrated

    Optimal pricing and inventory policies with reliable and random-yield suppliers: characterization and comparison

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    In this paper, we study the joint pricing and inventory replenishment problem for a periodic-review inventory system with random demand and dual suppliers, one of the suppliers is reliable but more expensive, the other supplier is less expensive but is unreliable with random yield. We characterize the firm's optimal policies that simultaneously determine the optimal ordering and pricing decisions in each period over a finite planning horizon, and investigate the impacts of supply source diversification and supplier reliability on the firm and on its customers. We show that having source diversification or higher reliability of suppliers not only increases the firm's expected profit, but also results in a lower optimal selling price, thus they benefit both the firm and its customers. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York

    Thermoelectric properties of Sm<inf>1-x</inf>La<inf>x</inf>BaCuFeO<inf>5</inf> ceramics

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    La-doped SmBaCuFeO<inf>5</inf> polycrystalline ceramics have been prepared through sol-gel method followed by solid-state sintering reaction. A significant enhancement in the thermoelectric properties of SmBaCuFeO<inf>5</inf> has been achieved by La doping. Our results reveal that the La doping can lead to a remarkable increase in the electrical conductivity of 2 orders of magnitude. The Seebeck coefficient decreases with increasing La content, which is consistent with the increased electrical conductivity. Thermal conductivity at room temperature decreases from 2.1 W m-1 K-1 to 1.7 W m-1 K-1 due to the existence of nano-sized grains in the high substitutive content samples. The maximum ZT of 0.042 at 1023 K is obtained for Sm<inf>0.6</inf>La<inf>0.4</inf>BaCuFeO<inf>5</inf>, which is 13 times more than that of the pristine sample. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

    microRNA-184 functions as tumor suppressor in renal cell carcinoma

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    microRNAs (miRNAs) are evolutionarily conserved, endogenous, small, noncoding RNA molecules of approximately 22 nucleotides in length that function as post-transcriptional gene regulators. Their aberrant expression may be involved in human diseases, including cancer. Although miRNA-184 (miR-184) has been reported in other tumors, its function in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is still unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of miR-184 in RCC. The impacts of miR-184 on cell migration, proliferation and apoptosis were evaluated using migration scratch, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and flow cytometry assay. Our studies revealed that miR-184 mimic significantly inhibits cell migration, suppresses cell proliferation and induces renal cancer cell apoptosis in vitro when compared with the negative control (P<0.05). In this study, it was observed that miR-184 played a significant role as a tumor suppressor in RCC. Therefore, miR-184 may be a promising therapeutic target for renal cancer treatment in the future

    Identifying the Sources and Processes of Mercury in Subtropical Estuarine and Ocean Sediments Using Hg Isotopic Composition

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    The concentrations and isotopic compositions of mercury (Hg) in surface sediments of the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) and the South China Sea (SCS) were analyzed. The data revealed significant differences between the total Hg (THg) in fine-grained sediments collected from the PRE (8-251 mu g kg(-1)) and those collected from the SCS (12-83 mu g kg(-1)). Large spatial variations in Hg isotopic compositions were observed in the SCS (delta Hg-202, from -2.82 to -2.10 parts per thousand; Delta Hg-199, from +0.21 to +0.45 parts per thousand) and PRE (delta Hg-202, from -2.80 to -0.68 parts per thousand; Delta Hg-199, from -0.15 to +0.16 parts per thousand). The large positive Delta Hg-199 in the SCS indicated that a fraction of Hg has undergone Hg2+ photoreduction processes prior to incorporation into the sediments. The relatively negative Delta Hg-199 values in the PRE indicated that photoreduction of Hg is not the primary route for the removal of Hg from the water column. The riverine input of fine particles played an important role in transporting Hg to the PRE sediments. In the deep ocean bed of the SCS, source-related signatures of Hg isotopes may have been altered by natural geochemical processes (e.g., Hg2+ photoreduction and preferential adsorption processes). Using Hg isotope compositions, we estimate that river deliveries of Hg from industrial and urban sources and natural soils could be the main inputs of Hg to the PRE. However, the use of Hg isotopes as tracers in source attribution could be limited because of the isotope fractionation by natural processes in the SCS

    What and what not to expect from your Ph.D. advisor

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    Pursuing a research degree like a Ph.D. is a tough task. Apart from the breadth and the depth of the scholastic skills needed to finish a Ph.D. program, what makes it also tough is the "human aspect." I am referring to the relationship that a graduate student has with his or her Ph.D. advisor. A graduate student typically spends between four and five years working toward a Ph.D. degree. By and large, both graduate students and their supervisors begin to understand each other's personality and style of work a few years into the program. This article is geared toward those who face difficulties in adjusting to the research group, especially with their advisors, in the first one to two years. Those who are able to adjust quickly are better off in their research productivity earlier; those who take a longer time eventually arrive there through a painful process. © 2015 IEEE

    Performance-based design optimization of tall concrete framed structures subject to wind excitations

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    This paper presents an integrated computational design optimization method for the performance-based design of tall buildings subjected to various levels of wind,excitation. A performance-based wind engineering design framework is proposed by defining various performance objectives associated with multiple levels of wind hazards. A nonlinear static pushover analysis is employed to predict the inelastic drift performance of tall buildings subject to very rare extreme wind events. The optimal performance-based design problem considering inelastic deformation is formulated and solved by the augmented optimality criteria method. The effectiveness and practicality of the optimal wind-resistant performance-based design technique are illustrated by a practical 40-story residential building. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

    Microstructure and phase transformation of wear resistant ductile iron grinding balls by continuous cooling process

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    The hardenability of wear resistant ductile iron austenitized at different temperatures was analyzed by Jominy end-quenching test, and continuous cooling transformation (CCT) curves were determined by Gleeble 1500D. The temperature variety curves were recorded by thermocouples during the test, and the cooling rate curves were obtained. It was indicated that there were significant influences of austenitizing temperature and Jominy distance (DJ) on the cooling rate. All specimens had undergone three different heat transfer mechanisms including film boiling mechanism, nucleate boiling mechanism and natural convection mechanism. Meanwhile, the cooling rate also had a distinct influence on the microstructure characteristics of ductile iron. The results of hardness test and microstructure observation indicated that the specimen austenitized at 830°C had the most suitable hardness distribution, with high hardness on the quenching end and high toughness inside. That means that the grinding balls present function gradient characteristic can be obtained after continuous cooling. In addition, as to the specimen austenitized at 780°C, the hardness was lower for the partially austenitized mixture microstructure. As to the specimen austenitized at 880°C, the coarsing of the microstructure occurred, which affected the mechanical properties significantly. © 2014 Elsevier B.V

    Promoting collaborative problem-solving skills in a course on engineering grand challenges

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    The ability to solve problems with people of diverse backgrounds is essential for engineering graduates. A course on engineering grand challenges was designed to promote collaborative problem-solving (CPS) skills. One unique component is that students need to work both within their own team and collaborate with the other team to tackle engineering challenges. It is found that the course facilitates the development in CPS skills and that the process, in which two teams develop arguments and integrate the initial ideas to generate a final solution, is a critical component. The value of CPS skills in tackling engineering problems has also been demonstrated. Appropriate scaffolding, explicit training and constant feedback on collaborative processes are found as important for the skill development

    Performance objective-based dynamic adjustment model to balance the stakeholders' satisfaction in PPP projects

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    Aiming to balance the interests of the principal stakeholders (the private sector, the government and the general public) in Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) projects, the satisfaction of stakeholders were researched thoroughly in this paper. A satisfaction evaluation model was structured based on authors' prior questionnaire survey focusing on the performance objective indicators (POIs) of different stakeholders. The parties' preferred POIs were identified as follows: all three parties emphasize the objectives of construction quality, service quality, cost, time, and lifecycle cost very much. Individually, the private sector prefer the objectives of profit making and government support, the government prefer the objectives of budget saving and risk transfer, and the general public prefer the objectives of toll rate and the facilities' quantities. Furthermore, a satisfaction adjustment model was proposed based on the interrelationships of the adjusting POIs and their impact on the stakeholders' satisfaction by using the feedback loops of System Dynamics (SD). An illustrative case was also introduced, the results of which indicated that the satisfaction evaluation and adjustment model could be well applied to balance the interests of stakeholders and also improve the general performance of the project


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