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    8656 research outputs found

    ‘The International Style’ multilingual three-dimensional grammar and hybrid designs

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    The present paper describes a multilingual shape grammar to recreate the work of three designers that preconized the ‘International Style’. This is a top-down three-dimensional formulation. Whilst most grammars are monolingual and univocal, this work creates a multilingual formulation within the same artistic movement. Typically, a grammar describes a family of design solutions. These are helpful mechanisms to describe patterns that can be used for analysis or design exploration. This multilingual three-dimensional parametric grammar allows the independent recreation of original designs from three designers and hybrid solutions. Shape grammar's difficult application can be linked to its evaluation process. The original contribution of the study lies in the use of quantitative and qualitative methods for grammar evaluation, using Principal Components Analysis and user questionnaires. The PCA provides a pragmatic analysis, and the questionnaires an intuitive reading. Together they corroborate the results which are discussed using hybrids that assist in delineating parametric spaces

    Post-Activation Potentation of Trunk Rotational Movement on Punch Power Output in Amateur Bozers

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    This study aimed to investigate the post-activation potentiation (PAP) effect of a woodchop conditioning activity combined with an elastic resistance band on enhancing punching impact power among fifty-three amateur boxers (age = 21.8 ± 4.7 years). The experimental protocol began with a pretest measuring punch impact power for rear hook, cross-punch, and frontal hook. Subsequently, participants underwent a PAP warm-up, which included a woodchop conditioning activity with an elastic resistance band at a moderate intensity, followed by a 7-minute rest interval. A onegroup pretest-posttest design was utilised to assess changes in impact power before and after the intervention. The data revealed that participants exhibited significantly greater punching impact power after completing the PAP protocol (p < .05). However, effect size (d) was trivial (d < 0.20). The data was then stratified into subgroups based on competitive level (Open-class vs. Development) and Resistance Training (RT) experience (Advanced vs. Novice). Results indicated that although significance difference was found in all three punch variations in the Development group, the effect size remained trivial. In contrast, although the Open-class group only showed significance in both the rear hook and frontal hook, the magnitude of the difference between groups was small in all three punch variations (d = 0.2-0.6). Analysing the data based on RT experience, the Novice group reported a significant difference in all punches with trivial effect sizes. Meanwhile, the Advanced group exhibited significance in the rear hook and frontal hook, but no significance in the cross-punch. Nevertheless, all three punches showed small effect sizes. In summary, the findings suggest that when combined with a woodchop conditioning activity and an elastic resistance band, PAP may lead to improvements in punch performance. Coaches and athletes seeking novel approaches to enhance performance may find this information valuable. However, it's important to note that while participants did punch with greater impact post-PAP, those with greater resistance training experience and of higher competitive level should a greater PAP sensitivity. Further research may be needed to explore the practical significance of these findings

    The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement: The Development of a Rules-Based Trading Order

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    In 2018 the members of the African Union adopted the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA). This book examines the AfCFTA, dissecting its key provisions. It stresses the importance of the AfCFTA against increasing episodes of trade protection in Africa, and it theorizes on the role of the Treaty organs. The book also examines the importance of citizen participation for the success of the AfCFTA as well as exploring the role sub-state actors can play. Ultimately, the study adds to the understanding of the array of problems that are associated with regional trade in Africa and the role law plays in resolving these problems. It will be of importance to academics and students of international law, especially those with an interest in African trade law, as well as legal professionals and policy-makers

    The effects of high intensity interval training on quality of life: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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    Aim: This study aimed to ascertain the impact of high intensity interval training (HIIT) on physical, mental, and overall quality of life (QoL) through a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis. Subject and Methods: A systematic search for relevant trials was performed via PubMed, the Cochrane Library and Web of science as well as the manual screening of prior meta-analyses and their respective reference lists (PROSPERO reference: CRD42022326576). Adult controlled trials investigating the effects of a >2-week HIIT intervention with an eligible non-intervention control group were considered. As the primary outcome, studies were required to include at least one measure of physical and/or mental and/or overall QoL, on any validated QoL domain, pre and post intervention. Results: Twenty-two studies with twenty-four effect sizes were included; seventeen comparing HIIT and overall QoL, fourteen comparing HIIT and physical QoL and thirteen studies comparing HIIT and mental QoL. There was a statistically significant improvement in physical (SMD= 0.405, 95% CI: 0.110- 0.700, p= 0.007), mental (SMD= 0.473, 95% CI: 0.043 –0.902, p=0.031) and overall QoL (SMD= 0.554, 95% CI 0.210-0.898, p=0.002) following a program of HIIT. Secondary analysis of 5 studies comparing HIIT against moderate intensity continuous training demonstrated no significant difference in improvement between the two modes (SMD= -0.094, CI= -0.506-0.318, p=0.655). Conclusion: Engaging in HIIT produces statistically significant improvements in physical, mental, and overall quality of life in clinical and non-clinical populations at a small to moderate effect size. Furthermore, HIIT appears as effective as MICT in improving overall QoL, offering a more time-efficient exercise option

    How Culture and Legal Environment affect Classification Shifting? Global Evidence

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    This study examines the interplay between various cultural characteristics and the legal environment on classification shifting using a global sample that enables variability in underlying cultural characteristics across countries while controlling for heterogeneity. Given that both culture and the legal environment tend to exhibit low variability over time, our international cross-country analysis with diverse cultural dimensions and legal frameworks enhances the robustness of our empirical findings. Our identification strategy employs several models and shows the significant impact of culture on classification shifting and the interactions between national culture and the legal environment on classification shifting behaviour, though there is variability across countries. We also find that certain traits of culture induce classification shifting. We highlight that strengthening the legal environment becomes crucial in creating an institutional framework that effectively curbs unethical practices induced by certain national culture traits and enhances transparency and accountability in financial reporting

    Blockchain-based Decentralised Application (DApp) towards Achieving a Hunger-Free World

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    Context: Food poverty has increased due to the socio-economic effects of the post-COVID-19 pandemic. Reporting issues have caused discrepancies between independent and official reports on food insecurity. Objective: This study explores the potential of a trustless, transparent, decentralised blockchain system in reducing and accurately measuring the growth of food poverty. Methods: An analysis of food bank operations was conducted to identify existing issues. The study developed a hybrid Decentralised Application (DApp) using the MERN Stack and Truffle Suite alongside Solidity for programming. Results: The study identified operational issues within food banks, aligning with existing literature. The main deliverable was a pre-alpha version of a functional hybrid DApp. Innovation: A novel Web3 authentication protocol was developed for integration within the DApp, potentially catalysing industry growth by providing a reliable and easy-to-integrate solution for user authentication. Conclusion: Utilising blockchain technology with food circularity principles can significantly bolster food redistribution efforts. The study provides evidence that this approach could enhance redistribution by 87% within the UK, effectively reducing food poverty

    Indoor environmental conditions of selected shopping malls in Nigeria: A comparative study of microclimatic conditions, noise levels, and microbial burdens

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    The activities of people and equipment used within shopping malls are major factors that contribute to air pollution and increased sound levels, thereby affecting indoor environmental quality and the well-being of mall operators. This study assessed indoor environmental quality through microbial characterization and measurement of environmental conditions present in selected shopping malls. Investigations were conducted at three shopping malls in Ibadan selected through convenience sampling technique. Environmental parameters such as noise level, relative humidity, temperature, PM₂.₅ levels, total volatile organic compound (TVOC) levels, microbial characterization, and quantity were determined. Microclimatic parameters (temperature and relative humidity) were measured using a 4-in-1 Precision Gold N09AQ multi-tester. Culturable airborne microbes were collected using the settle plate technique. PM₂.₅ and TVOC levels were measured using a Thermo Scientific MIE pDR-1500 PM monitor and sf200-TVOC meter respectively. Two bacteria species and five fungi species were isolated across the malls. The noise levels ranged from 61.27 to 81.20 dB. The mean temperatures (highest mean of 33.44 ± 1.42 °C), PM₂.₅ (highest mean of 114.06 ± 25.64 μg/m³), and TVOC (highest mean of 55.21 ± 8.28 ppm) concentrations were higher than the permissible limits stipulated by the WHO guidelines and NESREA standard limits across all the selected malls. A positive correlation was found to exist between particulate matter and TVOC (r = 0.174, p = 0.004). The total bacteria count was generally high with the highest mean of 1965.33 ± 368.56 CFU/m³, while the total fungi count was generally low with the highest mean of 579.82 ± 51.55 CFU/m³. Bacillus spp. and Candida spp. were found to the consistent from all sample points across the three malls. The bacteria isolated are Gram-positive bacteria associated with human skin which suggests a high rate of indoor pollution from humans. In conclusion, this research has demonstrated the necessity to monitor noise levels and indoor air quality in malls. Also, there is need for government policies to improve indoor air quality which must be enforced and regulated, especially within shopping malls

    Intention to Hack? Applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour to Youth Criminal Hacking

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    Adolescents are currently the most digitally connected generation in history. There is an ever-growing need to understand how typical adolescent risk-taking intersects with the vastly criminogenic potential of digital technology. Criminal hacking in older adolescents (16–19-year-olds) was assessed using an adapted Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) model, a cohesive theoretical framework that incorporates cognitive processes and human drivers (informed by psychology, cyberpsychology, and criminology theory). In 2021, a large-scale anonymous online survey was conducted across nine European countries. Criminal hacking was assessed using data from 3985 participants (M = 1895, 47.55%; F = 1968, 49.39%). This study formulated a powerful predictive model of youth hacking intention (accounting for 38.8% of the variance) and behaviour (accounting for 33.6% of the variance). A significant minority, approximately one in six (16.34%), were found to have engaged in hacking, and approximately 2% reported engaging in hacking often or very often. Increased age, being male, and offline deviant behaviour were significant predictors of hacking behaviour. In line with the TPB, intention was the strongest individual predictor of hacking behaviour, which in turn was significantly predicted by cognitive processes accounted for by TPB constructs: subjective norms of family and peers, attitudes towards hacking, and perceived behavioural control. These TPB constructs were found to be significantly associated with human factors of risk-taking, toxic online disinhibition, offline deviant behaviour, and demographic variables of age and gender. Implications for future research, interventions, policy, and practice are discussed

    Rubrics in higher education: an exploration of undergraduate students’ understanding and perspectives

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    Rubrics are an assessment framework commonly employed in higher education settings; however, students can engage with and perceive them to be used in a variety of ways and with varying degrees of success. The aim of this research project was to explore these perceptions, to better understand how rubrics might be used to support students more effectively to successful academic outcomes. Fourteen interviews were conducted over a period of fourteen months, and four themes were identified: rubric introductions; rubric content (including language and format); student rubric use and the role of rubrics in how work is assessed. Findings were considered from thematic perspectives of the student participants. Conclusions drawn focus on the quality of classroom discussion when rubrics are introduced, the practical application of rubrics as a writing or planning tool, the need for detail and clarity in language use and explicit links between feedback and rubrics. Overall, effective engagement with rubrics appears to reduce student anxiety

    The Civic Republican Deficit in Africa and the Failure of Post-colonial Trade Arrangements

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