27,775 research outputs found

    Supernatural crossing in Republican Chinese fiction, 1920s–1940s

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    This dissertation studies supernatural narratives in Chinese fiction from the mid-1920s to the 1940s. The literary works present phenomena or elements that are or appear to be supernatural, many of which remain marginal or overlooked in Sinophone and Anglophone academia. These sources are situated in the May Fourth/New Culture ideological context, where supernatural narratives had to make way for the progressive intellectuals’ literary realism and their allegorical application of supernatural motifs. In the face of realism, supernatural narratives paled, dismissed as impractical fantasies that distract one from facing and tackling real life. Nevertheless, I argue that the supernatural narratives do not probe into another mystical dimension that might co-exist alongside the empirical world. Rather, they imagine various cases of the characters’ crossing to voice their discontent with contemporary society or to reflect on the notion of reality. “Crossing” relates to characters’ acts or processes of trespassing the boundary that separates the supernatural from the conventional natural world, thus entailing encounters and interaction between the natural and the supernatural. The dissertation examines how crossing, as a narrative device, disturbs accustomed and mundane situations, releases hidden tensions, and discloses repressed truths in Republican fiction. There are five types of crossing in the supernatural narratives. Type 1 is the crossing into “haunted” houses. This includes (intangible) human agency crossing into domestic spaces and revealing secrets and truths concealed by the scary, feigned ‘haunting’, thus exposing the hidden evil and the other house occupiers’ silenced, suffocated state. Type 2 is men crossing into female ghosts’ apparitional residences. The female ghosts allude to heart-breaking, traumatic experiences in socio-historical reality, evoking sympathetic concern for suffering individuals who are caught in social upheavals. Type 3 is the crossing from reality into the characters’ delusional/hallucinatory realities. While they physically remain in the empirical world, the characters’ abnormal perceptions lead them to exclusive, delirious, and quasi-supernatural experiences of reality. Their crossings blur the concrete boundaries between the real and the unreal on the mental level: their abnormal perceptions construct a significant, meaningful reality for them, which may be as real as the commonly regarded objective reality. Type 4 is the crossing into the netherworld modelled on the real world in the authors’ observation and bears a spectrum of satirised objects of the Republican society. The last type is immortal visitors crossing into the human world. This type satirises humanity’s vices and destructive potential. The primary sources demonstrate their writers’ witty passion to play with super--natural notions and imagery (such as ghosts, demons, and immortals) and stitch them into vivid, engaging scenes using techniques such as the gothic, the grotesque, and the satirical, in order to evoke sentiments such as terror, horror, disgust, dis--orientation, or awe, all in service of their insights into realist issues. The works also creatively tailor traditional Chinese modes and motifs, which exemplifies the revival of Republican interest in traditional cultural heritage. The supernatural narratives may amaze or disturb the reader at first, but what is more shocking, unpleasantly nudging, or thought-provoking is the problematic society and people’s lives that the supernatural (misunderstandings) eventually reveals. They present a more compre--hensive treatment of reality than Republican literature with its revolutionary consciousness surrounding class struggle. The critical perspectives of the supernatural narratives include domestic space, unacknowledged history and marginal individuals, abnormal mentality, and pervasive weaknesses in humanity. The crossing and supernatural narratives function as a means of better understanding the lived reality. This study gathers diverse primary sources written by Republican writers from various educational and political backgrounds and interprets them from a rare perspective, thus filling a research gap. It promotes a fuller view of supernatural narratives in twentieth-century Chinese literature. In terms of reflecting the social and personal reality of the Republican era, the supernatural narratives supplement the realist fiction of the time

    Transportation Planning, Policy, and Electric Micro-Mobilities: A Knowledge Synthesis of Recent Publications

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    This SSHRC-funded (Grant #972-2020-1009) scoping review synthesizes existing research (2010-2021) related to both private and shared electric micro-mobilities (i.e. e-bikes, e-scooters, e-unicycles, e-skateboards). It considers themes such as: rider demographics, usage, and motivations; mobility justice; benefits of and barriers to EMM use; safety and injuries; modal shift among forms of transportation; rider satisfaction with mode choice; environmental impact; conflict and controversy; EMM pilot programs; and EMM integration, legislation, and policy recommendations. Aside from scholarship, media reports are also included, in order to speak to the environment in which the research takes place

    Interactive Sonic Environments: Sonic artwork via gameplay experience

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    The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of video-game technology in the design and implementation of interactive sonic centric artworks, the purpose of which is to create and contribute to the discourse and understanding of its effectiveness in electro-acoustic composition highlighting the creative process. Key research questions include: How can the language of electro-acoustic music be placed in a new framework derived from videogame aesthetics and technology? What new creative processes need to be considered when using this medium? Moreover, what aspects of 'play' should be considered when designing the systems? The findings of this study assert that composers and sonic art practitioners need little or no coding knowledge to create exciting applications and the myriad of options available to the composer when using video-game technology is limited only by imagination. Through a cyclic process of planning, building, testing and playing these applications the project revealed advantages and unique sonic opportunities in comparison to other sonic art installations. A portfolio of selected original compositions, both fixed and open are presented by the author to complement this study. The commentary serves to place the work in context with other practitioners in the field and to provide compositional approaches that have been taken

    A Review of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Structures

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    This paper reviews Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites in Civil Engineering applications. Three FRP types are used in Structural Engineering: FRP profiles for new construction, FRP rebars and FRP strengthening systems. Basic materials (fibres and resins), manufacturing processes and material properties are discussed. The focus of the paper is on all-FRP new-build structures and their joints. All-FRP structures use pultruded FRP profiles. Their connections and joints use bolting, bonding or a combination of both. For plate-to-pate connections, effects of geometry, fibre direction, type and rate of loading, bolt torque and bolt hole clearance, and washers on failure modes and strength are reviewed. FRP beam-columns joints are also reviewed. The joints are divided into five categories: web cleated, web and flange cleated, high strength, plate bolted and box profile joints. The effect of both static and cyclic loading on joints is studied. The joints’ failure modes are also discussed

    Cuéntame y olvido. Enséñame y recuerdo. Involúcrame y aprendo

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    En el presente trabajo, se expone las evidencias de aprendizaje del autor de las competencias profesionales de Diagnostica, Interviene y Evalúa. Para la primera competencia, se describe el diagnóstico de bullying homofóbico en un colegio público de La Molina realizado como parte del curso Psicología y Violencia; mediante entrevistas semiestructuradas a 16 adultos vinculados al colegio. En particular, se reportó situaciones de patologización y corrección hacia estudiantes varones con comportamientos femeninos por parte de docentes. Para la segunda competencia, se presenta la gestión de estudios cuantitativos de mercado realizada como parte de las prácticas preprofesionales y la elaboración de sus respectivos reportes de investigación. En adición a ello, se describe el diseño instruccional de un taller para fomentar el uso de estrategias motivacionales durante los entrenamientos a encuestadores que fue facilitado al equipo de trabajo. Para la tercera competencia, se reporta el informe de evaluación del proyecto comunitario “Recuperando la vida de los niños y niñas: espacio urbano y emergencia”, realizado como parte del curso Psicología, Inclusión y Exclusión Social. Finalmente, se presenta un balance de las principales fortalezas y oportunidades de mejora en cada una de las competencias del perfil profesional.The following resume presents the author’s professional profile evidence for the diagnosis, intervention, and evaluation skills. For the first skill, a homophobic bullying diagnosis in a public school of La Molina realized for the course Psychology and Violence which involved 16 interviews to school-related adults and classroom observation is exposed. Particularly, pathologization and punishment towards effeminate male students promoted by certain schoolteachers are reported. For the second skill, quantitative market research conduction which was realized during the author’s internship is outlined. In addition to this, the instructional design of an employee motivation workshop that was facilitated by the author in his workplace is presented. For the third skill, the “Recuperando la vida de los niños y niñas: espacio urbano y emergencia” evaluation report which was developed for the course Psychology, Social Inclusion and Exclusion is described. Finally, a skills assessment is provided alongside with a balance of my professional strengths and improvement opportunities

    ¿Influye la obra social en la rentabilidad de las cajas de ahorros españolas?: un análisis de datos de panel

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    Considerando una muestra de Cajas de Ahorros españolas durante el periodo de tiempo 1992-2005, el objetivo de este trabajo es analizar los efectos de la inversión en obra social a partir de un modelo dinámico de datos de panel. Los resultados sugieren una influencia negativa y significativa sobre el nivel de rentabilidad, tanto económica como financiera. Además, es necesario considerar otros determinantes, tales como la edad o la estructura de capital, a la hora de explicar la rentabilidad de las cajas españolas

    Adaptive task selection using threshold-based techniques in dynamic sensor networks

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    Sensor nodes, like many social insect species, exist in harsh environments in large groups, yet possess very limited amount of resources. Lasting for as long as possible, and fulfilling the network purposes are the ultimate goals of sensor networks. However, these goals are inherently contradictory. Nature can be a great source of inspiration for mankind to find methods to achieve both extended survival, and effective operation. This work aims at applying the threshold-based action selection mechanisms inspired from insect societies to perform action selection within sensor nodes. The effect of this micro-model on the macro-behaviour of the network is studied in terms of durability and task performance quality. Generally, this is an example of using bio-inspiration to achieve adaptivity in sensor networks

    Understanding the adoption and implementation of Sector Skills Councils in Chile

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    Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policies have gained increased interest in global agendas, being a particular concern in ensuring that youths have the skills needed to enter the labour market. In this line, international organisations and cooperation agencies have widely promoted sector skills bodies. This policy seeks to involve employers in skills formation and foster collaboration among different stakeholders to ensure that the skills developed through TVET meet labour market needs. However, academic research about this specific policy is limited. Moreover, even when several countries have adopted these bodies, little is known about them from a policy transfer perspective (i.e. studying the travel of an education policy from one place to another). This thesis addresses this gap by examining the adoption and implementation of private-led Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) in Chile. Thus, two main research questions guided this study: Why and how private actors in Chile have adopted SSCs? How have different employers and TVET providers implemented SSCs’ initiatives in Chile? This qualitative research utilised a multiple-case study design for which data was collected through semi-structured interviews and documents analysis. First, based on a Cultural Political Economy approach, the adoption of SSCs was investigated by examining the main factors that could account for the mechanisms involved in the process. Second, the implementation of SSCs was studied by considering a policy enactment focus and the principles of the Realist Evaluation approach to understand how two main actors affected by the policy, employers and TVET providers, have fulfilled the policy expectations. The findings of this thesis show the crucial role of ideational factors (i.e. the influence of policy entrepreneur) to trigger policy change and the specific economic, institutional, political and educational conditions at the national and sectoral levels that may explain the adoption of SSCs. As a result, it advances our understanding of the different roles played by ideational and material factors in adopting SSCs as a TVET policy. Likewise, given the unusual private-led adoption of these bodies, this study provides an empirical demonstration of this uncommon situation. Simultaneously, it offers potential new insights about the assessments made by employers and their business associations when deciding to involve in skill formation policies. Moreover, by investigating the implementation of SSCs from the perspective of the main actors expected to enact the policy, this thesis provides an initial understanding of the varied contextual and stakeholder conditions affecting these actors’ responses to SSCs. In doing so, this thesis also offers an empirical demonstration of the limitations of SSCs adopted and implemented with a skills supply orthodoxy rhetoric

    Modular peptide binders – development of a predictive technology as alternative for reagent antibodies

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    Current biomedical research and diagnostics critically depend on detection agents for specific recognition and quantification of protein molecules. Monoclonal antibodies have been used for this purpose over decades and facilitated numerous biological and biomedical investigations. Recently, however, it has become apparent that many commercial reagent antibodies lack specificity or do not recognize their target at all. Thus, synthetic alternatives are needed whose complex designs are facilitated by multidisciplinary approaches incorporating experimental protein engineering with computational modeling. Here, we review the status of such an engineering endeavor based on the modular armadillo repeat protein scaffold and discuss challenges in its implementation

    Fragility and Empowerment: Community Television in the Digital Era

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    The advent of television technologies has significantly restructured the context within which community television producers operate. Digital technologies have undercut “spectrum scarcity” arguments for limiting access to distribution platforms and opened up new paths to reach audiences. It has also, however, seen a decline in some of the regulatory structures that provided protection to noncommercial providers in eras of spectrum scarcity. The rise of the prosumer has, in its focus on production by individuals, weakened some of the underpinnings (economic and ideological) for community-based production, with consequent challenges for the sustainability of these often precarious projects. In this article, we tease out the implications of digitization for community television operators, exploring the state of the sector in the liberal North Atlantic region, and compare “traditional” community channels with “newer” channels that have emerged in the digital context in the past two decades. Our study explores the opportunities and challenges that face the sector following the transition to digital model
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