109,006 research outputs found

    Stoat trap tunnel location : GIS predictive modelling to identify the best tunnel location : a thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Geographic Information Systems in Massey University

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    Stoats are recognised as one of the biggest threats to New Zealand's threatened species. They are difficult to control because of their biological characteristics. Currently trapping is the most common type of control technique that has a proven success rate. Research studies have shown that some traps catch more stoats than others. However the reason for this is not well documented. The effectiveness of a trap set is difficult to determine because not all trap locations are the same and not all people have the same ability to select the best location for a trap. This study uses GIS to spatially analyse stoat capture data from a control operation on Secretary Island in conjunction with commonly available vegetation, habitat, diet and home range spatial data to see if there are consistent patterns that could be used as variables in a model that would predict the best place to locate a stoat trap tunnel. The model would then be tested against a similar dataset from Resolution Island. The Department of Conservation supplied the stoat capture data from the control operations on both islands. Standard spatial analysis techniques were used to generate surfaces that combined the capture data with the vegetation, habitat, diet and home range surfaces to produce predictive surfaces. The key finding from the research was that it is possible to produce a predictive model, although one was not created because the spatial datasets were not of a high enough resolution to provide conclusive evidence that could be confidently used as a variable in a model. The spatial analysis also indicated that stoats on both islands were caught mainly in the warmer northwestern parts of the islands although the study could not determine why there was a preference for these areas. In rugged terrain like that found on both islands the location of the track network will influence where the majority of stoats will be caught

    Throwing our Voices: Ventriloquism as New Media Activism

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    In the fall of 2010, Chevron released an ad campaign designed to respond to consumer worries about the conduct of oil companies. Each ad depicted “customers” voicing rather nonspecific concerns about oil companies, answered by the “We Agree” slogan and information about something positive the company is doing in particular communities. Just before the campaign’s official roll-out, the anti-corporate activist group known as the Yes Men produced a series of sophisticated parody ads that spoke in more detail about the damage the company has done in specific countries. Designed to be mistaken for the real, the dummy campaign was distributed with a fake press release purporting to be from Chevron. It was indeed picked up by the press, followed by a cascade of confused articles quoting alternately from the company’s real retraction and a subsequent fake retraction. The Yes Men succeeded in temporarily “throwing their voice” into the body of the Chevron corporation, using a savvy form of ventriloquism as a means of directing the public conversation. Although it is normally the powerful (like large corporations) who are heard in public life, often speaking both for themselves and others, the tactic of ventriloquism temporarily reverses that flow. The case study provides a compelling example of a method of capitalizing on the democratic potential of new media, wielding parody and play as a weapon of the crowd

    List of cetaceans seen in Galápagos

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    Are They for Real? Activism and Ironic Identities

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    A new breed of political activist has begun to appear on the streets and in the news. They are no longer trying to out-shout their opponents, but are agreeing with them instead, enthusiastically taking their adversary’s position to exaggerated extremes. It is a practice here termed “identity-nabbing,” in which participants pretend to be someone they are not, appearing in public as exaggerated caricatures of their opponents or ambiguously co-opting some of their power. This paper focuses on three groups in particular: The Billionaires for Bush, Reverend Billy, and the Yes Men. Each group stages elaborate, ironically humorous stunts as a means of attracting public attention to particular political/social issues. The ironic frame not only provides entertainment value, but also contains its own community-building function, as it requires the participation of the audience to actively read it ironically. Banking on the pre-existence of communities that share their assumptions and get the joke, these groups attempt to turn what Linda Hutcheon refers to as “discursive communities” into political communities (or counterpublics), urging people to actively identify with the importance of the issue at hand, and to continue circulating the critique. They rely on the co-participatory workings of irony to spur people into viewing themselves as a collective with collective power. None of these groups are aiming for revolutionary change, but by turning laughter over a shared joke into anger and engagement they work to attract attention, get others involved, and slowly shift debate

    To Not Understand, but Not Misunderstand: Wittgenstein on Shakespeare

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    Wittgenstein's lack of sympathy for Shakespeare's works has been well noted by George Steiner and Harold Bloom among others. Wittgenstein writes in 1950, for instance: "It seems to me as though his pieces are, as it were, enormous sketches, not paintings; as though they were dashed off by someone who could permit himself anything, so to speak. And I understand how someone may admire this & call it supreme art, but I don't like it." Of course, the animosity of one great mind for another has its own interest. But the interest here is increased by two factors: (1) Wittgenstein's brief but specific critique of Shakespeare's similes, of interest particularly since he identifies his own philosophical strength half-deprecatingly but still seriously as one of crafting beautiful similes; and (2) Wittgenstein's and Shakespeare's shared concern, as revealed in Stanley Cavell's writings, with the human impulse to skepticism. The present paper considers the importance of these two factors in weighing Wittgenstein's judgment. It suggests that Wittgenstein's frequent charge that Shakespeare is "completely unrealistic" is not a misunderstanding of the Bard (Wittgenstein distinguishes his "failure to understand" from others' willingness to misunderstand Shakespeare) but rather an expression of Wittgenstein's anxiety over Shakespeare's wholly original use of language to represent the sound of the raw motives to skepticism

    Satire and Dissent: A Theoretical Overview

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    In an age when Jon Stewart tops lists of most-trusted newscasters and Michael Moore becomes a focus of political campaign analysis, the satiric register has attained renewed and urgent prominence in political discourse. Day focuses on three central contemporary forms: the parodic news show, the satiric documentary, and ironic activism. She highlights their shared objective of circumventing the standard conduits of political information and the highly stage-managed nature of current political discourse. In so doing, she argues, they provide fans with a sense of community and purpose notably lacking from organized politics in the twenty-first century

    A meta-analysis of wage-risk estimates of the value of a statistical life

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    This paper presents the results of a meta-analysis of estimates of the value of statistical life (VOSL). Data on the sample characteristics, data sources and analytical approach used to derive some 60 separate estimates in 17 published papers are used in the analysis. Tests lead us to reject the hypothesis that this sample shows evidence of publication bias. A meta-regression of these estimates provides evidence that VOSL is increasing in income but is invariant with respect to baseline risk. Controlling for aspects of the sample, data sources and analytical approach allows us to derive a best estimate of the VOSL of around $7 million
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