4,785 research outputs found

    Bad Taste?:Culture and Consumption in the Great Acceleration

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    &#8216;The climate crisis is also a crisis of culture.&#8217; Amitav Ghosh The Great Derangement This symposium takes the planetary ecological crisis as an urgent occasion to reflect on the history and politics of taste. Talk of taste today is considered outmoded, if not suspect. But is this not itself suspect in the ongoing Great Acceleration, a period defined since the 1950s by excesses of consumption and corresponding disruptions to the earth? In the context of the contemporary ecological crisis, examination of the implicit relation between taste and consumption seems all the more pressing. To what extent has the Great Acceleration been propelled by taste? What might such a question contribute to understanding these twin crises of climate and culture? Attending to taste in the Great Acceleration involves analyzing the proliferation and the allure of certain aesthetic forms, materials, and attitudes – as well as the obfuscation of the associated production of waste. And it means revisiting historical debates since the 1950s in aesthetic theory and culture critique for their blindspots and evasions as much as for their insights. Might reflection on the politics of taste indicate an intersection of affective embodied experience with the ostensibly more abstract categories of cosmopolitan politics, the global economy, and planetary ecology? Is there an alternative sensus communis to the rampant consumerism that has driven the Great Acceleration and that can no longer be dismissed as mere bad taste?Bad Taste?: Culture and Consumption in the Great Acceleration, symposium, ICI Berlin, 17 June 2022 <https://doi.org/10.25620/e220617

    Principal 22-blocks with wreathed defect groups up to splendid Morita equivalence

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    We classify principal 22-blocks of finite groups GG with Sylow 22-subgroups isomorphic to a wreathed 22-group C2n≀C2C_{2^n}\wr C_2 with n≥2n\geq 2 up to Morita equivalence and up to splendid Morita equivalence. As a consequence, we obtain that Puig's Finiteness Conjecture holds for such blocks. Furthermore, we obtain a classification of such groups modulo O2′(G)O_{2'}(G), which is a purely group theoretical result and of independent interest. Methods previously applied to blocks of tame representation type are used, however, they are further developed in order to be able to treat blocks of wild representation type in the present case.Comment: Version 2, 24 page

    The development and application of a diatom-based quantitative reconstruction technique in forensic science

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    Diatoms are a group of unicellular algae that have been recorded and classified for over 200 years and have been used in a range of applications in forensic science. We have developed a quantitative diatom-based reconstruction technique to confirm drowning as a cause of death and localize the site of drowning in two recent, high-profile, case studies. In both case studies we collected diatom samples from the local and/or regional area to act as a control in the examination of diatom assemblages associated with lungs and clothing. In Case Study 1 the modern analog technique suggested that all lung and clothing samples have statistically significant similarities to control samples from shallow water habitats. In Case Study 2, the analog matching suggested that the majority of lung samples show a statistically significant relationship to samples from a pond, indicating that this was the drowning medium

    Speech analysis for Ambient Assisted Living : technical and user design of a vocal order system

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    International audienceEvolution of ICT led to the emergence of smart home. A Smart Home consists in a home equipped with data-processing technology which anticipates the needs of its inhabitant while trying to maintain their comfort and their safety by action on the house and by implementing connections with the outside world. Therefore, smart homes equipped with ambient intelligence technology constitute a promising direction to enable the growing number of elderly to continue to live in their own homes as long as possible. However, the technological solutions requested by this part of the population have to suit their specific needs and capabilities. It is obvious that these Smart Houses tend to be equipped with devices whose interfaces are increasingly complex and become difficult to control by the user. The people the most likely to benefit from these new technologies are the people in loss of autonomy such as the disabled people or the elderly which cognitive deficiencies (Alzheimer). Moreover, these people are the less capable of using the complex interfaces due to their handicap or their lack ICT understanding. Thus, it becomes essential to facilitate the daily life and the access to the whole home automation system through the smart home. The usual tactile interfaces should be supplemented by accessible interfaces, in particular, thanks to a system reactive to the voice ; these interfaces are also useful when the person cannot move easily. Vocal orders will allow the following functionality: - To ensure an assistance by a traditional or vocal order. - To set up a indirect order regulation for a better energy management. - To reinforce the link with the relatives by the integration of interfaces dedicated and adapted to the person in loss of autonomy. - To ensure more safety by detection of distress situations and when someone is breaking in the house. This chapter will describe the different steps which are needed for the conception of an audio ambient system. The first step is related to the acceptability and the objection aspects by the end users and we will report a user evaluation assessing the acceptance and the fear of this new technology. The experience aimed at testing three important aspects of speech interaction: voice command, communication with the outside world, home automation system interrupting a person's activity. The experiment was conducted in a smart home with a voice command using a Wizard of OZ technique and gave information of great interest. The second step is related to a general presentation of the audio sensing technology for ambient assisted living. Different aspect of sound and speech processing will be developed. The applications and challenges will be presented. The third step is related to speech recognition in the home environment. Automatic Speech Recognition systems (ASR) have reached good performances with close talking microphones (e.g., head-set), but the performances decrease significantly as soon as the microphone is moved away from the mouth of the speaker (e.g., when the microphone is set in the ceiling). This deterioration is due to a broad variety of effects including reverberation and presence of undetermined background noise such as TV radio and, devices. This part will present a system of vocal order recognition in distant speech context. This system was evaluated in a dedicated flat thanks to some experiments. This chapter will then conclude with a discussion on the interest of the speech modality concerning the Ambient Assisted Living

    Barriers Encountered by Syringe Exchange Clients in Vermont

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    Introduction and Aims. Vermont CARES is a nonprofit HIV prevention and advocacy organization which provides a needle exchange program for intravenous drug users. Services are focused on education, prevention, testing, and harm reduction. The Syringe Support Program (SSP) offers clients clean syringes to reduce intravenous transmission of disease. Although SSP are proven avenues for harm reduction, barriers prevent users from utilizing services. Clients are limited by social, economic, and personal obstacles de- scribed in similar populations across the country. This project seeks to identify the barriers Vermont CARES clients face in accessing the SSP, determine needs, and evaluate interest in additional services. Methods. Our team and Vermont CARES staff held a focus group with St. Johnsbury clients to discuss services and barriers. A 39 question paper survey was distributed to three Vermont CARES sites during October, 2017 by Vermont CARES. Participation was voluntary and uncompensated. Sixty-three clients completed the survey. Results and Discussion. Of the 63 respondents, 61.9% stated that lack of ade- quate income contributed most to their inability to meet basic needs. These same clients faced the most barriers to access with economic hardship precipitated by sub- stance abuse, disability, and family commitments. In assessing additional services, clients sought food pantries, hygiene kits, and dental clinics. 56.4% of respondents would use safe injection facilities if provided. Those without income to meet basic needs expressed most interest in safe injection facilities (p=0.022). With barriers recognized, our future aim is to track efficacy of new services in impacting care and quality of life.https://scholarworks.uvm.edu/comphp_gallery/1268/thumbnail.jp

    Halomonas desiderata as a bacterial model to predict the possible biological nitrate reduction in concrete cells of nuclear waste disposals

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    After closure of a waste disposal cell in a repository for radioactive waste, resaturation is likely to cause the release of soluble species contained in cement and bituminous matrices, such as ionic species (nitrates, sulfates, calcium and alkaline ions, etc.), organic matter (mainly organic acids), or gases (from steel containers and reinforced concrete structures as well as from radiolysis within the waste packages). However, in the presence of nitrates in the near-field of waste, the waste cell can initiate oxidative conditions leading to enhanced mobility of redox-sensitive radionuclides (RN). In biotic conditions and in the presence of organic matter and/or hydrogen as electron donors, nitrates may be microbiologically reduced, allowing a return to reducing conditions that promote the safety of storage. Our work aims to analyze the possible microbial reactivity of nitrates at the bitumen – concrete interface in conditions as close as possible to radioactive waste storage conditions in order (i) to evaluate the nitrate reaction kinetics; (ii) to identify the by-products (NO2−, NH4+, N2, N2O, etc.); and (iii) to discriminate between the roles of planktonic bacteria and those adhering as a biofilm structure in the denitrifying activity. Leaching experiments on solid matrices (bitumen and cement pastes) were first implemented to define the physicochemical conditions that microorganisms are likely to meet at the bitumen-concrete interface, e.g. highly alkaline pH conditions (10 < pH < 11) imposed by the cement matrix. The screening of a range of anaerobic denitrifying bacterial strains led us to select Halomonas desiderata as a model bacterium capable of catalyzing the reaction of nitrate reduction in these particular conditions of pH. The denitrifying activity of H. desiderata was quantified in a batch bioreactor in the presence of solid matrices and/or leachate from bitumen and cement matrices. Denitrification was relatively fast in the presence of cement matrix (<100 h) and 2–3 times slower in the presence of bituminous matrix (pH 9.7). The maximal rate of denitrification was approximately 0.063 mM h−1 and some traces of nitrite were detected for a few hours (<2%). Overall, the presence of solid cement promoted the kinetics of denitrification. The inspection of the solid surfaces at the end of the experiment revealed the presence of a biofilm of H. desiderata on the cement paste surface. These attached bacteria showed a comparable denitrifying activity to planktonic bacterial culture. However, no colonization of bitumen was observed either by SEM or by epifluorescence microscopy

    Variational Gaussian approximation for the magnetic Schrödinger equation

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    In the present paper we consider the semiclassical magnetic Schrödinger equation, which describes the dynamics of particles under the influence of a magnetic field. The solution of the Schrödinger equation is approximated by Gaussian wave packets via the time-dependent variational formulation by Dirac and Frenkel. For the numerical approximation we derive ordinary differential equations for the parameters of the variational solution. Moreover, we prove L2L^2-error bounds and observable error bounds for the approximating Gaussian wave packet

    Emerging Perspectives on International Volunteerism in Asia

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    Created for the International Forum on Development Service’s FORUM Research series, this paper presents an assessment of knowledge on international volunteerism in Asia. Data for the assessment come from an online survey of 80 organizations that send volunteers to Asian countries, face-to-face interviews conducted with staff in 47 organizations, and focus group discussions with 32 volunteers after their return from international service. The findings have implications for volunteers, their managers, hosting organizations, researchers, and policymakers. The paper served as the foundation for the Forum Research 2010 address before the annual conference of International Volunteer Cooperation Organisations. Slides as video from that address are also accessible: Presentation slides, presentation by Caroline Brassard (Part 1, Part 2), and presentation by Margaret Sherraden

    Variational Gaussian approximation for the magnetic Schr\"odinger equation

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    In the present paper we consider the semiclassical magnetic Schr\"odinger equation, which describes the dynamics of particles under the influence of a magnetic field. The solution of the time-dependent Schr\"odinger equation is approximated by a single Gaussian wave packet via the time-dependent Dirac--Frenkel variational principle. For the approximation we derive ordinary differential equations of motion for the parameters of the variational solution. Moreover, we prove L2L^2-error bounds and observable error bounds for the approximating Gaussian wave packet

    Cohomology of quantum groups: An analog of Kostant's Theorem

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    We prove the analog of Kostant's Theorem on Lie algebra cohomology in the context of quantum groups. We prove that Kostant's cohomology formula holds for quantum groups at a generic parameter qq, recovering an earlier result of Malikov in the case where the underlying semisimple Lie algebra g=sl(n)\mathfrak{g} = \mathfrak{sl}(n). We also show that Kostant's formula holds when qq is specialized to an ℓ\ell-th root of unity for odd ℓ≥h−1\ell \ge h-1 (where hh is the Coxeter number of g\mathfrak{g}) when the highest weight of the coefficient module lies in the lowest alcove. This can be regarded as an extension of results of Friedlander-Parshall and Polo-Tilouine on the cohomology of Lie algebras of reductive algebraic groups in prime characteristic.Comment: 12 page
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