19,951 research outputs found

    The place where curses are manufactured : four poets of the Vietnam War

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    The Vietnam War was unique among American wars. To pinpoint its uniqueness, it was necessary to look for a non-American voice that would enable me to articulate its distinctiveness and explore the American character as observed by an Asian. Takeshi Kaiko proved to be most helpful. From his novel, Into a Black Sun, I was able to establish a working pair of 'bookends' from which to approach the poetry of Walter McDonald, Bruce Weigl, Basil T. Paquet and Steve Mason. Chapter One is devoted to those seemingly mismatched 'bookends,' Walt Whitman and General William C. Westmoreland, and their respective anthropocentric and technocentric visions of progress and the peculiarly American concept of the "open road" as they manifest themselves in Vietnam. In Chapter, Two, I analyze the war poems of Walter McDonald. As a pilot, writing primarily about flying, his poetry manifests General Westmoreland's technocentric vision of the 'road' as determined by and manifest through technology. Chapter Three focuses on the poems of Bruce Weigl. The poems analyzed portray the literal and metaphorical descent from the technocentric, 'numbed' distance of aerial warfare to the world of ground warfare, and the initiation of a 'fucking new guy,' who discovers the contours of the self's interior through a set of experiences that lead from from aerial insertion into the jungle to the degradation of burning human feces. Chapter Four, devoted to the thirteen poems of Basil T. Paquet, focuses on the continuation of the descent begun in Chapter Two. In his capacity as a medic, Paquet's entire body of poems details his quotidian tasks which entail tending the maimed, the mortally wounded and the dead. The final chapter deals with Steve Mason's JohnnY's Song, and his depiction of the plight of Vietnam veterans back in "The World" who are still trapped inside the interior landscape of their individual "ghettoes" of the soul created by their war-time experiences

    Metaphors of London fog, smoke and mist in Victorian and Edwardian Art and Literature

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    Julian Wolfreys has argued that after 1850 writers employed stock images of the city without allowing them to transform their texts. This thesis argues, on the contrary, that metaphorical uses of London fog were complex and subtle during the Victorian and Edwardian periods, at least until 1914. Fog represented, in particular, formlessness and the dissolution of boundaries. Examining the idea of fog in literature, verse, newspaper accounts and journal articles, as well as in the visual arts, as part of a common discourse about London and the state of its inhabitants, this thesis charts how the metaphorical appropriation of this idea changed over time. Four of Dickens's novels are used to track his use of fog as part of a discourse of the natural and unnatural in individual and society, identifying it with London in progressively more negative terms. Visual representations of fog by Constable, Turner, Whistler, Monet, Markino, O'Connor, Roberts and Wyllie and Coburn showed an increasing readiness to engage with this discourse. Social tensions in the city in the 1880s were articulated in art as well as in fiction. Authors like Hay and Barr showed the destruction of London by its fog because of its inhabitants' supposed degeneracy. As the social threat receded, apocalyptic scenarios gave way to a more optimistic view in the work of Owen and others. Henry James used fog as a metaphorical representation of the boundaries of gendered behaviour in public, and the problems faced by women who crossed them. The dissertation also examines fog and individual transgression, in novels and short stories by Lowndes, Stevenson, Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad. After 1914, fog was no more than a crude signifier of Victorian London in literature, film and, later, television, deployed as a cliche instead of the subtle metaphorical idea discussed in this thesis

    Understanding interactions between Ramularia collo-cygni and barley leaf physiology to target improvements in host resistance and disease control strategy

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    Ramularia Leaf Spot (RLS) is an increasingly problematic disease of barley. Control options are limited as the causal fungus, Ramularia collo-cygni, has developed resistance to several of the major fungicide groups. Developing new methods for controlling this disease is therefore a priority. R. collo-cygni can grow systemically in barley plants from infected seed, without inducing visible symptoms. In the field, visible symptoms normally only appear after flowering. The relative contribution of the latent and symptomatic stages of the fungal lifecycle to reduction in barley yield is not currently known with any certainty. Two possibilities are that the effect of asymptomatic infection on pre-flowering photosynthetic activity, and the development of grain sink capacity, plays an important role; or that reduction in photosynthetic activity during grain filling, resulting from lesion development and loss of green leaf area, is the predominant factor. This research aimed to increase our understanding of the impact of different phases of the fungal lifecycle on barley photosynthesis and yield formation, to better target host resistance and disease control strategies. Controlled environment and field experiments were used to determine the relative effects of asymptomatic and symptom-expressing phases of R. collo-cygni infection on photosynthesis and yield formation in spring barley. In controlled environment experiments leaf photosynthetic activity was measured in seedlings inoculated with suspensions of R. collo-cygni mycelia. Measurements were made before and after visible symptom development using Infra-Red Gas Analysis (IRGA), chlorophyll fluorescence analysis and chlorophyll fluorescence imaging. No reduction in photosynthetic activity was observed in leaves infected with R. collo-cygni, compared to those of non- infected leaves, during the latent phase of infection. After the appearance of visible symptoms, photosynthetic activity within lesions reduced as the lesions developed. However, this did not lead to reductions in photosynthetic activity when measured across the whole leaf area, suggesting that for there to be a significant effect of disease on whole leaf photosynthetic activity, visible symptoms must develop into mature lesions and coalesce to cover larger areas of the leaf surface. In field experiments plots were treated with a full fungicide regime, left untreated, or inoculated with R. collo-cygni and treated with fungicide to which R. collo-cygni is resistant (the latter as a precaution against lack of natural RLS disease that year and/or other diseases developing on untreated plots). RLS was the only disease of significance that developed in untreated or inoculated plots. Symptoms first appeared after flowering, around Zadoks Growth Stage 72. Fungicide-treated plots remained free of disease. Chlorophyll fluorescence analysis of field plants showed no effect of infection on the maximum quantum efficiency of Photosystem II (Fv/Fm) before visible symptom development, consistent with results from controlled environment experiments. Grain yield of untreated and fungicide-treated plots was predicted from fixed common values of radiation use efficiency (RUE) and utilisation of soluble sugar reserves, and measured values of post-flowering healthy (green) leaf area light interception. Grain yields predicted from the difference in post-flowering light interception between fungicide-treated plants and untreated or inoculated plants displaying symptoms of RLS were comparable with the measured yield response to fungicide. This suggests that yield loss to RLS is primarily associated with a reduction in light capture during grain filling, resulting from lesion development and loss of green leaf area. Results from controlled environment and field experiments suggested that symptom expression was associated with leaf senescence. Further controlled environment experiments tested this relationship by using treatments to vary the onset and rate of leaf senescence. Seedlings that were treated with cytokinin to delay senescence after inoculation with suspensions of R. collo-cygni mycelia developed fewer lesions than control plants. Fungal growth, as measured by quantification of R. collo-cygni DNA in leaves, was also restricted in plants treated with cytokinin. Collectively these results suggest that prevention of visible symptom development, rather than prevention of asymptomatic growth, is the most important target for management of this disease. Control methods targeted at delaying senescence could be a useful avenue for further investigation

    Carbon dioxide removal potential from decentralised bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and the relevance of operational choices

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    Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology is expected to support net-zero targets by supplying low carbon energy while providing carbon dioxide removal (CDR). BECCS is estimated to deliver 20 to 70 MtCO2 annual negative emissions by 2050 in the UK, despite there are currently no BECCS operating facility. This research is modelling and demonstrating the flexibility, scalability and attainable immediate application of BECCS. The CDR potential for two out of three BECCS pathways considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios were quantified (i) modular-scale CHP process with post-combustion CCS utilising wheat straw and (ii) hydrogen production in a small-scale gasifier with pre-combustion CCS utilising locally sourced waste wood. Process modelling and lifecycle assessment were used, including a whole supply chain analysis. The investigated BECCS pathways could annually remove between −0.8 and −1.4 tCO2e tbiomass−1 depending on operational decisions. Using all the available wheat straw and waste wood in the UK, a joint CDR capacity for both systems could reach about 23% of the UK's CDR minimum target set for BECCS. Policy frameworks prioritising carbon efficiencies can shape those operational decisions and strongly impact on the overall energy and CDR performance of a BECCS system, but not necessarily maximising the trade-offs between biomass use, energy performance and CDR. A combination of different BECCS pathways will be necessary to reach net-zero targets. Decentralised BECCS deployment could support flexible approaches allowing to maximise positive system trade-offs, enable regional biomass utilisation and provide local energy supply to remote areas

    CO2 electroreduction: sustainability analysis of the renewable synthetic natural gas

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    Capture and utilization of industrial CO2 emissions into low-carbon fuels is a promising alternative to store renewable electricity into chemical vectors while decarbonizing the economy. This work evaluates the viability pathways of producing synthetic natural gas (SNG) by direct CO2 electroreduction (ER) in Power-To-Synthetic Natural Gas electrolyzers (PtSNG). We perform an ex-ante techno-economic (TEA) and life cycle analysis (LCA) for a 2030 framework in Europe. ER performance is varied in defined scenarios and assessed using a built-in process model of the PtSNG system, revealing uncharted limitations and benchmarks to achieve. Results show that substitution of fossil natural gas with renewable SNG could avoid more than 1 kg CO2e/kg SNG under moderate ER conditions when using low-carbon electricity (< 60 kg CO2e/MWh). SNG profitability for 2030 would rely on: i) higher CH4 current densities (800–1000 mA/cm2), ii) improvements in energy efficiency (higher than 60%), and iii) valorization of the anodic product or additional carbon incentives. Our study proves that if market and technology evolve appropriately in the coming years, the SNG by CO2 ER may be a mid-term climate change mitigation technology, among others.The authors thank the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness for the financial support through the project PID2020–114,787-RB-I00. Javier Fernández-González and Marta Rumayor would also like to thank the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation for the concession of a FPU grant (FPU19/05483) and a Juan de la Cierva postdoctoral contract (IJCI-2017-32621), respectively

    Effect of salinity stress on antioxidant activity and grain yield of different wheat genotypes

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    In order to evaluate the antioxidant activity of wheat in salinity stress conditions, an experiment with 27 wheat genotypes grown on two types of soil was conducted: solonetz (increased salinity) and chernozem (control), during two vegetation seasons (2015/2016 and 2016/2017). Analysis of DPPH radical scavenging activity and phenolic content (PC) were performed in different phenophases of wheat (tillering, stem elongation and heading). Genotypes showed significantly higher DPPH radical scavenging activity (9.82 mg trolox equivalents (TE) per mg of dry matter (d.m.)) and PC (8.15 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE) per mg d.m.) under salinity stress conditions compared to values obtained on control (8.52 mg TE mg-1 d.m. and 7.13 mg GAE mg-1 d.m., respectively). All analyzed factors (genotype, soil type and year) had the highly significant influence on phenotypic variation of grain yield. Salinity stress reduced grain yield by 30%, whereas drought stress in 2016/2017 vegetation season reduced grain yield by 20%. Highly significant and positive correlations are present between grain yield and parameters of antioxidant activity in all growth stages of wheat and both soil conditions. Therefore, it could be possible to select salinity tolerant genotypes in early growth stages. DPPH scavenging activity and total phenolic content are in highly significant and positive correlation in all growth stages, which indicates that antioxidant activity is highly derived by phenolics

    Structure and adsorption properties of gas-ionic liquid interfaces

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    Supported ionic liquids are a diverse class of materials that have been considered as a promising approach to design new surface properties within solids for gas adsorption and separation applications. In these materials, the surface morphology and composition of a porous solid are modified by depositing ionic liquid. The resulting materials exhibit a unique combination of structural and gas adsorption properties arising from both components, the support, and the liquid. Naturally, theoretical and experimental studies devoted to understanding the underlying principles of exhibited interfacial properties have been an intense area of research. However, a complete understanding of the interplay between interfacial gas-liquid and liquid-solid interactions as well as molecular details of these processes remains elusive. The proposed problem is challenging and in this thesis, it is approached from two different perspectives applying computational and experimental techniques. In particular, molecular dynamics simulations are used to model gas adsorption in films of ionic liquids on a molecular level. A detailed description of the modeled systems is possible if the interfacial and bulk properties of ionic liquid films are separated. In this study, we use a unique method that recognizes the interfacial and bulk structures of ionic liquids and distinguishes gas adsorption from gas solubility. By combining classical nitrogen sorption experiments with a mean-field theory, we study how liquid-solid interactions influence the adsorption of ionic liquids on the surface of the porous support. The developed approach was applied to a range of ionic liquids that feature different interaction behavior with gas and porous support. Using molecular simulations with interfacial analysis, it was discovered that gas adsorption capacity can be directly related to gas solubility data, allowing the development of a predictive model for the gas adsorption performance of ionic liquid films. Furthermore, it was found that this CO2 adsorption on the surface of ionic liquid films is determined by the specific arrangement of cations and anions on the surface. A particularly important result is that, for the first time, a quantitative relation between these structural and adsorption properties of different ionic liquid films has been established. This link between two types of properties determines design principles for supported ionic liquids. However, the proposed predictive model and design principles rely on the assumption that the ionic liquid is uniformly distributed on the surface of the porous support. To test how ionic liquids behave under confinement, nitrogen physisorption experiments were conducted for micro‐ and mesopore analysis of supported ionic liquid materials. In conjunction with mean-field density functional theory applied to the lattice gas and pore models, we revealed different scenarios for the pore-filling mechanism depending on the strength of the liquid-solid interactions. In this thesis, a combination of computational and experimental studies provides a framework for the characterization of complex interfacial gas-liquid and liquid-solid processes. It is shown that interfacial analysis is a powerful tool for studying molecular-level interactions between different phases. Finally, nitrogen sorption experiments were effectively used to obtain information on the structure of supported ionic liquids

    In search of 'The people of La Manche': A comparative study of funerary practices in the Transmanche region during the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (250BC-1500BC)

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    This research project sets out to discover whether archaeological evidence dating between 2500 BC - 1500 BC from supposed funerary contexts in Kent, flanders and north-eastern Transmanche France is sufficient to make valid comparisons between social and cultural structures on either side of the short-sea Channel region. Evidence from the beginning of the period primarily comes in the form of the widespread Beaker phenomenon. Chapter 5 shows that this class of data is abundant in Kent but quite sparse in the Continental zones - most probably because it has not survived well. This problem also affects the human depositional evidence catalogued in Chapter 6, particularly in Fanders but also in north-eastern Transmanche France. This constricts comparative analysis, however, the abundant data from Kent means that general trends are still discernible. The quality and volume of data relating to the distribution, location, morphology and use of circular monuments in all three zones is far better - as demonstrated in Chapter 7 -mostly due to extensive aerial surveying over several decades. When the datasets are taken as a whole, it becomes possible to successfully apply various forms of comparative analyses. Most remarkably, this has revealed that some monuments apparently have encoded within them a sophisticated and potentially symbolically charged geometric shape. This, along with other less contentious evidence, demonstrates a level of conformity that strongly suggests a stratum of cultural homogeneity existed throughout the Transmanche region during the period 2500 BC - 1500 BC. The fact that such changes as are apparent seem to have developed simultaneously in each of the zones adds additional weight to the theory that contact throughout the Transmanche region was endemic. Even so, it may not have been continuous; there may actually have been times of relative isolation - the data is simply too course to eliminate such a possibility
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