132,537 research outputs found

    Between belief and science: Paranormal investigators and the production of ghostly knowledge in contemporary England

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    Based on eighteen months of field research in England, this dissertation is an ethnography of knowledge production among contemporary English paranormal investigators. It examines the paradox of paranormal investigators who are critical of (orthodox) scientists and yet remain captivated by science. Paranormal investigators are amateur experts who seek to make sense of ghosts and the paranormal through their collaboration with mediums, deployment of technology, and interpretation of embodied encounters with ghosts. They grapple with their understandings of science, belief, and evidence in their struggles to understand the paranormal and, by doing so, they reveal the boundaries of popular knowledge, scientism, and expertise. This dissertation begins with an analysis of the constitution of ‚Äúparanormal investigators.‚ÄĚ I demonstrate that investigators and their critics both consider belief antithetical to legitimate knowledge. In this context, producing legitimate knowledge, I argue, is deeply contingent on embracing science. I then examine the type of mastery that investigators imagine necessary to produce legitimate knowledge. I argue that they hope to master a variety of ‚Äútools,‚ÄĚ including mediums, technology, and embodied experience. Despite this aspiration to mastery, they fail to convert each ‚Äútool‚ÄĚ into a viable form of evidence. I then consider the ways in which paranormal investigators enact their ideologies of research, investigation, and evidence by examining how they use technology and collaborate with mediums. The remainder of the dissertation examines the practical logistics and mechanics of paranormal investigating. I show how online networking and popular imaginaries provide would-be-investigators with the repertoire and imaginative tools needed to craft themselves into investigators. Ultimately, I conclude that a persistent form of scientism renders investigators‚Äô attempts to make sense of the paranormal futile. By eschewing belief and more humanistic ways of knowing as ‚Äúunscientific‚ÄĚ and, thus, ultimately unsatisfactory, investigators remain unable to account for the ghosts they suspect abound. This reveals that paranormal investigators conform to dominant ideologies of science, truth, and evidence, despite the unorthodox subject matter of their research. It also reveals the pervasiveness of a brand of scientism that denigrates anything non-scientific as invalid and unworthy of consideration.U of I OnlyBy request of the author. Approved by Graduate College Thesis Office

    El estatus jurídico del lobo ibérico en el punto de mira : un cambio de paradigma en Castilla y León = The legal status of the iberian wolf in point of view : a change of paradigm in Castilla y León

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    40 p√°ginasLa situaci√≥n jur√≠dica del lobo ib√©rico en Castilla y Le√≥n en los √ļltimos tiempos ha sufrido una profunda modificaci√≥n normativa. Son muchos los cambios producidos en su r√©gimen jur√≠dico, principalmente en su catalogaci√≥n al norte del r√≠o Duero en Castilla y Le√≥n, donde es especie cineg√©tica. Si bien la suspensi√≥n cautelar de su caza al norte del precitado r√≠o, decretada por Auto de 26 de abril de 2018, a lo que sigui√≥ la urgente aprobaci√≥n de la Ley 9/2019, de 28 de marzo, de modificaci√≥n de la Ley 4/1996, de 12 de julio, de Caza de la comunidad aut√≥noma de Castilla y Le√≥n, as√≠ como los √ļltimos pronunciamientos jurisprudenciales en la materia, han motivado un cambio de paradigma en la consideraci√≥n jur√≠dica del lobo ib√©rico en Castilla y Le√≥n. El estudio aborda la actual situaci√≥n jur√≠dica de la especie en nuestra Comunidad Aut√≥noma a partir del an√°lisis jurisprudencial de la responsabilidad patrimonial por los da√Īos que causa, rese√Īando las diferencias m√°s notables al respecto en funci√≥n de la ubicaci√≥n de sus ejemplares al norte o sur del r√≠o Duero en Castilla y Le√≥nS

    Paleocirculation and paleoclimate conditions in the western Mediterranean basins over the last deglaciation: New insights from sediment composition variations

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    We present a high-resolution analysis of seven marine sediment records from the western Mediterranean in a transect from the Algero-Balearic basin to the Alboran Sea, spanning the last 20 ka, to decipher the paleoenvironmental and paleoceanographic evolution of the western Mediterranean Sea. To do so, diverse elemental ratios have been used for reconstructing sediment input variations and paleo-oxygen conditions. In particular, the Ti/Ca ratio has been used to reconstruct variations in the terrigenous and carbonate fractions. However, the specific sedimentary processes controlling this ratio are still poorly understood thus, we also provide new insights for appropriate interpretations in the studied zone. Our results suggest that the Ti/Ca ratio at the suborbital scale is mostly controlled by bottom current intensity, and less influenced by marine productivity, sea level variations and fluvial and eolian inputs. Comparison of diverse records within the western Mediterranean reveals that the Ti/Ca ratio depicted a similar trend in both regions, except during the Heinrich Stadial 1 (HS1) and the Middle Holocene. The HS1 is recorded as a single-phase event in the Algero-Balearic basin, whereas three phases are recognized in the Alboran Sea basin, with a relative minimum in the Ti/Ca ratio. Conversely, during the Middle Holocene, an increase in the Ti/Ca ratio is recorded in the Alboran Sea but not in the Algero-Balearic basin, which could be related to the establishment of the Alboran gyres. Redox sensitive proxies, in particular the Mo/Al, U/Al and Mn/Al ratios, point to different phases within the Organic Rich Layer 1 (ORL1): the ORL1a (15- 11.7 ka cal BP), characterized by more reducing conditions in the Alboran Sea sediments, and the ORL1b 11.7- ~9 ka cal BP) characterized by suboxic-ferruginous conditions. The sea level transgression, the enhanced fluvial input and the shelf flooding played a key role during the ORL1 onset and demise, ncreasing the sedimentation rate in the basin and preventing the organic matter oxidation. During the last 2 ka cal BP, an unprecedented common response is recognized in all the studied regions, showing an overall increase in the Ti/Ca ratio, which may be related to intensified human activity in the Mediterranean area, promoting a greater terrigenous input.Postprin

    How Does Reciprocity Affect Undergraduate Student Orientation towards Stakeholders?

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    5987Nowadays, students are more aware of the impact of companies on their stakeholders and the need for properly handling their expectations to operationalize corporate social responsibility. Nevertheless, little is known about how certain individual traits may relate to their stance on the issue. This exploratory research contributes to stakeholder theory by analysing the e ect of the individual’s decision-making process, including the consideration of their social preferences, on their orientation toward stakeholder management. Here, we draw upon a theoretical model for resource-allocation decision-making consisting of reciprocal and non-reciprocal components. Our data, from undergraduate students enrolled in di erent degrees, were collected through a questionnaire and two social within-subject experiments (ultimatum and dictator games). Thus, our results show that the presence of a reciprocal component when decisions are made is positively linked to an instrumental orientation toward stakeholders. In addition, a greater non-reciprocal component in the decision-making process corresponds to a more normative orientation.S

    Introduction to Special Issue ‚ÄúAdvances in Sustainability-Oriented Innovations‚ÄĚ

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    8836This Special Issue focuses on the study of Sustainability-Oriented Innovations (SOIs). Our purpose is to shed light on the SOIs literature regarding their determining factors, implications and new challenges for the future. In this editorial, we are delighted to present the three papers included in this Special Issue. Each of them tackles di erent issues related to SOIs having important academic and managerial implications. Two papers analyze the influence of SOIs on urban development and resource productivity, respectively, and the third studies SOIs determinants, in particular, cooperation networks. Moreover, two of the papers analyze SOIs considering territory (cities or countries) as their unit of analysis while the third focuses on firms. This denotes that SOIs’ actions are important whatever the level of analysis and as either a determinant or a consequence.S

    Identification of Hindbrain Neural Substrates for Motor Initiation in the hatchling Xenopus laevis Tadpole

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    Animal survival profoundly depends on the ability to detect stimuli in the environment, process them and respond accordingly. In this respect, motor responses to a sensory stimulation evolved into a variety of coordinated movements, which involve the control of brain centres over spinal locomotor circuits. The hatchling Xenopus tadpole, even in its embryonic stage, is able to detect external sensory information and to swim away if the stimulus is considered noxious. To do so, the tadpole relies on well-known ascending sensory pathway, which carries the sensory information to the brain. When the stimulus is strong enough, descending interneurons are activated, leading to the excitation of spinal CPG neurons, which causes the undulatory movement of swimming. However, the activation of descending interneurons that marks the initiation of motor response appears after a long delay from the sensory stimulation. Furthermore, the long-latency response is variable in time, as observed in the slow-summating excitation measured in descending interneurons. These two features, i.e. long-latency and variability, cannot be explained by the firing time and pattern of the ascending sensory pathway of the Xenopus tadpole. Therefore, a novel neuronal population has been proposed to lie in the hindbrain of the tadpole, and being able to 'hold' the sensory information, thus accounting for the long and variable delay of swim initiation. In this work, the role of the hindbrain in the maintenance of the long and variable response to trunk skin stimulation is investigated in the Xenopustadpole at developmental stage 37/38. A multifaceted approach has been used to unravel the neuronal mechanisms underlying the delayed motor response, including behavioural experiments, electrophysiology analysis of fictive swimming, hindbrain extracellular recordings and imaging experiments. Two novel neuronal populations have been identified in the tadpole's hindbrain, which exhibit activation patterns compatible with the role of delaying the excitation of the spinal locomotor circuit. Future work on cellular properties and synaptic connections of these newly discovered populations might shed light on the mechanism of descending control active at embryonic stage. Identifying supraspinal neuronal populations in an embryonic organism could aid in understanding mechanisms of descending motor control in more complex vertebrates

    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

    Balancing the urban stomach: public health, food selling and consumption in London, c. 1558-1640

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    Until recently, public health histories have been predominantly shaped by medical and scientific perspectives, to the neglect of their wider social, economic and political contexts. These medically-minded studies have tended to present broad, sweeping narratives of health policy's explicit successes or failures, often focusing on extraordinary periods of epidemic disease viewed from a national context. This approach is problematic, particularly in studies of public health practice prior to 1800. Before the rise of modern scientific medicine, public health policies were more often influenced by shared social, cultural, economic and religious values which favoured maintaining hierarchy, stability and concern for 'the common good'. These values have frequently been overlooked by modern researchers. This has yielded pessimistic assessments of contemporary sanitation, implying that local authorities did not care about or prioritise the health of populations. Overly medicalised perspectives have further restricted historians' investigation and use of source material, their interpretation of multifaceted and sometimes contested cultural practices such as fasting, and their examination of habitual - and not just extraordinary - health actions. These perspectives have encouraged a focus on reactive - rather than preventative - measures. This thesis contributes to a growing body of research that expands our restrictive understandings of pre-modern public health. It focuses on how public health practices were regulated, monitored and expanded in later Tudor and early Stuart London, with a particular focus on consumption and food-selling. Acknowledging the fundamental public health value of maintaining urban foodways, it investigates how contemporaries sought to manage consumption, food production waste, and vending practices in the early modern City's wards and parishes. It delineates the practical and political distinctions between food and medicine, broadly investigates the activities, reputations of and correlations between London's guild and itinerant food vendors and licensed and irregular medical practitioners, traces the directions in which different kinds of public health policy filtered up or down, and explores how policies were enacted at a national and local level. Finally, it compares and contrasts habitual and extraordinary public health regulations, with a particular focus on how perceptions of and actual food shortages, paired with the omnipresent threat of disease, impacted broader aspects of civic life

    Blackstar theory : the last works of David Bowie

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    Blackstar Theory dives deep into Bowie's ambitious last works: the surprise ‚Äėcomeback‚Äô project The Next Day (2013), the off-Broadway musical Lazarus (2015) and the album that preceded the artist‚Äôs death in 2016 by two days, ‚ėÖ (pronounced Blackstar). The book explores the swirl of themes that orbit these projects from a starting point in musical analysis and features new interviews with key collaborators from the period: producer Tony Visconti, graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook, musical director Henry Hey, saxophonist Donny McCaslin and assistant sound engineer Erin Tonkon. Together, these works tackle the biggest of ideas: identity, creativity, chaos, transience and immortality. Their themes entangle realities and fictions across space and time; a catalogue of sound, vision, music and myth spanning more than 50 years is subjected to the cut-up; we get to the end only to find signposts directing us back to the very start. They enact a process of individuation for the Bowie meta-persona and invite us to consider what happens when a star dies. In our universe, dying stars do not disappear - they transform into new stellar objects, remnants and gravitational forces. The radical potential of the Blackstar is demonstrated in the rock star supernova that creates a singularity resulting in cultural iconicity. It is how a man approaching his own death can create art that illuminates the immortal potential of all matter in the known universe

    Structural and Attitudinal Barriers to Bicycle Ownership and Cycle-Based Transport in Gauteng, South Africa

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    Policies that aim to facilitate and promote non-motorised transport (NMT), and in particular cycling, have been developed by many high-income countries facing increasingly congested roads and saturated public transport systems. Such policies are also emerging in many low- and middle-income settings where high rates of urbanisation have led to similar problems with motorised transport. The aim of the present study was to better understand the potential structural and attitudinal barriers to cycle-based transport in one such context: South Africa‚Äôs Gauteng Province, the industrial powerhouse of sub-Saharan Africa that has recently made a firm commitment to NMT. The study focussed on demographic and socioeconomic variation in bicycle and car ownership, and related this to: (1) the reported use of motorised and non-motorised transport (both private and public); and (2) perceived ‚Äėproblems‚Äô with cycling. The analyses drew on interviews with key respondents from n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ27,490 households conducted in 2013 as part of the third Quality of Life survey undertaken by the Gauteng City Regional Observatory. The survey contained items on three outcomes of interest: household vehicle ownership (bicycles and cars); modes of transport used for the ‚Äútrips‚ÄĚ most often made; and respondents‚Äô ‚Äúsingle biggest problem with‚Ķ cycling‚ÄĚ. Respondent- and household-level demographic and socioeconomic determinants of these outcomes were examined using descriptive and multivariable statistical analyses, the latter after adjustment for measured potential confounders identified using a theoretical causal path diagram (in the form of a directed acyclic graph). Of the n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ26,469 households providing complete data on all of the variables examined in the present study, only n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ8722 (32.9%) owned a car and fewer still (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ2244; 8.4%) owned a bicycle. The ownership of these assets was commonest amongst wealthier, economically active households; and those that owned a car had over five times the odds of also owning a bicycle, even after adjustment for potential confounding (OR 5.17; 95% CI 4.58, 5.85). Moreover, of household respondents who reported making ‚Äėtrips‚Äô during the preceding month (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ18,209), over two-thirds of those whose households owned a car (70.1%) reported private car-based transport for such trips, while only 3.2% of those owning a bicycle reported cycling. Amongst the specific responses given to the item requesting the ‚Äúsingle biggest problem with‚Ķ cycling‚ÄĚ by far the commonest was ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt know how to cycle‚ÄĚ (32.2%), less than half as many citing ‚ÄúVehicle accident risk‚ÄĚ (15.9%), and fewer still: ‚ÄúDestination is too far‚ÄĚ (13.9%); ‚ÄúCrime‚ÄĚ (10.3%); ‚ÄúToo much effort‚ÄĚ (9.2%); or ‚ÄúLack of good paths‚ÄĚ (4.6%). While the first of these reasons was commonest amongst poorer households, concerns about risk and effort were both most common amongst better educated, economically active and wealthier/better serviced households. In contrast, concerns over (cycle) paths were only common amongst those owning bicycles. The low prevalence of household bicycle ownership, and the disproportionate number of households owning bicycles that also owned cars, might explain the very small proportion of the ‚Äėthe trips most often made‚Äô that involved cycle-based transport (0.3%), and the preferential use of cars amongst households owning both bicycles and cars. Low levels of bicycle ownership might also explain why so many respondents cited ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt know how‚ÄĚ as the ‚Äúsingle biggest problem with‚Ķ cycling‚ÄĚ; although risk and effort were also substantial concerns (presumably for many who did, and some who did not, know how to cycle); the lack of suitable cycle lanes being only primarily a concern for those who actually owned bicycles. Structural and attitudinal barriers to cycle-based transport limit the use of cycle-based transport in Gauteng, not only amongst the vast majority of household respondents who lack the means to cycle (and the means to learn how), but also amongst those dissuaded from learning to cycle, purchasing a bicycle and/or using a bicycle they own by: the risks and effort involved; the lack of suitable cycle paths; and/or because they also own a car and prefer to drive than cycle
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