34,451 research outputs found

    Living with Nkrumahism: Nation, state, and pan-Africanism in Ghana

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    This dissertation explores the construction of the pan-Africanist and socialist discourse of Kwame Nkrumah’s government—Ghana’s first independent government—during the nation-building project of the 1950s and 1960s. In 1957, when Ghana became independent, the country’s transition to self-rule emerged as a watershed moment in African and world history as this small West African country challenged an international community rooted in the political and institutional framework of the territorial nation-state with a radical program of pan-African liberation and global socialist development. By 1958, the Nkrumah government’s commitment to this radical program had resulted in supra-territorial federations with Guinea-Conakry and later Mali, while, at home, Nkrumah and his Convention People’s Party (CPP) presented the nascent nation as a model for a new form of modern, disciplined, and continental citizenship. Based on eighteen months of oral and archival research in Ghana, this dissertation reconstructs the development and performance of Nkrumah’s program of pan-African liberation and socialist development in the Ghanaian public sphere. In doing so, it interrogates the role of pan-Africanism and global socialism in shaping a vision of a growing modern, disciplined, and socialist citizenry within the Nkrumahist state. Moreover, through an examination of the press, youth, women’s, and workers’ organizations, this dissertation traces how key groups of both “elite” and “ordinary” Ghanaians embedded aspects of Nkrumahist ideology into existing idioms of power, corruption, and progress in their communities as they sought to negotiate the increasingly volatile realities associated with life in postcolonial Africa. As a result, I argue that, through the institutional framework of Nkrumah-era pan-Africanist and socialist politics, an interactive debate developed within Nkrumah’s Ghana whereby an eclectic array of Ghanaian men and women came together to debate and contest their changing places, roles, and responsibilities in the postcolonial nation. Such an analysis, I contend, provides a framework for understanding decolonization and nation-building in Africa not as the elite program of political re-organization that most scholars have portrayed it as, but as part of a dynamic set of local and transnational imaginings and contestations aimed at addressing the challenges and inequities associated with Africa’s transition to self-rule.U of I Only2 year U of I Access extension requested by author and approved by Emily Wuchner. Embargo applied by [email protected] 2019-05-16

    Towards Autonomous Selective Harvesting: A Review of Robot Perception, Robot Design, Motion Planning and Control

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    This paper provides an overview of the current state-of-the-art in selective harvesting robots (SHRs) and their potential for addressing the challenges of global food production. SHRs have the potential to increase productivity, reduce labour costs, and minimise food waste by selectively harvesting only ripe fruits and vegetables. The paper discusses the main components of SHRs, including perception, grasping, cutting, motion planning, and control. It also highlights the challenges in developing SHR technologies, particularly in the areas of robot design, motion planning and control. The paper also discusses the potential benefits of integrating AI and soft robots and data-driven methods to enhance the performance and robustness of SHR systems. Finally, the paper identifies several open research questions in the field and highlights the need for further research and development efforts to advance SHR technologies to meet the challenges of global food production. Overall, this paper provides a starting point for researchers and practitioners interested in developing SHRs and highlights the need for more research in this field.Comment: Preprint: to be appeared in Journal of Field Robotic

    Sensitivity analysis for ReaxFF reparameterization using the Hilbert-Schmidt independence criterion

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    We apply a global sensitivity method, the Hilbert-Schmidt independence criterion (HSIC), to the reparameterization of a Zn/S/H ReaxFF force field to identify the most appropriate parameters for reparameterization. Parameter selection remains a challenge in this context as high dimensional optimizations are prone to overfitting and take a long time, but selecting too few parameters leads to poor quality force fields. We show that the HSIC correctly and quickly identifies the most sensitive parameters, and that optimizations done using a small number of sensitive parameters outperform those done using a higher dimensional reasonable-user parameter selection. Optimizations using only sensitive parameters: 1) converge faster, 2) have loss values comparable to those found with the naive selection, 3) have similar accuracy in validation tests, and 4) do not suffer from problems of overfitting. We demonstrate that an HSIC global sensitivity is a cheap optimization pre-processing step that has both qualitative and quantitative benefits which can substantially simplify and speedup ReaxFF reparameterizations.Comment: author accepted manuscrip

    Annual report of the officers of the town of Jackson, New Hampshire for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022.

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    This is an annual report containing vital statistics for a town/city in the state of New Hampshire

    Exploring the utility of the downscaled SMAP soil moisture products in improving streamflow simulation

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    Study region: The Susquehanna and upper Susquehanna watersheds in the Northeastern of the United States of America (USA) Study focus: This study explored the utility of the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) soil moisture downscaled to a range of spatial resolutions for improving ensemble streamflow simulations. The SMAP level 3 soil moisture product with spatial resolution of roughly 40 km was downscaled to a range of spatial resolutions including 1, 3 and 9 km over the Susquehanna and upper Susquehanna watersheds. A set of experiments was conducted through direct insertion of the downscaled SMAP soil moisture into a physically-based distributed hydrological model. New hydrological insights for the region: The updating of the model with the original and downscaled SMAP surface soil moisture markedly improved the accuracy of the ensemble streamflow simulations with the CRPSS and NRMSE values in the range of 0.10–0.17 and 0.79–0.85, respectively when compared to the non-updated model for the Susquehanna watershed. In addition, the ensemble spread was reduced, and the ensemble mean compares well with the observed streamflow. The 1 km downscaled SMAP soil moisture showed the highest accuracy in improving streamflow simulation with the CRPSS and NRMSE value of 0.21 and 0.72, respectively for the Upper Susquehanna watershed, whereas for the Susquehanna watershed downscaled SMAP at 9 km adequately improved the accuracy of the ensemble streamflow simulations with the CRPSS and NRMSE value of 0.17 and 0.80, respectively. Besides the top layer of the model, updating the second layer of the model with the vertically extrapolated SMAP soil moisture only slightly further improved the accuracy of the model

    The conflicts of agricultural water supply and demand under climate change in a typical arid land watershed of Central Asia

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    Study Region. The Bosten Lake basin. Study Focus. The irrigated agriculture distributed in arid/semi-arid areas is of great significance for. food security and sustainable development. However, the shortage of water resources. limits agricultural development in these areas, and the water distribution pattern under. climate change is also uncertain. In this research, the Bosten Lake basin was selected. as the study area, and the monthly agricultural water supply (AWS) and demand. (AWD) in the historical and future periods were evaluated. New Hydrological Insights for the Region. Supported by the hydrological model and evapotranspiration model, the AWS and. AWD of the watershed were first evaluated, and 37 GCMs under CMIP6 were used to. expand the study to future periods, a novel downscaling scheme consisting of IDW and. BMA is used to increase the reliability of the results. The supply and demand of. agricultural water in the future scenarios within the region are revealed. In the. forthcoming future (the 2030 s), the watershed will maintain the warming and wetting. trend in the historical period. In the long-term future (the 2060 s), agricultural water. scarcity will become more severe, especially under the high emission scenario. (ssp585). The adaption strategies to address climate change have also been. proposed, and efficient water conveyance is highly recommended. This study is. expected to provide a reference for water resources management in arid/semi-arid. watersheds

    Simulação de cenários de fragilidade ambiental na bacia hidrográfica do Rio da Prata, MS, utilizando o modelo de Cadeias Markov – e autômatos celulares

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    Utilizando técnicas de geoprocessamento e sensoriamento remoto é possível analisar os diferentes impactos gerados ao meio ambiente ao longo dos anos, sendo portanto, uma importante ferramenta nos estudos da paisagem. Para complementar, a previsão da transição espacial e temporal dos impactos ambientais permite simular tendências futuras utilizando o modelo Cadeias de Markov e autômatos celulares. O presente estudo tem como objetivo utilizar essas técnicas descritas para entendimento da fragilidade ambiental da Bacia Hidrográfica do Rio da Prata, MS, região com significativa importância ambiental, caracterizada por feições cársticas, gerando valor econômico devido aos atrativos turísticos da região. Os resultados indicaram que a classe de fragilidade “média” e “alta” possuem maior convergência para aumento em detrimento da classe “baixa” que teve maiores alterações em diminuição de sua área, provavelmente devido ao uso da agricultura na região, que tem expandido ao longo dos anos estudados, aliado as caracterísiticas litológicas e pedológicas

    Strange bedfellows ngos and businesses move from conflict to cooperation

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    The struggle of NGOs to promote sustainable behavior from companies has successfully gained public sympathy, and has triggered a rising number of international voluntary agreements, public policy initiatives, and even state regulations. Some companies have worked their way out of stigmatization and tried to become responsible corporate citizens. While plenty of other companies are still trying to evade the CSR debate and the reporting standards therein, others have adjusted their structures to adopt them. Although this tends to raise costs on a short-term basis, most of the CSRfriendly companies have managed to economically outperform the deniers in the long run. Compliers have proven that they are able to adapt more swiftly to new market challenges, or state regulations. In addition, consumer patterns seem to reward CSR behavior. Within a decade business-NGO cooperation has become a mainstream issue, and has led to many synergetic dynamics and yielded creative solutions.Los esfuerzos de las ONG para promover entre las empresas comportamientos sostenibles han logrado ganar el apoyo del público y han llegado a producir un creciente número de acuerdos internacionales voluntarios, iniciativas de políticas públicas e incluso regulación estatal. Algunas compañías han trabajado para superar la estigmatización intentando convertirse en ciudadanos corporativos responsables. Mientras que muchas otras compañías aún están tratando de evadir el debate acerca de la RSC y sus estándares de reporte, otras han ajustado sus estructuras para adoptarlos. Aunque esto tiende a aumentar los costos a corto plazo, la mayoría de las compañías que aceptan la RSC han logrado tener un mejor desempeño económico que las que se niegan a largo plazo. Las que cumplen han demostrado que son capaces de adaptarse más rápidamente a nuevos desafíos del mercado o a la reglamentación estatal. Además, los patrones de consumo parecen remunerar este comportamiento. En el espacio de una década, la cooperación entre industrias y ONG se ha convertido en un tema corriente, ha llevado a dinámicas de sinergia y ha rendido soluciones creativas

    Environmental surveillance for Salmonella Typhi as a tool to estimate the incidence of typhoid fever in low-income populations.

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    Background: The World Health Organisation recommends prioritised use of recently prequalified typhoid conjugate vaccines in countries with the highest incidence of typhoid fever. However, representative typhoid surveillance data are lacking in many low-income countries because of the costs and challenges of diagnostic clinical microbiology. Environmental surveillance (ES) of Salmonella Typhi in sewage and wastewater using molecular methods may offer a low-cost alternative, but its performance in comparison with clinical surveillance has not been assessed. Methods: We developed a harmonised protocol for typhoid ES and its implementation in communities in India and Malawi where it will be compared with findings from hospital-based surveillance for typhoid fever. The protocol includes methods for ES site selection based on geospatial analysis, grab and trap sample collection at sewage and wastewater sites, and laboratory methods for sample processing, concentration and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect Salmonella Typhi. The optimal locations for ES sites based on digital elevation models and mapping of sewage and river networks are described for each community and their suitability confirmed through field investigation. We will compare the prevalence and abundance of Salmonella Typhi in ES samples collected each month over a 12-month period to the incidence of blood culture confirmed typhoid cases recorded at referral hospitals serving the study areas. Conclusions: If environmental detection of Salmonella Typhi correlates with the incidence of typhoid fever estimated through clinical surveillance, typhoid ES may be a powerful and low-cost tool to estimate the local burden of typhoid fever and support the introduction of typhoid conjugate vaccines. Typhoid ES could also allow the impact of vaccination to be assessed and rapidly identify circulation of drug resistant strains
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