Sample records for affordability

  1. The affordances of broken affordances

    Grünbaum, Martin Gielsgaard; Simonsen, Jakob Grue


    We consider the use of physical and virtual objects having one or more affordances associated to simple interactions with them. Based on Kaptelinin and Nardi’s notion of instrumental affordance, we investigate what it means to break an affordance, and the two ensuing questions we deem most...... important: how users may (i) achieve their goals in the presence of such broken affordances, and may (ii) repurpose or otherwise interact with artefacts with broken affordances. We argue that (A) thorough analyses of breakdowns of affordances and their associated signifiers and feedbacks have implication...

  2. Network Affordances

    Samson, Audrey; Soon, Winnie


    This paper examines the notion of network affordance within the context of network art. Building on Gibson's theory (Gibson, 1979) we understand affordance as the perceived and actual parameters of a thing. We expand on Gaver's affordance of predictability (Gaver, 1996) to include ecological...... and computational parameters of unpredictability. We illustrate the notion of unpredictability by considering four specific works that were included in a network art exhibiton, SPEED SHOW [2.0] Hong Kong. The paper discusses how the artworks are contingent upon the parameteric relations (Parisi, 2013......), of the network. We introduce network affordance as a dynamic framework that could articulate the experienced tension arising from the (visible) symbolic representation of computational processes and its hidden occurrences. We base our proposal on the experience of both organising the SPEED SHOW and participating...

  3. Affordances revisited

    Dohn, Nina Bonderup


    argued, is a problem for both design and empirical research. Because HCI discussions of the concept have informed CSCL, views presented within this discourse are discussed. A Merleau-Pontian account of affordances is developed, building on his view of the human being as always already being-in-the world...

  4. Affordable Care Act (ACA)

    Social Security Administration — The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a federal statute enacted with a goal of increasing the quality and affordability of health insurance. Through a web service, CMS...

  5. Canonical affordances in context

    Alan Costall


    Full Text Available James Gibson’s concept of affordances was an attempt to undermine the traditional dualism of the objective and subjective. Gibson himself insisted on the continuity of “affordances in general” and those attached to human artifacts. However, a crucial distinction needs to be drawn between “affordances in general” and the “canonical affordances” that are connected primarily to artifacts. Canonical affordances are conventional and normative. It is only in such cases that it makes sense to talk of the affordance of the object. Chairs, for example, are for sitting-on, even though we may also use them in many other ways. A good deal of confusion has arisen in the discussion of affordances from (1 the failure to recognize the normative status of canonical affordances and (2 then generalizing from this special case.

  6. Assuring Access to Affordable Coverage

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of uninsured Americans will gain access to affordable coverage through Affordable Insurance Exchanges and improvements in...

  7. Affordable Vehicle Avionics Overview

    Cockrell, James J.


    Public and private launch vehicle developers are reducing the cost of propulsion for small commercial launchers, but conventional high-performance, high-reliability avionics remain the disproportionately high cost driver for launch. AVA technology performs as well or better than conventional launch vehicle avionics, but with a fraction of the recurring costs. AVA enables small launch providers to offer affordable rides to LEO to nano-satellites as primary payloads meaning, small payloads can afford to specify their own launch and orbit parameters

  8. Vietnam Affordable Housing

    World Bank Group


    Affordable housing will be instrumental to helping Vietnam achieve its goals for increasing productivity and inclusive urban growth. Since Doi Moi, the country has experienced impressive economic growth, averaged at 7.4 percent per annum from 1990 to 2008, lowering to an average of 6 percent per annum from 2007 to 2013. Strong economic growth has supported a substantial reduction in povert...

  9. Learning Grasp Affordance Densities

    Detry, Renaud; Kraft, Dirk; Kroemer, Oliver;


    records their outcomes. When a satisfactory number of grasp data is available, an importance-sampling algorithm turns these into a grasp density. We evaluate our method in a largely autonomous learning experiment run on three objects of distinct shapes. The experiment shows how learning increases success......We address the issue of learning and representing object grasp affordance models. We model grasp affordances with continuous probability density functions (grasp densities) which link object-relative grasp poses to their success probability. The underlying function representation is nonparametric...... and relies on kernel density estimation to provide a continuous model. Grasp densities are learned and refined from exploration, by letting a robot “play” with an object in a sequence of graspand-drop actions: The robot uses visual cues to generate a set of grasp hypotheses; it then executes these and...

  10. The Concept of Disciplinary Affordance

    Airey, John; Eriksson, Urban; Fredlund, Tobias; Linder, Cedric


    Since its introduction by Gibson (1979) the concept of affordance has been discussed at length by a number of researchers. Most famous, perhaps is the disagreement between Gibson and Norman (1988) about whether affordances are inherent properties of objects or are only present when perceived by an organism. More recently, affordance has been drawn on in the educational arena, particularly with respect to multimodality (see Linder (2013) for a recent example). Here, Kress et al (2001) claim th...

  11. Affordable Access to Space (AAS): Affordable Vehicle Avionics Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Affordable Vehicle Avionics (AVA) is being developed at NASA Ames Research Center and is sponsored by Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) Game Changing...

  12. Housing Affordability Data System (HADS)

    Department of Housing and Urban Development — The Housing Affordability Data System (HADS) is a set of files derived from the 1985 and later national American Housing Survey (AHS) and the 2002 and later Metro...

  13. An affordable humanitarian mine detector

    Daniels, David J.; Curtis, Paul; Amin, Rajan; Dittmer, Jon


    This paper describes the further development of the MINETECT affordable humanitarian mine detector produced by ERA Technology with sponsorship from the UK Department for International Development. Using a radically different patented approach from conventional ground penetrating radar (GPR) designs in terms of the man machine interface, MINETECT offers simplicity of use and affordability, both key factors in humanitarian demining operations. Following trials in 2002 and reported at SPIE 2002, further development work including research on classifying mines, based on data from planned trials in the United Kingdom, is presented. MINETECT has the capability of detecting completely non-metallic mines and offers a considerable improvement in hand-held mine detection.

  14. Malaysian Affordability Housing Policies Revisited

    Samad Diwa


    Full Text Available Housing has always been a significant aspiration of family expression and distinctly priciest investment by household. It plays a momentous role in the country’s economy and so central to the societal well-being that is emplaced in the United Nation Universal declaration of Human rights. Yet in developed and developing world alike, cities struggle to provide decent housing for lower and middle income population. The provision of affordable housing is a major policy concern around the world with Malaysia being no exception; rising income hardly keep pace with price hike of housing unit and housing interventions has majorly concentrated on demand side leading to a non-responsive supply sector. Therefore, this paper highlights affordable housing issues pertaining Malaysia. It formulates Malaysian Map of affordability and conducts an evaluation of global housing schemes to better identify policy priorities for Malaysia. It’s significant to harmonize supply and demand side factors in the housing market to ensure that housing supply fits the needs of citizens based on the location, price and target group. In case of Malaysia supply oriented initiative are of urgency in short and medium run. This must be supported by long term demand side schemes in parallel. Convergence of these two factors is essential for a balanced equilibrium and obtaining affordability.

  15. Global affordability of fluoride toothpaste

    Holmgren Christopher J


    Full Text Available Abstract Objective Dental caries remains the most common disease worldwide and the use of fluoride toothpaste is a most effective preventive public health measure to prevent it. Changes in diets following globalization contribute to the development of dental caries in emerging economies. The aim of this paper is to compare the cost and relative affordability of fluoride toothpaste in high-, middle- and low-income countries. The hypothesis is that fluoride toothpaste is not equally affordable in high-, middle- and low-income countries. Methods Data on consumer prices of fluoride toothpastes were obtained from a self-completion questionnaire from 48 countries. The cost of fluoride toothpaste in high-, middle- and low-income countries was compared and related to annual household expenditure as well as to days of work needed to purchase the average annual usage of toothpaste per head. Results The general trend seems to be that the proportion of household expenditure required to purchase the annual dosage of toothpaste increases as the country's per capita household expenditure decreases. While in the UK for the poorest 30% of the population only 0.037 days of household expenditure is needed to purchase the annual average dosage (182.5 g of the lowest cost toothpaste, 10.75 days are needed in Kenya. The proportion of annual household expenditure ranged from 0.02% in the UK to 4% in Zambia to buy the annual average amount of lowest cost toothpaste per head. Conclusion Significant inequalities in the affordability of this essential preventive care product indicate the necessity for action to make it more affordable. Various measures to improve affordability based on experiences from essential pharmaceuticals are proposed.

  16. Optics learning through affordable kit

    P, Anusha N.; Shaji, Chitra; Sharan, Alok


    An affordable kit which helps to understand some of the optical phenomena qualitatively and quantitatively is presented in this paper. It supplements optics taught in classes. The kit consists of equipments which are available in the market at nominal cost such as laser pointer, lenses, glass plates, razor blades, coins, ball bearing etc. Experiments which come under wave optics (interference and diffraction) and ray optics (reflection and refraction) are explained using this kit.

  17. Optics learning through affordable kit

    An affordable kit which helps to understand some of the optical phenomena qualitatively and quantitatively is presented in this paper. It supplements optics taught in classes. The kit consists of equipments which are available in the market at nominal cost such as laser pointer, lenses, glass plates, razor blades, coins, ball bearing etc. Experiments which come under wave optics (interference and diffraction) and ray optics (reflection and refraction) are explained using this kit

  18. Optics learning through affordable kit

    P, Anusha N, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:; Shaji, Chitra, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:; Sharan, Alok, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail: [Department of Physics, Pondicherry University, Puducherry-605014 (India)


    An affordable kit which helps to understand some of the optical phenomena qualitatively and quantitatively is presented in this paper. It supplements optics taught in classes. The kit consists of equipments which are available in the market at nominal cost such as laser pointer, lenses, glass plates, razor blades, coins, ball bearing etc. Experiments which come under wave optics (interference and diffraction) and ray optics (reflection and refraction) are explained using this kit.

  19. Mandatory and affordable health insurance

    Len M. Nichols


    This paper asserts that America's health care system is broken and cannot be repaired with timid half-measures. It suggests that we need both universal coverage and a more efficient delivery system and that these are not competing objectives: Each is necessary to make the other possible. It further states that if we do not make health care more affordable and our delivery system more efficient and sustainable, a majority of Americans will be uninsured in short order. And the persistence of mi...

  20. Fisiognomica emozionale. Affordances, estasi, atmosfere

    Tonino Griffero


    Full Text Available Through an atmospherological approach, primarily inspired by the so-called Aisthetik or New Aesthetics (Gernot Böhme and the New Phenomenology (Hermann Schmitz, the paper defines the atmospheric perception as a first pathemic impression and investigates the relationship between this kind of perception and the expressive qualities of the surrounding spaces. The aim is to understand atmospheres as (amodal, transmodal, sinaesthetic affordances that permeate the lived space, namely as ‘ecological’ and affective invites or meanings which are ontologically rooted in things and quasi-things.

  1. Affordable Housing: An Economic Perspective

    John F. McDonald


    The economist's approach to social problems has two interrelated parts, consistent measurement and use of a cost-benefit test to assess alternative policies. This essay examines both parts of the economist's method, primarily in the context of the United States but with attention paid to the United Kingdom also. It will seek to demonstrate that the problem of affordable housing can be measured and is large, even in the U. S. Furthermore, it will suggest that the problem primarily is one of po...

  2. The marriage of green and affordable

    Trisha Miller


    Developers are beginning to apply green design to affordable housing. The budding practice has the potential to provide significant benefits to lower-income families, who pay proportionately more for energy and are disproportionately affected by poor air quality. This article discusses the case for uniting green and affordable and highlights the first national design and construction criteria for green affordable homes.

  3. Perceiving Affordances for Fitting through Apertures

    Ishak, Shaziela; Adolph, Karen E.; Lin, Grace C.


    Affordances--possibilities for action--are constrained by the match between actors and their environments. For motor decisions to be adaptive, affordances must be detected accurately. Three experiments examined the correspondence between motor decisions and affordances as participants reached through apertures of varying size. A psychophysical…

  4. Affordable In-Space Transportation

    Curtis, L. A.; VanDyke, M. K.; Lajoie, R. M.; Woodcock, G. R.


    Current and proposed launch systems will provide access to low-Earth orbit (LEO), and destinations beyond LEO, but the cost of delivering payloads will preclude the use of these services by many users. To develop and encourage revolutionary commercial utilization of geosynchronous orbit (GEO) and to provide an affordable means to continue NASA space science and exploration missions, the transportation costs to in-space destinations must be reduced. The principal objective of this study was to conceptually define three to four promising approaches to in-space transportation for delivery of satellites and other payloads, 3,000- to 10,000-lb class, to GEO destinations. This study established a methodology for evaluating in-space transportation systems based on life-cycle cost. The reusable concepts seemed to fare better in the evaluation than expendable, since a major driver in the life-cycle cost was the stage production cost.


    Norazmawati Md. Sani


    Housing affordability is an indicator of householder’s ability to own a house. While residual income measure is a popular measurement of housing affordability. Every measurement has its own criteria and elements that make it different from another. The objective of this research is to examine the residual income measure of housing affordability as well as to examine the variables that affect low-cost homeownership amongst the low-income group in Kuala Lumpur. In order to measure the housing a...

  6. Dopamine, affordance and active inference.

    Karl J Friston


    Full Text Available The role of dopamine in behaviour and decision-making is often cast in terms of reinforcement learning and optimal decision theory. Here, we present an alternative view that frames the physiology of dopamine in terms of Bayes-optimal behaviour. In this account, dopamine controls the precision or salience of (external or internal cues that engender action. In other words, dopamine balances bottom-up sensory information and top-down prior beliefs when making hierarchical inferences (predictions about cues that have affordance. In this paper, we focus on the consequences of changing tonic levels of dopamine firing using simulations of cued sequential movements. Crucially, the predictions driving movements are based upon a hierarchical generative model that infers the context in which movements are made. This means that we can confuse agents by changing the context (order in which cues are presented. These simulations provide a (Bayes-optimal model of contextual uncertainty and set switching that can be quantified in terms of behavioural and electrophysiological responses. Furthermore, one can simulate dopaminergic lesions (by changing the precision of prediction errors to produce pathological behaviours that are reminiscent of those seen in neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. We use these simulations to demonstrate how a single functional role for dopamine at the synaptic level can manifest in different ways at the behavioural level.

  7. The concept of a structural affordance

    Adrian Alsmith


    Full Text Available I provide an analysis of the concept of an “affordance” that enables one to conceive of “structural affordance” as a kind of affordance relation that might hold between an agent and its body. I then review research in the science of humanoid bodily movement to indicate the empirical reality of structural affordance.

  8. The concept of a structural affordance

    Adrian Alsmith


    I provide an analysis of the concept of an “affordance” that enables one to conceive of “structural affordance” as a kind of affordance relation that might hold between an agent and its body. I then review research in the science of humanoid bodily movement to indicate the empirical reality of structural affordance.

  9. Section 8: Affordable Housing for Exceptional Families

    Wright, Wesley E.


    Shelter is a basic human need. Unfortunately, affordable housing is a need that low income families who are caring for children and adults with disabilities can rarely afford without assistance. Because participating families generally pay rent of no more than 30 percent of their adjusted monthly income, the Section 8 program can provide…

  10. Affordability Approaches for Human Space Exploration

    Holladay, Jon; Smith, David Alan


    The design and development of historical NASA Programs (Apollo, Shuttle and International Space Station), have been based on pre-agreed missions which included specific pre-defined destinations (e.g., the Moon and low Earth orbit). Due to more constrained budget profiles, and the desire to have a more flexible architecture for Mission capture as it is affordable, NASA is working toward a set of Programs that are capability based, rather than mission and/or destination specific. This means designing for a performance capability that can be applied to a specific human exploration mission/destination later (sometime years later). This approach does support developing systems to flatter budgets over time, however, it also poses the challenge of how to accomplish this effectively while maintaining a trained workforce, extensive manufacturing, test and launch facilities, and ensuring mission success ranging from Low Earth Orbit to asteroid destinations. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in support of Exploration Systems Directorate (ESD) in Washington, DC has been developing approaches to track affordability across multiple Programs. The first step is to ensure a common definition of affordability: the discipline to bear cost in meeting a budget with margin over the life of the program. The second step is to infuse responsibility and accountability for affordability into all levels of the implementing organization since affordability is no single person s job; it is everyone s job. The third step is to use existing data to identify common affordability elements organized by configuration (vehicle/facility), cost, schedule, and risk. The fourth step is to analyze and trend this affordability data using an affordability dashboard to provide status, measures, and trends for ESD and Program level of affordability tracking. This paper will provide examples of how regular application of this approach supports affordable and therefore sustainable human space exploration

  11. Rethinking Affordable Housing Delivery: An Analytical Insight

    Olanrewaju Abdullateef


    Full Text Available Malaysia currently has a housing shortage of 12 million units. Towards the year 2020, this would require an annual supply of a minimum of 2 million homes. With the current production rate, the deficits will remain over the next 100 years. The crisis will lead to poor standards of living, un-affordable rental price, high mortgage payment, abandonment, and dilapidation of the existing housing stock. Lack of affordable housing is already a source of concern among many Malaysians. The middle and lower income earners spend more than 30% of their income on rent or for mortgage payment. Housing rent or mortgage is a basic need like foods, education, clothing and health. The government has introduced various measures to address the housing deficit. Despite these measures, the housing supply and distribution gaps continue to grow. To better understand the issues, there is a need to examine how the procurement planning in the affordable housing delivery supply chain and market is formulated, explore how cost of affordable housing would be reduced, identify the user value systems in affordable housing, and identify the criteria in the current regulatory framework? For these purposes, this paper reviews the relevant literature to reach preliminary findings on the stated issues. Among the factors found accounting for housing shortages, the overwhelming factors were that of poor policies, strategies, practice, management, and finance. The findings are meaningful in framing an affordable housing delivery model. It could also be useful to stakeholders involved in affordable housing delivery in Malaysia and elsewhere.

  12. Smoking Bans in Affordable Housing Benefit All

    ... Smoking Bans in Affordable Housing Benefit All: Study Secondhand exposure ... researchers found. At properties with only indoor smoking bans, there was actually an increase in outdoor secondhand ...

  13. Rethinking Affordable Housing Delivery: An Analytical Insight

    Olanrewaju Abdullateef; Yeow Seong; Lim Lee


    Malaysia currently has a housing shortage of 12 million units. Towards the year 2020, this would require an annual supply of a minimum of 2 million homes. With the current production rate, the deficits will remain over the next 100 years. The crisis will lead to poor standards of living, un-affordable rental price, high mortgage payment, abandonment, and dilapidation of the existing housing stock. Lack of affordable housing is already a source of concern among many Malaysians. The middle and ...

  14. The Great Recession and Housing Affordability

    Kroll, Cynthia A.


    The decline in home prices in the Great Recession and the lack of recovery in prices in the early years of recovery have created a significant improvement in some types of housing affordability measures. Yet incomes also dropped, and rent levels often moved in the opposite direction to home prices, showing that improvements in affordability were far from universal. This paper uses aggregate statistics available from a variety of public and private sources to illustrate different types of affo...

  15. Affordances for robots: a brief survey

    Thomas E. Horton


    Full Text Available In this paper, we consider the influence of Gibson's affordance theory on the design of robotic agents. Affordance theory (and the ecological approach to agent design in general has in many cases contributed to the development of successful robotic systems; we provide a brief survey of AI research in this area. However, there remain significant issues that complicate discussions on this topic, particularly in the exchange of ideas between researchers in artificial intelligence and ecological psychology. We identify some of these issues, specifically the lack of a generally accepted definition of "affordance" and fundamental differences in the current approaches taken in AI and ecological psychology. While we consider reconciliation between these fields to be possible and mutually beneficial, it will require some flexibility on the issue of direct perception.

  16. Affordances and the musically extended mind.

    Krueger, Joel


    I defend a model of the musically extended mind. I consider how acts of "musicking" grant access to novel emotional experiences otherwise inaccessible. First, I discuss the idea of "musical affordances" and specify both what musical affordances are and how they invite different forms of entrainment. Next, I argue that musical affordances - via soliciting different forms of entrainment - enhance the functionality of various endogenous, emotion-granting regulative processes, drawing novel experiences out of us with an expanded complexity and phenomenal character. I argue that music therefore ought to be thought of as part of the vehicle needed to realize these emotional experiences. I appeal to different sources of empirical work to develop this idea. PMID:24432008

  17. Affordances in Mobile Augmented Reality Applications

    Tor Gjøsæter


    Full Text Available This paper explores the affordances of augmented reality content in a mobile augmented reality application. A user study was conducted by performing a multi-camera video recording of seven think aloud sessions. The think aloud sessions consisted of individual users performing tasks, exploring and experiencing a mobile augmented reality (MAR application we developed for the iOS platform named ARad. We discuss the instrumental affordances we observed when users interacted with augmented reality content, as well as more complex affordances rising from conventions from media content, AR and the traditional WIMP paradigm. We find that remediation of traditional newspaper content through the MAR medium can provide engaging, pleasing and exciting user experiences. However, the some of the content still suffers from being shoveled onto the MAR platform without adapting it properly. Finally, we discuss what content was most successfully mediated to the user and how the content impacts the user experience.

  18. The Transformation of Ergonomic Affordances into Cultural Affordances: The Case of the Alnuset System

    Chiappini, Giampaolo


    Is it possible to study the ergonomic affordances offered by a system designed for educational aims and their transformation into cultural affordances? To this purpose, what references can we adopt? This work describes the theoretical framework used to realise this study referring to AlNuSet, a system realised within the EC ReMath project to…

  19. The Affordable Care Act and orthopaedic trauma.

    Issar, Neil M; Jahangir, A Alex


    The Affordable Care Act has resulted in a dramatic governmental restructuring of the healthcare insurance market and delivery system. Orthopaedic traumatologists must be aware of the law's impact on their clinical practice, finances, and overall business model. This includes the effect of accountable care organizations, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and the Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier program, as well as the impact of the Affordable Care Act's grace period provision, medical device excise tax, and cuts to funding for the Disproportionate Share Hospital program. PMID:25229683

  20. Affordance Templates for Shared Robot Control

    Hart, Stephen; Dinh, Paul; Hambuchen, Kim


    This paper introduces the Affordance Template framework used to supervise task behaviors on the NASA-JSC Valkyrie robot at the 2013 DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Trials. This framework provides graphical interfaces to human supervisors that are adjustable based on the run-time environmental context (e.g., size, location, and shape of objects that the robot must interact with, etc.). Additional improvements, described below, inject degrees of autonomy into instantiations of affordance templates at run-time in order to enable efficient human supervision of the robot for accomplishing tasks.

  1. Affordances and distributed cognition in museum exhibitions

    Achiam, Marianne; May, Michael; Marandino, Martha


    history museum. We show how differences in exhibit characteristics give rise to differences in the interpretive strategies used by visitors in their meaning-making process, and conclude by discussing how the notions of affordance and distributed cognition can be used in an exhibit design perspective....

  2. Options for Affordable Fission Surface Power Systems

    Fission surface power systems could provide abundant power anywhere on the surface of the moon or Mars. Locations could include permanently shaded regions on the moon and high latitudes on Mars. To be fully utilized, however, fission surface power systems must be safe, have adequate performance, and be affordable. This paper discusses options for the design and development of such systems. (authors)

  3. Affordability for sustainable energy development products

    Highlights: • Clean cookstoves that also generate electricity improve affordability. • Excel spreadsheet model to assist stakeholders to choose optimum technology. • Presents views for each stakeholder villager, village and country. • By adding certain capital costs, affordability and sustainability are improved. • Affordability is highly dependent on carbon credits and social understandings. - Abstract: Clean burning products, for example cooking stoves, can reduce household air pollution (HAP), which prematurely kills 3.5 million people each year. By careful selection of components into a product package with micro-finance used for the capital payment, barriers to large-scale uptake of products that remove HAP are reduced. Such products reduce smoke from cooking and the lighting from electricity produced, eliminates smoke from kerosene lamps. A bottom-up financial model, that is cognisant of end user social needs, has been developed to compare different products for use in rural areas of developing countries. The model is freely available for use by researchers and has the ability to assist in the analysis of changing assumptions. Business views of an individual villager, the village itself and a country view are presented. The model shows that affordability (defined as the effect on household expenses as a result of a product purchase) and recognition of end-user social needs are as important as product cost. The effects of large-scale deployment (greater that 10 million per year) are described together with level of subsidy required by the poorest people. With the assumptions given, the model shows that pico-hydro is the most cost effective, but not generally available, one thermo-acoustic technology option does not require subsidy, but it is only at technology readiness level 2 (NASA definition) therefore costs are predicted and very large investment in manufacturing capability is needed to meet the cost target. Thermo-electric is currently the only

  4. An Affordable Open-Source Turbidimeter

    Christopher D. Kelley


    Full Text Available Turbidity is an internationally recognized criterion for assessing drinking water quality, because the colloidal particles in turbid water may harbor pathogens, chemically reduce oxidizing disinfectants, and hinder attempts to disinfect water with ultraviolet radiation. A turbidimeter is an electronic/optical instrument that assesses turbidity by measuring the scattering of light passing through a water sample containing such colloidal particles. Commercial turbidimeters cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, putting them beyond the reach of low-resource communities around the world. An affordable open-source turbidimeter based on a single light-to-frequency sensor was designed and constructed, and evaluated against a portable commercial turbidimeter. The final product, which builds on extensive published research, is intended to catalyze further developments in affordable water and sanitation monitoring.

  5. Affordances and the musically extended mind

    Joel eKrueger


    Full Text Available I defend a model of the musically extended mind. I consider how acts of musicking grant access to novel emotional experiences otherwise inaccessible. First, I discuss the idea of musical affordances and specify both what musical affordances are and how they invite different forms of entrainment. Next, I argue that musical affordances—via soliciting different forms of entrainment—enhance the functionality of various endogenous, emotion-granting regulative processes, drawing novel experiences out of us with an expanded complexity and phenomenal character. I suggest that music therefore ought to be thought of as part of the vehicle needed to realize these emotional experiences. I appeal to different sources of empirical work to develop this idea.

  6. Refining Grasp Affordance Models by Experience

    Detry, Renaud; Kraft, Dirk; Buch, Anders Glent;


    We present a method for learning object grasp affordance models in 3D from experience, and demonstrate its applicability through extensive testing and evaluation on a realistic and largely autonomous platform. Grasp affordance refers here to relative object-gripper configurations that yield stable...... visual model of the object they characterize. We explore a batch-oriented, experience-based learning paradigm where grasps sampled randomly from a density are performed, and an importance-sampling algorithm learns a refined density from the outcomes of these experiences. The first such learning cycle is...... bootstrapped with a grasp density formed from visual cues. We show that the robot effectively applies its experience by downweighting poor grasp solutions, which results in increased success rates at subsequent learning cycles. We also present success rates in a practical scenario where a robot needs to...

  7. System Concepts for Affordable Fission Surface Power

    Mason, Lee; Poston, David; Qualls, Louis


    This paper presents an overview of an affordable Fission Surface Power (FSP) system that could be used for NASA applications on the Moon and Mars. The proposed FSP system uses a low temperature, uranium dioxide-fueled, liquid metal-cooled fission reactor coupled to free-piston Stirling converters. The concept was determined by a 12 month NASA/DOE study that examined design options and development strategies based on affordability and risk. The system is considered a low development risk based on the use of terrestrial-derived reactor technology, high efficiency power conversion, and conventional materials. The low-risk approach was selected over other options that could offer higher performance and/or lower mass.

  8. Examining Affordability Issues in Northern Ireland

    Brown, L.; S. McGreal; Gibb, K.; Joe Frey; Frey, J.


    The paper explores the relationship between house price growth, income levels, investor activity and the effects on entrants to the housing market. It concentrates on the area of first time buyers to the market and the issues of affordability which are now becoming increasingly apparent in Northern Ireland. House prices in Northern Ireland have experienced unprecedented growth particularly in the last 12 months (37% in 2006 alone according to the University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Ind...

  9. Heavy fuel oil: acceptable? available? affordable?

    Increasingly stringent environmental legislation on emissions limits poses problems for large industrial energy users, causing them to re-examine their choice of fuel source. Choice of fuel must be made flexibly, preferably in the form of a dual fuel strategy, it is argued here. This article examines the relationship between the 1995 Environment Act, the 1990 Environmental Protection Act, and the likely future of heavy fuel oils in terms of acceptability, availability and affordability. (UK)

  10. Perceiving Affordances for Different Motor Skills

    Cole, Whitney G.; Chan, Gladys L. Y.; Vereijken, Beatrix; Adolph, Karen E.


    We examined several factors that affect people’s ability to perceive possibilities for action. In Experiment 1, 24 participants crossed expanses of various sizes in three conditions: leaping, a familiar, launching action system; arm-swinging on monkey bars, an unpracticed skill that uses the arms rather than the legs; and crawling on hands and knees, a disused skill that involves all four limbs. Before and after performing each action, participants gave verbal judgments about the largest gap they could cross. Participants scaled initial judgments to their actual abilities in all three conditions. But they considerably underestimated their abilities for leaping, a launching action, and for arm-swinging when it was performed as a launching action; judgments about crawling, a non-launching action, and arm-swinging when it was performed as a non-launching action were more accurate. Thus, launching actions appear to produce a deficit in perceiving affordances that is not ameliorated by familiarity with the action. However, after performing the actions, participants partially corrected for the deficiency and more accurately judged their abilities for launching actions—suggesting that even brief action experience facilitates the perception of affordances. In Experiment 2, we confirmed that the deficit was due to the launching nature of the leaping and arm-swinging actions in Experiment 1. We asked an additional 12 participants to cross expanses using two non-launching actions using the legs (stepping across an expanse) and the arms (reaching across an expanse). Participants were highly accurate when judging affordances for these actions, supporting launching as the cause of the underestimation reported in Experiment 1. PMID:23411672

  11. The housing bust and housing affordability in New England

    Robert Clifford


    This discussion paper updates the Center's 2006 housing affordability working paper, drawing on housing market data through 2008 to provide an in-depth analysis of housing affordability after the recent housing market bust. The paper looks at affordability in the New England states, their largest metropolitan areas, competitor metropolitan areas, and for the nation. The results show that as New England's housing prices have declined, affordability has been returning to the pre-housing crisis ...

  12. Experiments on affordance in the journal "ecological psychology"

    Trettvik, Johan


    There are two general aims: 1) to review how the concept of affordance is construed, in theory as well as in practice/experiments, and 2) to review the experiments on affordances.......There are two general aims: 1) to review how the concept of affordance is construed, in theory as well as in practice/experiments, and 2) to review the experiments on affordances....

  13. Dignity for all: affordable assisted living.

    Janeski, James F; Pruchnicki, Alec


    In 2026, the first of the baby boomers, including Presidents Clinton and Bush, will reach the age of 80, the average age of residents currently in assisted living facilities. In her book The Denial of Aging: Perpetual Youth, Eternal Life, and Other Dangerous Fantasies, Muriel Gillick proposes that the baby boomers will seek assisted living as an alternative to nursing home care. But what about that portion of the population not able to afford the high cost of private assisted living? What option will be available to the low-asset/low-income population in lieu of nursing home care? PMID:17214248

  14. Immunologic protection afforded by sunscreens in vitro.

    Davenport, V; Morris, J F; Chu, A C


    Several studies have suggested a lack of correlation between sunscreen sun protection factor and protection of the skin immune system, potentially allowing greater damage to the skin by removing the natural protective erythemal response to sun exposure. Despite this, routine testing of immune protection afforded by sunscreens is not performed by industry. Current laboratory methods for investigating the efficacy of sunscreen protection of epidermal immune function use the induction of contact hypersensitivity or epidermal cell alloantigen presentation. Animal models, cell culture systems, and in vivo human studies are commonly employed, but all these systems have significant drawbacks for use in routine testing. The purpose of this study was to develop an in vitro system for testing the immunologic protection afforded by sunscreens in human skin. Five test sunscreens plus a vehicle control were tested in a "blind" fashion for their in vitro level of immune protection. Creams were applied in a standard manner to human whole skin explants and were irradiated over a range of physiologic doses using an Oriel solar simulator. A mixed epidermal lymphocyte reaction was used to quantify epidermal alloantigen-presenting capacity, in the presence or absence of test cream, for five explants. Results consistently demonstrated that all the test sunscreens protected beyond their designated sun protection factors, whereas the vehicle conferred no protection. The explant-mixed epidermal lymphocyte reaction system gave consistent, reproducible results and may prove useful for the allocation of an immune protection factor to all sunscreens. PMID:9182811

  15. How to Think About Changes in Higher Education Affordability

    Robert B. Archibald; Feldman, David H.


    Many have argued that because the cost of attending college has increased more rapidly than family income, college has become less affordable. In this paper, we argue that this is not the correct way to think about affordability. Goods and services are more or less affordable if the consumer can or cannot afford to purchase the market basket of goods and services in the second time period he or she could afford in the first period. The measure of whether an increase in tuition and fees has in...

  16. Housing Affordability in Czech Regions and Demographic Behaviour – Does Housing Affordability Impact Fertility?

    Kostelecký, Tomáš; Vobecká, Jana


    Roč. 45, č. 6 (2009), s. 1191-1213. ISSN 0038-0288 R&D Projects: GA MMR WD-05-07-3 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z70280505 Keywords : housing affordability * fertility * Czech regions Subject RIV: AO - Sociology, Demography Impact factor: 0.562, year: 2009

  17. NASA's Space Launch System: Affordability for Sustainability

    May, Todd A.; Creech, Stephen D.


    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Space Launch System (SLS) Program, managed at the Marshall Space Flight Center, is charged with delivering a new capability for human exploration beyond Earth orbit in an austere economic climate. But the SLS value is clear and codified in United States (U.S.) budget law. The SLS Program knows that affordability is the key to sustainability and will provide an overview of initiatives designed to fit within the funding guidelines by using existing engine assets and hardware now in testing to meet a first launch by 2017 within the projected budget. It also has a long-range plan to keep the budget flat, yet evolve the 70-tonne (t) initial lift capability to 130-t lift capability after the first two flights. To achieve the evolved configuration, advanced technologies must offer appropriate return on investment to be selected through the competitive process. For context, the SLS will be larger than the Saturn V that took 12 men on 6 trips for a total of 11 days on the lunar surface some 40 years ago. Astronauts train for long-duration voyages on platforms such as the International Space Station, but have not had transportation to go beyond Earth orbit in modern times, until now. To arrive at the launch vehicle concept, the SLS Program conducted internal engineering and business studies that have been externally validated by industry and reviewed by independent assessment panels. In parallel with SLS concept studies, NASA is now refining its mission manifest, guided by U.S. space policy and the Global Exploration Roadmap, which reflects the mutual goals of a dozen member nations. This mission planning will converge with a flexible heavy-lift rocket that can carry international crews and the air, water, food, and equipment they need for extended trips to asteroids and Mars. In addition, the SLS capability will accommodate very large science instruments and other payloads, using a series of modular fairings and

  18. Visual Descriptor Learning for Predicting Grasping Affordances

    Thomsen, Mikkel Tang


    feature space consisting of surface features was performed. Dimensions in the visual space were varied and the effects were evaluated with the task of grasping unknown object. The evaluation was performed using a novel probabilistic grasp prediction approach based on neighbourhood analysis. The resulting...... success-rates for predicting grasps were between 75% and 90% depending on the object class. The investigations also provided insights into the importance of selecting a proper visual feature space when utilising it for predicting affordances. As a consequence of the gained insights, a semi-local surface...... for creating a hierarchical representation of visual surface descriptors in SE(3). The mechanism provides a generic way of creating a hierarchical representation of N layers using pairs of descriptors. The created hierarchies were evaluated on the task of grasping unknown objects and the resulting...

  19. Affordances of form in stanzaic narrative poetry

    B. McHale


    Full Text Available This article develops the notion that poetry is crucially distinguished from other forms of verbal art by its foregrounding of segmentivity, the spacing of language. If a measure is regarded as the smallest unit of resistance to meaning, measure determines where gaps open up in a poetic text. Poetry is, however, not only measured, but typically countermeasured and narrative in poetry can also be countermeasured against the segmentation that is specific to narrative. The present article investigates segmentivity in one particular type of narrative poem, namely poems in discontinuous stanzaic forms. The concept of affordances (referring to different potentials for use is applied to the stanzaic form in Edmund Spenser’s “The faerie queene” (1590; 1596 and to the “ottava rima” stanza, as exemplified by Kenneth Koch’s postmodernist narrative poem, “Seasons on earth” (1960; 1977; 1987.

  20. Affordable Hybrid Heat Pump Clothes Dryer

    TeGrotenhuis, Ward E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Butterfield, Andrew [Jabil, St. Petersburg, FL (United States); Caldwell, Dustin D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Crook, Alexander [Jabil, St. Petersburg, FL (United States)


    This project was successful in demonstrating the feasibility of a step change in residential clothes dryer energy efficiency by demonstrating heat pump technology capable of 50% energy savings over conventional standard-size electric dryers with comparable drying times. A prototype system was designed from off-the-shelf components that can meet the project’s efficiency goals and are affordable. An experimental prototype system was built based on the design that reached 50% energy savings. Improvements have been identified that will reduce drying times of over 60 minutes to reach the goal of 40 minutes. Nevertheless, the prototype represents a step change in efficiency over heat pump dryers recently introduced to the U.S. market, with 30% improvement in energy efficiency at comparable drying times.

  1. Achieving affordable housing through energy efficiency strategy

    Cooperation between public and private sector has achieved a remarkable widespread, in the Italian context, over the last two decades. Nevertheless, the increasing difficulty in accessing the capital market and the rising cost of funding sources, both noticeable over the past few years, led to a slowdown of Public–Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives. Meanwhile, the community is expressing new needs to be satisfied, such as the conversion of brownfields, the recovery of housing stock dating back to former times, as well as the refurbishment of public offices or schools. Emerging priorities include the supply of affordable dwellings for low to medium income households. This essay aims to examine a case study in which PPP and buildings energy efficiency have been successfully combined, in order to jointly contribute to the achievement of a social housing settlement. Thanks to energy efficiency measures—concerning building envelope insulation, heating system and other installations—the agreed rent results far higher than social rent of protected tenancies, and furthermore above the range of fair rents characterising other regulated tenancies, but mildly lower than market rents. All this allows to achieve an equity yield rate satisfying from the perspective of a venture philanthropy investment. -- Highlights: •Provision of affordable dwellings is an emerging priority within Italian context. •Lack of public funds leads to promote Public–Private Partnership schemes. •Without public grants the adoption of a venture philanthropy approach is needed. •The examined case study allows to explain the role of buildings energy efficiency. •Buildings energy efficiency may boost feasibility of social housing transactions

  2. Theoretical Framework of Fair Distribution of Affordable Housing in China

    Tao Zhang


    Full Text Available Urbanization and industrialization in China result in dramatic growth of population in urban areas. The housing price rises so high that low-income people living in urban cannot afford to buy their own houses. In order to alleviate their housing plight, affordable housing has been built in mainland China. However, unfair distribution of affordable housing failed to accomplish the goal of this program. The paper firstly introduces the current situation and problem of affordable housing distribution. It then discusses the rationale of Theory of Justice from John Rawl, and puts forward a systematic legal framework, which consists of affordable housing legislation, enforcement, judiciary and sanction, to safeguard the justice of affordable housing distribution.

  3. Rethinking Space Design Standards Toward Quality Affordable Housing In Malaysia

    Ishak Nor Haniza; Mohd Ariffin Ati Rosemary; Sulaiman Raha; Mohd Zailani Muhammad Najib


    Provision of affordable housing is important to low- and middle-income population. A fit form of house will not only fulfil a basic human need for shelter, but it also contributes to physical and psychological well-being of the occupants. Excellent quality and affordable housing is an indication of a high quality of life. While writings exist on various aspects of the quality of affordable housing in Malaysia, discussion regarding space and design standards has scarcely been given any serious...

  4. A ratio or budget benchmark for comparing affordability across countries?

    Heylen, Kristof; Haffner, Marietta


    In this article, the methodological strengths and weaknesses of two common housing affordability indicators - the expenditure-to-income ratio and the residual income - are discussed, using data for the Belgian region of Flanders and the Netherlands. Affordability standards are used in order to distinguish the group facing affordability problems. In case of residual income, we use minimum budget standards – excluding housing - that allow for decent participation in society. For the expenditur...

  5. Control your mind, make affordance available.

    Jin, Zheng; Lee, Yang; Zhu, Jin


    Evaluating the affordance-control interpretation of the relationship between performance and object estimation has been proposed by psychophysical and psychonomic studies. This study examined the weight estimation-performance relationship. Individuals with visual impairment or blindness put shots that varied in weight among five scales. In Experiment 1, only the perceived weight was a significant performance constraint. In Experiment 2, the weight was perceived as heavier when the participants' actions were manipulated through cognitive interpretation. The increase in perceived weight appeared to be related to performance and intrinsically scaled to the action, even when the action was only mental rather than physical. The study's findings suggest that bodily experience and action are the basis for physical judgments and likely underlie other basic cognitive interpretations of sensory stimuli. This suggestion goes hand in hand with the biofunctional approaches which assume direct experience of the integrated wholeness of one's body is fundamental for developing other kinds of awareness. Different perspectives from oriental philosophy and psychology are also discussed. PMID:25741298

  6. Empathy and the responsiveness to social affordances.

    Kiverstein, Julian


    The direct perception theory of empathy claims that we can immediately experience a person's state of mind. I can see for instance that my neighbour is angry with me in his bodily countenance. I develop a version of the direct perception theory of empathy which takes this perceptual capacity to depend upon recognising in what way the other person is responsive to the affordances the environment provides. By recognising which possibilities for action are relevant to a person, I can thereby understand something about the meaning they give to the world. I come to share something of their perspective on the world, and this allows me to grasp based on my perception of them something about their current state of mind. I argue that shared affect plays a central role in this perceptual capacity. Shared affect allows me to orient my attention to possibilities for action that matter to the other person. I end by briefly discuss the implications of this view of empathy for the disturbances in so-called "cognitive empathy" that are found in people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. PMID:26021190

  7. Partnerships for affordable and equitable disaster insurance

    Mysiak, J.; Pérez-Blanco, C. D.


    Extreme events are becoming more frequent and intense, inflating the economic damages and social hardship set-off by natural catastrophes. Amidst budgetary cuts, there is a growing concern on societies' ability to design solvent disaster recovery strategies, while addressing equity and affordability concerns. The participation of private sector along with public one through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) has gained on importance as a means to address these seemingly conflicting objectives through the provision of (catastrophic) natural hazard insurance. This is the case of many OECD countries, notably some EU Member States such as the United Kingdom and Spain. The EU legislator has adapted to this new scenario and recently produced major reforms in the legislation and regulation that govern the framework in which PPPs for (catastrophic) natural hazard insurance develop. This paper has a dual objective: (1) review the complex legal background that rules the provision of insurance against natural catastrophes in the EU after these major reforms, (2) assess the implications of the reforms and offer concise Policy Guiding Principles.

  8. Affordable underwater wireless optical communication using LEDs

    Pilipenko, Vladimir; Arnon, Shlomi


    In recent years the need for high data rate underwater wireless communication (WC) has increased. Nowadays, the conventional technology for underwater communication is acoustic. However, the maximum data rate that acoustic technology can provide is a few kilobits per second. On the other hand, emerging applications such as underwater imaging, networks of sensors and swarms of underwater vehicles require much faster data rates. As a result, underwater optical WC, which can provide much higher data rates, has been proposed as an alternative means of communication. In addition to high data rates, affordable communication systems become an important feature in the development requirements. The outcome of these requirements is a new system design based on off-the-shelf components such as blue and green light emitting diodes (LEDs). This is due to the fact that LEDs offer solutions characterized by low cost, high efficiency, reliability and compactness. However, there are some challenges to be met when incorporating LEDs as part of the optical transmitter, such as low modulation rates and non linearity. In this paper, we review the main challenges facing the incorporation of LEDs as an integral part of underwater WC systems and propose some techniques to mitigate the LED limitations in order to achieve high data rate communication

  9. Ground Processing Affordability for Space Vehicles

    Ingalls, John; Scott, Russell


    Launch vehicles and most of their payloads spend the majority of their time on the ground. The cost of ground operations is very high. So, why so often is so little attention given to ground processing during development? The current global space industry and economic environment are driving more need for efficiencies to save time and money. Affordability and sustainability are more important now than ever. We can not continue to treat space vehicles as mere science projects. More RLV's (Reusable Launch Vehicles) are being developed for the gains of reusability which are not available for ELV's (Expendable Launch Vehicles). More human-rated vehicles are being developed, with the retirement of the Space Shuttles, and for a new global space race, yet these cost more than the many unmanned vehicles of today. We can learn many lessons on affordability from RLV's. DFO (Design for Operations) considers ground operations during design, development, and manufacturing-before the first flight. This is often minimized for space vehicles, but is very important. Vehicles are designed for launch and mission operations. You will not be able to do it again if it is too slow or costly to get there. Many times, technology changes faster than space products such that what is launched includes outdated features, thus reducing competitiveness. Ground operations must be considered for the full product Lifecycle, from concept to retirement. Once manufactured, launch vehicles along with their payloads and launch systems require a long path of processing before launch. Initial assembly and testing always discover problems to address. A solid integration program is essential to minimize these impacts, as was seen in the Constellation Ares I-X test rocket. For RLV's, landing/recovery and post-flight turnaround activities are performed. Multi-use vehicles require reconfiguration. MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) must be well-planned--- even for the unplanned problems. Defect limits and

  10. Commercial Platforms Allow Affordable Space Research


    At an altitude of about 240 miles, its orbital path carries it over 90 percent of the Earth s population. It circles the Earth in continuous free fall; its crew of six and one Robonaut pass the days, experiencing 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every 24 hours, in microgravity, an environment in which everything from bodily functions to the physical behavior of materials changes drastically from what is common on the ground. Outside its shielded confines, temperatures cycle from one extreme to the other, radiation is rampant, and atomic oxygen corrodes everything it touches. A unique feat of engineering, the International Space Station (ISS) also represents the most remarkable platform for scientific research ever devised. In 2005, anticipating the space station s potential for NASA and non-NASA scientists alike, the NASA Authorization Act designated the US segment of the ISS as a national laboratory, instructing the Agency to "increase the utilization of the ISS by other Federal entities and the private sector." With the ISS set to maintain operations through at least 2020, the station offers an unprecedented long-term access to space conditions, enabling research not previously possible. "There will be new drug discoveries, new pharmaceuticals, a better understanding of how we affect the planet and how we can maintain it," says Marybeth Edeen, the ISS National Laboratory manager, based at Johnson Space Center. The ISS, she says, represents a major example of the government s role in making such advancements possible. "The government is key in that researchers cannot afford to build the kind of infrastructure that the government can provide. But we then have to make that infrastructure available at a reasonable cost." Enter Jeff Manber, who saw in the ISS National Lab an extraordinary opportunity to advance science, education, and business in ways never before seen.

  11. Affordable Space Tourism: SpaceStationSim


    For over 5 years, people have been living and working in space on the International Space Station (ISS), a state-of-the-art laboratory complex orbiting high above the Earth. Offering a large, sustained microgravity environment that cannot be duplicated on Earth, the ISS furthers humankind s knowledge of science and how the body functions for extended periods of time in space all of which will prove vital on long-duration missions to Mars. On-orbit construction of the station began in November 1998, with the launch of the Russian Zarya Control Module, which provided battery power and fuel storage. This module was followed by additional components and supplies over the course of several months. In November 2000, the first ISS Expedition crew moved in. Since then, the ISS has continued to change and evolve. The space station is currently 240 feet wide, measured across the solar arrays, and 171 feet long, from the NASA Destiny Laboratory to the Russian Zvezda Habitation Module. It is 90 feet tall, and it weighs approximately 404,000 pounds. Crews inhabit a living space of about 15,000 cubic feet. To date, 90 scientific investigations have been conducted on the space station. New results from space station research, from basic science to exploration research, are being published each month, and more breakthroughs are likely to come. It is not all work on the space station, though. The orbiting home affords many of the comforts one finds on Earth. There is a weightless "weight room" and even a musical keyboard alongside research facilities. Holidays are observed, and with them, traditional foods such as turkey and cobbler are eaten, with lemonade to wash them down

  12. Affordable WDM components: the polymer solution

    Eldada, Louay A.; Yin, Shing; Norwood, Robert A.; Yardley, James T.


    An advanced polymeric waveguide technology was developed for affordable WDM components that address the needs of both the Telecom and the Datacom industries. We engineered high- performance organic polymers that can be readily made into both multimode and single-mode optical waveguide structures of controlled numerical aperture and geometry. These materials are formed from highly-crosslinked acrylate monomers with specific linkages that determine properties such as flexibility, toughness, loss, and environmental stability. These monomers are intermiscible, providing for precise adjustment of the refractive index from 1.3 to 1.6. In polymer form, they exhibit state-of-the-art loss values, high thermal stability, high humidity resistance, low dispersion and low birefringence. Waveguides are formed photolithographically, with the liquid monomer mixture polymerizing upon illumination in the UV via either mask exposure or laser direct writing. A wide range of rigid and flexible substrates can be used, including glass, quartz, oxidized silicon, glass-filled epoxy printed circuit board substrate, and flexible polyimide film. Waveguiding structures measuring tens of inches in length can be produced on computer boards, and guides that are meters long can be printed on rolls of plastic. We describe the fabrication of both Bragg gratings and waveguide grating routes in our polymers for filtering and demultiplexing applications in Telecom WDM systems. In Datacom, we describe polymeric components that we produced for aerospace WDM sensor systems. The importance of CAD tools in designing WDM devices is emphasized in this work. We further discuss the low-cost manufacturing of WDM components in an industrial environment.

  13. Nurturing Opportunities for Educational Leadership: How Affordance and Leadership Interconnect

    Margolin, Ilana


    This qualitative ethnographic study focused on the affordances that facilitated the emergence of leadership, capturing a range of perspectives on leadership and leadership development of four groups: district superintendents; teacher-educators; mentor-teachers and graduates. The term "affordances" implies a reciprocal relationship…

  14. An Affordability Comparison Tool (ACT) for Space Transportation

    McCleskey, C. M.; Bollo, T. R.; Garcia, J. L.


    NASA bas recently emphasized the importance of affordability for Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDP), Space Launch Systems (SLS) and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). System architects and designers are challenged to come up with architectures and designs that do not bust the budget. This paper describes the Affordability Comparison Tool (ACT) analyzes different systems or architecture configurations for affordability that allows for a comparison of: total life cycle cost; annual recurring costs, affordability figures-of-merit, such as cost per pound, cost per seat, and cost per flight, as well as productivity measures, such as payload throughput. Although ACT is not a deterministic model, the paper develops algorithms and parametric factors that use characteristics of the architectures or systems being compared to produce important system outcomes (figures-of-merit). Example applications of outcome figures-of-merit are also documented to provide the designer with information on the relative affordability and productivity of different space transportation applications.

  15. Crashworthy Seats Would Afford Superior Protection

    Gohmert, Dustin


    Seats to prevent or limit crash injuries to astronauts aboard the crew vehicle of the Orion spacecraft are undergoing development. The design of these seats incorporates and goes beyond crash-protection concepts embodied in prior spacecraft and racing-car seats to afford superior protection against impacts. Although the seats are designed to support astronauts in a recumbent, quasi-fetal posture that would likely not be suitable for non-spacecraft applications, parts of the design could be adapted to military and some civilian aircraft seats and to racing car seats to increase levels of protection. The main problem in designing any crashworthy seat is to provide full support of the occupant against anticipated crash and emergency-landing loads so as to safely limit motion, along any axis, of any part of the occupant s body relative to (1) any other part of the occupant s body, (2) the spacecraft or other vehicle, and (3) the seat itself. In the original Orion spacecraft application and in other applications that could easily be envisioned, the problem is complicated by severe limits on space available for the seat, a requirement to enable rapid egress by the occupant after a crash, and a requirement to provide for fitting of the seat to a wide range of sizes and shapes of a human body covered by a crash suit, space suit, or other protective garment. The problem is further complicated by other Orion-application-specific requirements that must be omitted here for the sake of brevity. To accommodate the wide range of crewmember body lengths within the limits on available space in the original Orion application, the design provides for taller crewmembers to pull their legs back closer toward their chests, while shorter crewmembers can allow their legs to stretch out further. The range of hip-support seat adjustments needed to effect this accommodation, as derived from NASA s Human Systems Integration Standard, was found to define a parabolic path along which the knees

  16. Criteria for Affordable Housing Performance Measurement: A Review

    Esruq-Labin A.M.J.


    Full Text Available A home is one of the basic human needs, thus a new concept known as Grow Home has risen. This concept was established to encourage more families to buy their own houses. The Grow Home concept is based on the notion of affordable housing. This paper aims to explore a proposal for affordable housing measurement with six assessment components. In other words, this work intends to study factors that can affect affordable housing assessment. In this paper, we investigated the 20 criteria for affordable housing assessment given by Mulliner and Maliene in their study. Then, we rearranged these criteria into five components, and added the Grow Home component. Each component has different criteria. Finally, six affordable housing measurement components are identified, namely, income ratios, loans and accommodations, facilities and services, safety and comfort, quality management, and Grow Home. These components are also considered as main factors that directly affect affordable housing. This study aspires to contribute to existing literature by proposing six assessment components as a measurement of affordable housing.

  17. Can consumers make affordable care affordable? The value of choice architecture.

    Johnson, Eric J; Hassin, Ran; Baker, Tom; Bajger, Allison T; Treuer, Galen


    Tens of millions of people are currently choosing health coverage on a state or federal health insurance exchange as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We examine how well people make these choices, how well they think they do, and what can be done to improve these choices. We conducted 6 experiments asking people to choose the most cost-effective policy using websites modeled on current exchanges. Our results suggest there is significant room for improvement. Without interventions, respondents perform at near chance levels and show a significant bias, overweighting out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles. Financial incentives do not improve performance, and decision-makers do not realize that they are performing poorly. However, performance can be improved quite markedly by providing calculation aids, and by choosing a "smart" default. Implementing these psychologically based principles could save purchasers of policies and taxpayers approximately 10 billion dollars every year. PMID:24367484

  18. Can consumers make affordable care affordable? The value of choice architecture.

    Eric J Johnson

    Full Text Available Tens of millions of people are currently choosing health coverage on a state or federal health insurance exchange as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We examine how well people make these choices, how well they think they do, and what can be done to improve these choices. We conducted 6 experiments asking people to choose the most cost-effective policy using websites modeled on current exchanges. Our results suggest there is significant room for improvement. Without interventions, respondents perform at near chance levels and show a significant bias, overweighting out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles. Financial incentives do not improve performance, and decision-makers do not realize that they are performing poorly. However, performance can be improved quite markedly by providing calculation aids, and by choosing a "smart" default. Implementing these psychologically based principles could save purchasers of policies and taxpayers approximately 10 billion dollars every year.

  19. The Affordable Care Act: Dispersing the Fog of Misinformation

    Max J. Skidmore


    Editor Max J. Skidmore provides a concise history and political analysis of the attacks on American efforts to achieve near universal health care, and also reviews an innovative history of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

  20. Developing an Assessment Framework for Affordable and Sustainable Housing

    Stephen Pullen


    Full Text Available Sustainable housing has been subject to research, practice and policy making for some considerable time. More recently attention has been drawn to the separate problem of declining affordability in housing. This paper describes research aimed at developing an assessment framework for both affordability and sustainability as part of the effort to incorporate both of these features into new housing projects. The research has a particular focus on developments aimed at urban densification. Background literature on both affordability and sustainability is reviewed as well as emerging schemes aimed at dealing with both aspects of housing developments. Performance indicators are identified and these are incorporated in an interim assessment framework which is tested using a group of industry experts. The research has highlighted areas where further development is required to attain quantitative assessments of affordable and sustainable housing developments

  1. Facilitating investment in affordable housing: towards an Australian model. Draft

    Lawson, J. M.; Berry, M; Milligan, V.; Yates, J


    This paper argues that sustainable and affordable finance provides a crucial pillar to support the provision of affordable housing in the long term. This finance can take on a variety of forms, comprising grants, public loans, commercial loans as well as shareholder equity. It can be facilitated by various forms of collateral, government guarantees, mortgage insurance and tax privileges, often involving a specialist financial intermediary. Importantly, how this pillar is constructed influence...

  2. Direct subsidies and housing affordability in Australian private rental markets

    Gavin A Wood; Matthew Forbes; Kenneth Gibb


    Many countries have undergone a broad retreat from the use of indirect (supply) subsidies to meet low-income housing-affordability problems, shifting to direct subsidies often linked to means-tested income-maintenance systems. Although the reasons for this change of direction are well documented, the efficacy of direct housing subsidies in terms of tackling affordability remains in question. The authors examine in detail one such system, Australia’s Rent Assistance (RA) programme, making use ...

  3. Learning Basic Object Affordances in a Robotic System

    Ridge, Barry


    One of the fundamental enabling mechanisms of human and animal intelligence, and equally, one of the great challenges of modern day autonomous robotics is the ability to perceive and exploit environmental affordances. To recognise how you can interact with objects in the world, that is to recognise what they afford you, is to speak the language of cause and effect, and as with most languages, practice is one of the most important paths to understanding. This is clear from early childhood deve...

  4. Development of Basic Housing Systems for Maximum Affordability

    Aglan, H.; Gibbons, A.; McQueen, T.M.; Morris, C.; Raines, J.; Wendt, R.L.


    The ability to provide safe, habitable, comfortable housing for very low income residents within the target budget of $10,000 presents unique design and construction challenges. However, a number of preliminary conclusions have been inferred as being important concepts relative to the study of affordable housing. The term affordable housing can have many meanings and research is needed to define this explicitly. As it is most often used, affordable housing refers to an economic relationship between the price of housing, household income and current interest rates available from a lending institution. There is no direct relationship between architectural style, construction technology or user needs and the concept of affordability. For any home to be affordable, the home owner must balance the combination of housing needs and desires within the limits of an actual budget. There are many misconceptions that affordable housing must be defined as housing for those who cannot afford the free-market price. The concept of affordable housing must also include a component that recognizes the quality of the housing as an important element of the design and construction. In addition, responses to local climate impacts are necessary and are always part of a regional expression of architectural design. By using careful planning and design it may be possible to construct a limited dwelling unit today for a sum of approximately $10,000. Since the organization of the construction process must involve the owner/occupants as well as other volunteers, the project must not only be well conceived, but well developed and coordinated.

  5. Collaborative Affordances of Hybrid Patient Record Technologies in Medical Work

    Houben, Steven; Frost, Mads; Bardram, Jakob E


    The medical record is a central artifact used to organize, communicate and coordinate information related to patient care. Despite recent deployments of electronic health records (EHR), paper medical records are still widely used because of the affordances of paper. Although a number of approache...... a medical simulation. Based on these empirical studies, this paper introduces and discusses the concept of collaborative affordances, which describes a set of properties of the medical record that foster collaborative collocated work....

  6. The Affordance Template ROS Package for Robot Task Programming

    Hart, Stephen; Dinh, Paul; Hambuchen, Kimberly


    This paper introduces the Affordance Template ROS package for quickly programming, adjusting, and executing robot applications in the ROS RViz environment. This package extends the capabilities of RViz interactive markers by allowing an operator to specify multiple end-effector waypoint locations and grasp poses in object-centric coordinate frames and to adjust these waypoints in order to meet the run-time demands of the task (specifically, object scale and location). The Affordance Template package stores task specifications in a robot-agnostic XML description format such that it is trivial to apply a template to a new robot. As such, the Affordance Template package provides a robot-generic ROS tool appropriate for building semi-autonomous, manipulation-based applications. Affordance Templates were developed by the NASA-JSC DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) team and have since successfully been deployed on multiple platforms including the NASA Valkyrie and Robonaut 2 humanoids, the University of Texas Dreamer robot and the Willow Garage PR2. In this paper, the specification and implementation of the affordance template package is introduced and demonstrated through examples for wheel (valve) turning, pick-and-place, and drill grasping, evincing its utility and flexibility for a wide variety of robot applications.

  7. Conflict between object structural and functional affordances in peripersonal space.

    Kalénine, Solène; Wamain, Yannick; Decroix, Jérémy; Coello, Yann


    Recent studies indicate that competition between conflicting action representations slows down planning of object-directed actions. The present study aims to assess whether similar conflict effects exist during manipulable object perception. Twenty-six young adults performed reach-to-grasp and semantic judgements on conflictual objects (with competing structural and functional gestures) and non-conflictual objects (with similar structural and functional gestures) presented at difference distances in a 3D virtual environment. Results highlight a space-dependent conflict between structural and functional affordances. Perceptual judgments on conflictual objects were slower that perceptual judgments on non-conflictual objects, but only when objects were presented within reach. Findings demonstrate that competition between structural and functional affordances during object perception induces a processing cost, and further show that object position in space can bias affordance competition. PMID:27327864

  8. Exploring Affordances of Social Media Use in Election Campaigns

    Dyrby, Signe; Jensen, Tina Blegind

    this tendency by posing two research questions: 1) what do political parties perceive as affordances of social media use in their campaign strategy? And 2) how are these affordances reflected in the political parties’ actual actions during the campaign? To address the two questions, we conducted a...... of generating interaction and involvement is limited by their actions as most of them do not engage with the users’ posts and comments. The tensions between perceived affordances and actual use prompt further investigation of what political parties should consider when engaging in social media......In recent years, social media have become omnipresent and highly important for social networking and content sharing. Lately we have witnessed how also political parties adopt social media as part of their political campaign strategy. The purpose of this work-in-progress paper is to investigate...

  9. The role of affordances in Libras acquisition as second language

    Jéssica Puhl


    Full Text Available Libras is a visual-spatial language used by the Brazilian deaf community. Following the principles of spatiality and vision, the user of the sign language resorts more easily to stimuli from the environment than the user of the oral language. Thus, the hypothesis of this research is that the affordances (environmental properties that enable psychologically possible actions would be a facilitator element in the process of Libras acquisition. In this paper we use the narrative and interpretive-qualitative research to discuss the role of affordances in the listener perception, interpretation and action cycle in Libras acquisition as second language. Results show that the Libras’ iconic signs can be considered important affordances in the early stages of the acquisition. It is also observed the importance of the permanence in the niche where Libras is used for the sign language development.

  10. Conflict in the kitchen: Contextual modulation of responsiveness to affordances.

    Wokke, Martijn E; Knot, Sarah L; Fouad, Aisha; Richard Ridderinkhof, K


    Recently, human behavior has been considered the product of continuous interactions between perception, cognition and action in which "affordances" (action possibilities the environment has to offer) play an important role. Converging evidence suggests that multiple action possibilities simultaneously compete for further processing, while external and internal factors (e.g., incoming sensory information, predictions) bias this competition. In the present study we used a stop-task to investigate whether context is able to modulate the strength of the responsiveness to affordances. We therefore placed participants in an actual kitchen and workshop during electroencephalographic recordings. A faster response to context congruent objects demonstrated that the direct surrounding is able to affect responsiveness to affordances. In addition, when responses needed to be withheld, context congruent objects evoked greater response conflict as indicated by an enhanced N2 Event Related Potential (ERP) component. PMID:26821243

  11. The affordable housing shortage: considering the problem, causes and solutions


    Many observers claim that we are in the midst of an “affordable housing shortage” or, even worse, an “affordable housing crisis.” The primary concern is that too many households live in “unaffordable” rental units. We hope to clarify the current debate by first measuring the size of the problem, then diagnosing its underlying causes and, finally, discussing treatments that policymakers should consider. While our review is hardly exhaustive, we conclude that a shortage of income is largely beh...

  12. Approach to an Affordable and Sustainable Space Transportation System

    McCleskey, Caey M.; Rhodes, R. E.; Robinson, J. W.; Henderson, E. M.


    This paper describes an approach and a general procedure for creating space transportation architectural concepts that are at once affordable and sustainable. Previous papers by the authors and other members of the Space Propulsion Synergy Team (SPST) focused on a functional system breakdown structure for an architecture and definition of high-payoff design techniques with a technology integration strategy. This paper follows up by using a structured process that derives architectural solutions focused on achieving life cycle affordability and sustainability. Further, the paper includes an example concept that integrates key design techniques discussed in previous papers. !

  13. Affordable comfort 95 - investing in our energy future



    This report describes the topics from the conference on Affordable Comfort, held March 26-31, 1995. Topics are concerned with energy efficiency in homes, retrofitting, weatherization, and monitoring of appliances, heating, and air conditioning systems for performance, as well as topics on electric utilities.

  14. 24 CFR 1000.101 - What is affordable housing?


    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false What is affordable housing? 1000.101 Section 1000.101 Housing and Urban Development Regulations Relating to Housing and Urban Development (Continued) OFFICE OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC AND INDIAN HOUSING, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING...

  15. 24 CFR 81.14 - Special Affordable Housing Goal.


    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Special Affordable Housing Goal. 81.14 Section 81.14 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary, Department of Housing and... MAE) AND THE FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION (FREDDIE MAC) Housing Goals § 81.14...

  16. Lean, Mean and Green: An Affordable Net Zero School

    Stanfield, Kenneth


    From its conception, Richardsville Elementary was designed to be an affordable net zero facility. The design team explored numerous energy saving strategies to dramatically reduce energy consumption. By reducing energy use to 19.31 kBtus annually, the net zero goal could be realized through the implementation of a solar array capable of producing…

  17. Pedagogical Affordances of Multiple External Representations in Scientific Processes

    Wu, Hsin-Kai; Puntambekar, Sadhana


    Multiple external representations (MERs) have been widely used in science teaching and learning. Theories such as dual coding theory and cognitive flexibility theory have been developed to explain why the use of MERs is beneficial to learning, but they do not provide much information on pedagogical issues such as how and in what conditions MERs could be introduced and used to support students' engagement in scientific processes and develop competent scientific practices (e.g., asking questions, planning investigations, and analyzing data). Additionally, little is understood about complex interactions among scientific processes and affordances of MERs. Therefore, this article focuses on pedagogical affordances of MERs in learning environments that engage students in various scientific processes. By reviewing literature in science education and cognitive psychology and integrating multiple perspectives, this article aims at exploring (1) how MERs can be integrated with science processes due to their different affordances, and (2) how student learning with MERs can be scaffolded, especially in a classroom situation. We argue that pairing representations and scientific processes in a principled way based on the affordances of the representations and the goals of the activities is a powerful way to use MERs in science education. Finally, we outline types of scaffolding that could help effective use of MERs including dynamic linking, model progression, support in instructional materials, teacher support, and active engagement.

  18. Can Canadian Seniors on Public Pensions Afford a Nutritious Diet?

    Green, Rebecca J.; Williams, Patricia L.; Johnson, C. Shanthi; Blum, Ilya


    This study examined whether Canada's public pensions (Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan) provided adequate income for seniors living in Nova Scotia in 2005 to afford a basic nutritious diet. Monthly incomes were compared to essential monthly expenses for four household scenarios: (a) married couple, 80 years and 78 years, in urban Nova…

  19. Learning Affordances of Language and Communication National Curricula

    Scott, David


    This article focuses on the learning affordances of different language and communication curricula in the world. For reasons of space, only two national education systems (Finland and Singapore) and their language and communication curricula are referred to. The accounts of national education systems consist of the identification of mechanisms…

  20. The ICCE Framework: Framing Learning Experiences Afforded by Games

    Foster, Aroutis; Shah, Mamta


    There is a need for game-based learning frameworks that provide a lens for understanding learning experiences afforded in digital games. These frameworks should aim to facilitate game analyses, identification of learning opportunities, and support for learner experiences. This article uses the inquiry, communication, construction, and expression…

  1. Energy affordability and the benefits system in Italy

    In this paper, we discuss a number of ways to define and measure the affordability of energy consumption, and we examine the emergence of energy poverty in Italy in the period from 1998 to 2011. The paper examines the eligibility criteria for claiming the benefits available to support energy consumption for vulnerable families and it identifies the potential beneficiaries. The study assesses the appropriateness of the eligibility criteria by comparing the population targeted by the policy with the population actually facing affordability problems. A simulation exercise, using the hypothetical scenario most likely to result in energy benefits being made available, shows that, regardless of the affordability index adopted, the provision of state energy benefits has little impact on fuel poverty. - Highlights: • The paper provides a discussion of alternative measure of energy affordability. • We examine the emergence of fuel poverty in Italy from 1998 to 2011. • We assess the appropriateness of the Italian energy benefits eligibility criteria. • A simulation shows that the energy benefits have little impact on fuel poverty

  2. Material Affordances: The Potential of Scrapbooks in the Composition Classroom

    Alexander, Kara Poe


    A multiliteracies pedagogy has renewed our interest in materiality, or how the physical text interacts with the author's choices and the context to contribute to the message, yet little attention has been paid to materiality in analog texts, such as the scrapbook, even though this medium contains affordances (capabilities and limitations) that…

  3. Affordances as Probabilistic Functions: Implications for Development, Perception, and Decisions for Action

    Franchak, John; Adolph, Karen


    We propose a new way to describe affordances for action. Previous characterizations of affordances treat action possibilities as binary categories—either possible or impossible—separated by a critical point. Here, we show that affordances are probabilistic functions, thus accounting for variability in motor performance. By measuring an affordance function, researchers can describe the likelihood of success for every unit of the environment. We demonstrate how to fit an affordance function to ...

  4. Small businesses and the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

    Collins, Sara R; Davis, Karen; Nicholson, Jennifer L; Stremikis, Kristof


    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes several short- and long-term provisions designed to help small businesses pay for and maintain health insurance for their workers, and to allow workers without employer coverage to gain access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance. Provisions include a small business tax credit to offset premium costs for firms that offer coverage starting this taxable year, establishment of state-based insurance exchanges that promise to lower administrative costs and pool risk more broadly, and creation of new market rules and an essential benefit standard to protect small firms and their workers. Analysis shows that up to 16.6 million workers are in firms that would be eligible for the tax credit in 2010 to 2013. Over the next 10 years, small businesses and organizations could receive an estimated $40 billion in federal support through the premium credit program. PMID:20812427

  5. Learning Objects and Grasp Affordances through Autonomous Exploration

    Kraft, Dirk; Detry, Renaud; Pugeault, Nicolas;


    We describe a system for autonomous learning of visual object representations and their grasp affordances on a robot-vision system. It segments objects by grasping and moving 3D scene features, and creates probabilistic visual representations for object detection, recognition and pose estimation......, which are then augmented by continuous characterizations of grasp affordances generated through biased, random exploration. Thus, based on a careful balance of generic prior knowledge encoded in (1) the embodiment of the system, (2) a vision system extracting structurally rich information from stereo...... image sequences as well as (3) a number of built-in behavioral modules on the one hand, and autonomous exploration on the other hand, the system is able to generate object and grasping knowledge through interaction with its environment....

  6. Motivational Affordance and Risk-Taking Across Decision Domains.

    Zou, Xi; Scholer, Abigail A


    We propose a motivational affordance account to explain both stability and variability in risk-taking propensity in major decision domains. We draw on regulatory focus theory to differentiate two types of motivation (prevention, promotion) that play a key role in predicting risk-taking. Study 1 demonstrated that prevention motivation is negatively associated with risk-taking across six key decision domains, including health/safety, ethics, recreation, gambling, investment, and social. In contrast, promotion motivation is positively associated with risk-taking in the social and investment domains. Study 2 replicated the same pattern and provided direct evidence that promotion motivation is a strong predictor of risk-taking only in domains where there is true potential for gains. Study 3 manipulated promotion (vs. prevention) motivation experimentally to demonstrate that motivational affordance is a critical mechanism for understanding risk-taking behaviors. PMID:26802189

  7. Redefining privacy and anonymity through social networking affordances

    Cirucci, Angela M.


    Social networking sites allow people to create, broadcast, and interpret the self in new and evolving ways. While early online social media studies praised the Internet for providing an anonymous space in which to experiment with identity, more recent research suggests that social networking sites have become not anonymous, as they compel users to perform identity in new ways. Through a novel application of affordance theory, this paper argues that instead of attempting to apply outdated defi...

  8. Affordability in Health Care: Operationalizations and Applications in Different Contexts

    Niëns, Laurens


    markdownabstract__Abstract__ Over the last decades, total health expenditures have increased significantly (Meltzer, 2001; Folland et al., 2004). Governments in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as well as in high-income countries face the difficult challenge of ensuring that necessary interventions are accessible for those who need them, while keeping care affordable. Since good quality health care and new medical interventions can be expensive, the process of balancing the goals of e...

  9. Promoting Prevention Through the Affordable Care Act: Workplace Wellness

    Anderko, Laura; Roffenbender, Jason S.; Goetzel, Ron Z.; Millard, Francois; Wildenhaus, Kevin; DeSantis, Charles; Novelli, William


    Public health in the United States can be improved by building workplace “cultures of health” that support healthy lifestyles. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes the Prevention and Public Health Fund, will support a new focus on prevention and wellness, offering opportunities to strengthen the public’s health through workplace wellness initiatives. This article describes the opportunity the ACA provides to improve worker wellness.

  10. The Affordable Care Act and implications for young adult health

    Monaghan, Maureen


    In the USA, young adults are most likely to be uninsured and least likely to report a usual source of medical care than any age group. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) recognizes the critical need for expanded insurance coverage for this age group, and multiple provisions of the ACA address insurance coverage and health care utilization in young adults. This paper presents a brief overview of the challenges of maintaining health insurance coverage and accessing health care...

  11. Affordable immersive projection system for 3d interaction

    Andújar Gran, Carlos Antonio; Fairén González, Marta; Brunet Crosa, Pere


    This paper describes an affordable Virtual Reality system designed and developed by a group of researchers at the Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC). The system allows direct selection and manipulation of virtual 3D objects. The interaction is based on stereoscopic images projected over the user’s working space and on devices tracking the user’s natural movements. The system includes a screen being adjustable both in orientation and height, sensors tracking the head and hand movemen...

  12. Self-Supervised Online Learning of Basic Object Push Affordances

    Barry Ridge; Aleš Leonardis; Aleš Ude; Miha Deniša; Danijel Skočaj


    Continuous learning of object affordances in a cognitive robot is a challenging problem, the solution to which arguably requires a developmental approach. In this paper, we describe scenarios where robotic systems interact with household objects by pushing them using robot arms while observing the scene with cameras, and which must incrementally learn, without external supervision, both the effect classes that emerge from these interactions as well as a discriminative model for predicting the...

  13. Nurturing Opportunities for Educational Leadership: How Affordance and Leadership Interconnect

    Ilana Margolin


    This qualitative ethnographic study focused on the affordances that facilitated the emergence of leadership, capturing a range of perspectives on leadership and leadership development of four groups: district superintendents; teacher-educators; mentor-teachers and graduates. The term ‘affordances’ implies a reciprocal relationship between organisms and features of their environment thus, becomes a critical element in leadership. The findings indicate that (a) there seems to be relationships b...

  14. Can Low-Income Americans Afford a Healthy Diet?

    Drewnowski, Adam; Eichelsdoerfer, Petra


    Many nutritional professionals believe that all Americans, regardless of income, have access to a nutritious diet of whole grains, lean meats, and fresh vegetables and fruit. In reality, food prices pose a significant barrier for many consumers who are trying to balance good nutrition with affordability. The Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), commonly cited as a model of a healthy low-cost diet, achieves cost goals by relaxing some nutrition constraints and by disregarding the usual eating habits of th...

  15. Monolithic QCL design approaches for improved reliability and affordability

    Law, K. K.


    Many advances have been made recently in mid-wave infrared and long-wave infrared quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) technologies, and there is an increasing demand for these laser sources for ever expanding Naval, DoD and homeland security applications. We will discuss in this paper a portfolio of various Naval Air Warfare Weapons Division's current and future small business innovative research programs and efforts on significantly improving QCLs' performance, affordability, and reliability.

  16. The Affordable Care Act and the Labor Market

    Aaronson, Daniel; Lubotsky, Darren


    In 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the largest expansion of health insurance since the advent of Medicaid and Medicare roughly a half century ago. Because the law is being phased in slowly and many provisions are still years away from being launched, the law’s impact on employment, wages, job mobility, retirement, self-employment, economic efficiency, and overall well-being remains contentious.




    Full Text Available Frugal innovations are cost-conscious innovations developed to meet the needs in resource-poor settings, withoutcompromising quality. While there have been various innovations in the field of health care in the past decades, there is avast difference in the distribution and utilization of these innovations between developed and developing countries. Frugalinnovations can play a potential role in bridging the gap between countries and ensure affordable health care for all.

  18. Approach to an Affordable and Productive Space Transportation System

    McCleskey, Carey M.; Rhodes, Russel E.; Lepsch, Roger A.; Henderson, Edward M.; Robinson, John W.


    This paper describes an approach for creating space transportation architectures that are affordable, productive, and sustainable. The architectural scope includes both flight and ground system elements, and focuses on their compatibility to achieve a technical solution that is operationally productive, and also affordable throughout its life cycle. Previous papers by the authors and other members of the Space Propulsion Synergy Team (SPST) focused on space flight system engineering methods, along with operationally efficient propulsion system concepts and technologies. This paper follows up previous work by using a structured process to derive examples of conceptual architectures that integrate a number of advanced concepts and technologies. The examples are not intended to provide a near-term alternative architecture to displace current near-term design and development activity. Rather, the examples demonstrate an approach that promotes early investments in advanced system concept studies and trades (flight and ground), as well as in advanced technologies with the goal of enabling highly affordable, productive flight and ground space transportation systems.

  19. Affordance-based individuation of junctions in Open Street Map

    Simon Scheider


    Full Text Available We propose an algorithm that can be used to identify automatically the subset of street segments of a road network map that corresponds to a junction. The main idea is to use turn-compliant locomotion affordances, i.e., restricted patterns of supported movement, in order to specify junctions independently of their data representation, and in order to motivate tractable individuation and classification strategies. We argue that common approaches based solely on geometry or topology of the street segment graph are useful but insufficient proxies. They miss certain turn restrictions essential to junctions. From a computational viewpoint, the main challenge of affordance-based individuation of junctions lies in its complex recursive definition. In this paper, we show how Open Street Map data can be interpreted into locomotion affordances, and how the recursive junction definition can be translated into a deterministic algorithm. We evaluate this algorithm by applying it to small map excerpts in order to delineate the contained junctions.

  20. Are Marketplace Plans Affordable? Consumer Perspectives from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, March-May 2015.

    Collins, Sara R; Gunja, Munira; Rasmussen, Petra W; Doty, Michelle M; Beutel, Sophie


    Most employers who provide health insurance to employees subsidize their premiums and provide a comprehensive benefit package. Before the Affordable Care Act, people who lacked health insurance through a job and purchased it on their own paid the full cost of their plans, which often came with skimpy benefit packages and high deductibles. Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, March--May 2015, indicate that the law's tax credits have made premium costs in health plans sold through the marketplaces roughly comparable to employer plans, at least for people with low and moderate incomes. At higher incomes, the phase-out of the subsidies means that adults in marketplace plans have higher premium costs than those in employer plans. Overall, larger shares of adults in marketplace plans reported deductibles of $1,000 or more, compared with those in employer plans, though these differences were narrower among low-and moderate-income adults. PMID:26445739

  1. 78 FR 42823 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange Functions: Standards for Navigators and Non...


    ... choice of affordable health insurance, and give small businesses the same purchasing power as large... referrals to consumer assistance programs (CAPs) and health insurance ombudsmen for enrollees with... inform consumers about the Exchange and insurance affordability programs to encourage participation....

  2. Rethinking Space Design Standards Toward Quality Affordable Housing In Malaysia

    Ishak Nor Haniza


    Full Text Available Provision of affordable housing is important to low- and middle-income population. A fit form of house will not only fulfil a basic human need for shelter, but it also contributes to physical and psychological well-being of the occupants. Excellent quality and affordable housing is an indication of a high quality of life. While writings exist on various aspects of the quality of affordable housing in Malaysia, discussion regarding space and design standards has scarcely been given any serious academic attention. Standards concerning residential development usually cover different aspects or stages of the development process. They can include planning standards, design standards, space standards and technical construction standards. The main concern of this paper is on space and design standards specifically. Space standard can be defined as a set of framework which dictates fixed internal space minimums. Meanwhile, design standard indicates design guidelines to ensure the functionality, comfortability and habitability of the house. This paper is concerned exclusively with indoor spaces of a house excluding external circulation spaces and service facilities (in case of strata housing. Its interest is in internal space as an aspect of housing quality. It can be concluded that one of the way forward will be to find the balance between providing adequate minimum spaces for resident satisfactions and having economic values for housing developers. This paper may be used as a valuable reference for authorities and policy makers to better address the best housing space design standards that would benefit not only the occupants, but also the local government and developers alike.

  3. A Bootstrap Approach to an Affordable Exploration Program

    Oeftering, Richard C.


    This paper examines the potential to build an affordable sustainable exploration program by adopting an approach that requires investing in technologies that can be used to build a space infrastructure from very modest initial capabilities. Human exploration has had a history of flight programs that have high development and operational costs. Since Apollo, human exploration has had very constrained budgets and they are expected be constrained in the future. Due to their high operations costs it becomes necessary to consider retiring established space facilities in order to move on to the next exploration challenge. This practice may save cost in the near term but it does so by sacrificing part of the program s future architecture. Human exploration also has a history of sacrificing fully functional flight hardware to achieve mission objectives. An affordable exploration program cannot be built when it involves billions of dollars of discarded space flight hardware, instead, the program must emphasize preserving its high value space assets and building a suitable permanent infrastructure. Further this infrastructure must reduce operational and logistics cost. The paper examines the importance of achieving a high level of logistics independence by minimizing resource consumption, minimizing the dependency on external logistics, and maximizing the utility of resources available. The approach involves the development and deployment of a core suite of technologies that have minimum initial needs yet are able expand upon initial capability in an incremental bootstrap fashion. The bootstrap approach incrementally creates an infrastructure that grows and becomes self sustaining and eventually begins producing the energy, products and consumable propellants that support human exploration. The bootstrap technologies involve new methods of delivering and manipulating energy and materials. These technologies will exploit the space environment, minimize dependencies, and

  4. Delivering affordable cancer care in high-income countries.

    Sullivan, Richard; Peppercorn, Jeffrey; Sikora, Karol; Zalcberg, John; Meropol, Neal J; Amir, Eitan; Khayat, David; Boyle, Peter; Autier, Philippe; Tannock, Ian F; Fojo, Tito; Siderov, Jim; Williamson, Steve; Camporesi, Silvia; McVie, J Gordon; Purushotham, Arnie D; Naredi, Peter; Eggermont, Alexander; Brennan, Murray F; Steinberg, Michael L; De Ridder, Mark; McCloskey, Susan A; Verellen, Dirk; Roberts, Terence; Storme, Guy; Hicks, Rodney J; Ell, Peter J; Hirsch, Bradford R; Carbone, David P; Schulman, Kevin A; Catchpole, Paul; Taylor, David; Geissler, Jan; Brinker, Nancy G; Meltzer, David; Kerr, David; Aapro, Matti


    The burden of cancer is growing, and the disease is becoming a major economic expenditure for all developed countries. In 2008, the worldwide cost of cancer due to premature death and disability (not including direct medical costs) was estimated to be US$895 billion. This is not simply due to an increase in absolute numbers, but also the rate of increase of expenditure on cancer. What are the drivers and solutions to the so-called cancer-cost curve in developed countries? How are we going to afford to deliver high quality and equitable care? Here, expert opinion from health-care professionals, policy makers, and cancer survivors has been gathered to address the barriers and solutions to delivering affordable cancer care. Although many of the drivers and themes are specific to a particular field-eg, the huge development costs for cancer medicines-there is strong concordance running through each contribution. Several drivers of cost, such as over-use, rapid expansion, and shortening life cycles of cancer technologies (such as medicines and imaging modalities), and the lack of suitable clinical research and integrated health economic studies, have converged with more defensive medical practice, a less informed regulatory system, a lack of evidence-based sociopolitical debate, and a declining degree of fairness for all patients with cancer. Urgent solutions range from re-engineering of the macroeconomic basis of cancer costs (eg, value-based approaches to bend the cost curve and allow cost-saving technologies), greater education of policy makers, and an informed and transparent regulatory system. A radical shift in cancer policy is also required. Political toleration of unfairness in access to affordable cancer treatment is unacceptable. The cancer profession and industry should take responsibility and not accept a substandard evidence base and an ethos of very small benefit at whatever cost; rather, we need delivery of fair prices and real value from new technologies

  5. Affordable Housing Policy: Integration of Land Use Tools and the Role of State Growth Management

    Morrow, Melissa Josephine


    Affordable housing is recognized as a problem in many localities throughout the United States. Local governments have the power to influence housing affordability through land use policies. Land use tools exist to address affordable housing.. However, these tools are primarily used to address other environmental, economic, and social issues. When implemented to serve other land use objectives, these tools can have a negative impact on affordable housing. This paper will describe the link ...

  6. Housing Affordability in New Zealand: Evidence from Household Surveys

    David Law; Lisa Meehan


    Housing affordability has been a topic of much interest in New Zealand over recent years with the median house price increasing by over 50% between 2004 and 2008. The aim of this paper is to inform debate by drawing out evidence from two surveys: the Household Economic Survey (HES); and the Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE). In particular, the paper examines how patterns of house prices, expenditures, and home ownership have changed over time and across groups. A model which may...

  7. The Reader's Devices: The affordances of ebook readers

    Heather MacFadyen


    Full Text Available Print books and ebook devices now co-exist in a reading eco-system. The ways in which readers understand and describe their experience of reading on ebook devices is shaped by long-established cultural expectations about the abstract as well as the physical affordances of the print book. Ebook devices cannot help but challenge those expectations. A review of readers’ reactions to the emergence of ebook devices offers a glimpse into the complex cultural position of both the idea and the experience of reading.

  8. The affordances and use of green citizen engagement web tools

    Hoff, Jens Villiam; Scheele, Christian Elling


    The purpose of this paper is to analyse if and how three different green web applications create the basis for different levels of environmental citizen participation. This is relevant in both an e-governance context and an environmental policy context, as it is normally assumed that ICT...... that differences in affordance translates into differences in use. Theoretically, the paper departs from Contextual New Medium Theory. This theory focuses on technological practices, and demonstrates how these are created in interplay between technology, policy ideas and actor skills. Empirically, the paper...

  9. 77 FR 20615 - DAU Industry Day: “Affordability, Efficiency, and the Industrial Base”


    ... of the Secretary DAU Industry Day: ``Affordability, Efficiency, and the Industrial Base'' AGENCY..., President of Defense Acquisition University, will host a forum with industry to discuss affordability... Industry Day: ``Affordability, Efficiency, and the Industrial Base''. DATES: Tuesday, May 1, 2012, from...

  10. On possibilities for action: The past, present and future of affordance research

    Gert-Jan Pepping


    Full Text Available We give a historical overview of the development of almost 50 years of empirical research on the affordances in the past and in the present. Defined by James Jerome Gibson in the early development of the Ecological Approach to Perception and Action as the prime of perception and action, affordances have become a rich topic of investigation in the fields of human movement science and experimental psychology. The methodological origins of the empirical research performed on affordances can be traced back to the mid 1980’s and the works of Warren (1984, 1988 and Michaels (1988. Most of the research in Ecological Psychology performed since has focused on the actualization of discretely defined actions, the perception of action boundaries, the calculation of pi-numbers, and the measurement of response times. The research efforts have resulted in advancements in the understanding of the dynamic nature of affordances, affordances in a social context and the importance of calibration for perception of affordances. Although affordances are seen as an instrumental part of the control of action most studies investigating affordances do not pay attention to the control of the action. We conclude that affordances are still primarily treated as a utility to select behaviour, which creates a conceptual barrier that hinders deeper understanding of affordances. A focus on action-boundaries has largely prevented advancement in other aspects of affordances, most notably an integrative understanding of the role of affordances in the control of action.

  11. Demonstrating the Viability and Affordability of Nuclear Surface Power Systems

    Vandyke, Melissa K.


    A set of tasks have been identified to help demonstrate the viability, performance, and affordability of surface fission systems. Completion of these tasks will move surface fission systems closer to reality by demonstrating affordability and performance potential. Tasks include fabrication and test of a 19-pin section of a Surface Power Unit Demonstrator (SPUD); design, fabrication, and utilization of thermal simulators optimized for surface fission' applications; design, fabrication, and utilization of GPHS module thermal simulators; design, fabrication, and test of a fission surface power system shield; and work related to potential fission surface power fuel/clad systems. Work on the SPUD will feed directly into joint NASA MSFC/NASA GRC fabrication and test of a surface power plant Engineering Development Unit (EDU). The goal of the EDU will be to perform highly realistic thermal, structural, and electrical testing on an integrated fission surface power system. Fission thermal simulator work will help enable high fidelity non-nuclear testing of pumped NaK surface fission power systems. Radioisotope thermal simulator work will help enable design and development of higher power radioisotope systems (power ultimately limited by Pu-238 availability). Shield work is designed to assess the potential of using a water neutron shield on the surface of the moon. Fuels work is geared toward assessing the current potential of using fuels that have already flown in space.

  12. Architecture & Design of Affordable and Highly Available Enterprise Cloud Service

    Rabi Prasad Padhy


    Full Text Available Cloud computing is a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in additional infrastructure, licensing additional software or training new personnel. Enterprises must embrace this bleeding edge real-time business model in order to compete in the current marketplace. Deployment of enterprise applications in public cloud can reduce investment on IT infrastructure both in terms of hardware and software, whenever new services are to be provisioned. Furthermore, cloud services are quite attractive to business because of its dynamic scalability, privacy, performance and ability to handle heterogeneous environments. Instead of spending a lot of time in figuring out server setup and working on routers, it is judicious to subscribe cloud based 24/7 support and affordable services. It’s an extremely important consideration to subscribe to at least two cloud vendors for smooth running of applications and ensure application availability by switching from one provider to another with minimal management effort. In this article we have proposed an architecture and design of a cost affordable online enterprise cloud application that subscribes to two public cloud vendors with respect to cost and availability parameters. We also present the reasons for the current trend of enterprises moving towards 24/7 online business cloud services.

  13. Affordable health benefits for workers without employer coverage.

    Etheredge, L; Jones, S B


    With 42 million individuals lacking health insurance in 1996, an increase of 1.1 million uninsured from the previous year, new initiatives to deal with health insurance problems merit a high priority among domestic policy initiatives. This paper examines the opportunities for assisting full-time workers (and their families) who do not receive employer-paid health insurance-a group that now includes 49 million individuals-by using three policy tools that Congress and President Clinton have already agreed to use in recent healthcare legislation: (a) equitable tax assistance; (b) market reforms; and (c) competition among health plans that offer economical benefits. Estimates for a model plan illustrate that such strategies could make decent private health insurance more affordable and more accessible for workers and their families who want to purchase it; family insurance protection, with guaranteed issue of insurance and large-group-rated premiums, could be offered at potential savings of 42% (or more). Premiums for worker's coverage, after tax assistance, would be below $1,200 per year, i.e., less than 60 cents per hour. These market-oriented reforms can be accomplished with a limited government role, and, after start-up costs, ongoing federal expenses would be modest, predictable, and controllable. When combined with the new $24 billion child health initiative to assist low-income families, the proposed plan would provide considerable progress toward universal access to affordable insurance coverage. PMID:12856671

  14. Anticipating Human Activities Using Object Affordances for Reactive Robotic Response.

    Koppula, Hema S; Saxena, Ashutosh


    An important aspect of human perception is anticipation, which we use extensively in our day-to-day activities when interacting with other humans as well as with our surroundings. Anticipating which activities will a human do next (and how) can enable an assistive robot to plan ahead for reactive responses. Furthermore, anticipation can even improve the detection accuracy of past activities. The challenge, however, is two-fold: We need to capture the rich context for modeling the activities and object affordances, and we need to anticipate the distribution over a large space of future human activities. In this work, we represent each possible future using an anticipatory temporal conditional random field (ATCRF) that models the rich spatial-temporal relations through object affordances. We then consider each ATCRF as a particle and represent the distribution over the potential futures using a set of particles. In extensive evaluation on CAD-120 human activity RGB-D dataset, we first show that anticipation improves the state-of-the-art detection results. We then show that for new subjects (not seen in the training set), we obtain an activity anticipation accuracy (defined as whether one of top three predictions actually happened) of 84.1, 74.4 and 62.2 percent for an anticipation time of 1, 3 and 10 seconds respectively. Finally, we also show a robot using our algorithm for performing a few reactive responses. PMID:26656575

  15. Sonic mediatization of the book: affordances of the audiobook

    Iben Have


    Full Text Available This article addresses cultural changes resulting from the growing number of audiobook users and changes in audiobook use emerging from digital technological developments of the past decade. The sonification of the written text is inscribed in the general transformation and mediatization of the printed book but offers radically different affordances than do visually perceived e-books. New portable digital audio media change the act of reading, moving it towards fields of practice in which reading has not been common before: the gym, the bicycle ride, gardening, resting in the dark, etc. From being a medium typically associated with children, the visually handicapped, or the dyslexic, the audiobook has developed into a popular phenomenon, which, we argue, has as much in common with other kinds of mediated mobile listening practices, like music and radio listening, as it has with the reading of printed books. Taking an inductive approach from the micro-level of the individual’s use, the term affordances will be used as a methodological tool within the concept of mediatization.

  16. NASA Affordable Vehicle Avionics (AVA): Common Modular Avionics System for Nano-Launchers Offering Affordable Access to Space

    Cockrell, James


    Small satellites are becoming ever more capable of performing valuable missions for both government and commercial customers. However, currently these satellites can only be launched affordably as secondary payloads. This makes it difficult for the small satellite mission to launch when needed, to the desired orbit, and with acceptable risk. NASA Ames Research Center has developed and tested a prototype low-cost avionics package for space launch vehicles that provides complete GNC functionality in a package smaller than a tissue box with a mass less than 0.84 kg. AVA takes advantage of commercially available, low-cost, mass-produced, miniaturized sensors, filtering their more noisy inertial data with realtime GPS data. The goal of the Advanced Vehicle Avionics project is to produce and flight-verify a common suite of avionics and software that deliver affordable, capable GNC and telemetry avionics with application to multiple nano-launch vehicles at 1 the cost of current state-of-the-art avionics.

  17. Design and construction of an optical compact and affordable tweezers

    The following paper presents a new design allowing a reduction on the amount of required optical elements for the construction of the optical tweezers, which results in a compact and affordable system. The latter is composed by a 40 mW Nd: YAG (532 nm) laser and commercially available optics and mounts. A virtual instrument, developed using Lab View 8.0, controls both a XYZ table and a web camera for visualizing. The quality of the laser beam at the end of optical system was characterized using the knife-edge method, resulting in a Gaussian shaped (TEM00) intensity profile. It is presented as well the necessary information to align and calibrate each optical element. (Author)

  18. Community-specific evaluation of tool affordances in wild chimpanzees.

    Gruber, Thibaud; Muller, Martin N; Reynolds, Vernon; Wrangham, Richard; Zuberbühler, Klaus


    The notion of animal culture, defined as socially transmitted community-specific behaviour patterns, remains controversial, notably because the definition relies on surface behaviours without addressing underlying cognitive processes. In contrast, human cultures are the product of socially acquired ideas that shape how individuals interact with their environment. We conducted field experiments with two culturally distinct chimpanzee communities in Uganda, which revealed significant differences in how individuals considered the affording parts of an experimentally provided tool to extract honey from a standardised cavity. Firstly, individuals of the two communities found different functional parts of the tool salient, suggesting that they experienced a cultural bias in their cognition. Secondly, when the alternative function was made more salient, chimpanzees were unable to learn it, suggesting that prior cultural background can interfere with new learning. Culture appears to shape how chimpanzees see the world, suggesting that a cognitive component underlies the observed behavioural patterns. PMID:22355645

  19. Pico Reentry Probes: Affordable Options for Reentry Measurements and Testing

    Ailor, William H.; Kapoor, Vinod B.; Allen, Gay A., Jr.; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Arnold, James O.; Rasky, Daniel J.


    It is generally very costly to perform in-space and atmospheric entry experiments. This paper presents a new platform - the Pico Reentry Probe (PREP) - that we believe will make targeted flight-tests and planetary atmospheric probe science missions considerably more affordable. Small, lightweight, self-contained, it is designed as a "launch and forget" system, suitable for experiments that require no ongoing communication with the ground. It contains a data recorder, battery, transmitter, and user-customized instrumentation. Data recorded during reentry or space operations is returned at end-of-mission via transmission to Iridium satellites (in the case of earth-based operations) or a similar orbiting communication system for planetary missions. This paper discusses possible applications of this concept for Earth and Martian atmospheric entry science. Two well-known heritage aerodynamic shapes are considered as candidates for PREP: the shape developed for the Planetary Atmospheric Experiment Test (PAET) and that for the Deep Space II Mars Probe.

  20. Medical loss ratio regulation under the Affordable Care Act.

    Harrington, Scott E


    The minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) regulations in the Affordable Care Act guarantee that a specific percentage of health insurance premiums is spent on medical care and specified activities to improve health care quality. This paper analyzes the regulations' potential unintended consequences and incentive effects, including: higher medical costs and premiums for some insurers; less innovation to align consumer, provider, and health plan incentives, less consumer choice and increased market concentration; and the risk that insurers will pay rebates if claim costs are lower than projected when premiums are established, despite the regulations' permitted "credibility adjustments." The paper discusses modifications and alternatives to the MLR regulations to help achieve their stated goals with less potential for adverse effects. PMID:23720876

  1. Strategic options towards an affordable high-performance infrared camera

    Oduor, Patrick; Mizuno, Genki; Dutta, Achyut K.; Lewis, Jay; Dhar, Nibir K.


    The promise of infrared (IR) imaging attaining low-cost akin to CMOS sensors success has been hampered by the inability to achieve cost advantages that are necessary for crossover from military and industrial applications into the consumer and mass-scale commercial realm despite well documented advantages. Banpil Photonics is developing affordable IR cameras by adopting new strategies to speed-up the decline of the IR camera cost curve. We present a new short-wave IR (SWIR) camera; 640x512 pixel InGaAs uncooled system that is high sensitivity low noise ( 500 frames per second (FPS)) at full resolution, and low power consumption (electronics, and dense or ultra-small pixel pitch devices.

  2. Available, accessible and affordable. Malaysia. The Hague Forum.

    Ismail, P Z


    While Malaysia already had policies for a balanced, equitable, and sustainable development before the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the conference gave Malaysia the chance to pursue specific and more complex issues. Reproductive health services including family planning have been integrated and are available, accessible, and affordable within the existing health care system, both public and private. Since Malaysia's government needs help implementing Cairo's goals, regular consultations are held with advocacy groups, the private sector, and community groups on program design and implementation. Annual grants to nongovernmental organizations are made to ensure that programs and services ultimately reach the various target groups. While Malaysia has made progress implementing the ICPD program of action, it has more to accomplish. Economic conditions leading to a 20% across-the-board budget cut in July 1998 have not adversely affected the country's population and reproductive health programs. PMID:12322184

  3. Suggested Interactivity: Seeking Perceived Affordances for Information Visualization.

    Boy, Jeremy; Eveillard, Louis; Detienne, Françoise; Fekete, Jean-Daniel


    In this article, we investigate methods for suggesting the interactivity of online visualizations embedded with text. We first assess the need for such methods by conducting three initial experiments on Amazon's Mechanical Turk. We then present a design space for Suggested Interactivity (i. e., visual cues used as perceived affordances-SI), based on a survey of 382 HTML5 and visualization websites. Finally, we assess the effectiveness of three SI cues we designed for suggesting the interactivity of bar charts embedded with text. Our results show that only one cue (SI3) was successful in inciting participants to interact with the visualizations, and we hypothesize this is because this particular cue provided feedforward. PMID:26390473

  4. Affordances in activity theory and cognitive systems engineering

    Albrechtsen, H.; Andersen, H.H.K.; Bødker, S.;


    supplemented by careful analyses of other human modalities and activities than visual perception. Within HMI two well established perspectives on HMI,Activity Theory (AT) and Cognitive Systems Engineering (CSE), have discussed such analyses and design of action possibilities focusing on providing computer...... in HMI, notably those that have been putforward by Norman and Gaver, affordances are in the foreground, whereas the system or work area is in the background. AT and CSE share the view that the actors' perception of foreground and background shifts dynamically according to the actors......'situational context in purposeful activity. AT and CSE follow the original notion by Gibson on the actor's dynamic shifting between foreground and background of the environment. Furthermore, their work- and actor-centred approach to analysis and designof information systems opens up to an extension of Gibson...

  5. Situational Affordance - Appreciating human Interpretations in New Product Development

    Mathiasen, John Bang; Koch, Christian

    New Product Development (NPD) takes place within a web of connected actors who do not master fully the objects of the process, but rather they interpret the affordance - the en-abling and constraining framing by objects such as sketches, drawings, specifications, mock-ups and prototypes. The arti...... and individualistic activity, but a process where human agency makes use of a network in which social and material factors constitute the interpretation. Our findings thus substanti-ate that artefacts frame the possibilities for action within NPD....... as a combination of reading and writing text in a situated context. The relational dimension is extended by employing American pragmatism. The empirical part of the arti-cle consists of four case studies of NPD in enterprises (under pseudonyms). Two cases fo-cus predominantly on technical issues of NPD, whereas...

  6. Situational Affordance - Appreciating human Interpretations in New Product Development

    Mathiasen, John Bang; Koch, Christian


    New Product Development (NPD) takes place within a web of connected actors who do not master fully the objects of the process, but rather they interpret the affordance - the enabling and constraining framing by objects such as sketches, drawings, specifications, mock-ups and prototypes. The artic...... agency makes use of a net-work in which social and material factors constitute the interpretation. Our findings thus substantiate that artefacts frame the possibilities for action within NPD....... of reading and writing text in a situated context. The relational dimension is extended by employing American pragmatism. The empirical part of the arti-cle consists of four case studies of NPD in enterprises (under pseudonyms). Two cases fo-cus predominantly on technical issues of NPD, whereas two are more...

  7. ADAM (Affordable Desktop Application Manager): a Unix desktop application manager

    ADAM stands for Affordable Desktop Application Manager. It is a GUI developed at CERN with the aim to ease access to applications. The motivation to develop ADAM came from the unavailability of environments like COSE/CDE and their heavy resource consumption. ADAM has proven to be user friendly: new users are able to customize it to their needs in few minutes. Groups of users may share through ADAM a common application environment. ADAM also integrates the Unix and the PC world. PC users can excess Unix applications in the same way as their usual Windows applications. This paper describes all the ADAM features, how they are used at CERN Public Services, and the future plans for ADAM. (author)

  8. Enabling Dedicated, Affordable Space Access Through Aggressive Technology Maturation

    Jones, Jonathan; Kibbey, Tim; Lampton, Pat; Brown, Thomas


    A recent explosion in nano-sat, small-sat, and university class payloads has been driven by low cost electronics and sensors, wide component availability, as well as low cost, miniature computational capability and open source code. Increasing numbers of these very small spacecraft are being launched as secondary payloads, dramatically decreasing costs, and allowing greater access to operations and experimentation using actual space flight systems. While manifesting as a secondary payload provides inexpensive rides to orbit, these arrangements also have certain limitations. Small, secondary payloads are typically included with very limited payload accommodations, supported on a non interference basis (to the prime payload), and are delivered to orbital conditions driven by the primary launch customer. Integration of propulsion systems or other hazardous capabilities will further complicate secondary launch arrangements, and accommodation requirements. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Marshall Space Flight Center has begun work on the development of small, low cost launch system concepts that could provide dedicated, affordable launch alternatives to small, risk tolerant university type payloads and spacecraft. These efforts include development of small propulsion systems and highly optimized structural efficiency, utilizing modern advanced manufacturing techniques. This paper outlines the plans and accomplishments of these efforts and investigates opportunities for truly revolutionary reductions in launch and operations costs. Both evolution of existing sounding rocket systems to orbital delivery, and the development of clean sheet, optimized small launch systems are addressed. A launch vehicle at the scale and price point which allows developers to take reasonable risks with new propulsion and avionics hardware solutions does not exist today. Establishing this service provides a ride through the proverbial "valley of death" that lies between

  9. Respective capabilities of affordable Coronagraphs and Interferometers searching for Biosignatures

    Leger, Alain M.


    We describe an analytic model to estimate the capabilities of space missions dedicated to the search for biosignatures in the atmosphere of rocky planets located in the Habitable Zone of nearby stars. Relations between performance and parameters such as mirror diameter, distance to target, stellar properties, are obtained.Two types of instruments are considered: Coronagraphs observing in the visible, and Nulling Interferometers observing in the thermal infrared. Missions considered as affordable are single-pupil coronagraphs with a 2.4 m primary mirror, and formation flying interferometers with 4 x 0.75 m collecting mirrors with baselines ranging from a few decameters to a few hectometers.The numbers of accessible planets are calculated as a function of ηearth, the mean number of Earth analogues and super-Earths in stellar Habitable Zones.Based on current estimates, ηearth=10% around FGK stars and 20% around M stars, the built-in coronagraph and starshade could study only ~2.0 relevant planets, and the interferometer ~14. These numbers are obtained under the major assumption that the exozodiacal light around the target stars is not an issue for any of these instruments.For the coronagraphs, our estimates are in agreement with the values recently published by Stark et al. (2014), but these authors did not consider the case of interferometers.For the long-term future, building both types of spectroscopic instruments, and using them on the same targets, will be the optimal solution because they provide complementary information. But as a first affordable space mission, the interferometer looks the more promising in term of biosignature harvest.

  10. Affordable Development and Qualification Strategy for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.; Doughty, Glen E.; Bhattacharyya, Samit K.


    A number of recent assessments have confirmed the results of several earlier studies that Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is a leading technology for human exploration of Mars. It is generally acknowledged that NTP provides the best prospects for the transportation of humans to Mars in the 2030's. Its high Isp coupled with the high thrusts achievable, allow reasonable trip times, thereby alleviating concerns about space radiation and "claustrophobia" effects. NASA has embarked on the latest phase of the development of NTP systems, and is adopting an affordable approach in response to the pressure of the times. The affordable strategy is built on maximizing the use of the large NTP technology base developed in the 1950's and 60's. The fact that the NTP engines were actually demonstrated to work as planned, is a great risk reduction feature in its development. The strategy utilizes non-nuclear testing to the fullest extent possible, and uses focused nuclear tests for the essential qualification and certification tests. The perceived cost risk of conducting the ground tests is being addressed by considering novel testing approaches. This includes the use of boreholes to contain radioactive effluents, and use of fuel with very high retention capability for fission products. The use of prototype flight tests is being considered as final steps in the development prior to undertaking human flight missions. In addition to the technical issues, plans are being prepared to address the institutional and political issues that need to be considered in this major venture. While the development and deployment of NTP system is not expected to be cheap, the value of the system will be very high, and amortized over the many missions that it enables and enhances, the imputed costs will be very reasonable. Using the approach outlined, NASA and its partners, currently the DOE, and subsequently industry, have a good chance of creating a sustained development program leading to human

  11. Affordable Housing Needs Assessment Methodology: The Adaptation of the Florida Model to Brazil

    Mozart Vitor Serra; William J. O’Dell; Joseli Macedo; Marc T. Smith; Maria da Piedade Morais; Santiago F. Varella; Diep Nguyen


    This paper presents the adaptation of the “Florida Affordable Housing Needs Assessment Methodology” (Noll et al., 1997) to Brazil. This was a task developed jointly by the Florida team with researchers from IPEA and the World Bank. The Affordable Housing Needs Assessment Methodology, developed by the Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing for the State of Florida, is based on household estimates calculated from household formation rates and population-by-age projections. The Brazilian Model w...

  12. Examining the Factors Contributing to Affordable Housing in Kosofe Local Government Council Area, Laogs, Nigeria

    Ajibola, M. O; Oluwunmi, A. O.; Eguh, O.


    The term housing affordability has come into popular usage in the last two decades replacing housing need at the centre of debate about the provision of adequate housing for all. The aim of affordability would be defeated if housing cost becomes burdensome to an individual income in relation to his other needs. This is the reason why the researchers examined the factors contributing to affordable housing in Kosofe Local Government Council Area, Lagos, Nigeria. The study was conducted using qu...

  13. Innovative Processing Methods for the Affordable Manufacture of Multifunctional High Temperature Coatings Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Research is proposed to investigate the feasibility of using advanced manufacturing techniques to enable the affordable application of multi-functional high...

  14. Small firm self-insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

    Buettgens, Matthew; Blumberg, Linda J


    The Affordable Care Act changes the small-group insurance market substan­tially beginning in 2014, but most changes do not apply to self-insured plans. This exemp­tion provides an opening for small employers with healthier workers to avoid broader sharing of health care risk, isolating higher-cost groups in the fully insured market. Private stop-loss or reinsurance plans can mediate the risk of self-insurance for small employ­ers, facilitating the decision to self-insure. We simulate small-employer coverage decisions under the law and find that low-risk stop-loss policies lead to higher premiums in the fully insured small-group market. Average single premiums would be up to 25 percent higher, if stop-loss insurance with no additional risk to employers than fully insuring is allowed--an option available in most states absent further government action. Regulation of stop-loss at the federal or state level can, however, prevent such adverse selection and increase stabil­ity in small-group insurance coverage. PMID:23214183

  15. Rheumatic heart disease echocardiographic screening: approaching practical and affordable solutions.

    Nascimento, Bruno R; Nunes, Maria Carmo P; Lopes, Eduardo L V; Rezende, Vitória M L R; Landay, Taylor; Ribeiro, Antonio L P; Sable, Craig; Beaton, Andrea Z


    Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) affects at least 32.9 million people worldwide and ranks as a leading cause of death and disability in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Echocardiographic screening has been demonstrated to be a powerful tool for early RHD detection, and holds potential for global RHD control. However, national screening programmes have not emerged. Major barriers to implementation include the lack of human and financial resources in LMICs. Here, we focus on recent research advances that could make echocardiographic screening more practical and affordable, including handheld echocardiography devices, simplified screening protocols and task shifting of echocardiographic screening to non-experts. Additionally, we highlight some important remaining questions before echocardiographic screening can be widely recommended, including demonstration of cost-effectiveness, assessment of the impact of screening on children and communities, and determining the importance of latent RHD. While a single strategy for echocardiographic screening in all high-prevalence areas is unlikely, we believe recent advancements are bringing the public health community closer to developing sustainable programmes for echocardiographic screening. PMID:26891757

  16. The NAO humanoid: a combination of performance and affordability

    Gouaillier, David; Blazevic, Pierre; Kilner, Chris; Monceaux, Jerome; Lafourcade, Pascal; Marnier, Brice; Serre, Julien; Maisonnier, Bruno


    This article presents the design of the autonomous humanoid robot called NAO that is built by the French company Aldebaran-Robotics. With its height of 0.57 m and its weight about 4.5 kg, this innovative robot is lightweight and compact. It distinguishes itself from its existing Japanese, American, and other counterparts thanks to its pelvis kinematics design, its proprietary actuation system based on brush DC motors, its electronic, computer and distributed software architectures. This robot has been designed to be affordable without sacrificing quality and performance. It is an open and easy-to-handle platform where the user can change all the embedded system software or just add some applications to make the robot adopt specific behaviours. The robot's head and forearms are modular and can be changed to promote further evolution. The comprehensive and functional design is one of the reasons that helped select NAO to replace the AIBO quadrupeds in the 2008 RoboCup standard league.

  17. An Automated Telescope: Affordable Astronomy for Undergraduate Institutions

    Medlock, K.; Chin, V.; Jessop, H.; Spear, G.


    Epoch Instruments and Sonoma State University have joined to create a new automated telescope system, designed for rapid data acquisition at unprecedented affordability. The result has been the creation of a system with capabilities comparable to larger professional observatories, but available for a fraction of the cost. The system consists of a 25-cm Newtonian reflector, on a fork equatorial mount, with roller drives on both axes. The telescope is controlled by a PC-based software package driving a DC servo motor interface. At a focal ratio of f/5, when coupled with the Sonoma State Astrolink 512X512 pixel array CCD camera, the system is able to obtain photometry to 16th magnitude, within the light polluted setting of Sonoma State's suburban area. With an initial set-up time requiring only minutes, and the ability to move from target to target within several seconds, the Epoch Automated Telescope has made CCD photometry work at Sonoma State extremely efficient and rapid. Data collection has routinely yielded over 50 mega-bytes of data per night, with CCD integration times of a few minutes, over the 20 arcminute field of view. Consequently, this system has greatly increased the scope of undergraduate research which can be performed at Sonoma State, and has provided a revolutionary `hands-on' educational opportunity. In this paper, we will present some of the research made feasible by this system within the first six months of use at Sonoma State.

  18. Essential drugs in AIDS care: issues of availability and affordability.

    Kaur, S R


    Several antiretroviral drugs against HIV/AIDS have been developed in recent years. These drugs, reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors, inhibit the reproduction of HIV, but do not eliminate the presence of HIV in the body. The cost of drugs to treat one person with HIV/AIDS easily runs into the thousands of US dollars per year. These new drugs are therefore routinely used in developed countries, but not among the masses in developing countries. Many of the drugs needed to treat the opportunistic infections present during advanced HIV infection and AIDS are also prohibitively expensive for both developing countries and most individuals in those countries. The imposition of World Bank and International Monetary Fund structural adjustment programs together with decreased household purchasing power during the 1990s has led to increased demand for public sector services amid reduced public expenditure. The private sector is increasingly taking over the drug supply in developing countries, driving the cost of drugs out of the range of affordability for the vast majority of the poor. One strategy to contain the cost of drugs is for governments to develop and implement an integrated national drug policy based upon the concept of essential drugs and their rational use. PMID:12292110

  19. Affordable Development and Qualification Strategy for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.; Doughty, Glen E.; Bhattacharyya, Samit K.


    Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is a concept which uses a nuclear reactor to heat a propellant to high temperatures without combustion and can achieve significantly greater specific impulse than chemical engines. NTP has been considered many times for human and cargo missions beyond low earth orbit. A lot of development and technical maturation of NTP components took place during the Rover/NERVA program of the 60's and early 70's. Other NTP programs and studies followed attempting to further mature the NTP concept and identify a champion customer willing to devote the funds and support the development schedule to a demonstration mission. Budgetary constraints require the use of an affordable development and qualification strategy that takes into account all the previous work performed on NTP to construct an existing database, and include lessons learned and past guidelines followed. Current guidelines and standards NASA uses for human rating chemical rocket engines is referenced. The long lead items for NTP development involve the fuel elements of the reactor and ground testing the engine system, subsystem, and components. Other considerations which greatly impact the development plans includes the National Space Policy, National Environmental Policy Act, Presidential Directive/National Security Council Memorandum #25 (Scientific or Technological Experiments with Possible Large-Scale Adverse Environmental Effects and Launch of Nuclear Systems into Space), and Safeguards and Security. Ground testing will utilize non-nuclear test capabilities to help down select components and subsystems before testing in a nuclear environment to save time and cost. Existing test facilities with minor modifications will be considered to the maximum extent practical. New facilities will be designed to meet minimum requirements. Engine and test facility requirements are based on the driving mission requirements with added factors of safety for better assurance and reliability

  20. Some perspectives on affordable healthcare systems in China.

    Zhang, Y T; Yan, Y S; Poon, C C Y


    Consistent with the global population trend, China is becoming an aging society. Over one-fifth of the world's elderly population (aged 65 and over) lives in China. Statistics show that the elderly populace in China constitutes 8% of the total population in 2006 and the percentage will be tripled to become 24% in 2050. As a result, there is inevitably an increase in the prevalence of chronic disease that accounted for almost 80% of all deaths in China in 2005. On the other hand, from 1978 to 2003, the total expenditure on healthcare in China increased from 11.02 billion RMB up to 658.41 billion RMB, and in terms of GDP, it is an increase from 3.04% to 5.62%. The annual average increase (12.1%) in healthcare investment is therefore even higher than the annual rate of GDP increase (9.38%) during the last two decades. Meeting the long-term healthcare needs of this growing elderly population and escalating healthcare expenditure pose a grim challenge to the current Chinese healthcare system and the solvency of state budgets. In fact, the healthcare services in China have become less accessible since the early 1980s when its costs soared up. The rising costs have prevented many Chinese people from seeking early medical care. The phenomenon has created a wide disparity in seeking healthcare between urban and rural areas. These trends are of particular concern to the elderly, who have higher healthcare needs yet lesser means to afford the services. Furthermore, according to the 3rd National Health Service Survey, 79.1% of rural residents and 44.8% of urban citizens did not have any form of medical insurance. Such a low percentage of coverage of medical insurance indicates that many people may not be able to afford medical services when they suffer from severe diseases. Therefore, there is a great need of a more effective and low-cost healthcare system. A new system that can allow multi-level, multi-dimensional and standardized healthcare services for urban and rural

  1. Teaching radio astronomy with Affordable Small Radio Telescope (ASRT)

    Joshi, Bhal Chandra

    A simple, easy to build and portable radio telescope, called Affordable Small Radio Telescope (ASRT), has been developed by the Radio Physics Laboratory (RPL), a radio astronomy teaching unit associated with the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (TIFR) and Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), which are two premier astronomy institutes in India. ASRT consists of off-the-shelf available Direct to Home television dishes and is easy to assemble. Our design is scalable from simple very low cost telescope to more complex yet moderately costing instrument. ASRT provides a platform for demonstrating radio physics concepts through simple hands-on experiment as well as for carrying out solar monitoring by college/University students. The presentation will highlight the concept of ASRT and the different experiments that can be carried out using it. The solar monitoring observations will be discussed along-with details of methods for calibrating these measurements. The pedagogical usefulness of ASRT in introducing undergraduatephysics students to astrophysics, measurements and analysis methods used in radio astronomy will also be discussed. Use of ASRT in the last three years in the programs of RPL, namely the annual Radio Astronomy Winter School for College students (RAWSC) and Pulsar Observing for Students (POS) is also presented. This year a new program was initiated to form a virtual group of an ASRT community, which will not only share their measurements, but also think of improving the pedagogical usefulness of ASRT by innovative experiments. This initiative is presented with the best practices drawn from our experience in using ASRT as a tool for student training in space sciences. The talk will also point out future ideas in involving a larger body of students in simple radio astronomy experiments with the ASRT, which RPL is likely to nucleate as part of its mandate.

  2. Affordable Care Act risk adjustment: overview, context, and challenges.

    Kautter, John; Pope, Gregory C; Keenan, Patricia


    Beginning in 2014, individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase private health insurance through competitive marketplaces. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides for a program of risk adjustment in the individual and small group markets in 2014 as Marketplaces are implemented and new market reforms take effect. The purpose of risk adjustment is to lessen or eliminate the influence of risk selection on the premiums that plans charge and the incentive for plans to avoid sicker enrollees. This article--the first of three in the Medicare & Medicaid Research Review--describes the key program goal and issues in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) developed risk adjustment methodology, and identifies key choices in how the methodology responds to these issues. The goal of the HHS risk adjustment methodology is to compensate health insurance plans for differences in enrollee health mix so that plan premiums reflect differences in scope of coverage and other plan factors, but not differences in health status. The methodology includes a risk adjustment model and a risk transfer formula that together address this program goal as well as three issues specific to ACA risk adjustment: 1) new population; 2) cost and rating factors; and 3) balanced transfers within state/market. The risk adjustment model, described in the second article, estimates differences in health risks taking into account the new population and scope of coverage (actuarial value level). The transfer formula, described in the third article, calculates balanced transfers that are intended to account for health risk differences while preserving permissible premium differences. PMID:25364625

  3. Affordable Window Insulation with R-10/inch Rating

    Jenifer Marchesi Redouane Begag; Je Kyun Lee; Danny Ou; Jong Ho Sonn; George Gould; Wendell Rhine


    During the performance of contract DE-FC26-00-NT40998, entitled ''Affordable Window Insulation with R-10/inch Value'', research was conducted at Aspen Aerogels, Inc. to develop new transparent aerogel materials suitable for window insulation applications. The project requirements were to develop a formulation or multiple formulations that have high transparency (85-90%) in the visible region, are hydrophobic (will not opacify with exposure to water vapor or liquid), and have at least 2% resiliency (interpreted as recoverable 2% strain and better than 5% strain to failure in compression). Results from an unrelated project showed that silica aerogels covalently bonded to organic polymers exhibit excellent mechanical properties. At the outset of this project, we believed that such a route is the best to improve mechanical properties. We have applied Design of Experiment (DOE) techniques to optimize formulations including both silica aerogels and organically modified silica aerogels (''Ormosils''). We used these DOE results to optimize formulations around the local/global optimization points. This report documents that we succeeded in developing a number of formulations that meet all of the stated criteria. We successfully developed formulations utilizing a two-step approach where the first step involves acid catalyzed hydrolysis and the second step involves base catalyzed condensation to make the gels. The gels were dried using supercritical CO{sub 2} and we were able to make 1 foot x 1 foot x 0.5 inch panels that met the criteria established.

  4. Educational Affordances of a Ubiquitous Learning Environment in a Natural Science Course

    Tan, Tan-Hsu; Lin, Min-Sheng; Chu, Yu-Ling; Liu, Tsung-Yu


    Educational affordances are worthy of being explored because the affordances of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provide the pedagogical effects for promoting cognitive acceleration, increasing the self-management of students, facilitating data collection, and presentation in science learning. This study aims to explore educational…

  5. California Community Colleges: Making Them Stronger and More Affordable. National Center Report #07-1

    Zumeta, William; Frankle, Deborah


    This report highlights the affordability gaps faced by California's community colleges. Despite the lowest tuition in the country and tuition waivers for the lowest-income students, many California students struggle to afford the total cost of education, which includes housing, food, health care, and textbooks. And although California students are…

  6. Affordances and Cognitive Walkthrough for Analyzing Human-Virtual Human Interaction

    Ruttkay, Z.M.; Akker, op den H.J.A.; Esposito, A.; Bourbakis, N.; Avouris, N.; Hatzilygeroudis, I.


    This study investigates how the psychological notion of affordance, known from human computer interface design, can be adopted for the analysis and design of communication of a user with a Virtual Human (VH), as a novel interface. We take as starting point the original notion of affordance, used to

  7. An Exploratory Study of Emotional Affordance of a Massive Open Online Course

    Cheng, Jeremy C. Y.


    This exploratory study examines emotional affordance of a massive open online course (MOOC). Postings in a discussion forum of a MOOC in computer science are analysed following a research design informed by virtual ethnography. Emotional affordance is investigated, focusing on non-achievement emotions which are not directly linked to achievement…

  8. Understanding the adoption dynamics of medical innovations: affordances of the da Vinci robot in the Netherlands.

    Abrishami, Payam; Boer, Albert; Horstman, Klasien


    This study explored the rather rapid adoption of a new surgical device - the da Vinci robot - in the Netherlands despite the high costs and its controversial clinical benefits. We used the concept 'affordances' as a conceptual-analytic tool to refer to the perceived promises, symbolic meanings, and utility values of an innovation constructed in the wider social context of use. This concept helps us empirically understand robot adoption. Data from 28 in-depth interviews with diverse purposively-sampled stakeholders, and from medical literature, policy documents, Health Technology Assessment reports, congress websites and patients' weblogs/forums between April 2009 and February 2014 were systematically analysed from the perspective of affordances. We distinguished five interrelated affordances of the robot that accounted for shaping and fulfilling its rapid adoption: 'characteristics-related' affordances such as smart nomenclature and novelty, symbolising high-tech clinical excellence; 'research-related' affordances offering medical-technical scientific excellence; 'entrepreneurship-related' affordances for performing better-than-the-competition; 'policy-related' affordances indicating the robot's liberalised provision and its reduced financial risks; and 'communication-related' affordances of the robot in shaping patients' choices and the public's expectations by resonating promising discourses while pushing uncertainties into the background. These affordances make the take-up and use of the da Vinci robot sound perfectly rational and inevitable. This Dutch case study demonstrates the fruitfulness of the affordances approach to empirically capturing the contextual dynamics of technology adoption in health care: exploring in-depth actors' interaction with the technology while considering the interpretative spaces created in situations of use. This approach can best elicit real-life value of innovations, values as defined through the eyes of (potential) users. PMID

  9. Encapsulating the delivery of affordable housing: An overview of Malaysian practice

    Jamaluddin Nor Baizura


    Full Text Available Urban population increases much faster than other geographical areas and this brings huge challenges to Malaysian government especially those responsible for the provision of housing. Moreover, the rise of living cost and pressure towards the current economic situation had inevitably led to huge demands for affordable housing. Thus, affordability and inaccessibility of people in owning a house has become one of the major issues in Malaysia. These issues are not only faced by the low-income group but mostly experienced by urban dwellers including the middle-income group whom are not eligible to apply for low-cost housing delivered by the government, yet cannot afford to buy a house. Hence, the Malaysian government had therefore established the Perumahan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (PR1MA as the catalyst in providing adequate, quality and affordable houses. Furthermore, the Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB and the state governments also play their big role in providing affordable house at the state level. In trying to ensure smooth delivery of affordable housing, a systematic approach is required. This paper intends to examine the delivery of affordable housing in Malaysia. The objective was to assess the parties involved, and the various stages of the process. The methodology adopted for this study includes in-depth interviews with affordable housing agencies. Investigation showed that the major problem relates to a mismatch in the delivery of affordable housing. Moreover, the political and economic aspects, as well as the organization situation had also influenced the inefficiency of affordable housing delivery system. Additionally, the significant of this paper is expected to formulate an improved strategy and guidance in delivery system, thus ensuring that the method of practice is applicable throughout the country.

  10. Affordability, cost and cost-effectiveness of universal anti-retroviral therapy for HIV

    Williams, Brian G; Gouws, Eleanor


    If people at risk of HIV infection are tested annually and started on treatment as soon as they are found to be HIV-positive it should be possible to reduce the case reproduction number for HIV to less than one, eliminate transmission and end the epidemic. If this is to be done it is essential to know if it would be affordable, and cost effective. Here we show that in all but eleven countries of the world it is affordable by those countries, that in these eleven countries it is affordable for...

  11. Identifying Variables Influencing Tenant Affordability to Pay Rent in Ipoh City Council Public Housing

    Salleh Nor Aini


    Full Text Available Affordability reflects the challenges faced by households in balancing the real cost of housing and non housing expenditures against income limitations placed upon the household. Various methods have been introduced to measure housing affordability among households. This study was undertaken to identify the variables influencing tenant affordability to pay rent. Data was obtained through questionnaire distribution on 350 MBI public housing tenants using the strata sampling technique. This study found that only ethnic group variable significantly influenced the ability to pay rent. The study’s findings proved that different ethnic groups faced different housing costs liabilities attributable to different socioeconomic status.

  12. FCJ-178 Network Affordances: The unpredictable parameters of a Hong Kong SPEED SHOW

    Audrey Samson


    Full Text Available This paper examines the notion of network affordance within the context of network art. We expand on the notion of affordances, (Gibson, 1977; Gaver, 1996 to include ecological and computational parameters of unpredictability. We illustrate the notion of unpredictability by considering four specific works that were included in a network art exhibition, SPEED SHOW [2.0] Hong Kong (2013. The paper discusses how the artworks are contingent upon the parametric relations (Parisi, 2013 of the network. We introduce network affordance as a dynamic framework that could articulate the experience of tension arising from the (visible symbolic representation of computational processes and its hidden occurrences.

  13. What can be done with an egg? Creativity, material objects and the theory of affordances

    Glaveanu, Vlad Petre


    This article offers a reflection on the role of material objects in the creative process and explores the potential links between creativity and the theory of affordances (Gibson, ), conceptualized from a sociocultural perspective. From this standpoint, creativity can be defined as a process of...... of existing action potentials, the generation of objects with novel affordances, and the transgression of conventional procedures, all resulting in creative forms of expression. In the end, some conclusions are drawn regarding the ways in which an affordance theory of creativity can enrich our...... understanding of the phenomenon and contribute to the development of a new program of research concerned with situated and distributed creative acts....

  14. SunShot Initiative: Making Solar Energy Affordable for All Americans (Fact Sheet)


    Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour, making solar energy affordable for more American families and businesses.

  15. 77 FR 42831 - Office of Domestic Finance; Small Business, Community Development and Affordable Housing Policy...


    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY Office of Domestic Finance; Small Business, Community Development and Affordable Housing Policy; Small... INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information should be directed to the Office of Domestic...

  16. 77 FR 19750 - Office of Domestic Finance; Small Business, Community Development and Affordable Housing Policy...


    ... Office of Domestic Finance; Small Business, Community Development and Affordable Housing Policy; Small... of consideration. ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Office of Domestic Finance, Small... be directed to the Office of Domestic Finance, Small Business Lending Fund; Daniel Rourke;...

  17. Exploring Affordances of Facebook as a Social Media Platform in Political Campaigning

    Jensen, Tina Blegind; Dyrby, Signe


    In recent years we have witnessed political parties adopting social media as part of their election campaign strategy to encourage citizen participation and involvement. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what Facebook as a social media platform is perceived to afford political parties in...... communication to promote political interests and enable dialogue, 2) projection of an image of authenticity through informal media and 3) creating interaction and involvement through dynamic relationships with supporters. A closer look at the parties’ actual use of Facebook shows that the majority of the...... intended affordances is acted out in practice; however, our findings also highlight that certain aspects are neglected by the parties and that yet new types of affordances surface. The observed discrepancies between perceived affordances and actual use prompt a discussion of what political parties should...

  18. Are Housing Markets Decoupled? A Case Study of Residential Real Estate Affordability in Austria

    Florian PHILIPP


    Full Text Available Real estate arguably forms the most important asset to most households and the basis for their wealth. Around this context a model has been set up testing the relative affordability of real estate for the median household in Austria and the consequences of lower borrowing costs between 2004 and 2013 by vintage year. In this paper the hypothesis that the significant decline in base interest rates is not sufficient to offset the relative affordability loss caused by declining net household incomes and the simultaneous increase of real estate prices. To test this hypothesis a model has been set up comparing two different Housing Affordability Indices – one including and one excluding financing effects, having been compared via a multi factor model. Based on this calculation the author finds decreased base interest rates to offset relative affordability losses by only approximately 50%, verifying the hypothesis. The paper therefore argues for a potential decoupling of the residential housing market in Austria.

  19. Health Migration: Crossing Borders for Affordable Health Care

    Jennifer Miller-Thayer


    Full Text Available Approximately 45.7 million people in the United States are uninsured and unknown numbers of this population are underinsured, severely limiting their access to medical care. To address this problem, people use innovative strategies to increase their access through cross-border care options. The U.S.-Mexico border provides unique challenges and opportunities for health care in this context. The lower cost of medical and dental procedures and medications in Mexico makes that country an attractive alternative for low-income populations in the United States. Thus segments of the U.S. population practice transnational medical consumerism in an attempt to optimize their health by using the resources available in both countries. This practice has economic benefits for the people who access health care at an affordable rate and for the medical markets of the country providing the care. Drawing on data collected in the field in 2002, 2004, and 2005, this paper presents some of the complexities and dynamics of medical pluralism occurring at the U.S.-Mexico border.Environ 45,7 millions de personnes vivant aux Etats-Unis n’ont pas de couverture sociale et nombreux sont celles à être sous-assurées, ce qui limite considérablement leur accès aux soins. Face à ce problème, les Américains font preuve d'ingéniosité pour améliorer leur accès aux soins : ils se font soigner au-delà des frontières. Dans ce contexte, la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique offre des opportunités uniques de soins. Le Mexique constitue en effet une alternative séduisante pour les Américains à faible revenu, car les tarifs des actes médicaux et dentaires, et des médicaments, sont nettement inférieurs à ceux en vigueur aux Etats-Unis. Ainsi, certains Américains pratiquent le consumérisme médical transnational et recourent aux ressources disponibles dans les deux pays afin d’optimiser leur santé. Cette pratique présente des avantages économiques

  20. Mortgaging the Future: the Financialization of Affordable Housing in Canada, 1984-2008

    Clifford, Brian Keith


    This project provides a policy history of the ideological and structural factors that underpinned the transformation of federal affordable housing policy in Canada from 1984 to 2008. Emerging out the subsidy-based Keynesian housing programs of the 1970s, the federal government began to construct a new ‘financialized’ approach to affordable housing in the 1980s centered on the mortgage insurance and securitization operations of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canada’s federal hous...

  1. The low-income single-family house and the effectiveness of architects in affecting affordability

    Ron Dulaney Jr.


    Full Text Available Architects are increasingly engaged in efforts to provide affordable, owner-occupied housing in the United States. Yet architects’ roles in broadly addressing affordable housing remain marginal as was anecdotally evident by the absence of architects at a recent university-sponsored affordable housing workshop. Apparently, the potential contributions of architects in “the development of innovative approaches and best practices” related to affordable, owner-occupied housing is not always valued to housing policymakers and planners such as those who organized this workshop. This paper speculatively explores the gap between the potential value of architects and their actual effectiveness at realizing widespread relevancy, innovation, and change in improving the quality and attainability of affordable, owner occupied housing and how this gap may contribute to the undervaluation and marginalization of architects’ efforts to address affordable housing needs in the United States. Case studies of several recent U.S. house design competitions exemplify these gaps. Potential strategies for closing these gaps and thus appreciating the value of architects’ efforts in this endeavor are identified.To become central in providing much-needed affordable, owner-occupied housing, architects must make the value of their potential contributions evident. This requires a clear definition of design goals, a rigorous assessment of built projects, and the thorough dissemination of findings and methodologies. Architects must engage those fields to which they have, in the U.S., long relinquished affordable, single-family housing. Architects must demonstrate that qualitative design improvements are not just possible within the frameworks and agendas of those other fields but that good design will better enable the achievement of those extra-disciplinary goals.

  2. Safety versus affordability as targets of insurance regulation in an opaque market: A welfare approach

    Stoyanova, Rayna; Schlütter, Sebastian


    Insurance regulation is typically aimed at policyholder protection. In particular, regulators attempt to ensure the financial safety of insurance firms, for example, by means of capital regulation, and to enhance the affordability of insurance, for example, by means of price ceilings. However, these goals are in conflict. Therefore, we identify situations in which regulators should be more concerned with safety or, alternatively, affordability. Our model incorporates default-risk-sensitive in...

  3. Children in outdoor contexts : affordances and independent mobility in the assessment of environmental child friendliness

    Kyttä, Marketta


    According to James J. Gibson, the concept of the affordance refers to the functionally significant properties of the environment, and provides a psychologically relevant means to analyze evolving child-environment relationships. Affordances operationalize the transactional approach. Thus the concept allows researchers to bring the material environment back into the realm of environmental psychology. The framework of ecological perceptual psychology, and in particular the concept of the af...

  4. The shaping of environmental information in social media : affordances and technologies of self-control.

    Haider, Jutta


    This article studies environmental information as it circulates in social media, specifically in personal blogs and microblogs. It rests on a thematic analysis of a selection of Swedish language, personal, everyday life environment blogs active during 2011 and 2012 and the social media applications connected to these blogs. Gibson’s concept of affordances and Foucault's notion of governmentality are brought together to work out how material and technological affordances of social media an...

  5. Food Access, Availability, and Affordability in 3 Los Angeles Communities, Project CAFE, 2004-2006

    Vallianatos, Mark; Azuma, Andrea Misako; Gilliland, Susan; Gottlieb, Robert


    Introduction Racial/ethnic minority communities are at increasingly high risk for chronic diseases related to obesity. Access to stores that sell affordable, nutritious food is a prerequisite for adopting a healthful diet. The objective of this study was to evaluate food access, availability, and affordability in 3 nonoverlapping but similar low-income communities in urban Los Angeles, California. Methods Using a community-based participatory research approach, we trained community members to...

  6. Chamberlain Heights Redevelopment: A Large Scale, Cold Climate Study of Affordable Housing Retrofits

    Donnelly, K. [Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Norwalk, CT (United States); Mahle, M. [Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Norwalk, CT (United States)


    The City of Meriden Housing Authority (MHA) collaborated with affordable housing developer Jonathon Rose Companies (JRC) to complete a gut renovation of 124 residential units in the Chamberlain Heights retrofit project. The affordable housing community is made up of 36 buildings in duplex and quad configurations located on 22 acres within two miles of downtown Meriden, CT. The final post-retrofit analysis showed 40-45% source energy savings over the existing pre-retrofit conditions.

  7. Zonal playfield attributes – A stochastic approach to subjective passing affordances in football

    Steiner, Silvan; Scherer, Marco


    Introduction: According to the ecological view, coordination establishes byvirtueof social context. Affordances thought of as situational opportunities to interact are assumed to represent the guiding principles underlying decisions involved in interpersonal coordination. It’s generally agreed that affordances are not an objective part of the (social) environment but that they depend on the constructive perception of involved subjects. Theory and empirical data hold that cognitive operatio...

  8. Using task dynamics to quantify the affordances of throwing for long distance and accuracy.

    Wilson, Andrew D; Weightman, Andrew; Bingham, Geoffrey P; Zhu, Qin


    In 2 experiments, the current study explored how affordances structure throwing for long distance and accuracy. In Experiment 1, 10 expert throwers (from baseball, softball, and cricket) threw regulation tennis balls to hit a vertically oriented 4 ft × 4 ft target placed at each of 9 locations (3 distances × 3 heights). We measured their release parameters (angle, speed, and height) and showed that they scaled their throws in response to changes in the target's location. We then simulated the projectile motion of the ball and identified a continuous subspace of release parameters that produce hits to each target location. Each subspace describes the affordance of our target to be hit by a tennis ball moving in a projectile motion to the relevant location. The simulated affordance spaces showed how the release parameter combinations required for hits changed with changes in the target location. The experts tracked these changes in their performance and were successful in hitting the targets. We next tested unusual (horizontal) targets that generated correspondingly different affordance subspaces to determine whether the experts would track the affordance to generate successful hits. Do the experts perceive the affordance? They do. In Experiment 2, 5 cricketers threw to hit either vertically or horizontally oriented targets and successfully hit both, exhibiting release parameters located within the requisite affordance subspaces. We advocate a task dynamical approach to the study of affordances as properties of objects and events in the context of tasks as the future of research in this area. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26766510

  9. Mathematical Learning Opportunities in Kindergarten through the Use of Digital Tools: Affordances and Constraints

    Martin Carlsen


    Full Text Available This study aims at scrutinising the mathematical learning opportunities of children engaging with digital tools and the emerging affordances and constraints faced in such settings. By adopting a sociocultural perspective on learning and development, the multimodal analysis of the adult–child interaction shows that the children are participants in processes of appropriating the mathematical concepts of sorting and counting. Affordances are taken advantage of by the adults and constraints causing didactical dissonance are overcome and transformed into didactical harmony.

  10. Can poor consumers pay for energy and water? An affordability analysis for transition countries

    Low-income households spend a substantial share of their income on utility services such as electricity, heating and water. The difficulty of these socially vulnerable consumers to absorb further price increases is often used as an argument against tariff reform. However, detailed quantitative information on the affordability of tariff adjustments for low-income consumers is actually quite scarce. Much of the available information is based on households. This paper takes a more detailed look at the affordability of electricity, district heating and water for low-income consumers in transition countries. While the available data are incomplete, the paper finds that affordability is a problem for low-income consumers in most countries, in particular in the water sector and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The affordability consequences of tariff reform ultimately depend on the speed of tariff adjustments relative to the growth in household income, the level of tariffs needed for cost recovery, the level of effective tariffs at the outset (tariffs adjusted for non-payment) and the demand response to the tariff increase. The paper finds that delaying tariff reform by a few years makes little difference to affordability constraints, and may therefore not be an effective way to mitigate the social impact of utility reform

  11. Can poor consumers pay for energy and water? An affordability analysis for transition countries

    Low-income households spend a substantial share of their income on utility services such as electricity, heating and water. The difficulty of these socially vulnerable consumers to absorb further price increases is often used as an argument against tariff reform. However, detailed quantitative information on the affordability of tariff adjustments for low-income consumers is actually quite scarce. Much of the available information is based on households. This paper takes a more detailed look at the affordability of electricity, district heating and water for low-income consumers in transition countries. While the available data are incomplete, the paper finds that affordability is a problem for low-income consumers in most countries, in particular in the water sector and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The affordability consequences of tariff reform ultimately depend on the speed of tariff adjustments relative to the growth in household income, the level of tariffs needed for cost recovery, the level of effective tariffs at the outset (tariffs adjusted for non-payment) and the demand response to the tariff increase. The paper finds that delaying tariff reform by a few years makes little difference to affordability constraints, and may therefore not be an effective way to mitigate the social impact of utility reform. (author)

  12. Learning outcomes afforded by self-assessed, segmented video–print combinations

    Jack Koumi


    Full Text Available Learning affordances of video and print are examined in order to assess the learning outcomes afforded by hybrid video–print learning packages. The affordances discussed for print are: navigability, surveyability and legibility. Those discussed for video are: design for constructive reflection, provision of realistic experiences, presentational attributes, motivational influences and teacher personalisation. The video affordances are examined through a framework of pedagogic design principles and a set of pedagogic roles that video is outstandingly capable of yielding. The paper first discusses the learning outcomes afforded through video alone, then through print alone, and finally through three versions of video–print combinations. One version involves non-segmented video, complemented with print material. In the other two versions the videos are divided into short segments, one version having narration, while the other has only printed commentary. All three versions include self-assessment questions after each segment. The learning outcomes posited by the paper for each of the three video–print versions are categorised using the Revision of Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy. This categorisation can help teachers to assess whether the outcomes they intend for a lesson can be advanced by one of the three versions. This is particularly relevant for teachers who are flipping classrooms or developing massive open online courses (MOOCs.

  13. Mobilidade e affordance como cerne dos Estudos Pessoa-Ambiente Mobility and affordance as the core of Person-Environment Studies

    Hartmut Günther


    Full Text Available Partindo de uma reflexão sobre a multiplicidade disciplinar, teórica, metodológica e terminológica e utilizando uma analogia com o modelo multivariado da correlação canônica, propõe-se o rótulo Estudos Pessoa-Ambiente para englobar as diferentes sub-áreas disciplinares e temáticas que lidam com as relações recíprocas pessoa-espaço físico. Segue uma discussão de quatro conceitos do espaço (espaço pessoal, territorialidade, apinhamento e privacidade e sua relação com mobilidade. Após algumas considerações sobre affordance sugere-se o elo mobilidade-affordance como elemento molecular da relação recíproca pessoa-espaço físico no cerne dos estudos pessoa-ambiente.Starting with a reflection on the disciplinary, theoretical, methodological and terminological multiplicity, and using the analogy of the multivariate model of the canonical correlation, the use of the label Person-Environment Studies is justified. This is followed by a discussion of four spatial concepts (personal space, territoriality, crowding and privacy and their relationship to mobility. After some comments about affordance, it is suggested that the mobility-affordance link constitutes the molecular element of the reciprocal person-physical space relationship at the core of the Person-Environment Studies.

  14. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Promoting Competition in the Individual Marketplaces.

    Cusano, David; Lucia, Kevin


    A main goal of the Affordable Care Act is to provide Americans with access to affordable coverage in the individual market, achieved in part by pro­moting competition among insurers on premium price and value. One primary mechanism for meeting that goal is the establishment of new individual health insurance marketplaces where consumers can shop for, compare, and purchase plans, with subsidies if they are eligible. In this issue brief, we explore how the Affordable Care Act is influencing competition in the individual marketplaces in four states--Kansas, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Washington. Strategies include: educating consumers and providing coverage information in one place to ease decision-making; promoting competition among insurers; and ensuring a level playing field for premium rate development through the rate review process. PMID:26910926

  15. Self-organization, free energy minimization, and optimal grip on a field of affordances

    Jelle eBruineberg


    Full Text Available In this paper, we set out to develop a theoretical and conceptual framework for the new field of Radical Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience. This framework should be able to integrate insights from several relevant disciplines: theory on embodied cognition, ecological psychology, phenomenology, dynamical systems theory, and neurodynamics. We suggest that the main task of Radical Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience is to investigate the phenomenon of skilled intentionality from the perspective of the self-organization of the brain-body-environment system, while doing justice to the phenomenology of skilled action. In previous work, we have characterized skilled intentionality as the organism’s tendency towards an optimal grip on multiple relevant affordances simultaneously. Affordances are possibilities for action provided by the environment. In the first part of this paper, we introduce the notion of skilled intentionality and the phenomenon of responsiveness to a field of relevant affordances. Second, we use Friston’s work on neurodynamics, but embed a very minimal version of his Free Energy Principle in the ecological niche of the animal. Thus amended, this principle is helpful for understanding the embeddedness of neurodynamics within the dynamics of the brain-body-environment system. Next, we show how we can use this adjusted principle to understand the neurodynamics of selective openness to the environment: interacting action-readiness patterns at multiple timescales contribute to the organism’s selective openness to relevant affordances. In the final part of the paper, we emphasize the important role of metastable dynamics in both the brain and the brain-body-environment system for adequate affordance-responsiveness. We exemplify our integrative approach by presenting research on the impact of Deep Brain Stimulation on affordance responsiveness of OCD patients.

  16. Understanding Structures and Affordances of Extended Teams in Global Software Development

    Ali Babar, Muhammad; Zahedi, Mansooreh


    Growing popularity of Global Software Development (GSD) has resulted in an increasing number of cross-organizational teams that are formed according to Extended Team Model (ETM). There is little known about the structures (work, social, and communication) that may exist in ETM and what affordances...... studied team help deal with different GSD challenges, these structures appear to have certain challenges inherent in them and the affordances they provide. We make a few recommendations for improving the current structures to deal with the observed challenges. Our findings are expected to provide insights...

  17. Utilizing fission technology to enable rapid and affordable access to any point in the solar system

    Fission technology can enable rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. Potential fission-based transportation options include bimodal nuclear thermal rockets, high specific energy propulsion systems, and pulsed fission propulsion systems. In-space propellant re-supply enhances the effective performance of all systems, but requires significant infrastructure development. Safe, timely, affordable utilization of first-generation space fission propulsion systems will enable the development of more advanced systems. First generation space systems will build on over 45 years of US and international space fission system technology development to minimize cost

  18. Robust High Temperature Environmental Barrier Coating System for Ceramic Matrix Composite Gas Turbine Components using Affordable Processing Approach Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Research is proposed to demonstrate the use of advanced manufacturing techniques to enable the affordable application of multi-functional thermal / environmental...




    Full Text Available Summary. Problem statement. The development of inhabitant locality of Ukraine is characterized by significant differences in levels of socio and economic development. An excessive concentration of population and industry in large cities, inefficient, slow development of most medium and small cities, towns and villages, considerable territorial disproportions of economic development of the country, considerable shortcomings in the territorial organization of society are observed. At the same time the tendency of the total area of increasing of inhabitant locality. The lands are used inefficiently. Among the most common problems of inhabitant locality is the housing problem. When making a decision on the design of affordable housing construction is one of the most important stages in the development of the technique and economic substantiation of the project is determination of the advisability and effectiveness of construction. The substantiation of advisability and effectiveness of affordable housing based on the definition of technical and economic indicators of projects, one of the most important among them is the cost, in its calculation is necessary to take into account the influence of organizational and technological factors, reflecting the features of construction in condition of compacted construction. Purpose. Development of methodical recommendations on substantiation of cost construction of affordable housing in the conditions of compacted construction. Conclusion. To provide a processing and the analysis of data is necessary development of the applied software on the basis of the developed block scheme of justification of cost construction of affordable housing.

  20. 76 FR 41929 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and...


    ... E--Health Insurance Issuer Standards Related to the Transitional Reinsurance Program F. Subpart F... July 15, 2011 Part III Department of Health and Human Services 45 CFR Part 153 Patient Protection and... OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 45 CFR Part 153 RIN 0938-AR07 Patient Protection and Affordable Care...

  1. 16 CFR 1061.8 - Information on the heightened degree of protection afforded.


    ... 16 Commercial Practices 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Information on the heightened degree of protection afforded. 1061.8 Section 1061.8 Commercial Practices CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION GENERAL APPLICATIONS FOR EXEMPTION FROM PREEMPTION § 1061.8 Information on the heightened degree of protection...

  2. Understanding Presence, Affordance and the Time/Space Dimensions for Language Learning in Virtual Worlds

    Nocchi, Susanna; Blin, Françoise


    Notwithstanding their potential for novel approaches to language teaching and learning, Virtual Worlds (VWs) present numerous technological and pedagogical challenges that require new paradigms if the language learning experience and outcomes are to be successful. In this presentation, we argue that the notions of presence and affordance, together…

  3. An Affordable, Low-Risk Approach to Launching Research Spacecraft as Tertiary Payloads

    Pranajaya, F.M.; Zee, R.E.; Thomsen, Per Lundahl; Blanke, Mogens; Wisniewski, Rafal; Franklin, L.; Puig-Suari, J.


    Rapid and affordable access to space for university researchers and educators has always been a challenge. Despite the availability of lower-cost (e.g. Russian) launch vehicles, launching payloads 20 kg or less typically involves a certain minimum cost that necessitates a cost sharing arrangement...

  4. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: The Role of the School Nurse. Position Statement

    Combe, Laurie G.; Sharpe, Susan; Feeser, Cynthia Jo; Ondeck, Lynnette; Fekaris, Nina


    It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) that the registered professional school nurse (hereinafter referred to as school nurse) serves a vital role in the delivery of health care to our nation's students within the healthcare system reshaped by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, commonly known as…

  5. A Policy Analysis of Child Care Subsidies: Increasing Quality, Access, and Affordability

    Moodie-Dyer, Amber


    Changing family dynamics over the past four decades, including rises in the numbers of working mothers and single-parent families, have created an increased need for affordable child care. Government response to this need has involved a number of stop-and-start policy approaches, which have led to a fractured child care system that makes it…

  6. Developing and Implementing a Simple, Affordable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Laboratory in Introductory Chemistry

    Klara, Kristina; Hou, Ning; Lawman, Allison; Wu, Liheng; Morrill, Drew; Tente, Alfred; Wang, Li-Qiong


    A simple, affordable hydrogen proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell laboratory was developed through a collaborative effort between faculty and undergraduate students at Brown University. It has been incorporated into the introductory chemistry curriculum and successfully implemented in a class of over 500 students per academic year for over 3…

  7. Effects of response task on reaction time and the detection of affordances

    Pepping, GJ; Li, FX


    Studies on affordance perception commonly report systematic errors; a finding that is at odds with the observation that everyday motor behavior is accurate. The present study investigated whether the means by which perceptual performance is measured could explain the reported errors. Perception of o

  8. Access to Affordable and Low-Income Housing in East Asia and the Pacific

    World Bank


    Across the world, the housing sector plays a key role in local and national economies, and expanding access to housing can encourage more equitably shared economic growth. This report surveys current policy interventions designed to encourage affordable housing in East Asia and the Pacific (EAP). The purpose of this report is to provide a general overview of the recent trends in urbanizati...

  9. 24 CFR 1000.240 - When is a local cooperation agreement required for affordable housing activities?


    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false When is a local cooperation... ACTIVITIES Indian Housing Plan (IHP) § 1000.240 When is a local cooperation agreement required for affordable housing activities? The requirement for a local cooperation agreement applies only to rental and...

  10. The Affordability of Housing in the Netherlands: An Increasing Income Gap Between Renting and Owning?

    Haffner, M.E.A.; Boumeester, H.J.F.M.


    Housing became more expensive in the Netherlands between 2002 and 2006, a trend which has been demonstrated using various measures of affordability. The expenditure-to-income ratios calculated for households confirm that the average cost of housing rose for tenants and homeowners, as well as for mos

  11. 24 CFR 982.632 - Homeownership option: Financing purchase of home; affordability of purchase.


    ... financing, refinancing or other debt if the PHA determines that the debt is unaffordable, or if the PHA... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Homeownership option: Financing...: Financing purchase of home; affordability of purchase. (a) The PHA may establish requirements for...

  12. Mobile Service Affordability for the Needy, Addiction, and ICT Policy Implications

    L-F. Pau (Louis-François)


    textabstractThis paper links communications and media usage to social and household economics boundaries. It highlights that in present day society, communications and media are a necessity, but not always affordable, and that they furthermore open up for addictive behaviours which raise additional

  13. Enabling Mobile Communications for the Needy: Affordability Methodology, and Approaches to Requalify Universal Service Measures

    Louis-Francois PAU


    Full Text Available This paper links communications and media usage to social and household economics boundaries. It highlights that in present day society, communications and media are a necessity, but not always affordable, and that they furthermore open up for addictive behaviors which raise additional financial and social risks. A simple and efficient methodology compatible with state-of-the-art social and communications business statistics is developed, which produces the residual communications and media affordability budget and ultimately the value-at-risk in terms of usage and tariffs. Sensitivity analysis provides precious information on bottom-up communications and media adoption on the basis of affordability. This approach differs from the regulated but often ineffective Universal service obligation, which instead of catering for individual needs mostly addresses macro-measures helping geographical access coverage (e.g. in rural areas. It is proposed to requalify the Universal service obligations on operators into concrete measures, allowing, with unchanged funding, the needy to adopt mobile services based on their affordability constraints by bridging the gap to a standard tariff. Case data are surveyed from various countries. ICT policy recommendations are made to support widespread and socially responsible communications access.

  14. Diversity in housing affordability and regional economic disparities – Is there a link?

    Sunega, Petr; Mikeszová, Martina


    Roč. 6, č. 7-8 (2008), s. 22-25. ISSN 1214-1720 R&D Projects: GA MMR WD-05-07-3 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z70280505 Keywords : Housing * affordability * regional disparities Subject RIV: AO - Sociology, Demography

  15. Understanding Enactivism: A Study of Affordances and Constraints of Engaging Practicing Teachers as Digital Game Designers

    Li, Qing


    This study is intended to deepen our understanding of enactivism, an emergent theoretical paradigm, through empirical exploration of teacher undertakings as digital game creators. Specifically, it explores the affordances and constraints, two important enactivism concepts, of practicing teachers' experiences in designing and developing games for…

  16. Awareness, Perceptions, and Communication Needs about the Affordable Care Act across the Life Span

    Bergeron, Caroline D.; Friedman, Daniela B.; Sisson, Diana C.; Tanner, Andrea; Kornegay, Vance L.; Owens, Otis L.; Weis, Megan A.; Patterson, Lee L.


    Background: By March 2014, all U.S. citizens were required to have health insurance according to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Purpose: Study objectives were to explore individuals' opinions, perceptions, and communication sources and needs about the ACA and to assess differences by age group. Methods: In November 2013, 10 1-hour focus groups (5…

  17. Understanding and using technological affordances: a commentary on Conole and Dyke

    Tom Boyle


    Full Text Available The paper by Conole and Dyke sets the context by pointing to a number of problems that inhibit the widespread, effective use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT to support learning. They argue that this situation highlights the need to explore a theoretical basis for the use of ICT to support learning. The central argument of the paper is that the notion of affordances can make a significant contribution to this endeavour. The paper aims to articulate the potential impact of these affordances primarily through the development of a taxonomy. It draws on social constructivist theory to help understand and articulate the impact of these affordances. The concept of affordances is potentially both rich and provocative. Conole and Dyke provide a refreshing and diverse look at the theoretical basis for the use of ICT to support learning. We have structured our commentary around six questions that are provided by Conole and Dyke in their Discussion section. Whilst examining these questions we highlight various issues raised by the paper, which we believe, need further consideration and clarification.

  18. Assessing Affordances of Selected Cloud Computing Tools for Language Teacher Education in Nigeria

    Ofemile, Abdulmalik Yusuf


    This paper reports part of a study that hoped to understand Teacher Educators' (TE) assessment of the affordances of selected cloud computing tools ranked among the top 100 for the year 2010. Research has shown that ICT and by extension cloud computing has positive impacts on daily life and this informed the Nigerian government's policy to…

  19. Redefining Technological Literacy in the Workplace: A Qualitative Study of Social Affordances in Workplace Email

    Bacci, Tina Marie


    This dissertation examines the social affordances of workplace email use. Through group and individual interviews of six knowledge workers in a distributed real estate firm, it explores the extent workplace writers recognize and rely on extra-textual devices (i.e., copy, blind-copy, and forward devices) and email applications (i.e., email…

  20. 78 FR 13405 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Health Insurance Market Rules; Rate Review


    ... Care Act; Health Insurance Market Rules; Rate Review'' (77 FR 70584). These standards apply to health... grandfathered health insurance coverage. \\3\\ The applicable definitions for ``individual market,'' ``small group... Affordable Care Act. \\4\\ See 45 CFR 144.103 for definitions of ``plan year'' and ``policy year.'' These...

  1. Completing the Affordability Picture: The Need for More Data on Financial Aid. Report 09-09

    Jones, Jessika


    The Commission adopted two affordability reports in 2008. One report examined costs for students at a four-year public university who live on campus. The other examined costs for students living in their parent's home while studying at a community college. Costs were compared to trends in family income over the past 30 years. The resulting report…

  2. Cultural Affordances: Scaffolding Local Worlds Through Shared Intentionality and Regimes of Attention.

    Ramstead, Maxwell J D; Veissière, Samuel P L; Kirmayer, Laurence J


    In this paper we outline a framework for the study of the mechanisms involved in the engagement of human agents with cultural affordances. Our aim is to better understand how culture and context interact with human biology to shape human behavior, cognition, and experience. We attempt to integrate several related approaches in the study of the embodied, cognitive, and affective substrates of sociality and culture and the sociocultural scaffolding of experience. The integrative framework we propose bridges cognitive and social sciences to provide (i) an expanded concept of 'affordance' that extends to sociocultural forms of life, and (ii) a multilevel account of the socioculturally scaffolded forms of affordance learning and the transmission of affordances in patterned sociocultural practices and regimes of shared attention. This framework provides an account of how cultural content and normative practices are built on a foundation of contentless basic mental processes that acquire content through immersive participation of the agent in social practices that regulate joint attention and shared intentionality. PMID:27507953

  3. 78 FR 54069 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Program Integrity: Exchange, SHOP, and Eligibility...


    ...; Exchange Standards for Employers, 77 FR 18310 (March 27, 2012). \\2\\ Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and Risk Adjustment, 77 FR 17220 (March 23, 2012... and Amendments to the HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2014, 78 FR 15410 and...

  4. 77 FR 17219 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and...


    ... health insurance premium stabilization programs (that is, reinsurance, risk corridors, and risk... and the RFC, where relevant. On July 15, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 41950-41956... Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and Risk Adjustment; Final Rule...

  5. Technologies for Learning? An Actor-Network Theory Critique of "Affordances" in Research on Mobile Learning

    Wright, Steve; Parchoma, Gale


    How is the link between learner and technology made in mobile learning? What is the value of the concept of "affordances"? And how does research articulating this concept act to position mobile devices as "technologies for learning"? This literature review used both unstructured and structured search samples of published research on mobile…

  6. Songs in Our Hearts: The Affordances and Constraints of an Intergenerational Multimodal Arts Curriculum

    Heydon, Rachel; O'Neill, Susan


    This qualitative case study examines the affordances and constraints of an intergenerational multimodal arts curriculum that was designed to expand communication and identity options for children and elder participants. The authors drew on actor-network theory to conceptualize curriculum as a network effect and refer to literature on multimodal…

  7. A multimodal dataset of spontaneous speech and movement production on object affordances.

    Vatakis, Argiro; Pastra, Katerina


    In the longstanding effort of defining object affordances, a number of resources have been developed on objects and associated knowledge. These resources, however, have limited potential for modeling and generalization mainly due to the restricted, stimulus-bound data collection methodologies adopted. To-date, therefore, there exists no resource that truly captures object affordances in a direct, multimodal, and naturalistic way. Here, we present the first such resource of 'thinking aloud', spontaneously-generated verbal and motoric data on object affordances. This resource was developed from the reports of 124 participants divided into three behavioural experiments with visuo-tactile stimulation, which were captured audiovisually from two camera-views (frontal/profile). This methodology allowed the acquisition of approximately 95 hours of video, audio, and text data covering: object-feature-action data (e.g., perceptual features, namings, functions), Exploratory Acts (haptic manipulation for feature acquisition/verification), gestures and demonstrations for object/feature/action description, and reasoning patterns (e.g., justifications, analogies) for attributing a given characterization. The wealth and content of the data make this corpus a one-of-a-kind resource for the study and modeling of object affordances. PMID:26784391

  8. Affording Explicit-Reflective Science Teaching by Using an Educative Teachers' Guide

    Lin, Shu-Fen; Lieu, Sang-Chong; Chen, Sufen; Huang, Mao-Tsai; Chang, Wen-Hua


    Although researchers have achieved some success in effective nature of science (NOS) teaching, helping teachers teach NOS continues to be a great challenge. The development of an educative teachers' guide would provide support for NOS teaching. In this study, we explored the effects that a research-based guide had on affording elementary school…

  9. The Influence of Affordances on Learner Preferences in Mobile Language Learning

    Uther, Maria; Banks, Adrian


    This study investigates the influence of sensory and cognitive affordances on the usability of mobile devices for multimedia language learning applications. An audio-based learning application--the "Vowel Trainer" (audio-based speech app), developed by University College London was chosen, against a comparison, text and picture-based…

  10. Accessibility, affordability and use of health services in an urban area in South Africa

    Ethelwynn L. Stellenberg


    Full Text Available Background: Inequalities in healthcare between population groups of South Africa existed during the apartheid era and continue to exist both between and within many population groups. Accessibility and affordability of healthcare is a human right.Objectives: The aim of the study was to explore and describe accessibility, affordability and the use of health services by the mixed race (coloured population in the Western Cape, South Africa.Method: A cross-sectional descriptive, non-experimental study with a quantitative approach was applied. A purposive convenient sample of 353 participants (0.6% was drawn from a population of 63 004 economically-active people who lived in the residential areas as defined for the purpose of the study. All social classes were represented. The hypothesis set was that there is a positive relationship between accessibility, affordability and the use of health services. A pilot study was conducted which also supported the reliability and validity of the study. Ethics approval was obtained from the University of Stellenbosch and informed consent from respondents. A questionnaire was used to collect the data.Results: The hypothesis was accepted. The statistical association between affordability (p = < 0.01, accessibility (p = < 0.01 and the use of health services was found to be significant using the Chi-square (χ² test.Conclusion: The study has shown how affordability and accessibility may influence the use of healthcare services. Accessibility is not only the distance an individual must travel to reach the health service point but more so the utilisation of these services. Continuous Quality Management should be a priority in healthcare services, which should be user-friendly.

  11. Affordability as a discursive accomplishment in a changing National Health Service.

    Russell, Jill; Greenhalgh, Trisha


    Health systems worldwide face the challenges of rationing. The English National Health Service (NHS) was founded on three core principles: universality, comprehensiveness, and free at the point of delivery. Yet patients are increasingly hearing that some treatments are unaffordable on the NHS. We considered affordability as a social accomplishment and sought to explore how those charged with allocating NHS resources achieved this in practice. We undertook a linguistic ethnography to examine the work practices of resource allocation committees in three Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in England between 2005 and 2012, specifically deliberations over 'individual funding requests' (IFRs)--requests by patients and their doctors for the PCT to support a treatment not routinely funded. We collected and analysed a diverse dataset comprising policy documents, legal judgements, audio recordings, ethnographic field notes and emails from PCT committee meetings, interviews and a focus group with committee members. We found that the fundamental values of universality and comprehensiveness strongly influenced the culture of these NHS organisations, and that in this context, accomplishing affordability was not easy. Four discursive practices served to confer legitimacy on affordability as a guiding value of NHS health care: (1) categorising certain treatments as only eligible for NHS funding if patients could prove 'exceptional' circumstances; (2) representing resource allocation decisions as being not (primarily) about money; (3) indexical labelling of affordability as an ethical principle, and (4) recontextualising legal judgements supporting refusal of NHS treatment on affordability grounds as 'rational'. The overall effect of these discursive practices was that denying treatment to patients became reasonable and rational for an organisation even while it continued to espouse traditional NHS values. We conclude that deliberations about the funding of treatments at the margins of NHS

  12. Effects of Infant-Parent Play with a Technology-Enhanced Toy: Affordance-Related Actions and Communicative Interactions

    Bergen, Doris; Hutchinson, Kathleen; Nolan, Joan T.; Weber, Deborah


    Infant-parent play with toys is an early form of social communication, and the toy features (i.e., affordances), as well as the child's language competence, contribute to the developmental level of the play and the types of play actions that occur. This research, conducted in cooperation with a toy manufacturer, investigated how the affordances of…

  13. Obstacles and Affordances for Integer Reasoning: An Analysis of Children's Thinking and the History of Mathematics

    Bishop, Jessica Pierson; Lamb, Lisa L.; Philipp, Randolph A.; Whitacre, Ian; Schappelle, Bonnie P.; Lewis, Melinda L.


    We identify and document 3 cognitive obstacles, 3 cognitive affordances, and 1 type of integer understanding that can function as either an obstacle or affordance for learners while they extend their numeric domains from whole numbers to include negative integers. In particular, we highlight 2 key subsets of integer reasoning: understanding or…

  14. Seven Affordances of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning: How to Support Collaborative Learning? How Can Technologies Help?

    Jeong, Heisawn; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.


    This article proposes 7 core affordances of technology for collaborative learning based on theories of collaborative learning and CSCL (Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning) practices. Technology affords learner opportunities to (1) engage in a joint task, (2) communicate, (3) share resources, (4) engage in productive collaborative learning…

  15. Social Media and Organizing – An Empirical Analysis of the Role of Wiki Affordances in Organizing Practices

    Mansour, Osama; Askenäs, Linda; Ghazawneh, Ahmad


    the increasing use of social media in organizations and the lack of knowledge on their consequences for organizing, we use an affordance lens to explore the enactment of organizational wiki affordances. Using qualitative data obtained through interviews, field visits, and documents from two...

  16. 24 CFR 1000.242 - When does the requirement for exemption from taxation apply to affordable housing activities?


    ... exemption from taxation apply to affordable housing activities? 1000.242 Section 1000.242 Housing and Urban... ACTIVITIES Indian Housing Plan (IHP) § 1000.242 When does the requirement for exemption from taxation apply to affordable housing activities? The requirement for exemption from taxation applies only to...

  17. The Affordable Care Act: the ethical call to transform the organizational culture.

    Piper, Llewellyn E


    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require health care leaders and managers to develop strategies and implement organizational tactics for their organization to survive and thrive under the federal mandates of this new health care law. Successful health care organizations and health care systems will be defined by their adaptability in the new value-based marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. The most critical underlining challenge for this success will be the effective transformation of the organizational culture. Transformational value-based leadership is now needed to answer the ethical call for transforming the organizational culture. This article provides a model and recommendations to influence change in the most difficult leadership duty-transforming the organizational culture. PMID:25068882

  18. "White Box" Epidemiology and the Social Neuroscience of Health Behaviors: The Environmental Affordances Model.

    Mezuk, Briana; Abdou, Cleopatra M; Hudson, Darrell; Kershaw, Kiarri N; Rafferty, Jane A; Lee, Hedwig; Jackson, James S


    Crucial advances have been made in our knowledge of the social determinants of health and health behaviors. Existing research on health disparities, however, generally fails to address a known paradox in the literature: While blacks have higher risk of medical morbidity relative to non-Hispanic whites, blacks have lower rates of common stress-related forms of psychopathology such as major depression and anxiety disorders. In this article we propose a new theoretical approach, the Environmental Affordances Model, as an integrative framework for the origins of both physical and mental health disparities. We highlight early empirical support and a growing body of experimental animal and human research on self-regulatory health behaviors and stress coping that is consistent with the proposed framework. We conclude that transdisciplinary approaches, such as the Environmental Affordances Model, are needed to understand the origins of group-based disparities to implement effective solutions to racial and ethnic group inequalities in physical and mental health. PMID:24224131

  19. “White Box” Epidemiology and the Social Neuroscience of Health Behaviors: The Environmental Affordances Model

    Mezuk, Briana; Abdou, Cleopatra M.; Hudson, Darrell; Kershaw, Kiarri N.; Rafferty, Jane A.; Lee, Hedwig; Jackson, James S.


    Crucial advances have been made in our knowledge of the social determinants of health and health behaviors. Existing research on health disparities, however, generally fails to address a known paradox in the literature: While blacks have higher risk of medical morbidity relative to non-Hispanic whites, blacks have lower rates of common stress-related forms of psychopathology such as major depression and anxiety disorders. In this article we propose a new theoretical approach, the Environmental Affordances Model, as an integrative framework for the origins of both physical and mental health disparities. We highlight early empirical support and a growing body of experimental animal and human research on self-regulatory health behaviors and stress coping that is consistent with the proposed framework. We conclude that transdisciplinary approaches, such as the Environmental Affordances Model, are needed to understand the origins of group-based disparities to implement effective solutions to racial and ethnic group inequalities in physical and mental health. PMID:24224131

  20. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: State Action to Establish SHOP Marketplaces.

    Dash, Sarah J; Lucia, Kevin W; Thomas, Amy


    The Affordable Care Act seeks to help small employers offer coverage by reforming the small-group market and establishing Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) marketplaces. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia chose to operate their own SHOP marketplaces in 2014, with the federal government operating the SHOP marketplace in 33 states. This brief examines state decisions to enhance the value of SHOP marketplaces for small employers and finds that most have set predictable participation and eligibility requirements and will offer a competitive choice of insurers and plans. States also are seeking to facilitate small employers' shopping experience through online tools and access to personalized assistance. While not all SHOP marketplaces are yet functioning as intended, their establishment offers an opportunity to identify successful strategies for improving the affordability and accessibility of coverage for small employers. PMID:26259258

  1. What Health Care Reform Means for Immigrants: Comparing the Affordable Care Act and Massachusetts Health Reforms.

    Joseph, Tiffany D


    The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed to provide more affordable health coverage to Americans beginning in 2014. Modeled after the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform, the ACA includes an individual mandate, Medicaid expansion, and health exchanges through which middle-income individuals can purchase coverage from private insurance companies. However, while the ACA provisions exclude all undocumented and some documented immigrants, Massachusetts uses state and hospital funds to extend coverage to these groups. This article examines the ACA reform using the Massachusetts reform as a comparative case study to outline how citizenship status influences individuals' coverage options under both policies. The article then briefly discusses other states that provide coverage to ACA-ineligible immigrants and the implications of uneven ACA implementation for immigrants and citizens nationwide. PMID:26567382

  2. Legal and policy foundations for global generic competition: Promoting affordable drug pricing in developing societies.

    Zapatero Miguel, Pablo


    The so-called 'TRIPS flexibilities' restated in 2001 by the World Trade Organization's Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health offer a variety of policy avenues for promoting global price-based competition for essential medicines, and thus for improving access to affordable medicines in the developing world. In recent years, developing countries and international organisations alike have begun to explore the potentialities of global generic markets and competition generally, and also of using compulsory licensing to remedy anti-competitive practices (e.g. excessive pricing) through TRIPS-compatible antitrust enforcement. These and other 'pro-competitive' TRIPS flexibilities currently available provide the critical leverage and policy space necessary to improve access to affordable medicines in the developing world. PMID:25737069

  3. Can We Afford It? Reference Point Dependent Investment Decisions of Family and Nonfamily Owners

    Welsh, Dianne; Zellweger, Thomas


    This study focuses on an issue particularly relevant in these difficult financial times. Can family businesses afford the risk associated with making investments that could generate higher returns? Studies examining financing behavior of family firms report higher control risk aversion than nonfamily firms, whereby control risk is measured through leverage levels. We found that family firm owners\\' degree of control risk aversion depends on reference points. Investment alternatives implying h...

  4. Assessing the Engineering Performance of Affordable Net-Zero Energy Housing

    Wallpe, Jordan P


    The purpose of this research was to evaluate affordable technologies that are capable of providing attractive, cost-effective energy savings to the housing industry. The research did so by investigating the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition, with additional insight from the Purdue INhome. Insight from the Purdue INhome verified the importance of using a three step design process to design a net-zero energy building. In addition, energy consumption values of the INhome were used to compare and ...

  5. Smartphones give you wings: pedagogical affordances of mobile Web 2.0

    Cochrane, Thomas; Bateman, Roger


    Built on the foundation of four years of research and implementation of mobile learning projects (mlearning), this paper provides an overview of the potential of the integration of mobile web 2.0 tools (based around smartphones) to facilitate social constructivist pedagogies and engage students in tertiary education. Pedagogical affordances of mobile web 2.0 tools are evaluated, and student usage and feedback is outlined via an interactive multimedia timeline (using YouTube videos...

  6. Exaggerated object affordance and absent automatic inhibition in alien hand syndrome

    Jennifer McBride, Petroc Sumner, Stephen R. Jackson, Nin Bajaj, & Masud Husain


    Patients with alien hand syndrome (AHS) experience making apparently deliberate and purposeful movements with their hand against their will. However, the mechanisms contributing to these involuntary actions remain poorly understood. Here, we describe two experimental investigations in a patient with corticobasal syndrome (CBS) with alien hand behaviour in her right hand. First, we show that responses with the alien hand are made significantly more quickly to images of objects which afford an ...

  7. Adolescents’ Instrumental and Expressive Text Messaging Behavior and their Friendship Quality: a Perceived Affordances-Approach

    Vanden Abeele, Mariek; Schouten, Alexander P.; Marjolijn L. Antheunis


    While current approaches to the study of contemporary Mobile Youth Culture have been valuable in revealing similarities in teen mobile phone use, limited attention has gone out to the role of demographic, social and psychological antecedents in explaining adolescent mobile phone use. We propose the notion of ‘perceived affordances’ as a promising concept for future research into the differences between adolescents. The affordances-concept reflects itself in the commonalities in teen mobile...

  8. Postpartum Depression and the Affordable Care Act: Recommendations for Social Work Educators

    Robert H. Keefe; Carol Brownstein-Evans; Lane, Sandra D.; D. Bruce Carter; Rebecca S. Rouland Polmanteer


    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates ongoing research on postpartum depression; however, very little research has been published in social work journals and in advanced-level textbooks on this topic. This article describes the problem of postpartum depression and argues that social work educators and researchers must pay greater attention to this issue in light of the ACA mandates, so that social workers can provide effective services to postpartum mothers and their c...

  9. Affordability of electric vehicles for a sustainable transport system: An economic and environmental analysis

    This paper compares the economic and environmental benefits of electric and hybrid electric vehicles with that of conventional vehicles. Without tax credits, only the hybrids without plug-in incur lifetime total costs equivalent to a conventional vehicle whereas the consumer affordability for all other vehicles is less encouraging and depends on changes in gasoline prices. With the provision of federal tax incentives, the lifetime total cost for all electric vehicle types that are driven for 120,000 miles over 12 years was found to be generally affordable with no more than 5% higher in lifetime total cost than a conventional vehicle, except the hybrid electric plug-in equipped with a 35-mile electric driving range. Results of sensitivity analysis reveal that a greater lifetime driven mileage would promote further overall cost savings even at a greenhouse gas abatement cost as low as $42 per ton. Our study has demonstrated the importance of an energy policy that includes tax credits to address the inadequacy of cost differentials and consumer affordability. The environmental benefits provided by the electric and hybrid electric vehicles should satisfy consumers' interest in protecting the environment, reducing the dependence on imported fossil fuels, and switching from traditional to alternative fuel vehicles. - Highlights: • Electric/hybrid vehicles exhibit at least 27% lower in lifetime energy cost. • Electric/hybrid cars with tax credits are <5% higher in lifetime ownership cost, except PHEV35. • Hybrid electric vehicles provide more than 28% reduction in GHG tailpipe emission, as compared with a CV. • Upstream energy production elevates the lifetime emission cost at high gas prices. • The lifetime total cost with tax credits are affordably <5% higher than CVs, except PHEV35

  10. Staged Development of Robot Skills: Behavior Formation, Affordance Learning and Imitation

    Ugur, E.; Nagai, Y.; Sahin, E.; Öztop, Erhan


    Inspired by infant development, we propose a three staged developmental framework for an anthropomorphic robot manipulator. In the first stage, the robot is initialized with a basic reach-and- enclose-on-contact movement capability, and discovers a set of behavior primitives by exploring its movement parameter space. In the next stage, the robot exercises the discovered behaviors on different objects, and learns the caused effects; effectively building a library of affordances and associated ...