WorldWideScience

Sample records for affordability

  1. The affordances of broken affordances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grünbaum, Martin Gielsgaard; Simonsen, Jakob Grue

    2015-01-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Samson, Audrey; Soon, Winnie

    2015-01-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dohn, Nina Bonderup

    2009-01-01

    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)

    Data.gov (United States)

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Costall

    2012-12-01

    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

    Data.gov (United States)

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockrell, James J.

    2015-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    World Bank Group

    2015-01-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    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

    Data.gov (United States)

    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)

    Data.gov (United States)

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-09-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samad Diwa

    2016-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holmgren Christopher J

    2008-06-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P, Anusha N, E-mail: anushnp@gmail.com, E-mail: chitrashaji@gmail.com, E-mail: aloksharan@gmail.com; Shaji, Chitra, E-mail: anushnp@gmail.com, E-mail: chitrashaji@gmail.com, E-mail: aloksharan@gmail.com; Sharan, Alok, E-mail: anushnp@gmail.com, E-mail: chitrashaji@gmail.com, E-mail: aloksharan@gmail.com [Department of Physics, Pondicherry University, Puducherry-605014 (India)

    2014-10-15

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Len M. Nichols

    2007-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tonino Griffero

    2015-06-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    John F. McDonald

    2015-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Trisha Miller

    2008-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-01-01

    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.

  5. RESIDUAL INCOME MEASURE OF HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

    OpenAIRE

    Norazmawati Md. Sani

    2013-01-01

    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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl J Friston

    2012-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Alsmith

    2012-12-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Adrian Alsmith

    2012-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Wesley E.

    2009-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holladay, Jon; Smith, David Alan

    2012-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olanrewaju Abdullateef

    2016-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160501.html 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

    OpenAIRE

    Olanrewaju Abdullateef; Yeow Seong; Lim Lee

    2016-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Kroll, Cynthia A.

    2013-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas E. Horton

    2012-12-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krueger, Joel

    2014-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tor Gjøsæter

    2014-10-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiappini, Giampaolo

    2012-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Issar, Neil M; Jahangir, A Alex

    2014-10-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Stephen; Dinh, Paul; Hambuchen, Kim

    2014-01-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Achiam, Marianne; May, Michael; Marandino, Martha

    2014-01-01

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher D. Kelley

    2014-04-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel eKrueger

    2014-01-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Lee; Poston, David; Qualls, Louis

    2008-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

    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?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Robert Clifford

    2010-01-01

    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"

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trettvik, Johan

    2009-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janeski, James F; Pruchnicki, Alec

    2006-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-06-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Robert B. Archibald; Feldman, David H.

    2008-01-01

    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?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kostelecký, Tomáš; Vobecká, Jana

    2009-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Todd A.; Creech, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Mikkel Tang

    2016-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. McHale

    2010-07-01

    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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

    2016-06-30

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Zhang

    2011-08-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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?

    OpenAIRE

    Heylen, Kristof; Haffner, Marietta

    2013-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Zheng; Lee, Yang; Zhu, Jin

    2015-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiverstein, Julian

    2015-11-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mysiak, J.; Pérez-Blanco, C. D.

    2015-08-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilipenko, Vladimir; Arnon, Shlomi

    2013-09-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingalls, John; Scott, Russell

    2011-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-02-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margolin, Ilana

    2013-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gohmert, Dustin

    2009-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esruq-Labin A.M.J.

    2014-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Max J. Skidmore

    2012-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Pullen

    2010-07-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Gavin A Wood; Matthew Forbes; Kenneth Gibb

    2005-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Ridge, Barry

    2014-01-01

    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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-04-19

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Stephen; Dinh, Paul; Hambuchen, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jéssica Puhl

    2016-05-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    2002-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-31

    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?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanfield, Kenneth

    2010-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Hsin-Kai; Puntambekar, Sadhana

    2012-12-01

    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?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, David

    2016-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Aroutis; Shah, Mamta

    2015-01-01

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Kara Poe

    2013-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Franchak, John; Adolph, Karen

    2014-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Xi; Scholer, Abigail A

    2016-03-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Cirucci, Angela M.

    2015-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Niëns, Laurens

    2014-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Monaghan, Maureen

    2013-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2002-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Ilana Margolin

    2013-01-01

    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?

    OpenAIRE

    Drewnowski, Adam; Eichelsdoerfer, Petra

    2010-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, K. K.

    2013-12-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Aaronson, Daniel; Lubotsky, Darren

    2014-01-01

    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.

  17. FRUGAL INNOVATIONS: THE FUTURE OF AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GEETHA MANI, KALAIVANI ANNADURAI RAJA DANASEKARAN

    2014-06-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Scheider

    2012-06-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

    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...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-17

    ... 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ishak Nor Haniza

    2016-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeftering, Richard C.

    2011-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2011-09-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Morrow, Melissa Josephine

    2001-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    David Law; Lisa Meehan

    2013-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather MacFadyen

    2011-04-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoff, Jens Villiam; Scheele, Christian Elling

    2015-01-01

    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”

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-05

    ... 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gert-Jan Pepping

    2012-12-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandyke, Melissa K.

    2006-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rabi Prasad Padhy

    2013-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etheredge, L; Jones, S B

    1998-02-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppula, Hema S; Saxena, Ashutosh

    2016-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iben Have

    2013-03-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockrell, James

    2015-01-01

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Scott E

    2013-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, P Z

    1999-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2001-01-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mathiasen, John Bang; Koch, Christian

    2009-01-01

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leger, Alain M.

    2015-12-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    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

    Data.gov (United States)

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buettgens, Matthew; Blumberg, Linda J

    2012-11-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2016-05-01

    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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2008-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-12-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, S R

    1996-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

    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)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-10-15

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zumeta, William; Frankle, Deborah

    2007-01-01

    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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Jeremy C. Y.

    2014-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrishami, Payam; Boer, Albert; Horstman, Klasien

    2014-09-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamaluddin Nor Baizura

    2016-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Brian G; Gouws, Eleanor

    2012-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salleh Nor Aini

    2014-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Audrey Samson

    2015-06-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Glaveanu, Vlad Petre

    2012-01-01

    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)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2013-10-01

    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...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-20

    ... 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...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-02

    ... 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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tina Blegind; Dyrby, Signe

    2013-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian PHILIPP

    2015-09-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Miller-Thayer

    2010-10-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Clifford, Brian Keith

    2014-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ron Dulaney Jr.

    2012-12-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Stoyanova, Rayna; Schlütter, Sebastian

    2012-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Kyttä, Marketta

    2003-01-01

    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.

    OpenAIRE

    Haider, Jutta

    2015-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

    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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-03-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Steiner, Silvan; Scherer, Marco

    2016-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Carlsen

    2013-10-01

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack Koumi

    2015-12-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hartmut Günther

    2003-08-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusano, David; Lucia, Kevin

    2016-02-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jelle eBruineberg

    2014-08-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ali Babar, Muhammad; Zahedi, Mansooreh

    2013-01-01

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  19. TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC SUBSTANTIATION OF PROJECTS OF THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONSTRUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KRAVCHUNOVSKA T. S.

    2015-12-01

    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...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-15

    ... 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocchi, Susanna; Blin, Françoise

    2013-01-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moodie-Dyer, Amber

    2011-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pepping, GJ; Li, FX

    2005-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    World Bank

    2014-01-01

    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?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 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?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L-F. Pau (Louis-François)

    2008-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis-Francois PAU

    2009-01-01

    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?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sunega, Petr; Mikeszová, Martina

    2008-01-01

    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 http://www.socioweb.cz/upl/editorial/download/152_socioweb_7_08.pdf

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qing

    2012-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Boyle

    2004-12-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofemile, Abdulmalik Yusuf

    2015-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacci, Tina Marie

    2011-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-27

    ... 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jessika

    2009-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-30

    ...; 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...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-23

    ... 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Steve; Parchoma, Gale

    2011-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heydon, Rachel; O'Neill, Susan

    2014-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vatakis, Argiro; Pastra, Katerina

    2016-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uther, Maria; Banks, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ethelwynn L. Stellenberg

    2015-02-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Jill; Greenhalgh, Trisha

    2012-12-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Heisawn; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.

    2016-01-01

    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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mansour, Osama; Askenäs, Linda; Ghazawneh, Ahmad

    2013-01-01

    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?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piper, Llewellyn E

    2014-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Tiffany D

    2016-02-01

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapatero Miguel, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Welsh, Dianne; Zellweger, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Wallpe, Jordan P

    2012-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

    Cochrane, Thomas; Bateman, Roger

    2010-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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 ...

  11. Physicians, the Affordable Care Act, and Primary Care: Disruptive Change or Business as Usual?

    OpenAIRE

    JACOBSON, Peter D.; Jazowski, Shelley A.

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act1 (ACA) presages disruptive change in primary care delivery. With expanded access to primary care for millions of new patients, physicians and policymakers face increased pressure to solve the perennial shortage of primary care practitioners. Despite the controversy surrounding its enactment, the ACA should motivate organized medicine to take the lead in shaping new strategies for meeting the nation’s primary care needs. In this commentary, we arg...

  12. Online social networking skills: The social affordances approach to digital inequality

    OpenAIRE

    Hsieh, Yuli Patrick

    2012-01-01

    This paper sets out to develop a theoretical framework for examining implications of digital media uses for digital inequality in the domain of social interaction. First, by drawing on the social affordances perspective, this paper seeks to establish an additional dimension of digital skills, namely, online social networking skills. Furthermore, to explore the implications of interactional ICT use for digital inequality, this paper theorizes how people’s online social networking skills may co...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

    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 most income groups generally. This contribution analyses the development of various components of household expenditure which contributed to these higher ratios. One of the most important consideratio...

  14. Strategies that delay or prevent the timely availability of affordable generic drugs in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Gregory H; Carrier, Michael A; Silver, Richard T; Kantarjian, Hagop

    2016-03-17

    High cancer drug prices are influenced by the availability of generic cancer drugs in a timely manner. Several strategies have been used to delay the availability of affordable generic drugs into the United States and world markets. These include reverse payment or pay-for-delay patent settlements, authorized generics, product hopping, lobbying against cross-border drug importation, buying out the competition, and others. In this forum, we detail these strategies and how they can be prevented. PMID:26817958

  15. Affordable care act: comparison of healthcare indicators among different insurance beneficiaries with new coverage eligibility

    OpenAIRE

    Hong, Young Rock; Holcomb, Derek; Bhandari, Michelyn; Larkin, Laurie

    2016-01-01

    Background Health coverage in the United States will be increased to nearly universal levels under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In order to better understand the impact of the type of health insurance and health outcomes, there is a need to examine health disparities and inequalities between the insured and the uninsured based on their eligibility for coverage. Methods The current study used the data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2012 (MEPS). Selected health characteristics and ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    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 behaviours 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 ...

  17. DeepDriving: Learning Affordance for Direct Perception in Autonomous Driving

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Chenyi; Seff, Ari; Kornhauser, Alain; Xiao, Jianxiong

    2015-01-01

    Today, there are two major paradigms for vision-based autonomous driving systems: mediated perception approaches that parse an entire scene to make a driving decision, and behavior reflex approaches that directly map an input image to a driving action by a regressor. In this paper, we propose a third paradigm: a direct perception approach to estimate the affordance for driving. We propose to map an input image to a small number of key perception indicators that directly relate to the affordan...

  18. New Policies to Facilitate Affordable Housing in Central and Eastern Europe

    OpenAIRE

    W. Amann

    2010-01-01

    Affordable housing construction is a lagging sector in most of the CEE countries. Recent increases in housing production have mainly served the top end of the market. In some countries, policy schemes for public housing have been established. However, actual construction of housing for moderate-income households has yet to take place. Wolfgang Amann describes the approach of the Austria-based IIBW – Institute for Real Estate, Construction and Housing aimed at rectifying this unsatisfactory si...

  19. THE IMPACTS OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: HOW REASONABLE ARE THE PROJECTIONS?

    OpenAIRE

    Gruber, Jonathan

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the most comprehensive reform of the U.S. medical system in at least 45 years. The ACA transforms the non-group insurance market in the United States, mandates that most residents have health insurance, significantly expands public insurance and subsidizes private insurance coverage, raises revenues from a variety of new taxes, and reduces and reorganizes spending under the nation’s largest health insurance plan, Medicare. Projecting the...

  20. Motivation for aggressive religious radicalization: goal regulation theory and a personality × threat × affordance hypothesis

    OpenAIRE

    McGregor, Ian; Hayes, Joseph; Prentice, Mike

    2015-01-01

    A new set of hypotheses is presented regarding the cause of aggressive religious radicalization (ARR). It is grounded in classic and contemporary theory of human motivation and goal regulation, together with recent empirical advances in personality, social, and neurophysiological psychology. We specify personality traits, threats, and group affordances that combine to divert normal motivational processes toward ARR. Conducive personality traits are oppositional, anxiety-prone, and identity-we...

  1. The Optimum Blend: Affordances and Challenges of Blended Learning For Students

    OpenAIRE

    Nuray Gedik; Ercan Kiraz; M.Yaşar ÖZDEN

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to elicit students’ perceptions regarding the most facilitative and most challenging features (affordances and barriers) in a blended course design. Following the phenomenological approach of qualitative inquiry, data were collected from ten undergraduate students who had experiences in a blended learning environment. Data were collected from the students’ weekly reflection papers, interviews with students, and documents, and analyzed by structurally and textural...

  2. Stimulation of construction of affordable housing by reformation of a construction complex management system

    OpenAIRE

    BRONEVYTSKYI S. P.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. Development of offers on stimulation of construction of affordable housing by reformation of a construction complex management system. Methodology. The revelation of the problems of planning of construction in large cities. The analysis of forming of structure of a build complex management in soviet times and in a transitional period. The revelation of the modern, actual, socio-economic problems of the construction activity management. Proposition on the improvement of methods of con...

  3. Affordable Virtual Reality System Architecture for Representation of Implicit Object Properties

    OpenAIRE

    Stoyan Maleshkov; Dimo Chotrov

    2013-01-01

    A flexible, scalable and affordable virtual reality software system architecture is proposed. This solution can be easily implemented on different hardware configurations: on a single computer or on a computer cluster. The architecture is aimed to be integrated in the workflow for solving engineering tasks and oriented towards presenting implicit object properties through multiple sensorial channels (visual, audio and haptic). Implicit properties represent hidden object features (i.e. magneti...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pau, Louis-François

    2008-01-01

    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 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 communication...

  5. Regional Differences in Rental Housing (Un)affordability following the Rent Deregulation in the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mikeszová, Martina

    Liberec : Technická univerzita Liberec, 2009 - (Kocourek, A.), s. 219-233 ISBN 978-80-7372-523-5. [Liberec Economic Forum – LEF 2009. Liberec (CZ), 15.09.2009-16.09.2009] R&D Projects: GA MMR WD-05-07-3 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z70280505 Keywords : housing affordability * rental housing * social exclusion Subject RIV: AH - Economics

  6. Comprender la realidad sin representaciones: Affordances y psicología ecológica

    OpenAIRE

    Manuel Heras Escribano

    2012-01-01

    Frente al paradigma tradicional en ciencia cognitiva, donde la metáfora del ordenador es la imperante, la psicología ecológica se ofrece como la alternativa más potente en el futuro desarrollo de las investigaciones sobre el fenómeno de la cognición. Dentro de ella, la noción de affordance juega un papel fundamental, aunque el concepto no está exento de polémica.

  7. Perception and human interaction for developmental learning of objects and affordances

    OpenAIRE

    Ivaldi, Serena; Lyubova, Natalya; Gérardeaux-Viret, Damien; Droniou, Alain; Anzalone, Salvatore; Chetouani, Mohamed; Filliat, David; Sigaud, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we describe a cognitive architecture for humanoids interacting with objects and caregivers in a developmental robotics scenario. The architecture is foundational to the MACSi project: it is designed to support experiments to make a humanoid robot gradually enlarge its repertoire of known objects and skills combining autonomous learning, social guidance and intrinsic motivation. This complex learning process requires the capability to learn affordances first. Here, we present the ...

  8. The Affordable Care Act, health care reform, prescription drug formularies and utilization management tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ung, Brian L; Mullins, C Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hence, Affordable Care Act, or ACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Goals of the ACA include decreasing the number of uninsured people, controlling cost and spending on health care, increasing the quality of care provided, and increasing insurance coverage benefits. This manuscript focuses on how the ACA affects pharmacy benefit managers and consumers when they have prescriptions dispensed. PBMs use formularies and utilization control tools to steer drug usage toward cost-effective and efficacious agents. A logic model was developed to explain the effects of the new legislation. The model draws from peer-reviewed and gray literature commentary about current and future U.S. healthcare reform. Outcomes were identified as desired and undesired effects, and expected unintended consequences. The ACA extends health insurance benefits to almost 32 million people and provides financial assistance to those up to 400% of the poverty level. Increased access to care leads to a similar increase in overall health care demand and usage. This short-term increase is projected to decrease downstream spending on disease treatment and stunt the continued growth of health care costs, but may unintentionally exacerbate the current primary care physician shortage. The ACA eliminates limitations on insurance and increases the scope of benefits. Online health care insurance exchanges give patients a central location with multiple insurance options. Problems with prescription drug affordability and control utilization tools used by PBMs were not addressed by the ACA. Improving communication within the U.S. healthcare system either by innovative health care delivery models or increased usage of health information technology will help alleviate problems of health care spending and affordability. PMID:25217142

  9. Can low carbon societies deliver on energy policy goals including security and affordability?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Transitions to low carbon societies will have far reaching implications for national and international energy policies. Whilst climate change mitigation remains an important driver of these policies, other policy objectives, such as energy security and affordability, are also high on the agenda in many countries. Understanding the potential and trade-offs that could result from specific policies, strategies and technologies is therefore necessary, as is identifying opportunities to maximise synergies and co-benefits

  10. Assessing the engineering performance of affordable net-zero energy housing

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 contrast different systems used in other houses. Evaluation of unbiased competition contests gave a better understanding of how a house can realistically reach net-zero. Upon comparison, off-the-shelf engineering systems such as super-efficient HVAC units, heat pump hot water heaters, and properly designed photovoltaic arrays can affordably enable a house to become net-zero. These important and applicable technologies realized from the Solar Decathlon will reduce the 22 percent of all energy consumed through the residential sector in the United States. In conclusion, affordable net-zero energy buildings can be built today with commitment from design professionals, manufacturers, and home owners.

  11. A Challenge Facing the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Sector: Quality and Affordability of the National Medications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abubaker Abdellah

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Enhancing public satisfaction of the quality and affordability of medicines is an important task in health services. Objective: This study was intended to assess the trust and acceptance of public concerning quality and affordability of locally manufactured medicines in Malaysia. Methodology: A cross sectional study was performed, and a validated Likert scale questionnaire was used in this study. The results were analyzed using the statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS software version 20. A total of 544 questionnaires were collected from three major cities in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Baru. The respondents aged between 20 and 60 years. Results: Most of the respondents were satisfied with the quality (65.1% and affordability (66% of manufactured medicines in Malaysia. Furthermore, (45% of respondents in Malaysia prefer locally manufactured medicines. However, there is concern about the escalating prices and hence demonstrates the need for price regulation, as asserted by the majority in Malaysia (88.9%. Conclusion: Medicine’s price control is one of the demands declared by Malaysian public. Moreover, majority of public have an opinion that quality of life, quality of medicines and prices are correlated

  12. Biopolymer-reinforced synthetic granular nanocomposites for affordable point-of-use water purification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankar, Mohan Udhaya; Aigal, Sahaja; Maliyekkal, Shihabudheen M; Chaudhary, Amrita; Anshup; Kumar, Avula Anil; Chaudhari, Kamalesh; Pradeep, Thalappil

    2013-05-21

    Creation of affordable materials for constant release of silver ions in water is one of the most promising ways to provide microbially safe drinking water for all. Combining the capacity of diverse nanocomposites to scavenge toxic species such as arsenic, lead, and other contaminants along with the above capability can result in affordable, all-inclusive drinking water purifiers that can function without electricity. The critical problem in achieving this is the synthesis of stable materials that can release silver ions continuously in the presence of complex species usually present in drinking water that deposit and cause scaling on nanomaterial surfaces. Here we show that such constant release materials can be synthesized in a simple and effective fashion in water itself without the use of electrical power. The nanocomposite exhibits river sand-like properties, such as higher shear strength in loose and wet forms. These materials have been used to develop an affordable water purifier to deliver clean drinking water at US $2.5/y per family. The ability to prepare nanostructured compositions at near ambient temperature has wide relevance for adsorption-based water purification. PMID:23650396

  13. An integrated approach to low-income energy affordability for a restructured world

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamilton, B.; Carroll, D.; Adams, B.; Ringhof, S.

    1998-07-01

    In the context of retail electric competition, various mechanisms have been proposed to address threats to low-income energy affordability. Most proposals include the use of ratepayer for (a) low-income bill payment support (e.g., rate discounts) and/or (b) energy efficiency programs specifically designated for low-income customers. An integrated approach to both energy efficiency and low-income bill payment is being tested in New Jersey. The program specifically targets payment-troubled customers and those with the lowest incomes. It combines a three-part approach to energy affordability: (1) deep and comprehensive gas and electric efficiency measures; (2) extensive customer energy education, with the goals of both (a) empowering participants with the skills and knowledge to gain control of their energy situation and (b) securing action commitment that the customer carries out as a partner to save energy and lower their utility bills; and (3) an affordable payment plan which includes extended payment of arrearages, partial arrearage forgiveness, and a bill discount for those in the lowest income tier who maintain their partnership obligations. This paper describes the E-Team Partners program design, presents preliminary impact evaluation results for the first 7,000 participants, and discusses the attributes of this model in a restructured environment.

  14. Affordances and Constraints of Using the Socio-Political Debate for Authentic Summative Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anker-Hansen, Jens; Andrée, Maria

    2015-10-01

    This article reports from an empirical study on the affordances and constraints for using staged socio-political debates for authentic summative assessment of scientific literacy. The article focuses on conditions for student participation and what purposes emerge in student interaction in a socio-political debate. As part of the research project, a socio-political debate was designed for assessing student competences of scientific literacy in classroom practices. The debate centred on a fictive case about a lake where a decline in the yield of fish had been established. The students were assigned the task of participating in the debate from appointed roles as different stakeholders. Data were collected with video recordings of the enacted student debates. Student participation was analysed with the theoretical framework of communities of practice. The results show that multiple conflicting purposes of the socio-political debate as an assessment task emerged. The emergent purposes were (1) putting scientific knowledge on display versus staying true to one's role, (2) putting scientific knowledge on display versus expressing social responsibility, (3) putting scientific knowledge on display versus winning the debate, and (4) using sources tactically versus using sources critically. As these purposes emerged in classroom practice, tensions between different ways of enacting participation in the debates became manifest. Based on these findings, this article discusses the affordances and constraints for using a socio-political debate for classroom-based assessment of scientific literacy and argumentation in terms of validity, reliability and affordability.

  15. Impact of higher energy efficiency standards on housing affordability in Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As a result of changes to provincial and national building and energy costs, the impact of increasing energy efficiency standards on housing affordability has been questioned. Determining housing affordability is a complicated process. This report presented the results of a costing analysis completed for upgrades of EnerGuide 80 levels of energy efficiency in homes in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. The elements of residential construction were identified. In order to better understand the cost impact of energy efficiency upgrades on a home, pricing data was obtained. Costing elements that were examined included housing price indexes; construction material price indexes; unionized trade wages; and land value. Specifically, the report presented the new housing price index analysis using material and labour costs. An analysis of energy efficiency improvement was then presented in terms of lifecycle costs (capital costs and life cycle costing results). It was concluded that although the price of labour and materials is increasing, the value of land is the primary driver for rising house prices. The price of housing is strongly correlated to the price of land and not the price of labour or materials. In addition, moving to EnerGuide 80 levels of energy efficiency for housing in Alberta made homes more affordable for homebuyers by lowering their total monthly housing costs. 4 tabs., 3 figs., 3 appendices.

  16. The Role of Probabilistic Design Analysis Methods in Safety and Affordability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safie, Fayssal M.

    2016-01-01

    For the last several years, NASA and its contractors have been working together to build space launch systems to commercialize space. Developing commercial affordable and safe launch systems becomes very important and requires a paradigm shift. This paradigm shift enforces the need for an integrated systems engineering environment where cost, safety, reliability, and performance need to be considered to optimize the launch system design. In such an environment, rule based and deterministic engineering design practices alone may not be sufficient to optimize margins and fault tolerance to reduce cost. As a result, introduction of Probabilistic Design Analysis (PDA) methods to support the current deterministic engineering design practices becomes a necessity to reduce cost without compromising reliability and safety. This paper discusses the importance of PDA methods in NASA's new commercial environment, their applications, and the key role they can play in designing reliable, safe, and affordable launch systems. More specifically, this paper discusses: 1) The involvement of NASA in PDA 2) Why PDA is needed 3) A PDA model structure 4) A PDA example application 5) PDA link to safety and affordability.

  17. Technology scale and supply chains in a secure, affordable and low carbon energy transition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Energy systems need to decarbonise, provide security and remain affordable. • There is uncertainty over which technologies will best enable this to happen. • A strategy to deal with uncertainty is to assess a technologies ability to show resilience, flexibility and adaptability. • Scale is important and smaller scale technologies are like to display the above characteristics. • Smaller scale technologies are therefore more likely to enable a sustainable, secure, and affordable energy transition. - Abstract: This research explores the relationship between technology scale, energy security and decarbonisation within the UK energy system. There is considerable uncertainty about how best to deliver on these goals for energy policy, but a focus on supply chains and their resilience can provide useful insights into the problems uncertainty causes. Technology scale is central to this, and through an analysis of the supply chains of nuclear power and solar photovoltaics, it is suggested that smaller scale technologies are more likely to support and enable a secure, low carbon energy transition. This is because their supply chains are less complex, show more flexibility and adaptability, and can quickly respond to changes within an energy system, and as such they are more resilient than large scale technologies. These characteristics are likely to become increasingly important in a rapidly changing energy system, and prioritising those technologies that demonstrate resilience, flexibility and adaptability will better enable a transition that is rapid, sustainable, secure and affordable

  18. Biosignal PI, an Affordable Open-Source ECG and Respiration Measurement System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farhad Abtahi

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Bioimedical pilot projects e.g., telemedicine, homecare, animal and human trials usually involve several physiological measurements. Technical development of these projects is time consuming and in particular costly. A versatile but affordable biosignal measurement platform can help to reduce time and risk while keeping the focus on the important goal and making an efficient use of resources. In this work, an affordable and open source platform for development of physiological signals is proposed. As a first step an 8–12 leads electrocardiogram (ECG and respiration monitoring system is developed. Chips based on iCoupler technology have been used to achieve electrical isolation as required by IEC 60601 for patient safety. The result shows the potential of this platform as a base for prototyping compact, affordable, and medically safe measurement systems. Further work involves both hardware and software development to develop modules. These modules may require development of front-ends for other biosignals or just collect data wirelessly from different devices e.g., blood pressure, weight, bioimpedance spectrum, blood glucose, e.g., through Bluetooth. All design and development documents, files and source codes will be available for non-commercial use through project website, BiosignalPI.org.

  19. Biosignal PI, an affordable open-source ECG and respiration measurement system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abtahi, Farhad; Snäll, Jonatan; Aslamy, Benjamin; Abtahi, Shirin; Seoane, Fernando; Lindecrantz, Kaj

    2015-01-01

    Bioimedical pilot projects e.g., telemedicine, homecare, animal and human trials usually involve several physiological measurements. Technical development of these projects is time consuming and in particular costly. A versatile but affordable biosignal measurement platform can help to reduce time and risk while keeping the focus on the important goal and making an efficient use of resources. In this work, an affordable and open source platform for development of physiological signals is proposed. As a first step an 8-12 leads electrocardiogram (ECG) and respiration monitoring system is developed. Chips based on iCoupler technology have been used to achieve electrical isolation as required by IEC 60601 for patient safety. The result shows the potential of this platform as a base for prototyping compact, affordable, and medically safe measurement systems. Further work involves both hardware and software development to develop modules. These modules may require development of front-ends for other biosignals or just collect data wirelessly from different devices e.g., blood pressure, weight, bioimpedance spectrum, blood glucose, e.g., through Bluetooth. All design and development documents, files and source codes will be available for non-commercial use through project website, BiosignalPI.org. PMID:25545268

  20. Fuel poverty as injustice: Integrating distribution, recognition and procedure in the struggle for affordable warmth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bringing attention to fuel poverty as a distinct manifestation of social inequality has asserted the place of affordable warmth in the profile of contemporary rights and entitlements. As such, fuel poverty can be understood as an expression of injustice, involving the compromised ability to access energy services and thereby to secure a healthful living environment. In this paper, we consider how fuel poverty may be aligned to various alternative concepts of social and environmental justice. Whilst recognising that fuel poverty is fundamentally a complex problem of distributive injustice, we argue that other understandings of injustice are also implicated and play important roles in producing and sustaining inequalities in access to affordable warmth. Addressing fuel poverty has to involve seeking justice in terms of the cultural and political recognition of vulnerable and marginalised social groups and pursuing procedural justice through opening up involvement and influence in decision-making processes. We make this argument both in theoretical terms, and through considering the experience of fuel poverty advocacy and policy development in the UK. Opportunities for future action may be illuminated through such interconnected justice framings as wider awareness of energy, climate and poverty issues emerge. - Highlights: ► We examine fuel poverty through different concepts of social and environmental justice. ► UK experience is used to inform and exemplify our analysis. ► Distributional justice is central but insufficient on its own. ► Procedural justice and justice as recognition are key necessary goals in the struggle for affordable warmth.

  1. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and the Affordable Care Act: a Status Update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sealy-Jefferson, Shawnita; Vickers, Jasmine; Elam, Angela; Wilson, M Roy

    2015-12-01

    Persistent racial and ethnic health disparities exist in the USA, despite decades of research and public health initiatives. Several factors contribute to health disparities, including (but not limited to) implicit provider bias, access to health care, social determinants, and biological factors. Disparities in health by race/ethnicity are unacceptable and correctable. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a comprehensive legislation that is focused on improving health care access, quality, and cost control. This health care reform includes specific provisions which focus on preventive care, the standardized collection of data on race, ethnicity, primary language and disability status, and health information technology. Although some provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have not been implemented, such as funding for the U.S. Public Health Sciences track, which would have addressed the shortage of medical professionals in the USA who are trained to use patient-centered, interdisciplinary, and care coordination approaches, this legislation is still poised to make great strides toward eliminating health disparities. The purpose of this manuscript is to highlight the unprecedented opportunities that exist for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health in the USA. PMID:26668787

  2. STIMULATION OF CONSTRUCTION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING BY REFORMATION OF A CONSTRUCTION COMPLEX MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BRONEVYTSKYI S. P.

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. Development of offers on stimulation of construction of affordable housing by reformation of a construction complex management system. Methodology. The revelation of the problems of planning of construction in large cities. The analysis of forming of structure of a build complex management in soviet times and in a transitional period. The revelation of the modern, actual, socio-economic problems of the construction activity management. Proposition on the improvement of methods of construction management in cities of Ukraine. Results. The methods of a construction complex management in countries with a market economy as for building of affordable housing are shown. Originality. In composition of a town-planning documentations, except for the norms of the common use of territories of city (density of population of micro region, the maximum parameters of a construction examining of land areas are proposed to determine: building percent and coefficient of maximum superficial area. Practical value. The principle of management and organization of construction is norms of a build use of territories for building of mass affordable housing for funds of population and investors while providing of the comfort of housing in accordance with state construction norms.

  3. Making Safe Surgery Affordable: Design of a Surgical Drill Cover System for Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchan, Lawrence L; Black, Marianne S; Cancilla, Michael A; Huisman, Elise S; Kooyman, Jeremy J R; Nelson, Scott C; OʼHara, Nathan N; OʼBrien, Peter J; Blachut, Piotr A

    2015-10-01

    Many surgeons in low-resource settings do not have access to safe, affordable, or reliable surgical drilling tools. Surgeons often resort to nonsterile hardware drills because they are affordable, robust, and efficient, but they are impossible to sterilize using steam. A promising alternative is to use a Drill Cover system (a sterilizable fabric bag plus surgical chuck adapter) so that a nonsterile hardware drill can be used safely for surgical bone drilling. Our objective was to design a safe, effective, affordable Drill Cover system for scale in low-resource settings. We designed our device based on feedback from users at Mulago Hospital (Kampala, Uganda) and focused on 3 main aspects. First, the design included a sealed barrier between the surgical field and hardware drill that withstands pressurized fluid. Second, the selected hardware drill had a maximum speed of 1050 rpm to match common surgical drills and reduce risk of necrosis. Third, the fabric cover was optimized for ease of assembly while maintaining a sterile technique. Furthermore, with the Drill Cover approach, multiple Drill Covers can be provided with a single battery-powered drill in a "kit," so that the drill can be used in back-to-back surgeries without requiring immediate sterilization. The Drill Cover design presented here provides a proof-of-concept for a product that can be commercialized, produced at scale, and used in low-resource settings globally to improve access to safe surgery. PMID:26356212

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. Affordance-based perception-action dynamics: A model of visually guided braking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Henry S; Turvey, Michael T; Frank, Till D

    2016-04-01

    Behavioral dynamics is a framework for understanding adaptive behavior as arising from the self-organizing interaction between animal and environment. The methods of nonlinear dynamics provide a language for describing behavior that is both stable and flexible. Behavioral dynamics has been criticized for ignoring the animal's sensitivity to its own capabilities, leading to the development of an alternative framework: affordance-based control. Although it is theoretically sound and empirically motivated, affordance-based control has resisted characterization in terms of nonlinear dynamics. Here, we provide a dynamical description of affordance-based control, extending behavioral dynamics to meet its criticisms. We propose a general modeling strategy consistent with both theories. We use visually guided braking as a representative behavior and construct a novel dynamical model. This model demonstrates the possibility of understanding visually guided action as respecting the limits of the actor's capabilities, while still being guided by informational variables associated with desired states of affairs. In addition to such "hard" constraints on behavior, our framework allows for the influence of "soft" constraints such as preference and comfort, opening a new area of inquiry in perception-action dynamics. PMID:26881694

  6. The role of affordances in children's learning performance and efficiency when using virtual manipulative mathematics touch-screen apps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer-Packenham, Patricia S.; Bullock, Emma K.; Shumway, Jessica F.; Tucker, Stephen I.; Watts, Christina M.; Westenskow, Arla; Anderson-Pence, Katie L.; Maahs-Fladung, Cathy; Boyer-Thurgood, Jennifer; Gulkilik, Hilal; Jordan, Kerry

    2016-03-01

    This paper focuses on understanding the role that affordances played in children's learning performance and efficiency during clinical interviews of their interactions with mathematics apps on touch-screen devices. One hundred children, ages 3 to 8, each used six different virtual manipulative mathematics apps during 30-40-min interviews. The study used a convergent mixed methods design, in which quantitative and qualitative data were collected concurrently to answer the research questions (Creswell and Plano Clark 2011). Videos were used to capture each child's interactions with the virtual manipulative mathematics apps, document learning performance and efficiency, and record children's interactions with the affordances within the apps. Quantitized video data answered the research question on differences in children's learning performance and efficiency between pre- and post-assessments. A Wilcoxon matched pairs signed-rank test was used to explore these data. Qualitative video data was used to identify affordance access by children when using each app, identifying 95 potential helping and hindering affordances among the 18 apps. The results showed that there were changes in children's learning performance and efficiency when children accessed a helping or a hindering affordance. Helping affordances were more likely to be accessed by children who progressed between the pre- and post-assessments, and the same affordances had helping and hindering effects for different children. These results have important implications for the design of virtual manipulative mathematics learning apps.

  7. Effects of paired-object affordance in search tasks across the adult lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulff, Melanie; Stainton, Alexandra; Rotshtein, Pia

    2016-06-01

    The study investigated the processes underlying the retrieval of action information about functional object pairs, focusing on the contribution of procedural and semantic knowledge. We further assessed whether the retrieval of action knowledge is affected by task demands and age. The contribution of procedural knowledge was examined by the way objects were selected, specifically whether active objects were selected before passive objects. The contribution of semantic knowledge was examined by manipulating the relation between targets and distracters. A touchscreen-based search task was used testing young, middle-aged, and elderly participants. Participants had to select by touching two targets among distracters using two search tasks. In an explicit action search task, participants had to select two objects which afforded a mutual action (e.g., functional pair: hammer-nail). Implicit affordance perception was tested using a visual color-matching search task; participants had to select two objects with the same colored frame. In both tasks, half of the colored targets also afforded an action. Overall, middle-aged participants performed better than young and elderly participants, specifically in the action task. Across participants in the action task, accuracy was increased when the distracters were semantically unrelated to the functional pair, while the opposite pattern was observed in the color task. This effect was enhanced with increased age. In the action task all participants utilized procedural knowledge, i.e., selected the active object before the passive object. This result supports the dual-route account from vision to action. Semantic knowledge contributed to both the action and the color task, but procedural knowledge associated with the direct route was primarily retrieved when the task was action-relevant. Across the adulthood lifespan, the data show inverted U-shaped effects of age on the retrieval of action knowledge. Age also linearly increased the

  8. Evaluating drug prices, availability, affordability, and price components: implications for access to drugs in Malaysia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaheer Ud Din Babar

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Malaysia's stable health care system is facing challenges with increasing medicine costs. To investigate these issues a survey was carried out to evaluate medicine prices, availability, affordability, and the structure of price components. METHODS AND FINDINGS: The methodology developed by the World Health Organization (WHO and Health Action International (HAI was used. Price and availability data for 48 medicines was collected from 20 public sector facilities, 32 private sector retail pharmacies and 20 dispensing doctors in four geographical regions of West Malaysia. Medicine prices were compared with international reference prices (IRPs to obtain a median price ratio. The daily wage of the lowest paid unskilled government worker was used to gauge the affordability of medicines. Price component data were collected throughout the supply chain, and markups, taxes, and other distribution costs were identified. In private pharmacies, innovator brand (IB prices were 16 times higher than the IRPs, while generics were 6.6 times higher. In dispensing doctor clinics, the figures were 15 times higher for innovator brands and 7.5 for generics. Dispensing doctors applied high markups of 50%-76% for IBs, and up to 316% for generics. Retail pharmacy markups were also high-25%-38% and 100%-140% for IBs and generics, respectively. In the public sector, where medicines are free, availability was low even for medicines on the National Essential Drugs List. For a month's treatment for peptic ulcer disease and hypertension people have to pay about a week's wages in the private sector. CONCLUSIONS: The free market by definition does not control medicine prices, necessitating price monitoring and control mechanisms. Markups for generic products are greater than for IBs. Reducing the base price without controlling markups may increase profits for retailers and dispensing doctors without reducing the price paid by end users. To increase access and

  9. Postural sway and perception of affordances in children at risk for developmental coordination disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, F C; Tsai, C L; Wu, S K

    2014-07-01

    Gibson (The ecological approach to visual perception, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1979/1986) defined affordances as opportunities for motor behaviors, and highly emphasized the interaction between perception and action. Research on children with developmental coordination disorder commonly reports difficulties in judgments of affordances (perception) and in postural control (action). However, how perception and action are coupled has not been studied yet. The present study sought to evaluate the relationship between control of postural sway and perception of affordances in children at risk for developmental coordination disorder (RDCD) and typically developing children (TDC). We hypothesized that the relationship between perception and action would differ between groups. Participants made a series of judgments about their maximum sitting height (SHmax) while standing with and without wearing 10 cm blocks on feet. Postural sway and the judgment accuracy were recorded. Our findings showed that RDCD swayed more during judgment sessions and made less accurate judgments compared to TDC. In addition, TDC reduced postural sway from inter-judgment to judgment sessions, whereas the postural sway of RDCD remained identical between sessions. Last, while TDC reduced postural sway across judgment trials and revealed a learning effect of the judgments about SHmax in the block condition, RDCD never modulated postural sway and did not learn their SHmax in both non-block and block conditions. Overall, modulation of postural sway differed between groups during judgment sessions and between inter-judgment and judgment sessions, whereby their perceptual judgments about SHmax were differentially influenced. To summarize, this study demonstrated a difference in perception and action coupling between RDCD and TDC. PMID:24671651

  10. Affordable High-Performance Homes: The 2002 NREL Denver Habitat for Humanity House, A Cold-Climate Case Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2005-04-01

    Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout the U.S. are taking the lead on an integrated systems-design approach to building homes that are more efficient, more comfortable, more affordable, and more durable than homes built with standard practices.

  11. Women's Preventive Services Guidelines Affordable Care Act Expands Prevention Coverage for Women's Health and Well-Being

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... icio.us Digg Facebook Google Bookmarks Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines Affordable Care Act Expands Prevention Coverage for ... are delivered by a network provider. Women's Preventive Services Guidelines Supported by the Health Resources and Services ...

  12. Building Affordable Rental Housing in Unaffordable Cities: A Canadian Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

    OpenAIRE

    Marion Steele; Francois Des Rosiers

    2009-01-01

    Many Canadian cities are short of affordable rental housing. Waiting lists for low-income housing are years in length, and new-build construction of rental housing has fallen over the last two decades. This study proposes a better way to build more low-income housing in expensive Canadian cities. A made-in-Canada Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) could leverage private sector expertise in site location, building, and management to build more and better low-income rental housing.

  13. A comparison of small, affordable seismic sources at the Ketzin CO2 storage site, Germany

    OpenAIRE

    Sopher, Daniel; Christopher, Juhlin; Fei, Huang; Monika, Ivandic; Stefan, Lueth

    2014-01-01

    Seismic methods have proven to be effective for monitoring the movement and location of injected CO2 within deep saline aquifers. However, a disadvantage of seismic monitoring is the high costs associated with many repeat seismic surveys as part of a long term monitoring strategy of a CO2 storage site. As the cost for the use of the seismic source is often a significant part of the overall survey cost, affordable, smaller sources would increase the potential feasibility of a long term seismic...

  14. New solutions to old problems: housing affordability and access within Australia and New Zealand

    OpenAIRE

    D C Thorns

    1988-01-01

    During the 1970s and 1980s the Australian and New Zealand economies have been passing through a period of restructuring. This has had important impacts upon the housing sector, leading to rises in house and land prices, in interest rates, and therefore in the costs of house purchase. Under these conditions a new agenda of housing issues has appeared concerning the affordability of housing and the continued access of modest and lower income households to the dominant form of tenure, owner-occu...

  15. Results of 30 kWt Safe Affordable Fission Engine (SAFE-30) primary heat transport testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The use of resistance heaters to simulate heat from fission allows extensive development of fission systems to be performed in non-nuclear test facilities, saving time and money. Resistance heated tests on the Safe Affordable Fission Engine--30 kilowatt (SAFE30) test article are being performed at the Marshall Space Flight Center. This paper discusses the results of these experiments to date, and describes the additional testing that will be performed. Recommendations related to the design of testable space fission power and propulsion systems are made

  16. Software Development in the Cloud: Exploring the Affordances of Platform-as-a-Service

    OpenAIRE

    Krancher, Oliver; Luther, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    Software development teams increasingly adopt platform-as-a-service (PaaS), i.e., cloud services that make software development infrastructure available over the internet. Yet, empirical evidence of whether and how software development work changes with the use of PaaS is difficult to find. We performed a grounded-theory study to explore the affordances of PaaS for software development teams. We find that PaaS enables software development teams to enforce uniformity, to exploit knowledge embe...

  17. National workplace health promotion surveys: the Affordable Care Act and future surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeJoy, David M; Dyal, Mari-Amanda; Padilla, Heather M; Wilson, Mark G

    2014-01-01

    This commentary reviews findings from the four previous national surveys of workplace health promotion activities (1985, 1992, 1999, and 2004, respectively) and offers recommendations for future surveys mandated under the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Future surveys should place greater emphasis on assessing program quality, reach, and effectiveness. Both employer and employee input should be sought. In addition, sampling plans should differentiate worksites from employers, and results should include public as well as private sector organizations. Ideas are offered for addressing these limitations and for creating a sustainable survey process and multifunctional database of results. PMID:24380423

  18. California's Early Coverage Expansion under the Affordable Care Act: A County-Level Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Sommers, Benjamin Daniel; Chua, Kao-Ping; Kenney, Genevieve M; Sharon K. Long; McMorrow, Stacey

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To assess the coverage effects of California's 2011 Low-Income Health Program (LIHP), enacted as an “early expansion” under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and to demonstrate the feasibility of using Census data to measure county-level coverage changes. Data Sources/Study Setting: 2008–2012 American Community Survey (ACS). The sample contained California adults ages 19–64 years (n = 237,876) and children 0–18 years (n = 113,159) with incomes below 200 percent of the federal po...

  19. Comprender la realidad sin representaciones: Affordances y psicología ecológica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Heras Escribano

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Frente al paradigma tradicional en ciencia cognitiva, donde la metáfora del ordenador es la imperante, la psicología ecológica se ofrece como la alternativa más potente en el futuro desarrollo de las investigaciones sobre el fenómeno de la cognición. Dentro de ella, la noción de affordance juega un papel fundamental, aunque el concepto no está exento de polémica.

  20. The Affordable Care Act and Diabetes Diagnosis and Care: Exploring the Potential Impacts

    OpenAIRE

    Myerson, Rebecca; Laiteerapong, Neda

    2016-01-01

    This article reviews available data on the implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the diagnosis and care of type 2 diabetes. We provide a general overview of the major issues for diabetes diagnosis and care, and describe the policies in the ACA that affect diabetes diagnosis and care. We also estimate that approximately 2.3 million of the 4.6 million people in the USA with undiagnosed diabetes aged 18–64 in 2009–2010 may have gained access to free preventive care under the ACA, whi...

  1. Inclusionary Housing in International Perspective: Affordable Housing, Social Inclusion, and Land Value Recapture Edited by Nico Calavita and Alan Mallach

    OpenAIRE

    Wegmann, Jake

    2011-01-01

    Affordable housing often, these days, appears to occupy a low rank on the planning agenda. Emergent issues such as climate change and the obesity crisis, along with the various solutions that planning proposes for them, seem to take up much of the available planning communication bandwidth. Indeed, with a widespread foreclosure crisis in the United States and drastically depressed housing prices in much of the world, many have come to see housing affordability as a less urgent concern than it...

  2. Factors that have a decisive effect on the indicators of efficiency of organizational and technological decisions for affordable housing

    OpenAIRE

    V. I. Bolshakov; Kravchunovs'ka, T. S.; Bronevitsky, S.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. Systematization and formalization of organizational, technological and economic factors reflecting the specific features of the construction of affordable housing and performing substantial impact on the cost of building production and the duration of works. Methodology. Substantiation of the list of factors exercising a decisive influence on the cost and duration of construction of affordable housing, using the methods of expert estimations. Findings. It was formed the system of org...

  3. Assessing the Role of TRIPS Agreement for Inaccessibility and Un-affordability of Essential Medicines in Nigeria

    OpenAIRE

    Umar Abubakar Dubagari

    2015-01-01

    Intellectual property rights (IPRs) protection was not recognised in Nigeria and essential medicines were accessible and affordable to all but reverse is the case with the implementation of TRIPS agreement on IPRs. This resulted in inordinate policy formulation and implementation that exacerbates the public health care despite Nigeria’s endowment with enormous human and natural resources. This paper argues that patents protection hinders access and affordability to essential medicines in Ni...

  4. First year participation in the affordable care act: costs and accessibility to gynecologic oncology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlik, Edward J; Ore, Robert; Toyama, Aimi; Woolum, Dylan; Pavlik, Thomas E; Baldwin, Lauren

    2015-11-01

    With the ending of the operational first year of the American Affordable Care Act, health insurance premiums were accessed online. For a US$50,000 income, the lowest premiums ranged from US$805 annually (age 20 years) to US$3802 (age 64 years), while the highest ranged from US$2186 (age 20 years) to US$10,326 (age 64 years). The lowest premiums at age 50 years were higher in rural areas in contrast to the highest premiums that were less expensive rurally. At age 64 years, the lowest premiums were 9-12.6% of a US$50,000 income, while the most expensive varied between 16.5 and 39%. Access to gynecologic oncologists was variable in different networks. Medicaid enrollment nationally was ∼6× higher than paid enrollment. Eligible participation in Affordable Care Act coverage exceeded expectations by >190%. Performance of four healthcare exchange traded funds indicated that investor confidence is high in the American healthcare sector. PMID:26387757

  5. Affordances of Augmented Reality in Science Learning: Suggestions for Future Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Kun-Hung; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2013-08-01

    Augmented reality (AR) is currently considered as having potential for pedagogical applications. However, in science education, research regarding AR-aided learning is in its infancy. To understand how AR could help science learning, this review paper firstly has identified two major approaches of utilizing AR technology in science education, which are named as image- based AR and location- based AR. These approaches may result in different affordances for science learning. It is then found that students' spatial ability, practical skills, and conceptual understanding are often afforded by image-based AR and location-based AR usually supports inquiry-based scientific activities. After examining what has been done in science learning with AR supports, several suggestions for future research are proposed. For example, more research is required to explore learning experience (e.g., motivation or cognitive load) and learner characteristics (e.g., spatial ability or perceived presence) involved in AR. Mixed methods of investigating learning process (e.g., a content analysis and a sequential analysis) and in-depth examination of user experience beyond usability (e.g., affective variables of esthetic pleasure or emotional fulfillment) should be considered. Combining image-based and location-based AR technology may bring new possibility for supporting science learning. Theories including mental models, spatial cognition, situated cognition, and social constructivist learning are suggested for the profitable uses of future AR research in science education.

  6. Drivers’ decision-making when attempting to cross an intersection results from choice between affordances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey eMARTI

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In theory, a safe approach to an intersection implies that the driver can simultaneously manage two scenarios: they either cross or they must give way to an oncoming vehicle. In this article we formalize the critical time for safe crossing (CTcross and the critical time for safe stopping (CTstop to represent crossing and stopping possibilities, respectively. We describe these critical times in terms of affordances and empirically test their respective contribution to the driver’s decision-making process. Using a driving simulator, three groups of participants drove cars with identical acceleration capabilities and different braking capabilities. They were asked to try to cross an intersection where there was an oncoming vehicle, if they deemed the maneuver to be safe. If not, they could decide to stop or, as a last resort, make an emergency exit. The intersections were identical among groups.Results showed that although the crossing possibilities (CTcross were the same for all groups, there were between-group differences in crossing frequency. This suggests that stopping possibilities (CTstop play a role in the driver’s decision-making process, in addition to the crossing possibilities. These results can be accounted for by a behavioral model of decision making, and provide support for the hypothesis of choice between affordances.

  7. Affordable uniform isotope labeling with 2H, 13C and 15N in insect cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    For a wide range of proteins of high interest, the major obstacle for NMR studies is the lack of an affordable eukaryotic expression system for isotope labeling. Here, a simple and affordable protocol is presented to produce uniform labeled proteins in the most prevalent eukaryotic expression system for structural biology, namely Spodoptera frugiperda insect cells. Incorporation levels of 80 % can be achieved for 15N and 13C with yields comparable to expression in full media. For 2H,15N and 2H,13C,15N labeling, incorporation is only slightly lower with 75 and 73 %, respectively, and yields are typically twofold reduced. The media were optimized for isotope incorporation, reproducibility, simplicity and cost. High isotope incorporation levels for all labeling patterns are achieved by using labeled algal amino acid extracts and exploiting well-known biochemical pathways. The final formulation consists of just five commercially available components, at costs 12-fold lower than labeling media from vendors. The approach was applied to several cytosolic and secreted target proteins

  8. The Massive Affordable Computing Project: Prototyping of a High Data Throughput Processing Unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Mitchell A.; Mellado, Bruce

    2015-05-01

    Scientific experiments are becoming highly data intensive to the point where offline processing of stored data is infeasible. High data throughput computing or High Volume throughput Computing, for future projects is required to deal with terabytes of data per second. Conventional data-centres based on typical server-grade hardware are expensive and are biased towards processing power rather than I/O bandwidth. This system imbalance can be solved with massive parallelism to increase the I/O capabilities, at the expense of excessive processing power and high energy consumption. The Massive Affordable Computing Project aims to use low-cost, ARM System on Chips to address the issue of system balance, affordability and energy efficiency. An ARM-based Processing Unit prototype is currently being developed, with a design goal of 20 Gb/s I/O throughput and significant processing power. Novel use of PCI-Express is used to address the typically limited I/O capabilities of consumer ARM System on Chips.

  9. "Having Housing Made Everything Else Possible": Affordable, Safe and Stable Housing for Women Survivors of Violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clough, Amber; Draughon, Jessica E; Njie-Carr, Veronica; Rollins, Chiquita; Glass, Nancy

    2014-09-01

    Research indicates that the need for safe housing and the economic resources to maintain safe housing are two of the most pressing concerns among abused women who are planning to or have recently left abusers. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is frequently an immediate cause or precursor to homelessness and housing instability. The aim of the study is to explore abused women's experiences accessing affordable, safe, and stable housing. To achieve the aim, adult female IPV survivors answered questions about: 1) steps that were taken to secure housing; 2) safety issues after leaving the abuser; 3) barriers to obtaining housing; and 4) responses from housing and domestic violence advocacy systems related to survivors' housing needs. Four major themes emerged from the in-depth interviews: 1) stable, affordable housing is critical in increasing safety; 2) survivors face multiple systemic or individual barriers; 3) survivors develop and utilize an array of creative and resourceful strategies; and 4) survivors identified a variety of supportive services tailored to address their needs. The findings inform practice, policy and research for both the housing and domestic violence service systems with an emphasis on collaboration to meet the complex safety and stable housing needs of survivors and their families, particularly following the impact on housing of the 2008 U.S. economic crisis and subsequent recession. PMID:25328440

  10. Influence of Affordances in the Home Environment on Motor Development of Young Children in Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiro Mori

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Previous research indicates that the home environment is a significant factor in early child development. The present study examined influence of the multidimensional home environment on young Japanese children’s motor development. A Japanese translation of the Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development-Self Report (AHEMD-SR was used to assess home motor affordances in 262 families. Motor ability was assessed by parental report using the Enjoji Infant Analytic Developmental Test. We also asked parents to rate their own physical activity in terms of level and years of experience. As results, we found that the home environment in Japan was generally sufficient for children’s motor development and that children’s access to Fine Motor Toys (FMT and Gross Motor Toys (GMT had the strongest influence on their development. Analysis also indicated that AHEMD-SR scores were higher for children of parents who had some level of physical activity experience compared to children whose parents indicated no physical activity experience. Parents’ self-reported activity level was correlated with higher scores for the subscales FMT and GMT and for total AHEMD-SR score. These results indicate that both the physical and social-psychological environments (parental experience and views of the home influenced children’s motor development.

  11. Affordability and other factors affecting the purchase of energy-efficient manufactured homes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattrup, M.P.; Lee, A.D.; Sandahl, L.J. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Onisko, S.A. [USDOE Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, OR (United States)

    1993-06-01

    The Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) and the Bonneville Power Administration (Bonneville) conducted this study to evaluate the manufactured home owner`s purchase decision process and to provide Bonneville with a better understanding of how consumers view a manufactured home`s affordability and energy efficiency. This study addresses manufactured homes built under the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards; these homes are sometimes referred to as HUD-code homes or mobile homes. Manufactured home owners in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington were included in this analysis. This report adds to the information presented in Sandahl et al. (1992), which discussed the practices of lenders, appraisers, and dealers -- all of whom play a key role in the manufactured home market due to the impact their practices have on the overall affordability of manufactured homes. This report focuses exclusively on the most important, and probably least understood, player -- the home buyer. The primary data were collected via a mail survey sent to 1,550 manufactured home owners in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington in late 1992. A 71% response rate was achieved; 1,106 usable responses were received. This study focuses on the Pacific Northwest but presents information that may be relevant to other parts of the country.

  12. A Systems Approach to Developing an Affordable Space Ground Transportation Architecture using a Commonality Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Jerry L.; McCleskey, Carey M.; Bollo, Timothy R.; Rhodes, Russel E.; Robinson, John W.

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a structured approach for achieving a compatible Ground System (GS) and Flight System (FS) architecture that is affordable, productive and sustainable. This paper is an extension of the paper titled "Approach to an Affordable and Productive Space Transportation System" by McCleskey et al. This paper integrates systems engineering concepts and operationally efficient propulsion system concepts into a structured framework for achieving GS and FS compatibility in the mid-term and long-term time frames. It also presents a functional and quantitative relationship for assessing system compatibility called the Architecture Complexity Index (ACI). This paper: (1) focuses on systems engineering fundamentals as it applies to improving GS and FS compatibility; (2) establishes mid-term and long-term spaceport goals; (3) presents an overview of transitioning a spaceport to an airport model; (4) establishes a framework for defining a ground system architecture; (5) presents the ACI concept; (6) demonstrates the approach by presenting a comparison of different GS architectures; and (7) presents a discussion on the benefits of using this approach with a focus on commonality.

  13. The Politics of Native American Health Care and the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Daniel

    2016-02-01

    This article examines an important but largely overlooked dimension of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), namely, its significance for Native American health care. The author maintains that reading the ACA against the politics of Native American health care policy shows that, depending on their regional needs and particular contexts, many Native Americans are well-placed to benefit from recent Obama-era reforms. At the same time, the kinds of options made available by the ACA constitute a departure from the service-based (as opposed to insurance-based) Indian Health Service (IHS). Accordingly, the author argues that ACA reforms--private marketplaces, Medicaid expansion, and accommodations for Native Americans--are best read as potential "supplements" to an underfunded IHS. Whether or not Native Americans opt to explore options under the ACA will depend in the long run on the quality of the IHS in the post-ACA era. Beyond understanding the ACA in relation to IHS funding, the author explores how Native American politics interacts with the key tenets of Obama-era health care reform--especially "affordability"--which is critical for understanding what is required from and appropriate to future Native American health care policy making. PMID:26567380

  14. Refactoring affordances in corporate wikis: a case for the use of mind maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puente, Gorka; Díaz, Oscar; Azanza, Maider

    2015-11-01

    The organisation of corporate wikis tends to deteriorate as time goes by. Rearranging categories, structuring articles and even moving sections among articles are cumbersome tasks in current wiki engines. This discourages the layman. But, it is the layman who writes the articles, knows the wiki content and detects refactoring opportunities. Our goal is to improve the refactoring affordances of current wiki engines by providing an alternative front-end tuned to refactoring. This is achieved by (1) surfacing the structure of the wiki corpus as a mind map, and (2) conducting refactoring as mind map reshaping. To this end, we introduce WikiWhirl, a domain-specific language for wiki refactoring. WikiWhirl is supported as an extension of FreeMind, a popular mind mapping tool. In this way, refactoring operations are intuitively conducted as actions upon mind map nodes. In a refactoring session a user imports the wiki structure as a FreeMind map; next, conducts the refactoring operations on the map, and finally, the effects are saved in the wiki database. The operational semantics of the WikiWhirl operations follow refactoring good practices (e.g., authorship preservation). Results from a controlled experiment suggest that WikiWhirl outperforms MediaWiki in three main affordance enablers: understandability, productivity and fulfillment of refactoring good practices.

  15. Small Launch Vehicle Concept Development for Affordable Multi-Stage Inline Configurations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beers, Benjamin R.; Waters, Eric D.; Philips, Alan D.; Threet, Grady E., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    The Advanced Concepts Office at NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center conducted a study of two configurations of a three stage, inline, liquid propellant small launch vehicle concept developed on the premise of maximizing affordability by targeting a specific payload capability range based on current industry demand. The initial configuration, NESC-1, employed liquid oxygen as the oxidizer and rocket propellant grade kerosene as the fuel in all three stages. The second and more heavily studied configuration, NESC-4, employed liquid oxygen and rocket propellant grade kerosene on the first and second stages and liquid oxygen and liquid methane fuel on the third stage. On both vehicles, sensitivity studies were first conducted on specific impulse and stage propellant mass fraction in order to baseline gear ratios and drive the focus of concept development. Subsequent sensitivity and trade studies on the NESC-4 configuration investigated potential impacts to affordability due to changes in gross liftoff weight and/or vehicle complexity. Results are discussed at a high level to understand the severity of certain sensitivities and how those trade studies conducted can either affect cost, performance or both.

  16. Prices, Costs, and Affordability of New Medicines for Hepatitis C in 30 Countries: An Economic Analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swathi Iyengar

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available New hepatitis C virus (HCV medicines have markedly improved treatment efficacy and regimen tolerability. However, their high prices have limited access, prompting wide debate about fair and affordable prices. This study systematically compared the price and affordability of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir/sofosbuvir across 30 countries to assess affordability to health systems and patients.Published 2015 ex-factory prices for a 12-wk course of treatment were provided by the Pharma Price Information (PPI service of the Austrian public health institute Gesundheit Österreich GmbH or were obtained from national government or drug reimbursement authorities and recent press releases, where necessary. Prices in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD member countries and select low- and middle-income countries were converted to US dollars using period average exchange rates and were adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP. We analysed prices compared to national economic performance and estimated market size and the cost of these drugs in terms of countries' annual total pharmaceutical expenditure (TPE and in terms of the duration of time an individual would need to work to pay for treatment out of pocket. Patient affordability was calculated using 2014 OECD average annual wages, supplemented with International Labour Organization median wage data where necessary. All data were compiled between 17 July 2015 and 25 January 2016. For the base case analysis, we assumed a 23% rebate/discount on the published price in all countries, except for countries with special pricing arrangements or generic licensing agreements. The median nominal ex-factory price of a 12-wk course of sofosbuvir across 26 OECD countries was US$42,017, ranging from US$37,729 in Japan to US$64,680 in the US. Central and Eastern European countries had higher PPP-adjusted prices than other countries: prices of sofosbuvir in Poland and Turkey (PPP$101,063 and PPP$70

  17. Prices, Costs, and Affordability of New Medicines for Hepatitis C in 30 Countries: An Economic Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tay-Teo, Kiu; Vogler, Sabine; Beyer, Peter; Wiktor, Stefan; de Joncheere, Kees; Hill, Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Introduction New hepatitis C virus (HCV) medicines have markedly improved treatment efficacy and regimen tolerability. However, their high prices have limited access, prompting wide debate about fair and affordable prices. This study systematically compared the price and affordability of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir/sofosbuvir across 30 countries to assess affordability to health systems and patients. Methods and Findings Published 2015 ex-factory prices for a 12-wk course of treatment were provided by the Pharma Price Information (PPI) service of the Austrian public health institute Gesundheit Österreich GmbH or were obtained from national government or drug reimbursement authorities and recent press releases, where necessary. Prices in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries and select low- and middle-income countries were converted to US dollars using period average exchange rates and were adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP). We analysed prices compared to national economic performance and estimated market size and the cost of these drugs in terms of countries’ annual total pharmaceutical expenditure (TPE) and in terms of the duration of time an individual would need to work to pay for treatment out of pocket. Patient affordability was calculated using 2014 OECD average annual wages, supplemented with International Labour Organization median wage data where necessary. All data were compiled between 17 July 2015 and 25 January 2016. For the base case analysis, we assumed a 23% rebate/discount on the published price in all countries, except for countries with special pricing arrangements or generic licensing agreements. The median nominal ex-factory price of a 12-wk course of sofosbuvir across 26 OECD countries was US$42,017, ranging from US$37,729 in Japan to US$64,680 in the US. Central and Eastern European countries had higher PPP-adjusted prices than other countries: prices of sofosbuvir in Poland and Turkey (PPP

  18. A comparison of small, affordable seismic sources at the Ketzin CO2 storage site, Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sopher, Daniel; Juhlin, Christopher; Huang, Fei; Ivandic, Monika; Lueth, Stefan

    2014-05-01

    Seismic methods have proven to be effective for monitoring the movement and location of injected CO2 within deep saline aquifers. However, a disadvantage of seismic monitoring is the high costs associated with many repeat seismic surveys as part of a long term monitoring strategy of a CO2 storage site. As the cost for the use of the seismic source is often a significant part of the overall survey cost, affordable, smaller sources would increase the potential feasibility of a long term seismic monitoring strategy. A comparison of three land seismic sources is performed at the Ketzin CO2 storage site, Germany. Two of these sources (Vibsist 500 and Bobcat drop hammer) can be considered to be smaller and more affordable sources than those conventionally used in the seismic monitor surveys at Ketzin. In this study these smaller sources are compared to a larger more conventional Vibsist 3000 source. The subsurface target for the three sources in this comparison is the CO2 storage reservoir for the Ketzin site, located within the Triassic Stuttgart formation, which lies at a depth of approximately 600m/500ms. Two of the sources are Swept Impact (SIST) type courses (Vibsist 500 and 3000) which use hydraulic concrete breaking hammers. The third source uses a concrete breaking drop hammer tool mounted on a Bobcat loader. Data were collected along a 984m long profile with 24m receiver spacing and 12m shot spacing in 2011, 2012 and 2013 using the three different sources. A quantitative and qualitative comparison of the raw data from the three sources was performed in order to assess their relative performance. Frequency content, signal to noise ratio and penetration depth curves were calculated for the raw data. Data from the three sources was also processed using a conventional workflow to produce stacked sections which were compared. Based on the results from this study the Bobcat drop hammer source appears to perform better than the Vibsist 500 source. However both of the

  19. On the Intentionality of Cultural Products: Representations of Black History As Psychological Affordances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salter, Phia S; Adams, Glenn

    2016-01-01

    A cultural-psychological analysis emphasizes the intentionality of everyday worlds: the idea that material products not only bear psychological traces of culturally constituted beliefs and desires, but also subsequently afford and promote culturally consistent understandings and actions. We applied this conceptual framework of mutual constitution in a research project using quantitative and qualitative approaches to understand the dynamic resonance between sociocultural variance in Black History Month (BHM) representations and the reproduction of racial inequality in the U.S. In studies 1 and 2, we considered whether mainstream BHM artifacts reflect the preferences and understandings of White Americans (i.e., psychological constitution of cultural worlds). Consistent with the psychological constitution hypothesis, White American participants reported more positive affect, better recognition, and greater liking for BHM representations from the schools where White Americans were the majority than BHM representations from the schools where Black students and other students of color were the majority. Moreover, as an indication of the identity relevance of BHM representations, White identification was more positively associated with judgments of positive affect and preference in response to BHM representations from White schools than BHM representations from the schools where Black students were in the majority. In studies 3 and 4, we considered whether BHM representations from different settings differentially afford support or opposition to anti-racism policies (i.e., cultural constitution of psychological experience). In support of the cultural constitution hypothesis, BHM representations typical of schools where Black students were in the majority were more effective at promoting support for anti-racism policies compared to BHM representations typical of predominately White schools and a control condition. This effect was mediated by the effect of (different) BHM

  20. On the Intentionality of Cultural Products: Representations of Black History As Psychological Affordances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salter, Phia S.; Adams, Glenn

    2016-01-01

    A cultural-psychological analysis emphasizes the intentionality of everyday worlds: the idea that material products not only bear psychological traces of culturally constituted beliefs and desires, but also subsequently afford and promote culturally consistent understandings and actions. We applied this conceptual framework of mutual constitution in a research project using quantitative and qualitative approaches to understand the dynamic resonance between sociocultural variance in Black History Month (BHM) representations and the reproduction of racial inequality in the U.S. In studies 1 and 2, we considered whether mainstream BHM artifacts reflect the preferences and understandings of White Americans (i.e., psychological constitution of cultural worlds). Consistent with the psychological constitution hypothesis, White American participants reported more positive affect, better recognition, and greater liking for BHM representations from the schools where White Americans were the majority than BHM representations from the schools where Black students and other students of color were the majority. Moreover, as an indication of the identity relevance of BHM representations, White identification was more positively associated with judgments of positive affect and preference in response to BHM representations from White schools than BHM representations from the schools where Black students were in the majority. In studies 3 and 4, we considered whether BHM representations from different settings differentially afford support or opposition to anti-racism policies (i.e., cultural constitution of psychological experience). In support of the cultural constitution hypothesis, BHM representations typical of schools where Black students were in the majority were more effective at promoting support for anti-racism policies compared to BHM representations typical of predominately White schools and a control condition. This effect was mediated by the effect of (different) BHM

  1. The Relevance of the Affordable Care Act for Improving Mental Health Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mechanic, David; Olfson, Mark

    2016-03-28

    Provisions of the Affordable Care Act provide unprecedented opportunities for expanded access to behavioral health care and for redesigning the provision of services. Key to these reforms is establishing mental and substance abuse care as essential coverage, extending Medicaid eligibility and insurance parity, and protecting insurance coverage for persons with preexisting conditions and disabilities. Many provisions, including Accountable Care Organizations, health homes, and other structures, provide incentives for integrating primary care and behavioral health services and coordinating the range of services often required by persons with severe and persistent mental health conditions. Careful research and experience are required to establish the services most appropriate for primary care and effective linkage to specialty mental health services. Research providing guidance on present evidence and uncertainties is reviewed. Success in redesign will follow progress building on collaborative care and other evidence-based practices, reshaping professional incentives and practices, and reinvigorating the behavioral health workforce. PMID:26666969

  2. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: choosing an essential health benefits benchmark plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corlette, Sabrina; Lucia, Kevin W; Levin, Max

    2013-03-01

    To improve the adequacy of private health insurance, the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover a minimum set of medical benefits, known as "essential health benefits." In implementing this requirement, states were asked to select a "benchmark plan" to serve as a reference point. This issue brief examines state action to select an essential health benefits benchmark plan and finds that 24 states and the District of Columbia selected a plan. All but five states will have a small-group plan as their benchmark. Each state, whether or not it made a benchmark selection, will have a set of essential health benefits that reflects local, employer-based health insurance coverage currently sold in the state. States adopted a variety of approaches to selecting a benchmark, including intergov­ernmental collaboration, stakeholder engagement, and research on benchmark options. PMID:23547335

  3. Adults ages 50-64 and the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Sara R; Doty, Michelle M; Garber, Tracy

    2010-12-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will provide health insurance to nearly all U.S. citizens and improve the quality of health insurance, will particularly benefit adults ages 50 to 64, a group suffering from extended unemployment and a loss of employer health benefits. Several early provisions that go into effect in 2010, including preexisting condition insurance plans, will provide transitional assistance for adults who have struggled to gain health insurance. The biggest improvements will come in 2014 through a significant expansion in eligibility for Medicaid and the creation of health insurance exchanges with subsidized private insurance for people with low and moderate incomes. Of the 8.6 million adults ages 50 to 64 who were uninsured in 2009, up to 6.8 million may gain subsidized insurance through Medicaid and the exchanges and 1.4 million with higher incomes will have access to comprehensive health plans with new consumer protections. PMID:21155372

  4. Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite (FASTSAT) Huntsville-01 (HSV-01) Spacecraft Lessons Learned Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Timothy A.

    2012-01-01

    The Fast Affordable Science and Technology Satellite (FASTSAT) project is a path finding effort to produce reliable satellite busses for different applications at an unprecedented speed and low cost. The project is designed to be a generational project and the first satellite produced is the Huntsville -01 (HSV-01) spacecraft. The subject of this report is the lessons learned gained during the development, testing, and up to the delivery of the FASTSAT HSV -01 spacecraft. The purpose of this report is to capture the major findings that will greatly benefit the future FASTSAT satellites and perhaps other projects interested in pushing the boundaries for cost and schedule. The FASTSAT HSV -01 primary objectives, success criteria, and team partners are summarized to give a frame of reference to the lessons learned.

  5. Patient navigator programs, cancer disparities, and the patient protection and affordable care act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moy, Beverly; Chabner, Bruce A

    2011-01-01

    Patients in vulnerable population groups suffer disproportionately from cancer. The elimination of cancer disparities is critically important for lessening the burden of cancer. Patient navigator programs have been shown to improve clinical outcomes. Among its provisions relevant to disparities in cancer care, The Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act authorizes continued funding of patient navigator programs. However, given the current economic and political environment, this funding is in jeopardy. This article describes patient navigator programs and summarizes the elements of the health care law that are relevant to these programs. It is vital that the entire oncology community remain committed to leading efforts toward the improvement of cancer care among our most vulnerable patients. PMID:21804070

  6. Affordable thermal imaging systems for the UK light-armored vehicle fleet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Ian

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes the background to the planned upgrade of the UK Light Armoured Vehicle fleet, focussing specifically on the introduction of Thermal Imaging and Tactical Navigation systems which meet the requirement to conduct 24 hour operations and enhance the situational awareness of the crew. The main bulk of the paper will concentrate on the Battle Group Thermal Imaging (BGTI) system(s) selected by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to be installed on the Warrior Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV) and Scimitar Close Recce vehicle. In particular the paper will describe the Gunners Sight, the integrated Commanders Crew Station, the Tactical Navigation sub-system and the interfacing of the Thales Optronics BGTI system to the General Dynamics Bowman Radio and Battlefield Management System (BMS). Throughout the paper, the Author will make reference to the need to offer affordable solutions that ensure the total cost to the UK MoD is kept within their budget.

  7. The Spectacular Suburb: Creativity and affordance in Contemporary Electronic Music and Sound Art

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Strachan

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This article examines the relationship between sound, creative practice and the representation of landscape and environment. It uses an analysis of a single sound art/electronic music event, the Spectacular Suburb, a collaboration between sound recordist Chris Watson and the electronic producer/musician Matthew Herbert, as a central case study. Drawing upon interview material and the author’s own experiences as a curator of the event the article explores how individual sound objects are utilized subject to differing creative strategies. The article proposes a theoretical model of creativity influenced by ecological approaches to human perception. In particular, it suggests that for electronic musicians and sound artists creativity takes place according to complex affordance structures characterized by the relationship between the physical properties of sound, a highly nuanced set of socially constructed contexts, and specific technological and musical conventions.

  8. When creating new learning spaces, the affordance is a key study aspect

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dau, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    what are the actors prerequisite and explicated understanding of what drives their learning activities in these different spaces? The analysis draws on a conceptual frame of complex affordance of spaces in a socio-cultural perspective, but also the concepts of ba and cyper-ba as spaces for both social...... contribution to sociality, identity, referential embodied experiences as having huge influence on students’ preferences and learning activity. The results are addressed to learning and knowledge development. It´s concluded, that individual as well as social constructed learning make influence, and are...... social-cultural theory, questions are raised as a tool to take into account, when developing new learning spaces in educations....

  9. Experiments for the validation of computer codes uses to assess the protection factors afforded by dwellings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Two experimental campaigns were carried out to verify: 1) the method of assessing the mean kerma in a household used in the computer code BILL calculating the protection factor afforded by dwellings; 2) in what conditions the kerma calculated in cubic meshes of a given size (code PIECE) agreed with TLD measurements. To that purpose, a house was built near the caesium 137 source of the Ecosystem irradiator located at the Cadarache Nuclear Research Center. During the first campaign, four experiments with different house characteristics were conducted. Some 50 TLSs locations describing the inhabitable volume were defined in order to obtain the mean kerma. 16 locations were considered outside the house. During the second campaign a cobalt 60 source was installed on the side. Only five measurement locations were defined, each with 6 TLDs. The results of dosimetric measurements are presented and compared with the calculations of the two computer codes. The effects of wall heterogeneity were also studied

  10. Achieving Challenge Home in Affordable Housing in the Hot-Humid Climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beal, D.; McIlvaine, J.; Winter, B.; Allnutt, R.

    2014-08-01

    The Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction (BA-PIRC), one of the Building America research team leads, has partnered with two builders as they work through the Challenge Home certification process in one test home each. The builder partners participating in this cost-shared research are Southeast Volusia County Habitat for Humanity near Daytona, Florida and Manatee County Habitat for Humanity near Tampa, Florida. Both are affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit affordable housing organization. This research serves to identify viable technical pathways to meeting the CH criteria for other builders in the region. A further objective of this research is to identify gaps and barriers in the marketplace related to product availability, labor force capability, code issues, cost effectiveness, and business case issues that hinder or prevent broader adoption on a production scale.

  11. Learners with Dyslexia: Exploring their experiences with different online reading affordances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chwen Jen Chen

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available To date, empirically derived guidelines for designing accessible online learning environments for learners with dyslexia are still scarce. This study aims to explore the learning experience of learners with dyslexia when reading passages using different online reading affordances to derive some guidelines for dyslexia-friendly online text. The study employed a multiple-case qualitative approach and key themes were interpreted based on these learners’ perceived learning, engagement and satisfaction. The study concludes that the use of screen reader for online reading should be optional, adequate control of screen reader should be provided and screen reader is more beneficial when online text is written in a language that the learner is not proficient. Results from this study also provide empirical support of the appropriateness of some existing web accessibility guidelines.

  12. Toward Affordable, Theory-and-Simulation-Inspired, Models for Realistic Wind Turbine Aerodynamics and Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladeinde, Foluso; Alabi, Ken; Li, Wenhai

    2015-11-01

    The problem of generating design data for the operation of a farm of wind turbines for clean energy production is quite complicated, if properly done. Potential flow theories provide some models, but these are not suitable for the massive aerodynamic separation and turbulence that characterize many realistic wind turbine applications. Procedures, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which can potentially resolve some of the accuracy problems with the purely theoretical approach, are quite expensive to use, and often prohibit real-time design and control. In our work, we seek affordable and acceptably-accurate models derived from the foregoing approaches. The simulation used in our study is based on high-fidelity CFD, meaning that we use high-order (compact-scheme based), mostly large-eddy simulation methods, with due regards for the proper treatment of the stochastic inflow turbulence data. Progress on the project described herein will be presented.

  13. Affordable Virtual Reality System Architecture for Representation of Implicit Object Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stoyan Maleshkov

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available A flexible, scalable and affordable virtual reality software system architecture is proposed. This solution can be easily implemented on different hardware configurations: on a single computer or on a computer cluster. The architecture is aimed to be integrated in the workflow for solving engineering tasks and oriented towards presenting implicit object properties through multiple sensorial channels (visual, audio and haptic. Implicit properties represent hidden object features (i.e. magnetization, radiation, humidity, toxicity, etc. which cannot be perceived by the observer through his/her senses but require specialized equipment in order to expand the observers sensory ability. Our approach extends the underlying general scene graph structure incorporating additional effects nodes for implicit properties representation.

  14. Achieving Challenge Home in Affordable Housing in the Hot-Humid Climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beal, D. [Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, FL (United States); McIlvaine, J. [Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, FL (United States); Winter, B. [Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, FL (United States); Allnutt, R. [Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, FL (United States)

    2014-08-01

    The Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction (BA-PIRC), one of the Building America research team leads, has partnered with two builders as they work through the Challenge Home certification process (now Zero Energy Ready Home) in one test home each. The builder partners participating in this cost-shared research are Southeast Volusia County Habitat for Humanity near Daytona, Florida and Manatee County Habitat for Humanity near Tampa, Florida. Both are affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit affordable housing organization. This research serves to identify viable technical pathways to meeting the CH criteria for other builders in the region. A further objective of this research is to identify gaps and barriers in the marketplace related to product availability, labor force capability, code issues, cost effectiveness, and business case issues that hinder or prevent broader adoption on a production scale.

  15. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: The Promise and Limits of Health Care Reform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberlander, Jonathan

    2016-08-01

    The Obama administration has confronted a formidable array of obstacles in implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA has overcome those obstacles to substantially expand access to health insurance, though significant problems with its approach have emerged. What does the ACA's performance to date tell us about the possibilities and limits of health care reform in the United States? I identify key challenges in ACA implementation-the inherently disruptive nature of reform, partisan polarization, the limits of "near universal" coverage, complexity, and divided public opinion-and analyze how these issues have shaped its evolution. The article concludes by exploring the political and policy challenges that lie ahead for the ACA. PMID:27127261

  16. The CBO's Crystal Ball: How Well Did It Forecast the Effects of the Affordable Care Act?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glied, Sherry; Arora, Anupama; Solís-Román, Claudia

    2015-12-01

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan agency of Congress, made official projections of the Affordable Care Act's impact on insurance coverage rates and the costs of providing subsidies to consumers purchasing health plans in the insurance marketplaces. This analysis finds that the CBO overestimated marketplace enrollment by 30 percent and marketplace costs by 28 percent, while it underestimated Medicaid enrollment by about 14 percent. Nonetheless, the CBO's projections were closer to realized experience than were those of many other prominent forecasters. Moreover, had the CBO correctly anticipated income levels and health care prices in 2014, its estimate of marketplace enrollment would have been within 18 percent of actual experience. Given the likelihood of additional reforms to national health policy in future years, it is reassuring that, despite the many unforeseen factors surrounding the law's rollout and participation in its reforms, the CBO's forecast was reasonably accurate. PMID:26702467

  17. Comparing Individual Health Coverage On and Off the Affordable Care Act's Insurance Exchanges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCue, Michael J; Hall, Mark A

    2015-08-01

    The new health insurance exchanges are the core of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) reforms, but how the law improves the nonsubsidized portion of the individual market is also important. This issue brief compares products sold on and off the exchanges to gain insight into how the ACA's market reforms are functioning. Initial concerns that insurers might seek to enroll lower-risk customers outside the exchanges have not been realized. Instead, more-generous benefit plans, which appeal to people with health problems, constitute a greater portion of plans sold off-exchange than those sold on-exchange. Although insur­ers that sell mostly on the exchanges incur an additional fee, they still devote a greater portion of their premium dollars to medical care. Their projected admin­istrative costs and profit margins are lower than are those of insurers selling only off the exchanges. PMID:26372970

  18. The State of Diabetes Prevention Policy in the USA Following the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konchak, Juleigh Nowinski; Moran, Margaret R; O'Brien, Matthew J; Kandula, Namratha R; Ackermann, Ronald T

    2016-06-01

    Type 2 diabetes is a major public health problem in the USA, affecting over 12 % of American adults and imposing considerable health and economic burden on individuals and society. There is a strong evidence base demonstrating that lifestyle behavioral changes and some medications can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in high risk adults, and several policy and healthcare system changes motivated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) have the potential to accelerate diabetes prevention. In this narrative review, we (1) offer a conceptual framework for organizing how the ACA may influence diabetes prevention efforts at the level of individuals, healthcare providers, and health systems; (2) highlight ACA provisions at each of these levels that could accelerate type 2 diabetes prevention nationwide; and (3) explore possible policy gaps and opportunity areas for future research and action. PMID:27145778

  19. Patent dispute: Delhi High Court gives a boost to access to affordable medicines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menghaney, Leena

    2010-01-01

    The Delhi High Court has rejected the petition filed by Bayer Corporation seeking to stop the Drugs Controller of India (DCGI) from registering a generic version of a patented cancer drug. The case was filed in 2008 by Bayer to try and introduce "patent linkage" which involves linking the registration (marketing approval) of drugs with their patent status. If Bayer's plea for "patent linkage" had been accepted by the court, it would have undermined public health safeguards contained in India's patent legislation. This comment discusses the Bayer case in the context of efforts by multinational pharmaceutical companies to introduce barriers to generic competition, the only proven means of reducing the prices of medicines to make them affordable to those in need. Bayer has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, indicating that it does not intend to give up. PMID:20432882

  20. Implications of the Affordable Care Act for occupational therapy practitioners providing services to Medicare recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Gail; Friesema, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA; Pub. L. 111-148) represents the largest expansion in government funding of health care since Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 (Curfman, Abel, & Landers, 2012). Although the health insurance mandate and Medicaid expansion have received the most attention as a result of legal challenges and the July 2012 Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the ACA (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012), other ACA initiatives may have even greater implications for occupational therapy. The ACA includes sections on improving quality and health systems performance for Medicare recipients, with some sections also applying to Medicaid recipients. Insurance companies commonly follow Medicare rules; therefore, the Medicare reforms are likely to spread across all payers, health care settings, and care recipients. PMID:23968787

  1. Rethinking the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac tax": A More Equitable Way to Encourage "Chevy" Consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, Sarah; Eibner, Christine

    2015-12-01

    The Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac tax" will apply a 40 percent excise tax on total employer health insurance premiums in excess of $10,200 for single coverage and $27,500 for family coverage, starting in 2018. Employer spending on premiums is currently excluded from income and payroll taxes. Economists argue that this encourages overconsumption of health care, favors high-income workers, and reduces federal revenue. This issue brief suggests that the Cadillac tax is a "blunt instrument" for addressing these concerns because it will affect workers on a rolling timetable, does relatively little to address the regressive nature of the current exclusion, and may penalize firms and workers for cost variation that is outside their control. Replacing the current exclusion with tax credits for employer coverage that scale inversely with income might allow for regional adjustments in health care costs and eliminate aspects of the tax exclusion that favor high-income over low-income workers. PMID:26702468

  2. Modelling the affordability and distributional implications of future health care financing options in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, Di; Ataguba, John E

    2012-03-01

    South Africa is considering introducing a universal health care system. A key concern for policy-makers and the general public is whether or not this reform is affordable. Modelling the resource and revenue generation requirements of alternative reform options is critical to inform decision-making. This paper considers three reform scenarios: universal coverage funded by increased allocations to health from general tax and additional dedicated taxes; an alternative reform option of extending private health insurance coverage to all formal sector workers and their dependents with the remainder using tax-funded services; and maintaining the status quo. Each scenario was modelled over a 15-year period using a spreadsheet model. Statistical analyses were also undertaken to evaluate the impact of options on the distribution of health care financing burden and benefits from using health services across socio-economic groups. Universal coverage would result in total health care spending levels equivalent to 8.6% of gross domestic product (GDP), which is comparable to current spending levels. It is lower than the status quo option (9.5% of GDP) and far lower than the option of expanding private insurance cover (over 13% of GDP). However, public funding of health services would have to increase substantially. Despite this, universal coverage would result in the most progressive financing system if the additional public funding requirements are generated through a surcharge on taxable income (but not if VAT is increased). The extended private insurance scheme option would be the least progressive and would impose a very high payment burden; total health care payments on average would be 10.7% of household consumption expenditure compared with the universal coverage (6.7%) and status quo (7.5%) options. The least pro-rich distribution of service benefits would be achieved under universal coverage. Universal coverage is affordable and would promote health system equity, but

  3. Affordable, stable and assured supply of energy for poverty alleviation in Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    For people living in poverty, the most pressing priority is the satisfaction of basic human needs, which includes access to food, shelter, water supply and sanitation and other services that will improve their standard of living, such as health care, education, and better transport. Problems of poverty in all its dimensions can be addressed with the improved provision of energy services and it is significant that most of those without having access to modern energy services live in developing countries; like Pakistan and belong to the segment of the human population that lives in poverty. While assured and adequate energy supplies do not guarantee economic growth and employment generation, their absence typically limits growth. Although low energy consumption is not a cause of poverty, the lack of available energy services correlates closely with many poverty indicators. The link between poverty and energy should not, however, be construed simply in terms of ability of the poor to afford better energy services. Energy services constitute a sizeable share of total household expenditure in Pakistan. People living in poverty often pay a higher price per unit of energy services than do the rich. They also spend more time in obtaining these energy services and rely on resource-scarce and polluting ways of converting energy for services like cooking, drinking water, heating and lighting, all of which have associated health impacts. The production and use of energy have environmental consequences at local, regional and global levels. These impacts extend throughout the fuel cycle of an Energy Chain. Energy plays a substantial role in the everyday lives of humans. Poverty describes a condition of people who are denied the opportunities for sustainable existence. for social uplift of the people of Pakistan at large through affordable, stable, and assured supply of energy keeping in view the environmental constraints. (author)

  4. Landscape and Health: Connecting Psychology, Aesthetics, and Philosophy through the Concept of Affordance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menatti, Laura; Casado da Rocha, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we address a frontier topic in the humanities, namely how the cultural and natural construction that we call landscape affects well-being and health. Following an updated review of evidence-based literature in the fields of medicine, psychology, and architecture, we propose a new theoretical framework called "processual landscape," which is able to explain both the health-landscape and the medical agency-structure binomial pairs. We provide a twofold analysis of landscape, from both the cultural and naturalist points of view: in order to take into account its relationship with health, the definition of landscape as a cultural product needs to be broadened through naturalization, grounding it in the scientific domain. Landscape cannot be distinguished from the ecological environment. For this reason, we naturalize the idea of landscape through the notion of affordance and Gibson's ecological psychology. In doing so, we stress the role of agency in the theory of perception and the health-landscape relationship. Since it is the result of continuous and co-creational interaction between the cultural agent, the biological agent and the affordances offered to the landscape perceiver, the processual landscape is, in our opinion, the most comprehensive framework for explaining the health-landscape relationship. The consequences of our framework are not only theoretical, but ethical also: insofar as health is greatly affected by landscape, this construction represents something more than just part of our heritage or a place to be preserved for the aesthetic pleasure it provides. Rather, we can talk about the right to landscape as something intrinsically linked to the well-being of present and future generations. PMID:27199808

  5. Landscape and health: Connecting psychology, aesthetics and philosophy through the concept of affordance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eMenatti

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we address a frontier topic in the humanities, namely how the cultural and natural construction that we call landscape affects well-being and health. Following an updated review of evidence-based literature in the fields of medicine, psychology and architecture, we propose a new theoretical framework called processual landscape, which is able to explain both the health-landscape and the medical agency-structure binomial pairs. We provide a two-fold analysis of landscape, from both the cultural and naturalist points of view: in order to take into account its relationship with health, the definition of landscape as a cultural product needs to be broadened through naturalization, grounding it in the scientific domain. Landscape cannot be distinguished from the ecological environment. For this reason, we naturalize the idea of landscape through the notion of affordance and Gibson’s ecological psychology. In doing so, we stress the role of agency in the theory of perception and the health-landscape relationship. Since it is the result of continuous and co-creational interaction between the cultural agent, the biological agent and the affordances offered to the landscape perceiver, the processual landscape is, in our opinion, the most comprehensive framework for explaining the health-landscape relationship. The consequences of our framework are not only theoretical, but ethical also: insofar as health is greatly affected by landscape, this construction represents something more than just part of our heritage or a place to be preserved for the aesthetic pleasure it provides. Rather, we can talk about the right to landscape as something intrinsically linked to the well-being of present and future generations.

  6. Landscape and Health: Connecting Psychology, Aesthetics, and Philosophy through the Concept of Affordance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menatti, Laura; Casado da Rocha, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we address a frontier topic in the humanities, namely how the cultural and natural construction that we call landscape affects well-being and health. Following an updated review of evidence-based literature in the fields of medicine, psychology, and architecture, we propose a new theoretical framework called “processual landscape,” which is able to explain both the health-landscape and the medical agency-structure binomial pairs. We provide a twofold analysis of landscape, from both the cultural and naturalist points of view: in order to take into account its relationship with health, the definition of landscape as a cultural product needs to be broadened through naturalization, grounding it in the scientific domain. Landscape cannot be distinguished from the ecological environment. For this reason, we naturalize the idea of landscape through the notion of affordance and Gibson’s ecological psychology. In doing so, we stress the role of agency in the theory of perception and the health-landscape relationship. Since it is the result of continuous and co-creational interaction between the cultural agent, the biological agent and the affordances offered to the landscape perceiver, the processual landscape is, in our opinion, the most comprehensive framework for explaining the health-landscape relationship. The consequences of our framework are not only theoretical, but ethical also: insofar as health is greatly affected by landscape, this construction represents something more than just part of our heritage or a place to be preserved for the aesthetic pleasure it provides. Rather, we can talk about the right to landscape as something intrinsically linked to the well-being of present and future generations. PMID:27199808

  7. Democratizing Higher Education: Exploring MOOC Use Among Those Who Cannot Afford a Formal Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tawanna Dillahunt1, 1, 2 and 1

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Massive open online courses (“MOOCs” provide free access to higher education for anyone with Internet access. MOOCs are considered a means for democratizing education. These courses will hopefully provide an opportunity for individuals to learn from the best educators in the world, as well as help expand their personal networks, and facilitate their career development. However, research thus far shows that the majority of people taking advantage of these courses are already employed, have post-secondary degrees, and have encountered few barriers related to the affordability of higher education. Little is known about MOOC learners with financial constraints and who do not fit the typical profile of MOOC learners. This paper presents the results of the analysis of data from six Coursera courses offered by the University of Michigan from fall 2012 through winter 2013. In this analysis learners who self-identified as being unable to afford to pursue a formal education (the target group were contrasted to other learners (the comparison group in terms of demographics, motivations, course enrollment, engagement and performance. Learners in the target group were primarily male and over 25 years old. A statistically significant portion of the target group held less than a 4-year college degree than the comparison group. Target learners were also significantly underrepresented in the enrollment of the courses examined here. Although the comparison group had a significantly higher completion rate overall than the target group, the target group had a statistically significant higher rate of completing courses with certificates of distinction. This article provides a discussion of these results and suggests how MOOCs could be adapted to better address the needs of learners who feel financially unable to pursue a more traditional path to a post-secondary education.

  8. Affordable Development and Demonstration of a Small NTR Engine and Stage: How Small is Big Enough?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, S. K.; Sefcik, R. J.; Fittje, J. E.; McCurdy, D. R.; Qualls, A. L.; Schnitzler, B. G.; Werner, J.; Weitzberg, A.; Joyner, C. R.

    2015-01-01

    In FY11, NASA formulated a plan for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) development that included Foundational Technology Development followed by system-level Technology Demonstrations The ongoing NTP project, funded by NASAs Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) program, is focused on Foundational Technology Development and includes 5 key task activities:(1) Fuel element fabrication and non-nuclear validation testing of heritage fuel options;(2) Engine conceptual design;(3) Mission analysis and engine requirements definition;(4) Identification of affordable options for ground testing; and(5) Formulation of an affordable and sustainable NTP development program Performance parameters for Point of Departure designs for a small criticality-limited and full size 25 klbf-class engine were developed during FYs 13-14 using heritage fuel element designs for both RoverNERVA Graphite Composite (GC) and Ceramic Metal (Cermet) fuel forms To focus the fuel development effort and maximize use of its resources, the AES program decided, in FY14, that a leader-follower down selection between GC and cermet fuel was required An Independent Review Panel (IRP) was convened by NASA and tasked with reviewing the available fuel data and making a recommendation to NASA. In February 2015, the IRP recommended and the AES program endorsed GC as the leader fuel In FY14, a preliminary development schedule DDTE plan was produced by GRC, DOE industry for the AES program. Assumptions, considerations and key task activities are presented here Two small (7.5 and 16.5 klbf) engine sizes were considered for ground and flight technology demonstration within a 10-year timeframe; their ability to support future human exploration missions was also examined and a recommendation on a preferred size is provided.

  9. We all want it, but we don't know what it is: toward a standard of affordability for health insurance premiums.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muennig, Peter; Sampat, Bhaven; Tilipman, Nicholas; Brown, Lawrence D; Glied, Sherry A

    2011-10-01

    The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), or ACA, requires that U.S. citizens either purchase health insurance or pay a fine. To offset the financial burden for lower-income households, it also provides subsidies to ensure that health insurance premiums are affordable. However, relatively little work has been done on how such affordability standards should be set. The existing literature on affordability is not grounded in social norms and has methodological and theoretical flaws. To address these issues, we developed a series of hypothetical vignettes in which individual and household sociodemographic characteristics were varied. We then convened a panel of eighteen experts with extensive experience in affordability standards to evaluate the extent to which each vignette character could afford to pay for one of two health insurance plans. The panel varied with respect to political ideology and discipline. We find that there was considerable disagreement about how affordability is defined. There was also disagreement about what might be included in an affordability standard, with substantive debate surrounding whether savings, debt, education, or single parenthood is relevant. There was also substantial variation in experts' assessed affordability scores. Nevertheless, median expert affordability assessments were not far from those of ACA. PMID:21785011

  10. Labour mobility and housing: the impact of housing tenure and housing affordability on labour migration in the Czech Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lux, Martin; Sunega, Petr

    2012-01-01

    This article examines whether housing tenure and regional differences in housing affordability have an impact on labour mobility. This relationship is important for understanding the sources of structural unemployment and impediments to economic growth. Using two sample surveys from the Czech Republic, this research reveals that at the individual level housing tenure is the most powerful factor determining willingness to change residence for employment reasons. A time-series regression analysis reveals that the impact of housing affordability on observed interregional migration patterns is relatively weak and that this effect is concentrated among the highly educated seeking employment in the capital, Prague. These results demonstrate that housing tenure has a significant impact on labour migration plans in case of unemployment and that the dynamic impact of regional differences in housing affordability on labour mobility is concentrated within the most highly skilled segment of the labour force. PMID:22500343

  11. Determinants of accessibility and affordability of health care in post-socialist Tajikistan: evidence and policy options.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, L; Habibov, N N

    2009-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of rising levels of inequality in health care utilisation in the post-socialist countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. Against this backdrop, we investigate the determinants of accessibility and affordability of health care utilisation in Tajikistan. A modified version of the Andersen Behavioural Model is used to conceptualise the determinants of health care utilisation in Tajikistan. Poisson and Ordered Logit regression models are performed to estimate the determinants of health care utilisation. Empirical results demonstrate that poverty, chronic illness and disability are the most important determinants of health care utilisation and affordability in Tajikistan. Other significant determinants include gender, the level of education of the household head, and the availability of medical personnel at a given population point. These findings suggest an urgent need for health care reform in order to ensure equality in accessibility and affordability for the entire population. PMID:19326278

  12. Can you handle this? The impact of object affordances on how co-speech gestures are produced

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masson-Carro, Ingrid; Goudbeek, Martijn; Krahmer, Emiel

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Hand gestures are tightly coupled with speech and with action. Hence, recent accounts have emphasised the idea that simulations of spatio-motoric imagery underlie the production of co-speech gestures. In this study, we suggest that action simulations directly influence the iconic strategies used by speakers to translate aspects of their mental representations into gesture. Using a classic referential paradigm, we investigate how speakers respond gesturally to the affordances of objects, by comparing the effects of describing objects that afford action performance (such as tools) and those that do not, on gesture production. Our results suggest that affordances play a key role in determining the amount of representational (but not non-representational) gestures produced by speakers, and the techniques chosen to depict such objects. To our knowledge, this is the first study to systematically show a connection between object characteristics and representation techniques in spontaneous gesture production during the depiction of static referents. PMID:27226970

  13. Prevention under the Affordable Care Act (ACA: Has the ACA Overpromised and under Delivered?; Comment on “Interrelation of Preventive Care Benefits and Shared Costs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Molinari

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This policy brief discusses preventive care benefits and cost-sharing included in health insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA legislation and highlights some consequences to Americans and the country in terms of healthcare costs and value.

  14. Sampling designs matching species biology produce accurate and affordable abundance indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grant Harris

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Wildlife biologists often use grid-based designs to sample animals and generate abundance estimates. Although sampling in grids is theoretically sound, in application, the method can be logistically difficult and expensive when sampling elusive species inhabiting extensive areas. These factors make it challenging to sample animals and meet the statistical assumption of all individuals having an equal probability of capture. Violating this assumption biases results. Does an alternative exist? Perhaps by sampling only where resources attract animals (i.e., targeted sampling, it would provide accurate abundance estimates more efficiently and affordably. However, biases from this approach would also arise if individuals have an unequal probability of capture, especially if some failed to visit the sampling area. Since most biological programs are resource limited, and acquiring abundance data drives many conservation and management applications, it becomes imperative to identify economical and informative sampling designs. Therefore, we evaluated abundance estimates generated from grid and targeted sampling designs using simulations based on geographic positioning system (GPS data from 42 Alaskan brown bears (Ursus arctos. Migratory salmon drew brown bears from the wider landscape, concentrating them at anadromous streams. This provided a scenario for testing the targeted approach. Grid and targeted sampling varied by trap amount, location (traps placed randomly, systematically or by expert opinion, and traps stationary or moved between capture sessions. We began by identifying when to sample, and if bears had equal probability of capture. We compared abundance estimates against seven criteria: bias, precision, accuracy, effort, plus encounter rates, and probabilities of capture and recapture. One grid (49 km2 cells and one targeted configuration provided the most accurate results. Both placed traps by expert opinion and moved traps between capture

  15. Local Bamboo and Earth Construction Potential for Provision of Affordable Structures in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OJI ACHUKA NWOKE

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available In Nigeria and other developing countries where reinforced concrete in construction is widely used, the high and steadily increasing cost of steel has made construction very expensive. This, coupled with the political will, usually christened “Nigerian Factor” has made any conceived affordable mass housing program by successive governments a mirage. This development has triggered off the search for alternative and suitable replacement for steel reinforcement in concrete works. This search for a cheaper alternative has led to the exploration of abundant, naturally occurring materials such as bamboo, coconut fibres, sisal and oil palm fibres  which can be obtained locally at low cost and low levels of energy using local manpower and technology. The use of these locally available materials as substitute for the conventional materials in reinforced concrete elements can cut construction costs by as much as between 30% and 80%. Interest in these local materials is heightened by the facts that not only are they considered cheap; they are also “eco-friendly”. Also, the rising level of pollution in the construction industry has called for the adoption of “Eco-structures”, which are constructions that are in harmony with the surroundings and do not violate the environment neither through the chosen building materials nor through the construction methods. Several studies  have shown that contemporary  earth construction has the potentials to address the urban housing crisis in the developing countries. On the other hand there is a wrong perception among the users and the professionals that, ‘earth houses are only used by the poor people’. This paper investigates the information available on bamboo and earth material and their possible use as a low cost sustainable building material in Nigeria  in the light of problem of affordable structure. The findings of  this paper shows that more research has to be done to come up with reasonable

  16. Measuring access to medicines: a survey of prices, availability and affordability in Shaanxi province of China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minghuan Jiang

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To measure the prices and availability of selected medicines in Shaanxi Province after the implementation of new healthcare reform in 2009. METHODS: Data on the prices and availability of 47 medicines were collected from 50 public and 36 private sector medicine outlets in six regions of Shaanxi Province, Western China using a standardized methodology developed by the World Health Organization and Health Action International from September to October 2010. Medicine prices were compared with international reference prices to obtain a median price ratio. Affordability was measured as the number of days' wages required for the lowest-paid unskilled government worker to purchase standard treatments for common conditions. FINDINGS: The mean availabilities of originator brands and lowest-priced generics were 8.9% and 26.5% in the public sector, and 18.1% and 43.6% in the private sector, respectively. The public sector procured generics and originator brands at median price ratios of 0.75 and 8.49, respectively, while patients paid 0.97 and 10.16. Final patient prices for lowest-priced generics and originator brands in the private sector were about 1.53 and 8.36 times their international retail prices, respectively. Public sector vendors applied high markups of 30.4% to generics, and 19.6% to originator brands. In the private sector, originator brands cost 390.7% more, on average, than their generic equivalents. Generic medicines were priced 17.3% higher in the private sector than the public sector. The lowest-paid government worker would need 0.1 day's wages to purchase captopril for lowest-priced generics from private sector, while 6.6 days' wages for losartan. For originator brands, the costs rise to 1.2 days' wages for salbutamol inhaler and 15.6 days' wages for omeprazole. CONCLUSIONS: The prices, availability and affordability of medicines in China should be improved to ensure equitable access to basic medical treatments, especially for

  17. Sampling designs matching species biology produce accurate and affordable abundance indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, Sean; Russell, Gareth J.; Butler, Matthew J.; Selinger, Jeff

    2013-01-01

    Wildlife biologists often use grid-based designs to sample animals and generate abundance estimates. Although sampling in grids is theoretically sound, in application, the method can be logistically difficult and expensive when sampling elusive species inhabiting extensive areas. These factors make it challenging to sample animals and meet the statistical assumption of all individuals having an equal probability of capture. Violating this assumption biases results. Does an alternative exist? Perhaps by sampling only where resources attract animals (i.e., targeted sampling), it would provide accurate abundance estimates more efficiently and affordably. However, biases from this approach would also arise if individuals have an unequal probability of capture, especially if some failed to visit the sampling area. Since most biological programs are resource limited, and acquiring abundance data drives many conservation and management applications, it becomes imperative to identify economical and informative sampling designs. Therefore, we evaluated abundance estimates generated from grid and targeted sampling designs using simulations based on geographic positioning system (GPS) data from 42 Alaskan brown bears (Ursus arctos). Migratory salmon drew brown bears from the wider landscape, concentrating them at anadromous streams. This provided a scenario for testing the targeted approach. Grid and targeted sampling varied by trap amount, location (traps placed randomly, systematically or by expert opinion), and traps stationary or moved between capture sessions. We began by identifying when to sample, and if bears had equal probability of capture. We compared abundance estimates against seven criteria: bias, precision, accuracy, effort, plus encounter rates, and probabilities of capture and recapture. One grid (49 km2 cells) and one targeted configuration provided the most accurate results. Both placed traps by expert opinion and moved traps between capture sessions, which

  18. Quantifying the Impoverishing Effects of Purchasing Medicines: A Cross-Country Comparison of the Affordability of Medicines in the Developing World

    OpenAIRE

    Laurens M Niëns; Alexandra Cameron; Ellen Van de Poel; Margaret Ewen; Werner B.F. Brouwer; Richard Laing

    2010-01-01

    Editors' Summary Background In recent years, the international community has prioritized access to essential medicines, which has required focusing on the accessibility, availability, quality, and affordability of life-saving medicines and the development of appropriate data and research agendas to measure these components. Determining the degree of affordability of medicines, especially in low- and middle-income countries, is a complex process as the term affordability is vague. However, the...

  19. Designing a Situational Awareness Information Display: Adopting an Affordance-Based Framework to Amplify User Experience in Environmental Interaction Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingjie Victor Chen

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available User experience remains a crucial consideration when assessing the successfulness of information visualization systems. The theory of affordances provides a robust framework for user experience design. In this article, we demonstrate a design case that employs an affordance-based framework and evaluate the information visualization display design. SolarWheels is an interactive information visualization designed for large display walls in computer network control rooms to help cybersecurity analysts become aware of network status and emerging issues. Given the critical nature of this context, the status and performance of a computer network must be precisely monitored and remedied in real time. In this study, we consider various aspects of affordances in order to amplify the user experience via visualization and interaction design. SolarWheels visualizes the multilayer multidimensional computer network issues with a series of integrated circular visualizations inspired by the metaphor of the solar system. To amplify user interaction and experience, the system provides a three-zone physical interaction that allows multiple users to interact with the system. Users can read details at different levels depending on their distance from the display. An expert evaluation study, based on a four-layer affordance framework, was conducted to assess and improve the interactive visualization design.

  20. 24 CFR 1000.156 - Is affordable housing developed, acquired, or assisted under the IHBG program subject to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ..., acquired, or assisted under the IHBG program subject to limitations on cost or design standards? 1000.156... developed, acquired, or assisted under the IHBG program subject to limitations on cost or design standards... determination of moderate design applies to all housing assisted under an affordable housing activity,...

  1. Expanding Access to Housing Finance : Task 1. Business and Sustainability Plan for Affordable Housing Finance Pilot Projects

    OpenAIRE

    Merrill, Sally; Kayiira, Duncan; Kalema, William

    2009-01-01

    The objective of the First Initiative Project in Uganda is to expand the access of households to housing finance, especially modest and lower income households, by introducing new and innovative housing loan products, by introducing innovative loan products combined with affordable housing designs. The project has delivered two studies to the Bank of Uganda: i) a study addressing the finan...

  2. The Affordance of Blogging on Establishing Communities of Practice in a Pre-Service Elementary Teacher Education Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice, Julie; Anderson, Janice; Nichols, Kathleen; Gorham, Jennifer Jones; Wall, Steve; Boyd, Ashley; Altheiser, Leah

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the affordances of blogging on establishing communities of practice within an elementary teacher education program. Building upon the previous work with in-service teachers of Luehmann (2008), we examined pre-service teacher participation in an online community of practice where pre-service teachers, over the course of their…

  3. The Role of Affordances in Children's Learning Performance and Efficiency When Using Virtual Manipulative Mathematics Touch-Screen Apps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer-Packenham, Patricia S.; Bullock, Emma K.; Shumway, Jessica F.; Tucker, Stephen I.; Watts, Christina M.; Westenskow, Arla; Anderson-Pence, Katie L.; Maahs-Fladung, Cathy; Boyer-Thurgood, Jennifer; Gulkilik, Hilal; Jordan, Kerry

    2016-01-01

    This paper focuses on understanding the role that affordances played in children's learning performance and efficiency during clinical interviews of their interactions with mathematics apps on touch-screen devices. One hundred children, ages 3 to 8, each used six different virtual manipulative mathematics apps during 30-40-min interviews. The…

  4. Affordance of Participation Rights for Children in Home-Based Education and Care: An Interactive Process Model of Participation--2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layland, Judy

    2010-01-01

    Recent models relating to the affordance of children's participation rights, based on articles 12 and 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights Of the Child (1989), have focused on the role of and strategies used by the adults working with children ("Children and Society" 10, 2001: 107-117; "Children and Society" 20, 2006: 209-222). Whilst…

  5. Enhancing Student Engagement through the Affordances of Mobile Technology: A 21st Century Learning Perspective on Realistic Mathematics Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bray, Aibhín; Tangney, Brendan

    2016-01-01

    Several recent curriculum reforms aim to address the shortfalls traditionally associated with mathematics education through increased emphasis on higher-order-thinking and collaborative skills. Some stakeholders, such as the US National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the UK Joint Mathematical Council, advocate harnessing the affordances of…

  6. Language and Content "Integration": The Affordances of Additional Languages as a Tool within a Single Curriculum Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Russell

    2016-01-01

    "Language across the curriculum" has been pivotal in establishing a knowledge base on the role of language for accessing opportunities afforded by the curriculum. Yet, the ubiquity of language "within" all facets of human activity--not least of all the more abstract domains of thinking and relating with others--can easily…

  7. A community for grieving: affordances of social media for support of bereaved parents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segerstad, Ylva Hård Af; Kasperowski, Dick

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this paper was to study bereaved parents' use of a closed peer grief support community on Facebook and the features of the community that are important to them. The death of a child is an uncomfortable subject in most contemporary societies. This limits the exploration of experiences and possibilities for coping with grief. However, with the introduction of social media, this has changed. Theoretical perspectives on parental grief recognizing the importance of continued relational bonds with the lost child are used, together with the ontological assumption that social media enhance the dissolving of private/public and time/space. This study is based on questionnaire, interviews, and content from the closed peer grief support community, to which the research team has insider access. The community encompasses a diverse range of experiences and stages of grief, independent of the time elapsed since the loss of a child. Bereavement of children of all ages and from all conceivable causes of death is distributed among the members. The results show how the affordances of social media become vital resources for coping with grief in ways not available previously, comprising aspects of the closed nature of the group, shared experiences, time, and accessibility.

  8. CASSAVA (Manihot esculenta crantz: AN AFFORDABLE ENERGY SOURCE IN DAIRY RATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F.R., ANJOS

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The current paper explores the evidence that exists on the potential use of cassava plant (Manihot esculenta Crantz as an energy source for dairy cattle. Several studies have proven cassava roots, leaves and processing residues to be an important ruminant animal feed resource. Cassava root chip and meal are a potentially good rumen fermentable energy for dairy cows in the tropics. The vegetative parts of cassava are considered to be wastes since human beings grow cassava for its tubers. Feeding trials with cattle have shown cassava hay to have a dry matter intake levels DMI of around 3.2% of BW and a digestibility (71%. The hay also contains tannin-protein complexes that may be a good source of rumen un-degradable protein that will be available to the animal post-ruminally. It has also be shown that supplementing 1-2 kg/head/day of cassava to dairy cattle may go a long way in reducing feeding costs and significantly increasing milk quality and quantity produced. Cassava hay was also noted to be anthelminthic and therapeutic since it contains condensed tannins. Condensed tannins have been proven to reduce gastrointestinal nematodes. Use of cassava as a substitute of maize in dairy rations can significantly lower the feed costs in smallholder dairy farms in cassava producing countries like Mozambique. It was concluded that cassava is potentially an affordable substitute for conventional energy source for small scale dairy farmers.

  9. Perception of Affordance during Short-Term Exposure to Weightlessness in Parabolic Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourrelly, Aurore; McIntyre, Joseph; Morio, Cédric; Despretz, Pascal; Luyat, Marion

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the role of the visual eye-height (VEH) in the perception of affordance during short-term exposure to weightlessness. Sixteen participants were tested during parabolic flight (0g) and on the ground (1g). Participants looked at a laptop showing a room in which a doorway-like aperture was presented. They were asked to adjust the opening of the virtual doorway until it was perceived to be just wide enough to pass through (i.e., the critical aperture). We manipulated VEH by raising the level of the floor in the visual room by 25 cm. The results showed effects of VEH and of gravity on the perceived critical aperture. When VEH was reduced (i.e., when the floor was raised), the critical aperture diminished, suggesting that widths relative to the body were perceived to be larger. The critical aperture was also lower in 0g, for a given VEH, suggesting that participants perceived apertures to be wider or themselves to be smaller in weightlessness, as compared to normal gravity. However, weightlessness also had an effect on the subjective level of the eyes projected into the visual scene. Thus, setting the critical aperture as a fixed percentage of the subjective visual eye-height remains a viable hypothesis to explain how human observers judge visual scenes in terms of potential for action or “affordances”. PMID:27097218

  10. Benefits of High-Intensity Intensive Care Unit Physician Staffing under the Affordable Care Act

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sachin Logani

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama, with its value-based purchasing program, is designed to link payment to quality processes and outcomes. Treatment of critically ill patients represents nearly 1% of the gross domestic product and 25% of a typical hospital budget. Data suggest that high-intensity staffing patterns in the intensive care unit (ICU are associated with cost savings and improved outcomes. We evaluate the literature investigating the cost-effectiveness and clinical outcomes of high-intensity ICU physician staffing as recommended by The Leapfrog Group (a consortium of companies that purchase health care for their employees and identify ways to overcome barriers to nationwide implementation of these standards. Hospitals that have implemented the Leapfrog initiative have demonstrated reductions in mortality and length of stay and increased cost savings. High-intensity staffing models appear to be an immediate cost-effective way for hospitals to meet the challenges of health care reform.

  11. Piloting the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria: what will success look like?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamey, Gavin; Schäferhoff, Marco; Montagu, Dominic

    2012-06-01

    The Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria is an innovative financing mechanism, managed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This initiative aims to increase the use of artemisinin-based combination therapies for treating malaria. A pilot is underway in eight countries to determine whether the mechanism reduces the consumer price of these drugs and increases their availability in public and private outlets, their market share and their use. To evaluate the pilot, an analysis was done to estimate predetermined "benchmarks" of success at 1 and 2 years. The analysis used a mixed-methods approach, triangulating data from a literature review with information from 33 interviews with experts. A sensitivity analysis and other methods were used to verify the results. Benchmarks used to determine success include an increase in availability of artemisinin-based combination therapies of 40 percentage points from baseline, and an increase in their use of 10-15 percentage points from baseline at year 2. These benchmarks were based on evidence that national public health programmes aimed at increasing the use of a specific health commodity in developing countries have generally achieved only modest changes in use within a 2-year time frame. Evaluation should also take individual country contexts into account. PMID:22690035

  12. Risk transfer formula for individual and small group markets under the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Gregory C; Bachofer, Henry; Pearlman, Andrew; Kautter, John; Hunter, Elizabeth; Miller, Daniel; Keenan, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act provides for a program of risk adjustment in the individual and small group health insurance 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. The risk adjustment methodology includes the risk adjustment model and the risk transfer formula. This article is the third of three in this issue of the Medicare & Medicaid Research Review that describe the ACA risk adjustment methodology and focuses on the risk transfer formula. In our first companion article, we discussed the key issues and choices in developing the methodology. In our second companion paper, we described the risk adjustment model that is used to calculate risk scores. In this article we present the risk transfer formula. We first describe how the plan risk score is combined with factors for the plan allowable premium rating, actuarial value, induced demand, geographic cost, and the statewide average premium in a formula that calculates transfers among plans. We then show how each plan factor is determined, as well as how the factors relate to each other in the risk transfer formula. The goal of risk transfers is to offset the effects of risk selection on plan costs while preserving premium differences due to factors such as actuarial value differences. Illustrative numerical simulations show the risk transfer formula operating as anticipated in hypothetical scenarios. PMID:25352994

  13. Evaluation of Affordable Prototype Houses at Two Levels of Energy Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hendron, R.; Barker, G.; Hancock, E.; Reeves, P.

    2006-10-01

    Two high performance prototype houses were built in Carbondale, Colorado, as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America (BA) Program. Each prototype was a 1256 ft2 (117 m2), 1-story, 3-bedroom house, and met the local requirements for affordable housing. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) performed short-term field testing and DOE-2.2 simulations in support of this project at the end of December 2004. We also installed long-term monitoring equipment in one of the houses, and are currently tracking the performance of key building systems under occupied conditions. One of the houses (designated H1) included a package of cost-effective energy efficiency features that placed it well above the Energy Star level, targeting a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 88-89. The other (designated H2) was a BA research house, targeting a HERS score of 94-95, and 45% whole-house energy savings compared to the BA Benchmark. Preliminary results from the field evaluation indicate that the energy savings for both houses will exceed the design targets established for the project, although the performance of certain building systems, including the ventilation and foundation systems, leave some room for improvement.

  14. Bringing Back the Social Affordances of the Paper Memo to Aerospace Systems Engineering Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidoff, Scott; Holloway, Alexandra

    2014-01-01

    Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is a relatively new field that brings together the interdisciplinary study of technological components of a project (systems engineering) with a model-based ontology to express the hierarchical and behavioral relationships between the components (computational modeling). Despite the compelling promises of the benefits of MBSE, such as improved communication and productivity due to an underlying language and data model, we observed hesitation to its adoption at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. To investigate, we conducted a six-month ethnographic field investigation and needs validation with 19 systems engineers. This paper contributes our observations of a generational shift in one of JPL's core technologies. We report on a cultural misunderstanding between communities of practice that bolsters the existing technology drag. Given the high cost of failure, we springboard our observations into a design hypothesis - an intervention that blends the social affordances of the narrative-based work flow with the rich technological advantages of explicit data references and relationships of the model-based approach. We provide a design rationale, and the results of our evaluation.

  15. Humanoid infers Archimedes' principle: understanding physical relations and object affordances through cumulative learning experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, Ajaz Ahmad; Mohan, Vishwanathan; Sandini, Giulio; Morasso, Pietro

    2016-07-01

    Emerging studies indicate that several species such as corvids, apes and children solve 'The Crow and the Pitcher' task (from Aesop's Fables) in diverse conditions. Hidden beneath this fascinating paradigm is a fundamental question: by cumulatively interacting with different objects, how can an agent abstract the underlying cause-effect relations to predict and creatively exploit potential affordances of novel objects in the context of sought goals? Re-enacting this Aesop's Fable task on a humanoid within an open-ended 'learning-prediction-abstraction' loop, we address this problem and (i) present a brain-guided neural framework that emulates rapid one-shot encoding of ongoing experiences into a long-term memory and (ii) propose four task-agnostic learning rules (elimination, growth, uncertainty and status quo) that correlate predictions from remembered past experiences with the unfolding present situation to gradually abstract the underlying causal relations. Driven by the proposed architecture, the ensuing robot behaviours illustrated causal learning and anticipation similar to natural agents. Results further demonstrate that by cumulatively interacting with few objects, the predictions of the robot in case of novel objects converge close to the physical law, i.e. the Archimedes principle: this being independent of both the objects explored during learning and the order of their cumulative exploration. PMID:27466440

  16. New Policies to Facilitate Affordable Housing in Central and Eastern Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Amann

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Affordable housing construction is a lagging sector in most of the CEE countries. Recent increases in housing production have mainly served the top end of the market. In some countries, policy schemes for public housing have been established. However, actual construction of housing for moderate-income households has yet to take place. Wolfgang Amann describes the approach of the Austria-based IIBW – Institute for Real Estate, Construction and Housing aimed at rectifying this unsatisfactory situation. The framework for a Public-Private Partnership (PPP model in housing will be established, with two parallel strategies. First, a legal framework will be established to allow for a new business model of PPP housing. Second, financing tools will be implemented, similar to structured financing, implementing the different layers of sources. This approach refers to lessons learned in many Western European countries, e.g., the Netherlands and Austria, where a Third Sector in housing contributes substantially to good housing provision for large parts of the population. IIBW is currently implementing this new approach in several CEE countries, including Romania, Montenegro and Albania. 

  17. The Affordable Care Act and Cancer Stage at Diagnosis Among Young Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xuesong; Zang Xiong, Ka; Kramer, Michael R; Jemal, Ahmedin

    2016-09-01

    The Affordable Care Act-dependent coverage expansion provision implemented in 2010 allows young adults to be covered under their parents' health insurance until age 26 years, and millions of young adults have gained insurance as a result. The impact of this policy on cancer patients has yet to be determined. Using 2007 to 2012 data from 18 registries of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, comparing cancer patients age 19 to 25 years to a control group of patients age 26 to 34 years who were not affected by the provision, we observed a 2.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.7 to 3.4) percentage point decrease in uninsured rate and a 2.7 (95% CI = 0.6 to 4.8) percentage point increase in diagnosis at stage I disease for patients age 19-25 years. Further analyses by specific cancer site revealed that the statistically significant shifts were confined to carcinoma of cervix (21.2, 95% CI = 9.6 to 32.7 percentage points) and osseous and chondromatous neoplasms (14.4, 95% CI = 0.3 to 28.5 percentage points), which are detectable by either screening or clinical manifestation. These early observations suggest the policy has had positive benefits in cancer outcomes. PMID:27140956

  18. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: the victory of unorthodox lawmaking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaussier, Anne-Laure

    2012-10-01

    The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a major legislative achievement of the 111th Congress. This law structurally reforms the US health care system by encouraging universal health care coverage through regulated competition among private insurance companies. When looking at the process for reform, what strikes an observer of US health care policy in the first place is that the Democratic majority was able to enact something in a political field characterized by strong resistance to change. This article builds on that observation. Arguments concentrate on the legislative process of the reform and support the idea that it may be partly explained by considering an evolution of US legislative institutions, mostly in the sense of a more centralized legislative process. Based on approximately one hundred semidirected interviews, I argue that the Democratic majority, building on lessons from both President Bill Clinton's health care reform attempt and the Republicans' strategy of using strong congressional leadership to pass social reforms, was able to overcome institutional constraints that have long prevented comprehensive change. A more centralized legislative process, which has been described as "unorthodox lawmaking," enabled the Democratic leadership to overcome multiple institutional and political veto players. PMID:22700946

  19. Humanoid infers Archimedes' principle: understanding physical relations and object affordances through cumulative learning experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Emerging studies indicate that several species such as corvids, apes and children solve ‘The Crow and the Pitcher’ task (from Aesop's Fables) in diverse conditions. Hidden beneath this fascinating paradigm is a fundamental question: by cumulatively interacting with different objects, how can an agent abstract the underlying cause–effect relations to predict and creatively exploit potential affordances of novel objects in the context of sought goals? Re-enacting this Aesop's Fable task on a humanoid within an open-ended ‘learning–prediction–abstraction’ loop, we address this problem and (i) present a brain-guided neural framework that emulates rapid one-shot encoding of ongoing experiences into a long-term memory and (ii) propose four task-agnostic learning rules (elimination, growth, uncertainty and status quo) that correlate predictions from remembered past experiences with the unfolding present situation to gradually abstract the underlying causal relations. Driven by the proposed architecture, the ensuing robot behaviours illustrated causal learning and anticipation similar to natural agents. Results further demonstrate that by cumulatively interacting with few objects, the predictions of the robot in case of novel objects converge close to the physical law, i.e. the Archimedes principle: this being independent of both the objects explored during learning and the order of their cumulative exploration. PMID:27466440

  20. Affordable Cold Climate Infill Housing with Hybrid Insulation Approach, Wyandotte, Michigan (Fact Sheet)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Metzger, C.; Lukachko, A.; Grin, A.; Bergey, D.

    2013-11-01

    Even builders who are relatively new to energy-efficient construction can consistently reach a target whole house airtightness of 1.5 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals (ACH50) with high R-value enclosures that use a hybrid insulation approach. The City of Wyandotte, Michigan, started a construction program in 2010 to build affordable, energy-efficient homes on lots in existing neighborhoods. A goal of the program was to engage local builders in energy-efficient construction and be able to deliver the new houses for less than $100/ft2. By the end of 2012, approximately 25 new houses were built by five local builders under this program. To help builders consistently achieve the airtightness target, a local architect worked with researchers from Building Science Corporation, a U.S. Department of Energy Building America team, to develop a technology specification with several key pieces. A high R-value wall and roof assembly made use of 2 ?6 advanced framing and a hybrid insulation approach that included insulating sheathing to control thermal bridging and closed cell spray polyurethane foam insulation (ccSPF) for its airtightness and vapor control benefits. This approach allows the air barrier to be completed and tested before any finishing work occurs, ensuring that problems are spotted and corrected early in the construction process.

  1. Building America Case Study: Demonstration House of Cold-Climate Solutions for Affordable Housing, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2016-05-01

    Single family homes in urban areas that are available for renovation by nonprofit developers are often in rough shape (1MM to 2MM nationally). Budgeting has historically focused on improving homes to meet basic housing standards. A rising interest in the long-term impact of homeownership has introduced the need to balance basic needs with home performance. This demonstration project aims to help nonprofit affordable housing developers become familiar with three Building America performance measures, the installation processes, and impacts and benefits of each. A story and a half home in North Minneapolis, MN was presented by Urban Homeworks our local nonprofit partner. The team helped them install three researched upgrade measures: exterior roof insulation or 'overcoat,' exterior foundation insulation, or 'excavationless', and a combined space and water heating HVAC system or 'combi'. To maximize efficiency of application and to address budget issues, the Team worked with Urban Homeworks to identify ways to use volunteers and construction training programs to install the measures. An open invitation to visit the job site was extended to other nonprofit developers and industry partners to encourage dialog about the systems during live installation.

  2. Budget impact and cost-effectiveness: can we afford precision medicine in oncology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doble, Brett

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade there have been remarkable advancements in the understanding of the molecular underpinnings of malignancy. Methods of testing capable of elucidating patients' molecular profiles are now readily available and there is an increased desire to incorporate the information derived from such tests into treatment selection for cancer patients. This has led to more appropriate application of existing treatments as well as the development of a number of innovative and highly effective treatments or what is known collectively as precision medicine. The impact that precision medicine will have on health outcomes is uncertain, as are the costs it will incur. There is, therefore, a need to develop economic evidence and appropriate methods of evaluation to support its implementation to ensure the resources allocated to these approaches are affordable and offer value for money. The market for precision medicine in oncology continues to rapidly expand, placing an increased pressure on reimbursement decision-makers to consider the value and opportunity cost of funding such approaches to care. The benefits of molecular testing can be complex and difficult to evaluate given currently available economic methods, potentially causing a distorted appreciation of their value. Funding decisions of precision medicine will also have far-reaching implications, requiring the consideration of both patient and public perspectives in decision-making. Recommendations to improve the value proposition of precision medicine are, therefore, provided with the hopes of facilitating a better understanding of its impact on outcomes and the overall health budget. PMID:27426412

  3. Motivation and possibilities of affordable low-frequency radio interferometry in space

    CERN Document Server

    Janhunen, P; Karlsson, R; Griessmeier, J M

    2003-01-01

    The motivation to build spaceborne interferometric arrays for low-frequency radio astronomy is widely recognised because frequencies below the ionospheric cutoff are inaccessible for ground-based radio telescopes. We discuss the theoretical possibilities to use low-frequency spacecraft arrays to detect signals from magnetized extrasolar planets, including earthlike ones. A major uncertainty that prohibits us from knowing if it is possible to detect exoplanet cyclotron maser signals is the incomplete knowledge of the properties of the interstellar plasma. We also present some ideas of how to construct efficient and affordable space-based radio telescopes. We discuss two possibilities, a log-periodic antenna in the spin plane and a two-spacecraft concept where one spacecraft holds a large parabolic wire mesh reflector and the other one contains the receiver. In the latter case, the effective area could be of the order of 1 km$^2$. The purpose of the paper is to stress once more the importance of spaceborne low-...

  4. Disparities of Food Availability and Affordability within Convenience Stores in Bexar County, Texas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Lee Smith

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The American Diabetes Association (ADA recommends healthful food choices; however, some geographic areas are limited in the types of foods they offer. Little is known about the role of convenience stores as viable channels to provide healthier foods in our “grab and go” society. The purposes of this study were to (1 identify foods offered within convenience stores located in two Bexar County, Texas, ZIP Codes and (2 compare the availability and cost of ADA-recommended foods including beverages, produce, grains, and oils/fats. Data were analyzed from 28 convenience store audits performed in two sociodemographically diverse ZIP Codes in Bexar County, Texas. Chi-squared tests were used to compare food availability, and t-tests were used to compare food cost in convenience stores between ZIP Codes. A significantly larger proportion of convenience stores in more affluent areas offered bananas (χ2=4.17, P=0.003, whole grain bread (χ2=8.33, P=0.004, and baked potato chips (χ2=13.68, P<0.001. On average, the price of diet cola (t=−2.12, P=0.044 and certain produce items (e.g., bananas, oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumber was significantly higher within convenience stores in more affluent areas. Convenience stores can play an important role to positively shape a community’s food environment by stocking healthier foods at affordable prices.

  5. ICT-Enabled Time-Critical Clinical Practices: Examining the Affordances of an Information Processing Solution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonard Hoon

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present a case study of a decision-support system deployment at The Alfred Hospital, in Melbourne, Australia. This work outlines Information and Communications Technology (ICT affordances and their actualisations in time-critical clinical practices to enable better information processing. From our study findings, we present a stage-wise model describing the role played by ICT in the context of the Trauma Centre practices. This addresses a knowledge gap surrounding the role and impact of ICT in the delivery of quality improvements to processes and culture in time-critical environments, amid increasing expenditure on ICT globally. Our model has implications for research and practice, such that we observe for the first time how information standards, synergy and renewal are developed between the system and its users in order to reduce error rates in the healthcare context. Through the study findings, we demonstrate that healthcare quality can be further refined as ICT allows for knowledge dissemination and informs existing practices.

  6. New York City Taxi Drivers' Knowledge and Perceptions of the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gany, Francesca; Flores, Cristina; Winkel, Gary; Alam, Ishtiaq; Genoff, Margaux; Leng, Jennifer

    2015-12-01

    This study was conducted to assess New York City taxi drivers' knowledge and perceptions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A cross-sectional street-intercept study design was used to assess drivers' knowledge about the ACA. A 146-item questionnaire was administered from September 12 to December 6, 2013 to 175 yellow taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers. 91 % of drivers were foreign-born; 50 % were uninsured. Mean knowledge about the ACA was quite low; 78 % of the sample either knew nothing or only a little bit about the ACA. 77 % wanted more information about the ACA. Greater English proficiency, more years driving a taxi, and knowledge of having or not having a pre-existing health condition (vs. not knowing) were related to higher ACA knowledge levels. Knowledge of a pre-existing condition (whether they had one or not) compared to those who lacked such knowledge was also an important predictor of the perception of whether the ACA would have a positive impact. To facilitate enrollment, efforts should focus on occupationally-focused initiatives that educate drivers at their places of work and leisure, to raise the overall knowledge levels and enrollment of the community. PMID:25976215

  7. The way to a triple A energy sector. Available, Affordable and Acceptable

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The current debate around energy revolves around the famous three A's: Availability, Affordability and Acceptability. Can we have energy at an acceptable price while achieving the fervently wished for objective of a low or even zero carbon energy world? We assess developments and trends that have been observed in the energy world under the encompassing theme that is founded on the three As. This leads us to the following research question: Working towards a low carbon energy sector, and at the same time balancing societal values, market functioning and economic viability in this process: is this a real challenge or simply feasible? We address this question in the context of developments in the energy world to date, which means that it is also a review of the As-Is situation. In addition to this we present an adaptation of the energy value chain model that now extends into an energy value web model, enabling assessment of new cross relations in the energy world. The countless cross relations also bring about a substantial increase in transactions, and possibly also an increase in their associated costs that are mainly driven by IT (Information Technology)

  8. Panoramic, Macro and Micro Multispectral Imaging: An Affordable System for Mapping Pigments on Artworks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonino Cosentino

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Multispectral imaging systems are used in art examinations to map and identify pigments, binders and areas of retouching. A monochromatic camera is combined with an appropriate wavelength selection system and acquires a variable number of spectral images of a scene. These images are then stacked into a reflectance imaging cube to reconstruct reflectance spectra from each of the images’ pixels. This paper presents an affordable multispectral imaging system composed of a monochromatic CCD camera and a set of only 12 interference filters for mapping pigments on works of art and for the tentative identification of such pigments. This work demonstrates the versatility of this set-up, a versatility enabling it to be applied to different tasks, involving examination and documentation of objects of varying size. Use of this multispectral camera for both panoramic and macro photography is discussed, together with the possibilities facilitated from the coupling of the system to a stereomicroscope and a compound microscope. This system is of particular interest for the cultural heritage sector because of its hardware simplicity and acquisition speed, as well as its lightness and small dimensions.

  9. Policy Dilemmas in Latino Health Care and Implementation of the Affordable Care Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Alexander N.; Rodriguez, Hector P.; Bustamante, Arturo Vargas

    2016-01-01

    The changing Latino demographic in the United States presents a number of challenges to health care policy makers, clinicians, organizations, and other stakeholders. Studies have demonstrated that Latinos tend to have worse patterns of access to, and utilization of, health care than other ethnic and racial groups. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 may ameliorate some of these disparities. However, even with the ACA, it is expected that Latinos will continue to have problems accessing and using high-quality health care, especially in states that are not expanding Medicaid eligibility as provided by the ACA. We identify four current policy dilemmas relevant to Latinos’ health and ACA implementation: (a) the need to extend coverage to the undocumented; (b) the growth of Latino populations in states with limited insurance expansion; (c) demands on public and private systems of care; and (d) the need to increase the number of Latino physicians while increasing the direct patient-care responsibilities of nonphysician Latino health care workers. PMID:25581154

  10. A systems thinking approach to analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, John C

    2015-01-01

    The public health community is challenged with understanding the many complexities presented by systems thinking and its applications in systems modeling. The model presented encompasses multiple variables needed (eg, model building) for the construction of a conceptual system model of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The model tracks the ACA from inception, through passage, March 2010, to its current state. Justification for the need to reform the current health care system rests, in part, on the heels of social justice. Proponents of the ACA have long argued that health reform was needed by the millions of uninsured person who suffered from health disparities, took little advantage of health prevention advice, and faced issues of access to providers as well as insurers. In addition the ACA seeks to address our uncontrollable spending on health care delivery. This article highlights the ACA from a systems perspective. The conceptual model presented encompasses both health reform variables (eg, health care provisions, key legislative components, system environment) and system variables (eg, inputs, outputs, feedback, and throughput) needed to understand current health care reform efforts from a systems perspective. The model presented shows how the interrelationships and interconnections of elements of a system come together to achieve its purpose or goal. PMID:25414950

  11. Health Education Specialists' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strong, Jessica; Hanson, Carl L; Magnusson, Brianna; Neiger, Brad

    2016-03-01

    The changing landscape of health care as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) may provide new opportunities for health education specialists (HES). The purpose of this study was to survey HES in the United States on their knowledge and attitudes of the ACA and assess their perceptions of job growth under the law. A random sample of 220 (36% response rate) certified HES completed a 53-item cross sectional survey administered online through Qualtrics. Findings were compared to public opinion on health care reform. HES are highly favorable of the law (70%) compared to the general public (23%). A total of 85% of respondents were able to list a provision of the ACA, and most (81%) thought the ACA would be successful at increasing insured Americans. Over half (64.6%) believe job opportunities will increase. Those who viewed the law favorably were significantly more likely to score better on a knowledge scale related to the ACA. HES understand publicized provisions but are uncertain about common myths and specific provisions related to Title IV, "Prevention of Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health." Directed and continuing education to HES regarding the ACA is warranted. PMID:26272884

  12. Diagnostics and Training of Affordance Perception in Healthy Young Adults-Implications for Post-Stroke Neurorehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randerath, Jennifer; Frey, Scott H

    2015-01-01

    Affordance perception is critical to adaptive behavior. It comprises the ability to evaluate whether the environment and the actor's capabilities enable particular actions. It remains unclear how brain damage and its behavioral sequela impact this ability. Two affordance based judgment tasks were applied in healthy young adults that were adapted for prospective diagnostic purposes in patients. In addition to the commonly analyzed error-rate we included response times and accuracy measures based on a detection theory approach. Moreover, a manipulation was added intended to determine the effectiveness of feedback-based learning. We further applied control tasks that consider whether errors in affordance perception can be explained by errors in perception. Participants responded yes or no to decide prospectively if a given setting would afford a particular action. In study1, 27 participants judged whether their hand would fit through a given aperture (adapted from Ishak et al., 2008). In study2, 19 participants judged whether objects are reachable [adapted from Gabbard et al. (2005)]. For both studies two sessions were administered. In the first session all participants solved the judgment-task without executing the action. In the second session (feedback manipulation), half of the participants were allowed to first judge and then perform the task for each trial (reach forward and touch the object, or fitting the hand into the aperture). Judgments were slowest and errors most frequent for openings or distances close to the individual's actual physical limits. With more extreme settings accuracy increased and responses became faster. Importantly, we found an advantageous effect of feedback on performance in both tasks suggesting that affordance perception is rapidly trainable. Further, the aperture task demonstrated that feedback experienced with one hand can transfer to the other. This may have important implications for rehabilitation. PMID:26778995

  13. Low utilisation of diabetes medicines in Iran, despite their affordability (2000–2012): a time-series and benchmarking study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarayani, Amir; Rashidian, Arash; Gholami, Kheirollah

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Diabetes is a major public health concern worldwide, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Limited data exist on the status of access to diabetes medicines in LMICs. We assessed the utilisation and affordability of diabetes medicines in Iran as a middle-income country. Design We used a retrospective time-series design (2000–2012) and assessed national diabetes medicines’ utilisation using pharmaceuticals wholesale data. Methods We calculated defined daily dose consumptions per population days (DDDs/1000 inhabitants/day; DIDs) indicator. Findings were benchmarked with data from Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. We also employed Drug Utilization-90% (DU-90) method to compare DU-90s with the Essential Medicines List published by the WHO. We measured affordability using number of minimum daily wage required to purchase a treatment course for 1 month. Results Diabetes medicines’ consumption increased from 4.47 to 33.54 DIDs. The benchmarking showed that medicines’ utilisation in Iran in 2011 was only 54% of the median DIDs of 22 OECD countries. Oral hypoglycaemic agents consisted over 80% of use throughout the study period. Regular and isophane insulin (NPH), glibenclamide, metformin and gliclazide were the DU-90 drugs in 2012. Metformin, glibenclamide and regular/NPH insulin combination therapy were affordable throughout the study period (∼0.4, ∼0.1, ∼0.3 of minimum daily wage, respectively). While the affordability of novel insulin preparations improved over time, they were still unaffordable in 2012. Conclusions The utilisation of diabetes medicines was relatively low, perhaps due to underdiagnosis and inadequate management of patients with diabetes. This had occurred despite affordability of essential diabetes medicines in Iran. Appropriate policies are required to address the underutilisation of diabetes medicines in Iran. PMID:25324322

  14. The Enactive Approach to Architectural Experience: A Neurophysiological Perspective on Embodiment, Motivation, and Affordances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jelić, Andrea; Tieri, Gaetano; De Matteis, Federico; Babiloni, Fabio; Vecchiato, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    Over the last few years, the efforts to reveal through neuroscientific lens the relations between the mind, body, and built environment have set a promising direction of using neuroscience for architecture. However, little has been achieved thus far in developing a systematic account that could be employed for interpreting current results and providing a consistent framework for subsequent scientific experimentation. In this context, the enactive perspective is proposed as a guide to studying architectural experience for two key reasons. Firstly, the enactive approach is specifically selected for its capacity to account for the profound connectedness of the organism and the world in an active and dynamic relationship, which is primarily shaped by the features of the body. Thus, particular emphasis is placed on the issues of embodiment and motivational factors as underlying constituents of the body-architecture interactions. Moreover, enactive understanding of the relational coupling between body schema and affordances of architectural spaces singles out the two-way bodily communication between architecture and its inhabitants, which can be also explored in immersive virtual reality settings. Secondly, enactivism has a strong foothold in phenomenological thinking that corresponds to the existing phenomenological discourse in architectural theory and qualitative design approaches. In this way, the enactive approach acknowledges the available common ground between neuroscience and architecture and thus allows a more accurate definition of investigative goals. Accordingly, the outlined model of architectural subject in enactive terms—that is, a model of a human being as embodied, enactive, and situated agent, is proposed as a basis of neuroscientific and phenomenological interpretation of architectural experience. PMID:27065937

  15. Affordable nutrient solutions for improved food security as evidenced by crop trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Marijn; See, Linda; You, Liangzhi; Balkovič, Juraj; Fritz, Steffen; Khabarov, Nikolay; Obersteiner, Michael; Wood, Stanley

    2013-01-01

    The continuing depletion of nutrients from agricultural soils in Sub-Saharan African is accompanied by a lack of substantial progress in crop yield improvement. In this paper we investigate yield gaps for corn under two scenarios: a micro-dosing scenario with marginal increases in nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) of 10 kg ha(-1) and a larger yet still conservative scenario with proposed N and P applications of 80 and 20 kg ha(-1) respectively. The yield gaps are calculated from a database of historical FAO crop fertilizer trials at 1358 locations for Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Our approach allows connecting experimental field scale data with continental policy recommendations. Two critical findings emerged from the analysis. The first is the degree to which P limits increases in corn yields. For example, under a micro-dosing scenario, in Africa, the addition of small amounts of N alone resulted in mean yield increases of 8% while the addition of only P increased mean yields by 26%, with implications for designing better balanced fertilizer distribution schemes. The second finding was the relatively large amount of yield increase possible for a small, yet affordable amount of fertilizer application. Using African and South American fertilizer prices we show that the level of investment needed to achieve these results is considerably less than 1% of Agricultural GDP for both a micro-dosing scenario and for the scenario involving higher yet still conservative fertilizer application rates. In the latter scenario realistic mean yield increases ranged between 28 to 85% in South America and 71 to 190% in Africa (mean plus one standard deviation). External investment in this low technology solution has the potential to kick start development and could complement other interventions such as better crop varieties and improved economic instruments to support farmers. PMID:23565186

  16. Interrelation of Preventive Care Benefits and Shared Costs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Dixon

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, access to insurance and coverage of preventive care services has been expanded. By removing the barrier of shared costs for preventive care, it is expected that an increase in utilization of preventive care services will reduce the cost of chronic diseases. Early detection and treatment is anticipated to be less costly than treatment at full onset of chronic conditions. One concern of early detection of disease is the cost to treat. In reality, the confluence of early detection may result in greater overall expenditures. Even with improved access to preventive care benefits, cost-sharing of other health services remains a major component of insurance plans. In order to treat identified conditions or diseases, cost-sharing comes into play. With the greater adoption of cost-sharing insurance plans, expenditures on the part of enrollee are anticipated to rise. Once the healthcare recipients realize the implication of early identification and resultant treatment costs, enrollment in preventive care may decline. Healthcare legislation and regulation should consider the full spectrum of care and the microeconomic costs associated with preventive treatment. Although the system at large may not realize the immediate impact, behavioral shifts on the part of healthcare consumers may alter healthcare. Rather than the current status quo of treating presenting conditions, preventive treatment is largely anticipated to require more resources and may impact the consumer’s financial capacity. This report will explore how these two concepts are co-dependent, and highlight the need for continued reform.

  17. Analysis on the consumer disposition to afford the cost of food processed by ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The concept of food quality, in the consumer point of view, reflects the satisfaction of characteristics such as flavor, aroma, appearance, packaging and availability. Economic and social factors, such as cost and eating habits, generally, also influence the choice of a product. Irradiation is an effective technique in food preservation because it reduces the losses caused by natural physiological processes, either reducing or eliminating microorganisms, parasites and pests without causing any damage to the foods and, thus, making them safer to consumers. Nevertheless, there may be an increase in the cost of foods. Research indicates that practicality is already a deep-rooted feature of consumers. The price may be a limiting factor to the popularization of the irradiated product, although some consumers consider that, due to the avoidance of waste, the increased cost may be feasible. The objective of this study was to analyze the cost of using food irradiation technology and verify (a) whether consumers, when informed of the benefits in food safety, are willing to pay for this treatment and (b) how much they are willing to pay. The methodology consisted of a study on the economic feasibility of food irradiation technology by means of a systematic survey of the literature, in order to verify the cost of this process implementation and the increase in costs for the producer. Also, a survey was conducted in an Institution of Superior Education about the consumer's willingness to pay for this higher price. The study results indicate a rise in costs to the producer, ranging from $ 0.01 to U.S. $ 0.25 per pound; it was also found that 75% of the consumers surveyed are willing to pay more for irradiated food. From these results it was concluded that the higher the consumption power is, the greater the willingness to afford the additional cost irradiated foods have. (author)

  18. The enactive approach to architectural experience: a neurophysiological perspective on embodiment, motivation, and affordances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea eJelic

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Over the last few years, the efforts to reveal through neuroscientific lens the relations between the mind, body, and built environment have set a promising direction of using neuroscience for architecture. However, little has been achieved thus far in developing a systematic account that could be employed for interpreting current results and providing a consistent framework for subsequent scientific experimentation. In this context, the enactive perspective is proposed as a guide to studying architectural experience for two key reasons. Firstly, the enactive approach is specifically selected for its capacity to account for the profound connectedness of the organism and the world in an active and dynamic relationship, which is primarily shaped by the features of the body. Thus, particular emphasis is placed on the issues of embodiment and motivational factors as underlying constituents of the body-architecture interactions. Moreover, enactive understanding of the relational coupling between body schema and affordances of architectural spaces singles out the two-way bodily communication between architecture and its inhabitants, which can be also explored in immersive virtual reality settings. Secondly, enactivism has a strong foothold in phenomenological thinking that corresponds to the existing phenomenological discourse in architectural theory and qualitative design approaches. In this way, the enactive approach acknowledges the available common ground between neuroscience and architecture and thus allows a more accurate definition of investigative goals. Accordingly, the outlined model of architectural subject in enactive terms – that is, a model of a human being as embodied, enactive, and situated agent, is proposed as a basis of neuroscientific and phenomenological interpretation of architectural experience.

  19. An affordable compact humanoid robot for Autism Spectrum Disorder interventions in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickstein-Fischer, Laurie; Alexander, Elizabeth; Yan, Xiaoan; Su, Hao; Harrington, Kevin; Fischer, Gregory S

    2011-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder impacts an ever-increasing number of children. The disorder is marked by social functioning that is characterized by impairment in the use of nonverbal behaviors, failure to develop appropriate peer relationships and lack of social and emotional exchanges. Providing early intervention through the modality of play therapy has been effective in improving behavioral and social outcomes for children with autism. Interacting with humanoid robots that provide simple emotional response and interaction has been shown to improve the communication skills of autistic children. In particular, early intervention and continuous care provide significantly better outcomes. Currently, there are no robots capable of meeting these requirements that are both low-cost and available to families of autistic children for in-home use. This paper proposes the piloting the use of robotics as an improved diagnostic and early intervention tool for autistic children that is affordable, non-threatening, durable, and capable of interacting with an autistic child. This robot has the ability to track the child with its 3 degree of freedom (DOF) eyes and 3-DOF head, open and close its 1-DOF beak and 1-DOF each eyelids, raise its 1-DOF each wings, play sound, and record sound. These attributes will give it the ability to be used for the diagnosis and treatment of autism. As part of this project, the robot and the electronic and control software have been developed, and integrating semi-autonomous interaction, teleoperation from a remote healthcare provider and initiating trials with children in a local clinic are in progress. PMID:22255539

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

    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 teachers' NOS teaching and on improving their students' understanding of NOS, and investigated key features for designing a NOS teachers' guide. The design of the teachers' guide was based mainly on (1) criteria pertaining to educative curriculum materials, (2) previous research concerning teachers' guides as facilitators of science teachers, and (3) feedback from participants of NOS professional-development workshops. Our study sampled 10 teachers who implemented the NOS-curriculum material. Six of them (Group A) had NOS-learning experience, while the other four teachers (Group B) did not. Data sources included student outcomes on NOS, teachers' teaching performance of NOS instruction, an open-ended questionnaire, and transcripts of a focus-group interview. The results indicate that the teachers' guide enables teachers to perceive changes in their beliefs, knowledge, and intention with regard to integrating NOS into the curriculum. Group B exhibited NOS-teaching performance similar to that exhibited by Group A. Group B teachers are capable of improving students' understanding of NOS through the use of the guide. Three key features for designing NOS teachers' guides are: (1) explicitly indicating NOS teaching practice, (2) building pedagogical knowledge for NOS teaching, and (3) guiding teachers' reflection and learning.

  1. Perceived affordances and constraints regarding instructors' use of Peer Instruction: Implications for promoting instructional change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turpen, Chandra; Dancy, Melissa; Henderson, Charles

    2016-06-01

    [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Preparing and Supporting University Physics Educators.] In order to promote sustained and impactful educational transformation, it is essential for change agents to understand more about faculty perceptions associated with either adopting or not adopting a research-based instructional strategy (RBIS). In this paper, we use interviews with 35 physics faculty to examine barriers and affordances to the use of the research-based instructional strategy of Peer Instruction. We found that the most common reasons faculty give for aligning their instruction with Peer Instruction is that it is not lecture and they have had positive experiences with Peer Instruction. The most common reasons faculty give for not using Peer Instruction are concerns about the time it will take, the loss of content coverage, and having had bad experiences with it. Additionally, we found the perceived barriers to be very different depending on whether the interviewee was a user of Peer Instruction or not, with nonusers being more concerned with time and users being more concerned with implementation difficulties. It is important for change agents to understand and address concerns faculty have about implementing research-based instructional strategies. Based on these results we offer four recommendations for those interested in promoting educational transformation toward research-based instructional strategies: (1) do not waste a lot of time criticizing lecture-based instruction and convincing faculty of the value of research-based strategies (they are already dissatisfied with lecture), (2) understand and address concerns faculty have about implementing active learning techniques, (3) focus on supporting and encouraging faculty experiences with RBIS, (4) address concerns faculty new to RBIS have about the time and energy needed to change.

  2. Affordable and Lightweight High-Resolution X-ray Optics for Astronomical Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, W. W.; Biskach, M. P.; Bly, V. T.; Carter, J. M.; Chan, K. W.; Gaskin, J. A.; Hong, M.; Hohl, B. R.; Jones, W. D.; Kolodziejczak, J. J.

    2014-01-01

    Future x-ray astronomical missions require x-ray mirror assemblies that provide both high angular resolution and large photon collecting area. In addition, as x-ray astronomy undertakes more sensitive sky surveys, a large field of view is becoming increasingly important as well. Since implementation of these requirements must be carried out in broad political and economical contexts, any technology that meets these performance requirements must also be financially affordable and can be implemented on a reasonable schedule. In this paper we report on progress of an x-ray optics development program that has been designed to address all of these requirements. The program adopts the segmented optical design, thereby is capable of making both small and large mirror assemblies for missions of any size. This program has five technical elements: (1) fabrication of mirror substrates, (2) coating, (3) alignment, (4) bonding, and (5) mirror module systems engineering and testing. In the past year we have made progress in each of these five areas, advancing the angular resolution of mirror modules from 10.8 arc-seconds half-power diameter reported (HPD) a year ago to 8.3 arc-seconds now. These mirror modules have been subjected to and passed all environmental tests, including vibration, acoustic, and thermal vacuum. As such this technology is ready for implementing a mission that requires a 10-arc-second mirror assembly. Further development in the next two years would make it ready for a mission requiring a 5-arc-second mirror assembly. We expect that, by the end of this decade, this technology would enable the x-ray astrophysical community to compete effectively for a major x-ray mission in the 2020s that would require one or more 1-arc-second mirror assemblies for imaging, spectroscopic, timing, and survey studies.

  3. The Enactive Approach to Architectural Experience: A Neurophysiological Perspective on Embodiment, Motivation, and Affordances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jelić, Andrea; Tieri, Gaetano; De Matteis, Federico; Babiloni, Fabio; Vecchiato, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    Over the last few years, the efforts to reveal through neuroscientific lens the relations between the mind, body, and built environment have set a promising direction of using neuroscience for architecture. However, little has been achieved thus far in developing a systematic account that could be employed for interpreting current results and providing a consistent framework for subsequent scientific experimentation. In this context, the enactive perspective is proposed as a guide to studying architectural experience for two key reasons. Firstly, the enactive approach is specifically selected for its capacity to account for the profound connectedness of the organism and the world in an active and dynamic relationship, which is primarily shaped by the features of the body. Thus, particular emphasis is placed on the issues of embodiment and motivational factors as underlying constituents of the body-architecture interactions. Moreover, enactive understanding of the relational coupling between body schema and affordances of architectural spaces singles out the two-way bodily communication between architecture and its inhabitants, which can be also explored in immersive virtual reality settings. Secondly, enactivism has a strong foothold in phenomenological thinking that corresponds to the existing phenomenological discourse in architectural theory and qualitative design approaches. In this way, the enactive approach acknowledges the available common ground between neuroscience and architecture and thus allows a more accurate definition of investigative goals. Accordingly, the outlined model of architectural subject in enactive terms-that is, a model of a human being as embodied, enactive, and situated agent, is proposed as a basis of neuroscientific and phenomenological interpretation of architectural experience. PMID:27065937

  4. Concepts for Life Cycle Cost Control Required to Achieve Space Transportation Affordability and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, Russel E.; Zapata, Edgar; Levack, Daniel J. H.; Robinson, John W.; Donahue, Benjamin B.

    2009-01-01

    Cost control must be implemented through the establishment of requirements and controlled continually by managing to these requirements. Cost control of the non-recurring side of life cycle cost has traditionally been implemented in both commercial and government programs. The government uses the budget process to implement this control. The commercial approach is to use a similar process of allocating the non-recurring cost to major elements of the program. This type of control generally manages through a work breakdown structure (WBS) by defining the major elements of the program. If the cost control is to be applied across the entire program life cycle cost (LCC), the approach must be addressed very differently. A functional breakdown structure (FBS) is defined and recommended. Use of a FBS provides the visibifity to allow the choice of an integrated solution reducing the cost of providing many different elements of like function. The different functional solutions that drive the hardware logistics, quantity of documentation, operational labor, reliability and maintainability balance, and total integration of the entire system from DDT&E through the life of the program must be fully defined, compared, and final decisions made among these competing solutions. The major drivers of recurring cost have been identified and are presented and discussed. The LCC requirements must be established and flowed down to provide control of LCC. This LCC control will require a structured rigid process similar to the one traditionally used to control weight/performance for space transportation systems throughout the entire program. It has been demonstrated over the last 30 years that without a firm requirement and methodically structured cost control, it is unlikely that affordable and sustainable space transportation system LCC will be achieved.

  5. Accessibility and Affordability of Tertiary Education in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru within a Global Context. Policy Research Working Paper 4517

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, Yuki; Blom, Andreas

    2008-01-01

    This paper examines the financing of tertiary education in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, comparing the affordability and accessibility of tertiary education with that in high-income countries. To measure affordability, the authors estimate education costs, living costs, grants, and loans. Further, they compute the participation rate,…

  6. Monitoring the Affordability of Healthy Eating: A Case Study of 10 Years of the Illawarra Healthy Food Basket

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Williams

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Healthy food baskets have been used around the world for a variety of purposes, including: examining the difference in cost between healthy and unhealthy food; mapping the availability of healthy foods in different locations; calculating the minimum cost of an adequate diet for social policy planning; developing educational material on low cost eating and examining trends on food costs over time. In Australia, the Illawarra Healthy Food Basket was developed in 2000 to monitor trends in the affordability of healthy food compared to average weekly wages and social welfare benefits for the unemployed. It consists of 57 items selected to meet the nutritional requirements of a reference family of five. Bi-annual costing from 2000–2009 has shown that the basket costs have increased by 38.4% in the 10-year period, but that affordability has remained relatively constant at around 30% of average household incomes.

  7. Healthy Libraries Develop Healthy Communities: Public Libraries and their Tremendous Efforts to Support the Affordable Care Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Lydia N.

    2015-01-01

    This article is about the dedication of public library staff and my role as the Consumer Health Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM MAR) to support outreach efforts for health insurance enrollment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). ACA was created in order to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health care. What we didn’t know is that public libraries across the nation would play such an integral role in the health insurance enrollment process. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) worked closely with public libraries in order to assist with this new role. As we approach the second enrollment and re-enrollment periods, public libraries are gearing up once again to assist with ACA. PMID:25798077

  8. Technologies for learning? An actor-network theory critique of ‘affordances' in research on mobile learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gale Parchoma

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available How is the link between learner and technology made in mobile learning? Whatis the value of the concept of ‘affordances'? And how does research articulatingthis concept act to position mobile devices as ‘technologies for learning'? Thisliterature review used both unstructured and structured search samples of publishedresearch on mobile learning to critically evaluate the prevalence and influenceof the concept of the affordances of mobile technologies. Actor-networktheory is drawn on as a theoretical lens through which to critically considerhow this concept is articulated, and in particular to explore the way it positionsand controls mobile devices as technologies for learning. Parallels in contemporaryaccounts of mobile learning are drawn with classifications of previous discoursesaround the introduction of computers into schools. An alternativeagenda for mobile learning research is suggested with a focus on authentic andinformal contexts rather than controlled experiments.

  9. Leveraging The Affordable Care Act To Enroll Justice-Involved Populations In Medicaid: State And Local Efforts

    OpenAIRE

    Bandara, Sachini N.; Huskamp, Haiden A.; Riedel, Lauren E.; McGinty, Emma E.; Webster, Daniel; Toone, Robert E.; Barry, Colleen L

    2015-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act provides an unprecedented opportunity to enroll criminal justice–involved populations in health insurance, particularly Medicaid. As a result, many state and county corrections departments have launched programs that incorporate Medicaid enrollment in discharge planning. Our study characterizes the national landscape of programs enrolling criminal justice–involved populations in Medicaid as of January 2015. We provide an overview of sixty-four programs operating in jai...

  10. Contesting the financialization of urban space: Community organizations and the struggle to preserve affordable rental housing in New York City

    OpenAIRE

    Fields, D.

    2015-01-01

    As cities have become both site and object of capital accumulation in a neoliberal political economy, the challenges to community practice aimed at creating, preserving, and improving affordable housing and neighborhoods have grown. Financial markets and actors are increasingly central to the workings of capitalism, transforming the meaning and significance of mortgage capital in local communities and redrawing the relationship between housing and urban inequality. This article addresses the ...

  11. Housing affordability of Rental and Owner-Occupied Housing over the Course of the Economic Transformation in the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lux, Martin; Sunega, Petr

    Rotterdam: Deflt University of Technology, 2007, s. 1-23. [European Network for Housing Research. Rotterdam (NL), 25.06.2007-28.06.2007] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA403/06/0915 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z70280505 Keywords : housing affordability * Economic transition * housing policy Subject RIV: AO - Sociology, Demography http://www.enhr2007rotterdam.nl/pages/papersdownload.htm

  12. Supporting the development of affordable rental housing: A review and analysis of tax credit incentives and recommendations for Canada

    OpenAIRE

    Allary, Alexandra Alannah

    2016-01-01

    One in five renter households in Canada spends 50% or more of their income on housing, a severe rent burden which can lead to poorer social and economic outcomes for households and communities. Below optimum levels of investment in the rental sector contributes to high rents, partly due to institutional structures which favour investment in the ownership market. This study examines the insufficient supply of affordable rental housing for low and middle income households in Canada, and how tax...

  13. Housing affordability in the Republic of Ireland: Is planning part part of the problem or part of the solution?

    OpenAIRE

    Norris, Michelle; Shiels, Patrick

    2007-01-01

    The advent of strong economic growth and falling unemployment in Ireland in the mid-1990s, drove population growth and a rising demand for housing, which in turn affected rising house prices and rents. This paper reviews the evidence with regard to the affordability of house purchase in this country over the last decade, together with government assessments of and responses to this evidence. It subsequently examines the impact of Ireland's relatively laissez-faire land-use planning system on ...

  14. Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Implications for Insurance-related Disparities in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep

    OpenAIRE

    Lyon, Sarah M.; Douglas, Ivor S.; Cooke, Colin R.

    2014-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act was intended to address systematic health inequalities for millions of Americans who lacked health insurance. Expansion of Medicaid was a key component of the legislation, as it was expected to provide coverage to low-income individuals, a population at greater risk for disparities in access to the health care system and in health outcomes. Several studies suggest that expansion of Medicaid can reduce insurance-related disparities, creating optimism surrounding the pot...

  15. Social Requests and Social Affordances: How They Affect the Kinematics of Motor Sequences during Interactions between Conspecifics

    OpenAIRE

    Francesca Ferri; Giovanna Cristina Campione; Riccardo Dalla Volta; Claudia Gianelli; Maurizio Gentilucci

    2011-01-01

    The present study aimed at determining whether and what factors affect the control of motor sequences related to interactions between conspecifics. Experiment 1 demonstrated that during interactions between conspecifics guided by the social intention of feeding, a social affordance was activated, which modified the kinematics of sequences constituted by reaching-grasping and placing. This was relative to the same sequence directed to an inanimate target. Experiments 2 and 4 suggested that the...

  16. The Yeast Homolog of Heme Oxygenase-1 Affords Cellular Antioxidant Protection via the Transcriptional Regulation of Known Antioxidant Genes*

    OpenAIRE

    Collinson, Emma J.; Wimmer-Kleikamp, Sabine; Gerega, Sebastien K.; Yang, Yee Hwa; Parish, Christopher R.; Dawes, Ian W.; Stocker, Roland

    2010-01-01

    Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) degrades heme and protects cells from oxidative challenge. This antioxidant activity is thought to result from the HO-1 enzymatic activity, manifested by a decrease in the concentration of the pro-oxidant substrate heme, and an increase in the antioxidant product bilirubin. Using a global transcriptional approach, and yeast as a model, we show that HO-1 affords cellular protection via up-regulation of transcripts encoding enzymes involved in cellular antioxidant defens...

  17. The Role of Affordable Mortgages in Improving Living Standards and Stimulating Growth: A Survey of Selected Mena Countries

    OpenAIRE

    Frank E. Nothaft; S. Nuri Erbas

    2002-01-01

    This paper argues that making affordable home mortgage loans available to a large cross section of the population will serve both the redistributive and growth-enhancing objectives of poverty reduction policies. The current state of housing and mortgage markets in selected Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia) is examined. The study evaluates Turkey and Mexico as middle-income comparator countries. Historical experience of the United Stat...

  18. Away from cities, informal developments provide affordable housing for those on low incomes, but conditions are often poor

    OpenAIRE

    Sullivan, Esther; Olmedo, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    For many, informal settlements are an urban characteristic normally equated with developing countries, and not the United States. Esther Sullivan and Carlos Olmedo look at the rise of informal housing that often reaches far beyond the U.S.-Mexico border. Through a survey of residents in two informal housing communities in Texas, they find that home self-building provides an affordable way for people to obtain housing on little means. They also write that support is needed for those in informa...

  19. Relating spatial perspective taking to the perception of other's affordances: providing a foundation for predicting the future behavior of others

    OpenAIRE

    Sarah H Creem-Regehr; Gagnon, Kyle T.; Geuss, Michael N.; Stefanucci, Jeanine K.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding what another agent can see relates functionally to the understanding of what they can do. We propose that spatial perspective taking and perceiving other's affordances, while two separate spatial processes, together share the common social function of predicting the behavior of others. Perceiving the action capabilities of others allows for a common understanding of how agents may act together. The ability to take another's perspective focuses an understanding of action goals so...

  20. The Importance of Hedonism in Consumer Behaviour and Its Implications for the Affordable Fashion Apparel Industry in Poland

    OpenAIRE

    Bujok, Anna Magdalena

    2007-01-01

    This study examines the importance of hedonism in Polish consumer behaviour and its implications to affordable fashion apparel industry. Polish economy is still in a transition and this influences consumer behaviour. The study presents a link between hedonic consumer behaviour and experience marketing. There are examined following aspects of consumer behaviour: perception of consumption experience and shopping experience in general, perception of shopping experience in the context of the affo...

  1. Subsidizing artemisinin-based combination therapies: a preliminary investigation of the Affordable Medicines Facility – malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bate R

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Roger Bate,1,2 Kimberly Hess,2 Richard Tren,2 Lorraine Mooney,3 Franklin Cudjoe,4 Thompson Ayodele,5 Amir Attaran61American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC, USA; 2Africa Fighting Malaria, Washington, DC, USA; 3Africa Fighting Malaria, Cambridge, United Kingdom; 4IMANI Center for Policy and Education, Accra, Ghana; 5Initiative for Public Policy Analysis, Lagos, Nigeria; 6University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, CanadaBackground: The Affordable Medicines Facility – malaria (AMFm is a subsidy mechanism to lower the price of, and hence increase access to, the best antimalarial medicines, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs. While the AMFm stipulates that only quality-approved products are eligible for subsidy, it is not known whether those products, when actually supplied, are of good quality and comport with established pharmacopeial guidance on formulation and content of active ingredients. This study aimed to assess price and quality of AMFm ACTs, to compare AMFm ACTs with non-AMFm ACTs and artemisinin monotherapies, and to assess whether AMFm ACTs have been pilfered and diverted to a nearby country.Methods: In all, 140 artemisinin-based antimalarial drugs were acquired from 37 pharmacies in Lagos, Nigeria, and Accra, Ghana. An additional ten samples of AMFm ACTs were collected from Lomé, Togo (not participating in the AMFm. Samples were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography.Results: The AMFm ACTs were lower in price than many of the other drugs collected, but by less than anticipated or stipulated by the participating governments of Nigeria and Ghana. The quality of the AMFm ACTs was not universally good: overall, 7.7% had too little active pharmaceutical ingredient (API and none had too much – these results are not likely to be as a result of random chance. AMFm ACTs were also found to have been diverted, both to pharmacies in Lagos not participating in the AMFm and to a foreign city (Lomé where the AMFm is not

  2. Developing hybrid near-space technologies for affordable access to suborbital space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badders, Brian David

    High power rockets and high altitude balloons are two near-space technologies that could be combined in order to provide access to the mesosphere and, eventually, suborbital space. This "rockoon" technology has been used by several large budget space programs before being abandoned in favor of even more expensive, albeit more accurate, ground launch systems. With the increased development of nano-satellites and atmospheric sensors, combined with rising interest in global atmospheric data, there is an increase in desire for affordable access to extreme altitudes that does not necessarily require the precision of ground launches. Development of hybrid near-space technologies for access to over 200k ft. on a small budget brings many challenges within engineering, systems integration, cost analysis, market analysis, and business planning. This research includes the design and simulation testing of all the systems needed for a safe and reusable launch system, the cost analysis for initial production, the development of a business plan, and the development of a marketing plan. This project has both engineering and scientific significance in that it can prove the space readiness of new technologies, raise their technology readiness levels (TRLs), expedite the development process, and also provide new data to the scientific community. It also has the ability to stimulate university involvement in the aerospace industry and help to inspire the next generation of workers in the space sector. Previous development of high altitude balloon/high power rocket hybrid systems have been undertaken by government funded military programs or large aerospace corporations with varying degrees of success. However, there has yet to be a successful flight with this type of system which provides access to the upper mesosphere in a university setting. This project will aim to design and analyze a viable system while testing the engineering process under challenging budgetary constraints. The

  3. Which moral hazard? Health care reform under the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Roger Lee

    2016-06-20

    Purpose - Moral hazard is a concept that is central to risk and insurance management. It refers to change in economic behavior when individuals are protected or insured against certain risks and losses whose costs are borne by another party. It asserts that the presence of an insurance contract increases the probability of a claim and the size of a claim. Through the US Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, this study seeks to examine the validity and relevance of moral hazard in health care reform and determine how welfare losses or inefficiencies could be mitigated. Design/methodology/approach - This study is divided into three sections. The first contrasts conventional moral hazard from an emerging or alternative theory. The second analyzes moral hazard in terms of the evolution, organization, management, and marketing of health insurance in the USA. The third explains why and how salient reform measures under the ACA might induce health care consumption and production in ways that could either promote or restrict personal health and safety as well as social welfare maximization. Findings - Insurance generally induces health care (over) consumption. However, not every additional consumption, with or without adverse selection, can be considered wasteful or risky, even if it might cost insurers more in the short run. Moral hazard can generate welfare and equity gains. These gains might vary depending on which ACA provisions, insured population, covered illnesses, treatments, and services, as well as health outcomes are taken into account, and because of the relative ambiguities surrounding definitions of "health." Actuarial risk models can nonetheless benefit from incorporating welfare and equity gains into their basic assumptions and estimations. Originality/value - This is the first study which examines the ACA in the context of the new or alternative theory of moral hazard. It suggests that containing inefficient moral hazard, and encouraging its desirable

  4. Affordable In-Space Transportation Phase 2: An Advanced Concepts Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-01-01

    The Affordable In-Space Transportation (AIST) program was established by the NASA Office of Space Access to improve transportation and lower the costs from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and beyond (to Lunar orbit, Mars orbit, inner solar system missions, and return to LEO). A goal was established to identify and develop radically innovative concepts for new upper stages for Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV) and Highly Reusable Space Transportation (HRST) systems. New architectures and technologies are being identified which have the potential to meet a cost goal of $1,000 to $2,000 per pound for transportation to GEO and beyond for overall mission cost (including the cost to LEO). A Technical Interchange Meeting (TTM) was held on October 16 and 17, 1996 in Huntsville, Alabama to review previous studies, present advanced concepts and review technologies that could be used to meet the stated goals. The TIN4 was managed by NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Advanced Concepts Office with Mr. Alan Adams providing TIM coordination. Mr. John C. Mankins of NASA Headquarters provided overall sponsorship. The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Propulsion Research Center hosted the TIM at the UAH Research Center. Dr. Clark Hawk, Center Director, was the principal investigator. Technical support was provided by Christensen Associates. Approximately 70 attendees were present at the meeting. This Executive Summary provides a record of the key discussions and results of the TIN4 in a summary for-mat. It incorporates the response to the following basic issues of the TDVL which addressed the following questions: 1. What are the cost drivers and how can they be reduced? 2. What are the operational issues and their impact on cost? 3. What is the current technology readiness level (TRL) and what will it take to reach TRL 6? 4. What are the key enabling technologies and sequence for their accomplishment? 5 . What is the proposed implementation time

  5. Affordable In-Space Transportation. Phase 2; An Advanced Concepts Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-01-01

    The Affordable In-Space Transportation (AIST) program was established by the NASA Office of Space Access to improve transportation and lower the costs from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and beyond (to Lunar orbit, Mars orbit, inner solar system missions, and return to LEO). A goal was established to identify and develop radically innovative concepts for new upper stages for Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV) and Highly Reusable Space Transportation (HRST) systems. New architectures and technologies are being identified which have the potential to meet a cost goal of $1,000 to $2,000 per pound for transportation to GEO and beyond for overall mission cost (including the cost to LEO). A Technical Interchange Meeting (ITM) was held on October 16 and 17, 1996 in Huntsville, Alabama to review previous studies, present advanced concepts and review technologies that could be used to meet the stated goals. The TIM was managed by NASA-Mar-shaU Space Flight Center (MSFC) Advanced Concepts Office with Mr. Alan Adams providing TIM coordination. Mr. John C. Manidns of NASA Headquarters provided overall sponsorship. The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Propulsion Research Center hosted the TM at the UAH Research Center. Dr. Clark Hawk, Center Director, was the principal investigator. Technical support was provided by Christensen Associates. Approximately 70 attendees were present at the meeting. This Executive Summary provides a record of the key discussions and results of the TIM in a summary format. It incorporates the response to the following basic issues of the TPA, which addressed the following questions: 1. What are the cost drivers and how can they be reduced? 2. What are the operational issues and their impact on cost? What is the current Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and what will it take to reach TRL 6? 4. What are the key enabling technologies and sequence for their accomplishment? 5. What is the proposed implementation time frame

  6. Cardioprotection Afforded by Norepinephrine-mediated Postconditioning in Isolated Rat Hearts

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xinhua Huang; Dai Li; Yishuai Zhang; Nianshen Li; Benmei Chen; Jun Peng; Yuanjian Li

    2008-01-01

    Objectives Previous studies have demonstrated that endogenous norepinephrine (NE) plays an important role in the mediation of ischemic preconditioning. The present study is designed to determine whether NE is also involved in medi-ation of the protective effects of postconditioning. Methods The rat hearts were rapidly excised under anesthesia and attached to a Langendorff apparatus via the aorta for retrograde perfusion with Krebs-Henseleit buffer solution. All hearts were subjected to 30 min of left coronary artery occlusion followed by 60 rain of reperfusion, except the control group. Animals were randomly divided into 5 groups as follows: ① control group, the hearts were underwent same procedures without ischemic insult; ② ischemia reperfusion group, the left coronary artery was occluded for 30 min and followed by 60 min of reperfusion;③ ischemic postconditioning (Ipost) group, immediately at the onset of reperfusion, the heart was initiated with 1 min of full coronary flow, followed by 1 min of re-occlusion, repeated for a total of three cycles; ④ Ipost plus prazosin group, the heart was perfused with prazosin for 10 min before ischemia; ⑤ Ipost plus reserpine group, a single dose of reserpine was administered by I.m. Injection, 24 hours before the experiment. Coronary flow was measured by timed collection of coronary effluent and sample of coronary effluent at 5 rain of reperfusion were collected for the measurement of ereatine kinase (CK). Infarct size and risk area were determined at the end of experiments. Results 30 rain of ischemia and followed by 60 min of reperfusion caused a significant decrease in cardiac function and a significant increase in CK release and infarct size. Postconditioning with three cycles of 1-min ischemia and 1-min reperfusion markedly improved cardiac function and reduced CK release and infarct size. However,the cardioprotection afforded by postconditioning was abolished by prazosin (10-6M), a selective α1 adrenergic

  7. Lunar science with affordable small spacecraft technologies: MoonLITE and Moonraker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yang; Phipps, Andy; Taylor, Mark; Crawford, Ian A.; Ball, Andrew J.; Wilson, Lionel; Parker, Dave; Sweeting, Martin; da Silva Curiel, Alex; Davies, Phil; Baker, Adam; Pike, W. Thomas; Smith, Alan; Gowen, Rob

    2008-03-01

    Returning to the Moon has been advocated by a large number of international planetary scientists in order to answer several key scientific questions. The UK also has an active lunar science community keen to support (robotic) lunar exploration missions. However, for several years these interests have been eclipsed by the drive to Mars. Recently there is a renewed global interest in the Moon demonstrated by the Vision for Space Exploration in the USA, the evolving Global Exploration Partnership, and new lunar missions from Europe, Japan, China, India and the USA. The ESA Aurora programme may also broaden its focus to embrace the Moon as well as Mars - realizing that the risks associated with many of the major technical challenges that are faced by Mars missions could be reduced by relatively inexpensive and timely lunar technology tests. Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) and Surrey Space Centre (SSC) have been preparing a 'smallsat' approach [ Sweeting, M.N., Underwood, C.I., 2003. Small-satellite engineering and applications. In: Fortescue, P., Stark, J., Swinerd, G., (Eds.), Spacecraft Systems Engineering, third edition. Wiley, New York, pp. 581-612] to achieving a low-cost lunar mission for more than a decade - including various activities, such as the earlier LunarSat study funded by ESA and a current hardware contribution to the Chandrayaan-1 mission. With the recent successes in GIOVE-A, TOPSAT and BEIJING-1, alongside participation in Aurora and Chandrayaan-1, Surrey have developed capabilities for providing affordable engineering solutions to space exploration. Recently, SSTL/SSC was funded by the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) (now subsumed into the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council) to undertake a study on low-cost lunar mission concepts that could address key scientific questions. This paper presents some major results from this study [Phipps and Gao, 2006. Lunar mission options study. UK Particle Physics and

  8. Affordable nutrient solutions for improved food security as evidenced by crop trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Marijn; See, Linda; You, Liangzhi; Balkovic, Juraj; Fritz, Steffen; Khabarov, Nikolay; Obersteiner, Michael; Wood, Stanley

    2013-04-01

    Robust assessments of attainable crop yields in Africa and South America are pivotal for projections of food security and cropland expansion. In contract to South America, Africa has not achieved significant increases in crop yields. Here we utilize a database of historical FAO crop fertilizer trials at 1358 locations for Sub-Saharan Africa and South America to calculate corn yield gaps at the continental scale. To further the African crop productivity discourse we consider the importance of soil nutrient stoichiometry and the viability of micro-dosing. Importantly, besides N, our crop yield potential estimates account for P which has a notoriously low availability in weathered tropical soils. We investigated yield gaps for corn under two scenarios: a micro-dosing scenario with marginal increases in N and P of 10 kg/ha and a larger yet still conservative scenario with proposed N and P applications of 80 and 20 kg/ha respectively. Two critical findings emerged from the analysis. The first is the degree to which P limits increases in corn yields. For example, under a micro-dosing scenario, in Africa, the addition of small amounts of N alone resulted in yield increases of 8% while the addition of only P increased yields by 26%, with implications for designing better balanced fertilizer distribution schemes. Application of both N and P at 10 kg ha-1 lead to 15% and 32% yield increase. To put the benefits of these higher yields in context, this could save more than 4 and 25 million ha of cropland, or alternatively potentially feed 64 and 150 million people in South America and Africa respectively. The second finding was the relatively large amount of yield increase possible for a small, yet affordable amount of fertilizer application. Using African and South American fertilizer prices we show that the level of investment needed to achieve these results is considerably less than 1% of Agricultural GDP for both a micro-dosing scenario and for a scenario involving higher

  9. Neurobiological degeneracy and affordance perception support functional intra-individual variability of inter-limb coordination during ice climbing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seifert, Ludovic; Wattebled, Léo; Herault, Romain; Poizat, Germain; Adé, David; Gal-Petitfaux, Nathalie; Davids, Keith

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the functional intra-individual movement variability of ice climbers differing in skill level to understand how icefall properties were used by participants as affordances to adapt inter-limb coordination patterns during performance. Seven expert climbers and seven beginners were observed as they climbed a 30 m icefall. Movement and positioning of the left and right hand ice tools, crampons and the climber's pelvis over the first 20 m of the climb were recorded and digitized using video footage from a camera (25 Hz) located perpendicular to the plane of the icefall. Inter-limb coordination, frequency and types of action and vertical axis pelvis displacement exhibited by each climber were analysed for the first five minutes of ascent. Participant perception of climbing affordances was assessed through: (i) calculating the ratio between exploratory movements and performed actions, and (ii), identifying, by self-confrontation interviews, the perceptual variables of environmental properties, which were significant to climbers for their actions. Data revealed that experts used a wider range of upper and lower limb coordination patterns, resulting in the emergence of different types of action and fewer exploratory movements, suggesting that effective holes in the icefall provided affordances to regulate performance. In contrast, beginners displayed lower levels of functional intra-individual variability of motor organization, due to repetitive swinging of ice tools and kicking of crampons to achieve and maintain a deep anchorage, suggesting lack of perceptual attunement and calibration to environmental properties to support climbing performance. PMID:24587084

  10. Affordably priced new drugs for poor populations: Approaches for a global solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mossialos, E; Dukes, G

    2001-01-01

    A very large proportion of the world's population, particularly the poor in developing countries, still have insufficient access or none at all to treatment with essential drugs. This situation can arise with any drug and for various reasons, but it exists in extreme form where the drug is irreplaceable yet entirely unaffordable. That is the case with new or relatively recent drugs which could save lives or eradicate endemic disease, but which (particularly during their period of patent protection) are usually sold at prices higher than patients or their community can afford to pay. The consequences of this situation in terms of persistent illness, suffering and large-scale mortality are felt most immediately in the developing world, but because today disease travels so rapidly it represents a threat to the world as a whole. As of late 2001, only a number of limited ad hoc solutions to these problems have emerged. They have provided relief in a number of specific situations but they offer no guarantee of permanence, are applied mainly at the discretion of multinational companies or aid agencies and leave the bulk of the global problem unchanged. The problem must be capable of a broad and lasting solution since the basic costs of manufacturing and distributing most of the drugs in question are not in themselves prohibitive. High prices are primarily a consequence of the need to provide an adequate return on investment, to finance research and development, and to pay the very high costs of promotion in intensively competitive markets. At present, however, these secondary costs are almost entirely covered by the sales income from industrialized countries, and that is unlikely to change. In the developing world, where the sales of such drugs has been negligible, it must be possible to supply them in more adequate quantities, at a fair and affordable prices which are very close to the basic manufacturing and distribution costs. This will require an innovative commercial

  11. Improving the use of research evidence in guideline development: 11. Incorporating considerations of cost-effectiveness, affordability and resource implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edejer Tessa

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The World Health Organization (WHO, like many other organisations around the world, has recognised the need to use more rigorous processes to ensure that health care recommendations are informed by the best available research evidence. This is the 11th of a series of 16 reviews that have been prepared as background for advice from the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research to WHO on how to achieve this. Objectives We reviewed the literature on incorporating considerations of cost-effectiveness, affordability and resource implications in guidelines and recommendations. Methods We searched PubMed and three databases of methodological studies for existing systematic reviews and relevant methodological research. We did not conduct systematic reviews ourselves. Our conclusions are based on the available evidence, consideration of what WHO and other organisations are doing and logical arguments. Key questions and answers When is it important to incorporate cost-effectiveness, resource implications and affordability considerations in WHO guidelines (which topics? • For cost-effectiveness: The need for cost/effectiveness information should be dictated by the specific question, of which several may be addressed in a single guideline. It is proposed that the indications for undertaking a cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA could be a starting point for determining which recommendation(s in the guideline would benefit from such analysis. • For resource implications/affordability: The resource implications of each individual recommendation need to be considered when implementation issues are being discussed. How can cost-effectiveness, resource implications and affordability be explicitly taken into account in WHO guidelines? • For cost-effectiveness: ∘ If data are available, the ideal time to consider cost-effectiveness is during the evidence gathering and synthesizing stage. However, because of the inconsistent availability of

  12. The phenomenology of deep brain stimulation-induced changes in OCD: an enactive affordance-based model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Haan, Sanneke; Rietveld, Erik; Stokhof, Martin; Denys, Damiaan

    2013-01-01

    People suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) do things they do not want to do, and/or they think things they do not want to think. In about 10% of OCD patients, none of the available treatment options is effective. A small group of these patients is currently being treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS involves the implantation of electrodes in the brain. These electrodes give a continuous electrical pulse to the brain area in which they are implanted. It turns out that patients may experience profound changes as a result of DBS treatment. It is not just the symptoms that change; patients rather seem to experience a different way of being in the world. These global effects are insufficiently captured by traditional psychiatric scales, which mainly consist of behavioral measures of the severity of the symptoms. In this article we aim to capture the changes in the patients' phenomenology and make sense of the broad range of changes they report. For that we introduce an enactive, affordance-based model that fleshes out the dynamic interactions between person and world in four aspects. The first aspect is the patients' experience of the world. We propose to specify the patients' world in terms of a field of affordances, with the three dimensions of broadness of scope ("width" of the field), temporal horizon ("depth"), and relevance of the perceived affordances ("height"). The second aspect is the person-side of the interaction, that is, the patients' self-experience, notably their moods and feelings. Thirdly, we point to the different characteristics of the way in which patients relate to the world. And lastly, the existential stance refers to the stance that patients take toward the changes they experience: the second-order evaluative relation to their interactions and themselves. With our model we intend to specify the notion of being in the world in order to do justice to the phenomenological effects of DBS treatment. PMID:24133438

  13. Who has housing affordability problems? Disparities in Housing Cost burden by Race, Nativity and Legal Status in Los Angeles

    OpenAIRE

    McConnell, Eileen Diaz

    2013-01-01

    Housing costs are a substantial component of U.S. household expenditures. Those who allocate a large proportion of their income to housing often have to make difficult financial decisions with significant short-term and long-term implications for adults and children. This study employs cross-sectional data from the first wave of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS) collected between 2000 and 2002 to examine the most common U.S. standard of housing affordability, the likel...

  14. Affordable Development and Demonstration of a Small NTR Engine and Stage: A Preliminary NASA, DOE, and Industry Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Sefcik, Robert J.; Fittje, James E.; McCurdy, David R.; Qualls, Arthur L.; Schnitzler, Bruce G.; Werner, James E.; Weitzberg, Abraham; Joyner, Claude R.

    2015-01-01

    The Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) represents the next evolutionary step in cryogenic liquid rocket engines. Deriving its energy from fission of uranium-235 atoms contained within fuel elements that comprise the engine's reactor core, the NTR can generate high thrust at a specific impulse of approx. 900 seconds or more - twice that of today's best chemical rockets. In FY'11, as part of the AISP project, NASA proposed a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) effort that envisioned two key activities - "Foundational Technology Development" followed by system-level "Technology Demonstrations". Five near-term NTP activities identified for Foundational Technology Development became the basis for the NCPS project started in FY'12 and funded by NASA's AES program. During Phase 1 (FY'12-14), the NCPS project was focused on (1) Recapturing fuel processing techniques and fabricating partial length "heritage" fuel elements for the two candidate fuel forms identified by NASA and the DOE - NERVA graphite "composite" and the uranium dioxide (UO2) in tungsten "cermet". The Phase 1 effort also included: (2) Engine Conceptual Design; (3) Mission Analysis and Requirements Definition; (4) Identification of Affordable Options for Ground Testing; and (5) Formulation of an Affordable and Sustainable NTP Development Strategy. During FY'14, a preliminary plan for DDT&E was outlined by GRC, the DOE and industry for NASA HQ that involved significant system-level demonstration projects that included GTD tests at the NNSS, followed by a FTD mission. To reduce development costs, the GTD and FTD tests use a small, low thrust (approx. 7.5 or 16.5 klbf) engine. Both engines use graphite composite fuel and a "common" fuel element design that is scalable to higher thrust (approx. 25 klbf) engines by increasing the number of elements in a larger diameter core that can produce greater thermal power output. To keep the FTD mission cost down, a simple "1-burn" lunar flyby mission was considered along with

  15. Affordances for Language Awareness in a Middle School Transitional Classroom: Multi-Competent L1/L2 Users Under No Child Left Behind

    OpenAIRE

    Gage-Serio, Ondine Angelique

    2014-01-01

    This dissertation examines affordances for Language Awareness within a classroom serving English learners in a coastal California middle school under the policy context of No Child Left Behind. As an ecologically inspired account, this study contributes to understanding how students use and learn language in classroom settings. Affordances for Language Awareness represent possibilities available to students for accessing relevant information to make meaning of language within a classroom. Af...

  16. Implications for multiple sclerosis in the era of the Affordable Care Act: the shifting managed care landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, A Scott; Owens, Gary M

    2014-12-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disorder of the central nervous system that is associated with disability, reduced quality of life, extensive medical and nonmedical costs, and lost productivity. Specialty medications that are crucial to effective disease management, helping to prevent debilitating episodes of relapse, account for a substantial portion of the medical expenditures associated with MS. Although these therapies are not considered cost-effective by conventional definitions, they are comparable to one another in cost-effectiveness estimates, leaving the complex task of designing cost-efficient formulary management strategies to managed care professionals. Current epidemiologic data suggest that most patients with MS are covered by some form of healthcare insurance, but plan designs and formulary restrictions may still create access barriers for some patients. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is recent federal legislation that seeks to provide new consumer protections, improve healthcare quality and accessibility while mitigating expenditures, and increase accountability of healthcare insurance companies. The impact of the ACA on specialty pharmaceuticals is unclear at this time, but it does appear to have already begun improving healthcare coverage across the population. Managed care professionals must work within the confines of the ACA to provide better and more affordable care that targets overall cost reductions rather than just pharmacy expenses. PMID:25734889

  17. Health literacy and the Affordable Care Act: a policy analysis for children with special health care needs in the USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keim-Malpass J

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Jessica Keim-Malpass,1 Lisa C Letzkus,1,2 Christine Kennedy1 1University of Virginia School of Nursing, 2University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, Charlottesville, VA, USA Abstract: Children with special health care needs (CSHCN represent populations with chronic health conditions that are often high utilizers of health care. Limited health literacy has emerged as a key indicator of adverse health outcomes, and CSHCN from limited health literacy families are particularly vulnerable. The purpose of this policy analysis is to outline key provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA that incorporate health literacy approaches for implementation and have implications for CSHCN in the USA. Several key provisions are incorporated in the ACA that involve health literacy and have implications for CSHCN. These include: expansion of public insurance coverage and simplifying the enrollment process, provisions assuring equity in health care and communication among all populations, improving access to patient-centered medical homes that can offer care coordination, ensuring enhanced medication safety by changing liquid medication labeling requirements, and provisions to train health care providers on literacy issues. More research is needed to determine how provisions pertaining to health literacy in the ACA are implemented in various states. Keywords: children, special health care needs, health literacy, Affordable Care Act, health policy  

  18. Who has housing affordability problems? Disparities in Housing Cost burden by Race, Nativity and Legal Status in Los Angeles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, Eileen Diaz

    2013-09-01

    Housing costs are a substantial component of U.S. household expenditures. Those who allocate a large proportion of their income to housing often have to make difficult financial decisions with significant short-term and long-term implications for adults and children. This study employs cross-sectional data from the first wave of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS) collected between 2000 and 2002 to examine the most common U.S. standard of housing affordability, the likelihood of spending thirty percent or more of income on shelter costs. Multivariate analyses of a low-income sample of U.S. born Latinos, Whites, African Americans, authorized Latino immigrants and unauthorized Latino immigrants focus on baseline and persistent differences in the likelihood of being cost burdened by race, nativity and legal status. Nearly half or more of each group of low-income respondents experience housing affordability problems. The results suggest that immigrants' legal status is the primary source of disparities among those examined, with the multivariate analyses revealing large and persistent disparities for unauthorized Latino immigrants relative to most other groups. Moreover, the higher odds of housing cost burden observed for unauthorized immigrants compared with their authorized immigrant counterparts remains substantial, accounting for traditional indicators of immigrant assimilation. These results are consistent with emerging scholarship regarding the role of legal status in shaping immigrant outcomes in the United States. PMID:24077641

  19. Affordable uniform isotope labeling with {sup 2}H, {sup 13}C and {sup 15}N in insect cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sitarska, Agnieszka; Skora, Lukasz; Klopp, Julia; Roest, Susan; Fernández, César; Shrestha, Binesh; Gossert, Alvar D., E-mail: alvar.gossert@novartis.com [Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (Switzerland)

    2015-06-15

    For a wide range of proteins of high interest, the major obstacle for NMR studies is the lack of an affordable eukaryotic expression system for isotope labeling. Here, a simple and affordable protocol is presented to produce uniform labeled proteins in the most prevalent eukaryotic expression system for structural biology, namely Spodoptera frugiperda insect cells. Incorporation levels of 80 % can be achieved for {sup 15}N and {sup 13}C with yields comparable to expression in full media. For {sup 2}H,{sup 15}N and {sup 2}H,{sup 13}C,{sup 15}N labeling, incorporation is only slightly lower with 75 and 73 %, respectively, and yields are typically twofold reduced. The media were optimized for isotope incorporation, reproducibility, simplicity and cost. High isotope incorporation levels for all labeling patterns are achieved by using labeled algal amino acid extracts and exploiting well-known biochemical pathways. The final formulation consists of just five commercially available components, at costs 12-fold lower than labeling media from vendors. The approach was applied to several cytosolic and secreted target proteins.

  20. An affordable proxy of representative national survey on radon concentration in dwellings: Design, organisation and preliminary evaluation of representativeness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Representative national surveys in dwellings are important to unbiasedly evaluate the exposure of the general population to radon. In Italy, a representative national survey was conducted from 1989 to 1996, which involved about 5600 dwellings in 232 towns. Later on, some Regions carried out more detailed surveys, but a new national survey in dwellings is necessary in order to obtain a more thorough estimate of radon concentration distribution over the Italian territory. The need to make this survey in an affordable way led to implement a new approach based on the collaboration between the Istituto Superiore di Sanità and a national company with workplaces and employees' homes throughout the country. The intent is to carry out a proxy of a population representative survey by measuring radon concentration in the homes of a random sample of the company employees. The realisation of this survey was affordable, thanks to the availability of corporate e-mail for each employee, intranet service, and company internal mail service. A dedicated web procedure and e-questionnaires allowed to automatically manage the contact with employees and to collect their data, which were both cost- and time-saving. Using this e-mail contact approach, 53% of contacted employees consented to participate in the survey. Radon concentration passive measuring devices were distributed to about 7000 dwellings, using about 14000 CR-39 detectors (two measured rooms per dwelling). In order to reduce costs, the devices were exposed for 12 months instead of two consecutive 6-month periods (as with the former national survey). A first checking of the actual representativeness of the sample was done by comparing characteristics of dwellings and occupants in the sample with corresponding data from the latest National Census. This was accomplished thanks to the fact that the questions in the survey questionnaire were tailored to the categories adopted for the Census questionnaire. A preliminary

  1. The phenomenology of Deep Brain Stimulation-induced changes in OCD: An enactive affordance-based model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanneke ede Haan

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available People suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD do things they do not want to do, and/or they think things they do not want to think. In about 10 percent of OCD patients, none of the available treatment options is effective. A small group of these patients is currently being treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS. Deep brain stimulation involves the implantation of electrodes in the brain. These electrodes give a continuous electrical pulse to the brain area in which they are implanted. It turns out that patients may experience profound changes as a result of DBS treatment. It is not just the symptoms that change; patients rather seem to experience a different way of being in the world. These global effects are insufficiently captured by traditional psychiatric scales, which mainly consist of behavioural measures of the severity of the symptoms.In this article we aim to capture the changes in the patients’ phenomenology and make sense of the broad range of changes they report. For that we introduce an enactive, affordance-based model that fleshes out the dynamic interactions between person and world in four aspects. The first aspect is the patients’ experience of the world. We propose to specify the patients’ world in terms of a field of affordances, with the three dimensions of broadness of scope (‘width’ of the field, temporal horizon (‘depth’, and relevance of the perceived affordances (‘height’. The second aspect is the person-side of the interaction, that is, the patients’ self-experience, notably their moods and feelings. Thirdly, we point to the different characteristics of the way in which patients relate to the world. And lastly, the existential stance refers to the stance that patients take towards the changes they experience: the second-order evaluative relation to their interactions and themselves. With our model we intend to specify the notion of being in the world in order to do justice to the

  2. Reductions in finger doses for radiopharmaceutical dispensing afforded by a syringe shield and an automatic dose dispenser

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Gamma Extremity Monitoring System (GEMS) uses a small semiconductor probe from which a continuous readout of dose-rate is obtained (Montgomery et al, 1997). It-is a small, lightweight system that is simple to use and can provide rapid feedback. With GEMS doses received from individual operations and actions within a particular procedure can be recorded so that the pattern of dose accumulation can be analysed enabling techniques to be optimised for dose reduction, the whole process taking a relatively short period of time. The present study reports how a GEMS has been utilised to compare the radiation dose reduction afforded by a syringe and an automatic dose dispenser and looks at the pattern of dose accumulation during each procedure. (Author)

  3. Affordable Design: A Methodolgy to Implement Process-Based Manufacturing Cost into the Traditional Performance-Focused Multidisciplinary Design Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Han P.; Samareh, J. A.

    2000-01-01

    The primary objective of this paper is to demonstrate the use of process-based manufacturing and assembly cost models in a traditional performance-focused multidisciplinary design and optimization process. The use of automated cost-performance analysis is an enabling technology that could bring realistic processbased manufacturing and assembly cost into multidisciplinary design and optimization. In this paper, we present a new methodology for incorporating process costing into a standard multidisciplinary design optimization process. Material, manufacturing processes, and assembly processes costs then could be used as the objective function for the optimization method. A case study involving forty-six different configurations of a simple wing is presented, indicating that a design based on performance criteria alone may not necessarily be the most affordable as far as manufacturing and assembly cost is concerned.

  4. End-to-End demonstrator of the Safe Affordable Fission Engine (SAFE) 30: Power conversion and ion engine operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Safe Affordable Fission Engine (SAFE) test series addresses Phase 1 Space Fission Systems issues in particular non-nuclear testing and system integration issues leading to the testing and non-nuclear demonstration of a 400-kW fully integrated flight unit. The first part of the SAFE 30 test series demonstrated operation of the simulated nuclear core and heat pipe system. Experimental data acquired in a number of different test scenarios will validate existing computational models, demonstrated system flexibility (fast start-ups, multiple start-ups/shut downs), simulate predictable failure modes and operating environments. The objective of the second part is to demonstrate an integrated propulsion system consisting of a core, conversion system and a thruster where the system converts thermal heat into jet power. This end-to-end system demonstration sets a precedent for ground testing of nuclear electric propulsion systems. The paper describes the SAFE 30 end-to-end system demonstration and its subsystems

  5. Efficient Solutions for Existing Homes Case Study: Demonstration House of Cold-Climate Solutions for Affordable Housing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    T. Schirber, C. Ojczyk, and R. Jacobson

    2016-05-01

    Single family homes in urban areas that are available for renovation by nonprofit developers are often in rough shape (1MM to 2MM nationally). Budgeting has historically focused on improving homes to meet basic housing standards. A rising interest in the long-term impact of homeownership has introduced the need to balance basic needs with home performance. This demonstration project aims to help nonprofit affordable housing developers become familiar with three Building America performance measures, the installation processes, and impacts and benefits of each. A story and a half home in North Minneapolis, MN was presented by Urban Homeworks our local nonprofit partner. The team helped them install three researched upgrade measures: exterior roof insulation or 'overcoat,' exterior foundation insulation, or 'excavationless', and a combined space and water heating HVAC system or 'combi.'

  6. Job mobility among parents of children with chronic health conditions: Early effects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterji, Pinka; Brandon, Peter; Markowitz, Sara

    2016-07-01

    We examine the effects of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA) prohibition of preexisting conditions exclusions for children on job mobility among parents. We use a difference-in-difference approach, comparing pre-post policy changes in job mobility among privately-insured parents of children with chronic health conditions vs. privately-insured parents of healthy children. Data come from the 2004 and 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Among married fathers, the policy change is associated with about a 0.7 percentage point, or 35 percent increase, in the likelihood of leaving an employer voluntarily. We find no evidence that the policy change affected job mobility among married and unmarried mothers. PMID:27060524

  7. How High is America's Health Care Cost Burden? Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Health Care Affordability Tracking Survey, July-August 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Sara R; Gunja, Munira; Doty, Michelle M; Buetel, Sophie

    2015-11-01

    One-quarter of privately insured working-age adults have high health care cost burdens relative to their incomes in 2015, according to the Commonwealth Fund Health Care Affordability Index, a comprehensive measure of consumer health care costs. This figure, which is based on a nationally representative sample of people with private insurance who are mainly covered by employer plans, is statistically unchanged from 2014. When looking specifically at adults with low incomes, more than half have high cost burdens. In addition, when privately insured adults were asked how they rated their affordability, greater shares reported their premiums and deductible costs were difficult or impossible to afford than the Index would suggest. Health plan deductibles and copayments had negative effects on many people's willingness to get needed health care or fill prescriptions. In addition, many consumers are confused about which services are free to them and which count toward their deductible. PMID:26634240

  8. Identifying perceived barriers and benefits to reducing energy consumption in an affordable housing complex using the Community-Based Social Marketing model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reaves, Daniel

    Energy production and consumption has a negative impact on both environmental and human health. Energy consumption can be directly impacted by human behavior, especially in the residential sector. As a result, this sector has been studied significantly; however, energy reducing behavior change research focusing on the affordable housing sector has not been studied thoroughly to date. This study seeks to implement the first two phases of the Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) framework in an affordable housing setting. The goals were to identify the optimal behaviors for energy reduction based on phase one survey results and to identify the perceived benefits and barriers associated with those behaviors. Additionally, this study identified nuances in the CBSM process that researchers should take into consideration when implementing CBSM in an affordable housing environment.

  9. 保障性住房建设对商品房市场的影响%The Influence of Affordable Housing Construction on the Commercial Housing Market

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吕萍; 戚瑞双; 李爽

    2014-01-01

    According to the general equilibrium market theory , this paper considers the determining factors that afford-able housing construction exerts an influence on the commercial housing market are the scale of affordable housing con -struction, and the ratio of affordable housing demand crowd in the commercial housing market by segmenting and analy -zing the affordable housing market .In the “Twelfth Five Year Plan” period, especially in the late stage of the “Twelfth Five Year Plan”, affordable housing construction will have a relatively large impact on the commercial housing market in Beijing under the premise of expanding security boundary .%根据一般均衡市场理论,通过对保障性住房市场进行细分和分析,本文认为目前我国保障性住房建设对商品房市场产生影响的决定因素是保障性住房建设的规模,以及保障性住房需求人群在商品房市场中所占的比例;在“十二五”期间,尤其是“十二五”后期,在现行保障边界不扩大的前提下,北京市保障性住房建设会对北京市商品房市场产生比较大的影响。

  10. Access to paediatric essential medicines: a survey of prices, availability, affordability and price components in Shaanxi Province, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Wang

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prices and availability of paediatric essential medicines in Shaanxi Province, China. METHODS: Price and availability data for 28 paediatric essential medicines were collected from 60 public hospitals and 60 retail pharmacies in six areas of Shaanxi Province using a standardised methodology developed by the World Health Organization and Health Action International, during November to December 2012. Affordability was measured as the number of days' wages required for the lowest-paid unskilled government worker to purchase standard treatments for common conditions. Data on medicine price components were collected from hospitals, wholesalers and distributors to obtain price mark-ups. FINDINGS: The mean availabilities of originator brands (OBs and lowest-priced generics (LPGs were 10.8% and 27.3% in the public hospitals and 11.9% and 20.6% in the private pharmacies. The public procurement and retail prices were 2.25 and 2.59 times the international reference prices (IRPs for three OBs, and 0.52 and 0.93 times for 20 LPGs. In the private sector, the final prices for OBs and LPGs were 3.89 and 1.25 times their IRPs. The final price in the private sector was 2.7% lower than in the public sector for OBs, and 14.1% higher for LPGs. Generally, standard treatments cost less than 1 day's wages in both sectors. Distribution mark-ups applied to brand salbutamol in Xi'an was 65.5%, and up to 185.3% for generic. Cumulative mark-ups for LPGs in Ankang were also high, from 33% to 50%. The manufacturer's selling price is the largest contributor to the final price in both areas. CONCLUSIONS: The government should approve a list of national paediatric essential medicines. The availability, price and affordability of these should be improved in both public hospitals and private pharmacies to enable children to obtain effective treatment. Measures should be taken to improve the efficiency of the centralised medicine purchasing system.

  11. A model plan for the uninsured: delivering quality and affordability in a limited benefit managed care safety net program in Flint, Michigan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creech, Constance J; Kornblau, Barbara; Strugar-Fritsch, Donna

    2012-02-01

    This paper presents the background and multiyear outcome data for a limited benefit safety-net care program in Michigan. It is a possible solution for policymakers and hospital/clinic administrators to consider when evaluating plans to provide primary care for the 30 million uninsured Americans who will be affected by the Affordable Care Act. PMID:22643481

  12. 12 CFR 1282.17 - Affordability-Income level definitions-family size and income known (owner-occupied units, actual...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ..., for rental housing, family size and income information for the dwelling unit is known to the... 12 Banks and Banking 7 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Affordability-Income level definitions-family... GOALS AND MISSION Housing Goals § 1282.17 Affordability—Income level definitions—family size and...

  13. SunShot Prize: America's Most Affordable Rooftop Solar: A Competition To Spur Low-Cost Rooftop Solar Installations Across The Nation (Fact Sheet)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2012-06-01

    The SunShot Prize encourages novel public-private partnerships, original business models, and innovative approaches to installing clean, renewable solar energy. The sustainable business strategies developed by participants will provide transferable lessons that can be applied nationwide to hasten America's transition to affordable clean energy in a post-subsidy market.

  14. Quantifying the impoverishing effects of purchasing medicines: A cross-country comparison of the affordability of medicines in the developing world

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.M. Niëns (Laurens); A. Cameron; E. Van de Poel (Ellen); M. Ewen; W.B.F. Brouwer (Werner); M. Ewen

    2010-01-01

    textabstractBackground:Increasing attention is being paid to the affordability of medicines in low- and middle-income countries (LICs and MICs) where medicines are often highly priced in relation to income levels. The impoverishing effect of medicine purchases can be estimated by determining pre- an

  15. Students' Understanding of External Representations of the Potassium Ion Channel Protein, Part I: Affordances and Limitations of Ribbon Diagrams, Vines, and Hydrophobic/Polar Representations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harle, Marissa; Towns, Marcy H.

    2012-01-01

    Research on external representations in biochemistry has uncovered student difficulties in comprehending and interpreting external representations. This project focuses on students' understanding of three external representations of the potassium ion channel protein. This is part I of a two-part study, which focuses on the affordances and…

  16. Leveraging the Affordances of YouTube: The Role of Pedagogical Knowledge and Mental Models of Technology Functions for Lesson Planning with Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauskopf, Karsten; Zahn, Carmen; Hesse, Friedrich W.

    2012-01-01

    Web-based digital video tools enable learners to access video sources in constructive ways. To leverage these affordances teachers need to integrate their knowledge of a technology with their professional knowledge about teaching. We suggest that this is a cognitive process, which is strongly connected to a teacher's mental model of the tool's…

  17. The Water White Paper is a positive vision for the future of the industry but questions remain on the issues of competition and affordability

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Tony

    2012-01-01

    The Water White Paper offers a real opportunity to build on the successes of the existing arrangement and ensure a sustainable industry. The government has taken a huge stride forward by recognising the need to address the problem of water affordability for low income households, although, as Tony Smith argues, the plans to tackle the issue fall short of what is needed.

  18. Kaupuni Village: A Closer Look at the First Net-Zero Energy Affordable Housing Community in Hawai'i (Brochure)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2012-05-01

    This is the first of four Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative community brochures focused on HCEI success stories. This brochure focuses on the first LEED Platinum net-zero energy affordable housing community in Hawaii. Our lead NREL contact for HCEI is Ken Kelly.

  19. Histamine reverses IL-5-Afforded human eosinophil survival by inducing apoptosis: Pharmacological evidence for a novel mechanism of action of histamine

    OpenAIRE

    Hasala, Hannele; Giembycz, Mark A.; Janka-Junttila, Mirkka; Moilanen, Eeva; Kankaanranta, Hannu

    2008-01-01

    Histamine reverses IL-5-Afforded human eosinophil survival by inducing apoptosis: Pharmacological evidence for a novel mechanism of action of histamine correspondence: Corresponding author. Tel.: +358335517318; fax: +358335518082. (Kankaanranta, Hannu) (Kankaanranta, Hannu) The Immunopharmacology Research Group--> , Medical School--> , University of Tampere--> , Tampere--> - FINLAND (Hasala, H...

  20. Development and evaluation of an affordable lift device to reduce musculo-skeletal injuries among home support workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heacock, Helen; Paris-Seeley, Nancy; Tokuno, Craig; Frederking, Sara; Keane, Brian; Mattie, Johanne; Kanigan, Ryan; Watzke, James

    2004-07-01

    Home support workers (HSWs) work in clients' homes assisting with rehabilitation and activities of daily living. Like all health-care professionals, HSWs are at an increased risk for developing back injuries. Lift devices have been shown to reduce injuries to the worker. Presently, there are few lifting devices for home use that cost under $4000 CDN. Our study involved designing a safe and affordable lift device (retail cost under $2000 CDN) to be used by HSWs in the home and evaluating it in a typical bathroom. Thirty-eight HSWs and three seniors evaluated the BCIT lift, a commercially available lift (BHM Medical Inc.) and the manual method of transfer and lift. Results indicated that the BCIT lift was an improvement over the manual method of transferring, and approximated the more expensive, automatic lift in terms of perceived exertion, ease of use and safety. Feedback provided to the researchers has been incorporated into a new, ergonomically sound and marketable lift device. PMID:15159204

  1. A FEW FOR-PROFIT BUSINESSES’ BATTLE OVER THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT’S PREVENTATIVE SERVICES MANDATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh Argentieri Coogan

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, employers are required to provide employees with health plans, which must include FDA, approved contraceptives with no cost sharing. While Health and Humans Services (HHS revised the regulation to allow for a compromise among religious organizations and non-profits run by religious organizations, private for profit businesses must comply with the ACA even if the business asserts to be founded on religious principles. Several for profit business have sued in district court for an injunction against the requirements. However, a circuit split exists among courts granting preliminary injunctions against the ACA pending a granting of appeal. This note will focus on whether the federal government can compel secular, for profit organizations to provide employee health plans that include contraceptives, the morning after pill and sterilization under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Unless the statute or regulation changes, the Supreme Court will likely need to grant certiorari to resolve the issue.

  2. Should the Affordable Care Act's preventive services coverage provision be used to widely disseminate whole genome sequencing to Americans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Perry W

    2014-02-01

    I argue that the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, which eliminates cost sharing for preventive services, should be utilized as a pathway for reimbursing whole genome sequencing (WGS) and making it widely available to most Americans. This act provides multiple routes for determining which preventive services receive this designation. Three of these routes should be considered as pathways for reimbursing WGS, including approval by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, inclusion in the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures Project, and classification as a preventive service for women by the Institute of Medicine. There are valid arguments against the expansion of this technology, including inadequate national and state laws prohibiting genetic discrimination, informed consent limitations, and potentially expensive genome interpretations. These concerns should not inhibit the wide dissemination of this technology, as current efforts by the NIH and industry to expand the use of genome sequencing demonstrate. The ACA should be used as a tool to prevent disparities in access to genome information in the United States and avoid the development of a two-tiered health system based on those with and without genome sequence data. PMID:24193604

  3. NorthernSTAR 1-1/2-Story Demonstration House of Cold Climate Solutions for Affordable Housing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schirber, T. [Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States). NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership; Ojczyk, C. [Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States). NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership; Jacobson, R. [Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States). NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership

    2016-03-01

    Single family homes in urban areas that are available for renovation by nonprofit developers are often in rough shape (1MM to 2MM nationally). Budgeting has historically focused on improving homes to meet basic housing standards. A rising interest in the long-term impact of homeownership has introduced the need to balance basic needs with home performance. This demonstration project aims to help nonprofit affordable housing developers become familiar with three Building America performance measures, the installation processes, and impacts and benefits of each. A story and a half home in North Minneapolis, MN was presented by Urban Homeworks our local nonprofit partner. The team helped them install three researched upgrade measures: exterior roof insulation or 'overcoat,' exterior foundation insulation, or 'excavationless', and a combined space and water heating HVAC system or 'combi'. To maximize efficiency of application and to address budget issues, the Team worked with Urban Homeworks to identify ways to use volunteers and construction training programs to install the measures. An open invitation to visit the job site was extended to other nonprofit developers and industry partners to encourage dialog about the systems during live installation.

  4. Power Distribution at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Illumination through Affordable and Sustainable Solution of Gram Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Nisha; Sarswat, Prashant

    2016-03-01

    Energy plays a vital role in the socio -economic development, mainly due to the dependency of indispensable amenities on electricity. However, a matter of concern is developing country domestic power needs and inadequate supply. One of the cases is Indian subcontinent, where more than 50,000 villages still not have access to uninterrupted electric power. `Power theft' is a major challenge due to the lack of adequate energy supply and the financial constraints. Long distances, inaccurate and inflated electricity bills are the other issues lead to default on payments. Gram Power, a social enterprise, is providing a smart metering and affordable solution in areas where the extension of existing grid supply is economically not viable. India's first solar powered micro-grid (centralized array of solar panels) in Rajasthan was established by this initiative. The core innovation is a smart distribution technology that consists of smart meters with recharging facility and grid monitoring, to provide on-demand, theft-proof power through centralized servers with a pay-as-you-use schedule. The details of the changes, socio-economic transformation, and operational sustainability of such a community engagement model will be discussed in this study.

  5. Pain Control in the African Context: the Ugandan introduction of affordable morphine to relieve suffering at the end of life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harding Richard

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Dr Anne Merriman is the founder of Hospice Africa and Hospice Africa Uganda. She is presently Director of Policy and International Programmes. Here she tells the story of how HAU was founded. Dr Richard Harding is an academic researcher working on palliative care in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper described Dr Merriman's experience in pioneering palliative care provision. In particular it examines the steps to achieving wider availability of opioids for pain management for those with far advanced disease. Hospice Africa Uganda has been a model facility in achieving high quality clinical care embedded in a strategy of advocacy and education, using a multifaceted approach that has addressed logistical, policy and legislative barriers. Until 1990 control of severe pain in Sub-Saharan Africa was non-existent except in Zimbabwe and S Africa. Oral affordable morphine was brought to Kenya through Nairobi Hospice that year, and to Uganda through Hospice Africa Uganda in 1993. This paper offers an example of a highly effective and cost efficient model of care that has transformed the ability to humanely manage the problems of those with terminal illness, and to offer a culturally appropriate "good death". Thus it is now possible to complete the ethical circle of care in resource poor circumstances.

  6. Urban renewal, migration and memories: The affordances of place-based pedagogies for developing immigrant students’ literate repertoires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Comber

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on the New literacy demands in the middle years of schooling project in which the affordances of placed-based pedagogy are being explored through teacher inquiries and classroom-based design experiments. The school is located within a large-scale urban renewal project in which houses are being demolished and families relocated. The original school buildings have recently been demolished and replaced by a large ‘Superschool’ which serves a bigger student population from a wider area. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data, the teachers reported that the language literacy learning of students (including a majority of students learning English as a second language involved in the project exceeded their expectations. The project provided the motivation for them to develop their oral language repertoires, by involving them in processes such as conducting interviews with adults for their oral histories, through questioning the project manager in regular meetings, and through reporting to their peers and the wider community at school assemblies. At the same time students’ written and multimodal documentation of changes in the neighbourhood and the school grounds extended their literate and semiotic repertoires as they produced books, reports, films, Powerpoints, visual designs and models of structures.

  7. The U.S. Health Care Crisis Five Years After Passage of the Affordable Care Act: A Data Snapshot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellander, Ida

    2015-01-01

    Despite passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the U.S. health care crisis continues. While coverage has been expanded, the reform will leave 27 million people uninsured in 2024, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Much of the new coverage is of low actuarial value with high cost-sharing requirements, creating barriers to access. Choice of physician is restricted to narrow networks of providers. Recent measures of uninsurance, underinsurance, access to care, and health care costs are given. Changes in Medicare, particularly privatization and the rise of specialty drug tiers that limit access to medically necessary medications, are reviewed. Data on a new wave of consolidation among hospitals, medical groups, insurers, and drug companies are presented. The rise of ultra-high-price drugs, such as Solvadi, is raising pharmaceutical costs, particularly in Medicaid, the program for low-income Americans. International health comparisons continue to show the United States performing poorly in relation to other countries. Recent polling data are presented, showing support for more fundamental reform. PMID:26251349

  8. Dissecting Stages of Human Kidney Development and Tumorigenesis with Surface Markers Affords Simple Prospective Purification of Nephron Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pode-Shakked, Naomi; Pleniceanu, Oren; Gershon, Rotem; Shukrun, Rachel; Kanter, Itamar; Bucris, Efrat; Pode-Shakked, Ben; Tam, Gal; Tam, Hadar; Caspi, Revital; Pri-Chen, Sara; Vax, Einav; Katz, Guy; Omer, Dorit; Harari-Steinberg, Orit; Kalisky, Tomer; Dekel, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    When assembling a nephron during development a multipotent stem cell pool becomes restricted as differentiation ensues. A faulty differentiation arrest in this process leads to transformation and initiation of a Wilms’ tumor. Mapping these transitions with respective surface markers affords accessibility to specific cell subpopulations. NCAM1 and CD133 have been previously suggested to mark human renal progenitor populations. Herein, using cell sorting, RNA sequencing, in vitro studies with serum-free media and in vivo xenotransplantation we demonstrate a sequential map that links human kidney development and tumorigenesis; In nephrogenesis, NCAM1+CD133− marks SIX2+ multipotent renal stem cells transiting to NCAM1+CD133+ differentiating segment-specific SIX2− epithelial progenitors and NCAM1−CD133+ differentiated nephron cells. In tumorigenesis, NCAM1+CD133− marks SIX2+ blastema that includes the ALDH1+ WT cancer stem/initiating cells, while NCAM1+CD133+ and NCAM1−CD133+ specifying early and late epithelial differentiation, are severely restricted in tumor initiation capacity and tumor self-renewal. Thus, negative selection for CD133 is required for defining NCAM1+ nephron stem cells in normal and malignant nephrogenesis. PMID:27020553

  9. Availability, prices and affordability of the World Health Organization’s essential medicines for children in Guatemala

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Several World Health Organization (WHO) initiatives aim to improve the accessibility of safe and effective medicines for children. A first step in achieving this goal is to obtain a baseline measure of access to essential medicines. The objective of this project was to measure the availability, prices, and affordability of children’s medicines in Guatemala. Methods An adaption of the standardized methodology developed by the World Health Organization and Health Action International (HAI) was used to conduct a cross sectional survey to collect data on availability and final patient prices of medicines in public and private sector medicine outlets during April and May of 2010. Results A subset of the public sector, Programa de Accesibilidad a los Medicamentos (PROAM), had the lowest average availability (25%) compared to the private sector (35%). In the private sector, highest and lowest priced medicines were 22.7 and 10.7 times more expensive than their international reference price comparison. Treatments were generally unaffordable, costing as much as 15 days wages for a course of ceftriaxone. Conclusions Analysis of the procurement, supply and distribution of specific medicines is needed to determine reasons for lack of availability. Improvements to accessibility could be made by developing an essential medicines list for children and including these medicines in national purchasing lists. PMID:22747646

  10. New Whole-House Solutions Case Study: Affordable Cold Climate Infill Housing with Hybrid Insulation Approach, Wyandotte, Michigan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2013-11-01

    Even builders who are relatively new to energy-efficient construction can consistently reach a target whole house airtightness of 1.5 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals (ACH50) with high R-value enclosures that use a hybrid insulation approach. In 2010, the City of Wyandotte, Michigan, started construction to build affordable, energy-efficient homes on lots in existing neighborhoods. A goal was to engage local builders in energy-efficient construction and be able to deliver the new houses for less than $100/ft2. By the end of 2012, approximately 25 new houses were built by five local builders under this program. To help builders consistently achieve the airtightness target, a local architect worked with researchers from Building Science Corporation, a Building America team, to develop a technology specification with several key pieces. A high R-value wall and roof assembly made use of 2 ×6 advanced framing and a hybrid insulation approach that included insulating sheathing to control thermal bridging and closed cell spray polyurethane foam insulation (ccSPF) for its airtightness and vapor control benefits. This approach allows the air barrier to be completed and tested before any finishing work occurs, ensuring that problems are spotted and corrected early in the construction process.

  11. Leveraging The Affordable Care Act To Enroll Justice-Involved Populations In Medicaid: State And Local Efforts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandara, Sachini N; Huskamp, Haiden A; Riedel, Lauren E; McGinty, Emma E; Webster, Daniel; Toone, Robert E; Barry, Colleen L

    2015-12-01

    The Affordable Care Act provides an unprecedented opportunity to enroll criminal justice-involved populations in health insurance, particularly Medicaid. As a result, many state and county corrections departments have launched programs that incorporate Medicaid enrollment in discharge planning. Our study characterizes the national landscape of programs enrolling criminal justice-involved populations in Medicaid as of January 2015. We provide an overview of sixty-four programs operating in jails, prisons, or community probation and parole systems that enroll individuals during detention, incarceration, and the release process. We describe the variation among the programs in terms of settings, personnel, timing of eligibility screening, and target populations. Seventy-seven percent of the programs are located in jails, and 56 percent use personnel from public health or social service agencies. We describe four practices that have facilitated the Medicaid enrollment process: suspending instead of terminating Medicaid benefits upon incarceration, presuming that an individual is eligible for Medicaid before the process is completed, allowing enrollment during incarceration, and accepting alternative forms of identification for enrollment. The criminal justice system is a complex one that requires a variety of approaches to enroll individuals in Medicaid. Future research should examine how these approaches influence health and criminal justice outcomes. PMID:26643624

  12. Enhancing student engagement through the affordances of mobile technology: a 21st century learning perspective on Realistic Mathematics Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bray, Aibhín; Tangney, Brendan

    2016-03-01

    Several recent curriculum reforms aim to address the shortfalls traditionally associated with mathematics education through increased emphasis on higher-order-thinking and collaborative skills. Some stakeholders, such as the US National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the UK Joint Mathematical Council, advocate harnessing the affordances of digital technology in conjunction with social constructivist pedagogies, contextual scenarios, and/or approaches aligned with Realistic Mathematics Education (RME). However, it can be difficult to create technology-mediated, collaborative and contextual activities within a conventional classroom setting. This paper explores how a combination of a transformative, mobile technology-mediated approach, RME, and a particular model of 21st century learning facilitates the development of mathematics learning activities with the potential to increase student engagement and confidence. An explanatory case study with multiple embedded units and a pre-experimental design was conducted with a total of 54 students in 3 schools over 25 hours of class time. Results from student interviews, along with pre-test/post-test analysis of questionnaires, suggest that the approach has the potential to increase student engagement with, and confidence in, mathematics. This paper expands on these results, proposing connections between aspects of the activity design and their impact on student attitudes and behaviours.

  13. Clinicians' awareness of the Affordable Care Act mandate to provide comprehensive tobacco cessation treatment for pregnant women covered by Medicaid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van T. Tong

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The Affordable Care Act (ACA requires states to provide tobacco-cessation services without cost-sharing for pregnant traditional Medicaid-beneficiaries effective October 2010. It is unknown the extent to which obstetricians–gynecologists are aware of the Medicaid tobacco-cessation benefit. We sought to examine the awareness of the Medicaid tobacco-cessation benefit in a national sample of obstetricians–gynecologists and assessed whether reimbursement would influence their tobacco cessation practice. In 2012, a survey was administered to a national stratified-random sample of obstetricians–gynecologists (n = 252 regarding awareness of the Medicaid tobacco-cessation benefit. Results were stratified by the percentage of pregnant Medicaid patients. Chi-squared tests (p < 0.05 were used to assess significant associations. Analyses were conducted in 2014. Eighty-three percent of respondents were unaware of the benefit. Lack of awareness increased as the percentage of pregnant Medicaid patients in their practices decreased (range = 71.9%–96.8%; P = 0.02. One-third (36.1% of respondents serving pregnant Medicaid patients reported that reimbursement would influence them to increase their cessation services. Four out of five obstetricians–gynecologists surveyed in 2012 were unaware of the ACA provision that required states to provide tobacco cessation coverage for pregnant traditional Medicaid beneficiaries as of October 2010. Broad promotion of the Medicaid tobacco-cessation benefit could reduce treatment barriers.

  14. PROVIDING AFFORDABLE HIGHER EDUCATION TO RURAL GIRLS IN INDIAN PUNJAB: A CASE STUDY OF BABA AYA SINGH RIARKI COLLEGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RANJIT SINGH GHUMAN

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper highlights a case study of a rural girls college located in a remote village of Gurdaspur district in Indian Punjab. The idea of this unique college was conceptualised by one Baba Aya Singh, a social and religious activist, from a village near the college way back in 1925. It was really a revolutionary idea because female education in India, particularly higher education, was a distant dream at that time. The college was, however, started with only 14 rural girls after about half-a-century when the great visionary Baba Aya Singh had a dream to educate the rural girls. Access to and affordability of higher education is the uniqueness of this college. The student has to pay only Rs. 5800 (about US $ 65 per annum, which includes both the tuition fee and boarding and lodging. It is equally significant to note that the entire expenses of the college are met by this and the produce of agricultural land of the college. The college does not take any outside help. The meritorious senior class students teach the junior class students. The college in its own humble, but significant, way made a revolutionary contribution to the education of poor rural girls who, otherwise, would not have dreamt of college education. Apart from, class-room teaching and bookish knowledge, the students are taught social, ethical and management skills in a most natural manner. The product of the college has proved to be the agents of change and rural transformation.

  15. Affordable Cyclic Voltammetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Greg; Kuntzleman, Thomas S.; Amend, John R.; Collins, Michael J.

    2009-01-01

    Cyclic voltammetry is an important component of the undergraduate chemical curriculum. Unfortunately, undergraduate students rarely have the opportunity to conduct experiments in cyclic voltammetry owing to the high cost of potentiostats, which are required to control these experiments. By using MicroLab data acquisition interfaces in conjunction…

  16. The Affordability Question

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaFee, Scott

    2012-01-01

    Launching and sustaining a laptop initiative is an expensive proposition. For that reason, districts often begin with modest pilots or roll out programs incrementally, a grade or two at a time. These days, few, if any, public school districts have budgets to finance full-service 1-to-1 programs. Instead, some seek outside assistance. Private…

  17. Monitoring Infrastructure Affordances

    OpenAIRE

    Björn, Ståhl

    2013-01-01

    Computing has made its way into most of our lives as a key processor of vast quantities of information. This has happened directly in terms of gadgets and devices that assists us in everyday life, but also indirectly, through the critical infrastructures that enables these devices to function. A key issue with critical infrastructures such as transportation, communication, power-grids and finance, is increasingly circular interdependencies. Because of this issue, a disruption in either one ca...

  18. Affordances and Challenges of Using Argument as a Connective Discourse for Scientific Practices to Teach Climate Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sezen-Barrie, A.; Wolfson, J.

    2015-12-01

    An important goal of science education is to support development of citizens to participate in public debate and make informed decisions relevant to their lives and their worlds. The NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) suggest engaging students in science classrooms in argumentation as a practice to help enhance the quality of evidence based decision making. In this multi-case study, we explored the use of written argumentation in eight secondary school science classrooms during a lesson on the relationship between ocean temperature and its CO2 holding capacity. All teachers of these classrooms were trained during a day long NSF funded Climate Literacy Workshop on the basic concepts of climate science, scientific practices and implementation of an activity called "It's a Gassy World". The data of the current study involved students' written arguments, teachers' written reflections on the implementation of the activity as well as field notes from the Climate Literacy Workshop. A qualitative discourse analysis of the data was used to find common themes around affordances and challenges of argument as a connective discourse for scientific practices to teach climate change. The findings show that participating in written argumentation process encouraged students to discuss their experimental design and use data interpretation for their evidences. However, the results also indicated the following challenges: a) teachers themselves need support in connecting their evidence to their claims, b) arguing a socioscientific issue creates a sensitive environment c) conceptual quality of an argument needs to be strengthen through background in courses other than science, and d) graphing skills (or lack of) can interfere with constructing scientifically accurate claims. This study has implications in effectively teaching climate change through argumentation, and thus creating opportunities for practicing authentic climate science research in K-12 classrooms.

  19. Sinistrals are rarely ‘right’: evidence from tool­-affordance processing in visual half-­field paradigms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bartosz eMichałowski

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Although current neuroscience and behavioral studies provide substantial understanding of tool representations (e.g., the processing of tool-­related affordances in the human brain, most of this knowledge is limited to right-handed individuals with typical organization of cognitive and manual skills. Therefore, any insights from these lines of research may be of little value in rehabilitation of patients with atypical laterality of praxis and/or hand dominance. To fill this gap, we tested perceptual processing of man­-made objects in 18 healthy left-­handers who were likely to show greater incidence of right-sided or bilateral (atypical lateralization of functions. In the two experiments reported here, participants performed a tool vs. non-­tool categorization task. In Exp. 1, target and distracter objects were presented for 200 ms in the left (LVF or right (RVF visual field, followed by 200ms masks. In Exp. 2, the centrally presented targets were preceded by masked primes of 35ms duration, again presented in the LVF or RVF. Based on results from both studies, i.e., response times to correctly discriminated stimuli irrespective of their category, participants were divided into two groups showing privileged processing in either left (N = 9 or right (N = 9 visual field. In Exp. 1, only individuals with RVF advantage showed significantly faster categorization of tools in their dominant visual field, whereas those with LVF advantage revealed merely a trend towards such an effect. In Exp. 2, when targets were preceded by identical primes, the ‘atypical’ group showed significantly facilitated categorization of non­-tools, whereas the ‘typical’ group demonstrated a trend towards faster categorization of tools. These results indicate that in subjects with atypically organized cognitive skills, tool­-related processes are not just mirror reversed. Thus, our outcomes call for particular caution in neurorehabilitation directed at left

  20. Building a Successful Security Infrastructure: What You Want vs. What You Need vs. What You Can Afford

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crabb, Michele D.; Woodrow, Thomas S. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    With the fast growing popularity of the Internet, many organizations are racing to get onto the on-ramp to the Information Superhighway. However, with frequent headlines such as 'Hackers' break in at General Electric raises questions about the Net's Security', 'Internet Security Imperiled - Hackers steal data that could threaten computers world-wide' and 'Stanford Computer system infiltrated; Security fears grow', organizations find themselves rethinking their approach to the on-ramp. Is the Internet safe? What do I need to do to protect my organization? Will hackers try to break into my systems? These are questions many organizations are asking themselves today. In order to safely travel along the Information Superhighway, organizations need a strong security framework. Developing such a framework for a computer site, whether it be just a few dozen hosts or several thousand hosts is not an easy task. The security infrastructure for a site is often developed piece-by-piece in response to security incidents which have affected that site over time. Or worse yet, no coordinated effort has been dedicated toward security. The end result is that many sites are still poorly prepared to handle the security dangers of the Internet. This paper presents guidelines for building a successful security infrastructure. The problem is addressed in a cookbook style method. First is a discussion on how to identify your assets and evaluate the threats to those assets; next are suggestions and tips for identifying the weak areas in your security armor. Armed with this information we can begin to think about what you really need for your site and what you can afford. In this stage of the process we examine the different categories of security tools and products that are available and then present some tips for deciding what is best for your site.

  1. Availability, price and affordability of cardiovascular medicines: A comparison across 36 countries using WHO/HAI data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cameron Alexandra

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The global burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD continues to rise. Successful treatment of CVD requires adequate pharmaceutical management. The aim was to examine the availability, pricing and affordability of cardiovascular medicines in developing countries using the standardized data collected according to the World Health Organization/Health Action International methodology. Methods The following medicines were included: atenolol, captopril, hydrochlorothiazide, losartan and nifedipine. Data from 36 countries were analyzed. Outcome measures were percentage availability, price ratios to international reference prices and number of day's wages needed by the lowest-paid unskilled government worker to purchase one month of chronic treatment. Patient prices were adjusted for inflation and purchasing power, procurement prices only for inflation. Data were analyzed for both generic and originator brand products and the public and private sector and summarized by World Bank Income Groups. Results For all measures, there was great variability across surveys. The overall availability of cardiovascular medicines was poor (mean 26.3% in public sector, 57.3% private sector. Procurement prices were very competitive in some countries, whereas others consistently paid high prices. Patient prices were generally substantially higher than international references prices; some countries, however, performed well. Chronic treatment with anti-hypertensive medication cost more than one day's wages in many cases. In particular when monotherapy is insufficient, treatment became unaffordable. Conclusions The results of this study emphasize the need of focusing attention and financing on making chronic disease medicines accessible, in particular in the public sector. Several policy options are suggested to reach this goal.

  2. Health-care interventions to promote and assist tobacco cessation:A review of efficacy, effectiveness and affordability for use in national guideline development

    OpenAIRE

    West, Robert; Raw, Martin; McNeill, Ann; Stead, Lindsay; Aveyard, Paul; Bitton, John; Stapleton, John; McRobbie, Hayden; Pokhrel, Subhash; Lester-George, Adam; Borland, Ron

    2015-01-01

    Aims: This paper provides a concise review of the efficacy, effectiveness and affordability of health-care interventions to promote and assist tobacco cessation, in order to inform national guideline development and assist countries in planning their provision of tobacco cessation support. Methods: Cochrane reviews of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of major health-care tobacco cessation interventions were used to derive efficacy estimates in terms of percentage-point increases relative t...

  3. A New Vaccine against Tuberculosis Affords Greater Survival after Challenge than the Current Vaccine in the Guinea Pig Model of Pulmonary Tuberculosis

    OpenAIRE

    Horwitz, Marcus A.; Harth, Guenter

    2003-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) remains an enormous global health problem, and a new vaccine against TB more potent than the current inadequate vaccine, Mycobacterium bovis BCG, is urgently needed. We describe a recombinant BCG vaccine (rBCG30) expressing and secreting the 30-kDa major secretory protein of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the primary causative agent of TB, that affords greater survival after challenge than parental BCG in the highly demanding guinea pig model of pulmonary TB. Animals immunized ...

  4. Effect of affordable technology on physical activity levels and mobility outcomes in rehabilitation: a protocol for the Activity and MObility UsiNg Technology (AMOUNT) rehabilitation trial

    OpenAIRE

    Hassett, Leanne; van den Berg, Maayken; Lindley, Richard I.; Crotty, Maria; McCluskey, Annie; van der Ploeg, Hidde P.; Smith, Stuart T; Schurr, Karl; Killington, Maggie; Bongers, Bert; Howard, Kirsten; Heritier, Stephane; Togher, Leanne; Hackett, Maree; Treacy, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Introduction People with mobility limitations can benefit from rehabilitation programmes that provide a high dose of exercise. However, since providing a high dose of exercise is logistically challenging and resource-intensive, people in rehabilitation spend most of the day inactive. This trial aims to evaluate the effect of the addition of affordable technology to usual care on physical activity and mobility in people with mobility limitations admitted to inpatient aged and neurological reha...

  5. Sharp changes in tobacco products affordability and the dynamics of smoking prevalence in various social and income groups in Ukraine in 2008–2012

    OpenAIRE

    Krasovsky, Konstantin

    2013-01-01

    Background To curb the tobacco epidemic, successful implementation of tobacco control measures should take into account how specific demographic groups react to particular policies. In 2005–2010, Ukraine experienced a sharp decline in smoking prevalence. In 2008–2010, several excise tax hikes combined with the economic recession resulted in a sharp reduction of tobacco product affordability, but in 2011–2012 tax increases were rather moderate. The aim of the current research was to investigat...

  6. The Impact of Market Size and Composition on Health Insurance Premiums: Evidence from the First Year of the Affordable Care Act

    OpenAIRE

    Michael J. Dickstein; Mark Duggan; Joe Orsini; Pietro Tebaldi

    2015-01-01

    Under the Affordable Care Act, individual states have discretion in how they define coverage regions, within which insurers must charge the same premium to buyers of the same age, family structure, and smoking status. We exploit variation in these definitions to investigate whether the size of the coverage region affects outcomes in the ACA marketplaces. We find large consequences for small and rural markets. When states combine small counties with neighboring urban areas into a single region...

  7. Making astronomy incredibly easy, engaging and affordable for anyone with a desire to see outer space for themselves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paolucci, Michael

    2015-08-01

    We have built a social interface and funding model based on collaborative consumption to empower public access to powerful telescopes.Slooh’s robotic observatories put anyone with a desire to look up and wonder in the driver’s seat of powerful mountaintop telescopes. Our members have taken millions of images of over 50,000 objects in the night sky, from tracking asteroids for NASA to discovering supernovae. Slooh launched December 25th, 2003 from our flagship observatory at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands and in the ensuing decade we’ve built a network of 20+ observatory partners around the world to capture every magical moment in outer space. We are the world’s largest community of people peering into space together.About SloohSlooh makes astronomy incredibly easy, engaging and affordable for anyone with a desire to see outer space for themselves. Since 2003 Slooh has connected telescopes to the Internet for access by the broader public. Slooh’s automated observatories develop celestial images in real-time for broadcast to the Internet. Slooh’s technology is protected by Patent No.: US 7,194,146 B2 which was awarded in 2006. Slooh members have taken over 3m photos/150,000 FITS of over 50,000 celestial objects, participated in numerous discoveries with leading astronomical institutions and made over 2,000 submissions to the Minor Planet Center. Slooh’s flagship observatories are situated on Mt. Teide, in partnership with the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), and in Chile, in partnership with the Catholic University. Slooh has also broadcast live celestial events from partner observatories in Arizona, Japan, Hawaii, Cypress, Dubai, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Norway. Slooh’s free live broadcasts of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs), comets, transits, eclipses, solar activity etc. feature narration by astronomy experts Will Gater, Bob Berman, Paul Cox and Eric Edelman and are syndicated to

  8. 经济适用房理性增长评价%The Evaluation Method Research Using Smart Growth Theory to Affordable Housing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马恒升; 王萍; 崔诗佳

    2012-01-01

    Smart Growth is the basic concept of urban development, and the smart growth of affordable housing is an important part of urban development. It combined with the theory of smart growth in the paper, building the evaluation index of affordable housing, evaluating each element by AHP, determining the scientific and sustainability of the project-specific planning and design comprehensively. It will provide a scientific basis for our affordable housing development.%理性增长(smart growth)是城市发展的基本理念,经济适用房的理性增长是城市发展的重要内容.文章结合理性增长理论,构建了经济适用房评价指标,用AHP方法对各要素进行评价,综合判定具体项目规划设计的科学性及可持续性.以期为我国经济适用房发展决策提供科学依据.

  9. A five-year assessment of the affordable care act: market forces still trump the common good in U.S. Health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geyman, John P

    2015-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted in 2010 as the signature domestic achievement of the Obama presidency. It was intended to contain costs and achieve near-universal access to affordable health care of improved quality. Now, five years later, it is time to assess its track record. This article compares the goals and claims of the ACA with its actual experience in the areas of access, costs, affordability, and quality of care. Based on the evidence, one has to conclude that containment of health care costs is nowhere in sight, that more than 37 million Americans will still be uninsured when the ACA is fully implemented in 2019, that many more millions will be underinsured, and that profiteering will still dominate the culture of U.S. health care. More fundamental reform will be needed. The country still needs to confront the challenge that our for-profit health insurance industry, together with enormous bureaucratic waste and widespread investor ownership throughout our market-based system, are themselves barriers to health care reform. Here we consider the lessons we can take away from the ACA's first five years and lay out the economic, social/political, and moral arguments for replacing it with single-payer national health insurance. PMID:25674797

  10. The new affordances in the home environment for motor development - infant scale (AHEMD-IS): Versions in English and Portuguese languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caçola, Priscila M; Gabbard, Carl; Montebelo, Maria I L; Santos, Denise C C

    2015-01-01

    The home environment has been established as a crucial factor for motor development, especially in infants. Exploring the home environment can have significant implications for intervention, as it is common practice in physical therapy to have professionals advise patients on home activities. Since 2010, our group has been working on the development of the Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development - Infant Scale (AHEMD-IS), a parental self-reporting instrument designed to assess the quality and quantity of factors (affordances) in the home environment. In Brazil, the instrument has been translated as "Affordances no Ambiente Domiciliar para o Desenvolvimento Motor - Escala Bebê", and it has been extensively used in several studies that address infant development. These studies in Brazil and other parts of the world highly recommended the need for a normative sample and standardized scoring system. A description of the study that addressed that need, along with the English version of the questionnaire and score sheets, was recently published in the well-known and respected journal Physical Therapy. Our intent with the present short communication is to notify Brazilian investigators and clinicians of this latest update so they can download the new instrument, as well as present the Brazilian (Portuguese) version of the AHEMD-IS along with its scoring system. PMID:26647753

  11. The new affordances in the home environment for motor development - infant scale (AHEMD-IS: Versions in English and Portuguese languages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscila M. Caçola

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The home environment has been established as a crucial factor for motor development, especially in infants. Exploring the home environment can have significant implications for intervention, as it is common practice in physical therapy to have professionals advise patients on home activities. Since 2010, our group has been working on the development of the Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development - Infant Scale (AHEMD-IS, a parental self-reporting instrument designed to assess the quality and quantity of factors (affordances in the home environment. In Brazil, the instrument has been translated as "Affordances no Ambiente Domiciliar para o Desenvolvimento Motor - Escala Bebê", and it has been extensively used in several studies that address infant development. These studies in Brazil and other parts of the world highly recommended the need for a normative sample and standardized scoring system. A description of the study that addressed that need, along with the English version of the questionnaire and score sheets, was recently published in the well-known and respected journal Physical Therapy. Our intent with the present short communication is to notify Brazilian investigators and clinicians of this latest update so they can download the new instrument, as well as present the Brazilian (Portuguese version of the AHEMD-IS along with its scoring system.

  12. 运城市经济适用房发展现状调查研究%A Study of the Affordable Housing Development in Yuncheng

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    关明文; 池静

    2012-01-01

    经济适用房关乎经济发展与社会稳定,国家给予了前所未有的关注。我们采用实地考察法、文献资料法、问卷调查法等,以运城市四季绿城经济适用房小区为研究对象,就经济适用房的用途、房价、户型等现状进行分析,得出运城市经济适用房用途混乱、房价偏高、户型分配不合理等问题。并据此提出相应的建议:成本透明化,合理控制房价;规范经济适用房用途;控制户型标准,改进分配制度;科学选址,降低生活成本等。以期对运城市经济适用房的发展有所帮助。%Chinese government has given unprecedented attentions which is closely related to economic development and social stability. B to the affordable housing development y taking the methods of field investiga- tion, literature review, questionnaires, this paper makes a study of the functions, house prices and house style of the affordable houses in the residential community of Four Seasons Greentown in Yuncheng city. The results show that the main problems are: the chaotic house functions, the high house prices, and the unreasonable house distribution. In order to solve the existing problems, Yuncheng government should take some correspond- ing methods such as making the construction cost clear, controlling the price of affordable housing, regulating the affordable housing functions, controlling the room style, improving the distribution system, scientific and reducing the cost of living. These methods are necessary for the development able housing and will promote the development of the affordable housing in Yuncheng.

  13. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010: reforming the health care reform for the new decade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manchikanti, Laxmaiah; Caraway, David L; Parr, Allan T; Fellows, Bert; Hirsch, Joshua A

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the ACA, for short) became law with President Obama's signature on March 23, 2010. It represents the most significant transformation of the American health care system since Medicare and Medicaid. It is argued that it will fundamentally change nearly every aspect of health care, from insurance to the final delivery of care. The length and complexity of the legislation and divisive and heated debates have led to massive confusion about the impact of ACA. It also became one of the centerpieces of 2010 congressional campaigns. Essentials of ACA include: 1) a mandate for individuals and businesses requiring as a matter of law that nearly every American have an approved level of health insurance or pay a penalty; 2) a system of federal subsidies to completely or partially pay for the now required health insurance for about 34 million Americans who are currently uninsured - subsidized through Medicaid and exchanges; 3) extensive new requirements on the health insurance industry; and 4) numerous regulations on the practice of medicine. The act is divided into 10 titles. It contains provisions that went into effect starting on June 21, 2010, with the majority of provisions going into effect in 2014 and later. The perceived major impact on practicing physicians in the ACA is related to growing regulatory authority with the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). In addition to these specifics is a growth of the regulatory regime in association with further discounts in physician reimbursement. With regards to cost controls and projections, many believe that the ACA does not fix the finances of our health care system - neither public nor private. It has been suggested that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the administration have used creative accounting to arrive at an alleged deficit reduction; however, if everything is included appropriately and

  14. The Attainment of a Science Degree by African American College Students at Arizona State University: An Investigation to Identify The Barriers and Affordances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyce, Quintin

    Historically, African American students have been underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). If African American students continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, they will not have access to valuable and high-paying sectors of the economy. Despite the number of African Americans in these fields being disproportionately low, there are still individuals that persist and complete science degrees. The aim of this study was to investigate African American students who excel in science at Arizona State University and examine the barriers and affordances that they encounter on their journey toward graduation. Qualitative research methods were used to address the research question of the study. My methodology included creating a case study to investigate the experiences of eight African American undergraduate college students at Arizona State University. These four male and four female students were excelling sophomores, juniors, or seniors who were majoring in a science field. Two of the males came from lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds, while two of the males were from higher SES backgrounds. The same applied to the four female participants. My research utilized surveys, semistructured interviews, and student observations to collect data that was analyzed and coded to determine common themes and elements that exist between the students. As a result of the data collection opportunities, peer support and financial support were identified as barriers, while, parental support, financial support, peer support, and teacher support were identified as affordances. In analyzing the data, the results indicated that for the student subjects in this study, sex and SES did not have any relationship with the barriers and affordances experienced.

  15. Evaluation of the Policy Holders' Premium Affordability in Automobile Insurance Markets%车险市场中投保人保费负担能力评估

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    胡宏兵; 龙骧

    2012-01-01

    The marketization of automobile premium rating is in progress under the promotion of CIRC (China Insurance Regulatory Commission). However,the present defection that automobile-deflected rating system can hardly meet people's demand, especially the problem of policy holders' premium affordability are worthy of consideration. Based on defining premium affordability, this paper evaluate the present affordability of automobile insurance policy holders from different angels, and then proposes several policy countermeasures on the future direction of the reform of the rating system.%目前,我国车险市场的费率市场化工作正在保监会的推动下逐步开展。以“从车主义”为主的我国现行车险费率制度在满足投保人需求方面存在的缺陷,特别是投保人对保费的负担能力问题是费率市场化过程中需要考虑的重要内容。本文基于对机动车辆保险保费负担能力的设定,从不同的角度对投保人车险保费负担能力进行了评估,并在分析投保人负担能力的基础上,对车险费率改革的未来方向提出政策建议。

  16. Sexual affordances, perceptual-motor invariance extraction and intentional nonlinear dynamics: sexually deviant and non-deviant patterns in male subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renaud, Patrice; Goyette, Mathieu; Chartier, Sylvain; Zhornitski, Simon; Trottier, Dominique; Rouleau, Joanne-L; Proulx, Jean; Fedoroff, Paul; Bradford, John-P; Dassylva, Benoit; Bouchard, Stephane

    2010-10-01

    Sexual arousal and gaze behavior dynamics are used to characterize deviant sexual interests in male subjects. Pedophile patients and non-deviant subjects are immersed with virtual characters depicting relevant sexual features. Gaze behavior dynamics as indexed from correlation dimensions (D2) appears to be fractal in nature and significantly different from colored noise (surrogate data tests and recurrence plot analyses were performed). This perceptual-motor fractal dynamics parallels sexual arousal and differs from pedophiles to non-deviant subjects when critical sexual information is processed. Results are interpreted in terms of sexual affordance, perceptual invariance extraction and intentional nonlinear dynamics. PMID:20887690

  17. Off-grid Solar PV: Is it an affordable or an appropriate solution for rural electrification in sub-Saharan African countries?

    OpenAIRE

    Glenn P. Jenkins; Saule Baurzhan

    2014-01-01

    In this paper the feasibility of off-grid solar PV systems in Sub Sahara Africa (SSA) is analysed focusing on five major issues in the context of falling system costs: cost-effectiveness, affordability, financing, environmental impact, and poverty alleviation. Solar PV systems are found to be an extremely costly source of electricity for the rural poor in SSA. It is estimated that it will take at least 16.8 years for solar PV systems to become competitive with small diesel generators. The cos...

  18. A Black Swan in a Sea of White Noise: Using Technology-Enhanced Learning to Afford Educational Inclusivity for Learners with Asperger’s Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James McDowell

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Against a backdrop of increasingly vocation-focussed course provision within higher education, of widening participation initiatives intended to promote greater inclusion for learners affected by learning difficulties, and of moves towards greater use of social and collaborative forms of learning, this paper discusses the case of an undergraduate Computing student affected by Asperger’s Syndrome (AS.While there is recognition in the literature of problems associated with face-to-face dialogue for persons affected by AS, there is a paucity of research both into the experience of students in higher education, and around the issue of participation in group-work activities increasingly found in creative aspects of computing. This paper highlights a tension between moves towards collaborative learning and UK disabilities legislation in relation to learners with AS. Employing a qualitative case-study methodology, the investigation revealed how a technology-enhanced learning intervention afforded an AS-diagnosed learner greater opportunities to participate in group-work in a higher education context. The findings suggest that not only can computer-mediated communications afford AS-diagnosed learners opportunities to participate meaningfully in group-work, but also that the learner demonstrated higher levels of collective-inclusive versus individual-exclusive phraseology than neurotypical peers, thereby challenging assumptions around participation in collaborative learning activities and assimilation of peer-feedback.

  19. Estimation of isotropic nuclear magnetic shieldings in the CCSD(T) and MP2 complete basis set limit using affordable correlation calculations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kupka, Teobald; Stachów, Michal; Kaminsky, Jakub; Sauer, Stephan P. A.

    2013-01-01

    A linear correlation between isotropic nuclear magnetic shielding constants for seven model molecules (CH2O, H2O, HF, F2, HCN, SiH4 and H2S) calculated with 37 methods (34 density functionals, RHF, MP2 and CCSD(T) ), with affordable pcS-2 basis set and corresponding complete basis set results......, estimated from calculations with the family of polarizationconsistent pcS-n basis sets is reported. This dependence was also supported by inspection of profiles of deviation between CBS estimated nuclear shieldings and obtained with significantly smaller basis sets pcS-2 and aug-cc-pVTZ-J for the selected...... set of 37 calculation methods. It was possible to formulate a practical approach of estimating the values of isotropic nuclear magnetic shielding constants at the CCSD(T)/CBS and MP2/CBS levels from affordable CCSD(T)/pcS-2, MP2/pcS-2 and DFT/CBS calculations with pcS-n basis sets. The proposed method...

  20. Expanding Access to a New, More Affordable Levonorgestrel Intrauterine System in Kenya: Service Delivery Costs Compared With Other Contraceptive Methods and Perspectives of Key Opinion Leaders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rademacher, Kate H; Solomon, Marsden; Brett, Tracey; Bratt, John H; Pascual, Claire; Njunguru, Jesse; Steiner, Markus J

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Background: The levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG IUS) is one of the most effective forms of contraception and offers important non-contraceptive health benefits. However, it is not widely available in developing countries, largely due to the high price of existing products. Medicines360 plans to introduce its new, more affordable LNG IUS in Kenya. The public‐sector transfer price will vary by volume between US$12 to US$16 per unit; for an order of 100,000 units, the public-sector transfer price will be approximately US$15 per unit. Methods: We calculated the direct service delivery cost per couple-years of protection (CYP) of various family planning methods. The model includes the costs of contraceptive commodities, consumable supplies, instruments per client visit, and direct labor for counseling, insertion, removal, and resupply, if required. The model does not include costs of demand creation or training. We conducted interviews with key opinion leaders in Kenya to identify considerations for scale-up of a new LNG IUS, including strategies to overcome barriers that have contributed to low uptake of the copper intrauterine device. Results: The direct service delivery cost of Medicines360’s LNG IUS per CYP compares favorably with other contraceptive methods commonly procured for public-sector distribution in Kenya. The cost is slightly lower than that of the 3-month contraceptive injectable, which is currently the most popular method in Kenya. Almost all key opinion leaders agreed that introducing a more affordable LNG IUS could increase demand and uptake of the method. They thought that women seeking the product’s non-contraceptive health benefits would be a key market segment, and most agreed that the reduced menstrual bleeding associated with the method would likely be viewed as an advantage. The key opinion leaders indicated that myths and misconceptions among providers and clients about IUDs must be addressed, and that demand creation