WorldWideScience

Sample records for affordability

  1. Affordance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Mogens

    2016-01-01

    This entry presents the concept of affordances as part of an ecological approach to understanding how agents interact with objects in their environment. It examines some of the central developments of the concept, from J. J. Gibson’s original definition within psychology and Donald Norman’s design...

  2. The affordances of broken affordances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grünbaum, Martin Gielsgaard; Simonsen, Jakob Grue

    2015-01-01

    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...

  3. Network Affordances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Samson, Audrey; Soon, Winnie

    2015-01-01

    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......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...

  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. Learning Grasp Affordance Densities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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...... these and 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...... 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Affordances theory in multilingualism studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larissa Aronin

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The concept of affordances originating in Gibson’s work (Gibson, 1977 is gaining ground in multilingualism studies (cf. Aronin and Singleton, 2010; Singleton and Aronin, 2007; Dewaele, 2010. Nevertheless, studies investigating affordances in respect of teaching, learning or using languages are still somewhat rare and tend to treat isolated aspects of multilingualism. This is despite the fact that the theory of affordances can actually provide a valuable, supplementary, up-to-date framework within which a clearer, sharper description and explication of the intriguing range of attributes of multilingual communities, educational institutions and individuals, as well as teaching practices, become feasible. It is important that not only researchers and practitioners (teachers, educators, parents, community and political actors but also language users and learners themselves should be aware of how to identify or, if necessary, design new affordances for language acquisition and learning. The aim of this article is to adapt the concept of affordances to multilingualism studies and additional language teaching, and in so doing advance theoretical understanding in this context. To this end the article contains a brief summary of the findings so far available. The article also goes further into defining the ways of how affordances work in relation to multilingualism and second language teaching and puts forward an integrated model of affordances.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Smoking Bans in Affordable Housing Benefit All

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160501.html Smoking Bans in Affordable Housing Benefit All: Study Secondhand ... housing properties in Minnesota. All the properties prohibited smoking indoors and three also banned smoking on the ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. An activity theory approach to affordance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bærentsen, Klaus B.; Trettvik, J.

    2002-01-01

    the notion. Specifically we will suggest the inclusion of the ecological theory of perception in the paradigm of cultural historical psychology and activity theory developed in the former Soviet Union by most notably Lev Vygotsky, S. L. Rubinshtein, A. N. Leontjev and others. It will be suggested, that much...... of the confusion in HCI concerning the concept of affordance is a consequence of the attempt of using it inside a theoretical paradigm that is unable to capture and encompass one of the most essential aspect of Gibsons concept of affordance, that is its foundation in activity...

  12. Learning to grasp and extract affordances: the Integrated Learning of Grasps and Affordances (ILGA) model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaiuto, James; Arbib, Michael A

    2015-12-01

    The activity of certain parietal neurons has been interpreted as encoding affordances (directly perceivable opportunities) for grasping. Separate computational models have been developed for infant grasp learning and affordance learning, but no single model has yet combined these processes in a neurobiologically plausible way. We present the Integrated Learning of Grasps and Affordances (ILGA) model that simultaneously learns grasp affordances from visual object features and motor parameters for planning grasps using trial-and-error reinforcement learning. As in the Infant Learning to Grasp Model, we model a stage of infant development prior to the onset of sophisticated visual processing of hand-object relations, but we assume that certain premotor neurons activate neural populations in primary motor cortex that synergistically control different combinations of fingers. The ILGA model is able to extract affordance representations from visual object features, learn motor parameters for generating stable grasps, and generalize its learned representations to novel objects.

  13. Affordances of Instrumentation in General Chemistry Laboratories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, Kristin Mary Daniels

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to find out what students in the first chemistry course at the undergraduate level (general chemistry for science majors) know about the affordances of instrumentation used in the general chemistry laboratory and how their knowledge develops over time. Overall, students see the PASCO(TM) system as a useful and accurate…

  14. 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)

  15. Effects of broken affordance on visual extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulff, Melanie; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that visual extinction can be reduced if two objects are positioned to "afford" an action. Here we tested if this affordance effect was disrupted by "breaking" the affordance, i.e., if one of the objects actively used in the action had a broken handle. We assessed the effects of broken affordance on recovery from extinction in eight patients with right hemisphere lesions and left-sided extinction. Patients viewed object pairs that were or were not commonly used together and that were positioned for left- or right-hand actions. In the unrelated pair conditions, either two tools or two objects were presented. In line with previous research (e.g., Riddoch et al., 2006), extinction was reduced when action-related object pairs and when unrelated tool pairs were presented compared to unrelated object pairs. There was no significant difference in recovery rate between action-related (object-tool) and unrelated tool pairs. In addition, performance with action-related objects decreased when the tool appeared on the ipsilesional side compared to when it was on the contralesional side, but only when the tool handle was intact. There were minimal effects of breaking the handle of an object rather than a tool, and there was no effect of breaking the handle on either tools or objects on single item trials. The data suggest that breaking the handle of a tool lessens the degree to which it captures attention, with this attentional capture being strongest when the tool appears on the ipsilesional side. The capture of attention by the ipsilesional item then reduces the chance of detecting the contralesional stimulus. This attentional capture effect is mediated by the affordance to the intact tool.

  16. Effects of broken affordance on visual extinction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie eWulff

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that visual extinction can be reduced if two objects are positioned to afford an action. Here we tested if this affordance effect was disrupted by breaking the affordance – if one of the objects actively used in the action had a broken handle. We assessed the effects of broken affordance on recovery from extinction in eight patients with right hemisphere lesions and left-sided extinction. Patients viewed object pairs that were or were not commonly used together and that were positioned for left- or right-hand actions. In the unrelated pair conditions, either two tools or two objects were presented. In line with previous research (e.g., Riddoch et al., 2006, extinction was reduced when action-related object pairs and when unrelated tool pairs were presented compared to unrelated object pairs. There was no significant difference in recovery rate between action-related (object-tool and unrelated tool-tool pairs. In addition, performance with action-related objects decreased when the tool appeared on the ipsilesional side compared to when it was on the contralesional side, but only when the tool handle was intact. There were minimal effects of breaking the handle of an object rather than a tool, and there was no effect of breaking the handle on either tools or objects on single item trials. The data suggest that breaking the handle of a tool lessens the degree to which it captures attention, with this attentional capture being strongest when the tool appears on the ipsilesional side. The capture of attention by the ipsilesional item then reduces the chance of detecting the contralesional stimulus. This attentional capture effect is mediated by the affordance to the intact tool.

  17. 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

  18. Affordances and distributed cognition in museum exhibitions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Achiam, Marianne; May, Michael; Marandino, Martha

    2014-01-01

    Exhibitions are the primary medium for the public communication of science in museums. Recently, there has been an interest in explaining the educational mechanisms of exhibitions in terms of meaning making, interaction and space; however these concepts have not yet been integrated into one...... consistent framework. Here, we invoke the notions of affordance and distributed cognition to explain in a coherent way how visitors interact with exhibits and exhibit spaces and make meaning from those interactions, and we exemplify our points using observations of twelve visitors to exhibits at a natural...... 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....

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. Active Affordance Learning in Continuous State and Action Spaces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, C.; Hindriks, K.V.; Babuska, R.

    2014-01-01

    Learning object affordances and manipulation skills is essential for developing cognitive service robots. We propose an active affordance learning approach in continuous state and action spaces without manual discretization of states or exploratory motor primitives. During exploration in the action

  3. Price, availability and affordability of medicines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brenda S. Mhlanga

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Medicines play an important role in healthcare, but prices can be a barrier to patient care. Few studies have looked at the prices of essential medicines in low- and middle-income countries in terms of patient affordability.Aim: To determine the prices, availability and affordability of medicines along the supply chain in Swaziland.Setting: Private- and public-sector facilities in Manzini, Swaziland.Methods: The standardised methodology designed by the World Health Organization and Health Action International was used to survey 16 chronic disease medicines. Data were collected in one administrative area in 10 private retail pharmacies and 10 public health facilities. Originator brand (OB and lowest-priced generic equivalent (LPG medicines were monitored and these prices were then compared with international reference prices (IRPs. Affordability was calculated in terms of the daily wage of the lowest-paid unskilled government worker.Results: Mean availability was 68% in the public sector. Private sector OB medicines were priced 32.4 times higher than IRPs, whilst LPGs were 7.32 times higher. OBs cost473% more than LPGs. The total cumulative mark-ups for individual medicines range from 190.99% – 440.27%. The largest contributor to add-on cost was the retail mark-up (31% – 53%. Standard treatment with originator brands cost more than a day’s wage.Conclusion: Various policy measures such as introducing price capping at all levels of the medicine supply chain, may increase the availability, whilst at the same time reducing the prices of essential medicines for the low income population.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Social affordances and the possibility of ecological linguistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kono, Tetsuya

    2009-12-01

    This paper includes an effort to extend the notion of affordance from a philosophical point of view the importance of ecological approach for social psychology, ethics, and linguistics. Affordances are not always merely physical but also interpersonal and social. I will conceptualize affordance in general and social affordance in particular, and will elucidate the relation between intentional action and affordances, and that between affordances and free will. I will also focus on the relation between social institution and affordance. An extended theory of affordances can provide a way to analyze in concrete ways how social institution works as an implicit background of interpersonal interactions. Ecological approach considers social institution as the producer and maintainer of affordances. Social institutions construct the niches for human beings. Finally, I will argue the possibility of the ecological linguistics. Language is a social institution. The system of signs is the way to articulate and differentiate interpersonal affordances. Language acquires its meaning, i.e. communicative power in the interpersonal interactions, and interpersonal interactions, in turn, develop and are elaborated through the usage of signs. Communication is seen as never aimed to transmit inner ideas to others, but to guide and adjust the behaviors of others thorough articulating the affordance of responsible-ness.

  7. Hierarchical nesting of affordances in a tool use task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagman, Jeffrey B; Caputo, Sarah E; Stoffregen, Thomas A

    2016-10-01

    In studying the perception of affordances, researchers have typically identified a single affordance and designed experiments to evaluate the perception of that affordance. Yet in daily life, multiple affordances always exist. One consequence of this is that there may be higher order, means-ends relations between different affordances. In 4 experiments, we created situations in which lower order, subordinate affordances could affect the realization of higher order, superordinate affordances, and we asked whether participants were sensitive to these hierarchical, nested relations. Participants wielded tools that varied in length, mass, and mass distribution. In Experiments 1 and 2, we asked them to evaluate these tools in terms of their suitability for executing specific interactions with target objects (striking vs. poking) that were positioned at different distances. In Experiments 3 and 4, we asked participants to select rods and masses and then to assemble them into tools that could be used to execute specific interactions with target objects at different distances. The results were compatible with the hypothesis that participants were simultaneously sensitive to affordances for tool assembly and affordances for tool use. We argue that the nesting of affordances is characteristic of many situations in daily life and that, consequently, sensitivity to hierarchical, means-ends relations among affordances may be an essential characteristic of perceptually guided action. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27668424

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Robust, affordable, semi-direct Mars mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salotti, Jean-Marc

    2016-10-01

    A new architecture is proposed for the first manned Mars mission, based on current NASA developments (SLS and Orion), chemical propulsion for interplanetary transit, aerocapture for all vehicles, a split strategy, and a long stay on the surface. Two important choices make this architecture affordable and appropriate for the first mission. The first is splitting the Earth return vehicle into two parts that are launched separately and dock in Mars orbit. This is necessary to make aerocapture feasible and efficient, which considerably reduces mass. The second is reducing the crew to 3 astronauts. This simplifies the mission and reduces the SLS payload mass under the 45-metric ton limit for a direct TMI (trans-Mars injection) burn without LEO assembly. Only 4 SLS launches are required. The first takes the Mars ascent vehicle and in situ resource utilization systems to the planet's surface. The second takes the first part of the Earth return vehicle, the habitat, into Mars orbit. Two years later, two further SLS launches take a dual-use habitat (outbound trip and surface), Orion, and an enhanced service module to LEO, and then into Mars orbit, followed by the landing of the habitat on the surface. Transit time is demonstrated to be easily reduced to less than 6 months, with relatively low impact on propellant mass and none at all on the architecture.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Utility payments in Ukraine: Affordability, subsidies and arrears

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fankhauser, Samuel [London School of Economics, London (United Kingdom); Rodionova, Yulia [School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, 16 Taviton street, London WC1H 0BW (United Kingdom)], E-mail: y.rodionova@ssees.ucl.ac.uk; Falcetti, Elisabetta [European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), London (United Kingdom)

    2008-11-15

    The transition from a planned economy to a market economy has caused considerable hardship for the people of Eastern Europe. One important aspect of the social costs of transition is access to, and the affordability of, basic services like electricity, heat and water, which under communism had been supplied fairly cheaply and abundantly. This paper provides evidence on this issue from the Ukraine Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (ULMS). The paper identifies considerable differences in both access and affordability between different localities in Ukraine. Social protection measures can help to alleviate affordability constraints, but the analysis finds that social support is not well targeted. The currently low tariffs prevent an escalation of affordability problems but constraints nevertheless exist. Many households have accumulated substantial arrears as a consequence, although non-payment is a complex issue and not solely a function of affordability.

  3. Utility payments in Ukraine. Affordability, subsidies and arrears

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fankhauser, Samuel [London School of Economics, London (United Kingdom); Rodionova, Yulia [School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, 16 Taviton street, London WC1H 0BW (United Kingdom); Falcetti, Elisabetta [European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), London (United Kingdom)

    2008-11-15

    The transition from a planned economy to a market economy has caused considerable hardship for the people of Eastern Europe. One important aspect of the social costs of transition is access to, and the affordability of, basic services like electricity, heat and water, which under communism had been supplied fairly cheaply and abundantly. This paper provides evidence on this issue from the Ukraine Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (ULMS). The paper identifies considerable differences in both access and affordability between different localities in Ukraine. Social protection measures can help to alleviate affordability constraints, but the analysis finds that social support is not well targeted. The currently low tariffs prevent an escalation of affordability problems but constraints nevertheless exist. Many households have accumulated substantial arrears as a consequence, although non-payment is a complex issue and not solely a function of affordability. (author)

  4. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mathiasen, John Bang; Koch, Christian

    2009-01-01

    -technical aspects alike, while Sierra uses a CAD-system to support joint-development crossing organisational boundaries. The cases share features such as triadic relations; customer's problem, product designers and artefact. For example, a wheelchair is presented to Sierra, the result of NPD-activities carried out...... by a profes-sional golfer. Two product designers interpret the affordance of the wheelchair and com-pare it with the intended functionality explained by the golfer - we denote it intended af-fordance; the identified gap is used to rewrite the design. Next, the affordance of both pro-posals is discussed...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mathiasen, John Bang; Koch, Christian

    to negotiate technical and non-technical aspects alike, while Sierra uses a CAD-system to support joint-development crossing organisational boundaries. The cases share features such as triadic relations; customer’s problem, product designers and artefact. For example, a wheelchair is presented to Sierra......, the result of NPD-activities carried out by a professional golfer. Two product designers interpret the affordance of the wheelchair and compare it with the intended functionality explained by the golfer – we denote it intended affordance; the identified gap is used to rewrite the design. Next, the affordance...

  7. 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

  8. Practical measurement of affordability: An application to medicines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

    textabstractObjective: To develop two practical methods for measuring the affordability of medicines in developing countries. Methods The proposed methods - catastrophic and impoverishment methods - rely on easily accessible aggregated expenditure data and take into account a country's income distri

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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 ...

  13. Affordability of alcohol and alcohol-related mortality in Belarus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razvodovsky, Yury E

    2013-01-01

    Alcohol abuse has numerous adverse health and social consequences. The consumer response to changes in alcohol affordability is an important issue on alcohol policy debates. Studies from many countries have shown an inverse relationship between alcohol prices and alcohol consumption in the population. There are, however, suggestions that increasing the price of alcohol by rising taxes may have limited effect on alcohol-related problems, associated with long-term heavy drinking. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between alcohol affordability and alcohol-related mortality rates in post-Soviet Belarus. For this purpose trends in alcohol-related mortality rates (mortality from liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, alcoholism and alcohol psychoses) and affordability of vodka between 1990 and 2010 were compared. The time series analysis revealed that 1% increase in vodka affordability is associated with an increase in liver cirrhosis mortality of 0,77%, an increase in pancreatitis mortality of 0.53%, an increase in mortality from alcoholism and alcohol psychoses of 0,70%. The major conclusion emerging from this study is that affordability of alcohol is one of the most important predictor of alcohol-related problems in a population. These findings provide additional evidence that decreasing in affordability of alcohol is an effective strategy for reducing alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Exploring Affordances of Social Media Use in Election Campaigns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dyrby, Signe; Jensen, Tina Blegind

    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...... 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 qualitative...... 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 activities as part...

  17. 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.

  18. The Value of Full Correction: Achieving Excellent and Affordable Results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Julie Bass

    2016-01-01

    Patients often come to medical aesthetic offices with hopes to fully correct lost facial volume and achieve a natural appearance. Unfortunately, the cost per syringe of dermal filler can be a barrier to desired outcomes. Many aesthetic practitioners do the best they can with the amount of product the patient can afford, often falling short of the "wow" effect for the patient. This article describes what one office implemented to solve the conundrum of affordability while still allowing offices to cover its own financial realities. This tool can help patients achieve beautiful, natural, and affordable outcomes while helping offices advance in manufacturer's tiers, improve word-of-mouth advertising, and increase job satisfaction. PMID:27606585

  19. 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. !

  20. Affordable housing and urban regeneration in Portugal: a troubled tryst?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Branco, Rosa; Alves, Sonia

    demographic trajectory over recent decades. Despite some signs of sporadic residential gentrification, the local social fabric continues to be characterized by an ageing population and weak educational and socio-economic capital. In the current phase of economic and social crisis, it is critical to consider...... in the analysis of the sustainability and social relevance of current strategies....... whether and how the new agents of urban regeneration, in particular the Urban Rehabilitation Societies, are providing affordable housing in these areas. In this context, it makes sense to discuss the meaning of concepts and models of social and affordable housing in Portugal since they are key elements...

  1. 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...

  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. Affordance, Learning Opportunities, and the Lesson Plan Pro Forma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Jason

    2015-01-01

    This article argues that the most commonly used lesson plan pro formas in language teacher education are inappropriately premised on an outcomes-based approach to teaching, one that is in conflict with what we know about how languages are learnt and how experienced teachers teach. It proposes an alternative, affordance-based approach to lesson…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 78 FR 39644 - Information Reporting for Affordable Insurance Exchanges

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-02

    ... Marketplaces). Section 1401 of the Affordable Care Act enacted section 36B, allowing a refundable premium tax... of the advance payment with the amount of the premium tax credit computed on the taxpayer's income... payments also may claim the premium tax credit on the income tax return. Section 36B(f)(3)...

  7. 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.

  8. Monitoring the price and affordability of foods and diets globally.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, A; Mhurchu, C N; Sacks, G; Swinburn, B; Snowdon, W; Vandevijvere, S; Hawkes, C; L'abbé, M; Rayner, M; Sanders, D; Barquera, S; Friel, S; Kelly, B; Kumanyika, S; Lobstein, T; Ma, J; Macmullan, J; Mohan, S; Monteiro, C; Neal, B; Walker, C

    2013-10-01

    Food prices and food affordability are important determinants of food choices, obesity and non-communicable diseases. As governments around the world consider policies to promote the consumption of healthier foods, data on the relative price and affordability of foods, with a particular focus on the difference between 'less healthy' and 'healthy' foods and diets, are urgently needed. This paper briefly reviews past and current approaches to monitoring food prices, and identifies key issues affecting the development of practical tools and methods for food price data collection, analysis and reporting. A step-wise monitoring framework, including measurement indicators, is proposed. 'Minimal' data collection will assess the differential price of 'healthy' and 'less healthy' foods; 'expanded' monitoring will assess the differential price of 'healthy' and 'less healthy' diets; and the 'optimal' approach will also monitor food affordability, by taking into account household income. The monitoring of the price and affordability of 'healthy' and 'less healthy' foods and diets globally will provide robust data and benchmarks to inform economic and fiscal policy responses. Given the range of methodological, cultural and logistical challenges in this area, it is imperative that all aspects of the proposed monitoring framework are tested rigorously before implementation. PMID:24074213

  9. 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…

  10. 12 CFR 1291.12 - Affordable Housing Reserve Fund.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... Affordable Housing Reserve Fund. (b) Use or commitment of funds. Approval of applications for AHP subsidies... year-end are deemed to be used or committed if, in combination with AHP subsidies that have been... highest scoring AHP application in the Bank's final funding period of the year for its...

  11. 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

  12. Early Visual Perception Potentiated by Object Affordances: Evidence From a Temporal Order Judgment Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamada, Yuki; Yamani, Yusuke

    2016-01-01

    Perceived objects automatically potentiate afforded action. Object affordances also facilitate perception of such objects, and this occurrence is known as the affordance effect. This study examined whether object affordances facilitate the initial visual processing stage, or perceptual entry processes, using the temporal order judgment task. The onset of the graspable (right-handled) coffee cup was perceived earlier than that of the less graspable (left-handled) cup for right-handed participants. The affordance effect was eliminated when the coffee cups were inverted, which presumably conveyed less affordance information. These results suggest that objects preattentively potentiate the perceptual entry processes in response to their affordances.

  13. Affordances and synchronization in collective creative construction tasks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tylén, Kristian; Fusaroli, Riccardo

    to the affordances of the task at hand. We also show that during collective, but not individual tasks, within group synchronization grows over time. Finally, we discuss how these measures of synchronization relate to the participants’ engagement in the tasks at hand and to the end products (LEGO models......: the affordances of the task at hand and the gradual consolidation of collaborative practices. Six groups of participants were instructed to construct LEGO models of six abstract notions (“responsibility”, “knowledge”, “justice” etc.), both individually and in groups. We combine video analysis and heart rate...... measurements and employ recurrence analysis techniques to quantify the mutual adaptability of heart rates among the participants in the different tasks. We show that during individual tasks individual heart rates synchronize both within and between groups (but not with controls) plausibly due...

  14. 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....

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 75 FR 29877 - Affordable Housing Program Amendments: Federal Home Loan Bank Mortgage Refinancing Authority

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-28

    ... 2590-AA04 Affordable Housing Program Amendments: Federal Home Loan Bank Mortgage Refinancing Authority... Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks) until July 30, 2010, to use Affordable Housing Program (AHP) homeownership..., 2798. B. The Banks' Affordable Housing Program Section 10(j) of the Federal Home Loan Bank Act...

  13. 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.

  14. Interaction between affordance and handedness recognition: a chronometric study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.P. Lameira

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The visualization of tools and manipulable objects activates motor-related areas in the cortex, facilitating possible actions toward them. This pattern of activity may underlie the phenomenon of object affordance. Some cortical motor neurons are also covertly activated during the recognition of body parts such as hands. One hypothesis is that different subpopulations of motor neurons in the frontal cortex are activated in each motor program; for example, canonical neurons in the premotor cortex are responsible for the affordance of visual objects, while mirror neurons support motor imagery triggered during handedness recognition. However, the question remains whether these subpopulations work independently. This hypothesis can be tested with a manual reaction time (MRT task with a priming paradigm to evaluate whether the view of a manipulable object interferes with the motor imagery of the subject's hand. The MRT provides a measure of the course of information processing in the brain and allows indirect evaluation of cognitive processes. Our results suggest that canonical and mirror neurons work together to create a motor plan involving hand movements to facilitate successful object manipulation.

  15. Affordance-controlled bifurcations of action patterns in martial arts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hristovski, Robert; Davids, Keith; Araújo, Duarte

    2006-10-01

    Effects of participant-target distance and perceived handstriking efficiency on emergent behavior in the martial art of boxing were investigated, revealing affordance-controlled nonlinear dynamical effects (i.e. bifurcations) within the participant--target system. Results established the existence of critical values of scaled distances for emergence of first time excitations and annihilations of a diverse range of boxing actions i.e. on the appearance and dissolution of jabs, hooks and uppercuts. Reasons for the action diversity were twofold: (a) topological discontinuous changes (bifurcations) in the number of possible handstrikes, i.e. motor solutions to the hitting task; (b) fine modification of probabilities of emergence of striking patterns. Exploitation of a 'strikeability' affordance available in scaled distance-to-target information by boxers led to a diversity of emergent actions through a cascade of bifurcations in the task perceptual-motor work space. Data suggested that perceived efficiency (E) of an action changed as a function of scaled distance (D) and was correlated with the probability of occurrence of action patterns (P), exhibiting the following dependence P = P(E(D)). The implication is that probability of occurrence (P) depends on efficiency (E), which in turn depends on scaled distance (D) to the target. Accordingly, scaled distance-dependent perceived efficiency seems a viable candidate for a contextual (control) parameter to describe the nonlinear dynamics of striking actions in boxing.

  16. 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.

  17. Social Media, Privacy, and Self-Disclosure: The Turbulence Caused by Social Media’s Affordances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Trepte

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The struggle we currently perceive in terms of social media privacy may be the result of the incompatible natures of “warm” and “cold” affordances. Whereas social media’s warm affordances reflect long-standing privacy routines and expectations, cold affordances seem to challenge and sometimes violate them. Sharing under the realm of warm affordances means sharing according to the routines and habits we know. Sharing under the realm of cold affordances means understanding social media’s terms and conditions and how they reflect on our relationships and experiences - similar to assimilating to a new culture that seems opaque and constantly in flux.

  18. Health Care Affordability: How to Make It a Reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotarius, Timothy; Liberman, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    Health care is a big business. US health care expenditures reached $2.9 trillion in 2013. Patient spending accounted for 28% of the total, which means patients spent approximately $810 billion in 2013 for insurance premiums, deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and noncovered health care services. How are patients expected to pay almost a trillion dollars in health care expenses? There is a need to find a health care financing methodology that will make health care affordable for all patients and families. An alternative method for funding health care is discussed that includes creating a government-funded annuity during the first decade of one's life. When this annuity matures later in life, many individuals will have amassed a large pot of money with which to pay for their (and their family's) health care treatment and products.

  19. 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

  20. 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 (security imaging adoption. Among the strategic options presented include new sensor manufacturing technologies that scale favorably towards automation, multi-focal plane array compatible readout electronics, and dense or ultra-small pixel pitch devices.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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 approaches...... explored the integration of paper and digital technology, there are still a wide range of open issues in the design of technologies that integrate digital and paper-based medical records. This paper studies the use of one such novel technology, called the Hybrid Patient Record (HyPR), that is designed...... to digitally augment a paper medical record. We report on two studies: a field study in which we describe the benefits and challenges of using a combination of electronic and paper-based medical records in a large university hospital and a deployment study in which we analyze how 8 clinicians used the Hy...

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Affordance estimation for vision-based object replacement on a humanoid robot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mustafa, Wail; Wächter, Mirko; Szedmak, Sandor;

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we address the problem of finding replacements of missing objects, involved in the execution of manipulation tasks. Our approach is based on estimating functional affordances for the unknown objects in order to propose replacements. We use a vision-based affordance estimation system...... large-scale datasets. The results indicate that the system is able to successfully predict the affordances of novel objects. We also implement our system on a humanoid robot and demonstrate the affordance estimation in a real scene....... utilizing object-wise global features and a multi-label learning method. This method also associates confidence values to the estimated affordances. We evaluate our approach on kitchen-related manipulation affordances. The evaluation also includes testing different scenarios for training the system using...

  8. 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...

  9. Understanding affordances: history and contemporary development of Gibson’s central concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dobromir G. Dotov

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Gibson developed the affordance concept to complement his theory of direct perception that stands in sharp contrast with the prevalent inferential theories of perception. A comparison of the two approaches shows that the distinction between them also has an ontological aspect. We trace the history and newer formalizations of the notion of affordance and discuss some competing opinions on its scope. Next, empirical work on the affordance concept is reviewed in brief and the relevance of dynamical systems theory to affordance research is demonstrated. Finally, the striking but often neglected convergence of the ideas of Gibson and those of certain Continental philosophers is discussed.

  10. Delivery of affordable and equitable cancer care in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pramesh, C S; Badwe, Rajendra A; Borthakur, Bibhuti B; Chandra, Madhu; Raj, Elluswami Hemanth; Kannan, T; Kalwar, Ashok; Kapoor, Sanjay; Malhotra, Hemant; Nayak, Sukdev; Rath, Goura K; Sagar, T G; Sebastian, Paul; Sarin, Rajiv; Shanta, V; Sharma, Suresh C; Shukla, Shilin; Vijayakumar, Manavalan; Vijaykumar, D K; Aggarwal, Ajay; Purushotham, Arnie; Sullivan, Richard

    2014-05-01

    The delivery of affordable and equitable cancer care is one of India's greatest public health challenges. Public expenditure on cancer in India remains below US$10 per person (compared with more than US$100 per person in high-income countries), and overall public expenditure on health care is still only slightly above 1% of gross domestic product. Out-of-pocket payments, which account for more than three-quarters of cancer expenditures in India, are one of the greatest threats to patients and families, and a cancer diagnosis is increasingly responsible for catastrophic expenditures that negatively affect not only the patient but also the welfare and education of several generations of their family. We explore the complex nature of cancer care systems across India, from state to government levels, and address the crucial issues of infrastructure, manpower shortages, and the pressing need to develop cross-state solutions to prevention and early detection of cancer, in addition to governance of the largely unregulated private sector and the cost of new technologies and drugs. We discuss the role of public insurance schemes, the need to develop new political mandates and authority to set priorities, the necessity to greatly improve the quality of care, and the drive to understand and deliver cost-effective cancer care programmes. PMID:24731888

  11. Affordable spectroscopy for 1m-class telescopes

    CERN Document Server

    Csák, B; Szabó, Gy M; Kiss, L L; Dózsa, Á; Sódor, Á; Jankovics, I

    2014-01-01

    Doppler observations of exoplanet systems have been a very expensive technique, mainly due to the high costs of high-resolution stable spectrographs. Recent advances in instrumentation enable affordable Doppler planet detections with surprisingly small optical telescopes. We investigate the possibility of measuring Doppler reflex motion of planet hosting stars with small-aperture telescopes that have traditionally been neglected for this kind of studies. After thoroughly testing the recently developed and commercially available Shelyak eShel echelle spectrograph, we demonstrated that it is routinely possible to achieve velocity precision at the $100 \\mathrm{m\\,s}^{-1}$ level, reaching down to $\\pm 50~\\mathrm{m\\,s}^{-1}$ for the best cases. We describe our off-the-shelf instrumentation, including a new 0.5m RC telescope at the Gothard Astrophysical Observatory of Lor\\'and E\\"otv\\"os University equipped with an intermediate resolution fiber-fed echelle spectrograph. We present some follow-up radial velocity mea...

  12. Experimental Enhanced Upper Stage (XEUS): An affordable large lander system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scotkin, J.; Masten, D.; Powers, J.; O'Konek, N.; Kutter, B.; Stopnitzky, B.

    The Experimental Enhanced Upper Stage (XEUS) offers a path to reduce costs and development time to sustainable activity beyond LEO by equipping existing large cryogenic propulsion stages with MSS VTVL propulsion and GNC to create a large, multi-thrust axis lander. Conventional lander designs have been driven by the assumption that a single, highly reliable, and efficient propulsion system should conduct the entire descent, approach, and landing. Compromises in structural, propulsion, and operational efficiency result from this assumption. System reliability and safety also suffer. The result is often an iterative series of optimizations, making every subsystem mission-unique and expensive. The XEUS multi-thrust axis lander concept uniquely addresses the programmatic and technical challenges of large-mass planetary landing by taking advantage of proven technologies and decoupling the deorbit and descent propulsion system from the landing propulsion system. Precise control of distributed, multi-thrust axis landing propulsion units mounted on the horizontal axis of a Centaur stage will ultimately enable the affordable deployment of large planetary rovers, uncrewed base infrastructure and manned planetary expeditions. The XEUS lander has been designed to offer a significantly improved mass fraction and mass to surface capability over conventional lander designs, while reducing airlock/payload to surface distances and distributing plume effects by using multiple gimbaled landing thrusters. In utilizing a proven cryogenic propulsion stage, XEUS reduces development costs required for development of new cryogenic propulsion stages and fairings and builds upon the strong heritage of successful Centaur and MSS RLV flights.

  13. Developing affordable multi-touch technologies for use in physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Mark; Ilie, Carolina; Schofield, Damian; Vampola, David

    2012-02-01

    Physics is one of many areas which has the ability to benefit from a number of different teaching styles and sophisticated instructional tools due to it having both theoretical and practical applications which can be explored. The purpose of this research is to develop affordable large scale multi-touch interfaces which can be used within and outside of the classroom as both an instruction technology and a computer supported collaborative learning tool. Not only can this technology be implemented at university levels, but also at the K-12 level of education. Pedagogical research indicates that kinesthetic learning is a fundamental, powerful, and ubiquitous learning style [1]. Through the use of these types of multi-touch tools and teaching methods which incorporate them, the classroom can be enriched to allow for better comprehension and retention of information. This is due in part to a wider range of learning styles, such as kinesthetic learning, which are being catered to within the classroom. [4pt] [1] Wieman, C.E, Perkins, K.K., Adams, W.K., ``Oersted Medal Lecture 2007: Interactive Simulations for teaching physics: What works, what doesn't and why,'' American Journal of Physics. 76 393-99.

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Understanding social engagement in autism: being different in perceiving and sharing affordances

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hellendoorn, Annika

    2014-01-01

    In the current paper I will argue that the notion of affordances offers an alternative to theory of mind (ToM) approaches in studying social engagement in general and in explaining social engagement in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) specifically. Affordances are the possibilities for action offered

  1. 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…

  2. The Role of Affordances in the Evolutionary Process Reconsidered A Niche Construction Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withagen, Rob; van Wermeskerken, Margot

    2010-01-01

    Gibson asserted that affordances are the primary objects of perception. Although this assertion is especially attractive when considered in the context of evolutionary theory, the role that affordances play in the evolution of animals' perceptual and action systems is still unclear. Trying to combin

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Affordance of Braille Music as a Mediational Means: Significance and Limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hyu-Yong; Kim, Mi-Jung

    2014-01-01

    Affordance refers to the properties or designs of a thing that offer the function of the thing. This paper discusses the affordance of Braille music in terms of three notions: mediational means, mastery and appropriation, and focuses on answering the following three questions: (i) How do musicians with visual impairments (MVI) perceive Braille…

  6. Towards a Representational Model of Social Affordances from an Institutional Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G. Sileno; A. Boer; T. van Engers

    2014-01-01

    The paper investigates the connection of the concept of affordance with the concept of institution, fundamental in social sciences and in legal theory, with the purpose of delineating a working definition of social affordance. This hybrid concept enriches the representation tools to be used with age

  7. A Prototype using Territories and an Affordance Tree for Social Simulation Gameplay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geishauser, Tilman; Cheong, Yun-Gyung; Nelson, Mark

    2014-01-01

    so- cial simulation using smart objects. We extend the concept of smart objects to include a model of human behavior with regard to territoriality. To manage complexity in worlds with many such objects we employ a tree structure, which we call an Affordance Tree. The Affordance Tree allows...

  8. Affordance as a Key Aspect in the Creation of New learning Spaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dau, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    This research aims to highlight how different places and spaces in undergraduate teacher education afford student learning and the development of certain types of knowledge related. The questions this article addresses are: a) What is the affordance of different learning spaces in an undergraduate...

  9. 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

  10. Affordances of ICT in science learning: implications for an integrated pedagogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Mary E.

    2005-06-01

    This paper presents an analysis of how affordances of ICT-rich environments identified from a recent review of the research literature can support students in learning science in schools within a proposed framework for pedagogical practice in science education. Furthermore other pedagogical and curriculum innovations in science education (promoting cognitive change, formative assessment and lifelong learning) are examined to see how they may be supported and enhanced by affordances of ICT-rich environments. The affordances that I have identified support learning through four main effects: promoting cognitive acceleration; enabling a wider range of experience so that students can relate science to their own and other real-world experiences; increasing students' self-management; and facilitating data collection and presentation. ICT-rich environments already provide a range of affordances that have been shown to enable learning of science but integrating these affordances with other pedagogical innovations provides even greater potential for enhancement of students' learning.

  11. Affordable Exploration of Mars: Recommendations from a Community Workshop on Sustainable Initial Human Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thronson, Harley; Carberry, Chris; Cassady, R. J.; Cooke, Doug; Hopkins, Joshua; Perino, Maria A.; Kirkpatrick, Jim; Raftery, Michael; Westenberg, Artemis; Zucker, Richard

    2013-01-01

    There is a growing consensus that within two decades initial human missions to Mars are affordable under plausible budget assumptions and with sustained international participation. In response to this idea, a distinguished group of experts from the Mars exploration stakeholder communities attended the "Affording Mars" workshop at George Washington University in December, 2013. Participants reviewed and discussed scenarios for affordable and sustainable human and robotic exploration of Mars, the role of the International Space Station over the coming decade as the essential early step toward humans to Mars, possible "bridge" missions in the 2020s, key capabilities required for affordable initial missions, international partnerships, and a usable definition of affordability and sustainability. We report here the findings, observations, and recommendations that were agreed to at that workshop.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Americans' Experiences with ACA Marketplace Coverage: Affordability and Provider Network Satisfaction: Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, February--April 2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunja, Munira Z; Collins, Sara R; Doty, Michelle M; Beutel, Sophie

    2016-07-01

    For people with low and moderate incomes, the Affordable Care Act's tax credits have made premium costs roughly comparable to those paid by people with job-based health insurance. For those with higher incomes, the tax credits phase out, meaning that adults in marketplace plans on average have higher premium costs than those in employer plans. The law's cost-sharing reductions are reducing deductibles. Lower-income adults in marketplace plans were less likely than higher-income adults to report having deductibles of $1,000 or more. Majorities of new marketplace enrollees and those who have changed plans since they initially obtained marketplace coverage are satisfied with the doctors participating in their plans. Overall, the majority of marketplace enrollees expressed confidence in their ability to afford care if they were to become seriously ill. This issue brief explores these and other findings from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, February--April 2016. PMID:27400465

  15. Dissociating between object affordances and spatial compatibility effects using early response components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meytal eWilf

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Perception and action are tightly linked: objects may be perceived not only in terms of visual features, but also in terms of possibilities for action. Previous studies showed that when a centrally located object has a salient graspable feature (e.g., a handle, it facilitates motor responses corresponding with the feature's position. However, such so-called affordance effects have been criticized as resulting from spatial compatibility effects, due to the visual asymmetry created by the graspable feature, irrespective of any affordances. In order to dissociate between affordance and spatial compatibility effects, we asked participants to perform a simple reaction-time task to typically graspable and non-graspable objects with similar visual features (e.g., lollipop and stop sign. Responses were measured using either electromyography (EMG on proximal arm muscles during reaching-like movements, or with finger key-presses. In both EMG and button press measurements, participants responded faster when the object was either presented in the same location as the responding hand, or was affordable, resulting in significant and independent spatial compatibility and affordance effects, but no interaction. Furthermore, while the spatial compatibility effect was present from the earliest stages of movement preparation and throughout the different stages of movement execution, the affordance effect was restricted to the early stages of movement execution. Finally, we tested a small group of unilateral arm amputees using EMG, and found residual spatial compatibility but no affordance, suggesting that spatial compatibility effects do not necessarily rely on individuals’ available affordances. Our results show dissociation between affordance and spatial compatibility effects, and suggest that rather than evoking the specific motor action most suitable for interaction with the viewed object, graspable objects prompt the motor system in a general, body

  16. 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.

  17. Coverage, access, and affordability under health reform: learning from the Massachusetts model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Sharon K; Stockley, Karen; Nordahl, Kate Willrich

    While the impacts of the Affordable Care Act will vary across the states given their different circumstances, Massachusetts' 2006 reform initiative, the template for national reform, provides a preview of the potential gains in insurance coverage, access to and use of care, and health care affordability for the rest of the nation. Under reform, uninsurance in Massachusetts dropped by more than 50%, due, in part, to an increase in employer-sponsored coverage. Gains in health care access and affordability were widespread, including a 28% decline in unmet need for doctor care and a 38% decline in high out-of-pocket costs.

  18. Affordable Care Organizations and Bundled Pricing: A New Philosophy of Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barinaga, Gonzalo; Chambers, Monique C; El-Othmani, Mouhanad M; Siegrist, Richard B; Saleh, Khaled J

    2016-10-01

    Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Innovation was chartered to develop new models of health care delivery. The changes meant a drastic need to restructure the health care system. To minimize costs and optimize quality, new laws encourage continuity in health care delivery within an integrated system. Affordable care organizations provided a model of high-quality care while reducing costs. Bundled payments can have a substantial effect on the national expenditures. This article examines new developments in bundle payments, affordable care organizations, and gainsharing agreements as they pertain to arthroplasty. PMID:27637657

  19. 77 FR 4564 - Request for Information Regarding the Reinsurance Program Under the Affordable Care Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-30

    ..., 2011 (76 FR 41930). The Affordable Care Act instructs each State to establish or contract with an... hotlines, helpdesk)? 21. Are your support systems compliant or have the capability of being Section...

  20. 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;...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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 perceiving, exploiting, and “generating” novel affordances during socially and materially situated activities. Illustrations are offered for each of the above from a research project investigating traditional Easter egg decoration activities in rural Romania. This brief case study exemplifies the discovery...... 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. Affordability of population towards dental care in Mathura City—A household survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maj Kundan Kumar

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives The purpose of this study was to assess the factors of affordability towards dental care in Mathura city. Material and Methods The present study included 100 households from which 100 persons were interviewed above the age group of 25 years. Data was collected with the help of structured Questionnaires & Face interviews. Information was collected regarding Socio-demographic variables & attitudes of the subjects towards the utilization of dental service and the affordability of the dental services. The data was then statistically analyzed using chi square test. Results In the present study it was found that the income and education were significantly associated with the affordability of the dental services. Individuals having an income of above Rs 20, 000/ were found to afford the available dental care. Individuals having educational qualification of graduate and above were utilizing the dental services better than others. Conclusion Within the limitation of this study, we can conclude that the utilization of dental services is not very high among Mathura city population. The affordability factor such as income, education and occupation were identified as the major factor towards utilization of dental services. However place of visit differs according to income, education and occupation.

  17. 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...... those structures provide to support collaboration and coordination. This paper reports a case study that has studied the structures of an ETM in GSD and how those structures provide affordances for dealing with known GSD challenges. This study has revealed that whilst the current structures...... in the 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...

  18. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dau, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    This research aims to highlight, how different places and spaces in undergraduate education afford students learning, and development of certain types of knowledge. The question, that this paper address is: What is the affordance of different learning spaces in flexible undergraduate education...... 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 influenced...... in learning spaces. The students embodied interaction is both in references to past experiences, as well as under development towards a fictive future, which is both a result of their preferences and of their engagement. On the basis of the concept of affordance, and the frame of social-cultural theory...

  20. 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.

  1. On the relevance of Gibson's affordance concept for geographical information science (GISc).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonietz, David; Timpf, Sabine

    2015-09-01

    J. J. Gibson's concept of affordances has provided a theoretical basis for various studies in geographical information science (GISc). This paper sets out to explain its popularity from a GISc perspective. Based on a short review of previous work, it will be argued that its main contributions to GISc are twofold, including an action-centered view of spatial entities and the notion of agent-environment mutuality. Using the practical example of pedestrian behavior simulation, new potentials for using and extending affordances are discussed.

  2. Can Canada afford a truly pan-Canadian approach to elder care?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Diana

    2011-01-01

    This commentary is about Canada's ability to afford a comprehensive pan-Canadian approach to elder care. In redefining the universal public system, a broad and more comprehensive definition of universal public care is needed for those whose physical or mental abilities are impaired. The Scandinavian model affirms that this is both effective and affordable. Comparisons of Canada with other nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on taxation and spending levels reveal that there is room for Canada to increase taxation to fund a Scandinavian model while still having competitive tax and spending rates. PMID:21593614

  3. Mutuality in the perception of affordances and the control of movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carello, Claudia; Wagman, Jeffrey B

    2009-01-01

    James Gibson introduced the concept of affordance to emphasize the importance of behavior in constraining perception. In this view, perception is not judged in terms of sensitivities to properties that are measured by physical instruments (photometers for brightness, scales for weight, etc.) but in terms of properties that matter to behaving systems (whether an object is appropriate to carry out some task). The affordance notion is brought to bear on understanding and motivating a variety of experimental phenomena in the study of dynamic touch, the domain of touch most concerned with using objects and interacting with surfaces.

  4. 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...

  5. 77 FR 36272 - SunShot Prize: America's Most Affordable Rooftop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-18

    ... areas of technology, education and science. The $10 million SunShot Prize: America's Most Affordable Rooftop Solar challenges the ingenuity of America's businesses and communities to make it faster, easier... using innovative, verifiable processes and business practices. Today's notice announces the...

  6. 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.

  7. 78 FR 41074 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Innovation in Affordable Housing Design Student...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-09

    ... URBAN DEVELOPMENT 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Innovation in Affordable Housing Design Student Competition AGENCY: Office of Policy Development and Research, HUD. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the...

  8. 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…

  9. A Teachable-Agent-Based Game Affording Collaboration and Competition: Evaluating Math Comprehension and Motivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pareto, Lena; Haake, Magnus; Lindstrom, Paulina; Sjoden, Bjorn; Gulz, Agneta

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents an educational game in mathematics based on an apprenticeship model using a teachable agent, as well as an evaluative study of how the game affects (1) conceptual understanding and (2) attitudes towards mathematics. In addition, we discuss how collaborative and competitive affordances of the game may affect understanding and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anker-Hansen, Jens; Andrée, Maria

    2015-01-01

    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,…

  11. 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…

  12. 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..., efficiency, and the industrial base. After a variety of presenters, the session will conclude with Mr. Frank... maintaining a healthy industrial base. Following the plenary session, each company will have the...

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. ICT-Based Learning Personalization Affordance in the Context of Implementation of Constructionist Learning Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ignatova, Natalija; Dagiene, Valentina; Kubilinskiene, Svetlana

    2015-01-01

    How to enable students to create a personalized learning environment? What are the criteria of evaluation of the ICT-based learning process personalization affordance? These questions are answered by conducting multiple case study research of the innovative ICT-based learning process in iTEC (Innovative Technologies for Engaging Classrooms)…

  16. Family socioeconomic status and the provision of motor affordances in the home

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa C. B. Freitas

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Socioeconomic status (SES and stimulation provided in the home environment are influential factors in aspects of child well-being including motor development. Little is known regarding the influence of SES on specific aspects of the home environment. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the availability of affordances in the home to promote infant motor development and family SES. METHOD : The sample consisted of 300 families with infants aged 3 to 18 months. SES was assessed according to family socioeconomic class, income and parental level of education. To evaluate motor affordances found at home, the Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development-Infant Scale (AHEMD-IS was used. The AHEMD-IS was designed to assess dimensions of the home environment including Physical Space (outside and inside space, Daily Activities and Play Materials (fine-motor and gross-motor toys. RESULTS: SES indicators significantly influenced the availability of Physical Space and Play Materials. The Physical Space dimension was influenced by family economic class and income. The Play Materials dimension was influenced by all SES indicators. Daily Activities were not influenced by any of the SES indicators. Daily activities and play material were influenced by the infant's age. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that SES indicators are influential with regard to the provision of motor affordances in the home environment for infants. However, daily activities, which represent an aspect of the environment that is highly dependent on parental generation of situations that are conducive to motor skill development, are independent of family SES.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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...

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. CD-ROM Multimodal Affordances: Classroom Interaction Perspectives in the Malaysian English Literacy Hour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Sheena; Yaacob, Aizan

    2009-01-01

    CD-ROM affordances are explored in this article through participation in classroom interaction. CD-ROMs for shared reading of animated stories and language work were introduced to all Malaysian primary schools in 2003 for the Year 1 English Literacy Hour. We present classroom interaction extracts that show how the same CD-ROMs offer different…

  9. 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

  10. Affordability, Accessibility, and Accountability: Perceived Impacts of the Pre-Primary Education Vouchers in Hong Kong

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui; Wong, Jessie Ming Sin; Wang, X. Christine

    2010-01-01

    Hong Kong launched the "Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme" (PEVS) in 2007 to promote the "3A's" of early childhood education (ECE): affordability, accessibility, and accountability. The PEVS has three unique features: discriminating against profit kindergartens, promoting teacher professional development, and limiting parents' choice to only…

  11. 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...

  12. A New Inventory for Assessing "Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development ("AHEMD-SR")

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabbard, Carl; Cacola, Priscila; Rodrigues, Luis Paulo

    2008-01-01

    A contemporary view of motor development considers environmental influences as critical factors in optimal growth and behavior, with the home being the primary agent. The intent of this communication is to introduce the "Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development Self-Report" ("AHEMD-SR") to early childhood practitioners. The…

  13. 76 FR 41929 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-15

    ... Affordable Care Act. These programs will mitigate the impact of potential adverse selection and stabilize... (Fax) transmission. You may submit comments in one of four ways (please choose only one of the ways... State must establish a transitional reinsurance program to help stabilize premiums for coverage in...

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 78 FR 13327 - Request for Information Regarding an Initiative To Promote Student Loan Affordability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-27

    ... alternative repayment options for mortgage borrowers. The private student loan market might also benefit from... encourage the development of more affordable loan repayment mechanisms for private student loan borrowers... for residential mortgages. Private student loans are not secured by collateral and have...

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. Virtual learning environments in the light of the Complexity Paradigm: interface, affordances and equifinality Ambientes virtuais de aprendizagem à luz do Paradigma da Complexidade: interface, affordances e equifinalidade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeska Virginia Soares Souza

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available I have investigated, through the lens of the Complexity Paradigm, aligned with the premises of the Theory of General Systems and the concept of affordances, two virtual learning environments (VLEs, defining them as systems composed of digital genres, regarding a VLE as a complex adaptive system. These VLEs were reconfigured from the platforms TelEduc and Moodle and used to teach the discipline "Digital Literacy", in the course of Languages and Literature Teaching degree at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG, during the second semester of 2007 and the second semester of 2008, respectively. The analyses have indicated that the textual production of the emerging online discourse communities was influenced by the coupling of different layers of the interface, the textual genres and the communicative and pedagogical purposes and, also, by the affordances which were perceived and acted upon by teachers and learners. The analyzed VLEs have portrayed the characteristic of equifinality, regardless of the possibilities and constraints offered by the platforms TelEduc and Moodle.Investigo, através da lente do Paradigma da Complexidade, juntamente com os pressupostos da Teoria Geral dos Sistemas e do conceito de affordances, dois ambientes virtuais de aprendizagem (AVAs, definindo-os como sistemas compostos por gêneros digitais, partindo do pressuposto de que um AVA é um sistema adaptativo complexo. Esses AVAs foram reconfigurados a partir das plataformas TelEduc e Moodle e utilizados para ministrar a disciplina "Letramento Digital", no curso de Letras da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG, nos semestres 2007-2 e 2008-2, respectivamente. As análises indicam que a produção textual das comunidades discursivas on-line emergentes nos AVAs foi influenciada pelo acoplamento aninhado de camadas distintas da interface, dos gêneros textuais e dos propósitos comunicativos e pedagógicos, e, ainda, pelas affordances percebidas e efetivadas

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 78 FR 15559 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program for the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-11

    ... with the definition used in many of the model acts issued by the National Association of Insurance... Care Act; Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program for the Affordable Insurance Exchanges; Final...; Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program for the Affordable Insurance Exchanges AGENCY: U.S. Office...

  4. 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...

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Incentivising flood risk adaptation through risk based insurance premiums : Trade-offs between affordability and risk reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hudson, Paul F.; Botzen, W.J.W.; Feyen, L.; Aerts, Jeroen C.J.H.

    2016-01-01

    The financial incentives offered by the risk-based pricing of insurance can stimulate policyholder adaptation to flood risk while potentially conflicting with affordability. We examine the trade-off between risk reduction and affordability in a model of public-private flood insurance in France and G

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuray Gedik

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available 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 texturally describing the resulting experiences and perceptions. The findings of the study indicate that used together, online and face-to-face course structures offer several opportunities and challenges for students. The participating students mentioned interaction and communication opportunities, increased motivation, increased opportunities to voice their opinions, and reinforcement of learning as the affordances in the blended learning environment. The barriers included increased workload, cultural and technical barriers, and the inter-dependence of the two environments. Implications and suggestions are offered for instructors in higher education settings.

  11. Affordance as a Key Aspect in the Creation of New Learning Spaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dau, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    This research aims to highlight how different places and spaces in undergraduate teacher education afford student learning and the development of certain types of knowledge related. The questions this article addresses are: a) What is the affordance of different learning spaces in an undergraduate....... The major findings regard the contribution of spaces to sociality, identity, and referential embodied experiences, which greatly influence student preferences and learning activity, as well as knowledge development. It is concluded that individually and socially constructed learning influence...... interaction in learning spaces. A student’s embodied interaction is found both in reference to experience and in the process of being developed towards a fictive future, which is a result of their preferences and engagement....

  12. 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

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. The patient protection and Affordable Care Act: a primer for hand surgeons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adkinson, Joshua M; Chung, Kevin C

    2014-08-01

    The Affordable Care Act is the largest and most comprehensive overhaul of the United States health care industry since the inception of the Medicare and Medicaid. Contained within the 10 titles are a multitude of provisions that will change how hand surgeons practice medicine and how they are reimbursed. It is imperative that surgeons are equipped with the knowledge of how this law will affect all physician practices and hospitals.

  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. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Navigating beyond ‘here & now’ affordances - on sensorimotor maturation and ‘false belief’ performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria eBrincker

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available How and when do we learn to understand other people’s perspectives and possibly divergent beliefs? This question has elicited much theoretical and empirical research. A puzzling finding has been that toddlers perform well on so-called implicit false belief (FB tasks but do not show such capacities on traditional explicit FB tasks. I propose a navigational approach, which offers a hitherto ignored way of making sense of the seemingly contradictory results. The proposal involves a distinction between how we navigate FBs as they relate to 1 our current affordances (here & now navigation as opposed to 2 presently non-actual relations, where we need to leave our concrete embodied/situated viewpoint (counterfactual navigation. It is proposed that whereas toddlers seem able to understand FBs in their current affordance space, they do not yet possess the resources to navigate in abstraction from such concrete affordances, which explicit FB tests seem to require. It is hypothesized that counterfactual navigation depends on the development of ‘sensorimotor priors’, i.e. statistical expectations of own kinestetic re-afference, which evidence now suggests matures around age four, consistent with core findings of explicit FB performance.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. What will you do to me when you see me? Perception as searching for affordances in the environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrzej Klawiter

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary research on action-perception coupling draws on Gibson's concept of affordances. The text outlines the conceptual basis of this issue, showing how the notion of affordance is embraced in the theory of perception, understood as an active search for structured information that could improve the functioning of the organism in the environment. It also mentions a philosophical parallel (Martin Heidegger's philosophy of tools and concludes that the intuitions behind the concept of affordances have been more inspiring to cognitive scientists, neuroscientists and researchers in robotics than to psychologists studying perception.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Soft System Methodology as a Tool to Understand Issues of Governmental Affordable Housing Programme of India: A Case Study Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Sukanya; Roy, Souvanic; Sanyal, Manas Kumar

    2016-09-01

    With the help of a case study, the article has explored current practices of implementation of governmental affordable housing programme for urban poor in a slum of India. This work shows that the issues associated with the problems of governmental affordable housing programme has to be addressed to with a suitable methodology as complexities are not only dealing with quantitative data but qualitative data also. The Hard System Methodologies (HSM), which is conventionally applied to address the issues, deals with real and known problems which can be directly solved. Since most of the issues of affordable housing programme as found in the case study are subjective and complex in nature, Soft System Methodology (SSM) has been tried for better representation from subjective points of views. The article explored drawing of Rich Picture as an SSM approach for better understanding and analysing complex issues and constraints of affordable housing programme so that further exploration of the issues is possible.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Mourik, Maaike S. M.; Cameron, Alexandra; Ewen, Marg; Laing, Richard O.

    2010-01-01

    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  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. How Affective Is a "Like"?: The Effect of Paralinguistic Digital Affordances on Perceived Social Support.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohn, Donghee Yvette; Carr, Caleb T; Hayes, Rebecca A

    2016-09-01

    A national survey asked 323 U.S. adults about paralinguistic digital affordances (PDAs) and how these forms of lightweight feedback within social media were associated with their perceived social support. People perceived PDAs (e.g., Likes, Favorites, and Upvotes) as socially supportive both quantitatively and qualitatively, even without implicit meaning associated with them. People who are highly sensitive about what others think of them and have high self-esteem are more likely to perceive higher social support from PDAs. PMID:27635443

  18. Safe Affordable Fission Engine-(SAFE-) 100a Heat Exchanger Thermal and Structural Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steeve, B. E.

    2005-01-01

    A potential fission power system for in-space missions is a heat pipe-cooled reactor coupled to a Brayton cycle. In this system, a heat exchanger (HX) transfers the heat of the reactor core to the Brayton gas. The Safe Affordable Fission Engine- (SAFE-) 100a is a test program designed to thermally and hydraulically simulate a 95 Btu/s prototypic heat pipe-cooled reactor using electrical resistance heaters on the ground. This Technical Memorandum documents the thermal and structural assessment of the HX used in the SAFE-100a program.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...... 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...... engaging in social media activities as part of their campaign strategy....

  1. Commercial pressures on professionalism in american medical care: from Medicare to the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marmor, Theodore R; Gordon, Robert W

    2014-01-01

    Since the passage of Medicare, the self-regulation characteristic of professionalism in health care has come under steady assault. While Canadian physicians chose to relinquish financial autonomy, they have enjoyed far greater professional autonomy over their medical judgments than their U.S. counterparts who increasingly have their practices micromanaged. The Affordable Care Act illustrates the ways that managerial strategies and a market model of health care have shaped the financing and delivery of health care in the U.S., often with little or no evidence of their effectiveness.

  2. 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.

  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. Affordances and Limitations of Immersive Participatory Augmented Reality Simulations for Teaching and Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunleavy, Matt; Dede, Chris; Mitchell, Rebecca

    2009-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to document how teachers and students describe and comprehend the ways in which participating in an augmented reality (AR) simulation aids or hinders teaching and learning. Like the multi-user virtual environment (MUVE) interface that underlies Internet games, AR is a good medium for immersive collaborative simulation, but has different strengths and limitations than MUVEs. Within a design-based research project, the researchers conducted multiple qualitative case studies across two middle schools (6th and 7th grade) and one high school (10th grade) in the northeastern United States to document the affordances and limitations of AR simulations from the student and teacher perspective. The researchers collected data through formal and informal interviews, direct observations, web site posts, and site documents. Teachers and students reported that the technology-mediated narrative and the interactive, situated, collaborative problem solving affordances of the AR simulation were highly engaging, especially among students who had previously presented behavioral and academic challenges for the teachers. However, while the AR simulation provided potentially transformative added value, it simultaneously presented unique technological, managerial, and cognitive challenges to teaching and learning.

  5. 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.

  6. The role of motor affordances in immediate and long-term retention of objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guérard, Katherine; Guerrette, Marie-Claude; Rowe, Vanessa P

    2015-11-01

    In line with the embodied cognition perspective stating that cognitive processing results from the activation of the sensorimotor systems involved in perception and action (e.g., Glenberg, 1997), recent studies provided evidence that motor affordances played a role in serial memory for objects (e.g., see Downing-Doucet & Guérard, 2014). In the present study, we extended this line of research by investigating whether objects' motor affordances played a role in item memory, in immediate and long-term retention. Participants had to retain pairs of objects that were positioned in a way that was congruent for action or not. The results showed that motor suppression disrupted the retention of congruent pairs, but not that of incongruent pairs when short lists of six objects had to be retained over a short period of time (Experiment 1). However, when participants had to retain lists of 60 pairs, motor suppression had no effect on retention (Experiment 2). These results suggest that the motor system was recruited for the immediate retention of objects, but not for their long-term retention.

  7. 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.

  8. Aligning Capabilities and Social Media Affordances for Open Innovation in Governments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Malsbender

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available In recent years the proliferation of a new technological evolution has aroused great interest from science and prac¬tice: social media. Subsuming different types of online applications where users can create, edit and share con¬tent, social media enables new forms of interaction with others. Organisations already recognise its relevance and start leveraging on it. Furthermore, organisations identify the role of service innovation as one major driver for economic growth and competitive advantage. Nevertheless, although social media affords organisations to interact with their customers, the potential for utilising it for improving their service innovation activities is al¬most unexploited yet. Therefore, this paper aims at providing a framework for supporting the use of social media affordances for service innovation. Its applicability is tested in the domain “government”. Based on theoretical constructs a conceptual analysis is presented, tested in a specific domain and supplemented by potential future research and implications for theory and practice.

  9. An Affordance-Based Framework for Human Computation and Human-Computer Collaboration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouser, R J; Chang, R

    2012-12-01

    Visual Analytics is "the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by visual interactive interfaces". The goal of this field is to develop tools and methodologies for approaching problems whose size and complexity render them intractable without the close coupling of both human and machine analysis. Researchers have explored this coupling in many venues: VAST, Vis, InfoVis, CHI, KDD, IUI, and more. While there have been myriad promising examples of human-computer collaboration, there exists no common language for comparing systems or describing the benefits afforded by designing for such collaboration. We argue that this area would benefit significantly from consensus about the design attributes that define and distinguish existing techniques. In this work, we have reviewed 1,271 papers from many of the top-ranking conferences in visual analytics, human-computer interaction, and visualization. From these, we have identified 49 papers that are representative of the study of human-computer collaborative problem-solving, and provide a thorough overview of the current state-of-the-art. Our analysis has uncovered key patterns of design hinging on human and machine-intelligence affordances, and also indicates unexplored avenues in the study of this area. The results of this analysis provide a common framework for understanding these seemingly disparate branches of inquiry, which we hope will motivate future work in the field.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Improving The Affordable Care Act: An Assessment Of Policy Options For Providing Subsidies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltzman, Evan A; Eibner, Christine; Enthoven, Alain C

    2015-12-01

    A key challenge of health reform efforts is to make health insurance affordable for individuals and families who lack coverage without harming those with coverage or increasing federal spending. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) addresses this challenge in part by providing tax subsidies to qualified individuals for purchasing individual insurance and retaining tax exemptions for employer and employee contributions to the cost of premiums of employer-sponsored insurance. These tax exemptions cost approximately $250 billion annually in lost tax revenue and have been criticized for favoring higher earners and conferring preferential treatment of employer-sponsored over individual insurance. We analyzed three options for leveling the financial playing field between the two insurance markets by reallocating the value of tax benefits of employer coverage. We found that one option that uses the subsidy formula employed in the insurance Marketplaces under the ACA for both the individual and employer-sponsored insurance markets, and additionally requires the subsidy to be at least $1,250 without an upper income limit on subsidy eligibility imposed, could expand insurance coverage and reduce individual market premiums relative to the ACA with no additional federal spending. PMID:26643630

  14. 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.

  15. 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".

  16. Object affordances tune observers' prior expectations about tool-use behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacquet, Pierre O; Chambon, Valérian; Borghi, Anna M; Tessari, Alessia

    2012-01-01

    Learning about the function and use of tools through observation requires the ability to exploit one's own knowledge derived from past experience. It also depends on the detection of low-level local cues that are rooted in the tool's perceptual properties. Best known as 'affordances', these cues generate biomechanical priors that constrain the number of possible motor acts that are likely to be performed on tools. The contribution of these biomechanical priors to the learning of tool-use behaviors is well supported. However, it is not yet clear if, and how, affordances interact with higher-order expectations that are generated from past experience--i.e. probabilistic exposure--to enable observational learning of tool use. To address this question we designed an action observation task in which participants were required to infer, under various conditions of visual uncertainty, the intentions of a demonstrator performing tool-use behaviors. Both the probability of observing the demonstrator achieving a particular tool function and the biomechanical optimality of the observed movement were varied. We demonstrate that biomechanical priors modulate the extent to which participants' predictions are influenced by probabilistically-induced prior expectations. Biomechanical and probabilistic priors have a cumulative effect when they 'converge' (in the case of a probabilistic bias assigned to optimal behaviors), or a mutually inhibitory effect when they actively 'diverge' (in the case of probabilistic bias assigned to suboptimal behaviors).

  17. Object affordances tune observers' prior expectations about tool-use behaviors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre O Jacquet

    Full Text Available Learning about the function and use of tools through observation requires the ability to exploit one's own knowledge derived from past experience. It also depends on the detection of low-level local cues that are rooted in the tool's perceptual properties. Best known as 'affordances', these cues generate biomechanical priors that constrain the number of possible motor acts that are likely to be performed on tools. The contribution of these biomechanical priors to the learning of tool-use behaviors is well supported. However, it is not yet clear if, and how, affordances interact with higher-order expectations that are generated from past experience--i.e. probabilistic exposure--to enable observational learning of tool use. To address this question we designed an action observation task in which participants were required to infer, under various conditions of visual uncertainty, the intentions of a demonstrator performing tool-use behaviors. Both the probability of observing the demonstrator achieving a particular tool function and the biomechanical optimality of the observed movement were varied. We demonstrate that biomechanical priors modulate the extent to which participants' predictions are influenced by probabilistically-induced prior expectations. Biomechanical and probabilistic priors have a cumulative effect when they 'converge' (in the case of a probabilistic bias assigned to optimal behaviors, or a mutually inhibitory effect when they actively 'diverge' (in the case of probabilistic bias assigned to suboptimal behaviors.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Right-wing conspiracy? Socialist plot? The origins of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quadagno, Jill

    2014-02-01

    On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Did the ACA signify a government takeover of the health care system, a first step on the road to socialism, as conservative critics charged? Or was it, rather, a sellout to the right wing, as liberal single-payer advocates proclaimed? The ACA's key provisions, the employer mandate and the individual mandate, were Republican policy ideas, and its fundamental principles were nearly identical to the Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act of 1993 (HEART), a bill promoted by Republican senators to deflect support for President Bill Clinton's Health Security plan. Yet the ACA was also a policy legacy of the Clinton administration in important ways that rarely are acknowledged, notably Medicaid expansion and insurance company regulation. Although the ACA departed from the liberal vision of a single-payer plan and adhered closely to the objectives of those who believed that the health care system should encourage the free market, it included provisions that will make coverage more affordable, reliable, and accessible. PMID:24193605

  1. 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

  2. Between technical features and analytic capabilities: Charting a relational affordance space for digital social analytics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anders Koed Madsen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Digital social analytics is a subset of Big Data methods that is used to understand the social environment in which people and organizations have to act. This paper presents an analysis of eight projects that are experimenting with the use of these methods for various purposes. It shows that two specific technological features influence the work with such methods in all the cases. The first concerns the need to distribute choices about the structure of data to third-party actors and the second concerns the need to balance machine intelligence and human intuition when automating the analysis. These features set specific conditions for knowledge production, and the paper identifies two opposite approaches for engaging with each of these conditions. These features and approaches are finally combined into a two-dimensional affordance space that illustrates how there is flexibility in the way project leaders interact with the features of the data environment. It thereby also shows how digital social analytics come to have different affordances for different projects.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. An Analysis and Review of Measures and Relationships in Space Transportation Affordability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata, Edgar; McCleskey, Carey

    2014-01-01

    The affordability of transportation to or from space is of continued interest across numerous and diverse stakeholders in our aerospace industry. Such an important metric as affordability deserves a clear understanding among stakeholders about what is meant by affordability, costs, and related terms, as otherwise it's difficult to see where specific improvements are needed or where to target specific investments. As captured in the famous words of Lewis Carroll, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there". As important as understanding a metric may be, with terms such as costs, prices, specific costs, average costs, marginal costs, etc., it is equally important to understand the relationship among these measures. In turn, these measures intermingle with caveats and factors that introduce more measures in need of a common understanding among stakeholders. These factors include flight rates, capability, and payload. This paper seeks to review the costs of space transportation systems and the relationships among the many factors involved in costs from the points of view of diverse decision makers. A decision maker may have an interest in acquiring a single launch considering the best price (along with other factors in their business case), or an interest in many launches over time. Alternately, a decision maker may have a specific interest in developing a space transportation system that will offer certain prices, or flight rate capability, or both, at a certain up-front cost. The question arises for the later, to reuse or to expend? As it is necessary in thinking about the future to clearly understand the past and the present, this paper will present data and graphics to assist stakeholders in visualizing trends and the current state of affairs in the launch industry. At all times, raw data will be referenced (or made available separately) alongside detailed explanations about the data, so as to avoid the confusion or misleading conclusions

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Leveraging the Affordances of the Emerging 3d Internet for Entrepreneurial ”Next Practices”

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frølunde, Lisbeth; Flåten, Bjørn-Tore

    preliminary results indicate that 3D Internet entrepreneurs are “pioneers” who are designing the affordances and utility of the future Internet. They are characterized by the active knowledge sharing in entrepreneurial networks, and organization of complex collaborations. This enables greater risk......Recent technological advances have led to the rapid development of computer-generated spaces that enable individual users to in a sense “step into the Internet” and many offer 3D (three dimensional) graphics. Users can immerse themselves in various ways; communicate, collaborate, create, and even...... organize economic activity. The 3D Internet is currently known mainly for entertainment or training purposes, including virtual worlds, conferences, simulations, role-playing games. While 3D Internet-enabled technologies are advancing rapidly, this growth has been accompanied by hype about opportunities...

  11. 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

  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. An Affordable Virtual Reality System for Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Bartal; Nielsen, Ronni Nedergaard; Kraus, Martin;

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes the implementation of an affordable phantom limb pain (PLP) home treatment system using virtual reality (VR) and a motion sensor to immerse the users in a virtual environment (VE). The work is inspired by mirror therapy (MT) which is used to treat patients with PLP....... This project focuses on phantom pain in amputees. Using a motion sensor, the system tracks the movement of a user’s hand and translates it onto the virtual hand. The system consists of exercises focusing on opening and closing the hand, rotating the hand, and finer finger movements. These exercises...... are conveyed in the VR as three games: (1) A bending game, where the patients have to bend a rod, (2) a box game where the patients pick up and place boxes with their hands, (3) and a button memory game where the patients have to push buttons in a given sequence. These games were tested on twelve healthy...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. A Single-use Strategy to Enable Manufacturing of Affordable Biologics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacquemart, Renaud; Vandersluis, Melissa; Zhao, Mochao; Sukhija, Karan; Sidhu, Navneet; Stout, Jim

    2016-01-01

    The current processing paradigm of large manufacturing facilities dedicated to single product production is no longer an effective approach for best manufacturing practices. Increasing competition for new indications and the launch of biosimilars for the monoclonal antibody market have put pressure on manufacturers to produce at lower cost. Single-use technologies and continuous upstream processes have proven to be cost-efficient options to increase biomass production but as of today the adoption has been only minimal for the purification operations, partly due to concerns related to cost and scale-up. This review summarizes how a single-use holistic process and facility strategy can overcome scale limitations and enable cost-efficient manufacturing to support the growing demand for affordable biologics. Technologies enabling high productivity, right-sized, small footprint, continuous, and automated upstream and downstream operations are evaluated in order to propose a concept for the flexible facility of the future. PMID:27570613

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. A Single-use Strategy to Enable Manufacturing of Affordable Biologics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacquemart, Renaud; Vandersluis, Melissa; Zhao, Mochao; Sukhija, Karan; Sidhu, Navneet; Stout, Jim

    2016-01-01

    The current processing paradigm of large manufacturing facilities dedicated to single product production is no longer an effective approach for best manufacturing practices. Increasing competition for new indications and the launch of biosimilars for the monoclonal antibody market have put pressure on manufacturers to produce at lower cost. Single-use technologies and continuous upstream processes have proven to be cost-efficient options to increase biomass production but as of today the adoption has been only minimal for the purification operations, partly due to concerns related to cost and scale-up. This review summarizes how a single-use holistic process and facility strategy can overcome scale limitations and enable cost-efficient manufacturing to support the growing demand for affordable biologics. Technologies enabling high productivity, right-sized, small footprint, continuous, and automated upstream and downstream operations are evaluated in order to propose a concept for the flexible facility of the future.

  3. How Has the Affordable Care Act Affected Health Insurers' Financial Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Mark A; McCue, Michael J

    2016-07-01

    Starting in 2014, the Affordable Care Act transformed the market for individual health insurance by changing how insurance is sold and by subsidizing coverage for millions of new purchasers. Insurers, who had no previous experience under these market conditions, competed actively but faced uncertainty in how to price their products. This issue brief uses newly available data to understand how health insurers fared financially during the ACA's first year of full reforms. Overall, health insurers' financial performance began to show some strain in 2014, but the ACA's reinsurance program substantially buffered the negative effects for most insurers. Although a quarter of insurers did substantially worse than others, experience under the new market rules could improve the accuracy of pricing decisions in subsequent years.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Developing an Affordable and Portable Control Systems Laboratory Kit with a Raspberry Pi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca M. Reck

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Instructional laboratories are common in engineering programs. Instructional laboratories should evolve with technology and support the changes in higher education, like the increased popularity of online courses. In this study, an affordable and portable laboratory kit was designed to replace the expensive on-campus equipment for two control systems courses. The complete kit costs under $135 and weighs under 0.68 kilograms. It is comprised of off-the-shelf components (e.g., Raspberry Pi, DC motor and 3D printed parts. The kit has two different configurations. The first (base configuration is a DC motor system with a position and speed sensor. The second configuration adds a Furuta inverted pendulum attachment with another position sensor. These configurations replicate most of the student learning outcomes for the two control systems courses for which they were designed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  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. Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development: A Cross-Cultural Study between American and Lebanese Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diala Ammar

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Considerable efforts have been devoted to map the relations between the home environment and selected aspects of child’s development. A recent instrument was developed that aimed at assessing the affordances in the home environment, the AHEMD-SR. Although the AHEMD-SR gave insight into affordances in the home, it was focused on two specific populations from the United States and Portugal. Currently, there is limited research regarding the validity of this instrument when used in different cultures. The purpose of this study was to compare a sample of Middle Eastern children to the normative sample that was used to validate the AHEMD. Results showed a significance difference between the socioeconomic statuses between the groups. Concerning factor analysis, results showed that the Lebanese group had five factors loading as did the American/Portuguese sample but with variables loading differently. Interestingly, the Lebanese group showed higher scores for affordances inside the home such replica toys and games. Our findings show that the state of the environment may play a role in the affordances and development. Future work is needed to look at the specific loading and possible variables that may be included in the AHMED-SR to look at other cultures that may have other limitations.

  7. Protecting the Student: A Critique of the Procedural Protection Afforded to American and English Students in University Disciplinary Hearings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saurack, Walter

    1995-01-01

    This paper argues that natural justice principles animating English procedural law and due process jurisprudence playing the same role in American law should be interpreted to protect the intrinsic values associated with fair disciplinary hearing. This approach demands that college students facing expulsion or suspension be afforded an impartial…

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    IJsbrandy, C.; Fens, T.; Van de Rhee, R.; Ter Horst, B.; Bollen, D.; Luijendijk, A.; Firet, L.; Van Leeuwen, A.; De Rooij, D.; Terwee, K.; Boutkan, E.

    2010-09-15

    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)

  9. Implementing the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina: the rubber hits the road.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silberman, Pam

    2013-01-01

    The health insurance mandate, perhaps the best-known provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), is slated to go into effect on January 1, 2014. Yet most people do not know how the ACA will affect them. More than one-third of people in a recent national poll were unaware that new health insurance marketplaces will make it easier to purchase coverage or that some people will qualify for subsidies to help them purchase coverage. The ACA includes many other provisions that will have a profound impact on our health care delivery system. Some changes are already helping to break down silos in the delivery of care. Groups of health care professionals are working together to manage the health of populations. The ACA places a much greater emphasis on measuring quality and on paying health professionals and health care institutions based on the value of the services they provide. In addition, the ACA makes greater investments in prevention and in population health management. This issue brief highlights some of the health system changes that have taken place over the past 3 years, as well as some of the potential changes that are yet to come relating to insurance coverage, access to care, quality of care, rising health care costs, and overall population health.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. 

  12. Differing Impacts Of Market Concentration On Affordable Care Act Marketplace Premiums.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheffler, Richard M; Arnold, Daniel R; Fulton, Brent D; Glied, Sherry A

    2016-05-01

    Recent increases in market concentration among health plans, hospitals, and medical groups raise questions about what impact such mergers are having on costs to consumers. We examined the impact of market concentration on the growth of health insurance premiums between 2014 and 2015 in two Affordable Care Act state-based Marketplaces: Covered California and NY State of Health. We measured health plan, hospital, and medical group market concentration using the well-known Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) and used a multivariate regression model to relate these measures to premium growth. Both states exhibited a positive association between hospital concentration and premium growth and a positive (but not statistically significant) association between medical group concentration and premium growth. Our results for health plan concentration differed between the two states: It was positively associated with premium growth in New York but negatively associated with premium growth in California. The health plan concentration finding in Covered California may be the result of its selectively contracting with health plans.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Convergent innovation for sustainable economic growth and affordable universal health care: innovating the way we innovate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubé, Laurette; Jha, Srivardhini; Faber, Aida; Struben, Jeroen; London, Ted; Mohapatra, Archisman; Drager, Nick; Lannon, Chris; Joshi, P K; McDermott, John

    2014-12-01

    This paper introduces convergent innovation (CI) as a form of meta-innovation-an innovation in the way we innovate. CI integrates human and economic development outcomes, through behavioral and ecosystem transformation at scale, for sustainable prosperity and affordable universal health care within a whole-of-society paradigm. To this end, CI combines technological and social innovation (including organizational, social process, financial, and institutional), with a special focus on the most underserved populations. CI takes a modular approach that convenes around roadmaps for real world change-a portfolio of loosely coupled complementary partners from the business community, civil society, and the public sector. Roadmaps serve as collaborative platforms for focused, achievable, and time-bound projects to provide scalable, sustainable, and resilient solutions to complex challenges, with benefits both to participating partners and to society. In this paper, we first briefly review the literature on technological innovation that sets the foundations of CI and motivates its feasibility. We then describe CI, its building blocks, and enabling conditions for deployment and scaling up, illustrating its operational forms through examples of existing CI-sensitive innovation.

  16. Perception of affordances during long-term exposure to weightlessness in the International Space station.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourrelly, Aurore; McIntyre, Joseph; Luyat, Marion

    2015-09-01

    On Earth, visual eye height (VEH)--the distance from the observer's line of gaze to the ground in the visual scene--constitutes an effective cue in perceiving affordance such as the passability through apertures, based on the assumption that one's feet are on the ground. In the present study, we questioned whether an observer continues to use VEH to estimate the width of apertures during long-term exposure to weightlessness, where contact with the floor is not required. Ten astronauts were tested in preflight, inflight in the International Space Station, and postflight sessions. They were asked to adjust the opening of a virtual doorway displayed on a laptop device until it was perceived to be just wide enough to pass through (i.e., the critical aperture). We manipulated VEH by raising and lowering the level of the floor in the visual scene. We observed an effect of VEH manipulation on the critical aperture. When VEH decreased, the critical aperture decreased too, suggesting that widths relative to the body were perceived to be larger when VEH was smaller. There was no overall significant session effect, but the analysis of between-subjects variability revealed two participant profile groups. The effect of weightlessness was different for these two groups even though the VEH strategy remained operational during spaceflight. This study shows that the VEH strategy appears to be very robust and can be used, if necessary, in inappropriate circumstances such as free-floating, perhaps promoted by the nature of the visual scene.

  17. Affordable Care Act's Mandate Eliminating Contraceptive Cost Sharing Influenced Choices Of Women With Employer Coverage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlin, Caroline S; Fertig, Angela R; Dowd, Bryan E

    2016-09-01

    Patient cost sharing for contraceptive prescriptions was eliminated for certain insurance plans as part of the Affordable Care Act. We examined the impact of this change on women's patterns of choosing prescription contraceptive methods. Using claims data for a sample of midwestern women ages 18-46 with employer-sponsored coverage, we examined the contraceptive choices made by women in employer groups whose coverage complied with the mandate, compared to the choices of women in groups whose coverage did not comply. We found that the reduction in cost sharing was associated with a 2.3-percentage-point increase in the choice of any prescription contraceptive, relative to the 30 percent rate of choosing prescription contraceptives before the change in cost sharing. A disproportionate share of this increase came from increased selection of long-term contraception methods. Thus, the removal of cost as a barrier seems to be an important factor in contraceptive choice, and our findings about long-term methods may have implications for rates of unintended pregnancy that require further study. PMID:27605640

  18. 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.

  19. Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network: doing good by making high-quality vaccines affordable for all.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagliusi, Sonia; Leite, Luciana C C; Datla, Mahima; Makhoana, Morena; Gao, Yongzhong; Suhardono, Mahendra; Jadhav, Suresh; Harshavardhan, Gutla V J A; Homma, Akira

    2013-04-18

    The Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) is a unique model of a public and private international alliance. It assembles governmental and private organizations to work toward a common goal of manufacturing and supplying high-quality vaccines at affordable prices to protect people around the world from known and emerging infectious diseases. Together, this group of manufacturers has decades of experience in manufacturing vaccines, with technologies, know-how, and capacity to produce more than 40 vaccines types. These manufacturers have already contributed more than 30 vaccines in various presentations that have been prequalified by the World Health Organization for use by global immunization programmes. Furthermore, more than 45 vaccines are in the pipeline. Recent areas of focus include vaccines to protect against rotavirus, human papillomavirus (HPV), Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, hepatitis E, poliovirus, influenza, and pertussis, as well as combined pentavalent vaccines for children. The network has a growing number of manufacturers that produce a growing number of products to supply the growing demand for vaccines in developing countries.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. The Affordable Care Act, Substance Use Disorders, and Low-Income Clients: Implications for Social Work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCabe, Heather A; Wahler, Elizabeth A

    2016-07-01

    Social workers are leaders in the substance abuse services field and may often work in substance use disorder (SUD) education, prevention, assessment, treatment, or resource coordination and case management roles. As the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (2010) drives changes in the fields of health and behavioral health, social workers have an opportunity to lead structural changes at the micro and macro levels that will have a positive impact on low-income clients with SUDs. In this article, authors examine the current state of SUDs and health care access, the impact of the ACA on the field, and implications for social work practice and education. Social workers should seek specialized education and credentialing in SUD services, know how to help clients apply for health care coverage, and advocate for integrated substance abuse treatment and health care programs and an expansion of Medicaid in their local communities. Social workers are well positioned to be a voice for clients to ensure that the current structural changes result in a better, integrated system of care that is able to respond to the needs of low-income clients with SUDs.

  3. 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

  4. Affordable Care Act Provision Had Similar, Positive Impacts For Young Adults With And Without Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porterfield, Shirley L; Huang, Jin

    2016-05-01

    Beginning in 2010 the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowed young adults (ages 19-25) to remain on their parents' private health insurance plans, even if they were not full-time students. This study investigated the impact of the ACA on health insurance coverage for young adults with disabilities, comparing their experience with that of young adults without disabilities and that of a group of older adults (ages 26-34) with disabilities. We analyzed the periods 2006-09 and 2011-14, which were before and after implementation of the dependent coverage provision in the ACA, respectively. Coverage gains for older adults with disabilities were entirely attributable to changes in public insurance. Gains for young adults overall were driven by changes in private insurance. Both young adults with and without disabilities experienced a 4-percentage-point increase in private health insurance coverage between the two time periods, so the gap in private coverage between the two groups did not change significantly over time. Gains in coverage affected perhaps 2.9 million young adults overall and nearly 300,000 young adults with disabilities.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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. What the Affordable Care Act means for people with jail stays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regenstein, Marsha; Rosenbaum, Sara

    2014-03-01

    About one in six people expected to enroll in Medicaid under health reform expansions and nearly one in ten expected to enroll in qualified health plans through the health insurance Marketplaces will have spent some time in jail during the past year. People who have spent time in jail frequently cycle in and out of incarceration; have high rates of chronic physical, mental health, and substance use conditions; and historically have been uninsured and without access to continuous health care. The Affordable Care Act may not change the quality of health care in jails, but its provision of better access to care before and after people are incarcerated could have positive long-term effects on both the health of those individuals and overall health care costs. Achieving these results will require careful planning and coordination among jail health care programs, Medicaid, and Marketplace health plans. The use of electronic health records by jails and community providers could help ensure that treatments are consistent no matter where a patient resides. Policy makers and health plans could also ensure continuity of care by including in their networks some of the same safety-net providers that are under contract to furnish care to jail inmates. PMID:24590944

  9. 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-...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Being present in action: a theoretical model about the interlocking between intentions and environmental affordances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano eTriberti

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuropsychological evidence suggest that a key role in linking perceptions and intentions is played by sense of presence. Despite this phenomenon having been studied primarily in the field of virtual reality (conceived as the illusion of being in the virtual space, recent research highlighted that it is a fundamental feature of everyday experience. Specifically, the function of presence as a cognitive process is to locate the Self in a physical space or situation, based on the perceived possibility to act in it; so, the variations in sense of presence allow one to continuously adapt his own action to the external environment. Indeed intentions, as the cognitive antecedents of action, are not static representations of the desired outcomes, but dynamic processes able to adjust their own representational content according to the opportunities/restrictions emerging in the environment. Focusing on the peculiar context of action mediated by interactive technologies, we here propose a theoretical model showing how each level of an intentional hierarchy (future-directed; present directed; and motor intentions can interlock with environmental affordances in order to promote a continuous stream of action and activity.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Being Present in Action: A Theoretical Model About the "Interlocking" Between Intentions and Environmental Affordances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triberti, Stefano; Riva, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Recent neuropsychological evidence suggest that a key role in linking perceptions and intentions is played by sense of presence. Despite this phenomenon having been studied primarily in the field of virtual reality (conceived as the illusion of being in the virtual space), recent research highlighted that it is a fundamental feature of everyday experience. Specifically, the function of presence as a cognitive process is to locate the Self in a physical space or situation, based on the perceived possibility to act in it; so, the variations in sense of presence allow one to continuously adapt his own action to the external environment. Indeed intentions, as the cognitive antecedents of action, are not static representations of the desired outcomes, but dynamic processes able to adjust their own representational content according to the opportunities/restrictions emerging in the environment. Focusing on the peculiar context of action mediated by interactive technologies, we here propose a theoretical model showing how each level of an intentional hierarchy (future-directed; present directed; and motor intentions) can "interlock" with environmental affordances in order to promote a continuous stream of action and activity. PMID:26834670

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. Using water wisely: New, affordable, and essential water conservation practices for facility and home hemodialysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agar, John W M; Simmonds, Rosemary E; Knight, Richard; Somerville, Christine A

    2009-01-01

    Despite a global focus on resource conservation, most hemodialysis (HD) services still wastefully or ignorantly discard reverse osmosis (R/O) "reject water" (RW) to the sewer. However, an R/O system is producing the highly purified water necessary for dialysis, it rejects any remaining dissolved salts from water already prefiltered through charcoal and sand filters in a high-volume effluent known as RW. Although the RW generated by most R/O systems lies well within globally accepted potable water criteria, it is legally "unacceptable" for drinking. Consequently, despite being extremely high-grade gray water, under current dialysis practices, it is thoughtlessly "lost-to-drain." Most current HD service designs neither specify nor routinely include RW-saving methodology, despite its simplicity and affordability. Since 2006, we have operated several locally designed, simple, cheap, and effective RW collection and distribution systems in our in-center, satellite, and home HD services. All our RW water is now recycled for gray-water use in our hospital, in the community, and at home, a practice that is widely appreciated by our local health service and our community and is an acknowledged lead example of scarce resource conservation. Reject water has sustained local sporting facilities and gardens previously threatened by indefinite closure under our regional endemic local drought conditions. As global water resources come under increasing pressure, we believe that a far more responsible attitude to RW recycling and conservation should be mandated for all new and existing HD services, regardless of country or region.

  8. The Origination Clause, the Affordable Care Act, and Indirect Constitutional Violations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dysart, Tessa L

    2015-01-01

    "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills." U.S. Const. art. I, § 7, cl. 1 (Origination Clause). "As we have often noted, '[c]onstitutional rights would be of little value if they could be . . . indirectly denied.'" United States Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779, 829 (1995) The Supreme Court's opinion in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, upholding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a permissible exercise of Congress's taxing power rekindled an old question about the constitutionality of the Act: Was the Act unconstitutional under the Origination Clause? The bill that became the ACA, H.R. 3590, originated in the House as the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009. It was gutted by the Senate and replaced with the ACA before being passed and sent back to the House for final passage. The Supreme Court has heard very few cases on the Origination Clause, and Origination Clause challenges have met with little success. Most of these cases have developed over the questions of whether the bill is actually a revenue-raising bill that is constitutionally required to be originate in the House, and, if so, whether the Senate amendments were appropriate. But United States Term Limits v. Thornton provides another angle under which to examine the constitutionality of the ACA: an indirect violation of a constitutional prohibition. In this Article, I will provide an overview of the ACA's passage and analyze it through the lenses of traditional Origination Clause arguments and the Term Limits approach.

  9. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Utilization of Preventive Health Care Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Eno

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We examined how (a health insurance coverage, and (b familiarity with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA’s or ObamaCare mandate of cost-free access to preventive health services, affect the use of preventive services by residents of a minority community. It was based on primary data collected from a survey conducted during March to April 2012 among a sample of self-identified African American adults in Tallahassee-Leon County area of northwest Florida. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS Version 22 was used for running frequency analysis on the data set and multivariable regression modeling. The results showed that of 524 respondents, 382 (73% had health insurance while 142 (27% lacked insurance. Majority of insured respondents, 332 (87%, used preventive health services. However, the remaining 13% of respondents did not use preventive services because they were unfamiliar with the ACA provision of free access to preventive services for insured people. Regression analysis showed a high (91.04% probability that, among the insured, the use of preventive health services depended on the person’s age, income, and education. For uninsured residents, the lack of health insurance was the key reason for non-use of preventive health services, while among the insured, lack of knowledge about the ACA benefit of free access contributed to non-use of preventive services. Expansion of Medicaid eligibility can increase insurance coverage rates among African Americans and other minority populations. Health promotion and awareness campaigns about the law’s benefits by local and state health departments can enhance the use of preventive services.

  10. 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

  11. Changes in Payer Mix and Physician Reimbursement After the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine D. Jones MD, MS

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Although uncompensated care for hospital-based care has fallen dramatically since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, the changes in hospital physician reimbursement are not known. We evaluated if payer mix and physician reimbursement by encounter changed between 2013 and 2014 in an academic hospitalist practice in a Medicaid expansion state. This was a retrospective cohort study of all general medicine inpatient admissions to an academic hospitalist group in 2013 and 2014. The proportion of encounters by payer and reimbursement/inpatient encounter were compared in 2013 versus 2014. A sensitivity analysis determined the relative contribution of different factors to the change in reimbursement/encounter. Among 37 540 and 40 397 general medicine inpatient encounters in 2013 and 2014, respectively, Medicaid encounters increased (17.3% to 30.0%, P < .001, uninsured encounters decreased (18.4% to 6.3%, P < 0.001, and private payer encounters also decreased (14.1% to 13.3%, P = .001. The median reimbursement/encounter increased 4.2% from $79.98/encounter in 2013 to $83.36/encounter in 2014 (P < .001. In a sensitivity analysis, changes in length of stay, proportions in encounter type by payer, payer mix, and reimbursement for encounter type by payer accounted for −0.7%, 0.8%, 2.0%, and 2.3% of the reimbursement change, respectively. From 2013 to 2014, Medicaid encounters increased, and uninsured and private payer encounters decreased within our hospitalist practice. Reimbursement/encounter also increased, much of which could be attributed to a change in payer mix. Further analyses of physician reimbursement in Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states would further delineate reimbursement changes that are directly attributable to Medicaid expansion.

  12. 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,…

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. “Use Your Skills to Solve This Challenge!”: The Platform Affordances and Politics of Digital Microvolunteering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla Ilten

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available How does the rise of managed online platforms for civic engagement change the relationships between activists and organizations? While much has been written about Twitter- and Facebook-enabled mobilization, the emergence of platforms that organize “microaction” in contained ways is a phenomenon understudied by social movement and media scholars. This study draws on both literatures to analyze the hybrid case of Sparked, a microvolunteering platform created by web designers, not activists, that efficiently organizes volunteering through a microaction design. The case exhibits characteristics that social movement scholars understand as resource mobilization through leveraging of affordances by activists, but it also features the structural characteristics of platforms that media scholars identify as both enabling and constraining. To conceptualize the “digitally enabled activism” that takes place within the confines of a managed platform, this study investigates its microaction affordances and their implications. My analysis finds that high leveraging of online affordances can coincide with a shifted logic of engagement in the case of microaction platforms: Sparked’s microaction system affords high performance, but targets only a specialized niche of volunteering. I describe this model as “specialized supersizing” that addresses nonprofits’ needs for increasing organizational overhead services in the context of a professionalizing third sector. Sparked’s microvolunteering design has helped define a platform-centric constitution for microaction that is geared toward rationalization, professionalization, and productivity. Its platform “politics” promote depoliticization, where tactics, not causes, determine exchanges. This emergence of a market for mobilization tactics may have important implications for nonprofits, volunteers, and social movements.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Tuberculosis treatment managed by providers outside the Public Health Department: lessons for the Affordable Care Act.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Ehman

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Tuberculosis (TB requires at least six months of multidrug treatment and necessitates monitoring for response to treatment. Historically, public health departments (HDs have cared for most TB patients in the United States. The Affordable Care Act (ACA provides coverage for uninsured persons and may increase the proportion of TB patients cared for by private medical providers and other providers outside HDs (PMPs. We sought to determine whether there were differences in care provided by HDs and PMPs to inform public health planning under the ACA. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of California TB registry data. We included adult TB patients with culture-positive, pulmonary TB reported in California during 2007-2011. We examined trends, described case characteristics, and created multivariate models measuring two standards of TB care in PMP- and HD-managed patients: documented culture conversion within 60 days, and use of directly observed therapy (DOT. RESULTS: The proportion of PMP-managed TB patients increased during 2007-2011 (p = 0.002. On univariable analysis (N = 4,606, older age, white, black or Asian/Pacific Islander race, and birth in the United States were significantly associated with PMP care (p<0.05. Younger age, Hispanic ethnicity, homelessness, drug or alcohol use, and cavitary and/or smear-positive TB disease, were associated with HD care. Multivariable analysis showed PMP care was associated with lack of documented culture conversion (adjusted relative risk [aRR] = 1.37, confidence interval [CI] 1.25-1.51 and lack of DOT (aRR = 8.56, CI 6.59-11.1. CONCLUSION: While HDs cared for TB cases with more social and clinical complexities, patients under PMP care were less likely to receive DOT and have documented culture conversion. This indicates a need for close collaboration between PMPs and HDs to ensure that optimal care is provided to all TB patients and TB transmission is

  7. 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

  8. Hospital and Health Plan Partnerships: The Affordable Care Act's Impact on Promoting Health and Wellness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vu, Michelle; White, Annesha; Kelley, Virginia P.; Hopper, Jennifer Kuca; Liu, Cathy

    2016-01-01

    Background The Affordable Care Act (ACA) healthcare reforms, centered on achieving the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Triple Aim goals of improving patient care quality and satisfaction, improving population health, and reducing costs, have led to increasing partnerships between hospitals and insurance companies and the implementation of employee wellness programs. Hospitals and insurance companies have opted to partner to distribute the risk and resources and increase coordination of care. Objective To examine the ACA's impact on the health and wellness programs that have resulted from the joint ventures of hospitals and health plans based on the published literature. Method We conducted a review of the literature to identify successful mergers and best practices of health and wellness programs. Articles published between January 2007 and January 2015 were compiled from various search engines, using the search terms “corporate,” “health and wellness program,” “health plan,” “insurance plan,” “hospital,” “joint venture,” and “vertical merger.” Publications that described consolidations or wellness programs not tied to health insurance plans were excluded. Noteworthy characteristics of these programs were summarized and tabulated. Results A total of 44 eligible articles were included in the analysis. The findings showed that despite rising healthcare costs, joint ventures prevent hospitals from trading-off quality and services for cost reductions. Administrators believed that partnering would allow the companies to meet ACA standards for improving clinical outcomes at reduced costs. Before the implementation of the ACA, some employers had wellness programs, but these were not standardized and did not need to produce measurable results. The ACA encouraged improvement of employee wellness programs by providing funding for expanded health services and by mandating quality care. Successful workplace health and wellness

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Physical activity in light of affordances in outdoor environments: qualitative observation studies of 3-5 years olds in kindergarten.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjørgen, Kathrine

    2016-01-01

    This article examines the characteristic of affordances of different outdoor environments, related to the influences of children's physical activity levels. Qualitative observation studies in a Norwegian kindergarten were conducted of 3- to 5-year-olds into the natural environment and in the kindergarten's outdoor area. An ecological approach was important from both an analytical and theoretical point of view, using concepts from Gibson's (The ecological approach to visual perception. Houghton Mifflin Company, Bosten, 1979) theory of affordances. The concepts of affordances in an environment can explain children's movement behaviour. The findings reveal that situations with high physical activity levels among the children are more often created in natural environments than in the kindergarten's outdoor environment. Natural environments offer potential qualities that are a catalyst for physical activity. The study shows that certain characteristic of the physical outdoor environment are important for children's opportunities and inspiration for physical active play. The findings also show that social possibilities and opportunities, human interactions, in the environment have the greatest influence on the duration and intensity of physically active play. The need for knowledge on physical and social opportunities in outdoor environments, educational practice and the content of outdoor time in kindergartens should be given greater attention.

  13. Abel model: Evaluates claims of inability to afford penalties and compliance costs, version 2.6 (for microcomputers). Software

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-12-01

    The easy-to-use ABEL software evaluates for-profit company claims of inabiltiy to afford penalties, clean-up costs, or compliance costs. Violators raise the issue of inability to pay in most of EPA`s enforcement actions regardless of whether there is any hard evidence pay in most of EPA`s enforcement actions regardless of whether there is any hard evidence supporting those claims. The program enables Federal, State and local enforcement professionals to quickly determine if there was any validity to those claims. ABEL is a tool that promotes quick settlements by performing screening analyses of defendants and potentially responsible parties (PRP`s) to determine their financial capacity. If ABEL indicates the firm can afford the full penalty, compliance of clean-up cost, then EPA makes no adjustments for inability to pay. If it indicates that the firm cannot afford the full amount, it directs the enforcement personnel to review other financial reports before making any adjustments. After analyzing some basic financial ratios that reflect a company`s solvency, ABEL assesses the firm`s ability to pay by focusing on projected cash flows. The model explicitly calculates the value of projected, internally generated cash flows from historical tax information, and compares these cash flows to the prosposed environmental expenditure(s). The sofware is extremely easy to use. Users are taken through a series of prompts to enter specified data. On screen `help` information is available at any time.

  14. Health outcomes and related effects of using social media in chronic disease management: a literature review and analysis of affordances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merolli, Mark; Gray, Kathleen; Martin-Sanchez, Fernando

    2013-12-01

    Whilst the future for social media in chronic disease management appears to be optimistic, there is limited concrete evidence indicating whether and how social media use significantly improves patient outcomes. This review examines the health outcomes and related effects of using social media, while also exploring the unique affordances underpinning these effects. Few studies have investigated social media's potential in chronic disease, but those we found indicate impact on health status and other effects are positive, with none indicating adverse events. Benefits have been reported for psychosocial management via the ability to foster support and share information; however, there is less evidence of benefits for physical condition management. We found that studies covered a very limited range of social media platforms and that there is an ongoing propensity towards reporting investigations of earlier social platforms, such as online support groups (OSG), discussion forums and message boards. Finally, it is hypothesized that for social media to form a more meaningful part of effective chronic disease management, interventions need to be tailored to the individualized needs of sufferers. The particular affordances of social media that appear salient in this regard from analysis of the literature include: identity, flexibility, structure, narration and adaptation. This review suggests further research of high methodological quality is required to investigate the affordances of social media and how these can best serve chronic disease sufferers. Evidence-based practice (EBP) using social media may then be considered.

  15. Enhanced affordable methods for assessment of material characteristics and consolidation effects on stone and mortar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drdacky, M.; Slizkova, Z.

    2012-04-01

    In situ considerate testing of surface cohesion of historic stone and mortar materials suffers from a lack of suitable affordable non-destructive methods. The problem is mainly important for assessment of surface degradation characteristics and/or evaluation of effectiveness of consolidation treatment of degraded historic materials. The paper presents two innovations of simple testing methods which provide reliable data on material cohesion and water uptake. The so called "Scotch Tape Test" or peeling test has been introduced into the field of conservation for testing the cohesion qualities of historic materials mainly stone and renders in sixties without any standards or reliably verified recommendations for the above mentioned application in the conservation practice. Licentious use without adequate knowledge and sufficient understanding leads to non-comparable and non-reproducible as well as in many cases incorrect and severely biased results and assessments. Therefore, the authors after a research and comparative testing have established limits for its application, reliable procedures and a "standard" protocol for testing of cohesion characteristics of brittle and quasi brittle materials mainly mortars and stones. This article presents a detailed analysis of the peeling test procedures, and suggests recommendations for performing peeling tests and for evaluating the obtained results. Also in situ testing of material water uptake is a very basic and indispensable technique in conservation practice and it correlates significantly with some other material characteristics. The capillary properties of porous materials can be measured in situ using a Karsten tube and modified tools or methods which are quite cumbersome, and cannot be performed on inclined surfaces, e.g. vaults or ceilings. There are other difficulties with Karsten tube measurements, e.g. problems with fixing a heavy glass tube on vertical surfaces, a need for two operators, and soiling of the surface

  16. 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

  17. Public health service options for affordable and accessible noncommunicable disease and related chronic disease prevention and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brownie S

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Sharon Brownie,1,2 Andrew P Hills,3,4 Rachel Rossiter51Workforce and Health Services, Griffith Health, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia; 2Oxford PRAXIS Forum, Green Templeton College, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom; 3Allied Health Research, Mater Research Institute – The University of Queensland and Mater Mothers' Hospital, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 4Griffith Health Institute, Griffith Health, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia; 5MMHN and Nurse Practitioner Programs, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, AustraliaAbstract: Globally, nations are confronted with the challenge of providing affordable health services to populations with increasing levels of noncommunicable and chronic disease. Paradoxically, many nations can both celebrate increases in life expectancy and bemoan parallel increases in chronic disease prevalence. Simply put, despite living longer, not all of that time is spent in good health. Combined with factors such as rising levels of obesity and related noncommunicable disease, the demand for health services is requiring nations to consider new models of affordable health care. Given the level of disease burden, all staff, not just doctors, need to be part of the solution and encouraged to innovate and deliver better and more affordable health care, particularly preventative primary health care services. This paper draws attention to a range of exemplars to encourage and stimulate readers to think beyond traditional models of primary health service delivery. Examples include nurse-led, allied health-led, and student-led clinics; student-assisted services; and community empowerment models. These are reported for the interest of policy makers and health service managers involved in preventative and primary health service redesign initiatives.Keywords: primary health care planning, community health care, nurse-led clinics, allied health personnel

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. How Doula Care Can Advance the Goals of the Affordable Care Act: A Snapshot From New York City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Nan; Giessler, Katie; McAllister, Elan

    2015-01-01

    Doula care meets each of the triple aims of the Affordable Care Act: improving health outcomes for all, improving the experience of care, and lowering costs by reducing non-beneficial and unwanted medical interventions. Cost is the greatest barrier to use of doula support. Reimbursement for doula services by private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicaid managed care organizations would significantly increase access to doulas. Widespread availability of doula care could significantly reduce cesarean rates, and increased access to community-based doula programs could reduce entrenched health disparities.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Expected and Unexpected Consequences of the Affordable Care Act: The Impact on Patients and Surgeons-Pro and Con Arguments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudnicki, Marek; Armstrong, John H; Clark, Clancy; Marcus, Stuart G; Sacks, Lee; Moser, A James; Reid-Lombardo, K Marie

    2016-02-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or "ObamaCare" for short, was enacted in 2010. The Public Policy and Advocacy Committee of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT) hosted a debate with an expert panel to discuss the ACA and its impact on surgical care after the first year of patient enrollment. The purpose of this debate was to focus on the impact of ACA on the public and surgeons. At the core of the ACA are insurance industry reforms and expanded coverage, with a goal of improved clinical outcomes and reduced costs of care. We have observed supportive and opposing views on ACA. Nonetheless, we will witness major shifts in health care delivery as well as restructuring of our relationship with payers, institutions, and patients. With the rapidly changing health care landscape, surgeons will become key members of health systems and will likely need to lead transition from solo-practice to integrated care systems. The full effects of the ACA remain unrealized, but its implementation has begun to change the map of the American health care system and will surely impact the practice of surgery. Herein, we provide a synopsis of the "pro" and "con" arguments for the expected and unexpected consequences of the ACA on society and surgeons.

  5. Role of vaccine manufacturers in developing countries towards global healthcare by providing quality vaccines at affordable prices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jadhav, S; Gautam, M; Gairola, S

    2014-05-01

    Vaccines represent one of the greatest achievements of science and medicine in the fight against infectious diseases. Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective public health tools to prevent infectious diseases. Significant progress has been made in expanding the coverage of vaccines globally, resulting in the prevention of more than two million deaths annually. In 2010, nearly 200 countries endorsed a shared vision to extend the benefits of vaccines to every person by 2020, known as the Decade of Vaccine Initiative (DoV). Vaccine manufacturers in developing countries, as represented by the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN), make a significant contribution to DoV by supplying quality vaccines at affordable prices to the people who need them most. About 70% of the global Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) vaccine supplies are met by DCVMN. Besides EPI vaccine supplies, DCVMN is also targeting vaccines against rotavirus, Japanese encephalitis, pneumonia, human papillomavirus, meningitis and neglected tropical diseases. This article reviews the roles and contributions of DCVMN in making the vaccines accessible and affordable to all.

  6. Boron-mediated sequential alkyne insertion and C-C coupling reactions affording extended π-conjugated molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoji, Yoshiaki; Tanaka, Naoki; Muranaka, Sho; Shigeno, Naoki; Sugiyama, Haruka; Takenouchi, Kumiko; Hajjaj, Fatin; Fukushima, Takanori

    2016-01-01

    C-C bond coupling reactions illustrate the wealth of organic transformations, which are usually mediated by organotransition metal complexes. Here, we show that a borafluorene with a B-Cl moiety can mediate sequential alkyne insertion (1,2-carboboration) and deborylation/Csp(2)-Csp(2) coupling reactions, leading to aromatic molecules. The first step, which affords a borepin derivative, proceeds very efficiently between the borafluorene and various alkynes by simply mixing these two components. The second step is triggered by a one-electron oxidation of the borepin derivative, which results in the formation of a phenanthrene framework. When an excess amount of oxidant is used in the second step, the phenanthrene derivatives can be further transformed in situ to afford dibenzo[g,p]chrysene derivatives. The results presented herein will substantially expand the understanding of main group chemistry and provide a powerful synthetic tool for the construction of a wide variety of extended π-conjugated systems. PMID:27581519

  7. 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

  8. Calotropis procera Latex Extract Affords Protection against Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Freund's Complete Adjuvant-Induced Monoarthritis in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjeev Roy

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available In view of the well-established anti-inflammatory properties of latex of Calotropis procera (DL, the present study was carried out to evaluate the protective effect of its methanol extract (MeDL against inflammation and oxidative stress in monoarthritis induced by Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA in rats. Intra-articular injection of FCA produced inflammation of the joint with a peak effect occurring on day 4 where a maximum increase in the levels of myeloperoxidase and inflammatory mediators like PGE2, TNF-α, and nitric oxide was observed. This was associated with oxidative stress with a marked reduction in the levels of glutathione, catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase and an increase in the lipid peroxidation as indicated by the higher levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARSs. Subsequently on day 28 the histological analysis of the joint also revealed arthritic changes. Daily treatment of rats with MeDL (50 and 500 mg/kg and standard anti-inflammatory drug rofecoxib (20 and 100 mg/kg, produced a significant attenuation in the inflammatory response and ameliorated the arthritic changes in the joint. The protection afforded by MeDL and rofecoxib was more pronounced than that of phenylbutazone and was associated with normalization of the levels of inflammatory mediators and biochemical parameters of oxidative stress. However, the overall protection afforded by rofecoxib was better than that of MeDL.

  9. Boron-mediated sequential alkyne insertion and C–C coupling reactions affording extended π-conjugated molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoji, Yoshiaki; Tanaka, Naoki; Muranaka, Sho; Shigeno, Naoki; Sugiyama, Haruka; Takenouchi, Kumiko; Hajjaj, Fatin; Fukushima, Takanori

    2016-01-01

    C–C bond coupling reactions illustrate the wealth of organic transformations, which are usually mediated by organotransition metal complexes. Here, we show that a borafluorene with a B–Cl moiety can mediate sequential alkyne insertion (1,2-carboboration) and deborylation/Csp2–Csp2 coupling reactions, leading to aromatic molecules. The first step, which affords a borepin derivative, proceeds very efficiently between the borafluorene and various alkynes by simply mixing these two components. The second step is triggered by a one-electron oxidation of the borepin derivative, which results in the formation of a phenanthrene framework. When an excess amount of oxidant is used in the second step, the phenanthrene derivatives can be further transformed in situ to afford dibenzo[g,p]chrysene derivatives. The results presented herein will substantially expand the understanding of main group chemistry and provide a powerful synthetic tool for the construction of a wide variety of extended π-conjugated systems. PMID:27581519

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 成本-效果可支付曲线的理论与应用%Introduction of Theory and Application of Cost-effectiveness Affordability Curves

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宗欣; 孙利华

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To introduce new analysis tool cost-effectiveness affordability curves from the respective of theory and application, in order to enlighten our drug decision study and practice. METHODS: Cost-effectiveness threshold and the conception of affordability curves in cost-effectiveness plane were introduced to analyze cost-effectiveness affordability curves. The definition of cost-effectiveness affordability curves was analyzed and interpreted on the basis of empirical study. RESULTS: Cost-effectiveness affordability curves could combine the information afforded by cost-effectiveness threshold and affordability curves, which is the function of budget and cost-effectiveness threshold. CONCLUSIONS: Cost-effectiveness affordability curves can provide acceptability information and cost-effectiveness information simultaneously; under the constraint of budge, the cost-effectiveness affordability curve is changed with the changes of cost-effectiveness threshold value.%目的:从理论和应用角度对一种新兴分析工具——成本-效果可支付曲线进行介绍,以期为我国药品决策研究与实践提供新思路.方法:通过分析成本-效果平面中成本-效果阈值线和可支付线的含义来引出和分析成本-效果可支付曲线,并借助已有实证研究对其含义进行分析和解释.结果:成本-效果可支付曲线结合了可支付线与阈值线二者提供的信息,是成本-效果阈值和预算限制的函数.结论:成本-效果可支付曲线可同时提供经济性与可支付性信息,在给定预算下随成本-效果阈值的变化而变化.

  13. 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.'

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Affordable Care Act Qualified Health Plan Enrollment for AIDS Drug Assistance Program Clients: Virginia's Experience and Best Practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McManus, Kathleen A; Rodney, Robert C; Rhodes, Anne; Bailey, Steven; Dillingham, Rebecca

    2016-09-01

    With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014, many safety net resources, including state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), incorporated ACA Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) into their healthcare delivery model. This article highlights the benefits of the ACA for persons living with HIV. It also describes the range of strategies employed by state ADAPs to enroll patients in QHPs. The Virginia ADAP ACA implementation experience is described to illustrate one ADAP's shift to purchasing QHPs in addition to providing direct medications. Virginia ADAP is in a Medicaid nonexpansion state and funds the full costs of the QHP premiums, deductibles, and medication copayments. Virginia's experience is applicable to other Medicaid nonexpansion states and to state ADAPs in Medicaid expansion states, who are looking for options for their Medicaid ineligible clients. This article provides practical details of Virginia ADAP's ACA implementation as well as insights and best practices at both the state and clinic level.

  18. How much can the NHS afford to spend to save a life or avoid a severe disability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, C J; Farrow, S C; Charny, M C

    1985-01-12

    A measure termed the "benefit:premium ratio" is proposed to determine whether certain screening programs or high technology procedures are too expensive for Britain's National Health Service (NHS). Given that the NHS budget is finite, some programs, though proven effective, violate the principle of equity and reduce the benefits available to all subscribers. Since programs such as cervical and breast cancer screening, and routine preoperative chest X-rays, are aimed at eliminating infrequent risks, their cost is higher than warranted for an insurance-based system of health care. On the other hand, procedures such as renal transplantation, blood pressure screening, and open heart surgery are affordable according to the benefit:premium formula.

  19. 绿色技术在保障性住房中的应用%Application of Green Technology in Affordable Housing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    金怡; 蒋辉; 胡捷; 项玲娜

    2015-01-01

    The current is affordable housing and green building development period, It is significant to the green building by the develop application of green technology in affordable housing .The traditional idea thinks that green building need high input,but the affordable housing have low input. This paper is discussed on the reasonable application of green technology in affordable housing from the aspects of design and construction ,to achieve the purpose of the affordable housing to achieve green building in the premise of economic increment lower requirements.%当前是保障性住房和绿色建筑大力发展的时期,绿色技术在保障性住房中的应用对绿色建筑的发展有重要意义。传统观念认为绿色需要较高的投入,这与保障性住房的低投入相矛盾。本文从设计规划和建筑施工方面对绿色技术在保障性住房中的合理应用展开阐述,使得保障性住房在产生较低的经济增量的前提下达到绿色建筑的要求。

  20. 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.

  1. 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。

  2. Relationship between Affordances in the Home Environment and Motor Development in Children Age 18-42 Months

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alireza Haydari

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Environmental stimulation plays a critical role in optimal human development during the early stages of life and an optimal level (of development occurs with strong contextual support. It is well accepted among develop mentalists that motor-perceptual-and cognitive development are fundamentally interrelated. This suggests that status of motor development is an important factor in overall child well-being. The objectives of this study were to investigate (i the validity and reliability of AHEMD-SR in Iran and (ii the relationship between affordances and level of motor development. The instrument could provide useful information in a wide variety of settings, including applications to intervention and remediation. Approach: Data were collected throughout random sampling from 350 families with children within the age range 18-42 months in early childhood centers in Ahvaz, Iran. Families were asked to complete an inventory containing 67 items (AHEMD-SR which represent five factors: Outside physical space, inside physical space, variety of stimulation, gross motor materials and fine motor materials. Validity, reliability, correlations and regression were examined. Results: The findings of the research suggested that the validity test of AHEMD-SR equals 0.75 and its reliability test is 0.89. A significant (0.01 or 0.05 positive moderate correlation was found between the five factors of AHEMD and Total AHEMD. Furthermore, there was a multiple relationship between the five factors of AHEMD and total AHEMD. Conclusion/Recommendations: For the first time in Iran it has been showed that AHEMD-SR is a valid (0.75 and reliable (0.89 instrument for assessing how well environments home afford movement and potentially promotes motor development. A significant (0.01 or 0.05 positive moderate correlation was found between the five factors of AHEMD and Total AHEMD. There are also strong and significant multi relationships between dependent

  3. 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.

  4. Multilingualism and Affordances: Variation in Self-Perceived Communicative Competence and Communicative Anxiety in French L1, L2, L3 and L4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewaele, Jean-Marc

    2010-01-01

    In this contribution, I investigate the effect of the knowledge of other languages on self-perceived communicative competence and communicative anxiety in the French of 953 users. I tested the hypothesis that knowledge of more languages, specifically other Romance languages, create stronger or clearer affordances (Singleton & Aronin, Innovation in…

  5. 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

  6. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Hepatitis B Immunization in Vietnam: Application of Cost-Effectiveness Affordability Curves in Health Care Decision Making

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tu, Hong Anh T.; de Vries, Robin; Woerdenbag, Herman J.; Li, Shu Chuen; Le, Hoa H.; van Hulst, Marinus; Postma, Maarten J.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives: To perform acost-effectiveness analysis and to identify the coseffectiveness affordability levels for a newborn universal vaccination program against hepatitis B virus (HBV) in Vietnam. Methods: By using a Markov model, we simulated a Vietnamese birth cohort using 1,639,000 newborns in 2

  7. 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;

    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...

  8. 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.

  9. 五个变--经济适用房的生态设计构想%Five Transformations---Ecological Design Conception of Economically Affordable Housing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    史洪; 刘仁富

    2013-01-01

    As the national affordable housing, economically affordable housing is very important in housing construction in China.This paper puts forward five ideas of transformation including perception, planning,energy-saving technology,design of apartments and the decoration of the housing,which are based on the concept of ecological design idea.A case study of affordable housing in Changzhou is made to explore the sustainable developed approach to the affordable housing construction.%作为国家保障性住房,经济适用房在我国住宅建设中具有非常重要的意义。文章基于生态设计的理念提出观念转变、规划转变、节能技术转变、户型设计转变和家装转变五个变的思想,以常州已建经济适用房为例,探讨在变化中持续发展的经济适用房建设之路。

  10. 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.

  11. ReCl(CO)5-catalyzed Reactions of Aromatic Compounds with 1,3,5-Trioxane or Aqueous Formaldehyde Affording Diarylmethanes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUA,Rui-Mao; HE,Jun-Yi; SUN,Hong-Bin

    2007-01-01

    ReCl(CO)5 catalyzed the dehydration reaction of aromatic compounds with 1,3,5-trioxane or aqueous formaldehyde (37 wt%) under air. The reactions of a variety of aromatic compounds bearing electron-donating group(s)with 1,3,5-trioxane afforded the corresponding diarylmethanes in moderate to good yields.

  12. Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program: A Collaboration between the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, South Texas College, and Texas A&M University-Commerce. CBE Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein-Collins, Rebecca; Glancey, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    This case study is part of a series on newer competency-based degree programs that have been emerging in recent years. In January 2014, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), South Texas College (STC), and Texas A&M University-Commerce (A&M Commerce) launched the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program, the state's first…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Duplicate portion sampling combined with spectrophotometric analysis affords the most accurate results when assessing daily dietary phosphorus intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Alarcon, Miguel; Zambrano, Esmeralda; Moreno-Montoro, Miriam; Agil, Ahmad; Olalla, Manuel

    2012-08-01

    The assessment of daily dietary phosphorus (P) intake is a major concern in human nutrition because of its relationship with Ca and Mg metabolism and osteoporosis. Within this context, we hypothesized that several of the methods available for the assessment of daily dietary intake of P are equally accurate and reliable, although few studies have been conducted to confirm this. The aim of this study then was to evaluate daily dietary P intake, which we did by 3 methods: duplicate portion sampling of 108 hospital meals, combined either with spectrophotometric analysis or the use of food composition tables, and 24-hour dietary recall for 3 consecutive days plus the use of food composition tables. The mean P daily dietary intakes found were 1106 ± 221, 1480 ± 221, and 1515 ± 223 mg/d, respectively. Daily dietary intake of P determined by spectrophotometric analysis was significantly lower (P cooking processes on the P content of foods and meals and therefore afforded the most accurate and reliable P daily dietary intakes. The use of referred food composition tables overestimated daily dietary P intake. No adverse effects in relation to P nutrition (deficiencies or toxic effects) were encountered.

  5. Predictors of Payer Mix and Financial Performance Among Safety Net Hospitals Prior to the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommers, Benjamin D; Stone, Juliana; Kane, Nancy

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to use audited hospital financial statements to identify predictors of payer mix and financial performance in safety net hospitals prior to the Affordable Care Act. We analyzed the 2010 financial statements of 98 large, urban safety net hospital systems in 34 states, supplemented with data on population demographics, hospital features, and state policies. We used multivariate regression to identify independent predictors of three outcomes: 1) Medicaid-reliant payer mix (hospitals for which at least 25% of hospital days are paid for by Medicaid); 2) safety net revenue-to-cost ratio (Medicaid and Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospital payments and local government transfers, divided by charity care costs and Medicaid payment shortfall); and 3) operating margin. Medicaid-reliant payer mix was positively associated with more inclusive state Medicaid eligibility criteria and more minority patients. More inclusive Medicaid eligibility and higher Medicaid reimbursement rates positively predicted safety net revenue-to-cost ratio. University governance was the strongest positive predictor of operating margin. Safety net hospital financial performance varied considerably. Academic hospitals had higher operating margins, while more generous Medicaid eligibility and reimbursement policies improved hospitals' ability to recoup costs. Institutional and state policies may outweigh patient demographics in the financial health of safety net hospitals.

  6. 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.

  7. Four Years Later: Rural Mothers' and Employers' Perspectives on Breastfeeding Barriers Following the Passage of the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majee, Wilson; Jefferson, Urmeka T; Goodman, Laurel R; Olsberg, Joshua E

    2016-01-01

    For the working rural mother, one key source of support for breastfeeding is the employer. The purpose of this article was to examine workplace barriers and facilitators to breastfeeding in a small rural American community following the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. We used a qualitative research design: semi-structured interviews with major employers and low-income working breastfeeding mothers, and a focus-group with another group of employed and unemployed breastfeeding low-income mothers. While some businesses accommodate breastfeeding mothers, few actively promote breastfeeding. Lack of compliance with the new law, inadequate breastfeeding information for mothers, and lack of support from co-workers and supervisors emerged as the main barriers to successful workplace breastfeeding. To improve workplace breastfeeding support significantly there is need for authentic collaboration among maternal-child and rural health agencies and businesses in creating breastfeeding-tolerant, flexible, and forward-looking work environments that, at a minimum, satisfy the law. PMID:27524755

  8. The Affordable Care Act's plan for consumer assistance with insurance moves states forward but remains a work in progress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grob, Rachel; Schlesinger, Mark; Davis, Sarah; Cohen, Deborah; Lapps, Joshua

    2013-02-01

    The Affordable Care Act provides support for state-run consumer assistance programs to help privately insured consumers who experience problems with their coverage. Its provisions signify the first national commitment to such assistance and to using cases aggregated by these state programs to inform policy. We interviewed state-level administrators and analyzed program documents to assess whether federal support for state-run consumer assistance programs achieved certain goals. We found that some federally supported programs made substantial progress in supporting and empowering patients by reorienting state agencies to become active advocates for their citizens. Yet progress across the country was inconsistent, and there was little evidence that programs addressed systemic problems experienced by consumers. On balance, the consumer assistance provisions of health care reform do not yet ensure protection for all privately insured Americans because of uneven implementation-a problem likely to be of further concern as coverage is expanded and health insurance exchanges come on line in 2014. At the same time, the demonstrated impact of consumer assistance programs in the most innovative states is arguably a useful "proof of concept" for this young federal program.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. When is Arsenic Poisoning Prevention Unaffordable? Determining the EPA 'Affordability Criteria' for Small Water Systems Under the 1996 Clean Drinking Water Act

    OpenAIRE

    Cooke, Stephen C.

    2005-01-01

    Why would anyone want lower quality drinking water? The Safe Drinking Water Act allows an "affordability, variance technology, small system variance exemption" to the drinking water standards based on a supply side argument. It assumes small drinking water systems have significant diseconomies of scale in meeting the maximum contaminant levels. We can test this assumption by examining the cost of compliance technologies by system size developed by the Environmental Protection Agency to meet t...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Final Rules for Grandfathered Plans, Preexisting Condition Exclusions, Lifetime and Annual Limits, Rescissions, Dependent Coverage, Appeals, and Patient Protections Under the Affordable Care Act. Final rules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-18

    This document contains final regulations regarding grandfathered health plans, preexisting condition exclusions, lifetime and annual dollar limits on benefits, rescissions, coverage of dependent children to age 26, internal claims and appeal and external review processes, and patient protections under the Affordable Care Act. It finalizes changes to the proposed and interim final rules based on comments and incorporates subregulatory guidance issued since publication of the proposed and interim final rules.

  2. 保障性住房融资创新的路径选择%Analysis on the Innovation Route Choice of Affordable Housing Financing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    谭禹

    2015-01-01

    The development of affordable housing is facing the bottleneck of capital bottleneck. This paper analyzes the main problems of the affordable housing financing, the finance of housing funding sources, instability, investment and financing system of rigid, the policy of housing finance development lags behind, capital market financing channels impeded and so on. This paper puts forward the path choice of innovative affordable housing financing channels. Firstly, we should put the financial investment into the public financial system, and exert the leverage effect of financial funds. Secondly, we should vigorously develop policy housing financial institutions, to make up for the shortage of commercial credit. Finally, we should promote the innovation of financial instruments in the capital market, to attract the social capital into the affordable housing field.%保障性住房发展面临着资金瓶颈障碍。本文分析了保障性住房融资面临的主要问题,即财政性住房资金来源不稳定、投融资体制僵化,政策性住房金融发展滞后,资本市场融资渠道不畅等。本文提出了创新保障性住房融资渠道的路径选择:一是要将财政资金投入纳入公共财政体系,发挥财政资金杠杆效应;二是要大力发展政策性住房金融机构,弥补商业信贷的不足;三是要推动资本市场金融工具创新,吸引民间社会资本进入保障性住房领域。

  3. Affordances of students' using the World Wide Web as a publishing medium in project-based learning environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nathan Daniel

    This dissertation investigates the emerging affordance of the World Wide Web as a place for high school students to become authors and publishers of information. Two empirical studies lay groundwork for student publishing by examining learning issues related to audience adaptation in writing, motivation and engagement with hypermedia, design, problem-solving, and critical evaluation. Two models of student publishing on the World Wide Web were investigated over the course of two 11spth grade project-based science curriculums. In the first curricular model, students worked in pairs to design informative hypermedia projects about infectious diseases that were published on the Web. Four case studies were written, drawing on both product- and process-related data sources. Four theoretically important findings are illustrated through these cases: (1) multimedia, especially graphics, seemed to catalyze some students' design processes by affecting the sequence of their design process and by providing a connection between the science content and their personal interest areas, (2) hypermedia design can demand high levels of analysis and synthesis of science content, (3) students can learn to think about science content representation through engagement with challenging design tasks, and (4) students' consideration of an outside audience can be facilitated by teacher-given design principles. The second Web-publishing model examines how students critically evaluate scientific resources on the Web, and how students can contribute to the Web's organization and usability by publishing critical reviews. Students critically evaluated Web resources using a four-part scheme: summarization of content, content, evaluation of credibility, evaluation of organizational structure, and evaluation of appearance. Content analyses comparing students' reviews and reviewed Web documents showed that students were proficient at summarizing content of Web documents, identifying their publishing

  4. Implementation of the affordable care act: a case study of a service line co-management company.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanese, Bethany

    2016-09-19

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to test and measure the outcome of a community hospital in implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through a co-management arrangement. RQ1: do the benefits of a co-management arrangement outweigh the costs? RQ2: does physician alignment aid in the effective implementation of the ACA directives set for hospitals? Design/methodology/approach A case study of a 350-bed non-profit community hospital co-management company. The quantitative data are eight quarters of quality metrics prior and eight quarters post establishment of the co-management company. The quality metrics are all based on standardized national requirements from the Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines. These measures directly impact the quality initiatives under the ACA that are applicable to all healthcare facilities. Qualitative data include survey results from hospital employees of the perceived effectiveness of the co-management company. A paired samples difference of means t-test was conducted to compare the timeframe before co-management and post co-management. Findings The findings indicate that the benefits of a co-management arrangement do outweigh the costs for both the physicians and the hospital ( RQ1). The physicians benefit through actual dollar payout, but also with improved communication and greater input in running the service line. The hospital benefits from reduced cost - or reduced penalties under the ACA - as well as better communication and greater physician involvement in administration of the service line. RQ2: does physician alignment aid in the effective implementation of the ACA directives set for hospitals? The hospital improved in every quality metric under the co-management company. A paired sample difference of means t-test showed a statistically significant improvement in five of the six quality metrics in the study. Originality/value Previous research indicates the potential effectiveness of

  5. Implementation of the affordable care act: a case study of a service line co-management company.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanese, Bethany

    2016-09-19

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to test and measure the outcome of a community hospital in implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through a co-management arrangement. RQ1: do the benefits of a co-management arrangement outweigh the costs? RQ2: does physician alignment aid in the effective implementation of the ACA directives set for hospitals? Design/methodology/approach A case study of a 350-bed non-profit community hospital co-management company. The quantitative data are eight quarters of quality metrics prior and eight quarters post establishment of the co-management company. The quality metrics are all based on standardized national requirements from the Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines. These measures directly impact the quality initiatives under the ACA that are applicable to all healthcare facilities. Qualitative data include survey results from hospital employees of the perceived effectiveness of the co-management company. A paired samples difference of means t-test was conducted to compare the timeframe before co-management and post co-management. Findings The findings indicate that the benefits of a co-management arrangement do outweigh the costs for both the physicians and the hospital ( RQ1). The physicians benefit through actual dollar payout, but also with improved communication and greater input in running the service line. The hospital benefits from reduced cost - or reduced penalties under the ACA - as well as better communication and greater physician involvement in administration of the service line. RQ2: does physician alignment aid in the effective implementation of the ACA directives set for hospitals? The hospital improved in every quality metric under the co-management company. A paired sample difference of means t-test showed a statistically significant improvement in five of the six quality metrics in the study. Originality/value Previous research indicates the potential effectiveness of

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 保险资金投资保障性住房问题探讨%Explore the investment of insurance funds affordable housing issues

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    叶靖安

    2013-01-01

    保障房建设是国家“十二五”规划的重要内容,关系国计民生。保险资金投资保障性住房,可以缓解保障房融资困境,是优化保险资金投资结构的又一途径。一方面是保障性住房建设的融资渠道拓宽,另一方面是保险公司资金等待合理的配置,如何将保险资金与保障房建设进行有机结合,各取所需,实现双赢是值得我们探讨的一个话题。%protection of housing construction is an important part of the national"Twelfth Five Year Plan", the people's livelihood. Insurance fund investment in affordable housing, affordable housing ifnancing can ease the plight is another way to optimize the investment structure of the insurance funds. On the one hand is the construction of affordable housing ifnancing channel widening, on the other hand is waiting for the insurance company a reasonable al ocation of funds, insurance funds and how to organical y combine the protection of housing construction, what they want to achieve a win-win is a topic worth exploring .

  11. ABEL model: Evaluates claims of inability to afford penalities and compliance costs (version 2.8) (for microcomputers). Model-Simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-09-01

    The easy-to-use ABEL software evaluates for-profit company claims of inability to afford penalties, clean-up costs, or compliance costs. Violators raise the issue of inability to pay in most of EPA`s enforcement actions regardless of whether there is any hard evidence supporting those claims. The program enables Federal, State and local enforcement professionals to quickly determine if there was any validity to those claims. ABEL is a tool that promotes quick settlements by performing screening analyses of defendants and potentially responsible parties (PRP`s) to determine their financial capacity. If ABEL indicates the firm can afford the full penalty, compliance or clean-up costs, then EPA makes no adjustments for inability to pay. If it indicates that the firm cannot afford the full amount, it directs the enforcement personnel to review other financial reports before making any adjustments. After analyzing some basic financial ratios that reflect a company`s solvency, ABEL assesses the firm`s ability to pay by focusing on projected cash flows. The model explicitly calculates the value of projected, internally generated cash flows from historical tax information, and compares these cash flows to the proposed environmental expenditure(s). The software is extremely easy to use. Users are taken through a series of prompts to enter specified data. On screen `help` information is available at any time.

  12. Socio-economic status, racial composition and the affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods of a large rural region in Texas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bouhlal Yasser

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little is known about how affordability of healthy food varies with community characteristics in rural settings. We examined how the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables varies with the economic and demographic characteristics in six rural counties of Texas. Methods Ground-truthed data from the Brazos Valley Food Environment Project were used to identify all food stores in the rural region and the availability and lowest price of fresh whole fruit and vegetables in the food stores. Socioeconomic characteristics were extracted from the 2000 U.S. Census Summary Files 3 at the level of the census block group. We used an imputation strategy to calculate two types of price indices for both fresh fruit and fresh vegetables: a high variety and a basic index; and evaluated the relationship between neighborhood economic and demographic characteristics and affordability of fresh produce, using linear regression models. Results The mean cost of meeting the USDA recommendation of fruit consumption from a high variety basket of fruit types in our sample of stores was just over $27.50 per week. Relying on the three most common fruits lowered the weekly expense to under $17.25 per week, a reduction of 37.6%. The effect of moving from a high variety to a low variety basket was much less when considering vegetable consumption: a 4.3% decline from $29.23 to $27.97 per week. Univariate regression analysis revealed that the cost of fresh produce is not associated with the racial/ethnic composition of the local community. However, multivariate regression showed that holding median income constant, stores in neighborhoods with higher percentages of Black residents paid more for fresh fruits and vegetables. The proportion of Hispanic residents was not associated with cost in either the univariate or multivariate analysis. Conclusion This study extends prior work by examining the affordability of fresh fruit and vegetables from food stores in a large

  13. 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.

  14. Ending the drought: new strategies for improving the flow of affordable, effective antivenoms in Asia and Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, David J; Gutiérrez, José-María; Calvete, Juan J; Wüster, Wolfgang; Ratanabanangkoon, Kavi; Paiva, Owen; Brown, Nicholas I; Casewell, Nicholas R; Harrison, Robert A; Rowley, Paul D; O'Shea, Mark; Jensen, Simon D; Winkel, Kenneth D; Warrell, David A

    2011-08-24

    The development of snake antivenoms more than a century ago should have heralded effective treatment of the scourge of snakebite envenoming in impoverished, mostly rural populations around the world. That snakebite still exists today, as a widely untreated illness that maims, kills and terrifies men, women and children in vulnerable communities, is a cruel anachronism. Antivenom can be an effective, safe and affordable treatment for snakebites, but apathy, inaction and the politicisation of public health have marginalised both the problem (making snakebite arguably the most neglected of all neglected tropical diseases) and its solution. For lack of any coordinated approach, provision of antivenoms has been pushed off the public health agenda, leading to an incongruous decline in demand for these crucial antidotes, excused and fed by new priorities, an absence of epidemiological data, and a poor regulatory framework. These factors facilitated the infiltration of poor quality products that degrade user confidence and undermine legitimate producers. The result is that tens of thousands are denied an essential life-saving medicine, allowing a toll of human suffering that is a summation of many individual catastrophes. No strategy has been developed to address this problem and to overcome the intransigence and inaction responsible for the global tragedy of snakebite. Attempts to engage with the broader public health community through the World Health Organisation (WHO), GAVI, and other agencies have failed. Consequently, the toxinology community has taken on a leadership role in a new approach, the Global Snakebite Initiative, which seeks to mobilise the resources, skills and experience of scientists and clinicians for whom venoms, toxins, antivenoms, snakes and snakebites are already fields of interest. Proteomics is one such discipline, which has embraced the potential of using venoms in bio-discovery and systems biology. The fields of venomics and antivenomics have

  15. http://www.phcfm.org doi:1 10.4102/phcfm.v6i1.604 Price, availability and affordability of medicines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brenda S. Mhlanga

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Medicines play an important role in healthcare, but prices can be a barrier to patient care. Few studies have looked at the prices of essential medicines in low- and middle-income countries in terms of patient affordability. Aim: To determine the prices, availability and affordability of medicines along the supply chain in Swaziland. Setting: Private- and public-sector facilities in Manzini, Swaziland. Methods: The standardised methodology designed by the World Health Organization and Health Action International was used to survey 16 chronic disease medicines. Data were collected in one administrative area in 10 private retail pharmacies and 10 public health facilities. Originator brand (OB and lowest-priced generic equivalent (LPG medicines were monitored and these prices were then compared with international reference prices (IRPs. Affordability was calculated in terms of the daily wage of the lowest-paid unskilled government worker. Results: Mean availability was 68% in the public sector. Private sector OB medicines were priced 32.4 times higher than IRPs, whilst LPGs were 7.32 times higher. OBs cost 473% more than LPGs. The total cumulative mark-ups for individual medicines range from 190.99% – 440.27%. The largest contributor to add-on cost was the retail mark-up (31% – 53%. Standard treatment with originator brands cost more than a day’s wage. Conclusion: Various policy measures such as introducing price capping at all levels of the medicine supply chain, may increase the availability, whilst at the same time reducing the prices of essential medicines for the low income population.

  16. Access to diagnostic tests and essential medicines for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes care: cost, availability and affordability in the West Region of Cameroon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmadou M Jingi

    Full Text Available To assess the availability and affordability of medicines and routine tests for cardiovascular disease (CVD and diabetes in the West region of Cameroon, a low-income setting.A survey was conducted on the availability and cost of twelve routine tests and twenty medicines for CVD and diabetes in eight health districts (four urban and four rural covering over 60% of the population of the region (1.8 million. We analyzed the percentage of tests and medicines available, the median price against the international reference price (median price ratio for the medicines, and affordability in terms of the number of days' wages it would cost the lowest-paid unskilled government worker for initial investigation tests and procurement for one month of treatment.The availability of tests varied between 10% for the ECG to 100% for the fasting blood sugar. The average cost for the initial investigation using the minimum tests cost 29.76 days' wages. The availability of medicines varied from 36.4% to 59.1% in urban and from 9.1% to 50% in rural settings. Only metformin and benzathine-benzylpenicilline had a median price ratio of ≤ 1.5, with statins being largely unaffordable (at least 30.51 days' wages. One month of combination treatment for coronary heart disease costs at least 40.87 days' wages.The investigation and management of patients with medium-to-high cardiovascular risk remains largely unavailable and unaffordable in this setting. An effective non-communicable disease program should lay emphasis on primary prevention, and improve affordable access to essential medicines in public outlets.

  17. 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。

  18. Post Evaluation on Affordable Housing Construction%保障性住房建设项目后评价探析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈支武; 吴淑沛

    2014-01-01

    保障性住房建设项目属于民生工程,故对其进行项目后评价的重点是其是否实现了预期的社会效益。探讨了保障性住房建设项目后评价的程序、内容及方法,并以临安市第四期保障性住房建设项目为例,采用社会调查法、前后对比分析法、有无对比分析法及成功度评价法等对其进行项目后评价,结果表明:该项目达到预期目标,社会效益良好,同时因该项目的成功实施而使该地区的人文、自然环境得到了改善,但还存在一些问题,需要采取适当的措施加以解决。%Affordable housing construction project belongs to the livelihood,so the focus of the post evaluation of this kind project is whether it achieve the expected social benefits.By discussing post evaluation procedures,con-tents and methods of the affordable housing construction,it takes the Lingan fourth affordable housing construction project as an example.Using the following methods,such as:social investigation,“before and after compari-son”;“with and without comparison”;successful degree evaluation method and others to evaluate social benefit and impact of the Lingan fourth affordable housing construction project,the results show that the project achieve the desired objectives and have good social benefit,at the same time the successful implementation of the project makes the area of humanities and the natural environment improved.Although some problems still exist,it still need appropriate measures to solve.

  19. 我国基本药物可负担性实证研究%Empirical Study on the Affordability of Essential Drugs in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐伟; 殷丹妮

    2012-01-01

    目的:为完善我国基本药物政策,提高基本药物可负担性提供参考.方法:收集2011年我国17省(区、市)的基本药物中标数据,选用治疗5种常见病的18种基本药物,参考世界卫生组织(WHO)和国际健康行动机构(HAI)对药品可负担性研究的标准方法,实证分析我国基本药物的可负担性情况.结果与结论:我国基本药物可负担性总体状况较好,但不同药品间可负担性差异较大,地区间差距不大,且原研药和仿制药的可负担性也存在一定差距.应大力推广和普及应用《基本药物临床应用指南》和《基本药物处方集》,完善基本药物招标制度,进一步调整原研药价格.%OBJECTIVE: To provide reference for the improvement of essential drug policies and affordability of essential drugs in China. METHODS: According to the essential drugs bid data in 17 provinces and cities in China in 2011, 18 kinds of essential drugs for 5 common diseases were selected, and the affordability of essential drugs was analyzed according to the standard drug price methodology of WHO and Health Action International (HAI). RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS: The affordability of essential drugs is better overall, but the affordability of different drugs are greatly different from one another. There is still a certain gap between original drug and generic drugs but the regional gap. It is recommended to promote the application of Guidance for Clinical Application of Essential Drugs and Essential Drug Formulary, improve the drug bidding system and further adjust the price of original drug.

  20. 经济适用房不同补贴方式的效果%Effects of Different Ways of Subsidy on Affordable Housing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    程承坪; 张蒂

    2014-01-01

    For the purpose of researching the effects of different ways of subsidy on affordable housing,the paper has analysed impacts of the subsidies that the government provides to producers or purchasers of affordable housing on purchasers’utilities,producers’behaviour,costs of the government subsidy,the transaction volume and the price of affordable housing as well as the net social welfare by constructing a mathematical model.The result shows that it is better to subsidise on the basis of the unit price or a certain proportion of the transaction price than the way of reducing the land price for affordable housing producers,the latter are much more efficient as a result of enabling to reduce costs of the government subsidy,the government corruption while promoting real estate developers to develop housing that the low-income group needs and increasing the sales efficiency.The last part of the paper proposes some policy recommendations according to the conclusion of the research.%通过数学模型,分析政府对经济适用房生产商或购买者实施补贴对购买者的效用影响、对生产商行为的影响、对政府补贴成本的影响,及至对经济适用房成交量、成交价格和净社会福利的影响。研究结果表明:对经济适用房生产商采用降低土地价格的补贴方式不如对其按单位价格补贴或按成交价的一定比例补贴,这后两种方式都更有效率,能够降低政府补贴成本,减少政府腐败行为,促进房地产商开发适合低收入者所需要的住房并提高销售效率。