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The global engineering/construction industry is huge. In 2017, it was estimated to be an $8.8 trillion industry (Market Research Hub, 2016). The US construction industry in 2017 was estimated at $1.2 trillion (Wilcox, 2018). Because the industry is comprised of a myriad of projects to build new facilities or to repair or upgrade existing ones, it is often the location for bribery, fraud, and corruption. Government leaders in Panama, Brazil, and Spain have been removed from office for receiving bribes and kickbacks from projects in their countries. Engineering firms in the United States and Canada have been sanctioned for giving bribes to secure projects. These are the facts.
A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
Dialogue about race-based topics is essential to combat prejudice, foster mutual understanding, and improve race relations. This study describes the extent to which political conversations—especially those about race-related topics—are taking place within and across racial and political groups. This national survey with a Black oversample found racially diverse discussion networks to be more likely among Blacks than Whites, but politically diverse networks to be more likely among Whites than Blacks. Blacks were more likely than Whites to talk about race-related topics such as police treatment of Blacks (and less likely about several topics not explicitly tied to race), but by no means did Whites entirely avoid race-related topics, even in their same-race discussions. Moreover, there was evidence that discussion in cross-race dyads affected the mix of topics Whites and Blacks discussed, revealing the potential for cross-race interaction to alter political agendas. Rather than being less likely to talk about police treatment of Blacks with Blacks, Whites were more likely to discuss this topic when in mixed-race dyads, while Blacks talked about it less often with Whites than with other Blacks. Findings are discussed in the context of political disagreement and intergroup contact theory.
Microcredit – joint-liability loans to the poorest of the poor – has been touted as a powerful approach for combatting global poverty, but sustainability varies dramatically across banks. Efforts to improve the sustainability of microcredit have assumed defaults are caused by free-riding. Here, we point out that the response of other group members to delinquent groupmates also plays an important role in defaults. Even in the absence of any free-rider problem, some people will be unable to make their payments due to bad luck. It is other group members’ unwillingness to pitch in extra – due to, among other things, not wanting to have less than other group members – that leads to default. To support this argument, we utilize the Ultimatum Game (UG), a standard paradigm from behavioral economics for measuring one's aversion to inequitable outcomes. First, we show that country-level variation in microloan default rates is strongly correlated (overall r = 0.81) with country-level UG rejection rates, but not free-riding measures. We then introduce a laboratory model ‘Microloan Game’ and present evidence that defaults arise from inequity-averse individuals refusing to make up the difference when others fail to pay their fair share. This perspective suggests a suite of new approaches for combatting defaults that leverage findings on reducing UG rejections.
We describe the design and deployment of GREENBURST, a commensal Fast Radio Burst (FRB) search system at the Green Bank Telescope. GREENBURST uses the dedicated L-band receiver tap to search over the 960–1 920 MHz frequency range for pulses with dispersion measures out to
. Due to its unique design, GREENBURST is capable of conducting searches for FRBs when the L-band receiver is not being used for scheduled observing. This makes it a sensitive single pixel detector capable of reaching deeper in the radio sky. While single pulses from Galactic pulsars and rotating radio transients will be detectable in our observations, and will form part of the database we archive, the primary goal is to detect and study FRBs. Based on recent determinations of the all-sky rate, we predict that the system will detect approximately one FRB for every 2–3 months of continuous operation. The high sensitivity of GREENBURST means that it will also be able to probe the slope of the FRB fluence distribution, which is currently uncertain in this observing band.
It is well established that political parties play a key role as gatekeepers to elected office. This article explores the local determinants of a diverse candidate pool. In particular, we seek to uncover the district- or riding-specific party factors that are related to women's participation in the parties’ candidate nomination stages. That is, why do some nomination races in a party have no women contestants, while others have many? Using data from an original survey of party constituency association presidents, as well as extensive nomination data from Elections Canada, we demonstrate that a number of local factors are related to the presence of women contesting a party's nomination. Local party associations with a woman serving as president, as well as associations that hold earlier and longer nominations, are significantly more likely to see a woman enter the contest. The results are important since they call attention to what parties do at the grassroots level, as well as highlight practical solutions for parties seeking to have more diversity in their candidate pool.
Recent years have seen an exponential increase in the variety of healthcare data captured across numerous sources. However, mechanisms to leverage these data sources to support scientific investigation have remained limited. In 2013 the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, developed the Integrated CARdiac Data and Outcomes (iCARD) Collaborative with the goals of leveraging available data sources to aid in efficiently planning and conducting PHN studies; supporting integration of PHN data with other sources to foster novel research otherwise not possible; and mentoring young investigators in these areas. This review describes lessons learned through the development of iCARD, initial efforts and scientific output, challenges, and future directions. This information can aid in the use and optimisation of data integration methodologies across other research networks and organisations.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.