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In a widely reported 2011 interview at the Royal Geographic Society, the British– Caribbean novelist and essayist V. S. Naipaul shocked his interlocutors and many members of the reading public when he said: “I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think it is unequal to me.” He continued: “A woman is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing, too. My publisher, who was so good as a taste-maker and editor, when she became a writer, lo and behold, it was all this feminine tosh.” Naipaul's valedictory flourish was the clarification: “I don't mean this in any unkind way.”
The notion that a reader may discern the gender of a text's author through close reading is, paradoxically, antithetical to the notion of close reading itself; nevertheless, it still finds roots deep in various literary historiographies and methodologies. In the early years of his career, before becoming the doyen of the social history of the medieval Mediterranean, S. D. Goitein claimed that while listening to the performance of Arabic poetry in Yemen, he could always tell whether a poem had been written by a man or a woman regardless of the gender of the performer. Such a belief, in no way limited to Naipaul and Goitein, bears serious interpretive consequences that have limited scholarly ability to comprehend the boundaries of women's writing. In this chapter, I propose to examine those consequences as they bear upon the construction of a literary history of Andalusi women poets and argue that only by overcoming both gender-essentialist and female-exceptionalist interpretation, two faces of the same critical coin, can we arrive at sound explanations for women's participation in the world of Andalusi courtly literature and the nature and extent of the limits placed upon that participation during the medieval period. The example of the single medieval Hebrew poem attributed to an Andalusi woman, both within its medieval context and in the light of the literary historiography that has tried to interpret and contextualize it, will be the test case for such a reassessment of that literary historiography.
People experiencing severe mental illness (SMI) face a shortened life expectancy of up to 20 years, primarily due to preventable cardiovascular (CV) diseases. Lifestyle interventions are effective in reducing CV risk, yet examples of service-wide interventions are lacking. Staff culture remains a barrier to the successful implementation of lifestyle interventions. The Keeping the Body in Mind (KBIM) program, established by SESLHD (Australia), aims to close the gap in life expectancy through multidisciplinary teams, including clinical nurse consultants, dieticians, exercise physiologists, and peer support workers. Prior to the KBIM rollout, an individualized lifestyle intervention called Keeping Our Staff In Mind (KoSiM) was offered to all district mental health staff.
KoSiM examined the effectiveness of a staff intervention to improve physical health, confidence, knowledge and attitudes of mental health staff.
Mental health staffs were invited to participate in an online survey and a 4-week individualized intervention including personalised health screening and lifestyle advice, with a 16-week follow-up. Outcomes assessed included: attitudes, confidence and knowledge regarding metabolic health, weight, waist circumference (WC), blood pressure, sleep, diet, physical activity and exercise capacity.
Of a total of 702 staff, 204 completed the survey (29%). Among those completing the survey, 154 staff (75%) participated in the intervention. A mean decrease in waist circumference of 2 ± 2.7 cm, (P < 0.001) was achieved. Among staffs that were overweight or obese at baseline, 75% achieved a decrease in WC.
Improving staff culture regarding physical health interventions is an important step in integrating lifestyle interventions into routine care.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Winter cover crops (CCs) provide soil conservation benefits for strip-tillage tobacco producers, but soil-residual herbicides may interfere with their establishment and growth. Tobacco is planted later than many agronomic crops, but growers often terminate CCs early to minimize CC residue at planting, and this may reduce weed suppression potential. We examined residual herbicide effects on CCs across two seasons and the potential for CC-based weed suppression within strip-tilled tobacco. Mixtures of wheat plus crimson clover and cereal rye plus crimson clover were examined, with a no-CC control. Herbicides included two rates of PRE sulfentrazone (177 or 354 g ai ha–1) plus carfentrazone (20 or 40 g ai ha–1); the higher rate was also followed by POST clomazone (840 g ai ha–1) or mixed with PRE pendimethalin (1,400 g ai ha–1). Controls with no weed management and hand weeding were also included. CC density and biomass were not reduced by weed management (WM) treatments with residual herbicides. However, CCs did not reduce density of annual grasses, small-seeded broadleaves, or perennials in the tilled in-row or untilled between-row zones. Cereal rye plus crimson clover resulted in lower weed biomass at tobacco harvest in the untilled between-row zone in 2017. WM effects were variable between the years, weed groups, and zones. Adding clomazone or pendimethalin was more consistent for reducing weed density and biomass compared to the low rate of sulfentrazone plus carfentrazone. Tobacco yield was unaffected by CCs in 2017 but lower in some WM treatments in 2018. In this study, tobacco herbicides did not interfere with wheat, cereal rye, or crimson clover establishment, but additional research should determine if these results apply to other environments and soil types. However, when these CC species were terminated 5 to 6 wk before transplanting, they did not consistently contribute to weed control.
Anecdotal evidence suggests the use of bolus tube feeding is increasing in the long-term home enteral tube feed (HETF) patients. A cross-sectional survey to assess the prevalence of bolus tube feeding and to characterise these patients was undertaken. Dietitians from ten centres across the UK collected data on all adult HETF patients on the dietetic caseload receiving bolus tube feeding (n 604, 60 % male, age 58 years). Demographic data, reasons for tube and bolus feeding, tube and equipment types, feeding method and patients’ complete tube feeding regimens were recorded. Over a third of patients receiving HETF used bolus feeding (37 %). Patients were long-term tube fed (4·1 years tube feeding, 3·5 years bolus tube feeding), living at home (71 %) and sedentary (70 %). The majority were head and neck cancer patients (22 %) who were significantly more active (79 %) and lived at home (97 %), while those with cerebral palsy (12 %) were typically younger (age 31 years) but sedentary (94 %). Most patients used bolus feeding as their sole feeding method (46 %), because it was quick and easy to use, as a top-up to oral diet or to mimic mealtimes. Importantly, oral nutritional supplements (ONS) were used for bolus feeding in 85 % of patients, with 51 % of these being compact-style ONS (2·4 kcal (10·0 kJ)/ml, 125 ml). This survey shows that bolus tube feeding is common among UK HETF patients, is used by a wide variety of patient groups and can be adapted to meet the needs of a variety of patients, clinical conditions, nutritional requirements and lifestyles.
Birth weight and early growth have been associated with later blood pressure. However, not all studies consistently find a significant reduction in blood pressure with an increase in birth weight. In addition, the relative importance of birth weight and of other lifestyle and environmental factors is often overlooked and the association is rarely studied in adolescents. We investigated early life predictors, including birth weight, of adolescent blood pressure in the Gateshead Millennium Study (GMS). The GMS is a cohort of 1029 individuals born in 1999–2000 in Gateshead in Northern England. Throughout infancy and early childhood, detailed information were collected, including birth weight and measures of height and weight. Assessments of 491 returning participants at age 12 years included measures of body mass and blood pressure. Linear regression and path analysis were used to determine predictors and their relative importance on blood pressure. Birth weight was not directly associated with blood pressure at the age of 12. However, after adjustment for contemporaneous body mass index (BMI), an inverse association of standardized birth weight on systolic blood pressure was significant. The relative importance of birth weight on later systolic blood pressure was smaller than other contemporaneous body measures (height and BMI). There was no independent association of birth weight on blood pressure seen in this adolescent population. Contemporaneous body measures have an important role to play. Lifestyle factors that influence body mass or size, such as diet and physical activity, where interventions are directed at early prevention of hypertension should be targeted.
A fine-grained, up to 3-m-thick tephra bed in southwestern Saskatchewan, herein named Duncairn tephra (Dt), is derived from an early Pleistocene eruption in the Jemez Mountains volcanic field of New Mexico, requiring a trajectory of northward tephra dispersal of ~1500 km. An unusually low CaO content in its glass shards denies a source in the closer Yellowstone and Heise volcanic fields, whereas a Pleistocene tephra bed (LSMt) in the La Sal Mountains of Utah has a very similar glass chemistry to that of the Dt, supporting a more southerly source. Comprehensive characterization of these two distal tephra beds along with samples collected near the Valles caldera in New Mexico, including grain size, mineral assemblage, major- and trace-element composition of glass and minerals, paleomagnetism, and fission-track dating, justify this correlation. Two glass populations each exist in the Dt and LSMt. The proximal correlative of Dt1 is the plinian Tsankawi Pumice and co-ignimbritic ash of the first ignimbrite (Qbt1g) of the 1.24 Ma Tshirege Member of the Bandelier Tuff. The correlative of Dt2 and LSMt is the co-ignimbritic ash of Qbt2. Mixing of Dt1 and Dt2 probably occurred during northward transport in a jet stream.