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The concept of electoral competition plays a central role in many subfields of political science, but no consensus exists on how to measure it. One key challenge is how to conceptualize and measure electoral competitiveness at the district level across alternative electoral systems. Recent efforts to meet this challenge have introduced general measures of competitiveness which rest on explicit calculations about how votes translate into seats, but also implicit assumptions about how effort maps into votes (and how costly effort is). We investigate how assumptions about the effort-to-votes mapping affect the units in which competitiveness is best measured, arguing in favor of vote-share-denominated measures and against vote-share-per-seat measures. Whether elections under multimember proportional representation systems are judged more or less competitive than single-member plurality or runoff elections depends directly on the units in which competitiveness is assessed (and hence on assumptions about how effort maps into votes).
The north-west European population of Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii declined by 38% between 1995 and 2010 and is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the European Red List of birds. Here, we combined information on food resources within the landscape with long-term data on swan numbers, habitat use, behaviour and two complementary measures of body condition, to examine whether changes in food type and availability have influenced the Bewick’s Swan’s use of their main wintering site in the UK, the Ouse Washes and surrounding fens. Maximum number of Bewick’s Swans rose from 620 in winter 1958/59 to a high of 7,491 in winter 2004/05, before falling to 1,073 birds in winter 2013/14. Between winters 1958/59 and 2014/15 the Ouse Washes supported between 0.5 and 37.9 % of the total population wintering in north-west Europe (mean ± 95 % CI = 18.1 ± 2.4 %). Swans fed on agricultural crops, shifting from post-harvest remains of root crops (e.g. sugar beet and potatoes) in November and December to winter-sown cereals (e.g. wheat) in January and February. Inter-annual variation in the area cultivated for these crops did not result in changes in the peak numbers of swans occurring on the Ouse Washes. Behavioural and body condition data indicated that food supplies on the Ouse Washes and surrounding fens remain adequate to allow the birds to gain and maintain good body condition throughout winter with no increase in foraging effort. Our findings suggest that the recent decline in numbers of Bewick’s Swans at this internationally important site was not linked to inadequate food resources.
A handful of recent studies have investigated the causal effect of incumbency on dynasty formation in candidate-centered electoral contexts. We use candidate-level data and a regression discontinuity design to estimate the incumbency advantage and its relation to dynasty formation in the party-centered, closed-list, proportional-representation setting of Norway. The results indicate that the incumbency advantage exists even in this party-centered environment; however, in contrast to recent findings for the United States and the Philippines, we find no evidence that incumbency is important to the formation of dynasties. This finding underscores the need for more research into the role of internal party organizational networks in the perpetuation of political dynasties.
Because polarization encodes geometrical information about unresolved scattering regions, it provides a unique tool for analyzing the 3-D structures of supernovae (SNe) and their surroundings. SNe of all types exhibit time-dependent spectropolarimetric signatures produced primarily by electron scattering. These signatures reveal physical phenomena such as complex velocity structures, changing illumination patterns, and asymmetric morphologies within the ejecta and surrounding material. Interpreting changes in polarization over time yields unprecedentedly detailed information about supernovae, their progenitors, and their evolution.
Begun in 2012, the SNSPOL Project continues to amass the largest database of time-dependent spectropolarimetric data on SNe. I present an overview of the project and its recent results. In the future, combining such data with interpretive radiative transfer models will further constrain explosion mechanisms and processes that shape SN ejecta, uncover new relationships among SN types, and probe the properties of progenitor winds and circumstellar material.
The use of underground geological repositories, such as in radioactive waste disposal (RWD) and in carbon capture (widely known as Carbon Capture and Storage; CCS), constitutes a key environmental priority for the 21st century. Based on the identification of key scientific questions relating to the geophysics, geochemistry and geobiology of geodisposal of wastes, this paper describes the possibility of technology transfer from high-technology areas of the space exploration sector, including astrobiology, planetary sciences, astronomy, and also particle and nuclear physics, into geodisposal. Synergies exist between high technology used in the space sector and in the characterization of underground environments such as repositories, because of common objectives with respect to instrument miniaturization, low power requirements, durability under extreme conditions (in temperature and mechanical loads) and operation in remote or otherwise difficult to access environments.
For fifteen years, the New Southern Studies (NSS) has been doing battle on two very different fronts. To Americanists, we have tried to talk about what Houston Baker and Dana Nelson, in the essay that named the movement, called “the national formation of the United States and the dynamics of race, region, and citizenship entailed by, as it were, a putatively split and decidedly Manichean geography”; to southernists, we have talked about the need to get beyond what the same pair of writers called “our familiar notions of Good (or desperately bad) Old Southern White Men telling stories on the porch, protecting white women, and being friends to the Negro.” Although in both struggles we keep bumping up against putatively objective scholars’ unacknowledged and deeply self-serving fantasies about who “we” are (whether as “Americans” or “southerners,” “radical” Americanists or Atticus Finch-y liberal white southernists), the former arguments – as Baker and Nelson's diction suggests – have tended to be more abstract, theoretical, ambitious, interesting, and smart; the latter, in contrast, have always felt like a rearguard action.
The ex situ lift out (EXLO) adhesion forces are reviewed and new applications of EXLO for focused ion beam (FIB)-prepared specimens are described. EXLO is used to manipulate electron transparent specimens on microelectromechanical systems carrier devices designed for in situ electron microscope analysis. A new patented grid design without a support film is described for EXLO. This new slotted grid design provides a surface for holding the specimen in place and also allows for post lift out processing. Specimens may be easily manipulated into a backside orientation to reduce FIB curtaining artifacts with this slotted grid. Large EXLO specimens can be manipulated from Xe+ plasma FIB prepared specimens. Finally, applications of EXLO and manipulation of FIB specimens using a vacuum probe lift out method are shown. The vacuum probe provides more control for placing specimens on the new slotted grids and also allows for easy manipulation into a backside configuration.
This study presents stratigraphic, geomorphic, and paleoenvironmental (δ13C) data that provide insight into the late Pleistocene landscape evolution of the Cimarron River valley in the High Plains of southwestern Kansas. Two distinct valley fills (T-1 and T-2) were investigated. Three soils occur in the T-2 fill and five in the T-1 fill, all indicating periods of landscape stability or slow sedimentation. Of particular interest are two cumulic soils dating to ca. 48–28 and 13–12.5 ka. δ13C values are consistent with regional paleoenvironmental proxy data that indicate the prevalence of warm, dry conditions at these times. The Cimarron River is interpreted to have responded to these climatic changes and to local base level control. Specifically, aggradation occurred during cool, wet periods and slow sedimentation with cumulic soil formation occurred under warmer, drier climates. Significant valley incision (~ 25 m) by ca. 28 ka likely resulted from a lowering of local base level caused by deep-seated dissolution of Permian evaporite deposits.
Patients may present to Emergency Departments (ED) in shock for various reasons. Emergency medicine physicians may require the use of vasopressors or inotropes to manage these patients. The Critical Care Practice Committee of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (C4) conducted an intensive literature search and guideline development process to help create an evidence based approach for use of these agents in the stabilization of shock.
The unsustainable use of wild animals and plants is thought to be a significant driver of biodiversity loss in many regions of the world. The international community has therefore called for action to ensure the sustainable use of living resources and safeguard them for future generations. Indicators that can track changes in populations of species used by humans are essential tools for measuring progress towards these ideals and informing management decisions. Here we present two indicators that could be used to track changes in populations of utilized vertebrate species and levels of harvest sustainability. Preliminary results based on sample data both at the global level and for the Arctic show that utilized species are faring better than other species overall. This could be a consequence of better management of these populations, as indicated by more sustainable harvest levels in recent decades. Limitations of the indicators are still apparent; in particular, there is a lack of data on harvested populations of some vertebrate classes and from certain regions. Focusing monitoring efforts on broadening the scope of data collected and identifying interactions with other potential drivers of decline will strengthen these indicators as policy tools and improve their potential to be incorporated into future sets of indicators to track progress towards global biodiversity targets.
A novel approach to fabricate CuIn(S,Se)2 (CIS) thin films through ultrasonically spraying a hydrazine-based precursor solution onto a heated substrate is reported. The effects of the composition of the precursor solutions and the deposition temperature on the CIS film properties were investigated by comparing thin films fabricated using aqueous metal salt solution, anhydrous hydrazine solution, and hydrazine hydrate solution at various deposition temperatures. Crystallite size and texture coefficient in the preferred (112) orientation in the sprayed films increased when the aqueous solution was replaced by hydrazine-based solutions. Additionally, the hydrazine-based precursor solutions resulted in films with better surface smoothness and compositional uniformity than those fabricated using water-based solutions and the hydrazine hydrate solution resulting in the smoothest, most uniform films. The sprayed films were used to fabricate preliminary solar cells that demonstrated a modest photovoltaic response. With optimization, the synthesis of high-quality CIS films by spray pyrolysis from a hydrazine hydrate solution could demonstrate the potential for a low-cost, high-throughput manufacturing process.