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Year-round monitoring of Erebus volcano (Ross Island) has proved challenging due to the difficulties of maintaining continuous power for scientific instruments, especially through the Antarctic winter. We sought a potential solution involving the harvesting of thermal energy dissipated close to the summit crater of the volcano in a zone of diffuse hot gas emissions. We designed, constructed and tested a power generator based on the Seebeck effect, converting thermal energy to electrical power, which could, in principle, be used to run monitoring devices year round. We report here on the design of the generator and the results of an 11 day trial deployment on Erebus volcano in December 2014. The generator produced a mean output power of 270 mW, although we identified some technical issues that had impaired its efficiency. Nevertheless, this is already sufficient power for some monitoring equipment and, with design improvements, such a generator could provide a viable solution to powering a larger suite of instrumentation.
Background: In spring of 2019, 2 positive sputum cases of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the cardiac critical care unit (CCU) were reported to the UFHJ infection prevention (IP) department. The initial 2 cases, detected within 3 days of each other, were followed shortly by a third case. Epidemiological evidence was initially consistent with a hospital-acquired infection (HAI): 2 of the 3 patients roomed next to each other, and all 3 patients were ventilated, 2 of whom shared the same respiratory therapist. However, no other changes in routine or equipment were noted. The samples were cultured and processed using Illumina NGS technology, generating 1–2 million short (ie, 250-bp) reads across the P. aeruginosa genome. As an additional positive control, 8 P. aeruginosa NGS data sets, previously shown to be from a single outbreak in a UK facility, were included. Reads were mapped back to a reference sequence, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between each sample and the reference were extracted. Genetic distances (ie, the number of unshared SNPs) between all UFHJ and UK samples were calculated. Genetic linkage was determined using hierarchical clustering, based on a commonly used threshold of 40 SNPs. All UFHJ patient samples were separated by >18,000 SNPs, indicating genetically distinct samples from separate sources. In contrast, UK samples were separated from each other by <16 SNPs, consistent with genetic linkage and a single outbreak. Furthermore, the UFHJ samples were separated from the UK samples by >17,000 SNPs, indicating a lack of geographical distinction of the UFHJ samples (Fig. 1). These results demonstrated that while the initial epidemiological evidence pointed towards a single HAI, the high-precision and relatively inexpensive (<US$1500) NGS analysis conclusively demonstrated that all 3 CCU P. aeruginosa cases derived from separate origins. The hospital avoided costly and invasive infection prevention interventions in an attempt to track down a single nonexistent source on the CCU, and no further cases were found. This finding supports the conclusion reached from the NGS that this represented a pseudo-outbreak. Furthermore, these genomes serve as an ongoing record of P. aeruginosa infection, providing even higher resolution for future cases. Our study supports the use of NGS technology to develop rational and data-driven strategies. Furthermore, the ability of NGS to discriminate between single-source and multiple-source outbreaks can prevent inaccurate classification and reporting of HAIs, avoiding unnecessary costs and damage to hospital reputations.
Disclosures: Susanna L. Lamers reports salary from BioInfoExperts and contract research for the NIH, the University of California - San Francisco, and UMASS Medical School.
The Cal-DSH Diversion Guidelines provide 10 general guidelines that jurisdictions should consider when developing diversion programs for individuals with a serious mental illness (SMI) who become involved in the criminal justice system. Screening for SMI in a jail setting is reviewed. In addition, important treatment interventions for SMI and substance use disorders are highlighted with the need to address criminogenic risk factors highlighted.
Whether unintentional or by design, built, social, and perceived environments influence the human experience. Behavior is not solely the product of a rational motivated actor, operating independently from his or her environment; rather, it is also a function of edifices, neighborhoods, and public spaces, as well as the inhabitants, community norms, and the social capital they generate. Likewise, addictive behaviors have as much to do with the environmental contexts surrounding individuals as with their unique biological factors, specific brain mechanisms, and psychogenic causes. Any attempt to address addiction at either individual or population levels would benefit from careful consideration of the social and contextual influences on cognitions, opportunities, motivations, and behaviors. Interventions informed by this understanding are more likely to be efficacious than those solely targeted toward individual biology, motivations, or attitudes. In this chapter, we discuss the relationship between physical and social environments (PSE), health, and the behavior of humans. We then focus on the influential role of the PSE on the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and other substances; food, eating behaviors, and addictions contributing to the current obesity epidemic; and a selection of other behavioral addictions. The chapter closes by discussing methodological considerations and implications for professional practice.
This chapter is based around the story of a young man from Oecussi called Jake Lasi. Born in a village where stones are sometimes sacred, his choice to later study geology raises a range of compelling ontological tensions. For he and his friends maintaining their connection to the land and the social networks embedded in it can be a matter of life or death. This chapter explores how meto spiritual and economic realities travel with highlanders who seek an urban life as somatic experiences of terror, sickness and death that question the nature of what it is we mean by the term ‘belief’.
Keywords: medical anthropology, education, urbanisation, geology
In Alive in the Writing, Kirin Narayan (2012) sets out to explain how ethnographers could stand to benefit from employing the stylistic tools of creative prose. The techniques of those who write novels and narrative non-fiction, she argues, offer ethnographers a way to give a sense of moments and things that may in their fullness elude capture in field notes or photographs – ‘A scene depicting a person's vulnerability stranded within a messily unfurling story’ she writes ‘can communicate more about that person than a summary that tidily wraps up how things turned out’ (65).
Geertz (1973) would likely have called this thick description, helpfully pointing out that through such methods one might distinguish even between a wink and a twitch. Towards the end of his life, he was happy to go on record and announce that, ‘I don't do systems’ (Micheelsen, 2002). From the 1970s he was noted for his distinctive way of writing – an anthropologist ‘who recoils at typologies, grand theories, and universal generalisations’ (Shweder and Good, 2005, 1). Rather, he argued for the selection and presentation of vivid fragments over the abstract description of societies in their totality (Pollock, 2015, 5). Reflecting on his four decades of practising the approach, he described anthropologists as working with ‘swirls, confluxions, and inconstant connections’, and their final product as ‘pieced-together patternings after the fact’ (Geertz, 1995, 2).
Parting from Jake in Dili, I arrive in Oecussi and quickly become reacquainted with an old friend from the time I spent there with the UN, Markus. Once a prominent entrepreneur and public servant who relished the ‘opportunities’ that came with his position he was now a pariah, having been accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from his office. While his family outwardly accepted Markus's fall was a result of a conspiracy by mendacious rivals, he was also known for trampling traditions, taboos, and hierarchies in pursuit of wealth, and some privately suggested that his misfortune might be spiritual retribution. Through this sometimesdramatic story I explore how, for some at least, meto frameworks are used to understand success and failure in the kase world.
Keywords: corruption, governance, United Nations, international development
Commenting on what insights anthropology might be able to offer scholars of international relations and political science, James Ferguson had this to say:
You look at, say, a country in Africa and all you’re able to see is a series of lacks – of things that should be there but aren’t. And you end up constructing huge parts of the world as just sort of empty spaces where things ought to be there but aren’t. And it leads to a kind of impoverished understanding, I think, because you don't really understand what is going on here. How do people conduct their affairs? How is legitimate authority exercised? How are rules made and enforced? You know, all the kinds of questions that ought to be the starting place tend to disappear or recede into the background (cited in Schouten, 2009).
For outside observers, the grim truth is that in many ways Timor-Leste is still very much defined by what it lacks. A report by Monash University's Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability (Cornwall, Inder and Datt, 2015) has 68 per cent of the population living in poverty. In 2016 the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) found that a full half of the population under five years old are stunted due to malnutrition, the highest rate among the world's worst except for Burundi.
An introduction to the text, setting out the intersecting personal, theoretical, geographical and historical frameworks and narratives within which it is set. It introduces the terms kase and meto, the indigenous concepts that are at the theoretical heart of the book.
My first encounter with Timor was in a freezing church hall in inner-city Melbourne in 1997. I went there as a sixteen-year-old tutor for St. Vincent de Paul's Friday Night School, a programme intended to get over-privileged private school students like me to teach younger kids from refugee families living in the nearby public housing projects. The children we were tutoring were from an assortment of 1990s warzones – Sudan, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka – but the largest group was from a place called East Timor, a tiny half-island the school atlas showed as part of Indonesia.
These Timorese refugees consisted of several large, visibly struggling families who had escaped in the early 1990s and now lived in high-rise public housing; the sort of place where you would regularly find used syringes in the graffiti-clad lifts and the interior hallways were the same slate grey as the winter sky. Timor, I gathered, was a place with mango trees, warm bucket showers, and cockfights, but from a hall in a housing project mired by Melbourne cold and a heroin epidemic, it was very hard to imagine. Even with the island embroiled in the bloody final act of what was to be a 24-year struggle for self-determination, we didn't talk much about their homeland. There were things I was curious about: I had heard that Luis, the boy I was tutoring, had survived the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre by diving into a cesspit and hiding there until dark while Indonesian soldiers looked for and executed survivors, but fortunately our supervising teacher was wise enough to tell us not to bring it up. I remember once, when a car backfired outside the hall, seeing Luis jump like he’d stepped on a live wire. Clearly there were places beyond peaceful Melbourne that demanded understanding, and I came away from Friday Night School eager not only for knowledge about this other world, but also to learn how those who had come from it made sense of mine.
While sick in Oecussi I also reached out to Oecussi's most famous Catholic ‘healer’, a man named Natar Nail Benu, known to all as Maun (Brother) Dan. Gently tolerant of (maybe even a little bemused by) my sinful nature, Maun Dan proved a sympathetic and patient friend, and took me under his wing, allowing me to spend time with him at his home and travel with him as he visited the many who called him in distress. In this chapter I explore how Maun Dan and his ‘Sacred Family’ move between meto and kase perspectives as they work to alleviate physical and emotional suffering in Oecussi in ways the central government is not able to facilitate.
Keywords: animism, syncretism, new religious movements, Catholicism
In the first chapter of this book I introduced the terms meto (indigenous/ familiar) and kase (foreign) and explained how in Oecussi these concepts are used to make sense of life. McWilliam (2007b), Richmond (2011, p 117) and Traube (2007) have noted how the advent of independence in Timor-Leste has facilitated the renewal of ritual practice as an organizing principle of public life, and spurred the emergence of new and distinctly Timorese ways of being modern. Building on their work I set out to show how experience in Oecussi is understood, not through a firm identification with either category, but in the work of ‘crossing’ between them, with outward-looking (kase) lifeworlds animated and made meaningful by ritually mediated engagement with a meto realm associated with all that is indigenous, invisible, and upland.
The understanding of kase and meto as co-present in daily life and decisive in its course, can be traced to resettlement of the rural population in periurban settlements that started in the 1970s. Before that time the terms were relatively simple categorical markers – kase folk could be reliably distinguished by wearing trousers, meto people always wore village woven beti (sarong). Now, even for those who remain in the hills, foreign ways (not to mention trousers) have become common, and the utility of kase and meto for describing two contrasting and sometimes oppositional modes of being (e.g. our grandfathers fought the kase) have been reduced.
Soon I after I arrived back in Oecussi the people of its coastal fringe were told to prepare for the mass expropriation of their land by the state. Jake's family was one of these households. Through the story of how Jake's grandmother, Marta, came down from the mountains as a girl and made a life by the sea, I show how resettled mountain folk have continued to engage with the land largely through spiritually mediated frameworks and understandings traceable to their highland origins. Through my own experience of an illness attributed by one of Mahata's resident mediums (ahinet) to these spirits I grapple with the ways in which these understandings are manifested in somatic experience as well as readily articulated belief.
Keywords: phenomenology, special economic zone, health, traditional medicine
Building on the idea developed in the two preceding chapters that the spiritual and socio-economic realties of meto life can be manifested through somatic experiences such as spirit possession, illness, and death, in this chapter I draw on the notion of affect to query specifically how these perspectives might complicate the logic of top-down, investment-driven economic development.
Despite the familiar potholes and dogs dozing complacently on Pante Makassar's main thoroughfare, as I began my fieldwork in Oecussi, plans were afoot to remake Oecussi as a hub for foreign investment, the Zona Especiais de Economica Social de Mercado (ZEESM – Special Zone for Social Market Economy). In 2013, it was announced that Timor-Leste's Oecussi enclave would become the site of its first special economic zone. The programme is intended to transform the enclave into a regional transportation, industrial, and tourism hub through a massive programme of infrastructure construction and foreign investment.
Despite beginning with high hopes, by May 2015 serious concerns had been raised about the appropriateness of ZEESM's conduct, most significantly including the large-scale, uncompensated acquisition of land and the fostering of an atmosphere described by one focus group as characterized by ‘violence instead of consultation’ (Meitzner Yoder, 2016b). In this chapter I set out to sketch something of how the Meto of Oecussi think about and experience their environment (pah meto’), a task lent urgency by ZEESM's resolve to remake their land in line with capitalist principles privileging international investors and cadastral land management.
Spending time in the highland village of Kutete I got to know the teachers at the primary school, Eskola Lalehan. Towards the end of the year, worried many of the children would fail their exams, the principal organised the purchase of a pig, and for a ritual speaker to beseech the ancestors to allow the children safe passage to the exam centre and success once there. This chapter juxtaposes the reluctance of Kutete's farmers to adopt new agricultural methods with their embrace of the village school. Through an exegesis of the ritual speech they use for this I explore how, for the people of Oecussi, kase education can draw on and validate meto notions of interventionist, geographically embedded spirits.
When anthropologist Michael Jackson arrived in the village of Firawa in Sierra Leone during the late 1960s, the outside world still seemed far away. He wrote of how the socio-spiritual realm of his subjects was contingent upon physical place – a way of being defined by indigenized Islam, oral historiography, and intimate knowledge of their fields and forests. As in any remote hamlet, life in Firawa could be difficult, but Jackson observed how, in their daily struggles, people were comforted by a feeling of socially mediated control and understanding. There, he wrote, ‘what you give in the course of your life will somehow be given back, and whatever you receive will be shared. You respect your elders, parents and rulers and in return they protect you and see to your welfare’ (Jackson, 2005, 69).
Returning 50 years later, Jackson was struck by how this system had broken down. The old modes of authority had been swept away by civil war and the growth of the state. Rather than focus on the transformation of the village he had known into a struggling town, he took as his subject the plight of its youth who once would have passed their lives in the fields, but now eked out a precarious living on the streets of the capital or in faraway England. For them, he writes, ‘the time-honoured roles of gender and of age together with hereditary chieftaincy, cult associations and labour collectives, are no longer binding or viable.
Over the past 40 years, life in Timor-Leste has changed radically. Before 1975 most of the population lived in highland villages, spoke local languages, and rarely used money. Today many have moved to peri-urban lowland settlements, and even those whose lives remain dominated by customary ways understand that those of their children will not. For the Atoni Pah Meto of Timor-Leste's remote Oecussi Enclave, the world was neatly divided into two distinct categories: the meto (indigenous), and the kase (foreign). Now matters are less clear; the good things of the globalised world are pursued not through rejecting the meto ways of the village, or collapsing them into the kase, but through continual crossing between them. In this way, the people of Oecussi are able to identify in the struggles of lowland life, the comforting and often decisive presence of familiar highland spirits.