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In this paper, I argue that the folk ballad tradition of the Faroe Islands, to date never examined in detail by metrists, offers substantial empirical support for the necessity of maintaining the classic metrical template, as well as the distinction between metrical and prosodic structure: meter is an abstraction which can neither be collapsed into phonology, nor fundamentally detached from it (Kiparsky 2006, Blumenfeld 2015, pace Hayes & MacEachern 1998, Fabb & Halle 2008). The ballad performances also reveal a unidirectional correspondence from strong metrical positions to strong dance steps and strong musical beats, indicating that metrical prominence plays a significant role in determining rhythm. The Faroese tradition thus provides a window into the relation between metrical structure and performance. In support of my conclusions I draw upon both the ballad texts and audio-visual recordings of sections of sample ballads I made on the Faroe Islands.
BMI z (BMIz) score based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts is widely used, but it is inaccurate above the 97th percentile. We explored the performance of alternative metrics based on the absolute distance or % distance of a child’s BMI from the median BMI for sex and age. We used longitudinal data from 5628 children who were first examined <12 years to compare the tracking of three BMI metrics: distance from median, % distance from median and % distance from median on a log scale. We also explored the effects of adjusting these metrics for age differences in the distribution of BMI. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to compare tracking of the metrics. Metrics based on % distance (whether on the original or log scale) yielded higher ICCs compared with distance from median. The ICCs of the age-adjusted metrics were higher than that of the unadjusted metrics, particularly among children who were (1) overweight or had obesity, (2) younger and (3) followed for >3 years. The ICCs of the age-adjusted metrics were also higher compared with that of BMIz among children who were overweight or obese. Unlike BMIz, these alternative metrics do not have an upper limit and can be used for assessing BMI in all children, even those with very high BMIs. The age-adjusted % from median (on a log or linear scale) works well for all ages, while unadjusted % from median is better limited to older children or short follow-up periods.
This article examines the development of health system metrics by international organizations, exploring their relationship to the politics of world health. Current historiography treats measurement either as progressive illumination or adopts a critical stance, viewing indicators as instruments of global governance by powerful nations. We draw on diverse statistical publications to provide an empirical overview of change and continuity, beginning with the League of Nations Health Organization, which initiated health system statistics, and concluding with the World health report 2000, with its controversial comparative rankings. We then develop analysis and explanation of these trends. Population indicators appeared consistently owing to their protective function and compatibility with development thinking. Others, related to provision, financing, and coverage, appeared more sporadically, owing to changing trends and assumptions in international health. While partly affirming the critical literature, metrics were also used by peripheral or resistant actors to challenge or influence policy at the centre.
Multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) have emerged as a leading institutional approach for advancing sustainability globally. This paper examines three prominent MSIs that have developed sustainability metrics and a standard for US agriculture: Field to Market, the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops and the National Sustainable Agricultural Standard Initiative. Using data from interviews and content analysis of initiative reports, two sets of analyses are presented. First, building on Paul Thompson's tri-partite theorization of sustainability, how each initiative is conceptualizing agricultural sustainability is analyzed. We find that two contrasting visions of sustainable agriculture for the USA have emerged from the three MSIs. One vision is a resource sufficiency approach focused on eco-efficiencies and the other vision is a functional integrity approach that emphasizes the maintenance of resilient agricultural and ecological systems. Second, we examine the governance practices of the MSIs to explain why such divergent conceptualizations of sustainability have been mapped out. We find that far from being a neutral forum, the internal dynamics of MSIs often reflect and reproduce existing power relationships among stakeholders. In concluding, we suggest that incremental improvements in sustainability can be achieved using MSIs, but more transformative changes may require other forms of governance.
A pilot study by 6 Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) explored how bibliometrics can be used to assess research influence.
Evaluators from 6 institutions shared data on publications (4202 total) they supported, and conducted a combined analysis with state-of-the-art tools. This paper presents selected results based on the tools from 2 widely used vendors for bibliometrics: Thomson Reuters and Elsevier.
Both vendors located a high percentage of publications within their proprietary databases (>90%) and provided similar but not equivalent bibliometrics for estimating productivity (number of publications) and influence (citation rates, percentage of papers in the top 10% of citations, observed citations relative to expected citations). A recently available bibliometric from the National Institutes of Health Office of Portfolio Analysis, examined after the initial analysis, showed tremendous potential for use in the CTSA context.
Despite challenges in making cross-CTSA comparisons, bibliometrics can enhance our understanding of the value of CTSA-supported clinical and translational research.
Biodiversity offsetting involves the balancing of biodiversity loss in one place (and at one time) by an equivalent biodiversity gain elsewhere (an outcome referred to as No Net Loss). The conservation science literature has chiefly addressed the extent to which biodiversity offsets can serve as a conservation tool, focusing on the technical challenges of its implementation. However, offsetting has more profound implications than this technical approach suggests. In this paper we introduce the concept of policy frames, and use it to identify four ways in which non-human nature and its conservation are reframed by offsetting. Firstly, offsetting reframes nature in terms of isolated biodiversity units that can be simply defined, measured and exchanged across time and space to achieve equivalence between ecological losses and gains. Secondly, it reframes biodiversity as lacking locational specificity, ignoring broader dimensions of place and deepening a nature–culture and nature–society divide. Thirdly, it reframes conservation as an exchange of credits implying that the value of non-human nature can be set by price. Fourthly, it ties conservation to land development and economic growth, foreshadowing and bypassing an oppositional position. We conclude that by presenting offsetting as a technical issue, the problem of biodiversity loss due to development is depoliticized. As a result the possibility of opposing and challenging environmental destruction is foreclosed, and a dystopian future of continued biodiversity loss is presented as the only alternative.
Singularities have a great influence on kinematics and dynamics of both serial and parallel robots. In order to prevent a robot from entering singular configurations, it needs to measure the “distance” between the robot current configuration and the singular configuration. This paper presents a novel approach based on characteristic angles to measure closeness to singularities. For the problem of inconsistent dimensions in the scalar product of screws, the physical meanings of twists and wrenches are reinterpreted. For the problem of the metric invariant to origin selection, the origin of the screw frame is required to coincide with the origin of the robotic tool frame. The major merit of the proposed metric lies in the identical result of measuring similar mechanisms with different sizes. Moreover, the measurement is insensitive to screw magnitude, since the metric expression is dimensionless. Furthermore, the geometrical meaning of the determinant of a screw matrix is clarified.
Requests for specialty consultation are common in emergency departments (EDs) and often contribute to delays in throughput. Our objectives were to describe the contribution of the consultation process to total ED length of stay (LOS) through novel metrics and illustrate causes of delay.
We conducted a prospective cross-sectional study at three Canadian tertiary care centres. Adult ED patients with requested medical/surgical consultations were enrolled. We created original metric intervals: total consultation time (TCT) defined as the interval from the initial consultation request to the disposition decision, consult response time (CRT) from the request to the consultant arrival, and decision-making interval (DMI) from arrival to the disposition decision. The consultation impact index (CII) was defined as the percentage of ED LOS consumed by the TCT. Reasons for delay were documented if time stamps exceeded preset benchmarks.
The median TCT for 285 patients was 138 minutes (interquartile range [IQR]: 82–239 minutes), whereas the median total ED LOS was 778 minutes (IQR 485–1,274 minutes). The median CRT was 55 minutes (IQR 21–115 minutes), and the median DMI was 58 minutes (IQR 25–126 minutes). The CII measured 26% (95% CI 23–28). Major contributors to consultation delay included urgent ward issues, simultaneous ED consultations, and the need for additional laboratory or radiographic investigations.
The consultation process is highly variable and has an important impact on ED LOS. We describe novel measures related to consultation performance and provide an analysis of what causes delays. These results can be used to seek improvements in the consulting process.
Certification initiatives are product-focused, rely on standards and use sustainability
metrics to inform end-users on the provenance of commodities. In the metals sector, the
phenomenon of formal certification programs has recently gained traction. Four initiatives
are reviewed to illustrate the status and prospects of metal certification. The prime case
is the Conflict Free Smelter Program operated by the global electronics industry. This
scheme has developed and applied standards on mineral chain-of-custody, including use of
third-parties to audit smelters and refineries all over the world. Additional programs
discussed are the Green Lead Project, Fair Trade and Fair Mined gold, and the Responsible
Jewellery Council. Collectively these initiatives address a variety of sustainability
criteria, including social, economic and environmental dimensions, but focus only on
precious and specialty metals (Au, platinum group, Pb, Sn, Ta and W). Metals
certifications programs are building capacity and infrastructure compared to mature
programs in agriculture and other commodity sectors. Opportunities and issues for growth
of metals certification are considered.
In the context of a rapidly growing energy demand and concerns about global climate change, renewable energies and in particular photovoltaic (PV) power are considered long-term solutions towards secured energy supply and for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, is solar PV a truly sustainable solution? Climate change will certainly not be the only environmental issue we will have to deal with. Regarding the issue of mineral resources, current research efforts aim at reducing raw material consumption in the manufacturing of PV panels. But, how do we assess the environmental efficiency of a panel, especially concerning the raw material consumption? Moreover, the PV industry consumes raw materials which are principally produced in non-EU countries such as Cadmium (Cd), Gallium (Ga) and Indium (In). How do we consider the issue of critical substance and accessibility? Required materials for PV modules may also be used in other applications (for example Gallium and Indium in electrical appliance production). Should competitiveness between applications be taken into account in a sustainability assessment? Are we going to valorize the PV module ability to use substitute substances? In addition to responsible resource management indicators, many other aspects have to be taken into account in order to achieve a complete sustainability assessment, especially recyclability, viability of PV industry, equilibrium along the value chain or social indicators such as social acceptability... Designing sustainability metrics is a new and complex research field. The whole value chain has to be evaluated and all dimensions (environmental, economic, and social) need to be explored. The paper will discuss the issues in defining sustainability metrics and propose some methodologies and a system of indicators to lassess the sustainability of a PV module.
The recent financial crisis has raised challenges to market-consistent valuation, both in its implementation and application. These include both commercial and technical challenges. The whole concept of mark-to-market accounting has been questioned in some quarters.
There have been commercial challenges in deciding how to assess business strategies given recent volatile market-consistent results, including the implications for ALM and new business pricing. Industry-wide, macroeconomic concerns have been raised regarding procyclicality.
This paper recognises these commercial challenges and highlights how a combination of different forms of management information covering both market-consistent and other measures can help in making decisions. This paper sets out some possible approaches to mitigate procyclicality.
There have been technical challenges in:
–assessing how to value instruments in markets which are or have become illiquid
–selecting an appropriate ‘risk-free’ or reference rate
–deciding whether and how to make additional allowance for the liquidity premium or own credit risk
–the calibration of stochastic models used to value embedded financial options and guarantees
–assessing an appropriate allowance for non-hedgeable risk.
This paper discusses these technical challenges. The paper proposes a way forward in some areas, taking into account the recent dislocation of the financial markets and drawing on recent Solvency II, IASB, FASB and MCEV developments.
Research in human resource management has advocated the development of a systematic process of measurement that enables managers to obtain and evaluate evidence about the performance of work–life initiatives, in both financial and non-financial terms. We apply the resource-based view of the firm, within the context of strategic human resource management literature, and conduct qualitative research in focus groups with human resource professionals and managers from 27 medium to large organisations operating in Australia. Our research explores what organisations are currently measuring with regard to work–life outcomes, how they are measuring it, and what they would like to measure. Integrating the practitioners' perspective with academic literature, we develop a framework of measurement for work–life initiatives.
We consider some deformations of
-structures on 7-manifolds. We discover a canonical way to deform a
-structure by a vector field in which the associated metric gets “twisted” in some way by the vector cross product. We present a system of partial differential equations for an unknown vector field
whose solution would yield a manifold with holonomy
. Similarly we consider analogous constructions for Spin(7)-structures on 8-manifolds. Some of the results carry over directly, while others do not because of the increased complexity of the Spin(7) case.
This paper gives an overview of computer assisted molecule design using quantitative structure activity relationships (QSAR). In deriving a QSAR for a set of compounds, one should be aware of possible properties one can use to correlate with the activity of this set of compounds. The paper describes some of the traditional and also more recently used properties that can be calculated. The traditionally used properties have been those calculated for the substituent groups that were varied on a particular scaffold, whereas the more recently used properties are those calculated on the molecule as a whole. One of the most recently used properties for comparative purposes are fields around the molecules. The technique is termed comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA). The statistical techniques used to correlate the properties with the activity are also described and, finally, a case study is described. The case study shows the application of traditional and 3D QSAR (CoMFA) techniques on some photosystem II inhibitors.
A stability theorem determines the extent to which the conclusions of a given theorem are affected if the assumptions of the theorem are not exactly but only approximately satisfied. The meaning of the word ‘approximately’ has to be defined exactly. The stability of decomposition theorems, of characterizations by independence and by regression properties are the primary object of the paper.
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