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Open AccessArticle
Islamophobia, “Clash of Civilizations”, and Forging a Post-Cold War Order!
Religions 2018, 9(9), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090282 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Islamophobia, as a problem, is often argued to be a rational choice by the stereotypical media coverage of Islam and Muslims, even though it points to the symptom rather than the root cause. Islamophobia reemerges in public discourses and part of state policies
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Islamophobia, as a problem, is often argued to be a rational choice by the stereotypical media coverage of Islam and Muslims, even though it points to the symptom rather than the root cause. Islamophobia reemerges in public discourses and part of state policies in the post-Cold War period and builds upon latent Islamophobia that is sustained in the long history of Orientalist and stereotypical representation of Arabs, Muslims, and Islam itself. The book What is Islamophobia? Racism, Social Movements and the State, edited by Narzanin Massoumi, Tom Mills, and David Miller offers a unique contribution to how best to define and locate the problem of demonizing Islam and Muslims in the contemporary period. The three scholars provide a more critical and structural approach to the subject by offering what they call the “five pillars of Islamophobia”, which are the following: (1) the institutions and machinery of the state; (2) the far-right, incorporating the counter-jihad movement; (3) the neoconservative movement; (4) the transnational Zionist movement; and (5) the assorted liberal groupings including the pro-war left and the new atheist movement. The UK-based research group correctly situates Islamophobia within existing power structures and examines the forces that consciously produce anti-Muslim discourses, the Islamophobia industry, within a broad political agenda rather than the singular focus on the media. Islamophobia emerges from the “Clash of Civilizations” ideological warriors and not merely as a problem of media stereotyping, representation, and over-emphasis on the Muslim subject. In this article, I maintain that Islamophobia is an ideological construct that emerges in the post-Cold War era with the intent to rally the Western world and the American society at a moment of perceived fragmentation after the collapse of the Soviet Union in a vastly and rapidly changing world system. Islamophobia, or the threat of Islam, is the ingredient, as postulated in Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” thesis that is needed to affirm the Western self-identify after the end of the Cold War and a lack of a singular threat or purpose through which to define, unify, and claim the future for the West. Thus, Islamophobia is the post-Cold War ideology to bring about a renewed purpose and crafting of the Western and American self. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Using Remote Sensing to Analyse Net Land-Use Change from Conflicting Sustainability Policies: The Case of Amsterdam
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(9), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7090381 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In order to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goal #11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), an integrative approach is necessary. Complex outcomes such as sustainable cities are the product of a range of policies and drivers that are sometimes at odds with each other.
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In order to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goal #11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), an integrative approach is necessary. Complex outcomes such as sustainable cities are the product of a range of policies and drivers that are sometimes at odds with each other. Yet, traditional policy assessments often focus on specific ambitions such as housing, green spaces, etc., and are blind to the consequences of policy interactions. This research proposes the use of remote sensing technologies to monitor and analyse the resultant effects of opposing urban policies. In particular, we will look at the conflicting policy goals in Amsterdam between the policy to densify, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, goals of protecting and improving urban green space. We conducted an analysis to detect changes in land-uses within the urban core of Amsterdam, using satellite images from 2003 and 2016. The results indeed show a decrease of green space and an increase in the built-up environment. In addition, we reveal strong fragmentation of green space, indicating that green space is increasingly available in smaller patches. These results illustrate that the urban green space policies of the municipality appear insufficient to mitigate the negative outcomes of the city’s densification on urban green space. Additionally, we demonstrate how remote sensing can be a valuable instrument in investigating the net consequences of policies and urban developments that would be difficult to monitor through traditional policy assessments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Psychological Risks in the Professional Activities of Oil and Gas Workers in the Far North of the Russian Federation
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(9), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8090084 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The professional activity in shifts in the Arctic contributes to the development of unfavorable functional status and destructive personal qualities of workers, which leads to a decrease in the level of mental health and efficiency of labor activity. The reference to the risk-oriented
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The professional activity in shifts in the Arctic contributes to the development of unfavorable functional status and destructive personal qualities of workers, which leads to a decrease in the level of mental health and efficiency of labor activity. The reference to the risk-oriented approach is conditioned by the need to predict the professional efficiency of shift personnel. The purpose of this study is to determine the psychological risks of oil and gas workers with a shift work organization in the Arctic. The study involved 70 oil and gas workers. The research methods were used as follows: documentation study, work process monitoring, questionnaire survey, psychophysiological and psychological testing, and statistical analysis methods: descriptive statistics—conjugacy tables with calculation of Pearson’s criterion, two-stage cluster, dispersion, and discriminant analyzes. As a result of this research, it was established that oil and gas workers characterized by different combinations of character accentuations would have different psychological risks, and, consequently, different approaches to their psychological support are needed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Estimation of Arterial Carbon Dioxide Based on End-Tidal Gas Pressure and Oxygen Saturation
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(9), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7090290 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis is the traditional method for measuring the partial pressure of carbon dioxide. In mechanically ventilated patients a continuous noninvasive monitoring of carbon dioxide would obviously be attractive. In the current study, we present a novel formula for noninvasive
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Arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis is the traditional method for measuring the partial pressure of carbon dioxide. In mechanically ventilated patients a continuous noninvasive monitoring of carbon dioxide would obviously be attractive. In the current study, we present a novel formula for noninvasive estimation of arterial carbon dioxide. Eighty-one datasets were collected from 19 anesthetized and mechanically ventilated pigs. Eleven animals were mechanically ventilated without interventions. In the remaining eight pigs the partial pressure of carbon dioxide was manipulated. The new formula (Formula 1) is PaCO2 = PETCO2 + k(PETO2 − PaO2) where PaO2 was calculated from the oxygen saturation. We tested the agreements of this novel formula and compared it to a traditional method using the baseline PaCO2 − ETCO2 gap added to subsequently measured, end-tidal carbon dioxide levels (Formula 2). The mean difference between PaCO2 and calculated carbon dioxide (Formula 1) was 0.16 kPa (±SE 1.17). The mean difference between PaCO2 and carbon dioxide with Formula 2 was 0.66 kPa (±SE 0.18). With a mixed linear model excluding cases with cardiorespiratory collapse, there was a significant difference between formulae (p < 0.001), as well as significant interaction between formulae and time (p < 0.001). In this preliminary animal study, this novel formula appears to have a reasonable agreement with PaCO2 values measured with ABG analysis, but needs further validation in human patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cement Kiln By-Pass Dust: An Effective Alkaline Activator for Pozzolanic Materials
Materials 2018, 11(9), 1770; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11091770 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Cement kiln by-pass dust (CKD) is a fine-grained by-product of Portland clinker manufacturing. Its chemical composition is not suitable for returning back into feedstock and, therefore, it has to be discharged. Such an increasing waste production contributes to the high environmental impact of
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Cement kiln by-pass dust (CKD) is a fine-grained by-product of Portland clinker manufacturing. Its chemical composition is not suitable for returning back into feedstock and, therefore, it has to be discharged. Such an increasing waste production contributes to the high environmental impact of the cement industry. A possible solution for the ecological processing of CKD is its incorporation into alkali-activated blast furnace slag binders. Thanks to high alkaline content, CKD serves as an effective accelerator for latent hydraulic substances which positively affect their mechanical properties. It was found out that CKD in combination with sodium carbonate creates sodium hydroxide in situ which together with sodium water glass content increases the dissolution of blast furnace slag particles and subsequently binder phase formation resulting in better flexural and compressive strength development compared to the sample without it. At the same time, the addition of CKD compensates the autogenous shrinkage of alkali-activated materials reducing the risk of material cracking. On the other hand, this type of inorganic admixture accelerates the hydration process causing rapid loss of workability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
AMPK Activation Reduces Hepatic Lipid Content by Increasing Fat Oxidation In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2826; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092826 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a key player in the control of energy metabolism. AMPK regulates hepatic lipid metabolism through the phosphorylation of its well-recognized downstream target acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACC). Although AMPK activation is proposed to lower hepatic triglyceride
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The energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a key player in the control of energy metabolism. AMPK regulates hepatic lipid metabolism through the phosphorylation of its well-recognized downstream target acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACC). Although AMPK activation is proposed to lower hepatic triglyceride (TG) content via the inhibition of ACC to cause inhibition of de novo lipogenesis and stimulation of fatty acid oxidation (FAO), its contribution to the inhibition of FAO in vivo has been recently questioned. We generated a mouse model of AMPK activation specifically in the liver, achieved by expression of a constitutively active AMPK using adenoviral delivery. Indirect calorimetry studies revealed that liver-specific AMPK activation is sufficient to induce a reduction in the respiratory exchange ratio and an increase in FAO rates in vivo. This led to a more rapid metabolic switch from carbohydrate to lipid oxidation during the transition from fed to fasting. Finally, mice with chronic AMPK activation in the liver display high fat oxidation capacity evidenced by increased [C14]-palmitate oxidation and ketone body production leading to reduced hepatic TG content and body adiposity. Our findings suggest a role for hepatic AMPK in the remodeling of lipid metabolism between the liver and adipose tissue. Full article
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Open AccessExtended Abstract
Automation of the Data Acquisition System for Self-Quantification Devices
Proceedings 2018, 2(18), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2181184 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper we describe an environment that enables the interaction and data-fetching through a computer system from the Xiaomi Mi Band 2, a very popular and inexpensive Bluetooth Low Energy Fitness device, thus making it suitable for health-care long-term projects in which
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In this paper we describe an environment that enables the interaction and data-fetching through a computer system from the Xiaomi Mi Band 2, a very popular and inexpensive Bluetooth Low Energy Fitness device, thus making it suitable for health-care long-term projects in which continuously gathering sleep and activity data is required. The environment is composed by a communication server running a custom library, exposed through both a shell command prompt and a RESTful API so it can be used by any other system connected to this server. The library is capable of connecting to an arbitrary number of devices at a time, bypassing many restrictions of the manufacturer’s proprietary application and not depending on an outgoing network connection to synchronize data between the system and the devices. In this paper we cover not only the process to enable communication with the target device from computers but also the architectural aspects of the developed system. We also provide brief information about the prototypes developed to test the system on a real ongoing geriatric study. Full article

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