International Science Index

715
10011896
An Ergonomic Evaluation of Three Load Carriage Systems for Reducing Muscle Activity of Trunk and Lower Extremities during Giant Puppet Performing Tasks
Abstract:
During some dynamic giant puppet performances, an ergonomically designed load carrier system is necessary for the puppeteers to carry a giant puppet body’s heavy load with minimum muscle stress. A load carrier (i.e. prototype) was designed with two small wheels on the foot; and a hybrid spring device on the knee in order to assist the sliding and knee bending movements respectively. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of three load carriers including two other commercially available load mounting systems, Tepex and SuitX, and the prototype. Ten male participants were recruited for the experiment. Surface electromyography (sEMG) was used to collect the participants’ muscle activities during forward moving and bouncing and with and without load of 11.1 kg that was 60 cm above the shoulder. Five bilateral muscles including the lumbar erector spinae (LES), rectus femoris (RF), bicep femoris (BF), tibialis anterior (TA), and gastrocnemius (GM) were selected for data collection. During forward moving task, the sEMG data showed smallest muscle activities by Tepex harness which exhibited consistently the lowest, compared with the prototype and SuitX which were significantly higher on left LES 68.99% and 64.99%, right LES 26.57% and 82.45%; left RF 87.71% and 47.61%, right RF 143.57% and 24.28%; left BF 80.21% and 22.23%, right BF 96.02% and 21.83%; right TA 6.32% and 4.47%; left GM 5.89% and 12.35% respectively. The result above reflected mobility was highly restricted by tested exoskeleton devices. On the other hand, the sEMG data from bouncing task showed the smallest muscle activities by prototype which exhibited consistently the lowest, compared with the Tepex harness and SuitX which were significantly lower on lLES 6.65% and 104.93, rLES 23.56% and 92.19%; lBF 33.21% and 93.26% and rBF 24.70% and 81.16%; lTA 46.51% and 191.02%; rTA 12.75% and 125.76%; IGM 31.54% and 68.36%; rGM 95.95% and 96.43% respectively.
Paper Detail
64
downloads
714
10011725
The Impact of Gender Differences on the Expressions of Refusal in Jordanian Arabic
Abstract:

The present study investigates the use of the expression of refusal by native speakers of Jordanian Arabic (NSsJA) in different social situations (i.e. invitations, suggestions, and offers). It also investigates the influence of gender on the refusal realization patterns within the Jordanian culture to provide a better insight into the relation between situations, strategies and gender in the Jordanian culture. To that end, a group of 70 participants, including 35 male and 35 female students from different departments at the Hashemite University (HU) participated in this study using mixed methods (i.e. Discourse Completion Test (DCT), interviews and naturally occurring data). Data were analyzed in light of a developed coding scheme. The results showed that NSsJA preferred indirect strategies which mitigate the interaction such as "excuse, reason and, explanation" strategy more than other strategies which aggravate the interaction such as "face-threatening" strategy. Moreover, the analysis of this study has revealed a considerable impact of gender on the use of linguistic forms expressing refusal among NSsJA. Significant differences in the results of the Chi-square test relating the effect of participants' gender indicate that both males and females were conscious of the gender of their interlocutors. The findings provide worthwhile insights into the relation amongst types of communicative acts and the rapport between people in social interaction. They assert that refusal should not be labeled as face threatening act since it does not always pose a threat in some cases especially where refusal is expressed among friends, relatives and family members. They highlight some distinctive culture-specific features of the communicative acts of refusal.

Paper Detail
234
downloads
713
10011760
Effectiveness of Earthing System in Vertical Configurations
Abstract:

This paper presents the measurement and simulation results by Finite Element Method (FEM) for earth resistance (RDC) for interconnected vertical ground rod configurations. The soil resistivity was measured using the Wenner four-pin Method, and RDC was measured using the Fall of Potential (FOP) method, as outlined in the standard. Genetic Algorithm (GA) is employed to interpret the soil resistivity to that of a 2-layer soil model. The same soil resistivity data that were obtained by Wenner four-pin method were used in FEM for simulation. This paper compares the results of RDC obtained by FEM simulation with the real measurement at field site. A good agreement was seen for RDC obtained by measurements and FEM. This shows that FEM is a reliable software to be used for design of earthing systems. It is also found that the parallel rod system has a better performance compared to a similar setup using a grid layout.

Paper Detail
123
downloads
712
10011808
The Women Entrepreneur Support Fund in Bangladesh: Challenges and Prospects
Abstract:

Gender is about equal rights that both males and females having access to responsibilities and opportunities in decision making is a fundamental human right. It is also a precondition for, and a mark of, sustainable people-oriented development. In Bangladesh, women have fewer opportunities than men do to access credit from banks and financial institutions. Entrenched patriarchal attitudes, unequal inheritance rights, and male-dominated hierarchies in the financial system, plus high interest rates and a lack of security/collateral, make it harder for women to obtain bank loans. Limited access to institutional credit is a serious restraint on the productivity and income of women entrepreneurs, (and the wider economy). These gender-biased and structural barriers inhibit women’s access to fundamental economic rights. Using a liberal feminist theoretical lens, this study provides some useful insights into the relationship between gender inequality and entrepreneurship, leading to a better understanding of women’s entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh. Recently, the Bangladesh Government, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, and Bangladesh Bank opened up the Women Entrepreneur Support Fund (WESF) ‒ Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) pilot project to cover collateral shortfalls for women entrepreneurs in the small and medium enterprise sector. The aim is to improve gender equality and advance women’s rights in relation to receiving credit. This article examines the challenges and prospects of the WESF-CGS, and suggests that implementation of measures in WESF-CGS policymaking, coupled with a combination of legislatory and regulatory reforms that implement the fundamental tenets of liberal feminism, can lead to a comprehensive and effective credit policy to boost women’s agency and economic empowerment. This may ultimately lead to more sustainable development in Bangladesh.

Paper Detail
167
downloads
711
10011647
An Evaluation of Kahoot Application and Its Environment as a Learning Tool
Abstract:

Over the past 20 years, internet has seen continual advancement and with the advent of online technology, various types of web-based games have been developed. Games are frequently being used among different age groups from baby boomers to generation Z. Games are not only used for entertainment but also utilized as a learning approach transmitting education to a level that is more interesting and effective for students. One of the popular web-based education games is Kahoot with growing popularity and usage, which is being used in different fields of studies. However, little knowledge is available on university students’ perception of Kahoot environment and application for learning subjects. Hence, the objective of the current study is to investigate students’ perceptions of Kahoot application and environment as a learning tool. The study employed a survey approach by distributing Google Forms –created questionnaire, with high level of reliability index, to 62 students (11 males and 51 females). The findings show that students have positive attitudes towards Kahoot application and its environment for learning. Regarding Kahoot application, it was indicated that activities created using Kahoot are more interesting for students, Kahoot is useful for collaborative learning, and Kahoot enhances interest in learning lesson. In terms of Kahoot environment, it was found that using this application through mobile is easy for students, its design is simple and useful, Kahoot-created activities can easily be shared, and the application can easily be used on any platform. The findings of the study have implications for instructors, policymakers and curriculum developers.

Paper Detail
185
downloads
710
10011648
A Survey of WhatsApp as a Tool for Instructor-Learner Dialogue, Learner-Content Dialogue, and Learner-Learner Dialogue
Abstract:

Thanks to the development of online technology and social networks, people are able to communicate as well as learn. WhatsApp is a popular social network which is growingly gaining popularity. This app can be used for communication as well as education. It can be used for instructor-learner, learner-learner, and learner-content interactions; however, very little knowledge is available on these potentials of WhatsApp. The current study was undertaken to investigate university students’ perceptions of WhatsApp used as a tool for instructor-learner dialogue, learner-content dialogue, and learner-learner dialogue. The study adopted a survey approach and distributed the questionnaire developed by Google Forms to 54 (11 males and 43 females) university students. The obtained data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. The result of data analysis indicates that students have positive attitudes towards WhatsApp as a tool for Instructor-Learner Dialogue: it easy to reach the lecturer (4.07), the instructor gives me valuable feedback on my assignment (4.02), the instructor is supportive during course discussion and offers continuous support with the class (4.00). Learner-Content Dialogue: WhatsApp allows me to academically engage with lecturers anytime, anywhere (4.00), it helps to send graphics such as pictures or charts directly to the students (3.98), it also provides out of class, extra learning materials and homework (3.96), and Learner-Learner Dialogue: WhatsApp is a good tool for sharing knowledge with others (4.09), WhatsApp allows me to academically engage with peers anytime, anywhere (4.07), and we can interact with others through the use of group discussion (4.02). It was also found that there are significant positive correlations between students’ perceptions of Instructor-Learner Dialogue (ILD), Learner-Content Dialogue (LCD), Learner-Learner Dialogue (LLD) and WhatsApp Application in classroom. The findings of the study have implications for lectures, policy makers and curriculum developers.

Paper Detail
150
downloads
709
10011677
Numerical Simulation for Self-Loosening Phenomenon Analysis of Bolt Joint under Vibration
Abstract:
In this paper, the finite element method (FEM) is utilized to simulate the comprehensive process including tightening, releasing and self-loosening of a bolt joint under transverse vibration. Following to the accurate geometry of helical threads, an absolutely hexahedral meshing is implemented. The accuracy of simulation process is verified and validated by comparison with the experimental results on clamping force-vibration relationship, which shows the sufficient correlation. Further analysis with different amplitude and frequency of transverse vibration is done to determine the dominant factor inducing the failure.
Paper Detail
200
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708
10011708
Design Charts for Strip Footing on Untreated and Cement Treated Sand Mat over Underlying Natural Soft Clay
Abstract:

Shallow foundations on unimproved soft natural soils can undergo a high consolidation and secondary settlement. For low and medium rise building projects on such soil condition, pile foundation may not be cost effective. In such cases an alternative to pile foundations may be shallow strip footings placed on a double layered improved soil system soil. The upper layer of this system is untreated or cement treated compacted sand and underlying layer is natural soft clay. This system will reduce the settlement to an allowable limit. The current research has been conducted with the settlement of a rigid plane-strain strip footing of 2.5 m width placed on the surface of a soil consisting of an untreated or cement treated sand layer overlying a bed of homogeneous soft clay. The settlement of the mentioned shallow foundation has been studied considering both cases with the thicknesses of the sand layer are 0.3 to 0.9 times the width of footing. The response of the clay layer is assumed as undrained for plastic loading stages and drained during consolidation stages. The response of the sand layer is drained during all loading stages. FEM analysis was done using PLAXIS 2D Version 8.0. A natural clay deposit of 15 m thickness and 18 m width has been modeled using Hardening Soil Model, Soft Soil Model, Soft Soil Creep Model, and upper improvement layer has been modeled using only Hardening Soil Model. The groundwater level is at the top level of the clay deposit that made the system fully saturated. Parametric study has been conducted to determine the effect of thickness, density, cementation of the sand mat and density, shear strength of the soft clay layer on the settlement of strip foundation under the uniformly distributed vertical load of varying value. A set of the chart has been established for designing shallow strip footing on the sand mat over thick, soft clay deposit through obtaining the particular thickness of sand mat for particular subsoil parameter to ensure no punching shear failure and no settlement beyond allowable level. Design guideline in the form of non-dimensional charts has been developed for footing pressure equivalent to medium-rise residential or commercial building foundation with strip footing on soft inorganic Normally Consolidated (NC) soil of Bangladesh having void ratio from 1.0 to 1.45.

Paper Detail
146
downloads
707
10011555
Needs Analysis Survey of Hearing Impaired Students’ Teachers in Elementary Schools for Designing Curriculum Plans and Improving Human Resources
Abstract:

This paper intends to study needs analysis of hearing-impaired students’ teachers in elementary schools all over Iran. The subjects of this study were 275 teachers who were teaching hearing-impaired students in elementary schools. The participants were selected by a quota sampling method. To collect the data, questionnaires of training needs consisting of 41 knowledge items and 31 performance items were used. The collected data were analyzed by using SPSS software in the form of descriptive analyses (frequency and mean) and inferential analyses (one sample t-test, paired t-test, independent t-test, and Pearson correlation coefficient). The findings of the study indicated that teachers generally have considerable needs in knowledge and performance domains. In 32 items out of the total 41 knowledge domain items and in the 27 items out of the total 31 performance domain items, the teachers had considerable needs. From the quantitative point of view, the needs of the performance domain were more than those of the knowledge domain, so they have to be considered as the first priority in training these teachers. There was no difference between the level of the needs of male and female teachers. There was a significant difference between the knowledge and performance domain needs and the teachers’ teaching experience, 0.354 and 0.322 respectively. The teachers who had been trained in working with hearing-impaired students expressed more training needs (both knowledge and performance).

Paper Detail
125
downloads
706
10011584
Calcium Biochemical Indicators in a Group of Schoolchildren with Low Socioeconomic Status from Barranquilla, Colombia
Abstract:

Calcium is an essential element for good growth and development of the organism, and its requirement is increased at school age. Low socio-economic populations of developing countries such as Colombia may have food deficiency of this mineral in schoolchildren that could be reflected in calcium biochemical indicators, bone alterations and anthropometric indicators. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate some calcium biochemical indicators in a group of schoolchildren of low socioeconomic level from Barranquilla city and to correlate with body mass index. 60 schoolchildren aged 7 to 15 years were selected from Jesus’s Heart Educational Institution in Barranquilla-Atlántico, apparently healthy, without suffering from infectious or gastrointestinal diseases, without habits of drinking alcohol or smoking another hallucinogenic substance and without taking supplementation with calcium in the last six months or another substance that compromises bone metabolism. The research was approved by the ethics committee at Universidad del Atlántico. The selected children were invited to donate a blood and urine sample in a fasting time of 12 hours, the serum was separated by centrifugation and frozen at ˗20 ℃ until analyzed and the same was done with the urine sample. On the day of the biological collections, the weight and height of the students were measured to determine the nutritional status by BMI using the WHO tables. Calcium concentrations in serum and urine (SCa, UCa), alkaline phosphatase activity total and of bone origin (SAPT, SBAP) and urinary creatinine (UCr) were determined by spectrophotometric methods using commercial kits. Osteocalcin and Cross-linked N-telopeptides of type I collagen (NTx-1) in serum were measured with an enzyme-linked inmunosorbent assay. For statistical analysis the Statgraphics software Centurium XVII was used. 63% (n = 38) and 37% (n = 22) of the participants were male and female, respectively. 78% (n = 47), 5% (n = 3) and 17% (n = 10) had a normal, malnutrition and high nutritional status, respectively. The averages of evaluated indicators levels were (mean ± SD): 9.50 ± 1.06 mg/dL for SCa; 181.3 ± 64.3 U/L for SAPT, 143.8 ± 73.9 U/L for SBAP; 9.0 ± 3.48 ng/mL for osteocalcin and 101.3 ± 12.8 ng/mL for NTx-1. UCa level was 12.8 ± 7.7 mg/dL that adjusted with creatinine ranged from 0.005 to 0.395 mg/mg. Considering serum calcium values, approximately 7% of school children were hypocalcemic, 16% hypercalcemic and 77% normocalcemic. The indicators evaluated did not correlate with the BMI. Low values ​​were observed in calcium urinary excretion and high in NTx-1, suggesting that mechanisms such as increase in renal retention of calcium and in bone remodeling may be contributing to calcium homeostasis.

Paper Detail
128
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705
10011590
Seismic Fragility Assessment of Strongback Steel Braced Frames Subjected to Near-Field Earthquakes
Abstract:

In this paper, seismic fragility assessment of a recently developed hybrid structural system, known as the strongback system (SBS) is investigated. In this system, to mitigate the occurrence of the soft-story mechanism and improve the distribution of story drifts over the height of the structure, an elastic vertical truss is formed. The strengthened members of the braced span are designed to remain substantially elastic during levels of excitation where soft-story mechanisms are likely to occur and impose a nearly uniform story drift distribution. Due to the distinctive characteristics of near-field ground motions, it seems to be necessary to study the effect of these records on seismic performance of the SBS. To this end, a set of 56 near-field ground motion records suggested by FEMA P695 methodology is used. For fragility assessment, nonlinear dynamic analyses are carried out in OpenSEES based on the recommended procedure in HAZUS technical manual. Four damage states including slight, moderate, extensive, and complete damage (collapse) are considered. To evaluate each damage state, inter-story drift ratio and floor acceleration are implemented as engineering demand parameters. Further, to extend the evaluation of the collapse state of the system, a different collapse criterion suggested in FEMA P695 is applied. It is concluded that SBS can significantly increase the collapse capacity and consequently decrease the collapse risk of the structure during its life time. Comparing the observing mean annual frequency (MAF) of exceedance of each damage state against the allowable values presented in performance-based design methods, it is found that using the elastic vertical truss, improves the structural response effectively.

Paper Detail
175
downloads
704
10011503
Data Centers’ Temperature Profile Simulation Optimized by Finite Elements and Discretization Methods
Abstract:

Nowadays, data center industry faces strong challenges for increasing the speed and data processing capacities while at the same time is trying to keep their devices a suitable working temperature without penalizing that capacity. Consequently, the cooling systems of this kind of facilities use a large amount of energy to dissipate the heat generated inside the servers, and developing new cooling techniques or perfecting those already existing would be a great advance in this type of industry. The installation of a temperature sensor matrix distributed in the structure of each server would provide the necessary information for collecting the required data for obtaining a temperature profile instantly inside them. However, the number of temperature probes required to obtain the temperature profiles with sufficient accuracy is very high and expensive. Therefore, other less intrusive techniques are employed where each point that characterizes the server temperature profile is obtained by solving differential equations through simulation methods, simplifying data collection techniques but increasing the time to obtain results. In order to reduce these calculation times, complicated and slow computational fluid dynamics simulations are replaced by simpler and faster finite element method simulations which solve the Burgers‘ equations by backward, forward and central discretization techniques after simplifying the energy and enthalpy conservation differential equations. The discretization methods employed for solving the first and second order derivatives of the obtained Burgers‘ equation after these simplifications are the key for obtaining results with greater or lesser accuracy regardless of the characteristic truncation error.

Paper Detail
144
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703
10011509
Analysis of Cross-Sectional and Retrograde Data on the Prevalence of Marginal Gingivitis
Abstract:

Introduction: Marginal gingivitis is a disease with considerable frequency among patients who present routinely for periodontal control and treatment. In fact, this disease may not have alarming symptoms in patients and may go unnoticed by themselves when personal hygiene conditions are optimal. The aim of this study was to collect retrograde data on the prevalence of marginal gingiva in the respective group of patients, evaluated according to specific periodontal diagnostic tools. Materials and methods: The study was conducted in two patient groups. The first group was with 34 patients, during December 2019-January 2020, and the second group was with 64 patients during 2010-2018 (each year in the mentioned monthly period). Bacterial plaque index, hemorrhage index, amount of gingival fluid, presence of xerostomia and candidiasis were recorded in patients. Results: Analysis of the collected data showed that susceptibility to marginal gingivitis shows higher values according to retrograde data, compared to cross-sectional ones. Susceptibility to candidiasis and the occurrence of xerostomia, even in the combination of both pathologies, as risk factors for the occurrence of marginal gingivitis, show higher values ​​according to retrograde data. The female are presented with a reduced bacterial plaque index than the males, but more importantly, this index in the females is also associated with a reduced index of gingival hemorrhage, in contrast to the males. Conclusions: Cross-sectional data show that the prevalence of marginal gingivitis is more reduced, compared to retrograde data, based on the hemorrhage index and the bacterial plaque index together. Changes in production in the amount of gingival fluid show a higher prevalence of marginal gingivitis in cross-sectional data than in retrograde data; this is based on the sophistication of the way data are recorded, which evolves over time and also based on professional sensitivity to this phenomenon.

Paper Detail
148
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702
10011531
Matching Coping Strategies to Athletic Retirement Stressors among Japanese Female Athletes
Abstract:

Retirement from sport can be stressful to athletes for many reasons. Accordingly, it is necessary to match coping strategies depending on the stressors. One of the athlete career assistance programs for Japanese top athletes in Japan, the Japan Olympic Committee Career Academy (JCA), has focused on the service contents regarding occupational supports which can be said to cope with financial and occupational stress; however, other supports such as psychological support were unclear due to the lack of psychological professionals in the JCA. Tailoring the program, it is important to match the needs of the athletes at athletic retirement with the service contents. Japanese Olympic athletes have been found to retire for different reasons. Especially female athletes who competed in the Summer Olympic Games were found to retire with psychological reasons. The purpose of this research was to investigate the types of stressors Japanese female athletes experience as a result of athletic retirement. As part of the study, 44 female retired athletes from 13 competitive sports completed an open-ended questionnaire. The KJ method was used to analyze stress experienced as a result of retirement. As a result, nine conceptualized stressors were aggregated such as “Conflict with athletic identity”, “Desire to live as an athlete”, and “Career plan after retirement”. In order to match the coping strategies according to the stressors, each stressor was classified with the four types of adjustments; psychological, social, financial, and occupational changes. As a result, the stressor relating to psychological adjustment accounted for 69.0% of coping-related needs, the financial and occupational adjustment was 21.8%, and social adjustment was 9.2%. In conclusion, coping strategies according to the stressors are suggested.

Paper Detail
147
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701
10011435
Phytochemical Profile of Ripe Juniperus excelsa M. Bieb. Galbuli from Bulgaria
Abstract:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition of ripe Juniperus excelsa M. Bieb. galbuli (female cones) collected from "Izgoraloto Gyune" Reserve in Krichim, Bulgaria. The moisture (36.88%), abs. weight 693.96 g/1000 pcs., and the ash content (10.57%) of ripe galbuli were determined. Lipid fraction (9.12%), cellulose (13.54%), protein (13.64%), and total carbohydrates (31.20%) were evaluated in the ripe galbuli. It was found that the ripe galbuli contained glucose (4.00%) and fructose (4.25%), but disaccharide sucrose was not identified. The main macro elements presented in the sample were K (8390.00 mg/kg), Ca (4596.00 g/kg), Mg (837.72 mg/kg), followed by Na (7.69 mg/kg); while the detected microelements consisted of Zn (8.51 mg/kg), Cu (4.66 mg/kg), Mn (3.65 mg/kg), Fe (3.26 mg/kg), Cr (3.00 mg/kg), Cd (< 0.1 mg/kg), and Pb (0.01 mg/kg).

Paper Detail
161
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700
10011447
Gender Justice and Feminist Self-Management Practices in the Solidarity Economy: A Quantitative Analysis of the Factors that Impact Enterprises Formed by Women in Brazil
Abstract:

The Solidarity Economy (SE) acts in the re-articulation of the economic field to the other spheres of social action. The significant participation of women in SE resulted in the formation of a national network of self-managed enterprises in Brazil: The Solidarity and Feminist Economy Network (SFEN). The objective of the research is to identify factors of gender justice and feminist self-management practices that adhere to the reality of women in SE enterprises. The conceptual apparatus related to feminist studies in this research covers Nancy Fraser approaches on gender justice, and Patricia Yancey Martin approaches on feminist management practices, and authors of postcolonial feminism such as Mohanty and Maria Lugones, who lead the discussion to peripheral contexts, a necessary perspective when observing the women’s movement in SE. The research has a quantitative nature in the phases of data collection and analysis. The data collection was performed through two data sources: the database mapped in Brazil in 2010-2013 by the National Information System in Solidary Economy and 150 questionnaires with women from 16 enterprises in SFEN, in a state of Brazilian northeast. The data were analyzed using the multivariate statistical technique of Factor Analysis. The results show that the factors that define gender justice and feminist self-management practices in SE are interrelated in several levels, proving statistically the intersectional condition of the issue of women. The evidence from the quantitative analysis allowed us to understand the dimensions of gender justice and feminist management practices intersectionality; in this sense, the non-distribution of domestic work interferes in non-representation of women in public spaces, especially in peripheral contexts. The study contributes with important reflections to the studies of this area and can be complemented in the future with a qualitative research that approaches the perspective of women in the context of the SE self-management paradigm.

Paper Detail
175
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699
10011465
Design of Polyetheretherketone Fixation Plates for Fractured Distal Femur
Abstract:

In the present study, a methodology has been proposed to treat fracture in the distal part of the femur bone. Initially, bone model has been developed using the computed tomography scan data of the fractured bone. This information has been further used to create polyether ether ketone (PEEK) implant for this fractured bone. Damaged bone and implant models have been assembled. This assembled model has been further analyzed for stress distribution. Moreover, deformation developed was also measured. It has been observed that the stress and deformation developed was not so appreciable. Thus, it proves that the aforementioned procedure can be suitably adopted for the treatment of fractured distal femur bone.

Paper Detail
134
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698
10011353
Effect of Good Agriculture Management Practices and Constraints on Grape Farming: A Case Study in Mirbachakot, Kalakan and Shakardara Districts Kabul, Afghanistan
Abstract:

Skillful management is one of the most important success factors for today’s farms. When a farm is well managed, it can generate funds for its sustainability. Grape is one of the most diffused fruits in the world and one of the most important cash crops with high potential of production in Afghanistan as well. While there are several organizations intervening for improvement of this cash crop, the quality and quantity are still not satisfactory for producers and external markets. The situation has not changed over the years. Therefore, a survey was conducted in 2017 with 60 grape growers, supported by questionnaires in Mirbachakot, Kalakan and Shakardara districts of Kabul province. The purpose was to get an understanding of the current socio-demographic characteristics of farmers, management methods, constraints, farm size, yield and contribution of grape farming to household income. Findings indicate that grape farming was predominant 83.3% male, 16.6% female and small-scale farmers were the main grape producers, 60% < 1 ha of land under grape production. Likewise, 50% had more than > 10 years and 33.3% between 1-5 years’ experience in grape farming. The high level of illiteracy and diseases had significant digit effect on growth, yield and quality of grapes. The results showed that vineyard management operations to protect grapes from mechanical damage are very poor or completely absent. Comparing developed countries, table grape is one of the fruits with the highest input of technology, while in developing countries the cost of labor is low but the purchase of the equipment is very high due to financial situation. Hence the low quality and quantity of grape are influenced by poor management methods, such as non-availability of experts and lack of technical guidance in the study site. Thereby, the study suggested that improved agricultural extension services and managerial skills could contribute to addressing the problems.

Paper Detail
158
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697
10011379
Patriarchy and Gender Discrimination as seen in the Novels of Ahdaf Soueif’s In the Eye of the Sun (1992) and Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s The Girl from the Coast (2002)
Authors:
Abstract:

Women for centuries have undergone gender discrimination under the pretext of patriarchy which is engraved in the culture and tradition of some societies. It is important to highlight that this condition has been encoded by the male gender to dominate and manipulate women. It is therefore necessary to draw attention to this important obstacle that stands in the way of women’s achievement of their full potential and humanity in the face of these cultural traditions. The appropriate style that was chosen for this literary analysis is a qualitative research method that relies on the feminist technique using Freud’s psychological theories. This article explores patriarchy and gender discrimination as portrayed in Ahdaf Soueif’s In The Eye of the Sun (1992) and Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s The Girl from the Coast (2002). It could be argued that those two novels describe a society that is feminist, patriarchal, and gender discriminatory. Moreover, it is important to assert that patriarchy and gender discrimination are part of the system’s social order which compels the female characters to adjust to society’s norms and conventions. This social order is supported by traditional and cultural masculine attitudes and results in sustaining gender inequality, female stereo typing and patriarchy which suppress women’s beliefs and dreams.

Paper Detail
285
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696
10011394
Obesity and Bone Mineral Density in Patients with Large Joint Osteoarthritis
Abstract:

Along with the global aging of population, the number of people with somatic diseases is increasing, including such interrelated pathologies as obesity, osteoarthritis (OA) and osteoporosis (OP). The objective of the study is to examine the connection between body mass index (BMI), OA and bone mineral density (BMD) of lumbar spine, femoral neck and trabecular bone score (TBS) in postmenopausal women with OA. We have observed 359 postmenopausal women (50-89 years old) and divided them into four groups by age: 50-59 yrs, 60-69 yrs, 70-79 yrs and over 80 years old. In addition, according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Clinical classification criteria for knee and hip OA, we divided them into 2 groups: group I – 117 females with symptomatic OA (including 89 patients with knee OA, 28 patients with hip OA) and group II –242 women with a normal functional activity of large joints. Analysis of data was performed taking into account their BMI, classified by World Health Organization (WHO). Diagnosis of obesity was established when BMI was above 30 kg/m2. In woman with obesity, a symptomatic OA was detected in 44 postmenopausal women (41.1%), a normal functional activity of large joints - in 63 women (58.9%). However, in women with normal BMI – 73 women, who account for 29.0% of cases, a symptomatic OA was detected. According to a chi-squared (χ2) test, a significantly higher level of BMI was detected in postmenopausal women with OA (χ2 = 5.05, p = 0.02). Women with a symptomatic OA had a significantly higher BMD of lumbar spine compared with women who had a normal functional activity of large joints. No significant differences of BMD of femoral necks or TBS were detected in either the group with OA or with a normal functional activity of large joints.

Paper Detail
176
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695
10011297
Determination of Optimal Stress Locations in 2D–9 Noded Element in Finite Element Technique
Abstract:

In Finite Element Technique nodal stresses are calculated through displacement as nodes. In this process, the displacement calculated at nodes is sufficiently good enough but stresses calculated at nodes are not sufficiently accurate. Therefore, the accuracy in the stress computation in FEM models based on the displacement technique is obviously matter of concern for computational time in shape optimization of engineering problems. In the present work same is focused to find out unique points within the element as well as the boundary of the element so, that good accuracy in stress computation can be achieved. Generally, major optimal stress points are located in domain of the element some points have been also located at boundary of the element where stresses are fairly accurate as compared to nodal values. Then, it is subsequently concluded that there is an existence of unique points within the element, where stresses have higher accuracy than other points in the elements. Therefore, it is main aim is to evolve a generalized procedure for the determination of the optimal stress location inside the element as well as at the boundaries of the element and verify the same with results from numerical experimentation. The results of quadratic 9 noded serendipity elements are presented and the location of distinct optimal stress points is determined inside the element, as well as at the boundaries. The theoretical results indicate various optimal stress locations are in local coordinates at origin and at a distance of 0.577 in both directions from origin. Also, at the boundaries optimal stress locations are at the midpoints of the element boundary and the locations are at a distance of 0.577 from the origin in both directions. The above findings were verified through experimentation and findings were authenticated. For numerical experimentation five engineering problems were identified and the numerical results of 9-noded element were compared to those obtained by using the same order of 25-noded quadratic Lagrangian elements, which are considered as standard. Then root mean square errors are plotted with respect to various locations within the elements as well as the boundaries and conclusions were drawn. After numerical verification it is noted that in a 9-noded element, origin and locations at a distance of 0.577 from origin in both directions are the best sampling points for the stresses. It was also noted that stresses calculated within line at boundary enclosed by 0.577 midpoints are also very good and the error found is very less. When sampling points move away from these points, then it causes line zone error to increase rapidly. Thus, it is established that there are unique points at boundary of element where stresses are accurate, which can be utilized in solving various engineering problems and are also useful in shape optimizations.

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10011304
Influence of Security on Fan Attendance during Nigeria Professional Football League Matches
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Abstract:

The stadium transcends a field of play to cultural heritage of a club especially when there is security of life and property and a conducive environment with exciting media facilities, CCTV and adequate field of play. Football fans love watching their clubs’ matches especially when nothing discourages their presence in the stadium. This study investigated the influence of security on fans’ attendance during Nigeria Professional Football League matches. Descriptive survey research design was used and the population consists of all Nigeria Professional Football League fans. Simple random sampling technique was used to pick a state from the six geo-political zones. 600 respondents comprising male and female fans were sampled from the ten selected vendors’ stands in each selected state. A structured questionnaire on Security and Fan attendance scale (SFAS) was used. The instrument consists of two sections. Section A seeks information on demographic data of the respondents, while section B was used to elicit information on security and fans’ attendance. The modified instrument which consists of 20 items has a reliability coefficient of 0.73. The hypothesis was tested at 0.05 significance level. The completed questionnaire was collated, coded and analyzed using descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentage and inferential statistics of chi-square (X2). Findings of this study revealed that adequate security significantly influences fan attendance during Nigeria Professional Football League matches. There is no sport that can develop if the facilities in use are inadequate. Improving the condition of the stadium in Nigeria is paramount to the development of the Nigeria Professional Football League. All stakeholders in the organization of the League must put into consideration the need to improve the standard of the stadium as it will help to increase the attendance of fans during matches. Only the standard ones should be used during matches.

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10011318
A Qualitative Study of Health-Related Beliefs and Practices among Vegetarians
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The process of becoming a vegetarian involves changes in several life aspects, including health. Despite its relevance, however, little research has been carried out to analyze vegetarians' self-perceived health, and even less empirical attention has received in the Romanian population. This study aimed to assess health-related beliefs and practices among vegetarian adults in a Romanian sample. We have undertaken 20 semi-structured interviews (10 males, 10 females) based on a snowball sample with a mean age of 31 years. The interview guide was divided into three sections: causes of adopting the diet, general aspects (beliefs, practices, tensions, and conflicts) and consequences of adopting the diet (significant changes, positive aspects, and difficulties, physical and mental health). Additional anamnestic data were reported by means of a questionnaire. Data analyses were performed using Tropes text analysis software (v. 8.2) and SPSS software (v. 24.0.) Findings showed that most of the participants considered a vegetarian diet as a natural and healthy choice as opposed to meat-eating, which is not healthy, and its consumption should be moderated among omnivores. A higher proportion of participants (65%) had an average body mass index (BMI), and several women even assumed having certain affections that no longer occur after following a vegetarian diet. Moreover, participants admitted having better moods and mental health status, given their self-contentment with the dietary choice. Relatives were perceived as more skeptical about their practices than others, and especially women had this view. This study provides a valuable insight into health-related beliefs and practices and how a vegetarian diet might interact.

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10011253
Designing of a Non-Zero Dispersion Shifted Fiber with Ultra-High Birefringence and High Non-Linearity
Abstract:

Photonic Crystal Fiber (PCF) uses are no longer limited to telecommunication only rather it is now used for many sensors-based fiber optics application, medical science, space application and so on. In this paper, the authors have proposed a microstructure PCF that is designed by using Finite Element Method (FEM) based software. Besides designing, authors have discussed the necessity of the characteristics that it poses for some specified applications because it is not possible to have all good characteristics from a single PCF. Proposed PCF shows the property of ultra-high birefringence (0.0262 at 1550 nm) which is more useful for sensor based on fiber optics. The non-linearity of this fiber is 50.86 w-1km-1 at 1550 nm wavelength which is very high to guide the light through the core tightly. For Perfectly Matched Boundary Layer (PML), 0.6 μm diameter is taken. This design will offer the characteristics of Nonzero-Dispersion-Shifted Fiber (NZ-DSF) for 450 nm waveband. Since it is a software-based design and no practical evaluation has made, 2% tolerance is checked and the authors have found very small variation of the characteristics.

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Evaluation of Deformable Boundary Condition Using Finite Element Method and Impact Test for Steel Tubes
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Stainless steel pipelines are crucial components to transportation and storage in the oil and gas industry. However, the rise of random attacks and vandalism on these pipes for their valuable transport has led to more security and protection for incoming surface impacts. These surface impacts can lead to large global deformations of the pipe and place the pipe under strain, causing the eventual failure of the pipeline. Therefore, understanding how these surface impact loads affect the pipes is vital to improving the pipes’ security and protection. In this study, experimental test and finite element analysis (FEA) have been carried out on EN3B stainless steel specimens to study the impact behaviour. Low velocity impact tests at 9 m/s with 16 kg dome impactor was used to simulate for high momentum impact for localised failure. FEA models of clamped and deformable boundaries were modelled to study the effect of the boundaries on the pipes impact behaviour on its impact resistance, using experimental and FEA approach. Comparison of experimental and FE simulation shows good correlation to the deformable boundaries in order to validate the robustness of the FE model to be implemented in pipe models with complex anisotropic structure.

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Impact of Preksha Meditation on Academic Anxiety of Female Teenagers
Abstract:

The pressure of scoring higher marks to be able to get admission in a higher ranked institution has become a social stigma for school students. It leads to various social and academic pressures on them, causing psychological anxiety. This undue stress on students sometimes may even steer to aggressive behavior or suicidal tendencies. Human mind is always surrounded by the some desires, emotions and passions, which usually disturbs our mental peace. In such a scenario, we look for a solution that helps in removing all the obstacles of mind and make us mentally peaceful and strong enough to be able to deal with all kind of pressure. Preksha meditation is one such technique which aims at bringing the positive changes for overall transformation of personality. Hence, the present study was undertaken to assess the impact of Preksha Meditation on the academic anxiety on female teenagers. The study was conducted on 120 high school students from the capital city of India. All students were in the age group of 13-15 years. They also belonged to similar social as well as economic status. The sample was equally divided into two groups i.e. experimental group (N = 60) and control group (N = 60). Subjects of the experimental group were given the intervention of Preksha Meditation practice by the trained instructor for one hour per day, six days a week, for three months for the first experimental stage and another three months for the second experimental stage. The subjects of the control group were not assigned any specific type of activity rather they continued doing their normal official activities as usual. The Academic Anxiety Scale was used to collect data during multi-level stages i.e. pre-experimental stage, post-experimental stage phase-I, and post-experimental stage phase-II. The data were statistically analyzed by computing the two-tailed-‘t’ test for inter group comparison and Sandler’s ‘A’ test with alpha = or p < 0.05 for intra-group comparisons. The study concluded that the practice for longer duration of Preksha Meditation practice brings about very significant and beneficial changes in the pattern of academic anxiety.

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10011283
Analysis of Career Support Programs for Olympic Athletes in Japan with Fifteen Conceptual Categories
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The Japan Sports Agency has made efforts to unify several career support programs for Olympic athletes prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. One of the programs, the Japan Olympic Committee Career Academy (JCA) was established in 2008 for Olympic athletes at their retirement. Research focusing on the service content of sport career support programs can help athletes experience a more positive transition. This study was designed to investigate the service content of the JCA program in relation to athletes’ career transition needs, including any differences of the reasons for retirement between Summer/Winter and Male/Female Olympic athletes, and to suggest the directions of how to unify the career support programs in Japan after hosting the Olympic Games using sport career transition models. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analyzed the JCA director who started and managed the program since its inception, and a total of 15 conceptual categories were generated by the analysis. Four conceptual categories were in the result of “JCA situation”, 4 conceptual categories were in the result of “Athletes using JCA”, and 7 conceptual categories were in the result of “JCA current difficulties”. Through the analysis it was revealed that: the JCA had occupational supports for both current and retired Olympic athletes; other supports such as psychological support were unclear due to the lack of psychological professionals in JCA and the difficulties collaborating with other sports organizations; and there are differences in tendencies of visiting JCA, financial situations, and career choices depending on Summer/Winter and Male/Female athletes.

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Design of Hydroxyapatite-Polyetheretherketone Fixation Plates for Diaphysis Femur Fracture
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In this study, scanned data of a damaged femur diaphysis are used to generate three dimensional model of the bone. Further, customized implant of Hydroxyapatite-Polyetheretherketone (HA-PEEK) material for this damaged bone is prepared using CAD modeling. Damaged bone and implant have been assembled to prepare the intact bone. This assembled model has been analyzed to evaluate the stresses and deformation developed during the static loading. It has been observed that these stresses and deformation are very less thus imply that the proposed method of preparing implant is appropriate.

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10011185
Personal Factors and Career Adaptability in a Call Centre Work Environment: The Mediating Effects of Professional Efficacy
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Abstract:

The study discussed in this article sought to assess whether a sense of professional efficacy mediates the relationship between personal factors and career adaptability. A quantitative cross-sectional survey approach was followed. A non–probability sample of (N = 409) of which predominantly early career and permanently employed black females in call centres in Africa participated in this study. In order to assess personal factors, the participants completed sense of meaningfulness and emotional intelligence measures. Measures of professional efficacy and career adaptability were also completed. The results of the mediational analysis revealed that professional efficacy significantly mediates the meaningfulness (sense of coherence) and career adaptability relationship, but not the emotional intelligence–career adaptability relationship. Call centre agents with professional efficacy are likely to be more work engaged as a result of their sense of meaningfulness and emotional intelligence.

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10011143
Simulation and Analysis of Polyetheretherketone Implants for Diaphysis Femur Fracture
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In the present work, reverse engineering approach has been used to create a 3D model of a fractured femur diaphysis bone using the computed tomography (CT) scan data. Thereafter, a counter fit fixation plate of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) composite has been designed and analyzed considering static physiological loading conditions. Static stress distribution and deformation analysis of the plate have been performed. From the analysis, it has been found that the stresses and deformation developed are quite low. This implies that these designed fixation plates will be able to provide stable fixation and thus resulting in improved fracture union.

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