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How the Space Theory Transformed the History Discipline

November 08, 2018

Abstract: Gender, labor and race historians have made a strong case for space as a social construct. A Foucauldian framework of analysis of space has allowed historians to reveal histories of the subaltern, which are otherwise often ignored. Interactions in space are social relations, as individuals relate to the space around them in response to other individuals and societal norms. Even so, the materiality of space cannot be understated, as the built space impacts how those interactions are produced and unfold. The consideration of the materiality of space as an additional layer to social space, make spatial history a more effective and illuminating methodological approach.   


Introduction: lthough historian Leif Jerram has criticized historians for overusing imagined space, stating that space is the material physicality of location, gender, labour, and race, historians have used space as a social construct to successfully unearth otherwise hidden transcripts of power relations and resistance [1]. Rather than looking at ‘imagined space’ as in competition with ‘built space,’ a layered definition of space must be adopted. As Sewell has argued, space is imagined, experienced, and built [2]. Discursive imagined space can be defined as the ways in which individuals understand their environment, while experienced space is the ‘material interactions between people and their environment.’[2] Finally, the built environment can be defined as the physical structures that occupy spaces [2]. These overlapping layers must be examined through a social constructivist Foucauldian lens, as space is fundamentally interlinked with the production and reproduction of ‘economic, political, and cultural power,’ and the reaction of those in power and of the subaltern to that power [3].  This relationship of space with power means that ‘spatial relations are social relations’ [4]. The extent to which spatial theory has effectively been applied by labour, gender, and race relations historians must be examined to establish its use in the discipline of history.


References
[1]    Jerram, Leif. “Space: A Useless Historical Category for Historical Analysis.” History and Theory 52 (2013) p. 400-419.
[2]     Sewell in R. Percy, ‘Picket Lines and Parades: Labour and Urban Space in Early Twentieth-Century London and Chicago’, Urban History, 41/4 (2013), p. 457.
[3]    Percy, Ruth. “Picket Lines and Parades: Labour and Urban Space in Early Twentieth-Century London and Chicago.” Urban History 41 (2014): 456-477.
[4]     Lefebvre, Henri. “Space: Social Product and Use Value.” In State, Space, World: Selected Essays, edited by N. Brenner and S. Elden, translated by J. W. Freiberg, 185-195. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.
[5]    Herod, Andrew. “From a Geography of Labor to a Labor Geography: Labor’s Spatial Fix and the Geography of Capitalism.” Antipode 29 (1997): 1-31.
[6]    Remus, Emily A. Remus, Tippling Ladies and the Making of Consumer Culture: Gender and Public Space in Fin-de-Siècle Chicago (2014).
[7]    R. Kelley, “‘We are not what we seem’: Rethinking black working-class opposition in the Jim Crow South” (1993) p. 99.
[8]    Kruse, Kevin M. “The Politics of Race and Public Space: Desegregation, Privatization, and the Tax Revolt in America.” Journal of Urban History 31 (2005): 610-633.
[9]    Butler, J. 'Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street' http://eipcp.net/transversal/1011/butler/en.


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A Study on the Relationships between Chosen Factors and Drug Abuse

October 07, 2018

Abstract: In this paper, a model created to determine the likelihood of an individual to use a given substance takes into account the race, education level, and income of an individual. Initially environment was intended to be included in the model, but it was not able to effectively integrated into the model. For the three chosen factors, data was collected from various sources for how each one correlates with the use of nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and un-prescribed opioids. The followings were assumed: First, race, income, and education levels are the only variables that affect substance abuse tendencies, and there is no correlation between the variables. Education is the most important factor, followed by income, and lastly race. The justification for this comes from our research. Second, it is assumed the high school used in the example model of Question 2 follows the demographic averages of the city of Los Angeles. Los Angeles was used because of its high socioeconomic diversity, ethnic diversity, and regional diversity within the city. Lastly, it is assumed that gender plays a negligible role in the probability of substance abuse, which has been confirmed by the National Institute of Health in many circumstances.


Introduction: Using the model to predict the amount of substance abuse in a senior class of 300 located in a high school in Los Angeles, California. The race distribution in Los Angeles is 47.7% latino, 27.8% white, 13.5% Asian, and 8.3% African American. We are assuming that this distribution holds true for the senior class. All of the students in the sample would fall under the “Some High School” education level. Roughly, the income distribution in Los Angeles for the brackets we chose is 40%, 8%, 12%, 10%, and 30%. To apply these statistics to the class of 300, each student is randomly assigned a race and income, and they all have the same education level. Race and income are not completely independent of each other, but for this model we assume there are no correlations.

To determine what drugs each kid would use, each individual would be subjected to a probability test from each of his demographic percentages. For example, all Asian students in the high school with an income range of $48,000-$60,000 would have a 22.35% chance of using nicotine (the weighted mean of the students’ race, education level, and income percentages). This number is calculated from the code we created that can be found in the appendix. This process would be completed for each unique combination of demographics, and then the number of students for each unique demographic would be multiplied by each unique percentage (more information about how we calculate can be found below). If there were 10 Asian kids with an income range of $48,000-$60,000 then the model predicts (.2235 x 10) that approximately 2 kids from that specific demographic would use nicotine. The sum of all of these different values from all of the unique demographics would give the total number of kids in the school using nicotine. The same process would then be redone using the data from the three other drugs.


References

[1]    Truth Initiative. (2016, August 10). The economics of tobacco: What education and income tell us about smoking. Retrieved from https://truthinitiative.org/news/economics-tobacco- what-education-and-income-tell-us-about-smoking
[2]    Lopez. “The Risks of Alcohol, Marijuana, and Other Drugs, Explained.” Vox.com, Vox Media, 25 Feb. 2015, www.vox.com/2015/2/25/8104917/drug-dangers-marijuana-alcohol.
[3]    Department of Health & Human Services. “Smoking - the Financial Cost.” Better Health Channel, Department of Health & Human Services, 30 Nov. 2014, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/smoking-the-financial-cost.
[4]    Stewart, Ian. “Report: Americans Are Now More Likely To Die Of An Opioid Overdose Than On The Road.” NPR, NPR, 14 Jan. 2019,   www.npr.org/2019/01/14/684695273/report-americans-are-now-more-likely-to-die-of-an-opioid-overdose-than-on-the-ro.
[5]    “The E-Cig Quandary.” The Nutrition Source, 18 Aug. 2016, www.hsph.harvard.edu/magazine/magazine_article/the-e-cig-quandary/.


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No-Self and Mindfulness as Tools for Liberatory Activism

September 02, 2018

Abstract: This paper analyzes the conceptual value of the Buddhist teachings of no-self and mindfulness for contemporary activism. First it explores how the doctrine of no-self promotes extended empathy, self-awareness, self-love, and self-care. Second, it explores how the doctrine of mindfulness both resolves some of the organization-related tensions between no-self and activism and provides additional tools for effective activism, as mindfulness promotes embodied care and right action.

The main purpose of this paper was to propose a new philosophical approach to contemporary activism that would address its central problems on personal, interpersonal, and organizational levels.

Keywords: Buddhism, Zen, No-Self, Mindfulness, Activism


Introduction: It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that the Zen Buddhist doctrines of no-self and mindfulness might be effective tools for activism, considering that no-self completely undermines the Western conception of moral agency, and mindfulness promotes an awareness and acceptance of the present and detachment from desire for change. If activism is an organized effort to help others and ourselves in the face of injustice, can that really be achieved without a robust notion of the self and a powerful desire for change?

This paper argues that together, mindfulness and no-self can create a basis for better activism by addressing its central problems on personal, interpersonal, and organizational levels. First, it will be argued that the doctrine of no-self, far from limiting agency, promotes extended empathy, self-awareness, self-love, and self-care. Second, it will be argued that the doctrine of mindfulness both resolves some of the organization-related tensions between no-self and activism and provides additional tools for effective activism, as mindfulness promotes embodied care and right action. In this way, the incorporation of no-self and mindfulness into activism creates a comprehensive new approach to activism that is equipped to combat its main issues.


References

[1]    Butnor, Ashby. 2014. “Dogen, Feminism, and the Embodied Practice of Care”. In Asian and Feminist Philosophies in Dialogue, ed. Jennifer McWeeny and Ashby Butnor.
[2]    Kalmanson, Leah. “Buddhism and bell hooks: Liberatory Aesthetics and the Radical Subjectivity of No-Self.” Hypatia Vol. 27, No. 4 (2012): 810–827.
[3]    Tanahashi Kazuaki, trans. 1985. Moon in a dewdrop: Writings of Zen master Dōgen. New York: North Point.
[4]    Uebel, Michael, and Shorkey, Clayton. 2014. "Mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism: Implications for a Generalist Macro Social Work Practice". In Mindfulness and Acceptance in Social Work: Evidence-Based Interventions and Emerging Applications, ed. Matthew S. Boone: 215-234. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
[5]    Warren, Henry Clarke. 2005. “There is no ego”. Buddhism in Translations: 129-146. New York: Cosimo Classics.


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A Study on the Physiological Effects by the Biochemical Compounds in the Hinoki Cypress Essence

August 16, 2018

Abstract : This study measured physiological signals, such as brain waves and blood pressures, of a group of students before and after they inhaled the essence of Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa), containing terpenoid, the main ingredient of forest bath, which recently has been drawing attention due to its reported effectiveness. In addition to that, psychological tests, such as olfactory sensibility evaluation, as well as short-term memory, concentration, stress, and arousal tests, were likewise conducted in this study.

In summary, when the subjects inhaled the essence of cypress oil, their stresses were reduced and their memory and concentration improved under even working condition as well as under a stable condition. The fragrance, however, more effectively reduced the stress of the female subjects than that of the male subjects.

key words: Chamaecyparis obtusa, concentration, EEG, hinoki cypress, inhalation, , memory, phytoncide, stress


Introduction: The mental pressures and stresses of students brought about by academic demands made them weaken their memory and concentration, thereby depressing their learning faculties. As such, urgent measures must be taken to reduce the mental pressures and stresses of students. Fragrances transmitted to the hippocampus body and the hypophysis in the limbic system in the cerebrum influence the person's emotions, memory, and learning ability.

Thus, this study measured physiological signals, such as brain waves and blood pressures, of a group of students before and after they inhaled the essence of Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa), containing terpenoid, the main ingredient of forest bath, which recently has been drawing attention due to its reported effectiveness. In addition to that, psychological tests, such as olfactory sensibility evaluation, as well as short-term memory, concentration, stress, and arousal tests, were likewise conducted in this study.

For the male subjects, the delta wave was reduced in the T5 and T3 zone, the beta wave was reduced, and the theta wave was increased in the TT2 zone after the inhalation of the fragrance. When the Corsi block tapping task (CBT) was carried out during the inhalation of the fragrance, the alpha wave was significantly increased in the TCP1, CP1, and PO1 zones, and the beta wave was significantly reduced in almost all zones. The psychophysiology was then stabilized.

Moreover, with the reduction of stress and systolic pressure, the increase of short-term memory, and the significant reduction of the error rate, the male subjects' sympathetic nervous systems were stabilized and their memory and concentration were improved by the fragrance's induction of emotions. For the female subjects, the alpha wave was increased in the P3 zone after the inhalation of the  fragrance.

However, the alpha wave was significantly increased in the T3 and PO1 zones when the CBT was conducted during the inhalation of the fragrance whereas the beta wave was significantly reduced in the FP2, F4, T3, CZ, C4, TCP2, T5, and O1 zones. Furthermore, along with the reduction of stress and of the systolic pressure, and the improvement of short-term memory, the psychophysiology and the sympathetic nervous system were stabilized.

In summary, when the subjects inhaled the essence of cypress oil, their stresses were reduced and their memory and concentration improved under even working condition as well as under a stable condition. The fragrance, however, more effectively reduced the stress of the female subjects than that of the male subjects.


References

  1. Aggleton, J.P. 1993. The contribution of the amygdala to normal and abnormal emotional staes. Tresds Neurosci 16:328-335.
  2. Yasutaka, K and S. Wataru, et al. 2001. Frontal midline theta rhythm is correlated with cardiac autonomic activities during the performance of an attention demanding meditation procedure. Cognitive Brain Research 1(11):281-287
  3. Andreassi, J.H. 1995. Psychophysiology: Human behavior and physiolodical response. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  4. Aoshima, H., S.J. Hossain, H. Koda. and Y. Kiso. 2002. Relaxational effects by whiskey aroma. Aroma Research 12(3):327-333.
  5. Harmon-Jones, E. and J.B. Allen. 1997. Behavioral cativation sensitivity and resting frontal EEG asymmetry. J. Abnormal Psychology 106:159-163.
  6. McCarley, R.W., M.E. Shenton, B.F. O'donnell, S.R. Faux, and P.G. Nestor. 1993. Auditory P300 abnormalities and left posterior superior temporal gyrus volume reduction in schixophrenia. Arch. Gen. psychiatry 50:19-197.

 

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The Effects of Acidic and Basic Rain on Bridge Stability

July 19, 2018

Abstract: The acids and bases in the water cycle can settle on a bridge through condensation or evaporation.  Acidic rain and basic rain are corrosive and have detrimental effects on building materials. Since the water cycle is continuous, acidic or basic rain would have a lasting effect on the strength of a bridge. Four bridges were created and three were suspended over hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and distilled water. For a week, each bridge was isolated under an aquarium tank. The fourth bridge was not tested with any liquid. The efficiency of each bridge was calculated by dividing the supported mass by the mass of the bridge.  It was hypothesized that the bridges suspended above the hydrochloric acid and the sodium hydroxide would result in being less efficient than the bridge suspended over distilled water. The hypothesis was negated; The bridges suspended above the acid and base proved to be more efficient.  The experiment is significant because the effects of acidic and basic rain should be considered when designing an effective bridge.

Introduction: A bridge’s structure must meet a set of requirements by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials [1]. There are several variables that affect the design of a bridge, such as the dimensions of the cross section and the positioning of cables. Precautions that are taken when bridges are engineered are the management of stress, properly locating cables, knowledge of capacity and limits of deflection and force eccentricity, and widths of cracks and fatigue [1]. The truss bridge is one of the oldest and most efficient types of bridge, with a geometric structure and can be made from metal, wood, or other materials [2]. The material used to make a truss is positioned further from the center- line of the bridge, strengthening the structure. A truss does not require much structural material, making it lighter than the other components of a bridge [2]. Bridges with trusses have limited bending potential due to the location of the truss and the central axis of the bridge [2]. There is more compression strain, rather than tension strain, found in wires, allowing to support more weight than a simple bridge [3].

Although bridges are built to tolerate rigorous conditions, there are still factors that reduce their strength. High levels of SO2 and NOx can be found in the urban environments with bridges. The acidity of these substances can damage a bridge’s structure [4], such as the corrosion and tarnishing of metals and electrical components, the discoloration of paints and organic coatings, the cracking or weakening of rubber or plastics, and the flaking of bricks [5]. The materials used to build a bridge can be negatively affected by acidic rain, which has a pH less than 5. Steel proves to be the strongest material because it can withstand acidic rain longer than the other two metals [6]. All of these factors weaken the strength of the bridge and deteriorate its structure.

Acids have a pH value less than 7, and bases have a pH value greater than 7. There are some strong bases such as sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and barium hydroxide [7]. Strong bases behave like strong acids because they can be corrosive, while weaker bases are less reactive. A strong base, like sodium hydroxide, has a pH value of 13 [8]. Rain that is basic can have the same impact on bridges as acidic rain.

However, acidic rain is more likely to be found. The effects of acidic and basic rain are implemented through the water cycle. An experiment was conducted to test the effects of acidic and basic rain on bridge strength. It was hypothesized that the bridges suspended over the hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide would result in being less efficient than the bridge suspended over distilled water, because acids and bases have the ability to corrode bridge materials, therefore reducing its strength.  The experiment is significant because the effects of acidic and basic rain may now be considered when attempting to design an effective bridge.

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A Study on Improvisation based on the Texture Analysis in Jazz Piano Technique

June 13, 2018

Abstract: This research focuses on the conceptual characteristics of monophony, homophony, and polyphony in western music to identify the role of improvisation as well as its impact and change in Jazz piano. The main purpose is to set up the texture such as monophony, homophony, and polyphony in Jazz piano technique in order to identify the areas of change in improvisation.

This study limited its subject to jazz piano technique. In order to set up the texture, the instrumental characteristics and an example of jazz piano improvisation are presented. We further identified and analyzed the evolving nature of jazz piano technique improvisation within the textures into monophony, homophony and polyphony. From these procedures, we obtained the following results.

First, the conceptual characteristics of monophony, homophony, and polyphony, when combined with piano improvisation, results in an close relationship and has various inherent functions in the domain. Second, the general overview on the domain of improvisation as a piano technique reveals that there was a texture change. Third, this texture change was understood to be the result of the disintegration of the ensemble, resulting in the tendency of performers to consider the relationship between the harmony and melody. Lastly, the study on piano technique is important for establishing various playing techniques and ideas in the field of improvisation.

Jazz music has the symbolic authority that comes with improvisation and not from the traditional and conventional compositions. Therefore, the value of improvisation research is high. Although research on improvisation is progressing and developing, a multidimensional study and new approaches are needed. This study takes a new perspective of texture in order to identify the area of change in improvisation, and this information can be utilized as evidence and educational direction for new interpretation and approach.  

 

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The Mob Effect: How a Politically Motivated Trope Became the New “American Genre”

May 07, 2018

Abstract: The convergence of history and popular media is apparent in many forms. Music can protest ideologies and television can reflect social feelings of a generation. In the same way, movies have the power to propagate stereotypes and continue them on for generations to come. When the topic of Italian-Americans comes up, what often comes to mind is food, family and the darker, but just a prominent side of organized crime affiliation. Every notable Italian-American themed film seems to include this key formula. The formula itself can be examined in how it has evolved on screen, and to what extent that this representation matters in the public perception of a group of people. By exploring the history of Italian-Americans and the history of Italian-American representation together, insights can be drawn from the various levels of dynamic representation and the political ramifications of media. Part I of the paper will discuss some of the history of the film industry and the Italian-American representation.

Introduction: Film has the opportunity to reach various audiences and affect their perception of groups of people. In “Italian-Americans in Film: From Immigrants to Icons,” Carlos Cortés discusses the unintentional educational aspect that popular film has on the public’s opinion on ethnic groups. The text draws mostly on examples in film from the period that he is discussing at the time. He touches on the revisiting of The Godfather saga, with the new version including a note about how these films are “not representative of any ethnic group.” [1] This is discussed with a certain irony, as Cortés argues that it is clearly supposed to represent Italian-Americans. The comparison and connection of media and ethnic history is an interesting comparison because it shows the reciprocal relationship between media and historical events. Cortez explores media representation more closely raising questions on understudied or mis-studied parts of history because of their representation.

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On the Political Voice of Uyghur Poetry through the Gungga movement and Perhat Tursun’s Elegy

March 07, 2018

AbstractThe political sensitivity of the region in turn propagates the popularity of political interpretations for literature from Xinjiang. When reading Uyghur poetry from the likes of Tahir Hamut, Perhat Tursun, or Ghojimuhemmed Muhemmed, it is difficult to divorce ones thinking from the political reality that defines everything in Xinjiang. Literature gives a lens to culture and reality, and concerning Uyghur Misty/ Gungga/ Menglong poets there are interesting viewpoints on the political value and implications of their works. This paper will seek to outline how the political intentions of these gungga poets are interpreted. An ethno-religious reading of these authors will be called into question while an argument for a political community consciousness of issues will be put forth. This will be mostly done through an analysis of various gungga works in this paper.

Introduction: The political instability of the Uyghur situation within the People’s Republic of China is something that is front page news across the globe. The resource rich and vast territory of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is one that is crucial not only for the territorial integrity of the Chinese nation but a keystone for Chinese aspirations in the international field–especially with the New Silk Road initiative put forth by Xi Jinping in recent years. The wealth of this region is unevenly shared with dissatisfaction high among the Uyghurs of the region. The nationwide issues that spring forth from economic growth, modernization, and the control of the Communist Party are intensified in Xinjiang because of the volatile situation present. This results in the unwavering iron grip that the Chinese Communist Party exerts on the native populations of the province [1]. In the crusade to rid the region of “dangerous” elements, the Chinese Communist Party has recently sought to rid the province of “dangerous” people–the destruction of a people seems to be simply a means to an end for the pacification of Xinjiang under the Chinese Communist Party.

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Bhante Katukurunde Nanananda’s Interpretation of Nibbana: Experience Without Boundary

February 21, 2018

Abstract: This research is an attempt to interpret how the early Buddhist teachings portray Nibbana and how this portrayal might be understood as a fitting conclusion to the Buddha’s quest to overcome suffering. In particular, we have tried to shed light on what is meant by bhava-nirodha (cessation of existence), a common description of Nibbana, and how such a dictum might avoid annihilationist interpretations without, at the same time, leaning towards an eternalist interpretation, the two extremes the Buddha seeks to avoid. In the second section, we attempt to see how the Buddha instructed his disciples to abandon the arising of the self-perspective. We have relied heavily on Bhante Katukurunde Nanananda’s analysis of the sutta-pitika as seen in a number of his books and most notably, in his Nibbana: The Mind Stilled series.

Introduction: Nanananda, formely a Pali lecturer, came under the guidance of Bhante Matara Sri Nanarama and was invited by the latter to deliver the sermons on Nibbana which would comprise the Nibbana:

The Mind Stilled series [1]. Nanananda’s interpretation is notable, first, in its disagreement with the commentarial tradition’s understanding, and second, in its insistence of Nibbana being the cessation of existence while nevertheless avoiding an annihilationist point of view. The sermons also rely heavily on the early texts. For the most part, these sermons were met with much resistance for the very same reasons that they are notable (the commentarial tradition is held in very high esteem in Sri Lanka, where these sermons were delivered).

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