Archive for the ‘scholarly publishing’ Category

100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States

July 17, 2015 Comments off

100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States (PDF)
Source: Energy & Environmental Science

This study presents roadmaps for each of the 50 United States to convert their all-purpose energy systems (for electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) to ones powered entirely by wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). The plans contemplate 80–85% of existing energy replaced by 2030 and 100% replaced by 2050. Conversion would reduce each state’s end-use power demand by a mean of B39.3% with B82.4% of this due to the efficiency of electrification and the rest due to end-use energy efficiency improvements. Year 2050 end-use U.S. all-purpose load would be met with B30.9% onshore wind, B19.1% offshore wind, B30.7% utility-scale photovoltaics (PV), B7.2% rooftop PV, B7.3% concentrated solar power (CSP) with storage, B1.25% geothermal power, B0.37% wave power, B0.14% tidal power, and B3.01% hydroelectric power. Based on a parallel grid integration study, an additional 4.4% and 7.2% of power beyond that needed for annual loads would be supplied by CSP with storage and solar thermal for heat, respectively, for peaking and grid stability. Over all 50 states, converting would provide B3.9 million 40-year construction jobs and B2.0 million 40-year operation jobs for the energy facilities alone, the sum of which would outweigh the B3.9 million jobs lost in the conventional energy sector. Converting would also eliminate B62 000 (19 000–115000) U.S. air pollution premature mortalities per year today and B46 000 (12000–104 000) in 2050, avoiding B$600 ($85–$2400) bil. per year (2013 dollars) in 2050, equivalent to B3.6 (0.5–14.3) percent of the 2014 U.S. gross domestic product. Converting would further eliminate B$3.3 (1.9–7.1) tril. per year in 2050 global warming costs to the world due to U.S. emissions. These plans will result in each person in the U.S. in 2050 saving B$260 (190–320) per year in energy costs ($2013 dollars) and U.S. health and global climate costs per person decreasing by B$1500 (210–6000) per year and B$8300 (4700–17 600) per year, respectively. The new footprint over land required will be B0.42% of U.S. land. The spacing area between wind turbines, which can be used for multiple purposes, will be B1.6% of U.S. land. Thus, 100% conversions are technically and economically feasible with little downside. These roadmaps may therefore reduce social and political barriers to implementing clean-energy policies.

Limited Health Knowledge as a Reason for Non-Use of Four Common Complementary Health Practices

July 16, 2015 Comments off

Limited Health Knowledge as a Reason for Non-Use of Four Common Complementary Health Practices
Source: PLoS ONE

Complementary health practices are an important element of health/healthcare seeking behavior among adults in the United States. Reasons for use include medical need, prevention and wellness promotion, and cultural relevance. Survey studies published over the past several decades have provided important information on the use of complementary health practices, such as acupuncture and yoga. A review of the literature, however, reveals an absence of studies looking specifically at who does not use these approaches, and why not.

To explore this issue two samples were created using data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey Complementary and Alternative Medicine supplement. Of particular interest was the relationship between lack of health knowledge, as a reason for non-use, and key independent variables. The first sample was comprised of individuals who had never used any of four common complementary health practices — acupuncture, chiropractic, natural products, and yoga. The second was a subset of those same non-users who had also reported low back pain, the most frequently cited health concern related to use of complementary therapies.

A hypothesized association between lack of health knowledge, lower educational attainment, and other key socioeconomic indicators was supported in the findings. Although it was hypothesized that low back pain would be associated with greater information seeking, regardless of level of education, that hypothesis was not supported.

Lack of knowledge was found to affect utilization of common complementary health practices, regardless of the potentially motivating presence of back pain. Disparities in the utilization of complementary medicine, related to educational attainment and other socioeconomic factors, may negatively affect quality of care for many Americans. Creative approaches are needed to help reduce inequities in understanding and improve access to care for underserved populations.

Do Private Prisons Distort Justice? Evidence on Time Served and Recidivism

July 15, 2015 Comments off

Do Private Prisons Distort Justice? Evidence on Time Served and Recidivism
Source: Social Science Research Network

I contribute new evidence on the impact of private prisons on prisoner time served and recidivism by exploiting the staggered entry and exit of private prisons in Mississippi between 1996 and 2004. Little is known about this topic, even though burgeoning prison populations and an effort to cut costs have caused a substantial level of private contracting since the 1980s. The empirical challenge is that prison assignment may be based on traits unobservable to the researcher, such as body tattoos indicating a proclivity for violent behavior. My first result is that private prisons increase a prisoner’s fraction of sentence served by an average of 4 to 7 percent, which equals 60 to 90 days; this distortion directly erodes the cost savings offered by privatization. My second result is that prisoners in private facilities are 15 percent more likely to receive an infraction (conduct violation) over the course of their sentences, revealing a key mechanism by which private prisons delay release. Conditional on receiving an infraction, prisoners in private prison receive twice as many. My final result is that there is no reduction in recidivism for prisoners in private prison despite the additional time they serve, suggesting that either the marginal returns to incarceration are low, or private prisons increase recidivism risk. These results are consistent with a model in which the private prison operator chooses whether to distort release policies, i.e., extend prisoner time served beyond the public norm, based on the typical government contract that pays a diem for each occupied bed and is imperfectly enforced.

Effects of Hormone Therapy on Cognition and Mood in Recently Postmenopausal Women: Findings from the Randomized, Controlled KEEPS–Cognitive and Affective Study

July 14, 2015 Comments off

Effects of Hormone Therapy on Cognition and Mood in Recently Postmenopausal Women: Findings from the Randomized, Controlled KEEPS–Cognitive and Affective Study
Source: PLoS Medicine

In the KEEPS-Cog trial, 220 healthy recently postmenopausal women took an estrogen pill every day and a progesterone pill for the first 12 days of each month, 211 women wore an estradiol patch (transdermal estradiol) and took a progesterone pill for the first 12 days of each month, and 262 women received placebo patches and pills for up to four years (the average follow-up was a little less than three years). The researchers assessed the trial participants for their overall cognitive health using an instrument called the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination, for four specific cognitive functions using several established instruments, for depression symptoms using the Beck Depression Inventory, and for mood using the Profile of Mood States instrument at baseline and at 18, 36, and 48 months. Statistical analysis of the data collected indicates that, during the trial, there were no treatment-related effects on cognition or depression symptoms. However, women treated with estrogen pills and progesterone (but not those treated with estradiol patches and progesterone) showed improvements in some mood symptoms compared to women in the placebo group.

Indentifying Bollywood as a crucial factor of India’s economic development: A review analysis

July 10, 2015 Comments off

Indentifying Bollywood as a crucial factor of India’s economic development: A review analysis(PDF)
Source: Research Papers in Economics

The main content of the following article is to describe the economic growth of an indigenous economy and the factors of its internalization. Bollywood can be used as a paradigmatic showcase for the improvement of ideas in the development of industries of emerging economies. This paper, via an extensive review in several articles, describes Bollywood as an economic factor for Indian’s growth. The reasons that led to this growth are described in an extended way, as well as the role of globalization and Indian’s Diaspora on this development. Finally, it compares the two largest film industries in the world, Hollywood and Bollywood.

An Overview of Microsoft Academic Service (MAS) and Applications

July 10, 2015 Comments off

An Overview of Microsoft Academic Service (MAS) and Applications
Source: Microsoft Research

In this paper we describe a new release of a Web scale entity graph that serves as the backbone of Microsoft Academic Service (MAS), a major production effort with a broadened scope to the namesake vertical search engine that has been publicly available since 2008 as a research prototype. At the core of MAS is a heterogeneous entity graph comprised of six types of entities that model the scholarly activities: field of study, author, institution, paper, venue, and event. In addition to obtaining these entities from the publisher feeds as in the previous effort, we in this version include data mining results from the Web index and an in-house knowledge base from Bing, a major commercial search engine. As a result of the Bing integration, the new MAS graph sees significant increase in size, with fresh information streaming in automatically following their discoveries by the search engine. In addition, the rich entity relations included in the knowledge base provide additional signals to disambiguate and enrich the entities within and beyond the academic domain. The number of papers indexed by MAS, for instance, has grown from low tens of millions to 83 million while maintaining an above 95% accuracy based on test data sets derived from academic activities at Microsoft Research. Based on the data set, we demonstrate two scenarios in this work: a knowledge driven, highly interactive dialog that seamlessly combines reactive search and proactive suggestion exper

Women Favour Dyadic Relationships, but Men Prefer Clubs: Cross-Cultural Evidence from Social Networking

July 9, 2015 Comments off

Women Favour Dyadic Relationships, but Men Prefer Clubs: Cross-Cultural Evidence from Social Networking
Source: PLoS ONE

The ability to create lasting, trust-based friendships makes it possible for humans to form large and coherent groups. The recent literature on the evolution of sociality and on the network dynamics of human societies suggests that large human groups have a layered structure generated by emotionally supported social relationships. There are also gender differences in adult social style which may involve different trade-offs between the quantity and quality of friendships. Although many have suggested that females tend to focus on intimate relations with a few other females, while males build larger, more hierarchical coalitions, the existence of such gender differences is disputed and data from adults is scarce. Here, we present cross-cultural evidence for gender differences in the preference for close friendships. We use a sample of ~112,000 profile pictures from nine world regions posted on a popular social networking site to show that, in self-selected displays of social relationships, women favour dyadic relations, whereas men favour larger, all-male cliques. These apparently different solutions to quality-quantity trade-offs suggest a universal and fundamental difference in the function of close friendships for the two sexes.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,052 other followers