85,985 results

  • The Influence of Place: A Case Study of Antarctic Scientists

    Frederick, Guy (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Research into place identity and attachment is commonly linked to the formative influence of places from our childhood, but what about the places we interact with in our professional adult lives? This thesis investigates the effect of place on scientists at work in the field. Specifically it presents a case study exploring the relationship between Antarctic researchers and Antarctica as a place. It examines the influence of Antarctica on the identity of scientists working there, and queries the unique characteristics of Antarctica as a place that influences who these individuals are, how they work, and the nature of their science. Analysing the contents of letters written to Antarctica by its researchers, as well as follow-up interviews, the outcomes of this research resolved three overarching themes including community, connectivity, and clarity. The themes collectively embody the characteristics of Antarctica as an influential place and their alliterative aesthetic also serves wider communication objectives. The creative component of this thesis involves the creation of a ‘Field Guide to Antarctica’ that presents these themes through the experiences of five scientists, and includes a practical checklist for future visiting researchers to the continent. Whereas the objectivity of science has traditionally been supported by distancing the discipline from the effects of people and place on process, this thesis supports recognition of the ‘who and where’ of science. Not only can their recognition add credibility and authenticity to the output and communication of science, but can be considered an essential focus in understanding people’s relationship with place in an increasingly globalised and changing world.

    View record details
  • The strategic behaviour of health workforce actors: Implications for health workforce planning and forecasting

    Rees, Gareth Huw (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The effects of less than optimal health workforce numbers, skills or distributions are felt across the entire health system. Thus, the aim of health workforce planning is to meet the health system’s needs with a sustainable and fit-for-purpose workforce. Frequently, though, the conventional approaches used for the difficult task of estimating workforces are limited and become less effective in times of change and in conditions of uncertainty. In response, this Mixed Methods (MM) study takes a system view, exploring New Zealand’s health workforce planning problem through the lens of actor dynamics and presents a complimentary approach to address uncertainty. Influenced by the La Prospective method of scenario planning, the approach uses a multi-phase design combining three foresight methods: actor analysis, scenario development and policy Delphi. Firstly, actor analysis produces critical issue, positional, relational and influence data. These actor data are used to augment a normative scenario to develop exploratory alternatives. Lastly, these scenario sets are interrogated through an online policy Delphi producing and rating sets of workforce policy statements. Two detailed case studies, Primary Health Care (PHC) and Older Persons Health (OPH), are provided as examples of the approach. From inductive content analysis of 18 workforce documents and deductive data from 35 actor interviews, the actor analyses reveal that each case has a few dominant actors who exert considerable influence over the system and are in conflict over particular critical workforce issues. Other actors are found to be positioned to play a facilitative role to build multi-actor relations. The most frequently identified strategic issues found are model of care and funding arrangements, which are indicated as critical for conceiving future actions. These actor data are combined with each case’s normative scenario, developed from the deductive content analysis of 12 workforce planning documents. The Delphi analysis of the case scenario sets reveals that: (a) the scenarios are a reasonable facsimile of sector-plausible futures with some scenarios rated more desirable, likely or valid than others; and (b) the policy statements that favour networked models of care, clinically-influenced service design and leadership, team-work cultures and an emphasis on interprofessional education, are rated desirable and feasible. Considering the findings from the three foresight methods together this thesis provides guidance to workforce planners and policy makers on the use of a complimentary approach to overcome some of conventional workforce forecasting’s limitations. The combined findings elucidate how critical workforce issues can be identified and responses formulated with regard to actor influence and system intervention effectiveness. The synthesis of the findings reveals: (a) that connections between a workforce system’s strategic issues and the actors’ strategic behaviour clarify likely future situations, and (b) that scenario methods and analysis are useful for reducing uncertainty and for devising and rehearsing policy options, signalling that workforce planners should be utilising system-based foresight. This approach provides a framework for exploring the complexities and ambiguities of a health workforce’s evolution; offers a means to capture the values, beliefs and power of diverse actors; and underlines the importance of people in health systems.

    View record details
  • Legal responses to mental health: Is therapeutic jurisprudence the answer – the experience in New Zealand

    Toki, Valmaine (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    The orthodox understanding of ‘ethics’ encompasses a system of moral principles that define good and bad behavior. When applied to mental health, various jurisdictions, including New Zealand, have codified these principles together with the obligations on health service providers to meet these codified principles and standards. Underpinning this relationship is one of mutual trust where the physician has a responsibility, for example, to secure informed consent prior to any treatment. The existence of this therapeutic relationship can be applied when an offender who presents with a mental illness is subject to the criminal justice system.

    View record details
  • Developing a comprehensive Drift Reduction Technology risk assessment scheme

    Ferguson, J. C.; Hewitt, Andrew; Eastin, J. A.; Connell, Robert J.; Roten, Rory; Kruger, G. R.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    Drift Reduction Technologies (DRTs) are becoming increasingly important for improving spray applications in many countries including New Zealand (NZ). Although there is a growing database on the performance of DRTs, there is no rating system showing the effectiveness of the DRT's performance. In Europe, DRTs are classified relative to current reference technologies as part of the rating systems used to establish spray drift risk reduction. We have recommended some key elements of such a comprehensive exposure risk reduction scheme for any country, based on prior and on-going research into the performance of specific DRTs in row, tree, and vine crops. Our intention was to create a rating system to determine the effectiveness of a given technology. This rating system would improve spray application practices and environmental stewardship for a wide range of crops and application scenarios.

    View record details
  • Hypoxic repeat sprint training improves rugby player's repeated sprint but not endurance performance

    Hamlin, Michael J.; Olsen, P. D.; Marshall, H. C.; Lizamore, Catherine; Elliot, Catherine

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    © 2017 Hamlin, Olsen, Marshall, Lizamore and Elliot. This study aims to investigate the performance changes in 19 well-trained male rugby players after repeat-sprint training (six sessions of four sets of 5 × 5 s sprints with 25 s and 5 min of active recovery between reps and sets, respectively) in either normobaric hypoxia (HYP; n = 9; F₁O₂ = 14.5%) or normobaric normoxia (NORM; n = 10; F₁O₂ = 20.9%). Three weeks after the intervention, 2 additional repeat-sprint training sessions in hypoxia (F₁O₂ = 14.5%) was investigated in both groups to gauge the efficacy of using "top-up" sessions for previously hypoxic-trained subjects and whether a small hypoxic dose would be beneficial for the previously normoxic-trained group. Repeated sprint (8 × 20 m) and Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Level 1 (YYIR1) performances were tested twice at baseline (Pre 1 and Pre 2) and weekly after (Post 1-3) the initial intervention (intervention 1) and again weekly after the second "top-up" intervention (Post 4-5). After each training set, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and rate of perceived exertion were recorded. Compared to baseline (mean of Pre 1 and Pre 2), both the hypoxic and normoxic groups similarly lowered fatigue over the 8 sprints 1 week after the intervention (Post 1: -1.8 ± 1.6%, -1.5 ± 1.4%, mean change ± 90% CI in HYP and NORM groups, respectively). However, from Post 2 onwards, only the hypoxic group maintained the performance improvement compared to baseline (Post 2: -2.1 ± 1.8%, Post 3: -2.3 ± 1.7%, Post 4: -1.9 ± 1.8%, and Post 5: -1.2 ± 1.7%). Compared to the normoxic group, the hypoxic group was likely to have substantially less fatigue at Post 3-5 (-2.0 ± 2.4%, -2.2 ± 2.4%, -1.6 ± 2.4% Post 3, Post 4, Post 5, respectively). YYIR1 performances improved throughout the recovery period in both groups (13-37% compared to baseline) with unclear differences found between groups. The addition of two sessions of "top-up" training after intervention 1, had little effect on either group. Repeat-sprint training in hypoxia for six sessions increases repeat sprint ability but not YYIR1 performance in well-trained rugby players.

    View record details
  • House construction waste minimisation project Unitec

    Pivac, Andy; O'Gorman, Colin (2017-07-11T00:05:40Z)

    Conference item
    Unitec

    Project Methodology • 4 identical re-locatable houses measured in project • 3 Bed, open plan wooden framed, iron roofed, cedar clad, • Waste stream separation by activities • Sub floor-bearers up- • Framing • Roofing and soffit • Exterior cladding and rap • Internal lining and trim • Plastics and cardboard • Sub trades Roofing, electrical plumbing, kitchen/bath fit-out

    View record details
  • Is blended/flipped learning culturally responsive?

    Timu, Nikki; Prescott, Annabell (2017-07-11T00:05:29Z)

    Conference item
    Unitec

    Context ● Rationale for research ● Method ● Key Themes ○ Maori Focus Group ○ Pacific Focus Group ○ Comparison ● Conclusion

    View record details
  • Middle leadership in New Zealand secondary schools : a complex role with many challenges

    Bassett, Martin (2017-07-11T00:05:31Z)

    Conference item
    Unitec

    Outline • Examine expectations of middle leaders • Explore challenges facing middle leaders • Strategies to support middle leaders

    View record details
  • Neutrophil killing of Staphylococcus aureus In Sepsis

    Nazari, Shekufah (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Neutrophils form the majority of circulating white blood cells and play a principle role in defending the body against invasions by microorganisms. Neutrophils engulf microorganisms into a phagosome where they kill them using reactive oxygen species and a range of antimicrobial proteins. Sepsis is described as a complicated clinical disorder that is generated from a dangerous host response to an infection. One of the main organisms responsible for causing infection in sepsis is Staphylococcus aureus. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are elevated in patients with sepsis. These cytokines are also known to prime neutrophils and as a result, superoxide production is elevated in neutrophils. This may help to destroy the pathogen more rapidly. The main aim of this study was to compare the ability of neutrophils to kill S. aureus in serum from healthy individuals to that in serum rich in inflammatory cytokines obtained from sepsis patients. To test the priming effect of sepsis serum, neutrophils were pre-incubated in either healthy or sepsis serum followed by stimulation with Formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine. Cells incubated in sepsis serum followed by stimulation showed significantly increased superoxide production compared to cells incubated in healthy serum. S. aureus were pre-treated in either serum collected from healthy donors or serum from patients with sepsis and then incubated with neutrophils. A one-step neutrophil killing assay was used which gave the combined rate of phagocytosis and killing. I found that there was no significant differences in the rate of phagocytosis and killing of S. aureus by neutrophils in healthy and sepsis serum. Since neutrophils kill S. aureus mainly by an oxidative mechanism, the effect of diphenylene iodonium, an inhibitor of flavoproteins such as NADPH oxidase, was checked to see if there was any difference in the mechanism of killing in sepsis serum. I found that the contribution of NADPH oxidase derived oxidants to killing was similar in healthy or sepsis serum. S. aureus have adapted many protective mechanisms in order to avoid being destroyed by neutrophils. A two-step killing assay that separate rates of killing and phagocytosis, was used to assess whether S. aureus collected from patients after antibiotic treatment were more resistant to neutrophil killing. The result showed no difference in the rate of neutrophil phagocytosis and killing of clinical isolates compared to the lab strain of S. aureus. Hypochlorous acid is a powerful oxidant used by neutrophils to kill invading microorganisms. It is known that S. aureus can survive within neutrophil, despite exposure to hypochlorous acid potentially by upregulation of survival genes. Pretreatment of S. aureus with a sub-lethal dose of hypochlorous acid did not protect bacteria from a subsequent dose of hypochlous acid. In conclusion I have tested neutrophil killing of S. aureus in normal healthy serum and serum from sepsis patients. The results show that even though there was increased superoxide production by neutrophils pre-treated in sepsis serum compared to healthy serum, the rate of phagocytosis and killing were the same. This suggests that pre-treatment of neutrophils with pro-inflammaotry cytokines does not improve their ability to kill S. aureus.

    View record details
  • Development of In-vitro Skin Models for Thermal Injury; to Investigate the Impact of Commensal Staphylococcus species on Wound Healing

    Fleming, Jodie Sarah Min Lei (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Skin is the largest organ of the body protecting our internal organs from physical injury, microbial invasion and infection. Healthy skin homeostasis relies on the interaction between the skin’s physical properties, its immunity and microflora. When the skin is damaged it cannot maintain homeostasis or protect the body from microbial invasion and has a dynamic process to close the wound as quickly as possible. Thermal injury is a serious type of trauma, where significant burn wounds need specific care to reduce morbidity and mortality. Across New Zealand and Australia a total 2656 patients were hospitalised with burn injuries between 2012 and 2013, of these patients 24 died from burn wound related complications. The role of commensal bacteria on wound healing is not well understood. Commensal bacteria, in particular coagulase negative staphylococci (CoNS), on the skin and associated appendages colonise the wounds surface within the first 48 hours after wounding. They are generally dismissed when identified in infections, as known pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli would also be identified. However CoNS can are known to cause nosocomial infections such as foreign body blood stream infections. It is clinically important to be able to distinguish colonizing and infecting bacteria in a wound so appropriate treatment can be carried out. This study establishes in vitro skin thermal injury models, 2 and 3 dimensional (2D and 3D) to investigate the effects on CoNS on wound healing. The attachment and protein expression profiles (e.g. matrix metalloproteinases, MMPs) of S. lugdunensis, S. haemolyticus, S. hominis and S. capitis on epithelial cells were compared to the most abundant skin commensal S. epidermidis and commonly isolated pathogen S. aureus. 3D skin rafts grown on Transwell inserts better represented the structure and the environment of human skin compared to the 2D monolayer. A burn technique was established using 3 mm diameter copper rod at 80°C that created reproducible burns in both models, which could effectively heal in a manner reminiscent of re-epithelialization. The 3D model demonstrated a repair process similar to in vivo skin, including an increase in MMP-2 and MMP-9 in response to injury. The addition of each CoNS, apart from S. epidermidis, to the wound significantly prevented wound closure (P< 0.05) in a low nutrient environment when bacterial numbers exceeded 105 CFU/mL, but not to the same extent in a high nutrient environment. Although the CoNS were less pathogenic in this model than S. aureus, S. lugdunensis did show similar attachment traits to S. aureus with heavy colonisation at the wounds edge. All the CoNS had increased biofilm forming potential compared to S. epidermidis. Interestingly all bacteria investigated reduced MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression by the epithelial cells across both models. This is the first report of decreased MMP activity in response to bacteria in wounds. The findings in this thesis suggest that CoNS have the potential to impair wound healing.

    View record details
  • Protection of ewes against Teladorsagia circumcincta infection in the periparturient period by vaccination with recombinant antigens

    Nisbet, A. J.; McNeilly, T. N.; Greer, Andrew W.; Bertley, Y.; Oliver, E. M.; Smith, S.; Palarea-Albaladejoc, J.; Matthews, J. B.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    Teladorsagiosis is a major production-limiting disease in ruminants in temperate regions throughout the world and one of the key interventions in the management of the disease is the prevention of pasture contamination with Teladorsagia circumcincta eggs by ewes during the periparturient relaxation in immunity which occurs in the period around lambing. Here, we describe the immunisation of twin-bearing ewes with a T. circumcincta recombinant subunit vaccine and the impact that vaccination has on their immune responses and shedding of parasite eggs during a continuous T. circumcincta challenge period spanning late gestation and lactation. In ewes which displayed a clear periparturient relaxation in immunity, vaccination resulted in a 45% reduction in mean cumulative faecal egg count (cFEC, p = 0.027) compared to control (immunised with adjuvant only) ewes. Recombinant antigen-specific IgG and IgA, which bound each of the vaccine antigens, were detected in the serum of vaccinated ewes following each immunisation and in colostrum taken from vaccinated ewes post-partum whereas low levels of antigen-specific IgG were detected in serum and colostrum from control ewes. Antigen-specific IgG and IgA levels in blood collected within 48 h of birth from lambs largely reflected those in the colostrum of their ewes.

    View record details
  • Niche Filtering of Bacteria in Soil and Rock Habitats of the Colorado Plateau Desert, Utah, USA

    Lee, KC; Archer, SDJ; Boyle, RH; Lacap-Bugler, DC; Belnap, J; Pointing, SB

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    A common feature of microbial colonization in deserts is biological soil crusts (BSCs), and these comprise a complex community dominated by Cyanobacteria. Rock substrates, particularly sandstone, are also colonized by microbial communities. These are separated by bare sandy soil that also supports microbial colonization. Here we report a high-throughput sequencing study of BSC and cryptoendolith plus adjacent bare soil communities in the Colorado Plateau Desert, Utah, USA. Bare soils supported a community with low levels of recoverable DNA and high evenness, whilst BSC yielded relatively high recoverable DNA, and reduced evenness compared to bare soil due to specialized crust taxa. The cryptoendolithic community displayed the greatest evenness but the lowest diversity, reflecting the highly specialized nature of these communities. A strong substrate-dependent pattern of community assembly was observed, and in particular cyanobacterial taxa were distinct. Soils were virtually devoid of photoautotrophic signatures, BSC was dominated by a closely related group of Microcoleus/Phormidium taxa, whilst cryptoendolithic colonization in sandstone supported almost exclusively a single genus, Chroococcidiopsis. We interpret this as strong evidence for niche filtering of taxa in communities. Local inter-niche recruitment of photoautotrophs may therefore be limited and so communities likely depend significantly on cyanobacterial recruitment from distant sources of similar substrate. We discuss the implication of this finding in terms of conservation and management of desert microbiota.

    View record details
  • Global Diversity of Desert Hypolithic Cyanobacteria

    Lacap-Bugler, DC; Lee, KK; Archer, S; Gillman, LN; Lau, MCY; Leuzinger, S; Lee, CK; Maki, T; McKay, CP; Perrott, JK; de los Rios-Murillo, A; Warren-Rhodes, KA; Hopkins, DW; Pointing, SB

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Global patterns in diversity were estimated for cyanobacteria-dominated hypolithic communities that colonize ventral surfaces of quartz stones and are common in desert environments. A total of 64 hypolithic communities were recovered from deserts on every continent plus a tropical moisture sufficient location. Community diversity was estimated using a combined t-RFLP fingerprinting and high throughput sequencing approach. The t-RFLP analysis revealed desert communities were different from the single non-desert location. A striking pattern also emerged where Antarctic desert communities were clearly distinct from all other deserts. Some overlap in community similarity occurred for hot, cold and tundra deserts. A further observation was that the producer-consumer ratio displayed a significant negative correlation with growing season, such that shorter growing seasons supported communities with greater abundance of producers, and this pattern was independent of macroclimate. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA and nifH genes from four representative samples validated the t-RFLP study and revealed patterns of taxonomic and putative diazotrophic diversity for desert communities from the Taklimakan Desert, Tibetan Plateau, Canadian Arctic and Antarctic. All communities were dominated by cyanobacteria and among these 21 taxa were potentially endemic to any given desert location. Some others occurred in all but the most extreme hot and polar deserts suggesting they were relatively less well adapted to environmental stress. The t-RFLP and sequencing data revealed the two most abundant cyanobacterial taxa were Phormidium in Antarctic and Tibetan deserts and Chroococcidiopsis in hot and cold deserts. The Arctic tundra displayed a more heterogenous cyanobacterial assemblage and this was attributed to the maritime-influenced sampling location. The most abundant heterotrophic taxa were ubiquitous among samples and belonged to the Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria. Sequencing using nitrogenase gene-specific primers revealed all putative diazotrophs were Proteobacteria of the orders Burkholderiales, Rhizobiales, and Rhodospirillales. We envisage cyanobacterial carbon input to the system is accompanied by nitrogen fixation largely from non-cyanobacterial taxa. Overall the results indicate desert hypoliths worldwide are dominated by cyanobacteria and that growing season is a useful predictor of their abundance. Differences in cyanobacterial taxa encountered may reflect their adaptation to different moisture availability regimes in polar and non-polar deserts.

    View record details
  • Drawing on Experience: Somatic Representations of Moving Through the Landscape

    Harris, Geoff

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This investigation explores the transactional experience of moving through the landscape at speed. More specifically, the use of the continuous open skills involved in nature-sport activities to negotiate terrain and weather in order to experience the environment as part of rather than apart from. The representation of moving through a landscape is differentiated from traditional representations based on the paradigms of looking at or being in the environment. Richard Shusterman’s concept of embodied ‘somaesthetic perception’ and Arnold Berleant’s notion of ‘aesthetic engagement’ are presented as alternatives to the Kantian view of ‘aesthetic disinterest’ that informs traditional European landscape art. Studio outcomes synthesize GPS data and expressive drawing techniques to represent specific nature-sport experiences such as the 243 km alpine traverse of the Kathmandu Coast to Coast. The methodology draws upon the graphic precedents of Iannis Xenakis and Jorinde Voigt, and aesthetic strategies of contemporary infographics, to modify statistical data for the purpose of representing non-visual experiences.

    View record details
  • The Accuracy and Reliability of Plantar Pressure Measurements for the Early Diagnosis of Foot Deformities in Patients Suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Aim: Pedobarographic analysis may be employed to quantify foot function, however, the value of pedobarographic analysis as a diagnostic tool for the screening of recently diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients remains uncertain. The aim of this systematic review was to: a) assess the different instruments used to analyse plantar pressure; b) to report on the technical considerations associated with manual and automatic masking and c) to assess the validity together with the inter- and intraobserver reliability of pedobarographic analyses for identification of pathological profiles in patients suffering with RA. Method: Following the PRISMA guidelines, a literature search was undertaken using a variety of computerised bibliographic databases. The Quality Appraisal of Diagnostic Reliability was employed to assist in the analysis of reliability. Results: A review and analysis of the literature found only 20 papers with relevant reliability and accuracy. Conclusion: The literature concerning the validity and reliability of pedobarography in the screening for early onset foot deformities in RA patients has not been proven. Although the forefoot has been identified as a common area of the plantar surface where deformities occur in RA, there are very few studies that demonstrate any subtle changes that could forecast forefoot deformities in asymptomatic RA patients. Keywords: Accuracy; Reliability; Plantar pressure; Inflammatory arthritis; Progressive foot impairment; QAREL

    View record details
  • Taxonomic and Functional Diversity of Soil and Hypolithic Microbial Communities in Miers Valley, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    Wei, ST; Lacap-Bugler, DC; Lau, MC; Caruso, T; Rao, S; de Los Rios, A; Archer, SK; Chiu, JM; Higgins, C; Van Nostrand, JD; Zhou, J; Hopkins, DW; Pointing, SB

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are an extreme polar desert. Mineral soils support subsurface microbial communities and translucent rocks support development of hypolithic communities on ventral surfaces in soil contact. Despite significant research attention, relatively little is known about taxonomic and functional diversity or their inter-relationships. Here we report a combined diversity and functional interrogation for soil and hypoliths of the Miers Valley in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. The study employed 16S rRNA fingerprinting and high throughput sequencing combined with the GeoChip functional microarray. The soil community was revealed as a highly diverse reservoir of bacterial diversity dominated by actinobacteria. Hypolithic communities were less diverse and dominated by cyanobacteria. Major differences in putative functionality were that soil communities displayed greater diversity in stress tolerance and recalcitrant substrate utilization pathways, whilst hypolithic communities supported greater diversity of nutrient limitation adaptation pathways. A relatively high level of functional redundancy in both soil and hypoliths may indicate adaptation of these communities to fluctuating environmental conditions.

    View record details
  • 9/11 as False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare to Care

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    At the heart of contemporary international law lies a paradox: The attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 have justified sixteen years of international war, yet the official international community, embodied principally in the United Nations, has failed to question or even scrutinize the U.S. Government’s account of those attacks. Despite the emergence of an impressive and serious body of literature that impugns the official account and even suggests that 9/11 may have been a classic (if unprecedentedly monstrous) false-flag attack, international statesmen, following the lead of scholars, have been reluctant to wade into what appears to be a very real controversy. African nations are no strangers to the concept of the false flag tactic, and to its use historically in the pursuit of illegitimate geo-political aims and interests. This Article draws on recent African history in this regard, as well as on deeper twentieth century European and American history, to lay a foundation for entertaining the possibility of 9/11-as-false-flag. This Article then argues that the United Nations should seek to fulfill its core and incontrovertible “jury” function of determining the existence of inter-state aggression in order to exercise a long-overdue oversight of the official 9/11 narrative.

    View record details
  • 230 GHz VLBI Observations of M87: Event-horizon-scale Structure During an Enhanced Very-high-energy Y-ray State in 2012

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    We report on 230 GHz (1.3 mm) very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations of M87 with the Event Horizon Telescope using antennas on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Mt. Graham in Arizona, and Cedar Flat in California. For the first time, we have acquired 230 GHz VLBI interferometric phase information on M87 through measurement of the closure phase on the triangle of long baselines. Most of the measured closure phases are consistent with 0° as expected by physically motivated models for 230 GHz structure such as jet models and accretion disk models. The brightness temperature of the event-horizon-scale structure is ∼1 × 1010 K derived from the compact flux density of ∼1 Jy and the angular size of ∼40 μas ∼ 5.5 Rs, which is broadly consistent with the peak brightness of the radio cores at 1-86 GHz located within ∼102 Rs. Our observations occurred in the middle of an enhancement in very-high-energy (VHE) γ-ray flux, presumably originating in the vicinity of the central black hole. Our measurements, combined with results of multi-wavelength observations, favor a scenario in which the VHE region has an extended size of ∼20-60 Rs.

    View record details
  • Persistent Asymmetric Structure of Sagittarius A* on Event Horizon Scales

    Fish, VL; Johnson, MD; Doeleman, SS; Broderick, AE; Psaltis, D; Lu, R-S; Akiyama, K; Alef, W; Algaba, JC; Asada, K; Beaudoin, C; Bertarini, A; Blackburn, L; Blundell, R; Bower, GC; Brinkerink, C; Cappallo, R; Chael, AA; Chamberlin, R; Chan, C-K; Crew, GB; Dexter, J; Dexter, M; Dzib, SA; Falcke, H; Freund, R; Friberg, P; Greer, CH; Gurwell, MA; Ho, PTP; Honma, M; Inoue, M; Johannsen, T; Kim, J; Krichbaum, TP; Lamb, J; León-Tavares, J; Loeb, A; Loinard, L; MacMahon, D; Marrone, DP; Moran, JM; Mościbrodzka, M; Ortiz-León, GN; Oyama, T; Özel, F; Plambeck, RL; Pradel, N; Primiani, RA; Rogers, AEE; Rosenfeld, K; Rottmann, H; Roy, AL; Ruszczyk, C; Smythe, DL; SooHoo, J; Spilker, J; Stone, J; Strittmatter, P; Tilanus, RPJ; Titus, M; Vertatschitsch, L; Wagner, J; Wardle, JFC; Weintroub, J; Woody, D; Wright, M; Yamaguchi, P; Young, A; Young, KH; Zensus, JA; Ziurys, LM

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    The Galactic Center black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) is a prime observing target for the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which can resolve the 1.3 mm emission from this source on angular scales comparable to that of the general relativistic shadow. Previous EHT observations have used visibility amplitudes to infer the morphology of the millimeter-wavelength emission. Potentially much richer source information is contained in the phases. We report on 1.3 mm phase information on Sgr A* obtained with the EHT on a total of 13 observing nights over 4 years. Closure phases, the sum of visibility phases along a closed triangle of interferometer baselines, are used because they are robust against phase corruptions introduced by instrumentation and the rapidly variable atmosphere. The median closure phase on a triangle including telescopes in California, Hawaii, and Arizona is nonzero. This result conclusively demonstrates that the millimeter emission is asymmetric on scales of a few Schwarzschild radii and can be used to break 180-degree rotational ambiguities inherent from amplitude data alone. The stability of the sign of the closure phase over most observing nights indicates persistent asymmetry in the image of Sgr A* that is not obscured by refraction due to interstellar electrons along the line of sight.

    View record details
  • Subtle invasions: Aspects of Samoan women's wartime experiences

    Mataia-Milo, Saui'a Louise Marie Tuimanuolo (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    During World War Two the peaceful “occupation” of the Samoa Islands by US Forces combined with existing colonial conditions to transform the lives of Samoans in important yet also subtle ways. Drawing on thirty two oral history interviews and the papers of the colonial administrations this thesis examines the wartime lives of Samoan women. Their accounts of their experiences reveal how they understood the war at the time and after years of life experience. Using approaches from social history and women’s history this thesis illustrates women’s agency in finding ways to manage the new social contexts and situations created by the war. The central argument of this thesis is that it was the ordinary business of negotiating daily life during the war that engaged and normalised social changes. These mundane everyday acts were significant historical moments that wove new and unique motifs into the tapestry of Samoan women’s history. The war brought to Samoa a multitude of American servicemen who saw Samoa through a ‘romantic’ lens as an arcadia of unrestrained social mores. In contrast, through this research Samoan women reveal their wartime experiences in their own words. The women’s narratives indicate that the war interrupted lives in many ways causing them to rethink their roles in response to the changes. The four areas of Samoan women’s lives that this thesis examines are their roles in their families and communities, their involvement with the churches, their engagement with wartime popular culture and lastly their wartime sexual encounters. The discussion opens with a portrait of Samoan society during the 1920s and 1930s, depicting the social and political forces that shaped women’s lives and influenced their understandings of their wartime experiences. This discussion highlights how colonial entanglements had a bearing on the different trajectories that women’s lives took during the war. The thesis then turns to explore the arrival of the war, examining the women’s initial experiences and reactions with a particular focus on what they learnt from their experiences and how they adapted to change in the context of their communities and families. The study finds that social transformation was a response to the war’s disruption of physical and cultural space and the critical structures and ideologies that are central to Samoans’ way of life. The second part of this enquiry examines how wartime circumstances affected Samoan women’s sometimes tense relations with the Christian churches. The churches occupied a central place in Samoan society as a provider of both spiritual nurture and secular education for women during the war years, so they deserve specific attention. Wartime conditions created opportunities that expanded and rejuvenated the scope of Samoan women’s agency which had been marginalised and narrowed by Christian influence before the war. At the same time, the war heightened the pre-war tensions between Samoan women’s agency and the power of the churches. Despite the clergy’s reluctance, the churches provided spaces in which American troops socialised with the Samoan population, creating social situations that were difficult to control. The third area analyses Samoan women’s engagement with wartime popular culture and how the consumption of introduced material culture galvanised their autonomy and enabled them to tailor social transformation to suit their personal perceptions. Wartime popular culture in its many forms contributed to the rapid absorption of new ideas and the adaptation of cultural practices. Women’s engagement with this popular culture resulted in ‘on the ground changes’ that stimulated social transformation and which should be appreciated as significant historical moments in their own right. The fourth area of discussion investigates Samoan women’s wartime sexual encounters. The perception that Samoan women’s sexual encounters with American servicemen were characterised by an unrestrained morality on their part ignores other factors that shaped these encounters, including violence and their own bodily knowledge and preparedness. This study shows that Samoan women had a variety of sexual encounters during the war and their narratives speak volumes about the pains of such life-changing moments. There was no single or archetypal wartime experience. The thirty two interviewees experienced the war in different parts of the Samoa islands and their social and political alignment has influenced their perceptions and understanding of their wartime lives. The social transformation brought by the war involved considered responses from the women who sought to balance personal and family interests and Samoan values. Exploring the women’s wartime lives reveals their resilience and their ability to overcome difficulties and effect change for the better of their community.

    View record details