‘Post-truth’ politics: A threat to American democracy?

On Tuesday, 8 November 2016, the people of the United States elected Donald Trump as their 45th President amidst accusations by both the Republican and Democratic parties of frequent and outright lies communicated to the public through campaign speeches, social media, and news agencies (Hahl et al., 2018). Four years later, the lack of trust in political messaging has increased across the globe to the point where it seems misinformation, ‘fake news’, and ‘alternative facts’ dominating the public narrative have now become the norm (OII, 2019; Vosoughi et al., 2018). Many scholars, news agencies, and world leaders claim that we are living in a ‘post-truth’ political world (Alcorn, 2014; Fish, 2016; Macron, 2018: Parmer, 2012; Peters, 2018; Suiter, 2016).

Judges’ views on offences against under-aged sex workers: a Canadian perspective

The objective of this research is to investigate Canadian criminal judges’ views on offences related to procuring, seeking, or controlling under-aged sex workers, and factors influencing sentence severity. A qualitative analysis was conducted on sentencing court reports in Canada obtained through the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) database. Twelve sentencing court reports that fit the criteria of inclusion were selected as samples. Data analysis and coding procedures were guided by theories put forth by Amirault and Beauregard (2014), and Kingsnorth, MacIntosh, and Wentworth (1999), in combination with a grounded theory approach. Results revealed that mitigating and aggravating factors, and existing provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada were the main factors influencing judges’ decisions on sentence severity. Furthermore, judges viewed these offences as inherently wrong, and attributed culpability entirely on the offender by referring to under-aged sex workers as vulnerable victims, and chastising offenders by referring to their behaviours as selfish and disgusting. Implications in relation to current societal views on sex-workers were discussed, and strategies for future research were suggested.

Literature review and mapping analysis of the economic factors contributing to Universal Healthcare Coverage in Brazil, Russia, India, and China

The objective of this study was to determine the economic factors and characteristics of universal healthcare development among Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). A policy review was used to achieve this objective. This review established a comparative criterion of the key factors and characteristics of universal healthcare coverage development. Further, a comparison of three countries with established universal healthcare coverage, comprising of tax-based and social insurance models, was undertaken against BRIC healthcare systems. The decided upon factors and characteristics of developing and BRIC countries were used to inform and understand the development of process of universal healthcare coverage. The analysis found that continual economic growth and investment into the healthcare coverage are essential to successful universal healthcare coverage implementation and expansion. Understanding the models of healthcare systems along with the key economic factors and characteristics provides important context and understanding into the processes and mechanisms that drive successful universal healthcare coverage in developing countries. The factors and characteristics presented in this study provide a preliminary framework for understanding the conditions that contribute to universal healthcare coverage. This framework can be used as a template for a critical comparison and analysis that can be applied to all high, middle- and low-income countries in their effort to establish universal healthcare coverage.

Sea-questration: the effects of marine iron fertilization on phytoplankton carbon uptake in the Southern Ocean

The scarcity of iron in marine environments, particularly in the Southern Ocean, provides ideal experimental grounds for large-scale iron fertilization. The Iron Hypothesis, proposed in the 1980s, sparked a series of in-situ fertilization experiments in the HNLC waters of the Southern Ocean aiming to prove that the addition of Fe(II) to iron-deficient phytoplankton populations would enhance photosynthetic processes to the point where they could serve as a viable method of mitigating anthropogenic carbon emissions through the acceleration of oceanic carbon sequestration. By examining the mechanisms behind iron fertilization, as well as contributions to the field and the gaps in knowledge pertaining to three major iron fertilization experiments – SOIREE, SOFeX, and LOHAFEX – this review will provide a comprehensive overview of the past, present, and future of iron fertilization.

Bangladesh’s unlikely attainment of the 4th Millennium Development Goal

This study centres on the 2015 “Millennium Development Goals,” (MDGs) a historic United Nations (UN) initiative aimed at bridging many of the world’s inequalities. Since its conclusion, the success of the project has been hotly debated, as progress at the international level was markedly uneven. In order to ensure the success of future initiatives, it is necessary to determine why these goals failed so decisively in some contexts but succeeded in others. Given the innumerable nations involved in the project, the scope of the essay was narrowed to focus on a single country and MDG goal. This study centers on the improbable attainment of the fourth development goal (pertaining to neonatal and newborn health) in Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest countries. Using official UN documents, seminal literature, and consultation with crucial UN actor Uzma Syed herself, this study demonstrates that Bangladesh’s success was a result of efficient programming, data acquisition, and transnational, individual, and domestic cooperation. This allowed a small nation like Bangladesh to significantly reduce its under-five and infant mortality rates, illustrating that it is, in fact, possible to enact meaningful change in difficult circumstances. Following the conclusion of the initiative, the country has decided to maintain child survival as a government health priority, as inequalities between populations persist. According to former secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, a continued, strategic focus on under-fives is imperative, with a particular emphasis on the structural and social determinants of health. Looking, now, toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Bangladesh’s triumph can be used to build a framework for continued progress in the realms of child and neonatal health.

Engine efficiency of a Leidenfrost droplet transport system

We calculate the engine efficiency of a Leidenfrost droplet transport system to assess application for various industrial processes. The engine relies on the Leidenfrost effect to transport water droplets in a straight line across a superheated aluminium surface with ratchet-like topography. The engine efficiency of such a system has not been calculated in the literature thus far. Acceleration-time data was collected using Logger Pro 3® motion-tracking software and mechanical work was calculated using a midpoint Riemann sum. A power meter measured total power input at a constant rate. Average trial times were used to determine the power input for each trial, and engine efficiencies were subsequently calculated. Droplet volume and ratchet angle were varied as parameters in attempt to optimize engine efficiency. Our results give an extremely low average percent efficiency (2.86E-07%), which agrees with previously reported results for an analogous turbine system, to an order of magnitude. Varying the ratchet angle does not affect engine efficiency to any statistically meaningful extent. Increasing droplet volume in the 15-35 µL range tends to marginally improve engine efficiency for steep ratchet angles.

The artificial heart: medical improvements on infections and strokes

Artificial hearts are designed to eliminate the need for heart transplants, which are in short supply. However, these devices are prone to creating complications such as infections or strokes. The complications occur from the mechanical aspects of the device. Therefore, the devices’ effectiveness is influenced by their design. This paper investigates the advances in technology of different artificial hearts that are being developed. The four devices evaluated in this paper are: the total artificial heart, the left ventricular assist device, the total internal artificial heart, and the HeartWare ventricular assist device. Research shows that the total artificial heart may result in both infections and strokes. The left ventricular assist device lowered the probability of these complications but did not eliminate the risk altogether. While the internal artificial heart was able to eliminate the risk of infections entirely, it introduced new complications. Finally, the HeartWare ventricular assist device decreased the rate of adverse events for the complications occurring over time. Given these results, artificial hearts still require further research to improve the risk of complication before the phasing out of heart transplants can occur.

Soundproofing: the diminishing effect of media on sound intensity and resonance modes

The aim of the present experiment was to study the transmission of sound through a building by means of replicating a small-scale model of a floor and ceiling apparatus. Therefore, the relationship between input sine wave frequency and sound intensity through a closed apparatus was analyzed. The sound absorbance of various sound insulating materials was compared, and resonance properties of the apparatus was also considered. Sound intensity trends were investigated for frequencies within the human hearing range (up to the order of magnitude of 10,000 Hz), and different soundproofing material types (porous absorbers and resonators) were compared. It appears that the input sound wavelength (relative to the container size), as well as sound absorption coefficient were both major factors in transmitted sound’s intensity. Porous absorbers were found to be the most robust material type at both resonance and non-resonance modes, and the optimal soundproofing material was the stone wool insulator (Material 2).

Processing faces in Alzheimer’s disease patients: how a familiar face becomes unfamiliar

Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is the most pervasive form of dementia worldwide. Impairment in face processing is a common trait of the disorder, causing a deficit not only in the processing of emotional expressions, but also causing a deficit in face recognition. Research into the causes of impaired face recognition in Alzheimer’s disease patients has found several factors at play: Abnormal temporal lobe activation in response to familiar faces, a breakdown in holistic processing of faces due to changes in frontal lobe activation, and atrophy of areas of the brain implicated in theory of mind. These neural changes are evident long prior to any alterations of behavior. Due to the progressive nature of Alzheimer’s disease, patients display increasing levels of impairment in face recognition over time. At the final stages of the disorder, patients lose all ability to recognize familiar faces, and most strikingly, lose the ability to self-recognize. Further research on face recognition in Alzheimer’s disease may improve our knowledge both in neurotypical face recognition, as well as aid in discovering novel ways of helping patients cope with their symptoms.

Fighting fire with fire: why harsher punishments for young female offenders are not the answer

Female juvenile crime is on the rise. In response, some agencies are suggesting a remedy to revise the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act in favour of harsher sentences for youth. This paper delves into the potential negative repercussions of said amendment such as increased involvement in gangs and deteriorating mental health. Furthermore, alternative methods such as after school programs, mentorships, and therapeutic means of rehabilitation are shown to not only be more effective for reducing crime among young women but more cost effective as well. Prisons have been shown to worsen the situations of young women who have grown up in extremely disadvantageous circumstances. Thus, this paper argues that harsher sentences for female youth will not only be ineffective in solving the current problem of female youth crime but may make it worse.