This practice-as-research thesis is in two parts. The first, Kitch, is a fictional biography of Aldwyn\ud Roberts, popularly known as Lord Kitchener. Kitch represents the first biographical study of the\ud Trinidadian calypso icon, whose arrival in Britain onboard The Empire Windrush was famously\ud captured in Pathé footage. In the critical essay, contextualising Kitch, I argue that rite of passage\ud theory, in particular, liminality theory, as defined and developed by Victor W. Turner, offers a\ud valuable alternative to theories of hybridity and fragmentation hitherto applied to the postcolonial\ud Caribbean and its literature. To support this position I offer close readings of two iconic works of\ud postwar migratory fiction; George Lamming’s The Emigrants (1956) and Samuel Selvon’s The\ud Lonely Londoners (1956), showing how aspects of rite of passage and liminality theory illuminate\ud these novels.\ud \ud My critical reflection on Kitch examines the marked absence of auto/biographical work on or\ud by calypso artists in ethnomusicology or mainstream publishing. This absence is disproportionate\ud both to the numerous studies of the calypso which approach the form homogeneously, at the\ud expense of its individual artists, and, to the socio-historical importance of the calypso to the\ud Caribbean and its disapora.\ud \ud Since Kitch is a fictionalised biography, I provide a brief exploration of the genre by\ud drawing on the work of Michael Ondaatje and Earl Lovelace. My argument here is that the\ud multitudinous and liminal approach of Kitch offers a more plausible alternative to linear, single\ud narrator approaches since it mirrors both the process of research, and the manner in which a\ud community of non-hierarchical voices may contribute to the construction and memorialisation of a\ud calypsonian’s life.
This research is concerned with the development of a set of novel sketch-based skeleton-driven 2D animation techniques, which allow the user to produce realistic 2D character animation efficiently. The technique consists of three parts: sketch-based skeleton-driven 2D animation production, 2D motion capture and a cartoon animation filter. For 2D animation production, the traditional way is drawing the key-frames by experienced animators manually. It is a laborious and time-consuming process. With the proposed techniques, the user only inputs one image ofa character and sketches a skeleton for each subsequent key-frame. The system then deforms the character according to the sketches and produces animation automatically. To perform 2D shape deformation, a variable-length needle model is developed, which divides the deformation into two stages: skeleton driven deformation and nonlinear deformation in joint areas. This approach preserves the local geometric features and global area during animation. Compared with existing 2D shape deformation algorithms, it reduces the computation complexity while still yielding plausible deformation results. To capture the motion of a character from exiting 2D image sequences, a 2D motion capture technique is presented. Since this technique is skeleton-driven, the motion of a 2D character is captured by tracking the joint positions. Using both geometric and visual features, this problem can be solved by ptimization, which prevents self-occlusion and feature disappearance. After tracking, the motion data are retargeted to a new character using the deformation algorithm proposed in the first part. This facilitates the reuse of the characteristics of motion contained in existing moving images, making the process of cartoon generation easy for artists and novices alike. Subsequent to the 2D animation production and motion capture,"Cartoon Animation Filter" is implemented and applied. Following the animation principles, this filter processes two types of\ud cartoon input: a single frame of a cartoon character and motion capture data from an image sequence. It adds anticipation and follow-through to the motion with related squash and stretch effect.
Since the global financial crisis in 2008, complementary currencies - from local initiatives like the Brixton Pound to timebanks, business-to-business currencies and, of course, Bitcoin - have received unprecedented attention by academics, policy makers, the media and the general public. However, at close theoretic inspection money itself remains as elusive a phenomenon as water must be to fish. Economic and business disciplines commonly only describe the use and functionality of money rather than its nature. Sociology and philosophy have a more fundamental set of approaches, but remain largely unintegrated in financial policy and common perception. At the same time, new forms of currency challenge predominant definitions of money and their implementation in the law and financial regulation. Unless our understanding of money and currencies is questioned and extended to consistently reflect theory and practice, its current misalignment threatens to impede much needed reform and innovation of the financial systems towards equity, democratic participation and sustainability. After reviewing current monetary theories and their epistemological underpinning, this thesis proposes a new theoretic framework of money as a ‘discursive institution’ that can be applied coherently to all monetary phenomena, conventional and unconventional. It also allows for the empirical analysis of currencies with the methodologies of neo-institutionalism, practice theory and critical discourse analysis. This will here be demonstrated in a transdisciplinary triangulation concerning three sets of data from the diverse field of complementary currencies, the publications of the Bank of England and monetary laws from the United States. The findings do not only demonstrate the heuristic value of the theory of discursive institutionalism in regard to money and complementary currencies, but highlight how regulatory and legal definitions even of conventional money lack the coherence and clarity required to appropriately explicate monetary innovation. Accordingly, this study concludes with recommendations for monetary theory, policy and research that can address the current inconsistencies.
Universities in response to government initiatives, have engaged with the vocalisation of Higher Education. This has included the extension of placement opportunities in the belief that this will imbue undergraduate teaching with enhanced relevance to the world beyond the university while increasing the employability of graduates. Among a range of claimed benefits for internships, it has been asserted that there will be enhanced academic performance; to date there has been virtually no published empirical evidence on this relationship. This thesis addresses this lacuna. A set of investigations was designed to test for enhanced academic performance post-placement, with differences in the architecture of the placement as intervening variables. It was found that under work environment architecture, there was no significant difference between the academic performance of placement undergraduates on return to academic studies and that of their non-placement peers; under learning environment architecture there was a significant difference between those who had taken placement and their non-placement peers. There was evidence of prior-selection: students who were academically stronger tended to undertake placement. There was indications that in the learning environment architecture, those who had taken an internship did not add value to their academic performance, whereas their non-intern peers did. There was some evidence that academic motivation in the immediate post-internship period was diminished. In accounting for the findings, the processes of transfer of learning are considered as well as sub-issues including the role of contracts and motivation in transfer of learning. Consideration is taken of the implications of the findings for the constituent stakeholder groups. Issues relating to the public policy are considered and directions for further research are suggested. The results support the view that internships can be designed to promote academic values and learning; they should not be seen merely as vehicles for promoting the learning of skills and competencies which are not readily produced in the universities.
i\ud Abstract\ud There have been several recent high-profile flood events in the UK, such as the July 2007 events where significant flooding occurred across much of the UK following a prolonged period of rainfall. One approach to reducing flood risk that has received considerable recent interest is Natural Flood Management (NFM), which aims to work with nature alongside other measures. Incorporating multiple NFM interventions over a wide area, this is also thought to offer additional benefits for water quality and biodiversity. Using the River Isbourne catchment in Gloucestershire as a case study, this thesis examines the potential of 3D landscape visualisation for enhancing the communication of complex spatial information to educate people about, and generate interest in, a proposed NFM project that is being implemented in the area. Early stakeholder engagement is key to the success of a catchment scale project such as the Isbourne, with a variety of interests and stakeholders to consider. A Google Earth virtual globe tour approach is investigated, based on the findings of previous research that have identified the benefits of the technology for enhancing the communication of digital spatial data. This thesis describes the design process and the techniques of Keyhole MarkUp Language (KML) scripting used to build an effective 3D landscape visualisation for online distribution to a public audience. Collaborating with a local catchment group to identify key information requirements, an animated, interactive Google Earth tour was created utilising open geospatial data. End user evaluation, undertaken in both a workshop and an online setting, provided feedback on the developed visualisation in terms of its usability and how effective it was for communicating complex spatial data to generate an interest in this NFM project. The results indicate that the virtual globe tour was easy to use and, although some information is more difficult to convey and there are limitations to the data, it was a helpful tool for educating and engaging users in the NFM approach.
Three-dimensional porous solid structures, which accrue from the coordination of imidazole-based ion with metal ions and topologically mimic well-known zeolitic materials, afford the potential platform to achieve photocatalytic reactions and organic transformations in environmentally friendly conditions, using transition metals with partially or fully filled 3d orbitals. Cobalt and copper-based zeotypes and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have been evaluated for a CrossDehydrogenative Coupling (CDC) reaction under the irradiation of visible light and the presence of molecular oxygen. The highest conversion was obtained for the cobalt-based zeolitic imidazole framework ZIF-9, while the cobalt isomorphously substituted aluminophosphate (CoAlPO-5) did not appear promising. Interesting photocatalytic activities were demonstrated for the copper-based AlPO-5 and MOF.Aiming to correlate the structural properties to the catalytic performance of the materials, detailed physicochemical and spectroscopic characterization was performed with pXRD, SEM/EDX, BET and ICP. Further investigation of the nature of the active sites was conducted with Electron Paramagnetic Resonance and Diffuse Reflectance UV-VIS. Oxidation states of the transition metals in the scaffolds were identified utilizing XPS, while the occurrence, reversibility and stability between oxidation states were measured in the application of potential with Cyclic Voltammetry to reflect electrochemical behaviour.ZIF-9 and the rest of the synthesized materials were additionally assessed for catalytic reduction applications with borohydrides. Employed for the conversion of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol, ZIF-9 outperformed the AlPOs and MOFs and structural & surface characterization was applied to the spent material to probe the changes it undergoes during the reaction. Kinetic studies showed that ZIF-9 performs efficiently as a heterogeneous catalyst, but with the material having been reported for a series of non-catalytic applications in the literature, it was further challenged under dye decolouration reactions. Due to the nature of its structural units, ZIF-9 was applied in aqueous and non-aqueous dye-solutions and achieved decolourisation of Oil-Red-O dye and dyed wastewater.Overall, ZIF-9, comprising properties from different classes of crystalline porous materials, has superior photocatalytic and catalytic properties for a range of chemical reactions. For this reason, the material has been characterised further for its photocatalytic properties with time-resolved absorption spectroscopy to gain insight into the lifetime of its excited states. Successful modification of its basic structure with graphene suggests an additional role of ZIF-9 in materials’ science and engineering.
Background: Women are at increased risk from smoking and experience specific barriers to smoking cessation. Age-progression interventions that demonstrate the ageing effect of smoking to the face, appear to be effective in changing smoking intentions and behaviour in women. One underlying theme of age-progression research is a shock reaction that is thought to create stress reactivity. The impact of this shock response on efficacy of the intervention has yet to be understood. Aim: The research within this thesis aimed to investigate the effectiveness of an ageprogression intervention for smoking cessation in women aged 18-55 years, and the role of the stress response elicited by the intervention on smoking outcomes. Methods: A systematic review updated and synthesised information regarding the effectiveness of appearance based interventions. A mixed methods approach was used in a pilot study, to develop aspects of research design, including the use of physiological stress measurement and intervention instruction types (Neutral and Reassuring) to influence levels of stress. A qualitative investigation also explored the experiences of women who received the intervention. Findings from the pilot were implemented in a randomised controlled trial that assessed the impact of psychological and physiological stress induced by the intervention and its impact on the long-term smoking outcomes. Results: Qualitative study indicated the age-progression technique continues to create shock, with more instances of accounts of shock reported by women that received the Reassuring instructions. The quantitative study showed this response was accompanied by an increase in subjective and physiological stress. Lastly, findings from the randomised controlled trial indicated the age-progression intervention delivered using Reassuring instructions produced changes in smoking intentions and abstinence. Importantly, stress elicited by the intervention, positively moderated intentions to quit. Conclusions: The synthesised findings from this thesis conclude that age-progression interventions for smoking cessation can reduce smoking behaviour in women. Additionally, when administered via Reassuring instructions, high levels of shortterm stress can increase the effectiveness of the intervention. Future research should ii focus on identifying the optimal stress levels induced by smoking cessation interventions that increase successful smoking cessation.