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  • Thumbnail for Attendance in the National Basketball Association
    Attendance in the National Basketball Association by Taylor, Moses

    The National Basketball Association (NBA) is not only a sports entertainment industry, it is also a business. The main profit function for the NBA is the attendance rating. Studies have examined the details of how this powerful business survives, but none have explored the specific link between all-star players and the attendance rating. This study presents an attendance maximization model that attempts to determine if the presence of an all-star player increases the attendance rating. An Ordinary Least Squares regression model is used to identify the determinants of what different independent variables have on the attendance rating. Results indicate that the true variable to increase the attendance at NBA games is the amount a team wins during the season. Other variables that were found to be significant were the city population, the amount of gate revenue, how many championships a team has won, the real ticket price, and the arena age.

  • Thumbnail for Spatial vision in band-winged grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae)
    Spatial vision in band-winged grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae) by Duncan, Alexander

    Visual acuity, the ability to resolve fine spatial details, can vary dramatically between and within insect species. Body-size, sex, behavior, and ecological niche are all factors that may influence an insect’s acuity. Band-winged grasshoppers (Oedipodinae) are a subfamily of grasshoppers characterized by their colorfully patterned hindwings. Although researchers have anecdotally suggested that this color pattern may attract mates, few studies have examined the visual acuity of these animals, and none have examined its implications on intraspecific signaling. Here, we compare the visual acuity of three bandwing species: Dissosteira carolina, Arphia pseudonietana, and Spharagemon equale. To measure acuity in these species we used a modified radius of curvature estimation (RCE) technique. Visual acuity was significantly coarser 1) in males compared to females, 2) parallel to the horizon compared to the perpendicular, and 3) in S. equale compared to other bandwings. Unlike many insect families, body size within a species did not correlate with visual acuity. To examine the functional implications of these results, we modeled the appearance of different bandwing patterns to conspecifics. These results suggest that hind- wing patterning could only be used as a signal to conspecifics at short distances (<50cm). This study furthers the exploration of behavior and the evolution of visual systems in bandwings.

  • Thumbnail for Spatial vision in band-winged grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae)
    Spatial vision in band-winged grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae) by Duncan, Alexander Brett

    Visual acuity, the ability to resolve fine spatial details, can vary dramatically between and within insect species. Body-size, sex, behavior, and ecological niche are all factors that may influence an insect’s acuity. Band-winged grasshoppers (Oedipodinae) are a subfamily of grasshoppers characterized by their colorfully patterned hindwings. Although researchers have anecdotally suggested that this color pattern may attract mates, few studies have examined the visual acuity of these animals, and none have examined its implications on intraspecific signaling. Here, we compare the visual acuity of three bandwing species: Dissosteira carolina, Arphia pseudonietana, and Spharagemon equale. To measure acuity in these species we used a modified radius of curvature estimation (RCE) technique. Visual acuity was significantly coarser 1) in males compared to females, 2) parallel to the horizon compared to the perpendicular, and 3) in S. equale compared to other bandwings. Unlike many insect families, body size within a species did not correlate with visual acuity. To examine the functional implications of these results, we modeled the appearance of different bandwing patterns to conspecifics. These results suggest that hind- wing patterning could only be used as a signal to conspecifics at short distances (<50cm). This study furthers the exploration of behavior and the evolution of visual systems in bandwings.

  • Thumbnail for The barrier that prevents penicillin catabolism genes from transferring from ABC 07 to ADP1
    The barrier that prevents penicillin catabolism genes from transferring from ABC 07 to ADP1 by Bao, Yiqiao

    There are hundreds of phylogenetically diverse soil bacteria with the capacity to grow on a wide range of antibiotics as their sole carbon source. Some of these bacteria are closely related to human pathogens. The present study evaluates whether there is a barrier that might prevent the penicillin catabolism genes from transferring from the penicillin catabolism strain ABC 07 to the Acinetobacter baylyi strain ADP1. Because of its natural competence and its close relation to the human pathogen Acinetobacter baumanni, ADP1 is an ideal model for the current investigation. ADP1 was transformed with the genomic DNA of ABC 07, Sau3A1 genomic libraries, and Sau3A1 genomic plasmid libraries to test this barrier. None of these methods transformed ADP1 to be a strain with a penicillin catabolism phenotype. In this regard, recent research (Walsh et al., 2013) challenges the concept of bacteria subsisting on antibiotics and argues that the SCS selective medium used in the original study (Dantas et al, 2008) contains 15 mg/L EDTA, which could be the carbon source that sustained the growth of these “antibiotic-eaters.” The present study also tested and verified that ABC 07 can subsist on penicillin, but not EDTA. These results suggest that antibiotic catabolism genes cannot be readily transferred from antibiotic catabolism strains to other bacteria. Future research related to antibiotic catabolism phenotype should attempt computational approaches and system-level molecular methods to identify antibiotic catabolism genes and metabolic pathways before further characterizing their clinical and ecological implications.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Calligraphy - detail of signature and seal.
    Fan painting - Calligraphy - detail of signature and seal. by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983)

    Fourteen uneven lines alternating between lines of five and lines of two characters, written in a regular-running script. The last line in slightly smaller characters contains the date and signature. From the signature, this is another work by the famous twentieth century artist Zhang Daqian. The signature here is very close to that on the other fan in the collection, and that one has the notation "man of Shu" or Sichuan, the province from which Daqian came. If this fan were to be by Daqian, it would be the latest dated work in the collection, by far. There were other artists with the pen name Daqian, but none of them were from Sichuan. Ultimately, it should be possible to compare this with other works by the artist done near that date to determine its authenticity. The calligraphic style immediately calls to mind the characters of the Song artist Huang Tingjian, who has always been an icon of the expressive possibilities of the brush. The long wavering terminations of strokes that extend beyond the normal bounds of the calligraphy were his trademark. If the date is correct, this would be the work of a younger Daqian, and one could critique the piece by noting that the expressive possibilities of Huang Tingjian's calligraphy are a bit overused here. This artist creates the long terminations whereever possible; Tingjian did it rarely, only for effect. The last line, "To wash one's ears it is not necessary to use the water from a Bodhisattva's spring" is interesting. The meaning, I would guess, is that ordinary water is as good for washing as that blessed by a deity.

  • Thumbnail for Repeating earthquakes in the Darfield region, New Zealand
    Repeating earthquakes in the Darfield region, New Zealand by Armstrong, Ryan Scott

    The M 7.1 3 September 2010 Darfield, New Zealand, earthquake ruptured a previously unknown fault system. Fault-slip models (e.g., Beavan et al., 2010; Holden et al., 2011; Eliott et al., 2012) have been calculated using InSAR, GPS, and seismic data. They show that although the rupture initiated on a SW-dipping thrust fault, the majority of fault motion was right-lateral strike slip from the surface to 10 km depth. The InSAR data used in the geodetic model provide the cumulative ground motion due to the Darfield earthquake and some early aftershocks, while the seismic model utilizes waveforms for the mainshock, limiting the solution to slip during the initial rupture. This study utilizes cross correlation methods to identify repeating earthquakes within continuous seismic waveforms from the Canterbury region, New Zealand between September 2010 and January 2011. Repeating events indicate portions of fault segments that are not locked, possibly due to high pore pressure (Bisrat et al. 2012), and thus can indirectly identify locked areas of fault segments. Despite the fact that our method initially recognized 8 groups of potentially repeating earthquakes, a cross correlation check at a second station indicates that none of the identified earthquakes are truly repeating earthquakes. Our method provides negative results, which indicate repeating earthquakes may not be present within the Darfield fault complex, although it remains unclear whether they are truly absent or the methodology is not sufficient to detect them. While our method failed to identify repeating earthquakes, it possibly identified clusters of events with similar focal mechanisms In theory, our study shows a direct relationship between the compactness of a cluster and the similarity of focal mechanisms.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Calligraphy
    Fan painting - Calligraphy by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983)

    Fourteen uneven lines alternating between lines of five and lines of two characters, written in a regular-running script. The last line in slightly smaller characters contains the date and signature. From the signature, this is another work by the famous twentieth century artist Zhang Daqian. The signature here is very close to that on the other fan in the collection, and that one has the notation "man of Shu" or Sichuan, the province from which Daqian came. If this fan were to be by Daqian, it would be the latest dated work in the collection, by far. There were other artists with the pen name Daqian, but none of them were from Sichuan. Ultimately, it should be possible to compare this with other works by the artist done near that date to determine its authenticity. The calligraphic style immediately calls to mind the characters of the Song artist Huang Tingjian, who has always been an icon of the expressive possibilities of the brush. The long wavering terminations of strokes that extend beyond the normal bounds of the calligraphy were his trademark. If the date is correct, this would be the work of a younger Daqian, and one could critique the piece by noting that the expressive possibilities of Huang Tingjian's calligraphy are a bit overused here. This artist creates the long terminations whereever possible; Tingjian did it rarely, only for effect. The last line, "To wash one's ears it is not necessary to use the water from a Bodhisattva's spring" is interesting. The meaning, I would guess, is that ordinary water is as good for washing as that blessed by a deity.

  • Thumbnail for Streetside stall selling religious decorations
    Streetside stall selling religious decorations

    Many such stalls in Koyasan sell evergreen fronds to people for embellishing their family altars at home where ancestors are revered. This one is in a spot very characteristic of Koyasan: the old stone wall behind and the line of toriis heading up a path to the left bespeak the charm of this old mountain town (founded in the early 9th century) with its limitless reminders of traditional religion.

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Banner on main gate of Ikuta Jinja
    Ikuta Jinja - Banner on main gate of Ikuta Jinja

    This banner advertises an upcoming festival, on July 15th, that will feature the lighting of a thousand lanterns, the rope circle through which one may walk (chinuwa kuguri), and a purification rite aimed at "countering obstacles, eliminating illness and vanquishing troubles."

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Sub-temple
    Hasedera - Sub-temple

    Yet another of the many sub-temples in the complex.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Main gate
    Hasedera - Main gate

    An alternative view of the main gate from a garden within the temple complex.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Monks walking  up  stairs
    Hasedera - Monks walking up stairs

    Hasedera is an active training ground for Shingon Buddhist priests, who can be seen moving about the complex. Their prayers can often be heard resounding within many of the temple buildings, in which groups will chant in a hauntingly beautiful traditional manner.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Bell tower at top of stairs
    Hasedera - Bell tower at top of stairs

    This bell tower adorns the top of the stairway. One enters this central plaza from the stairway just beneath the bell. The main hall stands just to the right (behind the palm tree). The white spherical lanterns are visible there. From this plaza, the views of surrounding hills are superb.

  • Thumbnail for Kashima Miya - Main hall
    Kashima Miya - Main hall

    The path leads to steps upon which the worshipper will stand, drop a coin or two into the offerings box (from the ground up to about waist height), pull the string to jingle the little bell up tip, clap the hands to gain the attention of the kami, and then bow.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - from a bridge
    Hasedera - from a bridge

    This is a view of the Hasedera temple, on the hill, from a bridge leading to a shrine dedicated to the protecting deity of the temple.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Shrine
    Hasedera - Shrine

    Just behind the main plaza is this Shinto shrine dedicated to the local deity.

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Old tree stump enshrined
    Ikuta Jinja - Old tree stump enshrined

    An old tree stump within the Ikuta Jinja is herein celebrated by having its own enclosed space. Wrapped around it is a "himorogi," which is a rope with stylized paper strips hanging from it that traditionally demarcates any sort of sacred space. Large old trees are frequently honored in this regard; the presence of the himorogi will prompt some Japanese visitors to place their hands together and bow briefly before such a tree. This particular tree, however, is unique because it survived the ravages of war. See the explanation accompanying the photo of the wooden plaque pictured in cocrejpn0087.

  • Thumbnail for Ichi no hashi bridge entrance to Oku-no-in
    Ichi no hashi bridge entrance to Oku-no-in

    This is the bridge marking the entrance to what is often called Japan's grandest -- both largest and most magnificent -- cemetery. A two kilometer (1.3 mile) stone path through an ancient cryptomeria forest leads to the tomb of Kukai (posthumously Kobo Daishi), founder of the Shingon school and the first to found a temple at Koyasan, in 817. Throughout the forest along both sides of the path, and often up and over small hills behind the trees, are thousands upon thousands of gravestones that have been built up around Kukai's tomb over the millenia.

  • Thumbnail for Private shrine
    Private shrine

    Another family shrine in the forest of Koyasan.

  • Thumbnail for Stairs in the forest
    Stairs in the forest

    The path to Okunoin is not always level. The shifting topography makes for a more pleasurable walk.

  • Thumbnail for Toyotomi family grave site
    Toyotomi family grave site

    The marker to the right announces that this is the grave of the Toyotomi family (and that it is an historical landmark). The family refers to the descendants of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the great general who unified Japan after a long civil war just prior to the lengthy peace of the stable Tokugawa (or Edo) Period around 1600.

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Main gate of Ikuta Jinja from within
    Ikuta Jinja - Main gate of Ikuta Jinja from within

    This photo was taken from the right of the main hall.

  • Thumbnail for Shrine along the path
    Shrine along the path

    This is the same structure as in cocrejpn0163.

  • Thumbnail for Jizo with children
    Jizo with children

    The same Jizo as in cocrejpn0159.

  • Thumbnail for Famous three-in-one tree on path to Okunoin