A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology has found that parents were less likely to give their babies common names in times of economic hardship, based on baby names before, during, and after the Great Recession.Individuals and culture influence each other all the time. Important parts of culture is the importance placed on the individual versus the community, as well as economic factors like unemployment rate and income inequality. This study examined the effects of economic and cultural conditions on behavior by analyzing baby names. The percentage of babies receiving common names is indicative of a more community based mentality, whereas babies with uncommon or unique names point to individualism. Analyzing names is a useful way to examine behavior, as “naming practices are behaviors embedded with cultural values.” Naming a child not only reflects social and cultural values, but also acts as the first act of transferring one’s culture onto a new generation.There are three possible models for changes in naming over time. The first model, the Communal Deprivation model, predicts that parents will name children common names during recession years, as economic hardship decreases individualism. The second model, the Threat Model, suggests that economic hardship leads to more individualized names. Terror management theory suggests that threats (possibly including economic hardship) move people to value the parts of their culture that provide meaning. Finally, the Individualism Model suggests that increasing cultural individualism and its after-effect will extend the decline in common names into and after the recession. Share on Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Twitter Email Share The current research examined “the link between economic conditions and naming behavior by examining trends before, during, and after the Great Recession and links between economic conditions and naming behaviors over a longer time period.” The study used the names from the Social Security Administration, which has the names of 350 million American babies born between 1880 and 2015. The study controlled for immigration, both legal and illegal. Researchers took into account two states, California (where housing prices dropped) and Texas (where housing prices remained relatively stable), in order to see if there was a significant impact of economic conditions on naming, or if naming was more of a cyclical trend and not connected to the state of the economy.The study found American parents were “less likely to give their children common names during the years of the Great Recession compared to the years immediately before it, including boys’ and girls’ names at all levels of popularity.” The decline of common names was similar in both California and Texas, which were affected differently by the recession. These results are supported best by the Individualism model, as economic conditions were not the primary reason for the trends in baby names.This study suggests that naming trends are an indicator of the cultural environment in the United States, specifically the focus on individualism. Some of the trend could be attributed to the perceived threat level in terms of the economy, which could lead to parents wanting their children to stand out. One limitation of the study is the Social Security Administration database, where different spellings of names are registered as different names entirely. Even then, the need to spell a name differently is also an indicator of a desire for uniqueness.
Apr 4, 2012Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria grows to 623 suspected cases, 70 deathsA Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria that was first reported in January has increased to 623 suspected cases, with 70 deaths, including deaths in three doctors and four nurses, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today. Suspected cases have been reported in 19 of Nigeria’s 36 states. Lab tests at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Irrua Edo state have confirmed the disease in 108 patients, the WHO said. Nigeria’s federal and state governments are responding to the outbreak by enhancing surveillance for early detection, reinforcing treatment of patients, and conducting awareness campaigns, the statement said. The governments face obstacles that include ongoing security risks that limit access to some areas and shortages of resources. The WHO is not recommending any travel restrictions, but it said travelers returning from affected areas should seek medical care if they experience such symptoms as fever, malaise, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. Lassa fever, one of the viral hemorrhagic fevers, is endemic in West Africa. People usually get infected through exposure to rodents in the Mastomys genus, the WHO said. Case-fatality rates for hospitalized Lassa fever patients can be as high as 15% to 25%.Apr 4 WHO statementCIDRAP overview of viral hemorrhagic feversAustralian abattoir workers test positive for H10 avian fluLow-pathogenicity H10N7 avian flu was confirmed in a 2010 outbreak at an Australian chicken farm, and H10 was subsequently confirmed in two abattoir workers who processed apparently healthy birds from the farm, according to a report in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Australian scientists detail a March 2010 outbreak on a “biosecure intensive” commercial farm in New South Wales, during which 10 to 25 chickens died per day, compared with a baseline of 2 to 6 deaths a day. Egg production fell 15%. All 10 dead and 10 live birds from an initial flock and 9 of 40 poultry in four other flocks tested positive for H10N7. Ten days after the outbreak was confirmed, three flocks from the farm that had tested negative for influenza and passed state inspection were sent to an abattoir. Within a week, seven abattoir workers showed signs of conjunctivitis; two of them had rhinorrhea, and one had a sore throat. H10 was confirmed in two of them. They had been exposed 4 to 7 days before symptom onset. No virus was cultured from these workers, but partial sequence analysis showed that the isolates were identical to the subtype H10 found in the farm’s chickens. The authors say this is the first instance to their knowledge of H10 avian flu infection in humans.Apr 2 Emerg Infect Dis reportTrial shows comparable immunogenicity for quadrivalent, trivalent flu vaccinesMedImmune’s quadrivalent (four-strain) live attenuated influenza vaccine containing two type B strains was comparable in immunogenicity and safety to trivalent live attenuated vaccines in a recent trial in children, according to a study in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the nasal-spray vaccine in February for ages 2 through 49. In the trial, children aged 2 through 17 were randomly assigned to receive either the quadrivalent vaccine or one of two trivalent vaccines. Children 9 to 17 years old received one dose, and 2- to 8-year-olds received two doses a month apart. Serum antibody responses were assessed 1 month after the single or second dose, depending on the age-group. The geometric mean titers (GMTs) of antibodies in the quadrivalent vaccine groups met the study’s predefined noninferiority margin (upper limits of the 95% confidence intervals for the ratio of quadrivalent to trivalent vaccine GMTs were no greater than 1.5). In addition, the percentages of children who had at least a fourfold rise in antibody titers (seroresponse rates) were comparable among the groups. The safety profiles of the vaccines also were similar, except that in the younger children fever was more common after the first dose in the quadrivalent group than in the trivalent groups (5.1% versus 3.1%).Mar 29 Ped Infect Dis J abstractMar 1 CIDRAP News story on FDA approval of quadrivalent vaccine
A rapid molecular test called Xpert MTB/RIF that can diagnose TB as well as rifampicin resistance in 100 minutes has been useful, with 1.1 million tests purchased by 67 low- and middle-income countries as of the end of June. The price of the test dropped 41% in August, which should speed its uptake even more, the report said. Oct 18 N Engl J Med abstract Oct 17 WHO global TB report WHO experts estimate that TB care and control interventions have saved 20 million lives over the past 17 years, according to the 272-page report. It comprehensively assesses several TB measures across 204 countries and territories in addition to covering clinical, research, and financing developments. Oct 18, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – Several developments are having an impact on reducing tuberculosis (TB) infections and deaths in several countries, but the disease’s burden is still enormous, and response to multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains slow, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday in its latest report on the global TB situation. XDR-TB researchIn a TB research development today, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine of patients with extremely drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) found that linezolid was effective when added to the patient’s existing treatment regimen. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and South Korea’s health ministry. Dr. Mario Raviglione, who directs the WHO’s Stop TB Department, said in a press release yesterday that 51 million people have been successfully treated and cared for on the basis of WHO recommendations over the past 17 years. “This milestone reflects the commitment of governments to transform the fight against TB,” he said. In 2004 the WHO first recommended that countries coordinate their TB and HIV activities, and those efforts have saved 1.3 million lives since then, according to the group’s latest estimate. It singled out Kenya and Rwanda as top performers in testing TB patients for HIV and providing antiretroviral therapy for HIV. See also: The WHO put a price tag on funding gaps for TB, one for care and control and one for research. It said that over the next 2 years $8 billion will be needed to prevent and treat the disease, but it estimates the financial shortfall at $3 billion each year. Oct 18 EurekAlert press release on N Engl J Med study New or repurposed drugs aimed at TB and MDR-TB are in clinical trials and under regulatory review, and 11 vaccines against the disease are in development, according to the WHO. New drugs, the first in 40 years, could be on the market as early as 2013. For research and development, the WHO put the funding gap at $1.4 billion per year. The number of new TB infections dropped 2.2% between 2010 and 2011, and the world is on track to reach the target of cutting the number by 50% by 2015, the WHO report said. However, in 2011 the disease caused 8.7 million new infections and 1.4 million deaths. Progress in the TB battle varied in different parts of the world, according to the WHO. For example, though disease burden dropped in all six WHO regions, the African and European regions aren’t on the path to halve TB deaths by 2015. On the other hand, the report points out that notable progress can occur even in high-burden, low-income countries such as Cambodia, which has seen a 45% decrease in prevalence since 2002. Identifying patients with MDR-TB remains a top concern, according to the report. Though the number of MDR-TB case notifications has increased in 27 countries responsible for most of those infections, the WHO projects that current efforts are only identifying 1 in 5 (19%) patients who are thought to have MDR-TB. Researchers said more studies are needed to define the role of the drug in MDR-TB and XDR-TB treatment and to identify a dose that is effective but doesn’t provoke significant side effects. After 4 months, 79% of the patients in the immediate-start group and 35% in the delayed-start group no longer tested positive for TB. After 6 months of treatment, 87% of all patients no longer tested positive. Few patients developed resistance to the drug. However, 82% of patients experienced significant adverse events, including bone marrow suppression and peripheral and optic neuropathy. In most instances, symptoms resolved after briefly stopping the drug or halving the dose. Oct 17 WHO press release The study included XDR-TB patients at two South Korean hospitals who had no response to any treatment in the 6 months before the study. Patients were randomized to immediately receive 600 mg of linezolid once a day in addition to their other treatment or to start the drug after a 2-month delay. Dr. Katherine Floyd, who coordinated the WHO report team, said in the WHO press release that the funding gap threatens TB care and prevention, especially in low-income countries.
Student loan debt is a major hurdle for beginning farmers and this legislation will serve as an incentive for farmers to enter—and stay—in the agricultural industry, and strengthen opportunities for farmers to grow successful businesses. “With the average age of farmers now nearing 60 years, and farmers over 65 outnumbering those under 35 by six-to-one, the next generation of farmers need Congress’s support to succeed,” said Martín Lemos, Interim Executive Director of Young Farmers. “Allowing student loan forgiveness for farmers and ranchers will remove a major hurdle our nation’s young farmers face. Student loan debt creates barriers to accessing loans for land, equipment, or start-up costs, all necessary for a thriving agricultural business. We are grateful for this bill’s champions, Senators Chris Murphy and Tom Udall. With the support of Congress, we will encourage those who wish to pursue a career in farming to serve their country by building a brighter future for U.S. agriculture.” Udall has fought for his entire career to direct important NRCS funds to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. With 1 in 4 producers in New Mexico considered beginning farmers, Udall’s legislation is an important step to not just entice but retain the next generation of farmers. U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News: “New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers are the lifeblood of our rural communities, and it’s vital that we make smart investments to ensure our agricultural sector remains strong and vibrant in the future. But the crushing burden of student loan debt is dragging down too many beginning farmers, and holding back young college graduates from coming home to start their own farms and ranches,” Udall said. “Our bill creates a student loan forgiveness program for beginning farmers and ranchers, making it easier for young people who are interested in farming to focus on pursuing their dreams instead of paying down a mountain of debt. I’ll keep fighting for resources to strengthen New Mexico agriculture and open doors for the next generation of farmers and ranchers to create good jobs, feed our nation, and grow our economy.” “Farmers are critical to Connecticut’s economy, and we should be doing everything possible to make it easier for anyone to enter the field. As I travel across Connecticut, I consistently hear young people tell me that they want to stay in farming, but thousands of dollars in student loan debt holds them back. This bill will incentivize Connecticut’s new farmers to plant crops, buy equipment, and grow their businesses. Farming is a public service and we should help those who want to help their communities,” Murphy said. WASHINGTON, D.C. ― As the U.S. Congress begins debate on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) reintroduced the Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers and Ranchers Act, to create a loan forgiveness program for beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as other groups such as women, veterans, and minority farmers. “This is important policy legislation to encourage our next generation of food and agriculture producers to enter into production agriculture,” said Jeff Witte, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture. “Our nation’s food security will rely on this new generation to feed our communities and provide the basis for strong rural communities.”
Rebecca L. Avitia From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced this morning that Rebecca L. Avitia will serve as his chief of staff in Washington, D.C.Avitia is a native New Mexican and will be one of three Latino chiefs of staff serving in the Senate. She is transitioning next week from her role as Heinrich’s state director.Before joining Heinrich’s state leadership team, Avitia served as the executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.“Throughout her career, Rebecca has been a strong advocate and leader committed to improving the lives of those in her community. I’m proud to have her transition to our team in D.C. and am confident she will be a great asset to the work we do every day to create opportunity across New Mexico,” Heinrich said. “I want to thank my outgoing Chief of Staff Joe Britton for his service and wish him the best of luck. I know that he will continue to make a difference in the lives of everyone he meets.”Avitia said, “I am extraordinarily excited for the work ahead and to continue onward with this incredible team. I look forward to serving Senator Heinrich and the people of New Mexico in my new role as we continue to do good for our state, our democracy, and our planet.”Avitia grew up in Albuquerque’s North Valley. She is a graduate of Eldorado High School, Trinity University and Columbia University School of Law. She was a practicing attorney in both New York and New Mexico and served as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law. Avitia also served on the Albuquerque Development Commission, Presbyterian Healthcare Services Central New Mexico Community Board of Trustees and on the board of WESST, a statewide small business incubator.
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(Patsy) Pennington (left) accepts the University of Memphis Journalism Alumni Club’s Charles E. Thornton Award on behalf of her deceased husband, D. Michael Pennington, longtime trucking industry journalist and communication professional and a 1972 UofM graduate, from Angela Golding (right), UofM Journalism Alumni Board president.The University of Memphis Journalism Alumni Club has posthumously awarded its Charles E. Thornton Award to longtime trucking industry journalist and communication professional D. Michael Pennington, in honor of the extraordinary impact he had in his field, the trucking industry and his community.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementThe award was accepted on Pennington’s behalf by his widow, Patricia, at the University of Memphis Journalism Alumni Club’s annual awards dinner, held Oct. 14 at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn.Pennington, who graduated from the University of Memphis in 1972, passed away unexpectedly last December. Honored with numerous awards during his lifetime, Pennington spent 25 years in corporate communications and 13 years as a business magazine journalist, editor and photographer, primarily in trucking and affiliated industries. After his corporate life, he established PenNotes LLC to continue his client counseling and his involvement in the industry. His client list included Meritor Inc. (formerly Rockwell Automotive), Meritor WABCO, Maxion Wheels and Cummins Filtration.Highly respected in his field, Pennington devoted his time to many organizations, including the American Trucking Association (ATA), Act 1 (the Allied Committee for the Trucking Industry), Trucker Buddy International, the Truck Writers of North America and numerous industry projects for Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week and New Aftermarket Leaders of Tomorrow.First Pennington Mentor Award PresentedDr. David Arant (left), Chair of the University of Memphis Journalism Department, presents Dr. Sandy Utt (center) with the 2015 D. Mike Pennington Award for Outstanding Mentoring, as Mike Pennington’s widow, Patricia (Patsy) Pennington (right) looks on.Also announced at the awards dinner was the first recipient of the mentoring award created in his honor by the University of Memphis with the support of Pennington’s family and friends. Dr. Sandy Utt was the inaugural recipient of the D. Mike Pennington Award for Outstanding Mentoring in the Department of Journalism. Having joined the university as an advertising professor in 1984, Dr. Utt serves as assistant chair of the department and advises all students entering the department. Her nomination by students cited her down-to-earth, approachable style; her penchant for guiding and challenging students to do their best and her ability to talk to students on their own level.The award was established earlier this year as both the first-ever mentoring award in the university’s College of Communication and Fine Arts and the first faculty award in Journalism. Created to honor Pennington’s dedication to helping others and his loyalty to his alma mater, the D. Mike Pennington Award for Outstanding Mentoring will annually recognize a University of Memphis Journalism faculty member who has been an exemplary guide to students during their learning experience. Current students, faculty and alumni may nominate faculty for this award.AdvertisementContributions to the Pennington Award may be made online at memphis.edu/give. Select “I would like to give to a fund not listed here,” which then provides a line to enter “Mike Pennington Award.” Checks made payable to the University of Memphis Foundation should be mailed to Department 238, The UofM Foundation, P.O. Box 1000, Memphis, TN 38148.
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Guidance system Ready Kits are offered for 14 to 30 t excavatorsDoosan has announced that it will supply Leica, Trimble and Xsite 2D and 3D Ready Kits to meet the increasing demand for machine guidance systems.The technology is compatible with the company’s 14 to 30 t range of wheeled and crawler excavators and can be ordered from its factory through Doosan Smart Solutions. While the Ready Kits can differ depending on the model and region concerned, Doosan said its collaboration with the system manufacturers means that customers in Europe will be able to order excavators with the kits pre-installed.According to the company its offering of Ready Kits, which are fitted on customer machines at its Customisation Centre in the Netherlands, enable faster and simplified installation of the guidance systems with no welding, repainting, drilling or assembly required.Doosan said its service offers flexibility as customers are not obliged to install the complete 2D or 3D system, but can add it later if they choose.The machine guidance systems give operators access to design surfaces, grades and alignments on a display inside the excavator cab. Using GNSS, GPS, laser, sonic or total station technology, the systems accurately position the blade or bucket in real time, which reduces costs related to material overages and errors and improves productivity, fuel consumption and efficiency. #*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#