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Active Ageing Index, New Emphasis Within the Same Methodology. The Role of the Internet

Abstract

Our paper focuses on the role of the Internet in older people’s lives and suggests that the weighting given to Internet usage should be increased when calculating the Active Ageing Index (AAI). We analyse the results of two weighting systems, which differ from the original one created by an expert group. First, we use the coefficients calculated by Djurovic et al. (2017), then create our own system in which the Internet usage component is given a very high coefficient value, ceteris paribus. Evaluations are done for AAI 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. The rank order of countries differs in the alternative weighting systems, but these differences are slight, and decrease year by year, suggesting the robustness of the original weighting system. This also shows that older EU citizens are using the Internet more and more, and that Internet usage is becoming a category similar to basic literacy. Finally, we recommend that AAI include a more sophisticated indicator of Internet usage instead of just asking respondents if they have used the Internet at least once a week in the previous three months.

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Assessment of the Insolvency Risk in Companies Listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange

Abstract

The present study presents, from the theoretical and pragmatic point of view, 6 of the established score models regarding the assessment of the insolvency risk, belonging to the Anglo-Saxon, Continental and Romanian schools. The research sample is made up of 26 companies belonging to the hotel industry and restaurants, listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. The research was carried out over a period of 11 years (2007-2017). Following the application of the score models, it was found that during the period covered by the research, a number of 14 companies had a relatively high insolvency risk and 12 of them had a relatively low insolvency risk.

Open access
Degradation - Prediction Models of the Railway Track Quality

Abstract

During the railway track life, its operational quality is represented by the key information on the extent and method of its degradation, applying indicators which were appropriately selected, surveyed and evaluated within the diagnostic activities. The paper describes methods and procedures of experimental verification, i. e. obtaining and evaluating operational quality indicators, representing design parameters and determining its quality. Determining the dependence of the values of different quality indicators on time or place of measurement allows to construct models of structure behaviour over its lifetime and to predict the time and place when and where the permissible boundary values of the qualitative indicators can occur. The paper presents the models prepared for monitored experimental sections in the Slovak Railways (ŽSR) network.

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Developing immigrant integration policy in the Irish public sector: An international human rights and public sector duty approach

Abstract

This paper outlines a new approach to the development of immigrant integration policy in Ireland that is informed by an international human rights and public sector duty perspective. Based on a comprehensive review, the paper outlines the current state of immigrant integration policies in the Irish public sector, highlighting the limited awareness of this issue among public bodies. It also provides practical guidance for public bodies wishing to develop more effective immigrant integration policies, drawing from international human rights treaties and from examples of policy development in Ireland. Given the reality that Ireland is now a well-established immigrant-receiving country, the paper concludes that Ireland urgently needs a coherent and comprehensive approach to the development of immigrant integration policy. A human-rights-based approach offers such a method and would allow Ireland, through its public sector, to become a leader in immigrant integration policy development. This approach requires the elaboration of specific integration policies in order to ensure that migrant populations can practically access fundamental human rights such as housing, education, healthcare and employment.

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Effect of Eccentricity in Sandy Slope of Laterally Loaded Single Pile

Abstract

An experimental study was proposed to understand the behaviour of single pile in sloping ground with various eccentricity. Cohesionless soil was used for conducting experiments with a horizontal ground and with a slope of 1V:2H. With calculated stiffness factor (T) as 92 mm, the eccentricity was varied as 0T, 0.5T and 1T. The lateral capacity of the pile in horizontal and sloping ground condition decreases with increase in eccentricity; the increase in lateral capacity was linear too. The bending moment increases with increase in load; but the depth of maximum bending moment was 0.15 m for 0T and 0.5T of eccentricity. For 1T of eccentricity, the depth of maximum bending moment varied to 0.07 m from the point of load. An equation was proposed to calculate the maximum bending moment of the pile for any eccentricity for a slope of 1V:2H, which is the governing factor for pile designing.

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Effects of Energy Use on Socioeconomic Predictors in Africa: Synthesizing Evidence

Abstract

The paper examined the effects of energy use on socioeconomic predictors in Africa. The Gary Becker hypothesis and the Michael Grossman demand for healthcare model were used to interact with energy related predictors on socioeconomic essentials. Our experimented model foretold the urgent need for government intervention programmes to resolve the energy misery in the African region.

Open access
The Feasibility Study of the Use of Briny Groundwater and Zeolite in the Plain Concrete Mix Design in the Different Cement Contents

Abstract

The present study was conducted to investigating interaction of three types of mixing water (tap water, briny groundwater and a mixture of their equal ratio), four levels of cement substitution with zeolite in the concrete mix design (0 %, 10 %, 20 % and 30 %), two levels of cement content (250 and 350 kg·m−3) and seven curing ages (3, 7, 28, 56, 90, 180 and 365 days) on compressive strength of concrete. In order to statistical analysis of data - a means that was not employed in the similar studies - the study was designed as a factorial experiment based on the completely randomized design with 168 treatments and three replications (totally 504 concrete specimens). The results of the analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that neither of the two-, three- and four-way interactions of curing age with other factors were not statistically significant. This means that the gain rate of compressive strength of concrete by time was significantly similar in each possible combination of cement content, water type, and zeolite percentage. However, regarding the significant two- and three-way interactions of other studied factors, more attention should be paid to the results of these interactions than the simple effects of factors. Accordingly, based on the means comparison test (least significant difference: LSD), simultaneous use of unconventional waters with zeolite up to 20 % in the cement content 350 kg·m−3 can be recommended in terms of compressive strength of concrete.

Open access
The Impact of Gender on Food Waste at the Consumer Level

Abstract

Food waste is one of the main contributors to economic disparities, social inequalities and environmental pollution. Numerous studies have sought to understand the drivers of food waste at various stages in the food supply chain, including the consumption stage. Based on a quantitative analysis of 252 Romanian consumers, the present study shows that gender is an important factor that affects the individuals’ attitudes and behaviours in regard to food and a potential factor that could affect the amount of food wasted. The study found that attitudes towards food waste evolve as individuals age, and that, at each stage, women tend to be more concerned about the negative impact of food waste on social equity or the family budget than men. In addition, women were found to display behaviours in regard to food acquisition and preparation that can result in higher food waste in a larger degree than men, even though the study found no differences in the actual amount of food wasted by the two genders. The results of the study are important because they show the need to adapt the public awareness campaigns on food waste on the particularities of each gender across several age groups.

Open access
Improving the Properties of Clay Soil by Using Laterite Soil for Production of Bricks

Abstract

Nowadays, the utilization of locally accessible materials is a crucial stage for sustainable, economical building material on the earth’s surface. Within them, brick is one of the commonly used construction materials around Jimma town due to the availability of clayed soil. Nevertheless, brick produced by small micros unskilled enterprises rather than by traditional methods, its quantity was small, and its quality was unsatisfactory because it can easily break, and it has high water-absorbing conduct. The purpose of the investigation was to improve the properties of clayed soil properties by using laterite soil for the manufacturing of bricks for masonry units. In order to achieve this, research used non-probability sampling techniques to collect samples in Jimma area. Then, the collected samples prepared for different laboratory tests and by partially replacing literate soil by 5 %, 10 %, 15 % and 20 % on a clayed soil in order to get optimum property by different mix ratio for different laboratory tests results indicated showed that the lightweight bricks could be made from the approach of this study without any deterioration in the quality of bricks.

Additionally, the compressive strength of the blocks optimum at 15 % lateritic soil replaces in clayed soil contents. The optimum firing temperature furnace at a duration burning of brick was at 1000 °C for 5hrs. It has shown that bricks prepared of clay-laterite earth capable of high resisting capacity rather than for beauty.

Open access
Investigation of the Elastic Modulus of Polymer Sleepers Under a Quasistatic and Cyclic Loading

Abstract

In ballasted track, the wheel load is transmitted to the subgrade via sleepers commonly made of impregnated wood, prestressed concrete, steel or recently developed polymer sleepers. Mentioned material types of sleepers are characterized by different elastic moduli being a key parameter in any numerical model. Hence, this paper aims to determine the elastic modulus of sleepers subjected to a laboratory four-point bending test. Traffic resembling load level of 60 kN adopted from a typical axle load distributed by the rails to the sleeper was applied in a quasistatic and cyclic loading. The samples included sleepers made of polymers complemented with wood and pre-stressed concrete. The results of this paper are based on the elastic modulus investigation. Main conclusions are focused on the sleeper’s elastic modulus under changing loading frequencies. Wood and prestressed concrete sleepers indicated mainly elastic behaviour resulting in a constant elastic modulus. However, polymer sleepers showed a loading frequency dependent elastic modulus as a result of their viscous elastic behaviour. Moreover, the conclusions of this paper involve E-modulus measurements of impregnated beech sleepers in order to describe their piece by piece elasticity variation due to their natural origin.

Open access