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Microbiota are "ecological communities of commensal and pathogenic microorganisms" found in and on all multicellular organisms studied to date from plants to animals. Microbiota includes bacteria, protists and viruses. Microbiota have been found to be crucial for immunologic and metabolic homeostasis of their host; the synonymous term microbiome describes either the collective genomes of the microorganisms that reside in an environmental niche or the microorganisms themselves. The microbiome and host emerged during evolution as a synergistic unit from epigenetics and genetic characteristics, sometimes collectively referred to as a holobiont. All plants and animals, from simple life forms to humans, live in close association with microbial organisms. Several advances have driven the perception of microbiomes, including: the ability to perform genomic and gene expression analyses of single cells and of entire microbial communities in the disciplines of metagenomics and metatranscriptomics databases accessible to researchers across multiple disciplines methods of mathematical analysis suitable for complex data setsBiologists have come to appreciate that microbes make up an important part of an organism's phenotype, far beyond the occasional symbiotic case study.

Commensalism, a concept developed by Pierre-Joseph van Beneden, a Belgian professor at the University of Louvain during the nineteenth century is central to the microbiome, where microbiota colonize a host in a non-harmful coexistence. The relationship with their host is called mutualistic when organisms perform tasks that are known to be useful for the host, when disadvantageous to the host. Other authors define a situation as mutualistic where both benefit, commensal, where the unaffected host benefits the symbiont. A nutrient exchange may be bidirectional or unidirectional, may be context dependent and may occur in diverse ways. Microbiota that are expected to be present, that under normal circumstances do not cause disease, are deemed normal flora or normal microbiota; the initial acquisition of microbiota in animals from mammalians to marine sponges is at birth, may occur through the germ cell line. In plants, the colonizing process can be initiated below ground in the root zone, around the germinating seed, the spermosphere, or originate from the above ground parts, the phyllosphere and the flower zone or anthosphere.

The stability of the rhizosphere microbiota over generations depends upon the plant type but more on the soil composition, i.e. living and non living environment. Clinically, new microbiota can be acquired through fecal microbiota transplant to treat infections such as chronic C. difficile infection. Consensus exists among evolutionary biologists that one should not separate an organism's genes from the context of its resident microbes; the human microbiota includes bacteria, fungi and viruses. Micro-animals which live on the human body are excluded; the human microbiome refers to their genomes. Humans are colonized by many microorganisms; the Human Microbiome Project sequenced the genome of the human microbiota, focusing on the microbiota that inhabit the skin, nose, digestive tract, vagina. It reached a milestone in 2012. Amphibians have microbiota on their skin; some species are able to carry a fungus named Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which in others can cause a deadly infection Chytridiomycosis depending on their microbiome, resisting pathogen colonization or inhibiting their growth with antimicrobial skin peptides.

In mammals, herbivores such as cattle depend on their rumen microbiome to convert cellulose into proteins, short chain fatty acids, gases. Culture methods cannot provide information on all microorganisms present. Comparative metagenomic studies yielded the surprising result that individual cattle possess markedly different community structures, predicted phenotype, metabolic potentials though they were fed identical diets, were housed together, were functionally identical in their utilization of plant cell wall resources. Mice have become the most studied mammalian regarding their microbiomes; the gut microbiota have been studied in relation to allergic airway disease, gastrointestinal diseases and diabetes. Perinatal shifting of microbiota through low dose antibiotics can have long-lasting effects on future susceptibility to allergic airway disease; the frequency of certain subsets of microbes has been linked to disease severity. The presence of specific microbes early in postnatal life, instruct future immune responses.

In gnotobiotic mice certain gut bacteria were found to transmit a particular phenotype to recipient germ-free mice, that promoted accumulation of colonic regulatory T cells, strains that modulated mouse adiposity and cecal metabolite concentrations. This combinatorial approach enables a systems-level understanding of microbial contributions to human biology, but other mucoide tissues as lung and vagina have been studied in relation to diseases such as asthma and vaginosis. Insects have their own microbiomes. For example, leaf-cutter ants form huge underground colonies harvesting hundreds of kilograms of leaves each year and are unable to digest the cellulose in the leaves directly, they maintain fungus gardens as the colony's primary food source. While the fungus itself does not digest cellulose, a microbial community containing a diversity of bacteria is doing so. Analysis of the microbial population's genome revealed many g

Warship (band)

Warship was a post-hardcore band formed in Long Island in 2008. Former From Autumn to Ashes members Francis Mark and Rob Lauritsen formed the band following the From Autumn to Ashes' announced indefinite hiatus on June 9, 2008. Mark chose the name Warship, which came from an instance in 2007 when he was creating paintings on blank worship candles, a friend questioned what he was doing. Mark replied with "making worship candles", the friend believed Mark was creating candles with actual warships depicted on them. Mark explains, "This led me to thinking about the relationship between the two. How discouraging it is when'worship' begets'warships.'" Warship debuted two songs "Toil" and "Wounded Paw" available on their Myspace, shortly after opening the page. The band has finished recording their debut release with producer Andrew Schneider in a New York studio; the album, entitled Supply and Depend, was confirmed for release on Vagrant Records on November 4, 2008. A track listing, album art, information on the album can be viewed on the Vagrant Records website.

On June 26, the band announced its North American tour which would run from August 20 until September 14. Warship played with Reggie and the Full Effect with Francis Mark on Vocals, Rob Lauritsen on Guitar, Darren Simoes of The Bled on Bass, friend Greg March on drums. On March 10, 2009 lead singer and drummer Francis Mark announced that his collaboration with Rob Lauritsen had come to an end, stated that Warship was now a trio: "Two weeks before the tour started my collaborative efforts with Rob Lauritson came to a grinding halt and in the short time I reinvented Warship as a trio with Tom Tierney on guitar and Sean Auer on bass." Rob Lauritsen is no longer a touring member of the band. Francis Mark announced on that same day that he was working on a European tour:"I'm working on a full tour of Europe that will be announced as soon as all of the details are settled." Indeed, this special tour started on May 28, in which the band toured Scotland, England and Germany. December 30, 2009 Francis Mark put this on the band's official Myspace Blog: What is happening with Warship?

Hello, I've gotten a bunch of messages over the last few months with people asking if this is still a band and i apologize for leaving everyone guessing. I didn't know how to respond because when I thought about it I'm not sure if you could call what we did a "band". We had four different bass players, three drummers and three guitar players. Rob and I went into the studio and recorded a full length having never played a show and we hoped to fill out the rest of the band after the fact but that never fell into place. We were lucky and grateful to play with so many awesome musicians but it was stressful and unstable wondering what the cast was going to be as tours approached. So many things kept working against us; some tours came up which Rob could not do and I stubbornly expected him to let all other things in his life fall by the wayside to try to keep Warship on track. Of course this was unreasonable and nearly ended our friendship altogether. With 50% of the creative force of Warship no longer involved I tried to keep it going until summer 09, when I returned from an challenging tour of Europe and my father was in a near fatal motorcycle accident.

I spent a lot of time in New York after that with my family and didn't think much about music for a little while. I'll try to keep this short because I know most are only interested in a yes or no answer as to whether or not Warship is still a band. A band? No. We will never be an active touring band again. Will we make music again? Who knows. I love recording. I would stay in the studio recording new things all year. Never don't hold your breath either. Whatever happens and Depend is something I'm glad we did and proud to have been a part of. At least you'll have that forever. Peace in the new decade, FM Francis Mark – lead vocals, drums Tom Tierney – guitar Sean Auer – bass Rob Lauritsen – guitar, bass Darren Simoes – bass Greg March – drums Warship interview on

Serfdom Patent (1781)

The Serfdom Patent of 1 November 1781 aimed to abolish aspects of the traditional serfdom system of the Habsburg Monarchy through the establishment of basic civil liberties for the serfs. The feudal system bound farmers to inherited pieces of land and subjected them to the absolute control of their landlord; the landlord was obligated to provide protection, in exchange for the serfs' labor and goods. The Serfdom Patent, issued by the enlightened absolutist Emperor Joseph II, diminished the long-established mastery of the landlords; the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II ruled as co-regent of the Habsburg Monarchy with his mother, Maria Theresa, from 1765 to 1780. The empress's July Decree of 1770 granted the peasants the right to justice through royal officials rather than their lords' courts; the Patent of 1772 granted them the right to appeal to the sovereign, limited the robot to three days a week and twelve hours a day. The October Decree of 1773 capped the price of letters of release, which serfs could buy from their lords to gain their freedom.

Following her death in 1780, Joseph II pursued further liberal reforms. His policies included the 1781 Edict of Toleration, in which the Roman Catholic Emperor granted Protestant denominations more equality than in the past; this represented a tremendous change from the Catholic-centered policies of his mother. Joseph was an enlightened absolutist ruler, incorporating reason and Enlightenment ideals into his administration. Emperor Joseph’s enlightened despot contemporaries, Catherine the Great of Russia and Frederick the Great of Prussia, both claimed to detest feudalism yet chose to appease their noble classes by strengthening the serfdom system during their years in power. Author T. K. E. Blemming describes the rulers' compromises, arguing that "in exchange for absolute power at a national level it was necessary to hand over to them absolute power on their estates." Joseph refused to give in to the nobles’ demands, which would soon create difficulties in the implementation of his decrees.

Much of the Habsburg economy was based on agriculture in the 18th century. The nobles and clerics were traditionally exempt from taxes, the burden fell on the peasants. After paying dues to the landlord, the serfs were unable to create high tax revenues for Joseph's centralized state; the Emperor recognized that the abolishment of the feudal system would allow peasants to pay higher tax rates to the state. Joseph’s primary objection to feudalism was economic, but his moral objections arose from witnessing the “inhumanity of serfdom”, he abolished beatings and hoped to allow serfs to appeal court rulings to the throne following a reorganization of the landlord judicial system. The Patent was enforced differently amongst all of the various Habsburg lands; the nobility in Bohemia refused to enact its provisions, while the Transylvanian nobles refused to notify the peasants in their region about this emancipation document. The Hungarian estates claimed that their peasants were not serfs, but “tenants in fee simple, who were informed as to their rights and duties by precise contracts” and continued to restrict these “tenants”.

In contrast, the peasants of the German-speaking provinces were aided by the Patent. The 1781 Serfdom Patent allowed the serfs legal rights in the Habsburg monarchy, but the document did not affect the financial dues and the physical corvée that the serfs owed to their landlords. Joseph II recognized the importance of these further reforms, continually attempting to destroy the economic subjugation through related laws, such as his Tax Decree of 1789; this new law would have realized Emperor Joseph II’s ambition to modernize Habsburg society, allowing for the end of corvée and the beginning of lesser tax obligations. Joseph’s latter reforms were withdrawn upon his death, but the personal freedom of serfs remained guaranteed through the first half of the nineteenth century due to the consequences of the 1781 Serfdom Patent

Image derivatives

Image derivatives can be computed by using small convolution filters of size 2 x 2 or 3 x 3, such as the Laplacian, Sobel and Prewitt operators. However, a larger mask will give a better approximation of the derivative and examples of such filters are Gaussian derivatives and Gabor filters. Sometimes high frequency noise needs to be removed and this can be incorporated in the filter so that the Gaussian kernel will act as a band pass filter; the use of Gabor filters in image processing has been motivated by some of its similarities to the perception in the human visual system. The pixel value is computed as a convolution p u ′ = d ∗ G where d is the derivative kernel and G is the pixel values in a region of the image and ∗ is the operator that performs the convolution; the derivative kernels, known as the Sobel operator are defined as follows, for the u and v directions respectively: p u ′ = ∗ G and p v ′ = ∗ G where ∗ here denotes the 2-dimensional convolution operation. This operator is separable and can be decomposed as the products of an interpolation and a differentiation kernel, so that, p v ′, for an example can be written as = Farid and Simoncelli.

Propose to use a pair of kernels, one for interpolation and another for differentiation. These kernels, of fixed sizes 5 x 5 and 7 x 7, are optimized so that the Fourier transform approximates their correct derivative relationship. In Matlab code the so called 5-tap filter is And the 7-tap filter is As an example the first order derivatives can be computed in the following using Matlab in order to perform the convolution It is noted that Farid and Simoncelli have derived first derivative coefficients which are more accurate compared to the ones provided above. However, the latter are consistent with the second derivative interpolator and, are better to use if both the first and second derivatives are sought. In the opposite case, when only the first derivative is desired, the optimal first derivative coefficients should be employed. Derivative filters based on arbitrary cubic splines was presented by Hast, he showed how both first and second order derivatives can be computed more using cubic or trigonometric splines.

Efficient derivative filters need to be of odd length so that the derivative is computed for the central pixel. However, any cubic filter is fitted over 4 sample points; this is solved by a double filtering approach giving filters of size 7 x 7. The idea is to first filter by interpolation so that the interpolated value between pixels are obtained, whereafter the procedure is repeated using a derivative filters, where the centre value now falls on pixel centres; this can be proved by the associative law for convolution p u ′ = d ∗ = ∗ G Therefore the convolution kernel for computing the derivative k d using an interpolating kernel k and a derivative kernel d becomes k d = d ∗ k Also keep in mind that convolution is commutative, so that the order of the two kernels does not matter and it is possible to insert a second order derivative as well as a first order derivative kernel. These kernels are derived from the fact that any spline surface c


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Kay WalkingStick

Kay WalkingStick is a Native American landscape artist and a member of the Cherokee Nation. Her landscape paintings, executed in oil paint on wood panels include patterns based on Southwest American Indian rugs and other artworks. WalkingStick's works are in the collections of many universities and museums, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Israel Museum, the National Museum of Canada, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, she is an author and was a professor in the art department at Cornell University, where she taught painting and drawing. She has been accepted into many artist residency programs which gave her time away from teaching duties to paint. WalkingStick won many awards and in 1995 was included in H. W. Janson's History of Art, a standard textbook used by university art departments. Kay WalkingStick was born in Syracuse, New York, on March 2, 1935, the daughter of Simon Ralph Walkingstick and Emma McKaig Walkingstick. Emma was of Scottish-Irish heritage, Kay's father, was a member of the Cherokee Nation, who wrote and spoke the Cherokee language.

Ralph was born in the Cherokee Nation capital of Tahlequah and attended Dartmouth College. Kay's parents had four other children, as they raised their family Ralph Walkingstick worked in the oil fields as a geologist, he became an alcoholic. While pregnant with Kay, her mother left Oklahoma with their other children and moved to Syracuse, New York. WalkingStick grew up in Syracuse without having experienced the cultural heritage of her Cherokee ancestors, her siblings, who spent some of their childhood in Oklahoma, had a better understanding of their father's Cherokee traditions. Her mother talked about her handsome father; the family was proud to be Native Americans. Kay liked to draw from a young age. A number of other members of her family were artists. WalkingStick married R. Michael Echols in 1959, they had two children, Michael David Echols and Erica WalkingStick Echols Lowry. Michael Echols died in 1989, she is now married to artist Dirk Bach. They live in Easton, Pennsylvania. WalkingStick received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1959 from Beaver College, Pennsylvania.

Ten years she received the Danforth Foundation Graduate Fellowship for Women, attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She received her Master of Fine Arts in 1975. WalkingStick was at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire for a month-long residency in both 1970 and 1971. In July 1976 she was an artist-in-residence in Saratoga Springs, New York, at the Yaddo Artists' Colony, at Montauk, New York, in August 1983 at the William Flanagan Memorial Creative Persons Center. In 1992 she painted at the Study Center in Bellagio, Italy. In 1995 she was artist at the Vermont Studio Center for a month. In 2011, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Arcadia University, she created representational art works after college which for the next 10 years were self-described as "hard-edged" and "realistic". In graduate school during the early 1970s, her work became more abstract and were included in many New York City exhibitions, at a time when Native American artists' works were exhibited.

In graduate school she began to study Native American art and history, seeking to understand her "Indianness". WalkingStick began a series of works about the 19th-century Nez Perce "Chief Joseph" who resisted reservation life, she layered wax and acrylic paint, mixed together onto inked canvas and left the design unpainted cut to create designs. In 1978 she had a solo exhibition at Bertha Urdang Gallery. WalkingStick integrated other elements into the works, like small rocks, pieces of pottery, metal shavings, copper. Throughout the process she added paint with her hands or a knife in the areas exposed from the cut wax to create her final work. In another personal search, Walkingstick created Messages to Papa in 1974 to better understand the conflicted feelings that she had for her father; the work was a stereotypical image of a Native American dwelling, the tipi, although it was not a Cherokee structure. She used the image, as a symbol of Native Americans to people of non-native descent. In the middle of the work she hung a Cherokee language translation of the Lord's Prayer and a letter to her deceased father.

She began making abstract/landscape diptychs in 1985, for which she gained success nationally and internationally. She made an abstract work on one panel of the diptych and a representational, or realistic, image on the other, she has made landscapes of the Rockies and the Alps and of the ancient southwestern sites, Mesa Verde and Canyon De Chelly from sketches she had made during her visits there. Walkingstick said, "I do not see my paintings as landscapes, per se, but rather as paintings that describe two kinds of perception of the earth. One view is visual and fleeting and the other is abstract and everlasting; these paintings are my attempt to express the mythically inexpressible and to unify the present with eternity."After her husband died unexpectedly in 1989, she introduced waterfalls to her works, like the painting Abyss, an abstract painting with blood-red water and white foams. She said that the waterfall paintings are "a metaphor for the onrush of time and the unstoppable, ultimate destiny of our lives."

The landscape that she made in 1991, Where Are the Generations? Reflects the rugged mountains and desert of the Southwest, at night; the emptiness speaks of the toll. The words in copper repoussé affixed to the abstract side are: "In 1492 we were 20 million. Now we are 2 million. Where are the children? Where are the generat