Acknowledgements

All materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.

Andy Capp cartoon: “The Boss wants us at the ground early” © Mirrorpix


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1.3.1 Systems thinking and concept

Much can be said about systems thinking. However it is worth reiterating some key points here as they are central to understanding the purpose of the diagrams discussed later in this section.

The word system is one that is in regular everyday use. People talk, for example, about ‘the social security system’ and the ‘telephone system’. Gamblers boast about ‘having a system’ for winning at roulette. Young people talk about being ‘against the system’.

The trouble with
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1.2.8 Working with other people's diagrams – reading diagrams

Reading diagrams is an equally useful skill to that of drawing diagrams. Not only does it help you understand what other people are trying to convey, it also helps you be critical of the diagrams you draw yourself. In some cases diagrams are used to make the text look pretty or appealing and do not add to the understanding of the reader (hopefully not the case with the diagrams here!). Even when they are used more effectively there is a need to be critical of what information is being conveye
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5.1 Introduction

Water for public supply can be obtained from underground sources by wells sunk into aquifers, or from surface sources such as purpose-built reservoirs or lakes (collecting rainwater run-off or water from streams) and rivers. The safety of the water is of utmost concern – several million people die each year after consuming contaminated water. The primary aim in water treatment is the elimination of any pathogenic micro-organisms present. All the above-mentioned sources can be subject to pol
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2.5 Corrosion processes: galvanic series

A similar concept to the electrochemical series that has been used by engineers for many years is the galvanic series (one example of which is shown in Table 2: here the list should be read down the columns rather than across the rows). It ranks metals and alloys in order of reactivity or
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2.4 Corrosion processes: galvanic corrosion

When two dissimilar metals are in contact, or in close proximity with a conducting fluid in between, an electrochemical cell can be formed that leads to the more reactive metal becoming an anode and the less reactive metal a cathode.

This kind of corrosion is known as galvanic corrosion. It is not uncommon, since metals are often coated with others of different E0, and different metals are often in close contact with a common electrolyte.

One of the earlie
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2.3 Corrosion processes

For many materials, degradation processes are simply one or a series of chemical reactions that act to erode or deteriorate the material. The deterioration of metals is a little more complex than that of non-metals because metals are electrical conductors. Local electrochemical cells freq
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1.3 Environmental factors

I indicated earlier that many failures occur after a product has been in service for some time: such as the wear of a car tyre, or corrosion of the car body itself. It is also possible for components to fail because of a combination of a manufacturing defect with the applied loading or with the environmental conditions during use. Author(s): The Open University

5.2 The ‘answer’ in your dictionary

Exercise 9

Please now look at the definition of ‘religion’ given in your dictionary.

  1. Do you think that the definition is going to help you when deciding what is or is not religion? Please give
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5.1 Revolutionary calendar and metric system

We considered earlier the universalist principles of 1789 deriving from the Enlightenment that inspired the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the redivision of France into departments. As the dominant group in the Convention by 1793, the Jacobins regarded themselves as mandated to enact the ‘general will’ of the people in a sense inspired by Rousseau: not as the aggregate weight of the individual aspirations of 28 million Frenchmen, but as the expression of that which, as virtuous men
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Introduction

This case study looks at Aberdulais Falls near Neath, South Wales. This is a place of great natural beauty, but also an important industrial heritage site. The course considers the key issues affecting the decision-making of the bodies which are responsible for looking after our heritage. For example, who decides what should be preserved from the past as our heritage, who is this heritage for, and how should it be presented and explained? In this case study, we examine the heritage debates ar
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1.3 Napier's approach to logarithms

Napier's major and more lasting invention, that of logarithms, forms a very interesting case study in mathematical development. Within a century or so what started life as merely an aid to calculation, a set of ‘excellent briefe rules’, as Napier called them, came to occupy a central role within the body of theoretical mathematics.

The basic idea of what logarithms were to achieve is straightforward: to replace the wearisome task of multiplying two numbers by the simpler task
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1.2 Napier's bones

Before pursuing who logarithms were for (and what they are), we first look briefly at another of Napier's computational aids. For in the years following his death, it was in fact his numerating rods, the so-called Napier's bones, that were more widely known and used. These consisted of the columns of a multiplication table inscribed on rods, which could make the multiplying of two numbers easier by setting down the partial products more swiftly. This simple contrivance was derived from
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1.1 Background to Napier and his work

For many years, John Napier (1550–1617) spent his leisure time devising means for making arithmetical calculations easier. Just why a Scots laird at the turn of the seventeenth century should have thus devoted the energies left over from the management of his estates remains a puzzle. Up to the publication of his description of logarithms in 1614, three years before his death, Napier was best known to the world for his Protestant religious treatise A plaine discovery of the whole Revelat
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should:

  • understand the significance of John Napier's contributions to mathematics;

  • give examples of the factors that influenced Napier's mathematical work.


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4 Conclusion

The biographical monograph is probably one of the best ways of writing appealing and accessible art history. Helen Langdon's Caravaggio is an attractive and well-written narrative of the life and work of an important and allegedly infamous artist. We learn about a set of artworks in a particular context and at the same time get to know a ‘new friend’ whose personality and environment seem to speak through the illustrations. The biographical structure is also a convenient way of con
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3.4 Further reading

Baxandall, M. (1985) Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Interpretation of Pictures, New Haven and London, Yale University Press.

Olin, M. (1996) ‘Gaze’ in Shiff, R. and Nelson, R.S. (eds) Critical Terms for Art History, Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press, pp. 208–19.


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Introduction

This unit looks at a selection of short poems in German that were set to music by Franz Schubert (1797–1828) for a single voice with piano, a genre known as ‘Lieder’ (the German for ‘songs’). Once they became widely known, Schubert's Lieder influenced generations of songwriters up to the present day. This unit discusses a choice of Schubert's settings of Goethe's poems, and using recordings, the poems (in German with parallel translations into English) and the some music scores. You
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9 Metre

As we have seen, scansion is the act of mapping out stress patterns in order to ascertain the metre (rhythm). In the accentual-syllabic system, the dominant tradition in English, both accents (stresses) and syllables are measured and counted. In accentual metre, the stresses are counted and the syllables can vary. In syllabic metre, the syllables are counted, while the stresses can vary.

Here is pentameter, the line of f
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1 What is poetry?: an introduction

Poems, unlike crosswords, don't have a straightforward solution. In fact, a careful examination of the clues laid by the poet may lead to more questions than answers. Let's start this unit, then, with a question: is poetry simply about expressing feelings? People do turn to poetry in extremis. Prison inmates, often famously, have expressed loneliness and communicated with absent loved ones through poetry. Maybe this accounts for the egalitarian view often held of poetry – a view which doesn
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