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Al Gore has been a passionate advocate of action to halt climate change for many years. In his best-selling book, An Inconvenient Truth, he wrote about the urgent need to address the problems of climate change, presenting comprehensive facts and information on all aspects of global warming in a direct, thoughtful and compelling way, using explanatory diagrams and dramatic photos to clarify and highlight key issues.
Congregations and faith-based organizations have become key participants in America's welfare revolution. Recent legislation has expanded the social welfare role of religious communities, thus revealing a pervasive lack of faith in purely economic responses to poverty.
Charitable Choices is an ethnographic study of faith-based poverty relief in 30 congregations in the rural south. Drawing on in-depth interviews and fieldwork in Mississippi faith communities, it examines how religious conviction and racial dynamics shape congregational benevolence. Mississippi has long had the nation's highest poverty rate and was the first state to implement a faith-based welfare reform initiative. The book provides a grounded and even-handed treatment of congregational poverty relief rather than abstract theory on faith-based initiatives.
The volume examines how congregations are coping with national developments in social welfare policy and reveals the strategies that religious communities utilize to fight poverty in their local communities. By giving particular attention to the influence of theological convictions and organizational dynamics on religious service provision, it identifies both the prospects and pitfalls likely to result from the expansion of charitable choice.
A volume in Critical Constructions: Studies on Education and Society Series Editor: Curry Stephenson Malott Education has rarely been absent from local and national public discourse. Throughout the history of modern education spanning more than a century, we have as a culture lamented the failures of public schooling, often making such claims based on assumptions instead of any nuanced consideration of the many influences on teaching and learning in any child's life-notably the socioeconomic status of a student's family. School reform, then, has also been a frequent topic in political discourse and public debate. Since the mid-twentieth century, a rising call for market forces to replace government-run schooling has pushed to the front of those debates. Since A Nation at Risk in the early 1980s and the implementation of No Child Left Behind at the turn of the twenty-first century, a subtle shift has occurred in the traditional support of public education-fueled by the misconception that private schools out perform public schools along with a naive faith in competition and the promise of the free market. Political and ideological claims that all parents deserve school choice has proven to be a compelling slogan. This book unmasks calls for parental and school choice with a postformal and critical view of both the traditional bureaucratic public school system and the current patterns found the body of research on all aspects of school choice and private schooling. The examination of the status quo and market-based calls for school reform will serve well all stakeholders in public education as they seek to evaluate the quality of schools today and form positions on how best to reform schools for the empowerment of free people in a democratic society.
A theory of the equilibrium shape of crystal assuming minimal surface free energy was formulated at the beginning of the century by Wulff. Assuming that the anisotropic interfacial free energy (depending on the orientation of the interface with respect to the crystal axes) is known, the Wulff construction yields the shape of crystal in equilibrium and allows one to understand its main features. This research monograph considers the Wulff construction in the case of a two-dimensional Ising ferromagnet with periodic boundary conditions and at sufficiently low temperatures. Namely, the authors investigate the phenomenon of phase separation in a (small) canonical ensemble characterized by a fixed total spin in a finite volume. Its value is chosen to lie in the interval between the spontaneious magnetizations of pure phases. Heuristically, the main result can be stated this way: a droplet of one phase immersed in the opposite one will be formed with the separation line following with high accuracy the shape yielded by the Wulff construction. The book brings the reader through the entire development of the proof of this result.
In economics agents are assumed to choose on the basis of rational calculations aimed at the maximization of their pleasure or profit. Formally, agents are said to manifest transitive and consistent preferences in attempting to maximize their utility in the presence of several constraints. They operate according to the choice imperative: given a set of alternatives, choose the best. This imperative works well in a static and simplistic framework, but it may fail or vary when 'the best' is changing continuously. This approach has been questioned by a descriptive approach that springing from the complexity theory tries to give a scientific basis to the way in which individuals really choose, showing that those models of human nature is routinely falsified by experiments since people are neither selfish nor rational. Thus inductive rules of thumb are usually implemented in order to make decisions in the presence of incomplete and heterogeneous information sets.
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