The Milwaukee Bucks currently sit as the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference just one game ahead of the No. 7 Heat. With two games remaining in the NBA season, the Bucks are locked into a playoff spot. The only question is — where?The Bucks, Heat and Wizards are all within 1.5 games of each other, jockeying for position in the six through eight seeds of the Eastern Conference. Despite such a close race, Milwaukee is locked into a six or seven seed because of tiebreakers with the Wizards.Milwaukee’s path to the playoffs has been filled with twists and turns, from star guard Giannis Antetokounmpo being in the early MVP conversation to head coach Jason Kidd being fired midseason.At the time, Kidd’s January firing seemed to ignite a spark with the team as the Bucks went 7–1 in the first eight games under interim head Coach Joe Prunty. This was short lived — the team has gone 15–14 since their eight-game hot stretch.March Madness: Villanova, DiVincenzo dismiss Michigan for national titleSitting atop the College Basketball world for the second time in three seasons, Villanova University defeated the University of Michigan Read…If the Bucks remain at No. 6, they will face off against the Philadelphia 76ers in a first round matchup versus a fellow up and coming team. The Sixers are the hottest team in the NBA right now and are currently on a 14-game win streak despite the loss of star center Joel Embiid to a facial fracture and concussion last week. If Embiid is back for round one the combination of him and projected Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons make Milwaukee’s chances look grim in this potential matchup.The Boston Celtics have the No. 2 seed locked up in the playoffs. But after an injury to Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving there is a race for the seven seed at the bottom of the playoff standings. The Bucks would be fortunate to fall one spot in the standings and secure a matchup against an inexperienced team without their best player.The final team the Bucks might play are the Cleveland Cavaliers who are currently at the No. 4 seed but can move up to No. 3. This could be a nightmare matchup for any team in the first round as they will have to go through LeBron James. Despite the Cavs well-documented struggles this year, James will still be vying for his eighth straight NBA Finals appearance and has proven he can escalate his team to another level come playoff time.Men’s basketball: Badgers look ahead after frustrating yearUniversity of Wisconsin’s men’s basketball team’s streak of 19 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances ended last Friday with their elimination from Read…Though Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe have been reliable options this year, the Bucks have taken steps back in other areas of the roster. Thon Maker, who looked like a future All-Star last year, now sits third in the depth chart behind John Henson and Tyler Zeller. Though he’s been impressive when healthy, last season’s Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon has been out the past two months with a quad injury before returning last night against Orlando.But an interesting move the Bucks made recently was to giving Brandon Jennings a multiyear contract last week. Jennings is probably most famous for making the declaration “Bucks in six” in the 2013 NBA playoffs before facing — and ultimately getting swept by — the Miami Heat super team of James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.Jennings was impressive to begin his second stint with the Bucks, notching a near triple-double with a 16-point, 12-assist and eight-rebound game versus the Grizzlies. But after this hot start, Jennings cooled down, scoring double digits in points only once in the 14 games following his debut.Ohio State ends win streak for Badger men’s tennis, focus now shifts to Big Ten TournamentAfter an up-and-down start to the year, the University of Wisconsin men’s tennis team is starting to find its feet Read…While some may remember the “Brandon Jennings and Bucks in Six” era as one of disappointment, there was also hope. And in a sports year where backup quarterbacks can become Superbowl MVPs, why can’t Brandon Jennings hit a big shot to help the Bucks win a playoff game or series? Maybe even in game six.The Bucks last regular season game will be Wednesday, April 11 against the 76ers from Philadelphia at 7 p.m. CT.
Paraguay knocked Brazil out of the Copa America on penalties for the second successive tournament, setting up a semi-final clash against Argentina.Brazil crashed out of the 2011 competition with a penalty shootout defeat to Paraguay, and history repeated itself – as Dunga’s side failed to improve on that showing, lacking creativity and invention in the final third with Neymar missing through suspension.However, the Selecao took the lead after just 15 minutes, with Robinho finishing Dani Alves’ cross into the box from the right wing. But Paraguay restored parity after the break, with Derlis Gonzalez converting from the spot after a blatant handball inside the area by Thiago Silva.And Paraguay – who picked up their display in the second half – claimed victory and a place in the semi-finals in the penalty shootout – with Everton Ribeiro and Douglas Costa missing from the 12 yard spot as Brazil crashed out.–
It’s become increasingly common for evolutionists to explain human behavior in terms of games. Another entry in this genre was published by Science Daily, which began, “‘Game theory’ is used to predict the behaviour of individuals when making choices that depend on the choices of others. First developed as a tool for understanding economic behaviour, game theory is increasingly used in many diverse fields, ranging from biology and psychology to sociology and philosophy.” Researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Bristol devised a mathematical model and applied it to humans, in order to provide “a new explanation as to why a wide range of personality traits has evolved in humans and other social species.” Their basic idea is that if you seed the mathematical model their colleague developed with variation and monitoring by others, a diversity of selfish and cooperative individuals popped out as an artifact. In evolutionary terms, this trend is self-perpetuating: variation begets more variation, increasing the gap between those who trusted and co-operated, and those that exploited trusting individuals…. Although the model focuses on individuals, the findings have implications for understanding whole societies They are also significant because they offer an explanation as to why variation has evolved in human beings and other social species.They seem to be implying that politics, economics, law, national security, charity, and love have now all been subsumed under the game of evolution. But does a game really qualify as a scientific explanation? It seems to suffer the same flaw as natural selection: just as selection implies a selector, a game implies a game-maker who sets up the rules. Is that not what they did with their mathematical model? OK, let’s play their little game. Let’s punish these non-cooperators for exploiting the gullibility of individuals. How could they complain? We’re just more clever at the game than they are. While they are scratching their heads about our strategy, we move in for the checkmate: pointing out that, by sacrificing their own queen of rationality, they have exposed King Darwin to self-refutation. For more detail, read the entries from 10/02/2008, 06/03/2008, 05/02/2008, 04/23/2008, 03/21/2008, 03/12/2008, 02/03/2008, and 01/20/2008 – and that’s just from this year. It gets so tiring to beat the evolutionists at their own game all the time when we’re trying to get some work done.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
One of the early “amazing” stories reported in these pages concerned the startling observation that plants use a kind of “email” system in their own interplant “internet” (see 07/13/2001). What has been learned in the nine years since that story appeared? Quite a lot, and another fascinating article about plant communication appeared this week in Science Daily. Scientists at Duke, Cornell and the Universities of Helsinki and Uppsala confirmed that micro-RNAs are engaged in two-way communication as part of gene regulation between cells. A Duke team member said, “To our knowledge, this is the first solid evidence that microRNAs can move from one cell to another.” According to the article, this adds to the list of molecules involved in communication: hormones, proteins, and now micro-RNAs. The packets of information stored in these molecules regulate how tissues and organs are developed in leaves, roots and organs. Listen to one example of how proteins control a waterproofing layer:They also add a new element to the already complex interplay in Arabidopsis roots between two proteins, known as Scarecrow and Short-root, that Benfey’s team had described in earlier work. Those proteins interact and restrain one another to allow the assembly of a waterproofing layer of cells that ultimately enables plants to control precisely how much water and nutrients they take in. The researchers now show that Short-root moves from cells in the plant’s inner vasculature out into the waterproofing endodermis that surrounds it to activate Scarecrow. Together, those two transcription factors (genes that control other genes) activate microRNAs, known as MIR165a and 166b. Those microRNAs then head back toward the vascular cells, meeting and degrading another transcription factor (called Phabulosa) as well as other regulatory factors along the way.The two-way communication works across cell borders. The “internet” nature of these between-cell signals is essential for correct patterning of tissues, the article explained. Susan Haynes of NIH said, “This study provides important insight into how cells communicate positional information to orchestrate the complex process of tissue and organ development.” The article concluded by noting that the specific instances discovered here are most likely indicators of a general phenomenon that will be noticed throughout biology. Duke systems biologist Philip Benfey tacked on an evolutionary comment:He said there’s also reason to think that the specific regulatory interactions they’ve uncovered were key in the evolutionary transition from single-celled algae to land plants. “ “Formation of vascular tissue with a surrounding endodermal layer that acts as waterproofing was a key milestone in the evolution of land plants,” Benfey said. “Without a tube to conduct water, you can’t grow a tree or a sunflower.”This comment amounted to a requirement without a specification.It was really painful to reproduce Benfey’s Darwin malapropism in this otherwise fascinating entry. It’s kind of like having to endure someone telling an insensitive joke or belching during a speech. Let’s deal with it quickly and move along. This is another indiscretion from an evolutionist who has not learnt good manners. One cannot simply assume that miracles will occur on cue, simply because Mr. Darwin needs them. A single-celled alga needs a tube to conduct water. Yes, the tube needs a waterproofing layer, too. Without these requirements being met, you can’t grow a tree or sunflower. Fine; understood. But Mr. Benfey, who is going to snap his fingers and call for Tinker Bell to zap the alga with her mutation wand by your script? How many gazillion algae will have to die before one struggles to get the internet right and the email system working? Remember, you don’t believe in miracles or end-goals, so this all has to happen by an undirected process with each and every step producing survival value. LOL, LOL (Lots of Luck, Laugh out Loud). Ahem; back to our regularly scheduled celebration. Ladies and gentlemen, we call attention to this fine discovery by the teams at Duke, Cornell, Uppsala and Helsinki, and thank them for dazzling us with insights into another living design that predated our own. Here we thought we invented the internet, only to find it was there long before our feeble attempts at two-way packetized communication. My, what will we discover next!(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
4 February 2016“Twenty-two years into democracy, we have to reflect on the path we have travelled so far as a rainbow nation, how far have we gone and what the challenges are,” said Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the launch of the inaugural Anti-Racism Week. The week will run from 14 to 21 March 2016. Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa speaks about anti-racism at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on 2 February 2016. (Image: Priya Pitamber)The initiative comes from the newly established Anti-Racism Network South Africa (Arnsa) and is a mechanism to deal with racism in South Africa. Facilitated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the network was launched in November last year and is made up of approximately 80 civil society organisations and government institutions. Its aim is to tackle racism at a national level. Its slogan is simple and concise: Racism is wrong.The organisation held a press briefing to mark the launch of Anti-Racism Week at the Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Joburg on 2 February. The day coincided with the 26th anniversary of the announcement of the release of Mandela from prison.There are no more than a dozen organizations with a dedicated unit to tackle racism – @NeeshanB— ARNSA (@AntiRacismNet) February 2, 2016Causes and solutionsSouth Africa should adopt a multi-pronged approach, said the minister, to deal with racism. Mthethwa questioned what people could do if they went beyond their anger. He suggested mobilisation was the answer, and said Arnsa was an exciting initiative. “It’s one that we’ll support.”Nation-building was a project about which Mandela was passionate but we had not completed it, said the chief executive of the Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang. “Madiba helped us climb only one hill; we had to as a nation deal with our own wounds.” He said racism was entrenched in us from the times of colonialism and slavery.“While responses to racism are often seen as coming from government or corporates, there is a need to develop community responses,” Hatang noted. “One of our main goals is to uproot racism from families.“We also urge organisations to take the lead and introduce [an] Anti-Racism Week in the workplace; whether it’s staff training or a T-shirt campaign.“How wonderful it would be to go into banks or shops around the country and see employees wearing T-shirts that read: ‘Racism is wrong.’”Neeshan Balton of the Kathrada Foundation said eradicating racism was the responsibility of everyone, not only the government.We do not have dedicated material to deal with race/ racism in schools says @NeeshanB #ARNSA #AntiRacismWeek @AntiRacismNet @NelsonMandela— Kathrada Foundation (@KathradaFound) February 2, 2016“To tackle it effectively in South Africa requires consistent and sustainable anti-racism organisations and programmes nationally,” he said. “We approach this work with the realisation that it is not short-term work but must span across generations.”What you can do for Anti-Racism WeekArnsa convener Sean Moodley called on different sectors of civil society, such as faith-based organisations, municipalities, sports bodies and schools, to play a big role in the campaign by hosting activities and programmes that spoke of a non-racial South Africa.His first call to action was aimed at faith-based organisations, which, he said, already played a big role in fighting racism. “I strongly believe racism is a spiritual evil.“Over the weekend of Anti-Racism Week, from 18 to 20 March, we urge these organisations within the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Christian communities, to put a huge effort into making this an Anti-Racism Weekend,” he said. “We believe you already have the infrastructure in place to extend your reach far and wide.”Moodley called on corporate South Africa to take the week seriously and “put their money where their mouth is”.The following activities will take place during Anti-Racism Week:There’ll be an art competition for schools, nationally;Dialogues on anti-racism will take place at places of worship – churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples;Sporting bodies will be asked to dedicate all major sporting events to stand against racism;Arnsa will launch an anti-racism pledge for all South Africans to undertake;The focus for Human Rights Day on 21 March will be on anti-racism;There’ll be a national dialogue on the role white people can play in addressing racism; and,A social and traditional media campaign will focus on “Why racism hurts”.“Madiba would have said our diversity was our strength,” concluded Mthethwa. “The road to social progress is always under construction.”“Our differences are our strength as a species & as a world community” #NelsonMandela #LivingTheLegacy #Diversity pic.twitter.com/4glmwC4sor— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) February 3, 2016
brian s hall Both Sides Call It The Obama PhoneDespite the negative connotations tied to the program, do not expect the “Obama Phone” moniker to die. The term is also used by organizations promoting the Lifeline service.A website, literally, ObamaPhone.net, helps potential recipients determine if they are eligible for an “Obama Phone” and if so, how they can get a device. The site is operated by the Free Government Cell Phone Program, whose website contains multiple direct links to the carriers that provide the phones and service to end user, including SafeLink Wireless, part of Tracfone, and Assurance, a subsidiary of Virgin Mobile USA.Note: ReadWrite has reached out to both the ObamaPhone and Free Government Cellphones sites. Both have yet to respond. The phone number provided on the Free Government Cellphones site is a non-working number. Top image courtesy of the White House. Tags:#Government Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Unless you listen to conservative talk radio, you might not have heard of the so-called “Obama Phone.” (And no, it’s not a direct line to the President.)That’s likely because there’s no such thing as an “Obama Phone,” per se. Instead, “Obama Phone” is a term used both by proponents and opponents of the cellular version of the FCC’s “Lifeline” program, which provides eligible recipients with a government-subsidized, low-cost or even free telephone service. The FCC refers to the program as: “Lifeline: Affordable Telephone Service for Income-Eligible Consumers” though frequently uses only the world “Lifeline.”The Lifeline ProgramAs part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC formally authorized the Lifeline program to help defray the cost of landline phones. In 2008 – as cell phones became more capable, popular and affordable – the Lifeline program was extended to cell phones. Carriers that work with the Lifeline typically provide a cellular feature phone and 250 monthly minutes of airtime. While the specifics of the phones offered vary by carrier, the FCC says the typical subsidy averages $9.25 per month, but could cover the entire cost in some instances. Though the extension to Lifeline took place under President Bush, just prior to the election of Barack Obama, the program has grown during Obama’s Presidency, rising from $819 million in 2008 to $2.2 billion in 2012.While subsidized landlines for poor and rural dwellers was non-controversial for years, in today’s highly charged partisan political environment, subsidizing cell phones in particular has become a right-wing talking point as an example of government waste and misplaced priorities. Approximately 8 – 10 million people have signed up for the Lifeline program – mostly for landline subisidies. The revenues to support the program come via the “Universal Service Fund” which receives its funding through a fee levied by telecom carriers on landlines and cell phones – not from taxes. This fee is typically a few dollars per month, and was likewise codified as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. To be considered eligible to receive Lifeline subsidies, an applicant must have an income at or below 135-150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, depending upon the state they live in, or already be on some form of public assistance. This could include Medicaid, food stamps or public housing. Only one Lifeline service per household is allowed, either a landline or a wireless device. The complete guidelines are available via the FCC.While the Lifeline program may sound innocuous to many, to some conservatives it’s become a cause celebre, making the very name “Obama Phone” the stuff of urban lore. Angry emails – often confused with a dose of misinformation – about the Obama Phone have circulated across the Internet, such as the one below:FW: Obamaphone… no joke!! I had a former employee call me earlier today inquiring about a job, and at the end of the conversation he gave me his phone number. I asked the former employee if this was a new cell phone number and he told me yes this was his “Obama phone.” I asked him what an “Obama phone” was and he went on to say that welfare recipients are now eligible to receive (1) a FREE new phone and (2) approx 70 minutes of FREE minutes every month. I was a little skeptical so I Googled it and low and behold he was telling the truth. TAX PAYER MONEY IS BEING REDISTRIBUTED TO WELFARE RECIPIENTS FOR FREE CELL PHONES. This program was started earlier this year. Enough is enough, the ship is sinking and it’s sinking fast. The very foundations that this country was built on are being shaken. The age old concepts of God, family, and hard work have flown out the window and are being replaced with “Hope and Change” and “Change we can believe in.”During the 2012 Presidential election, this video helped the term go viral. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology
Trauma in Young Children Under 4-Years of Age: Attachment, Neurobiology, & InterventionsMark your calendars for what’s next in our 2014 MFLN Family Development Webinar Series!Date: Thursday, April 3, 2014Time: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. EasternLocation: Trauma in Young Children Under 4-Years of Age: Attachment, Neurobiology, and InterventionsThis 2 hour webinar, presented by Dr. Kimberly Renk, explores how young children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of trauma, especially when their relationships with caregivers are affected. This webinar will examine the characteristics of trauma in young children who are 4-years of age and younger. In particular, formal diagnostic criteria as well as other signs and symptoms of trauma in young children will be discussed. Further, the neurobiological underpinnings of traumatic experiences for young children will be explored, particularly with regard to potential effects on future development. Finally, evidence-based interventions that may be useful for remediating the effects of trauma for young children and their families will be examined.Remember, we offer 2.0 National Association of Social Worker CE credits for many of our webinars, click here to learn more. For more information on future presentations in the 2014 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: Facebook & Twitter.
Source: Knobloch, L. K., Knobloch-Fedders, L. M., & Yorgason, J. B. (2019). Mental health symptoms and the reintegration difficulty of military couples following deployment: A longitudinal application of the relational turbulence model. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 75, 742-765. By Leanne Knobloch, University of IllinoisFor many military couples, deployment can be a seemingly endless countdown to the service member’s homecoming. But, after the big day finally arrives and the welcome home ceremony is over, what’s next for military couples?A new study our research team published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology provides insight into the transition from deployment to reintegration. Our project was funded by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs through the Military Operational Medicine Research Program. My co-authors on the study included my sister, Dr. Lynne Knobloch-Fedders from Marquette University, and our collaborator, Dr. Jeremy Yorgason from Brigham Young University.We had two goals for our investigation. First, we wanted to map out the transition from deployment to reintegration. Second, we wanted to identify factors that predict challenges along the way.We conducted the study by recruiting 1,100 individuals who were part of 555 military couples, and we asked them to complete an online questionnaire once per month for eight consecutive months after the service member’s homecoming from deployment. Each month, returning service members and at-home partners reported on their mental health, their relationship, and their difficulty with reintegration.Participants included active duty, reserve component, and National Guard military couples. The study involved military couples from all branches of service.Our findings showed that military couples reported the most difficulty with reintegration approximately four to five weeks after homecoming, and at-home partners reported more difficulty with reintegration than returning service members at each time point.These results highlight the importance of supporting at-home partners. The timing of help matters as well. In particular, four to five weeks after homecoming may be a key opportunity for offering services.Other findings revealed that mental health symptoms predicted later difficulty with reintegration. Posttraumatic stress symptoms for returning service members, and depressive symptoms for at-home partners, made the transition especially challenging.Based on these results, it’s important to know the symptoms of mental health problems and be ready to seek help if needed. Readjusting after deployment can be tough, and reaching out for assistance if necessary is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.Our data also showed that characteristics of people’s relationships predicted difficulty with reintegration down the road. The transition was harder for partners who had questions about their relationship and who got in the way of each other’s daily routines.What do these results mean? As much as possible, people should open the lines of communication, share information, ask questions, and learn where their partner is coming from. And, carefully building new routines and making sure those routines run smoothly should be helpful as well. Leanne K. Knobloch (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin – Madison) is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois. Her research examines how people communicate during times of transition, including how military families navigate the deployment cycle and how romantic couples cope with depression. Her work has been honored by the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association, the Biennial Article Award from the International Association for Relationship Research, and the University Scholar Award from the University of Illinois.
Looking for more video tutorials? Check these out.Video Tutorial: Which Frame Rate Should You Be Using?Video Tutorial: How to Morph Graphics Using Adobe After EffectsVideo Editing 101: Using The J, K, and L Key Editing ShortcutsHow to Create a Stop-Motion Paper CrumpleHow to Create a Scribble Animation in After Effects Bring some movement into your video projects and guide your viewer’s eye with this fun motion graphics technique.Speed lines serve a number of purposes. Not only do they indicate motion, they also draw a viewer’s eye into a specific area of the frame. Used in conjunction with sound effects and a few other animation tricks, they can give your shot an extra punch.In this tutorial, we’re going to take a closer look at how to create these speed lines using Adobe After Effects. Create the ShapeFirst, I will create just one line. I’ll use the pen tool to draw out a narrow triangle shape, with the tip of the triangle in the center of the frame. To get the vertices exactly where I want them, I’ll use Rulers and Guides. I don’t need to worry about getting the length and width of the shape perfect, as I can customize these attributes later. With the Pan Behind tool, I’ll place the shape’s anchor point in the center of the frame as well.Add a RepeaterTo create multiple lines, I’ll add a Repeater. You can find the Repeater by clicking on the Add button just to the right of Contents. (It’s important to place the Repeater under the shape group and not inside it.)Now I’ll set the number of copies to 20. To line up the shapes, I will open up the transformation attributes and bring the X position from 100 to 0. Now I can set the rotation of the Repeater to 20 degrees to get my speed line circle in place. I’m finished with the Repeater, so I’ll close the menu to avoid confusion when working with other properties.Position the LinesNext, to position the elements, I’ll turn on the baby reaction video layer. I can move the speed lines circle directly over the baby’s face using the main position attribute of the shape layer. To spread out the circle, I’ll open up the transformation options of the individual shape element and drag the Y position up. This will be the same attribute I animate to bring the lines in and out of frame. To adjust the width and length of the lines, I can change the X and Y scaling of the shape element. To adjust the width and length of the circle as a whole, I can change the X and Y scaling of the shape layer. Now I’m ready to bring the lines to life.Bring the Lines to LifeFinally, I’m ready to animate my lines. I want to match the animation of my speed lines to the movement of my digital zoom. To do this, I’ll add keyframes to the Y position of the speed line shape element to start and end around the same time as the zoom on the baby’s face. I’ll add Easy Ease to the keyframes to help smooth the animation out.To really spice things up, I’ll add a Wiggle Path and Wiggle Transform animator just below the Repeater. Even though the speed lines are only up for a brief second, these animators will add detail. To wiggle the path, I’ll adjust the Size and Wiggles/Second attributes. This will bring movement to the edges of each line shape. Wiggle Transform will allow me to offset and bring movement to just the Y position of the lines. To do this, I’ll slightly adjust the Y position of Wiggle Transform and then fine-tune the Wiggles/Second.Voilà! Now I have anime-style speed lines to spice up my shots. Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?“Outrun” by Aulx Studio“Jovian Night” by Bedlake“Laidback Summer Vibe” by Mattijs Muller“Sudden Impulse” by Origami Pigeon“Coming Alive” by Monad
In a bid to curb stubble burning that has been one of the reasons for dense smog in the country’s northern States, the Punjab government has decided to set up 400 processing plants before next year’s paddy season to convert paddy straw into bio-energy. “The plants will become operational before the next paddy season, thus preventing recurrence of the environmental hazard triggered by stubble burning,” an official spokesperson said in a statement.The MoU was signed on behalf of the Punjab government by R.K. Verma, CEO, Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion, and K. Iyyapan, MD of NEWAY, a Chennai-based company. “Plants will be set up by NEWAY Engineers MSW Private Limited with a total investment of ₹10,000 crore over the next 10 months,” added the spokesperson.The spokesperson said the company would use its breakthrough and patented pollution-free zero residue technology to ensure that there was no residue at the end of the process, thus preventing any land filling. “The technology will provide a sustainable solution to the environmental problems caused by burning of paddy residue in the State.” Under the agreement, the company will set up 400 cluster units for the 20 million tonnes of paddy straw expected to be generated in the State in a season. Each unit will have the capacity to process 50,000 tonnes through the year, or 150-175 tonnes per day per unit.