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Now, San Francisco-based ride-sharing company Lyft is significantly reducing its workforce as part of a restructuring effort.
CEO David Risher told employees that this is part of Lyft’s plan to “better meeting the needs of riders and drivers”. While the company hasn’t changed its guidance for the first quarter in spite of these layoffs, it is unclear how they will impact its bike-sharing service.
In other news, it’s AI. Again.
ICYMI: Check out NASA’s people, places, and projects captured by its talented photographers as part of the space agency’s Photographer of the Year awards.
Oh, and this Sunday, here’s some food for thought: How did popcorn become the go-to snack at the movies?
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- Oscar winner Kartiki Gonsalves
- A look at Roboto’s Japanese fare
- Solving India’s grassroots problems
Here’s your trivia for today: Who wrote the first dictionary?
Oscar winner Kartiki Gonsalves
Recently, YS Life caught up with Kartiki Gonsalves, the director of the Oscar-winning documentary short film The Elephant Whisperers, on the sidelines of a CII summit on the South Indian media and entertainment industry.
In this conversation, the Academy Award winner delves deep into the evolution of documentary filmmaking, her passion for storytelling, and her experiences shooting The Elephant Whisperers.
- The Elephant Whisperers is the result of a six-year journey (and 450 hours of footage!) in the company of the elephant calves Raghu and Ammu and the couple Bomman and Bellie.
- Gonsalves is happy that, through her film, she could share with the whole world the story of two people from a tiny indigenous community—there are only 1,700 people of the Kattunayakans left.
- She believes her purpose is to bring out the message of conservation through her work. Next, she wants to document the sacred bond between the orcas (killer whales) and the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest.
Food and Beverages
A look at Roboto’s Japanese fare
Indian and Japanese food would sit at the opposite ends of the culinary graph, if ever there was one. India takes pride in its carb-heavy, spicy food, while Japan is known for its non-spicy, fish and meat-heavy delicacies that are never over-cooked. The twain may never meet, but that doesn’t mean Japanese cuisine has no takers in India.
YS Life checks out one such place in the culinary hotspot of Goa, Roboto, which serves predominantly Japanese food at pocket-friendly prices.
- Tucked away in a corner—just two minutes from the much-talked-about Artjuna Cafe—one might easily miss the quaint villa that houses Roboto. Therein lies its charm: it’s accessible yet elusive.
- Designed by Ayaz Basrai of the Burside Studio, Roboto’s new avatar opened its doors to customers last year. Since then, it has attracted visitors looking for authentic Japanese and Korean cuisine.
- Unlike many Japanese and Asian restaurants, Roboto’s food is affordably priced, and its menu has extensive options.
Solving grassroots problems for India
Starting Up with Shradha Sharma—YourStory’s newest show—provides a first-of-its-kind opportunity for early- and mid-stage startups to showcase their products and ideas without the luxury of a retake or a chance to tweak their pitch.
In this episode, Dr Vibha Tripathi, Founder of Boon; Ria Rustagi, Co-founder and CEO of Pankh Technologies; Roli Gupta, Founder of babblebots.ai; and Vamsi Udayagiri, Founder and CEO of Hesa, shared how they are solving grassroots problems for the country.
- Boon’s in-house research team has developed and patented the IoT platform Clairvoyant—an advanced and dedicated platform for online streaming data on the quality of drinking water.
- Vamsi Udayagiri describes Hesa as a “go-to” company for all rural commerce needs. It empowers farmers to buy and sell online through its agritech vertical and also enables financial services for rural consumers.
- Neuphony claims to have built Asia Pacific’s ‘first smartwatch for the brain’ in the form of a wearable headband. It monitors stress, attention, resilience, memory, and mood levels and recommends solutions.
News & updates
- Banking strong: ICICI Bank reported a 30% increase in fourth-quarter net profit helped by improved net interest income and growth in loans. Standalone net profit rose to a record Rs 91.22 billion ($1.11 billion) from Rs 70.19 billion a year earlier. Net interest income rose 40.2% to Rs 176.67 billion while the private lender’s net interest margin widened to 4.90% from 4%.
- Corporate changes: SVB Financial Group, the bankrupt former owner of Silicon Valley Bank, said CEO Gregory Becker and CFO Daniel Beck stepped down this week, more than a month after the lender collapsed into receivership. Becker will act as a consultant “on an as-needed basis at no cost to the company,” SVB said.
- Wrestler babies: Dozens of bawling Japanese babies faced off in a traditional “crying sumo” ritual believed to bring the infants good health, which returned for the first time in four years after the pandemic. Pairs of toddlers wearing ceremonial sumo aprons were held up by their parents and faced each other in the sumo ring at Sensoji Temple in Tokyo on Saturday.
Who wrote the first dictionary?
Answer: Robert Cawdrey. His ‘Table Alphabeticall’, published in 1604, was the first single-language English dictionary ever published.
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