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Putting India on the world animation map

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Putting India on the world animation map

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Hello,

In its boldest move since the Hindenberg drama, Gautam Adani’s group is raising Rs 21,000 crore (over $2.5 billion) through a share sale in two group companies. 

Adani Enterprises, the group’s flagship firm, plans to raise Rs 12,500 crore, while electricity transmission company Adani Transmission will raise another Rs 8,500 crore, the companies said in stock exchange filings.

Speaking of bold bets, Mukesh Ambani’s streaming platform JioCinema has rolled out a premium subscription plan at Rs 999 ($12) a year, as it readies to fight against Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

In other news, Apple contract manufacturers—Foxconn, Salcomp, and Pegatron—have ramped up hiring in India, recruiting full-time and contract workers. 

Remember the adorable robot Vicki from Small Wonder, who could read an entire book by quickly flipping through it? Now, AI company Anthropic has given its ChatGPT-like Claude AI language model the ability to analyse an entire book’s worth of material in under a minute. This new ability comes from expanding Claude’s context window to 100,000 tokens, or about 75,000 words. 

This is a huge leap for large language models. OpenAI’s GPT-4 LLM, for example, boasts context window lengths of 4,096 tokens (about 3,000 words) when used as part of ChatGPT and 8,192 or 32,768 tokens via the GPT-4 API.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Putting India on the world animation map
  • The many sights of Outlander’s Scotland
  • Functional home bars for India

Here’s your trivia for today: On May 14, 1796, Edward Jenner administered the first vaccination against smallpox. How many diseases have so far been eradicated in the world?


Interview

Putting India on the world animation map

Chaurvi Agrawal

Filmmaker, animator, sculptor, and multimedia artist Charuvi Agrawal rose to fame with her short film, Shri Hanuman Chalisa (2012), which won the ANIMA+ awards. Agrawal then co-created Disney+Hotstar’s animated web series, The Legend of Hanuman (2021), which ranked as the #2 most-watched show across all streaming platforms in India.

YS Life caught up with the illustrator and artist to discuss work and inspiration.

A record holder:

  • Agrawal made it to The Limca Book of Records twice for her invention of a new art form Claytronics, and for building a travelling exhibition, Bells of Light. 
  • She says the turning point came when the stereoscopic animated short film Shri Hanuman Chalisa, screened in about 50+ film festivals and the ensuing Graphic India-produced series for Disney, The Legend of Hanuman.
  • “The world of animation is ever-evolving, and there are new things coming up every day. One must keep learning and updating their skill set and tap into the pulse of trends,” Agrawal says.

Travel and leisure

The many sights of Outlander’s Scotland

Outlander

Outlander traverses the length and breadth of Scotland as it follows the love and life story of Claire Randall and Jaime Fraser. YS Life walks in the footsteps of these time-crossed lovers and explores the many sites that play a key role in the storytelling of this historical drama.

Beauty and history:

  • Glencoe village, located between the banks of Loch Leven and the mouth of glen, is the ideal base to explore Lochaber, the ‘outdoor capital of the United Kingdom’.
  • Falkland–designated as Scotland’s first conservation area—is where the couple meets Mrs Baird, the owner of a bed and breakfast. It is best known for the exceptional Falkland Palace.
  • Many of the Scotland shooting sites can be seen on screen again in the 16-episode upcoming seventh season of Outlander. It will premiere on June 16.

Luxury

Functional home bars for India

Anirudh Singhal, Haus of Bars

The cocktail-first culture is no longer limited to hip bars in India’s urban centres. During the pandemic, the trend trickled down to homes, with youngsters creating exotic concoctions and experimenting with cocktail mixers in their own spaces. 

SpeedX, the brand behind the bars of SOCIAL, Sidecar, Bombay Canteen and Loya, launched a premium home bar vertical, Haus of Bars, to bring the bar experience home.

Cocktails, up!:

  • While SpeedX was founded in 2011 by Anirudh Singhal to create custom bar solutions for restaurants, in September 2020, he pivoted to home bars and launched Haus of Bars by SpeedX. 
  • It was the first Indian brand to be onboard in the home bar segment on Tata Cliq Luxury. It is also accessible on Pepperfry, Amazon India, and its own website.
  • To achieve the right finish and touch, it has tied up with the American company 3M to make textured DI-NOC films that are as good as the real deal.

News & updates

  • Powering down: Chinese smartphone maker Oppo said it will shut down its chip design unit, citing uncertainties in the global economy and the smartphone industry.
  • Under the scanner: Brazil’s Supreme Court on Friday ordered an investigation into executives at social messaging service Telegram and Alphabet Inc’s Google who are in charge of a campaign criticising a proposed internet regulation bill.
  • Eye of Sauron: Researchers recently identified nine new groups of butterflies. One of the groups now has an interesting name–Saurona. The new butterfly genus was named after the flaming Eye of Sauron—the all-seeing eye of the evil ruler in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

On May 14, 1796, Edward Jenner administered the first vaccination against smallpox. How many diseases have so far been eradicated in the world?

Answer: Two. So far, the World Health Organisation has declared only two diseases as officially eradicated: smallpox and rinderpest (a bovine disease). 


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