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How has the lockdown helped the environment?

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Many countries had adopted lockdown procedures following the outbreak of the coronavirus. Lockdown tactics prevented people from leaving and stores and other businesses from closing. As World Environment Day 2020 approaches, we examine the positive environmental impact of the shutdown.

The air around us had been declared toxic to breathe in before the pandemic began. Temperatures were rising, glaciers were melting, and sea levels were increasing. The depletion of resources such as air, water, and soil was causing rapid environmental damage.

Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Environment:

Air Quality:
People, trains, and aircraft travelled less as a result of the lockdown. Industries were shut down and not allowed to operate. As a result, there was a significant reduction in air pollution, as there was a marked decline in nitrous oxide emission.

Water Quality:
The water has cleared up since no boats, whether fishing or pleasure, plying the rivers and waterways. The water in places like Venice became so pure that the fish could be seen, and the water flow improved. Without question, the oceans are recuperating, and marine life is flourishing due to the less human tread.

Effect on Wildlife:
In the case of fish, the lockdown has resulted in a decrease in fishing, implying that fish biomass would increase after being nearly destroyed by overfishing. Aside from that, animals have been seen roaming freely in areas where they previously would not have ventured. Due to the lack of human intervention, even sea turtles have been discovered returning to regions they previously avoided to lay their eggs.

Effect on Vegetation:
Because the air and water are cleaned, plants are growing better. Less litter implies minor blockage of river systems, which is better for the ecosystem in the long run.

There is a concern that once people resume travelling or return to their previous activities, all of the favourable effects may go. It is therefore up to us to take better care of the planet for ourselves, and future generations of humans to come.

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Lifestyle

Epic’s movie plans: A battle royale in the making

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With an audience of around 350 million users worldwide, Fortnite has firmly entrenched itself in the hearts of many gamers. But if you thought Fortnite was already everywhere, wait till you see what Epic is planning: how about a full-scale move into broader media? With this, Epic will fortify its already enviable hold on the industry. 

According to The Information, three high-ranking LucasFilm workers joined Epic Games early this year, including the studio’s former VP of physical production, Jason McGatlin, implying that cinematic projects are a top priority for the firm. Lynn Bartsch (head of business affairs) and Chris Furia (vice president of production finance) both left LucasFilm for Epic. The word on the grapevine is that these high-ranking executives will be part of a team looking to power the “scripted video programming business”. A Fortnite movie has apparently “already been considered” inside the studio’s special projects department, according to the source – though that’s about all we know so far. 

Epic is apparently looking for new ways to get into people’s brains (and wallets) now that Apple has banned it from the App Store, and given that Epic is unlikely to appear on Apple shops again for the foreseeable future, it’s understandable that the business would look into other entertainment divisions. 

Perhaps you’re looking forward to Peely doing his thing on screen, but Epic surely has dollar signs (or is that V-Bucks) in its eyes. It wouldn’t be the first to make the leap either; Lego has found much joy in hitting the silver screen, and it’s hard to imagine the powers that be at Epic don’t want a slice of that pie. Guess we have to prepare for a battle royale on the entertainment front. 

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Leadership

4 Must Reads – Straight from Elon Musk’s recommendation list

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Elon Musk’s reading collection includes science fiction classics as well as complicated literature on cutting-edge technologies. His vision as the leader of some of the world’s most valuable companies makes it interesting to take a peek into the inner workings of his mind. Musk is also known for sharing his suggestions on social media. 

Let’s evaluate some fascinating reads from his recommendations.

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson 

This book chronicles the ambitious and adventurous life of Apple’s brilliant entrepreneur and eccentric creator. Steve Jobs covers the man’s successful enterprises, beginning with his early experiences with spirituality and LSD and ending at the pinnacle as a worldwide technology superstar. This is a well-researched book that goes into the thinking of the man behind the world’s most valuable technological business.

Life 3.0, by Max Tegmark

The Brief Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Elon Musk’s latest book, is one of the few that explores the idea of AI being used for good rather than harm in the world. Max Tegmark, an MIT scientist, addresses how to keep Artificial Intelligence helpful to humans while simultaneously ensuring that technological progress is consistent with humanity’s long-term goals.

The Big Picture, by Sean M. Carroll

The Big Picture is a bold examination of the world we live in and how we may make sense of the vast majority of it through scientific thought. It teaches readers how to think about the most difficult things, such as the origins of life, awareness, and the cosmos itself, using a deductive approach. Sean Carroll is a practicing theoretical physicist with some unique philosophical perspectives. Sean invented the phrase “poetic naturalism”, which is addressed in the book.

Superintelligence, by Nick Bostrom

Superintelligence is intended to be a serious, hard-headed examination of the impending arrival of computers that are far smarter than humans. Musk has often warned about the dangers of unfettered Artificial Intelligence, and this book examines the pitfalls of taking technology too far too soon. 

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Lifestyle

Evolve or perish: The eternal organisational dictum

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Evolve or perish: The eternal organisational dictum

Keeping up with big tech companies could prove to be a difficult task. Businesses are made to last, but not all of them last the course. Take the examples of Nokia, Yahoo, etc. These companies were giants at one time, titans of their respective spheres, but could not keep up with the changing times (even if they were renowned) and eventually crumbled away.

A complete understanding of the customer ecosystem is necessary. Based on insights from consumer data, a business has to evolve with time and needs. By deploying the right data analytics systems and reinventing your value proposition, any company born in the analogue age can generate the same benefits through digital disruption.

Companies like Tesla, Airbnb, etc. transformed the industries they are part of. Business and consumer data are constantly being collected by high-tech companies. To keep up with such high-tech companies, traditional businesses must be able to access and arrange data to better understand their consumers, technology, and competitors to compete and thrive.

Recognizing when your firm needs a major change is one of the keys to success for any business. Unfortunately, due to a broader culture of resistance or an emphasis on conserving old land, many legendary firms miss out on greater possibilities, and get lost in the sands of time. Keep your pulse on the market, and be ready to evolve with the times, lest you end up being a snail in a race run for greyhounds.

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