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This house stays cool in the summer and saves 500 litres of water daily.

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Pradeep Krishnamurthy was exposed to several rural places around India as a child as a result of his father’s frequent job transfers. His life experiences made him more aware of nature and motivated him to live a more sustainable lifestyle. In 2009, his friend Ravishankar proposed that he create an environmentally friendly home. “My acquaintance told me about a mud house during a casual talk about living a sustainable lifestyle,” Pradeep explains

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The notion took a few years to become a reality. In 2013, they decided to construct on our existing site, which is 2,400 square feet.

The building of the ‘Bhoomi’ home began in 2014 and was finished in 2015. Pradeep claims that he hired Tropic Responses, an architectural firm, to assist him to construct the structure to his specifications. The first level has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen, as well as a unique patio built into the construction. The lower floor is a traditional building, while the first storey is all green.

Tropic Responses, the building firm produced over 15,000 bricks on-site in two weeks. The bricks breathe organically, allowing the temperature and energy inside the home to be moderated. “In the summers, this home is cool, and in the winters, it’s warm,” Pradeep adds.

The two wooden pillars built from a renovated 60-year-old jackfruit tree, he claims, are the house’s centrepiece. Reclaimed and restored wood, as well as Mahogany teak and pinewood, are used to create the living room furniture.

On the ground and first floors, Sanjay Jain, co-founder of Tropic Responses, has built an eco-friendly dwelling. The home has no pillars and is supported by two reclaimed jackfruit tree pillars as a load-bearing framework. “We also made it lighter and more sustainable by reducing the thickness of the walls where it extended,” he explains.

The difference in temperature between indoors and outside is around 4 degrees Celsius. According to Pradeep, interventions in the courtyard enable warm air within the property to flow, reducing the temperature. “We don’t have air conditioning since we don’t require it. We only use fans for four months of the year, during peak summer days,” he explains.

Sustainable living 

Pradeep and his family reside in an environmentally friendly home, which they claim have cut their daily water consumption by half. “We don’t allow our moist garbage to leave the home,” Pradeep explains, “and have built a biogas unit that gives three hours of burn time every day.”

Pradeep says he has realised how much architectural knowledge has been lost over the years due to new building techniques. “We need a revolution of going back in time,” he says.

 

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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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