Story Of TVF, The Pioneers of Web Series In India

The web series TVF Aspirants has been in headlines for its relatable content and execution. The YouTube chanel TVF has released some binge-worthy series in the past as well. Did you know that The Viral Fever (TVF) is considered to be the pioneer of web series in India? Let us find out a bit more about them.

Crux of the Matter

When Was It Founded?
The Viral Fever (TVF), an Indian YouTube channel was started in 2010 by TVF Media Labs. The founder of TVF is Arunabh Kumar. It is currently owned by Contagious Online Media Pvt. Ltd. and at present has 9.6 mn subscribers.

First Original Show

  • In Feb 2012, the channel released its first original show titled ‘Rowdies 9– Sab Q-tiyappa hai!’.
  • The show was a spoof of the famous show Roadies aired on MTV.
  • The video crossed over 1 million views within 5 days of its release.

Web Series’ By The Channel

  • The first web series by the channel ‘Permanent Roommates‘ in Oct 2014. It became the second most viewed long-term web series in the world by 2015.
  • The second series was ‘Pitchers’ released in June 2015.  
  • Some other famous web series include Bachelors, Fathers, Kota Factory, Panchayat.

TVF’s Own Platform

  • In 2015, TVF launched its own online streaming platform called TVFPlay.
  • The last 2 episodes of Pitchers were launched there and crossed 10 lakh hits within 2 days.
  • The traffic due to these episodes had also crashed the platform for around 3 hours.
  • In 2016, Tiger Global Management invested $10 mn in TVFPlay and till May 2019, total $21 million had been invested.

Controversy

  • Arunabh Kumar, the founder of TVF was accused of sexual harassment in March 2017.
  • The claim was made anonymously via Medium after which several other women also came forward.
  • On 16th June, 2017, Arunabh Kumar stepped down from the post of the CEO.
  • The position was then taken by Dhawal Gusain.

Launch Of Other Youtube Channels

TVF’s Aspirants

  • Aspirants is the latest web series rolled out by the channel.
  • The show is based on the lives of UPSC aspirants and their struggles.
  • Like its other series, this one has also gone viral and is garnering a lot of praise.

Curiopedia
  • The Chief Content Officer and Head of The Viral Fever Originals, Sameer Saxena was a jury member of the 46th International Emmy Awards. He is the creator and director of web-series like “Permanent Roommates”, “TVF Tripling” and”Yeh Meri Family”.
  • Arunabh Kumar, the founder of TVF initially joined Red Chillies Entertainment and worked as an assistant under Farah Khan. He was the Assistant Director of Om Shanti Om.
  • As of 14th May 2021, TVF has 9.68 million subscribers. Bhuvan Bam is more commonly known by the name of his youtube channel “BB Ki Vines” is the first Indian individual to cross 10 million subscribers on youtube. 

Gear Up For Yoda Like Lightsaber With Real Beams

Loved to fast forward to the lightsaber duel portion of the film in the Star War franchise? Well, US researchers have figured out a way to create a lightsaber that can be seen with the naked eye. Let’s see how they did it. Meanwhile, May the force be with you!

Crux of the Matter

Brigham Young University’s holography group has found a way to create lightsabers – green for Yoda and red for Vader – with actual luminous beams.

The team created virtual stick figures that walk in thin air. They showed the interaction between their virtual images and humans in the film.

A student placed a finger in the middle of the display and the same stick finger walked along and jumped off that finger.

This is not like the movies, where the lightsabers or the photon torpedoes never really existed in physical space. These are real, and if you look at them from any angle, you will see them existing in that space.

Dan Smalley, professor at BYU

3 years ago they had created optical trap displays by trapping a single particle in the air with a laser beam. The particle moved around and left behind a laser-illuminated path that floats in mid-air.

Curiopedia

Dennis Gabor, a Hungarian-British physicist, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1971 “for his invention and development of the holographic method”. The recording medium for early holograms were silver halide photographic emulsions. Read More

Ed Sheeran And Other Celebs In Sports

Ed Sheeran And Other Celebs In Sports

Ed Sheeran, who definitely doesn’t need an introduction, recently announced his tie up with a club for sponsoring their jersey. This is not new, for many celebs have not only done that but also have invested in sports teams (yes, that also includes IPL). In that way, let’s look at some celebs from across different genres having investment in sports.

Crux of the Matter

Ed Sheeran
English club Ipswich town recently made a ‘perfect’ announcement: singer Ed Sheeran will be their shirt sponsor for both men’s and women’s team.

Ipswich Town is a club in 3rd tier League One i.e., 2 divisions below Premier League. Artist Ed Sheeran is renowned for tracks like “Perfect”, “Shape of You”, “Photograph”, etc.

Sheeran Not The Only One
Most recently, metal band Iron Maiden had collaborated with West Ham for their away kit in 2019. However, several artists have not only sponsored jerseys but also invested in teams.

Stars Co-Owning Sports Teams

  • Justin Timberlake (Singer): Memphis Grizzlies (NBA Basketball)
  • Sir Elton John (Singer/Pianist): Watford FC (English Championship Football)
  • Bill Maher (Comedian/Political Commentator): New York Mets (Major League Baseball)
  • Jennifer Lopez (Singer): Miami Dolphins (National Football League)
    That club also has Fergie (Singer) as co-owner.
  • Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney: Wrexham (National League [Wales])

India
Of course, India’s most known example is the renowned IPL, with celeb owners like

  • Juhi Chawla and Shah Rukh Khan: Kolkata Knight Riders (IPL)
  • Preity Zinta: Punjab Kings (IPL)

However, over time Indian celebs have diversified across different sports:

  • Abhishek Bachchan: Jaipur Pink Panthers (Pro Kabaddi League)
    He also owns Chennaiyin FC (ISL).
  • Ranbir Kapoor: Mumbai City FC (ISL)
  • Sonakshi Sinha: United Singhs (World Kabaddi League)
  • John Abraham: Delhi Waveriders (Hockey India League)
    He also owns Northeast United FC (ISL).
  • Akshay Kumar: Khalsa Warriors (World Kabaddi League)

Curiopedia
  • Former President of USA, George W. Bush has a minor stake in the professional baseball team Texas Rangers. Bush funded the team with $500,000 for his share. 
  • Hollywood popstar Usher participated in a group purchase of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He made the purchase of his share of the NBA team in 2005, for $9 million.
  • Being from Toronto, Aubrey Graham more commonly known by the name of Drake supports the Toronto Raptors. He was once allowed to announce the team’s starting lineup.

Trivia Thursday: Indian Origin CEOs Of Global Tech Companies

Trivia Thursday: Indian Origin CEO's Of Global Tech Companies

As we celebrated National Technology Day on Tuesday, 11th May, in this week’s Trivia Thursday, let’s have a look at some prominent Indian origin CEOs of global tech companies!

Crux of the Matter

In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us have a look at Indian origin CEOs of global tech companies:

Sundar Pichai
Company: Google
Sundar Pichai earned his degree in Metallurgical Engineering from IIT-Kharagpur. He joined Google in 2004 as VP of Product Management and oversaw development of Google Chrome and Google Drive.

Satya Nadella
Company: Microsoft
Satya Nadella took over as CEO of Microsoft in 2014 after Steve Ballmer stepped down. Before becoming the CEO, he was the Senior Vice President of Microsoft’s cloud and business division.

Shantanu Narayen
Company: Adobe
Shantanu became the Vice President and General Manager of Adobe’s engineering technology division in 1998. He was appointed President and COO in 2005, CEO in 2007, and has been the Chairman of the board since 2017.

Arvind Krishna
Comapny: IBM
Arvind Krishna received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT-Kanpur in 1985. He joined IBM in 1990 at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center.

Sanjay Mehrotra
Company: Micron Technology
Mehrotra earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from Berkeley. He was the co-founder of SanDisk and also served as its President and CEO until 2016 when it was acquired by Western Digital. Mehrotra is the owner of over 70 patents.

Sandeep Mathrani
Company: WeWork
Sandeep Mathrani is an Indian-American real estate executive who took over as CEO of WeWork after Adam Neumann was fired. He was the CEO of GGP Inc and the retail division of its parent company Brookfield Property Partners previously.

Anjali Sud
Company: Vimeo
Anjali Sud was named CEO of Vimeo in July 2017, shortly after the company revealed plans to shift its direction from investing in original content and toward providing apps and resources for video producers. Vimeo acquired Livestream and the video editing software Magisto under her leadership.

Take a look at our last week’s Trivia Thursday here: Trivia Thursday: Indian Nobel Prize Winners

Why Is Gain Of Function Research Making News Amidst The Pandemic?

Why Is Gain Of Function Research Making News Amidst The Pandemic?

Since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic, the scientific community is debating regarding the transparency of virus research. This is specifically regarding the federally funded research that involves making pathogens more deadly or more transmissible for research purposes. But is it worth it if it can risk the public health in case it escapes the lab environment? How do we make it more ethical? Let’s first understand the basics of Gain of Function research for this.

Crux of the Matter

What Is Gain Of Function?
GoF is a study that involves creation of pathogens with additional functionalities than occur in nature. This could even lead to creation of pathogens that are more transmissible and deadlier.

Why Would We Do That?
It is performed to understand the way in which a pathogen adapts to environmental pressures. This allows disease control measures to be better planned, and potential vaccines to be explored. Also research on bio-weapons and vaccines is carried out in case a malicious entity weaponises such pathogens.

Controversy With GoF
In 2012, a team worked on a paper, Airborne Transmission of Influenza A/H5N1 Virus Between Ferrets for genetically modifying H5V1 virus by creating a strain that was airborne in ferrets. This demonstrated that it was possible for the avian influenza virus to become transmissible in air and that the strain was sensitive to certain antiviral drugs.

Research Stopped
 The possibility of an accidental or intentional malicious release of such a virus caused the US to halt funding for GoF research relating to influenza, SARS, or MERS in 2014.

Research Restarted
In 2017, National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity concluded that very few such experiments posed a risk to public safety. So the ban was lifted and White House developed an ethical analysis white paper.

What’s In The White Paper

Transparency In Research
In such analysis, expert-panel members are not publicly available, nor are its reviews of study proposals.

We’re not trying to say the policy is wrong, we’re trying to say the policy is ambiguous

Marc Lipsitch, Harvard epidermiologist

Unknown Origins Of Covid-19
There have been theories about Covid-19 causing SARS-CoV-2 emerging as a result of Gain of Function research. That’s because the pandemic started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, which also houses the Wuhan Institute of Virology, that conducts research on bat coronaviruses. Till date, we don’t know if Covid-19 originated in the wild or in the lab.

Curiopedia
  • The word Pathogenic came into existence in 1852 and the word Pathogen was derived from ‘Pathogenic’ during the 1880s. In Greek, the word Pathogenic means “origin of suffering“.
  • Antonie van Leeuwenhoek invented the first microscope in the 1600s. It was a single lens microscope made with a very small glass ball lens. With the help of that microscope he then rediscovered the red blood cells and Spermatozoa.
  • Fungi’s medicinal significance was discovered in 1928 by Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming. Fungi can also be eaten; for example, certain mushrooms, morels, and truffles are considered epicurean delicacies, and mycoproteins (fungal proteins) obtained from the mycelia of some fungi are used to produce high-protein foods.