Summary of “How NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts Took Over the Internet”

In July, Forbes ran some numbers and concluded that Tiny Desk Concerts sometimes draw more engagement than appearances on late-night talk shows like Stephen Colbert’s or Jimmy Fallon’s.
Tiny Desk has very few worthy competitors; the internet has few musically inclined web franchises durable and distinct enough to rise above the internet’s fearsome Infinite Content muck.
That is very much not the vibe Bob Boilen meant to cultivate when he and his NPR cohort Stephen Thompson first dreamt up Tiny Desk Concerts in 2008, after fuming through a noisy and distraction-packed Austin bar gig from folk singer Laura Gibson, and realizing that it’d be far better to have Gibson just play for them in their office.
Nearly 10 years later, Tiny Desk is a venerated institution with a roster that skews toward core NPR notions of indie, folk, and jazz, but also T-Pain, or Gucci Mane, or Run the Jewels, or D.R.A.M. For his part, Boilen tilts toward the even weirder stuff: Pressed to pick a personal favorite, he usually demures but also mentions Moon Hooch, a skronking underground-jazz trio featuring a drummer and two saxophonists, one of whom adorned his sax with a giant orange traffic cone for the occasion.
NPR now oversees a Tiny Desk contest, in which young bands send in homemade video entries, with the victor getting to record The Real Thing in The Real Office.
Chance shouted the group out during his own Tiny Desk; they went on to do similar videos for, among others, The Onion’s A.V. Club.
Like NPR with Tiny Desk, The Onion has moved offices over the course of Undercover’s run and thus has shot the series in two different spaces; the first studio was a tiny, round, hot room that inspired an inspirational sort of discomfort.
“Whether they’re in it to create some sort of product placement or unusual click-grabbing content, or whether they’re genuinely interested in seeing what emerges when they put creative people in interesting situations I think that’s why those Tiny Desk videos are so popular, and it’s definitely why we keep coming back to do the A.V. Club Undercover series over and over. Those folks are genuinely excited to see what comes out of these little experiments, and they go above and beyond to make sure that the artists have everything they need to make the most of an unusual situation.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Butterfly Effect: Everything You Need to Know About this Powerful Mental Model”

The butterfly effect is the idea that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system.
Although the concept of the butterfly effect has long been debated, the identification of it as a distinct effect is credited to Edward Lorenz.
The butterfly effect is somewhat humbling-a model that exposes the flaws in other models.
Ray Bradbury, the Butterfly Effect, and the Arrow of Time.
These interconnected concepts – the butterfly effect, chaos theory, determinism, free will, time travel – have captured many imaginations since their discoveries.
Films ranging from It’s a Wonderful Life to Donnie Darko and the eponymous Butterfly Effect have explored the complexities of cause and effect.
Chaos theory in markets addresses the behavior of strategic and dynamic moves of competing firms that are highly sensitive to existing market conditions triggering the butterfly effect.
The butterfly effect in economics refers to the compounding impact of small changes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Who Will Be the Next Patriots?”

Of course, personnel management isn’t just trading players a year before they decline, and Belichick and Co. have done an amazing job in retaining key players, continually restocking the shelves with talented stars and important role players, and most important, developing these players within the Pats’ system.
Add in decisions to draft tight end Rob Gronkowski, receiver Julian Edelman, defensive back Devin McCourty, Hightower, and a gaggle of talented trench players over the past 16 years, and Belichick has shown the ability to surround his star quarterback with the playmakers he needs to contend each and every year.
The Patriots aren’t just any regular dynasty; the team that won three Super Bowls in four years from 2001 to 2004-that was a dynasty.
With Brady’s career winding down, the question is: Which team could become the next Patriots?
It’s rare for an NFL dynasty to span multiple quarterbacks, and with Roethlisberger already talking about retirement, the Steelers may have to win the next two Super Bowls to even chip away at the Patriots’ throne.
Without Super Bowl wins in each of the next two or three seasons, New York will likely have to settle for being the Patriots’ foil, rather than their successor-but that’s not such a bad thing to be.
Assuming the perpetual drama that seems to surround the team-or their apparent lack of interest in building an offensive line-doesn’t derail what looks to be a good setup, Seattle looks capable of making a run at the Super Bowl this year, and perhaps in years beyond.
There appears to be a unified front office from the top down: Owner Arthur Blank gave GM Thomas Dimitroff a vote of confidence when he re-signed him before last season, and Quinn took his team from an 8-8 finish in Year 1 to the Super Bowl in Year 2.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Letter From Abuja: The Fading Sheen of Nigeria’s Capital City – Common Edge”

The city of Abuja, often touted as Africa’s fastest growing city, was conceived in 1976 in response to the growing chaos and inefficiency of Lagos, Nigeria’s old capital city.
Forty years after its designation as Nigeria’s new capital city, Abuja has grown from a band of sparsely-populated villages, into one of West Africa’s most cosmopolitan cities.
The capital, with its impressive architecture, extensive roads, large parks and green areas, and idiosyncratic master plan, prides itself as a contemporary African model city, thus attracting people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
According to a 2010 Euro monitor special report, the city’s population more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, making it the fastest growing city in the world during that period.
The city’s light rail project, which will eventually connect the neighborhoods with its suburban districts, is finally nearing completion, ten years after the city first broke ground on it.
Although almost every home within the city today has a running tap, most residents in the newer districts aren’t connected to the city’s main system.
In addition to all the developmental challenges, the city has also experienced protests from the original inhabitants of Abuja, a group made up all the indigenous tribes that had hitherto occupied the lands around the capital city and its territories.
The city also needs to focus on completing all of its on-going transportation projects, and embark on new ones until every part of the city is seamlessly-and equitably-connected.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Jack Daniel’s Failed to Honor a Slave, an Author Rewrote History”

It didn’t help that many people misunderstood the history, assuming that Daniel had owned Green and stolen his recipe.
Through dozens of conversations, local people, many of whom worked or still work for Jack Daniel’s, told her about learning Green’s story from their parents and grandparents, holding it as fact even as the company kept silent.
Mr. McCallum says he left reinvigorated, and within a few weeks he had plans in place to put Green at the center of the Jack Daniel’s story line.
In a May meeting with 100 distillery employees, including several of Green’s descendants, he outlined how the company would incorporate Green into the official history, and that month the company began training its two dozen tour guides.
At one point Jack Daniel’s proposed adding a Nearest Green bottle to its “Master Distiller” series, a limited-edition run of bottles that celebrate its former master distillers, but dropped the idea over concerns from inside and outside the company about appearing to cash in on Green’s name.
Jack Daniel’s seems unfazed, for now, by the use of Green’s name on someone else’s liquor.
Although there is no known photograph of Green, the company placed a photo of Daniel seated next to an unidentified black man – he may be Green or one of his sons who also worked for the distillery – on its wall of master distillers, a sort of corporate hall of fame.
“I’ve lost track of him after 1884,” the year when Jack Daniel moved his distillery to its current location, and Green disappeared from the fledgling company’s records, she said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside the Lab That’s Quantifying Happiness”

That’s the proposition of Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth, who co-direct the University of Vermont’s Computational Story Lab, a warren of whiteboards and grad students in a handsome brick building near the shores of Lake Champlain.
Out of that, they hatched the Computational Story Lab, which sifts through some of that public data to discern the stories we’re telling ourselves.
It’s no mere party trick; the Story Labbers believe the Lexicocalorimeter has important advantages over slower, more traditional methods of gathering health data.
“One of our goals was to provide a snapshot of the public’s response to something,” Danforth explained, “The texture of the day.” Most regular days fall into a narrow band with an average happiness level around six, though Saturdays are consistently the happiest days of the week and Tuesdays the grumpiest.
By analyzing the tweets of both depressed and healthy individuals, the Story Lab has developed algorithms that can accurately identify depression months before actual diagnoses by mental health practitioners.
The Story Lab has analyzed the words in 10,000 books and 1,000 movie scripts, and it accurately sorts the feel-goods from the nihilists.
Riffing off Kurt Vonnegut’s famous talk on the shapes of archetypal stories, the Story Labbers came up with six arcs that stories tend to follow: Rags-to-Riches, Tragedy, Man-in-a-Hole, Icarus, Cinderella, and Oedipus.
As the Story Lab gets even better at finding the signals in our noise, let’s hope we like what we discover.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In Denmark, Is It Really That Good to Be the King?”

In the always active “It’s tough to be a guy” department, few recent developments are more choice than the announcement, last week, by His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Denmark that he refuses to be buried next to his wife, Margrethe.
The Royal House of Denmark’s Communications Office-and who would not believe anything coming from that source?-has assured the public that the marriage will not be affected by the Prince’s decision.
We should probably pass up the opportunity to imagine the conversation at the royal breakfast table the morning after the Prince announced his refusal, but if he and the Queen are not in couples therapy already, they probably should be.
The Prince is reported to have long been aggrieved by the fact that he has been denied the title of King.
According to a story in the Times, when the couple were first married, Henrik was not given a staff or a salary.
It’s not as though the world is filled with people more qualified to be King Consort of Denmark than Prince Henrik.
It costs little to permit Henrik, whenever he feels like it, to say to himself, with Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be the king.” What does Denmark have to lose?
Even in Norway, the Crown Prince, whose name is Haakon and who has a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, is followed like a movie star.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Top journalists reveal the best reporting advice they have received”

CJR reached out to an array of prominent journalists, from veterans and legends to recent grads and up-and-comers, and asked them to share the best advice they’ve received, words that have stuck with them as they’ve built their careers.
“George Packer once told me before my first reporting trip to Russia: ‘Write about what’s interesting to you. The rest will follow.’ I’ve been following that advice ever since.”
“The advice I remember most is from Deborah Nelson, who’s now a professor at the University of Maryland. When I was an intern at the Seattle Times. in 1998, she was an investigative reporter at the paper, and she did a little seminar on investigative reporting for us neophytes. I remember her advice about a big story: Imagine your story as a set of concentric circles, with the subject at the center. Start at the outer ring-with sources only distantly connected to the subject, and with documents-and work toward the center.”
“I’m really not sure where this came from because it’s essentially a Reporting 101 truism but still really helpful: Report against your own biases. That is, include the reporting that has a chance of proving you wrong, not just confirming what you already think or think that you know. At the very least, this will allow you to know in advance what the objections to a story might be. It tends to make reporting more fair-and more bulletproof.”
Tom Cole is the arts desk editor at NPR. Cole says he received advice from former NPR cultural desk editor Sharon Ball that was “a matter of due diligence.”
“Maybe we’re doing a story on a museum that has a supposedly looted work of art, and the reporter will say, ‘Well, the museum is not going to comment,’ and I’ll say, ‘Make ’em tell you no. Go back to them and ask them.’ And I think that’s the best bit of advice I’ve ever been given.”
“I’ve gotten a lot of advice over the years, but the best piece of advice was the first piece of advice I got, which is actually from a colleague here named. Nell Greenfieldboyce., who walked into my class as a teacher and told me to go get clips,” Brumfiel says.
“The advice was the classic City News Bureau advice, which is, ‘If your mother says she loves you, check it out,'” Diaz says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “If I Ran a Newspaper.”

Another new revenue opportunity aided by data - one that is still almost unexplored in our industry - is commerce.
How can local media companies get a piece of this commerce revenue? At the simplest level, I would experiment with replacing cheap and irritating remnant advertising with commerce units - for example, simple Amazon recommendations and links - taking the often-measly affiliate fees, just to start learning.
A small set of companies - Gizmodo Media, Business Insider, New York Magazine, Wirecutter, Purch Media, and Condé Nast - are beginning to learn the keys to success in commerce.
The good news is that commerce can make us less dependent on dwindling advertising.
The bad news is that - given customers’ preferences for where they are most likely to shop - commerce will also make us dependent on Amazon just as we are dependent on Google and Facebook for audience and ad revenue.
The bigger question for our mythical metropolitan news organization is whether there is any local commerce revenue to be had with our old friends and customers, local retailers.
The US Postal Service - which is a key competitor in the business of delivering print advertising and thus is as desperate as we are for new revenue opportunities - could well meet the local express delivery challenge.
Why not subscription and pay walls? In Geeks, I argued that selling content works if you’re making unique content such as entertainment but not if you’re making commodity content such as news and information.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Driscoll’s Reinvented the Strawberry”

Driscoll’s sells more than a billion clamshells every year; it was Driscoll’s idea to put berries into clamshells in the first place.
The story of Driscoll’s long dominion begins with what might be perceived as an original sin: in the midst of the Second World War, the group of growers that eventually became Driscoll’s got hold of the university’s germplasm, hired its chief breeders, and created a strawberry leviathan.
The Driscolls and the Reiters had enjoyed the advantages of controlling a breed after a twenty-year run, Banner fell victim to “The yellows,” a viral infection spread by strawberry aphids.
Family lore has it that in 1944 Ned Driscoll and some grower friends pooled their gas rations and drove to the university plots to rescue the life’s work of Thomas and Goldsmith: untold thousands of strawberry seedlings, representing precious university germplasm.
In an account provided by Driscoll’s, Thomas writes that nevertheless Goldsmith “Did recognize it as having a fruit character of excellent quality.” He and Goldsmith kept at it, testing and adjusting the growing regimen until they had “Perhaps the finest commercial strawberry ever developed.” In 1958, they released it as Z5A, Driscoll’s first proprietary cultivar, a blockbuster berry that would prove momentous for the company.
The strapping, broad-shouldered modern strawberry that Driscoll’s exemplifies is the product of a cross between a Virginian male and a Chilean female that took place in France in the eighteenth century.
“Would that be good, if we planted a variety that had a cinnamon kind of flavor?” Schwieterman went on, “What about reconstructing a basil flavor in a strawberry? This species has one component that’s pretty important to basil, and one of our commercial species has another. What would happen if we introgressed that and got multiple compounds in a strawberry? You’d have a strawberry that’s going to taste great with your salad and balsamic dressing, because it has a nice basil undertone.” Driscoll’s hopes that its breeders can use this information to create new cultivars, producing strawberries as you would a track, dialling down the greasy peach and laying in some cinnamon and must, over a bass line of drought tolerance.
Baum, the retired strawberry executive, said, “If you make any kind of deal letting Shaw and that group have those materials, you are going to be doing the same thing that happened with the university and Driscoll’s, giving them the same kind of a hold that Driscoll’s had for fifty years. They could easily eclipse Driscoll’s.”

The orginal article.