friday link list

1. The Future of “Short Attention Span Theater” {npr}.

[Jessica] Helfand says she’s trying to channel [her student’s impatience], that desire to control the consumption of media, into creating a better visual, more compelling experience on the screen — an experience tailored to shorter attention spans.

“So, for example, my students are making two-minute, sort of Twitter-length videos,” she says. “So you’re still compartmentalized within that very short trajectory of information, but then the challenge is, can you go deep emotionally, can you go deep visually … but still deliver something that’s dramatically interesting?”


2. Planet Money’s Fake Candidate

The fascinating conclusion to their multi-part series on what the perfect economist-rated candidate would look like.

For months now, we’ve been creating a fake presidential candidate based on the best ideas economics has to offer. We came up with a platform, with the help of a panel of economists. We hashed out the disagreement among the panel. We brought in political consultants who laughed at us, but also gave us some great messaging ideas.

Today, we take it to the people — or, at least, a focus group. We find out whether these economically sound ideas can get anyone’s vote. And we create a couple real ads for our fake candidate.


3. Why Eating out in the City of Brotherly Love has Never Been Beter {bon appétit}.

In their kitchens, acclaimed homegrown chefs like Jose Garces and Marc Vetri have incubated and invested in young talent, some of whom have moved on to launch their own projects. The resulting scene is a mix of pioneers honing their visions and ambitious up-and-comers opening intimate spots in new neighborhoods.


4. The Proliferation of Verbifications {the new york times}.

A brief history of the linguistic practice of converting a word from another part of speech into a verb.

Surname-inspired verbs seldom outlive their namesakes. (Two notable exceptions are bowdlerize and mesmerize, coined in dubious honor of the Shakespearean expurgator Thomas Bowdler and the physician Friedrich Anton Franz Mesmer, respectively.) Most of the verbified proper names in Paul Simon’s 1965 song “A Simple Desultory Philippic” — John O’Hara’d, McNamara’d, Lou Adlered, Barry Sadlered — are already obsolescent.