Weekend Reads: Tiny Desk Concerts, fictional languages, and credit

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Weekend Reads: Tiny Desk Concerts, fictional languages, and credit

In this week's Weekend Reads: What fans and companies can learn from NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series, the real-world knowledge that goes into creating a fake-world language, and everything you can do to help your credit and hurt your finances.


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The Ringer
How NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts Took Over the Internet

If you’re a hardcore music fan, you’ve probably heard of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. If you're an average music fan, but you like listening to wildly popular artists (Adele, T-Pain, Chance the Rapper) and discovering new bands, you should be listening to Tiny Desk Concerts. In short: NPR sticks a musician in an office (as Chance puts it, "actually actually in an office") and they perform stripped down versions of songs. It's a crazy popular series, and as more sites become desperate for visitors and viewers and "pivot to video" it's seen a lot of imitators. The Ringer has a great in-depth look at Tiny Desk's evolution and how NPR has built it into an online juggernaut.


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Steam
Devs - Inspiration for the voiced clips in Pyre?

I'm a big fan of when creators go through the pains of making a fictional language to add authenticity to their world. It's why a recent Weekend Reads talked about Duolingo offering High Valyrian courses. Pyre is a very good game released by Supergiant Games, and over the course of playing wizard football (you should really just buy the game) it fleshes out a pretty in-depth world. In a thread on the Steam forums, Supergiant Creative Director Greg Kasavin delves into how he created Pyre's Sahrian language using a mix of Latin, Russian, Japanese, and romance languages to make it sound real. It's a cool behind-the-scenes look at the creative challenges of worldbuilding.


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Two Cents
Habits That Give You Good Credit Can Still Be Bad For Your Finances

Credit! Everyone needs it, no one knows how it works. Seriously, there are a lot of things out there that could help your credit but not much else. For example, opening a bunch of credit cards really helps your credit utilization...but then you have a bunch of open credit cards. Or a personal example: I constantly get recommendations to take out a mortgage or a large loan to boost my credit score. No thanks. Kristin Wong has a nice roundup of the different ways your financial decisions can be good for a very specific reason - boosting your credit - while doing some real damage to your overall finances.

Image: Wavebreakmedia