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Week of 10/28/18

PUBLISHED: November 5, 2018

In an effort to better acquaint you, the reader, with the VQR staff, members of our team will share excerpts from our personal reading—The Best 200 Words I Read All Week. From fact to fiction, from comedic to tragic, we hope you find as much to admire in these selections as we do.

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As he did so, his confidence grew that not only would this evidence lead to a conviction, but also that a conviction would represent justice in the world. In other words, the defendant was guilty. He did not overlook the many loose ends presented within the story: the single witness who had been inebriated, strung out, severely overtired, and hungover at the time of the murders, and who had identified a suspect, by voice only, whom she had encountered once in her life and never spoken to directly; the very odd time lapse between when the murder was said to have taken place—seven thirty—and when Georgianna’s roommate had first called the police two hours later.

Graphic Designer Jenn Boggs
Excerpt from The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs


YouTube analytics show exactly when a video’s audience falls off. ChuChu and other companies like it—whatever their larger philosophy—can see exactly what holds a toddler’s attention, moment by moment, and what causes it to drift. If a video achieves a 60 percent average completion rate, ChuChu knows it has a hit. Using these data doesn’t let it “crack the algorithm”; everyone has access to a version of these numbers. Instead, Chandar uses the analytics to tune his and other creators’ intuition about what works.

But what people want changes. As YouTube became the world’s babysitter—an electronic pacifier during trips, or when adults are having dinner—parents began to seek out videos that soaked up more time. So nowadays what’s most popular on Toddler YouTube are not three-minute songs, but compilations that last 30 to 45 minutes, or even longer.

Editorial Intern Rachel Freeman
Excerpt from “Raised by YouTube,” The Atlantic, by Alexis C. Madrigal


Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part.
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free. 
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows, 
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
Now at the last gasp of Love’s latest breath, 
When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies; 
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death, 
And Innocence is closing up his eyes— 
Now, if thou wouldst, when all have given him over, 
From death to life thou might’st him yet recover!

Social Media Manager Sydney Bradley
“Idea 61: Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part” by Michael Drayton


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