Public Media Scan: Learn to be happy

The Happiness Index from The Guardian's new app

Does it feel like adulthood is often about rediscovering things we knew, or were taught, as kids? That’s the prevailing theme for this week’s Public Media Scan.

Happiness? The Guardian wants to teach you. How speakers work? Jacob O’Neal’s on the case. And how digital stories get made? That’s the idea behind Storybench, a new project from Northeastern University and Esquire magazine, edited by friend-of-the-Scan Aleszu Bajak.

• Happiness. The Guardian’s newest app is part social engineer, part life coach. Fun, possibly a public service, but is it journalism? (Alternative for emo types: NFB’s infinite scream project.) 

• If You Skipped That Day in Physics Class, Too. Indie graphic artist Jacob O’Neal explains how speakers make sound.
• Read This? Read That. Storybench just launched with behind-the-scenes reporting about “the art and science of digital storytelling.” Scan readers will find lots to like. 
As a lagniappe, here are a few in-case-you-missed-it items from the week gone by:
• Breakmaster Cylinder’s “The NPR Drop,” a 1:42 dubstep remix featuring Lakshmi Singh. Best comment so far? “no one has ever accused dubstep of summoning Daniel Schorr from beyond the void, before. probably.”
The winning projects from NFB’s “Haiku” interactive documentary competition. Alas, the announcement included summaries, not the projects. I’ll keep an eye out and share when they’re released into the wild.
That’s it for this week. If you spot (or make) a great project at the intersection of tech, media and storymaking art, email the details to me at You can peruse our archive here. 
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