Be the first. Leading scientists are unlike other leaders, says biologist E.O. Wilson. Their minds wander. They are not voted most likely to succeed. But at core, they’re leaders: “They prefer to take first steps alone. They seek an important phenomenon previously overlooked. An opportunity to be the first is their smell of blood.”
— Adapted from Letters to a Young Scientist, Edward O. Wilson, W.W. Norton.
Help meeee. Why are so many people throwing extra letters into their text messages? Linguist and lexicographer Ben Zimmer says these elongations, like emoticons, help provide context in text-only situations starved for nuance.
—Adapted from “Drag it Out?” Jen Doll, The Atlantic.
No shortcuts. In 2001, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter sagely advised President Bush before Game 3 of the World Series. Nervous about throwing the first pitch while encumbered with a bulletproof vest, Bush considered standing in front of the mound. “Throw from the mound,” Jeter warned, “or else they’ll boo you.”
— Adapted from “Let’s Play Ball!” Tevi Troy, Washingtonian.