For this issue, we asked our contributors, “What’s the best thing anyone ever taught you to do?” Click on the pictures below for their answers, and for links to their individual websites.


Paula Berman

In Podkayne of Mars, Robert Heinlein wrote “It isn’t necessary to be a linguist if you will learn just one word—in as many languages as possible. Just “thank you.” Of course it’s better to learn more if you can, but if you are traveling, being able to say “hello” and “thank you” in the local language (and being willing to make a fool of yourself if it gets the idea across with body language) will get you a long way.