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Could Shakespeare Have Tweeted Hamlet?

Would a prose by any other character limit spell as sweet?

2 min read
Could Shakespeare Have Tweeted Hamlet?

Twitter notoriously limits tweets to 140 characters—the size of an SMS text, minus 20 characters for the tweeter's user name. So what can—and cannot—be said in 140 characters? For example, how does that stack up when it comes to speeches in a play, sentences in a novel, amendments to the U.S. Constitution, or verses in the Bible?

Our calculations show that the Bill of Rights averages 264.6 characters per amendment; only 2 of these first 10 amendments to the Constitution would fit into a tweet. Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn did about as well as any work we looked at, with 94 characters per sentence. Nevertheless, roughly one-fifth of its sentences exceed the 140-character limit. (To be sure, quotes and sentence fragments can be counted in different ways, but the numbers shown here wouldn't change drastically.)

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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