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Quotes of the day: Alan Dershowitz
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Published Sunday, August 31, 2014 @ 10:06 PM EDT
Aug 31 2014

Alan Morton Dershowitz (born September 1, 1938) is an American lawyer, jurist, author, and political commentator. He is a prominent scholar on United States constitutional law and criminal law. He spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where in 1967, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history. He held the Felix Frankfurter professorship there from 1993 until his retirement in December 2013. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A good lawyer knows how to shut up when he's won his case.

All law is about injustice.

Asymmetrical warfare is a euphemism for terrorism, just like collateral damage is a euphemism for killing innocent civilians.

Being offended by freedom of speech should never be regarded as a justification for violence.

Candor and accountability in a democracy is very important. Hypocrisy has no place.

Censorship laws are blunt instruments, not sharp scalpels. Once enacted, they are easily misapplied to merely unpopular or only marginally dangerous speech.

Freedom of speech means freedom for those who you despise, and freedom to express the most despicable views. It also means that the government cannot pick and choose which expressions to authorize and which to prevent.

Good character consists of recognizing the selfishness that inheres in each of us and trying to balance it against the altruism to which we should all aspire. It is a difficult balance to strike, but no definition of goodness can be complete without it.

Hypocrisy is not a way of getting back to the moral high ground. Pretending you're moral, saying your moral is not the same as acting morally.

I don't think the law exists to arrive at the truth. If it did, we wouldn't have exclusionary rules, we wouldn't have presumptions of innocence, we wouldn't have proof beyond reasonable doubt. There's an enormous difference between the role of truth in law and the role of truth in science. In law, truth is one among many goals.

I tell my students, if you ever become comfortable with your role as criminal defense lawyer, it's time to quit. It should be a constant source of discomfort, because you're dealing with incredible moral ambiguity, and you've been cast into a role which is not enviable.

I think that lawyers are terrible at admitting that they're wrong. And not just admitting it; also realizing it. Most lawyers are very successful, and they think that because they're making money and people think well of them, they must be doing everything right.

I think we're seeing privacy diminish, not by laws... but by young people who don't seem to value their privacy.

I'm worried about privacy because of the young people who don't give a damn about their privacy, who are prepared to put their entire private lives online. They put stuff on Facebook that 15 years from now will prevent them from getting the jobs they want. They don't understand that they are mortgaging their future for a quick laugh from a friend.

In the real world in which we live, you always have to choose between evils. And in choosing between evils, you have to have moral criteria for how to make those choices.

In today's distorted world of 'human rights,' truth takes a back seat to ideology, and false claims- especially those that 'support' radical ideologies- persist even after they have been exposed.

Individuals have the right to pick and choose which expressions to condemn, which to praise and which to say nothing about. Governments, however, must remain neutral as to the content of expression. And governments must protect the rights of all to express even the most despicable of views.

Intimidated people always say they are not intimidated; that's the nature of intimidation.

Judges are the weakest link in our system of justice, and they are also the most protected.

Laws are important precisely because in a democracy they reflect the attitudes and aspirations of those they govern.

Many insane people and seriously mentally ill people seem very reasonable.

Scientists search for truth. Philosophers search for morality. A criminal trial searches for only one result: proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sometimes the public has to be reminded that the word criminal in criminal lawyer- like the word baby in baby doctor- is a description not of the professional, but rather of the clientele.

The court of last resort is no longer the Supreme Court. It's 'Nightline.'

The law is agnostic about truth.It's very skeptical of ultimate truth. That's why freedom of speech permits lies to be told.

The threat or fear of violence should not become an excuse or justification for restricting freedom of speech.

The worst mistake you can make is underrating your enemy. Assuming that they're evil- I think it's a terrible thing to do.

We don't have an Official Secrets Act in the United States, as other countries do. Under the First Amendment, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of association are more important than protecting secrets.

When you discriminate against anyone, you discriminate against everyone. It's a display of terrible intolerance.

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(September 1 is also the birthday of Ann Richards.)


Categories: Alan Dershowitz, Quotes of the day


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Quotes of the day: Warren Buffett
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Published Friday, August 29, 2014 @ 11:17 AM EDT
Aug 29 2014

Warren Edward Buffett (b. August 30, 1930) is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century. Buffett is the chairman, CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway and consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people. He was ranked as the world's wealthiest person in 2008 and as the third wealthiest person in 2011. In 2012, American magazine Time named Buffett one of the most influential people in the world. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A girl in a convertible is worth five in the phone book.

A public opinion poll is no substitute for thought.

Beware of geeks bearing formulas.

Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future.

Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don't expect it from cheap people.

I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me.

I prefer liquor store robbers with hungry kids to companies that locate offshore to avoid U.S. taxes.

I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.

I wouldn't mind going to jail if I had three cellmates who played bridge.

I'll tell you why I like the cigarette business. It costs a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It's addictive. And there's fantastic brand loyalty.

If a farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favor by shooting Orville down.

If past history was all that is needed to play the game, the richest people would be librarians.

If you're in the luckiest one percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.

It has been far safer to steal large sums with a pen than small sums with a gun.

It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.

It's never paid to bet against America. We come through things, but its not always a smooth ride.

It's nice to have a lot of money, but you know, you don't want to keep it around forever. I prefer buying things. Otherwise, it's a little like saving sex for your old age.

It's only when the tide goes out that your learn who's been swimming naked.

It's very hard to write regulations that will keep people from acting foolishly, particularly when acting foolishly has proven very profitable over the preceding few years.

Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.

Putting people into homes, though a desirable goal, shouldn't be our country's primary objective. Keeping them in their homes should be the ambition.

Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing.

Rule Number 1: Never lose money. Rule Number 2: Never forget rule Number 1.

Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.

The only value of stock forecasters is to make fortune tellers look good.

There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.

There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning.

Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.

Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls-Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.

We believe that according the name "investors" to institutions that trade actively is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a "romantic."

We never want to count on the kindness of strangers in order to meet tomorrow's obligations. When forced to choose, I will not trade even a night's sleep for the chance of extra profits.

When a country needs more income, they should get it from the people that have it.

When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.

You don't need 20 decisions to get very rich. Four or five will probably do it over time.

You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.

You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong.


Categories: Quotes of the day, Warren Buffett


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Quotes of the day: Charles F. Kettering
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Published Thursday, August 28, 2014 @ 4:02 PM EDT
Aug 28 2014

Charles Franklin Kettering (August 29, 1876 – November 24 or November 25, 1958) was an American inventor, engineer, businessman, and the holder of 186 patents.[1] He was a founder of Delco, and was head of research at General Motors from 1920 to 1947. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A person must have a certain amount of intelligent ignorance to get anywhere.

A problem thoroughly understood is always fairly simple. Found your opinions on facts, not prejudices. We know too many things that are not true.

A problem well stated is a problem half-solved.

Bankers regard research as most dangerous a thing that makes banking hazardous due to the rapid changes it brings about in industry.

Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.

Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.

Great steps in human progress are made by things that don't work the way philosophy thought they should. If things always worked the way they should, you could write the history of the world from now on. But they don't, and it is those deviations from the normal that make human progress.

If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.

In America we can say what we think, and even if we can't think, we can say it anyhow.

Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.

My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.

No one would have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm.

People are very open-minded about new things- as long as they're exactly like the old ones.

People see the wrongness in an idea much quicker that the rightness.

Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble. Good news weakens me.

The difference between intelligence and education is this: intelligence will make you a good living.

The key to economic prosperity is the organized creation of dissatisfaction.

The only difference between a problem and a solution is that people understand the solution.

The whole fun of living is trying to make something better.

The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.

There is a great difference between knowing a thing and understanding it.

We have been measuring too much in terms of the dollar. What we should do is think in terms of useful materials— things that will be of value to us in our daily life.

We think we are smart because we have been flying for about sixty years. Birds and bees and butterflies have been flying for hundreds of thousands of years.

Why is the human skull as dense as it is? Nowadays we can send a message around the world in one-seventh of a second, but it takes years to drive an idea through a quarter-inch of human skull.

You are always too late with a development if you are so slow that people demand it before you yourself recognize it.

You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.

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August 29 is also the birthday of John Locke and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.


Categories: Charles F. Kettering, Quotes of the day


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Quotes of the day: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
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Published Tuesday, August 26, 2014 @ 8:55 PM EDT
Aug 26 2014

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher, and a major figure in German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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Amid the pressure of great events, a general principle gives no help.

Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights.

It is because the method of physics does not satisfy the comprehension that we have to go on further.

It is easier to discover a deficiency in individuals, in states, and in providence, than to see their real import or value.

Life has a value only when it has something valuable as its object.

Reading the morning newspaper is the realist's morning prayer.

The Few assume to be the deputies, but they are often only the despoilers of the Many.

The force of mind is only as great as its expression; its depth only as deep as its power to expand and lose itself.

The heart is everywhere, and each part of the organism is only the specialized force of the heart itself.

The History of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of Freedom...

The true is the whole.

To be aware of limitations is already to be beyond them.

To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great or rational whether in life or in science.

We may affirm absolutely that nothing great in the World has been accomplished without passion.

What experience and history teach is this- that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it.

What is reasonable is real; that which is real is reasonable.

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(August 27 is also the birthday of Lyndon B. Johnson.)


Categories: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Quotes of the day


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Quotes of the day: William James
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Published Monday, August 25, 2014 @ 8:08 PM EDT
Aug 25 2014

William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician. The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States, James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States has ever produced, while others have labelled him the "Father of American psychology." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A difference which makes no difference is no difference at all.

All our scientific and philosophic ideals are altars to unknown gods.

As a rule we disbelieve all facts and theories for which we have no use.

Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.

Democracy is still upon its trial. The civic genius of our people is its only bulwark.

Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.

In the deepest heart of all of us there is a corner in which the ultimate mystery of things works sadly.

Instinct leads, intelligence does but follow.

It is an odd circumstance that neither the old nor the new, by itself, is interesting; the absolutely old is insipid; the absolutely new makes no appeal at all. The old in the new is what claims the attention,- the old with a slightly new turn.

Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being.

No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one's sentiments may be, if one has not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one's character may remain entirely unaffected for the better.

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.

Real culture lives by sympathies and admirations, not by dislikes and disdain- under all misleading wrappings it pounces unerringly upon the human core.

Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes. Not through mere perversity do men run after it.

Take the happiest man, the one most envied by the world, and in nine cases out of ten his inmost consciousness is one of failure. Either his ideals in the line of his achievements are pitched far higher than the achievements themselves, or else he has secret ideals of which the world knows nothing, and in regard to which he inwardly knows himself to be found wanting.

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

The deadliest enemies of nations are not their foreign foes; they always dwell within their borders

The essence of genius is knowing what to overlook.

The gods we stand by are the gods we need and can use, the gods whose demands on us are reinforcements of our demands on ourselves and on one another

The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude of mind.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.

The hell to be endured hereafter, of which theology tells, is no worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this world by habitually fashioning our characters in the wrong way.

The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch- goddess SUCCESS. That- with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word success- is our national disease.

The most any one can do is to confess as candidly as he can the grounds for the faith that is in him, and leave his example to work on others as it may.

There is but one unconditional commandment, which is that we should seek incessantly, with fear and trembling, so to vote and to act as to bring about the very largest total universe of good which we can see.

There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.

There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.

There is only one thing that a philosopher can be relied on to do, and that is, to contradict other philosophers.

Thinking is what a great many people think they are doing when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.

To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.

Truth is what works.

We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.

We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never to be undone. Every smallest stroke of virtue or of vice leaves its never so little scar.

Whenever two people meet there are really six people present There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.

Wherever you are it is your own friends who make your world.

(August 25 is also the birthday of Ben Bradlee.)


Categories: Quotes of the day, William James


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Quotes of the day: Martin Amis
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Published Sunday, August 24, 2014 @ 10:46 PM EDT
Aug 24 2014


(The Telegraph photo by Clara Molden)

Martin Louis Amis (b August 25, 1949) is an English novelist. His best-known novels are Money (1984) and London Fields (1989). He has received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his memoir Experience and has been listed for the Booker Prize twice to date (shortlisted in 1991 for Time's Arrow and longlisted in 2003 for Yellow Dog). Amis served as the Professor of Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester until 2011. The Times named him in 2008 as one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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Being inoffensive, and being offended, are now the twin addictions of the culture.

Bullets cannot be recalled. They cannot be uninvented. But they can be taken out of the gun.

Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything.

I think it's the whole impulse to judge and censor and euphemize, that is the enemy.

In my experience of fights and fighting, it is invariably the aggressor who keeps getting everything wrong.

It now seems that pornography is the leading sex educator in the Western world.

It used to be said that by a certain age a man had the face that he deserved. Nowadays, he has the face he can afford.

Just as a Philistine does not on the whole devote his life to his art, so a misogynist does not devote his inner life to women

Laughter always forgives.

Life is chaos. It has none of the symmetries and patterning of the novel.

Money doesn’t mind if we say it’s evil, it goes from strength to strength. It’s a fiction, an addiction, and a tacit conspiracy.

On any longer view, man is only fitfully committed to the rational- to thinking, seeing, learning, knowing. Believing is what he's really proud of.

People don't change or improve much, but they do evolve. It is very slow.

Remember the axiom: the danger of terrorism lies not in what it inflicts but in what it provokes.

Style is not neutral; it gives moral directions.

Terrorism undermines morality. Then, too, it undermines reason.

The true manipulator never has a reputation for manipulating.

There are two rules of war that have not yet been invalidated by the new world order. The first rule is that the belligerent nation must be fairly sure that its actions will make things better; the second rule is that the belligerent nation must be more or less certain that its actions won't make things worse

Weapons are like money; no one knows the meaning of enough.

What is the only provocation that could bring about the use of nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the priority target for nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the only established defense against nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. How do we prevent the use of nuclear weapons? By threatening the use of nuclear weapons. And we can't get rid of nuclear weapons, because of nuclear weapons. The intransigence, it seems, is a function of the weapons themselves.

What we eventually run up against are the forces of humourlessness, and let me assure you that the humourless as a bunch don't just not know what's funny, they don't know what's serious. They have no common sense, either, and shouldn't be trusted with anything.

(August 25 is also the birthday of Leonard Bernstein.)


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Quotes of the day: Paulo Coelho
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Published Saturday, August 23, 2014 @ 10:42 PM EDT
Aug 23 2014

Paulo Coelho was born on August 24, 1947, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was a rebellious teenager and his parents committed him to an asylum three times. When Coelho was 38 years old, he had a spiritual awakening in Spain and wrote about it in his first book, The Pilgrimage. It was his second book, The Alchemist, which made him famous. He's sold 35 million copies and now writes about one book every two years. (Click here for full biography.com article)

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Accumulating love brings luck, accumulating hatred brings calamity.

At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That's the world's greatest lie.

At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.

Be like the fountain that overflows, not like the cistern than merely contains.

Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.

Finding something important in life does not mean that you must give up everything else.

Go in search of your Gift. The more you understand yourself, the more you will understand the world.

I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It's all a question of how I view my life.

If I had to give you one piece of advice, it would be this: don't be intimidated by other people's opinions

If I must fall, may it be from a high place.

If you have a past with which you feel dissatisfied, then forget it. Now.

If you rely only on experience, you'll simply keep applying old solutions to new problems.

It isn't expectations that carry us forward, it is our desire to go on.

It isn't what you did in the past that will affect the present. It's what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.

It's always easy to blame others. You can spend your entire life blaming the world, but your successes or failures are entirely your own responsibility. You can try to stop time, but it's a complete waste of energy.

Laugh at your worries and insecurities. View your anxieties with humor.

Life is a dream from which we wake only when we meet death.

Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.

Lovers need to know how to lose themselves and then how to find themselves again.

One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.

Our true friends are those who are with us when the good things happen. They cheer us on and are pleased by our triumphs. False friends only appear at difficult times, with their sad, supportive faces, when, in fact, our suffering is serving to console them for their miserable lives.

Past and future exist only in our memory. The present moment, though, is outside of time, it's Eternity.

Seek to live. Remembrance is for the old.

Stop being who you were and become who you are.

The first indication that we are killing our dreams is lack of time.
The second indication that our dreams are dead is certainty.
The third indication that our dreams are dead is peace

The gods throw the dice, and they don't ask whether we want to be in the game or not.

The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us. And to save us.

The only way to make the right decision is to find out which is the wrong decision, to examing that other path without fear, and only then to decide.

The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.

There are moments in life when we need to trust to blind intuition.

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.

Time neither moves nor is stationary. Time changes.

To live is to experience things, not sit around pondering the meaning of life.

Understand what is going on inside you and you will understand what is going on inside everyone else.

What can't be cured must be endured.

What hurts us is what heals us.

When I knocked, the door opened. When I looked, I found.

When there is no turning back, then we should concern ourselves only with the best way of going forward.

When we postpone the harvest, the fruit rots, but when we postpone our problems, they keep on growing.

When you cease doubting, you have stopped moving forward.

When you want something, the whole Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

Wherever your heart is, that is where you'll find your treasure.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of getting naked in public.

You are someone who is different, but who wants to be the same as everyone else. And that in my view is a serious illness.

You are what you believe yourself to be.

You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.

You have two choices: to control your mind or to let your mind control you.

(August 24 is also the birthday of Max Beerbohm and Theodore Parker.)


Categories: Paulo Coelho, Quotes of the day


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Quotes of the day: Dorothy Parker
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Published Thursday, August 21, 2014 @ 10:11 PM EDT
Aug 21 2014

Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles.

From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed as her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the Hollywood blacklist.

Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a "wisecracker". Nevertheless, her literary output and reputation for her sharp wit have endured.

After the United States entered the Second World War, Parker and Alexander Woollcott collaborated to produce an anthology of her work as part of a series published by Viking Press for servicemen stationed overseas. With an introduction by Somerset Maugham the volume compiled over two dozen of Parker's short stories along with selected poems from Enough Rope, Sunset Gun, and Death and Taxes. It was released in the United States in 1944 under the title The Portable Dorothy Parker. Parker's is one of only three of the Portable series (the other two being William Shakespeare and The Bible) to remain continuously in print.

Parker died on June 7, 1967, of a heart attack at the age of 73. In her will, she bequeathed her estate to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Following King's death, her estate was passed on to the NAACP. Her executor, Lillian Hellman, bitterly but unsuccessfully contested this disposition. Her ashes remained unclaimed in various places, including her attorney Paul O'Dwyer's filing cabinet, for approximately 17 years.

In 1988, the NAACP claimed Parker's remains and designed a memorial garden for them outside their Baltimore headquarters. The plaque reads,

Here lie the ashes of Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) humorist, writer, critic. Defender of human and civil rights. For her epitaph she suggested, 'Excuse my dust'. This memorial garden is dedicated to her noble spirit which celebrated the oneness of humankind and to the bonds of everlasting friendship between black and Jewish people. Dedicated by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. October 28, 1988.

In 2014, Parker was elected to the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

(Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A girl's best friend is her mutter.

Age before beauty... and pearls before swine.

All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn't sit in the same room with me.

As only New Yorkers know, if you can get through the twilight, you'll live through the night.

Authors and actors and artists and such
Never know nothing, and never know much.

Better be left by twenty dears
Than lie in a love-less bed;
Better a loaf that's wet with tears,
Than cold, unsalted bread.

Brevity is the soul of lingerie.

Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship.

Drink and dance and laugh and lie,
Love, the reeling midnight through,
For tomorrow we shall die!
(But, alas, we never do.)

Ducking for apples- change one letter and it's the story of my life.

Every love is the love before
In a duller dress.

Every year back comes Spring, with nasty little birds, yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.

Excuse my dust. (Proposed epitaph for herself)

Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.

Four be the things I'd have been better without:
love, curiosity, freckles and doubt.

Her golden rule is plain enough-
Just get them young and treat them rough.

Heterosexuality is not normal, it's just common.

I hate almost all rich people, but I think I'd be darling at it.

I hate women. They get on my nerves.

I hate writing, I love having written.

I know that there are things that never have been funny, and never will be. And I know that ridicule may be a shield, but it is not a weapon.

I require three things in a man. He must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid.

I should have stayed at home for dinner. I could have had something on a tray. The head of John the Baptist, or something.

I'd like to have money. And I'd like to be a good writer. But if that's too adorable, I'd rather have money.

I'm never going to accomplish anything; that's perfectly clear to me. I'm never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don't do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that any more.

If I didn't care for fun and such,
I'd probably amount to much.
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.

If I don't drive around the park,
I'm pretty sure to make my mark.
If I'm in bed each night by ten,
I may get back my looks again.
If I abstain from fun and such,
I'll probably amount to much;
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.

If I had any decency, I'd be dead. Most of my friends are.
(at age 70)

If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they're happy.

If you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you.

It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.
(Upon entering the hospital for an abortion.)

It's a small apartment, I've barely enough room to lay a hat and a few friends.

It's not the tragedies that kill us, it's the messes.

Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses.

Money cannot buy health, but I'd settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.

Now I know the things I know, and I do the things I do; and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you!

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

Oh, seek my love, your newer way;
I'll not be left in sorrow.
So long as I have yesterday,
Go take your damned tomorrow!

One more drink and I'd have been under the host.

People Who Do Things exceed my endurance;
God, for a man that solicits insurance!

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

Salary is no object: I want only enough to keep body and soul apart.

Scratch a lover, and find a foe.

She looks like something that would eat its young.

She wore a low but futile decolletage.

Some men tear your heart in two,
Some men flirt and flatter,
Some men never look at you,
And that clears up the matter.

Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both.

That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can't say No in any of them.

That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.

The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of their tires.

The only 'ism' Hollywood believes in is plagiarism.

The place was filled with people who looked as if they had been scraped out of drains.

The two most beautiful words in the English language are 'check enclosed.'

Their pooled emotions wouldn't fill a teaspoon.

There are those who, in their pride and their innocence, dedicate their careers to writing humorous pieces. Poor dears, the world is stacked against them from the start, for everybody in it has the right to look at their work and say, 'I don't think that's funny.'

There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.

They sicken of the calm, who know the storm.

This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.

Three highballs, and I think I'm St. Francis of Assisi.

Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.

'Union' is spelled with five letters. It is not a four-letter word.

What fresh hell can this be?

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think.

You can't teach an old dogma new tricks.

(August 22 is also the birthday of Ray Bradbury.)


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Quotes of the day: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
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Published Wednesday, August 20, 2014 @ 8:20 PM EDT
Aug 20 2014

Well known throughout polite society for her wit and verse, English world traveller Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (May 15, 1689 - August 21, 1762) also worked to introduce the practice of inoculation against smallpox to the medical establishment of eighteenth-century Britain, despite their resistance to taking advice (Click here for full YourDictionary.com article.)

-----

A face is too slight a foundation for happiness.

A man that is ashamed of passions that are natural and reasonable is generally proud of those that are shameful and silly.

Be plain in dress, and sober in your diet;
In short, my deary, kiss me and be quiet.

Civility costs nothing, and gains everything.

I despise the pleasure of pleasing people that I despise.

I enjoy vast delight in the folly of mankind; and, God be praised, that is an inexhaustible source of entertainment.

I give myself sometimes admirable advice, but I am incapable of taking it.

I wish you would moderate that fondness you have for your children. I do not mean you should abate any part of your care, or not do your duty to them in its utmost extent, but I would have you early prepare yourself for disappointments, which are heavy in proportion to their being surprising.

Life is too short for a long story.

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.

No modest man ever did or ever will make a fortune.

Nobody should trust their virtue with necessity, the force of which is never known till it is felt, and it is therefore one of the first duties to avoid the temptation of it.

People are never so near playing the fool as when they think themselves wise.

People commonly educate their children as they build their houses, according to some plan they think beautiful, without considering whether it is suited to the purposes for which they are designed.

Philosophy is the toil which can never tire persons engaged in it. All ways are strewn with roses, and the farther you go, the more enchanting objects appear before you and invite you on.

Time has the same effect on the mind as on the face; the predominant passion and the strongest feature become more conspicuous from the others' retiring.

To be ever beloved, one must be ever agreeable.

We are educated in the grossest ignorance, and no art omitted to stifle our natural reason; if some few get above their nurses' instructions, our knowledge must rest concealed and be as useless to the world as gold in the mine.

You can be pleased with nothing when you are not pleased with yourself.

There is nothing can pay one for that invaluable ignorance which is the companion of youth, those sanguine groundless hopes, and that lively vanity which makes all the happiness of life.

Nature is seldom in the wrong, custom always.

Whoever will cultivate their own mind will find full employment.

Solitude begets whimsies.


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Quotes of the day: Paul Tillich
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Published Tuesday, August 19, 2014 @ 10:59 PM EDT
Aug 19 2014

Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German American Christian existentialist philosopher and theologian who is widely regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century. Among the general public, he is best known for his works The Courage to Be (1952) and Dynamics of Faith (1957), which introduced issues of theology and modern culture to a general readership. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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Anger is a noble infirmity; the generous failing of the just; the one degree that riseth above zeal, asserting the prerogative of virtue.

Astonishment is the root of philosophy.

Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt.

Boredom is rage spread thin.

Cruelty towards others is always also cruelty towards ourselves.

Decision is a risk rooted in the courage of being free.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.

Even loneliness is not absolute loneliness because the contents of the universe are in him.

He who risks and fails can be forgiven. He who never risks and never fails is a failure in his whole being.

In this respect fundamentalism has demonic traits. It destroys the humble honesty of the search for truth, it splits the conscience of its thoughtful adherents, and it makes them fanatical because they are forced to suppress elements of truth of which they are dimly aware.

Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.

Life remains ambiguous as long as there is life.

Man is asked to make of himself what he is supposed to become to fulfill his destiny.

Man's ultimate concern must be expressed symbolically, because symbolic language alone is able to express the ultimate.

Neurosis is the way of avoiding non-being by avoiding being.

Nothing truly real is forgotten eternally, because everything real comes from eternity and goes to eternity.

Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.

Sometimes doubt conquers faith, but it still contains faith. Otherwise it would be indifference.

The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable.

The first duty of love is to listen.

The truth of faith cannot be confirmed by latest physical or biological or psychological discoveries- as it cannot be denied by them.

There is no love which does not become help.


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Quotes of the day: John Dryden
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Published Tuesday, August 19, 2014 @ 3:54 AM EDT
Aug 19 2014

John Dryden (August 19, 1631 - May 12, 1700) was an English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who was made Poet Laureate in 1668. He dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden. Walter Scott called him "Glorious John. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

-----

A man is to be cheated into passion, but reasoned into truth.

All delays are dangerous in war.

All heiresses are beautiful.

Better shun the bait, than struggle in the snare.

Beware the fury of a patient man.

Bold knaves thrive without one grain of sense,
But good men starve for want of impudence.

Burn daylight.

But far more numerous was the herd of such,
Who think too little, and who talk too much.

Content with poverty, my soul I arm;
And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.

Death in itself is nothing; but we fear
To be we know not what, we know not where.

Either be wholly slaves or wholly free.

Even victors are by victories undone.

For present joys are more to flesh and blood
Than a dull prospect of a distant good.

Genius must be born, and never can be taught.

Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
And thin partitions do their bounds divide.

I am resolved to grow fat, and look young till forty.

Mankind is ever the same, and nothing lost out of nature, though everything is altered.

None but the brave deserves the fair.

Nor is the people's judgment always true:
The most may err as grossly as the few.

Of all the tyrannies on human kind
The worst is that which persecutes the mind.

Pains of love be sweeter far
Than all other pleasures are.

Repentance is but want of power to sin.

Secret guilt by silence is betrayed.

Self-defense is Nature's eldest law.

Successful crimes alone are justified.

Sweet is pleasure after pain.

The wretched have no friends.

There is a pleasure sure
In being mad, which none but madmen know!

Thou strong seducer, Opportunity!

War is the trade of Kings.

War seldom enters but where wealth allures.

What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

With how much ease believe we what we wish!


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Quotes of the day: Denis Leary
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Published Monday, August 18, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Aug 18 2014

Denis Colin Leary (b. August 18, 1957) is an American actor, comedian, writer, director and film producer. He is known for his biting and fast-paced comedic style. He was the star and co-creator of the television show Rescue Me, which ended its seventh and final season on September 7, 2011. He has starred in many motion pictures, most recently as Captain George Stacy in Marc Webb's 2012 film The Amazing Spider-Man and the voice of Diego in the animated Ice Age series. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

Don't buy the toys that make the noise!

Hollywood is like baseball: Hit three good ones out of ten and you're a Hall of Famer.

How many whales do we really need? I figure five. One for each ocean.

I believe in prescription drugs. I believe in feeling better.

I think we should take Iraq and Iran and combine them into one country and call it Irate. All the pissed off people live in one place and get it over with.

I want you to take away the hope because that's the thing that's killing me.

I would have to commit a crime and have cops chase me. That would be the only way to get me to jog five miles.

I'm no day at the beach. And if it is a beach, it's Hampton Beach. Ever been there? It's not nice.

If you had no enemies, you had no fun.

If you want a long-term relationship that doesn't require a lot of work, I say, get a dog. They love you no matter what. But when it comes to humans, there's no secret; you really have to appreciate the person every single day.

If you're over 52 years old and you're on Facebook, do us all a favor and log off now.

Jon Stewart is exactly the same guy he's always been, only with money. He knows that the moment he really believes he's important, the funny goes away and he becomes Bill O'Reilly, except shorter and Jewish.

Most people think life sucks, and then you die. Not me. I beg to differ. I think life sucks, then you get cancer, then your dog dies, your wife leaves you, the cancer goes into remission, you get a new dog, you get remarried, you owe ten million dollars in medical bills but you work hard for thirty-five years and you pay it back and then- one day- you have a massive stroke, your whole right side is paralyzed, you have to limp along the streets and speak out of the left side of your mouth and drool but you go into rehabilitation and regain the power to walk and the power to talk and then- one day- you step off a curb at Sixty-seventh Street, and BANG you get hit by a city bus and then you die. Maybe.

My goal is to leave this planet with the biggest carbon footprint I can possibly leave.

My only worry about tweeting and modern technology is how it has crept into even the darkest corners of the absolute global village we live in.

No woman can be completely happy at any one moment in time. They're always anticipating the next thing to argue or complain about.

Not eating meat is a decision, eating meat is an instinct.

Racism isn't born, folks. It's taught. I have a two-year-old son. Know what he hates? Naps. End of list.

The only difference between kids and jungle animals is pants. Kids wear them. Jungle animals don't.

There we were in the middle of a sexual revolution wearing clothes that guaranteed we wouldn't get laid.

We didn't have rehab back in the Seventies. Back in the Seventies, rehab meant you stopped doing coke, but you kept smoking pot and drinking for a couple more weeks

Why hate someone for the color of their skin when there are much better reasons to hate them?

You know why the French hate us so much? Thay gave us the croissant. And you know what we did with it? We turned it into our croissandwich, thank you very much.

-----

(August 18 is also the birthday of Roberto Clemente and Elayne Boosler, )


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Quotes of the day: Charlotte Perkins
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Published Sunday, August 17, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Aug 17 2014

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (July 3, 1860 – August 17, 1935) was a prominent American feminist, sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, and a lecturer for social reform. She was a utopian feminist during a time when her accomplishments were exceptional for women, and she served as a role model for future generations of feminists because of her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle. Her best remembered work today is her semi- autobiographical short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" which she wrote after a severe bout of postpartum psychosis. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

-----

A man's honor always seems to want to kill a woman to satisfy it.

But reason has no power against feeling, and feeling older than history is no light matter.

Death? Why this fuss about death. Use your imagination, try to visualize a world without death! . . . Death is the essential condition of life, not an evil.

Eternity is not something that begins after you are dead. It is going on all the time. We are in it now.

Habits of thought persist through the centuries; and while a healthy brain may reject the doctrine it no longer believes, it will continue to feel the same sentiments formerly associated with that doctrine.

In a sick society, women who have difficulty fitting in are not ill but demonstrating a healthy and positive response.

In our steady insistence on proclaiming sex-distinction we have grown to consider most human attributes as masculine attributes, for the simple reason that they were allowed for men and forbidden to women.

It will be a great thing for the human soul when it finally stops worshiping backwards.

Love grows by service.

Only as we live, think, feel, and work outside the home, do we become humanly developed, civilized, socialized.

Patriotism is largely pride, and very largely combativeness. Patriotism generally has a chip on its shoulder.

Patriotism, red hot, is compatible with the existence of a neglect of national interests, a dishonesty, a cold indifference to the suffering of millions.

The first duty of a human being is to assume the right relationship to society- more briefly, to find your real job, and do it.

The labor of women in the house, certainly, enables men to produce more wealth than they otherwise could; and in this way women are economic factors in society. But so are horses.

The mother as a social servant instead of a home servant will not lack in true mother duty... From her work, loved and honored though it is, she will return to her home life, the child life, with an eager, ceaseless pleasure, cleansed of all the fret and fraction and weariness that so mar it now.

The mother- poor invaded soul- finds even the bathroom door no bar to hammering little hands.

The softest, freest, most pliable and changeful living substance is the brain -- the hardest and most iron-bound as well.

The women who do the most work get the least money, and the women who have the most money do the least work.

There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. As well speak of a female liver.

There should be an end to the bitterness of feeling which has arisen between the sexes in this century.

Through it (literature) we know the past, govern the present, and influence the future.

To attain happiness in another world we need only to believe something, while to secure it in this world we must do something

To be surrounded by beautiful things has much influence upon the human creature: to make beautiful things has more.

To swallow and follow, whether old doctrine or new propaganda, is a weakness still dominating the human mind.

To-day there is hardly a woman of intelligence in all America... who is not definitely and actively concerned in some social interest, who does not recognize some duty besides those incident to her own blood relationship.

Two persons love in one another the future good which they aid one another to unfold.

We have built into the constitution of the human race the habit and desire of taking, as divorced from its natural precursor and concomitant of making.

When all usefulness is over, when one is assured of unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one.

Where young boys plan for what they will achieve and attain, young girls plan for whom they will achieve and attain.

'Woman' in the abstract is young, and, we assume, charming. As they get older they pass off the stage, somehow, into private ownership mostly, or out of it altogether

Woman should stand beside man as the comrade of his soul, not the servant of his body.


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Quotes of the day: James Cameron
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Published Friday, August 15, 2014 @ 11:10 PM EDT
Aug 15 2014

James Francis Cameron (b. August 16, 1954) is a Canadian film director, film producer, deep-sea explorer, screenwriter, and editor who has directed the two biggest box office films of all time. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

-----

Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own.

Don't put limitations on yourself. Others will do that for you.

I love it when I have a nightmare. To me that means I got my money's worth out of that eight hours.

I'm hopeful that we'll be able to study the ocean before we destroy it.

I've sworn off agnosticism, which I now call cowardly atheism. I've come to the position that in the complete absence of any supporting data whatsoever for the persistence of the individual in some spiritual form, it is necessary to operate under the provisional conclusion that there is no afterlife and then be ready to amend that if I find out otherwise.

If you set your goals ridiculously high and it's a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success.

Imagination is a force that can actually manifest a reality.

In whatever you are doing, failure is an option. But fear is not.

Luck is not a factor. Hope is not a strategy. Fear is not an option.

Nobody ever walked out of a theater saying 'That movie sucked, but boy, they brought it in on time and on budget.'

Paranoia's just reality on a finer scale.
(from Strange Days)

Sometimes your whole life boils down to one insane move.

The film industry is about saying 'no' to people, and inherently you cannot take 'no' for an answer.

The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make.

The snake kills by squeezing very slowly. This is how the civilized world slowly, slowly pushes into the forest and takes away the world that used to be.

There are many talented people who haven't fulfilled their dreams because they overthought it, or they were too cautious, and were unwilling to make the leap of faith.

To convince people to back your idea, you've got to sell it to yourself and know when it's the moment. Sometimes that means waiting. It's like surfing. You don't create energy, you just harvest energy already out there.

What are you gonna do? Talk the alien to death?

You don't rest well as long as you're seeking vengeance. I feel sad justice wasn't done, but it's time to move on and sleep well.


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Quotes of the day: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
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Published Thursday, August 14, 2014 @ 11:15 PM EDT
Aug 14 2014

1984 was a great year for movies: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Terminator, Ghostbusters, This is Spinal Tap, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Amadeus, The Neverending Story, The Karate Kid, Footloose, Splash, The Last Starfighter, Repo Man, Supergirl, The Toxic Avenger, Star Man, Electric Dreams, Broadway Danny Rose...

And, on August 15, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

Herewith, some of the best dialogue (from IMDB):

-----

Lord John Whorfin: May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined.

Orderly: Who are you today, Doc? Einstein?
Lord John Whorfin: Lord John Worfin. If there's one thing I hate, it's to be mistaken for somebody else.

Perfect Tommy: Pictures don't lie.
Reno: The hell they don't. I met my first wife that way.

Perfect Tommy: Emilio Lizardo. Wasn't he on TV once?
Buckaroo Banzai: You're thinking of Mr. Wizard.
Reno: Emilio Lizardo is a top scientist, dummkopf.
Perfect Tommy: So was Mr. Wizard.

Lord John Whorfin: Sealed with a curse as sharp as a knife. Doomed is your soul and damned is your life.

John O'Connor: They're only monkey-boys. We can crush them here on earth, Lord Whorfin.

Buckaroo Banzai: I've been ionized, but I'm okay now.

Duck Hunter Burt: Gimme some light will ya?
Duck Hunter Bubba: I got two guns in my hands.
Duck Hunter Burt: Put one of them down.
Duck Hunter Bubba: I ain't puttin' the guns down!

Lord John Whorfin: History is-a made at night. Character is what you are in the dark.

Mission Control: Buckaroo, The White House wants to know is everything ok with the alien space craft from Planet 10 or should we just go ahead and destroy Russia?
Buckaroo Banzai: Tell him yes on one and no on two.
Mission Control: Which one was yes, go ahead and destroy Russia... or number 2?

Buckaroo Banzai: Hey, hey, hey, hey-now. Don't be mean; we don't have to be mean, cuz, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

Lord John Whorfin: Laugh-a while you can, monkey-boy.

Rawhide: Dr. Banzai is using a laser to vaporize a pineal tumor without damaging the parthogenital plate. A subcutaneous microphone will allow the patient to transmit verbal instructions to his own brain.
Observer: Like, "raise my left arm?"
Rawhide: Or "throw the harpoon." People are gonna come from all over. This boy's an Eskimo.

Buckaroo Banzai: You remind me of someone I once knew.
Penny Priddy: Was she... very beautiful?
Buckaroo Banzai: She was... Queen of the Netherlands

Lord John Whorfin: Where are we going?
The Red Lectroids: Planet Ten!
Lord John Whorfin: When?
The Red Lectroids: Real soon!

Artie: I don't care if you drove through a mountain in Texas. This is New Jersey, and when you play my... when you play my joint, you're just another act. I want some music outta you characters!
Reno: You want it, Artie? You got it.

[after Buckaroo has been ionized]
Buckaroo Banzai: There they are.
Perfect Tommy: There who are?
Buckaroo Banzai: Don't you see them?
New Jersey: See who?
[Buckaroo points at the Lectroids]
Buckaroo Banzai: There! Evil, pure and simple by way of the Eighth Dimension!

New Jersey: Why is there a watermelon there?
Reno: I'll tell you later.

Penny Priddy: You're like Jerry Lewis, you give me hope to carry on, then you leave me in the lurch while you strap on your six-guns...

John Bigboote: It's not my goddamn planet. Understand, monkey boy?

President Widmark: [reading] "Declaration of War... the short form."

[repeated line]
John Bigboote: BigbooTAY!

Lord John Whorfin: Home... home is where you wear your hat... I feel so breakup, I wanna go home.

Lord John Whorfin: [shouting into a radio microphone] BANZAI! I'LL-A SEE YOU IN-A HELL!

Casper Lindley: She can't be serious, can she? Vaporize the whole damn planet?
Buckaroo Banzai: You wanna roll all those dice, Casper?
Casper Lindley: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. Not me, man, not me.

[after crashing through the wall of a factory]
Lectroid: We are not in the Eighth dimension, we are over New Jersey. Hope is not lost.

John Bigboote: We've had our chance! Your Overthruster's for shit! We're lost!
Lord John Whorfin: One more word out of you, Bigbooty...
John Bigboote: [screaming] BIG-BOO-TAY! TAY! TAY!
[Whorfin shoots him]

Overhead announcement at psychiatric hospital:
Lithium is no longer available on credit.

Buckaroo Banzai: It flies like a truck.
John Parker: Good. What is a truck?

John Parker: [as the pod-ship is in a free-fall] I'm a diplomat! I failed flight school!

Ed: President's calling, Buckaroo.
Buckaroo Banzai: The president of what?
Ed: The President of The United States.
Buckaroo Banzai: Oh.

Buckaroo Banzai: You can check your anatomy all you want, and even though there may be normal variation, when it comes right down to it, this far inside the head it all looks the same. No, no, no, don't tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to.


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Quotes (and cartoons) of the day: Gary Larson
(permalink)

Published Wednesday, August 13, 2014 @ 10:44 PM EDT
Aug 13 2014

Gary Larson (b. August 14, 1950) is an American cartoonist. He is the creator of The Far Side, a single-panel cartoon series that was syndicated internationally to over 1,900 newspapers for fifteen years. The series ended with Larson's retirement on January 1, 1995. His twenty-three books of collected cartoons have combined sales of more than 45 million copies. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

-----

I don't believe in the concept of hell, but if I did I would think of it as filled with people who were cruel to animals.

I never liked my own species.

I think one thing that's important to maintain is a sense of fear, always doubting yourself... a good dose of insecurity helps your work in some ways.

I've always considered music stores to be the graveyards of musicians.

If a tree falls in the woods, and nobody is around to hear it, and it hits a mime, does anyone care?

It is a known fact that the sheep that give us steel wool have no natural enemies.

Newspapers will run a headline: 'Shark kills human.' You never see a headline from the other perspective: 'Man swims in shark-infested water, forgets he's shark food.'

On Career Day in high school, you don't walk around looking for the cartoon guy.

People try to look for deep meanings in my work. I want to say, 'They're just cartoons, folks. You laugh or you don't.' Gee, I sound shallow. But I don't react to current events or other stimuli. I don't read or watch TV to get ideas. My work is basically sitting down at the drawing table and getting silly.

The message is not so much that the worms will inherit the Earth, but that all things play a role in nature, even the lowly worm.

Welcome to Hell. Here's your accordion.
(The Far Side comic strip.)

You know those little snow globes that you shake up? I always thought my brain was sort of like that. You know, where you just give it a shake and watch what comes out and shake it again. It's like that.

You should always leave the party ten minutes before you actually do.

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(There are 4,337 Far Side cartoons. The first was published on December 31, 1979; the last on January 1, 1995.)

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(August 14 is also the birthday of Russell Baker and Steve Martin.)


Categories: Gary Larson, Quotes of the day


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Quotes of the day: Felix Adler
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Published Wednesday, August 13, 2014 @ 12:01 AM EDT
Aug 13 2014

Felix Adler (August 13, 1851 – April 24, 1933) was a German American professor of political and social ethics, rationalist, popular lecturer, religious leader and social reformer who founded the Ethical Culture movement. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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An anxious unrest, a fierce craving desire for gain has taken possession of the commercial world, and in instances no longer rare the most precious and permanent goods of human life have been madly sacrificed in the interests of momentary enrichment.

By ceaseless efforts to live the good life we maintain our moral sanity. Not from without, but from within, flow the divine waters that renew the soul.

In a country of such recent civilization as ours, whose almost limitless treasures of material wealth invite the risks of capital and the industry of labor, it is but natural that material interests should absorb the attention of the people to a degree elsewhere unknown.

It has been said that the modern world is divided between the hot and hasty pursuit of affairs in the hours of labor, and the no less eager chase of pleasure in the hours of leisure. But even our pleasures are calculated and business like. We measure our enjoyments by the sum expended. Our salons are often little better than bazaars of fashion.

It may be impossible for a man by merely willing it to add wings to his body, but it is possible for any man, by merely willing it, to add wings to his soul. This perennial miracle of the moral nature is capable of happening at any time.

Let us found religion upon a basis of perfect intellectual honesty. Religion, if it is to mean anything at all, must stand for the highest truth. How then can the cause of truth be served by the sacrifice, more or less disguised, of one's intellectual convictions?

Love is the expansion of two natures in such fashion that each include the other, each is enriched by the other.

Love of country is like love of woman- he loves her best who seeks to bestow on her the highest good.

Man is like a tree, with the mighty trunk of intellect, the spreading branches of imagination, and the roots of the lower instincts that bind him to the earth. The moral life, however, is the fruit he bears; in it his true nature is revealed.

No religion can long continue to maintain its purity when the church becomes the subservient vassal of the state.

Simplicity should not be identified with bareness.

The condition of all progress is experience. We go wrong a thousand times before we find the right path.

The family is the school of duties- founded on love.

The freedom of thought is a sacred right of every individual man, and diversity will continue to increase with the progress, refinement, and differentiation of the human intellect.

The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by.

The moral improvement of the nations and their individual components has not kept pace with the march of intellect and the advance of industry.

The office of the public teacher is an unenviable and thankless one.

The past speaks to us in a thousand voices, warning and comforting, animating and stirring to action.

The right for the right's sake is the motto which everyone should take for his own life.

The Supreme Ethical Rule: Act So As To Elicit the Best In Others and Thereby In Thy Self.

The symbols of religion are ciphers of which the key is to be found in moral experience. It is in vain we pore over the ciphers unless we possess the key.

The vice that underlies all vices is that we are held cheap by others, and far worse, that in our innermost soul we think cheaply of ourselves.

The world is dark around us and the prospect seems deepening in gloom. and yet there is light ahead

Theories of what is true have their day. They come and go, leave their deposit in the common stock of knowledge, and are supplanted by other more convincing theories.

There is a great and crying evil in modern society. It is want of purpose. It is that narrowness of vision which shuts out the wider vistas of the soul. It is the absence of those sublime emotions which, wherever they arise, do not fall to exalt and consecrate existence.

There may be, and there ought to be, progress in the moral sphere. The moral truths which we have inherited from the past need to be expanded and restated.

We have already transgressed the limit of safety, and the present disorders of our time are but precursors of other and imminent dangers.

We should teach our children nothing which they shall ever need to unlearn; we should strive to transmit to them the best possessions, the truest thought, the noblest sentiments of the age in which we live.

When the light of the sun shines through a prism it is broken into beautiful colours, and when the prism is shattered, still the light remains.

Where the roots of private virtue are diseased, the fruit of public probity cannot but be corrupt.

-----

(August 13 is also the birthday of Alfred Hitchcock.)


Categories: Felix Adler, Quotes of the day


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Lauren Bacall (September 16, 1924 - August 12, 2014)
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Published Tuesday, August 12, 2014 @ 9:27 PM EDT
Aug 12 2014

Lauren Bacall (born Betty Joan Perske; September 16, 1924 - August 12, 2014) was an American film and stage actress and model, known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry looks. She first emerged as a leading lady in the Humphrey Bogart film To Have and Have Not (1944) and continued on in the film noir genre, with appearances in Bogart movies The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948), as well as comedic roles in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and Designing Woman (1957) with Gregory Peck. Bacall worked on Broadway in musicals, gaining Tony Awards for Applause in 1970 and Woman of the Year in 1981. Her performance in the movie The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A planned life is a dead life.

Being a liberal is the best thing on earth you can be.

Generally women are better than men- they have more character. I prefer men for some things, obviously, but women have a greater sense of honor and are more willing to take a chance with their lives.

I figure if I have my health, can pay the rent and I have my friends, I call it 'content.'

I never believed marriage was a lasting institution... I thought that to be married for five years was to be married forever.

I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.

I wish Frank Sinatra would just shut up and sing.

Imagination is the highest kite that can fly.

In Hollywood, an equitable divorce settlement means each party getting fifty percent of publicity.

It's inappropriate and vulgar and absolutely unacceptable to use your private life to sell anything commercially.

It's not an old movie if you haven't seen it.

Legends are all to do with the past and nothing to do with the present.

Looking at yourself in a mirror isn't exactly a study of life.

Naïveté, thy name is me.

People should tell your children what life is all about- it's about work.

Stardom isn't a profession, it's an accident.

The madmen seem to live on forever, don't they?

We live in an age of mediocrity.

What is the point of working all your life and then stopping?

You can't always be a leading lady.

You can't start worrying about what's going to happen. You get spastic enough worrying about what's happening now.

You don't always win your battles, but it's good to know you fought.


Categories: Lauren Bacall, Quotes of the day


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Quotes of the day: William Goldman
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Published Tuesday, August 12, 2014 @ 12:01 AM EDT
Aug 12 2014

William Goldman (b. August 12, 1931) is an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He came to prominence in the 1950s as a novelist, before turning to writing for film. He has won two Academy Awards for his screenplays, first for the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and again for All the President's Men (1976), about journalists who broke the Watergate scandal of President Richard Nixon: both films starring Robert Redford. His other notable works include his thriller novel Marathon Man and comedy-fantasy novel The Princess Bride, both of which Goldman adapted for film. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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All people really want is a wonderful story, and you can tell it in any genre.

As far as the filmmaking process is concerned, stars are essentially worthless- and absolutely essential.

Cynics are simply thwarted romantics.

Hollywood is making, because of costs, fewer interesting films. So, basically you end up with a lot of explosions.

I am instinctive. Which means- and I really mean this- I don't know what I'm doing!

I just don't want to get there and find out it stinks.

I taught once by mistake in 1966 at Princeton. I wrote 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' there.

I think like anything, it helps to be born with skill. I'm not sure genius exists.

I think that people like going into a dark room with strangers and sharing something. They have for 2,500 years. I think we just like that experience.

I'll tell you the truth and it's up to you to live with it.

If you are a writer, you live your life in a pit.

It (writing) ain't about inspiration. It's about going into a room alone and doing it.

Life is pain... anyone says differently is selling something.

Life isn't fair, it's just fairer than death, that's all.

Love is many things none of them logical.

Never argue with your wife about hostility when she's a certified Freudian.

Nobody knows anything.

One way an author dies a little each day is when his books go out of print.

Studio executives are intelligent, brutally overworked men and women who share one thing in common with baseball managers: They wake up every morning of the world with the knowledge that sooner or later they're going to get fired.

The easiest thing to do on earth is not write.

There is one crucial rule that must be followed in all creative meetings. Never speak first. At least at the start, your job is to shut up.

True love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops.

Understand this: all the sleaze you've heard about Hollywood? All the illiterate scumbags who scuttle down the corridors of power? They are there, all right, and worse than you can imagine.

Who says life is fair, where is that written?

You can never trust what you read.


Categories: Quotes of the day, William Goldman


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Robin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)
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Published Monday, August 11, 2014 @ 11:42 PM EDT
Aug 11 2014

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and stand-up comedian. Rising to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy (1978–1982), Williams went on to establish a successful career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. His film career included such acclaimed films as Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), and Good Will Hunting (1997), as well as financial successes such as Popeye (1980), Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Night at the Museum (2006), and Happy Feet (2006). He also appeared in the video "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin.

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times, Williams received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Good Will Hunting (1997). He also received two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.

On August 11, 2014, Williams was found unconscious at his residence and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Marin County, California, coroner's office said they believe the cause of death was asphyxiation.

(Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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Ah, yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning 'to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet.'

As beatific as Gandhi was, I'm sure there was some guy in a Bombay bar going, 'I knew Gandhi...he was a prick.'

Being a famous print journalist is like being the best-dressed woman on radio.

Being a functioning alcoholic is kind of like being a paraplegic lap dancer- you can do it, just not as well as the others, really.

Canada is like the loft apartment above a really good party.

Cocaine is God's way of saying you're making too much money.

Cricket is baseball on Valium.

Death is nature's way of saying, 'your table is ready.'

Everyone has these two visions when they hold their child for the first time. The first is your child as an adult saying 'I want to thank the Nobel Committee for this award.' The other is 'You want fries with that?'

Gentiles are people who eat mayonnaise for no reason.

Getting married for the third time is like bringing a burn victim to a fireworks show.

God gave you a penis and a brain, and only enough blood to run one at a time.

I was once on a German talk show, and this woman said to me, 'Mr. Williams, why do you think there is not so much comedy in Germany?' And I said, 'Did you ever think you killed all the funny people?'

I went to rehab (for alcoholism) in wine country, just to keep my options open.

I'm an Episcopal, which is Catholic Lite. It's like same religion, half the guilt.

I'm sorry. I'd agree with you if you were right.

If there was a pill that allowed you to drink and not get drunk, an alcoholic would go 'What happens if you take two?'

If you're violating your standards faster than you can lower them, time to go away.

If you've got Nasdaq stock, it's like having Confederate currency.

In marriage, there are penalties for early withdrawal and depositing in another account.

My religious background is that my mother is a Christian Dior Scientist.

Now we have shows like The Chamber, The Chair, and Fear Factor. People in Texas are going 'We got those shows, we just don't film them.'

Reality: what a concept!

Some are born great. Some achieve greatness. Some get it as a graduation gift.

Spring is nature's way of saying 'Let's party!'

Taking Viagra after open heart surgery is like a Civil War re- enactment with live ammo. Not good.

Texting and driving at the same time is like jerking off and juggling at the same time. Too many balls in the air, if you catch my drift.

The Amish are fundamentalists, but they don't try and hijack a carriage at needlepoint. And, if you're ever in Amish country and you see a man with his hand buried in a horse's ass, that's a mechanic. Remember that.

The Biathalon is like Norwegian Drive-By.

The ego locks the muse.

The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying 'Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling, 'You want a piece of me?'

The Swiss... the nice Germans, or as they like to say, the other white race.

The writer-producer-director is the only creature known who can blow smoke up his own ass.

We Americans, we're a simple people... but piss us off, and we'll bomb your cities.

What's W. doing now? He's a motivational speaker. It's kind of cool. It's kind of like having Lindsay Lohan as a guidance counselor.

When we were growing up we knew the side effects of the drugs we were taking. Cocaine, side effects were paranoia, ninjas-on-the-lawn; quaaludes, side effects were talking in tongues, English as a second language; marijuana, side effects were laughter, Frosted Flakes.

You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren't paying attention to.

You're 50! And can they make a drug to help you through all of that, to keep all of your organs intact until your golden years? No. Can they make a drug to give you mental clarity to your golden time? No. They've got a drug to make you harder than Chinese algebra!

You're only given a little spark of madness; you mustn't lose it.

You've got to cut W. some slack, man. He comes from a family where the smart brother is named 'Jeb.'


Categories: Quotes of the day, Robin Williams


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Quotes of the day: Angus Wilson
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Published Sunday, August 10, 2014 @ 11:28 PM EDT
Aug 10 2014

Sir Angus Frank Johnstone Wilson, KBE (August 11, 1913 – May 31, 1991) was an English novelist and short story writer. He was awarded the 1958 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Middle Age of Mrs. Eliot and later received a knighthood for his services to literature. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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All are deceptions, substitutes for the hard job of using reason and industry and intuition and compassion to solve even a little bit of the muddle with humaneness and awe for the natural world and the complexity of human beings.

Envy has the ugliness of a trapped rat that has gnawed its own foot in its effort to escape.

I have no concern for the common man except that he should not be so common.

Life can't be put on paper in all its complexity.

Life isn't just to be found, you have to work for it.

Life today is jungle like... it is complex, it is inhuman in its materialism.

Once a Catholic always a Catholic.

People are able to live with only half a heart, to live without real compassion, because they are able to use words that are only forms.

The opportunities for heroism are limited in this kind of world: the most people can do is sometimes not to be as weak as they've been at other times.

You have a perfect right to consign us all to hell, rector, but you must allow us the choice of how we get there.

Youth is the time for loving, so poets always say.

(August 11 is also the birthday of Robert Green Ingersoll.)


Categories: Angus Wilson, Quotes of the day


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Quotes of the day: Herbert Hoover
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Published Sunday, August 10, 2014 @ 12:21 AM EDT
Aug 10 2014

Herbert Hoover (August 10, 1874 - October 20, 1964) was the 31st president of the United States (1929–1933), whose term was notably marked by the stock market crash of 1929 and the beginnings of the Great Depression. (Click here for full biography.com article)

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A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus.

About the time we can make the ends meet, somebody moves the ends.

As a nation we must prevent hunger and cold to those of our people who are in honest difficulties.

Being a politician is a poor profession. Being a public servant is a noble one.

Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.

Economic depression can not be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement.

Honor is not the exclusive property of any political party.

I'm the only person of distinction who's ever had a depression named for him.

In its broad aspects, the proper feeding of children revolves around a public recognition of the interdependence of the human animal upon his cattle. The white race cannot survive without dairy products.

Many years ago, I concluded that a few hair shirts were part of the mental wardrobe of every man. The president differs from other men in that he has a more extensive wardrobe.

No public man can be just a little crooked.

Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die. And it is youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow and the triumphs that are the aftermath of war.

Once upon a time my political opponents honored me as possessing the fabulous intellectual and economic power by which I created a worldwide depression all by myself.

Prosperity cannot be restored by raids upon the public Treasury.

The ancient bitter opposition to improved methods on the ancient theory that it more than temporarily deprives men of employment... has no place in the gospel of American progress.

We are in danger of developing a cult of the Common Man, which means a cult of mediocrity.

When the outcome of a meeting is to have another meeting, it has been a lousy meeting.

When there is a lack of honor in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned

When we are sick, we want an uncommon doctor; when we have a construction job to do, we want an uncommon engineer, and when we are at war, we want an uncommon general. It is only when we get into politics that we are satisfied with the common man.


Categories: Herbert Hoover, Quotes of the day


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Quotes of the day: Marvin Minsky
(permalink)

Published Saturday, August 09, 2014 @ 11:53 PM EDT
Aug 09 2014

Marvin Lee Minsky (born August 9, 1927) is an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A common concept of the soul is that the essence of a self lies in some spark of invisible light, a thing that cowers out of body, out of mind, and out of sight.... To look for our virtue in such thoughts seems just as wrongly aimed a search as seeking art in canvas cloths by scraping off the painter's works.

An ethicist is someone who sees something wrong with whatever you have in mind.

Brains don't manufacture thoughts in the direct ways that muscles exert forces or ovaries make estrogens; instead, to get a good idea, one must engage huge organizations of sub-machines that do a vast variety of jobs. Each human cranium contains hundreds of kinds of computers, developed over hundreds of millions of years of evolution, each with a somewhat different structure.

Common sense is not a simple thing. Instead, it is an immense society of hard-earned practical ideas- of multitudes of life-learned rules an exceptions, dispositions and tendencies, balances and checks.

Computer languages of the future will be more concerned with goals and less with procedures specified by the programmer.

Every system that we build will surprise us with new kinds of flaws until those machines become clever enough to conceal their faults from us.

General fiction is pretty much about ways that people get into problems and screw their lives up. Science fiction is about everything else.

I bet the human brain is a kludge.

I maintain that attitudes do really precede propositions, feelings come before facts.

I suspect our human 'thinking processes' often 'break down,' but you rarely notice anything's wrong, because your systems so quickly switch you to think in different ways, while the systems that failed are repaired or replaced.

Imagine if TV were actually good. It would be the end of life as we know it.

In general we are least aware of what our minds do best.

In order for a mind to think, it has to juggle fragments of its mental states.

It would be as useless to perceive how things 'actually look' as it would be to watch the random dots on untuned television screens.

Logic demands just one support for every link, a single, flawless deduction. Common sense asks, at every step, if all of what we've found so far is in accord with everyday experience. No sensible person ever trusts a long, thin chain of reasoning.

Logic doesn't apply to the real world.

Minds are simply what brains do.

Most of our future attempts to build large, growing Articial Intelligences will be subject to all sorts of mental disorders.

No computer has ever been designed that is ever aware of what it's doing; but most of the time, we aren't either.

No possible inheritance of built-in genes can tell us what is good for us- because, unlike all other animals, we humans make for ourselves most of the problems we face.

Old answers never perfectly suit new questions, except in the most formal, logical circumstances.

Once the computers got control, we might never get it back. We would survive at their sufferance. If we're lucky, they might decide to keep us as pets.

One can acquire certainty only by amputating inquiry.

Only the surface of reason is rational.

Societies need rules that make no sense for individuals. For example, it makes no difference whether a single car drives on the left or on the right. But it makes all the difference when there are many cars!

Speed is what distinguishes intelligence. No bird discovers how to fly: evolution used a trillion bird-years to 'discover' that- where merely hundreds of person-years sufficed.

We rarely recognize how wonderful it is that a person can traverse an entire lifetime without making a single really serious mistake- like putting a fork in one's eye or using a window instead of a door.

What magical trick makes us intelligent? The trick is that there is no trick. The power of intelligence stems from our vast diversity, not from any single, perfect principle.

Will robots inherit the earth? Yes, but they will be our children.

You can build a mind from many little parts, each mindless by itself.

You don't understand anything until you learn it more than one way.


Categories: Marvin Minsky, Quotes of the day


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Quotes of the day: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
(permalink)

Published Thursday, August 07, 2014 @ 9:57 PM EDT
Aug 07 2014

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (August 8, 1896 – December 14, 1953) was an American author who lived in rural Florida and wrote novels with rural themes and settings. Her best known work, The Yearling, about a boy who adopts an orphaned fawn, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 and was later made into a movie. The book was written long before the concept of young-adult fiction, but is now commonly included in teen-reading lists. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life, to be thankful for a good one.

'Good' is what helps us or at least does not hinder. 'Evil' is whatever harms us or interferes with us, according to our own selfish standards.

Here in Florida the seasons move in and out like nuns in soft clothing, making no rustle in their passing.

I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to.

If there can be such a thing as instinctual memory, the consciousness of land and water must lie deeper in the core of us than any knowledge of our fellow beings. We were bred of the earth before we were born of our mothers. Once born, we can live without our mothers or our fathers or any other kin or friend, or even human love. We cannot live without the earth or apart from it, and something is shriveled in mans heart when he turns away from it and concerns himself only with the affairs of men.

It is necessary to leave the impersonal highway, to step inside the rusty gate and close it behind. One is now inside the orange grove out of one world and in the mysterious heart of another. And after long years of spiritual homelessness, of nostalgia, here is that mystic loveliness of childhood again. Here is home.

Madness is only a variety of mental nonconformity and we are all individualists here.

No man should have proprietary rights over land who does not use that land wisely and lovingly.

Now he understood. This was death. Death was a silence that gave back no answer.

Sift each of us through the great sieve of circumstance and you have a residue, great or small as the case may be, that is the man or the woman.

Sorrow was like the wind. It came in gusts.

The individual man is transitory, but the pulse of life and of growth goes on after he is gone, buried under a wreath of magnolia leaves.

We cannot live without the Earth or apart from it, and something is shrivelled in a man's heart when he turns away from it and concerns himself only with the affairs of men.

We need above all, I think, a certain remoteness from urban confusion.

When a wave of love takes over a human being... such an exaltation takes him that he knows he has put his finger on the pulse of the great secret and the great answer.

Women always worry about the things that men forget; men always worry about the things women remember.


Categories: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Quotes of the day


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Quotes of the day: James Randi
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Published Wednesday, August 06, 2014 @ 10:58 PM EDT
Aug 06 2014

James Randi (born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge, August 7, 1928) is a Canadian-American retired stage magician and scientific skeptic best known for his challenges to paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). He began his career as a magician named The Amazing Randi, but after retiring at age 60, he chose to devote most of his time to investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls "woo-woo." Although often referred to as a "debunker," Randi dislikes the term's connotations and prefers to describe himself as an "investigator." He has written about the paranormal, skepticism, and the history of magic. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and was occasionally featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit! The JREF sponsors the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge offering a prize of US$1,000,000 to eligible applicants who can demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event under test conditions agreed to by both parties. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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Far from being a curse, it might be lucky to disturb a pharaoh's tomb. These people beat the life span expectation for those days by about a year.

Feeling better is not actually being better.

Heroin also makes people feel better, but I wouldn't recommend using heroin.

I believe in the basic goodness of my species, because that appears to be a positive tactic and quality that leads to better chances of survival- and in spite of our foolishness, we seem to have survived.

Magicians are the most honest people in the world; they tell you they're gonna fool you, and then they do it.

No amount of belief makes something a fact.

One thing that has made a big comeback just recently is this business of speaking with the dead. To my innocent mind, ‘dead’ implies incapable of communicating.

People who are smart get into Mensa. People who are really smart look around and leave.

Psychics use exactly the same gimmicks that we magicians do — the same physical methods, the same psychological methods- and they effectively and profoundly deceive millions of people around the earth, to their detriment.

Science is best defined as a careful, disciplined, logical search for knowledge about any and all aspects of the universe, obtained by examination of the best available evidence and always subject to correction and improvement upon discovery of better evidence. What's left is magic. And it doesn't work.

Sir, there is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out.

The Wizard of Oz is more believable. And more fun. (On religion)

The conjuror or con man is a very good provider of information. He supplies lots of data, by inference or direct statement, but it's false data. Scientists aren't used to that scenario. An electron or a galaxy is not capricious, nor deceptive; but a human can be either or both.

The New Age? It's just the old age stuck in a microwave oven for fifteen seconds.

The problem with experiments has always been that human beings make the decisions on whether or not the animals have benefitted from the treatment.

Well, I thank the mythology for giving me Handel's 'Messiah,' but that doesn't make up for the suffering, grief, fear, and the millions of dead that need not have been...

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(August 7 is also the birthday of Garrison Keillor.)


Categories: James Randi, Quotes of the day


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