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Quotes of the day: P.D. James

Published Sunday, August 02, 2015 @ 8:09 AM EDT
Aug 02 2015

Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL (August 3, 1920 – November 17,2014), known as P.D. James, was an English crime writer. She rose to fame for her series of detective novels starring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A politician is required to listen to humbug, talk humbug, condone humbug. The most we can hope is that we don't actually believe it.

All fiction is largely autobiographical and much autobiography is, of course, fiction.

Charm is always genuine; it may be superficial but it isn't false.

God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest.

Human kindness is like a defective tap, the first gush may be impressive but the stream soon dries up.

I believe that political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism.

I can understand the poor and stupid voting for Marxism or one of its fashionable variants. If you've no hope of being other than a slave, you may as well opt for the most efficient form of slavery.

If from infancy you treat children as gods they are liable in adulthood to act as devils.

If our sex life were determined by our first youthful experiments, most of the world would be doomed to celibacy. In no area of human experience are human beings more convinced that something better can be had only if they persevere.

In 1930s mysteries, all sorts of motives were credible which aren't credible today, especially motives of preventing guilty sexual secrets from coming out. Nowadays, people sell their guilty sexual secrets.

It shows considerable wisdom to know what you want in life and then to direct all your energies towards getting it.

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.

Man is diminished if he lives without knowledge of his past; without hope of a future he becomes a beast.

Perhaps it's only when people are dead that we can safely show how much we cared about them. We know that it's too late then for them to do anything about it.

Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious.

There comes a time when every scientist, even God, has to write off an experiment.

Time didn't heal, but it anesthetized. The human mind could only feel so much.

We all die alone. We shall endure death as once we enjoyed birth. You can't share either experience.

We can experience nothing but the present moment, live in no other second of time, and to understand this is as close as we can get to eternal life.

We English are good at forgiving our enemies; it releases us from the obligation of liking our friends.

What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give.

What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order.

Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.

It is always easy to question the judgement of others in matters of which we may be imperfectly informed.

I wonder if childhood is ever really happy. Just as well, perhaps. To be blissfully happy so young would leave one always seeking to recapture the unobtainable.

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Quotes of the day: James Baldwin

Published Saturday, August 01, 2015 @ 11:25 AM EDT
Aug 01 2015

James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century America, and their inevitable if unnameable tensions. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.

Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck- but, most of all, endurance.

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

Freedom is not something that anybody can be given; freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be.

I imagine that one of the reasons that people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, that they will be forced to deal with the pain.

I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

I'm optimistic about the future, but not about the future of this civilization. I'm optimistic about the civilization which will replace this one.

If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.

It is a terrible, an inexorable, law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own: in the face of one's victim, one sees oneself.

Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock.

Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.

Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.

One can only accept in others what one can accept in oneself.

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.

People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.

The responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced him.

The world is before you, and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.

The young think that failure is the Siberian end of the line, banishment from all the living, and tend to do what I then did- which was to hide.

Trust life, and it will teach you, in joy and sorrow, all you need to know.

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Quotes of the day: Herman Melville

Published Friday, July 31, 2015 @ 10:23 AM EDT
Jul 31 2015

Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, writer of short stories, and poet from the American Renaissance period. Most of his writings were published between 1846 and 1857. Best known for his sea adventure Typee (1846) and his whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851), he was almost forgotten during the last thirty years of his life. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things.

A smile is the chosen vehicle for all ambiguities.

All Profound things, and emotions of things are preceded and attended by Silence.

An utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward.

Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.

Familiarity with danger makes a brave man braver, but less daring.

Friendship at first sight, like love at first sight, is said to be the only truth.

Genius all over the world stands hand in hand, and one shock of recognition runs the whole circle round.

He who has never failed somewhere, that man cannot be great.

Heaven have mercy on us all- Presbyterians and Pagans alike- for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.

Hope is the struggle of the soul, breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting her eternity.

In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Life is a voyage that's homeward-bound!

Many sensible things banished from high life find an asylum among the mob.

Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.

Old age is always wakeful; as if, the longer linked with life, the less man has to do with aught that looks like death.

The island was on no map. No true place ever is.

There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes his whole universe for a vast practical joke.

There are some persons in this world, who, unable to give better proof of being wise, take a strange delight in showing what they think they have sagaciously read in mankind by uncharitable suspicions of them.

There are times when even the most potent governor must wink at transgression, in order to preserve the laws inviolate for the future.

There is no dignity in wickedness, whether in purple or rags; and hell is a democracy of devils, where all are equals.

They talk of the dignity of work. The dignity is in leisure.

To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.

To scale great heights, we must come out of the lowest depths. The way to heaven is through hell.

Truth is in things, and not in words.


(August 1 is also the birthday of Jerry Garcia.)

Categories: Herman Melville, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Primo Levi

Published Thursday, July 30, 2015 @ 12:49 PM EDT
Jul 30 2015

Primo Michele Levi (July 31, 1919 – April 11, 1987) was an Italian Jewish chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor. He was the author of several books, novels, collections of short stories, essays, and poems. His best-known works include If This Is a Man (1947) (U.S.: Survival in Auschwitz), his account of the year he spent as a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland; and his unique work, The Periodic Table (1975), linked to qualities of the elements, which the Royal Institution of Great Britain named the best science book ever written. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A country is considered the more civilised the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak and a powerful one too powerful.

An enemy who sees the error of his ways ceases to be an enemy.

Anyone who has obeyed nature by transmitting a piece of gossip experiences the explosive relief that accompanies the satisfying of a primary need.

Auschwitz is outside of us, but it is all around us, in the air. The plague has died away, but the infection still lingers and it would be foolish to deny it.

For he who loses all often easily loses himself.

Human memory is a marvelous but fallacious instrument. The memories which lie within us are not carved in stone; not only do they tend to become erased as the years go by, but often they change, or even increase by incorporating extraneous features.

I live in my house as I live inside my skin: I know more beautiful, more ample, more sturdy and more picturesque skins: but it would seem to me unnatural to exchange them for mine.

I think that if for no other reason than that an Auschwitz existed, no one in our age should speak of Providence.

It is neither easy nor agreeable to dredge this abyss of viciousness, and yet I think it must be done, because what could be perpetrated yesterday could be attempted again tomorrow, could overwhelm us and our children.

It is the duty of righteous men to make war on all undeserved privilege, but one must not forget that this is a war without end.

Logic and morality made it impossible to accept an illogical and immoral reality; they engendered a rejection of reality which as a rule led the cultivated man rapidly to despair.

Man is a centaur, a tangle of flesh and mind, divine inspiration and dust.

Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.

Our ignorance allowed us to live, as you are in the mountains, and your rope is frayed and about to break, but you don't know it and feel safe.

Perfection belongs to narrated events, not to those we live.

Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable. The obstacles preventing the realization of both these extreme states are of the same nature: they derive from our human condition which is opposed to everything infinite.

The aims of life are the best defense against death.

The sea of grief has no shores, no bottom; no one can sound its depths.

There are people who wring their hands and call it an abyss, but do nothing to fill it; there are also those who work to widen it, as if the scientist and literary man belong to two different human subspecies, reciprocally incomprehensible, fated to ignore each other and not apt to engage in cross-fertilization.

Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it.

To destroy a man is difficult, almost as difficult as to create one.


(July 31 is also the birthday of Milton Friedman.)

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Quotes of the day: Thorstein Veblen

Published Wednesday, July 29, 2015 @ 1:31 PM EDT
Jul 29 2015

Thorstein Bunde Veblen (born Torsten Bunde Veblen; July 30, 1857 - August 3, 1929) was an American economist and sociologist, and leader of the institutional economics movement. Veblen is credited for the main technical principle used by institutional economists, known as the Veblenian dichotomy. It is a distinction between what Veblen called "institutions" and "technology". Besides his technical work, Veblen was a popular and witty critic of capitalism, as illustrated by his best-known book The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All business sagacity reduces itself in the last analysis to judicious use of sabotage.

Born in iniquity and conceived in sin, the spirit of nationalism has never ceased to bend human institutions to the service of dissension and distress.

Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure.

In modern civilized communities... the members of each stratum accept as their ideal of decency the scheme of life in vogue in the next higher stratum.

In order to stand well in the eyes of the community, it is necessary to come up to a certain, somewhat indefinite, conventional standard of wealth.

In point of substantial merit the law school belongs in the modern university no more than a school of fencing or dancing.

In the modern industrial communities... the apparatus of living has grown so elaborate and cumbrous... that the consumers of these things cannot make way with them in the required manner without help.

In the rare cases where it occurs, a failure to increase one's visible consumption when the means for an increase are at hand is felt in popular apprehension to call for explanation, and unworthy motives of miserliness are imputed.

Invention is the mother of necessity.

It frequently happens that an element of the standard of living which set out with being primarily wasteful, ends with becoming, in the apprehension of the consumer, a necessary of life.

It is always sound business to take any obtainable net gain, at any cost and at any risk to the rest of the community.

No one traveling on a business trip would be missed if he failed to arrive.

The chief use of servants is the evidence they afford of the master's ability to pay.

The dog commends himself to our favor by affording play to our propensity for mastery.

The domestic life of most classes is relatively shabby, as compared with the éclat of that overt portion of their life that is carried on before the eyes of observers.

The institution of a leisure class has emerged gradually during the transition from primitive savagery to barbarism; or more precisely, during the transition from a peaceable to a consistently warlike habit of life.

The need of conspicuous waste... stands ready to absorb any increase in the community's industrial efficiency or output of goods.

The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before.

The possession of wealth confers honor; it is an invidious distinction.

The superior gratification derived from the use and contemplation of costly and supposedly beautiful products is, commonly, in great measure a gratification of our sense of costliness masquerading under the name of beauty.

The thief or swindler who has gained great wealth by his delinquency has a better chance than the small thief of escaping the rigorous penalty of the law.

While the proximate ground of discrimination may be of another kind, still the pervading principle and abiding test of good breeding is the requirement of a substantial and patent waste of time.


(July 30 is also the birthday of Casey Stengel and Henry Ford.)

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Quotes of the day: Booth Tarkington

Published Tuesday, July 28, 2015 @ 5:51 PM EDT
Jul 28 2015

Newton Booth Tarkington (July 29, 1869 – May 19, 1946) was an American novelist and dramatist. A Pulitzer Prize-winner and one of the most popular novelists of his time, he wrote The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams. He briefly attended Purdue University and went on to study at Princeton. In the early 1900s, he served in the Indiana House of Representatives. His best-known work, Alice Adams- the tale of a lower-middle-class woman's struggle to find a suitable husband- won the Pulitzer Prize in 1922. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and was a distant relative of Chicago Mayor James Hutchinson Woodworth. He was the third writer, after William Faulkner and John Updike, to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


An ideal wife is any woman who has an ideal husband.

At twenty-one or twenty-two so many things appear solid and permanent and terrible which forty sees are nothing but disappearing miasma. Forty can't tell twenty about this; that's the pity of it! Twenty can find out only by getting to be forty.

Cherish all your happy moments; they make a fine cushion for old age.

Destiny has a constant passion for the incongruous.

Gossip is never fatal until it is denied.

I mean the things that we have and that we think are so solid- they're like smoke, and time is like the sky that the smoke disappears into. You know how wreath of smoke goes up from a chimney, and seems all thick and black and busy against the sky, as if it were going to do such important things and last forever, and you see it getting thinner and thinner-and then, in such a little while, it isn't there at all; nothing is left but the sky, and the sky keeps on being just the same forever.

I suppose about the only good in pretending is the fun we get out of fooling ourselves that we fool somebody.

I've lived long enough to know that circumstances can beat the best of us.

In the days before deathly contrivances hustled them through their lives, and when they had no telephones- another ancient vacancy profoundly responsible for leisure- they had time for everything: time to think, to talk, time to read, time to wait for a lady!

It is love in old age, no longer blind, that is true love. For the love's highest intensity doesn't necessarily mean it's highest quality.

Nobody has a good name in a bad mouth. Nobody has a good name in a silly mouth either.

One of the hardest conditions of boyhood is the almost continuous strain put upon the powers of invention by the constant and harassing necessity for explanations of every natural act.

Some day the laws of glamour must be discovered, because they are so important that the world would be wiser now if Sir Isaac Newton had been hit on the head, not by an apple, but by a young lady.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously.

There aren't any old times. When times are gone they're not old, they're dead! There aren't any times but new times!

There is a fertile stretch of flat lands in Indiana where unagarian Eastern travelers, glancing from car windows, shudder and return their eyes to interior upholstery, preferring even the swaying comparisons of a Pullman to the monotony without.

They lacked style, but also lacked pretentiousness, and whatever does not pretend at all has style enough.

Thirteen is embarrassed by the beginnings of a new colthood; the child becomes a youth. But twelve is the very top of boyhood.

Youth cannot imagine romance apart from youth. That is why the roles of the heroes and heroines of plays are given by the managers to the most youthful actors they can find among the competent.


(July 29 is also the birthday of Alexis de Tocqueville, Don Marquis, and Wil Wheaton.)

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Quotes of the day: Jim Davis

Published Monday, July 27, 2015 @ 12:50 PM EDT
Jul 27 2015

James Robert "Jim" Davis (b. July 28, 1945) is an American cartoonist, best known as the creator of the comic strips Garfield and U.S. Acres (aka Orson's Farm), the former of which has been published since 1978 and has since become the world's most widely syndicated comic strip. Davis's other comics work includes Tumbleweeds, Gnorm Gnat and a strip about Mr. Potato Head. Davis has written (or in some cases co-written) all of the Emmy Award- winning or nominated Garfield TV specials and was one of the producers behind the Garfield & Friends TV show which aired on CBS from 1988 to 1994. Davis is the writer and executive producer of a trilogy of CGI-direct-to-video feature films about Garfield, as well as one of the executive producers and the creator for the new CGI- animated TV series The Garfield Show. He continues to work on the strip. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


An imagination is a powerful tool. It can tint memories of the past, shade perceptions of the present, or paint a future so vivid that it can entice... or terrify, all depending upon how we conduct ourselves today.

Clasping your hands together means you are serious. Clasping them around someone else's throat means you are very serious.

Cute rots the intellect.

Don't eat fruits or nuts. You are what you eat.

Good times are ahead! Or behind. Because they sure aren’t here.

He who fills His pockets with the Rocks of Misdeeds shall surely sink in the River of Good Fortune.

I have a fear of letting my mind wander. I'm afraid it might not come back.

I'll rise, but I won’t shine.

If you are patient... and wait long enough... Nothing will happen.

In order to be 'in charge,' you need someone to be in charge of.

It's amazing what one can accomplish when one doesn't know what one can't do.

Life is a food chain, and it's better to be the diner than the dinner.

Life is like a hot bath. It feels good while you're in it, but the longer you stay, the more wrinkled you get.

People who have simple pleasures should be admired... and then executed.

The meek shall inherit squat.

There is never a need to outrun anything you can outwit.

Way down deep, we're all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them.


(July 28 is also the birthday of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.)

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Quotes of the day: Leo Durocher

Published Sunday, July 26, 2015 @ 1:15 PM EDT
Jul 26 2015

Leo Ernest Durocher (July 27, 1905 – October 7, 1991), nicknamed Leo the Lip, was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played in Major League Baseball as an infielder. Upon his retirement, he ranked fifth all-time among managers with 2,009 career victories, second only to John McGraw in National League history. Durocher still ranks tenth in career wins by a manager. A controversial and outspoken character, Durocher had a stormy career dogged by clashes with authority, umpires (his 95 career ejections as a manager trailed only McGraw when he retired, and still rank fourth on the all-time list), and the press. Durocher was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


As long as I've got a chance to beat you I'm going to take it.

Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand.

God watches over drunks and third baseman.

How you play the game is for college ball. When you're playing for money, winning is the only thing that matters.

I believe in rules. Sure I do. If there weren't any rules, how could you break them?

I've never questioned the integrity of an umpire. Their eyesight, yes.

If you don't win, you're going to be fired. If you do win, you've only put off the day you're going to be fired.

Nice guys finish last.

Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot.

Show me a good sportsman and I'll show you a player I'm looking to trade.

Today a pitcher gets fined if the umpire thinks he threw at a batter. In the olden days, the umpire didn't have to take any courses in mind reading. The pitcher told you he was going to throw at you.

What are we at the park for except to win? I'd trip my mother. I'd help her up, brush her off, tell her I'm sorry. But mother don't make it to third.

Win any way you can as long as you can get away with it.

You argue with the umpire because there is nothing else you can do about it.

You don't save a pitcher for tomorrow. Tomorrow it may rain.


(July 27 is also the birthday of Hilaire Belloc.)

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Quotes of the day: William Jennings Bryan

Published Saturday, July 25, 2015 @ 1:06 PM EDT
Jul 25 2015

William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 - July 26, 1925) was an American orator and politician, and a dominant force in the populist wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as the Party's candidate for President of the United States (1896, 1900 and 1908). He served two terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Nebraska and was United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson (1913–1915), resigning because of his pacifist position on World War I. Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, a strong advocate of popular democracy, and an enemy of the banks and their gold standard. He demanded "Free Silver" because it reduced power attributed to money and put more money in the hands of the people. He was a peace advocate, a supporter of Prohibition, and an opponent of Darwinism on religious and humanitarian grounds. With his deep, commanding voice and wide travels, he was one of the best-known orators and lecturers of the era. Because of his faith in the wisdom of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man unwilling to bear his share of the burden of the government is unworthy to enjoy its blessings.

And who can suffer injury by just taxation, impartial laws and the application of the Jeffersonian doctrine of equal rights to all and special privileges to none? Only those whose accumulations are stained with dishonesty and whose immoral methods have given them a distorted view of business, society and government. Accumulating by conscious frauds more money than they can use upon themselves, wisely distribute or safely leave to their children, these denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw a light upon their crimes.

Appearance too often takes the place of reality- the stamp of the coin is there, and the glitter of the gold, but, after all, it is but a worthless wash.

Behold a republic standing erect while empires all around are bowed beneath the weight of their own armaments- a republic whose flag is loved while other flags are only feared.

Character is the entity, the individuality of the person, shining from every window of the soul, either as a beam of purity, or as a clouded ray that betrays the impurity within.

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.

Eloquent speech is not from lip to ear, but rather from heart to heart.

If we delight in gossip, and are not content unless each neighbor is laid upon the dissecting table, we form a character unenviable indeed, and must be willing to bear the contempt of all the truly good, while we roll our bit of scandal as a sweet morsel under the tongue.

In this, our land, we are called upon to give but little in return for the advantages which we receive. Shall we give that little grudgingly?

Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority.

Next to the ministry I know of no more noble profession than the law. The object aimed at is justice, equal and exact, and if it does not reach that end at once it is because the stream is diverted by selfishness or checked by ignorance. Its principles ennoble and its practice elevates.

No one can earn a million dollars honestly.

None so little enjoy themselves, and are such burdens to themselves, as those who have nothing to do. Only the active have the true relish of life.

Our definition of patriotism is often too narrow. Shall the lover of his country measure his loyalty only by his service as a soldier?

Patriotism calls for the faithful and conscientious performance of all of the duties of citizenship, in small matters as well as great, at home as well as upon the tented field.

Plutocracy is abhorrent to a republic; it is more despotic than monarchy, more heartless than aristocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It preys upon the nation in time of peace and conspires against it in the hour of its calamity.

Sham is carried into every department of life, and we are being corrupted by show and surface. We are too apt to judge people by what they have, rather than by what they are; we have too few Hamlets who are bold enough to proclaim, 'I know not seem!'

Success is brought by continued labor and continued watchfulness. We must struggle on, not for one moment hesitate, nor take one backward step.

The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error.

The poor man who takes property by force is called a thief, but the creditor who can by legislation make a debtor pay a dollar twice as large as he borrowed is lauded as the friend of a sound currency. The man who wants the people to destroy the Government is an anarchist, but the man who wants the Government to destroy the people is a patriot.

The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.

There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests up on them.

Two people in a conversation amount to four people talking. The four are what one person says, what he really wanted to say, what his listener heard, and what he thought he heard.

You cannot judge a man's life by the success of a moment, by the victory of an hour, or even by the results of a year. You must view his life as a whole.


(July 26 is also the birthday of Kenneth Tynan, Stanley Kubrick, and Carl Jung.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, William Jennings Bryan

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Quotes of the day: Elias Canetti

Published Friday, July 24, 2015 @ 4:47 PM EDT
Jul 24 2015

Elias Canetti (July 25, 1905 – August 14, 1994) was a German language author, born in Bulgaria, and later a British citizen. He was a modernist novelist, playwright, memoirist, and non-fiction writer. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1981, "for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power" (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A mind, lean in its own language. In others, it gets fat.

Ambition is the death of thought.

Everything you rejected and pushed aside- take it up again.

Happiness is that ridiculous life goal of illiterates.

I hate judgments that only crush and don't transform.

I repulse death with all my strength. If I accepted it, I would be a murderer.

Ideally, you should use only words which you have filled with new meaning.

If one has lived long enough, there is danger of succumbing to the word 'God' merely because it was always there.

It amazes me how a person to whom literature means anything can take it up as an object of study.

Life experience does not amount to very much and could be learned from novels alone, e.g., from Balzac, without any help from life.

One needs time to free oneself of wrong convictions. If it happens too suddenly, they go on festering.

One should tell oneself how fruitful misunderstandings are. One shouldn't despise them. One of the wisest people was a collector of misunderstandings.

One who obeys himself suffocates as surely as one who obeys others.

One who, alone, would be unconquerable. But he weakens himself with allegiances.

Relearn astonishment, stop grasping for knowledge, lose the habit of the past.

Say the most personal thing, say it, nothing else matters, don't be ashamed, the generalities can be found in the newspaper.

The story of your youth must not turn into a catalog of what became important in your later life. It must also contain the dissipation, the failure, and the waste.

There is something impure in the laments about the dangers of our time, as if they could serve to excuse our personal failure.

You don't have to know a philosopher's every syllable to know why he rubs you the wrong way. You may know it best after a few of his sentences, and less and less well after that. The important thing is to see his web and move away before you tear it.

You keep taking note of whatever confirms your ideas- better to write down what refutes and weakens them!

You need the rhetoric of others, the aversion it inspires, in order to find the way out of your own.


(July 25 is also the birthday of Arthur Balfour and Eric Hoffer.)

Categories: Elias Canetti, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Amelia Earhart

Published Thursday, July 23, 2015 @ 12:31 PM EDT
Jul 23 2015

Amelia Mary Earhart (July 24, 1897 – disappeared July 2, 1937) was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for this record. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. Earhart joined the faculty of the Purdue University aviation department in 1935 as a visiting faculty member to counsel women on careers and help inspire others with her love for aviation. She was also a member of the National Woman's Party, and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10 Electra, Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Fascination with her life, career and disappearance continues to this day. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Adventure is worthwhile in itself.

Anticipation, I suppose, sometimes exceeds realization.

Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense.

Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.

Flying might not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.

I want to do it because I want to do it.

In my life I had come to realize that when things were going very well indeed it was just the time to anticipate trouble.

It is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.

Obviously I faced the possibility of not returning when first I considered going. Once faced and settled there really wasn't any good reason to refer to it.

Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.

Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.

The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.

The most effective way to do it, is to do it.

The woman who can create her own job is the woman who will win fame and fortune.

There is so much that must be done in a civilized barbarism like war.

Women must pay for everything. They do get more glory than men for comparable feats, but, they also get more notoriety when they crash.

Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail their failure must be but a challenge to others.

Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.


(July 24 is also the birthday of Alexandre Dumas and Zelda Fitzgerald.)

Categories: Amelia Earhart, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: M.H. Abrams

Published Wednesday, July 22, 2015 @ 3:30 PM EDT
Jul 22 2015

Meyer Howard "Mike" Abrams (July 23, 1912 – April 21, 2015), usually cited as M.H. Abrams, was an American literary critic, known for works on romanticism, in particular his book The Mirror and the Lamp. Under Abrams' editorship, the Norton Anthology of English Literature became the standard text for undergraduate survey courses across the U.S. and a major trendsetter in literary canon formation. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All students are capable of growth. Some of them seem to be very slow to begin with and it's probably not their fault, nor do I think it's a matter of genetics. It's a matter of what has happened in their lives before. They are all capable of growing, but they will not grow unless you interest them, captivate them in some way, and then make them reach out. Then they will finally enjoy reaching out.

Hard work makes easy reading or, at least, easier reading.

I think most of the things I published have been published out of desperation, not because they were perfected.

I think the hardest thing to teach a student is that what he or she puts down on paper is changeable. It's not the final thing, it's the first thing, which may just be the suggestive, vague identification of something that you have to come back to and rewrite. At first, students tend to freeze at the first effort. The breakthrough comes when they realize that they can make it better — can identify what their purposes were and realize better ways to achieve those purposes. That is the important thing in teaching students to write: not to be frozen in their first effort.

If you learn one thing from having lived through decades of changing views, it is that all predictions are necessarily false.

If you read quickly to get through a poem to what it means, you have missed the body of the poem.

It's a pleasure that you don't outgrow the anthology.

It's amazing how, age after age, in country after country, and in all languages, Shakespeare emerges as incomparable.

Key metaphors help determine what and how we perceive and how we think about our perceptions.

Life without literature is a life reduced to penury. It expands you in every way. It illuminates what you're doing. It shows you possibilities you haven't thought of. It enables you to live the lives of other people than yourself. It broadens you, it makes you more human. It makes life enjoyable.

One of the joys of teaching with the anthology is to watch the excitement grow as students, who may think the past dull and irrelevant, find how fresh and new and powerful are the kinds of writings that are hundreds of years old.

We are human, and nothing is more interesting to us than humanity.

We are human, and nothing is more interesting to us than humanity. The appeal of literature is that it is so thoroughly a human thing — by, for and about human beings. If you lose that focus, you obviate the source of the power and permanence of literature.

When something startlingly new comes up, young people, especially, seize it. You can't complain about that.


(July 23 is also the birthday of Anthony Kennedy and Raymond Chandler.)

Categories: M.H. Abrams, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Amy Vanderbilt

Published Tuesday, July 21, 2015 @ 2:56 PM EDT
Jul 21 2015

Amy Vanderbilt (July 22, 1908 – December 27, 1974) was an American authority on etiquette. In 1952 she published the best-selling book Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette. The book, later retitled Amy Vanderbilt's Etiquette, has been updated and is still in circulation. The most recent edition was edited by Nancy Tuckerman and Nancy Dunnan. Its longtime popularity has led to it being considered a standard of etiquette writing. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Breakfast is the one meal at which it is permissible to read the paper.

Ceremony is-really a protection, too, in times of emotional involvement, particularly at death. If we have a social formula to guide us and do not have to extemporize, we feel better able to handle life.

Do not smoke without asking permission or sit so near (as in a train) that the smoke might annoy.

Do not speak of repulsive matters at table.

Everyone knows that a man can marry even if he reaches the age of 102, is penniless, and has all his facilities gone. There is always some woman willing to take a chance on him.

Good manners have much to do with the emotions. To make them ring true, one must feel them, not merely exhibit them.

I am a journalist in the field of etiquette. I try to find out what the most genteel people regularly do, what traditions they have discarded, what compromises they have made.

In Hollywood, not to have an analyst is virtually an admission of failure ...

One face to the world, another at home- makes for misery.

Only a great fool or a great genius is likely to flout all social grace with impunity, and neither one, doing so, makes the most comfortable companion.

Parents must get across the idea that "I love you always, but sometimes I do not love your behavior."

The best-dressed women I know pay very little attention to the picayune aspects of fashion, but they have a sound understanding of style.

The modern rule is that every woman should be her own chaperone.

We must learn which ceremonies may be breached occasionally at our convenience and which ones may never be if we are to live pleasantly with our fellow man.

When we learn to give thanks, we are learning to concentrate not on the bad things, but on the good things in our lives.


(July 22 is also the birthday of Albert Brooks.)

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Quotes of the day: Paul Wellstone

Published Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 4:57 PM EDT
Jul 20 2015

Paul David Wellstone (July 21, 1944 - October 25, 2002) was an American academic and politician who represented Minnesota in the United States Senate from 1991 until he was killed in a plane crash in Eveleth, Minnesota in 2002. A member of the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, Wellstone was a leading spokesman for the progressive wing of the national Democratic Party. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A politics that is not sensitive to the concerns and circumstances of people's lives, a politics that does not speak to and include people, is an intellectually arrogant politics that deserves to fail.

Above and beyond the question of how to grow the economy there is a legitimate concern about how to grow the quality of our lives.

As free citizens in a political democracy, we have a responsibility to be interested and involved in the affairs of the human community, be it at the local or the global level.

Education and democracy have the same goal: the fullest possible development of human capabilities.

I dare to imagine a country where every child I hold in my hands, are all God's children, regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of whether they're boy or girl, regardless of religion, regardless of rich or poor, that every child I hold in my hands, will have the same chance to reach her full potential or his full potential. That is the goodness of our country. That is the essence of the American dream.

I don't think politics has anything to do with left, right, or center. It has to do with trying to do right by people.

If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them.

In the last analysis, politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine.

It is the belief that extremes and excesses of inequality must be reduced so that each person is free to fully develop his or her full potential. This is why we take precious time out of our lives and give it to politics.

Never separate the life you live from the words you speak.

Our aims in political activism are not, and should not be, to create a perfect utopia. What we seek is more simply to improve the quality of human life while at the same time respecting the natural environment which sustains it: 'Not a heaven on earth but a better earth on earth.'

Our politics are our deepest form of expression: they mirror our past experiences and reflect our dreams and aspirations for the future. (Untitled and undated essay)

Politics is not about winning for the sake of winning.

Politics is not just about power and money games, politics can be about the improvement of people's lives, about lessening human suffering in our world and bringing about more peace and more justice.

Politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine.

Sometimes, the only realists are the dreamers.

Successful organizing is based on the recognition that people get organized because they, too, have a vision.

Successful organizing is not built on self-interest but rather on dignity and a sense of purpose.

The American polity is infected with a serious imbalance of power between elites and masses, a power which is the principal threat to our democracy.

The future will belong to those who have passion and are willing to work hard to make our country better.

The future will not belong to those who sit on the sidelines. The future will not belong to the cynics. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

The idea of democracy has been stripped of it moral imperatives and come to denote hollowness and hypocrisy.

The only way to change is to vote. People are responsible.

The people of this country, not special interest big money, should be the source of all political power.

There is a major ingredient missing from our perception of how changes are brought about; that ingredient is power.

This is no time for timidity.

We all do better when we all do better.

We can and must move U.S. politics forward by means of committed participation.

We can remake the world daily.

We must remember that for many, many women, work does not represent liberation, modernization, or market success. Most women are not upper income professionals and certainly not executives of large corporations and banks; most women work in the expanding low-wage service sector of our economy.

What the poor, the weak, and the inarticulate desperately require is power, organization, and a sense of identity and purpose, not rarefied advice of political scientists.

When too many Americans don't vote or participate, some see apathy and despair. I see disappointment and even outrage. And I believe that out of this frustration can come hope and action.


(July 21 is also the birthday of Ernest Hemingway, Marshall McLuhan, and Robin Williams.)

Categories: Paul Wellstone, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Petrarch

Published Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 5:27 PM EDT
Jul 19 2015

Francesco Petrarca (July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374), commonly anglicized as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar and poet in Renaissance Italy, and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism". In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo created the model for the modern Italian language based on Petrarch's works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio, and, to a lesser extent, Dante Alighieri. Petrarch would be later endorsed as a model for Italian style by the Accademia della Crusca. Petrarch's sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poetry. He is also known for being the first to develop the concept of the "Dark Ages." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A good death does honor to a whole life.

Books have led some to learning and others to madness, when they swallow more than they can digest.

Five enemies of peace inhabit with us- avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.

How difficult it is to save the bark of reputation from the rocks of ignorance.

How fortune brings to earth the over-sure!

I have acted contrary to my sentiments and inclination; throughout our whole lives we do what we never intended, and what we proposed to do, we leave undone.

I rejoiced in my progress, mourned my weaknesses, and commiserated the universal instability of human conduct.

It is better to will the good than to know the truth.

It is more honorable to be raised to a throne than to be born to one. Fortune bestows the one, merit obtains the other.

Man has no greater enemy than himself.

Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together.

Sameness is the mother of disgust, variety the cure.

Suspicion is the cancer of friendship.

The aged love what is practical while impetuous youth longs only for what is dazzling.

There is always some madness in love, but there is also always some reason in madness.

There is no lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen.

To be able to say how much you love is to love but little.

Who naught suspects is easily deceived.

Who overrefines his argument brings himself to grief.


(July 20 is also the birthday of Frantz Fanon.)

Categories: Petrarch, Quotes of the day

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Quotes for National Ice Cream Day

Published Saturday, July 18, 2015 @ 9:05 PM EDT
Jul 18 2015

America: Race riots, fascist police, AND THE BEST DAMNED ICE CREAM IN THE WORLD! (Button, circa 1968)

Ben & Jerry's is an indulgent dessert that should be eaten in moderation. You should not be replacing more than one meal a day with ice cream.
-Jerry Greenfield

How do you say no when a little kid is asking you for ice cream? I know I can't say no to it myself.
-Jimmie Johnson

I eat ice cream. It's better than booze.
-Del Shannon

I love dessert. All kinds. But there's something about ice cream that makes me happy. I am drawn to its simplicity. I am perplexed by the endless supply of constantly growing flavor options. And I am always in the mood for sprinkles and a sugar cone.
-Rachel Nichols

I love eating chocolate cake and ice cream after a show. I almost justify it in my mind as, 'You were a good boy onstage and you did your show, so now you can have some cake and ice cream.'
-Steven Wright

In time, foods such as hamburgers and ice cream became more than just meals. They became part of American history and culture, touchstones that are almost immediately nostalgic and sentimental no matter how old you are or what part of the country you are from.
-Homaro Cantu

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it is on your plate.
-Thornton Wilder

Spoon the sauce over the ice cream. It will harden. This is what you have been working for.
-Nicholson Baker

The administration says the American people want tax cuts. Well, duh. The American people also want drive-through nickel beer night. The American people want to lose weight by eating ice cream. The American people love the Home Shopping Network because it's commercial-free.
-Will Durst

The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.
-Wallace Stevens

When I have bad days, I just eat lots of chocolate ice cream and dance to the Lion King soundtrack. It's really odd, but it's true.
-Blake Lively

Wow, you survived a blackout. You're made of stronger stuff than ice cream.
-Lewis Black

You can pour melted ice cream on regular ice cream. It's like a sauce!
-Chris Pratt

Categories: Holidays, Ice Cream, National Ice Cream Day, Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: Red Skelton

Published Friday, July 17, 2015 @ 5:29 PM EDT
Jul 17 2015

Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997) was an American entertainer best known for his national radio and television acts between 1937 and 1971 and as host of the television program The Red Skelton Show. Skelton, who has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and television, also appeared in vaudeville, films, nightclubs, and casinos, all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All men make mistakes, but married men find out about them sooner.

Any kid will run any errand for you, if you ask at bedtime.

Congress: Bingo with billions.

Exercise? I get it on the golf course. When I see my friends collapse, I run for the paramedics.

I get plenty of exercise carrying the coffins of my friends who exercise.

I haven't spoken to my wife in 18 months. I don't like to interrupt her.

I left home because I was hungry.

I married Miss Right. I just didn't know her first name was Always.

I'm nuts and I know it. But so long as I make 'em laugh, they ain't going to lock me up.

Live by this credo: have a little laugh at life and look around you for happiness instead of sadness. Laughter has always brought me out of unhappy situations.

No matter what your heartache may be, laughing helps you forget it for a few seconds.

Our principles are the springs of our actions. Our actions, the springs of our happiness or misery. Too much care, therefore, cannot be taken in forming our principles.

Remember: Marriage is the number one cause of divorce.

Today's comics use four-letter words as a shortcut to thinking.

You know what I don't understand about a gas station? The cash box is out in the open, the office is out in the open, and they lock the restrooms.


(July 18 is also the birthday of Hunter S. Thompson, Jessamyn West, and Nelson Mandela.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Red Skelton

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Quotes of the day: Tony Kushner

Published Wednesday, July 15, 2015 @ 1:48 PM EDT
Jul 15 2015

Anthony Robert "Tony" Kushner (b. July 16, 1956) is an American playwright and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for his play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. He co-authored with Eric Roth the screenplay for the 2005 film Munich, and he wrote the screenplay for the 2012 film Lincoln, both critically acclaimed movies. For his work, he received a National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2013 (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


I wish you would be more true to your demographic profile. Life is confusing enough.

If you're gay and you can't hold hands, or you're black and you can't catch a taxi, or you're a woman and you can't go into the park, you are aware there's a menace. That's costly on a psychic level. The world should be striving to make all its members secure.

In this world, there is a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we've left behind, and dreaming ahead.

It's the fear of what comes after the doing that makes the doing hard to do.

My whole life has conspired to bring me to this place, and I can't despise my whole life.

Nothing's lost forever.

One has to have a complicated kind of optimism. You can't refuse to look at how horrible things are.

Only date people who have read a different set of books than you have read, it will save you lots of time in the library.

People shouldn't trust artists and they shouldn't trust art. Part of the fun of art is that it invites you to interpret it.

Respect the delicate ecology of your delusions.

The smallest indivisible human unit is two people, not one; one is a fiction. From such nets of souls societies, the social world, human life springs.

Torture yourself about your failures. And then get back to work.

We all romp about, grieving, wondering, but with rare exception we mostly remain suspended in the Rhetorical Colloidal Forever that agglutinates between Might and Do.

You don't go to the movies to do historical research, unless it's historical research about the movies.

You have to ask hard questions.

You learn that existence is legible but that you have to have a critical mind if you're going to read it.

You'll find, my friend, that what you love will take you places you never dreamed you'd go.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Tony Kushner

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Quotes of the day: Arianna Huffington

Published Tuesday, July 14, 2015 @ 5:42 PM EDT
Jul 14 2015

Arianna Huffington (née Stasinopoúlou; b. July 15, 1950) is a Greek-American author, syndicated columnist, and occasional actress. She is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. She was a popular conservative commentator in the mid- 1990s, after which, in the 1990s, she became a liberal. She is the former spouse of former Republican congressman Michael Huffington. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


America is a country ready to be taken, in fact, longing to be taken by political leaders ready to restore democracy and trust to the political process.

Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.

Increasingly, staying in the middle class- let alone aspiring to become middle class- is becoming a game of chance.

It would be futile to attempt to fit women into a masculine pattern of attitudes, skills and abilities and disastrous to force them to suppress their specifically female characteristics and abilities by keeping up the pretense that there are no differences between the sexes.

It's no longer an exaggeration to say that middle-class Americans are an endangered species.

Mainstream media tend to just mouth the conventional wisdom, to see everything through the filter of right and left.

Not only is it harder to be a man, it is also harder to become one.

Our current obsession with creativity is the result of our continued striving for immortality in an era when most people no longer believe in an after-life.

The economic game is not supposed to be rigged like some shady ring toss on a carnival midway.

The fastest way to break the cycle of perfectionism and become a fearless mother is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly- indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection.

The middle class is teetering on the brink of collapse just as surely as AIG was in the fall of 2009- only this time, it's not just one giant insurance company (and its banking counterparties) facing disaster, it's tens of millions of hardworking Americans who played by the rules.

The more we refuse to buy into our inner critics- and our external ones too- the easier it will get to have confidence in our choices, and to feel comfortable with who we are- as women and as mothers.

There is nothing like becoming a mom to fill you with fear.

There's no love more intense than the love we have for our kids- and where there is intense love, there is also intense fear lurking beneath the surface.

When your house is burning down, you don't worry about the remodeling.


(July 15 is also the birthday of Iris Murdoch.)

Categories: Arianna Huffington, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Irving Stone

Published Monday, July 13, 2015 @ 9:35 PM EDT
Jul 13 2015

Irving Stone (born Tannenbaum, July 14, 1903 – August 26, 1989) was an American writer, chiefly known for his biographical novels of noted artists, politicians and intellectuals; among the best known are Lust for Life (1934), about the life of Vincent van Gogh, and The Agony and the Ecstasy (1961), about Michelangelo. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All artists are crackpots. And it's their finest feature.

An artist without ideas is a mendicant; barren, he goes begging among the hours.

Art is a staple, like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Man's spirit grows hungry for art in the same way his stomach growls for food.

Art is amoral; so is life. For me there are no obscene pictures or books; there are only poorly conceived and poorly executed ones.

Being mad is even pleasant. But only a madman understands that.

Each of us has his own alphabet with which to create poetry.

How difficult it is to be simple.

I do not know a better cure for mental illness than a book.

I'm never less alone than when alone.

In order to paint life one must understand not only anatomy, but what people feel and thing about the world they live in. The painter who knows his own craft and nothing else will turn out to be a very superficial artist.

Knowing how to suffer without complaining is the only practical thing, it's the great science, the lesson to learn, the solution to the problem of life.

Life's not so bad after all. There are not only poison but also antidotes.

Morality is similar to religion- it is a somniferous drug which blinds people from seeing the squalor of their lives.

Pleasure is one of the most important things in life, as important as food or drink.

Talent is cheap; dedication is expensive. It will cost you your life.

There are no faster or firmer friendships than those between people who love the same books.

There's no love without pain.



(July 14 is also the birthday of Woody Guthrie and Jerry Rubin.)

Categories: Irving Stone, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Harrison Ford

Published Sunday, July 12, 2015 @ 9:37 PM EDT
Jul 12 2015

Harrison Ford (b. July 13, 1942) is an American actor and film producer. At one point, four of the top six box-office hits of all time included one of his roles. Seven of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry: American Graffiti (1973), The Conversation (1974), Star Wars (1977), Apocalypse Now, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Blade Runner. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


It's not the years, it's the mileage.

We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.

You know you're getting old when all the names in your black book have M. D. after them.

You may get real tired watching me, but I'm not going to quit.

I think the reason I'm still here is that I was never enough in fashion that I had to be replaced by something new.

Really, what are the options? Levi's or Wranglers. And you just pick one. It's one of those life choices.

Parenting is an impossible job at any age.

To me, success is choice and opportunity.

The third time you say a thing it sounds like a lie.

I think what a lot of action movies lose these days, especially the ones that deal with fantasy, is you stop caring at some point because you've lost human scale.

Certainly news has changed completely, and the morning shows are not really designed to bring you the news, except to tell you what happened overnight, and the rest of it is a kind of magazine mentality - a little bit of this, a little bit of that. It's harder to be an educated and informed citizen.

I am not the first man who wanted to make changes in his life at 60 and I won't be the last. It is just that others can do it with anonymity.


(July 13 is also the birthday of Kenneth Clark.)

Categories: Harrison Ford, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Julius Caesar

Published Saturday, July 11, 2015 @ 9:00 PM EDT
Jul 11 2015

Gaius Julius Caesar (July 12,100 BC - March 15, 44 BC) was a Roman statesman, general and notable author of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Fortune, which has a great deal of power in other matters but especially in war, can bring about great changes in a situation through very slight forces.

I came, I saw, I conquered.

I love treason but hate a traitor.

It is not the well-fed long-haired man I fear, but the pale and the hungry looking.

Men willingly believe what they wish.

The die is cast.

The immortal gods are wont to allow those persons whom they wish to punish for their guilt sometimes a greater prosperity and longer impunity, in order that they may suffer the more severely from a reverse of circumstances.

It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

It is better to create than to learn! Creating is the essence of life.

No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.

I love the name of honor, more than I fear death.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it.

In war, events of importance are the result of trivial causes.

In the end, it is impossible not to become what others believe you are.

I love treason but hate a traitor.

All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures.


(July 12 is also the birthday of Henry David Thoreau.)

Categories: Julius Caesar, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: George Gershwin

Published Friday, July 10, 2015 @ 10:20 PM EDT
Jul 10 2015

George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928) as well as the opera Porgy and Bess (1935). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All great composers of the past spent most of their time studying. Feeling alone won't do the job. A man also needs technique.

All these tales of people sitting down and composing symphonies just as though they were writing a letter are very much exaggerated; at least, it isn't that way in my work.

I frequently hear music in the very heart of noise.

I like to think of music as an emotional science.

I want to say at once that I frankly believe that Irving Berlin is the greatest songwriter that has ever lived.... His songs are exquisite cameos of perfection, and each one of them is as beautiful as its neighbor. Irving Berlin remains, I think, America's Schubert.

It is always possible to create something original.

Jazz I regard as an American folk music; not the only one, but a very powerful one which is probably in the blood and feeling of the American people more than any other style of folk music.

Life is a lot like jazz... it's best when you improvise.

The European boys have small ideas but they sure know how to dress 'em up.

True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time.

Upper berth, lower berth, that's the difference between talent and genius.

Why should I limit myself to only one woman when I can have as many women as I want?

Writing music is not so much inspiration as hard work.


"George Gershwin died on July 11, 1937, but I don't have to believe it if I don't want to."
-John O'Hara


(July 11 is also the birthday of John Quincy Adams.)

Categories: George Gershwin, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Finley Peter Dunne

Published Thursday, July 09, 2015 @ 8:35 PM EDT
Jul 09 2015

Finley Peter Dunne (July 10, 1867 — April 24, 1936) was an American humorist and writer from Chicago. He published Mr. Dooley in Peace and War, a collection of his nationally syndicated Mr. Dooley sketches, in 1898. The fictional Mr. Dooley expounded upon political and social issues of the day from his South Side Chicago Irish pub and he spoke with the thick verbiage and accent of an Irish immigrant from County Roscommon. Dunne's sly humor and political acumen won the support of President Theodore Roosevelt, a frequent target of Mr. Dooley's barbs. Dunne's sketches became so popular and such a litmus test of public opinion that they were read each week at White House cabinet meetings. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A lie with a purpose is one of the worst kind, and the most profitable.

Alcohol is necessary for a man so that he can have a good opinion of himself, undisturbed be the facts.

An appeal is when you ask one court to show its contempt for another court.

Don't jump on a man unless he is down.

It don't make much difference what you study, so long as you don't like it.

Most vegetarians look so much like the food they eat that they can be classified as cannibals.

One of the strangest things about life is that the poor, who need the money the most, are the ones that never have it.

The business of a newspaper is to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.

The only good husbands stay bachelors: They're too considerate to get married.

The past always looks better than it was. It's only pleasant because it isn't here.

The Puritans gave thanks for being preserved from the Indians, and we give thanks for being preserved from the Puritans.

The world is not growing worse and it is not growing better- it is just turning around as usual.

There ain't any news in being good. You might write the doings of all the convents of the world on the back of a postage stamp, and have room to spare.

There are no friends at cards or world politics.

Trust everybody, but always cut the cards.

Vice is a creature of such hideous mien... that the more you see it the better you like it.


(July 10 is also the birthday of Nikola Tesla, Marcel Proust, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Jean Kerr.)

Categories: Finley Peter Dunne, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Barbara Cartland

Published Wednesday, July 08, 2015 @ 10:56 PM EDT
Jul 08 2015

Dame Barbara Cartland, DBE, CStJ (July 9, 1901 – May 21, 2000), born Mary Barbara Hamilton, was an English author of romance novels, who was one of the best-selling authors as well as one of the most prolific and commercially successful of the twentieth century. Her 723 novels were translated into 36 different languages, and she continues to be referenced in the Guinness World Records for the most novels published in a single year in 1976. As Barbara Cartland she is known for her numerous romantic novels, but she also wrote under her married name of Barbara McCorquodale. She wrote more than 700 books, as well as plays, music, verse, drama, magazine articles and operetta she reportedly sold more than 750 million copies. Other sources estimate her book sales at more than 2 billion copies. She specialised in 19th-century Victorian era pure romance. Her novels all featured portrait style artwork, particularly the cover art. As head of Cartland Promotions she also became one of London's most prominent society figures and one of Britain's most popular media personalities, right up until her death in 2000 (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


After forty a woman has to choose between losing her figure or her face. My advice is to keep your face, and stay sitting down.

France is the only place where you can make love in the afternoon without people hammering on your door.

Among men, sex sometimes results in intimacy; among women, intimacy sometimes results in sex.

A historical romance is the only kind of book where chastity really counts.

You can't lose if you give them handsome highwaymen, duels, 3-foot fountains and whacking great horses and dogs all over the place.

The right diet directs sexual energy into the parts that matter.

I have always found women difficult. I don't really understand them. To begin with, few women tell the truth.

The great majority of people in England and America are modest, decent and pure-minded and the amount of virgins in the world today is stupendous.


(July 9 is also the birthday of Dean Koontz.)

Categories: Barbara Cartland, Quotes of the day

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