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Happy Birthday

Published Friday, February 28, 2014 @ 8:41 AM EST
Feb 28 2014

Doug, Joelle, and Angela

My son Doug turns 38 today.

Despite having what can be most charitably described as a semi-feral übergeek as a dad, he somehow managed to thrive. He's an independent, responsible adult with a droll sense of humor; the ability to write complex yet accessible biographical narratives; possesses impressive typing skills; loves animals; is a scholar of the works of the giants (Python, Landis, Ramis, and Cameron); is a great uncle; and last year became a father.

That last achievement is what I find most impressive. When I was 38, Doug was a junior in high school; he graduated before I turned 40.

I remember being a dad when I was a strapping youth of 21- the dense fog of sleep deprivation; the indescribable aroma of baby powder, loaded diapers and regurgitated oatmeal; the sleepless nights due not to a crying infant, but worries about the future. I try to think of dealing with that as a late thirtysomething, and my mind seizes up and goes blank.

One thing I do know- Joelle is lucky to him as a dad, and I can't believe my good fortune to have him as a son.

Happy birthday, Doug.

My son Doug and I meet for the first time.
He is not impressed.

Categories: KGB Family

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Quotes of the day: Michel de Montaigne

Published Friday, February 28, 2014 @ 12:49 AM EST
Feb 28 2014

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (February 28, 1533 – September 13, 1592) was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre, and commonly thought of as the father of modern skepticism. He became famous for his effortless ability to merge serious intellectual exercises with casual anecdotes and autobiography— and his massive volume Essais (translated literally as "Attempts" or "Trials") contains, to this day, some of the most widely influential essays ever written. Montaigne had a direct influence on writers all over the world, including René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, William Hazlitt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan Zweig, Eric Hoffer, Isaac Asimov, and possibly on the later works of William Shakespeare. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man must be a little mad if he does not want to be even more stupid.

A wise man never loses anything, if he has himself.

As far as fidelity is concerned, there is no animal in the world as treacherous as man.

Even on the highest throne in the world, we are still sitting on our ass.

Every other knowledge is harmful to him who does not have knowledge of goodness.

Few men have been admired by their own households.

For truth itself does not have the privilege to be employed at any time and in every way; its use, noble as it is, has its circumscriptions and limits.

He who does not give himself leisure to be thirsty cannot take pleasure in drinking.

He who has not a good memory should never take upon him the trade of lying.

How many things served us yesterday for articles of faith, which today are fables for us?

How many worthy men have we seen survive their own reputation!

I find that the best goodness I have has some tincture of vice.

I quote others only in order the better to express myself.

I speak the truth, not my fill of it, but as much as I dare speak; and I dare to do so a little more as I grow old.

I want death to find me planting my cabbages, but caring little for it, and even less for my imperfect garden.

I will follow the good side right to the fire, but not into it if I can help it.

In my opinion, every rich man is a miser.

It (marriage) happens as with cages: the birds without despair to get in, and those within despair of getting out.

Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.

Let no man be ashamed to speak what he is not ashamed to think.

Let us give Nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do.

Malice sucks up the greatest part of its own venom, and poisons itself.

Man is certainly crazy. He could not make a mite, and he makes gods by the dozen.

My trade and my art is living.

No matter that we may mount on stilts, we still must walk on our own legs. And on the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.

Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.

Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.

Physicians have this advantage: the sun lights their success and the earth covers their failures.

Saying is one thing and doing is another.

The day of your birth leads you to death as well as to life.

The life of Caesar has no more to show us than our own; an emperor's or an ordinary man's, it is still a life subject to all human accidents.

The man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.

The most certain sign of Wisdom is a constant cheerfulness.

The plague of man is boasting of his knowledge.

The souls of emperors and cobblers are cast in the same mold... The same reason that makes us wrangle with a neighbor creates a war betwixt princes.

The thing I fear most is fear.

There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.

There is no man so good that if he placed all his actions and thoughts under the scrutiny of the laws, he would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.

Things are not bad in themselves, but our cowardice makes them so.

Those who have compared our life to a dream were right... We are sleeping awake, and waking asleep.

What of a truth that is bounded by these mountains and is falsehood to the world that lives beyond?

When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?

Categories: Michel de Montaigne, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Hugo Black

Published Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EST
Feb 27 2014

Hugo Lafayette Black (February 27, 1886 – September 25, 1971) was an American politician and jurist. A member of the Democratic Party, Black represented Alabama in the United States Senate from 1927 to 1937, and served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1937 to 1971. Black was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the first of nine Roosevelt nominees to the Court, and outlasted all except for William O. Douglas. Black is widely regarded as one of the most influential Supreme Court justices in the 20th century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


(Today is also the birthday of John Steinbeck and Peter De Vries)


A union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion.

An unconditional right to say what one pleases about public affairs is what I consider to be the minimum guarantee of the First Amendment.

Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize the oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all... It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes

Citizenship is no light trifle to be jeopardized any moment Congress decides to do so under the name of one of its general or implied grants of power.

For the First Amendment rests upon the premise that both religion and government can best work to achieve their lofty aims if each is left free from the other within its respective sphere.

I always keep my Constitution in my coat pocket... You ought to keep one on you all the time.

I believe that our Constitution, with its absolute guarantee of individual rights, is the best hope for the aspirations of freedom which men share everywhere.

In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.

It is my belief that there are 'absolutes' in our Bill of Rights, and that they were put there on purpose by men who knew what the words meant and meant their prohibitions to be 'absolutes.'

It is the paradox of life that the way to miss pleasure is to seek it first. The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self.

Laws are made to protect the trusting as well as the suspicious.

One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.

Our Constitution was not written in the sands to be washed away by each wave of new judges blown in by each successive political wind.

Our own free system to live and progress has to have intelligent citizens, citizens who cannot only think and speak and write to influence people, but citizens who are free to do that without fear of governmental censorship or reprisal.

The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.

The First Amendment is truly the heart of the Bill of Rights. The Framers balanced its freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition against the needs of a powerful central government, and decided that in those freedoms lies this nation's only true security. They were not afraid for men to be free. We should not be.

The layman's Constitutional view is that what he likes is Constitutional and that which he doesn't like is un-Constitutional. That about measures up the Constitutional acumen of the average person.

The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice.

The United States has a system of taxation by confession.

The word 'security' is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment. The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security...

Today most Americans seem to have forgotten the ancient evils which forced their ancestors to flee to this new country and to form a government stripped of old powers used to oppress them.

Ultimately all the questions boil down to one- Whether we as a people will try fearfully and futilely to preserve democracy by adopting totalitarian methods, or whether in accordance with out traditions, and our constitution we will have the confidence and courage to be free.

Under our constitutional system, courts stand, against any winds that blow, as havens of refuge for those who might otherwise suffer because they are helpless, weak, outnumbered, or because they are nonconforming victims of prejudice and public excitement.

When I was 40, my doctor advised me that a man in his 40s shouldn't play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I reached 50 to start again.

Without deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they express, or the words they speak or write.

Categories: Hugo Black, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Victor Hugo

Published Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 12:32 AM EST
Feb 26 2014

Victor Marie Hugo (February 26, 1802 - May 22, 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best known French writers. In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame), 1831. Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views changed as the decades passed; he became a passionate supporter of republicanism, and his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and artistic trends of his time. He was buried in the Panthéon. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A creditor is worse than a slave-owner; for the master owns only your person, but a creditor owns your dignity, and can command it.

A library implies an act of faith

Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.

An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.

As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled.

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.

Great blunders are often made, like large ropes, of a multitude of fibers.

It is man's consolation that the future is to be a sunrise instead of a sunset.

Liberation is not deliverance.

Life, misfortunes, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battlefields which have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.

Men hate those to whom they have to lie.

Mirrors, those revealers of the truth, are hated; that does not prevent them from being of use.

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas.

Philosophy is the microscope of thought. Everything desires to flee from it, but nothing escapes it.

Popularity? It is glory's small change.

Social problems overstep frontiers. The sores of the human race, those great sores which cover the globe, do not halt at the red or blue lines traced upon the map.

The desert is where God is and Man is not.

The ones who live are the ones who struggle.

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that one is loved; loved for oneself, or better yet, loved despite oneself.

There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.

There is no such thing as a little country. The greatness of a people is no more determined by their number than the greatness of a man is determined by his height.

To love is to act.

To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better.

To reform a man, you must begin with his grandmother.

We are all under sentence of death, but with a sort of indefinite reprieve.

When God desires to destroy a thing, he entrusts its destruction to the thing itself. Every bad institution of this world ends by suicide.

You insist on the example (of the death penalty). Why? For what it teaches. What do you want to teach with your example? That thou shalt not kill. And how do you teach thou shalt not kill? By killing.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Victor Hugo

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RIP Harold Ramis (November 21, 1944 - February 24, 2014)

Published Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 11:31 AM EST
Feb 25 2014

In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, Ramis, then 60, he said he would like to be remembered most for "Groundhog Day," starring friend and collaborator Bill Murray.

"As cynical as I like to pretend I am, I have a deep philosophical and spiritual side. I think everyone harbors a craving for meaning in life, and the movie, without being cloying or embarrassing, asserts the possibility of redemption through meaning.

"Every single religion and psychological discipline has claimed the movie as what they believe. I love that. It makes it an ecumenical movie."


Categories: Harold Ramis, Passages

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Quotes of the day: Anthony Burgess

Published Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 12:13 AM EST
Feb 25 2014

John Anthony Burgess Wilson, FRSL (February 25, 1917 – November 22, 1993) – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English writer and composer. From relatively modest beginnings in a Manchester Catholic family in the North of England, he eventually became one of the best known English literary figures of the latter half of the twentieth century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Americans will listen, but they do not care to read. War and Peace must wait for the leisure of retirement, which never really comes: meanwhile it helps to furnish the living room.

An Irish homosexual is a man who prefers women to drink.

And the words slide into the slots ordained by syntax, and glitter as with atmospheric dust with those impurities which we call meaning.

Bathe twice a day to be really clean, once a day to be passably clean, once a week to avoid being a public menace.

Death comes along like a gas bill one can't pay.

Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses to be bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?

Every dogma has its day.

I suppose the only real reason for travelling is to learn that all people are the same.

If the world is to be improved it must be by the exercise of individual charity.

If you expect the worst from a person you can never be disappointed.

It's sapiens to be homo.

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

Life is a wretched gray Saturday, but it has to be lived through.

Men are influenced by big loud empty words, styes which swell the eyelids and impede vision of the truth.

No matter how poor a writer is, if he has written a book which changes someone's life he has achieved the only sort of success worth having.

Reality is what I see, not what you see.

The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.

The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it.

The state is never so efficient as when it wants money.

The U.S. presidency is a Tudor monarchy plus telephones.

To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.

Violence among young people is an aspect of their desire to create. They don't know how to use their energy creatively so they do the opposite and destroy.

We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation.

We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.

Writers are not, by nature, respectable: their function is to be subversive.

Categories: Anthony Burgess, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: G.C. Lichtenberg

Published Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 12:06 AM EST
Feb 24 2014

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (July 1, 1742 - February 24, 1799) was a German scientist, satirist, and Anglophile. As a scientist, he was the first to hold a professorship explicitly dedicated to experimental physics in Germany. Today, he is remembered for his posthumously published notebooks, which he himself called Sudelbücher, a description modeled on the English bookkeeping term "scrapbooks," and for his discovery of the strange tree-like patterns now called Lichtenberg figures. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out.

A handful of soldiers is always better than a mouthful of arguments.

A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.

Even truth needs to be clad in new garments if it is to appeal to a new age.

Good taste is either that which agrees with my taste or that which subjects itself to the rule of reason. From this we can see how useful it is to employ reason in seeking out the laws of taste.

He who knows himself properly can very soon learn to know all other men. It is all reflection.

I am convinced we do not only love ourselves in others but hate ourselves in others too.

If people should ever start to do only what is necessary millions would die of hunger.

If you are going to build something in the air it is always better to build castles than houses of cards.

It is a question whether, when we break a murderer on the wheel, we do not fall into the error a child makes when it hits the chair it has bumped into.

Of all the inventions of man I doubt whether any was more easily accomplished than that of a Heaven.

Once we know our weaknesses they cease to do us any harm.

Popular presentation today is all too often that which puts the mob in a position to talk about something without understanding it.

The American who first discovered Columbus made a bad discovery.

The 'second sight' possessed by the Highlanders in Scotland is actually a foreknowledge of future events. I believe they possess this gift because they don't wear trousers... That is also why in all countries women are more prone to utter prophecies.

The greatest events occur without intention playing any part in them; chance makes good mistakes and undoes the most carefully planned undertaking. The world's greatest events are not produced, they happen.

The human tendency to regard little things as important has produced very many great things.

The journalists have constructed for themselves a little wooden chapel, which they also call the Temple of Fame, in which they put up and take down portraits all day long and make such a hammering you can't hear yourself speak.

The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted.

The most successful tempters and thus the most dangerous are the deluded deluders.

There are very many people who read simply to prevent themselves from thinking.

There is no greater impediment to progress in the sciences than the desire to see it take place too quickly.

There is no more important rule of conduct in the world than this: attach yourself as much as you can to people who are abler than you and yet not so very different that you cannot understand them.

There were honest people long before there were Christians and there are, God be praised, still honest people where there are no Christians. It could therefore easily be possible that people are Christians because true Christianity corresponds to what they would have been even if Christianity did not exist.

To do the opposite of something is also a form of imitation, namely an imitation of its opposite.

Virtue by premeditation isn't worth much.

We have no words for speaking of wisdom to the stupid. He who understands the wise is wise already.

We say that someone occupies an official position, whereas it is the official position that occupies him.

When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book?

With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another.

Categories: G.C. Lichtenberg, Quotes of the day

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, February 23, 2014 @ 7:58 AM EST
Feb 23 2014


"Some people, when they're slightly feverish and taking strong antibiotcs, have exotic dreams. I dream of digital rights management."

"Sounds exciting."

"Not the way we implement it."



They used a text-analysis program to measure the tone of articles in USA Today between 2007 and 2009, and found that especially positive articles predicted a downturn in the Dow Jones Industrial Average between a week and a month later. The researchers also analyzed all twenty-one U.S. Presidential inaugural addresses between 1933 and 2009, and found that Presidents who waxed optimistic about the future saw a rise in unemployment and a slowdown in economic growth during their terms in office. It’s perhaps too strong to suggest that positive thinking, alone, produced these large macroeconomic changes, but the staggering results in this most recent paper are consistent with more than a decade’s worth of studies in Oettingen’s lab. (The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking)



Just a reminder- Abe Vigoda's birthday is tomorrow. Get your party supplies today.



When the next crisis happens, and by the nature of markets, it will happen again, the government will do the only rational thing it can, and once again step in and save the institutions with taxpayer money. The economy will again be wrecked and the average family will again pay the costs.

The bankers won't suffer much, not personally. That's the real stupidity tax, and we are all paying. The Powerball lottery: Is it really a stupidity tax?.


(YouTube video: a great Vivaldi/Disney mashup.)


Beware the meeping angels.

Categories: Cartoons, Cleaning off the desktop, Music, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: W.E.B. DuBois

Published Sunday, February 23, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EST
Feb 23 2014

William Edward Burghardt "W. E. B." DuBois (February 23, 1868 - August 27, 1963) was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author and editor. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, DuBois grew up in a relatively tolerant and integrated community. After graduating from Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate, he became a professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University. DuBois was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Believe in life! Always human beings will progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.

Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.

Deception is the natural defense of the weak against the strong.

Either the United States will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.

Everybody is in favor of justice so long as it costs them no effort.

Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor,- all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked,- who is good? not that men are ignorant,- what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.

I insist that the object of all true education is not to make men carpenters, it is to make carpenters men.

I sit with Shakespeare and he winces not. Across the color-line I move arm in arm with Balzac and Dumas, where smiling men and welcoming women glide in gilded halls.

Ignorance is a cure for nothing.

Liberty trains for liberty. Responsibility is the first step in responsibility.

No state can be strong which excludes from its expressed wisdom, the knowledge possessed by mothers, wives and daughters.

Only the soul that suffers knows its suffering. Only the one who needs knows what need means.

Pessimism is cowardice.

The cause of war is preparation for war.

The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.

The theory of democratic government is not that the will of the people is always right, but rather that normal human beings of average intelligence will, if given a chance, learn the right and best course by bitter experience.

The time must come when, great and pressing as change and betterment may be, they do not involve killing and hurting people.

The worker must work for the glory of his handiwork, not simply for pay; the thinker must think for truth, not for fame.

The world is shrinking together; it is finding itself neighbor to itself in strange, almost magic degree.

There is always a certain glamour about the idea of a nation rising up to crush an evil simply because it is wrong. Unfortunately, this can seldom be realized in real life; for the very existence of the evil usually argues a moral weakness in the very place where extraordinary moral strength is called for.

There is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know.

To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.

Unfortunately there was one thing that the white South feared more than Negro dishonesty, ignorance, and incompetency, and that was Negro honesty, knowledge, and efficiency.

We can afford the Truth.

What do nations care about the cost of war, if by spending a few hundred millions in steel and gunpowder they can gain a thousand millions in diamonds and cocoa?

Categories: Quotes of the day, W.E.B. DuBois

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Quotes of the day: Arthur Schopenhauer

Published Saturday, February 22, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EST
Feb 22 2014

Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788 - September 21, 1860) was a German philosopher best known for his book, The World as Will and Representation, in which he claimed that our world is driven by a continually dissatisfied will, continually seeking satisfaction. Influenced by Eastern thought, he maintained that the "truth was recognized by the sages of India"; consequently, his solutions to suffering were similar to those of Vedantic and Buddhist thinkers (i.e. asceticism); his faith in "transcendental ideality" led him to accept atheism and learn from Christian philosophy. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man's face as a rule says more, and more interesting things, than his mouth, for it is a compendium of everything his mouth will ever say, in that it is the monogram of all this man's thoughts and aspirations.

Anybody can sympathize with another's sorrow, but to sympathize with another's joy is the attribute of an angel.

Because people have no thoughts to deal in, they deal cards, and try and win one another's money. Idiots!

Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.

Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.

Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.

Compassion is the basis of all morality.

Console yourself by remembering that the world doesn't deserve your affection.

Do not shorten the morning by getting up late, or waste it in unworthy occupations or in talk; look upon it as the quintessence of life, as to a certain extent sacred. Evening is like old age: we are languid, talkative, silly. Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.

Dogma is intended for, and suited to, the great mass of the human race; and as such it can contain merely allegorical truth that it nevertheless has to pass off as truth sensu proprio.

Every child is in a way a genius; and every genius is in a way a child.

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.

Every parting gives a foretaste of death; every coming together again a foretaste of the resurrection. This is why even people who were indifferent to each other rejoice so much if they come together again after twenty or thirty years' separation.

Everybody's friend is nobody's.

Fame is something which must be won; honor, only something which must not be lost.

Great minds are related to the brief span of time during which they live as great buildings are to a little square in which they stand: you cannot see them in all their magnitude because you are standing too close to them.

Hatred is an affair of the heart; contempt that of the head.

Honor has not to be won; it must only not be lost.

If there is anything in the world that can really be called a man's property, it is surely that which is the result of his mental activity.

If wicked actions are atoned for only in the next world, stupid ones are only atoned for in this.

If you want to know your true opinion of someone, watch the effect produced in you by the first sight of a letter from him.

In early youth, as we contemplate our coming life, we are like children in a theatre before the curtain is raised, sitting there in high spirits and eagerly waiting for the play to begin.

In our monogamous part of the world, to marry means to halve one's rights and double one's duties.

In the sphere of thought, absurdity and perversity remain the masters of the world, and their dominion is suspended only for brief periods.

Intellect is invisible to the man who has none.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to define the limit of our reasonable desires in respect of possessions.

It would be a good thing to buy books if one could also buy the time to read them; but one usually confuses the purchase of books with the acquisition of their contents.

Life is a business that does not cover the costs.

Life is short and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth.

Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills.

Man is the only animal who causes pain to others with no other object than wanting to do so.

Many learned persons have read themselves stupid.

Men are by nature merely indifferent to one another; but women are by nature enemies.

Money is human happiness in the abstract: he, then, who is no longer capable of enjoying human happiness in the concrete devotes his heart entirely to money.

Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.

National character is only another name for the particular form which the littleness, perversity and baseness of mankind take in every country. Every nation mocks at other nations, and all are right.

Newspapers are the second hand of history. This hand, however, is usually not only of inferior metal to the other hands, it also seldom works properly.

Obstinacy is the result of the will forcing itself into the place of the intellect.

Opinion is like a pendulum and obeys the same law. If it goes past the centre of gravity on one side, it must go a like distance on the other; and it is only after a certain time that it finds the true point at which it can remain at rest.

Patriotism, when it wants to make itself felt in the domain of learning, is a dirty fellow who should be thrown out of doors.

Reason is feminine in nature; it can only give after it has received. Of itself it has nothing but the empty forms of its operation.

Style is nothing but the mere silhouette of thought; and an obscure or bad style means a dull or confused brain.

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.

Talent works for money and fame; the motive which moves genius to productivity is, on the other hand, less easy to determine.

The animals are much more content with mere existence than we are; the plants are wholly so; and man is so according to how dull and insensitive he is.

The bad thing about all religions is that, instead of being able to confess their allegorical nature, they have to conceal it...

The cheapest form of pride however is national pride. For it reveals in the one thus afflicted the lack of individual qualities of which he could be proud, while he would not otherwise reach for what he shares with so many millions.

The closing years of life are like the end of a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped.

The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.

The effect of music is so very much more powerful and penetrating than is that of the other arts, for these others speak only of the shadow, but music of the essence.

The first forty years of life give us the text, the next thirty the commentary.

The fundament upon which all our knowledge and learning rests is the inexplicable.

The word of man is the most durable of all material.

There are two things which make it impossible to believe that this world is the successful work of an all-wise, all-good, and, at the same time, all-powerful Being; firstly, the misery which abounds in it everywhere; and secondly, the obvious imperfection of its highest product, man, who is a burlesque of what he should be.

There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity.

There is no doubt that life is given us, not to be enjoyed, but to be overcome; to be got over.

There is no more mistaken path to happiness than worldliness, revelry, high life.

There is something in us wiser than our head.

To free a man from error is to give, not to take away. Knowledge that a thing is false is a truth. Error always does harm; sooner or later it will bring mischief to the man who harbors it.

We can come to look upon the deaths of our enemies with as much regret as we feel for those of our friends, namely, when we miss their existence as witnesses to our success.

We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.

We must recognise the fact that mankind cannot get on without a certain amount of absurdity, that absurdity is an element in its existence, and illusion indispensable; as indeed other aspects of life testify.

Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become.

Categories: Arthur Schopenhauer, Question of the day

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Quotes of the day: Sacha Guitry

Published Friday, February 21, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EST
Feb 21 2014

Alexandre-Pierre Georges "Sacha" Guitry (February 21, 1885 - July 24, 1957) was a French stage actor, film actor, director, screenwriter, and playwright of the Boulevard theatre. He was the son of a leading French actor, Lucien Guitry, and followed his father into the theatrical profession. He became known for his stage performances, often in boulevardier roles, in the many plays he wrote, of which there were more than 120. He was married five times, always to rising actresses whose careers he furthered. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man must marry only a very pretty woman in case he should ever want some other man to take her off his hands.

A woman who runs off with her lover does not abandon her husband; she rids him of an unfaithful wife.

An ideal wife is one who remains faithful to you but tries to be just as charming as if she weren't.

He does not seem intelligent enough to be crazy.

Honest women are inconsolable for the mistakes they haven't made.

I am in favor of preserving the French habit of kissing ladies' hands- after all, one must start somewhere.

I would gladly admit women are superior to men if only they would stop trying to be the same as us.

If women knew how much we missed them, they would leave sooner.

If women were good, God would have one.

Memory is the one paradise out of which we cannot be driven.

Our wisdom comes from our experience, and our experience comes from our foolishness.

The best way to turn a woman's head is to tell her she has a beautiful profile.

The better I know men... the more I like dogs!

The little I know, I owe to my ignorance.

The secret of a good marriage is forgiving your partner for marrying you in the first place.

To dread irony is to fear reason.

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.

Why is it better to love than to be loved? It is surer.

You can pretend to be serious; but you can't pretend to be witty.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Sacha Guitry

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Quotes of the day: Frederick Douglass

Published Thursday, February 20, 2014 @ 12:36 AM EST
Feb 20 2014

Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, c. February 1818 - February 20, 1895) was an African-American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.

I have often sung to drown my sorrow, but seldom to express my happiness.

I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slave-holding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence.

I would unite with anybody to do right; and with nobody to do wrong.

If there is no struggle there is no progress.

In all the relations of life and death, we are met by the color line.

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress.

The man who is right is a majority.

Those who profess to favour freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without ploughing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

To make a contented slave it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken the moral and mental vision and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.

When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on earth can imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it.

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.

Categories: Frederick Douglass, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Carson McCullers

Published Wednesday, February 19, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EST
Feb 19 2014

Carson McCullers (February 19, 1917 - September 29, 1967) was an American writer of novels, short stories, plays, essays, and poetry. Her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, explores the spiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts in a small town of the U.S. South. Her other novels have similar themes and most are set in the deep South. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp.

All we can do is go around telling the truth.

But look what the Church has done to Jesus during the last two thousand years. What they have made of Him. How they have turned every word He spoke for their own vile ends. Jesus would be framed and in jail if he was living today.

But the hearts of small children are delicate organs. A cruel beginning in this world can twist them into curious shapes.

How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?

I must go home periodically to renew my sense of horror.

I think we look for the differences in people because it makes us less lonely.

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are gone, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.

It is music that causes the heart to broaden and the listener to grow cold with ecstasy and fright.

Love is a joint experience between two persons- but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved.

Once you have lived with another, it is a great torture to have to live alone.

Resentment is the most precious flower of poverty.

The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.

The Heart is a lonely hunter with only one desire! To find some lasting comfort in the arms of another's fire... driven by a desperate hunger to the arms of a neon light, the heart is a lonely hunter when there's no sign of love in sight!

The mind is like a richly woven tapestry in which the colors are distilled from the experiences of the senses, and the design drawn from the convolutions of the intellect.

The most fatal thing a man can do is try to stand alone.

The thinking mind is best controlled by the imagination.

The value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.

The world is certainty a sudden place.

There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries.

There is no stillness like the quiet of the first cold nights in the fall.

There's nothing that makes you so aware of the improvisation of human existence as a song unfinished. Or an old address book.

We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.

Categories: Carson McCullers, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: J. Robert Oppenheimer

Published Tuesday, February 18, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EST
Feb 18 2014

(J. Robert Oppenheimer by Philippe Halsman, 1958)

Julius Robert Oppenheimer (April 22, 1904 - February 18, 1967) was an American theoretical physicist and professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is among the persons who are often called the "father of the atomic bomb" for their role in the Manhattan Project, the World War II project that developed the first nuclear weapons. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Any man (Albert Einstein) whose errors take ten years to correct is quite a man.

Both the man of science and the man of action live always at the edge of mystery, surrounded by it.

I can't think that it would be terrible of me to say- and it is occasionally true- that I need physics more than friends.

If you are a scientist you believe that it is good to find out how the world works; that it is good to find out what the realities are; that it is good to turn over to mankind at large the greatest possible power to control the world and to deal with it according to its lights and its values.

In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.

It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them.

No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows.

The history of science is rich in the example of the fruitfulness of bringing two sets of techniques, two sets of ideas, developed in separate contexts for the pursuit of new truth, into touch with one another

The people of this world must unite or they will perish.

The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors.

There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.

There are no secrets about the world of nature. There are secrets about the thoughts and intentions of men.

There is no place for dogma in science.

There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry.

To try to be happy is to try to build a machine with no other specification than that it shall run noiselessly.

We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism.

We knew the world would not be the same. Few people laughed, few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.

We know that the wages of secrecy are corruption. We know that in secrecy error, undetected, will flourish and subvert.

We may be likened to two scorpions in a bottle, each capable of killing the other, but only at the risk of his own life.

When we deny the evil within ourselves, we dehumanize ourselves, and we deprive ourselves not only of our own destiny but of any possibility of dealing with the evil of others.

When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you've had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.

Categories: J. Robert Oppenheimer, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Barry Humphries

Published Sunday, February 16, 2014 @ 5:53 PM EST
Feb 16 2014

(Getty Images)

John Barry Humphries, AO, CBE (b. February 17, 1934) is an Australian comedian, satirist, artist, and author. Humphries is best known for writing and playing his on-stage and television alter egos Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson. He is also a film producer and scriptwriter, a star of London's West End musical theatre, an award-winning writer and an accomplished landscape painter. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Australia is an outdoor country. People only go inside to use the toilet. And that's only a recent development.

Barry Humphries is a Division of the Barry Humphries Group.

If you're going to advertise a farewell tour it's got to be good.

Most of my contemporaries at school entered the World of Business, the logical destiny of bores.

My mother used to say that there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet. She's now in a maximum security twilight home in Australia.

My parents were very pleased that I was in the army. The fact that I hated it somehow pleased them even more.

New Zealand is a country of thirty thousand million sheep, three million of whom think they are human.

The best jokes are often only understood by one other person.

The past is so reliable, so delightful and the best place to live.

There are some people who ask for an autograph and then ask who you are.

There is no more terrible fate for a comedian than to be taken seriously.

To live in Australia permanently is rather like going to a party and dancing all night with one's mother. There's something a little unhealthy about it.

Categories: Barry Humphries, Quotes of the day

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Cleaning off the desktop...

Published Sunday, February 16, 2014 @ 7:13 AM EST
Feb 16 2014


The name doesn't help, either. Marcellus Shale sounds like a villain in a Quentin Tarantino movie.



"Y'know, someone should bury Caesar." -Doug Elrod



The Google timer has returned.

Go to google.com and type:

set timer X time period
(seconds, minutes, or hours):

set timer 1 hour 2 minutes 3 seconds



According to the Department of Agriculture, one in six men eat pizza every day. The other five eat yesterday's pizza.
-Stephen Colbert


26% of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth.


"It is becoming increasingly clear to judges that if they rule against same-sex marriage their grandchildren will regard them as bigots."
-Andrew M. Koppelman
A law professor at Northwestern, on why courts are backing away from bans on gay marriage.



Carl Jung invented the word "lethologica" to describe the state of not being able to remember the word you want to use. Is not being able to remember the word lethologica an example of recursion?


Categories: Cartoons, Cleaning off the desktop, Miscellany

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Quotes of the day: G.M. Trevelyan

Published Sunday, February 16, 2014 @ 3:37 AM EST
Feb 16 2014

George Macaulay Trevelyan, (February 16, 1876 – July 21,1962), as a British historian. Trevelyan was the third son of Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet, and great-nephew of Thomas Babington Macaulay, whose staunch liberal Whig principles he espoused in accessible works of literate narrative avoiding a consciously dispassionate analysis, that became old-fashioned during his long and productive career. The noted historian E.H. Carr considered Trevelyan to be one of the last historians of the Whig tradition. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.

Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.

Socrates gave no diplomas or degrees, and would have subjected any disciple who demanded one to a disconcerting catechism on the nature of true knowledge.

An historical event cannot be isolated from its circumstances, any more than the onion from its skins, because an event is itself nothing but a set of circumstances, none of which will ever recur.

Social history might be defined negatively as the history of a people with the politics left out.

Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the life blood of real civilization.

We are the children of the earth and removed from her our spirit withers.

Anger is a momentary madness, so control your passion or it will control you.

Every true history must force us to remember that the past was once as real as the present and as uncertain as the future.

History repeats itself and history never repeats itself are about equally true. We never know enough about the infinitely complex circumstances of any past event to prophesy the future by analogy.

I have two doctors, my left leg and my right. After a day's walking, everything has twice its usual value.

The poetry of history lies in the quasi-miraculous fact that once, on this earth, once, on this familiar spot of ground, walked other men and women, as actual as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their own passions, but now all gone, one generation vanishing into another, gone as utterly as we ourselves shall shortly be gone, like ghosts at cockcrow.

You cannot so completely isolate any historical event from its circumstances as to be able to deduce from it a law of general application. Only politicians adorning their speeches with historical arguments have this power; and even they never agree.

One half who graduate from college never read another book.

Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.

A little man often casts a long shadow.

The best job goes to the person who can get it done without passing the buck or coming back with excuses.

If one could make alive again for other people some cobwebbed skein of old dead intrigues and breathe breath and character into dead names and stiff portraits. That is history to me!

Categories: G.M. Trevelyan, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Matt Groening

Published Saturday, February 15, 2014 @ 12:22 AM EST
Feb 15 2014

Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening (b. February 15, 1954) is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, producer, animator, author, musician, comedian, and voice actor. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell as well as the television series, The Simpsons and Futurama. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A lot of people believe that if everybody just did what they were told- obeyed- everything would be fine. But that's not what life is all about. That's not real. It's never going to happen.

It's just hard not to listen to TV: it's spent so much more time raising us than parents have.

Most TV shows don't reward you for paying attention.

When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

I can't believe it! Reading and writing actually paid off!

I plead alignment to the flakes of the untitled snakes of a merry cow and to the republicrats for which they scam: one nacho, underpants with licorice and jugs of wine for owls.

You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head.

What if we chose the wrong religion? Each week we just make God madder and madder.

Romance is dead. It was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenized, and sold off piece by piece.

I'll keep it short and sweet- Family. Religion. Friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.

Ah, sweet pity. Where would my love life be without it?

Cartooning is for people who can't quite draw and can't quite write. You combine the two half-talents and come up with a career.

I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I will do it again.

I judge my life by how miserable it used to be. If I could pay my rent, I was deliriously happy. Now I'm deliriously happy all the time.

Everybody doesn't have to get every joke. People really appreciate not being condescended to.

Families are about love overcoming emotional torture.

Are we alone in an uncaring universe, or is God some kind of wiseguy?

God often gives nuts to toothless people.

If Casper is a Friendly Ghost, where did they bury the body of Casper the Friendly Dead Kid?

Love is a perky elf dancing a merry little jig, and then suddenly he turns on you with a miniature machine gun.

Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra. Suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.

When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities.

Categories: Matt Groening, Quotes of the day

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Love is...

Published Friday, February 14, 2014 @ 5:14 AM EST
Feb 14 2014


Every love is the love before
In a duller dress.
-Dorothy Parker

If love is blind, why is Victoria's Secret so successful?

If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?
-Jane Wagner

Life is one fool thing after another where as love is two fool things after each other.
-Oscar Wilde

Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
-Franklin P. Jones

Love is a decision, not an emotion.

Love is a joint experience between two persons- but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved.
-Carson McCullers

Love is a matter of chemistry. Sex is a matter of physics.

Love is a perky elf dancing a merry little jig, and then suddenly he turns on you with a miniature machine gun.
-Matt Groening

Love is a series
Of darlings and dearies
Of honeys and sweeties
And sugared entreaties
Of moonings and spoonings
And cooings and billings
All tempered, of course,
By occasional killings.
-E.Y. Harburg

Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra. Suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
-Matt Groening

Love is a verb.
-Clare Boothe Luce

Love is all fun and games until someone loses an eye or gets pregnant.
-Jim Cole

Love is blind, but desire just doesn't give a good goddamn.
-James Thurber

Love is grand; divorce is three hundred grand.

Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.
-Jules Renard

Love is like any other luxury. You have no right to it unless you can afford it.
-Anthony Trollope

Love is like epidemic diseases. The more one fears it, the more likely one is to contract it.
-Nicolas Chamfort

Love is like the measles; we all have to go through it.
-Jerome K. Jerome

Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin- it's the triumphant twang of a bedspring.
-S.J. Perelman

Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock.

Love is only the dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the species.
-W. Somerset Maugham

Love is that rare attraction to someone that can survive getting to know them.
-Robert Brault

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
-H.L. Mencken

Love is the word used to label the sexual excitement of the young, the habituation of the middle-aged, and the mutual dependence of the old.
-John Ciardi

Love, and you shall be loved. All love is mathematically just, as much as the two sides of an algebraic equation.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Marriage, friends, is a lifelong feast, love is no light lunch.
-Garrison Keillor

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.
-Dorothy Parker

Oh, love isn't there to make us happy. I believe it exists to show us how much we can endure.
-Hermann Hesse

Puppy love is no laughing matter when you're a puppy.
-Amy Gamerman

The best proof of love is trust.
-Dr. Joyce Brothers

The enemy of a love is never outside, it's not a man or woman, it's what we lack in ourselves.
-Anaïs Nin

The first duty of love is to listen.
-Paul Tillich

The first sigh of love is the last of wisdom.
-Antoine Bret

The great secret of happiness in love is to be glad that the other fellow married her.
-H.L. Mencken

The magic of first love is our ignorance that it can ever end.
-Benjamin Disraeli

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

When you have been just told that the girl you love is definitely betrothed to another, you begin to understand how Anarchists must feel when the bomb goes off too soon.
-P.G. Wodehouse


Categories: Cartoons, Holidays, Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: George Jean Nathan

Published Friday, February 14, 2014 @ 5:04 AM EST
Feb 14 2014

George Jean Nathan (February 14, 1882 - April 8, 1958) was the leading American drama critic of his time. Active from 1905 to 1958, he published 34 books on the theatre, co-edited The Smart Set and The American Mercury with H.L. Mencken, and zealously practiced 'destructive' theatre criticism. (Click here for full biography)


A man admires a woman not for what she says, but what she listens to.

A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy.

An optimist is the kind of person who believes a housefly is looking for a way out.

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.

Criticism is the art of appraising others at one's own value.

Great art is as irrational as great music. It is mad with its own loveliness.

I drink to make other people interesting.

I hold that companionship is a matter of mutual weaknesses. We like that man or woman best who has the same faults we have.

It is only the cynicism that is born of success that is penetrating and valid.

Love is the emotion that a woman feels always for a poodle dog and sometimes for a man.

No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.

One does not go to the theater to see life and nature; one goes to see the particular way in which life and nature happen to look to a cultivated, imaginative and entertaining man who happens, in turn, to be a playwright

Opening night is the night before the play is ready to open.

Opera in English is, in the main, just about as sensible as baseball in Italian.

Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.

Politics is the pursuit of trivial men who, when they succeed at it, become important in the eyes of more trivial men.

Ten million dollars worth of intricate and ingenious machinery functioning elaborately to put skin on baloney.
(re: Hollywood)

What passes for woman's intuition is often nothing more than man's transparency.

Whenever a man encounters a woman in a mood he doesn't understand, he wants to know if she's tired.

Women, as they grow older, rely more and more on cosmetics. Men, as they grow older, rely more and more on a sense of humor.

Categories: George Jean Nathan, Quotes of the day

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Remembering Sid Caesar

Published Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EST
Feb 13 2014

Isaac Sidney "Sid" Caesar
(September 8, 1922 – February 12, 2014)

(Richard Drew/Associated Press)

Sid Caesar, a comedic force of nature who became one of television's first stars in the early 1950s and influenced generations of comedians and comedy writers, died on Wednesday. He was 91.

Mr. Caesar largely faded from the public eye in his middle years as he struggled with crippling self-doubt and addiction to alcohol and pills. But from 1950 to 1954, he and his co-stars on the live 90-minute comedy-variety extravaganza 'Your Show of Shows' dominated the Saturday night viewing habits of millions of Americans. In New York, a group of Broadway theater owners tried to persuade NBC to switch the show to the middle of the week because, they said, it was ruining their Saturday business.

Albert Einstein was a Caesar fan. Alfred Hitchcock called Mr. Caesar the funniest performer since Charlie Chaplin.

Television comedy in its early days was dominated by boisterous veterans of vaudeville and radio who specialized in broad slapstick and snappy one-liners. Mr. Caesar introduced a different kind of humor to the small screen, at once more intimate and more absurd, based less on jokes or pratfalls than on characters and situations. It left an indelible mark on American comedy.

'If you want to find the urtexts of 'The Producers' and 'Blazing Saddles,' of 'Sleeper' and 'Annie Hall,' of 'All in the Family' and 'M*A*S*H' and 'Saturday Night Live,' ” Frank Rich wrote in The New York Times when he was its chief theater critic, 'check out the old kinescopes of Sid Caesar.'

A list of Mr. Caesar's writers over the years reads like a comedy all-star team. Woody Allen and Mel Brooks did some of their earliest writing for him. So did the most successful playwright in the history of the American stage, Neil Simon. Carl Reiner created one landmark sitcom, 'The Dick Van Dyke Show;' Larry Gelbart was the principal creative force behind another, 'M*A*S*H.' Mel Tolkin wrote numerous scripts for 'All in the Family.' The authors of the two longest-running Broadway musicals of the 1960s, Joseph Stein ('Fiddler on the Roof') and Michael Stewart ('Hello, Dolly!'), were Caesar alumni as well. (Click here for the full New York Times obituary.)


Comedy has to be based on truth. You take the truth and you put a little curlicue at the end.

If I don't believe it, I don't care.

In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed.

New Year's Eve we got five dollars for the evening- but that was from eight to unconscious.

The best thing about humor is that it shows people they're not alone.

The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius.

The remote control changed our lives... The remote control took over the timing of the world. That's why you have road rage. You have people who have no patience, because you got immediate gratification. You got click, click, click, click. If it doesn't explode within three seconds, click click, click.

The trouble with telling a good story is that it invariably reminds the other fellow of a dull one.

When I did comedy I made fun of myself.If there was a buffoon, I played the buffoon. And people looked at me and said, 'Gee, that's like Uncle David', or 'That's like a friend of mine'. And they related through that. I didn't make fun of them. I made fun of me.

You gotta come down to go up.

You have to be prepared for luck. You have to work with luck.


YouTube video: Mel Brooks on working for Sid Caesar


YouTube video: Sid Caesar reminisces with Barry Mitchell.
ABC World News Now


YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 1 of 6

YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 2 of 6

YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 3 of 6

YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 4 of 6

YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 5 of 6

YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 6 of 6

Categories: ABC World News Now, Quotes of the day, Sid Caesar, Video, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: Charles Darwin

Published Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 3:01 AM EST
Feb 12 2014

Charles Robert Darwin, FRS (February 12, 1809 - April 19, 1882) was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


(Today is also the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.)


A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

A republic cannot succeed, till it contains a certain body of men imbued with the principles of justice and honour.

Although much remains obscure, and will long remain obscure, ... I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification.

False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often long endure; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, as every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened.

Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure.

I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can. Certainly I agree with you that my views are not at all necessarily atheistical.

I love fools' experiments. I am always making them.

If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week.

It has often and confidently been asserted, that man's origin can never be known: but ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

It may be doubted whether any character can be named which is distinctive of a race and is constant.

More individuals are born than can possibly survive. A grain in the balance can determine which individuals shall live and which shall die.

One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.

The highest stage in moral culture at which we can arrive, is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.

The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.

We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universe to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act... Our faculties are more fitted to recognize the wonderful structure of a beetle than a Universe.

When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.

Categories: Charles Darwin, Question of the day, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Burt Reynolds

Published Tuesday, February 11, 2014 @ 6:41 AM EST
Feb 11 2014

Burton Leon "Burt" Reynolds, Jr. (born February 11, 1936) is an American actor, director and voice artist. Some of his notable roles include Bo 'Bandit' Darville in the Smokey and the Bandit films, Lewis Medlock in Deliverance, Bobby "Gator" McCluskey in White Lightning and sequel Gator, Charlie B. Barkin in All Dogs Go to Heaven, Jack Horner in Boogie Nights, and Woodrow "Wood" Newton in the television series Evening Shade. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


(Today is also the birthday of Thomas Alva Edison.)


I'm going to retire hopefully like Cary Grant did. I'll be on stage telling a story, everyone's going to applaud and laugh and then I'll drop like a rock.

I'm terrified of marriage. I'm terrified of not doing something so important and at the same time I think you shouldn't rush into these things.

I've always gotten along well with Texans. You've got to.

If you hold on to things long enough, they get back into style. Like me.

Marriage is about the most expensive way for the average man to get laundry done.

My acting is a bit like basketball. Most females in my films come off very well. I give great assist. And if I'm lucky, I even score.

My movies were the kind they show in prisons and airplanes, because nobody can leave.

The moment you grab someone by the lapels, you're lost.

The only way you can hurt anyone in this business is by succeeding and hurting their pocket book maybe or just smiling and not giving up.

There are no awards in Hollywood for being an idiot.

There are three stages of an actor's career. Young, old, and 'You look good.'

There's no appreciation of actors and no sense of history.

You can only hold your stomach in for so many years.

You get to a certain age, where you know you can't go over the wall, but I'll never get to the age where I can't go through it.

Categories: Burt Reynolds, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Doug Larson

Published Monday, February 10, 2014 @ 5:18 AM EST
Feb 10 2014

Doug Larson (b February 10, 1926) was a columnist and editor for the Door County Advocate (1953-1964) and wrote a daily column for the Green Bay Press-Gazette (1964-1988)- both Wisconsin-based newspapers.


A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.

A pun is the lowest form of humor, unless you thought of it yourself.

A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your successes.

Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties.

Democracy is a form of government in which it is permitted to wonder aloud what the country could do under first-class management.

Few things are more satisfying than seeing your children have teenagers of their own.

For every little kid who still believes in Santa Claus, there is at least one adult who still believes in professional wrestling.

Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog.

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.

If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur.

If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers.

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.

Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.

Sometimes opportunity knocks, but most of the time it sneaks up and then quietly steals away.

Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.

The cat could very well be man's best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.

The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.

The only nice thing about being imperfect is the joy it brings to others.

The reason people blame things on previous generations is that there's only one other choice.

The surprising thing about young fools is how many survive to become old fools.

The trouble with learning from experience is that you never graduate.

The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.

There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

They should have picked a different city to name after a man who reputedly never told a lie.

Utility is when you have one telephone, luxury is when you have two, opulence is when you have three- and paradise is when you have none.

Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it.

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk.

What some people mistake for the high cost of living is really the cost of high living.

Categories: Doug Larson, Quotes of the day

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, February 09, 2014 @ 5:53 PM EST
Feb 09 2014


I can communicate through a series of short & long groans & sighs. It's called 'morose code'.
-Robb Allen, @ItsRobbAllen (h/t David Kifer, alt.quotations)



Somewhat alarmed to discover some teens don't recognize "Uncle Sam," I checked with my daughter about my soon to be 11 year old granddaughter's status:

KGB: Does Lea know who Uncle Sam is?

Sara: Oh, I think she would.

KGB: Ask her when convenient.

Sara: She said yes, it's the guy pointing and saying "I want you."

KGB: Excellent. Our nation is in good hands.

Sara: She said "Yes. Yes, it is."

Can't argue with that...>



"I give them a year."
-Ray Bloch, musical director for "The Ed Sullivan Show," on the Beatles, when they made their first live appearance on American television 50 years ago.



"Ah, hell. Let's call Froot Loops what they really are: Gay Cheerios."
-Bill Maher



Those who feel that humans are essentially good and altruistic have never read the comment sections on YouTube.



I actually used to date a girl named Christie Benghazi, so it's funny for me now when I flip between those two channels.
-John Fugelsang


The Star Trek Facepalm collection, although I don't think Spock actually qualifies.


“If we came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?”

Let me ask you this: If you came from parents, why are there still parents?


"Fortunes have been lost underestimating Jay Leno."
-Lorne Michaels

Categories: Cartoons, Cleaning off the desktop, Harrison Ford, Jay Leno, KGB Family, KGB Opinion, Linked In, Michael Collins, Miscellany, NASA, Star Trek, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: Brendan Behan

Published Sunday, February 09, 2014 @ 2:06 AM EST
Feb 09 2014

Brendan Francis Behan (February 9, 1923 – March 20, 1964) was an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright who wrote in both English and Irish. He was also an Irish republican and a volunteer in the Irish Republican Army. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Ah, bless you, Sister. May all your sons be bishops.

An author's first duty is to let down his country.

Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it's done; they've seen it done every day; but they're unable to do it themselves.

Every cripple has his own way of walking.

Every man, through fear, mugs his aspirations a dozen times a day

I am a daylight atheist.

I am a drinker with writing problems.

I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn't make it worse.

I only drink on two occasions- When I am thirsty and when I'm not.

I respect kindness in human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don't respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.

I saw a sign that said 'Drink Canada Dry'. So I did.

I was court-martialled in my absence, and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence.

If it was raining soup, the Irish would go out with forks.

It's a queer world, God knows, but the best we have to be going on with.

Mother, they would praise my balls if I hung them high enough.

One drink is too many for me and a thousand not enough.

Other people have a nationality. The Irish and the Jews have a psychosis.

The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less.

The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.

The sun was in mind to come out but having a look at the weather it was in lost heart and went back again.

The world is a madhouse, so it's only right it's patrolled by armed idiots.

There's no bad publicity except an obituary.

What the hell difference does it make, left or right? There were good men lost on both sides.

Categories: Brendan Behan, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: John von Neumann

Published Saturday, February 08, 2014 @ 1:11 AM EST
Feb 08 2014

John von Neumann (December 28, 1903 – February 8, 1957) was a Hungarian pure and applied mathematician and polymath. He made major contributions to a number of fields, including mathematics (foundations of mathematics, functional analysis, ergodic theory, geometry, topology, and numerical analysis), physics (quantum mechanics, hydrodynamics, and fluid dynamics), economics (game theory), computer science (Von Neumann architecture, linear programming, self-replicating machines, stochastic computing), and statistics. He was a pioneer of the application of operator theory to quantum mechanics, in the development of functional analysis, a principal member of the Manhattan Project and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (as one of the few originally appointed), and a key figure in the development of game theory and the concepts of cellular automata, the universal constructor, and the digital computer. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All stable processes we shall predict. All unstable processes we shall control.

Anyone attempting to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin.

If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.

In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.

It is just as foolish to complain that people are selfish and treacherous as it is to complain that the magnetic field does not increase unless the electric field has a curl. Both are laws of nature.

It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in five years.

Life is a process which may be abstracted from other media.

The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work.

There is an infinite set A that is not too big.

There probably is a God. Many things are easier to explain if there is than if there isn't.

There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about.

We willingly pay 30,000 - 40,000 fatalities per year for the advantages of individual transportation by automobile.

When we talk mathematics, we may be discussing a secondary language built on the primary language of the nervous system.

With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.

You don't have to be responsible for the world that you're in.

You insist that there is something a machine cannot do. If you tell me precisely what it is a machine cannot do, then I can always make a machine which will do just that.

You wake me up early in the morning to tell me that I'm right? Please wait until I'm wrong.

Young man, in mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.

Categories: John von Neumann, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Alfred Adler

Published Friday, February 07, 2014 @ 4:53 AM EST
Feb 07 2014

Alfred W. Adler (February 7, 1870 - May 28, 1937) was an Austrian medical doctor, psychotherapist, and founder of the school of individual psychology. His emphasis on the importance of feelings of inferiority— the inferiority complex— is recognized as isolating an element which plays a key role in personality development. Alfred Adler considered human beings as an individual whole, therefore he called his psychology "Individual Psychology." Adler was the first to emphasize the importance of the social element in the re-adjustment process of the individual and who carried psychiatry into the community. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt dangerous.

A simple rule in dealing with those who are hard to get along with is to remember that this person is striving to assert his superiority; and you must deal with him from that point of view.

Death is really a great blessing for humanity, without it there could be no real progress. People who lived for ever would not only hamper and discourage the young, but they would themselves lack sufficient stimulus to be creative.

Follow your heart but take your brain with you.

It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.

It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.

It is the patriotic duty of every man to lie for his country.

Man knows much more than he understands.

Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations.

My difficulties belong to me!

No experience is a cause of success or failure. We do not suffer from the shock of our experiences, so-called trauma - but we make out of them just what suits our purposes.

The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.

The neurotic is nailed to the cross of his fiction.

The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well.

The stronger the feeling of inferiority, the higher the goal for personal power.

The truth is often a terrible weapon of aggression. It is possible to lie, and even to murder, with the truth.

There is no such thing as talent. There is pressure.

To be human means to feel inferior.

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words.

We must never neglect the patient's own use of his symptoms.

Defiant individuals will always persecute others, yet will always consider themselves persecuted.

We live upon the contributions of our ancestors. Nature is a good scavenger. She soon gets rid of her rubbish.

Every individual acts and suffers in accordance with his peculiar teleology, which has all the inevitability of fate, so long as he does not understand it.

Categories: Alfred Adler, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Bob Marley

Published Thursday, February 06, 2014 @ 4:51 AM EST
Feb 06 2014

Nesta Robert Marley OM (February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter who achieved international fame through a series of crossover reggae albums. Beginning in 1963 with the group the Wailers, he forged a distinctive songwriting and vocal style that would later resonate with audiences worldwide. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny.

I don't have prejudice against myself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don't dip on nobody's side. Me don't dip on the black man's side nor the white man's side. Me dip on God's side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white.

I don't stand for black man's side, I don't stand for white man's side, I stand for God's side.

If she's amazing, she won't be easy. If she's easy, she won't be amazing.

In the abundance of water a fool is thirsty.

It is better to live on the house top
than to live in a house full of confusion.

None but ourselves can free our minds.

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.

One love, one heart,
Let's get together and feel alright.

Possession make you rich? I don't have that type of richness. My richness is life, forever.

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.

The good times of today are the sad thoughts of tomorrow.

The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off. Why should I?

Today, people struggle to find what's real. Everything has become so synthetic that a lot of people, all they want is to grasp onto hope.

Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.

We don't have education, we have inspiration; if I was educated I would be a damn fool.

You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters?

Categories: Bob Marley, Quotes of the day

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My Facebook Movie

Published Wednesday, February 05, 2014 @ 11:41 AM EST
Feb 05 2014

Aside from the first photo, Facebook's automated movie generator did a fairly decent job.

Categories: Facebook, KGB, KGB Family, KGB Opinion

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Vicious cycle

Published Wednesday, February 05, 2014 @ 10:57 AM EST
Feb 05 2014

An inch of ice accreted over the previously fallen four inches of snow. This was at 7 am; now it's up to 37°F and everything's melting. It will re-freeze later today, with more snow tonight and a low of 15°F. The stores have been out of calcium chloride for over a week now, and supplies of rock salt are also scarce. The trick is to try to get the concrete clear and dry before the next storm arrives.

But it's better than the droughts, wildfires, hurricanes and tornadoes they experience in the south. Like I told a friend, in two months it'll be spring, but you'll still be in Texas.

Categories: Weather

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Quotes of the day: Patience

Published Wednesday, February 05, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EST
Feb 05 2014


(Today is also the birthday of William S. Burroughs)

A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience.
-John Updike

A wise man does not try to hurry history. Many wars have been avoided by patience and many have been precipitated by reckless haste.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II

A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation.
-Jean Baptiste Moliere

Adapt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

All human power is a compound of time and patience.
-Honoré de Balzac

As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind.
-Cleveland Amory

Elephants suffer from too much patience. Their exhibitions of it may seem superb- such power and such restraint, combined, are noble- but a quality carried to excess defeats itself.
-Clarence Day

Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty.
-John Ruskin

Endurance is the crowning quality, and patience all the passion of great hearts.
-James Russell Lowell

Fear both the heat and the cold of your heart, and try to have patience, if you can.
-J.R.R. Tolkien

Fortune knocks but once, but misfortune has much more patience.
-Laurence J. Peter

Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience.
-George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous patience.
-Hyman Rickover

Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance.
-Abigail Adams

If a man, for private profit, tears at the public news, does so with the impatience of one who thinks he actually owns the news you get, it is against the national interest.
-Jimmy Breslin

In an instant age, perhaps we must relearn the ancient truth that patience, too, has its victories.
-Konrad Adenauer

In any contest between power and patience, bet on patience.
-W.B. Prescott

It seems likely that many of the young who don't wait for others to call them artists, but simply announce that they are, don't have the patience to make art.
-Pauline Kael

Laziness is often mistaken for patience. (French Proverb)

Lord, grant me the patience to suffer fools, or, alternatively, a chainsaw.

Men disappoint me so, I disappoint myself so, yet courage, patience, shuffle the cards...
-Margaret Fuller

Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius.
-George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

Our patience will achieve more than our force.
-Edmund Burke

Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.
-Benjamin Disraeli

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
-Jean Jacques Rousseau

Patience is often merely the guise of Cowardice.
-C. Lee Hopkin

Patience is something to admire in the driver behind you but scorn in the one ahead.
-Mac McCleary

Patience is the companion of wisdom.
-Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine)

Patience isn't a virtue, it's a tactic.

Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.
-W.H. Auden

Reverence the highest, have patience with the lowest. Let this day's performance of the meanest duty be thy religion. Are the stars too distant, pick up the pebble that lies at thy feet, and from it learn the all.
-Margaret Fuller

The greatest power is often simple patience.
-E. Joseph Cossman

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.
-William H. Borah

The office of President requires the constitution of an athlete, the patience of a mother, and the endurance of an early Christian.
-Woodrow Wilson

The only skills I have the patience to learn are those that have no real application in life. (From the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)
-Bill Watterson

The price of liberty is, in addition to eternal vigilance, eternal patience with the vacuous blather occasionally expressed from behind the shield of free speech.
-Michael Shermer

The remote control changed our lives... The remote control took over the timing of the world. That's why you have road rage. You have people who have no patience, because you got immediate gratification. You got click, click, click, click. If it doesn't explode within three seconds, click click, click.
-Sid Caesar

The strongest of all warriors are these two- Time and Patience.
-Leo Tolstoy

The three principal virtues of a programmer are Laziness, Impatience, and Hubris.
-Larry Wall

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body...
-Walt Whitman

When, in the late 1940s, we faced a global Cold War against another system of ideological fanatics certain that their authoritarian values would eventually rule the world, we prevailed in time. We prevailed because we exercised patience as well as vigilance, self-restraint as well as self-defense, and reached out to moderates and modernists, to democrats and dissidents, within that closed system.
-Theodore (Ted) Sorensen

Who teaches you tolerance? Maybe sometimes your children teach you patience, but always your enemy will teach you tolerance. So your enemy is really your teacher.
-Tenzin Gyatso (The Dalai Lama)

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
-Franklin P. Jones


(Today is also the birthday of William S. Burroughs)

Categories: Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: Charles A. Lindbergh

Published Tuesday, February 04, 2014 @ 5:40 AM EST
Feb 04 2014

Charles Augustus Lindbergh (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974), nicknamed Slim, Lucky Lindy, and The Lone Eagle, was an American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist. As a 25-year-old U.S. Air Mail pilot, he emerged suddenly from virtual obscurity to instantaneous world fame as the result of his Orteig Prize-winning solo non-stop flight on May 20–21, 1927, made from Roosevelt Field in Garden City on New York's Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris, France, a distance of nearly 3,600 statute miles (5,800 km), in the single-seat, single-engine purpose-built Ryan monoplane Spirit of St. Louis. Lindbergh was the first person in history to be in New York one day and Paris the next. A U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve officer, he was also awarded the nation's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his historic exploit. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


After my death, the molecules of my being will return to the earth and sky. They came from the stars. I am of the stars.

God made life simple. It is man who complicates it.

I believe the risks I take are justified by the sheer love of the life I lead.

I have seen the science I worshiped, and the aircraft I loved, destroying the civilization I expected them to serve.

I realized that If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.

In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.

Isn't it strange that what we talk least about the things we think about most?

Life is a culmination of the past, an awareness of the present, an indication of a future beyond knowledge, the quality that gives a touch of divinity to matter.

Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance.

Living in dreams of yesterday, we find ourselves still dreaming of impossible future conquest...

Our ideals, laws and customs should be based on the proposition that each generation, in turn, becomes the custodian rather than the absolute owner of our resources and each generation has the obligation to pass this inheritance on to the future.

Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.

Science is insulating man from life- separating his mind from his senses. The worst of it is that it soon anaesthetises his senses so that he doesn't know what he's missing.

To a person in love, the value of the individual is intuitively known. Love needs no logic for its mission.

What kind of man would live where there is no danger? I don't believe in taking foolish chances. But nothing can be accomplished by not taking a chance at all.

Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvelous it becomes.

Categories: Charles A. Lindbergh, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Walter Bagehot

Published Monday, February 03, 2014 @ 4:04 AM EST
Feb 03 2014

Walter Bagehot (February 3, 1826 – March 24, 1877) was a British journalist, businessman, and essayist, who wrote extensively about government, economics, and literature. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

A man's mother is his misfortune, but his wife is his fault.

A Parliament is nothing less than a big meeting of more or less idle people.

An inability to stay quiet is one of the conspicuous failings of mankind.

Every trouble in life is a joke compared to madness.

Free government is self-government. A government of the people by the people. The best government of this sort is that which the people think best.

In every particular state of the world, those nations which are strongest tend to prevail over the others; and in certain marked peculiarities the strongest tend to be the best.

It is good to be without vices, but it is not good to be without temptations.

It is often said that men are ruled by their imaginations; but it would be truer to say they are governed by the weakness of their imaginations.

Life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do.

Men who do not make advances to women are apt to become victims to women who make advances to them.

Nothing is more unpleasant than a virtuous person with a mean mind.

One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.

Poverty is an anomaly to rich people; it is very difficult to make out why people who want dinner do not ring the bell.

Progress would not have been the rarity it is if the early food had not been the late poison.

Public opinion is a permeating influence, and it exacts obedience to itself; it requires us to drink other men's thoughts, to speak other men's words, to follow other men's habits.

So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience that it is wrong.

The being without an opinion is so painful to human nature that most people will leap to a hasty opinion rather than undergo it.

The great difficulty which history records is not that of the first step, but that of the second step.

The habit of common and continuous speech is a symptom of mental deficiency.

The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything.

The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards.

We must not let daylight in upon the magic.

What impresses men is not mind, but the result of mind.

When great questions end, little parties begin.

Writers, like teeth, are divided into incisors and grinders.

You may talk of the tyranny of Nero and Tiberius; but the real tyranny is the tyranny of your next-door neighbor.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Walter Bagehot

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, February 02, 2014 @ 5:00 PM EST
Feb 02 2014

THREE DOG NIGHT- Although, with Pixie the Shih Tzu puppy, it's probably more accurate to call it a "Two Dog and One Small Dog-Like Creature Night."


The President said we must stay vigilant against foreign threats...yet Justin Bieber remains a free man.
-Bill Maher



Damn. I just wrote year of the snake on a check.



St. Peter can tell which new arrivals are from Pittsburgh because when they go toward the light at the end of the tunnel they slow down.



I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say, "Hey look. That one is shaped like an idiot."


Daughter-in-law Angela with my granddaughter Joelle.


Maybe if we all e-mail the Constitution to each other, the NSA will finally read it.

Categories: Bill Maher, Cartoons, Cleaning off the desktop, KGB Family, Miscellany, NSA, Pittsburgh, U.S. Constitution

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Quote of the day: Super Bowl edition

Published Sunday, February 02, 2014 @ 6:55 AM EST
Feb 02 2014

"We need to keep it in perspective. It's a very, very important game, but it's not the be all and end all of everything. The city better get its act together regardless; I'm talking politically, with its business leaders, its religious leaders, everybody's got to get back to work."
-Dan Rooney (quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 23, 2005)

Categories: Quotes of the day

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Remembering birthdays, celebrating lives...

Published Sunday, February 02, 2014 @ 6:25 AM EST
Feb 02 2014

In the depressing gloom and cold of mid-winter, February 2 is an important day, and I'm not talking about some farcical ceremony involving a large rodent or steroid-enhanced millionaires giving each other concussions.

Had they lived...

Eva Cassidy would have been 51...

(YouTube video: Eva Cassidy, "Fields of Gold")

My dog Beanie would have been 20...

And my dad, Raymond Francis Barkes, would have been 90. Here he is with my son Doug, watching airplanes at the Allegheny County Airport in 1977. It's a sobering thought that I'm six years older than my father was when this photo was taken. He died in October, 1994.

I'm sad they're no longer here, but I'm glad they were in my life.

I haven't "lost" them; they're with me all the time. And memories are like fine wine. They improve with age.

Categories: Dogs, Eva Cassidy, KGB Family, Passages

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Quotes of the day: Werner Heisenberg

Published Saturday, February 01, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EST
Feb 01 2014

Werner Karl Heisenberg (December 5, 1901 – February 1, 1976) was a German theoretical physicist and one of the key creators of quantum mechanics... In 1927 he published his uncertainty principle, upon which he built his philosophy and for which he is best known. Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1932 "for the creation of quantum mechanics". He also made important contributions to the theories of the hydrodynamics of turbulent flows, the atomic nucleus, ferromagnetism, cosmic rays, and subatomic particles, and he was instrumental in planning the first West German nuclear reactor at Karlsruhe, together with a research reactor in Munich, in 1957. Considerable controversy surrounds his work on atomic research during World War II. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


(Today is also the birthday of S.J. Perelman)


An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject and how to avoid them.

Every experiment destroys some of the knowledge of the system which was obtained by previous experiments.

In general, scientific progress calls for no more than the absorption and elaboration of new ideas- and this is a call most scientists are happy to heed.

In the strict formulation of the law of causality- if we know the present, we can calculate the future- it is not the conclusion that is wrong but the premise.

It will never be possible by pure reason to arrive at some absolute truth.

Light and matter are both single entities, and the apparent duality arises in the limitations of our language.

Nature is made in such a way as to be able to be understood. Or perhaps I should put it- more correctly- the other way around, and say that we are made in such a way as to be able to understand Nature.

Quantum theory provides us with a striking illustration of the fact that we can fully understand a connection though we can only speak of it in images and parables.

Science no longer is in the position of observer of nature, but rather recognizes itself as part of the interplay between man and nature.

The conception of objective reality... has thus evaporated... into the transparent clarity of mathematics that represents no longer the behavior of particles but rather our knowledge of this behavior.

The existing scientific concepts cover always only a very limited part of reality, and the other part that has not yet been understood is infinite.

The more precise the measurement of position, the more imprecise the measurement of momentum, and vice versa. ('The Uncertainty Principle' of quantum mechanics)

The smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.

There is a fundamental error in separating the parts from the whole, the mistake of atomizing what should not be atomized. Unity and complementarity constitute reality.

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.

Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word 'understanding.'


The Internet is run by a guy named Heisenberg, and his principles are undertain.
-Kevin G. Barkes

Categories: Quotes of the day, Werner Heisenberg

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