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Quotes of the day: Lena Horne

Published Monday, June 30, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 30 2014

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was an American singer, actress, civil rights activist and dancer. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


After I got over the terrible pain of having something of mine taken from me, I began to think how bad everybody else must be feeling. It wasn't a nice time.

Always be smarter than the people who hire you.

Don't be afraid to feel as angry or as loving as you can, because when you feel nothing, it's just death.

Every color I can think of and nationality, we were all touched by Dr. King because he made us like each other and respect each other.

I made a promise to myself to be kinder to other people.

I really do hate to sing.

I was lucky, as many of my generation was, in having a man like Dr. King in our lives. He came at a time that we needed to take a long look at each other and see how similar we were.

I'm still learning, you know. At 80, I feel there is a lot I don't know.

It's ill-becoming for an old broad to sing about how bad she wants it. But occasionally we do.

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.

It's so nice to get flowers while you can still smell the fragrance.

Nobody black or white who really believes in democracy can stand aside now; everybody's got to stand up and be counted.

You have to be taught to be second class; you're not born that way.

Categories: Lena Horne, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Oriana Fallaci

Published Saturday, June 28, 2014 @ 6:30 PM EDT
Jun 28 2014

Oriana Fallaci (June 29, 1929 - September 15, 2006) was an Italian journalist, author, and political interviewer. A former partisan during World War II, she had a long and successful journalistic career. Fallaci became famous worldwide for her coverage of war and revolution, and her interviews with many world leaders during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Alas, nothing reveals man the way war does. Nothing so accentuates in him the beauty and ugliness, the intelligence and foolishness, the brutishness and humanity, the courage and cowardice, the enigma.

America's vulnerability comes precisely from its strength, its wealth, its power and its modernity. It's the usual story of the dog chasing its own tail.

Glory is a heavy burden, a murdering poison, and to bear it is an art. And to have that art is rare.

Heroes can be sweet.

I have always looked on disobedience toward the oppressive as the only way to use the miracle of having been born.

I have reached the conclusion that those who have physical courage also have moral courage. Physical courage is a great test.

I know ours is a world made by men for men, their dictatorship is so ancient it even extends to language.

It must be terribly lonely to be a king instead of a man.

My soldier weapon is the weapon of truth.

No matter what system you live under, there is no escaping the law that it's always the strongest, the cruellest, the least generous who win.

Objectivity does not exist. The word is a hypocrisy which is sustained by the lie that the truth stays in the middle. No, sir: Sometimes truth stays on one side only.

The larger truth, the universal truth that you can give in a novel, is far greater than what you can give through journalism.

The moment you give up your principles, and your values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period.

There are moments in Life when keeping silent becomes a fault, and speaking an obligation. A civic duty, a moral challenge, a categorical imperative from which we cannot escape.

To be good or bad doesn't count: life out in this world doesn't depend on that. It depends on a relation of forces based on violence. And survival is violence. You'll wear leather shoes because someone has killed a cow and skinned it to make leather.

We are an age without leaders. We stopped having leaders at the end of the 20th century.

What's the point anyway- of suffering, dying? It teaches us to live, boy. A man who does not struggle does not live, he survives.

Whether it comes from a despotic sovereign or an elected president, from a murderous general or a beloved leader, I see power as an inhuman and hateful phenomenon.

Why do the people humiliate themselves by voting? I didn't vote because I have dignity. If I had closed my nose and voted for one of them, I would spit on my own face.

You cannot govern, you cannot administrate, with an ignoramus.

You cannot survive if you do not know the past.


(Today is also the birthday of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.)

Categories: Oriana Fallaci, Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: Mel Brooks

Published Saturday, June 28, 2014 @ 12:03 AM EDT
Jun 28 2014

Mel Brooks (born Melvin Kaminsky; June 28, 1926) is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer... [and]; is a member of the short list of entertainers with the distinction of having won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award. Three of his films ranked in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 comedy films of all-time: Blazing Saddles at number 6, The Producers at number 11, and Young Frankenstein at number 13. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

Anybody can direct, but there are only eleven good writers.

As long as the world is turning and spinning, we're gonna be dizzy and we're gonna make mistakes.

Bad taste is simply saying the truth before it should be said.

Critics are like eunuchs at an orgy. They just don't get it.

Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin.

Everything we do in life is based on fear, especially love.

He who hesitates is poor.

Hope for the best,
expect the worst.
Life is a play.
We're unrehearsed.

Humor is just another defense against the universe.

I only direct in self-defense,

I've been accused of vulgarity. I say that's bullshit.

If God wanted us to fly, He would have given us tickets.

If Shaw and Einstein couldn't beat death, what chance have I got? Practically none.

Look at Jewish history. Unrelieved lamenting would be intolerable. So, for every ten Jews beating their breasts, God designated one to be crazy and amuse the breast-beaters. By the time I was five I knew I was that one.

Rhetoric does not get you anywhere, because Hitler and Mussolini are just as good at rhetoric. But if you can bring these people down with comedy, they stand no chance.

Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.

Usually when a lot of men get together, it's called war.

What is the toughest thing about making film? Putting in the little holes. The sprocket holes are the worst. Everything else is easy, but all night you have to sit with that little puncher and make the holes on the side of the film. You could faint from that work. The rest is easy. The script is easy, the acting is easy, the directing is a breeze... but the sprockets will tear your heart out.


[Mel Brooks] was approached by a woman who offered condolences on the passing of his beloved wife, Anne Bancroft. "I know how you feel. I just lost my mother," the woman said. "How old was she?" asked Mel. "Ninety-six," the woman replied. "Well," Mel said, "she was asking for it."
-New York Post, August 23, 2005


George Anthony, chief of entertainment programming for the CBC, remembers that Bancroft and Brooks were a "genuine bonafide love match, in the early years almost as famous for their public battles as Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Todd." He recalls one of their fights when he grabbed her arm and she pulled away from him. Anthony's story:

"Don't you dare touch my instrument!" she raged, in her highest Actors Studio dudgeon.

"Oh, so this is your instrument?!"

"Yes. This is my instrument!"

"Okay. Play Melancholy Baby."

-Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, June 8, 2005

(Clip rated "R": discretion advised.)

(YouTube video: Mel Brooks and Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles.")

(This post originally published on June 28, 2012)

Categories: Mel Brooks, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Ross Perot

Published Friday, June 27, 2014 @ 12:01 AM EDT
Jun 27 2014

Henry Ross Perot (b. June 27, 1930) is an American businessman best known for being an independent presidential candidate in 1992 and 1996. Perot founded Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in 1962, sold the company to General Motors in 1984, and founded Perot Systems in 1988. Perot Systems was bought by Dell for $3.9 billion in 2009. With an estimated net worth of about US$3.5 billion in 2012, he is ranked by Forbes as the 134th-richest person in the United States. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


As a young man I wanted to be a pearl. Unfortunately, my lot in life is to be the grain of sand that irritates the oyster.

Big is not beautiful. We in America like to think big is beautiful. Big is inefficient.

Eagles don't flock, you have to find them one at a time.

Failures are like skinned knees, painful but superficial.

Go to Austin and sit in on a meeting (of the Texas State Board of Education). It costs you $5 to see a movie that funny. They got people on that board who think that the earth is flat.

I can't think of anything worse than a person in my position to be grasping for some tax advantage. I'm delighted to pay big taxes. Big taxes mean big income.

I don't care where they stand. The man I worry about is the one who hasn't taken a position.

I pay taxes on all the money before it goes into the (Perot Foundation). I think the federal government is a charitable cause, too.

I'm not a living legend. I'm just a myth.

If you see a snake, just kill it. Don't appoint a committee on snakes.

If you're not sure (about marriage), just hold off a while. It's kind of like buses; there's another one by every 15 minutes, and you can have a lot of fun looking.

In many of our huge corporations we treat people like commodities. And people cannot be managed. Inventories can be managed, but people must be led.

It takes five years to develop a new car in this country. Heck, we won World War II in four years.

Life is like a cobweb, not an organization chart.

Money tends to make you stupid.

Nobody gets paid extra for being alive. (On seniority-based raises for teachers.)

Nobody likes to be called a liar, but to be called a liar by Bill Clinton is really a unique experience.

Only in America would you have a war, get it over with and have all the heroes either be generals or politicians.

Punishing honest mistakes stifles creativity. I want people moving and shaking the earth and they're going to make mistakes.

So many people spend their lives chasing money and end up as the richest men in the cemetery. I don't want to be like that.

Success is like Halley's Comet, you know. Every now and then it just comes around.

Symbolism is important. I took the position that anybody who needed a chauffeur to drive him to work was probably too old to be on the payroll, and that anybody in a car company ought to be driving his own car because you didn't get much of a feel in the back seat.

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.

The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, the public debt should be reduced and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.

There's only two places in the world a 28-year-old can make half a million a year. That's selling dope and dealing in junk bonds. They're both destroying our country.

Titles cost nothing. Titles mean nothing.

Written reports stifle creativity.

Your country is like your children. It's fundamentally important that you love them, but you need to work on any problems that come along.


(Today is also the birthday of Helen Keller.)

Categories: H. Ross Perot, Quotes of the day, Ross Perot

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Photo of the day

Published Thursday, June 26, 2014 @ 4:57 PM EDT
Jun 26 2014

(via PostSecret)

Categories: Photo of the day

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Quotes of the day: Pearl S. Buck

Published Thursday, June 26, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 26 2014

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973), also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu, was an American writer and novelist. As the daughter of missionaries, Buck spent most of her life before 1934 in China. Her novel The Good Earth was the best-selling fiction book in the U.S. in 1931 and 1932 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces." After her return to the United States in 1935, she continued her prolific writing career, and became a prominent advocate of the rights of women and minority groups, and wrote widely on Asian cultures, becoming particularly well known for her efforts on behalf of Asian and mixed race adoption. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


An intelligent, energetic, educated woman cannot be kept in four walls- even satin-lined, diamond-studded walls- without discovering sooner or later that they are still a prison cell.

Every event has had its cause, and nothing, not the least wind that blows, is accident or causeless.

Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied.

Fate is unalterable only in the sense that given a cause, a certain result must follow, but no cause is inevitable in itself, and man can shape his world if he does not resign himself to ignorance.

Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.

I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to earth.

I love people. I love my family, my children... but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up.

It is better to be first with an ugly woman than the hundredth with a beauty.

Let woman out of the home, let man into it, should be the aim of education. The home needs man, and the world outside needs woman.

Men and women should own the world as a mutual possession.

Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.

Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns how to be amused rather than shocked.

Praise out of season, or tactlessly bestowed, can freeze the heart as much as blame.

The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration.

The truth is always exciting. Speak it, then. Life is dull without it.

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.

To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.

You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.

Categories: Pearl S. Buck, Quotes of the day

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Bow WOW indeed...

Published Wednesday, June 25, 2014 @ 9:33 AM EDT
Jun 25 2014

If you live in the greater Pittsburgh area and, like me, rank the experience of taking your dogs to the groomer just above getting a root canal, you're in luck.

Just call the lovely Shauna Caudill, a certified groomer and owner of Bow WOW! Mobile Bath and Grooming, and she'll bring her spiffy specialized vehicle to your home and work her magic.

To be honest, taking the shelties to the groomer was never a problem, other than spending a week trying to get all the fur out of the interior of the car.

But Pixie the Shih Tzu (Klingon for "small, insane, dog-like creature) was another story. Within five minutes of leaving the groomer's, Cindy received a call telling her to return asap and retrieve the wee beastie. They couldn't handle her. I imagined it went something like this:

Our experience with Shauna was decidedly different:

Sassy is ready for her close-up.

Before Shauna, Pixie looked like a rabid tribble with legs.

Shauna abandoned a successful but unsatisfying career and decided to take a chance and do what she truly loves. Her drive and dedication are estimable, and her skills are obvious.

We've already scheduled our next appointment.

Categories: Dogs, KGB Family, KGB Opinion

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Quotes of the day: Ricky Gervais

Published Wednesday, June 25, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 25 2014

Ricky Dene Gervais (b. June 25, 1961) is an English comedian, actor, voice actor, director, producer, musician, writer, and former radio presenter. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A Christian telling an atheist they're going to hell is as scary as a child telling an adult they're not getting any presents from Santa.

All dogs are basically good. Your treatment of them determines whether they stay that way or not. It's the same with people.

Being offended provides no objective indication of right and wrong. It's nothing more than a barometer of your own emotional control.

Being on the edge isn't as safe, but the view is better.

Beliefs don't change facts. Facts, if you're reasonable, should change your beliefs.

Getting offended by a statement of fact does not make that fact any less true. But do continue to be offended by it. It makes me laugh.

God gave you free will so that you have the choice to either worship him or go to hell.

I can't believe I used to care so much about what strangers thought of me. Once you realize that doesn't matter you can really be honest.

If there is a God, why did He make me an atheist?

If you can't joke about the most horrendous things in the world, what's the point of jokes? What's the point in having humor? Humor is to get us over terrible things.

It seems to be true, particularly in middle America, that those most militant about using up fossil fuels, don't actually believe in fossils.

It's a strange myth that atheists have nothing to live for. It's the opposite. We have nothing to die for. We have everything to live for.

Just because you're offended doesn't mean you're right.

Next time someone is critical of you, just consider their life, and smile quietly to yourself.

No one owns being good. I'm good. I just don't believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life.

Some of you are really smart. You know who you are. Some of you are really thick. Unfortunately, you don't know who you are.

Spirituality really lost its way when it became a stick to beat people with: 'Do this or you'll burn in hell.'

Suggesting I hate people with religion because I hate religion is like suggesting I hate people with cancer because I hate cancer.

The truth, however shocking or uncomfortable, in the end leads to liberation and dignity.

The worst thing about morons is, they don't understand just how stupid they are.

There's no difference between fame and infamy now. There's a new school of professional famous people that don't do anything. They don't create anything.

Twitter is a lot like religion: a great invention that makes billions and a fun distraction that really shouldn't be taken that seriously.

You do your own thing and you see if you survive.

You have options. You can either continue to be miserable or you can just stop being angry at everyone and accept the way things are. Allow yourself to live.

You should bring something into the world that wasn't in the world before. It doesn't matter what that is. It doesn't matter if it's a table or a film or gardening - everyone should create. You should do something, then sit back and say, 'I did that.'

You won't burn in hell. But be nice anyway.


(Today is also the birthday of George Orwell (Eric Blair).)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Ricky Gervais

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Quotes of the day: Ambrose Bierce

Published Tuesday, June 24, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 24 2014

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842 – circa 1914) was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist. He wrote the short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and compiled a satirical lexicon, The Devil's Dictionary. His vehemence as a critic, his motto "Nothing matters", and the sardonic view of human nature that informed his work, all earned him the nickname "Bitter Bierce".

In 1913, Bierce traveled to Mexico to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution. While traveling with rebel troops, he disappeared without a trace. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A funeral is a pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker.

A man is the sum of his ancestors; to reform him you must begin with a dead ape and work downward through a million graves.

Abstainer, n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.

Absurdity, n. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.

Academe, n. An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught.

Academy, n. (from academe). A modern school where football is taught.

Accord, n. Harmony.
Accordion, n. An instrument in harmony with the sentiments of an assassin.

Achievement-The death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.

Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.

Alone, adj. In bad company.

An army's bravest men are its cowards. The death which they would not meet at the hands of the enemy they will meet at the hands of their officers, with never a flinching.

Birth, n. The first and direst of all disasters.

Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.

Bride, n. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.

Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.

Capital, n. The seat of misgovernment.

Christian, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ so long as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

Conservative, n. A statesman enamored of existing evils, as opposed to a Liberal, who wants to replace them with others.

Consult, v. To seek another's approval of a course already decided on.

Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.

Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.

Deliberation, n. The act of examining one's bread to determine on which side it is buttered.

Diplomacy, n. The patriotic art of lying for one's country.

Education, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.

Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.

Erudition, n. Dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.

Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

Fidelity, n. A virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.

Friendship, n. A ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul.

Genealogy, n. An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.

Habit, n. A shackle for the free.

Happiness is lost by criticizing it; sorrow by accepting it.

Happiness, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.

Heaven, n. A place where the wicked cease from troubling you with talk of their personal affairs, and the good listen with attention while you expound your own.

Hers, pron. His.

Husband, n. One who, having dined, is charged with the care of the plate.

Idiot, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot's activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but 'pervades and regulates the whole.' He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a deadline.

If you would be accounted great by your contemporaries, be not too much greater than they.

In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. Will all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.

Justice, n. A commodity which in a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.

Language, n. The music with which we charm the serpents guarding another's treasure.

Lawyer, n. One skilled in circumvention of the law.

Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.

Liberty, n. One of imagination's most precious possessions.

Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence; not conforming to standards of thought, speech, and action derived by the conformants from study of themselves; at odds with the majority; in short, unusual. It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad by officials destitute of evidence that they themselves are sane.

Marriage, n. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.

Mayonnaise, n. One of the sauces that serve the French in place of a state religion.

Monday, n. In Christian countries, the day after the baseball game.

Noise, n. A stench in the ear. Undomesticated music. The chief product and authenticating sign of civilization.

Non-combatant, n. A dead Quaker.

Once, adj. Enough.

Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.

Peace, in international affairs, is a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.

Plagiarize, n. To take the thought or style of another writer whom one has never, never read.

Politics is the conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.

Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

Quotation, n. The act of repeating erroneously the words of another. The words erroneously repeated.

Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

Revelation, n. A famous book in which St. John the Divine concealed all that he knew. The revealing is done by the commentators, who know nothing.

Reverence, n. The spiritual attitude of a man to a god and a dog to a man.

Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited.

Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.

The fact that boys are allowed to exist at all is evidence of remarkable Christian forbearance among men- were it not for a mawkish humanitarianism, coupled with imperfect digestive powers, we should devour our young, as Nature intended.

The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.

Twice, adv. Once too often.

Vote, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.

When lost in a forest go always down hill. When lost in a philosophy or doctrine go upward.

Witch, n. (1) An ugly and repulsive old woman, in a wicked league with the devil.
(2) A beautiful and attractive young woman, in wickedness a league beyond the devil.

Woman would be more charming if one could fall into her arms without falling into her hands.

Year, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.

You are not permitted to kill a woman who has wronged you, but nothing forbids you to reflect that she is growing older every m


(Today is also the birthday of Henry Ward Beecher.)

Categories: Ambrose Bierce, Quotes of the day

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Published Monday, June 23, 2014 @ 5:29 PM EDT
Jun 23 2014

I was mostly ignoring a television commercial for the latest Transformers movie when I glanced at the screen and thought I recognized something.

I hit pause on the DVR, reversed it a frame at a time and- yes! There it is!

In this screen grab of aerial mayhem over Chicago's West Loop, you can clearly see the mothership- 101 North Wacker Drive, the home of my employer, Datalogics, Incorporated.

The arrow indicates the location of the employee lounge.

Too bad this is cgi. The lunchtime discussions would have been epic.

Categories: KGB, Movies, Photo of the day, Science Fiction

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Quotes of the day: Alan Turing

Published Monday, June 23, 2014 @ 6:36 AM EDT
Jun 23 2014

Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS (June 23, 1912 – June 7, 1954) was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, computer scientist, mathematical biologist, and marathon and ultra distance runner. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalization of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered as the "Father of Theoretical Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human.

A man provided with paper, pencil, and rubber, and subject to strict discipline, is in effect a universal machine.

A very large part of space-time must be investigated, if reliable results are to be obtained.

Conjectures are of great importance since they suggest useful lines of research.

Electronic computers are intended to carry out any definite rule of thumb process which could have been done by a human operator working in a disciplined but unintelligent manner.

I am not very impressed with theological arguments whatever they may be used to support. Such arguments have often been found unsatisfactory in the past.

I believe that at the end of the (20th) century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.

It seems probable that once the machine thinking method had started, it would not take long to outstrip our feeble powers… They would be able to converse with each other to sharpen their wits. At some stage therefore, we should have to expect the machines to take control.

Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.

Mathematical reasoning may be regarded rather schematically as the exercise of a combination of two facilities, which we may call intuition and ingenuity.

No, I'm not interested in developing a powerful brain. All I'm after is just a mediocre brain, something like the President of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.

The Exclusion Principle is laid down purely for the benefit of the electrons themselves, who might be corrupted (and become dragons or demons) if allowed to associate too freely.

The idea behind digital computers may be explained by saying that these machines are intended to carry out any operations which could be done by a human computer.

The original question, 'Can machines think?' I believe to be too meaningless to deserve discussion.

Unless in communicating with it one says exactly what one means, trouble is bound to result.

We are not interested in the fact that the brain has the consistency of cold porridge.

We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.

We may hope that machines will eventually compete with men in all purely intellectual fields.

Categories: Alan Turing, Quotes of the day

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 7:44 PM EDT
Jun 22 2014


So when is this “old enough to know better” supposed to kick in?




People who insert Latin phrases into their conversations are persona non grata to me.

Cheney slams Obama for misleading public. Also, Sharknado producers criticize people who watch Snakes on a Plane ironically.

I have no right to judge anyone who watches Honey Boo Boo or the Kardashians because I've watched Morning Joe.

So sweet that Dick & Liz Cheney wrote WSJ column. Alas, thousands of parents and children killed by his policies can't read it.

If producers marched into TV studios and removed Bush/Cheney neocons from cable news shows, they'd be greeted as liberators.

Yes, let's heed the foreign policy wisdom of @SenJohnMcCain, who thought Sarah Palin was ready to be Commander In Chief.

Frank Conniff's new musical comedy podcast, Dracula Has Risen in the Polls.



"New Jersey best place for brain-dead patients, expert says"



Blast from the past- why I'm glad I no longer commute between Pittsburgh and Chicago: KGB's excellent air adventure from Pittsburgh to Chicago, told in excruciating detail.


(A classic from The New Yorker)


Sweden Runs Out of Garbage



The Great Cartoons of Charles Barsotti (1933-2014)



I haven't changed much from the '60s, except now I don't trust anyone over 80.
-Randy Glasbergen



There's a new item under "Pages of interest": Personal Ramblings, which is a category comprised mostly of recollections and original writing. It's been five months since I've added anything new. This item is to shame me into writing more.



My mother's last surviving sibling, her older sister, passed away Friday at the age of 89. Mom's the sole survivor of her generation in our family, and all but a handful of her contemporaries are gone as well.

Eighty-nine is roughly 32,500 days. If we do a Cosmos-like calendar, compressing years into seconds, 32,500 is just 541 minutes, or a little over nine hours.

I've been alive 21,833 days. Compress days to seconds, and it's a bit over six hours. My father lasted a total of only seven hours.

Shakespeare's King Richard II famously said, "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me."

Calamities not withstanding, I apparently have one to three hours left; a Star Trek rerun or maybe Avatar. Better still, I think I'll go sit on the back porch with the missus and the dogs.



One should really win a prize for buying five Powerball tickets and not having a single winning number on any of them.



Speaking of age, the only infirmity that really bothers me is my eyesight. My night vision is practically worthless, and I need to remove my glasses to read anything smaller than about eight point type. But all things considered, that's not too bad.



And... the desktop is clean.

Categories: Cleaning off the desktop

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Published Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 11:42 AM EDT
Jun 22 2014

Well, for some reason the sidebar has disappeared on the front page. That big grey bar to the right, with the Quote-A-Matic and all the links? Gone. But if you click on the permalink of this post in the header and go the post's archive page, everything in the bar reappears. The problem? The code is identical for both pages.

This requires more reflection. Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give it another shot this evening.

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Quotes of the day: Matthew Henry

Published Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 22 2014

Matthew Henry (October 18, 1662 – June 22, 1714) was an English Presbyterian minister who wrote the six-volume Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (1708–1710), which provided an exhaustive verse by verse study of the Bible, covering The Old Testament, The Gospels and The Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


The way to preserve the peace of the church is to preserve the purity of it.

Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.

Do nothing till thou hast well considered the end of it.

Men of polite learning and a liberal education.

After a storm comes a calm.

Better late than never.

Blushing is the colour of virtue.

Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.

Hearkners, we say, seldom hear good of themselves.

Honor is like the shadow, which flees from those that pursue it, and grasp at it, but follows those that flee from it.

It is common for those that are farthest from God, to boast themselves most of their being near to the Church.

It is not fit the public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any, till they are first proved and found fit for the business they are to be entrusted with.

Many a dangerous temptation comes to us in fine gay colours that are but skin-deep.

None is so deaf as those that will not hear.

None so blind as those that will not see.

Saying and doing are two things.

The better day, the worse deed.

The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, or out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.

They that die by famine die by inches.

Categories: Matthew Henry, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Mary McCarthy

Published Saturday, June 21, 2014 @ 12:02 AM EDT
Jun 21 2014

Mary McCarthy (June 21, 1912 – October 25, 1989) was an American writer and one of the twentieth century's most prominent American intellectuals. Her considerable body of work includes essays, fiction, journalism, criticism, and memoir. She was associated with the revival of the influential literary journal Partisan Review in 1937. Her work appeared frequently in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, and other major magazines. Her books (nine works of fiction and 15 books of nonfiction) include The Company She Keeps, The Group, Venice Observed, Memories of a Catholic Girlhood, and How I Grew, among many others. (Click here for full HistoryLink.org article)


An unrectified case of injustice has a terrible way of lingering, restlessly, in the social atmosphere like an unfinished question.

Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.

Calling someone a monster does not make him more guilty; it makes him less so by classing him with beasts and devils.

Every age has a keyhole to which its eye is pasted.

I am putting real plums into an imaginary cake.

I do not mind if I lose my soul for all eternity. If the kind of God exists Who would damn me for not working out a deal with Him, then that is unfortunate. I should not care to spend eternity in the company of such a person.

If someone tells you he is going to make 'a realistic decision,' you immediately understand that he has resolved to do something bad.

In politics, it seems, retreat is honorable if dictated by military considerations and shameful if even suggested for ethical reasons.

In science, all facts, no matter how trivial or banal, enjoy democratic equality.

In violence, we forget who we are.

Liberty, as it is conceived by current opinion, has nothing inherent about it; it is a sort of gift or trust bestowed on the individual by the state pending good behavior.

Life for the European is a career; for the American it is a hazard.

Life is a system of recurrent pairs, the poison and the antidote being eternally packaged together by some considerate heavenly druggist.

People with bad consciences always fear the judgment of children.

The American character looks always as if it had just had a rather bad haircut, which gives it, in our eyes at any rate, a greater humanity than the European, which even among its beggars has an all too professional air.

The American, if he has a spark of national feeling, will be humiliated by the very prospect of a foreigner's visit to Congress — these, for the most part, illiterate hacks whose fancy vests are spotted with gravy, and whose speeches, hypocritical, unctuous and slovenly, are spotted also with the gravy of political patronage, these persons are a reflection on the democratic process rather than of it; they expose it in its underwear.

The happy ending is our national belief.

The immense popularity of American movies abroad demonstrates that Europe is the unfinished negative of which America is the proof.

The theater is the only branch of art much cared for by people of wealth; like canasta, it does away with the bother of talk after dinner.

There are no new truths, but only truths that have not been recognized by those who have perceived them without noticing.

To be disesteemed by people you don’t have much respect for is not the worst fate.

We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are the hero of our own story.

What's the use of falling in love if you both remain inertly as you were?

You can date the evolving life of a mind, like the age of a tree, by the rings of friendship formed by the expanding central trunk.

You mustn't force sex to do the work of love or love to do the work of sex.


(Today is also the birthday of Jean-Paul Sartre and Reinhold Niebuhr.)

Categories: Mary McCarthy, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Bernard Baruch

Published Friday, June 20, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 20 2014

Bernard Mannes Baruch (August 19, 1870 – June 20, 1965) was an American financier, stock investor, philanthropist, statesman, and political consultant. After his success in business, he devoted his time toward advising U.S. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt on economic matters, and became a philanthropist. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A political leader must keep looking over his shoulder all the time to see if the boys are still there. If they aren't still there, he's no longer a political leader.

A speculator is a man who observes the future, and acts before it occurs.

Age is only a number, a cipher for the records. A man can't retire his experience. He must use it. Experience achieves more with less energy and time.

Always do one thing less than you think you can do.

Approach each new problem not with a view of finding what you hope will be there, but to get the truth, the realities that must be grappled with. You may not like what you find. In that case you are entitled to try to change it. But do not deceive yourself as to what you do find to be the facts of the situation.

Be quick to praise people. People like to praise those who praise them.

Do not blame anybody for your mistakes and failures.

Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best.

Don't try to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. It can't be done except by liars.

During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think.

Every man has a right to be wrong in his opinions. But no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.

I am interested in physical medicine because my father was. I am interested in medical research because I believe in it. I am interested in arthritis because I have it.

I will never be an old man. To me, old age is fifteen years older than I am.

I'm not smart. I try to observe. Millions saw the apple fall but Newton was the one who asked why.

Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.

Never follow the crowd.

None of us can be free of conflict and woe. Even the greatest men have had to accept disappointments as their daily bread.

One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything everynight before you go to bed.

Only as you do know yourself can your brain serve you as a sharp and efficient tool. Know your own failings, passions, and prejudices so you can separate them from what you see.

The ability to express an idea is well nigh as important as the idea itself.

The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them.

The greatest blessing of our democracy is freedom. But in the last analysis, our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves.

The main purpose of the stock market is to make fools of as many men as possible.

There are no such things as incurable, there are only things for which man has not found a cure.

Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.

Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing.

We didn't come over in the same ship, but we're all in the same boat.

We grow neither better or worse as we get old, but more like ourselves.

Whatever failures I have known, whatever errors I have committed, whatever follies I have witnessed in private and public life have been the consequence of action without thought.

When good news about the market hits the front page of the New York Times, sell.

You can talk about capitalism and communism and all that sort of thing, but the important thing is the struggle everybody is engaged in to get better living conditions, and they are not interested too much in government.


(Today is also the birthday of Lillian Hellman.)

Categories: Bernard Baruch, Quotes of the day

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Settling in

Published Thursday, June 19, 2014 @ 3:31 AM EDT
Jun 19 2014

The move from XO/Concentric to DreamHost is about complete. The KGB Quote-A-Matic is back up and running, thanks to Random Text, a script from the fine folks at www.phpjunkyard.com. It's faster and easier to configure than the randomizer server side include from XO. phpjunkyard has lots of interesting scripts available. If you're into that type of thing, drop by and take a look.

The KGB Quotations Database search function is also online, thanks to DreamHost support and a standard cgi implementation sorely lacking at our previous host.

I'm sorry I had to leave XO/Concentric, but there was no choice. I've been with them since 1998, and they've been ultra-reliable and trouble free- until last year. Since last summer, there have been several extended service outages that affected thousands of small businesses. One would think they would have learned their lesson after Forbes raked them over the coals, but apparently not.

I spent over an hour and a half on hold on XO's support line this morning, longer than it took to open an account with DreamHost, redirect the DNS nameservers, and upload the site's files. The DreamHost server seems much more responsive, at least from my location. And ftp uploads take about a quarter of the time they previously did.

Anyway, expect a few bumps as we get settled in. Please drop us a line if you find any dead links or other problems.


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Quotes of the day: Blaise Pascal

Published Thursday, June 19, 2014 @ 2:18 AM EDT
Jun 19 2014

Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623 - August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A mere trifle consoles us, for a mere trifle distresses us.

All the troubles of man come from his not knowing how to sit still.

Do you wish people to believe good of you? Don't speak.

Either God exists or He doesn't. Either I believe in God or I don't. Of the four possibilities, only one is to my disadvantage. To avoid that possibility, I believe in God.

Evil is easy, and has infinite forms.

Experience makes us see an enormous difference between piety and goodness.

Force rules the world- not opinion; but it is opinion that makes us use force.

How useless is painting, which attracts admiration by the resemblance of things, the originals of which we do not admire!

I made this letter very long, because I did not have the lesiure to make it shorter.

If all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that He should not exist.

It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.

Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical.

Little things console us, because little things afflict us.

Man governs himself more by capriciousness than reason.

Man is so made that if he is told often enough that he is a fool he believes it.

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

Our nature consists in motion; complete rest is death.

People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.

Silence is the greatest persecution; never do the saints keep themselves silent.

Since we cannot be universal and know all that is to be known of everything, we ought to know a little about everything.

The charm of fame is so great, that we like every object to which it is attached, even death.

The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first.

The sole purpose of man's unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.

There are people who lie simply for the sake of lying.

Thinking makes man great.

Time heals griefs and quarrels, for we change and are no longer the same persons.

We must learn our limits. We are all something, but none of us are everything.

We shall die alone.

What a chimera then is man! What a novelty! What a monster, what a chaos, what a contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, feeble earthworm, depository of truth, a sink of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe.

When we are accustomed to use bad reasons for proving natural effects, we are not willing to receive good reasons when they are discovered.

When we read too fast or too slowly, we understand nothing.


(Today is also the birthday of Elbert Hubbard and Pauline Kael.)

Categories: Blaise Pascal, Quotes of the day

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If you can see this...

Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014 @ 2:10 PM EDT
Jun 18 2014

Then the move to DreamHost was successful. Some things probably won't function correctly for a while- like the KGB Quote-A-Matic and KGB Quote Search- but I hope to have them up and running soon.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Déjà vu all over again

Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014 @ 11:47 AM EDT
Jun 18 2014

The website went down this morning at 6 a.m. After 80 minutes on hold, the support person for XO Communications/Concentric, my hosting provider, said ""It's part of our DNS outage. I can't give you a time when it will be back up, but it should be soon."

That was at 11:20 am. I'm writing this at 11:51 am, and it's still down, and there's still nothing on their website or social media, aside from their response to my post on their Facebook page.

Sorry for the inconvenience. Again. I've been a Concentric customer since 1998, but I think it's time to move on...


Update: It appears the site came back up around 1 pm.

Whatever. I am now in the process of moving to DreamHost. Things may be a bit flaky for a day or two. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Quotes of the day: Carolyn Wells

Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 18 2014

Carolyn Wells (June 18, 1862, - March 26, 1942) was a prolific American writer remembered largely for her popular mysteries, children;s books, and humorous verse. (Click here for full Encyclopædia Brittanica article)


Actions lie louder than words.

We should live and learn; but by the time we've learned, it's too late to live.

What you can't afford to lose, you can't afford to buy.

At times there is nothing so unnatural as nature.

A critic is a necessary evil, and criticism is an evil necessity.

Of two evils choose the prettier.

A blunder at the right moment is better than cleverness at the wrong time.

A cynic is a man who looks at the world with a monocle in his mind's eye.

Advice is one of those things it is far more blessed to give than to receive

Happiness is the ability to recognize it.

One never knows what difference anything will make until the difference is made.

A guilty conscience is the mother of invention.

Every dogma must have its day.

A good scapegoat is hard to find.

Youth is a silly, vapid state,
Old age with fears and ills is rife;
This simple boon I beg of Fate-
A thousand years of Middle Life.

A fool and his money are soon married.

Categories: Carolyn Wells, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: James Weldon Johnson

Published Tuesday, June 17, 2014 @ 12:24 AM EDT
Jun 17 2014

James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871 – June 26, 1938) was an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist. Johnson is best remembered for his leadership within the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he started working in 1917, being chosen as the first black executive secretary of the organization, effectively the operating officer. He served in that position from 1920 to 1930. He was first known for his writing, which includes poems, novels, and anthologies collecting both poems and spirituals of black culture. Johnson composed the lyrics of "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," originally written for a celebration of Lincoln's birthday at Stanton School. This song later became known as the "Negro National Anthem," a title the NAACP adopted and promoted. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Every race and every nation should be judged by the best it has been able to produce, not by the worst.

I believe it to be a fact that the colored people of this country know and understand the white people better than the white people know and understand them.

I believe that the spirit in which American democracy was founded; though often turned aside and often thwarted; can never be defeated or destroyed but that ultimately it will triumph.

If American democracy cannot stand the test of giving to any citizen who measures up to the qualifications required of others the full rights and privileges of American citizenship, then we had just as well abandon that democracy in name as in deed.

If the Constitution of the United States cannot extend the arm of protection around the weakest and humblest of American citizens as around the strongest and proudest, then it is not worth the paper it is written on.

It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives its most distinctive character.

It is strange how in some things honest people can be dishonest without the slightest compunction.

Labor is the fabled magician's wand, the philosophers stone, and the cap of good fortune.

Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty.
Let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies;
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Nothing great or enduring, especially in music, has ever sprung full-fledged and unprecedented from the brain of any master; the best he gives to the world he gathers from the hearts of the people, and runs it through the alembic of his genius.

The final measure of the greatness of all peoples is the amount and standard of the literature and all they have produced. The world does not know that a people is great until that people produces great literature and art.

The South is in a state of superstition which makes it see ghosts and bogymen, ghosts which are the creation of its own mental processes.

The Southern whites are in many respects a great people. Looked at from a certain point of view, they are picturesque. If one will put oneself in a romantic frame of mind, one can admire their notions of chivalry and bravery and justice.

This land is ours by right of birth, This land is ours by right of toil; We helped to turn its virgin earth, Our sweat is in its fruitful soil.

What becomes of our democracy when such conditions of inequality as these can be brought about through chicanery, he open violation of the law and defiance of the Constitution?

Young man, young man, your arm's too short to box with God.

This really should have been picked up.


I guess it's pretty easy to judge deserters when the closest you've come to combat is shooting wolves from a helicopter.


From @FrankConniff on Twitter:

And now, here to tell us what we should do in Iraq, are people who've always been wrong about what we should do in Iraq.

Rick Perry compares homosexuality to alcoholism. I'm guessing Rick keeps flasks of gayness hidden throughout his house.

From @JohnFugelsang on Twitter:

Blaming Obama for sectarian Iraq violence is like blaming your hangover on the guy making breakfast.

If you're experiencing reduced male sex drive and lower energy you could be suffering from Completely Natural Aging, or CNA.

Rick Perry also said forcing troops to serve beside gay soldiers compromised their Christian values. While they're shooting people.

Seriously, instead of seceding from the US, why not just go be ignorant in another country?

There is no Hell but there is the comments section.

Remind your kids to never, ever do drugs. At least not with Maureen Dowd.


From @pourmecoffee on Twitter:

Good morning. You live in a world where Eric Cantor isn't conservative enough for some people. Have a nice day.

Who hurt you, George R.R. Martin? Who made you like this?


And... the desktop is clean.

Categories: Cleaning off the desktop

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Published Sunday, June 15, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 15 2014

48 Observations on mediocrity:

A best-seller is the gilded tomb of a mediocre talent.
-Logan Pearsall Smith

A man attains an elevated position only when his mediocrity prevents him from being a threat to others. And for this reason a democracy is never governed by the most competent, but rather by those whose insignificance will not jeopardize anyone else's self-esteem.
-Niccolò Machiavelli

A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.
-Mary Kay Ash

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

Caricature is the tribute that mediocrity pays to genius.
-Oscar Wilde

Don't rationalize mediocrity.
-George W. Miller

Each time a mediocre singer performs, he is saying, in effect, 'This is good enough for you.' The audience, thrust into that familiar American mood of knowing something is wrong but not knowing what it is, unconsciously absorbs the insult and projects it back onto the mediocre performer in the form of inattention, rudeness and noise.
-Florence King

Equal rights for the sexes will be achieved when mediocre women occupy high positions.
-Francois Giroud

Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.
-Sophia Loren

Good behavior is the last refuge of mediocrity.
-Henry Haskins

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
-Albert Einstein

In the republic of mediocrity genius is dangerous.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

In this country we encourage 'creativity' among the mediocre, but real bursting creativity appalls us. We put it down as undisciplined, as somehow 'too much.'
-Pauline Kael

Indifference is the revenge the world takes on mediocrities.
-Oscar Wilde

It is cruel to discover one's mediocrity only when it is too late.
-W. Somerset Maugham

It's disheartening to know that you live in a country that's just teeming with semi-literate, mediocre psychos.
-Henry Rollins

Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.
-Fulton J. Sheen

Media, the plural of mediocrity.
-Jimmy Breslin

Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Mediocrity requires aloofness to preserve its dignity.
-Charles G. Dawes

Mediocrity: It takes a lot less time and most people won't notice the difference until it's too late.
-Larry Kersten, PhD

Moderation has been made a virtue in order to curb the ambition of the great, and also to console those who are mediocre in either fortune or merit.
-Francois de la Rochefoucauld

Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

My success is the result of not being satisfied with mediocrity, and in making the most of my opportunities.
-Milton S. Hershey

No, I'm not interested in developing a powerful brain. All I'm after is just a mediocre brain, something like the President of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.
-Alan Touring

Often the difference between a successful marriage and a mediocre one consists of leaving about three or four things a day unsaid.
-Harland Miller

Only ambitious nonentities and hearty mediocrities exhibit their rough drafts. It is like passing around samples of one's sputum.
-Vladimir Nabokov

Only the mediocre are always at their best.
-Jean Giraudoux

People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.
-Andrew Carnegie

Politicians fascinate because they constitute such a paradox; they are an elite that accomplishes mediocrity for the public good.
-George F. Will

Possibly the only dismaying aspect of excellence is that it makes living in a world of mediocrity an ongoing prospect of a living Hell.
-Harlan Ellison

Pumpkin pie is the epitome of mediocrity. The best pumpkin pie you ever ate isn't that much better than the worst.
-Garrison Keillor

Reward excellent failures. Punish mediocre successes.
-Tom Peters

Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.
-Jane Wagner

The business world worships mediocrity. Officially we revere free enterprise, initiative and individuality. Unofficially we fear it.
-George Lois

The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.
-John Stuart Mill

The mediocrity of everything in the great world of today is simply appalling. We live in intellectual slums.
-George Santayana

The tendency of democracies is, in all things, to mediocrity.
-James Fenimore Cooper

The word media is plural for mediocre.
-René Saguisag

Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.
-Warren Buffett

Unpretending mediocrity is good, and genius is glorious; but a weak flavor of genius in an essentially common person is detestable . It spoils the grand neutrality of a commonplace character, as the rinsings of an unwashed wine-glass spoil a draught of fair water.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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

We mistrust anything that too strongly challenges our ideal of mediocrity.
-Robertson Davies

What the crowd requires is mediocrity of the highest order.
-Auguste Preault

Why create mediocrity when you can copy genius?

Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to become as mediocre as possible.
-Margaret Mead

You have the army of mediocrities followed by the multitude of fools. As the mediocrities and the fools always form the immense majority, it is impossible for them to elect an intelligent government.
-Guy de Maupassant

Categories: Quotes on a topic

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The Big Picture

Published Saturday, June 14, 2014 @ 6:17 PM EDT
Jun 14 2014

Categories: Philosophy, Photo of the day, Religion, Science

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Quotes of the day: Peter McWilliams

Published Saturday, June 14, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 14 2014

Peter Alexander McWilliams (August 5, 1949 - June 14, 2000) was an American self-help author and marijuana advocate.

(Click here for full Wikipedia article)


As the world gets dumber and dumber, I feel more and more at home.

Be easier on yourself, on everyone, on everything. Suspend your judgments on the way things should be, must be, and ought to be. Suspending judgments gives you greater ease. Consider ease the antidote for disease.

Definition of a victim: a person to whom life happens.

Don't accept the limitations of other people who claim things are 'unchangeable'. If it's written in stone, bring your hammer and chisel.

Fear is something to be moved through, not something to be turned from.

Guilt is anger directed at ourselves- at what we did or did not do. Resentment is anger directed at others- at what they did or did not do.

I'd have a nervous breakdown except that I've been through this too many times to be nervous

I'm a gay Libertarian. I'm one of those 'laisse fairies.'

I'm past the point of going quietly insane. I'm getting quite noisy about it.

If our early lessons of acceptance were as successful as our early lessons of anger, how much happier we would all be.

If we aren't actively pursuing what we want, we don't really want it.

If you change the belief first, changing the action is easier.

If you take good care of the moment, the years will take care of themselves.

If you want peace, stop fighting. If you want peace of mind, stop fighting with your thoughts.

In reality, serendipity accounts for one percent of the blessings we receive in life, work and love. The other 99 percent is due to our efforts.

It's not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us, that creates the quality of our life.

It's your life. Live it with people who are alive. It tends to be contagious.

Keep your goals away from the trolls.

Learn to ask for what you want. The worst people can do is not give you what you ask for, which is precisely where you were before you asked.

Life is not a struggle. It's a wiggle.

Many people weigh the guilt they will feel against the pleasure of the forbidden action they want to take.

Mistakes show us what we need to learn.

Nothing adventured, nothing attained.

Our thoughts create our reality- where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go.

Pettiness seems to go hand in hand with vindictiveness. The smaller the person, the larger the need for revenge. This may account for the fact that some consensual crimes have stiffer penalties than do most crimes with innocent victims.

Stubborness is also determination. It's simply a matter of shifting from 'won't power' to 'will power.'

To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all.

To overcome a fear, here's all you have to do: realize the fear is there, and do the action you fear anyway.

Ultimately, censorship comes down to taste. What offends me may enlighten you.

Unlike money, wealth is not just what you have. Wealth is what you can do without.

When we put things off until some future- probably mythical- Laterland, we drag the past into the future. The burden of yesterday's incompletions is a heavy load to carry. Don't carry it.

When we're no longer running from what we call loneliness, we can begin to appreciate the joy of being alone- solitude.

Worrying is the interest paid on a debt you may not owe.

You are no more at fault for having depression than if you had asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or any other illness.

Categories: Peter McWilliams, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: W.B. Yeats

Published Friday, June 13, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 13 2014

William Butler Yeats (June 13, 1865 - January 28, 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (the first Irishman so honored) for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation." Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All women dote upon an idle man
Although their children need a rich estate.
No man has ever lived that had enough
Of children’s gratitude or woman’s love.

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.

Does the imagination dwell the most
Upon a woman won or woman lost?

Evil comes to us men of imagination wearing as its mask all the virtues. I have certainly known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots.

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness. They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal, - that is they have ceased to be self-centered, have given up their individuality... The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth.

I heard the old, old men say,
'All that's beautiful drifts away
Like the waters.'

I knew a phoenix in my youth, so let them have their day.

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;

I think you can leave the arts, superior or inferior, to the conscience of mankind.

In dreams begin responsibilities.

Life moves out of a red flare of dreams
Into a common light of common hours,
Until old age bring the red flare again.

Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.

Nothing that we love over-much
Is ponderable to our touch.

O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.

One day when I was twenty-three or twenty-four this sentence seemed to form in my head, without my willing it, much as sentences form when we are half-asleep: 'Hammer your thoughts into unity.' For days I could think of nothing else, and for years I tested all I did by that sentence.

Seek out reality, leave things that seem.

So long as all is ordered for attack, and that alone, leaders will instinctively increase the number of enemies that they may give their followers something to do.

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
-Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unaging intellect.
(Sailing to Byzantium)

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obeisance to the heart.

The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk, they're sober.

Think like a wise man but express yourself like the common people.

Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into the truth.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.

We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.

When I think of all the books I have read, and of the wise words I have heard spoken, and of the anxiety I have given to parents and grandparents, and of the hopes that I have had, all life weighed in the scales of my own life seems to me a preparation for something that never happens.

Words are always getting conventionalized to some secondary meaning. It is one of the works of poetry to take the truants in custody and bring them back to their right senses.

Categories: Quotes of the day, W.B. Yeats

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Quotes of the day: Anne Frank

Published Thursday, June 12, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 12 2014

Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank (June 12, 1929 - early March, 1945) is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her wartime diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, has been the basis for several plays and films. Born in the city of Frankfurt in Weimar Germany, she lived most of her life in or near Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Born a German national, Frank lost her citizenship in 1941. She gained international fame posthumously after her diary was published. It documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


And whoever is happy will make others happy too. He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery!

Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!

God never deserted our people. Right through the ages there were Jews. Through the ages they suffered, but it also made us strong.

I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago!

I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.

I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that this cruelty too shall end, and that peace & tranquility will return once again.

I've found that there is always some beauty left- in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can help you.

It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.

Laziness may appear attractive but work gives satisfaction.

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.

People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but it doesn't stop you having your own opinions. Even if people are still very young, they shouldn't be prevented from saying what they think.

People will always follow a good example; be the one to set a good example, then it won't be long before the others follow...

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.

The final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.

The only way to truly know a person is to argue with them. For when they argue in full swing, then they reveal their true character.

There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again.

We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same.


I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I'd like to be and what I could be if... if only there were no other people in the world.
-(Final diary entry, August 1, 1944)

Categories: Anne Frank, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: remembering Bones and De...

Published Wednesday, June 11, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 11 2014

(From "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"
© 1982, Paramount Pictures Corp.)

According to the authoritative Memory Alpha site, here are all of McCoy's "doctor" protestations:

"What am I, a doctor or a moon-shuttle conductor?"
-("The Corbomite Maneuver")

"My dear girl, I'm a doctor. When I peek, it is in the line of duty."
-("Shore Leave")

"I don't know, Jim. This is a big ship. I'm just a country doctor."
-("The Alternative Factor")

"Me, I'm a doctor. If I were an officer of the line..."
-("A Taste of Armageddon")

"What do you mean what sort of work? I'm a doctor."
-("This Side of Paradise")

"I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer."
-("The Devil in the Dark")
...to which Kirk replies, "You're a healer, there's a patient. That's an order."

"I'm a surgeon, not a psychiatrist."
-("The City on the Edge of Forever")

"I'm not a scientist or a physicist, Mr. Spock..."

"Look, I'm a doctor, not an escalator."
-("Friday's Child")

"I'm a doctor, not a mechanic."
-("The Doomsday Machine")

"I'm a doctor, not an engineer."
-("Mirror, Mirror")
...to which Montgomery Scott immediately replied, "Now, you're an engineer."

"I'm not a magician, Spock, just an old country doctor."
-("The Deadly Years")

"I will not peddle flesh! I'm a physician."
-("Return to Tomorrow")

"I'm a doctor, not a coal miner."
-("The Empath")

"I'm not a mechanic, Spock..."
-("The Empath")


Remembering De...

(originally published June 11, 2012)

DeForest Kelley, who played the curmudgeonly Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in the original Star Trek series, died on June 11, 1999, at the age of 79. He was the first member of the original Star Trek cast to pass away.

Initially approached for the role of the Vulcan science officer Mr. Spock, Kelley was instead cast as the ship's chief medical officer, described by series creator Gene Roddenberry as "a future-day H.L. Mencken". An unabashed cynic of technology, the McCoy character was a self-described old fashioned country doctor who put more faith in humanity than high technology.

In a 1982 interview with author Allan Asherman, Kelley said McCoy represented "the perspective of the audience, that if you were along on the voyage you'd think, 'These people are crazy! How in the hell do they expect to do that?'" Indeed, the McCoy character was often used to interject a dose of reality, interpret the techno-babble, and explain the frequently convoluted plotting of the more arcane Trek adventures to those in the audience struggling to follow the science fiction storylines.

His summary of the plot of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, delivered in exasperated disbelief to the gung-ho Captain Kirk, still stands as one of the best examples of exposition in screen history:

"You're proposing that we go backwards in time, find humpbacked whales, then bring them forward in time, drop 'em off, and hope to hell they tell this probe what to go do with itself?!" The entire plot in fewer than 35 words. That's Bones for you.

The son of a Baptist minister, Jackson DeForest Kelley wanted to be a doctor like an uncle he greatly admired, but his family couldn't afford to send him to medical school. He instead became a character actor who worked steadily in film and television from the late 1940s through the 1960s. Star Trek's popularity in syndication essentially ended his acting career, but he considered himself fortunate to be associated with a role that made him a permanent icon in popular culture, and he made a comfortable living by reprising his character for the motion picture series and appearing on the convention circuit.

Asherman's interview ended with a quote that could serve as an accurate and fitting epitaph:

"I'd wanted to be a physician and couldn't- and yet became the most well-known doctor in the galaxy."

(YouTube video: A Tribute to DeForest Kelley)

Categories: DeForest Kelley, Quotes of the day, Star Trek

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Quotes of the day: F. Lee Bailey

Published Tuesday, June 10, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 10 2014

(Gregory Rec, Portland Press Herald)

Francis Lee Bailey, Jr. (b. June 10, 1933) is a former American criminal defense attorney, author, polygraph expert and public speaker, who participated in a number of high-profile trials in the mid to late 20th century. He was disbarred in 2001 after being found guilty of seven counts of attorney misconduct by the Florida Supreme Court and in 2003 by a reciprocal disbarment in Massachusetts, which also declined to reinstate his license in 2005. In 2012 Bailey passed the Maine bar examination and applied for a law license, which was ultimately rejected in April, 2014. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A person in the business of defending criminal cases is going to live in controversy all of his or her life.

Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn't even get out of committee.

Each lawyer makes somebody unhappy either by beating him, embarrassing him or tying him in knots.

I get paid for seeing that my clients have every break the law allows. I have knowingly defended a number of guilty men. But the guilty never escape unscathed. My fees are sufficient punishment for anyone.

I have never seen a major trial which lacked significant perjury, and I have yet to see that perjury punished.

I use the rules to frustrate the law. But I didn't set up the ground rules.

I would strongly recommend any young man to stay away from criminal law. It's not a good place to be, unfortunately.

In America, an acquittal doesn't mean you're innocent, it means you beat the rap. My clients lose even when they win.

Most people think that 'I don't recall' is a clever answer. But it isn't that clever. You might not recall that you had bacon and eggs for breakfast- but if you killed your mother, you'll remember it.

My experience is, people who retire die sooner than they should have.

The legal profession is a business with a tremendous collection of egos. Few people who are not strong egotistically gravitate to it.

The memory of the American public is about six weeks.

The people I have no feeling for are professional killers. But I count that man no worse than a governor who won't commute a death sentence because it's unpolitical.

The public regards lawyers with great distrust. They think lawyers are smarter than the average guy but use their intelligence deviously. Well, they're wrong. Usually they are not smarter.

The quality of news coverage has diminished, because giants of the print media are no longer being nurtured properly.

The worst men often give the best advice; our thoughts are better sometimes than our deeds.

Those who think the information brought out at a criminal trial is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth are fools. Prosecuting or defending a case is nothing more than getting to those people who will talk for your side, who will say what you want said.

When you see a lawyer trying to pick a smart jury, you know he's got a strong case.


(Today is also the birthday of Saul Bellow)

Categories: F. Lee Bailey, Quotes of the day

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Published Monday, June 09, 2014 @ 6:50 PM EDT
Jun 09 2014

On the left, granddaughter Leanna beginning fifth grade in September, 2013.

On the right, granddaughter Leanna today, on her last day of fifth grade.


She's a high honor student and this fall will attend Pittsburgh Classical Academy (PCA), a magnet middle school in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. She's also in the district's gifted program.

PCA's unique approach features interdisciplinary units organized around ancient civilizations: Egyptians, Greeks and Romans in grade six, the Middle Ages and Renaissance in grade seven, and U.S. History in grade eight.

In addition to "modern" courses like communications and computers, the core classes include health, library, mathematics, science, social studies, and Spanish.

Or, as we used to call it, "school."

Categories: KGB Family

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Quotes of the day: Charles Dickens

Published Monday, June 09, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 09 2014

Charles John Huffam Dickens (February 7, 1812 – June 9, 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. During his life, his works enjoyed unprecedented fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to be widely popular.[ (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Accidents will occur in the best-regulated families.

An idea, like a ghost... must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.

And if it's proud to have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts... she is proud.

Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine.

He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favor of two.

If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.

It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humor.

It is a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations.

It is said that the children of the very poor are not brought up, but dragged up.

Life is made of ever so many partings welded together...

Money and goods are certainly the best of references.

My faith in the people governing is, on the whole, infinitesimal; my faith in The People governed is, on the whole, illimitable.

No one is useless in this world... who lightens the burden of it for any one else.

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

Subdue your appetites, and you've conquered human nature.

Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule.

The civility which money will purchase, is rarely extended to those who have none.

There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

There are strings in the human heart that had better not be vibrated.

There is a wisdom of the Head, and... there is a wisdom of the Heart.

Throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people we most despise.

We must scrunch or be scrunched.

What is peace? Is it war? No. Is it strife? No. Is it lovely, and gentle, and beautiful, and pleasant, and serene, and joyful? Oh, yes! Therefore, my friends, I wish for peace, upon you and upon yours.


(Today is also the birthday of Aaron Sorkin.)

Categories: Charles Dickens, Quotes of the day

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, June 08, 2014 @ 8:45 AM EDT
Jun 08 2014

Cute. And it's real. Wonder if The Covert Comic is involved.?


You don't see faith healers working in hospitals for the same reason you don't see psychics winning the lottery.


Daughter-in-law Angela introduces granddaughter Joelle to the wonders of Kennywood Park.


You are not your big toe.

Much the same way you may notice pressure on your big toe and your toe may feel uncomfortable, you may notice distressing or uncomfortable thoughts, but that does not mean that you are distressed.

It may seem like strange advice, but do not believe everything you think. Thoughts impact how you feel, and, in turn, feelings impact your behavior. But, ultimately thoughts cannot make you do anything and do not define who you are. The better you can become at being aware of your thoughts and simply labeling them ("I'm having the thought…), the better you can recognize them for what they are- just thoughts.
-Clayton Cook



At this point if Obama rescues a puppy from a burning building the puppy will be accused of having rabies.
-Andy Borowitz



For the life of me I cannot fathom why we expect so much from teachers and provide them so little in return. In 1940, the average pay of a male teacher was actually 3.6 percent more than what other college-educated men earned. Today it is 60 percent lower. Women teachers now earn 16 percent less than other college-educated women. This bewilders me. … There was no Plato without Socrates, and no John Coltrane without Miles Davis.
-Bill Moyer



73 percent of those enrolled in the country’s major public benefits programs are, in fact, from working families- just in jobs whose paychecks don’t cover life’s basic necessities. McDonald’s workers alone receive $1.2 billion in federal assistance per year.



I always thought the brass section's errors in James Horner's main theme to Roger Corman's Battle Beyond the Stars were cost-related; studio musicians sight-reading, only enough time for two or three takes. Then I started listening to other versions, including the Prague Philharmonic's. (They're noted for their competent- if uninspired- covers of motion picture scores.) A train wreck. Actually, two train wrecks: a minor one at the beginning, and in the end title reprise, the brass section more or less gives up, unable to complete the unrelenting 8-bar, 192-note bridge to the main fanfare.

It turns out this was Horner's first motion picture score, and he apparently forgot that horn players actually need to breathe once in a while. Filmtracks.com said the piece "was simply too complex for the musicians to perform."

Horner borrowed a lot from this score in what many consider to best effort, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He'd learned his lesson, though. He reassigned most of the lung-busting stuff to the string section, and let the French horns come up for air every two bars or so.

The other day I stumbled across a site selling the piano sheet music for the Battle Beyond the Stars main theme. The description notes, "there are a couple of measures which feature out of reach notes which have been left in the transcription as they better support the piece, and can be omitted or included at the performer’s discretion."

Below is a link to the theme- with the unreachable notes- produced on a midi synthesizer. It's probably the only way you'll ever be able to hear it, as written, with no performance errors. And note how much Horner reuses many of these phrases in his later work.

Battle Beyond the Stars main theme, performed on a midi piano synthesizer.



June is National Accordion Awareness Month. National Carpenter Ant Awareness Week starts June 22. Some problems tend to solve themselves.
-Zay Smith, "QT"




If Republicans don't like how Democrats end their wars, they should stop leaving us so many losing wars.

Climate change and homsexuality are myths we can wish away but we should trust Wall Street to regulate itself.

You'll know the GOP gets they've lost on marriage equality when they start demanding mandatory ultrasounds before same-sex marriages.

I guess it's pretty easy to judge deserters when the closest you've come to combat is shooting wolves from a helicopter.


And... the desktop is clean.

Categories: Cleaning off the desktop, Miscellany

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Quotes of the day: Frank Lloyd Wright

Published Sunday, June 08, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 08 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1000 structures and completed 532 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by his design for Fallingwater (1935), which has been called "the best all-time work of American architecture." Wright was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture and developed the concept of the Usonian home, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his client to plant vines.

A mob is humanity going the wrong way.

An expert is a man who has stopped thinking- he knows!

An idea is salvation by imagination.

Early in life, I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasions to change.

Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities.

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.

I doubt if there is anything in the world uglier than a Midwestern city.

I think Ms. (Marilyn) Monroe's architecture is extremely good architecture.

I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.

Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions.

New York: Prison towers and modern posters for soap and whiskey. Pittsburgh: Abandon it.

No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it.

Pictures deface walls oftener than they decorate them.

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life

The only thing wrong with architecture are the architects.

The truth is more important than the facts.

Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.

Youth is a quality, not a matter of circumstances.

Categories: Frank Lloyd Wright, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Henry Miller

Published Saturday, June 07, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 07 2014

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Henry Valentine Miller (December 26, 1891 – June 7, 1980) was an American writer known for breaking with existing literary forms, developing a new sort of semi-autobiographical novel that blended character study, social criticism, philosophical reflection, explicit language, sex, surrealist free association and mysticism, always distinctly about and expressive of the real-life Henry Miller and yet also fictional. His most characteristic works of this kind are Tropic of Cancer (1934), Black Spring (1936), Tropic of Capricorn (1939) and The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy (1949–59), all of which are based on his experiences in New York and Paris, and all of which were banned in the United States until 1961. He also wrote travel memoirs and literary criticism, and painted watercolors. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.

Any genuine philosophy leads to action and from action back again to wonder, to the enduring fact of mystery.

Chaos is the score upon which reality is written.

Civilization is the arteriosclerosis of culture.

Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.

Destiny is what you are supposed to do in life. Fate is what kicks you in the ass to do it.

Do anything, but let it produce joy. Do anything, but let it yield ecstasy.

Even if it doesn't work, there is something healthy and invigorating about direct action.

Every man is working out his destiny in his own way and nobody can be of any help except by being kind, generous, and patient.

Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.

Everyone has his own reality in which, if one is not too cautious, timid or frightened, one swims. This is the only reality there is.

Everything remains unsettled forever, depend on it.

Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end.

For some reason or other man looks for the miracle, and to accomplish it he will wade through blood.

How different the new order would be if we could consult the veteran instead of the politician.

I am against revolutions because they always involve a return to the status quo.

I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.

I soon found out you can't change the world. The best you can do is to learn to live with it.

If men cease to believe that they will one day become gods then they will surely become worms.

If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having.

If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.

If we have not found heaven within, it is a certainty we will not find it without.

In expanding the field of knowledge we but increase the horizon of ignorance.

In this age, which believes that there is a short-cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way, in the long run, is the easiest.

It isn't the accent which cuts us off from the rest of the world- it's the American way of looking at things.

It's silly to go on pretending that under the skin we are all brothers. The truth is more likely that under the skin we are all cannibals, assassins, traitors, liars, hypocrites, poltroons.

Life has to be given a meaning because of the obvious fact that is has no meaning.

Moralities, ethics, laws, customs, beliefs, doctrines- these are of trifling import. All that matters is that the miraculous become the norm.

No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.

Obscenity is a cleansing process, whereas pornography only adds to the murk.

One's destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.

Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation. The other eight are unimportant.

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.

The best technique is none at all.

The Gnostics thought the planet Earth was a cosmic mistake. I too feel that way- I'm through with this Earth before I've even departed from it.

The history of the world is the history of a privileged few.

The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble.

The new always carries with it the sense of violation, of sacrilege. What is dead is sacred; what is new, that is, different, is evil, dangerous, or subversive.

The trick is not how much pain you can feel but how much joy. Any idiot can feel pain. Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses excuses... The only pain you feel is for all the useless pain you felt, all the times you didn't do something because of cowardice or fear, all the times you let bastards and the kibitzers and the fear shrinkers hold you back. Watch out for the death people, do you see what I mean? They're the ones to avoid.

The trouble with Buddhism? In order to free oneself of all desire, one has to desire to do so.

The whole damn universe has to be taken apart, brick by brick, and reconstructed.

There are only three things to be done with a woman. You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature.

There was a touch of spring in the air, a poisonous, malefic spring that seemed to burst from the manholes.

There's nothing wrong with the world. What's wrong is our way of looking at it.

Things happen or they don't happen, that's all. Nothing is accomplished by sweat and struggle. Nearly everything which we call life is just insomnia, an agony because we've lost the habit of falling asleep.

To Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, Hamlet was a minor player.

To live without killing is a thought which could electrify the world, if men were only capable of staying awake long enough to let the idea soak in.

Voyages are accomplished inwardly, and the most hazardous ones, needless to say, are made without moving from the spot.

We do not talk- we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines, and digests.

We have two American flags always; one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it, it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it, it means danger, revolution, anarchy.

We learn as much as we wish to and no more.

We're creators by permission, by grace as it were. No one creates alone, of and by himself. An artist is an instrument that registers something already existent, something which belongs to the whole world, and which, if he is an artist, he is compelled to give back to the world.

When one is trying to do something beyond his known powers it is useless to seek the approval of friends. Friends are at their best in moments of defeat.

Categories: Henry Miller, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Carl Jung

Published Friday, June 06, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 06 2014

Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875 – June 6, 1961), often referred to as C.G. Jung, was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. Jung proposed and developed the concepts of extraversion and introversion; archetypes, and the collective unconscious. His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion, philosophy, archeology, anthropology, literature, and related fields. He was a prolific writer, many of whose works were not published until after his death. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man who has never passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

Beautiful bodies and beautiful personalities rarely go together.

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.

I must also have a dark side if I am to be whole.

I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.

If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.

No psychic value can disappear without being replaced by another of equivalent intensity.

Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment, and especially on their children, than the unlived lives of the parents.

One cannot live without inconsistency.

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls.

Primitive superstition lies just below the surface of even the most tough-minded individuals, and it is precisely those who most fight against it who are the first to succumb to its suggestive effects.

Reason alone does not suffice.

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.

Space flights are merely an escape, a fleeing away from oneself, because it is easier to go to Mars or to the moon than it is to penetrate one's own being.

The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.

The healthy man does not torture others- generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.

The inner voice is at once our greatest danger and an indispensable help.

The meaning and design of a problem seem not to lie in its solution, but in our working at it incessantly.

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.

The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that fits all cases.

There's no coming to consciousness without pain.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

What you resist, persists.

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.


(Today is also the birthday of Thomas Mann.)


"This is Dr. Niles Crane, filling in for my ailing brother, Dr. Frasier Crane. Although I feel perfectly qualified to fill Frasier's radio shoes, I should warn you that while Frasier is a Freudian, I am a Jungian. So there'll be no blaming Mother today."
-dialogue from "Frasier Crane's Day Off," written by James Burrows
Season 1, episode 23 of the NBC television series "Frasier"

Categories: Carl Jung, David Hyde Pierce, Frasier, James Burrows, Quotes of the day, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: Bill Moyers

Published Thursday, June 05, 2014 @ 12:44 AM EDT
Jun 05 2014

Bill D. Moyers (born June 5, 1934) is an American journalist and public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967. He also worked as a network TV news commentator for ten years. Moyers has been extensively involved with public broadcasting, producing documentaries and news journal programs. He has won numerous awards and honorary degrees for his investigative journalism and civic activities. He has become well known as a trenchant critic of the U.S. media (particularly modern, corporately structured news media). Moyers is a member of the Bilderberg Group and since 1990 has been president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All my life I've prayed the Lord's Prayer, but I've never prayed, 'Give me this day my daily bread.' It is always, 'Give us this day our daily bread.' Bread and life are shared realities. They do not happen in isolation.

Bullies- political bullies, economic bullies, and religious bullies- cannot be appeased; they have to be opposed with courage, clarity, and conviction. This is never easy. These true believers don't fight fair. Robert's Rules of Order is not one of their holy texts.

Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth; justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance.

Civilization is an unnatural act. We have to make it happen, you and I, together with all the other strangers.

Civilization is but a thin veneer stretched across the passions of the human heart.

Conservatism is less a set of ideas than it is a pathological distemper, a militant anger over the fact that the universe is not closed and life is not static.

Conservatives- or better, pro-corporate apologists- hijacked the vocabulary of Jeffersonian liberalism and turned words like 'progress,' 'opportunity,' and 'individualism' into tools for making the plunder of America sound like divine right.

Democracy may not prove in the long run to be as efficient as other forms of government, but it has one saving grace: it allows us to know and say that it isn't.

I've always thought there's no limit to what you can do in this world if you don't want to get rich or gain credit.

Ideas are great arrows, but there has to be a bow. And politics is the bow of idealism.

Jesus would not be crucified today. The prophets would not be stoned. Socrates would not drink the hemlock. They would instead be banned from the Sunday talk shows and op-ed pages by the sentries of establishment thinking who guard against dissent with the one weapon of mass destruction most cleverly designed to obliterate democracy: the rubber stamp.

Journalists who make mistakes get sued for libel; historians who make mistakes get to publish a revised edition.

News is what people want to keep hidden and everything else is publicity.

No wonder scoundrels find refuge in patriotism; it offers them immunity from criticism.

Our media and political system has turned into a mutual protection racket

Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.

People who don't believe in government are likely to defile government.

Standing up to your government can mean standing up for your country.

Terms like 'liberty' and 'individual freedom' invoked by generations of Americans who battled to widen the 1787 promise to 'promote the general welfare' have been perverted to create a government primarily dedicated to the state and the political class that runs it.

The conventional rules of Beltway journalism... divide the world into Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and allow journalists to pretend they have done their job if instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give each side an opportunity to spin the news.

The most fundamental liberal failure of the current era: the failure to embrace a moral vision of America based on the transcendent faith that human beings are more than the sum of their material appetites, our country is more than an economic machine, and freedom is not license but responsibility.

The property qualifications for federal office that the framers of the Constitution expressly chose to exclude for demonstrating an unseemly 'veneration of wealth' are now de facto in force and higher than the Founding Fathers could have imagined.

There are people who can endure personal tragedies and private griefs exacted by the nation only if they feel the nation itself is worthy.


(Today is also the birthday of John Maynard Keynes.)

Categories: Bill Moyers, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Ruth Westheimer

Published Wednesday, June 04, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 04 2014

Ruth Westheimer (born June 4, 1928) is a German sex therapist, media personality, and author best known as Dr. Ruth. The New York Times described her as a "Sorbonne-trained psychologist who became a kind of cultural icon in the 1980s... She ushered in the new age of freer, franker talk about sex on radio and television- and was endlessly parodied for her limitless enthusiasm and for having an accent only a psychologist could have. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A lesson taught with humor is a lesson retained.

An orgasm is just a reflex, like a sneeze.

Don't expect the stars to twinkle, don't expect the earth to move, don't expect orgasms.

I'm never embarrassed to say, 'I don't know.'

It really is better to fail than not to try, because if you never try, you'll never succeed, and as bad as failure feels, success feels so much better.

Masturbation. It's the opposite of the weather. Nearly everyone does it, but hardly anyone talks about it.

My favorite animal is the turtle. The reason is that in order for the turtle to move, it has to stick its neck out. There are going to be times in your life when you're going to have to stick your neck out. There will be challenges and instead of hiding in a shell, you have to go out and meet them.

Our way is not soft grass, it's a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun.

Personally, I don't like 'impotent.' Better is 'all out of love.'

Sex is good, but not as good as fresh sweet corn.

Sex is not a sin. Many people have complained that this is taking all the fun out of sex.

When it comes to sex, the most important six inches are the ones between the ears.

You can either give in to negative feelings or fight them, and I'm of the belief that you should fight them.

You'll never forget your first lover so try to make it someone you won't regret thinking about.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Ruth Westheimer

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Quotes of the day: Sydney Smith

Published Tuesday, June 03, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 03 2014

Sydney Smith (June 3, 1771 - February 22, 1845) was an English wit, writer and Anglican cleric. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort.

All great and extraordinary actions come from the heart.

Among the smaller duties of life I hardly know any one more important than that of not praising where praise is not due.

As the French say, there are three sexes- men, women and clergymen.

But now persecution is good, because it exists; every law which originated in ignorance and malice, and gratifies the passions from whence it sprang, we call the wisdom of our ancestors: when such laws are repealed, they will be cruelty and madness; till they are repealed, they are policy and caution.

Correspondences are like small clothes before the invention of suspenders; it is impossible to keep them up.

Do not assume that because I am frivolous I am shallow; I don't assume that because you are grave you are profound.

Every increase of knowledge may possibly render depravity more depraved, as well as it may increase the strength of virtue. It is in itself only power; and its value depends on its application.

Great men hallow a whole people and lift up all who live in their time.

Have the courage to be ignorant of a great number of things, in order to avoid the calamity of being ignorant of everything.

I have no relish for the country; it is a kind of healthy grave.

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little. Do what you can.

It requires a surgical operation to get a joke well into a Scotch understanding.

Life is to be fortified by many friendships. To love, and to be loved, is the greatest happiness of existence.

Manners are the shadows of virtues; the momentary display of those qualities which our fellow creatures love, and respect.

Marriage resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated; often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing anyone who comes between them.

Men who prefer any load of infamy, however great, to any pressure of taxation, however light. (on American debts)

Never give way to melancholy; resist it steadily, for the habit will encroach.

No furniture so charming as books.

Poverty is no disgrace to a man, but it is confoundedly inconvenient.

Praise is the best diet for us, after all.

Preaching has become a byword for long and dull conversation of any kind; and whoever wishes to imply, in any piece of writing, the absence of everything agreeable and inviting, calls it a sermon.

Some men have only one book in them; others, a library.

Take short views, hope for the best, and trust in God.

The history of the world shows us that men are not to be counted by their numbers, but by the fire and vigor of their passions...

The observances of the church concerning feasts and fasts are tolerably well-kept, since the rich keep the feasts and the poor keep the fasts.

The sign of old age, extolling the past at the expense of the present.

There is no man suddenly either excellently good or extremely evil.

Whatever you are from nature, keep to it; never desert your own line of talent. Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed; be anything else, and you will be ten thousand times worse than nothing.

When I hear any man talk of an unalterable law, the only effect it produces upon me is to convince me that he is an unalterable fool.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Sydney Smith

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Quotes of the day: Marquis de Sade

Published Monday, June 02, 2014 @ 6:12 AM EDT
Jun 02 2014

Donatien Alphonse François de Sade (June 2, 1740 – December 2, 1814), better known as the Marquis de Sade, was a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher and writer, famous for his libertine sexuality. His works include novels, short stories, plays, dialogues and political tracts; in his lifetime some were published under his own name, while others appeared anonymously and Sade denied being their author. He is best known for his erotic works, which combined philosophical discourse with pornography, depicting sexual fantasies with an emphasis on violence, criminality and blasphemy against the Catholic Church. He was a proponent of extreme freedom, unrestrained by morality, religion or law. The words sadism and sadist are derived from his name. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Are not laws dangerous which inhibit the passions? Compare the centuries of anarchy with those of the strongest legalism in any country you like and you will see that it is only when the laws are silent that the greatest actions appear.

Death is hence no more than a change of form, an imperceptible passage from one existence into another.

Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates.

Do not breed. Nothing gives less pleasure than childbearing. Pregnancies are damaging to health, spoil the figure, wither the charms, and it's the cloud of uncertainty forever hanging over these events that darkens a husband's mood.

Nature has not got two voices, you know, one of them condemning all day what the other commands.

Nature, who for the perfect maintenance of the laws of her general equilibrium, has sometimes need of vices and sometimes of virtues, inspires now this impulse, now that one, in accordance with what she requires.

Never may an act of possession be exercised upon a free being; the exclusive possession of a woman is no less unjust than the possession of slaves; all men are born free, all have equal rights: never should we lose sight of those principles; according to which never may there be granted to one sex the legitimate right to lay monopolizing hands upon the other, and never may one of the sexes, or classes, arbitrarily possess the other.

Nothing we can do outrages Nature directly. Our acts of destruction give her new vigor and feed her energy, but none of our wreckings can weaken her power.

One must feel sorry for those who have strange tastes, but never insult them. Their wrong is Nature's too; they are no more responsible for having come into the world with tendencies unlike ours than are we for being born bandy-legged or well-proportioned.

One weeps not save when one is afraid, and that is why kings are tyrants.

Prejudice is the sole author of infamies: how many acts are so qualified by an opinion forged out of nought but prejudice!

Religions are the cradles of despotism.

So long as the laws remain such as they are today, employ some discretion: loud opinion forces us to do so; but in privacy and silence let us compensate ourselves for that cruel chastity we are obliged to display in public.

The heart deceives, because it is never anything but the expression of the mind's miscalculations ... I don't know what the heart is, not I: I only use the word to denote the mind's frailties.

The imagination is the spur of delights... all depends upon it, it is the mainspring of everything; now, is it not by means of the imagination one knows joy? Is it not of the imagination that the sharpest pleasures arise?

The law which attempts a man's life (capital punishment) is impractical, unjust, inadmissible. It has never repressed crime—for a second crime is every day committed at the foot of the scaffold.

The more defects a man may have, the older he is, the less lovable, the more resounding his success.

There is a sum of evil equal to the sum of good, the continuing equilibrium of the world requires that there be as many good people as wicked people...

There is no more lively sensation than that of pain; its impressions are certain and dependable, they never deceive as may those of the pleasure women perpetually feign and almost never experience.

They declaim against the passions without bothering to think that it is from their flame philosophy lights its torch.

Those laws, being forged for universal application, are in perpetual conflict with personal interest, just as personal interest is always in contradiction with the general interest. Good for society, our laws are very bad for the individuals whereof it is composed; for, if they one time protect the individual, they hinder, trouble, fetter him for three quarters of his life.

To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell.

Truth titillates the imagination far less than fiction.

Why do you complain of your fate when you could so easily change it?

Wolves which batten upon lambs, lambs consumed by wolves, the strong who immolate the weak, the weak victims of the strong: there you have Nature, there you have her intentions, there you have her scheme: a perpetual action and reaction, a host of vices, a host of virtues, in one word, a perfect equilibrium resulting from the equality of good and evil on earth.

Happiness lies neither in vice nor in virtue; but in the manner we appreciate the one and the other, and the choice we make pursuant to our individual organization.

Categories: Marquis de Sade, Quotes of the day

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Blessed are the cheesemakers...

Published Sunday, June 01, 2014 @ 11:42 AM EDT
Jun 01 2014

Smartphone technology is amazing, but if we're going to continue anthropomorphizing these devices, let's get the casting correct.

They're not mature, thirty-something personal assistants with eidetic memories and a preternatural awareness of our needs and their surroundings. They're precocious ten-year-olds who don't listen closely, are easily distracted, and are willing to sacrifice accuracy for the chance to joke around.

This past Friday the local Rite Aid pharmacy couldn't completely fill my prescription for montelukast, the generic form of the allergy drug Singulair. On my way out of the store, I told Google Now to "remind me about montelukast when I'm at Rite Aid."

To be fair, I didn't look at the phone's screen. I didn't want to remove my sunglasses and I was in a hurry. I just confirmend the reminder and kept moving.

So this morning I'm at Rite Aid getting milk and bread, and my phone "dings' and vibrates. The reminder screen read:

Monty Lutheran.

"Ok, Google Now. Show me Monty Lutheran."

Smart ass.

Categories: Google, KGB Opinion, Monty Python, Technology

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, June 01, 2014 @ 3:58 AM EDT
Jun 01 2014


From @BillMurray on Twitter:

Someone should make a shoe made out of Legos, so that when you step on a Lego, it doesn't hurt, you just get taller.

I love how people say they're "expecting" a baby, as if it might be something else, like a penguin.

Hey welcome to Hollister, would you like a gas mask, flashlight, or earplugs?

Life is too short to remove the USB safely.

I do math wrong about 99° of the time.

If Google can't find the answer, it's not a question.


I'm not a big fan of lawn ornaments, but this Think Geek exclusive makes me re-think my position.


I don't know how the world will end, but I suspect it will be with the highest corporate profits ever recorded.
-Robert Brault



When people say, "Guns aren't the problem, mental illness is the problem," I reply, "They're both problems, and right now we're not addressing either of them."
-Andy Borowitz



"Excalibur" is a contraction of the Latin phrase ex calce liberatus- "freed from out the stone".

You're welcome.



From @LOLGOP on Twitter:

Marco Rubio says he won't admit that he's smoked pot because kids look up to him. What a horrible thing to say about kids.

Only a guy who knows every part of a gun can debate gun safety but let's get our climate science from Fox and Friends.

Three women a day are murdered by a partner/ex. 83 die of gun violence. Zero die of gay marriage, voting without an ID or too much health care.



It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, which means I also work harder than those damned lazy happy people.
-Paula Poundstone



There is an entire branch of psychology specializing in children who will not join the common madness.
-Robert Brault


Kids are kids. Moms are moms. Species is irrelevant.


Three-day weekends are like bad boyfriends; exciting at first, exhausting by the end, and always shorter than you hoped for.
-Bette Midler



All I ask is that we treat Michele Bachmann with the same diligence we treat other nut allergies.
-Lizz Winstead


And... the desktop is clean.

Categories: Cartoons, Cleaning off the desktop

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Quotes of the day: Aristotle

Published Sunday, June 01, 2014 @ 2:06 AM EDT
Jun 01 2014

Aristotle (384 – 322 BCE)[ was a Greek philosopher and scientist born in Stagirus, northern Greece. His father, Nicomachus, died when Aristotle was a child, whereafter Proxenus of Atarneus became his guardian. At 18, he joined Plato's Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of 37 (c. 347 BCE). His writings cover many subjects- physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric, linguistics, politics and government- and constitute the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy. Shortly after Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and, at the request of Philip of Macedon, tutored Alexander the Great between 356 and 323 BCE. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employments.

A state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange... Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship.

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.

Evils draw men together.

For legislators make the citizens good by forming habits in them, and this is the wish of every legislator, and those who do not effect it miss their mark, and it is in this that a good constitution differs from a bad one.

How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms?

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.

Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior. Such is the state of mind which creates revolutions.

It is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of reason is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.

It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.

It is not the possessions but the desires of mankind which require to be equalized.

It is simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences.

Knowledge of the fact differs from knowledge of the reason for the fact.

Law is order, and good law is good order.

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.

Man is by nature a political animal.

Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all.

Nature does nothing uselessly.

No one loves the man whom he fears.

One swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy.

Our characters are the result of our conduct.

Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.

Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.

Remember that time slurs over everything, let all deeds fade, blurs all writings and kills all memories. Except are only those which dig into the hearts of men by love.

That judges of important causes should hold office for life is a disputable thing, for the mind grows old as well as the body.

The appropriate age for marriage is around eighteen for girls and thirty-seven for men.

The law is reason unaffected by desire.

The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else.

The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.

There is a foolish corner in the brain of the wisest man.

This is the reason why mothers are more devoted to their children than fathers: it is that they suffer more in giving them birth and are more certain that they are their own.

Thus every action must be due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite.

To find yourself, think for yourself.

We cannot learn without pain.

We must as second best, as people say, take the least of the evils.

What lies in our power to do, lies in our power not to do.

What soon grows old? Gratitude.

Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love.

Wit is well-bred insolence.

Youth is easily deceived, because it is quick to hope.

Categories: Quotes of the day

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