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Quotes of the day: Jules Verne

Published Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 7:49 PM EST
Feb 07 2015

Jules Gabriel Verne (February 8, 1828 - March 24, 1905) was a French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man of merit owes himself to the homage of the rest of mankind who recognize his worth.

An energetic man will succeed where an indolent one would vegetate and inevitably perish.

Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.

As long as a man's heart beats, as long as a man's flesh quivers, I do not allow that a being gifted with thought and will can allow himself to despair.

Be it understood you are never rich when you get no advantage from it.

Before all masters, necessity is the one most listened to, and who teaches the best.

Civilization never recedes; the law of necessity ever forces it onwards.

Everything is possible for an eccentric, especially when he is English.

Great robbers always resemble honest folk. Fellows who have rascally faces have only one course to take, and that is to remain honest; otherwise, they would be arrested off-hand.

He who is mistaken in an action which he sincerely believes to be right may be an enemy, but retains our esteem.

How many things have been denied one day, only to become realities the next! Well, I feel that we should always put a little art into what we do. It's better that way.

I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.

I have noticed that many who do not believe in God believe in everything else, even in the evil eye.

I seriously believed that my last hour was approaching, and yet, so strange is imagination, all I thought of was some childish hypothesis or other. In such circumstances, you do not choose your own thoughts. They overcome you.

If Providence has created the stars and the planets, man has called the cannonball into existence.

If there were no thunder, men would have little fear of lightning.

In presence of Nature's grand convulsions, man is powerless.

In spite of the opinions of certain narrow-minded people, who would shut up the human race upon this globe, as within some magic circle it must never outstep, we shall one day travel to the moon, the planets, and the stars, with the same facility, rapidity, and certainty as we now make the voyage from Liverpool to New York!

It is certain that the inanimate objects by which you are surrounded have a direct action on the brain.

It is said that the night brings counsel, but it is not said that the counsel is necessarily good.

It may be taken for granted that, rash as Americans usually are, when they are prudent, there is good reason for it.

It seems wisest to assume the worst from the beginning... and let anything better come as a surprise.

Liberty is worth paying for.

Man is never perfect nor contented.

Man's constitution is so peculiar that his health is purely a negative matter. No sooner is the rage of hunger appeased than it becomes difficult to comprehend the meaning of starvation. It is only when you suffer that you really understand.

Man, a mere inhabitant of the earth, cannot overstep its boundaries! But though he is confined to its crust, he may penetrate into all its secrets.

Movement is life; and it is well to be able to forget the past, and kill the present by continual change.

Nothing can astound an American. It has often been asserted that the word 'impossible' is not a French one. People have evidently been deceived by the dictionary. In America, all is easy, all is simple; and as for mechanical difficulties, they are overcome before they arise.

Now, when an American has an idea, he directly seeks a second American to share it. If there be three, they elect a president and two secretaries. Given four, they name a keeper of records, and the office is ready for work; five, they convene a general meeting, and the club is fully constituted.

Put two ships in the open sea, without wind or tide, and, at last, they will come together. Throw two planets into space, and they will fall one on the other. Place two enemies in the midst of a crowd, and they will inevitably meet; it is a fatality, a question of time; that is all.

Put two Yankees in a room together, and in an hour they will each have gained ten dollars from the other.

Reality provides us with facts so romantic that imagination itself could add nothing to them.

Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.

Solitude, isolation, are painful things and beyond human endurance.

The body regulates the soul, and, like the balance-wheel, it is submitted to regular oscillations.

The chance which now seems lost may present itself at the last moment.

The earth does not need new continents, but new men.

The possession of wealth leads almost inevitably to its abuse. It is the chief, if not the only, cause of evils which desolate this world below. The thirst for gold is responsible for the most regrettable lapses into sin.

The sea does not belong to despots. Upon its surface men can still exercise unjust laws, fight, tear one another to pieces, and be carried away with terrestrial horrors. But at thirty feet below its level, their reign ceases, their influence is quenched, and their power disappears.

The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides.

The sea is the vast reservoir of Nature. The globe began with sea, so to speak; and who knows if it will not end with it?

The wisest man may be a blind father.

The Yankees, the first mechanicians in the world, are engineers- just as the Italians are musicians and the Germans metaphysicians- by right of birth. Nothing is more natural, therefore, than to perceive them applying their audacious ingenuity to the science of gunnery.

There are no impossible obstacles; there are just stronger and weaker wills, that’s all!

Though sleep is called our best friend, it is a friend who often keeps us waiting!

Trains, like time and tide, stop for no one.

We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read.

We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.

When the mind once allows a doubt to gain entrance, the value of deeds performed grow less, their character changes, we forget the past and dread the future.

While there is life, there is hope.

You cannot oppose reasoning to pride, the principal of all the vices, since, by its very nature, the proud man refuses to listen to it.


(February 8 is also the birthday of John Ruskin.)

Categories: Jules Verne, Quotes of the day


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And another one bites the dust...

Published Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 8:19 AM EST
Feb 07 2015

Yet another formative component of my life disappears.

After paying the route manager on Saturday morning, the remainder of the money I earned from delivering the Daily Messenger and the Pittsburgh Press was generally spent by noon at the Radio Shack in Homestead. Breadboard kits, solder, and electronics books kept me occupied until the next Saturday, when I'd do it all over again.

In high school, I made friends with the manager and became an unpaid intern of sorts, spending hours reading product data sheets, helping set up displays, and handing out free batteries to all the old folks from the Homestead apartments who stopped by on their way to cash their Social Security checks.

When I was in my late 20s, I began what became the last of my careers- computers. In 1981 I bought a 4K Radio Shack Color Computer that I eventually hacked into a 64K system with a 300 baud modem, four 5 1/4" floppy disk drives and a C compiler, running the multi-user Microware OS-9 operating system. It provided me with the skills needed to make the jump to DEC's VMS operating system and VAXes... and the rest is history.

Like Heathkit and the mail-order electronics training schools, Radio Shack- at least the Radio Shack of the 60s, 70s and 80s- will be sorely missed. Radio Shack in its current form had been in a figurative coma for the last 10-15 years. It's sad to pull the plug, but there's really nothing left to save.

Anyway- thanks, Radio Shack.


"In its heyday, RadioShack was so much more than a store — it was an art gallery, a museum, a school. “You didn’t really have really good electronics magazines full of what’s available,” Wozniak remembers. “You had a few catalogues that were full of things like walkie-talkies, but if you went down to RadioShack you could actually see something.” As a teenager he would walk into stores and soak up information, spending hours reading labels, and memorizing prices and feature lists. It was inside those walls where so many watched the technological revolution unfold — and where they first jumped in."

How RadioShack Helped Build Silicon Valley (Wired)

Categories: KGB, Radio Shack


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