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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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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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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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.

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.

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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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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.

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Quotes of the day: Norman Vincent Peale

Published Saturday, May 31, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 31 2014

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (May 31, 1898 – December 24, 1993) was a minister and author (most notably of The Power of Positive Thinking) and a progenitor of "positive thinking." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear.

Americans used to roar like lions for liberty. Now we bleat like sheep for security.

Believe that problems do have answers. Believe that they can be overcome. Believe that they can be handled. And finally, believe that you can solve them.

Change your thoughts and you can change the world.

Don't take tomorrow to bed with you.

Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don't take yourself so seriously.

Empty pockets never held anyone back... it's only empty heads and empty hearts that do it.

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds.

Happiness will never come if it's a goal in itself; happiness is a by-product of a commitment to worthy causes.

If you put off everything till you're sure of it, you'll get nothing done.

It's always too early to quit.

Live your life and forget your age.

Optimism is a philosophy based on the belief that basically life is good, that, in the long run, the good in life overbalances the evil.

Part of the happiness of life consists not in fighting battles, but in avoiding them. A masterly retreat is in itself a victory.

People who make no mistakes lack boldness and the spirit of adventure. They are the brakes on the wheels of progress.

The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.

Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.

We tend to get what we expect.

You will soon break the bow if you keep it always stretched.


I was going to buy a copy of 'The Power of Positive Thinking,' and then I thought: what the hell good would that do?
-Ronnie Shakes

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Quotes of the day: Boris Pasternak

Published Friday, May 30, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 30 2014

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (February 10, 1890 – May 30, 1960) was a Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator. In his native Russia, Pasternak's anthology My Sister, Life, is one of the most influential collections ever published in the Russian language... Outside Russia, Pasternak is best known as the author of Doctor Zhivago. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All mothers are mothers of great people, and it is not their fault that life later disappoints them.

And remember: you must never, under any circumstances, despair. To hope and to act, these are our duties in misfortune.

As for the men in power, they are so anxious to establish the myth of infallibility that they do their utmost to ignore truth.

Even so, one step from my grave,
I believe that cruelty, spite,
The powers of darkness will in time
Be crushed by the spirit of light.

How wonderful to be alive... But why does it always hurt?

I don't like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn't of much value. Life hasn't revealed its beauty to them.

I hate everything you say, but not enough to kill you for it.

I think a little philosophy should be added to life and art by way of seasoning, but to make it one's specialty seems to me as strange as eating nothing but horseradish.

In every generation there has to be some fool who will speak the truth as he sees it.

It is not the object described that matters, but the light that falls on it.

Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.

Love is not weakness. It is strong. Only the sacrament of marriage can contain it.

Man is born to live and not to prepare to live.

No bad man can be a good poet.

No deep and strong feeling, such as we may come across here and there in the world, is unmixed with compassion. The more we love, the more the object of our love seems to us to be a victim.

No single man makes history. History cannot be seen, just as one cannot see grass growing.

Only the solitary seek the truth, and they break with all those who don't love it sufficiently.

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.

The great majority of us are required to live a constant, systematic duplicity. Your health is bound to be affected by it if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, you grovel before what you dislike and rejoice at what bring brings you nothing but misfortune.

They don’t ask much of you. They only want you to hate the things you love and to love the things you despise.

To be a woman is a great adventure; To drive men mad is a heroic thing.

What for centuries raised man above the beast is not the cudgel but the irresistible power of unarmed truth.

What is laid down, ordered, factual is never enough to embrace the whole truth: life always spills over the rim of every cup.

When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it.

You are eternity's hostage. A captive of time.

Categories: Boris Pasternak, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: T.H. White

Published Thursday, May 29, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 29 2014

(Burns Library, Boston College image)

Terence Hanbury White (May 29, 1906 – January 17, 1964) was an English author best known for known for his series of novels about King Arthur, which were collected together in The Once and Future King (1958). (Click here for full biography.com article)


Aviators live by hours, not by days.

Dogs, like very small children, are quite mad.

Education is experience, and the essence of experience is self-reliance.

I am an anarchist, like any other sensible person.

If there is one thing I can't stand, it is stupidity. I always say that stupidity is the Sin against the Holy Ghost.

Is there anything more terrible than perpetual motion, than doing and doing and doing, without a reason, without a consciousness, without a change, without an end?

It has to be admitted that starving nations never seem to be quite so starving that they cannot afford to have far more expensive armaments than anybody else.

It is a pity that there are no big creatures to prey on humanity. If there were enough dragons and rocs, perhaps mankind would turn its might against them. Unfortunately man is preyed upon by microbes, which are too small to be appreciated.

It is only the people who are lacking, or bad, or inferior, who have to be good at things.

It is the bad people who need to have principles to restrain them.

It seems, in tragedy, that innocence is not enough.

It was called a tribute before a battle and a ransom afterwards.

Love is a trick played on us by the forces of evolution.

Only fools want to be great.

People commit suicide through weakness, not through strength.

Perhaps we all give the best of our hearts uncritically- to those who hardly think about us in return.

The bravest people are the ones who don't mind looking like cowards.

The fate of this man or that man was less than a drop, although it was a sparkling one, in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea.

The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch somebody else doing it wrong, without comment.

There is a thing called knowledge of the world, which people do not have until they are middle-aged. It is something which cannot be taught to younger people, because it is not logical and does not obey laws which are constant. It has no rules.

Those who lived by the sword were forced to die by it.

War is like a fire. One man may start it, but it will spread all over. It is not about one thing in particular.

Wars are never fought for one reason. They are fought for dozens of reasons, in a muddle.

We cannot build the future by avenging the past.

Wrongs have to be redressed by reason, not by force.


(Today is also the birthday of John F. Kennedy and G.K. Chesterton.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, T.H. White

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Quotes of the day: Ian Fleming

Published Wednesday, May 28, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 28 2014

Ian Lancaster Fleming (May 28, 1908 – August 12, 1964) was an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer, best known for his James Bond series of spy novels. Fleming came from a wealthy family connected to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co., and his father was the Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910 until his death on the Western Front in 1917. Educated at Eton, Sandhurst and the universities of Munich and Geneva, Fleming moved through a number of jobs before he started writing. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.

A woman can put up with almost anything; anything but indifference.

All the greatest men are maniacs. They are possessed by a mania which drives them forward towards their goal. The great scientists, the philosophers, the religious leaders- all maniacs. What else but a blind singlenee of purpose could have given focus to thier genius, would have kept them in the groove of purpose. Mania... is as priceless as genius.

Although they may have feet of clay... and all human beings have, there's no point in dwelling entirely on the feet. There are many other parts of the animal to be examined.

Champagne and Benzedrine! Never again.

Englishmen are so odd. They are like a nest of Chinese boxes. It takes a very long time to get to the center of them. When one gets there the result is unrewarding, but the process is instructive and entertaining.

Everyone has the revolver of resignation in his pocket.

History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.

I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.

I've found that one must try and teach people that there's no top limit to disaster-that, so long as breath remains in your body, you've got accept the miseries of life. They will often seem infinite, insupportable. They are part of the human condition.

It was the short men that caused all the trouble in the world.

It’s just that I’d rather die of drink than of thirst.

Loneliness becomes a lover, solitude a darling sin.

Love of life is born of the awareness of death, of the dread of it.

Men want a woman whom they can turn on and off like a light switch.

Most marriages don't add two people together. They subtract one from the other.

Never say 'no' to adventures.

Older women are best, because they always think they may be doing it for the last time.

Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times, it's enemy action.

Prohibition is the trigger of crime.

The Devil had no prophets to write his Ten Commandments and no team of authors to write his biography.

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.

The gain to the winner is always less than the loss to the loser.

Those who deserve to die, die the death they deserve.

You only live twice. Once when you are born and once when you look death in the face.

Categories: Ian Fleming, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Rachel Carson

Published Tuesday, May 27, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 27 2014

Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 - April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

(Carson was born in Springdale, a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Click to visit the Rachel Carson Homestead website.)


But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.

By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing, we set back the progress of humanity.

Here and there awareness is growing that man, far from being the overlord of all creation, is himself part of nature, subject to the same cosmic forces that control all other life. Man's future welfare and probably even his survival depend upon his learning to live in harmony, rather than in combat, with these forces.

How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind?

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.

In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.

In nature nothing exists alone.

It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself.

It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.

Nature has introduced great variety into the landscape, but man has displayed a passion for simplifying it. Thus he undoes the built-in checks and balances by which nature holds the species within bounds.

One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew i would never see it again?'

Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species- man- acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world.

The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place.

The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery, not over nature but of ourselves.

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.

The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.

The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth, are never alone or weary of life.

Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is- whether its victim is human or animal- we cannot expect things to be much better in this world.

We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature.

Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in insipid surroundings, a circle of acquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal?


(Today is also the birthday of Henry Kissinger.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Rachel Carson

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73 observations re: memory

Published Monday, May 26, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 26 2014

(Illustration from The Epoch Times)

A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.
-Donna Roberts

A good memory is one trained to forget the trivial.
-Clifton Fadiman

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

A man's real possession is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.
-Alexander Smith

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.
-Edward de Bono

As important as shared memories is the silent agreement that certain things never happened.
-Robert Brault

Before adolescence, memory is more interested in the future than the past...
-Gabriel Garcia Márquez

Childhood has no forebodings; but then, it is soothed by no memories of outlived sorrow.
-George Eliot

Death is that state in which one exists only in the memory of others. Which is why it is not an end.
(from 'Skin of Evil,' Star Trek: The Next Generation)
-Hannah Louise Shearer

Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.
-Saul Bellow

Everyone complains of his memory, but nobody of his judgment.
-Francois de la Rochefoucauld

God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December.
-J.M. Barrie

Happiness is good health and a bad memory.
-Ingrid Bergman

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

Hope has a good memory, gratitude a bad one.
-Baltasar Gracián

I have a photographic memory, but my mind's out of film.

I never commit to memory anything that can easily be looked up in a book.
-Albert Einstein

If a man needs an elaborate tombstone in order to remain in the memory of his country, it is clear that his living at all was an act of absolute superfluity.
-Oscar Wilde

If there is any substitute for love, it is memory.
-Joseph Brodsky

If you want to test your memory, try to remember what you were worrying about one year ago today.
-E. Joseph Cossman

In memory everything seems to happen to music.
-Tennessee Williams

In plucking the fruit of memory one runs the risk of spoiling its bloom.
-Joseph Conrad

It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.
-Oscar Wilde

It's a poor sort of memory that only works backward.
-Lewis Carroll

Liars ought to have good memories.
-Algernon Sidney

Love and memory last and will so endure till the game is called because of darkness.
-Gene Fowler

Maybe age is kinder to us than we think. With my bad eyes, I can't see how bad I look, and with my rotten memory, I have a good excuse for getting out of a lot of stuff.
-Erma Bombeck

Memories and possibilities are even more hideous than realities.
-H.P. Lovecraft

Memory can glean, but never renew. It brings us joys faint as is the perfume of flowers, faded and dried, of the summer that is gone.
-Henry Ward Beecher

Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never know what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.
-Pierce Harris

Memory is a crazy woman who hoards colored rags and throws away food.
-Austin O'Malley

Memory is a great betrayer.
-Anaïs Nin

Memory is a net; one finds it full of fish when he takes it from the brook; but a dozen miles of water have run through it without sticking.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Memory is better than a video because it's free and it doesn't work very well.
-David Owen

Memory is not just the imprint of the past time upon us; it is the keeper of what is meaningful for our deepest hopes and fears.
-Rollo May

Memory is the editor of one's sense of life.
-Elizabeth Bowen

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

Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories- and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.
-Alice Munro

My memory of you is better than you.
-Chuck Lorre

Nostalgia, as always, had wiped away bad memories and magnified the good ones.
-Gabriel Garcia Márquez

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.
-Franklin P. Adams

Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

O Memory! thou fond deceiver.
-Oliver Goldsmith

One form of loneliness is to have a memory and no one to share it with.
-Phyllis Rose

Ordinarily men exercise their memory much more than their judgment.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.
-Guy de Maupassant

Own only what you can carry with you: know language, know countries, know people, let your memory be your travel bag.
-Aleksandr Solzhnitsyn

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

Pay heed to the tales of old wives. It may well be that they alone keep in memory what it was once needful for the wise to know.
-J.R.R. Tolkien

Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory.
-Gustave Flaubert

Powerful men in particular suffer from the delusion that human beings have no memories. I would go so far as to say that the distinguishing trait of powerful men is the psychotic certainty that people forget acts of infamy as easily as their parents' birth.
-Stephen Vizinczey

Some memories are realities and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.
-Willa Cather

Speak for the ear and write for the memory.
-Joseph Joubert

Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the declining sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.
-Washington Irving

The advantage of a bad memory is that, several times over, one enjoys the same good things for the first time.
-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.
-Salvador Dali

The memory of the American public is about six weeks.
-F. Lee Bailey

The one who relies on authority during a discussion does not use his mind but his memory.
-Leonardo da Vinci

The traditional media has the attention span and historical memory of an erection.
-Joseph Romm

The true art of memory is the art of attention.
-Samuel Johnson

There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.
-Henry Wheeler Shaw

There has never been a statue erected to the memory of someone who let well enough alone.
-Jules Ellinger

There is not any memory with less satisfaction than the memory of some temptation we resisted.
-James Branch Cabell

There's a brief moment when you first wake up where you have no memories, a blissful blank slate, a happy emptiness, but it doesn't last long and you remember exactly where you are and what you are trying to forget.
-Carrie Bradshaw

Those only deserve a monument who do not need one; that is, who have raised themselves a monument in the minds and memories of men.
-William Hazlitt

Time moves in one direction, memory in another.
-William Gibson

True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories.
-Florence King

Universal History is ... not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.
-John Dalberg-Acton

Waterloo will wipe out the memory of my forty victories; but that which nothing can wipe out is my Civil Code. That will live forever.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

What makes old age hard to bear is not the failing of one's faculties, mental and physical, but the burden of one's memories.
-W. Somerset Maugham

When our memories outweigh our dreams, we have grown old.
-Bill Clinton

Why should we have enough memory to retain even the smallest details of what happened to us, while we do not have enough to remember how many times we have told them to the same person?
-Francois de la Rochefoucauld

You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories.
-Stanislaw J. Lec

Categories: Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Bennett Cerf

Published Sunday, May 25, 2014 @ 9:16 AM EDT
May 25 2014

Bennett Alfred Cerf (May 25, 1898 - August 27, 1971) was an American publisher, one of the founders of American publishing firm Random House. Cerf was also known for his own compilations of jokes and puns, for regular personal appearances lecturing across the United States, and for his television appearances in the panel game show What's My Line? (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Middle age is when your old classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald they don't recognize you.

Politicians are like ships: noisiest when lost in a fog.

There have been too many books in which some young man is looking forward, backward or sideways in anger. Or in which some Southern youth is being chased through the magnolia bushes by his aunt. She catches him on page 28 with horrid results.

The Atomic Age is here to stay- but are we?

Gross ignorance is 144 times worse than ordinary ignorance.

A pat on the back, though only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, is miles ahead in results

Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman's name out of a satire, then wrote the piece so that she could still be recognized anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to be a writer? And if so, why?

In a notable family called Stein
There were Gertrude, and Ep, and then Ein.
Gert's writing was hazy,
Ep's statues were crazy,
And nobody understood Ein.

There is a mass of people, we might as well admit, who if they weren't watching television, would be doing absolutely nothing else.

We just said we were going to publish a few books on the side at random. (on naming his publishing company Random House)

Reading is a pleasure of the mind, which means that it is a little like a sport: your eagerness and knowledge and quickness count for something. The fun of reading is not that something is told to you, but that you stretch your mind. Your own imagination works along with the author's, or even goes beyond his, yields the same or different conclusions, and your ideas develop as you understand his

Good manners: The noise you don't make when you're eating soup.

I think television people have a definite responsibility just like book publishers.

TV's sameness has destroyed many things, such as the American urge toward independent thought.

It's my theory that we're all hams a little bit under the surface.

I think the right to read is one of our inherent rights, and I think that people in America today are intelligent enough to decide for themselves what they want to read.


(Today is also the birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson)

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Quotes of the day: Margaret Fuller

Published Friday, May 23, 2014 @ 12:06 AM EDT
May 23 2014

Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli (May 23, 1810 - July 19, 1850), commonly known as Margaret Fuller, was an American journalist, critic, and women's rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement. She was the first full-time American female book reviewer in journalism. Her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century is considered the first major feminist work in the United States. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All around us lies what we neither understand nor use. Our capacities, our instincts for this our present sphere are but half developed.

Cherish your best hopes as a faith, and abide by them in action.

For precocity some great price is always demanded sooner or later in life.

I accept the universe.

I stand in the sunny noon of life. Objects no longer glitter in the dews of morning, neither are yet softened by the shadows of evening. Every spot is seen, every chasm revealed.

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.

It is astonishing what force, purity and wisdom it requires for a human being to keep clear of falsehoods.

Let no one dare to call another mad who is not himself willing to rank in the same class for every perversion and fault of judgment. Let no one dare aid in punishing another as criminal who is not willing to suffer the penalty due to his own offenses.

Man is not made for society, but society is made for man. No institution can be good which does not tend to improve the individual.

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

Only upon the old can build the new;
The symbol which you seek is found in you.

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

Very early, I knew that the only object in life was to grow.

Whatever the soul knows how to seek, it cannot fail to obtain.

In order that she may be able to give her hand with dignity, she must be able to stand alone.

A house is no home unless it contain food and fire for the mind as well as for the body.

Nature provides exceptions to every rule.

Male and female represent the two sides of the great radical dualism. But in fact they are perpetually passing into one another. Fluid hardens to solid, solid rushes to fluid. There is no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman.

How many persons must there be who cannot worship alone since they are content with so little.

We need to hear the excuses men make to themselves for their worthlessness.

When disappointed, I do not ask or wish consolation; I wish to know and feel my pain, to investigate its nature and its source.

Drudgery is as necessary to call out the treasures of the mind, as harrowing and planting those of the earth.

Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live.

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Quotes of the day: Jules Renard

Published Thursday, May 22, 2014 @ 12:59 AM EDT
May 22 2014

Pierre-Jules Renard or Jules Renard (February 22, 1864 - May 22, 1910) was a French author and member of the Académie Goncourt, most famous for the works Poil de carotte (Carrot Top) (1894) and Les Histoires Naturelles (Nature Stories) (1896). Among his other works are Le Plaisir de rompre (The Pleasure of Breaking) (1898) and Huit jours á la campagne (A Week in the Country) (1906). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A beautiful line of verse has twelve feet, and two wings.

As I grow to understand life less and less, I learn to love it more and more.

At the bottom of all patriotism there is war: that is why I am no patriot.

Don't tell a woman she's pretty; tell her there's no other woman like her, and all roads will open to you.

Failure is not the only punishment for laziness; there is also the success of others.

Fame is a constant effort.

God does not believe in our God.

I am never bored; to be bored is an insult to one's self.

I am not sincere, even when I say I am not.

I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn't.

I finally know what distinguishes man from the other beasts: financial worries.

If I were to begin my life again, I should want it as it was. I would only open my eyes a little more.

If money does not make you happy, give it back.

If one were to build the house of happiness, the largest space would be the waiting room.

If you are afraid of being lonely, don't try to be right.

In the most complete friendship there is always a little empty space, like the space in an egg.

It is not how old you are, but how you are old.

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.

Literature is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none.

Look for the absurd in everything, and you will find it.

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

Men are born equal. By the next day they no longer are.

Never does one feel oneself so utterly helpless as in trying to speak comfort for great bereavement. Time is the only comforter.

On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.

Paradise does not exist, but we must nonetheless strive to be worthy of it.

Posterity! Why should people be less stupid tomorrow than they are today?

Socialism must come down from the brain and reach the heart.

The bourgeois are other people.

The ideal of calm exists in a sitting cat.

The important people in our lives leave imprints. they may die or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your heart, because they helped form your heart.

The relation of genius to talent is the same as that of instinct to reason.

The reward of great men is that, long after they have died, one is not quite sure that they are dead.

The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it.

The truly free man is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse.

There are good and bad times, but our mood changes more often than our fortune.

There are moments when everything goes well; don't be frightened, it won't last.

There are no friends; only moments of friendship.

We don't understand life any better at forty than at twenty, but we know it and admit it.

When the defects of others are perceived with so much clarity, it is because one possesses them oneself.

Wrinkles are engraved smiles.

Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.

Categories: Jules Renard, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Al Franken

Published Wednesday, May 21, 2014 @ 1:28 AM EDT
May 21 2014

Alan Stuart "Al" Franken (b. May 21, 1951) is an American politician, the junior United States Senator from Minnesota, where he has served since 2009. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, an affiliate of the Democratic Party, he narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman in 2008. Prior to serving in the Senate, he was a writer and performer for the television show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from its inception in 1975 to 1980 and from 1985 to 1995. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Enjoy the chase, whether you're the fox or the hounds. But keep in mind, when the hounds catch the fox, they usually tear it to pieces.

I've said that net neutrality is the most important free speech issue of our time. It's true. If Republicans have their way, large corporations won't just have the loudest voices in the room. They'll be able to effectively silence everyone else. Every small business they'd prefer not to compete with. Every blogger who publishes something they don't like. We have to stop them.

If you control the flow of information, you can control the conversation around important issues. If you can control the conversation, you can change this country.

It's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.

Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.

No Child Left Behind is the most ironically named piece of legislation since the 1942 Japanese Family Leave Act.

Personal appearance can be a handy arena in which to punish your spouse passive aggressively by allowing your own appearance to deteriorate.

Religion is like a fire extinguisher. You never know when you're going to need it. So it's best to have one handy.

The biases the media have are much bigger than conservative or liberal. They're about getting ratings, about making money, about doing stories that are easy to cover.

The Hopis say that man is closest to God when he reaches out his hand to help and furthest from God when he raises his hand to strike. This may explain why the Hopis were overrun by the far more warlike Navaho, who have a different saying, which is that your neighbor's corn will not fill your belly unless you take it from him.

Very often when one door closes, another does open. A trapdoor, leading directly to that lonely place at the bottom.

We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America like a four-year-old loves his mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a four-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world.

What Doesn't Kill You Can Have Lingering After-effects.

When you encounter seemingly good advice that contradicts other seemingly good advice, ignore them both.

Whining is anger through a small opening.


"Be just and good."

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Quotes of the day: Max Beerbohm

Published Tuesday, May 20, 2014 @ 12:47 AM EDT
May 20 2014

Sir Henry Maximilian "Max" Beerbohm (August 24, 1872 – May 20, 1956) was an English essayist, parodist, and caricaturist best known today for his 1911 novel Zuleika Dobson. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A crowd, proportionately to its size, magnifies all that in its units pertains to the emotions, and diminishes all that in them pertains to thought.

All fantasy should have a solid base in reality.

Death cancels all engagements.

Fate weaves the darkness, which is perhaps why she weaves so badly.

I am a Tory Anarchist. I should like every one to go about doing just as he pleased- short of altering any of the things to which I have grown accustomed.

I have known no man of genius who had not to pay, in some affliction or defect either physical or spiritual, for what the gods had given him.

I was a modest, good-humored boy. It is Oxford that has made me insufferable.

In every human being one or the other of these two instincts is predominant: the active or positive instinct to offer hospitality, the negative or passive instinct to accept it. And either of these instincts is so significant of character that one might as well say that mankind is divisible into two great classes: hosts and guests.

It is so much easier to covet what one hasn't than to revel in what one has. Also, it is so much easier to be enthusiastic about what exists than about what doesn't.

It seems to be a law of nature that no man, unless he has some obvious physical deformity, ever is loth to sit for his portrait.

Men of genius are not quick judges of character. Deep thinking and high imagining blunt that trivial instinct by which you and I size people up.

Most women are not so young as they are painted.

Of all the objects of hatred, a woman once loved is the most hateful.

One has never known a good man to whom dogs were not dear; but many of the best women have no such fondness. You will find that the woman who is really kind to dogs is always one who has failed to inspire sympathy in men. For the attractive woman, dogs are mere dumb and restless brutes- possibly dangerous, certainly soulless. Yet will coquetry teach her to caress any dog in the presence of a man enslaved by her.

Only the insane take themselves quite seriously.

The dullard's envy of brilliant men is always assuaged by the suspicion that they will come to a bad end.

The Non-Conformist Conscience makes cowards of us all.

The past is a work of art, free of irrelevancies and loose ends.

The Socratic manner is not a game at which two can play.

To say that a man is vain means merely that he is pleased with the effect he produces on other people. A conceited man is satisfied with the effect he produces on himself.

You cannot make a man by standing a sheep on its hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position you can make a crowd of men.

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Quotes of the day: Edward de Bono

Published Monday, May 19, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 19 2014

Edward de Bono (b. May 19, 1933) is a Maltese physician, author, inventor and consultant. He originated the term "lateral thinking," wrote the book Six Thinking Hats and is a proponent of the deliberate teaching of thinking as a subject in schools. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.

An expert is someone who has succeeded in making decisions and judgements simpler through knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore.

Argument is meant to reveal the truth, not to create it.

Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.

If you never change your mind, why have one?

If you wait for opportunities to occur, you will be one of the crowd.

In a sense, words are encyclopedias of ignorance because they freeze perceptions at one moment in history and then insist we continue to use these frozen perceptions when we should be doing better.

Logic will never change emotion or perception.

Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven.

Most of the mistakes in thinking are inadequacies of perception rather than mistakes of logic.

The concept of logical thinking is selection and this is brought about by the processes of acceptance and rejection. Rejection is the basis of logical thinking.

The mind can only see what it is prepared to see.

The need to be right all the time is the biggest bar to new ideas.

Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations.

You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper.

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Quotes of the day: Mary McLeod Bethune

Published Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 6:55 AM EDT
May 18 2014

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (July 10, 1875 – May 18, 1955) was an American educator and civil rights leader best known for starting a private school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, Florida. She attracted donations of time and money, and developed the academic school as a college. It later continued to develop as Bethune-Cookman University. She also was appointed as a national adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. She was known as "The First Lady of The Struggle” because of her commitment to bettering African Americans. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


As I give, I get.

Cease to be a drudge, seek to be an artist.

Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.

Faith, courage, brotherhood, dignity, ambition, responsibility- these are needed today as never before.

Forgiving is not about forgetting, it's letting go of the hurt.

I leave you love. I leave you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you respect for the use of power. I leave you faith. I leave you racial dignity.

If our people are to fight their way up out of bondage we must arm them with the sword and the shield and the buckler of pride.

If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves. We should, therefore, protest openly everything ... that smacks of discrimination or slander.

If we have the courage and tenacity of our forebears, who stood firmly like a rock against the lash of slavery, we shall find a way to do for our day what they did for theirs.

Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.

Knowledge is the prime need of the hour.

Love builds. It is positive and helpful. It is more beneficial than hate.

Next to God we are indebted to women, first for life itself, and then for making it worth living.

Personally and racially, our enemies must be forgiven. Our aim must be to create a world of fellowship and justice where no man's skin, color or religion, is held against him.

The Freedom Gates are half-ajar. We must pry them fully open.

The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood.

There is a place in God's sun for the youth 'farthest down' who has the vision, the determination, and the courage to reach it.

We live in a world which respects power above all things. Power, intelligently directed, can lead to more freedom. Unwisely directed, it can be a dreadful, destructive foce.


(Today is also the birthday of Bertrand Russell and Tina Fey).

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Quotes of the day: Happy birthday, Craig Ferguson!

Published Saturday, May 17, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 17 2014

Craig Ferguson (b. May 17, 1962) is a Scottish-born American television host, stand-up comedian, writer, actor, director, author, producer and voice artist. He is the host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, an Emmy Award-nominated, Peabody Award-winning late- night talk show that has aired on CBS since January, 2005. Ferguson will leave the show in December, 2014. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


It's hard to stay up
It's been a long, long day
And you got the sandman at the door
But hang on, leave the TV on
And let's do it anyway
It's okay!
You can always sleep through work tomorrow, OK?
Hey hey!
Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.

Tell the clock on the wall
Forget the wakeup call
Cause the night's not nearly through
Wipe the sleep from your eyes
Give yourself a surprise
Let your worries wait another day
And if you stay too late at at the bar
At least you made it out this far
So make up your mind and say
Let's do it anyway!
It's okay!
You can always sleep through work tomorrow, okay?
Hey hey!
Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.

Life's too short to worry about
The things that you can live without
And I regret to say
The morning light is hours away
The world can be such a fright
But it belongs to us tonight
What's the point of going to bed?
You look so lovely when your eyes are red!

Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.

The world can be such a fright
But it belongs to us tonight
What's the point of going to bed?
You look so lovely when your eyes are red!

It's hard to stay up
It's been a long, long day
And you got the sandman at the door
But hang on, leave the TV on
And let's do it anyway
It's okay!
You can always sleep through work tomorrow, OK?
Hey hey!
Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.
Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.


A junkie will steal your purse, and then help you look for it.

Being guilty tends to engender feelings of guilt.

Change is the nature of God's mind, and resistance to it is the source of great pain.

Confession is a sacred rite enhanced by allegory, exaggeration, and lies.

Disagreement, vehement disagreement, is healthy. Debate is impossible without it. Evil does not question itself. Even the incorruptible are corruptible if they cannot accept the possibility of being mistaken.

Failure is not disgrace. It's just a pitch that you missed, and you'd better get ready for the next one. The next one might be the shot heard round the world. My son and I are Americans, we prepare for glory by failing until we don't.

I think when you become a parent you go from being a star in the movie of your own life to the supporting player in the movie of someone else's.

I'm always a bit shy around evil people.

If you really don't want gay people to get married, you shouldn't ban gay marriage, you ban gay divorce.

It's a great day for America, everybody!

It's easier to feel a little more spiritual with a couple of bucks in your pocket.

Love at first sight is not rare, in fact it is extremely common, it happens to some people a few times a year. The feeling of 'what if' when meeting the eyes of a stranger can be love unrecognized.

Maybe fear is God's way of saying, 'Pay attention, this could be fun.'

Other than the laws of physics, rules have never really worked out for me.

The devil is not abroad at night in the form of a cat or a wolf or any other animal. He lives eternally in the hearts of men.

Time is only linear for engineers and referees.

To most Americans, soccer is like warm hockey.

Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.

White Americans have a very unusual sense of history. They make it up as they go along, constantly revising to suit their tastes in a manner that would make Stalin blush. Very few of them saw any irony in the fact that during a recent nasty Balkans conflict, when Uncle Sam intervened to stop the Serbs from ethnically cleansing the Bosnians, the military action was performed using Apache helicopter gunships. Helicopters named after a people that had been ethnically cleansed in the United States less than one hundred years previously. Sixteen lane highways across the sacred burial grounds. Yee-hah.

You die alone in your house, and your cat will eat you.

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Quotes of the day: Sammy Davis, Jr.

Published Friday, May 16, 2014 @ 12:02 AM EDT
May 16 2014

Samuel George "Sammy" Davis, Jr. (December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990) was an American entertainer. Primarily a dancer and singer, he was also an actor of stage and screen, musician, and impressionist, noted for his impersonations of actors and other celebrities. At the age of three Davis began his career in vaudeville with his father and Will Mastin as the Will Mastin Trio, which toured nationally. After military service Davis returned to the trio. Davis became an overnight sensation following a nightclub performance at Ciro's after the 1951 Academy Awards. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity.

Being a star has made it possible for me to get insulted in places where the average Negro could never hope to go and get insulted.

I didn't hate being 60 as much as I had 50.

I'm a colored, one-eyed Jew- do I need anything else? (In response to the question, 'What's your handicap?')

I've done some things I wish I could erase... I invented mistakes. But the mistakes must be seen in context, and they must be weighed along with the positives.

Most orgies that you go to, I have found, most of it is sad. All that wildness, all those laughs were like the shining silver and gold paper on packages, but there was nothing inside.

Real success is not on the stage, but off the stage as a human being, and how you get along with your fellow man.

Reality is never as bad as a nightmare, as the mental tortures we inflict on ourselves.

Sober up, and you see and hear everything you'd been able to avoid hearing before.

The day they stop making fun of you is the day they don't give a damn about you.

The ultimate mystery is one's own self.

We can't answer King's assassination with violence. That would be the worst tribute we could pay him.

When you lose a lover it's like getting a bad haircut. It grows back in time.

Would it be better if I'd married a Negro woman? Would they treat my child any better? Erect fewer barriers?

You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear.

You can be in this business 50 years and still not know anything about it.

You don't swing where you sleep.

You name it and I've done it. I'd like to say I did it my way. But that line, I'm afraid, belongs to someone else.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Sammy Davis, Jr.

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Quotes of the day: Clifton Fadiman

Published Thursday, May 15, 2014 @ 12:51 AM EDT
May 15 2014

Clifton Paul "Kip" Fadiman (May 15, 1904 – June 20, 1999) was an erudite essayist and editor whose affable wit delighted millions during his long reign as moderator of the popular "Information Please" radio quiz show and even longer tenure as senior editor of the Book of the Month Club. (Click here for full Los Angeles Times article)


A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover.

A cheese may disappoint. It may be dull, it may be naive, it may be oversophisticated. Yet it remains cheese, milk's leap toward immortality.

A good memory is one trained to forget the trivial.

A sense of humor is the ability to understand a joke- and that the joke is oneself.

An aphorism can contain only as much wisdom as overstatement will permit.

As between mileage and experience choose experience.

Experience teaches you that the man who looks you straight in the eye, particularly if he adds a firm handshake, is hiding something.

For most men life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed.

Gertrude Stein was masterly in making nothing happen very slowly.

Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking.

My main recollection is of the work I had to do in order to eat.

One measure of friendship consists not in the number of things friends can discuss, but in the number of things they need no longer mention.

One newspaper a day ought to be enough for anyone who still prefers to retain a little mental balance.

One's first book, kiss or home run is always the best.

Science fiction is a kind of archeology of the future.

The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech.

The man who attracts luck carries with him the magnet of preparation.

The only reason for being young is to outgrow it.

There are two kinds of writers; the great ones who can give you truths, and the lessor ones, who can only give you themselves.

To divide one's life by years is of course to tumble into a trap set by our own arithmetic.

To feel at home, stay at home.

We prefer to believe that the absence of inverted commas guarantees the originality of a thought, whereas it may be merely that the utterer has forgotten its source.

When I opened and read the first page of a book for the first time, I felt this was remarkable: that I could learn something very quickly that I could not have learned any other way.

When you re-read a classic you do not see in the book more than you did before. You see more in you than there was before.

When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.

Categories: Clifton Fadiman, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: George Lucas

Published Wednesday, May 14, 2014 @ 12:02 AM EDT
May 14 2014

George Walton Lucas, Jr. (b. May 14, 1944) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and entrepreneur. He founded Lucasfilm and led the company as chairman and chief executive until selling it to The Walt Disney Company on October 30, 2012. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist adventurer character Indiana Jones. Lucas is one of the American film industry's most financially successful filmmakers and has been nominated for four Academy Awards. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All the skill in the world isn't going to help you unless you have something to say.

Being in Washington is more fictional than being in Hollywood.

Do not underestimate the power of The Force.
(From Star Wars)

Don't avoid the clichés- they are clichés because they work!

Everybody has talent, it's just a matter of moving around until you've discovered what it is.

Good luck has its storms.

I am simply trying to struggle through life; trying to do God`s bidding.

I hate corporations and I'm not happy that they have taken over the film business but on the same hand I find myself being the head of a corporation. There's a certain irony there.

I think if I can get a room full of people and they enjoy it, then I've done whatever I hoped to do.

If the boy and girl walk off into the sunset hand-in-hand in the last scene, it adds 10 million to the box office.

If you can tune into the fantasy life of an 11-year-old girl, you can make a fortune in this business.

It's not how well you're able to make a movie. It's how well you're able to make a movie under the circumstances.

It's very important not to do what your peers think you should do, not do what your parents think,your teachers or even your culture. Do what's inside of you.

Learning to make films is very easy. Learning what to make films about is very hard.

Let the Wookie win.

Making a film is like putting out a fire with sieve. There are so many elements, and it gets so complicated.

May The Force be with you.

Maybe you're here for a reason. Maybe I was here to do Star Wars and that's it. I'm living on borrowed time.

No film ever ends up exactly as you would like it to.

Part of the issue of achievement is to be able to set realistic goals, but that's one of the hardest things to do because you don't always know exactly where you're going, and you shouldn't.

The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.

The Internet still hasn't figured out how to conduct itself in public.

The script is what you've dreamed up-this is what it should be. The film is what you end up with.

The secret to film is that it's an illusion.

The story being told in Star Wars is a classic one. Every few hundred years, the story is retold because we have a tendency to do the same things over and over again. Power corrupts, and when you're in charge, you start doing things that you think are right, but they're actually not.

This is a new world; it doesn't work the way the old world worked.

Yeah, I have a few dollars, but when you`re getting up to the point where the average movie costs $80 million, anything under $20 million is pretty cheap. Anything under $10 million is almost impossible. And anything under $5 million is Roger Corman.

You have to have a thick enough skin to cope with the criticism.

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Quotes of the day: Dr. Joyce Brothers

Published Tuesday, May 13, 2014 @ 12:03 AM EDT
May 13 2014

Joyce Diane Brothers (née Bauer; October 20, 1927 - May 13, 2013) was an American psychologist, television personality and columnist, who wrote a daily newspaper advice column from 1960 to 2013. In 1955, she became the only woman ever to win the top prize on the American game show The $64,000 Question, answering questions on the topic of boxing, which was suggested as a stunt by the show's producers. In 1958, she presented a television show on which she dispensed psychological advice, pioneering the field. She wrote a column for Good Housekeeping for almost 40 years and became, according to The Washington Post, the "face of American psychology". Brothers appeared in dozens of television roles, usually as herself, but from the 1970s onward she accepted roles portraying fictional characters, often self-parodies. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A philosopher is a person who doesn't care which side his bread is buttered on; he knows he eats both sides anyway.

Accept that all of us can be hurt, that all of us can- and surely will at times- fail. Other vulnerabilities, like being embarrassed or risking love, can be terrifying, too. I think we should follow a simple rule: if we can take the worst, take the risk.

An individual's self-concept is the core of his personality. It affects every aspect of human behavior: the ability to learn, the capacity to grow and change. A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life.

Anger repressed can poison a relationship as surely as the cruelest words.

Before your dreams can come true, you have to have those dreams.

Being taken for granted can be a compliment. It means that you've become a comfortable, trusted element in another person's life.

Credit buying is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately and gives you a lift... The hangover comes the day after.

Don't fool yourself that you are going to have it all. You are not. Psychologically, having it all is not even a valid concept. The marvelous thing about human beings is that we are perpetually reaching for the stars. The more we have, the more we want. And for this reason, we never have it all.

I don't give advice. I can't tell anybody what to do. Instead I say this is what we know about this problem at this time. And here are the consequences of these actions.

If Shakespeare had to go on an author tour to promote Romeo and Juliet, he never would have written Macbeth.

If your energy is as boundless as your ambition, total commitment may be a way of life you should seriously consider.

In each of us are places where we have never gone. Only by pressing the limits do you ever find them.

Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.

Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable.

Marriage is not just spiritual communion and passionate embraces; marriage is also three meals a day, sharing the workload and remembering to carry out the trash.

No matter how love-sick a woman is, she shouldn't take the first pill that comes along.

No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you'd be more productive.

Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.

The best proof of love is trust.

The person interested in success has to learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top.

The world at large does not judge us by who we are and what we know; it judges us by what we have.

Those who have easy, cheerful attitudes tend to be happier than those with less pleasant temperaments, regardless of money, 'making it', or success.

Trust your hunches... Hunches are usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level. Warning! Do not confuse your hunches with wishful thinking. This is the road to disaster.

We control fifty percent of a relationship. We influence one hundred percent of it.

When you come right down to it, the secret of having it all is loving it all.

When you look at your life the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.

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Quotes of the day: Jiddu Krishnamurti

Published Monday, May 12, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 12 2014

Jiddu Krishnamurti (May 12 1895 - February 17, 1986) was a speaker and writer on philosophical and spiritual subjects. In his early life he was groomed to be the new World Teacher but later rejected this mantle and disbanded the organization behind it. His subject matter included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, inquiry, human relationships, and bringing about radical change in society. He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasised that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person, because he conforms to a pattern; he repeats phrases and thinks in a groove.

A man who is not afraid is not aggressive, a man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free, a peaceful man.

All ideologies are idiotic, whether religious or political, for it is conceptual thinking, the conceptual word, which has so unfortunately divided man.

Do not repeat after me words that you do not understand. Do not merely put on a mask of my ideas, for it will be an illusion and you will thereby deceive yourself.

Do you want to know what my secret is? I don't mind what happens.

Follow the wandering, the distraction, find out why the mind has wandered; pursue it, go into it fully. When the distraction is completely understood, then that particular distraction is gone. When another comes, pursue it also.

Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem.

Governments want efficient technicians, not human beings, because human beings become dangerous to governments- and to organized religions as well. That is why governments and religious organizations seek to control education.

Happiness is strange; it comes when you are not seeking it. When you are not making an effort to be happy, then unexpectedly, mysteriously, happiness is there, born of purity, of a loveliness of being.

If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem.

In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.

Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential, the what is; and to awaken this capacity, in oneself and in others, is education.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

It is truth that liberates, not your effort to be free.

One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.

Order cannot possibly be brought about through conformity to a pattern, under any circumstances.

Passion is a rather frightening thing because if you have passion you don't know where it will take you.

Religion is the frozen thought of man out of which they build temples.

Tell your friend that in his death, a part of you dies and goes with him. Wherever he goes, you also go. He will not be alone.

The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.

The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear.

The ending is the beginning, and the beginning is the first step, and the first step is the only step.

The primary cause of disorder in ourselves is the seeking of reality promised by another.

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.

Thought is so cunning, so clever, that it distorts everything for its own convenience.

Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.

Truth is a pathless land.

We all want to be famous people, and the moment we want to be something we are no longer free.

We are very defensive, and therefore aggressive, when we hold on to a particular belief, a dogmas, or when we worship our particular nationality, with the rag that is called the flag.

What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.

When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.

When you once see something as false which you have accepted as true, as natural, as human, then you can never go back to it

You can only be afraid of what you think you know.

You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.

Your belief in God is merely an escape from your monotonous, stupid and cruel life.

Categories: Jiddu Krishnamurti, Quotes of the day

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Published Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 1:33 AM EDT
May 11 2014

When motherhood becomes the fruit of a deep yearning, not the result of ignorance or accident, its children will become the foundation of a new race.
-Margaret Sanger

A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.
-Dorothy Canfield Fisher

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.
-Washington Irving

A mother who is not everything for her children: a friend, a teacher, a confidant, a source of joy and founded pride, inducement and soothing, reconciliator, judge and forgiver, that mother obviously chose the wrong job.
-Joseph Goebbels

A mother, who is really a mother, is never free.
-Honoré de Balzac

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.
-Peter De Vries

Adorable children are considered to be the general property of the human race. Rude children belong to their mothers.
-Judith Martin

All mothers are working mothers.

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his.
-Oscar Wilde

An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest. (Spanish Proverb)

Being a king, emperor, or president is mighty small potatoes compared to being a mother.
-Billy Sunday

Being a mother is a noble status, right? So why does it change when you put 'unwed' or 'welfare' in front of it?
-Florynce Kennedy

Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Consult a real expert: call your mother.

Delusions are often functional. A mother's opinions about her children's beauty, intelligence, goodness, et cetera ad nauseam, keep her from drowning them at birth.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Don't get me wrong. Being a mom is no picnic. Raising the kids is the mother's responsibility. It's a thankless, solitary job, like sheriff or Pope.
-Stephen Colbert

Every mother is like Moses. She does not enter the promised land. She prepares a world she will not see.
-Pope Paul VI

God invented mothers because he couldn't be everywhere at once. Then he invented guilt, because mothers couldn't be everywhere at once.

I have always admired the Esquimaux. One fine day a delicious meal is cooked for dear old mother, and then she goes walking away over the ice, and doesn't come back.
-Agatha Christie

I would have gone home to my mother, but I'm not that crazy about my mother.

I'd never do anything vulgar before an audience. My mother wouldn't permit it.
-Elvis Presley

If nothing is going well, call your grandmother.

If you ever become a mother, can I have one of the puppies?
-Charles Pierce

Just about the time a woman thinks her job is done, she becomes a grandmother.
-Edward H. Dreschnack

Mother is a verb, not a noun.
-Shonda Rhimes

Motherhood is the strangest thing, it can be like being one's own Trojan horse.
-Rebecca West

Mothers are all slightly insane.
-J.D. Salinger

Mothers of teenagers know why animals eat their young. (T-shirt)

My mother didn't try to stab my father until I was six.
-Alan Alda

My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son of a bitch.
-Jack Nicholson

My mother said, 'You won't amount to anything because you procrastinate.' I said, 'Just wait.'
-Judy Tenuta

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

My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have to potential to be the comic stories the next.
-Nora Ephron

My mother was an ex-nun, and my father was a Franciscan brother, so I grew up believing in Jesus the way anyone would believe in Mom's first husband.
-John Fugelsang

My mother's menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.
-Buddy Hackett

My mother's obsession with the good scissors always scared me a bit. It implied that somewhere in the house there lurked: the evil scissors.
-Tony Martin

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

Sometimes you need a B-2 bomber and sometimes you need your mother.
-P.J. O'Rourke

The art of motherhood involves much silent, unobtrusive self-denial, an hourly devotion which finds no detail too minute.
-Honoré de Balzac

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.
-Honoré de Balzac

The key to living a moral life is this: Do nothing in private that you would be ashamed to discuss openly with your mother.
-J.P. Morgan

The love of a mother is never exhausted; it never changes, it never tires. A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands: but a mother's love endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world's condemnation, a mother still loves on, and still hopes that her child may turn from his evil ways, and repent; still she remembers the infant smiles that once filled her bosom with rapture, the merry laugh, the joyful shout of his childhood, the opening promise of his youth; and she can never be brought to think him all unworthy.
-Washington Irving

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served us nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
-Calvin Trillin

The only thing that seems eternal and natural in motherhood is ambivalence.
-Jane Lazarre

There are more quarrels smothered by just shutting your mouth, and holding it shut, than by all the wisdom in the world.
-Henry Ward Beecher

There are only two things a child will share willingly- communicable diseases and his mother's age.
-Dr. Benjamin Spock

There is nothing in the world of art like the songs mother used to sing.
-Billy Sunday

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.

Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother's love is not.
-James Joyce

When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States.
-Erma Bombeck

You never get over being a child, long as you have a mother to go to.
-Sarah Orne Jewett

Your mother knows how to push your buttons because she installed them.

Categories: Cartoons, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Henri Frédéric Amiel

Published Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 11 2014

Henri Frédéric Amiel (September 27, 1821 - May 11, 1881) was a Swiss philosopher, poet and critic. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man without passion is only a latent force, only a possibility, like a stone waiting for the blow from the iron to give forth sparks.

A thousand things advance; nine hundred and ninety-nine retreat: that is progress.

An error is the more dangerous in proportion to the degree of truth it contains.

Analysis kills spontaneity. The grain once ground into flour springs and germinates no more.

Clever men will recognize and tolerate nothing but cleverness; every authority rouses their ridicule, every superstition amuses them, every convention moves them to contradiction.

Common sense is the measure of the possible; it is composed of experience and prevision; it is calculation applied to life.

Destiny has two ways of crushing us- by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them.

Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius.

Dreams are excursions into the limbo of things, a semi-deliverance from the human prison.

If man was what he ought to be he would be adored by the animals.

If nationality is consent, the state is compulsion.

It is truth alone- scientific, established, proved, and rational truth- which is capable of satisfying nowadays the awakened minds of all classes. We may still say perhaps, 'faith governs the world,'- but the faith of the present is no longer in revelation or in the priest- it is in reason and in science.

Life is short, and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.

Melancholy is at the bottom of everything, just as at the end of all rivers is the sea. Can it be otherwise in a world where nothing lasts, where all that we have loved or shall love must die? Is death, then, the secret of life?

Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires, but according to our powers.

Pure truth cannot be assimilated by the crowd; it must be communicated by contagion.

Society lives by faith, develops by science.

The great artist is the simplifier.

The highest function of the teacher consists not so much in imparting knowledge as in stimulating the pupil in its love and pursuit. To know how to suggest is the art of teaching.

The man who has no inner life is the slave of his surroundings.

The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret.

The stationary condition is the beginning of the end.

The test of every religious, political, or educational system, is the man which it forms. If a system injures the intelligence it is bad. If it injures the character it is vicious. If it injures the conscience it is criminal.

There is no curing a sick man who believes himself to be in health.

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

To shun one's cross is to make it heavier.

Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be outraged by silence.

Will localizes us, thought universalizes us.

Women wish to be loved not because they are pretty, or good, or well bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves.

Categories: Henri Frédéric Amiel, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Theodore Parker

Published Saturday, May 10, 2014 @ 12:02 AM EDT
May 10 2014

Theodore Parker (August 24, 1810 - May 10, 1860) was an American Transcendentalist and reforming minister of the Unitarian church. A reformer and abolitionist, his words and quotations which he popularized would later inspire speeches by Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A democracy- that is a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government of the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness' sake I will call it the idea of Freedom.

All men desire to be immortal.

As society advances, the standard of poverty rises.

Disappointment is often the salt of life.

Every rose is an autograph from the hand of the Almighty God.

I do not pretend to understand the moral universe. The arc is a long one. My eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by experience of sight. I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice.

I should not like to be merely a great doctor, a great lawyer, a great minister, a great politician.- I should like to be, also, something of a man.

It is very sad for a man to make himself servant to a single thing; his manhood all taken out of him by the hydraulic pressure of excessive business. I should not like to be merely a great doctor, a great lawyer, a great minister, a great politician. I should like to be, also, something of a man.

Justice is moral temperance in the world of men. It keeps just relations between men; one man, however little, must not be sacrificed to another, however great, to a majority, or to all men.

Justice is the constitution or fundamental law of the moral universe, the law of right, a rule of conduct for man in all his moral relations.

Let others laugh when you sacrifice desire to duty, if they will. You have time and eternity to rejoice in.

Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive triumph of the right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.

Magnificent promises are always to be suspected.

Man never falls so low that he can see nothing higher than himself.

Marriages are best of dissimilar material.

Never violate the sacredness of your individual self-respect. Be true to your own mind and conscience, your heart and your soul. So only can you be true to God.

Observation and reflection only give us the actual of morals; conscience, by gradual and successive intuition, presents us the ideal of morals.

One man, however little, must not be sacrificed to another, however great, to a majority, or to all men.

Outward judgment often fails, inward judgment never.

Politics is the science of urgencies.

Remorse is the pain of sin.

The books that help you the most are those which make you think the most.

The people are not satisfied with any form of government, or statute law, until it comes up to their sense of justice; so every progressive State revises its statutes from time to time, and at each revision comes nearer to the absolute right which human nature demands.

The universe itself is a great autograph of the Almighty.

The world has grown rich and refined, but chiefly by the efforts of those who themselves continue poor and ignorant.

Truth never yet fell dead in the streets; it has such affinity with the soul of man, the seed however broadcast will catch somewhere and produce its hundredfold.

Truth stood on one side and Ease on the other; it has often been so.

Wealth and want equally harden the human heart, as frost and fire are both alien to the human flesh. Famine and gluttony alike drive nature away from the heart of man.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Theodore Parker

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Quotes of the day: Billy Joel

Published Friday, May 09, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 09 2014

William Martin "Billy" Joel (b. May 9, 1949) is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man," in 1973, Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States. His compilation album Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2 is the third best-selling album in the United States by discs shipped. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


And every time I've held a rose
It seems I only felt the thorns.
And so it goes, and so it goes.
And so will you soon I suppose.

Don't wait for answers
Just take your chances
Don't ask me why.

Everybody's talkin' 'bout the new sound
Funny, but it's still rock and roll to me.

I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.
Sinners are much more fun...
And only the good die young.

I'm young enough to still see the passionate boy I used to be.
But I'm old enough to say I got a good look at the other side.

I've lived long enough to have learned
The closer you get to the fire the more you get burned.

Some love is just a lie of the heart
The cold remains of what began with a passionate start.

Some people hope for a miracle cure
Some people just accept the world as it is.
But I'm not willing to lay down and die
Because I am an innocent man.

They say that no one's gonna play this on the radio
They said the melancholy blues were dead and gone
But only songs like these
Played in minor keys
Keep those memories holding on.

Yes they're sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it's better than drinking alone.

You know the good ole days weren't always good,
And tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems.

You may be right
I may be crazy.
But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for.

You're only human, you're allowed to make your share of mistakes.

Categories: Billy Joel, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Fulton J. Sheen

Published Thursday, May 08, 2014 @ 12:22 AM EDT
May 08 2014

Fulton John Sheen (born Peter John Sheen, May 8, 1895 – December 9, 1979) was an American bishop (later archbishop) of the Roman Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


America's greatest enemy is not from without, but from within, and that enemy is hate: hatred of races, peoples, classes and religions. If America ever dies, it will be not through conquest but suicide.

Any book which inspires us to lead a better life is a good book.

Each of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits.

Hearing nuns' confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.

If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.

Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.

Marriage is like television: it eats up the material, and no one wants to hear it again.

More men discover their souls in darkness than they do in light. This is not to invite darkness; it is only to be reminded that darkness need not go to waste when it is thrust upon us.

No man hates God without first hating himself.

Nothing ever happens in the world that does not happen first inside human hearts.

Resolutions, like the good, die young.

Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong.

Some will not look on suffering because it creates responsibility.

Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.

The big print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

The danger today is in believing there are no sick people, there is only a sick society.

The escapists who call religion a crutch are like the blind who call those who see visionaries.

The science of a religious man must be scientific; the religion of a scientific man must be religious.

There are two ways of waking up in the morning. One is to say, 'Good morning, God,' and the other is to say, 'Good God, morning!'

Too many people get credit for being good, when they are only being passive.

We become like that which we love. If we love what is base, we become base; but if we love what is noble, we become noble.

What is discovered may be abused, but that does not mean the discovery was evil.

When you are getting kicked from the rear it means you are in front.

When you think of the condition the world is in now you sometimes wish that Noah had missed the boat.

You must remember to love people and use things, rather than to love things and use people.


(Today is also the birthday of Harry S. Truman.)

Categories: Fulton J. Sheen, Quotes of the day

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Over the hump

Published Wednesday, May 07, 2014 @ 7:29 AM EDT
May 07 2014

Let no man boast himself that he has got through the perils of winter till at least the seventh of May.
-Anthony Trollope

Categories: Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Elbert Hubbard

Published Wednesday, May 07, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 07 2014

Elbert Green Hubbard (June 19, 1856 – May 7, 1915) was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. Raised in Hudson, Illinois, he met early success as a traveling salesman with the Larkin soap company. Today Hubbard is mostly known as the founder of the Roycroft artisan community in East Aurora, New York, an influential exponent of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Among his many publications were the nine-volume work Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great and the short story A Message to Garcia. He and his second wife, Alice Moore Hubbard, died aboard the RMS Lusitania, which was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland on May 7, 1915. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A conservative is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run.

A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in the experience.

A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.

A man is as good as he has to be, and a woman is as bad as she dares.

A man is not paid for having a head and hands, but for using them.

A mystic is a person who is puzzled before the obvious but who understands the nonexistent.

A pessimist is a man who has been compelled to live with an optimist.

All good men are Anarchists.

An idea that is not dangerous is not worthy of being called an idea at all.

Anyone who idolizes you is going to hate you when he discovers that you are fallible. He never forgives. He has deceived himself, and he blames you for it.

Do not dump your woes upon people- keep the sad story of your life to yourself. Troubles grow by recounting them.

Do not take life too seriously- you will never get out of it alive.

Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing, and you'll never be criticized.

Editor: a person employed on a newspaper whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.

Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes a day. Wisdom consists of not exceeding the limit.

Every man should have a college education in order to show him how little the thing is really worth. The intellectual kings of the earth have seldom been college-bred.

Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes.

Genius is often only the power of making continuous efforts.

Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.

God will not look you over for medals, degrees, or diplomas, but for scars.

He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.

He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.

I am not sure just what the unpardonable sin is, but I believe it is a disposition to evade the payment of small bills.

I would rather be able to appreciate things I cannot have than to have things I am not able to appreciate.

If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all?

If pleasures are greatest in anticipation, just remember that this is also true of trouble.

If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.

If there is any better way to teach virtue than by practicing it, I do not know it.

If you can't answer a man's argument, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names.

If you want work well done, select a busy man‚ the other kind has no time.

It does not take much strength to do things, but it takes a great deal of strength to decide what to do.

It is easy to get everything you want, provided that you first learn to do without the things you can not get.

Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street.

Never explain- your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyhow.

No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.

Our admiration is so given to dead martyrs that we have little time for living heroes.

Perfume: Any smell that is used to drown a worse one.

Philosophy rests on a proposition that whatever is is right. Preaching begins by assuming that whatever is is wrong.

Piety is the tinfoil of pretense.

Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.

So long as governments set the example of killing their enemies, private citizens will occasionally kill theirs.

The great Big Black Things that have loomed against the horizon of my life, threatening to devour me, simply loomed and nothing more. The things that have really made me miss my train have always been sweet, soft, pretty, pleasant things of which I was not in the least afraid.

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

The love we give away is the only love we keep.

The man who has no problems is out of the game.

The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and these are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence.

The reason men oppose progress is not that they hate progress, but that they love inertia.

The recipe for perpetual ignorance is to be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.

There is no such thing as success in a bad business.

There is something that is much more scarce, something finer far, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability.

To remain on earth you must be useful, otherwise Nature regards you as old metal, and is only watching for a chance to melt you over.

We are punished by our sins, not for them.

Wealth: A cunning device of Fate whereby men are made captive, and burdened with responsibilites from which only Death can file their fetters.


I can not say specifically where your father and Mrs. Hubbard were when the torpedoes hit, but I can tell you just what happened after that. They emerged from their room, which was on the port side of the vessel, and came on to the boat-deck.

Neither appeared perturbed in the least. Your father and Mrs. Hubbard linked arms- the fashion in which they always walked the deck- and stood apparently wondering what to do. I passed him with a baby which I was taking to a lifeboat when he said, "Well, Jack, they have got us. They are a damn sight worse than I ever thought they were."

They did not move very far away from where they originally stood. As I moved to the other side of the ship, in preparation for a jump when the right moment came, I called to him, "What are you going to do?" and he just shook his head, while Mrs. Hubbard smiled and said, "There does not seem to be anything to do."

The expression seemed to produce action on the part of your father, for then he did one of the most dramatic things I ever saw done. He simply turned with Mrs. Hubbard and entered a room on the top deck, the door of which was open, and closed it behind him.

It was apparent that his idea was that they should die together, and not risk being parted on going into the water.

-Ernest C. Cowper, a survivor of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, in a letter to Hubbard's son Elbert Hubbard II (March 12, 1916), published in Selected Writings of Elbert Hubbard: His Mintage of Wisdom, Coined from a Life of Love, Laughter and Work (1922).

Categories: Elbert Hubbard, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Theodore H. White

Published Tuesday, May 06, 2014 @ 12:42 AM EDT
May 06 2014

Theodore Harold White (May 6, 1915 – May 15, 1986) was an American political journalist and historian, known for his wartime reporting from China and accounts of the 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1980 presidential elections. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A genuine primary is a fight within the family of the party- and, like any family fight, is apt to be more bitter and leave more enduring wounds than battle with the November enemy.

A liberal is a person who believes that water can be made to run uphill. A conservative is someone who believes everybody should pay for his water. I'm somewhere in between: I believe water should be free, but that water flows downhill.

All men who run for presidency of the United States are amateurs; there is no way of becoming a professional at it, and all of them, win or lose, are forever altered in spirit of character by the ordeal.

Closeness to power heightens the dignity of all men.

Don't ever let anybody teach you to think; it is the curse of the world.

Every American election summons the individual voter to weigh the past against the future.

He who is created by television can be destroyed by television.

In politics, the things that do not happen are frequently as significant as those that do.

In the politics of consent, no victory is ever permanent unless the victor makes it firm on a base of persuasion.

It is almost nicer being a godfather than a father, like having white mice but making your nanny feed them for you.

Liberalism: for every complicated problem there exists both an intellectual and a moral solution and they coincide.

Politics in America is the binding secular religion.

Politics is a process which should slowly bring to public all the private worries and hopes of the individual.

Power in America today is control of the means of communication.

Professionals in a campaign are servants; they can tell him only how to do something once he tells them what it is he wants to do.

Quality in a classical Greek sense is how to live with grace and intelligence, with bravery and mercy.

The best politics for any president is to be a good president.

The best time to listen to a politician is when he's on a stump on a street corner in the rain late at night when he's exhausted. Then he doesn't lie.

The development of an image is a mysterious thing: once a public figure has been cast in a public role, it is almost impossible for him to change the character.

The flood of money that gushes into politics today is a pollution of democracy.

The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else doing it wrong, without comment.

There is no excitement anywhere in the world, short of war, to match the excitement of the American presidential campaign.

To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can have.

Whether a man is burdened by power or enjoys power; whether he is trapped by responsibility or made free by it; whether he is moved by other people and outer forces or moves them- this is of the essence of leadership.

With the end of the nominating process, American politics leaves logic behind.


(Today is also the birthday of Sigmund Freud and Orson Welles )

Categories: Quotes of the day, Theodore H. White

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Quotes of the day: Christopher Morley

Published Monday, May 05, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 05 2014

Christopher Morley (May 5, 1890 – March 28, 1957) was an American journalist, novelist, essayist and poet. He also produced stage productions for a few years and gave college lectures. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A critic is a gong at a railroad crossing, clanging loudly and vainly as the train goes by.

A human being is an ingenious assembly of portable plumbing.

A man who has never made a woman angry is a failure in life.

All cities are mad: but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful, but the beauty is grim.

America is still a government of the naive, for the naive, and by the naive. He who does not know this, nor relish it, has no inkling of the nature of his country.

Any man worth his salt has by the time he is forty-five accumulated a crown of thorns, and the problem is to learn to wear it over one ear.

Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting.

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

High heels were invented by a woman who had been kissed on the forehead.

Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs.

It's a good thing to turn your mind upside down now and then, like an hour-glass, to let the particles run the other way.

Life is a foreign language: all men mispronounce it.

Lots of times you have to pretend to join a parade in which you're not really interested in order to get where you're going.

Man is unconquerable because he can make even his helplessness so entertaining. His motto seems to be 'Even though He slay me, yet will I make fun of Him!'

Men talk of 'finding God,' but no wonder it is difficult; He is hidden in that darkest of hiding places, your own heart.

My theology, briefly, is that the universe was dictated, but not signed.

No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.

Philadelphia was the first city to foresee the advantages of a Federal constitution and oatmeal as a breakfast food.

Printer's ink has been running a race against gunpowder these many, many years. Ink is handicapped, in a way, because you can blow up a man with gunpowder in half a second, while it may take twenty years to blow him up with a book. But the gunpowder destroys itself along with its victim, while a book can keep on exploding for centuries.

The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness.

The enemies of the Future are always the very nicest people.

The misfortunes hardest to bear are these which never came.

The trouble with wedlock is there's not enough wed and too much lock.

There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.

We've had bad luck with our kids- they've all grown up.

Why do they put the Gideon Bibles only in the bedrooms, where it's usually too late, and not in the barroom downstairs?

Categories: Christopher Morley, Quotes of the day

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