And I Quote:

"We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture."
Pastor Ray Mummert, in the middle of the 'Intelligent Design' controversy that bankrupted the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania.
"There are only two classes of mathematicians in Felix Klein's department: those who work on what Felix Klein wants, neglecting what they want, and those who refuse to work on what Felix Klein wants, doing what they want instead. Logically, Felix Klein cannot be a member of either group. Therefore, Felix Klein cannot be a mathematician."
An anonymous joker, on the Goettingen Mathematics Department under Felix Klein.
"Fortune doesn't change men - it exposes them."
Suzanne Necker.
"In user-indifferent software, the simplest tasks can turn out to be the most difficult. And because they are simple, no one has bothered to document or exemplify them. My most recent hour in hell was spent trying to draw a horizontal line within a gnuplot image, and then thrashing about on the Internet among broken, irrelevant, and misleading documentation and examples. I only figured it out when I ran across a note that I had posted myself, six years before."
Jud Northbark, "The As-Is World".
"AGORA: a place set apart for people to go and cheat each other."
Cyrus, king of the Persians.
"When I travel in the provinces, I never ask which is the best hotel, but which is the newest, because in Turkey things tend to wear out so quickly."
Martin Flavin, "Red Poppies and White Marble".
"In the Falkland Islands, mutton is known as '365' because it is served every day of the year."
The Cacophagist's Cookbook.
"Evelyn Waugh’s uncle wrote a travel book called 'Turkey Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow'. Waugh remarked that it could have been retitled 'Boxing Day'."
The Cacophagist's Cookbook.
"The art of public life lies in knowing when to stop, and then going a bit further."
Evelyn Waugh.
"A vast proportion of travel is accumulated nuisances."
Paul Theroux.
"There are women who are not beautiful but only look that way."
Karl Kraus.
"Rome reminds me of a man who lives by exhibiting to travelers his grandmother's corpse."
James Joyce.
"Mr Bain: Listen, that is most interesting. It is what we call the six o'clock beetle, because he always makes that noise at exactly six o'clock.
Waugh: But it's now a quarter past four.
Mr Bain: Yes, that is what is so interesting."

Evelyn Waugh, in "Ninety Two Days".
"Any old stick will do to beat the Church of Rome, and if it breaks, you've got two."
Father Ronald Knox.
"The stock market has forecast nine of the last five recessions."
Paul Samuelson.
"The president is aware of what is going on. That's not to say that there is something going on."
Ron Ziegler, press secretary for Richard Nixon.
"The streets of Philadelphia are safe. It's only the people who make them unsafe."
Mayor Frank Rizzo.
"Capital punishment is our society's recognition of the sanctity of human life."
Senator Orrin Hatch.
"The Archbishop is the shepherd of his flock, and the Archdeacon is the crook on his staff."
Silyas Dogwood.
"We have only one person to blame, and that's each other."
Barry Black, of the New York Ranger hockey team.
"To see him act is like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning."
Coleridge, on the actor Edmund Kean.
"One pearl is better than a necklace of potatoes."
The mime Etienne Decroix.
"How excellent a thing is sleep. It wraps around a man like a cloak."
"The people are tired of Monsieur Clemenceau, and he will have to wait until he is dead to be a great man again."
Ernest Hemingway reports the attitude of the French public to their eighty-year-old president.
"It is not only the fault of the axe, but of the tree as well."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Whoever declares a child to be 'delicate' thereby crowns and anoints a tyrant."
Robertson Davies, 'The Cunning Man'.
"SCHOOL: a jail with educational opportunities."
Robertson Davies, 'The Cunning Man'.
"They have great beaches. You see that whenever they're exploding their cannons into the ocean. I said, 'Boy, look at the view. Wouldn't that make a great condo?'"
Donald Trump's view of North Korea.
"Italy has a healthy appetite, but bad teeth!"
Bismarck, commenting on a failed Italian effort at grabbing territory.
"This is not your signature!"
The paradoxical blustering complaint made by a bureaucrat, because John Guiver always writes with block letters, rather than cursive.
"He who raises his sword against a prince must throw away the scabbard."
Jud Northbark.
"Shoot him, for now."
Pancho Villa, asked about what to do with a captured prisoner.
"Journalism is a great profession as long as you get out of it."
Silyas Dogwood.
"People who are afraid of loneliness should never marry."
Brewster Bragsheer.
"Probability and Statistics used to be married; then they got separated; then they got divorced; now they hardly see each other. This is crazy!"
David Williams, 'Weighing the Odds: A Course in Probability and Statistics'.
"The human soul is hospitable, and will entertain conflicting sentiments and contradictory opinions with much impartiality."
George Eliot.
"Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all. The conscientious historian will correct these defects."
Mark Twain.
"Sarah Palin dismisses the fuss about teacher salaries, saying of one protesting teacher that her reward is in heaven. Unfortunately, her rent is due here on Earth."
Bill Maher.
"I am pleased that history recognizes the first to invent something, but I am more concerned with the first person to make it work."
Grace Hopper.
"The mistake of most people is to suppose that it is by the ear that they communicate with music, and, therefore, that they are purely passive to its effects. But this is not so: it is by the reaction of the mind upon the notices of the ear (the matter coming by the senses, the form from the mind) that the pleasure is constructed: and therefore it is that people of equally good ear differ so much in this point from one another. Now opium, by greatly increasing the activity of the mind generally, increases, of necessity, that particular mode of its activity by which we are able to construct out of the raw material of organic sound an elaborate intellectual pleasure."
Thomas de Quincey, 'Confessions of an English Opium Eater'.
"Tradition cannot be turned off at will; you have to let it drip for a bit."
Georgina Armour.
"IBM had created this process and it absolutely made sure that quality would be preserved. At one point, somebody kind of looked at the process to see, well, you know, what it's doing and what's the overhead built into it; what they found is that it would take at least nine months to ship an empty box."
Rich Seidner, quoted by Stephen Segaller in 'Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet'.
"One day the whole world was going to look like Los Angeles, he decided, not a city, not the absence of a city, just ruined countryside, with houses squeezed between highways which never tired of whispering the lie that it was more interesting to go somewhere than to be here."
Edward St Aubyn, 'On the Edge'.
"In those days, anyone interested in building steam engines in America was working in a vacuum."
Andrea Sutcliff, 'Steam: The Untold Story of America's First Great Invention'.
"Being a Stranger, I was invited to sup at a Tavern. The Cook was too filthy an Object to be described, only another English Gentleman whispered to me and said, he believed, if the Fellow was to be thrown against the Wall, he would stick to it."
Edward Burt describes a visit to Edinburgh in 1754.
"Of the three popes, John the Twenty-Third was the first victim; he fled, and was brought back a prisoner: the most scandalous charges were suppressed; the vicar of Christ was only accused of piracy, murder, rape, sodomy, and incest."
Edward Gibbon, 'The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'.
"If a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged, a liberal is a conservative who has been arrested."
Tom Wolfe.
"A stubby, prim-looking woman, asked by a player if he should split tens, might say, 'If you had a twenty-inch dick, would you cut it in half?'"
Frederick and Steven Barthelme, 'Double Down'.
"The English Department was a place of twenty-year turf wars and otherwise endearing behavior, of people who pressed long-time graduate students to call them 'Santa' in the privacy of their office, but please, please, 'Doctor Claus' in the public halls."
Frederick and Steven Barthelme, 'Double Down'.
"Cret asked, 'Where did you get this idea"' and Father replied, 'Oh, I got it out of my head, Mr Cret.' Telling this story, Father, to imitate his teacher, would then assume a cartoonish French accent and say, very slowly, 'Eez good zat it eez out'.."
Frederick and Steven Barthelme, 'Double Down'.
"My friends tell me that I have an intimacy issue - but I don't think they know me."
Garry Shandling.
"Absence makes the heart go wander.'"
Modine Gunch, The Statesville Record and Landmark, 30 April 1969.
"Laura: 'You said you would marry me if pigs could fly, so there's hope!' Lauro: 'Let me be precise; only if pigs can fly will I marry you.'"
Tractatus Logico-Eroticus.
"How will you spend eternity: Smoking or Non-Smoking?"
Sign outside Shibboleth Valley Church.
"NULLIPSISM: The belief that I am the only person in existence, and I'm nobody."
Brewster Bragsheer, 'Ask Your Doctor'.
"I just want to know how come we choose from just two people for president and fifty for Miss America."
Michael Collins, 'The Resurrectionists'.
"Hardware eventually fails. Software eventually works."
The Old Programmer's Almanac.
"Einstein was wrong when he said, 'God does not play dice'. Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen."
Stephen Hawking.
"There is nothing whatever between the Prince of Wales and Lily Langtry. Not even a sheet."
A British newspaper in the 1890's.
"A mouse once tried to outwit a cat. It is believed that in the end the mouse did succeed in permeating the cat, but the cat is still living - and the mouse cannot be found."
H G Wells, mocking the Fabian Society's goal of 'permeating' all political parties with its socialistic ideals.
"He's very clever, but sometimes his brains go to his head."
Margot Asquith on Lord Birkenhead.
"It was said of old Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, that she never put dots over her i's, to save ink."
Horace Walpole, 'Letter to Horace Mann'.
"He was too intelligent to belong to the intelligentsia."
Piers Brendon, on Winston Churchill.
"I am always quite willing to be satisfied by the best."
Winston Churchill.
"I hear you boys have been putting your private parts where I wouldn't put this umbrella."
The Duke of Cambridge, admonishing student cadets at the military academy at Sandhurst after a scandal.
"The blind man fears no snake."
Transuranian proverb.
"I don't care one bit about salary; but I discovered I care a great deal about salaries!"
Professor Gradgrind, after realizing that all faculty salaries were public information.
"Every group of friends has room for one pushy person, even if it doesn't."
Brewster Bragsheer.
"Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
General George Patton, in the movie 'Patton'.
"Watt had watched people smile and thought he knew how it was done."
Samuel Beckett, in 'Watt'.
"You're 59, Peter? How is that possible? For ten years I've thought of you as 51."
Jud Northbark.
"For fields like linear algebra, we have developed a standard catalog of problems and solutions.
And there are some fields for which maybe we don't have a solution.
But for Artificial Intelligence, I would say we don't even have a problem."

Brewster Bragsheer
"I have often observed with singular pleasure that a fly, driven from a honey pot, will immediately, and with very good appetite, alight and finish his meal on an excrement."
Jonathan Swift.
"Cocaine is God's way of telling you that you have too much money."
Silyas Dogwood.
"Message from Admiral Turner, in charge of American invasion of Okinawa:
Reply from Admiral Nimitz:

Shortly afterwards, American troops discovered the Japanese deeply entrenched in tunnels across the island, and a fantastically bloody campaign ensued.
"Yachting is a lot like standing in an ice cold shower while ripping up dollar bills."
Brewster Bragsheer.
"One day, someone will find an unsigned William Golding novel, and it will be worth a fortune."
William Golding, after an exhausting public appearance and autograph session at the 1989 Toronto literary festival.
"An excellent assurance of domestic tranquillity, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure."
Elbridge Gerry warns that a standing army is like a standing penis.
"History is a common meadow in which everyone can make hay."
A Transuranian proverb.
"At last this odious man is dead. His departure causes his survivors joy, but is bound to distress the dead."
The bishop of Alexandria, in 444, delivering the eulogy for patriarch Cyrillus.
"However many ways there may be of being alive, it is certain that there are vastly more ways of being dead."
Richard Dawkins.
"DEDICATION: To my advisor, who didn't think this problem could be solved, didn't think this problem was worth solving, didn't think I was the person who could solve it, and didn't believe my solution when I completed it. His determined opposition has been my constant inspiration."
Roger Gradstud's thesis says goodbye to graduate school.
"You have to understand, University of Hawaii professors are paid in sunshine."
Professor Gradgrind explains his skimpy pay check.
"If a ship had 26 sheep and 10 goats onboard, how old is the ship's captain?"
A question on a test for fifth-graders in China, later explained as not a mistake, but a challenge to critical thinking.
"There are books in which the footnotes or the comments scrawled by some reader's hand in the margin are more interesting than the text. The world is one of these books."
George Santayana.
"He was an experienced businessman and I was an inexperienced businessman. And when that combination gets together, it is often the case that the inexperienced businessman gets some experience."
Leonard Adleman, recalling his negotiation with Jack Kelly for a loan to save his RSA Security company.
"BACHELOR: A man who comes to work from a different direction every day."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Shoes Yes! Books No!"
Anti-intellectual slogan for a march organized by Juan Peron.
"As is well known in mathematics, any trick that you can use more than once is actually a method."
Paul Nahin, in 'Will You Be Alive Ten Years From Now?'.
"In Nebraska, you don't have to die to go to hell."
From the Dust Bowl diary of Don Hartwell.
"The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage."
Emperor Hirohito, not necessarily committing to further warfare.
"After history has had a hundred years to macerate the faddish reputation of James Joyce, the last item to disappear will be his perfect sentence: 'When you wet the bed, first it is warm then it gets cold.'"
Silyas Dogwood.
"My morning hasn't begun until I've had half an hour to sit in a comfortable chair and rearrange my phlegm."
An inveterate smoker.
"It's really true! Every time I speak, I'm prematurely quoting myself!"
Narcissus Mangold.
"'I'm, like, a smart person' is a sentence that disproves itself. It's like getting a back tattoo that says 'I Make Good Decisions.'"
Seth Myers, commenting on a tweet by a presidential twit.
"Battle is no more characteristic of war than copulation is of marriage."
Jud Northbark.
"I am surprised that Donald Trump is sticking with his current legal team, given that he could hire any defense attorney - well, almost any one."
The apparently unavailable Alan Dershowitz.
"With what strife and pain we come into the world we know not, but tis commonly no easy matter to get out of it."
Thomas Browne.
"When the drink's in, the wit's out."
Transuranian proverb.
"His mind was like a lighthouse beacon; at times it illuminated things in a blinding clear light, and then it would turn away, leaving only unutterable darkness."
Lloyd George, at the 1916 memorial service for Lord Kitchener.
"There is no city in the world which has erected a statue to a critic."
Julian Barnes.
"In America, anyone can grow up to be president. That's just one of the risks we take."
Adlai Stevenson.
"There is a splinter of ice in the heart of a writer."
Graham Greene.
"Laws, like houses, lean on one another."
Edmund Burke, 'Tracts Relative to the Laws Against Popery in Ireland'.
"An event has happened, of which it is difficult to speak, and impossible to remain silent."
Edmund Burke, 'On the Impeachment of Warren Hastings'.
"You don't have to explain what you never said."
Calvin Coolidge.
"No emotion can be so pure as the hatred you feel for a child."
Penelope Fitzgerald, 'At Freddies'.
"The deepest thoughts of this so-called philosopher can be found preserved in needlepoint on pillows scattered throughout the land."
Jud Northbark, 'A Gift of Millstones'.
"After the European Union imposed monthly salary caps on public employees, the Greek government added a thirteenth and then a fourteenth month to their calendar."
Jud Northbark, 'The Autocannibals'.
"An Irish person with a personal problem takes it into a hole with him, like a squirrel with a nut before winter."
Michael Lewis, 'Boomerang'.
"Ireland has two kinds of weather: it's raining, or it's about to rain."
Brewster Bragsheer, 'Trust, but Terrify'.
"Nobody ever forgets where he buried the hatchet."
Kin Hubbard.
"St Augustine asked where time came from.
He said it came out of the future, which didn't exist yet,
into the present that had no duration,
and went into the past that had ceased to exist."

Graham Greene, 'The End of the Affair".
Seen in the rear-view mirror, I think.
"Without promotion, something terrible happens - nothing!"
P T Barnum.
"He was said to be distinguished-looking: that's ugly with money."
Carrie Fisher describing stepfather Harry Karl.
"The chairman appoints a committee because something doesn't need to be done, and it needs to be not done very carefully and over a long long time."
Jud Northbark.
"Fighting is to war what cash payment is to trade, for however rarely it may be necessary for it actually to occur, everything is directed towards it, and eventually it must take place all the same, and must be decisive."
"Complexity is not inherent in an object. To a butcher, for instance, a bicycle may be complex and a sheep's brain quite simple."
Brewster Bragsheer.
"The brain emits thoughts as the liver does bile."
Pierre-Jean-Georges Cabanis.
"This is a book about my involvement with two outrageous catastrophes - the Second World War, and my father."
Moritz Thomsen, 'My Two Wars'.
"Distressed Motorist: 'Can you please tell me how to get to Chicago?'
Farmer: 'Well, I certainly wouldn't start from here!'"

Silyas Dogwood, 'A Can of Corn'.
"In Hollywood, everyone's favorite page in the trades is the obituaries."
Film producer Cassian Elwes.
"MIT Philosophy Professor: 'What do you think of us humanists?'
MIT Physics Professor: 'Think of you? We don't even bother to ignore you.'"

David Shiang, in 'God Does Not Play Dice'.
"I didn't go to film school, I went to films!"
Quentin Tarantino.
"When I was in Mexico, I asked an Indian how old he was and he said: soon it will be sixty five years ago that I began to die."
Ivan Klima, 'Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light'.
"If you locked Bingham up alone in a closet, he'd pick a fight with himself."
A description of pugnacious movie executive Ray Bingham.
"Dickie, you're so crooked, if you swallowed a nail, you'd shit a corkscrew."
Gerald Templer, to Louis Mountbatten.
"The prime minister is like the great banyan tree. Thousands shelter beneath it, but nothing grows."
S K Patil describing Jawaharlal Nehru.
"Credit is suspicion asleep."
"Quae sunt in luce tuemur e tenebris...
Things shine more brightly to one who is in the dark."

"As a pedestrian approaches an intersection, the universe experiences an ever-growing urge to emit a car out of nowhere to obstruct the way."
Jud Northbark, 'Getting Nowhere Fast'.
"As a car approaches an intersection, the universe experiences an ever-growing urge to emit a pedestrian out of nowhere to obstruct the way."
Jud Northbark, 'Getting Nowhere Fast'.
"If you push something hard enough, it will fall over."
Fudd's First Law of Opposition.
"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live."
Ruth Rendell, 'A Judgement in Stone'.
"Success is always temporary, success is only a delayed failure."
Graham Greene, 'A Sort of Life'.
"Human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat our tunes for bears to dance to, when all the time we are longing to move the stars to pity."
Gustave Flaubert.
"I am the more astonished that so many thousands of grown men should be possessed again and again with a childish passion to look at galloping horses, and men standing upright in their chariots. If, indeed, they were attracted by the swiftness of the horses or the skill of the men, one could account for this enthusiasm. But in fact it is a bit of cloth they favor, a bit of cloth that captivates them. And if during the running the racers were to exchange colors, their partisans would change sides, and instantly forsake the very drivers and horses whom they were just before recognizing from afar, and clamorously saluting by name."
Pliny the Younger, in Letters 9.6, echoes Seinfeld's remark that sports fans are really just cheering for a particular set of clothes.
"When you write a research paper,
you are afraid that your result might already be known;
but when you write an expository paper,
you discover that nothing is known."

Gian-Carlo Rota, quoting one of his teachers.
"DEMOCRACY: the worship of jackals by jackasses."
H L Mencken.
"Physicists: if a particle is not impossible, it already exists;
Programmers: if an error is not impossible, it has already occurred."

Jud Northbark.
"As my landlord has noted: you may catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, but a hand grenade catches them all."
A former tenant, twice threatened with eviction, harassed, lied to, disrespected, and cheated.
"Had she take a bullfighter I would have understood... but an ordinary chemist?"
Physicist Wolfgang Pauli struggles with the breakup of his marriage.
"Insomnia is the indigestion of the soul."
A Transuranian proverb.
"The physicist Leo Szilard once announced to his friend Hans Bethe that he was thinking of keeping a diary.
'I don't intend to publish. I am merely going to record the facts for the information of God.'
'Don't you think God knows the facts?' Bethe asked.
'Yes,' said Szilard, 'He knows the facts, but he does not know this version of the facts.'"

Hans Christian von Baeyer.
"Even a dog distinguishes between being stumbled over and being kicked."
Oliver Wendell Holmes.
"The madman is not the man who has lost his reason.
The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason."

G K Chesterton.
"So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."
Benjamin Franklin.
"Those who cannot learn from history are compelled to repeat it in summer school."
Dean Gradgrind of Hardtack University
"The thing about a myth is not whether it is true or not, nor whether it should be true, but that it is somehow truer than truth itself."
Thomas Kineally, in 'Schindler's Ark'.
"Friends are God's apology for relations."
Hugh Kingsmill.
"Other people publish to show how to do it, but Julian Schwinger publishes to show only he can do it."
Freeman Dyson, on mathematical physicist Julian Schwinger.
"He is a second Dirac, only this time human."
Eugene Wigner, summing up Richard Feynman.
"There are no two words more harmful in the English language than 'good job'."
Rabid band leader Terence Fletcher, in 'Whiplash'.
"I could throw him three times out of four, but he would never stay throwed."
A childhood contemporary of Andrew Jackson remarks on his refusal to accept defeat.
"The cure for loneliness is solitude."
Marianne Moore.
"A joke is the epitaph of an emotion."
Friedrich Nietzsche.
"History is something that never happened, written by someone who was never there."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Shut up, Arnold, or I'll direct this play the way you wrote it."
John Dexter, after playwright Arnold Wesker disputed his direction.
"He knew every mathematician's phone number, but I don't think he knew anyone's first name. I doubt if he would have recognized my first name even though I have worked with him for twenty years. The only person he called by his first name was Tom Trotter, whom he called Bill."
Peter Winkler, on Paul Erdos.
"Life is a long preparation for something that never happens."
William Butler Yeats.
"As Aristotle remarked, men do not become dictators to become warm."
C S Lewis, in 'Surprised by Joy'.
"I don't care about proofs. I want to know the truth."
Paul Dirac, after his assistant told him he had discovered the answer to their research problem, but could not prove it.
"Science has determined that the speed of light is 186,282 miles per second. Therefore, common sense tells that the speed of dark must be even greater, since it has to get out of the way."
Brewster Bragsheer, 'The Sound of One Clap, Handing'.
"Fifty years ago, a classical education forced students to learn Greek and Latin, even though in most cases it was knowledge that would be completely useless to them. Nowadays, we just do calculus."
Dean Gradgrind of Hardtack University.
"He's 52 now, but so fears old age that he prefers to think of himself as 11 centigrade."
Tomfoolery's master of ceremonies introduces Tom Lehrer.
"Where there's a bang, there's Yang."
Graduate students in experimental physics describe the hazards of allowing their equipment to get near the notoriously accident-prone C N Yang, co-discoverer of parity violation.
"After great effort and planning, the French Army is now fully prepared to win the previous war."
Brewster Bragsheer.
"The more the universe seems comprehensible,
the more it also seems pointless."

Physicist Steven Weinberg, in 'The First Three Minutes'.
"I am not a speed reader;
I am a speed understander."

Isaac Asimov.
"The wider the circle of knowledge,
the greater the circumference of ignorance."

A Transuranian proverb.
"But now we see through a dark, glassly."
The Reverend William Archibald Spooner.
"It's like words are your second language, sir."
Veep's deputy assistant Richard Splett admiring the impromptu eloquence of vice presidential candidate Tom James.
"Malevolence tempered by incompetence."
Benjamin Wittes of Lawfareblog characterizes the Trump administration after its disastrous promulgation of an executive order limiting travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
"Relieved from the necessity of guarding cities and particular points, the army is free to move from point to point, and strike in detail the detachments and garrisons of the enemy, operating in the interior of our country, where supplies are accessible. Nothing is now needed to render our triumph certain."
The Confederate government bulletin after the fall of Richmond.
"Money doesn't matter; what's important is having it."
Contessa Marguerite Dumont, in the film "Marguerite".
"If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going."
Professor Irwin Corey, the World's Foremost Authority.
"The best that most of us can hope to achieve in physics is simply to misunderstand at a deeper level."
Wolfgang Pauli.
"Oppenheimer once said that Wolfgang Pauli was the only person he knew who was identical to his own caricature."
Jeremy Bernstein, in 'Physicists on Wall Street'.
"This looks like a bird, but no bird looks like this."
Jeremy Bernstein, in 'The Merely Personal', recalls a friend's self evaluation of his first amateur painting.
"Little things upset him. When Pluto was declared not a planet, he was just devastated."
Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings, in 'Maphead'.
"We don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day."
Supermodel Linda Evangelista.
"Teachers should prepare the student for the student's future, not for the teacher's past.
Richard Hamming.
"The increased legibility of his handwriting only serves to reveal the inadequacy of his ability to spell."
Nicholas Elliott's good news/bad news report card from Eton.
"The master points to the moon;
the disciple looks at the master's finger."

Transuranian proverb.
"I do like how generous he is. Just last Friday he handed me the election."
In Saturday Night Live's takeoff on the second presidential debate, Kate McKinnon, as Hillary Clinton, responds to the request to say something nice about Donald Trump, just after the leak of a tape of extraordinarily vulgar sexual comments.
"The only true voyage of discovery is not to go to new places, but to see with other eyes."
Marcel Proust.
"Being a comedian has a lot in common with being a matador. The feedback is so instant you can't argue about it."
Camilla Cleese.
"The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes."
Sir Thomas Beecham.
"Henry James chews more than he has bitten off."
Mrs Henry Adams.
"Two monks were watching a flag flapping in the wind.
One said to the other, 'The flag is moving.'
The other replied, 'The wind is moving.'
Huineng overheard this.
He said, 'Not the flag, not the wind; mind is moving.'"

Wumen Huikai, 'The Gateless Barrier'.
"Science progresses one funeral at a time."
Max Planck, on the disadvantages of deference to the great and old.
"Skinheads with hair."
Will Durst characterizes the attendees of a rally for Donald Trump.
"Our failures lay in our inability to appreciate the extreme obstinacy of Hitler. More than once we forecast that he would withdraw to shorter lines in Italy or Russia or the Balkans in order to economize on divisions. I still believe he would have done better if he had followed our advice!"
A member of Britain's Joint Intelligence Subcommittee muses on the difficulty of predicting Hitler's actions.
"If one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read 'Views Differ on Shape of Planet'."
Paul Krugman.
"All I was sayin is that a horse is a different proposition from what a lot of people think. A lot of what people take for ignorance on the part of the horse is just confusion between the righthand horse and the lefthand horse. Like if you was to saddle a horse and all and then walk around to his off side and start to mount up. You know what's goin to happen.
Sure. All hell's goin to bust loose.
That's right. That particular horse aint even seen you yet."

Cormac McCarthy, 'Cities of the Plain'.
"Dot dot dot, dash dash dash, dot dot dot!"
From "Titanic, or Dash, Dot dot, Dash, Dot Dash, Dash Dot, Dot dot, Dash dot dash dot", one of the first operas to be written and performed entirely in Morse code.
"Kepler observed that the apparently irregular motions of the planets were a function of the form of the lens of the eye. This does not mean that we cannot study the planets, only that we must also study the eye."
A S Byatt, 'Still Life'.
"Nowadays being anonymous is worse than being poor."
Rachel Barbra Berry, on the TV show 'Glee'.
"Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
Charles Mackay, 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds'.
"Einstein explained his theory to me every day, and soon I was fully convinced that he understood it."
Chaim Weizmann, after a transatlantic ship journey with Albert Einstein in 1921.
"How can I miss you when you won't go away?"
A sentimental country-western song.
"In this town, I'm the leper with the most fingers."
Jack Nicholson as Jake Gittes in 'The Two Jakes'.
"Never modify your office computer on a Friday afternoon."
The Old Programmer's Almanack.
"If the comments and the code disagree, both are probably wrong."
Norm Schryer.
"Colleges aren't really in the education business. Colleges are in the credentialing business."
Josh Kaufman.
"How far does a photon travel between the beginning of January 1st, 2016, and the end of December 31, 2016? - Exactly one lightleapyear."
Brewster Bragsheer, 'The Dictionary of Useless Units'.
"People think that facts help you see a theory, when in fact, it is only by having a theory that you are able to see facts."
Jud Northbark, in 'Quote, Ere a Demon Strand 'em!'.
"'Do you get many complaints about the service here?'
'Certainly not, there is no service!'"

Laurence Olivier, at the front desk of the Ukraine Hotel in Moscow.
"Hard work pays off in the long run...but procrastination pays off now."
Lukas Bystricky.
"On the other hand, in America, in the Republic, one must waste a whole day in paying serious court to the shopkeepers in the streets, and must become as stupid as they are, and over there, no opera."
Stendhal, in 'The Charterhouse of Parma'.
"He who excuses himself accuses himself."
A Transuranian proverb.
"The first essential for a prime minister is to be a good butcher."
William Gladstone.
"It's when you don't know where you is goin that you gotta hurry!"
Bun Rabbit, in Walt Kelly's 'Potluck Pogo'.
"You were a pretty thing once. Not that looks are everything. You don't look at the mantelpiece when you poke the fire."
John Osborne, 'The Entertainer'.
"Make sure you buckle up tight. It's the difference between a closed and open casket."
Pilot Kerry St Pe's preflight instructions to passenger Mike Tidwell, in 'Bayou Farewell'.
"Every man will speak of the fair as his own market has gone in it."
Laurence Sterne, 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman'.
"'No, you've got it exactly wrong', said McManus, 'the fundamental task of publishers is to decide what NOT to print.'"
Silyas Dogwood, 'Proverbs and Converbs'.
"She wished God had left Adam and Eve plain, and not stuck the odd bits on to them."
Joyce Cary, 'Herself Surprised'.
"Senator Foghorn: You're lying, and you know it!
Senator Leghorn: Well yes I am, but hear me out!"

Highlights from the filibuster.
"You must come again when you have less time."
Painter Walter Sickert, escorting a guest to the door.
"I am utterly exhausted. All last night a man was knocking at my door; finally at 6am I just got up and let him out."
Semolina Pilchard.
"Corpses can be found - it's the living who disappear."
Transuranian proverb.
"There are only a few truly interesting things in this world, maybe sex, sports, feuds, accidents and death; the rest we leave to university professors."
Jud Northbark, after a particularly tedious faculty dinner.
"Socrates: Well, you know, you can't prove a negative.
Mocrates: Oh, yeah? And can you prove that?"

Battle of the Sophists.
"I feel if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up."
Tom Lehrer.
"The German nightmare is to stand in front of a counter; the German dream is to sit behind a counter."
Kurt Tucholsky.
"Although every week we had a different colloquium speaker, the abstract I was given to publicize was invariably two or three indigestible paragraphs of unappealing jargon, so that, in order to attract an audience, I was compelled to append a short catchy blurb like `Spider Silk Stronger Than Kevlar?' - it was sort of like English Subtitles for the Hard of Thinking."
Rembell Ofderbally.
"When you own a presentation device, everyone who has to give a presentation becomes your friend."
Burkardt's Corollary to Borggaard's Pickup-Truck Theorem.
"When you own a pickup truck, everyone who has to move becomes your friend."
Jeff Borggaard's Theorem.
"Artie: 'Larry's a good man, but he is a performer, and you should try to think of a performer as a small, helpless child.'
Jeannie: 'No, Artie - you know I have sex with him.'
Artie: 'I'm so sorry.'"

The Larry Sanders Show.
"Do you want:

A haphazardly programmed Sun Trust ATM.
"They make a desert and call it peace."
Caledonian chieftain Calgacus, criticizing the encroachments of the Roman empire, quoted by Tacitus.
"George: 'My whole life has been a complete waste of time!'
Jerry: 'And there's so much more to go!'"

"anarchy (or, to use a more neutral term, the passion for armed self-help)"
Eric Hobsbawm, in 'The Age of Capital'.
"Poor Mexico, so far from God, so near the United States!"
Porfirio Diaz, president of Mexico.
"The right honorable Gentleman caught the Whigs bathing,
and walked away with their clothes.
He has left them in the full enjoyment of their liberal position,
and he is himself a strict conservative of their garments."

Disraeli, of how Tory Sir Robert Peel `stole' the increased franchise, originally one of the Whig party's initiatives.
"He is a landmark, but not a beacon."
Oppenheimer, on Einstein's unproductive later years, spent denying quantum mechanics and pursuing a unified field theory.
"Contemporary physicists come in two varieties.
Type 1 physicists are bothered by EPR.
Type 2, the majority, are not.
But one has to distinguish two subvarieties.
Type 2a physicists explain why they are not bothered.
Their explanations tend to miss the point entirely,
or to contain physical assertions that can be shown to be false.
Type 2b are not bothered and refuse to explain why.
Their position is unassailable."

Physicist David Mermin, on the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paradox.
"LOGO is a language with a great grammar, but not much literature."
Computer Scientist Marvin Minsky.
"Try as I do, I can't recall her surname. Indeed, her very abstractedness and insubstantial personality seemed to say 'forget me'; she seemed to live in parenthesis."
Muriel Spark, in 'A Far Cry From Kensington'.
"I will say that the one feature I like about men is that they can usually figure out how small appliances work."
Charles Baxter, in 'The Feast of Love'.
"None go so far as those who know not whither they are going."
A Transylvanian proverb.
"The kind of mathematician who can't find his shoes except in a Sobolev space will not like this book at all."
John Boyd, reviewing Oliver Buehler's 'Waves and Mean Flow'.
"My goal every day is to try to keep 218 frogs in a wheelbarrow long enough to get something passed."
John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
"The Irish are a very fair people. They never speak well of one another."
Samuel Johnson.
"There is a tremendously strong perception that we bungled, bungled, bungled very badly. I think we were within the normal journalistic range of bungle."
Mary Mapes explains why the movie based on her discredited 60 Minutes II report on George Bush's military record is called 'Truth'.
"There were so many women, at various stages of his life, that we read not only of mistresses but of submistresses."
From a review of a biography of poet Ted Hughes.
"Memory is the only true real estate."
A Transuranian proverb.
"If you need a new idea, read an old book."
A Transuranian proverb.
"You know, people think mathematics is complicated. Mathematics is the simple bit. It's the stuff we can understand. It's cats that are complicated."
Mathematician John Horton Conway, inventor of the game of Life.
"Men love women; women love children; children love hamsters."
Joanna Trollope, in 'Second Honeymoon'.
"I want to thank you not only for being here but for running for president. I'm not going to say this stuff writes itself, but you certainly do deliver it on time every day."
Stephen Colbert, interviewing Donald Trump.
"We investigated before the crime was committed, not after!"
Former East German Stasi officer Florian Tenbrock, expressing his exasperation with police work in the united Germany.
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
A Transuranian proverb.
"The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."
The Bullshit Asymmetry Principle, enunciated by Alberto Brandolini.
"A real genius. Why, Oppenheimer knows about everything. He can talk to you about anything you bring up. Well, not exactly. I guess there are a few things he doesn't know about. He doesn't know anything about sports."
General Leslie Groves, on why he picked J Robert Oppenheimer to head the Manhattan project.
"This post was written by : if ( function_exists( 'coauthors_posts_links' ) ) { coauthors_posts_links(); } else { the_author_posts_link(); } who has written 296 posts on The Movie Blog."
An accident at
"All you need in the Army is a strong back and a weak mind."
Advice from his company commander, when historian William Langer enlisted during the first World War.
"The problem with socialism is that you always run out of other people's money."
Margaret Thatcher.
"Yet another cackle! Will there ever be an egg?"
Physicist James Chadwick, upon reading yet another paper on the emerging but murky field of quantum mechanics, 1926.
"They have brought me a bat!"
King Charles II, after meeting his future bride Catherine of Braganza, whose bizarre Portuguese dress included wings.
"There is nothing in the world so easy to explain as failure - it is, after all, what everybody does all the time."
Susanna Clarke, in 'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell'.
"Difficult do you call it, Sir? I wish it were impossible."
Samuel Johnson, after unwillingly listening to a violin piece and being told to appreciate it because it was difficult.
"He has the air of a man who has not so much achieved success, as become resigned to it."
Hilary Mantel, in 'Bring Up the Bodies'.
"The sun will shine on a dog's ass."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Even the bad man is given the Sabbath."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Barr: 'You know this means one of us will have to be president.'
Buchanan: 'Well that would have to be you, because I don't answer my mail."

Stringfellow Barr and Scott Buchanan, asked to take over Saint John's College in Annapolis, divide the spoils.
"Having a PhD is no barrier to being hired at St John's, but it can't help."
Anonymous faculty member at St John's College, where every faculty member is expected to be able to teach every class.
"I love you with all the passion attendant thereto."
The erotic Mortimer Adler.
"He is incapable of taking any initiative whatsoever, one of those people who could drown in a glass of water."
Irene Nemirovsky, "Suite Francaise".
"For us, Zen means to empty our minds. For a Tahitian to have Zen, he would first have to fill it up."
Tony Horwitz, "Blue Latitudes". "Tucson Arizona is where the summer comes for the winter and Hell comes for the summer."
H L Mencken.
"The question of whether machines can think is about as relevant as the question of whether submarines can swim."
Edsgar Dijkstra.
"Donald Knuth loves to begin his papers with obscure quotations. On occasion, he has found a saying he likes so much that he has written a paper just so that he can preface it with that quotation."
An anonymous fan.
"I think she is often wrong, but most of the people I know think it is important to have her around because she's wrong in such a fruitful way."
Biologist John Maynard Smith on Lynn Margulis.
"No speaker of any natural language would casually say 'I saw a cow, call it 'cow', which was doing cow things in a cowly way among other instances of cows,' and yet this repetitious moronic drivel is the standard pattern in the culture of computer programming."
Jud Northbark, 'Pointers to Nothing'.
"It would often happen that he would return the next day after a protracted discussion and say, 'Well, I have consulted my pillow on that question, and after all, I believe I was wrong.'"
Judge Bullard, on Judge Martin of the Louisiana Supreme Court.
"To evaluate modern education, look at a student's handwriting. It will appall you. They don't teach handwriting anymore. They don't teach reading or mathematics either, but that's easier to hide."
Jud Northbark, 'The Acid Bath'.
"You live, you die, your stuff goes out to the curb."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Universities hire professors the way some men choose wives - they want the ones the others will admire."
Morris Kline, 'Why the Professor Can't Teach'.
"Almost any competent administrators became CMG (known among recipients as standing for 'Call Me God'); governors of second-class crown colonies were advanced to KCMG ('Kindly Call Me God'); and governors of first-class colonies were promoted to GCMG ('God Calls Me God')."
David Canadine, 'Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire'.
"Of course I go too far, but unless you go too far, how can you tell how far you can go?"
New York Times obituarist Robert Thomas.
"If you only have five minutes to solve a problem, use three of them to determine the best approach."
Transuranian proverb.
"Facts are not the truth. They only indicate where the truth may lie."
Clarence Barron.
"Standing by my door, I heard the discharge of a gun, and in 4 or 5 seconds of time after the discharge, the small shot came rattling about me, one or two of which struck the house, which plainly demonstrates that the velocity of sound is much greater than that of a cannon-bullet."
Benjamin Banneker, upon being shot at.
"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive?"
Albert Brooks, as Aaron Altman in the movie 'Broadcast News'.
"People would never fall in love if they hadn't heard it talked about."
Francois de La Rouchefoucauld.
"When I was a child, I could already draw as well as Raphael. But it has taken my whole life to learn to draw as well as a child."
Pablo Picasso.
"Success is a self-correcting phenomenon."
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'Recycled Gum'.
"I hope you will soon be playing well enough for me to beat you."
Vladimir Nabokov, on hearing that his friend Edmund Wilson was taking up chess.
"First buy the horse, then buy the saddle."
Robert Carver, "The Accursed Mountain".
"Two political prisoners were talking on their arrival at the notorious Burrel gaol. 'I got ten years, what did you get?' asked the first. 'I got fifteen' said the second. 'What for?' asked the first. 'Nothing,' replied the second. 'Listen,' riposted the first sharply, if we're going to be friends you're going to have to be honest with me. For fifteen years you must have done something - ten years is the sentence for nothing."
Robert Carver, "The Accursed Mountain".
"The unsmiling girl at the reception desk spoke a few words of Greek, Italian, and English. In all of these she was equally unhelpful."
Robert Carver, "The Accursed Mountain".
"How hard it is to win by attacking the reason when the heart is the fortress in question."
Anthony Trollope.
"Life has a way of overgrowing its achievements as well as its ruins."
Edith Wharton.
"Nothing would help us to sell our canvases more than if they could gain acceptance as decorations for middle-class houses."
Vincent Van Gogh foretells the doom of his art.
"We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two. We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about 'and'."
Arthur Eddington.
"Authorities expect the death toll to rise as fundamentalist activists and radical protesters clash with militant reactionaries."
The Gloom and Doom News Template.
"His mail is now delivered by gophers."
Silyas Dogwood, of a despised enemy who recently died.
"We support Tito the way a rope supports a hanged man."
Nikita Krushchev, after being heckled by the Chinese delegation for deviating from Communist doctrine by supporting Tito.
"The rule of attack is 'never reinforce failure'."
Brigadier Ritchie-Hook, in Evelyn Waugh's 'Men at Arms'.
"Intelligentsias are born to be unhappy."
Arnold Toynbee.
"Madness is a language like any other, and thus it has a dictionary, a grammar, and a corresponding and evolving set of cliches whose meaning may be construed."
Dr Hans-Ephraim von Seidensticker, in 'The Unguarded Moment'.
"Women explore for eternity in the vast garden of sacrifice."
A refrigerator magnet poem, quoted by 'Celine' (Julie Delpy) in the movie 'Before Midnight'.
"If you can see Cil Point it means rain later; if not, rain now."
Kingsley Amis, in 'The Old Devils'.
"When American movie executives decided to make a film version of Alan Bennett's play 'The Madness of George III', they insisted on renaming it 'The Madness of King George', knowing that otherwise the American audience would assume they had missed the first two parts."
Silyas Dogwood, in 'A True Bill of Particulars'.
"Teachers embraced computers in the classroom because it allowed them to stop actually teaching; who can blame students for following their lead?"
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'Compressing the Vacuum'.
"It's only after you have attempted to constuct a fool-proof system that you begin to appreciate the inexhaustible inventiveness of fools."
Jud Northbark, in 'The Ring in Poseidon's Bathtub'.
"Newton had a cat he loved so much that with his own hands he sawed a little opening at the bottom of the door to his office so that she could visit him freely. When the cat had kittens, Newton got out the saw again and cut another, smaller opening so that the kittens could visit him as well. You can't be a genius at everything."
Jud Northbark, in 'Sculptures in the Dust'.
"Like lava walls in Hawaii, the frontiers of a country mark the limits of the most recent eruption of hatred."
Jud Northbark, in 'As the Tick Swells'.
"Each of us knows from his own experiences that there is something beyond the evidence."
E M Forster.
"The importance of this discovery cannot be underestimated."
Randy Powell, revealing Vortex Based Mathematics, the most profound re-discovery of all time.
"So far, so good."
A man, having jumped off a 100 story building, passing the second floor. "The spirit of community is not dead. When I saw that the sidewalk in front of our office was covered in mud and started cleaning it away with a board, many people stopped by to help. They helped by giving me phone numbers I could call so that someone else could come and do the work."
Silyas Dogwood, in 'The Buck Passed Me'.
"I stepped into fabulosity late in life."
Joanna Coles, editor of Cosmopolitan.
"The river cannot be stepped in twice by the same you."
Heraclitus Junior, in 'Battle of the Books, the Rematch'.
"To Citizeness Boilleau,
Rue Revolutionnaire, former Saint-Louis, at Paris,
this 4 Floreal.

My dear friend,

I beg you to do your utmost to bring a well-seasoned lettuce salad
or rather the materials for making one, we have bowls; but try to
make sure that it is fresh and in good condition. If you have no
money, try to get hold of some for this advance. As I am writing
to you by the small post, I don't want to send it to you, but I
shall get it to you later. Don't forget the oil and vinegar. If
you cannot get money to do this, take the trouble to come and see
me and I shall give you what you need to buy what is necessary.
We have salt, but bring a little pepper. Try to do this for us
today, if at all possible, I shall be very obliged to you, and
bring as much oil as you can. I shall be very obliged to you and
embrace you with all my heart.

Your husband Boilleau."

Letter from a prisoner during the Terror period of the French revolution.
"When you talk to God, it's praying;
when God talks to you, it's schizophrenia."

Ruth Rendell, in 'Adam and Eve and Pinch Me'.
"And all the crows in all the trees
cry Banyan for the Banyanese!"

Michael Ondaatje, in 'The Cat's Table'.
"So I asked him, how can it be both an aphrodisiac and a laxative, and he said, well, it's all in the timing."
Michael Ondaatje, in 'The Cat's Table'.
"His nickname is 'Else' because if no one else is willing to handle a problem, then he has to."
Mike Schneier explains the nickname of a hapless departmental drudge.
"After dining with Gladstone, I believed he was the smartest person in England;
After dining with Disraeli, I believed I was the smartest person in England."

A woman who chanced to dine successively with both contestants for the premiership of Great Britain.
"Millions were spent on the library renovation, the staff got bright new offices, the students got chat rooms, TV's and Starbucks; meanwhile the books were all 'archived' or sent to the basement, and yet we kept all the librarians."
Jud Northbark, in 'Jesus Driving the Coffee Vendors from the Library'.
"Corporate mission statements prove that the emperor's new clothes fit every size."
Jud Northbark, 'The Form Hungers for its Filling'.
"Every environmental slogan boils down to: ...We're destroying the world a little more slowly than before..."
Brewster Bragsheer, 'Hell Money'.
"Visitor: 'In your institute, nobody takes anything seriously.'
Bohr: 'That is quite true, and even applies to what you just said.'"

A visitor complains to Niels Bohr after spending time at his atomic physics laboratory in Copenhagen.
"Talking with him was like playing tennis with a man who, whenever you knocked the ball over to his side, put it in his pocket."
An acquaintance recalls the difficulty of conversing with bacteriologist Alexander Fleming, who first described the mold that produces penicillin.
"The man in ecstasy, and the man drowning - both throw up their arms."
Franz Kafka.
"The Americans, who are the most efficient people on the earth, have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on an amusing and animated conversation without giving a moment's reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication."
Somerset Maugham, 'Cakes and Ale'.
"USER-FRIENDLY: Software I have written."
Silyas Dogwood, in 'Dotting Your Ellipsis'.
"Los Angeles: three million people in search of a downtown."
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'Concrete Argosies'.
"It does not surprise me that the devil is an Irishman, though I thought perhaps a bit taller."
From the movie 'A Field in England', by Ben Wheatley.
"I always keep a supply of stimulant handy, in case I see a snake, which I also keep handy."
W C Fields.
"When you starve with a tiger, the tiger starves last."
Walt Kelly.
"Socrates is a man;
All men are mortal;
Therefore, all men are Socrates."

Woody Allen.
"Even donkey shit is shiny on the outside."
Transuranian proverb.
"You see things that are and you say, 'Why?'... I dream things that never were, and you say, 'Stop making things up!'"
Judge Barnyard Slaw, in 'The Shredded Thumb'.
"1. "No, that cannot happen! 2. Well, it does not happen when I run the program! 3. Honestly, that wasn't supposed to happen; 4. So..., why did that actually happen? 5. Oh... 6. Wait a did my program ever work?"
The (first) Six Stages of Debugging.
"The police are not here to create disorder, they're here to preserve disorder."
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, during the disastrous riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention.
"Dick Armey is a stupid person's idea of a smart person."
Ezra Klein.
"I love my wife so much I almost told her."
A Norwegian farmer's confession to his best friend.
"Your mother has a smooth forehead."
The worst possible insult in the Klingon language, literally 'Hab SoSlI Quch'.
"The price of coffins is rising."
How the Dowager Empress of China suggested to one of her officials that his immediate suicide would be politically useful to her.
"The calculator is a shamelessly inadequate crutch for the mathematical cripples produced by the current education system. If you don't believe this, ask a student to evaluate:
     1 + 1 / ( 2 + 1 / ( 3 + 1 / ( 4 + 1 / 5 ) ) )
The correct answer is 225/157 or about 1.4331, but they will spend far more time arguing with you that this expression has no meaning before effortlessly dashing off some ridiculously wrong answer which they neither believe nor doubt."

Jud Northbark, Time Magazine's Man of the Year, 2006.
"'How did you go bankrupt?' Bill asked.
'Two ways,' Mike said. 'Gradually and then suddenly.'"

Ernest Hemingway, in 'The Sun Also Rises'.
"A true fan won't agree that anything about MATLAB is bad; he won't even agree that there are bad MATLAB programs. No, he will say, giving you a meaningful stare, there are just bad MATLAB programmers."
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'The Dummy Argument'.
"In the folk tradition of C, programs are written 'upside down', with the most trivial parts coming first, so that the main program, which explains it all, comes as a belated surprise to the weary reader. C theologians praise this as 'bottom up' programming, whereas it is, in fact, a stone-cold case of a lazy avoidance of properly declaring procedures."
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'They Should Have Stopped at B'.
"The really bad features of a programming language are unique. They are so awful that no other language copies them. Among such ghastly goofs we must include the question mark operator of C, which does nothing but abbreviate a simple logical operation into an obscure miasma of punctuation."
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'They Should Have Stopped at B'.
"PRECYCLE: to use only one side of a sheet of paper; to discard clothes because they are no longer fashionable; to create waste products; to leave a trail of unused products; Sample sentence: 'If it weren't for us precyclers, the recyclers would have nothing to work with!'"
Silyas Dogwood, in 'The Golden Dustbin'.
"What can you expect from a pig but a grunt?"
Patrick Weston Joyce, in 'English as We Speak it in Ireland'.
"His skill is building large pediments for small statues."
Alistair Cooke, describing the public relations specialist Benjamin Sonnenberg.
"I don't want to see a Swiss watch in pieces. I want to hear it tick."
James Agate, rejecting the analytic approach to literary criticism.
"Cooke, you must learn to murder your darlings."
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, returning a florid essay to the Cambridge undergraduate Alistair Cooke.
"TROPE-A-DOPE: The use of the word 'trope' in any circumstance whatsoever, revealing that one has had an education just good enough to know a lot of extra words, but not when not to use them."
Silyas Dogwood, in 'Ransom Note: First Draft'.
The real reason that the controversial 'Captions Courageous: The Public Performance' was shut down.
"TAURCEN: A creature formed from the head of a horse and the lower body of a man; the leftovers from a centaur; considered neither intelligent nor speedy, this armless creature generally starved to death, since attempts to graze resulted in an unrecoverable fall."
Silyas Dogwood, 'The Dictionary of Mythological Mythology'.
"I've never seen anyone so ugly with just one head."
Malcolm Tucker, Director of Communications on 'The Thick of It'.
"He is the first prime minister to crawl at 250 miles per hour."
Dorothy Parker, after Neville Chamberlain's many airplane trips to Europe culminated in the shameful Munich agreement with Hitler.
"There's no time to go home. I'll pass myself coming back in."
Hugh Abbot, minister in charge of the Department of Social Affairs, in 'The Thick of It'.
"AMORSTICE: The voluntary, mutual, temporary cessation of a state of woo."
Jud Northbark, in 'Spoon River'.
"Investors do not fear losing money as much as they fear solitude."
Michael Lewis, in 'Liar's Poker'.
"To succeed at Salomon Brothers, you have to wake up every morning ready to bite the ass off a bear."
John Gutfreund, CEO of the Wall Street investment bank Salomon Brothers.
"It's no use crying over all the fish in the sea."
Transuranian proverb.
"There's nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns."
Octavia Butler.
"The covers of this book are too far apart."
A book review by Ambrose Bierce, author of 'The Devil's Dictionary'.
"He pisses more than he drinks."
Silyas Dogwood, of a boaster.
"No trees were harmed in the creation of this document."
Silyas Dogwood, in 'Don't print this e-book!'.
"The Lomas Financial Corporation is a perfectly hedged financial institution: it loses money in every conceivable interest rate environment."
Financial analyst Steve Eisman.
"You gaze at a photograph and see yourself frozen in time;
it gazes back and sees you crumbling into old age."

Bencherman Franken, in 'Murmurrings and Refractions'.
"I lay down at night a man and arose in the morning a bruise."
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, after a night sleeping on a Cambridge dormitory bed he described as like two sacks of potatoes tied together.
"Some Englishman once said that marriage is a long dull meal with the pudding served first."
Julian Barnes, in 'The Sense of an Ending'.
"The free ride on ever-faster computer processors is over. It is time for lazy programmers to get smart or get out."
Upton Downs, in 'The Wizard of Up'.
"So what are the possibilities of working from home?"
Roger Gradstud, investigating the chances of a career in the Marine Corps.
"As well as being an outstanding patron, Rudolf built up a truly remarkable collection which has frequently been likened to his own personality in its immense richness and lack of purposeful direction."
Arthur MacGregor, on Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II [1552-1612], compulsive collector of treasures, monstrosities and wonders.
"Can't spell? Then be apart of our group!"
From a campaign for the American Paragraphic Association.
"This may not be what George Washington looked like then, but this is what he looks like now."
A guide, standing before Gilbert Stuart's portrait of Washington at the Museum of Modern Art.
"In the case that the formula is neither provable nor disprovable, such a machine certainly does not behave in a very satisfactory manner, for it continues to work indefinitely without producing any result at all, but this cannot be regarded as very different from the reaction of the mathematicians."
Alan Turing.
"Escape from a Nazi death camp was made possible by contributions from viewers like you."
How PBS told me I'm doing a great job.
"If it isn't broken, take it apart and fix it."
The engineer's motto.
"The circle of the English language has a well defined center but no discernible circumference."
James Murray, first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.
"Three may keep a secret if two are deaf."
Bencherman Franken, in 'Porridge is on My Neck'.
"Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy."
Silyas Dogwood, in 'Blind Potatoes'.
"Our city's forestry plan is evidently the typical compromise: the forest is to be preserved forever, but the trees may go."
Upton Downs, in 'Down-Time'.
"Youth will pass; immaturity is forever."
Silyas Dogwood, in 'A Thousand Follies'.
"On the sun, it is noon, always and everywhere."
'The Quotable Marcel Marceau'.
"Inter arma enim silent leges. [During war, the law is silent.]"
Cicero, in 'Pro Milone'.
"I spent four years having nothing but classified thoughts."
J Robert Oppenheimer, war-time director of Los Alamos Laboratory.
"The only medicine that can cure presidential ambition is embalming fluid."
Morris Udall.
"Rubber gloves don't keep you alive; fear does."
Master electrician Denny McLean, accident-free for 30 years but repeatedly cited by his boss for refusing to wear safety gloves on the job.
"You should always look for money where you lost it."
After having lost his life savings to the bankruptcy of his demolition business, Morris Lipsett announces he will make a fresh start, in the demolition business.
"Have I said something unexpectedly foolish?"
Alcibiades, on receiving a thunderous ovation from the audience.
"They said our operating system was unusable. So how did we solve that problem? We wrote manuals, tons and tons of them - but no one read them. They said the manuals were unreadable. So how did we solve that problem? If no one can read the manuals, we obviously don't need them. And now we're the world's top manual-free operating system. Problem solved!"
Richard Member, director of the Easter Egg Gnostic App Driver (EEGAD).
"Your proposed password 'jfurkenbong$4209' failed the dictionary test."
Text on the computer screen of the late Jud Northbark.
"If you stop asking when the job will be done, the answer is 'Never'."
Silyas Dogwood, in 'Cleaner Vacuums'.
"Upon reports of computer security issues, have all users change their passwords. Then go back to bed."
Jud Northbark, in 'Now Playing in the Security State Theater'.
"The amount of work a committee can fail to do is proportional to the square of the size of the committee."
Brewster Bragsheer, acting second deputy vice-chair pro-tem of the ad hoc standing committee of the whole.
"So I guess God is unpacking him now."
Arthur Conan Doyle's daughter Mary, leaving a funeral after being told that Mr Jones was in a coffin because he was being sent to heaven.
"A man cannot speak to his son but as a father; to his wife but as a husband; to his enemy but upon terms: whereas a friend may speak as the case requires."
Francis Bacon, in 'Of Friendship'.
"My work consists of two parts: the one presented here, plus all that I have not written. And it is precisely this second part that is the important one."
Ludwig Wittgenstein.
"If I walked across the Potomac river in front of a hundred witnesses, the headline in the Washington Post would be THE PRESIDENT CAN'T SWIM."
Lyndon Johnson.
"Don't try to shit higher than your asshole."
Ludwig Wittgenstein.
"Never slap a man in the face when he's chewing tobacco."
Congressman Francis J Underwood.
"It is said that Plato admitted no student ignorant of geometry. These days, we admit students entirely unable to master or even understand the notion of nested parentheses, suggesting that their own intellects operate at a correspondingly primitive level of simple, direct sentences: I eat food; hand scratches nose; car goes fast."
Jud Northbark, in "Parentheses in Every Direction".
"Set theory takes as its fundamental atom the empty set, a thing that contains nothing. You might think such an idea can go no further, but set theory creates a new, distinct thing, the set which contains the empty set, essentially a box full of a box full of nothing. You can see that nothing will stop a mind that thinks this way. Even God must tip his hat to such audacious creation ex nihilo."
Jud Northbark, in "Parentheses in Every Direction".
"Many people are puzzled by the fact that spaghetti is produced in such uniform lengths, but this is the result of many years of patient endeavor by plant breeders in producing the perfect spaghetti."
BBC Panorama broadcast on the annual spaghetti harvest in Switzerland, 1 April 1957.
"Have YOU found Waldo?"
The motto of the Church of the Second Coming of Waldo.
"This mind intentionally blank."
Logo for a T-shirt at an unbearably boring engineering conference.
"Berkeley's views admit of no answer and produce no conviction."
David Hume rebuffs the philosophic arguments of George Berkeley, who argued that the material world is an illusion we generate, and that the only reality is an ideal one in our minds.
"Negotiating with Michael Collins is like trying to write on water."
Lionel Curtis, while settling the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921.
"Let's say that as a general rule, I like to be able to follow a talk, but not to actually predict it!"
Mike Schneier, during the presentation of a paper at a math conference.
"A straight road is an offense unto God; then let it bend, yea, let it turn and cross itself. And if it nonetheless go straight, then let its length be not long, else that is presumption and arrogance. But if straight and long it must be, then let it not go so in both directions, for the life of ease and convenience is an abomination. Yet if it will be straight and long and bidirectional, then may it be cursed with many names, so that those who attempt to traverse it will be crushed by confusion and misery."
From 'The Secret Protocols of the Tallahassee Department of Roads'.
"Fathom it for me."
Insufferable television excrescence Piers Morgan, after asking what could explain the mysterious diversion and disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines plane, and receiving the answer that it was 'unfathomable'.
"If my devils are to leave me,
I am afraid my angels will take flight as well."

Rainer Maria Rilke.
"Compromise is a stalling between two fools."
Stephen Fry.
"Madam, I have been looking for a person who disliked gravy all my life; let us swear eternal friendship."
Sydney Smith, eccentric editor of the Edinburgh Review, on meeting at dinner a woman of similar tastes.
"My living in Yorkshire was so far out of the way, that it was actually twelve miles from a lemon."
English cleric Sydney Smith, trying to convey the isolation of an assignment to the English countryside.
"Daniel Webster struck me much like a steam engine in trousers."
Sydney Smith.
"The thing about poverty is that it happens to the people who can least afford it."
Silyas Dogwood, "Crumbs from the Cracker Barrel".
"A paradox is a red flag indicating a fundamental error in reasoning. When I was a a child, my father asked me which direction I would look in order to see the moon, and I said, up, of course. Then he asked me, if I was standing on the moon, which direction I would look to see the earth, and I said, down, of course, and he said: but then you would only see your shoes."
Jason Rosenhouse, approximately, in 'The Monty Hall Problem'.
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
William Butler Yeats.
"CHUTZPAH: When you shit on a stranger's doorstep, then knock on the door and ask for toilet paper."
Jud Northbark, in 'Shoes for the Dead'.
"When it comes to love,
woman gives and forgives,
man gets and forgets.

A Transuranian proverb.
"When I was a minimal bud on the evolutionary bush, my happiness was maximally contingent on the false dichotomy of visiting an echt museum or, faute de mieux, equilibrating my punctuation at Yankee Stadium, that optimal hecatomb of Babe Ruth's career (see my book, 'Dynamic Stasis')."
Jud Northbark, 'The Literary Sins of Gulden J Stevens'.
"The definition of inanity is repeating the same axiom over and over and expecting the same result."
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'This Mind Intentionally Blank'.
"Dealing with Newt Gingrich is like hugging an eel."
Bill Clinton.
"The majority of people who clicked on this piece stopped reading it a few paragraphs ago."
Alex Pareene, journalist for Salon magazine, faces the reality of the Internet attention span.
Epitaph for Jan Wesley Shockley, lifelong proofreader for the Waycross Indiana News-Historian.
"AGNOSTIC: One who imagines it possible that God has simply left the room for a moment."
Jud Northbark, in 'Shoes for the Dead'.
"There is the attitude that says, 'As long as I keep riding on this train, it won't go to the wrong destination.'"
Robert Oppenheimer recalls his decision to remain on the General Advisory Commission after the Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, vetoed their report denouncing the hydrogen bomb.
"I have plenty of friends to do something with; I have nobody to do nothing with."
A special kind of loneliness.
"When Pauli had gone looking for an assistant to join him in Zurich in the spring of 1933, it was almost an accident that he had chosen Weisskopf instead of Bethe.
'Who are you?' Pauli asked without ceremony after he had finished a calculation at the desk.
'I am Weisskopf, you asked me to be your assistant.'
'Yes,' said Pauli. 'First I wanted to take Bethe, but he works in solid-state theory, which I don't like, although I started it.'
When Weisskopf showed Pauli what he'd done with his first assignment after a week's work, Pauli looked at it with a growing expression of fathomless disgust and then said, 'I should have taken Bethe after all.'"

Thomas Powers, in 'Heisenberg's War'.
"When your ancestors were still living in trees, mine were already forging checks!"
Physicist Fritz Houtermans defends his heritage.
"I have seen a physicist for the first time. He suffers as he thinks!"
Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker, after meeting Niels Bohr.
"No, no, you are not thinking - you are just being logical!"
Physicist Niels Bohr criticizes the argument of a speaker at a conference.
"Like an old door, every man past a certain age comes with historical warps and creaks of one kind or another, and a woman who wishes to put him to serious further use must expect to do a certain amount of sanding and planing."
Joseph O'Neill, in 'Netherland'.
"The church is near, but the road is icy;
the pub is far, but I will walk carefully."

A Transuranian proverb, as quoted by Joseph Hemmeter.
"It is easier to write a new code than to understand an old one."
John von Neumann.
"Never turn down an offer that hasn't been made yet."
Max Gunzburger.
"Because of the very nature of the tables, it did not seem necessary to proofread every page of the final manuscript in order to catch random errors."
Preface to the RAND Corporation book 'A Million Random Digits, With 100,000 Normal Deviates'.
"If you have nothing to do, please do not do it here."
An anti-loitering sign in Bengal.
"He couldn't really tell very good people from less good people. I guess they all seemed so much slower."
Raoul Bott reveals why John von Neumann treated smart and stupid people equally.
"In all my years I have never seen such beautiful evening clothes: pray, who is the candidate's tailor?"
David Hilbert's only question put to PhD candidate John von Neumann.
"RAINBOW: the symbol of hope, indicating that the rain is about to be driven away by the sun;
WOBNIAR: the symbol of despair, indicating that the sun is about to disappear behind a murderous downpour."

Jud Northbark, from 'Sejanus in Repose'.
"ECNALUBMA: The mysterious wailing vehicle you have just crashed into head-on, which is now incapable of taking you to the MOOR YCNEGREME."
Frank O'Prussia, from 'Backing Lookwards'.
"BBC Radio's correspondent Peter Day has a rumbling baritone so rich and throaty that he must be pressing all the keys on the pipe organ at once. You could take any one of his broadcasts, slice it, butter it, and feed a nation for a week."
Brewster Bragsheer, from 'Holiday in Darkness'.
"But Madam, do I not also destroy my enemies by making them my friends?"
Abraham Lincoln, after being denounced as a half-hearted patriot by a woman who wanted him to drive the South into the ground.
"It is time to recognize that we have lost the battle against the indiscriminate use of the word 'literally'. But we only lost because we still believed that the word actually had meaning. It now has none, and is simply a sort of language extender. In fact, every sentence can be improved by inserting the word 'literally' in it, and the only remaining question we face is where and how often to do so."
Grammarian Otto Tintenfleck, speaking literally the last word on the war over the misuse of the word 'literally'.
"I find a change of nuisance to be a sort of vacation."
British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, asked how he could bear to face a miner's strike and an uprising in Ireland while prosecuting the first World War.
"Neugebauer always insisted that the length of the review was not intended to be directly proportional to the importance of the paper. Indeed, a bad paper needed to have a review sufficiently detailed so that nobody needed to look at the paper itself, whereas a really important paper needed only to be called to the world's attention."
Ralph Boas, on Otto Neugebauer's editorship of 'Mathematical Reviews'.
"This book fills a much-needed gap."
A book review.
"Remember that those who have two strings to their bow may shoot stronger, but they rarely shoot straight."
Queen Elizabeth I chastises Mary Queen of Scots.
"The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent."
John Maynard Keynes.
"Interviewer: 'Assuming the show gets picked up for more episodes, what topics are next?'
Moukarbel: 'Ceara Lynch is a humiliatrix in Portland. One service she provides is called 'ignored'. For a few dollars a minute, she'll ignore you. Sometimes, she'll turn that camera on so you can watch her ignore you."

Chris Moukarbel, director of a pilot for a proposed new HBO series called 'Sex/Now'.
"The intelligent man is able to overcome the difficulties that the wise man avoided in the first place."
Brewster Bragsheer, on the difference between wisdom and intelligence.
"Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations we can perform without thinking about them."
Alfred North Whitehead.
"You haven't ignored the last of me!"
Zapp Brannigan, captain of the Democratic Order Of Planets spaceship 'Nimbus'.
"A Harvard Medical School study found, by examining social networks, that obese people are most likely to have obese friends, and that the weight of your friends is a predictor of your own weight. We conclude that the best way to lose weight is to drop all friends heavier than yourself."
Jud Northbark, 'Banished from Zembla'.
"Time travel is possible; it is practical; in fact it is happening right now - but at a very tiny, but positive, rate."
Brewster Bragsheer, 'The Cross-eyed Cyclops'.
"Killing time is the worst of murders."
Jud Northbark, 'The Nail Cries Out for a Hammer'.
"Fearing pain, hunger or illness is rational.
We have experienced these and come out the other side.
But fearing death - no."

Brewster Bragsheer, 'Message Found in a Klein Bottle'.
"APPLAUSE: (noun), the echo of a platitude."
Ambrose Bierce.
"Actually, killer robot warriors will save lives, by reducing the number of human soldiers on the battlefield."
The Devil's public relations agent.
"Our motto is: We're not happy until you're not happy."
The Lachrymaniacs blues band.
"Being on a university committee taught me two things. The first was about people: no one wants to do anything. The second was about committees: no one wants anything done."
Brewster Bragsheer, 'Surfing the Maelstrom'.
"He couldn't ad-lib a fart after a baked-bean dinner."
Johnny Carson, assessing Chevy Chase.
"He's luckier than a dog with two dicks."
Bill Clinton dismissing the career of Barack Obama.
"Things are getting better so much faster now that soon progress will leave us all behind."
Jud Northbark, in 'The Fugitive Splinter'.
"Now it's possible for me to record every moment of my life, but when will I get time to watch it all?"
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'The Treadmill Marathon'.
"If you talk to gangsters long enough, you'll find out they're just as bad as respectable people."
Murray Kempton.
"Republicans get a vote before Saint Peter does."
The Wall Street Journal editorial, after Ohio governor John Kasich justified extending Medicaid by saying that Saint Peter would ask him if he had helped the poor, not if he had supported smaller government.
"There's no education in the second kick of a mule."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Women don't look for handsome men.
Women look for men who have had beautiful women."

Milan Kundera, 'The Book of Laughter and Forgetting'.
"To fail at one thing is to fail at everything."
A Transuranian proverb.
"How do you eat an elephant? One teaspoonful a day."
A Transuranian proverb.
"If a man wants to learn to ride a horse, he must first learn how to fall off it."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Politics is show business for ugly people."
Jud Northbark, from 'Tinsel in the Ice Cream'.
"How can I miss you if you won't go away?"
The title of a song by country musician Dan Hicks.
"To avoid mistakes, avoid activity."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Who needs barbarians to destroy the library, when the librarians themselves will do the job so enthusiastically, and so thoroughly too!"
Jud Northbark, after the university library remodeled itself into a gaping study hall, chat room, and coffee house, with books and journals banished to a moldy basement on crank-shelves.
"So how did you get this job?"
Most bizarre question posed by a visitor at Mount Vernon to a slave, impersonated by a re-enactor.
"A wake-up call's mother is unfolding. At the other end is a bell, which is telling us we have built a house at the foot of a volcano. The volcano is spewing lava, which says move your house."
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, after the New Republic edited one of his columns down to its residual mixed metaphors and cliches.
"No matter how long you feed the wolf, his gaze returns to the forest."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Before you express surprise or anger at the miserable stage of user software, you should realize that to a software designer, it makes perfect sense to include in a drop-down menu the option 'SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE HEAD'. After all, he reasons, if there are any complaints, I can always add an 'UNDO' option."
From the introduction to Jud Northbark's report, 'Computer Software: Threat or Menace?'.
"My second-grader is seriously considering a career in electrical engineering."
Excerpt from a grotesquely premature application for admission to MIT.
"If you blame the axe, you must also blame the tree."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."
Betteridge's Law.
"Opportunity is like a bald man with a beard:
easier to grab coming than going."

A Transuranian proverb.
"Trouble comes cheap, and leaves expensive."
A Transuranian proverb.
"If you're not cheating, you're not trying."
Mike Grace, first baseman for the Chicago Cubs.
"Their average age is dead."
Simon Lovell, cheering up his friend Alex Stone, who was expelled by the Society of American Magicians for revealing how certain tricks were performed.
"Another persistent petitioner was a professor in the English department at Louisiana State University who submitted at least a story a week for months, each one worse than the last. He wrote what I consider the single worst opening sentence in the history of English literature: 'Geez, she said, undulating toward the jukebox'."
William Murray, story editor for the New Yorker.
"Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy."
William Blake.
"If you pay peanuts, you'll only hire monkeys."
A Transuranian proverb.
"In the rich man's house, the only place to spit is in his face."
"The first ten million years were the worst.
The second ten million years were the worst, too.
The third ten million years I didn't enjoy at all.
After that, I went into a bit of a decline."

Marvin the paranoid android expresses the tedium of parking cars while waiting to meet his time-traveling friends.
"A friend of mine recently moved out of her apartment, stayed away for six months, and moved back in again, a sort of real estate Grover Cleveland."
Anna North.
"When I was younger, I could remember anything,
whether it happened or not,
but I am getting old,
and soon I shall remember only the latter."

Mark Twain.
"Mork: The telephone is very simple. It's like a long dachshund that stretches from your house to mine. You pull the tail in your house, and it barks in my house.
Dork: OK, I guess I understand. But then how does radio work?
Mork: The same, only without the dachshund."

Explaining the mysteries of telecommunication.
"Knock knock!
Who's there?
George Zimmerman.
George Zimmerman who?
Congratulations, you're on the jury!"

Don West, defense attorney for George Zimmerman, begins his presentation by joking about the pre-trial publicity.
"Canibus: '99% of your fans wear high heels.'
LL Cool J: '99% of your fans don't exist.'"

Taunt and counter-taunt of two rap stars.
"Fluid dynamicists were divided into hydraulic engineers who observe what cannot be explained, and mathematicians, who explain things that cannot be observed."
Sir Cyril Hinshelwood.
"Yonai's first appearance before the diet was a great success. It was reported that he said nothing, said it briefly, elegantly, and forcefully."
Lester Brooks, "Behind Japan's Surrender".
"We were put here on earth to help others.
I'm not sure what the others were put here for."

W H Auden.
"Evolution is an epic recited by a stutterer."
Arthur Koestler.
"The blank canvas is afraid of me."
Vincent van Gogh.
"It seemed that his greatest asset was an instantaneous ability to hesitate."
Jud Northbark, 'The Work Proclaims Its Maker'.
"I was still reeling from my first day as a resident in the Charity ward when a grizzled doctor, with breath reeking of onions, took me out to the smoking lounge and in what he must have thought a kindly manner declared that inside every patient was a dead man trying to get out, and that I was there merely to ensure a comfortable delivery."
Len Kirkson, 'The Loathsome Threshhold'.
"Lanier is often described as 'visionary', a word that manages to convey both a capacity for mercurial insight and a lack of practical job skills."
Jennifer Kahn describes Internet opinionator Jaron Lanier.
"One doubts the intellectual consistency of the radical who denounces the Wall Street banker while idealizing the poor; after applying his remedy of universal wealth, he would presumably be impelled to hate everyone."
Jud Northbark, 'Blows Against the Vampire'.
"Talents too many,
Not enough of any."

Epitaph chosen by Jane Kendall Mason for herself.
A demonstrator's sign during the Paris student uprising of 1968.
"Everything of importance has been said before by someone who did not discover it."
Alfred North Whitehead.
"The great book of Nature lies ever open before our eyes and the true philosophy is written in it.
But we cannot read it unless we have first learned the language and the characters in which it is written.
It is written in mathematical language, and the characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures."

"Addicts who inject themselves in the groin are now using an antiseptic wipe before and after they inject. People are really taking care of themselves!"
A determinedly upbeat director of a Ukrainian needle exchange program for heroin users.
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones and never gotten credit for that."
Eccentric pianist Glenn Gould.
"When it comes to work, one boy is worth half a man, -
and two boys are worthless."

The motto of a South Dakota rancher who has to rely on whatever help he can find.
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful,
and murder respectable,
and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

George Orwell.
"I have done a terrible thing. I have postulated a particle that cannot be detected."
Wolfgang Pauli, 1930, queasy after giving birth to the neutrino.
"I just love sleeping. I could do it for days in a row. For me, waking up is like having to hit the pause button in the middle of a really great movie."
Roger Gradstud.
"A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing."
Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson.
"In order to be taken seriously, I had to invent my predecessors."
Benoit Mandelbrot, his own first admirer.
"If you're not sure where you're going, be very careful, or you might not get there."
Yogi Berra.
"Don't plan to wade across a river that's four feet deep on average."
Nassim Taleb.
"Nowadays, the future ain't what it used to be."
Yogi Berra.
"Every joke is a little revolution."
George Orwell.
"The paper was due in the afternoon. He spent all morning not writing it and was emotionally exhausted by noon. He wondered whether, next time, he could find someone else who could not write the paper instead of him."
Jud Northbark, 'Blots From the Copybook'.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
Abraham Lincoln.
"Being an outspoken person, there are many bumper stickers I would like to put on my car, but I don't want the causes I believe in to be blamed for my bad driving!"
Jud Northbark, in 'Leaving the Scene'.
"Following vigorous recommendations from friends, I took up his book with much anticipation, but reading it, I found that the less I knew about a subject, the more profound he seemed, and I began to wonder if he really knew anything at all."
Brewster Bragsheer becomes suspicious.
"They've moved me to a new office and I don't like it at all. Different pigeons come to the windows."
William Caldicote has an emotional crisis, in Barbara Pym's 'Excellent Women'.
"Science is a broad church of narrow minds."
Jud Northbark, in 'At the Coffin-Fitter's'.
"Life is beautiful, and it begins tomorrow."
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'Crumbs in the Mustache'.
"Because I had only one rickety ship, I'm called a bandit.
Because you have a large fleet, you are called an emperor."

A condemned pirate complains to Alexander the Great.
"I am starting a process."
Lance Armstrong, asked by Oprah Winfrey if he felt remorse for winning the Tour de France seven times by cheating.
"The man of many wishes is the man of little will."
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'Thanks for Trying, I Guess'.
"Science is the poetics of experience. It does not explain reality; rather, it helps us stage plausible re-enactments."
Jud Northbark, in 'Parade of the Dust Bunnies'.
"Our country is so small and there are so many Russians. Where will we bury them all?"
The Finns, putting up an unexpectedly fierce resistance to Russian invaders in 1939.
"A coincidence is an explanation waiting to happen."
Brewster Bragsheer, the Serendip professor of synchronology.
"I don't know how it could have happened. It started out like 'Romeo and Juliet' but it ended in tragedy."
Bart Simpson's friend Milhouse, after losing his girlfriend.
"Because we might meet some ladies."
The French ambassador, skinny dipping in the Potomac with Teddy Roosevelt, and explaining why he kept his gloves on.
"It's the best bad idea we've had, sir, by far."
State Department employees, brainstorming a response to the hostage crisis, after realizing none of the standard approaches would work, as imagined in the movie 'Argo'.
"Skepticism is the chastity of the soul, and it is a shame to surrender it too soon."
George Santayana.
"A game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles."
Bernard Suits, in 'The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia'.
"Be very careful when dealing with the minor bureaucrat behind the glass partition with his little rubber stamp. It's true that there is not much he can do, but there is no limit to what he can fail to do."
Jud Northbark, in 'My Cup is Full of Empty'.
"Those are my principles. And if you don't like them,
... well, I have others."

Groucho Marx.
"I wish he would bite my other generals!"
George II, on hearing the opinion that General James Wolfe, who drove the French out of Canada, had no more manners than a mad dog.
"I'm going to turn this team around 360 degrees!"
Brewster Bragsheer, newly-appointed coach of the last-place Leamington Lemmings.
"I've been playing Patsy Cline longer than Patsy Cline did."
Kaya Bondi, who starred in 'Always...Patsy Cline' for over ten years.
"Sometimes I go around in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky."
A Transuranian proverb.
"If there's a better book than this, I haven't written it."
Stephen Colbert blurbs his book 'America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't'.
"All I can say is that even though I can't make up my mind, when I do, I'll be mighty bitter about it."
John Kennedy, describing a conversation with a California delegate to the 1960 convention, from whom he had requested support.
"When you tell me that 9 out of 10 forest fires are caused by humans, all I hear is that somewhere out there is a crazy bear with matches."
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'The Beckoning Scab'.
"A computer program written to solve problems in any spatial dimension is most likely to fail in the case of one dimension."
Frank O'Prussia, from 'The Rhyme of the Ancient Programmer'.
"Fear heard the knock at the door.
Faith got up to answer.
There was no one there."

Christopher Moltisanti.
"I used to think that the brain was the greatest organ in the human body, then I realized, 'Hey! Look who's telling me that!'"
Emo Phillips.
"No matter how many you kill, you can't kill your successor."
Seneca, as Nero prepared another bloody purge of the Roman nobles.
"This recipe is horrible! Maybe I should have left them in longer than two minutes (the recipe doesn't say how long to leave them in the freezer so I just kind of guessed) but mine came out all watery. I won't be making these again."
Chef #1408275, in an angry comment about an online recipe for ice cubes.
"Every man is guilty of all the good things he failed to do."
"You are nothing but shit in a silk stocking!"
Napoleon, momentarily furious at Talleyrand.
"Napoleon was a self-made man, and he worshipped his creator."
Steven Englund.
"There is an old Latin saying - the French attack each other like wolves. This may be unfair - to wolves."
Steven Englund.
"Absence diminishes small passions and inflates large ones, as the wind extinguishes candles but whips up a fire."
La Rochefoucauld.
"'Do you mind me asking how old you are, Mrs Walsh-Atkins?'
'Can you keep a secret, Inspector?'
'So can I', she whispered."

Colin Dexter, 'Service of All the Dead'.
"A word processor with automatic tabbing and indenting has all the specious advantages and disastrous consequences of an automatic flush toilet."
Jud Northbark, in 'No Vacancy at the Hilbert Hotel'.
"He is in the clean and well-lit prison of one idea."
G K Chesterton, speaking of a madman.
"Good career move."
Gore Vidal, commenting on the death of Truman Capote.
"A battleship's purpose is to give and not to receive."
C S Forester, putting a moral spin on naval warfare.
"Everyone knows that all your ancestors died in bed."
An Albanian insult.
"Number of persons fallen in the water: 2
Number of persons saved: 2
Total: 4"

Alexander Herzen reports an entry in the records of the Siberian bureaucracy.
"Critics meet and talk about aesthetics. Artists meet and talk about turpentine."
Pablo Picasso. "Parmenio: If I were Alexander, I should accept this offer.
Alexander: So should I, if I were Parmenio."

An exchange between Alexander and his chief general Parmenio, on receipt of a desperate and generous treaty offer from the embattled Persian king Darius.
"Sir, if there is one thing above all others a successful man should know, it is when to stop."
Coenus, who had accompanied Alexander on a ten year journey of conquest across Asia, asked whether he would support Alexander's desire to carry the battle into the seemingly endless plains of India.
"'Shall I come as friend or foe?'

The reply of the Lacedemonians, after Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, gathered his armies and marched towards Sparta, sending a herald to announce his approach.
"Give your children enough to do something; but don't give them enough to do nothing."
Transuranian proverb.
"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes."
Transuranian proverb.
"If he's such a good hitter, why doesn't he hit good?"
Oakland A's manager Billy Beane, challenging the formulas that expert baseball performance evaluators rely on.
"Just because you're excruciatingly critical doesn't mean you're not also naive."
Transuranian proverb.
"At the time that Virginia Woolf and James Joyce were writing, the world was very much as it is today, though to a lesser extent."
An earnest high school essayist, quoted by Meg Wolitzer in 'The Uncoupling'.
"Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors."
Thomas Huxley.
"Get your facts first. Then you can distort them as much as you please."
Mark Twain.
"My late friend Stan Ulam used to remark that his life was sharply divided into two halves. In the first half, he was always the youngest person in the group; in the second half, he was always the oldest. There was no transitional period."
Gian Carlo Rota.
"A self made man is like a turtle on a fence post; no matter what he says, you know he had help getting there."
Transuranian proverb.
"Speaker: This is going to be a fun workshop. For instance, each time you ask a question, I'm going to give you a T-shirt from our company. Ah, and I see I already have a first question. Yes?
Attendee: Can I have a T-shirt?"

Observed during a software training session.
"Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little."
Gore Vidal.
"He has not a single redeeming defect."
Benjamin Disraeli on William Gladstone.
"He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met."
Abraham Lincoln.
"I was a 20-year-old Oxford undergraduate at the time suffering from what I diagnosed as 'negative charisma' - I only had to walk across a crowded room in which I knew nobody and nobody knew me and already I had ten enemies."
Toby Young, in 'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.
"Will you accept three hundred per week to work for Paramount Pictures? All expenses paid. The three hundred is peanuts. Millions are to be grabbed out here and your only competition is idiots. Don't let this get around."
Telegram from Herman Mankiewicz to Ben Hecht.
"My prayer to God is a very short one:
Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous."

"His mind was like a soup dish, wide and narrow. It could hold a small amount of nearly anything."
Irving Stone, on William Jennings Bryan.
"Man, The Vietnam war had such a profound effect on Music, I wish all those people didn't have to die, but wouldn't that suck if this music wasn't out there??"
Philosophy in the age of social media.
"Wall Street Exec: Now that you're my protege, it's time to clue you in on the secret of success. You know what that is?
Fry: Uh, work really really hard?
Wall Street Exec: No!
Fry: Oh, thank goodness!"

Futurama's Philip J Fry learns from his Wall Street executive buddy.
"My greatest astronomical discovery was Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel."
Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, famous for his paradox that asks why the night sky is dark if the universe is infinite.
"Astronomer: This is the 100 inch telescope with which we are determining the structure of the universe.
Mrs Einstein: Oh, my husband just uses the back of an envelope."

Conversational exchange at Mount Wilson Observatory.
"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."
Henry Ford.
"I once drove through Nebraska, via I-80, days after my girlfriend broke up with me, on a self-imposed road trip from Los Angeles to Cedar Rapids to find my brother's shoulder and cry on it. It is a long, straight, hypnotically boring drive that not only gave me ample time to think about the loss, but also put my recent heartbreak in much-needed perspective. It could be worse, I realized. I could live here."
Kevin Bleyer, 'Me the People'.
"I intend to open this country up to democracy, and anyone who is against that, I will jail, I will crush."
General Joao Baptista Figueiredo, the last dictator of Brazil.
"What the sober man has on his mind, the drunken man has on his tongue."
A favorite proverb of Joseph Stalin, who was fond of insisting that his ministers join him for all-night drinking parties.
"When the Okies left Oklahoma and moved to California, they raised the average intelligence level in both states."
Will Rogers.
"I'm so old I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin."
Groucho Marx.
"To understand recursion, you must first understand recursion."
A Transuranian proverb.
"If this is the way Queen Victoria treats her convicts, she doesn't deserve to have any."
Oscar Wilde, handcuffed, in pouring rain, and about to be taken to prison.
"TB or not TB, that is the congestion. Consumption be done about it? Of cough not!"
A Transuranian proverb.
"The French presidential election season only lasts a month. But even their system is not perfect. You still end up with a French president."
Christopher Buckley.
"The rich man gets ice in the summer and the poor man gets it in the winter."
Bat Masterson, US Marshall, and columnist for the New York Morning Telegraph.
"Silvan Tomkins was the author of 'Affect, Imagery, and Consciousness', a four-volume work so dense that its readers were evenly divided between those who understood it and thought it was brilliant, and those who did not understand it and thought it was brilliant."
Malcolm Gladwell, whom no one thinks is brilliant, in 'Blink'.
"Guards can keep away my enemies, but not my friends."
Julius Caesar, as quoted on the HBO series 'Rome'.
"Knowing when to stop is the beginning of wisdom."
A Transuranian proverb.
"I don't have time to ignore you."
Harried vice-presidential assistant Amy Brookheimer.
"Not only does he shit on my head but I'm supposed to say thanks for the hat."
Brendan Filone.
"If you want me to treat your ideas with more respect, get some better ideas."
John Scalvi.
"I've walked myself into some of my best thoughts."
Midnight rambler Soren Kierkegaard.
"Yes, we got a warning. But no one told us to pay attention to the warning."
Weston Easterly, who camped with three others in a narrow canyon despite a flood warning from park rangers, and was the only survivor after a midnight storm sent a wall of water through the canyon.
"A university is a sequence of individual faculty entrepreneurs united by a common grievance over parking."
Clark Kerr.
"With a stronger light you can see more darkness."
Jud Northbark, in 'Time in a Bottle'.
"Thoroughly conscious ignorance is a prelude to every real advance in knowledge."
James Clerk Maxwell.
"If you don't see, then you don't know what you're looking at."
Television's football commentator John Madden.
"When Reza Shah mounted the Peacock throne, the country was plagued by thousands of bandits and brigands, but by the end of his reign there was only one left."
Brewster Bragsheer's 'Modern History of Iran'.
"Talk about God, talk about sin, and talk about five minutes."
Pastor Brewster Bragsheer's 'Letters to a Young Preacher'.
"Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree."
Jud Northbark, in 'The Empty Sleeve'.
"Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die."
Jud Northbark, in 'The Minister of Spite'.
"In a bureaucracy, you meet those gray men who say 'The answer is no. What was the question?'."
Jud Northbark, in 'You First, Captain!'.
"In order to have one good idea, you must have nine bad ones."
Jud Northbark, in 'Speaking in Subtitles'.
"Beauty is merely pornography without the sex."
Jud Northbark.
"In your first thirty years, you make habits;
in your next thirty years, your habits make you."

A Transuranian proverb.
"I am a recovering assaholic."
Jean-Louis Gassee, who replaced Steve Jobs as head of the Macintosh division at Apple.
"Every lie creates a parallel world."
A Transuranian proverb.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
Alan Kay.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
The first brochure from Apple.
"People may be entitled to their own opinions, but they're not entitled to their own facts!"
Jud Northbark, in 'The Post-Hoc Post Doc'.
"Instead of looking for a needle in a haystack, what if you could ask each piece of hay if it was a needle?"
Attorney Cheryl Milone, who searches legal, government and scientific records to challenge patent claims.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I want you to know that I have suffered for my music. Now it's your turn."
Victor Borge.
"Well, for those who like that sort of thing, I should think it is just about the sort of thing they would like."
Abraham Lincoln, asked by an author to comment on his book.
"'How Gravity Works' is completely new.
It contains nothing that we have been working on."

Maurice Cotterell, quoting a review of his book by the Institute of Physics Publishing.
"It's all fun and games until someone gets blinded -
then it's all fun and games you can't see."

James Hetfield.
"One generation plants trees;
the next generation gets the shade."

A Transuranian proverb.
"It took three days to try some of those accused of petty crimes, all of whom pleaded guilty in the hope of receiving prison sentences. The following day, some of those who were freed tried to break into the jail, and were arraigned for causing a riot, which resulted in at least some of them achieving their objective of incarceration."
Ciaran O Murchadha, in 'The Great Famine', describing how starving Irish peasants contrived to be fed.
"One of the great problems we have in the Republican party is that we don't encourage you to be nasty."
Newt Gingrich.
"We're not lost. We're just finding our way."
Inept trail scout Steven Meeks, reassuring the weary followers in his wagon train.
"John Updike simply cannot pass up any opportunity to tap dance in prose."
Joseph Epstein.
"Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book."
"Physicists know everything about the Higgs particle, except whether it exists."
Rolf-Dieter Heuer.
"He wouldn't recognize subtlety if it hit him over the head with a hammer."
Jud Northbark.
"Would you please pass the salt, please?"
The always quotable Albert Einstein.
"I know that half my advertising budget is wasted.
What I don't know is which half."

John Wanamaker.
"Truth is our most precious possession. Therefore, let us economize."
Mark Twain.
"A gentleman is one who never hurts another's feelings unintentionally."
Oscar Wilde.
"Father: If I were you, I wouldn't do that.
Daughter: Papa, if you were me means you would do what I do."

A wise child retort reported by Frank Wimberly.
"The cook was a good cook, as cooks go,
and as cooks go, she went."

"Half the lies our opponents tell about me are not true."
Sir Boyle Roche.
"Now, I get a kick out of this, because I'm told all the time: 'Santorum, quit trying to impose your ideas on everybody else.' But what's that? Is that not trying to impose their morality on everybody else?"
Rick Santorum, during the 2012 New Hampshire primary.
"Explain it to me like I'm a Golden Retriever."
Jeremy Irons, in the movie 'Margin Call', director of a financial firm that has suddenly collapsed, rejects the vague and complicated reports of his advisors.
"A battle is nothing but a sequence of mistakes. The side making the fewest mistakes wins."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Maurice Wilkes was teaching a course on elementary numerical analysis, and he was being harassed by Velvel. So he sent a polite little note: 'Mr. Kahan, for the comments, why don't you come and see me privately?' So Kahan went, and told him, of course, everything that was incorrect. Now Wilkes wasn't actually supposed to have taught that course; somebody else had died. So at the end, Wilkes said, 'Well, it's only an elementary course', to which Velvel responded: 'There's a difference between an elementary course and a superficial one.'"
Gene Golub, recalling an academic dispute.
"He who chases two rabbits catches none."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Shit has its own integrity."
Gore Vidal, quoting the Wise Hack at the Writer's Table in the MGM Commissary.
"'No class', said my father, 'and plenty of it.'"
Richard Russo, in 'The Risk Pool', in which he and his father have stopped in a trailer park to pick up a fishing buddy, who sleepily emerges in his underwear and urinates on their car bumper.
"He flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions."
Stephen Leacock, 'Nonsense Novels'.
"Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue."
The Duc de la Rochefoucald.
"I am a doormat in a world of boots."
Jean Rhys.
"There is no antidote for the opium of time."
Thomas Browne.
"In the morning, he woke to twin realisations.
The first was that she had left him.
The second was that his sheets were on fire."

Howard Jacobson, 'The Finkler Question'.
"The well does not walk to the thirsty man."
Transuranian proverb.
"At his wife's wake, three silent guests remained. In the morning, the first guest arose saying, 'I am Shock, and I can go now.' Months later, the second guest remarked at the door, 'It is time for Grief to depart'. 'But don't worry,' said Loneliness, 'I can stay.'"
Brewster Bragsheer.
"A diplomat was given a tongue in order to conceal his thoughts."
"The only reason to win a Nobel prize is to be able to park on campus."
Saul Perlmutter, physics Nobelist 2011.
"Woody Allen: 'It was a boring movie.'
Interviewer: 'I rather enjoyed it.'
Woody Allen: 'Yes, but you were mistaken.'"

Woody Allen, interviewed about his first movie, 'What's New, Pussycat?'.
"It doesn't look like much, but it wasn't."
Woody Allen, revisiting his childhome home.
"In a thousand years, there will be many thousand recipients of the Nobel prize. But I have not less than four dozens of my creations identified with my name in the technical literature."
Nicola Tesla, who felt that the Nobel prize was awarded for small accomplishments rather than the discovery of new and fundamental principles, refused to consider sharing the 1915 Nobel prize in physics with Edison, which then went instead to a pair of X-ray crystallographers.
"Any job is easy as long as I don't have to do it."
Jud Northbark.
"Being lucky is as good as being right!"
Homer Joseph Stewart, NASA scientist, who liked to smoke his cigarettes to the end without ever flicking them, after showing experimental proof that the design of the Mariner spacecraft was correct, and being told he had merely been lucky.
"If you quote me, you are lying!"
Newt Gingrich.
"In a museum in Havana there are two skulls of Christopher Columbus, one when he was a boy and one when he was a man."
Mark Twain.
"In the exhibit-crammed fieldhouse in Vernal, I'd watched a couple show their daughter the models of the mastodon, bigger than a modern elephant, and of eohippus, smaller than the modern horse. To her daughter, the mother had added matter-of-factly, 'When Jesus came, he made all the animals the right size.'"
From 'Catapult: Harry and I Build a Siege Weapon', by Jim Paul.
"If a man truly loves a woman, he never lets her catch him cheating."
From the movie 'Woman on Top'.
"Next time I send some dumb son-of-a-bitch for a Coca-Cola, I go myself."
Director Michael Curtiz, complaining to Vincent Price when a gofer didn't return with his drink quickly enough.
"In elections, it doesn't matter who votes, but who counts the votes."
Joseph Stalin.
"A language is just a dialect with an army and a navy."
Max Weinreich, Yiddish linguist.
"I believe I was the first to suggest that there should be an Arts Council grant for not writing a novel. The candidate would submit an outline of the novel he proposed not to write. If he proposed not to write a whole sequence of novels, the grant would be renewed annually."
Clive James, in the preface to 'Brilliant Creatures'.
"Cave ab homine unius libri.
(Beware the man of just one book.)"

A Transuranian proverb.
"There is no such thing as the Scientific Revolution, and this is a book about it."
Steven Shapin, 'The Scientific Revolution'.
"Here is six hundred a year for doing nothing, and you are just the man to do it."
Lord Derby, appointing Charles Lever to the English consulate at Trieste.
"'Get up. Haven't you heard that the early bird catches the worm?'
'But Mom, what if I'm a worm?'"

Jeehyun Lee trying to rouse her son in the morning.
"It's always been my dream to be the most modest person in the world, though I'm sure I'd never deserve it."
Jud Northbark.
"Cheap energy from nuclear fusion is just 10 years away...and holding."
A disappointed physicist.
"The world's a city full of straying streets,
And death's the market place where each one meets."

Shakespeare, in 'The Two Noble Kinsmen'.
"Heaven grant that the burden you carry may have as easy an exit as it had an entry."
Erasmus's blessing for pregnant women.
"Newt Gingrich has never had an unspoken thought."
Bob Beckel.
"The fiscal exactions of the tax collectors were so exorbitant that they drove free peasants to seek refuge in voluntary servitude to owners who would be responsible for their taxes, and in a typical medieval Russian paradox, this practice was forbidden and people were commanded to remain free."
William Henry Chamberlin, 'The Russian Revolution'.
"There's a plentiful supply of history,
and they're making more of it every day."

Jud Northbark.
"It's good to know the law, but it's better to know the judge."
Boss Tweed.
"Only the shallow know themselves."
Oscar Wilde.
"Please don't be afraid to ask any question you want in this class.
Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question,
only stupid people."

Mr Garrison.
"If your program doesn't run, that means it has an error in it.
If your program does run, that means it has two errors in it."

Detelina's Law.
"Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away."

Shakespeare, in 'Hamlet'.
"I am my own reality check."
Stephen Wolfram, taking on a thankless task.
"Year after year,
on the monkey's face,
the face of a monkey."

"Stephen Wolfram is starting to give arrogance a bad name."
Dinsdale Pironeau, computational particle physicist.
"I once saw a book written by someone described on the flap as a Zen master, and though I didn't thumb its pages, it did seem to me a title describing something I'd known to be true - 'Mouth Open Already a Mistake'."
David Guterson, 'The Other'.
"Historians: the prophets who look backwards."
Friedrich von Schlegel.
"I don't think I was ever going to slow down and relax until someone told me life was not an endless IN basket that I had to get through."
Brewster Bragsheer.
"I think Michelangelo said something like, if people knew how hard I worked, they wouldn't call me a genius, and I'm like, if people knew how little I worked on these songs, they wouldn't say I sucked."
Henry Phillips in 'Punching the Clown'.
"Any sufficiently well-meaning banality, ascribed to a famous person, acquires a luster of borrowed profundity."
Albert Einstein, in 'Before I Erase The Blackboard'.
"The Red Queen: 'Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast...'
Alice: 'Perhaps, but surely not all at the same time!'
The Red Queen: 'Of course all at the same time, or where's the fun?'
Alice: 'But that's impossible!'
The Red Queen: 'There, now that's seven!'"

The Looking Glass Dossier.
"Now we know there's a better gift for Valentine's Day than chocolates."
Lazar Greenfield, incoming president of the American College of Surgeons, suddenly the outgoing president, after commenting on the mood-enhancing effects of semen experienced by women having sex without condoms.
"Remember our motto - start slow and then give up."
Terry Darlington, trying to encourage his wife during a trip in which they managed to sail a five-foot-wide canal boat across the English Channel.
"Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please."
Karl Marx, in 'The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte'.
"As an experimental psychologist,
I have been trained not to believe anything
unless it can be demonstrated in the laboratory on rats or sophomores."

Steven Pinker, in 'Words and Rules'.
"It must be manifest that if this were true, the population of the world would be at a standstill. I would suggest that in the next edition of your poem, you have it read:
'Every moment dies a man, Every moment 1 1/16 is born.'
The actual figure is so long I cannot get it onto a line, but I believe the figure 1 1/16 will be sufficiently accurate for poetry."

Charles Babbage, correcting William Wordsworth's line:
'Every moment dies a man, Every moment one is born'.
"The road to wisdom? Well, it is plain
And simple to express:
Err and err and err again,
But less and less and less."

Piet Hein.
"Those who can remember the past feel compelled to quote it."
George Sayitagainya.
"The bearing of a child takes nine months,
no matter how many women are assigned."

Frederick Brooks, in 'The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering'.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience that's afraid to laugh."
A Transuranian proverb.
"I have learned that when you say anything controversial, you are likely to be blamed not so much for what you have said as for what people think that someone who has said what you said would also say."
Steven Weinberg, occasional commentator on the dispute between science and religion.
"Madness is the ability to make fine distinctions among different kinds of nonsense."
Stanislaw Ulam, a founder of the Monte Carlo simulation technique, who determined how to initiate fusion in the hydrogen bomb, and subsequently became an advocate of arms control.
"In trying to get votes for the Superconducting Super Collider, I was very much involved in lobbying members of Congress, testifying to them, bothering them, and I never heard any of them talk about postmodernism or social constructivism. You have to be very learned to be that wrong."
Steven Weinberg, particle physicist.
"The philosophy of science is as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds."
Steven Weinberg, devisor of the electroweak unification theory.
"Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion."
Francis Bacon.
"Revenge is like serving cold cuts."
Tony Soprano, waste management specialist.
"The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain any more so it eats it. It's rather like getting tenure."
Daniel Dennett, 'Consciousness Explained'.
"Remember the Golden Rule: Them that has the gold makes the rules."
The Wizard of Id. "Die? Why that's the last thing I shall do!"
The last words of the irascible Lord Palmerston.
"Allan Felix: What are you doing Saturday night?
Woman: Committing suicide.
Allan Felix: What about Friday night?"

Allan Felix, desperate for a date, in Woody Allen's 'Play it Again, Sam'.
"Sonya: Sex without love is an empty experience.
Boris: Yes, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the the best!"

Woody Allen's 'Love and Death'.
"Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor died Wednesday in her hospital room, surrounded by her child."
A curiously-worded TV 'news-crawler'.
"A man can die but once: we owe God a death: and let it go which way it will, he that dies this year is quit for the next."
Feeble, in 'Henry IV Part II'.
"DEJA-NEW: The eerie feeling that you've probably never done this before."
Jud Northbark's Fictionary of Argot, Cant, and Jive.
"Tata's best known frugal product, the Tata Nano, has run into problems:
some cars have suffered what the vice-chairman calls 'thermal incidents'...
and what his customers call 'catching fire'."

The Economist.
"If your aunt had wheels, she'd be a bus."
One of a pair of contradictory Transuranian proverbs.
"If your aunt had wheels, she still wouldn't be a bus."
One of a pair of contradictory Transuranian proverbs.
"When the axe came into the forest, one tree said, 'Don't worry, the handle is one of us!'"
Transuranian proverb.
"And then there was Goff's Low Ash cat food ('contains only 1.5 percent ash'), which may have been designed to appeal to those knowledgeable about cat food ingredients, but still seems akin to naming a frankfurter 'Few Mouse Hairs'."
Neil Steinberg, in 'Complete and Utter Failure'.
"Thus did I become a 'Social Science Correspondent' on a paper that had yet to be printed: a Gogol-like ghost job which I held for about six months before its editor said something to me that made it impossible for me to go on working for him - 'You're fired' were the exact words as I remember them."
Christopher Hitchens.
"My face looks like a wedding-cake left out in the rain."
W. H. Auden.
"Snob: I suppose you know my ancestors came over with William the Conqueror.
John Smith: Yes indeed, since mine were here waiting for you."

Trumping a snob.
"The Freemasons: this mafia for the mediocre."
Christopher Hitchens.
"Death has this much to be said for it:
You don't have to get out of bed for it.
Wherever you happen to be
They bring it to you - free."

Kingsley Amis.
"Why are you engineers always bothering me for money for more expensive equipment and laboratories? Why can't you be like the math department? They only ask for paper and trashcans! Or better yet, the philosophy department. They just ask for paper!"
Dean Gradgrind of Hardtack University.
"Wife: Don't smoke, you'll cough!
Husband: But I cough better when I smoke!"

From the Czech movie 'Autumn Spring', in which an eighty-year-old man refuses to behave.
"To be Prince of Wales is not a position; it is a predicament!"
The future George IV, impatient for his father to go mad or die, as voiced by Alan Bennett in 'The Madness of King George'.
"Lectures," said McCrimmon, "are our most flexible art form. Any idea, however slight, can be expanded to fill fifty-five minutes; any idea, however great, can be condensed to that time. And if no ideas are available, there can always be discussion. Discussion is the vacuum that fills the vacuum."
John Kenneth Galbraith, in 'A Tenured Professor'.
"They say it's important to live each day as if it were your last. What? Drunk, six cigarettes in my mouth, sobbing down the phone at all the relatives I haven't called in years?"
Tom Shone.
"In Texas, anyone driving at the posted speed limit will never arrive at their destination."
Jud Northbark.
"I can honestly say I left the job exactly the same way that I took it up: fired with enthusiasm."
Clark Kerr, after being dismissed from his university job by governor Ronald Reagan.
"Where is the medal without the reverse?"
Karl Marx.
"When you tell an Iowan a joke, you can see a kind of race going on between his brain and his expression."
Bill Bryson, in 'The Lost Continent'.
"The longest suicide note in history."
Gerald Kaufman, describing the British Labour Party's manifesto for the 1983 election, which party leader Michael Foot had decreed would contain the text of every resolution approved at the party congress.
"Arthur Koestler was capable of reciting the truths of the multiplication table in a way to make some people indignant with him."
Sydney Hook, on the combative author of 'Darkness at Noon'.
"It took Cheops twenty years to build his pyramid, but if he had a lot of trustees, contractors, and newspaper reporters to worry him, he might not have finished it by that time. The advantages of modern engineering are in many ways over balanced by the disadvantages of modern civilization."
Washington Roebling, after thirteen years of controversy as the Chief Engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge.
"I can no longer be taught by the man who taught my enemy. So what is more fitting in a mad world than to be taught by the man who taught the man who taught my enemy?"
Scaramouche, as played by that ham-slinger Stewart Granger.
"No man in our annals has filled so large a space -
and left it so empty."

Charles Edward Arnold, on James G Blaine, who lost the presidential race to Grover Cleveland in 1884.
"Antoni Gaudi seems to have designed the church of the Holy Family out of melted candle wax and chicken guts."
Robert Hughes.
"Now I know I'm making a lot of fun of fat people.
But I don't want any of you fat people to be uncomfortable during my show.
So next time, why don't you go ahead and pay for two seats?"

Comedian Ricky Gervais.
"That pond it seems me many multiplied of fishes. Let us amuse rather to the fishing."
Jose da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino, in 'English as She is Spoke'.
"If not a Hun, I thought, then an Austrian, surely - somewhere German-speaking, at any rate; all that gloom and soulfulness could only be the result of an upbringing among compound words."
John Banville, in the spy novel 'The Untouchable'.
"Can you open the shutters, please?"
The last words of Goethe, which were poeticized into 'More light!'.
"It is wholly a confusion of ideas to suppose that the economical use of fuel is equivalent to diminished consumption. The very contrary is the truth."
William Stanley Jevons, in 'The Coal Question', 1865, asserting that Britain's use of coal was unsustainable, and that measures to use coal more efficiently would not delay the crisis.
"The thicker the hay, the easier the mowing."
Alaric, chief of the Goths, after a delegation from Rome warned him that every man, woman and child in the city would resist his assault.
"Dig deep enough and you hit water;
think hard enough and you hit a mystery."

A Transuranian proverb.
"If you just talk, I find that your mouth comes out with stuff."
Ricky Gervais.
"Twenty-two acknowledged concubines, and a library of sixty-two thousand volumes, attested the variety of his inclinations, and from the productions which he left behind, it appears that the former as well as the latter were designed for use rather than ostentation."
Edward Gibbon, in 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'.
"To find many things, look for one."
A Transuranian proverb.
"So might a carpenter, looking at the moon,
suppose that it is made of wood."

Steven Weinberg's acidic epitome of Stephen Wolfram's proposal, in 'A New Kind of Science', that everything in the universe, and the universe itself, is a cellular automaton.
"Vice President Biden described the complex nature of the security problem in Afghanistan, commenting that besides the demography, geography and history of the region, we have a lot going for us."
Extract from a diplomatic cable following a meeting between British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US Vice President Joe Biden.
"During the first day or two she tried to get on with War and Peace, but found it depressing, and as time went on she suffered from that sense of unworthiness which attacks sensitive people who have been rebuffed by a classic."
Robertson Davies, in 'A Mixture of Frailties'.
"You must have a REALLY beautiful wife!"
A left-handed compliment, made after staring at the picture of a colleague's daughter for a long time, and then back at the colleague.
"You may go far with a smile and a kind word;
you'll go farther with a smile, a kind word, and a gun."

Beverage distributor Al Capone.
"No one ever learned a bad habit from a horse."
Marine Corps lieutenant general Victor 'Brute' Kruluk recalls advice from his father.
"My goal is to be a millionaire by the age of 25,
so I'm not wasting my time starting out at a minimum wage job."

Unemployed couch warmer and imaginary celebrity Rob Kardashian (23) explains why he's turning down an internship.
"You're lucky he only showed you the dog."
Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada, after George Bush recalled how Vladimir Putin had bragged that his dog was bigger, stronger, and faster than Bush's.
"Nonsmokers die every day. And you know what doctors say?
If only you'd smoked, we'd have the technology to help you.
It's you people dying from nothing that are screwed!"

Bill Hicks.
"The plural of anecdote is not data!"
Ben Goldacre, in 'Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks'.
"On rereading the above paragraph I have the feeling that
the late Mr Henry James would be far from happy with it,
but as there are a great many of his paragraphs that I am
far from happy with, I shall let it stay."

Noel Coward, in 'Pomp and Circumstance'.
"Having one child makes you a parent;
having two makes you a referee."

David Frost.
"I am not an ambulance chaser;
I am usually there before the ambulance."

Melvin Belli.
"There was no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years, the dirt doesn't get any worse."
Quentin Crisp, author of 'The Naked Civil Servant'.
"I've not even started working yet,
but I will now have to work longer -
that is, if I can find a job."

A French student, protesting the proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62, which means he'll have to wait two more years to 'inherit' a job.
"If you think you understand the way time is expressed in a novel, consider the sentence 'Tomorrow was Christmas.'"
Gordon Eugene Nelson.
"It's not where you look that matters, but what you see."
Henry David Thoreau, Walden Pond real estate developer.
"No one tests the river's depth using both feet."
A Transuranian proverb.
"A good sentence in prose should be like a good sentence in poetry: unchangeable."
Gustave Flaubert, meticulous stylist.
"Computing is no more about computers
than astronomy is about telescopes."

Edsger Dijkstra, computer science's 'go to' guy.
"He was dull in a new way, and that made many people think him great."
Samuel Johnson, describing the poet Thomas Gray.
"'You don't have to study.'
'How do you know I don't have to study?'
'Because you go to B.U.!'"

Mark Zuckerberg bickering with his girlfriend Erica, as portrayed in the movie 'The Social Network'.
"He was this nerdy guy who was just a little bit out there.
I remember he had these beer glasses that said
'pound include beer dot H'."

Priscilla Chan recalls her first meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
"'Do you think Willem could make you laugh?' I asked my wife.
'I saw him smile once and I had nightmares, but what do I know?'"

Film producer Art Linson, fishing for support after agreeing to the casting of Willem Dafoe in the starring role of an action comedy.
"Like the soil of his native New England,
his mind is naturally barren but highly cultivated."

Chauncey DePew, speaking of his fellow senator Henry Cabot Lodge.
"Without models, there are no data."
Paul Edwards, in 'A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming'.
"For every Southern boy fourteen years old,
not once but whenever he wants it,
there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock
on that July afternoon in 1863."

William Faulkner.
"The past is never dead; it's not even past."
William Faulkner.
"Lead me not into temptation. I can find it myself."
The motto on the coffee cup of Joy Carroll, the inspiration for the TV show 'The Vicar of Dibley'.
"A character in an early novel of mine graded women for a hobby.
He would give them either A, B, C, D, F or Incomplete.
Incomplete was his biggest category. He was a very hard grader."

Screenwriter and author William Goldman.
"Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify, because the players are always changing, the team could move to another city. You're actually rooting for the clothes, when you get right down to it."
Jerry Seinfeld.
"I pointed to the screen monitoring the snarled traffic at the city center and asked 'Is that the worst part?'; my guide stroked his chin, waved his hand across the wall of screens he was monitoring, and finally said, 'It's all the worst part.'"
Brewster Bragsheer, in 'Stranger, Hurry By'.
"Beige for the beigeous."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Not everyone born in a stable is a horse."
A Transuranian proverb.
"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."
L P Hartley, in 'The Go-Between'.
"I'm dressing mod 7."
Jud Northbark, upon being told that he was wearing the same shirt this Monday as last Monday, explaining that most of his clothes were packed in preparation for a move.
"People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman ...but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him."
Art Buchwald.
"Grandma Esther was the loudmouthed immigrant who suddenly becomes a member of your family. I once heard her ask a women in her condo complex, 'Why do you hate me, fatso?'"
Rich Cohen, in 'Sweet and Low'.
"With our writing service you can be 100% sure that you will not buy a plagiarized paper and even get a free plagiarism report! Everything you pay for is completely unique!"
From the website 'Custom Essay'.
"In the 1940's, a competition in the New Statesman invited readers to parody Graham Greene. Greene himself entered, under a pseudonym, and only came second."
The Economist, 17 July 2010.
"If you walk to the end of the block, there sits a Starbucks.
And directly across the street -
in the exact same building as that Starbucks -
there is another Starbucks.
There is a Starbucks across the street from a Starbucks!
And ladies and gentlemen, that is the end of the universe."

Lewis Black.
"Computer scientists want to study computing for its own sake;
computational scientists want to build useful things."

Greg Wilson.
"The problem with high school calculus is that it convinces students that they have mastered it; as they flounder in college calculus, they naturally accuse their instructor of having made them stupid."
Professor Lee Squires.
"I knew a lad who went to sea,
and left the land behind him.
I knew him well - the lad was me,
and now I cannot find him."

Transuranian folksong.
"[Admiral Ernest] King's daughter described her father as an even-tempered man: 'He was always angry'."
Max Hastings, in 'Retribution: The Battle for Japan 1944-1945'.
"War: Once you've been there, once you've seen it, you never want to go there again unless you absolutely have to. It's like France."
General Miller, in 'In the Loop'.
"Anyone in America who might wish to be alone has only to step out onto the nearest sidewalk."
Jud Northbark, in 'An Almanac of Scorn'.
"Much was said this night against the parliament. I said that,
as it seemed to be agreed that all Members of Parliament became
corrupted, it was better to chuse men already bad,
and so save good men."

James Boswell, recalling a late night discussion.
"The life of everyone on board depends upon just one thing:
finding someone back there who can not only fly this plane,
but who didn't have fish for dinner."

A stewardess, talking to the passengers in 'Zero Hour', the inspiration for 'Airplane'.
"I hope it will not shock experimental physicists too much
if I say that we do not accept their observations
unless they are confirmed by theory."

Sir Arthur Eddington.
"Hope is good, but it's all that waiting that spoils it."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not understand digestion?"
Engineer Oliver Heaviside, responding to attacks from mathematical purists against his ad hoc inventions of the step function and other calculational devices with which he could solve problems they had found intractable.
"The Riviera - a sunny place for shady people."
Somerset Maugham.
"Paying your creditors only encourages them."
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, playwright, member of Parliament, and notorious debtor.
"Some folk want their luck buttered."
Thomas Hardy, who expected little from life and was rarely disappointed.
"Wagner's music is better than it sounds."
Mark Twain.
"An autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful."
George Orwell.
"...same old sausage, fizzing and sputtering in his own grease."
Henry James (the elder) on the cantankerous historian and critic Thomas Carlyle.
"Gentlemen, even if one allows that he is an important writer,
are we next to invite an elephant to be the Professor of Zoology?"

Roman Jakobsson, explaining his opposition to appointing Vladimir Nabokov to a tenured professorship at Harvard based on his achievements as a writer.
"There's no use in meeting trouble halfway."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Is not a Patron, my Lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help?"
Samuel Johnson, about to publish his dictionary, responding to Lord Chesterfield's efforts to offer belated patronage.
"As a writer, he has mastered everything except language;
as a novelist, he can do everything except tell a story;
as an artist, he is everything except articulate."

Oscar Wilde, on the novelist George Meredith.
"I have no wish to know anyone sitting in a sewer and adding to it."
Thomas Carlyle, refusing to be introduced to the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne.
"We are all interested in the future,
for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives."

Plan 9 From Outer Space.
"Very small."
Paul Dirac, asked for his impressions of the Queen, who had just awarded him the Order of Merit in a private ceremony in 1973.
"I promise you, you don't need a cat license. There is no such thing!"
From the Monty Python skit 'Eric the Half-a-Bee'.
"Kitty: I was reading a book the other day.
Carlotta: Reading a book?
Kitty: Yes. It's all about civilization or something. A nutty kind of a book. Do you know that the guy says that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?
Carlotta: Oh, my dear. That's something you need never worry about."

The closing lines in the movie 'Dinner at Eight', between Kitty, a floozy played by Jean Harlow, and the ancient actress Carlotta Vance, played by Marie Dressler.
"The 't' is silent, as in 'Harlow'."
Margot Asquith, correcting the pronunciation of her name.
"A bad sentence cannot be corrected;
it should never have been written."

Chandrasekhar, during his tenure as associate managing editor of The Astrophysical Journal.
"My colleagues are spherical bastards;
In other words, no matter how you look at them, they're bastards."

Cal Tech astronomer Fritz Zwicky.
"How nice to have all the wrong things in one place."
Astronomer Arthur Eddington, commenting on the appearance of the book 'An Introduction to the Study of Stellar Structures' by his rival Chandrasekhar.
"'Do you like it here in Russia?'
'Yes,' I said. 'My parents are Russian. Life is difficult here sure, but ...'
Don't worry,' he said, 'Things are going to get much worse,
and then you'll like it even more.'"

Ingrid Bengis, in 'Metro Stop Dostoevsky'.
"I've got nothing, you've got nothing and he's got nothing.
That's just enough to start a factory!"

The character Karol Borowiecki in Wajda's movie 'The Promised Land'.
"What is love, except thinking you're in it?"
David Lodge, in 'Therapy'.
"The most dreadful thing that can happen to a man is to become ridiculous in his own eyes in a matter of essential importance."
Soren Kierkegaard.
"The last 29 days of the month are the hardest."
The young Nikola Tesla, describing his struggle to stay afloat after impulsively moving to Paris.
"'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'"
Lewis Carroll, in 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'.
"Notions will hurt none but those that have them."
Oliver Cromwell, addressing the opening of Parliament in 1654.
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline.
It helps if you have some kind of a football team or some nuclear weapons,
but at the very least you need a beer."

Frank Zappa.
"I love to have written."
Dorothy Parker.
"If you want to know what God thinks of money, look at the people he gave it to."
Dorothy Parker.
"Alas, today for the first time in his life the good Bishop's brains came in contact with reality. The result, I'm afraid, was fatal."
Thomas Huxley, who had publicly debated Bishop 'Soapy Sam' Wilberforce about evolution, upon hearing that the bishop had died after a head injury from falling from his horse, supposedly remarked.
"I'm going to tell you a delicious piece of gossip.
Now listen very carefully, because I'm only going to tell it once
because I promised not to repeat it!"

Hans Habe, quoted by Tony Randall in 'Which Reminds Me'.
"The great secret of living in the country
is not to get on too well with your neighbours."

John Mortimer, in the novel 'Dunster'.
"Plagiarize, plagiarize,
Let no one's work escape your eyes!"

The key to academic success without all that stress.
"Nothing, for example, is more difficult than to convince the merely general reader that the fact of sixes having been thrown twice in succession by a player at dice, is sufficient cause for betting the largest odds that sixes will not be thrown again on the third attempt. A suggestion to this effect is usually rejected by the intellect at once. It does not appear that the two throws which have been completed, and which lie now absolutely in the Past, can have influence upon the throw which exists only in the Future. The chance for throwing sixes seems to be precisely as it was at any ordinary time - that is to say, subject only to the influence of the various other throws which may be made by the dice. And this is a reflection which appears so exceedingly obvious that attempts to controvert it are received more frequently with a derisive smile than with any thing like respectful attention. The error here involved - a gross error redolent of mischief - I cannot pretend to expose within the limits assigned me at present; and with the philosophical it needs no exposure. It may be sufficient here to say that it forms one of an infinite series of mistakes which arise in the path of Reason through her propensity for seeking truth in detail."
Edgar Allan Poe, in 'The Mystery of Marie Roget', wondering why his sure-fire gambling scheme hasn't caught on.
"There comes Poe, with his raven, like Barnaby Rudge,
Three-fifths of him genius and two-fifths sheer fudge."

James Russell Lowell, in 'A Fable for Critics'.
"The following morning, a local farmer named James McShane
came across Payne sprawled facedown, sobbing in the wet grass.
The smell of alcohol hung in the air. To McShane, this could
mean only one thing. 'My dear man,', he said, 'Are you a Frenchman?'"

Daniel Stashower, in 'The Beautiful Cigar Girl'.
"Human nature is not only about as bad as it can be,
but a great deal worse."

Somerset Maugham, in 'The Moon and Sixpence'.
"Thank you Mary, you have entertained us quite enough."
Mr Bennet, in 'Pride and Prejudice', seeking to gracefully curtail his daughter's excruciating performance.
"Isn't that the right time to stop -
when people still think you're charming?"

Elizabeth Bennet, played by Greer Garson, in the 1940 film of 'Pride and Prejudice'.
"It is only the first bottle of wine that is expensive."
A Transuranian proverb.
"You can count the seeds in an apple,
but you can't count the apples in a seed."

Ken Kesey.
"Awards, honors and medals exert a gravitational field.
Getting the first one is very difficult; after that, they fall effortlessly into your lap."

Jud Northbark, in 'Tips for Charon'.
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing."
Mick Jagger.
"A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you,
for the privilege of kicking you once."

William Faulkner.
"The trouble with bad art is that the artist knows exactly what he's doing."
Tom Stoppard.
"Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket."
Eric Hoffer.
"You may write as carelessly and badly as this when you have become famous. Until then, you must take some care."
Voltaire, returning a manuscript to a would-be writer.
"No one is ever happy. It's either
we should have cancelled and we didn't, or
we didn't cancel and we should have."

Sherwood Wilson, Virginia Tech VP for Administrative Services, about snow days.
"He who is absent is wrong."
The nimble diplomat Talleyrand, who managed to thrive on both sides of the French Revolution.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the subject I am about to present to you may seem appallingly difficult, but I assure you that with just six months of diligent study you will be able to fully share my current state of utter confusion."
Professor Jud Northbark, first day of class.
"Louder! Louder! I can still hear the singers!"
Richard Strauss exhorting his orchestra.
"He's such a liar that not even the opposite is true."
Ferenc Molnar.
"A fanatic redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim."
George Santayana.
"Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results.
I know several thousand things that won't work."

Thomas Edison, when an associate suggested that he might feel disappointment in having done so much work without any results to show for it.
"And what were you going to offer the thirteenth Caesar?"
Tiberius Caesar, turning down the Senate's offer to name September after him, following the precedents of July and August.
"Being president of the University of California
is like being manager of a cemetery:
there are many people under you, but no one is listening."

Mark Yudof.
"We see a low-tech version of motion-capture every time Jessica Biel acts."
Film reviewer Wesley Morris.
"Never apologize too quickly."
The first rule of married life.
"I have never put myself to the trouble of rummaging
through an immense rubbish-heap on the problematical
chance of discovering a cigar-end."

King Edward VII, after Winston Churchill suggested that he subscribe to a press-cutting agency.
"Dammit, Dad, if I spend all my time trying to find my mistakes,
I won't have time to make new ones."

David Hays, in 'My Old Man and the Sea'.
"Millions long for immortality,
who don't know what to do with themselves
on a rainy Sunday afternoon."

Susan Ertz, in 'Anger in the Sky'.
"Once your in-basket is actually overflowing,
there's no point in refusing even more work."

Overworked, and learning to live with it.
"Hemingway pissed here."
A historical plaque in Key West, placed by someone who'd seen one too many of them.
"Arthur Koestler was not a skeptic at all.
Yes, he saw darkness at noon.
But he always saw another blinding light at 2pm."

Johann Hari.
"The only question I ever ask a woman is
'what time is your husband coming home?'."

Hud, as played by Paul Newman, in 'Hud'.
"Politicians, ugly buildings and whores all get respectable
if they last long enough."

Noah Cross, as played by John Huston, in 'Chinatown'.
"It is defeats that make one a human being.
A man who never understands his defeats
takes nothing with him into the future."

Aksel Sandemose.
"In this business, success is 99% perseverance and 1% talent.
Congratulations, gentlemen, you are 99% there!"

Publishing executive Arthur Planck, played by Bob Balaban in 'Dedication'.
"It has all been very interesting."
Last words of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, 1689-1762.
"I like work. It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours."
Jerome K Jerome, author of 'Three Men in a Boat'.
"If people do not believe that mathematics is simple,
it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is."

John von Neumann.
"Unless your words are more important than silence, hold your tongue."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
"As a historian,
I cannot believe how low the standards are in mathematics!
In my field, no one would put forth an argument
without at least ten proofs, whereas in mathematics
they stop as soon as they have found a single one!"

An irate historian berating Andrey Kolmogorov.
"Man may escape from rope and gun;
Who takes a woman must be undone."

John Gay.
"Chaos theory - an explanation in search of a problem."
The Economist.
"Reminds me of the old joke about the pensioner convicted of murder.
'Thirty years, your Honor,' he protests. 'It's too much! I'll never manage it!'
And the judge says: 'Well, just do as many as you can...'"

Joanne Harris in 'Gentlemen and Players'.
"Seeing I was here for such a short time,
it was hardly worth coming at all."

Epitaph for a baby born at midnight who survived only two minutes.
"It's certain there is no fine thing
Since Adam's fall but needs much labouring."

William Butler Yeats, 'Adam's Curse'.
"Still, almost no one can avoid occasional pedestrian status."
The Federal Highway Administration, which will still forgive you.
"You know what description you never want a woman you've slept with to apply to your sexual technique? 'Baffling'."
Mary Elizabeth Williams, in the Salon article 'How not to make love like a porn star'.

J. Maarten Troost reports a warning sign on a house on Vanuatu, in 'Getting Stoned with Savages'.
"Cousin Zeb: Is this a game of chance?
Cuthbert J Twillie: Not the way I play it, no."

Cuthbert J Twillie, as played by W C Fields in 'My Little Chickadee'.
"Euler published 228 papers after he died,
making the deceased Euler
one of history's most prolific mathematicians."

William Dunham.
"A Conservative is one who is enamored of existing evils,
as distinguished from the Liberal,
who wishes to replace them with others."

Ambrose Bierce, diabolical lexicographer.
"Fluids are a lot easier to drink than they are to understand."
Alan Newell.
"You don't know who's swimming naked til the tide goes out."
Warren Buffett.
"Although God cannot alter the past, historians can."
Samuel Butler.
"A dirty mind is a perpetual feast."
Needlepoint slogan in a historic mansion in Savannah, Georgia.
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
Groucho Marx makes a thoughtful farewell to his host.
"Do you understand what prime numbers are? Because if you don't you should just leave now."
The warning at the beginning of the thiller 'Fermat's Room', in which the victims must solve math puzzles or be crushed to death.
"Taniyama was not a very careful person as a mathematician.
He made a lot of mistakes,
but he made mistakes in a good direction,
and so eventually, he got right answers.
I tried to imitate him,
but I found out that it is very difficult to make good mistakes."

Goro Shimura, of the Shimura-Taniyama Conjecture.
"This project is too important to be held up by projects that are more important!"
An agitated project manager.
"Arthur Dent: It's at times like this I wish I had listened to my mother.
Ford Prefect: Why? What did she say?
Arthur Dent: I don't know. I never listened."

Douglas Adams, in 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy'.
"Those who restrain passion do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained."
William Blake.
"The reason there are bugs in the bed is that they're too scared to get down on the floor."
The front desk clerk at a Third World hotel.
"People wouldn't mind rush hour nearly so much if it didn't occur just when everyone's trying to get back home."
Traffic jamologist Jud Northbark.
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there."
A A Milne, in 'The House at Pooh Corner'.
"In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years, the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."
Mark Twain.
"I am going to let you out for the afternoon to walk around the town. But you have to be back by six. If you're not, I'm locking the doors, and I won't let you back in."
Sheriff Percy Egglefield, of Essex County, New York, laying out the law to a new inmate of his jail.
"I do not feel I was guilty of carelessness.
I just forgot, simply forgot,
to close the door to the cobra's cage after I cleaned it."

Grace Olive Wiley, short-time snake curator at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo.
"I'd knock that boy's brains out if I knew where to hit him."
Big Boy Matson, in Max Evans's 'The Hi Lo Country'.
"Now the exclamation mark doesn't mean we're really excited about that letter n."
Addison Frey, mathematics professor at Alfred University, explaining the 'n!' notation for the factorial.
"There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit. We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers."
Richard Feynman.
"The people who live in a Golden Age go around complaining how yellow everything looks."
Randall Jarrell, poet, and former occupant of what he considered the most poetically titled job in the Air Force - Celestial Navigation Tower Operator.
"Reason's last step is the recognition that there are an infinite number of things beyond it."
Blaise Pascal, master of the graceful surrender.
"I do not believe that gifts,
whether of mind or character,
can be weighed like butter and sugar,
not even at Cambridge."

Virginia Woolf.
"I didn't know that if a girl broke your heart, another girl, virtuous at least in spirit, could mend it on the same night.
And I didn't know that the enthalpy decrease in a converging passage could be transformed into jet kinetic energy if a divergent passage was added."

Homer Hickam, in 'Rocket Boys'.
"A closed mouth gathers no feet."
A Transuranian proverb.
"I owe much, I have nothing, the rest I leave to the poor."
Rabelais, his last will and testament.
"The striving for wisdom is the second paradise of the world."
Paracelsus (Theophrastus Phillippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim).
"I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance.
Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit;
touch it and the bloom is gone."

Oscar Wilde, in 'The Importance of Being Earnest'.
"Whatever therefore is got by such exponents and proportions is to be ascribed to fluxions: which must therefore be previously understood. And what are these fluxions? The velocities of evanescent increments. And what are these evanescent increments? They are neither finite quantities, nor quantities infinitely small, nor yet nothing. May we not call them the ghosts of departed quantities?"
Bishop Berkeley, refusing to accept Newton's concept of the derivative:
"It is only too easy to catch people's attention by doing something worse than anyone else has dared to do before."
Critic Louis Leroy, reviewing Claude Monet in Le Charivari.
"Bu Fu: No, no! You have merely painted what is! Anybody can paint what is. The real secret is to paint what isn't!
Chi Po: But what is there that isn't?"

Oscar Mandel, in 'Chi Po and the Sorcerer'.
"So far as I see,
we can only infer that the totality of all numbers is infinite,
that the number of squares is infinite,
and that the number of their roots is infinite;
neither is the number of squares less than the totality of all numbers,
nor the latter greater than the former;
and finally, the attributes 'equal', 'greater' and 'less'
are not applicable to infinite, but only to finite, quanitities."

Galileo, 'Dialogue on Two New Sciences' (1638).
"But my argument does not anyhow rob mathematicians of their study,
although it denies the existence of the infinite
in the sense of actual existence
as something increased to such an extent that it cannot be gone through;
for, as it is, they do not need the infinite or use it,
but only require that the finite straight line
shall be as long as they please.
Hence it will make no difference to them for the purpose of proofs."

Aristotle in 'Physics'.
"I protest against the use of infinite magnitude as something completed,
which in mathematics is never permissible.
Infinity is merely a figure of speech, the real meaning being
a limit which certain ratios approach indefinitely near,
while others are permitted to increase without restriction."

Carl Friedrich Gauss.
"You know that I write slowly.
This is chiefly because I am never satisfied until
I have said as much as possible in a few words,
and writing briefly takes far more time than writing at length."

Carl Friedrich Gauss.
"It'll soon be over now", he said, "unless Clive Bosanquet makes an even longer speech than usual. Clive is a good chap, but he will insist on not leaving any stone unturned. And if in any doubt, he thinks it better to turn them back again."
C P Snow, in 'The Sleep of Reason'.
"By and large, a ride on a long-distance bus in America
combines most of the shortcomings of prison life
with those of an ocean-crossing on a troopship."

Bill Bryson, in 'The Lost Continent'.
"'He seemed confident,' she said.
He smiled in spite of himself.
'Young lawyers are always confident. It's a failure of our law schools.'"

Pete Dexter, in 'Paris Trout'.
"Geometry is the art of reasoning well with badly made figures."
Henri Poincare.
"An extraordinary affair.
I gave them their orders
and they wanted to stay and discuss them."

The Duke of Wellington.
"In front of every silver lining there's a cloud."
A Transuranian proverb.
"We had the only kind of money that was respectable these days -
the kind that was all gone."

Caitlin Macy, in 'The Fundamentals of Play'.
"I never came across a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn't make it worse."
Brendan Behan.
"If you're not in bed by midnight, you'd better go home."
The philanderer's motto.
"The trouble with Germans is not that they fire artillery shells,
but that they engrave them with quotations from Kant."

Karl Kraus.
"SEED = 65539 * SEED
IF (SEED .LT. 0) SEED = (SEED + 2147483647) + 1
It is difficult to find two lines of code which violate more software engineering principles; the intent is obscure and the result is non-portable."

Stephen Park, Keith Miller, Communications of the ACM, 1988.
"Home in three days. Don't wash."
Napoleon, writing to Josephine.
"I am conscious of my faults,
but I hope I atone for them
by my marked disapprobation of such faults in others."

Charles James Fox, satirizing the critics of the spendthrift George IV.
"I am an old man now,
and when I die and go to heaven
there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment.
One is quantum electrodynamics,
and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids.
...And about the former I am rather optimistic."

Hydrodynamicist Horace Lamb, addressing the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
"I do think the bloom of her ugliness is going off."
The chamberlain of the ill-favored Queen Charlotte, wife of George III.
"What genius does must be the best of all rules."
"There were good workmen among them.
The trouble was that they all wanted to be architects."

Napoleon on the French Council of State.
"A constitution should be short, and obscure."
"A poem is never finished, merely abandoned."
Paul Valery.
"I feel so good, life is running around inside of me like a squirrel!"
Boris Kolenkhov, in 'You Can't Take it With You!'.
"Aus so krummem Holz als woraus der Mensch gemacht ist,
kann nichts ganz gerade gezimmert werden! -
(From such crooked wood as men are made,
nothing quite straight can be built!)"

Immanuel Kant.
"If the rich could hire the poor to die for them,
the poor could make a good living."

A Transuranian proverb.
"I remember my friend Johnny von Neumann used to say,
'with four parameters I can fit an elephant
and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.'"

Freeman Dyson, quoting Enrico Fermi in 'A meeting with Enrico Fermi', Nature, Volume 427, page 297, 2004.
"I made my money by selling too soon."
Bernard Baruch.
"Son, never buy something that eats while you sleep."
Advice from John Boy's father when he was thinking of buying a horse.
"Every computer program is correct up until the moment it is written."
Jud Northbark, in 'John Dvorak Folds His Arms'.
"An expert is someone who has made all possible mistakes."
Otto Frisch, in 'What Little I Remember'.
"Nothing is eaten as hot as it is cooked."
Otto Frisch, in 'What Little I Remember'.
"A really good scientist is one who knows how to draw correct conclusions from incorrect assumptions."
Otto Frisch, in 'What Little I Remember'.
"Sleep faster! We need the pillows."
A Transuranian proverb.
"A tavern is a place where madness is sold by the bottle."
Jonathan Swift.
"A little inaccuracy saves tons of explanation."
Saki (H H Munro), author of 'Sredni-Vashtar', 'Tobermory', and 'The Schartz-Metterklume Method'.
"A professor must have a theory as a dog must have fleas."
H L Mencken.
"Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers, come to dust."

Shakespeare, in 'Cymbeline', Act IV, Scene 2.
"Humans are not proud of their ape ancestors,
and rarely invite them round to dinner."

Douglas Adams, in 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy'.
"I can always hire some mathematicians,
but they can't hire me!"

Thomas Edison, who believed that experimental inquiry was far more valuable than theory.
"Now you may think that this is very harsh behavior,
but let me tell you that our management consultants actually queried
the necessity for us to employ a pantomime horse at all!"

John Cleese, announcing that his firm must fire one of its two pantomime horses, a decision to be made by a death match.
"The trouble with King is that his description of the sunset spoils the original."
An acquaintance of the 19th century American Clarence King.
"Most people go to their graves with their music still inside them."
Oliver Wendell Holmes.
"To travel fast, go alone;
to travel far, go together."

A Transuranian proverb.
"'Shut up!', he explained."
Ring Lardner, in 'The Young Immigrants'.
"Most of the people in this house are average,
but my sister is just plain mean!"

Miles Moses, on being asked by his grandfather if anyone could tell him the difference between average and mean.
"She cried until her grief had been eased, after which, like any bereaved person, she half-shelved the dead and half-opened his bank account."
Nigel Dennis, in 'Cards of Identity'.
"The light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern,
which shines only on the waves behind."

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
"I hate you and your ass face!"
Flamboyant stage director Corky St Clair, in 'Waiting for Guffman'.
"All things dull and ugly,
All creatures short and squat;
All things rude and nasty,
The Lord God made the lot.

Each nasty little hornet,
Each beastly little squid; -
Who made the spiky urchin?
Who made the sharks? He did!"

Monty Python.
"Fail again. Fail better."
Samuel Beckett.
"How many husbands have I had? You mean, besides my own?"
Zsa Zsa Gabor.
"When Charles Grodin enters a room, it is as though someone just left."
Charles Grodin, recalling just one of the many insults and putdowns he received in his career.
"Happiness makes up in height what it lacks in length."
Robert Frost.
"Life must be understood backwards,
but it must be lived forwards."

Draagekreik Neros, fearful trembler.
"Sir, I have given you an argument.
I am not also obliged to provide you with an understanding."

Samuel Johnson, having explained himself and being told 'But I don't understand!'.
Author Steven Millhauser, asked to give a brief biography.
"Dating younger men is like chewing gum:
ten minutes of flavor followed by bland repetition."

Heather Wolfe, falling big time for Frank Langella in the movie 'Starting Out in the Evening'.
"His conversation does not show the minute hand,
but he strikes the hour very correctly."

Samuel Johnson, of his frequent dinner host Henry Thrale.
"You take the job because you have ideas about how things could be better, and then you spend most of your time keeping them from getting worse."
A university department chair, in Alison Lurie's 'Truth or Consequences'.
"Nina: My name is Nina. I was named after a character in 'The Seagull'.
Jesus: Really? My name is Jesus. I was named after a bandleader in Panama City."

The movie 'Music from Another Room'.
"They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me!"
English dramatist Nathaniel Lee, who was confined for five years in Bethlehem Hospital for the Insane, better known as 'Bedlam'.
"If Mr Gladstone fell into the Thames, that would be a misfortune;
if anyone pulled him out, that would be a catastrophe."

Benjamin Disraeli, on being asked to explain the difference between misfortune and catastrophe.
"Well I've been listening to my gut since I was 14 years old, and frankly speaking, I've come to the conclusion that my gut has shit for brains."
John Cusack, playing Rob Gordon, in 'High Fidelity'.
"To see how many pieces they are cut up into."
A child actor in the original 'Lord of the Flies' film, asked why, between takes, he was catching lizards and tossing them into a fan.
"Cruelty is the ideal children's game:
no equipment is needed,
the rules are simple to learn,
and you can play even if your opponent doesn't want to."

Jud Northbark, in 'Elementary Penguins'.
"Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn."

Delmore Schwartz.
"The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to another."
J. Frank Dobie, 'A Texan in England'.
"Living with a high school teacher is probably not that different from living with a coal miner. They are down the shaft, they are cleaning up from being down the shaft, or they are preparing to return to the shaft."
Jane Hamilton, in 'Disobedience'.
"Winning the world title was easy.
The hard part was making the Chinese team!"

The winner of the Olympic ping pong competition.
"I believe he was jumping a little too low at the leapfrog."
Sherman Stonor, Baron Camoys, explaining with his usual delicacy why a relative had suddenly abandoned his studies at a seminary.
"There is no point in settling the precedence between a louse and a flea."
Samuel Johnson.
"In Washington, some men grow. Others merely swell."
Woodrow Wilson.
"This is not a succedaneum for satisfying the nympholepsy of nullifidians. Rather it is hoped that the haecceity of this enchiridion of arcane and recondite sesquipedalian items will appeal to the oniomania of an eximious Gemeinschaft whose legerity and sophrosyne, whose Sprachgefuehl and orexis will find more than fugacious fulfillment among its felicific pages."
Laurence Urdang, in his preface to The New York Times Everyday Reader's Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, and Mispronounced Words.
"My mother was a closed circuit. All her poles and the pronouns that represented them were reversed. Of strangers, she would say, 'She hasn't met me yet'."
Hannah Musgrove, in Russell Banks's novel 'The Darling'.
"An autonomous system would take about 10 years to build. Human reason alone, using Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as the software functional requirements document, would entail about 8 million lines of commented code. The systems architect would have to be conversant in Schopenhauer, Kant, and Hegel and have many years of experience in building software systems of 1 million lines of commented code."
S. M. de Gyurky, in a letter to 'The Futurist' magazine, makes artificial intelligence practical.
"History is just one damn thing after another."
Dean Acheson,
Alan Bennet,
Winston Churchill,
Historian H.A.L. Fisher,
Henry Ford,
William Randolph Hearst,
Douglas Hector in 'The History Boys' by Alan Bennett,
Elbert Hubbard,
Robert Sherrill,
Arnold Toynbee,
Mark Twain,
"It is not true that life is one damn thing after another. It's one damn thing over and over."
Edna St Vincent Millay.
Headline in the Washington Post, after Hilary Clinton's response to Barak Obama's declaration that he'd won the nomination.
"Angelina Jolie is the closest thing we have to a real superhero. She's everywhere at once, never ages, travels the world crusading for right, and can easily be pictured crouching atop the Chrysler building."
Dana Stevens.
"Time is Nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once.
Space is Nature's way of keeping everything from happening to me."

John Archibald Wheeler, physicist who coined the phrase 'black hole'.
"Time is Nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once."
Woody Allen.
"Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later."
Frederick Brooks, in 'The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering'.
"Null Physics is derived from the concept that our entire universe is the internal structure of nothingness. In other words, physical reality is an intricate, four-dimensional geometric equation that adds to zero because it exists within zero."
Terence Witt gives the null explanation of Null Physics.
"A drowning man reaches for a snake."
A Transuranian proverb.
"We pledged to support her to the end. Our problem is not being able to determine when the hell the end is."
Representative Charles Rangel, explaining the limits of his unbounded support for Hillary CLinton.
"Ja, ja, I am shpeak the technical English, but I have great difficulty when I try to make intercourse."
Ludwig Prandtl, congratulated on his first use of English to present a paper at a conference.
"At last the Dodo said, 'Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.'"
Lewis Carroll, 'Alice in Wonderland'.
"Mythology is what never was, and always is."
Stephanus of Byzantium, geographer under Justinian I.
"I mean the word proof not in the sense of lawyers, who set two half proofs equal to a whole one."
Carl Friedrich Gauss.
"Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man. But will they come when you do call for them?"

Shakespeare, in 'Henry IV', Part 1.
"Far be it from me to dismiss a man's effort in a single sentence, but the film on your teeth after a three-day drunk possesses more cinematic value."
Scott Brown, reviewing 'Alone in the Dark', a movie, based on a video game, by Uwe Boll, the world's worst director.
"The most expensive thing you'll ever buy is money."
A banker in an avuncular mood.
"We die only once, and for such a long time."
Moliere [still dead].
"If you can't spot the fool when a deal's being made, then everyone else can."
The sucker's warning.
"Hello! Is this the Internet?"
The first call, 2 January 1994, to Michael Wolff's NetGuide hotline, (motto: No question too dumb).
"Of course it hurts. The secret is not to mind that it hurts."
Gordon Liddy, a veritable font of quotations, some original, was asked if it hurt when he would demonstrate his toughness by holding his hand over a candle flame.
"'What's the trick?'
'The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts!'"

The cinematic TE Lawrence (of Arabia, that is), extinguished a candle with his fingers, prompting his friend to try it as well, only to discover that it really hurts.
"Love is giving something you don't possess to someone who doesn't exist."
Jacques Lacan.
"I decide what's obvious, not my students."
Yibiao Pan.
"When someone asks me to eat shit, I don't nibble."
Melissa Bank.
"The good thing about being nowhere in your career is you can do it anywhere."
Melissa Bank.
"It took me a long time to get young."
Bob Dylan.
"My friends, I have discovered there are no disasters, only opportunities. And indeed, opportunities for further disasters."
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, Conservative candidate for mayor of London (he won), after denying he was having an affair, and then being forced to admit it.
"Sex dies et septem noctes Enkidu coibat cum meretrice."
The highlight of 'Gilgamesh', which suddenly switched to Latin for some reason, and so was imprinted perfectly in my mind for 40 years.
"Anxiety is fear in search of a cause."
Patricia Pearson, author of 'A Brief History of Anxiety'.
"Too much is never enough."
The slogan of computer manufacturers, the title of a Spice Girls song, the title of the autobiography of extravagant architect Morris Lapidus, among many other occurrences.
"A diplomat is someone who thinks twice before saying nothing."
Reporter and commentator Alex Dreier.
"To hate like this is to be happy forever."
Will Blythe, a self-described insane fan of the North Carolina basketball team, and hence a despiser of the rival Duke team.
"I got here because I couldn't keep my mouth shut!"
Sign under a trophy trout.
"When the enemy is engaged in destroying himself, don't interfere!"
"Parallel processing allows an instructor to compute an inaccurate estimate for pi before the students have completely lost interest in the topic."
A Cramputational Scientist.
"You have to understand that West Virginia is such a tightly-knit, ingrown state that everything becomes political. And everything political becomes personal."
A West Virginian.
"There's an old joke. Two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of them says, 'Boy, the food at this place is really terrible!' and the other one says, 'Yeah, I know, and such small portions.' Well, that's essentially how I feel about life."
Woody Allen.
"Say yes before your brain has time to say no!"
Secrets of the Millionaires.
"The second mouse gets the cheese."
Willie Nelson.
"What's the point of Esperanto?
There's already an international language.
It's called bad English."

Theodor von Karman.
"Q: Can you briefly describe what kind of qualities you are looking for in a new CIA director?'
A: Probably not."

Vice President Dick Cheney opens up to an interviewer.
"Under the spreading chestnut tree,
I sold you, and you sold me."

George Orwell, in '1984' in 1948.
"I hesitate to say that any mathematician suffers from social pathology when in fact so many of them seem to thrive on it."
Jud Northbark, in 'I et Eggo in Arcadia'.
"Golf is a game of luck. The more I practice, the luckier I get!"
Ben Hogan.
"No matter how long or hard I spin,
Less gold goes out than straw comes in!"

Jud Northbark, in 'Round Up the Guilty Victims!'.
"The Apple Macintosh is the first personal computer good enough to criticize."
Computer scientist Alan Kay.
"Lawyer: Do you consider yourself the best heart surgeon in the world?
Cooley: Yes.
Lawyer: Don't you think that's being rather immodest?
Cooley: Perhaps, but remember, I'm under oath."

Controversial heart surgeon Denton Cooley, under cross examination.
"He runs the Department very much in the spirit of Dunkirk, as a strategic withdrawal against overwhelming odds."
David Lodge, 'Changing Places'.
"Mooreland, Indiana, is a long way to go
not to be anywhere when you get there."

Haven Kimmel, 'A Girl Named Zippy'.
"A fifth grader's idea of God is OK - if you're a fifth grader."
From the documentary 'Because the Bible Tells Me So'.
"The shortest distance between two lines is under construction."
A Transuranian proverb.
"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son of a bitch."
Jack Nicholson.
"It was the misfortune of poetry, to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely."
Jane Austen, 'Persuasion'.
The San Jose Logfile.
"Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get."
A meteorological proverb.
"Climate is what you affect; weather is what gets you."
An updated meteorological proverb.
"Shyness is just egotism out of its depth."
Penelope Keith.
"If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter."
Saint Augustine,
Pearl Buck,
Winston Churchill,
Marcus Tullius Cicero,
Albert Einstein,
Pliny T. Elder,
TS Eliot,
Malcolm Forbes,
Benjamin Franklin,
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
Ernest Hemingway,
Oliver Wendell Holmes,
Thomas Jefferson,
Doctor Samuel Johnson,
Abraham Lincoln,
Viscount Mumbles,
Jud Northbark,
Lois Carmen den O'Menader,
Blaise Pascal,
Ezra Pound,
Marcel Proust,
Robert Sayre,
Madame de Sevigne,
Diogenes Small,
Madame de Stael,
Henry David Thoreau,
Mark Twain,
EB White,
Oscar Wilde.
"A truth that is told with bad intent
beats all the lies you can invent."

William Blake.
"If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders."
Hal Abelson.
"Idries Shah's books were a good deal harder to read than to write."
Gore Vidal.
"Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it."
Kernighan's Law.
"Well, I have to get back to work now, even if you don't."
The prime minister, ending a meeting with a group of unemployed men, as 'reported' by David Frost on 'That Was The Week That Was'.
"I may be wrong, but I'm never in doubt."
Marshall McLuhan.
"If I were really two-faced, do you imagine this is the face I would wear?"
Abraham Lincoln.
"I'm lost, but I'm making record time."
Last transmission from a Navy pilot.
"Self pity has the merit that it is apt to be sincere."
Diane Johnson, in 'Le Mariage'.
"No, I didn't do that.
It was the person who wrote the paper for me."

A student, when confronted with evidence that her term paper contained plagiarized sentences and paragraphs (New Scientist, 10 February 2007).
"Paul, don't speak to me, my serotonin levels have hit bottom, my brain is awash in glucocorticoids, my blood vessels are full of adrenaline, and if it weren't for my endogenous opiates I'd have driven the car into a tree on the way home."
Philosopher and brain theorist Pat Churchland after a bad faculty meeting.
"Blues ain't about making yourself feel better; it's about making other people feel worse."
Bleeding Gums Murphy.
"Type the field name Name in the Field Name field."
Winner of Corecomm's Worst Technical Communication Sample of the Month, submitted by Susan Gallagher from a manual she was rewriting.
"Rudy Giuliani is absolutely not a racist.
He's nasty to EVERYBODY."

Former New York mayor Ed Koch defends his successor.
"If you believe in infinity, you also believe a string can have just one end."
Jud Northbark.
"Madame, if I did not know, I would tell you."
Lincoln's Secretary of State William Seward, after being pressed at a party for information about the Union Army's next moves.
Miranda: "They say the sirens were half woman, half monster."
Edgardo: "And what was the other half?"

From Oakley Doake's play 'The Crumpled Gusset'.
"I never predict anything, and I never will."
Paul John Gascoigne, renowned English football player.
"Alaska, where you can't be too fat or too drunk!"
Homer Simpson.
"I'll have to start writing your new addresses in pencil!"
Camilla Caimano, after receiving yet another change of address from me.
"People come and go so quickly here!"
Dorothy Gale, in Oz.
"Dvum smertiam nye by vat, I odnoi nye mino vat!"
(Two deaths cannot happen to a person, and one death can't be avoided!)

What a Russian yells when facing danger.
"I suppose its the process of being singled out that is often more frightening than the thing itself. A Holocaust survivor once explained to me that when Jews were being rounded up it was awful, but you were not alone."
Barbara Amiel, consort of 'Lord' Conrad Black, perfectly expressing her frame of mind upon being criticized for her extravagant lifestyle.
"Shame on the naysayers! I saw a drunk middle-aged man toss his beer bottle in a recycling bin for the first time. Multiply that by two billion. That's a measurable outcome."
Joan Anderman, writing for the Boston Globe, defending Al Gore's 'Live Earth' event of 7 July 2007.
"Unrequited love is the only kind that lasts."
Woody Allen.
"A boy chases a girl until she catches him."
A Transuranian proverb.
"You take away our right to steal ideas, where are they going to come from?"
Roger Myers, Jr, Producer of 'The Itchy and Scratchy Show', on 'The Simpsons'.
"In the Red Army, it takes a very brave man to be a coward."
Marshal Georgi Zhukov, whose Red Army shot 158,000 men for desertion during World War II.
"Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most."
Dwight Schrute, of 'The Office'.
"I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."
Jack Valenti, no longer sleeping so well.
"In our minds, our programs are always working. We really can't help believing in them utterly. Thus we test and debug until reality has been adjusted to match our incorrigible fantasies."
Jud 'Mossy' Northbark.
"If a computer code has not been tested, it is absolutely certain to be wrong. If it is not known how to test it, then the code should never have been written."
Jud 'Mossy' Northbark.
"Live your whole life as if it were deductible!"
Carolyn See, in the novel 'Making History'.
"You've made a choice between doughnuts and sex."
Patti Novak, Buffalo matchmaker, on meeting her client, a 346 pound former Mr Nude Universe who was recently kicked out of a Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant.
"I lost two friends this year. You can take 2007 and give it back to the Indians."
Paulie Walnuts.
"He was so crooked he could hide behind a spiral staircase."
P G Wodehouse.
"I have discovered from your comments that the best thing I have done was to choose my predecessor."
Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador to the UN, replacing John Notlob, that is, Bolton.
"Boy, those French! They have a different word for everything."
Steve Martin.
"I was told in a somewhat dreamlike way that the two mathematicians were at a conference, in Ogden, Utah, as I remember, and the man who told me sounded as if he were off somewhere too. I was to discover later that being away at a conference is a basic characteristic of mathematicians wherever you find them."
Norman Maclean, in "Young Men and Fire".
"There comes a time when, for every addition of knowledge, you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones!"
Sherlock Holmes.
"Don't be so humble - you're not that great!"
Golda Meir.
"I have known more people whose lives have been ruined by getting a PhD in physics than by drugs."
Jonathan Katz, physicist at Washington University at St Louis.
"A good newspaper is never quite good enough, but a lousy newspaper is a joy forever."
Garrison Keillor.
"Being a leader of the Huns is often a lonely job."
Wess Roberts, in "Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun".
"I've been known to email people who were literally standing next to me, which I know sounds crazy, because at that distance I could easily call them with my cellphone."
Dave Barry.
"It's better to be at the table than on the menu."
A Transuranian proverb.
"As the popular joke goes, the problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it can never work."
Miikka Ryokas, 22 year old computer science student in Turku, Finland.
"What a girl! He had never in his life before met a woman who could write a letter without a postscript, and this was but the smallest of her unusual gifts."
P G Wodehouse, in "A Damsel in Distress".
"The older I get, the better I used to be."
Bill Layton, after a basketball game with his students.
"If you're plotting revenge, remember to take two shovels."
A Transuranian proverb.
"You can't put the shit back in the donkey."
Tony Soprano.
"Its author can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that before deceiving others he has taken great pains to deceive himself."
Peter Medawar, reviewing Teilhard de Chardin's book 'The Phenomenon of Man'.
"'Did I say paradigm? I must be drunk,' said the M.O. 'I'm always drunk when I say paradigm.'"
Margery Sharp, in 'The Sun in Scorpio'.
"Only dead fish swim with the stream."
Frank Pakenham, Lord Longford, a former advocate for Myra Hyndley.
"What makes Newt Gingrich's face so attractive is the shape of the skull, which is concave in the center, so that its features are perfectly displayed in a sort of naturally occurring candy dish of head bone."
Wells Tower, while attending a convention of young conservatives.
"Some of you will get seasick," he admitted, "But as you're hanging over the rail, remember that you're providing entertainment for the rest of us."
Bill Gifford, while recreating the adventures of an early explorer by sailing the Pacific in a small ship, quoting an observation from the ship's first officer.
"Football incorporates the two worst elements of American society: violence punctuated by committee meetings."
George Will.
"The landscape is so flat and barren you could probably watch your dog run away all day long."
Charlie LeDuff, surveying the scenic wonderland around Oklahoma City.
"The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up."
Ralph Smith, proactive procrastinator.
"My fourth design mantra is never, ever go barefoot in a man's bathroom."
Deborah Wiener, an interior designer who said she hides terrycloth slippers in each bathroom of the house she shares with her husband and two sons.
"If the captain doesn't know where he wants to go, there is no wind that will take him there."
A Transuranian proverb.
"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it by not dying."
Woody Allen, currently presumptively premortal.
"NASA is like welfare for bright people.
They're so smart they're useless."

Wanda Sykes.
"We would be working class, if there was any work."
Jimmy Rabbitte, in the movie version of The Commitments.
"All models are wrong. Some models are useful."
George Box, professor of statistics at the University of Wisconsin.
"It's not true that I like human flesh. It's much too salty for me."
Ugandan tyrant Idi Amin Dada, graciously brushing off accusations of cannibalism.
"May you live to see Zymotic!"
The blessing that visitors and correspondents gave to James Murray, chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. (As it turns out, the last word in the dictionary was actually zyxt, and Murray died around the time that he was working on the word turn-down).
"He is an utter numb-skull, a most lack-a-daisical, graspless fellow, born to stare at existence."
James Murray, chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, explaining why he had fired yet another of the seemingly well-qualified assistants to his work.
"So they're dividing us into different ethnic groups - is that kosher?"
Parvati, a female boxer and competitor on the version of Survivor which divided 20 people into four teams by race.
"The researches of many commentators have already thrown much darkness on this subject, and it is probable that if they continue we shall soon know nothing at all about it."
Mark Twain.
"I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display."
If you've just been stopped for your drunken driving, demanded to know if the arresting cop is a Jew, told the attending policewoman 'What are you looking at, sugar tits?', declared that you own Malibu, and then confided that the Jews have started all the wars in history, you might want to say 'I am sorry", or at least say 'I am sorry,' or at least ask your publicist to say 'I am sorry'. But, being Mel Gibson, even on the second try, his publicist could only get the first two words right.
"Toby Young is a balding bug-eyed opportunist with the looks of a punctured beach-ball, the charm of a glove-puppet, and an ego the size of a Hercules supply plane. And I speak as a friend."
From the memoir 'The Sound of No Hands Clapping', by the hapless Toby Young.
"He was as happy as a dog with two tails."
Peter Carey, author of 'Oscar and Lucinda' and 'The True History of the Kelly Gang,' in 'My Life as a Fake'.
"Athenians: 'If we come to your city, we will raze it to the ground!'
Lacedemonians: 'If.'"

Laconia is an ancient region of Greece, whose chief city is Sparta. The people of this region, known as Lacedemoneans, were as closed-mouthed and terse as the proverbial Mainers of today. Their behavior inspired the English word laconic, from the original Greek word 'Laconizein'. During the Peloponnesian War, the Athenians sent a blustery threat. Thanks to Vasileios Basios for correcting the previous version of this discussion.
"When in doubt, cut up a pig."
The supposed motto of Embrey, Indiana, childhood home of Harmony Faith Lane and Harry Lockhart of 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang'.
"You know my feelings. Every day is a gift. It's just, does it always have to be a pair of socks?"
Tony Soprano muses to his therapist.
"That boy's got a lot of quit in him!"
Ron White's grandfather finds something positive to say about him.
"I conclude that there are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies."
Charles Hoare, inventor of the QuickSort algorithm, in his 1990 ACM Turing Award Lecture.
"This instructor makes it difficult for the average student to get an A!"
An anonymous student evaluator, as reported by A J Meir.
"DNA, schmee-NA!"
John Haedrich, a nursing home director, paid for a DNA test, whose results suggested he shared a genetic signature commonly found among Jews. He then asserted an automatic right to Israeli citizenship from a Los Angeles rabbi, who gave this reply.
"My God, Mr Chairman, at this moment I stand amazed at my own moderation!"
Warren Hastings, the first governor general of British India, on trial for high crimes and misdemeanors involving the brutal taxation of the population. He was acquitted.
"How long have I been married? Thirty years. If I'd killed her straightaway I would be out again by now."
The father of the bride, in 'Imagine Me and You'.
"We must remember that if we act now, it lies within our power to save two species for every one that is currently doomed."
Tim Flannery, in 'The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth'.
"I'm so hungry I could eat the ass out of a horse."
Clayton Webster, after being nutritionally deprived for several hours.
"If you don't show up for work on Saturday, don't bother coming in on Sunday."
The company motto when Walt Disney first started hiring starving cartoonists.
"It's not that I dislike him. I don't like him."
Catalin Trenchea, making a fine point.
"I'm not going to be a namedropper. I'm very resistant to what Chairman Mao calls the cult of personality."
Wallace Shawn, who recalls as a child putting on puppet shows with his brother on such topics as Patrice Lumumba, on being asked the names of celebrities who might have seen these shows.
"Ah yes, the anthropic principle, the inevitable conclusion that astronomy is the study of astronomers."
Jud Northbark, after reading one too many articles about habitable universes found ticking away on the beach.
"Yes, but when I discovered it, it stayed discovered!"
Larry Shepp, professor of statistics at Rutgers, on being informed that a mathematicial discovery he made had actually been discovered by an earlier mathematician.
"The God of mathematical software has an inordinate fondness for Bessel functions."
Jud Northbark, after one week of constructing documentation for all the routines in a mathematical function package.
"The problem is assigning the correct degree of fear to distant elephants."
David Clark, discussing how the worst disasters can be caused by the slow incremental growth of seemingly insignificant problems, in particular how the early disregard of security issues has corrupted the Internet.
"Nineteenth-century English village life will always loom large in the world's imagination, like Greenland in a Mercator projection map."
Michael Kinsley, in an online article in Slate about Larry David titled 'America's Jane Austen'.
"Oh no, not another fucking elf!"
Hugo Dyson, a member of the Inklings literary group, as fellow member JRR Tolkien was reading from 'The Lord of the Rings'.
"Sometimes you get the whale. And sometimes the whale gets you."
David Edelstein's suggested promo for a movie version of 'Moby Dick'.
"It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information."
Oscar Wilde.
"Well, we've said it many times - if a frog had sidepockets, he'd carry a gun."
Dan Rather.
"Frankly, we don't know whether to run, to watch, or to bark at the moon."
Dan Rather.
"I don't fail anything - except for math, twice."
Manufactured temporary celebrity Nehemiah, of MTV's 'The Real World'.
"I guess I should warn you if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I said."
Alan Greenspan, at his 1988 confirmation hearings.
"A bureaucracy is born by asserting a monopoly on a particular activity; it flourishes by failing to accomplish it."
Jud Northbark.
"It's no use having a dog and barking too."
A Transuranian proverb.
"Woman gallery visitor: 'Well, Mr Whistler, I certainly don't see things as you do!' Whistler: 'No, ma'am, but don't you wish you could?'"
At an exhibition of Whistler's paintings.
"Evolution is cleverer than you."
Leslie Orgel's Second Rule.
"He wasn't averse to quality journalism; he just thought it should go on somewhere else."
John Cruickshank, publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, describing F David Rader, the president of the publishing company, and associate of 'Lord' Conrad Black.
"My philosophy is, if you've got nothing to say, then don't say it."
Willem Dafoe, playing a drug dealer in 'Light Sleeper'.
"Just as there are wavelengths that people cannot see, and sounds that people cannot hear, computers may have thoughts that people cannot think."
Richard Hamming, a pioneer numerical analyst.
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women."
Conan the Barbarian, impersonated by Arnold Schwarzenegger, in answer to the question 'What is best in life?' (and paraphrasing a remark by Genghis Khan!).
"The greatest thing in life is:
Genghis Khan.
"Here lies the body of W W,
Who never again will trouble you, trouble you."

"Just because they're after you doesn't mean you're not paranoid."
Brewster Bragsheer.
"In a world gone mad, only a lunatic is truly insane!"
Homer Simpson, while parading around with a sign announcing the coming of the apocalypse.
"So young, and already so unknown!
So jung, und schon unbekannt!"

Wolfgang Pauli, writing off a colleague.
"I got out of there just in time. He was beginning to ask me questions!"
James Franck, a member of J Robert Oppenheimer's PhD committee.
"On two occasions, I have been asked by members of Parliament, 'Pray, Mr Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
Charles Babbage.
"How can you ask a followup question when I didn't answer your first question?"
Ari Fischer, press secretary for George Bush II.
"Why be difficult, when, with a little effort, you can be impossible?"
A Transuranian proverb.
"Job: a life support system for a web page."
Brewster Bragscheer.
"Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all."
Charles Babbage, who invented both the computer and the belief that as long as you were right it didn't matter who you irritated.
"What's it like to make a foreign movie?"
An aspiring film student, asked of a Dutch filmmaker at a festival.
Frye [hesitantly]: "I'm having one of those, uh, things... like a headache with pictures".
Leela: "You mean an idea?"

An exchange on 'Futurama' between Frye, pizza delivery boy from the 20th century, and Leela, the one-eyed alien.
"George Bush's eyes are so closely set that he could get by with a monocle."
Political gadfly Christopher Hitchens.
"You can't plan for the unforeseen. God doesn't follow the linear directions of computer models."
Florida governor Jeb Bush, after Hurricane Charley.
"Live life not expecting, then even the small tings you will be grateful for!"
Jud Northbark's fortune cookie for 8 July 2004.
"The silicon is fine. It's the carbon we have to deal with."
Mark Rasch, who prosecuted Clifford Stoll's Hannover Hackers, commenting on the poor security practices and weak passwords that enabled a series of breakins at national laboratories.
"They showed me a newspaper, but I can't read it, because it is in Israelian."
French model Nouni Cisse, explaining why she didn't know anything about the Israeli security barrier until the day she was posed there, beneath Arabic graffiti she also couldn't read that says 'I am a donkey!'.
"We had become like bishops of opposite color."
Boris Spassky, on the dissolution of his first marriage.
"Any idiot can handle a crisis. But it's the day-to-day living that wears you down!"
Anton Chekhov.
"The Indian National Congress Party is like a pillow: it reflects the shape of the last person who sat on it."
Anthony Heath and Yogengra Yadav.
"According to my models, we are doubling the paradigm shift rate approximately every decade."
From a letter to Scientific American by Ray Kurzweil.
"The new Oral B toothbrush has amazing 3D action!"
From a television commercial.
"Call Senator Helms;
Call King Hussein;
Call Foreign Minister Moussa;
Make other congressional calls;
Prepare for China meeting;
Buy nonfat yogurt."

From 'Madame Secretary' by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
"If you see a Bulgarian on the street, beat him. He will know why."
A venerable Russian adage.
"Customer: 'I don't know if I'll like grits - can I have just one?' Waitress: 'Honey, grits only come in groups."
At a truck stop just over the Virginia state line.
"It's the most difficult decision I've ever made in my entire life, except for the one in 1978 when I decided to get a bikini wax."
Arnold Schwarzenegger, tossing his helmet into the ring for the California governorship.
"The movie 'Legally Blonde' puts the 'b' in 'subtle'".
Elvis Mitchell, film critic for the New York Times.
"Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party."
Robin Williams, in a comedy performance (and thus, probably 80 other times).
"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
Mark Twain, in a quote that seems to have cut itself loose from any exact formulation or textual attribution, supposedly said, more or less.
"Indiana 66 is a road so crooked it could run for the legislature."
William Least Heat Moon, in 'Blue Highways'.
"Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches."
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Goon, who would patent the fart and not even let you have a free trial.
"Eternity is very long, especially towards the end."
Woody Allen.
"The thing about doing something terrible is you hardly ever remember it."
John Malkovich's T-shirt.
"You can contradict yourself successfully if you do it with conviction."
Ben Ratliff, reviewing a performance by White Stripes.
She: "But he's made several commercially successful American movies."
He: "That's all you need to know about him. He's the white line in the middle of the highway."

Woody Allen, in 'Hollywood Ending'.
"The more, the merrier!"
Cardinal Jaime Sin, asked to comment on the ruinous population explosion of the Philippines.
"There are only so many ulcers in the world, and it's your job to see that other people get them."
John Boyd, fighter pilot and military strategist.
"Michael Jackson is the ultimate traffic accident. People can't take their eyes off him!"
Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Entertainment, commenting on a sweeps week surge in Michael Jackson coverage.
"I've been surviving mostly on McDonald's food, but like I said, that gets expensive. I have to start eating at home more."
Jeffrey Dahmer, anthropophage, recorded on video at his grandmother's house in 1990.
"Will Self has a fatal weakness for daffy polysyllables, alliteration and puns. The effect is occasionally that of a man leaning carelessly on a nail gun."
Sophie Harris, in the New York Times Book Review of 05 January 2003.
"Unlike most pieces of software, QuickTime isn't an application, but an enabling technology."
Judith Stern and Robert Lettieri, in the manual 'QuickTime 5 for Macintosh and Windows', trying to take your breath away.
"Now with more beans!"
A can of Campbell's Pork and Beans, in which the 'Pork' ingredient has always been infinitesmal, has apparently accomplished the impossible, unless they're just using smaller beans.
"...purgatory was merely an unpleasantness for transients, the afterlife's O'Hare."
Cullen Murphy, managing editor of The Atlantic, (which makes it a bit easier to get yourself published) writing in an article about limbo.
"I would be very careful before calling something nonsense if I didn't understand it yet."
Roman Jackiw, Professor of Physics at MIT, defending the French Bogdanov twins's embattled thesis relating infinite temperature and imaginary time to a theory of conditions before the Big Bang.
"It's about resolution, stupid!"
Richard Kunkel, Dean of the College of Education at Florida State University, speaking for the ages at a ceremony for National Mediation Week.
"I can't even lose correctly! First I was in the wrong place but the right time, then in the right place but the wrong time. So I was that what, exactly? Sheesh!"
Jud Northbark.
"Though I refused to age, the students and other teachers grew younger year by year."
Michael Dibdin, in the comic murder-romance 'Dirty Tricks'.
"Was one back scratching the other?"
Raymond Syufy, chief executive of Century Theaters, commenting on an unsavory executive compensation scheme at AMC.
"You could calculate pi with those things."
Joshua Milrad, codirector of the video 'Spring Break Uncensored', commenting on a pair of awesomely artificial breasts.
"I think I forget to hit RETURN."
Jud Northbark, about to leave the bathroom, but then turning around after a sudden worry.
"This paper gives wrong solutions to trivial problems. The basic error, however, is not new."
Clifford Truesdell, in a review of a paper (Mathematical Reviews, Volume 12, page 561).
"The cemeteries are full of indispensable men."
Charles De Gaulle.
"Ten years ago I might not be sitting here today."
Carrie Ameen, a cancer survivor, or an actor playing one, in a gushy television ad for 'America's pharmaceutical companies', inventing a new grammatical tense, the past-forward-contrapositive.
"Madison, Wisconsin, is fifty-two square miles surrounded by reality."
Lee Dreyfus, a former governor of Wisconsin.
"A modest man, who has much to be modest about!"
Winston Churchill, on Clement Atlee, whom he preceded and succeeded in the office of prime minister.
"It makes no sense to replace someone who's on the Appropriations Committee with someone who is not!"
George W Bush.
"If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me!"
The motto on a pillow on Alice Longworth Roosevelt's couch.
"I am going to make my First Communion, and I intend to yodel."
Michelle Kwan's skating costume's subliminal message, according to the New Yorker, as quoted in an article in the New York Times.
"Tonight we have the great Ring trilogy: Rocky I, Rocky II, and Rocky III."
An uncredited constructor of the local television guide.
"SELF RESPECT: The secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious."
H L Mencken.
"Much may be made of a Scotsman, if he is caught young."
Doctor Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson.
"No one tosses a dwarf!"
The best line from the movie version of 'The Fellowship of the Ring'.
"Anyone who has ever hammered a nail into his nose owes a large debt to Melvin Burkhart."
Todd Robbins, a New York magician who sometimes does his own blockhead act, quoted in the New York Times obituary for Melvin Burkhart, 'the Human Blockhead', 18 November 2001.
"Reading fussy modern programs with declarations like object object object or Line line LINE , I miss the days when using variable names like IP1 or XMAX would get you called verbose and eccentric."
Jud Northbark.
"With regard to religion, finally, it may be briefly said that she believed in God in much the same way as she believed in Australia..."
E F Benson, in 'Queen Lucia'.
"In the original version of Latex, there are several English words such as 'Figure' and 'Bibliography' included explicitly in certain commands. This in fact violates the rules of good programming which forbid doing anything explicitly."
Helmut Kopka and Patrick Daly, in 'A Guide to Latex2E', with their humor parameter set to zero.
"Who would have thought the old man had so much blood in him?"
Macbeth, as reported by Shakespeare.
"It's true that the unexamined life is not worth living, but then the unlived life is not worth examining."
Crusty Australian art critic and unreliable driver Robert Hughes.
"All those Porsches and nowhere to drive."
Irving Wladawsky-Berger, who headed IBM's shift from traditional big-iron computer to systems using arrays of processors, on the fact that hardware advances have far outpaced software.
"'Manual Count' Means Manipulation!"
A protest sign displayed during the Florida presidential recount.
"I realized that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent in finding mistakes in my own programs."
Maurice Wilkes, after the first attempts to write programs for the EDSAC computer.
"I want to be buried in Louisiana, so I can stay active in politics."
Governor Earl Long.
"We'll look back on this as the era when money was too cheap to meter."
Referring to the gaudy, grandiose, ostentatious buildings that Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen has splattered around Seattle.
"Of course we are better than those damn Serbs. Our alphabet has four more letters!"
A Montenegrin, interviewed in connection with an article about Montenegro's efforts to separate from Serbia.
"Epigram #63: When we write programs that learn, it turns out that we do and they don't."
Alan Perlis, first recipient of the Turing award, first chair of the CMU Computer Science Department, and author of 'Epigrams on Programming'.
"My hesitation is final."
The caption below a picture of Prime Minister John Major, in a book about Great Britain's tortuous tango with European integration.
"Mathematics isn't in a hurry. Efficiency is meaningless. Understanding is what counts. So is the computer important to mathematics? My answer is no. It is important, but not to mathematics."
Paul Halmos.
"Northern Ireland is the only place I know where someone will drive 100 miles out of his way just to receive an insult."
David Ervine, leader of the Progressive Unionist Party, commenting after the latest collapse of a peace plan in Northern Ireland.
"Never eat a cookie with a resistance of less than 1 ohm."
Computational neuroscientist Greg Hood, after refusing to eat a suspiciously shiny sweet with a metallic glazing that Anjana Kar had brought back from India, going to his car, retrieving his digital volt/ohmmeter, and performing diagnostics.
"When proofs are long and highly computational, it may be argued that even when hand checking is possible, the probability of human error is considerably higher than that of machine error."
Kenneth Appel and Wolfgang Haken, who presented a computer-aided proof of the Four Color Theorem.
"With enough cayenne pepper, anybody can make a hot sauce, just like anybody can punch you in the face. But with my hot sauce, you're going to ask me to punch you in the face again."
The chef at G's, (or is it Charlie's?) in Oakland, Pittsburgh.
"Why do carnivores always bring up Hitler when they talk about vegetarians? What are the moral implications of their rhetorical dependence on someone they profess to despise?"
Cynthia Van Ness, of Buffalo, New York, in a letter appearing in the May-June 1998 issue of 'The Utne Reader'.
"Of course the story is true. But you must understand: That driver was very impolite!"
Eugene Wigner, asked to confirm an anecdote about him, in which he got into a fight with a taxi driver over a tip, and then told him 'Oh, go to hell, please!'.
"If a man speaks in a forest, and there's no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"
On a T-shirt.
"The NSA is a self-licking ice cream cone."
An anonymous senior official of the National Security Agency.

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Last revised on 17 June 2018.