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Quotations

Some words of other people that I like, in a very long list with no rhyme or reason now with both rhyme and reason– of an alphabetical nature.

They range from funny to inspiring to just plain random. If you have suggestions of anything to add, go ahead and let me know. And I don’t necessarily know who exactly all these people are, so don’t bother asking. Enjoy!

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“This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.” -Douglas Adams

“Life… is like a grapefruit. It’s orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast.” -Douglas Adams

“For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.” -Douglas Adams

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” -Douglas Adams

“He inched his way up the corridor as if he would rather be yarding his way down it.” -Douglas Adams

“I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer.” -Douglas Adams

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” -Douglas Adams

“Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.” -Douglas Adams

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams

“Interestingly, according to modern astronomers, space is finite. This is a very comforting thought–particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things.” -Woody Allen

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” -Maya Angelou

“There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.” -Mary Kay Ash

“When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.” -Isaac Asimov

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny.’” -Isaac Asimov

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” -Isaac Asimov

“We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don’t know.” –W. H. Auden

“It loved to happen.” -Marcus Aurelius

“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 to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.” -Charles Babbage

“Mathematics is music for the mind, music is mathematics for the soul.” -J. S. Bach

“If a ‘religion’ is defined to be a system of ideas that contains unprovable statements, then Gödel taught us that mathematics is not only a religion, it is the only religion that can prove itself to be one.” -John Barrow

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” -Henry Ward Beecher

“Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup.” -Ludwig Van Beethoven

“In theory, practice should work like theory. In practice, it doesn’t.” -Yogi Berra

“Cabbage: A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.” -Ambrose Bierce

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

“War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” -Ambrose Bierce

“A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses; it is an idea that possesses the mind.” -Robert Oxton Bolton

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

“I only know two pieces; one is ‘Clair de Lune’ and the other one isn’t.” -Victor Borge

“You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.” -Ray Bradbury

“The sexual life of a camel is much stranger than anyone thinks.” -Colonel Frank Braille

“What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?” -Bertolt Brecht

“Sometimes it’s more important to be human, than to have good taste.” -Bertolt Brecht

“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they’re okay, then it’s you.” -Rita Mae Brown

“It is an arresting fact of British political life that a Briton can enjoy a national platform and exalted status simply because he is the residue of an illicit coupling 300 years before between a monarch and an orange seller.” -Bill Bryson, on the House of Lords, The Mother Tongue

“If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.” -Jimmy Buffett

“I am an atheist. Still, thank God!” -Luis Bunuel

“Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.” -Luis Bunuel

“A definition is enclosing the wilderness of an idea within a wall of words.” -Samuel Butler

“A hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg.” -Samuel Butler

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a little want of knowledge is also a dangerous thing.” -Samuel Butler

“Poets delight in prose insane.” -Lord Byron

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” -Lord Byron

“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.” -James Branch Cabell

“It is the obligation of the intelligent to oppress the stupid, otherwise they will take over the world.” -Albert Camus

“Don’t wait for the Last Judgment.  It happens every day.” -Albert Camus

“Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.” -George Carlin

“I think I figured out why Americans are so stupid. Think about how stupid the Average American is. Well, HALF of ‘em are stupider than THAT!” -George Carlin

“Weather forecast for tonight: dark.” -George Carlin

“Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.” -George Carlin

“Electricity is really just organized lightning.” -George Carlin

“‘I am’ is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that ‘I do’ is the longest sentence?” -George Carlin

“If we could just find out who’s in charge, we could kill him.” -George Carlin

“The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.” -George Carlin

“Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.” -George Carlin

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” -Dale Carnegie

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” -Lewis Carroll

“I never could make out what those damned dots meant.” -Lord Randolph Churchill, on decimal points

“This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.” -Winston Churchill

“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” -Winston Churchill

“Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.” -Cicero

“Conceived as a simple placeholder to note what was not, [zero] started misbehaving almost as soon as it appeared on the scene– confounding, confusing, creating paradoxes left and right. It grew into an unruly monster that brought instant death by multiplication, wrought absurdity through division, exploded into the cloudy ambiguity of infinity.” -K. C. Cole, A Hole in the Universe

“It’s as if some guys had set out to design a better can opener and wound up with an interstellar space ship. And then, they spent ten years looking at this thing and saying: ‘This won’t work as a can opener; it’s bigger than the average kitchen.’” -Sidney Coleman

“I shall attack Chemistry, like a Shark.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture- it’s a really stupid thing to want to do.” -Elvis Costello

“Saturn 5 rockets and Sputnik and DNA and literature and science. These are the things hydrogen atoms do when given 13.7 billion years.” -Brian Cox

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” -e. e. cummings

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” -e. e. cummings

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” -Marie Curie

“When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it.” -Clarence Darrow

“I am a friend of the working man, and I would rather be his friend, than be one.” -Clarence Darrow

“Nothing is so fatal to the progress of the human mind as to suppose our views of science are ultimate; that there are no more mysteries in nature; that our triumphs are complete; and that there are no new worlds to conquer.” -Humphry Davy

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” -Richard Dawkins

“By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.” -Richard Dawkins

“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.” -Ellen DeGeneres

“Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.” -Eugene Delacroix

“You have to get up very early in the morning to be up before Gauss.” -John Derbyshire, Unknown Quantity

“[H]e had buried himself in what amounted to the college version of what he’d majored in all throughout high school: getting no ass.” -Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

“Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.” -E. W. Dijkstra

“I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known.”-Walt Disney

“Things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.” -Albert Einstein

“If A is success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.” -Albert Einstein

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” -Albert Einstein

“Politics is for the moment. An equation is for eternity.” -Albert Einstein

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein

“You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.” -Albert Einstein

“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” -Albert Einstein

“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I always read the last page of a book first so that if I die before I finish I’ll know how it turned out.” -Nora Ephron

“A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.” -Paul Erdoes

“Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.” -Dame Edna Everage

“Why sir, there is every possibility that you will soon be able to tax it!” -Michael Faraday, when asked about the usefulness of electricity

“Computer science has had some strange effects on the spoken language.” -Gary William Flake, The Computational Beauty of Nature

“When your house is on fire, drinking some iced tea may make you momentarily feel better, but is clearly a case of the right idea applied in too small a proportion.” -Gary William Flake, The Computational Beauty of Nature

“[F]or many things– and perhaps most things– reality blends the black-and-white absolutes into a beautiful melody of gray.” -Gary William Flake, The Computational Beauty of Nature

“You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note.” -Doug Floyd

“Failure is success if we learn from it.” -Malcolm Forbes

“One of the greatest labor-saving inventions of today is tomorrow.” -Vincent T. Foss

“Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting.” -Alan Dean Foster

“Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” -St. Francis of Assisi

“One today is worth two tomorrows.” -Benjamin Franklin

“For all we know, there may be some vast cyclic law that will give every electron two units of charge next Tuesday.” -Martin Gardner

“When you think you have found a statement by a great philosopher that is obviously absurd, it is a good bet you have not understood the statement.” -Martin Gardner

“What are quarks and electrons made of?  Nothing except equations.  Let’s face it.  You and I, at the lowest known level of our material bodies, are made of mathematics, pure mathematics, mathematics uncontaminated by anything else.” -Martin Gardner

“I started thinking, and got carried away.” -Dan Garvin, on how he left Scientology.

“I shut my eyes in order to see.” -Paul Gauguin

“Please heed our advice that you too are not smitten-
The Book is not finished, the last word is not Witten.” -Sheldon Glashow, on string theory

“Mathematicians are [like] a sort of Frenchmen; if you talk to them, they translate it into their own language, and then it is immediately something quite different.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“America’s one of the finest countries anyone ever stole.” -Bobcat Goldthwaite

“I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn’t like it.” -Samuel Goldwyn

“Some humans are mathematicians; others aren’t.” -Jane Goodall

“Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.” -Adam Lindsay Gordon

“[Think] of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell; you weren’t there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place… Matter flows from place to place, and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that doesn’t make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it’s important.” -Steve Grand

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” -Alexander Hamilton

“The mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s, must be beautiful.” -G. H. Hardy

“‘Immortality’ may be a silly word, but probably a mathematician has the best chance of whatever it may mean.” -G. H. Hardy

“Beauty is the first test; there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics.” -G. H. Hardy

“It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.” -Stephen Hawking

“If one takes Einstein’s general relativity seriously, one must allow for the possibility that spacetime ties itself in knots and that information gets lost in the folds. … Maybe that is where all those odd socks went.” -Stephen Hawking

“The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure very much.” -William Hazlitt

“I’d like to get four people who do cart wheels very good, and make a cart.” -Mitch Hedberg

“I’m a heroine addict. I need to have sex with women who have saved someone’s life.” -Mitch Hedberg

“Chicago is known as the Windy City, and Montana is called the Big Sky State, so I think that we should somehow combine the two to create the ultimate kite-flying experience.” -Mitch Hedberg

“Every book is a children’s book if the kid can read!” -Mitch Hedberg

“Is a hippopotamus a hippopotamus, or just a really cool Opotamus?” -Mitch Hedberg

“A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.” -Mitch Hedberg

“I think foosball is a combination of soccer and shish kabobs.” -Mitch Hedberg

“I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re goin’, and hook up with them later.” -Mitch Hedberg

“I would imagine that if you could understand Morse code, a tap dancer would drive you crazy.” -Mitch Hedberg

“A sleeping bag is a tortilla for a human.” -Mitch Hedberg

“Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.” -Mitch Hedberg

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” – Ernest Hemingway

“There is nothing permanent in the world except change.” –Heraclitus

“The world is nothing but a great desire to live and a great dissatisfaction with living.” –Heraclitus

“I turn away with fright and horror from the lamentable evil of functions which do not have derivatives.” -Charles Hermite

“The two basic items necessary to sustain life are sunshine and coconut milk.” -Dustin Hoffman

“Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.” -Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

“Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards.” -Fred Hoyle

“In a completely rational society, the best of us would aspire to be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have.” -Lee Iacocca

“Instead of a bit-grinding processor raping and plundering data structures, we have a universe of well-behaved objects that courteously ask each other to carry out their various desires.” -Daniel Ingalls

“The soul is dyed with the color of its leisure thoughts.” -William Ralph Inge

“We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.” -William James

“Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.” -Thomas Jefferson

“Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?” -Steve Jobs

“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.” -Immanuel Kant

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” -Helen Keller

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an unchartered land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” -Helen Keller

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” -Helen Keller

“People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.” -Helen Keller

“I have nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” -Jack Kerouac

“I’m tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That’s deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?” -Jean Kerr

“Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax.” -Charles Kettering

“Life is understood backward, but it must be lived forward.” -Soren Kierkegaard

“Pleasure disappoints; possibility never.” -Soren Kierkegaard

“I start every morning with the New York Times. The first thing I do when I get up is read the obituary column. If my name isn’t in it, I get dressed.” -Alan King

“The process of preparing programs for a digital computer is especially attractive, not only because it can be economically and scientifically rewarding, but also because it can be an aesthetic experience much like composing poetry or music.” -Donald E. Knuth

“The best way to solve this differential equation is to stare at it until the answer occurs to you.” -Joseph-Louis Lagrange

“A woman with a child in her womb is not a counterexample to the thesis that human beings have one head.” -Imre Lakatos, Proofs and Refutations

“Sire, I have no need for that hypothesis.” -Pierre-Simon de Laplace, in reply to Napoleon Bonaparte’s remark that there is no mention of the creator in his book on celestial mechanics

“Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.” -Timothy Leary

“Life is something to do when you can’t get to sleep.” -Fran Lebowitz

“If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he entitled to happiness?” -Stanislaw Lec

“A house is a machine for living in.” -Le Corbusier

“Life is what happens when you make other plans.” -John Lennon

“Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.” -John Lennon

“It’s a funny old world–- a man’s lucky if he gets out of it alive.” -Walter de Leon

“I envy people who drink. At least they have something to blame everything on.” -Oscar Levant

“The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.” -Claude Levi-Strauss

“Nature clearly decided that this asexual process is less fun, because most of the 1.7 million or so species on Earth engage in sexual reproduction.” -Mario Livio, The Equation That Couldn’t Be Solved

“Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.” -Benoit Mandelbrot

“From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.” -Groucho Marx

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” -Groucho Marx

“Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It’s called ‘rain’.” -Michael McClary

“British justice of the time was grim and unflinching: murder, arson, [and] the mysterious crime of ‘impersonating Egyptians’… were punished on the gallows.” -Colleen McCullough, The Thorn Birds

“Very well, you may kiss my vibrato.” -Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach

“The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.” -Delos B. McKown

“The piano keys
Are black and white,
But they sound like a million colours in your mind.” -Katie Melua, Spider’s Web

“Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.” –H. L. Mencken

“Never underestimate the bad taste of the American public” -H. L. Mencken

“The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true.  It is the chief occupation of mankind.” -H. L. Mencken

“Genius is eternal patience.” -Michelangelo

“Typos are very important to all written form. It gives the reader something to look for so they aren’t distracted by the total lack of content in your writing.” -Randy K. Milholland

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night. I miss you like hell.” -Edna St. Vincent Millay

“Death and taxes may be the only certain things in life, but death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” -Joe Moore

“Don’t accept rides from strange men, and remember that all men are strange.” -Robin Morgan

“Here is calm so deep, grasses cease waving…
Wonderful how completely everything in wild nature fits into us, as if truly part and parent of us. The sun shines not on us, but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fibre and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.” -John Muir

“Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.” -Iris Murdoch

“You have the god-given right to kick the government around. Don’t hesitate to do so.” -Edmund Muskie

“Some primal termite knocked on wood. And tasted it, and found it good. And that is why your Cousin May fell through the parlor floor today.” -Ogden Nash

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“In heaven all the interesting people are missing.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“To find everything profound – that is an inconvenient trait. It makes one strain one’s eyes all the time, and in the end one finds more than one might have wished.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

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

“In truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily” -William of Ockham

“If a man is after money, he’s money mad; if he keeps it, he’s a capitalist; if he spends it, he’s a playboy; if he doesn’t get it, he’s a ne’er-do-well; if he doesn’t try to get it, he lacks ambition. If he gets it without working for it; he’s a parasite; and if he accumulates it after a life time of hard work, people call him a fool who never got anything out of life.” -Vic Oliver

“Never fight an inanimate object.” –P. J. O’Rourke

“Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad.” -Norm Papernick

“This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” -Dorothy Parker

“If you want rainbows, you have to put up with the rain.” -Dolly Parton

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” -George S. Patton

“To know the world one must construct it.” -Pavese

“Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it.” -Laurence J. Peter

“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” -Eden Phillpot

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.” -Pablo Picasso

“Humans are ingenious at sniffing out minor differences to figure out whom they should despise.” -Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct

“I could take the English sentence ‘He walks’ and render it ‘As solitary masculinity, leggedness proceeds.'” -Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct

“A toadstool could be given a genius award for accomplishing, with pinpoint precision and unerring reliability, the feat of sitting exactly where it is sitting.” -Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works

“Music is auditory cheesecake.” -Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works

“Do men require anything in a casual sex partner other than two X chromosomes? Sometimes it would appear that the answer is no.” -Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works

“The problem with the Creationists is their God is too small.” -Phil Plait

“The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living. Of course I do not here speak of that beauty that strikes the senses, the beauty of qualities and appearances; not that I undervalue such beauty, far from it, but it has nothing to do with science; I mean that profounder beauty which comes from the harmonious order of the parts, and which a pure intelligence can grasp.” -Henri Poincaré

“Remember that what you believe will depend very much on what you are.” -Noah Porter

“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.” -Elvis Presley

“Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.” -Michael Pritchard

“If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.” -Dan Quayle

“To laugh is human, to be human is to laugh.” -Francois Rabelais

“It could be that the real universe… is perhaps what has been started by some disastrous experiment performed some twenty billion years ago by a post-graduate student in order to test the structure of a vacuum of another universe.” -Johann Rafelski and Berndt Muller, The Structured Vacuum

“I notice that everyone in favor of abortion has already been born.” -Ronald Reagan

“It is great cleverness to know how to conceal our cleverness.” -La Rochefoulauld

“Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.” -Will Rogers

“If you don’t like how things are, change it!  You’re not a tree.” Jim Rohn

“Making duplicate copies and computer printouts of things no one wanted even one of in the first place is giving America a new sense of purpose.” -Andy Rooney

“The world is colors and motion, feelings and thoughts… and what does math have to do with it?  Not much, if ‘math’ means being bored in high school, but in truth mathematics is the one universal science.  Mathematics is the study of pure pattern and everything in the cosmos is a kind of pattern.” -Rudy Rucker

“I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.” -Rita Rudner

“It had probably been a mistake to have sex with him but he was undeniably attractive in an average sort of corn-fed white boy way and he had caught her at a susceptible time. He was the average perfected, the ordinary made super-ordinary, the boy next door raised to the Platonic ideal of boy-next-doorness…” -Salman Rushdie, Shalimar the Clown

“Then a strange moment came, a moment of the kind that determines the fate of nations, because when a crowd loses its fear of an army the world changes.” -Salman Rusdie, The Enchantress of Florence

“The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.” -Bertrand Russell

“The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.” -Carl Sagan

“In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” -Carl Sagan

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” -Carl Sagan

“Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.” -Carl Sagan

“Money can’t buy you happiness, but poverty can’t buy you anything.” -Timur Sahin

“Nothing happens unless first we dream.” -Carl Sandburg

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” -Charles M. Schulz

“Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.” -Charles M. Schulz

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” -Charles M. Schulz

“There’s a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker.” -Charles M. Schulz

“I think I’ve discovered the secret of life – you just hang around until you get used to it.” -Charles M. Schulz

“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’” -Charles M. Schulz

“A whole stack of memories never equal one little hope.” -Charles M. Schulz

“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life – music and cats.” -Albert Schweitzer

“There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.” -Seneca

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss

“How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before
it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the
time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?” -Dr. Seuss

“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.” -Dr. Seuss

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” -Dr. Seuss

“Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.” -George Bernard Shaw

“Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.” -Brooke Shields

“Goddammit.  Another pogrom.  There would be no caviar for lunch.” -Gary Shteyngart, Absurdistan

“Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them.” -Charles Simic

“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting with the gift of speech.”-Simonides

“The best revenge is massive success.” -Frank Sinatra

“I wish the government would put a tax on pianos for the incompetent.” -Edith Sitwell

“The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.” -B. F. Skinner

“He had the oddest feeling: a need to impregnate everyone in the country.” -Zadie Smith, The Autograph Man

“A five-year age gap between siblings is like a garden that needs constant attention. Even three months apart allows the weeds to grow up between you.” -Zadie Smith, On Beauty

“I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.” -Gerry Spence

“Nothing in Nature is random. … A thing appears random only through the incompleteness of our knowledge.” -Benedict Spinoza

“It sucks. I used to be governor of New York.” -Eliot Spitzer, when asked how he was enjoying life as a columnist

“Which of us has not felt in his heart a half-warmed fish?” -Reverend William Archibald Spooner

“You have hissed my mystery lectures.  You have tasted a whole worm.  You will leave Oxford on the next town drain.” -Reverend William Archibald Spooner

“A meta foo is a foo in whose slots you can put foos.” -Guy Steele

“Mathematics is the science of patterns.” -Lynn Arthur Steen

“There is no answer. There has never been an answer. There never will be an answer. That’s your answer.” -Gertrude Stein

“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.” -G. B. Stern

“There is a word in mathematics for previous results that are later changed: they are called ‘mistakes.'” -Ian Stewart

“Why is it drug addicts and computer aficionados are both called users?” -Clifford Stoll

“I’ve played through the music of that scoundrel Brahms. What a giftless bastard.” –Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

“People are often unreasonable and self centered: forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives: be kind anyways. If you’re successful, you’ll win some false friends and some true enemies: succeed anyway. If you’re honest and frank, people may cheat you: but be honest anyway. what you spend years building, someone can destroy overnight: build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous: be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow: do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough: give the world the best you’ve got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, its between you and God, it was never between you and them anyway…” -Mother Teresa

“Sometimes I feel like a figment of my own imagination.” -Lily Tomlin

“If I only had a little humility, I’d be perfect.” -Ted Turner

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” -Mark Twain

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” -Mark Twain

“Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.” -Mark Twain

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

“April 1st: This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three-hundred and sixty-four.” -Mark Twain

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.” -Mark Twain

“… far in the empty sky a solitary esophagus slept upon motionless wing…” – Mark Twain

“Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.” -Mark Twain

“Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.” -Mark Twain

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” -Mark Twain

“Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” -Mark Twain

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” -Mark Twain

“Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.” -Mark Twain

“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” -Mark Twain

“Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” -Mark Twain

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” -Mark Twain

“It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.” -Mark Twain

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” -Mark Twain

“An Englishman is a person who does things because they have been done before. An American is a person who does things because they haven’t been done before.” -Mark Twain

“Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough.” -Mark Twain

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”-Mark Twain

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” -Mark Twain

“Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.” -Mark Twain

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” -Mark Twain

“Familiarity breeds contempt – and children.” -Mark Twain

“In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.” -Mark Twain

“I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.” -Mark Twain

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” -Mark Twain

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” -Mark Twain

“Those that respect the law and love sausage should watch neither being made.” -Mark Twain

“I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.” -Mark Twain

“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” -Mark Twain

“The report of my death was an exaggeration.” -Mark Twain

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” -Mark Twain

“The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.” -Mark Twain

“I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilised music in the world.” -Peter Ustinov

“Trains, like time and tide, stop for no one.” -Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 Days

“I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it.” –Voltaire

“America’s greatest strength, and its greatest weakness, is our belief in second chances, our belief that we can always start over, that things can be made better.” -Anthony Walton

“I am a deeply superficial person.” -Andy Warhol

“If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn’t.” -Lyall Watson

“Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.”  -John Wayne

“It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.” -Darrin Weinberg

“Human history is a race between education and catastrophe.” -H. G. Wells

“The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.” -H. G. Wells

“Two and two the mathematician continues to make four, in spite of the whine of the amateur for three, or the cry of the critic for five.” -James McNeill Whistler

“The safest generalization that can be made about the history of western philosophy is that it is all a series of footnotes to Plato.” -Alfred North Whitehead

“If you do not believe in yourself, how will anyone else believe in you?” -Jonathan Wichmann

“If we could turn the Higgs field off, we would get a nicer, more vacuumy vacuum.” -Frank Wilczek

“People who count their chickens before they are hatched, act very wisely, because chickens run about so absurdly that it is impossible to count them accurately” -Oscar Wilde

“You’ve got a lot of choices.  If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.” -Steven D. Woodhull

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.” -Steven Wright

“I put instant coffee in my microwave oven and almost went back in time.” -Steven Wright

“My mom always said normal is just a cycle on the washing machine.” –Wynonna

“Remember, information is not knowledge; knowledge is not wisdom; wisdom is not truth; truth is not beauty; beauty is not love; love is not music; music is the best.” -Frank Zappa

“Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.” -Carl Zwanzig

“There was a young girl from Peru,
Whose limericks end at line two.

There was a young man from Verdun.” -Anonymous

“Quitters never win, winners never quit, but those who never win and never quit are idiots.” –Anonymous

“I get up…I walk…I fall down.
Meanwhile…I keep dancing.” –Anonymous

“Life is not a final. It’s daily pop quizzes.” -Anonymous

“Stupid is a boundless concept.” –Anonymous

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.” -Anonymous

“I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.” -Anonymous

“See the happy moron,
He doesn’t give a damn,
I wish I were a moron,
My God! perhaps I am!” –Anonymous

“Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.” -Anonymous

“A TV is a medium, so called because it is neither rare nor well done.” -Anonymous

“The only job where you start at the top is digging a hole.” -Anonymous

“The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.” -Anonymous

“Some people get angry because God put thorns on roses, while others praise him for putting roses among thorns.” -Anonymous

“Experience is something you get about ten seconds after you needed it.” -Anonymous

“All it takes to fly is to throw yourself at the ground… and miss.” -Anonymous

“There are many roads to hate, but envy is the shortest of them all.” -Anonymous

“Mathematics is the part of science you could continue to do if you woke up tomorrow and discovered the universe was gone.” -Anonymous

“Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable.” -Anonymous

2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Kari / Aug 14 2008 8:20 pm

    These are genius. The ones I got to reading, anyway (a bit over half).
    I also stole some for my collection (;

  2. Jonathan Wichmann / Feb 8 2010 3:54 pm

    I am honored that you used my quote. I have said and believed that simple sentence for years. It can be applied to all areas of life. Thank you for sharing it.

    Sincerely,
    Jonathan Wichmann

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