“Personalize your sympathies; depersonalize your antipathies.” — W.R. Inge
“What I cannot create, I do not understand.” — On Richard Feynman’s Caltech blackboard at the time of his death in 1988
“The love of complexity without reductionism makes art; the love of complexity with reductionism makes science.” — E.O. Wilson
“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” — Marcus Aurelius
“When anger rises, think of the consequences.” — Confucius
“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.” — Benjamin Franklin
I want to be what I was when I wanted to be what I am now.
— Graffito in a restroom of the Ninth Circle Restaurant, New York City, noted in Robert Reisner and Lorraine Wechsler’s Encyclopedia of Graffiti, 1974
- When written in all caps, the title of John Hiatt’s song “Have a Little Faith in Me” contains no curves.
- Tycho Brahe kept a tame elk.
- It isn’t known whether the sum of π and e is irrational.
- Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses Grant, and James Garfield died without wills.
- “Selfishness is one of the qualities apt to inspire love.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne
The medieval Latin riddle In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (“We enter the circle at night and are consumed by fire”) is a palindrome. The answer is “moths.”
“Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.” — Euripides
“The truest characters of ignorance / Are vanity, and pride, and annoyance.” — Samuel Butler
“Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.” — Cato the Elder
“An ignorant person is one who doesn’t know what you have just found out.” — Will Rogers
Further excerpts from the notebooks of English belletrist Geoffrey Madan (1895-1947):
“Worldly faces never look so worldly as at a funeral.” — George Eliot
Wit is a new and apt relation of ideas: humour, of images.
Use of words “vision” and “supremely” an infallible sign of the uneducated.
“No great country was ever saved by good men, because good men will not go the length that may be necessary.” — Horace Walpole
“Precautions are always blamed. When successful, they are said to be unnecessary.” — Benjamin Jowett
“Some speak and write as if they wanted to say something: others as if they had something to say.” — Archbishop Richard Whately
“A rose has no back.” — Chinese reply if you apologize for turning your back
Reasonable to ask young people to be adventurous, to go to the North Pole, say: but religion asks them to start off, without being sure if there is a North Pole.
Three pieces of earnest advice from the Revd. H.J. Bidder, aged 86, after sitting silent, with a crumpled face, all through dinner, and once loudly asking the man opposite who I was:
1. Never drink claret in an East wind.
2. Take your pleasures singly, one by one.
3. Never sit on a hard chair after drinking port.
“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” — John Kenneth Galbraith