“Murder is a crime. Describing murder is not. Sex is not a crime. Describing sex is.” — Gershon Legman

Worldly Wise

Proverbs from around the world:

  • A pretty basket does not prevent worries. (Congo)
  • Good painters need not give a name to their pictures; bad ones must. (Poland)
  • Sickness comes riding on horseback and goes away on foot. (Belgium)
  • The spectator is a great hero. (Afghanistan)
  • Those who have to go ten miles must regard nine as only halfway. (Germany)
  • The world is dark an inch ahead. (Japan)
  • Those who place their ladder too steeply will easily fall backward. (Czech Republic)
  • All the wealth of the world is in the weather. (Scotland)
  • Those whose mother is naked are not likely to clothe their aunt. (Sudan)
  • To be in the habit of no habit is the worst habit in the world. (Wales)
  • What is bad luck for one is good luck for another. (Ghana)
  • Good luck is the guardian of the stupid. (Sweden)
  • A change is as good as a rest. (England)
  • Good scribes are not those who write well, but who erase well. (Russia)
  • There is no such thing as a pretty good omelette. (France)
  • Of all the thirty-six alternatives, running away is the best. (China)


“If I don’t know I don’t know, I think I know. If I don’t know I know, I think I don’t know.” — R.D. Laing

Seeing and Believing


“Experience never misleads; what you are misled by is only your judgment, and this misleads you by anticipating results from experience of a kind that is not produced by your experiments.” — Leonardo



“Books are fatal: they are the curse of the human race. Nine-tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense. The greatest misfortune that ever befell man was the invention of printing.” — Benjamin Disraeli

“The multitude of books is making us ignorant.” — Voltaire

“We live in an age that reads too much to be wise.” — Oscar Wilde

“The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no measure or limit to this fever of writing; everyone must be an author, some for some kind of vanity to acquire celebrity and raise a name, others for the sake of lucre or gain.” — Martin Luther

“There are times when I think that the reading I have done in the past has had no effect except to cloud my mind and make me indecisive.” — Robertson Davies

“The road to ignorance is paved with good editions.” — Bernard Shaw


“All my life I wanted to be somebody, but now I see I should have been more specific.” — Lily Tomlin

Too Far


“I would rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the one who sold it.” — Will Rogers



“I would rather discover a single causal connection than win the throne of Persia.” — Democritus



“When anyone asks me how I can best describe my experience in nearly 40 years at sea, I merely say uneventful.” — Edward Smith, captain of the Titanic, in 1907



“If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” — Will Rogers