William Buckland awoke one night and told his wife, “My dear, I believe that Cheirotherium‘s footsteps are undoubtedly testudinal.” They induced a garden tortoise to walk through a paste of flour, and the impression it left matched the fossil footprint.
On summiting the Finsteraarhorn in 1845, M. Dollfus-Ausset cried, “The soul communes in the infinite with those icy peaks which seem to have their roots in the bowels of eternity!”
In 1919 Cecilia Payne bicycled to the Cambridge Solar Physics Observatory, found a man repairing the roof, and said, “I have come to ask why the Stark effect is not observed in stellar spectra.” He was E.A. Milne, and he didn’t know. “Later he became a good friend and a great inspiration to me.”
“I had rather excel others in the knowledge of what is excellent than in the extent of my power and dominion.” — Alexander
“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.” — Agatha Christie
“Almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are first produced.” — Alfred North Whitehead
“The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.” — Edward R. Murrow
“To see what is in front of one’s nose requires a constant struggle.” — George Orwell
“How hard I find it to see what is right in front of my eyes!” — Wittgenstein
- ALONE and UPRAISE can be beheaded twice and retain their essential meanings.
- Evelyn Waugh’s first wife was named Evelyn.
- 1033 = 81 + 80 + 83 + 83
- Can a shadow rotate?
- “Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience.” — Benjamin Franklin
“Snow is a faked cleanliness.” — Goethe
- SWEET-TOOTHED has three consecutive pairs of letters. SUBBOOKKEEPER has four.
- Will you answer this question negatively?
- 4624 = 44 + 46 + 42 + 44
- The telephone number 278-7433 spells both ASTRIDE and CRUSHED.
- “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” — Emerson
“The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth and have it found out by accident.” — Charles Lamb
“The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.” — Thomas Carlyle
“Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.” — Alexander Pope
“The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.” — Emerson
- The smallest number name that’s typed with eight fingers is ONE SEPTILLION ONE THOUSAND.
- Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus are all towns in Indiana.
- 2427 = 21 + 42 + 23 + 74
- SAN DIEGO is an anagram of DIAGNOSE.
- “It is not customary to love what one has.” — Anatole France
“There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.”
— G.K. Chesterton
“I see men ordinarily more eager to discover a reason for things than to find out whether the things are so.” — Montaigne
“Absolutely speaking, Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you is by no means a golden rule, but the best of current silver. An honest man would have but little occasion for it.” — Thoreau
“From the earliest times the old have rubbed it into the young that they are wiser than they, and before the young had discovered what nonsense this was they were old too, and it profited them to carry on the imposture.” — Somerset Maugham, Cakes and Ale, 1930
- The sum of the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666.
- ANTITRINITARIANIST contains all 24 arrangements of the letters I, N, R, and T.
- The Empire State Building has its own zip code.
- 63945 = 63 × (-9 + 45)
- “Isn’t it strange that we talk least about the things we think about most!” — Charles Lindbergh
“Plain women know more about men than beautiful ones do.” — Katharine Hepburn
- Can God sin?
- The Thinker’s right elbow is on his left knee.
- 48625 = 45 + 82 + 66 + 28 + 54
- MARASCHINO is an anagram of HARMONICAS.
- “Genius is nothing but continued attention.” — Helvetius
- 34425 = 34 × 425
- A running joke is a standing joke.
- RESTAURATEURS balances two identical sets of letters on either side of the central R.
- Does an artwork have value if no one sees it?
- “Marriage is a covered dish.” — Swiss proverb
“No one becomes a laughingstock who laughs at himself.” — Seneca
“It is impossible for a man to begin to learn that which he thinks that he knows.” — Epictetus
“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” — Calvin Coolidge
- What time is it on the sun?
- PATERNAL, PARENTAL, and PRENATAL are anagrams.
- If forecastle is pronounced “fo’c’sle,” should forecast be pronounced “folks”?
- A clock’s second hand is its third hand.
- “The religion of one seems madness unto another.” — Thomas Browne
Bonus poser: In what sport does only the winning team travel backward?
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” — Mark Twain
“A man who finds not satisfaction in himself, seeks for it in vain elsewhere.” — La Rochefoucauld
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” — Emerson