Quotations

Misc

  • Holmes and Watson never address one another by their first names.
  • Until 1990, the banknote factory at Debden, England, was heated by burning old banknotes.
  • The vowels AEIOUY can be arranged to spell the synonyms AYE and OUI.
  • 741602 + 437762 = 7416043776
  • “In all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.” — Mark Twain

Two trick questions:

Who played the title role in Bride of Frankenstein? Valerie Hobson — not Elsa Lanchester.

Did Adlai Stevenson ever win national office? Yes — Adlai Stevenson I served as vice president under Grover Cleveland in 1893.

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“Great good nature, without prudence, is a great misfortune.” — Benjamin Franklin

Heat and Light

If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. If some one maintains that two and two are five, or that Iceland is on the equator, you feel pity rather than anger, unless you know so little of arithmetic or geography that his opinion shakes your own contrary conviction. The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic, because in arithmetic there is knowledge, but in theology there is only opinion. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.

— Bertrand Russell, “An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish,” 1943

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“Even if I could be Shakespeare, I think I should still choose to be Faraday.” — Aldous Huxley

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“If a man could have half his wishes, he would double his troubles.” — Ben Franklin

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“Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.” — Bertrand Russell

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“What makes us so bitter against people who outwit us is that they think themselves cleverer than we are.” — La Rochefoucauld

“Nothing hath an uglier Look to us than Reason, when it is not of our side.” — George Savile, Marquess of Halifax

“Behind every argument is someone’s ignorance.” — Louis Brandeis

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“Men do not desire merely to be rich, but to be richer than other men.” — John Stuart Mill

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“Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he usually proves that he is one himself.” — H.L. Mencken

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“Love, friendship, respect, do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something.” — Anton Chekhov