Quotations

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“If you choose to represent the various parts in life by holes upon a table, of different shapes, — some circular, some triangular, some square, some oblong, — and the persons acting these parts by bits of wood of similar shapes, we shall generally find that the triangular person has got into the square hole, the oblong into the triangular, and a square person has squeezed himself into the round hole. The officer and the office, the doer and the thing done, seldom fit so exactly, that we can say they were almost made for each other.” — Sydney Smith

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“When lost in a forest go always down hill. When lost in a philosophy or doctrine go upward.” — Ambrose Bierce

Misc

  • What time is it at the North Pole?
  • The shortest three-syllable word in English is W.
  • After the revolution, the French frigate Carmagnole used a guillotine as its figurehead.
  • 823502 + 381252 = 8235038125
  • PRICES: CRIPES!
  • “Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst.” — Martial

When Montenegro declared independence from Yugoslavia, its top-level domain changed from .yu to .me.

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“Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.” — Samuel Butler

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein

“Life is not having been told that the man has just waxed the floor.” — Ogden Nash

“You cannot learn to skate without making yourself ridiculous — the ice of life is slippery.” — George Bernard Shaw (quoting the motto of the Cambridge Fabian Society)

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“People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it’s impossible to count them accurately.” — Oscar Wilde

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“Whether you can observe a thing or not depends on the theory which you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed.” — Albert Einstein

“When we observe nature, and especially the ordering of nature, it is always ourselves alone we are observing.” — G.C. Lichtenberg

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“There is an astonishing imagination, even in the science of mathematics. An inventor must begin with painting correctly in his mind the figure, the machine invented by him, and its properties or effects. We repeat there was far more imagination in the head of Archimedes than in that of Homer.” — Voltaire

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“If villains understood the advantages of being virtuous, they would turn honest out of villainy.” — Ben Franklin

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“My view of life is, that it’s next to impossible to convince anybody of anything.” — Lewis Carroll

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“I cannot easily buy a blankbook to write thoughts in: they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents.” — Thoreau

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“To breed an animal with the right to make promises — is not this the paradoxical problem nature has set herself with regard to man?” — Nietzsche

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“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” — Leonardo

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“I wrote somewhere once that the third-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking with the majority, the second-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking with the minority, and the first-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking.” — A.A. Milne

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“Personally, I have always looked upon cricket as organized loafing.” — William Temple

“I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles.” — G.K. Chesterton

“I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense.” — H.L. Mencken

Misc

  • Fathers can mother, but mothers can’t father.
  • The Mall of America is owned by Canadians.
  • Neil Armstrong was 17 when Orville Wright died.
  • LONELY TYLENOL is a palindrome.
  • 258402 + 437762 = 2584043776
  • “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” — Plutarch

Edward Gorey’s pen names included Ogdred Weary, Raddory Gewe, Regera Dowdy, D. Awd­rey-Gore, E.G. Deadworry, Waredo Dyrge, Deary Rewdgo, Dewda Yorger, and Dogear Wryde. Writer Wim Tigges responded, “God reward ye!”

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“Among the smaller duties of life I hardly know any one more important than that of not praising where praise is not due.” — Sydney Smith

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“Now she is like everyone else.” — Charles de Gaulle, at the funeral of his daughter Anne, who had Down syndrome, February 1948

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“Humiliation and indifference, these are conditions every one of us finds unbearable — this is why the Coyote when falling is more concerned with the audience’s opinion of him than he is with the inevitable result of too much gravity.” — Chuck Jones

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“I maintain that there is no common language or medium of understanding between people of education and without it — between those who judge of things from books or from their senses. Ignorance has so far the advantage over learning; for it can make an appeal to you from what you know; but you cannot re-act upon it through that which it is a perfect stranger to. Ignorance is, therefore, power.” — William Hazlitt

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“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” — Neil Armstrong, 1969

“Better if he had said something natural like, ‘Jesus, here we are.'” — Edmund Hillary, 1974

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“I have somewhere met with the epitaph of a charitable man, which has very much pleased me. I cannot recollect the words, but the sense of it is to this purpose; What I spent I lost; what I possessed is left to others; what I gave away remains with me.” — Joseph Addison

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“History is philosophy teaching by examples.” — Thucydides

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“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions that differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.” — Albert Einstein

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” — Oscar Wilde

“We think as we do mainly because other people think so.” — Samuel Butler

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“In like manner, if I let myself believe anything on insufficient evidence, there may be no great harm done by the mere belief; it may be true after all, or I may never have occasion to exhibit it in outward acts. But I cannot help doing this great wrong towards Man, that I make myself credulous. The danger to society is not merely that it should believe wrong things, though that is great enough; but that it should become credulous, and lose the habit of testing things and inquiring into them; for then it must sink back into savagery.” — William Kingdon Clifford

(He distilled this into a credo: “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for any one, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”)