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Quotations

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I think, therefore I am is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches.” — Milan Kundera

Misc

  • A TOYOTA’S A TOYOTA is a palindrome.
  • Lee Trevino was struck by lightning in 1975.
  • KILIMANJARO contains IJKLMNO.
  • 39343 = 39 + 343
  • “Money often costs too much.” — Emerson

Guy Debord’s 1957 autobiography, Mémoires, was bound in a sandpaper cover so that it would destroy any book placed next to it.

(Thanks, Vinny.)

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“Generations pass while some trees stand, and old families last not three oaks.” — Thomas Browne

Second Thoughts

mentimutation
n. a change of mind

“To change your mind and to follow him who sets you right is to be nonetheless the free agent that you were before.” — Marcus Aurelius

“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” — John Maynard Keynes

“Why should you mind being wrong if someone can show you that you are?” — A.J. Ayer (attributed)

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“Never cry over spilt milk, because it may have been poisoned.” — W.C. Fields

Misc

  • Dorothy Parker left her entire estate to Martin Luther King Jr.
  • SOUTH CAMBRIDGE, NY contains 16 different letters.
  • 45927 = ((4 + 5) × 9)2 × 7
  • STONE AGE = STAGE ONE
  • “You cannot be both fashionable and first-rate.” — Logan Pearsall Smith

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“The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange.” — G.K. Chesterton

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“To himself every one is an immortal: he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.” — Samuel Butler

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“One likes people much better when they’re battered down by a prodigious siege of misfortune than when they triumph.” — Virginia Woolf (diary, Aug. 13, 1921)

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“The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me.” — W.H. Auden

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“When a thing is funny, search it for a hidden truth.” — George Bernard Shaw

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“It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them.” — Robert Oppenheimer

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“Outside of the proven impossible, there probably can be found no better example of the speculative tendency carrying man to the verge of the chimerical than in his attempts to imitate the birds, or no field where so much inventive seed has been sown with so little return as in the attempts of man to fly successfully through the air. … It may be truly said that, so far as the hope of a commercial solution of the problem is concerned, man is to-day no nearer fulfillment than he was ages ago when he first dreamed of flying.” — Rear Admiral George W. Melville, engineer-in-chief, U.S. Navy, 1901

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“Truth comes out of error more easily than out of confusion.” — Francis Bacon

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