“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.” — Christopher Morley
“However often you may have done them a favor, if you once refuse they forget everything except your refusal.” — Pliny the Younger
“Little minds are interested in the extraordinary; great minds in the commonplace.” — Elbert Hubbard
Excerpts from the notebooks of English belletrist Geoffrey Madan (1895-1947):
Two impressions remaining, after a life of scientific research:
1. The inexhaustible oddity of nature.
2. The capacity of the human system for recovery.
— J.B.S. Haldane
“With people like you, love only means one thing.”
“No, it means twenty things: but it doesn’t mean nineteen.”
— Arnold Bennett’s Journal
“I simply ignored an axiom.” — Einstein, on Relativity
“Nowhere probably is there more true feeling, and nowhere worse taste, than in a churchyard.” — Benjamin Jowett
Happiness, only a by-product.
The fine flower of stupidity blossoms in the attempt to appear less stupid.
Boy, wanting to be a “retired business man.”
“Stand on the Right — and let others pass you.” — Directions on an Underground Escalator
“My sad conviction is that people can only agree about what they’re not really interested in.” — Bertrand Russell, New Statesman, 1 July 1939
The doctrine of omnipotence means that life is a sham fight with evil.
“All men wish to have truth on their side: but few to be on the side of truth.” — Archbishop Richard Whately
“Half-knowledge is very communicable; not so knowledge.” — Mary Coleridge
“Mastery often passes for egotism.” — Goethe
“No thoroughly occupied man was ever yet very miserable.” — Letitia Elizabeth Landon
“It was hard for me to believe. I would look down and say, ‘This is the moon, this is the moon,’ and I would look up and say, ‘That’s the Earth, that’s the Earth,’ in my head. So it was science fiction to us even as we were doing it.” — Alan Bean, Apollo 12
“In all education the main cause of failure is staleness.” — Alfred North Whitehead
“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.” — Richard Feynman
“A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.” — Samuel Johnson
“Read what interests you. If Scott does not interest you and Dickens does, drop Scott and read Dickens. You need not be any one’s enemy; but you need not be a friend with everybody. This is as true of books as of persons. For friendship some agreement in temperament is quite essential.” — Lyman Abbott
“The most dangerous food is wedding cake.” — James Thurber
“Silence is not always tact and it is tact that is golden, not silence.” — Samuel Butler