Quote Book

Below are the entire contents of my quote book (so far):
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America had had a badly split personality all through its history. Its overt laws were almost always puritanical for a people whose covert behavior tended to be Rabelaisian; its major religions were all Apollonian in varying degree – its religious revivals were often hysterical in fashion almost Dionysian. In the twentieth century (Terran Christian Era) nowhere on Earth was sex so vigorously suppressed as in America – and nowhere else was there such a deep interest in it.

Missing someone isn’t about how long it has been since you’ve seen them, or the amount of time since you’ve talked. It’s about that very moment when you’re doing something and wishing they were right there with you

There is such a thing as hate at first sight

Regret, it piles up around us like books we’ve never read

— Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit

If children lived in a remote area, they would make friends with the animals living there and grow up relating to and having curiosity about the complexity and depth of nature that surrounds them. But in our current society, they grow up relating only to their parents or to a small number of friends. What fills in the gaps in their lives is the mass of electronic subculture

Crack and meth are rare, but Glasgow was once renowned – if that’s the right word – for being the heroin capital of the UK. That title always had more to do with the quantity of addicts than the quality of product, though – one dead user tested positive for anthrax a few years ago.

There was an infamous night at the Arches (it’s always the Arches) a few years ago when Glasgow briefly turned into a Police Academy movie and two policemen on a routine inspection walked in on a 30-strong orgy and were mistaken for strippers, but that sort of thing is pretty rare.

bones are not filled with red marrow but black ingratitude

Oversights are not avoided by grim determination. What is needed is a trained eye.

— Aaron Nimzowitch

Avoid all needle drugs. The only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon.

— Abbie Hoffman

I am loth to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stre[t]ching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

— Abraham Lincoln, Inaugural address, 1861

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

— Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

— Albert Einstein

Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.

— Albert Einstein

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy, is something to be enthusiastic about.

— Albert Einstein

I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.

— Albert Einstein

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.

— Albert Einstein – The world as I see it

I told him to go in peace and he said that I should stay in peace. So we left one another and I never saw my friend again, although he is always there, in my heart.

— Alexander McCall Smith – The No. 1 ladies detective agency

Luggage is like fibre. The more you have the more smoothly things will run

— American Dragon

What if dreams came true, and you could be who you wanted to be, you could do what you wanted to do, and you could help who you wanted to help? What if dreams came true, and the world opened up, and you were never, ever, afraid? What if dreams came true, but dreams do come true, don’t they?

— Anakin Skywalker

The value of the average conversation could be enormously improved by the constant use of four simple words: I do not know.

— Andre Maurols

Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing what is right in the face of adversity, Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.

— Andrew Futral

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music

— Angela Monet

Pyne did not go to school at all; he was delivered by midwives straight into the hands of the Global Institute for Shamelessness, whence he graduated summa cum laude as a young man, holding degrees in Advanced Audacity and Flagrant Disregard, and immediately became the member for Sturt

— Annabelle Crabbe

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

— Anon

Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most.

— Anon

To the civilized nations of the world, America is the bully that eveyone wants on their team when choosing for a game of football, but no one wants their sister to marry.

— Anon

Serendipity is like looking for a needle in a haystack and finding the farmer’s daughter

— Anon

First god created man. Then he had a better idea.

— Anon

Sometimes what goes without saying is best said anyway

— Anon

A girl without freckles is like a night without stars

— Anon

I am sure I look as a thorn between two roses.

— Anon

That babe is so fine she gives me enough wood to build a boat.. A real fine boat.

— Anon

Because America believes in man’s inalienable right to eat whenever he is awake.

— Anon

I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.

— Anon

Tell a man there are 300 Billion stars in the universe and he’ll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he’ll have to touch to be sure.

— Anon

Duct tape is like the force: There’s a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

— Anon

Before you judge the younger generation remember who raised them.

— Anon

Actually I always thought that programming was quite similar to sex. The first time you do it you have no idea what you’re doing. It seems like men think about it more than women. Doing it in a large group makes things far too complicated, since no person will know exactly where their part is supposed to fit, though some people claim that it’ll give you better results. Doing it by yourself is what most students end up doing. It will take a lifetime to master it. There’s no one right way to do it, but a number of wrong ways. People who have never tried it think that those of us who practice it daily are deviants. It’s fun. It takes a lot of energy. It can keep you up late at night. It can make you miss classes. Do it too long and you’ll go blind. Finally, once you get it on your mind, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else.

— Anon

Half the pain in womens’ lives is due to men, but a considerable portion of the rest is due to shoes.

— Anon

Remember, patients are not doctored back to health, they are nursed back to health…

— Anon

Astronomers say the universe is finite, which is a comforting thought for those people who can’t remember where they leave things.

— Anon

Love ’em, hate ’em, can’t hit ’em on the head with a shovel.

— Anon

The general rule about people on IRC seems to be: Attractive. Single. Mentally Stable. Choose two.

— Anon

That which doesn’t kill us isn’t trying hard enough.

— Anon

Family are like fish – they go off after Three days.

— Anon

If you’re skating on thin ice you may as well tap dance.

— Anon

After monday and tuesday even the calendar says WTF

— Anon

Light travels faster than sound, which is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

— Anon

Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up

— Anon

Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

— Anon

Some women, Commander Norton had decided long ago, should not be allowed aboard ship; weightlessness did things to their breasts that were too damn distracting. It was bad enough when they were motionless; but when they started to move, and sympathetic vibrations set in, it was more than any warm-blooded male should be asked to take. He was quite sure that at least one serious space accident had been caused by acute crew distraction, after the transit of a well-upholstered lady officer through the control cabin.

— Arthur C Clarke – Rendezvous with Rama

Opportunities look a lot like hard Work

— Ashton Kutcher

Opportunities look a lot like hard Work

— Ashton Kutcher

Zuko: This city is a prison, I don’t want to make a life here.
Iroh: Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not.

— Avatar

The real problem is not whether machines think, but whether men (sic.) do.

— B. F. Skinner

In here you cannot hide from yourself.. ..everything out there has only one purpose.. .. to distract us from ourselves.. .. from that which is truly important.. .. there are no distractions in here.. .. you can learn much from silence.

— Babylon 5: GaKar during his incarceration for assaulting Londo Molari

Love is a wish that hides in your heart and nobody knows about it but you. Love is blinding, an eternity in a single moment, a religion worth dying for, but It is also time consuming, and a kind of a pain in the arse, and a hole in the heart, and that sort of thing. Not necesarily in that order, bit I’d like to think it is that order.

— Bandits

The thing I hate most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists. Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little

— Banksy

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

— Benjamin Franklin – Variant of original quote

People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.

— Bill Clinton

The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us

— Bill Watterson – Calvin and Hobbes

Be at least capable of bad

— Brandy Add

Safari suits are like Sex. Women need a reason, men just need a place.

— Brett at Med Review cast party

The gravest error a thinking person can make is to believe that one particular version of history is absolute fact. History is recorded by a series of observers, none of whom is impartial. The facts are distorted by sheer passage of time and-especially in the case of the Butlerian Jihad-thousands of years of humanity’s dark ages, deliberate misrepresentations by religious sects, and the inevitable corruption that comes from an accumulation of careless mistakes. The wise person, then, views history as a set of lessons to be learned, choices and ramifications to be considered and discussed, and mistakes that should never again be made.
-Princess Irulan, preface to The history of the Butlerian Jihad

— Brian Herbert – The Butlerian Jihad

On a bad day you’re a dictator, on a good day it’s an enlightened monarchy, but its never a democracy.

— Buck Brunneman, regarding parenthood

Technology brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.

— C.P. Snow

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?

— Captain Jack Sparrow

For me, the most ironic token of that moment in history is the plaque signed by President Richard M. Nixon that apollo 11 took to the moon. It reads: “we came in peace for all mankind”. As the united states was dropping 7.5 megatons of conventional explosives on small nations in southeast asia, we congratulated ourselves on our humanity: We would harm no one on a lifeless rock

— Carl Sagan

Each time she quoted it there was an unspoken question lingering at the edge of her consciousness: Could you teach the alphabet to ants? And would you want to? Down there with hundreds of scurrying insects who might crawl all over your skin, or even sting you? What could ants know, anyway?

— Carl Sagan – Contact

Every era puts invisible shackles on those who have lived through it, and I can only dance in my chains

— Cixin Liu – The Three Body Problem

People are always telling me just to be yourself, like being yourself is something set… Like a toaster.

— Claire Danes – My so called life

Do not lose heart. We were made for these times.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estés

The unwilling, led by the incompetent, to do the unnecessary, for the ungrateful.

— Common Vietnam War saying

Sometimes me think “What is friend”, and then me say “Friend is someone to share the last cookie with”

— Cookie Monster

For this guy the shortest distance between two points is science.

— Crime Scene Investigation

The reason we no longer burn witches at the stake is not that we became nicer people, just that we stopped believing in witches

— CS Lewis

Often people say did he really jump so high? And I always say I don’t know how far from the ground, but I know it was near the stars

— Dame Marie Rambert

So many great minds, devoted to such trivial bullshit

— Dan Lyons

First do no harm? No! First do nothing, it’s like no harm but easier

— Dan Mackay

First do no harm? No! First do nothing, it’s like no harm but easier.

— Dan Mackay

Emma was like a comet. She just lit up everything.

— Debut, Cold Case

The problem is this: there is a seemingly unbridgable gulf between the older generation who rebuilt Germany economically, but who have lost their moral credibility, and the young people who know of a nation’s hardship and suffering only by hearsay, and who seek a new morality through ideological commitment. So they confront each other with no mutual understanding: the older generation, most of whom stood in line to swear the oath of loyalty to Hitler, and the young who, for the sake of a better world, start fires and toss paving stones; the old who, with the Grand Coalition, have made a travesty of parliamentary politics, and the young who want to create a new democracy by extraparliamentary means; the old who deny their principles out of sheer pragmatism and the young who, because they are so crammed with principles, seem incapable of defining an objective.

— Der Spiegel, April 22, 1968

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

— Derek Bok, President of Harvard

In the east they contemplate the forest. In the west they count the trees.

— Desktop Calendar

Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

— Douglas Adams

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

— Douglas Adams

The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit

— Douglas Adams

I have a well-deserved reputation for being something of a gadget freak, and am rarely happier than when spending an entire day programming my computer to perform automatically a task that it would otherwise take me a good ten seconds to do by hand. Ten seconds, I tell myself, is ten seconds. Time is valuable and ten seconds’ worth of it is well worth the investment of a day’s happy activity working out a way of saving it.

— Douglas Adams – Last Chance to See

For all my rational Western intellect and education, I was for the moment overwhelmed by a primitive sense of living in a world ordered by a malign and perverted god, and it coloured my view of everything that afternoon – even the coconuts. The villagers sold us some and split them open for us. They are almost perfectly designed. You first make a hole and drink the milk, then you split open the nut with a machete and slice off a segment of the shell, which forms a perfect implement for scooping out the coconut flesh inside. What makes you wonder about the nature of this god character is that he creates something that is so perfectly designed to be of benefit to human beings and then hangs it twenty feet above their heads on a tree with no branches.
Here’s a good trick, let’s see how they cope with this. Oh, look! They’ve managed to find a way of climbing the tree. I didn’t think they’d be able to do that. All right, let’s see them get the thing open. Hmm, so they’ve found out how to temper steel now, have they? OK, no more Mr Nice Guy. Next time they go up that tree I’ll have a dragon waiting for them at the bottom.
I can only think that the business with the apple must have upset him more than I realised.

— Douglas Adams – Last chance to see

It’s frustrating to think of the difference that language would make. The millennia crawl by pretty bloody slowly while natural selection sifts its way obliviously through generation after generation, favouring the odd aberrant kakapo that’s a little twitchier than its contemporaries till the species as a whole finally gets the idea. It would all be cut short in a moment if one of them could say, ‘When you see one of those things with whiskers and little bitey teeth, run like hell.’ On the other hand, human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

— Douglas Adams – Last Chance to See

The world had moved on from surgical strikes. The official term had in fact been ‘Damascectomy’, meaning the ‘taking out’ of Damascus.

— Douglas Adams – Mostly harmless

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

— Douglas Adams – The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul

The major problem – one of the major problems, for there are several – one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarize: it is a well known fact, that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

— Douglas Adams – The Restaurant at the end of the Universe

Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

— Douglas Hofstadter

Anger is always the shortest distance to a mistake

— Dr Who

The doctor and the monsters. You cannot have one without the other. But you and I both know, don’t we Rose, that the doctor is worth the monsters.

— Dr Who, The Girl in the Fireplace

If you must, don’t get caught.

— Duncan Mortimer’s Dad

The great man is always representative either of existing forces or of forces which he helps to create by way of challenge to existing authority. But the higher degree of creativity may perhaps be assigned to those great men who, like Cromwell or Lenin, helped to mould the forces which carried them to greatness, rather than to those who, like Napoleon or Bismarck, rode to greatness on the back of already existing forces. Nor should we forget those great men who stood so far in advance of their own time that their greatness was recognized only by succeeding generations. What seems to me essential is to recognize in the great man an outstanding individual who is at once a product and an agent of the historical process, at once the representative and the creator of social forces which change the shape of the world and the thoughts of men.”

— E.H. Carr – What is History

In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time

— Edward P. Tryon

That on an insignificant planet in orbit about an average star in a typical galaxy we look into the sky, not in fear but with bold confidence that we can comprehend something so much larger than we are, tells us something important about ourselves. The very fact that so many people have devoted their lives to this task, and we have developed as great an understanding as we have, is one of those inexplicable things like art or music that should give us all pride in the accomplishments of our species.

— Edward W Kolb (NASA/Fermilab)

God be between you and harm in all the empty places where you must walk

— Egyptian Blessing

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

All serious science is Physics; everything else is just stamp collecting.

— Ernest Rutherford

We don’t have the money so we have to think.

— Ernest Rutherford

You want to know how to change the world? One act of random kindness at a time.

— Evan Almighty

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

— Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Ah, sorry Meg, daddy loves you, but daddy also loves Star trek and in all fairness Star trek was here first.

— Family Guy

Before you have children you can believe you are a nice person. After you have children you understand how wars start.

— Fay Weldon

There he goes; one of gods own prototypes. A high powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live and too weird to die.

— Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.

— Fight Club

Zoe: Preacher, don’t the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?
Book: Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on kneecaps.

— Firefly

If love, that blessed nomad, is your guest, treat him well.

— Fortune cookie

Because of the one-pointed Time awareness in which the conventional mind remains immersed, humans tend to think of everything in a sequential, word-oriented framework. This mental trap produces very short-term concepts of effectiveness and consequences, a condition of constant, unplanned response to crisis – Liet Kynes, The Arrakis workbook.

— Frank Herbert – Children of Dune

The mind imposes this framework which it calls ‘reality’. That arbitrary framework has a tendency to be quite independent of what your senses report.

— Frank Herbert – God Emperor of Dune

We are friends of the stomach. We both like yogurt.

— Frank Herbert – God emperor of Dune

If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.

— Frank Wilczek

But if less is more, just imagine how much more more would be!

— Frasier

As a general rule, people, even the wicked, are much more naïve and simple-hearted than we suppose. And we ourselves are, too.

— Fyodor Dostoevsky

As a general rule, people, even the wicked, are much more naïve and simple-hearted than we suppose. And we ourselves are, too.

— Fyodor Dostoevsky

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who endowed us with sense, reason and intillect has intended us to forgo their use.

— Galileo Galilei

We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes

— Gene Roddenberry

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

— George Eliot

The young were products of urbanization, and of the consumer society that has "corrupted" their parents’ moral and civic values and replaced them with materialism. We should applaud the present renewal of interest in politics: despite the risks attendant on immaturity, the explosion of protest among the young is an extremely positive development. The eagerness to argue politics, to debate society, and to hero-worship Third World revolutionary leaders from Guevara to Mao, stems from a moral need and from the desire for a fairer society. The leaders who are now chairing meetings or heading up movements have in common this moralizing insistence on purity.

— Giovanni Russo, “Le voci nuove della democrazia”, Il Corriere della sera, December 31, 1968

For me those years resemble that long C chord at the end of Sergeant Pepper, a sort of sustained moment of peace, after extraordinary dissonance

— Glen Davis

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

— Greek Proverb

Those are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others.

— Groucho Marx

The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletarian to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeois.

— Gustave Flaubert

(At the outset of the Franco-Prussian war:) After this is over, we will still be stupid.

— Gustave Flaubert

Words can never say, as music can, the unsayable grace that leaps like light from mind to mind

— Gwen Harwood

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity

— Hanlon’s Razor

Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts, Teach us something please, Whether we be old and bald, Or young with scabby knees, Our heads could do with filling, with some interesting stuff, For now they’re bare and full of air, Dead flies and bits of fluff, So teach us stuff worth knowing, Bring back what we’ve forgot, Just do your best, we’ll do the rest, And learn until our brains all rot.

— Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

“Welcome!” he said. “Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!” He sat back down. Everybody clapped and cheered.

— Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

In Wilderness is the preservation of the world.

— Henry David Thoreau

I am an old man now and when I die and go to heaven there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. And about the former I am really rather optimistic.

— Horace Lamb to the British Assn for the Advancement of science

Curanda vita: “life is to be cared for”

— Hospital Mission Statement

When a good person dies, it should make an impact on the world. someone should notice. Someone should be upset.

— House

Right. There you are. The mystery of medicine. Everyone wants your opinion, but nobody wants to listen to what you have to say

— House

There’s no “I” in “Team”, but there is a “Me” if you jumble it up.

— House

Ideopathic, from the Latin meaning we’re idiots cause we can’t figure out what’s causing it.

— House

House: The universe always settles the score
Cutty: Does it?
House: No… But It should.

— House

By George he’s got it: Brains, talent, charm. The bastard.

— HQ Cover Article about George Clooney

The unspeakably omnipotent members of the Complector Council were bound by nothing else save the laws of physics, and were generally held to be putting considerable effort into getting around those.

— Iain M Banks – The Algebraist

Faith is belief without reason; we operate on reason and nothing but. I have zero faith in my crew, just absolute confidence.

— Iain M Banks – The Hydrogen sonata

We practised from seven thirty each morning until dark o’clock.

— Immediate Action

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent

— Isaac Asimov, Foundations Edge

It has not been often that students have nerved themselves to cry out, in the middle of a lecture “But that’s nonsense!”, yet it has happened.

— J. C. Beaglehole

And now Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, Adventure

— J. K. Rowling – Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince

That’s what they should teach us here, he thought, turning over on to his side, how girls’ brains work… it’d be more useful than Divination, anyway…

— J. K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.

— J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either.

— Jack Benny

When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extra-ordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself

— Jacques Cousteau

You must keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.

— James Oberg

“Perhaps the other fish gave him helium galoshes”
(later followed by “Proving that given enough time anyone can be witty once”)

— James Reid

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don’t believe this to be a coincidence.

— Jeremy S. Anderson

Tentacles. I hate tentacles (and usually what they’re attached to).

— Jetix

Rudy Giuliani. There’s only three things he mentions in a sentence — a noun, a verb, and 9/11.

— Joe Biden

Every walk in the woods is a religious rite, every bath in a stream is a saving ordinance.

— John Burroughs

And so, my fellow americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

— John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, 1961

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

— John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, 1961

There are some advantages in being right. You don’t have to change your mind.

— John Galbraith

Promiscuous reading is necessary to the constituting of human nature. The attempt to keep out evil doctrine by licensing is like the exploit of that gallant man who thought to keep out the crows by shutting the park gate.

— John Milton

When, like a merchant taking a list of his goods, we take stock of our wilderness we are glad to see how much of even the most destructable kind is still unspoiled.

— John Muir

I miss republicans. No, seriously. Remember Republicans? Sober men in suits, pipes, who’d nod thoughtfully over their latest tract on market-driven fiscal conservatism while grinding out the numbers on rocket science. Remember those serious-looking 1950’s-1960’s science guys in the movies — Republican to a one. They were the grown-ups. They were the realists. Sure they were a bummer, maaaaan, but on the way to La Revolution you need somebody to remember where you parked the car. I was never one (nor a Democrat, really, more an agnostic libertarian big on the social contract, but we don’t have a party …), but I genuinely liked them.

— John Rogers

When I grow up I want to be a little boy.

— Joseph Heller

Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger

— JRR Tolkien

Since I first gained the use of reason my inclination toward learning has been so violent and strong that neither the scoldings of other people nor my own reflections have been able to stop me from following this natural impulse that god gave me.

— Juana Ines De La Cruz (1691)

I stood for nothing so I fell for everything

— Katy Perry

I stood for nothing so I fell for everything

— Katy Perry

Pain heals, chicks dig scars, Glory lasts forever.

— Keanau Reeves, The Replacements

The true New Yorkers understand that people living anywhere else must be, in some sense, kidding.

— Keeping the faith

God was showing off when he made you.

— Keeping the faith

Standard BSC deal: booze, schmooze, cruise.

— Keeping the faith

Of course I am minimising my tax. And if anybody in this country doesn’t minimise their tax, they want their heads read, because as a government, I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra!

— Kerry Packer

To simplify history would be to distort reality

— Kim Stanley Robinson, 2312

Jevon’s paradox – the better human technology becomes the more harm we do with it

— Kim Stanley Robinson, 2312

“Why don’t you like it when you can’t say why?”
The Frown returned. After a long silence Sax said slowly “I try to understand. I pay attention to things, you see, very closely. As closely as I can. Concentrating on the thisness of every moment. And I want to understand why it happens the way it does. I’m curious. And I think that everything happens for a reason. Everything. So, we should be able to tease these reasons out. When we can’t .. well I don’t like it. It vexes me. Sometimes I call it – ” He glanced at Nirgal shyly, and Nirgal saw that he had never told this to anyone before – “I call it the great unexplainable.”

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Green Mars

He could not help but remember Ann saying angrily to him “Mars is a place you have never seen”. He had taken it as a figure of speech. But now he recalled Kuhn, asserting that scientists who use different paradigms existed in literally different worlds, epistemology being such an integral component of reality. Thus Aristotelians simply did not see the Galilean pendulum, which to them was a body falling with some difficulty; and in general, scientists debating the relative merits of competing paradigms simply talked right throught each other, using the same words to discuss different realities.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Green Mars

The point is not to make another Earth. Not another Alaska or Tibet, not a Vermont nor a Venice, not even an Antarctica. The point is to make something new and strange, something Martian.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Green Mars

The young, she thought. Revolution’s natural constituency.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Green Mars

.. And then twenty minutes of some Russians staging Hamlet in pressure suits at the bottom of the Tyrrhena Patera mohole, a production that struck John as crazy until Hamlet caught sight of Claudius kneeling to pray, and the camera tilted up to show the mohole as cathedral walls, rising above Claudius to an infinitely distant shaft of sunlight, like the forgiveness he would never receive.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars

And Nardia would watch from their bed feeling so serene and happy that she had to remind herself that the floating sensation was probably just Martian G. But it felt like joy.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars

..Instead he looked across the table and caught Boone’s gaze. There was an exchange of expressions between the two so quick it made Maya blink.. .. Afterwards Maya concentrated, trying to recall the looks Boone and Chalmers had exchanged. They had been like something from a code, or the private languages invented by identical twins.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars

Shikata ga nai (there is no other choice)

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars

Zeyk laughed with pleasure.. .. And he and his wife smiled at each other, a private communication with a high density of information exchange, a smile which they shared, for a moment, with Frank.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars

Live as if you were already dead

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars

Then on to his apartment building, with it’s bored security team behind the foyer desk, people wasting their whole lives sitting there doing nothing.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars

Science was many things, Nadia thought, including a weapon with which to hit other scientists.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars

I died as mineral and became a plant, I died as plant and rose to animal. I died as animal and I was human. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying? Yet once more I shall die human, to soar with angels blessed above. And when I sacrifice my angel soul I shall become what no mind ever conceived. – Rumi Jalaluddin (Persian Poet)

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars

Juggling all these factors into any meaningful extrapolative program was more than anyone had yet accomplished to Sax’s satisfaction, so he had resorted to his usual solution; he was trying to do it himself.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars

The Aztecs had believed the world would end in one of four ways: earthquake, fire, flood, or jaguars falling from the sky. Here there would be no fire. Nor earthquake nor flood, now that he thought of it. Leaving only the jaguars.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars

As Ann and Sax were being blown around in the storm, Sax felt an updraught in the thunderhead drawing them up and concluded they had escaped drowning at sea only to be thrown right up out of the sky. The cockpit dome would probably hold even against the vacuum of space, but the cold would kill them. It was too loud to remember anything, but he wanted to remember to say to Ann, we ask why all our lives and never get past because. We stop after that word, in disarray. I wish I had spent more time with you.

— Kim Stanley Robinson – The Martians

And low the beast looked upon the face of beauty, and beauty stayed his hand, and from that day forward he was as one dead

— King Kong trailer

Computer games don’t affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.

— Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989

Some people march to the beat of a different drum – and some people polka

— L.A. Times Syndicate

Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics. You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded. Because the elements, the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars. And the only way they could get into your body is if the stars were kind enough to explode. So forget Jesus. The stars died so you could be here today.

— Lawrence Krauss

To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time

— Leonard Bernstein

The man of tomorrow is forged by his battles today.

— Lex Luthor – Smallville

You can waste your time playing it safe, or you can go for it, but at some point, Clarke, you just know when something is right.

— Lex Luthor – Smallville

My most audacious desire will only be to kiss the air that kissed you a moment ago.

— Lolly Wrapper

Some people would say a democracy is one where the majority get to do what they want. That’s not a democracy, that’s a tyranny. The genius of a democracy governed by the rule of law, our democracy, is that it both empowers the majority through the ballot box and constrains the majority, its government, so that it is bound by law

— Malcolm turnbull

Each place has its own advantages – heaven for the climate, and hell for the society.

— Mark Twain

Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it

— Mark Twain

Life is an endless series of opportunities to make a fool of yourself.

— Marshall Law

There is speculation, there is wild speculation, and then there is cosmology.

— Martyn Harris

A beautiful death, is for people who lived like animals to die like angels—loved and wanted

— Mother Theresa

Dear Lord, show us the way, and if you can’t show us the way, forgive us for being lost.

— Movie “Baby Boy”

If pain is all in the mind, my brains must be in my feet.

— Nathan Wooley

Notoriety wasn’t as good as fame, but was heaps better than obscurity

— Neil Gaiman – Good Omens

There was a dim glow pulsing from the middle of the hazel thicket, as if a tiny cloud of stars were glimmering there.
And there was a voice, a high clear, female voice, which said ‘Ow,’ and then, very quietly, it said ‘fuck,’ and then it said ‘Ow,’ once more.

— Neil Gaiman – Stardust

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.

— Neil Gaiman, The Kindly Ones

We had no irony when it came to girls, though. There was just no time to develop it. One moment they weren’t there, not in any form that interested us, anyway, and the next you couldn’t miss them; they were everywhere.

— Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

You know, outside of the circus, most people were afraid of me. But I did not hate them. I pitied them. Do you know why? Because most people will never know anything beyond what they see with their own two eyes.

— Night Crawler, X-Men 2

I do not think there is any thrill than can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.

— Nikolas Tesla, 1896

There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about.

— Note on an academic’s door

It would ruin my entire career if I had to choose a profession.

— Note on an academic’s door

Wisdom and Genius; rarely present in equal abundance

— Numbers

I envy people who drink – at least they have something to blame everything on.

— Oscar Levant

Ignorance is a renewable resource.

— P.J. O’Rourke

We had been vacationing close to each other near Avignon when the mobilisation started. Braque and Durant were called up. I said goodbye to Braque and Durant at the train station and I never really found them again

— Pablo Picasso

When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less

— Paul Brown

I’ve been lucky. There are a lot of people who are not very lucky. People who are very lucky should hold out a helping hand to those less fortunate than they are.

— Paul Newman

I’m a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being… by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant.

— Paul Newman

Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?

— Paul Newman

You can’t be as old as I am without waking up with a surprised look on your face every morning: ‘Holy Christ, whaddya know – I’m still around!’

— Paul Newman

Luck is statistics taken personally

— Penn Gilette

The difference between Science and Faith, therefore, is no more and no less than predictive power

— Peter Watts – Firefall

All animals are under stringent selection pressure to be as stupid as they can get away with

— Peter Watts – Firefall

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do

— Potter Stewart, Supreme Court Justice

It is one of the blessings of friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple! Just ignore everything they say, and only pay attention to what they do.

— Randy Pausch

You don’t wait out here for god to do something for you. He gave you a brain, go do it for yourself.

— Rev. J.A. de Laine

It’s a porno, not a romance novel. Stop talking about it and do it.

— Rhys Edwards

Captaincy is 90 per cent luck and 10 per cent skill. But don’t try it without that 10 per cent

— Richie Benauld

It’s supposed to be a challenge, that’s why they call it a shortcut, if it was easy it would just be the way.

— Road Trip

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

— Robert A. Heinlein

It was as if he had reached up and touched the stars.
And they had touched him in return. The stars were murdering him. But he was dying in a state of grace.

— Robert Charles Wilson, Spin

When old dreams die, new ones come to take their place. God pity a one dream man.

— Robert Goddard

We will never forget them nor the last time we saw them this morning as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God – President Reagan, in a moving broadcast to the nation following the Challenger disaster, paraphrased a sonnet written by John Gillespie Magee, a young American airman killed in World War II

— Ronald Reagan

Practice is what puts brains on your muscles

— Sam Snead

Practice is what puts brains on your muscles

— Sam snee

If it was up to the NIH to cure polio through a centrally directed program you’d have the best iron lung in the world but not a polio vaccine.

— Samuel Broder, former director of the NIH

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes – Henry David Thoreau

— Samuel Shem – Mount Misery

I believe that god does not endorse TV evangelists.

— Savage Garden

Esse Quam Videri (To be, rather than to seem to be)

— School Motto

You gotta go pick someone up in a helicopter, people are shooting at you – You going to sit down and rest? You going out on sick call? It’s not an option. Maybe you die – so what? At least you died doing something worthwhile.

— Senior Master Sergeant Jack Brehm

The philosopher Pictitus said If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid

— Serendipity

You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: Did he have passion?

— Serendipity

If the human brain was simple enough for us to understand, we’d be too dumb to get it.

— Shannon Morton

I find I am so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.

— Shawshank Redemption

I have to remind myself that some birds weren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knew it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But your world is just that much colder and emptier when they’re gone. I don’t know… maybe I just miss my friend.

— Shawshank Redemption

When I think of a grove of giant sequoia I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it.
And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite and so I think that what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together and the result is music.

— Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger

In the great commons at Gaia’s Landing we have a tall and particularly beautiful stand of white pine, planted at the time of the first colonies. It represents our promise to the people, and to Planet itself, never to repeat the tragedy of Earth.

— Sid Meyer’s Alpha Centauri

Superstring theory. A brave little theory and actually quite coherent for a universe of five or six dimensions, if only we lived in one.

— Sid Meyer’s Alpha Centauri

Men in their arrogance claim to understand the nature of creation, and devise elaborate theories to explain its behaviour. But always they discover in the end that god was quite a lot more clever than they thought.

— Sid Meyer’s Alpha Centauri

Some would ask, how could a prefect god create a universe filled with so much that is evil. They have missed the greater conundrum: why would a perfect god create a universe at all?

— Sid Meyer’s Alpha Centauri

Mans unfailing capacity to believe what he prefers to be true, rather than what the evidence shows to be likely and possible has always astounded me. We long for a caring Universe which will save us from our childish mistakes, and in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary we will pin all our hopes on the slimmest of doubts. God has not been proven not to exist, therefore he must exist.

— Sid Meyer’s Alpha Centauri

Dave: Would you like a Lindt ball, or do you just want to go to bed?
Simone: I’ll just go to bed. Dream chocolate has far less calories.

— Simone Ramsay

When in doubt, have a cup of tea

— Simone Ramsay

Floppy nothing. In my day we etched our data into pottery. Talk about your long term enterprise data storage. Some of those buggers made it thousands of years!

— Slashdot post

I don’t think tidal power really qualifies as a clean power source. Of course, now it seems there is an abundance of ‘free’ power, but in 50 years, when we have taken too much, the moon will crash into the earth.

— Slashdot post

Estimates of the number of intelligent civilizations in the galaxy have ranged from one (or none, if you are particularly discouraged about human affairs) into the millions

— Slashdot post

Are you familiar with the concept of Nemesis? It is a force of righteous retribution manifested in an appropriate agent, in this case a ‘orribe cunt.. .. .. Me.

— Snatch

I just don’t trust anything that bleeds for 5 days and doesn’t die.

— South Park – Mr Garrison

You have always had a hard time finding your place in this world haven’t you, never knowing your true worth. You can settle for a less than ordinary life, but you feel like you were meant for something better. Something special.

— Star Trek

Dance like no one’s watching. Sing like no one’s listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Work like you own the company. Live like there’s no tomorrow. The thirsty drink beer. The hungry drink Steinlarger.

— Steinlarger Ad

When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.
That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.

— Steve Jobs

That guy you woke up with this morning, he came free with the dozen tequilla slammers you did last night. Happy New Years.

— Sydney Radio Station

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.

— T E Lawrence

Boys are great: Every girl should own one

— T-Shirt

Girls just wanna have funds

— T-Shirt

You’re just jealous because the little voices are only talking to me

— T-Shirt

To save time, let’s just assume I know everything.

— T-Shirt

To err is human, but to blame someone else shows management potential.

— T-Shirt

According to the history books, the decisive battle that ended the Ankh Morpork Civil War was fought between two handfuls of bone weary men in a swamp early one misty morning and, although one side claimed victory, ended with a practical score of Humans 0, ravens 1,000, which is the case with most battles.

— Terry Pratchet – Moving Pictures

Any watcher trained in reading body language would have been prepared to bet that, after the click, someone was going to suggest that they might as well go somewhere and have a few drinks, and then someone else would fancy a meal, and then there was always room for a few more drinks, and then it would be 5 a.m. and the city guards would be respectfully knocking on the University gates and asking if the Archchancellor would care to step down to the cells to identify some alleged wizards who were singing an obscene song in six part harmony, and perhaps he would also care to bring some money to pay for all the damage. Because inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

— Terry Pratchet – Moving Pictures

The reward for toil had been more toil. If you dug the best ditches they gave you a bigger shovel

— Terry Pratchett – Carpe Jugulum

There are some people who could turn even the most amiable character into a bully and the priest seemed to be one of them. There was something . . . sort of damp about him, the kind of helpless hopelessness that made people angry rather than charitable

— Terry Pratchett – Carpe Jugulum

That’s the biggest part of doct’rin, really. Most people’ll get over most things if they put their minds to it, you just have to give them an interest.

— Terry Pratchett – Equal rites

Gods were always demanding that their followers acted other than according to their true natures, and the human fallout this caused made plenty of work for witches.

— Terry Pratchett – Equal rites

Astfgl had passed through the earlier stage of fury and was now in that calm lagoon of rage where the voice is steady, the manner is measured and polite, and only a faint trace of spittle at the corner of the mouth betrays the inner inferno.

— Terry Pratchett – Eric

Demons have existed on the Discworld for at least as long as the gods, who in many ways they closely resemble. The difference is basically the same as that between terrorists and freedom fighters.

— Terry Pratchett – Eric

The Them had reached the position where, as it were, the roller coaster of life had almost completed the long haul to the top of the first big humpback of puberty so that they could just look down into the precipitous ride ahead, full of mystery, terror, and exciting curves.

— Terry Pratchett – Good Omens

According to the philosopher Ly Tin Wheedle, chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organised.

— Terry Pratchett – Interesting Times

The four horsemen whose ride presages the end of the world are known to be Death, War, Famine and Pestilence. But even less significant events have their own horsemen. For example, the four horsemen of the common cold are Sniffles, Chesty, Nostril and Lack of Tissues.

— Terry Pratchett – Interesting Times

‘We just have to stay ahead of them, then,’ said Vetinari.
‘A brain race, sort of,’ said Vimes.
‘Better than an arms race. Cheaper, too,’ said the Patrician.

— Terry Pratchett – Jingo

The IQ of a mob is the IQ of its most stupid member divided by the number of mobsters.

— Terry Pratchett – Masquerade

Dwarfs were not a naturally religious species, but in a world where pit props could crack without warning and pockets of fire damp could suddenly explode they’d seen the need for gods as the sort of supernatural equivalent of a hard hat. Besides, when you hit your thumb with an eight-pound hammer it’s nice to be able to blaspheme. It takes a very special and strong-minded kind of atheist to jump up and down with their hand clasped under their other armpit and shout, ‘Oh, random-fluctuations-in-the-space-time-continuum!’ or ‘Aaargh, primitive-and-out-moded-concept on a crutch!’

— Terry Pratchett – Men at Arms

He has dissected a few [people], but only after they were dead, and had marvelled at how well they’d been put together considering it had been done by unskilled labour.

— Terry Pratchett – Men at Arms

And visitors say: how does such a big city exist? What keeps it going? Since it’s got a river you can chew, where does the drinking water come from? What is, in fact, the basis of its civic economy? How come it, against all probability, works?
Actually, visitors don’t often say this. They usually say things like ‘Which way to the, you know, the . . . er . . . you know, the young ladies, right?’
But if they started thinking with their brains for a little while, that’s what they’d be thinking.

— Terry Pratchett – Men at Arms

He could think in italics. Such people need watching. Preferably from a safe distance.

— Terry Pratchett – Men at Arms

Vimes grinned. Funny, he thought, how I never feel really alive until someone tries to kill me. That’s when you notice that the sky is blue

— Terry Pratchett – Men at arms

Sometimes it’s better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness

— Terry Pratchett – Men at arms

‘How much has he had?’
‘Two nips of whiskey, that’s all.’
‘That shouldn’t do this to him, even on an empty stomach,’ said Carrot.
Angua pointed at the neck of a bottle protruding from Vimes’ pocket.
‘I don’t think he’s been drinking on an empty stomach,’ she said. ‘I think he put some alcohol in it first.’

— Terry Pratchett – Men at arms

Light thinks that it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

— Terry Pratchett – Reaper Man

There is a type of girl who, while incapable of cleaning her bedroom even at knifepoint, will fight for the privilege of being allowed to spend the day shovelling manure in a stable.

— Terry Pratchett – Soul Music

Sprawling as randomly and colourfully as a pool of vomit outside the all-night takeaway of History.

— Terry Pratchett – Sourcery

Little beads of sweat sprang up on his forehead and decided to get together and go down and see what his nose was doing.

— Terry Pratchett – Sourcery

When I think I might die without seeing a 100th of all there is to see, it makes me feel well, humble I suppose, and very angry of course.

— Terry Pratchett – The color of Magic

Horses, death felt, shouldn’t grin. Any horse that was grinning was planning something.

— Terry Pratchett – The Hogfather

What goes around, comes around. If not examined too closely, it passes for justice

— Terry Pratchett – The Last Hero

“You gave me wings when you showed me birds,” said Leonard of Quirm. “I just made what I saw.”

— Terry Pratchett – The Last Hero

The Nac Mac Feegle would fight and steal, certainly, but who wanted to fight the weak and steal from the poor?

— Terry Pratchett – The Wee Free Men

Them as can do has to do for them as can’t. And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices

— Terry Pratchett – The Wee Free Men

Good. Now… if you trust in yourself… and believe in your dreams… and follow your star…” Miss Tick went on… you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy. Good-bye.

— Terry Pratchett – The Wee Free Men

Most witches don’t believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don’t believe in them. They know them too well. It would be like believing in the postman.

— Terry Pratchett – Witches Abroad

Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.

— Terry Pratchett – Wyrd Sisters

In the Fyres of Struggle let us bake New Men, who Will Notte heed the old Lies.

— Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

My job is to regulate funkyness

— The Mexican

You know what they say: Guns don’t kill people, postal workers do.

— The Mexican

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious. The Rock!

— The Rock

No husband has ever been shot while doing the dishes. The Rock.

— The Rock

Karma is only Justice without the satisfaction. I don’t believe in Justice.

— The way of the gun

Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it; not a bit. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.

— Theodore Roosevelt

It’s not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or where the doer of great deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. Who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again. And who, while daring greatly, spends himself in a worthy cause so that his place may not be among those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

— Theodore Roosevelt

Clementine was launched in late January 1994 – barely two years after it was conceived – and was controlled not from the concrete castle at JPL but from a room in an abandoned armory in Alexandria, Virginia. The place was named “The Bat Cave” after one of its original inhabitants, which had to be evicted with a broom.

— This New Ocean

Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.

— Thomas Jefferson

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

— Thomas Jefferson

Nature is one big toilet.

— Tim Barlow – BCV

Medicare as a system of universal public health insurance, with premiums through taxes according to capacity, and benefits available to everyone according to need

— Tim Woodruff

I shall on all subjects have a policy to recommend, but none to enforce against the will of the people. Laws are to govern all alike – those opposed as well as those who favor them. I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.

— Ulysses S. Grant, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1869

There is no such thing as a mistake. There is what you do and what you don’t do.

— Unfaithful

“De Oppresso Liber” (Liberate From Oppression)

— US Army Special Forces Motto

I myself would prefer not to deal with these issues. It’s like giving a baby pig a haircut – there’s a lot of squealing but there’s little wool

— Vladimir Putin, Regarding Edward Snowden

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease

— Voltaire

I really have a secret satisfaction in being considered rather mad.

— W Heath Robinson

Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.

— Websnark

Never admit that your activity has sufficient staff, space, or budget.

— Weller’s rules for Beurocratic Funding

20s & 30s it was the role of government. 50s & 60s it was civil rights. The next 20 years it will be about privacy. The Internet. Cell phones. Health records. And who’s gay and who’s not. Besides, in a country born on the will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this?

— West Wing

I think girls just want guys to like them and hang out with them.

— What women want

Civilisation exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice

— William Durant

The future has already arrived, it’s just unevenly distributed.

— William Gibson

Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm

— Winston Churchill

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.

— Winston Churchill

Is the present war a struggle for a just and secure peace, or only for a new balance of power? … There must be not only a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized common peace.

— Woodrow Wilson

Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.

— You’ve got mail

I laugh in the face of Danger, then I hide until it goes away.

— Zander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer