☢ Experience is uninformative. Reality doesn’t allow for clean experiments, so all knowledge is fuzzy and shaky, even this nugget.
☢ Raymond Chandler channels Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: “Outside in the street, the first lights had come on and the slithy toves in the wabe were doing what they do. Some days it’s gimble, some days it’s gyre. It’s no skin off my nose, but I wish they’d make up their minds so we could all rest easy.”
☢ Exam question. Discuss the following statement: "Girls and women should enter STEM fields alongside men so that the workforce has the same variety of perspectives and backgrounds as the general population."
☢ “I handed my passport to the immigration officer, and he looked at it and looked at me and said, ‘What are you?’" --Grace Hopper
☢ When you lose or fail, there’s a natural human tendency to insist that the game is rigged or unfair.
☢ “Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.” -Ben Hecht
☢ “The best argument against democracy is five minutes’ conversation with the average voter.” --Winston S. Churchill
☢ Challenged to say what he thought were good developments, a chronically gloomy journalist came up with the following list.
☢ There were 4,736 more births in 2013 than in 2012, an increase that America hasn't seen in five years.
☢ Teen pregnancies, births to teens, and abortions are all down.
☢ The numbers are going in the right direction for life expectancy, heart disease, and the cancer death rate.
☢ The Mayo Clinic just scored "complete remission" in a human being of a form of previously untreatable cancer, using an engineered measles virus.
☢ Harvard's Stem Cell Institute recently announced that adult stem cells from bone marrow tissue can specifically target and kill brain tumors.
☢ AIDS is under control as a cure continues to be sought.
☢ The U.S. is enjoying an energy boom.
☢ An era of private spaceflight is dawning.
☢ U.S. defense technology is awesome and getting awesomer.
☢ There are fewer barriers to entry into the news business than ever before; anybody can blog. (Ahem.)
That ends the list. We think it’s oddly cheerless and cold. Better, with Katharine Hepburn, to “never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.”
☢ Life is not one damn thing after another, it is the same damn thing over and over. --Dalai Lama (kidding!)
☢ Cyndi Lauper’s favorite joke: “A guy with a good-looking hat is driving from Los Angeles to San Diego and stops at a place called ‘The Heavy Burger.’ The girl at the counter says, ‘Hey, nice hat. Where'd you get it?’ The guy says, ‘It's a fedora. I'm a Mexican and I got it in Mexico.’ She says, ‘No kidding?’ He says, ‘No.’"
☢ “Never cut what you can untie.” --Joseph Joubert
☢ “Never interfere when your enemy is making a mistake.” --Napoleon Bonaparte
☢ “I cannot stress too much or too often that science is not about proving things true, but about proving things false.” --Lawrence M. Krauss, theoretical physicist
☢ Synonyms for “rubbish” (in alphabetical order): applesauce, balderdash, hogwash, horsefeathers, moonshine, poppycock, twaddle. There are more and vulgarer, but today we like concision and cleanliness.
☢ “Spit All Over Someone With a Mouthful of Milk If You Want to Know Something About His Personality Fast.” --Jenny Holzer
☢ “Godzilla improves everything.” --Jonah Goldberg
☢ “God is at home; it is we who are off on business.” --Meister Eckhart
☢ “A singles hitter scares nobody.” --Earl Weaver
☢ “You can’t afford to wait for inspiration; go to Olympus, kidnap your muse, bring her home with you, and get to work. There’ll be hell to pay, but not till later, and sometimes later never comes.” --Garry Grimhorse
☢ “We must believe in free will; we have no choice.” --Isaac Bashevis Singer
☢ “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.” --Max Heinrich
☢ “A language is a collection of mutually intelligible dialects.” --Geoff Barton
☢ “Language is a babble of mutually unintelligible idiolects, suited only for deceit and lies. It is the Devil’s only creation, fit for him alone, deadly dangerous for everyone else. Take a page from the book of the Benedictines of the Strict Observance -- the Trappists -- and glorify God with your elongated silences.” --Sir Harry O. Triggerman
☢ Tommy James meets John Lennon: “My baby does the Pablo Fanque.”
☢ “Suicides don’t kill themselves because they want to die, any more than people jump from burning buildings because they want to jump from burning buildings.” --David Foster Wallace
☢ “In 1984, there will be perpetual war among Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. Also Rollerball."
☢ Stalkee's lament: "Shirley Gudnessen Mercy will follow me all the days of my life." (SGM's reply: "My name's not Shirley.")