Favourite Quotations

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We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
       Carl Sagan

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
       Confucius
       (Chinese teacher, philosopher, and political theorist, 551-479 BC)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
       Anton Chekhov

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
       Napoleon Bonaparte

Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step: only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.
       Dag Hammerskjöld

Don't argue with a fool. The spectators can't tell the difference.
       Charles j. Nalin

If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.
       Lewis Carroll (paraphrased from Alice in Wonderland by George Harrison)

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like clearing the drive before it has stopped snowing.
       Anonymous

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles...
by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.
       Mark Twain

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
       Albert Einstein

Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying
yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.
       Josh Billings

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
       George S. Patton

I have always been fond of the West African proverb: Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.
        Theodore Roosevelt
        letter to Henry L. Sprague, January 26, 1900

In life as in a football game, the principle to follow is:
Hit the line hard; don't foul and don't shirk, but hit the line hard.
        Theodore Roosevelt
        The Strenuous Life

Don't hit a man at all if you can avoid it, but if you have to hit him, knock him out.
        Theodore Roosevelt
        from a speech given in Cleveland, November 2, 1916

Sometimes in life, both at school and afterwards, fortune will go against anyone,
but if he just keeps pegging away and don't lose his courage things always take a turn for the better in the end.
        Theodore Roosevelt
        December 2, 1902, letter to Kermit Roosevelt

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing,
the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
        Theodore Roosevelt (attributed)

Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
        Theodore Roosevelt
        Autobiography (1913), p. 327 in the National Edition of the Works

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
        Arthur Ashe

One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation.
        Arthur Ashe

Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion.
       Norman Schwartzkopf

The word "user" is the word used by the computer professional when they mean idiot.
       Dave Barry
       American Humorist, Author


A wizard cannot do everything; a fact most magicians are reticent to admit, let alone discuss with prospective clients.

Still, the fact remains that there are certain objects, and people, that are, for one reason or another, completely immune to any direct magical spell. It is for this group of beings that the magician learns the subtleties of using indirect spells.

It also does no harm, in dealing with these matters, to carry a large club near your person at all times.

-- The Teachings of Ebenezum, Volume VIII


Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.
       George Burns
       1896-1996, American Comedy Actor


The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be
pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.
       Elizabeth Taylor

When crew and captain understand each other to the core,
It takes a gale and more than a gale to put their ship ashore.
       Rudyard Kipling

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
       Isaac Asimov

If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It's much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.
        Grace Murray Hopper
       (American computer programmer and inventor of COBOL, 1906-1992)

Of course the people don't want war. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
       Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler's Deputy Chief and Luftwaffe Commander,
       at the Nuremberg trials, 1946, from "Nuremberg Diary," by G. M. Gilbert


One of the best things to come out of the home computer revolution could be the general and widespread understanding of how severely limited logic really is.
       Frank Herbert
       1920-1986, American Writer


A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
       George Bernard Shaw

Red meat is NOT bad for you. Now, blue-green meat, THAT'S bad for you!!
       Tom Smothers

Do not try to solve all life's problems at once -- learn to dread each day as it comes.
       Donald Kaul

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eye off the goal.
       ~Unknown

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
       Calvin Coolidge
       (one of June Miller's favorite quotations)

I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.
       Frank Lloyd Wright

You can't legislate intelligence and common sense into people.
       Will Rogers

Each and every one of us has one obligation, during the bewildered days of our pilgrimage here: the saving of his own soul, and secondarily and incidentally thereby affecting for good such other souls as come under our influence.
       Kathleen Norris
       (1880-1960), American Author


A mistake in judgement isn't fatal, but too much anxiety about judgement is.
       Pauline Kael
       (1919-2001)
       I Lost It at the Movies


Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before, Bokonon tells us. "He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way."
       Kurt Vonnegut
       Cat's Cradle


There is a sort of man who pays no attention to his good actions, but is tormented by his bad ones. This is the type that most often writes about himself.
       W. Somerset Maugham
       (1874-1965)
       The Summing Up


Just as we outgrow a pair of trowsers, we outgrow acquaintances, libraries, principles, etc., at times before they're worn out and at times--and this is the worst of all--before we have new ones.
       Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
       (1742-1799)
       Aphorisms


Nothing is often a good thing to say, and always a clever thing to say.
       Will Durant
       (1885-1981)
       New York World Telegram & Sun,
       June 6, 1958


There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
       Oscar Wilde
       (1854-1900)
       The Picture of Dorian Gray


In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
       Oscar Wilde
       (1854-1900)
       Lady Windermete's Fun


The fear of becoming a 'has been' keeps some people from becoming anything.
       Eric Hoffer
       (1902-1983)
       The Passionate State of Mind


Fashion is a way of not having to decide who you are. Style is deciding who you are and being able to perpetuate it.
       Quentin Crisp
       (1908-1999)
       Speech, October 29, 1980


You shouldn't say it is not good. You should say you do not like it; and then, you know, you're perfectly safe.
       James McNeill Whistler
       (1834-1903)
       Attributed


No one is such a liar as the indignant man.
       Friedrich Nietzsche
       (1844-1900)
       Beyond Good and Evil


Better know what you want, because you'll probably get it.
       Dan Greenburg
       (1936 - )
       Saying


I cannot hear what you say for the thunder of what you are.
       Zulu Proverb

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
       Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
       (1859-1930)
       The Sign of Four


Mankind is divisible into two great classes: hosts and guests.
       Max Beerbohn
       (1872-1956)
       Hosts and Guests

The friendships which last are those wherein each friend respects the other's dignity to the point of not really wanting anything from him.
       Cyril Connolly
       (1903-1974)
       The Unquiet Grave

Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.
       James Russel Lowell

He whose honor depends on the opinion of the mob must day by day strive with the greatest anxiety, act and scheme in order to retain his reputation. For the mob is varied and inconstant, and therefore if a reputation is not carefully preserved it dies quickly.
       Spinoza

None are more taken by flattery than the proud, who wish to be first and are not.
       Spinoza

The things...are esteemed as the greatest good of all...can be reduced to these three headings: to wit, Riches, Fame, and Pleasure. With these three the mind is so engrossed that it cannot scarcely think of any other good.
       Spinoza

I find my wife hath something in her gizzard, that only waits an opportunity of being provoked to bring up; but I will not, for my content-sake, give it.
       Samuel Pepys

Popularity is a crime from the moment it is sought; it is only a virtue where men have it whether they will or no.
       George Saville, Marquis of Halifax

Should you ever find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, smallness or insecurities, remember things could be worse... You could be them!
       - Unknown



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