Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Beginning

TinkerbellWhen the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.

-- James M. Barrie (1860-1937), Scottish author and dramatist, Peter speaking to Wendy in Peter Pan

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Judge John G. Roberts is sworn-in as the 17th Chief Justice of the United States by Associate Supreme Court Justice John Paul StevensJustice Stevens, we will allow you time for rebuttal.

-- Chief Justice Roberts, after praising the collegiality and judgment of Justice John Paul Stevens, who is retiring at age 90, New York Times, 29 June 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Best Party

Jon GnarrNo one has to be afraid of the Best Party, because it is the best party. If it wasn't, it would be called the Worst Party or the Bad Party.

-- Jon Gnarr, a comedian in Iceland, on the party he founded as a joke, now the biggest winner in Reykjavik's elections; with 34.7% of the vote, Mr. Gnarr is now mayor of a city that is home to more than a third of Iceland's 320,000 people, New York Times, 26 June 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010


Robert K. MertonNo scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer.

-- Stigler's law of eponymy; Stigler credits this law to sociologist Robert K. Merton, thus making the law self-referential

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Keyhole Of Nature

Keyhole of a Warded LockWhat is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know s going on.

-- Jacques-Yves Cousteau (11 June 1910 - 25 June 1997) French naval officer, inventor, explorer and researcher, Christian Science Monitor, 21 July 1971

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Poor Judgement

President Barack Obama meets with Army Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, in the Oval Office at the White House, May 19, 2009I think it's clear that the article in which he and his team appeared showed poor judgment.

-- President Obama, on remarks made by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, his top commander in Afghanistan, in a Rolling Stone interview that were contemptuous of senior administration officials, New York Times, 23 June 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Faisal ShahzadI want to plead guilty, and I'm going to plead guilty 100 times over.

-- Faisal Shahzad, at a hearing on the failed Times Square bombing, New York Times, 22 June 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010


Theodore RooseveltThe things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.

-- Teddy Roosevelt

Friday, June 18, 2010


What do I know?There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.

-- Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist, lawyer, and politician

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Own Image

Chinese Character: HateYou can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

-- Anne Lamott (10 April 1954-), American author, Bird by Bird

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bloody Sunday

Rossville Street, Derry Bloody SundayWhat happened should never, ever have happened. The families of those who died should not have had to live with the pain and hurt of that day, and a lifetime of loss.

-- Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, apologizing for the Bloody Sunday killings of 14 unarmed demonstrators by British soldiers in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in 1972, New York Times, 16 June 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Dream

World's Oldest Leather ShoeTo find a shoe has always been my dream.

-- Diana Zardaryan, an Armenian doctoral student who found the world's oldest leather shoe, New York Times, 10 June 2010

Perfectly preserved under layers of sheep dung (who needs cedar closets?), the shoe, made of cowhide and tanned with oil from a plant or vegetable, is about 5,500 years old, older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, scientists say. Leather laces crisscross through numerous leather eyelets, and it was worn on the right foot; there is no word on the left shoe.

Monday, June 14, 2010


An icon from the GNOME-icon-themeIf there is an embarrassment equivalent of post-traumatic stress disorder, South Carolina has it.

-- Dick Harpootlian, former state Democratic chairman, on its recent politics, New York Times, 12 June 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

On Their Own

Line art drawing of a mortarboardHuman beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way.

-- Robert Heinlein (1907-1988), American science fiction writer, Time Enough for Love (1973)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Of Little Avail

Presidential $1 Coin Program coin for James Madison. ObverseIt will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow.

-- James Madison (1751-1836), Father of the Constitution, 4th US President, "Federalist" #62

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Line art drawing of an assI don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.

-- President Barack Obama on the Gulf oil spill, interview with Matt Lauer, 8 June 2010

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Bad To Worse

Gaza Strip from CIA factbookWe only have bad solutions, worse solutions and worst solutions.

-- Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defense official, on policy toward Gaza, New York Times, 3 June 2010

Monday, June 07, 2010

Another Age

Babbage Difference EngineAnother age must be the judge.

-- Charles Babbage, realizing the technology did not exist to construct his "difference engine", 1837; a full-size implementation exists at the Mountain View, CA Computer History Museum (CHM), where this quote is displayed. The same can be said of the PLATO computer project, which was celebrated in the PLATO@50 conference at the CHM, 2-3 June 2010

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Illegal, Inhumane, Immoral

Israeli forces approach one of six ships bound for Gaza in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2010These people died last night, and dozens were wounded. And this whole mission set out because governments did not do their job. It's the governments' responsibility of the world and the UN to end this siege, which is illegal, which is inhumane, which is immoral. And if the governments don't do their work, people have to get up. I didn't want to get on a boat and go through the Israeli Navy and get arrested. These people didn't want to die.

-- Israeli peace activist Jeff Halper, denouncing the Israeli attack on a ship carrying aid to Gaza, 1 June 2010