Thursday, May 28, 2015

He Who Wonders, Discovers

The ideas that are basic to [my work] often bear witness to my amazement and wonder at the laws of nature which operate in the world around us.  He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder.

-- Maurits Cornelis (M.C.) Escher (1898-1972), Dutch artist, M.C. Escher: The Graphic Work, p 6

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Who Should We Contact

Who should we contact in case you become a martyr?

-- From an application for Al Qaeda, found among newly declassified documents seized from Osama bin Laden's compound by Navy SEALs in 2011, New York Times, 21 May 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

Maintain Our Vigil

We are called to honor our own words of reverent prayer with resolution in the deeds we must perform to preserve peace and the hope of freedom.  We keep a vigil of peace around the world.  Until the world knows no aggressors, until the arms of tyranny have been laid down, until freedom has risen up in every land, we shall maintain our vigil to make sure our sons who died on foreign fields shall not have died in vain.

-- Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973), Memorial Day speech, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 30 May 1963

Thursday, May 21, 2015


A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.

-- Miguel de Cervantes (1547 - 1616), Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright, author of Don Quixote

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions. ...  Liberty and responsibility are inseparable.

-- Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992), Austrian, later British, Nobel prize-winning economist and philosopher, The Constitution of Liberty (1960)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Every Day

Do one thing every day that scares you.

-- Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962), American First Lady, diplomat, activist

Monday, May 18, 2015

We Teach Nothing

My view is this: We teach nothing.  We do not teach physics nor do we teach students.  (I take physics merely as an example.) What is the same thing: No one is taught anything! Here lies the folly of this business.  We try to teach somebody nothing.  This is a sorry endeavour for no one can be taught a thing.  What we do, if we are successful, is to stir interest in the matter at hand, awaken enthusiasm for it, arouse a curiosity, kindle a feeling, fire up the imagination.  To my own teachers who handled me in this way, I owe a great and lasting debt.

-- Julius Sumner Miller (1909-1987), American science popularizer, What Science Teaching Needs, Junior College Journal, volume 38 (1967), American Association of Junior Colleges, Stanford University

Friday, May 15, 2015


Labels are for the things men make, not for men.  The most primitive man is too complex to be labeled.

-- Rex Stout (1886-1975), American author, creator of the fictional detective Nero Wolfe, The Father Hunt (1968)

Thursday, May 14, 2015


I perfectly understand that a believer can be shocked by a satirical cartoon about Muhammad, Jesus, Moses or even the pope.  But growing up to be a citizen is to learn that some ideas, some words, some images can be shocking.  Being shocked is a part of democratic debate.  Being shot is not.

-- Charlie Hebdo editor Girard Biard accepting a Freedom of Expression Courage Award at the PEN American Center in New York City, 5 May 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Magnitude Of Falsity

The magnitude of falsity, conservatively measured, is enormous.

-- Judge Denise L. Cote, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, ruling that two banks misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in selling them mortgage bonds, New York Times, 13 May 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

Oversteer Vs Understeer

Oversteer is the back of the car hitting the wall.  Understeer is the front of the car hitting the wall.  Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall. Torque is how much of the wall you take with you.

-- Unknown stockcar driver

Friday, May 08, 2015

In Re Pension Reform Litigation

Our economy is and has always been subject to fluctuations, sometimes very extreme fluctuations.  The law was clear that the promised benefits would therefore have to be paid and that the responsibility for providing the state's share of the necessary funding fell squarely on the legislature's shoulders.

The General Assembly may find itself in crisis, but it is a crisis which other public pension systems managed to avoid and ... it is a crisis for which the General Assembly itself is largely responsible.

It is our obligation, however, just as it is theirs, to ensure that the law is followed.  That is true at all times.  It is especially important in times of crisis when, as this case demonstrates, even clear principles and long-standing precedent are threatened.  Crisis is not an excuse to abandon the rule of law.  It is a summons to defend it.

-- Republican Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier, in the unanimous opinion In Re Pension Reform Litigation, 8 May 2015

Thursday, May 07, 2015


Contrary to what the politicians and religious leaders would like us to believe, the world won't be made safer by creating barriers between people. Cries of "They're evil, let's get 'em" or "The infidels must die" sound frightening, but they're desperately empty of argument and understanding. They're the rallying cries of prejudice, the call to arms of those who find it easier to hate than admit they might be not be [sic] right about everything.  Armageddon is not around the corner.  This is only what the people of violence want us to believe.  The complexity and diversity of the world is the hope for the future.

-- Michael Palin (5 May 1943-), English comedian and actor, of Monty Python fame, "Letter from London" (18 September 2003)

Wednesday, May 06, 2015


Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.

-- Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and natural philosopher, cited in Rules for methodizing the Apocalypse, Rule 9, from a manuscript published in The Religion of Isaac Newton (1974) by Frank E. Manuel, p. 120

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Bday 2015

"appleman"  (author)                   group:  mankind
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I don't expect this to make much sense to very many people. If you do recognize this relic, then welcome, brother or sister.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Reward For Conformity

I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.

-- Rita Mae Brown (1944-), American writer

Friday, May 01, 2015


This isn't the way you want to make history.

-- Chris Davis, the Baltimore Orioles' first baseman, on playing the White Sox in Camden Yards without fans, due to fear of riots, 30 April 2015