Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Something Ridiculous

There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.

-- Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), Irish dramatist, essayist, novelist, and poet, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) Chapter 7

Tuesday, January 30, 2024


Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.

-- Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 - 1900), Irish dramatist, essayist, novelist, and poet, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)

Monday, January 29, 2024

Too Important

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

-- Robert R. Coveyou (1915 - 1996), American research mathematician, "Random Number Generation is too Important to be Left to Chance" (1969)

Friday, January 26, 2024

Others Just Gargle

Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle.

-- Robert Newton Anthony (1916 - 2006), American organizational theorist, and professor of management control at Harvard Business School, as quoted in Knowledge Nirvana (2002), p. 40

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Finding

A complete poem is one where an emotion finds the thought and the thought finds the words.

-- Robert Frost (1874 - 1963), American poet; four-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Letter to Louis Untermeyer (1 January 1916)

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Make Up Their Minds

The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.

-- Hannah Arendt (1906 - 1975), German-American political theorist whose work deals with the nature of power, authority, and totalitarianism, The Life of the Mind (1978), "Thinking"

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Best

The optimist believes that this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears that this might be the case.

-- Ivar Ekeland (2 July 1944 -), French mathematician of Norwegian descent, Senior Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), The Best of All Possible Worlds (2006) Introduction, p. 1

Monday, January 22, 2024

Deaf, Dumb, And Blind

It's important to abolish the unconscious dogmatism that makes people think their way of looking at reality is the only sane way of viewing the world.  My goal is to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone, but agnosticism about everything.  If one can only see things according to one's own belief system, one is destined to become virtually deaf, dumb, and blind.  It's only possible to see people when one is able to see the world as others see it.

-- Robert Anton Wilson (1932 - 2007), American novelist, essayist, absurdist philosopher, and futurist, "Robert Anton Wilson: Searching For Cosmic Intelligence" - interview with Jeffrey Elliot (1980)

Friday, January 19, 2024

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Some Forms

There are some forms of religion that must make God weep.

-- Karen Armstrong, FRSL (1944 -), British author and commentator of Irish Catholic descent known for her books on comparative religion, NOW Interview with Bill Moyers, at PBS (1 March 2002)

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

First Draft

The first draft of anything is shit.

-- Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961), American novelist, short story writer, and journalist, quoted in With Hemingway: A Year in Key West and Cuba by Arnold Samuelson (1984)

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Like A Hedgehog

An aphorism ought to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world like a little work of art and complete in itself like a hedgehog.

-- The Athenaeum Fragments or Aphorisms from the Athenaeum (German Athenäums-fragmente), collection of aphorisms published by Friedrich Schlegel in 1798, #206

Monday, January 15, 2024

Not A Day Off

Dr. King's birthday is a celebration of his life and values, but it is more than that.  The slogan "A Day On, Not A Day Off" is very important.  MLK Day is a day of learning, commitment and service, and I hope a great many students get involved.

-- Gloria Gibson, chair of the campus King Commission and associate vice chancellor of multicultural affairs, quoted in "Civil Rights Commission chair highlights celebration of Martin Luther King's life", Indiana University, (15 January 2002)

Friday, January 12, 2024

A Vacation

Life is a vacation from two eternities, who wants to waste those precious years worrying about what happens when you get back to forever?

-- William S. Burroughs II (1914 - 1997), American novelist, essayist, social critic, painter and spoken word performer

Thursday, January 11, 2024


I complain about the United States not being Athens.  I certainly say we are a very good Roman republic, and the lies are based upon the most advanced techniques of advertising, which is the only art form my country has ever created -- the television commercial -- and we sell soap and presidents in the same fashion.  Once a country is habituated to liars, it takes generations to bring the truth back.

-- Gore Vidal (1925 - 2012), American writer of novels, essays, screenplays, and stage plays, in the documentary film "Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia" (2013)

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Splendor Of Things

I hate my verses, every line, every word.
Oh pale and brittle pencils ever to try
One grass-blade's curve, or the throat of one bird
That clings to twig, ruffled against white sky.
Oh cracked and twilight mirrors ever to catch
One color, one glinting flash, of the splendor of things.

-- Robinson Jeffers (1887 - 1962), American poet, "Love the Wild Swan" (1935)

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

As Well As You Possibly Can

[G]o into the arts.  I'm not kidding.  The arts are not a way to make a living.  They are a very human way of making life more bearable.  Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake.  Sing in the shower.  Dance to the radio.  Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have created something.

-- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922 - 2007), American novelist known for works blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction, A Man Without a Country (2005)

Monday, January 08, 2024

Laws Of Motion

Laws of Motion, I: Every body perseveres in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed thereon.

Laws of Motion, II: The alteration of motion is ever proportional to the motive force impressed; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impressed.

Laws of Motion, III: To every action there is always opposed an equal and opposite reaction: or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.

-- Sir Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727), English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, theologian, and author (described in his time as a "natural philosopher"), Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687)

Friday, January 05, 2024

At Our Best

[O]urs is a country worthy of service, as many Republican presidents and Democratic presidents have shown over the years.  We're not perfect, but at our best, we face head on the good, the bad, the truth of who we are.  We look in the mirror and ultimately never pretend we're something we're not.  That's what great nations do.

We get up.  We carry on.  We never bow.  We never bend.  We speak of possibilities, not carnage.  We're not weighed down by grievances.  We don't foster fear.  We don't walk around as victims.  We take charge of our destiny.  We get our job done with the help of the people we find in America, who find their place in a changing world, and dream and build a future that not only they but all people deserve a shot at.

We don't believe, none of you believe America is failing.  We know America is winning.  That's American patriotism.  It's not winning because of Joe Biden.  It's winning.

-- President Joe Biden, speaking at a campaign event at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA (5 January 2024)

Thursday, January 04, 2024


I've been poor and I've been rich.  Rich is better!

-- Beatrice Bakrow Kaufman (1895 - 1945), American editor, writer, and playwright, in Leonard Lyons' column, The Washington Post, 12 May 1937

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Faithful Adherents

There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death.

-- Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992), Russian-born American biochemist who was a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction, The Stars in Their Courses (1974), p. 36

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

The Something

I am only one, but I am one.  I can not do everything, but I can do something.  I must not fail to do the something that I can do.

-- Edward Everett Hale (1822 - 1909), American author and Unitarian clergyman, in a statement published in A Year of Beautiful Thoughts (1902) by Jeanie Ashley Bates Greenough, p. 172

Monday, January 01, 2024

Hello, 2024

The world population grew by 75 million people over the past year and on New Year's Day it will stand at more than 8 billion people, according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday.

The worldwide growth rate in the past year was just under 1%.  At the start of 2024, 4.3 births and two deaths are expected worldwide every second, according to the Census Bureau figures.

The growth rate for the United States in the past year was 0.53%, about half the worldwide figure.  The U.S. added 1.7 million people and will have a population on New Year's Day of 335.8 million people.

-- Mike Schneider, "World population up 75 million this year, standing at 8 billion on Jan. 1", Associated Press, 28 December 2023