God exists since mathematics is consistent, and the Devil exists since we cannot prove it.

Andre Weil

Complacency is a far more dangerous attitude than outrage. Naomi Littlebear

Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence.

Richard Dawkins

There are four types: the cretin, the imbecile, the stupid and the mad. Normality is a balanced mixture of all four.

Umberto Eco

Van Roy's Law:
An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.

`It beats me,' said my Aussie, as we watched the oncoming drizzle, `why nobody thought of turning this place into a penal colony and exporting the British populace en masse to Australia.'

"Brother of the more famous Jack", Barbara Trapido

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.

Faith: not wanting to know what is true.


Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster. And if you gaze long into the Abyss, the Abyss gazes into you.


Someone is speaking well of you.

To ignore the facts does not change the facts.

Ferguson's Precept:

A crisis is when you can't say "let's forget the whole thing".

Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

Don't discuss yourself, for you are bound to lose; if you belittle yourself, you are believed; if you praise yourself, you are disbelieved.

Michel de Montaigne

With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.

Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them so much.

Oscar Wilde

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

Chinese Proverb

If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.

Eldridge Cleaver

I have one share in corporate Earth, and I am nervous about the management.

E.B. White

Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.

Albert Einstein

Thanks to words, we have been able to rise above the brutes; and thanks to words, we have often sunk to the level of demons.

Aldous Huxley

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got.

Anthony Robbins.

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

Jim Horning

Words are like money; there is nothing so useless, unless when in actual use.

Samuel Butler

Most woman would prefer to look good than be intelligent because most men can see better than they can think.

Unknown Scottish comedian

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Mark Twain

Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

The greatest homage to truth is to use it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Coffee is the second largest item of international commerce in the world. The largest is petrol.

Truth has always been found to promote the best interests of [hu]mankind.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

    your face...
    I saw a woman who wore your face today,
    but, she wasn't you.  
    She carried your bag,  
    and shouldered your coat,  
    but, she wasn't you.

    I walked on past her, 
    wondering what you do, these days, 
    these days I live without you. 
    I thought of all the days we shared, 
    the life gone by. 

    I remembered what you meant to me, 
    as something moved inside:
        the lost love, 
        from another life,
    another world.

    And then I drank my coffee,  
    and walked my way.
    For after all, 
    life without you 
    is still life. 

Suggestion: just sit there and wait 'till life gets easier.

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads
On today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain. And futures have
A way of falling down in midflight,
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure...
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn
With every goodbye you learn.

Veronic Shoffstall, "Comes the Dawn"

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.

E. B. White

Dance like nobody's watching.
Love like you'll never get hurt
Live each day like it's your last!

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

Albert Einstein

One should not aim at being possible to understand, but as being impossible to misunderstand.


Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind.

Marston Bates

I have no books which tell me much and what they do I cannot apply to what I see. In consequence I draw my own conclusions, and most gloriously ridiculous ones they are.

Charles Darwin

Have you noticed the way people's intelligence capabilities decline sharply the minute they start waving guns around?

Dr. Who

One planet is all you get.

Q: Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?
A: Yes.
Q: Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: What did she say?
A: What disco am I at?

Le Pere Noel, as the French call him, has many facets to his personality. Elsewhere in the world he is known as Father Christmas - or Santa Claus. Back in the nineteen thirties, he enjoyed a major make-over. Prior to that, he always dressed in green. Then, in one of history's most successful advertising campaigns, Coca Cola had him painted in their company colours. The new image stuck like superglue. It is to be hoped that, in the next millennium, he will abandon his sponsor and return to a more traditional look.

Jonathan Cainer

You are not responsible for being down. You are responsible for getting up.

Reverend Jesse Jackson

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.

Marie Curie

Let this book be read with the thought in mind that drove me to write it: dissenting from another's ideas is a form of honour, and taking a critical look at one's own cherished movement is an act not of sacrilege but of love.

"Fire with fire", Naomi Wolf

Since it's called `Tourist Season', why can't we hunt them?

Clans of long ago who wanted to get rid of unwanted people without killing them used to burn their houses down - hence the expression "to get fired."

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Susan Ertz

Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

God is dead. -Nietzsche
Nietzsche is dead. -God

The Tombs Restaurant. Washington, DC

Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire.

Patri Friedman

Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title.

Virginia Woolf

Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

There are two possibilities; either we are totally alone in the universe, or we are not. Either one is mind boggling.

Theoretical mathematicians advance mathematical knowledge by developing new principles and recognizing previously unknown relationships between existing principles of mathematics. Although they seek to increase basic knowledge without necessarily considering its practical use, such pure and abstract knowledge has been instrumental in producing or furthering many scientific and engineering achievements.

1998/99 Occupational Outlook Handbook
US Bureau of Labor Statistics

True, money can't buy happiness, but it isn't happiness I want. It's money.


...tomorrow we'll not only seize the day, we'll throttle it.

Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes)

God and UFOs choose the strangest people to talk to.

Billy Connolly

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.


Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true.

Niels Bohr (to a young physicist)

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

Dorothy Parker

Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words.

Calvin & Hobbes

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside a dog it's too dark to read.

Groucho Marx

...seriously, could any Australian head of state be any more embarrassing that a certain British Royal who (reportedly) dreams of being a tampon?

Natasha Brita, in an article for 'The Australian'

This paper contains much that is new and much that is true. Unfortunately, that which is true is not new and that which is new is not true.

An alleged referee's report in "Return to Mathematical Circles", H. Eves.

Knowledge Power...if you know it about the right person.

Ethel Wiss Mumford.

Passion The desire to take one's cigarette out of one's mouth before kissing one's betrothed.

Gary Davies (The Cynics dictionary)

Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?!".

We must do the things we think we cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt

If you're having to think seriously about something today, it's probably fairly trivial.

Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes)

Never give up on a good idea too early just because it's wrong.

According to the Social Trends survey, New Man has still to do his share: woman may spend 62 hours a week doing household chores but men still do only a third of that amount.

The Guardian

He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.


The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not entirely absurd, indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.

Bertrand Russell.

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute.

Rebecca West, 1913.

The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenge.

Martin Luther King Jr.

You can't experience being alive without realizing that you have to die, she thought. But it's just as impossible to realize you have to die without thinking how incredibly amazing it is to be alive.

Josten Gaarder, "Sophie's world"

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exists and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.

Shakespeare, "As you like it".

Sage nicht immer was du weisst, aber wisse immer was du sagst. [Don't always say what you know, but always know what you say.]

Mathias Claudius

We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

Professor Robert Silensky of California University

I don't need to compromise my principles because they don't have the slightest bearing on what happens to me anyway.

Calvin & Hobbes

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy... and taste good with ketchup. -- seen on a bumper sticker (by an American friend).

I used to be impatient but now I don't have time.

Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.

Gustave Flaubert

Mathematics is the art of finding miracles.

Who can you be if you can't be who you are?

August Wilson

One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere, and holds fast to the days.

Willa Cather

The perfect man: No trouble at all. And sweet as can be. Shape him any way you want. No problem. Never talks back. Smiles constantly. He'll even help decorate the tree.

-from a recipe for gingerbread men in an ad for sugar.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy


Petras was saying goodbye and "Travel well", in his own language. I reminded him of the Chichewa saying, "To travel is to dance".

Paul Theroux, Down the Zambezi

People want personal attention...I don't think that anybody feels comfortable about going into a bank. Sometimes they feel like second-class citizens.

Charlie Bell, Australian head of McDonald's

I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals; I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants.

A. Whitney Brown

The Control-Alt-Delete effect: This new and useful law states that the value of a given piece of technology to its owner declines the more often it has to be rebooted.

John Davidson, Financial Review

Theory 6 When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet. When toast is dropped, it always lands with the buttered side facing down. Thus, if buttered toast is strapped to the back of a dropped cat, the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground. With the energy produced by a giant buttered cat array, a high-speed monorail could easily link New York and Chicago.

Reason is the slow and tortuous method by which these who do not know the truth discover it. The heart has its own reason which reason does not know.

Blaise Pascal

From skyline to skyline, a red sea lifted and curled in waves that never broke. It was a still sea, furrowed as if by some intangible storm, crests combed all in one direction, raging and driven before a gale which had been suddenly suspended - afrozen sea, red and unutterably still. It was hard to believe that it was dry, this painted ocean, mere sand masquerading as a carmine sea ... its beauty made one catch one's breath.

George Farwell, Traveller writing of central Australia, 1951

Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God.

To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature.

Richard Feynman. The Character of Physical Law

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country.

Elayne Boosler

There are two rules for ultimate success in life.
1. Never divulge everything you know.

My grandfather said that there were two kinds of people; those who did the work and those who took the credit. He said I should always try to be in the first group, because there was much less competition.

Indira Ghandi


If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust youself when all men doubt you,
   But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
   Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
   And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master;
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
   And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
   Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
   And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
   And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
   And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
   To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
   Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
   Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
   If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
   With sixty seconds' worth of distance run--
Yours is the Earth and everything thatís in it,
   And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

How is it possible to have a civil war?

To be content with little is hard. To be content with much, impossible.

Marie von Ebner Eschenbach

The road to wisdom? Well it's plain and simple to express:

    err and err and err again but less and less and less.

A leader is a [person] who has the ability to get other people to do what they don't want to do and to like it.

Harry S. Truman


    the condition which distinguishes active animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.

    Concise Oxford Dictionary, 8th Ed., Copyright 1991 Oxford Univ. Press

Marriage may be hazardous to women's health.

Jessie Bernard

Agnes' God floated on a soft cloud of love and forgiveness and was far too busy trying to justify famine and earthquakes to care whether Agnes told lies or used contraceptives.

"saving agnes", Rachel Cusk

When I see someone on a bicycle, I have faith in the future of the human race.

H.G. Wells

...when noted researchers Gerald Klesman and Myrna Weissman reviewed all depression literature on women and tested factors ranging from genetics to PMS to birth control pills, they could find only two prime causes for female depression: low social status and marriage.

Susan Faludi, Backlash

If second choice is your only choice, what choice have you got.

Women ace men in high school and college: They get higher grades on average, are awarded more scholarships and complete bachelor's degrees at a faster pace than men, according to a federal study published last year.

After college, however, they're rewarded for these achievements with lower average pay, slower advancement and more unemployment than men...But one exception to this pattern stands out: Women who took more than two college-level mathematics courses often achieve pay equity with men and in many occupations received higher average pay than men did. Particularly for women, "more math means more money," says Adelman.

The Wall Street Journal, September 11, 1992.

Katz' Law: Man and nations will act rationally only when all other possibilities have been exhausted.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.

A useless life is an early death.


The Theory of Groups is a branch of mathematics in which one does something to something and then compares the result with the result obtained from doing the same thing to something else, or something else to the same thing.

"The World of Mathematics", J. R. Newman (ed.)

Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn.

Isaac Newton, Principia Mathematica.


I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lips, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive (stamped on these lifeless things),
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


I have dreamed in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me. like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

Those who feel that nobody cares for them themselves care for nobody.

Anthony Storr

Anyone who imagines that all fruit ripens at the same time as strawberries knows nothing about grapes.


The Social Security office also provides a new guide D49 "What to do after death" telling you what to do and the help you can get. It is a very useful and comprehensive document covering all eventualities.

The difference between the Pope and a mathematician is that although both make infallible dictums only the mathematician can be checked.

When you can do nothing, what can you do?

Zen saying

There's no point starting off on the wrong foot.

William Carpenter, A keeper of sheep

When considering a man's motives, remember you must not measure his wheat with your bushel. He may not be using the same standard at all.

Robin Hobb, The Farseer

Sometimes as I get older, I start to believe in God, Richard said, then He does something that shows He isn't in control at all.

William Carpenter, A keeper of sheep

All other creatures look down toward the earth, but man was given a face so that he might turn his eyes toward the stars and gaze upon the sky.

Ovid, Metamorphoses

Man is modifying the world so fast and so drastically that most animals cannot adapt to the new conditions. In the Himalaya as elsewhere there is a great dying, one infinitely sadder than the Pleistocene extinctions, for man now has the knowledge and the need to save the remnants of his past.

George Schaller, Mountain Monarchs

The worst of what people did to each other were the deceptions, because when you loved some one you control their version of reality, and if you lie to them, that's like making them autistic so that what they think is the truth is not their true situation at all.

William Carpenter, A keeper of sheep

You can only be young once, but you can be immature forever.

If at first you don't succeed quickly deny you were even trying.

At Atlanta, I catch a connecting flight to Orlando. There's some time to wait, so I seek out the airport's smoking area, which is a tiny glass box jam-packed to the rafters with courageously defiant, yet very ill looking people.

Jon Ronson, The Human Zoo

Could both Dawkins ("the universe has no purpose") and Ward ("meaning and purpose derive from God") both be missing the point? Isn't it the human adventure which gives life its meaning and value? Whether we personify the meaning and value as God simply depends on our taste for that kind of poetry.

David Boulton, Letter to the Guardian

Dogma is bluff based upon ignorance.

Ezra Pound

If we could just get everyone to close their eyes and visualize world peace for an hour, imagine how serene and quiet it would be until the looting started.

If you have only one life you can't altogether ignore the question: are you enjoying it?

Sebastian Faulks 'A Fools Alphabet'

Look, I understand too little to late, I realize there are things you say and do you can never take back, but what would you be if you didn't even try, you have to try. So after a lot of the thought, I'd like to reconsider. Please, if it is not too late. Make it a cheese-burger.

Lyle Lovett

If you tell me then I'll forget. If you teach me then I'll remember. If you make me do it myself then I'll understand.


Useful lesson: power is just not being afraid of the consequences.

Sarah Randles

Whatever your position there will always be another point of view. At best, a truth can only ever be partial.

Ursula LeGuin

As you make your way through this hectic world of ours, set aside a few minutes each day. At the end of the year, you'll have a couple of days saved up.

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. They are but trifles, to be sure, but, scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.

Many years ago you told me that until you were forty you were very concerned about what people thought of you. Then you decided to be concerned about what you thought of other people instead.

Vickram Seth, "A suitable boy"

Scientific data suggests that vegetarians as a group have a lower incidence of chronic disease, particularly coronary heart disease and some cancers. Vegetarian diets tend to correspond more closely to the healthy eating ideal in terms of fat, carbohydrate, dietary fibre and the increased intake of fruits and vegetables.

British Dietetic Association

British woman are having silicone breast implants removed because of fears created by court cases in the United states although there is no scientific evidence that they cause harm, specialists said yesterday.

The Guardian, Sept. 1994

...it was in the paper it must be true

Suprising fact #8: The molecules in your entire body are replaced, atom for atom, every two years.

When G. H. Hardy wrote after the First World War to the effect that he had not been a fanatical anti-German, and felt confident that Landau would wish to resume former relations, Landau replied: `As a matter of fact my opinions were much the same as yours, with trivial changes of sign.'

Littlewood's Miscellany

Was it then that she learned that beauty and danger walk hand in hand and cannot be separated? For anyone who loves their life will lose it, but anyone who is willing to throw it away will gain and keep it. Nothing will come of nothing. You have to go out and risk it all. She had refused to do so; she had wanted to stay in the place of safety which is death.

"Home truths", Sara Maitland

On my sixth birthday, I was told I was now a moral being, and responsible for my actions. As I had agonized over my sins since an infinite past, it was a bitter blow to learn that all that had been needless.

Littlewood's Miscellany

I recall saying that when I had given the same lecture several times I couldn't help feeling that they really ought to know it by now.

Littlewood's Miscellany

It is very hard to make a random selection of stars. If, for example, you can see a star (with the naked eye) it is probably bright (as stars go).

Littlewood's Miscellany

Political scandal has much in common with George Bernard Shaw's view of sex: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the result can be damnably expensive.

The measure of an intellectual capacity is the capacity to feel less and less satisfied with our answers to better and better problems.

C.W. Churchman

Chicago: A professor, detained until after dark at the University in winter, had to go home across the snow-covered Midway Pliasance. The way was by a couple of planks, and you had to wiggle past any one going the opposite way. The professor brushed past some one, and happened at once to notice that his watch was missing. Summoning up all his courage and bravado he rushed at the man: `Give me that watch.' To his intense relief the watch was meekly handed over. When he got home his wife said: 'You know, dear, you went out without your watch.'

Littlewood's Miscellany

Balls numbered 1, 2, ... are put into a box as follows. At 1 minute to noon the numbers 1 to 10 are put in, and the number 1 is taken out. At 1/2 a minute to noon the numbers 11 to 20 are put in and the number 2 is taken out. At 1/3 minute to noon 21 to 30 in and 3 out; and so on. How many are in the box at noon?

Littlewood's Miscellany

The truth, no matter how bad, is always better than uncertainty.

Anton Chekhov

Dennis looked at the eyes and, knowing how eyes worked, was astonished, not for the first time, of the infinite complexity of Creation, wondering how this thing, this instrument for seeing, could transmit so clearly its entreaty while at the same time - Look, I am only an eye - denying that it was doing anything of the sort.

Peter Carey, `Oscar and Lucinda'

Prove that for any a, b, ..., z we have

----------------------- = 0
ax2 + bx2 + ... +zx2    

Maths students model themselves on no one and are a complete enigma.

The Big Issue, Scotland.

The trouble with bookshops is that you buy books in them.

On the other side of Death, there is a tunnel, leading to an archway. Then the road forks, and this is the point at which you find out whether the ethical system you've been following all these years was the right one after all.

Tom Holt, 'Faust among equals'

"Yeah sure. Make her understand that happiness doesn't exist, that paradise doesn't exist, that there's nothing to win or lose, and that essentially you can't change anything. And if you think that despair is all that's left after that, well, you're wrong again, because despair is an illusion too. All you can do is go to bed at night and get up in the morning, with a smile on your lips, if possible. And you can think whatever you want -- it only complicates matters and doesn't change a thing.

Philippe Djian, "Betty Blue"

Interesting how our vocabulary responds, providing us with words we have never needed before, words stacked away for us, neatly folded into our brain and there for our use: like a bride's lifetime supply of linen, or a ducal trove of monogrammed china. Death will overtake us before a fraction of those words are used.

Hilary Mantel, "A change of climate"

No poetry should come forth from this. May my hand fall off if I write this. So I sit round. Naturally and unnaturally without words. If I write this, I exploit and betray. If I don't, I die. Suddenly my overweight grandmother's motto comes to mind: when in despair, bake a cake. To bake a cake is a restorative process.

Antjie Krog, poet, reporting on Archbishop Desmond Tutu's "truth and reconciliation" commission.

Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.

Bill Watterson (aka Calvin)

The errors of great men are venerable because they are more fruitful than the truths of little men.


The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.

Horace Walpole.

So what is it to those who think and feel?

Keep it simple; as simple as possible, but no simpler.

- Albert Einstein

...when you tell people you know what is good for them especially if you are a doctor, they will believe you. Having no beliefs of their own they believe, It's a truism that as faith in God has declined belief in science, especially medical science, has increased. Yet most people know even less about science than they did about God. Science is now incomprehensible to the layman but the layman accepts it, even though one of the arguments against God is that He doesn't make sense.

"Art & Lies", Jeanette Winterson

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.

Robert Frost

That was the funny thing about beauty thought Zoe. Look it up in the yellow pages, and you found a hundred entries, hostile with wit, cutesy with warning. But look up truth - ha! There was nothing at all.

"You're ugly, too" a novel by Lorrie Moore

The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree.

Mahatma Gandhi

Woman do a third of all the paid work in the world, and two thirds of all work, paid and unpaid, yet receive only 10 percent of the world's salaries, and own one percent of its' property.

United Nations report

The only lasting arms control is how we raise our children.

Gloria Steinham

There is so little time. This is all the time I've got. This is mine, this small parcel of years, that threatens to spill over on to the pavement and be lost among careless feet. Lost. The water out of the sieve and the river run dry. The quietly contained sea where the waters don't break.

"Art & Lies", Jeanette Winterson

"But nothing is perfect!" said Agnes. The truth of her words dawned on her only after she had said them. It seemed to her then the saddest thing she had ever known. "Nothing is," she repeated. "No," said Nina, putting a friendly arm around her. "But some things are pretty good".

"saving agnes", Rachel Cusk

"No, everybody's gotta learn, nobody's born knownin... Naw. Jem, I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."

"That's what I thought too". he said at last, "when I was your age. If there's just one kind of folks, why can't they get along with each other? If they're all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other?"

"To kill a mocking bird", Harper Lee

When you're aging, it's very interesting to find that the world is going from bad to worse and is full is stupid people, so that you are actually happy to leave it; it would be very painful to abandon a marvelous world.

Umberto Eco

One should only compare cyclists upon hills, or going into the wind; small differences are bigger there.

Mathematicians have announced the existence of a new whole number which lies between 27 and 28. "We don't know why it's there or what it does," says Cambridge mathematician, Dr. Hilliard Haliard, "we only know that it doesn't behave properly when put into equations, and that it is divisible by six, though only once."

On The Hour

Due to recent cutbacks, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off until further notice. Accordingly, any light seen at the end of the tunnel should be assumed to attached to an oncoming train.

We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Oscar Wilde

You learn a lot by failing. Don't be afraid to fail. What the fear of failing eventuates in is the fear of beginning.

Philip Levine.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.

Dwight Eisenhower, April 16, 1953

If this is the best of all possible worlds, then what are the others like?

Voltaire, Candide.

When novelist Margaret Arwood asked women what they feared most from men, they replied, "We're afraid they'll kill us." When she asked men the same question about women, they replied, "We're afraid they'll laugh at us."

"The Beauty Myth", Naomi Wolf.

Our society has an excessive tendency to pull everything apart and analyse the remains in the greatest detail. We lack the humility to accept something as it is and to appreciate it and the innate beauty and profunity of the universe.

"I'm young, employed, healthy, ambitious,
Sound, solvent, self-made, self-possessed.
But all my symptoms are pernicious.
The Dow-Jones of my heart's depressed.
The sunflower of my youth is wilting.
The tower of my youth is tilting.
The zoom lens of zest is blurred.
The drama of my life's absurd.
What is the root of my neurosis?
I jog, eat brewers' yeast each day,
And yet I feel life slip away.
I wait your sapient diagnosis.
I die! I faint! I sink!"
"You need a lover John, I think"

Vickram Seth, "The Golden Gate", verse 1.23 (which I highly recommend)

...can you blame some one for something he doesn't let himself know he is doing and even when you point it out, sees nothing wrong with it, although it demeans or oppresses you, calling it "natural"?

Marilyn French, "The Woman's Room"

...Mum, but where does God come from?

Timothy, age 8

We keep killing people who have killed people to teach them that killing people is wrong.

Tim Martin, head of Amnesty International on the death penalty

Cigarettes are the only legal product that when used as intended cause death.

Dr. Louis Sullivan

A city is compact if it can be guarded by a finite number of arbitrarily shortsighted policeman.

Herman Weyl.

Greece and India give us complementary views of the world. In the Greek temple we find the clear perfection of beauty: in the Indian temple we find the sublime sense of Infinity. Greece gives us the joy of eternal beauty in the outer world; and India gives us the joy of the Infinite in the inner world.

Juan Mascaro

It is only with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"So what would your last words be - in your mind?" "I was thinking that, 'Oh fuck,' would probably sum it up". "Not, 'Father-forgive-me-receive-me-I-believe-in-you-utterly'?" Andrew shook his head.

"Looking down on you", by Ian Watson.

Human numbers always increase more rapidly than food supplies and consequently humans are condemned to the point of misery and the edge of starvation.

Robert Malthus (paraphrased)

In mathematics you don't understand things, you just get used to them.

John von Neumann

There was too much silence here. Things would get lost in the silence. One should speak. And Southwind would understand. She too had lost her luck, known death, and gone on.

"The Eye of the Heron", Ursala Le Guin

True words cut deepest.

The greatest mathematics has the simplicity and inevitableness of supreme poetry and music, standing on the borderline of all that is wonderful in Science, and all that is beautiful in Art. Mathematics transfigures the fortuitous concourse of atoms into the tracery of the finger of God.

Herbert Westren Turnball

"Good? I'm beginning to wonder if it is a virtue to be good. It seems to cause so much self-congratulation among our friends. The sort of people who were there tonight - who choose a convenient moment to behave well and then tell themselves how sensitive they are, how humane."

"But isn't that all one can hope for? And what is virtue if not that?"

Shirley Hazzard, "The Party"

The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we hold of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us.

Quentin Crisp

"Give me a command, beloved grandfather." Smiling you placed your hand upon my head. It was not a hand, it was multicoloured fire. The flame suffused my mind to the very roots. "Reach what you can my child." Your voice was grave and dark, as though issuing from the deep larynx of the earth. It reached the roots of my mind, but my heart remained unshaken. "Grandfather," I called more loudly now, "give me a more difficult, more Cretan command." Hardly had I finished speaking when, all at once, a hissing flame cleaved the air. The indomitable ancestor with the thyme roots tangled in his locks vanished from my sight; a cry was left on Sinai's peak, an upright cry full of command, and the air trembled: "Reach what you cannot!"

Nikos Kazantzakis, "Report to Greco"

There is a lot of nowhere in Australia to get stuck in.

Lynn Hartweck

There is only one solution... To live with each other in peace and with respect for each other, however different we might be.

India Alert Bulletin, Jan. 1993.

Dairy industry advertising claim: milk is nature's most perfect food.
Reality: milk is nature's most perfect food for a calf, who has four stomachs, will double it's weight in 47 days, and can weigh up to 1000 pounds within a year.

John Robbins, "Diet for a New America"

Every successful person has had failures but repeated failure is no guarantee of eventual success.

The heart has reasons of which the reason knows nothing.


We make ourselves pay for small sins more than large ones. The more trivial the thrust, the longer we're haunted by the memory of the wound.

Nancy Kress, "Trinity"

To know and not to act is a way of consenting to these injustices. The planet has become a very small place. What happens in other countries affects us.

Elie Wiesel

A good programmer is either some one who can program in their sleep, or some one who is prepared to give up sleep in order to program.

Michael Kaye

There can be no doubt that our Nation [America] has had a long and unfortunate history of sex discrimination. Traditionally, such discrimination was rationalized by an attitude of 'romantic paternalism', which, in practical effect, put women not on a pedestal but in a cage.

Justice William Brennan


  • A mode of Address, indicating equality and friendliness.
  • A neutral or hostile form of address. (Dictionary of Australian slang)
  • Habitual companion, an associate, fellow, comrade; a fellow-worker or partner. Now only in working-class use. (OED)

G'day Mate! - Australian expression of hostility.
G'day you old Bastard! - Australian expression of friendship.

Frank Devine, Mating Habits

We're running away from happiness. We think we need to struggle, and suffer, and work really hard before we can just stay still, and let happiness catch up with us.

from "Escape from Happiness", a play by George Walker.

I don't want the cheese, I just want to get out of the trap.

Spanish proverb.

It is easier to be a "humanitarian" than to render your own country its proper due; it is easier to be a "patriot" than to make your community a better place to live in; it is easier to be a "civic leader" than to treat your own family with loving understanding; for the smaller the focus of attention, the harder the task.

Sydney J. Harris

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with thy getting get understanding.

Proverbs iv, 7