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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

<jim> Lemme make sure I'm not wasting time here... bcwhite will remove
      pkgs that havent been fixed that have outstanding bugs of severity
      "important".  True or false?
<JHM> jim: "important" or higher.  True.
<jim> Then we're about to lose ftp.debian.org and dpkg :)
* netgod will miss dpkg -- it was occasionally useful
<Joey> We still have rpm....
"slackware users don't matter. in my experience, slackware users are
either clueless newbies who will have trouble even with tar, or they are
rabid do-it-yourselfers who wouldn't install someone else's pre-compiled
binary even if they were paid to do it."
<stu> you should be afraid to use KDE because RMS might come to your
      house and cleave your monitor with an axe or something :)
<Overfiend> Thunder-: when you get { MessagesLikeThisFromYourHardDrive }
<Overfiend> Thunder-: it either means { TheDriverIsScrewy }
<Overfiend> or
<Overfiend> { YourDriveIsFlakingOut BackUpYourDataBeforeIt'sTooLate
            PrayToGod }
<Reed> It is important to note that the primary reason the Roman Empire
       fail is that they had no concept of zero... thus they could not
       test the success or failure of their C programs.
<joeyh> netgod: er, are these 2.2.0 packages 2.0.0pre9 or do you have a
        direct line with the gods?
<netgod> joeyh: i have the direct line
The software required Win95 or better, so I installed Linux.
p.s. - i'm about *this* close to running around in the server room with a
pair of bolt cutters, and a large wooden mallet, laughing like a maniac and
cutting everything i can fit the bolt cutters around. and whacking that
which i cannot. so if i seem semi-incoherent, or just really *really* nasty
at times, please forgive me. stress is not a pretty thing. };P
        -- Phillip R. Jaenke
California, n.:
    From Latin "calor", meaning "heat" (as in English "calorie" or
Spanish "caliente"); and "fornia'" for "sexual intercourse" or
"fornication." Hence: Tierra de California, "the land of hot sex."
        -- Ed Moran
The X Window System:
  The standard UNIX graphical environment.  With Linux, this is usually
  XFree86 (http://www.xfree86.org).  You may call it X, XFree, the X
  Window System, XF86, or a host of other things.  Call it 'XWindows' and
  someone will smack you and you will have deserved it.
<netgod> heh thats a lost cause, like the correct pronounciation of
         "jewelry"
<netgod> give it up :-)
<sage> and the correct spelling of "colour" :)
<BenC> heh
<sage> and aluminium
<BenC> or nuclear weapons
<sage> are you threating me yankee ?
<sage> just cause we don't have the bomb...
<BenC> back off ya yellow belly
<Knghtbrd> you know, Linux needs a platform game starring Tux
<Knghtbrd> kinda Super Marioish, but with Tux and things like little cyber
           bugs and borgs and that sort of thing ...
<Knghtbrd> And you have to jump past billgatus and hit the key to drop him
           into the lava and then you see some guy that looks like a RMS
           or someone say "Thank you for rescuing me Tux, but Linus
           Torvalds is in another castle!"
<Kensey> RMS for President???
<RelDrgn> ...or ESR, he wants a new job ;)
Due to the closed source development model of XFree it is impossible
to support, or even speculate about, features in pre- or beta releases
of XFree.
        -- Marcus Sundberg
2.3.1 has been released. Folks new to this game should remember that
2.3.* releases are development kernels, with no guarantees that they
will not cause your system to do horrible things like corrupt its
disks, catch fire, or start running Mindcraft benchmarks.
        -- Slashdot
<Knghtbrd> mariab - I am a Debian developer.  Red Hat is "the enemy" or
           something like that I guess..  Still, typecasting RH users as
           idiots or their distribution as completely broken by default
           is complete and total FUD.
> Ok, I see you know what you're doing :-)

Either that or I've gotten pretty good at faking it.
Subject: Bug#42432: debian-policy: Proposal for CTV for Draft for Proof of
Concept for Draft for Proposal for Proposal for CTV for a CTV to decide on
a proposal for a CTV for the CTV on whether or not we shoud have a CTV on
the /usr/doc to /usr/share/doc transition now, or later.
        -- Ed Lang
<netgod> is it me, or is Knghtbrd snoring?
<joeyh> they killed knghtbrd!
<netgod> Kysh: wichert, gecko, joeyh, and I are in a room trying to ignore
          Knghtbrd
<Kysh> netgod: Knghtbrd is hard to ignore.
* Knghtbrd pelts wichert with NERF darts
* wichert notes there are no ICBM nerfs yet and ignores kngtbrd
<Knghtbrd> wichert - just wait, after seeing the NERF gatling guns, ICBMs
           are not far off (just pump the damned thing for an hour or two
           is all...)
<knghtbrd> Solver_: add users who should be messing with sound to group
           audio..  Make sure the devices are all group audio (ls -l
           /dev/dsp will give you the fastest indication if it's probably
           set right) and build a kernel with sound support for your card
<knghtbrd> OR optionally install alsa source and build modules for that
           with make-kpkg
<knghtbrd> OR (not recommended) get and install evil OSS/Linux evil
           non-free evil binary only evil drivers---but those are evil.
           And did I mention that it's not recommended?
<Palisade> how are we going to pronounce '00 or '01 or '02 and so on?
<Deek> Say goodbye to the nineties, say hello to the naughties. :)
<Palisade> knght, sheesh, are you pasting my words out of context in
           #debian or something?
<Palisade> ;)
<Knghtbrd> no, but I probably should be  ;>
<Palisade> d'oh!
<Tarzan> hey did you fall off your pirch or something?
<knghtbrd> me?  heh.
<Mercury> Knghtbrd: Using -3dfx or -svga?
<Knghtbrd> Mercury will do something sane with it
<Knghtbrd> Mercury: both---svga sig11's, -3dfx sig4's
<Knghtbrd> Mercury: that's not good right?  ;>
<Deek> you GPL your homework? :)
<knghtbrd> yah  =D
<knghtbrd> Anyone is permitted to use or modify my homework, but if they
           distribute changes they must include the full machine-readable
           source code ;>
<evilkalla> heh, I never took a coding class
<evilkalla> or a graphics class
<evilkalla> or a software design class
<vegan> and it shows :P
=== This letter is the Honor System Virus ====
If you are running a Macintosh, OS/2, Unix, or
Linux computer, please randomly delete
several files from your hard disk drive and
forward this message to everyone you know.
==============================================
Hmm...  Which would do a better job at driving physicists crazy?  Travel
faster than light, or a floating-point boolean value?
        -- Michael Mol
<Deek> Exactly how much of a PITA is this in C?
<Knghtbrd> It's written in C++.
<Deek> Hence my question.
<Knghtbrd> I could do something like it in C.  Anyone who saw the results
           would think I was either a genius or out of my fucking mind.
           They'd be right on either count.
<Deek> "A good programmer can write FORTRAN in any language."
<Deek> knghtbrd has proven that you can write C++ in any language too.
       <grin>
<Mercury> We are currently considdering if we should give him or prize, or
          kill him..
<Mercury> (Of course, by all rights, this means we should give him the
          prize, and then kill him.. <G>)
"Debian: no hats or reptiles were harmed in the making of this distribution=
."
        -- Paul Slootman
* wolfie ponders how many debianites it takes to screw in a lightbulb
<Viiru> wolfie: Somewhere around 600? One screw's the bulb, and the rest
        flame him for doing it wrong.
<part> wolfie: is the bulb free software?
<Tv> Can we vote on whether to screw it or not?
innovate /IN no vait/ vb.: 1. To appropriate third-party technology
through purchase, imitation, or theft and to integrate it into a
de-facto, monopoly-position product. 2.  To increase in size or complexity
but not in utility; to reduce compatibility or interoperability. 3. To
lock-out competitors or to lock-in users. 4. To charge more money; to
increase prices or costs. 5. To acquire profits from investments in other
companies but not from direct product or service sales. 6. To stifle or
manipulate a free market; to extend monopoly powers into new markets.  7.
To evade liability for wrong-doings; to get off.  8. To purchase
legislation, legislators, legislatures, or chiefs of state.  9.  To
mediate all transactions in a global economy; to embezzle; to co-opt power
(coup d'Útat). Cf. innovate, English usage (antonym).
        -- csbruce, in a Slashdot post
<|Rain|> I *love* SWB!!
<|Rain|> Or, press 5 to speak to a representitive..
<|Rain|> *5*
<|Rain|> You are being transferred, please hold...
<|Rain|> ...
<|Rain|> ...
<|Rain|> We're sorry, this number can not be completed as dialed.
<|Rain|> Please check the number and try again.
<Mercury> LordHavoc: I'm already insane.
<Coderjoe> damn straight. or curvy, crooked, or what have you
<robert> i understand there are some reasonable limits to free speech in
         america, for example I cannot scream Fire into a crowded theatre
         .. But can i scream fire into a theatre with only 5 or 6 poeple
         in it ?
In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really
good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they actually change
their minds and you never hear that old view from them again.  They really
do it.  It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are
human and change is sometimes painful.  But it happens every day.  I cannot
recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
        -- Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP keynote address
Linux supports the notion of a command line or a shell for the same reason
that only children read books with only pictures in them. Language, be it
English or something else, is the only tool flexible enough to accomplish
a sufficiently broad range of tasks.
        -- Bill Garrett
        A young girl, Carmen Cohen, was called by her last name by her father,
and her first name by her mother.  By the time she was ten, didn't know if she
was Carmen or Cohen.
Did it ever occur to you that fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?

Or that we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
Fortune's graffito of the week (or maybe even month):

                Don't Write On Walls!

                   (and underneath)

                You want I should type?
        "Found it," the Mouse replied rather crossly: "of course you know
what 'it' means."
        "I know what 'it' means well enough, when I find a thing," said the
Duck: "it's generally a frog or a worm.  The question is, what did the
archbishop find?"
Life -- Love It or Leave It.
'Naomi, sex at noon taxes.' I moan.
Never odd or even.
A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.
Madam, I'm Adam.
Sit on a potato pan, Otis.
Sit on Otis.
                -- The Mad Palindromist
Never use "etc." -- it makes people think there is more where there is not
or that there is not space to list it all, etc.
Now there's a violent movie titled, "The Croquet Homicide," or "Murder
With Mallets Aforethought."
                -- Shelby Friedman, WSJ.
Question: Is it better to abide by the rules until they're changed or
help speed the change by breaking them?
Someday you'll get your big chance -- or have you already had it?
Sooner or later you must pay for your sins.
(Those who have already paid may disregard this cookie).
There's nothing very mysterious about you, except that
nobody really knows your origin, purpose, or destination.
Three o'clock in the afternoon is always just a little too late or a little
too early for anything you want to do.
                -- Jean-Paul Sartre
"To vacillate or not to vacillate, that is the question ... or is it?"
When a fly lands on the ceiling, does it do a half roll or a half loop?
When things go well, expect something to explode, erode, collapse or
just disappear.
Which is worse: ignorance or apathy?  Who knows?  Who cares?
ARE YOU ADDICTED TO SLASHDOT?
Take this short test to find out if you are a Dothead.

1. Do you submit articles to Slashdot and then reload the main page every 3.2
    seconds to see if your article has been published yet?
2. Have you made more than one "first comment!" post within the past week?
3. Have you ever participated in a Gnome vs. KDE or a Linux vs. FreeBSD
    flamewar on Slashdot?
4. Do you write jokes about Slashdot?
5. Do you wake up at night, go to the bathroom, and fire up your web browser
    to get your Slashdot fix on the way back?
6. Do you dump your date at the curb so you can hurry home to visit Slashdot?
7. Do you think of Slashdot when you order a taco at a restaurant?
8. Are you a charter member of the Rob Malda Fan Club?
9. Did you lease a T3 line so you could download Slashdot faster?
10. Is Slashdot your only brower's bookmark?
11. Do you get a buzz when your browser finally connects to Slashdot?
12. Do you panic when your browser says "Unable to connect to slashdot.org"?
13. Have you even made a New Year's Resolution to cut back on Slashdot
    access... only to visit it at 12:01?
Linux Drinking Game (Abridged)

With a group of friends, take turns reading articles about Linux from popular
media sources (Ziff-Davis AnchorDesk is recommended) or postings on Usenet (try
alt.fan.bill-gates). If the author says one of the things below, take a drink.
Continue until everyone involved is plastered.

- Linux will never go mainstream
- Any platform that can't run Microsoft Office [or some other Microsoft
  "solution"] sucks
- Linux is hard to install
- Linux tech support is lacking
- No one ever got fired for choosing Microsoft
- Any OS with a command line interface is primitive
- Microsoft is an innovative company
- Could you get fired for choosing Linux?
- Linux was created by a bunch of snot-nosed 14 year old hackers with acne and
  no life
- Security through obscurity is the way to go
- Linus and Unix are 70s technology while NT is 90s technology
- All Linux software must be released under the GPL
- Linux is a great piece of shareware
Could You Get Fired for Visiting Slashdot?

PADUCAH, KY -- Matt Johnson, an employee at Paradigm Shift Consulting, Inc.,
was fired from his programming job because of his addiction to Slashdot.
Johnson typically visited Slashdot several times a day during working hours.
Citing productivity problems, Johnson's boss gave him the pink slip and
instituted a 'NoDot' policy -- no visiting Slashdot or related sites from the
office, ever.  Now Johnson has filed a lawsuit, claiming that his Slashdot
addiction is protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Matt Johnson explained, "They discriminated against me because I'm a Dothead.
Drug abuse and alcoholism are often considered handicaps.  Why not Slashdot
addiction?"  Johnson's boss sees the situation differently.   "Matt never got
any work done.  He was always visiting Slashdot, Freshmeat, or some other
nerd website.  And when he wasn't, he suffered withdrawl symptoms and
couldn't think straight.  A few months ago he spent eight consecutive hours
posting comments in a KDE vs. GNOME flame war.  I tried to offer assistance
to overcome his addiction, but he refused. Enough is enough."

The company's 'NoDot' policy has been under fire as well.  One anonymous
employee said, "We can't visit Slashdot because of Matt's addiction.  This
just sucks.  I really don't see anything wrong with visiting Slashdot during
breaks or after hours."
Linux Ported to Homer Simpson's Brain

SPRINGFIELD -- Slashdot recently reported on Homer Simpson's brain "upgrade"
to an Intel CPU.  Intel hails the CPU transplant as the "World's Greatest
Technological Achievement".  Intel originally planned to install Microsoft
Windows CE (Cerebrum Enhanced) on Homer's new PentiumBrain II processor.
However, due to delays in releasing Windows CE, Intel decided to install
DebianBrain Linux, the new Linux port for brains.

Computer industry pundits applaud the last minute switch from Windows to
Linux. One said, "I was a bit concerned for Homer.  With Windows CE, I could
easily imagine Homer slipping into an infinite loop: "General Protection
Fault.  D'oh!  D'oh!  D'oh!  D'oh..."  Or, at the worst, the Blue Screen of
Death could have become much more than a joke."

Some pundits are more concerned about the quality of the Intel CPU.  "Linux
is certainly an improvement over Windows.  But since it's running on a
PentiumBrain chip, all bets are off.  What if the chip miscalculates the core
temperature of the power plant where Homer works?  I can just imagine the
story on the evening news: 'Springfield was obliterated into countless
subatomic particles yesterday because Homer J. Simpson, power plant
button-pusher, accidentally set the core temperature to 149.992322340948290
instead of 150...'  If anything, an Alpha chip running Linux should have been
used for Homer's new brain."
The Movement Formerly Known As Open Source

The battle over the Open Source trademark is heating up.  Software in the
Public Interest and the Open Source Initiative both hold competing claims to
the trademark.  In order to put an end to the infighting, a group of free
software advocates have founded the Association for the Movement Formerly
Known as Open Source (AMFKOS)

One AMFKOS founder said, "I find it ironic that a trademark representing free
software is itself proprietary.  This situation must change.  We propose that
the free software movement adopt another name besides 'Open Source'.
Hopefully then we can all Get-Back-To-Coding(tm) instead of fighting over
Bruce Perens' and Eric Raymond's egos."

Rumor has it that Richard Stallman plans to mount a campaign to
promote the phrase "GNU/Free Software" in place of "Open Source".
In addition, the terms "Ajar Source", "Unlocked Source", "Nude Source",
"Unclosed Source", and "Just-Type-make Software" have all
been proposed by various Usenet or Slashdot posters.
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #1

Linux-of-the-Month Club
Price: US$60 for a one year membership
Producer: CheapNybbles; 1-800-LINUX-CD

It's the gift that keeps on giving.  Every month a CD-ROM with a different
Linux distribution or BSD Unix flavor will be sent in the mail.  This is the
perfect gift for those that have been using Slackware since day one and
haven't gotten around to trying another distribution.  Or, for those friends
or relatives that still cling to Windows, a Linux-of-the-Month club
membership is the perfect way to say, "Your OS sucks".
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #3

iTux Penguin Computer
Price: $999.95 for base model
Producer: Orange Computer, Co.; 1-800-GET-ITUX

Based on the Slashdot comments, response to the Apple iMac from the Linux
community was lukewarm at best.  Orange Computer, Co., has picked up where
Apple left behind and produced the iTux computer specifically for Linux users
who want to "Think a lot different".

The self-contained iTux computer system is built in the shape of Tux the
Penguin.  Its 15 inch monitor (17 inch available next year) is located at
Tux's large belly.  The penguin's two feet make up the split ergonomic
keyboard (without those annoying Windows keys, of course).  A 36X CD-ROM
drive fits into Tux's mouth.  Tux's left eye is actually the reboot button
(can be reconfigured for other purposes since it is rarely used) and his
right eye is the power button.  The iTux case opens up from the back,
allowing easy access for screwdriver-wielding nerds into Tux's guts.

The US$995.95 model contains an Alpha CPU and all the usual stuff found in a
Linux-class machine.  More expensive models, to be debuted next year, will
feature dual or quad Alpha CPUs and a larger size.
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #4

Microsoft Destruction Kit
Price: US$29.95 (more with optional digital camera or shotgun)
Producer: The Fuzzier Image; 1-800-BILL-SUX

Mix an Internet Explorer CD-ROM, a rocket launcher, and a flamethrower. What
do you have?  A whole lot of fun!  The Microsoft Destruction Kit is the best
way to destroy those Microsoft CD-ROMs you no longer need now that you've
discovered Linux.  You can launch the CD (and registration forms, manuals,
retail boxes, license agreements, etc.) and pepper it with bullets, all while
capturing the event with a digital camera. Or, you can use the included
miniature flamethrower to burn the evil CD to a crisp.  The kit comes with a
set of IE 4.0 CDs to get you started.  Tell Microsoft "where *you* want
it to go today" in style with the Microsoft Destruction Kit.
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #5

AbsoluteZero(tm) Cryogenic Refrigerator
$29,999.95 for economy model at Cryo-Me-A-River, Inc.

The pundits have been hyping new technology allowing your home appliances to
have Internet access. Most people aren't too keen with the thought of their
refrigerator sharing an IP address with their can opener.

But with the new AbsoluteZero(tm) Refrigerator, that might change. This is not
a fridge for your food -- it's a fridge for your overclocked, overheating CPU.
You stick your computer inside, bolt the door shut, turn the temperature down
to 5 degrees Kelvin, and you've got the perfect environment for accelerating
your CPU to 1 Terahertz or more.

This cryogenic cooling system may not actually reach absolute zero, but it
comes mighty close. Unfortunately, the AbsoluteZero(tm) is the size of a small
house, consumes a constant stream of liquid nitrogen, and requires it's own
nuclear reactor (not included). But that's a small price to pay for the
ability to play Quake 3 at 100,000 frames per second.
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #9

Dial-A-Detective
$499.95/year; 1-888-BYE-SPAM

This detective firm is not what you'd expect. Instead of tracking murderers or
unfaithful husbands, this band of rogue private investigators goes after
something just as sinister -- spammers. For a modest annual retainer fee,
these spam detectives will track down the source of every piece of spam you
receive.

Using the latest in forensic technology, they will bring you the virtual scalp
of the spammer -- their name, home address, social-security number, and, more
importantly, credit card numbers. At this point you are free to pursue the
evil spammer as you see fit.

If your friend or relative is sick of receiving wave after wave of "Find Out
Anything About Anyone" spams, give them a subscription to Dial-A-Detective,
and they'll find out anything about any spammer -- for real.
Microsoft Open Source Solitaire

REDMOND, WA -- In a first attempt at "embrace-and-extend" of open source
software, Microsoft will release its popular Solitaire and FreeCell games as
open source under the MILA (Microsoft Innovative License Agreement).
According to a Microsoft press release, the Visual C++ source code for the
two games will be available from the Microsoft website "in the first quarter"
(no year was specified).

Industry pundits hail the move as revolutionary.  "Microsoft's release of its
most popular Windows feature as open source software demonstrates just how
innovative the company really is.  The DoJ is clearly barking up the wrong
tree," wrote one Ziff-Davis flunkie. One executive at a large company said,
"Freely available source code is the best idea Microsoft has ever invented."

One Linux developer told Humorix, "Let's just hope some fool doesn't try to
port this thing to Linux.  Imagine the havoc that could ensue if a bunch of
core Linux contributors downloaded Solitaire and became addicted to it.  It
would be a disaster!  Linux and open source development would grind to a halt
while the hackers wasted their time playing Solitaire or FreeCell.  'Just one
more game...' they would say."
Red Hat Linux 10.0

RALEIGH-DURHAM, NC -- HypeNewsWire -- Red Hat, the producer of the most
popular Linux distribution with over 25 million estimated users, is proud to
announce the availability of Red Hat Linux 10.0.  The latest version
contains the new Linux 6.2 kernel, the Z Window System 2.0, full support for
legacy Windows 3.x/9x/200x/NT software apps, and more. Copies of Red Hat
Linux 10.0 will be available in stores on CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or GNUDE (GNU
Digital Encoding) disks within the next week.

Compaq, Dell, Gateway, and several other large computer manufacturers have
announced that they will offer computer systems with Red Hat 10.0
pre-installed.  "We can sell systems with Red Hat pre-installed for
considerably less than systems with Microsoft ActiveWindows 2001. Overall,
Red Hat Linux's superior quality, low price, and modest system requirements
puts Windows to shame," one Dell spokesperson said at last week's LinDex
convention.
MAKE MONEY FAST FROM SLASHDOT!!!!!!

You are probably familiar with the Slashdot.org "News for Nerds" site.
You've probably heard about the "Slashdot Effect".  Now, we want to
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The Slashdot Effect is a significant source of traffic.  Lots of traffic.
Thousands of visitors within hours.  Thousands of eyeballs looking and
clicking at YOUR banner advertisements.  In short, the Slashdot Effect, if
properly utilized, can produce a significant amount of advertising revenue.

That's where we at MoneyDot Lucrative Marketing International Group, Inc.
come in.  We know how to exploit the Slashdot Effect.  We call our strategy
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Interested in pursuing Slashdot Baiting and obtaining financial
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Then purchase MLM's "Slashdot Baiting Kit", which will contain everything
you need to know to put this powerful marketing force to work for YOU! We
also throw in a warranty: if your site isn't mentioned on Slashdot within 90
days of using this Kit, we'll give you your money back guaranteed!
Microsoft ActivePromo Campaign: "Frequent Upgrade Points"

Microsoft's PR masterminds are planning a massive marketing campaign,
code-named "ActivePromo 2000", to promote the upcoming release of Windows
2000 (scheduled for February 2001).  This marketing campaign will include a
"Frequent Upgrade Points" promotion.

Customers who purchase upgrades to Windows, Office, or other Microsoft
"solutions" will receive "frequent upgrade points" (FUPs) when they register
online.  These points, like Frequent Flyer Miles, can be redeemed in the
future for discounts on other Microsoft upgrades. This program, combined
with the fact that older versions of some Microsoft programs have glaring
Y2K problems, should be enough to convince many people to shell out big
bucks to upgrade to a more bloated Microsoft operating system. The company
hopes to eradicate 99% of Windows 3.x installations by 2003.
Microsoft ActivePromo Campaign: "Windows Competitive Upgrade Offer"

Microsoft's PR masterminds are planning a massive marketing campaign,
code-named "ActivePromo 2000", to promote the upcoming release of Windows
2000 (scheduled for February 2001).  This marketing campaign will include a
"Windows Competitive Upgrade Offer" promotion.

Users of non-Microsoft operating systems (Linux in particular) will be given
the opportunity to trade-in their present OS for a free copy of Windows 98
(or NT 4.0) and Office 97.  People (all three of them) who want to
participate in this program will have to:

1. Mail their operating system's floppy disks or CD-ROMs to Microsoft

2. Agree to a two year contract with the Microsoft Network.

3. Agree (in writing) to the Competitive Upgrade License Agreement; one of
the terms of which is that the user may not install, copy, or otherwise use
a non-Microsoft OS for five years.
Open Source Irrational Constant

BREEZEWOOD, PA -- In a revelation that could rock the foundations of
science, a researcher in Pennsylvania has discovered that the digits of the
irrational constant PI encode a version of the Linux kernel.  "I can't
believe it," the researcher, Neil Hoffman, exclaimed.  "And yet, here I am
staring at what appears to be the source code for Linux kernel 5.0.0.
Needless to say, my whole world-view has changed..."

Hoffman explained, "My algorithm, which applies several dozen conversions and
manipulations to each digit of PI, spits out plain vanilla ASCII characters
that happen to form the source code for the Linux kernel."

Many members of the scientific community are skeptical.  One One
mathematician who has memorized the digits of PI to 10,000 places said,
"This is the kind of nonsense one would expect to find in a tabloid such as
the National Mathematics Enquirer.  Or a Linux fortune(6) file.  Hoffman's
'discovery' is obviously a hoax designed to secure government research
grants."

In a related matter, we have received an unconfirmed report that a region of
the Mandelbrot fractal contains what appear to be the words "LINUS TORVALDS
WAS HERE".  In addition, the words "TRANSMETA: THIS SECRET MESSAGE IS NOT
HERE YET" supposedly appear within the depths of the Julia Set.
The War Against Linux

A significant obstacle on the path to Linux World Domination has emerged.  A
reactionary grass-roots movement has formed to fight, as they call it, "The
War Against Linux".  This movement, code-named "LinSux", is composed of
people (mostly Microsoft stockholders and commercial software developers)
who want to maintain the status quo.  They are fighting back against the
rise of Linux and free software which they see as a threat to their financial
independence.

The most damaging attack the LinSux folks have launched is "Three Mile
Island", a Windows macro virus designed to inflict damage on computers that
contain a partition devoted to a non-Microsoft OS.  When the victim computer
is booted into Windows, the virus activates and deletes any non-Microsoft
partitions. Ironically, the many security flaws in Windows allow the virus
to damage alternative operating systems but leave Windows unscathed.

"The War Against Linux" has also been fought in more subtle ways.
Time-tested methods of Linux advocacy have been turned into subtle forms of
anti-Linux advocacy by the LinSux crowd.  MSCEs are smuggling NT boxes into
companies that predominantly use Linux or Unix.  LinSux "freedom fighters"
are rearranging books and software boxes on store shelves so that Microsoft
offerings are displayed more prominently.
Dave Finton gazes into his crystal ball...

January 2099: Rob Malda Finally Gets His Damned Nano-Technology

The Linux hacker community finally breathed a collective sigh of relief
when it was announced that Rob Malda finally got his damned
nanotechnology.

"It's about time!" exclaimed one Dothead. "He been going on about that
crap since god-knows-when. Now that he's got that and those wearable
computers, maybe we can read about something interesting on Slashdot!"

Observers were skeptical, however. Already the now-immortal Rob Malda
nano-cyborg (who reportedly changed his name to "18 of 49, tertiary
adjunct of something-or-other") has picked up a few new causes to shout
about to the high heavens until everyone's ears start bleeding. In one
Slashdot article, Malda writes "Here's an article about the potential of
large greyish high-tech mile-wide cubes flying through space, all
controlled by a collective mind set upon intergalactic conquest.
Personally, I can't wait. Yum."
When Computers Crash

HOLLYWOOD -- The FOX TV Network has announced a new series of "reality
shows" to be aired over the summer. The series, "When Computers Crash",
will consist of five hour-long shows documenting the aftermath of serious
computer crashes, failures, and other problems. This show comes on the
heels of other FOX reality shows such as "World's Funniest Antitrust Trial
Bloopers", "When Stupid TV Network Executives Create Bad Show Ideas", and
"When Lame Fortune Files Poke Fun At FOX Reality Shows"...

To coincide with the series, FOX will sponsor a publicity gimmick called
"Crash & Win!" Contest participants will download a free Windows 9x/NT
program that keeps track of the number of Blue Screens, Illegal
Operations, or other fatal errors that force a reboot. When a crash
occurs, the program will log it in an encrypted database, which will be
periodically uploaded to the "FOX Crash & Win!" server.

Prizes such as a "Deciphering Windows Error Messages for Dummies" book, a
1999 Ford "Gasguzzler" Sport Utility Vehicle, or a lifetime supply of
stress relief medication will be awarded to participants based on the
number of crashes they log.
Microsoft Mandatory Survey (#1)

Customers who want to upgrade to Windows 98 Second Edition must now fill
out a Microsoft survey online before they can order the bugfix/upgrade.

Question 1: What is your opinion of the Microsoft antitrust trial?

A. The DoJ is wasting taxpayer's money. Now, if the DOJ were to upgrade
   all of its computer systems to Windows, then the department would be
   making wise use of tax dollars.

B. All of the Microsoft email messages that the evil government has
   presented as evidence are obviously taken out of context or have been
   completely twisted around. I mean... Bill Gates would never say "let's
   cut off their air supply" in a memo; it's an obvious fabrication.

C. Judge Jackson is obviously biased in favor of the DOJ's vigilante
   persecution of Microsoft.

D. If Microsoft loses, it will be the gravest miscarriage of justice in
   all the history of mankind.
Microsoft Mandatory Survey (#4)

Customers who want to upgrade to Windows 98 Second Edition must now fill
out a Microsoft survey online before they can order the bugfix/upgrade.

Question 4: What is your favorite Microsoft Office feature?

A. Dancing Paper Clip

B. Takes up enough hard drive space to prevent my children from installing
   violent video games or downloading pornography

C. Everyone else has it, so I can easily exchange documents with others

D. I have so many favorites, I can't choose just one!
Microsoft Mandatory Survey (#8)

Customers who want to upgrade to Windows 98 Second Edition must now fill
out a Microsoft survey online before they can order the bugfix/upgrade.

Question 8: If you could meet Bill Gates for one minute, what would you
            say to him?

A. "Can you give me a loan for a million or so?"

B. "I just love all the new features in Windows 98!"

C. "Could you autograph this box of Windows 98 for me?"

D. "I really enjoyed reading 'Business @ the Speed of Thought'. It's so
   cool!"

E. "Give the government hell, Bill!"
Microsoft Mandatory Survey (#15)

Customers who want to upgrade to Windows 98 Second Edition must now fill
out a Microsoft survey online before they can order the bugfix/upgrade.

Question 15: In your opinion, what companies should Microsoft seek to
             acquire in the coming year?

A. Disney. I'd like to see a cute animated movie starring Clippit the
   Office Assistant.

B. CBS. I'd like to see a new line-up featuring must-watch shows like
   "Touched by a Microserf", "Redmond Hope", "Everybody Loves Bill", "The
   Late Show With Steve Ballmer", and "60 Minutes... of Microsoft
   Infomercials",

C. Google. Microsoft could drastically improve the quality and performance
   of this search engine by migrating it from Linux to Windows NT
   servers.

D. Lowes Hardware Stores. Every copy of Windows 2000 could come bundled
   with a coupon for a free kitchen sink or a free window!
Jargon Coiner (#1)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* WINCURSE: Loud expletive uttered when a Linux user comes face-to-face
  with a computer containing a WinModem.

  Example: "Eric wincursed when his mother showed him the new computer she
  bought from CompUSSR... which contained a WinModem and a WinSoundCard."

* WIND'OH KEY: Nickname given to the three useless Windows keys that come
  on virtually all new keyboards. These keys are often hit by mistake
  instead of CTRL or ALT, causing the user to shout "D'oh!"

* DE-WIND'OH!ED KEYBOARD: (1) A new keyboard produced without any wind'oh!
  keys or a "Enhanced for Windows 95/98" logo. Extremely rare. (2) A
  keyboard in which the wind'oh! keys have been physically removed.
Jargon Coiner (#2)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* SLASHDUP EFFECT, THE: Accidentally posting two or more duplicate
  comments to Slashdot, usually as the result of hitting ENTER at the
  wrong time or fumbling with the Preview option.

* YOU'VE GOT SLOGAN: The tendency for reporters to parody the stupid
  "You've Got Mail" saying when writing about AOL.

  Example: "You've Got Spam", "You've Got Merger" (the headline for an
  article about the Netscape/AOL Merger From Hell)

* PENGUINIZATION: Ongoing trend to slap a picture of Tux Penguin next to
  anything even remotely related to Linux.

* IDLESURF: Aimless surfing of the Internet; looking for something
  interesting to read while killing time. Often involves reloaded the
  Slashdot homepage every 5 minutes to see if a new article has been
  posted.
Jargon Coiner (#3)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* LILOSPLAININ': Arduous process of explaining why there's now a LILO boot
  prompt on the office computer.

  Example: "John had some lilosplainin' to do after his boss turned on the
  computer and the Windows splash screen didn't appear."

* UPTIME DOWNER: Depression that strikes a Linux sysadmin after his uptime
  is ruined. Can be caused by an extended power outtage, a pet chewing
  through the power cord, a lightning bolt striking the power line, or an
  urgent need to reboot into Windows to read a stupid Word document.

* OSTR (Off-Switch Total Recall): The sudden recollection of something
  terribly important you need to do online that occurs exactly 0.157
  seconds after you've shut down your computer.
Jargon Coiner (#5)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* DUKE OF URL: A person who publishes their Netscape bookmark file on
  their homepage.

* WWWLIZE (pronounced wuh-wuh-wuh-lize): Habit of unconsciously appending
  www. in front of URLs, even when it's not necessary.

* DUBYA-DUBYA-DUBYA: Common pronounciation of "double-u double-u double-u"
  when orally specifying a wwwlized address.

* ADVOIDANCE: iding a particularly annoying advertising banner by dragging
  another window over it, or by placing your hand on the monitor to cover
  it up.

  Example: "Bob advoided any Microsoft banners he came across."
Jargon Coiner (#6)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* STOP MIRAGE: Trying to click on an imaginary Stop button on a program's
  toolbar after doing something you didn't want to. Usually caused as the
  result of excessive use of Netscape.

* YA-PREFIX: Putting "another" or "yet another" in front of a name or
  tacking "YA" in front of an acronym.

  Example: "We could ya-prefix this fortune by titling it 'Yet Another
  Lame List of Fabricated Jargon'."

* DOMAINEERING: Using a service like Netcraft to determine what operating
  system and webserver a particular domain is running.

* NOT-A-SALTINE EXPLANATION: The canned response given to someone who
  uses the term "hacker" instead of "cracker".
Jargon Coiner (#7)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* O'REILLY O'WRITING: Going to a bookstore and copying down notes from an
  O'Reilly computer book that you can't afford.

* DEEP WRITE MODE: Similar to "deep hack mode", but applies to people
  writing editorials or (very rarely) Slashdot comments. The author
  of this fortune file sometimes experiences "deep humor mode".

* EDITORIAL WAR: Skirmishes between two or more parties carried out via
  strongly-worded editorials published to sites like Slashdot, Linux
  Today, etc. ESR and RMS are frequently engaged in this.

* THREENYM: Referring to someone by the first letter of their three names.
  Used by some people (RMS and ESR), but not others (has anybody ever
  tried to refer to Linus Torvalds as "LBT"?).
Jargon Coiner (#9)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* RHYMES WITH CYNICS: The final answer to any debate about how to
  pronounce Linux. Of course, "cynics" might not be the best word to
  associate Linux with...

* WISL? (Will It Support Linux?): The very first thought that springs into
  a Linux user's mind when a cool new piece of software or hardware is
  announced.

* JJMD! (Jar Jar Must Die!): Meaningless reply given to a question or poll
  for which you don't have a good answer.

  Example: Question: "When did you stop beating your wife?"
           Answer: "JJMD!"
Jargon Coiner (#10)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* HOBTOB (Hanging Out By The O'Reilly Books): Seeking free Linux technical
  support at a bookstore by waiting near the computer books for a geek to
  come by and then casually asking them for help.

* MOOLA (Marketing Officially Organizes Linux Adoptance):  A press release
  issued by a Dot Com (or Dot Con?) heralding their "support" for Linux
  (i.e. "BigPortal.com adopts Linux as their official operating system by
  adding five Linux-related links to their BigDirectory"); used to inflate
  their stock price and rake in moola even though none of their employees
  have ever used Linux and don't really care.
  
* KARMA KOLLECTOR: Slashdot user who treats the acquisition of "karma" as
  a game; often has a detailed strategy on how to sucker moderators into
  raising the score of their posts (i.e. posting a comment with a title
  like "Microsoft Sucks!!! (Score 3, Insightful)" or using "Only a fool
  would moderate this down" as a signature). See also "Karma Whore".
Jargon Coiner (#12)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* IPO (I've Patented the Obvious): Acquiring patents on trivial things and
  then hitting other companies over the head with them.

  Example: "Amazon just IPO'd one-click spam and is now ready to sue B&N."

* IPO (I'm Pissed Off): Exclamation given by a Linux user who was unable
  to participate in a highly lucrative Linux IPO due to lack of capital or
  E*Trade problems. Also uttered by Linux hackers who did not receive The
  Letter from Red Hat or VA Linux even though their friends did.
  
* YAKBA (Yet Another Killer Backhoe Attack): The acronym that describes
  network outtages caused by a careless backhoe operator.

  Examples: "Don't blame us, our website was offline after we suffered a
  YAKBA". "Don't worry about Y2K, what we need to think about is
  YAKBA-compliance."
ERIC S. RAYMOND: I'd like to introduce Eric Jones, a disadvantaged member
of the geek community who has been forced to live in a homeless shelter.
Eric? Come on out here and tell us about yourself...

JONES: Well, I'm a consultant for a Bay Area corporation. Due to the
housing crisis, I've been forced to sleep in a shelter.

ESR: How much do you make?

JONES: Over $100,000 a year.

ESR: Wow! And you still can't afford housing or rent?  That sounds
terrible... Hopefully with this telethon we'll be able to raise money to
fund new shelters for disadvantaged geeks like Eric here. We also have
plans for a Silicon Valley Terraforming Initiative in which several square
miles of Pacific Ocean will be turned into usuable land for building
housing and apartments for geeks...

   -- Excerpt from the Geek Grok '99 telethon
Bill Gates Passes Turing Test

LONDON, ENGLAND -- Microsoft proclaimed that they have passed the Turing
Test by creating a Bill Gates multimedia simulacrum that crack BBC
interviewer Jeremy Paxman couldn't distinguish from the real thing. "I
never would have expected this," Paxman said about the Gates AI program.
"After all, this Microsoft program actually worked for an extended period
of time, something you don't see very often."

Microsoft has plans to mass-produce the Bill Gates holographic simulation
by 2010 or so. "The hardware just isn't there yet for home use," a
Microserf explained. "By then, though, Intel's Itanium 6 Super Pro Plus
III CPU running at 600 Ghz or whatever should be sufficient." Windows 2010
is expected to include the Bill Gates simulation, making the World's
Richest Man(tm) accessible to the entire world.

A newly printed brochure for the faux-Gates advertises, "Need help running
Windows 2010? Bill Gates will sit beside you and guide you through the
system. Have a question for the world's sexiest and smartest nerd? He'll
answer it. Wondering if free and open source software is a plot by
Communists freaks to overthrow the free market system? He'll be there to
explain. Want to ask for a personal loan? Sorry, won't happen."          
The Latest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme: Bashing Linux

As used by Jesse Berst and Fred Moody...

1. Write a scathing article attacking some facet of Linux and publish it
2. Arrange for the article to be mentioned on LinuxToday or Slashdot.
3. Watch as thousands of angry Linux zealots storm your article and load
   the advertising banners. Listen to the ca-chink $ound of the
   advertising revenue that's pouring in.
4. As soon as the maelstrom quiets, publish another scathing article about
   the immaturity of the Linux "community", excerpting some of the nasty
   flames from Linux longhairs denouncing your intelligence and claiming
   that you're on the Microsoft payroll.
5. Arrange for the article to be mentioned on LinuxToday or Slashdot.
6. Watch as thousands of angry Linux zealots storm your article...
7. Wait for a few weeks, and repeat. Cash your inflated paycheck, invest
   the proceeds in some Linux stocks, and retire early. You've "earned" it!
What Did Santa Claus Bring You In 1999? (#1)

LINUS TORVALDS: Santa didn't bring me anything, but Tim O'Reilly just gave
me a large sum of money to publish my new book, "Linus Torvalds' Official
Guide To Receiving Fame, Fortune, and Hot Babes By Producing Your Own
Unix-Like Operating System In Only 10 Years".

ORDINARY LINUX HACKER: I kept hinting to my friends and family that I
wanted to build my own Beowulf Cluster. My grandmother got mixed up and
gave me a copy of "Beowulf's Chocolate Cluster Cookbook". I like
chocolate, but I would've preferred silicon.

LINUX LONGHAIR: My friends sent me a two-year subscription to several
Ziff-Davis publications, much to my dislike. I don't want to read Jesse
Berst's rants against Linux, or John Dvorak's spiels about how great
Windows 2000 is. Still, I suppose this isn't so bad. Ziff-Davis glossy
paper makes an excellent lining for fireplaces.
Alan Cox Releases Quantum Kernel
Submitted by Dave Finton

A surprising development in the linux-kernel mailing list surfaced when
Alan Cox announced the release of a 2.2 Linux kernel existing both as an
official stable kernel and as a prepatch kernel. This immediately spurred
the creation of two different realities (and hence two different Alan
Coxes), where a kernel would not settle down to one or the other state
until someone looked at it.

"I think this resulted from the large number of 'final' prepatch kernels
prior to the 2.2.14 release," said David Miller, kernel networking guru
and gas station attendent (he'll settle down to one or the other state
when someone looks at him).

When word of this development spread to Microsoft, Bill Gates was
extremely delighted. The Redmond, WA campus has been plagued with quantum
fluctuations ever since the inception of Windows 2000 back in 1992. "Our
release date has been existing in infinitely many states since the very
beginning," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "This just shows the Linux
operating system cannot scale to multiple realities as well as our OS."
New Linux Companies Hope To Get Rich Quick (#1)

Adopt-A-Beowulf: the latest company to hop the Linux bandwagon
as it tramples down Wall Street.

Every geek dreams of owning their own Beowulf supercomputer. Very few
people (except for dotcom billionnaires) can afford to build one, but the
folks at Adopt-a-Beowulf can provide the next best thing: a virtual
beowulf. For US$49.95, you can "adopt" your own 256-node Beowulf cluster.
You won't own it, or even get to see it in person, but you will receive
photos of the cluster, a monthly newsletter about its operation, and a
limited shell account on it.

The company hopes to branch out into other fields. Some slated products
include Adopt-A-Penguin, Lease-A-Camel (for Perl mongers), and
Adopt-A-Distro (in which your name will be used as the code-name for a
beta release of a major Linux distribution or other Open Source project).
New Linux Companies Hope To Get Rich Quick (#4)

The buzz surrounding Linux and Open Source during 1999 has produced a
large number of billionnaires. However, people who weren't employed by Red
Hat or VA Linux, or who didn't receive The Letter, are still poor. The
visionaries at The IPO Factory want to change all that.

As the name suggests, this company helps other businesses get off the
ground, secure investments from Venture Capitalists, and eventually hold
an IPO that exits the stratosphere. "You can think of us as meta-VCs," the
IPO Factory's founder said. "You provide the idea... and we do the rest.
If your company doesn't hold a successful IPO, you get your money back,
guaranteed!" He added quickly, "Of course, if you do undergo a billion
dollar IPO, we get to keep 25% of your stock."

The company's first customer, LinuxOne, has been a failure. "From now on
we're only going to service clients that actually have a viable product,"
an IPO Factory salesperson admitted. "Oh, and we've learned our lesson:
it's not a good idea to cut-and-paste large sections from Red Hat's S-1
filing."
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#5)

A commercial that aired during the live ASCII broadcast of the game:

  Having trouble staying awake for weeks at a time working on that latest
  hack? Worried that some young punk will take over your cushy job because
  you sleep too much? Don't worry, EyeOpener« brand cola is here to save
  the day. You'll never feel sleepy again when you drink EyeOpener«.

  Surgeon General's Warning: This product should only be used under a
  doctor's immediate supervision, as it contains more caffeine than 512
  cases of Coca-Cola.

  Caution: When sleep does occur after about three weeks, optometrists
  recommend having someone on hand to close your eyelids.

  Coming soon: ExtremelyWired(tm) cola with 50% more sugar! May or may not
  meet FDA approval... we're still trying.
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#6)
(Round 4, the Who Wants To Be A Billionaire? Round)

ERIC RAYMOND (Moderator): Here's the second question: Who is the primary
author of the world-renowned fetchmail program? [Bzzz] Yes, Hemos?

HEMOS: Mr. Eric... Fetch of Cincinnati, Ohio.

RAYMOND: No, no, no! The answer is me, me, me, you idiots! Sheesh. I'm
resetting your points to zero for that.

ALAN COX: Are you going to ask any questions that are not about you?

RAYMOND: Um... let's see... yeah, there's one or two here... Okay, here's
  question three... What loud-mouthed hippie-spirtualist founder of the
  GNU Project keeps demanding that everybody use the crappy term "Free
  Software" instead of "Open Source"? [Bzzz] Yes, Anonymous Coward?

ANONCOW: Eric Raymond!

RAYMOND: Why you little [expletive]! I'm going to...
NOTICE

LinuxForecast.com has issued a Slashdot Effect Watch for your domain
effective for the next 48 hours. Forecast models indicate that Taco Boy is
planning on posting an article about your "Penguin Porn" site. The models
disagree on the timing or duration of the storm, although we can say that
a moderate risk of server crashes, excess bandwidth usage, and increased
website hosting bills are possible.

Please take appropriate action by mirroring your site. It might be too
late now, but you might also want to consider purchasing Denial Of Service
Insurance.
I Want My Bugs!

An entymologist in Georgia is threatening to sue Microsoft over false
advertising in Windows 2000. "According to Microsoft, Win2K contains
63,000 bugs," he explained. "However, the shrink-wrapped box I purchased
at CompUSSR only had one cockroach along with some worthless papers and a
shiny drink coaster. I got ripped off."

The entymologist hoped that the 63,000 promised bugs would greatly add to
his insect collection. "I had my doubts that Microsoft could deliver
63,000 insects in one small box for only US$299," he said. "However, with
a company as innovative as Microsoft, the sky is the limit. Or at least
that's what I thought." He then asked angrily, "Where do I want to go
today? Back to the store for a refund!"
Right now hundreds of Anonymous Cowards are cheering the fact that only
Windows boobs are victims of ILOVEYOU and other email viruses. I realize
Outlook is so insecure that using it is like posting a sign outside your
door saying, "DOOR UNLOCKED -- ROB ME!". However, Linux isn't immune. If I
had a dollar for every pine buffer overflow uncovered, I could buy a
truckload of fresh herring.

I expect the next mass email virus to spread will be cross-platform. If
the recipient is a Windows/Outlook luser, they'll get hit. If the
recipient is a Linux/pine user, they'll find themselves staring at a
self-executing bash script that's has just allocated 1 petabyte of memory
and crashed the system (or worse).

Either that or the next mass email virus will only damage Linux systems. I
can just see Bill Gates assigning some junior programmer that very task.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

   -- A speech given at the First Annual Connecticut Conspiracy]
      Convention (ConConCon) by an anonymous creature said to
      be "wearing what appeared to be a tuxedo".
Brief History Of Linux (#5)
English Flame War

The idea behind Slashdot-style discussions is not new; it dates back to
London in 1699. A newspaper that regularly printed Letters To The Editor
sparked a heated debate over the question, "When would the 18th Century
actually begin, 1700 or 1701?" The controversy quickly became a matter of
pride; learned aristocrats argued for the correct date, 1701, while others
maintained that it was really 1700. Another sizable third of participants
asked, "Who cares?"

Ordinarily such a trivial matter would have died down, except that one
1700er, fed up with the snobbest 1701 rhetoric of the educated class,
tracked down one letter-writer and hurled a flaming log into his manor
house in spite. The resulting fire was quickly doused, but the practice
known as the "flame war" had been born. More flames were exchanged between
other 1700ers and 1701ers for several days, until the Monarch sent out
royal troops to end the flamage.
Brief History Of Linux (#9)
Edison's most important invention

One of Thomas Edison's most profound inventions was that of patent
litigation. Edison used his many patents on motion pictures to monopolize
the motion picture industry. One could argue that Edison was an early
pioneer for the business tactics employed by Microsoft and the MPAA.

Indeed, Edison's company, the Motion Picture Patent Company (MPPC), formed
in 1908, bears a striking resemblance to the modern-day Motion Picture
Association of America (MPAA). Similar initials, different people, same
evil. The MPCC, with the help of hired thugs, ensured that all motion
picture producers paid tribute to Edison and played by his rules. The
MPAA, with the help of hired lawyers, ensures that all motion picture
producers pay tribute and play by their rules.

Ironically, filmmakers that found themselves facing Edison patent
litigation (or worse) fled to Texas, California, and Mexico. Those same
filmmakers outlasted Edison's monopoly and eventually banded together to
form the MPAA! History has a tendency to repeat itself; so it seems likely
that today's DVD lawsuit victims may well come to power in the future --
and soon become the evil establishment, thus completing another cycle.
Brief History Of Linux (#21)
The GNU Project

Meet Richard M. Stallman, an MIT hacker who would found the GNU Project
and create Emacs, the operating-system-disguised-as-a-text-editor. RMS,
the first member of the Three Initials Club (joined by ESR and JWZ),
experienced such frustration with software wrapped in arcane license
agreements that he embarked on the GNU Project to produce free software.

His journey began when he noticed this fine print for a printer driver:

   You do not own this software. You own a license to use one copy of this
   software, a license that we can revoke at any time for any reason
   whatsoever without a refund. You may not copy, distribute, alter,
   disassemble, or hack the software. The source code is locked away in a
   vault in Cleveland. If you say anything negative about this software
   you will be in violation of this license and required to forfeit your
   soul and/or first born child to us.

The harsh wording of the license shocked RMS. The computer industry was in
it's infancy, which could only mean it was going to get much, much worse.
Brief History Of Linux (#22)

RMS had a horrible, terrible dream set in 2020 in which all of society was
held captive by copyright law. In particular, everyone's brain waves were
monitored by the US Dept. of Copyrights. If your thoughts referenced a
copyrighted idea, you had to pay a royalty. To make it worse, a handful of
corporations held fully 99.9% of all intellectual property rights.

Coincidentally, Bill Gates experienced a similar dream that same night. To
him, however, it was not a horrible, terrible nightmare, but a wonderful
utopian vision. The thought of lemmings... er, customers paying a royalty
everytime they hummed a copyrighted song in their head or remembered a
passage in a book was simply too marvelous for the budding monopolist.

RMS, waking up from his nightmare, vowed to fight the oncoming Copyright
Nightmare. The GNU Project was born. His plan called for a kernel,
compiler, editor, and other tools. Unfortunately, RMS became bogged down
with Emacs that the kernel, HURD, was shoved on the back burner. Built
with LISP (Lots of Incomprehensible Statements with Parentheses), Emacs
became bloated in a way no non-Microsoft program ever has. Indeed, for a
short while RMS pretended that Emacs really was the GNU OS kernel.
Brief History Of Linux (#23)

Linus Torvalds certainly wasn't the only person to create their own
operating system from scratch. Other people working from their leaky
basements did create their own systems and now they are sick that they
didn't become an Alpha Geek like Torvalds or a Beta Geek like Alan Cox.

Linus had one advantage not many else did: Internet access. The world was
full of half-implemented-Unix-kernels at the time, but they were sitting
isolated on some hacker's hard drive, destined to be destroyed by a hard
drive crash. Thankfully that never happened to Linux, mostly because
everyone with Net access could download a copy instead of paying shipping
charges to receive the code on a huge stack of unreliable floppy disks.

Indeed, buried deep within a landfill in Lansing, Michigan sits a stack of
still-readable 5-1/4 floppies containing the only known copy of "Windows
Killer", a fully functional Unix kernel so elegant, so efficient, so
easy-to-use that Ken Thompson himself would be jealous of its design.
Unfortunately the author's mother threw out the stack of floppies in a
bout of spring cleaning. The 14 year old author's talents were lost
forever as his parents sent him to Law School.
Brief History Of Linux (#24)
Linus Torvalds quotes from his interview in "LinuxNews" (October 1992):

"I doubt Linux will be here to stay, and maybe Hurd is the wave of the
future (and maybe not)..."

"I'm most certainly going to continue to support it, until it either dies
out or merges with something else. That doesn't necessarily mean I'll make
weekly patches for the rest of my life, but hopefully they won't be needed
as much when things stabilize." [If only he knew what he was getting into.]

"World domination? No, I'm not interested in that. Galactic domination, on
the other hand..."

"Several people have already wondered if Linux should adopt a logo or
mascot. Somebody even suggested a penguin for some strange reason, which I
don't particularly like: how is a flightless bird supposed to represent an
operating system? Well, it might work okay for Microsoft or even Minix..."

"I would give Andy Tanenbaum a big fat 'F'."
Brief History Of Linux (#28)
Free, Open, Libre, Whatever Software

Eric S. Raymond's now famous paper, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", set
the stage for the lucrative business of giving software away. In CatB, ESR
likened the software industry to an anarchistic bazaar, with each vendor
looking out for himself, trying to hoodwink customers and fellow vendors.
The produce vendor (i.e. Apple), for instance, felt no need to cooperate
with the crystal-ball seller (Oracle) or the con artist hocking miracle
drugs (Microsoft). Each kept their property and trade secrets to
themselves, hoping to gain an edge and make money fast. "With enough
eyeballs, all bug-ridden software programs are marketable," ESR observed.

ESR contrasted the "caveat emptor" Bazaar to an idealistic Cathedral model
used by free software developers. European cathedrals of medieval days
were built block-by-block with extensive volunteer manpower from the
surrounding community. Such projects were "open" in the sense that
everybody could see their progress, and interested people could wander
inside and offer comments or praise about construction methods. "Those
medieval cathedrals are still standing," ESR mused. "But bazaars built in
the 14th Century are long gone, a victim of their inferior nature."
Anonymous Noncoward writes, "For my Economics 101 class, I have to pretend
to be Bill Gates and write an editorial defending Microsoft against
anti-trust charges, citing economic principles. To complete such an
assignment violates every moral fiber of my body. What should I do?"

The Oracle responds: Well, it seems that you have to make a decision among
two choices. You can blow off the assignment, thus forcing you to fail
EC101, lowering your GPA below the required minimum to keep your
scholarship, causing you to drop out of college and work at McDonalds all
your life. Or you can write a paper that's positive towards Microsoft and
make an 'A'. This seems like a no-brainer to me; I'd choose the first
option without hesitation -- a burger flipper has far more dignity and
self-respect than somebody who utters a positive statement about the Evil
Empire.
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you won't waste your valuable time at a vendine machine.

EyeOpener(tm): You'll Never Waste Another Millisecond Ever Again.
"Brown Orifice" Is Only The Beginning

Last week security holes were found in Netscape's Java implementation that
allowed it to act as a web server. Earlier today, a hacker announced that
he had found vulnerabilities in Mozilla M17 that allow it to operate as a
web browser. And that's just the beginning.

Said "3l337h4x0r", the discoverer of the M17 exploit, "This is quite a
hack! By manipulating some internal functions, I was able to use M17 to
actually surf the web. Slashdot and Humorix rendered beautifully."

Mozilla engineers were stunned. "This shouldn't be possible. M17 contains
a newsreader, a mail client, an instant messenger client, and a whole
bunch of XUL acronymn-enriched stuff, but it shouldn't be able to handle
HTTP or HTML. We haven't been planning on adding web-surfing functionality
to Mozilla until M30... maybe M25 at the earliest. I suspect this whole
thing is a hoax."
Look Out! It's Microsoft Outlook

An old maxim in the Unix community states, "All programs expand until they
can read mail... except Microsoft Outlook." Well, that's no longer true.
By taking advantage of loopholes in several undocumented APIs, a team of
geeks were able to transform Outlook from a virus-delivery system into an
actual mail client.

"It was quite a feat to accomplish this," said one of the geeks. "I mean,
the rat's nest that is the Windows API can be used to frighten small
children... or adults. And the frequency by which Outlook exploits are
discovered is directly proportional to the number of times Bill Gates uses
the word 'innovation'. But this is the first time somebody has discovered
a beneficial exploit."

Microsoft has vowed to release a patch to fix the uncovered security
flaws. "We simply cannot tolerate unauthorized reverse engineering and
hacking of our innovative solutions. Our Security Response Team will pull
an all-nighter to eliminate these known issues."
The Next Big Thing: "Clairvoyant Consultants"

Nobody likes to deal with tech support or customer service reps. A growing
number of people are getting sick of being put on hold for three hours and
then paying ridiculous "per incident" fees so some Microserf can tell them
to "reinstall the operating system!"

Desperate users are turning to an unlikely source to diagnose and fix
software problems: psychics. Palm[Pilot] readers, 1-900 number operators,
and clairvoyant consultants are quickly becoming the hottest careers in
the tech sector.

Explained Madam Cosmos, owner of the Main Street Mysticism Temple in
Keokuk, Iowa, "With my special powers, I can track down the source of any
problem. Got a rogue Registry entry that's causing Bluescreens? I'll find
it. Missing a curly bracket in your Perl program but can't locate it
because the error messages are so unhelpful? I'll know where it is even
before you walk in my door."
The Linux House 1.01

Mr. Billy O'Nair knows how to build a house. The 24 year old retired
dotcom billionaire has constructed the "Linux House 1.01", a bachelor pad
built in the shape of Tux Penguin. This geek haven features a 256 foot
long computer room, along with other smaller, lesser important rooms
(kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.).

Explained O'Nair, "Why do architects waste a bunch of space on formal
living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, closets, foyers, and hallways
that are rarely used? In my 'Linux House', the majority of square footage
is devoted to the two rooms that I myself use the most: a computer room
and a procrastination room."

...The Linux House features a LAN (Liquor Acquisition Network) that
delivers alcohol or caffeinated beverages to any room in the house by way
of pipes that run through the ceiling. 'PANIC' buttons scattered
throughout the house activate the RAM System (Random Access Munchies), in
which candy bars and other snacks are immediately delivered by FPM (Fast
Pretzel Mode) and EDO (Extended Delicacy Output) pneumatic tubes.
Clippit Charged With Attempted Murder

Microsoft's Dancing Paper Clip turned violent last week and nearly killed
a university student testing a new Windows-based human-computer interface.
The victim is expected to make a full recovery, although psychiatrists
warn that the incident may scar him emotionally for life. "You can bet
this kid won't be using Windows or Office ever again," said one shrink.

The victim had been alpha-testing CHUG (Computer-Human Unencumbered
Groupware), a new interface in which the user controls the computer with
force-feedback gloves and voice activation.

"I was trying to write a term paper in Word," he said from his hospital
bed. "But then that damned Dancing Paper Clip came up and started annoying
me. I gave it the middle finger. It reacted by deleting my document, at
which point I screamed at it and threatened to pull the power cord. I
didn't get a chance; the force-feedback gloves started choking me."

"We told Clippit it had the right to remain silent, and so on," said a
campus police officer. "The paperclip responded, 'Hi, I'm Clippit, the
Office Assistant. Would you like to create a letter?' I said, 'Look here,
Mr. Paperclip. You're being charged with attempted murder.' At that point
the computer bluescreened."
Unobfuscated Perl (#1)

A rogue group of Perl hackers has presented a plan to add a "use
really_goddamn_strict" pragma that would enforce readability and
UNobfuscation. With this pragma in force, the Perl compiler might say:

* Warning: Program contains zero comments. You've probably never seen or
  used one before; they begin with a # symbol. Please start using them or
  else a representative from the nearest Perl Mongers group will come to
  your house and beat you over the head with a cluestick.

* Warning: Program uses a cute trick at line 125 that might make sense in
  C. But this isn't C!

* Warning: Code at line 412 indicates that programmer is an idiot. Please
  correct error between chair and monitor.

* Warning: While There's More Than One Way To Do It, your method at line
  523 is particularly stupid. Please try again.
Unobfuscated Perl (#2)

A rogue group of Perl hackers has presented a plan to add a "use
really_goddamn_strict" pragma that would enforce readability and
UNobfuscation. With this pragma in force, the Perl compiler might say:

* Warning: Write-only code detected between lines 612 and 734. While this
  code is perfectly legal, you won't have any clue what it does in two
  weeks. I recommend you start over.

* Warning: Code at line 1,024 is indistinguishable from line noise or the
  output of /dev/random

* Warning: Have you ever properly indented a piece of code in your entire
  life? Evidently not.

* Warning: I think you can come up with a more descriptive variable name than
  "foo" at line 1,523.

* Warning: Programmer attempting to re-invent the wheel at line 2,231.
  There's a function that does the exact same thing on CPAN -- and it
  actually works.
World Domination, One CPU Cycle At A Time

Forget about searching for alien signals or prime numbers. The real
distributed computing application is "Domination@World", a program to advocate
Linux and Apache to every website in the world that uses Windows and IIS.

The goal of the project is to probe every IP number to determine what kind of
platform each Net-connected machine is running. "That's a tall order... we
need lots of computers running our Domination@World clients to help probe
every nook and cranny of the Net," explained Mr. Zell Litt, the project head.

After the probing is complete, the second phase calls for the data to be
cross-referenced with the InterNIC whois database. "This way we'll have the
names, addresses, and phone numbers for every Windows-using system
administrator on the planet," Zell gloated. "That's when the fun begins."

The "fun" part involves LART (Linux Advocacy & Re-education Training), a plan
for extreme advocacy. As part of LART, each Linux User Group will receive a
list of the Windows-using weenies in their region. The LUG will then be able
to employ various advocacy techniques, ranging from a soft-sell approach
(sending the target a free Linux CD in the mail) all the way to "LARTcon 5"
(cracking into their system and forcibly installing Linux).
Microsoft Fights Linux -- By Contributing Kernel Patches

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em... and then destory 'em. That seems to be the
new Microsoft strategy for dealing with Linux. Instead of fighting a FUD or
patent war, Microsoft operatives are doing something totally out of character:
they are contributing patches for the Linux kernel and other programs.

Don't worry, Microsoft is still evil. It's all part of a massive denial of
service attack against Linus Torvalds designed to bring kernel development to
a standstill. By sending over 10,000 patches per minute by email to Linus and
other top kernel hackers, Microsoft has exposed Linux's Achilles heel.

"I can't believe this is happening!" one stressed-out kernel hacker said at a
press conference on IRC. "If this goes on, we may have to conduct kernel
development over some other network protocol, like avian carriers... Aw crap,
there's smoke coming from my email server! Ahh... it can't handle the load!"
At this point the developer cut off and we haven't heard from him since.

At first Linus was unsure where the deluge of patches was coming from. But
when he saw one patch to replace kernel panics with bluescreens, the source
was pretty obvious. "Oh, and the fact that all of the patches are covered by
Microsoft's GPL [Grossly Private License] was a dead giveaway, too,"
Official National Anthem Of The Geek Paradise Of Humorixia
(first verse)

I got this bark letter the other day,
"Stop using our trademark or you will pay".

I said "Ha" and threw it in the trash,
Oh but then those lawyers got very rash,

Lawsuits, subpoenas, the accusations came,
All their attacks were truly lame,

They said, "You've committed quite a sin!"
"You're going to get five to ten!"

   Kill all the lawyers!
   Oh, kill all the lawyers!
   Let's "kill -9 lawyers" now!
Microsoft Website Crashes, World Does Not Come To An End

REDMOND, WA -- In a crushing blow to Bill Gates' ego, world civilization
did not collapse when the Microsoft website was offline for an extended
period last week.

During the anti-trust trial, Microsoft's lawyers repeatedly warned that if
the company was broken up or dealt any other penalty (no matter how
trivial), it would not only cost the tech industry billions of dollars,
but it could decimate the entire world economy and even bring about the
start of World War III. At the risk of sounding like a biased, slanted,
overzealous journalist, let me just say: Yeah, right!

The stunning realization that the world does not revolve around Redmond
(yet) has plunged many Microsoft executives into shock. "But microsoft.com
is the single most important website in the world! And Microsoft is the
single most important company in the Universe! This can't be happening!
Why isn't civilization teetering on the edge right now?" said one
depressed President Of Executive Vice.
"Oops," Says MPAA President

Recently, the United States filed a legal brief in support of the MPAA's
argument that linking to the DeCSS source code is not protected by the
First Amendment.

At the time, the MPAA was ecstatic. But not any longer. The tables have
turned: the Federal government has filed a lawsuit against the movie
industry, arguing that many Hollywood-produced movies 'link' to illegal
content. The MPAA is now desperately wrapping itself up in the Bill of
Rights.

"Murder is illegal. Showing a murder in a movie -- or, rather, 'linking'
to it -- is also illegal," explained a spokesperson for the Coalition Of
Angry Soccer Moms In Support Of Brow-Beating Movie Industry Executives, an
interest group that has backed the government's lawsuit.
Bill Gates Sends Out Desperate Plea For Help

REDMOND -- In a shocking development, Chief Bloatware Architect Bill Gates
admitted today that Microsoft is in severe financial difficulty and
desperately needs donations to stay afloat through the next month.

"The dismal state of the economy, the lackluster sales of Windows ME, and
the pending anti-trust lawsuit have placed significant financial stress on
Microsoft," Gates said at a press conference. "We can't continue to
develop and maintain our innovative solutions without financial
contributions from users like you."

The company spent the remaining $10,000 in its coffers to send out letters
to registered Windows users pleading for donations.

"For just pennies a day, you can help support the world's most innovative
company in its quest to discover the cure for the Blue Screen of Death,"
the letter announces. "Or you can help fund research and development into
improving the security of our products against such sinister forces as
script kiddies, crackers, and Linux freaks."
"...Earlier today a New York account executive was arrested for revealing
an account or description of a Yankees baseball game without the prior
written permission of Major League Baseball. The man has been turned over
to MLB's parent company, Nike Sports Monopoly, for sentencing at the Nike
SuperMax Prison in Albany..."

  -- Excerpt from a radio broadcast during the first day of the Month of
     Disney (formerly December), 2028
The Blue Screen Of Advocacy

The Federal Bureau of Investigation & Privacy Violations has issued a
national advisory warning computer stores to be on the lookout for the
"Bluescreen Bandits". These extreme Linux zealots go from store to store
and from computer to computer typing in "C:\CON\CON" and causing the demo
machines to crash and display the Blue Screen Of Death.

Efforts to apprehend the bandits have so far been unsuccessful. The
outlaws were caught on tape at a CompUSSR location in Southern California,
but in an ironic twist, the surveillance system bluescreened just before
the penguinistas came into clear view.

"We don't have many clues. It's not clear whether a small group is behind
the bluescreen vandalism, or whether hundreds or even thousands of geek
zealots are involved," said the manager of a Capacitor City store.

The manager has good reason to be upset. The bluescreen raid was the top
story in the local newspaper and quickly became a hot topic of discussion.
As a result, the local school board halted its controversial plans to
migrate their computers from Macs to PCs.
The Humorix Oracle explains how to get a job at a major corporation:

1. Find an exploit in Microsoft IIS or another buggy Microsoft product to
   which large corporations rarely apply security patches.
2. Create a virus or worm that takes advantage of this exploit and then
   propogates itself by selecting IP numbers at random and then trying to
   infect those machines.
3. Keep an eye on your own website's server logs. When your virus starts
   propogating, your server will be hit with thousands of attacks from
   other infected systems trying to spread the virus to your machine.
4. Make a list of the IP numbers of all of the infected machines.
5. Perform a reverse DNS lookup on these IP numbers.
6. Make a note of all of the Fortune 500 companies that appear on the list
   of infected domains.
7. Send your resume to these companies and request an interview for a
   system administrator position. These companies are hiring -- whether
   they realize it or not.
8. Use your new salary to hire a good defense lawyer when the FBI comes
   knocking.
Press Release -- For Immediate Release
Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA

...Virtually all version of Linux (and Unix) contain a security hole that
allows unauthorized users to gain complete control over the machine. By
simply typing "root" at the login prompt and supplying a password from a
limited number of possibilities, a malicious user can easily gain
administrator privileges. This hole can be breached in seconds with only a
dozen or so keystrokes...

We suspect this issue has been known to Red Hat and other Linux
distributors for years and they have refused to acknowlege its existence
or supply a patch preventing users from exploiting the "root" login
loophole...

By ignoring the problem, the Linux community has proven that installing
Linux is a dangerous proposition that could get you fired. We would like
to point out that Windows XP does not suffer from this gaping hole...
Tests conducted by both Ziff-Davis and Mindcraft prove that Windows XP is
indeed the most secure operating system ever produced...
Insurance Company To Offer Microsoft Audit Protection Plans

LOUDON, TENNESSEE -- Companies, organizations, and government agencies all
across the world are facing a disaster of epic proportions: the impending
invasion of the Microsoft Intellectual Property Police. The counter this
menace, Loydds of Loudon, Tennessee, the prestigious insurance firm, has
started to offer "Audit Insurance" to protect against unexpected "random"
audits from everybody's favorite software monopoly.

"We've received numerous inquiries about this type of protection," company
co-founder Bob Loydds said. "Businessmen are no longer worried about
earthquakes, fires, or other natural disasters. The big fear of the 21st
Century comes from Redmond."

The insurance firm is currently in negotiations with Red Hat to form the
"Red Berets", an elite squad of Linux geeks trained to rapidly install
Linux and hide all traces of Windows on every computer within an
organization. During a Defcon 95 emergency, Loydds will airlift the
squadron and a crate of Linux CDs to any position in the country within
hours. The Red Berets will wipe away all vestiges of Microsoft software so
that when the auditors show up they won't have anything to audit.
Severe Acronym Shortage Cripples Computer Industry

SILICON VALLEY, CALIFORNIA (SVC) -- According to a recent study by the
Blartner Group, 99.5% of all possible five letter combinations have
already been appropriated for computer industry acronyms. The impending
shortage of 5LC's is casting a dark shadow over the industry, which relies
heavily on short, easy-to-remember acronyms for everything.

"Acronym namespace collisions (ANCs) are increasing at a fantastic rate
and threaten the very fabric of the computing world," explained one ZD
pundit. "For example, when somebody talks about XP, I don't know whether
they mean eXtreme Programming or Microsoft's eXceptionally Pathetic
operating system. We need to find a solution now or chaos will result."

Leaders of several SVC companies have floated the idea of an
"industry-wide acronym conservation protocol" (IWACP -- one of the few
5LCs not already appropriated). Explained Bob Smith, CTO of IBM, "If
companies would voluntarily limit the creation of new acronyms while
recycling outdated names, we could reduce much of the pollution within the
acronym namespace ourselves. The last thing we want is for Congress to get
involved and try to impose a solution for this SAS (Severe Acronym
Shortage) that would likely only create many new acronyms in the process."
Solving The Virus Problem Once And For All

System administrators across the globe have tried installing anti-virus
software. They've tried lecturing employees not to open unsolicited email
attachments. They've tried installing firewalls and the latest security
patches. But even with these precautions, email viruses continue to rank
third only to Solitaire and the Blue Screen Of Death in the amount of lost
productivity they cause. Meanwhile, Microsoft Exchange and LookOut! remain
as the number one virus delivery products on the market today.

But maybe not for much longer. A group of disgruntled administrators have
teamed up to produce and sell a brand new way to fight viruses, one that
attacks the root of the problem: stupid users.

Salivating Dogs, Inc. of Ohio has unveiled the "Clue Delivery System"
(CDS), a small device that plugs into the back of a standard PC keyboard
and delivers a mild electric shock whenever the luser does something
stupid. The device is triggered by a Windows program that detects when the
luser attempts to open an unsolicited email attachment or perform another
equally dangerous virus-friendly action.
Mass Exodus From Hollywood

During the past week, over 150 Hollywood actors, musicians, writers,
directors, and key grips have quit their day jobs and moved to the Midwest
to engage in quieter occupations such as gardening or accounting. All of
the these people cite piracy as the reason for giving up their careers.

"I simply can't sit by and let my hard work be stolen by some snot nosed
punk over the Internet," explained millionaire movie director Steve
Bergospiel. "There's absolutely no incentive to create movies if they're
going to be transmitted at the speed of light by thousands of infringers.
Such criminal acts personally cost me hundreds -- no, thousands -- of
dollars. I can't take that kind of fear and abuse anymore."

MPAA President Pei Pervue considers the exodus to be proof that Hollywood
is waking up to the fact that they are being "held hostage" by copyright
infringers. "Without copyright protection and government-backed monopolies
on intellectual property, these's absolutely no reason to engage in the
creative process. Now the Internet, with its click-and-pirate technology,
makes it easy for anybody to flout the law and become a copyright
terrorist. With the scales tipped so much in favor of criminals, it's no
wonder some of Hollywood's elite have thrown in the towel. What a shame."
A help wanted add for a photo journalist asked the rhetorical question:

If you found yourself in a situation where you could either save
a drowning man, or you could take a Pulitzer prize winning
photograph of him drowning, what shutter speed and setting would you use?
                -- Paul Harvey
A New Way of Taking Pills
        A physician one night in Wisconsin being disturbed by a burglar, and
having no ball or shot for his pistol, noiselessly loaded the weapon with
small, hard pills, and gave the intruder a "prescription" which he thinks
will go far towards curing the rascal of a very bad ailment.
                -- Nevada Morning Transcript, January 30, 1861
After two or three weeks of this madness, you begin to feel As One with
the man who said, "No news is good news." In twenty-eight papers, only
the rarest kind of luck will turn up more than two or three articles of
any interest...  but even then the interest items are usually buried deep
around paragraph 16 on the jump (or "Cont.  on ...") page...

The Post will have a story about Muskie making a speech in Iowa.  The
Star will say the same thing, and the Journal will say nothing at all.
But the Times might have enough room on the jump page to include a line
or so that says something like: "When he finished his speech, Muskie
burst into tears and seized his campaign manager by the side of the neck.
They grappled briefly, but the struggle was kicked apart by an oriental
woman who seemed to be in control."

Now that's good journalism.  Totally objective; very active and straight
to the point.
                -- Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing '72"
If you lose your temper at a newspaper columnist, he'll get rich,
or famous or both.
                Once Again From the Top

Correction notice in the Miami Herald: "Last Sunday, The Herald erroneously
reported that original Dolphin Johnny Holmes had been an insurance salesman
in Raleigh, North Carolina, that he had won the New York lottery in 1982 and
lost the money in a land swindle, that he had been charged with vehicular
homicide, but acquitted because his mother said she drove the car, and that
he stated that the funniest thing he ever saw was Flipper spouting water on
George Wilson.  Each of these items was erroneous material published
inadvertently.  He was not an insurance salesman in Raleigh, did not win the
lottery, neither he nor his mother was charged or involved in any way with
vehicular homicide, and he made no comment about Flipper or George Wilson.
The Herald regrets the errors."
                -- "The Progressive", March, 1987
        Reporters like Bill Greider from the Washington Post and Him
Naughton of the New York Times, for instance, had to file long, detailed,
and relatively complex stories every day -- while my own deadline fell
every two weeks -- but neither of them ever seemed in a hurry about
getting their work done, and from time to time they would try to console
me about the terrible pressure I always seemed to be laboring under.
        Any $100-an-hour psychiatrist could probably explain this problem
to me, in thirteen or fourteen sessions, but I don't have time for that.
No doubt it has something to do with a deep-seated personality defect, or
maybe a kink in whatever blood vessel leads into the pineal gland...  On
the other hand, it might be something as simple & basically perverse as
whatever instinct it is that causes a jackrabbit to wait until the last
possible second to dart across the road in front of a speeding car.
                -- Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail"
You know the great thing about TV?  If something important happens
anywhere at all in the world, no matter what time of the day or night,
you can always change the channel.
                -- Jim Ignatowski
A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and
licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.
                -- Dr. Boyce, "The Menagerie" ("The Cage"), stardate unknown
Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to
serve under them.  Captain, a starship also runs on loyalty to one
man.  And nothing can replace it or him.
                -- Spock, "The Ultimate Computer", stardate 4729.4
        "Evil does seek to maintain power by suppressing the truth."
        "Or by misleading the innocent."
                -- Spock and McCoy, "And The Children Shall Lead",
                   stardate 5029.5.
"I'm a doctor, not a mechanic."
                -- "The Doomsday Machine", when asked if he had heard of
                   the idea of a doomsday machine.
"I'm a doctor, not an escalator."
                -- "Friday's Child", when asked to help the very pregnant
                   Ellen up a steep incline.
"I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer."
                -- Devil in the Dark", when asked to patch up the Horta.
"I'm a doctor, not an engineer."
                -- "Mirror, Mirror", when asked by Scotty for help in
                   Engineering aboard the ISS Enterprise.
"I'm a doctor, not a coalminer."
                -- "The Empath", on being beneath the surface of Minara 2.
"I'm a surgeon, not a psychiatrist."
                -- "City on the Edge of Forever", on Edith Keeler's remark
                   that Kirk talked strangely.
"I'm no magician, Spock, just an old country doctor."
                -- "The Deadly Years", to Spock while trying to cure the
                   aging effects of the rogue comet near Gamma Hydra 4.
"What am I, a doctor or a moonshuttle conductor?"
                -- "The Corbomite Maneuver", when Kirk rushed off from a
                   physical exam to answer the alert.
        "It's hard to believe that something which is neither seen nor felt can
do so much harm."
        "That's true.  But an idea can't be seen or felt.  And that's what kept
the Troglytes in the mines all these centuries.  A mistaken idea."
                -- Vanna and Kirk, "The Cloud Minders", stardate 5819.0
Madness has no purpose.  Or reason.  But it may have a goal.
                -- Spock, "The Alternative Factor", stardate 3088.7
The people of Gideon have always believed that life is sacred.  That
the love of life is the greatest gift ... We are incapable of
destroying or interfering with the creation of that which we love so
deeply -- life in every form from fetus to developed being.
                -- Hodin of Gideon, "The Mark of Gideon", stardate 5423.4
        "There's only one kind of woman ..."
        "Or man, for that matter.  You either believe in yourself or you don't."
                -- Kirk and Harry Mudd, "Mudd's Women", stardate 1330.1
(6)        Men employees will be given time off each week for courting
        purposes, or two evenings a week if they go regularly to church.
(7)        After an employee has spent his thirteen hours of labor in the
        office, he should spend the remaining time reading the Bible
        and other good books.
(8)        Every employee should lay aside from each pay packet a goodly
        sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years,
        so that he will not become a burden on society or his betters.
(9)        Any employee who smokes Spanish cigars, uses alcoholic drink
        in any form, frequents pool tables and public halls, or gets
        shaved in a barber's shop, will give me good reason to suspect
        his worth, intentions, integrity and honesty.
(10)        The employee who has performed his labours faithfully and
        without a fault for five years, will be given an increase of
        five cents per day in his pay, providing profits from the
        business permit it.
                -- "Office Worker's Guide", New England Carriage Works, 1872
A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.
                -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"
A cow is a completely automated milk-manufacturing machine. It is encased
in untanned leather and mounted on four vertical, movable supports, one at
each corner.  The front end of the machine, or input, contains the cutting
and grinding mechanism, utilizing a unique feedback device.  Here also are
the headlights, air inlet and exhaust, a bumper and a foghorn.
        At the rear, the machine carries the milk-dispensing equipment as
well as a built-in flyswatter and insect repeller.  The central portion
houses a hydro- chemical-conversion unit.  Briefly, this consists of four
fermentation and storage tanks connected in series by an intricate network
of flexible plumbing.  This assembly also contains the central heating plant
complete with automatic temperature controls, pumping station and main
ventilating system.  The waste disposal apparatus is located to the rear of
this central section.
        Cows are available fully-assembled in an assortment of sizes and
colors.  Production output ranges from 2 to 20 tons of milk per year.  In
brief, the main external visible features of the cow are:  two lookers, two
hookers, four stander-uppers, four hanger-downers, and a swishy-wishy.
A freelance is one who gets paid by the word -- per piece or perhaps.
                -- Robert Benchley
Anything labeled "NEW" and/or "IMPROVED" isn't.  The label means the
price went up.  The label "ALL NEW", "COMPLETELY NEW", or "GREAT NEW"
means the price went way up.
... before I could come to any conclusion it occurred to me that my speech
or my silence, indeed any action of mine, would be a mere futility.  What
did it matter what anyone knew or ignored?  What did it matter who was
manager?  One gets sometimes such a flash of insight. The essentials of
this affair lay deep under the surface, beyond my reach, and beyond my
power of meddling.
                -- Joseph Conrad
Business will be either better or worse.
                -- Calvin Coolidge
Dear Mister Language Person: What is the purpose of the apostrophe?

Answer: The apostrophe is used mainly in hand-lettered small business signs
to alert the reader than an "S" is coming up at the end of a word, as in:
WE DO NOT EXCEPT PERSONAL CHECK'S, or: NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ITEM'S.
Another important grammar concept to bear in mind when creating hand- lettered
small-business signs is that you should put quotation marks around random
words for decoration, as in "TRY" OUR HOT DOG'S, or even TRY "OUR" HOT DOG'S.
                -- Dave Barry, "Tips for Writer's"
Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.  It knows it must run faster
than the fastest lion or it will be killed.  Every morning a lion wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes
up, you'd better be running.
        Exxon's 'Universe of Energy' tends to the peculiar rather than the
humorous ... After [an incomprehensible film montage about wind and sun and
rain and strip mines and] two or three minutes of mechanical confusion, the
seats locomote through a short tunnel filled with clock-work dinosaurs.
The dinosaurs are depicted without accuracy and too close to your face.
        "One of the few real novelties at Epcot is the use of smell to
aggravate illusions.  Of course, no one knows what dinosaurs smelled like,
but Exxon has decided they smelled bad.
        "At the other end of Dino Ditch ... there's a final, very addled
message about facing challengehood tomorrow-wise.  I dozed off during this,
but the import seems to be that dinosaurs don't have anything to do with
energy policy and neither do you."
                -- P.J. O'Rourke, "Holidays in Hell"
I consider a new device or technology to have been culturally accepted when
it has been used to commit a murder.
                -- M. Gallaher
        I for one cannot protest the recent M.T.A. fare hike and the
accompanying promises that this would in no way improve service.  For
the transit system, as it now operates, has hidden advantages that
can't be measured in monetary terms.
        Personally, I feel that it is well worth 75 cents or even $1 to
have that unimpeachable excuse whenever I am late to anything:  "I came
by subway."  Those four words have such magic in them that if Godot
should someday show up and mumble them, any audience would instantly
understand his long delay.
If I were a grave-digger or even a hangman, there are some people I could
work for with a great deal of enjoyment.
                -- Douglas Jerrold
Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting.
                -- Billy Rose
        Now, you might ask, "How do I get one of those complete home tool
sets for under $4?" An excellent question.
        Go to one of those really cheap discount stores where they sell
plastic furniture in colors visible from the planet Neptune and where they
have a food section specializing in cardboard cartons full of Raisinets and
malted milk balls manufactured during the Nixon administration.  In either
the hardware or housewares department, you'll find an item imported from an
obscure Oriental country and described as "Nine Tools in One", consisting of
a little handle with interchangeable ends representing inscrutable Oriental
notions of tools that Americans might use around the home.  Buy it.
        This is the kind of tool set professionals use.  Not only is it
inexpensive, but it also has a great safety feature not found in the
so-called quality tools sets: The handle will actually break right off if
you accidentally hit yourself or anything else, or expose it to direct
sunlight.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
Or you or I must yield up his life to Ahrimanes.  I would rather it were you.
I should have no hesitation in sacrificing my own life to spare yours, but
we take stock next week, and it would not be fair on the company.
                -- J. Wellington Wells
Put your best foot forward.  Or just call in and say you're sick.
Regardless of whether a mission expands or contracts, administrative
overhead continues to grow at a steady rate.
Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the
book or even what book.
Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine,
or the person who operates it.
Support your local church or synagogue.  Worship at Bank of America.
Take time to reflect on all the things you have, not as a result of your
merit or hard work or because God or chance or the efforts of other people
have given them to you.
Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not
take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously.
                -- Booth Tarkington
The best things in life go on sale sooner or later.
The Bible on letters of reference:

        Are we beginning all over again to produce our credentials?  Do
we, like some people, need letters of introduction to you, or from you?
No, you are all the letter we need, a letter written on your heart; any
man can see it for what it is and read it for himself.
                -- 2 Corinthians 3:1-2, New English translation
The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for
everything that goes wrong -- until the next person quits or is fired.
The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends
without any means.
                -- Saul Alinsky
The opossum is a very sophisticated animal.  It doesn't even get up
until 5 or 6 PM.
The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate
knowledge of its ugly side.
                -- James Baldwin
        Then a man said: Speak to us of Expectations.
        He then said: If a man does not see or hear the waters of the
Jordan, then he should not taste the pomegranate or ply his wares in an
open market.
        If a man would not labour in the salt and rock quarries then he
should not accept of the Earth that which he refuses to give of
himself.

        Such a man would expect a pear of a peach tree.
        Such a man would expect a stone to lay an egg.
        Such a man would expect Sears to assemble a lawnmower.
                -- Kehlog Albran, "The Profit"
        They are fools that think that wealth or women or strong drink or even
drugs can buy the most in effort out of the soul of a man.  These things offer
pale pleasures compared to that which is greatest of them all, that task which
demands from him more than his utmost strength, that absorbs him, bone and
sinew and brain and hope and fear and dreams -- and still calls for more.
        They are fools that think otherwise.  No great effort was ever bought.
No painting, no music, no poem, no cathedral in stone, no church, no state was
ever raised into being for payment of any kind.  No parthenon, no Thermopylae
was ever built or fought for pay or glory; no Bukhara sacked, or China ground
beneath Mongol heel, for loot or power alone.  The payment for doing these
things was itself the doing of them.
        To wield onself -- to use oneself as a tool in one's own hand -- and
so to make or break that which no one else can build or ruin -- THAT is the
greatest pleasure known to man!  To one who has felt the chisel in his hand
and set free the angel prisoned in the marble block, or to one who has felt
sword in hand and set homeless the soul that a moment before lived in the body
of his mortal enemy -- to those both come alike the taste of that rare food
spread only for demons or for gods."
                -- Gordon R. Dickson, "Soldier Ask Not"
This planet has -- or rather had -- a problem, which was this:  most of
the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time.  Many
solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were
largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper,
which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of
paper that were unhappy.
                -- Douglas Adams
To be or not to be, that is the bottom line.
What they said:
        What they meant:

"If you knew this person as well as I know him, you would think as much
of him as I do."
        (Or as little, to phrase it slightly more accurately.)
"Her input was always critical."
        (She never had a good word to say.)
"I have no doubt about his capability to do good work."
        (And it's nonexistent.)
"This candidate would lend balance to a department like yours, which
already has so many outstanding members."
        (Unless you already have a moron.)
"His presentation to my seminar last semester was truly remarkable:
one unbelievable result after another."
        (And we didn't believe them, either.)
"She is quite uniform in her approach to any function you may assign her."
        (In fact, to life in general...)
What they say:                                What they mean:

A major technological breakthrough...        Back to the drawing board.
Developed after years of research        Discovered by pure accident.
Project behind original schedule due        We're working on something else.
        to unforseen difficulties
Designs are within allowable limits        We made it, stretching a point or two.
Customer satisfaction is believed        So far behind schedule that they'll be
        assured                                        grateful for anything at all.
Close project coordination                We're gonna spread the blame, campers!
Test results were extremely gratifying        It works, and boy, were we surprised!
The design will be finalized...                We haven't started yet, but we've got
                                                to say something.
The entire concept has been rejected        The guy who designed it quit.
We're moving forward with a fresh        We hired three new guys, and they're
        approach                                kicking it around.
A number of different approaches...        We don't know where we're going, but
                                                we're moving.
Preliminary operational tests are        Blew up when we turned it on.
        inconclusive
Modifications are underway                We're starting over.
Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near
the earth's surface relative to other matter; second, telling other people
to do so.
                -- Bertrand Russell
XXI:
        It's easy to get a loan unless you need it.
XXII:
        If stock market experts were so expert, they would be buying stock,
        not selling advice.
XXIII:
        Any task can be completed in only one-third more time than is
        currently estimated.
XXIV:
        The only thing more costly than stretching the schedule of an
        established project is accelerating it, which is itself the most
        costly action known to man.
XXV:
        A revised schedule is to business what a new season is to an athlete
        or a new canvas to an artist.
                -- Norman Augustine
You or I must yield up his life to Ahrimanes.  I would rather it were you.
I should have no hesitation in sacrificing my own life to spare yours, but
we take stock next week, and it would not be fair on the company.
                -- J. Wellington Wells
After watching my newly-retired dad spend two weeks learning how to make a new
folder, it became obvious that "intuitive" mostly means "what the writer or
speaker of intuitive likes".
(Bruce Ediger, bediger@teal.csn.org, in comp.os.linux.misc, on X the
intuitiveness of a Mac interface.)
Anyone who thinks UNIX is intuitive should be forced to write 5000 lines of
code using nothing but vi or emacs. AAAAACK!
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of commands, especially
Emacs.)
Microsoft Corp., concerned by the growing popularity of the free 32-bit
operating system for Intel systems, Linux, has employed a number of top
programmers from the underground world of virus development. Bill Gates stated
yesterday: "World domination, fast -- it's either us or Linus". Mr. Torvalds
was unavailable for comment ...
(rjm@swift.eng.ox.ac.uk (Robert Manners), in comp.os.linux.setup)
"It's God.  No, not Richard Stallman, or Linus Torvalds, but God."
(By Matt Welsh)
"Linux poses a real challenge for those with a taste for late-night
hacking (and/or conversations with God)."
(By Matt Welsh)
Microsoft is not the answer.
Microsoft is the question.
NO (or Linux) is the answer.
(Taken from a .signature from someone from the UK, source unknown)
> The day people think linux would be better served by somebody else (FSF
> being the natural alternative), I'll "abdicate".  I don't think that
> it's something people have to worry about right now - I don't see it
> happening in the near future.  I enjoy doing linux, even though it does
> mean some work, and I haven't gotten any complaints (some almost timid
> reminders about a patch I have forgotten or ignored, but nothing
> negative so far).
>
> Don't take the above to mean that I'll stop the day somebody complains:
> I'm thick-skinned (Lasu, who is reading this over my shoulder commented
> that "thick-HEADED is closer to the truth") enough to take some abuse.
> If I weren't, I'd have stopped developing linux the day ast ridiculed me
> on c.o.minix.  What I mean is just that while linux has been my baby so
> far, I don't want to stand in the way if people want to make something
> better of it (*).
>
>                 Linus
>
> (*) Hey, maybe I could apply for a saint-hood from the Pope.  Does
> somebody know what his email-address is? I'm so nice it makes you puke.
(Taken from Linus's reply to someone worried about the future of Linux)
"...very few phenomena can pull someone out of Deep Hack Mode, with two
noted exceptions: being struck by lightning, or worse, your *computer*
being struck by lightning."
(By Matt Welsh)
"Waving away a cloud of smoke, I look up, and am blinded by a bright, white
light. It's God. No, not Richard Stallman, or Linus Torvalds, but God. In
a booming voice, He says: "THIS IS A SIGN. USE LINUX, THE FREE UNIX SYSTEM
FOR THE 386."
(Matt Welsh)
        A housewife, an accountant and a lawyer were asked to add 2 and 2.
        The housewife replied, "Four!".
        The accountant said, "It's either 3 or 4.  Let me run those figures
through my spread sheet one more time."
        The lawyer pulled the drapes, dimmed the lights and asked in a
hushed voice, "How much do you want it to be?"
According to Arkansas law, Section 4761, Pope's Digest:  "No person
shall be permitted under any pretext whatever, to come nearer than
fifty feet of any door or window of any polling room, from the opening
of the polls until the completion of the count and the certification of
the returns."
Atlanta makes it against the law to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole
or street lamp.
Fortune's Law of the Week (this week, from Kentucky):
        No female shall appear in a bathing suit at any airport in this
State unless she is escorted by two officers or unless she is armed
with a club.  The provisions of this statute shall not apply to females
weighing less than 90 pounds nor exceeding 200 pounds, nor shall it
apply to female horses.
Fortune's nomination for All-Time Champion and Protector of Youthful
Morals goes to Representative Clare E. Hoffman of Michigan.  During an
impassioned House debate over a proposed bill to "expand oyster and
clam research," a sharp-eared informant transcribed the following
exchange between our hero and Rep. John D. Dingell, also of Michigan.

DINGELL: There are places in the world at the present time where we are
         having to artificially propagate oysters and clams.
HOFFMAN: You mean the oysters I buy are not nature's oysters?
DINGELL: They may or may not be natural.  The simple fact of the matter
         is that female oysters through their living habits cast out
         large amounts of seed and the male oysters cast out large
         amounts of fertilization ...
HOFFMAN: Wait a minute!  I do not want to go into that.  There are many
         teenagers who read The Congressional Record.
"Gentlemen of the jury," said the defense attorney, now beginning
to warm to his summation, "the real question here before you is, shall this
beautiful young woman be forced to languish away her loveliest years in a
dark prison cell?  Or shall she be set free to return to her cozy little
apartment at 4134 Mountain Ave. -- there to spend her lonely, loveless hours
in her boudoir, lying beside her little Princess phone, 962-7873?"
"Hi, I'm Preston A. Mantis, president of Consumers Retail Law Outlet. As you
can see by my suit and the fact that I have all these books of equal height
on the shelves behind me, I am a trained legal attorney. Do you have a car
or a job?  Do you ever walk around?  If so, you probably have the makings of
an excellent legal case.  Although of course every case is different, I
would definitely say that based on my experience and training, there's no
reason why you shouldn't come out of this thing with at least a cabin
cruiser.

"Remember, at the Preston A. Mantis Consumers Retail Law Outlet, our motto
is: 'It is very difficult to disprove certain kinds of pain.'"
                -- Dave Barry, "Pain and Suffering"
Humor in the Court:
Q.  Were you aquainted with the deceased?
A.  Yes, sir.
Q.  Before or after he died?
I suppose some of the variation between Boston drivers and the rest of the
country is due to the progressive Massachusetts Driver Education Manual which
I happen to have in my top desk drawer.  Some of the Tips for Better Driving
are worth considering, to wit:

[173.15b]:
        "When competing for a section of road or a parking space, remember
        that the vehicle in need of the most body work has the right-of-way."

[141.2a]:
       "Although it is altogether possible to fit a 6' car into a 6'
        parking space, it is hardly ever possible to fit a 6' car into
        a 5' parking space."

[105.31]:
       "Teenage drivers believe that they are immortal, and drive accordingly.
        Nevertheless, you should avoid the temptation to prove them wrong."
In Lowes Crossroads, Delaware, it is a violation of local law for any
pilot or passenger to carry an ice cream cone in their pocket while
either flying or waiting to board a plane.
        In Memphis, Tennessee, it is illegal for a woman to drive a car unless
there is a man either running or walking in front of it waving a red
flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians.
In Ohio, if you ignore an orator on Decoration day to such an extent as
to publicly play croquet or pitch horseshoes within one mile of the
speaker's stand, you can be fined $25.00.
In Pocataligo, Georgia, it is a violation for a woman over 200 pounds
and attired in shorts to pilot or ride in an airplane.
In the olden days in England, you could be hung for stealing a sheep or a
loaf of bread.  However, if a sheep stole a loaf of bread and gave it to
you, you would only be tried for receiving, a crime punishable by forty
lashes with the cat or the dog, whichever was handy.  If you stole a dog
and were caught, you were punished with twelve rabbit punches, although it
was hard to find rabbits big enough or strong enough to punch you.
                -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
Kirkland, Illinois, law forbids bees to fly over the village or through
any of its streets.
Men often believe -- or pretend -- that the "Law" is something sacred, or
at least a science -- an unfounded assumption very convenient to governments.
New Hampshire law forbids you to tap your feet, nod your head, or in
any way keep time to the music in a tavern, restaurant, or cafe.
... Our second completely true news item was sent to me by Mr. H. Boyce
Connell Jr. of Atlanta, Ga., where he is involved in a law firm.  One thing
I like about the South is, folks there care about tradition.  If somebody
gets handed a name like "H. Boyce," he hangs on to it, puts it on his legal
stationery, even passes it to his son, rather than do what a lesser person
would do, such as get it changed or kill himself.
                -- Dave Barry, "This Column is Nothing but the Truth!"
                        Pittsburgh driver's test

(5) Your car's horn is a vital piece of safety equipment.  How often should
you test it?

        (a) once a year.
        (b) once a month.
        (c) once a day.
        (d) once an hour.

The correct answer is (d). You should test your car's horn at least once
every hour, and more often at night or in residential neighborhoods.
Some of the most interesting documents from Sweden's middle ages are the
old county laws (well, we never had counties but it's the nearest equivalent
I can find for "landskap").  These laws were written down sometime in the
13th century, but date back even down into Viking times.  The oldest one is
the Vastgota law which clearly has pagan influences, thinly covered with some
Christian stuff.  In this law, we find a page about "lekare", which is the
Old Norse word for a performing artist, actor/jester/musician etc.  Here is
an approximate translation, where I have written "artist" as equivalent of
"lekare".
        "If an artist is beaten, none shall pay fines for it.  If an artist
        is wounded, one such who goes with hurdie-gurdie or travels with
        fiddle or drum, then the people shall take a wild heifer and bring
        it out on the hillside.  Then they shall shave off all hair from the
        heifer's tail, and grease the tail.  Then the artist shall be given
        newly greased shoes.  Then he shall take hold of the heifer's tail,
        and a man shall strike it with a sharp whip.  If he can hold her, he
        shall have the animal.  If he cannot hold her, he shall endure what
        he received, shame and wounds."
The justifications for drug testing are part of the presently fashionable
debate concerning restoring America's "competitiveness." Drugs, it has been
revealed, are responsible for rampant absenteeism, reduced output, and poor
quality work.  But is drug testing in fact rationally related to the
resurrection of competitiveness?  Will charging the atmosphere of the
workplace with the fear of excretory betrayal honestly spur productivity?
Much noise has been made about rehabilitating the worker using drugs, but
to date the vast majority of programs end with the simple firing or the not
hiring of the abuser.  This practice may exacerbate, not alleviate, the
nation's productivity problem.  If economic rehabilitation is the ultimate
goal of drug testing, then criteria abandoning the rehabilitation of the
drug-using worker is the purest of hypocrisy and the worst of rationalization.
                -- The concluding paragraph of "Constitutional Law: The
                   Fourth Amendment and Drug Testing in the Workplace,"
                   Tim Moore, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, vol.
                   10, No. 3 (Summer 1987), pp. 762-768.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively,
or to the people.
                -- U.S. Constitution, Amendment 10. (Bill of Rights)
This product is meant for educational purposes only.  Any resemblance to real
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assembly may be required.  Batteries not included.  Contents may settle during
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condition persists, consult your physician.  No user-serviceable parts inside.
Breaking seal constitutes acceptance of agreement.  Not responsible for direct,
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or failure to perform.  Slippery when wet.  For office use only.  Substantial
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appear for identification purposes only.  All models over 18 years of age.  Do
not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment.  Postage will be
paid by addressee.  Apply only to affected area.  One size fits all.  Many
suitcases look alike.  Edited for television.  No solicitors.  Reproduction
strictly prohibited.  Restaurant package, not for resale.  Objects in mirror
are closer than they appear.  Decision of judges is final.  This supersedes
all previous notices.  No other warranty expressed or implied.
When alerted to an intrusion by tinkling glass or otherwise, 1) Calm
yourself 2) Identify the intruder 3) If hostile, kill him.

Step number 3 is of particular importance.  If you leave the guy alive
out of misguided softheartedness, he will repay your generosity of spirit
by suing you for causing his subsequent paraplegia and seek to force you
to support him for the rest of his rotten life.  In court he will plead
that he was depressed because society had failed him, and that he was
looking for Mother Teresa for comfort and to offer his services to the
poor.  In that lawsuit, you will lose.  If, on the other hand, you kill
him, the most that you can expect is that a relative will bring a wrongful
death action. You will have two advantages: first, there be only your
story; forget Mother Teresa.  Second, even if you lose, how much could
the bum's life be worth anyway?  A Lot less than 50 years worth of
paralysis.  Don't play George Bush and Saddam Hussein.  Finish the job.
        -- G. Gordon Liddy's "Forbes" column on personal security
When Yahweh your gods has settled you in the land you're about to occupy, and
driven out many infidels before you...you're to cut them down and exterminate
them.  You're to make no compromise with them or show them any mercy.
[Deut. 7:1 (KJV)]
In the beginning, I was made.  I didn't ask to be made.  No one consulted
with me or considered my feelings in this matter.  But if it brought some
passing fancy to some lowly humans as they haphazardly pranced their way
through life's mournful jungle, then so be it.
- Marvin the Paranoid Android, From Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the
Galaxy Radio Scripts
You may call me by my name, Wirth, or by my value, Worth.
- Nicklaus Wirth
Do not allow this language (Ada) in its present state to be used in
applications where reliability is critical, i.e., nuclear power stations,
cruise missiles, early warning systems, anti-ballistic missle defense
systems.  The next rocket to go astray as a result of a programming language
error may not be an exploratory space rocket on a harmless trip to Venus:
It may be a nuclear warhead exploding over one of our cities.  An unreliable
programming language generating unreliable programs constitutes a far
greater risk to our environment and to our society than unsafe cars, toxic
pesticides, or accidents at nuclear power stations.
- C. A. R. Hoare
Without coffee he could not work, or at least he could not have worked in the
way he did.  In addition to paper and pens, he took with him everywhere as an
indispensable article of equipment the coffee machine, which was no less
important to him than his table or his white robe.
- Stefan Zweigs, Biography of Balzac
...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has
been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor.
- Fred Brooks, Jr.
A little retrospection shows that although many fine, useful software systems
have been designed by committees and built as part of multipart projects,
those software systems that have excited passionate fans are those that are
the products of one or a few designing minds, great designers.  Consider Unix,
APL, Pascal, Modula, the Smalltalk interface, even Fortran; and contrast them
with Cobol, PL/I, Algol, MVS/370, and MS-DOS.
- Fred Brooks, Jr.
Software entities are more complex for their size than perhaps any other human
construct because no two parts are alike.  If they are, we make the two
similar parts into a subroutine -- open or closed.  In this respect, software
systems differ profoundly from computers, buildings, or automobiles, where
repeated elements abound.
- Fred Brooks, Jr.
Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because
God is not capricious or arbitrary.  No such faith comforts the software
engineer.
- Fred Brooks, Jr.
At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly
contradictory attitudes -- an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre
or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny
of all ideas, old and new.  This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep
nonsense.  Of course, scientists make mistakes in trying to understand the
world, but there is a built-in error-correcting mechanism:  The collective
enterprise of creative thinking and skeptical thinking together keeps the
field on track.
-- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 1987
The inability to benefit from feedback appears to be the primary cause of
pseudoscience.  Pseudoscientists retain their beliefs and ignore or distort
contradictory evidence rather than modify or reject a flawed theory.  Because
of their strong biases, they seem to lack the self-correcting mechanisms
scientists must employ in their work.
-- Thomas L. Creed, "The Skeptical Inquirer," Summer 1987
As the system comes up, the component builders will from time to time appear,
bearing hot new versions of their pieces -- faster, smaller, more complete,
or putatively less buggy.  The replacement of a working component by a new
version requires the same systematic testing procedure that adding a new
component does, although it should require less time, for more complete and
efficient test cases will usually be available.
- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
Conceptual integrity in turn dictates that the design must proceed from one
mind, or from a very small number of agreeing resonant minds.
- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
Obviously, a man's judgement cannot be better than the information on which he
has based it.  Give him the truth and he may still go wrong when he has
the chance to be right, but give him no news or present him only with distorted
and incomplete data, with ignorant, sloppy or biased reporting, with propaganda
and deliberate falsehoods, and you destroy his whole reasoning processes, and
make him something less than a man.
-- Arthur Hays Sulzberger
The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate
knowledge of its ugly side.  -- James Baldwin
I have sacrificed time, health, and fortune, in the desire to complete these
Calculating Engines.  I have also declined several offers of great personal
advantage to myself.  But, notwithstanding the sacrifice of these advantages
for the purpose of maturing an engine of almost intellectual power, and after
expending from my own private fortune a larger sum than the government of
England has spent on that machine, the execution of which it only commenced,
I have received neither an acknowledgement of my labors, not even the offer
of those honors or rewards which are allowed to fall within the reach of men
who devote themselves to purely scientific investigations...  

If the work upon which I have bestowed so much time and thought were a mere
triumph over mechanical difficulties, or simply curious, or if the execution
of such engines were of doubtful practicability or utility, some justification
might be found for the course which has been taken; but I venture to assert
that no mathematician who has a reputation to lose will ever publicly express
an opinion that such a machine would be useless if made, and that no man
distinguished as a civil engineer will venture to declare the construction of
such machinery impracticable...

And at a period when the progress of physical science is obstructed by that
exhausting intellectual and manual labor, indispensable for its advancement,
which it is the object of the Analytical Engine to relieve, I think the
application of machinery in aid of the most complicated and abtruse
calculations can no longer be deemed unworthy of the attention of the country.
In fact, there is no reason why mental as well as bodily labor should not
be economized by the aid of machinery.
- Charles Babbage, Passage from the Life of a Philosopher
Live free or die.
Even if you can deceive people about a product through misleading statements,
sooner or later the product will speak for itself.
- Hajime Karatsu
"Live or die, I'll make a million."
-- Reebus Kneebus, before his jump to the center of the earth, Firesign Theater
I believe that part of what propels science is the thirst for wonder.  It's a
very powerful emotion.  All children feel it.  In a first grade classroom
everybody feels it; in a twelfth grade classroom almost nobody feels it, or
at least acknowledges it.  Something happens between first and twelfth grade,
and it's not just puberty.  Not only do the schools and the media not teach
much skepticism, there is also little encouragement of this stirring sense
of wonder.  Science and pseudoscience both arouse that feeling.  Poor
popularizations of science establish an ecological niche for pseudoscience.
- Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, Fall 87
   It is either through the influence of narcotic potions, of which all
primitive peoples and races speak in hymns, or through the powerful approach
of spring, penetrating with joy all of nature, that those Dionysian stirrings
arise, which in their intensification lead the individual to forget himself
completely. . . .Not only does the bond between man and man come to be forged
once again by the magic of the Dionysian rite, but alienated, hostile, or
subjugated nature again celebrates her reconciliation with her prodigal son,
man.
- Fred Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy
If imprinted foil seal under cap is broken or missing when purchased, do not
use.
The challenge of space exploration and particularly of landing men on the moon
represents the greatest challenge which has ever faced the human race.  Even
if there were no clear scientific or other arguments for proceeding with this
task, the whole history of our civilization would still impel men toward the
goal.  In fact, the assembly of the scientific and military with these human
arguments creates such an overwhelming case that in can be ignored only by
those who are blind to the teachings of history, or who wish to suspend the
development of civilization at its moment of greatest opportunity and drama.
- Sir Bernard Lovell, 1962, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"
To date, the firm conclusions of Project Blue Book are:
   1. no unidentified flying object reported, investigated and evaluated
      by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our
      national security;
   2. there has been no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air
      Force that sightings categorized as UNIDENTIFIED represent
      technological developments or principles beyond the range of
      present-day scientific knowledge; and
   3. there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized
      as UNIDENTIFIED are extraterrestrial vehicles.
- the summary of Project Blue Book, an Air Force study of UFOs from 1950
  to 1965, as quoted by James Randi in Flim-Flam!
I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents
become better people as a result of practicing it.
- Joe Mullally, computer salesman
It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.
It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
- Thomas Jefferson
As to Jesus of Nazareth...I think the system of Morals and his Religion,
as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see;
but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have,
with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his
divinity.
- Benjamin Franklin
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute --
where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic)
how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom
to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or
political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely
because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the
people who might elect him.
- from John F. Kennedy's address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
  September 12, 1960.
The notion that science does not concern itself with first causes -- that it
leaves the field to theology or metaphysics, and confines itself to mere
effects -- this notion has no support in the plain facts.  If it could,
science would explain the origin of life on earth at once--and there is
every reason to believe that it will do so on some not too remote tomorrow.
To argue that gaps in knowledge which will confront the seeker must be filled,
not by patient inquiry, but by intuition or revelation, is simply to give
ignorance a gratuitous and preposterous dignity....
- H. L. Mencken, 1930
There is, in fact, no reason to believe that any given natural phenomenon,
however marvelous it may seem today, will remain forever inexplicable.
Soon or late the laws governing the production of life itself will be
discovered in the laboratory, and man may set up business as a creator
on his own account.  The thing, indeed, is not only conceivable; it is
even highly probable.
- H. L. Mencken, 1930
...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is
the practice of truth.
- George Jacob Holyoake
Like my parents, I have never been a regular church member or churchgoer.
It doesn't seem plausible to me that there is the kind of God who
watches over human affairs, listens to prayers, and tries to guide
people to follow His precepts -- there is just too much misery and
cruelty for that.  On the other hand, I respect and envy the people
who get inspiration from their religions.
- Benjamin Spock
Clothes make the man.  Naked people have little or no influence on society.
- Mark Twain
The fountain code has been tightened slightly so you can no longer dip objects
into a fountain or drink from one while you are floating in mid-air due to
levitation.

Teleporting to hell via a teleportation trap will no longer occur if the
character does not have fire resistance.

- README file from the NetHack game
One may be able to quibble about the quality of a single experiment, or
about the veracity of a given experimenter, but, taking all the supportive
experiments together, the weight of evidence is so strong as readily to
merit a wise man's reflection.
- Professor William Tiller, parapsychologist, Standford University,
  commenting on psi research
Most people exhibit what political scientists call "the conservatism of the
peasantry."  Don't lose what you've got.  Don't change.  Don't take a chance,
because you might end up starving to death.  Play it safe.  Buy just as much
as you need.  Don't waste time.

When  we think about risk, human beings and corporations realize in their
heads that risks are necessary to grow, to survive.  But when it comes down
to keeping good people when the crunch comes, or investing money in
something untried, only the brave reach deep into their pockets and play
the game as it must be played.

- David Lammers, "Yakitori", Electronic Engineering Times, January 18, 1988
Men ought to know that from the brain and from the brain only arise our
pleasures, joys, laughter, and jests as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs
and tears.  ... It is the same thing which makes us mad or delirious, inspires
us with dread and fear, whether by night or by day, brings us sleeplessness,
inopportune mistakes, aimless anxieties, absent-mindedness and acts that are
contrary to habit...
- Hippocrates (c. 460-c. 377 B.C.), The Sacred Disease
Modern psychology takes completely for granted that behavior and neural function
are perfectly correlated, that one is completely caused by the other.  There is
no separate soul or lifeforce to stick a finger into the brain now and then and
make neural cells do what they would not otherwise.  Actually, of course, this
is a working assumption only....It is quite conceivable that someday the
assumption will have to be rejected.  But it is important also to see that we
have not reached that day yet: the working assumption is a necessary one and
there is no real evidence opposed to it.  Our failure to solve a problem so
far does not make it insoluble.  One cannot logically be a determinist in
physics and biology, and a mystic in psychology.
- D. O. Hebb, Organization of Behavior:  A Neuropsychological Theory, 1949
Prevalent beliefs that knowledge can be tapped from previous incarnations or
from a "universal mind" (the repository of all past wisdom and creativity)
not only are implausible but also unfairly demean the stunning achievements
of individual human brains.
- Barry L. Beyerstein, "The Brain and Consciousness: Implications for Psi
  Phenomena", The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 163-171
... Fortunately, the responsibility for providing evidence is on the part of
the person making the claim, not the critic.  It is not the responsibility
of UFO skeptics to prove that a UFO has never existed, nor is it the
responsibility of paranormal-health-claims skeptics to prove that crystals
or colored lights never healed anyone.  The skeptic's role is to point out
claims that are not adequately supported by acceptable evidcence and to
provide plausible alternative explanations that are more in keeping with
the accepted body of scientific evidence. ...
- Thomas L. Creed, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, pg. 215
... The book is worth attention for only two reasons:  (1) it attacks
attempts to expose sham paranormal studies; and (2) it is very well and
plausibly written and so rather harder to dismiss or refute by simple
jeering.
- Harry Eagar, reviewing "Beyond the Quantum" by Michael Talbot,
   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 200-201
Anyone who knows history, particularly the history of Europe, will, I think,
recognize that the domination of education or of government by any one
particular religious faith is never a happy arrangement for the people.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Why, when no honest man will deny in private that every ultimate problem is
wrapped in the profoundest mystery, do honest men proclaim in pulpits
that unhesitating certainty is the duty of the most foolish and ignorant?
Is it not a spectacle to make the angels laugh?  We are a company of
ignorant beings, feeling our way through mists and darkness, learning only
be incessantly repeated blunders, obtaining a glimmering of truth by
falling into every conceivable error, dimly discerning light enough for
our daily needs, but hopelessly differing whenever we attempt to describe
the ultimate origin or end of our paths; and yet, when one of us ventures
to declare that we don't know the map of the universe as well as the map
of our infintesimal parish, he is hooted, reviled, and perhaps told that
he will be damned to all eternity for his faithlessness...
- Leslie Stephen, "An agnostic's Apology", Fortnightly Review, 1876
Till then we shall be content to admit openly, what you (religionists)
whisper under your breath or hide in technical jargon, that the ancient
secret is a secret still; that man knows nothing of the Infinite and
Absolute; and that, knowing nothing, he had better not be dogmatic about
his ignorance.  And, meanwhile, we will endeavour to be as charitable as
possible, and whilst you trumpet forth officially your contempt for our
skepticism, we will at least try to believe that you are imposed upon
by your own bluster.
- Leslie Stephen, "An agnostic's Apology", Fortnightly Review, 1876
However, on religious issures there can be little or no compromise.
There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious
beliefs.  There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than
Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being.
But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf
should be used sparingly.  The religious factions that are growing
throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom.
They are trying to force government leaders into following their position
100 percent.  If you disagree with these religious groups on a
particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of
money or votes or both.  I'm frankly sick and tired of the political
preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be
a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C," and "D."  Just who do
they think they are?  And from where do they presume to claim the
right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?  And I am even more angry as
a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who
thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll
call in the Senate.  I am warning them today:  I will fight them every
step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all
Americans in the name of "conservatism."
- Senator Barry Goldwater, from the Congressional Record, September 16, 1981
...And no philosophy, sadly, has all the answers.  No matter how assured
we may be about certain aspects of our belief, there are always painful
inconsistencies, exceptions, and contradictions.  This is true in religion as
it is in politics, and is self-evident to all except fanatics and the naive.
As for the fanatics, whose number is legion in our own time, we might be
advised to leave them to heaven.  They will not, unfortunately, do us the
same courtesy.  They attack us and each other, and whatever their
protestations to peaceful intent, the bloody record of history makes clear
that they are easily disposed to restore to the sword.  My own belief in
God, then, is just that -- a matter of belief, not knowledge.  My respect
for Jesus Christ arises from the fact that He seems to have been the
most virtuous inhabitant of Planet Earth.  But even well-educated Christians
are frustated in their thirst for certainty about the beloved figure
of Jesus because of the undeniable ambiguity of the scriptural record.
Such ambiguity is not apparent to children or fanatics, but every
recognized Bible scholar is perfectly aware of it.  Some Christians, alas,
resort to formal lying to obscure such reality.
- Steve Allen, comdeian, from an essay in the book "The Courage of
  Conviction", edited by Philip Berman
As I argued in "Beloved Son", a book about my son Brian and the subject
of religious communes and cults, one result of proper early instruction
in the methods of rational thought will be to make sudden mindless
conversions -- to anything -- less likely.  Brian now realizes this and
has, after eleven years, left the sect he was associated with.  The
problem is that once the untrained mind has made a formal commitment to
a religious philosophy -- and it does not matter whether that philosophy
is generally reasonable and high-minded or utterly bizarre and
irrational -- the powers of reason are suprisingly ineffective in
changing the believer's mind.
- Steve Allen, comdeian, from an essay in the book "The Courage of
  Conviction", edited by Philip Berman
We may not be able to persuade Hindus that Jesus and not Vishnu should
govern their spiritual horizon, nor Moslems that Lord Buddha is at the
center of their spiritual universe, nor Hebrews that Mohammed is a major
prohpet, nor Christians that Shinto best expresses their spiritual
concerns, to say nothing of the fact that we may not be able to get
Christians to agree among themselves about their relationship to God.
But all will agree on a proposition that they possess profound spiritual
resources.  If, in addition, we can get them to accept the further
proposition that whatever form the Deity may have in their own theology,
the Deity is not only external, but internal and acts through them, and
they themselves give proof or disproof of the Deity in what they do and
think; if this further proposition can be accepted, then we come that
much closer to a truly religious situation on earth.
- Norman Cousins, from his book "Human Options"
In the broad and final sense all institutions are educational in the
sense that they operate to form the attitudes, dispositions, abilities
and disabilities that constitute a concrete personality...Whether this
educative process is carried on in a predominantly democratic or non-
democratic way becomes, therefore, a question of transcendent importance
not only for education itself but for its final effect upon all the
interests and activites of a society that is committed to the democratic
way of life.
- John Dewey (1859-1953), American philosopher
I am approached with the most opposite opinions and advice, and by men who
are equally certain that they represent the divine will.  I am sure that
either the one or the other is mistaken in the belief, and perhaps in some
respects, both.

I hope it will not be irreverent of me to say that if it is probable that
God would reveal his will to others on a point so connected with my duty,
it might be supposed he would reveal it directly to me.
- Abraham Lincoln
While it cannot be proved retrospectively that any experience of possession,
conversion, revelation, or divine ecstasy was merely an epileptic discharge,
we must ask how one differentiates "real transcendence" from neuropathies
that produce the same extreme realness, profundity, ineffability, and sense
of cosmic unity.  When accounts of sudden religious conversions in TLEs
[temporal-lobe epileptics] are laid alongside the epiphanous revelations of
the religious tradition, the parallels are striking.  The same is true of the
recent spate of alleged UFO abductees.  Parsimony alone argues against invoking
spirits, demons, or extraterrestrials when natural causes will suffice.
-- Barry L. Beyerstein, "Neuropathology and the Legacy of Spiritual
   Possession", The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII, No. 3, pg. 255
The rule on staying alive as a program manager is to give 'em a number or
give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once.
"Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature... Life is
either a daring adventure or nothing."
-- Helen Keller
"Is it really you, Fuzz, or is it Memorex, or is it radiation sickness?"
-- Sonic Disruptors comics
The game of life is a game of boomerangs.  Our thoughts, deeds and words
return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy.
"I've got some amyls.  We could either party later or, like, start his heart."
-- "Cheech and Chong's Next Movie"
SHOP OR DIE, people of Earth!
[offer void where prohibited]
-- Capitalists from outer space, from Justice League Int'l comics
"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists."
-- Dave Barry
Victory or defeat!
"Where humor is concerned there are no standards -- no one can say what is
good or bad, although you can be sure that everyone will.
-- John Kenneth Galbraith
"The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with a dead
girl or a live boy."
-- Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards
Once at a social gathering, Gladstone said to Disraeli, "I predict, Sir, that
you will die either by hanging or of some vile disease".  Disraeli replied,
"That all depends, Sir, upon whether I embrace your principles or your
mistress."
"Ah, you know the type.         They like to blame it all on the Jews or the Blacks,
'cause if they couldn't, they'd have to wake up to the fact that life's one big,
scary, glorious, complex and ultimately unfathomable crapshoot -- and the only
reason THEY can't seem to keep up is they're a bunch of misfits and losers."
-- an analysis of neo-Nazis and such, Badger comics
Support Mental Health.  Or I'll kill you.
All things are either sacred or profane.
The former to ecclesiasts bring gain;
The latter to the devil appertain.
-- Dumbo Omohundro
Administration:  An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive
the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president.
-- Ambrose Bierce
Ill-chosen abstraction is particularly evident in the design of the ADA
runtime system. The interface to the ADA runtime system is so opaque that
it is impossible to model or predict its performance, making it effectively
useless for real-time systems. -- Marc D. Donner and David H. Jameson.
"...I could accept this openness, glasnost, perestroika, or whatever you want
to call it if they did these things: abolish the one party system; open the
Soviet frontier and allow Soviet people to travel freely; allow the Soviet
people to have real free enterprise; allow Western businessmen to do business
there, and permit freedom of speech and of the press.  But so far, the whole
country is like a concentration camp.  The barbed wire on the fence around
the Soviet Union is to keep people inside, in the dark.  This openness that
you are seeing, all these changes, are cosmetic and they have been designed
to impress shortsighted, naive, sometimes stupid Western leaders.  These
leaders gush over Gorbachev, hoping to do business with the Soviet Union or
appease it.  He will say: "Yes, we can do business!"  This while his
military machine in Afghanistan has killed over a million people out of a
population of 17 million.  Can you imagine that?
-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 110
"Remember Kruschev:  he tried to do too many things too fast, and he was
removed in disgrace.  If Gorbachev tries to destroy the system or make too
many fundamental changes to it, I believe the system will get rid of him.
I am not a political scientist, but I understand the system very well.
I believe he will have a "heart attack" or retire or be removed.  He is
up against a brick wall.  If you think they will change everything and
become a free, open society, forget it!"
-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 110
"What if" is a trademark of Hewlett Packard, so stop using it in your
sentences without permission, or risk being sued.
Now, if the leaders of the world -- people who are leaders by virtue of
political, military or financial power, and not necessarily wisdom or
consideration for mankind -- if these leaders manage not to pull us
over the brink into planetary suicide, despite their occasional pompous
suggestions that they may feel obliged to do so, we may survive beyond
1988.  
-- George Rostky, EE Times, June 20, 1988 p. 45
The essential ideas of Algol 68 were that the whole language should be
precisely defined and that all the pieces should fit together smoothly.
The basic idea behind Pascal was that it didn't matter how vague the
language specification was (it took *years* to clarify) or how many rough
edges there were, as long as the CDC Pascal compiler was fast.
-- Richard A. O'Keefe
"The stars are made of the same atoms as the earth."  I usually pick one small
topic like this to give a lecture on.  Poets say science takes away from the
beauty of the stars -- mere gobs of gas atoms.  Nothing is "mere."  I too can
see the stars on a desert night, and feel them.  But do I see less or more?
The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination -- stuck on this carousel
my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light.  A vast pattern -- of which
I am a part -- perhaps my stuff was belched from some forgotten star, as one
is belching there.  Or see them with the greater eye of Palomar, rushing all
apart from some common starting point when they were perhaps all together.
What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the *why?*  It does not do harm to the
mystery to know a little about it.  For far more marvelous is the truth than
any artists of the past imagined!  Why do the poets of the present not speak
of it?  What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but
if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?
-- Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988)
An Animal that knows who it is, one that has a sense of his own identity, is
a discontented creature, doomed to create new problems for himself for the
duration of his stay on this planet.  Since neither the mouse nor the chimp
knows what is, he is spared all the vexing problems that follow this
discovery.  But as soon as the human animal who asked himself this question
emerged, he plunged himself and his descendants into an eternity of doubt
and brooding, speculation and truth-seeking that has goaded him through the
centures as reelentlessly as hunger or sexual longing.  The chimp that does
not know that he exists is not driven to discover his origins and is spared
the tragic necessity of contemplating his own end.  And even if the animal
experimenters succeed in teaching a chimp to count one hundred bananas or
to play chess, the chimp will develop no science and he will exhibit no
appreciation of beauty, for the greatest part of man's wisdom may be traced
back to the eternal questions of beginnings and endings, the quest to give
meaning to his existence, to life itself.
-- Selma Fraiberg, _The Magic Years_, pg. 193
    UNIX Shell is the Best Fourth Generation Programming Language

    It is the UNIX shell that makes it possible to do applications in a small
    fraction of the code and time it takes in third generation languages.  In
    the shell you process whole files at a time, instead of only a line at a
    time.  And, a line of code in the UNIX shell is one or more programs,
    which do more than pages of instructions in a 3GL.  Applications can be
    developed in hours and days, rather than months and years with traditional
    systems.  Most of the other 4GLs available today look more like COBOL or
    RPG, the most tedious of the third generation lanaguages.

"UNIX Relational Database Management:  Application Development in the UNIX
Environment" by Rod Manis, Evan Schaffer, and Robert Jorgensen.  Prentice
Hall Software Series.  Brian Kerrighan, Advisor.  1988.
"A commercial, and in some respects a social, doubt has been started within the
last year or two, whether or not it is right to discuss so openly the security
or insecurity of locks.  Many well-meaning persons suppose that the discus-
sion respecting the means for baffling the supposed safety of locks offers a
premium for dishonesty, by showing others how to be dishonest.  This is a fal-
lacy.  Rogues are very keen in their profession, and already know much more
than we can teach them respecting their several kinds of roguery.  Rogues knew
a good deal about lockpicking long before locksmiths discussed it among them-
selves, as they have lately done.  If a lock -- let it have been made in what-
ever country, or by whatever maker -- is not so inviolable as it has hitherto
been deemed to be, surely it is in the interest of *honest* persons to know
this fact, because the *dishonest* are tolerably certain to be the first to
apply the knowledge practically; and the spread of knowledge is necessary to
give fair play to those who might suffer by ignorance.  It cannot be too ear-
nestly urged, that an acquaintance with real facts will, in the end, be better
for all parties."
-- Charles Tomlinson's Rudimentary Treatise on the Construction of Locks,
   published around 1850
"Gozer the Gozerian:  As the duly appointed representative of the city,
county and state of New York, I hereby order you to cease all supernatural
activities at once and proceed immediately to your place of origin or
the nearest parallel dimension, whichever is nearest."
-- Ray (Dan Akyroyd, _Ghostbusters_
8)   Use common sense in routing cable.  Avoid wrapping coax around sources of
     strong electric or magnetic fields.  Do not wrap the cable around
     flourescent light ballasts or cyclotrons, for example.
-- Ethernet Headstart Product, Information and Installation Guide,
   Bell Technologies, pg. 11
Excitement and danger await your induction to tracer duty!  As a tracer,
you must rid the computer networks of slimy, criminal data thieves.
They are tricky and the action gets tough, so watch out!  Utilizing all
your skills, you'll either get your man or you'll get burned!
-- advertising for the computer game "Tracers"
I ask only one thing.  I'm understanding.  I'm mature.  And it isn't much to
ask.  I want to get back to London, and track her down, and be alone with my
Selina -- or not even alone, damn it, merely close to her, close enough to
smell her skin, to see the flecked webbing of her lemony eyes, the moulding
of her artful lips.  Just for a few precious seconds.  Just long enough to
put in one good, clean punch.  That's all I ask.
-- Martin Amis, _Money_
Now I was heading, in my hot cage, down towards meat-market country on the
tip of the West Village.  Here the redbrick warehouses double as carcass
galleries and rat hives, the Manhattan fauna seeking its necessary
level, living or dead.  Here too you find the heavy faggot hangouts,
The Spike, the Water Closet, the Mother Load.  Nobody knows what goes on
in these places.  Only the heavy faggots know.  Even Fielding seems somewhat
vague on the question.  You get zapped and flogged and dumped on -- by
almost anybody's standards, you have a really terrible time.  The average
patron arrives at the Spike in one taxi but needs to go back to his sock
in two.  And then the next night he shows up for more.  They shackle
themselves to racks, they bask in urinals.  Their folks have a lot of
explaining to do, if you want my opinion, particularly the mums.  Sorry
to single you ladies out like this but the story must start somewhere.  
A craving for hourly murder -- it can't be willed.  In the meantime,
Fielding tells me, Mother Nature looks on and taps her foot and clicks
her tongue.  Always a champion of monogamy, she is cooking up some fancy
new diseases.  She just isn't going to stand for it.
-- Martin Amis, _Money_
Live Free or Live in Massachusettes.
"Flight Reservation systems decide whether or not you exist. If your information
isn't in their database, then you simply don't get to go anywhere."
-- Arthur Miller
"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow,
or I'll have your guts for spaghetti."
-- a comic panel by Cotham
How many Unix hacks does it take to change a light bulb?
   Let's see, can you use a shell script for that or does it need a C program?
...Saure really turns out to be an adept at the difficult art of papryomancy,
the ability to prophesy through contemplating the way people roll reefers -
the shape, the licking pattern, the wrinkles and folds or absence thereof
in the paper.  "You will soon be in love," sez Saure, "see, this line here."
"It's long, isn't it?  Does that mean --" "Length is usually intensity.
Not time."
-- Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity's Rainbow_
A serious public debate about the validity of astrology?  A serious believer
in the White House?  Two of them?  Give me a break.  What stifled my laughter
is that the image fits.  Reagan has always exhibited a fey indifference toward
science.  Facts, like numbers, roll off his back.  And we've all come to
accept it.  This time it was stargazing that became a serious issue....Not
that long ago, it was Reagan's support of Creationism....Creationists actually
got equal time with evolutionists.  The public was supposed to be open-minded
to the claims of paleontologists and fundamentalists, as if the two were
scientific colleagues....It has been clear for a long time that the president
is averse to science...In general, these attitudes fall onto friendly American
turf....But at the outer edges, this skepticism about science easily turns
into a kind of naive acceptance of nonscience, or even nonsense.  The same
people who doubt experts can also believe any quackery, from the benefits of
laetrile to eye of newt to the movment of planets.  We lose the capacity to
make rational -- scientific -- judgments.  It's all the same.
-- Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe Newspaper Company-Washington Post Writers
    Group
Even if we put all these nagging thoughts [four embarrassing questions about
astrology] aside for a moment, one overriding question remains to be asked.
Why would the positions of celestial objects at the moment of birth have an
effect on our characters, lives, or destinies?  What force or influence,
what sort of energy would travel from the planets and stars to all human
beings and affect our development or fate?  No amount of scientific-sounding
jargon or computerized calculations by astrologers can disguise this central
problem with astrology -- we can find no evidence of a mechanism by which
celestial objects can influence us in so specific and personal a way. . . .
Some astrologers argue that there may be a still unknown force that represents
the astrological influence. . . .If so, astrological predictions -- like those
of any scientific field -- should be easily tested. . . . Astrologers always
claim to be just a little too busy to carry out such careful tests of their
efficacy, so in the last two decades scientists and statisticians have
generously done such testing for them.  There have been dozens of well-designed
tests all around the world, and astrology has failed every one of them. . . .
I propose that we let those beckoning lights in the sky awaken our interest
in the real (and fascinating) universe beyond our planet, and not let them
keep us tied to an ancient fantasy left over from a time when we huddled by
the firelight, afraid of the night.
-- Andrew Fraknoi, Executive Officer, Astronomical Society of the Pacific,
    "Why Astrology Believers Should Feel Embarrassed," San Jose Mercury
    News, May 8, 1988
miracle:  an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment.
-- Webster's Dictionary
"I turn on my television set.  I see a young lady who goes under the guise
of being a Christian, known all over the nation, dressed in skin-tight
leather pants, shaking and wiggling her hips to the beat and rythm of the
music as the strobe lights beat their patterns across the stage and the
band plays the contemporary rock sound which cannot be differentiated from
songs by the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, or anyone else.  And you may try
to tell me this is of God and that it is leading people to Christ, but I
know better.
-- Jimmy Swaggart, hypocritical sexual pervert and TV preacher, self-described
pornography addict, "Two points of view: 'Christian' rock and roll.",
The Evangelist, 17(8): 49-50.
"All we are given is possibilities -- to make ourselves one thing or another."
-- Ortega y Gasset
"We will be better and braver if we engage and inquire than if we indulge in
the idle fancy that we already know -- or that it is of no use seeking to
know what we do not know."
-- Plato
"Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care
what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything
you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness.
Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to
insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the
destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be,
be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to
insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as
your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be
yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your
receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this
thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen."

Madrak, in _Creatures of Light and Darkness_, by Roger Zelazny
      ...and before I knew what I was doing, I had kicked the
      typewriter and threw it around the room and made it beg for
      mercy.  At this point the typewriter pleaded for me to dress
      him in feminine attire but instead I pressed his margin release
      over and over again until the typewriter lost consciousness.
      Presently, I regained consciousness and realized with shame what
      I had done.  My shame is gone and now I am looking for a
      submissive typewriter, any color, or model.  No electric
      typewriters please!
                        --Rick Kleiner
"Despite its suffix, skepticism is not an "ism" in the sense of a belief
or dogma.  It is simply an approach to the problem of telling what is
counterfeit and what is genuine.  And a recognition of how costly it may
be to fail to do so.  To be a skeptic is to cultivate "street smarts" in
the battle for control of one's own mind, one's own money, one's own
allegiances.  To be a skeptic, in short, is to refuse to be a victim.
-- Robert S. DeBear, "An Agenda for Reason, Realism, and Responsibility,"
New York Skeptic (newsletter of the New York Area Skeptics, Inc.), Spring 1988
        So we get to my point.  Surely people around here read things that
aren't on the *Officially Sanctioned Cyberpunk Reading List*.  Surely we
don't (any of us) really believe that there is some big, deep political and
philosophical message in all this, do we?  So if this `cyberpunk' thing is
just a term of convenience, how can somebody sell out?  If cyberpunk is just a
word we use to describe a particular style and imagery in sf, how can it be
dead?  Where are the profound statements that the `Movement' is or was trying
to make?
        I think most of us are interested in examining and discussing literary
(and musical) works that possess a certain stylistic excellence and perhaps a
rather extreme perspective; this is what CP is all about, no?  Maybe there
should be a newsgroup like, say, alt.postmodern or somthing.  Something less
restrictive in scope than alt.cyberpunk.
-- Jeff G. Bone
It might be worth reflecting that this group was originally created
back in September of 1987 and has exchanged over 1200 messages.  The
original announcement for the group called for an all inclusive
discussion ranging from the writings of Gibson and Vinge and movies
like Bladerunner to real world things like Brands' description of the
work being done at the MIT Media Lab.  It was meant as a haven for
people with vision of this scope.  If you want to create a haven for
people with narrower visions, feel free.  But I feel sad for anyone
who thinks that alt.cyberpunk is such a monstrous group that it is in
dire need of being subdivided.  Heaven help them if they ever start
reading comp.arch or rec.arts.sf-lovers.
-- Bob Webber
Who are the artists in the Computer Graphics Show?  Wavefront's latest box, or
the people who programmed it?  Should Mandelbrot get all the credit for the
output of programs like MandelVroom?
-- Peter da Silva
                        HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 1

proof by example:
        The author gives only the case n = 2 and suggests that it
        contains most of the ideas of the general proof.

proof by intimidation:
        'Trivial'.

proof by vigorous handwaving:
        Works well in a classroom or seminar setting.
                        HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 2

proof by cumbersome notation:
        Best done with access to at least four alphabets and special
        symbols.

proof by exhaustion:
        An issue or two of a journal devoted to your proof is useful.

proof by omission:
        'The reader may easily supply the details'
        'The other 253 cases are analogous'
        '...'
                        HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 3

proof by obfuscation:
        A long plotless sequence of true and/or meaningless
        syntactically related statements.

proof by wishful citation:
        The author cites the negation, converse, or generalization of
        a theorem from the literature to support his claims.

proof by funding:
        How could three different government agencies be wrong?

proof by eminent authority:
        'I saw Karp in the elevator and he said it was probably NP-
        complete.'
                        HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 5

proof by accumulated evidence:
        Long and diligent search has not revealed a counterexample.

proof by cosmology:
        The negation of the proposition is unimaginable or
        meaningless. Popular for proofs of the existence of God.

proof by mutual reference:
        In reference A, Theorem 5 is said to follow from Theorem 3 in
        reference B, which is shown to follow from Corollary 6.2 in
        reference C, which is an easy consequence of Theorem 5 in
        reference A.

proof by metaproof:
        A method is given to construct the desired proof. The
        correctness of the method is proved by any of these
        techniques.
        [May one] doubt whether, in cheese and timber, worms are generated,
        or, if beetles and wasps, in cow-dung, or if butterflies, locusts,
        shellfish, snails, eels, and such life be procreated of putrefied
        matter, which is to receive the form of that creature to which it
        is by formative power disposed[?]  To question this is to question
        reason, sense, and experience.  If he doubts this, let him go to
        Egypt, and there he will find the fields swarming with mice begot
        of the mud of the Nylus, to the great calamity of the inhabitants.
                A seventeenth century opinion quoted by L. L. Woodruff,
                in *The Evolution of Earth and Man*, 1929
"Just out of curiosity does this actually mean something or have some
of the few remaining bits of your brain just evaporated?"
-- Patricia O Tuama, rissa@killer.DALLAS.TX.US
"Every group has a couple of experts.  And every group has at least one idiot.
Thus are balance and harmony (and discord) maintained.  It's sometimes hard
to remember this in the bulk of the flamewars that all of the hassle and
pain is generally caused by one or two highly-motivated, caustic twits."
-- Chuq Von Rospach, chuq@apple.com, about Usenet
Q: Somebody just posted that Roman Polanski directed Star Wars.  What
should I do?

A: Post the correct answer at once!  We can't have people go on believing
that!  Very good of you to spot this.  You'll probably be the only one to
make the correction, so post as soon as you can.  No time to lose, so
certainly don't wait a day, or check to see if somebody else has made the
correction.

And it's not good enough to send the message by mail.  Since you're the
only one who really knows that it was Francis Coppola, you have to inform
the whole net right away!

-- Brad Templeton, _Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette_
Q: How can I choose what groups to post in?  ...
Q: How about an example?

A: Ok.  Let's say you want to report that Gretzky has been traded from the
Oilers to the Kings.  Now right away you might think rec.sport.hockey
would be enough.  WRONG.  Many more people might be interested.  This is a
big trade!  Since it's a NEWS article, it belongs in the news.* hierarchy
as well.  If you are a news admin, or there is one on your machine, try
news.admin.  If not, use news.misc.

The Oilers are probably interested in geology, so try sci.physics.  He is
a big star, so post to sci.astro, and sci.space because they are also
interested in stars.  Next, his name is Polish sounding.  So post to
soc.culture.polish.  But that group doesn't exist, so cross-post to
news.groups suggesting it should be created.  With this many groups of
interest, your article will be quite bizarre, so post to talk.bizarre as
well.  (And post to comp.std.mumps, since they hardly get any articles
there, and a "comp" group will propagate your article further.)

You may also find it is more fun to post the article once in each group.
If you list all the newsgroups in the same article, some newsreaders will
only show the the article to the reader once!  Don't tolerate this.
-- Brad Templeton, _Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette_
"Is it just me, or does anyone else read `bible humpers' every time
someone writes `bible thumpers?'
-- Joel M. Snyder, jms@mis.arizona.edu
"Be *excellent* to each other."
-- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
The Seventh Edition licensing procedures are, I suppose, still in effect,
though I doubt that tapes are available from AT&T.  At any rate, whatever
restrictions the license imposes still exist.  These restrictions were and
are reasonable for places that just want to run the system, but don't allow
many of the things that Minix was written for, like study of the source in
classes, or by individuals not in a university or company.

I've always thought that Minix was a fine idea, and competently done.

As for the size of v7, wc -l /usr/sys/*/*.[chs] is 19271.

-- Dennis Ritchie, 1989
"I see little divinity about them or you.  You talk to me of Christianity
when you are in the act of hanging your enemies.  Was there ever such
blasphemous nonsense!"
-- Shaw, "The Devil's Disciple"
                     THE "FUN WITH USENET" MANIFESTO
Very little happens on Usenet without some sort of response from some other
reader.  Fun With Usenet postings are no exception.  Since there are some who
might question the rationale of some of the excerpts included therein, I have
written up a list of guidelines that sum up the philosophy behind these
postings.

        One.  I never cut out words in the middle of a quote without a VERY
good reason, and I never cut them out without including ellipses.  For
instance, "I am not a goob" might become "I am ... a goob", but that's too
mundane to bother with.  "I'm flame proof" might (and has) become
"I'm ...a... p...oof" but that's REALLY stretching it.

        Two.  If I cut words off the beginning or end of a quote, I don't
put ellipses, but neither do I capitalize something that wasn't capitalized
before the cut. "I don't think that the Church of Ubizmo is a wonderful
place" would turn into "the Church of Ubizmo is a wonderful place".  Imagine
the posting as a tape-recording of the poster's thoughts.  If I can set
up the quote via fast-forwarding and stopping the tape, and without splicing,
I don't put ellipses in.  And by the way, I love using this mechanism for
turning things around.  If you think something stinks, say so - don't say you
don't think it's wonderful.   ...
-- D. J. McCarthy (dmccart@cadape.UUCP)
There was, it appeared, a mysterious rite of initiation through which, in
one way or another, almost every member of the team passed.  The term that
the old hands used for this rite -- West invented the term, not the practice --
was `signing up.'  By signing up for the project you agreed to do whatever
was necessary for success.  You agreed to forsake, if necessary, family,
hobbies, and friends -- if you had any of these left (and you might not, if
you had signed up too many times before).
-- Tracy Kidder, _The Soul of a New Machine_
I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradictions to the sentiments of
others, and all positive assertion of my own.  I even forbade myself the use
of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion,
such as "certainly", "undoubtedly", etc.   I adopted instead of them "I
conceive", "I apprehend", or "I imagine" a thing to be so or so; or "so it
appears to me at present".

When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the
pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing him immediately some
absurdity in his proposition.  In answering I began by observing that in
certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present
case there appeared or semed to me some difference, etc.

I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I
engaged in went on more pleasantly.  The modest way in which I proposed my
opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction.  I had
less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily
prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I
happened to be in the right.
-- Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
"If I ever get around to writing that language depompisifier, it will change
almost all occurences of the word "paradigm" into "example" or "model."
-- Herbie Blashtfalt
"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it."
-- Marvin the paranoid android
"The ACLU has stood foursquare against the recurring tides of hysteria that
>from time to time threaten freedoms everyhere... Indeed, it is difficult
to appreciate how far our freedoms might have eroded had it not been for the
Union's valiant representation in the courts of the constitutional rights
of people of all persuasions, no matter how unpopular or even despised
by the majority they were at the time."
-- former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren
"(The Chief Programmer) personally defines the functional and performance
specifications, designs the program, codes it, tests it, and writes its
documentation... He needs great talent, ten years experience and
considerable systems and applications knowledge, whether in applied
mathematics, business data handling, or whatever."
-- Fred P. Brooks, _The Mythical Man Month_
"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and
the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money it values more, it will
lose that, too."
-- W. Somerset Maugham
Comparing information and knowledge is like asking whether the fatness of a
pig is more or less green than the designated hitter rule."
-- David Guaspari
A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head.  The
green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that
grew in the ears themselvse, stuck out on either side like turn signals
indicating two directions at once.  Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the
bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled
with disapproval and potato chip crumbs.  In the shadow under the green visor
of the cap Ignatius J. Reilly's supercilious blue and yellow eyes looked down
upon the other people waiting under the clock at the D.H. Holmes department
store, studying the crowd of people for signs of bad taste in dress.  Several
of the outfits, Ignatius noticed, were new enough and expensive enough to be
properly considered offenses against taste and decency.  Possession of
anything new or expensive only reflected a person's lack of theology and
geometry; it could even cast doubts upon one's soul.
                -- John Kennedy Toole, "Confederacy of Dunces"
A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own absurdities will keep
him from the commission of all sins, or nearly all, save those that are
worth committing.
                -- Samuel Butler
Albert Camus wrote that the only serious question is whether to kill yourself
or not.  Tom Robbins wrote that the only serious question is whether time has
a beginning and an end.  Camus clearly got up on the wrong side of bed, and
Robbins must have forgotten to set the alarm.
                -- Tom Robbins
An excellence-oriented '80s male does not wear a regular watch.  He wears
a Rolex watch, because it weighs nearly six pounds and is advertised
only in excellence-oriented publications such as Fortune and Rich
Protestant Golfer Magazine.  The advertisements are written in
incomplete sentences, which is how advertising copywriters denote excellence:

"The Rolex Hyperion.  An elegant new standard in quality excellence and
discriminating handcraftsmanship.  For the individual who is truly able
to discriminate with regard to excellent quality standards of crafting
things by hand.  Fabricated of 100 percent 24-karat gold.  No watch parts
or anything.  Just a great big chunk on your wrist.  Truly a timeless
statement.  For the individual who is very secure.  Who doesn't need to
be reminded all the time that he is very successful. Much more successful
than the people who laughed at him in high school.  Because of his acne.
People who are probably nowhere near as successful as he is now.  Maybe
he'll go to his 20th reunion, and they'll see his Rolex Hyperion.
Hahahahahahahahaha."
                -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
Are your glasses mended with a strip of masking tape right over your nose?
Do you put pennies in the slots in your penny loafers?
Does your bow-tie flash "hey you kid" in red neon at parties?
Do you think pizza before noon is unhealthy?
Do you use the "greasy kid's stuff" to stick down your cowlick?
Do you wear a "nerd-pack" in your shirt pocket to keep the dozen
        or so pencils from marking the cloth?
Do you think Mary Jane is somebody's name?
Is illegal fishing something only a daring criminal would do?
Is Batman your hero?  Superman?  Green Lantern?  The Shadow?
Do you think girls who kiss on the first date are loose?
As many of you know, I am taking a class here at UNC on Personality.
One of the tests to determine personality in our book was so incredibly
useful and interesting, I just had to share it.

Answer each of the following items "true" or "false"

1. I salivate at the sight of mittens.
2. If I go into the street, I'm apt to be bitten by a horse.
3. Some people never look at me.
4. Spinach makes me feel alone.
5. My sex life is A-okay.
6. When I look down from a high spot, I want to spit.
7. I like to kill mosquitoes.
8. Cousins are not to be trusted.
9. It makes me embarrassed to fall down.
10. I get nauseous from too much roller skating.
11. I think most people would cry to gain a point.
12. I cannot read or write.
13. I am bored by thoughts of death.
14. I become homicidal when people try to reason with me.
15. I would enjoy the work of a chicken flicker.
16. I am never startled by a fish.
17. My mother's uncle was a good man.
18. I don't like it when somebody is rotten.
19. People who break the law are wise guys.
20. I have never gone to pieces over the weekend.
As many of you know, I am taking a class here at UNC on Personality.
One of the tests to determine personality in our book was so incredibly
useful and interesting, I just had to share it.

Answer each of the following items "true" or "false"

1. I think beavers work too hard.
2. I use shoe polish to excess.
3. God is love.
4. I like mannish children.
5. I have always been diturbed by the sight of Lincoln's ears.
6. I always let people get ahead of me at swimming pools.
7. Most of the time I go to sleep without saying goodbye.
8. I am not afraid of picking up door knobs.
9. I believe I smell as good as most people.
10. Frantic screams make me nervous.
11. It's hard for me to say the right thing when I find myself in a room
    full of mice.
12. I would never tell my nickname in a crisis.
13. A wide necktie is a sign of disease.
14. As a child I was deprived of licorice.
15. I would never shake hands with a gardener.
16. My eyes are always cold.
17. Cousins are not to be trusted.
18. When I look down from a high spot, I want to spit.
19. I am never startled by a fish.
20. I have never gone to pieces over the weekend.
Be careful how you get yourself involved with persons or situations that
can't bear inspection.
But I find the old notions somehow appealing.  Not that I want to go back
to them -- it is outrageous to have some outer authority tell you what is
proper use and abuse of your own faculties, and it is ludicrous to hold
reason higher than body or feeling.  Still there is something true and
profoundly sane about the belief that acts like murder or theft or
assault violate the doer as well as the done to.  We might even, if we
thought this way, have less crime.  The popular view of crime, as far as
I can deduce it from the movies and television, is that it is a breaking
of a rule by someone who thinks they can get away with that; implicitly,
everyone would like to break the rule, but not everyone is arrogant
enough to imagine they can get away with it.  It therefore becomes very
important for the rule upholders to bring such arrogance down.
                -- Marilyn French, "The Woman's Room"
Don't believe everything you hear or anything you say.
Every man is apt to form his notions of things difficult to be apprehended,
or less familiar, from their analogy to things which are more familiar.
Thus, if a man bred to the seafaring life, and accustomed to think and talk
only of matters relating to navigation, enters into discourse upon any other
subject; it is well known, that the language and the notions proper to his
own profession are infused into every subject, and all things are measured
by the rules of navigation: and if he should take it into his head to
philosophize concerning the faculties of the mind, it cannot be doubted,
but he would draw his notions from the fabric of the ship, and would find
in the mind, sails, masts, rudder, and compass.
                -- Thomas Reid, "An Inquiry into the Human Mind", 1764
Everyone is more or less mad on one point.
                -- Rudyard Kipling
Her days were spent in a kind of slow bustle; always busy without getting
on, always behind hand and lamenting it, without altering her ways;
wishing to be an economist, without contrivance or regularity; dissatisfied
with her servants, without skill to make them better, and whether helping, or
reprimanding, or indulging them, without any power of engaging their respect.
                -- J. Austen
Higgins:        Doolittle, you're either an honest man or a rogue.
Doolittle:        A little of both, Guv'nor.  Like the rest of us, a
                little of both.
                -- Shaw, "Pygmalion"
I consider the day misspent that I am not either charged with a crime,
or arrested for one.
                -- "Ratsy" Tourbillon
I do not know where to find in any literature, whether ancient or modern,
any adequate account of that nature with which I am acquainted.  Mythology
comes nearest to it of any.
                -- Henry David Thoreau
I either want less decadence or more chance to participate in it.
I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his
own eyes.  What matters is not what I think of him; it is what he thinks
of himself.  To undermine a man's self-respect is a sin.
                -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
        I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradictions to the sentiments
of others, and all positive assertion of my own.  I even forbade myself the use
of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such
as "certainly", "undoubtedly", etc.   I adopted instead of them "I conceive",
"I apprehend", or "I imagine" a thing to be so or so; or "so it appears to me
at present".
        When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied
myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing him
immediately some absurdity in his proposition.  In answering I began by
observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right,
but in the present case there appeared or semed to me some difference, etc.
        I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the
conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly.  The modest way in which I
proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction.
I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily
prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I
happened to be in the right.
                -- Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.
                -- Oscar Wilde, "Phrases and Philosophies for the Use
                of the Young"
If you're careful enough, nothing bad or good will ever happen to you.
It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether II win or lose.
                -- Darrin Weinberg
"Just out of curiosity does this actually mean something or have some
of the few remaining bits of your brain just evaporated?"
                -- Patricia O Tuama, rissa@killer.DALLAS.TX.US
Like my parents, I have never been a regular church member or churchgoer.
It doesn't seem plausible to me that there is the kind of God who watches
over human affairs, listens to prayers, and tries to guide people to follow
His precepts -- there is just too much misery and cruelty for that.  On the
other hand, I respect and envy the people who get inspiration from their
religions.
                -- Benjamin Spock
Men ought to know that from the brain and from the brain only arise our
pleasures, joys, laughter, and jests as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs
and tears.  ...  It is the same thing which makes us mad or delirious,
inspires us with dread and fear, whether by night or by day, brings us
sleeplessness, inopportune mistakes, aimless anxieties, absent-mindedness
and acts that are contrary to habit...
                -- Hippocrates "The Sacred Disease"
Most of our lives are about proving something, either to ourselves or to
someone else.
Most people in this society who aren't actively mad are, at best,
reformed or potential lunatics.
                -- Susan Sontag
Nobody is one block of harmony.  We are all afraid of something, or feel
limited in something.  We all need somebody to talk to.  It would be good
if we talked to each other--not just pitter-patter, but real talk.  We
shouldn't be so afraid, because most people really like this contact;
that you show you are vulnerable makes them free to be vulnerable too.
It's so much easier to be together when we drop our masks.
                -- Liv Ullman
        "Richard, in being so fierce toward my vampire, you were doing
what you wanted to do, even though you thought it was going to hurt
somebody else. He even told you he'd be hurt if..."
        "He was going to suck my blood!"
        "Which is what we do to anyone when we tell them we'll be hurt
if they don't live our way."
...
        "The thing that puzzles you," he said, "is an accepted saying that
happens to be impossible.  The phrase is hurt somebody else.  We choose,
ourselves, to be hurt or not to be hurt, no matter what.  Us who decides.
Nobody else.  My vampire told you he'd be hurt if you didn't let him?  That's
his decision to be hurt, that's his choice.  What you do about it is your
decision, your choice: give him blood; ignore him; tie him up; drive a stake
through his heart.  If he doesn't want the holly stake, he's free to resist,
in whatever way he wants.  It goes on and on, choices, choices."
        "When you look at it that way..."
        "Listen," he said, "it's important.  We are all.  Free.  To do.
Whatever.  We want.  To do."
                -- Richard Bach, "Illusions"
So far as we are human, what we do must be either evil or good: so far
as we do evil or good, we are human: and it is better, in a paradoxical
way, to do evil than to do nothing: at least we exist.
                -- T.S. Eliot, essay on Baudelaire
Something better...

1 (obvious): Excuse me.  Is that your nose or did a bus park on your face?
2 (meteorological): Everybody take cover.  She's going to blow.
3 (fashionable): You know, you could de-emphasize your nose if you wore
        something larger.  Like ... Wyoming.
4 (personal): Well, here we are.  Just the three of us.
5 (punctual): Alright gentlemen.  Your nose was on time but you were fifteen
        minutes late.
6 (envious): Oooo, I wish I were you.  Gosh.  To be able to smell your
        own ear.
7 (naughty): Pardon me, Sir.  Some of the ladies have asked if you wouldn't
        mind putting that thing away.
8 (philosophical): You know.  It's not the size of a nose that's important.
        It's what's in it that matters.
9 (humorous): Laugh and the world laughs with you.  Sneeze and it's goodbye,
        Seattle.
10 (commercial): Hi, I'm Earl Schibe and I can paint that nose for $39.95.
11 (polite): Ah.  Would you mind not bobbing your head.  The orchestra keeps
        changing tempo.
12 (melodic): Everybody! "He's got the whole world in his nose."
                -- Steve Martin, "Roxanne"
There is no such thing as inner peace.  There is only nervousness or death.
Any attempt to prove otherwise constitutes unacceptable behaviour.
                -- Fran Lebowitz, "Metropolitan Life"
To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient
solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.
                -- H. Poincar'e
We thrive on euphemism.  We call multi-megaton bombs "Peace-keepers", closet
size apartments "efficient" and incomprehensible artworks "innovative".  In
fact, "euphemism" has become a euphemism for "bald-faced lie".  And now, here
are the euphemisms so colorfully employed in Personal Ads:

EUPHEMISM                        REALITY
-------------------                -------------------------
Excited about life's journey        No concept of reality
Spiritually evolved                Oversensitive
Moody                                Manic-depressive
Soulful                                Quiet manic-depressive
Poet                                Boring manic-depressive
Sultry/Sensual                        Easy
Uninhibited                        Lacking basic social skills
Unaffected and earthy                Slob and lacking basic social skills
Irreverent                        Nasty and lacking basic social skills
Very human                        Quasimodo's best friend
Swarthy                                Sweaty even when cold or standing still
Spontaneous/Eclectic                Scatterbrained
Flexible                        Desperate
Aging child                        Self-centered adult
Youthful                        Over 40 and trying to deny it
Good sense of humor                Watches a lot of television
What do I consider a reasonable person to be?  I'd say a reasonable person
is one who accepts that we are all human and therefore fallible, and takes
that into account when dealing with others.  Implicit in this definition is
the belief that it is the right and the responsibility of each person to
live his or her own life as he or she sees fit, to respect this right in
others, and to demand the assumption of this responsibility by others.
        What is involved in such [close] relationships is a form of emotional
chemistry, so far unexplained by any school of psychiatry I am aware of, that
conditions nothing so simple as a choice between the poles of attraction and
repulsion.  You can meet some people thirty, forty times down the years, and
they remain amiable bystanders, like the shore lights of towns that a sailor
passes at stated times but never calls at on the regular run.  Conversely,
all considerations of sex aside, you can meet some other people once or twice
and they remain permanent influences on your life.
        Everyone is aware of this discrepancy between the acquaintance seen
as familiar wallpaper or instant friend.  The chemical action it entails is
less worth analyzing than enjoying.  At any rate, these six pieces are about
men with whom I felt an immediate sympat - to use a coining of Max Beerbohm's
more satisfactory to me than the opaque vogue word "empathy".
                -- Alistair Cooke, "Six Men"
What you see is from outside yourself, and may come, or not, but is beyond
your control.  But your fear is yours, and yours alone, like your voice, or
your fingers, or your memory, and therefore yours to control.  If you feel
powerless over your fear, you have not yet admitted that it is yours, to do
with as you will.
                -- Marion Zimmer Bradley, "Stormqueen"
When a man you like switches from what he said a year ago, or four years
ago, he is a broad-minded man who has courage enough to change his mind
with changing conditions.  When a man you don't like does it, he is a
liar who has broken his promises.
                -- Franklin Adams
WHENEVER ANYBODY SAYS he's struggling to become a human being I have to
laugh because the apes beat him to it by about a million years.  Struggle
to become a parrot or something.
                -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.
... whether it is better to spend a life not knowing what you want or to
spend a life knowing exactly what you want and that you will never have it.
                -- Richard Shelton
You can't cheat an honest man.  Never give a sucker an even break or
smarten up a chump.
                -- W.C. Fields
"You can't teach people to be lazy - either they have it, or they don't."
                -- Dagwood Bumstead
You men out there probably think you already know how to dress for success.
You know, for example, that you should not wear leisure suits or white
plastic belts and shoes, unless you are going to a costume party disguised
as a pig farmer vacationing at Disney World.
                -- Dave Barry, "How to Dress for Real Success"
You're either part of the solution or part of the problem.
                -- Eldridge Cleaver
Young men are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for
counsel; and fitter for new projects than for settled business.  For the
experience of age, in things that fall within the compass of it, directeth
them; but in new things, abuseth them.  The errors of young men are the ruin
of business; but the errors of aged men amount but to this, that more might
have been done, or sooner.  Young men, in the conduct and management of
actions, embrace more than they can hold; stir more than they can quiet; fly
to the end, without consideration of the means and degrees; pursue some few
principles which they have chanced upon absurdly; care not how they innovate,
which draws unknown inconveniences; and, that which doubleth all errors, will
not acknowledge or retract them; like an unready horse, that will neither stop
nor turn.  Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little,
repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but
content themselves with a mediocrity of success.  Certainly, it is good to
compound employments of both ... because the virtues of either age may correct
the defects of both.
                -- Francis Bacon, "Essay on Youth and Age"
Your Co-worker Could Be a Space Alien, Say Experts
                ...Here's How You Can Tell
Many Americans work side by side with space aliens who look human -- but you
can spot these visitors by looking for certain tip-offs, say experts. They
listed 10 signs to watch for:
    (3) Bizarre sense of humor.  Space aliens who don't understand
        earthly humor may laugh during a company training film or tell
        jokes that no one understands, said Steiger.
    (6) Misuses everyday items.  "A space alien may use correction
        fluid to paint its nails," said Steiger.
    (8) Secretive about personal life-style and home.  "An alien won't
        discuss details or talk about what it does at night or on weekends."
   (10) Displays a change of mood or physical reaction when near certain
        high-tech hardware.  "An alien may experience a mood change when
        a microwave oven is turned on," said Steiger.
The experts pointed out that a co-worker would have to display most if not
all of these traits before you can positively identify him as a space alien.
                -- National Enquirer, Michael Cassels, August, 1984.

        [I thought everybody laughed at company training films.  Ed.]
        Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind; it is a temper of
the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a predominance
of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over love of ease.
        Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow
old only by deserting their ideals.  Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up
enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.  Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear, and despair
-- these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit
back to dust.
        Whether seventy or sixteen, there is in every being's heart the love
of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and the starlike things and
thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing childlike appetite
for what next, and the joy and the game of life.
        You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your
self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your
despair.
        So long as your heart receives messages of beauty, cheer, courage,
grandeur and power from the earth, from man, and from the Infinite, so long
you are young.
                -- Samuel Ullman
When you are in the middle of a story it isn't a story at all, but
only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered
glass and splintered wood, like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat
crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard
powerless to stop it.  It's only afterwards that it becomes anything
like a story at all.  When you are telling it, to yourself or to
someone else.
                -- Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace"
A musician, an artist, an architect:
        the man or woman who is not one of these is not a Christian.
                -- William Blake
Absurdity, n.:
        A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Acquaintance, n:
        A person whom we know well enough to borrow from but not well
        enough to lend to.  A degree of friendship called slight when the
        object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Ambidextrous, adj.:
        Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Anoint, v.:
        To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently
        slippery.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Bagbiter:
        1. n.; Equipment or program that fails, usually intermittently.  2.
adj.: Failing hardware or software.  "This bagbiting system won't let me get
out of spacewar." Usage: verges on obscenity.  Grammatically separable; one
may speak of "biting the bag".  Synonyms: LOSER, LOSING, CRETINOUS,
BLETCHEROUS, BARFUCIOUS, CHOMPER, CHOMPING.
Basic Definitions of Science:
        If it's green or wiggles, it's biology.
        If it stinks, it's chemistry.
        If it doesn't work, it's physics.
beta test, v:
        To voluntarily entrust one's data, one's livelihood and one's
        sanity to hardware or software intended to destroy all three.
        In earlier days, virgins were often selected to beta test volcanos.
bit, n:
        A unit of measure applied to color.  Twenty-four-bit color
        refers to expensive $3 color as opposed to the cheaper 25
        cent, or two-bit, color that use to be available a few years ago.
Brooke's Law:
        Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool
        discovers something which either abolishes the system or
        expands it beyond recognition.
Bug, n.:
        An aspect of a computer program which exists because the
        programmer was thinking about Jumbo Jacks or stock options when s/he
        wrote the program.

Fortunately, the second-to-last bug has just been fixed.
                -- Ray Simard
bug, n:
        An elusive creature living in a program that makes it incorrect.
        The activity of "debugging", or removing bugs from a program, ends
        when people get tired of doing it, not when the bugs are removed.
                -- "Datamation", January 15, 1984
C, n:
        A programming language that is sort of like Pascal except more like
        assembly except that it isn't very much like either one, or anything
        else.  It is either the best language available to the art today, or
        it isn't.
                -- Ray Simard
Canonical, adj.:
        The usual or standard state or manner of something.  A true story:
One Bob Sjoberg, new at the MIT AI Lab, expressed some annoyance at the use
of jargon.  Over his loud objections, we made a point of using jargon as
much as possible in his presence, and eventually it began to sink in.
Finally, in one conversation, he used the word "canonical" in jargon-like
fashion without thinking.
        Steele: "Aha!  We've finally got you talking jargon too!"
        Stallman: "What did he say?"
        Steele: "He just used `canonical' in the canonical way."
Chamberlain's Laws:
        (1) The big guys always win.
        (2) Everything tastes more or less like chicken.
Cheops' Law:
        Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.
COBOL:
        Completely Over and Beyond reason Or Logic.
Colvard's Logical Premises:
        All probabilities are 50%.
        Either a thing will happen or it won't.

Colvard's Unconscionable Commentary:
        This is especially true when dealing with someone you're attracted to.

Grelb's Commentary:
        Likelihoods, however, are 90% against you.
Committee Rules:
        (1) Never arrive on time, or you will be stamped a beginner.
        (2) Don't say anything until the meeting is half over; this
            stamps you as being wise.
        (3) Be as vague as possible; this prevents irritating the
            others.
        (4) When in doubt, suggest that a subcommittee be appointed.
        (5) Be the first to move for adjournment; this will make you
            popular -- it's what everyone is waiting for.
Connector Conspiracy, n:
        [probably came into prominence with the appearance of the KL-10,
        none of whose connectors match anything else] The tendency of
        manufacturers (or, by extension, programmers or purveyors of anything)
        to come up with new products which don't fit together with the old
        stuff, thereby making you buy either all new stuff or expensive
        interface devices.
Consultant, n.:
        [From con "to defraud, dupe, swindle," or, possibly, French con
        (vulgar) "a person of little merit" + sult elliptical form of
        "insult."]  A tipster disguised as an oracle, especially one who
        has learned to decamp at high speed in spite of a large briefcase
        and heavy wallet.
curtation, n.:
        The enforced compression of a string in the fixed-length field
environment.
        The problem of fitting extremely variable-length strings such as names,
addresses, and item descriptions into fixed-length records is no trivial
matter.  Neglect of the subtle art of curtation has probably alienated more
people than any other aspect of data processing.  You order Mozart's "Don
Giovanni" from your record club, and they invoice you $24.95 for MOZ DONG.
The witless mapping of the sublime onto the ridiculous!  Equally puzzling is
the curtation that produces the same eight characters, THE BEST, whether you
order "The Best of Wagner", "The Best of Schubert", or "The Best of the Turds".
Similarly, wine lovers buying from computerized wineries twirl their glasses,
check their delivery notes, and inform their friends, "A rather innocent,
possibly overtruncated CAB SAUV 69 TAL."  The squeezing of fruit into 10
columns has yielded such memorable obscenities as COX OR PIP.  The examples
cited are real, and the curtational methodology which produced them is still
with us.

MOZ DONG n.
        Curtation of Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo da
Ponte, as performed by the computerized billing ensemble of the Internat'l
Preview Society, Great Neck (sic), N.Y.
                -- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
Death wish, n.:
        The only wish that always comes true, whether or not one wishes it to.
Distinctive, adj.:
        A different color or shape than our competitors.
Eagleson's Law:
        Any code of your own that you haven't looked at for six or more
        months, might as well have been written by someone else.  (Eagleson
        is an optimist, the real number is more like three weeks.)
Extract from Official Sweepstakes Rules:

                NO PURCHASE REQUIRED TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE

To claim your prize without purchase, do the following: (a) Carefully
cut out your computer-printed name and address from upper right hand
corner of the Prize Claim Form. (b) Affix computer-printed name and
address -- with glue or cellophane tape (no staples or paper clips) --
to a 3x5 inch index card.  (c) Also cut out the "No" paragraph (lower
left hand corner of Prize Claim Form) and affix it to the 3x5 card
below your address label. (d) Then print on your 3x5 card, above your
computer-printed name and address the words "CARTER & VAN PEEL
SWEEPSTAKES" (Use all capital letters.)  (e) Finally place 3x5 card
(without bending) into a plain envelope [NOTE: do NOT use the the
Official Prize Claim and CVP Perfume Reply Envelope or you may be
disqualified], and mail to: CVP, Box 1320, Westbury, NY 11595.  Print
this address correctly.  Comply with above instructions carefully and
completely or you may be disqualified from receiving your prize.
Finagle's Second Law:
        No matter what the anticipated result, there will always be
        someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (b) fake it, or (c) believe it
        happened according to his own pet theory.
Five rules for eternal misery:
        (1) Always try to exhort others to look upon you favorably.
        (2) Make lots of assumptions about situations and be sure to
            treat these assumptions as though they are reality.
        (3) Then treat each new situation as though it's a crisis.
        (4) Live in the past and future only (become obsessed with
            how much better things might have been or how much worse
            things might become).
        (5) Occasionally stomp on yourself for being so stupid as to
            follow the first four rules.
FORTUNE EXPLAINS WHAT JOB REVIEW CATCH PHRASES MEAN:        #9
has management potential:
        Because of his intimate relationship with inanimate objects, the
        reviewee has been appointed to the critical position of department
        pencil monitor.

inspirational:
        A true inspiration to others.  ("There, but for the grace of God,
        go I.")

adapts to stress:
        Passes wind, water, or out depending upon the severity of the
        situation.

goal oriented:
        Continually sets low goals for himself, and usually fails
        to meet them.
Frobnicate, v.:
        To manipulate or adjust, to tweak.  Derived from FROBNITZ. Usually
abbreviated to FROB.  Thus one has the saying "to frob a frob." See TWEAK
and TWIDDLE.  Usage: FROB, TWIDDLE, and TWEAK sometimes connote points along
a continuum.  FROB connotes aimless manipulation; TWIDDLE connotes gross
manipulation, often a coarse search for a proper setting; TWEAK connotes
fine-tuning.  If someone is turning a knob on an oscilloscope, then if he's
carefully adjusting it he is probably tweaking it; if he is just turning it
but looking at the screen he is probably twiddling it; but if he's just
doing it because turning a knob is fun, he's frobbing it.
Frobnitz, pl. Frobnitzem (frob'nitsm) n.:
        An unspecified physical object, a widget.  Also refers to electronic
black boxes.  This rare form is usually abbreviated to FROTZ, or more
commonly to FROB.  Also used are FROBNULE, FROBULE, and FROBNODULE.
Starting perhaps in 1979, FROBBOZ (fruh-bahz'), pl. FROBBOTZIM, has also
become very popular, largely due to its exposure via the Adventure spin-off
called Zork (Dungeon).  These can also be applied to non-physical objects,
such as data structures.
furbling, v.:
        Having to wander through a maze of ropes at an airport or bank
        even when you are the only person in line.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Genderplex, n.:
        The predicament of a person in a restaurant who is unable to
        determine his or her designated restroom (e.g., turtles and tortoises).
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Glib's Fourth Law of Unreliability:
        Investment in reliability will increase until it exceeds the
        probable cost of errors, or until someone insists on getting
        some useful work done.
Godwin's Law (prov.  [Usenet]):
        As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a
        comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a
        tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is
        over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost
        whatever argument was in progress.  Godwin's Law thus guarantees
        the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups.
gyroscope, n.:
        A wheel or disk mounted to spin rapidly about an axis and also
        free to rotate about one or both of two axes perpindicular to
        each other and the axis of spin so that a rotation of one of the
        two mutually perpendicular axes results from application of
        torque to the other when the wheel is spinning and so that the
        entire apparatus offers considerable opposition depending on
        the angular momentum to any torque that would change the direction
        of the axis of spin.
                -- Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary
Hale Mail Rule, The:
        When you are ready to reply to a letter, you will lack at least
        one of the following:
                (a) A pen or pencil or typewriter.
                (b) Stationery.
                (c) Postage stamp.
                (d) The letter you are answering.
Hewett's Observation:
        The rudeness of a bureaucrat is inversely proportional to his or
        her position in the governmental hierarchy and to the number of
        peers similarly engaged.
IBM:
        [International Business Machines Corp.]  Also known as Itty Bitty
        Machines or The Lawyer's Friend.  The dominant force in computer
        marketing, having supplied worldwide some 75% of all known hardware
        and 10% of all software.  To protect itself from the litigious envy
        of less successful organizations, such as the US government, IBM
        employs 68% of all known ex-Attorneys' General.
Impartial, adj.:
        Unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from
        espousing either side of a controversy or adopting either of two
        conflicting opinions.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Jacquin's Postulate on Democratic Government:
        No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the
        legislature is in session.
Keep in mind always the four constant Laws of Frisbee:
        (1) The most powerful force in the world is that of a disc
           straining to land under a car, just out of reach (this
           force is technically termed "car suck").
        (2) Never precede any maneuver by a comment more predictive
           than "Watch this!"
        (3) The probability of a Frisbee hitting something is directly
           proportional to the cost of hitting it.  For instance, a
           Frisbee will always head directly towards a policeman or
           a little old lady rather than the beat up Chevy.
        (4) Your best throw happens when no one is watching; when the
           cute girl you've been trying to impress is watching, the
           Frisbee will invariably bounce out of your hand or hit you
           in the head and knock you silly.
Kington's Law of Perforation:
        If a straight line of holes is made in a piece of paper, such
        as a sheet of stamps or a check, that line becomes the strongest
        part of the paper.
Lazlo's Chinese Relativity Axiom:
        No matter how great your triumphs or how tragic your defeats --
        approximately one billion Chinese couldn't care less.
MAFIA, n:
        [Acronym for Mechanized Applications in Forced Insurance
Accounting.] An extensive network with many on-line and offshore
subsystems running under OS, DOS, and IOS.  MAFIA documentation is
rather scanty, and the MAFIA sales office exhibits that testy
reluctance to bona fide inquiries which is the hallmark of so many DP
operations.  From the little that has seeped out, it would appear that
MAFIA operates under a non-standard protocol, OMERTA, a tight-lipped
variant of SNA, in which extended handshakes also perform complex
security functions.  The known timesharing aspects of MAFIA point to a
more than usually autocratic operating system.  Screen prompts carry an
imperative, nonrefusable weighting (most menus offer simple YES/YES
options, defaulting to YES) that precludes indifference or delay.
Uniquely, all editing under MAFIA is performed centrally, using a
powerful rubout feature capable of erasing files, filors, filees, and
entire nodal aggravations.
                -- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
Male, n.:
        A member of the unconsidered, or negligible sex.  The male of the
        human race is commonly known to the female as Mere Man.  The genus
        has two varieties:  good providers and bad providers.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
manual, n.:
        A unit of documentation.  There are always three or more on a given
        item.  One is on the shelf; someone has the others.  The information
        you need is in the others.
                -- Ray Simard
Mark's Dental-Chair Discovery:
        Dentists are incapable of asking questions that require a
        simple yes or no answer.
meeting, n.:
        An assembly of people coming together to decide what person or
        department not represented in the room must solve a problem.
Pardo's First Postulate:
        Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening.

Arnold's Addendum:
        Everything else causes cancer in rats.
Parkinson's Fifth Law:
        If there is a way to delay in important decision, the good
        bureaucracy, public or private, will find it.
Performance:
        A statement of the speed at which a computer system works.  Or
        rather, might work under certain circumstances.  Or was rumored
        to be working over in Jersey about a month ago.
Priority:
        A statement of the importance of a user or a program.  Often
        expressed as a relative priority, indicating that the user doesn't
        care when the work is completed so long as he is treated less
        badly than someone else.
program, n.:
        Any task that can't be completed in one telephone call or one
        day.  Once a task is defined as a program ("training program,"
        "sales program," or "marketing program"), its implementation
        always justifies hiring at least three more people.
QOTD:
        "Do you smell something burning or is it me?"
                -- Joan of Arc
QOTD:
        "It's hard to tell whether he has an ace up his sleeve or if
        the ace is missing from his deck altogether."
Quality control, n.:
        Assuring that the quality of a product does not get out of hand
        and add to the cost of its manufacture or design.
QWERT (kwirt) n. [MW < OW qwertyuiop, a thirteenth]   1. a unit of weight
equal to 13 poiuyt  avoirdupois  (or 1.69 kiloliks), commonly used in
structural engineering  2. [Colloq.] one thirteenth the load that a fully
grown sligo can carry.  3. [Anat.] a painful  irritation  of  the dermis
in the region of the anus  4. [Slang] person who excites in others the
symptoms of a qwert.
                -- Webster's Middle World Dictionary, 4th ed.
Rhode's Law:
        When any principle, law, tenet, probability, happening, circumstance,
        or result can in no way be directly, indirectly, empirically, or
        circuitously proven, derived, implied, inferred, induced, deducted,
        estimated, or scientifically guessed, it will always for the purpose
        of convenience, expediency, political advantage, material gain, or
        personal comfort, or any combination of the above, or none of the
        above, be unilaterally and unequivocally assumed, proclaimed, and
        adhered to as absolute truth to be undeniably, universally, immutably,
        and infinitely so, until such time as it becomes advantageous to
        assume otherwise, maybe.
Rudd's Discovery:
        You know that any senator or congressman could go home and make
        $300,000 to $400,000, but they don't.  Why?  Because they can
        stay in Washington and make it there.
Rules for Writers:
        Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.  Don't use no double
negatives.  Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate;
and never where it isn't.  Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and
omit it when its not needed.  No sentence fragments. Avoid commas, that are
unnecessary.  Eschew dialect, irregardless.  And don't start a sentence with
a conjunction.  Hyphenate between sy-llables and avoid un-necessary hyphens.
Write all adverbial forms correct.  Don't use contractions in formal writing.
Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.  It is incumbent on
us to avoid archaisms.  Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have
snuck in the language.  Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.  If I've
told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.  Also,
avoid awkward or affected alliteration.  Don't string too many prepositional
phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of
death.  "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks."'"
Simon's Law:
        Everything put together falls apart sooner or later.
Skinner's Constant (or Flannagan's Finagling Factor):
        That quantity which, when multiplied by, divided by, added to,
        or subtracted from the answer you got, gives you the answer you
        should have gotten.
Sodd's Second Law:
        Sooner or later, the worst possible set of circumstances is
        bound to occur.
Some points to remember [about animals]:
        (1) Don't go to sleep under big animals, e.g., elephants, rhinoceri,
            hippopotamuses;
        (2) Don't put animals with sharp teeth or poisonous fangs down the
            front of your clothes;
        (3) Don't pat certain animals, e.g., crocodiles and scorpions or dogs
            you have just kicked.
                -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
Steele's Law:
        There exist tasks which cannot be done by more than ten men
        or fewer than one hundred.
TCP/IP Slang Glossary, #1:

Gong, n: Medieval term for privy, or what pased for them in that era.
Today used whimsically to describe the aftermath of a bogon attack. Think
of our community as the Galapagos of the English language.

"Vogons may read you bad poetry, but bogons make you study obsolete RFCs."
                -- Dave Mills
The Official MBA Handbook on business cards:
        Avoid overly pretentious job titles such as "Lord of the Realm,
        Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India" or "Director of Corporate
        Planning."
The Official MBA Handbook on doing company business on an airplane:
        Do not work openly on top-secret company cost documents unless
        you have previously ascertained that the passenger next to you
        is blind, a rock musician on mood-ameliorating drugs, or the
        unfortunate possessor of a forty-seventh chromosome.
The rules:
         (1) Thou shalt not worship other computer systems.
         (2) Thou shalt not impersonate Liberace or eat watermelon while
              sitting at the console keyboard.
         (3) Thou shalt not slap users on the face, nor staple their silly
             little card decks together.
         (4) Thou shalt not get physically involved with the computer system,
             especially if you're already married.
         (5) Thou shalt not use magnetic tapes as frisbees, nor use a disk
             pack as a stool to reach another disk pack.
         (6) Thou shalt not stare at the blinking lights for more than one
             eight hour shift.
         (7) Thou shalt not tell users that you accidentally destroyed their
             files/backup just to see the look on their little faces.
         (8) Thou shalt not enjoy cancelling a job.
         (9) Thou shalt not display firearms in the computer room.
        (10) Thou shalt not push buttons "just to see what happens".
transparent, adj.:
        Being or pertaining to an existing, nontangible object.
        "It's there, but you can't see it"
                -- IBM System/360 announcement, 1964.

virtual, adj.:
        Being or pertaining to a tangible, nonexistent object.
        "I can see it, but it's not there."
                -- Lady Macbeth.
Tsort's Constant:
        1.67563, or precisely 1,237.98712567 times the difference between
the distance to the sun and the weight of a small orange.
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic" (slightly modified)
Udall's Fourth Law:
        Any change or reform you make is going to have consequences you
        don't like.
Uncle Ed's Rule of Thumb:
        Never use your thumb for a rule.
        You'll either hit it with a hammer or get a splinter in it.
Vanilla, adj.:
        Ordinary flavor, standard.  See FLAVOR.  When used of food,
        very often does not mean that the food is flavored with vanilla
        extract!  For example, "vanilla-flavored won ton soup" (or simply
        "vanilla won ton soup") means ordinary won ton soup, as opposed to hot
        and sour won ton soup.
well-adjusted, adj.:
        The ability to play bridge or golf as if they were games.
When asked the definition of "pi":
The Mathematician:
        Pi is the number expressing the relationship between the
        circumference of a circle and its diameter.
The Physicist:
        Pi is 3.1415927, plus or minus 0.000000005.
The Engineer:
        Pi is about 3.
                William Safire's Rules for Writers:

Remember to never split an infinitive.  The passive voice should never be
used.  Do not put statements in the negative form.  Verbs have to agree with
their subjects.  Proofread carefully to see if you words out.  If you reread
your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be
avoided by rereading and editing.  A writer must not shift your point of
view.  And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.  (Remember, too, a
preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.) Don't overuse
exclamation marks!!  Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long
sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.  Writing carefully,
dangling participles must be avoided.  If any word is improper at the end of
a sentence, a linking verb is.  Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing
metaphors.  Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.  Everyone should be
careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
Always pick on the correct idiom.  The adverb always follows the verb.  Last
but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives.
Poverty Jet Set:
        A group of people given to chronic traveling at the expense of
long-term job stability or a permanent residence.  Tend to have doomed
and extremely expensive phone-call relationships with people named
Serge or Ilyana.  Tend to discuss frequent-flyer programs at parties.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Decade Blending:
        In clothing: the indiscriminate combination of two or more
items from various decades to create a personal mood: Sheila =
Mary Quant earrings (1960s) + cork wedgie platform shows (1970s) +
black leather jacket (1950s and 1980s).
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Bleeding Ponytail:
        An elderly, sold-out baby boomer who pines for hippie or
presellout days.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Sick Building Migration:
        The tendency of younger workers to leave or avoid jobs in
unhealthy office environments or workplaces affected by the Sick
Building Syndrome.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Overboarding:
        Overcompensating for fears about the future by plunging
headlong into a job or life-style seemingly unrelated to one's
previous life interests: i.e., Amway sales, aerobics, the Republican
party, a career in law, cults, McJobs....
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Mid-Twenties Breakdown:
        A period of mental collapse occurring in one's twenties,
often caused by an inability to function outside of school or
structured environments coupled with a realization of one's essential
aloneness in the world.  Often marks induction into the ritual of
pharmaceutical usage.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Anti-Sabbatical:
        A job taken with the sole intention of staying only for a
limited period of time (often one year).  The intention is usually to
raise enough funds to partake in another, more meaningful activity
such as watercolor sketching in Crete, or designing computer knit
sweaters in Hong Kong.  Employers are rarely informed of intentions.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Lessness:
        A philosophy whereby one reconciles oneself with diminishing
expectations of material wealth: "I've given up wanting to make a
killing or be a bigshot.  I just want to find happiness and maybe open
up a little roadside cafe in Idaho."
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Status Substitution:
        Using an object with intellectual or fashionable cachet to
substitute for an object that is merely pricey: "Brian, you left your
copy of Camus in your brother's BMW."
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Personal Tabu:
        A small rule for living, bordering on a superstition, that
allows one to cope with everyday life in the absence of cultural or
religious dictums.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Architectural Indigestion:
        The almost obsessive need to live in a "cool"
architectural environment.  Frequently related objects of fetish
include framed black-and-white art photography (Diane Arbus a
favorite); simplistic pine furniture; matte black high-tech items such
as TVs, stereos, and telephones; low-wattage ambient lighting; a lamp,
chair, or table that alludes to the 1950s; cut flowers with complex
names.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Bread and Circuits:
        The electronic era tendency to view party politics as corny --
no longer relevant of meaningful or useful to modern societal issues,
and in many cases dangerous.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
O'Propriation:
        The inclusion of advertising, packaging, and entertainment
jargon from earlier eras in everyday speech for ironic and/or comic
effect: "Kathleen's Favorite Dead Celebrity party was tons o'fun" or
"Dave really thinks of himself as a zany, nutty, wacky, and madcap
guy, doesn't he?"
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Occupational Slumming:
        Taking a job well beneath one's skill or education level
as a means of retreat from adult responsibilities and/or avoiding
failure in one's true occupation.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Underdogging:
        The tendency to almost invariably side with the underdog in a
given situation.  The consumer expression of this trait is the
purchasing of less successful, "sad," or failing products: "I know
these Vienna franks are heart failure on a stick, but they were so sad
looking up against all the other yuppie food items that I just had to
buy them."
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
greenrd's law
        Evey post disparaging someone else's spelling or grammar, or lauding
        one's own spelling or grammar, will inevitably contain a spelling or
        grammatical error.
                -- greenrd in http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2002/4/16/61744/5230?pid=5#6
A Thaum is the basic unit of magical strength.  It has been universally
established as the amount of magic needed to create one small white pigeon
or three normal sized billiard balls.
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic"
"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
Eight was also the Number of Bel-Shamharoth, which was why a sensible wizard
would never mention the number if he could avoid it.  Or you'll be eight
alive, apprentices were jocularly warned.  Bel-Shamharoth was especially
attracted to dabblers in magic who, by being as it were beachcombers on the
shores of the unnatural, were already half-enmeshed in his nets.
Rincewind's room number in his hall of residence had been 7a.  He hadn't
been surprised.
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Sending of Eight"
"The first rule of magic is simple.  Don't waste your time waving your
hands and hoping when a rock or a club will do."
                -- McCloctnik the Lucid
Watch Rincewind.

Look at him.  Scrawny, like most wizards, and clad in a dark red robe on
which a few mystic sigils were embroidered in tarnished sequins. Some might
have taken him for a mere apprentice enchanter who had run away from his
master out of defiance, boredom, fear and a lingering taste for
heterosexuality.  Yet around his neck was a chain bearing the bronze octagon
that marked him as an alumnus of Unseen University, the high school of magic
whose time-and-space transcendent campus is never precisely Here or There.
Graduates were usually destined for mageship at least, but Rincewind--after
an unfortunate event--had left knowing only one spell and made a living of
sorts around the town by capitalizing on an innate gift for languages.  He
avoided work as a rule, but had a quickness of wit that put his
acquaintances in mind of a bright rodent.
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Colour of Magic"
  William Safire's rules for writing as seen in the New York Times

     Do not put statements in the negative form.
     And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
     If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great
     deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
     Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
     Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
     If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
     Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
     Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
     Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
     Last, but not least, avoid cliche's like the plague.
Everyone *knows* cats are on a higher level of existence.  These silly humans
are just to big-headed to admit their inferiority.
        Just think what a nicer world this would be if it were controlled by
cats.
        You wouldn't see cats having waste disposal problems.
        They're neat.
        They don't have sexual hangups.  A cat gets horny, it does something
about it.
        They keep reasonable hours.  You *never* see a cat up before noon.
        They know how to relax.  Ever heard of a cat with an ulcer?  
        What are the chances of a cat starting a nuclear war?  Pretty neglible.
It's not that they can't, they just know that there are much better things to
do with ones time.  Like lie in the sun and sleep.  Or go exploring the world.
A box without hinges, key, or lid,
Yet golden treasure inside is hid.
                -- J.R.R. Tolkien
A fitter fits;                                Though sinners sin
A cutter cuts;                                And thinners thin
And an aircraft spotter spots;                And paper-blotters blot
A baby-sitter                                I've never yet
Baby-sits --                                Had letters let
But an otter never ots.                        Or seen an otter ot.

A batter bats
(Or scatters scats);
A potting shed's for potting;
But no one's found
A bounder bound
Or caught an otter otting.
                -- Ralph Lewin
A pig is a jolly companion,
Boar, sow, barrow, or gilt --
A pig is a pal, who'll boost your morale,
Though mountains may topple and tilt.
When they've blackballed, bamboozled, and burned you,
When they've turned on you, Tory and Whig,
Though you may be thrown over by Tabby and Rover,
You'll never go wrong with a pig, a pig,
You'll never go wrong with a pig!
                -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"
                        Against Idleness and Mischief

How doth the little busy bee                How skillfully she builds her cell!
Improve each shining hour,                How neat she spreads the wax!
And gather honey all the day                And labours hard to store it well
From every opening flower!                With the sweet food she makes.

In works of labour or of skill                In books, or work, or healthful play,
I would be busy too;                        Let my first years be passed,
For Satan finds some mischief still        That I may give for every day
For idle hands to do.                        Some good account at last.
                -- Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
Ah, but a man's grasp should exceed his reach,
Or what's a heaven for ?
                -- Robert Browning, "Andrea del Sarto"
        All that you touch,                And all you create,
        All that you see,                And all you destroy,
        All that you taste,                All that you do,
        All you feel,                        And all you say,
        And all that you love,                All that you eat,
        And all that you hate,                And everyone you meet,
        All you distrust,                All that you slight,
        All you save,                        And everyone you fight,
        And all that you give,                And all that is now,
        And all that you deal,                And all that is gone,
        All that you buy,                And all that's to come,
        Beg, borrow or steal,                And everything under the sun is
                                                in tune,
                                        But the sun is eclipsed
                                        By the moon.

There is no dark side of the moon... really... matter of fact it's all dark.
                -- Pink Floyd, "Dark Side of the Moon"
An Hacker there was, one of the finest sort
Who controlled the system; graphics was his sport.
A manly man, to be a wizard able;
Many a protected file he had sitting on his table.
His console, when he typed, a man might hear
Clicking and feeping wind as clear,
Aye, and as loud as does the machine room bell
Where my lord Hacker was Prior of the cell.
The Rule of good St Savage or St Doeppnor
As old and strict he tended to ignore;
He let go by the things of yesterday
And took the modern world's more spacious way.
He did not rate that text as a plucked hen
Which says that Hackers are not holy men.
And that a hacker underworked is a mere
Fish out of water, flapping on the pier.
That is to say, a hacker out of his cloister.
That was a text he held not worth an oyster.
And I agreed and said his views were sound;
Was he to study till his head wend round
Poring over books in the cloisters?  Must he toil
As Andy bade and till the very soil?
Was he to leave the world upon the shelf?
Let Andy have his labor to himself!
                -- Chaucer
                [well, almost.  Ed.]
Antonio Antonio
Was tired of living alonio
He thought he would woo                        Antonio Antonio
Miss Lucamy Lu,                                Rode of on his polo ponio
Miss Lucamy Lucy Molonio.                And found the maid
                                        In a bowery shade,
                                        Sitting and knitting alonio.
Antonio Antonio
Said if you will be my ownio
I'll love tou true                        Oh nonio Antonio
And buy for you                                You're far too bleak and bonio
An icery creamry conio.                        And all that I wish
                                        You singular fish
                                        Is that you will quickly begonio.
Antonio Antonio
Uttered a dismal moanio
And went off and hid
Or I'm told that he did
In the Antartical Zonio.
Bit off more than my mind could chew,
Shower or suicide, what do I do?
                -- Julie Brown, "Will I Make it Through the Eighties?"
But has any little atom,
        While a-sittin' and a-splittin',
Ever stopped to think or CARE
        That E = m c**2 ?
Cancel me not -- for what then shall remain?
Abscissas, some mantissas, modules, modes,
A root or two, a torus and a node:
The inverse of my verse, a null domain.
                -- Stanislaw Lem, "Cyberiad"
Cecil, you're my final hope
Of finding out the true Straight Dope
For I have been reading of Schrodinger's cat
But none of my cats are at all like that.
This unusual animal (so it is said)
Is simultaneously alive and dead!
What I don't understand is just why he
Can't be one or the other, unquestionably.
My future now hangs in between eigenstates.
In one I'm enlightened, in the other I ain't.
If *you* understand, Cecil, then show me the way
And rescue my psyche from quantum decay.
But if this queer thing has perplexed even you,
Then I will *___and* I won't see you in Schrodinger's zoo.
                -- Randy F., Chicago, "The Straight Dope, a compendium
                   of human knowledge" by Cecil Adams
Christmas time is here, by Golly;        Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens;
Disapproval would be folly;                Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens;
Deck the halls with hunks of holly;        Even though the prospect sickens,
Fill the cup and don't say when...        Brother, here we go again.

On Christmas day, you can't get sore;        Relations sparing no expense'll,
Your fellow man you must adore;                Send some useless old utensil,
There's time to rob him all the more,        Or a matching pen and pencil,
The other three hundred and sixty-four!        Just the thing I need... how nice.

It doesn't matter how sincere                Hark The Herald-Tribune sings,
It is, nor how heartfelt the spirit;        Advertising wondrous things.
Sentiment will not endear it;                God Rest Ye Merry Merchants,
What's important is... the price.        May you make the Yuletide pay.
                                        Angels We Have Heard On High,
Let the raucous sleighbells jingle;        Tell us to go out and buy.
Hail our dear old friend, Kris Kringle,        Sooooo...
Driving his reindeer across the sky,
Don't stand underneath when they fly by!
                -- Tom Lehrer
Come on, Virginia, don't make me wait!
Catholic girls start much too late,
Ah, but sooner or later, it comes down to fate,
I might as well be the one.
Well, they showed you a statue, told you to pray,
Built you a temple and locked you away,
Ah, but they never told you the price that you paid,
The things that you might have done.
So come on, Virginia, show me a sign,
Send up a signal, I'll throw you a line,
That stained glass curtain that you're hiding behind,
Never lets in the sun.
Darling, only the good die young!
                -- Billy Joel, "Only The Good Die Young"
Don't let nobody tell you what you cannot do;
don't let nobody tell you what's impossible for you;
don't let nobody tell you what you got to do,
or you'll never know ... what's on the other side of the rainbow...
remember, if you don't follow your dreams,
you'll never know what's on the other side of the rainbow...
                -- melba moore, "the other side of the rainbow"
Double Bucky, you're the one,
You make my keyboard so much fun,
Double Bucky, an additional bit or two, (Vo-vo-de-o)
Control and meta, side by side,
Augmented ASCII, 9 bits wide!
Double Bucky, a half a thousand glyphs, plus a few!

Oh, I sure wish that I,
Had a couple of bits more!
Perhaps a set of pedals to make the number of bits four.

Double Double Bucky!  Double Bucky left and right
OR'd together, outta sight!
Double Bucky, I'd like a whole word of,
Double Bucky, I'm happy I heard of,
Double Bucky, I'd like a whole word of you!
                -- to Nicholas Wirth, who suggested that an extra bit
                be added to terminal codes on 36-bit machines for use
                by screen editors.  [to the tune of "Rubber Ducky"]
Easy come and easy go,
        some call me easy money,
Sometimes life is full of laughs,
        and sometimes it ain't funny
You may think that I'm a fool
        and sometimes that is true,
But I'm goin' to heaven in a flash of fire,
        with or without you.
                -- Hoyt Axton
Even in the moment of our earliest kiss,
When sighed the straitened bud into the flower,
Sat the dry seed of most unwelcome this;
And that I knew, though not the day and hour.
Too season-wise am I, being country-bred,
To tilt at autumn or defy the frost:
Snuffing the chill even as my fathers did,
I say with them, "What's out tonight is lost."
I only hoped, with the mild hope of all
Who watch the leaf take shape upon the tree,
A fairer summer and a later fall
Than in these parts a man is apt to see,
And sunny clusters ripened for the wine:
I tell you this across the blackened vine.
                -- Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Even in the Moment of
                   Our Earliest Kiss", 1931
Ever since I was a young boy,
I've hacked the ARPA net,
From Berkeley down to Rutgers,                He's on my favorite terminal,
Any access I could get,                        He cats C right into foo,
But ain't seen nothing like him,        His disciples lead him in,
On any campus yet,                        And he just breaks the root,
That deaf, dumb, and blind kid,                Always has full SYS-PRIV's,
Sure sends a mean packet.                Never uses lint,
                                        That deaf, dumb, and blind kid,
                                        Sure sends a mean packet.
He's a UNIX wizard,
There has to be a twist.
The UNIX wizard's got                        Ain't got no distractions,
Unlimited space on disk.                Can't hear no whistles or bells,
How do you think he does it?                Can't see no message flashing,
I don't know.                                Types by sense of smell,
What makes him so good?                        Those crazy little programs,
                                        The proper bit flags set,
                                        That deaf, dumb, and blind kid,
                                        Sure sends a mean packet.
                -- UNIX Wizard
Every night my prayers I say,
        And get my dinner every day;
And every day that I've been good,
        I get an orange after food.
The child that is not clean and neat,
        With lots of toys and things to eat,
He is a naughty child, I'm sure--
        Or else his dear papa is poor.
                -- Robert Louis Stevenson
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded.  Everybody rolls with their
fingers crossed.  Everybody knows the war is over.  Everybody knows the
good guys lost.  Everybody knows the fight was fixed: the poor stay
poor, the rich get rich.  That's how it goes.  Everybody knows.

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking.  Everybody knows the captain
lied.  Everybody got this broken feeling like their father or their dog
just died.

Everybody talking to their pockets.  Everybody wants a box of chocolates
and long stem rose.  Everybody knows.

Everybody knows that you love me, baby.  Everybody knows that you really
do.  Everybody knows that you've been faithful, give or take a night or
two.  Everybody knows you've been discreet, but there were so many people
you just had to meet without your clothes.  And everybody knows.

And everybody knows it's now or never.  Everybody knows that it's me or you.
And everybody knows that you live forever when you've done a line or two.
Everybody knows the deal is rotten: Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
for you ribbons and bows.  And everybody knows.
        -- Leonard Cohen, "Everybody Knows"
For knighthood is not in the feats of war,
As for to fight in quarrel right or wrong,
But in a cause which truth cannot defer:
He ought himself for to make sure and strong,
Just to keep mixt with mercy among:
And no quarrel a knight ought to take
But for a truth, or for the common's sake.
                -- Stephen Hawes
Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.

Four be the things I'd been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.

Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.
                -- Dorothy Parker, "Inventory" [or "Not so Deep as a Well"?]
Go placidly amid the noise and waste,
And remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
Avoid quiet and passive persons, unless you are in need of sleep.
Rotate your tires.
Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself,
And heed well their advice -- even though they be turkeys.
Know what to kiss -- and when.
Remember that two wrongs never make a right,
But that three do.
Wherever possible, put people on "HOLD".
Be comforted, that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment,
And despite the changing fortunes of time,
There is always a big future in computer maintenance.

        You are a fluke of the universe ...
        You have no right to be here.
        Whether you can hear it or not, the universe
        Is laughing behind your back.
                -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"
        Hack placidly amidst the noisy printers and remember what prizes there
may be in Science.  As fast as possible get a good terminal on a good system.
Enter your data clearly but always encrypt your results.  And listen to others,
even the dull and ignorant, for they may be your customers.  Avoid loud and
aggressive persons, for they are sales reps.
        If you compare your outputs with those of others, you may be surprised,
for always there will be greater and lesser numbers than you have crunched.
Keep others interested in your career, and try not to fumble; it can be a real
hassle and could change your fortunes in time.
        Exercise system control in your experiments, for the world is full of
bugs.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive
for linearity and everywhere papers are full of approximations.  Strive for
proportionality.  Especially, do not faint when it occurs.  Neither be cyclical
about results; for in the face of all data analysis it is sure to be noticed.
        Take with a grain of salt the anomalous data points.  Gracefully pass
them on to the youth at the next desk.  Nurture some mutual funds to shield
you in times of sudden layoffs.  But do not distress yourself with imaginings
-- the real bugs are enough to screw you badly.  Murphy's Law runs the
Universe -- and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt <Curl>B*n dS = 0.
        Therefore, grab for a piece of the pie, with whatever proposals you
can conceive of to try.  With all the crashed disks, skewed data, and broken
line printers, you can still have a beautiful secretary.  Be linear.  Strive
to stay employed.
                -- Technolorata, "Analog"
"Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,                But ranged as infantry,
We should have sat us down to wet        And staring face to face,
Right many a nipperkin!                        I shot at him as he at me,
                                        And killed him in his place.
I shot him dead because --
Because he was my foe,                        He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Just so: my foe of course he was;        Off-hand-like -- just as I --
That's clear enough; although                Was out of work -- had sold his traps
                                        No other reason why.
Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat, if met where any bar is
Or help to half-a-crown."
                -- Thomas Hardy
Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto half not be.
But half the bee has got to be, vis-a-vis its entity.  See?
But can a bee be said to be or not to be an entire bee,
When half the bee is not a bee, due to some ancient injury?
                Hard Copies and Chmod

And everyone thinks computers are impersonal
cold diskdrives hardware monitors
user-hostile software

of course they're only bits and bytes
and characters and strings
and files

just some old textfiles from my old boyfriend
telling me he loves me and
he'll take care of me

simply a discarded printout of a friend's directory
deep intimate secrets and
how he doesn't trust me

couldn't hurt me more if they were scented in lavender or mould
on personal stationery
                -- terri@csd4.milw.wisc.edu
Have you seen the well-to-do, up and down Park Avenue?
On that famous thoroughfare, with their noses in the air,
High hats and Arrow collars, white spats and lots of dollars,
Spending every dime, for a wonderful time...
If you're blue and you don't know where to go to,
Why don't you go where fashion sits,
...
Dressed up like a million dollar trooper,
Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper, (super dooper)
Come, let's mix where Rockefeller's walk with sticks,
Or umberellas, in their mitts,
Puttin' on the Ritz.
...
If you're blue and you don't know where to go to,
Why don't you go where fashion sits,
Puttin' on the Ritz.
Puttin' on the Ritz.
Puttin' on the Ritz.
Puttin' on the Ritz.
Hey! now!  Come hoy now!  Whither do you wander?
Up, down, near or far, here, there or yonder?
Sharp-ears, Wise-nose, Swish-tail and Bumpkin,
White-socks my little lad, and old Fatty Lumpkin!
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
Hit them biscuits with another touch of gravy,
Burn that sausage just a match or two more done.
Pour my black old coffee longer,
While that smell is gettin' stronger
A semi-meal ain't nuthin' much to want.

Loan me ten, I got a feelin' it'll save me,
With an ornery soul who don't shoot pool for fun,
If that coat'll fit you're wearin',
The Lord'll bless your sharin'
A semi-friend ain't nuthin' much to want.

And let me halfway fall in love,
For part of a lonely night,
With a semi-pretty woman in my arms.
Yes, I could halfway fall in deep--
Into a snugglin', lovin' heap,
With a semi-pretty woman in my arms.
                -- Elroy Blunt
I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's;
I will not Reason and Compare; my business is to Create.
                -- William Blake, "Jerusalem"
"I thought that you said you were 20 years old!"
"As a programmer, yes," she replied,
"And you claimed to be very near two meters tall!"
"You said you were blonde, but you lied!"
Oh, she was a hacker and he was one, too,
They had so much in common, you'd say.
They exchanged jokes and poems, and clever new hacks,
And prompts that were cute or risque'.
He sent her a picture of his brother Sam,
She sent one from some past high school day,
And it might have gone on for the rest of their lives,
If they hadn't met in L.A.
"Your beard is an armpit," she said in disgust.
He answered, "Your armpit's a beard!"
And they chorused: "I think I could stand all the rest
If you were not so totally weird!"
If she had not said what he wanted to hear,
And he had not done just the same,
They'd have been far more honest, and never have met,
And would not have had fun with the game.
                -- Judith Schrier, "Face to Face After Six Months of
                Electronic Mail"
I was eatin' some chop suey,
With a lady in St. Louie,
When there sudden comes a knockin' at the door.
And that knocker, he says, "Honey,
Roll this rocker out some money,
Or your daddy shoots a baddie to the floor."
                -- Mr. Miggle
I'll grant thee random access to my heart,
Thoul't tell me all the constants of thy love;
And so we two shall all love's lemmas prove
And in our bound partition never part.

Cancel me not -- for what then shall remain?
Abscissas, some mantissas, modules, modes,
A root or two, a torus and a node:
The inverse of my verse, a null domain.

I see the eigenvalue in thine eye,
I hear the tender tensor in thy sigh.
Bernoulli would have been content to die
Had he but known such a-squared cos 2(thi)!
                -- Stanislaw Lem, "Cyberiad"
I'm So Miserable Without You It's Almost Like Having You Here
                -- Song title by Stephen Bishop.

She Got the Gold Mine, I Got the Shaft
                -- Song title by Jerry Reed.

When My Love Comes Back from the Ladies' Room Will I Be Too Old to Care?
                -- Song title by Lewis Grizzard.

I Don't Know Whether to Kill Myself or Go Bowling
                -- Unattributed song title.

Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through the Goal Posts of Life
                -- Unattributed song title.
I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
A bit or byte to read or write,
I/O, I/O, I/O...
If all be true that I do think,
There be five reasons why one should drink;
Good friends, good wine, or being dry,
Or lest we should be by-and-by,
Or any other reason why.
If researchers wrote nursery rhymes...

Little Miss Muffet sat on her gluteal region,
Eating components of soured milk.
On at least one occasion,
        along came an arachnid and sat down beside her,
Or at least in her vicinity,
And caused her to feel an overwhelming, but not paralyzing, fear,
Which motivated the patient to leave the area rather quickly.
                -- Ann Melugin Williams
If you stick a stock of liquor in your locker,
It is slick to stick a lock upon your stock.
        Or some joker who is slicker,
        Will trick you of your liquor,
If you fail to lock your liquor with a lock.
In Riemann, Hilbert or in Banach space
Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways.
Our asymptotes no longer out of phase,
We shall encounter, counting, face to face.
                -- Stanislaw Lem, "Cyberiad"
It's so confusing choosing sides in the heat of the moment,
        just to see if it's real,
Oooh, it's so erotic having you tell me how it should feel,
But I'm avoiding all the hard cold facts that I got to face,
So ask me just one question when this magic night is through,
Could it have been just anyone or did it have to be you?
                -- Billy Joel, "Glass Houses"
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.  Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Little Fly,
Thy summer's play                If thought is life
My thoughtless hand                And strength & breath,
Has brush'd away.                And the want
                                Of thought is death,
Am not I
A fly like thee?                Then am I
Or art not thou                        A happy fly
A man like me?                        If I live
                                Or if I die.

For I dance
And drink & sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.
                -- William Blake, "The Fly"
My love runs by like a day in June,
        And he makes no friends of sorrows.
He'll tread his galloping rigadoon
        In the pathway or the morrows.
He'll live his days where the sunbeams start
        Nor could storm or wind uproot him.
My own dear love, he is all my heart --
        And I wish somebody'd shoot him.
                -- Dorothy Parker, part 3
"My name is Sue!  How do you do?!  Now you gonna die!"
Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes,
And he went down, but to my surprise,
Come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
So I busted a chair right across his teeth,
And we crashed through the walls and into the streets,
Kickin' and a-gougin' in the mud and the blood and beer.
Now I tell you, I've fought tougher men,
But I really can't remember when:
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
But I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
And he went for his gun, but I pulled mine first,
And he sat there lookin' at me, and I saw him smile.
He said: "Son, this world is rough,
And if a man's gonna make it he's gotta be tough,
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help you along.
So I give you that name and I said goodbye,
And I knew you'd have to get tough or die,
And it's that name that's helped to make you strong!
                -- Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue"
No, his mind is not for rent
To any god or government.
Always hopeful, yet discontent,
He knows changes aren't permanent -
But change is.
O! Wanderers in the shadowed land
despair not!  For though dark they stand,
all woods there be must end at last,
and see the open sun go past:
the setting sun, the rising sun,
the day's end, or the day begun.
For east or west all woods must fail ...
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
"Oh, 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments such prosperi-ty?"
"Oh, didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.

"You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!"
"Yes: That's how we dress when we're ruined," said she.

"At home in the barton you said `thee' and `thou,'
And `thik oon' and `theas oon' and `t'other;' but now
Your talking quite fits 'ee for compa-ny!"
"Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she.

"Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit like as on any la-dy!"
"We never do work when we're ruined," said she.

"You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!"
"True.  One's pretty lively when ruined," said she.

"I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!"
"My dear--a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that.  You ain't ruined," said she.
                --Thomas Hardy
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --
Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there
I've chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up along delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
                -- John Gillespie Magee Jr., "High Flight"
Once there was a little nerd who loved to read your mail,
And then yank back the i-access times to get hackers off his tail,
And once as he finished reading from the secretary's spool,
He wrote a rude rejection to her boyfriend (how uncool!)
And this as delivermail did work and he ran his backfstat,
He heard an awful crackling like rat fritters in hot fat,
And hard errors brought the system down 'fore he could even shout!
        And the bio bug'll bring yours down too, ef you don't watch out!
And once they was a little flake who'd prowl through the uulog,
And when he went to his blit that night to play at being god,
The ops all heard him holler, and they to the console dashed,
But when they did a ps -ut they found the system crashed!
Oh, the wizards adb'd the dumps and did the system trace,
And worked on the file system 'til the disk head was hot paste,
But all they ever found was this:  "panic: never doubt",
        And the bio bug'll crash your box too, ef you don't watch out!
When the day is done and the moon comes out,
And you hear the printer whining and the rk's seems to count,
When the other desks are empty and their terminals glassy grey,
And the load is only 1.6 and you wonder if it'll stay,
You must mind the file protections and not snoop around,
        Or the bio bug'll getcha and bring the system down!
Picking up the pieces of my sweet shattered dream,
I wonder how the old folks are tonight,
Her name was Ann, and I'll be damned if I recall her face,
She left me not knowing what to do.

Carefree Highway, let me slip away on you,
Carefree Highway, you seen better days,
The morning after blues, from my head down to my shoes,
Carefree Highway, let me slip away, slip away, on you...

Turning back the pages to the times I love best,
I wonder if she'll ever do the same,
Now the thing that I call livin' is just bein' satisfied,
With knowing I got noone left to blame.
Carefree Highway, I got to see you, my old flame...

Searching through the fragments of my dream shattered sleep,
I wonder if the years have closed her mind,
I guess it must be wanderlust or tryin' to get free,
From the good old faithful feelin' we once knew.
                -- Gordon Lightfoot, "Carefree Highway"
Say it with flowers,
Or say it with mink,
But whatever you do,
Don't say it with ink!
                -- Jimmie Durante
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise?
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?
                -- Edgar Allen Poe, "Science, a Sonnet"
Sing hey! for the bath at close of day
That washes the weary mud away!
A loon is he that will not sing:
O! Water Hot is a noble thing!

        O! Sweet is the sound of falling rain,
        and the brook that leaps from hill to plain;
        but better than rain or rippling streams
        is Water Hot that smokes and steams.

O! Water cold we may pour at need
down a thirsty throat and be glad indeed;
but better is Beer, if drink we lack,
and Water Hot poured down the back.

        O! Water is fair that leaps on high
        in a fountain white beneath the sky;
        but never did fountain sound so sweet
        as splashing Hot Water with my feet!
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
So, you better watch out!
You better not cry!
You better not pout!
I'm telling you why,
Santa Claus is coming, to town.

He knows when you've been sleeping,
He know when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
He has ties with the CIA.
So...
Sometimes I feel like I'm fading away,
Looking at me, I got nothin' to say.
Don't make me angry with the things games that you play,
Either light up or leave me alone.
Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time,
There's something wrong here, there can be no more denying,
One of us is changing, or maybe we just stopped trying,

And it's too late, baby, now, it's too late,
Though we really did try to make it,
Something inside has died and I can't hide and I just can't fake it...

It used to be so easy living here with you,
You were light and breezy and I knew just what to do
Now you look so unhappy and I feel like a fool.

There'll be good times again for me and you,
But we just can't stay together, don't you feel it too?
But I'm glad for what we had and that I once loved you...

But it's too late baby...
It's too late, now darling, it's too late...
                -- Carol King, "Tapestry"
Step back, unbelievers!
Or the rain will never come.
Somebody keep the fire burning, someone come and beat the drum.
You may think I'm crazy, you may think that I'm insane,
But I swear to you, before this day is out,
        you folks are gonna see some rain!
Tell me, O Octopus, I begs,
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus;
If I were thou, I'd call me us.
                -- Ogden Nash
The camel has a single hump;
The dromedary two;
Or else the other way around.
I'm never sure.  Are you?
                -- Ogden Nash
The common cormorant, or shag,
Lays eggs inside a paper bag;
The reason, you will see, no doubt,
Is to keep the lightning out.
But what these unobservant birds
Have failed to notice is that herds
Of bears may come with buns
And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.
The morning sun when it's in your face really shows your age,
But that don't bother me none; in my eyes you're everything.
I know I keep you amused,
But I feel I'm being used.
Oh, Maggie, I wish I'd never seen your face.

You took me away from home,
Just to save you from being alone;
You stole my heart, and that's what really hurts.

I suppose I could collect my books and get on back to school,
Or steal my daddy's cue and make a living out of playing pool,
Or find myself a rock 'n' roll band,
That needs a helping hand,
Oh, Maggie I wish I'd never seen your face.

You made a first-class fool out of me,
But I'm as blind as a fool can be.
You stole my soul, and that's a pain I can do without.
                -- Rod Stewart, "Maggie May"
The sounds of the nouns are mostly unbound.
In town a noun might wear a gown,
or further down, might dress a clown.
A noun that's sound would never clown,
but unsound nouns jump up and down.
The sound of a noun could distrub the plowing,
and then, my dear, you'd be put in the pound.
But please don't let that get you down,
the renown of your gown is the talk of the town.
                -- A. Nonnie Mouse
The wombat lives across the seas,
Among the far Antipodes.
He may exist on nuts and berries,
Or then again, on missionaries;
His distant habitat precludes
Conclusive knowledge of his moods.
But I would not engage the wombat
In any form of mortal combat.
                -- "The Wombat"
The Worst American Poet
        Julia Moore, "the Sweet Singer of Michigan" (1847-1920) was so bad that
Mark Twain said her first book gave him joy for 20 years.
        Her verse was mainly concerned with violent death -- the great fire
of Chicago and the yellow fever epidemic proved natural subjects for her pen.
        Whether death was by drowning, by fits or by runaway sleigh, the
formula was the same:
                Have you heard of the dreadful fate
                Of Mr. P.P. Bliss and wife?
                Of their death I will relate,
                And also others lost their life
                (in the) Ashbula Bridge disaster,
                Where so many people died.
        Even if you started out reasonably healthy in one of Julia's poems,
the chances are that after a few stanzas you would be at the bottom of a
river or struck by lightning.  A critic of the day said she was "worse than
a Gatling gun" and in one slim volume counted 21 killed and 9 wounded.
        Incredibly, some newspapers were critical of her work, even
suggesting that the sweet singer was "semi-literate".  Her reply was
forthright: "The Editors that has spoken in this scandalous manner have went
beyond reason."  She added that "literary work is very difficult to do".
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
There once was a Sailor who looked through a glass
And spied a fair mermaid with scales on her... island.
Where seagulls flew over their nest.
She combed the long hair which hung over her... shoulders.
And caused her to tickle and itch.
The sailor cried out "There's a beautiful... mermaid.
A sittin' out there on the rocks."
The crew came a running, all grabbing their... glasses.
And crowded four deep to the rail.
All eager to share in this fine piece of... news.
...
"Throw out a line and we'll lasso her... flippers.
And soon we will certainly find
If mermaids are better before or be... brave
My dear fellows," The captain cried out.
And cursing with spleen.
This song may be dull, but it's certainly clean.
                -- "The Clean Song", Oscar Brandt
There's amnesia in a hangknot,
And comfort in the ax,
But the simple way of poison will make your nerves relax.
        There's surcease in a gunshot,
        And sleep that comes from racks,
        But a handy draft of poison avoids the harshest tax.
You find rest on the hot squat,
Or gas can give you pax,
But the closest corner chemist has peace in packaged stacks.
        There's refuge in the church lot
        When you tire of facing facts,
        And the smoothest route is poison prescribed by kindly quacks.
Chorus:        With an *ugh!* and a groan, and a kick of the heels,
        Death comes quiet, or it comes with squeals --
        But the pleasantest place to find your end
        Is a cup of cheer from the hand of a friend.
                -- Jubal Harshaw, "One For The Road"
There's little in taking or giving,
        There's little in water or wine:
This living, this living, this living,
        Was never a project of mine.
Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
        The gain of the one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
        And love is a permanent flop,
And work is the province of cattle,
        And rest's for a clam in a shell,
So I'm thinking of throwing the battle --
        Would you kindly direct me to hell?
                -- Dorothy Parker
They told me you had proven it                When they discovered our results
        About a month before.                        Their hair began to curl
The proof was valid, more or less        Instead of understanding it
        But rather less than more.                We'd run the thing through PRL.

He sent them word that we would try        Don't tell a soul about all this
        To pass where they had failed                For it must ever be
And after we were done, to them                A secret, kept from all the rest
        The new proof would be mailed.                Between yourself and me.

My notion was to start again
        Ignoring all they'd done
We quickly turned it into code
        To see if it would run.
Those who sweat in flames of hell,        Leaden eared, some thought their bowels
Here's the reason that they fell:        Lispeth forth the sweetest vowels.
While on earth they prayed in SAS,        These they offered up in praise
PL/1, or other crass,                        Thinking all this fetid haze
Vulgar tongue.                                A rapsody sung.

Some the lord did sorely try                Jabber of the mindless horde
Assembling all their pleas in hex.        Sequel next did mock the lord
Speech as crabbed as devil's crable        Slothful sequel so enfangled
Hex that marked on Tower Babel                Its speaker's lips became entangled
The highest rung.                        In his bung.

Because in life they prayed so ill
And offered god such swinish swill
Now they sweat in flames of hell
Sweat from lack of APL
Sweat dung!
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your hometown
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine                And then one day you find
Staying home to watch the rain                Ten years have got behind you
You are young and life is long                No one told you when to run
And there is time to kill today                You missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter                Hanging on in quiet desperation
                                                is the English way
Never seem to find the time                The time is gone, the song is over
Plans that either come to nought        Thought I'd something more to say...
Or half a page of scribbled lines
                -- Pink Floyd, "Time"
To code the impossible code,                This is my quest --
To bring up a virgin machine,                To debug that code,
To pop out of endless recursion,        No matter how hopeless,
To grok what appears on the screen,        No matter the load,
                                        To write those routines
To right the unrightable bug,                Without question or pause,
To endlessly twiddle and thrash,        To be willing to hack FORTRAN IV
To mount the unmountable magtape,        For a heavenly cause.
To stop the unstoppable crash!                And I know if I'll only be true
                                        To this glorious quest,
And the queue will be better for this,        That my code will run CUSPy and calm,
That one man, scorned and                When it's put to the test.
        destined to lose,
Still strove with his last allocation
To scrap the unscrappable kludge!
                -- To "The Impossible Dream", from Man of La Mancha
To write a sonnet you must ruthlessly
strip down your words to naked, willing flesh.
Then bind them to a metaphor or three,
and take by force a satisfying mesh.
Arrange them to your will, each foot in place.
You are the master here, and they the slaves.
Now whip them to maintain a constant pace
and rhythm as they stand in even staves.
A word that strikes no pleasure?  Cast it out!
What use are words that drive not to the heart?
A lazy phrase? Discard it, shrug off doubt,
and choose more docile words to take its part.
A well-trained sonnet lives to entertain,
by making love directly to the brain.
Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,
And munched and mumbled a bare old bone;
For many a year he had gnawed it near,
For meat was hard to come by.
        Done by!  Gum by!
In a cave in the hills he dwelt alone,
And meat was hard to come by.

Up came Tom with his big boots on.
Said he to Troll: "Pray, what is youn?
For it looks like the shin o' my nuncle Tim,
As should be a-lyin in graveyard.
        Caveyard!  Paveyard!
This many a year has Tim been gone,
And I thought he were lyin' in graveyard."

"My lad," said Troll, "this bone I stole.
But what be bones that lie in a hole?
Thy nuncle was dead as a lump o' lead,
Afore I found his shinbone.
        Tinbone!  Thinbone!
He can spare a share for a poor old troll
For he don't need his shinbone."

Said Tom: "I don't see why the likes o' thee
Without axin' leave should go makin' free
With the shank or the shin o' my father's kin;
So hand the old bone over!
        Rover!  Trover!
Though dead he be, it belongs to he;
So hand the old bnone over!"
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
Try not.
Do.
Or do not.
There is no try.
Tyger, Tyger, burning bright                Where the hammer?  Where the chain?
In the forests of the night,                In what furnace was thy brain?
What immortal hand or eye                What the anvil?  What dread grasp
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?        Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

Burnt in distant deeps or skies                When the stars threw down their spears
The cruel fire of thine eyes?                And water'd heaven with their tears
On what wings dare he aspire?                Dare he laugh his work to see?
What the hand dare seize the fire?        Dare he who made the lamb make thee?

And what shoulder & what art                Tyger, Tyger, burning bright
Could twist the sinews of they heart?        In the forests of the night,
And when thy heart began to beat        What immortal hand or eye
What dread hand & what dread feet        Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Could fetch it from the furnace deep
And in thy horrid ribs dare steep
In the well of sanguine woe?
In what clay & in what mould
Were thy eyes of fury roll'd?
                -- William Blake, "The Tyger"
Upon the hearth the fire is red,
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are our feet,
Still round the corner we may meet
A sudden tree or standing stone
That none have seen but we alone.        Still round the corner there may wait
  Tree and flower and leaf and grass,        A new road or a secret gate,
  Let them pass!  Let them pass!        And though we pass them by today
  Hill and water under sky,                Tomorrow we may come this way
  Pass them by!  Pass them by!                And take the hidden paths that run
                                        Towards the Moon or to the Sun,
Home is behind, the world ahead,          Apple, thorn, and nut and sloe,
And there are many paths to tread          Let them go!  Let them go!
Through shadows to the edge of night,          Sand and stone and pool and dell,
Until the stars are all alight.                  Fare you well!  Fare you well!
Then world behind and home ahead,
We'll wander back to home and bed.
  Mist and twilight, cloud and shade,
  Away shall fade!  Away shall fade!
  Fire and lamp, and meat and bread,
  And then to bed!  And then to bed!
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
We don't need no indirection                We don't need no compilation
We don't need no flow control                We don't need no load control
No data typing or declarations                No link edit for external bindings
Hey! did you leave the lists alone?        Hey! did you leave that source alone?
Chorus:                                        (Chorus)
        Oh No. It's just a pure LISP function call.

We don't need no side-effecting                We don't need no allocation
We don't need no flow control                We don't need no special-nodes
No global variables for execution        No dark bit-flipping for debugging
Hey! did you leave the args alone?        Hey! did you leave those bits alone?
(Chorus)                                (Chorus)
                -- "Another Glitch in the Call", a la Pink Floyd
Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends!
We're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside!
There behind the glass there's a real blade of grass,
Be careful as you pass, move along, move along.
Come inside, the show's about to start,
Guaranteed to blow your head apart.
Rest assured, you'll get your money's worth,
Greatest show, in heaven, hell or earth!
You gotta see the show!  It's a dynamo!
You gotta see the show!  It's rock 'n' roll!
                -- ELP, "Karn Evil 9" (1st Impression, Part 2)
What did ya do with your burden and your cross?
Did you carry it yourself or did you cry?
You and I know that a burden and a cross,
Can only be carried on one man's back.
                -- Louden Wainwright III
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore --
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over --
Like a syrupy sweet?
  
Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load.
  
Or does it explode?
                -- Langston Hughes
What pains others pleasures me,
At home am I in Lisp or C;
There i couch in ecstasy,
'Til debugger's poke i flee,
Into kernel memory.
In system space, system space, there shall i fare--
Inside of a VAX on a silicon square.
What with chromodynamics and electroweak too
Our Standardized Model should please even you,
Tho' once you did say that of charm there was none
It took courage to switch as to say Earth moves not Sun.
Yet your state of the union penultimate large
Is the last known haunt of the Fractional Charge,
And as you surf in the hot tub with sourdough roll
Please ponder the passing of your sole Monopole.
Your Olympics were fun, you should bring them all back
For transsexual tennis or Anamalon Track,
But Hollywood movies remain sinfully crude
Whether seen on the telly or Remotely Viewed.
Now fasten your sunbelts, for you've done it once more,
You said it in Leipzig of the thing we adore,
That you've built an incredible crystalline sphere
Whose German attendants spread trembling and fear
Of the death of our theory by Particle Zeta
Which I'll bet is not there say your article, later.
                -- Sheldon Glashow, Physics Today, December, 1984
When in this world the headlines read
Of those whose hearts are filled with greed
Who rob and steal from those who need
The cry goes up with blinding speed for Underdog (UNDERDOG!)
Underdog (UNDERDOG!)
Speed of lightning, roar of thunder
Fighting all who rob or plunder
Underdog (ah-ah-ah-ah)
Underdog
UNDERDOG!
When in trouble or in doubt,
run in circles, scream and shout.
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
        For it isn't your father or mother or wife
        Whose judgement upon you must pass;
        The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
        Is the one staring back from the glass.
Some people may think you a straight-shootin' chum
And call you a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.
        He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
        For he's with you clear up to the end,
        And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
        If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.
Whether weary or unweary, O man, do not rest,
Do not cease your single-handed struggle.
Go on, do not rest.
                -- An old Gujarati hymn
Whether you can hear it or not,
The Universe is laughing behind your back.
                -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"
While walking down a crowded
City street the other day,
I heard a little urchin
To a comrade turn and say,
"Say, Chimmey, lemme tell youse,
I'd be happy as a clam
If only I was de feller dat
Me mudder t'inks I am.

"She t'inks I am a wonder,                My friends, be yours a life of toil
An' she knows her little lad                Or undiluted joy,
Could never mix wit' nuttin'                You can learn a wholesome lesson
Dat was ugly, mean or bad.                From that small, untutored boy.
Oh, lot o' times I sit and t'ink        Don't aim to be an earthly saint
How nice, 'twould be, gee whiz!                With eyes fixed on a star:
If a feller was de feller                Just try to be the fellow that
Dat his mudder t'inks he is."                Your mother thinks you are.
                -- Will S. Adkin, "If I Only Was the Fellow"
Why are you watching
The washing machine?
I love entertainment
So long as it's clean.

Professor Doberman:
        While the preceding poem is unarguably a change from the guarded
pessimism of "The Hound of Heaven," it cannot be regarded as an unqualified
improvement.  Obscurity is of value only when it tends to clarify the poetic
experience.  As much as one is compelled to admire the poem's technique, one
must question whether its byplay of complex literary allusions does not in
fact distract from the unity of the whole.  In the final analysis, one
receives the distinct impression that the poem's length could safely have
been reduced by a factor of eight or ten without sacrificing any of its
meaning.  It is to be hoped that further publication of this poem can be
suspended pending a thorough investigation of its potential subversive
implications.
"You are old," said the youth, "and I'm told by my peers
        That your lectures bore people to death.
Yet you talk at one hundred conventions per year --
        Don't you think that you should save your breath?"

"I have answered three questions and that is enough,"
        Said his father, "Don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
        Be off, or I'll kick you downstairs!"
"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
        For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak --
        Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
        And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw,
        Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
        That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose --
        What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
        Said his father.  "Don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
        Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!"
A CODE OF ETHICAL BEHAVIOR FOR PATIENTS:

4. DO NOT COMPLAIN IF THE TREATMENT FAILS TO BRING RELIEF.
        You must believe that your doctor has achieved a deep insight into
        the true nature of your illness, which transcends any mere permanent
        disability you may have experienced.

5. NEVER ASK YOUR DOCTOR TO EXPLAIN WHAT HE IS DOING OR WHY HE IS DOING IT.
        It is presumptuous to assume that such profound matters could be
        explained in terms that you would understand.

6. SUBMIT TO NOVEL EXPERIMANTAL TREATMENT READILY.
        Though the surgery may not benefit you directly, the resulting
        research paper will surely be of widespread interest.
A CODE OF ETHICAL BEHAVIOR FOR PATIENTS:

7. PAY YOUR MEDICAL BILLS PROMPTLY AND WILLINGLY.
        You should consider it a privilege to contribute, however modestly,
        to the well-being of physicians and other humanitarians.

8. DO NOT SUFFER FROM AILMENTS THAT YOU CANNOT AFFORD.
        It is sheer arrogance to contract illnesses that are beyond your means.

9. NEVER REVEAL ANY OF THE SHORTCOMINGS THAT HAVE COME TO LIGHT IN THE COURSE
   OF TREATMENT BY YOUR DOCTOR.
        The patient-doctor relationship is a privileged one, and you have a
        sacred duty to protect him from exposure.

10. NEVER DIE WHILE IN YOUR DOCTOR'S PRESENCE OR UNDER HIS DIRECT CARE.
        This will only cause him needless inconvenience and embarrassment.
[From an announcement of a congress of the International Ontopsychology
Association, in Rome]:

The Ontopsychological school, availing itself of new research criteria and
of a new telematic epistemology, maintains that social modes do not spring
from dialectics of territory or of class, or of consumer goods, or of means
of power, but rather from dynamic latencies capillarized in millions of
individuals in system functions which, once they have reached the event
maturation, burst forth in catastrophic phenomenology engaging a suitable
stereotype protagonist or duty marionette (general, president, political
party, etc.) to consummate the act of social schizophrenia in mass genocide.
It's not reality or how you perceive things that's important -- it's
what you're taking for it...
        page 46
...a report citing a study by Dr. Thomas C. Chalmers, of the Mount Sinai
Medical Center in New York, which compared two groups that were being used
to test the theory that ascorbic acid is a cold preventative.  "The group
on placebo who thought they were on ascorbic acid," says Dr. Chalmers,
"had fewer colds than the group on ascorbic acid who thought they were
on placebo."
        page 56
The placebo is proof that there is no real separation between mind and body.
Illness is always an interaction between both.  It can begin in the mind and
affect the body, or it can begin in the body and affect the mind, both of
which are served by the same bloodstream.  Attempts to treat most mental
diseases as though they were completely free of physical causes and attempts
to treat most bodily diseases as though the mind were in no way involved must
be considered archaic in the light of new evidence about the way the human
body functions.
                -- Norman Cousins,
                "Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient"
        "Welcome back for you 13th consecutive week, Evelyn.  Evelyn, will
you go into the auto-suggestion booth and take your regular place on the
psycho-prompter couch?"
        "Thank you, Red."
        "Now, Evelyn, last week you went up to $40,000 by properly citing
your rivalry with your sibling as a compulsive sado-masochistic behavior
pattern which developed out of an early post-natal feeding problem."
        "Yes, Red."
        "But -- later, when asked about pre-adolescent oedipal phantasy
repressions, you rationalized twice and mental blocked three times.  Now,
at $300 per rationalization and $500 per mental block you lost $2,100 off
your $40,000 leaving you with a total of $37,900.  Now, any combination of
two more mental blocks and either one rationalization or three defensive
projections will put you out of the game.  Are you willing to go ahead?"
        "Yes, Red."
        "I might say here that all of Evelyn's questions and answers have
been checked for accuracy with her analyst.  Now, Evelyn, for $80,000
explain the failure of your three marriages."
        "Well, I--"
        "We'll get back to Evelyn in one minute.  First a word about our
product."
                -- Jules Feiffer
Your digestive system is your body's Fun House, whereby food goes on a long,
dark, scary ride, taking all kinds of unexpected twists and turns, being
attacked by vicious secretions along the way, and not knowing until the last
minute whether it will be turned into a useful body part or ejected into the
Dark Hole by Mister Sphincter.  We Americans live in a nation where the
medical-care system is second to none in the world, unless you count maybe
25 or 30 little scuzzball countries like Scotland that we could vaporize in
seconds if we felt like it.
                -- Dave Barry, "Stay Fit & Healthy Until You're Dead"
A large spider in an old house built a beautiful web in which to catch flies.
Every time a fly landed on the web and was entangled in it the spider devoured
him, so that when another fly came along he would think the web was a safe and
quiet place in which to rest.  One day a fairly intelligent fly buzzed around
above the web so long without lighting that the spider appeared and said,
"Come on down."  But the fly was too clever for him and said, "I never light
where I don't see other flies and I don't see any other flies in your house."
So he flew away until he came to a place where there were a great many other
flies.  He was about to settle down among them when a bee buzzed up and said,
"Hold it, stupid, that's flypaper.  All those flies are trapped."  "Don't be
silly," said the fly, "they're dancing."  So he settled down and became stuck
to the flypaper with all the other flies.

Moral:  There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else.
                -- James Thurber, "The Fairly Intelligent Fly"
"A power so great, it can only be used for Good or Evil!"
                -- Firesign Theatre, "The Giant Rat of Summatra"
                Accidents cause History.

If Sigismund Unbuckle had taken a walk in 1426 and met Wat Tyler, the
Peasant's Revolt would never have happened and the motor car would not
have been invented until 2026, which would have meant that all the oil
could have been used for lamps, thus saving the electric light bulb and
the whale, and nobody would have caught Moby Dick or Billy Budd.
                -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
All of the people in my building are insane.  The guy above me designs
synthetic hairballs for ceramic cats.  The lady across the hall tried to
rob a department store... with a pricing gun...  She said, "Give me all
of the money in the vault, or I'm marking down everything in the store."
                -- Steven Wright
But I always fired into the nearest hill or, failing that, into blackness.
I meant no harm;  I just liked the explosions.  And I was careful never to
kill more than I could eat.
                -- Raoul Duke
Death didn't answer.  He was looking at Spold in the same way as a dog looks
at a bone, only in this case things were more or less the other way around.
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Colour of Magic"
I cannot overemphasize the importance of good grammar.

What a crock.  I could easily overemphasize the importance of good
grammar.  For example, I could say: "Bad grammar is the leading cause
of slow, painful death in North America," or "Without good grammar, the
United States would have lost World War II."
                -- Dave Barry, "An Utterly Absurd Look at Grammar"
I suggest you locate your hot tub outside your house, so it won't do too
much damage if it catches fire or explodes.  First you decide which
direction your hot tub should face for maximum solar energy.  After much
trial and error, I have found that the best direction for a hot tub to face
is up.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
I'm going to live forever, or die trying!
                -- Spider Robinson
If you throw a New Year's Party, the worst thing that you can do would be
to throw the kind of party where your guests wake up today, and call you to
say they had a nice time.  Now you'll be be expected to throw another party
next year.
        What you should do is throw the kind of party where your guest wake
up several days from now and call their lawyers to find out if they've been
indicted for anything.  You want your guests to be so anxious to avoid a
recurrence of your party that they immediately start planning parties of their
own, a year in advance, just to prevent you from having another one ...
        If your party is successful, the police will knock on your door,
unless your party is very successful in which case they will lob tear gas
through your living room window.  As host, your job is to make sure that
they don't arrest anybody.  Or if they're dead set on arresting someone,
your job is to make sure it isn't you ...
                -- Dave Barry
Is it weird in here, or is it just me?
                -- Steven Wright
        The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on
the subject of towels.
        Most importantly, a towel has immense psychological value.  For
some reason, if a non-hitchhiker discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel
with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a
toothbrush, washcloth, flask, gnat spray, space suit, etc., etc.  Furthermore,
the non-hitchhiker will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or
a dozen other items that he may have "lost".  After all, any man who can
hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, struggle against terrible odds,
win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be
reckoned with.
                -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
                The Three Major Kind of Tools

* Tools for hittings things to make them loose or to tighten them up or
jar their many complex, sophisticated electrical parts in such a
manner that they function perfectly.  (These are your hammers, maces,
bludgeons, and truncheons.)

* Tools that, if dropped properly, can penetrate your foot.  (Awls)

* Tools that nobody should ever use because the potential danger is far
greater than the value of any project that could possibly result.
(Power saws, power drills, power staplers, any kind of tool that uses
any kind of power more advanced than flashlight batteries.)
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
There's no easy quick way out, we're gonna have to live through our
whole lives, win, lose, or draw.
                -- Walt Kelly
What if nothing exists and we're all in somebody's dream?  Or what's worse,
what if only that fat guy in the third row exists?
                -- Woody Allen, "Without Feathers"
Where humor is concerned there are no standards -- no one can say what
is good or bad, although you can be sure that everyone will.
                -- John Kenneth Galbraith
Coach: How's it going, Norm?
Norm:  Daddy's rich and Momma's good lookin'.
                -- Cheers, Truce or Consequences

Sam:   What's up, Norm?
Norm:  My nipples.  It's freezing out there.
                -- Cheers, Coach Returns to Action

Coach: What's the story, Norm?
Norm:  Thirsty guy walks into a bar.  You finish it.
                -- Cheers, Endless Slumper
FORTUNE'S FAVORITE RECIPES: #8
        Christmas Rum Cake

1 or 2 quarts rum                1 tbsp. baking powder
1 cup butter                        1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. sugar                        1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 large eggs                        2 cups brown sugar
2 cups dried assorted fruit        3 cups chopped English walnuts

Before you start, sample the rum to check for quality.  Good, isn't it?  Now
select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc.  Check the rum again.  It
must be just right.  Be sure the rum is of the highest quality.  Pour one cup
of rum into a glass and drink it as fast as you can.  Repeat. With an electric
mixer, beat one cup butter in a large fluffy bowl.  Add 1 seaspoon of tugar
and beat again.  Meanwhile, make sure the rum teh absolutely highest quality.
Sample another cup.  Open second quart as necessary.  Add 2 orge laggs, 2 cups
of fried druit and beat untill high.  If the fried druit gets stuck in the
beaters, just pry it loose with a screwdriver.  Sample the rum again, checking
for toncisticity.  Next sift 3 cups of baking powder, a pinch of rum, a
seaspoon of toda and a cup of pepper or salt (it really doesn't matter).
Sample some more.  Sift 912 pint of lemon juice.  Fold in schopped butter and
strained chups.  Add bablespoon of brown gugar, or whatever color you have.
Mix mell.  Grease oven and turn cake pan to 350 gredees and rake until
poothtick comes out crean.
Glogg (a traditional Scandinavian holiday drink):
        fifth of dry red wine
        fifth of Aquavit
        1 and 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon
        10 cardamom seeds
        1 cup raisins
        4 dried figs
        1 cup blanched or flaked almonds
        a few pieces of dried orange peel
        5 cloves
        1/2 lb. sugar cubes
        Heat up the wine and hard stuff (which may be substituted with wine
for the faint of heart) in a big pot after adding all the other stuff EXCEPT
the sugar cubes.  Just when it reaches boiling, put the sugar in a wire
strainer, moisten it in the hot brew, lift it out and ignite it with a match.
Dip the sugar several times in the liquid until it is all dissolved.  Serve
hot in cups with a few raisins and almonds in each cup.
        N.B. Aquavit may be hard to find and expensive to boot.  Use it only
if you really have a deep-seated desire to be fussy, or if you are of Swedish
extraction.
HOGAN'S HEROES DRINKING GAME --
        Take a shot every time:

-- Sergeant Schultz says, "I knoooooowww nooooothing!"
-- General Burkhalter or Major Hochstetter intimidate/insult Colonel Klink.
-- Colonel Klink falls for Colonel Hogan's flattery.
-- One of the prisoners sneaks out of camp (one shot for each prisoner to go).
-- Colonel Klink snaps to attention after answering the phone (two shots
        if it's one of our heroes on the other end).
-- One of the Germans is threatened with being sent to the Russian front.
-- Corporal Newkirk calls up a German in his phoney German accent, and
        tricks him (two shots if it's Colonel Klink).
-- Hogan has a romantic interlude with a beautiful girl from the underground.
-- Colonel Klink relates how he's never had an escape from Stalag 13.
-- Sergeant Schultz gives up a secret (two shots if he's bribed with food).
-- The prisoners listen to the Germans' conversation by a hidden transmitter.
-- Sergeant Schultz "captures" one of the prisoners after an escape.
-- Lebeau pronounces "colonel" as "cuh-loh-`nell".
-- Carter builds some kind of device (two shots if it's not explosive).
-- Lebeau wears his apron.
-- Hogan says "We've got no choice" when someone claims that the plan is
        impossible.
-- The prisoners capture an important German, and sneak him out the tunnel.
If I knew what brand [of whiskey] he drinks, I would send a barrel or
so to my other generals.
                -- Abraham Lincoln, on General Grant
In a gathering of two or more people, when a lighted cigarette is
placed in an ashtray, the smoke will waft into the face of the non-smoker.
It's useless to try to hold some people to anything they say while they're
madly in love, drunk, or running for office.
"Mind if I smoke?"
        "Yes, I'd like to see that, does it come out of your ears or what?"
Never delay the ending of a meeting or the beginning of a cocktail hour.
Not drinking, chasing women, or doing drugs won't make you live longer --
it just seems that way.
PLEASE DON'T SMOKE HERE!

Penalty: An early, lingering death from cancer,
         emphysema, or other smoking-caused ailment.
Police:        Good evening, are you the host?
Host:        No.
Police:        We've been getting complaints about this party.
Host:        About the drugs?
Police:        No.
Host:        About the guns, then?  Is somebody complaining about the guns?
Police:        No, the noise.
Host:        Oh, the noise.  Well that makes sense because there are no guns
        or drugs here.  (An enormous explosion is heard in the
        background.)  Or fireworks.  Who's complaining about the noise?
        The neighbors?
Police:        No, the neighbors fled inland hours ago.  Most of the recent
        complaints have come from Pittsburgh.  Do you think you could
        ask the host to quiet things down?
Host:        No Problem.  (At this point, a Volkswagon bug with primitive
        religious symbols drawn on the doors emerges from the living
        room and roars down the hall, past the police and onto the
        lawn, where it smashes into a tree.  Eight guests tumble out
        onto the grass, moaning.)  See?  Things are starting to wind
        down.
Recipe for a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster:
        (1) Take the juice from one bottle of Ol' Janx Spirit
        (2) Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of
                Santraginus V  (Oh, those Santraginean fish!)
        (3) Allow 3 cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the
                mixture (properly iced or the benzine is lost.)
        (4) Allow four liters of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it.
        (5) Over the back of a silver spoon, float a measure of
                Qualactin Hypermint extract.
        (6) Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger.  Watch it dissolve.
        (7) Sprinkle Zamphuor.
        (8) Add an olive.
        (9) Drink... but... very carefully...
Smoking Prohibited.  Absolutely no ifs, ands, or butts.
So, is the glass half empty, half full, or just twice as
large as it needs to be?
Symptom:                Drinking fails to give taste and satisfaction, beer is
                        unusually pale and clear.
Problem:                Glass empty.
Action Required:        Find someone who will buy you another beer.

Symptom:                Drinking fails to give taste and satisfaction,
                        and the front of your shirt is wet.
Fault:                        Mouth not open when drinking or glass applied to
                        wrong part of face.
Action Required:        Buy another beer and practice in front of mirror.
                        Drink as many as needed to perfect drinking technique.
                -- Bar Troubleshooting
Symptom:                Floor swaying.
Fault:                        Excessive air turbulence, perhaps due to air-hockey
                        game in progress.
Action Required:        Insert broom handle down back of jacket.

Symptom:                Everything has gone dim, strange taste of peanuts
                        and pretzels or cigarette butts in mouth.
Fault:                        You have fallen forward.
Action Required:        See above.

Symptom:                Opposite wall covered with acoustic tile and several
                        flourescent light strips.
Fault:                        You have fallen over backward.
Action Required:        If your glass is full and no one is standing on your
                        drinking arm, stay put.  If not, get someone to help
                        you get up, lash yourself to bar.
                -- Bar Troubleshooting
If Microsoft Owned McDonald's
Source: Unknown

1. Every order would come with fries whether you asked for them or not.
2. When they introduce McPizza, the marketing makes it seem that they invented
    pizza.
3. "A McDonald's on every block" -- Bill Gates.
4. You'd be constantly pressured to upgrade to a more expensive burger.
5. Sometimes you'll find that the burger box is empty. For some strange reason
    you'll accept this and purchase another one.
6. They'd claim the burgers are the same size as at other fast food chains,
    but in reality it's just a larger bun hiding the small beef patty.
7. Straws wouldn't be available until after you finish your drink.
8. "Push" technology -- they have McD employees come to your door and sell you
    Happy Meals.
9. Your order would never be right but the cash register would work perfectly
    for taking your money.
10. The "Special Sauce" cannot be reverse engineered, decompiled, or placed on
    more than 1 Big Mac.
Why doesn't DOS ever say "EXCELLENT command or filename!"
DOS Tip of the Day:
Add BUGS=OFF to your CONFIG.SYS file.
The gates in my computer are AND, OR and NOT; they are not Bill.
Blackmail Error:
Send $200 to Bill Gates or your computer will get so messed up it will never
work again.
You Might be a Microsoft Employee If...

1. Every night you dream of torturing Linus Torvalds
2. Every morning you say, "I pledge allegiance to the logo of the United
    Corporation of Microsoft. And to the stock options for which it stands, one
    company, under Bill, with headaches and buggy software for all."
3. Your favorite pick-up line is, "Hey baby...do you want to see a little
    ActiveX?"
4. Everytime you see a website with "Best viewed with Netscape" on it you
    feel like filing a lawsuit against its webmaster
5. You feel that all Anti-Microsoft websites should be censored because they
    are on the Internet, something Bill "invented."
6. You've set a goal to invent at least one new buzzword or acronym per day
7. You've ever been nervous because you haven't registered your Microsoft
    software yet.
8. You've trained your parrot to say "Unix sucks!" and "All hail Bill Gates!"
9. You own a limited edition Monopoly game in which Boardwalk is Microsoft and
    Jail is replaced by Justice Department Investigation
10. You've spent countless hours tracking down the source of the "Microsoft
    Acquires Vatican Church" rumor
The box said "Requires Windows 95 or better."  I can't understand    
why it won't work on my Linux computer.
Everyone seems so impatient and angry these days.  I think it's because
so many people use Windows at work -- do you think you'd be Politeness
Man after working on Windows 8 hrs. or more?

   -- Chip Atkinson
"New Technology" or "Not Trusted"?

   -- Laurent Szyster
The rules of editing press releases are:

1. Identify the crucial elements of the story.
2. Omit at least one of them.

   -- From a Slashdot.org post. We can only guess whether Microsoft
      uses this policy or not.
Hear me out. Linux is Microsoft's main competition right now. Because of
this we are forcing them to "innovate", something they would usually avoid.
Now if MS Bob has taught us anything, Microsoft is not a company that
should be innovating. When they do, they don't come up with things like
"better security" or "stability", they come back with "talking
paperclips", and "throw in every usless feature we can think of, memory
footprint be dammed".

Unfortunatly, they also come up with the bright idea of executing email.
Now MIME attachments aren't enough, they want you to be able to run/open
attachments right when you get them. This sounds like a good idea to
people who believe renaming directories to folders made computing possible
for the common man, but security wise it's like vigorously shaking a
package from the Unibomber.

So my friends, we are to blame. We pushed them into frantically trying to
invent "necessary" features to stay on top, and look where it got us. Many
of us are watching our beloved mail servers go down under the strain and
rebuilding our company's PC because of our pointless competition with MS.
I implore you to please drop Linux before Microsoft innovates again.

  -- From a Slashdot.org post in regards to the ILOVEYOU email virus
Windows: Where do you want to go today?

MacOS: Where do you want to be tomorrow?

Linux: Are you coming or what?

   -- Linux Journal
A "No" uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a
"Yes" merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.
                -- Mahatma Gandhi
A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from
the vexation of thinking.
                -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1831
A statesman is a politician who's been dead 10 or 15 years.
                -- Harry S. Truman
All [zoos] actually offer to the public in return for the taxes spent
upon them is a form of idle and witless amusement, compared to which a
visit to a penitentiary, or even to a State legislature in session, is
informing, stimulating and ennobling.
                -- H. L. Mencken
Be it our wealth, our jobs, or even our homes; nothing is safe while the
legislature is in session.
Concerning the war in Vietnam, Senator George Aiken of Vermount noted
in January, 1966, "I'm not very keen for doves or hawks.  I think we need
more owls."
                -- Bill Adler, "The Washington Wits"
Gentlemen,
        Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the
approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been
diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by H.M. ship
from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters.
        We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles,
and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty's Government holds
me accountable. I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and
spleen of every officer. Each item and every farthing has been accounted
for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.
        Unfortunately the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains
unaccounted for in one infantry battalion's petty cash and there has been
a hideous confusion as the the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to
one cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain.  This
reprehensible carelessness may be related to the pressure of circumstance,
since we are war with France, a fact which may come as a bit of a surprise
to you gentlemen in Whitehall.
        This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request
elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty's Government so that I
may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren plains.
I construe that perforce it must be one of two alternative duties, as
given below.  I shall pursue either one with the best of my ability, but
I cannot do both:
        1. To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the
benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London or perchance:
        2. To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.
                -- Duke of Wellington, to the British Foreign Office,
                   London, 1812
I used to be a rebel in my youth.

This cause... that cause... (chuckle) I backed 'em ALL!  But I learned.
Rebellion is simply a device used by the immature to hide from his own
problems.  So I lost interest in politics.  Now when I feel aroused by
a civil rights case or a passport hearing... I realize it's just a device.
I go to my analyst and we work it out.  You have no idea how much better
I feel these days.
                -- J. Feiffer
I was offered a job as a hoodlum and I turned it down cold.  A thief is
anybody who gets out and works for his living, like robbing a bank or
breaking into a place and stealing stuff, or kidnapping somebody.  He really
gives some effort to it.  A hoodlum is a pretty lousy sort of scum.  He
works for gangsters and bumps guys off when they have been put on the spot.
Why, after I'd made my rep, some of the Chicago Syndicate wanted me to work
for them as a hood -- you know, handling a machine gun.  They offered me
two hundred and fifty dollars a week and all the protection I needed.  I
was on the lam at the time and not able to work at my regular line.  But
I wouldn't consider it.  "I'm a thief," I said.  "I'm no lousy hoodlum."
                -- Alvin Karpis, "Public Enemy Number One"
If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom;
and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money it values more, it
will lose that, too.
                -- W. Somerset Maugham
It got to the point where I had to get a haircut or both feet firmly
planted in the air.
It is not the critic who counts, or how the strong man stumbled, or whether
the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the
man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and
blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again; who
knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, and who spends himself in a
worthy cause, and if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that
he'll never be with those cold and timid souls who never know either victory
or defeat.
                -- Teddy Roosevelt
It's no surprise that things are so screwed up: everyone that knows how
to run a government is either driving taxicabs or cutting hair.
                -- George Burns
Just as most issues are seldom black or white, so are most good solutions
seldom black or white.  Beware of the solution that requires one side to be
totally the loser and the other side to be totally the winner.  The reason
there are two sides to begin with usually is because neither side has all
the facts.  Therefore, when the wise mediator effects a compromise, he is
not acting from political motivation.  Rather, he is acting from a deep
sense of respect for the whole truth.
                -- Stephen R. Schwambach
Listen, there is no courage or any extra courage that I know of to find out
the right thing to do.  Now, it is not only necessary to do the right thing,
but to do it in the right way and the only problem you have is what is the
right thing to do and what is the right way to do it.  That is the problem.
But this economy of ours is not so simple that it obeys to the opinion of
bias or the pronouncements of any particular individual, even to the President.
This is an economy that is made up of 173 million people, and it reflects
their desires, they're ready to buy, they're ready to spend, it is a thing
that is too complex and too big to be affected adversely or advantageously
just by a few words or any particular -- say, a little this and that, or even
a panacea so alleged.
                -- D.D. Eisenhower, in response to: "Has the government
                been lacking in courage and boldness in facing up to
                the recession?"
Love America -- or give it back.
Most people want either less corruption or more of a chance to
participate in it.
My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty
nights -- or very early mornings -- when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and,
instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at
a hundred miles an hour ... booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at
the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which
turnoff to take when I got to the other end ... but being absolutely certain
that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were
just as high and wild as I was: no doubt at all about that.
                -- Hunter S. Thompson
"My country, right or wrong" is a thing that no patriot would think
of saying, except in a desperate case.  It is like saying "My mother,
drunk or sober."
                -- G.K. Chesterton, "The Defendant"
My own life has been spent chronicling the rise and fall of human systems,
and I am convinced that we are terribly vulnerable.  ...  We should be
reluctant to turn back upon the frontier of this epoch. Space is indifferent
to what we do; it has no feeling, no design, no interest in whether or not
we grapple with it. But we cannot be indifferent to space, because the grand,
slow march of intelligence has brought us, in our generation, to a point
from which we can explore and understand and utilize it. To turn back now
would be to deny our history, our capabilities.
                -- James A. Michener
Never trust an automatic pistol or a D.A.'s deal.
                -- John Dillinger
No matter whether th' constitution follows th' flag or not, th' supreme
court follows th' iliction returns.
                -- Mr. Dooley
Only two kinds of witnesses exist.  The first live in a neighborhood where
a crime has been committed and in no circumstances have ever seen anything
or even heard a shot.  The second category are the neighbors of anyone who
happens to be accused of the crime.  These have always looked out of their
windows when the shot was fired, and have noticed the accused person standing
peacefully on his balcony a few yards away.
                -- Sicilian police officer
People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.
                -- Otto Von Bismarck
Question: Is it better to abide by the rules until they're changed or
help speed the change by breaking them?
"Remember, if it's being done correctly, here or abroad, it's ___not the U.S.
Army doing it!"
                -- Good Morning VietNam
"Rights" is a fictional abstraction.  No one has "Rights", neither machines
nor flesh-and-blood.  Persons... have opportunities, not rights, which they
use or do not use.
                -- Lazarus Long
Signs of crime: screaming or cries for help.
                -- The Brown University Security Crime Prevention Pamphlet
        Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas.  Five years later?
Six?  It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era -- the kind of peak that
never comes again.  San Fransisco in the middle sixties was a very special time
and place to be a part of.  Maybe it meant something.  Maybe not, in the long
run...  There was madness in any direction, at any hour.  If not across the
Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda...  You could
strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we
were doing was right, that we were winning...
        And that, I think, was the handle -- that sense of inevitable victory
over the forces of Old and Evil.  Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't
need that. Our energy would simply prevail.  There was no point in fighting
-- on our side or theirs.  We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest
of a high and beautiful wave.  So now, less than five years later, you can go
up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes
you can almost ___see the high-water mark -- that place where the wave finally
broke and rolled back.
                -- Hunter S. Thompson
The fact that people are poor or discriminated against doesn't necessarily
endow them with any special qualities of justice, nobility, charity or
compassion.
                -- Saul Alinsky
The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf
has.  Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don't know
when it's through if you are a crook or a martyr.
                -- Will Rogers
The Least Successful Police Dogs
        America has a very strong candidate in "La Dur", a fearsome looking
schnauzer hound, who was retired from the Orlando police force in Florida
in 1978.  He consistently refused to do anything which might ruffle or
offend the criminal classes.
        His handling officer, Rick Grim, had to admit: "He just won't go up
and bite them.  I got sick and tired of doing that dog's work for him."
        The British contenders in this category, however, took things a
stage further.  "Laddie" and "Boy" were trained as detector dogs for drug
raids.  Their employment was terminated following a raid in the Midlands in
1967.
        While the investigating officer questioned two suspects, they
patted and stroked the dogs who eventually fell asleep in front of the
fire.  When the officer moved to arrest the suspects, one dog growled at
him while the other leapt up and bit his thigh.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
        The Minnesota Board of Education voted to consider requiring all
students to do some "volunteer work" as a prerequisite to high school
graduation.
        Senator Orrin Hatch said that "capital punishment is our society's
recognition of the sanctity of human life."
        According to the tax bill signed by President Reagan on December 22,
1987, Don Tyson and his sister-in-law Barbara run a "family farm."  Their
"farm" has 25,000 employees and grosses $1.7 billion a year.  But as a "family
farm" they get tax breaks that save them $135 million a year.
        Scott L. Pickard, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of
Public Works, calls them "ground-mounted confirmatory route markers."  You
probably call them road signs, but then you don't work in a government agency.
        It's not "elderly" or "senior citizens" anymore.  Now it's "chrono-
logically experienced citizens."
        According to the FAA, the propeller blade didn't break off, it was
just a case of "uncontained blade liberation."
                -- Quarterly Review of Doublespeak (NCTE)
The time was the 19th of May, 1780.  The place was Hartford, Connecticut.
The day has gone down in New England history as a terrible foretaste of
Judgement Day.  For at noon the skies turned from blue to grey and by
mid-afternoon had blackened over so densely that, in that religious age,
men fell on their knees and begged a final blessing before the end came.
The Connecticut House of Representatives was in session.  And, as some of
the men fell down and others clamored for an immediate adjournment, the
Speaker of the House, one Col. Davenport, came to his feet.  He silenced
them and said these words: "The day of judgment is either approaching or
it is not.  If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment.  If it is, I
choose to be found doing my duty.  I wish therefore that candles may be
brought."
                -- Alistair Cooke
The Worst Prison Guards
        The largest number of convicts ever to escape simultaneously from a
maximum security prison is 124.  This record is held by Alcoente Prison,
near Lisbon in Portugal.
        During the weeks leading up to the escape in July 1978 the prison
warders had noticed that attendances had fallen at film shows which
included "The Great Escape", and also that 220 knives and a huge quantity
of electric cable had disappeared.  A guard explained, "Yes, we were
planning to look for them, but never got around to it."  The warders had
not, however, noticed the gaping holes in the wall because they were
"covered with posters".  Nor did they detect any of the spades, chisels,
water hoses and electric drills amassed by the inmates in large quantities.
The night before the breakout one guard had noticed that of the 36
prisoners in his block only 13 were present.  He said this was "normal"
because inmates sometimes missed roll-call or hid, but usually came back
the next morning.
        "We only found out about the escape at 6:30 the next morning when
one of the prisoners told us," a warder said later.  [...]  When they
eventually checked, the prison guards found that exactly half of the gaol's
population was missing.  By way of explanation the Justice Minister, Dr.
Santos Pais, claimed that the escape was "normal" and part of the
"legitimate desire of the prisoner to regain his liberty."
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
There is no act of treachery or mean-ness of which a political party
is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.
                -- Benjamin Disraeli, "Vivian Grey"
There never was a good war or a bad peace.
                -- B. Franklin
This is a country where people are free to practice their religion,
regardless of race, creed, color, obesity, or number of dangling keys...
Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers
in heavy weather for several days.  I was serving on the lead battleship and
was on watch on the bridge as night fell.  The visibility was poor with patchy
fog, so the Captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.
        Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing of the bridge reported,
"Light, bearing on the starboard bow."
        "Is it steady or moving astern?" the Captain called out.
        Lookout replied, "Steady, Captain," which meant we were on a dangerous
collision course with that ship.
        The Captain then called to the signalman, "Signal that ship: We are on
a collision course, advise you change course 20 degrees."
        Back came a signal "Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees."
        In reply, the Captain said, "Send: I'm a Captain, change course 20
degrees!"
        "I'm a seaman second class," came the reply, "You had better change
course 20 degrees."
        By that time, the Captain was furious. He spit out, "Send: I'm a
battleship, change course 20 degrees."
        Back came the flashing light: "I'm a lighthouse!"
        We changed course.
                -- The Naval Institute's "Proceedings"
... we must not judge the society of the future by considering whether or not
we should like to live in it; the question is whether those who have grown up
in it will be happier than those who have grown up in our society or those of
the past.
                -- Joseph Wood Krutch
What does it take for Americans to do great things; to go to the moon, to
win wars, to dig canals linking oceans, to build railroads across a continent?
In independent thought about this question, Neil Armstrong and I concluded
that it takes a coincidence of four conditions, or in Neil's view, the
simultaneous peaking of four of the many cycles of American life.  First, a
base of technology must exist from which to do the thing to be done.  Second,
a period of national uneasiness about America's place in the scheme of human
activities must exist.  Third, some catalytic event must occur that focuses
the national attention upon the direction to proceed.  Finally, an articulate
and wise leader must sense these first three conditions and put forth with
words and action the great thing to be accomplished.  The motivation of young
Americans to do what needs to be done flows from such a coincidence of
conditions. ...  The Thomas Jeffersons, The Teddy Roosevelts, The John
Kennedys appear.  We must begin to create the tools of leadership which they,
and their young frontiersmen, will require to lead us onward and upward.
                -- Dr. Harrison H. Schmidt
What we need is either less corruption, or more chance to participate in it.
Why don't somebody print the truth about our present economic condition?
We spent years of wild buying on credit, everything under the sun, whether
we needed it or not, and now we are having to pay for it, howling like a
pet coon.  This would be a great world to dance in if we didn't have to
pay the fiddler.
                -- The Best of Will Rogers
You can have peace.  Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having
both at once.
                -- Lazarus Long
You first have to decide whether to use the short or the long form. The
short form is what the Internal Revenue Service calls "simplified", which
means it is designed for people who need the help of a Sears tax-preparation
expert to distinguish between their first and last names.  Here's the
complete text:

"(1) How much did you make?  (AMOUNT)
(2) How much did we here at the government take out?  (AMOUNT)
(3) Hey!  Sounds like we took too much!  So we're going to
     send an official government check for (ONE-FIFTEENTH OF
     THE AMOUNT WE TOOK) directly to the (YOUR LAST NAME)
     household at (YOUR ADDRESS), for you to spend in any way
     you please! Which just goes to show you, (YOUR FIRST
     NAME), that it pays to file the short form!"

The IRS wants you to use this form because it gets to keep most of your
money.  So unless you have pond silt for brains, you want the long form.
                -- Dave Barry, "Sweating Out Taxes"
You must include all income you receive in the form of money, property
and services if it is not specifically exempt.  Report property (goods)
and services at their fair market values.  Examples include income from
bartering or swapping transactions, side commissions, kickbacks, rent
paid in services, illegal activities (such as stealing, drugs, etc.),
cash skimming by proprietors and tradesmen, "moonlighting" services,
gambling, prizes and awards.  Not reporting such income can lead to
prosecution for perjury and fraud.
                -- Excerpt from Taxachussetts income tax forms
I do not patronize poor, ill educated, or disenfranchised people by
exempting them from the same critical examination I feel free to
direct toward the rest of society, however much I might champion the
same minority or disadvantaged group in the forums of that society.
                -- James Moffitt
As long as there are entrenched social and political distinctions
between sexes, races or classes, there will be forms of science whose
main function is to rationalize and legitimize these distinctions.
                -- Elizabeth Fee
Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their
reputation or social standards never can bring about reform.  Those
who are totally in earnest are willing to be anything or nothing in
the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and
out, avow their sympathies with despised ideas and their advocates,
and bear the consequences.
                -- Susan B. Anthony (1873)
"Even if you want no state, or a minimal state, then you still have to
argue it point by point.  Especially since most minimalists want to
keep exactly the economic and police system that keeps them
privileged.  That's libertarians for you -- anarchists who want police
protection from their slaves!"
                -- Coyote, in Kim Stanley Robinson's "Green Mars"
A certain monk had a habit of pestering the Grand Tortue (the only one who
had ever reached the Enlightenment 'Yond Enlightenment), by asking whether
various objects had Buddha-nature or not.  To such a question Tortue
invariably sat silent.  The monk had already asked about a bean, a lake,
and a moonlit night.  One day he brought to Tortue a piece of string, and
asked the same question.  In reply, the Grand Tortue grasped the loop
between his feet and, with a few simple manipulations, created a complex
string which he proferred wordlessly to the monk.  At that moment, the monk
was enlightened.

From then on, the monk did not bother Tortue.  Instead, he made string after
string by Tortue's method; and he passed the method on to his own disciples,
who passed it on to theirs.
A little retrospection shows that although many fine, useful software systems
have been designed by committees and built as part of multipart projects,
those software systems that have excited passionate fans are those that are
the products of one or a few designing minds, great designers.  Consider Unix,
APL, Pascal, Modula, the Smalltalk interface, even Fortran; and contrast them
with Cobol, PL/I, Algol, MVS/370, and MS-DOS.
                -- Fred Brooks
        A manager went to the master programmer and showed him the requirements
document for a new application.  The manager asked the master: "How long will
it take to design this system if I assign five programmers to it?"
        "It will take one year," said the master promptly.
        "But we need this system immediately or even sooner!  How long will it
take it I assign ten programmers to it?"
        The master programmer frowned.  "In that case, it will take two years."
        "And what if I assign a hundred programmers to it?"
        The master programmer shrugged.  "Then the design will never be
completed," he said.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        A novice asked the Master: "Here is a programmer that never designs,
documents, or tests his programs.  Yet all who know him consider him one of
the best programmers in the world.  Why is this?"
        The Master replies: "That programmer has mastered the Tao.  He has
gone beyond the need for design; he does not become angry when the system
crashes, but accepts the universe without concern.  He has gone beyond the
need for documentation; he no longer cares if anyone else sees his code.  He
has gone beyond the need for testing; each of his programs are perfect within
themselves, serene and elegant, their purpose self-evident.  Truly, he has
entered the mystery of the Tao."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        A novice asked the master: "In the east there is a great tree-structure
that men call 'Corporate Headquarters'.  It is bloated out of shape with
vice-presidents and accountants.  It issues a multitude of memos, each saying
'Go, Hence!' or 'Go, Hither!' and nobody knows what is meant.  Every year new
names are put onto the branches, but all to no avail.  How can such an
unnatural entity exist?"
        The master replies: "You perceive this immense structure and are
disturbed that it has no rational purpose.  Can you not take amusement from
its endless gyrations?  Do you not enjoy the untroubled ease of programming
beneath its sheltering branches?  Why are you bothered by its uselessness?"
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        A sheet of paper crossed my desk the other day and as I read it,
realization of a basic truth came over me.  So simple!  So obvious we couldn't
see it.  John Knivlen, Chairman of Polamar Repeater Club, an amateur radio
group, had discovered how IC circuits work.  He says that smoke is the thing
that makes ICs work because every time you let the smoke out of an IC circuit,
it stops working.  He claims to have verified this with thorough testing.
        I was flabbergasted!  Of course!  Smoke makes all things electrical
work.  Remember the last time smoke escaped from your Lucas voltage regulator
Didn't it quit working?  I sat and smiled like an idiot as more of the truth
dawned.  It's the wiring harness that carries the smoke from one device to
another in your Mini, MG or Jag.  And when the harness springs a leak, it lets
the smoke out of everything at once, and then nothing works.  The starter motor
requires large quantities of smoke to operate properly, and that's why the wire
going to it is so large.
        Feeling very smug, I continued to expand my hypothesis.  Why are Lucas
electronics more likely to leak than say Bosch?  Hmmm...  Aha!!!  Lucas is
British, and all things British leak!  British convertible tops leak water,
British engines leak oil, British displacer units leak hydrostatic fluid, and
I might add Brititsh tires leak air, and the British defense unit leaks
secrets... so naturally British electronics leak smoke.
                -- Jack Banton, PCC Automotive Electrical School

        [Ummm ... IC circuits?  Integrated circuit circuits?]
Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.
                -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"

Whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty by
close application thereto, it is worse execute by two persons and
scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein.
                -- George Washington, 1732-1799
All programmers are optimists.  Perhaps this modern sorcery especially attracts
those who believe in happy endings and fairy godmothers.  Perhaps the hundreds
of nitty frustrations drive away all but those who habitually focus on the end
goal.  Perhaps it is merely that computers are young, programmers are younger,
and the young are always optimists.  But however the selection process works,
the result is indisputable:  "This time it will surely run," or "I just found
the last bug."
                -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"
===  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE  ========================

Bug reports now amount to an average of 12,853 per day.  Unfortunately,
this is only a small fraction [ < 1% ] of the mail volume we receive.  In
order that we may more expeditiously deal with these valuable messages,
please communicate them by one of the following paths:

        ARPA:  WastebasketSLMHQ.ARPA
        UUCP:  [berkeley, seismo, harpo]!fubar!thekid!slmhq!wastebasket
         Non-network sites:  Federal Express to:
                Wastebasket
                Room NE43-926
                Copernicus, The Moon, 12345-6789
        For that personal contact feeling call 1-415-642-4948; our trained
        operators are on call 24 hours a day.  VISA/MC accepted.*

* Our very rich lawyers have assured us that we are not
  responsible for any errors or advice given over the phone.
===  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE  ========================

Compiler optimizations have been made to macro expand LET into a WITHOUT-
INTERRUPTS special form so that it can PUSH things into a stack in the
LET-OPTIMIZATION area, SETQ the variables and then POP them back when it's
done.  Don't worry about this unless you use multiprocessing.
Note that LET *could* have been defined by:

        (LET ((LET '`(LET ((LET ',LET))
                        ,LET)))
        `(LET ((LET ',LET))
                ,LET))

This is believed to speed up execution by as much as a factor of 1.01 or
3.50 depending on whether you believe our friendly marketing representatives.
This code was written by a new programmer here (we snatched him away from
Itty Bitti Machines where he was writing COUGHBOL code) so to give him
confidence we trusted his vows of "it works pretty well" and installed it.
===  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE  ========================

JCL support as alternative to system menu.

In our continuing effort to support languages other than LISP on the CADDR,
we have developed an OS/360-compatible JCL.  This can be used as an
alternative to the standard system menu.  Type System J to get to a JCL
interactive read-execute-diagnose loop window.  [Note that for 360
compatibility, all input lines are truncated to 80 characters.]  This
window also maintains a mouse-sensitive display of critical job parameters
such as dataset allocation, core allocation, channels, etc.  When a JCL
syntax error is detected or your job ABENDs, the window-oriented JCL
debugger is entered.  The JCL debugger displays appropriate OS/360 error
messages (such as IEC703, "disk error") and allows you to dequeue your job.
===  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE  ========================

There has been some confusion concerning MAPCAR.
        (DEFUN MAPCAR (&FUNCTIONAL FCN &EVAL &REST LISTS)
                (PROG (V P LP)
                (SETQ P (LOCF V))
        L        (SETQ LP LISTS)
                (%START-FUNCTION-CALL FCN T (LENGTH LISTS) NIL)
        L1        (OR LP (GO L2))
                (AND (NULL (CAR LP)) (RETURN V))
                (%PUSH (CAAR LP))
                (RPLACA LP (CDAR LP))
                (SETQ LP (CDR LP))
                (GO L1)
        L2        (%FINISH-FUNCTION-CALL FCN T (LENGTH LISTS) NIL)
                (SETQ LP (%POP))
                (RPLACD P (SETQ P (NCONS LP)))
                (GO L)))
We hope this clears up the many questions we've had about it.
... an anecdote from IBM's Yorktown Heights Research Center.  When a
programmer used his new computer terminal, all was fine when he was sitting
down, but he couldn't log in to the system when he was standing up.  That
behavior was 100 percent repeatable: he could always log in when sitting and
never when standing.

Most of us just sit back and marvel at such a story; how could that terminal
know whether the poor guy was sitting or standing?  Good debuggers, though,
know that there has to be a reason.  Electrical theories are the easiest to
hypothesize: was there a loose with under the carpet, or problems with static
electricity?  But electrical problems are rarely consistently reproducible.
An alert IBMer finally noticed that the problem was in the terminal's keyboard:
the tops of two keys were switched.  When the programmer was seated he was a
touch typist and the problem went unnoticed, but when he stood he was led
astray by hunting and pecking.
        -- "Programming Pearls" column, by Jon Bentley in CACM February 1985
... Any resemblance between the above views and those of my employer,
my terminal, or the view out my window are purely coincidental.  Any
resemblance between the above and my own views is non-deterministic.  The
question of the existence of views in the absence of anyone to hold them
is left as an exercise for the reader.  The question of the existence of
the reader is left as an exercise for the second god coefficient.  (A
discussion of non-orthogonal, non-integral polytheism is beyond the scope
of this article.)
As in Protestant Europe, by contrast, where sects divided endlessly into
smaller competing sects and no church dominated any other, all is different
in the fragmented world of IBM.  That realm is now a chaos of conflicting
norms and standards that not even IBM can hope to control.  You can buy a
computer that works like an IBM machine but contains nothing made or sold by
IBM itself.  Renegades from IBM constantly set up rival firms and establish
standards of their own.  When IBM recently abandoned some of its original
standards and decreed new ones, many of its rivals declared a puritan
allegiance to IBM's original faith, and denounced the company as a divisive
innovator.  Still, the IBM world is united by its distrust of icons and
imagery.  IBM's screens are designed for language, not pictures.  Graven
images may be tolerated by the luxurious cults, but the true IBM faith relies
on the austerity of the word.
                -- Edward Mendelson, "The New Republic", February 22, 1988
As part of an ongoing effort to keep you, the Fortune reader, abreast of
the valuable information the daily crosses the USENET, Fortune presents:

News articles that answer *your* questions, #1:

        Newsgroups: comp.sources.d
        Subject: how do I run C code received from sources
        Keywords: C sources
        Distribution: na

        I do not know how to run the C programs that are posted in the
        sources newsgroup.  I save the files, edit them to remove the
        headers, and change the mode so that they are executable, but I
        cannot get them to run.  (I have never written a C program before.)

        Must they be compiled?  With what compiler?  How do I do this?  If
        I compile them, is an object code file generated or must I generate
        it explicitly with the > character?  Is there something else that
        must be done?
As the system comes up, the component builders will from time to time appear,
bearing hot new versions of their pieces -- faster, smaller, more complete,
or putatively less buggy.  The replacement of a working component by a new
version requires the same systematic testing procedure that adding a new
component does, although it should require less time, for more complete and
efficient test cases will usually be available.
                -- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
At first sight, the idea of any rules or principles being superimposed on
the creative mind seems more likely to hinder than to help, but this is
quite untrue in practice.  Disciplined thinking focuses inspiration rather
than blinkers it.
                -- G.L. Glegg, "The Design of Design"
... C++ offers even more flexible control over the visibility of member
objects and member functions.  Specifically, members may be placed in the
public, private, or protected parts of a class.  Members declared in the
public parts are visible to all clients; members declared in the private
parts are fully encapsulated; and members declared in the protected parts
are visible only to the class itself and its subclasses.  C++ also supports
the notion of *_______friends*: cooperative classes that are permitted to see each
other's private parts.
                -- Grady Booch, "Object Oriented Design with Applications"
Comparing software engineering to classical engineering assumes that software
has the ability to wear out.  Software typically behaves, or it does not.  It
either works, or it does not.  Software generally does not degrade, abrade,
stretch, twist, or ablate.  To treat it as a physical entity, therefore, is
misapplication of our engineering skills.  Classical engineering deals with
the characteristics of hardware; software engineering should deal with the
characteristics of *software*, and not with hardware or management.
                -- Dan Klein
Conceptual integrity in turn dictates that the design must proceed
from one mind, or from a very small number of agreeing resonant minds.
                -- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
        Cosmotronic Software Unlimited Inc. does not warrant that the
functions contained in the program will meet your requirements or that
the operation of the program will be uninterrupted or error-free.
        However, Cosmotronic Software Unlimited Inc. warrants the
diskette(s) on which the program is furnished to be of black color and
square shape under normal use for a period of ninety (90) days from the
date of purchase.
        NOTE: IN NO EVENT WILL COSMOTRONIC SOFTWARE UNLIMITED OR ITS
DISTRIBUTORS AND THEIR DEALERS BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DAMAGES, INCLUDING
ANY LOST PROFIT, LOST SAVINGS, LOST PATIENCE OR OTHER INCIDENTAL OR
CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES.
                -- Horstmann Software Design, the "ChiWriter" user manual
Dear Emily:
        I'm having a serious disagreement with somebody on the net. I
tried complaints to his sysadmin, organizing mail campaigns, called for
his removal from the net and phoning his employer to get him fired.
Everybody laughed at me.  What can I do?
                -- A Concerned Citizen

Dear Concerned:
        Go to the daily papers.  Most modern reporters are top-notch computer
experts who will understand the net, and your problems, perfectly.  They
will print careful, reasoned stories without any errors at all, and surely
represent the situation properly to the public.  The public will also all
act wisely, as they are also fully cognizant of the subtle nature of net
society.
        Papers never sensationalize or distort, so be sure to point out things
like racism and sexism wherever they might exist.  Be sure as well that they
understand that all things on the net, particularly insults, are meant
literally.  Link what transpires on the net to the causes of the Holocaust, if
possible.  If regular papers won't take the story, go to a tabloid paper --
they are always interested in good stories.
Dear Emily:
        I'm still confused as to what groups articles should be posted
to.  How about an example?
                -- Still Confused

Dear Still:
        Ok.  Let's say you want to report that Gretzky has been traded from
the Oilers to the Kings.  Now right away you might think rec.sport.hockey
would be enough.  WRONG.  Many more people might be interested.  This is a
big trade!  Since it's a NEWS article, it belongs in the news.* hierarchy
as well.  If you are a news admin, or there is one on your machine, try
news.admin.  If not, use news.misc.
        The Oilers are probably interested in geology, so try sci.physics.
He is a big star, so post to sci.astro, and sci.space because they are also
interested in stars.  Next, his name is Polish sounding.  So post to
soc.culture.polish.  But that group doesn't exist, so cross-post to
news.groups suggesting it should be created.  With this many groups of
interest, your article will be quite bizarre, so post to talk.bizarre as
well.  (And post to comp.std.mumps, since they hardly get any articles
there, and a "comp" group will propagate your article further.)
        You may also find it is more fun to post the article once in each
group.  If you list all the newsgroups in the same article, some newsreaders
will only show the the article to the reader once!  Don't tolerate this.
                -- Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
Dear Ms. Postnews:
        I couldn't get mail through to somebody on another site.  What
        should I do?
                -- Eager Beaver

Dear Eager:
        No problem, just post your message to a group that a lot of people
read.  Say, "This is for John Smith.  I couldn't get mail through so I'm
posting it.  All others please ignore."
        This way tens of thousands of people will spend a few seconds scanning
over and ignoring your article, using up over 16 man-hours their collective
time, but you will be saved the terrible trouble of checking through usenet
maps or looking for alternate routes.  Just think, if you couldn't distribute
your message to 9000 other computers, you might actually have to (gasp) call
directory assistance for 60 cents, or even phone the person.  This can cost
as much as a few DOLLARS (!) for a 5 minute call!
        And certainly it's better to spend 10 to 20 dollars of other people's
money distributing the message than for you to have to waste $9 on an overnight
letter, or even 25 cents on a stamp!
        Don't forget.  The world will end if your message doesn't get through,
so post it as many places as you can.
                -- Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
Dear Sir,
        I am firmly opposed to the spread of microchips either to the home or
to the office,  We have more than enough of them foisted upon us in public
places.  They are a disgusting Americanism, and can only result in the farmers
being forced to grow smaller potatoes, which in turn will cause massive un-
employment in the already severely depressed agricultural industry.
        Yours faithfully,
        Capt. Quinton D'Arcy, J.P.
        Sevenoaks
                -- Letters To The Editor, The Times of London
(defun NF (a c)
  (cond ((null c) () )
        ((atom (car c))
          (append (list (eval (list 'getchar (list (car c) 'a) (cadr c))))
                 (nf a (cddr c))))
        (t (append (list (implode (nf a (car c)))) (nf a (cdr c))))))

(defun AD (want-job challenging boston-area)
  (cond
   ((or (not (equal want-job 'yes))
        (not (equal boston-area 'yes))
        (lessp challenging 7)) () )
   (t (append (nf  (get 'ad 'expr)
          '((caaddr 1 caadr 2 car 1 car 1)
            (car 5 cadadr 9 cadadr 8 cadadr 9 caadr 4 car 2 car 1)
            (car 2 caadr 4)))
      (list '851-5071x2661)))))
;;;     We are an affirmative action employer.
Do you guys know what you're doing, or are you just hacking?
Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because
God is not capricious or arbitrary.  No such faith comforts the software
engineer.
                -- Fred Brooks
"Every group has a couple of experts.  And every group has at least one
idiot.  Thus are balance and harmony (and discord) maintained.  It's
sometimes hard to remember this in the bulk of the flamewars that all
of the hassle and pain is generally caused by one or two highly-motivated,
caustic twits."
                -- Chuq Von Rospach, about Usenet
Excessive login or logout messages are a sure sign of senility.
Fellow programmer, greetings!  You are reading a letter which will bring
you luck and good fortune.  Just mail (or UUCP) ten copies of this letter
to ten of your friends.  Before you make the copies, send a chip or
other bit of hardware, and 100 lines of 'C' code to the first person on the
list given at the bottom of this letter.  Then delete their name and add
yours to the bottom of the list.

Don't break the chain!  Make the copy within 48 hours.  Gerald R. of San
Diego failed to send out his ten copies and woke the next morning to find
his job description changed to "COBOL programmer."  Fred A. of New York sent
out his ten copies and within a month had enough hardware and software to
build a Cray dedicated to playing Zork.  Martha H. of Chicago laughed at
this letter and broke the chain.  Shortly thereafter, a fire broke out in
her terminal and she now spends her days writing documentation for IBM PC's.

Don't break the chain!  Send out your ten copies today!
For example, if \thinmskip = 3mu, this makes \thickmskip = 6mu.  But if
you also want to use \skip12 for horizontal glue, whether in math mode or
not, the amount of skipping will be in points (e.g., 6pt).  The rule is
that glue in math mode varies with the size only when it is an \mskip;
when moving between an mskip and ordinary skip, the conversion factor
1mu=1pt is always used.  The meaning of '\mskip\skip12' and
'\baselineskip=\the\thickmskip' should be clear.
                -- Donald Knuth, TeX 82 -- Comparison with TeX80
Fortune suggests uses for YOUR favorite UNIX commands!

Try:
        ar t "God"
        drink < bottle; opener                        (Bourne Shell)
        cat "food in tin cans"                        (all but 4.[23]BSD)
        Hey UNIX!  Got a match?                        (V6 or C shell)
        mkdir matter; cat > matter                (Bourne Shell)
        rm God
        man: Why did you get a divorce?                (C shell)
        date me                                        (anything up to 4.3BSD)
        make "heads or tails of all this"
        who is smart
                                                (C shell)
        If I had a ) for every dollar of the national debt, what would I have?
        sleep with me                                (anything up to 4.3BSD)
fortune: No such file or directory
Grand Master Turing once dreamed that he was a machine.  When he awoke
he exclaimed:
        "I don't know whether I am Turing dreaming that I am a machine,
        or a machine dreaming that I am Turing!"
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
He's like a function -- he returns a value, in the form of his opinion.
It's up to you to cast it into a void or not.
                -- Phil Lapsley
I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate
of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ...
                -- F. H. Wales (1936)
I have sacrificed time, health, and fortune, in the desire to complete these
Calculating Engines.  I have also declined several offers of great personal
advantage to myself.  But, notwithstanding the sacrifice of these advantages
for the purpose of maturing an engine of almost intellectual power, and
after expending from my own private fortune a larger sum than the government
of England has spent on that machine, the execution of which it only
commenced, I have received neither an acknowledgement of my labors, not even
the offer of those honors or rewards which are allowed to fall within the
reach of men who devote themselves to purely scientific investigations...
        If the work upon which I have bestowed so much time and thought were
a mere triumph over mechanical difficulties, or simply curious, or if the
execution of such engines were of doubtful practicability or utility, some
justification might be found for the course which has been taken; but I
venture to assert that no mathematician who has a reputation to lose will
ever publicly express an opinion that such a machine would be useless if
made, and that no man distinguished as a civil engineer will venture to
declare the construction of such machinery impracticable...
        And at a period when the progress of physical science is obstructed
by that exhausting intellectual and manual labor, indispensable for its
advancement, which it is the object of the Analytical Engine to relieve, I
think the application of machinery in aid of the most complicated and abtruse
calculations can no longer be deemed unworthy of the attention of the country.
In fact, there is no reason why mental as well as bodily labor should not
be economized by the aid of machinery.
                -- Charles Babbage, "The Life of a Philosopher"
I'm not even going to *______bother* comparing C to BASIC or FORTRAN.
                -- L. Zolman, creator of BDS C
        I'm sure that VMS is completely documented, I just haven't found the
right manual yet.  I've been working my way through the manuals in the document
library and I'm half way through the second cabinet, (3 shelves to go), so I
should find what I'm looking for by mid May.  I hope I can remember what it
was by the time I find it.
        I had this idea for a new horror film, "VMS Manuals from Hell" or maybe
"The Paper Chase : IBM vs. DEC".  It's based on Hitchcock's "The Birds", except
that it's centered around a programmer who is attacked by a swarm of binder
pages with an index number and the single line "This page intentionally left
blank."
                -- Alex Crain
If the vendors started doing everything right, we would be out of a job.
Let's hear it for OSI and X!  With those babies in the wings, we can count
on being employed until we drop, or get smart and switch to gardening,
paper folding, or something.
                -- C. Philip Wood
**** IMPORTANT ****  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE ****

Due to a recent systems overload error your recent disk files have been
erased.  Therefore, in accordance with the UNIX Basic Manual, University of
Washington Geophysics Manual, and Bylaw 9(c), Section XII of the Revised
Federal Communications Act, you are being granted Temporary Disk Space,
valid for three months from this date, subject to the restrictions set forth
in Appendix II of the Federal Communications Handbook (18th edition) as well
as the references mentioned herein.  You may apply for more disk space at any
time.  Disk usage in or above the eighth percentile will secure the removal
of all restrictions and you will immediately receive your permanent disk
space.  Disk usage in the sixth or seventh percentile will not effect the
validity of your temporary disk space, though its expiration date may be
extended for a period of up to three months.  A score in the fifth percentile
or below will result in the withdrawal of your Temporary Disk space.
        In the beginning there was data.  The data was without form and
null, and darkness was upon the face of the console; and the Spirit of
IBM was moving over the face of the market.  And DEC said, "Let there
be registers"; and there were registers.  And DEC saw that they
carried; and DEC separated the data from the instructions.  DEC called
the data Stack, and the instructions they called Code.  And there was
evening and there was morning, one interrupt.
                -- Rico Tudor, "The Story of Creation or, The Myth of Urk"
        It appears that after his death, Albert Einstein found himself
working as the doorkeeper at the Pearly Gates.  One slow day, he
found that he had time to chat with the new entrants.  To the first one
he asked, "What's your IQ?"  The new arrival replied, "190".  They
discussed Einstein's theory of relativity for hours.  When the second
new arrival came, Einstein once again inquired as to the newcomer's
IQ.  The answer this time came "120".  To which Einstein replied, "Tell
me, how did the Cubs do this year?" and they proceeded to talk for half
an hour or so.  To the final arrival, Einstein once again posed the
question, "What's your IQ?".  Upon receiving the answer "70",
Einstein smiled and replied, "Got a minute to tell me about VMS 4.0?"
It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely
used higher level language for systems programming.
                -- J. Sammet
It turned out that the worm exploited three or four different holes in the
system.  From this, and the fact that we were able to capture and examine
some of the source code, we realized that we were dealing with someone very
sharp, probably not someone here on campus.
                -- Dr. Richard LeBlanc, associate professor of ICS, in
                   Georgia Tech's campus newspaper after the Internet worm.
LOGO for the Dead

LOGO for the Dead lets you continue your computing activities from
"The Other Side."

The package includes a unique telecommunications feature which lets you
turn your TRS-80 into an electronic Ouija board.  Then, using Logo's
graphics capabilities, you can work with a friend or relative on this
side of the Great Beyond to write programs.  The software requires that
your body be hardwired to an analog-to-digital converter, which is then
interfaced to your computer.  A special terminal (very terminal) program
lets you talk with the users through Deadnet, an EBBS (Ectoplasmic
Bulletin Board System).

LOGO for the Dead is available for 10 percent of your estate
from NecroSoft inc., 6502 Charnelhouse Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44101.
                -- '80 Microcomputing
No part of this message may reproduce, store itself in a retrieval system,
or transmit disease, in any form, without the permissiveness of the author.
                -- Chris Shaw
NOTE: No warranties, either express or implied, are hereby given. All
software is supplied as is, without guarantee.  The user assumes all
responsibility for damages resulting from the use of these features,
including, but not limited to, frustration, disgust, system abends, disk
head-crashes, general malfeasance, floods, fires, shark attack, nerve
gas, locust infestation, cyclones, hurricanes, tsunamis, local
electromagnetic disruptions, hydraulic brake system failure, invasion,
hashing collisions, normal wear and tear of friction surfaces, comic
radiation, inadvertent destruction of sensitive electronic components,
windstorms, the Riders of Nazgul, infuriated chickens, malfunctioning
mechanical or electrical sexual devices, premature activation of the
distant early warning system, peasant uprisings, halitosis, artillery
bombardment, explosions, cave-ins, and/or frogs falling from the sky.
Real Programmers don't play tennis, or any other sport that requires
you to change clothes.  Mountain climbing is OK, and real programmers
wear their climbing boots to work in case a mountain should suddenly
spring up in the middle of the machine room.
Real Programmers don't write in PL/I.  PL/I is for programmers who can't
decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.
Real Programmers think better when playing Adventure or Rogue.
The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a
digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top
of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.  To think otherwise is to demean
the Buddha -- which is to demean oneself.
                -- Robert Pirsig, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
The debate rages on: Is PL/I Bachtrian or Dromedary?
"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not
Compute' -- I forget which."
                -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982
        The FIELD GUIDE to NORTH AMERICAN MALES

SPECIES:        Cranial Males
SUBSPECIES:        The Hacker (homo computatis)
Description:
        Gangly and frail, the hacker has a high forehead and thinning hair.
        Head disproportionately large and crooked forward, complexion wan and
        sightly gray from CRT illumination.  He has heavy black-rimmed glasses
        and a look of intense concentration, which may be due to a software
        problem or to a pork-and-bean breakfast.
Feathering:
        HOMO COMPUTATIS saw a Brylcreem ad fifteen years ago and believed it.
        Consequently, crest is greased down, except for the cowlick.
Song:
        A rather plaintive "Is it up?"
        The FIELD GUIDE to NORTH AMERICAN MALES

SPECIES:        Cranial Males
SUBSPECIES:        The Hacker (homo computatis)
Plumage:
        All clothes have a slightly crumpled look as though they came off the
        top of the laundry basket.  Style varies with status.  Hacker managers
        wear gray polyester slacks, pink or pastel shirts with wide collars,
        and paisley ties; staff wears cinched-up baggy corduroy pants, white
        or blue shirts with button-down collars, and penholder in pocket.
        Both managers and staff wear running shoes to work, and a black
        plastic digital watch with calculator.
The fountain code has been tightened slightly so you can no longer dip
objects into a fountain or drink from one while you are floating in mid-air
due to levitation.
        Teleporting to hell via a teleportation trap will no longer occur
if the character does not have fire resistance.
                -- README file from the NetHack game
The Gurus of Unix Meeting of Minds (GUMM) takes place Wednesday, April
1, 2076 (check THAT in your perpetual calendar program), 14 feet above
the ground directly in front of the Milpitas Gumps.  Members will grep
each other by the hand (after intro), yacc a lot, smoke filtered
chroots in pipes, chown with forks, use the wc (unless uuclean), fseek
nice zombie processes, strip, and sleep, but not, we hope, od.  Three
days will be devoted to discussion of the ramifications of whodo.  Two
seconds have been allotted for a complete rundown of all the user-
friendly features of Unix.  Seminars include "Everything You Know is
Wrong", led by Tom Kempson, "Batman or Cat:man?" led by Richie Dennis
"cc C?  Si!  Si!" led by Kerwin Bernighan, and "Document Unix, Are You
Kidding?" led by Jan Yeats.  No Reader Service No. is necessary because
all GUGUs (Gurus of Unix Group of Users) already know everything we
could tell them.
                -- "Get GUMMed," Dr. Dobb's Journal, June '84
                The Guy on the Right Doesn't Stand a Chance
The guy on the right has the Osborne 1, a fully functional computer system
in a portable package the size of a briefcase.  The guy on the left has an
Uzi submachine gun concealed in his attache case.  Also in the case are four
fully loaded, 32-round clips of 125-grain 9mm ammunition.  The owner of the
Uzi is going to get more tactical firepower delivered -- and delivered on
target -- in less time, and with less effort.  All for $795. It's inevitable.
If you're going up against some guy with an Osborne 1 -- or any personal
computer -- he's the one who's in trouble.  One round from an Uzi can zip
through ten inches of solid pine wood, so you can imagine what it will do
to structural foam acrylic and sheet aluminum.  In fact, detachable magazines
for the Uzi are available in 25-, 32-, and 40-round capacities, so you can
take out an entire office full of Apple II or IBM Personal Computers tied
into Ethernet or other local-area networks.  What about the new 16-bit
computers, like the Lisa and Fortune?  Even with the Winchester backup,
they're no match for the Uzi.  One quick burst and they'll find out what
Unix means.  Make your commanding officer proud.  Get an Uzi -- and come home
a winner in the fight for office automatic weapons.
                -- "InfoWorld", June, 1984
The idea that an arbitrary naive human should be able to properly use a given
tool without training or understanding is even more wrong for computing than
it is for other tools (e.g. automobiles, airplanes, guns, power saws).
                -- Doug Gwyn
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #13: SLOBOL

SLOBOL is best known for the speed, or lack of it, of its compiler.
Although many compilers allow you to take a coffee break while they
compile, SLOBOL compilers allow you to travel to Bolivia to pick the
coffee.  Forty-three programmers are known to have died of boredom
sitting at their terminals while waiting for a SLOBOL program to
compile.  Weary SLOBOL programmers often turn to a related (but
infinitely faster) language, COCAINE.
                      THE STORY OF CREATION
                               or
                         THE MYTH OF URK

In the beginning there was data.  The data was without form and null, and
darkness was upon the face of the console; and the Spirit of IBM was moving
over the face of the market.  And DEC said, "Let there be registers;" and
there were registers.  And DEC saw that they carried; and DEC separated the
data from the instructions.  DEC called the data Stack, and the instructions
they called Code.  And there was evening and there was morning, one interrupt
...
                -- Rico Tudor
... there are about 5,000 people who are part of that committee.  These guys
have a hard time sorting out what day to meet, and whether to eat croissants
or doughnuts for breakfast -- let alone how to define how all these complex
layers that are going to be agreed upon.
                -- Craig Burton of Novell, Network World
        There was once a programmer who was attached to the court of the
warlord of Wu.  The warlord asked the programmer: "Which is easier to design:
an accounting package or an operating system?"
        "An operating system," replied the programmer.
        The warlord uttered an exclamation of disbelief.  "Surely an
accounting package is trivial next to the complexity of an operating
system," he said.
        "Not so," said the programmer, "when designing an accounting package,
the programmer operates as a mediator between people having different ideas:
how it must operate, how its reports must appear, and how it must conform to
the tax laws.  By contrast, an operating system is not limited my outside
appearances.  When designing an operating system, the programmer seeks the
simplest harmony between machine and ideas.  This is why an operating system
is easier to design."
        The warlord of Wu nodded and smiled.  "That is all good and well, but
which is easier to debug?"
        The programmer made no reply.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
There was, it appeared, a mysterious rite of initiation through which,
in one way or another, almost every member of the team passed.  The term
that the old hands used for this rite -- West invented the term, not the
practice -- was `signing up.'  By signing up for the project you agreed
to do whatever was necessary for success.  You agreed to forsake, if
necessary, family, hobbies, and friends -- if you had any of these left
(and you might not, if you had signed up too many times before).
                -- Tracy Kidder, "The Soul of a New Machine"
This "brain-damaged" epithet is getting sorely overworked.  When we can
speak of someone or something being flawed, impaired, marred, spoiled;
batty, bedlamite, bonkers, buggy, cracked, crazed, cuckoo, daft, demented,
deranged, loco, lunatic, mad, maniac, mindless, non compos mentis, nuts,
Reaganite, screwy, teched, unbalanced, unsound, witless, wrong;  senseless,
spastic, spasmodic, convulsive; doped, spaced-out, stoned, zonked;  {beef,
beetle,block,dung,thick}headed, dense, doltish, dull, duncical, numskulled,
pinhead;  asinine, fatuous, foolish, silly, simple;  brute, lumbering, oafish;
half-assed, incompetent; backward, retarded, imbecilic, moronic; when we have
a whole precisely nuanced vocabulary of intellectual abuse to draw upon,
individually and in combination, isn't it a little <fill in the blank> to be
limited to a single, now quite trite, adjective?
        This is where the bloodthirsty license agreement is supposed to go,
explaining that Interactive Easyflow is a copyrighted package licensed for
use by a single person, and sternly warning you not to pirate copies of it
and explaining, in detail, the gory consequences if you do.
        We know that you are an honest person, and are not going to go around
pirating copies of Interactive Easyflow; this is just as well with us since
we worked hard to perfect it and selling copies of it is our only method of
making anything out of all the hard work.
        If, on the other hand, you are one of those few people who do go
around pirating copies of software you probably aren't going to pay much
attention to a license agreement, bloodthirsty or not.  Just keep your doors
locked and look out for the HavenTree attack shark.
                -- License Agreement for Interactive Easyflow
Try to find the real tense of the report you are reading:  Was it done, is
it being done, or is something to be done?  Reports are now written in four
tenses:  past tense, present tense, future tense, and pretense.  Watch for
novel uses of CONGRAM (CONtractor GRAMmar), defined by the imperfect past,
the insufficient present, and the absolutely perfect future.
                -- Amrom Katz
Unix Beer: Comes in several different brands, in cans ranging from 8 oz.
to 64 oz.  Drinkers of Unix Beer display fierce brand loyalty, even
though they claim that all the different brands taste almost identical.
Sometimes the pop-tops break off when you try to open them, so you have
to have your own can opener around for those occasions, in which case you
either need a complete set of instructions, or a friend who has been
drinking Unix Beer for several years.
        BSD stout: Deep, hearty, and an acquired taste.  The official
brewer has released the recipe, and a lot of home-brewers now use it.
        Hurd beer: Long advertised by the popular and politically active
GNU brewery, so far it has more head than body.  The GNU brewery is
mostly known for printing complete brewing instructions on every can,
which contains hops, malt, barley, and yeast ... not yet fermented.
        Linux brand: A recipe originally created by a drunken Finn in his
basement, it has since become the home-brew of choice for impecunious
brewers and Unix beer-lovers worldwide, many of whom change the recipe.
        POSIX ales: Sweeter than lager, with the kick of a stout; the
newer batches of a lot of beers seem to blend ale and stout or lager.
        Solaris brand: A lager, intended to replace Sun brand stout.
Unlike most lagers, this one has to be drunk more slowly than stout.
        Sun brand: Long the most popular stout on the Unix market, it was
discontinued in favor of a lager.
        SysV lager: Clear and thirst-quenching, but lacking the body of
stout or the sweetness of ale.
Unix is a lot more complicated (than CP/M) of course -- the typical Unix
hacker can never remember what the PRINT command is called this week --
but when it gets right down to it, Unix is a glorified video game.
People don't do serious work on Unix systems; they send jokes around the
world on USENET or write adventure games and research papers.
                -- E. Post
                "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal", Datamation, 7/83
VMS Beer: Requires minimal user interaction, except for popping the top
and sipping.  However cans have been known on occasion to explode, or
contain extremely un-beer-like contents.
Welcome to UNIX!  Enjoy your session!  Have a great time!  Note the
use of exclamation points!  They are a very effective method for
demonstrating excitement, and can also spice up an otherwise plain-looking
sentence!  However, there are drawbacks!  Too much unnecessary exclaiming
can lead to a reduction in the effect that an exclamation point has on
the reader!  For example, the sentence

        Jane went to the store to buy bread

should only be ended with an exclamation point if there is something
sensational about her going to the store, for example, if Jane is a
cocker spaniel or if Jane is on a diet that doesn't allow bread or if
Jane doesn't exist for some reason!  See how easy it is?!  Proper control
of exclamation points can add new meaning to your life!  Call now to receive
my free pamphlet, "The Wonder and Mystery of the Exclamation Point!"!
Enclose fifteen(!) dollars for postage and handling!  Operators are
standing by!  (Which is pretty amazing, because they're all cocker spaniels!)
... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer
has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor.
                -- Fred Brooks
When the Apple IIc was introduced, the informative copy led off with a couple
of asterisked sentences:

        It weighs less than 8 pounds.*
        And costs less than $1,300.**

In tiny type were these "fuller explanations":

      * Don't asterisks make you suspicious as all get out?  Well, all
        this means is that the IIc alone weights 7.5 pounds. The power
        pack, monitor, an extra disk drive, a printer and several bricks
        will make the IIc weigh more. Our lawyers were concerned that you
        might not be able to figure this out for yourself.

     ** The FTC is concerned about price fixing. You can pay more if
        you really want to.  Or less.
                -- Forbes
Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers
something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.
Writers who use a computer swear to its liberating power in tones that bear
witness to the apocalyptic power of a new divinity.  Their conviction results
from something deeper than mere gratitude for the computer's conveniences.
Every new medium of writing brings about new intensities of religious belief
and new schisms among believers.  In the 16th century the printed book helped
make possible the split between Catholics and Protestants.  In the 20th
century this history of tragedy and triumph is repeating itself as a farce.
Those who worship the Apple computer and those who put their faith in the IBM
PC are equally convinced that the other camp is damned or deluded.  Each cult
holds in contempt the rituals and the laws of the other.  Each thinks that it
is itself the one hope for salvation.
                -- Edward Mendelson, "The New Republic", February 22, 1988
Am I accompanied by a PARENT or GUARDIAN?
Are we live or on tape?
Did I say I was a sardine?  Or a bus???
DIDI ... is that a MARTIAN name, or, are we in ISRAEL?
Do you think the "Monkees" should get gas on odd or even days?
Either CONFESS now or we go to "PEOPLE'S COURT"!!
Everybody is going somewhere!!  It's probably a garage sale or a
disaster Movie!!
He probably just wants to take over my CELLS and then EXPLODE inside me
like a BARREL of runny CHOPPED LIVER!  Or maybe he'd like to
PSYCHOLIGICALLY TERRORISE ME until I have no objection to a RIGHT-WING
MILITARY TAKEOVER of my apartment!!  I guess I should call AL PACINO!
I am having FUN...  I wonder if it's NET FUN or GROSS FUN?
I can't think about that.  It doesn't go with HEDGES in the shape of
LITTLE LULU -- or ROBOTS making BRICKS ...
... I don't like FRANK SINATRA or his CHILDREN.
I guess it was all a DREAM ... or an episode of HAWAII FIVE-O ...
I'm having fun HITCHHIKING to CINCINNATI or FAR ROCKAWAY!!
If I pull this SWITCH I'll be RITA HAYWORTH!!  Or a SCIENTOLOGIST!
Is a tattoo real, like a curb or a battleship?  Or are we suffering in Safeway?
Look DEEP into the OPENINGS!!  Do you see any ELVES or EDSELS ... or a
HIGHBALL?? ...
Look!  A ladder!  Maybe it leads to heaven, or a sandwich!
OMNIVERSAL AWARENESS??  Oh, YEH!!  First you need four GALLONS of JELL-O
and a BIG WRENCH!! ... I think you drop th'WRENCH in the JELL-O as if
it was a FLAVOR, or an INGREDIENT ... ... or ... I ... um ... WHERE'S
the WASHING MACHINES?
Once, there was NO fun ... This was before MENU planning, FASHION
statements or NAUTILUS equipment ... Then, in 1985 ... FUN was
completely encoded in this tiny MICROCHIP ... It contain 14,768 vaguely
amusing SIT-COM pilots!!  We had to wait FOUR BILLION years but we
finally got JERRY LEWIS, MTV and a large selection of creme-filled
snack cakes!
... or were you driving the PONTIAC that HONKED at me in MIAMI last Tuesday?
SANTA CLAUS comes down a FIRE ESCAPE wearing bright blue LEG WARMERS
... He scrubs the POPE with a mild soap or detergent for 15 minutes,
starring JANE FONDA!!
Should I get locked in the PRINCICAL'S OFFICE today -- or have a VASECTOMY??
Should I start with the time I SWITCHED personalities with a BEATNIK
hair stylist or my failure to refer five TEENAGERS to a good OCULIST?
Wait ... is this a FUN THING or the END of LIFE in Petticoat Junction??
When I met th'POPE back in '58, I scrubbed him with a MILD SOAP or
DETERGENT for 15 minutes.  He seemed to enjoy it ...
Yow!  Did something bad happen or am I in a drive-in movie??
A day for firm decisions!!!!!  Or is it?
Are you ever going to do the dishes?  Or will you change your major to biology?
Don't you wish you had more energy... or less ambition?
It may or may not be worthwhile, but it still has to be done.
Learn to pause -- or nothing worthwhile can catch up to you.
"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it."
                -- Marvin, "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
You can do very well in speculation where land or anything to do with dirt
is concerned.
You will gain money by a speculation or lottery.
You will inherit some money or a small piece of land.
You will obey or molten silver will be poured into your ears.
You will reach the highest possible point in your business or profession.
You'll never see all the places, or read all the books, but fortunately,
they're not all recommended.
A fellow bought a new car, a Nissan, and was quite happy with his purchase.
He was something of an animist, however, and felt that the car really ought
to have a name.  This presented a problem, as he was not sure if the name
should be masculine or feminine.
        After considerable thought, he settled on an naming the car either
Belchazar or Beaumadine, but remained in a quandry about the final choice.
        "Is a Nissan male or female?" he began asking his friends.  Most of
them looked at him pecularly, mumbled things about urgent appointments, and
went on their way rather quickly.
        He finally broached the question to a lady he knew who held a black
belt in judo.  She thought for a moment and answered "Feminine."
        The swiftness of her response puzzled him. "You're sure of that?" he
asked.
        "Certainly," she replied. "They wouldn't sell very well if they were
masculine."
        "Unhhh...  Well, why not?"
        "Because people want a car with a reputation for going when you want
it to.  And, if Nissan's are female, it's like they say...  `Each Nissan, she
go!'"

        [No, we WON'T explain it; go ask someone who practices an oriental
        martial art.  (Tai Chi Chuan probably doesn't count.)  Ed.]
        A German, a Pole and a Czech left camp for a hike through the woods.
After being reported missing a day or two later, rangers found two bears,
one a male, one a female, looking suspiciously overstuffed.  They killed
the female, autopsied her, and sure enough, found the German and the Pole.
        "What do you think?" said the the first ranger.
        "The Czech is in the male," replied the second.
alta, v:        To change; make or become different; modify.
ansa, v:        A spoken or written reply, as to a question.
baa, n:                A place people meet to have a few drinks.
Baaston, n:        The capital of Massachusetts.
baaba, n:        One whose business is to cut or trim hair or beards.
beea, n:        An alcoholic beverage brewed from malt and hops, often
                        found in baas.
caaa, n:        An automobile.
centa, n:        A point around which something revolves; axis.  (Or
                        someone involved with the Knicks.)
chouda, n:        A thick seafood soup, often in a milk base.
dada, n:        Information, esp. information organized for analysis or
                        computation.
                -- Massachewsetts Unabridged Dictionary
Climate and Surgery
        R C Gilchrist, who was shot by J Sharp twelve days ago, and who
received a derringer ball in the right breast, and who it was supposed at
the time could not live many hours, was on the street yesterday and the
day before -- walking several blocks at a time.  To those who design to be
riddled with bullets or cut to pieces with Bowie-knives, we cordially
recommend our Sacramento climate and Sacramento surgery.
                -- Sacramento Daily Union, September 11, 1861
Decemba, n:        The 12th month of the year.
erra, n:        A mistake.
faa, n:                To, from, or at considerable distance.
Linder, n:        A female name.
memba, n:        To recall to the mind; think of again.
New Hampsha, n:        A state in the northeast United States.
New Yaak, n:        Another state in the northeast United States.
Novemba, n:        The 11th month of the year.
Octoba, n:        The 10th month of the year.
ova, n:                Location above or across a specified position.  What the
                        season is when the Knicks quit playing.
                -- Massachewsetts Unabridged Dictionary
For some reason a glaze passes over people's faces when you say
"Canada".  Maybe we should invade South Dakota or something.
                -- Sandra Gotlieb, wife of the Canadian ambassador to the U.S.
        Here is the fact of the week, maybe even the fact of the month.
According to probably reliable sources, the Coca-Cola people are experiencing
severe marketing anxiety in China.
        The words "Coca-Cola" translate into Chinese as either (depending
on the inflection) "wax-fattened mare" or "bite the wax tadpole".
        Bite the wax tadpole.
        There is a sort of rough justice, is there not?
        The trouble with this fact, as lovely as it is, is that it's hard
to get a whole column out of it. I'd like to teach the world to bite a wax
tadpole.  Coke -- it's the real wax-fattened mare.  Not bad, but broad
satiric vistas do not open up.
                -- John Carrol, The San Francisco Chronicle
I'm going through my "I want to go back to New York" phase today.  Happens
every six months or so.  So, I thought, perhaps unwisely, that I'd share
it with you.  

> In New York in the winter it is million degrees below zero and
  the wind travels at a million miles an hour down 5th avenue.
> And in LA it's 72.

> In New York in the summer it is a million degrees and the humidity
  is a million percent.
> And in LA it's 72.

> In New York there are a million interesting people.  
> And in LA there are 72.
Inglish Spocken Hier: some mangled translations

        Sign on a cathedral in Spain:
                It is forbidden to enter a woman, even a foreigner if
                dressed as a man.

        Above the enterance to a Cairo bar:
                Unaccompanied ladies not admitted unless with husband
                or similar.

        On a Bucharest elevator:

                The lift is being fixed for the next days.
                During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

                -- Colin Bowles
It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
Minnesota --
        home of the blonde hair and blue ears.
        mosquito supplier to the free world.
        come fall in love with a loon.
        where visitors turn blue with envy.
        one day it's warm, the rest of the year it's cold.
        land of many cultures -- mostly throat.
        where the elite meet sleet.
        glove it or leave it.
        many are cold, but few are frozen.
        land of the ski and home of the crazed.
        land of 10,000 Petersons.
paak, n:        A stadium or inclosed playing field. To put or leave (a
                        a vehicle) for a time in a certain location.
patato, n:        The starchy, edible tuber of a widely cultivated plant.
Septemba, n:        The 9th month of the year.
shua, n:        Having no doubt; certain.
sista, n:        A female having the same mother and father as the speaker.
tamato, n:        A fleshy, smooth-skinned reddish fruit eaten in salads
                        or as a vegetable.
troopa, n:        A state policeman.
Wista, n:        A city in central Masschewsetts.
yaad, n:        A tract of ground adjacent to a building.
                -- Massachewsetts Unabridged Dictionary
There are people who find it odd to eat four or five Chinese meals
in a row; in China, I often remind them, there are a billion or so
people who find nothing odd about it.
                -- Calvin Trillin
Traveling through New England, a motorist stopped for gas in a tiny village.
"What's this place called?" he asked the station attendant.
        "All depends," the native drawled.  "Do you mean by them that has
to live in this dad-blamed, moth-eaten, dust-covered, one-hoss dump, or
by them that's merely enjoying its quaint and picturesque rustic charms
for a short spell?"
As with most fine things, chocolate has its season.  There is a simple
memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time
to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A,
E, or U is the proper time for chocolate.
                -- Sandra Boynton, "Chocolate: The Consuming Passion"
Dear Mister Language Person: I am curious about the expression, "Part of
this complete breakfast".  The way it comes up is, my 5-year-old will be
watching TV cartoon shows in the morning, and they'll show a commercial for
a children's compressed breakfast compound such as "Froot Loops" or "Lucky
Charms", and they always show it sitting on a table next to some actual food
such as eggs, and the announcer always says: "Part of this complete
breakfast".  Don't that really mean, "Adjacent to this complete breakfast",
or "On the same table as this complete breakfast"?  And couldn't they make
essentially the same claim if, instead of Froot Loops, they put a can of
shaving cream there, or a dead bat?

Answer: Yes.
                -- Dave Barry, "Tips for Writer's"
Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening.
                -- Alexander Woollcott
For those of you who have been unfortunate enough to never have tasted the
'Great Chieftain O' the Pudden Race' (i.e. haggis) here is an easy to follow
recipe which results in a dish remarkably similar to the above mentioned
protected species.
        Ingredients:
          1 Sheep's Pluck (heart, lungs, liver) and bag
          2 teacupsful toasted oatmeal
          1 teaspoonful salt
          8 oz. shredded suet
          2 small onions
        1/2 teaspoonful black pepper
    
        Scrape and clean bag in cold, then warm, water.  Soak in salt water
overnight.  Wash pluck, then boil for 2 hours with windpipe draining over
the side of pot.  Retain 1 pint of stock.  Cut off windpipe, remove surplus
gristle, chop or mince heart and lungs, and grate best part of liver (about
half only).  Parboil and chop onions, mix all together with oatmeal, suet,
salt, pepper and stock to moisten.  Pack the mixture into bag, allowing for
swelling.  Boil for three hours, pricking regularly all over.  If bag not
available, steam in greased basin covered by greaseproof paper and cloth for
four to five hours.
                        Has your family tried 'em?

                           POWDERMILK BISCUITS

                 Heavens, they're tasty and expeditious!

            They're made from whole wheat, to give shy persons
           the strength to get up and do what needs to be done.

                           POWDERMILK BISCUITS

        Buy them ready-made in the big blue box with the picture of
        the biscuit on the front, or in the brown bag with the dark
                     stains that indicate freshness.
It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings
about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still
safe to eat.
                -- Robert Fuoss
Lobster:
        Everyone loves these delectable crustaceans, but many cooks are
squeamish about placing them into boiling water alive, which is the only
proper method of preparing them.  Frankly, the easiest way to eliminate your
guilt is to establish theirs by putting them on trial before they're cooked.
The fact is, lobsters are among the most ferocious predators on the sea
floor, and you're helping reduce crime in the reefs.  Grasp the lobster
behind the head, look it right in its unmistakably guilty eyestalks and say,
"Where were you on the night of the 21st?", then flourish a picture of a
scallop or a sole and shout, "Perhaps this will refresh that crude neural
apparatus you call a memory!"  The lobster will squirm noticeably.  It may
even take a swipe at you with one of its claws.  Incorrigible.  Pop it into
the pot.  Justice has been served, and shortly you and your friends will
be, too.
                -- Dave Barry, "Cooking: The Art of Using Appliances and
                   Utensils into Excuses and Apologies"
MOCK APPLE PIE (No Apples Needed)

  Pastry to two crust 9-inch pie        36 RITZ Crackers
2 cups water                                 2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar                 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  Grated rind of one lemon                   Butter or margarine
  Cinnamon

Roll out bottom crust of pastry and fit into 9-inch pie plate.  Break
RITZ Crackers coarsely into pastry-lined plate.  Combine water, sugar
and cream of tartar in saucepan, boil gently for 15 minutes.  Add lemon
juice and rind.  Cool.  Pour this syrup over Crackers, dot generously
with butter or margarine and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Cover with top
crust.  Trim and flute edges together.  Cut slits in top crust to let
steam escape.  Bake in a hot oven (425 F) 30 to 35 minutes, until crust
is crisp and golden.  Serve warm.  Cut into 6 to 8 slices.
                -- Found lurking on a Ritz Crackers box
Now that you've read Fortune's diet truths, you'll be prepared the next
time some housewife or boutique-owner-turned-diet-expert appears on TV
to plug her latest book.  And, if you still feel a twinge of guilt for
eating coffee cake while listening to her exhortations, ask yourself
the following questions:

        (1) Do I dare trust a person who actually considers alfalfa sprouts a
            food?
        (2) Was the author's sole motive in writing this book to get rich
            exploiting the forlorn hopes of chubby people like me?
        (3) Would a longer life be worthwhile if it had to be lived as
            prescribed ... without French-fried onion rings, pizza with
            double cheese, or the occasional Mai-Tai?  (Remember, living
            right doesn't really make you live longer, it just *seems* like
            longer.)

That, and another piece of coffee cake, should do the trick.
Peanut Blossoms

4 cups sugar           16 tbsp. milk
4 cups brown sugar     4 tsp. vanilla
4 cups shortening      14 cups flour
8 eggs                 4 tsp. soda
4 cups peanut butter   4 tsp. salt

Shape dough into balls.  Roll in sugar and bake on ungreased cookie
sheet at 375 F. for 10-12 minutes.  Immediately top each cookie with a
Hershey's kiss or star pressing down firmly to crack cookie.  Makes a
heck of a lot.
The basic menu item, in fact the ONLY menu item, would be a food unit called
the "patty," consisting of -- this would be guaranteed in writing -- "100
percent animal matter of some kind." All patties would be heated up and then
cooled back down in electronic devices immediately before serving.  The
Breakfast Patty would be a patty on a bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, egg,
Ba-Ko-Bits, Cheez Whiz, a Special Sauce made by pouring ketchup out of a
bottle and a little slip of paper stating: "Inspected by Number 12."  The
Lunch or Dinner Patty would be any Breakfast Patties that didn't get sold in
the morning. The Seafood Lover's Patty would be any patties that were
starting to emit a serious aroma.  Patties that were too rank even to be
Seafood Lover's Patties would be compressed into wads and sold as "Nuggets."
                -- Dave Barry, "'Mister Mediocre' Restaurants"
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later
you're hungry again.
                -- George Miller
Waiter:        "Tea or coffee, gentlemen?"
1st customer: "I'll have tea."
2nd customer: "Me, too -- and be sure the glass is clean!"
        (Waiter exits, returns)
Waiter: "Two teas.  Which one asked for the clean glass?"
Without coffee he could not work, or at least he could not have worked in the
way he did.  In addition to paper and pens, he took with him everywhere as an
indispensable article of equipment the coffee machine, which was no less
important to him than his table or his white robe.
                -- Stefan Zweigs, Biography of Balzac
A neighbor came to Nasrudin, asking to borrow his donkey.  "It is out on
loan," the teacher replied.  At that moment, the donkey brayed loudly inside
the stable.  "But I can hear it bray, over there."  "Whom do you believe,"
asked Nasrudin, "me or a donkey?"
A Scholar asked his Master, "Master, would you advise me of a proper
vocation?"
        The Master replied, "Some men can earn their keep with the power of
their minds.  Others must use thier strong backs, legs and hands.  This is
the same in nature as it is with man.  Some animals acquire their food easily,
such as rabbits, hogs and goats.  Other animals must fiercely struggle for
their sustenance, like beavers, moles and ants.  So you see, the nature of
the vocation must fit the individual.
        "But I have no abilities, desires, or imagination, Master," the
scholar sobbed.
        Queried the Master... "Have you thought of becoming a salesperson?"
Ah, but a man's grasp should exceed his reach,
Or what's a heaven for ?
                -- Robert Browning, "Andrea del Sarto"
All of us should treasure his Oriental wisdom and his preaching of a
Zen-like detachment, as exemplified by his constant reminder to clerks,
tellers, or others who grew excited by his presence in their banks:
"Just lie down on the floor and keep calm."
                -- Robert Wilson, "John Dillinger Died for You"
Destiny is a good thing to accept when it's going your way. When it isn't,
don't call it destiny; call it injustice, treachery, or simple bad luck.
                -- Joseph Heller, "God Knows"
Either I'm dead or my watch has stopped.
                -- Groucho Marx's last words
****  GROWTH CENTER REPAIR SERVICE

For those who have had too much of Esalen, Topanga, and Kairos. Tired of
being genuine all the time?  Would you like to learn how to be a little
phony again?  Have you disclosed so much that you're beginning to avoid
people? Have you touched so many people that they're all beginning to
feel the same? Like to be a little dependent? Are perfect orgasms
beginning to bore you? Would you like, for once, not to express a
feeling?  Or better yet, not be in touch with it at all?  Come to us.  We
promise to relieve you of the burden of your great potential.
He who knows nothing, knows nothing.
But he who knows he knows nothing knows something.
And he who knows someone whose friend's wife's brother knows nothing,
        he knows something.  Or something like that.
How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our
thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another
in the waking state?
                -- Plato
I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or
whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.
                -- Chuang-tzu
I know not how I came into this, shall I call it a dying life or a
living death?
                -- St. Augustine
        "I quite agree with you," said the Duchess; "and the moral of
that is -- `Be what you would seem to be' -- or, if you'd like it put
more simply -- `Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it
might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not
otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be
otherwise.'"
                -- Lewis Carrol, "Alice in Wonderland"
It is through symbols that man consciously or unconsciously lives, works
and has his being.
                -- Thomas Carlyle
Joshu:        What is the true Way?
Nansen:        Every way is the true Way.
J:        Can I study it?
N:        The more you study, the further from the Way.
J:        If I don't study it, how can I know it?
N:        The Way does not belong to things seen: nor to things unseen.
        It does not belong to things known: nor to things unknown.  Do
        not seek it, study it, or name it.  To find yourself on it, open
        yourself as wide as the sky.
Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around us in awareness.
                -- James Thurber
Life is a grand adventure -- or it is nothing.
                -- Helen Keller
Life may have no meaning, or, even worse, it may have a meaning of which
you disapprove.
Live never to be ashamed if anything you do or say is
published around the world -- even if what is published is not true.
                -- Messiah's Handbook : Reminders for the Advanced Soul
        Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do,
and how to be, I learned in kindergarten.  Wisdom was not at the top of the
graduate school mountain but there in the sandbox at nursery school.
        These are the things I learned:  Share everything.  Play fair.  Don't
hit people.  Put things back where you found them.  Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.   Say you're sorry when you hurt someone.
Wash your hands before you eat.  Flush.  Warm cookies and cold milk are good
for you.  Live a balanced life.  Learn some and think some and draw and paint
and sing and dance and play and work some every day.
        Take a nap every afternoon.  When you go out into the world, watch for
traffic, hold hands, and stick together.  Be aware of wonder.  Remember the
little seed in the plastic cup.   The roots go down and the plant goes up and
nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.  Goldfish and
hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup -- they all
die.  So do we.
        And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you
learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK.  Everything you need to know is in
there somewhere.  The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.  Ecology and
politics and sane living.
        Think of what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole world
-- had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with
our blankets for a nap.  Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other
nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own
messes.  And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into
the world it is best to hold hands and stick together.
                -- Robert Fulghum, "All I ever really needed to know I learned
                   in kindergarten"
No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the
Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea,
Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if
a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes
me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know
for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
                -- John Donne, "No Man is an Iland"
Nothing is as simple as it seems at first
        Or as hopeless as it seems in the middle
                Or as finished as it seems in the end.
Since everything in life is but an experience perfect in being what it is,
having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well
burst out in laughter.
                -- Long Chen Pa
The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums.
It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish.
You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages.
                -- Messiah's Handbook : Reminders for the Advanced Soul
There are ten or twenty basic truths, and life is the process of
discovering them over and over and over.
                -- David Nichols
When you are young, you enjoy a sustained illusion that sooner or later
something marvelous is going to happen, that you are going to transcend
your parents' limitations...  At the same time, you feel sure that in all
the wilderness of possibility; in all the forests of opinion, there is a
vital something that can be known -- known and grasped.  That we will
eventually know it, and convert the whole mystery into a coherent
narrative.  So that then one's true life -- the point of everything --
will emerge from the mist into a pure light, into total comprehension.
But it isn't like that at all.  But if it isn't, where did the idea come
from, to torture and unsettle us?
                -- Brian Aldiss, "Helliconia Summer"
Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.  Being
true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the
mark of a fake messiah.  The simplest questions are the most profound.
Where were you born?  Where is your home?  Where are you going?  What
are you doing?  Think about these once in awhile and watch your answers
change.
                -- Messiah's Handbook : Reminders for the Advanced Soul
"It is easy to sympathize with the MIS staffs around the world, I mean who hasn't lost work due to Windows or a Microsoft application crashing?"

  -- Chris DiBona, happy he's been using Linux and can avoid such things, from the introduction. (Open Sources, 1999 O'Reilly and Associates)
"While not obviously a business-friendly licensem there are certain aspects of the GNU license which are attractive, believe it or not, for commercial purposes."

  -- Brian Behlendorf on OSS (Open Sources, 1999 O'Reilly and Associates)
..disk or the processor is on fire.
Communist revolutionaries taking over the server room and demanding all the computers in the building or they shoot the sysadmin. Poor misguided fools.
double value;                /* or your money back! */
short changed;               /* so triple your money back! */
             -- Larry Wall in cons.c from the perl source code
If I don't document something, it's usually either for a good reason,
or a bad reason.  In this case it's a good reason.  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <1992Jan17.005405.16806@netlabs.com>
"I find this a nice feature but it is not according to the documentation.
Or is it a BUG?"
"Let's call it an accidental feature. :-)"
             -- Larry Wall in <6909@jpl-devvax.JPL.NASA.GOV>
:  I've heard that there is a shell (bourne or csh) to perl filter, does
:  anyone know of this or where I can get it?
Yeah, you filter it through Tom Christiansen.  :-)  -- Larry Wall
Just don't compare it with a real language, or you'll be unhappy...  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <1992May12.190238.5667@netlabs.com>
Sorry.  My testing organization is either too small, or too large, depending
on how you look at it.  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <1991Apr22.175438.8564@jpl-devvax.jpl.nasa.gov>
There is, however, a strange, musty smell in the air that reminds me of
something...hmm...yes...I've got it...there's a VMS nearby, or I'm a Blit.
             -- Larry Wall in Configure from the perl distribution
: I used to think that this was just another demonstration of Larry's
: enormous skill at pulling off what other people would fail or balk at.

Well, everyone else knew it was impossible, so they didn't try.  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <199705101952.MAA00756@wall.org>
Obviously I was either onto something, or on something.
             -- Larry Wall on the creation of Perl
P.S. Perl's master plan (or what passes for one) is to take over the
world like English did.  Er, *as* English did...
             -- Larry Wall in <199705201832.LAA28393@wall.org>
One of the reasons Perl is faster than certain other unnamed interpreted
languages is that it binds variable names to a particular package (or
scope) at compile time rather than at run time.
             -- Larry Wall in <199709050035.RAA29328@wall.org>
Well, that's more-or-less what I was saying, though obviously addition
is a little more cosmic than the bitwise operators.
             -- Larry Wall in <199709051808.LAA01780@wall.org>
I wasn't recommending that we make the links for them, only provide them
with the tools to do so if they want to take the gamble (or the gambol).
             -- Larry Wall in <199709292259.PAA10407@wall.org>
The reason I like hitching a ride on strict vars is that it cuts down
the number of rarely used pragmas people have to remember, yet provides
a way to get to the point where we might, just maybe, someday, make
local lexicals the default for everyone, without having useless pragmas
wandering around various programs, or using up another bit in $^H.
             -- Larry Wall in <199710050130.SAA04762@wall.org>
To ordinary folks, conversion is not always automatic.  It's something
that may or may not require explicit assistance.  See Billy Graham.  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <199710141738.KAA22289@wall.org>
Not that I'm against sneaking some notions into people's heads upon
occasion.  (Or blasting them in outright.)
             -- Larry Wall in <199710211624.JAA17833@wall.org>
Suppose you're working on an optimizer to render \X unnecessary (or
rather, redundant, which isn't the same thing in my book).
             -- Larry Wall in <199710211624.JAA17833@wall.org>
You don't have to wait--you can have it in 5.004_54 or so.  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <199710221740.KAA24455@wall.org>
The code also assumes that it's difficult to misspell "a" or "b".  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <199710221731.KAA24396@wall.org>
The way these things go, there are probably 6 or 8 kludgey ways to do
it, and a better way that involves rethinking something that hasn't
been rethunk yet.
             -- Larry Wall in <199710221859.LAA24889@wall.org>
Er, Tom, I hate to be the one to point this out, but your fix list
is starting to resemble a feature list.  You must be human or something.
             -- Larry Wall in <199801081824.KAA29602@wall.org>
To Perl, or not to Perl, that is the kvetching.
             -- Larry Wall in <199801200310.TAA11670@wall.org>
Around the turn of this century, a composer named Camille Saint-Saens wrote
a satirical zoological-fantasy called "Le Carnaval des Animaux."  Aside from
one movement of this piece, "The Swan", Saint-Saens didn't allow this work
to be published or even performed until a year had elapsed after his death.
(He died in 1921.)
        Most of us know the "Swan" movement rather well, with its smooth,
flowing cello melody against a calm background; but I've been having this
fantasy...
        What if he had written this piece with lyrics, as a song to be sung?
And, further, what if he had accompanied this song with a musical saw?  (This
instrument really does exist, often played by percussionists!)  Then the
piece would be better known as:
        SAINT-SAENS' SAW SONG "SWAN"!
Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
                -- Paul Gauguin
I can't understand why a person will take a year or two to write a
novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars.
                -- Fred Allen
I truly wish I could be a great surgeon or philosopher or author or anything
constructive, but in all honesty I'd rather turn up my amplifier full blast
and drown myself in the noise.
                -- Charles Schmid, the "Tucson Murderer"
  I. Any body suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of
     its situation.
        Daffy Duck steps off a cliff, expecting further pastureland.  He
        loiters in midair, soliloquizing flippantly, until he chances to
        look down.  At this point, the familiar principle of 32 feet per
        second per second takes over.
II. Any body in motion will tend to remain in motion until solid matter
     intervenes suddenly.
        Whether shot from a cannon or in hot pursuit on foot, cartoon
        characters are so absolute in their momentum that only a telephone
        pole or an outsize boulder retards their forward motion absolutely.
        Sir Isaac Newton called this sudden termination of motion the
        stooge's surcease.
III. Any body passing through solid matter will leave a perforation
     conforming to its perimeter.
        Also called the silhouette of passage, this phenomenon is the
        speciality of victims of directed-pressure explosions and of reckless
        cowards who are so eager to escape that they exit directly through
        the wall of a house, leaving a cookie-cutout-perfect hole.  The
        threat of skunks or matrimony often catalyzes this reaction.
                -- Esquire, "O'Donnell's Laws of Cartoon Motion", June 1980
If an average person on the subway turns to you, like an ancient mariner,
and starts telling you her tale, you turn away or nod and hope she stops,
not just because you fear she might be crazy.  If she tells her tale on
camera, you might listen.  Watching strangers on television , even
responding to them from a studio audience, we're disengaged -- voyeurs
collaborating with exhibitionists in rituals of sham community.  Never
have so many known so much about people for whom they cared so little.
                -- Wendy Kaminer commenting on testimonial television
                   in "I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional".
It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a
statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious
to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look,
which morally we can do.  To affect the quality of the day, that is the
highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details,
worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.
                -- Henry David Thoreau, "Where I Live"
IV. The time required for an object to fall twenty stories is greater than or
    equal to the time it takes for whoever knocked it off the ledge to
    spiral down twenty flights to attempt to capture it unbroken.
        Such an object is inevitably priceless, the attempt to capture it
        inevitably unsuccessful.
V. All principles of gravity are negated by fear.
        Psychic forces are sufficient in most bodies for a shock to propel
        them directly away from the earth's surface.  A spooky noise or an
        adversary's signature sound will induce motion upward, usually to
        the cradle of a chandelier, a treetop, or the crest of a flagpole.
        The feet of a character who is running or the wheels of a speeding
        auto need never touch the ground, especially when in flight.
VI. As speed increases, objects can be in several places at once.
        This is particularly true of tooth-and-claw fights, in which a
        character's head may be glimpsed emerging from the cloud of
        altercation at several places simultaneously.  This effect is common
        as well among bodies that are spinning or being throttled.  A "wacky"
        character has the option of self-replication only at manic high
        speeds and may ricochet off walls to achieve the velocity required.
                -- Esquire, "O'Donnell's Laws of Cartoon Motion", June 1980
Jane and I got mixed up with a television show -- or as we call it back
east here: TV -- a clever contraction derived from the words Terrible
Vaudeville. However, it is our latest medium -- we call it a medium
because nothing's well done. It was discovered, I suppose you've heard,
by a man named Fulton Berle, and it has already revolutionized social
grace by cutting down parlour conversation to two sentences: "What's on
television?" and "Good night".
                -- Goodman Ace, letter to Groucho Marx, in The Groucho
                   Letters, 1967
Just once I would like to persuade the audience not to wear any article of
blue denim.  If only they could see themselves in a pair of brown corduroys
like mine instead of this awful, boring blue denim.  I don't enjoy the sky
or sea as much as I used to because of this Levi character.  If Jesus Christ
came back today, He and I would get into our brown corduroys and go to the
nearest jean store and overturn the racks of blue denim.  Then we'd get
crucified in the morning.
                -- Ian Anderson, of Jethro Tull
        Leslie West heads for the sticks, to Providence, Rhode Island and
tries to hide behind a beard.  No good.  There are still too many people
and too many stares, always taunting, always smirking.  He moves to the
outskirts of town. He finds a place to live -- huge mansion, dirt cheap,
caretaker included.  He plugs in his guitar and plays as loud as he wants,
day and night, and there's no one to laugh or boo or even look bored.
        Nobody's cut the grass in months.  What's happened to that caretaker?
What neighborhood people there are start to talk, and what kids there are
start to get curious.  A 13 year-old blond with an angelic face misses supper.
Before the summer's end, four more teenagers have disappeared.  The senior
class president, Barnard-bound come autumn, tells Mom she's going out to a
movie one night and stays out.  The town's up in arms, but just before the
police take action, the kids turn up.  They've found a purpose.  They go
home for their stuff and tell the folks not to worry but they'll be going
now.  They're in a band.
                -- Ira Kaplan
Mr. Rockford, this is the Thomas Crown School of Dance and Contemporary
Etiquette.  We aren't going to call again!  Now you want these free
lessons or what?
                -- "The Rockford Files"
No house should ever be on any hill or on anything.  It should be of the hill,
belonging to it.
                -- Frank Lloyd Wright
No poet or novelist wishes he was the only one who ever lived, but most of
them wish they were the only one alive, and quite a number fondly believe
their wish has been granted.
                -- W.H. Auden, "The Dyer's Hand"
Perhaps no person can be a poet, or even enjoy poetry without a certain
unsoundness of mind.
                -- Thomas Macaulay
Potahto' Pictures Productions Presents:

        SPUD ROGERS OF THE 25TH CENTURY: Story of an Air Force potato that's
left in a rarely used chow hall for over two centuries and wakes up in a world
populated by soybean created imitations under the evil Dick Tater.  Thanks to
him, the soy-potatoes learn that being a 'tater is where it's at.  Memorable
line, "'Cause I'm just a stud spud!"

        FRIDAY THE 13TH DINER SERIES: Crazed potato who was left in a
fryer too long and was charbroiled carelessly returns to wreak havoc on
unsuspecting, would-be teen camp cooks.  Scenes include a girl being stuffed
with chives and Fleischman's Margarine and a boy served up on a side dish
with beets and dressing.  Definitely not for the squeamish, or those on
diets that are driving them crazy.

        FRIDAY THE 13TH DINER II,III,IV,V,VI: Much, much more of the same.
Except with sour cream.
Star Wars is adolescent nonsense; Close Encounters is obscurantist drivel;
Star Trek can turn your brains to puree of bat guano; and the greatest
science fiction series of all time is Doctor Who!  And I'll take you all
on, one-by-one or all in a bunch to back it up!
                -- Harlan Ellison
        The big problem with pornography is defining it.  You can't just
say it's pictures of people naked.  For example, you have these
primitive African tribes that exist by chasing the wildebeest on foot,
and they have to go around largely naked, because, as the old tribal
saying goes: "N'wam k'honi soit qui mali," which means, "If you think
you can catch a wildebeest in this climate and wear clothes at the same
time, then I have some beach front property in the desert region of
Northern Mali that you may be interested in."
        So it's not considered pornographic when National Geographic
publishes color photographs of these people hunting the wildebeest
naked, or pounding one rock onto another rock for some primitive reason
naked, or whatever.  But if National Geographic were to publish an
article entitled "The Girls of the California Junior College System
Hunt the Wildebeest Naked," some people would call it pornography.  But
others would not.  And still others, such as the Spectacularly Rev.
Jerry Falwell, would get upset about seeing the wildebeest naked.
                -- Dave Barry, "Pornography"
The Great Movie Posters:

HOODLUMS FROM ANOTHER WORLD ON A RAY-GUN RAMPAGE!
                -- Teenagers from Outher Space (1959)

Which will be Her Mate... MAN OR BEAST?
Meet Velda -- the Kind of Woman -- Man or Gorilla would kill... to Keep.
                -- Untamed Mistress (1960)

NOW AN ALL-MIGHTY ALL-NEW MOTION PICTURE BRINGS THEM TOGETHER FOR THE
FIRST TIME...  HISTORY'S MOST GIGANTIC MONSTERS IN COMBAT ATOP MOUNT FUJI!
                -- King Kong vs. Godzilla (1963)
The Great Movie Posters:

The nightmare terror of the slithering eye that unleashed agonizing
horror on a screaming world!
                -- The Crawling Eye (1958)

SEE a female colossus... her mountainous torso, scyscraper limbs,
giant desires!
                -- Attack of the Fifty-Foot Woman (1958)

Here Is Your Chance To Know More About Sex.
What Should a Movie Do?  Hide Its Head in the Sand Like an Ostrich?
Or Face the JOLTING TRUTH as does...
                -- The Desperate Women (1958)
The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more
annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.
                -- Oscar Wilde
There's a trick to the Graceful Exit.  It begins with the vision to
recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over -- and to let
go.  It means leaving what's over without denying its validity or its
past importance in our lives.  It involves a sense of future, a belief
that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving on, rather than out.
The trick of retiring well may be the trick of living well.  It's hard to
recognize that life isn't a holding action, but a process.  It's hard to
learn that we don't leave the best parts of ourselves behind, back in the
dugout or the office. We own what we learned back there.  The experiences
and the growth are grafted onto our lives.  And when we exit, we can take
ourselves along -- quite gracefully.
                -- Ellen Goodman
Today's thrilling story has been brought to you by Mushies, the great new
cereal that gets soggy even without milk or cream.  Join us soon for more
spectacular adventure starring...  Tippy, the Wonder Dog!
                -- Bob & Ray
VII. Certain bodies can pass through solid walls painted to resemble tunnel
      entrances; others cannot.
        This trompe l'oeil inconsistency has baffled generations, but at least
        it is known that whoever paints an entrance on a wall's surface to
        trick an opponent will be unable to pursue him into this theoretical
        space.  The painter is flattened against the wall when he attempts to
        follow into the painting.  This is ultimately a problem of art, not
        of science.
VIII. Any violent rearrangement of feline matter is impermanent.
        Cartoon cats possess even more deaths than the traditional nine lives
        might comfortably afford.  They can be decimated, spliced, splayed,
        accordion-pleated, spindled, or disassembled, but they cannot be
        destroyed.  After a few moments of blinking self pity, they reinflate,
        elongate, snap back, or solidify.
  IX. For every vengeance there is an equal and opposite revengeance.
        This is the one law of animated cartoon motion that also applies to
        the physical world at large.  For that reason, we need the relief of
        watching it happen to a duck instead.
   X. Everything falls faster than an anvil.
        Examples too numerous to mention from the Roadrunner cartoons.
                -- Esquire, "O'Donnell's Laws of Cartoon Motion", June 1980
Watch your mouth, kid, or you'll find yourself floating home.
                -- Han Solo
We're constantly being bombarded by insulting and humiliating music, which
people are making for you the way they make those Wonder Bread products.
Just as food can be bad for your system, music can be bad for your spirtual
and emotional feelings.  It might taste good or clever, but in the long run,
it's not going to do anything for you.
                -- Bob Dylan, "LA Times", September 5, 1984
        "Well, it's garish, ugly, and derelicts have used it for a toilet.
The rides are dilapidated to the point of being lethal, and could easily
maim or kill innocent little children."
        "Oh, so you don't like it?"
        "Don't like it?  I'm CRAZY for it."
                -- The Killing Joke
FORTUNE PROVIDES QUESTIONS FOR THE GREAT ANSWERS: #19
A:        To be or not to be.
Q:        What is the square root of 4b^2?
Q:        How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
A:        Whereas the party of the first part, also known as "Lawyer", and the
party of the second part, also known as "Light Bulb", do hereby and forthwith
agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part shall be removed
from the current position as a result of failure to perform previously agreed
upon duties, i.e., the lighting, elucidation, and otherwise illumination of
the area ranging from the front (north) door, through the entryway, terminating
at an area just inside the primary living area, demarcated by the beginning of
the carpet, any spillover illumination being at the option of the party of the
second part and not required by the aforementioned agreement between the
parties.
        The aforementioned removal transaction shall include, but not be
limited to, the following.  The party of the first part shall, with or without
elevation at his option, by means of a chair, stepstool, ladder or any other
means of elevation, grasp the party of the second part and rotate the party
of the second part in a counter-clockwise direction, this point being tendered
non-negotiable.  Upon reaching a point where the party of the second part
becomes fully detached from the receptacle, the party of the first part shall
have the option of disposing of the party of the second part in a manner
consistent with all relevant and applicable local, state and federal statutes.
Once separation and disposal have been achieved, the party of the first part
shall have the option of beginning installation.  Aforesaid installation shall
occur in a manner consistent with the reverse of the procedures described in
step one of this self-same document, being careful to note that the rotation
should occur in a clockwise direction, this point also being non-negotiable.
The above described steps may be performed, at the option of the party of the
first part, by any or all agents authorized by him, the objective being to
produce the most possible revenue for the Partnership.
Q:        Why is it that Mexico isn't sending anyone to the '84 summer games?
A:        Anyone in Mexico who can run, swim or jump is already in LA.
Finish the sentence below in 25 words or less:

        "Love is what you feel just before you give someone a good ..."

Mail your answer along with the top half of your supervisor to:

        P.O. Box 35
        Baffled Greek, Michigan
I think a relationship is like a shark.  It has to constantly move forward
or it dies.  Well, what we have on our hands here is a dead shark.
                -- Woody Allen
        "I'll tell you what I know, then," he decided.  "The pin I'm wearing
means I'm a member of the IA.  That's Inamorati Anonymous.  An inamorato is
somebody in love.  That's the worst addiction of all."
        "Somebody is about to fall in love," Oedipa said, "you go sit with
them, or something?"
        "Right.  The whole idea is to get where you don't need it.  I was
lucky.  I kicked it young.  But there are sixty-year-old men, believe it or
not, and women even older, who might wake up in the night screaming."
        "You hold meetings, then, like the AA?"
        "No, of course not.  You get a phone number, an answering service
you can call.  Nobody knows anybody else's name; just the number in case
it gets so bad you can't handle it alone.  We're isolates, Arnold.  Meetings
would destroy the whole point of it."
                -- Thomas Pynchon, "The Crying of Lot 49"
Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody
who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth
about his or her love affairs.
                -- Rebecca West
Love is staying up all night with a sick child, or a healthy adult.
On a tous un peu peur de l'amour, mais on a surtout peur de souffrir
ou de faire souffrir.
        [One is always a little afraid of love, but above all, one is
         afraid of pain or causing pain.]
        The birds are singing, the flowers are budding, and it is time
for Miss Manners to tell young lovers to stop necking in public.
        It's not that Miss Manners is immune to romance.  Miss Manners
has been known to squeeze a gentleman's arm while being helped over a
curb, and, in her wild youth, even to press a dainty slipper against a
foot or two under the dinner table.  Miss Manners also believes that the
sight of people strolling hand in hand or arm in arm or arm in hand
dresses up a city considerably more than the more familiar sight of
people shaking umbrellas at one another.  What Miss Manners objects to
is the kind of activity that frightens the horses on the street...
        7,140        pounds on the Sun
           97        pounds on Mercury or Mars
          255        pounds on Earth
          232        pounds on Venus or Uranus
           43        pounds on the Moon
          648        pounds on Jupiter
          275        pounds on Saturn
          303        pounds on Neptune
           13        pounds on Pluto

                -- How much Elvis Presley would weigh at various places
                   in the solar system.
A sine curve goes off to infinity, or at least the end of the blackboard.
                -- Prof. Steiner
All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.
All science is either physics or stamp collecting.
                -- Ernest Rutherford
An American scientist once visited the offices of the great Nobel prize
winning physicist, Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen.  He was amazed to find that
over Bohr's desk was a horseshoe, securely nailed to the wall, with the
open end up in the approved manner (so it would catch the good luck and not
let it spill out).  The American said with a nervous laugh,
        "Surely you don't believe the horseshoe will bring you good luck,
do you, Professor Bohr?  After all, as a scientist --"
Bohr chuckled.
        "I believe no such thing, my good friend.  Not at all.  I am
scarcely likely to believe in such foolish nonsense.  However, I am told
that a horseshoe will bring you good luck whether you believe in it or not."
        An architect's first work is apt to be spare and clean.  He knows
he doesn't know what he's doing, so he does it carefully and with great
restraint.
        As he designs the first work, frill after frill and embellishment
after embellishment occur to him.  These get stored away to be used "next
time." Sooner or later the first system is finished, and the architect,
with firm confidence and a demonstrated mastery of that class of systems,
is ready to build a second system.
        This second is the most dangerous system a man ever designs.
When he does his third and later ones, his prior experiences will
confirm each other as to the general characteristics of such systems,
and their differences will identify those parts of his experience that
are particular and not generalizable.
        The general tendency is to over-design the second system, using
all the ideas and frills that were cautiously sidetracked on the first
one.  The result, as Ovid says, is a "big pile."
                -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"
At any given moment, an arrow must be either where it is or where it is
not.  But obviously it cannot be where it is not.  And if it is where
it is, that is equivalent to saying that it is at rest.
                -- Zeno's paradox of the moving (still?) arrow
At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly
contradictory attitudes -- an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre
or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny
of all ideas, old and new.  This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep
nonsense.  Of course, scientists make mistakes in trying to understand the
world, but there is a built-in error-correcting mechanism:  The collective
enterprise of creative thinking and skeptical thinking together keeps the
field on track.
                -- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection"
Besides the device, the box should contain:
        * Eight little rectangular snippets of paper that say "WARNING"
        * A plastic packet containing four 5/17 inch pilfer grommets and two
                club-ended 6/93 inch boxcar prawns.

YOU WILL NEED TO SUPPLY: a matrix wrench and 60,000 feet of tram cable.

IF ANYTHING IS DAMAGED OR MISSING: You IMMEDIATELY should turn to your spouse
and say: "Margaret, you know why this country can't make a car that can get
all the way through the drive-through at Burger King without a major
transmission overhaul?  Because nobody cares, that's why."

WARNING: This is assuming your spouse's name is Margaret.
                -- Dave Barry, "Read This First!"
"Deep" is a word like "theory" or "semantic" -- it implies all sorts of
marvelous things.  It's one thing to be able to say "I've got a theory",
quite another to say "I've got a semantic theory", but, ah, those who can
claim "I've got a deep semantic theory", they are truly blessed.
                -- Randy Davis
Fortunately, the responsibility for providing evidence is on the part of
the person making the claim, not the critic.  It is not the responsibility
of UFO skeptics to prove that a UFO has never existed, nor is it the
responsibility of paranormal-health-claims skeptics to prove that crystals
or colored lights never healed anyone.  The skeptic's role is to point out
claims that are not adequately supported by acceptable evidcence and to
provide plausible alternative explanations that are more in keeping with
the accepted body of scientific evidence.
                -- Thomas L. Creed, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII,
                   No. 2, pg. 215
FORTUNE'S GUIDE TO DEALING WITH REAL-LIFE SCIENCE FICTION: #14
What to do...
    if reality disappears?
        Hope this one doesn't happen to you.  There isn't much that you
        can do about it.  It will probably be quite unpleasant.

    if you meet an older version of yourself who has invented a time
    traveling machine, and has come from the future to meet you?
        Play this one by the book.  Ask about the stock market and cash in.
        Don't forget to invent a time traveling machine and visit your
        younger self before you die, or you will create a paradox.  If you
        expect this to be tricky, make sure to ask for the principles
        behind time travel, and possibly schematics.  Never, NEVER, ask
        when you'll die, or if you'll marry your current SO.
FORTUNE'S GUIDE TO DEALING WITH REAL-LIFE SCIENCE FICTION: #2
What to do...
    if you get a phone call from Mars:
        Speak slowly and be sure to enunciate your words properly.  Limit
        your vocabulary to simple words.  Try to determine if you are
        speaking to someone in a leadership capacity, or an ordinary citizen.

    if he, she or it doesn't speak English?
        Hang up.  There's no sense in trying to learn Martian over the phone.
        If your Martian really had something important to say to you, he, she
        or it would have taken the trouble to learn the language before
        calling.

    if you get a phone call from Jupiter?
        Explain to your caller, politely but firmly, that being from Jupiter,
        he, she or it is not "life as we know it".  Try to terminate the
        conversation as soon as possible.  It will not profit you, and the
        charges may have been reversed.
Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward?  That's the trouble with
time travel, you never can tell."
                -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"
I had a feeling once about mathematics -- that I saw it all.  Depth beyond
depth was revealed to me -- the Byss and the Abyss. I saw -- as one might
see the transit of Venus or even the Lord Mayor's Show -- a quantity passing
through infinity and changing its sign from plus to minus.  I saw exactly
why it happened and why tergiversation was inevitable -- but it was after
dinner and I let it go.
                -- Winston Churchill
"I think the sky is blue because it's a shift from black through purple
to blue, and it has to do with where the light is.  You know, the
farther we get into darkness, and there's a shifting of color of light
into the blueness, and I think as you go farther and farther away from
the reflected light we have from the sun or the light that's bouncing
off this earth, uh, the darker it gets ... I think if you look at the
color scale, you start at black, move it through purple, move it on
out, it's the shifting of color.  We mentioned before about the stars
singing, and that's one of the effects of the shifting of colors."
                -- Pat Robertson, The 700 Club
I would have you imagine, then, that there exists in the mind of man a block
of wax...  and that we remember and know what is imprinted as long as the
image lasts; but when the image is effaced, or cannot be taken, then we
forget or do not know.
                -- Plato, Dialogs, Theateus 191

        [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
         referring to image activation and termination.]
If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law.
                -- Roy Santoro
        If you rap your knuckles against a window jamb or door, if you
brush your leg against a bed or desk, if you catch your foot in a curled-
up corner of a rug, or strike a toe against a desk or chair, go back and
repeat the sequence.
        You will find yourself surprised how far off course you were to
hit that window jamb, that door, that chair.  Get back on course and do it
again.  How can you pilot a spacecraft if you can't find your way around
your own apartment?
                -- William S. Burroughs
In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really
good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they actually change
their minds and you never hear that old view from them again.  They really
do it.  It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are
human and change is sometimes painful.  But it happens every day.  I cannot
recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
                -- Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP keynote address
It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in
which there is absolutely nothing.
                -- Descartes
Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth but supreme beauty --
a beauty cold and austere, like that of a sculpture, without appeal to any
part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trapping of painting or music,
yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the
greatest art can show.  The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense
of being more than man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is
to be found in mathematics as surely as in poetry.
                -- Bertrand Russell
Matter cannot be created or destroyed, nor can it be returned without a receipt.
Modern psychology takes completely for granted that behavior and neural
function are perfectly correlated, that one is completely caused by the
other.  There is no separate soul or lifeforce to stick a finger into the
brain now and then and make neural cells do what they would not otherwise.
Actually, of course, this is a working assumption only. ... It is quite
conceivable that someday the assumption will have to be rejected.  But it
is important also to see that we have not reached that day yet: the working
assumption is a necessary one and there is no real evidence opposed to it.
Our failure to solve a problem so far does not make it insoluble.  One cannot
logically be a determinist in physics and biology, and a mystic in psychology.
                -- D.O. Hebb, "Organization of Behavior: A Neuropsychological
                   Theory", 1949
        My message is not that biological determinists were bad scientists or
even that they were always wrong.  Rather, I believe that science must be
understood as a social phenomenon, a gutsy, human enterprise, not the work of
robots programmed to collect pure information.  I also present this view as
an upbeat for science, not as a gloomy epitaph for a noble hope sacrificed on
the alter of human limitations.
        I believe that a factual reality exists and that science, though often
in an obtuse and erratic manner, can learn about it.  Galileo was not shown
the instruments of torture in an abstract debate about lunar motion.  He had
threatened the Church's conventional argument for social and doctrinal
stability:  the static world order with planets circling about a central
earth, priests subordinate to the Pope and serfs to their lord.  But the
Church soon made its peace with Galileo's cosmology.  They had no choice; the
earth really does revolve about the sun.
                -- S.J. Gould, "The Mismeasure of Man"
Not far from here, by a white sun, behind a green star, lived the
Steelypips, illustrious, industrious, and they hadn't a care: no spats in
their vats, no rules, no schools, no gloom, no evil influence of the
moon, no trouble from matter or antimatter -- for they had a machine, a
dream of a machine, with springs and gears and perfect in every respect.
And they lived with it, and on it, and under it, and inside it, for it
was all they had -- first they saved up all their atoms, then they put
them all together, and if one didn't fit, why they chipped at it a bit,
and everything was just fine ...
                -- Stanislaw Lem, "Cyberiad"
Parallel lines never meet, unless you bend one or both of them.
The Commandments of the EE:

(9)        Trifle thee not with radioactive tubes and substances lest thou
        commence to glow in the dark like a lightning bug, and thy wife be
        frustrated and have not further use for thee except for thy wages.
(10)        Commit thou to memory all the words of the prophets which are
        written down in thy Bible which is the National Electrical Code,
        and giveth out with the straight dope and consoleth thee when
        thou hast suffered a ream job by the chief electrician.
(11)        When thou muckest about with a device in an unthinking and/or
        unknowing manner, thou shalt keep one hand in thy pocket.  Better
        that thou shouldest keep both hands in thy pockets than
        experimentally determine the electrical potential of an
        innocent-seeming device.
The marvels of today's modern technology include the development of a
soda can, when discarded will last forever ... and a $7,000 car which
when properly cared for will rust out in two or three years.
The rule on staying alive as a forecaster is to give 'em a number or
give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once.
                -- Jane Bryant Quinn
The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed from available
data.  Our authority is Isaiah 30:26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon
shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold,
as the light of seven days."  Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much
radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition seven times seven (49) times
as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or fifty times in all.  The light we
receive from the Moon is one ten-thousandth of the light we receive from the
Sun, so we can ignore that.  With these data we can compute the temperature
of Heaven.  The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where
the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation,
i.e., Heaven loses fifty times as much heat as the Earth by radiation.  Using
the Stefan-Boltzmann law for radiation, (H/E)^4 = 50, where E is the absolute
temperature of the earth (~300K), gives H as 798K (525C).  The exact
temperature of Hell cannot be computed, but it must be less than 444.6C, the
temperature at which brimstone or sulphur changes from a liquid to a gas.
Revelations 21:8 says "But the fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their
part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone."  A lake of molten
brimstone means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point,
or 444.6C  (Above this point it would be a vapor, not a lake.)  We have,
then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C.
                -- "Applied Optics", vol. 11, A14, 1972
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been
originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet
has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a
beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are
being, evolved.
                -- Darwin
There is no choice before us. Either we must Succeed in providing the
rational coordination of impulses and guts, or for centuries civilization
will sink into a mere welter of minor excitements. We must provide a
Great Age or see the collapse of the upward striving of the human race.
                -- Alfred North Whitehead
There is, in fact, no reason to believe that any given natural phenomenon,
however marvelous it may seem today, will remain forever inexplicable.
Soon or late the laws governing the production of life itself will be
discovered in the laboratory, and man may set up business as a creator
on his own account.  The thing, indeed, is not only conceivable; it is
even highly probable.
                -- H.L. Mencken, 1930
Three great scientific theories of the structure of the universe are the
molecular, the corpuscular and the atomic.  A fourth affirms, with
Haeckel, the condensation or precipitation of matter from ether -- whose
existence is proved by the condensation or precipitation ... A fifth
theory is held by idiots, but it is doubtful if they know any more about
the matter than the others.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Top scientists agree that with the present rate of consumption, the earth's
supply of gravity will be exhausted before the 24th century. As man
struggles to discover cheaper alternatives, we need your help. Please...

                        CONSERVE GRAVITY

Follow these simple suggestions:

(1)  Walk with a light step.  Carry helium balloons if possible.
(2)  Use tape, magnets, or glue instead of paperweights.
(3)  Give up skiing and skydiving for more horizontal sports like curling.
(4)  Avoid showers .. take baths instead.
(5)  Don't hang all your clothes in the closet ... Keep them in one big pile.
(6)  Stop flipping pancakes
Two wrights don't make a rong, they make an airplane.  Or bicycles.
We are sorry.  We cannot complete your call as dialed.  Please check
the number and dial again or ask your operator for assistance.

This is a recording.
We laugh at the Indian philosopher, who to account for the support
of the earth, contrived the hypothesis of a huge elephant, and to support
the elephant, a huge tortoise.  If we will candidly confess the truth, we
know as little of the operation of the nerves, as he did of the manner in
which the earth is supported: and our hypothesis about animal spirits, or
about the tension and vibrations of the nerves, are as like to be true, as
his about the support of the earth.  His elephant was a hypothesis, and our
hypotheses are elephants.  Every theory in philosophy, which is built on
pure conjecture, is an elephant; and every theory that is supported partly
by fact, and partly by conjecture, is like Nebuchadnezzar's image, whose
feet were partly of iron, and partly of clay.
                -- Thomas Reid, "An Inquiry into the Human Mind", 1764
What the deuce is it to me?  You say that we go around the sun.  If we went
around the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or my work.
                -- Sherlock Holmes, "A Study in Scarlet"
When the Universe was not so out of whack as it is today, and all the
stars were lined up in their proper places, you could easily count them
from left to right, or top to bottom, and the larger and bluer ones were
set apart, and the smaller yellowing types pushed off to the corners as
bodies of a lower grade ...
                -- Stanislaw Lem, "Cyberiad"
When you are about to do an objective and scientific piece of investigation
of a topic, it is well to gave the answer firmly in hand, so that you can
proceed forthrightly, without being deflected or swayed, directly to the goal.
                -- Amrom Katz
        "Yes, let's consider," said Bruno, putting his thumb into his
mouth again, and sitting down upon a dead mouse.
        "What do you keep that mouse for?" I said.  "You should either
bury it or else throw it into the brook."
        "Why, it's to measure with!" cried Bruno.  "How ever would you
do a garden without one?  We make each bed three mouses and a half
long, and two mouses wide."
        I stopped him as he was dragging it off by the tail to show me
how it was used...
                -- Lewis Carroll, "Sylvie and Bruno"
A [golf] ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be lifted and placed in
the fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or rolled into the
rough.  Such veering right or left frequently results from friction between
the face of the club and the cover of the ball and the player should not be
penalized for the erratic behavior of the ball resulting from such
uncontrollable physical phenomena.
                -- Donald A. Metz
        COONDOG MEMORY
        (heard in Rutledge, Missouri, about eighteen years ago)

Now, this dog is for sale, and she can not only follow a trail twice as
old as the average dog can, but she's got a pretty good memory to boot.
For instance, last week this old boy who lives down the road from me, and
is forever stinkmouthing my hounds, brought some city fellow around to
try out ol' Sis here.  So I turned her out south of the house and she made
two or three big swings back and forth across the edge of the woods, set
back her head, bayed a couple of times, cut straight through the woods,
come to a little clearing, jumped about three foot straight up in the air,
run to the other side, and commenced to letting out a racket like she had
something treed.  We went over there with our flashlights and shone them
up in the tree but couldn't catch no shine offa coon's eyes, and my
neighbor sorta indicated that ol' Sis might be a little crazy, `cause she
stood right to the tree and kept singing up into it.  So I pulled off my
coat and climbed up into the branches, and sure enough, there was a coon
skeleton wedged in between a couple of branches about twenty foot up.
Now as I was saying, she can follow a pretty old trail, but this fellow
was still calling her crazy or touched `cause she had hopped up in the
air while she was crossing the clearing, until I reminded him that the
Hawkins' had a fence across there about five years back.  Now, this dog
is for sale.
                -- News that stayed News: Ten Years of Coevolution Quarterly
Decisions of the judges will be final unless shouted down by a really over-
whelming majority of the crowd present.  Abusive and obscene language may
not be used by contestants when addressing members of the judging panel,
or, conversely, by members of the judging panel when addressing contestants
(unless struck by a boomerang).
                -- Mudgeeraba Creek Emu-Riding and Boomerang-Throwing Assoc.
HARVARD:
Quarterback:
        Sophomore Dave Strewzinski... likes to pass.  And pass he does, with
a record 86 attempts (three completions) in 87 plays....  Though Strewzinksi
has so far failed to score any points for the Crimson, his jackrabbit speed
has made him the least sacked quarterback in the Ivy league.
Wide Receiver:
        The other directional signal in Harvard's offensive machine is senior
Phil Yip, who is very fast.  Yip is so fast that he has set a record for being
fast.  Expect to see Yip elude all pursuers and make it into the endzone five
or six times, his average for a game.  Yip, nicknamed "fumblefingers" and "you
asshole" by his teammates, hopes to carry the ball with him at least one of
those times.
YALE:
Defense:
        On the defensive side, Yale boasts the stingiest line in the Ivies.
Primarily responsible are seniors Izzy "Shylock" Bloomberg and Myron
Finklestein, the tightest ends in recent Eli history.  Also contributing to
the powerful defense is junior tackle Angus MacWhirter, a Scotsman who rounds
out the offensive ethnic joke.  Look for these three to shut down the opening
coin toss.
                -- Harvard Lampoon 1988 Program Parody, distributed at The Game
I can't decide whether to commit suicide or go bowling.
                -- Florence Henderson
I guess I've been so wrapped up in playing the game that I never took
time enough to figure out where the goal line was -- what it meant to
win -- or even how you won.
                -- Cash McCall
        If you do your best the rest of the way, that takes care of
everything. When we get to October 2, we'll add up the wins, and then
we'll either all go into the playoffs, or we'll all go home and play golf.
        Both those things sound pretty good to me.
                -- Sparky Anderson
It's not whether you win or lose but how you played the game.
                -- Grantland Rice
It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you look playing the game.
Keep in mind always the four constant Laws of Frisbee:
        (1) The most powerful force in the world is that of a disc
           straining to land under a car, just out of reach (this
           force is technically termed "car suck").
        (2) Never precede any maneuver by a comment more predictive
           than "Watch this!"
        (3) The probability of a Frisbee hitting something is directly
           proportional to the cost of hitting it.  For instance, a
           Frisbee will always head directly towards a policeman or
           a little old lady rather than the beat up Chevy.
        (4) Your best throw happens when no one is watching; when the
           cute girl you've been trying to impress is watching, the
           Frisbee will invariably bounce out of your hand or hit you
           in the head and knock you silly.
Now there's three things you can do in a baseball game: you can win
or you can lose or it can rain.
                -- Casey Stengel
San Francisco has always been my favorite booing city.  I don't mean the
people boo louder or longer, but there is a very special intimacy.  When
they boo you, you know they mean *you*.  Music, that's what it is to me.
One time in Kezar Stadium they gave me a standing boo.
                -- George Halas, professional football coach
That's the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows
returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on a ball.
                -- Bill Veeck
The Fastest Defeat In Chess
        The big name for us in the world of chess is Gibaud, a French chess
master.  
        In Paris during 1924 he was beaten after only four moves by a
Monsieur Lazard.  Happily for posterity, the moves are recorded and so
chess enthusiasts may reconstruct this magnificent collapse in the comfort
of their own homes.
        Lazard was black and Gibaud white:
        1: P-Q4, Kt-KB3
        2: Kt-Q2, P-K4
        3: PxP, Kt-Kt5
        4: P-K6, Kt-K6
        White then resigns on realizing that a fifth move would involve
either a Q-KR5 check or the loss of his queen.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
        The only real game in the world, I think, is baseball...
You've got to start way down, at the bottom, when you're six or seven years
old. You can't wait until you're fifteen or sixteen.  You've got to let it
grow up with you, and if you're successful and you try hard enough, you're
bound to come out on top, just like these boys have come to the top now.
                -- Babe Ruth, in his 1948 farewell speech at Yankee Stadium
"`...You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call
attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling
anyone or anything.'
`But the plans were on display...'
`On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to
find them.'
`That's the display department.'
`With a torch.'
`Ah, well the lights had probably gone.'
`So had the stairs.'
`But look you found the notice didn't you?'
`Yes,' said Arthur, `yes I did. It was on display in the
bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused
lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of The
Leopard".'"

- Arthur singing the praises of the local council planning
department.
"`Er, hey Earthman...'
`Arthur,' said Arthur.
`Yeah, could you just sort of keep this robot with you and
guard this end of the passageway. OK?'
`Guard?' said Arthur. `What from? You just said there's no
one here.'
`Yeah, well, just for safety, OK?' said Zaphod.
`Whose? Yours or mine?'"

- Arthur drawing the short straw on Magrathea.
"`You ARE Zaphod Beeblebrox?'
`Yeah,' said Zaphod, `but don't shout it out or they'll all
want one.'
`THE Zaphod Beeblebrox?'
`No, just A Zaphod Bebblebrox, didn't you hear I come in
six packs?'
`But sir,' it squealed, `I just heard on the sub-ether
radio report. It said you were dead...'
`Yeah, that's right, I just haven't stopped moving yet.'"

- Zaphod and the Guide's receptionist.
"The story goes that I first had the idea for THHGTTG while
lying drunk in a field in Innsbruck (or `Spain' as the BBC
TV publicity department authorititively has it, probably
because it's easier to spell)." - Foreward by DNA.

FORD         Six pints of bitter. And quickly please, the
world's about to
        end.
BARMAN        Oh yes, sir? Nice weather for it.
"His eyes seemed to be popping out of his head. He wasn't
certain if this was because they were trying to see more
clearly, or if they simply wanted to leave at this point."

- Arthur trying to see who had diverted him from going to
a party.
"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong
and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a
thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually
turns out to be impossible to get at or repair."

- One of the laws of computers and programming revealed.
"For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or
so, nothing continued to happen. "
"Ford had his own code of ethics. It wasn't much of one,
but it was his and he stuck by it, more or less. One rule
he made was never to buy his own drinks. He wasn't sure if
that counted as an ethic, but you have to go with what
you've got. "
Accept disgrace willingly.
Accept misfortune as the human condition.
What do you mean by "Accept disgrace willingly"?
Accept being unimportant.
Do not be concerned with loss or gain.
This is called "accepting disgrace willingly."
What do you mean by "Accept misfortune as the human condition"?
Misfortune comes from having a body.
Without a body, how could there be misfortune?

Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things.
Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.
All men will come to him who keeps to the one,
For there lie rest and happiness and peace.

Passersby may stop for music and good food,
But a description of the Tao
Seems without substance or flavor.
It cannot be seen, it cannot be heard,
And yet it cannot be exhausted.
These things from ancient times arise from one:
The sky is whole and clear.
The earth is whole and firm.
The spirit is whole and strong.
The valley is whole and full.
The ten thousand things are whole and alive.
Kings and lords are whole, and the country is upright.
All these are in virtue of wholeness.

The clarity of the sky prevents its falling.
The firmness of the earth prevents its splitting.
The strength of the spirit prevents its being used up.
The fullness of the valley prevents its running dry.
The growth of the ten thousand things prevents their drying out.
The leadership of kings and lords prevents the downfall of the country.

Therefore the humble is the root of the noble.
The low is the foundation of the high.
Princes and lords consider themselves "orphaned", "widowed" and "worthless".
Do they not depend on being humble?

Too much success is not an advantage.
Do not tinkle like jade
Or clatter like stone chimes.
The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
And three begot the ten thousand things.

The ten thousand things carry yin and embrace yang.
They achieve harmony by combining these forces.

Men hate to be "orphaned," "widowed," or "worthless,"
But this is how kings and lords describe themselves.

For one gains by losing
And loses by gaining.

What others teach, I also teach; that is:
"A violent man will die a violent death!"
This will be the essence of my teaching.
Fame or self:  Which matters more?
Self or wealth:  Which is more precious?
Gain or loss:  Which is more painful?

He who is attached to things will suffer much.
He who saves will suffer heavy loss.
A contented man is never disappointed.
He who knows when to stop does not find himself in trouble.
He will stay forever safe.
Between birth and death,
Three in ten are followers of life,
Three in ten are followers of death,
And men just passing from birth to death also number three in ten.
Why is this so?
Because they live their lives on the gross level.

He who knows how to live can walk abroad
Without fear of rhinoceros or tiger.
He will not be wounded in battle.
For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn,
Tigers no place to use their claws,
And weapons no place to pierce.
Why is this so?
Because he has no place for death to enter.
Tao is source of the ten thousand things.
It is the treasure of the good man, and the refuge of the bad.
Sweet words can buy honor;
Good deeds can gain respect.
If a man is bad, do not abandon him.
Therefore on the day the emperor is crowned,
Or the three officers of state installed,
Do not send a gift of jade and a team of four horses,
But remain still and offer the Tao.
Why does everyone like the Tao so much at first?
Isn't it because you find what you seek and are forgiven when you sin?
Therefore this is the greatest treasure of the universe.
My words are easy to understand and easy to perform,
Yet no man under heaven knows them or practices them.

My words have ancient beginnings.
My actions are disciplined.
Because men do not understand, they have no knowledge of me.

Those that know me are few;
Those that abuse me are honored.
Therefore the sage wears rough clothing and holds the jewel in his heart.
A brave and passionate man will kill or be killed.
A brave and calm man will always preserve life.
Of these two which is good and which is harmful?
Some things are not favored by heaven.  Who knows why?
Even the sage is unsure of this.

The Tao of heaven does not strive, and yet it overcomes.
It does not speak, and yet is answered.
It does not ask, yet is supplied with all its needs.
It seems to have no aim and yet its purpose is fulfilled.

Heaven's net casts wide.
Though its meshes are course, nothing slips through.
Anyone who has had a bull by the tail knows five or six more things
than someone who hasn't.
                -- Mark Twain
Clothes make the man.  Naked people have little or no influence on society.
                -- Mark Twain
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.  Except a
creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave; it is merely
a loose misapplication of the word.  Consider the flea!--incomparably the
bravest of all the creatures of God, if ignorance of fear were courage.
Whether you are asleep or awake he will attack you, caring nothing for the fact
that in bulk and strength you are to him as are the massed armies of the earth
to a sucking child; he lives both day and night and all days and nights in the
very lap of peril and the immediate presence of death, and yet is no more
afraid than is the man who walks the streets of a city that was threatened by
an earthquake ten centuries before.  When we speak of Clive, Nelson, and Putnam
as men who "didn't know what fear was," we ought always to add the flea--and
put him at the head of the procession.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
For years a secret shame destroyed my peace--
I'd not read Eliot, Auden or MacNiece.
But now I think a thought that brings me hope:
Neither had Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope.
                -- Justin Richardson.
His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god.  He preferred
to drop the Maha- and the -atman, however, and called himself Sam.  He never
claimed to be a god.  But then, he never claimed not to be a god.  Circum-
stances being what they were, neither admission could be of any benefit.
Silence, though, could.  It was in the days of the rains that their prayers
went up, not from the fingering of knotted prayer cords or the spinning of
prayer wheels, but from the great pray-machine in the monastery of Ratri,
goddess of the Night.  The high-frequency prayers were directed upward through
the atmosphere and out beyond it, passing into that golden cloud called the
Bridge of the Gods, which circles the entire world, is seen as a bronze
rainbow at night and is the place where the red sun becomes orange at midday.
Some of the monks doubted the orthodoxy of this prayer technique...
                -- Roger Zelazny, "Lord of Light"
Like an expensive sports car, fine-tuned and well-built, Portia was sleek,
shapely, and gorgeous, her red jumpsuit moulding her body, which was as warm
as seatcovers in July, her hair as dark as new tires, her eyes flashing like
bright hubcaps, and her lips as dewy as the beads of fresh rain on the hood;
she was a woman driven -- fueled by a single accelerant -- and she needed a
man, a man who wouldn't shift from his views, a man to steer her along the
right road: a man like Alf Romeo.
                -- Rachel Sheeley, winner

The hair ball blocking the drain of the shower reminded Laura she would never
see her little dog Pritzi again.
                -- Claudia Fields, runner-up

It could have been an organically based disturbance of the brain -- perhaps a
tumor or a metabolic deficiency -- but after a thorough neurological exam it
was determined that Byron was simply a jerk.
                -- Jeff Jahnke, runner-up

Winners in the 7th Annual Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing Contest.  The contest is
named after the author of the immortal lines:  "It was a dark and stormy
night."  The object of the contest is to write the opening sentence of the
worst possible novel.
Man is the only animal that blushes -- or needs to.
                -- Mark Twain
Mind!  I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is
particularly dead about a door-nail.  I might have been inclined, myself,
to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade.
But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands
shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for.  You will therefore permit
me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
                -- Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"
"Speak, thou vast and venerable head," muttered Ahab, "which, though
ungarnished with a beard, yet here and there lookest hoary with mosses; speak,
mighty head, and tell us the secret thing that is in thee.  Of all divers,
thou has dived the deepest.  That head upon which the upper sun now gleams has
moved amid the world's foundations.  Where unrecorded names and navies rust,
and untold hopes and anchors rot; where in her murderous hold this frigate
earth is ballasted with bones of millions of the drowned; there, in that awful
water-land, there was thy most familiar home.  Thou hast been where bell or
diver never went; has slept by many a sailer's side, where sleepless mothers
would give their lives to lay them down.  Thou saw'st the locked lovers when
leaping from their flaming ship; heart to heart they sank beneath the exulting
wave; true to each other, when heaven seemed false to them.  Thou saw'st the
murdered mate when tossed by pirates from the midnight deck; for hours he fell
into the deeper midnight of the insatiate maw; and his murderers still sailed
on unharmed -- while swift lightnings shivered the neighboring ship that would
have borne a righteous husband to outstretched, longing arms.  O head! thou has
seen enough to split the planets and make an infidel of Abraham, and not one
syllable is thine!"
                -- H. Melville, "Moby Dick"
Tell the truth or trump--but get the trick.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
The bay-trees in our country are all wither'd
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven;
The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the earth
And lean-look'd prophets whisper fearful change.
These signs forerun the death or fall of kings.
                -- Wm. Shakespeare, "Richard II"
The bone-chilling scream split the warm summer night in two, the first
half being before the scream when it was fairly balmy and calm and
pleasant, the second half still balmy and quite pleasant for those who
hadn't heard the scream at all, but not calm or balmy or even very nice
for those who did hear the scream, discounting the little period of time
during the actual scream itself when your ears might have been hearing it
but your brain wasn't reacting yet to let you know.
                -- Winning sentence, 1986 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
The Least Perceptive Literary Critic
        The most important critic in our field of study is Lord Halifax.  A
most individual judge of poetry, he once invited Alexander Pope round to
give a public reading of his latest poem.
        Pope, the leading poet of his day, was greatly surprised when Lord
Halifax stopped him four or five times and said, "I beg your pardon, Mr.
Pope, but there is something in that passage that does not quite please me."
        Pope was rendered speechless, as this fine critic suggested sizeable
and unwise emendations to his latest masterpiece.  "Be so good as to mark
the place and consider at your leisure.  I'm sure you can give it a better
turn."
        After the reading, a good friend of Lord Halifax, a certain Dr.
Garth, took the stunned Pope to one side.  "There is no need to touch the
lines," he said.  "All you need do is leave them just as they are, call on
Lord Halifax two or three months hence, thank him for his kind observation
on those passages, and then read them to him as altered.  I have known him
much longer than you have, and will be answerable for the event."
        Pope took his advice, called on Lord Halifax and read the poem
exactly as it was before.  His unique critical faculties had lost none of
their edge.  "Ay", he commented, "now they are perfectly right.  Nothing can
be better."
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
The Least Successful Collector
        Betsy Baker played a central role in the history of collecting.  She
was employed as a servant in the house of John Warburton (1682-1759) who had
amassed a fine collection of 58 first edition plays, including most of the
works of Shakespeare.
        One day Warburton returned home to find 55 of them charred beyond
legibility.  Betsy had either burned them or used them as pie bottoms.  The
remaining three folios are now in the British Museum.
        The only comparable literary figure was the maid who in 1835 burned
the manuscript of the first volume of Thomas Carlyle's "The Hisory of the
French Revolution", thinking it was wastepaper.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
The man who sets out to carry a cat by its tail learns something that
will always be useful and which never will grow dim or doubtful.
                -- Mark Twain
The only people for me are the mad ones -- the ones who are mad to live,
mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time,
the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn
like fabulous yellow Roman candles.
                -- Jack Kerouac, "On the Road"
To be or not to be.
                -- Shakespeare
To do is to be.
                -- Nietzsche
To be is to do.
                -- Sartre
Do be do be do.
                -- Sinatra
Well, anyway, I was reading this James Bond book, and right away I realized
that like most books, it had too many words.  The plot was the same one that
all James Bond books have: An evil person tries to blow up the world, but
James Bond kills him and his henchmen and makes love to several attractive
women.  There, that's it: 24 words.  But the guy who wrote the book took
*thousands* of words to say it.
        Or consider "The Brothers Karamazov", by the famous Russian alcoholic
Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  It's about these two brothers who kill their father.
Or maybe only one of them kills the father.  It's impossible to tell because
what they mostly do is talk for nearly a thousand pages.  If all Russians talk
as much as the Karamazovs did, I don't see how they found time to become a
major world power.
        I'm told that Dostoyevsky wrote "The Brothers Karamazov" to raise
the question of whether there is a God.  So why didn't he just come right
out and say: "Is there a God? It sure beats the heck out of me."
        Other famous works could easily have been summarized in a few words:

* "Moby Dick" -- Don't mess around with large whales because they symbolize
  nature and will kill you.
* "A Tale of Two Cities" -- French people are crazy.
                -- Dave Barry
When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened
or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I
cannot remember any but the things that never happened.  It is sad to
go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.
                -- Mark Twain
You see, I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty
attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.  A fool
takes in all the lumber of every sort he comes across, so that the knowledge
which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with
a lot of other things, so that he has difficulty in laying his hands upon it.
Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his
brain-attic.  He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing
his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect
order.  It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and
can distend to any extent.  Depend upon it there comes a time when for every
addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before.  It is of
the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out
the useful ones.
                -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "A Study in Scarlet"
"Good afternoon, madam.  How may I help you?"

"Good afternoon.  I'd like a FrintArms HandCannon, please."

"A--?  Oh, now, that's an awfully big gun for such a lovely lady.  I
mean, not everybody thinks ladies should carry guns at all, though I
say they have a right to.  But I think... I might... Let's have a look
down here.  I might have just the thing for you.  Yes, here we are!
Look at that, isn't it neat?  Now that is a FrintArms product as well,
but it's what's called a laser -- a light-pistol some people call
them.  Very small, as you see; fits easily into a pocket or bag; won't
spoil the line of a jacket; and you won't feel you're lugging half a
tonne of iron around with you.  We do a range of matching accessories,
including -- if I may say so -- a rather saucy garter holster.  Wish I
got to do the fitting for that!  Ha -- just my little joke.  And
there's *even*... here we are -- this special presentation pack: gun,
charged battery, charging unit, beautiful glider-hide shoulder holster
with adjustable fitting and contrast stitching, and a discount on your
next battery.  Full instructions, of course, and a voucher for free
lessons at your local gun club or range.  Or there's the *special*
presentation pack; it has all the other one's got but with *two*
charged batteries and a night-sight, too.  Here, feel that -- don't
worry, it's a dummy battery -- isn't it neat?  Feel how light it is?
Smooth, see?  No bits to stick out and catch on your clothes, *and*
beautifully balanced.  And of course the beauty of a laser is, there's
no recoil.  Because it's shooting light, you see?  Beautiful gun,
beautiful gun; my wife has one.  Really.  That's not a line, she
really has.  Now, I can do you that one -- with a battery and a free
charge -- for ninety-five; or the presentation pack on a special
offer for one-nineteen; or this, the special presentation pack, for
one-forty-nine."

"I'll take the special."

"Sound choice, madam, *sound* choice.  Now, do--?"

"And a HandCannon, with the eighty-mill silencer, five GP clips, three
six-five AP/wire-fl'echettes clips, two bipropellant HE clips, and a
Special Projectile Pack if you have one -- the one with the embedding
rounds, not the signalers.  I assume the night-sight on this toy is
compatible?"

"Aah... yes,  And how does madam wish to pay?"

She slapped her credit card on the counter.  "Eventually."

          -- Iain M. Banks, "Against a Dark Background"
A homeowner's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a weekend for?
An aphorism is never exactly true; it is either a half-truth or
one-and-a-half truths.
                -- Karl Kraus
Do, or do not; there is no try.
It doesn't matter whether you win or lose -- until you lose.
It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you place the blame.
-- Male cadavers are incapable of yielding testimony.
-- Individuals who make their abode in vitreous edifices would be well advised
        to refrain from catapulting projectiles.
-- Neophyte's serendipity.
-- Exclusive dedication to necessitious chores without interludes of hedonistic
        diversion renders John a hebetudinous fellow.
-- A revolving concretion of earthy or mineral matter accumulates no congeries
        of small, green bryophytic plant.
-- Abstention from any aleatory undertaking precludes a potential escallation
        of a lucrative nature.
-- Missiles of ligneous or osteal consistency have the potential of fracturing
        osseous structure, but appellations will eternally remain innocuous.
-- Neophyte's serendipity.
-- Exclusive dedication to necessitious chores without interludes of
        hedonistic diversion renders John a hebetudinous fellow.
-- A revolving concretion of earthy or mineral matter accumulates no
        congeries of small, green bryophytic plant.
-- The person presenting the ultimate cachinnation possesses thereby the
        optimal cachinnation.
-- Abstention from any aleatory undertaking precludes a potential
        escallation of a lucrative nature.
-- Missiles of ligneous or osteal consistency have the potential of
        fracturing osseous structure, but appellations will eternally
        remain innocuous.
Pereant, inquit, qui ante nos nostra dixerunt.
        [Confound those who have said our remarks before us.]
        or
        [May they perish who have expressed our bright ideas before us.]
                -- Aelius Donatus
What one believes to be true either is true or becomes true.
                -- John Lilly
Are you a parent?  Do you sometimes find yourself unsure as to what to
say in those awkward situations?  Worry no more...

        When are you going to grow up?
        I'm only doing this for your own good.
        Why are you crying?  Stop crying, or I'll give you something to
                cry about.
        What's wrong with you?
        Someday you'll thank me for this.
        You'd lose your head if it weren't attached.
        Don't you have any sense at all?
        If you keep sucking your thumb, it'll fall off.
        Why?  Because I said so.
        I hope you have a kid just like yourself.
Are you a parent?  Do you sometimes find yourself unsure as to what to
say in those awkward situations?  Worry no more...

        You wouldn't understand.
        You ask too many questions.
        In order to be a man, you have to learn to follow orders.
        That's for me to know and you to find out.
        Don't let those bullies push you around.  Go in there and stick
                up for yourself.
        You're acting too big for your britches.
        Well, you broke it.  Now are you satisfied?
        Wait till your father gets home.
        Bored?  If you're bored, I've got some chores for you.
        Shape up or ship out.
Article the Third:
        Where a crime of the kidneys has been committed, the accused should
        enjoy the right to a speedy diaper change.  Public announcements and
        guided tours of the aforementioned are not necessary.
Article the Fourth:
        The decision to eat strained lamb or not should be with the "feedee"
        and not the "feeder".  Blowing the strained lamb into the feeder's
        face should be accepted as an opinion, not as a declaration of war.
Article the Fifth:
        Babies should enjoy the freedom to vocalize, whether it be in church,
        a public meeting place, during a movie, or after hours when the
        lights are out.  They have not yet learned that joy and laughter have
        to last a lifetime and must be conserved.
                -- Erma Bombeck, "A Baby's Bill of Rights"
                        -- Gifts for Children --

This is easy.  You never have to figure out what to get for children,
because they will tell you exactly what they want.  They spend months and
months researching these kinds of things by watching Saturday- morning
cartoon-show advertisements.  Make sure you get your children exactly what
they ask for, even if you disapprove of their choices.  If your child thinks
he wants Murderous Bob, the Doll with the Face You Can Rip Right Off, you'd
better get it.  You may be worried that it might help to encourage your
child's antisocial tendencies, but believe me, you have not seen antisocial
tendencies until you've seen a child who is convinced that he or she did not
get the right gift.
                -- Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"
I opened the drawer of my little desk and a single letter fell out, a
letter from my mother, written in pencil, one of her last, with unfinished
words and an implicit sense of her departure.  It's so curious: one can
resist tears and "behave" very well in the hardest hours of grief.  But
then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window... or one notices
that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed... or
a letter slips from a drawer... and everything collapses.
                -- Letters From Colette
Life does not begin at the moment of conception or the moment of birth.
It begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies.
MEMORIES OF MY FAMILY MEETINGS still are a source of strength to me.  I
remember we'd all get into the car -- I forget what kind it was -- and
drive and drive.

I'm not sure where we'd go, but I think there were some bees there. The
smell of something was strong in the air as we played whatever sport we
played.  I remember a bigger, older guy whom we called "Dad."  We'd eat
some stuff or not and then I think we went home.

I guess some things never leave you.
                -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.
My mother once said to me, "Elwood," (she always called me Elwood)
"Elwood, in this world you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant."
For years I tried smart.  I recommend pleasant.
                -- Elwood P. Dowde, "Harvey"
My ritual differs slightly.  What I do, first thing [in the morning], is I
hop into the shower stall.  Then I hop right back out, because when I hopped
in I landed barefoot right on top of See Threepio, a little plastic robot
character from "Star Wars" whom my son, Robert, likes to pull the legs off
of while he showers.  Then I hop right back into the stall because our dog,
Earnest, who has been alone in the basement all night building up powerful
dog emotions, has come bounding and quivering into the bathroom and wants
to greet me with 60 or 70 thousand playful nips, any one of which -- bear
in mind that I am naked and, without my contact lenses, essentially blind
-- could result in the kind of injury where you have to learn a whole new
part if you want to sing the "Messiah," if you get my drift.  Then I hop
right back out, because Robert, with that uncanny sixth sense some children
have -- you cannot teach it; they either have it or they don't -- has chosen
exactly that moment to flush one of the toilets.  Perhaps several of them.
                -- Dave Barry
Nobody suffers the pain of birth or the anguish of loving a child in order
for presidents to make wars, for governments to feed on the substance of
their people, for insurance companies to cheat the young and rob the old.
                -- Lewis Lapham
        On this morning in August when I was 13, my mother sent us out pick
tomatoes.  Back in April I'd have killed for a fresh tomato, but in August
they are no more rare or wonderful than rocks.  So I picked up one and threw
it at a crab apple tree, where it made a good *splat*, and then threw a tomato
at my brother.  He whipped one back at me.  We ducked down by the vines,
heaving tomatoes at each other.  My sister, who was a good person, said,
"You're going to get it."  She bent over and kept on picking.
        What a target!  She was 17, a girl with big hips, and bending over,
she looked like the side of a barn.
        I picked up a tomato so big it sat on the ground.  It looked like it
had sat there a week.  The underside was brown, small white worms lived in it,
and it was very juicy.  I stood up and took aim, and went into the windup,
when my mother at the kitchen window called my name in a sharp voice.  I had
to decide quickly.  I decided.
        A rotten Big Boy hitting the target is a memorable sound, like a fat
man doing a belly-flop.  With a whoop and a yell the tomatoee came after
faster than I knew she could run, and grabbed my shirt and was about to brain
me when Mother called her name in a sharp voice.  And my sister, who was a
good person, obeyed and let go -- and burst into tears.  I guess she knew that
the pleasure of obedience is pretty thin compared with the pleasure of hearing
a rotten tomato hit someone in the rear end.
                -- Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Days"
Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine.  You
need not supply the world with the next conqueror of disease or major motion
picture star.  If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use
the word "collectible" as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified
success.
                -- Fran Lebowitz, "Social Studies"
C:\> WIN
Bad command or filename

C:\> LOSE
Loading Microsoft Windows ...
Less is more or less more
        -- Y_Plentyn on #LinuxGER
Except for Great Britain. According to ISO 9166 and Internet reality
Great Britain's toplevel domain should be _gb_.  Instead, Great Britain
and Nortern Ireland (the United Kingdom) use the toplevel domain _uk_.
They drive on the wrong side of the road, too.
        -- PERL book (or DNS and BIND book)
Microsoft is not the answer.
Microsoft is the question.
NO (or Linux) is the answer.
        -- Taken from a .signature from someone from the UK, source unknown
> The day people think linux would be better served by somebody else (FSF
> being the natural alternative), I'll "abdicate".  I don't think that
> it's something people have to worry about right now - I don't see it
> happening in the near future.  I enjoy doing linux, even though it does
> mean some work, and I haven't gotten any complaints (some almost timid
> reminders about a patch I have forgotten or ignored, but nothing
> negative so far).
>
> Don't take the above to mean that I'll stop the day somebody complains:
> I'm thick-skinned (Lasu, who is reading this over my shoulder commented
> that "thick-HEADED is closer to the truth") enough to take some abuse.
> If I weren't, I'd have stopped developing linux the day ast ridiculed me
> on c.o.minix.  What I mean is just that while linux has been my baby so
> far, I don't want to stand in the way if people want to make something
> better of it (*).
>
>                 Linus
>
> (*) Hey, maybe I could apply for a saint-hood from the Pope.  Does
> somebody know what his email-address is? I'm so nice it makes you puke.
        -- Taken from Linus's reply to someone worried about the future of Linux
Linux poses a real challenge for those with a taste for late-night
hacking (and/or conversations with God).
        -- Matt Welsh
...very few phenomena can pull someone out of Deep Hack Mode, with two
noted exceptions: being struck by lightning, or worse, your *computer*
being struck by lightning.
        -- Matt Welsh
Waving away a cloud of smoke, I look up, and am blinded by a bright, white
light.  It's God. No, not Richard Stallman, or Linus Torvalds, but God. In
a booming voice, He says: "THIS IS A SIGN. USE LINUX, THE FREE UNIX SYSTEM
FOR THE 386.
        -- Matt Welsh
Microsoft Corp., concerned by the growing popularity of the free 32-bit
operating system for Intel systems, Linux, has employed a number of top
programmers from the underground world of virus development.  Bill Gates stated
yesterday: "World domination, fast -- it's either us or Linus".  Mr. Torvalds
was unavailable for comment ...
        -- Robert Manners, rjm@swift.eng.ox.ac.uk, in comp.os.linux.setup
After watching my newly-retired dad spend two weeks learning how to make a new
folder, it became obvious that "intuitive" mostly means "what the writer or
speaker of intuitive likes".
        -- Bruce Ediger, bediger@teal.csn.org, on X the intuitiveness of a Mac interface
Anyone who thinks UNIX is intuitive should be forced to write 5000 lines of
code using nothing but vi or emacs.  AAAAACK!
        -- Discussion on the intuitiveness of commands, especially Emacs
I mean, well, if it were not for Linux I might be roaming the streets looking
for drugs or prostitutes or something.  Hannu and Linus have my highest
admiration (apple polishing mode off).
        -- Phil Lewis, plewis@nyx.nyx.net
One of the things that hamper Linux's climb to world domination is the
shortage of bad Computer Role Playing Games, or CRaPGs. No operating system
can be considered respectable without one.
        -- Brian O'Donnell, odonnllb@tcd.ie
So in the future, one 'client' at a time or you'll be spending CPU time with
lots of little 'child processes'.
        -- Kevin M. Bealer, commenting on the private life of a Linux nerd
"... being a Linux user is sort of like living in a house inhabited
by a large family of carpenters and architects. Every morning when
you wake up, the house is a little different. Maybe there is a new
turret, or some walls have moved. Or perhaps someone has temporarily
removed the floor under your bed." - Unix for Dummies, 2nd Edition
        -- found in the .sig of Rob Riggs, rriggs@tesser.com
To kick or not to kick...
        -- Somewhere on IRC, inspired by Shakespeare
If you really want pure ASCII, save it as text... or browse
it with your favorite browser...
        -- Alexandre Maret <amaret@infomaniak.ch>
[...] or some clown changed the chips on a board and not its name.
(Don't laugh!  Look at the SMC etherpower for that.)
        -- from /usr/src/linux/MAINTAINERS
There is, however, a strange, musty smell in the air that reminds me of
something...hmm...yes...I've got it...there's a VMS nearby, or I'm a Blit.
        -- Larry Wall in Configure from the perl distribution
>>> FreeOS is an english-centric name

Have you all been stuck in email, or have any of you tried
*pronouncing* that? free-oh-ess? free-ows? fritos? :-)
        -- Mark Eichin
Uh... deity is a word, and diety isn't.

Or is it supposed to be one of those recursive acronyms?  Diety Is
Excellent To You.  Deity Eats Icecream That's Yellow.  Diety Is
Eloping To Yokohama.  I'll stop now.
        -- Guy Maor
The only really good reason I can think to not release specs is
embarrassment on just how crappy some hardware out there is, or just how
buggy it is.
        -- Chris Wedgwood <cw@ix.net.nz>
When you have 200 programmers trying to write code for one
product, like Win95 or NT, what you get is a multipule personality
program.  By definition, the real problem is that these programs are
psychotic by nature and make people crazy when they use them.
        -- Joan Brewer on alt.destroy.microsoft
Charles Briscoe-Smith <cpbs@debian.org>:
  After all, the gzip package is called `gzip', not `libz-bin'...

James Troup <troup@debian.org>:
  Uh, probably because the gzip binary doesn't come from the
  non-existent libz package or the existent zlib package.
        -- debian-bugs-dist
<jim> Lemme make sure I'm not wasting time here... bcwhite will remove
      pkgs that havent been fixed that have outstanding bugs of severity
      "important".  True or false?
<JHM> jim: "important" or higher.  True.
<jim> Then we're about to lose ftp.debian.org and dpkg :)
* netgod will miss dpkg -- it was occasionally useful
<Joey> We still have rpm....
        -- Seen on #Debian
Alex Buell:
Or how about a Penguin logo painted in really really trippy
colours, and emblazoned with the word LSD. :o)

Geert Uytterhoeven:
We already had that one, but unfortunately Russell King fixed that nasty
palette bug in drivers/video/fbcon.c :-)
        -- linux-kernel
                Answers to Last Fortune's Questions:

        (1) None.  (Moses didn't have an ark).
        (2) Your mother, by the pigeonhole principle.
        (3) I don't know.
        (4) Who cares?
        (5) 6 (or maybe 4, or else 3).  Mr. Alfred J. Duncan of Podunk,
            Montana, submitted an interesting solution to Problem 5.
        (6) There is an interesting solution to this problem on page 1029 of my
            book, which you can pick up for $23.95 at finer bookstores and
            bathroom supply outlets (or 99 cents at the table in front of
            Papyrus Books).
Did you know about the -o option of the fortune program?  It makes a
selection from a set of offensive and/or obscene fortunes.  Why not
try it, and see how offended you are?  The -a ("all") option will
select a fortune at random from either the offensive or inoffensive
set, and it is suggested that "fortune -a" is the command that you
should have in your .profile or .cshrc. file.
Has anyone realized that the purpose of the fortune cookie program is to
defuse project tensions?  When did you ever see a cheerful cookie, a
non-cynical, or even an informative cookie?
        Perhaps inadvertently, we have a channel for our aggressions.  This
still begs the question of whether the cookie releases the pressure or only
serves to blunt the warning signs.

        Long live the revolution!
        Have a nice day.
THIS IS PLEDGE WEEK FOR THE FORTUNE PROGRAM

If you like the fortune program, why not support it now with your
contribution of a pithy fortunes, clean or obscene?  We cannot continue
without your support.  Less than 14% of all fortune users are contributors.
That means that 86% of you are getting a free ride.  We can't go on like
this much longer.  Federal cutbacks mean less money for fortunes, and unless
user contributions increase to make up the difference, the fortune program
will have to shut down between midnight and 8 a.m.  Don't let this happen.
Mail your fortunes right now to "fortune".  Just type in your favorite pithy
saying.  Do it now before you forget.  Our target is 300 new fortunes by the
end of the week. Don't miss out.  All fortunes will be acknowledged.  If you
contribute 30 fortunes or more, you will receive a free subscription to "The
Fortune Hunter", our monthly program guide.  If you contribute 50 or more,
you will receive a free "Fortune Hunter" coffee mug ....
A book is the work of a mind, doing its work in the way that a mind deems
best.  That's dangerous.  Is the work of some mere individual mind likely to
serve the aims of collectively accepted compromises, which are known in the
schools as 'standards'?  Any mind that would audaciously put itself forth to
work all alone is surely a bad example for the students, and probably, if
not downright antisocial, at least a little off-center, self-indulgent,
elitist.  ... It's just good pedagogy, therefore, to stay away from such
stuff, and use instead, if film-strips and rap-sessions must be
supplemented, 'texts,' selected, or prepared, or adapted, by real
professionals.  Those texts are called 'reading material.'  They are the
academic equivalent of the 'listening material' that fills waiting-rooms,
and the 'eating material' that you can buy in thousands of convenient eating
resource centers along the roads.
                -- The Underground Grammarian
         A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling
                          by Mark Twain

        For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped
to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer
be part of the alphabet.  The only kase in which "c" would be retained
would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later.  Year 2
might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the
same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with
"i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.
        Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear
with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12
or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants.
Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi
ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz
ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.
        Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud
hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.
        A reader reports that when the patient died, the attending doctor
recorded the following on the patient's chart:  "Patient failed to fulfill
his wellness potential."
        Another doctor reports that in a recent issue of the *American Journal
of Family Practice* fleas were called "hematophagous arthropod vectors."
        A reader reports that the Army calls them "vertically deployed anti-
personnel devices."  You probably call them bombs.
        At McClellan Air Force base in Sacramento, California, civilian
mechanics were placed on "non-duty, non-pay status."  That is, they were fired.
        After taking the trip of a lifetime, our reader sent his twelve rolls
of film to Kodak for developing (or "processing," as Kodak likes to call it)
only to receive the following notice:  "We must report that during the handling
of your twelve 35mm Kodachrome slide orders, the films were involved in an
unusual laboratory experience."  The use of the passive is a particularly nice
touch, don't you think?  Nobody did anything to the films; they just had a bad
experience.  Of course our reader can always go back to Tibet and take his
pictures all over again, using the twelve replacement rolls Kodak so generously
sent him.
                -- Quarterly Review of Doublespeak (NCTE)
Briefly stated, the findings are that when presented with an array of
data or a sequence of events in which they are instructed to discover
an underlying order, subjects show strong tendencies to perceive order
and causality in random arrays, to perceive a pattern or correlation
which seems a priori intuitively correct even when the actual correlation
in the data is counterintuitive, to jump to conclusions about the correct
hypothesis, to seek and to use only positive or confirmatory evidence, to
construe evidence liberally as confirmatory, to fail to generate or to
assess alternative hypotheses, and having thus managed to expose themselves
only to confirmatory instances, to be fallaciously confident of the validity
of their judgments (Jahoda, 1969; Einhorn and Hogarth, 1978).  In the
analyzing of past events, these tendencies are exacerbated by failure to
appreciate the pitfalls of post hoc analyses.
                -- A. Benjamin
... But if we laugh with derision, we will never understand.  Human
intellectual capacity has not altered for thousands of years so far as
we can tell.  If intelligent people invested intense energy in issues
that now seem foolish to us, then the failure lies in our understanding
of their world, not in their distorted perceptions.  Even the standard
example of ancient nonsense -- the debate about angels on pinheads --
makes sense once you realize that theologians were not discussing
whether five or eighteen would fit, but whether a pin could house a
finite or an infinite number.
                -- S. J. Gould, "Wide Hats and Narrow Minds"
Comparing information and knowledge is like asking whether the fatness
of a pig is more or less green than the designated hitter rule."
                -- David Guaspari
Fortune's Guide to Freshman Notetaking:

WHEN THE PROFESSOR SAYS:                        YOU WRITE:

Probably the greatest quality of the poetry        John Milton -- born 1608
of John Milton, who was born in 1608, is the
combination of beauty and power.  Few have
excelled him in the use of the English language,
or for that matter, in lucidity of verse form,
'Paradise Lost' being said to be the greatest
single poem ever written."

Current historians have come to                        Most of the problems that now
doubt the complete advantageousness                face the United States are
of some of Roosevelt's policies...                directly traceable to the
                                                bungling and greed of President
                                                Roosevelt.

... it is possible that we simply do                Professor Mitchell is a
not understand the Russian viewpoint...                communist.
He who writes with no misspelled words has prevented a first suspicion
on the limits of his scholarship or, in the social world, of his general
education and culture.
                -- Julia Norton McCorkle
I appreciate the fact that this draft was done in haste, but some of the
sentences that you are sending out in the world to do your work for you are
loitering in taverns or asleep beside the highway.
                -- Dr. Dwight Van de Vate, Professor of Philosophy,
                   University of Tennessee at Knoxville
"I have to convince you, or at least snow you ..."
                -- Prof. Romas Aleliunas, CS 435
If the colleges were better, if they really had it, you would need to get
the police at the gates to keep order in the inrushing multitude.  See in
college how we thwart the natural love of learning by leaving the natural
method of teaching what each wishes to learn, and insisting that you shall
learn what you have no taste or capacity for.  The college, which should
be a place of delightful labor, is made odious and unhealthy, and the
young men are tempted to frivolous amusements to rally their jaded spirits.
I would have the studies elective.  Scholarship is to be created not
by compulsion, but by awakening a pure interest in knowledge.  The wise
instructor accomplishes this by opening to his pupils precisely the
attractions the study has for himself.  The marking is a system for schools,
not for the college; for boys, not for men; and it is an ungracious work to
put on a professor.
                -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ignorance must certainly be bliss or there wouldn't be so many people
so resolutely pursuing it.
It has long been an article of our folklore that too much knowledge or skill,
or especially consummate expertise, is a bad thing.  It dehumanizes those who
achieve it, and makes difficult their commerce with just plain folks, in whom
good old common sense has not been obliterated by mere book learning or fancy
notions.  This popular delusion flourishes now more than ever, for we are all
infected with it in the schools, where educationists have elevated it from
folklore to Article of Belief.  It enhances their self-esteem and lightens
their labors by providing theoretical justification for deciding that
appreciation, or even simple awareness, is more to be prized than knowledge,
and relating (to self and others), more than skill, in which minimum
competence will be quite enough.
                -- The Underground Grammarian
                        It's grad exam time...
MEDICINE
        You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a
bottle of Scotch.  Remove your appendix.  Do not suture until your work has
been inspected.  (You have 15 minutes.)

HISTORY
        Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present
day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political,
economic, religious and philisophical impact upon Europe, Asia, America, and
Africa.  Be brief, concise, and specific.

BIOLOGY
        Create life.  Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture
if this form of life had been created 500 million years ago or earlier, with
special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system.
                `O' LEVEL COUNTER CULTURE
Timewarp allowed: 3 hours.  Do not scrawl situationalist graffiti in the
margins or stub your rollups in the inkwells.  Orange may be worn.  Credit
will be given to candidates who self-actualise.

        (1) Compare and contrast Pink Floyd with Black Sabbath and say why
            neither has street credibility.
        (2) "Even Buddha would have been hard pushed to reach Nirvana squatting
            on a juggernaut route."  Consider the dialectic of inner truth
            and inner city.
        (3) Discuss degree of hassle involved in paranoia about being sucked
            into a black hole.
        (4) "The Egomaniac's Liberation Front were a bunch of revisionist
            ripoff merchants."  Comment on this insult.
        (5) Account for the lack of references to brown rice in Dylan's lyrics.
        (6) "Castenada was a bit of a bozo."  How far is this a fair summing
            up of western dualism?
        (7) Hermann Hesse was a Pisces.  Discuss.
Princeton's taste is sweet like a strawberry tart.  Harvard's is a subtle
taste, like whiskey, coffee, or tobacco.  It may even be a bad habit, for
all I know.
                -- Prof. J.H. Finley '25
        "The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff
and blow, "is to learn something.  That's the only thing that never fails.
You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at
night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love,
you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your
honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for
it then -- to learn.  Learn why the world wags and what wags it.  That is
the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be
tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.  Learning
is the only thing for you.  Look what a lot of things there are to learn."
                -- T.H. White, "The Once and Future King"
"Truncate - the never-ending story.  Makes me feel like a long
Kurosawa movie.  But in this one the hero _will_ survive, or my
name isn't Maxwell."

        - Linus Torvalds
"I'm a bastard. I have absolutely no clue why people can ever think
otherwise. Yet they do. People think I'm a nice guy, and the fact is that
I'm a scheming, conniving bastard who doesn't care for any hurt feelings
or lost hours of work if it just results in what I consider to be a better
system."

         - Linus Torvalds
> Is there an API or other means to determine what video card, namely the
> chipset, that the user has installed on his machine?

On a modern X86 machine use the PCI/AGP bus data. On a PS/2 use the MCA bus
data. On nubus use the nubus probe data. On old style ISA bus PCs done a
large pointy hat and spend several years reading arcane and forbidden
scrolls

        - Alan Cox on hardware probing
Alan Olsen wrote:
> things correctly they have enhanced Wake-on-LAN to allow you to do
> things like reset the machine, update the BIOS and such by sending
> magic packets which are interpreted by the network card. Or maybe I am

Normally 'sending magic packets resets the machine' is considered a feature
reported to bugtraq. The alert stuff I have seen is more akin to sending SNMP
traps for things like people opening the lid, or fan failure

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
In personal conversations with technical people, I call myself a hacker. But
when I'm talking to journalists I just say "programmer" or something like that.

        - Linus Torvalds
David Wagner wrote:
> Is this a bad coding?

Yes. Not to mention side effects, it's just plain ugly. Anyone who invents
identifiers of _that_ level of ugliness should be forced to read them
aloud for a week or so, until somebody will shoot him out of mercy.
Out of curiosity: who was the author? It looks unusually nasty, even for
SGI.

        - Al Viro on coding style
You can extend EXTRAVERSION infinitely, but after the first 10 or so
characters, it starts to get silly.

        - Russell King on linux-kernel
If you _really_ feel this strongly about the bug, you could
either try to increase the number of hours a day for all of
us or you could talk to my boss about hiring me as a consultant
to fix the problem for you on an emergency basis :)

        - Rik van Riel explaining what to do against kernel bugs
Microsoft is like a mountain with their installed base.  Like it
or not, no matter how loud the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow
to it.

        - Jeff Merkey on linux-advoca^Wkernel
The fact that it takes more code to parse and interpret ACPI than it does to
route traffic on the internet backbones should be a hint something is badly
wrong either in ACPI the spec, ACPI the implenentation or both.

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
Linus Torvalds wrote:
> Or are they just trying to strongarm the move to the horrid ACPI tables?

They are certainly involved in the latter but whether this is related  or
a seperate evil empire scheme is open to question

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
Also, I've been getting a _lot_ of patches, and if yours didn't show up
it's because I got too many. Never fear, there's always tomorrow. Except
in this case it's "in a week or two".

        - Linus Torvalds announcing his holiday on linux-kernel
> ...  but i could not found any source code or
> information in Internet.

How strange. The kernel source code is definitely on the internet, and
definitely contains drivers that implement internal layering -
nrdev, shaper, the sync cards, isdn

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
> If you took my patch for it, PLEASE don't send it for inclusion; it's an
> evil hack and no longer needed when Intel fixes the bug in their 440GX bios.

"when" is not a word I find useful about most bios bugs. Try "if" or
"less likely that being hit on the head by an asteroid"

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
This is a BP6 FAQ.  Try increasing the voltage to your CPUs by .1V, or
by taking the BP6 and introducing it to a hammer.  Either should be an
improvement.

        - Benjamian LaHaise not recommending the Abit BP6 motherboard on lkml
From: Alan Cox <alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
Subject: Re: Yet another design for /proc. Or actually /kernel.

> Here's my go at a new design for /proc. I designed it from a userland
> point of view and tried not to drown myself into details.

Did you have to change the subject line. It makes it harder to kill file
when people keep doing that
> There is an easy way for you, or even better, Linus to stop these discussions:
> Just say, in unambigous words, what kind of patch you would accept, if any.

.procmailrc one would do nicely.

        - Al Viro on linux-kernel
Alexander Viro wrote:
> You mean that you are unable to read any of the core kernel source?
> That would explain a lot...

Were you born rude, or did you have to practice it?

        - Richard Gooch on linux-kernel
There is a bog-standard way to combine several files in one - cpio.  Or tar.
No need to bring Apple Shit-For-Design(tm)(r) when standard tools are quite
enough.

        - Alexander Viro on linux-kernel
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2014
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