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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

        Home centers are designed for the do-it-yourselfer who's willing to
pay higher prices for the convenience of being able to shop for lumber,
hardware, and toasters all in one location.  Notice I say "shop for," as
opposed to "obtain." This is the major drawback of home centers: they are
always out of everything except artificial Christmas trees.  The home center
employees have no time to reorder merchandise because they are too busy
applying little price stickers to every object -- every board, washer, nail
and screw -- in the entire store ...

        Let's say a piece in your toilet tank breaks, so you remove the
broken part, take it to the home center, and ask an employee if he has a
replacement.  The employee, who has never is his life even seen the inside
of a toilet tank, will peer at the broken part in very much the same way
that a member of a primitive Amazon jungle tribe would look at an electronic
calculator, and then say, "We're expecting a shipment of these sometime
around the middle of next week."
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
Several years ago, some smart businessmen had an idea: Why not build a big
store where a do-it-yourselfer could get everything he needed at reasonable
prices?  Then they decided, nah, the hell with that, let's build a home
center.  And before long home centers were springing up like crabgrass all
over the United States.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
The more pretentious a corporate name, the smaller the organization.  (For
instance, The Murphy Center for Codification of Human and Organizational Law,
contrasted to IBM, GM, AT&T ...)
Missouri Town Changes Name to 'Linux'

LINUX, MO -- The small Missouri town of Linn, county seat of Osage County,
announced yesterday that it will be henceforth called 'Linux'. Mayor Bob Farrow
said, "Linn needed something to put it on the map. A few weeks ago my daughter
mentioned that she installed Linux on her computer and how great she thought it
was. I thought to myself, 'Self, changing the town's name to 'Linux' could be
an opportunity to attract attention -- and money -- to our town. We could even
hold a Linux Convention at the community center.' So I approached the city
council about the idea, and they loved it. The rest is history."

Farrow's daughter is organizing the Linux Linux User Group. She hopes to be
able to hold a Linux Convention this fall. "The Linn, er, Linux community
center probably won't be big enough, we'll probably have to hold it in nearby
Jefferson City," she said.

The mayor does have one reservation. "How the hell do you pronounce Linux?" One
of the mayor's contenders in the next election, Mr. Noah Morals, says he will
start an ad campaign calling Bob Farrow "the Incumbent Liar of LIE-nucks".
Needless to say, the mayor usually pronounces Linux as "LIH-nucks".
        A father gave his teen-age daughter an untrained pedigreed pup for
her birthday.  An hour later, when wandering through the house, he found her
looking at a puddle in the center of the kitchen.  "My pup," she murmured
sadly, "runneth over."
I would rather spend 10 hours reading someone else's source code than 10
minutes listening to Musak waiting for technical support which isn't.
        -- Dr. Greg Wettstein, Roger Maris Cancer Center
Heaven and Earth are impartial;
They see the ten thousand things as straw dogs.
The wise are impartial;
They see the people as straw dogs.
The space between heaven and Earth is like a bellows.
The shape changes but not the form;
The more it moves, the more it yields.
More words count less.
Hold fast to the center.
Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore benefit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.
ONE:    I will donate my entire "BABY HUEY" comic book collection to
        the downtown PLASMA CENTER ...
TWO:        I won't START a BAND called "KHADAFY & THE HIT SQUAD" ...
THREE:        I won't ever TUMBLE DRY my FOX TERRIER again!!
Why is it that when you DIE, you can't take your HOME ENTERTAINMENT
CENTER with you??
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
Celestial navigation is based on the premise that the Earth is the center
of the universe.  The premise is wrong, but the navigation works.  An
incorrect model can be a useful tool.
                -- Kelvin Throop III
... we must counterpose the overwhelming judgment provided by consistent
observations and inferences by the thousands.  The earth is billions of
years old and its living creatures are linked by ties of evolutionary
descent.  Scientists stand accused of promoting dogma by so stating, but
do we brand people illiberal when they proclaim that the earth is neither
flat nor at the center of the universe?  Science *has* taught us some
things with confidence!  Evolution on an ancient earth is as well
established as our planet's shape and position.  Our continuing struggle
to understand how evolution happens (the "theory of evolution") does not
cast our documentation of its occurrence -- the "fact of evolution" --
into doubt.
                -- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Verdict on Creationism",
                   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2.
We've sent a man to the moon, and that's 29,000 miles away.  The center
of the Earth is only 4,000 miles away.  You could drive that in a week,
but for some reason nobody's ever done it.
                -- Andy Rooney
"Live or die, I'll make a million."
-- Reebus Kneebus, before his jump to the center of the earth, Firesign Theater
"If you'll excuse me a minute, I'm going to have a cup of coffee."
- broadcast from Apollo 11's LEM, "Eagle", to Johnson Space Center, Houston
  July 20, 1969, 7:27 P.M.
"Every Solidarity center had piles and piles of paper .... everyone was
eating paper and a policeman was at the door.  Now all you have to do is
bend a disk."
- an anonymous member of the outlawed Polish trade union, Solidarity,
  commenting on the benefits of using computers in support of their movement
...we must counterpose the overwhelming judgment provided by consistent
observations and inferences by the thousands.  The earth is billions of
years old and its living creatures are linked by ties of evolutionary
descent.  Scientists stand accused of promoting dogma by so stating, but
do we brand people illiberal when they proclaim that the earth is neither
flat nor at the center of the universe?  Science *has* taught us some
things with confidence!  Evolution on an ancient earth is as well
established as our planet's shape and position.  Our continuing struggle
to understand how evolution happens (the "theory of evolution") does not
cast our documentation of its occurrence -- the "fact of evolution" --
into doubt.
- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Verdict on Creationism", The Skeptical Inquirer,
  Vol XII No. 2
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"
David Brinkley: The daily astrological charts are precisely where, in my
  judgment, they belong, and that is on the comic page.
George Will:  I don't think astrology belongs even on the comic pages.
  The comics are making no truth claim.
Brinkley:  Where would you put it?
Will:  I wouldn't put it in the newspaper.  I think it's transparent rubbish.
  It's a reflection of an idea that we expelled from Western thought in the
  sixteenth century, that we are in the center of a caring universe.  We are
  not the center of the universe, and it doesn't care.  The star's alignment
  at the time of our birth -- that is absolute rubbish.  It is not funny to
  have it intruded among people who have nuclear weapons.
Sam Donaldson:  This isn't something new.  Governor Ronald Reagan was sworn
  in just after midnight in his first term in Sacramento because the stars
  said it was a propitious time.
Will:  They [horoscopes] are utter crashing banalities.  They could apply to
  anyone and anything.
Brinkley:  When is the exact moment [of birth]?  I don't think the nurse is
  standing there with a stopwatch and a notepad.
Donaldson:  If we're making decisions based on the stars -- that's a cockamamie
  thing.  People want to know.
-- "This Week" with David Brinkley, ABC Television, Sunday, May 8, 1988,
   excerpts from a discussion on Astrology and Reagan
The spectacle of astrology in the White House -- the governing center of
the world's greatest scientific and military power -- is so appalling that
it defies understanding and provides grounds for great fright.  The easiest
response is to laugh it off, and to indulge in wisecracks about Civil
Service ratings for horoscope makers and palm readers and whether Reagan
asked Mikhail Gorbachev for his sign.  A contagious good cheer is the
hallmark of this presidency, even when the most dismal matters are concerned.
But this time, it isn't funny.  It's plain scary.
-- Daniel S. Greenberg, Editor, _Science and Government Report_, writing in
   "Newsday", May 5, 1988
Failed Attempts To Break Records
        In September 1978 Mr. Terry Gripton, of Stafford, failed to break
the world shouting record by two and a half decibels.  "I am not surprised
he failed," his wife said afterwards.  "He's really a very quiet man and
doesn't even shout at me."
        In August of the same year Mr. Paul Anthony failed to break the
record for continuous organ playing by 387 hours.
        His attempt at the Golden Fish Fry Restaurant in Manchester ended
after 36 hours 10 minutes, when he was accused of disturbing the peace.
"People complained I was too noisy," he said.
        In January 1976 Mr. Barry McQueen failed to walk backwards across
the Menai Bridge playing the bagpipes.  "It was raining heavily and my
drone got waterlogged," he said.
        A TV cameraman thwarted Mr. Bob Specas' attempt to topple 100,000
dominoes at the Manhattan Center, New York on 9 June 1978.  97,500 dominoes
had been set up when he dropped his press badge and set them off.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
I just know I'm a better manager when I have Joe DiMaggio in center field.
                -- Casey Stengel
My first baseman is George "Catfish" Metkovich from our 1952 Pittsburgh
Pirates team, which lost 112 games.  After a terrible series against the
New York Giants, in which our center fielder made three throwing errors
and let two balls get through his legs, manager Billy Meyer pleaded, "Can
somebody think of something to help us win a game?"
        "I'd like to make a suggestion," Metkovich said.  "On any ball hit
to center field, let's just let it roll to see if it might go foul."
                -- Joe Garagiola, "It's Anybody's Ball Game"
The fellow sat down at a bar, ordered a drink and asked the bartender if he
wanted to hear a dumb-jock joke.
        "Hey, buddy," the bartender replied, "you see those two guys next to
you?  They used to be with the Chicago Bears.  The two dudes behind you made
the U.S. Olympic wrestling team.  And for your information, I used to play
center at Notre Dame."
        "Forget it," the customer said.  "I don't want to explain it five
times."
The pitcher wound up and he flang the ball at the batter.  The batter
swang and missed.  The pitcher flang the ball again and this time the
batter connected.  He hit a high fly right to the center fielder.  The
center fielder was all set to catch the ball, but at the last minute his
eyes were blound by the sun and he dropped it.
                -- Dizzy Dean
We was playin' the Homestead Grays in the city of Pitchburgh.  Josh [Gibson]
comes up in the last of the ninth with a man on and us a run behind.  Well,
he hit one.  The Grays waited around and waited around, but finally the
empire rules it ain't comin' down.  So we win.  The next day, we was disputin'
the Grays in Philadelphia when here come a ball outta the sky right in the
glove of the Grays' center fielder.  The empire made the only possible call.
"You're out, boy!" he says to Josh.  "Yesterday, in Pitchburgh."
                -- Satchel Paige
        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"
Guillotine, n.:
        A French chopping center.
Information Center, n.:
        A room staffed by professional computer people whose job it is to
        tell you why you cannot have the information you require.
Nusbaum's Rule:
        The more pretentious the corporate name, the smaller the
        organization.  (For instance, the Murphy Center for the
        Codification of Human and Organizational Law, contrasted
        to IBM, GM, and AT&T.)
Walters' Rule:
        All airline flights depart from the gates most distant from
        the center of the terminal.  Nobody ever had a reservation
        on a plane that left Gate 1.
"I would rather spend 10 hours reading someone else's source code than
10 minutes listening to Musak waiting for technical support which isn't."
(By Dr. Greg Wettstein, Roger Maris Cancer Center)
"...[Linux's] capacity to talk via any medium except smoke signals."
(By Dr. Greg Wettstein, Roger Maris Cancer Center)
Well, don't worry about it...  It's nothing.
                -- Lieutenant Kermit Tyler (Duty Officer of Shafter Information
                   Center, Hawaii), upon being informed that Private Joseph
                   Lockard had picked up a radar signal of what appeared to be
                   at least 50 planes soaring toward Oahu at almost 180 miles
                   per hour, December 7, 1941.
Delores breezed along the surface of her life like a flat stone forever
skipping along smooth water, rippling reality sporadically but oblivious
to it consistently, until she finally lost momentum, sank, and due to an
overdose of flouride as a child which caused her to suffer from chronic
apathy, doomed herself to lie forever on the floor of her life as useless
as an appendix and as lonely as a five-hundred pound barbell in a
steroid-free fitness center.
                -- Winning sentence, 1990 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
****  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.
The eye is a menace to clear sight, the ear is a menace to subtle hearing,
the mind is a menace to wisdom, every organ of the senses is a menace to its
own capacity. ...  Fuss, the god of the Southern Ocean, and Fret, the god
of the Northern Ocean, happened once to meet in the realm of Chaos, the god
of the center.  Chaos treated them very handsomely and they discussed together
what they could do to repay his kindness.  They had noticed that, whereas
everyone else had seven apertures, for sight, hearing, eating, breathing and
so on, Chaos had none.  So they decided to make the experiment of boring holes
in him.  Every day they bored a hole, and on the seventh day, Chaos died.
                -- Chuang Tzu
I would rather spend 10 hours reading someone else's source code than
10 minutes listening to Musak waiting for technical support which isn't.
        -- Dr. Greg Wettstein, Roger Maris Cancer Center
...[Linux's] capacity to talk via any medium except smoke signals.
        -- Dr. Greg Wettstein, Roger Maris Cancer Center
The geographical center of Boston is in Roxbury.  Due north of the
center we find the South End.  This is not to be confused with South
Boston which lies directly east from the South End.  North of the South
End is East Boston and southwest of East Boston is the North End.
... 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
        Brian Kernighan has an automobile which he helped design.
Unlike most automobiles, it has neither speedometer, nor gas gauge, nor
any of the numerous idiot lights which plague the modern driver.
Rather, if the driver makes any mistake, a giant "?" lights up in the
center of the dashboard.  "The experienced driver", he says, "will
usually know what's wrong."
Center meeting at 4pm in 2C-543.
Ever wondered about the origins of the term "bugs" as applied to computer
technology?  U.S. Navy Capt. Grace Murray Hopper has firsthand explanation.
The 74-year-old captain, who is still on active duty, was a pioneer in
computer technology during World War II.  At the C.W. Post Center of Long
Island University, Hopper told a group of Long Island public school adminis-
trators that the first computer "bug" was a real bug--a moth.  At Harvard
one August night in 1945, Hopper and her associates were working on the
"granddaddy" of modern computers, the Mark I.  "Things were going badly;
there was something wrong in one of the circuits of the long glass-enclosed
computer," she said.  "Finally, someone located the trouble spot and, using
ordinary tweezers, removed the problem, a two-inch moth.  From then on, when
anything went wrong with a computer, we said it had bugs in it."  Hopper
said that when the veracity of her story was questioned recently, "I referred
them to my 1945 log book, now in the collection of the Naval Surface Weapons
Center, and they found the remains of that moth taped to the page in
question."
                [actually, the term "bug" had even earlier usage in
                regard to problems with radio hardware.  Ed.]
Every Solidarity center had piles and piles of paper ... everyone was
eating paper and a policeman was at the door.  Now all you have to do is
bend a disk.
                -- A member of the outlawed Polish trade union, Solidarity,
                   commenting on the benefits of using computers in support
                   of their movement.
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #2: RENE

Named after the famous French philosopher and mathematician Rene DesCartes,
RENE is a language used for artificial intelligence.  The language is being
developed at the Chicago Center of Machine Politics and Programming under a
grant from the Jane Byrne Victory Fund.  A spokesman described the language
as "Just as great as dis [sic] city of ours."

The center is very pleased with progress to date.  They say they have almost
succeeded in getting a VAX to think. However, sources inside the
organization say that each time the machine fails to think it ceases to exist.
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #8: LAIDBACK

This language was developed at the Marin County Center for T'ai Chi,
Mellowness and Computer Programming (now defunct), as an alternative to
the more intense atmosphere in nearby Silicon Valley.

The center was ideal for programmers who liked to soak in hot tubs while
they worked.  Unfortunately few programmers could survive there because the
center outlawed Pizza and Coca-Cola in favor of Tofu and Perrier.

Many mourn the demise of LAIDBACK because of its reputation as a gentle and
non-threatening language since all error messages are in lower case.  For
example, LAIDBACK responded to syntax errors with the message:

        "i hate to bother you, but i just can't relate to that.  can
        you find the time to try it again?"
        The Magician of the Ivory Tower brought his latest invention for the
master programmer to examine.  The magician wheeled a large black box into the
master's office while the master waited in silence.
        "This is an integrated, distributed, general-purpose workstation,"
began the magician, "ergonomically designed with a proprietary operating
system, sixth generation languages, and multiple state of the art user
interfaces.  It took my assistants several hundred man years to construct.
Is it not amazing?"
        The master raised his eyebrows slightly. "It is indeed amazing," he
said.
        "Corporate Headquarters has commanded," continued the magician, "that
everyone use this workstation as a platform for new programs.  Do you agree
to this?"
        "Certainly," replied the master, "I will have it transported to the
data center immediately!"  And the magician returned to his tower, well
pleased.
        Several days later, a novice wandered into the office of the master
programmer and said, "I cannot find the listing for my new program.  Do
you know where it might be?"
        "Yes," replied the master, "the listings are stacked on the platform
in the data center."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        There was once a programmer who worked upon microprocessors.  "Look at
how well off I am here," he said to a mainframe programmer who came to visit,
"I have my own operating system and file storage device.  I do not have to
share my resources with anyone.  The software is self-consistent and
easy-to-use.  Why do you not quit your present job and join me here?"
        The mainframe programmer then began to describe his system to his
friend, saying: "The mainframe sits like an ancient sage meditating in the
midst of the data center.  Its disk drives lie end-to-end like a great ocean
of machinery.  The software is a multi-faceted as a diamond and as convoluted
as a primeval jungle.  The programs, each unique, move through the system
like a swift-flowing river.  That is why I am happy where I am."
        The microcomputer programmer, upon hearing this, fell silent.  But the
two programmers remained friends until the end of their days.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
Two hundred years ago today, Irma Chine of White Plains, New York, was
performing her normal housekeeping routines.  She was interrupted by
British soldiers who, rallying to the call of their supervisor, General
Hughes, sought to gain control of the voter registration lists kept in
her home.  Masking her fear and thinking fast, Mrs. Chine quickly divided
a nearby apple in two and deftly stored the list in its center.  Upon
entering, the British blatantly violated every conceivable convention,
and, though they went through the house virtually bit by bit, their
search was fruitless.  They had to return empty handed.  Word of the
incident propagated rapidly through the region.  This historic event
became the first documented use of core storage for the saving of registers.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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