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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

Nothing is so often irretrievably missed as a daily opportunity.
                -- Ebner-Eschenbach
(1)        Office employees will daily sweep the floors, dust the
        furniture, shelves, and showcases.
(2)        Each day fill lamps, clean chimneys, and trim wicks.
        Wash the windows once a week.
(3)        Each clerk will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of
        coal for the day's business.
(4)        Make your pens carefully.  You may whittle nibs to your
        individual taste.
(5)        This office will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. except
        on the Sabbath, on which day we will remain closed.  Each
        employee is expected to spend the Sabbath by attending
        church and contributing liberally to the cause of the Lord.
                -- "Office Worker's Guide", New England Carriage
                    Works, 1872
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The highest good is like water.
Water give life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In daily life, be competent.
In action, be aware of the time and the season.
No fight:  No blame.
A Severe Strain on the Credulity
        As a method of sending a missile to the higher, and even to the
highest parts of the earth's atmospheric envelope, Professor Goddard's rocket
is a practicable and therefore promising device. It is when one considers the
multiple-charge rocket as a traveler to the moon that one begins to doubt...
for after the rocket quits our air and really starts on its journey, its
flight would be neither accelerated nor maintained by the explosion of the
charges it then might have left.  Professor Goddard, with his "chair" in
Clark College and countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not
know the relation of action to re-action, and of the need to have something
better than a vacuum against which to react... Of course he only seems to
lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.
                -- New York Times Editorial, 1920
Oxygen is a very toxic gas and an extreme fire hazard.  It is fatal in
concentrations of as little as 0.000001 p.p.m.  Humans exposed to the
oxygen concentrations die within a few minutes.  Symptoms resemble very
much those of cyanide poisoning (blue face, etc.).  In higher
concentrations, e.g. 20%, the toxic effect is somewhat delayed and it
takes about 2.5 billion inhalations before death takes place.  The reason
for the delay is the difference in the mechanism of the toxic effect of
oxygen in 20% concentration.  It apparently contributes to a complex
process called aging, of which very little is known, except that it is
always fatal.

However, the main disadvantage of the 20% oxygen concentration is in the
fact it is habit forming.  The first inhalation (occurring at birth) is
sufficient to make oxygen addiction permanent.  After that, any
considerable decrease in the daily oxygen doses results in death with
symptoms resembling those of cyanide poisoning.

Oxygen is an extreme fire hazard.  All of the fires that were reported in
the continental U.S. for the period of the past 25 years were found to be
due to the presence of this gas in the atmosphere surrounding the buildings
in question.

Oxygen is especially dangerous because it is odorless, colorless and
tasteless, so that its presence can not be readily detected until it is
too late.
                -- Chemical & Engineering News February 6, 1956
If science were explained to the average person in a way that is accessible
and exciting, there would be no room for pseudoscience.  But there is a kind
of Gresham's Law by which in popular culture the bad science drives out the
good.  And for this I think we have to blame, first, the scientific community
ourselves for not doing a better job of popularizing science, and second, the
media, which are in this respect almost uniformly dreadful.  Every newspaper
in America has a daily astrology column.  How many have even a weekly
astronomy column?  And I believe it is also the fault of the educational
system.  We do not teach how to think.  This is a very serious failure that
may even, in a world rigged with 60,000 nuclear weapons, compromise the human
- Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, Fall 87
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
Inadmissible:  Not competent to be considered.  Said of certain kinds of
testimony which juries are supposed to be unfit to be entrusted with,
and which judges, therefore, rule out, even of proceedings before themselves
alone.  Hearsay evidence is inadmissible because the person quoted was
unsworn and is not before the court for examination; yet most momentous
actions, military, political, commercial and of every other kind, are
daily undertaken on hearsay evidence.  There is no religion in the world
that has any other basis than hearsay evidence.  Revelation is hearsay
evidence; that the Scriptures are the word of God we have only the
testimony of men long dead whose identy is not clearly established and
who are not known to have been sworn in any sense.  Under the rules of
evidence as they now exist in this country, no single assertion in the
Bible has in its support any evidence admissible in a court of law...

But as records of courts of justice are admissible, it can easily be proved
that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were a scourge to
mankind.  The evidence (including confession) upon which certain women
were convicted of witchcraft and executed was without a flaw; it is still
unimpeachable.  The judges' decisions based on it were sound in logic and
in law.  Nothing in any existing court was ever more thoroughly proved than
the charges of witchcraft and sorcery for which so many suffered death.
If there were no witches, human testimony and human reason are alike
destitute of value.  --Ambrose Bierce
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
When the leaders speak of peace
The common folk know
That war is coming
When the leaders curse war
The mobilization order is already written out.

Every day, to earn my daily bread
I go to the market where lies are bought
I take my place among the sellers.
                -- Bertolt Brecht, "Hollywood"
                Accidentally Shot

        Colonel Gray, of Petaluma, came near losing his life a few days ago,
in a singular manner.  A gentleman with whom he was hunting attempted to
bring down a dove, but instead of doing so put the load of shot through the
Colonel's hat.  One shot took effect in his forehead.
                -- Sacramento Daily Union, April 20, 1861

        Plans to "Eat it later"
Too Late
        A large number of turkies [sic] went to San Francisco yesterday by
the two o'clock boats.  If their object in going down was to participate in
the Thanksgiving festivities of that city, they would arrive "the day after
the affair," and of course be sadly disappointed thereby.
                -- Sacramento Daily Union, November 29, 1861
A Hen Brooding Kittens
        A friend informs us that he saw at the Novato ranch, Marin county,
a few days since, a hen actually brooding and otherwise caring for three
kittens!  The gentleman upon whose premises this strange event is transpiring
says the hen adopted the kittens when they were but a few days old, and that
she has devoted them her undivided care for several weeks past.  The young
felines are now of respectable size, but they nevertheless follow the hen at
her cluckings, and are regularly brooded at night beneath her wings.
                -- Sacramento Daily Union, July 2, 1861
A young girl once committed suicide because her mother refused her a new
bonnet.  Coroner's verdict: "Death from excessive spunk."
                -- Sacramento Daily Union, September 13, 1860
        The practice of peppering daily life with obscure
references as a subliminal means of showcasing both one's education
and one's wish to disassociate from the world of mass culture.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
        The most common X generation subgroup and the only subgroup
given to breeding.  Squires exist almost exclusively in couples and
are recognizable by their frantic attempts to create a semblance of
Eisenhower-era plenitude in their daily lives in the face of
exorbitant housing prices and two-job life-styles.  Squires tend to be
continually exhausted from their voraciously acquisitive pursuit of
furniture and knickknacks.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
We are using Linux daily to UP our productivity - so UP yours!
(Adapted from Pat Paulsen by Joe Sloan)
There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.
                -- Ralph Nader
We are using Linux daily to UP our productivity -- so UP yours, Microsoft!
Linux: Because rebooting is for adding hardware

Solaris: Because you don't need to reboot to add hardware

Windows: Because rebooting is for adding hardware, adding software,
regularly scheduled downtime, and should also be done on a daily basis to
keep the machine running.

   -- From a post
We are using Linux daily to UP our productivity - so UP yours!
        -- Adapted from Pat Paulsen by Joe Sloan
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
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?
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
        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.
If a man stay away from his wife for seven years, the law presumes the
separation to have killed him; yet according to our daily experience,
it might well prolong his life.
                -- Charles Darling, "Scintillae Juris, 1877
Be cautious in your daily affairs.
Exercise caution in your daily affairs.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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