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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

Linux Rally Held in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, PA -- Thousands of Linux advocates gathered at the Pennsylvania
state capitol building earlier today. They were protesting the state's recent
three year deal with Microsoft to install Windows NT on all state computer
systems. "Whatever pointy haired boss made this deal ought to be shot on
sight," one protestor exclaimed. "Windows NT is a piece of [expletive] compared
to Linux. The taxpayers of Pennsylvania are going to be sorry three years from
now when this 'deal' concludes. The state has sold its soul to Satan [Bill
Gates]."

Brief hostilities broke out when a group of police officers armed with riot
gear descended on the protestors. After the police threatened to use tear gas,
the protestors threw thousands of Linux CDs at them. Once the supply of CDs was
depleted, the protest became peaceful again. "I saw several policemen pick up
Linux CDs and put them in their pockets," one protestor noted.

The protest broke up a few minutes later once it was realized that the state
legislature wasn't in session. "We may have wasted our time today," one
advocate said, "But we'll be back later." State and Microsoft officials were
unavailable for comment at press time. How typical.
Linux Infiltrates Windows NT Demo

SILICON VALLEY, CA -- Attendees at the Microsoft ActiveDemo Conference held
this week in San Jose were greeted by a pleasant surprise yesterday: Linux.
Somehow a group of Linux enthusiasts were able to replace a Windows NT box with
a Linux box right before the "ActiveDemo" of Windows NT 5 beta. "I have no clue
how they were able to pull off this prank," a Microserf spokesman said. "Rest
assured, Microsoft will do everything to investigate and prosecute the Linux
nuts who did this. Our bottom line must be protected."

Bill Gates said, "I was showing off the new features in Windows NT 5 when I
noticed something odd about the demo computer. It didn't crash. Plus, the font
used on the screen wasn't MS San Serif -- trust me, I know. My suspicions were
confirmed when, instead of the "Flying Windows" screensaver, a "Don't Fear the
Penguins" screensaver appeared. The audience laughed and applauded for five
straight minutes. It was so embarrasing -- even more so than the pie incident.

One attendee said, "Wow! This Linux is cool -- it didn't crash once during the
entire demo! I'd like to see NT do that." Another asked, "You guys got any
Linux CDs? I want one. Forget about vaporware NT." Yet another remarked, "I
didn't know it was possible to hack Linux to make it look like NT. I can
install Linux on my company's computers without my boss knowing!"
Microsoft ActivePromo Campaign: "State Innovation Day"

Microsoft has successfully lobbied for the State of Washington to declare
August 24th as State Innovation Day.  Efforts are underway to lobby the US
Congress to decree a similar designation nationally.  Several events are
scheduled on August 24, 1999 to showcase "innovation" in the computer
industry (in other words, Microsoft), including:

* An "Innovation Day Parade" held in downtown Seattle, featuring
floats and helium-filled balloons representing various Microsoft products
(Dancing Paper Clip, Microsoft Bob, Flying Windows Logo, etc.)

* An "Innovation is Cool" essay contest for high school and
college students.  Possible topics include "Why IE Should Be Integrated in
Windows", "Why Bill Gates Is My Hero", "Government Intervention is Evil",
and "Why Monopolies Improve Product Quality and Lower Prices".

* A 24-hour "Innovation in Education" telethon on NBC to raise money for
school districts nationwide to buy new Wintel computer systems and Internet
access through the Microsoft Network.
This telethon isn't just about helping disenfranchised geeks. We're
also here for the betterment of mankind through our research into finding
a Cure for Windows.

Each day, millions of man-hours are wasted due to design flaws in
Microsoft Windows. Each day, millions of dollars are sent by business and
individuals like yourself into a huge black hole known as "Microsoft" for
exorbitantly priced software products that should be free.

But don't worry. We've almost found a Cure for Windows. Geeks worldwide
have toiled endlessly for the past eight years working on a replacement
operating system called Linux. It's almost ready. Now we need to convince
the world to use our creation and eliminate the virus known as Windows.

   -- Excerpt from Eric S. Raymond's speech during the Geek Grok '99
      telethon held in Silicon Valley
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#2)
(held during Super Bowl Sunday 2000 at the Silicon Valley Transmeta Dome)

BRYANT DUMBELL: Look out! Here comes Linus Torvalds himself to deliver the
starting chug. The crowd is going wild... all 64 people in the stands are
on their feet! Here we go... Linus is lifting up the Ceremonial Beer
Can... he's flipping off the top...

JOHN SPLADDEN: You can feel the excitement in the air! Wow!

DUMBELL: ...And there he goes! Wow... he chugged that beer in only 1.4
seconds... Let's see Bill top that! What a remarkable display to kick off
this grandest of all nerd sporting events.

SPLADDEN: "Nerd sporting event"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

DUMBELL: Linus is now waving to the crowd... Oops!  He just belched.
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.
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."
We use Linux for all our mission-critical applications. Having the source code
means that we are not held hostage by anyone's support department.
(Russell Nelson, President of Crynwr Software)
We use Linux for all our mission-critical applications.  Having the source code
means that we are not held hostage by anyone's support department.
        -- Russell Nelson, President of Crynwr Software
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.]
Just a song before I go,                Going through security
To whom it may concern,                        I held her for so long.
Traveling twice the speed of sound        She finally looked at me in love,
It's easy to get burned.                And she was gone.
When the shows were over                Just a song before I go,
We had to get back home,                A lesson to be learned.
And when we opened up the door                Traveling twice the speed of sound
I had to be alone.                        It's easy to get burned.
She helped me with my suitcase,
She stands before my eyes,
Driving me to the airport
And to the friendly skies.
                -- Crosby, Stills, Nash, "Just a Song Before I Go"
Ladies and Gentlemen, Hobos and Tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitos and bowlegged ants,
I come before you to stand behind you
To tell you of something I know nothing about.
Next Thursday (which is good Friday),
There will be a convention held in the
Women's Club which is strictly for Men.
Admission is free, pay at the door,
Pull up a chair, and sit on the floor.
It was a summer's day in winter,
And the snow was raining fast,
As a barefoot boy with shoes on,
Stood sitting in the grass.
Oh, that bright day in the dead of night,
Two dead men got up to fight.
Three blind men to see fair play,
Forty mutes to yell "Hooray"!
Back to back, they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
Came and arrested those two dead boys.
Once again dread deed is done.
Canon sleeps,
his all-knowing eye shaded
to human chance and circumstance.
Peace reigns anew o'er Pine Valley,
but Canon's sleep is troubled.

Beware, scant days past the Ides of July.
Impatient hands wait eagerly
to grasp, to hold
scant moments of time
wrested from life in the full
glory of Canon's power;
held captive by his unblinking eye.

Three golden orbs stand watch;
one each to toll the day, hour, minute
until predestiny decrees his reawakening.
When that feared moment arives,
"Ask not for whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee."
                -- "I extended the loan on your Camera, at the Pine
                   Valley Pawn Shop today"
One reason why George Washington
Is held in such veneration:
He never blamed his problems
On the former Administration.
                -- George O. Ludcke
        "What shall we do?" said Twoflower.
        "Panic?" said Rincewind hopefully.  He always held that panic was
the best means of survival; back in the olden days, his theory went, people
faced with hungry sabretoothed tigers could be divided very simply into
those who panicked and those who stood there saying "What a magnificent
brute!" and "Here, pussy."
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic"
"You have the right not to be an asshole.  If you give up that right
everything you say and do in here will be held against you. If you cannot
afford to stop being an asshole then someone will be appointed to kick
yours outta here."
        -- Your rights as an irc addict
        A master programmer passed a novice programmer one day.  The master
noted the novice's preoccupation with a hand-held computer game.  "Excuse me",
he said, "may I examine it?"
        The novice bolted to attention and handed the device to the master.
"I see that the device claims to have three levels of play: Easy, Medium,
and Hard", said the master.  "Yet every such device has another level of play,
where the device seeks not to conquer the human, nor to be conquered by the
human."
        "Pray, great master," implored the novice, "how does one find this
mysterious setting?"
        The master dropped the device to the ground and crushed it under foot.
And suddenly the novice was enlightened.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        A master was explaining the nature of Tao to one of his novices.
"The Tao is embodied in all software -- regardless of how insignificant,"
said the master.
        "Is Tao in a hand-held calculator?" asked the novice.
        "It is," came the reply.
        "Is the Tao in a video game?" continued the novice.
        "It is even in a video game," said the master.
        "And is the Tao in the DOS for a personal computer?"
        The master coughed and shifted his position slightly.  "The lesson
is over for today," he said.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
HELP!!!! I'm being held prisoner in /usr/games/lib!
The best laid plans of mice and men are held up in the legal department.
The departing division general manager met a last time with his young
successor and gave him three envelopes.  "My predecessor did this for me,
and I'll pass the tradition along to you," he said.  "At the first sign
of trouble, open the first envelope.  Any further difficulties, open the
second envelope.  Then, if problems continue, open the third envelope.
Good luck."  The new manager returned to his office and tossed the envelopes
into a drawer.
        Six months later, costs soared and earnings plummeted. Shaken, the
young man opened the first envelope, which said, "Blame it all on me."
        The next day, he held a press conference and did just that.  The
crisis passed.
        Six months later, sales dropped precipitously.  The beleagured
manager opened the second envelope.  It said, "Reorganize."
        He held another press conference, announcing that the division
would be restructured.  The crisis passed.
        A year later, everything went wrong at once and the manager was
blamed for all of it.  The harried executive closed his office door, sank
into his chair, and opened the third envelope.
        "Prepare three envelopes..." it said.
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.
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.]
Crenna's Law of Political Accountability:
        If you are the first to know about something bad, you are going to be
        held responsible for acting on it, regardless of your formal duties.
Mitchell's Law of Committees:
        Any simple problem can be made insoluble if enough meetings are
        held to discuss it.
Optimism, n.:
        The belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, good,
        bad, and everything right that is wrong.  It is held with greatest
        tenacity by those accustomed to falling into adversity, and most
        acceptably expounded with the grin that apes a smile.  Being a blind
        faith, it is inaccessible to the light of disproof -- an intellectual
        disorder, yielding to no treatment but death.  It is hereditary, but
        not contagious.
McJob:
        A low-pay, low-prestige, low-benefit, no-future job in the
service sector.  Frequently considered a satisfying career choice by
those who have never held one.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Look, it cannot be seen - it is beyond form.
Listen, it cannot be heard - it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held - it is intangible.
These three are indefinable;
Therefore they are joined in one.

From above it is not bright;
From below it is not dark:
An unbroken thread beyond description.
It returns to nothingness.
The form of the formless,
The image of the imageless,
It is called indefinable and beyond imagination.

Stand before it and there is no beginning.
Follow it and there is no end.
Stay with the ancient Tao,
Move with the present.

Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of Tao.
O'Brien held up his left hand, its back toward Winston, with the
thumb hidden and the four fingers extended.
        "How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?"
        "Four."
        "And if the Party says that it is not four but five -- then how many?"
        "Four."
        The word ended in a gasp of pain.
                -- George Orwell
Our congratulations go to a Burlington Vermont civilian employee of the
local Army National Guard base.  He recently received a substational cash
award from our government for inventing a device for optical scanning.
His device reportedly will save the government more than $6 million a year
by replacing a more expensive helicopter maintenance tool with his own,
home-made, hand-held model.

Not suprisingly, we also have a couple of money-saving ideas that we submit
to the Pentagon free of charge:

        (a) Don't kill anybody.
        (b) Don't build things that do.
        (c) And don't pay other people to kill anybody.

We expect annual savings to be in the billions.
                -- Sojourners
The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not
utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind,
a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible.
                -- Bertrand Russell, in "Marriage and Morals", 1929
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"
The startling truth finally became apparent, and it was this: Numbers
written on restaurant checks within the confines of restaurants do not
follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces
of paper in any other parts of the Universe.  This single statement took
the scientific world by storm.  So many mathematical conferences got held
in such good restaurants that many of the finest minds of a generation
died of obesity and heart failure, and the science of mathematics was put
back by years.
                -- Douglas Adams
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"
"Linux kernel development is dominated by a hacker ethos, in which
external documentation is held in contempt, and even code comments
are viewed with suspicion."

         - Jerry Epplin
Symptom:                Feet cold and wet, glass empty.
Fault:                        Glass being held at incorrect angle.
Action Required:        Turn glass other way up so that open end points
                        toward ceiling.

Symptom:                Feet warm and wet.
Fault:                        Improper bladder control.
Action Required:        Go stand next to nearest dog.  After a while complain
                        to the owner about its lack of house training and
                        demand a beer as compensation.
                -- Bar Troubleshooting
Its name is Public Opinion.  It is held in reverence.  It settles everything.
Some think it is the voice of God.
                -- Mark Twain
The Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest is held ever year at San Jose State
Univ.  by Professor Scott Rice.  It is held in memory of Edward George
Earle Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), a rather prolific and popular (in his
time) novelist.  He is best known today for having written "The Last
Days of Pompeii."

Whenever Snoopy starts typing his novel from the top of his doghouse,
beginning "It was a dark and stormy night..." he is borrowing from Lord
Bulwer-Lytton.  This was the line that opened his novel, "Paul Clifford,"
written in 1830.  The full line reveals why it is so bad:

        It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents -- except
        at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of
        wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene
        lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty
        flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
Periphrasis is the putting of things in a round-about way.  "The cost may be
upwards of a figure rather below 10m#." is a periphrasis for The cost may be
nearly 10m#.  "In Paris there reigns a complete absence of really reliable
news" is a periphrasis for There is no reliable news in Paris.  "Rarely does
the 'Little Summer' linger until November, but at times its stay has been
prolonged until quite late in the year's penultimate month" contains a
periphrasis for November, and another for lingers.  "The answer is in the
negative" is a periphrasis for No.  "Was made the recipient of" is a
periphrasis for Was presented with.  The periphrasis style is hardly possible
on any considerable scale without much use of abstract nouns such as "basis,
case, character, connexion, dearth, description, duration, framework, lack,
nature, reference, regard, respect".  The existence of abstract nouns is a
proof that abstract thought has occurred; abstract thought is a mark of
civilized man; and so it has come about that periphrasis and civilization are
by many held to be inseparable.  These good people feel that there is an almost
indecent nakedness, a reversion to barbarism, in saying No news is good news
instead of "The absence of intelligence is an indication of satisfactory
developments."
                -- Fowler's English Usage
Several years ago, an international chess tournament was being held in a
swank hotel in New York.  Most of the major stars of the chess world were
there, and after a grueling day of chess, the players and their entourages
retired to the lobby of the hotel for a little refreshment.  In the lobby,
some players got into a heated argument about who was the brightest, the
fastest, and the best chess player in the world.  The argument got quite
loud, as various players claimed that honor.  At that point, a security
guard in the lobby turned to another guard and commented, "If there's
anything I just can't stand, it's chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."
Two golfers were being held up as the twosome of women in front of them
whiffed shots, hunted for lost balls and stood over putts for what seemed
like hours.
        "I'll ask if we can play through," Bill said as he strode toward
the women.  Twenty yards from the green, however, he turned on his heel
and went back to where his companion was waiting.
        "Can't do it," he explained, sheepishly.  "One of them's my wife
and the other's my mistress!"
        "I'll ask," said Jim.  He started off, only to turn and come back
before reaching the green.
        "What's wrong?" Bill asked.
        "Small world, isn't it?"
A critic is a bundle of biases held loosely together by a sense of taste.
                -- Whitney Balliett
Behind all the political rhetoric being hurled at us from abroad, we are
bringing home one unassailable fact -- [terrorism is] a crime by any civilized
standard, committed against innocent people, away from the scene of political
conflict, and must be dealt with as a crime. . . .
   [I]n our recognition of the nature of terrorism as a crime lies our best hope
of dealing with it. . . .
   [L]et us use the tools that we have.  Let us invoke the cooperation we have
the right to expect around the world, and with that cooperation let us shrink
the dark and dank areas of sanctuary until these cowardly marauders are held
to answer as criminals in an open and public trial for the crimes they have
committed, and receive the punishment they so richly deserve.
- William H. Webster, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 15 Oct 1985
"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love."
-- Albert Einstein
He only knew his iron spine held up the sky -- he didn't realize his brain
had fallen to the ground.
                -- The Book of Serenity
The Least Successful Defrosting Device
        The all-time record here is held by Mr. Peter Rowlands of Lancaster
whose lips became frozen to his lock in 1979 while blowing warm air on it.
        "I got down on my knees to breathe into the lock.  Somehow my lips
got stuck fast."
        While he was in the posture, an old lady passed an inquired if he
was all right.  "Alra?  Igmmlptk", he replied at which point she ran away.
        "I tried to tell her what had happened, but it came out sort of...
muffled," explained Mr. Rowlands, a pottery designer.
        He was trapped for twenty minutes ("I felt a bit foolish") until
constant hot breathing brought freedom.  He was subsequently nicknamed "Hot
Lips".
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
You will be held hostage by a radical group.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2020
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