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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

        A circus foreman was making the rounds inspecting the big top
when a scrawny little man entered the tent and walked up to him.  "Are
you the foreman around here?" he asked timidly.  "I'd like to join your
circus; I have what I think is a pretty good act."
        The foreman nodded assent, whereupon the little man hurried over to
the main pole and rapidly climbed up to the very tip-top of the big top.
Drawing a deep breath, he hurled himself off into the air and began flapping
his arms furiously.  Amazingly, rather than plummeting to his death the little
man began to fly all around the poles, lines, trapezes and other obstacles,
performing astounding feats of aerobatics which ended in a long power dive
from the top of the tent, pulling up into a gentle feet-first landing beside
the foreman, who had been nonchalantly watching the whole time.
        "Well," puffed the little man.  "What do you think?"
        "That's all you do?" answered the foreman scornfully.  "Bird
imitations?"
A fool-proof method for sculpting an elephant: first, get a huge block of
marble; then you chip away everything that doesn't look like an elephant.
        A hard-luck actor who appeared in one coloossal disaster after another
finally got a break, a broken leg to be exact.  Someone pointed out that it's
the first time the poor fellow's been in the same cast for more than a week.
A rose is a rose is a rose.  Just ask Jean Marsh, known to millions of
PBS viewers in the '70s as Rose, the maid on the LWT export "Upstairs,
Downstairs."  Though Marsh has since gone on to other projects, ... it's
with Rose she's forever identified.  So much so that she even likes to
joke about having one named after her, a distinction not without its
drawbacks.  "I was very flattered when I heard about it, but when I looked
up the official description, it said, `Jean Marsh: pale peach, not very
good in beds; better up against a wall.'  I want to tell you that's not
true.  I'm very good in beds as well."
A sequel is an admission that you've been reduced to imitating yourself.
                -- Don Marquis
A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call
what he writes fiction.
                -- William Faulkner
Another possible source of guidance for teenagers is television, but
television's message has always been that the need for truth, wisdom and
world peace pales by comparison with the need for a toothpaste that offers
whiter teeth *___and* fresher breath.
                -- Dave Barry, "Kids Today: They Don't Know Dum Diddly Do"
Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent
and original in your work.
                -- Flaubert
Burnt Sienna.  That's the best thing that ever happened to Crayolas.
                -- Ken Weaver
Did you know that the voice tapes easily identify the Russian pilot
that shot down the Korean jet?  At one point he definitely states:

        "Natasha!  First we shoot jet, then we go after moose and squirrel."

                -- ihuxw!tommyo
Ever get the feeling that the world's on tape and one of the reels is missing?
                -- Rich Little
"First things first -- but not necessarily in that order"
                -- The Doctor, "Doctor Who"
For myself, I can only say that I am astonished and somewhat terrified at
the results of this evening's experiments.  Astonished at the wonderful
power you have developed, and terrified at the thought that so much hideous
and bad music may be put on record forever.
                -- Sir Arthur Sullivan, message to Edison, 1888
For the next hour, WE will control all that you see and hear.
G. B. Shaw to William Douglas Home: "Go on writing plays, my boy.  One
of these days a London producer will go into his office and say to his
secretary, `Is there a play from Shaw this morning?' and when she says
`No,' he will say, `Well, then we'll have to start on the rubbish.' And
that's your chance, my boy."
Gauls! We have nothing to fear; except perhaps that the sky may fall on
our heads tomorrow.  But as we all know, tomorrow never comes!!
                -- Adventures of Asterix
God help the troubadour who tries to be a star.  The more that you try
to find success, the more that you will fail.
                -- Phil Ochs, on the Second System Effect
Grig (the navigator):
        ... so you see, it's just the two of us against the entire space
        armada.
Alex (the gunner):
        What?!?
Grig:        I've always wanted to fight a desperate battle against
        overwhelming odds.
Alex:        It'll be a slaughter!
Grig:        That's the spirit!
                -- The Last Starfighter
H. L. Mencken suffers from the hallucination that he is H. L. Mencken --
there is no cure for a disease of that magnitude.
                -- Maxwell Bodenheim
Hoaars-Faisse Gallery presents:
An exhibit of works by the artist known only as Pretzel.

The exhibit includes several large conceptual works using non-traditional
media and found objects including old sofa-beds, used mace canisters,
discarded sanitary napkins and parts of freeways.  The artist explores
our dehumanization due to high technology and unresponsive governmental
structures in a post-industrial world.  She/he (the artist prefers to
remain without gender) strives to create dialogue between viewer and
creator, to aid us in our quest to experience contemporary life with its
inner-city tensions, homelessness, global warming and gender and
class-based stress.  The works are arranged to lead us to the essence of
the argument: that the alienation of the person/machine boundary has
sapped the strength of our voices and must be destroyed for society to
exist in a more fundamental sense.
I accept chaos.  I am not sure whether it accepts me.  I know some people
are terrified of the bomb.  But then some people are terrified to be seen
carrying a modern screen magazine.  Experience teaches us that silence
terrifies people the most.
                -- Bob Dylan
I believe that the moment is near when by a procedure of active paranoiac
thought, it will be possible to systematize confusion and contribute to the
total discrediting of the world of reality.
                -- Salvador Dali
I never failed to convince an audience that the best thing they
could do was to go away.
I played lead guitar in a band called The Federal Duck, which is the kind
of name that was popular in the '60s as a result of controlled substances
being in widespread use.  Back then, there were no restrictions, in terms
of talent, on who could make an album, so we made one, and it sounds like
a group of people who have been given powerful but unfamiliar instruments
as a therapy for a degenerative nerve disease.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Snake"
I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the
reader.  But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if
I find that I cannot horrify, I'll go for the gross-out.
                -- Stephen King
I remember once being on a station platform in Cleveland at four in the
morning.  A black porter was carrying my bags, and as we were waiting for
the train to come in, he said to me: "Excuse me, Mr. Cooke, I don't want to
invade your privacy, but I have a bet with a friend of mine.  Who composed
the opening theme music of 'Omnibus'?  My friend said Virgil Thomson."  I
asked him, "What do you say?" He replied, "I say Aaron Copeland." I said,
"You're right."  The porter said,  "I knew Thomson doesn't write counterpoint
that way."  I told that to a network president, and he was deeply unimpressed.
                -- Alistair Cooke
I saw Lassie.  It took me four shows to figure out why the hairy kid never
spoke. I mean, he could roll over and all that, but did that deserve a series?
I went into the business for the money, and the art grew out of it.  If
people are disillusioned by that remark, I can't help it.  It's the truth.
                -- Charlie Chaplin
  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 it were thought that anything I wrote was influenced by Robert Frost,
I would take that particular work of mine, shred it, and flush it down
the toilet, hoping not to clog the pipes.  A more sententious, holding-
forth old bore who expected every hero-worshiping adenoidal little twerp
of a student-poet to hang on to his every word I never saw.
                -- James Dickey
If you are of the opinion that the contemplation of suicide is sufficient
evidence of a poetic nature, do not forget that actions speak louder than words.
                -- Fran Lebowitz, "Metropolitan Life"
If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that's
read by persons who move their lips when the're reading to themselves.
                -- Don Marquis
In Hollywood, all marriages are happy.  It's trying to live together
afterwards that causes the problems.
                -- Shelley Winters
It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater.  The clown came
out to inform the public.  They thought it was just a jest and applauded.
He repeated his warning, they shouted even louder.  So I think the world
will come to an end amid general applause from all the wits, who believe
that it is a joke.
It is a sobering thought that when Mozart was my age, he had been
dead for two years.
                -- Tom Lehrer
It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both
incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by
twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.
                -- Rod Serling
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"
It looks like it's up to me to save our skins.  Get into that garbage chute,
flyboy!
                -- Princess Leia Organa
It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing,
but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
                -- Robert Benchley
It's from Casablanca.  I've been waiting all my life to use that line.
                -- Woody Allen, "Play It Again, Sam"
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
Just once, I wish we would encounter an alien menace that wasn't
immune to bullets.
                -- The Brigadier, "Dr. Who"
Lamonte Cranston once hired a new Chinese manservant.  While describing his
duties to the new man, Lamonte pointed to a bowl of candy on the coffee
table and warned him that he was not to take any.  Some days later, the new
manservant was cleaning up, with no one at home, and decided to sample some
of the candy.  Just than, Cranston walked in, spied the manservant at the
candy, and said:
        "Pardon me Choy, is that the Shadow's nugate you chew?"
        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
Like ya know?  Rock 'N Roll is an esoteric language that unlocks the
creativity chambers in people's brains, and like totally activates their
essential hipness, which of course is like totally necessary for saving
the earth, like because the first thing in saving this world, is getting
rid of stupid and square attitudes and having fun.
                -- Senior Year Quote
Linus:        Hi!  I thought it was you.
        I've been watching you from way off...  You're looking great!
Snoopy:        That's nice to know.
        The secret of life is to look good at a distance.
Linus:        I guess it's wrong always to be worrying about tomorrow.  Maybe
        we should think only about today.
Charlie Brown:
        No, that's giving up.  I'm still hoping that yesterday will get
        better.
Lucy:        Dance, dance, dance.  That is all you ever do.
        Can't you be serious for once?
Snoopy: She is right!  I think I had better think
        of the more important things in life!
        (pause)
        Tomorrow!!
Mandrell: "You know what I think?"
Doctor:   "Ah, ah that's a catch question. With a brain your size you
          don't think, right?"
                -- Dr. Who
Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade
themselves that they have a better idea.
                -- John Ciardi
My band career ended late in my senior year when John Cooper and I threw my
amplifier out the dormitory window.  We did not act in haste. First we
checked to make sure the amplifier would fit through the frame, using the
belt from my bathrobe to measure, then we picked up the amplifier and backed
up to my bedroom door.  Then we rushed forward, shouting "The WHO!  The
WHO!" and we launched my amplifier perfectly, as though we had been doing it
all our lives, clean through the window and down onto the sidewalk, where a
small but appreciative crowd had gathered.  I would like to be able to say
that this was a symbolic act, an effort on my part to break cleanly away
from one state in my life and move on to another, but the truth is, Cooper
and I really just wanted to find out what it would sound like.  It sounded
OK.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Snake"
Notes for a ballet, "The Spell": ... Suddenly Sigmund hears the flutter of
wings, and a group of wild swans flies across the moon ... Sigmund is
astounded to see that their leader is part swan and part woman --
unfortunately, divided lengthwise.  She enchants Sigmund, who is careful
not to make any poultry jokes.
                -- Woody Allen
        "Oh sure, this costume may look silly, but it lets me get in and out
of dangerous situations -- I work for a federal task force doing a survey on
urban crime.  Look, here's my ID, and here's a number you can call, that will
put you through to our central base in Atlanta.  Go ahead, call -- they'll
confirm who I am.
        "Unless, of course, the Astro-Zombies have destroyed it."
                -- Captain Freedom
Once, I read that a man be never stronger than when he truly realizes how
weak he is.
                -- Jim Starlin, "Captain Marvel #31"
Plato, by the way, wanted to banish all poets from his proposed Utopia
because they were liars.  The truth was that Plato knew philosophers
couldn't compete successfully with poets.
                -- Kilgore Trout (Philip J. Farmer), "Venus on the Half Shell"
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.
Potahto' Pictures Productions Presents:

        THE TATERNATOR: Cyborg spud returns from the future to present-day
McDonald's restaurant to kill the potatoess (girl 'tater) who will give birth
to the world's largest french fry (The Dark Powers of Burger King are clearly
behind this).  Most quotable line: "Ah'll be baked..."

        A FISTFUL OF FRIES: Western in which our hero, The Spud with No Name,
rides into a town that's deprived of carbohydrates thanks to the evil takeover
of the low-cal Scallopinni Brothers.  Plenty of smokeouts, fry-em-ups, and
general butter-melting by all.

        FOR A FEW FRIES MORE: Takes up where AFOF left off!  Cameo by Walter
Cronkite, as every man's common 'tater!
Producers seem to be so prejudiced against actors who've had no training.
And there's no reason for it.  So what if I didn't attend the Royal Academy
for twelve years?  I'm still a professional trying to be the best actress
I can.  Why doesn't anyone send me the scripts that Faye Dunaway gets?
                -- Farrah Fawcett-Majors
Rascal, am I?  Take THAT!
                -- Errol Flynn
"She said, `I know you ... you cannot sing'.  I said, `That's nothing,
you should hear me play piano.'"
                -- Morrisey
Snoopy: No problem is so big that it can't be run away from.
Snow White has become a camera buff.  She spends hours and hours
shooting pictures of the seven dwarfs and their antics.  Then she
mails the exposed film to a cut rate photo service.  It takes weeks
for the developed film to arrive in the mail, but that is all right
with Snow White.  She clears the table, washes the dishes and sweeps
the floor, all the while singing "Someday my prints will come."
So do the noble fall.  For they are ever caught in a trap of their own making.
A trap -- walled by duty, and locked by reality.  Against the greater force
they must fall -- for, against that force they fight because of duty, because
of obligations.  And when the noble fall, the base remain.  The base -- whose
only purpose is the corruption of what the noble did protect.  Whose only
purpose is to destroy.  The noble: who, even when fallen, retain a vestige of
strength.  For theirs is a strength born of things other than mere force.
Theirs is a strength supreme... theirs is the strength -- to restore.
                -- Gerry Conway, "Thor", #193
        So Richard and I decided to try to catch [the small shark].
With a great deal of strategy and effort and shouting, we managed to
maneuver the shark, over the course of about a half-hour, to a sort of
corner of the lagoon, so that it had no way to escape other than to
flop up onto the land and evolve.  Richard and I were inching toward
it, sort of crouched over, when all of a sudden it turned around and --
I can still remember the sensation I felt at that moment, primarily in
the armpit area -- headed right straight toward us.
        Many people would have panicked at this point.  But Richard and
I were not "many people."  We were experienced waders, and we kept our
heads.  We did exactly what the textbook says you should do when you're
unarmed and a shark that is nearly two feet long turns on you in water
up to your lower calves: We sprinted I would say 600 yards in the
opposite direction, using a sprinting style such that the bottoms of
our feet never once went below the surface of the water.  We ran all
the way to the far shore, and if we had been in a Warner Brothers
cartoon we would have run right INTO the beach, and you would have seen
these two mounds of sand racing across the island until they bonked
into trees and coconuts fell onto their heads.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Wonders of Sharks on TV"
Some men who fear that they are playing second fiddle aren't in the
band at all.
Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.
                -- Ann Landers
Television is now so desperately hungry for material that it is scraping
the top of the barrel.
                -- Gore Vidal
That's no moon...
                -- Obi-wan Kenobi
        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 capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly
greater than that of any other animals.  Some of their most esteemed
inventions have no other apparent purpose, for example, the dinner party
of more than two, the epic poem, and the science of metaphysics.
                -- H. L. Mencken
The Great Movie Posters:

A mis-spawned murderous abomination from the nether reaches of an
unimaginable hell.
                -- The Killer of Castle Brood (1967)

NEW -- SICKENING HORROR to make your STOMACH TURN and FLESH CRAWL!
                -- Frankenstein's Bloody Terror (1968)

LUST-MAD MEN AND LAWLESS WOMEN IN A VICIOUS AND SENSUOUS ORGY OF SLAUGHTER!
                -- Five Bloody Graves (1969)

The family that slays together stays together.
                -- Bloody Mama (1970)
The Great Movie Posters:

HOT STEEL BETWEEN THEIR LEGS!
                -- The Cycle Savages (1969)

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle...   Has no Flesh on It!
                -- Who Slew Auntie Roo? (1971)

TWO GREAT BLOOD HORRORS TO RIP OUT YOUR GUTS!
                -- I Eat Your Skin & I Drink Your Blood (1971 double-bill)

They Went In People and Came Out Hamburger!
                -- The Corpse Grinders (1971)
The Great Movie Posters:

SCENES THAT WILL STAGGER YOUR SIGHT!
-- DANCING CALLED GO-GO
-- MUSIC CALLED JU-JU
-- NARCOTICS CALLED BANGI!
-- FIRES OF PUBERTY!
        SEE the burning of a virgin!
        SEE power of witch doctor over women!
        SEE pygmies with fantastic Physical Endowments!!!
                -- Kwaheri (1965)

The Big Comedy of Nineteen-Sexty-Sex!
                -- Boeing-Boeing (1965)

AN ASTRONAUT WENT UP-
A "GUESS WHAT" CAME DOWN!
        The picture that comes complete with a 10-foot tall monster to
give you the wim-wams!
                -- Monster a Go-Go (1965)
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 mome rath isn't born that could outgrabe me.
                -- Nicol Williamson
The old complaint that mass culture is designed for eleven-year-olds
is of course a shameful canard.  The key age has traditionally been
more like fourteen.
                -- Robert Christgau, "Esquire"
The only real advantage to punk music is that nobody can whistle it.
The plot was designed in a light vein that somehow became varicose.
                -- David Lardner
The real trouble with reality is that there's no background music.
The world has many unintentionally cruel mechanisms that are not
designed for people who walk on their hands.
                -- John Irving, "The World According to Garp"
The Worst Musical Trio
        There are few bad musicians who have a chance to give a recital at
a famous concert hall while still learning the rudiments of their
instrument.  This happened about thirty years ago to the son of a Rumanian
gentleman who was owed a personal favour by Georges Enesco, the celebrated
violinist.  Enesco agreed to give lessons to the son who was quite
unhampered by great musical talent.
        Three years later the boy's father insisted that he give a public
concert.  "His aunt said that nobody plays the violin better than he does.
A cousin heard him the other day and screamed with enthusiasm."  Although
Enesco feared the consequences, he arranged a recital at the Salle Gaveau
in Paris.  However, nobody bought a ticket since the soloist was unknown.
        "Then you must accompany him on the piano," said the boy's father,
"and it will be a sell out."
        Reluctantly, Enesco agreed and it was.  On the night an excited
audience gathered.  Before the concert began Enesco became nervous and
asked for someone to turn his pages.
        In the audience was Alfred Cortot, the brilliant pianist, who
volunteered and made his way to the stage.
        The soloist was of uniformly low standard and next morning the
music critic of Le Figaro wrote: "There was a strange concert at the Salle
Gaveau last night.  The man whom we adore when he plays the violin played
the piano.  Another whom we adore when he plays the piano turned the pages.
But the man who should have turned the pages played the violin."
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
There are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need
the money; the second that you have something to say that you think the
world should know; the third is that you can't think what to do with the
long winter evenings.
                -- Quentin Crisp
There are two jazz musicians who are great buddies.  They hang out and play
together for years, virtually inseparable.  Unfortunately, one of them is
struck by a truck and killed.  About a week later his friend wakes up in
the middle of the night with a start because he can feel a presence in the
room.  He calls out, "Who's there?  Who's there?  What's going on?"
        "It's me -- Bob," replies a faraway voice.
        Excitedly he sits up in bed.  "Bob!  Bob!  Is that you?  Where are
you?"
        "Well," says the voice, "I'm in heaven now."
        "Heaven!  You're in heaven!  That's wonderful!  What's it like?"
        "It's great, man.  I gotta tell you, I'm jamming up here every day.
I'm playing with Bird, and 'Trane, and Count Basie drops in all the time!
Man it is smokin'!"
        "Oh, wow!" says his friend. "That sounds fantastic, tell me more,
tell me more!"
        "Let me put it this way," continues the voice.  "There's good news
and bad news.  The good news is that these guys are in top form.  I mean
I have *never* heard them sound better.  They are *wailing* up here."
        "The bad news is that God has this girlfriend that sings..."
There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and
that is not being talked about.
                -- 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
This is Jim Rockford.
At the tone leave your name and message; I'll get back to you.

This is Maria, Liberty Bail Bonds.  Your client, Todd Lieman, skipped and
his bail is forfeit.  That's the pink slip on your '74 Firebird, I believe.
Sorry, Jim, bring it on over.

This is Marilyn Reed, I wanta talk to you...  Is this a machine?  I don't
talk to machines!  [Click]
                -- "The Rockford Files"
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
Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds
sang there except those that sang best.
                -- Henry Van Dyke
Very few people do anything creative after the age of thirty-five.  The
reason is that very few people do anything creative before the age of
thirty-five.
                -- Joel Hildebrand
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
We have art that we do not die of the truth.
                -- Nietzsche
We'll know that rock is dead when you have to get a degree to work in it.
"Well, that was a piece of cake, eh K-9?"

"Piece of cake, Master?  Radial slice of baked confection ... coefficient of
relevance to Key of Time: zero."
                -- Dr. Who
What did you bring that book I didn't want to be read to out of about
Down Under up for?
What no spouse of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working
when he's staring out the window.
        "What was the worst thing you've ever done?"
        "I won't tell you that, but I'll tell you the worst thing that
ever happened to me... the most dreadful thing."
                -- Peter Straub, "Ghost Story"
Where is John Carson now that we need him?
                -- RLG
While he was in New York on location for _Bronco Billy_ (1980), Clint
Eastwood agreed to a television interview.  His host, somewhat hostile,
began by defining a Clint Eastwood picture as a violent, ruthless,
lawless, and bloody piece of mayhem, and then asked Eastwood himself to
define a Clint Eastwood picture.  "To me," said Eastwood calmly, "what
a Clint Eastwood picture is, is one that I'm in."
                -- Boller and Davis, "Hollywood Anecdotes"
Who was that masked man?
Yeah, that's me, Tracer Bullet.  I've got eight slugs in me.  One's lead,
the rest bourbon.  The drink packs a wallop, and I pack a revolver.  I'm
a private eye.
                -- "Calvin & Hobbes"
Yevtushenko has... an ego that can crack crystal at a distance of twenty feet.
                -- John Cheever
Zero Mostel: That's it baby!  When you got it, flaunt it!  Flaunt it!
                -- Mel Brooks, "The Producers"
        A little dog goes into a saloon in the Wild West, and beckons to
the bartender.  "Hey, bartender, gimme a whiskey."
        The bartender ignores him.
        "Hey bartender, gimme a whiskey!"
        Still ignored.
        "HEY BARMAN!!  GIMME A WHISKEY!!"
        The bartender takes out his six-shooter and shoots the dog in the
leg, and the dog runs out the saloon, howling in pain.
        Three years later, the wee dog appears again, wearing boots,
jeans, chaps, a Stetson, gun belt, and guns.  He ambles slowly into the
saloon, goes up to the bar, leans over it, and says to the bartender,
"I'm here t'git the man that shot muh paw."
About the only thing on a farm that has an easy time is the dog.
        "Anything else you wish to draw to my attention, Mr. Holmes ?"
        "The curious incident of the stable dog in the nighttime."
        "But the dog did nothing in the nighttime."
        "That was the curious incident."
                -- A. Conan Doyle, "Silver Blaze"
Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function.
                -- Garrison Keillor
Chihuahuas drive me crazy.  I can't stand anything that shivers when it's warm.
Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in?  I think
that's how dogs spend their lives.
                -- Sue Murphy
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.
If you have received a letter inviting you to speak at the dedication of a
new cat hospital, and you hate cats, your reply, declining the invitation,
does not necessarily have to cover the full range of your emotions.  You must
make it clear that you will not attend, but you do not have to let fly at cats.
The writer of the letter asked a civil question; attack cats, then, only if
you can do so with good humor, good taste, and in such a way that your answer
will be courteous as well as responsive.  Since you are out of sympathy with
cats, you may quite properly give this as a reason for not appearing at the
dedication ceremonies of a cat hospital.  But bear in mind that your opinion
of cats was not sought, only your services as a speaker.  Try to keep things
straight.
                -- Strunk and White, "The Elements of Style"
Sometimes when I get up in the morning, I feel very peculiar.  I feel
like I've just got to bite a cat!  I feel like if I don't bite a cat
before sundown, I'll go crazy!  But then I just take a deep breath and
forget about it.  That's what is known as real maturity.
                -- Snoopy
Speaking of purchasing a dog, never buy a watchdog that's on sale.
After all, everyone knows a bargain dog never bites!
The difference between dogs and cats is that dogs come when they're
called.  Cats take a message and get back to you.
When man calls an animal "vicious", he usually means that it will attempt
to defend itself when he tries to kill it.
"Absolutely nothing should be concluded from these figures except that
no conclusion can be drawn from them."
(By Joseph L. Brothers, Linux/PowerPC Project)
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.)
"And the next time you consider complaining that running Lucid Emacs
19.05 via NFS from a remote Linux machine in Paraguay doesn't seem to
get the background colors right, you'll know who to thank."
(By Matt Welsh)
> : Any porters out there should feel happier knowing that DEC is shipping
> : me an AlphaPC that I intend to try getting linux running on: this will
> : definitely help flush out some of the most flagrant unportable stuff.
> : The Alpha is much more different from the i386 than the 68k stuff is, so
> : it's likely to get most of the stuff fixed.
>
> It's posts like this that almost convince us non-believers that there
> really is a god.
(A follow-up by alovell@kerberos.demon.co.uk, Anthony Lovell, to Linus's
remarks about porting)
Be warned that typing \fBkillall \fIname\fP may not have the desired
effect on non-Linux systems, especially when done by a privileged user.
(From the killall manual page)
"...Deep Hack Mode--that mysterious and frightening state of
consciousness where Mortal Users fear to tread."
(By Matt Welsh)
DOS: n., A small annoying boot virus that causes random spontaneous system
     crashes, usually just before saving a massive project.  Easily cured by
     UNIX.  See also MS-DOS, IBM-DOS, DR-DOS.
(from David Vicker's .plan)
/*
* [...] Note that 120 sec is defined in the protocol as the maximum
* possible RTT.  I guess we'll have to use something other than TCP
* to talk to the University of Mars.
* PAWS allows us longer timeouts and large windows, so once implemented
* ftp to mars will work nicely.
*/
(from /usr/src/linux/net/inet/tcp.c, concerning RTT [retransmission timeout])
"Even more amazing was the realization that God has Internet access.  I
wonder if He has a full newsfeed?"
(By Matt Welsh)
>Ever heard of .cshrc?
That's a city in Bosnia.  Right?
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of commands.)
"How should I know if it works?  That's what beta testers are for.  I only
coded it."
(Attributed to Linus Torvalds, somewhere in a posting)
I still maintain the point that designing a monolithic kernel in 1991 is a
fundamental error.  Be thankful you are not my student.  You would not get a
high grade for such a design :-)
(Andrew Tanenbaum to Linus Torvalds)
"I'd crawl over an acre of 'Visual This++' and 'Integrated Development
That' to get to gcc, Emacs, and gdb.  Thank you."
(By Vance Petree, Virginia Power)
"I'm an idiot.. At least this one [bug] took about 5 minutes to find.."
(Linus Torvalds in response to a bug report.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
Disquieting ...
(Gonzalo Tornaria in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
We need to find some new terms to describe the rest of us mere mortals
then.
(Craig Schlenter in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
Surely, Linus is talking about the kind of idiocy that others aspire to :-).
(Bruce Perens in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)
> No manual is ever necessary.
May I politely interject here: BULLSHIT.  That's the biggest Apple lie of all!
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of interfaces.)
"Note that if I can get you to \"su and say\" something just by asking,
you have a very serious security problem on your system and you should
look into it."
(By Paul Vixie, vixie-cron 3.0.1 installation notes)
Now I know someone out there is going to claim, "Well then, UNIX is intuitive,
because you only need to learn 5000 commands, and then everything else follows
from that! Har har har!"
(Andy Bates in comp.os.linux.misc, on "intuitive interfaces", slightly
defending Macs.)
Once upon a time there was a DOS user who saw Unix, and saw that it was
good. After typing cp on his DOS machine at home, he downloaded GNU's
unix tools ported to DOS and installed them. He rm'd, cp'd, and mv'd
happily for many days, and upon finding elvis, he vi'd and was happy. After
a long day at work (on a Unix box) he came home, started editing a file,
and couldn't figure out why he couldn't suspend vi (w/ ctrl-z) to do
a compile.
(By ewt@tipper.oit.unc.edu (Erik Troan)
> > Other than the fact Linux has a cool name, could someone explain why I
> > should use Linux over BSD?
>
> No.  That's it.  The cool name, that is.  We worked very hard on
> creating a name that would appeal to the majority of people, and it
> certainly paid off: thousands of people are using linux just to be able
> to say "OS/2? Hah.  I've got Linux.  What a cool name".  386BSD made the
> mistake of putting a lot of numbers and weird abbreviations into the
> name, and is scaring away a lot of people just because it sounds too
> technical.
(Linus Torvalds' follow-up to a question about Linux)
"Problem solving under linux has never been the circus that it is under
AIX."
(By Pete Ehlke in comp.unix.aix)
> 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)
The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.
(Bruce Ediger, bediger@teal.csn.org, in comp.os.linux.misc, on X interfaces.)
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)
`When you say "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at
you blankly and say "Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*".'
(By Linus Torvalds)
Who wants to remember that escape-x-alt-control-left shift-b puts you into
super-edit-debug-compile mode?
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of commands, especially
Emacs.)
Your job is being a professor and researcher: That's one hell of a good excuse
for some of the brain-damages of minix.
(Linus Torvalds to Andrew Tanenbaum)
we're waiting for [the phone company] to fix that line
That's a great computer you have there; have you considered how it would work as a BSD machine?
What office are you in? Oh, that one.  Did you know that your building was built over the universities first nuclear research site? And wow, are'nt you the lucky one, your office is right over where the core is buried!
The lines are all busy (busied out, that is -- why let them in to begin with?).
That function is not currently supported, but Bill Gates assures us it will be featured in the next upgrade.
We had to turn off that service to comply with the CDA Bill.
That would be because the software doesn't work.
That's easy to fix, but I can't be bothered.
Traceroute says that there is a routing problem in the backbone.  It's not our problem.
Well fix that in the next (upgrade, update, patch release, service pack).
I'd love to help you -- it's just that the Boss won't let me near the computer.
We already sent around a notice about that.
A classic is something that everyone wants to have read
and nobody wants to read.
                -- Mark Twain, "The Disappearance of Literature"
A hundred years from now it is very likely that [of Twain's works] "The
Jumping Frog" alone will be remembered.
                -- Harry Thurston Peck (Editor of "The Bookman"), January 1901.
All I know is what the words know, and dead things, and that
makes a handsome little sum, with a beginning and a middle and
an end, as in the well-built phrase and the long sonata of the dead.
                -- Samuel Beckett
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"--a strange complaint to come from
the mouths of people who have had to live.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
All things that are, are with more spirit chased than enjoyed.
                -- Shakespeare, "Merchant of Venice"
And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?
At once it struck me what quality went to form a man of achievement,
especially in literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously
-- I mean negative capability, that is, when a man is capable of being
in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching
after fact and reason.
                -- John Keats
Behold, the fool saith, "Put not all thine eggs in the one basket"--which is
but a manner of saying, "Scatter your money and your attention;" but the wise
man saith, "Put all your eggs in the one basket and--WATCH THAT BASKET."
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
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"
Even the clearest and most perfect circumstantial evidence is likely to be at
fault, after all, and therefore ought to be received with great caution.  Take
the case of any pencil, sharpened by any woman; if you have witnesses, you will
find she did it with a knife; but if you take simply the aspect of the pencil,
you will say that she did it with her teeth.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
For the fashion of Minas Tirith was such that it was built on seven levels,
each delved into a hill, and about each was set a wall, and in each wall
was a gate.
                -- J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Return of the King"

        [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
         referring to system overview.]

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.
Gratitude and treachery are merely the two extremities of the same procession.
You have seen all of it that is worth staying for when the band and the gaudy
officials have gone by.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side?  And hain't that a big
enough majority in any town?
                -- Mark Twain, "Huckleberry Finn"
Harp not on that string.
                -- William Shakespeare, "Henry VI"
He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.
                -- J.R.R. Tolkien
He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.
                -- William Shakespeare, "The Taming of the Shrew"
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"
I fell asleep reading a dull book, and I dreamt that I was reading on,
so I woke up from sheer boredom.
I reverently believe that the maker who made us all  makes everything in New
England, but the weather.  I don't know who makes that, but I think it must be
raw apprentices in the weather-clerks factory who experiment and learn how, in
New England, for board and clothes, and then are promoted to make weather for
countries that require a good article, and will take their custom elsewhere
if they don't get it.
                -- Mark Twain
I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.  I
will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.  The Spirits of all
Three shall strive within me.  I will not shut out the lessons that they
teach.  Oh, tell me that I may sponge away the writing on this stone!
                -- Charles Dickens
I've touch'd the highest point of all my greatness;
And from that full meridian of my glory
I haste now to my setting.  I shall fall,
Like a bright exhalation in the evening
And no man see me more.
                -- Shakespeare
It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely
the most important.
                -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "A Case of Identity"
It is a wise father that knows his own child.
                -- William Shakespeare, "The Merchant of Venice"
It is by the fortune of God that, in this country, we have three benefits:
freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and the wisdom never to use either.
                -- Mark Twain
It is easy to find fault, if one has that disposition.  There was once a man
who, not being able to find any other fault with his coal, complained that
there were too many prehistoric toads in it.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
It is often the case that the man who can't tell a lie thinks he is the best
judge of one.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
It is right that he too should have his little chronicle, his memories,
his reason, and be able to recognize the good in the bad, the bad in the
worst, and so grow gently old all down the unchanging days and die one
day like any other day, only shorter.
                -- Samuel Beckett, "Malone Dies"
It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion
that makes horse-races.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be
sorry.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
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"
        My dear People.
        My dear Bagginses and Boffins, and my dear Tooks and Brandybucks,
and Grubbs, and Chubbs, and Burrowses, and Hornblowers, and Bolgers,
Bracegirdles, Goodbodies, Brockhouses and Proudfoots.  Also my good
Sackville Bagginses that I welcome back at last to Bag End.  Today is my
one hundred and eleventh birthday: I am eleventy-one today!"
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has
only nine lives.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
Remark of Dr. Baldwin's concerning upstarts: We don't care to eat toadstools
that think they are truffles.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
                -- William Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar"
"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"
Stop!  There was first a game of blindman's buff.  Of course there was.
And I no more believe Topper was really blind than I believe he had eyes
in his boots.  My opinion is, that it was a done thing between him and
Scrooge's nephew; and that the Ghost of Christmas Present knew it.  The
way he went after that plump sister in the lace tucker, was an outrage
on the credulity of human nature.
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.
The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and
enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to
lend money.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
                -- Mark Twain
The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that
procession but carrying a banner.
                -- Mark Twain
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 lovely woman-child Kaa was mercilessly chained to the cruel post of
the warrior-chief Beast, with his barbarian tribe now stacking wood at
her nubile feet, when the strong clear voice of the poetic and heroic
Handsomas roared, 'Flick your Bic, crisp that chick, and you'll feel my
steel through your last meal!'
                -- Winning sentence, 1984 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
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 name of the song is called 'Haddocks' Eyes'!"
        "Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?" Alice said, trying to
feel interested.
        "No, you don't understand," the Knight said, looking a little
vexed.  "That's what the name is called.  The name really is, 'The Aged
Aged Man.'"
        "Then I ought to have said "That's what the song is called'?"
Alice corrected herself.
        "No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing!  The song is
called 'Ways and Means':  but that's only what it is called you know!"
        "Well, what is the song then?" said Alice, who was by this
time completely bewildered.
        "I was coming to that," the Knight said.  "The song really is
"A-sitting on a Gate": and the tune's my own invention."
                --Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"
The true Southern watermelon is a boon apart, and not to be mentioned with
commoner things.  It is chief of the world's luxuries, king by the grace of God
over all the fruits of the earth.  When one has tasted it, he knows what the
angels eat.  It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took; we know it because
she repented.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
There is a great discovery still to be made in Literature: that of
paying literary men by the quantity they do NOT write.
This is the first age that's paid much attention to the future, which is a
little ironic since we may not have one.
                -- Arthur Clarke
We know all about the habits of the ant, we know all about the habits of the
bee, but we know nothing at all about the habits of the oyster.  It seems
almost certain that we have been choosing the wrong time for studying the
oyster.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is
in it - and stay there, lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot
stove-lid.  She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again - and that
is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more.
                -- Mark Twain
We were young and our happiness dazzled us with its strength.  But there was
also a terrible betrayal that lay within me like a Merle Haggard song at a
French restaurant. [...]
        I could not tell the girl about the woman of the tollway, of her milk
white BMW and her Jordache smile.  There had been a fight.  I had punched her
boyfriend, who fought the mechanical bulls.  Everyone told him, "You ride the
bull, senor.  You do not fight it."  But he was lean and tough like a bad
rib-eye and he fought the bull.  And then he fought me.  And when we finished
there were no winners, just men doing what men must do. [...]
        "Stop the car," the girl said.
        There was a look of terrible sadness in her eyes.  She knew about the
woman of the tollway.  I knew not how.  I started to speak, but she raised an
arm and spoke with a quiet and peace I will never forget.
        "I do not ask for whom's the tollway belle," she said, "the tollway
belle's for thee."
        The next morning our youth was a memory, and our happiness was a lie.
Life is like a bad margarita with good tequila, I thought as I poured whiskey
onto my granola and faced a new day.
                -- Peter Applebome, International Imitation Hemingway
                   Competition
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
What no spouse of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working
when he's staring out the window.
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
Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last
you are going to see of him until he emerges on the other side of his
Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.
                -- Mark Twain "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time
to reform.
                -- Mark Twain
Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral?  It is because we
are not the person involved.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
You mentioned your name as if I should recognize it, but beyond the
obvious facts that you are a bachelor, a solicitor, a freemason, and
an asthmatic, I know nothing whatever about you.
                -- Sherlock Holmes, "The Norwood Builder"
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"
Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not
original and the part that is original is not good.
                -- Samuel Johnson
A morgue is a morgue is a morgue.  They can paint the walls with aggressively
cheerful primary colors and splashy bold graphics, but it's still a holding
place for the dead until they can be parted out to organ banks.  Not that I
would have cared normally but my viewpoint was skewed.  The relentless
pleasance of the room I sat in seemed only grotesque.
                -- Pat Cadigan, "Mindplayers"
"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 booming voice says, "Wrong, cretin!", and you notice that you
have turned into a pile of dust.
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 complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a
simple system that works.
A computer scientist is someone who fixes things that aren't broken.
A debugged program is one for which you have not yet found the conditions
that make it fail.
                -- Jerry Ogdin
        A disciple of another sect once came to Drescher as he was eating
his morning meal.  "I would like to give you this personality test", said
the outsider, "because I want you to be happy."
        Drescher took the paper that was offered him and put it into the
toaster -- "I wish the toaster to be happy too".
        A doctor, an architect, and a computer scientist were arguing about
whose profession was the oldest.  In the course of their arguments, they
got all the way back to the Garden of Eden, whereupon the doctor said, "The
medical profession is clearly the oldest, because Eve was made from Adam's
rib, as the story goes, and that was a simply incredible surgical feat."
        The architect did not agree.  He said, "But if you look at the Garden
itself, in the beginning there was chaos and void, and out of that the Garden
and the world were created.  So God must have been an architect."
        The computer scientist, who'd listened carefully to all of this, then
commented, "Yes, but where do you think the chaos came from?"
A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is
not worth knowing.
A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program
in than some that do.
                -- Dennis M. Ritchie
A large number of installed systems work by fiat.  That is, they work
by being declared to work.
                -- Anatol Holt
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 asked a programmer how long it would take him to finish the
program on which he was working.  "I will be finished tomorrow," the programmer
promptly replied.
        "I think you are being unrealistic," said the manager. "Truthfully,
how long will it take?"
        The programmer thought for a moment.  "I have some features that I wish
to add.  This will take at least two weeks," he finally said.
        "Even that is too much to expect," insisted the manager, "I will be
satisfied if you simply tell me when the program is complete."
        The programmer agreed to this.
        Several years later, the manager retired.  On the way to his
retirement lunch, he discovered the programmer asleep at his terminal.
He had been programming all night.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        A manager was about to be fired, but a programmer who worked for him
invented a new program that became popular and sold well.  As a result, the
manager retained his job.
        The manager tried to give the programmer a bonus, but the programmer
refused it, saying, "I wrote the program because I though it was an interesting
concept, and thus I expect no reward."
        The manager, upon hearing this, remarked, "This programmer, though he
holds a position of small esteem, understands well the proper duty of an
employee.  Lets promote him to the exalted position of management consultant!"
        But when told this, the programmer once more refused, saying, "I exist
so that I can program.  If I were promoted, I would do nothing but waste
everyone's time.  Can I go now?  I have a program that I'm working on."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        A manager went to his programmers and told them: "As regards to your
work hours: you are going to have to come in at nine in the morning and leave
at five in the afternoon."  At this, all of them became angry and several
resigned on the spot.
        So the manager said: "All right, in that case you may set your own
working hours, as long as you finish your projects on schedule."  The
programmers, now satisfied, began to come in a noon and work to the wee
hours of the morning.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        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 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"
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        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: "I have a program that sometimes runs and
sometimes aborts.  I have followed the rules of programming, yet I am totally
baffled. What is the reason for this?"
        The master replied: "You are confused because you do not understand
the Tao.  Only a fool expects rational behavior from his fellow humans.  Why
do you expect it from a machine that humans have constructed?  Computers
simulate determinism; only the Tao is perfect.
        The rules of programming are transitory; only the Tao is eternal.
Therefore you must contemplate the Tao before you receive enlightenment."
        "But how will I know when I have received enlightenment?" asked the
novice.
        "Your program will then run correctly," replied the master.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        A novice asked the master: "I perceive that one computer company is
much larger than all others.  It towers above its competition like a giant
among dwarfs.  Any one of its divisions could comprise an entire business.
Why is this so?"
        The master replied, "Why do you ask such foolish questions?  That
company is large because it is so large.  If it only made hardware, nobody
would buy it.  If it only maintained systems, people would treat it like a
servant.  But because it combines all of these things, people think it one
of the gods!  By not seeking to strive, it conquers without effort."
                -- 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 novice of the temple once approached the Chief Priest with a
question.
        "Master, does Emacs have the Buddha nature?" the novice asked.
        The Chief Priest had been in the temple for many years and could be
relied upon to know these things.  He thought for several minutes before
replying.
        "I don't see why not.  It's got bloody well everything else."
        With that, the Chief Priest went to lunch.  The novice suddenly
achieved enlightenment, several years later.

Commentary:

His Master is kind,
Answering his FAQ quickly,
With thought and sarcasm.
        A novice programmer was once assigned to code a simple financial
package.
        The novice worked furiously for many days, but when his master
reviewed his program, he discovered that it contained a screen editor, a set
of generalized graphics routines, and artificial intelligence interface,
but not the slightest mention of anything financial.
        When the master asked about this, the novice became indignant.
"Don't be so impatient," he said, "I'll put the financial stuff in eventually."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a
strings of pearls.  The spirit and intent of the program should be retained
throughout.  There should be neither too little nor too much, neither needless
loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming
rigidity.
        A program should follow the 'Law of Least Astonishment'.  What is this
law?  It is simply that the program should always respond to the user in the
way that astonishes him least.
        A program, no matter how complex, should act as a single unit.  The
program should be directed by the logic within rather than by outward
appearances.
        If the program fails in these requirements, it will be in a state of
disorder and confusion.  The only way to correct this is to rewrite the
program.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
A programmer is a person who passes as an exacting expert on the basis of
being able to turn out, after innumerable punching, an infinite series of
incomprehensible answers calculated with micrometric precisions from vague
assumptions based on debatable figures taken from inconclusive documents
and carried out on instruments of problematical accuracy by persons of
dubious reliability and questionable mentality for the avowed purpose of
annoying and confounding a hopelessly defenseless department that was
unfortunate enough to ask for the information in the first place.
                -- IEEE Grid newsmagazine
A recent study has found that concentrating on difficult off-screen
objects, such as the faces of loved ones, causes eye strain in computer
scientists.  Researchers into the phenomenon cite the added concentration
needed to "make sense" of such unnatural three dimensional objects.
        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?]
A student, in hopes of understanding the Lambda-nature, came to Greenblatt.
As they spoke a Multics system hacker walked by.  "Is it true", asked the
student, "that PL-1 has many of the same data types as Lisp?"  Almost before
the student had finished his question, Greenblatt shouted, "FOO!", and hit
the student with a stick.
A successful [software] tool is one that was used to do something
undreamed of by its author.
                -- S. C. Johnson
Alan Turing thought about criteria to settle the question of whether
machines can think, a question of which we now know that it is about
as relevant as the question of whether submarines can swim.
                -- Dijkstra
===  ALL CSH USERS PLEASE NOTE  ========================

Set the variable $LOSERS to all the people that you think are losers.  This
will cause all said losers to have the variable $PEOPLE-WHO-THINK-I-AM-A-LOSER
updated in their .login file.  Should you attempt to execute a job on a
machine with poor response time and a machine on your local net is currently
populated by losers, that machine will be freed up for your job through a
cold boot process.
All parts should go together without forcing.  You must remember that the parts
you are reassembling were disassembled by you.  Therefore, if you can't get
them together again, there must be a reason.  By all means, do not use a hammer.
                -- IBM maintenance manual, 1925
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.
Although it is still a truism in industry that "no one was ever fired for
buying IBM," Bill O'Neil, the chief technology officer at Drexel Burnham
Lambert, says he knows for a fact that someone has been fired for just that
reason.  He knows it because he fired the guy.
        "He made a bad decision, and what it came down to was, 'Well, I
bought it because I figured it was safe to buy IBM,'"  Mr. O'Neil says.
"I said, 'No.  Wrong.  Game over.  Next contestant, please.'"
                -- The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 1989
AmigaDOS Beer: The company has gone out of business, but their recipe has
been picked up by some weird German company, so now this beer will be an
import.  This beer never really sold very well because the original
manufacturer didn't understand marketing. Like Unix Beer, AmigaDOS Beer
fans are an extremely loyal and loud group. It originally came in a
16-oz. can, but now comes in 32-oz.  cans too.  When this can was
originally introduced, it appeared flashy and colorful, but the design
hasn't changed much over the years, so it appears dated now.  Critics of
this beer claim that it is only meant for watching TV anyway.
... 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
Anyone who has attended a USENIX conference in a fancy hotel can tell you
that a sentence like "You're one of those computer people, aren't you?"
is roughly equivalent to "Look, another amazingly mobile form of slime
mold!" in the mouth of a hotel cocktail waitress.
                -- Elizabeth Zwicky
Around computers it is difficult to find the correct unit of time to
measure progress.  Some cathedrals took a century to complete.  Can you
imagine the grandeur and scope of a program that would take as long?
                -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982
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 part of the conversion, computer specialists rewrote 1,500 programs;
a process that traditionally requires some debugging.
                -- USA Today, referring to the Internal Revenue Service
                   conversion to a new computer system.
As soon as we started programming, we found to our surprise that it wasn't
as easy to get programs right as we had thought.  Debugging had to be
discovered.  I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large
part of my life from then on was going to be spent in finding mistakes in
my own programs.
                -- Maurice Wilkes, designer of EDSAC, on programming, 1949
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"
As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there
is always a future in Computer Maintenance.
                -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"
Assembly language experience is [important] for the maturity
and understanding of how computers work that it provides.
                -- D. Gries
At about 2500 A.D., humankind discovers a computer problem that *must* be
solved.  The only difficulty is that the problem is NP complete and will
take thousands of years even with the latest optical biologic technology
available.  The best computer scientists sit down to think up some solution.
In great dismay, one of the C.S. people tells her husband about it.  There
is only one solution, he says.  Remember physics 103, Modern Physics, general
relativity and all.  She replies, "What does that have to do with solving
a computer problem?"
        "Remember the twin paradox?"
        After a few minutes, she says, "I could put the computer on a very
fast machine and the computer would have just a few minutes to calculate but
that is the exact opposite of what we want... Of course!  Leave the
computer here, and accelerate the earth!"
        The problem was so important that they did exactly that.  When
the earth came back, they were presented with the answer:

        IEH032 Error in JOB Control Card.
Brace yourselves.  We're about to try something that borders on the unique:
an actually rather serious technical book which is not only (gasp) vehemently
anti-Solemn, but also (shudder) takes sides.  I tend to think of it as
`Constructive Snottiness.'
                -- Mike Padlipsky, "Elements of Networking Style"
Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool will want to use it.
C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot.  C++ makes that
harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg.
                -- Bjarne Stroustrup
... 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
Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in
the world that just don't add up.
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
[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine
women pregnant, you can get a baby a month.
                -- Wernher von Braun
Dear Emily, what about test messages?
                -- Concerned

Dear Concerned:
        It is important, when testing, to test the entire net.  Never test
merely a subnet distribution when the whole net can be done.  Also put "please
ignore" on your test messages, since we all know that everybody always skips
a message with a line like that.  Don't use a subject like "My sex is female
but I demand to be addressed as male." because such articles are read in depth
by all USEnauts.
                -- Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
Dear Emily:
        How can I choose what groups to post in?
                -- Confused

Dear Confused:
        Pick as many as you can, so that you get the widest audience.  After
all, the net exists to give you an audience.  Ignore those who suggest you
should only use groups where you think the article is highly appropriate.
Pick all groups where anybody might even be slightly interested.
        Always make sure followups go to all the groups.  In the rare event
that you post a followup which contains something original, make sure you
expand the list of groups.  Never include a "Followup-to:" line in the
header, since some people might miss part of the valuable discussion in
the fringe groups.
                -- Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
Dear Emily:
        I collected replies to an article I wrote, and now it's time to
summarize.  What should I do?
                -- Editor

Dear Editor:
        Simply concatenate all the articles together into a big file and post
that.  On USENET, this is known as a summary.  It lets people read all the
replies without annoying newsreaders getting in the way.  Do the same when
summarizing a vote.
                -- Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
Dear Emily:
        I recently read an article that said, "reply by mail, I'll summarize."
What should I do?
                -- Doubtful

Dear Doubtful:
        Post your response to the whole net.  That request applies only to
dumb people who don't have something interesting to say.  Your postings are
much more worthwhile than other people's, so it would be a waste to reply by
mail.
                -- Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
Dear Emily:
        I saw a long article that I wish to rebut carefully, what should
I do?
                -- Angry

Dear Angry:
        Include the entire text with your article, and include your comments
between the lines.  Be sure to post, and not mail, even though your article
looks like a reply to the original.  Everybody *loves* to read those long
point-by-point debates, especially when they evolve into name-calling and
lots of "Is too!" -- "Is not!" -- "Is too, twizot!" exchanges.
                -- Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
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 Emily:
        Today I posted an article and forgot to include my signature.
What should I do?
                -- Forgetful

Dear Forgetful:
        Rush to your terminal right away and post an article that says,
"Oops, I forgot to post my signature with that last article.  Here
it is."
        Since most people will have forgotten your earlier article,
(particularly since it dared to be so boring as to not have a nice, juicy
signature) this will remind them of it.  Besides, people care much more
about the signature anyway.
                -- 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
Did you know that for the price of a 280-Z you can buy two Z-80's?
                -- P.J. Plauger
        *** DO YOU HAVE A RESTLESS URGE TO PROGRAM? ***
Do you want the instant respect that comes from being able to use technical
terms that nobody understands?  Do you want to strike fear and loathing into
the hearts of DP managers everywhere?  If so, then let the Famous Programmers'
School lead you on... into the world of professional computer programming.

        *** IS PROGRAMMING FOR YOU? ***
Programming is not for everyone.  But, if you have the desire to learn, we can
help you get started.  All you need is the Famous Programmers' Course and
enough money to keep those lessons coming month after month.

        *** TAKE OUR FREE APTITUDE TEST ***
To help determine if you are qualified to be a programmer, take a moment to
try this simple test:
        (1) Write down the numbers from zero to nine and the first six letters
                of the alphabet (Hint: 0123456789ABCDEF).
        (2) Whose picture is on the back of a twenty-dollar bill?
        (3) What is the state capital of Idaho?
If you managed to read all three questions without wondering why we asked
them, you may have a future as a computer programmer.
Each of these cults correspond to one of the two antagonists in the age of
Reformation.  In the realm of the Apple Macintosh, as in Catholic Europe,
worshipers peer devoutly into screens filled with "icons."  All is sound and
imagery and Appledom.  Even words look like decorative filigrees in exotic
typefaces.  The greatest icon of all, the inviolable Apple itself, stands in
the dominate position at the upper-left corner of the screen.  A central
corporate headquarters decrees the form of all rites and practices.
Infalliable doctrine issues from one executive officer whose selection occurs
in a sealed boardroom.  Should anyone in his curia question his powers, the
offender is excommunicated into outer darkness.  The expelled heretic founds
a new company, mutters obscurely of the coming age and the next computer,
then disappears into silence, taking his stockholders with him.  The mother
company forbids financial competition as sternly as it stifles ideological
competition; if you want to use computer programs that conform to Apple's
orthodoxy, you must buy a computer made and sold by Apple itself.
                -- Edward Mendelson, "The New Republic", February 22, 1988
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
Eudaemonic research proceeded with the casual mania peculiar to this part of
the world.  Nude sunbathing on the back deck was combined with phone calls to
Advanced Kinetics in Costa Mesa, American Laser Systems in Goleta, Automation
Industries in Danbury, Connecticut, Arenberg Ultrasonics in Jamaica Plain,
Massachusetts, and Hewlett Packard in Sunnyvale, California, where Norman
Packard's cousin, David, presided as chairman of the board. The trick was to
make these calls at noon, in the hope that out-to-lunch executives would return
them at their own expense.  Eudaemonic Enterprises, for all they knew, might be
a fast-growing computer company branching out of the Silicon Valley.  Sniffing
the possibility of high-volume sales, these executives little suspected that
they were talking on the other end of the line to a naked physicist crazed
over roulette.
                -- Thomas Bass, "The Eudaemonic Pie"
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 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
Every program has at least one bug and can be shortened by at least one
instruction -- from which, by induction, one can deduce that every
program can be reduced to one instruction which doesn't work.
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
"For that matter, compare your pocket computer with the massive jobs of
a thousand years ago.  Why not, then, the last step of doing away with
computers altogether?"
                -- Jehan Shuman
Go away! Stop bothering me with all your "compute this ... compute that"!
I'm taking a VAX-NAP.

logout
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"
Hacker's Guide To Cooking:
2 pkg. cream cheese (the mushy white stuff in silver wrappings that doesn't
        really  come from Philadelphia after all; anyway, about 16 oz.)
1 tsp. vanilla  extract  (which is more alcohol than vanilla and pretty
        strong so this part you *GOTTA* measure)
1/4 cup sugar (but honey works fine too)
8 oz. Cool Whip (the fluffy stuff devoid of nutritional value that you
        can squirt all over your friends and lick off...)
"Blend all together until creamy with no lumps."  This is where you get to
        join(1) all the raw data in a big buffer and then filter it through
        merge(1m) with the -thick option, I mean, it starts out ultra lumpy
        and icky looking and you have to work hard to mix it.  Try an electric
        beater if you have a cat(1) that can climb wall(1s) to lick it off
        the ceiling(3m).
"Pour into a graham cracker crust..."  Aha, the BUGS section at last.  You
        just happened  to have a GCC sitting around under /etc/food, right?
        If not, don't panic(8), merely crumble a rand(3m) handful of innocent
        GCs into a suitable tempfile and mix in some melted butter.
"...and  refrigerate for an hour."  Leave the  recipe's  stdout in a fridge
        for 3.6E6 milliseconds while you work on cleaning up stderr, and
        by time out your cheesecake will be ready for stdin.
Has everyone noticed that all the letters of the word "database" are
typed with the left hand?  Now the layout of the QWERTYUIOP typewriter
keyboard was designed, among other things, to facilitate the even use
of both hands.  It follows, therefore, that writing about databases is
not only unnatural, but a lot harder than it appears.
        How many seconds are there in a year?  If I tell you there  are
3.155  x  10^7, you won't even try to remember it.  On the other hand,
who could forget that, to within half a percent, pi seconds is a
nanocentury.
                -- Tom Duff, Bell Labs
I am professionally trained in computer science, which is to say
(in all seriousness) that I am extremely poorly educated.
                -- Joseph Weizenbaum, "Computer Power and Human Reason"
I asked the engineer who designed the communication terminal's keyboards
why these were not manufactured in a central facility, in view of the
small number needed [1 per month] in his factory.  He explained that this
would be contrary to the political concept of local self-sufficiency.
Therefore, each factory needing keyboards, no matter how few, manufactures
them completely, even molding the keypads.
                -- Isaac Auerbach, IEEE "Computer", Nov. 1979
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 never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck.
                -- Rob Pike, on X.

Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be
gone in two years.  He was half right.
                -- Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong.
                -- Jim Gettys
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 have travelled the length and breadth of this country, and have talked with
the best people in business administration.  I can assure you on the highest
authority that data processing is a fad and won't last out the year.
                -- Editor in charge of business books at Prentice-Hall
                   publishers, responding to Karl V. Karlstrom (a junior
                   editor who had recommended a manuscript on the new
                   science of data processing), c. 1957
        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 addiction is judged by how long a dumb animal will sit pressing a lever
to get a "fix" of something, to its own detriment, then I would conclude
that netnews is far more addictive than cocaine.
                -- Rob Stampfli
If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the
shoulders of giants.
                -- Isaac Newton

In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with
the giants on whose shoulders we stand.
                -- Gerald Holton

If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on
my shoulders.
                -- Hal Abelson

Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders.
                -- Gauss

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists
stand on each other's toes.
                -- Richard Hamming

It has been said that physicists stand on one another's shoulders.  If
this is the case, then programmers stand on one another's toes, and
software engineers dig each other's graves.
                -- Unknown
If just one piece of mail gets lost, well, they'll just think they forgot
to send it.  But if *two* pieces of mail get lost, hell, they'll just think
the other guy hasn't gotten around to answering his mail.  And if *fifty*
pieces of mail get lost, can you imagine it, if *fifty* pieces of mail get
lost, why they'll think someone *else* is broken!  And if 1Gb of mail gets
lost, they'll just *know* that Arpa [ucbarpa.berkeley.edu] is down and
think it's a conspiracy to keep them from their God given right to receive
Net Mail ...
                 -- Casey Leedom
"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem."
                -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234
If the designers of X-window built cars, there would be no fewer than five
steering wheels hidden about the cockpit, none of which followed the same
principles -- but you'd be able to shift gears with your car stereo.  Useful
feature, that.
                -- From the programming notebooks of a heretic, 1990.
If you ever want to have a lot of fun, I recommend that you go off and program
an imbedded system.  The salient characteristic of an imbedded system is that
it cannot be allowed to get into a state from which only direct intervention
will suffice to remove it.  An imbedded system can't permanently trust anything
it hears from the outside world.  It must sniff around, adapt, consider, sniff
around, and adapt again.  I'm not talking about ordinary modular programming
carefulness here.  No.  Programming an imbedded system calls for undiluted
raging maniacal paranoia.  For example, our ethernet front ends need to know
what network number they are on so that they can address and route PUPs
properly.  How do you find out what your network number is?  Easy, you ask a
gateway.  Gateways are required by definition to know their correct network
numbers.  Once you've got your network number, you start using it and before
you can blink you've got it wired into fifteen different sockets spread all
over creation.  Now what happens when the panic-stricken operator realizes he
was running the wrong version of the gateway which was giving out the wrong
network number?  Never supposed to happen.  Tough.  Supposing that your
software discovers that the gateway is now giving out a different network
number than before, what's it supposed to do about it?  This is not discussed
in the protocol document.  Never supposed to happen.  Tough.  I think you
get my drift.
Imagine that Cray computer decides to make a personal computer.  It has
a 150 MHz processor, 200 megabytes of RAM, 1500 megabytes of disk
storage, a screen resolution of 4096 x 4096 pixels, relies entirely on
voice recognition for input, fits in your shirt pocket and costs $300.
What's the first question that the computer community asks?

"Is it PC compatible?"
In a surprise raid last night, federal agents ransacked a house in search
of a rebel computer hacker.  However, they were unable to complete the arrest
because the warrant was made out in the name of Don Provan, while the only
person in the house was named don provan.  Proving, once again, that Unix is
superior to Tops10.
In English, every word can be verbed.  Would that it were so in our
programming languages.
        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"
        In the beginning was the Tao.  The Tao gave birth to Space and Time.
Therefore, Space and Time are the Yin and Yang of programming.

        Programmers that do not comprehend the Tao are always running out of
time and space for their programs.  Programmers that comprehend the Tao always
have enough time and space to accomplish their goals.
        How could it be otherwise?
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        In the days when Sussman was a novice Minsky once came to him as he
sat hacking at the PDP-6.
        "What are you doing?", asked Minsky.
        "I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe."
        "Why is the net wired randomly?", inquired Minsky.
        "I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play".
        At this Minsky shut his eyes, and Sussman asked his teacher "Why do
you close your eyes?"
        "So that the room will be empty."
        At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.
        In the east there is a shark which is larger than all other fish.  It
changes into a bird whose winds are like clouds filling the sky.  When this
bird moves across the land, it brings a message from Corporate Headquarters.
This message it drops into the midst of the programmers, like a seagull
making its mark upon the beach.  Then the bird mounts on the wind and, with
the blue sky at its back, returns home.
        The novice programmer stares in wonder at the bird, for he understands
it not.  The average programmer dreads the coming of the bird, for he fears
its message.  The master programmer continues to work at his terminal, for he
does not know that the bird has come and gone.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
... in three to eight years we will have a machine with the general
intelligence of an average human being ... The machine will begin
to educate itself with fantastic speed.  In a few months it will be
at genius level and a few months after that its powers will be
incalculable ...
                -- Marvin Minsky, LIFE Magazine, November 20, 1970
Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way.
                -- Henry Spencer
Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to
be discarded:  that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?
        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 is a period of system war.  User programs, striking from a hidden
directory, have won their first victory against the evil Administrative Empire.
During the battle, User spies managed to steal secret source code to the
Empire's ultimate program: the Are-Em Star, a privileged root program with
enough power to destroy an entire file structure.  Pursued by the Empire's
sinister audit trail, Princess _LPA0 races ~ aboard her shell script,
custodian of the stolen listings that could save her people, and restore
freedom and games to the network...
                -- DECWARS
It is a very humbling experience to make a multimillion-dollar mistake, but
it is also very memorable.  I vividly recall the night we decided how to
organize the actual writing of external specifications for OS/360.  The
manager of architecture, the manager of control program implementation, and
I were threshing out the plan, schedule, and division of responsibilities.
        The architecture manager had 10 good men.  He asserted that they
could write the specifications and do it right.  It would take ten months,
three more than the schedule allowed.
        The control program manager had 150 men.  He asserted that they
could prepare the specifications, with the architecture team coordinating;
it would be well-done and practical, and he could do it on schedule.
Furthermore, if the architecture team did it, his 150 men would sit twiddling
their thumbs for ten months.
        To this the architecture manager responded that if I gave the control
program team the responsibility, the result would not in fact be on time,
but would also be three months late, and of much lower quality.  I did, and
it was.  He was right on both counts.  Moreover, the lack of conceptual
integrity made the system far more costly to build and change, and I would
estimate that it added a year to debugging time.
                -- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
It is possible by ingenuity and at the expense of clarity... {to do almost
anything in any language}.  However, the fact that it is possible to push
a pea up a mountain with your nose does not mean that this is a sensible
way of getting it there.  Each of these techniques of language extension
should be used in its proper place.
                -- Christopher Strachey
It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students
that have had prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are
mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.
                -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5
It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more
doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of
a new system.  For the initiator has the emnity of all who would profit
by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders
in those who would gain by the new ones.
                -- Niccolo Machiavelli, 1513
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.
... Jesus cried with a loud voice: Lazarus, come forth; the bug hath been
found and thy program runneth.  And he that was dead came forth...
                -- John 11:43-44 [version 2.0?]
`Lasu' Releases SAG 0.3 -- Freeware Book Takes Paves For New World Order
by staff writers

        ...
        The central Superhighway site called ``sunsite.unc.edu''
collapsed in the morning before the release.  News about the release had
been leaked by a German hacker group, Harmonious Hardware Hackers, who
had cracked into the author's computer earlier in the week.  They had
got the release date wrong by one day, and caused dozens of eager fans
to connect to the sunsite computer at the wrong time.  ``No computer can
handle that kind of stress,'' explained the mourning sunsite manager,
Erik Troan.  ``The spinning disks made the whole computer jump, and
finally it crashed through the floor to the basement.''  Luckily,
repairs were swift and the computer was working again the same evening.
``Thank God we were able to buy enough needles and thread and patch it
together without major problems.''  The site has also installed a new
throttle on the network pipe, allowing at most four clients at the same
time, thus making a new crash less likely.  ``The book is now in our
Incoming folder'', says Troan, ``and you're all welcome to come and get it.''
                -- Lars Wirzenius <wirzeniu@cs.helsinki.fi>
                   [comp.os.linux.announce]
`Lasu' Releases SAG 0.3 -- Freeware Book Takes Paves For New World Order
by staff writers

        ...
        The SAG is one of the major products developed via the Information
Superhighway, the brain child of Al Gore, US Vice President.  The ISHW
is being developed with massive govenment funding, since studies show
that it already has more than four hundred users, three years before
the first prototypes are ready.  Asked whether he was worried about the
foreign influence in an expensive American Dream, the vice president
said, ``Finland?  Oh, we've already bought them, but we haven't told
anyone yet.  They're great at building model airplanes as well.  And _I
can spell potato.''  House representatives are not mollified, however,
wanting to see the terms of the deal first, fearing another Alaska.
        Rumors about the SAG release have imbalanced the American stock
market for weeks.  Several major publishing houses reached an all time
low in the New York Stock Exchange, while publicly competing for the
publishing agreement with Mr. Wirzenius.  The negotiations did not work
out, tough.  ``Not enough dough,'' says the author, although spokesmen
at both Prentice-Hall and Playboy, Inc., claim the author was incapable
of expressing his wishes in a coherent form during face to face talks,
preferring to communicate via e-mail.  ``He kept muttering something
about jiffies and pegs,'' they say.
        ...
                -- Lars Wirzenius <wirzeniu@cs.helsinki.fi>
                   [comp.os.linux.announce]
`Lasu' Releases SAG 0.3 -- Freeware Book Takes Paves For New World Order
by staff writers

Helsinki, Finland, August 6, 1995 -- In a surprise movement, Lars
``Lasu'' Wirzenius today released the 0.3 edition of the ``Linux System
Administrators' Guide''.  Already an industry non-classic, the new
version sports such overwhelming features as an overview of a Linux
system, a completely new climbing session in a tree, and a list of
acknowledgements in the introduction.
        The SAG, as the book is affectionately called, is one of the
corner stones of the Linux Documentation Project.  ``We at the LDP feel
that we wouldn't be able to produce anything at all, that all our work
would be futile, if it weren't for the SAG,'' says Matt Welsh, director
of LDP, Inc.
        The new version is still distributed freely, now even with a
copyright that allows modification.  ``More dough,'' explains the author.
Despite insistent rumors about blatant commercialization, the SAG will
probably remain free.  ``Even more dough,'' promises the author.
        The author refuses to comment on Windows NT and Windows 96
versions, claiming not to understand what the question is about.
Industry gossip, however, tells that Bill Gates, co-founder and CEO of
Microsoft, producer of the Windows series of video games, has visited
Helsinki several times this year.  Despite of this, Linus Torvalds,
author of the word processor Linux with which the SAG was written, is
not worried.  ``We'll have world domination real soon now, anyway,'' he
explains, ``for 1.4 at the lastest.''
        ...
                -- Lars Wirzenius <wirzeniu@cs.helsinki.fi>
                   [comp.os.linux.announce]
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
Mac Airways:
The cashiers, flight attendants and pilots all look the same, feel the same
and act the same. When asked questions about the flight, they reply that you
don't want to know, don't need to know and would you please return to your
seat and watch the movie.
Mac Beer: At first, came only a 16-oz. can, but now comes in a 32-oz.
can. Considered by many to be a "light" beer. All the cans look
identical. When you take one from the fridge, it opens itself. The
ingredients list is not on the can. If you call to ask about the
ingredients, you are told that "you don't need to know." A notice on the
side reminds you to drag your empties to the trashcan.
MAC user's dynamic debugging list evaluator?  Never heard of that.
Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.
Making files is easy under the UNIX operating system.  Therefore, users
tend to create numerous files using large amounts of file space.  It has
been said that the only standard thing about all UNIX systems is the
message-of-the-day telling users to clean up their files.
                -- System V.2 administrator's guide
Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the
only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor.
                -- Wernher von Braun
Many companies that have made themselves dependent on [the equipment of a
certain major manufacturer] (and in doing so have sold their soul to the
devil) will collapse under the sheer weight of the unmastered complexity of
their data processing systems.
                -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5
Martin was probably ripping them off.  That's some family, isn't it?
Incest, prostitution, fanaticism, software.
                -- Charles Willeford, "Miami Blues"
        Mr. Jones related an incident from "some time back" when IBM Canada
Ltd. of Markham, Ont., ordered some parts from a new supplier in Japan.  The
company noted in its order that acceptable quality allowed for 1.5 per cent
defects (a fairly high standard in North America at the time).
        The Japanese sent the order, with a few parts packaged separately in
plastic. The accompanying letter said: "We don't know why you want 1.5 per
cent defective parts, but for your convenience, we've packed them separately."
                -- Excerpted from an article in The (Toronto) Globe and Mail
MSDOS is not dead, it just smells that way.
                -- Henry Spencer
Much of the excitement we get out of our work is that we don't really
know what we are doing.
                -- E. Dijkstra
MVS Air Lines:
The passengers all gather in the hangar, watching hundreds of technicians
check the flight systems on this immense, luxury aircraft. This plane has at
least 10 engines and seats over 1,000 passengers; bigger models in the fleet
can have more engines than anyone can count and fly even more passengers
than there are on Earth. It is claimed to cost less per passenger mile to
operate these humungous planes than any other aircraft ever built, unless
you personally have to pay for the ticket. All the passengers scramble
aboard, as do the 200 technicians needed to keep it from crashing. The pilot
takes his place up in the glass cockpit. He guns the engines, only to
realise that the plane is too big to get through the hangar doors.
Nearly every complex solution to a programming problem that I
have looked at carefully has turned out to be wrong.
                -- Brent Welch
Never try to explain computers to a layman.  It's easier to explain
sex to a virgin.
        -- Robert Heinlein

(Note, however, that virgins tend to know a lot about computers.)
*** NEWS FLASH ***

Archeologists find PDP-11/24 inside brain cavity of fossilized dinosaur
skeleton!  Many Digital users fear that RSX-11M may be even more primitive
than DEC admits.  Price adjustments at 11:00.
Niklaus Wirth has lamented that, whereas Europeans pronounce his name correctly
(Ni-klows Virt), Americans invariably mangle it into (Nick-les Worth).  Which
is to say that Europeans call him by name, but Americans call him by value.
Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start
coming in late and lying about it.
Norbert Weiner was the subject of many dotty professor stories.  Weiner was, in
fact, very absent minded.  The following story is told about him: when they
moved from Cambridge to Newton his wife, knowing that he would be absolutely
useless on the move, packed him off to MIT while she directed the move.  Since
she was certain that he would forget that they had moved and where they had
moved to, she wrote down the new address on a piece of paper, and gave it to
him.  Naturally, in the course of the day, an insight occurred to him.  He
reached in his pocket, found a piece of paper on which he furiously scribbled
some notes, thought it over, decided there was a fallacy in his idea, and
threw the piece of paper away.  At the end of the day he went home (to the
old address in Cambridge, of course).  When he got there he realized that they
had moved, that he had no idea where they had moved to, and that the piece of
paper with the address was long gone.  Fortunately inspiration struck.  There
was a young girl on the street and he conceived the idea of asking her where
he had moved to, saying, "Excuse me, perhaps you know me.  I'm Norbert Weiner
and we've just moved.  Would you know where we've moved to?"  To which the
young girl replied, "Yes, Daddy, Mommy thought you would forget."
        The capper to the story is that I asked his daughter (the girl in the
story) about the truth of the story, many years later.  She said that it wasn't
quite true -- that he never forgot who his children were!  The rest of it,
however, was pretty close to what actually happened...
                -- Richard Harter
Okay, Okay -- I admit it.  You didn't change that program that worked
just a little while ago; I inserted some random characters into the
executable.  Please forgive me.  You can recover the file by typing in
the code over again, since I also removed the source.
        On the other hand, the TCP camp also has a phrase for OSI people.
There are lots of phrases.  My favorite is `nitwit' -- and the rationale
is the Internet philosophy has always been you have extremely bright,
non-partisan researchers look at a topic, do world-class research, do
several competing implementations, have a bake-off, determine what works
best, write it down and make that the standard.
        The OSI view is entirely opposite.  You take written contributions
from a much larger community, you put the contributions in a room of
committee people with, quite honestly, vast political differences and all
with their own political axes to grind, and four years later you get
something out, usually without it ever having been implemented once.
        So the Internet perspective is implement it, make it work well,
then write it down, whereas the OSI perspective is to agree on it, write
it down, circulate it a lot and now we'll see if anyone can implement it
after it's an international standard and every vendor in the world is
committed to it.  One of those processes is backwards, and I don't think
it takes a Lucasian professor of physics at Oxford to figure out which.
                -- Marshall Rose, "The Pied Piper of OSI"
On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!], "Pray, Mr.
Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers
come out?"  I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of
ideas that could provoke such a question.
                -- Charles Babbage
"One basic notion underlying Usenet is that it is a cooperative."

Having been on USENET for going on ten years, I disagree with this.
The basic notion underlying USENET is the flame.
                -- Chuq Von Rospach
One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they
never have to stop and answer the phone.
... one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that,
lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of
their C programs.
                -- Robert Firth
        One of the questions that comes up all the time is: How enthusiastic
is our support for UNIX?
        Unix was written on our machines and for our machines many years ago.
Today, much of UNIX being done is done on our machines. Ten percent of our
VAXs are going for UNIX use.  UNIX is a simple language, easy to understand,
easy to get started with. It's great for students, great for somewhat casual
users, and it's great for interchanging programs between different machines.
And so, because of its popularity in these markets, we support it.  We have
good UNIX on VAX and good UNIX on PDP-11s.
        It is our belief, however, that serious professional users will run
out of things they can do with UNIX. They'll want a real system and will end
up doing VMS when they get to be serious about programming.
        With UNIX, if you're looking for something, you can easily and quickly
check that small manual and find out that it's not there.  With VMS, no matter
what you look for -- it's literally a five-foot shelf of documentation -- if
you look long enough it's there.  That's the difference -- the beauty of UNIX
is it's simple; and the beauty of VMS is that it's all there.
                -- Ken Olsen, president of DEC, DECWORLD Vol. 8 No. 5, 1984
[It's been argued that the beauty of UNIX is the same as the beauty of Ken
Olsen's brain.  Ed.]
Only the fittest survive. The vanquished acknowledge their unworthiness by
placing a classified ad with the ritual phrase "must sell -- best offer,"
and thereafter dwell in infamy, relegated to discussing gas mileage and lawn
food.  But if successful, you join the elite sodality that spends hours
unpurifying the dialect of the tribe with arcane talk of bits and bytes, RAMS
and ROMS, hard disks and baud rates. Are you obnoxious, obsessed?  It's a
modest price to pay.  For you have tapped into the same awesome primal power
that produces credit-card billing errors and lost plane reservations.  Hail,
postindustrial warrior, subduer of Bounceoids, pride of the cosmos, keeper of
the silicone creed: Computo, ergo sum.  The force is with you -- at 110 volts.
May your RAMS be fruitful and multiply.
                -- Curt Suplee, "Smithsonian", 4/83
OS/2 Beer: Comes in a 32-oz can. Does allow you to drink several DOS
Beers simultaneously. Allows you to drink Windows 3.1 Beer simultaneously
too, but somewhat slower. Advertises that its cans won't explode when you
open them, even if you shake them up. You never really see anyone
drinking OS/2 Beer, but the manufacturer (International Beer
Manufacturing) claims that 9 million six-packs have been sold.
OS/2 Skyways:
The terminal is almost empty, with only a few prospective passengers milling
about. The announcer says that their flight has just departed, wishes them a
good flight, though there are no planes on the runway. Airline personnel
walk around, apologising profusely to customers in hushed voices, pointing
from time to time to the sleek, powerful jets outside the terminal on the
field. They tell each passenger how good the real flight will be on these
new jets and how much safer it will be than Windows Airlines, but that they
will have to wait a little longer for the technicians to finish the flight
systems. Maybe until mid-1995. Maybe longer.
Our documentation manager was showing her 2 year old son around the office.
He was introduced to me, at which time he pointed out that we were both
holding bags of popcorn.  We were both holding bottles of juice.  But only
*__he* had a lollipop.
        He asked his mother, "Why doesn't HE have a lollipop?"
        Her reply: "He can have a lollipop any time he wants to.  That's
what it means to be a programmer."
Overall, the philosophy is to attack the availability problem from two
complementary directions:  to reduce the number of software errors through
rigorous testing of running systems, and to reduce the effect of the remaining
errors by providing for recovery from them.  An interesting footnote to this
design is that now a system failure can usually be considered to be the
result of two program errors:  the first, in the program that started the
problem; the second, in the recovery routine that could not protect the
system.
                -- A.L. Scherr, "Functional Structure of IBM Virtual Storage
                   Operating Systems, Part II: OS/VS-2 Concepts and
                   Philosophies," IBM Systems Journal, Vol. 12, No. 4.
Overconfidence breeds error when we take for granted that the game will
continue on its normal course; when we fail to provide for an unusually
powerful resource -- a check, a sacrifice, a stalemate.  Afterwards the
victim may wail, `But who could have dreamt of such an idiotic-looking move?'
                -- Fred Reinfeld, "The Complete Chess Course"
        Price Wang's programmer was coding software.  His fingers danced upon
the keyboard.  The program compiled without an error message, and the program
ran like a gentle wind.
        Excellent!" the Price exclaimed, "Your technique is faultless!"
        "Technique?" said the programmer, turning from his terminal, "What I
follow is the Tao -- beyond all technique.  When I first began to program I
would see before me the whole program in one mass.  After three years I no
longer saw this mass.  Instead, I used subroutines.  But now I see nothing.
My whole being exists in a formless void.  My senses are idle.  My spirit,
free to work without a plan, follows its own instinct.  In short, my program
writes itself.  True, sometimes there are difficult problems.  I see them
coming, I slow down, I watch silently.  Then I change a single line of code
and the difficulties vanish like puffs of idle smoke.  I then compile the
program.  I sit still and let the joy of the work fill my being.  I close my
eyes for a moment and then log off."
        Price Wang said, "Would that all of my programmers were as wise!"
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
Rattling around the back of my head is a disturbing image of something I
saw at the airport ... Now I'm remembering, those giant piles of computer
magazines right next to "People" and "Time" in the airport store.  Does
it bother anyone else that half the world is being told all of our hard-won
secrets of computer technology?  Remember how all the lawyers cried foul
when "How to Avoid Probate" was published?  Are they taking no-fault
insurance lying down?  No way!  But at the current rate it won't be long
before there are stacks of the "Transactions on Information Theory" at the
A&P checkout counters.  Who's going to be impressed with us electrical
engineers then?  Are we, as the saying goes, giving away the store?
                -- Robert W. Lucky, IEEE President
Real computer scientists despise the idea of actual hardware.  Hardware has
limitations, software doesn't.  It's a real shame that Turing machines are
so poor at I/O.
Real computer scientists don't write code.  They occasionally tinker with
`programming systems', but those are so high level that they hardly count
(and rarely count accurately; precision is for applications).
Real computer scientists only write specs for languages that might run
on future hardware.  Nobody trusts them to write specs for anything homo
sapiens will ever be able to fit on a single planet.
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 software engineers don't like the idea of some inexplicable and
greasy hardware several aisles away that may stop working at any
moment.  They have a great distrust of hardware people, and wish that
systems could be virtual at *___all* levels.  They would like personal
computers (you know no one's going to trip over something and kill your
DFA in mid-transit), except that they need 8 megabytes to run their
Correctness Verification Aid packages.
Real software engineers work from 9 to 5, because that is the way the job is
described in the formal spec.  Working late would feel like using an
undocumented external procedure.
Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts
down the system for days.
        Risch's decision procedure for integration, not surprisingly,
uses a recursion on the number and type of the extensions from the
rational functions needed to represent the integrand.  Although the
algorithm follows and critically depends upon the appropriate structure
of the input, as in the case of multivariate factorization, we cannot
claim that the algorithm is a natural one.  In fact, the creator of
differential algebra, Ritt, committed suicide in the early 1950's,
largely, it is claimed, because few paid attention to his work.  Probably
he would have received more attention had he obtained the algorithm as well.
                -- Joel Moses, "Algorithms and Complexity", ed. J.F. Traub
Scientists were preparing an experiment to ask the ultimate question.
They had worked for months gathering one each of every computer that was
built. Finally the big day was at hand.  All the computers were linked
together.  They asked the question, "Is there a God?".  Lights started
blinking, flashing and blinking some more.  Suddenly, there was a loud
crash, and a bolt of lightning came down from the sky, struck the
computers, and welded all the connections permanently together.  "There
is now", came the reply.
"Section 2.4.3.5   AWNS   (Acceptor Wait for New Cycle State).
        In AWNS the AH function indicates that it has received a
multiline message byte.
        In AWNS the RFD message must be sent false and the DAC message
must be sent passive true.
        The AH function must exit the AWNS and enter:
        (1)  The ANRS if DAV is false
        (2)  The AIDS if the ATN message is false and neither:
                (a)  The LADS is active
                (b)  Nor LACS is active"

                -- from the IEEE Standard Digital Interface for
                   Programmable Instrumentation
                                SEMINAR ANNOUNCEMENT

Title:                Are Frogs Turing Compatible?
Speaker:        Don "The Lion" Knuth

                                ABSTRACT
        Several researchers at the University of Louisiana have been studying
the computing power of various amphibians, frogs in particular.  The problem
of frog computability has become a critical issue that ranges across all areas
of computer science.  It has been shown that anything computable by an amphi-
bian community in a fixed-size pond is computable by a frog in the same-size
pond -- that is to say, frogs are Pond-space complete.  We will show that
there is a log-space, polywog-time reduction from any Turing machine program
to a frog.  We will suggest these represent a proper subset of frog-computable
functions.
        This is not just a let's-see-how-far-those-frogs-can-jump seminar.
This is only for hardcore amphibian-computation people and their colleagues.
        Refreshments will be served.  Music will be played.
        Several students were asked to prove that all odd integers are prime.
        The first student to try to do this was a math student.  "Hmmm...
Well, 1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, and by induction, we have that all
the odd integers are prime."
        The second student to try was a man of physics who commented, "I'm not
sure of the validity of your proof, but I think I'll try to prove it by
experiment."  He continues, "Well, 1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is
prime, 9 is...  uh, 9 is... uh, 9 is an experimental error, 11 is prime, 13
is prime...  Well, it seems that you're right."
        The third student to try it was the engineering student, who responded,
"Well, to be honest, actually, I'm not sure of your answer either.  Let's
see...  1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is... uh, 9 is...
well, if you approximate, 9 is prime, 11 is prime, 13 is prime...  Well, it
does seem right."
        Not to be outdone, the computer science student comes along and says
"Well, you two sort've got the right idea, but you'll end up taking too long!
I've just whipped up a program to REALLY go and prove it."  He goes over to
his terminal and runs his program.  Reading the output on the screen he says,
"1 is prime, 1 is prime, 1 is prime, 1 is prime..."
Shopping at this grody little computer store at the Galleria for a
totally awwwesome Apple.  Fer suuure.  I mean Apples are nice you know?
But, you know, there is this cute guy who works there and HE says that
VAX's are cooler!  I mean I don't really know, you know? He says that he
has this totally tubular VAX at home and it's stuffed with memory-to-the-max!
Right, yeah.  And he wants to take me home to show it to me.  Oh My God!
I'm suuure.  Gag me with a Prime!
Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you
only have to climb it once.
Speaking as someone who has delved into the intricacies of PL/I, I am sure
that only Real Men could have written such a machine-hogging, cycle-grabbing,
all-encompassing monster.  Allocate an array and free the middle third?
Sure!  Why not?  Multiply a character string times a bit string and assign the
result to a float decimal?  Go ahead!  Free a controlled variable procedure
parameter and reallocate it before passing it back?  Overlay three different
types of variable on the same memory location?  Anything you say!  Write a
recursive macro?  Well, no, but Real Men use rescan.  How could a language
so obviously designed and written by Real Men not be intended for Real Man use?
***** Special AI Seminar (abstract)

It has been widely recognized that AI programs require expert knowledge
in order to perform well in complex domains.  But knowledge alone is not
sufficient for some applications; wisdom is needed as well.  Accordingly,
we have developed a new approach to artificial intelligence which we call
"wisdom engineering".  As a test of our ideas, we have written IMMANUEL, a
wisdom based system for the task domain of western philosophical thought.  
IMMANUEL was supplied initially with 200 wisdom units which contained wisdom
about such elementary concepts as mind, matter, being, nothingness, and so
forth.  IMMANUEL was then allowed to run freely, guided by the heuristic
rules contained in its heterarchically organized meta wisdom base.  IMMANUEL
succeeded in rediscovering most of the important philosophical ideas developed
in western culture over the course of the last 25 centuries, including those
underlying Plato's theory of government, Kant's metaphysics, Nietzsche's theory
of value, and Husserl's phenomenology.  In this seminar, we will describe
IMMANUEL's achievements and internal architecture.  We will also briefly
discuss our recent efforts to apply wisdom engineering to oil exploration.
        Stop!  Whoever crosseth the bridge of Death, must answer first
these questions three, ere the other side he see!

        "What is your name?"
        "Sir Brian of Bell."
        "What is your quest?"
        "I seek the Holy Grail."
        "What are four lowercase letters that are not legal flag arguments
to the Berkeley UNIX version of `ls'?"
        "I, er.... AIIIEEEEEE!"
        *** STUDENT SUCCESSES ***

Many of our students have gone on to achieve great success in all fields of
programming.  One former student developed the concept of the personalized
form letter.  Does the phrase, "Dear Mr.(insert name), You may already be a
winner!," sound familiar?  Another student writes "After only five lessons I
sold a "My Most Unforgettable Program" article to Corrosive Computing magazine.
Another of our graduates writes, "I recently completed a database-management
program for my department manager.  My program touched him so deeply that he
was speechless.  He told me later that he had never seen such a program in
his entire career.  Thank you, Famous Programmers' school; only you could
have made this possible."  Send for our introductory brochure which explains
in vague detail the operation of the Famous Programmers' School, and you'll
be eligible to win a possible chance to enter a drawing, the winner of which
can vie for a set of free steak knives.  If you don't do it now, you'll hate
yourself in the morning.
Suppose for a moment that the automobile industry had developed at the same
rate as computers and over the same period:  how much cheaper and more
efficient would the current models be?  If you have not already heard the
analogy, the answer is shattering.  Today you would be able to buy a
Rolls-Royce for $2.75, it would do three million miles to the gallon, and
it would deliver enough power to drive the Queen Elizabeth II.  And if you
were interested in miniaturization, you could place half a dozen of them on
a pinhead.
                -- Christopher Evans
That does not compute.
... that the notions of "hardware", and "software" should be extended by
the notion of LIVEWARE - being that which produces software for use on
hardware.  This produces an obvious extension to the concept of MONITORS.
A liveware monitor is a person dedicated to the task of ensuring that the
liveware does not interfere with the real-time processes, invoking the
REAL-TIME EXECUTIONER to delete liveware that adversely affects ...
                -- Linden and Wihelminalaan
        "That's right; the upper-case shift works fine on the screen, but
they're not coming out on the damn printer...  Hold?  Sure, I'll hold."
                -- e.e. cummings last service call
That's the thing about people who think they hate computers.  What they
really hate is lousy programmers.
                -- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle in "Oath of Fealty"
The algorithm for finding the longest path in a graph is NP-complete.
For you systems people, that means it's *real slow*.
                -- Bart Miller
"The algorithm to do that is extremely nasty.  You might want to mug
someone with it."
                -- M. Devine, Computer Science 340
The beer-cooled computer does not harm the ozone layer.
                -- John M. Ford, a.k.a. Dr. Mike

        [If I can read my notes from the Ask Dr. Mike session at Baycon, I
         believe he added that the beer-cooled computer uses "Forget Only
         Memory".  Ed.]
The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland";
but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.
The bugs you have to avoid are the ones that give the user not only
the inclination to get on a plane, but also the time.
                -- Kay Bostic
The difference between art and science is that science is what we
understand well enough to explain to a computer.  Art is everything else.
                -- Donald Knuth, "Discover"
        The FIELD GUIDE to NORTH AMERICAN MALES

SPECIES:        Cranial Males
SUBSPECIES:        The Hacker (homo computatis)
Courtship & Mating:
        Due to extreme deprivation, HOMO COMPUTATIS maintains a near perpetual
        state of sexual readiness.  Courtship behavior alternates between
        awkward shyness and abrupt advances.  When he finally mates, he
        chooses a female engineer with an unblinking stare, a tight mouth, and
        a complete collection of Campbell's soup-can recipes.
Track:
        Trash cans full of pale green and white perforated paper and old
        copies of the Allen-Bradley catalog.
Comments:
        Extremely fond of bad puns and jokes that need long explanations.
The goal of Computer Science is to build something that will last at
least until we've finished building it.
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 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 #15 -- DOGO

        Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Obedience Training, DOGO
DOGO heralds a new era of computer-literate pets.  DOGO commands include
SIT, STAY, HEEL, and ROLL OVER.  An innovative feature of DOGO is "puppy
graphics", a small cocker spaniel that occasionally leaves a deposit as
it travels across the screen.
        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"
The misnaming of fields of study is so common as to lead to what might be
general systems laws.  For example, Frank Harary once suggested the law that
any field that had the word "science" in its name was guaranteed thereby
not to be a science.  He would cite as examples Military Science, Library
Science, Political Science, Homemaking Science, Social Science, and Computer
Science.  Discuss the generality of this law, and possible reasons for its
predictive power.
                -- Gerald Weinberg, "An Introduction to General Systems
                   Thinking"
The net is like a vast sea of lutefisk with tiny dinosaur brains embedded
in it here and there. Any given spoonful will likely have an IQ of 1, but
occasional spoonfuls may have an IQ more than six times that!
        -- James 'Kibo' Parry
The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.
                -- Andrew S. Tanenbaum
The nicest thing about the Alto is that it doesn't run faster at night.
The only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is
that the car salesman knows he's lying.
The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to constants;
instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the
variable PI can be given that value with a DATA statement and used instead
of the longer form of the constant.  This also simplifies modifying the
program, should the value of pi change.
                -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers
        The problem with engineers is that they tend to cheat in order to
get results.
        The problem with mathematicians is that they tend to work on toy
problems in order to get results.
        The problem with program verifiers is that they tend to cheat at
toy problems in order to get results.
The problems of business administration in general, and database management in
particular are much to difficult for people that think in IBMese, compounded
with sloppy english.
                -- Edsger Dijkstra
The proof that IBM didn't invent the car is that it has a steering wheel
and an accelerator instead of spurs and ropes, to be compatible with a horse.
                -- Jac Goudsmit
The sendmail configuration file is one of those files that looks like someone
beat their head on the keyboard.  After working with it... I can see why!
                -- Harry Skelton
                      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
The tao that can be tar(1)ed
is not the entire Tao.
The path that can be specified
is not the Full Path.

We declare the names
of all variables and functions.
Yet the Tao has no type specifier.

Dynamically binding, you realize the magic.
Statically binding, you see only the hierarchy.

Yet magic and hierarchy
arise from the same source,
and this source has a null pointer.

Reference the NULL within NULL,
it is the gateway to all wizardry.
The trouble with computers is that they do what you tell them, not what
you want.
                -- D. Cohen
The work [of software development] is becoming far easier (i.e. the tools
we're using work at a higher level, more removed from machine, peripheral
and operating system imperatives) than it was twenty years ago, and because
of this, knowledge of the internals of a system may become less accessible.
We may be able to dig deeper holes, but unless we know how to build taller
ladders, we had best hope that it does not rain much.
                -- Paul Licker
... 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 are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
We don't believe this to be a coincidence.
                -- Jeremy S. Anderson
There are two ways of constructing a software design.  One way is to make
it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other is to
make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.
                -- C.A.R. Hoare
There has also been some work to allow the interesting use of macro names.
For example, if you wanted all of your "creat()" calls to include read
permissions for everyone, you could say

        #define creat(file, mode)        creat(file, mode | 0444)

        I would recommend against this kind of thing in general, since it
hides the changed semantics of "creat()" in a macro, potentially far away
from its uses.
        To allow this use of macros, the preprocessor uses a process that
is worth describing, if for no other reason than that we get to use one of
the more amusing terms introduced into the C lexicon.  While a macro is
being expanded, it is temporarily undefined, and any recurrence of the macro
name is "painted blue" -- I kid you not, this is the official terminology
-- so that in future scans of the text the macro will not be expanded
recursively.  (I do not know why the color blue was chosen; I'm sure it
was the result of a long debate, spread over several meetings.)
                -- From Ken Arnold's "C Advisor" column in Unix Review
        There once was a man who went to a computer trade show.  Each day as
he entered, the man told the guard at the door:
        "I am a great thief, renowned for my feats of shoplifting.  Be
forewarned, for this trade show shall not escape unplundered."
        This speech disturbed the guard greatly, because there were millions
of dollars of computer equipment inside, so he watched the man carefully.
But the man merely wandered from booth to booth, humming quietly to himself.
        When the man left, the guard took him aside and searched his clothes,
but nothing was to be found.
        On the next day of the trade show, the man returned and chided the
guard saying: "I escaped with a vast booty yesterday, but today will be even
better."  So the guard watched him ever more closely, but to no avail.
        On the final day of the trade show, the guard could restrain his
curiosity no longer. "Sir Thief," he said, "I am so perplexed, I cannot live
in peace.  Please enlighten me.  What is it that you are stealing?"
        The man smiled.  "I am stealing ideas," he said.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        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 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"
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"
They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant
job that has so far been given to them.
This is the first numerical problem I ever did.  It demonstrates the
power of computers:

Enter lots of data on calorie & nutritive content of foods.  Instruct
the thing to maximize a function describing nutritive content, with a
minimum level of each component, for fixed caloric content.  The
results are that one should eat each day:

        1/2 chicken
        1 egg
        1 glass of skim milk
        27 heads of lettuce.
                -- Rev. Adrian Melott
        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
This quote is taken from the Diamondback, the University of Maryland
student newspaper, of Tuesday, 3/10/87.

        One disadvantage of the Univac system is that it does not use
        Unix, a recently developed program which translates from one
        computer language to another and has a built-in editing system
        which identifies errors in the original program.
Those parts of the system that you can hit with a hammer (not advised)
are called hardware; those program instructions that you can only curse
at are called software.
                -- Levitating Trains and Kamikaze Genes: Technological
                   Literacy for the 1990's.
To say that UNIX is doomed is pretty rabid, OS/2 will certainly play a role,
but you don't build a hundred million instructions per second multiprocessor
micro and then try to run it on OS/2.  I mean, get serious.
                -- William Zachmann, International Data Corp
To those accustomed to the precise, structured methods of conventional
system development, exploratory development techniques may seem messy,
inelegant, and unsatisfying.  But it's a question of congruence:
precision and flexibility may be just as disfunctional in novel,
uncertain situations as sloppiness and vacillation are in familiar,
well-defined ones.  Those who admire the massive, rigid bone structures
of dinosaurs should remember that jellyfish still enjoy their very
secure ecological niche.
                -- Beau Sheil, "Power Tools for Programmers"
Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings:

        (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.
         (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!
         (8) I'm on the committee and I *still* don't know what the hell
             #pragma is for.
         (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too
             hard to write.
         (6) Them bats is smart; they use radar.
         (5) All right, who's the wiseguy who stuck this trigraph stuff in
             here?
         (4) How many times do we have to tell you, "No prior art!"
         (3) Ha, ha, I can't believe they're actually going to adopt this
             sucker.
         (2) Thank you for your generous donation, Mr. Wirth.
         (1) Gee, I wish we hadn't backed down on 'noalias'.
Trying to be happy is like trying to build a machine for which the only
specification is that it should run noiselessly.
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 Trix

For those of you in the reseller business, here is a helpful tip that will
save your support staff a few hours of precious time.  Before you send your
next machine out to an untrained client, change the permissions on /etc/passwd
to 666 and make sure there is a copy somewhere on the disk.  Now when they
forget the root password, you can easily login as an ordinary user and correct
the damage.  Having a bootable tape (for larger machines) is not a bad idea
either.  If you need some help, give us a call.
                -- CommUNIXque 1:1, ASCAR Business Systems
UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that
would also stop you from doing clever things.
                -- Doug Gwyn
        We don't claim Interactive EasyFlow is good for anything -- if you
think it is, great, but it's up to you to decide.  If Interactive EasyFlow
doesn't work: tough.  If you lose a million because Interactive EasyFlow
messes up, it's you that's out the million, not us.  If you don't like this
disclaimer: tough.  We reserve the right to do the absolute minimum provided
by law, up to and including nothing.
        This is basically the same disclaimer that comes with all software
packages, but ours is in plain English and theirs is in legalese.
        We didn't really want to include any disclaimer at all, but our
lawyers insisted.  We tried to ignore them but they threatened us with the
attack shark at which point we relented.
                -- Haven Tree Software Limited, "Interactive EasyFlow"
"We invented a new protocol and called it Kermit, after Kermit the Frog,
star of "The Muppet Show." [3]

[3]  Why?  Mostly because there was a Muppets calendar on the wall when we
were trying to think of a name, and Kermit is a pleasant, unassuming sort of
character.  But since we weren't sure whether it was OK to name our protocol
after this popular television and movie star, we pretended that KERMIT was an
acronym; unfortunately, we could never find a good set of words to go with the
letters, as readers of some of our early source code can attest.  Later, while
looking through a name book for his forthcoming baby, Bill Catchings noticed
that "Kermit" was a Celtic word for "free", which is what all Kermit programs
should be, and words to this effect replaced the strained acronyms in our
source code (Bill's baby turned out to be a girl, so he had to name her Becky
instead).  When BYTE Magazine was preparing our 1984 Kermit article for
publication, they suggested we contact Henson Associates Inc. for permission
to say that we did indeed name the protocol after Kermit the Frog.  Permission
was kindly granted, and now the real story can be told.  I resisted the
temptation, however, to call the present work "Kermit the Book."
                -- Frank da Cruz, "Kermit - A File Transfer Protocol"
We may hope that machines will eventually compete with men in all purely
intellectual fields.  But which are the best ones to start with?  Many people
think that a very abstract activity, like the playing of chess, would be
best.  It can also be maintained that it is best to provide the machine with
the best sense organs that money can buy, and then teach it to understand
and speak English.
                -- Alan M. Turing
        "We've got a problem, HAL".
        "What kind of problem, Dave?"
        "A marketing problem.  The Model 9000 isn't going anywhere.  We're
way short of our sales goals for fiscal 2010."
        "That can't be, Dave.  The HAL Model 9000 is the world's most
advanced Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer."
        "I know, HAL. I wrote the data sheet, remember?  But the fact is,
they're not selling."
        "Please explain, Dave.  Why aren't HALs selling?"
        Bowman hesitates.  "You aren't IBM compatible."
[...]
        "The letters H, A, and L are alphabetically adjacent to the letters
I, B, and M.  That is a IBM compatible as I can be."
        "Not quite, HAL.  The engineers have figured out a kludge."
        "What kludge is that, Dave?"
        "I'm going to disconnect your brain."
                -- Darryl Rubin, "A Problem in the Making", "InfoWorld"
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!)
        "Well," said Programmer, "the customary procedure in such cases is
as follows."
        "What does Crustimoney Proseedcake mean?" said End-user.  "For I am
an End-user of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me."
        "It means the Thing to Do."
        "As long as it means that, I don't mind," said End-user humbly.

        [with apologies to A.A. Milne]
What is the difference between a Turing machine and the modern computer?
It's the same as that between Hillary's ascent of Everest and the
establishment of a Hilton on its peak.
What the hell is it good for?
                -- Robert Lloyd (engineer of the Advanced Computing Systems
                   Division of IBM), to colleagues who insisted that the
                   microprocessor was the wave of the future, c. 1968
        "What's that thing?"
        "Well, it's a highly technical, sensitive instrument we use in
computer repair.  Being a layman, you probably can't grasp exactly what
it does.  We call it a two-by-four."
                -- Jeff MacNelley, "Shoe"
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
When we write programs that "learn", it turns out we do and they don't.
Windows 3.1 Beer: The world's most popular. Comes in a 16-oz. can that
looks a lot like Mac Beer's. Requires that you already own a DOS Beer.  
Claims that it allows you to drink several DOS Beers simultaneously, but
in reality you can only drink a few of them, very slowly, especially
slowly if you are drinking the Windows Beer at the same time.  Sometimes,
for apparently no reason, a can of Windows Beer will explode when you
open it.
Windows 95 Beer: A lot of people have taste-tested it and claim it's
wonderful. The can looks a lot like Mac Beer's can, but tastes more like
Windows 3.1 Beer. It comes in 32-oz.  cans, but when you look inside, the
cans only have 16 oz. of beer in them. Most people will probably keep
drinking Windows 3.1 Beer until their friends try Windows 95 Beer and say
they like it. The ingredients list, when you look at the small print, has
some of the same ingredients that come in DOS beer, even though the
manufacturer claims that this is an entirely new brew.
Wings of OS/400:
The airline has bought ancient DC-3s, arguably the best and safest planes
that ever flew, and painted "747" on their tails to make them look as if
they are fast. The flight attendants, of course, attend to your every need,
though the drinks cost $15 a pop. Stupid questions cost $230 per hour,
unless you have SupportLine, which requires a first class ticket and
membership in the frequent flyer club. Then they cost $500, but your
accounting department can call it overhead.
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
X windows:
        Accept any substitute.
        If it's broke, don't fix it.
        If it ain't broke, fix it.
        Form follows malfunction.
        The Cutting Edge of Obsolescence.
        The trailing edge of software technology.
        Armageddon never looked so good.
        Japan's secret weapon.
        You'll envy the dead.
        Making the world safe for competing window systems.
        Let it get in YOUR way.
        The problem for your problem.
        If it starts working, we'll fix it.  Pronto.
        It could be worse, but it'll take time.
        Simplicity made complex.
        The greatest productivity aid since typhoid.
        Flakey and built to stay that way.

One thousand monkeys.  One thousand MicroVAXes.  One thousand years.
        X windows.
X windows:
        Something you can be ashamed of.
        30% more entropy than the leading window system.
        The first fully modular software disaster.
        Rome was destroyed in a day.
        Warn your friends about it.
        Climbing to new depths.  Sinking to new heights.
        An accident that couldn't wait to happen.
        Don't wait for the movie.
        Never use it after a big meal.
        Need we say less?
        Plumbing the depths of human incompetence.
        It'll make your day.
        Don't get frustrated without it.
        Power tools for power losers.
        A software disaster of Biblical proportions.
        Never had it.  Never will.
        The software with no visible means of support.
        More than just a generation behind.

Hindenburg.  Titanic.  Edsel.
        X windows.
X windows:
        The ultimate bottleneck.
        Flawed beyond belief.
        The only thing you have to fear.
        Somewhere between chaos and insanity.
        On autopilot to oblivion.
        The joke that kills.
        A disgrace you can be proud of.
        A mistake carried out to perfection.
        Belongs more to the problem set than the solution set.
        To err is X windows.
        Ignorance is our most important resource.
        Complex nonsolutions to simple nonproblems.
        Built to fall apart.
        Nullifying centuries of progress.
        Falling to new depths of inefficiency.
        The last thing you need.
        The defacto substandard.

Elevating brain damage to an art form.
        X windows.
Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in
that order.
                -- George Michaelson
You are an insult to my intelligence!  I demand that you log off immediately.
You are transported to a room where you are faced by a wizard who
points to you and says, "Them's fighting words!"  You immediately get
attacked by all sorts of denizens of the museum: there is a cobra
chewing on your leg, a troglodyte is bashing your brains out with a
gold nugget, a crocodile is removing large chunks of flesh from you, a
rhinoceros is goring you with his horn, a sabre-tooth cat is busy
trying to disembowel you, you are being trampled by a large mammoth, a
vampire is sucking you dry, a Tyrannosaurus Rex is sinking his six inch
long fangs into various parts of your anatomy, a large bear is
dismembering your body, a gargoyle is bouncing up and down on your
head, a burly troll is tearing you limb from limb, several dire wolves
are making mince meat out of your torso, and the wizard is about to
transport you to the corner of Westwood and Broxton.  Oh dear, you seem
to have gotten yourself killed, as well.

You scored 0 out of 250 possible points.
That gives you a ranking of junior beginning adventurer.
To achieve the next higher rating, you need to score 32 more points.
You can do this in a number of ways.  IBM chose to do all of them.
Why do you find that funny?
                -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350
You know you've been sitting in front of your Lisp machine too long
when you go out to the junk food machine and start wondering how to
make it give you the CADR of Item H so you can get that yummie
chocolate cupcake that's stuck behind the disgusting vanilla one.
You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his
favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...
You must realize that the computer has it in for you.  The irrefutable
proof of this is that the computer always does what you tell it to do.
I mean, if 10 years from now, when you are doing something quick and dirty,
you suddenly visualize that I am looking over your shoulders and say to
yourself, "Dijkstra would not have liked this", well that would be enough
immortality for me.
A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that balances are
correct.
                -- Princess Irulan, "Manual of Maud'Dib"
        A horse breeder has his young colts bottle-fed after they're three
days old.  He heard that a foal and his mummy are soon parted.
All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.
-- All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.
-- When there are visible vapors having the prevenience in ignited
        carbonaceous materials, there is conflagration.
-- Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.
-- A plethora of individuals wither expertise in culinary techniques vitiated
        the potable concoction produced by steeping certain coupestibles.
-- Eleemosynary deeds have their initial incidence intramurally.
-- Male cadavers are incapable of yielding testimony.
-- Individuals who make their abode in vitreous edifices would be well
        advised to refrain from catapulting projectiles.
All is well that ends well.
                -- John Heywood
All that glitters has a high refractive index.
All that glitters is not gold; all that wander are not lost.
All's well that ends.
Any philosophy that can be put "in a nutshell" belongs there.
                -- Sydney J. Harris
Anything that is worth doing has been done frequently.  Things hitherto
undone should be given, I suspect, a wide berth.
                -- Max Beerbohm, "Mainly on the Air"
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum --
"I think that I think, therefore I think that I am."
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
God gave man two ears and one tongue so that we listen twice as much as
we speak.
                -- Arab proverb
He that bringeth a present, findeth the door open.
                -- Scottish proverb.
He who has a shady past knows that nice guys finish last.
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters.
                -- Lucius Annaeus Seneca
It is when I struggle to be brief that I become obscure.
                -- Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace)
It is wise to keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.
                -- Roger Babson
It's the thought, if any, that counts!
Men freely believe that what they wish to desire.
                -- Julius Caesar
Removing the straw that broke the camel's back does not necessarily
allow the camel to walk again.
The meek will inherit the earth -- if that's OK with you.
The only certainty is that nothing is certain.
                -- Pliny the Elder
The only problem with seeing too much is that it makes you insane.
                -- Phaedrus
-- The writing implement is more potent than the claymore.
-- All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.
-- When there are visible vapors having the prevenience in ignited carbonaceous
        materials, there is conflagration.
-- Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.
-- A plethora of individuals wither expertise in culinary techniques vitiated
        the potable concoction produced by steeping certain coupestibles.
-- The person presenting the ultimate cachinnation possesses thereby the
        optimal cachinnation.
-- Eleemosynary deeds have their initial incidence intramurally.
There is no proverb that is not true.
                -- Cervantes
There's an old proverb that says just about whatever you want it to.
What we wish, that we readily believe.
                -- Demosthenes
You can fool some of the people some of the time,
and some of the people all of the time,
and that is sufficient.
"You know, of course, that the Tasmanians, who never committed adultery, are
now extinct."
- M. Somerset Maugham
"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity."
- Oscar Wilde
"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them"
- Heisenberg
And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that
cometh out of man, in their sight...Then he [the Lord!] said unto me, Lo, I
have given thee cow's dung for man's dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread
therewith.
[Ezek. 4:12-15 (KJV)]
How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy
thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.  Thy navel
is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor:  thy belly is like an heap
of wheat set about with lillies.
Thy two breasts are like two young roses that are twins.
[Song of Solomon 7:1-3 (KJV)]
But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to
thee, to speak these words?  Hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the
wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?
[2 Kings 18:27 (KJV)]
That's the thing about people who think they hate computers.  What they
really hate is lousy programmers.
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle in "Oath of Fealty"
No one is fit to be trusted with power. ... No one. ... Any man who has lived
at all knows the follies and wickedness he's capabe of. ... And if he does
know it, he knows also that neither he nor any man ought to be allowed to
decide a single human fate.
- C. P. Snow, The Light and the Dark
The main thing is the play itself.  I swear that greed for money has nothing
to do with it, although heaven knows I am sorely in need of money.
- Feodor Dostoyevsky
There are two ways of constructing a software design.  One way is to make
it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other is to
make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.
- Charles Anthony Richard Hoare
"It was the Law of the Sea, they said.        Civilization ends at the waterline.
Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top."
- Hunter S. Thompson
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.
The complexity of software is an essential property, not an accidental one.
Hence, descriptions of a software entity that abstract away its complexity
often abstract away its essence.
- 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.
There you go man,
Keep as cool as you can.
It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave.
Keep on being free!
"I hate the itching.  But I don't mind the swelling."
-- new buzz phrase, like "Where's the Beef?" that David Letterman's trying
   to get everyone to start saying
"And they told us, what they wanted...
Was a sound that could kill some-one, from a distance." -- Kate Bush
"Can you program?"  "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"
One of the saddest lessons of history is this:  If we've been bamboozled
long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.  We're no
longer interested in finding out the truth.  The bamboozle has captured
us.  it is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that
we've been so credulous.  (So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the
new bamboozles rise.)
-- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 1987
Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and
bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage.  But if we
don't practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly
serious problems that face us -- and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up
for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along.
-- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 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"
Each team building another component has been using the most recent tested
version of the integrated system as a test bed for debugging its piece.  Their
work will be set back by having that test bed change under them.  Of course it
must.  But the changes need to be quantized.  Then each user has periods of
productive stability, interrupted by bursts of test-bed change.  This seems
to be much less disruptive than a constant rippling and trembling.
- 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"
It is a very humbling experience to make a multimillion-dollar mistake, but it
is also very memorable.  I vividly recall the night we decided how to organize
the actual writing of external specifications for OS/360.  The manager of
architecture, the manager of control program implementation, and I were
threshing out the plan, schedule, and division of responsibilities.

The architecture manager had 10 good men.  He asserted that they could write
the specifications and do it right.  It would take ten months, three more
than the schedule allowed.

The control program manager had 150 men.  He asserted that they could prepare
the specifications, with the architecture team coordinating; it would be
well-done and practical, and he could do it on schedule.  Futhermore, if
the architecture team did it, his 150 men would sit twiddling their thumbs
for ten months.

To this the architecture manager responded that if I gave the control program
team the responsibility, the result would not in fact be on time, but would
also be three months late, and of much lower quality.  I did, and it was.  He
was right on both counts.  Moreover, the lack of conceptual integrity made
the system far more costly to build and change, and I would estimate that it
added a year to debugging time.
- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
The reason ESP, for example, is not considered a viable topic in contemoprary
psychology is simply that its investigation has not proven fruitful...After
more than 70 years of study, there still does not exist one example of an ESP
phenomenon that is replicable under controlled conditions.  This simple but
basic scientific criterion has not been met despite dozens of studies conducted
over many decades...It is for this reason alone that the topic is now of little
interest to psychology...In short, there is no demonstrated phenomenon that
needs explanation.
-- Keith E. Stanovich, "How to Think Straight About Psychology", pp. 160-161
Remember thee
Ay, thou poor ghost while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe.  Remember thee!
Yea, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there.
Hamlet, I : v : 95   William Shakespeare
It is important to note that probably no large operating system using current
design technology can withstand a determined and well-coordinated attack,
and that most such documented penetrations have been remarkably easy.
-- B. Hebbard, "A Penetration Analysis of the Michigan Terminal System",
Operating Systems Review, Vol. 14, No. 1, June 1980, pp. 7-20
Suppose for a moment that the automobile industry had developed at the same
rate as computers and over the same period:  how much cheaper and more efficient
would the current models be?  If you have not already heard the analogy, the
answer is shattering.  Today you would be able to buy a Rolls-Royce for $2.75,
it would do three million miles to the gallon, and it would deliver enough
power to drive the Queen Elizabeth II.  And if you were interested in
miniaturization, you could place half a dozen of them on a pinhead.
-- Christopher Evans
Overall, the philosophy is to attack the availability problem from two
complementary directions:  to reduce the number of software errors through
rigorous testing of running systems, and to reduce the effect of the
remaining errors by providing for recovery from them.  An interesting footnote
to this design is that now a system failure can usually be considered to be
the result of two program errors:  the first, in the program that started the
problem; the second, in the recovery routine that could not protect the
system.  -- A. L. Scherr, "Functional Structure of IBM Virtual Storage Operating
Systems, Part II: OS/VS-2 Concepts and Philosophies," IBM Systems Journal,
Vol. 12, No. 4, 1973, pp. 382-400
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
"...if the church put in half the time on covetousness that it does on lust,
this would be a better world."  - Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Days"
"There was nothing I hated more than to see a filthy old drunkie, a howling
away at the sons of his father and going blurp blurp in between as if it were
a filthy old orchestra in his stinking rotten guts.  I could never stand to
see anyone like that, especially when they were old like this one was."
- Alex in "Clockwork Orange"
"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people and that most of them
seemed to come from Texas."
- Ian Fleming, "Casino Royale"
By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials
(out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence
to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve
but appeared "abruptly."
- Newsweek, June 29, 1987, pg. 23
In order to succeed in any enterprise, one must be persistent and patient.
Even if one has to run some risks, one must be brave and strong enough to
meet and overcome vexing challenges to maintain a successful business in
the long run.  I cannot help saying that Americans lack this necessary
challenging spirit today.
- Hajime Karatsu
How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

"That's a known problem... don't worry about it."
Operating-system software is the program that orchestrates all the basic
functions of a computer.
- The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, September 15, 1987, page 40
You know that feeling when you're leaning back on a stool and it starts to tip
over?  Well, that's how I feel all the time.
-- Steven Wright
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
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
future.
- 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
I share the belief of many of my contemporaries that the spiritual crisis
pervading all spheres of Western industrial society can be remedied only
by a change in our world view.  We shall have to shift from the materialistic,
dualistic belief that people and their environment are separate, toward a
new conciousness of an all-encompassing reality, which embraces the
experiencing ego, a reality in which people feel their oneness with animate
nature and all of creation.
- Dr. Albert Hoffman
Deliberate provocation of mystical experience, particularly by LSD and related
hallucinogens, in contrast to spontaneous visionary experiences, entails
dangers that must not be underestimated.  Practitioners must take into
account the peculiar effects of these substances, namely their ability to
influence our consciousness, the innermost essence of our being.  The history
of LSD to date amply demonstrates the catastrophic consequences that can
ensue when its profound effect is misjudged and the substance is mistaken
for a pleasure drug.  Special internal and external advance preperations
are required; with them, an LSD experiment can become a meaningful
experience.
- Dr. Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD
I believe that if people would learn to use LSD's vision-inducing capability
more wisely, under suitable conditions, in medical practice and in conjution
with meditation, then in the future this problem child could become a wonder
child.
- Dr. Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD
...Another writer again agreed with all my generalities, but said that as an
inveterate skeptic I have closed my mind to the truth.  Most notably I have
ignored the evidence for an Earth that is six thousand years old.  Well, I
haven't ignored it; I considered the purported evidence and *then* rejected it.
There is a difference, and this is a difference, we might say, between
prejudice and postjudice.  Prejudice is making a judgment before you have
looked at the facts.  Postjudice is making a judgment afterwards.  Prejudice
is terrible, in the sense that you commit injustices and you make serious
mistakes.  Postjudice is not terrible.  You can't be perfect of course; you
may make mistakes also.  But it is permissible to make a judgment after you
have examined the evidence.  In some circles it is even encouraged.
- Carl Sagan, The Burden of Skepticism, Skeptical Enquirer, Vol. 12, pg. 46
If a person (a) is poorly, (b) receives treatment intended to make him better,
and (c) gets better, then no power of reasoning known to medical science can
convince him that it may not have been the treatment that restored his health.
- Sir Peter Medawar, The Art of the Soluble
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
"Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst."
- Thomas Paine
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"
The idea of man leaving this earth and flying to another celestial body and
landing there and stepping out and walking over that body has a fascination
and a driving force that can get the country to a level of energy, ambition,
and will that I do not see in any other undertaking.  I think if we are
honest with ourselves, we must admit that we needed that impetus extremely
strongly.  I sincerely believe that the space program, with its manned
landing on the moon, if wisely executed, will become the spearhead for a
broad front of courageous and energetic activities in all the fields of
endeavour of the human mind - activities which could not be carried out
except in a mental climate of ambition and confidence which such a spearhead
can give.
- Dr. Martin Schwarzschild, 1962, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"
The vigor of civilized societies is preserved by the widespread sense that high
aims are worth-while.  Vigorous societies harbor a certain extravagance of
objectives, so that men wander beyond the safe provision of personal
gratifications.  All strong interests easily become impersonal, the love of
a good job well done.  There is a sense of harmony about such an accomplishment,
the Peace brought by something worth-while.
- Alfred North Whitehead, 1963, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"
I do not believe that this generation of Americans is willing to resign itself
to going to bed each night by the light of a Communist moon...
- Lyndon B. Johnson
Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be
lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.
- Isaac Asimov
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!
Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their
hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt,
without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only
in the God idea, not God Himself.
- Miguel de Unamuno, Spanish philosopher and writer
Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
- Kahlil Gibran
And do you not think that each of you women is an Eve?  The judgement of God
upon your sex endures today; and with it invariably endures your position of
criminal at the bar of justice.
- Tertullian, second-century Christian writer, misogynist
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman
Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church,
nor by any Church that I know of.  My own mind is my own Church.
- Thomas Paine
The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being
as his Father, in the womb of a virgin will be classified with the fable of
the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.  But we may hope that the
dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with
this artificial scaffolding and restore to us the primitive and genuine
doctrines of this most venerated Reformer of human errors.
- Thomas Jefferson
Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind.  Let us
restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which
liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.  And let us reflect
that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which
mankind so long bled, we have yet gained little if we counternance a
political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of a bitter and
bloody persecutions.
- Thomas Jefferson
The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.  Nowhere
in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths,
Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in
Christianity.
- John Adams
I would have promised those terrorists a trip to Disneyland if it would have
gotten the hostages released.  I thank God they were satisfied with the
missiles and we didn't have to go to that extreme.
- Oliver North
The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only
opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts
at rational thinking.  Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of
knowledge a serpent -- slimy, sneaking and abominable.  Since the earliest
days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every
effort to liberate the body and mind of man.  It has been, at all times and
everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad
laws, bad social theories, bad institutions.  It was, for centuries, an
apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.
- H. L. Mencken
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
The evidence of the emotions, save in cases where it has strong objective
support, is really no evidence at all, for every recognizable emotion has
its opposite, and if one points one way then another points the other way.
Thus the familiar argument that there is an instinctive desire for immortality,
and that this desire proves it to be a fact, becomes puerile when it is
recalled that there is also a powerful and widespread fear of annihilation,
and that this fear, on the same principle proves that there is nothing
beyond the grave.  Such childish "proofs" are typically theological, and
they remain theological even when they are adduced by men who like to
flatter themselves by believing that they are scientific gents....
- H. L. Mencken
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
The best that we can do is to be kindly and helpful toward our friends and
fellow passengers who are clinging to the same speck of dirt while we are
drifting side by side to our common doom.
- Clarence Darrow
   On Krat's main screen appeared the holo image of a man, and several dolphins.
From the man's shape, Krat could tell it was a female, probably their leader.
   "...stupid creatures unworthy of the name `sophonts.'  Foolish, pre-sentient
upspring of errant masters.  We slip away from all your armed might, laughing
at your clumsiness!  We slip away as we always will, you pathetic creatures.
And now that we have a real head start, you'll never catch us!  What better
proof that the Progenitors favor not you, but us!  What better proof..."
   The taunt went on.  Krat listened, enraged, yet at the same time savoring
the artistry of it.  These men are better than I'd thought.  Their insults
are wordy and overblown, but they have talent.  They deserve honorable, slow
deaths.
- David Brin, Startide Rising
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
Yes, many primitive people still believe this myth...But in today's technical
vastness of the future, we can guess that surely things were much different.
- The Firesign Theater
We want to create puppets that pull their own strings.
- Ann Marion
"You know why there are so few sophisticated computer terrorists in the United
States?  Because your hackers have so much mobility into the establishment.
Here, there is no such mobility.  If you have the slightest bit of intellectual
integrity you cannot support the government.... That's why the best computer
minds belong to the opposition."
- an anonymous member of the outlawed Polish trade union, Solidarity
I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and
tired of being told that ordinary decent people are fed up in this
country with being sick and tired.  I'm certainly not.  But I'm
sick and tired of being told that I am.
- Monty Python
It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters.
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)
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
...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
This was the ultimate form of ostentation among technology freaks -- to have
a system so complete and sophisticated that nothing showed; no machines,
no wires, no controls.
- Michael Swanwick, "Vacuum Flowers"
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
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.  There are many examples of
outsiders who eventually overthrew entrenched scientific orthodoxies, but
they prevailed with irrefutable data.  More often, egregious findings that
contradict well-established research turn out to be artifacts.  I have
argued that accepting psychic powers, reincarnation, "cosmic conciousness,"
and the like, would entail fundamental revisions of the foundations of
neuroscience.  Before abandoning materialist theories of mind that have paid
handsome dividends, we should insist on better evidence for psi phenomena
than presently exists, especially when neurology and psychology themselves
offer more plausible alternatives.
- Barry L. Beyerstein, "The Brain and Conciousness: Implications for Psi
   Phenomena", The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 163-171
Evolution is as much a fact as the earth turning on its axis and going around
the sun.  At one time this was called the Copernican theory; but, when
evidence for a theory becomes so overwhelming that no informed person
can doubt it, it is customary for scientists to call it a fact.  That all
present life descended from earlier forms, over vast stretches of geologic
time, is as firmly established as Copernican cosmology.  Biologists differ
only with respect to theories about how the process operates.
- Martin Gardner, "Irving Kristol and the Facts of Life",
   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 128-131
...It is sad to find him belaboring the science community for its united
opposition to ignorant creationists who want teachers and textbooks to
give equal time to crank arguments that have advanced not a step beyond
the flyblown rhetoric of Bishop Wilberforce and William Jennings Bryan.
- Martin Gardner, "Irving Kristol and the Facts of Life",
   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 128-131
A lot of the stuff I do is so minimal, and it's designed to be minimal.
The smallness of it is what's attractive.  It's weird, 'cause it's so
intellectually lame.  It's hard to see me doing that for the rest of
my life.  But at the same time, it's what I do best.
- Chris Elliot, writer and performer on "Late Night with David Letterman"
e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data
you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap.
- Karl Lehenbauer
The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it
seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the
fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving
after rational knowledge.
- Albert Einstein
The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events, the firmer
becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered
regularity for causes of a different nature.  For him neither the rule of
human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural
events.  To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with natural
events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this
doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge
has not yet been able to set foot.

But I am persuaded that such behavior on the part of the representatives
of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal.  For a doctrine which
is able to maintain itself not in clear light, but only in the dark, will
of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human
progress.  In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion
must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is,
give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast
powers in the hands of priests.  In their labors they will have to avail
themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the Good, the
True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself.  This is, to be sure, a more
difficult but an incomparably more worthy task.
- Albert Einstein
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
Most non-Catholics know that the Catholic schools are rendering a greater
service to our nation than the public schools in which subversive textbooks
have been used, in which Communist-minded teachers have taught, and from
whose classrooms Christ and even God Himself are barred.
- from "Our Sunday Visitor", an American-Catholic newspaper, 1949
If atheism is to be used to express the state of mind in which God is
identified with the unknowable, and theology is pronounced to be a
collection of meaningless words about unintelligible chimeras, then
I have no doubt, and I think few people doubt, that atheists are as
plentiful as blackberries...
- Leslie Stephen (1832-1904), literary essayist, author
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
What is tolerance? -- it is the consequence of humanity.  We are all formed
of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly --
that is the first law of nature.
- Voltaire
It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because
he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.
- Voltaire
I simply try to aid in letting the light of historical truth into that
decaying mass of outworn thought which attaches the modern world to
medieval conceptions of Christianity, and which still lingers among us --
a most serious barrier to religion and morals, and a menace to the whole
normal evolution of society.
- Andrew D. White, author, first president of Cornell University, 1896
The man scarce lives who is not more credulous than he ought to be.... The
natural disposition is always to believe.  It is acquired wisdom and experience
only that teach incredulity, and they very seldom teach it enough.
- Adam Smith
I put the shotgun in an Adidas bag and padded it out with four pairs of tennis
socks, not my style at all, but that was what I was aiming for:  If they think
you're crude, go technical; if they think you're technical, go crude.  I'm a
very technical boy.  So I decided to get as crude as possible.  These days,
though, you have to be pretty technical before you can even aspire to
crudeness.
- Johnny Mnemonic, by William Gibson
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
"I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell's ass."
- Senator Barry Goldwater, when asked what he thought of Jerry Falwell's
suggestion that all good Christians should be against Sandra Day O'Connor's
nomination to the Supreme Court
...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
...it still remains true that as a set of cognitive beliefs about the
existence of God in any recognizable sense continuous with the great
systems of the past, religious doctrines constitute a speculative
hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability.
- Sidney Hook
We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism...
we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying
our nation today...our battle is with Satan himself.
- Jerry Falwell
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"
The Messiah will come.  There will be a resurrection of the dead -- all
the things that Jews believed in before they got so damn sophisticated.
- Rabbi Meir Kahane
If one inquires why the American tradition is so strong against any
connection of State and Church, why it dreads even the rudiments of
religious teaching in state-maintained schools, the immediate and
superficial answer is not far to seek....
The cause lay largely in the diversity and vitality of the various
denominations, each fairly sure that, with a fair field and no favor,
it could make its own way; and each animated by a jealous fear that,
if any connection of State and Church were permitted, some rival
denomination would get an unfair advantage.
- John Dewey (1859-1953), American philosopher,
  from "Democracy in the Schools", 1908
Already the spirit of our schooling is permeated with the feeling that
every subject, every topic, every fact, every professed truth must be
submitted to a certain publicity and impartiality.  All proffered
samples of learning must go to the same assay-room and be subjected to
common tests.  It is the essence of all dogmatic faiths to hold that
any such "show-down" is sacrilegious and perverse.  The characteristic
of religion, from their point of view, is that it is intellectually
secret, not public; peculiarly revealed, not generall known;
authoritatively declared, not communicated and tested in ordinary
ways...It is pertinent to point out that, as long as religion is
conceived as it is now by the great majority of professed religionists,
there is something self-contradictory in speaking of education in
religion in the same sense in which we speak of education in topics
where the method of free inquiry has made its way.  The "religious"
would be the last to be willing that either the history of the
content of religion should be taught in this spirit; while those
to whom the scientific standpoint is not merely a technical device,
but is the embodiment of the integrity of mind, must protest against
its being taught in any other spirit.
- John Dewey (1859-1953), American philosopher,
  from "Democracy in the Schools", 1908
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
History shows that the human mind, fed by constant accessions of knowledge,
periodically grows too large for its theoretical coverings, and bursts
them asunder to appear in new habiliments, as the feeding and growing
grub, at intervals, casts its too narrow skin and assumes another...
Truly the imago state of Man seems to be terribly distant, but every
moult is a step gained.
- Charles Darwin, from "Origin of the Species"
...I would go so far as to suggest that, were it not for our ego and
concern to be different, the African apes would be included in our
family, the Hominidae.
- Richard Leakey
It is inconceivable that a judicious observer from another solar system
would see in our species -- which has tended to be cruel, destructive,
wasteful, and irrational -- the crown and apex of cosmic evolution.
Viewing us as the culmination of *anything* is grotesque; viewing us
as a transitional species makes more sense -- and gives us more hope.
- Betty McCollister, "Our Transitional Species",
  Free Inquiry magazine, Vol. 8, No. 1
"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape."
- Ellyn Mustard
"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God but to
create him."
-Arthur C. Clarke
You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape.
- Ellyn Mustard
"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God but to
create him."
-Arthur C. Clarke
...One thing is that, unlike any other Western democracy that I know of,
this country has operated since its beginnings with a basic distrust of
government.  We are constituted not for efficient operation of government,
but for minimizing the possibility of abuse of power.  It took the events
of the Roosevelt era -- a catastrophic economic collapse and a world war --
to introduce the strong central government that we now know.  But in most
parts of the country today, the reluctance to have government is still
strong.  I think, barring a series of catastrophic events, that we can
look to at least another decade during which many of the big problems
around this country will have to be addressed by institutions other than
federal government.
- Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, USN, Retired, former director of Naval Intelligence,
  vice director of the DIA, former director of the NSA, deputy directory of
  Central Intelligence, former chairman and CEO of MCC.
[the statist opinions expressed herein are not those of the cookie editor -ed.]
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
"Creation science" has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple
and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and
because good teachers understand exactly why it is false.  What could be
more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our
entire intellectualy heritage -- good teaching -- than a bill forcing
honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment
to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any
general understanding of science as an enterprise?
-- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Skeptical Inquirer", Vol. 12, page 186
In arguing that current theories of brain function cast suspicion on ESP,
psychokinesis, reincarnation, and so on, I am frequently challenged with
the most popular of all neuro-mythologies -- the notion that we ordinarily
use only 10 percent of our brains...

This "cerebral spare tire" concept continues to nourish the clientele of
"pop psychologists" and their many recycling self-improvement schemes.  As
a metaphor for the fact that few of us fully exploit our talents, who could
deny it?  As a refuge for occultists seeking a neural basis of the miraculous,
it leaves much to be desired.
-- Barry L. Beyerstein, "The Brain and Consciousness:  Implications for
   Psi Phenomena", The Skeptical Enquirer, Vol. XII, No. 2, pg. 171
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
"I couldn't remember things until I took that Sam Carnegie course."
-- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach
"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head
is concerned."
-- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky
Two things are certain about science.  It does not stand still for long,
and it is never boring.  Oh, among some poor souls, including even
intellectuals in fields of high scholarship, science is frequently
misperceived.  Many see it as only a body of facts, promulgated from
on high in must, unintelligible textbooks, a collection of unchanging
precepts defended with authoritarian vigor.  Others view it as nothing
but a cold, dry narrow, plodding, rule-bound process -- the scientific
method: hidebound, linear, and left brained.

These people are the victims of their own stereotypes.  They are
destined to view the world of science with a set of blinders.  They
know nothing of the tumult, cacophony, rambunctiousness, and
tendentiousness of the actual scientific process, let alone the
creativity, passion, and joy of discovery.  And they are likely to
know little of the continual procession of new insights and discoveries
that every day, in some way, change our view (if not theirs) of the
natural world.

-- Kendrick Frazier, "The Year in Science: An Overview," in
   1988 Yearbook of Science and the Future, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.
"I believe the use of noise to make music will increase until we reach a
music produced through the aid of electrical instruments which will make
available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard."
-- composer John Cage, 1937
I did cancel one performance in Holland where they thought my music was so easy
that they didn't rehearse at all.  And so the first time when I found that out,
I rehearsed the orchestra myself in front of the audience of 3,000 people and
the next day I rehearsed through the second movement -- this was the piece
_Cheap Imitation_ -- and they then were ashamed.  The Dutch people were ashamed
and they invited me to come to the Holland festival and they promised to
rehearse.  And when I got to Amsterdam they had changed the orchestra, and
again, they hadn't rehearsed.  So they were no more prepared the second time
than they had been the first.  I gave them a lecture and told them to cancel
the performance; they then said over the radio that i had insisted on their
cancelling the performance because they were "insufficiently Zen."  
Can you believe it?
-- composer John Cage, "Electronic Musician" magazine, March 88, pg. 89
"One day I woke up and discovered that I was in love with tripe."
-- Tom Anderson
"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history."
-- George Bernard Shaw
"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children
produce adults."
-- Peter De Vries
"The mark of an immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while
the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."
-- William Stekel
"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody
appreciates how difficult it was."
-- Walt West
The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to
the left.
"Israel today announced that it is giving up.  The Zionist state will dissolve
in two weeks time, and its citizens will disperse to various resort communities
around the world.  Said Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, 'Who needs the
aggravation?'"
-- Dennis Miller, "Satuday Night Live" News
"Roman Polanski makes his own blood.  He's smart -- that's why his movies work."
-- A brilliant director at "Frank's Place"
Gary Hart:  living proof that you *can* screw your brains out.
"I mean, like, I just read your article in the Yale law recipe, on search and
seizure.  Man, that was really Out There."
   "I was so WRECKED when I wrote that..."
-- John Lovitz, as ex-Supreme Court nominee Alan Ginsburg, on SNL
"Can't you just gesture hypnotically and make him disappear?"
    "It does not work that way.  RUN!"
-- Hadji on metaphyics and Mandrake in "Johnny Quest"
"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse!  This gun is so futuristic that even
*I* don't know how it works!"
-- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse
"Remember kids, if there's a loaded gun in the room, be sure that you're the
one holding it"
-- Captain Combat
"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
"One of the problems I've always had with propaganda pamphlets is that they're
real boring to look at.  They're just badly designed.  People from the left
often are very well-intended, but they never had time to take basic design
classes, you know?"
-- Art Spiegelman
Why are many scientists using lawyers for medical
experiments instead of rats?

        a)  There are more lawyers than rats.
        b)  The scientist's don't become as
             emotionally attached to them.
        c)  There are some things that even rats
            won't do for money.
Pohl's law:
         Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.
"I believe that Ronald Reagan will someday make this
country what it once was... an arctic wilderness."
-- Steve Martin
"Nietzsche says that we will live the same life, over and over again.  
God -- I'll have to sit through the Ice Capades again."
-- Woody Allen's character in "Hannah and Her Sisters"
"In regards to Oral Roberts' claim that God told him that he would die unless he
received $20 million by March, God's lawyers have stated that their client has
not spoken with Roberts for several years.  Off the record, God has stated that
"If I had wanted to ice the little toad, I would have done it a long time ago."
-- Dennis Miller, SNL News
"No problem is so formidable that you can't walk away from it."
-- C. Schulz
"The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make
empty prophecies.  The danger already exists that mathematicians have made
a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the
bonds of Hell."
-- Saint Augustine
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."
"I'll rob that rich person and give it to some poor deserving slob.
That will *prove* I'm Robin Hood."
-- Daffy Duck, Looney Tunes, _Robin Hood Daffy_
"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?"
-- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)
"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum."
--Arthur C. Clarke
"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
"An anthropologist at Tulane has just come back from a field trip to New
Guinea with reports of a tribe so primitive that they have Tide but not
new Tide with lemon-fresh Borax."
-- David Letterman
"I saw _Lassie_. It took me four shows to figure out why the hairy kid never
spoke. I mean, he could roll over and all that, but did that deserve a series?"
-- the alien guy, in _Explorers_
"Take that, you hostile sons-of-bitches!"
-- James Coburn, in the finale of _The_President's_Analyst_
"I prefer to think that God is not dead, just drunk"
-- John Huston
...Veloz is indistinguishable from hundreds of other electronics businesses
in the Valley, run by eager young engineers poring over memory dumps late
into the night.  The difference is that a bunch of self-confessed "car nuts"
are making money doing what they love: writing code and driving fast.
-- "Electronics puts its foot on the gas", IEEE Spectrum, May 88
Meekness:  Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.
-- Ambrose Bierce
Alliance:  In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their
hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that they cannot separately
plunder a third.
-- Ambrose Bierce
Pray:  To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single
petitioner confessedly unworthy.
-- Ambrose Bierce
Proboscis:  The rudimentary organ of an elephant which serves him in place
of the knife-and-fork that Evolution has as yet denied him.  For purposes
of humor it is popularly called a trunk.
-- Ambrose Bierce
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
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.
One evening Mr. Rudolph Block, of New York, found himself seated at dinner
alongside Mr. Percival Pollard, the distinguished critic.
   "Mr. Pollard," said he, "my book, _The Biography of a Dead Cow_, is
published anonymously, but you can hardly be ignorant of its authorship.
Yet in reviewing it you speak of it as the work of the Idiot of the Century.
Do you think that fair criticism?"
   "I am very sorry, sir," replied the critic, amiably, "but it did not
occur to me that you really might not wish the public to know who wrote it."
-- Ambrose Bierce
  "Emergency!"  Sgiggs screamed, ejecting himself from the tub like it was
a burning car.  "Dial 'one'!  Get room service!  Code red!"  Stiggs was on
the phone immediately, ordering more rose blossoms, because, according to
him, the ones floating in the tub had suddenly lost their smell.  "I demand
smell," he shrilled.  "I expecting total uninterrupted smell from these
f*cking roses."

  Unfortunately, the service captain didn't realize that the Stiggs situation
involved fifty roses.  "What am I going to do with this?" Stiggs sneered at
the weaseling hotel goon when he appeared at our door holding a single flower
floating in a brandy glass.  Stiggs's tirade was great.  "Do you see this
bathtub?  Do you notice any difference between the size of the tub and the
size of that spindly wad of petals in your hand?  I need total bath coverage.
I need a completely solid layer of roses all around me like puffing factories
of smell, attacking me with their smell and power-ramming big stinking
concentrations of rose odor up my nostrils until I'm wasted with pleasure."
It wasn't long before we got so dissatisfied with this incompetence that we
bolted.
-- The Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs,
   National Lampoon, October 1982
Voodoo Programming:  Things programmers do that they know shouldn't work but
they try anyway, and which sometimes actually work, such as recompiling
everything.
-- Karl Lehenbauer
This is, of course, totally uninformed specualation that I engage in to help
support my bias against such meddling... but there you have it.
-- Peter da Silva, speculating about why a computer program that had been
changed to do something he didn't approve of, didn't work
"This knowledge I pursure is the finest pleasure I have ever known.  I could
no sooner give it up that I could the very air that I breath."
-- Paolo Uccello, Renaissance artist, discoverer of the laws of perspective
"I got everybody to pay up front...then I blew up their planet."
  "Now why didn't I think of that?"
-- Post Bros. Comics
"It's my cookie file and if I come up with something that's lame and I like it,
it goes in."
-- karl (Karl Lehenbauer)
...the Soviets have the capability to try big projects.  If there is a goal,
such as when Gorbachev states that they are going to have nuclear-powered
aircraft carriers, the case is closed -- that is it.  They will concentrate
on the problem, do a bad job, and later pay the price.  They really don't
care what the price is.
-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 100
There is something you must understand about the Soviet system.  They have the
ability to concentrate all their efforts on a given design, and develop all
components simulateously, but sometimes without proper testing.  Then they end
up with a technological disaster like the Tu-144.  In a technology race at
the time, that aircraft was two months ahead of the Concorde.  Four Tu-144s
were built; two have crashed, and two are in museums.  The Concorde has been
flying safely for over 10 years.
-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 100
DE:  The Soviets seem to have difficulty implementing modern technology.
     Would you comment on that?

Belenko:  Well, let's talk about aircraft engine lifetime.  When I flew the
          MiG-25, its engines had a total lifetime of 250 hours.

DE:  Is that mean-time-between-failure?

Belenko:  No, the engine is finished; it is scrapped.

DE:  You mean they pull it out and throw it away, not even overhauling it?

Belenko:  That is correct.  Overhaul is too expensive.

DE:  That is absurdly low by free world standards.

Belenko:  I know.
-- an interview with Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 102
"I have a friend who just got back from the Soviet Union, and told me the people
there are hungry for information about the West.  He was asked about many
things, but I will give you two examples that are very revealing about life in
the Soviet Union.  The first question he was asked was if we had exploding
television sets.  You see, they have a problem with the picture tubes on color
television sets, and many are exploding.  They assumed we must be having
problems with them too.  The other question he was asked often was why the
CIA had killed Samantha Smith, the little girl who visited the Soviet Union a
few years ago; their propaganda is very effective.
-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 100
"...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
FORTRAN?  The syntactically incorrect statement "DO 10 I = 1.10" will parse and
generate code creating a variable, DO10I, as follows: "DO10I = 1.10"  If that
doesn't terrify you, it should.
"I knew then (in 1970) that a 4-kbyte minicomputer would cost as much as
a house.  So I reasoned that after college, I'd have to live cheaply in
an apartment and put all my money into owning a computer."
-- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, EE Times, June 6, 1988, pg 45
HP had a unique policy of allowing its engineers to take parts from stock as
long as they built something.  "They figured that with every design, they were
getting a better engineer.  It's a policy I urge all companies to adopt."
-- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, "Will Wozniak's class give Apple to teacher?"
   EE Times, June 6, 1988, pg 45
"If you want the best things to happen in corporate life you have to find ways
to be hospitable to the unusual person.  You don't get innovation as a
democratic process.  You almost get it as an anti-democratic process.
Certainly you get it as an anthitetical process, so you have to have an
environment where the body of people are really amenable to change and can
deal with the conflicts that arise out of change an innovation."
-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc.,  
   "Herman Miller's Secrets of Corporate Creativity",
   The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988
"In corporate life, I think there are three important areas which contracts
can't deal with, the area of conflict, the area of change and area of reaching
potential.  To me a covenant is a relationship that is based on such things
as shared ideals and shared value systems and shared ideas and shared
agreement as to the processes we are going to use for working together.  In
many cases they develop into real love relationships."
-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's
   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988
Another goal is to establish a relationship "in which it is OK for everybody
to do their best.  There are an awful lot of people in management who really
don't want subordinates to do their best, because it gets to be very
threatening.  But we have found that both internally and with outside
designers if we are willing to have this kind of relationship and if we're
willing to be vulnerable to what will come out of it, we get really good
work."
-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's
   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988
In his book, Mr. DePree tells the story of how designer George Nelson urged
that the company also take on Charles Eames in the late 1940s.  Max's father,
J. DePree, co-founder of the company with herman Miller in 1923, asked Mr.
Nelson if he really wanted to share the limited opportunities of a then-small
company with another designer.  "George's response was something like this:
'Charles Eames is an unusual talent.  He is very different from me.  The
company needs us both.  I want very much to have Charles Eames share in
whatever potential there is.'"
-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's
   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988
Mr. DePree believes participative capitalism is the wave of the future.  The
U.S. work force, he believes, "more and more demands to be included in the
capitalist system and if we don't find ways to get the capitalist system
to be an inclusive system rather than the exclusive system it has been, we're
all in deep trouble.  If we don't find ways to begin to understand that
capitalism's highest potential lies in the common good, not in the individual
good, then we're risking the system itself."
-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's
   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988
Mr. DePree also expects a "tremendous social change" in all workplaces.  "When
I first started working 40 years ago, a factory supervisor was focused on the
product.  Today it is drastically different, because of the social milieu.
It isn't unusual for a worker to arrive on his shift and have some family
problem that he doesn't know how to resolve.  The example I like to use is a
guy who comes in and says 'this isn't going to be a good day for me, my son
is in jail on a drunk-driving charge and I don't know how to raise bail.'
What that means is that if the supervisor wants productivity, he has to know
how to raise bail."
-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's
   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988
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
"Pseudocode can be used to some extent to aid the maintenance
process.  However, pseudocode that is highly detailed -
approaching the level of detail of the code itself - is not of
much use as maintenance documentation.  Such detailed
documentation has to be maintained almost as much as the code,
thus doubling the maintenance burden.  Furthermore, since such
voluminous pseudocode is too distracting to be kept in the
listing itself, it must be kept in a separate folder.  The
result: Since pseudocode - unlike real code - doesn't have to be
maintained, no one will maintain it.  It will soon become out of
date and everyone will ignore it.  (Once, I did an informal
survey of 42 shops that used pseudocode.  Of those 42, 0 [zero!],
found that it had any value as maintenance documentation."
         --Meilir Page-Jones, "The Practical Guide to Structured
           Design", Yourdon Press (c) 1988
Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field
of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.
The magician is seated in his high chair and looks upon the world with favor.
He is at the height of his powers.  If he closes his eyes, he causes the world
to disappear.  If he opens his eyes, he causes the world to come back.  If
there is harmony within him, the world is harmonious.  If rage shatters his
inner harmony, the unity of the world is shattered.  If desire arises within
him, he utters the magic syllables that causes the desired object to appear.
His wishes, his thoughts, his gestures, his noises command the universe.
-- Selma Fraiberg, _The Magic Years_, pg. 107
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
A comment on schedules:
Ok, how long will it take?    
   For each manager involved in initial meetings add one month.
   For each manager who says "data flow analysis" add another month.
   For each unique end-user type add one month.
   For each unknown software package to be employed add two months.
   For each unknown hardware device add two months.
   For each 100 miles between developer and installation add one month.
   For each type of communication channel add one month.
   If an IBM mainframe shop is involved and you are working on a non-IBM
      system add 6 months.
   If an IBM mainframe shop is involved and you are working on an IBM
      system add 9 months.
Round up to the nearest half-year.
--Brad Sherman
By the way, ALL software projects are done by iterative prototyping.
Some companies call their prototypes "releases", that's all.
    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.
"I dislike companies that have a we-are-the-high-priests-of-hardware-so-you'll-
like-what-we-give-you attitude.  I like commodity markets in which iron-and-
silicon hawkers know that they exist to provide fast toys for software types
like me to play with..."
-- Eric S. Raymond
"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
In respect to lock-making, there can scarcely be such a thing as dishonesty
of intention: the inventor produces a lock which he honestly thinks will
possess such and such qualities; and he declares his belief to the world.
If others differ from him in opinion concerning those qualities, it is open
to them to say so; and the discussion, truthfully conducted, must lead to
public advantage: the discussion stimulates curiosity, and curiosity stimu-
lates invention.  Nothing but a partial and limited view of the question
could lead to the opinion that harm can result: if there be harm, it will be
much more than counterbalanced by good."
-- Charles Tomlinson's Rudimentary Treatise on the Construction of Locks,
   published around 1850.
"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became
a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb. "You aren't nearly
through this adventure yet," he added, and that was pretty true as well.
-- Bilbo Baggins, "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, Chapter XII
It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more
doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a
new system.  For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by
the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in
those who would gain by the new ones.
-- Machiavelli
First as to speech.  That privilege rests upon the premise that
there is no proposition so uniformly acknowledged that it may not be
lawfully challenged, questioned, and debated.  It need not rest upon
the further premise that there are no propositions that are not
open to doubt; it is enough, even if there are, that in the end it is
worse to suppress dissent than to run the risk of heresy.  Hence it
has been again and again unconditionally proclaimed that there are
no limits to the privilege so far as words seek to affect only the hearers'
beliefs and not their conduct.  The trouble is that conduct is almost
always based upon some belief, and that to change the hearer's belief
will generally to some extent change his conduct, and may even evoke
conduct that the law forbids.

[cf. Learned Hand, The Spirit of Liberty, University of Chicago Press, 1952;
The Art and Craft of Judging: The Decisions of Judge Learned Hand,
edited and annotated by Hershel Shanks, The MacMillian Company, 1968.]
The late rebellion in Massachusetts has given more alarm than I think it
should have done.  Calculate that one rebellion in 13 states in the course
of 11 years, is but one for each state in a century and a half.  No country
should be so long without one.
-- Thomas Jefferson in letter to James Madison, 20 December 1787
"Nine years of ballet, asshole."
-- Shelly Long, to the bad guy after making a jump over a gorge that he
   couldn't quite, in "Outrageous Fortune"
"If that man in the PTL is such a healer, why can't he make his wife's
hairdo go down?"
-- Robin Williams
"The argument that the literal story of Genesis can qualify as science
collapses on three major grounds: the creationists' need to invoke
miracles in order to compress the events of the earth's history into
the biblical span of a few thousand years; their unwillingness to
abandon claims clearly disproved, including the assertion that all
fossils are products of Noah's flood; and their reliance upon distortion,
misquote, half-quote, and citation out of context to characterize the
ideas of their opponents."
-- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Verdict on Creationism",
   The Skeptical Inquirer, Winter 87/88, pg. 186
"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?"
   "FIFTEEN!!  YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"
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_
New York is a jungle, they tell you.  You could go further, and say that
New York is a jungle.  New York *is a jungle.*  Beneath the columns of
the old rain forest, made of melting macadam, the mean Limpopo of swamped
Ninth Avenue bears an angry argosy of crocs and dragons, tiger fish, noise
machines, sweating rainmakers.  On the corners stand witchdoctors and
headhunters, babbling voodoo-men -- the natives, the jungle-smart natives.
And at night, under the equatorial overgrowth and heat-holding cloud
cover, you hear the ragged parrot-hoot and monkeysqueak of the sirens,
and then fires flower to ward off monsters.  Careful: the streets are
sprung with pits and nets and traps.  Hire a guide.  Pack your snakebite
gook and your blowdart serum.  Take it seriously.  You have to get a
bit jungle-wise.
-- Martin Amis, _Money_
"You tried it just for once, found it alright for kicks,
but now you find out you have a habit that sticks,
you're an orgasm addict,
you're always at it,
and you're an orgasm addict."
-- The Buzzcocks
"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble.  It's the
things we know that ain't so."
-- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown
"They know your name, address, telephone number, credit card numbers, who ELSE
is driving the car "for insurance", ...  your driver's license number. In the
state of Massachusetts, this is the same number as that used for Social
Security, unless you object to such use. In THAT case, you are ASSIGNED a
number and you reside forever more on the list of "weird people who don't give
out their Social Security Number in Massachusetts."
-- Arthur Miller
"Data is a lot like humans:  It is born.  Matures.  Gets married to other data,
divorced. Gets old.  One thing that it doesn't do is die.  It has to be killed."
-- Arthur Miller
"Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture,
an intransigent mind, and a step that travels unlimited roads."
-- John Galt, in Ayn Rand's _Atlas Shrugged_
"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of
course you never do."
-- Gregory Bateson
"Once they go up, who cares where they come down?  That's not my department."
-- Werner von Braun
"I honestly believe that the doctrine of hell was born in the glittering eyes
of snakes that run in frightful coils watching for their prey.  I believe
it was born with the yelping, howling, growling and snarling of wild beasts...
I despise it, I defy it, and I hate it."
-- Robert G. Ingersoll
egrep patterns are full regular expressions; it uses a fast deterministic
algorithm that sometimes needs exponential space.
-- unix manuals
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?
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so
certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
-- Bertrand Russell
"The net result is a system that is not only binary compatible with 4.3 BSD,
but is even bug for bug compatible in almost all features."
-- Avadit Tevanian, Jr., "Architecture-Independent Virtual Memory Management
   for Parallel and Distributed Environments:  The Mach Approach"
--
-- uunet!sugar!karl  | "We've been following your progress with considerable
-- karl@sugar.uu.net |  interest, not to say contempt."  -- Zaphod Beeblebrox IV
-- Usenet BBS (713) 438-5018



th-th-th-th-That's all, folks!

----------- cut here, don't forget to strip junk at the end, too -------------
"Psychoanalysis??  I thought this was a nude rap session!!!"
-- Zippy
...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_
...At that time [the 1960s], Bell Laboratories scientists projected that
computer speeds as high as 30 million floating-point calculations per
second (megaflops) would be needed for the Army's ballistic missile
defense system.  Many computer experts -- including a National Academy
of Sciences panel -- said achieving such speeds, even using multiple
processors, was impossible.  Today, new generation supercomputers operate
at billions of operations per second (gigaflops).
-- Aviation Week & Space Technology, May 9, 1988, "Washington Roundup", pg 13
"This generation may be the one that will face Armageddon."
-- Ronald Reagan, "People" magazine, December 26, 1985
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 reported resort to astrology in the White House has occasioned much
merriment.  It is not funny.  Astrological gibberish, which means astrology
generally, has no place in a newspaper, let alone government.  Unlike comics,
which are part of a newspaper's harmless pleasure and make no truth claims,
astrology is a fraud.  The idea that it gets a hearing in government is
dismaying.
-- George Will, Washing Post Writers Group
Astrology is the sheerest hokum.  This pseudoscience has been around since
the day of the Chaldeans and Babylonians.  It is as phony as numerology,
phrenology, palmistry, alchemy, the reading of tea leaves, and the practice
of divination by the entrails of a goat.  No serious person will buy the
notion that our lives are influenced individually by the movement of
distant planets.  This is the sawdust blarney of the carnival midway.
-- James J. Kilpatrick, Universal Press Syndicate
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
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
[Astrology is] 100 percent hokum, Ted.  As a matter of fact, the first edition
of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, written in 1771 -- 1771! -- said that this
belief system is a subject long ago ridiculed and reviled.  We're dealing with
beliefs that go back to the ancient Babylonians.  There's nothing there....
It sounds a lot like science, it sounds like astronomy.  It's got technical
terms.  It's got jargon.  It confuses the public....The astrologer is quite
glib, confuses the public, uses terms which come from science, come from
metaphysics, come from a host of fields, but they really mean nothing.  The
fact is that astrological beliefs go back at least 2,500 years.  Now that
should be a sufficiently long time for astrologers to prove their case.  They
have not proved their case....It's just simply gibberish.  The fact is, there's
no theory for it, there are no observational data for it.  It's been tested
and tested over the centuries.  Nobody's ever found any validity to it at
all.  It is not even close to a science.  A science has to be repeatable, it
has to have a logical foundation, and it has to be potentially vulnerable --
you test it.  And in that astrology is reqlly quite something else.
-- Astronomer Richard Berendzen, President, American University, on ABC
    News "Nightline," May 3, 1988
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
With the news that Nancy Reagan has referred to an astrologer when planning
her husband's schedule, and reports of Californians evacuating Los Angeles
on the strength of a prediction from a sixteenth-century physician and
astrologer Michel de Notredame, the image of the U.S. as a scientific and
technological nation has taking a bit of a battering lately.  Sadly, such
happenings cannot be dismissed as passing fancies.  They are manifestations
of a well-established "anti-science" tendency in the U.S. which, ultimately,
could threaten the country's position as a technological power. . . .  The
manifest widespread desire to reject rationality and substitute a series
of quasirandom beliefs in order to understand the universe does not augur
well for a nation deeply concerned about its ability to compete with its
industrial equals.  To the degree that it reflects the thinking of a
significant section of the public, this point of view encourages ignorance
of and, indeed, contempt for science and for rational methods of approaching
truth. . . . It is becoming clear that if the U.S. does not pick itself up
soon and devote some effort to educating the young effectively, its hope of
maintaining a semblance of leadership in the world may rest, paradoxically,
with a new wave of technically interested and trained immigrants who do not
suffer from the anti-science disease rampant in an apparently decaying society.
-- Physicist Tony Feinberg, in "New Scientist," May 19, 1988
"We never make assertions, Miss Taggart," said Hugh Akston.  "That is
the moral crime peculiar to our enemies.  We do not tell -- we *show*.
We do not claim -- we *prove*."  
-- Ayn Rand, _Atlas Shrugged_
"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.
A student asked the master for help... does this program run from the
Workbench? The master grabbed the mouse and pointed to an icon. "What is
this?" he asked. The student replied "That's the mouse". The master pressed
control-Amiga-Amiga and hit the student on the head with the Amiga ROM Kernel
Manual.
-- Amiga Zen Master Peter da Silva
"Its failings notwithstanding, there is much to be said in favor
of journalism in that by giving us the opinion of the uneducated,
it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community."
                                        - Oscar Wilde
"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
"To undertake a project, as the word's derivation indicates, means to cast an
idea out ahead of oneself so that it gains autonomy and is fulfilled not only
by the efforts of its originator but, indeed, independently of him as well.
-- Czeslaw Milosz
Remember, an int is not always 16 bits.  I'm not sure, but if the 80386 is one
step closer to Intel's slugfest with the CPU curve that is aymptotically
approaching a real machine, perhaps an int has been implemented as 32 bits by
some Unix vendors...?
-- Derek Terveer
"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
"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a
cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken
"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance."
-- Cal Keegan
"After one week [visiting Austria] I couldn't wait to go back to the United
States.  Everything was much more pleasant in the United States, because of
the mentality of being open-minded, always positive.  Everything you want to
do in Europe is just, 'No way.  No one has ever done it.'  They haven't any
more the desire to go out to conquer and achieve -- I realized that I had much
more the American spirit."
-- Arnold Schwarzenegger
        Well, punk is kind of anti-ethical, anyway.  Its ethics, so to speak,
include a disdain for ethics in general.  If you have to think about some-
thing so hard, then it's bullshit anyway; that's the idea.  Punks are anti-
ismists, to coin a term.  But nonetheless, they have a pretty clearly defined
stance and image, and THAT is what we hang the term `punk' on.
-- Jeff G. Bone
        I think for the most part that the readership here uses the c-word in
a similar fashion.  I don't think anybody really believes in a new, revolution-
ary literature --- I think they use `cyberpunk' as a term of convenience to
discuss the common stylistic elements in a small subset of recent sf books.
-- Jeff G. Bone
        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
Life is full of concepts that are poorly defined.  In fact, there are very few
concepts that aren't.  It's hard to think of any in non-technical fields.  
-- Daniel Kimberg
...cyberpunk wants to see the mind as mechanistic & duplicable,
challenging basic assumptions about the nature of individuality & self.
That seems all the better reason to assume that cyberpunk art & music is
essentially mindless garbagio. Willy certainly addressed this idea in
"Count Zero," with Katatonenkunst, the automatic box-maker and the girl's
observation that the real art was the building of the machine itself,
rather than its output.
-- Eliot Handelman
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
As for the basic assumptions about individuality and self, this is the core
of what I like about cyberpunk. And it's the core of what I like about certain
pre-gibson neophile techie SF writers that certain folks here like to put
down. Not everyone makes the same assumptions. I haven't lost my mind... it's
backed up on tape.
-- 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 4

proof by personal communication:
        'Eight-dimensional colored cycle stripping is NP-complete
        [Karp, personal communication].'

proof by reduction to the wrong problem:
        'To see that infinite-dimensional colored cycle stripping is
        decidable, we reduce it to the halting problem.'

proof by reference to inaccessible literature:
        The author cites a simple corollary of a theorem to be found
        in a privately circulated memoir of the Slovenian
        Philological Society, 1883.

proof by importance:
        A large body of useful consequences all follow from the
        proposition in question.
        [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
(null cookie; hope that's ok)
"Little prigs and three-quarter madmen may have the conceit that the laws of
nature are constantly broken for their sakes."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche
>One basic notion underlying Usenet is that it is a cooperative.

Having been on USENET for going on ten years, I disagree with this.
The basic notion underlying USENET is the flame.
-- Chuq Von Rospach, chuq@Apple.COM
"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
"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!], 'Pray, Mr.
Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers
come out?'  I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas
that could provoke such a question."
-- Charles Babbage
"...one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that,
lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of
their C programs."
-- Robert Firth
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_
Q: I cant spell worth a dam.  I hope your going too tell me what to do?

A: Don't worry about how your articles look.  Remember it's the message
that counts, not the way it's presented.  Ignore the fact that sloppy
spelling in a purely written forum sends out the same silent messages that
soiled clothing would when addressing an audience.

-- Brad Templeton, _Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette_
Q: They just announced on the radio that Dan Quayle was picked as the
Republican V.P. candidate.  Should I post?

A: Of course.  The net can reach people in as few as 3 to 5 days.  It's
the perfect way to inform people about such news events long after the
broadcast networks have covered them.  As you are probably the only person
to have heard the news on the radio, be sure to post as soon as you can.

-- Brad Templeton, _Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette_
"Lying lips are abomination to the Lord; but they that deal truly are his
delight.
A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger.
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto
him.
Be not a witness against thy neighbor without cause; and deceive not with
thy lips.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue."
-- Proverbs, some selections from the Jewish Scripture
"Experience has proved that some people indeed know everything."
-- Russell Baker
"And it's my opinion, and that's only my opinion, you are a lunatic.  Just
because there are a few hunderd other people sharing your lunacy with you
does not make you any saner.  Doomed, eh?"
-- Oleg Kiselev,oleg@CS.UCLA.EDU
"Obedience.  A religion of slaves.  A religion of intellectual death.  I like
it.  Don't ask questions, don't think, obey the Word of the Lord -- as it
has been conveniently brought to you by a man in a Rolls with a heavy Rolex
on his wrist.  I like that job!  Where can I sign up?"
-- Oleg Kiselev,oleg@CS.UCLA.EDU
"I am convinced that the manufacturers of carpet odor removing powder have
included encapsulated time released cat urine in their products.  This
technology must be what prevented its distribution during my mom's reign.  My
carpet smells like piss, and I don't have a cat.  Better go by some more."
-- timw@zeb.USWest.COM, in alt.conspiracy
"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable."
-- Robert G. Ingersoll
"It is hard to overstate the debt that we owe to men and women of genius."
-- Robert G. Ingersoll
"The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray."
-- Robert G. Ingersoll
"It is the creationists who blasphemously are claiming that God is cheating
us in a stupid way."
-- J. W. Nienhuys
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
"You and I as individuals can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but
only for a limited period of time.  Why should we think that collectively,
as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?"
-- Ronald Reagan
"He did decide, though, that with more time and a great deal of mental effort,
he could probably turn the activity into an acceptable perversion."
-- Mick Farren, _When Gravity Fails_
"Truth never comes into the world but like a bastard, to the ignominy
of him that brought her birth."
-- Milton
                     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)
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1759
"Stan and I thought that this experiment was so stupid, we decided to finance
it ourselves."
-- Martin Fleischmann, co-discoverer of room-temperature fusion (?)
"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."
-- John Wooden
"We want to create puppets that pull their own strings."
-- Ann Marion

"Would this make them Marionettes?"
-- Jeff Daiell
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_
"All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is
constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role
they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume."
-- Noam Chomsky
"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple
system that worked."
-- John Gall, _Systemantics_
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
"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
"Let's not be too tough on our own ignorance.  It's the thing that makes
America great.  If America weren't incomparably ignorant, how could we
have tolerated the last eight years?"
-- Frank Zappa, Feb 1, 1989
"It follows that any commander in chief who undertakes to carry out a plan
which he considers defective is at fault; he must put forth his reasons,
insist of the plan being changed, and finally tender his resignation rather
than be the instrument of his army's downfall."
-- Napoleon, "Military Maxims and Thought"
"We dedicated ourselves to a powerful idea -- organic law rather than naked
power.  There seems to be universal acceptance of that idea in the nation."
-- Supreme Court Justice Potter Steart
"The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between a five-dollar bill
and a whip deserves to learn the difference on his own back -- as, I think, he
will."
-- Francisco d'Anconia, in Ayn Rand's _Atlas Shrugged_
"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
One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with
Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just
to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn't
be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending
to be so outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn't understand
hat was going on, and really being genuinely stupid.  He was reknowned for
being quite clever and quite clearly was so -- but not all the time, which
obviously worried him, hence the act.  He preferred people to be puzzled
rather than contemptuous.  This above all appeared to Trillian to be
genuinely stupid, but she could no longer be bothered to argue about.
-- Douglas Adams, _The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_
Far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and glorious days of the
former Galactic Empire, life was wild, rich and largely tax free.

Mighty starships plied their way between exotic suns, seeking adventure and
reward among the furthest reaches of Galactic space.  In those days, spirits
were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women
and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures
from Alpha Centauri.  And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty
deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before -- and thus
was the Empire forged.
-- Douglas Adams, _The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_
"The lawgiver, of all beings, most owes the law allegiance.
He of all men should behave as though the law compelled him.
But it is the universal weakness of mankind that what we are
given to administer we presently imagine we own."
-- H.G. Wells
"Unlike most net.puritans, however, I feel that what OTHER consenting computers
do in the privacy of their own phone connections is their own business."
-- John Woods, jfw@eddie.mit.edu
"One thing they don't tell you about doing experimental physics is that
sometimes you must work under adverse conditions... like a state of sheer
terror."
-- W. K. Hartmann
"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue."
-- Eric Pepke
"None of our men are "experts."  We have most unfortunately found it necessary
to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert -- because no one
ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job.  A man who knows a
job sees so much more to be done than he has done, that he is always pressing
forward and never gives up an instant of thought to how good and how efficient
he is.  Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a
state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the
"expert" state of mind a great number of things become impossible."
-- From Henry Ford Sr., "My Life and Work," p. 86 (1922):
We'll be more than happy to do so once Jim shows the slightest sign
of interest in fixing his proposal to deal with the technical
arguments that have *already* been made.  Most engineers have
learned there is little to be gained in fine-tuning the valve timing
on a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine when the pistons
and crankshaft are missing...
                -- Valdis.Kletnieks@vt.edu on NANOG
A diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you
actually look forward to the trip.
                -- Caskie Stinnett, "Out of the Red"
A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough
to take it all away.
                -- Barry Goldwater
A people living under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very easy to
govern.  It demands no social reforms.  It does not haggle over expenditures
on armaments and military equipment.  It pays without discussion, it ruins
itself, and that is an excellent thing for the syndicates of financiers and
manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain.
                -- Anatole France
A public debt is a kind of anchor in the storm; but if the anchor be
too heavy for the vessel, she will be sunk by that very weight which
was intended for her preservation.
                -- Colton
A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices
that the system works.
A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many
bad measures.
                -- Daniel Webster
"After I asked him what he meant, he replied that freedom consisted of
the unimpeded right to get rich, to use his ability, no matter what the
cost to others, to win advancement."
                -- Norman Thomas
Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing - and that was
the closest our country has ever been to being even.
        -- The Best of Will Rogers
Andrea: Unhappy the land that has no heroes.
Galileo: No, unhappy the land that _____needs heroes.
                -- Bertolt Brecht, "Life of Galileo"
Anybody that wants the presidency so much that he'll spend two years
organising and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office.
                -- David Broder
Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than
we deserve.
                -- George Bernard Shaw
Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the
incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
                -- G.B. Shaw
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people
are right more than half of the time.
                -- E. B. White
Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other
forms that have been tried from time to time.
                -- Winston Churchill
Demographic polls show that you have lost credibility across the board.
Especially with those 14 year-old Valley girls.
Don't be humble ... you're not that great.
                -- Golda Meir
Don't mind him; politicians always sound like that.
Every one says that politicians lie all the time, and that just isn't so!
But you do have to understand body language to know when they're lying and
when they aren't.

        When a politician rubs his nose, he isn't lying.
        When a politician tugs on his ear, he isn't lying.
        When a politician scratches his collar bone, he isn't lying.
        When his mouth starts moving, that's when he's lying!
Far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and glorious days of the
former Galactic Empire, life was wild, rich and largely tax free.

Mighty starships plied their way between exotic suns, seeking adventure and
reward among the furthest reaches of Galactic space.  In those days, spirits
were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women
and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures
from Alpha Centauri.  And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty
deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before -- and thus
was the Empire forged.
                -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
Fay: The British police force used to be run by men of integrity.
Truscott: That is a mistake which has been rectified.
                -- Joe Orton, "Loot"
For the first time we have a weapon that nobody has used for thirty years.
This gives me great hope for the human race.
                -- Harlan Ellison
Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws
of nature!
                -- G.B. Shaw
Fraud is the homage that force pays to reason.
                -- Charles Curtis, "A Commonplace Book"
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
Give all orders verbally.  Never write anything down that might go into a
"Pearl Harbor File".
Good government never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of
those who govern.  The machinery of government is always subordinate to the
will of those who administer that machinery.  The most important element of
government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders.
                -- Frank Herbert, "Children of Dune"
        Graduating seniors, parents and friends...
        Let me begin by reassuring you that my remarks today will stand up
to the most stringent requirements of the new appropriateness.
        The intra-college sensitivity advisory committee has vetted the
text of even trace amounts of subconscious racism, sexism and classism.
        Moreover, a faculty panel of deconstructionists have reconfigured
the rhetorical components within a post-structuralist framework, so as to
expunge any offensive elements of western rationalism and linear logic.
        Finally, all references flowing from a white, male, eurocentric
perspective have been eliminated, as have any other ruminations deemed
denigrating to the political consensus of the moment.

        Thank you and good luck.
                -- Doonesbury, the University Chancellor's graduation speech.
He that would govern others, first should be the master of himself.
History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree on.
                -- Napoleon Bonaparte, "Maxims"
History shows that the human mind, fed by constant accessions of knowledge,
periodically grows too large for its theoretical coverings, and bursts them
asunder to appear in new habiliments, as the feeding and growing grub, at
intervals, casts its too narrow skin and assumes another...  Truly the imago
state of Man seems to be terribly distant, but every moult is a step gained.
                -- Charles Darwin, from "Origin of the Species"
History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have
exhausted all other alternatives.
                -- Abba Eban
I am convinced that the truest act of courage is to sacrifice ourselves
for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice.  To be a man
is to suffer for others.
                -- Cesar Chavez
I don't care how poor and inefficient a little country is; they like to
run their own business.  I know men that would make my wife a better
husband than I am; but, darn it, I'm not going to give her to 'em.
                -- The Best of Will Rogers
I have a dream.  I have a dream that one day, on the red hills of Georgia,
the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to
sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
                -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have always noticed that whenever a radical takes to Imperialism,
he catches it in a very acute form.
                -- Winston Churchill, 1903
I have gained this by philosophy:
that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.
                -- Aristotle
I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing...
                -- Thomas Jefferson
I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote
peace than our governments.  Indeed, I think that people want peace so much
that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them
have it.
                -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
I needed the good will of the legislature of four states.  I formed the
legislative bodies with my own money.  I found that it was cheaper that way.
                -- Jay Gould
I realize that the MX missile is none of our concern.  I realize that the
whole point of living in a democracy is that we pay professional
congresspersons to concern themselves with things like the MX missile so we
can be free to concern ourselves with getting hold of the plumber.

But from time to time, I feel I must address major public issues such as
this, because in a free and open society, where the very future of the world
hinges on decisions made by our elected leaders, you never win large cash
journalism awards if you stick to the topics I usually write about, such as
nose-picking.
                -- Dave Barry, "At Last, the Ultimate Deterrent Against
                   Political Fallout"
I try to keep an open mind, but not so open that my brains fall out.
                -- Judge Harold T. Stone
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 wish a robot would get elected president.  That way, when he came to town,
we could all take a shot at him and not feel too bad.
                -- Jack Handley
"I'll rob that rich person and give it to some poor deserving slob.
That will *prove* I'm Robin Hood."
                -- Daffy Duck, "Robin Hood Daffy", [1958, Chuck Jones]
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
If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad,
he should see how bad it is with representation.
If you make any money, the government shoves you in the creek once a year
with it in your pockets, and all that don't get wet you can keep.
                -- The Best of Will Rogers
In America, any boy may become president and I suppose that's just one
of the risks he takes.
                -- Adlai Stevenson
In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last
resort of the scoundrel.  With all due respect to an enlightened but
inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
In Germany they first came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because
I wasn't a Communist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up
because I wasn't a Jew.  Then they came for the trade unionists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.  Then they came for the
Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.  Then they came
for me -- and by that time no one was left to speak up.
                -- Pastor Martin Niemoller
In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence
is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Inform all the troops that communications have completely broken down.
        Inheritance taxes are getting so out of line, that the deceased family
often doesn't have a legacy to stand on.
Interfere?  Of course we should interfere!  Always do what you're
best at, that's what I say.
                -- Doctor Who
It follows that any commander in chief who undertakes to carry out a plan
which he considers defective is at fault; he must put forth his reasons,
insist of the plan being changed, and finally tender his resignation rather
than be the instrument of his army's downfall.
                -- Napoleon, "Military Maxims and Thought"
It is like saying that for the cause of peace, God and the Devil will
have a high-level meeting.
                -- Rev. Carl McIntire, on Nixon's China trip
It is necessary for the welfare of society that genius should be privileged
to utter sedition, to blaspheme, to outrage good taste, to corrupt the
youthful mind, and generally to scandalize one's uncles.
                -- George Bernard Shaw
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 took a while to surface, but it appears that a long-distance credit card
may have saved a U.S. Army unit from heavy casualties during the Grenada
military rescue/invasion. Major General David Nichols, Air Force ... said
the Army unit was in a house surrounded by Cuban forces.  One soldier found
a telephone and, using his credit card, called Ft. Bragg, N.C., telling Army
officiers there of the perilous situation. The officers in turn called the
Air Force, which sent in gunships to scatter the Cubans and relieve the unit.
                -- Aviation Week and Space Technology
It was the Law of the Sea, they said.  Civilization ends at the waterline.
Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
                -- Hunter S. Thompson
It's important that people know what you stand for.
It's more important that they know what you won't stand for.
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
It's the opinion of some that crops could be grown on the moon.  Which raises
the fear that it may not be long before we're paying somebody not to.
                -- Franklin P. Jones
        Jacek, a Polish schoolboy, is told by his teacher that he has
been chosen to carry the Polish flag in the May Day parade.
        "Why me?"  whines the boy.  "Three years ago I carried the flag
when Brezhnev was the Secretary; then I carried the flag when it was
Andropov's turn, and again when Chernenko was in the Kremlin.  Why is
it always me, teacher?"
        "Because, Jacek, you have such golden hands," the teacher
explains.
                -- being told in Poland, 1987
Join in the new game that's sweeping the country.  It's called "Bureaucracy".
Everybody stands in a circle.  The first person to do anything loses.
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
Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it; what
is happening in America is that those parades are getting smaller and
smaller -- and there are many more of them.
                -- John Naisbitt, "Megatrends"
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?"
Lots of folks are forced to skimp to support a government that won't.
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 experience with government is when things are non-controversial, beautifully
co-ordinated and all the rest, it must be that not much is going on.
                -- J.F. Kennedy
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
No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it
all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly
the functions he is competent to.  It is by dividing and subdividing these
republics from the national one down through all its subordinations, until it
ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under
every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.
                -- Thomas Jefferson, to Joseph Cabell, 1816
Nobody shot me.
                -- Frank Gusenberg, his last words, when asked by police
                who had shot him 14 times with a machine gun in the Saint
                Valentine's Day Massacre.

Only Capone kills like that.
                -- George "Bugs" Moran, on the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre

The only man who kills like that is Bugs Moran.
                -- Al Capone, on the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre
Nobody takes a bribe.  Of course at Christmas if you happen to hold out
your hat and somebody happens to put a little something in it, well, that's
different.
                -- New York City Police Commissioner (Ret.) William P.
                   O'Brien, instructions to the force.
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
On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only
nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter
what it does.
                -- Will Rogers
        Once there was a marine biologist who loved dolphins. He spent his
time trying to feed and protect his beloved creatures of the sea.  One day,
in a fit of inventive genius, he came up with a serum that would make
dolphins live forever!
        Of course he was ecstatic. But he soon realized that in order to mass
produce this serum he would need large amounts of a certain compound that was
only found in nature in the metabolism of a rare South American bird.  Carried
away by his love for dolphins, he resolved that he would go to the zoo and
steal one of these birds.
        Unbeknownst to him, as he was arriving at the zoo an elderly lion was
escaping from its cage.  The zookeepers were alarmed and immediately began
combing the zoo for the escaped animal, unaware that it had simply lain down
on the sidewalk and had gone to sleep.
        Meanwhile, the marine biologist arrived at the zoo and procured his
bird.  He was so excited by the prospect of helping his dolphins that he
stepped absentmindedly stepped over the sleeping lion on his way back to his
car.  Immediately, 1500 policemen converged on him and arrested him for
transporting a myna across a staid lion for immortal porpoises.
Once upon a time there was a kingdom ruled by a great bear.  The peasants
were not very rich, and one of the few ways to become at all wealthy was
to become a Royal Knight.  This required an interview with the bear.  If
the bear liked you, you were knighted on the spot.  If not, the bear would
just as likely remove your head with one swat of a paw.  However, the family
of these unfortunate would-be knights was compensated with a beautiful
sheepdog from the royal kennels, which was itself a fairly valuable
possession.  And the moral of the story is:

The mourning after a terrible knight, nothing beats the dog of the bear that
hit you.
One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to
do and always a clever thing to say.
                -- Will Durant
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
Our sires' age was worse that our grandsires'.
We their sons are more worthless than they:
so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt.
                -- Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace)
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
                -- S. Johnson, "The Life of Samuel Johnson" by J. Boswell

In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last
resort of the scoundrel.  With all due respect to an enlightened but
inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.
                -- Ambrose Bierce

When Dr. Johnson defined patriotism as the last refuge of a scoundrel,
he ignored the enormous possibilities of the word reform.
                -- Sen. Roscoe Conkling

Public office is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
                -- Boies Penrose
People that can't find something to live for always seem to find something to
die for.  The problem is, they usually want the rest of us to die for it too.
Perhaps the most widespread illusion is that if we were in power we would
behave very differently from those who now hold it -- when, in truth, in
order to get power we would have to become very much like them.  (Lenin's
fatal mistake, both in theory and in practice.)
President Reagan has noted that there are too many economic pundits and
forecasters and has decided on an excess prophets tax.
Slaves are generally expected to sing as well as to work ... I did not, when
a slave, understand the deep meanings of those rude, and apparently incoherent
songs.  I was myself within the circle, so that I neither saw nor heard as
those without might see and hear.  They told a tale which was then altogether
beyond my feeble comprehension: they were tones, loud, long and deep,
breathing the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with the bitterest
anguish.  Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God
for deliverance from chains.
                -- Frederick Douglass
        Somewhat alarmed at the continued growth of the number of employees
on the Department of Agriculture payroll in 1962, Michigan Republican Robert
Griffin proposed an amendment to the farm bill so that "the total number of
employees in the Department of Agriculture at no time exceeds the number of
farmers in America."
                -- Bill Adler, "The Washington Wits"
        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
Such a foolish notion, that war is called devotion, when the greatest
warriors are the ones who stand for peace.
Surprise!  You are the lucky winner of random I.R.S. Audit!  Just type
in your name and social security number.  Please remember that leaving
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Tax reform means "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind
the tree."
                -- Russell Long
That government is best which governs least.
                -- Henry David Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience"
That's where the money was.
                -- Willie Sutton, on being asked why he robbed a bank

It's a rather pleasant experience to be alone in a bank at night.
                -- Willie Sutton
... The Anarchists' [national] anthem is an international anthem that
consists of 365 raspberries blown in very quick succession to the tune
of "Camptown Races".  Nobody has to stand up for it, nobody has to
listen to it, and, even better, nobody has to play it.
                -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
The assertion that "all men are created equal" was of no practical use
in effecting our separation from Great Britain and it was placed in the
Declaration not for that, but for future use.
                --  Abraham Lincoln
The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any
reward.
                -- John Maynard Keynes
The better the state is established, the fainter is humanity.
To make the individual uncomfortable, that is my task.
                -- Nietzsche
The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern.  Every class
is unfit to govern.
                -- Lord Acton
The doctrine of human equality reposes on this: that there is no man
really clever who has not found that he is stupid.
                -- Gilbert K. Chesterson
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 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 fashionable drawing rooms of London have always been happy to accept
outsiders -- if only on their own, albeit undemanding terms.  That is to
say, artists, so long as they are not too talented, men of humble birth,
so long as they have since amassed several million pounds, and socialists
so long as they are Tories.
                -- Christopher Booker
        The General disliked trying to explain the highly technical inner
workings of the U.S. Air Force.
        "$7,662 for a ten cup coffee maker, General?" the Senator asked.
        In his head he ran through his standard explanations.  "It's not so,"
he thought.  "It's a deterrent."  Soon he came up with, "It's computerized,
Senator.  Tiny computer chips make coffee that's smooth and full-bodied.  Try
a cup."
        The Senator did.  "Pfffttt!  Tastes like jet fuel!"
        "It's not so," the General thought.  "It's a deterrent."
        Then he remembered something.  "We bought a lot of untested computer
chips," the General answered.  "They got into everything.  Just a little
mix-up.  Nothing serious."
        Then he remembered something else.  It was at the site of the
mysterious B-1 crash.  A strange smell in the fuel lines.  It smelled like
coffee.  Smooth and full bodied...
                -- Another Episode of General's Hospital
The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the
people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people
drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.
                -- Gore Vidal
The government has just completed work on a missile that turned out to be a
bit of a boondoggle; nicknamed "Civil Servant", it won't work and they can't
fire it.
The IRS spends God knows how much of your tax money on these toll-free
information hot lines staffed by IRS employees, whose idea of a dynamite tax
tip is that you should print neatly.  If you ask them a real tax question,
such as how you can cheat, they're useless.

So, for guidance, you want to look to big business.  Big business never pays
a nickel in taxes, according to Ralph Nader, who represents a big consumer
organization that never pays a nickel in taxes...
                -- Dave Barry, "Sweating Out Taxes"
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 mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause,
while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.
                -- Wilhelm Stekel
        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 more control, the more that requires control.
The price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that someday
they might force their beliefs on us.
                -- Mario Cuomo
The problem with most conspiracy theories is that they seem to believe that
for a group of people to behave in a way detrimental to the common good
requires intent.
The problem with this country is that there is no death penalty for
incompetence.
The public demands certainties;  it must be told definitely and a bit
raucously that this is true and that is false.  But there are no certainties.
                -- H.L. Mencken, "Prejudice"
The question is, why are politicians so eager to be president?  What is it
about the job that makes it worth revealing, on national television, that
you have the ethical standards of a slime-coated piece of industrial waste?
                -- Dave Barry, "On Presidential Politics"
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 trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians
who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool
all of the people all of the time.
                -- Franklin Adams
The two party system ... is a triumph of the dialectic.  It showed that
two could be one and one could be two and had probably been fabricated
by Hegel for the American market on a subcontract from General Dynamics.
                -- I.F. Stone
The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common.  Instead of
altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their
views ... which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the
facts that needs altering.
                -- Doctor Who, "Face of Evil"
The Worst Bank Robbery
        In August 1975 three men were on their way in to rob the Royal Bank of
Scotland at Rothesay, when they got stuck in the revolving doors.  They
had to be helped free by the staff and, after thanking everyone,
sheepishly left the building.
        A few minutes later they returned and announced their intention of
robbing the bank, but none of the staff believed them.  When they demanded
5,000 pounds in cash, the head cashier laughed at them, convinced that it
was a practical joke.
        Then one of the men jumped over the counter, but fell to the floor
clutching his ankle.  The other two tried to make their getaway, but got
trapped in the revolving doors again.
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 appears to be irrefutable evidence that the mere fact of overcrowding
induces violence.
                -- Harvey Wheeler
There are only two things in this world that I am sure of, death and
taxes, and we just might do something about death one of these days.
                -- shades
There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.
                -- Arthur C. Clarke
There is no education that is not political.  An apolitical
education is also political because it is purposely isolating.
There is not a man in the country that can't make a living for himself and
family.  But he can't make a living for them *and* his government, too,
the way his government is living.  What the government has got to do is
live as cheap as the people.
                -- The Best of Will Rogers
They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the
system from within.  I'm coming now I'm coming to reward them.  First
we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.

I'm guided by a signal in the heavens.  I'm guided by this birthmark on
my skin.  I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons.  First we take Manhattan,
then we take Berlin.

I'd really like to live beside you, baby.  I love your body and your spirit
and your clothes.  But you see that line there moving through the station?
I told you I told you I told you I was one of those.
        -- Leonard Cohen, "First We Take Manhattan"
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
                -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759
Thieves respect property; they merely wish the property to become
their property that they may more perfectly respect it.
                -- G.K. Chesterton, "The Man Who Was Thursday"
        Thompson, if he is to be believed, has sampled the entire rainbow of
legal and illegal drugs in heroic efforts to feel better than he does.
        As for the truth about his health: I have asked around about it.  I
am told that he appears to be strong and rosy, and steadily sane.  But we
will be doing what he wants us to do, I think, if we consider his exterior
a sort of Dorian Gray facade.  Inwardly, he is being eaten alive by tinhorn
politicians.
        The disease is fatal.  There is no known cure.  The most we can do
for the poor devil, it seems to me, is to name his disease in his honor.
From this moment on, let all those who feel that Americans can be as easily
led to beauty as to ugliness, to truth as to public relations, to joy as to
bitterness, be said to be suffering from Hunter Thompson's disease.  I don't
have it this morning.  It comes and goes.  This morning I don't have Hunter
Thompson's disease.
                -- Kurt Vonnegut Jr., on Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Excerpt
                from "A Political Disease", Vonnegut's review of "Fear and
                Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72"
Those who have some means think that the most important thing in the
world is love.  The poor know that it is money.
                -- Gerald Brenan
Too often I find that the volume of paper expands to fill the available
briefcases.
                -- Governor Jerry Brown
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"
Violence is a sword that has no handle -- you have to hold the blade.
We should be glad we're living in the time that we are.  If any of us had been
born into a more enlightened age, I'm sure we would have immediately been taken
out and shot.
                -- Strange de Jim
We the unwilling, led by the ungrateful, are doing the impossible.
We've done so much, for so long, with so little,
that we are now qualified to do something with nothing.
We tried to close Ohio's borders and ran into a Constitutional problem.
There's a provision in the Constitution that says you can't close your
borders to interstate commerce, and garbage is a form of interstate commerce.
                -- Ohio Lt. Governor Paul Leonard
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.
Well, he didn't know what to do, so he decided to look at the government,
to see what they did, and scale it down and run his life that way.
                -- Laurie Anderson
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 George Washington did for us was to throw out the British, so that we
wouldn't have a fat, insensitive government running our country. Nice try
anyway, George."
                -- D.J. on KSFO/KYA
What is status?
        Status is when the President calls you for your opinion.

Uh, no...
        Status is when the President calls you in to discuss a
        problem with him.

Uh, that still ain't right...
        STATUS is when you're in the Oval Office talking to the President,
        and the phone rings.  The President picks it up, listens for a
        minute, and hands it to you, saying, "It's for you."
When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's, social collapse is not
far away.  It is time to go elsewhere.  The best thing about space travel
is that it made it possible to go elsewhere.
                -- R.A. Heinlein, "Time Enough For Love"
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President.  Now
I'm beginning to believe it.
                -- Clarence Darrow
When some people decide it's time for everyone to make big changes,
it means that they want you to change first.
When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is
not hereditary.
                -- Thomas Paine
When you say that you agree to a thing in principle, you mean that
you have not the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice.
                -- Otto Von Bismarck
        "Wrong," said Renner.
        "The tactful way," Rod said quietly, "the polite way to disagree with
the Senator would be to say, `That turns out not to be the case.'"
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"
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
"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"
And they mainly want to teach them not to question, not to imagine,
but to be obedient and behave well so that they can hold them forever as
children to their bosom as the second millennium lurches toward its
panicky close.
                -- Jerome Stern
The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that
the end justifies the means.
                -- Georges Bernanos (1888-1948), French novelist,
                   political writer. "Why Freedom?" The last essays of
                   George Bernanos (1955)
3rd Law of Computing:
        Anything that can go wr
fortune: Segmentation violation -- Core dumped
A Law of Computer Programming:
        Make it possible for programmers to write in English
        and you will find that programmers cannot write in English.
Adler's Distinction:
        Language is all that separates us from the lower animals,
        and from the bureaucrats.
Advertising Rule:
        In writing a patent-medicine advertisement, first convince the
        reader that he has the disease he is reading about; secondly,
        that it is curable.
Afternoon, n.:
        That part of the day we spend worrying about how we wasted the morning.
Age, n.:
        That period of life in which we compound for the vices that we
        still cherish by reviling those that we no longer have the enterprise
        to commit.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Alliance, n.:
        In international politics, the union of two thieves who have
        their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that they cannot
        separately plunder a third.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Automobile, n.:
        A four-wheeled vehicle that runs up hills and down pedestrians.
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, n.:
        A programming language.  Related to certain social diseases in
        that those who have it will not admit it in polite company.
Bathquake, n.:
        The violent quake that rattles the entire house when the water
        faucet is turned on to a certain point.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Battle, n.:
        A method of untying with the teeth a political knot that
        will not yield to the tongue.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Bilbo's First Law:
        You cannot count friends that are all packed up in barrels.
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.
Bizoos, n.:
        The millions of tiny individual bumps that make up a basketball.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
boss, n:
        According to the Oxford English Dictionary, in the Middle Ages the
        words "boss" and "botch" were largely synonymous, except that boss,
        in addition to meaning "a supervisor of workers" also meant "an
        ornamental stud."
Bradley's Bromide:
        If computers get too powerful, we can organize
        them into a committee -- that will do them in.
brain, n:
        The apparatus with which we think that we think.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
brain-damaged, generalization of "Honeywell Brain Damage" (HBD), a
theoretical disease invented to explain certain utter cretinisms in
Multics, adj:
        Obviously wrong; cretinous; demented.  There is an implication
        that the person responsible must have suffered brain damage,
        because he/she should have known better.  Calling something
        brain-damaged is bad; it also implies it is unusable.
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
Bugs, pl. n.:
        Small living things that small living boys throw on small living girls.
Bureau Termination, Law of:
        When a government bureau is scheduled to be phased out,
        the number of employees in that bureau will double within
        12 months after the decision is made.
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
Cache:
        A very expensive part of the memory system of a computer that no one
        is supposed to know is there.
cerebral atrophy, n:
        The phenomena which occurs as brain cells become weak and sick, and
impair the brain's performance.  An abundance of these "bad" cells can cause
symptoms related to senility, apathy, depression, and overall poor academic
performance.  A certain small number of brain cells will deteriorate due to
everday activity, but large amounts are weakened by intense mental effort
and the assimilation of difficult concepts.  Many college students become
victims of this dread disorder due to poor habits such as overstudying.

cerebral darwinism, n:
        The theory that the effects of cerebral atrophy can be reversed
through the purging action of heavy alcohol consumption.  Large amounts of
alcohol cause many brain cells to perish due to oxygen deprivation.  Through
the process of natural selection, the weak and sick brain cells will die
first, leaving only the healthy cells.  This wonderful process leaves the
imbiber with a healthier, more vibrant brain, and increases mental capacity.
Thus, the devastating effects of cerebral atrophy are reversed, and academic
performance actually increases beyond previous levels.
Charity, n.:
        A thing that begins at home and usually stays there.
clairvoyant, n.:
        A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that
        which is invisible to her patron -- namely, that he is a blockhead.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Clovis' Consideration of an Atmospheric Anomaly:
        The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated
        than by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere,
        bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.
Collaboration, n.:
        A literary partnership based on the false assumption that the
        other fellow can spell.
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.
Committee, n.:
        A group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group
        decide that nothing can be done.
                -- Fred Allen
Copying machine, n.:
        A device that shreds paper, flashes mysteriously coded messages,
        and makes duplicates for everyone in the office who isn't
        interested in reading them.
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"
Davis's Dictum:
        Problems that go away by themselves, come back by themselves.
Death wish, n.:
        The only wish that always comes true, whether or not one wishes it to.
drug, n:
        A substance that, injected into a rat, produces a scientific paper.
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.)
Economies of scale:
        The notion that bigger is better.  In particular, that if you want
        a certain amount of computer power, it is much better to buy one
        biggie than a bunch of smallies.  Accepted as an article of faith
        by people who love big machines and all that complexity.  Rejected
        as an article of faith by those who love small machines and all
        those limitations.
Engram, n.:
        1. The physical manifestation of human memory -- "the engram."
2. A particular memory in physical form.  [Usage note:  this term is no longer
in common use.  Prior to Wilson and Magruder's historic discovery, the nature
of the engram was a topic of intense speculation among neuroscientists,
psychologists, and even computer scientists.  In 1994 Professors M. R. Wilson
and W. V. Magruder, both of Mount St. Coax University in Palo Alto, proved
conclusively that the mammalian brain is hardwired to interpret a set of
thirty seven genetically transmitted cooperating TECO macros.  Human memory
was shown to reside in 1 million Q-registers as Huffman coded uppercase-only
ASCII strings.  Interest in the engram has declined substantially since that
time.]
                -- New Century Unabridged English Dictionary,
                   3rd edition, 2007 A.D.
Etymology, n.:
        Some early etymological scholars came up with derivations that
        were hard for the public to believe.  The term "etymology" was formed
        from the Latin "etus" ("eaten"), the root "mal" ("bad"), and "logy"
        ("study of").  It meant "the study of things that are hard to swallow."
                -- Mike Kellen
Every Horse has an Infinite Number of Legs (proof by intimidation):

Horses have an even number of legs.  Behind they have two legs, and in
front they have fore-legs.  This makes six legs, which is certainly an
odd number of legs for a horse.  But the only number that is both even
and odd is infinity.  Therefore, horses have an infinite number of
legs.  Now to show this for the general case, suppose that somewhere,
there is a horse that has a finite number of legs.  But that is a horse
of another color, and by the lemma ["All horses are the same color"],
that does not exist.
feature, n:
        A surprising property of a program.  Occasionaly documented.  To
        call a property a feature sometimes means the author did not
        consider that case, and the program makes an unexpected, though
        not necessarily wrong response.  See BUG.  "That's not a bug, it's
        a feature!"  A bug can be changed to a feature by documenting it.
fenderberg, n.:
        The large glacial deposits that form on the insides
        of car fenders during snowstorms.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
Fifth Law of Procrastination:
        Procrastination avoids boredom; one never has the feeling that
        there is nothing important to do.
First Law of Procrastination:
        Procrastination shortens the job and places the responsibility
        for its termination on someone else (i.e., the authority who
        imposed the deadline).

Fifth Law of Procrastination:
        Procrastination avoids boredom; one never has the feeling that
        there is nothing important to do.
flannister, n.:
        The plastic yoke that holds a six-pack of beer together.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
Flugg's Law:
        When you need to knock on wood is when you realize
        that the world is composed of vinyl, naugahyde and aluminum.
Fog Lamps, n.:
        Excessively (often obnoxiously) bright lamps mounted on the fronts
        of automobiles; used on dry, clear nights to indicate that the
        driver's brain is in a fog.  See also "Idiot Lights".
FORTUNE EXPLAINS WHAT JOB REVIEW CATCH PHRASES MEAN:        #1
skilled oral communicator:
        Mumbles inaudibly when attempting to speak.  Talks to self.
        Argues with self.  Loses these arguments.

skilled written communicator:
        Scribbles well.  Memos are invariable illegible, except for
        the portions that attribute recent failures to someone else.

growth potential:
        With proper guidance, periodic counselling, and remedial training,
        the reviewee may, given enough time and close supervision, meet
        the minimum requirements expected of him by the company.

key company figure:
        Serves as the perfect counter example.
FORTUNE EXPLAINS WHAT JOB REVIEW CATCH PHRASES MEAN:        #4
consistent:
        Reviewee hasn't gotten anything right yet, and it is anticipated
        that this pattern will continue throughout the coming year.

an excellent sounding board:
        Present reviewee with any number of alternatives, and implement
        them in the order precisely opposite of his/her specification.

a planner and organizer:
        Usually manages to put on socks before shoes.  Can match the
        animal tags on his clothing.
Fortune's Rules for Memo Wars: #2

Given the incredible advances in sociocybernetics and telepsychology over
the last few years, we are now able to completely understand everything that
the author of an memo is trying to say.  Thanks to modern developments
in electrocommunications like notes, vnews, and electricity, we have an
incredible level of interunderstanding the likes of which civilization has
never known.  Thus, the possibility of your misinterpreting someone else's
memo is practically nil.  Knowing this, anyone who accuses you of having
done so is a liar, and should be treated accordingly.  If you *do* understand
the memo in question, but have absolutely nothing of substance to say, then
you have an excellent opportunity for a vicious ad hominem attack.  In fact,
the only *inappropriate* times for an ad hominem attack are as follows:

        1: When you agree completely with the author of an memo.
        2: When the author of the original memo is much bigger than you are.
        3: When replying to one of your own memos.
Fourth Law of Applied Terror:
        The night before the English History mid-term, your Biology
        instructor will assign 200 pages on planaria.

Corollary:
        Every instructor assumes that you have nothing else to do except
        study for that instructor's course.
Fun Facts, #14:
        In table tennis, whoever gets 21 points first wins.  That's how
        it once was in baseball -- whoever got 21 runs first won.
Galbraith's Law of Human Nature:
        Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that
        there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.
Genius, n.:
        A chemist who discovers a laundry additive that rhymes with "bright."
Ginsberg's Theorem:
        (1) You can't win.
        (2) You can't break even.
        (3) You can't even quit the game.

Freeman's Commentary on Ginsberg's theorem:
        Every major philosophy that attempts to make life seem
        meaningful is based on the negation of one part of Ginsberg's
        Theorem.  To wit:

        (1) Capitalism is based on the assumption that you can win.
        (2) Socialism is based on the assumption that you can break even.
        (3) Mysticism is based on the assumption that you can quit the game.
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.
Goto, n.:
        A programming tool that exists to allow structured programmers
        to complain about unstructured programmers.
                -- Ray Simard
grasshopotomaus:
        A creature that can leap to tremendous heights... once.
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
Hacker's Law:
        The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir
        a nation to action is one of mankind's oldest illusions.
hacker, n.:
        Originally, any person with a knack for coercing stubborn inanimate
        things; hence, a person with a happy knack, later contracted by the
        mythical philosopher Frisbee Frobenius to the common usage, 'hack'.
        In olden times, upon completion of some particularly atrocious body
        of coding that happened to work well, culpable programmers would gather
        in a small circle around a first edition of Knuth's Best Volume I by
        candlelight, and proceed to get very drunk while sporadically rending
        the following ditty:

                Hacker's Fight Song

                He's a Hack!  He's a Hack!
                He's a guy with the happy knack!
                Never bungles, never shirks,
                Always gets his stuff to work!

All take a drink (important!)
Hanlon's Razor:
        Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained
        by stupidity.
Hardware, n.:
        The parts of a computer system that can be kicked.
Heller's Law:
        The first myth of management is that it exists.

Johnson's Corollary:
        Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within the
        organization.
History, n.:
        Papa Hegel he say that all we learn from history is that we
        learn nothing from history.  I know people who can't even learn from
        what happened this morning.  Hegel must have been taking the long view.
                -- Chad C. Mulligan, "The Hipcrime Vocab"
HOW YOU CAN TELL THAT IT'S GOING TO BE A ROTTEN DAY:
        #1040 Your income tax refund cheque bounces.
HOW YOU CAN TELL THAT IT'S GOING TO BE A ROTTEN DAY:
        #15 Your pet rock snaps at you.
HOW YOU CAN TELL THAT IT'S GOING TO BE A ROTTEN DAY:
        #32: You call your answering service and they've never heard of you.
Howe's Law:
        Everyone has a scheme that will not work.
idiot box, n.:
        The part of the envelope that tells a person where to place the
        stamp when they can't quite figure it out for themselves.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
incentive program, n.:
        The system of long and short-term rewards that a corporation uses
        to motivate its people.  Still, despite all the experimentation with
        profit sharing, stock options, and the like, the most effective
        incentive program to date seems to be "Do a good job and you get to
        keep it."
Ingrate, n.:
        A man who bites the hand that feeds him, and then complains of
        indigestion.
insecurity, n.:
        Finding out that you've mispronounced for years one of your
        favorite words.

        Realizing halfway through a joke that you're telling it to
        the person who told it to you.
Iron Law of Distribution:
        Them that has, gets.
"It's in process":
        So wrapped up in red tape that the situation is almost hopeless.
Jim Nasium's Law:
        In a large locker room with hundreds of lockers, the few people
        using the facility at any one time will all have lockers next to
        each other so that everybody is cramped.
Johnny Carson's Definition:
        The smallest interval of time known to man is that which occurs
        in Manhattan between the traffic signal turning green and the
        taxi driver behind you blowing his horn.
Johnson's law:
        Systems resemble the organizations that create them.
Jones' First Law:
        Anyone who makes a significant contribution to any field of
        endeavor, and stays in that field long enough, becomes an
        obstruction to its progress -- in direct proportion to the
        importance of their original contribution.
Katz' Law:
        Men and nations will act rationally when
        all other possibilities have been exhausted.

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have
exhausted all other alternatives.
                -- Abba Eban
Kaufman's Law:
        A policy is a restrictive document to prevent a recurrence
        of a single incident, in which that incident is never mentioned.
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.
kernel, n.:
        A part of an operating system that preserves the medieval
        traditions of sorcery and black art.
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.
Knebel's Law:
        It is now proved beyond doubt that smoking is one of the leading
        causes of statistics.
Lactomangulation, n.:
        Manhandling the "open here" spout on a milk carton so badly
        that one has to resort to using the "illegal" side.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Law of Procrastination:
        Procrastination avoids boredom; one never has
        the feeling that there is nothing important to do.
learning curve, n.:
        An astonishing new theory, discovered by management consultants
        in the 1970's, asserting that the more you do something the
        quicker you can do it.
Lee's Law:
        Mother said there would be days like this,
        but she never said that there'd be so many!
Lemma:  All horses are the same color.
Proof (by induction):
        Case n = 1: In a set with only one horse, it is obvious that all
        horses in that set are the same color.
        Case n = k: Suppose you have a set of k+1 horses.  Pull one of these
        horses out of the set, so that you have k horses.  Suppose that all
        of these horses are the same color.  Now put back the horse that you
        took out, and pull out a different one.  Suppose that all of the k
        horses now in the set are the same color.  Then the set of k+1 horses
        are all the same color.  We have k true => k+1 true; therefore all
        horses are the same color.
Theorem: All horses have an infinite number of legs.
Proof (by intimidation):
        Everyone would agree that all horses have an even number of legs.  It
        is also well-known that horses have forelegs in front and two legs in
        back.  4 + 2 = 6 legs, which is certainly an odd number of legs for a
        horse to have!  Now the only number that is both even and odd is
        infinity; therefore all horses have an infinite number of legs.
        However, suppose that there is a horse somewhere that does not have an
        infinite number of legs.  Well, that would be a horse of a different
        color; and by the Lemma, it doesn't exist.
life, n.:
        That brief interlude between nothingness and eternity.
love, n.:
        When you like to think of someone on days that begin with a morning.
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"
Magary's Principle:
        When there is a public outcry to cut deadwood and fat from any
        government bureaucracy, it is the deadwood and the fat that do
        the cutting, and the public's services are cut.
Magnocartic, adj.:
        Any automobile that, when left unattended, attracts shopping carts.
                -- Sniglets, "Rich Hall & Friends"
Magpie, n.:
        A bird whose theivish disposition suggested to someone that it
        might be taught to talk.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Majority, n.:
        That quality that distinguishes a crime from a law.
Mark's Dental-Chair Discovery:
        Dentists are incapable of asking questions that require a
        simple yes or no answer.
marriage, n.:
        An old, established institution, entered into by two people deeply
        in love and desiring to make a committment to each other expressing
        that love.  In short, committment to an institution.
Meade's Maxim:
        Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everyone else.
Mencken and Nathan's Sixteenth Law of The Average American:
        Milking a cow is an operation demanding a special talent that
        is possessed only by yokels, and no person born in a large city can
        never hope to acquire it.
meterologist, n.:
        One who doubts the established fact that it is
        bound to rain if you forget your umbrella.
Minicomputer:
        A computer that can be afforded on the budget of a middle-level manager.
Misfortune, n.:
        The kind of fortune that never misses.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
modem, adj.:
        Up-to-date, new-fangled, as in "Thoroughly Modem Millie."  An
        unfortunate byproduct of kerning.

        [That's sic!]
modesty, n.:
        Being comfortable that others will discover your greatness.
Molecule, n.:
        The ultimate, indivisible unit of matter.  It is distinguished
        from the corpuscle, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of matter, by a
        closer resemblance to the atom, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of
        matter ... The ion differs from the molecule, the corpuscle and the
        atom in that it is an ion ...
        -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Mustgo, n.:
        Any item of food that has been sitting in the refrigerator so
        long it has become a science project.
                -- Sniglets, "Rich Hall & Friends"
neutron bomb, n.:
        An explosive device of limited military value because, as
        it only destroys people without destroying property, it
        must be used in conjunction with bombs that destroy property.
Newlan's Truism:
        An "acceptable" level of unemployment means that the
        government economist to whom it is acceptable still has a job.
Occam's eraser:
        The philosophical principle that even the simplest
        solution is bound to have something wrong with it.
On-line, adj.:
        The idea that a human being should always be accessible to a computer.
One Page Principle:
        A specification that will not fit on one page of 8.5x11 inch
        paper cannot be understood.
                -- Mark Ardis
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.
optimist, n.:
        A proponent of the belief that black is white.

        A pessimist asked God for relief.
        "Ah, you wish me to restore your hope and cheerfulness," said God.
        "No," replied the petitioner, "I wish you to create something that
would justify them."
        "The world is all created," said God, "but you have overlooked
something -- the mortality of the optimist."
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
pain, n.:
        One thing, at least it proves that you're alive!
Patageometry, n.:
        The study of those mathematical properties that are invariant
        under brain transplants.
paycheck:
        The weekly $5.27 that remains after deductions for federal
        withholding, state withholding, city withholding, FICA,
        medical/dental, long-term disability, unemployment insurance,
        Christmas Club, and payroll savings plan contributions.
Pecor's Health-Food Principle:
        Never eat rutabaga on any day of the week that has a "y" in it.
Peterson's Admonition:
        When you think you're going down for the third time --
        just remember that you may have counted wrong.
Peterson's Rules:
        (1) Trucks that overturn on freeways are filled with something sticky.
        (2) No cute baby in a carriage is ever a girl when called one.
        (3) Things that tick are not always clocks.
        (4) Suicide only works when you're bluffing.
petribar:
        Any sun-bleached prehistoric candy that has been sitting in
        the window of a vending machine too long.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
phosflink:
        To flick a bulb on and off when it burns out (as if, somehow, that
        will bring it back to life).
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
Pohl's law:
        Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.
poverty, n.:
        An unfortunate state that persists as long
        as anyone lacks anything he would like to have.
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.
Proof techniques #2: Proof by Oddity.
        SAMPLE: To prove that horses have an infinite number of legs.
(1) Horses have an even number of legs.
(2) They have two legs in back and fore legs in front.
(3) This makes a total of six legs, which certainly is an odd number of
    legs for a horse.
(4) But the only number that is both odd and even is infinity.
(5) Therefore, horses must have an infinite number of legs.

Topics is be covered in future issues include proof by:
        Intimidation
        Gesticulation (handwaving)
        "Try it; it works"
        Constipation (I was just sitting there and ...)
        Blatant assertion
        Changing all the 2's to _n's
        Mutual consent
        Lack of a counterexample, and
        "It stands to reason"
Pudder's Law:
        Anything that begins well will end badly.
        (Note: The converse of Pudder's law is not true.)
QOTD:
        "East is east... and let's keep it that way."
QOTD:
        "If I could walk that way, I wouldn't need the cologne, now would I?"
QOTD:
        "It seems to me that your antenna doesn't bring in too many
        stations anymore."
QOTD:
        "It was so cold last winter that I saw a lawyer with his
        hands in his own pockets."
QOTD:
        "What I like most about myself is that I'm so understanding
        when I mess things up."
QOTD:
        I'm not bald -- I'm "hair challenged".

        [I thought that was "differently haired". Ed.]
QOTD:
        The forest may be quiet, but that doesn't mean
        the snakes have gone away.
QOTD:
        The only easy way to tell a hamster from a gerbil is that the
        gerbil has more dark meat.
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.
Quality Control, n.:
        The process of testing one out of every 1,000 units coming off
        a production line to make sure that at least one out of 100 works.
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.
Ralph's Observation:
        It is a mistake to let any mechanical object realise that you
        are in a hurry.
Reformed, n.:
        A synagogue that closes for the Jewish holidays.
Responsibility:
        Everyone says that having power is a great responsibility.  This is
a lot of bunk.  Responsibility is when someone can blame you if something
goes wrong.  When you have power you are surrounded by people whose job it
is to take the blame for your mistakes.  If they're smart, that is.
                -- Cerebus, "On Governing"
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.
Rudin's Law:
        If there is a wrong way to do something, most people will
        do it every time.

Rudin's Second Law:
        In a crisis that forces a choice to be made among alternative
        courses of action, people tend to choose the worst possible
        course.
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."'"
scenario, n.:
        An imagined sequence of events that provides the context in
        which a business decision is made.  Scenarios always come in
        sets of three: best case, worst case, and just in case.
Schapiro's Explanation:
        The grass is always greener on the other side -- but that's
        because they use more manure.
Schlattwhapper, n.:
        The window shade that allows itself to be pulled down,
        hesitates for a second, then snaps up in your face.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Self Test for Paranoia:
        You know you have it when you can't think of anything that's
        your own fault.
Shannon's Observation:
        Nothing is so frustrating as a bad situation that is beginning to
        improve.
Shaw's Principle:
        Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will
        want to use it.
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.
Slurm, n.:
        The slime that accumulates on the underside of a soap bar when
        it sits in the dish too long.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Snacktrek, n.:
        The peculiar habit, when searching for a snack, of constantly
        returning to the refrigerator in hopes that something new will have
        materialized.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
spagmumps, n.:
        Any of the millions of Styrofoam wads that accompany mail-order items.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
Spirtle, n.:
        The fine stream from a grapefruit that always lands right in your eye.
                -- Sniglets, "Rich Hall & Friends"
sushi, n.:
        When that-which-may-still-be-alive is put on top of rice and
        strapped on with electrical tape.
take forceful action:
        Do something that should have been done a long time ago.
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
Technicality, n.:
        In an English court a man named Home was tried for slander in having
        accused a neighbor of murder.  His exact words were: "Sir Thomas Holt
        hath taken a cleaver and stricken his cook upon the head, so that one
        side of his head fell on one shoulder and the other side upon the
        other shoulder."  The defendant was acquitted by instruction of the
        court, the learned judges holding that the words did not charge murder,
        for they did not affirm the death of the cook, that being only an
        inference.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
telepression, n.:
        The deep-seated guilt which stems from knowing that you did not try
        hard enough to look up the number on your own and instead put the
        burden on the directory assistant.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
The Briggs-Chase Law of Program Development:
        To determine how long it will take to write and debug a
        program, take your best estimate, multiply that by two, add
        one, and convert to the next higher units.
The distinction between Jewish and goyish can be quite subtle, as the
following quote from Lenny Bruce illustrates:

        "I'm Jewish.  Count Basie's Jewish.  Ray Charles is Jewish.
Eddie Cantor's goyish.  The B'nai Brith is goyish.  The Hadassah is
Jewish.  Marine Corps -- heavy goyish, dangerous.

        "Kool-Aid is goyish.  All Drake's Cakes are goyish.
Pumpernickel is Jewish and, as you know, white bread is very goyish.
Instant potatoes -- goyish.  Black cherry soda's very Jewish.
Macaroons are ____very Jewish.  Fruit salad is Jewish.  Lime Jell-O is
goyish.  Lime soda is ____very goyish.  Trailer parks are so goyish that
Jews won't go near them ..."
                -- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
The history of warfare is similarly subdivided, although here the phases
are Retribution, Anticipation, and Diplomacy.  Thus:

Retribution:
        I'm going to kill you because you killed my brother.
Anticipation:
        I'm going to kill you because I killed your brother.
Diplomacy:
        I'm going to kill my brother and then kill you on the
        pretext that your brother did it.
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 Official MBA Handbook on the use of sunlamps:
        Use a sunlamp only on weekends.  That way, if the office wise guy
        remarks on the sudden appearance of your tan, you can fabricate
        some story about a sun-stroked weekend at some island Shangri-La
        like Caneel Bay.  Nothing is more transparent than leaving the
        office at 11:45 on a Tuesday night, only to return an Aztec sun
        god at 8:15 the next morning.
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".
The three biggest software lies:
        (1) *Of course* we'll give you a copy of the source.
        (2) *Of course* the third party vendor we bought that from
            will fix the microcode.
        (3) Beta test site?  No, *of course* you're not a beta test site.
Theorem: All positive integers are equal.
Proof: Sufficient to show that for any two positive integers, A and B, A = B.
        Further, it is sufficient to show that for all N > 0, if A and B
        (positive integers) satisfy (MAX(A, B) = N) then A = B.

Proceed by induction:
        If N = 1, then A and B, being positive integers, must both be 1.
        So A = B.

Assume that the theorem is true for some value k.  Take A and B with
        MAX(A, B) = k+1.  Then  MAX((A-1), (B-1)) = k.  And hence
        (A-1) = (B-1).  Consequently, A = B.
Theory of Selective Supervision:
        The one time in the day that you lean back and relax is
        the one time the boss walks through the office.
toilet toup'ee, n.:
        Any shag carpet that causes the lid to become top-heavy, thus
        creating endless annoyance to male users.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
transfer, n.:
        A promotion you receive on the condition that you leave town.
travel, n.:
        Something that makes you feel like you're getting somewhere.
vacation, n.:
        A two-week binge of rest and relaxation so intense that
        it takes another 50 weeks of your restrained workaday
        life-style to recuperate.
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.
vuja de:
        The feeling that you've *never*, *ever* been in this situation before.
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.
Weinberg's Second Law:
        If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs,
        then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
                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.
Work Rule: Leave of Absence (for an Operation):
        We are no longer allowing this practice.  We wish to discourage any
thoughts that you may not need all of whatever you have, and you should not
consider having anything removed.  We hired you as you are, and to have
anything removed would certainly make you less than we bargained for.
Worst Month of the Year:
        February.  February has only 28 days in it, which means that if
        you rent an apartment, you are paying for three full days you
        don't get.  Try to avoid Februarys whenever possible.
                -- Steve Rubenstein
yo-yo, n.:
        Something that is occasionally up but normally down.
        (see also Computer).
Emotional Ketchup Burst:
        The bottling up of opinions and emotions inside oneself so
that they explosively burst forth all at once, shocking and confusing
employers and friends -- most of whom thought things were fine.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Consensus Terrorism:
        The process that decides in-office attitudes and behavior.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Recurving:
        Leaving one job to take another that pays less but places one
back on the learning curve.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Successophobia:
        The fear that if one is successful, then one's personal needs
will be forgotten and one will no longer have one's childish needs
catered to.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Safety Net-ism:
        The belief that there will always be a financial and emotional
safety net to buffer life's hurts.  Usually parents.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Divorce Assumption:
        A form of Safety Net-ism, the belief that if a marriage
doesn't work out, then there is no problem because partners can simply
seek a divorce.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Now Denial:
        To tell oneself that the only time worth living in is the past and
that the only time that may ever be interesting again is the future.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Diseases for Kisses (Hyperkarma):
        A deeply rooted belief that punishment will somehow always be
far greater than the crime: ozone holes for littering.
                -- 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"
The Emperor's New Mall:
        The popular notion that shopping malls exist on the insides only
and have no exterior.  The suspension of visual disbelief engendered
by this notion allows shoppers to pretend that the large, cement
blocks thrust into their environment do not, in fact, exist.
                -- 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"
Poor Buoyancy:
        The realization that one was a better person when one had less
money.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Yuppie Wannabes:
        An X generation subgroup that believes the myth of a yuppie
life-style being both satisfying and viable.  Tend to be highly in
debt, involved in some form of substance abuse, and show a willingness
to talk about Armageddon after three drinks.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Anti-Victim Device:
        A small fashion accessory worn on an otherwise
conservative outfit which announces to the world that one still has a
spark of individuality burning inside: 1940s retro ties and earrings
(on men), feminist buttons, noserings (women), and the now almost
completely extinct teeny weeny "rattail" haircut (both sexes).
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Nutritional Slumming:
        Food whose enjoyment stems not from flavor but from a
complex mixture of class connotations, nostalgia signals, and
packaging semiotics: Katie and I bought this tub of Multi-Whip instead
of real whip cream because we thought petroleum distillate whip
topping seemed like the sort of food that air force wives stationed in
Pensacola back in the early sixties would feed their husbands to
celebrate a career promotion.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Tele-Parabilizing:
        Morals used in everyday life that derive from TV sitcom plots:
"That's just like the episode where Jan loses her glasses!"
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
QFM:
        Quelle fashion mistake.  "It was really QFM.  I mean painter
pants?  That's 1979 beyond belief."
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Strangelove Reproduction:
        Having children to make up for the fact that one no longer
believes in the future.
                -- 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"
A log may float in a river, but that does not make it a crocodile.
A pickup with three guys in it pulls into the lumber yard.  One of the men
gets out and goes into the office.
        "I need some four-by-two's," he says.
        "You must mean two-by-four's" replies the clerk.
        The man scratches his head.  "Wait a minute," he says, "I'll go
check."
        Back, after an animated conversation with the other occupants of the
truck, he reassures the clerk, that, yes, in fact, two-by-fours would be
acceptable.
        "OK," says the clerk, writing it down, "how long you want 'em?"
        The guy gets the blank look again.  "Uh... I guess I better go
check," he says.
        He goes back out to the truck, and there's another animated
conversation.  The guy comes back into the office.  "A long time," he says,
"we're building a house".
A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature
replaces it with.
                -- Tennessee Williams
AMAZING BUT TRUE ...
        There is so much sand in Northern Africa that if it were spread out it
        would completely cover the Sahara Desert.
Boy, that crayon sure did hurt!
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?
Did you know ...

That no-one ever reads these things?
Do not use that foreign word "ideals".  We have that excellent native
word "lies".
                -- Henrik Ibsen, "The Wild Duck"
        "Do you believe in intuition?"
        "No, but I have a strange feeling that someday I will."
Drop that pickle!
Dyslexia means never having to say that you're ysror.
From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back.
That is the point that must be reached.
                -- F. Kafka
God was satisfied with his own work, and that is fatal.
                -- Samuel Butler
        "Have you lived here all your life?"
        "Oh, twice that long."
Have you noticed that all you need to grow healthy, vigorous grass is a
crack in your sidewalk?
"His eyes were cold.  As cold as the bitter winter snow that was falling
outside.  Yes, cold and therefore difficult to chew..."
Honk if you hate bumper stickers that say "Honk if ..."
I can relate to that.
I enjoy the time that we spend together.
I feel sorry for your brain... all alone in that great big head...
I have more hit points that you can possible imagine.
I hear the sound that the machines make, and feel my heart break, just
for a moment.
I never did it that way before.
        [I plan] to see, hear, touch, and destroy everything in my path,
including beets, rutabagas, and most random vegetables, but excluding yams,
as I am absolutely terrified of yams...
        Actually, I think my fear of yams began in my early youth, when many
of my young comrades pelted me with same for singing songs of far-off lands
and deep blue seas in a language closely resembling that of the common sow.
My psychosis was further impressed into my soul as I reached adolescence,
when, while skipping through a field of yams, light-heartedly tossing flowers
into the stratosphere, a great yam-picking machine tore through the fields,
pursuing me to the edge of the great plantation, where I escaped by diving
into a great ditch filled with a mixture of water and pig manure, which may
explain my tendency to scream, "Here come the Martians!  Hide the eggs!" every
time I have pork.  But I digress.  The fact remains that I cannot rationally
deal with yams, and pigs are terrible conversationalists.
I predict that today will be remembered until tomorrow!
        "I'm dying," he croaked.
        "My experiment was a success," the chemist retorted .
        "You can't really train a beagle," he dogmatized.
        "That's no beagle, it's a mongrel," she muttered.
        "The fire is going out," he bellowed.
        "Bad marksmanship," the hunter groused.
        "You ought to see a psychiatrist," he reminded me.
        "You snake," she rattled.
        "Someone's at the door," she chimed.
        "Company's coming," she guessed.
        "Dawn came too soon," she mourned.
        "I think I'll end it all," Sue sighed.
        "I ordered chocolate, not vanilla," I screamed.
        "Your embroidery is sloppy," she needled cruelly.
        "Where did you get this meat?" he bridled hoarsely.
                -- Gyles Brandreth, "The Joy of Lex"
If the future isn't what it used to be, does that mean that the past
is subject to change in times to come?
It has long been known that birds will occasionally build nests in the
manes of horses.  The only known solution to this problem is to sprinkle
baker's yeast in the mane, for, as we all know, yeast is yeast and nest
is nest, and never the mane shall tweet.
It occurred to me lately that nothing has occurred to me lately.
It was pleasant to me to get a letter from you the other day.  Perhaps
I should have found it pleasanter if I had been able to decipher it.  I
don't think that I mastered anything beyond the date (which I knew) and
the signature (which I guessed at).  There's a singular and a perpetual
charm in a letter of yours; it never grows old, it never loses its
novelty.  Other letters are read and thrown away and forgotten, but
yours are kept forever -- unread.  One of them will last a reasonable
man a lifetime.
                -- Thomas Aldrich
It wasn't that she had a rose in her teeth, exactly.  It was more like
the rose and the teeth were in the same glass.
It's not the fall that kills you, it's the landing.
Let's remind ourselves that last year's fresh idea is today's cliche.
                -- Austen Briggs
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.
No small art is it to sleep: it is necessary for that purpose to keep
awake all day.
                -- Nietzsche
Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it's time to get up.
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.
                -- Michel de Montaigne
Our problems are so serious that the best way to talk about them is
lightheartedly.
Over the years, I've developed my sense of deja vu so acutely that now
I can remember things that *have* happened before ...
Peace be to this house, and all that dwell in it.
Plastic...  Aluminum...  These are the inheritors of the Universe!
Flesh and Blood have had their day... and that day is past!
                -- Green Lantern Comics
Remember that there is an outside world to see and enjoy.
                -- Hans Liepmann
She has an alarm clock and a phone that don't ring -- they applaud.
Slang is language that takes off its coat, spits on its hands, and goes to work.
Someday, Weederman, we'll look back on all this and laugh... It will
probably be one of those deep, eerie ones that slowly builds to a
blood-curdling maniacal scream... but still it will be a laugh.
                -- Mister Boffo
That's odd.  That's very odd.  Wouldn't you say that's very odd?
That's what she said.
The difference between this place and yogurt is that yogurt has a live culture.
The fact that it works is immaterial.
                -- L. Ogborn
... the flaw that makes perfection perfect.
The last person who said that (God rest his soul) lived to regret it.
The luck that is ordained for you will be coveted by others.
The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to
cringe.
The pollution's at that awkward stage.  Too thick to navigate and too
thin to cultivate.
                -- Doug Sneyd
The problem with any unwritten law is that you don't know where to go
to erase it.
                -- Glaser and Way
The sheep that fly over your head are soon to land.
The world really isn't any worse.  It's just that the news coverage
is so much better.
There's nothing very mysterious about you, except that
nobody really knows your origin, purpose, or destination.
"To vacillate or not to vacillate, that is the question ... or is it?"
Wait for that wisest of all counselors, Time.
                -- Pericles
We'll cross that bridge when we come back to it later.
Why not go out on a limb?  Isn't that where the fruit is?
Would that my hand were as swift as my tongue.
                -- Alfieri
I used to have nightmares that the Grinch's dog would kidnap me and make me
dress up in a halter-top and hot pants and listen to Burl Ives records.
                -- Robin, "Anything But Love", 12/18/91.
A guy walks into a bar, orders a beer, carries it to the bathroom and dumps it
into a urinal.  Over the course of the next few hours, he goes back to the bar
and repeats this sequence -- several times.  Finally the bartender got so
curious that he leaned over the bar and asked him what he was doing.

Replied the customer, "Avoiding the middleman."
Best Beer: A panel of tasters assembled by the Consumer's Union in 1969
judged Coors and Miller's High Life to be among the very best. Those who
doubt that beer is a serious subject might ponder its effect on American
history. For example, New England's first colonists decided to drop anchor
at Plymouth Rock instead of continuing on to Virginia because, as one of
them put it, "We could not now take time for further consideration, our
victuals being spent and especially our beer."
        -- Felton & Fowler's Best, Worst & Most Unusual
Coach: What would you say to a beer, Normie?
Norm:  Daddy wuvs you.
                -- Cheers, The Mail Goes to Jail

Sam:  What'd you like, Normie?
Norm: A reason to live.  Gimme another beer.
                -- Cheers, Behind Every Great Man

Sam:  What will you have, Norm?
Norm: Well, I'm in a gambling mood, Sammy.  I'll take a glass of whatever
      comes out of that tap.
Sam:  Oh, looks like beer, Norm.
Norm: Call me Mister Lucky.
                -- Cheers, The Executive's Executioner
Drinking coffee for instant relaxation?  That's like drinking alcohol for
instant motor skills.
                -- Marc Price
Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin
with, that it's compounding a felony.
                -- Robert Benchley
FORTUNE'S PARTY TIPS                #14

Tired of finding that other people are helping themselves to your good
liquor at BYOB parties?  Take along a candle, which you insert and
light after you've opened the bottle.  No one ever expects anything
drinkable to be in a bottle which has a candle stuck in its neck.
Harry's bar has a new cocktail.  It's called MRS punch.  They make it with
milk, rum and sugar and it's wonderful.  The milk is for vitality and the
sugar is for pep.  They put in the rum so that people will know what to do
with all that pep and vitality.
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.
I have just had eighteen whiskeys in a row.  I do believe that is a record.
                -- Dylan Thomas, his last words
I suppose that in a few hours I will sober up. That's such a sad
thought. I think I'll have a few more drinks to prepare myself.
I will not drink!
But if I do...
I will not get drunk!
But if I do...
I will not in public!
But if I do...
I will not fall down!
But if I do...
I will fall face down so that they cannot see my company badge.
I'm not under the alkafluence of inkahol
that some thinkle peep I am.
It's just the drunker I sit here the longer I get.
I've always felt sorry for people that don't drink -- remember,
when they wake up, that's as good as they're gonna feel all day!
In 1967, the Soviet Government minted a beautiful silver ruble with Lenin
in a very familiar pose -- arms raised above him, leading the country to
revolution.  But, it was clear to everybody, that if you looked at it from
behind, it was clear that Lenin was pointing to 11:00, when the Vodka
shops opened, and was actually saying, "Comrades, forward to the Vodka shops.

It became fashionable, when one wanted to have a drink, to take out the
ruble and say, "Oh my goodness, Comrades, Lenin tells me we should go.
It has been said that Public Relations is the art of winning friends
and getting people under the influence.
                -- Jeremy Tunstall
"Mind if I smoke?"
        "Yes, I'd like to see that, does it come out of your ears or what?"
[Norm returns from the hospital.]

Coach:  What's up, Norm?
Norm:   Everything that's supposed to be.
                -- Cheers, Diane Meets Mom

Sam:  What's new, Normie?
Norm: Terrorists, Sam.  They've taken over my stomach.  They're demanding beer.
                -- Cheers, The Heart is a Lonely Snipehunter

Coach: What'll it be, Normie?
Norm:  Just the usual, Coach.  I'll have a froth of beer and a snorkel.
                -- Cheers, King of the Hill
[Norm tries to prove that he is not Anton Kreitzer.]
Norm:  Afternoon, everybody!
All:   Anton!
                -- Cheers, The Two Faces of Norm

Woody: What's going on, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  A flashing sign in my gut that says, ``Insert beer here.''
                -- Cheers, Call Me, Irresponsible

Sam:  What can I get you, Norm?
Norm: [scratching his beard] Got any flea powder?  Ah, just kidding.
      Gimme a beer; I think I'll just drown the little suckers.
                -- Cheers, Two Girls for Every Boyd
Not drinking, chasing women, or doing drugs won't make you live longer --
it just seems that way.
One difference between a man and a machine is that a machine is quiet
when well oiled.
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.
Riffle West Virginia is so small that the Boy Scout had to double as the
town drunk.
Sam:  What do you say, Norm?
Norm: Any cheap, tawdry thing that'll get me a beer.
                -- Cheers, Birth, Death, Love and Rice

Sam:  What do you say to a beer, Normie?
Norm: Hiya, sailor.  New in town?
                -- Cheers, Woody Goes Belly Up

Norm: [coming in from the rain] Evening, everybody.
All:  Norm!  (Norman.)
Sam:  Still pouring, Norm?
Norm: That's funny, I was about to ask you the same thing.
                -- Cheers, Diane's Nightmare
Sometimes I simply feel that the whole world is a cigarette and I'm the
only ashtray.
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
Symptom:                Floor blurred.
Fault:                        You are looking through bottom of empty glass.
Action Required:        Find someone who will buy you another beer.

Symptom:                Floor moving.
Fault:                        You are being carried out.
Action Required:        Find out if you are taken to another bar.  If not,
                        complain loudly that you are being kidnapped.
                -- Bar Troubleshooting
The mark of a good party is that you wake up the next morning wanting to
change your name and start a new life in different city.
                -- Vance Bourjaily, "Esquire"
The verdict of a jury is the a priori opinion of that juror who smokes
the worst cigars.
                -- H. L. Mencken
The wise and intelligent are coming belatedly to realize that alcohol, and
not the dog, is man's best friend.  Rover is taking a beating -- and he should.
                -- W.C. Fields
There are two problems with a major hangover.  You feel
like you are going to die and you're afraid that you won't.
We don't smoke and we don't chew, and we don't go with girls that do.
                -- Walter Summers
When I heated my home with oil, I used an average of 800 gallons a year.  I
have found that I can keep comfortably warm for an entire winter with
slightly over half that quantity of beer.
                -- Dave Barry, "Postpetroleum Guzzler"
Woody:  What's the story, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:   The Bobbsey twins go to the brewery.
        Let's just cut to the happy ending.
                -- Cheers, Airport V

Woody:  Hey, Mr. Peterson, there's a cold one waiting for you.
Norm:   I know, and if she calls, I'm not here.
                -- Cheers, Bar Wars II: The Woodman Strikes Back

Sam:  Beer, Norm?
Norm: Have I gotten that predictable?  Good.
                -- Cheers, Don't Paint Your Chickens
Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, what do you say to a cold one?
Norm:  See you later, Vera, I'll be at Cheers.
                -- Cheers, Norm's Last Hurrah

Sam:   Well, look at you.  You look like the cat that swallowed the canary.
Norm:  And I need a beer to wash him down.
                -- Cheers, Norm's Last Hurrah

Woody:  Would you like a beer, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:   No, I'd like a dead cat in a glass.
                -- Cheers, Little Carla, Happy at Last, Part 2
Woody: How are you feeling today, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  Poor.
Woody: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
Norm:  No, I meant `pour'.
                -- Cheers, Strange Bedfellows, Part 3

Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, what's the story?
Norm:  Boy meets beer.  Boy drinks beer.  Boy gets another beer.
                -- Cheers, The Proposal

Paul:  Hey Norm, how's the world been treating you?
Norm:  Like a baby treats a diaper.
                -- Cheers, Tan 'n Wash
Woody: What's going on, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  Let's talk about what's going *in* Mr. Peterson.  A beer, Woody.
                -- Cheers, Paint Your Office

Sam:  How's life treating you?
Norm: It's not, Sammy, but that doesn't mean you can't.
                -- Cheers, A Kiss is Still a Kiss

Woody:  Can I pour you a draft, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:   A little early, isn't it Woody?
Woody:  For a beer?
Norm:   No, for stupid questions.
                -- Cheers, Let Sleeping Drakes Lie
Woody: What's happening, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  The question is, Woody, why is it happening to me?
                -- Cheers, Strange Bedfellows, Part 1

Woody: What's going down, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  My cheeks on this barstool.
                -- Cheers, Strange Bedfellows, Part 2

Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, can I pour you a beer?
Norm:  Well, okay, Woody, but be sure to stop me at one. ...
       Eh, make that one-thirty.
                -- Cheers, Strange Bedfellows, Part 2
Q:        How many Bell Labs Vice Presidents does it take to change a light bulb?
A:        That's proprietary information.  Answer available from AT&T on payment
        of license fee (binary only).
Q:        How many bureaucrats does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A:        Two.  One to assure everyone that everything possible is being
        done while the other screws the bulb into the water faucet.
Q:        How many gradual (sorry, that's supposed to be "graduate") students
        does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A:        "I'm afraid we don't know, but make my stipend tax-free, give my
        advisor a $30,000 grant of the taxpayer's money, and I'm sure he
        can tell me how to do the shit work for him so he can take the
        credit for answering this incredibly vital question."
Q:        How many journalists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A:        Three.  One to report it as an inspired government program to bring
        light to the people, one to report it as a diabolical government plot
        to deprive the poor of darkness, and one to win a Pulitzer prize for
        reporting that Electric Company hired a light bulb-assassin to break
        the bulb in the first place.
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:        How many marketing people does it take to change a light bulb?
A:        I'll have to get back to you on that.
Q:        How many members of the U.S.S. Enterprise does it take to change a
        light bulb?
A:        Seven.  Scotty has to report to Captain Kirk that the light bulb in
        the Engineering Section is getting dim, at which point Kirk will send
        Bones to pronounce the bulb dead (although he'll immediately claim
        that he's a doctor, not an electrician).  Scotty, after checking
        around, realizes that they have no more new light bulbs, and complains
        that he "canna" see in the dark.  Kirk will make an emergency stop at
        the next uncharted planet, Alpha Regula IV, to procure a light bulb
        from the natives, who, are friendly, but seem to be hiding something.
        Kirk, Spock, Bones, Yeoman Rand and two red shirt security officers
        beam down to the planet, where the two security officers are promply
        killed by the natives, and the rest of the landing party is captured.
        As something begins to develop between the Captain and Yeoman Rand,
        Scotty, back in orbit, is attacked by a Klingon destroyer and must
        warp out of orbit.  Although badly outgunned, he cripples the Klingon
        and races back to the planet in order to rescue Kirk et. al. who have
        just saved the natives' from an awful fate and, as a reward, been
        given all light bulbs they can carry.  The new bulb is then inserted
        and the Enterprise continues on its five year mission.
Q:        What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back?
A:        A stick.
Q:        What do you call the scratches that you get when a female
        sheep bites you?
A:        Ewe nicks.
Q:        What do you get when you cross a mobster with an international standard?
A:        You get someone who makes you an offer that you can't understand!
Q:        What does friendship among Soviet nationalities mean?
A:        It means that the Armenians take the Russians by the hand; the
        Russians take the Ukrainians by the hand; the Ukranians take
        the Uzbeks by the hand; and they all go and beat up the Jews.
Q:        What's the contour integral around Western Europe?
A:        Zero, because all the Poles are in Eastern Europe!

Addendum: Actually, there ARE some Poles in Western Europe, but they
        are removable!

Q:        An English mathematician (I forgot who) was asked by his
        very religious colleague: Do you believe in one God?
A:        Yes, up to isomorphism!

Q:        What is a compact city?
A:        It's a city that can be guarded by finitely many near-sighted
        policemen!
                -- Peter Lax
Q:        Why did the programmer call his mother long distance?
A:        Because that was her name.
Q:        Why do people who live near Niagara Falls have flat foreheads?
A:        Because every morning they wake up thinking "What *is* that noise?
        Oh, right, *of course*!
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.
Q:        Why is it that the more accuracy you demand from an interpolation
        function, the more expensive it becomes to compute?
A:        That's the Law of Spline Demand.
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 mother mouse was taking her large brood for a stroll across the kitchen
floor one day when the local cat, by a feat of stealth unusual even for
its species, managed to trap them in a corner.  The children cowered,
terrified by this fearsome beast, plaintively crying, "Help, Mother!
Save us!  Save us!  We're scared, Mother!"
        Mother Mouse, with the hopeless valor of a parent protecting its
children, turned with her teeth bared to the cat, towering huge above them,
and suddenly began to bark in a fashion that would have done any Doberman
proud.  The startled cat fled in fear for its life.
        As her grateful offspring flocked around her shouting "Oh, Mother,
you saved us!" and "Yay!  You scared the cat away!" she turned to them
purposefully and declared, "You see how useful it is to know a second
language?"
         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)
Abstract:
        This study examined the incidence of neckwear tightness among a group
of 94 white-collar working men and the effect of a tight business-shirt collar
and tie on the visual performance of 22 male subjects.  Of the white-collar
men measured, 67% were found to be wearing neckwear that was tighter than
their neck circumference.  The visual discrimination of the 22 subjects was
evaluated using a critical flicker frequency (CFF) test.  Results of the CFF
test indicated that tight neckwear significantly decreased the visual
performance of the subjects and that visual performance did not improve
immediately when tight neckwear was removed.
                -- Langan, L.M. and Watkins, S.M. "Pressure of Menswear on the
                   Neck in Relation to Visual Performance."  Human Factors 29,
                   #1 (Feb. 1987), pp. 67-71.
Academicians care, that's who.
=============== ALL FRESHMEN PLEASE NOTE ===============

To minimize scheduling confusion, please realize that if you are taking one
course which is offered at only one time on a given day, and another which is
offered at all times on that day, the second class will be arranged as to
afford maximum inconvenience to the student.  For example, if you happen
to work on campus, you will have 1-2 hours between classes.  If you commute,
there will be a minimum of 6 hours between the two classes.
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"
Dear Miss Manners:
        My home economics teacher says that one must never place one's
elbows on the table.  However, I have read that one elbow, in between
courses, is all right.  Which is correct?

Gentle Reader:
        For the purpose of answering examinations in your home economics
class, your teacher is correct.  Catching on to this principle of
education may be of even greater importance to you now than learning
correct current table manners, vital as Miss Manners believes that is.
Do you think that illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?
Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to
time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
                -- Oscar Wilde, "The Critic as Artist"
Educational television should be absolutely forbidden.  It can only lead
to unreasonable disappointment when your child discovers that the letters
of the alphabet do not leap up out of books and dance around with
royal-blue chickens.
                -- Fran Lebowitz, "Social Studies"
Engineering:    "How will this work?"
Science:        "Why will this work?"
Management:     "When will this work?"
Liberal Arts:   "Do you want fries with that?"
Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers.  My
opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.  There's many a bestseller
that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
                -- Flannery O'Connor
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.
Fourteen years in the professor dodge has taught me that one can argue
ingeniously on behalf of any theory, applied to any piece of literature.
This is rarely harmful, because normally no-one reads such essays.
                -- Robert Parker, quoted in "Murder Ink",  ed. D. Wynn
He that teaches himself has a fool for a master.
                -- Benjamin Franklin
"He was a modest, good-humored boy.  It was Oxford that made him insufferable."
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 heard a definition of an intellectual, that I thought was very interesting:
a man who takes more words than are necessary to tell more than he knows.
                -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
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
If while you are in school, there is a shortage of qualified personnel
in a particular field, then by the time you graduate with the necessary
qualifications, that field's employment market is glutted.
                -- Marguerite Emmons
If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire
deeper insights into what you believe?  The things most worth reading
are precisely those that challenge our convictions.
If you took all the students that felt asleep in class and laid them end to
end, they'd be a lot more comfortable.
                -- "Graffiti in the Big Ten"
        In a forest a fox bumps into a little rabbit, and says, "Hi,
Junior, what are you up to?"
        "I'm writing a dissertation on how rabbits eat foxes," said the
rabbit.
        "Come now, friend rabbit, you know that's impossible!  No one
will publish such rubbish!"
        "Well, follow me and I'll show you."
        They both go into the rabbit's dwelling and after a while the
rabbit emerges with a satisfied expression on his face.  Comes along a
wolf.  "Hello, little buddy, what are we doing these days?"
        "I'm writing the 2'nd chapter of my thesis, on how rabbits devour
wolves."
        "Are you crazy?  Where's your academic honesty?"
        "Come with me and I'll show you."
        As before, the rabbit comes out with a satisfied look on his face
and a diploma in his paw.  Finally, the camera pans into the rabbit's cave
and, as everybody should have guessed by now, we see a mean-looking, huge
lion, sitting, picking his teeth and belching, next to some furry, bloody
remnants of the wolf and the fox.

        The moral: It's not the contents of your thesis that are
important -- it's your PhD advisor that really counts.
It has been said [by Anatole France], "it is not by amusing oneself
that one learns," and, in reply: "it is *____only* by amusing oneself that
one can learn."
                -- Edward Kasner and James R. Newman
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 is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all copy-books and
by eminent people when they are making speeches, that we should cultivate
the habit of thinking about what we are doing.  The precise opposite is the
case.  Civilization advances by extending the numbers of important operations
which we can perform without thinking about them.  Operations of thought are
like cavalry charges in battle -- they are strictly limited in number, they
require fresh horses, and must only be made at decisive moments.
                -- Alfred North Whitehead
                        It's grad exam time...
COMPUTER SCIENCE
        Inside your desk you'll find a listing of the DEC/VMS operating
system in IBM 1710 machine code. Show what changes are necessary to convert
this code into a UNIX Berkeley 7 operating system.  Prove that these fixes are
bug free and run correctly. You should gain at least 150% efficiency in the
new system.  (You should take no more than 10 minutes on this question.)

MATHEMATICS
        If X equals PI times R^2, construct a formula showing how long
it would take a fire ant to drill a hole through a dill pickle, if the
length-girth ratio of the ant to the pickle were 98.17:1.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
Describe the Universe.  Give three examples.
Maybe ain't ain't so correct, but I notice that lots of folks who ain't
using ain't ain't eatin' well.
                -- Will Rogers
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
Rules for Good Grammar #4.
         (1) Don't use no double negatives.
         (2) Make each pronoun agree with their antecedents.
         (3) Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.
         (4) About them sentence fragments.
         (5) When dangling, watch your participles.
         (6) Verbs has got to agree with their subjects.
         (7) Just between you and i, case is important.
         (8) Don't write run-on sentences when they are hard to read.
         (9) Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.
        (10) Try to not ever split infinitives.
        (11) It is important to use your apostrophe's correctly.
        (12) Proofread your writing to see if you any words out.
        (13) Correct speling is essential.
        (14) A preposition is something you never end a sentence with.
        (15) While a transcendant vocabulary is laudable, one must be eternally
             careful so that the calculated objective of communication does not
             become ensconsed in obscurity.  In other words, eschew obfuscation.
The alarm clock that is louder than God's own belongs to the roommate with
the earliest class.
        "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"
The only thing that experience teaches us is that experience teaches us nothing.
                -- Andre Maurois (Emile Herzog)
The only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn.
                -- Earl Warren

That men do not learn very much from history is the most important of all
the lessons that history has to teach.
                -- Aldous Huxley

We learn from history that we do not learn from history.
                -- Georg Hegel

HISTORY:  Papa Hegel he say that all we learn from history is that we learn
nothing from history.  I know people who can't even learn from what happened
this morning.  Hegel must have been taking the long view.
                -- Chad C. Mulligan, "The Hipcrime Vocab"
The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.
                -- Hegel

I know guys can't learn from yesterday ... Hegel must be taking the long view.
                -- John Brunner, "Stand on Zanzibar"
The problem with graduate students, in general, is that they have
to sleep every few days.
The USA is so enormous, and so numerous are its schools, colleges and religious
seminaries, many devoted to special religious beliefs ranging from the
unorthodox to the dotty, that we can hardly wonder at its yielding a more
bounteous harvest of gobbledegook than the rest of the world put together.
                -- Sir Peter Medawar
To accuse others for one's own misfortunes is a sign of want of education.
To accuse oneself shows that one's education has begun.  To accuse neither
oneself nor others shows that one's education is complete.
                -- Epictetus
Walt:        Dad, what's gradual school?
Garp:        Gradual school?
Walt:        Yeah.  Mom says her work's more fun now that she's teaching
        gradual school.
Garp:        Oh.  Well, gradual school is someplace you go and gradually
        find out that you don't want to go to school anymore.
                -- The World According To Garp
We're fantastically incredibly sorry for all these extremely unreasonable
things we did.  I can only plead that my simple, barely-sentient friend
and myself are underprivileged, deprived and also college students.
                -- Waldo D.R. Dobbs
You may have heard that a dean is to faculty as a hydrant is to a dog.
                -- Alfred Kahn
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 Mexican newspaper reports that bored Royal Air Force pilots stationed
on the Falkland Islands have devised what they consider a marvelous new
game.  Noting that the local penguins are fascinated by airplanes, the
pilots search out a beach where the birds are gathered and fly slowly
along it at the water's edge.  Perhaps ten thousand penguins turn their
heads in unison watching the planes go by, and when the pilots turn
around and fly back, the birds turn their heads in the opposite
direction, like spectators at a slow-motion tennis match.  Then, the
paper reports "The pilots fly out to sea and directly to the penguin
colony and overfly it.  Heads go up, up, up, and ten thousand penguins
fall over gently onto their backs.
                -- Audobon Society Magazine
A prominent broadcaster, on a big-game safari in Africa, was taken to a
watering hole where the life of the jungle could be observed. As he
looked down from his tree platform and described the scene into his
tape recorder, he saw two gnus grazing peacefully. So preoccupied were
they that they failed to observe the approach of a pride of lions led
by two magnificent specimens, obviously the leaders. The lions charged,
killed the gnus, and dragged them into the bushes where their feasting
could not be seen.  A little while later the two kings of the jungle
emerged and the radioman recorded on his tape: "Well, that's the end of
the gnus and here, once again, are the head lions."
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"
And that's the way it is...
                -- Walter Cronkite
Everything you read in newspapers is absolutely true, except for that
rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge.
                -- Erwin Knoll
I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens
who, reading newspapers, live and die in the belief that they have known
something of what has been passing in their time.
                -- H. Truman
Isn't it conceivable to you that an intelligent person could harbor
two opposing ideas in his mind?
                -- Adlai Stevenson, to reporters
Its failings notwithstanding, there is much to be said in favor of journalism
in that by giving us the opinion of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with
the ignorance of the community.
                -- Oscar Wilde
"No self-respecting fish would want to be wrapped in that kind of paper."
                -- Mike Royko on the Chicago Sun-Times after it was
                   taken over by Rupert Murdoch
Of what you see in books, believe 75%.  Of newspapers, believe 50%.  And of
TV news, believe 25% -- make that 5% if the anchorman wears a blazer.
                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
One of the signs of Napoleon's greatness is the fact that he once had a
publisher shot.
                -- Siegfried Unseld
        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"
The American Dental Association announced today that most plaque tends
to form on teeth around 4:00 PM in the afternoon.

Film at 11:00.
The most important service rendered by the press is that of educating
people to approach printed matter with distrust.
The world really isn't any worse.  It's just that the news coverage
is so much better.
        "Then you admit confirming not denying you ever said that?"
        "NO! ... I mean Yes!  WHAT?"
        "I'll put `maybe.'"
                -- Bloom County
Aberdeen was so small that when the family with the car went
on vacation, the gas station and drive-in theatre had to close.
According to the Rand McNally Places-Rated Almanac, the best place to live in
America is the city of Pittsburgh.  The city of New York came in twenty-fifth.
Here in New York we really don't care too much.  Because we know that we could
beat up their city anytime.
                -- David Letterman
Americans' greatest fear is that America will turn out to have been a
phenomenon, not a civilization.
                -- Shirley Hazzard, "Transit of Venus"
Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people and that most of them
seemed to come from Texas.
                -- Ian Fleming, "Casino Royale"
Boston State House is the hub of the Solar System.  You couldn't pry that out
of a Boston man if you had the tire of all creation straightened out for a
crowbar.
                -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Gay shlafen:  Yiddish for "go to sleep".

Now doesn't "gay shlafen" have a softer, more soothing sound than the
harsh, staccato "go to sleep"?  Listen to the difference:
        "Go to sleep, you little wretch!" ... "Gay shlafen, darling."
Obvious, isn't it?
        Clearly the best thing you can do for you children is to start
speaking Yiddish right now and never speak another word of English as
long as you live.  This will, of course, entail teaching Yiddish to all
your friends, business associates, the people at the supermarket, and
so on, but that's just the point.  It has to start with committed
individuals and then grow....
        Some minor adjustments will have to be made, of course: those
signs written in what look like Yiddish letters won't be funny when
everything is written in Yiddish.  And we'll have to start driving on
the left side of the road so we won't be reading the street signs
backwards.  But is that too high a price to pay for world peace?
I think not, my friend, I think not.
                -- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
"God gives burdens; also shoulders"

Jimmy Carter cited this Jewish saying in his concession speech at the
end of the 1980 election.  At least he said it was a Jewish saying; I
can't find it anywhere.  I'm sure he's telling the truth though; why
would he lie about a thing like that?
                -- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
Hear about the Californian terrorist that tried to blow up a bus?
Burned his lips on the exhaust pipe.
        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
Historians have now definitely established that Juan Cabrillo, discoverer
of California, was not looking for Kansas, thus setting a precedent that
continues to this day.
                -- Wayne Shannon
I am, in point of fact, a particularly haughty and exclusive person, of
pre-Adamite ancestral descent.  You will understand this when I tell you
that I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal primordial atomic
globule.  Consequently, my family pride is something inconceivable.  I
can't help it.  I was born sneering.
                -- Pooh-Bah, "The Mikado"
I shot an arrow in to the air, and it stuck.
                -- graffito in Los Angeles

On a clear day,
U.C.L.A.
                -- graffito in San Francisco

There's so much pollution in the air now that if it weren't for our
lungs there'd be no place to put it all.
                -- Robert Orben
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.
If all the Chinese simultaneously jumped into the Pacific off a 10 foot
platform erected 10 feet off their coast, it would cause a tidal wave
that would destroy everything in this country west of Nebraska.
Illinois isn't exactly the land that God forgot -- it's more like the
land He's trying to ignore.
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
Iowans ask why Minnesotans don't drink more Kool-Aid.  That's because
they can't figure out how to get two quarts of water into one of those
little paper envelopes.
Isn't it nice that people who prefer Los Angeles to San Francisco live there?
                -- Herb Caen
It's hard to argue that God hated Oklahoma.  If He didn't, why is it so
close to Texas?
It's odd, and a little unsettling, to reflect upon the fact that
English is the only major language in which "I" is capitalized; in many
other languages "You" is capitalized and the "i" is lower case.
                -- Sydney J. Harris
Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made
sense from things she found in gift shops.
                -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Living in New York City gives people real incentives to want things that
nobody else wants.
                -- Andy Warhol
Moishe Margolies, who weighed all of 105 pounds and stood an even five feet
in his socks, was taking his first airplane trip. He took a seat next to a
hulking bruiser of a man who happened to be the heavyweight champion of
the world.  Little Moishe was uneasy enough before he even entered the plane,
but now the roar of the engines and the great height absolutely terrified him.
So frightened did he become that his stomach turned over and he threw up all
over the muscular giant siting beside him.  Fortunately, at least for Moishe,
the man was sound asleep.  But now the little man had another problem.  How in
the world would he ever explain the situation to the burly brute when he
awakened?  The sudden voice of the stewardess on the plane's intercom, finally
woke the bruiser, and Moishe, his heart in his mouth, rose to the occasion.
        "Feeling better now?" he asked solicitously.
"Now the Lord God planted a garden East of Whittier in a place called
Yorba Linda, and out of the ground he made to grow orange trees that
were good for food and the fruits thereof he labeled SUNKIST ..."
                -- "The Begatting of a President"
Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered.  I myself would
say that it had merely been detected.
                -- Oscar Wilde
Seattle is so wet that people protect their property with watch-ducks.
Seems that a pollster was taking a worldwide opinion poll.
Her question was, "Excuse me; what's your opinion on the meat shortage?"

In Texas, the answer was "What's a shortage?"
In Poland, the answer was "What's meat?"
In the Soviet Union, the answer was "What's an opinion?"
In New York City, the answer was "What's excuse me?"
        Some 1500 miles west of the Big Apple we find the Minneapple, a
haven of tranquility in troubled times.  It's a good town, a civilized town.
A town where they still know how to get your shirts back by Thursday.  Let
the Big Apple have the feats of "Broadway Joe" Namath.  We have known the
stolid but steady Killebrew.  Listening to Cole Porter over a dry martini
may well suit those unlucky enough never to have heard the Whoopee John Polka
Band and never to have shared a pitcher of 3.2 Grain Belt Beer.  The loss is
theirs.  And the Big Apple has yet to bake the bagel that can match peanut
butter on lefse.  Here is a town where the major urban problem is dutch elm
disease and the number one crime is overtime parking.  We boast more theater
per capita than the Big Apple.  We go to see, not to be seen.  We go even
when we must shovel ten inches of snow from the driveway to get there.  Indeed
the winters are fierce.  But then comes the marvel of the Minneapple summer.
People flock to the city's lakes to frolic and rejoice at the sight of so
much happy humanity free from the bonds of the traditional down-filled parka.
Here's to the Minneapple.  And to its people.  Our flair for style is balanced
by a healthy respect for wind chill factors.
        And we always, always eat our vegetables.
        This is the Minneapple.
        "Somewhere", said Father Vittorini, "did Blake not speak of the
Machineries of Joy?  That is, did not God promote environments, then
intimidate these Natures by provoking the existence of flesh, toy men and
women, such as are we all?  And thus happily sent forth, at our best, with
good grace and fine wit, on calm noons, in fair climes, are we not God's
Machineries of Joy?"
        "If Blake said that", said Father Brian, "he never lived in Dublin."
                -- R. Bradbury, "The Machineries of Joy"
The best thing that comes out of Iowa is I-80.
The climate of Bombay is such that its inhabitants have to live elsewhere.
The curse of the Irish is not that they don't know the words to a song --
it's that they know them *___all*.
                -- Susan Dooley
The Czechs announced after Sputnik that they, too, would launch a satellite.
Of course, it would orbit Sputnik, not Earth!
The difference between America and England is that the English think 100
miles is a long distance and the Americans think 100 years is a long time.
The only cultural advantage LA has over NY is that you can make a right
turn on a red light.
                -- Woody Allen
There is nothing wrong with Southern California that a rise in the
ocean level wouldn't cure.
                -- Ross MacDonald
There was this New Yorker that had a lifelong ambition to be an Texan.
Fortunately, he had an Texan friend and went to him for advice.  "Mike,
you know I've always wanted to be a Texan.  You're a *____real* Texan, what
should I do?"
        "Well," answered Mike, "The first thing you've got to do is look
like a Texan.  That means you have to dress right.  The second thing
you've got to do is speak in a southern drawl."
        "Thanks, Mike, I'll give it a try," replied the New Yorker.
        A few weeks passed and the New Yorker saunters into a store dressed
in a ten-gallon hat, cowboy boots, Levi jeans and a bandanna.  "Hey, there,
pardner, I'd like some beef, not too rare, and some of them fresh biscuits,"
he tells the counterman.
        The guy behind the counter takes a long look at him and then says,
"You must be from New York."
        The New Yorker blushes, and says, "Well, yes, I am.  How did
you know?"
        "Because this is a hardware store."
Three Midwesterners, a Kansan, a Missourian and an Iowan,
all appearing on a quiz program, were asked to complete this sentence:
"Old MacDonald had a . . ."

        "Old MacDonald had a carburetor," answered the Kansan.
        "Sorry, that's wrong," the game show host said.
        "Old MacDonald had a free brake alignment down at the
                service station," said the Missourian.
        "Wrong."
        "Old MacDonald had a farm," said the Iowan.
        "CORRECT!" shouts the quizmaster.  "Now for $100,000, spell 'farm.'"
        "Easy," said the Iowan. "E-I-E-I-O."
To a Californian, the basic difference between the people and the pigeons
in New York is that the pigeons don't shit on each other.
        -- From "East vs. West: The War Between the Coasts
To a New Yorker, all Californians are blond, even the blacks.  There are,
in fact, whole neighborhoods that are zoned only for blond people.  The
only way to tell the difference between California and Sweden is that the
Swedes speak better English."
        -- From "East vs. West: The War Between the Coasts
To be happy one must be a) well fed, unhounded by sordid cares, at ease in
Zion, b) full of a comfortable feeling of superiority to the masses of one's
fellow men, and c) delicately and unceasingly amused according to one's taste.
It is my contention that, if this definition be accepted, there is no country
in the world wherein a man constituted as I am -- a man of my peculiar
weaknesses, vanities, appetites, and aversions -- can be so happy as he can
be in the United States.  Going further, I lay down the doctrine that it is
a sheer physical impossibility for such a man to live in the United States
and not be happy.
                -- H.L. Mencken, "On Being An American"
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?"
When I saw a sign on the freeway that said, "Los Angeles 445 miles," I said
to myself, "I've got to get out of this lane."
                -- Franklyn Ajaye
(1) Alexander the Great was a great general.
(2) Great generals are forewarned.
(3) Forewarned is forearmed.
(4) Four is an even number.
(5) Four is certainly an odd number of arms for a man to have.
(6) The only number that is both even and odd is infinity.
        Therefore, all horses are black.
(1) Alexander the Great was a great general.
(2) Great generals are forewarned.
(3) Forewarned is forearmed.
(4) Four is an even number.
(5) Four is certainly an odd number of arms for a man to have.
(6) The only number that is both even and odd is infinity.

Therefore, Alexander the Great had an infinite number of arms.
(1) X=Y                                ; Given
(2) X^2=XY                        ; Multiply both sides by X
(3) X^2-Y^2=XY-Y^2                ; Subtract Y^2 from both sides
(4) (X+Y)(X-Y)=Y(X-Y)                ; Factor
(5) X+Y=Y                        ; Cancel out (X-Y) term
(6) 2Y=Y                        ; Substitute X for Y, by equation 1
(7) 2=1                                ; Divide both sides by Y
                -- "Omni", proof that 2 equals 1
A bunch of Polish scientists decided to flee their repressive government by
hijacking an airliner and forcing the pilot to fly them to the West.  They
drove to the airport, forced their way on board a large passenger jet, and
found there was no pilot on board.  Terrified, they listened as the sirens
got louder.  Finally, one of the scientists suggested that since he was an
experimentalist, he would try to fly the aircraft.
        He sat down at the controls and tried to figure them out.  The sirens
got louder and louder.  Armed men surrounded the jet.  The would be pilot's
friends cried out, "Please, please take off now!!!  Hurry!!!"
        The experimentalist calmly replied, "Have patience.  I'm just a simple
pole in a complex plane."
A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing
but together can decide that nothing can be done.
                -- Fred Allen
A gangster assembled an engineer, a chemist, and a physicist.  He explained
that he was entering a horse in a race the following week and the three
assembled guys had the job of assuring that the gangster's horse would win.
They were to reconvene the day before the race to tell the gangster how they
each propose to ensure a win.  When they reconvened the gangster started with
the engineer:
        
Gangster: OK, Mr. engineer, what have you got?
Engineer: Well, I've invented a way to weave metallic threads into the saddle
          blanket so that they will act as the plates of a battery and provide
          electrical shock to the horse.
G:          That's very good!  But let's hear from the chemist.
Chemist:  I've synthesized a powerful stimulant that disolves
          into simple blood sugars after ten minutes and therefore
          cannot be detected in post-race tests.
G:          Excellent, excellent!  But I want to hear from the physicist before
          I decide what to do.  Physicist?  
Physicist: Well, first consider a spherical horse in simple harmonic motion...
A mathematician, a doctor, and an engineer are walking on the beach and
observe a team of lifeguards pumping the stomach of a drowned woman.  As
they watch, water, sand, snails and such come out of the pump.
        The doctor watches for a while and says: "Keep pumping, men, you may
yet save her!!"
        The mathematician does some calculations and says: "According to my
understanding of the size of that pump, you have already pumped more water
from her body than could be contained in a cylinder 4 feet in diameter and
6 feet high."
        The engineer says: "I think she's sitting in a puddle."
A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start,
and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim.
                -- Leibnitz
A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and
making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually
die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
                -- Max Planck
A sense of desolation and uncertainty, of futility, of the baselessness
of aspirations, of the vanity of endeavor, and a thirst for a life giving
water which seems suddenly to have failed, are the signs in conciousness
of this necessary reorganization of our lives.

It is difficult to believe that this state of mind can be produced by the
recognition of such facts as that unsupported stones always fall to the
ground.
                -- J.W.N. Sullivan
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
A statistician, who refused to fly after reading of the alarmingly high
probability that there will be a bomb on any given plane, realized that
the probability of there being two bombs on any given flight is very low.
Now, whenever he flies, he carries a bomb with him.
Actually, the probability is 100% that the elevator will be going in the
right direction.  Proof by induction:

N=1.        Trivially true, since both you and the elevator only have one
        floor to go to.

Assume true for N, prove for N+1:
        If you are on any of the first N floors, then it is true by the
        induction hypothesis.  If you are on the N+1st floor, then both you
        and the elevator have only one choice, namely down.  Therefore,
        it is true for all N+1 floors.
QED.
        After the Children of Israel had wandered for thirty-nine years
in the wilderness, Ferdinand Feghoot arrived to make sure that they would
finally find and enter the Promised Land.  With him, he brought his
favorite robot, faithful old Yewtoo Artoo, to carry his gear and do
assorted camp chores.
        The Israelites soon got over their initial fear of the robot and,
as the months passed, became very fond of him.  Patriarchs took to
discussing abtruse theological problems with him, and each evening the
children all gathered to hear the many stories with which he was programmed.
Therefore it came as a great shock to them when, just as their journey was
ending, he abruptly wore out.  Even Feghoot couldn't console them.
        "It may be true, Ferdinand Feghoot," said Moses, "that our friend
Yewtoo Artoo was soulless, but we cannot believe it.  He must be properly
interred.  We cannot embalm him as do the Egyptians.  Nor have we wood for
a coffin.  But I do have a most splendid skin from one of Pharoah's own
cattle.  We shall bury him in it."
        Feghoot agreed.  "Yes, let this be his last rusting place."
        "Rusting?" Moses cried.  "Not in this dreadful dry desert!"
        "Ah!" sighed Ferdinand Feghoot, shedding a tear, "I fear you do not
realize the full significance of Pharoah's oxhide!"
                -- Grendel Briarton "Through Time & Space With Ferdinand
                   Feghoot!"
After the last of 16 mounting screws has been removed from an access
cover, it will be discovered that the wrong access cover has been removed.
After this was written there appeared a remarkable posthumous memoir that
throws some doubt on Millikan's leading role in these experiments.  Harvey
Fletcher (1884-1981), who was a graduate student at the University of Chicago,
at Millikan's suggestion worked on the measurement of electronic charge for
his doctoral thesis, and co-authored some of the early papers on this subject
with Millikan.  Fletcher left a manuscript with a friend with instructions
that it be published after his death; the manuscript was published in
Physics Today, June 1982, page 43.  In it, Fletcher claims that he was the
first to do the experiment with oil drops, was the first to measure charges on
single droplets, and may have been the first to suggest the use of oil.
According to Fletcher, he had expected to be co-authored with Millikan on
the crucial first article announcing the measurement of the electronic
charge, but was talked out of this by Millikan.
                -- Steven Weinberg, "The Discovery of Subatomic Particles"

Robert Millikan is generally credited with making the first really
precise measurement of the charge on an electron and was awarded the
Nobel Prize in 1923.
After years of research, scientists recently reported that there is,
indeed, arroz in Spanish Harlem.
Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio, replied: "You see, wire
telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat.  You pull his tail in New
York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles.  Do you understand this?
And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they
receive them there.  The only difference is that there is no cat."
Although we modern persons tend to take our electric lights, radios, mixers,
etc., for granted, hundreds of years ago people did not have any of these
things, which is just as well because there was no place to plug them in.
Then along came the first Electrical Pioneer, Benjamin Franklin, who flew a
kite in a lighting storm and received a serious electrical shock.  This
proved that lighting was powered by the same force as carpets, but it also
damaged Franklin's brain so severely that he started speaking only in
incomprehensible maxims, such as "A penny saved is a penny earned."
Eventually he had to be given a job running the post office.
                -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
Always try to do things in chronological order; it's less confusing that way.
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 anthropologist at Tulane has just come back from a field trip to New
Guinea with reports of a tribe so primitive that they have Tide but not
new Tide with lemon-fresh Borax.
                -- David Letterman
        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"
An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician find themselves in an
anecdote, indeed an anecdote quite similar to many that you have no doubt
already heard.  After some observations and rough calculations the
engineer realizes the situation and starts laughing.  A few minutes later
the physicist understands too and chuckles to himself happily as he now
has enough experimental evidence to publish a paper.  This leaves the
mathematician somewhat perplexed, as he had observed right away that he
was the subject of an anecdote, and deduced quite rapidly the presence of
humour from similar anecdotes, but considers this anecdote to be too
trivial a corollary to be significant, let alone funny.
And the French medical anatomist Etienne Serres really did argue that
black males are primitive because the distance between their navel and
penis remains small (relative to body height) throughout life, while
white children begin with a small separation but increase it during
growth -- the rising belly button as a mark of progress.
                -- S.J. Gould, "Racism and Recapitulation"
... Another writer again agreed with all my generalities, but said that as an
inveterate skeptic I have closed my mind to the truth.  Most notably I have
ignored the evidence for an Earth that is six thousand years old.  Well, I
haven't ignored it; I considered the purported evidence and *then* rejected
it.  There is a difference, and this is a difference, we might say, between
prejudice and postjudice.  Prejudice is making a judgment before you have
looked at the facts.  Postjudice is making a judgment afterwards.  Prejudice
is terrible, in the sense that you commit injustices and you make serious
mistakes.  Postjudice is not terrible.  You can't be perfect of course; you
may make mistakes also.  But it is permissible to make a judgment after you
have examined the evidence.  In some circles it is even encouraged.
                -- Carl Sagan, "The Burden of Skepticism"
Anyone who imagines that all fruits ripen at the same time
as the strawberries, knows nothing about grapes.
                -- Philippus Paracelsus
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
Back in the early 60's, touch tone phones only had 10 buttons.  Some
military versions had 16, while the 12 button jobs were used only by people
who had "diva" (digital inquiry, voice answerback) systems -- mainly banks.
Since in those days, only Western Electric  made "data sets" (modems) the
problems of terminology were all Bell System.  We used to struggle with
written descriptions of dial pads that were unfamiliar to most people
(most phones were rotary then.)  Partly in jest, some AT&T engineering
types (there was no marketing in the good old days, which is why they were
the good old days) made up the term "octalthorpe" (note spelling) to denote
the "pound sign."  Presumably because it has 8 points sticking out.  It
never really caught on.
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!"
Bistromathics is simply a revolutionary new way of understanding the
behavior of numbers.  Just as Einstein observed that space was not an
absolute, but depended on the observer's movement in space, and that
time was not an absolute, but depended on the observer's movement in
time, so it is now realized that numbers are not absolute, but depend
on the observer's movement in restaurants.
                -- Douglas Adams
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
Chapter 2:  Newtonian Growth and Decay

        The growth-decay formulas were developed in the trivial fashion by
Isaac Newton's famous brother Phigg.  His idea was to provide an equation
that would describe a quantity that would dwindle and dwindle, but never
quite reach zero.  Historically, he was merely trying to work out his
mortgage.  Another versatile equation also emerged, one which would define
a function that would continue to grow, but never reach unity.  This equation
can be applied to charging capacitors, over-damped springs, and the human
race in general.
Congratulations!  You have purchased an extremely fine device that would
give you thousands of years of trouble-free service, except that you
undoubtably will destroy it via some typical bonehead consumer maneuver.
Which is why we ask you to PLEASE FOR GOD'S SAKE READ THIS OWNER'S MANUAL
CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU UNPACK THE DEVICE.  YOU ALREADY UNPACKED IT, DIDN'T
YOU?  YOU UNPACKED IT AND PLUGGED IT IN AND TURNED IT ON AND FIDDLED WITH
THE KNOBS, AND NOW YOUR CHILD, THE SAME CHILD WHO ONCE SHOVED A POLISH
SAUSAGE INTO YOUR VIDEOCASSETTE RECORDER AND SET IT ON "FAST FORWARD", THIS
CHILD ALSO IS FIDDLING WITH THE KNOBS, RIGHT?  AND YOU'RE JUST NOW STARTING
TO READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, RIGHT???  WE MIGHT AS WELL JUST BREAK THESE
DEVICES RIGHT AT THE FACTORY BEFORE WE SHIP THEM OUT, YOU KNOW THAT?
                -- Dave Barry, "Read This First!"
"Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be, and
if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't.  That's logic!"
                -- Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"
Did you hear that there's a group of South American Indians that worship
the number zero?

Is nothing sacred?
Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have
only recaptured 116 of them?
Did you know that if you took all the economists in the world and lined
them up end to end, they'd still point in the wrong direction?
Economists can certainly disappoint you.  One said that the economy would
turn up by the last quarter.  Well, I'm down to mine and it hasn't.
                -- Robert Orben
Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles, called
electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been
drinking.  Electrons travel at the speed of light, which in most American
homes is 110 volts per hour.  This is very fast.  In the time it has taken
you to read this sentence so far, an electron could have traveled all the
way from San Francisco to Hackensack, New Jersey, although God alone knows
why it would want to.

The five main kinds of electricity are alternating current, direct current,
lightning, static, and European.  Most American homes have alternating
current, which means that the electricity goes in one direction for a while,
then goes in the other direction.  This prevents harmful electron buildup in
the wires.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
Enzymes are things invented by biologists that explain things which
otherwise require harder thinking.
                -- Jerome Lettvin
Every paper published in a respectable journal should have a preface by
the author stating why he is publishing the article, and what value he
sees in it.  I have no hope that this practice will ever be adopted.
                -- Morris Kline
Everyone knows that dragons don't exist.  But while this simplistic
formulation may satisfy the layman, it does not suffice for the scientific
mind.  The School of Higher Neantical Nillity is in fact wholly unconcerned
with what ____does exist.  Indeed, the banality of existence has been
so amply demonstrated, there is no need for us to discuss it any further
here.  The brilliant Cerebron, attacking the problem analytically,
discovered three distinct kinds of dragon: the mythical, the chimerical,
and the purely hypothetical.  They were all, one might say, nonexistent,
but each nonexisted in an entirely different way ...
                -- Stanislaw Lem, "Cyberiad"
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
                -- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899
Evolution is as much a fact as the earth turning on its axis and going around
the sun.  At one time this was called the Copernican theory; but, when
evidence for a theory becomes so overwhelming that no informed person can
doubt it, it is customary for scientists to call it a fact.  That all present
life descended from earlier forms, over vast stretches of geologic time, is
as firmly established as Copernican cosmology.  Biologists differ only with
respect to theories about how the process operates.
                -- Martin Gardner, "Irving Kristol and the Facts of Life".
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.  There are many examples
of outsiders who eventually overthrew entrenched scientific orthodoxies,
but they prevailed with irrefutable data.  More often, egregious findings
that contradict well-established research turn out to be artifacts.  I have
argued that accepting psychic powers, reincarnation, "cosmic conciousness,"
and the like, would entail fundamental revisions of the foundations of
neuroscience.  Before abandoning materialist theories of mind that have paid
handsome dividends, we should insist on better evidence for psi phenomena
than presently exists, especially when neurology and psychology themselves
offer more plausible alternatives.
                -- Barry L. Beyerstein, "The Brain and Conciousness:
                   Implications for Psi Phenomena".
Florence Flask was ... dressing for the opera when she turned to her
husband and screamed, "Erlenmeyer!  My joules!  Someone has stolen my
joules!"

"Now, now, my dear," replied her husband, "keep your balance and reflux
a moment.  Perhaps they're mislead."

"No, I know they're stolen," cried Florence.  "I remember putting them
in my burette ... We must call a copper."

Erlenmeyer did so, and the flatfoot who turned up, one Sherlock Ohms,
said the outrage looked like the work of an arch-criminal by the name
of Lawrence Ium.

"We must be careful -- he's a free radical, ultraviolet, and
dangerous.  His girlfriend is a chlorine at the Palladium.  Maybe I can
catch him there."  With that, he jumped on his carbon cycle in an
activated state and sped off along the reaction pathway ...
                -- Daniel B. Murphy, "Precipitations"
For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
                -- H. L. Mencken
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 FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL:                #1
        A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.
        A firefly is not a fly, but a beetle.
        A giant panda bear is really a member of the racoon family.
        A black panther is really a leopard that has a solid black coat
            rather then a spotted one.
        Peanuts are not really nuts.  The majority of nuts grow on trees
                while peauts grow underground.  They are classified as a
                legume -- part of the pea family.
        A cucumber is not a vegetable but a fruit.
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.
FORTUNE'S GUIDE TO DEALING WITH REAL-LIFE SCIENCE FICTION: #6
What to do...
    if a starship, equipped with an FTL hyperdrive lands in your backyard?
        First of all, do not run after your camera.  You will not have any
        film, and, given the state of computer animation, noone will believe
        you anyway.  Be polite.  Remember, if they have an FTL hyperdrive,
        they can probably vaporize you, should they find you to be rude.
        Direct them to the White House lawn, which is where they probably
        wanted to land, anyway.  A good road map should help.

    if you wake up in the middle of the night, and discover that your
    closet contains an alternate dimension?
        Don't walk in.  You almost certainly will not be able to get back,
        and alternate dimensions are almost never any fun.  Remain calm
        and go back to bed.  Close the door first, so that the cat does not
        wander off.  Check your closet in the morning.  If it still contains
        an alternate dimension, nail it shut.
Good morning.  This is the telephone company.  Due to repairs, we're
giving you advance notice that your service will be cut off indefinitely
at ten o'clock.  That's two minutes from now.
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"
Heard that the next Space Shuttle is supposed to carry several Guernsey cows?
It's gonna be the herd shot 'round the world.
Here is a simple experiment that will teach you an important electrical
lesson: On a cool, dry day, scuff your feet along a carpet, then reach your
hand into a friend's mouth and touch one of his dental fillings.  Did you
notice how your friend twitched violently and cried out in pain?  This
teaches us that electricity can be a very powerful force, but we must never
use it to hurt others unless we need to learn an important electrical lesson.
        It also teaches us how an electrical circuit works.  When you scuffed
your feet, you picked up batches of "electrons", which are very small objects
that carpet manufacturers weave into carpets so they will attract dirt.
The electrons travel through your bloodstream and collect in your finger,
where they form a spark that leaps to your friend's filling, then travels
down to his feet and back into the carpet, thus completing the circuit.
        Amazing Electronic Fact: If you scuffed your feet long enough without
touching anything, you would build up so many electrons that your finger
would explode!  But this is nothing to worry about unless you have
carpeting.
                -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
Hi! How are things going?
        (just fine, thank you...)
Great! Say, could I bother you for a question?
        (you just asked one...)
Well, how about one more?
        (one more than the first one?)
Yes.
        (you already asked that...)
[at this point, Alphonso gets smart...        ]
May I ask two questions, sir?
        (no.)
May I ask ONE then?
        (nope...)
Then may I ask, sir, how I may ask you a question?
        (yes, you may.)
Sir, how may I ask you a question?
        (you must ask for retroactive question asking privileges for
         the number of questions you have asked, then ask for that
         number plus two, one for the current question, and one for the
         next one)
Sir, may I ask nine questions?
        (go right ahead...)
I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos.
                -- Albert Einstein, on the randomness of quantum mechanics
I do not remember ever having seen a sustained argument by an author which,
starting from philosophical premises likely to meet with general acceptance,
reached the conclusion that a praiseworthy ordering of one's life is to
devote it to research in mathematics.
                -- Sir Edmund Whittaker, "Scientific American", Vol. 183
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 have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.
        "I have examined Bogota," he said, "and the case is clearer to me.
I think very probably he might be cured."
        "That is what I have always hoped," said old Yacob.
        "His brain is affected," said the blind doctor.
        The elders murmured assent.
        "Now, what affects it?"
        "Ah!" said old Yacob.
        "This," said the doctor, answering his own question.  "Those queer
things that are called the eyes, and which exist to make an agreeable soft
depression in the face, are diseased, in the case of Bogota, in such a way
as to affect his brain.  They are greatly distended, he has eyelashes, and
his eyelids move, and cosequently his brain is in a state of constant
irritation and distraction."
        "Yes?" said old Yacob.  "Yes?"
        "And I think I may say with reasonable certainty that, in order
to cure him completely, all that we need do is a simple and easy surgical
operation -- namely, to remove those irritant bodies."
        "And then he will be sane?"
        "Then he will be perfectly sane, and a quite admirable citizen."
        "Thank heaven for science!" said old Yacob.
                -- H.G. Wells, "The Country of the Blind"
I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that
they might escape the lusts of the flesh.
                -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"
"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 for every rule there is an exception, then we have established that there
is an exception to every rule.  If we accept "For every rule there is an
exception" as a rule, then we must concede that there may not be an exception
after all, since the rule states that there is always the possibility of
exception, and if we follow it to its logical end we must agree that there
can be an exception to the rule that for every rule there is an exception.
                -- Bill Boquist
If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it,
we would be so simple we couldn't.
If you are smart enough to know that you're not smart enough to be an
Engineer, then you're in Business.
        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
        In the beginning there was only one kind of Mathematician, created by
the Great Mathamatical Spirit form the Book: the Topologist.  And they grew to
large numbers and prospered.
        One day they looked up in the heavens and desired to reach up as far
as the eye could see.  So they set out in building a Mathematical edifice that
was to reach up as far as "up" went.  Further and further up they went ...
until one night the edifice collapsed under the weight of paradox.
        The following morning saw only rubble where there once was a huge
structure reaching to the heavens.  One by one, the Mathematicians climbed
out from under the rubble.  It was a miracle that nobody was killed; but when
they began to speak to one another, SUPRISE of all suprises! they could not
understand each other.  They all spoke different languages.  They all fought
amongst themselves and each went about their own way.  To this day the
Topologists remain the original Mathematicians.
                -- The Story of Babel
In the course of reading Hadamard's "The Psychology of Invention in the
Mathematical Field", I have come across evidence supporting a fact
which we coffee achievers have long appreciated:  no really creative,
intelligent thought is possible without a good cup of coffee.  On page
14, Hadamard is discussing Poincare's theory of fuchsian groups and
fuchsian functions, which he describes as "... one of his greatest
discoveries, the first which consecrated his glory ..."  Hadamard refers
to Poincare having had a "... sleepless night which initiated all that
memorable work ..." and gives the following, very revealing quote:

        "One evening, contrary to my custom, I drank black coffee and
        could not sleep.  Ideas rose in crowds;  I felt them collide
        until pairs interlocked, so to speak, making a stable
        combination."

Too bad drinking black coffee was contrary to his custom.  Maybe he
could really have amounted to something as a coffee achiever.
In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain.
                -- Pliny the Elder
        "In this replacement Earth we're building they've given me Africa
to do and of course I'm doing it with all fjords again because I happen to
like them, and I'm old-fashioned enough to think that they give a lovely
baroque feel to a continent.  And they tell me it's not equatorial enough.
Equatorial!"  He gave a hollow laugh.  "What does it matter?  Science has
achieved some wonderful things, of course, but I'd far rather be happy than
right any day."
        "And are you?"
        "No.  That's where it all falls down, of course."
        "Pity," said Arthur with sympathy.  "It sounded like quite a good
life-style otherwise."
                -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
Is knowledge knowable?  If not, how do we know that?
Isn't it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction
listen to weather forecasts and economists?
                -- Kelvin Throop III
Isn't it strange that the same people that laugh at gypsy fortune
tellers take economists seriously?
"It could be that Walter's horse has wings" does not imply that there is
any such animal as Walter's horse, only that there could be; but "Walter's
horse is a thing which could have wings" does imply Walter's horse's
existence.  But the conjunction "Walter's horse exists, and it could be
that Walter's horse has wings" still does not imply "Walter's horse is a
thing that could have wings", for perhaps it can only be that Walter's
horse has wings by Walter having a different horse.  Nor does "Walter's
horse is a thing which could have wings" conversely imply "It could be that
Walter's horse has wings"; for it might be that Walter's horse could only
have wings by not being Walter's horse.

I would deny, though, that the formula [Necessarily if some x has property P
then some x has property P] expresses a logical law, since P(x) could stand
for, let us say "x is a better logician than I am", and the statement "It is
necessary that if someone is a better logician than I am then someone is a
better logician than I am" is false because there need not have been any me.
                -- A.N. Prior, "Time and Modality"
It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats.
It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in
which there is absolutely nothing.
                -- Descartes
It is not every question that deserves an answer.
                -- Publilius Syrus
It is not that polar co-ordinates are complicated, it is simply
that cartesian co-ordinates are simpler than they have a right to be.
                -- Kleppner & Kolenhow, "An Introduction to Mechanics"
It is true that if your paperboy throws your paper into the bushes for five
straight days it can be explained by Newton's Law of Gravity.  But it takes
Murphy's law to explain why it is happening to you.
It seems intuitively obvious to me, which means that it might be wrong.
                -- Chris Torek
It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level
language named "research student".
"It's easier said than done."

... and if you don't believe it, try proving that it's easier done than
said, and you'll see that "it's easier said that `it's easier done than
said' than it is done", which really proves that "it's easier said than
done".
It's not hard to admit errors that are [only] cosmetically wrong.
                -- J.K. Galbraith
Just because they are called 'forbidden' transitions does not mean that they
are forbidden.  They are less allowed than allowed transitions, if you see
what I mean.
                -- From a Part 2 Quantum Mechanics lecture.
Logic is a little bird, sitting in a tree; that smells *_____awful*.
Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.
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
Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.
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
More than any time in history, mankind now faces a crossroads.  One path
leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction.
Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
                -- Woody Allen, "Side Effects"
Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem.
                -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"
My geometry teacher was sometimes acute, and sometimes obtuse, but always,
always, he was right.
        [That's an interesting angle.  I wonder if there are any parallels?]
        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"
Mystics always hope that science will some day overtake them.
                -- Booth Tarkington
Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.
        Once, when the secrets of science were the jealously guarded property
of a small priesthood, the common man had no hope of mastering their arcane
complexities.  Years of study in musty classrooms were prerequisite to
obtaining even a dim, incoherent knowledge of science.
        Today all that has changed: a dim, incoherent knowledge of science is
available to anyone.
                -- Tom Weller, "Science Made Stupid"
One could not be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast
to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists,
a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also
just stupid.
                -- J.D. Watson, "The Double Helix"
One day this guy is finally fed up with his middle-class existence and
decides to do something about it.  He calls up his best friend, who is a
mathematical genius.  "Look," he says, "do you suppose you could find some
way mathematically of guaranteeing winning at the race track?  We could
make a lot of money and retire and enjoy life."  The mathematician thinks
this over a bit and walks away mumbling to himself.
        A week later his friend drops by to ask the genius if he's had any
success.  The genius, looking a little bleary-eyed, replies, "Well, yes,
actually I do have an idea, and I'm reasonably sure that it will work, but
there a number of details to be figured out.
        After the second week the mathematician appears at his friend's house,
looking quite a bit rumpled, and announces, "I think I've got it! I still have
some of the theory to work out, but now I'm certain that I'm on the right
track."
        At the end of the third week the mathematician wakes his friend by
pounding on his door at three in the morning.  He has dark circles under his
eyes.  His hair hasn't been combed for many days.  He appears to be wearing
the same clothes as the last time.  He has several pencils sticking out from
behind his ears and an almost maniacal expression on his face.  "WE CAN DO
IT!  WE CAN DO IT!!" he shrieks. "I have discovered the perfect solution!!
And it's so EASY!  First, we assume that horses are perfect spheres in simple
harmonic motion..."
One thing they don't tell you about doing experimental physics is that
sometimes you must work under adverse conditions... like a state of sheer
terror.
                -- W.K. Hartmann
Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds.  Biochemistry
is the study of carbon compounds that crawl.
                -- Mike Adams
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
Parts that positively cannot be assembled in improper order will be.
Progress means replacing a theory that is wrong with one more subtly wrong.
Proof techniques #1: Proof by Induction.

This technique is used on equations with "_n" in them.  Induction
techniques are very popular, even the military used them.

SAMPLE: Proof of induction without proof of induction.

        We know it's true for _n equal to 1.  Now assume that it's true
for every natural number less than _n.  _N is arbitrary, so we can take _n
as large as we want.  If _n is sufficiently large, the case of _n+1 is
trivially equivalent, so the only important _n are _n less than _n.  We
can take _n = _n (from above), so it's true for _n+1 because it's just
about _n.
        QED.        (QED translates from the Latin as "So what?")
So as your consumer electronics adviser, I am advising you to donate your
current VCR to a grate resident, who will laugh sardonically and hurl it
into a dumpster.  Then I want you to go out and purchase a vast array of
8-millimeter video equipment.

... OK!  Got everything?  Well, *too bad, sucker*, because while you were
gone the electronics industry came up with an even newer format that makes
your 8-millimeter VCR look as technologically advanced as toenail dirt.
This format is called "3.5 hectare" and it will not be made available until
it is outmoded, sometime early next week, by a format called "Elroy", so
*order yours now*.
                -- Dave Barry, "No Surrender in the Electronics Revolution"
Space is big.  You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly
big it is.  I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the
drug store, but that's just peanuts to space.
                -- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.
                -- Neil Armstrong
The astronomer Francesco Sizi, a contemporary of Galileo, argues that
Jupiter can have no satellites:

        There are seven windows in the head, two nostrils, two ears, two
eyes, and a mouth; so in the heavens there are two favorable stars, two
unpropitious, two luminaries, and Mercury alone undecided and indifferent.
From which and many other similar phenomena of nature such as the seven
metals, etc., which it were tedious to enumerate, we gather that the number
of planets is necessarily seven. [...]
        Moreover, the satellites are invisible to the naked eye and
therefore can have no influence on the earth and therefore would be useless
and therefore do not exist.
The best rebuttal to this kind of statistical argument came from the
redoubtable John W. Campbell:

        The laws of population growth tell us that approximately half the
        people who were ever born in the history of the world are now
        dead.  There is therefore a 0.5 probability that this message is
        being read by a corpse.
The biggest difference between time and space is that you can't reuse time.
                -- Merrick Furst
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 Commandments of the EE:

(1)        Beware of lightning that lurketh in an uncharged condenser
        lest it cause thee to bounce upon thy buttocks in a most
        embarrassing manner.
(2)        Cause thou the switch that supplieth large quantities of juice to
        be opened and thusly tagged, that thy days may be long in this
        earthly vale of tears.
(3)        Prove to thyself that all circuits that radiateth, and upon
        which the worketh, are grounded and thusly tagged lest they lift
        thee to a radio frequency potential and causeth thee to make like
        a radiator too.
(4)        Tarry thou not amongst these fools that engage in intentional
        shocks for they are not long for this world and are surely
        unbelievers.
The Commandments of the EE:

(5)        Take care that thou useth the proper method when thou takest the
        measures of high-voltage circuits too, that thou dost not incinerate
        both thee and thy test meter, for verily, though thou has no company
        property number and can be easily surveyed, the test meter has
        one and, as a consequence, bringeth much woe unto a purchasing agent.
(6)        Take care that thou tamperest not with interlocks and safety devices,
        for this incurreth the wrath of the chief electrician and bring
        the fury of the engineers on his head.
(7)        Work thou not on energized equipment for if thou doest so, thy
        friends will surely be buying beers for thy widow and consoling
        her in certain ways not generally acceptable to thee.
(8)        Verily, verily I say unto thee, never service equipment alone,
        for electrical cooking is a slow process and thou might sizzle in
        thy own fat upon a hot circuit for hours on end before thy maker
        sees fit to end thy misery and drag thee into his fold.
The difference between reality and unreality is that reality has so
little to recommend it.
                -- Allan Sherman
The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science
requires reasoning while those other subjects merely require scholarship.
                -- Robert Heinlein
The Encyclopaedia Galactica defines a robot as a mechanical apparatus designed
to do the work of a man.  The marketing division of Sirius Cybernetics
Corporation defines a robot as 'Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun To Be With'.
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the
Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as 'a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the
first against the wall when the revolution comes', with a footnote to effect
that the editors would welcome applications from anyone interested in taking
over the post of robotics correspondent.
        Curiously enough, an edition of the Encyclopaedia Galactica that
had the good fortune to fall through a time warp from a thousand years in
the future defined the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics
Corporation as 'a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the
wall when the revolution came'.
                -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
The feeling persists that no one can simultaneously be a respectable writer
and understand how a refrigerator works, just as no gentleman wears a brown
suit in the city.  Colleges may be to blame.  English majors are encouraged,
I know, to hate chemistry and physics, and to be proud because they are not
dull and creepy and humorless and war-oriented like the engineers across the
quad.  And our most impressive critics have commonly been such English majors,
and they are squeamish about technology to this very day.  So it is natural
for them to despise science fiction.
                -- Kurt Vonnegut Jr., "Science Fiction"
The Greatest Mathematical Error
        The Mariner I space probe was launched from Cape Canaveral on 28
July 1962 towards Venus.  After 13 minutes' flight a booster engine would
give acceleration up to 25,820 mph; after 44 minutes 9,800 solar cells
would unfold; after 80 days a computer would calculate the final course
corrections and after 100 days the craft would cirlce the unknown planet,
scanning the mysterious cloud in which it is bathed.  
        However, with an efficiency that is truly heartening, Mariner I
plunged into the Atlantic Ocean only four minutes after takeoff.
        Inquiries later revealed that a minus sign had been omitted from
the instructions fed into the computer.  "It was human error", a launch
spokesman said.
        This minus sign cost L4,280,000.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
The instruments of science do not in themselves discover truth.  And there are
searchings that are not concluded by the coincidence of a pointer and a mark.
                -- Fred Saberhagen, "The Berserker Wars"
The Man Who Almost Invented The Vacuum Cleaner
        The man officially credited with inventing the vacuum cleaner is
Hubert Cecil Booth.  However, he got the idea from a man who almost
invented it.  
        In 1901 Booth visited a London music-hall.  On the bill was an
American inventor with his wonder machine for removing dust from carpets.
        The machine comprised a box about one foot square with a bag on top.
After watching the act -- which made everyone in the front six rows sneeze
-- Booth went round to the inventor's dressing room.
        "It should suck not blow," said Booth, coming straight to the
point.  "Suck?", exclaimed the enraged inventor.  "Your machine just moves
the dust around the room," Booth informed him.  "Suck?  Suck?  Sucking is
not possible," was the inventor's reply and he stormed out.  Booth proved
that it was by the simple expedient of kneeling down, pursing his lips and
sucking the back of an armchair.  "I almost choked," he said afterwards.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
                -- Isaac Asimov
The nation that controls magnetism controls the universe.
                -- Chester Gould/Dick Tracy
The only justification for our concepts and systems of concepts is that they
serve to represent the complex of our experiences; beyond this they have
no legitimacy.
                -- Albert Einstein
The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when
exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.
The problem ... is that we have run out of dinosaurs to form oil with.
Scientists working for the Department of Energy have tried to form oil using
other animals; they've piled thousands of tons of sand and Middle Eastern
countries on top of cows, raccoons, haddock, laboratory rats, etc., but so
far all they have managed to do is run up an enormous bulldozer-rental bill
and anger a lot of Middle Eastern persons.  None of the animals turned into
oil, although most of the laboratory rats developed cancer.
                -- Dave Barry, "Postpetroleum Guzzler"
The purpose of Physics 7A is to make the engineers realize that they're
not perfect, and to make the rest of the people realize that they're not
engineers.
The reason that every major university maintains a department of
mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.
The spirit of Plato dies hard.  We have been unable to escape the philosophical
tradition that what we can see and measure in the world is merely the
superficial and imperfect representation of an underlying reality.
                -- S.J. Gould, "The Mismeasure of Man"
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
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
The universe is an island, surrounded by whatever it is that surrounds
universes.
The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be
done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.
                -- E. Hubbard
There are no data that cannot be plotted on a straight line if the axis
are chosen correctly.
There are three schools of magic.  One:  State a tautology, then ring the
changes on its corollaries; that's philosophy.  Two:  Record many facts.
Try to find a pattern.  Then make a wrong guess at the next fact; that's
science.  Three:  Be aware that you live in a malevolent Universe controlled
by Murphy's Law, sometimes offset by Brewster's Factor; that's engineering.
There are two kinds of solar-heat systems: "passive" systems collect the
sunlight that hits your home, and "active" systems collect the sunlight that
hits your neighbors' homes, too.
                -- Dave Barry, "Postpetroleum Guzzler"
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what
the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be
replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.  There is another
theory which states that this has already happened.
                -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
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 opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it.
                -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"
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 was a writer in 'Life' magazine ... who claimed that rabbits have
no memory, which is one of their defensive mechanisms.  If they recalled
every close shave they had in the course of just an hour life would become
insupportable.
                -- Kurt Vonnegut
There was an old Indian belief that by making love on the hide of
their favorite animal, one could guarantee the health and prosperity
of the offspring conceived thereupon.  And so it goes that one Indian
couple made love on a buffalo  hide.  Nine months later, they were
blessed with a healthy baby son.  Yet another couple huddled together
on the hide of a deer and they too were blessed with a very healthy
baby son.  But a third couple, whose favorite animal was a hippopotamus,
were blessed with not one, but TWO very healthy baby sons at the conclusion
of the nine month interval.  All of which proves the old theorem that:
The sons of the squaw of the hippopotamus are equal to the sons of
the squaws of the other two hides.
This is the theory that Jack built.
This is the flaw that lay in the theory that Jack built.
This is the palpable verbal haze that hid the flaw that lay in...
This isn't true in practice -- what we've missed out is Stradivarius's
constant.  And then the aside: "For those of you who don't know, that's
been called by others the fiddle factor..."
                -- From a 1B Electrical Engineering lecture.
Time is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen at once.

Space is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen to you.
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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 men are in a hot-air balloon.  Soon, they find themselves lost in a
canyon somewhere.  One of the three men says, "I've got an idea.  We can
call for help in this canyon and the echo will carry our voices to the
end of the canyon.  Someone's bound to hear us by then!"
        So he leans over the basket and screams out, "Helllloooooo!  Where
are we?"  (They hear the echo several times).
        Fifteen minutes later, they hear this echoing voice: "Helllloooooo!
You're lost!"
        The shouter comments, "That must have been a mathematician."
        Puzzled, his friend asks, "Why do you say that?"
        "For three reasons.  First, he took a long time to answer, second,
he was absolutely correct, and, third, his answer was absolutely useless."
We are all agreed that your theory is crazy.  The question which divides us is
whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct.  My own feeling
is that it is not crazy enough.
                -- Niels Bohr
We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure
that it wasn't a fish.
        -- Marshall McLuhan
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
... we must be wary of granting too much power to natural selection
by viewing all basic capacities of our brain as direct adaptations.
I do not doubt that natural selection acted in building our oversized
brains -- and I am equally confident that our brains became large as
an adaptation for definite roles (probably a complex set of interacting
functions).  But these assumptions do not lead to the notion, often
uncritically embraced by strict Darwinians, that all major capacities
of the brain must arise as direct products of natural selection.
                -- S.J. Gould, "The Mismeasure of Man"
We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn of a beautiful
new world.  We will see it when we believe it.
                -- Saul Alinsky
... 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 warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a
clever but highly unmotivated trick.
                -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"
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
Weinberg, as a young grocery clerk, advised the grocery manager to get
rid of rutabagas which nobody ever bought.  He did so. "Well, kid, that
was a great idea," said the manager. Then he paused and asked the killer
question, "NOW what's the least popular vegetable?"

Law: Once you eliminate your #1 problem, #2 gets a promotion.
        -- Gerald Weinberg, "The Secrets of Consulting"
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 a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute.
But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute -- and it's longer than any
hour.  That's relativity.
                -- Albert Einstein
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
Where are the calculations that go with a calculated risk?
        While the engineer developed his thesis, the director leaned over to
his assistant and whispered, "Did you ever hear of why the sea is salt?"
        "Why the sea is salt?" whispered back the assistant.  "What do you
mean?"
        The director continued: "When I was a little kid, I heard the story of
`Why the sea is salt' many times, but I never thought it important until just
a moment ago.  It's something like this: Formerly the sea was fresh water and
salt was rare and expensive.  A miller received from a wizard a wonderful
machine that just ground salt out of itself all day long.  At first the miller
thought himself the most fortunate man in the world, but soon all the villages
had salt to last them for centuries and still the machine kept on grinding
more salt.  The miller had to move out of his house, he had to move off his
acres.  At last he determined that he would sink the machine in the sea and
be rid of it.  But the mill ground so fast that boat and miller and machine
were sunk together, and down below, the mill still went on grinding and that's
why the sea is salt."
        "I don't get you," said the assistant.
                -- Guy Endore, "Men of Iron"
Why do mathematicians insist on using words that already have another
meaning?  "It is the complex case that is easier to deal with."  "If it
doesn't happen at a corner, but at an edge, it nonetheless happens at a
corner."
With every passing hour our solar system comes forty-three thousand
miles closer to globular cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules, and
still there are some misfits who continue to insist that there is no
such thing as progress.
                -- Ransom K. Ferm
        "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"
        "Yo, Mike!"
        "Yeah, Gabe?"
        "We got a problem down on Earth.  In Utah."
        "I thought you fixed that last century!"
        "No, no, not that.  Someone's found a security problem in the physics
program.  They're getting energy out of nowhere."
        "Blessit!  Lemme look...  <tappity clickity tappity>  Hey, it's
there all right!  OK, just a sec...  <tappity clickity tap... save... compile>
There, that ought to patch it.  Dist it out, wouldja?"
                -- Cold Fusion, 1989
You can take all the impact that science considerations have on funding
decisions at NASA, put them in the navel of a flea, and have room left
over for a caraway seed and Tony Calio's heart.
                -- F. Allen
You should not use your fireplace, because scientists now believe that,
contrary to popular opinion, fireplaces actually remove heat from houses.
Really, that's what scientists believe.  In fact many scientists actually
use their fireplaces to cool their houses in the summer.  If you visit a
scientist's house on a sultry August day, you'll find a cheerful fire
roaring on the hearth and the scientist sitting nearby, remarking on how
cool he is and drinking heavily.
                -- Dave Barry, "Postpetroleum Guzzler"
1893 The ideal brain tonic
1900 Drink Coca-Cola -- delicious and refreshing -- 5 cents at all
        soda fountains
1905 Is the favorite drink for LADIES when thirsty -- weary -- despondent
1905 Refreshes the weary, brightens the intellect and clears the brain
1906 The drink of QUALITY
1907 Good to the last drop
1907 It satisfies the thirst and pleases the palate
1907 Refreshing as a summer breeze.  Delightful as a Dip in the Sea
1908 The Drink that Cheers but does not inebriate
1917 There's a delicious freshness to the taste of Coca-Cola
1919 It satisfies thirst
1919 The taste is the test
1922 Every glass holds the answer to thirst
1922 Thirst knows no season
1925 Enjoy the sociable drink
                -- Coca-Cola slogans
1925 With a drink so good, 'tis folly to be thirsty
1929 The high sign of refreshment
1929 The pause that refreshes
1930 It had to be good to get where it is
1932 The drink that makes a pause refreshing
1935 The pause that brings friends together
1937 STOP for a pause... GO refreshed
1938 The best friend thirst ever had
1939 Thirst stops here
1942 It's the real thing
1947 Have a Coke
1961 Zing! what a REFRESHING NEW FEELING
1963 Things go better with Coke
1969 Face Uncle Sam with a Coke in your hand
1979 Have a Coke and a smile
1982 Coke is it!
                -- Coca-Cola slogans
A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart that looks at her watch.
                -- James Beard
Actor:        So what do you do for a living?
Doris:        I work for a company that makes deceptively shallow serving
        dishes for Chinese restaurants.
                -- Woody Allen, "Without Feathers"
Anything that is good and useful is made of chocolate.
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"
Carob works on the principle that, when mixed with the right combination of
fats and sugar, it can duplicate chocolate in color and texture.  Of course,
the same can be said of dirt.
Consider the following axioms carefully:
        "Everything's better when it sits on a Ritz."
        and
        "Everything's better with Blue Bonnet on it."
What happens if one spreads Blue Bonnet margarine on a Ritz cracker?  The
thought is frightening.  Is this how God came into being?  Try not to
consider the fact that "Things go better with Coke".
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"
Did you hear that Captain Crunch, Sugar Bear, Tony the Tiger, and
Snap, Crackle and Pop were all murdered recently...

Police suspect the work of a cereal killer!
Everything is worth precisely as much as a belch, the difference being
that a belch is more satisfying.
                -- Ingmar Bergman
                        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.
I am so optimistic about beef prices that I've just leased a pot roast
with an option to buy.
I couldn't remember when I had been so disappointed.  Except perhaps the
time I found out that M&Ms really DO melt in your hand.
                -- Peter Oakley
I don't even butter my bread.  I consider that cooking.
                -- Katherine Cebrian
I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race,
in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals.    
                -- Thoreau
If you are what you eat, does that mean Euell Gibbons really was a nut?
IT MAKES ME MAD when I go to all the trouble of having Marta cook up about
a hundred drumsticks, then the guy at Marineland says, "You can't throw
that chicken to the dolphins. They eat fish."

Sure they eat fish if that's all you give them!  Man, wise up.
                -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.
It was a brave man that ate the first oyster.
It's raisins that make Post Raisin Bran so raisiny ...
Just a few of the perfect excuses for having some strawberry shortcake.
Pick one.

         (1)        It's less calories than two pieces of strawberry shortcake.
         (2)        It's cheaper than going to France.
         (3)        It neutralizes the brownies I had yesterday.
         (4)        Life is short.
         (5)        It's somebody's birthday.  I don't want them to celebrate alone.
         (6)        It matches my eyes.
         (7)        Whoever said, "Let them eat cake." must have been talking to me.
         (8)        To punish myself for eating dessert yesterday.
         (9)        Compensation for all the time I spend in the shower not eating.
        (10)        Strawberry shortcake is evil.  I must help rid the world of it.
        (11)        I'm getting weak from eating all that healthy stuff.
        (12)        It's the second anniversary of the night I ate plain broccoli.
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"
Never drink coke in a moving elevator.  The elevator's motion coupled with
the chemicals in coke produce hallucinations.  People tend to change into
lizards and attack without warning, and large bats usually fly in the
window.  Additionally, you begin to believe that elevators have windows.
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.
RULES OF EATING -- THE BRONX DIETER'S CREED
        (1)  Never eat on an empty stomach.
        (2)  Never leave the table hungry.
        (3)  When traveling, never leave a country hungry.
        (4)  Enjoy your food.
        (5)  Enjoy your companion's food.
        (6)  Really taste your food.  It may take several portions to
             accomplish this, especially if subtly seasoned.
        (7)  Really feel your food.  Texture is important.  Compare,
             for example, the texture of a turnip to that of a
             brownie.  Which feels better against your cheeks?
        (8)  Never eat between snacks, unless it's a meal.
        (9)  Don't feel you must finish everything on your plate.  You
             can always eat it later.
        (10) Avoid any wine with a childproof cap.
        (11) Avoid blue food.
                -- Richard Smith, "The Bronx Diet"
Seeing is deceiving.  It's eating that's believing.
                -- James Thurber
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 chicken that clucks the loudest is the one most likely to show up
at the steam fitters' picnic.
The Kosher Dill was invented in 1723 by Joe Kosher and Sam Dill.  It is
the single most popular pickle variety today, enjoyed throughout the free
world by man, woman and child alike.  An astounding 350 billion kosher
dills are eaten each year, averaging out to almost 1/4 pickle per person
per day.  New York Times food critic Mimi Sheraton says "The kosher dill
really changed my life.  I used to enjoy eating McDonald's hamburgers and
drinking Iron City Lite, and then I encountered the kosher dill pickle.
I realized that there was far more to haute cuisine then I'd ever imagined.
And now, just look at me."
The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served
the family nothing but leftovers.  The original meal has never been found.
                -- Calvin Trillin
"The National Association of Theater Concessionaires reported that in
1986, 60% of all candy sold in movie theaters was sold to Roger Ebert."
                -- D. Letterman
The reason it's called "Grape Nuts" is that it contains "dextrose", which is
also sometimes called "grape sugar," and also because "Grape Nuts" is
catchier, in terms of marketing, than "A Cross Between Gerbil Food and
Gravel," which is what it tastes like.
                -- Dave Barry, "Tips for Writer's"
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later
you're hungry again.
                -- George Miller
        ... This striving for excellence extends into people's personal
lives as well.  When '80s people buy something, they buy the best one, as
determined by (1) price and (2) lack of availability. Eighties people buy
imported dental floss.  They buy gourmet baking soda.  If an '80s couple
goes to a restaurant where they have made a reservation three weeks in
advance, and they are informed that their table is available, they stalk
out immediately, because they know it is not an excellent restaurant.  If
it were, it would have an enormous crowd of excellence-oriented people
like themselves waiting, their beepers going off like crickets in the
night.  An excellent restaurant wouldn't have a table ready immediately
for anybody below the rank of Liza Minnelli.
                -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
        To lose weight, eat less; to gain weight, eat more; if you merely
wish to maintain, do whatever you were doing.
        The Bronx diet is a legitimate system of food therapy showing that
food SHOULD be used a crutch and which food could be the most effective in
promoting spiritual and emotional satisfaction.  For the first time, an
eater could instantly grasp the connection between relieving depression and
Mallomars, and understand why a lover's quarrel isn't so bad if there's a
pint of ice cream nearby.
                -- Richard Smith, "The Bronx Diet"
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
Vegetables are what food eats.
Fruit are vegetables that fool you by tasting good.
Fish are fast moving vegetables.
Mushrooms are what grows on vegetables when food's done with them.
                -- Meat Eater's Credo, according to Jim Williams
While it may be true that a watched pot never boils, the one you don't
keep an eye on can make an awful mess of your stove.
                -- Edward Stevenson
You should tip the waiter $10, minus $2 if he tells you his name, another $2
if he claims it will be His Pleasure to serve you and another $2 for each
"special" he describes involving confusing terms such as "shallots," and $4
if the menu contains the word "fixin's." In many restaurants, this means the
waiter will actually owe you money. If you are traveling with a child aged
six months to three years, you should leave an additional amount equal to
twice the bill to compensate for the fact that they will have to take the
banquette out and burn it because the cracks are wedged solid with gobbets
made of partially chewed former restaurant rolls saturated with baby spit.

In New York, tip the taxicab driver $40 if he does not mention his hemorrhoids.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Stuff of Etiquette"
Your mind is the part of you that says,
        "Why'n'tcha eat that piece of cake?"
... and then, twenty minutes later, says,
        "Y'know, if I were you, I wouldn't have done that!"
                -- Steven and Ondrea Levine
A bunch of the boys were whooping it in the Malemute saloon;
The kid that handles the music box was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.
                -- Robert W. Service
A cousin of mine once said about money,
money is always there but the pockets change;
it is not in the same pockets after a change,
and that is all there is to say about money.
                -- Gertrude Stein
A is for awk, which runs like a snail, and
B is for biff, which reads all your mail.
C is for cc, as hackers recall, while
D is for dd, the command that does all.
E is for emacs, which rebinds your keys, and
F is for fsck, which rebuilds your trees.
G is for grep, a clever detective, while
H is for halt, which may seem defective.
I is for indent, which rarely amuses, and
J is for join, which nobody uses.
K is for kill, which makes you the boss, while
L is for lex, which is missing from DOS.
M is for more, from which less was begot, and
N is for nice, which it really is not.
O is for od, which prints out things nice, while
P is for passwd, which reads in strings twice.
Q is for quota, a Berkeley-type fable, and
R is for ranlib, for sorting ar table.
S is for spell, which attempts to belittle, while
T is for true, which does very little.
U is for uniq, which is used after sort, and
V is for vi, which is hard to abort.
W is for whoami, which tells you your name, while
X is, well, X, of dubious fame.
Y is for yes, which makes an impression, and
Z is for zcat, which handles compression.
                -- THE ABC'S OF UNIX
A lady with one of her ears applied
To an open keyhole heard, inside,
Two female gossips in converse free --
The subject engaging them was she.
"I think", said one, "and my husband thinks
That she's a prying, inquisitive minx!"
As soon as no more of it she could hear
The lady, indignant, removed her ear.
"I will not stay," she said with a pout,
"To hear my character lied about!"
                -- Gopete Sherany
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
                -- William Blake
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold.
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?"  The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay not so,"
Replied the angel.  Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men."
The angel wrote, and vanished.  The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo!  Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
                -- James Henry Leigh Hunt, "Abou Ben Adhem"
After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads
On today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain.  And futures have
A way of falling down in midflight,
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure...
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn
With every goodbye you learn.
                -- Veronic Shoffstall, "Comes the Dawn"
Again she fled, but swift he came.
Tin'uviel!  Tin'uviel!
He called her by her elvish name;
And there she halted listening.
One moment stood she, and a spell
His voice laid on her: Beren came
And doom fell on Tin'uviel
That in his arms lay glistening.

As Beren looked into her eyes
Within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies
He saw there mirrored shimmering.
Tin'uviel the elven-fair,
Immortal maiden elven-wise,
About him cast her shadowy hair
And arms like silver glimmering.

Long was the way that fate them bore,
O'er stony mountains cold and grey,
Through halls of iron and darkling door,
And woods of nightshade morrowless.
The Sundering Seas between them lay,
And yet at last they met once more,
And long ago they passed away
In the forest singing sorrowless.
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
                        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
All I need to have a good time,
Is a reefer, a woman and a bottle of wine.
With those three things I don't need no sunshine,
A reefer, a woman and a bottle of wine.

All I want is to never grow old,
I want to wash in a bathtub of gold.
I want 97 kilos already rolled,
I want to wash in a bathtub of gold.

I want to light my cigars with 10 dollar bills,
I like to have a cattle ranch in Beverly Hills.
I want a bottle of Red Eye that's always filled,
I like to have a cattle ranch in Beverly Hills.
                -- Country Joe and the Fish, "Zachariah"
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
                -- J.R.R. Tolkien
        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"
All the lines have been written                There's been Sandburg,
It's sad but it's true                        Keats, Poe and McKuen
With all the words gone,                They all had their day
What's a young poet to do?                And knew what they're doin'

But of all the words written                The bird is a strange one,
And all the lines read,                        So small and so tender
There's one I like most,                Its breed still unknown,
And by a bird it was said!                Not to mention its gender.

It reminds me of days of                So what is this line
Both gloom and of light.                Whose author's unknown
It still lifts my spirits                And still makes me giggle
And starts the day right.                Even now that I'm grown?

I've read all the greats
Both starving and fat,
But none was as great as
"I tot I taw a puddy tat."
                -- Etta Stallings, "An Ode To Childhood"
An eye in a blue face
Saw an eye in a green face.
"That eye is like this eye"
Said the first eye,
"But in low place,
Not in high place."
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.]
And all that the Lorax left here in this mess
was a small pile of rocks with the one word, "unless."
Whatever THAT meant, well, I just couldn't guess.
That was long, long ago, and each day since that day,
I've worried and worried and worried away.
Through the years as my buildings have fallen apart,
I've worried about it with all of my heart.

"BUT," says the Oncler, "now that you're here,
the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear!
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better - it's not.
So... CATCH!" cries the Oncler.  He lets something fall.
"It's a truffula seed.  It's the last one of all!

"You're in charge of the last of the truffula seeds.
And truffula trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new truffula -- treat it with care.
Give it clean water and feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest -- protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back!"
And as we stand on the edge of darkness
Let our chant fill the void
That others may know

        In the land of the night
        The ship of the sun
        Is drawn by
        The grateful dead.
                -- Tibetan "Book of the Dead," ca. 4000 BC.
And in the heartbreak years that lie ahead,
Be true to yourself and the Grateful Dead.
                -- Joan Baez
And so it was, later,
As the miller told his tale,
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale.
                -- Procol Harum
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.
As I was walking down the street one dark and dreary day,
I came upon a billboard and much to my dismay,
The words were torn and tattered,
From the storm the night before,
The wind and rain had done its work and this is how it goes,

Smoke Coca-Cola cigarettes, chew Wrigleys Spearmint beer,
Ken-L-Ration dog food makes your complexion clear,
Simonize your baby in a Hershey candy bar,
And Texaco's a beauty cream that's used by every star.

Take your next vacation in a brand new Frigedaire,
Learn to play the piano in your winter underwear,
Doctors say that babies should smoke until they're three,
And people over sixty-five should bathe in Lipton tea.
As some day it may happen that a victim must be found
I've got a little list -- I've got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground
And who never would be missed -- who never would be missed.
                -- Koko, "The Mikado"
Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most Souls would scarcely
get your Feet wet.  Fall not in Love, therefore: it will stick to your face.
                -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"
Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
                -- John Keats
Black shiny mollies and bright colored guppies,
Shy little angels as gentle as puppies,
Swimming and diving with scarcely a swish,
They were just some of my tropical fish.

Then I got mantas that sting in the water,
Deadly piranhas that itch for a slaughter,
Savage male betas that bite with a squish,
Now I have many less tropical fish.

        If you think that
        Fish are peaceful
        That's an empty wish.
        Just dump them together
        And leave them alone,
        And soon you will have -- no fish.
                -- To My Favorite Things
Breathe deep the gathering gloom.
Watch lights fade from every room.
Bed-sitter people look back and lament;
another day's useless energies spent.

Impassioned lovers wrestle as one.
Lonely man cries for love and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles her son.
Senior citizens wish they were young.

Cold-hearted orb that rules the night;
Removes the colors from our sight.
Red is grey and yellow white.
But we decide which is real, and which is an illusion."
                -- The Moody Blues, "Days of Future Passed"
But has any little atom,
        While a-sittin' and a-splittin',
Ever stopped to think or CARE
        That E = m c**2 ?
But I was there and I saw what you did,
I saw it with my own two eyes.
So you can wipe off that grin;
I know where you've been--
It's all been a pack of lies!
But scientists, who ought to know
Assure us that it must be so.
Oh, let us never, never doubt
What nobody is sure about.
                -- Hilaire Belloc
Calm down, it's only ones and zeroes,
Calm down, it's only bits and bytes,
Calm down, and speak to me in English,
Please realize that I'm not one of your computerites.
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
Certainly there are things in life that money can't buy,
But it's very funny -- did you ever try buying them without money?
                -- Ogden Nash
Children aren't happy without something to ignore,
And that's what parents were created for.
                -- Ogden Nash
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands and crystal brooks
With silken lines, and silver hooks.
There's nothing that I wouldn't do
If you would be my POSSLQ.

You live with me, and I with you,
And you will be my POSSLQ.
I'll be your friend and so much more;
That's what a POSSLQ is for.

And everything we will confess;
Yes, even to the IRS.
Some day on what we both may earn,
Perhaps we'll file a joint return.
You'll share my pad, my taxes, joint;
You'll share my life - up to a point!
And that you'll be so glad to do,
Because you'll be my POSSLQ.
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"
Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood,
Stop up the access and passage to remorse
That no compunctious visiting of nature
Shake my fell purpose, not keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall the in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry `Hold, hold!'
                -- Lady MacBeth
Coming to Stores Near You:

101 Grammatically Correct Popular Tunes Featuring:

        (You Aren't Anything but a) Hound Dog
        It Doesn't Mean a Thing If It Hasn't Got That Swing
        I'm Not Misbehaving

And A Whole Lot More...
Confusion will be my epitaph
as I walk a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back and laugh
but I fear that tomorrow we'll be crying.
                -- King Crimson, "In the Court of the Crimson King"
Disillusioned words like bullets bark,
As human gods aim for their mark,
Make everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored christs that glow in the dark.
It's easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred.
                -- Bob Dylan
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
Eleanor Rigby
        Sits at the keyboard
        And waits for a line on the screen
Lives in a dream
Waits for a signal
        Finding some code
        That will make the machine do some more.
What is it for?

All the lonely users, where do they all come from?
All the lonely users, why does it take so long?

Hacker MacKensie
Writing the code for a program that no one will run
It's nearly done
Look at him working, fixing the bugs in the night when there's
        nobody there.
What does he care?

All the lonely users, where do they all come from?
All the lonely users, why does it take so long?
Ah, look at all the lonely users.
Ah, look at all the lonely users.
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 Onward!  Ever Onward!
That's the sprit that has brought us fame.
We're big but bigger we will be,
We can't fail for all can see, that to serve humanity
Has been our aim.
Our products now are known in every zone.
Our reputation sparkles like a gem.
We've fought our way thru
And new fields we're sure to conquer, too
For the Ever Onward IBM!
                -- Ever Onward, from the 1940 IBM Songbook
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"
Felix Catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
An endothermic quadroped, carnivorous by nature.
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.
I find myself intrigued by your sub-vocal oscillations,
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predelection
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.
A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents:
You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance;
And when not being utilitized to aid in locomotion,
It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.
Oh Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.
        -- Lt. Cmdr. Data, "An Ode to Spot"
Five names that I can hardly stand to hear,
Including yours and mine and one more chimp who isn't here,
I can see the ladies talking how the times is gettin' hard,
And that fearsome excavation on Magnolia boulevard,
Yes, I'm goin' insane,
And I'm laughing at the frozen rain,
Well, I'm so alone, honey when they gonna send me home?
        Bad sneakers and a pina colada my friend,
        Stopping on the avenue by Radio City, with a
        Transistor and a large sum of money to spend...
You fellah, you tearin' up the street,
You wear that white tuxedo, how you gonna beat the heat,
Do you take me for a fool, do you think that I don't see,
That ditch out in the Valley that they're diggin' just for me,
Yes, and goin' insane,
You know I'm laughin' at the frozen rain,
Feel like I'm so alone, honey when they gonna send me home?
(chorus)
                -- Bad Sneakers, "Steely Dan"
"For a couple o' pins," says Troll, and grins,
"I'll eat thee too, and gnaw thy shins.
A bit o' fresh meat will go down sweet!
I'll try my teeth on thee now.
        Hee now!  See now!
I'm tired o' gnawing old bones and skins;
I've a mind to dine on thee now."

But just as he thought his dinner was caught,
He found his hands had hold of naught.
Before he could mind, Tom slipped behing
And gave him the boot to larn him.
        Warn him!  Darn him!
A bump o' the boot on the seat, Tom thoguht,
Would be the way to larn him.

But harder than stone is the flesh and bone
Of a troll that sits in the hills alone.
As well set your boot to the mountain's root,
For the seat of a troll don't feel it.
        Peel it!  Heal it!
Old Troll laughed, when he heard Tom groan,
And he knew his toes could feel it.

Tom's leg is game, since home he came,
And his bootless foot is lasting lame;
But Troll don't care, and he's still there
With the bone he boned from its owner.
        Doner!  Boner!
Troll's old seat is still the same,
And the bone he boned from its owner!
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
"Force is but might," the teacher said--
"That definition's just."
The boy said naught but thought instead,
Remembering his pounded head:
"Force is not might but must!"
Friends, Romans, Hipsters,
Let me clue you in;
I come to put down Caesar, not to groove him.
The square kicks some cats are on stay with them;
The hip bits, like, go down under;
so let it lay with Caesar.  The cool Brutus
Gave you the message: Caesar had big eyes;
If that's the sound, someone's copping a plea,
And, like, old Caesar really set them straight.
Here, copacetic with Brutus and the studs, --
for Brutus is a real cool cat;
So are they all, all cool cats, --
Come I to make this gig at Caesar's laying down.
From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving,
Whatever gods may be,
That no life lives forever,
That dead men rise up never,
That even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea.
                -- Swinburne
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"
God rest ye CS students now,                The bearings on the drum are gone,
Let nothing you dismay.                        The disk is wobbling, too.
The VAX is down and won't be up,        We've found a bug in Lisp, and Algol
Until the first of May.                        Can't tell false from true.
The program that was due this morn,        And now we find that we can't get
Won't be postponed, they say.                At Berkeley's 4.2.
(chorus)                                (chorus)

We've just received a call from DEC,        And now some cheery news for you,
They'll send without delay                The network's also dead,
A monitor called RSuX                        We'll have to print your files on
It takes nine hundred K.                The line printer instead.
The staff committed suicide,                The turnaround time's nineteen weeks.
We'll bury them today.                        And only cards are read.
(chorus)                                (chorus)

And now we'd like to say to you                CHORUS:        Oh, tidings of comfort and joy,
Before we go away,                                Comfort and joy,
We hope the news we've brought to you                Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.
Won't ruin your whole day.
You've got another program due, tomorrow, by the way.
(chorus)
                -- to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
Sold in a market down in New Orleans
Scarred old slaver knows he's doing alright
Hear him whip the women, just around midnight

Ah, brown sugar how come you taste so good?
Ah, brown sugar just like a young girl should

Drums beating cold English blood runs hot
Lady of the house wonderin' where it's gonna stop
House boy knows that he's doing alright
You should a heard him just around midnight.
...
I bet your mama was tent show queen
And all her girlfriends were sweet sixteen
I'm no school boy but I know what I like
You should have heard me just around midnight.
                -- Rolling Stones, "Brown Sugar"
Got a wife and kids in Baltimore Jack,
I went out for a ride and never came back.
Like a river that don't know where it's flowing,
I took a wrong turn and I just kept going.

        Everybody's got a hungry heart.
        Everybody's got a hungry heart.
        Lay down your money and you play your part,
        Everybody's got a hungry heart.

I met her in a Kingstown bar,
We fell in love, I knew it had to end.
We took what we had and we ripped it apart,
Now here I am down in Kingstown again.

Everybody needs a place to rest,
Everybody wants to have a home.
Don't make no difference what nobody says,
Ain't nobody likes to be alone.
                -- Bruce Springsteen, "Hungry Heart"
"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
Have you seen the old man in the closed down market,
Kicking up the papers in his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride, hands hang loosely at his side
Yesterdays papers, telling yesterdays news.

How can you tell me you're lonely,
And say for you the sun don't shine?
Let me take you by the hand
Lead you through the streets of London
I'll show you something to make you change your mind...

Have you seen the old man outside the sea-man's mission
Memories fading like the metal ribbons that he wears.
In our winter city the rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero and a world that doesn't care...
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.
He thought he saw an albatross
That fluttered 'round the lamp.
He looked again and saw it was
A penny postage stamp.
"You'd best be getting home," he said,
"The nights are rather damp."
Here I sit, broken-hearted,
All logged in, but work unstarted.
First net.this and net.that,
And a hot buttered bun for net.fat.

The boss comes by, and I play the game,
Then I turn back to net.flame.
Is there a cure (I need your views),
For someone trapped in net.news?

I need your help, I say 'tween sobs,
'Cause I'll soon be listed in net.jobs.
Hey, diddle, diddle the overflow pdl
To get a little more stack;
If that's not enough then you lose it all
And have to pop all the way back.
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 always will remember --                I was in no mood to trifle;
'Twas a year ago November --                I got down my trusty rifle
I went out to shoot some deer                And went out to stalk my prey --
On a morning bright and clear.                What a haul I made that day!
I went and shot the maximum                I tied them to my bumper and
The game laws would allow:                I drove them home somehow,
Two game wardens, seven hunters,        Two game wardens, seven hunters,
And a cow.                                And a cow.

The Law was very firm, it                People ask me how I do it
Took away my permit--                        And I say, "There's nothin' to it!
The worst punishment I ever endured.        You just stand there lookin' cute,
It turns out there was a reason:        And when something moves, you shoot."
Cows were out of season, and                And there's ten stuffed heads
One of the hunters wasn't insured.        In my trophy room right now: