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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #5

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

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

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

This cryogenic cooling system may not actually reach absolute zero, but it
comes mighty close. Unfortunately, the AbsoluteZero(tm) is the size of a small
house, consumes a constant stream of liquid nitrogen, and requires it's own
nuclear reactor (not included). But that's a small price to pay for the
ability to play Quake 3 at 100,000 frames per second.
I went on to test the program in every way I could devise.  I strained
it to expose its weaknesses.  I ran it for high-mass stars and low-mass
stars, for stars born exceedingly hot and those born relatively cold.
I ran it assuming the superfluid currents beneath the crust to be
absent -- not because I wanted to know the answer, but because I had
developed an intuitive feel for the answer in this particular case.
Finally I got a run in which the computer showed the pulsar's
temperature to be less than absolute zero.  I had found an error.  I
chased down the error and fixed it.  Now I had improved the program to
the point where it would not run at all.
                -- George Greenstein, "Frozen Star: Of Pulsars, Black
                   Holes and the Fate of Stars"
        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"
There is no TRUTH.  There is no REALITY.  There is no CONSISTENCY.
There are no ABSOLUTE STATEMENTS.   I'm very probably wrong.
Mental power tended to corrupt, and absolute intelligence tended to
corrupt absolutely, until the victim eschewed violence entirely in
favor of smart solutions to stupid problems.
                -- Piers Anthony
Rhode's Law:
        When any principle, law, tenet, probability, happening, circumstance,
        or result can in no way be directly, indirectly, empirically, or
        circuitously proven, derived, implied, inferred, induced, deducted,
        estimated, or scientifically guessed, it will always for the purpose
        of convenience, expediency, political advantage, material gain, or
        personal comfort, or any combination of the above, or none of the
        above, be unilaterally and unequivocally assumed, proclaimed, and
        adhered to as absolute truth to be undeniably, universally, immutably,
        and infinitely so, until such time as it becomes advantageous to
        assume otherwise, maybe.
The three laws of thermodynamics:
        (1) You can't get anything without working for it.
        (2) The most you can accomplish by working is to break even.
        (3) You can only break even at absolute zero.
        Approaching the gates of the monastery, Hakuin found Ken the Zen
preaching to a group of disciples.
        "Words..." Ken orated, "they are but an illusory veil obfuscating
the absolute reality of --"
        "Ken!" Hakuin interrupted. "Your fly is down!"
        Whereupon the Clear Light of Illumination exploded upon Ken, and he
        On the way to town, Hakuin was greeted by an itinerant monk imbued
with the spirit of the morning.
        "Ah," the monk sighed, a beatific smile wrinkling across his cheeks,
"Thou art That..."
        "Ah," Hakuin replied, pointing excitedly, "And Thou art Fat!"
        Whereupon the Clear Light of Illumination exploded upon the monk,
and he vaporized.
        Next, the Governor sought the advice of Hakuin, crying: "As our
enemies bear down upon us, how shall I, with such heartless and callow
soldiers as I am heir to, hope to withstand the impending onslaught?"
        "US?" snapped Hakuin.
        Whereupon the Clear Light of Illumination exploded upon the
Governor, and he vaporized.
        Then, a redneck went up to Hakuin and vaporized the old Master with
his shotgun.  "Ha! Beat ya' to the punchline, ya' scrawny li'l geek!"
        Well, he thought, since neither Aristotelian Logic nor the disciplines
of Science seemed to offer much hope, it's time to go beyond them...
        Drawing a few deep even breaths, he entered a mental state practiced
only by Masters of the Universal Way of Zen.  In it his mind floated freely,
able to rummage at will among the bits and pieces of data he had absorbed,
undistracted by any outside disturbances.  Logical structures no longer
inhibited him. Pre-conceptions, prejudices, ordinary human standards vanished.
All things, those previously trivial as well as those once thought important,
became absolutely equal by acquiring an absolute value, revealing relationships
not evident to ordinary vision.  Like beads strung on a string of their own
meaning, each thing pointed to its own common ground of existence, shared by
all.  Finally, each began to melt into each, staying itself while becoming
all others.  And Mind no longer contemplated Problem, but became Problem,
destroying Subject-Object by becoming them.
        Time passed, unheeded.
        Eventually, there was a tentative stirring, then a decisive one, and
Nakamura arose, a smile on his face and the light of laughter in his eyes.
                -- Wayfarer
Power corrupts.  Absolute power is kind of neat.
                -- John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy, 1981-1987
Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
                -- Lord Acton
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
Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less
obvious as you begin to study the universe.  For example, there are no
solids in the universe.  There's not even a suggestion of a solid.
There are no absolute continuums.  There are no surfaces.  There are no
straight lines.
                -- R. Buckminster Fuller
"If value corrupts then absolute value corrupts absolutely."
Mathematicians practice absolute freedom.
                -- Henry 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
... and for absolute majority of programmers additional shared objects mean
additional fsckup sources.  I don't trust them to write correct async code.
OK, so I don't trust the majority of programmers to find their dicks if
you take their Visual Masturbation Aid++ away, but that's another story -
I'm talking about otherwise clued people, not burger-flippers armed with
Foo For Complete Dummies in 24 Hours.

        - Al Viro about multi-threading on linux-kernel
The last time I looked, Solaris and AIX and all the rest of the "scalable"
systems were absolute pigs on smaller hardware, and the "scalability" in
them often translates into "we scale linearly to many CPU's by being
really bad even on one".

        - Linus Torvalds
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of
absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.
Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness
within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.
Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and
doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone
of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.
                -- Shirley Jackson, "The Haunting of Hill House"
  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
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute --
where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic)
how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom
to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or
political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely
because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the
people who might elect him.
- from John F. Kennedy's address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
  September 12, 1960.
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
Absolute:  Independent, irresponsible.  An absolute monarchy is one in which
the sovereign does as he pleases so long as he pleases the assassins.  Not
many absolute monarchies are left, most of them having been replaced by
limited monarchies, where the soverign's power for evil (and for good) is
greatly curtailed, and by republics, which are governed by chance.
-- Ambrose Bierce
David Brinkley: The daily astrological charts are precisely where, in my
  judgment, they belong, and that is on the comic page.
George Will:  I don't think astrology belongs even on the comic pages.
  The comics are making no truth claim.
Brinkley:  Where would you put it?
Will:  I wouldn't put it in the newspaper.  I think it's transparent rubbish.
  It's a reflection of an idea that we expelled from Western thought in the
  sixteenth century, that we are in the center of a caring universe.  We are
  not the center of the universe, and it doesn't care.  The star's alignment
  at the time of our birth -- that is absolute rubbish.  It is not funny to
  have it intruded among people who have nuclear weapons.
Sam Donaldson:  This isn't something new.  Governor Ronald Reagan was sworn
  in just after midnight in his first term in Sacramento because the stars
  said it was a propitious time.
Will:  They [horoscopes] are utter crashing banalities.  They could apply to
  anyone and anything.
Brinkley:  When is the exact moment [of birth]?  I don't think the nurse is
  standing there with a stopwatch and a notepad.
Donaldson:  If we're making decisions based on the stars -- that's a cockamamie
  thing.  People want to know.
-- "This Week" with David Brinkley, ABC Television, Sunday, May 8, 1988,
   excerpts from a discussion on Astrology and Reagan
You are absolute plate-glass. I see to the very back of your mind.
                -- Sherlock Holmes
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
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