|Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English)||by Linux fortune|
|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.
|I never take work home with me; I always leave it in some bar along the way.|
|Marvin the Nature Lover spied a grasshopper hopping along in the grass,|
and in a mood for communing with nature, rare even among full-fledged
Nature Lovers, he spoke to the grasshopper, saying: "Hello, friend
grasshopper. Did you know they've named a drink after you?"
"Really?" replied the grasshopper, obviously pleased. "They've
named a drink Fred?"
|A feed salesman is on his way to a farm. As he's driving along at forty|
m.p.h., he looks out his car window and sees a three-legged chicken running
alongside him, keeping pace with his car. He is amazed that a chicken is
running at forty m.p.h. So he speeds up to forty-five, fifty, then sixty
m.p.h. The chicken keeps right up with him the whole way, then suddenly
takes off and disappears into the distance.
The man pulls into the farmyard and says to the farmer, "You know,
the strangest thing just happened to me; I was driving along at at least
sixty miles an hour and a chicken passed me like I was standing still!"
"Yeah," the farmer replies, "that chicken was ours. You see, there's
me, and there's Ma, and there's our son Billy. Whenever we had chicken for
dinner, we would all want a drumstick, so we'd have to kill two chickens.
So we decided to try and breed a three-legged chicken so each of us could
have a drumstick."
"How do they taste?" said the farmer.
"Don't know," replied the farmer. "We haven't been able to catch
| One fine day, the bus driver went to the bus garage, started his bus,|
and drove off along the route. No problems for the first few stops -- a few
people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well. At the next
stop, however, a big hulk of a guy got on. Six feet eight, built like a
wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground. He glared at the driver and said,
"Big John doesn't pay!" and sat down at the back.
Did I mention that the driver was five feet three, thin, and basically
meek? Well, he was. Naturally, he didn't argue with Big John, but he wasn't
happy about it. Well, the next day the same thing happened -- Big John got on
again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the
one after that, and so forth. This grated on the bus driver, who started
losing sleep over the way Big John was taking advantage of him. Finally he
could stand it no longer. He signed up for bodybuilding courses, karate, judo,
and all that good stuff. By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong;
what's more, he felt really good about himself.
So on the next Monday, when Big John once again got on the bus
and said "Big John doesn't pay!," the driver stood up, glared back at the
passenger, and screamed, "And why not?"
With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, "Big John has a
|The departing division general manager met a last time with his young|
successor and gave him three envelopes. "My predecessor did this for me,
and I'll pass the tradition along to you," he said. "At the first sign
of trouble, open the first envelope. Any further difficulties, open the
second envelope. Then, if problems continue, open the third envelope.
Good luck." The new manager returned to his office and tossed the envelopes
into a drawer.
Six months later, costs soared and earnings plummeted. Shaken, the
young man opened the first envelope, which said, "Blame it all on me."
The next day, he held a press conference and did just that. The
Six months later, sales dropped precipitously. The beleagured
manager opened the second envelope. It said, "Reorganize."
He held another press conference, announcing that the division
would be restructured. The crisis passed.
A year later, everything went wrong at once and the manager was
blamed for all of it. The harried executive closed his office door, sank
into his chair, and opened the third envelope.
"Prepare three envelopes..." it said.
|This is an especially good time for you vacationers who plan to fly, because|
the Reagan administration, as part of the same policy under which it
recently sold Yellowstone National Park to Wayne Newton, has "deregulated"
the airline industry. What this means for you, the consumer, is that the
airlines are no longer required to follow any rules whatsoever. They can
show snuff movies. They can charge for oxygen. They can hire pilots right
out of Vending Machine Refill Person School. They can conserve fuel by
ejecting husky passengers over water. They can ram competing planes in
mid-air. These innovations have resulted in tremendous cost savings which
have been passed along to you, the consumer, in the form of flights with
amazingly low fares, such as $29. Of course, certain restrictions do apply,
the main one being that all these flights take you to Newark, and you must
pay thousands of dollars if you want to fly back out.
-- Dave Barry, "Iowa -- Land of Secure Vacations"
|Top Ten Changes If Linus Torvalds Achieves World Domination |
10. That annoying Linus character from the Peanuts cartoons would be killed off
9. New fashion style: Scantily clad females, even in twenty below weather
8. Forget Disney World, say hello to Penguin World!
7. Late Show with Linus Torvalds
6. High schools offer classes on kernel hacking
5. Microsoft stock certificates traded as rare collectors' items, along with
Confederate money and Roman coins
4. Beowolf Clusters for everyone!
3. Computers no longer come with reset buttons
2. United States of Linusia
1. Three words: Open Source Beer
|Microsoft ActivePromo Campaign: "What Slogan Do You Want to See Tommorrow?"|
Microsoft's PR masterminds are planning a massive marketing campaign,
code-named "ActivePromo 2000", to promote the upcoming release of Windows
2000 (scheduled for February 2001). This marketing campaign will include a
"What Slogan Do You Want to See Tommorrow?" promotion.
Children under age 16 will have to opportunity to create their own Microsoft
slogan to replace the aging "Where Do You Want to Go Today?"(R) motto.
Microsoft will set up a special email alias where children can submit their
entries along with detailed personal and demographic information (for
verification purposes, of course). A panel of Microsoft employees will
select a winning entry, which will become the official slogan. The winner
and his/her family will receive an all-expense paid week-long vacation to
Redmond, WA ("The Vacation Capital of East Central Washington State"),
including a guided tour of the Microsoft campus and a personal ten minute
photo-opportunity with Chairman Bill.
We personally believe that "Don't Think About Going Anywhere Else Today"
would make a perfect Microsoft slogan. "Crashes Are Normal" might also be a
|I Want My Bugs!|
An entymologist in Georgia is threatening to sue Microsoft over false
advertising in Windows 2000. "According to Microsoft, Win2K contains
63,000 bugs," he explained. "However, the shrink-wrapped box I purchased
at CompUSSR only had one cockroach along with some worthless papers and a
shiny drink coaster. I got ripped off."
The entymologist hoped that the 63,000 promised bugs would greatly add to
his insect collection. "I had my doubts that Microsoft could deliver
63,000 insects in one small box for only US$299," he said. "However, with
a company as innovative as Microsoft, the sky is the limit. Or at least
that's what I thought." He then asked angrily, "Where do I want to go
today? Back to the store for a refund!"
|Brief History Of Linux (#17)|
IBM chose Microsoft's Quick & Dirty Operating System instead of CP/M for
its new line of PCs. QDOS (along with the abomination known as EDLIN) had
been acquired from a Seattle man, Tim Paterson, for the paltry sum of
$50,000. "Quick" and "Dirty" were truly an accurate description of this
system, because IBM's quality assurance department discovered 300 bugs in
QDOS's 8,000 lines of assember code (that's about 1 bug per 27 lines --
which, at the time, was appalling, but compared with Windows 98 today, it
really wasn't that shabby).
Thanks in part to IBM's new marketing slogan, "Nobody Ever Got Fired For
Choosing IBM(tm)", and the release of the VisiCalc spreadsheet program
that everybody and their brother wanted, IBM PCs running DOS flew off the
shelves and, unfortunately, secured Microsoft's runaway success. Bill
Gates was now on his way to the Billionaire's Club; his days as a mediocre
programmer were long gone: he was now a Suit. The only lines of code he
would ever see would be the passcodes to his Swiss bank accounts.
|The Linux House 1.01 |
Mr. Billy O'Nair knows how to build a house. The 24 year old retired
dotcom billionaire has constructed the "Linux House 1.01", a bachelor pad
built in the shape of Tux Penguin. This geek haven features a 256 foot
long computer room, along with other smaller, lesser important rooms
(kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.).
Explained O'Nair, "Why do architects waste a bunch of space on formal
living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, closets, foyers, and hallways
that are rarely used? In my 'Linux House', the majority of square footage
is devoted to the two rooms that I myself use the most: a computer room
and a procrastination room."
...The Linux House features a LAN (Liquor Acquisition Network) that
delivers alcohol or caffeinated beverages to any room in the house by way
of pipes that run through the ceiling. 'PANIC' buttons scattered
throughout the house activate the RAM System (Random Access Munchies), in
which candy bars and other snacks are immediately delivered by FPM (Fast
Pretzel Mode) and EDO (Extended Delicacy Output) pneumatic tubes.
|Finish the sentence below in 25 words or less:|
"Love is what you feel just before you give someone a good ..."
Mail your answer along with the top half of your supervisor to:
P.O. Box 35
Baffled Greek, Michigan
|The story of the butterfly:|
"I was in Bogota and waiting for a lady friend. I was in love,
a long time ago. I waited three days. I was hungry but could not go
out for food, lest she come and I not be there to greet her. Then, on
the third day, I heard a knock."
"I hurried along the old passage and there, in the sunlight,
there was nothing."
"Just," Vance Joy said, "a butterfly, flying away."
-- Peter Carey, BLISS
|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
|Hello. Just walk along and try NOT to think about your INTESTINES|
being almost FORTY YARDS LONG!!
|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
| 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
"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
"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.
|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?"
|Florence Flask was ... dressing for the opera when she turned to her|
husband and screamed, "Erlenmeyer! My joules! Someone has stolen my
"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"
|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
-- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
|TIRED of calculating components of vectors? Displacements along direction of|
force getting you down? Well, now there's help. Try amazing "Dot-Product",
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Yes, you too can take advantage of the amazing properties of Dot-Product. Use
it to calculate forces, velocities, displacements, and virtually any vector
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available through stores and is void where prohibited by law.
|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
| I bought the latest computer;|
it came fully loaded.
It was guaranteed for 90 days,
but in 30 was outmoded!
- The Wall Street Journal passed along by Big Red Computer's SCARLETT
|A man is like a rusty wheel on a rusty cart,|
He sings his song as he rattles along and then he falls apart.
-- Richard Thompson
|And if you wonder,|
What I am doing,
As I am heading for the sink.
I am spitting out all the bitterness,
Along with half of my last drink.
|He who invents adages for others to peruse|
takes along rowboat when going on cruise.
|Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!|
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!
-- J. R. R. Tolkien
|Hey! Come derry dol! Hop along, my hearties!|
Hobbits! Ponies all! We are fond of parties.
Now let the fun begin! Let us sing together!
-- J. R. R. Tolkien
|Hey! Come merry dol! derry dol! My darling!|
Light goes the weather-wind and the feathered starling.
Down along under Hill, shining in the sunlight,
Waiting on the doorstep for the cold starlight,
There my pretty lady is, River-woman's daughter,
Slender as the willow-wand, clearer than the water.
Old Tom Bombadil water-lilies bringing
Comes hopping home again. Can you hear him singing?
Hey! Come merry dol! derry dol! and merry-o
Goldberry, Goldberry, merry yellow berry-o!
Poor old Willow-man, you tuck your roots away!
Tom's in a hurry now. Evening will follow day.
Tom's going home again water-lilies bringing.
Hey! come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?
-- J. R. R. Tolkien
|Hop along my little friends, up the Withywindle!|
Tom's going on ahead candles for to kindle.
Down west sinks the Sun; soon you will be groping.
When the night-shadows fall, then the door will open,
Out of the winfow-panes light will twinkle yellow.
Fear no alder black! Heed no hoary willow!
Fear neither root nor bough! Tom goes on before you.
Hey now! merry dol! We'll be waiting for you!
-- J. R. R. Tolkien
|I had an errand there: gathering water-lilies,|
green leaves and lilies white to please my pretty lady,
the last ere the year's end to keep them from the winter,
to flower by her pretty feet till the snows are melted.
Each year at summer's end I go to find them for her,
in a wide pool, deep and clear, far down Withywindle;
there they open first in spring and there they linger latest.
By that pool long ago I found the River-daughter,
fair young Goldberry sitting in the rushes.
Sweet was her singing then, and her heart was beating!
And that proved well for you--for now I shall no longer
go down deep again along the forest-water,
no while the year is old. Nor shall I be passing
Old Man Willow's house this side of spring-time,
not till the merry spring, when the River-daughter
dances down the withy-path to bathe in the water.
-- J. R. R. Tolkien
|If researchers wrote nursery rhymes...|
Little Miss Muffet sat on her gluteal region,
Eating components of soured milk.
On at least one occasion,
along came an arachnid and sat down beside her,
Or at least in her vicinity,
And caused her to feel an overwhelming, but not paralyzing, fear,
Which motivated the patient to leave the area rather quickly.
-- Ann Melugin Williams
|My calculator is my shepherd, I shall not want|
It maketh me accurate to ten significant figures,
and it leadeth me in scientific notation to 99 digits.
It restoreth my square roots and guideth me along paths of floating
decimal points for the sake of precision.
Yea, tho I walk through the valley of surprise quizzes,
I will fear no prof, for my calculator is there to hearten me.
It prepareth a log table to comfort me, it prepareth an
arc sin for me in the presence of my teachers.
It annoints my homework with correct solutions, my interpolations are
Surely, both precision and accuracy shall follow me all the days of my
life, and I shall dwell in the house of Texas instruments forever.
|"My name is Sue! How do you do?! Now you gonna die!"|
Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes,
And he went down, but to my surprise,
Come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
So I busted a chair right across his teeth,
And we crashed through the walls and into the streets,
Kickin' and a-gougin' in the mud and the blood and beer.
Now I tell you, I've fought tougher men,
But I really can't remember when:
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
But I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
And he went for his gun, but I pulled mine first,
And he sat there lookin' at me, and I saw him smile.
He said: "Son, this world is rough,
And if a man's gonna make it he's gotta be tough,
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help you along.
So I give you that name and I said goodbye,
And I knew you'd have to get tough or die,
And it's that name that's helped to make you strong!
-- Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue"
|Near the Studio Jean Cocteau|
On the Rue des Ecoles
lived an old man
with a blind dog
Every evening I would see him
guiding the dog along
the sidewalk, keeping
a firm grip on the leash
so that the dog wouldn't
run into a passerby
Sometimes the dog would stop
and look up at the sky
Once the old man
noticed me watching the dog
and he said, "Oh, yes,
this one knows
when the moon is out,
he can feel it on his face"
-- Barry Gifford
|Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,|
And danced the skies on laughter silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --
Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
I've chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up along delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
-- John Gillespie Magee Jr., "High Flight"
|Scratch the disks, dump the core, Shut it down, pull the plug|
Roll the tapes across the floor, Give the core an extra tug
And the system is going to crash. And the system is going to crash.
Teletypes smashed to bits. Mem'ry cards, one and all,
Give the scopes some nasty hits Toss out halfway down the hall
And the system is going to crash. And the system is going to crash.
And we've also found Just flip one switch
When you turn the power down, And the lights will cease to twitch
You turn the disk readers into trash. And the tape drives will crumble
in a flash.
Oh, it's so much fun, When the CPU
Now the CPU won't run Can print nothing out but "foo,"
And the system is going to crash. The system is going to crash.
-- To the tune of "As the Caissons go Rolling Along"
|The thrill is here, but it won't last long|
You'd better have your fun before it moves along...
|Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends!|
We're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside!
There behind the glass there's a real blade of grass,
Be careful as you pass, move along, move along.
Come inside, the show's about to start,
Guaranteed to blow your head apart.
Rest assured, you'll get your money's worth,
Greatest show, in heaven, hell or earth!
You gotta see the show! It's a dynamo!
You gotta see the show! It's rock 'n' roll!
-- ELP, "Karn Evil 9" (1st Impression, Part 2)
|Well I looked at my watch and it said a quarter to five,|
The headline screamed that I was still alive,
I couldn't understand it, I thought I died last night.
I dreamed I'd been in a border town,
In a little cantina that the boys had found,
I was desperate to dance, just to dig the local sounds.
When along came a senorita,
She looked so good that I had to meet her,
I was ready to approach her with my English charm,
When her brass knuckled boyfriend grabbed me by the arm,
And he said, grow some funk of your own, amigo,
Grow some funk of your own.
We no like to with the gringo fight,
But there might be a death in Mexico tonite.
Take my advice, take the next flight,
And grow some funk, grow your funk at home.
-- Elton John, "Grow Some Funk of Your Own"
|The duck hunter trained his retriever to walk on water. Eager to show off |
this amazing accomplishment, he asked a friend to go along on his next
hunting trip. Saying nothing, he fired his first shot and, as the duck fell,
the dog walked on the surface of the water, retrieved the duck and returned
it to his master.
"Notice anything?" the owner asked eagerly.
"Yes," said his friend, "I see that fool dog of yours can't swim."
|A large spider in an old house built a beautiful web in which to catch flies.|
Every time a fly landed on the web and was entangled in it the spider devoured
him, so that when another fly came along he would think the web was a safe and
quiet place in which to rest. One day a fairly intelligent fly buzzed around
above the web so long without lighting that the spider appeared and said,
"Come on down." But the fly was too clever for him and said, "I never light
where I don't see other flies and I don't see any other flies in your house."
So he flew away until he came to a place where there were a great many other
flies. He was about to settle down among them when a bee buzzed up and said,
"Hold it, stupid, that's flypaper. All those flies are trapped." "Don't be
silly," said the fly, "they're dancing." So he settled down and became stuck
to the flypaper with all the other flies.
Moral: There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else.
-- James Thurber, "The Fairly Intelligent Fly"
|Some of you ... may have decided that, this year, you're going to celebrate|
it the old-fashioned way, with your family sitting around stringing
cranberries and exchanging humble, handmade gifts, like on "The Waltons".
Well, you can forget it. If everybody pulled that kind of subversive stunt,
the economy would collapse overnight. The government would have to
intervene: it would form a cabinet-level Department of Holiday Gift-Giving,
which would spend billions and billions of tax dollars to buy Barbie dolls
and electronic games, which it would drop on the populace from Air Force
jets, killing and maiming thousands. So, for the good of the nation, you
should go along with the Holiday Program. This means you should get a large
sum of money and go to a mall.
-- Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"
|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
|Your digestive system is your body's Fun House, whereby food goes on a long,|
dark, scary ride, taking all kinds of unexpected twists and turns, being
attacked by vicious secretions along the way, and not knowing until the last
minute whether it will be turned into a useful body part or ejected into the
Dark Hole by Mister Sphincter. We Americans live in a nation where the
medical-care system is second to none in the world, unless you count maybe
25 or 30 little scuzzball countries like Scotland that we could vaporize in
seconds if we felt like it.
-- Dave Barry, "Stay Fit & Healthy Until You're Dead"
To manipulate or adjust, to tweak. Derived from FROBNITZ. Usually
abbreviated to FROB. Thus one has the saying "to frob a frob." See TWEAK
and TWIDDLE. Usage: FROB, TWIDDLE, and TWEAK sometimes connote points along
a continuum. FROB connotes aimless manipulation; TWIDDLE connotes gross
manipulation, often a coarse search for a proper setting; TWEAK connotes
fine-tuning. If someone is turning a knob on an oscilloscope, then if he's
carefully adjusting it he is probably tweaking it; if he is just turning it
but looking at the screen he is probably twiddling it; but if he's just
doing it because turning a knob is fun, he's frobbing it.
This is the best way to eat a kosher dill -- when it's still crunchy,
light green, yet full of garlic flavor. The difference between this
and the typical soggy dark green cucumber corpse is like the
difference between life and death.
You may find it difficult to find a good half-done kosher dill there
in Seattle, so what you should do is take a cab out to the airport,
fly to New York, take the JFK Express to Jay Street-Borough Hall,
transfer to an uptown F, get off at East Broadway, walk north on
Essex (along the park), make your first left onto Hester Street, walk
about fifteen steps, turn ninety degrees left, and stop. Say to the
man, "Let me have a nice half-done." Worth the trouble, wasn't it?
-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
"I used to be lost in the shuffle, now I just shuffle along with
|Weinberg's Second Law:|
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs,
then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
| A young honeymoon couple were touring southern Florida and happened |
to stop at one of the rattlesnake farms along the road. After seeing the
sights, they engaged in small talk with the man that handled the snakes.
"Gosh!" exclaimed the new bride. "You certainly have a dangerous job.
Don't you ever get bitten by the snakes?"
"Yes, upon rare occasions," answered the handler.
"Well," she continued, "just what do you do when you're bitten by
"I always carry a razor-sharp knife in my pocket, and as soon as I
am bitten, I make deep criss-cross marks across the fang entry and then
suck the poison from the wound."
"What, uh... what would happen if you were to accidentally *sit* on
a rattler?" persisted the woman.
"Ma'am," answered the snake handler, "that will be the day I learn
who my real friends are."
|And I suppose the little things are harder to get used to than the big|
ones. The big ones you get used to, you make up your mind to them. The
little things come along unexpectedly, when you aren't thinking about
them, aren't braced against them.
-- Marion Zimmer Bradley, "The Forbidden Tower"
|Creativity in living is not without its attendant difficulties, for|
peculiarity breeds contempt. And the unfortunate thing about being
ahead of your time when people finally realize you were right, they'll
say it was obvious all along.
-- Alan Ashley-Pitt
|I can't seem to bring myself to say, "Well, I guess I'll be toddling along."|
It isn't that I can't toddle. It's that I can't guess I'll toddle.
-- Robert Benchley
|I knew one thing: as soon as anyone said you didn't need a gun, you'd better|
take one along that worked.
-- Raymond Chandler
|Just when you thought you were winning the rat race, along comes a faster rat!!|
|He liked fishing a little too much, and he believed that work was|
something a man did when he had to. He had always been able to get
along well enough without it, especially for the last couple of
-- "The Stone Giant", James P. Blaylock
|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
|When a shepherd goes to kill a wolf, and takes his dog along to see|
the sport, he should take care to avoid mistakes. The dog has certain
relationships to the wolf the shepherd may have forgotten.
-- Robert Pirsig, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
|Delores breezed along the surface of her life like a flat stone forever|
skipping along smooth water, rippling reality sporadically but oblivious
to it consistently, until she finally lost momentum, sank, and due to an
overdose of flouride as a child which caused her to suffer from chronic
apathy, doomed herself to lie forever on the floor of her life as useless
as an appendix and as lonely as a five-hundred pound barbell in a
steroid-free fitness center.
-- Winning sentence, 1990 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
|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.
|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.
| Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great|
crystal river. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs
and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and
resisting the current what each had learned from birth. But one creature
said at last, "I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall
let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."
The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current
you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will
die quicker than boredom!"
But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at
once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet, in time,
as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the
bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See
a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come
to save us all!" And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more
Messiah than you. The river delight to lift us free, if only we dare let go.
Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.
But they cried the more, "Saviour!" all the while clinging to the
rocks, making legends of a Saviour.
-- Richard Bach
|Eh, that's it, I guess. No 300 million dollar unveiling event for this|
kernel, I'm afraid, but you're still supposed to think of this as the
"happening of the century" (at least until the next kernel comes along).
-- Linus, in the announcement for 1.3.27
|Eh, that's it, I guess. No 300 million dollar unveiling event for this|
kernel, I'm afraid, but you're still supposed to think of this as the
"happening of the century" (at least until the next kernel comes along).
Oh, and this is another kernel in that great and venerable "BugFree(tm)"
series of kernels. So be not afraid of bugs, but go out in the streets
and deliver this message of joy to the masses.
-- Linus Torvalds, on releasing 1.3.27
| Carol's head ached as she trailed behind the unsmiling Calibrees|
along the block of booths. She chirruped at Kennicott, "Let's be wild!
Let's ride on the merry-go-round and grab a gold ring!"
Kennicott considered it, and mumbled to Calibree, "Think you folks
would like to stop and try a ride on the merry-go-round?"
Calibree considered it, and mumbled to his wife, "Think you'd like
to stop and try a ride on the merry-go-round?"
Mrs. Calibree smiled in a washed-out manner, and sighed, "Oh no,
I don't believe I care to much, but you folks go ahead and try it."
Calibree stated to Kennicott, "No, I don't believe we care to a
whole lot, but you folks go ahead and try it."
Kennicott summarized the whole case against wildness: "Let's try
it some other time, Carrie."
She gave it up.
-- Sinclair Lewis, "Main Street"
|A biologist, a statistician, a mathematician and a computer scientist are on|
a photo-safari in Africa. As they're driving along the savannah in their
jeep, they stop and scout the horizon with their binoculars.
The biologist: "Look! A herd of zebras! And there's a white zebra!
Fantastic! We'll be famous!"
The statistician: "Hey, calm down, it's not significant. We only know
there's one white zebra."
The mathematician: "Actually, we only know there exists a zebra, which is
white on one side."
The computer scientist : "Oh, no! A special case!"
| Hardware met Software on the road to Changtse. Software said: "You|
are the Yin and I am the Yang. If we travel together we will become famous
and earn vast sums of money." And so the pair set forth together, thinking
to conquer the world.
Presently, they met Firmware, who was dressed in tattered rags, and
hobbled along propped on a thorny stick. Firmware said to them: "The Tao
lies beyond Yin and Yang. It is silent and still as a pool of water. It does
not seek fame, therefore nobody knows its presence. It does not seeks fortune,
for it is complete within itself. It exists beyond space and time."
Software and Hardware, ashamed, returned to their homes.
-- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
|If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs,|
then the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.
| Long ago, in a finite state far away, there lived a JOVIAL|
character named Jack. Jack and his relations were poor. Often their
hash table was bare. One day Jack's parent said to him, "Our matrices
are sparse. You must go to the market to exchange our RAM for some
BASICs." She compiled a linked list of items to retrieve and passed it
So Jack set out. But as he was walking along a Hamilton path,
he met the traveling salesman.
"Whither dost thy flow chart take thou?" prompted the salesman
in high-level language.
"I'm going to the market to exchange this RAM for some chips
and Apples," commented Jack.
"I have a much better algorithm. You needn't join a queue
there; I will swap your RAM for these magic kernels now."
Jack made the trade, then backtracked to his house. But when
he told his busy-waiting parent of the deal, she became so angry she
"Don't you even have any artificial intelligence? All these
kernels together hardly make up one byte," and she popped them out the
-- Mark Isaak, "Jack and the Beanstack"
| 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..."
|In West Union, Ohio, No married man can go flying without his spouse|
along at any time, unless he has been married for more than 12 months.
|It is a well known fact that warriors and wizards do not get along, because|
one side considers the other side to be a collection of bloodthirsty idiots
who can't walk and think at the same time, while the other side is naturally
suspicious of a body of men who mumble a lot and wear long dresses. Oh, say
the wizards, if we're going to be like that, then, what about all those
studded collars and oiled muscles down at the Young Men's Pagan Association?
To which the heroes reply, that's a pretty good allegation from a bunch of
wimpsoes who won't go near a woman on account, can you believe it, of their
mystical power being sort of drained out. Right, say the wizards, that just
about does it, you and your leather posing pouches. Oh yeah, say the the
heroes, why don't you ...
-- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic"
|Are you making all this up as you go along?|
|You get along very well with everyone except animals and people.|