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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

Man Charged With Crashing Windows

MOUNTAIN HOME, AR -- Eric Turgent, a closet Linux advocate, was arrested
yesterday for intentionally crashing his co-worker's Windows box at the
offices of the "Roadkill Roundup" newspaper. Turgent disputes the charges,
saying, "If causing an operating system to crash is illegal, than why
isn't Bill Gates serving life without parole?"

Turgent's co-worker, Mr. Stu Poor, the clueless technology pundit for the
newspaper, is a heavy Microsoft supporter. He frequently brags in his
weekly Tech Talk column that he "once had a conversation with Bill Gates."
A heated argument broke out yesterday morning in which the two insulted
each other ("You're nothing but a Linux hippie freak on the Red Hat
payroll!" vs. "You make Jesse Berst and Fred Moody look like [expletive]
geniuses!") for two hours.

At the heat of the moment, Turgent shoved Poor aside and typed in
"C:\CON\CON". The machine crashed and the pundit lost all of his work (a
real loss to humanity, to be sure). Turgent is in jail awaiting trial for
violating the "Slash Crashes Act". This bill was enacted in 1999 after a
Senator's gigabyte cache of pornography was destroyed by a Windows crash.
At times discretion should be thrown aside,
and with the foolish we should play the fool.
                -- Menander
I have lots of things in my pockets;
None of them is worth anything.
Sociopolitical whines aside,
Gan you give me, gratis, free,
The price of half a gallon
Of Gallo extra bad
And most of the bus fare home.
        "Many have seen Topaxci, God of the Red Mushroom, and they earn the
name of shaman," he said.  Some have seen Skelde, spirit of the smoke, and
they are called sorcerers.  A few have been privileged to see Umcherrel, the
soul of the forest, and they are known as spirit masters.  But none have
seen a box with hundreds of legs that looked at them without eyes, and they
are known as idio--"
        The interruption was caused by a sudden screaming noise and a flurry
of snow and sparks that blew the fire across the dark hut; there was a brief
blurred vision and then the opposite wall was blasted aside and the
apparition vanished.
        There was a long silence.  Then a slightly shorter silence.  Then
the old shaman said carefully, "You didn't just see two men go through
upside down on a broomstick, shouting and screaming at each other, did you?"
        The boy looked at him levelly.  "Certainly not," he said.
        The old man heaved a sigh of relief.  "Thank goodness for that," he
said.  "Neither did I."
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic"
        The salesman and the system analyst took off to spend a weekend in the
forest, hunting bear.  They'd rented a cabin, and, when they got there, took
their backpacks off and put them inside.  At which point the salesman turned
to his friend, and said, "You unpack while I go and find us a bear."
        Puzzled, the analyst finished unpacking and then went and sat down
on the porch.  Soon he could hear rustling noises in the forest.  The noises
got nearer -- and louder -- and suddenly there was the salesman, running like
hell across the clearing toward the cabin, pursued by one of the largest and
most ferocious grizzly bears the analyst had ever seen.
        "Open the door!", screamed the salesman.
        The analyst whipped open the door, and the salesman ran to the door,
suddenly stopped, and stepped aside.  The bear, unable to stop, continued
through the door and into the cabin.  The salesman slammed the door closed
and grinned at his friend.  "Got him!", he exclaimed, "now, you skin this
one and I'll go rustle us up another!"
        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"
I put aside my copy of "BOWLING WORLD" and think about GUN CONTROL
legislation...
(6)        Men employees will be given time off each week for courting
        purposes, or two evenings a week if they go regularly to church.
(7)        After an employee has spent his thirteen hours of labor in the
        office, he should spend the remaining time reading the Bible
        and other good books.
(8)        Every employee should lay aside from each pay packet a goodly
        sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years,
        so that he will not become a burden on society or his betters.
(9)        Any employee who smokes Spanish cigars, uses alcoholic drink
        in any form, frequents pool tables and public halls, or gets
        shaved in a barber's shop, will give me good reason to suspect
        his worth, intentions, integrity and honesty.
(10)        The employee who has performed his labours faithfully and
        without a fault for five years, will be given an increase of
        five cents per day in his pay, providing profits from the
        business permit it.
                -- "Office Worker's Guide", New England Carriage Works, 1872
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.
Around the turn of this century, a composer named Camille Saint-Saens wrote
a satirical zoological-fantasy called "Le Carnaval des Animaux."  Aside from
one movement of this piece, "The Swan", Saint-Saens didn't allow this work
to be published or even performed until a year had elapsed after his death.
(He died in 1921.)
        Most of us know the "Swan" movement rather well, with its smooth,
flowing cello melody against a calm background; but I've been having this
fantasy...
        What if he had written this piece with lyrics, as a song to be sung?
And, further, what if he had accompanied this song with a musical saw?  (This
instrument really does exist, often played by percussionists!)  Then the
piece would be better known as:
        SAINT-SAENS' SAW SONG "SWAN"!
This novel is not to be tossed lightly aside, but to be hurled with great force.
                -- Dorothy Parker
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
        What is involved in such [close] relationships is a form of emotional
chemistry, so far unexplained by any school of psychiatry I am aware of, that
conditions nothing so simple as a choice between the poles of attraction and
repulsion.  You can meet some people thirty, forty times down the years, and
they remain amiable bystanders, like the shore lights of towns that a sailor
passes at stated times but never calls at on the regular run.  Conversely,
all considerations of sex aside, you can meet some other people once or twice
and they remain permanent influences on your life.
        Everyone is aware of this discrepancy between the acquaintance seen
as familiar wallpaper or instant friend.  The chemical action it entails is
less worth analyzing than enjoying.  At any rate, these six pieces are about
men with whom I felt an immediate sympat - to use a coining of Max Beerbohm's
more satisfactory to me than the opaque vogue word "empathy".
                -- Alistair Cooke, "Six Men"
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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