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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

Yes, we're all anti-american terrorists who plan to make the
US economy collapse by inventing lots of new words which will
have to be added to the dictionary, making the US economy
unable to support the ever-growing dictionaries and ensuring  
the Americans will be unable to (learn to) spell, leaving them
dead in the water if there's ever a linguistic war between
them and the UK.

        - Rik van Riel explaining the real reason behind spelling
          mistakes in the linux kernel
The kernel is intended as the arbiter between userspace and hardware,
and userspace and userspace.  Format conversion has nothing to do with
arbitration.

        - Jeff Garzik on linux-kernel
<Peaker> the difference between theory and practice is just a lot of work

        - from #offtopic (the offtopic chat channel of #kernelnewbies)
Christoph, please remember that irony is not available between the Canadian
and Mexican border.... you are confusing them again 8)

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
And don't tell me there isn't one bit of difference between null and space,
because that's exactly how much difference there is.  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <10209@jpl-devvax.JPL.NASA.GOV>
One difference between a man and a machine is that a machine is quiet
when well oiled.
        While riding in a train between London and Birmingham, a woman
inquired of Oscar Wilde, "You don't mind if I smoke, do you?"
        Wilde gave her a sidelong glance and replied, "I don't mind if
you burn, madam."
  "It's a step forward although there was no progress."
  President Hosni Murbarak of Egypt attempting to put the best face
  on a disappointing summit meeting between President Clinton and
  the Syrian dictator Hafez Assad.
The difference between this place and yogurt is that yogurt has a live culture.
The shortest distance between any two puns is a straight line.
All this big deal about white collar crime -- what's WRONG with white collar
crime?  Who enjoys his job today?  You?  Me?  Anybody?  The only satisfying
part of any job is coffee break, lunch hour and quitting time.  Years ago
there was at least the hope of improvement -- eventual promotion -- more
important jobs to come.  Once you can be sold the myth that you may make
president of the company you'll hardly ever steal stamps.  But nobody
believes he's going to be president anymore.  The more people change jobs
the more they realize that there is a direct connection between working for
a living and total stupefying boredom.  So why NOT take revenge?  You're not
going to find ME knocking a guy because he pads an expense account and his
home stationery carries the company emblem.  Take away crime from the white
collar worker and you will rob him of his last vestige of job interest.
                -- J. Feiffer
American business long ago gave up on demanding that prospective employees
be honest and hardworking.  It has even stopped hoping for employees who are
educated enough that they can tell the difference between the men's room and
the women's room without having little pictures on the doors.
                -- Dave Barry, "Urine Trouble, Mister"
Between 1950 and 1952, a bored weatherman, stationed north of Hudson
Bay, left a monument that neither government nor time can eradicate.
Using a bulldozer abandoned by the Air Force, he spent two years and
great effort pushing boulders into a single word.

It can be seen from 10,000 feet, silhouetted against the snow.
Government officials exchanged memos full of circumlocutions (no Latin
equivalent exists) but failed to word an appropriation bill for the
destruction of this cairn, that wouldn't alert the press and embarrass
both Parliament and Party.

It stands today, a monument to human spirit.  If life exists on other
planets, this may be the first message received from us.
                -- The Realist, November, 1964.
        By the middle 1880's, practically all the roads except those in
the South, were of the present standard gauge.  The southern roads were
still five feet between rails.
        It was decided to change the gauge of all southern roads to standard,
in one day.  This remarkable piece of work was carried out on a Sunday in May
of 1886.  For weeks beforehand, shops had been busy pressing wheels in on the
axles to the new and narrower gauge, to have a supply of rolling stock which
could run on the new track as soon as it was ready.  Finally, on the day set,
great numbers of gangs of track layers went to work at dawn.  Everywhere one
rail was loosened, moved in three and one-half inches, and spiked down in its
new position.  By dark, trains from anywhere in the United States could operate
over the tracks in the South, and a free interchange of freight cars everywhere
was possible.
                -- Robert Henry, "Trains", 1957
Excerpt from a conversation between a customer support person and a
customer working for a well-known military-affiliated research lab:

Support:  "You're not our only customer, you know."
Customer: "But we're one of the few with tactical nuclear weapons."
"Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around,
I'd rather lie around.  No contest."
                -- Eric Clapton
The difference between a career and a job is about 20 hours a week.
The major difference between bonds and bond traders is that the bonds will
eventually mature.
The shortest distance between two points is under construction.
                -- Noelie Alito
You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the
Titanic had paying customers.
Jargon Coiner (#7)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* O'REILLY O'WRITING: Going to a bookstore and copying down notes from an
  O'Reilly computer book that you can't afford.

* DEEP WRITE MODE: Similar to "deep hack mode", but applies to people
  writing editorials or (very rarely) Slashdot comments. The author
  of this fortune file sometimes experiences "deep humor mode".

* EDITORIAL WAR: Skirmishes between two or more parties carried out via
  strongly-worded editorials published to sites like Slashdot, Linux
  Today, etc. ESR and RMS are frequently engaged in this.

* THREENYM: Referring to someone by the first letter of their three names.
  Used by some people (RMS and ESR), but not others (has anybody ever
  tried to refer to Linus Torvalds as "LBT"?).
Treaty of Helsinki Signed

HELSINKI, FINLAND -- A cease-fire in the flame war between Linux and
FreeBSD has been reached. A group of two dozen Linux and FreeBSD zealots
met in Helsinki to ratify a treaty bringing a temporary end to the hostile
fighting between both camps. "Today is a good day for peace," one observer
noted. "Now both sides can lay down their keyboards and quit flaming the
opposing side on Usenet and Slashdot."

The cease-fire is a response to the sudden increase in fighting that has
occured over the past two weeks. The Slashdot server became a victim of
the cross-fire this week when thousands of Anonymous Cowards and Geek
Zealots posted inflammatory comments that amounted to, "My OS is better
than your OS!" Many nerds, suffering withdrawl symptoms when the Slashdot
site slowed to a crawl, demanded that the bickering stop.

"I can't take it anymore! It takes two minutes to download the Slashdot
homepage -- assuming the site is actually online. I must have my 'News for
Nerds' now! The fighting must stop," one Anonymous Coward ranted.
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#1)

JOHN SPLADDEN: Hi, and welcome to the first annual Nerd Bowl in sunny
Silicon Valley.

BRYANT DUMBELL: We're coming to you live from the Transmeta Dome to watch
the battle between the North Carolina Mad Hatters and the Michigan
Portalbacks as they compete for the coveted Linus Torvalds Trophy.

SPLADDEN: This is shaping up to be one hell of a match. The Mad Hatters --
sponsored by Linux distributor Red Hat -- have been on fire the past
month. But the Andover.Net sponsored Michigan Portalbacks are on a tear as
well, thanks in part to the stellar performance of Rob "Taco Boy" Malda.

DUMBELL: Taco Boy is quite a star, John. Last week at the Kernelbowl he
blew away the Transmeta Secret Agents when he scored 51 points
singlehandedly in the Flying CompactDiscus round.

SPLADDEN: But then Mad Hatter's Alan Cox was voted this season's Most
Valuable Hacker in the Eastern Division. So, this game is going to be
quite a show.
Brief History Of Linux (#5)
English Flame War

The idea behind Slashdot-style discussions is not new; it dates back to
London in 1699. A newspaper that regularly printed Letters To The Editor
sparked a heated debate over the question, "When would the 18th Century
actually begin, 1700 or 1701?" The controversy quickly became a matter of
pride; learned aristocrats argued for the correct date, 1701, while others
maintained that it was really 1700. Another sizable third of participants
asked, "Who cares?"

Ordinarily such a trivial matter would have died down, except that one
1700er, fed up with the snobbest 1701 rhetoric of the educated class,
tracked down one letter-writer and hurled a flaming log into his manor
house in spite. The resulting fire was quickly doused, but the practice
known as the "flame war" had been born. More flames were exchanged between
other 1700ers and 1701ers for several days, until the Monarch sent out
royal troops to end the flamage.
Unobfuscated Perl (#1)

A rogue group of Perl hackers has presented a plan to add a "use
really_goddamn_strict" pragma that would enforce readability and
UNobfuscation. With this pragma in force, the Perl compiler might say:

* Warning: Program contains zero comments. You've probably never seen or
  used one before; they begin with a # symbol. Please start using them or
  else a representative from the nearest Perl Mongers group will come to
  your house and beat you over the head with a cluestick.

* Warning: Program uses a cute trick at line 125 that might make sense in
  C. But this isn't C!

* Warning: Code at line 412 indicates that programmer is an idiot. Please
  correct error between chair and monitor.

* Warning: While There's More Than One Way To Do It, your method at line
  523 is particularly stupid. Please try again.
Unobfuscated Perl (#2)

A rogue group of Perl hackers has presented a plan to add a "use
really_goddamn_strict" pragma that would enforce readability and
UNobfuscation. With this pragma in force, the Perl compiler might say:

* Warning: Write-only code detected between lines 612 and 734. While this
  code is perfectly legal, you won't have any clue what it does in two
  weeks. I recommend you start over.

* Warning: Code at line 1,024 is indistinguishable from line noise or the
  output of /dev/random

* Warning: Have you ever properly indented a piece of code in your entire
  life? Evidently not.

* Warning: I think you can come up with a more descriptive variable name than
  "foo" at line 1,523.

* Warning: Programmer attempting to re-invent the wheel at line 2,231.
  There's a function that does the exact same thing on CPAN -- and it
  actually works.
A shortcut is the longest distance between two points.
Mankind is poised midway between the gods and the beasts.
                -- Plotinus
Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings
infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can
grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it
possible for each to see each other whole against the sky.
                -- Rainer Rilke
Sometimes love ain't nothing but a misunderstanding between two fools.
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.
The difference between waltzes and disco is mostly one of volume.
                -- T.K.
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 trouble with superheros is what to do between phone booths.
                -- Ken Kesey
* Overfiend ponders doing an NMU of asclock, in which he simply changes
  the extended description to "If you bend over and put your head between
  your legs, you can read the time off your assclock."
<doogie> Overfiend: go to bed.
Technology is a constand battle between manufacturers producing bigger and
more idiot-proof systems and nature producing bigger and better idiots.
        -- Slashdot signature
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's
limits."
        -- Albert Einstein
Microsoft is a cross between the Borg and the Ferengi.  Unfortunately,
they use Borg to do their marketing and Ferengi to do their
programming.
        -- Simon Slavin
<tausq> Q. What's the difference between Batman and Bill Gates?
<tausq> A. When Batman fought the Penguin, he won.
<wli> Yeah, I looked at esd and it looked like the kind of C code that an
      ex-JOVIAL/Algol '60 coder who had spent the last 20 years bouncing
      between Fortran-IV and Fortran '77 would write.
<hoponpop> the difference between netbsd, freebsd, and openbsd, as an
           insider is freebsd is interested in getting things done, and
           doesn't mind hurting people who get in their way.
<hoponpop> netbsd is interested in making sure nothing gets done, and
           doesn't mind hurting people who try to accomplish things.
<hoponpop> openbsd is interested in looking good, and doesn't hurt anyone
           in their own little community, but look out everybody else!
Heaven and Earth are impartial;
They see the ten thousand things as straw dogs.
The wise are impartial;
They see the people as straw dogs.
The space between heaven and Earth is like a bellows.
The shape changes but not the form;
The more it moves, the more it yields.
More words count less.
Hold fast to the center.
Give up learning, and put an end to your troubles.

Is there a difference between yes and no?
Is there a difference between good and evil?
Must I fear what others fear?  What nonsense!
Other people are contented, enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox.
In spring some go to the park, and climb the terrace,
But I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am.
Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile,
I am alone, without a place to go.
Others have more than they need, but I alone have nothing.
I am a fool.  Oh, yes!  I am confused.
Others are clear and bright,
But I alone am dim and weak.
Others are sharp and clever,
But I alone am dull and stupid.
Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea,
Without direction, like the restless wind.
Everyone else is busy,
But I alone am aimless and depressed.
I am different.
I am nourished by the great mother.
Between birth and death,
Three in ten are followers of life,
Three in ten are followers of death,
And men just passing from birth to death also number three in ten.
Why is this so?
Because they live their lives on the gross level.

He who knows how to live can walk abroad
Without fear of rhinoceros or tiger.
He will not be wounded in battle.
For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn,
Tigers no place to use their claws,
And weapons no place to pierce.
Why is this so?
Because he has no place for death to enter.
You mean now I can SHOOT YOU in the back and further BLUR th'
distinction between FANTASY and REALITY?
=============== 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.
Campus sidewalks never exist as the straightest line between two points.
                -- M. M. Johnston
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 know the difference between education and experience?  Education
is what you get when you read the fine print; experience is what you get
when you don't.
                -- Pete Seeger
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 future is a race between education and catastrophe.
                -- H.G. Wells
        Wouldn't the sentence "I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish
and And and And and Chips in my Fish-And-Chips sign" have been clearer if
quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and
and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and
Chips, as well as after Chips?
1 Billion dollars of budget deficit                = 1 Gramm-Rudman
6.023 x 10 to the 23rd power alligator pears        = Avocado's number
2 pints                                                = 1 Cavort
Basic unit of Laryngitis                        = The Hoarsepower
Shortest distance between two jokes                = A straight line
6 Curses                                        = 1 Hexahex
3500 Calories                                        = 1 Food Pound
1 Mole                                                = 007 Secret Agents
1 Mole                                                = 25 Cagey Bees
1 Dog Pound                                        = 16 oz. of Alpo
1000 beers served at a Twins game                = 1 Killibrew
2.4 statute miles of surgical tubing at Yale U. = 1 I.V.League
2000 pounds of chinese soup                        = 1 Won Ton
10 to the minus 6th power mouthwashes                = 1 Microscope
Speed of a tortoise breaking the sound barrier        = 1 Machturtle
8 Catfish                                        = 1 Octo-puss
365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer.                = 1 Lite-year
16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone                        = 1 Rod Serling
Force needed to accelerate 2.2lbs of cookies        = 1 Fig-newton
        to 1 meter per second
One half large intestine                        = 1 Semicolon
10 to the minus 6th power Movie                        = 1 Microfilm
1000 pains                                        = 1 Megahertz
1 Word                                                = 1 Millipicture
1 Sagan                                                = Billions & Billions
1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety                = 1000 nail-bytes
10 to the 12th power microphones                = 1 Megaphone
10 to the 6th power Bicycles                        = 2 megacycles
The amount of beauty required launch 1 ship        = 1 Millihelen
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"
At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly
contradictory attitudes -- an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre
or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny
of all ideas, old and new.  This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep
nonsense.  Of course, scientists make mistakes in trying to understand the
world, but there is a built-in error-correcting mechanism:  The collective
enterprise of creative thinking and skeptical thinking together keeps the
field on track.
                -- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection"
Between infinite and short there is a big difference.
                -- G.H. Gonnet
I myself have dreamed up a structure intermediate between Dyson spheres
and planets.  Build a ring 93 million miles in radius -- one Earth orbit
-- around the sun.  If we have the mass of Jupiter to work with, and if
we make it a thousand miles wide, we get a thickness of about a thousand
feet for the base.

And it has advantages.  The Ringworld will be much sturdier than a Dyson
sphere.  We can spin it on its axis for gravity.  A rotation speed of 770
m/s will give us a gravity of one Earth normal.  We wouldn't even need to
roof it over.  Place walls one thousand miles high at each edge, facing the
sun.  Very little air will leak over the edges.

Lord knows the thing is roomy enough.  With three million times the surface
area of the Earth, it will be some time before anyone complains of the
crowding.
                -- Larry Niven, "Ringworld"
In a minimum-phase system there is an inextricable link between
frequency response, phase response and transient response, as they
are all merely transforms of one another.  This combined with
minimalization of open-loop errors in output amplifiers and correct
compensation for non-linear passive crossover network loading can
lead to a significant decrease in system resolution lost.  However,
this all means jack when you listen to Pink Floyd.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.  In practice,
there is.
The amount of time between slipping on the peel and landing on the
pavement is precisely 1 bananosecond.
The biggest difference between time and space is that you can't reuse time.
                -- Merrick Furst
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 so-called "desktop metaphor" of today's workstations is instead an
"airplane-seat" metaphor.  Anyone who has shuffled a lap full of papers while
seated between two portly passengers will recognize the difference -- one can
see only a very few things at once.
- Fred Brooks, Jr.
The connection between the language in which we think/program and the problems
and solutions we can imagine is very close.  For this reason restricting
language features with the intent of eliminating programmer errors is at best
dangerous.
- Bjarne Stroustrup in "The C++ Programming Language"
At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly
contradictory attitudes -- an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre
or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny
of all ideas, old and new.  This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep
nonsense.  Of course, scientists make mistakes in trying to understand the
world, but there is a built-in error-correcting mechanism:  The collective
enterprise of creative thinking and skeptical thinking together keeps the
field on track.
-- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 1987
"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"
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
   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
The characteristic property of hallucinogens, to suspend the boundaries between
the experiencing self and the outer world in an ecstatic, emotional experience,
makes it posible with their help, and after suitable internal and external
perparation...to evoke a mystical experience according to plan, so to speak...
I see the true importance of LSD in the possibility of providing materail aid
to meditation aimed at the mystical experience of a deeper, comprehensive
reality.  Such a use accords entirely with the essence and working character
of LSD as a sacred drug.
- Dr. Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD
   Fiery energy lanced out, but the beams struck an intangible wall between
the Gubru and the rapidly turning Earth ship.

   "Water!" it shrieked as it read the spectral report.  "A barrier of water
vapor!  A civilized race could not have found such a trick in the Library!
A civilized race could not have stooped so low!  A civilized race would not
have..."

   It screamed as the Gubru ship hit a cloud of drifting snowflakes.

- Startide Rising, by David Brin
...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
Remember, there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.
- Frank Zappa
"There is such a fine line between genius and stupidity."
- David St. Hubbins, "Spinal Tap"
What's the difference between a computer salesman and a used car salesman?

A used car salesman knows when he's lying.
"You stay here, Audrey -- this is between me and the vegetable!"
-- Seymour, from _Little Shop Of Horrors_
"In the fight between you and the world, back the world."
--Frank Zappa
  "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
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
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.
"Although Poles suffer official censorship, a pervasive secret
police and laws similar to those in the USSR, there are
thousands of underground publications, a legal independent
Church, private agriculture, and the East bloc's first and only
independent trade union federation, NSZZ Solidarnosc, which is
an affiliate of both the International Confederation of Free
Trade Unions and the World Confederation of Labor.  There is
literally a world of difference between Poland - even in its
present state of collapse - and Soviet society at the peak of
its "glasnost."  This difference has been maintained at great
cost by the Poles since 1944.
-- David Phillips, SUNY at Buffalo, about establishing a
   gateway from EARN (Eurpoean Academic Research Network)
   to Poland
"There was no difference between the behavior of a god and the operations of
pure chance..."
-- Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity's Rainbow_
"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
Q:  What's the difference between a car salesman and a computer
    salesman?

A:  The car salesman can probably drive!

-- Joan McGalliard (jem@latcs1.oz.au)
"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_
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_
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
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
                -- T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Man"

        [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
         referring to system service dispatching.]
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
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
Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing:
the last whose realm was fair and free
between the Mountains and the Sea.

His sword was long, his lance was keen,
his shining helm afar was seen;
the countless stars of heaven's field
were mirrored in his silver shield.

But long ago he rode away,
and where he dwelleth none can say;
for into darkness fell his star
in Mordor where the shadows are.
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
Have you ever felt like a wounded cow
halfway between an oven and a pasture?
walking in a trance toward a pregnant
        seventeen-year-old housewife's
        two-day-old cookbook?
                -- Richard Brautigan
"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"
The difference between us is not very far,
cruising for burgers in daddy's new car.
The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.
Tin'uviel was dancing there
To music of a pipe unseen,
And light of stars was in her hair,
And in her raiment glimmering.

There Beren came from mountains colds,
And lost he wandered under leaves,
And where the Elven-river rolled
He walked alone and sorrowing.
He peered between the hemlock-leaves
And saw in wonder flowers of gold
Upon her mantle and her sleeves,
And her hair like shadow following.

Enchantment healed his weary feet
That over hills were doomed to roam;
And forth he hastened, strong and fleet,
And grasped at moonbeams glistening.
Through woven woods in Elvenhome
She lightly fled on dancing feet,
And left him lonely still to roam
In the silent forest listening.
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
They told me you had proven it                When they discovered our results
        About a month before.                        Their hair began to curl
The proof was valid, more or less        Instead of understanding it
        But rather less than more.                We'd run the thing through PRL.

He sent them word that we would try        Don't tell a soul about all this
        To pass where they had failed                For it must ever be
And after we were done, to them                A secret, kept from all the rest
        The new proof would be mailed.                Between yourself and me.

My notion was to start again
        Ignoring all they'd done
We quickly turned it into code
        To see if it would run.
'Twas midnight on the ocean,                Her children all were orphans,
Not a streetcar was in sight,                Except one a tiny tot,
So I stepped into a cigar store                Who had a home across the way
To ask them for a light.                Above a vacant lot.

The man        behind the counter                As I gazed through the oaken door
Was a woman, old and gray,                A whale went drifting by,
Who used to peddle doughnuts                Its six legs hanging in the air,
On the road to Mandalay.                So I kissed her goodbye.

She said "Good morning, stranger",        This story has a morale
Her eyes were dry with tears,                As you can plainly see,
As she put her head between her feet        Don't mix your gin with whiskey
And stood that way for years.                On the deep and dark blue sea.
                -- Midnight On The Ocean
We're Knights of the Round Table
We dance whene'er we're able
We do routines and chorus scenes        We're knights of the Round Table
With footwork impeccable                Our shows are formidable
We dine well here in Camelot                But many times
We eat ham and jam and Spam a lot.        We're given rhymes
                                        That are quite unsingable
In war we're tough and able,                We're opera mad in Camelot
Quite indefatigable                        We sing from the diaphragm a lot.
Between our quests
We sequin vests
And impersonate Clark Gable
It's a busy life in Camelot.
I have to push the pram a lot.
                -- Monty Python
"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong
and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a
thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually
turns out to be impossible to get at or repair."

- One of the laws of computers and programming revealed.
A [golf] ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be lifted and placed in
the fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or rolled into the
rough.  Such veering right or left frequently results from friction between
the face of the club and the cover of the ball and the player should not be
penalized for the erratic behavior of the ball resulting from such
uncontrollable physical phenomena.
                -- Donald A. Metz
        A ranger was walking through the forest and encountered a hunter
carrying a shotgun and a dead loon.  "What in the world do you think you're
doing?  Don't you know that the loon is on the endagered species list?"
        Instead of answering, the hunter showed the ranger his game bag,
which contained twelve more loons.
        "Why would you shoot loons?", the ranger asked.
        "Well, my family eats them and I sell the plumage."
        "What's so special about a loon?  What does it taste like?"
        "Oh, somewhere between an American Bald Eagle and a Trumpeter Swan."
        COONDOG MEMORY
        (heard in Rutledge, Missouri, about eighteen years ago)

Now, this dog is for sale, and she can not only follow a trail twice as
old as the average dog can, but she's got a pretty good memory to boot.
For instance, last week this old boy who lives down the road from me, and
is forever stinkmouthing my hounds, brought some city fellow around to
try out ol' Sis here.  So I turned her out south of the house and she made
two or three big swings back and forth across the edge of the woods, set
back her head, bayed a couple of times, cut straight through the woods,
come to a little clearing, jumped about three foot straight up in the air,
run to the other side, and commenced to letting out a racket like she had
something treed.  We went over there with our flashlights and shone them
up in the tree but couldn't catch no shine offa coon's eyes, and my
neighbor sorta indicated that ol' Sis might be a little crazy, `cause she
stood right to the tree and kept singing up into it.  So I pulled off my
coat and climbed up into the branches, and sure enough, there was a coon
skeleton wedged in between a couple of branches about twenty foot up.
Now as I was saying, she can follow a pretty old trail, but this fellow
was still calling her crazy or touched `cause she had hopped up in the
air while she was crossing the clearing, until I reminded him that the
Hawkins' had a fence across there about five years back.  Now, this dog
is for sale.
                -- News that stayed News: Ten Years of Coevolution Quarterly
Our [softball] team usually puts the other woman at second base, where the
maximum possible number of males can get there on short notice to help out
in case of emergency.  As far as I can tell, our second basewoman is a pretty
good baseball player, better than I am, anyway, but there's no way to know
for sure because if the ball gets anywhere near her, a male comes barging
over from, say, right field, to deal with it.  She's been on the team for
three seasons now, but the males still don't trust her.  They know, deep in
their souls, that if she had to choose between catching a fly ball and saving
an infant's life, she probably would elect to save the infant's life, without
ever considering whether there were men on base.
                -- Dave Barry, "Sports is a Drag"
Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to
point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very
fast.  People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are
often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people
from point B are so keen to get there and what's so great about point B
that so many people from point A are so keen to get _____there.  They often
wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell
they wanted to be.
                -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
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"
The black bear used to be one of the most commonly seen large animals
because in Yosemite and Sequoia national parks they lived off of garbage
and tourist handouts.  This bear has learned to open car doors in
Yosemite, where damage to automobiles caused by bears runs into the tens
of thousands of dollars a year.  Campaigns to bearproof all garbage
containers in wild areas have been difficult, because as one biologist
put it, "There is a considerable overlap between the intelligence levels
of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists."
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"
        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"
Interference between the keyboard and the chair.
PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair)
        page 46
...a report citing a study by Dr. Thomas C. Chalmers, of the Mount Sinai
Medical Center in New York, which compared two groups that were being used
to test the theory that ascorbic acid is a cold preventative.  "The group
on placebo who thought they were on ascorbic acid," says Dr. Chalmers,
"had fewer colds than the group on ascorbic acid who thought they were
on placebo."
        page 56
The placebo is proof that there is no real separation between mind and body.
Illness is always an interaction between both.  It can begin in the mind and
affect the body, or it can begin in the body and affect the mind, both of
which are served by the same bloodstream.  Attempts to treat most mental
diseases as though they were completely free of physical causes and attempts
to treat most bodily diseases as though the mind were in no way involved must
be considered archaic in the light of new evidence about the way the human
body functions.
                -- Norman Cousins,
                "Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient"
You speak of courage.  Obviously you do not know the difference between
courage and foolhardiness.  Always it is the brave ones who die, the soldiers.
                -- Kor, the Klingon Commander, "Errand of Mercy",
                   stardate 3201.7
A hypothetical paradox:
        What would happen in a battle between an Enterprise security team,
        who always get killed soon after appearing, and a squad of Imperial
        Stormtroopers, who can't hit the broad side of a planet?
                -- Tom Galloway
Blore's Razor:
        Given a choice between two theories, take the one which is funnier.
Commitment, n.:
        [The difference between involvement and] Commitment can be
        illustrated by a breakfast of ham and eggs.  The chicken was
        involved, the pig was committed.
Eleventh Law of Acoustics:
        In a minimum-phase system there is an inextricable link between
        frequency response, phase response and transient response, as they
        are all merely transforms of one another.  This combined with
        minimalization of open-loop errors in output amplifiers and correct
        compensation for non-linear passive crossover network loading can
        lead to a significant decrease in system resolution lost.  However,
        of course, this all means jack when you listen to Pink Floyd.
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.
half-done, n.:
        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"
honeymoon, n.:
        A short period of doting between dating and debting.
                -- Ray C. Bandy
Issawi's Laws of Progress:
        The Course of Progress:
                Most things get steadily worse.
        The Path of Progress:
                A shortcut is the longest distance between two points.
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.
Kafka's Law:
        In the fight between you and the world, back the world.
                -- Franz Kafka, "RS's 1974 Expectation of Days"
Law of Communications:
        The inevitable result of improved and enlarged communications
        between different levels in a hierarchy is a vastly increased
        area of misunderstanding.
life, n.:
        That brief interlude between nothingness and eternity.
love, n.:
        When, if asked to choose between your lover
        and happiness, you'd skip happiness in a heartbeat.
Peace, n.:
        In international affairs, a period of cheating between two
        periods of fighting.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
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."'"
The Abrams' Principle:
        The shortest distance between two points is off the wall.
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"
Tsort's Constant:
        1.67563, or precisely 1,237.98712567 times the difference between
the distance to the sun and the weight of a small orange.
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic" (slightly modified)
When asked the definition of "pi":
The Mathematician:
        Pi is the number expressing the relationship between the
        circumference of a circle and its diameter.
The Physicist:
        Pi is 3.1415927, plus or minus 0.000000005.
The Engineer:
        Pi is about 3.
Brazilification:
        The widening gulf between the rich and the poor and the
accompanying disappearance of the middle classes.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
There are two types of Linux developers - those who can spell, and
those who can't. There is a constant pitched battle between the two.
(From one of the post-1.1.54 kernel update messages posted to c.o.l.a)
Fess:        Well, you must admit there is something innately humorous about
        a man chasing an invention of his own halfway across the galaxy.
Rod:        Oh yeah, it's a million yuks, sure.  But after all, isn't that the
        basic difference between robots and humans?
Fess:        What, the ability to form imaginary constructs?
Rod:        No, the ability to get hung up on them.
                -- Christopher Stasheff, "The Warlock in Spite of Himself"
Laughter is the closest distance between two people.
                -- Victor Borge
Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal
that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they
ought to be.
                -- William Hazlitt
Man's unique agony as a species consists in his perpetual conflict between
the desire to stand out and the need to blend in.
                -- Sydney J. Harris
Modern man is the missing link between apes and human beings.
Nobody knows what goes between his cold toes and his warm ears.
                -- Roy Harper
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 what 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"
The difference between a good haircut and a bad one is seven days.
The difference between common-sense and paranoia is that common-sense is
thinking everyone is out to get you.  That's normal -- they are.  Paranoia
is thinking that they're conspiring.
                -- J. Kegler
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.
The difference between sentiment and being sentimental is the following:
Sentiment is when a driver swerves out of the way to avoid hitting a
rabbit on the road.  Being sentimental is when the same driver, when
swerving away from the rabbit hits a pedestrian.
                -- Frank Herbert, "The White Plague"
The distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly
blurred by... the pollution of the language.
                -- Arne Tiselius
The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint
has a past and every sinner has a future.
                -- Oscar Wilde
There's a fine line between courage and foolishness.  Too bad it's not a fence.
        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"
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"
If people have to choose between freedom and sandwiches, they
will take sandwiches.
                -- Lord Boyd-orr

Eats first, morals after.
                -- Bertolt Brecht, "The Threepenny Opera"
Politics is not the art of the possible.  It consists in choosing
between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
                -- John Kenneth Galbraith
The dirty work at political conventions is almost always done in the grim
hours between midnight and dawn.  Hangmen and politicians work best when
the human spirit is at its lowest ebb.
                -- Russell Baker
The distinction between Freedom and Liberty is not accurately known;
naturalists have been unable to find a living specimen of either.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
There is one difference between a tax collector and a taxidermist --
the taxidermist leaves the hide.
                -- Mortimer Caplan
Unknown person(s) stole the American flag from its pole in Etra Park sometime
between 3pm Jan 17 and 11:30 am Jan 20.  The flag is described as red, white
and blue, having 50 stars and was valued at $40.
                -- Windsor-Heights Herald "Police Blotter", Jan 28, 1987
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"
As long as there are entrenched social and political distinctions
between sexes, races or classes, there will be forms of science whose
main function is to rationalize and legitimize these distinctions.
                -- Elizabeth Fee
The years of peak mental activity are undoubtedly between the ages of four
and eighteen.  At four we know all the questions, at eighteen all the answers.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you.
This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
In India, "cold weather" is merely a conventional phrase and has come into
use through the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather
which will melt a brass door-knob and weather which will only make it mushy.
                -- Mark Twain
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"
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 difference between a Miracle and a Fact is exactly the difference
between a mermaid and a seal.
                -- Mark Twain
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the
difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
                -- Mark Twain
Given a choice between grief and nothing, I'd choose grief.
                -- William Faulkner
God is the tangential point between zero and infinity.
                -- Alfred Jarry
The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions.
Q: What is the difference between Jurassic Park and Microsoft?
A: One is an over-rated high tech theme park based on prehistoric information
   and populated mostly by dinosaurs, the other is a Steven Spielberg movie.
Q: What's the difference between Windows 95 and a highly destructive virus?
A: About 90 MB of hard disk space.
You Might be a Microsoft Employee If...

1. When a Microsoft program crashes for the millionth time, you say "Oh,
    well!" and reboot without any negative thoughts
2. The Windows 95 startup screen (the clouds) makes you feel all warm and
    fuzzy inside
3. You fully understand why Windows 95's Shutdown Option has to be
    accessed from the Start Menu
4. You believe Internet Explorer's security flaws were slipped in by a
    crack team of Netscape programmers
5. You keep valuable papers near your fireplace. Therefore, you are
    comfortable with Windows 95's "may-delete-it-at-anytime" philosophy
6. You're the Bob that Microsoft Bob was named after
7. Instead of "I'd rather be fishing," your bumper sticker says, "I'd
    rather be writing buggy Microsoft code"
8. You know the technical difference between OLE 1.0 and OLE 2.0
9. You've ever completed your income taxes while waiting for Windows 95
    to boot, and didn't think anything of it
10. You run Solitaire more than any other program, and therefore you
    consider your computer a Dedicated Solitaire Engine (DSE)
There are two types of Linux developers - those who can spell, and
those who can't.  There is a constant pitched battle between the two.
        -- From one of the post-1.1.54 kernel update messages posted to c.o.l.a
<SomeLamer> what's the difference between chattr and chmod?
<SomeGuru> SomeLamer: man chattr > 1; man chmod > 2; diff -u 1 2 | less
        -- Seen on #linux on irc
<Myxie> I know. Unless htere is a cookie monster somewhere between us tat muches the amil.
<Myxie> amil/mail
<Myxie> muches/munches tat/that htere/there
<HippieGuy> heheh
<HippieGuy> problems? :)
* Myxie needs an ircii addon that pipes teh command line through ispell :)
        -- Seen on #Debian
No, that's wrong too.  Now there's a race condition between the rm and
the mv.  Hmm, I need more coffee.
        -- Guy Maor on Debian Bug#25228
Do you know the difference between a yankee and a damyankee?

A yankee comes south to *_____visit*.
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.
To a Californian, a person must prove himself criminally insane before he
is allowed to drive a taxi in New York.  For New York cabbies, honesty and
stopping at red lights are both optional.
        -- From "East vs. West: The War Between the Coasts
To a Californian, all New Yorkers are cold; even in heat they rarely go
above fifty-eight degrees.  If you collapse on a street in New York, plan
to spend a few days there.
        -- From "East vs. West: The War Between the Coasts
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 a New Yorker, the only California houses on the market for less than a
million dollars are those on fire.  These generally go for six hundred
thousand.
        -- From "East vs. West: The War Between the Coasts
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 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:        Know what the difference between your latest project
        and putting wings on an elephant is?
A:        Who knows?  The elephant *might* fly, heh, heh...
Q:        What is the difference between a duck?
A:        One leg is both the same.
Q:        What is the difference between Texas and yogurt?
A:        Yogurt has culture.
Q:        What's the difference between a dead dog in the road and a dead
        lawyer in the road?
A:        There are skid marks in front of the dog.
Q:        What's the difference between a duck and an elephant?
A:        You can't get down off an elephant.
Q:        What's the difference between a Mac and an Etch-a-Sketch?
A:        You don't have to shake the Mac to clear the screen.
Q:        What's the difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish wake?
A:        One less drunk.
Q:        What's the difference between Bell Labs and the Boy Scouts of America?
A:        The Boy Scouts have adult supervision.
Q:        What's the difference between the 1950's and the 1980's?
A:        In the 80's, a man walks into a drugstore and states loudly, "I'd
        like some condoms," and then, leaning over the counter, whispers,
        "and some cigarettes."
Q:        What's the difference between USL and the Titanic?
A:        The Titanic had a band.
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.
... Any resemblance between the above views and those of my employer,
my terminal, or the view out my window are purely coincidental.  Any
resemblance between the above and my own views is non-deterministic.  The
question of the existence of views in the absence of anyone to hold them
is left as an exercise for the reader.  The question of the existence of
the reader is left as an exercise for the second god coefficient.  (A
discussion of non-orthogonal, non-integral polytheism is beyond the scope
of this article.)
Creating computer software is always a demanding and painstaking
process -- an exercise in logic, clear expression, and almost fanatical
attention to detail.  It requires intelligence, dedication, and an
enormous amount of hard work.  But, a certain amount of unpredictable
and often unrepeatable inspiration is what usually makes the difference
between adequacy and excellence.
Creating computer software is always a demanding and painstaking
process -- an exercise in logic, clear expression, and almost fanatical
attention to detail.  It requires intelligence, dedication, and an
enormous amount of hard work.  But, a certain amount of unpredictable
and often unrepeatable inspiration is what usually makes the difference
between adequacy and excellence.
VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears
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
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
[From the operation manual for the CI-300 Dot Matrix Line Printer, made
in Japan]:

The excellent output machine of MODEL CI-300 as extraordinary DOT MATRIX
LINE PRINTER, built in two MICRO-PROCESSORs as well as EAROM, is featured by
permitting wonderful co-existence such as; "high quality against low cost,"
"diversified functions with compact design," "flexibility in accessibleness
and durability of approx. 2000,000,00 Dot/Head," "being sophisticated in
mechanism but possibly agile operating under noises being extremely
suppressed" etc.

And as a matter of course, the final goal is just simply to help achieve
"super shuttle diplomacy" between cool data, perhaps earned by HOST
COMPUTER, and warm heart of human being.
It's multiple choice time...

        What is FORTRAN?

        a: Between thre and fiv tran.
        b: What two computers engage in before they interface.
        c: Ridiculous.
        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.]
The connection between the language in which we think/program and the problems
and solutions we can imagine is very close.  For this reason restricting
language features with the intent of eliminating programmer errors is at best
dangerous.
                -- Bjarne Stroustrup
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 only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is
that the car salesman knows he's lying.
The so-called "desktop metaphor" of today's workstations is instead an
"airplane-seat" metaphor.  Anyone who has shuffled a lap full of papers
while seated between two portly passengers will recognize the difference --
one can see only a very few things at once.
                -- Fred Brooks
There is no distinction between any AI program and some existent game.
        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"
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.
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:
        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.
Dogs just don't seem to be able to tell the difference between important people
and the rest of us.
The difference between dogs and cats is that dogs come when they're
called.  Cats take a message and get back to you.
THIS IS PLEDGE WEEK FOR THE FORTUNE PROGRAM

If you like the fortune program, why not support it now with your
contribution of a pithy fortunes, clean or obscene?  We cannot continue
without your support.  Less than 14% of all fortune users are contributors.
That means that 86% of you are getting a free ride.  We can't go on like
this much longer.  Federal cutbacks mean less money for fortunes, and unless
user contributions increase to make up the difference, the fortune program
will have to shut down between midnight and 8 a.m.  Don't let this happen.
Mail your fortunes right now to "fortune".  Just type in your favorite pithy
saying.  Do it now before you forget.  Our target is 300 new fortunes by the
end of the week. Don't miss out.  All fortunes will be acknowledged.  If you
contribute 30 fortunes or more, you will receive a free subscription to "The
Fortune Hunter", our monthly program guide.  If you contribute 50 or more,
you will receive a free "Fortune Hunter" coffee mug ....
A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.
                -- Ben Franklin
Between grand theft and a legal fee, there only stands a law degree.
Fights between cats and dogs are prohibited by statute in Barber, North
Carolina.
Fortune's nomination for All-Time Champion and Protector of Youthful
Morals goes to Representative Clare E. Hoffman of Michigan.  During an
impassioned House debate over a proposed bill to "expand oyster and
clam research," a sharp-eared informant transcribed the following
exchange between our hero and Rep. John D. Dingell, also of Michigan.

DINGELL: There are places in the world at the present time where we are
         having to artificially propagate oysters and clams.
HOFFMAN: You mean the oysters I buy are not nature's oysters?
DINGELL: They may or may not be natural.  The simple fact of the matter
         is that female oysters through their living habits cast out
         large amounts of seed and the male oysters cast out large
         amounts of fertilization ...
HOFFMAN: Wait a minute!  I do not want to go into that.  There are many
         teenagers who read The Congressional Record.
Humor in the Court:
Q: The truth of the matter is that you were not an unbiased, objective
   witness, isn't it. You too were shot in the fracas?
A: No, sir. I was shot midway between the fracas and the naval.
I suppose some of the variation between Boston drivers and the rest of the
country is due to the progressive Massachusetts Driver Education Manual which
I happen to have in my top desk drawer.  Some of the Tips for Better Driving
are worth considering, to wit:

[110.13]:
       "When traveling on a one-way street, stay to the right, so as not
        to interfere with oncoming traffic."

[22.17b]:
       "Learning to change lanes takes time and patience.  The best
        recommendation that can be made is to go to a Celtics [basketball]
        game; study the fast break and then go out and practice it
        on the highway."

[41.16]:
       "Never bump a baby carriage out of a crosswalk unless the kid's really
        asking for it."
I suppose some of the variation between Boston drivers and the rest of the
country is due to the progressive Massachusetts Driver Education Manual which
I happen to have in my top desk drawer.  Some of the Tips for Better Driving
are worth considering, to wit:

[131.16d]:
       "Directional signals are generally not used except during vehicle
        inspection; however, a left-turn signal is appropriate when making
        a U-turn on a divided highway."

[96.7b]:
       "When paying tolls, remember that it is necessary to release the
        quarter a full 3 seconds before passing the basket if you are
        traveling more than 60 MPH."

[110.13]:
       "When traveling on a one-way street, stay to the right, so as not
        to interfere with oncoming traffic."
I suppose some of the variation between Boston drivers and the rest of the
country is due to the progressive Massachusetts Driver Education Manual which
I happen to have in my top desk drawer.  Some of the Tips for Better Driving
are worth considering, to wit:

[173.15b]:
        "When competing for a section of road or a parking space, remember
        that the vehicle in need of the most body work has the right-of-way."

[141.2a]:
       "Although it is altogether possible to fit a 6' car into a 6'
        parking space, it is hardly ever possible to fit a 6' car into
        a 5' parking space."

[105.31]:
       "Teenage drivers believe that they are immortal, and drive accordingly.
        Nevertheless, you should avoid the temptation to prove them wrong."
The difference between a lawyer and a rooster is that
the rooster gets up in the morning and clucks defiance.
When I say the magic word to all these people, they will vanish forever.
I will then say the magic words to you, and you, too, will vanish -- never
to be seen again.
                -- Kurt Vonnegut Jr., "Between Time and Timbuktu"
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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