|Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English)||by Linux fortune|
|The Harvard Law states: Under controlled conditions of light, temperature,|
humidity, and nutrition, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.
-- Larry Wall in <199710161841.LAA13208@wall.org>
|But the greatest Electrical Pioneer of them all was Thomas Edison, who was a|
brilliant inventor despite the fact that he had little formal education and
lived in New Jersey. Edison's first major invention in 1877, was the
phonograph, which could soon be found in thousands of American homes, where
it basically sat until 1923, when the record was invented. But Edison's
greatest achievement came in 1879, when he invented the electric company.
Edison's design was a brilliant adaptation of the simple electrical circuit:
the electric company sends electricity through a wire to a customer, then
immediately gets the electricity back through another wire, then (this is
the brilliant part) sends it right back to the customer again.
This means that an electric company can sell a customer the same batch of
electricity thousands of times a day and never get caught, since very few
customers take the time to examine their electricity closely. In fact the
last year any new electricity was generated in the United States was 1937;
the electric companies have been merely re-selling it ever since, which is
why they have so much free time to apply for rate increases.
-- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
| 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
-- Robert Henry, "Trains", 1957
|Several years ago, some smart businessmen had an idea: Why not build a big|
store where a do-it-yourselfer could get everything he needed at reasonable
prices? Then they decided, nah, the hell with that, let's build a home
center. And before long home centers were springing up like crabgrass all
over the United States.
-- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
If the Earth could be made to rotate twice as fast, managers would
get twice as much done. If the Earth could be made to rotate twenty
times as fast, everyone else would get twice as much done since all
the managers would fly off.
It costs a lot to build bad products.
There are many highly successful businesses in the United States.
There are also many highly paid executives. The policy is not to
intermingle the two.
After the year 2015, there will be no airplane crashes. There will
be no takeoffs either, because electronics will occupy 100 percent
of every airplane's weight.
The last 10 percent of performance generates one-third of the cost
and two-thirds of the problems.
-- Norman Augustine
Two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered with water. The other
third is covered with auditors from headquarters.
The more time you spend talking about what you have been doing, the
less time you have to spend doing what you have been talking about.
Eventually, you spend more and more time talking about less and less
until finally you spend all your time talking about nothing.
Regulations grow at the same rate as weeds.
The average regulation has a life span one-fifth as long as a
chimpanzee's and one-tenth as long as a human's -- but four times
as long as the official's who created it.
By the time of the United States Tricentennial, there will be more
government workers than there are workers.
People working in the private sector should try to save money.
There remains the possibility that it may someday be valuable again.
-- Norman Augustine
|Top Ten Changes If Linus Torvalds Achieves World Domination |
10. That annoying Linus character from the Peanuts cartoons would be killed off
9. New fashion style: Scantily clad females, even in twenty below weather
8. Forget Disney World, say hello to Penguin World!
7. Late Show with Linus Torvalds
6. High schools offer classes on kernel hacking
5. Microsoft stock certificates traded as rare collectors' items, along with
Confederate money and Roman coins
4. Beowolf Clusters for everyone!
3. Computers no longer come with reset buttons
2. United States of Linusia
1. Three words: Open Source Beer
|Top Ten Differences If Thomas Jefferson Behaved Like Eric Raymond During|
the American Revolution
2. The preamble to the Constitution would say, "We the pragmatists of the
Open States of America, in order to foster the production of higher
quality tea and tobacco..."
5. The phrases "the right to bear arms shall not be infringed" and "Geeks
With Guns" would be plastered throughout the O.S.A. Constitution.
9. Instead of Congress, the "Open States Institute" board of directors
would make all of the national legislative decisions.
10. Raymond, New Hampshire would be the home of the O.S.A. capitol.
|Is Linux A Finnish Conspiracy? |
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF CORRUPTION -- According to a report recently
issued by the NSA (No Such Agency), Finland is now considered a national
economic and security risk. "We don't trust the Finns... software written
by these people could potentially contain backdoors that could undermine
domestic security," the report states. In response to the news, US Senator
Fatcatte (R-WA) has proposed a bill, the It's For The Children Act of
2000, that would ban all software written by native-born Finns.
"It's time we take the Finnish threat seriously," Fatcatte said at a press
conference. "Not only is Finn software a threat to domestic tranquility,
but it could radically alter the computer industry, costing us thousands
of jobs... and, more importantly, billions in tax revenue. We must prevent
the Finns from subverting our economy with so-called 'open-source
software'." He then asked, "Is anybody thinking of the children of
programmers who will become unemployed when Finnish software overruns the
|Alan Cox Releases Quantum Kernel|
Submitted by Dave Finton
A surprising development in the linux-kernel mailing list surfaced when
Alan Cox announced the release of a 2.2 Linux kernel existing both as an
official stable kernel and as a prepatch kernel. This immediately spurred
the creation of two different realities (and hence two different Alan
Coxes), where a kernel would not settle down to one or the other state
until someone looked at it.
"I think this resulted from the large number of 'final' prepatch kernels
prior to the 2.2.14 release," said David Miller, kernel networking guru
and gas station attendent (he'll settle down to one or the other state
when someone looks at him).
When word of this development spread to Microsoft, Bill Gates was
extremely delighted. The Redmond, WA campus has been plagued with quantum
fluctuations ever since the inception of Windows 2000 back in 1992. "Our
release date has been existing in infinitely many states since the very
beginning," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "This just shows the Linux
operating system cannot scale to multiple realities as well as our OS."
|Linux World Domination: Not A Joke! |
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Fattecat (R-WA) is pushing for a ban on
Finnish-produced software. His chief of staff, Ms. Dee Septive, has
published a 200-page report revealing "the Helsinkian Underground", a
Finnish world domination plot hatched in 1943.
The Fattecat expose describes Finland's recent scheme involving free
software. "Linux, originally called Freix (FREIX Retrieves Electronic
Intelligence X), is a scheme to infiltrate the Western world with a 'free'
operating system with nasty backdoors hidden within its obfuscated source
code. IRC (Intelligence Relaying Code) is another Finnish innovation
designed for spying purposes."
Linus Torvalds plays a prominent role in the conspiracy. "That old story
about Linus developing a Unix clone in his spare time while at University
is a lark," the report states. "Indeed, the name Linux ("Line X") was
coined because the kernel can extract any arbitrary line of intelligence
from any document it has access to."
|Look Out! It's Microsoft Outlook|
An old maxim in the Unix community states, "All programs expand until they
can read mail... except Microsoft Outlook." Well, that's no longer true.
By taking advantage of loopholes in several undocumented APIs, a team of
geeks were able to transform Outlook from a virus-delivery system into an
actual mail client.
"It was quite a feat to accomplish this," said one of the geeks. "I mean,
the rat's nest that is the Windows API can be used to frighten small
children... or adults. And the frequency by which Outlook exploits are
discovered is directly proportional to the number of times Bill Gates uses
the word 'innovation'. But this is the first time somebody has discovered
a beneficial exploit."
Microsoft has vowed to release a patch to fix the uncovered security
flaws. "We simply cannot tolerate unauthorized reverse engineering and
hacking of our innovative solutions. Our Security Response Team will pull
an all-nighter to eliminate these known issues."
|This nation is sinking into the quicksand of the Paperwork Age, a|
postmodern world in which judges issue meta-injuctions against other
judges who issue injuctions against lawyers who file lawsuits every 3.2
minutes. It's an age where lawyers design ballots forms and then proceed
to argue over how to count them.
The United States has bluescreened. A fatal exception error occured on
Election Night, and now all of our unsaved work has been lost.
-- Jon Splatz, Humorix's Pundit and Social Commentator, ranting about
the 2000 US Presidential Election From Hell and the dreaded
|"Oops," Says MPAA President |
Recently, the United States filed a legal brief in support of the MPAA's
argument that linking to the DeCSS source code is not protected by the
At the time, the MPAA was ecstatic. But not any longer. The tables have
turned: the Federal government has filed a lawsuit against the movie
industry, arguing that many Hollywood-produced movies 'link' to illegal
content. The MPAA is now desperately wrapping itself up in the Bill of
"Murder is illegal. Showing a murder in a movie -- or, rather, 'linking'
to it -- is also illegal," explained a spokesperson for the Coalition Of
Angry Soccer Moms In Support Of Brow-Beating Movie Industry Executives, an
interest group that has backed the government's lawsuit.
|Did you know that the voice tapes easily identify the Russian pilot|
that shot down the Korean jet? At one point he definitely states:
"Natasha! First we shoot jet, then we go after moose and squirrel."
|<Flood> netgod: I also have a "Evil Inside" T-shirt (w/ Intel logo).. on|
the back it states: "When the rapture comes, will you have root?"
|Techical solutions are not a matter of voting. Two legislations in the US|
states almost decided that the value of Pi be 3.14, exactly. Popular vote
does not make for a correct solution.
-- Manoj Srivastava
|<Espy> I invoke Espy's law, which states that you all suck :P|
|Fortune's Guide to Freshman Notetaking:|
WHEN THE PROFESSOR SAYS: YOU WRITE:
Probably the greatest quality of the poetry John Milton -- born 1608
of John Milton, who was born in 1608, is the
combination of beauty and power. Few have
excelled him in the use of the English language,
or for that matter, in lucidity of verse form,
'Paradise Lost' being said to be the greatest
single poem ever written."
Current historians have come to Most of the problems that now
doubt the complete advantageousness face the United States are
of some of Roosevelt's policies... directly traceable to the
bungling and greed of President
... it is possible that we simply do Professor Mitchell is a
not understand the Russian viewpoint... communist.
|If for every rule there is an exception, then we have established that there|
is an exception to every rule. If we accept "For every rule there is an
exception" as a rule, then we must concede that there may not be an exception
after all, since the rule states that there is always the possibility of
exception, and if we follow it to its logical end we must agree that there
can be an exception to the rule that for every rule there is an exception.
-- Bill Boquist
|There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what|
the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be
replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another
theory which states that this has already happened.
-- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
|Digital computers are themselves more complex than most things people build:|
They hyave very large numbers of states. This makes conceiving, describing,
and testing them hard. Software systems have orders-of-magnitude more states
than computers do.
- Fred Brooks, Jr.
|I pledge allegiance to the flag|
of the United States of America
and to the republic for which it stands,
and justice for all.
- Francis Bellamy, 1892
|The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being|
as his Father, in the womb of a virgin will be classified with the fable of
the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the
dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with
this artificial scaffolding and restore to us the primitive and genuine
doctrines of this most venerated Reformer of human errors.
- Thomas Jefferson
|"You know why there are so few sophisticated computer terrorists in the United|
States? Because your hackers have so much mobility into the establishment.
Here, there is no such mobility. If you have the slightest bit of intellectual
integrity you cannot support the government.... That's why the best computer
minds belong to the opposition."
- an anonymous member of the outlawed Polish trade union, Solidarity
|...the Soviets have the capability to try big projects. If there is a goal,|
such as when Gorbachev states that they are going to have nuclear-powered
aircraft carriers, the case is closed -- that is it. They will concentrate
on the problem, do a bad job, and later pay the price. They really don't
care what the price is.
-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
"Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 100
|The late rebellion in Massachusetts has given more alarm than I think it |
should have done. Calculate that one rebellion in 13 states in the course
of 11 years, is but one for each state in a century and a half. No country
should be so long without one.
-- Thomas Jefferson in letter to James Madison, 20 December 1787
|"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by mean of zeal,|
well-meaning but without understanding."
-- Justice Louis O. Brandeis (Olmstead vs. United States)
|"After one week [visiting Austria] I couldn't wait to go back to the United |
States. Everything was much more pleasant in the United States, because of
the mentality of being open-minded, always positive. Everything you want to
do in Europe is just, 'No way. No one has ever done it.' They haven't any
more the desire to go out to conquer and achieve -- I realized that I had much
more the American spirit."
-- Arnold Schwarzenegger
|BOOK There is a theory which states that if ever anyone |
exactly what the Universe is for and why it is
here, it will
instantly disappear and be replaced by something
There is another theory which states that this has
- Introduction to Fit the Seventh.
|I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do will encounter|
quick retribution. All will be suspended, and I don't care if it wrecks
the National League for five years. This is the United States of America
and one citizen has as much right to play as another.
-- Ford Frick, National League President, reacting to a
threatened strike by some Cardinal players in 1947 if
Jackie Robinson took the field against St. Louis. The
Cardinals backed down and played.
|I cannot overemphasize the importance of good grammar.|
What a crock. I could easily overemphasize the importance of good
grammar. For example, I could say: "Bad grammar is the leading cause
of slow, painful death in North America," or "Without good grammar, the
United States would have lost World War II."
-- Dave Barry, "An Utterly Absurd Look at Grammar"
|I have a map of the United States. It's actual size. I spent last summer|
folding it. People ask me where I live, and I say, "E6".
-- Steven Wright
|The buffalo isn't as dangerous as everyone makes him out to be.|
Statistics prove that in the United States more Americans are killed in
automobile accidents than are killed by buffalo.
-- Art Buchwald
|Gerrold's Laws of Infernal Dynamics:|
(1) An object in motion will always be headed in the wrong direction.
(2) An object at rest will always be in the wrong place.
(3) The energy required to change either one of these states
will always be more than you wish to expend, but never so
much as to make the task totally impossible.
Ludwig Boltzmann, who spend much of his life studying statistical
mechanics died in 1906 by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying
on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn.
-- Goodstein, States of Matter
|All other things being equal, a bald man cannot be elected President of|
the United States.
-- Vic Gold
|Even though they raised the rate for first class mail in the United|
States we really shouldn't complain -- it's still only two cents a day.
[and getting better! Soon it'll be down to a penny a day!]
|I needed the good will of the legislature of four states. I formed the|
legislative bodies with my own money. I found that it was cheaper that way.
-- Jay Gould
|I pledge allegiance to the flag|
of the United States of America
and to the republic for which it stands,
and justice for all.
-- Francis Bellamy, 1892
|I'm proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is|
-- I could be just as proud for half the money.
-- Arthur Godfrey
|Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian.|
-- Robert Orben
Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery.
-- Jack Paar
|Decemba, n: The 12th month of the year.|
erra, n: A mistake.
faa, n: To, from, or at considerable distance.
Linder, n: A female name.
memba, n: To recall to the mind; think of again.
New Hampsha, n: A state in the northeast United States.
New Yaak, n: Another state in the northeast United States.
Novemba, n: The 11th month of the year.
Octoba, n: The 10th month of the year.
ova, n: Location above or across a specified position. What the
season is when the Knicks quit playing.
-- Massachewsetts Unabridged Dictionary
|No matter what other nations may say about the United States,|
immigration is still the sincerest form of flattery.
|There must be at least 500,000,000 rats in the United States; of course,|
I never heard the story before.
|To be happy one must be a) well fed, unhounded by sordid cares, at ease in|
Zion, b) full of a comfortable feeling of superiority to the masses of one's
fellow men, and c) delicately and unceasingly amused according to one's taste.
It is my contention that, if this definition be accepted, there is no country
in the world wherein a man constituted as I am -- a man of my peculiar
weaknesses, vanities, appetites, and aversions -- can be so happy as he can
be in the United States. Going further, I lay down the doctrine that it is
a sheer physical impossibility for such a man to live in the United States
and not be happy.
-- H.L. Mencken, "On Being An American"
|Q: How does the Polish Constitution differ from the American?|
A: Under the Polish Constitution citizens are guaranteed freedom of
speech, but under the United States constitution they are
guaranteed freedom after speech.
-- being told in Poland, 1987
|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: Why is Poland just like the United States?|
A: In the United States you can't buy anything for zlotys and in
Poland you can't either, while in the U.S. you can get whatever
you want for dollars, just as you can in Poland.
-- being told in Poland, 1987
|A computer salesman visits a company president for the purpose of selling|
the president one of the latest talking computers.
Salesman: "This machine knows everything. I can ask it any question
and it'll give the correct answer. Computer, what is the
speed of light?"
Computer: 186,282 miles per second.
Salesman: "Who was the first president of the United States?"
Computer: George Washington.
President: "I'm still not convinced. Let me ask a question.
Where is my father?"
Computer: Your father is fishing in Georgia.
President: "Hah!! The computer is wrong. My father died over twenty
Computer: Your mother's husband died 22 years ago. Your father just
landed a twelve pound bass.
|We the Users, in order to form a more perfect system, establish priorities,|
ensure connective tranquility, provide for common repairs, promote preventive
maintenance, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our
processes, do ordain and establish this Software of The Unixed States
|A Riverside, California, health ordinance states that two persons may|
not kiss each other without first wiping their lips with carbolized rosewater.
| It seems these two guys, George and Harry, set out in a Hot Air|
balloon to cross the United States. After forty hours in the air, George
turned to Harry, and said, "Harry, I think we've drifted off course! We
need to find out where we are."
Harry cools the air in the balloon, and they descend to below the
cloud cover. Slowly drifting over the countryside, George spots a man
standing below them and yells out, "Excuse me! Can you please tell me
where we are?"
The man on the ground yells back, "You're in a balloon, approximately
fifty feet in the air!"
George turns to Harry and says, "Well, that man *must* be a lawyer".
Replies Harry, "How can you tell?".
"Because the information he gave us is 100% accurate, and totally
That's the end of The Joke, but for you people who are still worried about
George and Harry: they end up in the drink, and make the front page of the
New York Times: "Balloonists Soaked by Lawyer".
| The Arkansas legislature passed a law that states that the Arkansas|
River can rise no higher than to the Main Street bridge in Little Rock.
|The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor|
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively,
or to the people.
-- U.S. Constitution, Amendment 10. (Bill of Rights)
|We should realize that a city is better off with bad laws, so long as they |
remain fixed, then with good laws that are constantly being altered, that
the lack of learning combined with sound common sense is more helpful than
the kind of cleverness that gets out of hand, and that as a general rule,
states are better governed by the man in the street than by intellectuals.
These are the sort of people who want to appear wiser than the laws, who
want to get their own way in every general discussion, because they feel that
they cannot show off their intelligence in matters of greater importance, and
who, as a result, very often bring ruin on their country.
-- Cleon, Thucydides, III, 37 translation by Rex Warner