Quotes, Sig Lines, License Plates, etc. of the Day

Sig Lines License Plates Bumper Stickers Philosophy by Snippets

(If you know the original author of an uncredited quote below, please tell me; I would be happy to offer proper credit.)

State of the Industry

Chuck Breckenridge speaking in memory of Seymor Cray during the SC'96 Keynote Session:
When told that Apple Computer had purchased a Cray to simulate its next machine, Seymor responded "Funny. I'm using an Apple to simulate the Cray 3."

On living...

I've lived this long because I didn't die.
-- Dr. Dirk Struik, MIT professor, at age 104, when asked about the secret of his long life. He went on to say, "I have good friends. I'm healthy. Above all, I'm active."

The trick is not staying young; it's aging well.
-- Dr. Thomas Perls, Director of the New England Centenarian Study and co-author of Living to 100

Sig Lines that I Have Loved ... or Would Love to See

[ Some of these are sigs that I have seen over the years; others are quotes that just seem particularly suitable for one reason or another. -- FMB ]

The Web is a compelling new medium being put to all kinds of uses, by everyone from banks to Cub Scouts to flying saucer cults. That said, it can also be a powerful folly amplifier.
-- Paul Saffo, Institute for the Future, Menlo Park, CA

If you asked a sample of Americans "What is the temperature of Mars?" about 8% would say they don't know.
-- Herb Stein

If you don't think your world can change in 15 minutes, try holding your breath for that long.
-- from a DBC advertising banner

Don't take life too seriously ... because you won't get out alive.
-- Bugs Bunny

Read USA Today for Trends, New York Times for Depth, and Dilbert for Truth.
-- [unattributed]

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter."
-- Mark Twain

Now back to our previously scheduled lives...
-- Larry Smarr, 1 Nov 96

Going to the mountain is going home.
-- John Muir

It has been said that education would not be necessary if things were as they seem. But perhaps things are as they seem only if one knows how to look.
-- [unattributed]

TANSTAAFL or "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."
-- Robert Heinlein in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

What's sunk is sunk. Don't look back.
-- Head of Dept. of Economics, UC Berkeley, to '96 economics grads at their commencement

A medium is a bridge between two minds.
-- McCloud in Understanding Comics

Don't ever wrestle with a pig. You'll both get dirty, but [only] the pig will enjoy it.
-- Cale Yarborough

You know you're a workaholic when Monday morning brings no change to Sunday's routine.
-- FMB

When you make a mistake, write down what you've learned before a week passes. The process of writing it and reading it can help you avoid repeating it.
-- Michael Levine in Lessons at the Halfway Point

It is vital to give yourself credit for the agony you have survived throughout life.
-- Michael Levine in Lessons at the Halfway Point

The older I get, the more heartfelt my prayers become.
-- Michael Levine in Lessons at the Halfway Point

Give me a firm spot on which to stand, and I will move the earth.
-- Archimedes

Thus the wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win.
-- Zhuge Liang

Veni, vidi, velcro.
I came, I saw, I stuck around.
-- unattributed

Don't be afraid to take a big step. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps.
-- David Lloyd George

Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you're just a reflection of him?
-- Calvin

I like to verb words.
-- Calvin

Cryptography [without system integrity] is like investing in an armored car to carry money between a customer living in a cardboard box and a person doing business on a park bench.
-- Eugene Spafford

First things first, but not necessarily in that order.
-- Doctor Who, in MEGLOS

There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes.
-- Doctor Who, in Robot

Anybody remotely interesting is mad, in some way or another.
-- Doctor Who, in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

A southerner would fry a salad if he could figure out how.
-- Joe Thompson

Computing machines perhaps can do the work of a dozen ordinary men, but there is no machine that can do the work of one extraordinary man.
-- E. B. White

In the long run you hit only what you aim at. Therefore, though you should fail immediately, you had better aim at something high.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Confucious say: Man who sit on rose bush soon get point.

On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the Escape key.
...but it's not clear that that makes sense from a reality point of view.
-- [unattributed] and [unattributed]

The Web itself doesn't as much change the way we do things as it changes the ease with which we do things. And that changes the way we do everything.
-- David Siegel in "The Balkanization of the Web"

The views expressed above are my own and should be viewed as unrelated to those of my employer.
-- [unattributed]

Indeed, he seemed to approach the grave as a hyperbolic curve approaches a straight line -- less directly as he got nearer, till it was doubtful if he would ever reach it at all.
-- Thomas Hardy, describing the aged maltster in Far from the Madding Crowd

Nationalism is war.
-- Francois Mitterand, in arguing to strengthen the federal powers of the European Union

Divine authority is fine in the hands of God. The trouble begins when it gets into the hands of man...
-- [unattributed]

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
-- George Santayana, Spanish citizen, American philospher

There ain't no future in the past.
-- Vince Gill

The only thing that is good without qualification is a good will.
-- Immanuel Kant

Give me ambivalence ... or give me something else.
-- [unknown]

You can't always get what you want; but if you try sometimes you might just find, you get what you need.
-- The Rolling Stones

Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science.
-- Henri Poincare (1854-1912), French mathematician, physicist, author. Often considered to be "the last great generalist in mathematics" and the first to recognize the mathematics of chaos.

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations that we can perform without thinking about them.
-- Alfred North Whitehead

We are more than the sum of our knowledge, we are the products of our imagination.
-- Ferdi Serim

So what can we do to broaden the ... experience ... [of] those who don't yet feel they've been accused of premeditated curiosity, and thus couldn't possibly be sentenced to lifelong learning?
-- Ferdi Serim

Being a teacher is like being in jail; once it's on your record, you can never get rid of it.
-- Henry David Thoreau

I realized a school doesn't need a School Committee or Trustees or Governors or lumber or approved textbooks. All a school needs is a mind that sends and minds that receive. I shall teach my own students how to teach themselves. My own school. No buildings. Break out of the classroom prison. All I need is SKY. The Universe can be my classroom - the great vast world of the Concord countryside.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Politics is show business for ugly people.
-- re: Democratic National Convention, Chicago, 1996

Youth is a gift of nature; age is a work of art.
-- T-shirt philosophy

I think we should retire in the middle of our lives, say from age 35 to 50; then you can go back to work and work 'til you die.
-- Jerry Slabe [paraphrased]

That way, you retire while you can enjoy it and it eliminates all the uncertanties regarding how long you'll live after you retire.

"Maybe it IS impossible, but I wonder how it would work if it wasn't..."
-- Aaron Deno

Sometimes you just have to wonder what they were thinking:
One mother advised her son, "Learn how to type. That way, you won't have to work in the prison laundry." He did learn how to type, and it worked. He is now editor at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Good engineering is simply finding the right wrench to pound in the correct screw.
-- (Sig on an email message from which the headers had been removed)

It's a long way from amphioxus, it's a long way to us.
It's a long way from amphioxus to the meanest human cuss.
     It's good-bye to fins and gill slits,
     Welcome lungs and hair.
It's a long, long way from amphioxus, but we all came from there.
-- Phillip Pope in Science News, vol 149, p 74, 3 Feb 96. Context: theory that an amphioxus-like creature is the common ancestor of all vertabrates.

To paraphrase a well-worn expression:
     Time spent reading is not deducted from one's life span.
     ...thinking...from one's life span.
     ...planning...from the project's timeframe.

I left the commercial software industry because I had been doing roughly the same thing for 5 years and hadn't done ANYthing new in 3 years. At NCSA, one rarely does anything twice. Which do you suppose is more invigorating?
-- Frank Baker

Learning new things all the time keeps you young, they say. Sometimes I think being in this business makes you old before your time -- nothing stays the same and if you blink, you're out of the loop for a while. Oh well, it's fun.
-- Ann Hayes, 14 May 96

A revolution is an opinion that has acquired some bayonets.
-- Napoleon Bonaparte

Confusion is a mis-apprehension of a higher order.
-- H. Miller

Do you believe that were I to explain as much of what I know as you could comprehend that you would recognize it, that you would say, oh yes, this is but an extension of what we have already done, and though the mathematics is broader, the principles deeper, I am not surprised? Do you think you have asked even a fraction of the questions you need to ask?
-- Dixon's Screen of Truth

We always talk about new technology using old vocabulary. Electronic publishing, digital library, information highway: to our grandchildren these terms will probably sound as peculiar as horseless carriage.
-- Peter Lyman in The New York Times, 29 April 96, p B1

What we have today is a hell of an instrument. But we're still waiting for a Mozart.
-- Mitch Ratcliffe, Editor emeritus of Digital Media, an industry newsletter

How can a teenager learn to drive a car before learning how to operate a clothes hanger?
-- [unattributed]

All human race would fain be wits.
And millions miss, for one that hits.
-- Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Irish satirist, in On Poetry: A Rhapsody

And if I laugh at any mortal thing, 'tis that I may not weep.
-- Byron

When I say that I'm okay, they look at me kinda strange.
-- John Lennon

LPOTDs: License Plates of the Day

     TAX REB 8
A great one because it's so easy to misread -- I thought he was expressing a rebellious animosity toward the tax system until my wife read it aloud.

     CNFSC 8
     JUS BN ME
     ITS B 9
     DAY DRM 6
     HERES T U
     KAT DOG 1
     PEN N INC
     HI NERG 1
     ITL BE FIN and ITL BE FNE -- variations on a theme
     IMIXBRX -- on his work truck
     LEDFT 15 -- uhhmmm ... on the back of a Ford Escort?
               Illinois tags seen running around Champaign, IL

     LQD DRT
Pennsylvania tag on a Jeep at Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Favorite Bumper Sticker(s)

     Hang Up and Drive!

Philosophy Soundbites

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead; sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
-- Kurt Vonnegut

The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.
-- B. B. King

Q: To what do you attribute your sense of humor?
A: To my many weaknesses. At first, I only laughed at myself. Then I noticed that life itself is amusing. I've been in a generally good mood ever since.
-- From "Ask Marilyn" by Marilyn Vos Savant, the Guiness Book of Records entry for Highest IQ