Quotes, Quips, etc.

(Original source is listed, if known.)

Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. -- Elie Wiesel



Human Nature

Murphy, et al.


Simple Wisdom

Amen, Brother...!


Albert Einstein

Mark Twain

Frank Zappa

Sad commentary


"Too much of a good thing is wonderful." -- Mae West

"I've always wanted to be somebody, but I see now that I should have been more specific." -- Lily Tomlin

Billy Smart, the UK circus owner, was interviewed on TV at the age of 96, and asked to what he attributed his long life and good health. "Well," he said, "Every so often I get a feeling comes over me that I need to take some exercise, to work the old muscles, to get the blood moving, to get some fresh air into the lungs. Whenever I get this feeling I lie down until it goes away."

"Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left." -- Groucho Marx?

Talk is cheap - until you hire a lawyer.

The trouble with lawyer jokes is lawyers don't think they're funny, and nobody else thinks they're jokes.

Youth, energy, and ambition are no match for old age and treachery.

Filthy stinking rich - two out of three ain't bad...

If a man is talking in a forest and there is no woman there to listen, is he still wrong?

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -- Groucho Marx



"Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door." -- Blake

"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." -- Winston Churchill

"I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him."
-- Booker T. Washington

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature... Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -- Helen Keller

"It's not true that nice guys finish last. Nice guys are winners before the game even starts." -- Addison Walker

"Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?" -- Frank Scully

Creating a better future starts with the ability to envision it.

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." -- Dalai Lama

"In the end, the poem is not a thing we see; it is, rather, a light by which we may see – and what we see is life." -- Robert Penn Warren

"To base thought only on speech is to try nailing whispers to the wall. Writing freezes thought and offers it up for inspection." -- Jack Rosenthal

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost. That is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." -- Henry David Thoreau

"Compassion and pity are very different. Whereas compassion reflects the yearning of the heart to merge and take on some of the suffering, pity is a controlled set of thoughts designed to assure separateness. Compassion is the spontaneous response of love; pity, the involuntary reflex of fear." -- Paul C. Roud, Making Miracles (Warner)


Human Nature

"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

There's one big difference between genius and stupidity - genius has limits.

Throughout history, the most common debilitating human ailment has been cold feet.

"Those who are quite satisfied sit still and do nothing; those who are not quite satisfied are the sole benefactors of the world." -- Walter Savage Landor

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

"Where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways, but where it is unwilling, it will find a thousand excuses." -- proverb

"The busiest day of the week is always tomorrow." -- Spanish proverb

"Science has radically changed the conditions of human life on earth. It has expanded our knowledge and our power, but not our capacity to use them with wisdom."
-- J. William Fulbright (See also A. Stevenson, "Murphy")

"When you live beside the graveyard, you can't cry for every funeral." -- Russian proverb

"Man is the only kind of varmint sets his own trap, baits it, then steps in it."
-- John Steinbeck.

It is our nature to resist dismissing any personal endeavor as irredeemably valueless, no matter how irrefutable the evidence. This is especially true of our relationships with each other.

"There is more of good nature than good sense at the bottom of most marriages."
-- H. D. Thoreau


Murphy, et al.

Live today; there's plenty of time to be dead...

Fast, cheap, good - choose any two...

Be a lead dog - if you're not, the view never changes.

"Death and taxes may always be with us, but death at least doesn't get any worse."
-- Los Angeles Times Syndicate

"One disadvantage of having nothing to do is you can't stop and rest." -- Franklin P. Jones

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of progress?

"The Human Race has improved everything except the human race." -- Adlai Stevenson

"Paper work is the embalming fluid of bureaucracy, maintaining an appearance of life where none exists." -- Robert J. Meltzer

"Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggie" until you can find a good-sized rock."

"Governments will always do the right thing - after they have exhausted all other possibilities."



"Nonchalance is the ability to remain down to earth when everything else is up in the air."
-- Earl Wilson

God wisely designed the human body so that we can neither pat our own backs nor kick ourselves too easily.

Smart is when you believe only half of what you hear. Brilliant is when you know which half to believe.

"Learning music by reading about it is like making love by mail." -- Luciano Pavarotti

A good manager never puts off until tomorrow what he can have someone else do today...


Simple Wisdom

"Hold on to a true friend with both hands." -- Nigerian proverb

"Never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river." -- Cordell Hull

For all of man's supposed accomplishments, his continued existence is completely dependent upon six inches of topsoil and the fact that it rains.

"In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation."
-- Iroquois Law

"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box." -- Italian proverb

"What the fool does in the end, the wise man does in the beginning." -- Proverb

"Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet." -- African proverb

"In any contest between power and patience, bet on patience." -- W.B. Prescott

"The essence of knowledge is having it, applying it." -- Confucius

Learn from the mistakes of others — you'll never live long enough to make them all yourself.

"The believer is happy; the doubter is wise." -- Hungarian Proverb


Amen, Brother…!

"There is no greater tyranny than that of the dead over the living." -- Thomas Paine

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men." -- Abraham Lincoln

"This generation will have to repent, not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked people, but for the appalling silence of the good people." -- Martin Luther King

"Action without intelligence is a form of insanity, but intelligence without action is the greatest form of stupidity in the world." -- Charles Kettering

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect, had intended for us to forgo their use." -- Galileo Galilei

"He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave."
-- Sir William Drummond

"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler



"Where the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh only 1 1/2 tons."
-- Popular Mechanics, March, 1949

"The cheapest, fastest, and most reliable components of a computer system are those that aren't there." -- Gordon Bell

"There are two major products to come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. This is probably not a coincidence." -- John Dodge, PC Week


Albert Einstein

"When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it's only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it's two hours. That's relativity." -- Albert Einstein

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
-- Albert Einstein

"Ever since childhood I have scorned the commonplace limits so often set upon human ambition. Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone; best both for the body and the mind" -- Albert Einstein.

"I do not regret being cut off from the understanding and sympathy of other men. I lose something by it, to be sure, but I am compensated for it in being rendered independent of the customs, opinions, and prejudices of others, and am not tempted to rest my peace of mind upon such shifting foundations." -- Albert Einstein


Mark Twain

"Thunder is good, thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does the work." -- Mark Twain

"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant... but when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years." -- Mark Twain

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

"Human beings are the only creatures who blush - or who need to." -- Mark Twain


Frank Zappa

"The most important thing in art is The Frame. For painting: literally; for other arts figuratively — because, without this humble appliance, you can't know where The Art stops and The Real World begins." -- Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book

"Nuclear testing in the Nevada desert? What the fuck are we testing for? We already know the shit blows up." -- F. Zappa

"A nation is really strong when everybody's got a piece of the action: EVERYBODY."
-- F. Zappa

Sad Commentary…

Utne Reader, 12/96, p.75: "According to the U.N.'s Human Development Report, 1996, the combined wealth of the world's 358 billionaires now equals the total income of the poorest 45% of the world's population, some 2.3 billion people."

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Last modified 3/17/00