Category Archives: Quotes
It’s hard to believe I haven’t yet posted about the Robert Burns (1759-1796) poem, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest With the Plough, November, 1785”. Written, obviously, in 1785. It’s one of my favorites, and as with some of my other favorites, due in part to one line, the immortal words: “The best-laid schemes of mice and men; Go oft awry.”
And don’t they indeed. God (or fate or chance or whathaveyou) laughs at our puny plans.
It’s a short poem, and I don’t have all that much to say about it, so I’ll also tell you about an interesting bug in the new WordPress Jetpack app that lets you game your own stats.
3 Comments | tags: Jetpack app, Robert Burns, To A Mouse, WordPress | posted in Quotes, Writing
Still fighting Blog Blah and looking for low hanging fruit to get me back in the habit. Hoping a year-end clearance mode clears the cobwebs. (All ideas and notions 75% off! Everything must go!)
For a while now, I’ve “been meaning to do” a post listing favorite quotes, quips, sayings, and bumper stickers. Pithy idea capsules that clearly and evocatively express singular human experiences. We often gather favorites along the way. Of course, as always, tastes vary.
Here are some of my enduring favorites.
17 Comments | posted in Quotes, Writing
I’m far from being a literary expert and even further from knowing anything about poetry (but, of course, I know what I like). That said, there are some poems I’ve picked up along the way and cherished. I’ve posted here about three of them: Desiderata, Invictus, and To His Coy Mistress. These poems all have foundational roles in my worldview.
Yet, surprisingly, I haven’t yet written about the most foundational of them all: The Road Not Taken, by the great American poet, Robert Frost. In my youth, a friend once whined at me, “You go out of your way to be different, don’t you!” Yes. Yes, I do. Just like the poem says to.
Except it doesn’t. It doesn’t say that at all.
14 Comments | tags: Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken | posted in Quotes, Writing
Sometimes you encounter someone who seems to really hit the nail on the head in terms of how they see the world. The brilliance of these moments is that — especially if you tend to be a social outlier — you’re given the gift of knowing you’re not alone. There are people who not only see the world as you do, but see it even more clearly and intelligently than you ever could.
Leon Wieseltier appeared on The Colbert Report last Tuesday (Oct 7), and I was so blown away by his words that I kept rewinding and rewinding so I could write it all down and record here what he said.
I was especially impressed by his ten-word critique of modern society!
31 Comments | tags: Colbert Nation, critical thinking, democratic society, emotional mind, Leon Wieseltier, rational mind, rational thought, Robert Plant, Robert Plant - Rainbow, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report | posted in Life, Quotes, TV
Do you all know the little game to play with fortune cookies? After the fortune, whatever it happens to be, you add the infamous words, “…in bed.” Oddly, this seems to work with almost any fortune.
So I just opened a fortune cookie (sesame chicken…. mmmmm… I just love sesame chicken), and I really cracked up, because today’s fortune reads (this may be one of the best ones ever):
Money will come to you when you are doing the right thing…
45 Comments | tags: fortune cookie, funny, humor, money | posted in Quotes
You sometimes hear the quote, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” It’s most frequently attributed to Albert Einstein although it is sometimes attributed to Benjamin Franklin or author Rita Mae Brown.
None of them said any such thing. And poor Albert, he gets more silly quotes (incorrectly) attributed to him than anyone else. I suppose the idea is that, if Einstein said it, it must be right. I’m not sure the actual author is known, but the quote is commonly found in Alcoholics (and others) Anonymous where it references the repeated addictive behavior.
I’ve always thought the insane thing was the quote itself.
19 Comments | tags: Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, David Brin, insanity, Lawrence Kubie, Rita Mae Brown., sanity, science fiction, Sundiver, The Practice Effect, Uplift universe | posted in Brain Bubble, Quotes
It’s poetry week here at con carne! To balance out the seriousness of Henley’s Invictus last time, here’s something a bit more whimsical. And much older; Andrew Marvell ‘s To His Coy Mistress pre-dates Henley by a good 200 years. Yet, both poems are about overcoming obstacles.
It must be said that the obstacles in question here are a bit different from the “bludgeonings of chance” that concern Henley. Marvell has something else entirely on his mind! And while Henley speaks of staying the course against all odds, Marvell’s advice is more carpe diem.
So for a little fun on Friday, I give you…
15 Comments | tags: Andrew Marvell, carpe diem, funny poetry, poems, poetry, sexy poetry | posted in Life, Quotes, Writing
I was involved in a discussion not long ago that reminded me of the Henley poem, Invictus. Not that I needed a lot of reminding; the poem has been near and dear to my heart since high school.
I’m not very conversant with poetry, but I’ve run into a few “pomes” over the years that have really grabbed me. (In other words, this is one place where I don’t know art, but I know what I like.)
In the past I’ve published copies of favorite poems on my personal website, and I’ve always intended to write about them in a blog article. For this poem especially, no time like the present.
16 Comments | tags: Bene Gesserit, Dune, English class, Ernest Henley, fear, Gotta have a montage, high school, Invictus, liberal arts, Litany aginst Fear, poems, poetry, serious poetry, Team America, William Ernest Henley | posted in Life, Quotes, Writing
In his 1982 book, Megatrends, John Naisbitt famously wrote, “We are drowning in information, but we are starved for knowledge.” What was true 30 years ago is true today at a level that is both jaw-dropping and mind-numbing. The interweb highway speeds past at a breath-taking pace; yesterday vanishes rapidly behind while tomorrow constantly barrels down on us. The sheer volume of traffic (meaning both ‘lots of’ and ‘very loud’) can be overwhelming.
I’d like to take the topics from last Thursday and Friday to a new level and talk about how we find knowledge and truth amid all that information. In a world filled with opinion and conflicting assertions, how do we tell fair from foul? When facts and expertise compete with ideology and status quo, how do we pick among them?
This is about ways to separate the wheat from the chaff.
8 Comments | tags: argument, debate, deflection, discussion, emotional mind, John Naisbitt, Megatrends, projection, psychology, rational mind, social issues, worldview | posted in Basics, Quotes, Society
Earlier this week I finished re-reading what might be my favorite Terry Pratchett Discworld novel, Soul Music. When I introduced you to Pratchett and Discworld I mentioned that each novel has its own theme. Nearly all the novels use the same groups of characters, but each revolves around a unique theme (and usually one of the character groups, although cross-over is frequent).
Soul Music is about “music with rocks in it” (in other words: rock music). It’s technically one of the “Death” novels (which is to say that the Discworld avatar of Death is the main character), but it prominently features the Wizards in supporting roles.
And Death’s grand-daughter, Susan. And the spirit of Buddy Holly.
9 Comments | tags: Bat Out of Hell, Buddy Holly, Discworld, Douglas Adams, Funkadelic, Hex, music, rock and roll, rock music, Susan Death, Terry Pratchett, Wizards | posted in Music, Quotes