Winston Churchill once quipped that it was good for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Since I heard that, I have been consuming quotes from presumably more educated people than me. Here is my collection of quotes, some of which show up at random on the home page.
Art & Photography
You always need a bit of low-tech.You always need a pair of scissors, it seems to me. You can do better things.... The high-tech, somehow, you do have to combine it with low-tech things.
—David Hockney (from Visiting with Huell Howser, KCET)
Each particular being, in its individuality, its concrete nature and entity, with all its own characteristics and its private qualities and its own inviolable identity, gives glory to God by being precisely what He wants it to be here and now, in the circumstances ordained for it by His Love and His infinite Art.
There is not a flower that opens, not a seed that falls into the ground, and not an ear of wheat that nods on the end of its stalk in the wind that does not preach and proclaim the greatness and the mercy of God to the whole world.
Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.
—Leonardo da Vinci
If you hear a voice within you say, "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
—Vincent van Gogh
Inspiration exists, but it must find you working.
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.
The artist is the creator and what is seen is simply raw material... The optical is always optional.
Black and white are the true colors of photography. They symbolize the hope and despair to which mankind is forever subject.
The mystery isn't in the technique, it's in each of us.
Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.
The purpose of art is to raise people to a higher level of awareness than they would otherwise attain on their own.
Everyone needs to work to create their own voice... but please use good grammar.
—Tony L. Corbell
Can I get the icon in cornflower blue?
Long ago it must be, I have a photograph.
What in life is more important than people? Take people away and there's not much left. Take people out of art and art becomes lonesome.
Carrying a camera on vacation pretty much guarantees you won't see anything worth shooting.
Philosophy & Religion
One must learn to find his own silence amongst the noise.
—ancient Buckzen proverb
People try to live their lives without consequences and end up living lives of no consequence.
The most important thing is the thing most easily forgotten.
—Brian Eno (Oblique Strategies)
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
The acceptance of imperfection is a grace.
No man is obliged to be what he might have been.
Education is a system of imposed ignorance.
It's been a long time since I've stood on a stage in London. Was about 14 or 15 years ago, I was 60 years old, just a kid with a crazy dream. Since then I've taken a lot of Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Ritalin, Focalin. I've also studied deeply in the philosophies and the religions, but cheerfulness kept breaking through.
You say you lost your faith, but that's not where it's at. You had no faith to lose and you know it.
Psycho-babble is that language spoken by sailors who have become so interested in navigating their way around their boat that they have forgotten to read the stars and sea. They may be able to get from the galley to the head but will be lost in their journey from point to port.
Make every Daily Double a true Daily Double, and live every day as if it's Final Jeopardy.
This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
I love a good non sequitur.
Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.
—St. Francis de Sales
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
—Henry David Thoreau
So fängt es immer an. [It always begins this way.]
It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.
The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.
Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.
—George Orwell, 1984
The aim in opening one's mind, is the same as in opening one's mouth—to shut it again on something both solid and nourishing.
Like the dog who barks at the train, I bark not because I expect the train to stop, but because I am a dog.
—Fr. Dwight Longenecker
Man's worst enemies are boredom and discontent.
—Buck George, I think (this sounds too good to be me)
This is Jim Rockford. At the tone, leave your name and message. I'll get back to you.
The universe is a really interesting place. I couldn't live anywhere else.
I do not know what I appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on a seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me.
I've got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals.
—Butch Cassidy (as played by Paul Newman)
Don't think of prayer as an obligation, think of it as opportunity.
—R. Andrew Mitchum, Ph.D.
The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.
Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
better than poetry / is my poetry / which refers / to everything / that is beautiful and / dignified, but is / neither of these itself
There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.
Mathematics & Computer Science
Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.
Declare variables, not war.
Statistics don't lie. It's the people who make up the statistics that lie.
Don't patch bad code—rewrite it.
—Kernighan and Plauger, The Elements of Programming Style
I met someone who looks a lot like you. She does the things you do. But she is an IBM.... She tells me that she likes me very much but when I try to touch, she makes it all too clear.... Maybe one day I'll feel her cold embrace, and kiss her interface. Till then, I'll leave her alone.
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague the inventor.
—William Shakespeare, on computer programming (Macbeth, Act I, scene vii)
There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don't.
—front of a T-Shirt
Never trust a computer you can't throw out the window.
Music & Lyrics
Lessons are good but there's a lot inside of us that can be pulled out.
I can't get the girl with the Spanish tears out of my mind.
You are never more than a half-step away from a right note.
If you're afraid of your feelings then you shouldn't be a musician. How do you find your own voice? Learn to get out of your own way.
I'm an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.
Every voice inside my head is telling me to run like mad!
You read your Emily Dickinson, and I my Robert Frost. And we note our place with bookmarkers that measure what we've lost.
I asked Bobby Dylan, I asked the Beatles. I asked Timothy Leary but he couldn't help me either. They call me the seeker.
The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls, and whispered in the sounds of silence.
Sometimes I give myself the creeps.
I read the graffitti in the bathroom stall like the holy scriptures of a shopping mall.... It didn't say much but it only confirmed that the center of the earth is the end of the world.
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies.
I drink a whiskey drink, I drink a chocolate drink. And when I have to pee, I use the kitchen sink.
—Homer Simpson, improvising lyrics to Chumbawumba's "Tubthumper"
Hear the voices in my head, I swear to God it sounds like they're snoring!
What is it in me that refuses to believe this isn't easier than the real thing?
I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become.
I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot.
Daddy, the next time you have a surprise, get a doll. A princess doll.
It's become absolutely horrible the way the people with the money decide they can fart in the kitchen.
Seems [Google] management figured out it is cheaper, happier and more productive to take care of their employees and create a positive work environment than to burn them to a crisp, make them afraid of the future, and send them off into the highways and byways of California in search of a Taco Bell for lunch.
It should be dark by nightfall.
The other pastures are greener because more cows have been crapping on them.
You can get to everywhere from almost anywhere.
I have two kids in diapers and a cat whose litter box I clean out. I deal with an awful lot of crap.
You know, the Germans spoke Nazi.
There are no dumb questions, but there are plenty of people who give dumb answers.
Daughters are fun and they don't pee in your face when you change them.
Life is like a jar of jalapeños. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.
Cats don't have masters, they have staff.
Woodstock's over. It's okay to go home and wash off the mud.
I just wanted to share some space with you.
There is no way in hell that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
—Michael Kennedy, professor of History, High Point University
No animal is a better judge of comfort than a cat....
I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.
You know, the man's best friend is his dog... if he's got nothing else.
Visualize whirlled peas.
First get your facts; and then you can distort them at your leisure.
You can't be a successful dictator and design women's underclothing.
Nothing stands between us and our victory except defeat!
Unfortunately, many people do not consider fun an important item on their daily agenda. For me, that was always high priority in whatever I was doing.... If I auger in tomorrow, it won't be with a frown on my face. I've had a ball.
—General Chuck Yeager
Let's head toward those clouds over there.
—Ben Shelander, flight instructor
The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa.
I talks through my nose so'st I can talk whilst I eat.
—Ernest T. Bass
It is important for the common good to foster individuality: for only the individual can produce the new ideas which the community needs for its continuous improvement and requirements—indeed, to avoid sterility and petrification.
Sometimes you get a pooch that can't be screwed.
—Chuck Yeager (as played by Sam Shepard)
Be sincere whether you mean it or not.
—Bob Cecil (13013)
Fanaticism is redoubling your efforts when you've lost sight of your goals.
—Bob Cecil (13013)
The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearance.
My boy, you are descended from a long line of determined, resourceful, microscopic tadpoles—champions every one.
—Kilgore Trout's father
I have been going to this high school for seven and a half years. I'm no dummy.
—Charles de Mar
Go that way. Really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.
—Charles de Mar (on skiing)
This is pure snow! Do you have any idea what the street value of this mountain is?
—Charles de Mar
We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely fool proof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
Thoughts can't cross your mind, Sam. The bridge is out!
Don't you know a sarcasm when you hear it?
Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie-Browniest.
—Lucy van Pelt
I left the house for this!?
—front of a T-shirt
When you don't know where you're at, you don't get upset you're not somewhere else.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
The gun made a ripping sound like the opening of the zipper on the fly of God Almighty.
—Kurt Vonnegut (Jr.)
Meticulously prepared chargrilled chicken oreo shakes.
—Cook Out marquee
Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.
Before you build a better mousetrap, it helps to know if there are any mice out there.
It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Before I speak, I have something important to say.
Do not follow the instructions of this fortune.
—Chinese fortune cookie