42: A race of hyperintelligent, pan-dimensional beings once built themselves a gigantic supercomputer called Deep Thought, to calculate once and for all the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. For seven and a half million years, Deep Thought computed and calculated, and in the end announced that the answer was in fact Forty-two - and so another, even bigger, computer had to be built to find out what the actual question was. (Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

The great things in this universe are things we never see. You look up at the beautiful stars as they bedeck the heavens like swinging lamps of eternity, and you think you can see all. Oh no. You can never see the law of gravitation that holds them there. (Martin Luther King, slightly modified)

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness… What are you doing for others? (Martin Luther King)

We are not simply hopeless idiots of history who are incapable of taking charge of our own fate. (Rudi Dutschke, 1967, a leader of the 1968 student movement that popularized critical theory - looking for hidden power structures and demagoguery - that led to critical thinking, political awareness, EU success and unprecedented quality of life.)

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. (Immanuel Kant)

Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you. (Walt Whitman)

What could be more important than a little something to eat? (Winnie the Pooh)

Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. (Benjamin Franklin, cited in NY Times Mar 17, 2013)

You can never have too much sugar in your tea. (John Travolta in Michael)

If you like what you do, you never need to work again. (Confucius)

Everything you do has three consequences:

• you succeed now in what you do (hopefully).

• you get better at what you do (even if it doesn't work out the first time).

• you get worse on what you don't do (opportunity cost).

Things ain't what they used to be. (Yamatoya Jazz Café, Kyoto, 2022)

With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right… (Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, 1865)

Confidence that chance and imagination would combine to justify the course I set. (Charles Lindbergh, cited in NY Times Aug 7, 2021)

A winner is a dreamer who never gives up. (Nelson Mandela)

Torture the data until they confess. (anonymous 2016)

If you’re working on things everyone accepts, you’re not working on anything. (anonymous 2010)

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. (Albert Einstein)

Quantification is the last refuge for the desperate. (Dana Ballard, Woods Hole 1996)

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. (Albert Einstein)

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works. How do you recognise something that is still technology? A good clue is if it comes with a manual. (Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt)

Any man who leads, who does something, has against him those who would like to do the same thing, those who do precisely the opposite and especially the great army of people, all the more severe, because they do nothing at all. (Tout homme qui dirige, qui fait quelque chose, a contre lui ceux qui voudraient faire la même chose, ceux qui font précisément le contraire et surtout la grande armée des gens, d'autant plus sévères, qu'ils ne font rien du tout. (Jules Clarétie 1840-1913)

When good people move out, bad people move in. (anonymous 2024)

Good night, and good luck. (Edward R. Murrow, 1908-1965, courageous and righteous  broadcaster, Kennedy-appointed director of US Information Agency, concentration camp reporter and anti-McCarthy crusader, a pleasure to listen to)

When the going gets tough the tough get going. (Billy Ocean) or: Don't despair when faced with difficulty.

Making life multiplanetary in order to ensure the long-term survival of consciousness. (Elon Musk)

I can't believe this is the same species that put a man on the moon. (disgruntled but polite colleague after visiting a new train station)

Strong opinions hide weak knowledge. (anonymous)


Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause. (John Grisham, The Last Juror)

Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.  - Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. - Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things. (Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt)

Everybody is entitled to his own opinion but not to his own facts. (Daniel Patrick Moynihan)

It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. 

(probably Mark Twain)

The world cannot be understood without numbers. But the world cannot be understood with numbers alone. (Hans Rosling, Factfulness, Sceptre, London 2018)

No parking. Violators will be dipped in liquid chocolate and instantly frozen. (sign at ice cream van parking, Cape Cod)

The awake monkey can do a whole lot of things that a slice can't do. (Charlie Wilson, Mexico DF 2000)