mike's web log/quotes

advice computers editing education funny general language laws music politics reading religion science sports technology working writing (all)

You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.
-- Sam Levenson   advice | funny | education

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
-- Mark Twain   advice | funny

Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
-- Groucho Marx   funny | reading

I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
-- Hugh Laurie   funny

BORE, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
-- Ambrose Bierce   funny

EGOTIST, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
-- Ambrose Bierce   funny

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
-- Mark Twain   advice | funny | education

I have two very cogent reasons for not printing any list of subscribers; - one, that I have lost all the names, - the other, that I have spent all the money.
-- Samuel Johnson   general | funny

Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
-- Gene Fowler   writing | funny

You have what you have not lost;
you have not lost horns;
ergo, you have horns.

-- Anon.   funny

I yam what I yam.
-- Popeye   advice | general | funny

No one ever says, "It's only a game" when their team is winning.
-- George Carlin   general | funny | sports

I am not impressed by the Ivy League establishments. Of course they graduate the best -- it's all they'll take, leaving to others the problem of educating the country. They will give you an education the way the banks will give you money -- provided you can prove to their satisfaction that you don't need it.
-- Peter DeVries   education | general | funny

There's no such thing as fun for the whole family.
-- Jerry Seinfeld   general | funny

Methus'lah lived 900 years
Methus'lah lived 900 years
But who calls that livin'
When no gal will give in
To no man what's 900 years

-- Ira Gerschwin   general | funny

Advertising can be described as the science of arresting human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
-- Stephen Butler Leacock   general | funny

All the dreams I have in which we are successful are dreams in which we succeed in reducing the Yankees to a more appropriate stature in life.
-- Bill James   sports | funny

I don't need time. What I need is a deadline.
-- Duke Ellington   general | funny | advice

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
-- Douglas Adams   funny | writing

In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty.
-- Imbesi's Law of Conservation of Filth   general | funny | laws

The world is a spectacularly, unfairly biased towards morning people. I suspect that is because they got up first and had it all organised that way before anyone else was out of bed.
-- Charles Miller   funny | general

Seven Deadly Sins Rated
Sloth: Sloth is cheap, and easy to get. B+

Gluttony: Gluttony can be hard work. C+

Wrath: Unsociable, bad on the nerves, and drives property values down. D

Lust: Ah, lust. Putting the "deadly" back into the Seven Deadly Sins. B

Pride: My high school counselors were always pushing self-esteem on me. Were they pawns of the Adversary? C

Envy: All you have to do is covet something of someone else's and boom, you're a brimstone hors d'oeuvre. C-

Avarice: Greedy people inevitably end up looking goofy in public. D

-- Lore Fitzgerald Sjöberg   funny

First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure.
-- Mark Twain   general | funny

Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.
-- George Carlin   funny | general

Facts might be the best way to substantiate an argument, but lies are the next best thing.
-- Wes Boyer & Samuel Stoddard   funny

Technology smells fear.
-- William M. Akers [also: #]   computers | technology | funny

Go off, you young people, and make a disgrace of yourselves. It will make you better citizens in the end.
-- Garrison Keillor   advice | funny

I'm thinking I'd like to be God of Atheists, 'cause I'll bet there aren't that many duties, and I really value my free time.
-- Westur   religion | funny

German has done for consonants what Hawaiian has done for vowels.
-- Leo Kottke   language | funny

There are 10 types of people in this world -- those who read binary and those who don't.
-- Anon.   computers | funny

The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it's just sort of a tired feeling.
-- Paula Poundstone   funny

Author: A fool, who, not content with having bored those who have lived with him, insists on tormenting the generations to come.
-- Montesquieu   writing | funny

I'd rather be rich than stupid.
-- Jack Handy   funny

I'm writing a book. I have all the page numbers down, now I just have to fill in the rest.
-- Steven Wright   writing | funny

It's sort of romantic to buy a mooshy greeting card for your loved one, but to be really romantic, you should sign it.
-- Samuel Stoddard   funny

The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back. The brain has shut down. The flesh begins to soften. Nothing much new happens, and nothing is expected of you.
-- Mary Roach   general | funny

A person usually has two reasons for doing something: a good reason and the real reason.
-- Thomas Carlyle   general | funny

Steak and puns: a rare medium done well.
-- Richard Lederer   language | writing | funny

To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.
-- Jack Handy   funny

I bought a TV. It's like being born again, but this time retarded.
-- Rory Blyth   general | funny

In the beginning there was nothing, and God said, "Let there be light!" Then there was still nothing, but at least you could see it.
-- Flying Karamazov Brothers   religion | funny

Whenever someone asks me to define love, I usually think for a minute, then I spin around and pin the guy's arm behind his back. Now who's asking the questions?
-- Jack Handy   funny

When life hands you lemons, ask for a bottle of tequila and salt.
-- Richard Harter   advice | funny

I have a blog and a search engine, and I am not afraid to use 'em.
-- Michael Bérubé   writing | funny

Anything worth doing is worth doing nekked.
-- Graffito at the Tractor Tavern, Seattle   advice | funny

If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him do it. However, the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important.
-- John Perry   general | funny | advice

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
-- Mary Schmich   advice | funny

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
-- Steven Wright   funny | general | education

So often we rush through life, never pausing to notice the little things. The taste of a flower. The feel of wet mud against the roof of your mouth. The sound of one foot clapping. But it is these trivial things that make life worth living. Plus money, sex and liquor.
-- Leon Bambrick   general | funny

Placing an anti-procrastination tool on the internet is like hosting an alcoholics anonymous meeting inside a brewery.
-- Leon Bambrick   general | funny

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
-- Poul Anderson   general | funny | laws

I don't know how people can stand to drive at twenty miles an hour. It's dull. Really, really dull.
-- Rory Blyth   general | funny

The use of more than one exclamation point side-by-side, in any context (except comics), is a sign of mental insanity, a marketing degree from the University of Phoenix Online, or both.
-- Rory Blyth   writing | funny

For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three.
-- Alice Kahn   general | funny

Some people have a way with words, others not have way.
-- Steve Martin [attr]   writing | funny

I have the natural ability to become frustrated.
-- 7th grader   funny

The time-tested way to overcome language problems - the approach I used to learn French in the first place - is of course to find a volatile girlfriend who is fluent in the language. There is nothing like hysterical weeping over the phone at 3 a.m. to really flex your listening comprehension.
-- Maciej Ceglowski   language | funny | advice

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.
-- Robert Benchley   general | funny

As someone who observed a graduate department of English from the inside for six years, I can assure you that any correlation between the award of a Ph.D. and actual erudition is often coincidental.
-- John McIntyre   general | funny | education

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.

-- Arnold Lobel   reading | funny

Standard English is, of course, the version of the language that has resulted from years of hand-wringing about the speed with which it has changed.
-- Kitty Burns Florey   language | funny

Anybody who reads the newspaper can easily look at the high-tech industry and see that stupidity is like beer at an NFL football game: Half the people have got plenty of it and they keep spilling it on the other half.
-- Eric Sink   computers | funny

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?
-- Henry Ward Beecher   reading | funny

A new week always seems such a hopeful thing before reality sets in.
-- Mike Gunderloy   general | funny

One of the hazards of rearranging books is that it is nearly impossible to pick up a book without opening it and reading a bit. This may be pleasant and instructive, but it does rather slow the process down.
-- Bill Poser   general | funny

Like many people, I started blogging out of an urgent need to procrastinate.
-- Alex Ross   writing | funny

[I]f once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination. Once begin upon this downward path, you never know where you are to stop. Many a man has dated his ruin from some murder or other that perhaps he thought little of at the time.
-- Thomas De Quincey   general | funny

Teacher: a capacity for enthusiasm for the obvious.
-- Theodore Roethke   general | funny | education

Given a sufficiently large framework, any application can be a one-liner.
-- Leon Bambrick   computers | funny

Winning a Presidential election doesn't require being all things to all of the people all of the time, but it does require being some things to most of the people some of the time. It doesn't require saying one thing and also saying its opposite, but it does require saying more or less the same thing in ways that are understood in different ways.
-- Hendrik Hertzberg   politics | funny

The Internet owes its success to two pillars of human activity: masturbation and procrastination.
-- Chris Wilson   general | computers | funny

I just tricked my son into eating a corn dog by calling it a lollipop. Parenting is essentially just a series of lateral thinking puzzles.
-- Matthew Baldwin   funny | general

The hardest thing about writing is getting yourself into a state of not not writing.
-- Matthew Baldwin   writing | funny

Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia.
-- Joseph Wood Krutch   general | funny

In the early days, the chief engineer was very often also the chief test pilot. This tended to result in the elimination of poor engineering.
-- Igor Sikorsky, aviation pioneer   general | funny

It's amazing how many early advancements in math were based on gambling. I guess it's sort of the same historical relationship between video technology and pornography. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
-- Jeff Atwood   general | funny

It seems like the less a statesman amounts to the more he adores the flag.
-- Kin Hubbard   funny | politics

PRAY, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
-- Ambrose Bierce, the Devil's Dictionary   religion | funny

Anyone who has a favorite book hasn't read very many books.
-- John Cowan   reading | funny

It's probably unnecessary to point out that while Labrador Retrievers possess a cheery and endearing temperament, they are not Mensa candidates in the kingdom of canines.
-- Carl Hiassen   funny

That's the nice thing about historical fiction. The facts fit my needs.
-- Michael Covarrubias (wishydig)   funny | writing

The English language was carefully, carefully cobbled together by three blind dudes and a German dictionary.
-- Dave Kellett   language | funny

In criminal court, you see bad people at their best; in family court, you see good people at their worst.
-- Eugene Volokh (attr. to others)   general | funny

1) Everything that’s already in the world when you're born is just normal; 2) Anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it; 3) Anything that gets invented after you're thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it's been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.
-- Douglas Adams   general | funny

All quotations are copyright of their respective owners.