“We solved the ‘average temperature’ problem by using an anal probe: the astronaut’s body did the averaging.”
“Let the universe go on in exactly the same way it would have if that one critical moment had never occurred. Twenty years later, that was what he would desperately wish had happened twenty years ago, and twenty years before twenty years later happened to be right now. Altering the distant past was easy, you just had to think of it at the right time.”
“The day Al Gore was born there were 130,000 glaciers on Earth.
Today, only 130,000 remain.”
“What I’m really trying to show her is that she can’t continue to say these kinds of things on a campus that’s so liberal and diverse and tolerant.”
“If you do not like it here because some humorists you don’t like are making a newspaper, may I then say you can fuck off
—Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam
“My children are Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Russian, Jew, Mormons, descended from conquistadors, Vikings, cowboys, pioneers, and prophets, and we had Indian food for dinner last night before watching a Japanese TV show while I glued together pieces of a Spanish war game. My ancestors introduced the chili pepper to Thailand and my wife’s ancestors were legal to shoot on sight in Missouri. Who the hell do you think you are to tell an American not to culturally appropriate stuff?”
“The filmmakers claim to have shot this video while walking the streets of Manhattan for 10 hours, but over half of the shots in the video are actually taken from just one street, namely 125th St. in Harlem.”
“I think of it as competing for beer money; this keeps me steady on course. My purpose is to make what I write entertaining enough to compete with beer. Not to be as great as Shakespeare or as immortal as Homer but simply to write well enough to persuade the cash customer to spend money on one of my paperback reprints when he could spend it on beer.”
“If you had to lose to somebody, at least you know it was somebody better than you!”
“The fact is, guns do more for female empowerment than modern feminism which prefers government as their protector. But legal ownership gives you real power, equalizing the battle between you and evil. Ask any girl: The confidence from learning to shoot a pistol is far superior to any gender studies course, and a stalker is less likely to stalk if you can ventilate his groin. Which is why a whirring bullet is the ideal rape whistle and the real feminist icon should be Annie Oakley, not Sandra Fluke.”
“It’s important that when an officer does approach you to correct your behavior, that you respect them. That’s what democracy’s all about.”
—Flunking Civics: NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton excuses murder-by-cop
PROTIP: Turn data into big data by encoding it as XML.
“When my daughter started Krav Maga I explained the three rules:
1) Never hit first.
2) Always hit back.
3) If you knock them out you get ice cream.”
“The reason the first three Star Wars movies were so terrific, and the second three sucked so bad, is actually very simple. The first three were about rebels, shooting guns and driving fast, and speaking with American accents. The second three were about politicians, discussing treaties and holding court, and speaking with British accents.”
“What really bothered me is, the whole idea is that at a liberal arts college, we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion.”
“But we should not forget that he was in fact wrong about most things, not just about the totally impractical nature of his communist alternative.”
“I think I’m just getting better at knowing my abilities. Like, I don’t know how long it takes to cook a turkey, but I know exactly how long it takes me to set fire to the kitchen.”
“A previous version of this story incorrectly quoted Dropbox cofounder Drew Houston saying ‘anybody with nipples’ instead of ‘anybody with a pulse.’”
“She danced like one of those things they put outside of carwashes, the tubes with faces and arms attached to a fan. She had no mystery, no allure, no skill, no art, and her lunatic visage was so off-putting you were heartened by a sudden new-found certainty: an entire culture had realized that keeping your tongue extended like a basset hound with heat stroke was unbecoming, and unlikely to be repeated except as a sarcastic reference in Instagram selfies.”
“I asked him how to write a short story. He got a mildly startled look on his face, and said, ‘Write the last chapter of a novel.’”
“What’s the name for the fallacy where you assume everyone who disagrees with you is guilty of a fallacy?”
“It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that’, as if that gives them certain rights. It’s no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I’m offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what?”
“Psh! I could whup your cocky ass wearing peanut butter and moonbeams.”
—Anaïs Phalèse, from Curvy
“I am the senator, you are the citizen. You need to be quiet.”
“Sometimes there just isn’t a side to cheer for, something progressives fail to get because they think history is sentient and has favorites.”
“I once dropped an alien spacecraft on top of the main train station in Zürich because I didn’t like the floor tile they’d installed during a renovation.”
Snow in October is like coming home to find the locks changed and all your stuff in the yard. Summer isn’t just gone, it has dumped you.
Er. And it came to the great commandment in the king’s son. He answered and said, Drink, and I have set up?
Every time a couple making over $250,000 per year gets their taxes raised, a Democrat gets its wings.
“Chess ni matta wa arimasen!”
(“no backsies in chess!”)
—Muttley, (Earth)Man’s Best Friend
“Road works are scheduled on Bland Street all next week. On Monday, striping work will close one lane. On Tuesday, the entire street will be closed for repaving. On Friday, Consolidated Gas will be digging a new main.”
—Your tax dollars at work, courtesy of Dr. Boli
“Maybe directors like dictators because they understand the desire to have final cut.”
“No, this is not a bug. I have already set it to ‘WONTFIX’ in my mind.”
“Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive.”
“They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.”
“I know how to be subtle. That’s when I use chemical explosives instead of nuclear.”
—Sawtooth, master of subtlety, from Freefall
“My God, this is a speech filled with warmed over ideas, straw-men and catchphrases. At least it’s being delivered in a low energy, stumbling manner.”
“First, I would like to dispute the idea that Eolienne windmills aren’t profitable. Once one adds all the subsidies and financial support the industry receives from the French government and the European Community, it is losing very little money.”
“The answers to your Security Questions are case sensitive and cannot contain special characters like an apostrophe, or the words ‘insert,’ ‘delete,’ ‘drop,’ ‘update,’ ‘null,’ or ‘select.’”
“At around age 6 while living in Korea, I somehow came to have a spiffy catalog from America that listed all Fisher-Price toys that were available for mail-order. The catalog had all these incredible toys that neither I nor any of my friends have ever seen. I read that catalog so many times, imagining playing with those toys, until the catalog eventually disintegrated in my hands one day.
“The catalog was the book that confirmed to me — who was six, mind you — that America must be the best and the greatest country in the world. Later when I came to America, my faith was validated.”
Pre-re-undeinterlacing primary and secondary matchmaking parameters…
Land: burned; sea: boiled; unable to acquire sky, please wait…
“The average liberal thinks that if we’re nice enough, we can reach an understanding with Hugo Chavez or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck can’t be reasoned with.”
“All contract web developers are bling-happy assclowns with no concept of revision control or release management, who think 1,000 is a large number.”
—revealed truths, #17a
“… you know frankly, going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind.”
“A rule of thumb that has worked well for me is that if I’m excited to play around with something, it probably doesn’t belong in production.”
“End of another year and once again hydrogen is top of the periodic table. I don’t know why the others bother.”
“I am a scientist, not a climatologist, so I don’t dabble in climatology.”
“This is what you do in a game, you run around and talk to everyone with punctuation over their heads until you win.”
“A study by German scientists showed that 10 minutes a day of ogling women’s breasts by men was as good at warding off heart disease, high blood pressure and stress as 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.”
—Phony science news that should have been true…
“Police in Washington state captured a schizophrenic killer who had escaped during an outing from the mental hospital where he had been committed to a state fair.”
“Is that something we can change? We have friends in the White House now!”
“I think the irony — and you wouldn’t know this from reading your publication’s editorial page — is that I actually would like to see a relatively light touch when it comes to the government.”
“The corn ethanol industry has to figure out another way to process corn into ethanol that is not so corn-intensive.”
—A Kernel of Truth from the California EPA
Maybe I’m old-school, but “President fires CEO” looks as wrong as “Pope fires Missile.” Does not compute.
“Later in the afternoon, the President and the First Lady will attend a reception with the National Newspaper Publisher Association in the State Dining Room, where they will be presented the Newsmaker of the Year award. This event is closed press.”
“Broken gets fixed. Shoddy lasts forever.”
—Unknown developer, quoted here
“Hogger is end game content for bank alts and forum trolls.”
—One from the forums
Obama team probe of Obama team finds no Obama team impropriety
—blog post from The LA Times
, on the selling of a Senate seat
“Travis is a man so dull he has other people’s nightmares.”
“The Universe giveth with one hand and bitchslappeth with the other.”
“This is worse than a divorce. I’ve lost half my net worth and I still have a wife.”
—A market trader in Iceland, 10/17/2008
“If we both liked exactly the same things, one of us would not be necessary.”
“What’s the difference between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama?”
“One is a well turned-out, good-looking, and let’s be honest, pretty sexy piece of eye-candy.
“The other kills her own food.”
“In the last 24 hours everyone has been offering an opinion on Chris Hoy. But what does Chris Hoy think of Chris Hoy?”
“Chris Hoy thinks that the day Chris Hoy refers to Chris Hoy in the third person is the day that Chris Hoy disappears up his own arse.”
“Torture is any experience so horrible that no-one would consider trying it out simply for the purpose of writing a Vanity Fair
article about what it’s like.”
“…every time you turn on the television and you listen to one of those people dissin’ her, they all have a college degree. They’ve all got a good job. They all got health care. And they’re having no trouble fillin’ up their gas tank.”
—Bill Clinton, class warrior
“While I suppose it’s still true that money cannot buy happiness, it does seem to be possible for money to buy electronics which dispense
“Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.”
“I am not particularly brave around [live] pigs. I know how it feels to have an angry sow come after you and send you clambering up a fence. Still, give me a big sturdy assistant and a small enough pig and the right number of vicious dogs, and I think I could manage to bring home the bacon. In fact, I think that’s how Chelsea Clinton was conceived.”
“Oh, I see, NSFW stands for ‘Not Safe For Work’…”
“I have, to some degree, underestimated the difference between shaking the hand of a head of state and having a check written.”
—Nicholas Negroponte explains
the new funding model of his Government-Owned Student Laptop project
“Hokey dialog and fancy editing are no match for a good director at your side, kid.”
—Han Solo reviews Episode I-III
“For every software problem, there is a solution that is free, Open Source, and will probably compile on your system if you sort out the package dependencies, hack on the Makefile, and find the unsupported patch that adds the features you need.”
“You know, they say life is like a box of Men’s Pocky…
…you never know when your robot girl will get kidnapped.”
“President Bush isn’t a fascist, and I can prove it.
“We’ve seen what American bookstores and publications and universities do when confronted with real fascists: they knuckle under. You might not be able to find those Danish cartoons anyplace respectable, but you’ll sure find lots of anti-Bush stuff.
“Ipso facto, America is doing just fine, thankyouverymuch.”
“A recent study at my ol’ Alma Mater has concluded that when whiny kids grow up, they become conservatives. When they don’t, they become liberals.”
“People who want to build from source should want to send me patches if they think something’s wrong. People who don’t want to do that should install binaries.”
—Jamie Zawinski, on the “hey I tried this and it didn’t work, just thought you’d like to know” school of bug reporting
“Sir, you can’t translate poetry into prose. That’s why it’s poetry.”
—Literary critic Mark Schorer, acting as an expert witness
Mom: …and you have to hold my hand before we go out into the street.
Little girl: Best fucking advice ever.
“What I have ascertained is not that PCs as we know them lack good design, but that PCs as we know them have hardly any design to speak of.”
“I’m tired of thinking about ponies! Now it’s time to kill!
“A separate government report last month showed that the median price for a new home fell 6 percent in September to $215,700. Half the homes sold for more than the median and half for less.”
“It seems there’s a slight race condition that happens more than 50% of the time.”
—Robert Explains It All…
“She knew how to embroider and milk a cow.”
—Connie Willis, Doomsday Book
, via Thog
“Until your daddy learns that it’s not ‘fun’ to kill, keep your doggies and kitties away from him. He’s so hooked on killing defenseless animals that they could be next!”
—PETA ‘educates’ children about fishing
Last week, at a summit featuring such noted nutrition experts as SpongeBob SquarePants and Jared the Subway sandwich guy, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that forbids public schools from selling sodas.
…Intelligent design is not an argument of the same character as these controversies. It is not a scientific argument at all, but a religious one. It might be worth discussing in a class on the history of ideas, in a philosophy class on popular logical fallacies, or in a comparative religion class on origin myths from around the world. But it no more belongs in a biology class than alchemy belongs in a chemistry class, phlogiston in a physics class or the stork theory in a sex education class. In those cases, the demand for equal time for “both theories” would be ludicrous. Similarly, in a class on 20th-century European history, who would demand equal time for the theory that the Holocaust never happened?
“The arts community is generally dominated by liberals because if you are concerned mainly with painting or sculpture, you don’t have time to study how the world works. And if you have no understanding of economics, strategy, history and politics, then naturally you would be a liberal.”
“Well sir, I’d tell you, if I got my news from the newspapers I’d be pretty depressed as well.”
“I feel really bad about destroying all the work we’ve done for the last seven years. It really is unfortunate that I melted everything we’ve ever created. I think that we need to look at the bright side though. I think we all learned an important lesson about backing up your files.”
“Do you see? Even I had trouble installing Linux, and I hung my machine about three times just because a standard install got confused.
“If I have trouble installing Linux, something is wrong. Very wrong.”
“I like the idea of having Internet service on my flights, but having wheels, ultimately, is more important.”
Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to make it so that the baby giraffe falls several feet and lands on its head at birth.
“You can’t spell Sith without s, h, i, and t.”
That’s just cruel—it’s like wrapping condoms in babies.
Some years ago, actress Dawn Wells visited one of the remotest islands in the already remote Solomon Islands; she was, in fact, the first non-native woman to set foot there. The chief’s wife stared at Wells in surprise when she came out of her hut. “Mary Ann?” she asked in amazement.
“If you call that interfering, there’s something wrong with your Funk ‘n’ Wagnalls.”
—Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, deftly evading the primitive censorship of 1979 television
“I don’t even consider it heckling unless they stab me.”
“Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election) and we want to educate and enlighten them.”
“You can drive from coast to coast across the middle of the country and never pass through a single county that voted for John Kerry.”
“Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any old nut — a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut.”
—Michael Moore, working to ensure a Republican win in 2008
“There he was, OBL, all tan and rested and on videotape (hey, did you get the feeling that he had a bootleg of my movie? Are there DVD players in those caves in Afghanistan?)”
“‘I dwell in darkness without you,’ and it went away
—Sorsha, uttering what may be the only decent line in Willow
“These are serious times and the senator is not a serious man. And so we have a campaign that has a sharper position on Mary Cheney’s lesbianism and the deficiencies of Laura Bush’s curriculum vitae than on the central question of the age.”
“It was not an act of hate. My mom called me a terrorist. It wasn’t terrorism; it was activism. It was for a cause…”
—Dustin Dzuck, age 17, explaining why he spray-painted a swastika
on a pro-Bush yard sign. He’ll fit right in at Berkeley.
“I’d be delighted to live in a country where happily married gay couples had closets full of assault weapons.”
“Thailand has become the world centre of penis reattachment surgery…”
—latest news from Bangkok (no, really
“If people have to choose between George Bush and a crowd of furious bicyclists whose biggest claim to fame is that one of their blogs was mentioned in passing by Al Franken on that one AM radio station nobody turns on because it’s about as exciting as listening to NPR at 50% speed, they’ll either choose George Bush or they’ll choose to look away when the riot police start caving in skulls with their nightclubs.”
“People sometimes have to correct my English. I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it.”
—George W. Bush
Several campaign officials and advisers say they recognize the need to have an “adult” traveling with the candidate — as one put it, “someone who can tell him to shut up, or change something if and when that is necessary”…
In Snohomish County, Wash., 50 protested at a rally this month against electronic [voting] machines. County Auditor Bob Terwilliger accepted their petition of 20,000 names. But he said he couldn’t help chuckling as he perused it. The “signatures” were electronic and on a computer printout he couldn’t verify.
“I grabbed the arm of [NYC Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik], and I said, Bernie, thank God that George Bush is president of the United States.”
—Rudy Giuliani, on his first reaction to 9/11
“Listen, baby — these tabloid newspapers — these photographers — the press — these people do not care about us. They could care less what actually happens to us. So you and I have to take very good care of our life. On our own. We can’t expect them to do it for us. We know our values - and we know who we are.”
—Bogie to Bacall, on marriage
“We actually misnamed the war on terror. It ought to be the Struggle Against Ideological Extremists Who Do Not Believe in Free Societies Who Happen to Use Terror as a Weapon to Try to Shake the Conscience of the Free World.”
—George W. Bush, leader of the free world, unsung satirist
“Despite what the Wash Times article has to say about assassinations and truck bombs and chemical attacks, the paragraph your favorite leftist blogs will be obsessing about tomorrow morning is the one with the quote from the intelligence official who says Al Qaeda wants Bush to lose. That’s what’s really troubling, you see. Because even though everyone and their mother knows he’s right, goddamnit, why did he have to go and politicize it???
Jason Byrne: You talk about Muhammad Ali in your latest DVD and how frightening it was to be in the ring with him. But do you reckon you could beat him now that the two of you shake like maracas?
Richard Pryor: That’s your fuckin’ question?
, demonstrating how presidential candidates should handle interviews
I’ve been buying this organic bread recently. I’m not a big organic guy (could you guess?) but it’s low-carb and yet doesn’t taste like cardboard. Several times, however, the bread has gone moldy within a day or two. Yuck. So I took some back to the store all indignant about how I only just bought this bread and now its moldy. The clerk explained it to me — heh, it’s organic — no preservatives, get it? Oh, that’s what preservatives do. I will never question civilization again.
“Sadly, I know many people who used to smoke marijuana. None of them leads a happy life any longer. One is now employed as a rocket scientist and the other works for Microsoft. Nothing says ‘I used to smoke dope’ more than working for Microsoft.”
“Iraqi women’s sports — destroyed under Uday’s rule because athletes feared he would rape them — are recovering.”
“…Engines which couldn’t pull a lesbian off your sister…”
“Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper? Of course it is.”
—Daniel Okrent, Public Editor, New York Times, 7/25/2004
“It’s a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian. It can cloud my enjoyment. I’d rather not know.”
—Linda Ronstadt, exiting stage Left
“…debating Fahrenheit 911 is a lot like chatting up a fish stick: even if you score, you’re scoring with a tube of hastily processed, frozen breaded cod bits.”
“Ralph Nader has slavery reparations on his platform, which makes me think he’s not serious. If he thought he could win he wouldn’t even say that.”
“Lauren’s heartfelt, pain-filled account is the sort of thing that makes even the most hard-nosed skeptic and science buff want to become a con artist who bilks movie stars and fashion moguls out of their hard-earned (or easily inherited) wealth.”
“Wait until France gets a hard shot in the nose. Wait until France reacts with some nasty work. They’ll get a golf-clap from the chattering class over here and a you-go-girl from Red America. France could nuke an Algerian terrorist camp and the rest of the world would tut-tut for a day, then ask if the missiles France used were for sale. And of course the answer would be oui.”
“Astrology may be slightly damaging, but mostly it is just sad. So sad, that people are ignorant of the true glories of the stars, and of the stupendous distances and times that separate them, while they bother with the frivolous inventions of a charlatan like Jonathan Cainer.”
For a start, they pay a hefty premium for “organic” seeds. What on earth can that mean? The mass of a cabbage seed is of the order of a milligram, while the cabbage it produces is of the order of a kilogram. If the seed was “contaminated” with say one percent of a deadly poison, the cabbage would contain about ten parts per billion of the dreaded stuff. There is no known non-living substance (even the most deadly, Botox, which Californian women inject into their faces) that can produce any symptoms at such a concentration.
“We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”
David Letterman: “How do we know what’s in your film [Fahrenheit 9/11] is true?”
Michael Moore: “Because I got most of my information from The New York Times.”
Audience: Wild laughter.
Letterman: Strains to repress laughing
Moore: “What’s so funny?”
—Moore on truth, 6/18/2004
The company distributing filmmaker Michael Moore’s Bush-bashing movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” says it won’t reject an offer of help from Middle East terrorist organization Hezbollah.
“Stop listening to celebrities. They do what they do for money — that’s all. I don’t even know why you’re listening to me. I’ve done commercials for both Coke and Pepsi. Truth is, I can’t even taste the difference, but Pepsi paid me last, so there it is.”
“If the European Union were a state in the USA it would belong to the poorest group of states.”
BW&BK: “There are a lot of authors, especially a guy like Noam Chomsky, who believes a lot of consent in the US is manufactured by politicians and corporations —”
JS: “Talk about one of the fuckin’ ultra leftist spin doctors of the world, Noam Chomsky. You buy into that crap?”
BW&BK: “Well, I read a lot of his stuff.”
JS: “But do you believe it all?”
BW&BK: ”I have a degree in political science, so I believe some of it.”
JS: “Hmm. Yeah. Well. And how old are you?”
BW&BK: “I’m 22.”
These tortured souls can vaguely guess, lying in bed late at night, that even the lowest and most common working man or woman in America can, once a year, travel to Las Vegas and live a few days in luxury unknown to the grandest Caliph in the very flower of their history.
You’ve got to admit, if that were you — that would suck.
“Hillary Clinton’s 506-page memoir has come out. So much of her personality shines through, that in the end, you, too, will want to sleep with an intern.”
“Even if we were to discover enormous warehouses full of nuclear weapons, the war still wouldn’t have been justified.”
—Ted Rall, choosing sides
When Hoover Institution historian Robert Conquest used newly available data from the Soviet Union to update The Great Terror
, his account of Stalin’s murderous purges of the 1930s, his publishers asked for a new title. “How about I Told You So, You Fucking Fools
?” Conquest suggested.
If you want me to explain the undead or Johnny Depp—sorry, mate, you’re on your own.
“In sports we have a tendency to overuse terms like courage and bravery and heroes, and then someone like Pat Tillman comes along and reminds us what those terms really mean.”
“Misys gives Pecker head job”
In Katy schools, throwing food, carrying a pager and having a skateboard are all listed in the student code of conduct as offenses that can warrant calling in the police.
“A fish, a barrel, a smoking gun.”
—Glenn Reynolds, on fisking Howard Dean
I hate to say it, but that’s what it comes to in Ashcroft’s Amerikkka: if you express callous contempt for four lynched Americans strung up by a raving mob, there’s a chance you might lose advertisers looking to court a moderate audience.
—Lileks on Kos
“It’s not against the law, but it is absolutely deplorable to have a bird of prey within a few feet of the patient under anesthesia.”
“Illegal alien — cease and desist immediately! Return to your hive and await nuclear sterilization!”
—Judge Dredd vs. Aliens
A story headlined ‘Syria seeks our help to woo US’ in Saturday’s Weekend Australian misquoted National Party senator Sandy Macdonald. The quote stated: “Syria is a country that has been a bastard state for nearly 40 years” but should have read “Syria is a country that has been a Baathist state for nearly 40 years.” The Australian regrets any embarrassment caused by the error.
—Correction in The Australian
When the darkness enveloped
the hidden world, the sudden
post-war development of this
new continent was gathering
strange phenomenon and people
wandeing in the darkness
who are not human, regardless
of the season was spring.
—Engrish from Chrno Crusade Episode 0 (copied from a screenshot)
Dave Wilson, Nova Scotia’s opposition Liberal party health critic, thinks the government’s health officials have lost their marbles on this one — although he can’t say that because “losing your marbles” is one of the government’s blacklisted phrases.
—The National Post, on government censorship of “outdated, negative, inappropriate” language
“I am ready to enlist in the Kerry Army.”
—Gray Davis, encouraging Californians to vote for Bush
“A sale piece is expected. Let’s hurry at a store hard.”
—Engrish from chrno.com
“We were playing a little bit with where science ends and speculation begins.”
“The other party’s nomination battle is still playing out. The candidates are an interesting group with diverse opinions. They’re for tax cuts and against them. They’re for NAFTA and against NAFTA. They’re for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act. They’re in favor of liberating Iraq, and opposed to it. And that’s just one senator from Massachusetts.”
—George W. Bush, 2/23/2004
“It seems to me that the price of eternal vigilance is liberty.”
When we see womankind taking tobacco in the privacy of its own chamber, with its feet on the fender, and “none to supervise;” more particularly when we see it solacing itself with a pipe, then but not till then, shall we be forced to admit “the sex” to the privilege of full equality with us — a state of things which masculine prejudice still considers must be the highest circumstance of earthly bliss.
—from Tobacco Leaves, edited by John Bain Jr., 1903
“As for smoking bans in ‘public places,’ there are three reasons why they’re unjustified. First, pubs and clubs are actually private property. Second, bars don’t have to be smoky any more, with the air-cleaning technology available. But most importantly: no danger from ‘second-hand smoke’ has ever been proven. Unlike most journalists, politicians and, regrettably, doctors, I’ve gone through all of the more than 40 studies. Only a few show any risk, and it’s statistically insignificant. There are higher risks from drinking milk, using mouthwash and keeping pet birds. I swear I’m not making this up! People who use this sort of ‘junk science’ to stigmatise smokers and to nag and bully us out of our pleasures should be bloody well ashamed of themselves.”
“We’re going to tell all those white boys who run the Republican Party to stay out of our bedrooms.”
“You can say that it’s great that Saddam is gone and I’m sure that a lot of Iraqis feel it is great that Saddam is gone,” Dean said yesterday in answer to a question in Manchester. “But a lot of them gave their lives. And their living standard is a whole lot worse now than it was before.”
“The top one percent in this country pays very much less than ten percent, very much less than five percent.”
—Al Sharpton, off by an order of magnitude
“We landed on Mars that day — why aren’t they talking about that?”
—Britney questions the newsworthiness of her marriage
How are we supposed to find hidden and buried WMDs in Iraq if, wherever one digs there, we just keep finding mass graves?
“Why didn’t you fight?” one Governing Council member asked Hussein as their meeting ended. Hussein gestured toward the U.S. soldiers guarding him and asked his own question: “Would you fight them?”
—from The Washington Post
“Speaking as a lifelong female, it was very encouraging to discover that there’s nothing as weird about guns as some guys are about guns.”
—Teresa Neilsen Hayden
“Offending readers isn’t the issue; it’s offending them without sufficient justification.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer Editor Doug Clifton
“The only people who would be hurt by abandoning the Kyoto Protocol would be several thousand people who make a living attending conferences on global warming.”
—Prof. Kirill Kondratyev
Well, you know, we wouldn’t play Sun City when we were asked. And we were the only ones who were asked to play Sun City. No one in the video that said, “We ain’t gonna play Sun City” was asked!
“I get the feeling that some Democrats had so much hatred for Bush that they had no hatred left over for Saddam.”
SNOW: There were claims before the war by Secretary of State Colin Powell that Iraq had weaponized and ready-to-use chemical weapons. He was very confident about the existence of chemical weapons. You have not yet found actual chemical weapons, correct?
KAY: Tony, it’s important to stress the word “yet.” We have not only Secretary Powell, we have Iraqi generals telling us that they had them. Unfortunately, they’re not able to tell us where they are now. And that’s why we’re looking so hard.
“…only Democrats and Dictators are afraid of elections.”
“All of our research says even the guys that were taking it for free are saying, ‘You know what? For 99 cents a song, I’m in.’”
—Randy Lennox, CEO, Universal Music Canada
“This recall is bigger than California. What’s happening here is part of an ongoing national effort by Republicans to steal elections they cannot win.”
—Gray Davis, village idiot
“Life begins at conception. Human
life begins at age 25.”
“If your workplace is safe; if your children go to school rather than being forced into labor; if you are paid a living wage, including overtime; if you enjoy a 40-hour week and you are allowed to join a union to protect your rights — you can thank liberals. If your food is not poisoned and your water is drinkable — you can thank liberals.”
—What color is the sky on your planet?
, Joe Conason
“On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.”
— Charles Babbage
“Creation science” has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and because good teachers understand exactly why it is false. What could be more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectual heritage — good teaching — than a bill forcing honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise?
—Stephen Jay Gould, in The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, page 186
“The suspect was clearly an unbalanced psycho… so many kids today are. I suspect he was a Satanist too, a belief he probably picked up by reading those comic books.”
—from Matt Howarth’s Crazy For The Girl
“OSU Academy requires rape, cultural training”
—headline from Ohio State University’s The Lantern
“A splendid weapon for defending oneself in a crowded elevator.”
—General Creighton Abrams, describing the M1911A1 pistol
Attempts to breed hairless tailless cat have not been generally welcomed.
“Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.”
“My buddies are being killed by supporting all the Linux variants. It is hard to build a product on top of Linux because every other user compiles his own kernel and there are many different species. The main hope for Oracle, DB2, and SQLserver is that the open-source community will continue to fragment. Human nature being what it is, I think Oracle is safe.”
“It was very difficult to get the Irish girls to expose their breasts.”
—Insightful commentary from John Boorman, director of Zardoz
“If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
—The Dalai Lama, The Seattle Times, May 15, 2001
According to the Insurance Information Institute, approximately 75,000 people per year require emergency room treatment for injuries caused by lawn mowers.
“Okay, what’s my motivation for sex?”
“You’re a man, dear; anything short of death is motivation for sex.”
—Where The Boys Aren’t
Why then do we hear so much bad news about the environment? Why do polls consistently show that people believe that the conditions are getting worse and not better? Not to put too fine a point on it, it is because environmental activists often lie, in big ways and small, in order to create the false impression that we are going from one environmental crisis to another and will soon become the victims of an environmental cataclysm.
—Alex Kozinski, “Gore Wars,” Michigan Law Review
…blaming Potter for not being Tolkien strikes me as about as meaningful as crying, “This cat! It is not a cheesecake!”
“Can you get 12 pounds of feathers out of a goose?”
“I got them in there, didn’t I?”
—Peter Marshall and Paul Lynde
“Dis iz de greatest ting sinz sliced schtupid people on toast!!”
—Warlike Martian Babes, from Xxxenophile
“burglars are members of the public who must be protected from violent householders”
—UK Home Office lawyers,
redefining the concept of justice
Herewith the 3000-year history of alternative medicine in 30 seconds:
1000 BCE: “Eat this root.”
100 CE: “That root’s heathen, don’t eat it. Say this prayer.”
1800 CE: “That prayer is superstition, don’t say it. Drink this snake-oil.”
1900 CE: “That snake-oil is phony, don’t drink it. Take this pill.”
2002 CE: “That pill is artificial, don’t take it. Eat this root.”
“If even one kid is saved from emptying his wallet into the livingroom coinslot that is the retail Xbox, and instead turned on to how they can contribute to free software for the enrichment of everyone’s lives, all of our work will have been worthwhile.”
—“What color is the sky on your planet?”,
“They [La Prensa] accused us of suppressing freedom of expression. This was a lie and we could not let them publish it.”
“Care to expound, or are you just going to leave us all with the impression that you’re merely an inarticulate asshole?”
“Lest I leave the wrong impression, I’m not inarticulate.”
—Jay Maynard vs. Walker Magnum
“Be warned that being an expert is more than understanding how a system is supposed to work. Expertise is gained by investigating why a system doesn’t work.”
“Apart from the side-mounted railguns, I demand very little from my car but that it get me around in reasonable comfort and dubious safety.”
—J Greely, who has completely forgotten when, where, or why he said this
“…it has been estimated that less than 20% of children have had more than a fourth grade education.”
—“The Etiology and Treatment of Childhood,” from Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality
“My full name is Gertie Ball, but please, just call me Gertie. You’re about to discover that I’m pretty amazing!! You can have fun with me in as many ways as you can imagine!
“When you inflate me a little, I’m real soft and flexible; inflate me a lot and I keep growing ’til I’m big and round. You’ll find out that you can squeeze me, roll me, bounce me, throw me; you can even wrinkle me, smash me and kick me!!
“You can play with me anywhere—inside or out. You’ll really like how different I feel. You can even wash me when I’m dirty and I’ll be clean as new for you.
“Big or little, day or night, rain or shine, I’m your Gertie Ball!!”
—More wisdom from The Gertie Ball, found in a toy store
“My full name is Gertie Ball, but please, just call me Gertie. I want to be your special play ball. Play with me any way you want: Grab Me, Throw Me, Feel Me, Catch Me, Touch Me, Kick Me, Squeeze Me, Bounce Me. I know once you pick me up, you’ll never want to put me down. But if you do, I’ll bounce right back to you.”
—The Gertie Ball, found in a toy store
“‘Moral?’ The outworn hypocrisy of ‘morality’ is for the weak and foolish. We live in a modern, dynamic, masculine society. It is free and independent — it needs nothing but itself.”
“Are you saying it can’t get a date?”
—Leutnant Winzig and Udo, from The Desert Peach
Reading Usenet with Emacs gives new meaning to the phrase “garbage collecting.”
Just goes to show you how hairy sendmail is — a single misplaced open-bracket, and suddenly your site switches into Craig-Shergold mode…
—Daniel F. Boyd
Don’t get suckered by the comments — they can be terribly misleading. Debug only the code.
The usual advice is RTFM, but perhaps your manual omitted this information.
“Can I open my eyes yet?”
“That depends. Are you waiting for us to be anywhere near ground?”
“Keep your eyes shut.”
—from Skin Deep, by “David Peters”
“That’s not one of meat’s many uses.”
—Ben, from Full Throttle
“If it’s green it’s trouble, if it’s fried get double.”
—Roy Biggins, from Wings
“Lap dancing is the ultimate nightmare of man.
It’s porn that can see you.”
—Steve, from Coupling
Anything from 45 to 75 characters is widely regarded as a satisfactory length of line for a single-column page set in a serifed text face in a text size… But even with generous leading, a line that averages more than 75 or 80 characters is likely to be too long for continuous reading.
—Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
“Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.”
“They laughed at Fulton, they laughed at Bell, they even laughed at Edison. But this was genuine, heartfelt laughter… robust rolling waves of it, from deep down… the kind where you know they really mean it.”
“…everyone else just throws a tantrum when their articles aren’t replied to. You have to bring up artistic integrity.”
“The possible ramifications of my actions are endless.
Do you want half of a ham sandwich?”
“Hi. I’m subbing for Cliff Stoll on this panel, and will be ready to do so just as soon as I drink a case of Jolt Cola and stick my finger in an electric socket.”
“Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife!”
—Bert, age 5, from Kids Talk About Love
“I must say, though, that I wonder how many of you support the use of cats for scientific research?”
“We tried it once but the cats really weren’t up to it, bad writing skills and few worthy PHD’s among them. I don’t think any of them actually got tenure, which is sort of sad.”
“‘You’re the System Administrator?’ Yes. I’ve been asked this before, and I think it mainly is because my head is shaved and I wear jeans and t-shirts to work everyday.”
“Who else would you be?”
—Jeff Blaine vs. Joshua Geller
bread: this should not happen.
—BSD dump utility
“We realized that what it all comes down to economically is that the performance is a promotional device for a t-shirt selling business.”
—Homer Flynn of The Cryptic Corporation, on touring
“This goes neatly to the theory that information does not, in fact, want to be free; information wants to be about $5.”
Virgo: (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Certain shortcomings in your education and
upbringing cause you to read meaning into the relationships among
various celestial bodies.
“If this power could be used for good, it wouldn’t be this power.”
—Teresa Nielsen Hayden
“As evil plans go, it doesn’t suck.”
“I don’t trust anyone whose job was created after 1990.”
“Anything’s good when it’s deep-fried, even brains.
Maybe especially brains.”
“No, no, information really does want to be free.
“Just like shoes want to be rich, fences want to be happy, clouds want to be famous, and pencils just want to be loved uncritically.”
“Are you wobbling on your heels? How high are they?”
“I don’t know…two, three inches. You’re a guy — you’d know inches better than I would.”
—Melissa Joan Hart, on fashion
“When I first got this, I thought ‘No way! this is too good to be true!’ But then I decided to solve mathematically whether this would really work, since as an Mech. Engr. student (with high GPA) I basically kick ass at math. I was able to PROVE that this, in fact, REALLY DOES WORK!”
—Mark Schmidt, posting the “Dave Rhodes” pyramid-scam letter
“I’ll use vi, that’s easy.”
“J, sometimes a feather is just a feather.”
“Brian, that’s disgusting; put that in your mouth!”
“Like the ski resort full of girls looking for husbands and husbands looking for girls, the situation is not as symmetrical as it might seem.”
“I feared that the committee would decide to go with their previous decision unless I credibly pulled a full tantrum.”
“Genuinely skillful use of obscenities is uniformly absent on the Internet.”
“And it’s so portable — at least, it worked on every VAX that I tried it on.”
“When you don’t have enough space for Emacs, you don’t have enough space.”
“Crossposting isn’t inherently evil, in the same sense that necrophilia doesn’t really hurt anybody. One wonders only whether it’s appropriate to the occasion.”
“Anyone who takes this seriously deserves to.”
“It’s like the female version of male menopause.”
“There are two schools of thought on Nostradamus: either (1) he had supernatural powers which enabled him to prophesy the future with uncanny accuracy, or (2) he did for bullshit what Stonehenge did for rocks.”
—Cecil Adams, The Straight Dope
We recently had problems with the disk used to store 4BSD system bug reports, and have lost approximately one year’s worth. We would very much appreciate the resubmission of any bug reports sent to us since January of 1991.
—Keith Bostic, 2/18/92
“Everyone can be a diplomat with properly doused phraseology.”
“This will be dynamically handled, possibly correctly, in 4.1.”
—Dan Davison on streams configuration in SunOS 4.0
“Unix is so cryptic — you have to type ‘ls’ to do a ‘d’.”
Thou patch a bug, and violates too much a bug, and dump it to develop the rest.
The larger the effect on sentences can be dramatically random.
“I’m not so dumb I take my own advice.”
At the USENIX contest for “name your favorite proposed window manager feature,” whose results were announced at 2pm yesterday, one of the entries of note was ‘dbwm,’ the Dan Bernstein window manager: it argues with you for 10 weeks whenever you want to move a window.
“Debbie Gibson and dog food. I’ve always dreamed of this.”
—Julie Brown, Just Say Julie!
“It’s hard to create a truly bad printing configuration, but you may find the following rules helpful.”
—UNIX System Administration Handbook (first edition), Chapter 11
“Psychosomatic creativity! Ingenious!”
—Bruce Gilbert and Savage Henry
“The motto of the place is ‘Knowledge in pursuit of excellence.’
Not truth, not beauty, not art or science. Just excellence.”
“Since I have only received 4 replies as of today I must assume I did not post to a wide enough variety of groups. Here it is reposted for all.”
—Michael R. Johnston
“Attention everybody! Rules state that occupancy by more than one (1) reality at a time is dangerous and unlawful!”
—Munden’s Bar, Singles Night
“I don’t like his filed teeth and his watery, yellow eyeballs!”
“You can’t even see his face from here!”
“I don’t like his belligerent elbows, his threatening ear-backs!”
—Sam and Max
“Relax; you’re in better hands than you should be.”
—Captain Munro, Congo
The mark is not set now.