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[dragonfly.git] / games / fortune / datfiles / fortunes
1This fortune brought to you by:
2$FreeBSD: src/games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes,v 2002/10/19 05:10:08 fanf Exp $
1de703da 3$DragonFly: src/games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes,v 1.2 2003/06/17 04:25:23 dillon Exp $
5 -- Gifts for Children --
7This is easy. You never have to figure out what to get for children,
8because they will tell you exactly what they want. They spend months
9and months researching these kinds of things by watching Saturday-
10morning cartoon-show advertisements. Make sure you get your children
11exactly what they ask for, even if you disapprove of their choices. If
12your child thinks he wants Murderous Bob, the Doll with the Face You
13Can Rip Right Off, you'd better get it. You may be worried that it
14might help to encourage your child's antisocial tendencies, but believe
15me, you have not seen antisocial tendencies until you've seen a child
16who is convinced that he or she did not get the right gift.
17 -- Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"
19 -- Gifts for Men --
21Men are amused by almost any idiot thing -- that is why professional
22ice hockey is so popular -- so buying gifts for them is easy. But you
23should never buy them clothes. Men believe they already have all the
24clothes they will ever need, and new ones make them nervous. For
25example, your average man has 84 ties, but he wears, at most, only
26three of them. He has learned, through humiliating trial and error,
27that if he wears any of the other 81 ties, his wife will probably laugh
28at him ("You're not going to wear THAT tie with that suit, are you?").
29So he has narrowed it down to three safe ties, and has gone several
30years without being laughed at. If you give him a new tie, he will
31pretend to like it, but deep inside he will hate you.
33If you want to give a man something practical, consider tires. More
34than once, I would have gladly traded all the gifts I got for a new set
35of tires.
36 -- Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"
38 *** NEWSFLASH ***
39Russian tanks steamrolling through New Jersey!!!! Details at eleven!
43Das machine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy
44schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und corkenpoppen mit
45spitzensparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken by das dummkopfen. Das
46rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets. Relaxen und
47vatch das blinkenlights!!!
49 Chapter 1
51The story so far:
53 In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot
54of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
55 -- Douglas Adams, "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"
59Don't some of these fortunes just drive you nuts?! Wouldn't you like
60to see some of them deleted from the system? You can! Just mail to
61"fortune" with the fortune you hate most, and we MIGHT make sure it
62gets expunged.
64 Get GUMMed
65 --- ------
66The Gurus of Unix Meeting of Minds (GUMM) takes place Wednesday, April
671, 2076 (check THAT in your perpetual calendar program), 14 feet above
68the ground directly in front of the Milpitas Gumps. Members will grep
69each other by the hand (after intro), yacc a lot, smoke filtered
70chroots in pipes, chown with forks, use the wc (unless uuclean), fseek
71nice zombie processes, strip, and sleep, but not, we hope, od. Three
72days will be devoted to discussion of the ramifications of whodo. Two
73seconds have been allotted for a complete rundown of all the user-
74friendly features of Unix. Seminars include "Everything You Know is
75Wrong", led by Tom Kempson, "Batman or Cat:man?" led by Richie Dennis
76"cc C? Si! Si!" led by Kerwin Bernighan, and "Document Unix, Are You
77Kidding?" led by Jan Yeats. No Reader Service No. is necessary because
78all GUGUs (Gurus of Unix Group of Users) already know everything we
79could tell them.
80 -- Dr. Dobb's Journal, June '84
82 Pittsburgh Driver's Test
84(7) The car directly in front of you has a flashing right tail light
85 but a steady left tail light. This means
87 (a) one of the tail lights is broken; you should blow your horn
88 to call the problem to the driver's attention.
89 (b) the driver is signaling a right turn.
90 (c) the driver is signaling a left turn.
91 (d) the driver is from out of town.
93The correct answer is (d). Tail lights are used in some foreign
94countries to signal turns.
96 Pittsburgh Driver's Test
98(8) Pedestrians are
100 (a) irrelevant.
101 (b) communists.
102 (c) a nuisance.
103 (d) difficult to clean off the front grille.
105The correct answer is (a). Pedestrians are not in cars, so they are
106totally irrelevant to driving; you should ignore them completely.
108 Has your family tried 'em?
112 Heavens, they're tasty and expeditious!
114 They're made from whole wheat, to give shy persons the
115 strength to get up and do what needs to be done.
119 Buy them ready-made in the big blue box with the picture of the
120 biscuit on the front, or in the brown bag with the dark stains
121 that indicate freshness.
124 or
127In the beginning there was data. The data was without form and null,
128and darkness was upon the face of the console; and the Spirit of IBM
129was moving over the face of the market. And DEC said, "Let there be
130registers"; and there were registers. And DEC saw that they carried;
131and DEC separated the data from the instructions. DEC called the data
132Stack, and the instructions they called Code. And there was evening
133and there was morning, one interrupt ...
134 -- Rico Tudor
137 by Mark Isaak
139 Long ago, in a finite state far away, there lived a JOVIAL
140character named Jack. Jack and his relations were poor. Often their
141hash table was bare. One day Jack's parent said to him, "Our matrices
142are sparse. You must go to the market to exchange our RAM for some
143BASICs." She compiled a linked list of items to retrieve and passed it
144to him.
145 So Jack set out. But as he was walking along a Hamilton path,
146he met the traveling salesman.
147 "Whither dost thy flow chart take thou?" prompted the salesman
148in high-level language.
149 "I'm going to the market to exchange this RAM for some chips
150and Apples," commented Jack.
151 "I have a much better algorithm. You needn't join a queue
152there; I will swap your RAM for these magic kernels now."
153 Jack made the trade, then backtracked to his house. But when
154he told his busy-waiting parent of the deal, she became so angry she
155started thrashing.
156 "Don't you even have any artificial intelligence? All these
157kernels together hardly make up one byte," and she popped them out the
158window ...
160 A Severe Strain on the Credulity
162As a method of sending a missile to the higher, and even to the highest
163parts of the earth's atmospheric envelope, Professor Goddard's rocket
164is a practicable and therefore promising device. It is when one
165considers the multiple-charge rocket as a traveler to the moon that one
166begins to doubt ... for after the rocket quits our air and really
167starts on its journey, its flight would be neither accelerated nor
168maintained by the explosion of the charges it then might have left.
169Professor Goddard, with his "chair" in Clark College and countenancing
170of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to
171re-action, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum
172against which to react ... Of course he only seems to lack the
173knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.
174 -- New York Times Editorial, 1920
178If all the salmon caught in Canada in one year were laid end to end
179across the Sahara Desert, the smell would be absolutely awful.
183There is so much sand in Northern Africa that if it were spread out it
184would completely cover the Sahara Desert.
186 Another Glitch in the Call
187 ------- ------ -- --- ----
188 (Sung to the tune of a recent Pink Floyd song.)
190We don't need no indirection
191We don't need no flow control
192No data typing or declarations
193Did you leave the lists alone?
195 Hey! Hacker! Leave those lists alone!
198 All in all, it's just a pure-LISP function call.
199 All in all, it's just a pure-LISP function call.
201 Answers to Last Fortune's Questions:
203(1) None. (Moses didn't have an ark).
204(2) Your mother, by the pigeonhole principle.
205(3) I don't know.
206(4) Who cares?
207(5) 6 (or maybe 4, or else 3). Mr. Alfred J. Duncan of Podunk,
208 Montana, submitted an interesting solution to Problem 5.
209(6) There is an interesting solution to this problem on page 1029 of my
210 book, which you can pick up for $23.95 at finer bookstores and
211 bathroom supply outlets (or 99 cents at the table in front of
212 Papyrus Books).
216Go placidly amid the noise and waste,
217And remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
218Avoid quiet and passive persons, unless you are in need of sleep.
219Rotate your tires.
220Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself,
221And heed well their advice -- even though they be turkeys.
222Know what to kiss -- and when.
223Remember that two wrongs never make a right,
224But that three do.
225Wherever possible, put people on "HOLD".
226Be comforted, that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment,
227And despite the changing fortunes of time,
228There is always a big future in computer maintenance.
230 You are a fluke of the universe ...
231 You have no right to be here.
232 Whether you can hear it or not, the universe
233 Is laughing behind your back.
234 -- National Lampoon
236 Double Bucky
237 (Sung to the tune of "Rubber Duckie")
239Double bucky, you're the one!
240You make my keyboard lots of fun
241 Double bucky, an additional bit or two:
243Control and Meta side by side,
244Augmented ASCII, nine bits wide!
245 Double bucky, a half a thousand glyphs, plus a few!
247Double bucky, left and right
248OR'd together, outta sight!
249 Double bucky, I'd like a whole word of
250 Double bucky, I'm happy I heard of
251 Double bucky, I'd like a whole word of you!
253 -- (C) 1978 by Guy L. Steele, Jr.
255 Gimmie That Old Time Religion
256We will follow Zarathustra, We will worship like the Druids,
257Zarathustra like we use to, Dancing naked in the woods,
258I'm a Zarathustra booster, Drinking strange fermented fluids,
259And he's good enough for me! And it's good enough for me!
260 (chorus) (chorus)
262In the church of Aphrodite,
263The priestess wears a see-through nightie,
264She's a mighty righteous sightie,
265And she's good enough for me!
266 (chorus)
268CHORUS: Give me that old time religion,
269 Give me that old time religion,
270 Give me that old time religion,
271 'Cause it's good enough for me!
274The Beverly Hills Freudians tied the Chicago Rogerians 0-0 last
275Saturday night. The match started with a long period of silence while
276the Freudians waited for the Rogerians to free associate and the
277Rogerians waited for the Freudians to say something they could
278paraphrase. The stalemate was broken when the Freudians' best player
279took the offensive and interpreted the Rogerians' silence as reflecting
280their anal-retentive personalities. At this the Rogerians' star player
281said "I hear you saying you think we're full of ka-ka." This started a
282fight and the match was called by officials.
285Twas FORTRAN as the doloop goes
286 Did logzerneg the ifthen block
287All kludgy were the function flows
288 And subroutines adhoc.
290Beware the runtime-bug my friend
291 squrooneg, the false goto
292Beware the infiniteloop
293 And shun the inprectoo.
295 Safety Tips for the Post-Nuclear Existence
296 Tip #1: How to tell when you are dead.
298(1) Little things start bothering you: little things like worms, bugs,
299 ants.
300(2) Something is missing in your personal relationships.
301(3) Your dog becomes overly affectionate.
302(4) You have a hard time getting a waiter.
303(5) Exotic birds flock around you.
304(6) People ignore you at parties.
305(7) You have a hard time getting up in the morning.
306(8) You no longer get off on cocaine.
308 Safety Tips for the Post-Nuclear Existence
309(1) Never use an elevator in a building that has been hit by a nuclear
310 bomb; use the stairs.
311(2) When you're flying through the air, remember to roll when you hit
312 the ground.
313(3) If you're on fire, avoid gasoline and other flammable materials.
314(4) Don't attempt communication with dead people; it will only lead to
315 psychological problems.
316(5) Food will be scarce; you will have to scavenge. Learn to
317 recognize foods that will be available after the bomb: mashed
318 potatoes, shredded wheat, tossed salad, ground beef, etc.
319(6) Put your hand over your mouth when you sneeze; internal organs
320 will be scarce in the post-nuclear age.
321(7) Try to be neat; fall only in designated piles.
322(8) Drive carefully in "Heavy Fallout" areas; people could be
323 staggering illegally.
324(9) Nutritionally, hundred dollar bills are equal to ones, but more
325 sanitary due to limited circulation.
326(10) Accumulate mannequins now; spare parts will be in short supply on
327 D-Day.
329 The STAR WARS Song
330 Sung to the tune of "Lola", by the Kinks:
332I met him in a swamp down in Dagobah
333Where it bubbles all the time like a giant cabinet soda
334 S-O-D-A soda
335I saw the little runt sitting there on a log
336I asked him his name and in a raspy voice he said Yoda
337 Y-O-D-A Yoda, Yo-Yo-Yo-Yo Yoda
339Well I've been around but I ain't never seen
340A guy who looks like a Muppet but he's wrinkled and green
341 Oh my Yoda, Yo-Yo-Yo-Yo Yoda
342Well I'm not dumb but I can't understand
343How he can raise me in the air just by raising his hand
344 Oh my Yoda, Yo-Yo-Yo-Yo Yoda, Yo-Yo-Yo-Yo Yoda
346 The Three Major Kind of Tools
348* Tools for hitting things to make them loose or to tighten them up or
349 jar their many complex, sophisticated electrical parts in such a
350 manner that they function perfectly. (These are your hammers, maces,
351 bludgeons, and truncheons.)
353* Tools that, if dropped properly, can penetrate your foot. (Awls)
355* Tools that nobody should ever use because the potential danger is far
356 greater than the value of any project that could possibly result.
357 (Power saws, power drills, power staplers, any kind of tool that uses
358 any kind of power more advanced than flashlight batteries.)
359 -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
361 (to "The Caissons Go Rolling Along")
362Scratch the disks, dump the core, Shut it down, pull the plug
363Roll the tapes across the floor, Give the core an extra tug
364And the system is going to crash. And the system is going to crash.
365Teletypes smashed to bits. Mem'ry cards, one and all,
366Give the scopes some nasty hits Toss out halfway down the hall
367And the system is going to crash. And the system is going to crash.
368And we've also found Just flip one switch
369When you turn the power down, And the lights will cease to twitch
370You turn the disk readers into trash. And the tape drives will crumble
371 in a flash.
372Oh, it's so much fun, When the CPU
373Now the CPU won't run Can print nothing out but "foo,"
374And the system is going to crash. The system is going to crash.
376 'Twas the Night before Crisis
378'Twas the night before crisis, and all through the house,
379 Not a program was working not even a browse.
380The programmers were wrung out too mindless to care,
381 Knowing chances of cutover hadn't a prayer.
382The users were nestled all snug in their beds,
383 While visions of inquiries danced in their heads.
384When out in the lobby there arose such a clatter,
385 I sprang from my tube to see what was the matter.
386And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
387 But a Super Programmer, oblivious to fear.
388More rapid than eagles, his programs they came,
389 And he whistled and shouted and called them by name;
390On Update! On Add! On Inquiry! On Delete!
391 On Batch Jobs! On Closing! On Functions Complete!
392His eyes were glazed over, his fingers were lean,
393 From Weekends and nights in front of a screen.
394A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
395 Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread...
397 William Safire's Rules for Writers:
399Remember to never split an infinitive. The passive voice should never
400be used. Do not put statements in the negative form. Verbs have to
401agree with their subjects. Proofread carefully to see if you words
402out. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal
403of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing. A writer must
404not shift your point of view. And don't start a sentence with a
405conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a
406sentence with.) Don't overuse exclamation marks!! Place pronouns as
407close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more
408words, to their antecedents. Writing carefully, dangling participles
409must be avoided. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a
410linking verb is. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing
411metaphors. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky. Everyone should
412be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their
413writing. Always pick on the correct idiom. The adverb always follows
414the verb. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek
415viable alternatives.
417 A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling
418 by Mark Twain
420 For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped
421to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer
422be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained
423would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2
424might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the
425same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with
426"i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.
427 Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear
428with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12
429or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants.
430Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi
431ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz
432ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.
433 Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud
434hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.
437\a\a\a\a *** System shutdown message from root ***
439System going down in 60 seconds
443 "... The name of the song is called 'Haddocks' Eyes'!"
444 "Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?" Alice said, trying to
445feel interested.
446 "No, you don't understand," the Knight said, looking a little
447vexed. "That's what the name is called. The name really is, 'The Aged
448Aged Man.'"
449 "Then I ought to have said "That's what the song is called'?"
450Alice corrected herself.
451 "No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The song is
452called 'Ways and Means': but that's only what it is called you know!"
453 "Well, what is the song then?" said Alice, who was by this time
454completely bewildered.
455 "I was coming to that," the Knight said. "The song really is
456"A-sitting on a Gate": and the tune's my own invention."
457 -- Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"
459 A disciple of another sect once came to Drescher as he was
460eating his morning meal. "I would like to give you this personality
461test", said the outsider, "because I want you to be happy."
462 Drescher took the paper that was offered him and put it into
463the toaster -- "I wish the toaster to be happy too".
465 A doctor, an architect, and a computer scientist were arguing
466about whose profession was the oldest. In the course of their
467arguments, they got all the way back to the Garden of Eden, whereupon
468the doctor said, "The medical profession is clearly the oldest, because
469Eve was made from Adam's rib, as the story goes, and that was a simply
470incredible surgical feat."
471 The architect did not agree. He said, "But if you look at the
472Garden itself, in the beginning there was chaos and void, and out of
473that, the Garden and the world were created. So God must have been an
475 The computer scientist, who had listened to all of this said,
476"Yes, but where do you think the chaos came from?"
478 A man goes to a tailor to try on a new custom-made suit. The
479first thing he notices is that the arms are too long.
480 "No problem," says the tailor. "Just bend them at the elbow
481and hold them out in front of you. See, now it's fine."
482 "But the collar is up around my ears!"
483 "It's nothing. Just hunch your back up a little ... no, a
484little more ... that's it."
485 "But I'm stepping on my cuffs!" the man cries in desperation.
486 "Nu, bend you knees a little to take up the slack. There you
487go. Look in the mirror -- the suit fits perfectly."
488 So, twisted like a pretzel, the man lurches out onto the
489street. Reba and Florence see him go by.
490 "Oh, look," says Reba, "that poor man!"
491 "Yes," says Florence, "but what a beautiful suit."
492 -- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
494 A master was explaining the nature of Tao to one of his
495novices. "The Tao is embodied in all software -- regardless of how
496insignificant," said the master.
498 "Is Tao in a hand-held calculator?" asked the novice.
500 "It is," came the reply.
502 "Is the Tao in a video game?" continued the novice.
504 "It is even in a video game," said the master.
506 "And is the Tao in the DOS for a personal computer?"
508 The master coughed and shifted his position slightly. "The
509lesson is over for today," he said.
510 -- "The Tao of Programming"
512 A musician of more ambition than talent composed an elegy at
513the death of composer Edward MacDowell. She played the elegy for the
514pianist Josef Hoffman, then asked his opinion. "Well, it's quite
515nice," he replied, but don't you think it would be better if ..."
516 "If what?" asked the composer.
517 "If ... if you had died and MacDowell had written the elegy?"
519 A novel approach is to remove all power from the system, which
520removes most system overhead so that resources can be fully devoted to
521doing nothing. Benchmarks on this technique are promising; tremendous
522amounts of nothing can be produced in this manner. Certain hardware
523limitations can limit the speed of this method, especially in the
524larger systems which require a more involved & less efficient
525power-down sequence.
526 An alternate approach is to pull the main breaker for the
527building, which seems to provide even more nothing, but in truth has
528bugs in it, since it usually inhibits the systems which keep the beer
531 A priest was walking along the cliffs at Dover when he came
532upon two locals pulling another man ashore on the end of a rope.
533"That's what I like to see", said the priest, "A man helping his fellow
535 As he was walking away, one local remarked to the other, "Well,
536he sure doesn't know the first thing about shark fishing."
538 After his Ignoble Disgrace, Satan was being expelled from
539Heaven. As he passed through the Gates, he paused a moment in thought,
540and turned to God and said, "A new creature called Man, I hear, is soon
541to be created."
542 "This is true," He replied.
543 "He will need laws," said the Demon slyly.
544 "What! You, his appointed Enemy for all Time! You ask for the
545right to make his laws?"
546 "Oh, no!" Satan replied, "I ask only that he be allowed to
547make his own."
548 It was so granted.
549 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
551 An architect's first work is apt to be spare and clean. He
552knows he doesn't know what he's doing, so he does it carefully and with
553great restraint.
554 As he designs the first work, frill after frill and
555embellishment after embellishment occur to him. These get stored away
556to be used "next time". Sooner or later the first system is finished,
557and the architect, with firm confidence and a demonstrated mastery of
558that class of systems, is ready to build a second system.
559 This second is the most dangerous system a man ever designs.
560When he does his third and later ones, his prior experiences will
561confirm each other as to the general characteristics of such systems,
562and their differences will identify those parts of his experience that
563are particular and not generalizable.
564 The general tendency is to over-design the second system, using
565all the ideas and frills that were cautiously sidetracked on the first
566one. The result, as Ovid says, is a "big pile".
567 -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"
569 An old Jewish man reads about Einstein's theory of relativity
570in the newspaper and asks his scientist grandson to explain it to him.
571 "Well, zayda, it's sort of like this. Einstein says that if
572you're having your teeth drilled without Novocain, a minute seems like
573an hour. But if you're sitting with a beautiful woman on your lap, an
574hour seems like a minute."
575 The old man considers this profound bit of thinking for a
576moment and says, "And from this he makes a living?"
577 -- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
579 "And what will you do when you grow up to be as big as me?"
580asked the father of his little son.
581 "Diet."
583 Before he became a hermit, Zarathud was a young Priest, and
584took great delight in making fools of his opponents in front of his
586 One day Zarathud took his students to a pleasant pasture and
587there he confronted The Sacred Chao while She was contentedly grazing.
588 "Tell me, you dumb beast," demanded the Priest in his
589commanding voice, "why don't you do something worthwhile? What is your
590Purpose in Life, anyway?"
591 Munching the tasty grass, The Sacred Chao replied "MU". (The
592Chinese ideogram for NO-THING.)
593 Upon hearing this, absolutely nobody was enlightened.
594 Primarily because nobody understood Chinese.
595 -- Camden Benares, "Zen Without Zen Masters"
599Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
600A medley of extemporanea;
601And love is thing that can never go wrong;
602And I am Marie of Roumania.
603 -- Dorothy Parker
605 Deck Us All With Boston Charlie
607Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
608Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
609Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
610Swaller dollar cauliflower, alleygaroo!
612Don't we know archaic barrel,
613Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou.
614Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
615Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!
616 -- Walt Kelly
618 During a grouse hunt in North Carolina two intrepid sportsmen
619were blasting away at a clump of trees near a stone wall. Suddenly a
620red-faced country squire popped his head over the wall and shouted,
621"Hey, you almost hit my wife."
622 "Did I?" cried the hunter, aghast. "Terribly sorry. Have a
623shot at mine, over there."
625 Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles,
626called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you
627have been drinking. Electrons travel at the speed of light, which in
628most American homes is 110 volts per hour. This is very fast. In the
629time it has taken you to read this sentence so far, an electron could
630have traveled all the way from San Francisco to Hackensack, New Jersey,
631although God alone knows why it would want to.
632 The five main kinds of electricity are alternating current,
633direct current, lightning, static, and European. Most American homes
634have alternating current, which means that the electricity goes in one
635direction for a while, then goes in the other direction. This prevents
636harmful electron buildup in the wires.
637 -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
639 Excellence is THE trend of the '80s. Walk into any shopping
640mall bookstore, go to the rack where they keep the best-sellers such as
641"Garfield Gets Spayed", and you'll see a half-dozen books telling you
642how to be excellent: "In Search of Excellence", "Finding Excellence",
643"Grasping Hold of Excellence", "Where to Hide Your Excellence at Night
644So the Cleaning Personnel Don't Steal It", etc.
645 -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
647 Festivity Level 1: Your guests are chatting amiably with each
648other, admiring your Christmas-tree ornaments, singing carols around
649the upright piano, sipping at their drinks and nibbling hors
651 Festivity Level 2: Your guests are talking loudly -- sometimes
652to each other, and sometimes to nobody at all, rearranging your
653Christmas-tree ornaments, singing "I Gotta Be Me" around the upright
654piano, gulping their drinks and wolfing down hors d'oeuvres.
655 Festivity Level 3: Your guests are arguing violently with
656inanimate objects, singing "I can't get no satisfaction," gulping down
657other peoples' drinks, wolfing down Christmas tree ornaments and
658placing hors d'oeuvres in the upright piano to see what happens when
659the little hammers strike.
660 Festivity Level 4: Your guests, hors d'oeuvres smeared all over
661their naked bodies are performing a ritual dance around the burning
662Christmas tree. The piano is missing.
664 You want to keep your party somewhere around level 3, unless
665you rent your home and own Firearms, in which case you can go to level
6664. The best way to get to level 3 is egg-nog.
670Say my love is easy had,
671 Say I'm bitten raw with pride,
672Say I am too often sad --
673 Still behold me at your side.
675Say I'm neither brave nor young,
676 Say I woo and coddle care,
677Say the devil touched my tongue --
678 Still you have my heart to wear.
680But say my verses do not scan,
681 And I get me another man!
682 -- Dorothy Parker
684 "For I perceive that behind this seemingly unrelated sequence
685of events, there lurks a singular, sinister attitude of mind."
687 "Whose?"
689 "MINE! HA-HA!"
691 "Gee, Mudhead, everyone at More Science High has an
692extracurricular activity except you."
693 "Well, gee, doesn't Louise count?"
694 "Only to ten, Mudhead."
696 -- Firesign Theater
700On this day, New York City hotel detectives burst in and caught then-
701Senator Warren G. Harding in bed with an underage girl. He bought them
702off with a $20 bribe, and later remarked thankfully, "I thought I
703wouldn't get out of that under $1000!" Always one to learn from his
704mistakes, in later years President Harding carried on his affairs in a
705tiny closet in the White House Cabinet Room while Secret Service men
706stood lookout.
708 Here is the fact of the week, maybe even the fact of the
709month. According to probably reliable sources, the Coca-Cola people
710are experiencing severe marketing anxiety in China.
711 The words "Coca-Cola" translate into Chinese as either
712(depending on the inflection) "wax-fattened mare" or "bite the wax
714 Bite the wax tadpole.
715 There is a sort of rough justice, is there not?
716 The trouble with this fact, as lovely as it is, is that it's
717hard to get a whole column out of it. I'd like to teach the world to
718bite a wax tadpole. Coke -- it's the real wax-fattened mare. Not bad,
719but broad satiric vistas do not open up.
720 -- John Carrol, San Francisco Chronicle
722 Home centers are designed for the do-it-yourselfer who's
723willing to pay higher prices for the convenience of being able to shop
724for lumber, hardware, and toasters all in one location. Notice I say
725"shop for", as opposed to "obtain". This is the major drawback of home
726centers: they are always out of everything except artificial Christmas
727trees. The home center employees have no time to reorder merchandise
728because they are too busy applying little price stickers to every
729object -- every board, washer, nail and screw -- in the entire store ...
730 Let's say a piece in your toilet tank breaks, so you remove the
731broken part, take it to the home center, and ask an employee if he has
732a replacement. The employee, who has never is his life even seen the
733inside of a toilet tank, will peer at the broken part in very much the
734same way that a member of a primitive Amazon jungle tribe would look at
735an electronic calculator, and then say, "We're expecting a shipment of
736these sometime around the middle of next week".
737 -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
739 How many seconds are there in a year? If I tell you there are
7403.155 x 10^7, you won't even try to remember it. On the other hand,
741who could forget that, to within half a percent, pi seconds is a
743 -- Tom Duff, Bell Labs
745 Hug O' War
747I will not play at tug o' war.
748I'd rather play at hug o' war,
749Where everyone hugs
750Instead of tugs,
751Where everyone giggles
752And rolls on the rug,
753Where everyone kisses,
754And everyone grins,
755And everyone cuddles,
756And everyone wins.
757 -- Shel Silverstein
759 Human thinking can skip over a great deal, leap over small
760misunderstandings, can contain ifs and buts in untroubled corners of
761the mind. But the machine has no corners. Despite all the attempts to
762see the computer as a brain, the machine has no foreground or
763background. It can be programmed to behave as if it were working with
764uncertainty, but -- underneath, at the code, at the circuits -- it
765cannot simultaneously do something and withhold for later something that
766remains unknown. In the painstaking working out of the specification,
767line by code line, the programmer confronts an awful, inevitable truth:
768The ways of human and machine understanding are disjunct.
769 -- Ellen Ullman, "Close to the Machine"
771 "I cannot read the fiery letters," said Frito Bugger in a
772quavering voice.
773 "No," said GoodGulf, "but I can. The letters are Elvish, of
774course, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Mordor, which
775I will not utter here. They are lines of a verse long known in
778 "This Ring, no other, is made by the elves,
779 Who'd pawn their own mother to grab it themselves.
780 Ruler of creeper, mortal, and scallop,
781 This is a sleeper that packs quite a wallop.
782 The Power almighty rests in this Lone Ring.
783 The Power, alrighty, for doing your Own Thing.
784 If broken or busted, it cannot be remade.
785 If found, send to Sorhed (with postage prepaid)."
786 -- Harvard Lampoon, "Bored of the Rings"
788 I disapprove of the F-word, not because it's dirty, but because
789we use it as a substitute for thoughtful insults, and it frequently
790leads to violence. What we ought to do, when we anger each other, say,
791in traffic, is exchange phone numbers, so that later on, when we've had
792time to think of witty and learned insults or look them up in the
793library, we could call each other up:
795 You: Hello? Bob?
796 Bob: Yes?
797 You: This is Ed. Remember? The person whose parking space you
798 took last Thursday? Outside of Sears?
799 Bob: Oh yes! Sure! How are you, Ed?
800 You: Fine, thanks. Listen, Bob, the reason I'm calling is:
801 "Madam, you may be drunk, but I am ugly, and ..." No, wait.
802 I mean: "you may be ugly, but I am Winston Churchill
803 and ..." No, wait. (Sound of reference book thudding onto
804 the floor.) S-word. Excuse me. Look, Bob, I'm going to
805 have to get back to you.
806 Bob: Fine.
807 -- Dave Barry, "$#$%#^%!^%&@%@!"
809 "I don't know what you mean by `glory,'" Alice said
810 Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't --
811till I tell you. I meant `there's a nice knock-down argument for
813 "But glory doesn't mean `a nice knock-down argument,'" Alice
815 "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful
816tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor
818 "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean
819so many different things."
820 "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master--
821that's all."
822 -- Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"
824 "I quite agree with you," said the Duchess; "and the moral of
825that is -- `Be what you would seem to be' -- or, if you'd like it put
826more simply -- `Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it
827might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not
828otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be
830 -- Lewis Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland"
832 If you're like most homeowners, you're afraid that many repairs
833around your home are too difficult to tackle. So, when your furnace
834explodes, you call in a so-called professional to fix it. The
835"professional" arrives in a truck with lettering on the sides and
836deposits a large quantity of tools and two assistants who spend the
837better part of the week in your basement whacking objects at random
838with heavy wrenches, after which the "professional" returns and gives
839you a bill for slightly more money than it would cost you to run a
840successful campaign for the U.S. Senate.
841 And that's why you've decided to start doing things yourself.
842You figure, "If those guys can fix my furnace, then so can I. How
843difficult can it be?"
844 Very difficult. In fact, most home projects are impossible,
845which is why you should do them yourself. There is no point in paying
846other people to screw things up when you can easily screw them up
847yourself for far less money. This article can help you.
848 -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
850 In a forest a fox bumps into a little rabbit, and says, "Hi,
851junior, what are you up to?"
852 "I'm writing a dissertation on how rabbits eat foxes," said the
854 "Come now, friend rabbit, you know that's impossible!"
855 "Well, follow me and I'll show you." They both go into the
856rabbit's dwelling and after a while the rabbit emerges with a satisfied
857expression on his face.
858 Comes along a wolf. "Hello, what are we doing these days?"
859 "I'm writing the second chapter of my thesis, on how rabbits
860devour wolves."
861 "Are you crazy? Where is your academic honesty?"
862 "Come with me and I'll show you." As before, the rabbit comes
863out with a satisfied look on his face and a diploma in his paw.
864Finally, the camera pans into the rabbit's cave and, as everybody
865should have guessed by now, we see a mean-looking, huge lion sitting
866next to some bloody and furry remnants of the wolf and the fox.
868The moral: It's not the contents of your thesis that are important --
869it's your PhD advisor that really counts.
872Four be the things I am wiser to know:
873Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
875Four be the things I'd been better without:
876Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.
878Three be the things I shall never attain:
879Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.
881Three be the things I shall have till I die:
882Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.
884 It was the next morning that the armies of Twodor marched east
885laden with long lances, sharp swords, and death-dealing hangovers. The
886thousands were led by Arrowroot, who sat limply in his sidesaddle,
887nursing a whopper. Goodgulf, Gimlet, and the rest rode by him, praying
888for their fate to be quick, painless, and if possible, someone else's.
889 Many an hour the armies forged ahead, the war-merinos bleating
890under their heavy burdens and the soldiers bleating under their melting
892 -- The Harvard Lampoon, "Bored of the Rings"
894 Love's Drug
896My love is like an iron wand
897 That conks me on the head,
898My love is like the valium
899 That I take before my bed,
900My love is like the pint of scotch
901 That I drink when I be dry;
902And I shall love thee still, my dear,
903 Until my wife is wise.
905 Murray and Esther, a middle-aged Jewish couple, are touring
906Chile. Murray just got a new camera and is constantly snapping
907pictures. One day, without knowing it, he photographs a top-secret
908military installation. In an instant, armed troops surround Murray and
909Esther and hustle them off to prison.
910 They can't prove who they are because they've left their
911passports in their hotel room. For three weeks they're tortured day
912and night to get them to name their contacts in the liberation
913movement.. Finally they're hauled in front of a military court,
914charged with espionage, and sentenced to death.
915 The next morning they're lined up in front of the wall where
916they'll be shot. The sergeant in charge of the firing squad asks them
917if they have any last requests. Esther wants to know if she can call
918her daughter in Chicago. The sergeant says he's sorry, that's not
919possible, and turns to Murray.
920 "This is crazy!" Murray shouts. "We're not spies!" And he
921spits in the sergeants face.
922 "Murray!" Esther cries. "Please! Don't make trouble."
923 -- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
925 No violence, gentlemen -- no violence, I beg of you! Consider
926the furniture!
927 -- Sherlock Holmes
929 Now, you might ask, "How do I get one of those complete home
930tool sets for under $4?" An excellent question.
931 Go to one of those really cheap discount stores where they sell
932plastic furniture in colors visible from the planet Neptune and where
933they have a food section specializing in cardboard cartons full of
934Raisinets and malted milk balls manufactured during the Nixon
935administration. In either the hardware or housewares department,
936you'll find an item imported from an obscure Oriental country and
937described as "Nine Tools in One", consisting of a little handle with
938interchangeable ends representing inscrutable Oriental notions of tools
939that Americans might use around the home. Buy it.
940 This is the kind of tool set professionals use. Not only is it
941inexpensive, but it also has a great safety feature not found in the
942so-called quality tools sets: The handle will actually break right off
943if you accidentally hit yourself or anything else, or expose it to
944direct sunlight.
945 -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
947 On his first day as a bus driver, Maxey Eckstein handed in
948receipts of $65. The next day his take was $67. The third day's
949income was $62. But on the fourth day, Eckstein emptied no less than
950$283 on the desk before the cashier.
951 "Eckstein!" exclaimed the cashier. "This is fantastic. That
952route never brought in money like this! What happened?"
953 "Well, after three days on that cockamamie route, I figured
954business would never improve, so I drove over to Fourteenth Street and
955worked there. I tell you, that street is a gold mine!"
957 Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a
958great crystal river. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to
959the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of
960life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth. But
961one creature said at last, "I trust that the current knows where it is
962going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I
963shall die of boredom."
964 The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that
965current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the
966rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!"
967 But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go,
968and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.
969Yet, in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current
970lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
971 And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried,
972"See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the
973Messiah, come to save us all!" And the one carried in the current
974said, "I am no more Messiah than you. The river delight to lift us
975free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this
977 But they cried the more, "Saviour!" all the while clinging to
978the rocks, making legends of a Saviour.
980 One of the questions that comes up all the time is: How
981enthusiastic is our support for UNIX?
982 Unix was written on our machines and for our machines many
983years ago. Today, much of UNIX being done is done on our machines.
984Ten percent of our VAXs are going for UNIX use. UNIX is a simple
985language, easy to understand, easy to get started with. It's great for
986students, great for somewhat casual users, and it's great for
987interchanging programs between different machines. And so, because of
988its popularity in these markets, we support it. We have good UNIX on
989VAX and good UNIX on PDP-11s.
990 It is our belief, however, that serious professional users will
991run out of things they can do with UNIX. They'll want a real system and
992will end up doing VMS when they get to be serious about programming.
993 With UNIX, if you're looking for something, you can easily and
994quickly check that small manual and find out that it's not there. With
995VMS, no matter what you look for -- it's literally a five-foot shelf of
996documentation -- if you look long enough it's there. That's the
997difference -- the beauty of UNIX is it's simple; and the beauty of VMS
998is that it's all there.
999 -- Ken Olsen, President of DEC, 1984
1001 Plumbing is one of the easier of do-it-yourself activities,
1002requiring only a few simple tools and a willingness to stick your arm
1003into a clogged toilet. In fact, you can solve many home plumbing
1004problems, such as annoying faucet drip, merely by turning up the
1005radio. But before we get into specific techniques, let's look at how
1006plumbing works.
1007 A plumbing system is very much like your electrical system,
1008except that instead of electricity, it has water, and instead of wires,
1009it has pipes, and instead of radios and waffle irons, it has faucets
1010and toilets. So the truth is that your plumbing systems is nothing at
1011all like your electrical system, which is good, because electricity can
1012kill you.
1013 -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
1015 "Reflections on Ice-Breaking"
1017Is dandy
1018But liquor
1019Is quicker.
1020 -- Ogden Nash
1022 "Seven years and six months!" Humpty Dumpty repeated
1023thoughtfully. "An uncomfortable sort of age. Now if you'd asked MY
1024advice, I'd have said `Leave off at seven' -- but it's too late now."
1025 "I never ask advice about growing," Alice said indignantly.
1026 "Too proud?" the other enquired.
1027 Alice felt even more indignant at this suggestion. "I mean,"
1028she said, "that one can't help growing older."
1029 "ONE can't, perhaps," said Humpty Dumpty; "but TWO can. With
1030proper assistance, you might have left off at seven."
1031 -- Lewis Carroll
1033 So Richard and I decided to try to catch [the small shark].
1034With a great deal of strategy and effort and shouting, we managed to
1035maneuver the shark, over the course of about a half-hour, to a sort of
1036corner of the lagoon, so that it had no way to escape other than to
1037flop up onto the land and evolve. Richard and I were inching toward
1038it, sort of crouched over, when all of a sudden it turned around and --
1039I can still remember the sensation I felt at that moment, primarily in
1040the armpit area -- headed right straight toward us.
1041 Many people would have panicked at this point. But Richard and
1042I were not "many people." We were experienced waders, and we kept our
1043heads. We did exactly what the textbook says you should do when you're
1044unarmed and a shark that is nearly two feet long turns on you in water
1045up to your lower calves: We sprinted I would say 600 yards in the
1046opposite direction, using a sprinting style such that the bottoms of
1047our feet never once went below the surface of the water. We ran all
1048the way to the far shore, and if we had been in a Warner Brothers
1049cartoon we would have run right INTO the beach, and you would have seen
1050these two mounds of sand racing across the island until they bonked
1051into trees and coconuts fell onto their heads.
1052 -- Dave Barry, "The Wonders of Sharks on TV"
1054 "The Good Ship Enterprise" (to the tune of "The Good Ship Lollipop")
1056On the good ship Enterprise
1057Every week there's a new surprise
1058Where the Romulans lurk
1059And the Klingons often go berserk.
1061Yes, the good ship Enterprise
1062There's excitement anywhere it flies
1063Where Tribbles play
1064And Nurse Chapel never gets her way.
1066 See Captain Kirk standing on the bridge,
1067 Mr. Spock is at his side.
1068 The weekly menace, ooh-ooh
1069 It gets fried, scattered far and wide.
1071It's the good ship Enterprise
1072Heading out where danger lies
1073And you live in dread
1074If you're wearing a shirt that's red.
1075 -- Doris Robin and Karen Trimble of The L.A. Filkharmonics
1079SIMPLE is an acronym for Sheer Idiot's Monopurpose Programming Language
1080Environment. This language, developed at the Hanover College for
1081Technological Misfits, was designed to make it impossible to write code
1082with errors in it. The statements are, therefore, confined to BEGIN,
1083END and STOP. No matter how you arrange the statements, you can't make
1084a syntax error. Programs written in SIMPLE do nothing useful. Thus
1085they achieve the results of programs written in other languages without
1086the tedious, frustrating process of testing and debugging.
1090This otherwise unremarkable language is distinguished by the absence of
1091an "S" in its character set; users must substitute "TH". LITHP is said
1092to be useful in protheththing lithtth.
1096SLOBOL is best known for the speed, or lack of it, of its compiler.
1097Although many compilers allow you to take a coffee break while they
1098compile, SLOBOL compilers allow you to travel to Bolivia to pick the
1099coffee. Forty-three programmers are known to have died of boredom
1100sitting at their terminals while waiting for a SLOBOL program to
1101compile. Weary SLOBOL programmers often turn to a related (but
1102infinitely faster) language, COCAINE.
1106Named after the late existential philosopher, SARTRE is an extremely
1107unstructured language. Statements in SARTRE have no purpose; they just
1108are. Thus SARTRE programs are left to define their own functions.
1109SARTRE programmers tend to be boring and depressed, and are no fun at
1114This language was named for the grade received by its creator when he
1115submitted it as a class project in a graduate programming class. C- is
1116best described as a "low-level" programming language. In fact, the
1117language generally requires more C- statements than machine-code
1118statements to execute a given task. In this respect, it is very
1119similar to COBOL.
1123FIFTH is a precision mathematical language in which the data types
1124refer to quantity. The data types range from CC, OUNCE, SHOT, and
1125JIGGER to FIFTH (hence the name of the language), LITER, MAGNUM and
1126BLOTTO. Commands refer to ingredients such as CHABLIS, CHARDONNAY,
1129The many versions of the FIFTH language reflect the sophistication and
1130financial status of its users. Commands in the ELITE dialect include
1131VSOP and LAFITE, while commands in the GUTTER dialect include HOOTCH
1132and RIPPLE. The latter is a favorite of frustrated FORTH programmers
1133who end up using this language.
1137Named after the famous French philosopher and mathematician Rene
1138DesCartes, RENE is a language used for artificial intelligence. The
1139language is being developed at the Chicago Center of Machine Politics
1140and Programming under a grant from the Jane Byrne Victory Fund. A
1141spokesman described the language as "Just as great as dis [sic] city of
1144The center is very pleased with progress to date. They say they have
1145almost succeeded in getting a VAX to think. However, sources inside the
1146organization say that each time the machine fails to think it ceases to
1150From its modest beginnings in Southern California's San Fernando Valley,
1151VALGOL is enjoying a dramatic surge of popularity across the industry.
1153Here is a sample program:
1157 FOR I = LIKE 1 TO OH*MAYBE 100
1158 DO*WAH - (DITTY**2)
1160 SURE
1164 IM*SURE
1167When the user makes a syntax error, the interpreter displays the message:
1173This language was developed at the Marin County Center for T'ai Chi,
1174Mellowness and Computer Programming (now defunct), as an alternative to
1175the more intense atmosphere in nearby Silicon Valley.
1177The center was ideal for programmers who liked to soak in hot tubs
1178while they worked. Unfortunately few programmers could survive there
1179because the center outlawed Pizza and Coca-Cola in favor of Tofu and
1182Many mourn the demise of LAIDBACK because of its reputation as a gentle
1183and non-threatening language since all error messages are in lower
1184case. For example, LAIDBACK responded to syntax errors with the
1186 "i hate to bother you, but i just can't relate to that. can
1187 you find the time to try it again?"
1189 The men sat sipping their tea in silence. After a while the
1190klutz said, "Life is like a bowl of sour cream."
1192 "Like a bowl of sour cream?" asked the other. "Why?"
1194 "How should I know? What am I, a philosopher?"
1196 The people of Halifax invented the trampoline. During the
1197Victorian period the tripe-dressers of Halifax stretched tripe across a
1198large wooden frame and jumped up and down on it to `tender and dress'
1199it. The tripoline, as they called it, degenerated into becoming the
1200apparatus for a spectator sport.
1202 The people of Halifax also invented the harmonium, a device for
1203castrating pigs during Sunday service.
1204 -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
1206 The seven eyes of Ningauble the Wizard floated back to his hood
1207as he reported to Fafhrd: "I have seen much, yet cannot explain all.
1208The Gray Mouser is exactly twenty-five feet below the deepest cellar in
1209the palace of Gilpkerio Kistomerces. Even though twenty-four parts in
1210twenty-five of him are dead, he is alive.
1212 "Now about Lankhmar. She's been invaded, her walls breached
1213everywhere and desperate fighting is going on in the streets, by a
1214fierce host which out-numbers Lankhmar's inhabitants by fifty to one --
1215and equipped with all modern weapons. Yet you can save the city."
1217 "How?" demanded Fafhrd.
1219 Ningauble shrugged. "You're a hero. You should know."
1220 -- Fritz Leiber, from "The Swords of Lankhmar"
1224The wombat lives across the seas,
1225Among the far Antipodes.
1226He may exist on nuts and berries,
1227Or then again, on missionaries;
1228His distant habitat precludes
1229Conclusive knowledge of his moods.
1230But I would not engage the wombat
1231In any form of mortal combat.
1234Into love and out again,
1235 Thus I went and thus I go.
1236Spare your voice, and hold your pen:
1237 Well and bitterly I know
1238All the songs were ever sung,
1239 All the words were ever said;
1240Could it be, when I was young,
1241 Someone dropped me on my head?
1242 -- Dorothy Parker
1244 There are some goyisha names that just about guarantee that
1245someone isn't Jewish. For example, you'll never meet a Jew named
1246Johnson or Wright or Jones or Sinclair or Ricks or Stevenson or Reid or
1247Larsen or Jenks. But some goyisha names just about guarantee that
1248every other person you meet with that name will be Jewish. Why is
1250 Who knows? Learned rabbis have pondered this question for
1251centuries and have failed to come up with an answer, and you think ___\b\b\byou
1252can find one? Get serious. You don't even understand why it's
1253forbidden to eat crab -- fresh cold crab with mayonnaise -- or lobster
1254-- soft tender morsels of lobster dipped in melted butter. You don't
1255even understand a simple thing like that, and yet you hope to discover
1256why there are more Jews named Miller than Katz? Fat Chance.
1257 -- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
1259 Thompson, if he is to be believed, has sampled the entire
1260rainbow of legal and illegal drugs in heroic efforts to feel better
1261than he does.
1262 As for the truth about his health: I have asked around about
1263it. I am told that he appears to be strong and rosy, and steadily
1264sane. But we will be doing what he wants us to do, I think, if we
1265consider his exterior a sort of Dorian Gray facade. Inwardly, he is
1266being eaten alive by tinhorn politicians.
1267 The disease is fatal. There is no known cure. The most we can
1268do for the poor devil, it seems to me, is to name his disease in his
1269honor. From this moment on, let all those who feel that Americans can
1270be as easily led to beauty as to ugliness, to truth as to public
1271relations, to joy as to bitterness, be said to be suffering from Hunter
1272Thompson's disease. I don't have it this morning. It comes and goes.
1273This morning I don't have Hunter Thompson's disease.
1274 -- Kurt Vonnegut Jr. on Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Excerpt
1275 from "A Political Disease", Vonnegut's review of "Fear
1276 and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72"
1278 To A Quick Young Fox:
1279Why jog exquisite bulk, fond crazy vamp,
1280Daft buxom jonquil, zephyr's gawky vice?
1281Guy fed by work, quiz Jove's xanthic lamp --
1282Zow! Qualms by deja vu gyp fox-kin thrice.
1283 -- Lazy Dog
1285 "Verily and forsooth," replied Goodgulf darkly. "In the past
1286year strange and fearful wonders I have seen. Fields sown with barley
1287reap crabgrass and fungus, and even small gardens reject their
1288artichoke hearts. There has been a hot day in December and a blue
1289moon. Calendars are made with a month of Sundays and a blue-ribbon
1290Holstein bore alive two insurance salesmen. The earth splits and the
1291entrails of a goat were found tied in square knots. The face of the
1292sun blackens and the skies have rained down soggy potato chips."
1294 "But what do all these things mean?" gasped Frito.
1296 "Beats me," said Goodgulf with a shrug, "but I thought it made
1297good copy."
1298 -- Harvard Lampoon, "Bored of the Rings"
1302Firings will continue until morale improves.
1304 We were young and our happiness dazzled us with its strength.
1305But there was also a terrible betrayal that lay within me like a Merle
1306Haggard song at a French restaurant. ...
1307 I could not tell the girl about the woman of the tollway, of
1308her milk white BMW and her Jordache smile. There had been a fight. I
1309had punched her boyfriend, who fought the mechanical bulls. Everyone
1310told him, "You ride the bull, senor. You do not fight it." But he was
1311lean and tough like a bad rib-eye and he fought the bull. And then he
1312fought me. And when we finished there were no winners, just men doing
1313what men must do. ...
1314 "Stop the car," the girl said. There was a look of terrible
1315sadness in her eyes. She knew about the woman of the tollway. I knew
1316not how. I started to speak, but she raised an arm and spoke with a
1317quiet and peace I will never forget.
1318 "I do not ask for whom's the tollway belle," she said, "the
1319tollway belle's for thee."
1320 The next morning our youth was a memory, and our happiness was
1321a lie. Life is like a bad margarita with good tequila, I thought as I
1322poured whiskey onto my granola and faced a new day.
1323 -- Peter Applebome, International Imitation Hemingway
1324 Competition
1326 "What do you give a man who has everything?" the pretty
1327teenager asked her mother.
1328 "Encouragement, dear," she replied.
1330 "What's that thing?"
1331 "Well, it's a highly technical, sensitive instrument we use in
1332computer repair. Being a layman, you probably can't grasp exactly what
1333it does. We call it a two-by-four."
1334 -- Jeff MacNelley, "Shoe"
1336 When you have shot and killed a man you have in some measure
1337clarified your attitude toward him. You have given a definite answer
1338to a definite problem. For better or worse you have acted decisively.
1339 In a way, the next move is up to him.
1340 -- R. A. Lafferty
1342 "You know, it's at times like this when I'm trapped in a Vogon
1343airlock with a man from Betelgeuse and about to die of asphyxiation in
1344deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me
1345when I was young!"
1346 "Why, what did she tell you?"
1347 "I don't know, I didn't listen!"
1348 -- Douglas Adams, "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
1353Mr. TAA of Muddle, Mass. says: "Before I took this course I used to be
1354a lowly bit twiddler. Now with what I learned at MIT Tech I feel
1355really important and can obfuscate and confuse with the best."
1357Mr. MARC had this to say: "Ten short days ago all I could look forward
1358to was a dead-end job as a engineer. Now I have a promising future and
1359make really big Zorkmids."
1361MIT Tech can't promise these fantastic results to everyone, but when
1362you earn your MDL degree from MIT Tech your future will be brighter.
1366 You will remember, Watson, how the dreadful business of the
1367Abernetty family was first brought to my notice by the depth which the
1368parsley had sunk into the butter upon a hot day.
1369 -- Sherlock Holmes
1371 Your home electrical system is basically a bunch of wires that
1372bring electricity into your home and take if back out before it has a
1373chance to kill you. This is called a "circuit". The most common home
1374electrical problem is when the circuit is broken by a "circuit
1375breaker"; this causes the electricity to back up in one of the wires
1376until it bursts out of an outlet in the form of sparks, which can
1377damage your carpet. The best way to avoid broken circuits is to change
1378your fuses regularly.
1379 Another common problem is that the lights flicker. This
1380sometimes means that your electrical system is inadequate, but more
1381often it means that your home is possessed by demons, in which case
1382you'll need to get a caulking gun and some caulking. If you're not
1383sure whether your house is possessed, see "The Amityville Horror", a
1384fine documentary film based on an actual book. Or call in a licensed
1385electrician, who is trained to spot the signs of demonic possession,
1386such as blood coming down the stairs, enormous cats on the dinette
1387table, etc.
1388 -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
1390 _
1391 _ / \ o
1392 / \ | | o o o
1393 | | | | _ o o o o
1394 | \_| | / \ o o o
1395 \__ | | | o o
1396 | | | | ______ ~~~~ _____
1397 | |__/ | / ___--\\ ~~~ __/_____\__
1398 | ___/ / \--\\ \\ \ ___ <__ x x __\
1399 | | / /\\ \\ )) \ ( " )
1400 | | -------(---->>(@)--(@)-------\----------< >-----------
1401 | | // | | //__________ / \ ____) (___ \\
1402 | | // __|_| ( --------- ) //// ______ /////\ \\
1403 // | ( \ ______ / <<<< <>-----<<<<< / \\
1404 // ( ) / / \` \__ \\
1405 //-------------------------------------------------------------\\
1407Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels
1408start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and
1409then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas ... with the
1410music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.
1411 -- Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
1413 n = ((n >> 1) & 0x55555555) | ((n << 1) & 0xaaaaaaaa);
1414 n = ((n >> 2) & 0x33333333) | ((n << 2) & 0xcccccccc);
1415 n = ((n >> 4) & 0x0f0f0f0f) | ((n << 4) & 0xf0f0f0f0);
1416 n = ((n >> 8) & 0x00ff00ff) | ((n << 8) & 0xff00ff00);
1417 n = ((n >> 16) & 0x0000ffff) | ((n << 16) & 0xffff0000);
1419 -- C code which reverses the bits in a word.
1421 n = (n & 0x55555555) + ((n & 0xaaaaaaaa) >> 1);
1422 n = (n & 0x33333333) + ((n & 0xcccccccc) >> 2);
1423 n = (n & 0x0f0f0f0f) + ((n & 0xf0f0f0f0) >> 4);
1424 n = (n & 0x00ff00ff) + ((n & 0xff00ff00) >> 8);
1425 n = (n & 0x0000ffff) + ((n & 0xffff0000) >> 16);
1427 -- C code which counts the bits in a word.
1429" ... I told my doctor I got all the exercise I needed being a
1430pallbearer for all my friends who run and do exercises!"
1431 -- Winston Churchill
1433... A booming voice says, "Wrong, cretin!", and you notice that you
1434have turned into a pile of dust.
1436... A solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg who looked like he
1437was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity.
1438 -- Mark Twain
1440"... After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known
1442 -- H. L. Mencken, on Shakespeare
1444"... all the modern inconveniences ..."
1445 -- Mark Twain
1447"... an experienced, industrious, ambitious, and often quite often
1448picturesque liar."
1449 -- Mark Twain
1451... and furthermore ... I don't like your trousers.
1453... And malt does more than Milton can
1454To justify God's ways to man
1455 -- A. E. Housman
1457"... And remember: if you don't like the news, go out and make some of
1458your own."
1459 -- "Scoop" Nisker, KFOG radio reporter
1460 Preposterous Words
1462... at least I thought I was dancing, 'til somebody stepped on my hand.
1463 -- J. B. White
1465... bleakness ... desolation ... plastic forks ...
1467... But as records of courts and justice are admissible, it can
1468easily be proved that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed
1469and were a scourge to mankind. The evidence (including confession)
1470upon which certain women were convicted of witchcraft and executed was
1471without a flaw; it is still unimpeachable. The judges' decisions based
1472on it were sound in logic and in law. Nothing in any existing court
1473was ever more thoroughly proved than the charges of witchcraft and
1474sorcery for which so many suffered death. If there were no witches,
1475human testimony and human reason are alike destitute of value.
1476 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
1478... But if we laugh with derision, we will never understand. Human
1479intellectual capacity has not altered for thousands of years so far as
1480we can tell. If intelligent people invested intense energy in issues
1481that now seem foolish to us, then the failure lies in our understanding
1482of their world, not in their distorted perceptions. Even the standard
1483example of ancient nonsense -- the debate about angels on pinheads --
1484makes sense once you realize that theologians were not discussing
1485whether five or eighteen would fit, but whether a pin could house a
1486finite or an infinite number.
1487 -- S. J. Gould, "Wide Hats and Narrow Minds"
1489... But we've only fondled the surface of that subject.
1490 -- Virginia Masters
1492... [concerning quotation marks] even if we *___\b\b\bdid* quote anybody in this
1493business, it probably would be gibberish.
1494 -- Thom McLeod
1496 Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow they may make it illegal.
1498... Had this been an actual emergency, we would have fled in terror,
1499and you would not have been informed.
1501" I changed my headlights the other day. I put in strobe lights
1502instead! Now when I drive at night, it looks like everyone else is
1503standing still ..."
1504 -- Steven Wright
1506"... I should explain that I was wearing a black velvet cape that was
1507supposed to make me look like the dashing, romantic Zorro but which
1508actually made me look like a gigantic bat wearing glasses ..."
1509 -- Dave Barry, "The Wet Zorro Suit and Other Turning
1510 Points in l'Amour"
1512... If forced to travel on an airplane, try and get in the cabin with
1513the Captain, so you can keep an eye on him and nudge him if he falls
1514asleep or point out any mountains looming up ahead ...
1515 -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
1517... I'm IMAGINING a sensuous GIRAFFE, CAVORTING in the BACK ROOM of a
1520... indifference is a militant thing ... when it goes away it leaves
1521smoking ruins, where lie citizens bayonetted through the throat. It is
1522not a children's pastime like mere highway robbery.
1523 -- Stephen Crane
1525... Logically incoherent, semantically incomprehensible, and
1526legally ... impeccable!
1528... My pants just went on a wild rampage through a Long Island Bowling
1531... Now you're ready for the actual shopping. Your goal should be to
1532get it over with as quickly as possible, because the longer you stay in
1533the mall, the longer your children will have to listen to holiday songs
1534on the mall public-address system, and many of these songs can damage
1535children emotionally. For example: "Frosty the Snowman" is about a
1536snowman who befriends some children, plays with them until they learn
1537to love him, then melts. And "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is about
1538a young reindeer who, because of a physical deformity, is treated as an
1539outcast by the other reindeer. Then along comes good, old Santa. Does
1540he ignore the deformity? Does he look past Rudolph's nose and respect
1541Rudolph for the sensitive reindeer he is underneath? No. Santa asks
1542Rudolph to guide his sleigh, as if Rudolph were nothing more than some
1543kind of headlight with legs and a tail. So unless you want your
1544children exposed to this kind of insensitivity, you should shop
1546 -- Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"
1548... Once you're safely in the mall, you should tie your children to you
1549with ropes so the other shoppers won't try to buy them. Holiday
1550shoppers have been whipped into a frenzy by months of holiday
1551advertisements, and they will buy anything small enough to stuff into a
1552shopping bag. If your children object to being tied, threaten to take
1553them to see Santa Claus; that ought to shut them up.
1554 -- Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"
1556"... one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that,
1557lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of
1558their C programs."
1559 -- Robert Firth
1561... Our second completely true news item was sent to me by Mr. H. Boyce
1562Connell Jr. of Atlanta, Ga., where he is involved in a law firm. One
1563thing I like about the South is, folks there care about tradition. If
1564somebody gets handed a name like "H. Boyce," he hangs on to it, puts it
1565on his legal stationery, even passes it to his son, rather than do what
1566a lesser person would do, such as get it changed or kill himself.
1567 -- Dave Barry, "This Column is Nothing but the Truth!"
1569... so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those
1570who wish to tyrranize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent,
1571and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious
1572and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.
1573 -- Voltarine de Cleyre
1575... So the documentary-makers stick with sharks. Generally, their
1576procedure is to scatter bleeding fish pieces around their boat, so as
1577to infest the waters. I would estimate that the primary food source of
1578sharks today is bleeding fish pieces scattered by people making
1579documentaries. Once the sharks arrive, they are generally fairly
1580listless. The general shark attitude seems to be: "Oh God, another
1581documentary." So the divers have to somehow goad them into attacking,
1582under the guise of Scientific Research. "We know very little about the
1583effect of electricity on sharks," the narrator will say, in a deeply
1584scientific voice. "That is why Todd is going to jab this Great White
1585in the testicles with a cattle prod." The divers keep this kind of
1586thing up until the shark finally gets irritated and snaps at them, and
1587then they act as though this was a totally unexpected and very
1588dangerous development, although clearly it is what they wanted all
1590 -- Dave Barry, "The Wonders of Sharks on TV"
1592... The Anarchists' [national] anthem is an international anthem that
1593consists of 365 raspberries blown in very quick succession to the tune
1594of "Camptown Races". Nobody has to stand up for it, nobody has to
1595listen to it, and, even better, nobody has to play it.
1596 -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
1598"... the Mayo Clinic, named after its founder, Dr. Ted Clinic ..."
1599 -- Dave Barry
1601... the MYSTERIANS are in here with my CORDUROY SOAP DISH!!
1603... the privileged being which we call human is distinguished from
1604other animals only by certain double-edged manifestations which in
1605charity we can only call "inhuman."
1606 -- R. A. Lafferty
1608... This striving for excellence extends into people's personal lives
1609as well. When '80s people buy something, they buy the best one, as
1610determined by (1) price and (2) lack of availability. Eighties people
1611buy imported dental floss. They buy gourmet baking soda. If an '80s
1612couple goes to a restaurant where they have made a reservation three
1613weeks in advance, and they are informed that their table is available,
1614they stalk out immediately, because they know it is not an excellent
1615restaurant. If it were, it would have an enormous crowd of
1616excellence-oriented people like themselves waiting, their beepers going
1617off like crickets in the night. An excellent restaurant wouldn't have
1618a table ready immediately for anybody below the rank of Liza Minnelli.
1619 -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
1621!07/11 PDP a ni deppart m'I !pleH
1623(1) Alexander the Great was a great general.
1624(2) Great generals are forewarned.
1625(3) Forewarned is forearmed.
1626(4) Four is an even number.
1627(5) Four is certainly an odd number of arms for a man to have.
1628(6) The only number that is both even and odd is infinity.
1630Therefore, Alexander the Great had an infinite number of arms.
1632(1) Everything depends.
1633(2) Nothing is always.
1634(3) Everything is sometimes.
1636100 buckets of bits on the bus
1637100 buckets of bits
1638Take one down, short it to ground
1639FF buckets of bits on the bus
1641FF buckets of bits on the bus
1642FF buckets of bits
1643Take one down, short it to ground
1644FE buckets of bits on the bus
1646ad infinitum...
1648$100 invested at 7% interest for 100 years will become $100,000, at
1649which time it will be worth absolutely nothing.
1650 -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"
165210.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.
1655 (1) Scarecrow for centipedes
1656 (2) Dead cat brush
1657 (3) Hair barrettes
1658 (4) Cleats
1659 (5) Self-piercing earrings
1660 (6) Fungus trellis
1661 (7) False eyelashes
1662 (8) Prosthetic dog claws
1663 .
1664 .
1665 .
1666 (99) Window garden harrow (pulled behind Tonka tractors)
1667 (100) Killer velcro
1668 (101) Currency
16701.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight -- it's not just a good idea, it's
1671the law!
1673186,282 miles per second:
1675It isn't just a good idea, it's the law!
16772180, U.S. History question:
1678 What 20th Century U.S. President was almost impeached and what
1679office did he later hold?
16813 syncs represent the trinity - init, the child and the eternal zombie
1682process. In doing 3, you're paying homage to each and I think such
1683traditions are important in this shallow, mercurial business we find
1684ourselves in.
1685 -- Jordan K. Hubbard
1689"355/113 -- Not the famous irrational number PI, but an incredible
169243rd Law of Computing:
1693 Anything that can go wr
1694fortune: Segmentation violation -- Core dumped
16967:30, Channel 5: The Bionic Dog (Action/Adventure)
1697 The Bionic Dog drinks too much and kicks over the National
1698 Redwood Forest.
17007:30, Channel 5: The Bionic Dog (Action/Adventure)
1701 The Bionic Dog gets a hormonal short-circuit and violates the
1702 Mann Act with an interstate Greyhound bus.
170477. HO HUM -- The Redundant
1706------- (7) This hexagram refers to a situation of extreme
1707--- --- (8) boredom. Your programs always bomb off. Your wife
1708------- (7) smells bad. Your children have hives. You are working
1709---O--- (6) on an accounting system, when you want to develop the
1710---X--- (9) GREAT AMERICAN COMPILER. You give up hot dates to
1711--- --- (8) nurse sick computers. What you need now is sex.
1713Nine in the second place means:
1714 The yellow bird approaches the malt shop. Misfortune.
1716Six in the third place means:
1717 In former times men built altars to honor the Internal Revenue
1718 Service. Great Dragons! Are you in trouble!
172099 blocks of crud on the disk,
172199 blocks of crud!
1722You patch a bug, and dump it again:
1723100 blocks of crud on the disk!
1725100 blocks of crud on the disk,
1726100 blocks of crud!
1727You patch a bug, and dump it again:
1728101 blocks of crud on the disk! ...
1730A baby is an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no
1731responsibility at the other.
1733A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.
1734 -- Carl Sandburg
1736A bachelor is a selfish, undeserving guy who has cheated some woman out
1737of a divorce.
1738 -- Don Quinn
1740A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining
1741and wants it back the minute it begins to rain.
1742 -- Mark Twain
1744A billion here, a couple of billion there -- first thing you know it
1745adds up to be real money.
1746 -- Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen
1748A bird in the bush usually has a friend in there with him.
1750A bird in the hand is worth what it will bring.
1752A bird in the hand makes it awfully hard to blow your nose.
1754A bore is someone who persists in holding his own views after we have
1755enlightened him with ours.
1757A budget is just a method of worrying before you spend money, as well
1758as afterward.
1760A candidate is a person who gets money from the rich and votes from the
1761poor to protect them from each other.
1763A celebrity is a person who is known for his well-knownness.
1765A child can go only so far in life without potty training. It is not
1766mere coincidence that six of the last seven presidents were potty
1767trained, not to mention nearly half of the nation's state legislators.
1768 -- Dave Barry
1770A child of five could understand this! Fetch me a child of five.
1772A chubby man with a white beard and a red suit will approach you soon.
1773Avoid him. He's a Commie.
1775A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but
1776won't cross the street to vote in a national election.
1777 -- Bill Vaughan
1779A city is a large community where people are lonesome together
1780 -- Herbert Prochnow
1782A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody
1783wants to read.
1784 -- Mark Twain
1786A closed mouth gathers no foot.
1788A computer, to print out a fact,
1789Will divide, multiply, and subtract.
1790 But this output can be
1791 No more than debris,
1792If the input was short of exact.
1793 -- Gigo
1795A conclusion is simply the place where someone got tired of thinking.
1797A CONS is an object which cares.
1798 -- Bernie Greenberg.
1800A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it
1801is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.
1803A continuing flow of paper is sufficient to continue the flow of paper.
1804 -- Dyer
1806A copy of the universe is not what is required of art; one of the
1807damned things is ample.
1808 -- Rebecca West
1810A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.
1811 -- Ben Franklin
1813A crusader's wife slipped from the garrison
1814And had an affair with a Saracen.
1815 She was not oversexed,
1816 Or jealous or vexed,
1817She just wanted to make a comparison.
1819A cynic is a person searching for an honest man, with a stolen
1821 -- Edgar A. Shoaff
1823A day for firm decisions!!!!! Or is it?
1825A day without sunshine is like night.
1827A diplomat is a man who can convince his wife she'd look stout in a fur
1830A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that
1831you will look forward to the trip.
1833A diva who specializes in risqu'\be arias is an off-coloratura soprano ...
1835A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.
1836 -- Ogden Nash
1838A dozen, a gross, and a score,
1839Plus three times the square root of four,
1840 Divided by seven,
1841 Plus five times eleven,
1842Equals nine squared plus zero, no more.
1844A famous Lisp Hacker noticed an Undergraduate sitting in front of a
1845Xerox 1108, trying to edit a complex Klone network via a browser.
1846Wanting to help, the Hacker clicked one of the nodes in the network
1847with the mouse, and asked "what do you see?" Very earnestly, the
1848Undergraduate replied "I see a cursor." The Hacker then quickly
1849pressed the boot toggle at the back of the keyboard, while
1850simultaneously hitting the Undergraduate over the head with a thick
1851Interlisp Manual. The Undergraduate was then Enlightened.
1853A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the
1855 -- Winston Churchill
1857A fool must now and then be right by chance.
1859A fool-proof method for sculpting an elephant: first, get a huge block
1860of marble; then you chip away everything that doesn't look like an
1863A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into
1864superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.
1865 -- George Bernard Shaw
1867A formal parsing algorithm should not always be used.
1868 -- D. Gries
1870"A fractal is by definition a set for which the Hausdorff Besicovitch
1871dimension strictly exceeds the topological dimension."
1872 -- Mandelbrot, "The Fractal Geometry of Nature"
1874A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular.
1875 -- Adlai Stevenson
1877A Galileo could no more be elected president of the United States than
1878he could be elected Pope of Rome. Both high posts are reserved for men
1879favored by God with an extraordinary genius for swathing the bitter
1880facts of life in bandages of self-illusion.
1881 -- H. L. Mencken
1883A general leading the State Department resembles a dragon commanding
1885 -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981
1887A girl and a boy bump into each other -- surely an accident.
1888A girl and a boy bump and her handkerchief drops -- surely another accident.
1889But when a girl gives a boy a dead squid -- *_\b_\b_\b_\bthat _\b_\b_\bhad _\b_\bto _\b_\b_\b_\bmean _\b_\b_\b_\b_\b_\b_\b_\b_\bsomething*.
1890 -- S. Morganstern, "The Silent Gondoliers"
1892A gleekzorp without a tornpee is like a quop without a fertsneet (sort
1895A [golf] ball hitting a tree shall be deemed not to have hit the tree.
1896Hitting a tree is simply bad luck and has no place in a scientific
1897game. The player should estimate the distance the ball would have
1898traveled if it had not hit the tree and play the ball from there,
1899preferably atop a nice firm tuft of grass.
1900 -- Donald A. Metz
1902A [golf] ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be lifted and
1903placed in the fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or
1904rolled into the rough. Such veering right or left frequently results
1905from friction between the face of the club and the cover of the ball
1906and the player should not be penalized for the erratic behavior of the
1907ball resulting from such uncontrollable physical
1909 -- Donald A. Metz
1911A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened
1912into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the
1913hope of greening the landscape of idea.
1914 -- John Ciardi
1916A good sysadmin always carries around a few feet of fiber. If he ever
1917gets lost, he simply drops the fiber on the ground, waits ten minutes,
1918then asks the backhoe operator for directions.
1919 -- Bill Bradford <>
1921A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely
1922rearranging their prejudices.
1923 -- William James
1925A great nation is any mob of people which produces at least one honest
1926man a century.
1928A hypothetical paradox:
1929 What would happen in a battle between an Enterprise security
1930team, who always get killed soon after appearing, and a squad of
1931Imperial Stormtroopers, who can't hit the broad side of a planet?
1932 -- Tom Galloway
1934A is for Amy who fell down the stairs, B is for Basil assaulted by bears.
1935C is for Clair who wasted away, D is for Desmond thrown out of the sleigh.
1936E is for Ernest who choked on a peach, F is for Fanny, sucked dry by a leech.
1937G is for George, smothered under a rug, H is for Hector, done in by a thug.
1938I is for Ida who drowned in the lake, J is for James who took lye, by mistake.
1939K is for Kate who was struck with an axe, L is for Leo who swallowed some tacks.
1940M is for Maud who was swept out to sea, N is for Nevil who died of enui.
1941O is for Olive, run through with an awl, P is for Prue, trampled flat in a brawl
1942Q is for Quinton who sank in a mire, R is for Rhoda, consumed by a fire.
1943S is for Susan who parished of fits, T is for Titas who flew into bits.
1944U is for Una who slipped down a drain, V is for Victor, squashed under a train.
1945W is for Winie, embedded in ice, X is for Xercies, devoured by mice.
1946Y is for Yoric whose head was bashed in, Z is for Zilla who drank too much gin.
1947 -- Edward Gorey "The Gastly Crumb Tines"
1949A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.
1951A jury consists of 12 persons chosen to decide
1952who has the better lawyer.
1953 -- Robert Frost
1955A lack of leadership is no substitute for inaction.
1957A lady with one of her ears applied
1958To an open keyhole heard, inside,
1959Two female gossips in converse free --
1960The subject engaging them was she.
1961"I think", said one, "and my husband thinks
1962That she's a prying, inquisitive minx!"
1963As soon as no more of it she could hear
1964The lady, indignant, removed her ear.
1965"I will not stay," she said with a pout,
1966"To hear my character lied about!"
1967 -- Gopete Sherany
1969A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is
1970not worth knowing.
1972A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program
1973in than some that do.
1974 -- Dennis M. Ritchie
1976A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work
1977by being declared to work.
1978 -- Anatol Holt
1980A Law of Computer Programming:
1981 Make it possible for programmers to write in English and you
1982will find the programmers cannot write in English.
1984A limerick packs laughs anatomical
1985Into space that is quite economical.
1986 But the good ones I've seen
1987 So seldom are clean,
1988And the clean ones so seldom are comical.
1990A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of
1993A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.
1994 -- H. H. Munroe
1996A long memory is the most subversive idea in America.
1998A long-forgotten loved one will appear soon. Buy the negatives at any
2001A Los Angeles judge ruled that "a citizen may snore with immunity in
2002his own home, even though he may be in possession of unusual and
2003exceptional ability in that particular field."
2005A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me. I'm afraid of widths.
2006 -- Steve Wright
2008A lot of people I know believe in positive thinking, and so do I. I
2009believe everything positively stinks.
2010 -- Lew Col
2012A man said to the Universe: "Sir, I exist!"
2014"However," replied the Universe, "the fact has not created in me a
2015sense of obligation."
2016 -- Stephen Crane
2018A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small package.
2020A mathematician is a machine for converting coffee into theorems.
2022A Mexican newspaper reports that bored Royal Air Force pilots stationed
2023on the Falkland Islands have devised what they consider a marvelous new
2024game. Noting that the local penguins are fascinated by airplanes, the
2025pilots search out a beach where the birds are gathered and fly slowly
2026along it at the water's edge. Perhaps ten thousand penguins turn their
2027heads in unison watching the planes go by, and when the pilots turn
2028around and fly back, the birds turn their heads in the opposite
2029direction, like spectators at a slow-motion tennis match. Then, the
2030paper reports, "The pilots fly out to sea and directly to the penguin
2031colony and overfly it. Heads go up, up, up, and ten thousand penguins
2032fall over gently onto their backs.
2033 -- Audobon Society Magazine
20352001-02-02, from
2037For five weeks, a team from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS)
2038monitored 1,000 king penguins on the island of South Georgia as
2039Lynx helicopters passed overhead.
2041"Not one king penguin fell over when the helicopters came over,"
2042said team leader Dr Richard Stone.
2044"As the aircraft approached, the birds went quiet and stopped
2045calling to each other, and adolescent birds that were not associated
2046with nests began walking away from the noise. Pure animal instinct,
2049The conclusion, said Dr Stone, is that flights over 305 metres
2050(1,000 feet) caused "only minor and transitory ecological effects"
2051on king penguins.
2053A neighbor came to Nasrudin, asking to borrow his donkey. "It is out
2054on loan," the teacher replied. At that moment, the donkey brayed
2055loudly inside the stable. "But I can hear it bray, over there." "Whom
2056do you believe," asked Nasrudin, "me or a donkey?"
2058A new dramatist of the absurd
2059Has a voice that will shortly be heard.
2060 I learn from my spies
2061 He's about to devise
2062An unprintable three-letter word.
2064A new koan:
2066 If you have some ice cream, I will give it to you.
2068 If you have no ice cream, I will take it away from you.
2070It is an ice cream koan.
2072A new supply of round tuits has arrived and are available from Mary.
2073Anyone who has been putting off work until they got a round tuit now
2074has no excuse for further procrastination.
2076A New York City judge ruled that if two women behind you at the movies
2077insist on discussing the probable outcome of the film, you have the
2078right to turn around and blow a Bronx cheer at them.
2080A New York City ordinance prohibits the shooting of rabbits from the
2081rear of a Third Avenue street car -- if the car is in motion.
2083A "No" uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a
2084"Yes" merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.
2085 -- Mahatma Ghandi
2087A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power
2088off and on. Knight, seeing what the student was doing spoke sternly:
2089"You can not fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no
2090understanding of what is going wrong." Knight turned the machine off
2091and on. The machine worked.
2093A nuclear war can ruin your whole day.
2095A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.
2096 -- Gloria Steinem
2098A penny saved is ridiculous.
2100A person is just about as big as the things that make them angry.
2102A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms.
2103 -- George Wald
2105A pig is a jolly companion,
2106Boar, sow, barrow, or gilt --
2107A pig is a pal, who'll boost your morale,
2108Though mountains may topple and tilt.
2109When they've blackballed, bamboozled, and burned you,
2110When they've turned on you, Tory and Whig,
2111Though you may be thrown over by Tabby and Rover,
2112You'll never go wrong with a pig, a pig,
2113You'll never go wrong with a pig!
2114 -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"
2116"A power so great, it can only be used for Good or Evil!"
2117 -- Firesign Theatre, "The Giant Rat of Summatra"
2119A priest asked: What is Fate, Master?
2121And he answered:
2123It is that which gives a beast of burden its reason for existence.
2125It is that which men in former times had to bear upon their backs.
2127It is that which has caused nations to build byways from City to City
2128upon which carts and coaches pass, and alongside which inns have come
2129to be built to stave off Hunger, Thirst and Weariness.
2131And that is Fate? said the priest.
2133Fate ... I thought you said Freight, responded the Master.
2135That's all right, said the priest. I wanted to know what Freight was
2137 -- Kehlog Albran, "The Profit"
2139A professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep.
2141"A programmer is a person who passes as an exacting expert on the basis
2142of being able to turn out, after innumerable punching, an infinite
2143series of incomprehensive answers calculated with micrometric
2144precisions from vague assumptions based on debatable figures taken from
2145inconclusive documents and carried out on instruments of problematical
2146accuracy by persons of dubious reliability and questionable mentality
2147for the avowed purpose of annoying and confounding a hopelessly
2148defenseless department that was unfortunate enough to ask for the
2149information in the first place."
2150 -- IEEE Grid news magazine
2152A psychiatrist is a person who will give you expensive answers that
2153your wife will give you for free.
2155A public debt is a kind of anchor in the storm; but if the anchor be
2156too heavy for the vessel, she will be sunk by that very weight which
2157was intended for her preservation.
2158 -- Colton
2160A putt that stops close enough to the cup to inspire such comments as
2161"you could blow it in" may be blown in. This rule does not apply if
2162the ball is more than three inches from the hole, because no one wants
2163to make a travesty of the game.
2164 -- Donald A. Metz
2166"A raccoon tangled with a 23,000 volt line today. The results blacked
2167out 1400 homes and, of course, one raccoon."
2168 -- Steel City News
2170"A radioactive cat has eighteen half-lives."
2172A reading from the Book of Armaments, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 20:
2174Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying,
2175"Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny
2176bits, in thy mercy." And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the
2177lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and
2178breakfast cereals ... Now did the Lord say, "First thou pullest the
2179Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of
2180the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt
2181thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then
2182proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being
2183the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand
2184Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight,
2185shall snuff it."
2186 -- Monty Python, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
2188A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices
2189that the system works.
2191A real person has two reasons for doing anything ... a good reason and
2192the real reason.
2194A recent study has found that concentrating on difficult off-screen
2195objects, such as the faces of loved ones, causes eye strain in computer
2196scientists. Researchers into the phenomenon cite the added
2197concentration needed to "make sense" of such unnatural three
2198dimensional objects ...
2200A Riverside, California, health ordinance states that two persons may
2201not kiss each other without first wiping their lips with carbolized
2204A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man
2205contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
2206 -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
2208A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own absurdities will
2209keep him from the commission of all sins, or nearly all, save those
2210that are worth committing.
2211 -- Samuel Butler
2213A sine curve goes off to infinity or at least the end of the blackboard
2214 -- Prof. Steiner
2216A straw vote only shows which way the hot air blows.
2217 -- O'Henry
2219A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many
2220bad measures.
2221 -- Daniel Webster
2223A student, in hopes of understanding the Lambda-nature, came to
2224Greenblatt. As they spoke a Multics system hacker walked by. "Is it
2225true," asked the student, "that PL-1 has many of the same data types as
2226Lisp?" Almost before the student had finished his question, Greenblatt
2227shouted, "FOO!", and hit the student with a stick.
2229A student who changes the course of history is probably taking an
2232A successful [software] tool is one that was used to do something
2233undreamed of by its author.
2234 -- S. C. Johnson
2236A system admin's life is a sorry one. The only advantage he has over
2237Emergency Room doctors is that malpractice suits are rare. On the
2238other hand, ER doctors never have to deal with patients installing
2239new versions of their own innards!
2240 -- Michael O'Brien
2242A tautology is a thing which is tautological.
2244A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention,
2245and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.
2246 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
2248A transistor protected by a fast-acting fuse will protect the fuse by
2249blowing first.
2251A triangle which has an angle of 135 degrees is called an obscene
2254A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a unicorn.
2256A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest
2257in students.
2258 -- John Ciardi
2260"A University without students is like an ointment without a fly."
2261 -- Ed Nather, professor of astronomy at UT Austin
2263A UNIX saleslady, Lenore,
2264Enjoys work, but she likes the beach more.
2265 She found a good way
2266 To combine work and play:
2267She sells C shells by the seashore.
2269A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature
2270replaces it with.
2271 -- Tennessee Williams
2273A very intelligent turtle
2274Found programming UNIX a hurdle
2275 The system, you see,
2276 Ran as slow as did he,
2277And that's not saying much for the turtle.
2279A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without
2280getting nervous.
2282"A witty saying proves nothing."
2283 -- Voltaire
2285A witty saying proves nothing, but saying something pointless gets
2286people's attention.
2288"A wizard cannot do everything; a fact most magicians are reticent to
2289admit, let alone discuss with prospective clients. Still, the fact
2290remains that there are certain objects, and people, that are, for one
2291reason or another, completely immune to any direct magical spell. It
2292is for this group of beings that the magician learns the subtleties of
2293using indirect spells. It also does no harm, in dealing with these
2294matters, to carry a large club near your person at all times."
2295 -- The Teachings of Ebenezum, Volume VIII
2297A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe
2298in God.
2301 An organization for drunks who drive
2304You brute! Knock before entering a ladies room!
2306Abandon the search for Truth; settle for a good fantasy.
2308"About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the
2310 -- Herbert Hoover
2312Absence makes the heart go wander.
2314Absent, adj.:
2315 Exposed to the attacks of friends and acquaintances; defamed;
2318Absentee, n.:
2319 A person with an income who has had the forethought to remove
2320himself from the sphere of exaction.
2321 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
2323Abstainer, n.:
2324 A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a
2326 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
2328Absurdity, n.:
2329 A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own
2331 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
2333Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics,
2334because the stakes are so low.
2335 -- Wallace Sayre
2337Accident, n.:
2338 A condition in which presence of mind is good, but absence of
2339body is better.
2341Accidents cause History.
2343If Sigismund Unbuckle had taken a walk in 1426 and met Wat Tyler, the
2344Peasant's Revolt would never have happened and the motor car would not
2345have been invented until 2026, which would have meant that all the oil
2346could have been used for lamps, thus saving the electric light bulb and
2347the whale, and nobody would have caught Moby Dick or Billy Budd.
2348 -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
2350According to Arkansas law, Section 4761, Pope's Digest: "No person
2351shall be permitted under any pretext whatever, to come nearer than
2352fifty feet of any door or window of any polling room, from the opening
2353of the polls until the completion of the count and the certification of
2354the returns."
2356According to Kentucky state law, every person must take a bath at least
2357once a year.
2359According to my best recollection, I don't remember.
2360 -- Vincent "Jimmy Blue Eyes" Alo
2362According to the latest official figures, 43% of all statistics are
2363totally worthless.
2365According to the obituary notices, a mean and unimportant person never
2368"According to the Rand McNally Places-Rated Almanac, the best place to
2369live in America is the city of Pittsburgh. The city of New York came
2370in twenty-fifth. Here in New York we really don't care too much.
2371Because we know that we could beat up their city anytime."
2372 -- David Letterman
2374Accordion, n.:
2375 A bagpipe with pleats.
2377Accuracy, n.:
2378 The vice of being right
2380Acid -- better living through chemistry.
2382Acid absorbs 47 times it's weight in excess Reality.
2384Acquaintance, n.:
2385 A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well
2386enough to lend to.
2387 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
2389"Acting is an art which consists of keeping the audience from
2392Actor: "I'm a smash hit. Why, yesterday during the last act, I had
2393 everyone glued in their seats!"
2394Oliver Herford: "Wonderful! Wonderful! Clever of you to think of
2395 it!"
2397Actor: So what do you do for a living?
2398Doris: I work for a company that makes deceptively shallow serving
2399 dishes for Chinese restaurants.
2400 -- Woody Allen, "Without Feathers"
2402Actors will happen even in the best-regulated families.
2404ADA, n.:
2405 Something you need only know the name of to be an Expert in
2406Computing. Useful in sentences like, "We had better develop an ADA
2409Admiration, n.:
2410 Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
2411 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
2413Adolescence, n.:
2414 The stage between puberty and adultery.
2416"Adopted kids are such a pain -- you have to teach them how to look
2417like you ..."
2418 -- Gilda Radner
2420Adore, v.:
2421 To venerate expectantly.
2422 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
2424Adult, n.:
2425 One old enough to know better.
2427Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest
2428way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.
2429 -- Sinclair Lewis
2431Advice to young men: Be ascetic, and if you can't be ascetic,
2432then at least be aseptic.
2434After a few boring years, socially meaningful rock 'n' roll died out.
2435It was replaced by disco, which offers no guidance to any form of life
2436more advanced than the lichen family.
2437 -- Dave Barry, "Kids Today: They Don't Know Dum Diddly
2438 Do"
2440After a number of decimal places, nobody gives a damn.
2442After all, what is your hosts' purpose in having a party? Surely not
2443for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have
2444simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi.
2445 -- P. J. O'Rourke
2447After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found
2448on the bench.
2450After [Benjamin] Franklin came a herd of Electrical Pioneers whose
2451names have become part of our electrical terminology: Myron Volt, Mary
2452Louise Amp, James Watt, Bob Transformer, etc. These pioneers conducted
2453many important electrical experiments. For example, in 1780 Luigi
2454Galvani discovered (this is the truth) that when he attached two
2455different kinds of metal to the leg of a frog, an electrical current
2456developed and the frog's leg kicked, even though it was no longer
2457attached to the frog, which was dead anyway. Galvani's discovery led
2458to enormous advances in the field of amphibian medicine. Today,
2459skilled veterinary surgeons can take a frog that has been seriously
2460injured or killed, implant pieces of metal in its muscles, and watch it
2461hop back into the pond just like a normal frog, except for the fact
2462that it sinks like a stone.
2463 -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
2465"After I asked him what he meant, he replied that freedom consisted of
2466the unimpeded right to get rich, to use his ability, no matter what the
2467cost to others, to win advancement."
2468 -- Norman Thomas
2470After I run your program, let's make love like crazed weasels, OK?
2472After living in New York, you trust nobody, but you believe
2473everything. Just in case.
2475After the last of 16 mounting screws has been removed from an access
2476cover, it will be discovered that the wrong access cover has been
2479Afternoon, n.:
2480 That part of the day we spend worrying about how we wasted the
2483Afternoon very favorable for romance. Try a single person for a
2486Age before beauty; and pearls before swine.
2487 -- Dorothy Parker
2489Age, n.:
2490 That period of life in which we compound for the vices that we
2491still cherish by reviling those that we no longer have the enterprise
2492to commit.
2493 -- Ambrose Bierce
2495Ah, but the choice of dreams to live,
2496there's the rub.
2498For all dreams are not equal,
2499some exit to nightmare
2500most end with the dreamer
2502But at least one must be lived ... and died.
2504Ah say, son, you're about as sharp as a bowlin' ball.
2506"Ah, you know the type. They like to blame it all on the Jews or the
2507Blacks, 'cause if they couldn't, they'd have to wake up to the fact
2508that life's one big, scary, glorious, complex and ultimately
2509unfathomable crapshoot -- and the only reason THEY can't seem to keep
2510up is they're a bunch of misfits and losers."
2511 -- A analysis of Neo-Nazis, from "The Badger" comic
2513Air is water with holes in it
2515Alas, I am dying beyond my means.
2516 -- Oscar Wilde, as he sipped champagne on his deathbed
2518Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio, replied: "You see, wire
2519telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New
2520York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this?
2521And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they
2522receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."
2524Alden's Laws:
2525 (1) Giving away baby clothes and furniture is the major cause
2526 of pregnancy.
2527 (2) Always be backlit.
2528 (3) Sit down whenever possible.
2530Aleph-null bottles of beer on the wall,
2531Aleph-null bottles of beer,
2532 You take one down, and pass it around,
2533Aleph-null bottles of beer on the wall.
2535Alex Haley was adopted!
2537Alexander Graham Bell is alive and well in New York, and still waiting
2538for a dial tone.
2540Alimony is a system by which, when two people make a mistake, one of
2541them keeps paying for it.
2542 -- Peggy Joyce
2544All bridge hands are equally likely, but some are more equally likely
2545than others.
2546 -- Alan Truscott
2548All extremists should be taken out and shot.
2550All Finagle Laws may be bypassed by learning the simple art of doing
2551without thinking.
2553"All flesh is grass"
2554 -- Isiah
2555Smoke a friend today.
2557All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.
2559All I ask of life is a constant and exaggerated sense of my own
2562All I can think of is a platter of organic PRUNE CRISPS being trampled
2563by an army of swarthy, Italian LOUNGE SINGERS ...
2565All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power
2566 -- Ashleigh Brilliant
2568All men are mortal. Socrates was mortal. Therefore, all men are
2570 -- Woody Allen
2572"All my friends and I are crazy. That's the only thing that keeps us
2575"All my life I wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more
2577 -- Jane Wagner
2579All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.
2580 -- The Book of Bokonon / Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
2582All other things being equal, a bald man cannot be elected President of
2583the United States.
2584 -- Vic Gold
2586All power corrupts, but we need electricity.
2588All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.
2590All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of
2591every organism to live beyond its income.
2592 -- Samuel Butler
2594All science is either physics or stamp collecting.
2595 -- E. Rutherford
2597"All snakes who wish to remain in Ireland will please raise their right
2599 -- Saint Patrick
2601All syllogisms have three parts, therefore this is not a syllogism.
2603All the big corporations depreciate their possessions, and you can,
2604too, provided you use them for business purposes. For example, if you
2605subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, a business-related newspaper, you
2606can deduct the cost of your house, because, in the words of U.S.
2607Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger in a landmark 1979 tax
2608decision: "Where else are you going to read the paper? Outside? What
2609if it rains?"
2610 -- Dave Barry, "Sweating Out Taxes"
2612All the passions make us commit faults; love makes us commit the most
2613ridiculous ones.
2614 -- La Rochefoucauld
2616All the taxes paid over a lifetime by the average American are spent by
2617the government in less than a second.
2618 -- Jim Fiebig
2620All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.
2621 -- Sean O'Casey
2623All the world's a VAX,
2624And all the coders merely butchers;
2625They have their exits and their entrails;
2626And one int in his time plays many widths,
2627His sizeof being _\bN bytes. At first the infant,
2628Mewling and puking in the Regent's arms.
2629And then the whining schoolboy, with his Sun,
2630And shining morning face, creeping like slug
2631Unwillingly to school.
2632 -- A Very Annoyed PDP-11
2634All theoretical chemistry is really physics;
2635and all theoretical chemists know it.
2636 -- Richard P. Feynman
2638All things are possible, except skiing thru a revolving door.
2640All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for
2641fun. Money's just the way we keep score.
2643All true wisdom is found on T-shirts.
2645All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers ... Each one owes
2646infinitely more to the human race than to the particular country in
2647which he was born.
2648 -- Francois Fenelon
2650All [zoos] actually offer to the public in return for the taxes spent
2651upon them is a form of idle and witless amusement, compared to which a
2652visit to a penitentiary, or even to a State legislature in session, is
2653informing, stimulating and ennobling.
2654 -- H. L. Mencken
2656Alliance, n.:
2657 In international politics, the union of two thieves who have
2658their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that they cannot
2659separately plunder a third.
2660 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
2662Alone, adj.:
2663 In bad company.
2664 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
2666Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight
2667Protestants, today it's open to anybody who owns hideous clothing.
2668 -- Dave Barry
2670Although the moon is smaller than the earth, it is farther away.
2672Although we modern persons tend to take our electric lights, radios,
2673mixers, etc., for granted, hundreds of years ago people did not have
2674any of these things, which is just as well because there was no place
2675to plug them in. Then along came the first Electrical Pioneer,
2676Benjamin Franklin, who flew a kite in a lighting storm and received a
2677serious electrical shock. This proved that lighting was powered by the
2678same force as carpets, but it also damaged Franklin's brain so severely
2679that he started speaking only in incomprehensible maxims, such as "A
2680penny saved is a penny earned." Eventually he had to be given a job
2681running the post office.
2682 -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
2684Although written many years ago, Lady Chatterley's Lover has just been
2685reissued by the Grove Press, and this pictorial account of the
2686day-to-day life of an English gamekeeper is full of considerable
2687interest to outdoor minded readers, as it contains many passages on
2688pheasant-raising, the apprehending of poachers, ways to control vermin,
2689and other chores and duties of the professional gamekeeper.
2690Unfortunately, one is obliged to wade through many pages of extraneous
2691material in order to discover and savour those sidelights on the
2692management of a midland shooting estate, and in this reviewer's opinion
2693the book cannot take the place of J. R. Miller's "Practical
2695 -- Ed Zern, "Field and Stream" (Nov. 1959)
2697Always borrow money from a pessimist; he doesn't expect to be paid
2700Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.
2702"Always try to do things in chronological order; it's less confusing
2703that way."
2705Am I ranting? I hope so. My ranting gets raves.
2707Ambidextrous, adj.:
2708 Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.
2709 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
2711Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.
2712 -- Charlie McCarthy
2714America may be unique in being a country which has leapt from barbarism
2715to decadence without touching civilization.
2716 -- John O'Hara
2718America was discovered by Amerigo Vespucci and was named after him,
2719until people got tired of living in a place called "Vespuccia" and
2720changed its name to "America".
2721 -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
2723American business long ago gave up on demanding that prospective
2724employees be honest and hardworking. It has even stopped hoping for
2725employees who are educated enough that they can tell the difference
2726between the men's room and the women's room without having little
2727pictures on the doors.
2728 -- Dave Barry, "Urine Trouble, Mister"
2730"Amnesia used to be my favorite word, but then I forgot it."
2732An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because
2733people refuse to see it.
2734 -- James Michener, "Space"
2736An American's a person who isn't afraid to criticize the President but
2737is always polite to traffic cops.
2739"An anthropologist at Tulane has just come back from a field trip to
2740New Guinea with reports of a tribe so primitive that they have Tide but
2741not new Tide with lemon-fresh Borax."
2742 -- David Letterman
2744An apple every eight hours will keep three doctors away.
2746An artist should be fit for the best society and keep out of it.
2748An attorney was defending his client against a charge of first-degree
2749murder. "Your Honor, my client is accused of stuffing his lover's
2750mutilated body into a suitcase and heading for the Mexican border.
2751Just north of Tijuana a cop spotted her hand sticking out of the
2752suitcase. Now, I would like to stress that my client is *not* a
2753murderer. A sloppy packer, maybe..."
2755An authority is a person who can tell you more about something than you
2756really care to know.
2758An effective way to deal with predators is to taste terrible.
2760An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.
2762An English judge, growing weary of the barrister's long-winded
2763summation, leaned over the bench and remarked, "I've heard your
2764arguments, Sir Geoffrey, and I'm none the wiser!" Sir Geoffrey
2765responded, "That may be, Milord, but at least you're better informed!"
2767An Englishman never enjoys himself, except for a noble purpose.
2768 -- A. P. Herbert
2770An excellence-oriented '80s male does not wear a regular watch. He
2771wears a Rolex watch, because it weighs nearly six pounds and is
2772advertised only in excellence-oriented publications such as Fortune and
2773Rich Protestant Golfer Magazine. The advertisements are written in
2774incomplete sentences, which is how advertising copywriters denote
2777"The Rolex Hyperion. An elegant new standard in quality excellence and
2778discriminating handcraftsmanship. For the individual who is truly able
2779to discriminate with regard to excellent quality standards of crafting
2780things by hand. Fabricated of 100 percent 24-karat gold. No watch
2781parts or anything. Just a great big chunk on your wrist. Truly a
2782timeless statement. For the individual who is very secure. Who
2783doesn't need to be reminded all the time that he is very successful.
2784Much more successful than the people who laughed at him in high
2785school. Because of his acne. People who are probably nowhere near as
2786successful as he is now. Maybe he'll go to his 20th reunion, and
2787they'll see his Rolex Hyperion. Hahahahahahahahaha."
2788 -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
2790An exotic journey in downtown Newark is in your future.
2792An idea is an eye given by God for the seeing of God. Some of these
2793eyes we cannot bear to look out of, we blind them as quickly as
2795 -- Russell Hoban, "Pilgermann"
2797An idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it.
2799"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of purge."
2801Anarchy may not be the best form of government, but it's better than no
2802government at all.
2804And as we stand on the edge of darkness
2805Let our chant fill the void
2806That others may know
2808 In the land of the night
2809 The ship of the sun
2810 Is drawn by
2811 The grateful dead.
2813 -- Tibetan "Book of the Dead," ca. 4000 BC.
2815And I heard Jeff exclaim,
2816As they strolled out of sight,
2817"Merry Christmas to all --
2818You take credit cards, right?"
2819 -- "Outsiders" comic
2821And on the seventh day, He exited from append mode.
2823And so, men, we can see that human skin is an even more complex and
2824fascinating organ than we thought it was, and if we want to keep it
2825looking good, we have to care for it as though it were our own. One
2826approach is to undergo a painful surgical procedure wherein your skin
2827is turned inside-out, so the young cells are on the outside, but then
2828of course you have the unpleasant side effect that your insides
2829gradually fill up with dead old cells and you explode. So this
2830procedure is pretty much limited to top Hollywood stars for whom
2831youthful beauty is a career necessity, such as Elizabeth Taylor and
2832Orson Welles.
2833 -- Dave Barry, "Saving Face"
2835"...and the fully armed nuclear warheads, are, of course, merely a
2836courtesy detail."
2838And this is a table ma'am. What in essence it consists of is a
2839horizontal rectilinear plane surface maintained by four vertical
2840columnar supports, which we call legs. The tables in this laboratory,
2841ma'am, are as advanced in design as one will find anywhere in the
2843 -- Michael Frayn, "The Tin Men"
2845And yet, seasons must be taken with a grain of salt, for they too have
2846a sense of humor, as does history. Corn stalks comedy, comedy stalks
2847tragedy, and this too is historic. And yet, still, when corn meets
2848tragedy face to face, we have politics.
2849 -- Dalglish, Larsen and Sutherland, "Root Crops and
2850 Ground Cover"
2852Andrea: Unhappy the land that has no heroes.
2853Galileo: No, unhappy the land that _____\b\b\b\b\bneeds heroes.
2854 -- Bertolt Brecht, "Life of Galileo"
2856Angels we have heard on High
2857Tell us to go out and Buy.
2858 -- Tom Lehrer
2860Ankh if you love Isis.
2862Anoint, v.:
2863 To grease a king or other great functionary already
2864sufficiently slippery.
2865 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
2867Another good night not to sleep in a eucalyptus tree.
2869Another possible source of guidance for teenagers is television, but
2870television's message has always been that the need for truth, wisdom
2871and world peace pales by comparison with the need for a toothpaste that
2872offers whiter teeth *___\b\b\band* fresher breath.
2873 -- Dave Barry, "Kids Today: They Don't Know Dum Diddly
2874 Do"
2876Anthony's Law of Force:
2877 Don't force it; get a larger hammer.
2879Anthony's Law of the Workshop:
2880 Any tool when dropped, will roll into the least accessible
2881 corner of the workshop.
2884 On the way to the corner, any dropped tool will first strike
2885 your toes.
2887Antonym, n.:
2888 The opposite of the word you're trying to think of.
2890Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art.
2891 -- Charles McCabe
2893Any dramatic series the producers want us to take seriously as a
2894representation of contemporary reality cannot be taken seriously as a
2895representation of anything -- except a show to be ignored by anyone
2896capable of sitting upright in a chair and chewing gum simultaneously.
2897 -- Richard Schickel
2899Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
2900 -- Aesop
2902Any father who thinks he's all important should remind himself that
2903this country honors fathers only one day a year while pickles get a
2904whole week.
2906Any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise person to be able to
2907sell it.
2909Any great truth can -- and eventually will -- be expressed as a cliche
2910-- a cliche is a sure and certain way to dilute an idea. For instance,
2911my grandmother used to say, "The black cat is always the last one off
2912the fence." I have no idea what she meant, but at one time, it was
2913undoubtedly true.
2914 -- Solomon Short
2916Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell belongs there.
2917 -- Sydney J. Harris
2919Any small object that is accidentally dropped will hide under a larger
2922Any stone in your boot always migrates against the pressure gradient to
2923exactly the point of most pressure.
2924 -- Milt Barber
2926Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.
2927 -- Rich Kulawiec
2929Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged
2932Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
2933 -- Arthur C. Clarke
2935Any time things appear to be going better, you have overlooked
2938Any two philosophers can tell each other all they know in two hours.
2939 -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
2941Anybody can win, unless there happens to be a second entry.
2943Anybody who doesn't cut his speed at the sight of a police car is
2944probably parked.
2946Anybody with money to burn will easily find someone to tend the fire.
2948Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is
2949supposed to be doing at the moment.
2950 -- Robert Benchley
2952Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.
2953 -- Publius Syrus
2955Anyone can make an omelet with eggs. The trick is to make one with
2958Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he
2959is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe and not
2960make messes in the house.
2961 -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"
2963Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.
2964 -- Samuel Goldwyn
2966Anyone who hates Dogs and Kids Can't be All Bad.
2967 -- W. C. Fields
2969Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no
2970account be allowed to do the job.
2971 -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
2973Anyone who uses the phrase "easy as taking candy from a baby" has never
2974tried taking candy from a baby.
2975 -- Robin Hood
2977Anything free is worth what you pay for it.
2979Anything labeled "NEW" and/or "IMPROVED" isn't. The label means the
2980price went up. The label "ALL NEW", "COMPLETELY NEW", or "GREAT NEW"
2981means the price went way up.
2983Anything that is good and useful is made of chocolate.
2985Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
2987"Apathy is not the problem, it's the solution"
2989Aphorism, n.:
2990 A concise, clever statement.
2991Afterism, n.:
2992 A concise, clever statement you don't think of until too late.
2993 -- James Alexander Thom
2995APL is a mistake, carried through to perfection. It is the language of
2996the future for the problems of the past: it creates a new generation of
2997coding bums.
2999"APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I
3000can't read any of them."
3001 -- Roy Keir
3003Aquadextrous, adj.:
3004 Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub faucet on and off
3005with your toes.
3006 -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
3008AQUARIUS (Jan 20 - Feb 18)
3009 You have an inventive mind and are inclined to be progressive.
3010 You lie a great deal. On the other hand, you are inclined to
3011 be careless and impractical, causing you to make the same
3012 mistakes over and over again. People think you are stupid.
3014Arbitrary systems, pl.n.:
3015 Systems about which nothing general can be said, save "nothing
3016general can be said."
3021Are you a turtle?
3023"Arguments with furniture are rarely productive."
3024 -- Kehlog Albran, "The Profit"
3026ARIES (Mar 21 - Apr 19)
3027 You are the pioneer type and hold most people in contempt. You
3028 are quick tempered, impatient, and scornful of advice. You are
3029 not very nice.
3031Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your
3033 -- Mickey Mouse
3036 To provide weapons to a Spanish pickle
3038Arnold's Laws of Documentation:
3039 (1) If it should exist, it doesn't.
3040 (2) If it does exist, it's out of date.
3041 (3) Only documentation for useless programs transcends the
3042 first two laws.
3044Around computers it is difficult to find the correct unit of time to
3045measure progress. Some cathedrals took a century to complete. Can you
3046imagine the grandeur and scope of a program that would take as long?
3047 -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982
3049Art is anything you can get away with.
3050 -- Marshall McLuhan.
3052Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
3053 -- Paul Gauguin
3055Arthur's Laws of Love:
3056 (1) People to whom you are attracted invariably think you
3057 remind them of someone else.
3058 (2) The love letter you finally got the courage to send will be
3059 delayed in the mail long enough for you to make a fool of
3060 yourself in person.
3062Artistic ventures highlighted. Rob a museum.
3064As a professional humorist, I often get letters from readers who are
3065interested in the basic nature of humor. "What kind of a sick
3066perverted disgusting person are you," these letters typically ask,
3067"that you make jokes about setting fire to a goat?" ...
3068 -- Dave Barry, "Why Humor is Funny"
3070"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual
3071certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life -- so I
3072became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can
3073meet girls."
3074 -- Matt Cartmill
3076As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not
3077certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
3078 -- Albert Einstein
3080As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error.
3081 -- Weisert
3083As I was going up Punch Card Hill,
3084 Feeling worse and worser,
3085There I met a C.R.T.
3086 And it drop't me a cursor.
3088C.R.T., C.R.T.,
3089 Phosphors light on you!
3090If I had fifty hours a day
3091 I'd spend them all at you.
3093 -- Uncle Colonel's Cursory Rhymes
3095As I was passing Project MAC,
3096I met a Quux with seven hacks.
3097Every hack had seven bugs;
3098Every bug had seven manifestations;
3099Every manifestation had seven symptoms.
3100Symptoms, manifestations, bugs, and hacks,
3101How many losses at Project MAC?
3103As long as I am mayor of this city [Jersey City, New Jersey] the great
3104industries are secure. We hear about constitutional rights, free
3105speech and the free press. Every time I hear these words I say to
3106myself, "That man is a Red, that man is a Communist". You never hear a
3107real American talk like that.
3108 -- Frank Hague (1896-1956)
3110As long as the answer is right, who cares if the question is wrong?
3112As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its
3113fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be
3115 -- Oscar Wilde
3117As of next week, passwords will be entered in Morse code.
3119"As part of the conversion, computer specialists rewrote 1,500
3120programs; a process that traditionally requires some debugging."
3121 -- USA Today, referring to the IRS switchover to a new
3122 computer system.
3124As soon as we started programming, we found to our surprise that it
3125wasn't as easy to get programs right as we had thought. Debugging had
3126to be discovered. I can remember the exact instant when I realized
3127that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent in
3128finding mistakes in my own programs.
3129 -- Maurice Wilkes discovers debugging, 1949
3131As the poet said, "Only God can make a tree" -- probably because it's
3132so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.
3133 -- Woody Allen
3135As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there
3136is always a future in Computer Maintenance.
3137 -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"
3139As Will Rogers would have said, "There is no such things as a free
3142As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple
3143memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time
3144to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A,
3145E, or U is the proper time for chocolate.
3146 -- Sandra Boynton, "Chocolate: The Consuming Passion"
3148As you know, birds do not have sexual organs because they would
3149interfere with flight. [In fact, this was the big breakthrough for the
3150Wright Brothers. They were watching birds one day, trying to figure
3151out how to get their crude machine to fly, when suddenly it dawned on
3152Wilbur. "Orville," he said, "all we have to do is remove the sexual
3153organs!" You should have seen their original design.] As a result,
3154birds are very, very difficult to arouse sexually. You almost never
3155see an aroused bird. So when they want to reproduce, birds fly up and
3156stand on telephone lines, where they monitor telephone conversations
3157with their feet. When they find a conversation in which people are
3158talking dirty, they grip the line very tightly until they are both
3159highly aroused, at which point the female gets pregnant.
3160 -- Dave Barry, "Sex and the Single Amoeba: What Every
3161 Teen Should Know"
3163As you reach for the web, a venomous spider appears. Unable to pull
3164your hand away in time, the spider promptly, but politely, bites you.
3165The venom takes affect quickly causing your lips to turn plaid along
3166with your complexion. You become dazed, and in your stupor you fall
3167from the limbs of the tree. Snap! Your head falls off and rolls all
3168over the ground. The instant before you croak, you hear the whoosh of
3169a vacuum being filled by the air surrounding your head. Worse yet, the
3170spider is suing you for damages.
3172As Zeus said to Narcissus, "Watch yourself."
3174ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.
3176Ask five economists and you'll get five different explanations (six if
3177one went to Harvard).
3178 -- Edgar R. Fiedler
3180Ask Not for whom the Bell Tolls, and You will Pay only the
3181Station-to-Station rate.
3183Ask not for whom the <CONTROL-G> tolls.
3185Ask not for whom the telephone bell tolls ... if thou art in the
3186bathtub, it tolls for thee.
3188Ask your boss to reconsider -- it's so difficult to take "Go to hell"
3189for an answer.
3191"Asked by reporters about his upcoming marriage to a forty-two-year-old
3192woman, director Roman Polanski told reporters, `The way I look at it,
3193she's the equivalent of three fourteen-year-olds.'"
3194 -- David Letterman
3196Ass, n.:
3197 The masculine of "lass".
3199Associate with well-mannered persons and your manners will improve.
3200Run with decent folk and your own decent instincts will be
3201strengthened. Keep the company of bums and you will become a bum.
3202Hang around with rich people and you will end by picking up the check
3203and dying broke.
3204 -- Stanley Walker
3206"At a recent meeting in Snowmass, Colorado, a participant from Los
3207Angeles fainted from hyperoxygenation, and we had to hold his head
3208under the exhaust of a bus until he revived."
3210At any given moment, an arrow must be either where it is or where it is
3211not. But obviously it cannot be where it is not. And if it is where
3212it is, that is equivalent to saying that it is at rest.
3213 -- Zeno's paradox of the moving (still?) arrow
3215At first, I just did it on weekends. With a few friends, you know...
3216We never wanted to hurt anyone. The girls loved it. We'd all sit
3217around the computer and do a little UNIX. It was just a kick. At
3218least that's what we thought. Then it got worse.
3220It got so I'd have to do some UNIX during the weekdays. After a
3221while, I couldn't even wake up in the morning without having that
3222crave to go do UNIX. Then it started affecting my job. I would just
3223have to do it during my break. Maybe a `grep' or two, maybe a little
3224`more'. I eventually started doing UNIX just to get through the day.
3225Of course, it screwed up my mind so much that I couldn't even
3226function as a normal person.
3228I'm lucky today, I've overcome my UNIX problem. It wasn't easy. If
3229you're smart, just don't start. Remember, if any weirdo offers you
3230some UNIX,
3232 Just Say No!
3234At Group L, Stoffel oversees six first-rate programmers, a managerial
3235challenge roughly comparable to herding cats.
3236 -- The Washington Post Magazine, June 9, 1985
3238"At least they're ___________\b\b\b\b\b\b\b\b\b\b\bEXPERIENCED incompetents"
3240At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his
3241thumb with a hammer.
3242 -- Marshall Lumsden
3244At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will
3245find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on
3246the computer.
3248Atlanta makes it against the law to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole
3249or street lamp.
3251Atlee is a very modest man. And with reason.
3252 -- Winston Churchill
3254Authors (and perhaps columnists) eventually rise to the top of whatever
3255depths they were once able to plumb.
3256 -- Stanley Kaufman
3258Automobile, n.:
3259 A four-wheeled vehicle that runs up hills and down
3262Avoid Quiet and Placid persons unless you are in Need of Sleep.
3263 -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"
3265Avoid reality at all costs.
3267"Avoid revolution or expect to get shot. Mother and I will grieve, but
3268we will gladly buy a dinner for the National Guardsman who shot you."
3269 -- Dr. Paul Williamson, father of a Kent State student
3271Bacchus, n.:
3272 A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for
3273getting drunk.
3274 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
3277 1. n.; Equipment or program that fails, usually
3278intermittently. 2. adj.: Failing hardware or software. "This
3279bagbiting system won't let me get out of spacewar." Usage: verges on
3280obscenity. Grammatically separable; one may speak of "biting the
3284Bagdikian's Observation:
3285 Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American
3286newspaper is like trying to play Bach's "St. Matthew Passion" on a
3289Baker's First Law of Federal Geometry:
3290 A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides
3291by governors.
3293Ban the bomb. Save the world for conventional warfare.
3295Banectomy, n.:
3296 The removal of bruises on a banana.
3297 -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
3299Bank error in your favor. Collect $200.
3301Barach's Rule:
3302 An alcoholic is a person who drinks more than his own
3305Bare feet magnetize sharp metal objects so they point upward from the
3306floor -- especially in the dark.
3308Barometer, n.:
3309 An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we
3310are having.
3311 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
3313Barth's Distinction:
3314 There are two types of people: those who divide people into two
3315types, and those who don't.
3317Baruch's Observation:
3318 If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
3320Baseball is a skilled game. It's America's game -- it, and high
3322 -- Will Rogers
3324Basic is a high level languish.
3325APL is a high level anguish.
3327"BASIC is the Computer Science equivalent of `Scientific Creationism'."
3329Basic, n.:
3330 A programming language. Related to certain social diseases in
3331that those who have it will not admit it in polite company.
3333Bathquake, n.:
3334 The violent quake that rattles the entire house when the water
3335faucet is turned on to a certain point.
3336 -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
3338Be a better psychiatrist and the world will beat a psychopath to your
3341BE ALERT!!!! (The world needs more lerts ...)
3343Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most Souls would scarcely
3344get your Feet wet. Fall not in Love, therefore: it will stick to your
3346 -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"
3348Be braver -- you can't cross a chasm in two small jumps.
3350Be careful of reading health books, you might die of a misprint.
3351 -- Mark Twain
3353Be different: conform.
3355Be free and open and breezy! Enjoy! Things won't get any better so
3356get used to it.
3358Be security conscious -- National defense is at stake.
3360Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors and
3362 -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"
3364Bees are very busy souls
3365They have no time for birth controls
3366And that is why in times like these
3367There are so many Sons of Bees.
3369Begathon, n.:
3370 A multi-day event on public television, used to raise money so
3371you won't have to watch commercials.
3373Behold the warranty ... the bold print giveth and the fine print taketh
3376Beifeld's Principle:
3377 The probability of a young man meeting a desirable and
3378receptive young female increases by pyramidal progression when he is
3379already in the company of: (1) a date, (2) his wife, (3) a better
3380looking and richer male friend.
3382"Being disintegrated makes me ve-ry an-gry!" <huff, huff>
3384Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.
3386Bennett's Laws of Horticulture:
3387 (1) Houses are for people to live in.
3388 (2) Gardens are for plants to live in.
3389 (3) There is no such thing as a houseplant.
3391"Benson, you are so free of the ravages of intelligence"
3392 -- Time Bandits
3394Berkeley had what we called "copycenter," which is "take it down
3395to the copy center and make as many copies as you want."
3396 -- Kirk McKusick
3398Besides the device, the box should contain:
3400* Eight little rectangular snippets of paper that say "WARNING"
3402* A plastic packet containing four 5/17 inch pilfer grommets and two
3403 club-ended 6/93 inch boxcar prawns.
3405YOU WILL NEED TO SUPPLY: a matrix wrench and 60,000 feet of tram
3409spouse and say: "Margaret, you know why this country can't make a car
3410that can get all the way through the drive-through at Burger King
3411without a major transmission overhaul? Because nobody cares, that's
3414WARNING: This is assuming your spouse's name is Margaret.
3415 -- Dave Barry, "Read This First!"
3417Best of all is never to have been born. Second best is to die soon.
3419Better dead than mellow.
3421better !pout !cry
3422better watchout
3423lpr why
3424santa claus <north pole >town
3426cat /etc/passwd >list
3427ncheck list
3428ncheck list
3429cat list | grep naughty >nogiftlist
3430cat list | grep nice >giftlist
3431santa claus <north pole > town
3433who | grep sleeping
3434who | grep awake
3435who | egrep 'bad|good'
3436for (goodness sake) {
3437 be good
3440Between 1950 and 1952, a bored weatherman, stationed north of Hudson
3441Bay, left a monument that neither government nor time can eradicate.
3442Using a bulldozer abandoned by the Air Force, he spent two years and
3443great effort pushing boulders into a single word.
3445It can be seen from 10,000 feet, silhouetted against the snow.
3446Government officials exchanged memos full of circumlocutions (no Latin
3447equivalent exists) but failed to word an appropriation bill for the
3448destruction of this cairn, that wouldn't alert the press and embarrass
3449both Parliament and Party.
3451It stands today, a monument to human spirit. If life exists on other
3452planets, this may be the first message received from us.
3453 -- The Realist, November, 1964.
3455"Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not
3456tried it."
3457 -- Donald Knuth
3459Beware of computerized fortune-tellers!
3461Beware of low-flying butterflies.
3463Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers.
3464 -- Leonard Brandwein
3466Beware of self-styled experts: an ex is a has-been, and a spurt is a
3467drip under pressure.
3469"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and
3470finds himself no wiser than before," Bokonon tells us. "He is full of
3471murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by
3472their ignorance the hard way."
3473 -- Kurt Vonnegut, "Cat's Cradle"
3475Beware of the Turing Tar-pit in which everything is possible but
3476nothing of interest is easy.
3478Binary, adj.:
3479 Possessing the ability to have friends of both sexes.
3481"Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same
3482thing as division."
3484Bipolar, adj.:
3485 Refers to someone who has homes in Nome, Alaska, and Buffalo,
3486New York
3488Birth, n.:
3489 The first and direst of all disasters.
3490 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
3492Bizarreness is the essence of the exotic
3494Bizoos, n.:
3495 The millions of tiny individual bumps that make up a
3497 -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
3499Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt.
3501Blessed are they who Go Around in Circles, for they Shall be Known as
3504BLISS is ignorance
3506Blood flows down one leg and up the other.
3508Blood is thicker than water, and much tastier.
3510Blore's Razor:
3511 Given a choice between two theories, take the one which is
3514Board the windows, up your car insurance, and don't leave any booze in
3515plain sight. It's St. Patrick's day in Chicago again. The legend has
3516it that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. In fact, he was
3517arrested for drunk driving. The snakes left because people kept
3518throwing up on them.
3520Boling's postulate:
3521 If you're feeling good, don't worry. You'll get over it.
3523Bolub's Fourth Law of Computerdom:
3524 Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so
3525vividly manifests their lack of progress.
3527Bombeck's Rule of Medicine:
3528 Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
3530BOO! We changed Coke again! BLEAH! BLEAH!
3532Boob's Law:
3533 You always find something in the last place you look.
3535Bore, n.:
3536 A guy who wraps up a two-minute idea in a two-hour vocabulary.
3537 -- Walter Winchell
3539Bore, n.:
3540 A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
3541 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
3543Boren's Laws:
3544 (1) When in charge, ponder.
3545 (2) When in trouble, delegate.
3546 (3) When in doubt, mumble.
3548Boss, n.:
3549 According to the Oxford English Dictionary, in the Middle Ages
3550the words "boss" and "botch" were largely synonymous, except that boss,
3551in addition to meaning "a supervisor of workers" also meant "an
3552ornamental stud."
3554Boston, n.:
3555 Ludwig van Beethoven being jeered by 50,000 sports fans for
3556finishing second in the Irish jig competition.
3558Boston State House is the hub of the Solar System. You couldn't pry
3559that out of a Boston man if you had the tire of all creation
3560straightened out for a crowbar.
3561 -- O. W. Holmes
3563Boy, life takes a long time to live
3564 -- Steven Wright
3566Boy, n.:
3567 A noise with dirt on it.
3569Boys are beyond the range of anybody's sure understanding, at least
3570when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years.
3571 -- James Thurber
3573Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men.
3574 -- Kin Hubbard
3576Brace yourselves. We're about to try something that borders on the
3577unique: an actually rather serious technical book which is not only
3578(gasp) vehemently anti-Solemn, but also (shudder) takes sides. I tend
3579to think of it as `Constructive Snottiness.'
3580 -- Mike Padlipsky, Foreword to "Elements of Networking
3581 Style"
3583Bradley's Bromide:
3584 If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a
3585committee -- that will do them in.
3587Brady's First Law of Problem Solving:
3588 When confronted by a difficult problem, you can solve it more
3589easily by reducing it to the question, "How would the Lone Ranger have
3590handled this?"
3592Brain fried -- Core dumped
3594Brain, n.:
3595 The apparatus with which we think that we think.
3596 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
3598Brain, v. [as in "to brain"]:
3599 To rebuke bluntly, but not pointedly; to dispel a source of
3600error in an opponent.
3601 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
3603Breast Feeding should not be attempted by fathers with hairy chests,
3604since they can make the baby sneeze and give it wind.
3605 -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
3607Bride, n.:
3608 A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
3609 -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
3611Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may
3612revitalize the corner saloon.
3614British Israelites:
3615 The British Israelites believe the white Anglo-Saxons of
3616Britain to be descended from the ten lost tribes of Israel deported by
3617Sargon of Assyria on the fall of Sumeria in 721 B.C. ... They further
3618believe that the future can be foretold by the measurements of the
3619Great Pyramid, which probably means it will be big and yellow and in
3620the hand of the Arabs. They also believe that if you sleep with your
3621head under the pillow a fairy will come and take all your teeth.
3622 -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
3624Broad-mindedness, n.:
3625 The result of flattening high-mindedness out.
3627Brontosaurus Principle:
3628 Organizations can grow faster than their brains can manage them
3629in relation to their environment and to their own physiology: when
3630this occurs, they are an endangered species.
3631 -- Thomas K. Connellan
3633Brooke's Law:
3634 Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool
3635discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it
3636beyond recognition.
3638Brooks's Law:
3639 Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later
3641Brucify, v:
3642 1: Kill by nailing onto style(9); "David O'Brien was brucified"
3643 2: Annoy constantly by reminding of potential improvements
3644 [syn: {torment}, {rag}, {tantalize}, {bedevil}, {dun},
3645 {frustrate}]
3646 3: Fix problems that were indicated in an earlier brucification
3647 (of one of the two other meanings).
3648The word 'brucify' originally comes from the style-reviews of Bruce
3649Evans of the FreeBSD project, but is now also sometimes used for
3650reviews just done in his spirit.
3652Bubble Memory, n.:
3653 A derogatory term, usually referring to a person's
3654intelligence. See also "vacuum tube".
3656Bucy's Law:
3657 Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.
3659Bug, n.:
3660 An aspect of a computer program which exists because the
3661programmer was thinking about Jumbo Jacks or stock options when s/he
3662wrote the program.
3664Fortunately, the second-to-last bug has just been fixed.
3665 -- Ray Simard
3667Bugs, pl. n.:
3668 Small living things that small living boys throw on small
3669living girls.
3671BULLWINKLE: "You just leave that to my pal. He's the brains of the
3672 outfit."
3673GENERAL: "What does that make YOU?"
3674BULLWINKLE: "What else? An executive..."
3675 -- Jay Ward
3677Bumper sticker:
3679"All the parts falling off this car are of the very finest British
3682Bureaucrat, n.:
3683 A person who cuts red tape sideways.
3684 -- J. McCabe
3686Bureaucrat, n.:
3687 A politician who has tenure.
3689Bureaucrats cut red tape -- lengthwise.
3691Burn's Hog Weighing Method:
3692 (1) Get a perfectly symmetrical plank and balance it across a
3693 sawhorse.
3694 (2) Put the hog on one end of the plank.
3695 (3) Pile rocks on the other end until the plank is again
3696 perfectly balanced.
3697 (4) Carefully guess the weight of the rocks.
3698 -- Robert Burns
3700"But don't you worry, its for a cause -- feeding global corporations
3703"But I don't like Spam!!!!"
3705But in our enthusiasm, we could not resist a radical overhaul of the
3706system, in which all of its major weaknesses have been exposed,
3707analyzed, and replaced with new weaknesses.
3708 -- Bruce Leverett, "Register Allocation in Optimizing
3709 Compilers"
3711"But officer, I was only trying to gain enough speed so I could coast
3712to the nearest gas station."
3714But scientists, who ought to know
3715Assure us that it must be so.
3716Oh, let us never, never doubt
3717What nobody is sure about.
3718 -- Hilaire Belloc
3720But soft you, the fair Ophelia:
3721Ope not thy ponderous and marble jaws,
3722But get thee to a nunnery -- go!
3723 -- Mark "The Bard" Twain
3725But the greatest Electrical Pioneer of them all was Thomas Edison, who
3726was a brilliant inventor despite the fact that he had little formal
3727education and lived in New Jersey. Edison's first major invention in
37281877, was the phonograph, which could soon be found in thousands of
3729American homes, where it basically sat until 1923, when the record was
3730invented. But Edison's greatest achievement came in 1879, when he
3731invented the electric company. Edison's design was a brilliant
3732adaptation of the simple electrical circuit: the electric company sends
3733electricity through a wire to a customer, then immediately gets the
3734electricity back through another wire, then (this is the brilliant
3735part) sends it right back to the customer again.
3737This means that an electric company can sell a customer the same batch
3738of electricity thousands of times a day and never get caught, since
3739very few customers take the time to examine their electricity closely.
3740In fact the last year any new electricity was generated in the United
3741States was 1937; the electric companies have been merely re-selling it
3742ever since, which is why they have so much free time to apply for rate
3744 -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
3746"But this has taken us far afield from interface, which is not a bad
3747place to be, since I particularly want to move ahead to the kludge.
3748Why do people have so much trouble understanding the kludge? What is a
3749kludge, after all, but not enough Ks, not enough ROMs, not enough RAMs,
3750poor quality interface and too few bytes to go around? Have I
3751explained yet about the bytes?"
3753"But what we need to know is, do people want nasally-insertable
3756Buzz off, Banana Nose; Relieve mine eyes
3757Of hateful soreness, purge mine ears of corn;
3758Less dear than army ants in apple pies
3759Art thou, old prune-face, with thy chestnuts worn,
3760Dropt from thy peeling lips like lousy fruit;
3761Like honeybees upon the perfum'd rose
3762They suck, and like the double-breasted suit
3763Are out of date; therefore, Banana Nose,
3764Go fly a kite, thy welcome's overstayed;
3765And stem the produce of thy waspish wits:
3766Thy logick, like thy locks, is disarrayed;
3767Thy cheer, like thy complexion, is the pits.
3768Be off, I say; go bug somebody new,
3769Scram, beat it, get thee hence, and nuts to you.
3771By doing just a little every day, you can gradually let the task
3772completely overwhelm you.
3774"By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. In fact,
3775it is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as it is to
3776invent. (R. Emerson)"
3777 -- Quoted from a fortune cookie program
3778 (whose author claims, "Actually, stealing IS easier.")
3779 [to which I reply, "You think it's easy for me to
3780 misconstrue all these misquotations?!?"]
3782"By the time they had diminished from 50 to 8, the other dwarves began
3783to suspect 'Hungry' ..."
3784 -- Gary Larson, "The Far Side"
3786By trying, we can easily learn to endure adversity -- another man's, I
3788 -- Mark Twain