Monday, November 30, 2009

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), author and humorist. He is best known by his pen name Mark Twain and his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Mark Twain is another author found on the banned book list.

"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." - Mark Twain

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." - Mark Twain

"A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar." - Mark Twain

"A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read." - Mark Twain

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." - Mark Twain

"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." - Mark Twain

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain

Twain image source (1)
Twain stamp image source (1)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Transcendental meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Amos Bronson Alcott and his daughter Louisa May Alcott.

Amos Bronson Alcott (November 29, 1799 – March 4, 1888), teacher, writer and philosopher. He is best remembered as the founder of the utopian community known as Fruitlands.

"Thought means life, since those who do not think so do not live in any high or real sense. Thinking makes the man." - Amos Bronson Alcott

"To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent that is to triumph over old age." - Amos Bronson Alcott

"We climb to heaven most often on the ruins of our cherished plans, finding our failures were successes." - Amos Bronson Alcott

"Who speaks to the instincts speaks to the deepest in mankind, and finds the readiest response." - Amos Bronson Alcott

"Our ideals are our better selves." - Amos Bronson Alcott

Amos Bronson Alcott image source (1)

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888), novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women.

"We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing." - Louisa May Alcott

"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." - Louisa May Alcott

"You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long, and the great charm of all power is modesty." - Louisa May Alcott

"Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable." - Louisa May Alcott

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott

"Love is a great beautifier." - Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott image source (1)
Louisa May Alcott stamp image source (1)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of William Blake (November 28, 1757 – August 12, 1827), poet, painter, and printmaker.

"To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour." - William Blake

"As a man is, so he sees. As the eye is formed, such are its powers." - William Blake

"He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star." - William Blake

"A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees." - William Blake

"No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings." - William Blake

"What is now proved was once only imagined." - William Blake

Blake stamp image source (1)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Meandering in the studies . . .

Today is the birthday of Charles Austin Beard (November 27, 1874 – September 1, 1948), scholar and historian.

"All the lessons of history in four sentences: Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power. The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small. The bee fertilizes the flower it robs. When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." - Charles A. Beard

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." - Charles A. Beard

"I am convinced that the world is not a mere bog in which men and women trample themselves in the mire and die. Something magnificent is taking place here amid the cruelties and tragedies, and the supreme challenge to intelligence is that of making the noblest and best in our curious heritage prevail." - Charles A. Beard

Beard image source (1)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Meandering in numbers . . .

Today is the birthday of Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894 – March 18, 1964), mathematician. He is oft referred to as the founder of cybernetics.

"Progress imposes not only new possibilities for the future but new restrictions." - Norbert Wiener

"We are swimming upstream against a great torrent of disorganization...In this, our main obligation is to establish arbitrary enclaves of order and system...It is the greatest possible victory to be, to continue to be, and to have been. No defeat can deprive us of the success of having existed for some moment of time in a universe that seems indifferent to us. " - Norbert Wiener

"What most experimenters take for granted before they begin their experiments is infinitely more interesting than any results to which their experiments lead." - Norbert Wiener

"To live effectively is to live with adequate information." - Norbert Wiener

"The more we get out of the world the less we leave, and in the long run we shall have to pay our debts at a time that may be very inconvenient for our own survival" - Norbert Wiener

Wiener image source (1)
Wiener stamp image source (1)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meandering in abundance . . .

Today is the birthday of Andrew Carnegie (November 25, 1835 – August 11, 1919), business magnate and philanthropist.

"I resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious and difficult task of wise distribution." - Andrew Carnegie

"No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it." - Andrew Carnegie

"People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents." - Andrew Carnegie

"Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community." - Andrew Carnegie

"There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else." - Andrew Carnegie

"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do." - Andrew Carnegie

"No man can become rich without himself enriching others." - Andrew Carnegie

"There is little success where there is little laughter." - Andrew Carnegie

"The man who dies rich dies disgraced." - Andrew Carnegie

Trivia bit: Andrew Carnegie was often referred to as the Patron Saint of Libraries. He donated $56,162,622 for the construction of 2509 library buildings throughout the English-speaking parts of the world. He was honored by the United States Postal Service with a 4 cent stamp on Nov. 25, 1960. The stamp was issued in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the 125th anniversary of Carnegie's birth. Although the focus of the stamp was not Carnegie's library philanthropy, he is pictured in his library. source (1)

Carnegie image source (1)
Carnegie stamp image source (1)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Meandering in the pursuit of wisdom . . .

Today is the birthday of Baruch or Benedict de Spinoza (November 24, 1632 – February 21, 1677), philosopher. He is oft referred to as one of great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy and one of the most important philosophers in Western philosophy.

"If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past." - Baruch Spinoza

"Men govern nothing with more difficulty than their tongues, and can moderate their desires more than their words." - Baruch Spinoza

"The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free." - Baruch Spinoza

"Be not astonished at new ideas; for it is well known to you that a thing does not therefore cease to be true because it is not accepted by many." - Baruch Spinoza

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." - Baruch Spinoza

Trivia bit: Here is another author that is on the list of books that have been banned - all of Spinoza's works were listed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (List of Prohibited Books) by the Roman Catholic Church.

Spinoza image source (1)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Meandering on the edge . . .

Today is the birthday of Sathya Sai Baba (born Sathyanarayana Raju on 23 November 1926), Indian guru and educator.

"Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realize it! Life is a game, play it! Life is Love, enjoy it!" - Sathya Sai Baba

"You have it in your power to make your days on Earth a path of flowers, instead of a path of thorns." - Sathya Sai Baba

"What you would desire others to do for you, you should do for others. You should respect others, as you want to be respected by them." - Sathya Sai Baba

"Man's many desires are like the small metal coins he carries about in his pocket. The more he has the more they weight him down." - Sathya Sai Baba

"A house must be built on solid foundations if it is to last. The same principle applies to man, otherwise he too will sink back into the soft ground and becomes swallowed up by the world of illusion." - Sathya Sai Baba

"All action results from thought, so it is thoughts that matter." - Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba image source (1)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of André Paul Guillaume Gide (November 22, 1869 – February 19, 1951), author. He received the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947.

"Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you." - André Gide

"The most decisive actions of our life—I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future—are, more often than not, unconsidered." - André Gide

"Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself-and thus make yourself indispensable." - André Gide

"There are many things that seem impossible only so long as one does not attempt them." - André Gide

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore." - André Gide

"Sin is whatever obscures the soul." - André Gide

Trivia bit: He died in 1951. The following year the Vatican placed all his works on the Index of Forbidden Books.

Gide image source (1)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Meandering in thought . . .

Today is the birthday of François-Marie Arouet (November 21, 1694 – May 30, 1778), philosopher. He is best known by his pen name Voltaire and his novella, Candide.

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - Voltaire

"Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do." - Voltaire

"Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes the greater is their power to harm us." - Voltaire

"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too." - Voltaire

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." - Voltaire

"Prejudices are what fools use for reason." - Voltaire

"The secret of being a bore... is to tell everything." - Voltaire

Trivia bit: Voltaire is another author that is on the list of books that have been banned.

Voltaire image source (1)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Meandering in galaxies . . .

Today is the birthday of Edwin Powell Hubble (November 20, 1889 – September 28, 1953), astronomer.

"He profoundly changed our understanding of the universe by demonstrating the existence of other galaxies besides the Milky Way. He also discovered that the degree of redshift observed in light coming from a galaxy increased in proportion to the distance of that galaxy from the Milky Way. This became known as Hubble's law, and would help establish that the known universe is expanding." source (1)

"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science." - Edwin Hubble

"Positive, objective knowledge is public property. It can be transmitted directly from one person to another, it can be pooled, and it can be passed on from one generation to the next. Consequently, knowledge accumulates through the ages, each generation adding its contribution. Values are quite different. By values, I mean the standards by which we judge the significance of life. The meaning of good and evil, of joy and sorrow, of beauty, justice, success-all these are purely private convictions, and they constitute our store of wisdom. They are peculiar to the individual, and no methods exist by which universal agreement can be obtained. Therefore, wisdom cannot be readily transmitted from person to person, and there is no great accumulation through the ages. Each man starts from scratch and acquires his own wisdom from his own experience. About all that can be done in the way of communication is to expose others to vicarious experience in the hope of a favorable response." - Edwin Hubble

"We find them smaller and fainter, in constantly increasing numbers, and we know that we are reaching into space, farther and farther, until, with the faintest nebulae that can be detected with the greatest telescopes, we arrive at the frontier of the known universe." - Edwin Hubble

"Past time is finite, future time is infinite." - Edwin Hubble

"The universe is unfolding as it should." - Edwin Hubble

Hubble image source (1)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of Peter Ferdinand Drucker (November 19, 1909 – November 11, 2005), writer and management consultant. He is often referred to as the father of modern management.

In 1959, he coined the term knowledge worker and considered knowledge work productivity to be the next frontier of management.

"One cannot buy, rent or hire more time. The supply of time is totally inelastic. No matter how high the demand, the supply will not go up. There is no price for it. Time is totally perishable and cannot be stored. Yesterday's time is gone forever, and will never come back. Time is always in short supply. There is no substitute for time. Everything requires time. All work takes place in, and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable and necessary resource." - Peter Drucker

"We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn." - Peter Drucker

"Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work." - Peter Drucker

"Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility." - Peter Drucker

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said." - Peter Drucker

"The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Peter Drucker

Drucker image source (1)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spiraling meanderings . . .

Today is the birthday of Alan Oswald Moore (born 18 November 1953), writer. He is best known for his work in comics, especially his comic book series Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell.

"It doesn’t even matter if we ever fire these missiles or not. There are having their effect upon us because there is a generation growing up now who cannot see past the final exclamation mark of a mushroom cloud. They are a generation who can see no moral values that do not end in a crackling crater somewhere. I’m not saying that nuclear bombs are at the root of all of it, but I think it is very, very naïve to assume that you can expose the entire population of the world to the threat of being turned to cinders without them starting to act, perhaps, a little oddly.
I believe in some sort of strange fashion that the presence of the atom bomb might almost be forcing a level of human development that wouldn’t have occurred without the presence of the atom bomb. Maybe this degree of terror will force changes in human attitudes that could not have occurred without the presence of these awful, destructive things. Perhaps we are faced with a race between the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse in one line and the 7th Calvary in the other. We have not got an awful lot of mid ground between Utopia and Apocalypse, and if somehow our children ever see the day in which it is announced that we do not have these weapons any more, and that we can no longer destroy ourselves and that we’ve got to do something else to do with our time than they will have the right to throw up their arms, let down their streamers and let forth a resounding cheer." - Alan Moore

"Ideas, unlike solid structures, do not perish. They remain immortal, immaterial and everywhere, like all Divine things. Ideas are a golden, savage landscape that we wander unaware, without a map. Be careful: in the last analysis, reality may be exactly what we think it is." - Alan Moore

"The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy theorists actually believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy or the grey aliens or the 12 foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control. The truth is more frightening, nobody is in control. The world is rudderless." - Alan Moore

"The Here-and-Now demands attention, is more present to us. We dismiss the inner world of our ideas as less important, although most of our immediate physical reality originated only in the mind. The TV, sofa, clock and room, the whole civilisation that contains them once were nothing save ideas." - Alan Moore

Moore image source (1)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meandering in the method . . .

Today is the birthday of Lee Strasberg (November 17, 1901 – February 17, 1982), actor, director and acting teacher.

"If we cannot see the possibility of greatness how can we dream it?" - Lee Strasberg

"That is the basic need for art in life, not self-expression, but rather a saying and doing of things we cannot completely say and do in life but have to be said and done." - Lee Strasberg

"Nervousness means that we are concerned with ourselves rather than the things we need to do." - Lee Strasberg

"Art is longer than life." - Lee Strasberg

Strasberg image source (1)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Meandering around . . .

Today is the birthday of José de Sousa Saramago (born 16 November 1922), novelist, playwright and journalist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998.

"Some people spend their entire lives reading but never get beyond reading the words on the page, they don't understand that the words are merely stepping stones placed across a fast-flowing river, and the reason they're there is so that we can reach the farther shore, it's the other side that matters." - José Saramago

"Inside us there is something that has no name, that something is what we are." - José Saramago

"Human vocabulary is still not capable, and probably never will be, of knowing, recognizing, and communicating everything that can be humanly experienced and felt." - José Saramago

"I think we are blind. Blind people who can see, but do not see." - José Saramago

"Words were not given to man in order to conceal his thoughts." - José Saramago

Saramago image source (1)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Johann Kaspar Lavater (November 15, 1741 – January 2, 1801), poet and physiognomist.

"Mistrust the person who finds everything good, and the person who finds everything evil, and mistrust even more the person who is indifferent to everything." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"Don't speak evil of someone if you don't know for certain, and if you do know ask yourself, why am I telling it?" - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"Him, who incessantly laughs in the street, you may commonly hear grumbling in his closet." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"If you wish to appear agreeable in society, you must consent to be taught many things which you know already." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

Lavater images source (1)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Meandering in sound . . .

Today is the birthday of Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990), composer. He is considered one of the most important composers of the twentieth century.

"You compose because you want to somehow summarize in some permanent form your most basic feelings about being alive, to set down... some sort of permanent statement about the way it feels to live now, today." - Aaron Copland

"Inspiration may be a form of super-consciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness I wouldn't know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness." - Aaron Copland

"To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable." - Aaron Copland

"So long as the human spirit thrives on this planet, music in some living form will accompany and sustain it and give it expressive meaning." - Aaron Copland

Copland image source (1)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (November 13, 1850 – December 3, 1894), novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. He is best known for the novels The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and Treasure Island (1883).

"Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"In every part and corner of our life, to lose oneself is to be a gainer; to forget oneself is to be happy." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"A friend is a gift you give yourself." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Stevenson stamp image source (1)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meandering in symbols . . .

Today is the birthday of Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915 – March 25, 1980) philosopher and semiotician.

"To hide a passion totally (or even to hide, more simply, its excess) is inconceivable: not because the human subject is too weak, but because passion is in essence made to be seen: the hiding must be seen: I want you to know that I am hiding something from you, that is the active paradox I must resolve: at one and the same time it must be known and not known: I want you to know that I don't want to show my feelings: that is the message I address to the other." - Roland Barthes

"What I claim is to live to the full the contradiction of my time, which may well make sarcasm the condition of truth." - Roland Barthes

"What the public wants is the image of passion, not passion itself." - Roland Barthes

"A photograph is always invisible, it is not it that we see." - Roland Barthes

Barthes image source (1)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007), novelist. He is best known for his novel Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) and his humanist beliefs. He was the honorary president of the American Humanist Association.

"Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

"I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

"Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

"It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

"We are what we imagine ourselves to be." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. image source (1)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The intrigue of meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Anne "Ninon" de l'Enclos also spelled Ninon de Lenclos and Ninon de Lanclos (November 10, 1620 – October 17, 1705), author, courtesan and patron of the arts.

"Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it." - Ninon de Lenclos

"The resistance of a woman is not always a proof of her virtue, but more frequently of her experience." - Ninon de Lenclos

"Every action we take, everything we do, is either a victory or defeat in the struggle to become what we want to be." - Ninon de Lenclos

"Love never dies of starvation, but often of indigestion." - Ninon de Lenclos

"The more sins you confess, the more books you will sell." - Ninon de Lenclos

Ninon de Lenclos image source (1)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meandering in the cosmos . . .

Today is the birthday of Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996), astronomer, astrochemist, and author.

He is best known for his work (as co-producer and narrator) in his television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980).

"The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent." - Carl Sagan

"We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." - Carl Sagan

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." - Carl Sagan

"The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous." - Carl Sagan

"When you make the finding yourself - even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light - you'll never forget it." - Carl Sagan

"Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge." - Carl Sagan

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan

Sagan image source (1)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Meandering in the night . . .

Today is the birthday of Abraham "Bram" Stoker (November 8, 1847 – April 20, 1912), novelist and short story writer. He is best known for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula.

"How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams." - Bram Stoker

"I have learned not to think little of any one's belief, no matter how strange it may be. I have tried to keep an open mind, and it is not the ordinary things of life that could close it, but the strange things, the extraordinary things, the things that make one doubt if they be mad or sane." - Bram Stoker

"No man knows till he has suffered from the night how sweet and dear to his heart and eye the morning can be." - Bram Stoker

"I sometimes think we must all be mad and that we shall wake to sanity in strait-waistcoats." - Bram Stoker

"There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age they may solve only in part." - Bram Stoker

"We learn from failure, not from success!" - Bram Stoker

Stoker stamp image source (1)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Meander with me . . .

Today is the birthday of Albert Camus (November 7, 1913 – January 4, 1960), author, philosopher, and journalist. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.

"In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer." - Albert Camus

"Nothing is harder to understand than a symbolic work. A symbol always transcends the one who makes use of it and makes him say in reality more than he is aware of expressing." - Albert Camus

"Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus

"Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day." - Albert Camus

Camus image source (1)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Meandering to and fro . . .

Today is the birthday of Robert Musil (November 6, 1880 - April 15, 1942), writer. He is best known for his unfinished novel Der Mann Ohne Eigenschaften (The Man Without Qualities), which is considered to be one of the most important novels of Modernist literature.

"What is the use of good painting? We want a spell cast upon the optical part of our existence! We seldom really see the world, but when we do, we become as still as a picture." - Robert Musil

"The difference between a healthy person and one who is mentally ill is the fact that the healthy one has all the mental illnesses, and the mentally ill person has only one." - Robert Musil

"It will always be the same possibilities, in sum or on the average, that go on repeating themselves until a man comes along who does not value the actuality above idea. It is he who first gives the new possibilities their meaning, their direction, and he awakens them." - Robert Musil

Musil image source (1)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meandering through civilization . . .

Today is the birthday of William James Durant (November 5, 1885 – November 7, 1981), writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for the 11-volume The Story of Civilization, written in collaboration with his wife Ariel. They were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction (1968) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977).

"It is a mistake to think that the past is dead. Nothing that has ever happened is quite without influence at this moment. The present is merely the past rolled up and concentrated in this second of time. You, too, are your past; often your face is your autobiography; you are what you are because of what you have been; because of your heredity stretching back into forgotten generations; because of every element of environment that has affected you, every man or woman that has met you, every book that you have read, every experience that you have had; all these are accumulated in your memory, your body, your character, your soul. So with a city, a country, and a race; it is its past, and cannot be understood without it." - Will Durant

"The most interesting thing in the world is another human being who wonders, suffers and raises the questions that have bothered him to the last day of his life, knowing he will never get the answers." - Will Durant

"Knowledge is the eye of desire and can become the pilot of the soul." - Will Durant

"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." - Will Durant

"Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art." - Will Durant

"Woe to him who teaches men faster than they can learn." - Will Durant

Durant image source (1)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935), actor, humorist, columnist, and radio personality.

"Do the best you can, and don't take life too serious." - Will Rogers

"I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I didn't like." - Will Rogers

"Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing, and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even." - Will Rogers

"Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save." - Will Rogers

"If you want to be successful, it's just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing." - Will Rogers

"You've got to go out on a limb sometimes because that's where the fruit is." - Will Rogers

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

"Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far." - Will Rogers

"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today." - Will Rogers

Rogers stamp image source (1)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of William Cullen Bryant (November 3, 1794 – June 12, 1878), poet and journalist. He is best known for his poem Thanatopsis and as long-time editor of the New York Evening Post.

"The right to discuss freely and openly, by speech, by the pen, by the press, all political questions, and to examine the animadvert upon all political institutions is a right so clear and certain, so interwoven with our other liberties, so necessary, in fact, to their existence, that without it we must fall into despotism and anarchy." - William Cullen Bryant

"Weep not that the world changes- did it keep a stable, changeless state, it were a cause indeed to weep." - William Cullen Bryant

"Poetry is that art which selects and arranges the symbols of thought in such a manner as to excite the imagination the most powerfully and delightfully." - William Cullen Bryant

"Go forth under the open sky, and list to Nature's teachings." - William Cullen Bryant

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Meandering in numbers . . .

Today is the birthday of George Boole (November 2, 1815 - December 8, 1864), mathematician and philosopher.

"To unfold the secret laws and relations of those high faculties of thought by which all beyond the merely perceptive knowledge of the world and of ourselves is attained or matured, is a object which does not stand in need of commendation to a rational mind." - George Boole

"Probability is expectation founded upon partial knowledge. A perfect acquaintance with all the circumstances affecting the occurrence of an event would change expectation into certainty, and leave nether room nor demand for a theory of probabilities." - George Boole

"No matter how correct a mathematical theorem may appear to be, one ought never to be satisfied that there was not something imperfect about it until it also gives the impression of being beautiful." - George Boole

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Meandering in realism . . .

Today is the birthday of Stephen Crane (November 1, 1871 – June 5, 1900), novelist, short story writer, poet and journalist.

"A man said to the universe: Sir, I exist! However, replied the universe, The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation." - Stephen Crane

"A singular disadvantage of the sea lies in the fact that after successfully surmounting one wave you discover another behind it just as important and just as nervously anxious to do something effective in the way of swamping boats. In a ten-foot dinghy one can get an idea of the resources of the sea in the line of waves that is not probable to the average experience, which is never at sea in a dinghy." - Stephen Crane

"You cannot choose your battlefield, God does that for you; But you can plant a standard where a standard never flew." - Stephen Crane

"If I am going to be drowned – if I am going to be drowned – if I am going to be drowned, why in the name of the seven mad gods who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate land and trees?" - Stephen Crane

"Every sin is the result of collaboration." - Stephen Crane

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