Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Meandering forever . . .

Today is the birthday of Nicholas Charles Sparks (born December 31, 1965), author.

"I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered." - Nicholas Sparks

"My wife, my family, my friends - they've all taught me things about love and what that emotion really means. In a nutshell, loving someone is about giving, not receiving." - Nicholas Sparks

"You're going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it's always their actions you should judge them by. It's actions, not words, that matter." - Nicholas Sparks

"I finally understood what true love meant that you care for another person's happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be." - Nicholas Sparks

"The best kind of love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach out for more; that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds." - Nicholas Sparks

Sparks image source (1)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Meandering around and around . . .

Today is the birthday of Joseph Rudyard Kipling (December 30, 1865 – January 18, 1936), author and poet. He is best known as Rudyard Kipling, the author of The Jungle Book (1894) and The Man Who Would Be King (1888), plus his poems, Gunga Din (1890), and If— (1910).

In 1907, Rudyard Kipling was the first English language writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature and to this day he remains its youngest recipient.

"A people always ends by resembling its shadow." - Rudyard Kipling

"Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are your own fears." - Rudyard Kipling

"If you can keep your wits about you while all others are losing theirs, and blaming you. The world will be yours and everything in it, what's more, you'll be a man, my son." - Rudyard Kipling

"I keep six honest serving men: They taught me all I knew: Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who." - Rudyard Kipling

"Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade." - Rudyard Kipling

"And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart, till the Devil whispered behind the leaves "It's pretty, but is it Art?" - Rudyard Kipling

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." - Rudyard Kipling

Kipling stamp image source (1)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Pau Casals i Defilló (December 29, 1876 – October 22, 1973), cellist and conductor. He is best known by his profesional name, Pablo Casals and for the recording of the Bach Cello Suites he made from 1936 to 1939. He received the 1963 Presidential Medal of Freedom and wrote music for the UN Anthem for world peace.

"The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him." - Pablo Casals

"Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart." - Pablo Casals

"Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for a person to listen to his own good." - Pablo Casals

"Beauty is all about us, but how many are blind! They look at the wonder of this earth and seem to see nothing. People move hectically but give little thought to where they are going. They seek excitement ... as if they were lost and desperate." - Pablo Casals

"Man has made many machines, complex and cunning, but which of them indeed rivals the workings of his heart?" - Pablo Casals

"I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance." - Pablo Casals

"Music will save the world." - Pablo Casals

Casals image source (1)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Mortimer Jerome Adler (December 28, 1902 – June 28, 2001), philosopher, educator, and author.

Mortimer Adler and Robert Hutchins founded the Great Books of the Western World program and the Great Books Foundation. Mortimer Adler founded and served as director of the Institute for Philosophical Research in 1952 and was co-founder of The Center for the Study of The Great Ideas with Max Weismann.

"The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live." - Mortimer J. Adler

"Ask others about themselves, at the same time, be on guard not to talk too much about yourself." - Mortimer J. Adler

"You have to allow a certain amount of time in which you are doing nothing in order to have things occur to you, to let your mind think." - Mortimer J. Adler

"In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." - Mortimer J. Adler

"Not to engage in the pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of like men." - Mortimer J. Adler

Adler image source (1)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Meandering to and fro . . .

Today is the birthday of Louis Pasteur (December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895), chemist and microbiologist. He is best known for inventing the process known as pasteurization and creating the first vaccine for rabies.

"Chance favors the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity." - Louis Pasteur

"Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence." - Louis Pasteur

"Whether our efforts are, or not, favored by life, let us be able to say, when we come near the great goal, I have done what I could." - Louis Pasteur

Pasteur stamp image source (1)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of Henry Valentine Miller (December 26, 1891 – June 7, 1980), novelist and painter. He is best known as the author of Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Here is another author whose books were banned.

"I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive." - Henry Miller

"What an astounding thing is the voice! By what miracle is the hot magma of the earth transformed into that which we call speech? If out of clay such an abstract medium as words can be shaped what is to hinder us from leaving our bodies at will and taking up our abode on other planets or between the planets? What is to prevent us from rearranging all life, atomic, molecular, corporeal, stellar, diving? Who or what is powerful enough to eradicate this miraculous leaven which we bear within us like a seed and which, after we have embraced in our mind all the universe, is nothing more than a seed — since to say universe is as easy as to say seed, and we have yet to say greater things, things beyond saying, things limitless and inconceivable, things which no trick of language can encompass." - Henry Miller

"Do anything, but let it produce joy. Do anything, but let it yield ecstasy." - Henry Miller

"Any genuine philosophy leads to action and from action back again to wonder, to the enduring fact of mystery." - Henry Miller

"One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things." - Henry Miller

Miller image source (1)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Carlos Castaneda (December 25, 1925 – April 27, 1998), author. He is best known for his book, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge.

"A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting." - Carlos Castaneda

"All paths are the same, leading nowhere. Therefore, pick a path with heart!" - Carlos Castaneda

"Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use." - Carlos Castaneda

"The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same." - Carlos Castaneda

"The only thing that is real is the being in you that is going to die." - Carlos Castaneda

"The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity." - Carlos Castaneda

"Death is our eternal companion. It is always to our left, an arm's length behind us. Death is the only wise adviser that a warrior has. Whenever he feels that everything is going wrong and he's about to be annihilated, he can turn to his death and ask if that is so. His death will tell him that he is wrong, that nothing really matters outside its touch. His death will tell him, I haven't touched you yet." - Carlos Castaneda

Castaneda image source (1)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Meandering across the board . . .

Today is the birthday of Emanuel Lasker (December 24, 1868 – January 11, 1941), chess player, mathematician, and philosopher. He was World Chess Champion for 27 years and the first chess master to demand high fees.

"Without error there can be no brilliancy." - Emanuel Lasker

"Lies and hypocrisy do not survive for long on the chessboard. The creative combination lies bare the presumption of a lie, while the merciless fact, culminating in a checkmate, contradicts the hypocrite." - Emanuel Lasker

"Where a mediocre chessplayer sees ten moves to continue his game, a master may see only two or three. He discards the others as not of sufficient merit. The further the master progresses in skill and foresight the more he is restricted in his choice of moves . . . The higher the class of the artist, the less is his liberty." - Emanuel Lasker

"Education in Chess has to be an education in independent thinking and judgement. Chess must not be memorized, simply because it is not important enough . . . Memory is too valuable to be stocked with trifles." - Emanuel Lasker

"When you see a good move, look for a better one" - Emanuel Lasker

Lasker image source (1)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Meandering around . . .

Today is the birthday of Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (December 23, 1804 – October 13, 1869), literary historian and critic.

"Tell me who admires you and loves you, and I will tell you who you are." - Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve

"There are people whose watch stops at a certain hour and who remain permanently at that age." - Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve

"Despair itself if it goes on long enough, can become a kind of sanctuary in which one settles down and feels at ease." - Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve

"Since it is necessary to have enemies, let us endeavour to have those who do us honour." - Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve

Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve image source (1)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Magically meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Charles de Lint (born December 22, 1951), author and Celtic folk musician.

"While you live ... you have a duty to life. ... The fey wonders of the world only exist while there are those with the sight to see them. ... Otherwise they fade away." - Charles de Lint

"I love this world ... That is what rules my life. When I die, I want to have done all in my power to leave it in a better state than it was in when I found it. At the same time I know that this can never be. The world has grown so complex that one voice can do little to alter it any longer. That doesn't stop me from doing what I can but it makes the task hard. The successes are so small, the failures so large and many. It's like trying to stem a storm with one's bare hands." - Charles de Lint

"That's the thing with magic. You've got to know it's still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you." - Charles de Lint

"When all's said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it's not so much which road you take, as how you take it." - Charles de Lint

"It's the questions we ask, the journey we take to get to where we are going that is more important than the actual answer. It's good to have mysteries. It reminds us that there's more to the world than just making do and having a bit of fun." - Charles de Lint

"Without mysteries, life would be very dull indeed. What would be left to strive for if everything were known?" - Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint image source (1)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Meandering in thought . . .

Today is the birthday of Paul Kurtz (born December 21, 1925), professor of philosophy, author, and editor.

Paul Kurtz is the founder and chair emeritus of the Center for Inquiry Transnational and its federated organizations, including the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. Paul Kurtz also founded Prometheus Books and is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

"The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can." - Paul Kurtz

"Most humans feel the transcendent temptation, the emotional drive to festoon the universe with large-scale meaning." - Paul Kurtz

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Maxwell "Max" Alan Lerner and Sidney Hook, both born December 20th, 1902.

Maxwell "Max" Alan Lerner (December 20, 1902—June 5, 1992), journalist and educator.

"A world technology means either a world government or world suicide." - Max Lerner

"Either men will learn to live like brothers, or they will die like beasts." - Max Lerner

"Despite the success cult, men are most deeply moved not by the reaching of the goal but by the grandness of the effort involved in getting there - or failing to get there." - Max Lerner

"The crime of book purging is that it involves a rejection of the word. For the word is never absolute truth, but only man's frail and human effort to approach the truth. To reject the word is to reject the human search." - Max Lerner

"In our rich consumers' civilization we spin cocoons around ourselves and get possessed by our possessions." - Max Lerner

"The so-called lessons of history are for the most part the rationalizations of the victors. History is written by the survivors." - Max Lerner

"The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt." - Max Lerner

"When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil." - Max Lerner

Lerner image source (1)

Sidney Hook (December 20, 1902 – July 12, 1989), philosopher.

"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments." - Sidney Hook

"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness." - Sidney Hook

"Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system." - Sidney Hook

"Students rarely disappoint teachers who assure them in advance that they are doomed to failure." - Sidney Hook

"Those who say that life is worth living at any cost have already written an epitaph of infamy, for there is no cause and no person that they will not betray to stay alive." - Sidney Hook

"To silence criticism is to silence freedom." - Sidney Hook

Hook image source (1)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Meandering in flight . . .

Today is the birthday of Édith Giovanna Gassion (December 19, 1915 – October 10, 1963), singer. She is best known as Édith Piaf (the Little Sparrow) and is considered by many to be a cultural icon of France.

"All I've done all my life is disobey." - Édith Piaf

"For me, singing is a way of escaping. It's another world. I'm no longer on earth." - Édith Piaf

"I've always wanted to sing, just as I've always known that one day I would have my own niche in the annals of song. It was a feeling I had." - Édith Piaf

"No, I regret nothing... Neither the good nor the bad, It's all the same for me." - Édith Piaf

"For me, sleeping is a waste of time. I'm afraid to sleep. It's a form of death." - Édith Piaf

"Death is the beginning of something." - Édith Piaf

Trivia bit: As a small child she experienced blindness as the result of a virus. She allegedly recovered her sight after taken on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Saint Therese de Lisieue in Paris.

Piaf stamp image source (1)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Meandering in futility . . .

Today is the birthday of Peter Wessel Zapffe (December 18, 1899-October 12, 1990), philosopher, author and mountaineer.

"Each new generation asks – What is the meaning of life? A more fertile way of putting the question would be – Why does man need a meaning to life?" - Peter Wessel Zapffe

"Man is a tragic animal. Not because of his smallness, but because he is too well endowed. Man has longings and spiritual demands that reality cannot fulfill. We have expectations of a just and moral world. Man requires meaning in a meaningless world." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

"If one regards life and death as natural processes, the metaphysical dread vanishes, and one obtains peace of mind." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

Zapffe image source (1)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Meandering in quietude . . .

Today is the birthday of John Greenleaf Whittier (December 17, 1807 – September 7, 1892), poet. He was one of the Fireside Poets, a group of 19th-century American poets from New England.

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been!" - John Greenleaf Whittier

"You don't always win your battles, but it's good to know you fought." - John Greenleaf Whittier

"The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts." - John Greenleaf Whittier

"For somehow, not only at Christmas, but all the long year through, The joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you." - John Greenleaf Whittier

"No longer forward nor behind, I look in hope or fear; But grateful take the good I find, The best of now and here." - John Greenleaf Whittier

"I'll lift you and you lift me, and we'll both ascend together." - John Greenleaf Whittier

"No longer forward nor behind, I look in hope or fear; But grateful take the good I find, The best of now and here." - John Greenleaf Whittier

Whittier image source (1)
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Meandering around and around . . .

Today is the birthday of Arthur Charles Clarke (December 16, 1917 – March 19, 2008), science fiction author. He is best known for the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.

"This is the first age that's ever paid much attention to the future, which is a little ironic since we may not have one." - Arthur C. Clarke

"Perhaps it is better to be un-sane and happy, than sane and un-happy. But it is the best of all to be sane and happy. Whether our descendants can achieve that goal will be the greatest challenge of the future. Indeed, it may well decide whether we have any future." - Arthur C. Clarke

"The Information Age offers much to mankind, and I would like to think that we will rise to the challenges it presents. But it is vital to remember that information — in the sense of raw data — is not knowledge, that knowledge is not wisdom, and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these." - Arthur C. Clarke

"One cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying." - Arthur C. Clarke

"I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It's just been too intelligent to come here." - Arthur C. Clarke

"Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying." - Arthur C. Clarke

Clarke image source (1)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of Muriel Rukeyser (December 15, 1913 – February 12, 1980), poet.

"A work of art is one through which the consciousness of the artist is able to give its emotions to anyone who is prepared to receive them. There is no such thing as bad art." - Muriel Rukeyser

"However confused the scene of our life appears, however torn we may be who now do face that scene, it can be faced, and we can go on to be whole." - Muriel Rukeyser

"Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. Not all things are blest, but the seeds of all things are blest.The blessing is in the seed." - Muriel Rukeyser

"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms." - Muriel Rukeyser

"The journey is my home." - Muriel Rukeyser

Rukeyser image source (1)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Meandering in light . . .

Today is the birthday of Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (Born December 14, 1918 in Bellur, Kolar District, Karnataka, India), better known as B. K. S. Iyengar, the founder of Iyengar Yoga.

"The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life." - B.K.S. Iyengar

"Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one's being, from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union - the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one's actions." - B.K.S. Iyengar

"Illuminated emancipation, freedom, unalloyed and untainted bliss await you, but you have to choose to embark on the Inward Journey to discover it." - B.K.S. Iyengar

"Change leads to disappointment if it is not sustained. Transformation is sustained change, and it is achieved through practice." - B.K.S. Iyengar

"It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity." - B.K.S. Iyengar

B.K.S. Iyengar image source (1)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Meandering forever . . .

Today is the birthday of Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (December 13, 1797 – February 17, 1856) writer and poet. He is best known as Heinrich Heine and for his lyric poetry, especially his Book of Songs. Many of poem were set to music in the form of lieder (art songs) by such renowned composers as Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, Richard Strauss, and Richard Wagner.

Here is another author whose books were banned and burned.

Among the thousands of books burned on Berlin's Opernplatz in 1933, following the Nazi raid on the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, were works by Heinrich Heine. To commemorate the terrible event, one of the most famous lines of Heine's 1821 play "Almansor" was engraved in the ground at the site: "Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen." ("Where they burn books, they will ultimately also burn people.") *quote source (1)

"The men of action are, after all, only the unconscious instruments of the men of thought." - Heinrich Heine

"When the heroes go off the stage, the clowns come on." - Heinrich Heine

"Ask me not what I have, but what I am." - Heinrich Heine

"Experience is a good school. But the fees are high." - Heinrich Heine

Heine stamp image source (1)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821 – May 8, 1880), writer. He is best known for his first published novel, Madame Bovary (1857).

"Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough." - Gustave Flaubert

"Success is a consequence and must not be a goal." - Gustave Flaubert

"The most glorious moments in your life are not the so-called days of success, but rather those days when out of dejection and despair you feel rise in you a challenge to life, and the promise of future accomplishments." - Gustave Flaubert

"Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything." - Gustave Flaubert

"I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings." - Gustave Flaubert

"The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe." - Gustave Flaubert

"The future is the worst thing about the present." - Gustave Flaubert

"There is no truth. There is only perception." - Gustave Flaubert

Flaubert image source (1)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (December 11, 1918 – August 3, 2008), novelist, dramatist, and historian. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970.

"The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?" - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"It is not the level of prosperity that makes for happiness but the kinship of heart to heart and the way we look at the world. Both attitudes are within our power . . . a man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy, and no one can stop him." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"The battleline between good and evil runs through the heart of every man." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"When truth is discovered by someone else, it loses something of its attractiveness." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Solzhenitsyn image source (1)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of George MacDonald (December 10, 1824 – September 18, 1905), poet and novelist.

"We are often unable to tell people what they need to know because they want to know something else." - George MacDonald

"But for money and the need of it, there would not be half the friendship in the world. It is powerful for good if divinely used. Give it plenty of air, and it is sweet as the hawthorn; shut it up, and it cankers and breeds worms." - George MacDonald

"A beast does not know that he is a beast, and the nearer a man gets to being a beast, the less he knows it." - George MacDonald

"I do not myself believe there is any misfortune. What men call such is merely the shadowside of a good." - George MacDonald

"Anything large enough for a wish to light upon, is large enough to hang a prayer upon." - George MacDonald

"Love is the opener as well as closer of eyes." - George MacDonald

MacDonald image source (1)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Meandering in prose . . .

Today is the birthday of John Milton (December 9, 1608 – November 8, 1674), poet and author. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost.

"He that has light within his own clear breast May sit in the centre, and enjoy bright day: But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts Benighted walks under the mid-day sun; Himself his own dungeon." - John Milton

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - John Milton

"He that studieth revenge keepeth his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well." - John Milton

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." - John Milton

"Confidence imparts a wonderful inspiration to its possessor." - John Milton

"A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose for a life beyond." - John Milton

"I am a part of all that I have met." - John Milton

"They also serve who only stand and wait." - John Milton

Milton image source (1)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Meandering around . . .

Today is the birthday of James Grover Thurber (December 8, 1894 – November 2, 1961), author, and cartoonist. He was best known for his contributions (both cartoons and short stories) to The New Yorker magazine and his celebrated wit.

"It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers." - James Thurber

"The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself, but in so doing, he identifies himself with people — that is, people everywhere, not for the purpose of taking them apart, but simply revealing their true nature." - James Thurber

"There are two kinds of light — the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures." - James Thurber

"Man has gone long enough, or even too long, without being man enough to face the simple truth that the trouble with Man is Man." - James Thurber

"You can fool too many of the people too much of the time." - James Thurber

Thurber stamp image source (1)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of Willa Siebert Cather (December 7, 1873 – April 24, 1947), author. She is best known for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains of North America.

"The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman." - Willa Cather

"It does not matter much whom we live with in this world, but it matters a great deal whom we dream of." - Willa Cather

"Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is." - Willa Cather

"There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes over for thousands of years." - Willa Cather

"Nothing is far and nothing is near, if one desires. The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire." - Willa Cather

"Where there is great love there are always miracles." - Willa Cather

Cather image source (1)
Cather stamp image source (1)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Meandering freely . . .

Today is the birthday of David Warren Brubeck (born December 6, 1920), better known as Dave Brubeck, jazz pianist and composer.

"I'm always hoping for the nights that are inspired where you almost have an out of body experience." - Dave Brubeck

"When things are going well, I hate to quit." - Dave Brubeck

"There's a way of playing safe, there's a way of using tricks and there's the way I like to play which is dangerously where you're going to take a chance on making mistakes in order to create something you haven't created before." - Dave Brubeck

"I'm beginning to understand myself. But it would have been great to be able to understand myself when I was 20 rather than when I was 82." - Dave Brubeck

"I never wanted this kind of life that I'm still living." - Dave Brubeck

"We don't know the power that's within our own bodies." - Dave Brubeck

Brubeck image source (1)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Meandering in dreams . . .

Today is the birthday of Walter Elias "Walt" Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966), film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon and philanthropist.

"If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse." - Walt Disney

"Somehow, I can't believe that there are any heights to be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. The special secret it seems to me is summarized in four C's. They are Curiosity, Courage, Confidence and Constancy. And the greatest of all is Confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably." - Walt Disney

"I suppose my formula might be: dream, diversify and never miss an angle." - Walt Disney

"Once a man has tasted freedom he will never be content to be a slave. That is why I believe that this frightfulness we see everywhere today is only temporary. Tomorrow will be better for as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life." - Walt Disney

"All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." - Walt Disney

"A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive." - Walt Disney

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." - Walt Disney

Disney image source (1)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Samuel Butler (December 4, 1835 – June 18, 1902), author. His most famous works are the Utopian satire Erewhon and the posthumous novel The Way of All Flesh.

"Life is not an exact science, it is an art." - Samuel Butler

"A friend who cannot at a pinch remember a thing or two that never happened is as bad as one who does not know how to forget." - Samuel Butler

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a little want of knowledge is also a dangerous thing." - Samuel Butler

"All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it." - Samuel Butler

"Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them." - Samuel Butler

"Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day." - Samuel Butler

"Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself." - Samuel Butler

"If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do." - Samuel Butler

"All truth is not to be told at all times." - Samuel Butler

"It is tact that is golden, not silence." - Samuel Butler

Butler image source (1)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Meandering in theory . . .

Today is the birthday of Fred Alan Wolf (born December 3, 1934), theoretical physicist and writer. He is known to many as Dr. Quantum or Captain Quantum.

"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery." - Fred Alan Wolf

"The self is fundamentally an illusion arising as a reflection of the soul in matter, much as a clear lake at midnight reflects the moon." - Fred Alan Wolf

"What I thought was unreal now, for me, seems in some ways to be more real than what I think to be real, which seems now to be unreal." - Fred Alan Wolf

""The place where...knowledge occurs is the present. That which recognizes the present is mind." - Fred Alan Wolf

"Quantum physics says that you can't have a universe with a mind entering into it. The mind is actually shaping the very thing that is being perceived." - Fred Alan Wolf

Wolf image source (1)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Meandering in sound . . .

Today is the birthday of Maria Callas (December 2, 1923 – September 16, 1977) soprano and one of the most renowned opera singers of the twentieth century.

"Real friends are very special, but you have to be careful because sometimes you have a friend and you think they are made of rock, then suddenly you realise they're only made of sand." - Maria Callas

"An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I've left the opera house." - Maria Callas

"When music fails to agree to the ear, to soothe the ear and the heart and the senses, then it has missed the point." - Maria Callas

"I don't know what happens to me on stage. Something else seems to take over." - Maria Callas

"When my enemies stop hissing, I shall know I'm slipping." - Maria Callas

Callas stamp image source (1)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Konigsberg; December 1, 1935), screenwriter, film director, actor, comedian, writer, musician, and playwright.

"I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens." - Woody Allen

"The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have." - Woody Allen

"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative." - Woody Allen

"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once." - Woody Allen

"What if nothing exists and we're all in somebody's dream? " - Woody Allen

"Eighty percent of success is showing up." - Woody Allen

Allen image source (1)