Sunday, January 31, 2010

Meandering in the light . . .

Today is the birthday of Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov (January 31, 1900 - December 25, 1986), philosopher, pedagogue, alchemist, mystic, magus and astrologer. He was a disciple of Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), the founder of the Universal White Brotherhood, also known as the Great Brotherhood of Light.

"If you want to encourage the best in others, show confidence in them. This will encourage them to walk the path of good. Out of their desire to prove you were not mistaken about them, they feel obliged to make an effort. Of course there will always be some who will disappoint you. But tell yourself that all is not lost..., for your faith in them will bear fruit later on." - Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

"So many artists fail to consider their responsibilities! It never occurs to them that heaven, in granting them a gift, has placed a great treasure in their possession, thanks to which they are able to work wonders. Even those who know they have exceptional talent do not fully believe in the powers of this gift. It must... be an artist's ideal to lead people in the direction of the Divinity." - Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

"If you look at a snake, however long it may be, its tail will always follow where its head has gone before. In practice, this means that those who are patient enough to nurture a spiritual ideal for a long time, without ever becoming discouraged, will one day be able to lead their tail, by which I mean change their act...ions, their behaviour, and even transform their physical body." - Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov image source (1)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Meandering, meandering, meandering we go . . .

Today is the birthday of Barbara Wertheim Tuchman (January 30, 1912 – February 6, 1989), historian and author. She twice won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, first for The Guns of August and again for Stilwell and the American Experience in China.

"Nothing sickens me more than the closed door of a library." - Barbara Tuchman

"History is the unfolding of miscalculations." - Barbara Tuchman

"Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill." - Barbara Tuchman

"The unrecorded past is none other than our old friend, the tree in the primeval forest which fell without being heard." - Barbara Tuchman

"Books are humanity in print." - Barbara Tuchman

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Meander with me . . .

Today is the birthday of Romain Rolland (January 29, 1866 – December 30, 1944), dramatist, novelist, essayist, art historian and mystic. In 1915, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature after the publication of his major work, Jean-Christophe.

"It is the artist's business to create sunshine when the sun fails." - Romain Rolland

"Be reverent before the dawning day. Do not think of what will be in a year, or in ten years. Think of to-day. Leave your theories. All theories, you see, even those of virtue, are bad, foolish, mischievous. Do not abuse life. Live in to-day. Be reverent towards each day. Love it, respect it, do not sully it, do not hinder it from coming to flower. Love it even when it is gray and sad like to-day. Do not be anxious. See. It is winter now. Everything is asleep. The good earth will awake again. You have only to be good and patient like the earth. Be reverent. Wait. If you are good, all will go well. If you are not, if you are weak, if you do not succeed, well, you must be happy in that. No doubt it is the best you can do. So, then, why will? Why be angry because of what you cannot do? We all have to do what we can. . . . Als ich kann." - Romain Rolland

"I find war detestable but those who praise it without participating in it even more so." - Romain Rolland

"Every man who is truly a man must learn to be alone in the midst of all others, and if need be against all others." - Romain Rolland

"One makes mistakes; that is life. But it is never a mistake to have loved." - Romain Rolland

"You are a vain fellow. You want to be a hero. That is why you do such silly things. A hero! ... I don't quite know what that is: but, you see, I imagine that a hero is a man who does what he can. The others do not do it." - Romain Rolland

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Meandering in delight . . .

Today is the birthday of Arthur Rubinstein (January 28, 1887 – December 20, 1982), pianist. He has oft been referred to as one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.

"I have found that if you love life, life will love you back." - Arthur Rubinstein

"Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings." - Arthur Rubinstein

"Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don't set any condition." - Arthur Rubinstein

"To be alive, to be able to see, to walk, to have houses, music, paintings - it's all a miracle. I have adopted the technique of living life miracle to miracle." - Arthur Rubinstein

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Meandering in the spheres . . .

Today is the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) , composer and musician.

"Be silent, if you choose; but when it is necessary, speak — and speak in such a way that people will remember it." - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"I never lie down at night without reflecting that — young as I am — I may not live to see another day." - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings." - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop." - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius." - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Meandering around . . .

Today is the birthday of Paul Leonard Newman (January 26, 1925 – September 26, 2008), actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and auto racing enthusiast.

"I don't think there's anything exceptional or noble in being philanthropic. It's the other attitude that confuses me." - Paul Newman

"I had no natural gift to be anything — not an athlete, not an actor, not a writer, not a director, a painter of garden porches — not anything. So I've worked really hard, because nothing ever came easily to me." - Paul Newman

"A man can only be judged by his actions, and not by his good intentions or his beliefs." - Paul Newman

"I'd like to be remembered as a guy who tried — tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn't complacent, who doesn't cop out." - Paul Newman

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Meandering in the shadows . . .

Today is the birthday of William Somerset Maugham (January 25,1874 – December 16, 1965), playwright, novelist and short story writer. He is best known as W. Somerset Maugham, author of the novel, Of Human Bondage (1915). During the 1930s, he was one of the most popular and highest paid writers.

"People ask you for criticism, but they only want praise." - W. Somerset Maugham

"Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it." - W. Somerset Maugham

"What makes old age hard to bear is not the failing of one's faculties, mental and physical, but the burden of one's memories." - W. Somerset Maugham

"Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present. When things are at their worst I find something always happens." - W. Somerset Maugham

"But when all was said the important thing was to love rather than to be loved." - W. Somerset Maugham

"I don't think of the past. The only thing that matters is the everlasting present." - W. Somerset Maugham

"Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem." - W. Somerset Maugham

"…the future will one day be the present and will seem as unimportant as the present does now." - W. Somerset Maugham

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Meandering in innocence . . .

Today is the birthday of Edith Wharton (January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937), novelist, short story writer and designer. In 1921, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for literature for her novel, The Age of Innocence (1920), thus making her the first woman to win the award.

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." - Edith Wharton

"When people ask for time, it's always for time to say no. Yes has one more letter in it, but it doesn't take half as long to say." - Edith Wharton

"Beware of monotony; it's the mother of all the deadly sins." - Edith Wharton

"I don't know if I should care for a man who made life easy; I should want someone who made it interesting." - Edith Wharton

"If only we'd stop trying to be happy we'd have a pretty good time." - Edith Wharton

"The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing." - Edith Wharton

"True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision." - Edith Wharton

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Marie-Henri Beyle (January 23, 1783 – March 23, 1842), writer. He is best known by his penname Stendhal and for the Stendhal syndrome. He is considered one of the foremost practitioners of realism and to many as the founder. His two novels, Le Rouge et le Noir (1830) and La Chartreuse de Parme (1839) played a major role in the development of the modern novel.

"Almost all our misfortunes in life come from the wrong notions we have about the things that happen to us. To know men thoroughly, to judge events sanely, is, therefore, a great step towards happiness." - Stendhal

"One can acquire everything in solitude - except character." - Stendhal

"A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love." - Stendhal

"Since I am a man, my heart is three or four times less sensitive, because I have three or four times as much power of reason and experience of the world — a thing which you women call hard-heartedness." - Stendhal

"In love, unlike most other passions, the recollection of what you have had and lost is always better than what you can hope for in the future." - Stendhal

"Love has always been the most important business in my life; I should say the only one." - Stendhal

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Francis Bacon (January 22, 1561 – April 9, 1626), philosopher, statesman, scientist, and author.

"The monuments of wit survive the monuments of power." - Francis Bacon

"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties." - Francis Bacon

"By far the greatest obstacle to the progress of science and to the undertaking of new tasks and provinces therein is found in this — that men despair and think things impossible." - Francis Bacon

"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is." - Francis Bacon

"Nothing is terrible except fear itself." - Francis Bacon

"A wise man will make more opportunities, than he finds." - Francis Bacon

"Knowledge is power." - Francis Bacon

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of José Plácido Domingo Embil (born January 21, 1941), a tenor. He is best known as Plácido Domingo, one of the most beloved and listened to opera singers of the 20th- century.

"My strength is my enthusiasm." - Plácido Domingo

"We all have a destiny in accordance with the breadth of our shoulders. My shoulders are broad." - Plácido Domingo

"When it becomes clear that no one else shares your level of passion, you are where you belong." - Plácido Domingo

"I feel like a little boy who is constantly offered new toys." - Plácido Domingo

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of Federico Fellini (January 20, 1920 – October 31, 1993), film director and writer. He is best known for the films La Strada (1955), La Dolce Vita (1960), and 8 1/2 (1963). He is considered one of the most influential and widely revered filmmakers of the 20th century.

"I discovered that what's really important for a creator isn't what we vaguely define as inspiration or even what it is we want to say, recall, regret, or rebel against. No, what's important is the way we say it. Art is all about craftsmanship. Others can interpret craftsmanship as style if they wish. Style is what unites memory or recollection, ideology, sentiment, nostalgia, presentiment, to the way we express all that. It's not what we say but how we say it that matters." - Federico Fellini

"There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life." - Federico Fellini

"A created thing is never invented and it is never true: it is always and ever itself." - Federico Fellini

"Experience is what you get while looking for something else." - Federico Fellini

"Put yourself into life and never lose your openness, your childish enthusiasm throughout the journey that is life, and things will come your way." - Federico Fellini

"You exist only in what you do." - Federico Fellini

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Meandering in happiness . . .

Today is the birthday of Ken Keyes, Jr. (January 19, 1921 – December 20, 1995), author and lecturer.

He is best known for Handbook to Higher Consciousness, The Hundredth Monkey and as creator of the Living Love method.

"To be upset over what you don't have is to waste what you do have." - Ken Keyes, Jr.

"A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world; everyone you meet is your mirror." - Ken Keyes, Jr.

"People who postpone happiness are like children who try chasing rainbows in an effort to find the pot of gold at the rainbow's end. ... Your life will never be fulfilled until you are happy here and now." - Ken Keyes, Jr.

"Everything is a gift of the universe -- even joy, anger, jealously, frustration, or separateness. Everything is perfect either for our growth or our enjoyment." - Ken Keyes, Jr.

"I have everything I need to enjoy my here and now -- unless I am letting my consciousness be dominated by demands and expectations based on the dead past or the imagined future." - Ken Keyes, Jr.

"No one that ever lived has ever had enough power, prestige, or knowledge to overcome the basic condition of all life -- you win some and you lose some." - Ken Keyes, Jr.

"Everyone and everything around you is your teacher." - Ken Keyes, Jr.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Meandering on the edge . . .

Today is the birthday of Robert Anton Wilson (January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007), novelist, essayist, philosopher, futurist, and guerilla ontologist. He is best known for his satirical work (with Robert Shea), The Illuminatus! Trilogy.

"Mind is a tool invented by the universe to see itself; but it can never see all of itself, for much the same reason that you can’t see your own back (without mirrors)." - Robert Anton Wilson

"All phenomena are real in some sense, unreal in some sense, meaningless in some sense, real and meaningless in some sense, unreal and meaningless in some sense, and real and unreal and meaningless in some sense." - Robert Anton Wilson

"The fallacy is that one can judge the part in isolation from the whole is "the Lie that all men believe." - Robert Anton Wilson

"It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea." - Robert Anton Wilson

"I don't believe anything, but I have many suspicions." - Robert Anton Wilson

"Beyond a certain point, the whole universe becomes a continuous process of initiation." - Robert Anton Wilson

"There is absolutely nothing that can be taken for granted in this world." - Robert Anton Wilson

"The longer one is alone, the easier it is to hear the song of the earth." - Robert Anton Wilson

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Meandering in rhyme . . .

Today is the birthday of William Edgar Stafford (January 17, 1914 – August 28, 1993), poet. He kept a daily journal for 50 years, and composed nearly 22,000 poems, of which some 3,000 were published.

William Stafford was appointed the twentieth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1970.

"Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music." - William Stafford

"The more you let yourself be distracted from where you are going, the more you are the person that you are. It's not so much like getting lost as it is like getting found." - William Stafford

"You don't need many words if you already know what you're talking about." - William Stafford

"It's love," they say. You touch the right one and a whole half of the universe wakes up, a new half." - William Stafford

"Wisdom is having things right in your life and knowing why." - William Stafford

"I embrace emerging experience. I participate in discovery. I am a butterfly. I am not a butterfly collector. I want the experience of the butterfly." - William Stafford

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Meandering freely . . .

Today is the birthday of Susan Sontag (January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004), author and activist.

"Ours is an age which consciously pursues health, and yet only believes in the reality of sickness." - Susan Sontag

"The need for truth is not constant; no more than is the need for repose. An idea which is a distortion may have a greater intellectual thrust than the truth; it may better serve the needs of the spirit, which vary. The truth is balance, but the opposite of truth, which is unbalance, may not be a lie." - Susan Sontag

"The truth is always something that is told, not something that is known. If there were no speaking or writing, there would be no truth about anything. There would only be what is." - Susan Sontag

"Authoritarian political ideologies have a vested interest in promoting fear, a sense of the imminence of takeover by aliens — and real diseases are useful material." - Susan Sontag

"I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them." - Susan Sontag

"From now to the end of consciousness, we are stuck with the task of defending art." - Susan Sontag

"The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality, and eventually in one's own." - Susan Sontag

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Ernest James Gaines (born January 15, 1933), author. He is best known for his 1993 novel, A Lesson Before Dying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction and his 1971 novel, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

Ernest J. Gaines has been a MacArthur Foundation fellow, inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, awarded the National Humanities Medal, and inducted into the French Order of Arts and Letters as a Chevalier.

"Question everything. Every stripe, every star, every word spoken. Everything." - Ernest J. Gaines

"Sometimes you got to hurt something to help something. Sometimes you have to plow under one thing in order for something else to grow." - Ernest J. Gaines

"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" - Ernest J. Gaines

"You've got to bend with the wind or you're broken." - Ernest J. Gaines

"Words mean nothing. Action is the only thing. Doing. That's the only thing." - Ernest J. Gaines

"I have no more to say except this: We must live with our own conscience." - Ernest J. Gaines

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Meandering in light . . .

Today is the birthday of Albert Schweitzer (January 14, 1875 – September 4, 1965), theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician. In 1952, Albert Schweitzer received the Nobel Peace Prize.

"As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." - Albert Schweitzer

"A man can do only what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day." - Albert Schweitzer

"A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up." - Albert Schweitzer

"An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight... the truly wise person is colorblind." - Albert Schweitzer

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." - Albert Schweitzer

"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." - Albert Schweitzer

"I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end." - Albert Schweitzer

"Do something wonderful, people may imitate it." - Albert Schweitzer

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Meandering, meandering, meandering we go . . .

Today is the birthday of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (January 13, 1866? – October 29, 1949), mystic and spiritual teacher. He referred to his discipline as The Work or the Fourth Way.

"There do exist enquiring minds, which long for the truth of the heart, seek it, strive to solve the problems set by life, try to penetrate to the essence of things and phenomena and to penetrate into themselves. If a man reasons and thinks soundly, no matter which path he follows in solving these problems, he must inevitably arrive back at himself, and begin with the solution of the problem of what he is himself and what his place is in the world around him." - George Gurdjieff

"Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity of self-change. And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening." - George Gurdjieff

"A considerable percentage of the people we meet on the street are people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually already dead. It is fortunate for us that we do not see and do not know it. If we knew what a number of people are actually dead and what a number of these dead people govern our lives, we should go mad with horror." - George Gurdjieff

"Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave." - George Gurdjieff

"A man is never the same for long. He is continually changing. He seldom remains the same even for half an hour." - George Gurdjieff

"Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine." - George Gurdjieff

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Today is the birthday of Alfred Carl Fuller (January 13, 1885 - December 4, 1973), businessman. He was the original Fuller Brush Man.

Alfred C. Fuller built a company that became a cultural icon known for its hard-working sales force. His Fuller Brush Company revolutionized the manufacturing process for brushes and made door-to-door selling acceptable.

"It says here, that I was fired from my first three jobs, after which I went into business for myself. I guess it's quite evident why I became self-employed - I had no choice." - Alfred C. Fuller

From the beginning Alfred C. Fuller established three basic rules:

* Make it work
* Make it last
* Guarantee it no matter what.

Today, almost a century later, these words still guide The Fuller Brush Company.

Fuller image source (1)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meander with me . . .

Today is the birthday of Swami Vivekananda (January 12, 1863–July 4, 1902), born Narendranath Dutta, the chief disciple of the 19th century mystic Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the founder of Ramakrishna Mission. He is considered to be a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India and a key figure in the introduction of Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and America.

"Say, This misery that I am suffering is of my own doing, and that very thing proves that it will have to be undone by me alone. That which I created, I can demolish; that which is created by someone else, I shall never be able to destroy. Therefore, stand up, be bold, be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, and know that you are the creators of your own destiny. All the strength and succour you want is within ourselves." - Swami Vivekananda

"This life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive." - Swami Vivekananda

"The powers of the mind are like the rays of the sun when they are concentrated they illumine." - Swami Vivekananda

"The whole life is a succession of dreams. My ambition is to be a conscious dreamer, that is all." - Swami Vivekananda

"All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in our own mind." - Swami Vivekananda

"The whole universe is one. There is only one Self in the universe, only One Existence." - Swami Vivekananda

"Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true." - Swami Vivekananda

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Meandering around and around . . .

Today is the birthday of William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910), psychologist and philosopher.

"Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact." - William James

"There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision." - William James

"We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never to be undone. Every smallest stroke of virtue or of vice leaves its never so little scar. ...Nothing we ever do is, in strict scientific literalness, wiped out." - William James

"Wherever you are it is your own friends who make your world." - William James

"Let any one try, I will not say to arrest, but to notice or attend to, the present moment of time. One of the most baffling experiences occurs. Where is it, this present? It has melted in our grasp, fled ere we could touch it, gone in the instant of becoming." - William James

"There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it." - William James

"Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul's resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed." - William James

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, (January 10, 1834 – June 19, 1902), historian and philosopher, known as Sir John Dalberg-Acton or simply Lord Acton.

"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." - Lord Acton

"The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks." - Lord Acton

"There is not a soul who does not have to beg alms of another, either a smile, a handshake, or a fond eye." - Lord Acton

To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice." - Lord Acton

"History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul." - Lord Acton

"Learn as much by writing as by reading." - Lord Acton

"Truth always prevails in the end." - Lord Acton

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Meandering in thought . . .

Today is the birthday of Simone de Beauvoir (January 9, 1908 – April 14, 1986), writer, existentialist philosopher, and social theorist.

"We must not confuse the present with the past. With regard to the past, no further action is possible." - Simone de Beauvoir

"Society cares about the individual only in so far as he is profitable. The young know this. Their anxiety as they enter in upon social life matches the anguish of the old as they are excluded from it." - Simone de Beauvoir

"I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth — and truth rewarded me." - Simone de Beauvoir

"One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion." - Simone de Beauvoir

"Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay." - Simone de Beauvoir

"Dare to believe me. Dare!" - Simone de Beauvoir

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Meandering in theory . . .

Today is the birthday of Stephen William Hawking (born 8 January 1942), theoretical physicist.

"Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change." - Stephen Hawking

"For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn't have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking." - Stephen Hawking

"My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all." - Stephen Hawking

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Meandering around . . .

Today is the birthday of Gerald ('Gerry') Malcolm Durrell (January 7, 1925 – January 30, 1995), naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist, and author.

"There is no first world and third world. There is only one world, for all of us to live and delight in." - Gerald Durrell

"We have inherited an incredibly beautiful and complex garden, but the trouble is that we have been appallingly bad gardeners..." - Gerald Durrell

"Does a creature have to be of direct material use to mankind in order to exist? By and large, by asking the question what use is it? you are asking the animal to justify its existence without having justified your own." - Gerald Durrell

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Meandering in prose . . .

Today is the birthday of Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967), poet, historian, folklorist and novelist. He was the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry and another for a biography of Abraham Lincoln.

"Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during a moment." - Carl Sandburg

"Yesterday is done. Tomorrow never comes. Today is here. If you don't know what to do, sit still and listen. You may hear something. Nobody knows." - Carl Sandburg

"Back of every mistaken venture and defeat is the laughter of wisdom, if you listen." - Carl Sandburg

"I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way." - Carl Sandburg

"I am an idealist. I believe in everything - I am only looking for proofs." - Carl Sandburg

"Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come." - Carl Sandburg

"Nothing happens unless first we dream." - Carl Sandburg

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Umberto Eco (born January 5, 1932), medievalist, semiotician, philosopher, literary critic and novelist. He is best known for his novel The Name of the Rose.

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth." - Umberto Eco

"Semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign. A sign is everything which can be taken as significantly substituting for something else. This something else does not necessarily have to exist or to actually be somewhere at the moment in which a sign stands in for it. Thus semiotics is in principle the discipline studying everything which can be used in order to lie. If something cannot be used to tell a lie, conversely it cannot be used to tell the truth; it cannot in fact be used 'to tell' at all. I think that the definition of a 'theory of the lie' should be taken as a pretty comprehensive program for a general semiotics." - Umberto Eco

"I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us." - Umberto Eco

"The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else." - Umberto Eco

"Yes, I know, it's not the truth, but in a great history little truths can be altered so that the greater truth emerges." - Umberto Eco

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Meandering freely . . .

Today is the birthday of John McLaughlin (born 4 January, 1942), jazz fusion guitarist and composer.

"Only in spontaneity can we be who we truly are." - John McLaughlin

"The mathematics of rhythm are universal. They don't belong to any particular culture." - John McLaughlin

"The moment you start to talk about playing music, you destroy music. It cannot be talked about. It can only be played, enjoyed and listened to." - John McLaughlin

"You can have the greatest player in terms of mastering an instrument and you could be yawning your head off when you hear them. So, it's not what you do, but the way you're doing it and in the end that's all that we have." - John McLaughlin

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Meandering to and fro . . .

Today is the birthday of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973), writer, poet, philologist, and university professor. He is best known as J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

"It is the job that is never started that takes longest to finish." - J.R.R. Tolkien

"A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities." - J.R.R. Tolkien

"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after." - J.R.R. Tolkien

"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renenwed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king." - J.R.R. Tolkien

"Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate." - J.R.R. Tolkien

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." - J.R.R. Tolkien

"Even the smallest person in the world can change the course of the universe." - J.R.R. Tolkien

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday William Lyon Phelps (January 2, 1865 - August 21, 1943), author, critic and scholar.

"One of the secrets of life is to keep our intellectual curiosity acute." - William Lyon Phelps

"There is a strange reluctance on the part of most people to admit they enjoy life." - William Lyon Phelps

"If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide, then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything, including those things that other people are certain are impossible." - William Lyon Phelps

"The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others." - William Lyon Phelps

"I divide all readers into two classes: those who read to remember and those who read to forget." - William Lyon Phelps

"The fear of life is the favorite disease of the twentieth century." - William Lyon Phelps

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Happy Birthday salute to Isaac Yudovich Ozimov (c. January 2, 1920[1] – April 6, 1992), author and professor of biochemistry. He is best known as Isaac Asimov and for his science fiction and popular science books.

"The date of my birth, as I celebrate it, was January 2, 1920. It could not have been later than that. It might, however, have been earlier. Allowing for the uncertainties of the times, of the lack of records, of the Jewish and Julian calendars, it might have been as early as October 4, 1919. There is, however, no way of finding out. My parents were always uncertain and it really doesn't matter. I celebrate January 2, 1920, so let it be." - Isaac Asimov

"And above all things, never think that you're not good enough yourself. A man should never think that. My belief is that in life people will take you at your own reckoning." - Isaac Asimov

"It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be." - Isaac Asimov

"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." - Isaac Asimov

"The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing." - Isaac Asimov

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of Edward Morgan Forster (January 1, 1879 – June 7, 1970), writer. He is best known as E. M. Forster author of the 1924 novel, A Passage to India.

"At the side of the everlasting why, is a yes, and a yes, and a yes." - E. M. Forster

"I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars." - E. M. Forster

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - E. M. Forster

"Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice." - E. M. Forster

"Works of art, in my opinion, are the only objects in the material universe to possess internal order, and that is why, though I don't believe that only art matters, I do believe in Art for Art's sake." - E. M. Forster

"We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand." - E. M. Forster

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