Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Meander with me . . .

Today is the birthday of William Saroyan (August 31, 1908 - May 18, 1981), dramatist and author.

"Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough."
William Saroyan

"In the time of your life, live—so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.

Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart.

Be the inferior of no man, or of any men be superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand. Have no shame in being kindly and gentle but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret.

In the time of your life, live—so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it."
— William Saroyan

"Genius is play, and man's capacity for achieving genius is infinite, and many may achieve genius only through play."
William Saroyan

"Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case. Now what?"
William Saroyan

Saroyan stamps image source (1)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; August 30, 1797 – February 1, 1851), novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer. She is best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818).

"Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."
Mary Shelley

"It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world."
Mary Shelley

"Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos."
Mary Shelley

"Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye."
Mary Shelley

"No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks."
Mary Shelley

"The beginning is always today."
Mary Shelley

Shelley image source (1)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Meandering to and fro . . .

Today is the birthday of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (August 29, 1809 – October 7, 1894), physician, professor, lecturer, and author.

"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

"A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve."
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

"I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it— but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

"The first thing naturally when one enters a scholar's study or library, is to look at his books. One gets a notion very speedily of his tastes and the range of his pursuits by a glance round his book-shelves."
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

"What refuge is there for the victim who is possessed with the feeling that there are a thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to read a hundred?"
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

"It is not often that an opinion is worth expressing, which cannot take care of itself."
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

"A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience."
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Holmes Sr. image source (1)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Meandering around . . .

Today is the birthday of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (August 28, 1749 – March 22, 1832), writer and polymath. He is best known for the two-part drama Faust.

"There is strong shadow where there is much light."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"A person hears only what they understand."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!"
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"I love those who yearn for the impossible."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stamp image source (1)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Meandering in thought . . .

Today is the birthday of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831), philosopher.

"Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion."
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great."
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"We do not need to be shoemakers to know if our shoes fit, and just as little have we any need to be professionals to acquire knowledge of matters of universal interest."
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights."
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"It is easier to discover a deficiency in individuals, in states, and in providence, than to see their real import or value."
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"The learner always begins by finding fault, but the scholar sees the positive merit in everything."
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"We learn from history that we do not learn from history."
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Hegel stamp image source (1)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Meandering while we wander . . .

Today is the birthday of John Buchan (August 26, 1875 – February 11, 1940), diplomat, barrister, journalist, historian, poet, and novelist. In his writing career, he is best known for his 27th book, The Thirty-nine Steps (1915).

"The true definition of a snob is one who craves for what separates men rather than for what unites them." - John Buchan

"You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass. A touch here, a push there, and you bring back the reign of Saturn." - John Buchan

"The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there." - John Buchan

"We can pay our debts to the past by putting the future in debt to ourselves." - John Buchan

"An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support." - John Buchan

Buchan image source (1)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meandering along . . .

Today is the birthday of Francis Bret Harte (August 25, 1836 – May 6, 1902), author and poet. He is best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California.

"The only sure thing about luck is that it will change." - Bret Harte

"A bird in hand is a certainty. But a bird in the bush may sing." - Bret Harte

"Man has the possibility of existence after death. But possibility is one thing and the realization of the possibility is quite a different thing." - Bret Harte

"We begin to die as soon as we are born, and the end is linked to the beginning." - Bret Harte

"A bird in hand is a certainty. But a bird in the bush may sing." - Bret Harte

Harte image source (1)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo (August 24, 1899 – June 14, 1986), writer, essayist, and poet.

"I have always imagined Paradise as a kind of library." - Jorge Luis Borges

"Every man should be capable of all ideas and I understand that in the future this will be the case." - Jorge Luis Borges

"Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire." - Jorge Luis Borges

"All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art." - Jorge Luis Borges

"We (the indivisible divinity that works in us) have dreamed the world..." - Jorge Luis Borges

Borges image source (1)

Today is the birthday of Paulo Coelho (born August 24, 1947), lyricist and novelist. He is best known for the allegorical novel, The Alchemist.

"Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience." - Paulo Coelho

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream." - Paulo Coelho

"There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe.... The soul of the world is nourished by people's happiness." - Paulo Coelho

"Love is the force that transforms and improves the Soul of the World.… It is we who nourish the Soul of the World, and the world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse." - Paulo Coelho

"Warriors of the light are not perfect. Their beauty lies in accepting this fact and still desiring to grow and to learn." - Paulo Coelho

"It's the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them." - Paulo Coelho

Coelho image source (1)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Meander with me . . .

Today is the birthday of Edgar Lee Masters (August 23, 1868 - March 5, 1950), poet, biographer, and dramatist. He is best known for the Spoon River Anthology.

"Beware of the man who rises to power from one suspender." - Edgar Lee Masters

"How shall the soul of a man be larger than the life he has lived?" - Edgar Lee Masters

"Genius is a bend in the creek where bright water has gathered, and which mirrors the trees, the sky and the banks. It just does that because it is there and the scenery is there. Talent is a fine mirror with a silver frame, with the name of the owner engraved on the back." - Edgar Lee Masters

"To put meaning in one's life may end in madness, But life without meaning is the torture Of restlessness and vague desire-It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid." - Edgar Lee Masters

"Immortality is not a gift, Immortality is an achievement; And only those who strive mightily Shall possess it." - Edgar Lee Masters

"The earth keeps some vibration going, There in your heart, and that is you. And if the people find you can fiddle, Why, fiddle you must, for all your life." - Edgar Lee Masters

Masters stamp image source (1)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Raymond Douglas Bradbury (born August 22, 1920), fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer.

He is best known as Ray Bradbury, the author of the novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951).

"Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years." - Ray Bradbury

"We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible. The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts." - Ray Bradbury

"There was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves." - Ray Bradbury

"People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it. Better yet, build it. Predicting the future is much too easy, anyway. You look at the people around you, the street you stand on, the visible air you breathe, and predict more of the same. To hell with more. I want better." - Ray Bradbury

"Stuff your eyes with wonder . . . live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories."- Ray Bradbury

"Recreate the world in your own image and make it better for your having been here." - Ray Bradbury

"Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down." - Ray Bradbury

Bradbury image source (1)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (August 21, 1872 – March 16, 1898), illustrator and author.

Despite the brevity of his career, before his early death at the age of 25, Aubrey Beardsley was a leading figure in the Aesthetic Movement, which also included Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler.

"All humanity inspires me. Every passer-by is my unconscious sitter; and as strange as it may seem, I really draw folk as I see them. Surely it is not my fault that they fall into certain lines and angles." - Aubrey Beardsley

"I have always done my sketches, as people would say, for the fun of it... I have worked to amuse myself, and if it has amused the public as well, so much the better for me." - Aubrey Beardsley

"Things shape themselves before my eyes just as a I draw them." - Aubrey Beardsley

Beardsley image source (1)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Meandering on the right . . .

Today is the birthday of Roger Wolcott Sperry (August 20, 1913 – April 17, 1994), neuropsychologist, neurobiologist and Nobel laureate. He is considered a pioneer in the sciences of consciousness who, together with David H. Hubel and Torsten Wiesel, won the 1981 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

"Where there used to be a chasm and irreconcilable conflict between the scientific and the traditional humanistic views of man and the world, we now perceive a continuum. A unifying new interpretative framework emerges with far reaching impact not only for science but for those ultimate value-belief guidelines by which mankind has tried to live and find meaning." - Roger W. Sperry

"Futurists and common sense concur that a substantial change, worldwide, in life style and moral guidelines will soon become an absolute necessity." - Roger W. Sperry

"Prior to the advent of brain, there was no color and no sound in the universe, nor was there any flavor or aroma and probably rather little sense and no feeling or emotion. Before brains the universe was also free of pain and anxiety." - Roger W. Sperry

"What it comes down to is that modern society discriminates against the right hemisphere." - Roger W. Sperry

Sperry image source (1)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meandering in motivation . . .

Today is the birthday of Jack Canfield (born August 19, 1944), motivational speaker and author. He is best known as the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.

"When you're nice to people, they want to be nice back to you." - Jack Canfield

"Don't worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try." — Jack Canfield

"Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it." — Jack Canfield

"People who ask confidently get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. When you've figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness and confidence." — Jack Canfield

"Most fears cannot withstand the test of careful scrutiny and analysis. When we expose our fears to the light of thoughtful examination they usually just evaporate." - Jack Canfield

"Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty." — Jack Canfield

Canfield image source (1)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Meandering around and around . . .

Today is the birthday of Brian Wilson Aldiss (born August 18, 1925), author of both general fiction and science fiction.

"Whatever creativity is, it is in part a solution to a problem." - Brian Aldiss

"I can't help believing that these things that come from the subconscious mind have a sort of truth to them. It may not be a scientific truth, but it's psychological truth." - Brian Aldiss

"Science fiction is no more written for scientists that ghost stories are written for ghosts." - Brian Aldiss

"There are two kinds of writers: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder." - Brian Aldiss

"The day of the android has dawned." - Brian Aldiss

Aldiss image source (1)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meandering in the looking-glass . . .

Today is the birthday of Charles Horton Cooley (born Aug. 17, 1864 - May 8, 1929), sociologist. He is best known for his concept of "looking-glass self", the theory that self-image is formed largely by the messages we get from others, and an individual's interpretation of those messages.

Charles Horton Cooley was a founding member and the eighth president of the American Sociological Association.

"A man may lack everything but tact and conviction and still be a forcible speaker; but without these nothing will avail... Fluency, grace, logical order, and the like, are merely the decorative surface of oratory." - Charles Horton Cooley

"As social beings we live with our eyes upon our reflection, but have no assurance of the tranquility of the waters in which we see it." - Charles Horton Cooley

"A talent somewhat above mediocrity, shrewd and not too sensitive, is more likely to rise in the world than genius." - Charles Horton Cooley

"The imaginations which people have of one another are the solid facts of society." - Charles Horton Cooley

"An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one." - Charles Horton Cooley

Cooley image source (1)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Jean de La Bruyère (August 16, 1645 – May 10, 1696), essayist and moralist.

"It is a sad thing when men have neither the wit to speak well, nor the judgment to hold their tongues." - Jean de La Bruyère

"False greatness is unsociable and remote: conscious of its own frailty, it hides, or at least averts its face, and reveals itself only enough to create an illusion and not be recognized as the meanness that it really is. True greatness is free, kind, familiar and popular; it lets itself be touched and handled, it loses nothing by being seen at close quarters; the better one knows it, the more one admires it." - Jean de La Bruyère

"The great gift of conversation lies less in displaying it ourselves than in drawing it out of others. He who leaves your company pleased with himself and his own cleverness is perfectly well pleased with you." - Jean de La Bruyère

"One must laugh before one is happy, or one may die without ever laughing at all." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Out of difficulties grow miracles." - Jean de La Bruyère

Jean de La Bruyère image source (1)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Meandering along . . .

Today is the birthday of Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885 – April 16, 1968), novelist, short story writer and playwright. She is best known for her novels: So Big (1924; won a Pulitzer Prize), Show Boat (1926; made into the celebrated 1927 musical), and Giant (1952; made into the 1956 Hollywood movie).

"To be alive is a fine thing. It is the finest thing in the world, though hazardous. It is a unique thing. It happens only once in a lifetime. To be alive, to know consciously that you are alive, and to relish that knowledge - this is a kind of magic. Or it may be a kind of madness, exhilarating but harmless." - Edna Ferber

"It's terrible to realize you don't learn how to live until you're ready to die and, then it's too late." - Edna Ferber

"Living in the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causes you to bump into people not going your way." - Edna Ferber

"Life cannot defeat a writer who is in love with writing; for life itself is a writer's love until death." - Edna Ferber

"Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little." - Edna Ferber

"A closed mind is a dying mind." - Edna Ferber

Ferber stamp image source (1)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of John Galsworthy (August 14, 1867 – January 31, 1933), novelist and playwright. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1932.

"A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, Nothing else." - John Galsworthy

"Art is the great and universal refreshment. For Art is never dogmatic; holds no brief for itself; you may take it, or you may leave it. It does not force itself rudely where it is not wanted. It is reverent to all tempers, to all points of view. But it is willful — the very wind in the comings and goings of its influence, an uncapturable fugitive, visiting our hearts at vagrant, sweet moments; since we often stand even before the greatest works of Art without being able quite to lose ourselves! That restful oblivion comes, we never quite know when — and it is gone! But when it comes, it is a spirit hovering with cool wings, blessing us from least to greatest, according to our powers; a spirit deathless and varied as human life itself." - John Galsworthy

"It isn’t enough to love people because they’re good to you, or because in some way or other you’re going to get something by it. We have to love because we love loving." - John Galsworthy

"The world's a fine place for those who go out to take it; there's lots of unknown stuff' in it yet." - John Galsworthy

"Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem." - John Galsworthy

"One's eyes are what one is, one's mouth is what one becomes." - John Galsworthy

"If you do not think about your future, you cannot have one." - John Galsworthy

"Life calls the tune, we dance." — John Galsworthy

Galsworthy image source (1)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Meandering in style . . .

Today is the birthday of William (Bill) Bernbach (August 13, 1911 - October 2, 1982), advertising creative director. He was one of the three founders of Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB).

"It is insight into human nature that is the key to the communicator's skill. For whereas the writer is concerned with what he puts into his writings, the communicator is concerned with what the reader gets out of it. He therefore becomes a student of how people read or listen." - William Bernbach

"Logic and over-analysis can immobilize and sterilize an idea. It's like love—the more you analyze it, the faster it disappears." - William Bernbach

"All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level." - William Bernbach

"It’s not just what you say that stirs people. It’s the way that you say it." - William Bernbach

"The most powerful element in advertising is the truth." - William Bernbach

Bernbach image source (1)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Meandering in the box . . .

Today is the birthday of Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger (August 12, 1887 – January 4, 1961), theoretical physicist. He is best known as one of the fathers of quantum mechanics and the thought experiment known as Schrödinger's cat.

Erwin Schrödinger received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933.

"This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance." - Erwin Schrodinger

"Quantum physics thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe." - Erwin Schrodinger

"We are never in a position to say what really is or what really happens, but we can only say what will be observed in any concrete individual case." - Erwin Schrodinger

"What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space." - Erwin Schrodinger

"Inconceiveable as it seems to ordinary reason, you — and all other conscious beings as such — are all in all." - Erwin Schrodinger

"The plurality that we perceive is only an appearance; it is not real." - Erwin Schrodinger

"No self is of itself alone." - Erwin Schrodinger

Schrodinger image source (1)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meander with me . . .

Today is the birthday of José Silva (August 11, 1914 - February 7, 1999) was a parapsychologist and author. He is best known for his self-help program the Silva Method.

"May the rest of your life, be the best of your life." - José Silva

"There is no such thing as a problem without a solution, only problems for which we do not yet have enough information to know what the solution is. When you have enough information, it is easy to solve a problem." - José Silva

"All programming for prosperity should be built on spiritual foundations. The first step is to enter the spiritual dimension, the alpha level, and determine what your purpose in life is. Find out what you are here for, what you are supposed to do with your life." - José Silva

"To qualify as humans we must take part in humanitarian acts." - José Silva

"The greatest discovery you'll ever make, is the potential of your own mind." - José Silva

Silva image source (1)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Mark Doty (born August 10, 1953), poet and memoirist.

"The physical reinvention of the world is endless, relentless, fascinating, exhaustive; nothing that seems solid is. If you could stand at just a little distance in time, how fluid and shape-shifting physical reality would be, everything hurrying into some other form, even concrete, even stone." — Mark Doty

"Being in grief, it turns out, is not unlike being in love. In both states, the imagination is entirely occupied with one person … Everything that touches us seems to relate back to that center; there is no other emotional life, no place outside the universe of feeling centered on the pivotal figure." – Mark Doty

"Love, I think, is a gateway to the world, not an escape from it." — Mark Doty

Doty image source (1)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Magically meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Pamela Lyndon Travers (August 9, 1899 – April 23, 1996), novelist, actress and journalist. She was born Helen Lyndon Goff and later used the name Pamela Lyndon Travers. She is best known as P. L. Travers, the creator of Mary Poppins.

"There are worlds beyond worlds and times beyond times, all of them true, all of them real, and all of them (as children know) penetrating each other." - P. L. Travers

"For me there are no answers, only questions, and I am grateful that the questions go on and on. I don't look for an answer, because I don't think there is one. I'm very glad to be the bearer of a question." - P. L. Travers

"A writer is, after all, only half his book. The other half is the reader and from the reader the writer learns." - P. L. Travers

Travers image source (1)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Meandering in mathematics. . .

Today is the birthday of Roger Penrose (born 8 August 1931), mathematical physicist, recreational mathematician and philosopher.

"Understanding is, after all, what science is all about — and science is a great deal more than mindless computation." - Roger Penrose

"Consciousness is a phenomenon that is part of the physical world, although some people don't like to think of it as physical at all. I think it manifestly has something to do with brains, and brains are physical objects. So, it's a feature of the physical world, but it's hard to see how this phenomenon can have anything to do with the kind of physics we understand. That is a strong feeling for me, quite apart from the non-computability issue. The physics that we understand at the moment is simply not rich enough to incorporate the phenomenon of consciousness. I think one can make a comparative statement here: that classical physics seems to have no room for this kind of phenomenon, whereas quantum mechanics has enough mystery, if I can use that word, for this something-else. The word mystical would be wrong. I prefer to use mystery. You see mystery in mathematics, things which are perfectly clear and non-mystical, but there is a strong element of mystery about them. I must say I believe that we need something of that character in order to have any hope of coming to terms with the phenomenon of consciousness. And the only major place I can see for this interesting in is the borderline between classical and quantum physics." - Roger Penrose

"People think of these eureka moments and my feeling is that they tend to be little things, a little realisation and then a little realisation built on that." - Roger Penrose

"There is a certain sense in which I would say the universe has a purpose. It's not there just somehow by chance. Some people take the view that the universe is simply there and it runs along–it's a bit as though it just sort of computes, and we happen by accident to find ourselves in this thing. I don't think that's a very fruitful or helpful way of looking at the universe, I think that there is something much deeper about it, about its existence, which we have very little inkling of at the moment." - Roger Penrose

"Intelligence cannot be present without understanding. No computer has any awareness of what it does." - Roger Penrose

"The universe is made of stories, not atoms." - Roger Penrose

Penrose image source (1)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Meandering around the lake . . .

Today is the birthday of Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor (born August 7, 1942), author, storyteller, humorist, and radio personality. He is best known as host of the Minnesota Public Radio show A Prairie Home Companion.

"Sometimes you have to look reality in the eye, and deny it." - Garrison Keillor

"Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known." - Garrison Keillor

"They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days." - Garrison Keillor

"Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose." - Garrison Keillor

"It's a shallow life that doesn't give a person a few scars." - Garrison Keillor

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." - Garrison Keillor

""I've seen the truth, and it makes no sense." - Garrison Keillor

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Meandering on the edge . . .

Today is the birthday of Charles Hoy Fort (August 6, 1874 – May 3, 1932), writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena. Charles Fort has oft been referred to as the father of modern paranormalism due to his interest in odd phenomena and his attitudes toward 19th century Spiritualism and scientific dogma.

"If there is an underlying oneness of all things, it does not matter where we begin ... One measures a circle, beginning anywhere." - Charles Fort

"My liveliest interest is not so much in things, as in relations of things. I have spent much time thinking about the alleged pseudo-relations that are called coincidences. What if some of them should not be coincidences?" - Charles Fort

"The fate of all explanation is to close one door only to have another fly wide open." - Charles Fort

"An opinion is a matter of evidence, but evidence is a matter of opinion." - Charles Fort

Trivia bit: The terms Fortean and Forteana are used to characterize various such phenomena that fascinated Charles Fort.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Meandering along . . .

Today is the birthday of Wendell Berry (born August 5, 1934), poet, novelist, essayist, philosopher and farmer.

"Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone." — Wendell Berry

"We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it." — Wendell Berry

"...the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope." — Wendell Berry

"The teachers are everywhere. What is wanted is a learner." — Wendell Berry

"If you don't know where you're from, you'll have a hard time saying where you're going." — Wendell Berry

"Never forget: We are alive within mysteries." — Wendell Berry

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Meandering to and fro . . .

Today is the birthday of Percy Bysshe Shelley (4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822), poet.

"Fear not for the future, weep not for the past." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"The more we study the more we discover our ignorance." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"All things exist as they are perceived: at least in relation to the percipient. 'The mind is its own place, and of itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.' But poetry defeats the curse which binds us to be subjected to the accident of surrounding impressions. And whether it spreads its own figured curtain or withdraws life's dark veil from before the scene of things, it equally creates for us a being within our being." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?" - Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Meandering in the stars . . .

Today is the birthday of Clifford Donald Simak (August 3, 1904 - April 25, 1988), science fiction writer. He was honored by fans with three Hugo awards and by colleagues with one Nebula award and was named the third Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

"Time is still the great mystery to us. It is no more than a concept; we don't know if it even exists." - Clifford D. Simak

"He had dabbled in a thing which he had not understood. And had, furthermore, committed that greater sin of thinking that he did understand. And the fact of the matter was that he had just barely understood enough to make the concept work, but had not understood enough to be aware of its consequences." - Clifford D. Simak

"I think we have thought too small and have been too afraid..." - Clifford D. Simak

"I had the feeling that this was a place, once seen, that could not be seen again. If I left and then came back, it would not be the same... there never would exist again, through all eternity, all the integrated factors that made it what it was in this magic moment." - Clifford D. Simak

"Often you must imagine something before you can come to terms with it." - Clifford D. Simak

"Without consciousness and intelligence, the universe would lack meaning." - Clifford D. Simak

"If we were to know ourselves, we must know the universe..." - Clifford D. Simak

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Isabel Allende Llona (born 2 August 1942), novelist, journalist and playwright.

"Write what should not be forgotten." — Isabel Allende

"The library is inhabited by spirits that come out of the pages at night." — Isabel Allende

"You can tell the deepest truths with the lies of fiction." — Isabel Allende

"Just as when we come into the world, when we die we are afraid of the unknown. But the fear is something from within us that has nothing to do with reality. Dying is like being born: just a change." — Isabel Allende

"We only have what we give." — Isabel Allende

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891), novelist, short story writer, essayist and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick.

"A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities." - Herman Melville

"I am, as I am; whether hideous, or handsome, depends upon who is made judge." - Herman Melville

"Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where exactly does the one first blendingly enter into the other? So with sanity and insanity." - Herman Melville

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness." - Herman Melville

"Is there some principal of nature which states that we never know the quality of what we have until it is gone?" - Herman Melville

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