Fix me in 45.

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I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends.
Mickey Spillane

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I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.
John F. Kennedy, Civil Rights Announcement, June 11, 1963

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To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
Gustave Flaubert

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“You stopped breathing once when you were five weeks old. Did I ever tell you that?”

No, she certainly hadn’t.

“I was about to take a bath and then I thought I’d better check the crib, so I went in and you weren’t moving at all. I thought you were dead. I snatched you up and tore out of the house to the Jensens’ and pounded on the door, and right then you let out a cry. Anyway, we took you to the doctor.”

“What did the doctor say?”

“He wasn’t sure. He didn’t think it was a seizure. I guess it was just one of those things that happens sometimes.” Then she got up to make a salad for supper.

That’s how Mother told stories. Never enough detail, and she always left you hanging at the end. If she had gone ahead and run the bath water, I’d be dead right now. And it was “just one of those things that happens sometimes”? I felt a little weak myself. I had gotten over the fear that I’d stop breathing during the night, all those years I used to remind myself to breathe, and now this. So I wasn’t dumb to think that your breath could stop at any time. It could happen right now, sitting on a white kitchen chair in a cool breeze and drinking iced tea. Fall over dead on the linoleum. Thirteen years old, dead.
Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegon Days

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Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
Michael Crichton

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Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.
Dr. Jonas Salk

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Youth has no age.
Pablo Picasso

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The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state. … The rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
Adam Smith (June 5, 1723 – July 17, 1790)
Wealth of Nations

May 26th, 2014 @ 1:43 am
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Happy birthday to the Duke, who said: “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself into our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” John Wayne, May 26, 1907 — June 11, 1979 And yesterday was the birthday […]

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People who believe in absurdities will eventually commit atrocities.
Voltaire

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There is pleasure in recognising old things from a new viewpoint.
Richard P. Feynman

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“The appeal seems universal. To social historians it is a microcosm of the early 1900s. To nautical enthusiasts it is the ultimate shipwreck. To students of human nature it is an endlessly fascinating laboratory. For lovers of nostalgia it has the allure of yesterday. For daydreamers it has all those might-have-beens.”
Walter Lord, on the tale of the RMS Titanic

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“I like good company, but I like hard work still better.”
Camille Saint-Saëns

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I’m going to do what every San Franciscan does who goes to Heaven. I’ll look around and say, ‘It’s not bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.’
Herb Caen

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One thing is that I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs, in different degrees of certainty, about different things. But I’m not absolutely sure of anything and of many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here and what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit, if I can’t figure it out, then I go onto something else. But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.
Richard P. Feynman

January 25th, 2014 @ 2:34 pm
Happy Birthday, W. Somerset Maugham

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” W. Somerset Maugham, January 25, 1874 – December 16, 1965

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Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.
Gustave Flaubert

January 13th, 2014 @ 10:01 am
Live at Folsom Prison

One of my favorite albums — Johnny Cash’s Live at Folsom Prison — was released on this date in 1968. “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have […]

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History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there.
George Santayana

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“A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way.”
Caroline Gordon