Quotable #80: Time

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, So do our minutes hasten to their end; Each changing place with that which goes before, In sequent toil all forwards do contend. Nativity, once in the main of light, Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown’d, Crooked elipses ’gainst his glory fight, And Time that gave […]

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Quotable #79: Poverty

“Poverty, in large cities, has very different appearances. It is often concealed in splendor, and often in extravagance. It is the care of a great part of mankind to conceal their indigence from the rest. They support themselves by temporary expedients, and every day is lost in contriving for to-morrow.” — Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, 1759 […]

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Gleanings from the Past #78

Arrière-Pensée Sir, Will you allow me to draw your attention to a very interesting example of the ethics of modern journalism, a quality of which we have all heard so much and seen so little? About a month ago Mr. T. P. O’Connor published in the Sunday Sun some doggerel verses entitled “The Shamrock,” and […]

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Quotable #78: Vanity

“We are too apt to mistake the echoings of our own vanity for the admiration and applause of the world.” — Gazette of the Union, August 23, 1851 “He who despises himself nevertheless esteems himself as a self-despiser.” — Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1888

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Learn Fun Facts’ Monthly Miscellany, January 2019

Random Ramblings This would be the shortest “Monthly Miscellany” I ever wrote. This is partly because I was not sure whether I would revive this series or not. Regular readers of Learn Fun Facts may have noticed that this series was stopped for almost half a year. So, I hesitated to bring it back. Nonetheless, […]

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Gleanings from the Past #77

Ignorance Isaac Asimov Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves […]

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Quotable #77: War and Peace

“Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.” (“To plunder, butcher, steal, these things they misname empire: they make a desolation and they call it peace.”) — Tacitus, Agricola, AD 98, translation by William Peterson “If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.” — Leo Tolstoy, War and […]

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Gleanings from the Past #76

A Little Irony People who didn’t need people need people around to know that they were the kind of people who didn’t need people. — Terry Pratchett, Maskerade, 1995 The Typewriter The type-writer came Wednesday night, and is already beginning to have its effect on me. Of course it doesn’t work: if I can persuade […]

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Quotable #76: Perfection

“Perfectionist — a person who takes great pains, and gives even greater pains to others.” — Changing Times, Vol. 12, January 1958 “The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form.” — Stanley Randall “The only perfect people are those we do not know” — Madame de […]

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Gleanings from the Past #75

Coining New Words Carl Sagan Physicists had to invent words and phrases for concepts far removed from everyday experience. It was their fashion to avoid pure neologisms and instead to evoke, even if feebly, some analogous commonplace. The alternative was to name discoveries and equations after one another. This they did also. But if you […]

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