Selected Quotes

"An expert is a person who has found out by his own painful experience all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field. "
   --Niels Bohr, As quoted by Edward Teller, in Dr. Edward Teller's Magnificent Obsession by Robert Coughlan, in LIFE magazine (6 September 1954), p. 62

"The Puritan ethic is the constant fear that someone, somewhere, is having a good time. "
   --Theron Marcus Vining

"Be excellent to each other, and party on! "
   --Rufus, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

"An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out, and that the growing generation is familiarized with the ideas from the beginning: another instance of the fact that the future lies with the youth. [Often paraphrased as "Science progresses one funeral at a time".] "
   --Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers. New York: Philosophical library, 1950, p. 33, 97

"There is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong. "
   --H. L. Mencken, 1920, Prejudices: Second Series by H. L. Mencken (Henry Louis Mencken), Chapter 4: The Divine Afflatus, Start Page 155, Borzoi: Alfred A. Knopf, New York.(but often attributed to othere as well)

"When the president does it … that means that it is not illegal "
   --Richard Nixon, 1977 interview with David Frost

"...In addition to these changes, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Stan Deal will retire from the company and Stephanie Pope will lead our BCA business, effective today. I want to thank Stan for his many contributions and dedication since first joining our ranks 38 years ago, and for his tireless service as our BCA leader during an uncommonly difficult period for our company and for our industry. "
   --Dave Calhoun, Boeing President, In a message shared with all Boeing today 20240325,

"When I played Keokuk one night they were so packed in they couldn't laugh ha ha ha, they had to laugh ho, ho ho "
   --W.C. Fields

"Of course he has a knife, he always has a knife, we all have knives! It's 1183 and we're barbarians! How clear we make it. Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war: not history's forces, nor the times, nor justice, nor the lack of it, nor causes, nor religions, nor ideas, nor kinds of government, nor any other thing. We are the killers. We breed wars. We carry it like syphilis inside. Dead bodies rot in field and stream because the living ones are rotten. For the love of God, can't we love one another just a little - that's how peace begins. We have so much to love each other for. We have such possibilities, my children. We could change the world.   "
   --Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Lion in Winter (1968), 

"The ability to play chess is the sign of a gentleman. The ability to play chess well is the sign of a wasted life. "
   --Paul Morphy

"Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down. "
   --Alex Jason, Borrowed and repeated (with permission) by Adam Savage on Mythbusters circa 2015

"I reject your reality and substitute my own "
   --The Dungeonmaster, Made famous by Adam Savage of Mythbuster, who borrowed it from The Dungeonmaster (1984). A similar line appears in an even earlier Doctor Who episode

"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else. "
   --Yogi Berra

"You, Colm, you know what you used to be? No Pádraic what did I used to be? Nice! You used to be nice! And now, do you know what you are? Not nice.  I suppose niceness doesn't last then does it Pádraic. But I'll tell you something that does last.  What? And don't say something stupid lIke music. Music lasts. I knew it! And paintings last. And poetry lasts.  So does niceness. Do you know who they'll remember for how nice he was in the seventeenth century?  Who? Absolutely no one. Yet we all remember the music of the time. Everyone to a man knows Mozart's name. Well I don't so there goes that theory. "
   --The Banshees of Inisherin, The Banshees of Inisherin (2022), full scene  

"I do feel sometimes I'm just entertaining myself while staving off the inevitable. Don't you? No. Sure you do. "
   --The Banshees of Inisherin, The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)

"Call me Ishmael. "
   --Herman Melville 1819-1891, Moby Dick (1851)

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. "
   --Herman Melville 1819-1891, Moby Dick (1851)

"I have swam through libraries and sailed through oceans, but I have never seen anything as terrifying as Moby Dick. "
   --Herman Melville 1819-1891, Moby Dick (1851)

"There is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men. "
   --Herman Melville 1819-1891, Moby Dick (1851)

"It is not down on any map; true places never are. "
   --Herman Melville 1819-1891, Moby Dick (1851)

"Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian. "
   --Herman Melville 1819-1891, Moby Dicky (1851)

"From hell's heart, I stab at thee; for hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee. "
   --Herman Melville 1819-1891, Moby Dick (1851)

"I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing. "
   --Herman Melville 1819-1891, Moby Dicky (1851)

"There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. "
   --Herman Melville 1819-1891, Moby Dick (1851)

"Any man who has gone farther and fared worse than ever, may console himself with the thought that it could be the albatross or the flying Dutchman. "
   --Herman Melville 1819-1891, Moby Dick (1851)