Excuse me, these yams have no honor.
    --A Klingon at Safeway, from Trekies
    ** Added 20050509 **
%
Thomas Crown: May I ask you a rather personal question......
              Would you... like another hit of espresso?  Would you?
Catherine Banning: That was your personal question?
    --From The Thomas Crown Affair (remake)
    ** Added 20050508 **
%
I've got phone sex
To see me through the emptyness
In my 501's
    --Underworld from "Dirty Epic"
    ** Added 20050209 **
%
I'll make you all feel special...one after another...just give me
money.
    --A stripper from GTA San Andreas
    ** Added 20050125 **
%
Don't tease me about my hobbies; I don't tease you about being an asshole.
    --Mark from "Garden State"
    ** Added 20050122 **
%
Shepard Book: People like a man of god.
Malcom Reynolds: No, they don't.  Men of god make people feel guilty
                 and judged. 
    --From "Firefly"
    ** Added 20041208 **
%
  "I shall see you, Daniel, on Parnassus, or wherever it is that
Philosophers end up!" 
  "I think they end up in old books," said Daniel, "and so I shall
look for you, sir, in a Library."
    --Leibniz and Daniel Waterhouse saying goodbye for the last time
      from "The System Of The World" by Neal Stephenson
    ** Added 20041127 **
%
We spoke of Mr. Hooke's observations on snowflakes--their remarkable
property, which is that each of the six arms grows outwards from a
common center, and each grows independently, of its own internal
rules.  One arm cannot affect the others.  And yet the arms are all
alike.  To me this is is an embodiment of the pre-established
harmony.  Now, Daniel, in like manner, there grows out of the core of
Natural Philosophy more than one system for understanding the
Universe.  They grow according to their own internal principles, and
one does not affect another--as Newton and I demonstrated yesterday by
utterly failing to agree on anything!  But if it's true--as I
believe--that they are rooted in a common seed, then in the fullness
of time they must adopt a like form, and become reflections of one
another, as a snowflake's arms.
    --Leibniz to Daniel Waterhouse from "The System Of The World"
      by Neal Stephenson
    ** Added 20041127 **
%
  "A toast" Susan said as soon as the waiter left. She lifted 
her champagne  flute and then waited for us to follow suit. 
"Paul, would you do the  honors?"
  "I don't know what to say," I confessed, my face heating. 
A couple of corny things ran through my mind, but I
eventually settled on something  sappy. "To good friends," 
I said. Then I had an impish thought.  "To good friends,"
I repeated, "and to beautiful women. One or the other is 
nice, but the luckiest men have both."
    --From "Summer Camp, Book 3" by Nick Scipio 
     (www.nickscipio.com)
    ** Added 20040828 **
%
Tycho: I'm making wheatloaf.  It's like meatloaf, only with WHEAT.
Kara: Isn't that just...bread?
    --From Penny-Arcade (www.penny-arcade.com)
    ** Added 20040809 **
%
  "Where," she asked skeptically, "did you learn to kiss 
like that?"
  "That's the way I kiss."
  "No, Speedy, nobody kisses like that. I bet you picked 
that up from the movies. You kissed me the way somebody 
like William Holden kisses."
  "That," I insisted, "is the way I kiss."
  "No. That's the way William Holden kisses."
  "He got it from me."
  "Oh...I see. Well, that's some kiss."
    --Speedy and Martha Jane from "The Adventures of Me and 
      Martha Jane" by Santos J. Romeo
    ** Added 20040803 **
%
Miho: I wasn't aware the Tokyo Police employed uneducated, 
      paranoid, delusional foreign delinquents.
Largo: In my case, they made an exception.
    --from "megatokyo" at www.megatokyo.com
    ** Added 20040730 **
%
Greg: As I figure it, the comic would be 39.4% funnier with 
      the addition of a monkey.
Tony: Really.
Greg: And that's just for the first monkey.  Each additional 
      monkey adds another 3%, with no upper limit.
Tony: So what are you getting at?
Greg: We need to find a monkey wholesaler.
    --from RealLife at www.reallifecomics.com
    ** Added 20040729 **
%
Grab your bizarro twin and beat the living hell out of them!
    --Roy from "Order of the Stick" 
      at http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript
    ** Added 20040729 **
%
Oh...it's both of you!  Wow.. I've never been in a threesome 
before.  I'll go get my wallet.
    --Xerox Guy to Wendy and Other Girl 
      from "CuteWendy" at http://go-girly.com
    ** Added 20040726 **
%
It's kind of an extreme sports meets freaky demon bitches with 
their tits out.  You can do a lip trick off a giant human 
skull into a burning vagina.
    --Gabe,describing a video game he is designing 
      (from www.penny-arcade.com)
    ** Added 20030507 **
%
A massive power surge has disabled all of the stations critical
functions.
    --Men-Tel computer error message from "Fortress 2"
    ** Added 20040326 **
%
   "They cannot see the string at this distance," Jack 
commented, "and suppose you are doing some sort of magick."
   "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable 
from a yo-yo," Enoch said.
	--From Neal Stephenson's "The Confusion"
	** Added 20040422 **
%
...and saw a limp mottled brown thing a few centimeters on a 
side, fuzzy around the edges, resting on Harv's crossed 
ankles.
   "What is it?"
   "It's magic.  Watch this, " Harv said.  And worrying at it
with his toothpick, he teased something loose.
   "It's got a string coming out of it!" Nell said.
   "Sssh!" Harv gripped the end of the thread beneath his 
thumbnail and pulled.  It looked quite short, but it 
lengthened as he pulled, and the fuzzy edge of the piece of 
fabric waffled too fast to see, and then the thread had come 
loose entirely.  He held it up for inspection, then let it 
drift down onto a heap of others just like it.
   "How many does it have?" Nell said.
   "Nell," Harv said, turning to face her so that his light 
shone on her face, his voice coming out of the light 
epiphanically, "You got it wrong.  It's not that the thing 
has threads IN it--it IS threads.  Threads going under and 
over each other.  If you pulled out all of the threads, 
nothing would be left."
   "Did mites make it?" Nell asked.
   "The way it's made--so digital--each thread going over and
under other threads, and those ones going over and under all 
the other threads--" Harv stopped for a moment, his mind 
overloaded by the inhuman audacity of the thing, the 
promiscuous reference frames.  "It had to be mites, Nell, 
nothing else could do it."
    --From Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age"
    ** Added 20040302 **
%
If the manifest of ingredients on the bottle had been 
legible, it would have read something like this:
   Water, blackstrap molasses, imported habanero peppers, 
salt, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, axle grease, real hickory 
smoke, snuff, butts of clove cigarettes, Guinness Stout 
fermentation dregs, uranium mill tailings, muffler cores, 
monosodium glutamate, nitrates, nitrites, nitrotes and 
nitrutes, nutrites, natrotes, powdered pork nose hairs, 
dynamite, activated charcoal, match-heads, used pipe 
cleaners, tar, nicotine, single-malt whiskey, smoked beef 
lymph nodes, autumn leaves, red fuming nitric acid, 
bituminous coal, fallout, printer's ink, laundry starch, 
drain cleaner, blue chrysotile asbestos, carrageenan, BHA, 
BHT, and natural flavorings.
    --From Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age", 
      describing "McWhorter's Original Condiment".
    ** Added 20040302 **    
%
...Constable Moore had reached the age when men can subject 
their bodies to the worst irritations--whiskey, cigars, 
woolen clothes, bagpipes--without feeling a thing or, at 
least without letting on.
    --From Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age"
    ** Added 20040302 **
%
Your boyfriend is really a jerk.  Will he ever learn to 
play the saxophone.
    --From "Through the Wall" by The Bobs, 1983
    ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
I'm holding my urine in a cup because I have 
responsibilities.
    --Space Ghost on Space Ghost Coast To Coast
    ** Added 20040209 **
%
You won't regret this for quite some time.
    --Hollywood Actor Beck Bristo on Sealab 2021
    ** Added 20040209 **
%
Who'd have ever thought I'd actually be angry at my right 
hand.  We're usually such good friends.
	--Neal, from www.americananimetion.com
	** Added 20040217 **
%
A recent survey of hamsters reveals that contrary to past 
research, humping things is more popular than eating, which 
came in a very close second, followed by smelling things and 
pooping.
	--A hamster newscaster, from www.shaw-island.com
	** Added 20040131 **
%
There are days when I can't configure my own damn hair or 
operate my pants.  I'll leave the computer alone thank you 
very much.
	--Ben, from www.shaw-island.com
	** Added 20040130 **
%
You're fighting a Spectral Jellyfish

This is the enslaved spirit of a jellyfish that didn't 
quite make it to Jellyfish Heaven (where jellyfish go, 
to get away from Mormons and drunk Eskimos.)
	--From Cobb's Knob Menagerie, Level 3 at 
	  www.kingdomofloathing.com
	** Added 20040129 **
%
[The carriage] stopped in the great house's forecourt.  
Daniel admired its situation: John Comstock could, if he so 
chose, plant himself in the center of his front doorway and 
fire a musket across his garden, out his front gate, across 
Piccadilly, straight down the center of a tree-lined 
faux-country lane, across Pall Mall, and straight into the 
grand entrance of St. James's, where it would be likely to 
kill someone very well-dressed. 
	--From Neal Stephenson's "Quicksilver"
	** Added 20031208 **
%
Some say that crying is childish.  Daniel--who since the 
birth of Godfrey [his son] has had more opportunities than he
should have liked to observe crying--takes a contrary view.  
Crying LOUDLY is childish, in that it reflects a belief, on 
the crier's part, that someone is around to hear the noise, 
and come a-running to make it all better.  Crying in absolute
silence as Daniel does this morning, is the mark of the 
mature sufferer who no longer nurses, nor is nursed by, any 
such comfortable delusions.
	--From Neal Stephenson's "Quicksilver"
	** Added 20031208 **
%
I guess I'm just not used to being chased around the mall in 
the middle of the night by killer robots.
	--Linda, from the movie 'Chopping Mall'
	** Added 20030926 **
%
Woman: Knock Knock!
Man: Who's there?
Woman: Neoimperialism.
Man: Neoimperialism who?
Woman: I just wanted to see if you could pronounce it.
	--From "Get Your War On"
	  http://www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/war25.html
	** Added 20030728 **
%
Breakin' the chains you better cut me some.
Heart of a lion and the wings of a bat (becuz it's midnight)!
Heart of a lion and the wings of a bat (becuz it's midnight)!
Sunset Strip, California, West Hollywood....
	--Limozeen, from www.homestarrunner.com
	** Added 20030728 **
%
Oscar found travel difficult.  Traffic in Alabama was snarled
by manic Christian tent-revival shows, "breathing fresh life 
into the spirit" with two-hundred-beat-per-minute gospel 
raves.
	--From "Distraction" by Bruce Sterling (which takes place
      in 2044)
	** Added 20030711 **
%
Knowledge is inherently precious even if you can't sell it.  
Even if you can't use it.  Knowledge is an absolute good.  
The search for truth is vital.  It's central to civilization.
You need knowledge even if your economy and government are 
absolutely shot to hell.
	--Dr. Gretta Penninger in "Distraction" by Bruce Sterling
	** Added 20030711 **
%
In times of old when I was new
And Hogwarts barely started
The founders of our noble school
Thought never to be parted:
United by a common goal,
They had the selfsame yearning
To make the world's best magic school
And pass along their learning.
"Together we will build and teach!"
The four good friends decided
And never did they dream that they
Might someday be divided,
For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor?
Unless it was the second pair
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw?
So how could it have gone so wrong?
How could such friendships fail?
Why, I was there and so can tell
The whole sad, sorry tale.
Said Slytherin, "We'll teach just those
Whose ancestry is purest."
Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose
Intelligence is surest."
Said Gryffindor, "We'll teach all those
With brave deeds to their name."
Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot,
And treat them just the same."
These differences caused little strife
When first they came to light,
For each of the four founders had
A House in which they might
Take only those they wanted, so,
For instance, Slytherin
Took only pure-blood wizards
Of great cunning, just like him,
And only those of sharpest mind
Were taught by Ravenclaw
While the bravest and the boldest
Went to Gryffindor.
Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest,
And taught them all she knew,
Thus the Houses and their founders
Retained friendships firm and true.
So Hogwarts worked in harmony
For several happy years,
But then discord crept among us
Feeding on our faults and fears.
The Houses that, like pillars four,
Had once held up our school,
Now turned upon each other and,
Divided, sought to rule.
And for a while it seemed the school
Must meet an early end,
What with dueling and with fighting
And the clash of friend on friend
And at last there came a morning
When old Slytherin departed
And though the fighting then died out
He left us quite downhearted.
And never since the founders four
Were whittled down to three
Have the Houses been united
As they once were meant to be.
And now the Sorting Hat is here
And you all know the score:
I sort you into Houses
Because that is what I'm for,
But this year I'll go further,
Listen closely to my song:
Though condemned I am to split you
Still I worry that it's wrong,
Though I must fulfill my duty
And must quarter every year
Still I wonder whether sorting
May bring the end I fear.
Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
The warning history shows,
For our Hogwarts is in danger
From external, deadly foes
And we must unite inside her
Or we'll crumble from within
I have told you, I have warned you....
Let the Sorting now begin.
	--The Sorting Hat's Song, from "Harry Potter and the 
      Order of the Phoenix" by J. K. Rowling 
	** Added 20030630 **
%
First think of the person who lives in disguise,
Who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.
Next, tell me what's always the last thing to mend,
The middle of middle and the end of the end?
And finally give me the sound often heard
During the search for a hard-to-find word.
Now string them together, and answer me this,
Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?
	-- The Sphinx's riddle, from "Harry Potter and the Goblet
      of Fire" by J. K. Rowling 
	** Added 20030705 **
%
A thousand years or more ago,
When I was newly sewn,
There lived four wizards of renown,
Whose names are still well known:
Bold Gryffindor, from wild moor,
Fair Ravenclaw, from glen,
Sweet Hufflepuff, from Valley broad,
Shrewd Slytherin, from fen.
They shared a wish, a hope, a dream,
They hatched a daring plan
To educate young sorcerers
Thus Hogwarts School began.
Now each of these four founders
Formed their own house, for each
Did value different virtues
In the ones they had to teach.
By Gryffindor, the bravest were
Prized far beyond the rest;
For Ravenclaw, the cleverest
Would always be the best;
For Hufflepuff, hard workers were
Most worthy of admission;
And power-hungry Slytherin
Loved those of great ambition.
While still alive they did divide
Their favorites from the throng,
Yet how to pick the worthy ones
When they were dead and gone?
'Twas Gryffindor who found the way,
He whipped me off his head
The founders put some brains in me
So I could choose instead!
now slip me snug about your ears,
I've never yet been wrong,
I'll have a look inside your mind
And tell where you belong!
	--The Sorting Hat's Song, from "Harry Potter and the 
      Goblet of Fire" by J. K. Rowling 
	** Added 20030705 **
%
Never trust anything that can think for itself, if you can't 
see where it keeps its brain.
	--Mr. Arthur Weasley, from at least 2 of the 5 (so far) 
      Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling
	** Added 20030705 **
%
This isn't really a quote, but: 
-Based on the fact that October 31st 1492 was the deathday of
 Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington (Nearly-Headless Nick, the 
 Gryffindor House ghost), 
-and his 500th deathday party happens during Harry's 2nd year
 at Hogwarts, 
-and Harry turned 12 during the previous July 
=>Harry Potter was born in 1981,
=>The Potter family was murdered by Voldemort and Voldemort 
  fell from power in 1982

Another confirming date:
In a letter Harry writes to Sirius in August of 1995 
(assuming above date information), he says Dudley "chucked 
his PlayStation out of the window."  The Sony PlayStation 
became available to the public in 1995.  Since it was new, 
Dudley would have to have it and also break it shortly after 
getting it.
	--Based on information gleaned from all five (so far) of 
      the "Harry Potter" books by J. K. Rowling
	** Revised 20030728 **
%
  Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few 
words.  And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
  Thank you!
	--Professor Albus Dumbledore, from "Harry Potter and the 
      Sorcerer's Stone" by J. k. Rowling
	** Added 20030701 **
%
Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong to Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!
	--The Sorting Hat's Song, from "Harry Potter and the 
	  Sorcerer's Stone"
	  by J. K. Rowling 
	** Added 20030701 **
%
The gold ones are Galleons.  Seventeen silver Sickles to a 
Galleon and twenty-nine Knuts to a Sickle, it's easy enough.
	--Hagrid, explaining Wizarding money, from "Harry Potter and
	  The Sorcerer's Stone" by J. K. Rowling.
	Note: This sounds more complicated than British money.
	** Added 20030701 **
%
Breathing shallow,
I'm slipping away.
Hanging in the gallows,
I'm starting to pray.
How careful it was planned to do away with me;
So kill me if you can,
But words won't make be bleed.
So what if I survive,
And live to tell the truth?
Imagine my surprise,
To find me living and so very much alive!
I'll find a new life and hide,
If I survive.
But I swear you're going down if I survive!

I'll find a new life and hide if I survive.
I'll find my own place in time if I survive.
I'll learn to forget the crime if I survive...
But I swear you're going down if I survive!

If I survive I'll tell on you.

I'll find a new life and hide if I survive.
I'll find my own place in time if I survive.
I'll learn to forget the crime if I survive...
But I swear you're going down if I survive! 
	--"If I survive" by Hybrid
	** Added 20030627 **
%
Ugh, I HATE finding cluster bombs in my cake!  They get stuck in
my fillings.
	--From "Get Your War On!" 
	  http://www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/war23.html
	** Added 20030421 **
%
When the routine bites hard
and ambitions are low
And the resentment rides high
but emotions won't grow
And we're changing our ways,
taking different roads
Then love, love will tear us apart again
love, love will tear us apart again

Why is the bedroom so cold
Turned away on your side?
Is my timing that flawed,
our respect run so dry?
Yet there's still this appeal
That we've kept through
our lives
Love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again

Do you cry out in your sleep
All my failings expose?
Get a taste in my mouth
As desperation takes hold
Is it something so good
Just can't function no more?
When love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again
	--"Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division
	** Added 20030402 **
%
I have free will, but not of my own choice.  I have never freely
chosen to have free will.  I have to have free will, whether I 
like it or not!
        --A mortal speaking to god, from Raymond M. Smullyan's
          "The Tao Is Silent.
	** Added 20030321 **
%
People laugh at me for keeping my money in a big tin bucket.  
Well you know what?  A big tin bucket is not gonna fucking lie 
to me about its financial 
performance!
	--From 'Get Your War On' http://www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/
	** Added 20030305 **
%
I will behead anyone who sees Jesus in a tortilla.
	--Adam Carolla, as King of the World on 'The Man Show'
	** Added 20030217 **
%
Real life doesn't fit into little boxes that were drawn for it.
	--Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), from 'Unbreakable'
	** Added 20030217 **
%
Some said that turnabout was fair play, but she had never believed in 
fighting fair.  Either you fought, or you did not, and it was never a game.  
Fairness was for people standing safely to one side, talking while others 
bled.
	--Cadsuane, thinking to herself, from Robert Jordan's "Crossroads of 
	  Twilight; Book Ten of The Wheel Of Time"	
	** Added 20030207 **
%
There were six of them, ... six men in black coats.  Two with silver swords 
on their collars were feeling men out about whether they might like to learn 
to channel.  Oh, they did not say so right out.  Wield the lightnings, they 
called it.  Wield the lightnings and ride the thunder.  But it was clear 
enough to me, if not to the fools they were talking to.
	--An Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah from Robert Jordan's "Crossroads of 
	  Twilight; Book Ten of The Wheel Of Time"
	** Added 20030207 **
%
As you yourself, superior to all Flatland forms, combine many Circles in One, 
so doubtless there is One above you who combines many Spheres in One Supreme 
Existence, surpassing even the Solids of Spaceland.  And even as we, who are 
now in Space, look down on Flatland and see the insides of all things, so of 
a certainty there is yet above us some higher, purer region, wither thou dost 
surely purpose to lead me--O Thou Whom I shall always call, everywhere an in 
all Dimensions, my Priest, Philosopher, and Friend--some yet more spacious 
Space, some more dimensionable Dimensionality, from the vantage-ground of 
which we shall look down together upon the revealed insides of Solid things, 
and where thine own intestines, and those of thy kindred Spheres, will lie 
exposed to the view of the poor wandering exile from Flatland, to whom so 
much has already been vouchsafed.
	--From Edwin A. Abbott's "Flatland" (the only Victorian novel I have 
	  read which did not bore me to death).
	** Added 20030207 **
%
Like I always say 'When life gives you lemons ... blow the crap out of them with
your laser cannons!'
	--Brak, from "The Brak Show"
	** Added 20030120 **
%
" And the dragon comes in the NIIIiiiiIIIiiiiIIIIIIIIiiiiiii
iiiiIIIIIIIIiiiIIGGHH
	--http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail36.html
	** Added 20030105 **
%
Nothing was more reassuring to me than the knowledge that I would die.  In
these moments of clarity--and you see yourself clearly only when you see
yourself as a stranger--all despair, all gaiety, all depression vanish and
are replaced with calm.  For me death was not something scary or a state of
being or an event that would happen to me.  It was a focusing on the now,
an aid, an ally in the effort to be mentally present.
        --Smilla, from Peter Høeg's "Smilla's Sense of Snow"
          Note: the "ø" in "Høeg" should be an "o" with a line through 
	  it, it being some weird Danish character that I don't know how to
          pronounce, it may not display properly.
        ** Added 20021220 **
%
  To keep my spirits up I ask myself: What is a human being? Who am I?
  Am I my name?
        --Smilla, from Peter Høeg's "Smilla's Sense of Snow"
          Note: the "ø" in "Høeg" should be an "o" with a line through 
	  it, it being some weird Danish character that I don't know how to
          pronounce, it may not display properly.
        ** Added 20021220 **
%
He has given me the correct size.  As much as work clothes can ever be the
right size.  I try putting a belt around the smock.  Now I no longer look
like a mailbag.  Now I look like an hourglass five feet two inches tall.
        --Smilla, from Peter Høeg's "Smilla's Sense of Snow"
          Note: the "ø" in "Høeg" should be an "o" with a line through 
	  it, it being some weird Danish character that I don't know how to
          pronounce, it may not display properly.
        ** Added 20021220 **
%
We stand with our backs to the bar.  A tall, frosted glass is covered with
a thin layer of ice, which now melts and starts to slide off.  It's full of
a clear, amber-colored liquid.
  "Bullshot, honey.  Eight parts vodka, eight parts beef bouillon."
        --Lander, from Peter Høeg's "Smilla's Sense of Snow"
          Note: the "ø" in "Høeg" should be an "o" with a line through 
	  it, it being some weird Danish character that I don't know how to
          pronounce, it may not display properly.
        ** Added 20021220 **
%
  There are mornings when it feels as if you rise up to the surface through
a mud bath.  With your feet stuck in a block of cement.  When you know that
you've expired in the night and have nothing to be happy about except the
fact that at least you've already died so they can't transplant your
lifeless organs.
  Six out of seven mornings are like that.
        --From Peter Høeg's "Smilla's Sense of Snow"
          Note: the "ø" in "Høeg" should be an "o" with a line through 
	  it, it being some weird Danish character that I don't know how to
          pronounce, it may not display properly.
        ** Added 20021220 **
%
They say that people drink a lot in Greenland.  That is a totally absurd
understatement.  People drink a colossal amount.
        --From Peter Høeg's "Smilla's Sense of Snow"
          Note: the "ø" in "Høeg" should be an "o" with a line through 
	  it, it being some weird Danish character that I don't know how to
          pronounce, it may not display properly.
        ** Added 20021220 **
%
  Tell us, they'll say to me.  So we will understand and be able to resolve
things.  They'll be mistaken.  It's only the things you don't understand
that you can resolve.  There will be no resolution.
        --The last paragraph of a cool mystery/suspense novel I just
          finished reading.  It has just become clear which side will win
          the last "fight" in the book, though the "fight" is not totally
          over.  Our characters are all very far from civilization and it 
          may be hard for them to make it back alive, whenever the conflict 
          ends.  
	  This is one of the best endings I have ever read.
        ** Added 20021221 **
%
1.  Find out who profits from it.
2.  Groups never meet together except to conspire against other groups.
3.  Every system evolves and expands until it encroaches upon other
    systems.
4.  It all returns to equilibrium, eventually.
        --Summary of the entire science of economics from "The Homing
          Pigeons" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021205 **
%
He ... told them the old story of how Picasso, asked to identify the
real Picassos in a group of possible fakes, had put one of his own
canvases among the fraudulent group.  "But," an art dealer among those
present protested, "I saw you paint that one myself, Pablo."
  "No matter," said the Great Man imperturbably, "I can fake a Picasso
as well as anybody."
        --From "The Homing Pigeons" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021206 **
%
  "The Federal Reserve System--a private bank responsible to nobody,
despite its name--creates money out of nothing," [Dr. Horace] Naismith
began in a pleasant Texas twang.
  "There is no one money system that was ordained by God.  They were
all invented by human beings and can be improved by human beings.
  "Now, what is money?  Money is information.  Ask any computer
programmer about that, if you don't believe it.  Money is a signal, a
unit of pure information.  It is as abstract as mathematics.  Cattle
served as money once.  So did leather.  So did precious metals.  They
were commodity monies, because they were worth something in themselves.
Modern paper money is pure information, worth absolutely zilch, except
for the signals printed on it.
  "Money in the modern world," Naismith went on, "is no more than a
promise to pay.  If you look at the bills in your wallet right now,
you'll see what they're promising to pay.  They're promising to pay you
more paper.  They don't have to give you a gram of gold or silver or
any real commodity.  They'll give you more paper if you want to trade
in the paper you already have.  Didn't that ever strike you as a little
bit funny?
  "Think about it this way," Naismith said, warming to his subject.
"This is a corny old Sufi parable, but it might help you to get the
picture.
  "The great Sufi sage Nasrudin once invented a magic wand.  Wishing
to patent such a valuable devise, Nasrudin waved the wand and created a
patent office, which immediately appeared in 3-D Technicolor.
  "Nasrudin then walked in and told the clerk, 'I want to patent a
magic wand.'
  "'You can't do that,' said the clerk.  'There is no such thing as a
magic wand.'
  "Nasrudin immediately waved his wand again, and the patent office and
the clerk both disappeared."
        --From "The Homing Pigeons" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021205 **
%
Let me control a planet's oxygen supply and I don't care who makes the
laws.
        --From "The Trick Top Hat" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021205 **
%
  Society as we know it is based on torture and death, or the threat of
torture and death.  I am here to be tortured, although the authorities
will never admit that....
  But if everybody could go into dhyana at will, nobody could be
controlled--by fear of prison, by fear of whips or electroshock, by
fear of death, even.  All existing society is based on keeping those
fears alive, to control the masses.
  Ten people who know what I know would be more dangerous than a
million armed anarchists.
        --From "The Trick Top Hat" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021205 **
%
Bohr had added nearly as much to quantum theory as Planck, Einstein, or
Schrodinger, and his model of the atom--the Bohr model, it's called--had
been believed literally by a generation of physicians before Hiroshima.
Bohr himself, however never believed it; nor had he believed any of his
other theories.  Bohr invented what is called the Copenhagen
Interpretation, which holds in effect that a physicist shouldn't believe
anything but his measurements in the laboratory.  Everything else--the
whole body of mathematics and theory relating one measurement to
another--Bohr regarded as a model of how the human mind works, not of
how the universe works.  Blake Williams loved Bohr for the Copenhagen
Interpretation, which had made it possible for him to study physics
seriously, even devoutly, without believing a word of it.
        --From "The Trick Top Hat" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021201 **
%
...posters and ... charts gaze down on the couch where Joe Malik and
Carol Christmas are engaged in erotometaphysical epistemology.
        --From "The Trick Top Hat" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021201 **
%
That which is forbidden is not allowed.
        --From John Lilly's "The Center of the Cyclone"
        ** Added 20021201 **
%
  Judge Draconic V. Wasp pronounced sentence in this wise:  "Young
feller, you've been tried and convicted and every man in this courtroom
knows your guilt is as black as hell.  I have no regret in passing
sentence in such a case.  Soon, you little bastard, it will be spring and
the robin will sing again, the flowers will bud, little children will
laugh on their way to school--and you will hear and know nothing of that,
for you will be dead, dead, dead.  You chink bastard.  Sheriff, take this
yellow son-of-a-bitch out and hang him."
  Wing Lee Chee received this wrath with no show of emotion, but then he
arose and addressed the court in a steady and terrible voice.  "As I rook
upon the whiskey-fogged faces of judge and july in the tlavesty of a
civirized coult," he said, "I know furr werr that I was foorish to ever
expect justice from such degenelates.  You, Judge Wasp, speak of the
sweet singing of lobins in the spling and the brooming of the prants, but
what can you know of the gleat Tao that moves arr of us, you four-mouthed,
cunt-ricking, donkey-fucking led-neck?  You desclibe the gentre voices of
chirden, you glafting, thieving, monkey-faced, frat-nosed idiot offspring
of a feebre-minded goat by pulple-plicked baboon!  What do you know of the
innocence of rittle chirden?  What do you know of anything but colluprion
and highway lobbery, you syph-spocked, clap-lidden, amoeba-blained white
lacist?  You say that Wing Lee Chee sharr be hanged by the neck until he
is dead, dead, dead, but Wing Lee Chee says"--he paused dramatically,
swept the courtroom with a withering glance and concluded--"you can kiss
my ass until it is led, led, led!"
  It is said that nineteen peace officers were torn limb from limb in the
course of the hanging of Wing Lee Chee.
        --From "The Universe Next Door" by Robert Anton Wilson

%
  The letter was sent out May 1, 1984, to the New York Times-News-Post,
the Chicago Sun, the Los Angeles Times-Free Press, NBC News, CBS News,
the White House, Mae Brussel, the Berkeley Barb, KPFA, ABC News, the
London Times, Zodiac News Service, The Christian Science Monitor, the
Archdioceses of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and St. Louis, the
Church of Scientology, Mark Lane, Paul Krassner, Dick Gregory, Chase
Manhattan Bank, the Bad Ass Bugle, the Nihilist Anarchist Horde, Norman
Mailer, and 237 miscellaneous other institutions and celebrities.  POE
wanted to be sure that their message would get out to the general public
with the minimum of distortion by the Establishment.
  The letter said:

    May God forgive us.  May history judge us as charitably.
    We have placed tactical nuclear bombs in over 1,700 locations
  throughout the United States.  The targets are all enemies of the
  people: large banks, multinational corporations, government facilities.
  We will trigger one of these bombs at noon tomorrow, somewhere in the
  eastern United States, to demonstrate that we are not bluffing.
    All of the other nuclear bombs will be triggered in succession until
  our demands are met.  If any attempt is made to apprehend and arrest
  us--any attempt at all--all the remaining bombs will be detonated at
  once.
    We demand:
    That President Furbish Lousewart immediately confiscate all fortunes
  above one million dollars;
    That this money, which we calculate makes a sum of approximately
  three trillion dollars, be distributed at once to the forty million
  families, who are, according to the government's own standards, living
  below the poverty line, so that each family receives $75,000;
    That all government money presently invested in weapons of war and
  preparations for war be immediately redirected to improving schools,
  homes, and hospitals in poor neighborhoods, so as to make them fit for
  human beings;
    That George Washington be removed from the dollar bill and replaced
  by Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse to remind people forever of the idiocy of
  worshiping money.
    A final word of warning:  We have been working on this project for
  sixteen years and have the full capacity to do all that we say.  The
  Revolution of Lowered Expectations has been a monopolist's heaven and
  a poor people's hell.  We intend to change that.

  President Lousewart, guided by Intelligence Agencies that had
collectively listened to enough "private" conversations to be
stone-paranoid, had acted within minutes after the POE letter arrived in
the White House.  The Unistat government would not be blackmailed.  Even
before TV could broadcast the story of the threat, over 10,000,000
"radicals" and possible "radicals" had been placed under arrest coast to
coast.  One of them, more or less accidentally, had been Sylvia Goldfarb
of POE.
  All 1,700 POE bombs detonated at once.  Unistat as an entity ceased to
exist.  Nihilist Anarchist Hordes roamed what was left of the landscape.
  Twenty-three hundred nuclear missiles, computer-guided to fire if
Unistat were nuked, took off at the first blast and decimated Russia.
The Beast had been programmed by Intelligence Agencies who were convinced
that any nuclear attack would come from there.
  Twenty-three hundred Russian missiles took off the moment the first
Unistat missile entered Russian airspace.  They all went to China.  The
Russian computer had also been programmed by very dogmatic, very
inflexible primates; it "knew" that any nuclear attack would come from
China.
        --From "The Universe Next Door" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021201 **
%
Take what thou hast and give it to the poor.
    --Attributed to some longhair commie freak

        --From "The Universe Next Door" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021202 **
%
Pornographic novels were novels about the things primates enjoy most,
namely sexual acrobatics.  They were taught to feel ashamed of these
natural primate impulses so that they would be guilty-furtive-submissive
types and easy for the alpha males to manipulate.  Those caught reading
such novels were called no-good shits, of course.
        --From "The Universe Next Door" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021201 **
%
Justin Case suspected the FBI was tapping his phone.  However, 9,000,000
out of 20,000,000 primates in New York also suspected the FBI of tapping
their phones.  Case just happened to be one of the 8,000,000 who were
correct in this suspicion.
        --From "The Universe Next Door" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021201 **
%
Since a great deal of primate behavior was considered just awful, most of
the domesticated primates spent most of their time trying to conceal what
they were doing.  Some of the primates got caught by other primates.  All
of the primates lived in dread of getting caught.  Those who got caught
were called no-good shits.
        --From "The Universe Next Door" by Robert Anton Wilson
        ** Added 20021201 **
%
Layer composite art limitless go!!
        --From Minipat (a SD anime about the making of the Patlabor series)
        ** Added 20021201 **
%
If I went on ... I expected to be killed in a surgical operating room, all 
quiet and legal and proper.  If you don't believe that such things can 
happen, we aren't living in the same world and there is no point in your 
reading any more of this memoir.
        --Friday, from Robert A. Heinlein's 'Friday'
        ** Added 20021114 **
%
There is no true equity of power.  There is only more and less.
        --Dega Disciple (a Magic Card)
        ** Added 20021105 **
%
You're Greek and I'm Armenian.  Of course we need to raise our
children to speak Portuguese.
        --From Orson Scott Card's "Shadow Puppets"
        ** Added 20021031 **
%
If these were his last hours of freedom, or even of life, why not
spend them with people he liked, eating food he enjoyed?
        --From Orson Scott Card's "Shadow Puppets"
        ** Added 20021031 **
%
Apparently the Dutch now prided themselves on being better at
queues than the English, which was absurd, because standing
cheerfully in line was the English national sport.
        --From Orson Scott Card's "Shadow Puppets"
        ** Added 20021031 **
%
He held her again.  An elderly couple passed by.  The man looked
disapproving, as if he thought these foolish young people should
find a more private place for their kissing and hugging.  But the
old woman, her white hair held severely by a head scarf, gave him
a wink, as if to say, Good for you, young fellow, young girls
should be kissed thoroughly and often.
        --From Orson Scott Card's "Shadow Puppets"
        ** Added 20021031 **
%
Petra: If we separate, and Achilles finds me and kills me first,
       then you'll just have one more female you love deeply who
       is dead because you didn't protect her.
Bean: You fight dirty.
Petra: I fight like a girl.
        --From Orson Scott Card's "Shadow Puppets"
        ** Added 20021031 **
%
  He shifts position on the bed and his crucifix swings back and forth 
ponderously. He also has a medallion around his neck with something 
startling written on it.
  "Do you have some occult symbol there?" Randy asks, squinting.
  "I beg your pardon?"
  "I can make out the word 'occult' on your medallion there."
  "It says 'ignoti et quasi occulti', which means 'unknown and partly 
hidden' or words to that effect," says Enoch Root.  "It is the motto of a 
society to which I belong. You must know that the word 'occult' does not 
intrinsically have anything to do with Satanic rituals and drinking blood and
all of that.  It--"
  "I was trained as an astronomer," Randy says.  "So I learned all about 
occultation--the concealment of one body behind another, as during an eclipse."
  "Oh. Well, then, I'll shut up."
  "In fact, I know more than you might think about occultation," Randy says.  
It might seem like he's beating a dead horse, except that he catches the eye 
of Enoch Root while he's saying it, and gives a significant sidelong glance 
at his computer.  Root processes this for a moment and then nods.
  "Who's the lady in the middle?  The Virgin Mary?" Randy asks.
  Root fingers the medallion without looking at it, and says, "Reasonable 
guess.  But wrong.  It's Athena."
  "The Greek goddess?"
  "Yes."
  "How do you square that with Christianity?"
  "When I phoned you the other day, how did you know it was me?"
  "I don't know.  I just recognized you."
  "Recognized me?  What does that mean?  You didn't recognize my voice."
  "Is this some roundabout way of answering my question about Athena worship 
v. Christianity?"
  "Doesn't it strike you as remarkable that you can look at a stream of 
characters on the screen of your computer--e-mail from someone you've never 
seen--and later 'recognize' the same person on the phone?  How does that work, 
Randy?"
  "I haven't the faintest idea.  The brain can do some weird--"
  "Some complain that e-mail is impersonal--that your contact with me, during 
the e-mail phase of our relationship, was mediated by wires and screens and 
cables.  Some would say that's not as good as conversing face-to-face.  And 
yet our seeing of things is always mediated by corneas, retinas, optic nerves, 
and some neural machinery that takes the information from the optic nerve and 
propagates it into our minds.  So, is looking at words on a screen so very 
much inferior?  I think not; at least then you are conscious of the 
distortions.  Whereas, when you see someone with your eyes, you forget about 
the distortions and imagine you are experiencing them purely and immediately."
  "So what's your explanation of how I recognized you?"
  "I would argue that inside your mind was some pattern of neurological 
activity that was not there before you exchanged e-mail with me.  The Root 
Representation.  It is not me. I'm this big slug of carbon and oxygen and some 
other stuff on this cot right next to you.  The Root Rep, by contrast, is the 
thing that you'll carry around in your brain for the rest of your life, 
barring some kind of major neurological insult, that your mind uses to 
represent me.  When you think about me, in other words, you're not thinking 
about me qua this big slug of carbon, you are thinking about the Root Rep.  
Indeed, some day you might get released from jail and run into someone who 
would say, 'You know, I was in the Philippines once, running around in the 
boondocks, and I ran into this old fart who started talking to me about Root 
Reps.'  And by exchanging notes (as it were) with this fellow you would be 
able to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the Root Rep in your brain 
and the Root Rep in his brain were generated by the same actual slug of carbon 
and oxygen and so on: me."
  "And this has something to do, again, with Athena?"
  "If you think of the Greek gods as real supernatural beings who lived, on 
Mount Olympus, no.  But if you think of them as being in the same class of 
entities as the Root Rep, which is to say, patterns of neurological activity 
that the mind uses to represent things that it sees, or thinks it sees, in the 
outside world, then yes.  Suddenly, Greek gods can be just as interesting and 
relevant as real people.  Why?  Because, in the same way as you might one day 
encounter another person with his own Root Rep so, if you were to have a 
conversation with an ancient Greek person, and he started talking about Zeus, 
you might--once you got over your initial feelings of superiority--discover 
that you had some mental representations inside your own mind that, though you 
didn't name them Zeus and didn't think of them as a big hairy thunderbolt-
hurling son of a Titan, nonetheless had been generated as a result of 
interactions with entities in the outside world that are the same as the ones 
that cause the Zeus Representation to appear in the Greek's mind.  And here we 
could talk about the Plato's Cave thing for a while--the Veg-O-Matic of 
metaphors--it slices! it dices!"
  "In which," Randy says, "the actual entities in the real world are the 
three-dimensional, real things that are casting the shadows, this Greek dude 
and I are the wretches chained up looking at the shadows of those things on 
the walls, and it's just that the shape of the wall in front of me is 
different from the shape of the wall in front of the Grecian--"
  "--so that given a shadow projected on your wall is going to adopt a 
different shape from the same shadow projected on his wall, where the 
different wall-shapes here correspond to let's say your modern scientific 
worldview versus his ancient pagan worldview."
  "Yeah. That Plato's Cave metaphor."
  At this very moment some wag of a prison guard, out in the corridor, throws 
a switch and shuts off all of the lights.  The only illumination now is from 
the screensaver on Randy's laptop, which is running animations of colliding 
galaxies.
  "I think we can stipulate that the wall in front of you, Randy, is 
considerably flatter and smoother, i.e. it generally gives you a much more 
accurate shadow than his wall, and yet it's clear that he's still capable of 
seeing the same shadows and probably drawing some useful conclusions about the 
shapes of the things that cast them."
  "Okay. So the Athena that you honor on your medallion isn't a supernatural 
being--"
  "--who lives on a mountain in Greece, et cetera, but rather whatever entity, 
pattern, trend, or what-have-you that, when perceived by ancient Greek people, 
and filtered through their perceptual machinery and their pagan worldview, 
produced the internal mental representation that they dubbed Athena.  The 
distinction being quite important because Athena-the-supernatural-chick-with-
the-helmet is of course nonexistent, but 'Athena' the external-generator-of-
the-internal-representation-dubbed-Athena-by-the-ancient-Greeks must have 
existed back then, or else the internal representation never would have been 
generated, and if she existed back then, the chances are excellent that she 
exists now, and if all that is the case, then whatever ideas the ancient 
Greeks (who, though utter shitheads in many ways, were terrifyingly 
intelligent people) had about her are probably still quite valid."
  "Okay, but why Athena and not Demeter or someone?"
  "Well, it's a truism that you can't understand a person without knowing 
something about her family background, and so we have to do kind of a quick 
Cliff's Notes number on the ancient Greek Theogony here.  We start out with 
Chaos, which is where all theogonies start, and which I like to think of as a 
sea of white noise--totally random broadband static.  And for reasons that we 
don't really understand, certain polarities begin to coalesce from this--Day, 
Night, Darkness, Light, Earth, Sea.  Personally, I like to think of these as 
crystals--not in the hippy-dippy Californian sense, but in the hardass 
technical sense of resonators, that received certain channels buried in the 
static of Chaos.  At some point, out of certain incestuous couplings among 
such entities, you get Titans.  And it's arguably kind of interesting to note 
that the Titans provide really the full complement of basic gods--you've got 
the sun god, Hyperion, and an ocean god, Oceanus, and so on.  But they all get 
overthrown in a power struggle called the Titanomachia and replaced with new 
gods like Apollo and Poseidon, who end up filling the same slots in the 
organizational chart, as it were.  Which is kind of interesting in that it 
seems to tie in with what I was saying about the same entities or patterns 
persisting through time, but casting slightly different shaped shadows for 
different people.  Anyway, so now we have the Gods of Olympus as we normally 
think of them: Zeus, Hera, and so on.
  "A couple of basic observations about these: first, they all, with one 
exception I'll get to soon, were produced by some kind of sexual coupling, 
either Titan-Titaness or God-Goddess or God-Nymph or God-Woman or basically 
Zeus and whom- or whatever Zeus was fucking on any particular day.  Which 
brings me to the second basic observation, which is that the Gods of Olympus 
are the most squalid and dysfunctional family imaginable.  And yet there is 
something about the motley asymmetry of this pantheon that makes it more 
credible.  Like the Periodic Table of the Elements or the family tree of the 
elementary particles, or just about any anatomical structure that you might 
pull up out of a cadaver, it has enough of a pattern to give our minds 
something to work on and yet an irregularity that indicates some kind of 
organic provenance--you have a sun god and a moon goddess, for example, which 
is all clean and symmetrical, and yet over here is Hera, who has no role 
whatsoever except to be a literal bitch goddess, and then there is Dionysus 
who isn't even fully a god--he's half human--but gets to be in the Pantheon 
anyway and sit on Olympus with the Gods, as if you went to the Supreme Court 
and found Bozo the Clown planted among the justices.
  "Now what I'm getting to here is that Athena was exceptional in every way.  
To begin with she wasn't created through sexual reproduction in any kind of 
normal sense; she sprang fully-formed from the head of Zeus.  According to 
some versions of the story, this happened after Zeus fucked Metis, about whom 
we'll hear more in due course.  Then he was warned that Metis would later give 
birth to a son who would dethrone I him, and so he ate her, and later Athena 
came out of his head.  Whether you buy into the Metis story or not, I think we 
can still agree that something a little peculiar was going on with the 
nativity of Athena.  She was also exceptional in that she did not participate 
in the moral squalor of Olympus; she was a virgin."
  "Aha! I knew that was a picture of a virgin on your medallion."
  "Yes, Randy, you do have a keen eye for virgins.  Hephaestus leg-fucked her 
once but did not achieve penetration.  She's quite important in the Odyssey, 
but there are really very few myths, in the usual sense of that term, that 
involve her.  The one exception really proves the rule: the story of Arachne.  
Arachne was a superb weaver who became arrogant and began taking credit 
herself, instead of attributing her talent to the gods.  Arachne went so far 
as to issue an open challenge to Athena, who was the goddess of weaving, among 
other things.
  "Now keep in mind that the typical Greek myth goes something like this: 
innocent shepherd boy is minding his own business, an overflying god spies him 
and gets a hard-on, swoops down and rapes him silly; while the victim is still 
staggering around in a daze, that god's wife or lover, in a jealous rage, 
turns him--the helpless, innocent victim, that is--into let's say an immortal 
turtle and e.g. power-staples him to a sheet of plywood with a dish of turtle 
food just out of his reach and leaves him out in the sun forever to be 
repeatedly disemboweled by army ants and stung by hornets or something.  So if 
Arachne had dissed anyone else in the Pantheon, she would have been just a 
smoking hole in the ground before she knew what hit her.
  "But in this case, Athena appeared to her in the guise of an old woman and 
recommended that she display the proper humility.  Arachne declined her 
advice.  Finally Athena revealed herself as such and challenged Arachne to a 
weaving contest, which you'll have to admit was uncommonly fair-minded of her. 
And the interesting thing is that the contest turned out to be a draw--Arachne 
really was just as good as Athena!  Only problem was that her weaving depicted
the gods of Olympus at their shepherd-raping, interspecies-fucking worst.  This
weaving was simply a literal and accurate illustration of all of those other 
myths, which makes this into a sort of meta-myth.  Athena flew off the handle 
and whacked Arachne with her distaff, which might seem kind of like poor anger 
management until you consider that during the struggle against the Giants, she 
wasted Enceladus by dropping Sicily on him!  The only effect was to cause 
Arachne to recognize her own hubris, at which she became so ashamed that she 
hanged herself.  Athena then brought her back to life in the form of a spider.
  "So anyway, you probably learned in elementary school that Athena wears a 
helmet, carries a shield called Aegis, and is the goddess of war and of 
wisdom, as well as crafts--such as the aforementioned weaving.  Kind of an odd 
combination, to say the least!  Especially since Ares was supposed to be the 
god of war and Hestia the goddess of home economics--why the redundancy?  But 
a lot's been screwed up in translation.  See, the kind of wisdom that we 
associate with old farts like yours truly, and which I'm trying to impart to 
you here, Randy Waterhouse, was called 'dike' by the Greeks.  That's not what 
Athena was the goddess of!  She was the goddess of 'metis', which means 
cunning or craftiness, and which you'll recall was the name of her mother in 
one version of the story.  Interestingly Metis (the personage, not the 
attribute) provided young Zeus with the potion that caused Cronus to vomit up 
all of the baby gods he'd swallowed, setting the stage for the whole 
Titanomachia.  So now the connection to crafts becomes obvious--crafts are 
just the practical application of metis."
  "I associate the word 'crafts' with making crappy belts and ashtrays in 
summer camp," Randy says.  "I mean, who wants to be the fucking goddess of 
macrame?"
  "It's all bad translation.  The word that we use today, to mean the same 
thing, is really technology."
  "Okay. Now we're getting somewhere."
  "Instead of calling Athena the goddess of war, wisdom, and macrame, then, we
should say war and technology.  And here again we have the problem of an 
overlap with the jurisdiction of Ares, who's supposed to be the god of war.  
And let's just say that Ares is a complete asshole.  His personal aides are 
Fear and Terror and sometimes Strife.  He is constantly at odds with Athena 
even though--maybe because--they are nominally the god and goddess of the same 
thing--war.  Heracles, who is one of Athena's human proteges, physically 
wounds Ares on two occasions, and even strips him of his weapons at one point! 
You see the fascinating thing about Ares is that he's completely incompetent.  
He's chained up by a couple of giants and imprisoned in a bronze vessel for 
thirteen months.  He's wounded by one of Odysseus's drinking buddies during 
the Iliad.  Athena knocks him out with a rock at one point.  When he's not 
making a complete idiot of himself in battle, he's screwing every human female 
he can get his hands on, and--get this--his sons are all what we would today 
call serial killers.  And so it seems very clear to me that Ares really was a 
god of war as such an entity would be recognized by people who were involved 
in wars all the time, and had a really clear idea of just how stupid and ugly 
wars are.
  "Whereas Athena is famous for being the backer of Odysseus, who, let's not 
forget, is the guy who comes up with the idea for the Trojan Horse.  Athena 
guides both Odysseus and Heracles through their struggles, and although both 
of these guys are excellent fighters, they win most of their battles through 
cunning or (less pejoratively) 'metis'.  And although both of them engage in 
violence pretty freely (Odysseus likes to call himself 'sacker of cities') 
it's clear that they are being held up in opposition to the kind of mindless, 
raging violence associated with Ares and his offspring--Heracles even 
personally rids the world of a few of Ares's psychopathic sons.  I mean, the 
records aren't totally clear--it's not like you can go to the Thebes County 
Courthouse and look up the death certificates on these guys--but it appears 
that Heracles, backed up by Athena all the way, personally murders at least 
half of the Hannibal Lecterish offspring of Ares.
  "So insofar as Athena is a goddess of war, what really do we mean by that?  
Note that her most famous weapon is not her sword but her shield Aegis, and 
Aegis has a gorgon's head on it, so that anyone who attacks her is in serious 
danger of being turned to stone.  She's always described as being calm and 
majestic, neither of which adjectives anyone ever applied to Ares."
  "I don't know, Enoch. Defensive versus offensive war, maybe?"
  "The distinction is overrated.  Remember when I said that Athena got leg-
fucked by Hephaestus?"
  "It generated a clear internal representation in my mind."
  "As a myth should!  Athena/Hephaestus is sort of an interesting coupling in 
that he is another technology god.  Metals, metallurgy, and fire were his 
specialties--the old-fashioned Rust Belt stuff.  So, no wonder Athena gave him 
a hard-on!  After he ejaculated on Athena's thigh, she's all 'eeeeeyew!' and 
she wipes it off and throws the rag on the ground, where it somehow combines 
with the earth and generates Erichthonius.  You know who Erichthonius was?"
  "No."
  "One of the first kings of Athens. You know what he was famous for?"
  "Tell me."
  "Invented the chariot--and introduced the use of silver as a currency."
  "Oh, Jesus!" Randy clamps his head between his hands and makes moaning 
noises, only for a little while.
  "Now in many other mythologies you can find gods that have parallels with 
Athena.  The Sumerians had Enki, the Norse had Loki.  Loki was an inventor-
god, but psychologically he had more in common with Ares; he was not only the 
god of technology but the god of evil too, the closest thing they had to the 
Devil.  Native Americans had tricksters--creatures full of cunning--like 
Coyote and Raven in their mythologies, but they didn't have technology yet, 
and so they hadn't coupled the Trickster with Crafts to generate this hybrid 
Technologist-god."
  "Okay," Randy says, "so obviously where you're going with this is that there 
must be some universal pattern of events that when filtered through the 
sensory apparatus and the neural rigs of primitive, superstitious people 
always gives rise to internal mental representations that they identify as 
gods, heroes, etc."
  "Yes.  And these can be recognized across cultures, in the same way that two 
persons with Root Reps in their mind might 'recognize' me by comparing notes."
  "So, Enoch, you want me to believe that these gods--which aren't really 
gods, but it's a nice concise word--all share certain things in common 
precisely because the external reality that generated them is consistent and 
universal across cultures."
  "That is right.  And in the case of Trickster gods the pattern is that 
cunning people tend to attain power that un-cunning people don't.  And all 
cultures are fascinated by this.  Some of them, like many Native Americans, 
basically admire it, but never couple it with technological development.  
Others, like the Norse, hate it and identify it with the Devil."
  "Hence the strange love-hate relationship that Americans have with hackers."
  "That's right."
  "Hackers are always complaining that journalists cast them as bad guys.  But 
you think that this ambivalence is deeper-seated."
  "In some cultures.  The Vikings--to judge from their mythology--would 
instinctively hate hackers.  But something different happened with the Greeks. 
The Greeks liked their geeks.  That's how we get Athena."
  "I'll buy that--but where does the war-goddess thing come in?"
  "Let's face it, Randy, we've all known guys like Ares.  The pattern of human 
behavior that caused the internal mental representation known as Ares to 
appear in the minds of the ancient Greeks is very much with us today, in the 
form of terrorists, serial killers, riots, pogroms, and aggressive tinhorn 
dictators who turn out to be military incompetents.  And yet for all their 
stupidity and incompetence, people like that can conquer and control large 
chunks of the world if they are not resisted."
  "You must meet my friend Avi."
  "Who is going to fight them off, Randy?"
  "I'm afraid you're going to say we are."
  "Sometimes it might be other Ares-worshipers, as when Iran and Iraq went to 
war and no one cared who won.  But if Ares-worshipers aren't going to end up 
running the whole world, someone needs to do violence to them.  This isn't 
very nice, but it's a fact: civilization requires an Aegis.  And the only way 
to fight the bastards off in the end is through intelligence.  Cunning.  
'Metis'."
  "Tactical cunning, like Odysseus and the Trojan Horse, or--"
  "Both that, and technological cunning.  From time to time there is a battle 
that is out-and-out won by a new technology--like longbows at Crecy.  For most 
of history those battles happen only every few centuries--you have the 
chariot, the compound bow, gunpowder, ironclad ships, and so on.  But 
something happens around, say, the time that the Monitor, which the 
Northerners believe to be the only ironclad warship on earth, just happens to 
run into the Merrimack, of which the Southerners believe exactly the same 
thing, and they pound the hell out of each other for hours and hours.  That's 
as good a point as any to identify as the moment when a spectacular rise in 
military technology takes off--it's the elbow in the exponential curve.  Now 
it takes the world's essentially conservative military establishments a few 
decades to really comprehend what has happened, but by the time we're in the 
thick of the Second World War, it's accepted by everyone who doesn't have his 
head completely up his ass that the war's going to be won by whichever side 
has the best technology.  So on the German side alone we've got rockets, jet 
aircraft, nerve gas, wire-guided missiles.  And on the Allied side we've got 
three vast efforts that put basically every top-level hacker, nerd, and geek 
to work: the codebreaking thing, which as you know gave rise to the digital 
computer; the Manhattan Project, which gave us nuclear weapons; and the 
Radiation Lab, which gave us the modern electronics industry.  Do you know why 
we won the Second World War, Randy?"
  "I think you just told me."
  "Because we built better stuff than the Germans?"
  "Isn't that what you said?"
  "But why did we build better stuff, Randy?"
  "I guess I'm not competent to answer, Enoch, I haven't studied that period 
well enough."
  "Well the short answer is that we won because the Germans worshiped Ares 
and we worshiped Athena."
  "And am I supposed to gather that you, or your organization, had something 
to do with all that?"
  "Oh, come now, Randy! Let's not allow this to degenerate into conspiracy 
theories."
  "Sorry.  I'm tired."
  "So am I.  Goodnight."
  And then Enoch goes to sleep.  Just like that.
  Randy doesn't.
  To the Cryptonomicon!
        --From Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon"
        ** Added 20021031 **
%
And here we could talk about the Plato's Cave thing for a
while--the Veg-O-Matic of metaphors--it slices! it dices!
        --Enoch Root from Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
They are having an energetic and very happy conversation--though it
looks a bit forced--because, to a man, they are carrying long weapons
out in plain sight.  One of them has a hunting rifle, and each of the
others is slinging a rudimentary-looking gun whit a banana clip
sticking out of the side.
  This scene, not surprisingly, has caught the attention of the police,
who have surrounded these four with squad cars, and who are standing at
the ready with rifles and shotguns.  It is an oddity of the law in many
jurisdictions that, while carrying (say) a concealed one-shot .22
derringer requires a license, openly carrying (e.g.) a big game rifle is
perfectly legal.  Concealed weapons are outlawed or at least heavily
regulated, and unconcealed ones are not.  So a lot of Secret
Admirers--who tend to be gun nuts--have take to going around
conspicuously armed as a way of pointing out the absurdity of those
rules.  Their point is this: who gives a shit about concealed weapons
anyway, since they are only useful for defending oneself against
assaults by petty criminals, which almost never happens?  The real
reason the Constitution provides for the right to bear arms is
defending oneself against oppressive governments, and when it comes to
that, your handgun is close to useless.  So (according to these guys)
if you are going to assert your right to keep and bear arms you should
do it openly, by packing something really big.
        --From Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Randy:  That time in Seattle--during the lawsuit--was a fucking
        nightmare.  I came out of it dead broke, without a house,
        without anything except a girlfriend and a knowledge of UNIX.
Avi:  Well, that's something.  Normally those two are mutually
      exclusive
        --From Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Randy hadn't the faintest idea what these people thought of him and
what he had done, but he could sense right away that, essentially
that was not the issue because even if they thought he had done
something evil, they at least had a framework, a sort of procedure
manual, for dealing with transgressions.  To translate into UNIX
system administration terms (Randy's fundamental metaphor for just
about everything), the post-modern, politically correct atheists were
like people who had suddenly found themselves in charge of a big and
unfathomably complex computer system (viz. society) with no
documentation or instructions of any kind, and so whose only way to
keep the thing running was to invent and enforce certain rules with a
kind of neo-Puritanical rigor, because they were at a loss to deal
with any deviations from what they saw as the norm.  Whereas people
who were wired into a church were like UNIX system administrators who,
while they might not understand everything, at least had some
documentation, some FAQs and How-tos and README files, providing some
guidance on what to do when things got out of whack.  They were, in
other words, capable of displaying adaptability.
        --From Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
It turns out that, like all ethnic groups that have been consistently
screwed for a long time, the Inner Qwghlmians have great music.
        --From Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Anyone with thoughts of summoning federal authorities to apprehend
me upon arrival at SFO & expose my misdeeds & subject me to public
disgrace & compulsory consciousness-raising workshops is advised to
acquaint him or herself with the Shaftoes first & to at least remain
open to possibility that Dad's martial prowess in combination with
traditional feelings of psychotic protectiveness toward his female
offspring, combined with Daughter's habit of carrying large Palawan
stabbing weapon known as a kris, and Daughter's overall psychic
fierceness & physical fitness & courage exceeding that of Yours Truly,
mitigate any perceived power imbalance, particularly given that most
of our interactions take place in settings which lend themselves
admirably to discreet homicide & corpse disposal.
        --Randy Lawrence Waterhouse, explaining why attempting to charge
          him with Sexual Harassment is unreasonable under the
          circumstances.  From Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
  "All right," he said at last.  "Keep your world, Skora.  Live on it
comfortably while the rest of the human race nearly kill themselves in
another war.  You'll be safe.  Dredge up a few more tricks from Aevan's
notes.  You like being alone--most provincials do.  And it won't matter
in your time.  But when the children of my people find mechanical ways of
doing what you do with your minds--when they sweep in here with ten
battleships for each that your people can handle--remember that you could
have joined us and saved us from the enemy that burned this planet once
already.  When that happens, cry for the brotherhood of men.  See what
they think of a single planet that kept its secrets to itself.  Oh, damn
it, send us back to Lari's and let us alone!"
        --Captain Derek, from "Superstition" by Lester Del Rey
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
What in Judas Rockin' Priest is goin' on around here?!
        --Captain Murphy, from "Sealab 2021"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
  "If it's love toward a woman or an android imitation, it's sex.  Wake up
and face yourself, Deckard.  You wanted to go to bed with a female type
android--nothing more, nothing less.  I felt that way, on one occasion.
When I had just started bounty hunting.  Don't let it get you down; you'll
heal.  What's happened is that you've got your order reversed.  Don't kill
her--or be present when she's killed--and then feel physically attracted.
Do it the other way."
  Rick stared at him.  "Go to bed with her first--"
  "--and then kill her," Phil Resch said succinctly.  His grainy, hardened
smile remained.
  You're a good bounty hunter, Rick realized.  Your attitude proves it.
But am I?
  Suddenly, for the first time in his life, he had begun to wonder.
        --From 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" by Phillip K. Dick.
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Valentine: Listen--you know your tea's getting cold.
Hannah: I like it cold.
Valentine: (Ignoring that) Listen anyway.  Your tea gets cold by itself, it
  doesn't get hot by itself.  Do you think that's odd?
Hannah: No.
Valentine: Well, it is odd.  Heat goes to cold.  It's a nice one-way street.
  Your tea will end up at room temperature.  Nothing is for no reason.  All
  those energetic atoms bouncing out of your tea mug, they're mixing in with
  the roomful of atoms till they can't mix any more--maximum disorder,
  evenly spread, and it won't go backwards.  What's happening to your tea is
  happening to everything everywhere.  We're all going to end up at room
  temperature.
        --From 'Arcadia' by Tom Stoppard
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Valentine: It may all prove to be true.
Hannah: It can't prove to be true, it can only not prove to be false yet.
Valentine: (Pleased) Just like science.
        --From 'Arcadia' by Tom Stoppard
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Somebody call Guinness.  I'm about to go from zero to drunk in twenty
dollars.
        --Div, the alcoholic DivX Player.
          From www.penny-arcade.com 2001-03-16
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Gabe: You know what my mom used to say: "When life gives you shit," you
  just... Uh...
Tycho: Make Shit-ade? What?
Gabe: Wait, it's coming to me.
        --From www.penny-arcade.com 2000-03-10
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
It's the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought
you knew is wrong.
        --Valentine, from 'Arcadia' by Tom Stoppard
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Thomasina: God's truth, Septimus, if there is an equation for a curve like
  a bell, there must be an equation for one like a bluebell, and if a
  bluebell, why not a rose?  Do we believe nature is written in numbers?
Septimus: We do.
Thomasina: Then why do your equations only describe the shapes of
  manufacture?
Septimus: I do not know.
Thomasina: Armed thus, God could only make a cabinet.
Septimus: He has mastery of equations which lead into infinites where we
  cannot follow.
Thomasina: What a faint-heart!  We must work outward from the middle of the
  maze.  We will start with something simple.
        --From 'Arcadia' by Tom Stoppard
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
In all of my universe I have seen no law of nature, unchanging and
inexorable.  This universe presents only changing relationships which are
sometimes seen as laws by short-lived awareness.  These fleshy sensoria
which we call self are ephemera withering in the blaze of infinity,
fleetingly aware of temporary conditions which confine our activities and
change as our activities change.  If you must label the absolute, use its
proper name: Temporary.
        --The Stolen Journals
          From "God Emperor Of Dune" by Frank Herbert
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
  "You and I, Moneo, whatever else we do, we provide good theater."
  Moneo peered at Leto's face.  "Lord?"
  "The rites of the religious festival of Bacchus were the seeds of Greek
theater, Moneo.  Religion often leads to theater.  They will have fine
theater out of us."
        --From "God Emperor Of Dune" by Frank Herbert
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
There's a time, Leto, a time when you're alive.  A time when you're
supposed to be alive.  It can have magic, that time, while you're living
it.  You know you're never going to see a time like that again.
        --Duncan Idaho
          From "God Emperor Of Dune" by Frank Herbert
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
  "The difference between a good administrator and a bad one is about
five heartbeats.  Good administrators make immediate choices."
  "Acceptable choices?"
  "They usually can be made to work.  A bad administrator, on the other
hand, hesitates, diddles around, asks for committees, for research and
reports.  Eventually, he acts in ways which create serious problems."
  "But don't they sometimes need more information to make..."
  "A bad administrator is more concerned with reports than with
decisions.  He wants the hard record which he can display as an excuse
for his errors."
  "And good administrators?"
  "Oh, they depend on verbal orders.  They never lie about what they've
done if their verbal orders cause problems, and they surround themselves
with people able to act wisely on the basis of verbal orders.  Often, the
most important piece of information is that something has gone wrong.
Bad administrators hide their mistakes until it's too late to make
corrections."
        --Leto Atreides II lecturing Hwi Noree.
          From "God Emperor Of Dune" by Frank Herbert
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
I am Galileo.  I stand here and tell you: "Yet it moves."  That which
moves can exert its force in ways no mortal power ever dared stem.
I am here to dare this.
        --The Stolen Journals
          From "God Emperor Of Dune" by Frank Herbert
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
I was a Nubian princess destined to be the next Spice Girl, Caribbean
Spice.
        --John Stewart
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
"To stay awake all night adds a day to your life," Stilgar said,
accepting the tray with coffee as it was passed in the door.
        --From Frank Herbert's "Children of Dune"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments.  When
you believe something is right or wrong, true or false, you believe the
assumptions in the words which express the arguments.  Such assumptions
are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.
                                        --The Open-Ended Proof
                                          from The Panoplia Prophetica
        --From Frank Herbert's "Children of Dune"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
One learns from books and reels only that certain things can be done.
Actual learning requires that you do those things.
        --Frank Herbert
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Good government never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities
of those who govern.  The machinery of government is always subordinate to
the will of those who administer that machinery.  The most important element
of government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders.
                                        --Law and Governance
                                          The Spacing Guild Manual
        --From Frank Herbert's "Children of Dune"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Andy: Hey Kev, ya want some spaghetti?
Kevin: Andy offers Kevin spaghetti at nine.  If Kevin is seven years older
       than pudding, how many liters of Andy does it take to get to Denver?
Andy: There's...um...parmesan cheese in the refrigerator.
        --From 'Mission Hill'
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
  "All men are interlopers, old friend."
  "You're a deep one, aren't you, Stil?"
  "Deep enough.  I can see how we clutter the universe with our
migrations.  Muad'dib gave us something uncluttered."
        --From Frank Herbert's "Dune Messiah"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
  Alia crossed to her brother, sensing his utter sadness.  She touched a
tear on his cheek with a Fremen gesture of awe, said: "We must not grieve
for those dear to us before their passing."
  "Before their passing," Paul whispered.  "Tell me, little sister, what is
BEFORE?"
        --From Frank Herbert's "Dune Messiah"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
"How might you serve us?" Paul asked.
"In any way my Lord's wishes and my capabilities agree," replied the
ghola Hayt.
        --From Frank Herbert's "Dune Messiah"
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
There are two types of people in the world.  The ones with loaded guns and
the ones who dig.  You dig.
        --The Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood) to Tuco (Eli Wallach) as
          he tosses him a shovel.  From "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly."
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Sitting Guy:  I can't believe Jesus and Allah are fighting again!
        Someone's gonna get their eye poked out!
Standing Guy:  Bah!  We're living in the TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, and people
        STILL wage war to impress invisible superheroes who live in outer
        space!  I thought we would all be chilling out in solar-powered
        flying cars by now!
Sitting Guy:  I wish the U.S. and al-Qaeda could team up to overthrow The
        Kingdom of Heaven!  We've already teamed up to guarantee the total
        fucking ruination of millions of Afghan lives--why not take it to
        the next level?  Could there be a more slammin' Holy War than
        declaring war on the Holy One?  Now THOSE would be some kick-ass
        trading cards!

        --from "Get Your War On" at www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/war.html
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
I know! I want to take out a full-page ad in the newspaper:
"Dear Whoever is Mailing All the Anthrax All Over the Place--You can be my
ruler! Now can I please just forswear alcohol and denounce Israel or
whatever so I can fucking open my credit card offers without thinking my
organs are gonna turn inside-out?"
        --from "Get Your War On" at www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/war.html
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
I need a spirit who can touch  my life
I need a voice to speak the truth
I need a soul who will be on my side
I need a hope I'll never lose

Someone like you
Somebody like you
Someone like you
Someone like you

Sometimes I wonder if my dreams are right
Sometimes I knew they'd  all come true
I need somebody who can move my world
Someone who knows just what to do

Someone like you

Someone like you
Somebody like you
Someone like you

Someone like you

I need a spirit who can touch  my life
I need a voice to speak the truth
I need a soul who will be on my side
I need a hope I'll never lose

Someone like you
Somebody like you
Someone like you
Someone like you
        --"Someone" Paul Oakenfold
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Nick "No-Fly Zone" Falzone: Do you play sports Russel?
Russel: I used to bowl when I was an alcoholic.
        --from Pushing Tin
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
I'll have that someday, thought Peter.  Someone who'll kiss me good-bye
at the door.  Or maybe just someone to put a blindfold over my head before
they shoot me.  Depending on how things turn out.
        --from "Shadow of the Hegemon" by Orson Scott Card
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Whoever is doing the bad things, that's the bad guy.  You're the sheriff,
sir, whether people approve of you or not.  Do your job.
        --Colonel Graff to the Strategos, from "Ender's Shadow"
          by Orson Scott Card
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
  "Christians have been expecting the imminent end of the world for
millennia."
  "But it keeps not ending."
  "So far so good."
        --Colonel Graff and Sister Carlotta, from "Ender's Shadow"
          by Orson Scott Card
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
"We'll never decipher their language," said Miro, "because it's not a
language.  It's a set of biological commands.  They don't talk.  They
don't abstract.  They just make molecules that do things to each other.
It's as if the human vocabulary consisted of bricks and sandwiches.
Throw a brick or give a sandwich, punish or reward.  If they have abstract
thoughts we're not going to get them through reading these molecules."
        --Miro Ribeira, talking about the language of the Descoladores,
          from "Children of the Mind" by Orson Scott Card
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
"Nobody's rational," said Miro.  "We all act because we're sure of what we
want, and we believe that the actions we perform will get us what we want,
but we never know anything for sure, and so all our rationales are invented
to justify what we were going to do anyway before we thought of any reasons."
        --Miro Ribeira, from "Children of the Mind" by Orson Scott Card
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
Please don't disillusion me.  I haven't had breakfast yet.
        --Ender Wiggin, from "Children of the Mind" by Orson Scott Card
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
%
"... we still spend most of our time acting out our genetic destiny.  Take the
differences between males and females.  Males naturally tend toward a
broadcast strategy of reproduction.  Since males make an almost infinite
supply of sperm and it costs them nothing to deploy it--"
  "Not nothing," said Ender.
  "Nothing," said Valentine, "just to deploy it.  Their most sensible
reproductive strategy is to deposit it in every available female--and to make
special efforts to deposit it in the healthiest females, the ones most likely
to bring their offspring to adulthood.  A male does best, reproductively, if
he wanders and copulates as widely as possible."
  "I've done the wandering," said Ender.  "Somehow I missed out on the
copulating."
  "I'm speaking of overall trends," said Valentine.  "there are always strange
individuals who don't follow the norms.  The female strategy is just the
opposite, Planter.  Instead of millions and millions of sperm, they only have
one egg a month, and each child represents an enormous investment of effort.
So females need stability.  They need to be sure there'll always be plenty of
food.  We also spend large amounts of time relatively helpless, unable to find
or gather food.  Far from being wanderers, we females need to establish and
stay.  If we can't get that, then our next best strategy is to mate with the
strongest and healthiest possible males.  But best of all is to get a strong
healthy male who'll stay and provide, instead of wandering and copulating at
will.
  "So there are two pressures on males.  The one is to spread their seed,
violently if necessary.  The other is to be attractive to females by being
stable providers--by suppressing and containing the need to wander and the
tendency to use force.  Likewise, there are two pressures on females.  The one
is to get the seed of the strongest, most virile males so their infants will
have good genes, which would make the violent, forceful males attractive to
them.  The other is to get the protection of the most stable males, nonviolent
males, so their infants will be protected and provided for and as many as
possible will reach adulthood.
  "Our whole history, all that I've ever found in all my wanderings as an
itinerant historian before I finally unhooked myself from this reproductively
unavailable brother of mine and had a family--it can all be interpreted as
people blindly acting out those genetic strategies.  We get pulled in those
two directions.
  "Our great civilizations are nothing more than social machines to create
the ideal female setting, where a woman can count on stability; our legal and
moral codes that try to abolish violence and promote permanence of ownership
and enforce contracts--those represent the primary female strategy, the taming
of the male.
  "And the tribes of wandering barbarians outside the reach of civilization,
those follow mainly the male strategy.  Spread the seed.  Within the tribe,
the strongest, most dominant males take possession of the best females, either
through formal polygamy or spur-of-the-moment copulations that the other males
are powerless to resist.  But those low-status males are kept in line because
the leaders take them to war and let them rape and pillage their brains out
when the win a victory.  They act out sexual desirability by proving
themselves in combat, and then kill all the rival males and copulate with
their widowed females when they win.  Hideous, monstrous behavior--but also a
viable acting-out of the genetic strategy."
  ... as Ender made his own private evaluations of Valentine's interpretation
of human history, Planter showed his own response by lying back in his chair,
a gesture that spoke of scorn.  "I'm supposed to feel better because humans
are also tools of some genetic molecule?"
  "No," said Ender.  "You're supposed to realize that just because a lot of
behavior can be explained as responses to the need of some genetic molecule, 
it doesn't mean that all pequenino behavior is meaningless."
  "When a brothertree gives his wood," said Planter, "it's supposed to mean
that he sacrifices for the tribe.  Not for a virus."
  "If you can look beyond the tribe to the virus, then look beyond the virus
to the world," said Ender. "The descolada [virus] is keeping this planet
habitable.  So the brothertree is sacrificing himself to save the whole world."
  "Very clever," said Planter.  "But you forget--to save the planet, it doesn't
matter which brothertrees give themselves, as long as a certain number do it."
  "True," said Valentine.  "It doesn't matter to the descolada [virus] which
brothertrees give their lives.  But it matters to the brothertrees, doesn't it?
And it matters to brothers like you, who huddle into those houses to keep
warm.  You appreciate the noble gesture of the brothertrees who died for you,
even if the descolada [virus] doesn't know one tree from another."
        --From "Xenocide" by Orson Scott Card
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"Let me tell you about gods," said Wiggin.  "No matter how smart or strong
you are, there's always somebody smarter or stronger, and when you run into
somebody who's stronger and smarter than anybody, you think, This is a god.
This is perfection.  But I can promise you that there's somebody else
somewhere else who'll make your god look like a maggot by comparison.  And
somebody smarter or stronger or better in some way.  So let me tell you what
I think about gods.  I think a real god is not going to be so scared or angry
that he tries to keep other people down.  For Congress to genetically alter
people to make them smarter and more creative, that could have been a godlike,
generous gift.  But they were scared, so they hobbled the people of Path.
They wanted to stay in control.  A real god doesn't care about control.  A
real god already has control of everything that needs controlling.  Real
gods want to teach you how to be just like them."
        --Ender Wiggin, from "Xenocide" by Orson Scott Card
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I don't know anybody, and nobody knows me.  We spend our lives guessing at
what's going on inside everybody else, and when we happen to get lucky and
guess right, we think we "understand."  Such nonsense.  Even a monkey at a
computer will type a word now and then.
        --Miro Ribeira, thinking, from "Xenocide" by Orson Scott Card
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You can't astrally project in a sweater vest!!
        --some guy on "Sliders"
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They [whites] do not trust their leaders, and yet they follow them.  When
we do not trust a leader, he is finished.  It is bad for a man to be
obeyed too often.
        --Sam Three-Arrows, from the "Illuminatus!" trilogy
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That which fascinates us is, by definition, true. Metaphorically
speaking, of course.
        --M. Emmett Walsh, "The X-Files"
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If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you a green dress. But not a real
green dress, that's cruel.
        --The Bare Naked Ladies
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Besides, how are we supposed to explain you to Mr. Roper?
        --Peter, from "Family Guy," speaking to Death
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Get closer to me far away.
        --Talking Heads, "Stop Making Sense"
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Isamu: I bought you lunch TWICE in high school!
Guld: I bought you lunch THIRTEEN times in high school!
        --From "Macross Plus" during a heated fighter plane battle
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The Fourth Dimension is just one big crazy do not enter clambake jungle of
weirdity -- and how does it work? Never mind!
        --The Tick
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We sell donuts...coffee and donuts...it depends what you mean by human.
        --Donut shop owner in "Blood and Donuts"
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I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a
career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything
sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or
repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't
want to do that. What I really want to do with my life - what I want to do
for a living - is I want to be with your daughter. I'm good at it.
        --Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), to James Court (John Mahoney),
          from "Say Anything"
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He drinks from nine to five then from five to nine.
Always drunk and going crazy.
Always drunk, going crazy, you better believe it.
        --Less Than Jake
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"If I had eleven toes
 I would use one for a nose,
 Which I haven't got
 Because it's much too hot."
He looked at the professor and said, "It is too hot for a nose, isn't it?"
        --The Oinck from Julie Edwards' "The Last of the Really Great
          Whangdoodles"
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Peter: Stewie, would you like some ice cream?
Stewie: Very well, but no sprinkles. For every sprinkle I find, I shall
        kill you!"
        --from "Family Guy"
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We don't actually know how or when man first landed on the moon, but our
Fungineers think it might have happened something like this:
"We're whalers on the moon; We sing a happy tune;..."
        --from 'Futurama'
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You can't spill a pig and scald yourself.
        --John Steinbeck
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To be or not to be that is the *fzbt*.
        --Typing monkey #1988423774638247853487
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Don't knock on death's door... ring death's doorbell and run away.  Death
HATES it when you do that.
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
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Jimmy crack corn and I don't care.
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
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Reality is green and red striped shit with giraffe legs and a bowler hat.
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
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Music is the ultimate drug. Sure, orgasms are great, but are they DIGITAL?
        ** Added Long Long Ago in the Before Time **
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Interviewer: "How do you sleep at night?"
Rainier Wolfcastle: "On a big pile of money, with many beautiful women."
        --From "The Simpsons"
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Where am I gonna get a piece of metal? Here?... In space?... At this time
of night?
        --Ted Stryker, "Airplane II: The Sequel"
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Superintendent Chalmers: Aurora Borealis? In this part of the country? At
                         this time of year? At this time of day? Localized
                         entirely within your kitchen?!?
Principal Skinner: Yes.
Chalmers: May I see?
        --From "The Simpsons"
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Mrs. Skinner: Seymour, the house is on fire!
Skinner: No, mother, its just the northern lights.
        --From "The Simpsons"
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"Ah, Homer, you know your money's no good here... Hey, wait a minute,
this is *real* money!"
        --Moe, from "The Simpsons"
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Mr. Burns: You there! Use an open-faced club. A sand wedge!
Homer: Mmmm... Open faced club sandwich...
        --from "The Simpsons"
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  "O, sandwich maker from Bob!" He pronounced. He paused and furrowed his
brow with pious contemplation. "Life will be a very great deal less weird
without you!" Arthur was stunned.
  "Do you know," he said "I think that's the nicest thing anybody's ever
said to me."
        --from "Mostly Harmless" by Douglas Adams
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Humans think they are smarter than dolphins because we build cars and
buildings and start wars etc...and all that dolphins do is swim in the
water, eat fish and play around. Dolphins believe that they are smarter
for exactly the same reasons.
        --from "So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish" by Douglas Adams
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There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what
the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and
be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another that states that this has already happened.
        --from "The Restaurant At the End of the Universe"
          by Douglas Adams
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The ships hung in the air, the exact same way that bricks don't
        --from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams
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  "Simple. I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself
into its external computer feed. I talked to the computer at great length
and explained my view of the Universe to it."
  "And what happened?"
  "It committed suicide."
        --Marvin, explaining.  From "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the
          Galaxy" by Douglas Adams
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If you want to survive in life, you've got to know where your towel is.
        --from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams
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And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been
nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for
a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth
suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and
she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This
time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to
anything.
        --from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams
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I was in Paris once with my wife... boy am I glad she's dead.
        --Cowboy Guy from "The Sure Thing"
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