Sarah Silverman: "Nothing’s more attractive than an unending monologue about your shortcomings."
Carolyn Hax: "Sometimes surrendering to the awful is more useful than fighting it."
Graham Joyce: "why can’t our job here on earth be simply to inspire each other?"
Dan Harmon: "I believe in magic. I believe in mythology. I believe in shamanism. I believe that spells can be cast and I believe that random things coalesce and reveal themselves to be part of a plan we don’t control, you know."
Nora Ephron: "Never turn down a front-row seat for human folly."
McAlvie "The ultimate downfall of modern civilization won't be war; it'll be Twitter and Facebook."
Jenny Zhang: "A lot of writers swear by routine, but I swear by chaos. There’s enough fucking routine in my life. Every day I have to brush my teeth. Every day I have to smile at strangers. Every day I have to worry about money. Every day I want something I can’t have. Every day I find some way to go on! I know that writing every day for an hour would help me tremendously with writer’s block, but I also know that I need an element of wildness in my writing. I need to know that writing is something I do because it sets me free. It makes me feel golden with confidence. It gives me the gift of gab. I feel like a god. I feel like an entertainer. So write when you damn well please."
Joe Queenan: "If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it's probably because at some level you find "reality" a bit of a disappointment. People in the 19th century fell in love with "Ivanhoe" and "The Count of Monte Cristo" because they loathed the age they were living through. Women in our own era read "Pride and Prejudice" and "Jane Eyre" and even "The Bridges of Madison County"—a dimwit, hayseed reworking of "Madame Bovary"—because they imagine how much happier they would be if their husbands did not spend quite so much time with their drunken, illiterate golf buddies down at Myrtle Beach. A blind bigamist nobleman with a ruined castle and an insane, incinerated first wife beats those losers any day of the week. Blind, two-timing noblemen never wear belted shorts."
LogicalDash: "Nobody of any age should have to fend off sexual partners. That such defense is assumed as a part of the cost of adult courtship is suggestive of some more fundamental problem than age difference and its effect on consensuality."
Keith Richards: "I had to invent the job, you know," he said, earlier. "There wasn't a sign in the shop window, saying, "Wanted: Keith Richards."
Caitlin Moran: "As I started to reassess my writing style, I thought about what I liked doing--what gave me satisfaction--and realized the primary one was just... pointing at things. Pointing out things I liked, and showing them to other people--like a mum shouting, "Look! Moo-cows!" as a train rushes past a farm. I liked pointing at things, and I liked being reasonable and polite about stuff. Or silly. Silly was very, very good. No one ever got hurt by silly.
Best of all was being pointedly silly about serious things: politics, repression, bigotry. Too many commentators are quick to accuse their enemies of being evil. It's far, far more effective to point out that they're acting like idiots, instead. I was up for idiot-revealing.
"I am just going to be polite and silly, and point at cool things," I decided. "When I started writing, I would have killed to have one thing to write about. Now, I have three. Politeness and silliness, and pointing. That's enough."
Carolyn Hax: "Unless 15 years’ worth of mail has misled me, no one has ever found love through complaining about the lack of it, and no lonely person has ever felt better for hearing, “You just haven’t found the right person yet.”
David Simon: "Change is a motherfucker when you run from it."
Joe Queenan: "People who read an enormous number of books are basically dissatisfied with the way things are going on this planet. And I think, in a way, people read for the same reason that kids play video games ... they like that world better. It works better, it's more exciting, and it usually has a more satisfactory ending."
Dan Savage: "There isn't someone for everyone. Some of us do wind up alone, and that just fucking sucks and sometimes that stings, and you don't know if you're one of those people who's going to wind up alone until you die alone....So you kind of have to live in hope and build a life for yourself that's rewarding and fun, has friends and pleasure in it, whether you're alone or not."
the painkiller: "I will not be tagged, pinned, circled, liked, tweeted, retweeted or numbered."
Steve Jobs: "Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
Apple: "Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Miss Manners: "Please do not -- repeat, not -- make a hostile approach to knitters. Have you not noticed that they are armed with long, pointy sticks?"
Stephen Tobolowsky: "And of course, nothing is what I figured on in my life. That seems to be a recurring theme."
James Bulls: "When you find yourself walking a true path, you will know it because you will want to walk it no matter the burning Sun, freezing sleet, torrential rain, and treacherous ground. The risks become no less and the journey as always exhausts you, but your desire to brave the challenges never diminishes."
Amy Argetsinger: "Twitter is a disease, plain and simple. It makes people insane. A decade from now I expect the CDC and FDA will be issuing warnings."
Cary Tennis: "You don't have to "move on" either. Not until you're ready. People say, Oh, you should be grateful. They say, Oh, it's time for you to move on. I'm like, What are you, a cop with a nightstick? I'll move on when I'm done playing the blues on my harmonica, thank you very much."
Mark Morford: "It is 2011 and here is what we know: Reality is fluid, fact is malleable, cause and effect completely uncertain. We know what we don't know, but we also know the opposite."
Charlie Jane Anders: "Just remember, if you flinch from your destiny, you'll never achieve your true greatness — you didn't choose to be chosen, but being chosen means you have to choose."
Roger Ebert: "To put it bluntly, I believe the world is patriarchal because men are bigger and stronger than women, and can beat them up."
Myca: "Jesus is not the reason for the season, and there's no way I need to act like he is. Christmas is a stolen tradition. There's no reason we can't steal it back."
Lady Gaga: "I hate the holidays! I'm alone and miserable, you fucking dumb bit of toy!"
Dianna Agron: "I am trying to live my life with a sharpie marker approach. You can’t erase the strokes you’ve made, but each step is much bolder and more deliberate."
John Mayer: "It occurred to me that since the invocation of Twitter, nobody who has participated in it has created any lasting art. And yes! Yours truly is included in that roundup as well. Let me make sure that statement is as absolute and irrevocable as possible by buzzing your tower one more time: no artwork created by someone with a healthy grasp of social media thus far has proven to be anything other than disposable."
Vanessa, Something Positive: "I like 'em crazy. You hear insane rants, I hear a reminder that the sex is interesting. Oooh! Hear that? Tonight's gonna tingle."
Anonymous: “Your problem is that you want to be an artist. What you need to be is an artisan.”
Sugar: "Ask better questions, sweet pea. The fuck is your life. Answer it."
Wide Lawns: "Often very odd things happen to me. Usually they are not my fault and mostly beyond my control."
Anonymous reporter: “When weird shit happens around here, weird shit really happens around here.”
Anne Johnson: "Today some stranger sent me an email that said, "You are a nut case." Well, I must admit this never would have occurred to me. Everyone else is a nut case. I'm the sane one. I think."
Carl Mayer: "Whenever I start to feel like my life isn’t where I want it to be, “Cops” is there to put everything into perspective. Yeah, I haven’t made all the right moves over the last 34 years, but I’m not hiding from the police under a kiddie pool, either."
John Scalzi: "In retrospect, it’s a little weird to think that my entire future was falling into place as I obliviously tucked into the El Presidente chimichanga platter, but of course, that’s life for you — the most important days of your existence don’t always announce themselves in obvious ways."
We've seen it happen again and again. Nothing better illustrates the principle that "what's right isn't always easy" than watching people who've tried to crowdsource a name on the internet struggle to reconcile the result.
Essentially, the Law of Boaty McBoatFace produces one of three eventual outcomes:
The poll-makers decide to go ahead and use the whimsical crowdsourced name, and do so enthusiastically because they agree it's a cool name.
The poll-makers decide to use the whimsical crowdsourced name, but do so in a way that allows for another option, as well — as the UK's science ministry did when it decided to offload "Boaty" onto a side-sub rather than let it stand as the name of its honored research vessel.
The poll-makers flatly reject the whimsical crowdsourced name altogether in favor of something else. In some such cases, a common corollary move is to backpedal and close the voting altogether once they see where things are headed."
"Canada's firmed up its laws since 1973 — if you're going to emigrate there, you're going to need to get your papers in order first. But what it values in immigrants (and the types of immigrants it chooses) has stayed largely the same.
Canada encourages highly educated, technically skilled people to settle in the country, while also carving out a place for humanitarian refugees. This is a pretty big difference from the American immigration system, whose first priority is family reunification.
The good news is that Canada makes it incredibly easy to figure out if you qualify for easy immigration — the main way that skilled workers get admitted to Canada as permanent residents.
Canada uses a points system to figure out who qualifies for "Express Entry" — which is the pool employers can use to hire people, and from which the government accepts (some) skilled immigrants who don't yet have job offers. The points system is supposed to score how well you'll integrate in Canada (with factors like language and "adaptability") and how much you can contribute to the Canadian economy (via education, experience, employment, and age).
Crucially, if you don't already have a job offer in Canada, it also looks at whether you have enough money saved up to support yourself until you find one. This is where I washed out. I don't have $9,199 US ($12,184 Canadian) in cash savings — and that's the bare minimum to qualify for Express Entry.
The points system heavily favors younger workers, and penalizes older ones. That puts a big hitch in the system: The people who are most likely to have accrued savings, graduate or professional degrees, and work experience have much higher standards to meet. I'm qualified for Canadian residency as a 28-year-old, but I wouldn't qualify, with my equivalent experience, at the age of 42.
Most importantly, Express Entry is just a pool of potential immigrants — you have a better chance than most of getting into the country, but you're still limited by the targets the government sets. And this year, the government of Canada is making it much harder for skilled immigrants to come — for a reason that any American who wants to go to Canada to begin with can hardly get mad about."
"A zillion people around the world just turned off any focus or interest they had about this vessel and its mission and its discoveries the minute the name of the boat was announced. And that's sad. In a year, something in the news will appear about something that the Attenborough was involved in, and it won't even register in my mind. "Oh, another boat named after a white guy." If it was Boaty McBoatface, my brain would click in and I would actually read the article."
"Through the magic of crowdsourcing, I have discovered that eating newspaper can be downright mouth-watering. This is going to be huge! We are going to build a big, beautiful meal — and Mexico is going to pay for it.
On Thursday, May 12, after readers have voted for their favorite newspaper cuisine, acclaimed chef Victor Albisu of Washington’s Del Campo restaurant will select and prepare a wide variety of newsprint-based dishes. Tom Sietsema, The Post’s James Beard Award-winning food critic, will be on hand to taste and judge the dishes, and I will eat them — streamed live on The Washington Post’s Facebook page.
I’ve dispensed with the unhelpful suggestions from readers that I consume my column with hemlock, cyanide or excrement. And though I appreciate all the Hannibal Lecter references, I won’t be eating the column with fava beans and a nice Chianti, nor will I be eating it with crow (it’s out of season), although Robert Howland, a psychiatry professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, suggested a crow-free crow pie that sounds tasty.
Many readers proposed ways to get the paper down painlessly: Blended in smoothies. Folded into bearnaise, marinara or jerk sauce. Wrapped in bacon. Topped with Sriracha, mustard or ketchup. Or shredded and mixed with Parmesan cheese (which apparently is sometimes made of wood pulp anyway).
Reader “Mhitchons” posited that “newsprint dissolves well in scotch, bourbon, whiskey or any other potent alcohol.” Mary Ann Liebert suggested “mustard or vodka. Maybe both.”
“NotDeadYet” suggested jalapeño-infused tequila blanco, and Nathan A. Wallace thought a Grand Marnier, flambe style. But the many suggestions that I pair the meal with Trump wine give me indigestion.
A large number of readers said eating the newspaper in any form but raw would be cheating. “Man up! No sneaky dodging!” argued Jeffrey Drummond.
I disagree. There’s no reason why a newspaper shouldn’t go down easily. In addition to Albisu’s original suggestion — newspaper chilaquiles in tomatillo-jalapeño sauce, crispy newspaper dumplings, saffron rice and newspaper-smoked lamb, newspaper-lined tacos, ground newspaper falafel, newspaper Wagyu steak, candied-newspaper waffles and newspaper-stuffed churros — there are many other promising dishes to consider for this feast.
Joe Yonan, The Post’s food editor, suggests a “cold minty pea-and-newspaper soup” with Greek yogurt, feta and chives.
Bonnie Benwick, the deputy food editor, proposes “op-ed spring rolls” with dipping sauce.
John Bussey, my old editor at the Wall Street Journal, suggests a “fresh vegetable soup, generously seasoned with garlic and herbs and reduced on a low flame for one news cycle.”
Sara Polon, otherwise known as “Soupergirl,” a Washington soupmaker, submits an “Indian-style mulligatawny with toasted newspaper.”
Probably the most creative recipe came from Shava Nerad via Twitter — ersatzbrot, a bread made with sawdust fed to German soldiers in World War I.
Several readers — “JC,” “CalithDem” and Roy Wakefield among them — went with the British classic of fish and chips, while many others — including Emmanuel Touhey, Becky Timmons and Dan Grosz — thought meatloaf would be the right choice.
Linda Garceau sent me a recipe, in French, for fish cooked in newspaper, but it appears the removal instructions — “dégager le papier” — disqualify the dish. And Douglas Peterson took great care in emailing a highly detailed recipe for Trump steaks (18 column inches Washington Post shredded in 3-inch strips, ½-inch wide).
Nearly every world cuisine was represented: German beef and newspaper cabbage rolls (Mark Gibson), a Louisville newspaper Hot Brown (Mark Linton), blueberry newspaper pancakes (David Umansky), newspaper matzo brei (Adam Wizon), newspaper lasagna (Andrea Stone), newspaper spanakopita (William Hamby) and Trumpkin pie with newspaper and yams (“MArlington Thomas”).
Among the most popular comments was from “ACounter,” who suggested soaking the newspaper in water first “to get as many of the chemicals out as possible. And before you eat the soaked paper, don’t forget to soak yourself — in your favorite alcoholic beverage.”
Unnecessary. These newsprint dishes will be delectable. But another six months of Trump? That will require a stiff drink."
"Former BBC presenter James Hand offered up Boaty McBoatface, which is actually quite hard to type without laughing, and it quickly surged to the top of an online poll, attracting 124,000 votes, more than 10 times the number of votes for the Attenborough name, which came in fourth.
Other names that were submitted included “It’s bloody cold here” and “I’m the captain now.”
The final decision was made by Britain’s Science Minister Jo Johnson, who conceded that it was a “difficult decision” but offered reassurance that the Boaty name would live on as the new name of a yellow submarine that will travel with the research ship."
We all live in a boaty submarine, a boaty submarine, a boaty submarine....
"We are excited to announce that #BoatyMcBoatface will live on as a high-tech remotely operated undersea vehicle "
"Calling on Sir David Attenborough to do the right thing and change his name by deed poll to Sir #BoatyMcBoatface"
But surely the sub-sea vehicle #BoatyMcBoatface should be called Subby McSubface instead..
Crowds are gathering in Trafalgar Square to protest the #BoatyMcBoatface decision
#BoatyMcBoatface to be named after David Attenborough instead after it is decided that democracy only works if it brings the desired result.