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."
Lord Vetinari, Unseen Academicals: "One day I was a young boy... when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. Even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued... As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and the pink roes spilled out much to the delight of the baby otters. Mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that is when I first learned about evil. It is built into the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior."
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."
Tart and Soul: "Indeed, love comes whether we have braced ourselves for it or not. But commitment offers a choice, tapping us on the shoulder to say, “sorry to bother you. Is this a good time?”
J.C. Hutchins: "I was Wanky McWankerton, in love with words I’d yet to write. I did this for nearly two years. If every sperm is sacred, God wasn’t irate with me — he was effing thermonuclear."
"What I suggest is literally a deception vaccine. Just as we receive inoculations against physical infections, so too we should try to inoculate ourselves against deception and fraud. By constantly exposing individuals to harmless and weakened versions of deception, we might be able to build up the social antibodies necessary for individuals to recognise predatory deception when they encounter it.
That is the focus of my work today. In my lab, we are studying the effect of previous exposure to deceptive individuals and messages to determine how we might inoculate others without going through the pain of real deception. In one series of studies, we ask individuals who lie often (Machiavellians) to write convincing arguments advocating a particular cause. We then ask others to advocate for a cause in which they truly believe. Participants then try to figure out which is which: most do no better than chance. By reminding individuals how convincing skilled liars can be, we prepare them for future deceptive attempts.
No one likes being a cynic. No one wants our trust in others to erode. But we must never forget that there are those who would misuse our trust for selfish gain, and prey on our sympathies for exploitation; deception is a Darwinian trait, by evolution pre‑ordained. Any one of us could be the next big victim. Soon after you finish reading this story, someone will try to deceive you with a false ad, misleading sales pitch, or worse. Be careful about whom you trust, be willing to admit when you were wrong about someone, and resist the urge to say: ‘But I know him so well!’ Recall that some Australian ants ‘think’ the same thing about spiders. It wouldn’t hurt us humans to take a tip or two from the rest of the animal world."
"At first, I worried that my blog would come off as a self-indulgent boring mess of drivel. In the end, it has become my favourite work. I love getting emails from people who read it and thank me for being honest and entertaining. What’s the point of being a model if I can’t exploit all the non-glamorous, behind-the-scenes bullshit I deal with? I write what I write because I don’t want people to idealise the modelling experience, and I don’t want people to presume that I can’t think for myself just because I won the bone structure lottery. I often wake up at 5am in a panic about my life decisions. I constantly wonder if I’m a good person, just like everyone else. Sometimes writing about modelling is its own kind of antidepressant. Finishing a blog gives me more sense of accomplishment than booking a Cosmo editorial about which underwear makes your butt look hot. But the thought of having to figure out what to do with my life after modelling is frightening.
‘Why don’t you just marry a rich older guy so you don’t have to figure out a new career?’ That’s a great question, imaginary person. I once overheard a guy say he thought most models were prostituting themselves to rich men because they always carry around expensive purses. I know girls who do that. It’s easy to date rich older guys if you’re a beautiful young model. The difficult part is finding one who’s not married or a total douchebag. If you’re OK with that, then go ahead and sleep with a spray-tanned 65‑year-old who works out too much and has a multi-million-dollar loft decorated with cheesy art. If I lacked standards and pride but valued Valentino shoes, I’d be eating oysters with that guy, instead of writing this right now. But alas, I could never date a guy who didn’t make me laugh hysterically. Looks like I won’t be adding ‘trophy wife’ to my list of post-modelling endeavours.
So, what do I do now? I love living and working in New York. I make consistent money; I can drink at a bar until 4am on the weekends, and I move around sublets instead of having a permanent apartment. I really love that I can walk one block to a bodega for a sandwich. But how is that helping my future? In Los Angeles, my life is different. There I have a cat who is taken care of by my best friend who also shares my apartment. I also have a car, and my sister lives a few hours north in Yosemite, one of my favourite places to vacation. My manager is there, along with my commercial agent. I audition for TV shows, and meet people about developing fun things based on my blog. I’m moving in a somewhat constructive direction in LA. So what do I do now? I think I just answered my own question. My future is more important than a convenient sandwich."
"I'm young at heart, in my 30's and Dad to "Sarah," 8 and "Trent," 5. I've been married to their Mom "Brenda" for 13 years and we're doing mostly fine. Except for Halloween season. I'm really into Halloween and decorate the whole house and yard with blood dripping out of windows and gore like severed heads on the walk, etc. There's a 6 foot hooded executioner with a bloody axe on the porch, stuffed bodies here and there, and dismembered zombies scattered around. Of course, we have the standard skeletons and spider, fog machine and the whole works for Halloween week. Sarah loves it, and she's been watching gore movies with me since she was three, at least after Brenda is asleep because she doesn't approve of the kids watching horror movies. Last year, Trent started having nightmares around October, had a reversal of potty training and still sleeps with a pull-up and the lights on. Brenda wants me to tone down the Halloween festivities this year because he does not seem to be recovering. I know he's 5, but I think if she'd let him watch a few movies he'd get used to it and might even have a good time. It seems like, developmentally, she's not letting him mature properly and he should face his fears instead of hiding from them. Am I right?"
No. IT'S A FIVE YEAR OLD. (Or 4-year-old when the pants-wetting occurred.) The kid is far too young to "mature" about that topic. JEEBUS CHRIST, YA JERK. I can't say why Sarah wasn't freaked out at age 3 (she should have been), but that doesn't apply to both kids, even if one has a penis.
I enjoyed the response to this:
"Your letter will haunt me indefinitely. Of all the monstrous mayhem you have cooked up, what I find most terrifying is your ego. Go back and read your own letter. You argue that a three-year-old should be introduced to the living dead, murder, carnage and general terror so that he or she may "get used to it." So, every preschooler should already be familiar with dismemberment, torture and beheadings, so that they can cope with those things when they happen in real life?"
"The subjects didn’t speak, type, or look at each other throughout the exercise. Pascual-Leone said that while the technique still has a long way to go, this breakthrough serves as a proof of concept. “It’s still very, very early. [But] we can show that this is even possible with technology that’s available. It’s the difference between talking on the phone and Morse code. To get where you’re going, you need certain steps to be taken first.”
The process included turning letters into binary code, hand and feet movements conveying the code through electroencephalography sensors, transmitting it to email, and converting it into quick flashes through a transcranial magnetic stimulation system (attached to the blind-folded recipient’s head). The flashes would then be translated back into binary, and then finally to text. The one-word message took approximately 70 minutes to relay.