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."
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?”
It turns out that living in a cat cafe, with customers constantly filing in and out, breeds a certain indifference on the part of cats to even really sweeping, dramatic movements into their personal space.
More than that, the cats went out of their way to be a part of the action, settling in on yoga mats and looping through people's legs mid-pose. I attended the second class of the day; Singh said that in the earlier session, one attendee was forced to give up her mat after two cats completely colonized it. The cats give no shits about your asana. They will sit wherever they want, and you just have to deal."
But the whole story was never made public. With first-ever access to government files, and some participants willing to talk for the first time, it's clear things were far worse than we realized.
What follows is an inside look -- based on witness statements, grand jury transcripts, police reports, court records and fresh interviews -- at how Rajneesh leaders tried to skirt land-use and immigration laws only to have their schemes collapse to the point they decided killing Oregonians was the only way to save their religious utopia."
"Both liberty and deliberation have a shared root word, the Latin liber, for ‘free.’ Liberty gets its English meaning of ‘freedom’ from the old French connotation of ‘free will,’ or ‘free choice.’ Deliberation means to ‘choose carefully or with consideraton,’ with roots to ‘liberate’—to make free. Essentially, Hamilton has constructed a pun to say that you cannot make a good decision without true freedom of choice, which Americans now have since they achieved their independence."
"Paralleling the measurement of intelligence, we could call it the freedom quotient: FQ. Such a scale should give us new insights into the factors that hinder or enhance our efforts to shape our lives. In other words, FQ should tell us how free we are – and how we can become even more so.
But when we join the available dots we get a fairly clear sketch of what FQ might aspire to measure. And it is simply this: the ability to generate options for oneself, to choose, and then to pursue one or more of those options.
First: the capacity to generate options. We are not inclined to ascribe much free will to the creature that sees only one possible course of action, particularly in situations where that course is failing to deliver the goods. That is the kind of behaviour we might associate with an automaton – with the robot whose axles keep turning even though the wheels have fallen off.
Of course, the number of available options will depend partly upon the circumstances – but also partly on a creature’s creativity and flexibility. In one test to get a treat out of a complex box, for example, chimps tried up to 38 different ways of solving the problem, whereas baboons managed just a handful.
So we want the ability to generate multiple options. But secondly, we also want to be able to choose between them in a meaningful way. Choosing meaningfully means something like weighing up the pros and cons. If a creature were able to generate six options for itself in any given situation, we might be impressed. But we would be less impressed if it arbitrarily chose which option to take.
f you are able to imagine a number of options for yourself, weigh them with regard to your interests, and then commit yourself to the one that seems the best, you are exercising your free will. Of course, all of these are tasks you might be able to perform better or worse. If you have an abundant imagination, for example, and can think of 20 potential places to forage whereas others can only think of 10, then you have more options and will therefore be freer. If, on the other hand, you are weak-willed, then options that require you to delay gratification – such as walking 10 miles to the juiciest blackberry bush – might be closed, and so you will be less free. These are the variations that an FQ scale should reflect."
I think it's an excellent point: how much free will you have depends on your options.
"I’m signed up for Basic Dowsing School, where the technical (proper pounds per square inch of cable rigs, well-casing thicknesses) is mixed with the esoteric (‘Talk to your pendulum as if it were a person’). I hide behind my notepad as long as possible, jotting important instructions: ‘To clear a thought form, ask your higher self to vaporise evil.’
There’s no way to talk about something so outside normal experience without either becoming defensive or calling it crazy: belief and non-belief are universes that don’t touch, and residing between them is uncomfortable. That’s why Lee Ann Potter, the science officer for the ASD, has a difficult job. A former mechanical engineer, she tells me: ‘I’m trying to make dowsing more credible.’ She teaches a session on ‘Science and Dowsing’ at the conference, and the room gets crowded."
"But despite her sunny party girl attitude, Montandon’s Lombard Street home was a house of horrors. As related in her 1975 book ‘The Intruders’, Montandon fears she was cursed by a scorned tarot card reader. Enraged when Montandon didn’t serve him a drink at a party, the tarot card reader swore Montandon would never find happiness in her home.
Over the next eight years, her home became the site of multiple tragedies. The most famous was the death of her friend and secretary Mary Louise Ward, whose dead body was found in a locked bedroom after a fire broke out in the house in 1969. An autopsy found Ward had died before the fire; no cause of death was ever determined.
Haunted by the death of her close friend, Montandon investigated the history of the property and found it was the site of multiple suicides and debilitating illnesses. Montandon herself relates that illness struck both her and her dog during their years in the home. She moved out, but the property still exists at 1000 Lombard, presumably with a property value scarier than any curse."
And I've totally heard of this one:
"If your toilet won’t flush in Livermore, you’ve got one man to blame.
Native American activist Adam Nordwall created an 18-foot totem pole for the city of Livermore in 1969. The totem was meant to celebrate the city’s 100th anniversary, but things soon went awry when city workers had to lop off the bottom of pole to install it.
Infuriated that it was tampered with, Nordwall demanded the totem pole be restored to its original state. The Livermore city council declined, and Nordwall cursed the city’s sewer system. Yes, that’s right. The sewers.
Two weeks later, the city sewers backed up. Fearing the worst, the city council restored the totem to its original height. The curse, however, has never officially been lifted."
The toilets are still flushing, to my knowledge.
There's also the town of Bodie, which is apparently under the same curse as anyone who takes a lava rock in Hawaii.
"At least 54 incidents of gun violence and 19 gun-related deaths were reported in the United States on Sunday before and during a “blood moon” eclipse, as the otherwise civilized, affluent country was struck by an outbreak of suffering that can only be explained as the result of cosmic forces.
"In the mid-1990s, a study estimated that the Nessie phenomenon had brought an estimated 40 million pounds to Scotland’s economy — about $94 million in today’s dollars, said Kate Turnbull, a spokeswoman for Scotland’s official visitor’s bureau.
“The mystery of the monster is our best tourist attraction and I would hate to see the mystery exploded, as it were,” Robert Wotherspoon, then mayor of Inverness, told The New York Times in 1960.
This article is about a "Nessie hunter" who quit his life and relationship in 1991 to hang around the loch looking, and he hasn't stopped being happy about it since.
“It doesn’t matter what your personal dream is,” Feltham said, as rain began to fall on the lake. “Do the thing you want to do. Just follow your dreams. I’m living proof that it doesn’t matter how specialist or whimsy-esque your dream is. If it works for you, if it fills your heart with joy, do it.”