Bunny's quotes, both original and non-original



Man is born broken.  He lives by mending.  The grace of God is glue.  ~Eugene O'Neill, The Great God Brown , 1926


"I have concluded libraries are very dangerous places, and you librarians are the keepers of the freedom."

-- Diane Rehm, Tri-City Herald, April 20, 2007.


"...the commonplace of Laughter..."

-- Mary Stewart, Nine Coaches Waiting


"As long as some of God's children are not free, none of God's children will be free." -- Bishop Desmond Tutu


"We were born to remember . . . that's what we're here for."
-- Heinrich Böll


"On my knees I beg you to turn away from the paths of violence and to return to the ways of peace. Violence destroys the work of justice. Only peace can lead the way to true justice."
-- Pope John Paul II


"There would have been a time for such a word
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to ay
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
-- Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, Scene V


"Out flew the web and floated wide
The mirror cracked from side to side;
'The curse is come upon me,' cried
The Lady of Shallot."
-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson. "The Lady of Shallot"

"For day falls and life fails if loveliness should fail."
-- Bernice Kenyon, "Sigrid's Song"

"Trust only unbought things,
Men with quiet eyes
And women with open faces."
-- Charles Angoff, "Baccalaureate Sermon"



"Courage is this:
A faith that flung in the well of doubt,
Looks up and sees that the stars are out.
(What, if not these will stand?)"
-- Evelyn Smith, "For the Night"


"Take your delight in momentariness,
Walk between dark and dark-- a shining space
With the grave's narrowness, though not its peace."
-- Robert Graves

"Information Wants To Be Free. Information also wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine---too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away. It leads to endless wrenching debate about price, copyright, 'intellectual property', the moral rightness of casual distribution, because each round of new devices makes the tension worse, not better." -- Stewart Brand, The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT


"He searched the Orangery, where Gibbon had scratched out a semicolon in the famous last paragraph of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire , before presenting the eighth volume to the Duke of Gloucester – who had observed affably: ‘Another damned thick book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh, Mr. Gibbon?' ... "

-- T.H. White, Mistress Masham's Repose


Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws.

- John Adams


"Well, it seems like a miracle to be able to look forward - to - to see all the minutes in front of one come hopping along with something marvelous in them, instead of just saying, Well, that one didn't actually hurt and the next may be quite bearable if only something beastly doesn't come pouncing out ."

--Dorothy L. Sayers, Busman's Honeymoon


"In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us how to swim."

-- Linton Weeks, Washington Post, Jan. 13, 2001.


"All through life, you'll make mistakes. You'll fail at things you try hard to do and want to do very much. Think about it. The only people who do not fail are those who never try to do anything. But too much frustration can kill your dream. Check the warning signs. If you get so frustrated that you cry, that you cannot do what you can normally do, that you are not having fun, that you begin to get down on yourself and doubt your own abilities; then step back, take a break, and regroup."
-- a karate teacher quoted in the parents' section of American Girl (?) magazine



I’m tired. I’m tired of feeling rejected by the American people. I’m tired of waking up in the middle of the night worrying about the war."
-- L.B. Johnson



"I have a brain and a uterus, and I use both."
-- Patricia Schroeder



"Is it really a surprise when a librarian finds something?"
-- Karen G. Schneider, Director, Librarians' Index to the Internet


As the cauldron bubbled an eldritch voice shrieked, "When shall we three meet again?"
There was a pause.
Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: "Well, I can do next Tuesday."

-- Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters


"Oh, obvious," said Granny.  "I'll grant you it's obvious.  Trouble is, just because things are obvious doesn't mean they're true."
Terry  Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters



"American boys should not be seen dying on the nightly news. Wars should be over in three days or less, or before Congress invokes the War Powers Resolution. Victory must be assured in advance. And the American public must be all for it from the outset." -- Evan Thomas



"In most communities it is illegal to cry “fire” in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve local political aims?"
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower


"We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works. How do you recognize something that is still technology? A good clue is if it comes with a manual."

Douglas Adams. The Salmon of Doubt.


"As a general rule, librarians are a kick in the pants socially, often full of good humor, progressive, and naturally, well read.  They tend to be generalists who know so much about so many things that they are quite the opposite of the boring old poops they have been made out to be.  Most of them are full of life, some even full of the devil." -- Bill Hall, editorial page editor, Lewiston (Idaho) Tribune, Sept. 9, 2001.



"It will never serve us ill to accept criticism with graciousness -- even illspoken, unfair, unjust or untrue criticism -- and to strive to better ourselves; it will only improve our character.  By choosing this, by choosing to accept the potential truth in any and all criticism, each exposure to the unfair, unjust, dishonest, dishonorable and vicious, causes us to become more fair, more just, more honest, more honorable and more virtuous. "

-- Vanessa Layne, on the SCA-East mailing list.



"When no one else is defending you or thinks you're legitmate, you think it must be your fault and that there is something wrong with you. The worst thing is not being able to trust yourself, or anybody. You start to hate yourself; you start to hate who you are. That's what takes you a long time to get over." Meredith Gee, article in the The Brown and White, Sept. 20, 2002



Since when is "public safety" the root password to the Constitution?
-- C. D. Tavares


This heavenly city, then, while it sojourns on earth, calls citizens out of all nations, and gathers together a society of pilgrims of all languages, not scrupling about diversities in manners, laws, and institutions whereby earthly peace is secured and maintained, but recognizing that, however various these are, they all tend to one and the same end of earthly peace.-- St. Augustine of Hippo




"The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry." -- E. Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms


"I did not say anything. I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious, and sacrifice and the expression in vain. We  had heard them, sometimes standing in the rain almost out of earshot, so that only the shouted words came through, and had  read them, on proclamations that were slapped up by billposters over other proclamations, now for a long time, and I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the sacrifices were like the stockyards of Chicago if nothing was done with the meat except to bury it. There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity. Certain numbers were the same way and certain dates and these with the names of places were all you could say and have them mean anything. Abstract words such as glory, honour, courage, or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates."

-- Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms


"Oh it's all too much, too grim, too lovely, too -- how should   I put this? It's general chaos." -- Edward Gorey



The plain truth of the matter is that if you put more than two or three atoms together in a confined space for any length of time, sooner or later they're going to get on each other's wick, and then they start hurling themselves about and colliding with each other. They also shout a lot, but since the science of physics is in its infancy, nobody has yet constructed an instrument sensitive enough to monitor the voices of millions of tiny atoms debating with each other whose turn it is to do the washing up. Probably just as well, if you ask me.
--Tom Holt, Ye Gods!



"I'm never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don't do any thing. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that any more."

                                -- Dorothy Parker


Girls do what their mothers tell them to do.  Ladies do what society tells them to do.  Women decide for themselves.
Karen Kijewski

In such cases as these, a good memory is unpardonable.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

"Miss Dashwood," cried Willoughby, "you are now using me unkindly.  You are endeavouring to disarm me by reason, and to convince me against my will."
Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

I'm sorry, I thought you wanted the truth.  Perhaps you were expecting jelly and ice cream?
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum

Turning men into pigs is no particular feat.  The real exercise is getting pigs to write checks.
Gregory Frost, "The Root of the Matter"

All [people] are intolerant....  Only they're intolerant of different things.
Joan D. Vinge, The Snow Queen


Those who are happy tend to have people who make them feel good, not goods to make them feel like people.
Kevin Golding


"My mum's uncle was a sailor," said Nobby. "But after the big plague he got press-ganged. Bunch of farmers got him drunk, the next morning he woke up chained to a plough."
-- Terry Pratchett, Jingo


"More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of, therefore let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day,
For what are men better than sheep or goats,
That nourish a blind life within the brain.
If knowing God they lift not those hands of prayer,
Both for themselves and those who call them friends!
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by golden chains about the feet of God."

-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson


"Whatsoever might be the extent of the private calamity, I hope it will not interfere with the public business of the country."
-- Richard Brinsley Sheridan


"Librarians, Dusty, possess a vast store of politeness. These are people who get asked regularly the dumbest questions on God's green earth. These people tolerate every kind of crank and eccentric and mouth-breather there is."

--Garrison Keillor, "Lives of the Cowboys"


"For of those to whom much is given, much is required. And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgement on each of us-- recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state--  our success or failure, in whatever office we hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions.

First, were we truly men of courage-- with the courage to stand up to one's enemies-- and the courage to stand up, when necessary, to one's associates-- the courage to resist public pressure, as well as private greed?

Secondly, were we truly men of judgement-- with perceptive judgement of the future as well as the past-- of our mistakes as well as the mistakes of others-- with enough wisdom to know what we did not know and enough candor to admit it.

Third, were we truly men of integrity-- men who never ran out on the principles in which we believed or the men who believed in us-- men whom neither financial gain nor political ambition could ever divert from the fulfillment of our sacred trust?

Finally, were we truly men of dedication-- with an honor mortgaged to no single individual or group, and comprised of no private obligation or aim, but devoted solely to serving the public good and the national interest?"

-- John F. Kennedy, speech to the Massachusetts legislature, January 9, 1961.


"The Reference Librarian

See the Reference Librarian and the joys that appertain to her;
Who shall estimate the contents and the area of the brain to her?
See the people seeking wisdom from the four winds ever blown to her,
For they know there is no knowledge known to mortals but is known to her;
See this flower of perfect knowledge, blooming like a lush geranium,
All converging rays of wisdom focussed just beneath her cranium;
She is stuffed with erudition as you'd stuff a leather cushion,
And her wisdom is her specialty--it's marketing her mission.
How they throng to her, all empty, grovelling in their insufficience;
How they come from her, o'erflooded by the sea of her omniscience!
And they know she knows she knows things,--while she drips her learned theses
The percentage of illiteracy perceptibly decreases.
Ah, they know she knows she knows things, and her look is education;
And to look at her is culture, and to know her is salvation."

 from Song of the Library Staff  by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)




"Magrat was annoyed. She was also frightened, which made her even more annoyed. It was hard for people when Magrat was annoyed. It was like being attacked by damp tissue." Terry Pratchett, _Witches Abroad_


I'd be much happier if my love life resembled falconry less.


"No taste of food, no feel of water, no sound of wind, no memory of tree or grass or flower, no image of moon or star are left to me. I am naked in the dark, Sam, and there is no veil between me and the wheel of fire. I begin to see it even with my waking eyes, and all else fades."

-- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


"If I were in the President's place, I would not get a chance to resign.  I would be lying in a pool of my own blood hearing Mrs. Armey, standing over me, saying 'How do I reload this damn thing?'"  - Representative Dick Armey


"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be research, would it?"  -  Albert Einstein (I don't have a source for this)


"We are often considered society's gatekeepers, but librarians are actually the gateways. We are the one profession dedicated to ensuring the right to know. We must never lose sight of this mission despite the seductive siren songs of our information age's mythology."
-- Patricia Glass Schuman


"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who errs, and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." -   The Man in The Arena by Theodore Roosevelt (1910)


"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."
-- GB Shaw, _Caesar and Cleopatra_


"Helen doesn't nag.  She just mentions the hell out of things."
          --Mr. Vanderpoel


"My silences had not protected me.  Your silences will not protect you....  What are the words you do not yet  have?  What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of  them, still in silence?" -- Audre Lourde


History celebrates the battle-fields whereon we meet our death, but scorns to speak of the ploughed fields whereby we thrive; it knows the names of the kings' bastards, but cannot tell the origin of wheat.
---J. H. Fabre


"I am in a corner without being back[ed?] there and often come out fighting."
-- James Thurber, 1960 interview with Life


"If they say it can't be done, it doesn't always work out that way."
-- Yogi Berra


"In the early years of the nineteenth century, Columbus won out, as state capital, by one vote over Lancaster, and ever since then has had the hallucination that it is being followed, a curious municipal state of mind which affects, in some way or other, all those who live there. Columbus is a town in which almost anything is likely to happen and in which almost everything has."
-- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times


As William (Holly) Whyte said, "It's hard to design a space that will not attract people. What is remarkable is how often this has been accomplished."
-- Project for Public Spaces, http://www.pps.org/11steps.html


"As a soldier I was never any good at all ... Once General Littlefield, who was commandant of the cadet corps, popped up in front of me during regimental drill and snapped, 'You are the main trouble with this university!' I think he meant that my type was the main trouble with the university but he may have meant me individually."
-- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times


Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; ere long she shall appear to vindicate thee.
 -Immanuel Kant


The medieval monk Caesarius of Heisterbach tells of a Cistercian lay brother who was once heard praying: "Lord," he said, "if Thou free me not from this temptation, I will complain of Thee to Thy mother."
      Caesarius of Heisterbach (c. 1170-c. 1240), Cistercian monk and chronicler


With apologies to Michael Frayn:

"Now I know how the gods felt when they sat out there in the darkness creating the Net."

"And how did they feel, love?" "Very pleased they'd taken their Valium..." -- Me


"One of the biggest arguments against treating your employees like two-year-olds is that two-year-olds swing a mean brick. " -- Me


"The mistaken exits and entrances of my thirties have moved me several times to some thought of spending the rest of my days wandering aimlessly around the South Seas, like a character out of Conrad, silent and inscrutable. But the necessity for frequent visits to my oculist and dentist has prevented this...Nobody from Columbus has ever made a first rate wanderer in the Conradean tradition. Some of them have been fairly good at disappearing for a few days to turn up in a hotel in Louisville with a bad headache and no recollection of how they got there..."
--- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times


"I'm just not a nice person. I never claimed to be a nice person. I've TRIED being a nice person, and it never worked. It's a pity, but there it is." -- Me



 From the oath of allegiance sworn by the citizens of Aragon in the 16th century: "We, who are as good as you, swear to you, who are no better than us, allegiance as Prince and Heir to our Kingdom, on the condition that you preserve our laws and liberties; and, if not, not."
-- Cited on the UK Ask-A-Librarian site (http://www.earl.org.uk/ask/) Source: British Library press office

LADY JANE STARKER: "All right, gentlemen. It seems you need a little inspiration to get this project moving. How big a fire is required, and how far up your asses do you want it?"


"I do my job. I refuse to responsible for other people's managerial hallucinations." Lady Jemina Starker


"Arthur," she said with venomous calm, "someday someone is going to hit you with something very large and heavy, and I want to be there to see it."


"Look," she said tiredly, "the next time you decide to rearrange reality, let me know beforehand, alright? I'll take vacation someplace quiet, like Bosnia."


"Not living in the real world will substantially reduce the portability of your code." -- Unknown


There are many games that people play. Of these, perhaps the most insidious is the game called 'Let's play it safe'. It sounds like a fine game. The theory goes that if you cautiously avoid taking a risk, causing an upset or making a mistake - you will never look foolish. Nobody will be able to accuse you of having 'got it wrong'. People who play this game though, end up leading dull, flat, ordinary lives. They avoid the pitfalls but they also miss out on life's grand, exciting opportunities.
-- Jonathan Cainer, astrologist.


"My employers pay me money to put up with them. What makes you think I'll put up with you for free?" L. Starker


"You want dancing asparagus? Fine. I'll give you dancing asparagus." -- Lady Jadwiga Starker, webmaster to Galactic Emperor Ralf V


"You said you wanted a wooly mammoth, Admiral. You didn't say you wanted it COOKED." - Lady Jane Starker


"(Lissen, George W. Bush plays solitaire; I assemble book lists. Sometimes a guy's gotta zone out.)" -- Phil Agre.


"In sufficient quantity, cookies have an amazing ability to get the other guy to see what you're trying to do, understand why you're doing it, and how it fits into the overall scheme of things. That's when you'll get the "Oh, sure, I can do that" or "Here's an even better way to do that" reaction."

-- Thomas Dowling


"If the Net *is* a library, then it's adding a new wing today (overnight), while removing another; and all the books at the Reserve Desk are being moved to a new location; the online catalog is being augmented by three new tools, (one of which is free, one of which was written by the new person in Dept. A); the entire phono disk collection just disappeared; any number of users can simultaneously check out the latest issue of the Journal of Obscure Chemistry; the Reference department works at home now, and we just discovered 10,000 new books in a part of the library that we swear wasn't there yesterday. And tomorrow will be different..."
-- Rick Gates


History celebrates the battlefields whereon we meet our death, but scorns to speak of the plowed fields whereby we thrive. It knows the names of the king's bastards but cannot tell us the origin of wheat. This is the way of human folly."
-- Jean-Henri Fabre


"Chumps always make the best husbands. When you marry, Sally, grab a chump. Tap his forehead first, and if it rings solid, don't hesitate. All the unhappy marriages come from the husbands having brains. What good are brains to a man? They only unsettle him. "

P.G. Wodehouse, The Adventures of Sally


"Democracy depends on an informed society. Goodness is its own reward in Heaven. Here on earth we lobby. "

quoted by Eliot Shelkrot, director, Free Library of Philadelphia


There is always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat, plausible, and wrong.

H.L. Mencken, "The Divine Afflatus"


"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
-- Bilbo Baggins, in _The Hobbit_ by J.R.R. Tolkien


The daughter-in-law of Pythagoras said that a woman who goes to bed with a man ought to lay aside her modesty with her skirt, and put it on again with her petticoat.
-Montaigne, _Essays_


"...And there's no one to hear/ so you might as well scream/
They never woke up from the American Dream/
They don't understand/ what they don't see/
And they look through you/ and they look past me..."

Melissa Etheridge


Bed is the poor man's opera -- Italian Proverb



"We are star stuff.  We are the Universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out.  And, as we both know, sometimes the Universe requires a change of perspective."

       --Babylon 5





Seagull Manager - A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, dumps over everything and then leaves.


I'm pure as the driven slush. -- Tallulah Bankhead


When I'm good, I'm very very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better. -Mae West, in _I'm_No_Angel_


But she knew that she had encountered one of the more devastating kinds of loneliness in existence: that of being in close contact with someone to whom she was a nonperson, and who thereby rendered her invisible and of no consequence.

Dorothy Gilman, _Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish_


"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." -- Sir Winston Churchill


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in a moment of reasoned lucidity which is almost unique among its current tally of five million, nine hundred and seventy-three thousand, five hundred and nine pages, says of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation products that "it is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all.

In other words--and this is the rock-solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation's Galaxywide success is founded--their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws."

--p. 177, Douglas Adams, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. NY: Pocket Books, 1985


A man when he is making up to anybody can be cordial and gallant and full of little attentions and altogether charming. But when a man is really in love, he can't help looking like a sheep.-- Agatha Christie, _Mystery of the Blue Train_


"Every human has a zone in which he is neither too close nor too distant for easy conversation, but comfortable. This zone varies from one culture to another and when men of two cultures meet, one may place himself on the far side of a desk in order to be at ease, and the other may unconciously climb over the desk in pursuit of greater intimacy."

- Alexei Panshin


"Well," the Goddess said, "your heart didn't heal straight the last time it broke. So we'll break it again and reset it so it heals straight this time."

Diane Duane. _Door into Shadow_


"The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love."
-- William Sloan Coffin


...a few lines about the great and ancient invention you hold in your hand, the Book itself.

Slow to hatch, as durable as a turtle, light and shapely as befits a descendant of the tree. Closed, the objet d'book resembles a board. Open, its pale wings brush the fingertips, the spore of fresh ink and pulp excites the nose, the spine lies easily in the hand. A handsome useful object begotten by the passion for truth.

Garrison Keillor, back cover of We are Still Married


"I think we should adjourn now [. . .] the country is safer when we're not in session."

-- Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) on C-SPAN


"Love is like any other luxury. You have no right to it unless you can afford it."
Anthony Trollope


Librarians: The truck drivers of the Information Superhighway.
--Jeff Rosen


"A mistress never is or can be a friend. While you agree, you are lovers; and when it is over, anything but friends." - Lord Byron


Don't ever allow another to determine your worth because they're always going to be dealing with foreign currency and they'll never get the conversion right.

Jennifer Middleton, _The Brown and White_, 10/31/97


" No man can be friends with a woman he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her. Sex is always out there. Friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story." - Nora Ephron. _When Harry Met Sally_


"When her mouth moves, pay attention, words could be coming out. Words are kind of important." -- Dennis Miller, _The Rants_


When picking out toys for children, consider how they will feel embedded into the sole of your bare foot when they leave it on the floor.
- Aunt Bunny


The Bunny Poem
- Pam Ayres:
I am a bunny rabbit,
Sitting in me hutch,
I like to sit up this end,
I don't care for that end, much,
I'm glad tomorrow's Thursday,
'Cause with a bit of luck,
As far as I remember,
That's the day they pass the buck.


In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. - The Hobbit


"But the only soldier now is me/I'm fighting things I cannot see/ I think it's called my destiny/And I am changing...." -- Suzanne Vega


Comment is free, but facts are on expenses. -- Tom Stoppard


"As he told the story later: he swerved out to avoid the oncoming hot-dog stand only to see an aged admiral in full dress uniform riding toward him, out of the old wood road, on a tricycle, which had no head-light. In trying to go in between the hot-dog stand and the tricycle, Thurberg somehow managed to get his car crosswise of all three roads, resulting in the cracking up of six other cars and the truck."
-- James Thurber


"'I wish I were an African nation,' Kate said. 'It must be so comforting to think of oneself as emerging.'" Amanda Cross, _Poetic_Justice_


The three prayers to Bree Amal, Goddess of the keepers of disorderly houses:
-- May these events not involve Thy servant.
-- May these events not cost Thy servant money.
-- May these events leave no trace of themselves upon Thy servant's memory.
(Liavek)


"Librarians are the secret masters of the world. They control information. Don't ever piss one off." -- Spider Robinson, _The Callahan Touch_


"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." -- James Thurber


"One has but to observe a community of beavers at work in a stream to understand the loss in his sagacity, balance, co-operation, competence, and purpose which Man has suffered since he rose up on his hind legs. He began to chatter and he developed Reason, Thought, and Imagination, qualities which would get the smartest group of rabbits or orioles in the world into inextricable trouble overnight. "
-- James Thurber, Fables for Our Time


"If you've lived a bad life, they send you to Hell. But if you've been truly _wicked_, they give you a tour of Heaven first..." - Spider Robinson, _Callahan's Lady_


Being afraid of governments when they have access to computers is like being afraid of very big gorillas, especially when they are on fire / Bruce Sterling


"What are the facts? Again and again and again--what are the _facts_? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what 'the stars foretell,' avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable 'verdict of history,'--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your only clue. Get the facts!"
-- Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"And how else should an angel land on earth but with the utmost difficulty? If we are to be visited by angels we will have to call them down with sweat and strain, we will have to drag them out of the skies, and the efforts we expend to draw the heavens to an earthly place may well leave us too exhausted to appreciate the fruits of our labors: an angel, even with torn robes, and ruffled feathers, is in our midst." -- Tony Kushner


The border between the Real and the Unreal is not fixed, but just marks the last place where rival gangs of shamans fought each other to a standstill.


"Not the man who used to make such particularly excellent fireworks! I remember those! Old Took used to have them on Midsummer's Eve. Splendid! They used to go up like great lilies and snapdragons and laburnums of fire and hang in the twilight all evening!" The Hobbit


"Chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving."
-- Ray Bradbury, _Farenheit 451_


Pooh's Law of Self-Discovery: Eliminate all the outside influences, and whatever remains, however improbable, must be yourself.


"Indeed, the Government's asserted "failure" of the Internet rests on the implicit premise that too much speech occurs in that medium, and that speech there is too available to the participants."
-- From the restraining order June 12, 1996 on ACLU v. Reno re: CDA




They are subversive. You think they're just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They're like plotting the revolution, man. --Michael Moore on librarians


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We are born to manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson


"Love was a terrible thing. You poisoned it and stabbed at it and knocked it down into the mud-- well down-- and it got up and staggered on, bleeding and muddy and awful. Like-- like Rasputin."

Jean Rhys, _Quartet_ "


Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate." -- Germaine Greer


"Information wants to be a Socialist... not a Communist or a Republican."
- Karen Schneider


"I don't like problems that can't be solved with a stick."

-- Kate Jones


"...the only way to get a straight answer out of Ranger One was to look at each reply in a mirror while hanging upside down from the ceiling." "Did it work?" "Oddly enough, yes...or after a while you passed out and had a vision. Either way the result was pretty much the same."

Marcus & Sheridan--BABYLON 5: WAR WITHOUT END.


"Dogs are insecure and neurotic and agitated, and generally in the throes of some unbecoming emotion, and I like them."
- Adair Lara


``Perhaps one of the more important magical tools you will need to obtain in your initial pursuit of magical secrets is a Library Card. You may already have one of these powerful devices. If not, proceed to your local public library and perform their appropriate ritual.''


"I'm sittin' here drinkin',/ thinkin' 'bout my man
I know that I should quit him; I can't say I can.
I love the man I'm seeing But he doesn't treat me right.
I go to see my baby, Each and every night

Hopin' this time... This time it'll be alright.
I know that I should quit him. He's mean as snakes and more.
I ought to get a shotgun, bar him from my door.
I'd be better off without him-- I know cause i'm not blind:
Just a little hard of seein' and little soft of mind
Hopin'... Hopin' it'll be all right this time.
He isn't sweet and gentle, Doesn't treat me like he should
I'm no good for my baby, and my baby ain't no good.
I swear I'm gonna leave him -- Tomorrow would be just fine
But it never is tomorrow. I just keep on tryin'
To make it alright... Make it alright this time."


"If one by one we counted people out For the least sin, it wouldn't take us long To get so that we had no one left to live with. For to be social is to be forgiving. " -- Robert Frost, "The Star-Splitter"


"Bear, you know that "thin line between love and hate"? When other people cross it, they end up on ONE side of it!" -- Ratnose


"In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." --Al Rogers


"Look, it's only death. It's not like losing your hair or your money. I don't have to live with it." -- Harold Brodkey, _This Wild Darkness: The Story of My Death_


"The key to a monopoly is to get in the middle of an intersection and charge rent." -- Newt Gingrich

Newt's Corollary: "If, in fact, people invent new intersections at a rate faster than a monopoly can charge rent for the old one, monopolies dramatically lose their meaning."


"I will crawl through my past, over stones, blood and glass... in the ruins. Reaching under the fence, as I try to make sense... in the ruins..." Melissa Etheridge, "In the Ruins"


"They don't listen to your reasons, original as sin: Deny all that you're feeling and they will bring you home again. As you pray, in your darkness, for wings to set you free, You are bound to your silent legacy..."

"Once they gave you answers, now they give you hell. They never understand, they wonder where did they go wrong, How could you be so selfish, why can't you get along? And as you pray, in your darkness, for wings to set you free, You are bound to your silent legacy."

Melissa Etheridge, "Silent Legacy"


"Bad Command. Bad, Bad Command! Sit! Stay!" -- Bumpersticker


Some important tips: "It'll do" won't. "Close enough" isn't. "Let it slide" sticks. "For now" lasts forever. Take note of them; there will be a test later...


"I'm tired of words and I'm too hoarse to shout, But you been cold to me so long I'm crying icicles instead of tears."


'I feel so unloved..and the person who is doing it is myself. How do you learn to love yourself when you have disappointed yourself?'
"It's tough, but for me the answer is usually, "because self-forgiveness sucks less than self-hatred."'

usenet conversation


"Real programmers don't comment on their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand." -Unknown


"You must give birth to yourself, My daughter, before you can mother a child."
-- Diana Paxson, _The White Raven_


"Don't abuse your friends and expect them to consider it criticism." Edgar W. Howe

"You do not lead by hitting people over the head -- that's assault, not leadership." Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Diplomacy is the art of letting someone have your way.
-- Danielle Vare


".. objections to the evils of political correctness have become a hypocritical reflex that lets people justify all kinds of rude behavior while telling themselves that they're actually standing up for freedom and values and tradition and stuff."

-- Phil Agre, author, Red Rock Eater News Service.


There is nothing so powerful as truth-- and often nothing so strange."
-- Daniel Webster


There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment. . .
-- Norman Vincent Peale


* I've found I now dream in Perl. More worryingly, I enjoy those dreams. * John "Jim'll" Knight



"When you absolutely positively have to know, ask a librarian." - American Library Association (ALA)

"Libraries are the mind and soul of their communities, and librarians are the mind and soul of the library." -- ALA


"Pictures are for entertainment, messages should be delivered by Western Union."
--Sam Goldwyn



"... had been a bit of a historian and a romantic. He'd researched what was known of the early days of Lancre, and where actual evidence had been a bit sparse he had, in the best traditions of the keen ethnic historian, inferred from revealed self-evident wisdom (1) and extrapolated from associated sources (2).

(1) Made it up
(2) Had read a lot of stuff that other people had made up, too"

Terry Pratchett, _Lords and Ladies'_



"Librarians are very special people.  They are the caregivers of the world of the mind, the nurturers of dreams and the defenders of truth.  Perhaps no other profession is so marked by the singular generosity of its practitioners." -- Denver Post editorial, March 25, 2000.



 "She must have been, no doubt, a docile good-natured child, with a certain facility for Latin verbs and intelligence tests -- but what use is that to anyone? Seeking some suitable refuge where her inadequacies would pass unnoticed, her relatives very sensibly sent her to Lincoln's Inn."
-- Sarah Caudwell, Thus was Adonis Murdered


"You only have power over people as long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything he's no longer in your power-- he's free again."
-- A. Solzhenitsyn



"Once more, my good man, gets you pins in a wax image, or worse.  I'd do it now, and curse you into the bargain, only I'm crossed in love and haven't the energy.  Now *you* get out of *my* way."
-- Dianna Wynne Jones, _Deep Secret_



"We made a vow/We'd always be friends
How could we know/That promises end?" - Eric Clapton



"Librarians are almost always very helpful and often almost absurdly knowledgeable. Their skills are probably very underestimated and largely underemployed." -- The Social Audit Consumer Handbook, Macmillan, 1978.
Charles MEDAWAR



"If my son wants to be a pimp when he grows up, that's fine with me. I hope he's a good one and enjoys it and doesn't get caught. I'll support him in this. But if he wants to be a network administrator, he's out of the house and not part of my family."
-- Steve Wozniak



"I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing." -- Anais Nin



"And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again."



"Librarians are at the heart of opposition to foolish, dangerous, misguided attempts at censoring human expression in our free country.  I thank God for their efforts." -- Author Clyde Edgerton



"Lend our voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend our strength to that which we wish to be free from
Fill lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead a life uncommon."
-- Jewel, _Life Uncommon_ 



"I learned three things in Zurich during the war. I wrote them down.
Firstly, you're either a revolutionary or you're not, and if you're not you might as well be an artist as anything else. Secondly, if you can't be an artist, you might as well be a revolutionary . . . I forgot the third thing."
Henry Carr in Tom Stoppard's Travesties



Once you have a sense of organization, however casual, you can . . . begin to  examine the information from different vantage points, which will enable you to understand the relationship between bodies of information.  Ask yourself: How can I look at this information? Can I move back from it? Can it be made to look smaller?  Can I see it in context?  Can I get closer to it so it is not recognizable based on my previous image of the subject?  Can I look at the detail?
Whatever problems you have in life . . . can be illuminated by asking these questions. How can I pull myself out of the situation? How do I see it by changing scale? How can I look at the problem from different vantage points? How do I divide it into smaller pieces? How can I arrange and rearrange these pieces to shed new light on the problem?
Each vantage point, each mode of organization will create a new structure. And each new structure will enable you to see a different meaning, acting as a new method of classification from which the whole can be grasped and understood.
Richard Saul Wurman. Information Anxiety 2.



"Librarians have always been among the most thoughtful and helpful people. They are teachers without a classroom. No libraries, no progress."  Willard Scott, NBC TV weatherman


“Freyvid took up the word, and spoke. "My brother Thorvid, who is considered to be the wisest of us brothers, holds the words `quarrelsome, greedy, jealous, dull,' to be one and the same thing; for it applies to him who is weary of peace, longs for small things without attaining them, while he lets great and useful things pass away as they came." (OH, c.96)



"The most basic problem with rationalization is hubris. The world is complicated, and the people who have expertise with rational models usually do not have enough knowledge of the specifics of particular cases to apply their models realistically. Quite the contrary, the model creates a set of cognitive filters that tend to exclude from consideration any factors that do not fit it. If one's professional standing depends on the applicability of a certain repertoire of formal models, then it is in one's interests to perceive the worldas fitting those models, and to stop inquiring into the particulars as soon as the model has been fitted to them. This is bad enough when the model-expert suffers the full consequences of inappropriate modeling, but it is much worse when innocent parties suffer. This is the story of "urban renewal" programs in the 1970s, in which anyone who actually lived in the neighborhoods in question could have told the modelers what their models were leaving out. Formal models have often proven to be quite idiotic once somebody, in many cases an anthropologist with an equally strong disciplinary predisposition to seeing the social world as an interconnected whole, takes the trouble to discover the fullness of what's happening on the ground."

"A variant of the problem of rationalization arises when scientists and scientific enthusiasts (not all of them, but many) insist that the scientific method become the sole basis for public reason. The problem with this position is that many questions of public concern are simply not susceptible to scientific analysis, being for example complex moral questions. Another problem is that science does not function in the way that scientific enthusiasts understand as "the
scientific method". The literature on social studies of science has documented this at length, and has accordingly been excoriated by those pseudo-scientific dogmatists who believe that the question of how science actually works is not a fit matter for scientific inquiry."

"A final threat to public reason is, to put it in plain language, the struggle over different ways of seeing things. Different professions and cultures have different concepts, methods, and assumptions, and people with different social positions and life experiences go about public reason in different ways. Many people cannot tolerate these
sorts of epistemological diversity. They insist that their own ways be regarded as objectively true, and they insist that any appreciation of others' ways be regarded as a relativistic abdication of reason."

-- Phil Agre, Red Rock Eater News Service



James Thurber:
"Somebody has said that Woman's place is in the wrong. That's fine. What the wrong needs is a woman's presence and a woman's touch. She is far better equipped than men to set it right. The condescending male, in his pride of strength, likes to think of the female as being 'soft, soft as snow,' but just wait till he gets hit by the snowball. Almost any century now Woman may lose her patience with black politics and red war and let fly. I wish I could be on earth then to witness the saving of our self destructive species by its greatest creative force."



"I’m of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved." -- Barbara Kingsolver, novelist



"I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
1. Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things."

Douglas Adams. The Salmon of Doubt. 2002.


Every city has its gates, which need not be of stone. Nor need soldiers be upon them or watchers before them At first, when cities were jewels in a dark and mysterious world, they tended to be round and they had protective walls. To enter, one had to pass through gates, the reward for which was shelter from the overwhelming forests and seas, the merciless and taxing expanse of greens, whites and blues -- wild and free -- that stopped at the city walls.

In time, the ramparts became higher and the gates more massive, until they simply disappeared and were replaced by barriers, subtler than stone, that girded every city like a crown and held in its spirit. Some claim that the barriers do not exist, and disparage them. Although they themselves can penetrate the new walls with no effort, their spirits (which, also, they claim do not exist) cannot, and are left like orphans around the periphery.

To enter a city intact it is necessary to pass through one of the new gates. They are far more difficult to find than their solid predecessors, for they are tests, mechanisms, divides, and implementations of justice. There once was a map, now long gone, one of the ancient charts upon which colorful animals sleep or rage. Those who saw it said that in its illuminations were figures and symbols of the gates. The east gate was that of acceptance of responsibility, the south gate that of the desire to explore, the west gate that of devotion to beauty, and the north gate that of selfless love. But they were not believed. It was said that a city with entryways like these could not exist, because it would be too wonderful. Those who decide such things decided that whoever had seen the map had only imagined it, and the entire matter was forgotten, treated as if it were a dream and ignored. This, of course, freed it to live forever.


-- Mark Helprin, Winter's Tale

 


Few people think about the noble role that librarians play.  Our ability to collect, organize, and preserve the voices and observations of those who came before us is critical to our continued survival as a species.  The story of Babel is a metaphor for what later happened at Alexandria; a reminder that we all suffer when we lose our ability to pass lessons to future generations.  

It is possible for a single person to memorize the Quran and pass it on to others, but word-of-mouth is not enough to perpetuate the bulk of knowledge that enables the planet to support six billion people today. Without written language and our knowledge stewards, we would have to eliminate many billions of people, because we wouldn't be able to maintain the capabilities that support them all.

Again, the Internet has had a profound impact on our ability to preserve our collective memory, but we are still very fragile. A true librarian has vivid memories of Babel and Alexandria (when we also considered ourselves invincible), and lives the motto 'never again!'. The first lesson of history (that we must learn and never repeat) is that history lost is humanity lost.

Joshua Allen, in Better Living Through Software, January 4, 2003 http://www.netcrucible.com/blog/2003/01/04.html#a265


"Freedom is expensive, dangerous, unpredictable, and sometimes ugly and offensive. At such a high price, no wonder it is sweet."
-- John N. Barry, _Library Journal_, January 1992


Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger.

And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.

And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

-Kahil Gibran, The Prophet



English doesn't borrow from other languages. It follows them down dark alleys, knocks them over and rummages through their pockets for loose grammar.

-- Unknown



"English is the result of Norman soldiers attempting to pick up Anglo-Saxon barmaids, and is no more legitimate than any of the other results."
-- H. Beam Piper


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