Saturday, May 30, 2009

It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.
Television is for appearing on - not for looking at.
- Noel Coward
I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some.
- Herbert Rappaport

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
- Thomas Szasz
Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies.
- Edgar Watson Howe
Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
- E. W. Dijkstra

Monday, May 18, 2009

The average American consumes 1.2 pounds of spider eggs a year and eat 2.5 pounds of insect parts a year.
Hair is the fastest growing tissue in the body, second only to bone marrow.
Golf was banned in England in 1457 because it was considered a distraction from the serious pursuit of archery.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I've been trying for some time to develop a lifestyle that doesn't require my presence. - Garry Trudeau

Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money. - Arthur Miller

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. - Thomas A. Edison

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Its impossible to smoke oneself to death with weed. You won't be able to retain enough motor control and consciousness to do so after such a large amount.

A newborn expels its own body weight in waste every 60 hours.

Sir Isaac Newton, who invented Calculus, had such a bad memory to the point where he would forget his brothers' names.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them. - Mark Twain

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. - Thomas Jefferson

There are no wise few. Every aristocracy that has ever existed has behaved, in all essential points, exactly like a small mob. - G. K. Chesterton

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The word "listen" is an anagram of the word "silent".
The original game of "Monopoly" was circular.
The worlds best known word is 'okay', the second most well-known word is 'Coca-Cola'.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom. - Soren Kierkegaard

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

No one can earn a million dollars honestly. - William Jennings Bryan

Thursday, May 07, 2009

When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home, the stadium becomes the state's third largest city.

Snails can sleep for 3 years without eating.

Twinkies have a shelf life of 100 years.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise. - Bertrand Russell

The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague. - Bill Cosby

I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am. - Joseph Baretti

Monday, May 04, 2009

The correct response to the Irish greeting, "Top of the morning to you," is "and the rest of the day to yourself."

The length of time it takes for Earth to orbit the Sun is 365 and a quarter days. To make up this extra quarter which isn't counted at the end of a year, we have an extra day every four years on 29th February. This year, 2008, is a Leap Year. The next Leap Year will be in 2012.

Percentage of American men who say they would marry the same woman if they had it to do all over again: 80%.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

My anti-tourture diatribe

I don't know why I lashed out at him so violently. It wasn't something I would have normally done, but maybe it was because I respected him I expected better from him, but still my reaction surprised me. I was with an old friend watching TV when a little piece came on the news about the death penalty. My friend is actually a corrections officer at a youth facility. Certainly the debate about putting people to death is nothing new, but there was some news on the use of lethal injection. There was a court ruling that said that when administered improperly it was similar to torture. The three stage process is such that the first step is supposed to put the suspect to sleep, the second is supposed to stop the lungs, the third is supposed to stop the heart. In practice however it doesn't always work that way. Most of the time it didn't put the person out and the death was like that of drowning slowly because their lungs were paralysed. My friend said something to the effect that this guy probably deserved to suffer. I went off on him. It was out of character for me because I normally let other people's opinions wash over me. Had it been someone else, someone I didn't know, someone who was conservative I would have just written it off. But he was rather liberal and held such disdain for human life because the man in question was evil.

We believe that if a man does something bad enough he loses his right to be treated with respect, and maybe he does. I said something about this being a violation of his rights, that as Americans we are pretty clear that we don't allow people to suffer at our hands. This isn't very persuasive for someone who committed some of the atrocities for which people are tortured or sentenced to death. This man may be evil but we are not. And besides this is not about his rights this is about our rights. We let this man drown to death by our hands and it makes us all vulnerable to treatment that bad or worse. If he was an innocent it wouldn't be acceptable, and yet we cannot assume we are always right. It is a better assumption that we are wrong, that we will be wrong given enough time. In our minds we have to erase the false distinction we draw between us and them, but such a distinction is false. Can you imagine them water boarding your mother? When you can then try to justify it's use. Do you feel that sick feeling in your stomach? That's what made me lash out at my friend, because I have largely done away with that false distinction in my own mind.

I've gotten into so many discussions about torture with conservatives who basically believe somehow that being a terrorist on not American (sometimes I wonder if such a distinction exists in their mind) allows us to do anything and everything to that person because the constitution doesn't apply. The sort of barbarism that average people will find acceptable only seems to go up as the distance grows between them. Sometimes I wonder if evil people are treated so badly because we don't see them as one of us. Or there is some specious flimsy reasoning that torture saves lives. In the fight against terrorism we can use torture tactics to save lives. How does the argument of the ends justify the means still get traction in people? It's so backward, so outdated that you would believe that no intelligent or moral person could muster the resolve to even try such a backward argument. But they do and they feel good about themselves while doing it. They they hate us liberals for attacking our country for blaming America first. I was going to ask a conservative friend over lunch what the legitimate argument conservatives had for defending torture in our name was, but I didn't bother. There isn't anything I could have learned and quite frankly it made my stomach turn a little.

Friday, May 01, 2009

I stand by all the misstatements that I've made. - Dan Quayle

It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues. - Abraham Lincoln

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. - Aesop